Dear followers, sorry for sending you this email earlier, the post wasn’t even finished. My bad. Anyway, here you have the correct post! It’s all done and finished The journey of my dining out in New York City continues by featuring restaurants that had Brazilian cuisine, Mediterranean (Druze, to be more specific) cuisine, and a good ol’ fashioned county grill. Wonder which one of these three was the best? Read on!
Zebu Grill Restaurant - Brazilian cuisine
Another first on my list – trying Brazilian food! My mom rocks at finding Groupon deals and I was just as excited about trying Brazilian as I was about trying Peruvian the previous evening. This particular restaurant was in the heart of New York City’s Upper East Side and since the weather was simply beautiful we took our time to walk from Hell’s Kitchen to the Upper East Side for an early dinner before a comedy show we had planned later in the evening.
We arrived at Zebu Grill Restaurant a bit earlier than our reservation time. Apparently, the Groupon deal didn’t start until 5pm but since no one told us on the phone, the waiter was kind enough to make us an exception. Yay for us! Our Groupon included 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 2 drinks.
We started off with the Brazilian drink. I don’t remember the name of it, there was only one option and I could taste tequila a lot. Drinking at 4pm! Aren’t we wild? Haha. The appetizers were cool. We picked a salad and crab cakes. Both were good. It was my first time trying crab so it was fun to finally try it. The crab cakes looked more like falafel until you bit into it and then you could see it was crab. They were yummy, especially with the sauce.
There weren’t that many options for us to choose from for the main entrees since we don’t eat very much meat. Although I never eat sausage, I picked a dish with pasta, tomato sauce and Brazilian sausage simply because it sounded the most interesting. It was good and filling and I finally got the fresh tomato sauce I’ve been craving (unlike when we went to the Peruvian restaurant the night before). Since I’m not a big pasta eater, the dish filled me up very quickly and I was full before I knew it.
My mom’s choice was amazing. It was totally different and unique. At first she only got the rice with something similar to breadcrumbs in the middle. We were confused… that’s her entree? Good luck with that, mom… But then the waiter came out with the rest of the entree, which was a pot of fish chunks (forgot what kind) in a dreamy sauce. Oh my gosh, this dish was amazing! The sauce was perfect, warm, and it was a great balance of creamy but light. I wish I remembered what the dish was called.
Overall, the food could be rated 3-1/2 stars simply because it wasn’t anything magnificent (besides my mom’s entree). However, the service there was amazing. Totally opposite of our experience at the Peruvian restaurant the night prior. The waiter was very nice, kind, and attentive. Because of the service, I’ll give Zebu Grill a general rating of 4 stars.
Gazala’s Place – Mediterranean (Druze) cuisine
I am a huge fan of Mediterranean food. It might be my favorite right now. So I was very excited to go to Gazala’s Place in New York City’s Upper West Side on Sunday before our cruise on the Hudson River. As usual, our reservation was pretty early and we arrived right around that time. I was starving and totally ready to get some familiar Mediterranean food in my belly.
Except, I didn’t realize that this was actually a different kind of Mediterranean cuisine. This one was apparently Druze food (according to Yelp) which is mostly from Isreal in this particular case. How did I know this food was different than the regular Mediterranean I was used to? Well, it was all different. And not really in a good way.
I love my pita. I was pretty excited to get some pita to dip in the hummus with mushrooms we chose as our appetizer. Except the pita… was not the pita I was expecting. The pita I know and love is fluffy, soft, delicious, and just overall mmmm. This one was… well, it reminded me of a rag. It tasted like straight up flour, it has very strange texture – it was thin and I could stretch it out. I wasn’t a big fan.
The hummus wasn’t anything special either because it lacked any kind of spice. It was rather bland. It looked pretty though.
Another appetizer we got was a fried vegetable-filled roll which tasted like nalesnik, or a Polish fried crepe. It contained a variety of veggies inside with some sauce. It was pretty vinegary, a bit too much for my taste.
Then came time for the main dishes. I ordered lamb with tomato sauce. I don’t know what up with me and all these tomato sauces, guys. Haha. The lamb was very good and it didn’t taste very much like lamb, which is a good thing because I don’t really like that lamb taste.
The dish came with a side of rice and a salad. The salad was strange and it lacked any flavor too even though it was still drenched in a water/vinegar(?) mix. Thank god for the corn in there or else I wouldn’t have been able to taste it at all.
My mom liked her lamb too, she ordered a shish kabob. She said the lamb tasted good, similarly to mine. I liked hers better though, not entirely sure why.
We were already full but then came the dessert. Those Groupons spoil us with all this food. Now this was something that was really good. It was a yogurt pudding with pistachios and it looked different than I expected.
There was the yogurt pudding under this sponge cake on top – the pudding was cold and reminded me of frozen yogurt except better cause it was pudding. The only thing is… it was extremely sweet. And when I say sweet, I mean like insanely sweet. I don’t remember anything that I’ve had that was this sweet before. Bah! It was good though.
The general rating I’m giving to Gazala’s Place in Upper East Side is 2 and half stars. The food was mediocre at best and even though the service was really good, it just can’t hide the fact that the food was not up to par for my personal preferences.
Georgio’s Country Grill
Our last night in New York City was spent being spontaneous. We did not have any plans for dinner and we wanted to just walk around the area until we found something that caught our interest enough. We were both hungry and I was craving a burger, while my mom was craving fish. We saw a bigger restaurant on the corner of 9th and 53rd Street in Hell’s Kitchen and upon reading the menu, we knew right away we wanted to eat there – Georgio’s Country Grill!
The restaurant is bigger than most in Hell’s Kitchen, it wasn’t as intimate and claustrophobic as some others are in the area. The wait staff was super nice and accommodating. The waiter was a sweetheart, when he was taking our order he even came back later to ensure he got everything right because I asked for some extra things on my burger. You could tell her really cared. It was nice.
Our meals arrived and we were ecstatic. I ordered a Lobster Burger with sweet potato fries. Oh man, I was so psyched to try this. One, I’ve never had lobster before. Two, I’ve been wanting to try a lobster burger for a very long time. There is one at Rockit Burger in Chicago but that one costs something like $24! The one at Georgio’s Grill was one of the specials of the day and only cost around $11 or $12. Sold!
It was good! I’m not sure I would get it again but it was good nonetheless. The texture reminded me of a veggie burger, it was falling apart a little bit but it tasted very good and it had carrots and celery inside. I ordered the burger with roasted red peppers as well, just cause I love ‘em. And the sweet potato fries rocked, although I like my fries thicker cut. But these were very good still anyway.
My mom ordered a trout and she got this! It was huge!
She was super excited and she said it was the best trout she’s ever tasted. Good choice, ma.
We were so full after our meals. But then the waiter came back with plates of desserts presented to us. Oh my gosh, so evil. We were full but these desserts looked so good. I’ve been wanting to eat some cheesecake for a long time. So there, we got it.
I’ll admit it wasn’t really that good. I was already full and the cheesecake was just decent. But I have to give them that their strategy to sell desserts is perfectly thought-out. It’s hard to say no to delicious-looking dessert when it’s RIGHT there in front of you. Literally. Oh well, it was vacation – I don’t really feel bad.
We really liked this restaurant and I was curious to see what people were saying on Yelp. Apparently, everyone was raving about Georgio’s Country Grill as a great breakfast diner. Well, you best believe we came here the next morning for some breakfast – it was our last day in NYC, we had to end it on the high note. Especially since one of the reviewers talked about their hot chocolate & blueberry whole-wheat pancakes. I couldn’t get the image of these our of my head. They sounded so amazing! I NEEDED to try them! So we came back the next morning. However….
Sadly, they didn’t have hot chocolate & blueberry pancakes on the menu I was disappointed because I really wanted them. I was so ready for them. But I ordered these whole-wheat pancakes topped with strawberries and some whipped cream. They were very good too but I bet not nearly as good as hot chocolate & bloobies would have been. Oh well.
The general rating I give to Georgio’s Country Grill = 5 stars. The food was great and the service even better! Much recommended.
Kammie wants to know:
- Which of these three restaurants would you most like to try?
- Have you ever had Brazilian cuisine?
- What are you favorite kinds of pancakes?
Let me know in the comments below!