With Restaurant Week currently in full swing, Funsherpa is now gathering intel on the vibrant New York food scene. We start our series, by chatting with New York’s quintessential food bloggers, Blondie and Brownie, whose online posts reveal their adventures in the New York food scene. In this feature, we discover their favorite eats, chefs, and neighborhoods!
F: What inspired you to start a food blog? And how’d you gals come up with the name?
B&B: We worked together and bonded over food. We decided to start the blog because everyone would ask us where and what to eat so we decided to put it up on the Internet. Blondie & Brownie has a few meanings for us, but the main one is a simple play on our hair.
F: What neighborhoods do you guys live in?
B&B: We both live in Brooklyn, Blondie in Greenpoint and Brownie in the greater Park Slope area. Blondie’s favorite places are Paulie Gee’s Pizza, Papacitos, Peter Pan Bakery, and in Williamsburg, Egg. Brownie loves Terrace Bagel, Song, Almondine, Grab Specialty Foods, and Cafe Grumpy.
F: If you were to choose a neighborhood in NY to live based solely on food alone, where would it be?
Blondie: Probably the East Village, there’s some really great food at decent prices and a nice variety of restaurants.
Brownie: Ditto. I lived in the Eat(s) Village in college and it was awesome to have access to such a great variety of food and because of the big NYU student population there are a lot of budget friendly options. In the close to 7 years since I left the village, the terrific dining options have only increased.
F: What’s your typical day like?
B&B: We live pretty normal lives, both of us have day jobs in Midtown. Our lunches are usually used doing recon for Midtown Lunch. When an evening doesn’t involve an event, it’s going out to dinner or doing the mundane tasks of life. Brownie recently had a baby, so her life’s pretty full with being a mom. But we both almost always end up online at some point, to put up a post, download pictures, or answer emails.
F: What are the highlights of the food you had growing up?
Blondie: My mom actually worked and went to school while I was growing up, so she wasn’t in the kitchen a whole lot, but when she would bake, it was always a treat. As any good mom does, she would always let me help out and lick the spatula and spoons afterward. It was usually traditional American-pies, cakes, cookies, but every now and then she’d make a traditional Czech dessert and those were always amazing.
Brownie: My great grandparents were Italian immigrants who settled in New Haven, CT. I grew up eating a lot of Southern Italian food and New Haven pizza (Sally’s or Modern, please!). I make a mean red sauce and clams oreganata. The other side of my family has been in New England for close to four hundred years, and I’m a New Englander through and through. I have much love for lobster, clam chowder, boiled dinner, baked bean suppers and hasty pudding.
F: What’s is your favorite restaurant in the city?
Blondie: Blondie’s favorite restaurant is probably now Shopsin’s. Everything I have there is great, I don’t mind any of their orneriness, and one of the few places I think about on a frequent basis.
Brownie: Ditto, again. I swear, we’re not the same person.
F: What’s your favorite summer al fresco restaurant in the city?
Blondie: Blondie’s favorite is Back Forty. I absolutely love their back porch, it has good lightening, good food, and you can forget you’re in the middle of NYC.
Brownie: Brownie’s favorite is the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. There’s nothing like pulling up a table in the park on a warm summer afternoon or evening and tucking into a burger or custard from the Shake Shack.
F: Who is your favorite NYC celebrity chef?
Blondie: My favorite ‘celebrity’ chef is Danny Meyer. From the restaurants he oversees to how he treats his employees, he seems like a pretty great guy. And of course, he created Shake Shack. I’m torn on the up and coming chefs because there are so many, but if I had to choose it’s be Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar. She’s willing to take chances and do something different.
Brownie: I’ll reveal my sweet tooth by saying Jacques Torres. As someone who loves to bake and appreciates the pastry arts, Mr. Torres is a legend. He’s also really nice and charming and unlike a lot of other “celebrity” chefs, I’ve actually seen him in his stores. Last summer we spied him up on a ladder stringing lights and setting up his ice cream cart in his Tribeca shop. Corwin Kave of Fatty Crab and Fatty ‘Cue is a really talented up and coming chef. I’d never pass up a meal if he is cooking.
F: It’s that time for NYC summer restaurant week again. what are your quintessential restaurant suggestions for lunch, and for dinner? Any suggestions/tips for restaurant week?
Blondie & Brownie: The best lunch I’ve had so far was at Convivio. I’m still hoping to get back there one day for a proper meal. The dinner at 10 Downing was pretty nice too. My main tip is to look at the menu if it’s been posted, treat the meal as more of a sample of a restaurant, and if your server isn’t treating you well because you’ve picked the RW menu, never patronize that place again.
Del Posto for lunch was a fantastic experience. I didn’t for one minute feel that they were treating us as lesser customers because we were there for the RW menu rather than a more expensive lunch. They brought us little cocktail samples to try at the beginning of our meal and sent us home with chocolates. One restaurant week suggestion that I always make is to check out the menu and what’s being offered, some of the restaurants offer similar pre-fixe lunch deals on a regular basis that you can try anytime, so try to choose a place where you’re really getting a special twice a year kind of offer. Delmonico’s Steak House is a quintessential and historic New York restaurant–it was one of the first restaurants in the nation and they have a terrific menu for lunch and dinner.