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Blue Dog Kitchen Bar

Opening Hours
Today: 8:30am–10pm
Thurs:
8:30am–10pm
Fri:
8:30am–11pm
Sat:
8:30am–11pm
Sun:
8:30am–10pm
Mon:
8:30am–10pm
Tues:
8:30am–10pm
Location
308 West 50th Street
Location
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Blue Dog Kitchen Bar 1 Breakfast Cafes Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square
Blue Dog Kitchen Bar 2 Breakfast Cafes Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square

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Bibble and Sip 1 Coffee Shops Cafes undefined

Bibble and Sip

While walking through Midtown, Averi, a member of the Manhattan Sideways team, popped into Bibble and Sip for a minute to rest her feet. The area encompassing Times Square is surely a destination for tourists, but it seemed to Averi that this bakery-café was luring New York residents to its busy street for tasty treats. She saw that regular customers in business attire were greeted warmly and had their orders recited to them before they reached the counter. Pairs of young adults held meetings and traded ideas under the chalkboard menus and afternoon wanderers sat at the window bar listening to music and sipping coffee. Averi went on to describe the jasmine matcha latte that piqued her interest and did not disappoint: the tea was whisked together into a warm mug of silky delight. After browsing the pastry case, stuffed with dainty pistachio-matcha white chocolate cake, orange-cranberry scones, cute glass jars of panna cotta ornamented with the shop’s signature alpaca logo, and baked egg, roasted tomato English muffin sliders, she decided upon an earl grey cream puff to complement her latte. It was a marvelous choice: presented on a miniature wooden serving board, the cream puff was filled with smooth custard holding the robust flavor of brewed spices. When she asked Gary, the storeowner, who was responsible for creating the unique offerings on display (all of which are baked in-house) he shyly raised his hand. With training in “French confectionery and inspired by Asian flavors, ” Gary has developed a menu that certainly entices guests to "bibble and sip" on the side streets.

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Toloache

Toloache, a bustling Mexican bistro on 50th street, shares its name with the legendary Toloache flower. According to a myth in Mexican culture, the flower can be brewed into a love potion - if someone tastes the drink once, he or she will always return for another sip. The restaurant’s food and drinks have the same effect: Many people who eat there once return time and time again. General Manager Jorge shared a story about his friend from Japan who visited Toloache on the first night of a weeklong vacation in Manhattan. He ended up returning every day that week and then again every year during his annual visit to the city. Toloache on 50th is the first of many restaurants opened in New York by chef-owner Julian Medina. Chef Julian grew up in Mexico City, where he was inspired by the home cooking of his father and grandfather. He was originally brought to New York by Chef Richard Sandoval, who appointed him as Chef de Cuisine at Sandoval’s Maya. He went on to gain experience at distinguished restaurants and graduated from the French Culinary Institute with recognition. Today, Chef Julian owns seven of his own restaurants in the city and has been featured in several publications, including Men’s Journal, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. He has appeared on shows such as "Iron Chef" and "Beat Bobby Flay. " His impressive background is reflected in the success and distinctive menu of his “first child, ” Toloache. Julian designed Toloache’s extraordinary menu to have something for everyone – the wide range of dishes include both vegetarian and gluten free options. He prides himself on using only the freshest of ingredients, whether it is white truffles or chapulines (dried grasshoppers imported from Oaxaca). These crunchy critters have gained quite a bit of media attention, including a feature on "The Today Show. " The kitchen brought out the Tacos Chapulines for the Manhattan Sideways team to photograph, and we had to admit that the insects were made to look very appetizing. We were also presented with the diverse Trio de Guacamoles, which allowed us to sample three varieties of the dip: the familiar traditional guacamole; the Frutas Guacamole, which incorporates fruit instead of typical ingredients (pomegranate, mango, and apple instead of tomato and Thai Basil instead of cilantro); and the Rojo guacamole, made with chipotle. Several of us went on to sample the Quesadilla de Huitlacoche y Trufas (made with fresh truffles), The Baja Tilapia Pescado, and the braised short rib, served with quinoa and carrots. Each dish exemplified Chef Julian’s inventiveness and ability to put small, flavor-enhancing twists on typical Mexican cuisine. The drinks were equally impressive, including Julian’s favorite “Chef’s Selection Margarita, ” made with his hand-picked bottle of Herradura Tequila. The bartender mixed a few cocktails for us to photograph and taste, including the refreshing “De la Calle, ” made with cucumber and jalapeno; the spicy “Mezcalita de Pina”; and the signature “Toloache, ” made with hibiscus and blueberries. The food is amazing and the drinks are fantastic, but what really keeps so many guests coming back is Toloache’s dedication to quality service. As Jorge informed us, “Our goal is to make every guest feel at home. They are our friends. ” Each of the servers have their own style, creating unique, yet equally enjoyable dining experiences. Guests are able to experience Toloache in a completely new light from one day to the next just by sitting at a different server’s table. It was event manager Temple who summed the restaurant up perfectly: "Toloache feels like a family – like you’re walking into Little Mexico. ”

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