Tag Archives: Restaurants

30 Before 30 – Weekend Accomplishments

I tackled a couple of items off my 30 before 30 list this weekend (+ Friday!).

Friday morning started off early with a pre-work blood donation (#2 of 5) at the Court near work.  Given that it was 90 degrees that day, it might not have been the best idea but I survived. 3 more donations to complete by November of 2013. I can definitely do that!


(I somehow manage to get gauze that coordinates with my outfit. – Last time = purple)

Saturday morning, we were up bright and early for a tour of the Bronx Zoo. J just became a board member for the MSU Alumni Club of Greater NY and they put together a little event at the Zoo. We had never been to the Zoo before but it was a blast!


I also got a chance to (kinda) see the infamous Bronx Zoo’s Cobra who I obsessively followed on Twitter after his “escape” last year.

After we were completely exhausted, we decided to walk a little further over to Arthur Avenue, the “Little Italy” of the Bronx to fulfill part of my “Eat in all 5 NYC Boroughs”. 3 down, 2 more to go! Still have to check out Queens and Brooklyn. Any suggestions on places to eat?

First stop, we treated ourselves to some of the best iced cappuccinos EVER at De Lillo Pastry Shop.

Next stop found us at Vincent’s Meat Market where we bought some of the most amazing (and fairly inexpensive!) sausages and sopressata. We ended up buying a small styrofoam cooler to keep it all cold while we had dinner.

I’m dying to buy some fresh pasta next time! Especially when it’s 1/4 of the price as the stuff from Eataly.

Last stop was dinner at Mario’s where I was apparently too busy eating to take a picture… Mario’s is a family owned restaurant that’s been around since 1919. I can see why because the food was amazing!

This area was seriously a hidden gem and I will most definitely be back! The only downside was the neighborhood’s proximity (or rather, not so much) to the subway. It’s a bit of a walk through the Bronx to/from the area. We ate dinner slightly early and had no problem walking back to the subway around 6:30. Would I walk around that area in the dark? Probably not…

I didn’t fully complete any 30 before 30 items this weekend but I did chip away at a couple!



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How Clean is That Restaurant?

In July 2010, nearly 2 years ago, New York City started requiring restaurants to post their health inspection scores in their front windows. Scores ranged from A, B, C or “Grade Pending.” On their website, you could search for scores by location (zip code, neighborhood, etc.) or restaurant name. The results would give you a nice detailed list of their current inspection date and score, any prior inspection dates and score as well as the reason for any points. Any particularly “critical” violations are shown in red.

All in all, it’s a good program and website. I’ve looked at this website a few too many times so I know way too much about it at this point. For example, a restaurant could have mice droppings present and still receive an “A” if everything else is in line. Also, a “Grade Pending” score means a restaurant has contested the grade they were given. So right there you know they didn’t get an A.

Honestly, you kinda have to take the score with a grain of salt. If you take it too seriously, you’ll never be able to go to a restaurant again. Because almost every place has something wrong with it. At the same time, I like it. And what I like even more is that they developed an iPhone App for it too.


(source via iTunes)

It’s called ABCEats NYC and you can get it here. So, New Yorkers, download it now and check out your favorite spots. Or rather, maybe skip the favorites and check out others instead?

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30 Before 30 – #16 Done

I had a ScoutMob deal for Southern Hospitality BBQ that was expiring soon (50% off check, maximum discount of $25). Southern Hospitality is a NYC restaurant co-owned by Justin Timberlake and I had been wanting to go. Adding it to my 30 Before 30 list guaranteed that I would!

Now it’s crossed off the list! There were some pluses and minuses to the visit…

I called the day before to make reservations. They only take them for parties of 6 or more but the hostess or whoever I spoke with said we wouldn’t have a problem being seated around 4:30/5 pm which is when I said we’d be coming by. Only problem? She apparently forgot about the Kentucky Derby party the restaurant was promoting. Same with whoever uses their Twitter account. I was tweeting on Saturday before we went and the bartender was responding. Told me they had the Red Sox game playing in the bar but it was on rain delay. Interesting cause when we got there, every TV had the Derby on. Nevermind it would’ve been nice for whoever was on Twitter to mention how crazy busy they were! So that was a bit annoying. Then we got there and the hostess couldn’t give us any estimate of how long we’d have to wait for a table. No estimate at all. Annoying again. But luckily the rain had been holding off so we opted to sit outside. Just in time too since all the tables filled out not long after we were seated. Service wasn’t anything fantastic. Thankfully the food was good. Not Dinosaur BBQ good though. I’ll let the pictures speak a little…

I love ribs but only the fall of the bone type without fatty areas. So I usually opt for the pulled pork, as I did here. All of the entree platters come with 2 sides. I went with sweet potato fries (mmm!) and the corn bread with honey whipped butter. I could eat corn bread all day. Half of that plate is today’s lunch 🙂

J went with the Wet & Dry rib combo platter. Southern Hospitality has Memphis style BBQ which means their ribs are dry rubbed. J is all about his BBQ sauce though so the “Wet” portion included their baby back ribs. He went with creamed corn and tater tots for his sides. And, I quote, “those were the best tater tots I’ve ever had”! He ended up not eating the creamed corn but I had a bite. Literally only one. It was super buttery! No thanks.

Overall, it was a decent time. I can cross it off, say it’s been done. Maybe we’ll go back, who knows!

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