Saturday, January 24, 2015

Little Pub

This past week I contacted some of my friends to do a little lunch meet up.  Tammy was coming from Stamford, so we decided to meet halfway somewhere around Greenwich.  Tammy, being the well informed woman of the world that she is suggested Little Pub in Cos Cob, CT. 
"It will change your life," I was assured.  I left (late), hoping she was right.

I arrived in snow flurries to the mandatory valet.  The lot is small and it is probably best that they have some people in charge of maneuvering all those fancy Greenwich cars, but I have to admit I was a bit embarrassed at the state of the inside of my car.

The pub is part bar, part dining room. When you walk in you are greeted by a warm double sided fire separating the front entrance and dining room. We were there for lunch on a Monday, but school was out, so the place was packed with friends, couples and cute little families.

As I mentioned, I was late and Tammy and Melissa had already ordered and been served some Santa Fe Egg Rolls. Lucky for me, they are good friends and saved me one!

The egg rolls were crunchy with a spicy chicken that slightly sneaks up on you. I especially loved the mild heat of the cilantro-chipotle dip that was served along side it.

Next to come out was the Crispy Eggplant Frites.  For me, these were the life changers I was promised! They had the tasty crisp of French fries, dusted with Parmesan cheese, but were so light that I could have happily eaten a whole plate to myself and bathed in the garlic aioli accompaniment! These frites took away all the heavy guilt that often comes with French fries. Healthy and light! Win-win.

I asked the waitress to help me choose between the Ahi Tuna tacos or the Food Truck fish tacos. She pointed out that the Food Truck fish tacos would be more filling, and I went for those. The fish tacos were standard fare, good pieces of fried cod with a cilantro-green onion slaw for crunch and a picante chipotle aioli. I, personally, am a huge fan of cabbage, and would have liked the extra crunch it added.

Tammy got the sliders, which looked a little lonely on their plate, but since I was not there when she ordered, I'm not sure if she requested it that way. Melissa, being the health conscious gal that she is, ordered a chopped Cobb salad with grilled chicken. It was a really nice size salad and she was very pleased with it.

We stayed and chatted for a bit after our food was finished and never felt rushed, despite the fact that the dining room was full.  I appreciated this. No one likes a restaurant that is all business and none of the homey comfort of a meal with friends or family, and I am happy to report that Little Pub was a very welcoming and filling lunch.

Little Pub Greenwich
531 East Putnam Ave.
Cos Cob, CT 06807
(203) 717.1147

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

It's OK to love YA, and believe me, I do. While I also read a lot of adult fiction, young adult novels hold a special place in my heart. Maybe it's because I am a teacher of young adults, maybe it's because I never truly grew up, but either way the themes of rebellion and finding your own way just appeal to me.

My past two days (work days, I might add!) have been spent fully immersed in the world of Rae Carson's The Girl of Fire and Thorns. Now I'm an avid reader, but 423 pages in two days is not a feat I have accomplished recently, and this is a true testament to the riveting nature of this novel. I am late to the game as this novel came out in 2012.
Elisa is a relatable protagonist and reluctant heroine in this fantasy novel of God's blessing, sorcery and warfare. She bears the Godstone embedded in her navel (my one complaint about this story - I couldn't get Troll dolls out of my head!) as a sign that she is the one chosen once in a century for a service for God.  Don't be put off by the religious aspects of this book. While religion is a strong presence in the novel, it never becomes preachy; a difficult accomplishment.

There is a lot of back and forth of her finding her way to what she can identify as her personal service.  All along the way every group she encounters believe that the service they require is the one destined by God. This can be seen as an eerie parallel to some groups around the world today.
Elisa is a dynamic character who elicits a sad sort of pity from the reader before her transformative journey, causing the reader to transition along with her, finally resting with a warm glow in their center at novel's end. She is definitely a strong female character that will rate up there with some the reader's favorites.

Just found out this novel has a sequel! I'll be back eventually...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Eggs in Purgatory

A new year means a renewed attempt to be good; or as good as I'm going to get! For me, this means a renewed attempt to save money and improve my health (you know, just like everyone else)! No worries as to the fate of the blog, being good is only for week days!
One week day night, emboldened and a little tired from my recent trip to the supermarket, I thought I would indulge my love of all things eggy and bready and make the perennial favorite: Eggs in Purgatory!

My grandmother once told me that my this was my grandfather's favorite breakfast. Since he passed before I was born, it's good to know we have something in common.
Don't know how to make this easy dish? Keep on reading'!
Here is what you need. Remember cooking (especially Mediterranean) is not always an exact science. Ingredient quantities are all to taste:

Eggs - Can of finely diced tomatoes - Garlic (minced) - Butter - Olive oil (not pictured) - Parmesean Cheese (not pictured) - Red Pepper Flakes (or if you're me Good Grinder Mix) - Your favorite bread

Start with a good glug of olive oil in a hot pan. Add in a teaspoon full of minced garlic. Cook for about a minute, moving the garlic around as you do. 

Here you should also add the red pepper flakes, but I seriously love The All 'Round Good Grinder Blend from The Salt Table in Savannah, Georgia.  This stuff is seriously the whole spice cabinet in one grinder, but balanced in a way that makes it good on EVERYTHING. It contains Pink Himalayan Salt, three kinds of peppercorns and MANY other spices. I love it especially on eggs and potatoes.

Don't worry if you burn the garlic a little ( I did!); it still tastes awesome. Quickly add the can of diced tomatoes. I like my tomatoes a little chunky, but if you prefer you can use crushed or pureed.

Once it is good and bubbly, crack your eggs right into the tomato sauce. sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the eggs and cover to cook the whites.  I used an oversized pot lid so that it vented and the condensation didn't drip down into the tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes or until your eggs are how you like them.

Once done, to make your life easier, serve by placing the whole pan on some trivets in the center of the table. If you're sharing, everyone can spoon some onto their plates or if you're not, just get stuck in with some yummy buttered bread!

There it is! An easy breakfast (or in my case dinner), full of protein, lycopene and vitamins. The whole pan is only about 400 calories total (with three eggs and sauce) before bread.


Friday, January 9, 2015


The Apiary - Larchmont
I lunched at the Apiary on January 2nd, 2015
Lovingly lifted from Apiary's Facebook page

One of the great things about being a teacher is the days off I get to recharge and explore the world around me.   The downside is that none of my closest friends are teachers, so when I’m off, they're working and vise versa. Today, the day after New Year’s Day, I was  lucky because my friend, Lauren, who works for some fancy schmancy company also had off. So, we did lunch!

Based off of some reviews from both Yelp! and The New York Times, we decided to try the newly opened Apiary located on Larchmont Avenue in Larchmont, NY. Parking is kind of iffy, especially with all the Larchmont “Yummy Mummies”, but if it’s a nice day out you can always pay to park in one of the public lots within walking distance.
Lovingly lifted for Apiary's Facebook page

Apiary’s motto is EAT, SERVE. LEARN. They offer meals you can take away or eat in their cute little shop, they will cater your events, and they even offer private cooking parties! How cute would that be for a birthday party or girls night in?  All their food is natural, and locally sourced, which, it being resolution season, is definitely a plus.

Now, a plethora of reviews told us to try the lobster roll. “It’s Amazing,” they said. Well, I am an idiot because when I got there and saw the Ham and Brie baguette with fig jam and mesculun greens it just called to me.  I’m a sucker for brie.  I can’t help it, soft cheeses are my weakness.
Half is already gone! Bad Blogger!

The sandwich was just OK.  The baguette was nice and crunchy and the brie room temperature and soft. The thing that killed it for me was the “fig jam”. I put that in quotes because it in no way resembled anything close to figs, or jam. It was a white cream with enough sweetness for it to me to wonder if there was a mistake.  I asked the woman behind the counter who assured me that this sweet cream was in fact fig jam. Ummm. OK.
I asked for some dijon mustard to balance the sweetness and it worked a treat. They should probably serve it that way, or swap out the fig cream for something a little less cloying.

I really liked the  corn and black bean salad that was served as a side to the sandwich, the sweet corn was perfectly balanced by the bitter kale shreds and I commented to my companion numerous times about how much I loved it!

Lauren got the Philly Cheesesteak, which was a special, and absolutely loved it.  I could see from the soft bun and cheese coated meat and onions that she definitely won menu roulette for this outing.

All in all, our trip to the Apiary was average. I would have preferred my sandwich to be less sweet, but will not give them a miss just because of it. Next time, I’m going for the lobster roll!

The Apiary
157 Larchmont Avenue
Larchmont, NY 10543


Thursday, January 8, 2015


Welcome to Lit and Lunch!

Hello Everyone! I am so excited to begin this, my first blogging adventure! Stay tuned for frequent updates!


My name is Jackie and I  live in a suburb of NYC called Westchester County. I teach Special Education (with a focus on English Language Arts) at a public high school in Harlem. I love to teach and can't imagine ever doing anything else. 

Reading is one of my absolute favorite things to do and oftentimes people have difficulty shutting me up when it comes to discussing my favorite novels. I will read just about anything that crosses my lap, but definitely prefer fiction over non-fiction/biographies.
 Although my father and mother both work in non-literature heavy jobs (my dad is a butcher and my mother a bookkeeper), they are both active readers. I grew up with my mother reading horror and suspense novels in bed and my father reading histories and biographies while waiting for me to be let out of one of my many extra-curricular activities. My favorite genres? Fantasy and Sci-Fi. So, together my whole family could almost make up an entire library!

Just chillin' in Hyde Park, London

I am a HUGE Anglophile.  I studied abroad in London during college and have been trying to move back ever since! I love all things British; tea, Sunday roast, Harry Potter, Steven Fry, London blogs, hilarious sketch comedies, Doctor Who, royal families (past and present) and Corgis! And Accents! And Slang! I'd better stop there. I know there is tons more to British culture, but if I start now, I'll never stop!

Magen's Bay, St. Thomas USVI
Along the same lines, I caught the travel bug early and it is thriving in my system.  Every year I take a least one trip, but being on a teacher salary, they are not always very extravagant.  I tend to have champagne tastes on a beer budget.  While I would love to take multiple trips a year (and most years I,
luckily, do), it isn't always possible, and this is a heart breaking, almost physical pain. I love learning about other cultures and trying new ways of life. I love history and the feeling one gets from historical places. The feeling that you can almost sense all the other lives that have crossed that spot going back for centuries. It is amazing.

How cool is he?
My personal household consists of my boyfriend, who I will call P, and our furbabies: Lucky and Binx (both black cats) and Peggy, who we sometimes call Pig (our rescue beagle). Paul and I have been together for 7 years and our little family is quite comfortable and happy.  * I have to dig for a good picture of the cats, they move a lot!
The Pig on the couch


The main goal of this blog is to review restaurants I have been to in the NYC suburban area (I will also review NYC restaurants)  and current (and not so current) literature that I have read.  All my reviews will be honest, regardless of the situations under which they occurred. I can promise you this.
Hopefully, this blog will also turn into a lifestyle blog of sorts. If I come across a fun activity, interesting travel destination or piece of information I think you should know, I will definitely share.

Sorry for the text heavy post! They won't all be like this.