that girl allison

I'm Allison. I see a ton of theatre. I'm a huge fan of Green Day, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Weezer, Oasis, Adam Rapp, Emily Giffin, and Shakespeare. I run sometimes, and do yoga always. My life has changed a lot in the last year, so this is my account of it all.

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thatgirlallison08 at gmail dot com

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reviews // Green Day // theatre // books // dating // broadway // movies // food // recipes // cooking // off-broadway // restaurants // upper west side // upper east side // american idiot

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Posts tagged "restaurants"

On Friday night, Matt gathered a group of people like he usually does and we headed to the 7:30 show at Comix on 14th and 9th.  The show was great, and afterward Paul said he knew of a bar nearby that we should go to.  I was almost ready to jump ship at 14th and 8th, but I’m glad I didn’t.  After lots of u-turns and iPhone consulting, we finally found our way to Orient Express on West 11th Street.  

We grabbed the three tables-for-two in the front window and gazed at the menu.  The drinks were expensive but potent so they were well worth it.  We kept insisting, “This is our last one!” Famous. last. words.  So, then we ordered more.  ”I’m going to spend all of my money on alcohol tonight!” were other famous last words spoken multiple times.  There were lots of showtunes sung, laughter was abundant, and friends were made.  

The bar never got too crowded, as so many others are on Friday nights, so it was a relaxing night.  We finally decided to leave at 2am (probably because of our dwindling bank accounts).  I would definitely go back next time I’m with a group of people who don’t mind spending more than $5 on a drink.

All in all, a perfect Friday night.

Orient Express is located at 325 West 11th Street.

Last week I met up with my best friend, Jess, and her sister, Dina, for an early dinner.  Jess was craving beer and ample amounts, so when I discovered that Fred’s wasn’t opened until 5pm, we walked a few blocks to George Keeley’s

I’d only been to George Keeley’s once before and it was on a Friday night, so food wasn’t really the main event.  I remembered that they did one thing well: wings. 

I convinced the girls to get wings and they were happy I did because they were very, very good.  I wish I could say the same for my quesadilla but I cannot.  It was gross, and the portion size was disgustingly big.  I didn’t try any of my friend’s dishes, but they didn’t look too appetizing either.

In conclusion: If you’re looking for good (or decent) bar food, George Keeley’s is not the spot.  I’d recommend going up to what I’ve lovingly dubbed Dochebag Row (both Brother Jimmy’s and Jake’s Dilemma are on that block) and pop in to grab a bite at The Dead Poet, where the food is much tastier and though the crowd does get a little ridiculous and kind-of douchebaggy, it’s a much nicer atmosphere than most of the bars you’ll find in that area. 

While living on the Upper West Side for a year and a half, I’ve developed a list of my favorite Japanese, Thai, and Asian-Fusion restaurants.  And surprise, surprise… They’re all stupidly cheap.  

Sura: I’ve written about Sura before, but I can’t enough about it.  They serve an $8 lunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays that includes three courses.  I usually go for the Oriental salad, Pad Thai, and green tea ice cream (although the custard is tasty, too).  This meal would cost close to $20 when it’s a week day, so if you’re in the neighborhood at the right time, stop in and I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Broadway between 100th and 101st Street.  

Matsu:  I discovered this place after last years Webutante Ball with two native New Yorker’s that I met at the party.  I’ve been back several times since and it’s never disappointed.  Entrees are usually around $10 and the food is actually really good!  83rd Street and Columbus.

Ozen:  My favorite place for delivery.  I’ve only had the pad thai and chicken teriyaki from Ozen, and while the pad thai is amazing, the chicken teriyaki is awful.  It’s dry as sandpaper.  The pad thai is awesome but the portion they serve is enormous.  To give you an idea: I had a plate full last night, a plate full today for lunch, and then two of my co-workers also had full plates for lunch today.  If you only have $10 and you need to feed you and your three friends, this is the place for you.   

I’d heard about the Boat Basin Cafe many times since moving to the Upper West Side but I’d had yet to venture over and down.  Until last night that is!  A few of my UWS’er girls and I decided to kick off the Fourth of July weekend with a view… and a drink!  

Well, after the two hour wait (ugh) we sat at a table with a perfect view and noshed on nachos before ordering.  I had the chopped salad with a piece of corn, and a mango mai tai (YUM!).  Everything was really good - though I think it has to be said that Boat Basin is not known for it’s food and though it was good, it was nothing special.  People go there obviously for the spectacular view.  

And Boat Basin is puppy friendly (as per the above picture), so feel free to bring your pooch!  

Boat Basin Cafe is located at 79th Street and West End.  Click here for more information.  

It seems as though I’ve been spending a lot of time on the UES lately, and in keeping with that tradition tonight I tried the food at Southern Hospitality (@BBQNYC) on 77th and 2nd.  My friend Tom and I decided we had a craving for ribs (it’s the Fourth of July after all!) and he suggested Southern Hospitality.  I eat ribs once a year and it’s usually the Fourth of July.  I can barely justify it to myself, but BBQ chicken and BBQ tofu just doesn’t hold a candle to BBQ ribs.
I have a vague memory of walking into this establishment once late at night back when I was in college and immediately thinking, “what a sh*thole!” and being relieved when my friend said we should go somewhere else.  Needless to say, I didn’t have much hope for the food.
We sat outside which was quite nice and I’m extremely pleased to say that I thought the food was quite good (dare I even admit that I enjoyed it a bit more than the BBQ at Dinosaur BBQ?).  I had the half-ribs/half-chicken combo and only made it through the ribs before asking for the chicken to be packed up to-go.  
With the perfect seating, perfect weather, great company, and tasty food, this was a perfect way to end the 2nd day of the July Fourth weekend.  
(photo via)

It seems as though I’ve been spending a lot of time on the UES lately, and in keeping with that tradition tonight I tried the food at Southern Hospitality (@BBQNYC) on 77th and 2nd.  My friend Tom and I decided we had a craving for ribs (it’s the Fourth of July after all!) and he suggested Southern Hospitality.  I eat ribs once a year and it’s usually the Fourth of July.  I can barely justify it to myself, but BBQ chicken and BBQ tofu just doesn’t hold a candle to BBQ ribs.

I have a vague memory of walking into this establishment once late at night back when I was in college and immediately thinking, “what a sh*thole!” and being relieved when my friend said we should go somewhere else.  Needless to say, I didn’t have much hope for the food.

We sat outside which was quite nice and I’m extremely pleased to say that I thought the food was quite good (dare I even admit that I enjoyed it a bit more than the BBQ at Dinosaur BBQ?).  I had the half-ribs/half-chicken combo and only made it through the ribs before asking for the chicken to be packed up to-go.  

With the perfect seating, perfect weather, great company, and tasty food, this was a perfect way to end the 2nd day of the July Fourth weekend.  

(photo via)

I first heard of Uva when an ex-boyfriend of mine recently moved into an apartment around the corner from the intimate Upper East Side establishment.  So when I declined his offer to grab a drink there after work one day (no, it wasn’t like that), I always kept it in the back of my mind and it seemed like the perfect place to grab dinner and wine on Friday night with my friend Lindsay, who happened to know the bartender.

The place was packed, dimly lit and full of energy.  We sat at the bar where she ordered a vodka and soda (standard, she said), and I ordered the red wine sangria (really tasty!).  Upon viewing the menu, I decided to go for the Strozzapreti Integrali (whole wheat penne with tomatoes and melted mozzarella) and Lindsay opted for a variation of Pasta Bolognese.  Both were delicious and worth the price tag (I usually can’t justify spending $17 on pasta).  

Uva would probably make a great date spot for grabbing wine or dinner.  I think it’s definitely worth of a return trip.  If you’re ever in the neighborhood, you should definitely check it out.   

I suggested to a guy I went on a date with on Monday night that we go to Shalel, on the Upper West Side (70th and Columbus).  Considering that he is new to the city, I knew it probably wasn’t somewhere he’d been before.  In fact, I hardly hear anyone mention it.  I was afraid it would be too girly or romantic (for a second date, at least) but he thought it was amazing.  I did good, I guess.  
The dim lighting, candles, and cavernous-like booths makes this the perfect date spot.  Although the menu was a bit hard to read and required us holding a candle up to the menu to chose drinks.   I can’t remember the ingredients of what was in the drinks that we had, but each and every one was tasty - although my second choice was a bit too tart.  
The staff was incredibly friendly and didn’t rush us in the least, which was nice because we stayed for over three hours.  Drink prices were moderate ($12).  This was my second time to Shalel and I’ll definitely be back for a third in the near future.  
(photo via yelp - not my photo, taking a photo on a date would’ve been awkward!)

I suggested to a guy I went on a date with on Monday night that we go to Shalel, on the Upper West Side (70th and Columbus).  Considering that he is new to the city, I knew it probably wasn’t somewhere he’d been before.  In fact, I hardly hear anyone mention it.  I was afraid it would be too girly or romantic (for a second date, at least) but he thought it was amazing.  I did good, I guess.  

The dim lighting, candles, and cavernous-like booths makes this the perfect date spot.  Although the menu was a bit hard to read and required us holding a candle up to the menu to chose drinks.   I can’t remember the ingredients of what was in the drinks that we had, but each and every one was tasty - although my second choice was a bit too tart.  

The staff was incredibly friendly and didn’t rush us in the least, which was nice because we stayed for over three hours.  Drink prices were moderate ($12).  This was my second time to Shalel and I’ll definitely be back for a third in the near future.  

(photo via yelp - not my photo, taking a photo on a date would’ve been awkward!)

I caught up with a friend on Sunday for brunch and when he suggested Bourbon Street on Restaurant Row I was happy to oblige his request.  I’m on a kick to try new restaurants so this was a welcomed suggestion.   

I looked up the menu and decided ahead of time on a salad.  Immediately upon viewing the brunch menu when we sat down though, I changed my order to a spicy pasta dish with chicken.  Something that is NOT advertised on their menu is the unlimited bloody marys and mimosas that come with your meal when you order from the brunch menu.  So for $20, you get a meal and unlimited mimosas or bloody marys.  THAT is a great deal.  

I had two mimosas (hey, they came with the meal) and my dish was incredibly spicy but immensely tasty, while the portion size was generous but not gross.  I didn’t feel like I was going to be sick afterward.  

We sat on the second level overlooking the entire downstairs of the restaurants, as well as the large flat screen TVs that were hung on the walls (as per the subpar picture that I took, as you can see above).  My only complaint was the service which was a bit slow, but I think it was because our waiter was the only person taking care of upstairs and doing a hundred things at once.  

I will definitely be back to Bourbon Street at some point.  It is easily one of the most wallet friendly brunches on Restaurant Row, especially with the $20 brunch special.