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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

Latest Subway Reading

Need a book to keep you company on the subway? This is what you can catch me reading!

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Coming Up: Free Yoga in Times Square

It’s the annual Summer Solstice event in Times Square, where you can take free yoga classes on June 21. All you have to do is bring your yoga mat and sign up for a class here! I don’t remember having to RSVP in past years, but I guess you do these days – there are still a few classes that are not sold out, so I’d recommending getting a free ticket today.

Munchery Now Delivers in Brooklyn – Plus $20 Credit

Good news if you live in Brooklyn! Munchery is now delivering to your borough! I wrote about Munchery back in April but if you don’t remember or are new to the blog, Munchery munchery creditoffers chef-made meals that are delivered straight to your door. Each day there is a daily menu, with dishes created from chefs at some very famous restaurants (yes, my sushi last night was from a chef from Blue Ribbon and Nobu). Unlike Seamless, if you are feeling sushi and your boyfriend is feeling BBQ, you can order both meals on one order. Nutrition facts are included, and you can choose in addition to main entrees, sides, salads, desserts and drinks. There are even kids menus too. Menus change daily so you could order Munchery every day for a week and never get bored.

Dishes are fully cooked and chilled for maximum freshness and served in over and microwave-safe containers for easy heating in less than 10 minutes.

I encourage you to give Munchery a try – click here to get a free $20 credit (I get a credit too for the referral, but I’m sure once you get started, you’ll be sharing your personal referral link with all your friends).

Reminder: Get Free and Cheap eBooks Thanks to BookBub

I shared this post awhile back, but this is a great reminder, especially if you are traveling this summer. If you have a Kindle, Nook, or the Kindle app on your smartphone, I recommend signing up for BookBub. BookBub is a free daily newsletter that alerts you to discounted or free eBooks. All you have to do is sign up for the newsletter, indicate what type of e-reader you have and what kind of books you are interested in. You’ll then get tailored recommendations that link directly to Barnes & Noble or Kindle so you can purchase and download your books.

Sign up for BookBub here!


Free Iced Tea at Teavana Tomorrow

Wednesday marks National Iced Tea Day. To celebrate, visit participating Teavana stores all day on June 10 to receive a free 16-ounce Pineapple Berry Blue iced tea, no purchase requiredpineapple berry blue (one free Pineapple Berry Blue iced tea per customer). There are a few stores in NYC – 9th and Broadway, Broadway and 81st, Madison and 84th, 63rd and 3rd, Queens Center Mall and Staten Island Mall.

To continue the iced tea celebration and learn how to brew loose leaf tea at home, customers can visit participating Teavana stores June 11 – June 14 from 3-6pm local time for 50 percent off an iced tea beverage.

Disclosure: During the day, I do PR and Teavana is my client. 

Check out The Spoils, Now Through June 28

I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’m not a play person. I much rather would see a musical any day of the week. But when I got an invite to see The Spoils staring Jesse Eisenberg, I figured why not?

I loved it. It was one of the first plays I had seen in awhile where I went through so many emotions – I found some parts hysterical, other parts truly sad, some parts I thought Jesse Eisenberg’s character, Ben, was just a real – for lack of a better word – dick. Why? Well, the main character has been kicked out of grad school, lives off his parents’ money, and bullies everyone in his life, including his roommate Kalyan, an earnest Nepalese immigrant. When Ben discovers that his grade school crush is marrying a straight-laced banker, he sets out to destroy their relationship and win her back.

With the characters in their 20s, I found it easy to relate to and thought Jesse Eisenberg did a fantastic job playing Ben – although my friend Hailey commented that he does tend to play similar characters, the type of character that just word vomits whatever he’s thinking rapidly. I also loved Kalyan, played by Kunal Nayyar from Big Bang Theory. You just wanted him to succeed so badly throughout the entire show as an immigrant. I also loved the actress, Erin Darke, who played Ben’s high school crush (and is Daniel Radcliffe’s girlfriend) – despite the crap Ben put her through, she was so sympathetic to him and so kind.

Rush tickets are available one hour before the performance for $27 or you can purchase them online.



Free Doughnuts Tomorrow for National Doughnut Day

Tomorrow, June 5, is National Doughnut day. Snag a sweet treat at:

Try the Meatballs at fresh&co

I know, the title of this post sounds funny as you’d probably expect me to suggest trying the meatballs at an Italian restaurant (like a Luigi’s, Vincenzo’s) but I’ve been raving about meatballsthese meatballs ever since I tried them right before Memorial Day.

fresh&co recently partnered with Donatella Arpaia and are offering her meatballs – a third-generation recipe – three different ways – there’s Amazewich (the meatball sandwich), the Amazebowl (meatballs in a quinoa bowl) and Amazeballs (meatballs in the cold case you can bring home). When we walked through the store to look at all the meatball offerings we were surprised why anyone would just buy meatballs and then bring them home. But then I tasted them. And I understood why you might just buy the meatballs and bring them home and put your own twist on them in a recipe because they were phenomenal.

The meatballs were made of veal – now I didn’t think I liked veal but in these meatballs, they were fantastic. The Amazewich, with it’s fresh mozzarella and cheese and pesto bread was SO freaking good I wouldn’t let myself finish it because I wanted to try other things, and then come back to it so that was the last taste in my mouth.  It was honestly one of my favorite lunches I’ve had in a while, and I definitely cannot wait to have this sandwich again.

I also tried the Amazebowl, which has meatballs, quinoa, spinach, grape tomatoes, caramelized onions, and basil vinaigrette, topped with basil & freshly grated parmesan cheese. This felt a little different since I’m so used to eating meatballs with sauce but if you aren’t a huge sauce fan, it’s another great way to enjoy meatballs. It was delicious and didn’t feel as indulgent if you are looking for something on the healthier side. But if I had my choice, the Amazewich would be my lunch every day.

There are 12 fresh&co’s around the city and they do deliver. Find one near you. And if you try them soon, a portion of the meatball proceeds will be donated to City Harvest and Friends of Karen.

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary lunch from fresh&co for me and a friend, but I REALLY loved these meatballs.


My Favorite Bar is Closing – Check Out The Wharf This Weekend

When I was 22, I was introduced to The Wharf - a bar on 39th and 3rd. Every few weeks, my coworkers and I would trek over from 32nd and Park. We went for the discounted beers (two beers on special all night long) and for the nachos. The nachos are fantastic – for years, Caryn (who used to write this blog with me) and I discussed how one day we should live blog us eating the nachos at The Wharf, as they had what my friend Doug called, the perfect chip to topping ratio.

It was one of those bars where even after we left jobs and moved on to different opportunities, no matter where we were in the city, we would just choose to meet there. It was easy, we could usually get a table and we could easily catch up. And the waitstaff would never complain if there was 8 of us, or over the course of the night, our table of 4 would grow to 8.

And then, out of the blue I got an IM from a friend I hadn’t spoken to in years that said the Wharf was closing. I thought it was a great prank, until I did some research – and it was true. The landlord wasn’t renewing their lease and it was becoming luxury apartments.

As I walked down the street last week, a montage of my 20s at the Wharf played in my head – from birthday celebrations (my own 30th), to my parents meeting my city friends for the first time, to our 89th and Broke IT guru/designer McKenna asking us to be her bridesmaids at a table one night. It seemed only fitting that as Caryn purchased a house and got ready to move out of the city, the Wharf was saying it was okay to leave. To cope, I embarked on my farewell tour to the Wharf – with very few nights here in NY the last two weeks, I spent my two free nights at The Wharf, eating the last nachos, the last chicken fingers and waffle fries basket, and drinking Shocktops (sidenote: this was the bar where I first tried a Blue Moon – through college I only had consumed light beers).

So, I apologize that I never gave The Wharf a proper review it deserved – but if you are around, the Wharf is open through Sunday. Whether you go for lunch, dinner or just some beers and an app, get the nachos. You won’t be disappointed.

Now I need to find a new bar. Where should I go?

Help a Reader Out: Missing Banjo

banjoHave you seen this instrument? Reader Robin (who just so happens to live on W. 89th) had her vintage stolen 5-string banjo stolen last Sunday night If you do see it, there is a substantial reward for its return, no questions asked. Robin can be reached at WindyRecATaol.com.

The note from Robin is below:

Distinguishing marks: The banjo is an old Paramount headstock open back banjo with a distinctive raised tone ring and  double brackets inside.  Custom neck made by Providence Guitar and Banjo.  The headstock reads “Royal Artist”, Bruno, NY”. Light colored maple wood neck and pot. Ornamented headstock (see photost) and diamond angles markers down the fretboard. There’s a metal arm rest on the banjo, and a heavy, clunky looking pickup system inside the pot.  The banjo had a Light brown leather clip-on strap. It is heavy to lift. It was in a vintage Pete Seeger-style longneck leather (black) gig bag, with shoulder strap, handle, and forearm carry strap. Very distinctive.


We Tried It: Pret A Manger’s Power Lunch

A few weeks ago, I was invited to try a new lunch at Pret A Manger. Normally I bring my lunch and eat at my desk, but since the folks at Pret were kind enough to send me a gift image1card, I headed over to the 33rd and Park location to give one of their new menu items a try: Power Lunch, Pret’s cutting edge take on the grain bowl. All under 500 calories, each bowl is individually designed with functional ingredients that provide you with the nutrients you need to power through the day.

I like that Pret is a grab and go type of place, so if you are short on time, you don’t have to wait in line for your salad or sandwich to be made, you can just grab it and go. Same goes for the Power Lunch. Each bowl features an array of veggies and protein, over a mix of white and red quinoa and black and green lentils, topped with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and freshly squeezed lemon. Available in the cold case you can choose from the following options:

Power Lunch

  • Roasted Beets & Feta — $8.99
    • A tasty blend of roasted beets, red wine vinegar, julienned apple, feta cheese, walnuts, and kale — makes this power lunch a heart healthy choice.
    • *PAIR WITH: Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Southwestern Chicken & Avocado — $8.49
    • Sliced grilled chicken, avocado, and roasted corn salsa will add an extra kick to your lunch.
    • *PAIR WITH: Chimichurri Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Roasted Parsnip & Pistachios — $8.99
    • A Mediterranean-inspired recipe made with roasted parsnips, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and fresh mint is a vegan and veggie-friendly option.
    • *PAIR WITH: Tahini Yogurt
  • Egg & Veggie— $8.49
    • This protein-filled bowl features a cage-free hard boiled egg, pickled cabbage & carrot mix, topped with edamame beans, fresh limes, and sesame seeds.
    • *PAIR WITH: Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette

I opted for the roasted beets and feta, and also picked up the balsamic dressing in the cold case too, mixing the dressing and my bowl together at my desk. If you want to create your own combo with a different dressing, you could totally do that – I just went by the suggestion. The bowl was delicious – I sometimes feel like grain bowls go too heavy on the greens, but it was the perfect balance of kale to grain ratio (and I learned that I love baby kale – didn’t realize that before). My only complaint was that I was a little heavy handed on the dressing when I poured it in – the flavors of the bowl were good on their own that they didn’t need to be buried in dressing.I’m normally starving by mid-afternoon, but the bowl kept me feeling full all day – I wasn’t reaching for any snacks by 3pm.

If you are looking for an affordable option on the go, I would definitely give this a try. While I am trying to be good and bring my lunch, I’m glad I know there’s something easy and nutritious I can pick up if I don’t have time to make a lunch the night before.

Have you tried the new Power Lunch bowls by Pret? What do you think?

Food For A Fraction Of The Cost