Sandra was born and raised in Flushing, Queens but spends the majority of her time hanging out in Manhattan (specifically, she loves the East Village and Clinton/Midtown West). She spends her spare time exploring the City’s restaurants and feels that eateries are a reflection of the diverse city we live in and the rich culture that surrounds us. She couldn’t think of a better way of spending her weekend than by tasting a new dish on Saturday evening or enjoying Sunday brunch with her loved ones (neither could we!). And how does she burn off those calories? By running in Central Park, of course!
What’s your favorite thing about sharing reviews on Places?
It helps me reminisce [about] the amazing food I tried and how I felt checking out the venue. I like to share my experience with others as well because it gives them an insight to what to expect.
Share an ultimate insider tip for New York City.
In Queens there are these white vans that transport you from Flushing to Chinatown in Manhattan or Brooklyn for only $ 2.75!
If you could see any celebrity’s reviews on Places, who would you choose and why?
Clare Robinson! She currently lives in NYC and based on the show The Best Thing I Ever Ate, I feel like we have the same taste in food. Bold, spicy, and meaty!
What would your superpower be?
I would love to be multilingual! I wish I could order my food in the restaurant’s native language. Super hot!
Do you have any pets?
No 🙁 — I would love to own a French bulldog and name him TACO!
Have any embarrassing moments you’d like to share?
The first time I ate edamame was on a date and instead of waiting for him to take the first bite, I reached over, grabbed one, and starting eating the whole thing! He started laughing and said, “You just eat the soybeans located inside.” Oops!
What’s your favorite Google event you’ve been to and why?
The coolest event was visiting the Brooklyn Brewery! I’m a huge fan of local beers and loved checking out their selections.
What’s your ultimate guilty pleasure?
Oh boy! Eating a slice of chocolate layer cake from The Chocolate Room!
That is a great place! Speaking of great places, how about sharing some local favorites with us?
The Meatball Shop – These meatballs are rockstars! A simple concept, totally perfected. I have ordered the veggie balls with mushroom gravy sauce served on a bed of veggies and the classic beef balls with spicy meat sauce on a hero. Delicious! We have also ordered a side of risotto, which was pretty good. I can’t wait to go again!
Ten Degrees – I love their Mondays, 1/2 price all night on all wine bottles deal. Great crowd, perfect location, fun times!
Brickyard Gastropub – The crowd is great, the food is tasty, and the drinks are good. I love how they pair each of their dishes with a recommended drink. For instance, I ordered their organic buckwheat soba noodle salad for dinner and the suggested beer was blue point toasted lager. Awesome.
Zoma – I have been going to Zoma for over three years now and I must say it’s the best Ethiopian food in NYC. We always order the vegetarian platter and a bottle of honey wine. If you don’t mind eating with your hands, this is definitely a restaurant to check out. I also love the fact that it’s located in Harlem. After you are done with lunch/dinner, check out Nectar Bar a couple of blocks away.
Empanadas Del Parque – Everyone who lives in New York must come here! The empanadas are out of this world. Being Colombian myself, I can tell I’m eating an empanada prepared by a Colombian and that makes the world of a difference. They are super crunchy and jam-packed with flavor. I think I’ve tried them all :).
Posted by Esther Brown, New York City community manager