Weekend in Philadelphia: Day 1, Brunch at IndeBlue & Dinner at Barbuzzo

I was feeling a bit stifled in NYC and just wanted to get away for the weekend, to Philly I went.

Booked the trip with J and it was sooo relaxing. There’s just something about being in a different city. It really helps to clear your mind. Change of scenery I suppose!

Click here to watch the Day 1 Vlog🤗

Lunch at IndeBlue

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I was never particularly a huge fan of Indian food but indeblue does it right. We both ordered the Thali Sampler platter. I love variety when it comes to food. It just gets boring sometimes to eat just one dish. This was perfect for me. The thali sampler platter comes with 2 chef’s choice tasting entrees with rice (it was 2 chicken entrees that day),dal makhani (buttery lentil stew),appetizer (fried pakora), mango chutney, naan bread, raita yogurt and dessert(rice pudding). There is also a vegetarian option! It looks just as good as it tastes. The raita yogurt is used to “cool down” spicy dishes. The mango chutney was a welcome taste of sweetness to balance out the savory entrees. This made me want to eat Indian food when I returned to NYC. I have to find the NYC equivalent of this!!

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Barbuzzo is an intimate mediterranean kitchen and bar that gets super packed. As in ,who knows how long the wait is going to be and most likely turned away without a reservation status LOL. We walked in to make a bar/kitchen counter reservation on the day of, a few hours before dinner. We sat at the kitchen counter, they have an open kitchen setup. I was just salivating the whole time, everything smelled so delicious! I started with some sangria and I think there was cinnamon in it, can’t quite remember.

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Everything we ordered had to be vegetarian because J’s vegetarian. This gnocchi usually has guanciale in it which is an italian cured meat made from pork jowl/cheek. We requested it to be omitted. Nonetheless, the pan seared gnocchi was divine. Sauteed with truffle butter, local mixed greens, some royal trumpet mushrooms, sunchokes and thyme.

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Woodfired? Mushroom pizza! This one was a rotating menu special. Unfortunately I don’t rememeber exactly what kind of mushrooms were on this 😞. I recognize some beech mushrooms. This was served with 2 tiny little glass jars of spicy oil and i believe it was dried whole thyme. It looked like a little jar of weed LOL. It was really yummy but the middle of the pizza , on the bottom was a bit on the soggy side. Would be nicer if it had crisped up a bit more in the center.

Is Vegan Dimsum good?

Dimsum to me, brings back childhood memories of lazy Sunday mornings and early afternoons. We would start our Sundays with dimsum either in a restaurant or Mom and Dad would send me out to order for take-out. My siblings and I would gather round the table and eat it while watching cartoons. Dimsum is meant to be shared, to be eaten with family, friends and not alone. Placed in the center of the table, eaten communal style with chopsticks. How else would you be able to try so many dishes? Limited stomach real estate. You would be full if you ate the entirety of 2-3 dimsum dishes by yourself.

Enter vegan dimsum at Buddha Bodai.

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The “5 color appetizer”

In my mind’s eye, vegan food is greens. Super trendy and mehs in flavor. I literally imagine a plain sliced avocado. This is not that.

We ordered an appetizer platter and 6 dimsum dishes. The 5 color app platter was massive! The size is probably equivalent to 5 dimsum dishes. The 5 color app consisted of BBQ vegetarian meat (cha siu), stuffed bread (mock roasted crispy pork),a bed of mock jellyfish and pickled carrot and radish underneath, vegetarian beef, vegetarian chicken, and vegetarian duck. The veg cha siu tasted just like real pork cha siu, perfectly seasoned. The mock crispy pork was the biggest let down flavor-wise because it literally tasted like fried bread. The thin crispy skin was reminiscent of crispy pork though.

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Fried taro custard ball

You can never go wrong with this savory crispy ball of soft taro root custard in the center. Not sure why they call it custard because there is not milk, perhaps as a texture comparison.

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Veg Meat Pastry (Cha siu so) has egg in it?( Please confirm with waitstaff)

BBQ veg meat enshrouded by flaky puff pastry. Divine. A must-order. Seriously, Buddha Bodai does the mock cha siu really well. Tastes exactly like it, the texture is a little bit softer because it is not real meat.

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Cruller rice roll

A deep fried chinese breadstick wrapped in a steamed rice noodle roll drizzled with soy sauce. First time having this and it did not disappoint. If you love fried crullers, do it.

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Mock Shrimp Dumpling (Har gow)

Tasted just like the real thing! How do they do it?! Texture was a little different from real shrimp because it’s not real shrimp LOL.

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Pan fried turnip cake in the back

Tldr: Delicious and tastes just like the real non-vegan/non-vegetarian dimsum, the texture is a little bit different from real meat because it’s not meat~

Disclaimer: Some dishes are vegetarian and not vegan, please confirm with waitstaff

Location:

Buddha Bodai Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant
5 Mott St.
New York, NY 10013

Tel: (212) 566-8388

Hours: 11:00am-9:30pm Mon-Fri
Hours: 10:00am-9:30pm Sat-Sun

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Fried chicken biscuit sandwich

Brunch on a yacht at NYC’s Fish Bar [Midtown Pier 81]

K-town lunch, Photoville Exhibition at NYC DUMBO Brooklyn Bridge Park

NYC’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Vegan burger with garlic fries

Grilled squid at Smorgasburg,Oh no you squidn’t!

Fried chicken biscuit sandwich

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If southern hospitality had a taste, I’m sure this would be it! Cheeky sandwiches has literally been on my Yelp bookmark list for at least 2 years and I finally got around to trying it out 😋

Chicken Cheeky Sandwich= Two of my favorite things together

= Fried chicken + biscuit= deliciousness.

Tender crispy boneless fried chicken smothered in gravy, topped with coleslaw in between a sumptuous buttermilk biscuit. $6.50

I could eat that buttermilk biscuit by itself with a smear of jam, it was sooo pillowy and soft. I could’ve done without the coleslaw. It tasted different from typical coleslaw, didn’t have a vinegary kick but it did help cut the taste of fried chicken so it tasted healthier LOL. Not very salty at all. Would love to try this with hot sauce next time. Filling but not very heavy. It was probably the size of a small burger. I did not fall into a food coma afterwards which is always a plus. It was a little hard to eat because it was stacked a little high. Open wide!

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Beignets fresh from the fryer

The owner hooked it up with a few fresh beignets after I finished the sandwich so woohoo! I was so full that I was only able to eat one of the bite sized beignets lolo. They were amazinggggg. Reminded me of a super fresh, hot donut dusted with powdered sugar.

On a side note, they have a cute little outhouse style bathroom  that looks like a shed from the outside LOL. Had to pop a squat to pee though. See how there’s no lever to flush? You’ll see a rope, pull it to flush.

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Cheeky Sandwiches store front

Super nondescript store front at:

Cheeky Sandwiches
35 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

b/t Canal St & Hester St
Lower East Side, Chinatown

Brunch on a yacht at NYC’s Fish Bar [Midtown Pier 81]

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When I think of places I want to go eat, 100% of the places that come to mind are on land. Here’s to having brunch on the sea, sort-of…more on that later haha. The ship sails for about 2 hours. No sailing fee, it is included in the food prices. See the 3 circle mirrors in the back? That’s our table 😍

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It’s a little dressy but still accessible. We were the youngest people there. Crowd was mostly late 20’s-40’s. They serve iced water in giant wine glasses~

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-8-39-30-pmWe were sitting in the middle deck of the ship. Lots of windows to look out of. It’s a great place to catch up with friends and an impressive date location for someone you really like. Would not recommend for a first date because you are going to be in the middle of the ocean. Nowhere to run! Well, I suppose you can swim if worse comes to worse.

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The ship sails for about 2 hours. No sailing fee. It’s included in the food prices, which are surprisingly reasonable. The brunch menu is pretty typical brunch fare:  eggs bennie, french toast and the like. Of course I didn’t order that for my own dish because that’s super basic.  I did not board a yacht to order the same thing I always order.

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They started us off with complimentary pastries. My favorite was the pan au chocolate and the berry muffin. That was the best muffin I’ve had in awhile and it was free HAHA.The pan au chocolate had just the right amount of chocolate and omg I should’ve asked them where they source their pastries from!! Even the croissant was good. It’s a boat, I highly doubt they bake fresh pastries on-site every morning lol.

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My Elderflower lemonade, sweet and tart. Refreshing for a summer day, except that it’s Fall 😦

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Ended up getting steak and eggs 😋! Two pieces of skirt steak, egg, tomato salsa and home style potatoes. That skirt steak was so darn good or I just love beef. I got it medium well. It was so juicy! The menu description said there would be two eggs…We all only got one LOL. It looks like they baked it in a muffin tin. The center was perfectly runny, just the way I like it. Seasoning wise- it was perfect for me, which is pretty rare because most places I go to, everything is way too salty.

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The french toast was not that nice. Don’t order it….I think it was because it was coated with very little batter and that the batter was bland. The berries were nice! The focus of this dish was probably the whipped cream and strawberries sandwiched in between the french toast. Our waitress also did not bring us any syrup, it had to be requested from the back waiter.

img_8902Table snapshot! We also got their fries which were yummy. Crispy outside and soft warm insides. I can never really understand how some places can mess up fried food…..You just throw it in the fryer LOL.

Conclusion:

Come here for the ambiance, the fact you will be eating on a sailing yacht and not the service. The service was very lacking even though the place was half empty…. We personally witnessed the majority of the customers complaining. The waitress got all our drink orders wrong and forgot to give the birthday girl her drink even after we asked her for it. Had to ask the back waiter for it. Then we realized the boat still had not left the pier after awhile after the sail time so we asked the waitress and she told us that they were not sailing. If we had known, we would have went elsewhere. She also never checked on us. To top it all off, my friend forgot her shopping bag there, called multiple times (left messages, no callbacks)and even went in person during open hours to find it closed. Perhaps we went on an off day? Maybe dinner service or summer hours are better?

Location:

North River Landing

Pier 81

NY,NY

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NYC’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Vegan burger with garlic fries

Grilled squid at Smorgasburg,Oh no you squidn’t!

K-town lunch, Photoville Exhibition at NYC DUMBO Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Why hello there. Welcome back to my page. I happened upon this cactus and cat in a sombrero combo while heading to Photoville and just had to take a photo. Enjoy it LOL.

Have you ever stepped foot in a shipping container? They’re huge! Literally the size of a room. They are usually used to ship large amounts of cargo  overseas via ships and must be transported with cranes because of their sheer size and weight. Now imagine a bunch of shipping containers transported to the middle of NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge Park and filled with photo artwork. That was exactly what Photoville was! I missed last year’s exhibition but I finally made it to this year’s so hooray~ The subject matter varied from animals to political and world issues.

😇Click here to see our lunch🍽 in K-town at Five Senses, 📸Photoville and Brooklyn Bridge Park tour 

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Ebola victim graveyard

40 graves were dug every morning in preparation to bury ebola victims. It was a very somber (dark and gloomy) image that stuck in my mind.

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I believe this is NYC if I remember correctly…

Photoville was not the only exhibition going on in the park that day. Water stories was another one. It highlighted how water access is different across the world.

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Deep in thought

Of course I had to take advantage of all the various photo opportunities DUMBO has to offer haha.

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OY/YO?

Had to jump into the O before the people on the other side did 😂

😇Click here to see our lunch🍽 in K-town at Five Senses, 📸Photoville and Brooklyn Bridge Park tour 

For more Awesome-ness 😀 click below

NYC’s Hudson River Park Pier 84 Dancing Water Fountain

NYC’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Wood fired organic flour pizza at Smorgasborg

 

Wood fired organic flour pizza at Smorgasborg

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Big Mozz’s wood fired organic flour pizza

This wood fired organic flour pizza was my favorite out of everything at smorgasburg. Wood fired pizza is just on a different level from electric/gas oven pizza. The whole pizza was infused with a smoky flavor similar to how meat is infused with barbeque flavor on a grill. The thin organic flour crust was slighty chewy and crisp. The roasted tomato sauce base brought all the flavors of the prosciutto, hand made mozzarella, roasted tomatoes,pecorino romano and parsley together perfectly. Topped with a drizzle of olive oil. I love olive oil.

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Big Mozz’s Stall

You’ll have to wait about 15 minutes because it’s freshly made. Definitely worth the wait for that delicious ooey gooey cheese to meld with the toppings and for the dough to crisp up into that beautiful texture. There were a few charred bits I could have done without but they were easily picked off. Personal pizza size for one or if you’re feeling generous, share with a friend.  It is served on a cardboard disk that felt surprisingly sturdy so I didn’t feel like I was gonna drop my pizza while hunting for a picnic table to eat this on.

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Menu options

10/10 would order again 😋! Sharing between friends is a great way to maximize tastings without squashing all the real estate in your stomach on just 1 food option. We ordered an assortment of stuff between us at Smorgasburg and we didn’t even finish it all😱.

Check out my grilled whole squid from Smorgasburg post🐙

 

Grilled squid at Smorgasburg,Oh no you squidn’t!

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Whole Grilled Squid

A whole grilled squid with pickled ginger, teriyaki sauce? and spicy mayo! It is quite uncommon to find grilled whole squid at outdoor food fairs. Grilled squid is usually served on a skewer and never presented as nicely as this. The pickled ginger offers a nice flavor contrast. Ask for extra sauce! Unfortunately I can’t remember which stall it is T-T, it was $8-$10

While we were perusing the stalls,literally started sweating within five minutes. Note to self: Don’t go to an  outdoor food fair when it’s hot as heck (90+ degrees) when there is no shade to hide under D: Literally started sweating within 5 minutes of perusing the stalls. The perfect time to go is now when it’s nice and breezy. Williamsburg’s Smorgasborg is open every Saturday and Sunday, 11am-6pm until October 29.

Location : East River State Park (90 Kent Ave at N. 7 St.)