Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a food website/blog that views the New York City + Los Angeles dining scenes through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated, critical, adorably quirky, and culinary-obsessed thirty-something year old.

Just consider me your one-stop NYC - and, most recently, Los Angeles - shop!



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Chocolate, peanut butter, and Niman Ranch beef: Recuperating with MUNCHERY

One of the pluses of living in LA is that my folks, who reside in Texas, are just a non-stop flight away.  So when I learned that I had to have surgery, I asked my mom to come in town and take care of me.  #MamasGirl #8GoingOn35

In planning our meals for that week, Mom mentioned that it would be a good idea for us to make a large supermarket run so that we could nosh and nest without having to leave my apartment.   "That's cute and all, Mom," I said, "but you don't even cook!  What are we going to eat for dinner, popcorn?"  She laughed.  "It's true, though!" I exclaimed.  "And it's not like I'll be able to cook."  She agreed.  Granted, there was always Blue Apron (too labor intensive) or Seamless Web (the options in LA suck) and Postmates/Caviar (great selections, but too expensive), but I had a better idea...

Munchery, a meal delivery service that I had already been utilizing for a few weeks leading up to my surgery, could not have been a better option for those first few post-operative days.  And nights.  With meals and snacks created by local chefs (think along the lines of LA's very own Roy Choi) who have worked at some seriously brag-worthy restaurants (ahem, Spago and Providence to name a few), each chilled order is hand-delivered to your door, literally "ready to heat when you want to eat."  Here's the nitty-gritty of how it all works!

With the ability to peruse Munchery's menu for the upcoming week, I ordered the following selections - to be delivered between 6-7PM - for the eve post my procedure:

With the exception of the mediocre tortilla soup, every other dish was, quite literally, life-altering.  I mean, who the hell would have thought that you could savor one of the best burgers YOU'VE EVER HAD IN YOUR LIFE (yes, I really just said that) courtesy of a meal delivery service?  In the comfort of your own home, no less!  Well, when you start with a patty is constructed of sous-vide cooked Niman Ranch ground beef, you already know that you're in for something incredibly special.  Add to that an assortment of crucial "make-your-own-burger" accoutrement: Brioche bun, California cheddar, apple wood-smoked bacon, sliced red onion, caramelized onions, sliced tomato, butter lettuce, mayo, ketchup, and a secret sauce.  And some really, really delicious and salty kettle-cooked potato chips.

Photo courtesy of Munchery

I may have still been high from the anesthesia, but here's one sensation that I will not soon forget: When I took my first bite of the Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart, I had a full-body orgasm.  With a buttery, crumbly, chocolate-cookie crust that gave way to a generous amount of creamy homemade peanut butter suffocated by a layer of chocolate ganache, how could I not??  Oh my fcuking god.  WOW!    

Photo found on Pinsta.Me

For those of you who don't live in LA, I pity you.  Why?  Because you will never taste these fcuking glorious items.  However, with Munchery available in other US cities - SF, Seattle, and NYC - I'm confident that there are plenty of stellar meals/snacks that I will never get to experience, either.  I suppose it's a fair trade-off!

Want to check out Munchery for $10 off your first two orders?  CLICK HERE!  Oh, and you're welcome in advance ;-)


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle



The Amazing PIZZA Race: get your *discounted* tickets here!  

On Sunday, September 25, at 12:30 PM, Neighborhood Eats and POGO Events are teaming up to present The Amazing PIZZA Race - an exciting and delicious contest taking place in the busy streets of NYC.  Teams of hungry New Yorkers will race around Manhattan, following a set of clues leading to various pizzerias all over town.  At each location, the teams will get to sample a variety of mouth-watering pizza pies, all while having an Amazing Race and adventure!  As an added bonus, all participants will receive a one year membership to the Neighborhood Eats dining program!

Best of all?  Because you’re a loyal ‘Lunch Belle’ reader, use this code to get 50% off of the original ticket price upon checkout: lunch1.  So, what are you waiting for?  Buy your tickets (and get more infoHERE!

To find out more about Neighborhood Eats go to http://www.neighborhood-eats.com

To find out more about POGO Events go to


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


"Hop to" this hot deal for 'Lunch Belle' readers!

Life in NYC is trying; it will test every last strand of your patience.  And, just when you think you have it all figured out, the mean streets of Gotham will hurl yet another curve ball your way. 

Have you ever found yourself in one of the following situations?

  • Your apartment (or "space," if you live in NYC) has turned in to a scene from Hoarders, and you're getting to the point where you'd rather be anywhere - even at work! - other than home.  You've considered hiring a maid but, after looking at prices, realized that it's out of your budget.
  • You live in an apartment building without all of the bells and whistles (read: no doorman or maintenance staff), and/or you and "Mr. Fix-it" are no longer dating.  Face it, you need help: installing that chandelier - hanging drapes - mounting your flat screen television to the exposed brick wall across from the sofa - rearranging furniture to make your space more "feng shui" - etc.
  • "Oh, wait.  I have to assemble this IKEA furniture myself?"
  • "I really want the iPhone 4 (or whatever number they're on now), but I don't have time to stand in that god awful line at the Apple store.  Now what??"
  • You're moving to a new apartment and don't want to hire an expensive company. 
  • You need to exchange your current cable box for a newer one at Time Warner, but their hours perfectly match the ones at your day job.  How is this going to work?
  • Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

Does any of the above sound familiar? 

Just when I thought that I was on the brink of yet another NYC-induced melt down, fate stepped in: I was introduced to Task Rabbit, a company created to make the lives of us on-edge New Yorkers (and folks in Boston, the San Fransisco Bay area, Los Angeles, and Orange County) that much easier.   

What is Task Rabbit?  A service that connects you/me with "rabbits," or employees (all of whom have successfully completed a multi-step application processs, including a criminal background check, video interview, and essay), who can help you get the job done.  Whatever that job may be.  Think Craigslist, minus the "Is this legit?" factor.

How does Task Rabbit work?  Post your desired task on the website, including how much money you will pay for the job.  Now, sit back while "rabbits" make you offers!  And don't worry, your credit card will not be charged until the task is closed.  

Watch the video, below, for a super quick interactive tour! 

So, what's in it for you?  Because you're a 'Lunch Belle' devotee, Task Rabbit is giving you $30 to use towards your first Task!  Considering that each Task typically goes for $20-$30, this is a HUGE deal and savings! 

So, are you ready to make your life a little bit easier?  Free up some time in that busy schedule of yours?  Then click here to get started - and please use the following $30 discount code upon checkout: TLBREADERS 

***FYI: this code is good for all locations that Task Rabbit covers: NYC, Boston, San Fransisco Bay area, Los Angeles, and Orange County, CA***

You're welcome, in advance!


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


2/3/2011: Come 'n get served by Top Chef's Angelo Sosa!


Angelo Sosa, two-time Top Chef contestant and my celebrity crush, will personally debut his signature Shrimp Masala Roll at both The Kati Roll Company locations on Thursday, February 3, 2011.  “I am a huge fan of The Kati Roll Company and the intensity of their spice blends inspired me to go bold, but sustain balance with the freshness of the coconut-marinated shrimp.  It was a great experience to work on my own interpretation of this classic Indian street food.”   

And, seriously, how freaking delicious does the Shrimp Masala Roll's description read: The shrimp, marinated in coconut milk and chaat masala spices, is cooked over a open-flame grill and placed in a warm paratha, topped with sweet and sour marinated red onions and birdseye chilis, which add just the right amount of heat, and finished with a swath of cilantro sauce.  Are you drooling yet?  I certainly am.

Come join Angelo as he debuts his Shrimp Masala Roll!

Date: Thursday, February 3rd

Where & when: 2 locations, 2 times


Read it & eat!

The Lunch Belle



You're invited! Book signing + cocktails & hors d'oeuvres

Save the date, because on Wednesday, January 19th, you're invited to a free book signing!  And, if you're one of the first 75 guests to arrive, you'll receive a complimentary signed copy of Giuliano Bugialli’s (an award-winning Italian food author and teacher) “Foods of Naples and Campania.”


Where: Azure, 333 E. 91st Street, NYC 10128 (this is a super luxe condo, not a restaurant)

When: Wednesday, January 19th

Time: 5:30 - 7pm

*See official invite, below:


Read it & eat,

The Lunch Belle


Wednesday, 12/8: complimentary tea + champagne + massages at Molton Brown

*Friendly reminder*

Does it even get any better than this?  Mmm, I don't think so.  

Enjoy, dear readers!