Sunday, May 6, 2012

Totally cool day of eating and drinking and more

So last week, we bailed out of Hester Street Fair. I was stuck in inner Queens so we decided to try this Saturday.

I think we will need to wait for Grub Street to get the full effect. This was the regular fair so it was smaller. Tried and true favorites Pies and Thighs and Luke's Lobster Roll were in attendance as was Ample Hills ice cream, a New York favorite.

I tried the Salted Crack Caramel from Ample Hills Creamery which was interesting. You can taste the saltiness of the pieces of saltines and sweet of the caramel but to be honest, my heart belongs to the Salty Pimp - vanilla, dulce de leche, chocolate, and sea salt.

Afterward, we went around to Essex Street market and walked around. Some of the aisles were so small, it was rather claustrophobic to stand in. But we opted to go to Agozar's instead of staying for some sandwiches or even the dominican place across from Economy Candy because they don't have alchy!
Not-so-great Sangria
So off we went to Agozar, newly dubbed hotspot for white loud and valley sounding crowds all around! It made us resort to texting.
Vaca Frita with Eggs
Anyway, we got the brunch special which comes with a complimentary sangria or bloody mary. I got eggs benedict with Spanish ham over toast. Barb of course got the eggs over vaca frita. Normally, their service is awesome and so are their drinks. For Cinco de Mayo, it was some shaity service. Food was great, as usual. I quite enjoyed it. Then they tried to make us pay for the unlimited service brunch, which was $22 but Barb corrected them to $14.95. We just couldn't escape fat enough with all that noise.
Eggs Benedict with eggs
We walked around St. Mark's with no luck. Barb opted to drag my butt out to Brooklyn, to shop for shoes and dresses. However, I ended up buying two dresses and a short cardie. Then we walked down to Smith street and found Coco Roco. Frankly, Barb insisted upon learning that they had all sorts of Pisco drinks!

So, this is one spot where the owners care about the comfort of their patrons. There is a bar at the front on the right side as you enter and a bunch of tables on the right. There is a smaller room separated by a glassless partition, through which there is a outside patio for outside dining.

The staff is super-friendly. I didn't catch our waitress' name but she was really nice and made a really great drink. The restaurant was really nice and even charged Barb's phone which drains its battery rather quickly! (iPhone, I heart you)
Pisco Chilcano (upfront) and Pisco Sour (in the back)
We started off with a pisco sour and a pisco chilcano (oddly enough, doesn't show on the online menu). They were great - so great that I went for a pisco sour and Barb asked for a 2nd round. Just so you know, pisco sour is the traditional cocktail - made of pisco (peruvian brandy), simple syrup, lime juice, egg whites and Angostura Bitters (which seem a bit like cinnamon). My other drink - the chilcano is made of pisco, ginger ale, and lime. Both were delicious but the Pisco Sour really hit the spot at this restaurant.

Empanads and fried Yucca
As usual, we started off with one beef and one chicken empanada. They were not as seasoned as can be so we asked for the chimichurri, a lovely garlic, parsley oil sauce that goes well, with...well, everything!!
Fried Yucca, Chicken Empanada, Beef Empanada
The empanadas tasted way better filled with chimichurri sauce. Chicken was nice and tender, with a nice shell. The Beef empanada, was just as tender with crispy shell.

Chimichurri sauce - after we decimated it
After much debating, we got advice from our waitress, Barbara decided on the pescado al lo macho, a filet of red snapper with shrimp (they are willing to alter their dishes to suit your taste).  It usually comes with seafood - which is a lot of different items that Barb didn't eat so she asked for just shrimp.

Pescado al lo Macho
I decided on the Paella Coco Roco because I love paella, seafood and this dish combined both.

Paella with seafood and chorizo
This was pretty tasty on its own. I hated the green peppers but then I'm not a peppers person. This dish was just full of seafood - mussels, one clam, octopus, chorizo, 4-5 shrimp, and chopped up carrots, some corn, and string beans.

Closer view of the dish
So, of course, you know I didn't skimp on the chimichurri sauce over my paella. I know, but I will eat chimichurri sauce over toast, over empanadas, over ANYTHING non-dessert like. The chimichurri sauce kicked it up 100%. It made for just an awesome food experience. I have to say this though, because I wanted my dessert, I only ate just a bit - one-third, really. It is really quite enough food for about 2-3 people, honestly.

The restaurant loses points for not having crepes. Crepes are awesome. How can you be without dulce de leches crepes or tres leches cake?!!!!

So after being bitterly disappointed, we decided on the chocolate empanadas and flan. So, where to begin on the empanadas???
Chocolate empanadas with coconut ice cream
Be forewarned. The ice cream is coconut. They do not have vanilla or whipped cream, neither of which would have saved this dessert. The dough was too thick and a bit salty. The chocolate bled out like an cut artery. I will need to not get this dessert ever!!! It needed to be made with a sweeter dough, rolled thin, and possibly not this syrupy chocolate... I would have gone with a thicker consistency in the chocolate before frying it. I love the coconut ice cream but was not happy with the chocolate empanada. Waitress confirmed it is not one of her favorites either.

Coconut and lime flan with dulce de leche
The coconut and lime flan with dulce de leche was so good. I would have loved coconut on it but Barb is picky and doesn't eat coconut. :P But this was by far the better dessert. It was not overly sweet and the dulce de leche drizzle was delicious.

I'll still have to go to Chimu for my desserts but this place has a lot more to offer in terms of drinks, and dishes. I still say bring back the crepe!!

623 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
tel. 347.240.3926
Sun-Thurs: 12 pm - 10 pm
Fri-Sat: 12 pm - 11 pm

324 Bowery
New York, NY 10012
Tel: 212.677.6773
Lunch: 12 pm - 4 pm
Dinner: 5 pm - 11 pm
Lunch: 12 pm - 4 pm
Dinner: 5 pm - 3 am
Kitchen is open until 12 am
Brunch: 12 pm - 4 pm
Dinner: 5 pm - 3 am
Kitchen is open until 12 am
Brunch: 12 pm - 4 pm
Dinner: 5 pm - 10 pm
Agozar! on Urbanspoon

Coco Roco
139 Smith Street (Bergen & Dean St.)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
tel. 718.254.9933
Delivery hours:
Sunday to Thursday 12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Friday and Saturday 12:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Happy Hour:
Mon-Thurs: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Coco Roco on Urbanspoon

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