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About

NYC Nom Nom is a blog about food. Restaurants and recipes... from the good, to the bad, to the un-nommable. Recently, I joined Weight Watchers. But I refuse to give up my love for food. Join me on my journey of recipes and restaurants (whether you're dieting or not).

I am very fortunate in that I get to try many of the best restaurants in NYC. I also am realizing that I love to cook and have been expanding my culinary skills with my boyfriend, Mike. So what better way to chart my path through the world of food than with a blog?

I would not consider myself a foodie, as that moniker carries with it some level of expertise, of which I have none. I just really love food and am very lucky to have both access to good restaurants and a really great kitchen (by New York City standards anyway).

If you want to reach me, you can email me at sara@nycnomnom.com or if you have more questions, visit the NYCNomNom FAQs

So without further ado, enjoy nomming.


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9 July 10

Nomming thru Maine: Portland Day 2

Our day 2 in Portland was planned to be our foodie day.  We booked at 2 restaurants that were well acclaimed across the food world.  Our first stop was for lunch at Five Fifty Five.

They obviously know their audience…

The first thing on the menu that struck my eye was their cinnamon bun.  I think there are few things so indulgent as a stick, cinnamony, fluffy cinnamon bun.  And since my Weight Watchers points were out the window… this was just perfect.

And it was SO. GOOD.

They also served delicious table breads that I believe were current biscuits and little muffins.  They were served with homemade butter. Nom Nom Nom.

Mike ordered the pork sandwich.  This was good but nothing to write home about.

My truffle eggs with a chive popover, however, were out of this world.  I never knew eggs could taste that good.  Usually truffle is just a mild essence, that is sometimes too earthy for even my tastes.  This one, however, was absolutely delightful.

And I do love me some steaming popovers!

I was pretty impressed with this place overall, though I’m not sure if it was a MUST STOP since Mike’s meal was just so-so.

Total Nom Points: 7 out of 10

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We had a bit of time to kill between lunch and dinner, so we booked ourselves a craft beer tour through the city courtesy of Maine Foodie Tours.  We started our tour at the Gritty McDuff’s Brewery.

They quickly took us behind the scenes to learn how beer is made.  I found the whole thing pretty awesome (though not quite as awesome as our tour of Mondavi where we learned SO much about how wine is made). It all starts with grain, and the toasting length determines the color and flavor (and the additives, like hops, really determine the flavor profile further).

We got to peer into the giant steel brewing vat to see what beer looks like during fermentation (maybe?)

Our next stop was at Sebago’s beer bar where we got to sample any 4 beers off the menu.  They had a nice display of grains toasted to different colors.

And I enjoyed my camera settings on this one.

Our final stop along the way was at a beer garden called Novare Res.  

The inside was quite cool and there were picnic tables for socializing outside.

They had quite the extensive draught list. I really liked how they put a flavor profile summary next to each one.

We got to sample two beers there.  One was Allagash White, which was good but one we’ve had in multiple places.  The second one was new and it blew my mind.  Marshall Wharf Deep Purple was described as “lager beer with peated malts. ‘smoke on the water.’” It tasted so smoky… almost like bacon… but in a VERY, VERY good way.

The beer tour was excellent and a lot of fun.  It really opened our eyes to how great craft beer is in Maine… we used this knowledge throughout the trip!

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Our last foodie destination scheduled for Portland was the one I was looking forward to the most.  Fore Street was the #1 restaurant that came up whenever I searched for or asked about where to eat in Portland, ME.  

Their kitchen area and ovens are pretty much in the middle of the space and fully exposed (which I love).  

They are big on the farm to table idea and their menu changes to reflect what is freshest at the time.

We were told that the wood oven roasted mussels were heavenly.  They certainly were!  The shells were so brittle that they just cracked away and they were easily the second best mussels I have ever had (after our epic mussel feast at Landmarc in NYC). 

The roast cauliflower was perfect cooked as a side.

Mike chose the two cuts of Maine Island Lamb (smoked shoulder and turnspit roasted leg) with roasted yukon potatoes.  Mmmm Mmmm this was GREAT!

I chose the pork chop with spice cherry and rhubarb sauce and pickled rhubarb.  I seriously nearly licked this plate clean.

We were epically stuffed, but not too stuffed for dessert!  I believe Mike went with the chocolate peanut butter torte.

And I chose the chocolate cake.  I couldn’t believe how good it was.

The best dessert I have ever had that I just couldn’t finish no matter how hard I tried!

I was actually so stuffed from this meal that I was nearly sick. My body just wasn’t used to eating like that after these last few weeks of dieting and 15 pounds less to stuff the food into!

The meal was sensational, however.

Total Nom points: 8.5 out of 10


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7 July 10

Nomming thru Maine: Portland Day 1

I have a nostalgia for the state of Maine that is unmatched by any other place.  As a family, we came up almost every other summer for many years.  It is probably my favorite place on earth to visit.  It holds so much history for me and I just love the beauty and whole feeling of being up there.  I was very excited to finally be able to take Mike to Maine and show him my favorite vacation destination.  

Portland was always a city that we barely stopped in as a family when we came up.  In the last few years, however, it has become known as a total food destination (according to Bon Appetit especially that named it "America’s Foodiest Small Town" last year).  So when I planned our 10 day adventure, I dedicated 3 of those days to eating our way through Portland, Maine.

(Note: All dieting and Weight Watchers went out the window for this trip! I decided to take a vacation from that too!  Jumped right back on board when we returned… just not as well as I would have liked… but still back!)

When we first arrived, we wanted to immediately feel like we were in Maine… so we pursued a lobster bake.  J’s Oyster came up as a good destination for this and was also quite popular due to it being featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations.  The wait for outside was almost an hour (to sit in the parking lot basically) and the inside was crowded but just a 20 minute wait.  

We opted for inside and were greeted with a quick tutorial on how to eat our upcoming feast…

I was a bit bummed that they ran out of steamers, so we got the crab stuffed mushrooms instead.  They came with pancetta and honestly, they were a little surprisingly bland!

So onto the Maine (hahahahah) Event!  We each got a steamed lobster with a side of cole slaw.

And I even paid homage to Miss Wendy Williams with mine.  ”How YOU doin?”

Then we dug in! What a way to start in Maine.  So much lobster and SOOOO delicious.

Overall, J’s was a great place but probably not my favorite.  While the lobsters were great, it’s pretty hard to screw up fresh steamed lobster.  I hear it’s the steamers that really set it apart, so without those, I guess it’s hard to judge.

Total Nom Points: 6 out of 10

On a separate note, one thing I highly recommend doing on your way up to Maine is stopping at the giant Duty Free Liquor Store that comes up as soon as you enter New Hampshire (“Live Free or Die!”)  It always cracked me up that the exit is labeled with a sign that simple says “Liquor Store ———>”  

Stay classy New Hampshire!

Mike and I picked up some wine and liquor (for our trip and after) and I saw one bottle of wine right next to my favorite kind (Vouvray).  It was from France but it was called “Maine” so I figured it was kismet and bought it to enjoy in the hotel room that night as a cheers to vacation.

We chilled it in the hotel ice bucket and poured it into the hotel water glasses.  That’s just how classy we are.

One problem… this wine was SO bad and SO undrinkable that we wound up taking one sip and pouring the rest back into the bottle… which we left in the room.

I’ve had some bad wine before, but usually I’ll drink it anyway.  This was absolutely terrible.

At least we tried!

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All artwork and photos copyright of Sara Axelrod unless otherwise stated. Originally themed by Hunson and Josh

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