Lunch

Lolo’s Seafood Shack

The sun has finally decided to come out in New York City and it’s time to call up the friends that you haven’t seen in months because of hibernation season and invite them to meet up for dinner and happy hour. Since you only have a few months of true sunshine, you better make it count. One of the best restaurants in New York City to enjoy sunshine, escape from the busy streets of the city and relax with friends as if you’ve traveled to your favorite island is Lolo’s Seafood Shack. Lolo’s uniquely creates and serves a variety of seafood and Caribbean food of the Cape. Their menu includes everything from deliciously fried conch fritters to jerk ribs. But, before you put your food order in, order the Lolo’s Punch and mention Simplypamarie for a large Lolo’s Punch for only $5 (available in April only.) Now you’re ready to eat!

When you enter Lolo’s Seafood Shack you’re greeted by a warm staff who is always happy to see you. You then place your order and find a seat. The reason I point this out is because behind the front doors of Lolo’s is an unexpected island adventure. You can choose to sit inside at their cozy bench tables and semi-private room or you can venture outside to my favorite area, The Lolo’s Cabana and Beach Bar. Yes, there is a beach bar in Harlem, who would’ve known. The outdoor area of Lolo’s Seafood Shack stays open year round. During the winter, there is a heated shack that provides an island vibe and during the summer you’ll be kissed by direct sunlight.   

So now you’re sipping Lolo’s Punch, you’ve decided to sit close to the Beach Bar to keep the drinks coming, you’re catching up with your friends on everything you’ve missed in the past months, the music is good but most importantly, what did you order? The great thing about Lolo’s is that you can order to share, so order everything so that you can taste it all. I highly recommend the Belizean Conch Fritters, Corn on the Cob and Cotija Cheese and the Johnny Cakes and Honey Butter to have on the table for everyone to dig in. As an individual meal, I of course ordered the Snow Crab Legs with Garlic Butter and Old Bay and finished every morsel. I have also tried the Crab Cakes and Garlic Fries, Peel and Eat Shrimp and the Crispy Shark and Bake which are all absolutely amazing. By the way, Lolo’s provides bibs and gloves so that you can enjoy your food without concern that the butter from your crab legs is dripping down your arm. So order another round of Lolo’s Punch and eat up because Lolo’s Seafood Shack has you covered.

Location: Lolo’s Seafood Shack 303 W. 116th St. New York, NY 10026

Type of Food: Caribbean Seafood

Ambiance: Island Colorful Fun Vibes

Drink Special: $5 Large Lolo’s Punch when you mention Simplypamarie

Stars (Out of 5): *****

Baba Cool Cafe

Baba Cool Cafe is a quaint wifi equipped cafe perfect for a bite to eat and to get some work done. They’re known for their three rocking chairs out front that on a nice day is the best part of the experience.  I also found a hidden outlet outside to charge my laptop. Inside you’ll find an intimate experience with friendly attentive staff. They also have little goodies that you can purchase like a Baba Cool bag that has a picture of their three rocking chairs. How cute is that?

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Baba Cool

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What is so impressive about this adorable cafe is that they make everything fresh to order. That means there is a little bit of a wait but it’s well worth it. Baba Cool provides gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and dairy free products. They also make their own hot sauce and it’s bottled up at every table for you to dab on your sandwich or specialty bowl to give it a little kick. I ordered a fresh lemonade, the avocado toast and the arugula salad because I was on a hot summer day I wanted a meal that was light and refreshing. Well I was completely satisfied. Their fresh lemonade was so, well refreshing! This was my first time trying avocado toast which is surprising because of my guacamole obsession you’d think I would have tried all things avocado but I haven’t. I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of avocado and slightly spicy seasoning they added on top. My salad included corn, tomatoes and yes more avocado. I guess I was on a true health kick, and didn’t even realize it.

Baba Cool Menu

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Baba Cool Cafe is a great neighborhood go to cafe. When you’re running to work to catch the train and need coffee, or if you want to get out of your apartment and get some fresh air while still getting work done or if like me you want a nice refreshing meal in a peaceful environment, Baba Cool is the place to go. I’m planning to return for breakfast and try their popular breakfast bowl and coffee. If you’re in the Fort Greene neighborhood visit Baba Cool and tell them Simplypamarie told you about it!

Baba Cool Cafe

Location: Baba Cool Cafe 64B Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Type of Food: Coffee, Light American Food, Vegan

Ambiance: Cool Minimalist Cafe

Stars (Out of 5): *****

Island Vibes and Caribbean Food at Pearl’s

When you walk into Pearl’s Caribbean restaurant you’re welcomed with a world of color and a relaxing island vibe. By now you know I’m an avid wanderer and if I see a restaurant that stands out to me, I’ll randomly walk in and check out the food and the vibe. Pearl’s greeted me with an island oasis and amazing food.

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Pearl’s is known for their bake and shark, a dish I surprisingly never tried before. So of course that’s what I ordered. I paired my dish with macaroni pie and also dipped into a chicken roti. Pearl’s blew me away with how amazing their dishes were. The chicken roti was so flavorful, the macaroni was cheesy and the shark was delectable.

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I saved the best thing about Pearl’s restaurant for last. Of course the food is important but I also love ambiance. Pearl’s backyard terrace is what truly impressed me. On these warm summer days, I appreciate a terrace and a happy hour. Pearl’s $8 happy hour and island inspired terrace was perfection. If you’re looking for a quick island getaway hidden in hippie Williamsburg, visit Pearl’s!

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Location: Pearl’s 178 North 8th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Type of Food: Caribbean

Ambiance: Island Vibes

Stars (Out of 5): *****

Grimaldi’s

What’s for lunch today? Pizza you say? Great choice! How about trying a famous pizza spot where you can create your favorite pizza? Sounds even better doesn’t it? This pizza haven is called Grimaldi’s. Grimaldi’s is famous for their coal brick oven, made on the spot with whatever toppings you’d like hand crafted pizzas.

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The first time I heard  of Grimaldi’s I happened to be in the Dumbo area and I came upon a long line of people waiting to get into a building. Anytime I see a line of people I think either they are giving away something free or whatever they have at the end of the line is absolutely worth it. Well when I finally reached the front of the line, I realized it was Grimaldi’s and I took a mental note to return one day. (My patience couldn’t handle the line that day.) When I finally was able to experience Grimaldi’s, I understood why the wait was worth it. I ordered a small pizza, perfect for two with Italian Sausage and Oven Roasted Sweet Red Peppers. Delizioso!

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If you are ever in the Dumbo area incorporate Grimaldi’s in your plan. Also, if you plan to watch a Syfy Movie with a View, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge or hang out at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Grimaldi’s is the perfect lunch date to incorporate in your day.

   Location: Grimaldi’s (Various Locations)

Type of Food: Pizza

Ambiance: Chill, Relaxed

Pricing: Small Pizza $12-$14, Large Pizza $14-$16 (Additional for Toppings)

Stars (Out of 5):****

Delicatessen

Looking for somewhere to go on a nice day while taking a break from shopping in Soho? I suggest you try Delicatessen It’s a cute restaurant on the corner of Lafayette St. and Prince St. with a really light and refreshing feel. That’s what I like most about it, you get the feel of a restaurant while still being able to enjoy the weather outside and people watch during the summer. During the winter, the restaurant is enclosed but you are still able to people watch through their glass case windows. I’ve gone four times so far. I suggest you try one of their macaroni and cheese combos from the MacBar which is like their team restaurant next door. I had The Classic and the Mac Lobsta’, both were really good. I’ve also had the Three Eggs any style breakfast which was good. Nothing extremely special about it but it was good. My friend also specifically requested that I tell my readers to try the Bellini for breakfast, she said it was delicious. Lastly, I had the Steak Salad which was really good. It was perfect for lunch if you want something filling but not heavy. Their service can sometimes be extremely slow, so if you are going on a busy time such as lunch or the weekend. Please save yourself the wait and make a reservation.

Location: Delicatessen 54 PRINCE STREET NEW YORK, NY 10012

Type of Food: American

Ambiance: Light and Refreshing

Pricing: Reasonable

Stars (Out of 5): ***

Breakfast

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Now listen, if you don’t know about Habana Outpost‘s famous Mexican-style corn you are missing out on an essential part of a complete summer in Brooklyn. Okay let’s back up a bit. First, let me announce that Habana Outpost is now open for our Spring/Summer enjoyment! What does that mean? That mean’s that it’s time for you to grab some friends and head to this outdoor hangout.

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Habana Outpost is an indoor and outdoor restaurant. Let me explain how this works. You walk inside the restaurant and order your food. One line is for general orders and the other line is specifically for drinks and corn. On a nice sunny day, both lines will be long so just anticipate a wait. Then you find a seat outside and wait until your food is called that is being prepared on a truck. Be advised that it resembles cafeteria seating. Remember in high school when you circled the cafeteria looking for a seat? It’s something like that. Luckily, the seat circling and line wait is worth the experience.

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Habana Outpost serves Cuban cuisine. Like I said, I specifically go for the Grilled Corn and for the chill atmosphere. I’ve also tried the Catfish Taco, the Chicken Plato and Steak Burrito. All were tasty but all needed an extra kick so I suggest you add one of the hot sauce options that they have.

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More great news about this location is that during the summer, they show a free movie every Sunday from May 4- Oct 26 at 8pm.  Please see the Movie Schedule below or click here: Habana Outpost Movie Night

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Location: Habana Outpost 757 Fulton Street Brooklyn, NY

Type of Food: Mexican and Cuban cuisine

Ambiance: Chill outdoor hangout

Pricing:  Reasonable *CASH ONLY*

Stars (Out of 5): ****

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