Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wise Words

vicbeckham 

“I wear the feathers in my relationship.”

– Victoria Beckham

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spotlight On: Jesse Draper & like, The Valley Girl Show

IMG_8749A It’s been a while since I’ve seen something totally unique and something that makes me go, “genius idea!”, but Jesse Draper of The Valley Girl Show has caught my attention. Read on for more information about her innovative, interesting, smart, and adorable show!

Hi Jesse! Thanks for talking with us. Your concept is so original and interesting. Who is The Valley Girl?

The Valley Girl is a character I play on my talk show, “The Valley Girl Show” (http://www.valleygirl.tv). She’s a valley girl, like one you would find in the San Fernando Valley who is very curious about business and from Silicon Valley. She’s not afraid to ask smart people silly or simple questions and overall is positive, pink, entertaining and entrepreneurial!

Great motto. The show really does answer a lot of questions about business that maybe women (me) are too scared to ask – you’re a great source of information. How did you start your series?

I grew up in the Silicon Valley and went to school at UCLA for acting. I realized that because of where I grew up, around start-ups and amongst entrepreneurs, I looked at the world like a business. As an actress, I had this overall sense of business and entrepreneurship that I soon realized not everyone has. I also looked at people like my Dad (Tim Draper), Richard Branson and Steve Jobs as heroes and never understood why there wasn’t a fun talk show/game show dedicated to people like this: The real movers and the shakers. They were always on MSNBC and Charlie Rose, but there was no Ellen Degeneres of business. Immediately after college, I began acting on a Nickelodeon series called “The Naked Brother’s Band.” The show was a family mockumentary, created/produced by my aunt (Polly Draper). Working with family, I had more of an opportunity to learn and explore. Although I was an actress on the show, I began attending production meetings. I thought, “I can do this.” So after the 2nd season [of The Naked Brothers Band], during my hiatus, I tried. I had an idea for a gameshow/talkshow for people in business, I had my brothers film it and did it for no money at all. We got enough of a positive response that I tried it again and 2 weeks ago, we just filmed our 3rd season which will be released starting in Mid-May.

Who's been your favorite guest?

I have so many favorites! All of them! Most recently, MC Hammer was on. [ed note: awesome.] He was definitely one of my favorites. He is wonderful. I also LOVED having Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors on last season, I made him eat escargot (http://www.youtube.com/valleygirl#p/u/38/MIMy02htWAY ). It was really funny. And he is an incredibly inspiring guy. He’s only 30, has triplets and is the CEO of both an electric car company (Tesla Motors) and Spacex which makes spaceships.

The set is awesome - how did that come together? Did you design it?

My brother came up with the idea to call the show “The Valley Girl” and once you call it something like that everything becomes pink! The first season, my friend and I collected pink things from everywhere we could think of and for the 2nd season I hired an AMAZING set designer named Kirsten Larsen who has taken the pink idea to another level!

I love head adornments, too - do you have any favorite designers?

In terms of jewelry, I only wear Christina V. She is an AMAZING jewelry designer! Check out her stuff,  http://www.christinav.com !!!

As far as my outfits, we look at Jackie O and Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde and basically just try to take those ideas and certain elements but make them all pink, of course. Valerie Iida, our new costume designer, is incredibly creative. This season I wore everything from Tahari to BCBC to Aqua. I wear a lot of Aqua, which is Bloomingdale’s house brand.

What kind of tea are you drinking there?

Pink tea/pink lemonade or water is usually what is in the cups! We have to keep our guests hydrated!

Any companies you'd like to interview in the future?

First and foremost, I have been dying to get Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook! But I would also love to get Chad Hurley of Youtube, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Meg Whitman [ of eBay]…the list goes on, so many people! And women in business of all sorts. There aren’t nearly enough of those.

Definitely agree, but you’re setting an awesome example and supporting the connection between women and business. One last word of advice for readers?

Just do it! If you have an idea you want to pursue, don’t let anyone stop you. If you don’t know how to do something, find someone who does! Nothing should stop you from starting your own company if that is what you want to do!

Follow me @valleygirlshow (http://www.twitter.com/valleygirlshow)

Subscribe on Youtube! (http://www.youtube.com/valleygirl )

Check out “The New Pink Times” (http://blog.thevalleygirl.tv/ )

 

The Valley Girl with the dreamy Thomas Foley – I keep watching this one over and over again

Thanks to McKenna Sweazey for introducing me to Jesse!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How To: Wash Your Pillow


Having an old lady moment, so forgive me, but I found this really, really helpful. Germs are icky, so follow these simple steps from CasaSugar to wash your pillows. 


To wash feather and down pillows:
  • Fill your sink 3/4 with warm water and a scoop of powdered laundry detergent. 
  • Squish your pillow under the water until it's completely soaked, squeezing it gently.
  • Then, drain your sink and wring your pillow to squeeze out the water.
  • Place your pillow on a towel and roll it up to pull out more water.
  • Then, pop it in the dryer with a few clean white towels and dry it on low-moderate heat. If you want, add a tennis ball to make it fluffy.
  • Hang it on the line to let it dry completely.
To learn how to wash synthetic or foam pilows, read more.
To wash synthetic or foam pillows:
  • Machine-wash your pillow on the gentle cycle with powder detergent and warm water.
  • Dry on moderate heat with clean towels, as above. 

In the market for new pillows? Overstock has a great selection - it's just silly to get pillows from a place like Bed Bath & Beyond when you can get the same for less. 

And in other news, this is creepy and can be yours for only $28.99.


Friday, April 23, 2010

All yours…..

original link here

for $18 mil.

Finally, I know who lives in this massive, interesting townhome! Or who did, rather. The family from the new Bravo TV show,  Nine by Design. While I don’t like the interiors style at all – just too clean and modern for me, this family has kids! – I can admire the space and architecture.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wise Words

Luxury-Lifestyle “ [Luxury] is to be able to make my own choices. It isn’t necessarily luxury in terms of high living – it’s freedom.”

– Douglas Kirkland, photographer

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spotlight On: Will Erickson

I am so excited about this post! Here at Where The Style Things Are, we definitely admire and reward good style and taste, and rare is the moment when we come across a guy capable of blowing our socks off. Behold New Orleans’ Will Erickson, who was kind enough to answer a few questions.

    Hi Will! I heard you have amazing taste and renovate houses...tell willye (1)me a little bit about what you do. What's the hardest part about your job?

The hardest part of my job is trying to balance time to organize myself and make sure my projects progress daily. There is always problem solving along the way but organization is the key to keeping myself together.

What's the best part?

The best part of my job is it's the perfect example of what I love to do - design a space for the people who will live in it and tie it together with art. Last is the completion of the project. Usually, it takes quite a bit of work to reach this point and it is so nice when my clients are happy and the end product turns out to be even better than I expected! The most fun along the way is the design, picking materials, fixtures and great hardware. I was born to work for myself. Some kids played sports, I played office. Seriously, I had my mom go out and get me a stapler and desk so I could play bossman.

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mom’s house, designed by Will

Ha, that’s incredible! Who are your clients?

My clients vary in age but most are friends of friends who are sophisticated and have an idea of what they want. I act as a guide to design and the one who makes sure the project is as painless as possible. Working in my field is great in New Orleans because people take real ownership of their homes as a reflection of themselves. Everyone buys things they love and mixes them with their inherited pieces. Their personal items against the backdrop of their living spaces makes for very unique environments. I'm glad to help bring their visions to fruition.

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A client’s closet – a perfect man’s closet!

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A client’s porch

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A client’s living room in New Orleans

 

Tell me about your house...where did you get the items from? Which is your favorite?

Actually, my house was completely renovated when I moved in. I quickly began placing furniture and trying to decide where art was going. A house is a never ending project...There is always something you want to change or improve. Most of the items in my house I have searched for over the last several years. I go to a lot of shops on Magazine street and I also go to the auction from time to time. I have to say some of my favorite pieces are artwork. I have a new piece by my favorite local artist, George Dunbar. He is such a cool guy, talented artist and an inspiration.

 dunbar

Two of Will’s favorite pieces in his home, a French barometer and a George Dunbar relief from his Marshgrass series

chair

one of a pair of caned chairs from a shop on Magazine Street

Your paintings are amazing...one was featured in The Wooten's apartment in the Times. Was that by commission ?

Thank you so much! The one in the NYT was a commission. Andrew and Elizabeth are great friends. She called me one day and said she entered some sort of lottery to have their apartment redecorated by a designer and said she wanted me to do a painting for them. Several weeks went by and Elizabeth called and told me they wanted a 4' x 6' painting for over their sofa! That is a big one to ship to NYC! She had seen some landscapes I did and decided that was the subject of the commission. There was a lot of back and forth emails between us and the designer and at one point I didn't think the designer wanted the painting because it did not photograph well. Anyway, I finished it and shipped it. When it was uncrated they ALL loved it. It was bright colors but in my painting style, which is a little expressionist.

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photo credit: Donna Alberico for the New York Times 

What do you paint? How can someone contact you that wants to have a painting commissioned?

I love to paint architecture and landscapes. I find myself painting people's first houses or places where they met or had a first date. Also, I like painting dogs, cats and occasionally rabbits. I have fun choosing a photo to work from and also putting together a great color palette.

My friend Rebecca set up a new blog for me, which has been great because I wrote on stone tablets up until a couple of years ago. The blog has sparked  so much interest in my work and it is a great way for people to see a variety of my work. My email and photo number are listed on the blog.

http://willerickson.blogspot.com/

geary

“The Halfway House” by Will Erickson

landscape (1)

Tell me on more awesome thing about yourself.

Some of my friends refer to me as a "walking Zagat’s"  because I have been to just about every bar and restaurant in New Orleans. Its what you do when you live in such a fun city.

A final note about Will’s fantastic talent and taste from the owners of the painting in the New York Times article:

“I absolutely love Will Erickson's work and completely trust his impeccable taste so when it came time to  find a great piece of art as we redecorated our living room, I immediately called Will. He's such a talented, confident artist that he knew exactly what would look best in the space. Sure enough, the room, a mix of traditional and modern style, did not fully come together until we hung Will's fabulous abstract landscape painting.  It absolutely makes the room, and people immediately gravitate to it when they walk in our apartment. It's light and modern but timeless..it'll always hang prominently anywhere we live.  Will has the best sense of style and great taste which is conveyed in his fabulous paintings.”

-Elizabeth Smart Wooten

 special thanks to Lollie Britt for suggesting a profile on Will!

xo

Friday, April 16, 2010

Now if this doesn’t spell it out, I don’t know what does.

Love, love, love this book – and I’ve only seen the below pages! Derek Blasberg, contributing editor to style.com among other projects, is a fashion insider with all the class (and sass) needed to survive, well, as a girl in New York City. (Thanks, D!) It’s kind of an updated Filthy Rich Handbook, which, as we all know, goes back to the holiest of all the handbooks: The Preppy Handbook. Get a good chuckle (and maybe some good advice) from the below teaser pages. derek-blasberg-classy-lg1-2 derek-blasberg-classy-lg2-1 derek-blasberg-classy-lg2-2    derek-blasberg-classy-lg3-1derek-blasberg-classy-lg3-2

derek-blasberg-classy-lg4-1

derek-blasberg-classy-lg4-2images via Guest of a Guest. “Classy: Be A Lady, Not A Tramp” is now available. Buy it here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

15 Random Pretty Things

Here are some random pretty things that are in my inspiration folder. Hope they inspire you to find beauty today!

 

 isabeliforvogueeditorial3

Isabeli for Vogue via Vogue

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Sharon Tate – so, so beautiful

prettyfoodsandprettydrink

Yumyumyumyum via prettyfoodandprettydrink

voguenippon  

Vogue Nippon

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Jackie Kennedy and her sister Caroline at their debut

Charlotte Rampling Shirt

Charlotte Rampling

DIYNOOKDEASK-READYMADE

A DIY desk in a tiny space

fauchon

Fauchon

chandelierstuddedhearst

Chandelier via studdedheart

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Paris, mes cheries

annecoyle

A room by Anne Cole – I could live/die in this room it’s such perfection

ladureeviadesigndarlign

Laduree maccarons

ninaleen2

by Nina Leen

hotelcrillon1

Crillon Ball – I LOVE this picture

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Silhouettes in vignette

 

big kisses

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wise Words

 

armani I believe that style is the only real luxury that is really desirable.

 – Giorgio Armani

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spotlight On: Lauren Pestronk, Fashion Director for HSN

Where The Style Things Are had a chat with Lauren Pestronk, Fashion Director for HSN, about what she does, what HSN really is, and all the best in spring fashion.

What does the Fashion Director of HSN do? What are your main responsibilities?

As the Fashion Director of HSN, I get to see everything that comes through HSN’s “fashion gates.”  I work closely with the HSN fashion merchandising team -- Lynne Ronon, Executive Vice President of Merchandising for HSN, Chuck Anderson, Sr Vice President of Fashion Merchandising for HSN, John Bosco, Sr Vice President of Jewelry for HSN, the buyers and designers -- to curate the best of the season.  Fortunately, we love almost everything - with some items standing out as big “winners”!

To get to these finds, I work with the most talented design houses in the world from NYC to Milan to Paris and with top designer collections, such as American Glamour Badgley Mischka, Timeless by Naeem Khan, Curations with Stefani Greenfield, Chi by Carlos Falchi, Sam Edelman, Completely Me by Liz Lange, to bring the season’s best in fashion, accessories and jewelry, in the latest colors and fabrics.  And, our customers have come to trust they will receive their HSN fashions in a standard and consistent high quality and fit.

I provide our viewers with fashion tips, secrets, must-haves, and all around “goings on” within our closets to make sure that they are the most educated and well dressed women out there!

Describe the HSN shopper.

She is mostly female and more than half are between the 35-54 year old age.  She watches television and uses the internet, consumes all types of media really, and, most importantly, loves to shop!  She lives in the biggest cities with our top 3 markets being New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.  She is well educated and loves HSN not just for the ‘find’ but for the education, information and entertainment which empowers her to make intelligent purchases.

Our customers are obsessed with style and fashion.  They look to us to hear about product trends and to hear from designers themselves. We strive to be the customer’s fashion boutique - a trunk show that we deliver to 93 million homes - where we showcase the lifestyle of designers and brands and curate the best-of design.

What are the hottest trends for spring you think your customers will be buying? Any specific product/brands?

We have transformed HSN into a fashion destination, diversified the portfolio and added new brands that customers are responding to!

Especially for Spring…a time when people shake off those winter blues and welcome in fresh new beginnings full of color, life and excitement.  We worked with the fashion editors at Elle to bring to them HSN’s Spring 2010 Fashion Series which started mid-February and continues through March.  It is hands-down one of HSN’s hottest fashion shows of the year!  Expect to see interpretations of the Americana trend with stripes, navy blue and white trench coats, light sweaters and scarves from designers like Curations with Stefani Greenfield; the Globe Trotter trend from Sam Edelman, Loose and Light Trend from Michael Vollbracht and Modern Romantic trend from Carlos Falchi.

What's been the most surprising thing you've learned working at HSN?

Anything is possible here at HSN!  We don’t “buy” brands, we partner with visionaries, experts and design authorities to build exclusive labels and products and then bring them to life on our multichannel platform…the network, online, mobile and even in-flight.

And, the customer – she is so fashionable and educated; she inspires me everyday to be the best I can be.  She will spend $1000’s if it’s worth it, but won’t spend $10 if it’s not.  I have so much respect for that.

Anything new and exciting coming up in spring? Any launches or new collections?

Oh yes! Absolutely!  There are constantly exciting new things going on.  American Glamour Badgley Mischka launches a full fashion and accessories collection, Liz Lange launches Completely Me™ by Liz Lange her first ready to wear line, Very Vollbracht by Michael Vollbracht, Me Too Shoes, Jeffrey Banks (madras plaid collection), Cabana Life, Rebecca Moses, as well as someone fabulous from across the pond – TBA this spring!

 

About Lauren: While attending college she focused heavily on fashion and began building her career through various internships. Soon afterwards, she became a Fashion Market Specialist at one of the top fashion trend forecasting agencies in the world. There she covered the Contemporary/Designer market, which basically meant spending all of her days in the best fashion showrooms that New York City has to offer. She learned the ins and the outs of Seventh Avenue, focusing on fashion trends for all ages, budgets, and styles. She worked with every retailer in the country from designer to mainstream and everyone in between.

After covering all of Seventh Avenue, she headed south to Soho, to the offices of Scoop NYC. In this role, she was fortunate to wear many different fashionable hats learning more than anyone could learn in a lifetime. She traveled the globe to some of the most exclusive fashion houses in the world - London, Florence, Milan, Paris, Greece - it was her graduate degree program!

Then, she took her degree and background to HSN, using her experience and knowledge to educate shoppers on fashion. And she’s enjoying every minute!

 

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Curations by Stefani Greenfield leopard scarf, $49.90

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Curations by Stefani Greenfield, snake print sandal, $44.90

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Curations by Stefani Greenfield off the shoulder dress, $169.90

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American Glamour by Badgley Mischka 5-way dress, $129

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American Glamour by Badgley Mischka chain necklace, $129

Friday, April 9, 2010

One of the best internet finds ever.

kappapicturelongwingblogThis reminds me of such amazing days….miss you, girls! Can’t wait to see you!

image via Longwing

Sad But True Tales From My Life – Adventures in Allergies

crepemyrtle I know everyone says this, but really – there are really some things that happen only to me.  I am the worst allergy sufferer I know, hands-down. My immune system is in a constant state of breakdown; let me just give you a little example of how my day goes. It’s super personal and revealing, but I think it’s important to know that some people have a really difficult day-to-day life because of stupid yellow dust. And, to some, including myself some days, it’s humorous.

wicked, wicked tree.

8am: wake up. can’t open eyes all the way. run to mirror – suspicions confirmed. my face is completely swollen. it looks like my eyelids are harboring golf balls. I should start wearing oven mitts taped to my hands when I’m sleeping to keep from scratching.

8:02am: immediately put on my lifesaver, Vaseline. Smear it everywhere on my face, which has been dried out from all the itching.

8:04am: Ow, burning. The whites of my eyes are the same color as strawberry frosting so I go on a hunt for eyedrops. Zyrtec tablet – I should up my dose to 2 today.

8:05am: relief. thank goodness. lips are swollen – I purse  them in the mirror. Nope, not Angelina-worthy. Call myself Frankenstein for the first time of many today.

10:30am: ow ow ow ow my face! trying not to itch, because I’m one of those people –  an itcher. I have several chickenpox scars. Still. Run to get my ice pack (keep one at work, one at home – no, seriously) and ice my face.

10:45am: ok this is not working. Benadryl time. I take one instead of two so I can half function.

11:15am: work is hard when you want to put your head down and conk out. Thank goodness I have such an understanding boss. Go to visit the building nurse, who I am on a first name basis with.

1:20pm: A little better. I itch my legs to keep from itching my face and neck.

3:00pm: In the elevator. Woman says to me, “No more crying. Nothing worse than a pretty girl crying.” I tell her it’s allergies and I contemplate wearing sunglasses for the rest of my life. Mortifying. Especially since she’s the 5th person to say something. Wonder how many haven’t and just stared.

3:15pm: Co-worker says, "I feel so sorry for you.” I respond by sneezing.

4:00pm: Boss’s office, ice pack #2. Boss doesn’t even blink an eye. We’re used to this by now.

4:45pm: Still in a Benadryl coma. What’s wrong with me? Can barely keep my head up and feel like I’m floating, and not in the good way. Hands shaking. Can you OD on antihistamines?

5:30pm: My intern is staring at me like I’m speaking Japanese when I’m trying to explain something. I probably am speaking Japanese. I have no idea at this point, just want to get my work done and put my head down asap.

6:15pm: Must. Go. Home. Drag myself onto the subway. No way I’m making the gym.

7:00pm: Bed. Knocked out.

3:30am: Awake. Slept 8 hours. Maybe now I can clean my life? And go to that spinning class at 6:45!

5:05am: Writing this post after having sped-cleaned my apartment, cleared my closet, and scrubbed the bathroom. It’s raining – I hope that it’s washed away some of the nastiness. Going to have a rotten weekend ahead if not.

Yep. This is what I go through. Yesterday was particularly bad, and I’m so used to it by now, but apparently according to pollen experts (!), this year has been extremely bad (or “wicked bad” as one of them was quoted in an ABC article. ) 120+ pollen count is considered extremely high – today’s count?

 

5995.

Since I’ve gone through every play in the pollen game book, my tips for pollen perseverance, below.

Stay inside when you can. I hate that it’s so pretty outside and I can’t go running on the highway, but such is my life. I’m only outside for a total of 15 minutes per day anyway.

Shower before you get into bed to keep from marinating in those pesky pollen bits. Especially try to get it out of your hair.

Especially avoid being outside 5am-10am, when most pollen falls.

Take antihistamines! They’re OTC. I hate when people sneeze and say allergies and then say they’re not on meds. They are awesome – it’s when you need more than just antihist’s that sucks.

Do a saline nasal spray to release the particles stuck up your nose.

Try your hardest not to scratch.

For more information, go to Pollen.com.

Always Hungry: New York’s Best Quesadilla

Sometimes it’s like bloggers read my mind when I want to generate new content for y’all – and they do it better and faster! So here from Always Hungry is a post about the best quesadillas in NYC. A post TK from me on the acceptable places for Mexican, since we all know New York has terrible Mexican food!

DosToros__SteakQuesadillaCross_v1_18_-_Version_2_thumb

People have been talking about how good the quesadillas are at Dos Toros Taqueria. In early January, Oliver Strand called them “a marquee player.” Soon after, Ed Levine said, “I don’t think there is a better quesadilla to be had in all New York City.” We thought the same thing last November. But all this talk inspired the question: what are the City’s other great contenders?

Menupages puts the number of New York restaurants with ‘quesadilla’ on their menus at 860 (that only 468 are labeled Mexican may cause concern). Even crossing off Applebee’s and the like, determining the City’s best quesadilla would be daunting. After due diligence, we pitted seven steak renditions at well-regarded places against Dos Toros to see who might topple the quesadilla that would-be king.

Dos Toros’ quesadilla ($5.97) structure is atypical, begging a definition. Technically, a quesadilla is a tortilla filled with a savory mixture, folded, and fried. Some definitions allow cutting, but not wrapping. The texture of the tortilla at Dos Toros is crisp and bubbled. There’s a bold tri-fold move that creates a pocket for the ingredients. It’s no sincronizada— no classic, solo-tortilla fold-over move. Large chunks of soft steak, cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole (92¢ extra), — it’s all squirreled away inside so you get all the good flavors without the inconvenience of having to dip (cross-section, above). It’s quesadilla, burrito-style.

Below, in no particular order, are some of the other contenders we sought out.

Steak Quesadilla at Los Hermanos.

LOS HERMANOS, of course, makes their tortillas. They do the classic fold-over. It’s loose, like a giant soft taco with shredded lettuce, avocado slices, crema and queso Oaxaca. The cheese is not a binding agent, there’s little dressing or bite, the steak isn’t great, and you enjoy the tortilla more than the fillings.

How it Stacks Up: The taste doesn’t measure up to Dos Toros. Still, there are seven options (including salted beef and chorizo), and at $3 for one, it’s excellent value.

Steak Quesadilla from Downtown Bakery.

DOWNTOWN BAKERY bakes their quesadilla, and the texture of their tortilla is similar to that of a pita chip. Like Los Hermanos, the bi-fold is used, but the filling (equal parts Jack cheese and thin strips of steak) reaches the edge and adheres to the tortilla.

How it Stacks Up: Downtown Bakery is an undisputed gem, and the quesadilla is a full meal, but you really need the side of salsa verde to kick up the flavor.

La Esquina Taqueria’s Steak Quesadilla.

LA ESQUINA TAQUERIA does quesadillas sincronizada-style. The Quesadilla Simple ($5.50) comes with your choice of Oaxaca or Chihuahua Cheese (you’ll be lucky to just get in and out of there in twenty minutes with the quesadilla, forget specifying the cheese). Two flour tortillas are sparsely filled with cheese, grilled steak ($4.00 extra), diced tomatoes and cilantro. It’s very thin, not much thicker than most New York pizza slices.

How it Stacks Up: It tastes good, and the cup of roasted tomato and tomatillo salsa is vibrant, but as a total package, there’s more substance at Dos Toros.

Calexico Truck’s Rolled Carne Asada Quesadilla.

CALEXCIO calls their rendition a “Rolled Quesadilla,” but it really resembles a pressed burrito. In its initial stages it’s cylindrical, gradually flattening under the weight of a grill press. The juicy, chunks of meat in the Carne Asada Quesadilla ($7.00) have fantastic smoky, grill flavor. They’re bound by Cheddar and Jack— it’s very portable. There is little else standard fixings-wise— sides of guacamole, salsa, crema and avocado crema cost $1-$2 — but it is served with a cup of “Chipotle Crack Sauce,” and as many packets of Cholula as you want.

How it Stacks Up: A great specimen, but still second to Dos Toros.

Pampano’s Carne Asada Quesadilla with grilled hanger steak.

PAMPANO TAQUERIA in the Crystal Pavilion Food Court (805 Third Ave) just around the corner from Richard Sandoval’s Pampano, makes a pretty mean steak quesadilla (though it costs $11.95 and they can take a while). Again, the bi-fold move. Then it is halved, stacked, and wrapped in foil. The cheese is stringy. Prepare for one of the wettest, most juicy, greasy dripping quesadillas you have had.

How it Stacks Up: Not as good as Dos Toros, but the Taqueria’s Carne Asada Quesadilla, while messy, deserves respect. The selection of salsas you can choose from is impressive.

Mesa Coyoacan’s Carne Asada Quesadilla with grilled, marinated skirt steak that has been marinated in Mexican spices.

MESA COYOACAN makes a Carne Asada Quesadilla that is a special worth seeking out on the weekends (though they say they will make it if you ask). The housemade corn tortillas are thin, smaller than the others featured here. There are two to an order ($9.00), each folded over like a taco, not pressed or smushed haphazardly. They are filled with grilled grass-fed skirt steak, queso Oaxaca, and epazote, then dressed with crema fresca and avocado salsa. There is nothing delicate about the flavor— you really taste the tortilla along with the other components.

How it Stacks Up: An excellent special when you can get a hold of it— an upscale steak quesadilla.

Pinche Taqueria’s Carne Asada Quesadilla.

PINCHE TAQUERIA does a Carne Asada Quesadilla featuring charbroiled steak, cheese, and onions in a soft flour tortilla that’s slightly browned and toasty on the outside ($6.75). The chips are superfluous to these purposes, but the side of guacamole is an appreciated touch.

How it Stacks Up: Respectable, but it doesn’t approach Dos Toros.

CONCLUSION: At the end of the day, Dos Toros reigns supreme. Structure, overall quality, individual flavors, component distribution, texture— it is the whole package. Now we can sleep, and eat easier.

 

 

*How sad is it that I’ve had 5 of these quesadillas? I definitely need to get to Dos Toros, but the problem is it’s right next to my gym! I look longingly in the window and at the line spilling out into the street after a workout.

My call (without having tasted Dos Toros)? Tough. La Esquina definitely is the most frequent for me – I called their adding quesadillas to the menu “life changing” – and I still mean it. But, that Calexico cart quesadilla is something unbelievable. Haven’t made it out to their new location in Brooklyn, but anytime I’m in Soho on a nice weekday, I head over to Wooster and Prince.

cheesy kisses xo

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