Results: 7th Street Gets Lukewarm in the Cold

Mission: To eat at every restaurant on my list.
Location: 7th street between 1st avenue and avenue A.
Itinerary: my plan
Results: Lukewarm
Luke's A new addition to the battle of the lobster rolls, this tiny storefront claims to serve heaps of meat at wholesale prices with the help of the fratboy owner's lobster-hunting father in Maine. Turns out, $14 gets  what you'd expect - an embarrassingly small meal. The lobster salad was practically mayo-less, sans celery, and with entirely too large chunks of lobster. I had a full claw, cartilage and all, in mine - pretty, but not practical. I will give them kudos for their perfectly toasted, buttery roll. They just need to extend it by about three inches. I shiver at the thought of their 'snack size' roll ($8) - it can't be more than a two-bite slider. And with no beers to wash down the six that I'd have to eat to feel full, I won't be rushing back. 

Caracas Arepa Bar What is an arepa? One description is a Venezuelan, stuffed, corn muffin. Another - a Latin Sloppy Joe. Well I like corn muffins and I like Sloppy Joe's. I'll let you know if I like arepas next week.  I love arepas!! So much so that I contemplated walking back across Manhattan to order a few more (three for two people didn't cut it). Arepas are like little corn paninis - but the bread is softer and sweeter than your average ciabatta. My favorite was La De Pernil (roasted pork shoulder, tomato slices and spicy mango sauce), which was like a Venezuelan version of a bbq pulled pork sandwich. Try the La Surena (chicken and chorizo, avocado, and chimi-churri sauce) and De Pabellon (shredded beef, black beans, cheese and plantains) for a more traditional experience. 

Pylos "Rustic Greek Home Cooking". Long since gone are the days where we'd just call it GREEK, but I digress. The space is sleek and the menu arranged in a way that encourages the ordering of many little plates, allowing me to satisfy my cravings for moussaka, stuffed grape leaves, spanikopita, and tzatziki all in one seating. Because there just aren't enough good Greek places in NYC - and no, I'm not moving to Queens. Pylos, oh Pylos (pronounced Pee-los fyi). Why are you so difficult?! I tried to get reservations both Friday and Saturday nights, as well as last night - nothing.  Pylos was closed for holiday parties every night. In the words of California's beloved governor - I'll be back!

7A I ate a hungover brunch at 7A many, many moons ago and I was psyched to come across the bustling cafe again. I was a starving college student submitted to student cafeterias, so I fear my review would be stale and partly cloudy. My memory consists of a delicious plate of shrimp and avocado eggs benedict, a spicy bloody mary and a raging headache from my first encounter with mojitos. I'm excited for my second trip and the three other types of egg benedict to chose from - headache notwithstanding. I write this post from 7A - eating an average tuna avocado melt and a weak cup of coffee. Waiting an hour outside in the cold for eggs benedict wasn't happening this weekend - I stuck to homemade egg sammy's on my couch instead. So it turns out I was still drunk last time and 7A is mediocre.  It seems like it can't decide if it wants to be a diner or a cafe. The menu has some creative flare amongst your run-of-the-mill diner fare -  6 types of burgers, health-centric sandwiches and two lowly burritos hanging awkwardly on the right side of the menu. But as only an indigenous Long Islander can say, not nearly the breadth of options a true diner should have. There's not even a grilled cheese on the menu! Make up your mind 7A - are you a cute cafe or a monster diner? And unless you start handing out VIP reservations for Sunday brunch, it's unlikely that I'll be returning.

Porchetta. As discussed, Sunday is the day of comfort food, and this Sunday I plan to stuff my face with pig. This place has gotten an absurd amount of press for their porchetta sandwich - a Sullivan St Bakery ciabatta roll stuffed full of their famous pork and made for walking. At $10 a pop, I think I'll get two and share with my trusty walking companion. Salt. Salt on Porchetta and salt on my pork. Salt on my potatoes and salt on my broccoli rabe. But not on my beans? At least be consistent. I sat down to wait for my porchetta plate and read an article posted on the wall about their famous salt. Infused with rosemary, garlic, sage and fennel seeds, it claims to bring out the flavor of all meats - but all I could taste was salt and I'm salty about it.  Yes, the pork was pretty good - when you weren't cracking a tooth on the shards of glaze or cringing at your fifth straight bite of nothing but lard. The potatoes with burnt ends were startlingly dry and, wait for it, salty. The broccoli rabe a healthier salt lick and the baked beans a bland bore.  I was so disappointed after all the hype that I nixed the promised sandwich for my puppy and bought her an arepa instead. Salt.

A few noteworthy additions to my 7th street post, though I won't be making that crosstown walk anytime soon:

- The Heat


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