gin + tonic + tapas = cata

Over in the Lower East Side is a restaurant called Cata, which, although not my normal vibe, is definitely yum. It’s a Spanish tapas place known for their gin and tonics and it would probably make a great date place. It’s somewhat pricey, but on par for restaurants of its level in the area. As I mentioned previously, I’m a fan of a good gin and tonic, and my friend H said that any fan of gin and tonics should visit Cata, so off we went.

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And yes, their gin and tonics are pretty good. Quite a few untraditional options too. I had the Thai chili pepper gin and tonic, which was yum. And since it’s an actual restaurant and not just a bar, they had food, which was on point. We ended up sharing deviled eggs, chicken croquettes, and paella – all super yum. Loved those croquettes. I spent more than I thought I would, for not all that much food, but alas, such is the way of New York. Unfortunately, as good as Cata is, on my budget, it might be a while before I’m back!

Cata
catarestaurant.com
245 Bowery
(between Stanton and Prince Streets)
Lower East Side, New York, NY

izakaya mew – the pride of midtown

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Midtown Manhattan has horrible food options. Ask any local and they’ll tell you. Midtown Manhattan is full of quick sandwich lunch options and crappy bars with decent happy hour specials. In other words, food options are usually geared towards the working masses. But since I live in Midtown Manhattan, I know three things: The food options really do suck. But they’re great if you’re looking for Korean. And if you’re not, there’s always Izakaya MEW.

32nd Street is known as “Korea Way” according to the street sign, but no one calls it that. It’s Koreatown, pure and simple. There’s a host of great Korean food in the area: Jongro (fantastic Korean barbecue), Miss Korea (not that great, but decent enough), and Food Gallery 32 (food court with good options but limited seating) all on 32nd Street, and Turntable Chicken Jazz (fried chicken!), KyoChon (more fried chicken!), and Cho Dang Gol (standard Korean) not too far away. In other words, I’ve had a lot of Korean food since I moved to Midtown. But otherwise? There’s Izakaya MEW, which I have been to waaayyy too often.

In basic, Izakaya MEW is a decently-priced restaurant with good drinks, good Japanese food, and a great environment. Its entrance is a fairly nondescript staircase leading down to its basement level, located right next door to Cho Dang Gol. The ramen isn’t too great, but I highly recommend their drinks, sushi, fried baby octopus, and potato croquettes. Wait times can vary from no wait to an hour, but they stay open quite late and in all honesty, there ain’t much else!

So yay for Izakaya MEW, you make Midtown less horrible!

Izakaya MEW
53 West 35th Street, Basement
(between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Midtown, New York, NY

yellow tail … gotta love screw top wines!

Alors, I’ve been a not-very-frequently-posting blogger lately, but I have a somewhat decent explanation for it. A large part of it has to do with me being busy, but another large part of it has to do with why I love Yellow Tail wine. First of all because it’s darn good (it’s always been my go-to brand). And it’s decently cheap by China standards (over twice what I used to pay in the States but still within reasonable limits). But also because it has screw top … which makes it easy to open if you’ve taken to wearing a splint on your left wrist … which I have.

Yay for carpal tunnel syndrome? Le sigh. I guess I type too much? Yay for the screw top!

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I’m actually supposed to wear splints on both wrists. Yeah, take a moment to consider how much suck-age that is. But since it’s insanely hard to hold a pen or do anything with my right (dominant) hand while wearing the splint, I just … kinda … don’t wear it. (Don’t tell my doctor, he’d make a frowny face.)

Oh, and if you’ve dissected the above picture, then yes, I like white wine (Chardonnay this time though I generally prefer Sauvignon blanc) and I drink it out of a normal cup because I don’t own wine glasses and don’t feel like buying any. Is it really necessary to have specialized vessels for different liquids? I never quite understood that.

gin and tonic and a square glass

I’m a fan of gin and tonics. That I will freely admit. I’m not sure when the good ol’ g&t became my go-to drink, but by the time I got to New York and met roomie J who always had a ready stock of Hendrick’s, I had pretty much completely transitioned from beer (back in my Texas undergrad days) to wine or gin and tonics. This is to say that I have experience with gin and tonics.

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I don’t mind if you play with it a bit, like Logan Punch’s pretty darn amazing rosemary gin and tonic (servied in a mason jar mug!), but what really gets my goat is when someone takes a perfectly good drink and does something super weird to it … like putting it in an annoying square glass. This was at a local bar somewhere in the French Concession and the drink was mediocre but the glass made me sad. I know it seems persnickety and square galsses do look cool, but they aren’t easy to drink out of! Who wants to drink from a corner? Awkward. Please people, stop it.

i just can’t take it

I’ve been told that I’m really sensitive. I’ve been told that I cannot hide my emotions at all. And then I’ve had people tell me that I’m an excellent liar. I’ve had someone tell me that it looks like I live a charmed life. I’ve had a teacher tell me that the phrase “still waters run deep” describes me. Basically what all of my rambling boils down to is that I just want to scream at someone, but I don’t … because part of me just will not let myself let go like that.

It’s the third week of school and already I feel like I might randomly snap and strangle someone. It’s happened before; it really might happen again. I know everyone has those moments when he/she feels out of place, completely misunderstood, like an outsider. And it might be better for me to speak up rather than merely letting things show on my face or build up inside until something bad happens. But I guess I trained myself a long time ago and old habits are hard to break.

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