All posts by Johnny Prime

Mighties

Mighties is a new burger joint that just opened in the Market Line food hall at Essex and Delancey. Their regular burger is two 5oz patties with American cheese, LTOP and special sauce. Notice how thin the toppings are sliced… Expert level.

This thing is pretty damn great, and with Ends Meat beef in the mix, you know you’re getting meat from a small farm operation with fresh hanging beef that went directly from the farm to the butchers in Brooklyn after being split in half.

They also have some amazing hot dogs on the menu:

And on Fridays they offer a dry aged burger that will blow you away.

This is a 7oz beast that really brings the funk.

I think this might be my new favorite burger in town for this fast-casual style.

Want something secret/special that’s off the menu? Ask Nash or Fabian for the chopped cheese fries. Killer!

I’m psyched that this is in my hood now. I’ll be here pretty often!

MIGHTIES
115 Delancey St
New York, NY 10002

Esora Omakase

I was recently invited to try a new Wagyu and tempura Omakase restaurant connected to J-Spec in the East Village, called Esora.

This was one of the most incredible Omakase experiences I’ve had. We started with a trio of appetizers: wagyu tartare + uni, scallop + caviar, and tofu.

All were excellent, but the wagyu tartare and uni was possibly the best bite of the night!

Next up was sashimi. More wagyu strip, as well as sea bream and blue fin tuna.

Wagyu sushi? YUP! We got a taste of both Hida and Ozaki strip here. Torched (Ozaki), and raw (Hida).

The tempura portion of the meal was so much fun, and the bites seemed to just keep coming!

Prawn heads (and bodies):

Okra:

Magochi fish:

Maitake mushroom!

Tenderloin wrapped in shiso leaf. Awesome!

Corn:

Scallop:

Squash blossom and Japanese pumpkin:

Sea Eel:

And finally, sweet potato:

We washed that down with a really tasty seafood and mushroom soup, served in a nice tea kettle with citrus (dobinmushi).

Next, we had STEAK! Wagyu strip from Hida:

…and from the Ozaki family brand:

Check this out!

I liked the Ozaki a bit better:

There was also sea bream rice with ikura:

And finally, dessert: earl grey tea panna cotta, roasted green tea, and peach compote.

I highly recommend this place. Make sure to call ahead at least 24hrs before booking. There are only seven seats at the bar with the chef, and there are a limited number of seatings each day.

ESORA OMAKASE
239 E 5th St
New York, NY 10003

The White Spot

This old school stool seating diner has been around for a long time in the UVA area. My wife and I were in town for a wedding, so I had to try this place. We tried the Double Gus Burger, which is two thin patties, with American cheese and an egg. I’m generally not a huge fan of egg on a burger, but this one really hit home.

Great onions rings and fried hot dog too.

We finished off with a slice of lemon pie too. This joint was exactly what I wanted it to be. Cheap, delicious grub.

THE WHITE SPOT
1407 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Boylan Heights

This joint serves up nice thick dry aged burgers, sourced from a local farm.

Excellent. I was really impressed!

I’d pass on the wings though. They needed both more seasoning and more crisp.

BOYLAN HEIGHTS
102 14th St NW
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Banh Mi Co Ut

This little Vietnamese sandwich joint in Chinatown serves up some of the best I’ve had. The bread really sets this place apart from the rest.

At this point, I’ve tried about six different kinds, and my favorite is the #4, the traditional sandwich but with SMOKED Viet ham rather than regular. I also like to order with hot peppers and extra cilantro. They don’t charge!

BANH MI CO UT
83 Elizabeth St
New York, NY 10013

Bacaro

I’m officially hooked on this place. A while back, my wife and I stopped in for a drink and an app – the fritto misto. We were already sort of full, but that pplate of mixed fried items like calamari, olives, lemon rinds, shrimp, and artichoke really made us want to go back.

Last night we finally did! We tried two more apps, meatballs and fried zucchini blossoms. Both were incredible. In fact, the meatballs are some of the best I’ve had outside of family.

The fried zucchini blossoms are stuffed with velvery smooth ricotta and served with an anchovy pesto oil. I liked swiping them in the meatball sauce though.

The pasta entrees are pretty large servings! Check out this massive bowl of gnocchi with peas and mushrooms.

The cavatelli with duck meat ragu was a massive serving too.

They had to be half a pound each. We couldn’t finish! I’ll definitely be back here to try more pastas, and perhaps one or two of the fish items from their entree menu.

BACARO
136 Division St
New York, NY 10002

Little Rebel

I came here with my wife and another couple to try out some of the menu items, as this place just recently opened about a month ago.

We tried two flavors of wings: maple waffle, and everything bagel. My favorite was the everything bagel. They even came with little blobs of creamed cheese.

The popcorn shrimp was addictive. I could easily eat 3 bowls

Massive chicken sandwich, topped with excellent quality thick cut bacon.

Both regular and truffle fries are great as well. And the burger was executed perfectly.

The pork belly was a bit too sweet from the candied orange on top, but otherwise it was very nicely cooked and tender.

They also have some really creative coctails.

Definitely give this place a shot. For bar food, this place has an elegant setting and some really high quality menu items.

LITTLE REBEL
219 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Baker & Co.

My wife and I came here with another couple for a double date. We started with the pizzette that was on special, which involved squash, figs and balsamic:

Excellent. The fried calamari was great too, and, in fact, was mixed with fried shrimp and artichoke as well.

Speaking of artichokes, this fried artichoke salad was probably the low key winner of the starters.

For my main, I had the paccheri with lamb ragu and fava beans. Delicious!

My wife’s duck with black truffle and mushrooms entree was the winner, however. I wish I took a pic.

Dessert: Vanilla panna cotta. Perfection.

I would definitely go back here for another meal. They have a dry aged burger on the menu – maybe I’ll try that!

BAKER & CO.
259 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014

Joe Junior

This joint came highly recommended by a food reviewer and meat expert friend of mine, Nick Solares. He has waxed eloquent about the burger here many times!

It’s deceptively simple. Nick ordered it for me: Rare, simply seasoned with just salt, and seared on the plancha, with cheese melted on both sides of the bun.

I have to say, for under $8 (sans fries), this thing rivals many of our city’s great steakhouse burgers. They’re using real quality ground beef, and they certainly know how to cook it. Rare was warm to the touch in the center, but not much bleed out or drips on the plate. Impressive.

And total steal at that price point. Go give it a shot!

JOE JUNIOR
167 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Syosaku Knives

Check it out – I did a sharpness test with this beautiful sujihiki knife that I got from Syosaku:

Awesome! Grape tomatoes weigh almost nothing, so that blade is sharp as hell!!!

I whipped it out at a cookout last week and it was a hit. Check out the prep and also the final slicing here, with some tenderloin tail tacos:

These knives are great! If you think you want to buy one, follow THIS LINK.