Butcher Bar Review

BUTCHER BAR
37-08 30th Avenue
Astoria, NY 11105
(718) 606-8140
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Butcher Bar is an organic butcher shop that sells high quality, pasture raised, no hormone or antibiotic treated meats. They also serve BBQ to eat in as well.
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The place shop itself is very casual & clean. We were seated right away by a friendly waitress.
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We ended up ordering the Butcher’s Platter (¼ pound each of any 3 meats & 2 sides). The 3 meats we chose were the Smoked Pulled Pork, Double Smoked Burnt Ends & Smoked Pork Belly. The 2 sides: Applewood Bacon Baked Beans & Creamy Mac & Cheese.

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Pork Belly, Pulled Pork & Burnt Ends

We also order ½ rack of the Fall off the Bone Sauced Smoked Ribs which came with house slaw, pickle, corncakes & one side, so we added the Sautéed String Beans (with bacon & onions).
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The food was very good. The ribs were definitely falling off the bone & had a nice bbq sauce slathered on it. The pulled pork & burnt ends were tender & flavorful, although ¼ pound of each seemed very little for the price. The pork belly was a disappointment because it turned out very salty & it was too fatty. The baked beans, house slaw & pickle were all very good. The string beans & mac & cheese were nothing spectacular but still good.I would definitely come back here to try more of their menu items. And possibly shop for some organic meats as well.

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Cupcakes in Heels Review & Deal

Cupcakes in Heels
43-19 Bell Blvd
Bayside, NY 11361
718-415-2009

Before I talk about how amazing these cupcakes are, I’m going to post the AmazonLocal deal that is currently running. In the past, these have sold out quickly, so I’d recommend for you to grab one right away. This is a great value & the best way for you to try out their amazing cupcakes without having to pay the full price. And I can guarantee you that you’ll want to go back again & again after you’ve had your first bite.
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I cannot tell you how much I love the cupcakes at this place. I have to warn you, they are on the pricey side ($3.25-$3.50), but they’re totally worth it. They provide sweet treats that you can indulge in once in a while. They have fluffy frosting that is not overly sweet, moist cake & there’s always a bit of frosting on the inside. They decorate everything so beautifully, so it’s a great treat to bring to a housewarming or for a birthday.

They also make cake pops, cakes in a jar, French macarons, gorgeous custom designed cakes, couture dessert tables & many other sweet treats. The owner is super friendly & has a great work ethic. Everything she makes turns out gorgeous.
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The cupcakes are named after some of the popular fashion designers.

My favorites include:

“the Louboutin” Red Velvet

Red velvet cupcake with their signature creamy frosting, which has a hint of almond oil in it.

“the Jimmy Choo” Pistachio
Pistachio cupcake with whipped pistachio frosting. Who doesn’t love a pistachio cake?!?

 ”the Versace” Tiramisu
Tiramisu cupcake, soaked with wine, espresso and coffee, frosted with creamy mascarpone frosting, topped with shaved chocolate. I am not a fan of alcohol or coffee, but when you put those 2 combinations in a cupcake, I’ll gobble it up in a second. This is probably my absolute favorite so far.

I’ve tried many of their other flavors as well, but those have to be my absolute favorite. You’ve never tasted cupcakes like these before. It’s definitely a must-try.

The store front is on the small side & there’s no room to sit in the store. You just order & leave. They are located next to the Golf store, right by the bus station. Make your way there, you will not regret it. Seriously, get the AmazonLocal deal now before it’s sold out. They’re so YUMMY!!!!

Purbird Review

PURBIRD
82 6th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 857-2473

Purbird, located in the North Slope area of Brooklyn, was highly recommended to me by my brother & SIL, so I had to go try it. I’ve been back twice already & I love it more every time. It’s not a fancy place. You order at the counter & they bring it to your table. It’s as simple as that.

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Their specialty is the Amish farm-raised chicken, so you must order anything with the chicken. The staff are all super friendly & helpful if you’re not sure what to order. Everything is very affordable & they make a killing with their take-out business. Their best seller is the Chicken Breast Sandwich which comes with grilled chicken breast, avocado, turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato & mayo on a toasted roll.

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I ate the Chicken Breast Sandwich both times. I couldn’t help myself. It was good & I wanted more. The chicken is moist & tender, the toasted roll adds a nice crunchy/soft bite, the avocado adds creaminess, and anything with the word (turkey) bacon in it makes everything taste better!

If you don’t mind spicy, I’d suggest a side of the Jalapeno Mashed. It’s their mashed potatoes with a jalapeno puree. The jalapeno kick is amazing. I, reluctantly, had to share with my friend. I tried my best to eat only 50% of the dish, but it was so tasty that I think I entered the 60% territory. I’m so sorry, but I just couldn’t help myself.

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They also have a sweet potato mash which is just as good. It is very creamy & smooth. I even scooped a dollop right into my sandwich. I have a bad habit of mixing my foods together to create a different taste/texture. For example, I’ve been putting chips into my sandwich since 1995, which was way before Bobby’s (Flay) Burgers came out with their Crunchified burgers. He ripped off my idea. Yep. What a jerk! I digress.

The creamed spinach was a really fresh & tasty side as well.  

I love this place. It’s good, inexpensive, fresh food, done right. I’m sure you’ll love it, too.

Dinner on Ludlow Review

DINNER ON LUDLOW  

Location:
95 Delancey Street
New York, NY 10002

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So a few months ago, Gilt City had a promotion for Dinner on Ludlow for 4 people for $120. I had also received a 20% off promo code from them as well, which made the deal even better at $96. We would have to pay tax (on the full price) & tip (20%) at the restaurant. I bought the deal with the intention to take hubby out for his upcoming birthday, along with 2 of his friends.

Reservations were easy even though they mention you need to make them a month in advance. There was no need. Upon getting to the restaurant on a Sunday night, we had noticed there was a huge line outside. People were waiting to get in. It dawned on me that the 2 floors above was their lounge aptly named The DL. There was a huge party going on, it was actually pretty fun people watching. We saw some characters in Manhattan. The music was loud, but they turned it down before the 7pm dinner service began.

The Executive chef is John Keller, who has worked in many of the top restaurants in NYC. Dinner on Ludlow brings to the Lower East Side (L.E.S.) classic comfort food with a focus on keeping it simple.

They have chandeliers for décor, which makes it look more high-class, but it wasn’t a fancy snobby place. The waiters were all really friendly & helpful. We enjoyed the service here.

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The Family-Style Chef’s Menu for 4 came with the following:
4 appetizers , 4 entrees, 5 sides, 2 desserts & 2 bottles of wine

We ordered a red & a white for the table, but only got through the white. We had the Mirabello Pinot Grigio & Marques de Caceres Rioja. I can’t comment on the wine because I don’t really like to drink (I know, that should be a sin)!

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The chef gave us complimentary Cheese Puffs in a cute wire basket . They taste like the cheese-it crackers. They were small with a flakey crust & a slightly soft cheesy inside

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I can only fully comment on mine & Hubby’s food. I took a nibble from my friend’s dishes, but not enough to make an in-depth assessment..

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Oxtail & Onion Soup – Classic Onion Soup, Braised Oxtail & Gruyere Gratin

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Kale Caesar (salad appetizers are 1/2 order) – Tuscan & Red Kale, Caesar Dressing, Olive Oil Croutons

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Bacon & Egg Salad (1/2 order) – Pork Belly Confit, Fried Egg, Frisee & Truffle Vinaigrette
Mixed the egg yolk into the salad. The pork belly was slightly crispy on the outside & tender on the inside. The dish was amazingly light considering there was yolk & pork belly. It wasn’t a stand-out appetizer, but it was good.

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Spring Pea Risotto – Spring Pea, Lemon Thyme & Pecorino Romano
Hubby really loved the al dente risotto. It was creamy & cheesy, but wasn’t overwhelming. It was cooked perfectly & with care.

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Penne – Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, Tomato & Pecorino Romano
Maybe the chef ran out of penne, but this dish had a different pasta in it, but it still worked well. You can smell the truffle oil from this dish. The flavors were light, which worked well.

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Whole Roasted Sea Bass (hubby) – Fresh Herbs, Lemon & Tuscan Olive Oil
Hubby thoroughly enjoyed the tender meat on the fish, minus the bones. He hates bones, but this was a whole fish that came to the table. It filled the hubby up & we still had leftovers afterwards.

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Arctic Char (me) – Spring Peas, Braised Carrots, Ramps & Lemon Oregano Sauce
The lemon oregano sauce worked really well over the veggies. The arctic char had a crispy top. Again, this wasn’t an outstanding dish, but it was good. I ate everything off the plate.  

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Tuna Tartar – Cucumber, Avocado, Grapefruit, Ginger Oil & Crispy Wontons

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Broccoli w/ Garlic – simple side.
Chilled Asparagus w/ Garlic, Ginger & Sesame – we loved the clean flavors from the asparagus.

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Garlic & Spring Squash – these were sautéed with garlic & onions. Tasty, but simple.

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Truffle Mac & Cheese – This was some creamy goodness. These a slight crunch from the bread crumbs on top. The mac & cheese was heavenly. The truffle oil was fragrant but not overpowering. I can eat this all day, but then I would be really fat, so I will indulge once in a blue moon. But, this has got to be the best mac & cheese I’ve ever had thus far.

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Sugar & Spice Donuts – Chocolate Dipping Sauce & Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
You take the warm donut hole, drizzle a little chocolate over it & add a bit of the ice cream on top & consume it all in one bite. It was lovely. The flavors are worked so well together.

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White Chocolate Panacotta – Caramel, Fresh Berries, Hazelnut Tuile & Chantilly Cream
This was devoured in nearly 20 seconds. I had to fight the 2 boys from finishing it off before I even had one bite. The panacotta was silky smooth. The hazelnut tuile tasted like a French wafer, light with a hint of sweetness. This was a wonderful dessert to end the night.

We even snuck upstairs just to take a peek at the lounge on the 2nd floor. It was just a small, dark room with some people dancing. I would take this as a make-out room. The top floor was a rooftop type area but enclosed in greenhouse type glass. There were palm trees & a water fountain. The space was bigger & perfect for just hanging out with friends over drinks.

Overall, everyone enjoyed the meal & thought everything was well-prepared & delicious. We would definitely come back here to try the other offerings. The total cost including tax & tip was $163 for 4 people (~$41 per person). The total bill would have been to $297 without my coupon. What a significant savings! We left completely full & even had to doggy-bag 2 boxes of food, along with the bottle of red. What a great meal. Btw, I had the Truffle Mac & Cheese for lunch the next day & it was just as good as the night before. *Slurp*

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Polish Review

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

174 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002
PH: 212-675-2404 | FX: 212-214-0636
Mon – Sat: 11:00AM – 7:00PM
SUN: 12:00PM – 6:00PM

I decided to walk into this store since I love looking at new cosmetics, even if I don’t buy anything. The store didn’t look like much. There were a few tables on both sides & the cashier in the far back. There were 2 associates who greeted us. One came by to talk to us about the products. They are 100% Vegan & Cruelty Free, which are 2 pluses.

OCC Lip Tars

The star of their line are the popular Lip Tars. They come in a range of colors. Interestingly enough, they even come in blue, green, yellow & black! I am so not daring enough to rock those colors on my lips, but more power to the people who can. They come in a tube like a lip gloss would & you would squeeze a little out to get a bright lipstick-like color, or use even less as a lip stain. You can also use it as a blush as well. The reds are really nice. They retail for $18-$25.

OCC Lip Tars Nail Polish

I browsed the selection of nail polishes which does not contain formaldehyde, thank goodness. They retail for $10. I’m very much into nail art & design, but honestly didn’t want to pay $10 for a bottle of nail polish. I so happened to be by the cashier & they had a few colors that are being discontinued for $5, so I ended up picking up 3 shades (Fondue, Chimera
& Cruising).

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I couldn’t wait to use the colors so I ended up using Cruising as the base, which is a nice gold metallic color. Then, I simply swiped Chimera, a nice metallic blue/green at an angle at the edge of my nail for a simple design. The polishes are highly pigmented which meant I didn’t need multiple coats for nail coverage. I love the way they shimmer in the light. They went on smooth, without any clumps & they dried quickly. My nails were done in less than 15 minutes.

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If you are in the neighborhood, stopping into the store could be beneficial for you. After getting home, I looked up reviews on the product. I looked on Yelp & saw many people saying if you check-in on Yelp, you’ll get a FREE nail polish. I was kicking myself for not checking in. *sigh* Plus, I have a love/hate relationship with Yelp as well. That’s another story to be told at another time.

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I think I really love them. I can’t wait to do other nail art with them. What do you think of the colors?

Where to purchase products:
Lip Tar
OCC Nail Lacquer, Fondue
OCC Nail Lacquer, Chimera
Nailtiques 1 – used as my base coat to help my nails get stronger. Here’s the larger bottle.
Nailtiques 2 – you’ll use this every day for a few weeks for brittle nails to get stronger.