No wonder The Fat Monk got fat

The Fat Monk is a new gastropub on the Upper West Side serving all the comfort foods that you could ever want. You'll mistake the restaurant for just a bar but once you descend down the stairs you'll find yourself in a den with an open kitchen and yes...a second bar. You can smell the aroma of fried chicken, gooey mac and cheese and braised beef in the air all of which you can get on the dinner menu. Aside from the usual "yasss" moments that comfort foods can bring, the menu at The Fat Monk builds upon the typical dishes. Crab tater tots instead of just potatoes, deviled eggs with the jewel of the meat world (chicken oysters) and ramen with marrow are just the beginning of your food journey here. You can go with friends, a date or just eat by yourself at the bar because no matter the circumstance you'll fall in love with this place! 

Dungeness Crab Tater Tots with smoked chili aioli, shaved chive

Dungeness Crab Tater Tots with smoked chili aioli, shaved chive

Deviled Eggs with Chicken Fried Oyster with scallion, sambal

Deviled Eggs with Chicken Fried Oyster with scallion, sambal

Uni pasta (it was a house special when I went)

Uni pasta (it was a house special when I went)

Favorites

Crab tater tots- The stuffing is creamy with chunks of crab. The batter is absolutely delicious without too much grease which, will make it too easy to order another plate!

Deviled eggs with chicken fried oyster- This is the best plate of deviled eggs that I've had (a very close second is the one at Tuome). The fried chicken oyster is a fancier chicken nugget but the combination of the egg yolk takes it to another level!

 

Maison Pickle, younger brother of Jacob's Pickles opens on the Upper West Side

When I heard Jacob's Pickles Jacob Jadjigeorgis was expanding his empire I knew I would be a customer. Jacob's Pickles is an institution on the Upper West Side and a staple in the NYC comfort food scene that caters to the bloody mary lovers, fried chicken enthusiasts and biscuit & gravy fans. Jadjigeorgis' new restaurant Maison Pickle stays true to it's comfort food roots but elevates its menu options. You may not be able to find fried chicken biscuit sandwiches or meatloaf on the Maison Pickle menu but you will find just as good French dip sandwiches, duck fat fries, feta & olive monkey bread and bone marrow. The restaurant also offers a long list of cocktails that range from sweet, sour and stiff so rest assured that you will find something deliciously complementary for your meal. Maison Pickle is a welcome addition to the Upper West Side where there is a lack of affordable innovative restaurants. This is the perfect place for a date night, a girls night or a Friday night cocktail.  

Shrimp pillow dumplings in ginger butter, scallions and herb oil

Shrimp pillow dumplings in ginger butter, scallions and herb oil

Pull apart feta & olive garlic bread

Pull apart feta & olive garlic bread

Patty melt on buttermilk bread, American cheese, Maison special sauce served with coleslaw and au jus

Patty melt on buttermilk bread, American cheese, Maison special sauce served with coleslaw and au jus

Deluxe French dip with fried onions and gruyere fondue

Deluxe French dip with fried onions and gruyere fondue

Classic duck fat fries

Classic duck fat fries

Favorites

1. Deluxe French dip sandwich- Every part of this sandwich excites me. From the selection of the roll, the perfectly seasoned au jus, the tender beef and the richness of the fondue all of which makes me say "ahhhhh" with every bite.

2. Patty melt- I was in the mood for a burger when I ordered this dish and it exceeded my expectations. It's a generous portion of patty that is not overshadowed by the cheese or the buttery bread which are both divine in its own right. The star of this dish is the patty and rightfully so. If you're a cheeseburger lover then you will love this dish. 

3. Shrimp pillow dumplings- These dumplings are in my top 5 dumplings. The chef puts a large chunk of shrimp in each dumpling so each bite is fulfilling and the ginger butter will have you licking the bowl. It's that good. 

An afternoon eating on the Upper West Side

If you don't live on the Upper West Side you most likely never come up here. You work in midtown and you play below 14th street. I get it cool kid. Why come to the land of Upper West Side when there is so much to eat/do downtown? I'll give you a few good reasons:

On a Saturday morning as you're nursing a hangover, try to make your way up to UWS for an oasis in the city and some of the best bagels in NYC.

1. Absolute Bagels-  Incredible fresh baked bagels that have become an institution on the UWS. They're very generous with the cream cheese too so you're welcome in advance.

Whole wheat bagel, cream cheese and smoked salmon

Whole wheat bagel, cream cheese and smoked salmon

Feeling full? Walk it off in Riverside Park. As you walk alongside the Hudson River you can stop by the 103rd street dog run and wonder how your roommate would feel about you getting a dog. Don't be sad! If you ask nicely the dog owners may let you play with the pups. All this dog sight seeing must be wearing you out so grab a drink from Ellington in the Park, right across the dog park.

2. Ellington in the Park- They have great cocktails and a good selection of beer at an affordable price. If the bagel was not filling then go for the cheeseburger here. It's worth the calories.

Delicious local beer (instagram credit: @dietzycat) 

Delicious local beer (instagram credit: @dietzycat) 

It's mid afternoon and either you're not hungry (because you've had a bagel and/or a burger) or you are. In case you are then check out:

3. Xi'Ans Famous Foods- The hand pulled noodles are incredible. You cannot go wrong with the beef or lamb noodles. Just do it.

Spicy lamb noodles

Spicy lamb noodles

4. Fishtag- Great mediterranean food in a vibrant atmosphere. The lamb burger is worth the hype.

Shrimp ceviche special (instagram credit: @mpsalikas)

Shrimp ceviche special (instagram credit: @mpsalikas)

5. Sushi Yasaka- My favorite sushi spot second to Sushi Nakazawa. The price and quality makes me a regular here. The lunch deals include a 2 roll combo (with soup and salad) for $12 and a three roll combo (with soup and salad) for $16.

Spicy tuna (front), salmon avocado (back), california roll (right) 

Spicy tuna (front), salmon avocado (back), california roll (right) 

Take a break from eating before you explode and see what's happening in the Museum of Natural History. The suggestive donation will help you stay on budget after all that eating and the museum is easy to get lost in. Alternatively, Central Park is right across the museum if you're in the mood for more nature or to take pictures for Instagram. 

It's around 6pm and happy hour is fast approaching. You want to get a little buzzed before you go back down, right? I suggest E's Bar, Jake's Dilemma or my personal favorite iced margarita joint, The Heights (purely because of college nostalgia). 

Potato chips (instagram credit: @hungryhippie_)

Potato chips (instagram credit: @hungryhippie_)

See you back up here soon!