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Meatballs Anyone?

31 Aug

Looking for a good place to eat in New York this weekend?

Here goes a tip from my days in the Big Apple–>The Meatball Shop!

Sunday night and my boyfriend starts browsing through Timeout New York’s cheap eats. Sounds promising, right? As the word ‘meatball’ catches his attention, I cringe.

This is what I pictured…tempting to some, not so much to others…

I unwillingly make my way down from the Upper East Side to Stanton Street picturing a grimy joint with greasy meatball subs. As we get to the place, the hostess informs us it will take 45 minutes or more to get us seated which, in this case, was a pleasant surprise as I was not expecting a coveted place. As I walk in, I am immediately drawn by the welcoming atmosphere, the funky decoration and the upbeat tunes.

Great atmosphere!

We decide to ditch the wait and sit at the bar area, where a cheerful waitress explains us the menu. After deciding on our combination of meatballs, sauces and sides (there are so many possibilities, we took about 20 minutes!) we sit back and enjoy our drinks.  Shortly after, my vegetarian meatball arrives with my side of the chef’s greens topped with a spicy meat sauce—beyond delicious. We finish off our meal with an exquisite green apple sorbet. We learn they make everything in loco, from the meatballs to the ice-cream, adding to the place’s uniqueness.

Some of the dishes served at The Meatball Shop

It turned out to be a great experience that I recommend to friends looking for New York tips! So if you’re looking for a cheap eat in a trendy new York spot, this should be on your list!

Going for seconds when out of town friends visit!



The Simple Life

23 Aug

My sister, aunt, and I all load up in the car on our way to the Virginia countryside. As we nostalgically sing along with our Disney Vol. 1CD (“A Whole New World” and “Hakuna Matata” amongst our favorites), the towering buildings of the busy city dwindle, as the rolling hills become more prominent.

I love our days in the country. Especially during the peach season! We stop at Hartland Orchard where they give us a white paper bag with a convenient handle on it to go pick peaches to our hearts content.

The peaches stand out from their green foliage backdrop,welcoming us to pluck one off the low hanging branch. Of course a couple of taste tests need to be made before taking all these peaches home. As my aunt bites into the first peach we share, she said it was like “a religious experience,” the peach representing all that is pure and beautiful in this world – a little exaggerated comment for a mere peach, but it was THAT good. So juicy and succulent that it’s one of those foods that you would rather eat alone so you don’t have to be under the tight constraints of proper eating manners, letting all the juices run down your arm until it drips off your elbow.

When our bag is full, we dilly-dally for a while, absorbing our surrounding, posing on a nearby tractor pretending to be bona fide countrygirls. A part of us probably wished we were – enjoying the simplicity of life rather than complicating the uncomplicated like we tend do.

Full on peaches, having probably eaten as many as are in the bag, we get back in the car, this time singing a more fitting country tune by the Dixie Chicks, and drove back the hour and a half that takes us from simplicity to commotion.


Red Market London, hidden Banksy’s and delicious street food

21 Aug

London is famous for many things, one of them being the variety of street markets open throughout the week and the weekend. I’m happy to say I found another one to add to my list: The Red Market. Located by the round about in Old Street, The Red Market is a late afternoon/ night market organized by the Red Gallery.

Red Market entrance

With a sand pit, table tennis, hammocks, live music and delicious street food, the Red market is the perfect place to meet friends after work and make the most out of hot summer evenings.

Red Market

Red Market

Red Market

The market is set on the development site of a 5 star hotel and interestingly enough holds two original Banksy murals hidden behind the big piece of wood in the picture below. The murals are going to be revealed at some point during the next month and are also going to be part of the future hotel lobby constructed on the site. (spotted: São Paulo graffiti)

Red Market

Last but not least, Ben and I couldn’t resist the delicious burgers from Burger Bear. I had the classic Burger Bear and Ben had the Grizzly Bear. For all the bacon fans out there, the Grizzly Bear has bacon jam, an intense bourbon- infused smokey layer of pure delight! The actual bacon in the Grizzly Bear is also double smoked, first oak-smoked at the farm and later smoked again by Tom, the owner of Burger Bear.

Burger Bear

Burger Bear menu

Ben and the burger

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and if you’re around London this month don’t forget to check out the Red Market!

x Natasha

Visit Miami and don’t go to South Beach!

20 Aug

I’ll be the first to say that I can appreciate art, but don’t understand a bit about it.  Last week I was lucky enough to be in Miami during the Wynwood Art Walk, a street party that happens once a month in the newly-popular Design District, just north of Downtown Miami.

Wynwood Wall. Public park, not “technically” open 24 hours, every now and then people jump the fence but it’s all good really.

I was honestly blown away by how much it has grown and gained popularity in since I moved away last year. The first (and only) time I went to Art Walk was about a year and a half ago, when it was just a couple blocks of art galleries, on one street, that stayed open past closing times, and served a little bit of wine.

Wynwood Wall park, yoga night!

I was thrilled to see that Art Walk has transformed a former dangerous and sketchy area to a carnival of Food Trucks, artesan booths, late night bars and dance clubs, and most importantly, tons of new art galleries. The sidewalks were packed and the roads occupied by flashy cars idling. We checked out a bunch of galleries, illegally consumed alcoholic beverages on the streets, food-truck-burgers and fish tacos, and danced the night away with hipsters, tourists, old folks, Miami models and more.

It was an amazing collection of all sorts of people, deprived of the usual judgmental Miami bouncers.

I have to say that what I loved most about seeing the New Art Walk was how it transformed the neighborhood: edgy street art and way better use of the warehouses and shops that used to house miami’s finest homeless!

It’s something really great to visit if ever possible, hope you enjoyed and get a chance to experience!


More information available at :

Walking the World in 10 Blocks

14 Aug

New York is an amazing city, and writing about it is a pleasure. Today I want to highlight an extremely diverse community in Queens: Jackson Heights. I had never made it out there until a couple of weeks ago, it’s a significant train ride as Jackson Heights neighbors LaGuardia Airport, and it was definitely worth it!

With no agenda or time frame, I just got off the train and meandered to try to get a feel for the neighborhood. Walking along Roosevelt Avenue, there was a food truck serving up Equadorian street food, a Himalayan fish market, a Mexican travel agency, a Tibetan goods store, and many stores selling Halal products. I heard at least 5 languages being spoken on the street, and none of them English!

Pedestrian Plazas- gotta love them!

In a moment of brilliance, I coordinated my trip so that I would be there for lunch. Located by a pedestrian plaza offering some peace from the hustle of the main commercial strip, I stepped into Delhi Heights, an unassuming (but DELICIOUS!) Indian restaurant. I decided to try something new- a sandwich called Kathi Roll. Described as “Succulent tender pieces of chicken or lamb cooked and rolled in soft bread like roomali Roti or naan,” this sandwich delivered bursts of taste with enough spiciness to tease but not overwhelm. I paired it with a mango lassi- a delicious yogurt-based drink that cools and calms the tongue. Aside from the amazing food, because it borders a plaza, Delhi Heights had some great people watching, so I hung out observing and taking refuge from the heavy, humid, and hot NYC summer.

Kathi Roll and Mango Lassi at Delhi Heights

Once I cooled off a bit, I was ready for dessert in another part of the world. Walking along 37th Ave, which runs parallel to Roosevelt Ave., I stumbled into La Nueva Bakery. As a Brazilian living in NYC, I often feel nostalgic for all the treats and eats from home, and La Nueva Bakery had just what I needed to help fend off the saudades: churros and empanadas! Although these treats were the Uruguayan version of my hometown favorites- they certainly did the trick! I ordered a churro con dulce de leche to stay and a couple of empanadas to go (I had just had lunch!) The churro was crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, where the dulce de leche was inserted. It was just what I needed to get me through the weeks left before my trip to Brazil.

Churros con Dulce de Leche from La Nueva Bakery

The 7 train takes you right through the heart of Jackson Heights. Get off at 82nd Street to be right in the middle of the action! Jackson Heights might be a little off the beaten path, but it definitely gives you a taste (pun intended) of the many worlds nestled within New York City!


Delhi Heights
37-66 74th Street
Jackson Heights, NY

La Nueva Bakery
85-02 37th Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY

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