Here's the latest mass download food roundup...
In the category of third times the charm, our once beloved Olea had a stupendously bad showing. We popped in for brunch after deciding that as much as we wanted to go to Luz, their seating wasn't appropriate to our easily spooked puppy. The service at Olea, usually so friendly and welcoming seemed a bit, well, annoyed to be serving us. Their espresso machine was on the fritz so we opted for the less than stellar regular coffee. They use Dean's Beans, which I have tried to like, and maybe it's the blends, but it's just not good. Can I make a blanket recommendation? All people serving coffee on the east coast should just use Jim's (west coast, y'all should be serving Blue Bottle). They are excellent beans that make complex and varied coffees pleasing to the most discerning palate. Anyway back to Olea, this was the second time we also had to stir our coffees with spoons (spoons?!? oh no! -- I meant to write "knives" that's what I get for writing it on my phone on the train). On to the highly anticipated food! I so enjoyed g-pups savory french toast from the first visit that I ordered that while he had the omelet with salmon. It took quite a long time for the food to arrive, which was fine, as we were busy reviewing grant applications. Unfortunately when it did arrive it tasted like it had spent some rather serious time under the heat lamps. My meal, previously so bright and fresh, tasted old, dry a little stale and extraordinarily lacking in flavor. The eggs were over cooked for this dish and it tasted like the savory french toast had been replaced by the sweet. If this had been our first visit I would have a hard time justifying a return. As it is now we have to see if it was a fluke.
More in the category of shame on us... We finally got over to Habana Outpost for brunch (our excuse has been that the patio, while inviting, isn't super dog-friendly). It's kinda pathetic since, as an ardent greenie, this ALL solar powered restaurant - complete with bike powered blender - should be a frequent haunt for me. Sadly they are closing down on Halloween, but based on the straight forward no fuss tastiness encountered in the huevos rancheros, we'll be back to sample quesadillas, sandwiches and veggie dogs. (or not, since I am completing this post now on 11/6 & I didn't get back to habana - blame the travel and the cold.)
We continue to spend a lot of time eating Choice Market food because it is right on the dog path. We had a tartine one day and then went for full blown egg & bleu cheese on croissant (only to repeat it a week later). We grabbed some take away from them (carrot ginger soup, quiche and mac&cheese) and topped it off with an awesomely complex chocolate fudge chipotle cake. Get one of those before they are gone!
We recently went back to Brown Betty for a little brunch - the really beautifully simple breakfast pizza. It is the kind of thing that is artfully done and really lets the flavors come through. Grabbed an empanada stuffed with papaya and queso blanco (one of the dessert options on the dinner menu) - ho-my yumminess! We also kept pushing the lovely Cynthia to put together an email list so that she can send out the weekend menu - I want to try that jerk tofu sometime!
By the way, don't forget to vote tomorrow! (If you need to find your polling place check here: http://gis.nyc.gov/vote/ps/index.htm).