Tag Archives: Breakfast

Beware of the Two Door Tavern

Beware of the Two Door Tavern

You know that place? You know the one I’m talking about.  Known for their awesome brunch so the line is out the door at all hours, and although you know the wait is going to be tremendous, you walk over there, just to see how long the line really is and maybe put your name down.  Yes, that’s the one.  Almost every neighborhood has one.  And in Williamsburg, this place is called Egg.  Unfortunately, this isn’t a story about Egg, and the awesomeness that unravels there.  No, this story is about another place.  You should know this one well too.  This is the place that catches all the starving passersby that leave that popular and oh so busy place undoubtedly disappointed when they can’t get a table.  In this case, the Two Door Tavern.   On a warm Sunday afternoon, I fell victim to the Two Door Tavern.  So close to Egg, yet so far away.  But, in the midst of my hunger pains, it would have to suffice…or would it.

Well, the long and the short of it, really, is that this place was an epic disappointment.  Of course, it was disappointing because we didn’t get to eat at Egg, but really the most egregious indignity was caused by the Two Door Tavern itself.   By bypassing Egg, we thought we were avoiding the wait.  Yes, we realized the food wouldn’t be what we had wanted, but we would get to eat soon.  In this game of compromise, that would have to do.  But, what we didn’t know was that the wait to eat at Two Door Tavern would be equally as long.  No, we didn’t wait to sit down.  We were seated right away.  But we did wait to order and then we waited even longer for our food to arrive.  Not because the restaurant was busy, because it wasn’t.  We waited because the restaurant was painfully slow.  In fact, we waited almost 2 hours for food and dare I say, mediocre food.  I ordered a BLT with a fried egg that was offensively overcooked and bacon that was medium rare.  The rest of the food was equally as thrilling.   So, the next time you find yourself caught in a pickle, deciding between delicious and a wait, and someplace else, just remember how un-delicious that someplace else might really be.

Another one bites the dust…

Two Door Tavern
116 N.5th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

It’s Crunch Time…

So, its crunch time, and I’m not referring to the Captain, although I wish I was.   I mean it’s almost V-Day.  4 Days and counting.  Whether you have a new love, old love, or last minute love, you need to plan something.   Unless of course you are unattached this holiday, and in that case, you can stop reading now.

If you are looking to impress your Valentine, or at least not piss them off, I have a few suggestions for you.  Nothing says “I want to spend time with you like dinner.”  Hey, there’s a reason most people go for drinks on a first date.  But dinner isn’t just dinner on Valentine’s Day. So make sure to pick a restaurant that shows you put a little thought into this.

Here are a couple Bite- Sized Valentine’s Day picks…

Bobo.  This French restaurant in the West Village is the perfect quaint and quiet backdrop for a romantic night.  The food will impress.  Just make sure you will too.

In Vino.  This Italian restaurant in the East Village is warm and cozy.  A nice bottle of vino at In Vino is sure to set the mood.

Marc Forgione.  This rustic American bistro in Tribecca is known for their exceptional food and killer cocktails.  What more could you ask for?

Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day can be uber-annoying, especially if there is a pre-fixe involved.  Pre-fixe has me predisposed to think overrated.  Pre-fixe? More like please fix this ASAP, and get me a real menu.   So, if the kitchen is more your scene than Kittichai, then you know what you have to do.  Love is in the air, literally, if you cook at home.  You’re entire apartment can smell like love, or short ribs, which is the same thing really.

Valentine’s day is a Tuesday this year, and it’s hard to prepare a whole meal after work.  So, my suggestion, start early.  Make things this weekend you can refrigerate, or freeze, until you are ready to serve them.  Like soup, click here, here and here to see a few soup recipes.  Another recipe you can make in advance? Gnocchi!  Make the dough this weekend, precut the gnocchi and freeze them.  On Tuesday, take them out of the freezer right before you want to cook them. They will just need a few minutes in the boiling water, and voila! You will have a meal sure to impress!!

Craving a little more spontaneity? How about breakfast? This oh so important meal can be a totally unexpected Valentine’s surprise.  Start your morning with pancake hearts or a heart shaped egg in a hole.

Looking to heat things up, but not in the kitchen?  Check out Shag Brooklyn.  This unique adult store, art gallery, event space hybrid is hosting a Valentine’s event for the books.  Aphrodisiacs and Amor is a blindfolded tasting meant to tease, tantalize and tickle your taste buds.  Their words, not mine.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen sex store, and head to Nitehawk Cinemas.  This movie theater takes the idea of dinner and a movie to a whole new level.  The theater has a full restaurant that delivers your food to your seats during the show!

Great, dinner down, but one gift to go…Check out Tasting Table’s Valentine’s Shop.   Of course, this will only work if your Valentine is a foodie.  Otherwise, best of luck to you!

What are you planning this Valentine’s Day?

Where the Magic Happens

In true MTV cribs fashion, I’m going to let you in on where the magic happens…But not that kind of magic.  After all, a Bite-Sized lady doesn’t kiss and tell…My kind of magic is made in the kitchen.  And magic, is exactly what’s on the menu today.  Magic Sauce get its name because, well it’s really magical.  It has the ability to transform something boring into some seriously divine.  Think Fairy Godmother, but edible.  One day you’re Cinderella, the next day you are a princess.  And by you, I mean your food.

This sauce is great for dipping, think crunchy bread.  It’s also great for eggs, potatoes, shellfish, chicken, steak and vegetables.  Really, it’s good for anything and everything.  Which is why it’s magical.  The recipe makes about ½ a cup of Magic Sauce.  But the way I use it, and the way you are sure to use it, it’s best to double the recipe right away.  The sauce, like a fine wine, also gets better with age.  So, make a batch, or two, and let the magic happen.

Magic Sauce
½ cup of good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 medium cloves of garlic, smashed into a paste
1 well-crumbled bay leaf
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼  teaspoon + fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Gently warm the olive oil over medium-low heat in a skillet or pan, until it is just hot. When hot remove from heat.

While the oil is heating, lightly pound the rosemary, thyme, and oregano in a mortar and pestle.  If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can chop all of the ingredients together.

Stir the paprika, garlic, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and salt into the oil. Then add the bruised herbs and lemon juice.

You can use this now, but know – the oil just gets better as it ages over a few days. Keep it in a refrigerator for up to a week/ten days-ish. It thickens up when cold, so if you need it in a liquid state, place it in the sun or in a warm place for a few minutes.

Recipe from: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/magic-sauce-recipe.html

101cookbooks.com is a great collection of recipes and beautiful food photography.   If you are ever looking for inspiration, make sure to visit this site!

Sunday Lazy Sunday

I love waking up on a Sunday knowing that I have nothing to do but go to brunch. This hybrid meal takes on activity status for a reason.  If done correctly, brunch can last the whole day.  Whether you spend the entire day eating and drinking or spend the entire day in a food coma slash drunken stupor is entirely up to you. We all know who the Bite-Sized Blonde in the food coma is…

One of my favorite places to brunch is Peels in the East Village.  This adorably quaint restaurant is totally unassuming.  Don’t get me wrong, this place exudes that cool factor.  Case in point: the heaps of hipster customers.  But, that’s not why this place is cool.  This restaurant, known for their baked goods, turns out amazing breakfast, lunch and their love child, brunch.

Peels is as popular as it is delicious and cool.  So, you should expect a wait. But, it’s well worth it.  The baked goods sell quickly, so make sure to order them as soon as you sit down! I made the mistake of waiting to order the monkey bread until after we ate brunch, and I was SOL when I was told they were sold out!

Here are some things you shouldn’t miss:  The Fried Chicken Sandwich and The Roasted Tomato Benedict.   The Fried Chicken has a crunchy and salty exterior. Cushioned by a soft potato roll and complimented by tangy pickles and shredded lettuce, this sandwich is irresistible.

If the words Roasted Tomato Benedict don’t turn you on, then maybe it’s time to do a little soul searching.  These beautifully cooked eggs sit on top of homemade biscuits.  These doughy biscuits are still warm when they are covered in basil and roasted tomato hollandaise.  So simple, yet to elegant.

And now for the money shot…

oh yea…that’s good.

Food is everything to me, but a close second is caffeine.  A great cup of coffee has the potential to change a day, just like a bad cup of coffee is essentially a recipe for a bad mood.  The cappucinno at Peels is rich and earthy.  Better just tell the waitress to keep em coming.  Like I said, brunch is an all day activity and you’re going to need your strength.

325 Bowery (Corner of 2nd St.)
New York City, NY 10003

The Crème de la Crème

Have you ever thought about having crème brulee for breakfast? And I don’t mean have you ever dreamt about it, because that’s an obvious YES.  I mean, have you ever really thought about it?  I have.  And what I have decided is this: it’s totally a reasonable breakfast, and I’m not currently high on sugar.

Here’s my rationale.  Yogurt is kind of similar to the crème in crème brulee.  Sure, it’s a stretch, but the truth is, it’s creamy.  Greek yogurt is tangy though, not sweet, which is why it’s the perfect base for this breakfast.  Combined with the sugar that gets bruleed, it’s a marriage made in heaven.  By adding fruit to this dish, it’s also a well balanced meal.   Dessert for breakfast that can also be breakfast for dessert.  Brilliant!  This is so good, easy and quick, you will be wondering why you never made this before.  Did I mention that you use a torch to make it? Awesome, right? I know.  Oh, and the best part, this is under 300 calories!

Breakfast Crème Brulee
1 6 oz. cup of Greek Yogurt 0%
2 strawberries, sliced
1 tbsp. strawberry preserves
1/4 cup of light brown sugar

Add the strawberry preserves to the bottom of a 3 inch ramekin. Place the strawberries in an layer on top of the preserves. Add the yogurt and top with the sugar.  Then, bust out your awesome torch and carefully burn the sugar so it melts to form a sweet, crunchy layer.  Serve and enjoy!

A Little Something Eggstra

Before the summer started, and bikini season was in full force, I was the Sweatheart of Breakfast Sammies…not to be confused with the Breakfast Sammies Sweatheart.  This Bite-Sized Blonde does not fancy Ron Ron, although I am excited for the start of another wild season of the Jersey Shore.  But that’s neither here nor there.

What’s really important here is breakfast, ya know, the meal that dictates your day, maps out your morning, and amplifies your am.  Of course, I am still enjoying the Sweet Breakfast Quinoa and not just because it’s summer.  I have been eating it several times a week, most often for breakfast, but sometimes as a sweet mid-afternoon snack.  What can I say? I am a creature of habit.  But just in case you are looking for a little something to switch up your morning mix, I have another breakfast recipe that is great on the go and good for your gut.

Egg salad is easy and portable.  Since eggs are protein, it’s filling, and it really is a great accompaniment to the king of all carbohydrates, the bagel.  If yolks aren’t your thing, because they aren’t eggsactly mine, wink wink, I have a delicious egg white salad for you.

You can add it to toast, if your heart and belly so desire.  But the toast is truly optional here, as I’ve made sure to include some belly-friendly carbs by adding quinoa.

1 dozen eggs, hardboiled
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 handful of spinach, chiffonade*
½ cup quinoa, cooked
½ tbs. mustard
1.5 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Remove the yolk and chop the egg whites to your desired consistency.  Add the scallions, white and light green parts only.  Add the spinach.  *Chiffonade means to cut into thin, long strips. To chiffonade the spinach, stack the leaves and then roll them tightly. Then, cut across the rolled leaves with a sharp knife to produce long ribbons.  Add the quinoa.  In a small bowl, mix together the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Mustard.  Pour over the egg salad and toss to combine.

Breakfast of Champions

Are you a wake up and snooze-er? I’m usually not, but I have been snoozing my alarm recently. I don’t know if it’s cause I’m tired or tired of the same old boring breakfast.  I enjoy cereal as much as the next girl, but it keeps me full for about an hour.  My stomach is screaming at me shortly after even the most delectable bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats.  Eggs are always yummy, but who wants to take the time to cook before work.  Not me, that’s for sure.  And let’s face it; oatmeal is about as exciting as a beige sweater set.

Sure, I can pick up a breakfast sandwich from my local deli, but it’s about that time of year when I think less about bacon and more about bikinis.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for a cute two-piece.

So what’s left to eat in the Wonderful World of Breakfast Options?  Quinoa, that’s what.  Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a high-protein grain that is prepared just like rice.  Once it’s cooked, its fluffy but with a slightly nutty flavor.  It is great as a side dish for lunch or dinner, or as an unexpected and delicious breakfast!

This recipe for breakfast quinoa can be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave.  So, it’s an easy solution for the breakfast blues and a great way to kick start your summer slim down.

Sweet Breakfast Quinoa (4 servings)

1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup slivered almonds
½ cup dried apricots, diced
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup fresh ricotta (optional)

In a small saucepan, cover quinoa with water and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes).  When all the water has been absorbed turn off the heat. Lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork and cover again.

In a medium skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil.  Add the almonds and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the almonds are golden (about 2 minutes).  Add the apricots, maple syrup, orange zest and cinnamon and stir until heated through.  Add the quinoa and stir gently to incorporate.  If you are going to serve immediately, top each portion with a tablespoon of ricotta cheese.  If you are going to save this for work, pre-portion it into Tupperware and refrigerate until ready to eat! Then, just reheat, top with ricotta and enjoy!


For the Love of Cream Cheese

I am a firm believer that you can’t name one food that would not be delicious with cream cheese.  Think about it.  No, seriously…think about it… Cream cheese is a delicious addition to any food.  It is the nude pump of condiments; it just goes with everything.  So, when I came across a recipe for banana muffins with cream cheese filling my beliefs were only strengthened.  Now, before we go any further, I should probably be honest with you about something that might be a game changer.

This Bite-Sized Blonde loathes bananas.  That’s right, loathes.  You may think that’s a pretty strong word for something as harmless as a banana, but this is where you are wrong.  I can’t even be near someone who is eating them.  Bananas are my kryptonite.  So, although I appreciate the recipe for banana muffins with cream cheese filling, I can’t be a part of it.  Not to worry; I’ll make sure you still get your cream cheese fix.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins (12 muffins)

Muffin Batter
¼  cup canola oil
½ cup milk
1 egg
½  tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
½  cup white sugar
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped strawberries
½ tsp. vanilla

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and fill a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. In a small bowl, combine the oil, milk, vanilla and egg and beat lightly.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Toss in the chopped strawberries and stir to coat with the flour mixture.  This will keep the strawberries from sinking to the bottom of your muffin cups.  Pour in the milk mixture and stir together.   It may look like there is not enough liquid but don’t get discouraged; there is just enough! Spoon the filling into muffin cups so they are about half full.  Add 1 tablespoon of cream cheese onto the top of each muffin. If you like cream cheese as much as I do, be generous with the tablespoon.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the tops bounce back from the touch and they are golden brown.  Cool for about 10 minutes, or however long you can resist!

Recipe inspired by pinchmysalt.com and allrecipes.com.