Tag Archives: Upper West Side

Say Cheese! and then Yes Please!

French Onion "Soup" Grilled and Fig-Smoke Gouda Grilled Cheese Halves

French Onion "Soup" Grilled and Fig-Smoke Gouda Grilled Cheese Halves

Well who doesn’t love grilled cheese? And snow cones? And mac ‘n cheese? And homemade rosemary-lemonade? I can’t think of a more drool-inducing menu from Say Cheese!, a gourmet grilled cheese-focused sandwich shop that just opened up around the corner from me.

The brick-walled shop is adorned with antiquities that relay a certain charm on a street otherwise comprised of rental car companies and cheap nail salons. The space is open, with standing-room only tables and wall-counters and a no-step doorway, that makes this very stroller-friendly for the Upper West Side bugaboo-pushers.

Say Cheese!Snow Cones. With flavors like Swedish Fish, Root Beer and Ginger Lemongrass, this menu will attract both kids and kids-at-heart. Their clever “Farm to Glass” sno cones use only freshly squeezed fruits and vegetables and are created from herb infused simple syrups from their own mini herb garden, incorporating natural sweeteners such as honey and agave.

Say Cheese. You can stick with the standard American on Potato Bread, but if you’re ready to stray in the the world of creative crafted cheese, try the “French Onion Soup” with a reduced sweet onion spread slathered between slices of gruyere and swiss and melted to perfection. Or if you want to go with my personal favorite, try the Smoked Gouda & Fig smooooshed between peasant bread — it is the sweet, smokey combo that dreams are made of. Add maple bacon or tomato to any sandwich for a wee fee, or accessorize with eye-popping treats such as the Candied Bacon Lollipops or Super Cream Mac ‘n Cheese {with bacon! or truffle!} Stop the insanity.

Say Cheese Menu

Say Cheese Menu

The Skim: I couldn’t possibly list all the items I want to inhale, so check it out yourself {full menu here}. If you’re braving the Upper West Side for an afternoon in the park, this might just be the perfect box lunch to carry into New York City’s big backyard.

Map: 142 West 83rd Street (Between Amsterdam & Columbus Avenues)
Reservations: Available for Private Parties 
Email: Bridget@scoozievents.com 

Feel Like a Kid Again:
Banana Puddin’ Chocolate Cups {bottom of post}
Blueberry, Lemon & Coconut Pancakes
Goat Town’s Non-*Goat* ‘Scream
Luke’s Low-Key Lobster Roll Licks Competition {And My Lips}
Under the Bridge, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory Treat
A+ 8.ate@eight Back to School Nite
Soft & Salty Snack @Sigmund Pretzelshop

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Do This!: Mike’s Knife Sharpening Truck Rolls City-Style

Mike's Upper West Side Knife Sharpening Truck

A year and a half ago I wrote about the importance of getting your knives sharpened once to twice a year depending on how much of a work out they get. And now I’m here to admit I didn’t listen to my own advice. In NYC, it’s not the most convenient thing to have to lug your knives around in search of a professional sharpener. I love Samurai Sharpening in Chelsea Market, but even that is a subway ride away and requires some planning. So imagine my delight when I turned the corner onto my street this past Sunday and saw a truck I’ve been chasing unsuccessfully for the past 10 years.

Mike’s Sharpening is the exciting answer to your dull knives. Mike’s mobile business has been rolling through the streets of the Upper West Side long before the food truck craze entered our vocabulary. With man’s best friend in the passenger seat and a bright red bell hanging out the driver’s side window, he alerts the neighborhood of his arrival old-school style. Like kids run to the Good Humor man, city cooks swiftly stride down the block carrying their chopping companions in search of a honing treatment. While you sit on the curb, Mike brings your knives back to life in a matter of minutes and for far less money than speciality kitchen shops around town. When I offered my advise that he should create a twitter account to notify sharpening seekers of his whereabouts, the man of few words just smiled and shook his head. I love the charm of a man who has been sharing his skill from inside the four walls of his truck for years, with nothing but his tools and canine companion to keep him company. I just hope I don’t have to wait another 10 years until I find him again.

Care Tips for Kitchen Knives:

  1. Use A Proper Cutting Board – Most importantly, boards and surfaces made of glass, ceramic, marble etc will damage the cutting edge in the first cut {that includes cutting on dishes!}. Wooden and plastic boards are better and have a much lower dulling effect. For the best result use very soft disposable paper or card cutting boards.
  2. Store Knives Well — Keep in a knife block or drawer covered in a sheath to prevent from damaging the edges.
  3. Hand Wash Knives — After each use clean your knives with a sponge and warm soapy water. DO NOT put in the dishwasher where they can knock against other utensils or plates and damage the thin blade.
  4. Keep Knives Dry – Knives such as carbon steal knives can rust very easily if left to dry in a drying rack. Be sure to towel dry immediately after washing and use.
  5. Steel Knives Regularly — A knife’s edge has a tendency to roll to either side and even though you can’t see it, the tip loses it’s point. Taking your knife across the a steel before or after each use, will keep the edge at a point and prevent it from getting flat and dull quicker.
  6. Sharpen Every 6-9 Months — Depending on frequency of use, chopping technique and care, your knives will need a little TLC every 6-9 months. Buy a sharpening stone or visit a professional knife sharpener, such as Mike’s Truck or Samurai Sharpening, to hone the edges and your knife skills.

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Filed under Do This!, NYC Best

NYC Best: I’m In Love with Jacob’s Pickle

Jacob's Pickles Warms West Side

Jacob's Pickles Warms West Side

At first glance you might think this picture is of a really cool bar in Brooklyn. Lucky for upper west siders, it’s the newly opened Jacob’s Pickles — an outpost that took over a former lighting store and is bringing a new brightness to the neighborhood’s dining scene. Serving a menu centered around artisanal Beer, Biscuits, Pickles, Jams and Sustainably-Raised Meats, owner Jacob Hadjigeorgis saw an opportunity to bring simple American craft-comfort cuisine to an area that doesn’t welcome news-worthy restaurant openings with the same frequency as stops below 14th-street. I think Jacob is going to be a new friend.

American Craft-Comfort CuisineThe atmosphere has a casual elegant buzz about it. Soft lighting illuminates a wood-planked wall of bottles and jars behind the bar. The opposite wall is lined with tables intimately spaced along an elevated black leather banquette — the looks of which any man’s man would like in his own living room. Sit across from the banquette or at the bar and you’ve scored a seat in the most comfortable and cool looking bar stools I’ve seen in a long time. I should have taken a picture of these perfect perches, but with a deep seat, a back and arm rests, I promise they are the vehicles fit for a lengthy pickling session {you, not the gherkins}. The music is subtle so you can still have a conversation, but adds to the warm vibe — if I didn’t know any better, it could have been my ipod playing. It was the energy of the crowd that was really humming — I was enthralled.

The menu: 25 American craft beers on tap list some of my favorites {Founder IPA from Michigan}, as well as others begging to be sampled {Speakeasy-Prohibition Ale from California}. Intriguing cocktails include the Dirty Aphrodite, a martini made dirty with dill pickle brine, and the B.L.T Bloody Mary, which sounds like breakfast in a glass with peppercorn vodka, Niman Ranch bacon and a jalapeno pickled egg. There’s also a selection of artisanal root beers on tap, lemonade and other craft sodas if you’re looking to keep things simple. But even those can be converted to a float if you want to take it to another level. For the truly over the top treat, try the Sixpoints-Otis Oatmeal Stout float or the Allagash Black float. Beer and ice cream? Awesome.

Honey, Chicken and Pickles Southern Biscuit Sandwich

Honey, Chicken and Pickles Southern Biscuit Sandwich

But don’t get too carried away with the drink selection before you order up some grub. Like pickles? You’ve come to the right place — special or hot sours, candied beets, salt & pepper asparagus, sweet & spicy carrots, sour green tomatoes are just a few ways to get started. There also seemed to be a lot of fried pickle plates coming out of the kitchen {everything tastes better fried}. Our neighbors were ooohing and aaahing over the mac ‘n cheese — not surprising, since Jacob owns a mac n’ cheese shop in Boston, which was his primary focus before gracing us with his presence. The southern biscuit sandwiches all sounded outstanding — we tried the creamy mushroom gravy smothered chicken and the honey, chicken & pickles versions. The latter of which was my order and was the perfect sweet-salty-vinegary marriage of flavors. I swapped out the cheese grits for fries and the house ketchup {which I would bottle up and take home, if I could}. Speaking of which, if you just can’t get enough of these specialties, you can take home jars of their house-made pickles, preserves and 32- or 64-oz refillable growlers of beer. I’ll have to speak to Jacob about adding his ketchup to the pantry. Full menu here.

As if you don’t already have enough reasons to hop on the northbound subway, Jacob’s Pickles will be hosting a daily beer tasting from 3-6pm, which will also feature specials. Sounds like a perfect reason to leave work early.

The Skim: Good vibe. Good beer. Good grub. ‘nough said.  Will be back for more — tomorrow. This newcomer has quickly won me over and despite only opening a month ago, I’m adding it to my Favor8 list.

Map: 509 Amsterdam Avenue {Between 84th / 85th}
Reservations: Not taken
Phone: 212.470.5566 


8.ate@eight Favor8
Seal of Approval

Other Favor8s:
The Art of Eating {and Drinking} Well @ L’Artusi
Rustic Space Features Really Good Wood-Burning Oven Pizza
Highlands Highlights: Scottish Plaids, Pub Fare and Hand 
18 Favorite Meat Dishes for Men & Barbeque Heaven @Fette Sau
The Beagle: A Restaurant You Should Be Loyal To


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