10-Acre Corn Maze, Stony Hill Farms

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

Over the past few months, we’ve been receiving weekly deliveries of fruit and veggies from the Stony Hill Farms. Our final CSA delivery of the season was a week ago, and I’ve got a write up about what I’ve learned from signing up for a CSA coming soon. For now, take a peek at our visit to the Stony Hill Farm market and 10-acre corn maze on a sunny Saturday in September.

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

We brought sandwiches to take into the corn maze, but John couldn’t resist picking up some candy at the store. I was tempted bring one of the vegetable pot pies home. Haven’t had a pot pie in years because veggie ones aren’t easy to come by!

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

I wouldn’t exactly say that rustic is a word that describes my style or preferences, but these farm yard animals were cute. Mr Owl, would you like to come home with me?

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

After admiring the flowers and stopping by the restroom, we were ready to enter this maze of maize! We were told that most people make their way through the maze in about an hour or so, then we were given a number to text/call if we got lost in there. Uh oh. Good thing I came prepared with my walking sneakers and a sun hat.

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

We got off to a pretty good start and soon found our way to a wooden bridge in the middle of the maze. After being trapped in corridors of corn, the bridge was a welcome relief.

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

What a view awaited us! Corn, corn, corn, and more corn. So this is what 10-acres of corn looks like.Β  No wonder we’ve been getting so much corn in our CSA deliveries.

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

The maze is divided into several different sections, and the different colored tape indicates which section you’re in. However, going from one color to another doesn’t necessarily mean you’re progressing in the right direction. (P.S. Stay away from the green section!)

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

There are map readers scattered throughout the maze, and at one point, we had found a way out. We tried to memorize the turns, but after a while, we lost track. I blame all the corn as it’s rather dizzying to be surrounded by so much of it. We eventually came to a fork where we disagreed on which way to go, retraced our steps, then got very lost.

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

Over half an hour later, we discovered that the spot where we had disagreed on which way to go was the final fork in the maze before a long, windy path with no further choices to make. We were sooooo close! For the record, if we had gone with my choice at that fork, we would have been right. ;)

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

Our trip to the Stony Hill corn maze was a fun and very hot excursion. My sun hat was an attempt at making my very practical outfit a little bit cuter. The moment I saw these little wheelbarrows, I knew that I had to pose in one. City girl on a farm!

Stony Hill Farm Market, Corn Maze, New Jersey

Ganso Ramen, Downtown Brooklyn

Ganso Ramen, Downtown Brooklyn

I recently met up with Jay of the Dishelin Guide for ramen at Ganso. After a while, you run into the same people at blogger events, and it seems foolish not to make plans to eat with other foodies. Food people are the best kind of people, right? (Except for maybe food people who are also vegetarian, but most food people are down with veggies, so that’s cool too.)

At 5:30pm, Ganso was fairly empty as the dinner rush had not hit yet. The space is warm and inviting with exposed brick and wooden booths. I’ve had a lot of ramen in Manhattan, but this is my first in Brooklyn. Expect many more BK ramen posts over the next few months.

Ganso Ramen, Downtown Brooklyn

At most ramen joints, you’re lucky if there are more beer choices than you can count with one hand. Ganso has a good selection of craft beers, including several Japanese beers, starting at $7. I enjoyed a lager with light hops and hints of honey before moving on to a pilsner that paired nicely with the ramen.

Spring Rolls, Crispy Gyoza, Ganso Ramen

Unfortunately, they only have gyoza filled with pork, but they do offer a half portion for $4.50, which arrived with a giant snowflake of fried gyoza skin. The gyoza looked kind of greasy, and Jay’s reaction to the gyoza suggested it was okay, but not all that remarkable.

Crispy Gyoza, Ganso Ramen

We shared an order of the spring rolls ($9). Packed with chewy veggies (shiitake, burdock, carrot, garlic chives) with a good crispy skin. The mustard with the soy sauce was a nice touch. Overall, the spring rolls were pretty good, but I wouldn’t say it’s a must order item.

Spring Rolls, Ganso Ramen

For all you omnivores, there are 5 different meat based ramen bowls on the menu, including a Triple Shrimp ramen. I believe this is the first I’ve seen shrimp ramen on the menu in the US. My Yasai Ramen ($14) had a vegetarian shiitake soy milk broth with sesame paste. This is the first time I’ve tried a soy milk broth, but I’ve seen it on the menu at other places as well.

Spicy Soboro Miso, Yasai Ramen, Ganso Ramen

The noodles were okay. I suspect they might have sat in the broth too long before I started eating them, oops. The broth had an interesting nuttiness to it, but it was kind of bland. It needed salt and pepper, and maybe even some heat to spruce it up. The thick, juicy slices of tofu were the best part. It almost looked like pork belly when my bowl was initially placed in front of me. The other toppings were good, but I would have liked more of everything, especially as the shiitakes were so small and sad.

Yasai Ramen, Ganso Ramen

After some deliberation, Jay got the Spicy Soboro Miso ($15). It’s an inaka (barley) miso broth with spicy ground pork and pork belly. It looked like a good broth, and I’m sure it had much more flavor than mine. Also, if you’re into pork, I’m sure having two kinds of pork is a nice.

Spicy Soboro Miso, Ganso Ramen

Ganso Ganso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dirt Candy, Lower East Side

Dirt Candy, Lower East Side

We finally made it to big Dirt Candy! The new location on Allen St is much larger than the original tiny location, but that doesn’t make it any easier to score a reservation. Once again, we had to book 2 months in advance and were only able to grab a 5:30pm spot. I hear that if you show up late in the evening, you might be able to snag a walk in table.

The new space is polished and airy with white textures, bright red banquette seats, and floral decals along the walls. It’s also a no tipping establishment that automatically adds 20% to your bill to provide stable wages for all the staff. With the larger kitchen comes a larger menu, but don’t worry, all the Dirt Candy classics are still there.

Dirt Candy, Lower East Side

Amanda Cohen is pretty much *the* vegetable queen, and her menu makes eating veggies oh so fun and tasty. I recommend getting 2-3 snacks/sides and 2-3 dishes from the vegetables section for a table of two. If your waiter suggests that you change your order as everything you’ve picked out is very rich, listen to him. Seriously. I think we might have overdone it with this meal. Just because you’re eating vegetables does not automatically mean it’s light and healthy.

First up, the little terra cotta pot of bread. Warm and fluffy. I’m sure the red is beets, but I wasn’t paying attention when our waiter explained the rest. Oops.

Dirt Candy, Lower East Side

The Dirt Candy website described the Korean Fried Broccoli ($8) as “basically crack in broccoli form”. That is so very accurate. The broccoli florets are coated in panko, deep fried, slathered in gochugang sauce, then topped with seasame seeds and garlic dressing.

Korean Fried Broccoli, Dirt Candy

I’m basically a broccoli monster, so this dish was screaming “eat me! eat me!” It’s a delightful explosion of flavor in your mouth. You’ll keep popping them until they’re all gone. Here’s a rare photo of yours truly, and as you can see I’m very excited about the broccoli.

Dirt Candy, Lower East Side

Out of the 4 dishes we ordered, I’d have to say that the Curried Fries ($8) was the least exciting. Not that it was bad though. The fries were topped with paneer cheese and curry. It’s almost like a vegetarian take on poutine, but I wish the curry wasn’t all at the bottom.

Curried Fries, Dirt Candy

The Mushroom ($14) dish at big Dirt Candy is basically the signature dish from the original location with a fancy makeover. Velvety portobello mushroom mousse, thinly sliced grilled portobellos, sauteed Asian pears, tart cherries, and truffle toast. I’ve always been a mushroom lover, but who knew mushrooms could be so sinfully rich. It’s basically mushroom pate and mushroom carpaccio.

Mushroom, Dirt Candy

Since I picked the Mushroom, John picked the other vegetable dish. Even though we already had the fried broccoli, he went with the Broccoli dogs ($16). Smoked and grilled broccoli dogs, sauteed in broccoli oil, served on milk bread buns, with broccoli kraut, broccoli puree, mustard BBQ sauce, plus broccoli rabe chips on the side. How many times did I say broccoli in that sentence? It’s like a broccoli tongue twister.

Broccoli, Dirt Candy

Grilled broccoli is one of my favorite things, but this is the first I’ve tried smoked broccoli. It tastes remarkably like a hot dog despite being the farthest thing possible from an actual hot dog. There’s a lot going on, but it seems to work. I wouldn’t mind the smoky flavor were a little more subtle though. Wish I had a palate cleanser as this was so rich!

Dirt Candy Dirt Candy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Good Stuff Eatery, Crystal City, DC

Shroom Burger, Good Stuff Eatery

While I was in DC, my friends and I popped into Good Stuff Eatery for a quick dinner. It was raining cats and dogs, and this place was conveniently located on the ground level of my friends’ apartment where I was crashing. Good Stuff Eatery is DC based chef and Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn’s burger chain, and apparently kind of a big deal in DC (or at least that’s how my friends made it sound).

I got the Vegetarians are People Too ‘Shroom Burger ($6.98) plus the snack fries and soda combo ($4.45). The fries were rather sad and soggy, and I could have done without them. The burger? When I think of ‘shroom burgers, Shake Shack immediately comes to mind (duh), and their shroom burger is a tough one to beat. Good Stuff’s portobello burger is very similar with muenster and cheddar cheese, then fried with panko. Ehh, I wish the cheese were warm and gooey, but it wasn’t. Overall, the burger seemed like it was lacking something. Meh, it just didn’t do it for me. Not sure if it’s just this location or Good Stuff Eatery in general, but based on this visit, I’d say they don’t serve very good stuff. (Har har har.)

Good Stuff Eatery Good Stuff Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

El Macho Taco, Vegan Taco Tasting

El Macho Taco - NYC Vegan Taco Tasting Event

A couple weeks ago, I attended U.S. Veg Corp’s second vegan tasting event. This time, it was all about plant-based tacos from some of NYC’s best vegan and Latin spots. El Macho Taco was structured differently from the last event, which allowed us to interact with the chefs and watch them assemble the tacos right on the spot. It was vegan taco heaven!

First up was Taco Chulo with shiitake mushrooms and lots of avocado. Bright and zesty with a good spicy kick. Next was Jungle Cafe’s colorful and eclectic creation. It was tasty, but more like a salad. For me, there was too much going on in there.

My third taco of the night was a pineapple inspired mini taco from Brooklyn Fork & Spoon. It was the perfect couple of bites, where every ingredient could be tasted together. I voted this one as my favorite of the night, and I would have liked to taste the others as amuse bouche mini bites like this one. That seems more like a true tasting.

Brooklyn Fork & Spoon Vegan Taco

The Judges’ Choice and People’s choice taco was the result of great teamwork between Vegicano’s Rudy Ramos and Chris of Monk’s Meat. This was another one of my favorites of the night. Handmade seitan, mushrooms, salsa, avocado… a classic taco with a vegan twist. This green cilantro corn tortilla was the only handmade tortilla of the night.

Another one of my favorites was Rockin Raw’s raw vegan creation. The RR team was so lively and fun to chat with. Their sauce game is always very strong, and they’re not afraid to combine flavors and mix things up. My only issue was that this raw vegan tortilla that kept getting stuck to my teeth. Here’s Kunal about to dig in to their taco…

El Macho Taco - NYC Vegan Taco Tasting

V-Spot, the host restaurant, also participated and presented a taco with a puffy crunchy shell. I’m not always crazy about hard shelled tacos, but this one had plenty of filling to complement the exterior. (I’m finally having dinner at V-Spot this Friday!)

The final taco of the night was Chef Pharaoh’s creation, which he called Masterpiece Taco. The soy-based vegan meat he created was juicy and packed with Caribbean flavors. Everything else, unfortunately, didn’t wow me. It turns out that Chef Pharaoh entered the contest at the last minute. If I had to make 100 vegan tacos in an hour, I would have a complete meltdown, so I’m definitely in awe that he pulled those tacos together in that time.

The guest judges at this event were The Vegan Zombie, The Vegan Roadie, and Crazies & Weirdos. I was pretty amused that they showed up not only with matching “Kaled It” t-shirts, but also similar trucker hats. Hah!

Least, but not least, here’s the highlight reel from El Macho Taco. At 1:00, you’ll catch Kunal chowing down Rockin Raw’s taco and nodding away with every bite. Just after 2:00, I caught a glimpse of someone with a necklace that looks like mine… no wait, that’s me!

Note: I was invited as a guest and member of the U.S. Veg Corp team to this event and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.

Ramen Co by Keizo Shimamoto, Financial District

Ramen Co, Financial District

Remember when everyone was flocking to Smorgasburg for the ramen burger? Now you can enjoy Chef Keizo Shimamoto’s creation at Ramen Co, and there’s no risk of them selling out. Chef Keizo created the burger as a hybrid of Japanese and American cultures, and the rest is the history. Fun fact: Chef Keizo started out as a ramen blogger with dreams of spreading ramen love throughout the world. Sounds like he and I could be BFFs.

I asked Angela and McKinney if they were interested in grabbing a weekday lunch at Ramen Co with me since they both work nearby. It turns out that Angela comes here for bento bowls, but has never tried the ramen or the ramen burger (what?!).

Ramen Co, Financial District

Angela got her usual bento bowl, and McKinney tried the ramen ($11.94). I believe he got the Brooklyn Blend, which has tonkotsu and black garlic oil. Looked and smelled amazing, and I like that they have thin noodles here. I believe they have a miso broth, but I’m not sure if it’s also pork based. If it’s pork free,Β  you know I’ll be back to try it.

I obviously had to try the famed Ramen Burger ($8.95). Previously, I had assumed that they only offer meat patties, but I learned from a vegetarian Instagrammer that there’s a tofu patty! It comes your choice of chips or coleslaw. I would have liked to see some kind of Japanese side (maybe tempura?) as an alternative side too.

Tofu Ramen Burger, Ramen Co

The tofu patty was nicely seasoned and had veggies mixed in there. Real tasty with the shoyu sauce, but would have liked more sauce with the ramen. The ramen bun was interesting. It held together very well, but the noodles still retained their bounciness. I’ve made ramen burgers at home, and my buns don’t have the same bounciness. Need to experiment more!

RAMEN. Co Ramen.Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Cinnamon Snail, Jersey City Street Fair

Jersey City All About Downtown Street Fair

Every September, Jersey City hosts its annual All About Downtown Festival in the Historic Downtown District. It’s been a couple years since we went to this festival, and wow, it’s gotten really big! They’ve also extended the hours to give everyone a chance to swing by.

The weather in September is always ideal for spending time outside. Sunny and warm, but not too humid. We sipped on beers from Zeppelin Hall, nibbled on empanadas, and enjoyed live music. Eventually spotted the Cinnamon Snail food truck and had to give snaily a try!

The Cinnamon Snail Vegan Food Truck

For those of you who don’t know, the Cinnamon Snail is Chef Adam Sobel’s award winning vegan food truck. Every other time I’ve spotted the truck, the line was obscenely long, which is why I haven’t tried it until now. Back in February, the Cinnamon Snail announced they would be closing, but it appears they’ve still been doing one-off events like this festival. Yay!

The Cinnamon Snail Vegan Food Truck

Many people flock to the truck for vegan donuts, but they also offer a selection of droolworthy savory dishes featuring tofu and seitan. The obvious choice was to get the Beastmode Burger Deluxe ($11) and given the name, we decided to share the burger. Here’s John with the impressive burger in hand, devising a plan of attack…

The Cinnamon Snail Vegan Food Truck

Sharing the Beastmode Burger was a wise choice as it was gigantic. I’m greedy, but I’m not that greedy. I’ll just let the description from the menu speak for itself: ancho chili seitan burger with maple bourbon BBQ sauce, jalapeno mac & cheese, arugula, smoked chili coconut bacon, chipotle mayo, grilled herb foccacia. It was GLORIOUS. Genius to put mac & cheese in there. So juicy with lots of heat, and a good bun to hold it all together. The one ingredient I didn’t quite pick up on was the coconut bacon as there was already so much good stuff going on.

The Cinnamon Snail Vegan Food Truck

If you ever have a chance to try this burger, DO IT. I guarantee this burger will win the hearts of vegans, vegetarians, veg-curiousians (I’m declaring that is a word), and even omnivores. Adam Sobel was a judge at the Burger Supremacy back in August. There were some delicious burgers at that event, but this burger is a completely different league.

The Cinnamon Snail The Cinnamon Snail Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Trattoria il Mulino, Flatiron

Trattoria il Mulino, Flatiron

Ling and I recently had brunch at Trattoria il Mulino in Flatiron. It’s a chain of Italian restaurants with locations in New York, Atlantic City, Orlando, and Nashville. Think fine Italian dining in a casual chic atmosphere. The area in the back with the hanging lights and black and white murals would be stunning for a dinner party.

Trattoria il Mulino, Flatiron

We were offered a complimentary eggplant starter. Eggplant is hit or miss for me, and I’ve been less enthused about it ever since we’ve gotten eggplant in our CSA. This dish was definitely a hit though. Very nice with the tomatoes and spices. Their bread is great too.

Trattoria il Mulino, Flatiron

Ling ordered the Meatball Benedict ($17). Humongous meatballs, poached eggs, tomato sauce, and ricotta. Looked pretty spectacular, and I imagine it must have been very rich and filling. If I ever get around to making another batch of veggie balls at home, I’ll have to make them extra big so I can recreate this benedict dish.

Meatballs Benedict, Trattoria il Mulino

I got the Hangover Pizza ($19), which normally has bacon, egg, and cheese, but they replaced the bacon with mushrooms for me. Even though it was meatless, it was still indulgent. This was a brick oven pizza with a thin, crispy crust. Putting egg on a pizza is genius, but I would have preferred a runnier yolk. Disclaimer: I was in fact slightly hungover as I was out at a really fun house party in Harlem the night before.

Hangover Pizza, Trattoria il Mulino

The service was kind of inconsistent. Our waiter was extremely attentive before we placed our orders, but once all the food came out, it was difficult to get his attention for the check or a box. The food was good, but I’m not sure it wowed me enough to prompt a return visit. Hope that more places serve a hangover breakfast style pizza though!

Trattoria Il Mulino Trattoria Il Mulino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sips & Sweets at Kate Spade, Bleecker Street

Kate Spade Sips & Sweets

Last month, I stopped by the Bleecker St location of Kate Spade for their Sips & Sweets event celebrating the launch of their new collection that’s inspired by Magnolia Bakery. A waiter handed me a glass of champagne as soon as I stepped inside, and minutes later, I was offered a mini cupcake. Sweet treats to celebrate cake purses, prints, and more. Love it!

Oh, and I made friends with a fuzzy little owl purse named Henry. One of the sales associates was telling me about how a coworker of hers recently bought one of these owl purses and named it Henry. Seems like a pretty good name for him, don’t you think?

Kate Spade Sips & Sweets

Zeppelin Hall, Jersey City

Zeppelin Hall, Jersey City

Oktoberfest means beer, beer, and more beer! Earlier this month, John and I decided to spend an afternoon at Zeppelin Hall biergarten. It’s conveniently located along the light rail line, and riding the light rail is much nicer than riding the PATH as it’s on street level. I’m surprised it’s been over a year since our first visit as we really enjoyed it last time around.

Even in the early afternoon, Zeppelin Hall was pretty crowded. There was even a children’s birthday party in one of the rooms off to the side. Beer for the adults, a princess party for the kids. That sounds pretty perfect to me.

Zeppelin Hall, Jersey City

Every bar has different beers on tap, so you should rotate from bar to bar for the full selection. We started off with a stein ($14) each of Spaten Oktoberfest. Lovely amber color and malty flavor. It takes two hands to carry one of these giant steins. What a beast!

Zeppelin Hall, Jersey City

It was pretty chilly out, but we had bundled up appropriately as we really wanted to sit outside. If you get a spot in the sunshine, it was quite comfortable. If only they had heat lamps in this area! I spotted a group of energetic and rowdy older ladies getting their second round of steins. They sure know how to have a good time, and I almost wanted to join them.

Zeppelin Hall, Jersey City

Beer naturally calls for fried food, and we started off with some fries. Later in the afternoon, we moved on to jalapeno poppers. Spicy, cheesy, and fried… you can’t go wrong with that. And yes, we got another round of beer, but I wasn’t able to finish my second stein.

Zeppelin Hall, Jersey City

The Oktoberfest menu had all sorts of ridiculous specials including a $60 pig fest and a $20 pretzilla. We were tempted by the pretzilla, but got the regular sized pretzels ($6.95) instead. Still a lot of carbs, but it seems like a more sensible choice. The honey and mustard dips are tasty!

Zeppelin Hall, Jersey City

Zeppelin Hall Biergarten Zeppelin Hall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato