When we lived in Charlottesville, Rob and I would often go to a restaurant within walking distance of our apartment called Zinburger. Their happy hours food specials were unbeatable and the quality of food was fantastic. We especially loved the Parmesan zucchini fries that we often split for an appetizer. Seriously, so good.
Last week, I decided to take a stab at a somewhat healthier version of those zucchini fries, and they turned out to be a home run. I looked down at the plate after a couple minutes and they were all gone :). Thought I’d share a new favorite in our house!
Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks
What you need: 1 large zucchini (find one straight and with an even thickness throughout)
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (I used the stuff in the can, but feel free to splurge on freshly grated!)
1 dash of crushed red pepper
What you do: Begin by slicing the zucchini in half width-wise, then slice each chunk in half length-wise until you get sticks about the size of pickle spears. Mix the bread crumbs, parmesan, and crushed red pepper in a bowl. Break the egg into another bowl and whisk. Dip each zucchini stick in the egg and then in the bread crump mixture, coating well. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 325 for about 20 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. We dipped ours in buffalo sauce (Rob’s favorite) but Ranch sounds delicious, too!
An interesting thing about New York City restaurants: they love their queso fundido, but not queso queso.
At most Mexican restaurants, you’ll find queso fundido on the menu, which is a baked cheese dip served in a skillet, often with chorizo on top. And it’s delicious, but it’s not quite the same (or as good) as the queso I know and love.
So! When our friends told us about a new Tex-Mex place called Javelina that recently opened in Gramercy with real queso, we knew we had to check it out. We decided to go all out and get the queso sampler before diving into our fajitas. Such a good decision – we tried three different queso concoctions and, while I could easily devour all of them, I especially loved the white queso.
Though a small restaurant on E. 18th Street, Javelina does take reservations (a huge plus for NYC restaurants!). They also have extremely friendly service and delicious margaritas :). I can’t wait to go back!
While you can find a Smorgasburg location on most days of the week, we love Sundays by the Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is truly a food lover’s paradise. Dozens and dozens of local food and drink vendors set up shop, preparing unique specialties. Rob and I met up with a couple friends to eat our way through, and I think we hit the jackpot with every single thing we ordered. We shared several dishes and drinks – and then had to walk it all off with a beautiful stroll through Brooklyn Bridge Park toward the Brooklyn Bridge.
Let’s see… we shared double layer nachos, a Greek lamb burger, a pulled pork sticky rice boat, and Filipino pork spring rolls, plus mint lemonade, passion fruit mint limeade, and an Arnold Palmer slushie to cool us off. You truly can’t go wrong with anything you order at Smorgasburg, and the various cuisines make it so much fun. Be sure to take cash so you don’t have to wait in line or pay a fee at the on-site ATM! Be prepared for lots of people, lots of food, and great views of lower Manhattan.