The #MeatballShop Flop #buzzKill #Bam #Lame #NotCool #Balls

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

Riding Dirty(1)- This was our 3rd attempt to eat at The Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side. I love it here and hit it up a few times before I had Bastian. Always packed but always a great meatball. We had been turned away 2 times before but it was on a weekend so we didn’t let it bother us b/c it’s to be expected. However, we go on like a Tuesday EARLY around 430pm with ZERO seats outside taken, and ask if we can sit on the patio- they actually said no, we can’t have our stroller in there bc it’s a fire hazard. Don’t ask me how, as the table we were asking to sit at blocked no entrance or exit path, no other tables were behind or in front it was all by itself in a corner. So we got the balls to go, and literally sat at a bench right across the street looking at the empty patio tables- strange but I wanted that meatball and just walked 2 miles for the 3rd time, I wasn’t taking no this time, especially when the joint was EMPTY. Lame. Baby haters. 

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The Spot:  “The Meatball Shop”  East Village, LES, Union Square, NYC, Manhattan, NY, New York City

  • Food:  Obviously I love the food, and got it to go even though the Baby Haters snubbed us a 3rd time. Lame.
  • Price:  $-$$ Fair prices for a good meatball. Read more on Yelp! 
  • Location:  East Village, LES, Lower East Side, New York, Manhattan, NYC, NY, Union Square

Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate…shake it off.“-  Taylor Swift 

The Brazen Fox Kitchen & Craft Bar #NY #Brunch #NYBrunch #BabiesWhoBrunch

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

Rollin- They were not packed at 1230pm on a Sunday brunch because the venue is so large with an upstairs and downstairs, so there was zero wait time, and they had high chairs that fit the high top tables(a reason I always passed on the place before). Food was great. 

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The Spot:  “The Brazen Fox”  East Village, LES, Union Square, NYC, Manhattan, NY, New York City

  • 106 3rd Ave
    New York, NY 10003  (212) 353-1063
  • Food:  The food was really great. We all got breakfast sandwiches of different types and they were all really tasty. Not the most kid friendly choices for them to eat, but Bastian still really enjoyed the seasoned potatoes. I would pack an extra snack and something to eat for the little ones, or ask for just plain over easy eggs etc.

    My friend, Kyra and Bastian.

    My friend, Kyra and Bastian.

  • Price:  $-$$ Super affordable and on Brunch days it includes drink cocktails. Check out Yelp!
  • Location:  East Village, LES, Lower East Side, New York, Manhattan, NYC, NY, Union Square

Be brazenly, passionately, defiantly you. Every damn day.“-  Collin Wright

Ring my Bell-llll, Ring my bell…The Bluebell Cafe in #Gramercy #Brunch

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My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

Rollin- It was Sunday brunch at noon. Basically hell. We called ahead and they said it would probably be a 15min wait, and I have to say it was much shorter, and they were able to seat us as soon as the last person in our group arrived. The hostess even bumped us up bc we HAD THE BABY. Total bonus points. AKA, they wanted us the hell outta there and FAST. 

The Spot:  “The Bluebell Cafe”  Gramercy, NYC, Manhattan, NY, New York City

  • 293 3rd Ave
    New York, NY 10010  (646) 649-2389
  • Food:  Home comfort like you never. I got the Blue Bell Breakfast, and let me tell you- you can not go wrong here. The potatoes are like mini french fries- yes please. Little B had a toasted blue berry muffin which we all took a bite of because it was so darn tasty. He also dug into some of my eggs, and this boy isn’t typically an egg eater. Other dish at the table was Chicken Curry Salad, which was super filled with flavor and amazing color. So fresh. My husband got the pulled pork sandwich and it was AMAZING- I’m totally trying this when I’m in more of a lunch mood. Overall it’s amazing. Just note that you get FREE OJ with your brunch. Score. bluebell-9
  • Price:  $$ A bit more than your typical cafe/diner but it has such a cute atmosphere and the food is WORTH it. However, this was the brunch prices, and I think the menu prices drops a lot during the regular week- I’m DYING to go back on a lazy Monday. Check out Yelp!
  • Location:  Gramercy, Murray Hill,  New York, Manhattan, NYC, NY, Union Square6a00d8341c565553ef01a73dcca231970d

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care.“-  Emily Bronte

Mancora #LES #NYC #Peruvian #Spanish #StrollerFriendly

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My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

Rollin– We called ahead bc it was freezing out and dinner time- which all of us NY’ers know that means lots of people crammed in tiny spaces- esp when there’s a #HappyHour in full effect. They were more than happy to save a table big enough to accommodate us. When we got there the manager remembered our call, and took us right to the table as we made our way through the narrow isles. Sangria here we come.

The Spot:  “Mancora”  LES, East Village, Union Square , NYC, NY, New York

99 First Avenue New York NY, 10003Telephone : 212.253.1011

Fax: 212.253.1035

Email: Mancora99@yahoo.com

  • Food:  The last time I had Peruvian/Spanish food was in Brooklyn with some friends years ago. It was good, expensive and didn’t leave me wanting to try it again anytime soon. So when my husband suggested Peruvian I wasn’t thrilled but up for it none the less- so glad I gave it another go. This place is SO well priced and the food is seasoned perfectly. They have this green dip with plantains that we ALL loved- Toddler Friendly!
  • Price:  $-$$ Great tapas happy hour, well priced drinks and food. I thought it was all a great value for the quality and quantity you get here. Check out Yelp!
  • Location:  Lower East Side, LES, East Village, New York, Manhattan, NYC, NY, Union Square

Peruvian food is so simple yet amazingly flavored with their traditional spices.“-  L’Wren Scott

ABC kITCHEN + bff’s = #MomsNightOut #NYC #Holidays #truffles #OhMy

ABC Kitchen Tiny Flower arrangements. Love them all.

ABC Kitchen Tiny Flower arrangements. Love them all.

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

This is a different post because, mama went solo on this night out..woot woot…and if you know me, I never go out without the B man so it was fun to feel like an adult again and see my best friend Tyler and his boyfriend Kyle, who were in from LA! I’m gonna start off by saying I love ABC Home and Carpet and Toys and everything about it- I could literally spend a day every week just wandering around. So we hit this spot up for some wine, and then decided to taste a bunch of things off the menu.What happened next is why I share this story with you….

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:  “ABC Kitchen  35 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003
(212) 475-5829

Riding Dirty– only because of the way the Truffle situation was handled. I mean come on, I’ve bought a $100 stuff toy upstairs- you couldn’t just comp it after it being an awful dish?

  • Food:  Overall, the wine was amazing, the environment is so lovely, the food was great and so flavorful, EXCEPT for the White Alba Truffles we ordered over Fettuccine.  Here is where it gets to an OMG moment. The truffles I kid you not tasted like nothing…it was a big dish of pasta with maybe butter that needed a hefty dose of salt. When they brought the dish out we thought it was super weird they didn’t shave the truffles on top of the pasta in front of us at the table bc that’s what most places do to ensure the flavor and freshness- so we waited and asked her and she said no they do all prep in back but that they were fresh. Yeah, not flavorful at all…so we tell her and they take the dish away after we all had a taste (didn’t even finish it) and she brings us cake pops. That’s not how I would have corrected the situation but that’s me. I told her we were there tasting a bunch of stuff because I do this food blog from restaurants around the city and would have just expected a little more for the super hefty price and being so underwhlemed. As Kyle said;  “when you go out and pay for a different dish you should be tasting something unique and amazing…not something that has less flavor than a Trader Joe’s pasta box.” Ouch. On the other hand for appetizers: Crab Toast(was amazing, we ate it all up 123, ABC), Roasted Butternut and Hazelnuts were one of my favorites and perfect for winter, Housemade Chicken and Pork were super Dee-lish! The Black Bass and Crispy Pork were so perfect I wouldn’t try another special or Truffle here- save your cash and stick to what’s on the menu and done to perfection. On a cool note, I got mistaken for Ellen Page and- we ran into Charlotte Gainsbourg, who is a doll, love her. 
  • Price:  $$$ You can check out the menu HERE, and see the prices. The Truffles are on the special so may not be listed on the menu…they are suppose to get them fresh each week at the local market…ummmhmmm. Yelp
  • Location:  Union Square, NYC, New York City, New York, Madison Sq. Park

“We don’t care to eat toadstools that think they are truffles.”
Mark Twain (1835-1910)

The Smith- and some Natural History #UWS #NYC #BabyBlog #MamaBlog

Bastian. The Squid and the Whale. 2014

Bastian. The Squid and the Whale. 2014

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

Last week baby B and I hit up the UWS, Upper West Side- Motha…you get it. We went to the Natural History and saw some rocks, bones, fish…the whole nine yards and B loved every second of it. We can’t wait to go back! After that we were starved and rolled into The Smith.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:  “The Smith  1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
(212) 496-5700

  • Food:  I love it here. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been to The Smith bc there is one in the East Village near us, but on a cold #NY day nothing hit the spot better than the creamy tomato soup with french fries and sparkling water. Yum!
  • Price:  $11 for the soup and $8 for the French Fries. It’s not the cheapest spot to hit up but when on the #UWS, and it’s cold around lunch hour you have no choice but to think BIG as in SPACE. Splurge wisely. Check out Yelp!
  • Location:  UWS, Upper West Side, LES, Lower East Side, East Village, NYC, New York

“What is it about high school, that you read all the worst books by good writers? ”  ~ Noah Baumbach’s “The Squid and the Whale” 

As Taylor Swift would say: Welcome (back) to New York #NY #NYC #TaylorSwift #BRB #LANY #LA

After 4 weeks in LA we are finally back in NYC just in time for the Christmas window displays and decorations. I have to say each time I go back to LA to visit it’s like this odd mystical pull that slightly seduces you into falling for it with it’s consistent weather, epic sunsets and palm tree lined streets. Then the days haze all together and you realize it’s a major time suck…and I remember why I moved back to NY. If anything living in NY allows me to appreciate LA for all it’s beauty and hippy-ness when I’m there…something I never did living there, because all I did was compare it to NY.

So, in conclusion, Bastian got to see all of his Hollywood Auntie and Uncle’s and we hit up some great baby friendly spots while there as well. I somehow managed to squeeze in a ton of work as well, which I’m super proud of. I have to say though- Bastian may have gone totally Hollywood on us. He came back with a slight attitude and an uber “cool-ness”….or it could be he’s coming a toddler.

Now back to old business- The FOOD.

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:  “Cucina Di Pesce

87 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
(212) 260-6800

Baby B Rank:  Rollin(be respectful- at the right times) WOW. BEST Trout I have had EVER. Done. I am a HUGE seafood fan..coming from a family of men who loved fishing and always eating some type of seafood..this says a lot. If you want Italian and Seafood- you HAVE to hit this spot up. They were all so sweet to baby B- even when I had to take him to the bar when he got rowdy, smacked his hands down and said “..what’ll it be bartender?“. The hostess was so sweet and was keeping us company as my husband and his parents finished their dinners in peace…and our waiter came over and hung out with us for a bit too. I just couldn’t say more for this place. Inviting, warm and feels like home. Yes…we still rolled in with our BIG ASS STROLLER and it was no big thing. Boom. 

  • Food:  Ok so I already went ape over the Trout..which was buttery, light and perfectly simple. I got the early bird special bc we now eat that early due to B-man- it’s us and the geriatric crew what can I say. my mother in law ordered the Salmon which also looked fantastic and she got extra dressing for it which also looked killer. We got some appitizers – the best was the eggplant.  Get it. Bean dip with bread I’m there. I mean I could go on and on but I won’t. Food it amazing and all under 25/plate. You can’t beat that.
  • Price:  $9-21 The early bird special is $13.95 it comes with FREE wine- HELLOOOOO You need to go here. Ok. Check out more reviews on Yelp Ah- should be noted only thing to be mindful of, they only accept Amex or Cash..fyi.
  • Location:  LES, Lower East Side, East Village, NYC

“Welcome to New York…It’s been waiting for you. ”  ~ Taylor Swift 

Crave Cafe Big A$% #Salad and even bigger a#$ Attitudes #DoYou #CraveCafe #LA #FoodReviews

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This part of our blog is about our stay in Los Angeles. We are trying out new baby products and new LA foodie spots with our big a@# Bugaboo Stroller.

Crave Cafe LA

Crave Cafe LA

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:   “Crave Cafe
14504 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA
(818) 990-7888

  • Baby B Rank:  Riding Dirty- So, the salads are HUGE! Very huge!! Great deal but not so much the best tasting food you will ever encounter. Also, we sat on a couch which was cool and comfy but being a total absent minded mommy, and baby B playing with my cell all the time, we forgot my iPhone in the couch and didn’t realize this until we got home. I called the place and they wouldn’t check the couch for us to make sure it was still there because 2 girls were currently sitting there. Um? Ok? Seriously? Thanks, cool. So I went in myself and asked the 2 girls to hop up so I could snatch up my phone…which of course was right under them.
  • Price: Good deal $7.50 for Huge salad. Food not so special.

‘Welcome to the Jungle’…Congee Village Bowery #LES #NYC #ChineseFood

Bastian hanging out at our large space in the corner.

Bastian hanging out at our large space in the corner.

Congee Village LES Bowery

Congee Village LES Bowery

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:  “Congee Village” 207 Bowery NY 10002 (212)766-2828

  • Baby B Rank:  Rollin- There was a wait when we walked in. Fear sets in. No worries, you got a baby…no wait-y. They rolled us in and sat us at this huge table in the corner. I admit I felt bad taking at 5 top when there were people waiting, but we have a baby and ‘aint nobody got time for that’. So we scarf our food and enjoy the moment we had.
  • Food:  This Chinese food isn’t messing around. It’s won several foodie awards and I had always wanted to try it out bc it looked HUGE and because it looks like a jungle inside. Score. I’m a sucker for theme park decor in places. Ghetto yes, cool no…mama don’t care. It should also be noted these plates are HUGE and meant for family style sharing.
  • Price: $10 and up. Very well priced for the size.
  • Location:  LES, Lower East Side, East Village, Chinatown, Soho, NYC

“The things that people cannot do without everyday are firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, and tea.”
–Phrase coined in the late Southern Song dynasty. 

Yuca Bar Seats Anytime, Any Size SUV Stroller #NYC #LES #FoodReview #HappyHour

Yuca Bae LES

Yuca Bar LES

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:  “Yuca Bar” 111 Avenue A NYC LES East Village

  • Baby B Rank:  Rollin- They see us Rollin’ in and they keep us happy. They always seat us in the front table right behind the host stand no matter how busy it is or what happy hour is going on. I love them. Note Tuesday is the night to go, but GO EARLY, it gets packed by 630pm from the after work crowd. They also have a great outdoor seating section that gives you a nice side view of the park. That’s another perk. After dinner and dusk sets in, you can walk through the park(Thompkins) and you might…just might catch sight of some fire flies.
  • Food:  Get the The drinks here are so good (Bloody Mary is great for brunch) and the tapas portions are perfect to try all different types of items on the menu. Great for big parties and sharing! The meatballs and cheese (need I say more). Also- the Guac is killer!!! Yelp
  • Price:  $7-20 Depending and 1/2 off on Tuesday for Tapas. Great Happy Hour too (1-8pm) $6 Sangria and most other drinks are $7.
  • Location:  LES, Lower East Side, East Village, NYC

“Please don’t worry so much…because in the end none of us have very long on this Earth.  Life is fleeting.  And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky…and when a shooting star streaks through the blackness…make a wish…make your life spectacular.” ~Robin Williams (From Jack) RIP