Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Asbury Park

Stella Marina Bar and Restaurant (Asbury Park, NJ)
In the past couple Asbury Park has really tried to change its image from a beaten down town to a new hip spot. Restaurants and other businesses are promising Asbury to be the next hot spot. My friend Nadine moved down to Asbury Park a year ago and fell in love with it. Not only does she love being by the beach, but she loves all the quirky hipsters that inhabit Asbury.

One beautiful day, I decided to go visit Nadine and spend the day in the neighborhood.She took me to this place Stella Marina for an early happy hour. Stella Marina was a pretty sweet spot as it was right on the boardwalk overlooking the ocean.

The bartender made me one of their specialty drinks, which including hendrix gin, cucumbers and some other light ingredients--perfect for a summer day. I ordered a pizza as well since they were running a 1/2 prize happy hour kind of thing. It was just a simple, plain pizza with basil leaves but it sure did hit the spot.

Through friends, Nadine knew the bartender so we got a round for free. The service was good and the people were all chill. I guess that happens when you work on the beach--the ocean provides some kind of tranquility.

I had a great time and would definitely go back if I was in Asbury Park.


IL Porto/Cafe Habana/Libation/Bon Chon
(coming soon)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Citi Field

Subway Series and Shake Shack
(coming soon)

Friday, May 21, 2010

East Village Spots


My Little Piggy

Probably the best Roast Beef sandwich I have EVER ate. I can't comment on the decor or ambiance of the place as we got delivery. I was surprised at how small the menu was when I first looked at it, but my buddy Gartner assured me thats all the items you need when you do them so well. I hate to admit it, but he was right on point. I would have a hard time ordering anything else as my sandwich left me craving more. Craving more in the sense of wanting to go there again, not still hungry as they gave a generous sandwich for 8 bucks. There menu is not only small, but its a bit comical as the names of the sandwiches are "This Way", "That Way", and "The Other Way" I got the "That Way" which was roast beef, gravy, and mozzarella on a hero.

The bread itself was awesome; while the tender, juicy roast beef was simply amazing. The gravy as mozzarella cheese were a perfect compliment to a sandwich that I will definitely go back for. We even considered getting it again late night, but we often for Pomme Frites.

Ace Bar
This bar wasn't too crowded, but it was pretty sweet. They had pool tables, darts, and skee ball. Having a house down the Jersey Shore my whole life, skee ball is one of my favorite games of all time. Besides the skee ball, its like any other bar. I enjoyed a nice Sam Adams Summer Ale while I was there. The staff seemed friendly. I'd go back to dominate skee ball if in the area, but thats about it.

Pomme Frites
Since I've always reviewed Pomme Frites, I'm not going into much detail. We got a bunch of sauces, so I'll rate them from favrotie to least favorite.

Mango Chutney--still favorite
Parmesan peppercorn
Pesto Mayo
Garlic Mayo
Vietnamese Pineapple Mayo
Pomegranate Teriyaki
Wild Mushroom Mayo
Mexican ketchup

Pomme Frites is one of the best drunk foods ever. Since its close to my buddies apartment, i'll probably be back!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Poughkeepsie to Hunter Mountain

Poughkeepsie -- my old stopping grounds

I spent some of the best years of my life in Poughkeepsie while I attended Marist College. The city of Poughkeepsie wasn't too safe, but the surrounding areas were beautiful--some of the Hudson River Valley's nicest towns. The Roosevelt and Vanderbilt estates give the area history while the food culture has a strong influence due to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Although I didn't make it to the CIA to eat, I had some pretty good food--so what if it was drunk food!

Rossi's Deli
Hands down the best deli in the area. This corner deli makes some of the best italian food I've ever had and that's saying a lot. Whether you get a chicken parm or a rosemary chicken panini with peppers and fresh mozzarella you won't be disappointed.

On my latest trip I sampled the ribs which were ridiculously good. I never would have thought to get ribs at an italian place, but they know what they're doing. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and had such great flavor. I also tried a pepper stuffed with prosciutto that dazzled my mouth with a nice spicy component. I also got a small panini with rosemary chicken, roasted red peppers, and fresh mozzarella. Rossi's is reason enough to make the trip, so I guess I'll cya at the next alumni weekend!

Palace Diner
One might go to Palace Diner after a night of drinking for some good drunk eats or in the morning for a nice hearty breakfast after a night of drinking. Palace is great for the late night drunk stop, but for breakfast--hop in your car and go to Eveready Diner in Hyde Park--DELICIOUS.

But I cannot say anything bad about "The Palace" as it treated me very well in my 4 years--just look at my stomach. I have tried a few things on the menu, but the Red Fox wrap is my go-to. Although my version of the Red Fox wrap isn't the traditional version--no1 can really argue which is better.

My Red Fox wrap comes with chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, and honey mustard sauce. The crispy chicken tenders combined with cheddar and bacon is just amazing, plus add some honey mustard and you got yourself a happy ending--some might argue better than going home with a foxy lady.

We use to venture to Darbys, an irish bar in Hyde Park, atleast once or twice a week while in school. They usually had a really good band on Thursdays and Saturdays, but the band this year was disappointing. The singer/guitarist thought it was funny to substitute dirty lyrics randomly in songs. It probably wouldn't have been that bad if his song selection wasn't so bad or if the bar wasn't packed of drunk assholes bumping into me every five seconds--ooo thats right: its college...its allowed.

Mohoneys is another Irish pub in the area. Mahoneys is right next to the train station, so not in the best area; but safe enough if you're taking a taxi. I believe Darbys and Mahoneys are the same owners, but I could be wrong. Mahoneys was an upperclassman bar when I was at Marist and I'm pretty sure that hasn't changed much as Mahoneys is a little classier than most college bars.

Mahoneys is a good time although a bit more expensive than all the other bars. This is because Mahoneys doesn't rely on college students as they have their own loyal crowd of middle aged guests. The dance parties at Mahoneys could get pretty good as a live band usually takes over the downstairs area. If you're not in the mood to dance or bother with people, you could sit upstairs at a table as the upstairs bar is always going.

One of my favorite things about Mahoneys is the huge opening that allows those upstairs to look downstairs. This was perfect for my buddy's performace of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up". Thats right, my buddy Greg was handed the mic from the band and "rickrolled" the whole crowd. There's probably a video on Youtube somewhere of it.

Good times for sure.

Renaissance Pub or Rennies
Probably the definition of a college bar. The only reason I like this place is because of the people we go with. The owners suck, the place is a shoebox, and they have the balls to charge a cover. I'm not cheap, I don't mind paying a cover; but they didn't have a band, DJ, etc. They didn't even have a line to get in! Wouldn't really care if I ever went back here...

A solid pizza place right across from campus--can't beat it. Chicken Roll plus a grandpa slice and you're ready to booze. A grandpa slice is a thin sicillian slice with sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Can't argue with good pizza and a friendly staff.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Roadtrippin' to Kentucky

On Thursday April 29th, 2010 I embarked on one of the greatest trips of my life. Six of my friends and I rented an RV and headed to Louisville, Kentucky to watch the first leg of the Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby also known as "The Run for the Roses". The Kentucky Derby is known as "the most exciting two minutes in sports" and the attendance could back that statement up as Churchill Downs becomes a gigantic party.

The trip to Louisville took around 11 hours as we only stopped for gas. The RV ride down there got pretty rowdy, only to be followed by complete mayhem. Once we settled into our camp site we headed over to Louisville's hottest night spot: Fourth Street Live. Fourth Street Live is Louisville's premiere dining, entertainment, and retail destination situated in the heart of this historic town. We went to Fourth Street every night we were there and every night it got better. Fourth Street Live reminded me of a mini-bourbon street.

Thursday night we stumbled in and out of a few bars including Howl at the Moon, Makers Mark Bourbon House and Lounge, and Saddle Ridge. Howl at the Moon is a dueling piano bar that kept us dancing with old classics and new favorites. I knew Howl at the Moon was a good time as I visited one of their many locations down in Ft. Lauderdale. I'm a sucker for live music, so I loved this venue especially because the pianist take requests.

We left the Howl at the Moon to check out what other bars Fourth Street had to offer us. We went to Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge for a few drinks. This place seemed a little too classy for us at the time, but being in bourbon country- we had to check it out. This place had a very chic and sexy vibe going down. One couldn't help but notice the beautiful wood bar outlined in marble and back lit with soft white lighting. The bar was stocked with over 60 Kentucky distilled bourbons that made any bourbon connoisseur's mouth water.

Saddle Ridge was our next destination as we hopped around fourth street. Boasting the wildest staff in town with a western ambiance, Saddle Ridge was quite the place to party as patrons danced to their favorite rock, country, and top 40 tracks. We ended up at Saddle Ridge every night as the late night dance party was hard to beat. Just remember if random cowboys start a fight, don't try to break it up because you will also get thrown out (sorry Matt).

The night probably should have ended there, but my buddy Matt and I thought we'd take advantage of late night bar hours due to derby weekend. The bars were still open for another couple hours as Louisville allows their bar to stay open till 6:30 on derby weekend. Since Matt was kicked out of Fourth Street Live for the night, we started walking around town to find our next spot. We made friends with a native "louisviller" who brought us to this bar down the street. He brought us to this bar/strip club which we didn't stay at very long considering the girl on stage looked like the girl from the precious movie.

We continued to our next bar which was another strip club. This strip club wasn't AS bad as the first one, but still a sad excuse for a strip club. I'll be the first to admit that strip clubs aren't my scene, but GET IT TOGETHER KENTUCKY. The night ended with trips to both White Castle and McDonalds--clearly a drunk decision that I regret.

Friday was a beautiful day as my friends didn't allow me to sleep past 10am. We got out the grill and began our tailgate party which lasted the whole weekend. Beer Pong, Corn Hole, and Flip Cup were just some of the games we played.

After tailgating all day, we headed back to Fourth Street Live for some more debauchery. This time we started at The Pub which was an authentic British pub that offered good energy and some delicious BBQ fries. The waitress seemed a bit stunned as we ordered 4 car bombs, 4 shots of Jameson, and 4 beers for 4 people. We also ordered these fries which were topped with cheese, bacon, and BBQ sauce. AMAZING.

We then ended up back at Saddle Ridge for the second night. We only stayed a few hours as everyone was beat from the day. This might have been an early night, getting to bed around 4. The flea market/RV park that we stayed at offered some delicious pork butt that proved to great ending to a great night.

We woke up on Saturday and Derby day was upon us. It was raining, but that didn't stop the party as everyone was so pumped for today's festivities. We started with some Patron Citronge and OJ and egg sandwiches. We then moved into drinking games and running keg stands. We headed the derby where the madness was really taking place.

The rain can sometimes ruin events, but I think it enhanced our derby experience. Yeah, it would have been cool to get dressed up and be civilized but getting dirty was just too much fun. Activities such as mud wrestling wouldn't have happened if the rain didn't come, so i'm glad it did. Our tickets were for the infield which is the rowdy party in the center of the track.

While getting rowdy at the track, I enjoyed some classic Kentucky Derby staples such as the Mint Julep and a deep fried turkey leg. Although the turkey leg might have gotten me sick, it was heavenly. Although my bets didn't work out and I ruined some clothes- the derby turned out to be an incredible experience. I think the Kentucky Derby will be a yearly thing! Next time I just have to watch out for flying beer cans which are meant to those daring to make the port-a-potty run.

Saturday night started off with some more drinking games and a small bonfire in the RV parking lot. We went to a another strip club called the Marquee Lounge, which was just as bad as the all the other strip clubs we've gone too thus far. WHY do we still go to these strip clubs when the girls are gross!? O yeah, the girls we were with wanted to go...weird right? As we were about to leave, a special guest walked on staged as the music blasted. A friend of mine thought she could put on a better show as we started to strip. After she fished her pole dancing, we headed out to Fourth Street Live where it wasn't sketchy.

We started off in the street as the DJ played some good tunes. We took the party upstairs to Saddle River as the rest of our friends were there. We started an epic dance party that lasted till early morning hours. I'm pretty sure a photographer on www.pubclub.com will have some pictures of us as he took 10493029403 pictures of the pure insanity.

Fourth Street Live and the Kentucky Derby reminded me of Spring Break without the beach and nicer people. It was wild and worth every penny. I can't wait to do it again next year!