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Liquid Assets: Cold Pressed Juices @ Liquiteria

25 May

While I tend to play pretty hard on the weekends, being at my best for work on Monday is always a priority.  I’ve found that nothing gets my natural performance enhancement on like starting my week off with a juice cleanse.  I know “juicing” might sound scary or weird to some of you, but it’s actually quite easy, leaves you feeling great all week and won’t lead to a congressional hearing (though folks may question how you’re hitting all those metaphoric homeruns in the work place).  My favorite spot to get the best cold pressed juices in NYC?  Well that’d be the East Village’s Liquiteria (2nd Ave @ 11th St).

The menu features an assortment of healthy breakfast/lunch choices, but I head straight to the Liquid Rx section for my weekly juice cleanses.  My go-to drink after a hard hitting weekend is the Royal Flush, a blend of pineapple, pear, ginger, aloe and a Liver Kidney Lymph Detox supplement.  The drinks are freshly squeezed at $5.45 for 14 oz and $5.95 for 20 oz OR you can snag bottles of the cold pressed versions for $8.50 a piece (this method of extracting the juice is supposedly the most nutritionally effective).  With names like Immune Rocket Booster, Skin Trip and Liquid Lozenge, you’ll have no trouble picking a juice if you’re looking to get specific health benefits.  Customize your juice by opting to add one of the many supplements as well.  I usually get 4 drinks to have throughout the day when I do my Monday cleanse.

Non-E. Villagers and folks Nationwide listen up: they’ll deliver ANYWHERE in the US.  So go ahead and get your juice on at Liquiteria.  I promise this venture won’t lead to fist pumping BUT you may be lusted at for your gorilla juice head body, you sexy thang.  Disclaimer: I’m not a nutritionist, so if you have serious questions about juicing, do your research.  All I can say is that 1 day a week of drinking the fan-effing-tastic juices from Liquiteria is what works for me; you do you.

Outside the Box, Inside an NYC Beer Garden: Bierhaus

20 May

Great as Manhattan is, the space constraints are rough, which makes finding an awesome beer garden quite difficult.  Your options are limited; while I’m not above brown-paper-bagging in the park, unfortunately, public intoxication is frowned upon illegal.   Venturing to outer boroughs might yield great spots, but it’s a real commitment, plus with the weather we’ve been having lately, who knows when outdoor venues will be a safe bet?!  My solution?  Think outside the box and head to Bierhaus (3rd Ave @ 45th St), an unconventional Midtown spot with all-weather-friendly appeal and beer garden feel.

Recently, a friend and I were looking for a late afternoon hang in Midtown East. We both like to try new places, especially where there are good odds of meeting new people; Bierhaus was a great call.  It’s crowded with a mix of after-work types and casual peeps passing through (not to mention the odd group of folks wearing authentic German getups, no joke).   Communal picnic tables are perfect for chatting it up with neighbors and add to the friendly vibe.  With a sunroof ceiling there’s also the added benefit of bright natural light (a major preventative in acting on beer-goggle impulses – not that I would EVER do that…)

All the beers served are Hofbräu, so if you’re looking for something that tastes like a Blue Moon, Stella, etc, just ask a bartender or St. Pauly Girl your waitress and they’ll hook you up.  Staying with the theme, you can expect German music both over the PA system and live, feat. the Polka Brothers.  The soft dough pretzel is pretty awesome; get a large ($9) and try both mustards – the spicy is sinus-clearing!  While there’s no replacing an authentic, outdoor beer garden, sometimes it’s just not feasible – so why miss out on the experience?  Bierhaus is a legit alternative that’s so convenient you can roll up with your bros and lederHOSen.

Get There: Hester Street Fair

10 May

When I told my girls I was rallying them for a street fair last Saturday, I couldn’t help but notice a slight resistance.  Not that I blame them; the days of generic falafel and shawarma booths beside kettle corn and funnel cake stations are numbered.  But street fairs have come a long way, baby, and there’s a new kid on the block.  No, I’m not talking NKOTBSB; this year Hester Street Fair has got the right stuff (oh oh OOH oh).

My perfect little Saturday started after a nice walk down Essex; we met up at the fair’s entrance on the corner of Hester and Essex – can’t miss it.  There’s a lot of action in there, so pace yourself, take a lap and scope out the goods before your decide on your first eats.  After doing a once over, we decided to get on board with Luke’s Lobster (OMFG – it was my first time with Luke…)  The combo of ½ Shrimp/Lobster/Crab rolls ($19) was AMAZING – a great savory kick-off to the eating festivities.

After sating our initial cravings, we took some time to peruse the other vendors. Vintage jewelry and eclectic clothiers were a-plenty along with some other interesting additions like the Casa Helecho Terrariums (I’m going to go back and further investigate these – get my geek on). The live music added to the festive atmosphere as we sampled pretzel rods smothered in Herbin’ Spoonful’s Habanero Caramel (mmm) and grabbed small delights from the Macaron Parlour (the Red Velvet was decadent and the Caramel Fleur de Sel, a perfect savory/sweet combo – $2 each).

One of the most popular vendors of the day was the Shaved Ice Shop – your “sundae” consists of finely shaved ice, drizzled with condensed milk and topped with your choice of fruits, nuts, granola, and some more surprising delights (red beans, anyone?) PLUS a scoop of sorbet or ice cream. At $5 a pop, it won’t hurt the wallet and on a hot day, it’s the perfect treat to take to the small lawn area just beyond the vendors – a small sheet to sit on isn’t a bad call either.

The Fair will be open for business from 10am-6pm on Saturdays through October 30th – you’ve got more than enough time to check it out, but don’t miss it.  Next time your Saturday leaves you jones’ing for some open air, great music and gourmet treats, get yourself to the Hester Street Fair – it’s a force to be reckoned with.  I’m putting all other clichéd street-closing-fests on notice.

I Feel Ya, Tequila: Mayahuel

20 Apr

Peruse The Tequila Library

Tequila has been known to make clothes fall off and the likelihood of a rowdy evening increase exponentially… But maybe it’s gotten a bad rap; Tequila deserves to have someone clean up its act and reveal it for the classy drink it is. Here to restore Tequila’s good name (and potentially drag yours through the mud, after a few cocktails), is the East Village’s very own Mayahuel (6th St btwn 1st/2nd Aves).

Being a cocktail dungeon devoted solely to the advancement of Mexico’s favorite imbibement, Mayahuel is a Tequila lover’s paradise. Don’t miss it; the entryway bears no signage, but fear not, you’ll eventually notice the strange cabin-like façade and set foot into a tastefully themed cocktail den. The casual bar area downstairs pales in comparison to the luxurious couches and mosaic tiled tables in the upstairs lounge -you may have to wait a bit, but it’s worth it. Give the doorman your cell, hit up a wine bar in the vicinity and you’ll be back to swig a little bit of Mexico in no time.

The drinks (~$13-14) can be a bit intimidating (the menu should probably include a glossary), but thankfully the staff are all quite helpful when it comes to making a selection. All you have to do is say a few choice adjectives (sweet, savory, spicy) and they’ll tell you your best bet posthaste. My personal fave is the Pilot Punch (oober spicy – made with Blanco Tequila, Jalapeno, Yellow Chartreuse and Lime + a hint of cucumber and mint). Don’t get too attached to any drink though; their menu is constantly changing to bring you new and exciting flavor combos. I should also mention that they have eats ranging from shareable bites like the Palomitas (Popcorn with lime, Cojita cheese, and ancho chili – $5) to the larger Platos Fuertes ($12-21), if you’re really looking to get your south of the border grub on. I prefer to keep it simple with strictly cocktails, but you know how I do.

Next time you’re contemplating something different to spice up your evening’s drinks, think Mayahuel. With Tequila-based cocktails this good, you may find yourself doing a Pee Wee Herman-esque dance – and why shouldn’t you? After all, Mayahuel might be your next Big Adventure. Get crazy and enjoy it responsibly, folks.

Games, Free Pizza, & Beers – Oh MY: Croc Lounge

20 Jan

RR is a Natural with Pizza (and accepts tips)!

If there’s one thing I like better than a dive bar with an excellent selection of beers on tap, it’s a dive bar that provides boozing patrons with a FREE personal pan pizza with every beer purchased.  But it doesn’t end there folks, add skee ball, video games + naked photo hunt and you’ve got yourself Dive Bar Nirvana.  And that’s just what Crocodile Lounge in the East Village (14th St btwn 1st/2nd Aves) is – and I’m not just saying that because they let me man the pizza ovens.  Ok, so maybe they didn’t “let me”…

Croc Lounge brings in a wide mix of crowds from the hipsters, to some NYU kids and lots of local 20-somethings in between. It’s the perfect date spot with games to entertain you and free pizza if you don’t wanna buy her dinner get hungry. The bartenders are laidback dudes, there are a ton of great brews ready for the pouring and the free pizzas are actually great – plus for a buck per topping you can add your pick of a ton of add-ons from pepperoni to pineapples.

FACT: Free Pizza Tastes Better

A few things to note about the Croc: it has a huge pizza oven in the middle of the bar, so while that keeps things nice and toasty in the winter, you may want to think twice before heading there on the hottest day of the summer. Also, Wednesday night is trivia night which, if it’s your thing, great – but if it’s not your bag, perhaps go another night.  Crocodile Lounge is definitely one of those awesome spots sure to impress a date or even a group of friends… Now get on over there and have yourselves some free pizza!

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