Categories Food, Lifestyle

Blue Apron Experience

The meal kit industry makes up $2 billion out of the $800 billion dollar grocery industry.  This over saturated market is expected to grow five times that by 2020.  Why?  Becasuse as consumers we are naturally drawn to anything that is convenient, and it is even better if it help you save money versus eating out.  Living in New York City has made me even more appreciative of every hour in my day.  As a New Yorker we do things like schedule our errands around the train line we take home, utilize wash n ‘ fold services for laundry, or even getting that bottle of wine delivered home after a long day in the office.  Honestly, this list could go on and on about New Yorkers and our fine time management skills.  Without time management skills this city will eat you alive.  That sounds dramatic but so is trying to hit up three stores and getting home in under an hour but these are daily real life situations. So the day I got a Blue Apron $30 off coupon in my mailbox I decided to honker down and give the meal kit idea a try.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbkBIPRBFgZ/?hl=en&taken-by=blueapron

 

Blue Apron is one of the most well known names in the meal kit industry and has been in business since 2012.  They have expanded into the world of wine to accompany their pre-planned meals, sell cookbooks, and cooking utensils.  I consider myself an informed consumer and I typically conduct further research before making a purchase but Blue Apron is a trusted name.  I have had their app downloaded on my phone for months prior to receiving the coupon (#RetentionMarketingWorks) and occasionally glanced at their visually appealing menus.  Blue Apron has a choice of 2 person or Family plan, and you able to select 2 or 3 meals per week.  I selected 2 person plan with the 3 meal option which cost $59.94.  With the $30 coupon it brought the total to $29.94, and made each serving about $5.  I selected Fontina Cheeseburgers, Seared Chicken & Creamy Eggplant, and Salmon & Udon Noodle Stir-fry.  After ordering through the app it took about a week for the box to be delivered.  I had opted to have the box delivered to my office because they ship via UPS and you do not have a window of time when it will be delivered.

Upon opening the box I noticed how jumbled together the ingredients were.  I was forewarned by one of my colleagues who has ordered Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.  After about 10 minutes of going through the box I was able to figure out what items went with what dinner based upon the large recipe cards they provide you with.  All of the meals I had selected for the week took about 30 minutes to make and tasted great.  I never got around to making the third meal which was the Seared Chicken due to my household’s busy schedule.  The next time that I order from Blue Apron I will just pick the 2 meal option to prevent from wasting a meal.  Overall, it was a great experience and it is something I could see myself doing maybe once a month.  I wish there was some type of shameless plug I could do at this time with a referral code – but there are none.  Instead what Blue Apron allows you to do is reward a friend or family member with a free box after you have placed multiple orders.

Below I featured my outcome of the two dinners I made and following are the images from Blue Apron.  I feel as if my burger looks a tad bit sad but I think my Udon dish looks pretty spot on.

Have tried Blue Apron?  What did you think?  Do you have another favorite meal kit company you prefer?  Share with me in the comment section!

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Categories Fashion

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: LOUIS VUITTON EXHIBIT

Louis Vuitton’s VOLEZ VOGUEZ VOYAGEZ has landed in New York City sharing the history of a true fashion legacy.  VOLEZ VOGUEZ VOYAGEZ is French for “Fly, Sail, Travel” and highlights the story of a young French boy that left his native home in eastern France to travel to Paris to land a job as a box-maker.  After perfecting the flat trunk Louis Vuitton decided to start his own company, and little did he know he was going to be one of the most recognized brands in the world.  The exhibit displays beautiful treasures from the past, and houses them in the same space with current day items.

This exhibit has been shown in Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, and now in the Big Apple.  To date this is the largest exhibit since it has been curated for Louis Vuitton by Oliver Saillard, and is housed on 2 floors in the historical American Stock Exchange building.  The exhibit has been open to the public since October 27th and will run through January 7th.  I would highly encourage making reservations now so you don’t miss out on this historical exhibit especially since this the FIRST DEBUT in the United States.  I have included a couple of tips that would of been helpful to me prior to going.  Plus sharing is caring.

 

  • Make reservations – I strongly encourage making reservation prior to attending.  You are able to reserve tickets for up to 5 in your party, and you can select either the guided tour or the self lead tour.  Walk-ins are allowed but after 6pm it gets rather busy with so many people getting off work.

 

  • They have coat check –  Feel free to haul that heavy winter coat because lets be real it is cold in NYC, and the coat check cost you absolutely nothing.  #TheHawkIsOut

 

  • Download the app – It is available for Apple or Android and it allow you to have interactive experiences with exhibits, utilize special filters, sign their digital guestbook, and more.

 

  • Give yourself enough time to get through the exhibit – The last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing but I would encourage you to allow yourself at least a hour and half.  There is a total of 2 floors and 10 rooms and trust me it is very easy to get caught up in each room.

 

  • Opt for the audio tour – I recommend opting for the audio tour or the self lead tour versus the guided tour.  If you do not want to feel as if you are under time constraints and want to get ALL your photo ops in I would NOT do the guided tour.  There is no cost to add on the audio tour once you arrive.

 

  • Know where the photo op spots are – There are a couple of moments where everyone likes to grab a pic.  They include the following and in chronologically order:
    • The entrance in which it showcased the LED board with the moving subway
    • The Louis Vuitton NYC subway inspired sign
    • The Trunk of 1906
    • The Expedition Room
    • The Automobile Room
    • Aviation Room (features the large plane)
    • Louis Vuitton Loves America Room

 

86 Trinity Pl, New York, NY 10006

Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton

 

Vuitton Family Tree

 

The Trunk of 1906

 

Hat Trunk

 

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Categories Food

Serenata

Upscale Mexican food?!?!  It does exist.  Serenata has been my latest obsession for lunch, and dinner & drinks after a long day at work.  This Contemporary Mexican restaurant is tucked away in the basement level of building in Chelsea at 17th and 6th Ave.  I think what initially sparked my interest is $5 margaritas and sangria for happy hour.  Call me a lush if you want, but I am a sucker for a great happy hour.  The food at Serenata is not only pleasing to the eye, but will awaken all of your taste buds.

This restaurant is owned by Besim Kukaj which is the restaurateur behind 9 other restaurants such as Intermizzo and La Carbonara.  Knowing his experience and his time spent in hospitality it seems like he has the equation to success down.

Serenata has Happy Hour on Sunday – Thursday from 4pm – 8pm, and on Friday – Saturday from 4pm – 7pm.  If you want to catch them prior to happy hour I would encourage you trying their prix fixe lunch that starts at $9.

Shrimp Quesadilla  (more…)

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Categories Food

NATIONAL PASTA DAY: 5 Places To Grab Pasta

October is normally the strong nudge from Mother Earth that reminds us it is fall, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes are a weekly requirement.  Call me basic if you will BUT I LOVE THEM!  We tend to forget about other marvelous things that bring us joy like PASTA!  Not only is it National Pasta Month, but it is also National Pasta Day TODAY!  Pasta is a staple for most Italian dishes, and the devil to those on those No Carb diets.  The first time pasta was mentioned in a book was during the 1100’s, and it is still finding its way to every restaurant’s menu today.  In honor of this glorious day I have provided with 5 places to grab a nice plate of pasta from.

 

CelesteThis quaint establishment is located on the Upper West Side and is cash only.  They are known for serving up authentic Italian food, unforgettable cheese plates, affordable prices, and providing superb customer service.  They do not take reservations but it is worth the wait.

502 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

When the whole squad is craving #pasta #🍝 — #foodbabynyc #celestenyc #pasta #squadgoals #carbs #nyc #eatingnyc #italianfood

A post shared by #foodbabynyc by Erin Robles (@foodbabynyc) on Jun 1, 2016 at 9:46am PDT

 

 

 

 

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Categories Food

HIDDEN GEM: TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie

I have been holding back on sharing this hidden gem for a while.  TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie has been in business over a year, and these Udon specialists are showing no signs of slowing down.  The Brasserie located near Union Square is the first location in the United States, but they currently have 13 locations in Japan.  Per a restaurant rep they have intentions of expanding to two more locations in NYC in the near future.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTrls0hhhlQ/?hl=en&taken-by=tsurutontanusa

 

In NYC, Ramen and Udon noodle shops are about as (more…)

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Categories Food

SEAFOOD LOVE: NYC EDITION

Living on the East Coast is different in obvious ways from other regions throughout the US.  We have a higher coast of living, public transportation is a norm, you can find Timbs year round ANYWHERE, and easy access to a great selection of seafood.  I know Beyoncé said she would take her man to Red Lobster, but that is the last place on our minds out here on the East Coast.  There are so many great places to grab some good crustaceans, but here is a short list I complied.

 

The Boil – This Cajun/Creole seafood spot located on the Lower East Side opened in 2013, and since then have expanded to a second location in Greenwich Village.  There are a lot of celebrity sightings at both locations, but don’t let that distract from the most important reason to drop by which is the food.  The boil bag is their most popular item on their menu.

https://instagram.com/p/BG0Px9lqNlI/?taken-by=theboilny

 

 

Lure Fish Bar –  Mentioned in a previous post Top 5 Eats In SoHo it is considered an upscale seafood restaurant with only the freshest selection.  The decor is unforgettable and the entire restaurant appears to look like the inside of yacht.  Some of my favorites include their Lobster Mac and Cheese, King Crab California Roll, Slow Baked Halibut, and Grilled Octopus.

It's back by demand, our Sea Urchin Bucatini with Crab and Red Chile #seafood #pasta

A post shared by Lure Fishbar (@lurefishbar) on

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Categories Uncategorized

NYC RESTAURANT WEEK: INSTAGRAMMY

It is my favorite time of the year again, and the foodie gawds are looking out for our wallets!  It’s NYC Restaurant Week from July 24th – August 18th.  During this special time, you are able to get a three-course prix fixe dinner for $42 or a three-course lunch for $29.  Of course this does not include beverages, gratuity, and tax SO BE SURE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR SERVER – THANK YOU.  I highly encourage you to make a reservation due to the popularity of this event via their program sponsor OpenTable, or you could go old school and actually call the restaurant. Feel free to check out the NYC Restaurant week official website for more deets and a complete list of restaurants.

When it comes to food we first eat with our eyes.  By that I mean we are naturally stimulated by our sight.  The more appealing food is the more likely you are to indulge.  Here are some restaurants that do an superb job of stimulating us visually with a great IG page.  In the wise words of Fab “…you look so good you should win an InstaGrammy”.  Check out the list below and be sure to follow a couple, because they won’t disappoint you.  These restaurants should win an InstaGrammy!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWGOcS0Fg2M/?taken-by=juelanclub&hl=en

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Categories Food

Save Ya Money: Sugar Factory

My reason for reviewing food establishments is because I have always wanted to share my experience with others.  If it was amazing – I wanted you to experience the same thing.  If it was terrible – I wanted to keep you from wasting your money.  For this reason I have decided to create a new segment called “Save Ya Money”.  I hope this does not become something that is a regular occurrence, but if you know me I am ALWAYS going to tell you the truth.  Things that would appear in this segment would include food crazes that do not live up to the hype or an overall sub-par experience.  At the end of the day I don’t want you to waste your time or money.

 

 

I recently visited the new Sugar Factory location on the Upper West Side that has been open for several months.  Sugar Factory is known for their over-sized drink goblets and their celebrity sightings.  Before going to any new restaurant I normally check out their (more…)

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Categories Food

A Night at Shi

This summer I have been keeping my promise to myself and exploring places other than Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Staten Island is the like red headed stepchild no one cares about in NYC (no shade, but I guess that is shade).  But I been spending my leisure time in The Bronx and Queens.  I recently dined at Shi in Long Island City and enjoyed myself so much I wanted to share it with the D.C. Fam!

Shi is an upscale Asian Fusion restaurant, and if you know me I am extremely funny when it comes to Asian Fusion restaurants.  My logic is how can you perfect making Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese food?  Surprisingly, Shi has convinced me you can!  The menu at Shi can be slightly overwhelming since it is Asian Fusion, but for starters their menu include things such as Chicken Satay, Lychee Calamari, Fried Wontons, and Shumai.   For entrees they are ready to bless your pallet with things such as Sake Infused Chilean Seabass, Spicy Basil, Vietnamese Noodles, and Peppercorn Scallops.  Lets also not forget they have over 10 different types of specialty sushi rolls which they are all moderately priced as well.  While dining I opted for The Shrimpy roll which includes shrimp tempura and spicy tuna.

 

Menu
Vietnamese Noodles

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Categories Uncategorized

Summer X Lobster Rolls

I love lobster rolls year round but when temps reach over 80 degrees in NYC my craving just intensifies.  I wanted to share with you my go to list when it is time for me get a good crustacean roll!

 

Claw Daddy’s –  Not only do they have great lobster rolls but they also have a happy hour that is easy on the pockets.  This Cajun/Creole restaurant located in the Lower East Side is one of my first blog post as well.  Check out my previous post for all the deets!

185 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

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