Tag Archives: williamsburg

Homemade Ramen Burgers (AKA: Why my husband is the greatest)

22 Aug

I’ve been having a pretty lousy week.  To cheer me up, my awesome husband decided to surprise me with an awesome dinner: homemade ramen burgers.

What is a ramen burger you say?

It is only the food of the moment here in NYC.  (You can read all about it here).

People are lining up for hours each Saturday in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to sink their teeth into a burger patty on a ramen “bun.” (It’s an invention of Keizo Shimimoto)

So Mike somehow got it into his (genius) head that we could try to make it ourselves. He Googled and happened upon this video, which served as enough instruction for him to do it at home by memory. And you know what… it was DAMN EASY!

We started with some ramen (sans the spicy add-in since I am allergic).


We boiled it like normal.



Drained it


Added an egg (to bind it)


And then put it into a round ramekin dish (the size of a hamburger bun).


Covered it in plastic wrap and then used another ramekin to push the noodles down into the bottom of the dish.


(We actually did a double-up because we only have 2 ramekins, but I do not recommend this).


Then we used the top ramekin as a weight and put it into the fridge for 15 minutes.


When it came out, it was a perfectly round and well formed noodle “bun.”


Which we then put into a hot pan with a bit of oil.


With its buddy



And browned them up until they were crispy (note: these go from not brown to nearly burnt very fast… so watch carefully)



While those browned, Mike made an amazing umami mushroom sauce using shitake mushrooms, garlic, sesame oil, butter, and a bit of teriyaki sauce.


Then browned up some bison burgers in the awesome sauce. (Without a grill in a NYC apartment, the pan seared burger still works well)


And then… we put it all together. (with arugula, tomato, and the mushroom sauce)


And it was beautiful.


And it erased all the bad that happened this week.



It was absolutely delicious to boot (even though we couldn’t use the Asian seasoning and we forgot the fried egg on top).  The crunch of the ramen on the outside followed by a bit of the noodly texture, and with the burger inside and the umami mushroom sauce, it was just a genius combination.  I see why people wait on line for hours for this franken-food, however, why wait when you can make it yourself in 30 minutes flat?

I love my husband.


Peter Luger Steakhouse

15 Jan

Peter Luger is probably the most famous steak house in all of NYC, which is why I find it strange that it’s in Brooklyn. I’ve long wondered if that adds to the allure… “it must be good if people will brave the L train for it!”

I had been to Luger once before and hated to say I was underwhelmed. I mean, it was a very good meal, but I didn’t think it was better than places in NYC and didn’t think it was worth crossing the East River to eat.

But when friends from out-of-town wanted to try it, I was excited to go on a food adventure with them.

I certainly love the inside. It’s beautiful without being fancy.

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Someone suggested we try the bacon. And BOY am I glad they did. This was probably my favorite part of the whole meal. It was thick cut, perfectly cooked, a little charred on the ends. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmmm.

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And they are famous for their tomato and onion salad. This… I do not understand. I mean I like tomatoes and onions just fine… but why is this special? 

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Though they did advise that we pour the Peter Luger Sauce (which is on every table) on it, and I will admit, it made the onions and tomatoes very tasty (and added great, but not overpowering flavor to the steaks, too).

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The steak ordering is incredibly easy from the menu. You tell them if you want steak for two, three, or four and out it comes. It’s a beautiful Porterhouse that they serve nicely carved and dish out to each person at the table.

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And you don’t get more perfectly Medium Rare than this:

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We also ordered the lamb chops so we could try some different things.  These were delicious and I’m glad we had some variation (as much as I love steak!)

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We got a side of creamed spinach, which I thought was really tasty and heavier on the spinach flavor than the cream (which I prefer).

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Mmmm… meat.

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Even though we were all totally stuffed by the end, we just had to try the ice cream sundae (which came with a chocolate cow on top).  This was heavenly.

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As was the pecan pie.  It was super pecany and not overly sweet. And don’t even get me started on that homemade schlag!

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As you leave, everyone gets some chocolate gelt to take home.  A nice little way to be reminded later of the great meal you had.

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I certainly enjoyed my meal this time more than last time, and I think the key was variation. Definitely get the bacon, try some sauce on some tomatoes and onions (why not?) and then order up some amazing steaks with some lamb chops.  Leave a wee bit of room for dessert and you’re perfect.

Do I feel the need to travel to Brooklyn for this on a regular basis? No.  I still think the novelty is good for tourists, but as a local, I’ll stick with Keen’s. (Though my arm could certainly be easily twisted to return to Peter Luger!)

Total Nom Points: 8 out of 10

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Nomming through Brooklyn

15 Jun

This past weekend, Mike and I had two separate parties to attend in Brooklyn, so we took advantage of the last month that he lives in Park Slope to explore some more of Brooklyn.

Our first evening was in Williamsburg, so Mike did some research and found a restaurant called Dressler, which was right near Peter Luger Steakhouse.  The restaurant had an old feel, but was beautifully decorated and well set up. 

The menu looked fabulous and we had a hard time deciding.  I started with the artichoke heart salad, which was a huge cooked artichoke heart filled with cranberry beans (which resembled white lima beans) and greens with artichoke dressing.  As an artichoke lover, I was quite happy.  Mike had a quail appetizer which was tasty but a bit on the small side (though I can’t fault the restaurant for that since quail are certainly small).

Mike ordered the pork chops, which were good, but not the best I’ve had. 

My meal, however, was amazing.  It was a grilled sirloin with braised short ribs in a bordelaise sauce.  It came with creamed spinach and boulanger potato (which turned out to be an amazingly flavorful, gratin like potato).  The short ribs were terrific and the sauce was perfect.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

We capped off with a dessert special: apple tart with sweet glazed pecans and vanilla ice cream.  Probably one of the best tarts I’ve ever eaten.

Total Nom Points for Dressler: 7.5 out of 10


The next day we spent our time walking around Park Slope and made a stop in the Prospect Park Zoo.  It was a great, small zoo and we had a very good time.  By 3pm, however, we were famished.  We glanced at a few menus and stumbled upon Belleville on 5th and 5th.

I went with the special crepe, which had gruyere, onions, and herbs.  The flavors were great and the crepe itself had great taste, however, it was only about 1/4 filled, which was dissapointing.

Mike went with the burger, and it was tasty (I love when meat tastes like meat) but not too special.  The fries looked great, but were certainly lackluster in taste.

Total Nom Points for Belleville: 5.5 out of 10


On Sunday we were on our way up Park Slope to a party at Union Hall (great party bar! Loved the library).  On the way, we stopped in at Rachel’s Taqueria on 5th Ave at 7th Street.  We had been there once before in a terrible monsoon of a rain storm and drank margaritas until the rain passed.  I wasn’t sure if I enjoyed it so much because it really was good, or because the margaritas were so good.  So we decided to give it another try.

Now for me, Mexican is a novelty.  I am allergic to peppers, which for the part means Mexican is something I avoid.  Sometimes, however, a restaurant will work with me and be very clear about what does and does not have peppers.  Rachel’s has succeeded twice now and I’m still not sure if I like it so much because it’s so new to me or because it is quite good.  Mike seemed to think it was average, though  I thoroughly enjoyed my burrito, which was huge and had shredded pork, rice, beans, sour cream, and cheese (no salsa nor guac due to the peppers).

Mike had a very messy though delicious looking chimichanga.

Total Nom Points for Rachel’s: 6 out of 10