The World of French Toast via Foodspotting and Open Table

As a fresh New Yorker,  I have adapted easily to the city’s hectic lifestyle. Walking for miles everyday and taking the subway rides have become my new daily routine. Although I had the pleasure in LA to drive my car everywhere, honestly, I have not missed it since I moved to New York. I guess, it is a good thing. Instead, I am so excited to continue my journey in expanding my “foodie” list on my Blackberry. If I say that I don’t miss anyone from back home, that would be a lie. But, thanks to Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger (BBM), I can stay in touch with my loved ones in LA and back home in Indonesia. At least, they can be jealous of the delicious food I have tasted since moving to New York.

French Toast - YUM by Katy Kash

For years, I have been a huge fan of French toast. Therefore, I have been using Yelp to discover many great places in LA that could satisfy my craving. Through all the reviews, I have found the ultimate holy grail in Hollywood called Griddle Cafe and Square One Dining. If I had to choose between them, I would say that each French toast is individually unique. With its solid texture and delicious taste, both have successfully created one of the best french toasts in LA. However, I have not found any luck with Yelp here in NYC. But then, one of my professors recommended I to try Foodspotting. Since I am not a fanatic to any of food-related social medias (other than Yelp and Open Table), Foodspotting is a definite must-have app on your smartphones. Unfortunately, Blackberry users will “still” have to wait to get their hands on this app. Yet, its website will still let you access all of the Foodspotting’s features that include: 
  1. Sign in with your Facebook account (if you don’t want to create a new Foodspotting’s account)
  2. Upload photos
  3. Browse other users’ profiles and photos
  4. Review and comment on other users’ photos
  5. Nom it, Want it, Great Find! and Great Shot! interactions
Although it was a Superbowl weekend on Sunday, I managed to try two different restaurants that I found on Foodspotting and Open Table: Alice’s Tea Cup and Norma’s.Foodspotting Alice’s Tea Cup:
1. How was my first experience with foodspotting?
After I created a new account, I immediately merged it with my Facebook and Twitter accounts so that I become visible among my friends who are also Foodspotting users. It’s very convenient and user friendly. Then, you can decide whether or not you want to follow your friends’ updates (in terms of photos’ uploads) by being their followers. Sounds familiar, right? Yep, it’s exactly like Instagram, but for food! After you upload a photo, you can say “nom it,” “want it,” “great shot!” or “great find!.” You can also do all of these to any photos within Foodspotting that you think deserve any of these titles. As a result, you can really get personal with this app. Especially, for a foodie like me, it is really important to have a connection with the dish before I even want to have a taste of it. Also, with those four clicks, I can share my thoughts and feelings on the dishes through the simplest way possible. Overall, I fell in love with Foodspotting immediately, and cannot wait for its Blackberry application to be launched!
2. How did I find Alice’s Tea Cup?
Of course, the first thing I researched on Foodspotting was French toast. Several results came out, but Alice’s Tea Cup’s bread pudding French toast came out on top. The picture was taken by Amy Caofrom a perfect angle to show its texture, size and the “delicious” aspect of the food. I immediately clicked “nom it” and “want it.”
3. How was the French toast?
The French toast tasted as delicious as it looks. The texture is a definite mix of bread pudding and french toast. And, the fresh fruit (on top) adds a certain freshness to it. Overall, it’s a MUST TRY French toast in NYC. I am pretty sure I will go back to Alice’s Tea Cup for a second round the next time I crave for French toast.

Norma's Foie Gras mousse by Deviani Wulandari

Open Table Norma’s
1. How was my experience with OpenTable?
For several years, I’ve been a loyal user of OpenTable. I’ve been using it mostly to make online reservations. A lot of reputable restaurants have been participating with OpenTable and the reviews are usually accurate. Currently, OpenTable is easily accessible through the Web and smartphones. Therefore, you can make a reservation with only one click from anywhere. You just need:

  1. Your city or restaurant name
  2. Date
  3. The number of people in your group
  4. Time
In the case of Norma’s, I made a last minute reservation for Sunday during the Superbowl weekend (right after Alice’s Tea Cup). Thankfully, there was a space for brunch that could accommodate two people. I know perhaps some of you might think how I could be overload with french toasts, but, since I am a huge fan, I definitely had no problem with it. Immediately after I made the reservation, I got a confirmation email stating everything that I just did on OpenTable. Pretty simple and straightforward.
2. How did I hear about Norma’s?
Word-of-mouth, Gossip Girl and then I checked it out on Open Table.
3. How was the French toast?
  • Foie Gras French toast: The foie gras was cooked perfectly! I had enough on my plate and finished it all. Definitely, the reviewers are spot on about Norma’s signature dish. I have nothing else to say, except, you have to try it!
  • Crispy French toast: It tastes like any other French toast, but the use of rice crispy adds a unique element to this French toast. Just add some maple syrup and it is complete.

First, let me recap my reviews on Foodspotting and OpenTable:

So, both really have equal positive and negative aspects depending on your purpose. I am used to using OpenTable for years now. But, I am already familiar with most of the restaurants that they offer on the website. Therefore, I am currently more attracted to Foodspotting for discovering the unknown or unpublished delicious dishes or restaurants out there. Especially in a big city like NYC, Foodspotting can surely slowly expand and fulfill my foodie list on my Blackberry.