Tag Archives: pizza

Pregger Vittles

25 Jan

Pregnancy is weird.

Super weird.

My body is no longer my own and it does some really strange things… especially when it comes to food.

Everyone asks what my cravings are… and there is only one answer.  Citrus.


I went to LA the week I found out I was pregnant and was at my aunt’s house. She had fresh oranges and I am pretty sure I ate fifteen of them.  I was perpetually queasy, trying to hide that, and they were making me feel better. I am not sure if it was the cravings that pushed me to oranges that day or the oranges that pushed me towards that being MY food. But it has been 5 months now and I still eat about 3-4 oranges (or something similar) every single day.

My first trimester felt a lot like being hung over and sea sick at the same time.  It was pretty awful, and I subsisted solely on beige foods for a few weeks (pasta, bread, crackers, pretzels, etc).  And if I didn’t eat every two hours or so, I felt even worse. (Thank goodness my doctor told me at about 10 weeks about Unisom, which totally saved me from deciding this would be my ONE and ONLY pregnancy, by curing my morning/all-day sickness overnight)

One food that really saved me was a snack I was generously sent to try: BettaSnax.


I have never seen these before, but they are basically crispy little slices of biscotti.


I first tried the S’Mores since as a S’Mores lover, I was excited.  They were good but didn’t satisfy that gooey S’Mores thing.  I then tried the Fruit & Nut and LOVED them. (The original flavor was also quite good). These were my go-to when a meeting was going too long and I was in need of a snack to hold me over. They were tasty and filling, without being too hard on my stomach.  And pretty healthy as far as snacks go, even in bulk (low calories and no added fat).


Once the Unisom kicked in and I could eat things with color again, I found myself NEEDING a custom yogurt parfait every single day for about 2 months.  Luckily, a store on my walk to work allowed me to customize to my hearts content, with fresh fruit, multiple types of yogurt and cottage cheese.  Of course, they each cost about $400, but what’s money when you NEED a yogurt parfait?


Then there was the day I innocently went to grab lunch and somehow came back with this collection of sea salt & vinegar PopChips, tangerines, gummy peaches, and a chicken caesar wrap.  You know… because those things go together.


And then the day Mike talked about an anchovy pizza he had at a restaurant and I could not get it out of my head. So we went grocery shopping and Mike nicely entertained my needs and made me this delicious anchovy and olive “pizza” on naan with pesto.  Partnered with a roast chicken and roast yellow cauliflower.  And it was good.


Then the day I convinced my entire family to get milk shakes, delivered, after a full dinner when we also brought cupcakes. They gave in to my whims.  Good family they are.


And my sister and her fiance were kind enough to get me a Citrus of the Month Club membership, with the first shipment including some Honeybell Oranges and Grapefruits.  This lasted me a solid three days.


And brought me to one of my favorite breakfasts, cut grapefruits with a yogurt parfait (with bananas and grapes and topped with my favorite granola from The NoMad).


But the pizza adventure cracked me up most.  We were on the train and Mike asked what kind of pizza I wanted to order… he started listing some things… “Olives? Mushrooms? Hawaiian?”

YES, YES, and YES!

It wasn’t that I wanted all of those things together, I just was influenced by the power of suggestion and couldn’t decide.  So we got them all!

A funny moment happened when the order came through with all the ingredients as one. So the confused restaurant called me to ask if I REALLY wanted them all together. I clarified the half and half and when it arrived, I was a very happy pregnant lady.


Thankfully, nothing is really grossing me out, which I hear is common, except raw greens aren’t doing it for me anymore (though I still try to eat them).

Halfway through. Wonder what else will be in my food future with this little man making all the calls!

New Restaurant Opening: Marta

13 Oct

A few years ago, when I worked in the slightly no man’s land neighborhood of midtown-ish, just north of Gramercy but not quite Murray Hill, there were very few food options.  Dos Caminos was basically all we had, and sometimes Houston’s (now Hillstone, which appears to be mostly the same but under a new name).  In the last few years since I have returned, it is a whole new world. Cannibal and Resto, Ai Fiori, The Nomad and The Nomad Bar, and the Breslin (to name just a few off the top of my head) are all within a 5-7 minute walk from my office.

And now, a new Danny Meyer’s pizza restaurant, Marta, has opened in the Martha Washington Hotel on 29th Street between Madison and Park.



(In the picture above, you can see a giant door-looking object. Do not be deceived. This is not a door.  Do not tug on it while hapless diners stare at you in fear and curiosity from the inside.  The entrance is all the way to the eastern side of the restaurant where you enter the hotel.  This recommendation is from both personal tugging experience and from the insider-looking-out POV where many a frustrated diner-to-be tugged while we ate and looked on.)

Inside is a soaring space with two giant pizza ovens and a large marble bar.  There are many tables around the room and the dining room feels big, but surprisingly never loud. I have now had two lunch meals here and both times I was surprised at how easy it was to have conversation with my fellow diners.



The bar for drinks (rather than pizza) is cheerful.


The tables are beautiful wood with a casual paper placemat and nice dishes. It gives the place a very laid back vibe but still polished. Perfect for a nicer pizza place.


The wine menu is quite extensive.



While Chef Nick Anderer certainly has a great pizza menu, there are also a number of other delicious sounding dishes on the menu, especially from the grill (which I did not yet try, but after seeing the lamb chops on a fellow diner’s table, I will need to go back soon!)


We started our first meal with the Radicchio salad, which came with treviso, quinoa, peaches, almonds, and ricotta salata.  This was very, very tasty and I especially liked the peaches mixed in.


For the pizzas, we tried the (stunning) Fiori di Zucca (with mozzarella, zucchini flowers, and anchovies) and the Capricciosa (mozzarella, artichokes, prosciutto, olives, and egg).


The combination of the all the flavors on the Capricciosa won my heart (and tongue), as did the nicely crispy crust that had some sections that were perfectly charred.


The Fiori di Zucca was the stunner, however, and also very tasty.  I felt a little like the anchovy flavor took away from the delicate flavor of the squash, so it wasn’t as great as the Capricciosa, but still very tasty.


And so pretty I made it my model for the moment and even added it as the main graphic on the NYCNomNom Facebook page.


On my second visit, I had to get the Capricciosa again and it was even better the second time around.  Those charred, super crispy bits of crust really thrilled my palette.


And this time we also tried the Patate alla Carbonara, which was new to the menu since my first visit.  This new gem came with potatoes, guanciale, black pepper, pecorino, and egg.

It was a tough call to decide which I liked more. I LOVED the potato on pizza. It’s such a great flavor.  And the seasoning was perfect.  Great depth of flavor and texture.


And this time we packed up half our pizza (and I shared with Mike later that night… lucky boy) and saved room for dessert.

We chose the Ice Cream Panino with salted chocolate biscotto, pistachios, and mascarpone gelato. This was like a bumped up ice cream cookie sandwich made with super gourmet ingredients. The salt and chocolate and ice cream and pistachio all came together beautifully for a great dessert.  Great way to end the meal.


I really enjoyed Marta on both visits.  The pizzas are very, very good and the space is a great place for a work lunch (and I’m sure breakfast and dinner as well).  I still slightly prefer the truffle and egg pizza from Otto, which changed my truffle life, because the truffle is just so damn good, but the crust on these Marta pies win out a little bit (though the center was definitely a fork and knife only enterprise).

Very happy to have them in the neighborhood.

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Total Nom Points: 7.5 out of 10

Honeymoon: Bend, Oregon – The Ale Trail

26 Jul

We decided to stop in Bend, Oregon for a night because we heard great things about the breweries there. Sure enough, they brag about how they have more breweries per person than most anywhere and even have an Ale Trail where you get a prize if you get your “passport” stamped by all 10 breweries.  We were going to make a go of it, but we decided that it was meant for a multiple-day stay and was probably not prudent to be attempted in our 8 hours in Bend.  But we did manage to hit quite a few.

We actually started in Sisters, OR (right outside Bend) at Three Creeks Brewery.  They had an incredible beer sampler where you could try all the craft beers on their menu.

Sampler!!! At the extra credit brewery in Sisters. #overachievers #theaxelbaums #nycnomnom #bendaletrail by @nycnomnom

We also grabbed a burger there to make sure we could keep the sampling going.  We split the Hawaiian burger which put pineapple and teriyaki sauce onto a hamburger.  And it was pretty magical.

We then went into Bend where we walked around a bit to buy some binoculars (too many cool creatures and birds out there that we wanted to see up close) and we stopped at a brand new Naked Winery tasting room. We really enjoyed their wines and their clever names were clever and funny.  From there, we walked up to find the breweries on the Ale Trail.  We wound up walking through what looked like an abandoned parking lot and storage building until we found what wound up being our favorite brewery, Crux Fermentation Project. There we tried 2 of their craft brews: Tough Love and On the Fence.

Brewery tasting. Tough Love and On The Fence at Crux Fermentation. by @nycnomnom

Tough Love was one of the best beers I’ve ever tried. Here was the description: “Banished Imperial Stout – 11.5 ABV, 70 IBU. Tough Love is bold but nuanced, an homage of sorts to the traditional Russian Imperial Stouts and the ruling style of Catherine the Great. We construct it with dark roasted malts, malted rye, and oak-smoked wheat, and then banish it for nine months in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The aging process smooths out the edges on an otherwise bold statement, and bitterness succumbs to tender strokes of vanilla beans, hints of dried cherries, and new layers revealing themselves with each sip.”


We were there on a Monday, which happens to be the only day that the kitchen isn’t open.  So instead they have food carts come to their patio where they have the coolest fire pit I’ve ever seen.

They had a Mexican cart, which meant my peppers allergy kept me away, but cool concept.

On they way out of Crux to the next brewery on the ale tour, we had trouble finding our way and wound up wandering through a neighborhood and saw a bit of the Bend underbelly.  The map wasn’t exactly clear and we wound up at Boneyard a few minutes after they closed. Darn.  And then we were a bit lost again trying to find the next place. (They should paint the sidewalks or add signage for this Ale Trail).

Extreme honeymooning. Here we see a tourist in his unnatural habitat. Notice the back pack, binoculars, map, and look of utter confusion. Let’s watch. #theaxelbaums by @nycnomnom

By this time it was a bit late and we were getting hungry again, so we went to 10 Barrel Brewing Company where we heard the food was good.  While waiting for a table, we sat by the fire outside and Mike took this picture which has a very eery scull in the flames.

Photo by skywolfx * Instagram by @skywolfx

We wound up waiting a long, long, long time for a table (and I noticed a few people that absolutely came after us were seated before us).  When we went up to ask, she was suddenly very concerned as she scanned up her list and then we were quickly informed “Oh! You’re next!” and sat immediately.  Whooops.

We ordered the lamb burger which was ground with sun dried cranberries and feta cheese and topped with chevre cheese, artichoke tapenade, arugula, roma tomato, pesto aioli, and balsamic reduction.  It took a long time to come out.

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Lots of ingredients I absolutely love.

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But when it came down to it, I didn’t really taste any of those lovely things. It tasted a bit lamby, but there were no other real distinct flavors.  A bit of a let down.

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And after a whole lot more waiting, our pizza came. We made our own by combining a garlic cream sauce white cheese base with prosciutto, mushrooms, pineapple, and artichoke hearts with provolone.

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Upskirt shot.

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The pizza was okay.  Just okay.  Again, lots of great flavors in concept but nothing too distinct about any one of them on the pizza.

So all-in-all, we were pretty disappointed by our 10 Barrel dining experience.  The beers we tried were also meh. I also didn’t feel so great in the belly region after this meal, and while I’m not sure if it was the food or not, I’m not entirely convinced it wasn’t.  So needless to say, we won’t be rushing back here next time we’re in Bend (and yes… there WILL be a next time… great city).

Next time we’ll just stay a Crux a little longer and maybe try their kitchen.