Monthly Archives: April 2013

LAMEZIA Deli – Islington,London

peanutpimpmamaLamezia Deli is where I spent Thanksgiving this past Fall. It was hardly a traditional Turkey-Day meal, but delicious it was! As the American in London, I was short of plans for this celebration with a last minute trip to “Soggies” to get involved in some volunteer construction work and project management. Looking for an affordable dinner option while on the road buying supplies here and there, I stumbled upon this Italian eatery. Overwhelmed with lots of “the things” in my hands, they gestured for us to come in and were kind enough to let me dine with my brand new shiny rake beside me.

Pictured Here: LAMEZIA store front

This was conditional on the grounds that I would rake the leaf ridden entrance behind us. (Insert ha-ha here.) On a serious note, they were very welcoming on this blustery Autumn day in spite of my atmosphere altering merchandise.

Newly purchased from Argos, I had high hopes of getting some impromptu gardening and landscaping done with that rake…

To start off our Turkey-free Turkey Day, we had them put together a lovely little antipasto plate. This was accompanied by a nice fresh basket of light and fluffy Italian bread and olive oil. Our “Antipasto”- often pronounced “Antipasta” means “before the meal” and is a traditional Italian first course. They normally include cured meats and olives, grilled and pickled vegetables and cheeses which vary according to the region… This bruschetta melted in my mouth with its olive oil drenched tomato chunks on top of the pillowy toasted tranche.

Pictured Here: House Salad

I ordered a house salad in addition to the antipasto. I have to say that the salad was fresh but boring. The olives were okay for throwing onto a pizza and into an oven, not so much a salad. Judging by the quality of everything else that came out of the kitchen, they can do a little better than this! Where is my mesculin blend and freshly grated Pecorino Romano? Where is my aged Balsamic? Where are my dark colored leaves that make me feel like “I’m doing a body good?”

Pictured Here: Pizza with Green Olives

The pizza was the main event of course, and it was nothing short of excellent! I love a nice light pizza every now and again. You know, the kind that is minus the puddle of plate drenching discharge to remind you of what you just did to your arteries. It was light and chewy with a satisfying sauce to cheese ratio. The anchovies were an unexpected and salty touch. I suppose everything has its purpose.

Our meal came to a close with a couple complementary rounds of Amaro Del Capo. This dark liquor was earthy and warming in flavor and made for a perfect digestif! While I can’t promise I’ll be back next Thanksgiving, I definitely recommend this Italian Deli for the other 364 days of the year! Their hospitality was appreciated on this holiday away from home.

Address: 165 Holloway Rd, London Borough of Islington, N7 8LX, United Kingdom

Phone:+44 20 7609 6620

~PeanutPimpMama

Bar Italia – Soho, Central London

peanutpimpmama I’ve lived in a couple of cities now, and I would have to say that London “takes the taco” when it comes to diversity. NY’ers may think that Manhattan and the boroughs are multicultural places, and to a certain extent there are culturally dominated areas. However when it comes to diversity NY could never hold a candle to London. There really are people from everywhere living in that city. It makes for a truly “United Colors of Benetton” experience to say the least. During my last trip there I went to two Italian-run venues, one happened to be for Thanksgiving dinner (hardly traditional of me as an American) and the second for coffee at Bar Italia located at 22 Frith St. in Soho, Central London.

Bar Italia: The Experience

You step into Bar Italia and you are in Italy. How good are Italians for always having the football match on TV in the dining area? It’s just not a proper Italian venue without a bunch of men glued to the screen and the walls plastered with 100 Italian flags (just in case you forgot where you were for a second).

So what’s the deal with this place? Having the reputation as “the friendliest coffee house around”, it’s old and family run, with a lot of paraphernalia on the walls to prove it. You enter the establishment and you are greeted by these guys pictured above. They’re loud, boisterous and smiley just like Italians should be! (Great Accents).

He’s very eager to take your coffee order as you stand there peering over the counter with ADD due to visual overload from “all of the things”. There’s a lot going on here. Eventually you make your way down to the pastry case for a preview of the GIANT Italian pastries and cakes. You’re probably lucky if there isn’t a crowd of people behind you forcing you to order prematurely out of pure pressure. Suddenly, this jokester catches you taking pics and he does a dance for you. You love it. Who doesn’t love a jolly dancing Italian man?

This guy makes the fluffiest dreamiest froth ever, like “it’s his job”. Oh wait it is his job! (har har)

Your beautiful caffeinated beverages and hot chocolates (in my case) are served in the appropriate mugs and cups.

Last but not least, if you don’t have time to sit at the table, or perhaps you are easily frightened by “overly caffeinated footballer fans” you take your coffee to the counter on-the-go like a true Italiano! (Pictured Here: Three Bar Italia customers enjoy their coffees at the counter pictured above. They are happy with their experience at this timeless SOHO staple. They have had a very nice day.)

Be sure to stop by for your afternoon pick-me-up! What a great way to re-charge.

www.baritaliasoho.co.uk

22 Frith St  London W1D 4RP, United Kingdom
+44 20 7437 4520

~PeanutPimpMama

Pizza Park-UES, NYC

peanutpimpmamaOne of the most amazing things about NY is the access to amazing pizza.  I feel like NY’ers might even eat more of it than Italians themselves. For one, it’s economical and relatively healthy in the realm of “fast”-er foods you can grab on-the-go. New Yorkers are ALWAYS on the go. Few things replace meals that you can buy under $5.00 which aren’t loaded with saturated fats, deep fried or packed with preservatives. I’m convinced that’s why a good pizza parlor is a staple and every neighborhood’s true must have.

Pizza Park located at 1233 1st Ave. btwn 65th-and 66th St. is a pizza parlor I had the pleasure of living above for a year (last year). It completed my experience living on the UES along with my dry cleaner/wash-and-fold provider, both neighboring my front door steps. I always thought that this specific block felt like the East Village even though it was uptown. At least I told myself that.

Why is this place so fabulous? For starters all of their pizzas are available with a wheat crust. Some might be deterred from such an option or turned off entirely, but you really don’t have to suffer for it! It’s thin (not too thin) with a nice chewy crust. In fact, I feel contrary to other whole wheat crusts I’ve had it actually adds flavor to the pizza.

Now while they offer tons of variety, the most tasty include: Buffalo Chicken, vodka & mozzarella, and what they call “Mama’s pie”. Mama’s being a thin-crust Sicilian style pie lightly drizzled with the freshest marinara sauce, a heavy dusting of parmesan cheese, aromatic basil leaves and olive oil. Bellisimo! The Mama’s slice is definitely a PeanutPimpMama favorite! It’s just the right amount of pie, a perfect afternoon snack that doesn’t leave you too full or guilty for the rest of the day. (You can still go home and finish off Mama’s home cooked dinner too!)

Pizza Park was always there when I needed that 3am snack. It saved me from a flopped dinner party once and overall helped me to survive (on the cheap) in efforts to make rent. It felt like old times, but I kind of wish I could have taken my slice upstairs to put some Frank’s Hot Sauce on it. Even though I may not live in the hood anymore, I know I’ll definitely be back.

Pizza Park offers a lot more than just pizza…Be sure to check them out and grab a menu!

Address: 1233 1st Ave, New York, NY 10065
Phone:(212) 879-6444
~PeanutPimpMama
 

Birthdays- Dalston,London

peanutpimpmamaHurry up, get set, put your “Birthday Suit” on and stay home! It’s very funny the things you realize once you get motivated to start a food blog. At first you try to spend most of your time glorifying places because you want people to read your stuff without thinking you are a jerk, or maybe talking about something you may not even be well informed of. Above all, I am learning that none of that matters anyway. You have to be honest. That’s why you are here right?

Birthdays located at 35 Stoke Newington Rd in Dalston (Dalston Kingsland tube) is a split level fun house attracting passersby with their bright two-dimensional industrial interior, Mexican-English fusion menu and loud boom boom music emanating from below. Upon first glance it’s a confusing situation. You might think you have just stumbled upon a gallery space let-out to an up and coming artist with a large budget for catering (and DJ entertainment). There is something unnatural about the white space, fluorescent lighting and lack of “cruising factor” inside.

The Experience:

With two dining areas awkwardly located to the right and just left of the bar, it appears to be right smack-up against the glass door entrance. We came in and awkwardly stood there figuring out what to do. Eventually we found a couple of people convening at the bar that seemed like they might work there. After asking to be seated we were given a two top off to the left near the staircase. This was a little better for couples allowing you to hear one another while the acoustics seemed poor on the other side.

After looking at the menu, I was sold by the Mexican flare. However, if you are a vegetarian you will have very limited choices at this venue. Look what happened when I ordered the salad for instance! Beautiful lettuce hearts arrived with delicious sun-dried tomatoes, sweet corn kernels and yet they sprinkled blood sausage all over it. This completely threw me for a loop. Try sending something back to the kitchen in London. I dare you.

We were looking for some quick appetizers and this was the perfect place to do it. All of the plates were small. They were not marketed as “small plates” but small they were. This Green Chilli Mac N’ Cheese was jam packed with cheesy goodness. It may be tiny, but it was also oily, chewy, and the chilli mayonaise on top of the slightly crusted cheesy layer sent it to the next level. Do not eat this if you are on a diet. It will destroy you. (money back guarantee)

My date decided to go with the Fried Haddock Role with Black Aioli. Remarks: “It was okay. Nothing to write home about. Overall it was dry, and the bread was stale.” It was definitely visually appealing to say the least, standing a solid six inches off the plate with a nice and thickly sliced wedge of tomato pressed along side the battered fish patty, with crisp greens in a perky little roll. I guess you “can’t judge a book by its cover,” nor a fish sandwich by it’s bun.

Crash, bang, boom! (FAIL). We finished our entire meal before the under-welming Margies made it to the table. The margaritas were actually “okay” by the general Euro-standard, (Europe) being the hardest continent to purchase a decent-Rita on in the first place. I did however ask for salt and that never happened.

So what’s the deal?…For saying this entire photo shoot happened after receiving all three plates and the drinks still hadn’t made it out from the bar, there really is no excuse. It seems like this place is new and still needs to iron out a few kinks. On their website, the owners discuss how they were inspired to start the business run by two teams essentially (the music guys and the foodie guys). The disconnect between the music guys and Rita’s Bar & Dining (handling the foodies) is evident. It really does feel like two entirely different businesses floundering under one roof. However, they seem to get some BIG music names into their venue which you can keep tabs on with their Facebook page and Twitter.

Sunday – Thursday 12:00-00:00
Friday – Saturday 12:00-03:00

 ~PeanutPimpMama