Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Rockography on the West side is a 70s rock themed restaurant with outrageous food, and a Sunday Beatles Brunch. Complete with rock posters, televisions, and a full bar, Rockography is one place you have to try. Located on the corner of 14th street and 6th Avenue, this hardcore bar offers a 20% discount to anyone with a New School ID card.
With doors located around the entire entrance, Rockography opens their doors to the gorgeous spring day, allowing the breeze to flow the restaurant. Though the bar is their main attraction, the restaurant yields enough tables for diners to come and enjoy their homemade connections. While rockstars stare back at you from their album covers, posters, and music videos.
I went to Rockography on Mother's day to enjoy the music from my
mother's favorite band; the Beatles. Greeted by a friendly waiter, Damian offered his favorite entrees right away, insisting on us ordering the $18 unlimited Mimosa and Bellini deal. Damian was decked out in a Hendrix t-shirt, with dreads down his back and an enthusiasm that was nice to see from a waiter.
First, upon Damian's request, we tried their homemade poptart. Found only at breakfast time, this poptart dominates their record-shaped menus. Complete with a sugar glaze, rainbow sprinkles and a decadent puff pastry, this poptart is nothing like you've ever tried before. At $9, this pastry is sweet enough to share with the table, offering a delicious strawberry jelly center that melts in your mouth. Delicious.
Next was a create-you-own Eggs Benedict, with your choice of a bread, meat, and sauce to top it all off. I tried a Eggs Benedict with crumbled sausage, hollendaise sauce, over french toast. It was a great $12 breakfast, however the homefries were cold and a little dissappointing. The Eggs Benedict had potential, but cold food is a no no.
It seems I wasn't the only customer who received cold food which w
as proven when I spoke to Michelle Garner, a retailer in the area. "For $18 I got a cold waffle, dry chicken, and some Aunt Jemima Syrup... I really wanted to like this place but it was overpriced, and the food is cold. To put it simply - this place didn't rock. At all!"
Lastly, my sister ordered the French Toast, Damian's last suggestion. An amazing combination of layered french toast, jelly, and nutella this is the most decadent French Toast you will ever try. The best thing on the menu, in my opinion, this $12 meal is impossible to finish, but you'll want to.
"This is my favorite thing on the menu but I've never finished it. I've tried twice," Damian laughed. He continued to tell us that this was his favorite thing on the menu and obviously a must-try.

Monday, April 25, 2011

2 Bros - St. Marx Place

You can't beat pizza for a dollar a slice, especially in Manhattan, but 2 Bros Pizzeria located all over the island is a dollar pizza place you do not want to miss. At $2.75 for two slices of pizza and a can of soda, this pizza is so good you'll forget how cheap it really is. A haven for struggling students, 2 Bros offers a great meal for anyone with a dollar.

One of the most popular locations for this pizzeria is St. Marks Place, located at the Astor Place 6 train stop, one stop past Union Square. A street full of curious pedestrians, tattoo parlors, head shops, and sushi restaurants, 2 Bros found an amazing location to advertise and sell their special recipe. Though the entrance to 2 Bros is small, the lines filing out the door are always huge in comparison. This pizza restaurant is so crowded with anxious eaters, that the owners opened a second location 2 doors down!

When entering the parlor, you'll find that the doors are always wide open in an effort to accommodate its customers. Inviting you in with the tempting scent of homemade pizza, the decorations inside are nothing to write about. Complete with a long counter, a drink cooler, and pizza oven the décor leaves a lot to be desired. Hardly furnished, the scattered tables with mismatched chairs add to the ambiance of a cheap pizza parlor dinner, rarely making room for all its customers. You’re more likely to end up sitting on the curb with a paper plate and a slice than actually getting a seat.

As you wait in line, there is always a chance that you’ll get to see the real magic: the making of the pizza. Cranking out about 20 pizzas an hour, Anthony Zacardo spends the majority of the day twirling pizza dough.

“I make pizzas all day. The pizza moves so fast and at all hours, that sometimes we can’t get them out fast enough. And we only sell by the slice!” Zacardo said when I asked about his job.

This New York style pizza yields a crispy, thin crust that breaks apart from the slice with a crunchy outside and a soft inside. Although toppings are limited at this pizza joint, their perfect balance of sauce and cheese is more than enough to enjoy your slice. Often creating that cheesy string from your pizza to your mouth, the cheese is a delicious blend of Mozzarella and other cheeses the 2 Bros employees would not tell me. Although greasy, this pizza will satisfy anyone’s pizza craving.

“I come here multiple times a week,” Amanda Raviele, a student at Berkley College explained, “its my favorite pizza in all of Manhattan without the guilty pricing.”

Monday, April 18, 2011

Shake Shack - Madison Square Park

“Oh look, a wedding!” I thought, as I entered Madison Square Park yesterday afternoon. Little did I know, the cluster of people gathered around this silver “Shack” were waiting in line for a Shake Shack meal. Located in a beautiful section of Gramercy, the Shake Shack has the classy feel of a New York café, with the combination of the greasy burgers, and thick creamy shakes that hits home for all Americans.

When restaurant owner Danny Meyer opened his burger joint in this retro urban retreat, he never dreamed it would become as popular as it has. With two-hour lines, resting under the leafy canopy of trees and the spring sun is the best way to enjoy this burger shack. New Yorkers of all sorts fill the spread of green fold-up tables and benches, spilling out all over the park.

So why should anyone wait this long for a burger? The Shack has the art of the hamburger down to a near unsurpassable point. With perfectly buttered buns, fresh, ripe tomatoes, and a meat mixer than involves a paint scraper, the burgers have been built to satisfy meat eaters all over Manhattan. At just $4.50 for the “Shackburger Single,” you can’t go wrong with this park burger.

“I love the food! The burgers are great! I love their shakes. I wish I lived there,” gushed Mike Bolton, a visitor from Philadelphia. His friend, however, was not as satisfied.

“I heard all the hype about the Shake Shack,” Melissa Gran, 34, explained, “A cheesy shack, the burger was absolutely nothing to write home about and the fries; well, I couldn’t even finish the fries.”

Their shakes are all the rage, but nothing beats their “concretes.” Made with homemade frozen vanilla custard, this dessert will keep you coming back for more. Add your own mix-ins for .75 cents each or order one of the Shack’s concoctions, and you will not be disappointed. Although they range from $5 to $9, more expensive then their burgers, these “concreations” are a delicious way to end your meal.

-photos by Taylor Halcomb

Monday, April 4, 2011

Roberta's Pizza - Brooklyn

BROOKLYN - Hidden in an unlikely neighborhood, Roberta's is masked by its warehouse-style building. Don't get disheartened, however, because this hard-to-find pizzeria in Bushwick is worth it!
Stepping off the the subway, the neighborhood surrounding this joint is a little tough. There are run down buildings, and gated off holes in the ground, but who knew a gem would be hidden amongst it all? Almost impossible to differentiate from the warehouses, Roberta's door does not look like the entrance to a pizza restaurant at all. Once you step inside, however, you're in for a treat.
Decorated in a very rustic style, you walk into the restaurant and immediately see the pizza chefs working away on their special Roberta's oven. With real wood, they light a fire in the back of the oven and cook an awesome smokey flavor right into the pizza crust. When you get to your table, you notice that all of the tables wooden, with picnic benches running along the sides. In the very back of the restaurant stands a tasteful bar with an impressive selection of wines and mix drinks. Children might love pizza but Roberta's makes it fun for adults too.
The first thing we ordered was their "Special" calzone. Although $13 is a lot for an appetizer, you cannot go wrong with this order. A combination of mozzarella, tomatoes, prosciutto cutto, and mushrooms, this dish is large enough for your whole table to have a piece. This stringy, cheesy concoction almost melts in your mouth inside of a warm pocket of fresh pizza dough.
"The entire meal was great from the beginning to the end," Peter Maman, a Florida resident gushed. "From the appetizers, to the entrees, to the desert, everything was well executed."
Next was the Margarita Pizza. This 10 inch, $9 pizza is more than enough to feed two with it's incredibly fresh ingredients and choice of toppings. Traditionally the Margarita pizza comes with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil but for a dollar each, you can add whichever topics you choose. With the addition of sausage, our pizza had a perfectly light crust that was not heavy on your stomach. It had dark boils from the oven and delicious circles of melted fresh mozzarella.
"The pizza was absolutely delicious!" Erin Gunther, a housewife from Brooklyn said. "This is my favorite pizza place to take this kids. Its pizza fun and a nice atmosphere for adults all rolled into one. You can't go wrong with kids in a pizza place."

_ Photos by Taylor Halcomb

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gossip About Gossip

Gossip is a new "Irish pub" located on the west side, once you walk inside this elegant bar, eat their amazing dishes and wrack your brain for Trivia you'll realize there's is nothing pubby about it.
More of a restaurant than a pub, Gossip is decorated beautifully. Sit at the bar for a few drinks or have a party up to 175 people in the back room, either way this bar has a wonderful atmosphere for parties or just a quick drink.
Thank god they weren't showing "Gossip Girl" on the televisions inside the restaurant but it was a little weird that they chose to play sitcoms on the dining room televisions. You'd think they'd have some kind of sports displayed on the screens.
Finally, the food. At Gossip you can order anything from Nachos, to a mini cordon bleu, to Panko crusted pork medallions. And for all the vegan's out there, they make a delicious Black Bean Burger with chipotle mayonnaise that tastes as good as a real burger for only $9.
To start off, we ordered the spinach artichoke dip ($10). Somewhat of a connoisseur of artichoke dip, myself, I found this dip to be extremely satisfying. Dip into this creamy spinach concoction and you'll forget all about your dinner.
For the main course I ordered the pork medallions and wasn't informed that they were out of them until 5 minutes before half of my table got their food. How do you run out of pork at a restaurant? Yes, there were 15 of us, but I didn't like that they brought our food out in waves. It was my sister's birthday and she didn't get her plate until half the table had finished their food. I was kind of surprised at this hiccup in their service.
The service proved to be an issue for other customers as well. "I don't know how they do it, but as soon as you say one thing POW! The waitress disappears. We tried "And..." It didn't work. We tried, HOLD IT! Didn't work. As soon as the food or drink came, they ran away," explains Mykel Harris, 21.
Anyway, I made a rush decision and chose the Philly Cheese Steak Wrap, complete with real slices of steak, onions, peppers, and cheese. It tasted pretty good for $11, but it wasn't what I really had my heart set on.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Food Network is not the only one praising this diamond in the rough, although there is a considerable wait time, Ippudo in the East Village is definitely worth it for their outstanding ramen and upbeat atmosphere.

Also featured on Food Network's “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” you cannot blame the huge customer base for their crowed wait around the bar. A tangled mess of one-hour-waiters, it only took them 45 minutes to seat me, which is always better than waiting the full expected hour. Once your table is ready, prepare yourself for the best Ramen I have found in New York City.

Irasshaimase!” the waiters scream as you enter the dining area, making each and every one of their diners feel welcome and even special. With a beautifully simplistic décor, you feel as if you’re part of a fancy restaurant without the extremely daunting prices.

If there was ever a time to over-order, Ippudo is the place you cannot go wrong. Order the Yamitsuki Goma Kyuri, a delicious Japanese cucumber lightly seasoned in sesame oil dressing. This fresh and crunchy appetizer is just light enough to tie you over before your meal comes. With a pinch of heat, you cannot go wrong with this healthy, $8.00 starter.

The Akamaru Modern ($14.00) is all the rage at this Ramen House and the dish I waited all evening to sink my teeth into. Kakuni and Menma are the companions to this dish, just some braised pork belly and bamboo shoots. Upon sight, you must take in the arrangement of colors stuffed into one bowl of broth-y goodness. With its vibrant garnishes and milky broth, your stomach will yearn for the first bite. Take a sip of silky, sumptuous, and somehow rich broth, making sure to capture every flavor within the first bite. Adding a thick strand of perfectly cooked noodle is the only thing that can improve this dish. One of the best parts about the ramen experience at Ippudo is the $2.00 kae-dama. Finish your noodles before the broth? This always seems to be the let down of a ramen dish but for 2 measly dollars your waiter will bring you an extra “ball of noodles” and place it in your bowl. It’s so good; you may have to close your eyes.

“I’ve been looking for good ramen since I left Japan,” William Kimura, age 27 explained, “This is the best place I’ve found coast to coast in the US so far. If you love ramen you must go here.” Now a Boston resident, Kimura claims that he has yet to find a ramen place that comes close to Ippudo. “Quite simply, it’s amazing.”

Sunday, March 6, 2011


TIMES SQUARE – Dallas BBQ on 42nd street is an enjoyable excursion for any college student with its cheap prices and great food, so bring your appetites and your Ipod because you’re in for a long wait.

The “Texas” size drinks are the first things on the menu that must receive credit. Order a Texas-size Coke, and be prepared for a goblet full. This holds true for the margaritas and daiquiris, too, yielding little tubes full of liquor held steadily by these frozen concoctions. Ask for an extra shot and be prepared for three shots worth of your favorite liquor, which you can pour into your drink or take separately.

However the drinks aren’t the only thing spicing up this two-story monster of a restaurant. You cannot go to a BBQ restaurant without trying their baby back ribs and Dallas BBQ is no exception. Although these ribs are steamed and then grilled, which is somewhat false advertising seeing as BBQ ribs should be smoked, this $8.99 platter comes with no description. Messy, of course, prepare yourself for some tender BBQ taste. Customers raved about their original BBQ flavor and overall service.

“The ribs were fall off the bone tender and very tasty,” Alice Thompson gushed, “We immediately ordered Texas size margaritas with an extra tequila shot, the crispy combo and half an order of hot wings. The value is great here, I think our bill was $120 for the 4 of us.” Traveling from Atlantic City, New Jersey, Alice, 28, could not stop raving about the excellent service.

This “excellent service” became a product of subjectivity, on the other hand, as other customers were heated about the long wait. “We were corralled like cattle ready for slaughter while waiting for a table,” Cadence Grover, 38, growled. After 45 minutes of hungry waiting, “We were given a seat with a view of the ladies room and the HUGE lineup of women waiting to use the facilities.” Our neighbors from Barrie, Canada continued to complain about the lacking service and waiters’ blatant “disinterest” in taking orders or delivering food.

The Onion loaf, which claim’s to be the “Best in NYC.” Although I couldn’t call myself a connoisseur of onion loafs, Dallas BBQ’s was definitely something to remember. Only $5.99 in price, this crispy mass of softly battered onion strands is a delicious tower of less-than-greasy goodness. “You HAVE to try the onion loaf,” waitress Jennifer Grotin recommended, “it’s an unfair fight if you don’t.”