Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lobster Rolls are the New Cupcake

Day's Lobster Rolls
There, I said it, yes I did. Who wants cute little cupcakes or manly bacon when you can be cute and manly with some lobsta! And now you can get lobster rolls from a cart starting this Saturday. I think that's illegal in seven states and some territories.

Crab Roll
There really is a lobster roll war going on and loads of people, including Brownie, are loving it! But now the people behind Ed's Lobster Bar are unveiling a Ed's Lobster Bar Cart this Saturday at 11am. Word is the lobster is flown in fresh from Maine and/or the Canada, and yes there will be other sandwiches for those of us not-so lobster inclined. Look for it around Vesey St & North End Avenue.

Brooklyn Flea
But say you want to make your own lobster roll, maybe you're not impressed by the current offerings. Well then you need to head to Red Hook Lobster Pound who will be selling their lobsters from today until Sunday at $8.50/pound or $9.50/pound depending on how big your lobster is. They're open from Noon to 7pm, and are also at this Saturday's Brooklyn Flea! Get your lobster on!

Ed's Lobster Bar Cart
225 Vesey St @ North End Avenue

Red Hook Lobster Pound
284 Van Brunt Street

Sidenote: Neither of these pictures are from Ed's or Red Hook Lobster. Guess we're just going to have to go eat some!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Barnyard, Alphabet City's Cheese Shop

I love cheese!
Bez and Spam have been super excited lately. After years of living in Alphabet City, they can finally realized they can get cheese in their nabe! I can finally pick up a little something to their dinner parties! They have one of our mutual favorites, Cypress Grove! It's a win-win for everyone. Best part: Barnyard has sandwiches too! I love sandwiches.

Cypress Grove Gouda
Barnyard opened two summers ago, but like many New Yorkers, we weren't aware of it simply because we never walked past the store. Well Bez and I were bumbling around the city this weekend, and decided to stop by, get some munchies and cheese, and sit at their outside table to watch the goings-on.

Inside Chorizo Empanada
Bez splurged on a little Midnight Moon gouda, creamy delicious cheese that PERFECT for slicing onto fresh bread. I went for a chorizo empanada, spicy meaty deliciousness. But I'll definitely be back soon for a little sandwich they have called The Figgy Piggy-yes, prosciutto, fig jam, and goat cheese: a classic tasty combination. Had I not been a little piggy beforehand, this would have gotten my vote. Oh, and they deliver, sweet bonus.

149 Avenue C, btn. 9th and 10th
(212) 674-BARN

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Help Support New Amsterdam!

The Market Crop
I LOVE outdoor markets. It reminds me of my days in Europe, getting fresh food to take home and a little to snack on there. They're so much more than street fairs with fried Oreos (though I do love that too!) The current top two on my list are Hester Street Fair-Brownie, we MUST go soon with Little B in tow-and New Amsterdam Market, which is currently holding a super fabulous online auction!

Bourbon Sea Salt Caramel
The Purveyors Auction started last weekend, is going on through tomorrow night, and has some pretty awesome things to bid on. You can spend a day at The Bent Spoon in Princeton, NJ getting tips on how to recreate their delicious ice cream. Bid on that here. Or you can have a guided cheese tasting for EIGHT people at The Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, VT. Bid on that here.

Rick's Picks
But of course you want to spend a day with Mr. Rick Field himself, you know Rick's Picks, and spend a day pickling, don't you! Place your bid now. Maybe you don't want food at all-they have a serious selection of magazines and other little things to win.

Check out the full list of items available for auction by clicking here. Feel free to become a friend, donate, or sign up to volunteer by going here.

The next New Amsterdam Market will be on Sunday, June 27th.
South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip

Monday, May 24, 2010

Checking Out the Go Burger Truck

The Go Burger Truck hit the streets about a month ago, and I promptly visited it during its grand opening weekend, but I wasn't sure how the truck's schedule was going to work out or whether I should even tell you about my dismal experience. Was it going to roam much? Would it only be working street fairs? Was this burger worth seeking at a street fair? Was it anything like my dinners at BLT Burger?

Go Burger
The Go Burger truck is run by the BLT Restaurant Group, but after Chef Laurent Tourondel split the company with Jimmy Haber. These burgers are from Jimmy Haber's side, and, from what I understand, this is just a warm-up to a few brick-and-mortar burger places. The truck will only be working street fairs, with locations being tweeted. One hopes that the burger joints will be better than this burger. I really want to chalk up some of the issues I had to the simple fact that it was cold out and it being the first weekend, but the more I think about this disappointing meal, the less I think the weather had something to do with it.

Go Burger Classic Cheeseburger
I ordered a simple Classic with cheese and fries. I waited a few minutes for my order, excited to eat my lunch. First bites revealed a cold, medium rare, virtually tasteless meat patty. The cheese isn't even melting, it's sitting there plastic and droopy. Fail. I threw it out after three bites. Fries must be better, how can you go wrong with fresh French fries? Except when they're cold too and lacking salty bits. Yes, oil needs to be nice and hot to make nice and hot fries. The oil must not have been nearly hot enough.

Inside Go Burger
Would I seek this truck out? That's a definitive no. I'm willing to try it again should I come across it at a fair, but I'm not traveling out of my way for any underwhelming piece of meat. And it nowhere near as delicious as the burgers Brownie and I have shared at BLT Burger. Shake Shack, your place in my life is secure.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bar Artisanal Goes Tapas!

Watermelon Granité, Lime Cloud from Bar Artisanal

The folks at Metromix have the scoop on Bar Artisanal recent transformation to a tapas-centric menu. Now I'm pro-tapas, but what about their goat cheese stuffed lamb burger with chickpea fries? Or my beloved Watermelon Granité with Lime Cloud...

Seriously their Watermelon Granité is easily one of my favorite desserts I've had in the last year. It's like watermelon snow. Cool, light and refreshing, it's the perfect dessert for a hot summer day and one of those desserts that you dream about during the winter. I know I did.

I see watermelon makes a couple of appearances on the menu in tapas and salad form, so perhaps there's hope that it could be added to their postres menu. Please, oh, please!

Bar Artisanal
268 W. Broadway
(between Avenue Of The Americas & Lispenard St)
New York, NY 10013
212) 925-1600

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Strawberries, Ramps, and Rhubarb All in Season!

I'm a firm believer that the Wednesday Greenmarket at Dag Hammerskjöld is underutilized by Midtown East workers. It's the only Greenmarket available to us year-round, there's always a good selection of food-though it does get a little sparse during the winter months, and the vendors are ALWAYS super friendly and willing to help. It's where I found this season's ramps; Union Square's run out before 9am. And it's where I saw this season's first strawberries! Summer, summer, I love you summer!

I'll admit, until this year, I'd never been able to get my hands on ramps. I didn't know what they were until a few years ago! Now I'm hooked! My favored cooking method has been simply slicing and using in place of garlic or shallots, but now I'm onto the broiler method utilized by Jess from Sidenote: I went to the same FreshDirect dinner and I'm completely hooked on them too. I don't think ramps will be around much longer, but I know I did see them last week, so one can hope they'll be there tomorrow!

But the strawberries are in full force! Not only did I pick up my first batch last week, the one in the left bottom corner-plenty of pints were still for the taking at the end of Monday's Union Square market. They're so sweet and so good! Rhubarb, strawberry's famous companion, is also growing strong. Last week, half of my office tasted rhubarb cobbler for the first time, and we all loved it. Of course, this means I'll be trying my hand at a strawberry rhubarb pie! And then maybe a rhubarb crisp. And then maybe a strawberry rhubarb tart. And then I'll switch it up and make a shortcake....

Dag Hammerskjöld Greenmarket
47th Street and 2nd Avenue
Wednesdays 8am to 6pm year round, except for the day of the UN General Assembly in September

Monday, May 17, 2010

Midtown Lunch: The Super-Achiever vs the Slacker

Grilled Cheese with Chorizo and Bacon from the Eggstravaganza Cart
Here we are, another month, another Midtown Lunch round-up. Brownie's been getting her fill of lunches before going out on leave, while I've been trying to get everything else in my life in order before she goes out on leave.

Pork Medallions at Cucina's Chef Table
Oh yes, she met Billy Gunnz aka Mr. Softee, got the Oyster Bar's Maine Lobster Gazpacho, didn't buy into low-carbon fast food, found some decent Pad Thai on 10th Avenue, found out that Miss Softee will be back soon, lived a life dream of buying grilled cheese from a cart, and hit up the deal that is the Chef's Table at Cucina

Mmm, Pizza
I, um, did find some time out to hit up Pizza by Cer Te. And then I promptly went back to work.

Check out our Midtown Lunch-ing highlights and lowlights over on

Friday, May 14, 2010

Please Pass the Varenyky! It's Time for St. George's Annual Ukrainian Festival

An order of Varenyky and Sauerkraut

If you love potato filled dumplings, you can get your homemade varenyky fix on this weekend at St. George's Ukrainian Festival in the East Village ...

This year marks the 34th Ukrainian Festival. The annual event is always a popular one and with good reason...good food. Two years ago, I hit up the St. George's Festival on a rainy Sunday afternoon and even with the rain they ran out of their homemade borscht and the stuffed cabbage. Right now this weekend is looking sunny and pleasant, so you can bet there will be crowds. But the tasty tender and buttery varenyky prepared by the good ladies of St. George's Catholic Church are worth the wait and make this one of my favorite church festivals of the year next to the Myanmar Baptist Church Food and Fun Fair. Do you have a favorite church festival for good eats?

Serving up some good eats at the St. George's Tent

Saint George Annual Ukrainian Festival
May 14-16, 2010 on 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church
30 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10003

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Longing for Lox

Russ & Daughters Lox Bagels
When you have a bun in the oven you have to watch what you eat and these days the food no-no list is a lot longer than when my mom was pregnant with me. I'm not much of a drinker, so staying away from booze hasn't been much of a challenge and I even managed to kick my raging caffeine habit pretty quickly. No, the torturous part of these past 9 months has been doing without fish in it's various raw and cured forms. Especially my beloved lox...

Oh lox, I've missed you so. Not a weekend goes by when I don't think about having you on a bagel with a nice schmear. My mom hasn't been much of a help, "What do you mean your doctor says you can't have lox? I ate lox all the time when I was pregnant with you and you turned out fine." And though Lawman has tried to abstain in solidarity, he did confess to a few lox spread dalliances while I was out of town.

If I can have my way, my first order of business postpartum will be tucking into a bagel and cream cheese with Scottish Salmon from Russ and Daughters in the recovery room. I wonder if I should add that to my birth plan...

Russ and Daughters
179 E. Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
Ph: (212) 475-4880

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What's a Horse Race without Boozy Pie?

Derby Pie
I'm a lover of the ponies even if it isn't politically correct to be so. I can't help it: my family's been going to Belmont for years, and I've been watching the Triple Crown since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Oh, but my family wasn't in on one thing, the Derby Pie. New "Derby Needs" List: Bourbon, Crazy Hat, Mint Juleps, Boozy Pie.

Derby Pie
I had planned on trying my hand at a Bananas Foster Bread for the Kentucky Derby, but I've been in a pie mood. To the internets I went, looking for a minty or bourbon needing pie. I didn't have to look far until I found these recipes straight from Kentucky for Derby Pie. Chocolate, pecans, and bourbon: really all I've ever needed in life (I recently got into the habit of having a handful of frozen pecans as a snack.) Never having made a pecan pie before, I wasn't aware that 1) the crust shouldn't be pre-baked and 2) you should wait a few minutes for the pecan pieces to rise prior to placing in the oven. Oopsies.

Derby Pie
Pie was delicious anyway, and boozy. I went with the first recipe thinking 4 tablespoons of Tuthilltown's Bourbon wouldn't be strong enough at all. It was, oh it was. Enough to put you right over the line from buzzy to drunky. Chocolate boozy nut goodness never felt so right. I think one's in order for this weekend's Preakness.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's Not Iced Coffee Weather, But It is Free Weather

May 11 Free Iced Coffee
Today's marks two things: 1) it's both the Bobos birthdays! Happy Birthday Bobos! We lurves you! 2) It's Free Iced Coffee Day at Dunkin! Who cares about half-priced Mochalicohinos, I want free iced coffee! From 4 to 10pm today, participating Dunkin Donuts are giving out free small Iced Dark Roast Coffees. Free trumps half-priced any day.

May 11 Free Iced Coffee
To find your nearest Dunkin, click here. I wonder what thinks about this.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Standing Order Concrete, the Four-Month "Today's Special"?

Standing Order Custard
Friday was lovely, wasn't it? Before the rains of Saturday morning, the wind of Saturday afternoon, the fallen power lines of Saturday night, and the chilly bite of Sunday. On Friday, the weekend seemed so full of spring, enough so that a little post-happy hour Shake Shack meal of custard and beer wasn't a crazy ridiculous notion. Neither is orange-poppy caramel and strawberries.

Standing Order Custard
While waiting in line for a scoop of the salted caramel custard, a "Today's Special" sign caught my eye. Now, I know that the Shack likes their specials, and more often than not, a "Today's Special" may mean "Today's Special On-And-Off When We Feel Like It Until We Don't Feel Like It Anymore." Said "Today's Special" the "Standing Order Concrete" contains vanilla custard mixed with real fresh strawberries and orange-poppy custard. Poppy in custard provided one of the odder, yet completely enjoyable, food textures I've ever had, and the entire concrete is awesomely delicious. But since this special had some of its proceeds going to support Event Horizon by Antony Gormley-you know, the cast iron statues positioned on top of buildings and freaking everyone out-does this mean that the "Today's Special" concrete will be going on until August, when the exhibit ends? Ms. Robobby has a photo of the concrete being served back in the beginning of April. If you see this being offered, now that 1) it's a do and 2) it's not a given that you will see it again so you should eat it now!

Salted Caramel Custard
Salted Caramel custard should also be on your eat this now! list especially if you're a lover of the caramel. We, Bez and I, loved the perfectly sweet caramel goodness, but would have liked maybe some sea salt on top of the custard. A little crunch, a little salty, but not enough to lower the chemical make-up and have this be a custard fail. I don't know why they're not making the "Standing Order Concrete" with this custard, that just seems like a missed opportunity at greatness. Salted Caramel custard is available on Fridays through May.

Shake Shack
Madison Square Park
West 77th St & Columbus Ave

Friday, May 7, 2010

Golden Girls Cupcakes for Mother's Day

Golden Girls Cupcakes: Sophia and Dorothy
All the recent Betty White mania has me a little nostalgic for The Golden Girls. And Golden Girls makes me want cupcakes, so in honor of Betty White hosting SNL, WE tv running a Golden Girls Marathon, and, of course, Mother's Day, I decided to capture the mother-daughter duo of Sophia and Dorothy in cupcake form...

Golden Girls Cupakes: Sophia and Dorothy

Happy Mother's Day! Be good to your mom!

For further Golden Girls cupcake pleasure check out this link to a classic Betty White/Bea Arthur scene where Rose and Dorothy have a conversation about "cupcakes."

Rose: No offense Dorothy but your cupcakes are dry and tasteless, nobody ever wants to try your cupcakes!
Dorothy: My cupcakes are moist and delicious. Men LOVE my cupcakes.
Rose: Get a clue Dorothy, men would rather PAY for cupcakes!

For more frosted celebs check out:
Fashion Designer Cupcakes (Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, and Betsey Johnson)
Lady Gaga Cupcakes
Liza Minnelli Cupcake


Thursday, May 6, 2010

It's Vendy Award Season!

The Vendy Award
Who really cares about the Beards?! It's all about the Vendys in our world: who will win, who will lose, what will they serve, let's not even start thinking about what the judges will think this year! It's all so anxiety-ridden! And who doesn't want their favorite to win! Let the nominating begin!

This year's New York Vendys will be taking place Saturday, September 25th at the hottest venue in town, Governor's Island-the third Saturday I know I will be spending there this summer. And this is an award for the people, by the people. We have until July 17th to nominate our favorite vendors with one lucky nominator scoring free tickets to the feast. But you want to be a judge you say? Well buy your ticket by May 31st and you could be the lucky 'Citizen Judge'. And if you buy your ticket by Midnight this Friday, May 5th, you could win tickets to Taste of the Nation New York on May 17th. Or maybe you just want to buy a ticket to show your support for the Street Vendor Project. In any case, if you want a certified entrance-because we all know they sold out last year!-buy your tickets right here.

And for those of you on the West Coast, there is some LA Vendy love. Those awards will be May 15th at MacArthur Park, and tickets are still available!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Flan Custard at the Shake Shack

Mmm.  Red Velvet

If you're commemorating the Battle of Puebla, forget the Corona and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Flan Custard this month's Wednesday featured flavor at the Shake Shack. May's Custard Calendar is full of some serious must tries for me including Grasshopper, and Mud Pie. Not to mention the return of my beloved Red Velvet Custard. Mmmm Red Velvet Custard...

Shake Shack May 2010 calendar

May marks my Red Velvet Custardversary, it was this time two years ago that I discovered the wonder of Shake Shack's Red Velvet Custard. They had it for Saturdays last May and this year the tradition holds and it's back in the Saturday custard rotation.

Any must tries on this month's calendar for you?

Shake Shack
Madison Square Park
23rd Street and Madison Avenue

Upper West Side
366 Columbus Ave (at 77th Street)
Twitter feed

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Make Mom Happy, Buy Her Some Blondies!

BGSK Peanut M&M Blondie
When I did The Great American Bake Sale, I noticed that the only blondies there were from Big Girls, Small Kitchen, a site I love visiting. I bought a couple, eating them later in the day, but forgot to take pictures. So when Cara & Phoebe told us that their blondies were bring sold by Baking for Good with proceeds going towards The Valerie Fund, a nonprofit for children, I knew that in order to tell you about it (and make you want to get your own) I'd have to buy some myself. So I did.

BGSK Peanut M&M Blondie
Baking for Good is an awesome California-based website/online bakery that donates 15% of your purchase to the cause of your choosing-there is a long list to pick from. Until Mother's Day, you can buy some of BGSK's Peanut M&M Blondies with proceeds going to The Valerie Fund "a nonprofit that provides support for the comprehensive healthcare of children with cancer and blood disorders." The price is $24 for a dozen of these ginormous bars that can arrive in time for your Mother's Day celebration if you get some today. I had picked the cheaper mail, USPS, so mine took an extra day or two.

BGSK Peanut M&M Blondie
Lucky for the late-arrivers at Street Meat Palooza, they got to taste the blondie deliciousness! Yes, even though my bag of treats was a few days behind schedule-I'd hoped they'd arrive last week-they were still fresh and delicious. Not as fudgy as the ones I'd had from the bake sale, these were more in the traditional vanilla blondie grain. I liked that they were the right amount of sweet, not cloying at all, with the Peanut M&Ms adding a slight bit of crunchy to the bars. And I bet your mom will love them, or your office, or your belly, and how can you not support a bake sale, it's for a cause! Buy some now!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Travels with Brownie: Eritrean Food in Portland, Maine?!

Eritrean Food from Asmara in Porland

Lobster rolls and blueberry pie are probably top of mind when you think about food from Maine, but for a relatively small and fairly homogeneous state, there are some pretty excellent and diverse food options in downtown Portland including Asmara, an Eritrean restaurant that Lawman and I had a chance to check out a couple of weeks ago for my birthday dinner...

After checking out some Yelp recommendations we ordered the Zegenie Beghie or Fiery Lamb Stew and the Shiro--roasted, ground chickpeas and red pepper cooked with fresh garlic and "earthy spices." The entrees were served family style on either a plate of injera with salad & either red lentil stew in a red pepper sauce, cabbage carrots and potatoes in a mild yellow sauce or collard greens and kale in a mild yellow sauce. Lawman and I decided to get the red lentil stew and the collard greens.

The lentil stew was tasty though not quite as spicy as our go to lentil stew, Misir Wett from Brooklyn's own Ethiopian restaurant, Ghenet. The collard greens were excellent and the Shiro was . My favorite dish of the evening was the lamb stew. The lamb was super tender and it had a great spicy finish while the injera was probably the lightest and fluffiest injera I've ever had, not to mention the mildest. When they first brought us our platter, I was convinced that we'd still be hungry, but it more than filling and for under $30 including tax and tip, it's hard to do much better. We'll definitely be making a return visit!

Asmara Restaurant
51 Oak Street
Portland, ME 04101-3921
(207) 253-5122