Posts Tagged 'thai food'

A Dean and Deluca Kind of Birthday

I used to hate birthdays, but now that I’ve started to acknowledge them a day to eat everything, I think I like them now. I went to bed at 2 AM disappointed because no one wished me a happy birthday, but when I woke up the next morning, I had dozens of missed calls, voicemails, text messages, and Facebook alerts. I went to bed thinking the day would suck, but woke up thinking it was promising.

I started off the day with homemade scrambled scallion and asiago eggs, turkey bacon, orange juice, and a Starbucks coffee. (I don’t really like bacon, but I figured it’d be nice to have with eggs.) I opened all of the windows so there was a beautiful breeze flowing through the apartment. The air in the apartment is usually thick, but the mix of the fresh air from outside and the smells from breakfast lingered for hours. It felt like a refreshing summer day in the suburbs.

I made my way down to Dean and Deluca in Soho to pick up a macaron and an iced coffee. I’ve been dying to try their coffee, but I don’t know how to make my own coffee, so I never bought it to avoid putting my own sugar in. I figured today was the day to try it. I just bought a coffee macaron from the bakery area and I glanced up at the menu – iced mocha, iced this, iced that, Strawberry Italian Soda. It has been years since I’ve had Italian soda, but it so delicious that I instantly ordered one. I turned around and my friend surprised me with a red velvet birthday cake.

Of course I picked Cafetasia for my birthday dinner. It is my favorite Thai restaurant and one of my favorite restaurants of all time. The food is always delicious. The service is always fast and excellent. The atmosphere is trendy and awesome. Even if I could, I wouldn’t change anything about Cafetasia.

We ordered Mango Batita drinks, which were described as a mango and pineapple drink. I expected them to be yellow, or even orange, but they came out green. Weird. (On second thought, it is green because it is mixed with blue liquor.) They didn’t taste too strong, but half way through the drink, I was drunk. I quickly drank the rest as I saw the appetizers coming over, so I turned into drunken eating mode and just devoured it all. It was the best food at Cafetasia that I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it was because the chef was especially amazing that night or because everything tastes better when drunk. Leaning towards the latter, but I devoured BBQ beef skewers, chicken satay and toast, gyoza, extra spicy chicken basil udon, and then some of my friend’s pad thai.

We didn’t eat the cake until later that night, but it took us two minutes from start to finish. It was the most dense and delicious cake I have ever had. It was such a rich and dark red velvet. I seriously wonder what Dean and Deluca can’t do. When it comes to food, especially bakery treats, they are truly the best of the best.

I laid down for a bit to recover from dinner and the cake and then made hard lemonade with Belvedere. Turned on Iron Man, and passed out somewhere within the next hour. I didn’t expect my ship to sink that quickly, but it was the perfect end to my birthday.


Hell’s Kitchen: Room Service

I took the weekend off from work to relax and rewind. Most of my friends, including myself, are leaving the city next weekend, so I figured I’d have an extended weekend with them this week. I’ll have to work double this upcoming weekend, but that’s fine.

I met up with three friends last night for dinner. One of them suggested going to Room Service, a Thai restaurant that I’ve been eager to try since I discovered it on Yelp a few weeks ago. Room Service has two locations in the city, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. If anything indicates quality and quantity in New York, it is having multiple locations. Spice, a popular Thai restaurant, has nine locations in the city. My beloved Cafetasia has two. And then there’s Holy Basil with only one, for good reason.

One friend had preference to the Hell’s Kitchen location because she had to leave after, so we made the trek there. I’ve always felt that Hell’s Kitchen is too far out of the way and has unreliable subway lines (ACE,123), but the neighborhood is loved by its residents. Personally, I’m more of a fan of Greenwich Village or Union Square, which both have amazing accessibility to multiple subway lines, as for I like to travel and go throughout the city. But there are some self-sustaining neighborhoods, like Hell’s Kitchen and Siberia Battery Park City that work for their residents.

We started off the dinner with two appetizers: Sesame Tofu and Flank Steak. Sesame and tofu are one of the few tasteless ingredients in the world, so the thought of ordering them together was a little stupid, but they turned out okay. We asked for soy sauce in addition to the sauce that came with the sesame tofu and proceeded to drown them in both. The flank steak was a complete miss. It claimed to have come in a “roasted jasmine rice sauce,” but that sauce tasted like balsamic vinegar. And I hate balsamic vinegar.

I ordered extra, extra spicy Chicken Basil Noodles as my entree. I was excited because I love spicy basil noodle dishes and I now had the opportunity to use my green chopsticks. It’s nice when Asian restaurants uses plastic (and sometimes ceramic) chopsticks instead of the break-apart wooden ones. There also seems to be something marketable in green features – Starbucks having green straws, Room Service having green chopsticks – both of which I think are really cool. The actual dish was tasty. I won’t say that it is the best chicken basil udon I ever had, because there was hardly any chicken, but it was not bad. It was only $8.90, so it isn’t like I could complain. It was a relatively large proportion and the flat rice noodles were great.

I recommend Room Service as a cheap lunch or cheap dinner. I wouldn’t order any appetizers though. You can get Pad Thai and Basil Noodles for $8.90 each. Leave a little tip and dinner for two can be about $20 dollars total for two.