Sweet potato fries

In light of recent celebrations for National Hamburger Day, we visited Whitman’s with our Burgers Before Love crew. I wanted to talk to you about how much I love burgers. Like really, really love burgers. As a result of that, #BurgersBeforeLove was created, visiting a new restaurant each month to try out the most decadent burger on the menu. Last month, I took my cravings over to Whitman’s in the East Village to try out their popular, Juicy Lucy.

This was my first time checking out Whitman’s but I had previously heard so many great things about it. It is a small burger joint with an all American nautical-hipster vibe. While I waited for the rest of the group, I treated myself to a glass of wine and sweet potato fries. As per their recommendation, I devoured my fries with a side of their house aioli. Seating is limited in their upstairs area but perfect if you’re just stopping in for a quick bite.

Whitmans Exterior

As soon as the crew arrived, we headed downstairs to our table and immediately ordered because we all were starving. There’s more room downstairs for groups but still an intimate vibe. There are tons of burger options, with something for everyone’s taste buds. I stayed focused as I remembered that I came for the Juicy Lucy. Upon ordering, the table dug into a bowl of fried pickles. Though they’re not what I chose to indulge in, I could see they were evenly fried which should make for a great pickle. I could even hear the extra crunch in each bite taken amongst the group. Then, the burgers came.

Whitmans Fries

The Juicy Lucy is deliciously stuffed with pimento cheese and topped with caramelized onions. From the first bite, the pimento cheese explodes from the center of the burger and adds tons of extra flavor. I was not surprised that this burger lived up to it’s name and if I could eat another, I would. It was just that good and I look forward to returning to Whitman’s soon. Before heading out, I ordered the brownie with ice cream but we also had warm cookies and milk at the table. Overall, we enjoyed our burgers and we were stuffed afterwards. I recommend checking Whitman’s out the next time you find yourself with an appetite for burgers.

Picky's Speed Pie

Hailing from Brooklyn, Picky Eater’s NYC restaurant is quickly becoming a staple of the neighborhood. Most popularly visited for their Trini style barbecue lamb, Picky’s is a crowd favorite. If you don’t believe us, just ask Flatbush. Food Before Love was invited to the Picky’s Eater’s pizza party pop up at Sugarcane in Prospect Heights. Every now again, Picky’s will host a themed pop up event highlighting different foods with Caribbean flavors.

Picky's Pop up Restaurant

Sugarcane, another Caribbean restaurant, is extremely popular amongst the locals. No matter the day of the week. you’ll always find a line outside of Black professionals waiting for a table. However on this particular day, Picky’s pizza made the wait a bit more worthwhile. It became obvious to any bystander, that Picky’s Pop was going overwhelmingly well. We took it to the kitchen to find out what the chef was cooking up and how much pizza we could really bite into. 

Picky's Pop up

Picky’s Pizza Party menu was Island Flavored with choices like Sunday Lunch – callaloo base, topped with shredded saltfish, ricotta cheese and cherry tomatoes. There were options for Vegetarians like the vital Ital Veggie which consisted of pineapple, sweet peppers, onions and tomatoes. Being the jerk chicken lover that I am, Picky put together a speed pie for me. This personal pizza came with shredded jerk chicken, pineapples, and a drizzle of their signature sauce. Talk about hot!

Picky's Speed Pie

It’s not jerk chicken if there’s no heat. The key is to not let that heat overpower the flavor of the chicken. Picky’s made the perfect pizza when he combined these ingredients and he wasn’t stingy. Plenty of chicken adorned my plate and the sweetness of the pineapple helped combat the hotness. However, it was truly the jerk sauce that took the dish through the roof, making it juicy as it soaked into all parts of the pizza. For information more information on Picky’s next pop up, follow them on instagram @PickyEatersNYC and don’t hesitate to RSVP!

Picky's Speed Pie

Fresh& Co Adobo Chicken

As a busy entrepreneur, I’m always looking for on the go eats like Fresh & Co. One of the things I love most about this brand, is that they’re all over New York City so I’m never too far away. I recently discovered that they have their own app. Lucky for me, they sent me $10 for my birthday and I couldn’t wait to redeem it. I’m somewhat of a regular at Fresh & Co. so I’m here for all the perks they offer.

Fresh & Co Ingredients
My usual order is the Tex Mex bowl. It comes with a spicy tex mex sauce, fresh avocado, melted cheese, beans, pico de gallo and fresh kale. You also have the choice of quinoa or rice and I almost always choose quinoa. Not sure how to properly say Quinoa? Watch my video here. I love how good I feel after I have this dish, and love how filling it is as well.

Fresh& Co Adobo Chicken

The Fresh & Co staff are extremely sweet and work efficiently. You can always count on them to adjust the heat in your dish and make great recommendations for proteins. The adobo chicken is my go to which they layer over the bowl. There are other options but I was told tthe adobo chicken is the best, and it’s the most affordable.

Fresh & Co Tea
You can grab iced teas at Fresh & Co. too. But I try to grab a red jacket with my meal if the location is offering it. Every location can be a little different but the food is always great. I never run into too long of a line and there’s always plenty of seating. The packaging is perfect for taking your order with you. It keeps the food warm and maintains the taste. Next time you’re feeling healthy and don’t want to compromise on flavor, choose Fresh & Co.

Fresh & Co Tex Mex Bowl

Eataly Sabbia Calamari

Summer is over but and so are the reservations at Sabbia but it will be missed. Sabbia was serving beach vibes since April and it was the kind of place that made you wish your feet were dipped in sand. Since Sabbia sits on the rooftop of Eataly,  the sun shines in but not enough to give you a tan.

However if you indeed need one, sign up for our #TravelingWhileHungry trips. Just saying.

Eataly Sabbia

The restaurant is also extremely laid back, with cabana’s in the corner and cocktails at the bar. Naturally, you’ll want to kick your feet up and prepare for a great time. The bartender will add to this experience with some of their signature drinks, like the Limone-Jito or Pesca Fresca. However, I took an affinity to their Prosecco spritz which was completely refreshing, bright and keeps me holding onto summer days. With the renovation of the space for their winter restaurant, I must get over it now.

Eataly Sabbia cocktail

However, the easy to eat menu items were right up my alley, with choices like oysters and calamari. The menu wasn’t too seafood heavy and a great combination with choices from land and sea, both well represented.

Eataly Sabbia dish

Particularly fresh, the calamari was one of my favorite things on the menu, The portion is perfect for group diners who love to share and want to bite into summer. Good Calamari can be so hard to find in NYC where everyone is doing it, but at Sabbia, they’re were doing it right.

Eataly Sabbia Calamari

I briefly got a chance to try the fresh Island creek oysters, brought over from the oyster bar which was set up nearby. Real oyster lovers could appreciate this dining bonus but have to now wait and see what the new restaurant, Baita, will offer.

Eataly Sabbia Oysters

The Folly Ceviche

Not sure how my boyfriend came across The Folly for our lunch date but I’m glad he did. The Folly is an underground gem. You have to walk down a few steps from street level to access the entrance here. You may not spot The Folly if you’re strutting your typical NYC pace towards SoHo.

The Folly Cocktail

.The Folly gives me super sexy birthday vibes, almost burlesque. It’s covered in nautical decor with a seafood focused menu. The menu is heavy with appetizers which make you want to share. It’s the perfect after hours spot or quick mid-day bite. Since I was introduced to the pain killer cocktail back at Streets, I was curious to see how The Folly was going to compete. It turned out to be a completely different experience because The Folly serves the pain killer frozen. It had a creme look versus the purple cocktail I was served in Brooklyn. The sugar rim was just a great finish to the cocktail, which is oddly similar to a pina colada. It was also the perfect amount of frozen where you could still enjoy the drink without getting brain freeze.

Casandra Rosario The Folly

Bring on the Ceviche. Like any seafood dish, the secret is freshness, but this is particularly most important when it comes to Ceviche. The Folly is practicing this and has to be acing it every time because the layers of acidity, against the numerous textures and burst of flavors is not to be underestimated. The down side is that there are never enough chips when you order ceviche anywhere really, and that combination really makes the dish. I could sit at The Folly for hours and eat loads of their ceviche because it was so refreshing, and really woke up my tastebuds.

The Folly Ceviche

In addition to trying to the carnita’s tacos, which were amazing, I went for the sliders. If you follow on social media, you’ll know I’m a huge taco snob. Since the plates were shareable, I managed not to eat them all and make room for more. The sliders weren’t as exciting as the tacos but again, great comfort fillers when you’re looking for that quick bite on any occasion. The burgers were cooked exactly how I asked and came with the perfect buns, that’s a major key. I certainly left satisfied, with a full stomach and with intrigued because the aesthetics here just make you want to come back. Don’t hesitate to put The Folly on your To Eat List.

The Folly Sliders

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Maimonide MOB Pizza

It’s rare for me to step into a restaurant quite like Maimonide, affectionately known as M.O.B, but here I am telling you about it. Maimonide is a vegan spot off Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn with the most laid back vibe you can encounter. The crowd there is somewhat eclectic but certainly mixed for anyone to pop in for a bite and feel comfortable. With exaggerated communal tables, they definitely leave room for strangers to leave as friends.

Maimonide MOB Lemonade

I was served a delightfully refreshing lemonade which I later learned they added a spritz to. It made all the difference and I’ll need all my lemonades like that for the remainder of the summer. My friend ordered the beet wine which we had both heard great things about and luckily, lived up to her expectations.

Maimonide Pizza MOB Iron Man MOB

Since the flatbreads are the thing to do here, we ordered the Pizza MOB and Iron Man MOB. They brought them out on their signature dish plates which I absolutely adored. It’s a great set up for eating for two and even leaves room for parties to share as much as they’d like. The Pizza MOB consisted of cashew cheese, spinach, some pesto, roasted tomatoes and parmesan made from walnuts. The pizza itself, while flavorful, tasted somewhat soggy with the amount of toppings that made it come together. I couldn’t tell much of a difference in the cheese, and even the consistency could give fresh mozzarella a run for it’s money. I also couldn’t help but feel like I was eating healthy but it’s pizza after all. I will say that having a flatbread was a better food choice based on what my stomach was really craving that day.

While I didn’t indulge in the Iron Man pizza, it looked and smelled scrumptious. Both pizza’s however, were too much for both of us to handle and we had to depart without being able to finish them in their entirety. That makes it a great place to go to with friends and just dig in to your hearts content.