Uncle George's Diner in Astoria.
Lamb kebabs skewered with onions, green peppers and tomatoes, grilled to medium rare (the best for lamb, in my opinion), with tangy lemony potatoes.
Eggplant Parm Hero at Salumeria Biellese. The best, in the world, ever! They heap layers of eggplant Parmesan on a crusty portion of a loaf (the bread is magical, I can't help but get a large), sprinkled with more parm cheese and a dousing of marinara. Ask for extra marinara and many, many extra napkins.
Like I said, extra napkins.
My friend Marion's Sausage and Pepper Hero at Salumeria Biellese.
Yum Duck Salad (spicy fried crispy duck tossed in lime juice with tomato, chili pepper, pineapple chunks, red onion and ground peanuts at Yum Yum Bangkok.
I love this place because it's down the block from my first New York apartment (ah, nostalgia). My friend Dani and I hit up Yum Yum as often as we can.
Heaven on rye - Pastrami at Katz's Deli. I'm a purest when it comes to pastrami, so yellow mustard is all I'll add. This is by far the best 2 am drunk snack in NYC.
Complimentary pickle plate.
Beauty of a sammie, with potato pancakes in the background.
Harissa Falafel at Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar. One of the more popular falafel shacks in the city, after a bite, it's easy to see why this Israeli owned spot often has lines overflowing out the door. A rather perfect version of a falafel sandwich, it has a contrast of flavors and textures - the harissa falafel spicy and slightly sweet, airy and crisp, covered in smooth tahini, crunchy tangy white cabbage salad and a tart cucumber, tomato Israeli salad. I drizzled mine with their skhug Temani, a piquant blend of coriander, peppers, garlic and vinegar.
We went to an all-you-can-drink brunch at the newly opened Sunburnt Calf, part of the Sunburnt Cow chain. I indulged in far too many greyhounds, as well as the Queen Adelaide, Poached eggs, smoked salmon, slice of avocado on an English muffin topped with a heafty drizzle hollandaise.
On my last night, I went to my favorite pizzerias in the city, Arturo's. Despite being in the heart of the village, it feels warm, friendly and makes me feel like I'm at home. Also, the live jazz sure doesn't hurt. My friend Jill insists that they have the only coal oven in the city, which makes the airy, slightly charred crust magically memorable. Our pie was topped with artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and basil.