Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a NYC based food and travel website that views various dining scenes and destinations through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated thirty-something.



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My delicious calendar
  • 10/26: Macallan tasting event
  • 11/16: dinner at Hwa Yuan
  • 12/28-1/1: Charleston
  • 12/29: dinner at Husk
  • 6/16/18: Josh & Adela's wedding
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Entries in News you can actually use (101)


NY Mexican Food Lovers Meetup Group

Dear readers,

Many of you are aware of my undying passion for all-things-Mexican food, as seen in so many of my restaurant choices and personal recipes.  Also, I've dabbled in a Mexican-centric website, catering, and NYC walking tours and, in early 2011, started a Meetup group aptly named "The New York Mexican Food Lovers Group."  To say that I'm obsessed with this cuisine would be to put it very mildly.

So, what's the point of this post?  Well, I'd like it to serve as an invitation.  One of the cool things that we're doing with The New York Mexican Food Lovers Group is a Mexican Supper Club.  Once/month, NYC-based members will get together for brunch, cocktails & appetizers, or dinner - whichever is deemed most convenient for everyone - at a Mexican restaurant in one of the five boroughs (most likely Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens).  So if you have any interest in joining the Group, we'd love to have you.  It's free, it's fun, and we all have one thing in common: we LOVE Mexican food.  Click here to join!


Besos y abrazos!

The Lunch Belle


Mexican Supper Club: constantly searching for the NYC's Mexican food "holy grail"


Sneak Peak: Rosa Mexicano to introduce delicious new menu items!

Last night, I had the pleasure of being invited to an "Exclusive Blogger Tasting Event" for Rosa Mexicano's new menu rollout!


Not to worry, my fellow die-hard Rosa fans, you can still enjoy all of the staples on the original menu.  It's just that, now, there's even more to love!  And best of all?  The new items are as delicious as they are reasonably priced. 

< Click here to view the new lunch menu / click here to view the new dinner menu! >


Tacos de Hamachi, $15  Mini hard-shell tacos filled with diced yellowtail, bacon, serrano chile, arugula, and truffle oil.


Tiradito de Callo de Hacha, $13  Marinated scallops, burnt orange-chile vinaigrette, grilled pineapple, poblano peppers and hazelnuts.


Vegetales Tacos, $9-$11 (lunch vs. dinner)  Local vegetables from Satur & BloomingHill farms, Burns Farms huitlacoche, silken tofu, pickled cabbage puree and Poc Chuc salsa.


Panza con Callos de Hacha Tacos, $14  Seared diver scallops, crisp Kurobuta pork belly, orange-habanero salsa.


Carnitas de Borrego Tacos, $12-$14 (lunch vs. dinner)  Roasted American lamb, marinated cucumbers, pistachio-habanero puree, mint salsa verde.


Pollo Yucateco Tacos, $10-$12 (lunch vs. dinner)  Spiced organic chicken, plantains, sweet peppers, chile de arbol salsa, crema.


Carne Asada Tacos, $12-$14 (lunch vs. dinner)  Ancho-rubbed Harris Ranch skirt steak, white beans, radish salad and cana de cama crema.


Pescado de Baja Tacos, $10-$12 (lunch vs. dinner)   Line-caught crispy local fish, jalapeno tartar sauce, flour tortilla.


Papas Fritas con Mole, $5-$6 (lunch vs. dinner)  Hand-cut garlic French fries with mole.


Now, as if all of the above wasn't enough to nosh on, Rosa generously provided us bloggers with two of the legendary menu items that originally put them on the map...


Frozen Pomegranate Margarita, $11.50  Silver tequila, pomegranate and lime juices, frozen to perfection.


Guacamole en Molcajete, $14  Famous tableside preparation served with two salsas and tortillas.


Here are some delicious tidbits of information that I learned at the event last night:

  • Now serving...Taco & Tequila Flights! 
  • The bar only uses fresh lime juice and agave nectar in their margaritas.  In *all* of their margaritas!
  • Rosa has a location in Panama City, Panama!
  • ...but NYC is the restaurant's birth place.  In fact, Rosa is headquartered right here in Midtown!
  • For 2012, Chef Jonathan Waxman is Rosa's Culinary Advisor.  Pretty cool, eh?


My favorite item on the new menu is:

  • Pescado de Baja Tacos


Did you know:

  • Rosa has an incredibly delicious and affordable happy hour program!  Click here to check out the menu/details.



Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Blechtacular: an interactive NY Health Dept. ratings map!

Headed to dinner tonight?  Curious to know whether or not your beau's restaurant of choice got tacked for "evidence of rodents" during its most recent visit from the Health Department?  Me too!  Click here for the blechtacular, interactive map!


Until we puke eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Opening TODAY! The Hummus & Pita Co.

  • Restaurant  The Hummus & Pita Co.
  • Cuisine  Mediterranean/Middle Eastern
  • Location  585 6th Avenue (near 17th St.), Manhattan
  • Phone  212-510-7405
  • Directions  Hopstop
  • Atmosphere  fast casual, spacious, eat-in or take-out, modern
  • Attire  casual
  • Ideal for  small groups, 1x1, foodies, take-out lunch or dinner
  • Price  affordable

There are many perks about being a food blogger.  But, if I had to choose, I'd have to say that getting invited to incredible events, restaurant previews, and tastings would be numero uno. 

Last night, I was sent to a restaurant preview party in my own neck of the woods:  The Hummus & Pita Co.  This isn't your typical "fast casual" Mediterranean, folks.  Think an "assembly line," of sorts, a-la-Chipotle, where you build your own dish from the following delectable ingredients:  handmade regular/whole wheat pita and laffa breads (laffa is a flatbread) baked fresh in the tandoori oven, in-house taboon-roasted meats, falafel, original and flavored hummus varieties, bourekas (my personal favorite), gyro, shawarma, schnitzel, 23 different salads, soups, and handmade desserts!  Additionally, there are 6 types of domestic and international (think Morocco, Greece, and Israel) beers available.  Whew! 

With all of these decisions, there's still one more that guests need to make:  dine-in or take-out?  Should one choose to stay put, they will certainly enjoy viewing the culinary acrobatics behind the glass enclosed open kitchen.  Natural stone walls and eco-conscious design elements create a warm and inviting atmosphere.  Oh, and did I mention that there's *free* Wifi?

And, now...the fun part!  Please enjoy my captioned photo collage, below:

Tandoori ovenSpit-roasted gyro and shawarma

Seasoned pita crisps!Warm, freshly-baked pita breadHalf and half: (left) pita bread, (right) laffa flatbreadHummus love!Assorted hummus varietiesAssorted veggiesHerbed carrotsChopped Israeli saladI had a fantastically delicious evening at The Hummus & Pita Co.  From the lovely space to the incredibly fresh, handmade food, I am confident that this single operation on 6th Avenue will soon become a multi-location franchise.  As far as fast-casual Mediterranean goes, there's nothing on the landscape quite like it in terms of space, variety, ingredients, and a commitment to making and baking and roasting everything in-house/from scratch.  I'm so thrilled to be able to tell you all, with enthusiasm, to get over to The Hummus & Pita Co. and experience this delicious concept for yourselves!


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle     


I'm back! Plus, my arsenal of NYCentric Thanksgiving websites

Can you all believe that Thanksgiving is almost one week away?  Seriously, where has the time gone?  This year will be the first time, since 2006, that I will be "home" (with my family in Texas) for my favorite holiday.  And you know what?  I can hardly wait to board that south-bound plane and escape the rat race for a handful of days.  God knows how badly I need this break. 

And speaking of the rat race/being crazed:  For those of you who read The Lunch Belle on a regular basis, I want to apologize for my dramatic lag in posting.  Since the beginning of the fall, I have had my hands completely tied, due mostly in part to accepting an amazing leadership position where I plan events for an "extracurricular" volunteer organization.  This role is in addition to my 'day-job' at an investment bank - The Lunch Belle - and volunteering for yet another non-profit.  My life is happy and full - I'm *not* complaining or whining - but I do realize that I've been molasses-slow to post, and I'm sorry about that.  Additionally, I owe you my iPhone/iPad application, which I hope will be completed very soon.   

So, on that note - and with the impending arrival of Thanksgiving - I'd like to know, what do you have planned? 

  • How do you and your family celebrate my favorite holiday of the calendar year? 
  • Do you have any wacky/quirky food traditions?
  • Is watching football a big deal at your house/celebration? 
  • What time do you eat Thanksgiving "supper," during lunch or dinner?

*And, last but certainly not least, I wanted to share some of my favorite informational websites with those of you who are staying in/coming to the NYC area next week:

  • Looking for a restaurant that serves Thanksgiving supper?  Click here for a full list and to make a free table reservation!
  • Looking to stay-in and have someone else do all of the 'dirty work?'  Click here for a list of Thanksgiving take-out options/prepared meals.
  • Click here for pertinent information regarding Macy's Thanksgiving Parade 2011
  • Too busy to bake that pie yourself?  Then order one from critically acclaimed M. Wells Diner's pastry chef, Brenna!  You know it'll taste way better than your version, anyway.  My dear friend, "Flywheel Christine," highly recommends the Coconut-Cream.  Click here to view the menu and place your order today!  But hurry, because after November 20th, prices will rise dramatically.  


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Fall 'nom nom noms' at Num Pang Sandwich Shop

...because it's about time that someone incorporated the Fall season in to their everyday 'fast casual' menu.  Props to you, Num Pang Sandwich Shop!

Beverage: Hot ginger-apple cider with bourbon-infused Roma apple chunks

Platter: Maple BBQ turkey wings with spicy papaya slaw


  • Oven-roasted turkey breast with ginger-cranberry jam
  • Spicy boneless pork spare rib with tamarind glaze
  • Roasted kadota figs with bacon and chilis


  • Lemongrass beef stew w/ pickled soy sprouts
  • Roasted pumpkin with coconut cream and basil croutons


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

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