Max Eats - Ask The Experts - Restaurants, Foodie, Cooking, Travel, New York, Gay - New York, United States - Pepo

Max Eats

New York - United States
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Hi, I'm Max! Nothing makes me happier than sharing a delicious restaurant meal with friends, family or an unsuspecting third date. Let's chat about restaurants around NYC and beyond -- join my food coma and become my culinary partner in crime.

Had dinner at this fantastic new modern Korean small plates place on 18th last night. Highly recommended.
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Eggslut is a famous LA breakfast spot -- think bomb bacon egg & cheese sandwiches. They just popped up in NYC (as of Friday), and the lines are insane!

Check it out if you're downtown -- it's at Lafayette & Spring. My favorite is the "slut" -- whoops 😛🍴
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1. Yellowtail toast w/ yogurt butter
2. Hedgehog mushroom toast
3. Moroccan tuna & pistachio toast

I woke up with a major toast craving. Sounds basic, right? Not if you're eating them from State Bird Provisions in SF. I'll post a full review of this hot spot, but check out these beauties in the meantime!

Yours in 🍴,
Max 😘
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Fresh work lunch alert! 🚨

If you work in downtown NYC, run to Lighthouse Outpost and get one of their killer lunch specials.

This is a grilled chicken bowl with coconut rice, greens, and salsa verde. Yes please 🍴
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Jason Goldberg 12 months ago
Hey Max! The New York food scene changes so quickly. What's your current go-to brunch spot?
Great question! My favorite is Sunday in Brooklyn -- it's a new spot in Williamsburg with killer cocktails, a diverse & fresh menu, and an Instagram friendly interior for all of your influencer friends.

Must order: malted pancakes, pecan sticky buns, and the mezcal bloody mary

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I was lucky enough to be invited down for Mardi Gras this year, and was treated to a VIP culture & culinary tour* spanning four waistline expanding days. On the food front we covered the classics: jambalaya, gumbo, red beans, white beans, beignets, and consumed an alarming number of king cakes. We were also blessed with front row views of the parades, where I *shockingly* threw my inhibitions to the wind and screamed, danced, and jumped for countless throws (think beads on beads on beads).

Mardi Gras is a blur, to put it mildly, but I am excited to report back about one of my favorite meals from the trip. I could easily write about the unbelievable home-cooked meals I was treated to, but instead lets talk about the NOLA institution that is Galatoire’s.

Galatoire’s captures the magic of New Orleans cuisine by marrying creole and french traditions to delight your palate bite after bite. The restaurant has been making bellies happy on Bourbon Street since 1905, and if we are lucky they will not stop anytime soon. Quick pro-tip before we get to the eats: jackets are required, but if you’re stumbling in off of Bourbon they have a clothing rack full of them for you to choose from. Lets talk food:

🍴Pommes soufflés — Pillowy, double-fried potato clouds served with an epic béarnaise sauce. The amount of air they’re able to seal inside of the pommes soufflés deserves a Nobel Prize, and I’m pretty confident that they serve these upon entry to Heaven. Put simply, these bad boys are the Tempur-Pedic of potatoes.

🍴Oysters en brochette — Oysters + bacon + breading, finished with a perfect fry. The best part is the textural diversity — crispy exterior and melt in your mouth interior. It is a bonkers pairing. I mean come on, I knew that New Orleans already had the best oysters in the country, but these were next level decadence.

🍴Crawfish maison — Chicken salad graduated, got married, and had this beautiful baby. Start with jumbo lump crawfish, add vinegar + mustard + capers + egg + lemon. Salivating yet? Galatoire’s serves it over a bed of lettuce with warm, crusty baguettes to scoop all that goodness up. Yes, this is an appetizer.

🍴Shrimp remoulade — The freshest shrimp you’ve ever eaten, tossed in a horseradish-forward sauce. Boom. If horseradish isn’t your thing then kindly move on (and re-evaluate your tastebuds), but if you are a fan then you better eat this now. It’s a classic, I know, but it had to be said.

🍴Redfish — Lets be honest, you probably never knew this fish existed if you did not grow up in the south. It’s a mild, clean, and meaty fish that falls right off the bone. No undesirable “fishy” taste here. I opted for the lemon caper beurre blanc sauce on top, but Galatoire’s has eight garnish choices to meet all of your needs. Yes, eight.

🥃 Sazeracs — What, you thought I was sober the entire meal? Sazeracs are a New Orleans special, stirred up with rye, absinthe, bitters, sugar, and a kiss of lemon. They’re incredibly strong, to say the least, so sippers beware! I may or may not have had two…

As the meal came to a close, we loosened our belt buckles, sped home safely, and hopped on the treadmill (read: ate an embarrassing amount of king cake).

To wrap — if you find yourself hungry in New Orleans, please do yourself a favor and visit Galatoire’s. I know that I will.

*Thank you again to the Hoffman Family for your unrivaled hospitality and all of the jolly times!
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While I currently call the great state of New York home, I originally hail from the Virginia suburbs of DC. I was lucky enough to head down south recently, which meant lots of home cooking, sleeping in, family time, Duke basketball, and the obligatory dinner out on the town. Rumor has it that I enjoy making dinner reservations, so I was charged with finding us a delicious dinner locale. Enter: Kapnos.

Kapnos is Mike Isabella's Greek outpost in Washington, D.C.. You may remember Mike from Top Chef (if your channel of choice is the Food Network), or you may be lucky enough to have dined at Graffiato, his Italian small plates concept in Gallery Place. Regardless, you have to make the trip down to DC to have a slice of this Mediterranean bliss.

The meal was delicious, the service was great, and our lives were instantly upgraded when I spotted Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and their beautiful family seated two close tables away from us. My mom almost snapped a few paparazzi photos (flash included), but somehow I convinced her to stare shamelessly with me instead. Let's talk food:

The "spreads" were by far my favorite part of the meal. I don't think I've ever met a dip I didn't like, and Kapnos absolutely kept that streak alive. We opted for the trio and ordered the 🍴Melitzanosalata (smoked eggplant, feta, walnuts, roasted peppers), 🍴Favosalata (black garlic, yellow lentils, pine nuts & scallions), and the 🍴Tyrokafteri (feta, manouri cheese, grains of paradise). I am openly opposed to eggplant, but the smoked eggplant in the Melitzanosalata was incredible. Black garlic was the second star of the spreads - think garlic's sultry, molasses-esque, sexy first cousin. I think I may turn the 🍴Favosalata into Burt's Bees newest flavor and call it a life.

The 🍴Smoky Beets were SMOKY. I did not think I was a beets fan before I ate these bad boys, but it is now clear to me that smoke makes everything better. Add in the yogurt, peppercorn, citrus combo to dip them in and these puppies had disappeared from the plate in no time.

The 🍴Tuna Tartare was paired with grilled avocado (yum), taro root (i'll pretend to know what this is), and drizzled with harissa (always welcome on my plate). I mean has anyone really ever had bad tuna tartare? Maybe I have just been one lucky guy, but this plate was delicious and I ate way more than my fair share (much to the chagrin of my fam).

The 🍴Black Bass was perfectly cooked, but I was much more focused on the wine at this point of the meal (if we're being honest). We had a bottle maybe two of the Nostos 2009 Grenache from Crete. Greece - keep doing what you're doing on the wine front because that bottle was delicious.

The 🍴Loukaniko Sausage (Greek pork sausage w/ orange peel & fennel) was a much needed dose of meat. It was paired with a white bean skordalia and pickled cucumbers. I'm used to Trader Joe's chicken sausages (yum), so the 🍴Loukaniko brought it to a new level for me.

We closed out the Greek feast with two heavenly desserts: the 🍴Chocolate and the 🍴Greek Diner. The 🍴Chocolate featured chocolate ice cream, phyllo, pomegranate seeds, and some extra dark chocolate for good measure. I'm traditionally a Starburst and Skittles guy myself, but this dessert may have just changed my mind. The 🍴Greek Diner was a deconstructed lemon meringue pie with graham cracker ice cream, almond and basil. The only lingering question from this dessert is where is this diner and why isn't it on Google Maps?

All in all, I was very impressed by Kapnos (but I can't say I was surprised). How can you expect anything less than delicious from Mike Isabella? If you're ever in the District you absolutely must add this spot to your list. I'd also like to thank Kelly Ripa & family for making an appearance in my honor. That was very kind of you.
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Being the pseudo Southern boy that I am it comes as no surprise that fried chicken is one of my favorite foods (/groups?). Couple that with an entire side of the menu dedicated to champagne and I think I have found one of my new favorite brunch spots in Manhattan.

My partner in culinary crime was one of my best friends in the USA, Sarah, who was visiting me from Chicago. We thought we should reward ourselves with some Southern decadence after sweating out our Saturday sins on a run in Brooklyn. After making ourselves a tad more presentable, we headed to Chinatown for some brunch action. Birds & Bubbles is hidden away in the basement of 100 Forsyth St across from Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

Once the friendly host prepped our table we were seated at a cozy table near the back. Drinks (shocker, I know) were top of mind, and after debating over which champagne cocktails to choose I went for the 🍹Basil & Orange Cordial and Sarah opted for the 🍹Raspberry Cordial. I am borderline obsessive when it comes to basil, so I appreciated the subtlety of the orange relative to the fresh basil. That being said, my sweet tooth couldn't help but enjoy Sarah's Raspberry Cordial - it was bright, sweet & oh so satisfying.

By this point I had noticed two important things: 1) I could order everything on the menu and feel great about every decision and 2) Uma Thurman was sitting next to us. Somehow I kept my composure and sent Sarah a text instead of going full out starstruck, but lets just say it took every ounce of self-control in my body not to introduce myself. Luckily, our server interrupted my stargazing and we dove into: Sweet Potato Coffee Cake, Chicken & Egg Biscuits, and Baked Heirloom Grits (because heirlooms mean tomatoes which means fruits & veggies which means healthy).

🍴The Sweet Potato Coffee Cake was fresh-out-the-oven warm, speckled with sea salt, and topped with a perfectly crumbly cinnamon streusel. I think our server was a tad alarmed at how fast we devoured it, but I was more alarmed that the cake did not come with free refills. Needless to say, this is a must if you are lucky enough to dine here.

🍴The Chicken & Egg Biscuits were classic comfort food - flaky biscuits housing juicy fried chicken with the perfect amount of crunch. Add the dill pickles and deviled egg sauce drizzled over top and we had ourselves a winner. My waistline was pleasantly surprised by the side salad that accompanied the biscuit. Greens can be less than memorable in my book, but the pickled onions made this dose of healthy a hit.

🍴The Baked Heirloom Grits were non-negotiable when we were ordering. I can't help myself when it comes to grits (or french fries), so we happily consumed the ramekin full of steaming, green chili queso spiked grits. Yes, green chili queso. My family has sausage cheese grits every Christmas morning, and these took me back to that happy place. Long story short - grits warm the soul - order these.

As we were paying the check and bundling back up I had a few final thoughts: 1) I wish I had ordered 🍴Grilled Pimento Cheese, 🍴Christmas Casserole, 🍴Birdies in a Blanket, and a bottle of champagne for the road. 2) Why didn't I say hi to Uma? Maybe we would have hit it off. 3) Thank God for exercise because I just ate for a family of four.

Verdict: check out Birds & Bubbles - your tummy will thank you, even if your waistline doesn't.
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Mason Hoffman 1 year ago
Love it!
I had no interest in leaving my apartment a few weeks ago because of the arctic tundra, but thought it would be good for my personal health to take a break from Netflix and experience society. The result? A seafood dominated brunch courtesy of the sultry Danielle D.

I pulled up a tad early, and after becoming LinkedIn friends (is that a thing?) with my Uber driver, Lucas, I grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered an extra spicy 🍹Bloody Mary. I wasn't blown away by the bloody (it was tasty, don't get me wrong), but I can't stop thinking about the metal straw it was served with. Who knew metal straws were a thing? Apparently Beyoncé demands them when on tour, so I'm not complaining. I must investigate further...

Once my friend Danielle arrived in all her glory we were seated upstairs and wasted no time ordering Wellfleet Oysters, Fluke Tartare, Blue Crab Toasts, Poached Eggs w/ Polenta, Penne w/ Sausage, and Apple Olive Oil Cake. Yes, most of these were small plates. Yes, we both worked out this weekend. Yes, we felt better about ordering the olive oil cake because apples are good for you.

Before I forget, I want to go on record saying that I really was craving the Burrata Toast w/ Pickled Chanterelles, but Danielle couldn’t eat cheese so my hopes were dashed from the get-go. She tried to convince our server to make her Gnocchi Rosa without the ricotta, but he was not having it.

Let's talk food...

🍴The Wellfleet Oysters were briny and delicious, until I choked on the apple vinegar and projectile coughed all over everyone within a 50 foot radius. It was very charming, and our neighbors were less than thrilled. Somehow Danielle was spared a vinegar bath, but I can't say the same about the the fellow to my right. Needless to say, try not to channel me if you order these.

🍴The Fluke Tartare arrived blanketed in sea foam and Danielle was convinced we didn't order it. Once I reminded her it was her idea we dug in and were big fans of the pickled almonds sprinkled throughout. I tried to photograph this dish, but my lackluster skills did not do the fluke justice.

🍴The Blue Crab Toasts featured a healthy chunk of crab meat atop charred crostini, all draped with thinly sliced cucumbers and chiles. I have never met a crostini I didn't like, and Charlie Bird did not disappoint here.

🍴The Poached Eggs were nestled on a bowl of creamy polenta with shaved brussel sprouts and duck crackling crumble for a kick of crunch. This lands in my holy moly good category, and I demolished this dish in record time. The eggs were perfectly poached (say yes to yolk), the polenta warmed my soul, and the duck crackling was the ideal salty punch to bring it all together. Now we can't forget the shaved brussel sprouts, which added a much needed kick of green to the meal.

🍴The Apple Olive Oil Cake almost didn't happen because of the mascarpone (see above for the Lent complexity). I selflessly decided to take one for the team, and signed up to eat all of the mascarpone on the plate so that Danielle could keep her 40 day vow. That being said, as soon as this masterpiece of a cake was put in front of us, Danielle googled "is mascarpone a cheese?" because she wanted to try it that badly. Unfortunately for her, it is a cheese and I was able to claim all of it for myself. This cake was good people - the salty oat crumble on top of the sliced apples was next level yummy, and the cake itself was (dare I say) incredibly moist.

Verdict: Fire up OpenTable and make a rezzie (give it three weeks in advance peeps). I know I'll be back to dive into the incredible wine list, to attempt to eat the oysters like an adult, and to get my hands on more of these fun matchboxes.
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Why hadn't I visited this culinary gem yet? As you can see from the photo, Freemans is a cozy restaurant at the end of an alley off the Bowery. My kind of alley! We were seated at a spacious corner two-top (by Manhattan standards), and immediately noticed that Mark Cuban was a few tables down. Nothing like a casual billionaire sighting to start a meal off right! Let's talk food and drink:

🍸 The Tannis Root was my cocktail of choice. I have been cheating on bourbon recently in favor of gin. I would apologize to Maker's Mark and Basil Hayden's, but this affair just feels too good. The potion included gin, pear liquor, lemon, and rosemary. What can I say? It was delicious. Clean, crisp, and tasted like all sorts of summer.

🍴The Devils on Horseback were as sinful as they sound. First they take prunes, stuff them with blue cheese, and wrap them in crispy bacon. Each bite is a flavor bomb of sweet, savory, and most importantly bacon. How ready for swimsuit season is this guy?

🍴The Pork Belly Hush Puppies were the perfect light complement to the devils on horseback. Think kale & apple salad, but replace the kale with hush puppies and the apples with pork belly stuffing. Top it all off with a mustard-barbecue sauce and you have your four servings of vegetables you promised your girlfriend you would start eating per day. Real talk, these were divine. How could they not be?

🍴The Seared Filet Mignon was Lu Ann's entree of choice. I will always consider her a mentor, but this order really solidified her gold star status in my book. The perfectly black & blue cooked filet was paired with sweet & sour onions, mashed potatoes (my favorite food group), and horseradish cream w/ chopped parsley. This dish just screamed EAT ME, and I will not confirm/deny if Lu Ann finished the entire thing...

🍴The Mahi Mahi was the market fish of the day, and to be honest I'm still surprised I ordered this. I almost always go the meat route, but I am happy I changed it up for once because this fish had it going on. The Mahi Mahi was pan seared and nestled atop a spring vegetable barley risotto with a ramp puree, fava beans, mint, and a chili salsa. It was pretty incredible - light, refreshing, perfectly cooked, and another true bite of summer.

We opted out of dessert (shocking, I know), but our waistlines are still thanking us to this day. If you find yourself down on the Bowery in NYC you absolutely must try Freemans. Arrive early, try a cocktail, dive into the delicious cuisine and I promise you will not be disappointed.
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Jason Goldberg 1 year ago
Love your reviews!
Olmsted is a glorious, unpretentious celebration of everything there is to love about “neighborhood” restaurants. It has that feel-good factor, the food is adventurous and memorable, the service is relaxed, and the price is right (by NYC standards). I have no doubt that you’ll leave with a smile on your face and a happy belly. Let’s talk food & drink highlights:

🍸 “Rosemary” — Mezcal, Aperol, Chipotle, Lemon, Black Lava Salt. Think smoky goodness, served up in a coupe glass. If you can handle the heat and smoke from the mezcal order this immediately. If not, Olmsted has an extensive bar program to satisfy your boozy needs.

🍴Gobi Pakora Cauliflower — Are you one of those humans who only orders Chicken Tikka Masala from Indian restaurants? If so, I implore you to branch out and order this cauliflower. It’s a marriage of Indian spices and that vegetable you’ve been avoiding at all costs. Add pickled onions and jalapeños and you have a winner.

🍴Grilled Scallops — To be honest, I think scallops are boring. They’re on every menu and are as inventive as the “roasted chicken” entree. Olmsted changes this narrative by GRILLING the scallops instead of searing them, and then serving them on kabob sticks above a sensational thai-inspired salad. Think spicy peanuts, apple, and a punch of XO dipping sauce to bring it all together.

🍴Guinea Hen Roasted & Confit — This dish blew my socks off. The guinea hen is served two ways, but the confit version is other worldly. The confit hen is sliced thin and then covered in the freshest hollandaise sauce I’ve ever tasted. None of that crap you get on your eggs benedict — this is the real deal.

🍴Caramel Apple Donuts — Who doesn’t love a sugar bomb to end a delicious meal? Olmsted’s donuts are light, airy balls of perfection accompanied by a dynamite caramel apple dipping sauce. My only beed is that they don’t serve the dessert with a spoon to devour the remaining sauce.

p.s. we ordered way more than this, but the above list is a great place to start. Xx.
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