Lil’ Frankie’s

IMG_9219

By no means is Lil’ Frankie’s in the East Village new. They’ve been around making Neopolitan wood burning pizza and homemade pastas for years. But, this neighborhood gem also offers some delicious specials and dishes, and a super extensive wine list. So come hungry, thirsty, and hit up the ATM beforehand, since they’re cash-only. From the outside, you’d assume it was a small, intimate restaurant, but step inside, and work your way back through the winding passageways and there’s a back area, complete with a garden as well. 

IMG_9220

To start, I had their Stracciatella. It’s basically the center of buratta cheese, stuffed in a fresh tomato, and it’s so amazing. The cheese itself is rich, and super creamy, and pairing it with the firm and flavorful tomato atop olive oil and balsamic drizzle makes for a killer combination. 

IMG_9221

For my entree, I ordered one of their specials that night, Trout Almondino. This was so delicious, that I apologize in advance if it’s not a special when you’re there. The trout is filleted, and generously portioned, cooked to perfection, and topped with oil, lemon, beautiful herbs and spices, and sliced almonds. The fish is tender and so flavorful, and accompanied by a really nice, fresh spinach salad. I finished the whole thing, was full, but could have still found some room for more, it was that good.

The Shorts:
Name: Lil’ Frankie’s
Location: 19 First Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Definitely. It’s not my first time here, and it won’t be my last. With new specials always being turned out, you’re in for a treat whenever you make it in. 
Would I recommend it? Definitely. There really is something for everyone, especially if you’re a homemade pizza and pasta person. I also love one of their sister restaurants, Supper, so, check that out too. 

Superiority Burger

IMG_8384

Hype. I never believe it until I experience it. I’ve been reading a lot about the new, quick-serve, vegetarian spot, Superiority Burger in the East Village. And, being predominantly veggie myself, I knew I had to check it out.

IMG_8393

So, they’re only open from 6pm-10pm, and closed on Tuesdays, so plan accordingly. But, you’re definitely going to want to make it over. The staff is really nice and welcoming, and the menu is really easy to navigate through, only offering a handful or two of options. The portions aren’t very large, which is great, since it allows you to try different things. And, everything is affordably priced, so, even more of a reason for you to try lots of things.

IMG_8386 

First, I had their Burnt Broccoli Salad (eggplant, red chile, coriander vinaigrette). Holy hell, this was great. I really love broccoli, and it’s one of those vegetables that’s really easy to screw up. These were cooked perfectly, leaving them with a bit of crunch and char on the florets. Then you get a kick from the red chile. My favorite surprises were the chopped cashews, and then, at the bottom of the dish, there was this amazingly flavorful eggplant puree, similar to baba ganoush. 

IMG_8387

Next I had a special menu item that night. Since the daily specials are written on a paper posted to the wall, I completely forgot to take note of exactly what was in this, but, it was a potato side dish with olive oil and white wine, in some capacity. Whatever the exact composition was, it was super delicious, and I may or may not have wanted to bathe in the oils. The seasoning was on point and the potatoes were just the right balance of firm and tender, no mushy spuds here. 

IMG_8385

And then, of course, I had to get their namesake menu item, the Superiority Burger (muenster cheese, iceberg, tomato, dill pickle). I’ve had a couple veggie burgers in my day that I’ll never forget. Say what you want, call me a weirdo, but, they were amazing enough to remember. And, I’ve had some that were pure garbage. Don’t worry, this wasn’t one of them. This little guy was small but mighty. You can dress a burger, of any variety, up however you want, but it all goes back to the burger itself. The flavor here was really great, and I especially liked the texture. Some veggie burgers are only slightly softer versions of a hockey puck, and some are so mealy that they just crumble and fall apart. This one was the Goldilocks version, it was just right. So, yeah, the hype was real. 

IMG_8388

Finally, dessert. They offer gelato and sorbet grab bag, so, you gotta be up for whatever. I was. I got a cup with a scoop of Blueberry and a scoop of Labane (topped with toasted coconut). So, so good, and really went well together. The blueberry tasted just like a scoop of frozen, creamy, blueberry pie filling. And the labane, similar to the taste of greek yogurt, was just the tiniest bit tart, but instantly sweetened with the toasted coconut.

The Shorts:
Name: Superiority Burger
Location: 430 East 9th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. I had a great experience there, and with new items popping up all the time, I’ve got my work cut out for me.
Would I recommend it? Definitely. It’s mainly best to take food out, but there are little bench seats inside. It’s first come first serve (I was a lucky one who snagged up some prime real estate), so the timing has to be right, but, if not, the food will taste the same, I promise.