Wednesday, March 31, 2010
As much as I love Cafe Steinhof's great weekly music acts and late Sunday Night Films, I've never actually been there for brunch until now...
A couple weekends ago, Lawman and I found ourselves in a brunch rut. We were meeting up with a friend and couldn't agree on where to go. The old favorites were quickly ruled out. "How about Cafe Steinhof?" I asked. After a quick online perusal of their menu (and many sub $10 options) Lawman was officially sold. To Steinhof we went.
My heart was telling me to go for the smoked pork loin with sauerkraut on country rye, but since hours later I would be at Cochon555, I opted for a less pork intensive, but still ham-laced, spaetzle with eggs while Lawman ordered the two eggs with Debrecina sausage.
I've only ever had spaetzle twice in my life (both times at Cafe Steinhof), so I don't really have any great point of comparison in terms of how their spaetzle rates in the grand scheme of spaetzledom. While it was tasty in a nice starchy, comfort food sort of way, after snagging a bit of Lawman's breakfast, I kind of wished that I had ordered the Debrecina myself.
This pork sausage had a nice spicy kick, not overly hot, just really tasty. The skin on potatoes that came with Lawman's breakfast were plump and perfectly roasted. And though there's no indication on the menu you get two sausages with your order. Two! Add in the eggs and salad and at $9, this is a total brunch steal and will leave you more than satisfied.
422 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This weekend may have been a bit chillier than the last, but spring is here and summer is just around the corner--the seasonal Uncle Louie G's on Prospect Park Southwest has is showing signs of reopening...
Right now they are playing their hours by ear, but the guy behind the counter said you can expect them to be open most nights until around 7:00-8:00pm. As it gets closer to summer they'll stay open until 10 or later on the weekends. Hopefully warm weather is around the corner and will give them incentive to have more regular hours.
Lawman is a big Italian ice fan, but personally I'm looking forward to having my first ice cream wafflewich of the season soon. I hope they bring back grapenuts ice cream this summer.
This Louie Gee's lost their sign in one of the recent big storms, so while their address is on Prospect Park Southwest, their store window is actually off Vanderbilt.
Uncle Louie G's
157 Prospect Park Southwest
Brooklyn, New York 11218
Monday, March 29, 2010
The parting of the Red Seas background is painted in food coloring. The Egyptians chariots are made of "tulip peeps" and their horses are chickies (natch).
For some reason Peep chickies are a lot easier to find in Brooklyn than Peep bunnies. I don't know about you, but I've always been rather partial to the bunnies myself.
Friday, March 26, 2010
their website reminded me of their doughnuts, only available Thursday through Saturday until they run out. Surely they'd be done by late afternoon, no? No. Still there, not as fresh, sitting out all day, waiting to be picked and eaten, not that I'd ever turn down a doughnut. According to unnamed sources, the best day is Saturday since that's when they get "the good ones", meaning Thursday and Friday's only consist of the brioche doughnut. My chocolate frosting was old and gummy, but the cream inside, oh, so creamy vanilla delicious. I MUST try these fresh, preferably tomorrow.
Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor
There are also locations in Yountville, CA and Las Vegas.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
By the time we arrived, Cafe Boulud and Gavin Kaysen were long cleaned out. Always excited to get some spicy food, we loitered way too long at Fatty 'Cue while Adam Kaye and Blue Hill at Stone Barns were serving up their last bits. Yes, we only got to taste three of the five there, but that was more than enough for us.
Fatty 'Cue's was by far the spiciest: chunks of pig in a red lobster curry, with a slice of bread for soaking. Both of us experienced mouth en fuego, and still went back for seconds, and okay, maybe thirds too.
Del Posto served up a 1000-layer cold lasagna with hot sauce. As lovers of any food on a stick, we loved this, lasagna on a stick. Even more because it had 50 layers of pig.
Hearth were running low, only having their chocolate ravioli stuffed with porcine goodness. You could leave the chocolate, I'll take the pig.
For all things Cochon 555 related, be sure to check out www.cochon555.com. The tour goes on until the end of June. jump
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Longest wait but still worth it bite...the Chairman Bao from Baohaus. Niman Ranch Pork Belly served with: Crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus Relish, and Taiwanese red sugar. Mmmm...pork belly. Even early into the night Baohaus was a madhouse. A snaking continuous line formed fairly quickly for the baos that the Village Voice said "might even be better than the one at Momofuku." As I approached the front of the line a middle aged couple sidled next to the person in front of me and managed to score some baos circumventing the entire line and alerting the attention of the people at the end of the line who rushed the front thereby angering the people at the front of the line. Words were exchanged and it was getting a little nasty. With bao raised above my head I escaped the melee relatively unscathed.
The bao itself was delicious. The pork belly melted in your mouth and the red sugared peanuts gave it a lovely crunch and sweetness. I'm going to have to drop by their Lower East Side Location soon.
Last year we couldn't get enough of Motorino's bomboloni. This year they went the savory route with an octopus salad. After some pretty meat intensive dishes, this was light and refreshing. I'd be lying if I said I only had one serving.
Patacon Pisao a Venezuelan restaurant out of Elmherst who also has a truck in Inwood represented with a Tres Leches cake that was out of this world good. Usually tres leches is too sweet for me, but this one is worth the trip. You can get more of a taste of their full menu over at Edible Queens. I sense a field trip coming on!
Del Posto brought the Chocolate & Olive Oil Bastoncinos that we so enjoyed at SWEET this fall. It was basically a little gelato ice cream pop covered in chocolate and bread crumbs. Like a sleek and sophisticated Italian take on a Good Humor Bar. I wish I had the good sense to grab more than one of these before it disappeared!
My favorite bite of the night was the shrimp roll from Luke's Lobster. What can I say? Maine runs deep in my soul. The traditional split topped rolls were griddled right before serving and topped with a squirt of mayo, a butter and stuffed with delightfully chilled fresh Maine shrimp, which if you've never had them are smaller and sweeter than your typical farmed variety. Needless to say Luke's booth was mobbed the enitre night. I haven't had a chance to visit Luke's in the village yet, but I definitely will soon.
And now for the surprise, I can't even believe that I had enough room for one last bite, the cherry varenyky from Cafe Glechik in Brooklyn. I should have said no. I should have stepped away, but I'm a sucker for sour cherry and these tiny varenyky did not disappoint. Each wee dumpling was stuffed with two perfect sour cherries. Not too sour, not too sweet, it was a perfect finish to a fantastic event.
For those of your who missed the event this year, don't miss out next year. $45 general admission includes all the food (not to mention booze) you can stuff yourself with in 3 hours. You won't walk away hungry or disappointed.
Here's a slide show of our photos from the evening...
For more on this year's Choice Eats check out The Village Voice's coverage round up. jump
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I haven't been to Golden Unicorn for dim sum in a few years and this time around I noticed that they are definitely making themselves friendly to the inexperienced dim sum-mer--their dim sum carts not only have pictures but also the names of dishes in English. If you are a dim sum first timer, this is probably a good place to start your own adventures in dim summing. That said, I'll admit that part of the fun, at least in my dim sum experience, has been having the carts come by and being surprised by what they have on offer.
But I digress, back to the food...
Lawman-in-law was not with us so we went to town on the shrimp (he's allergic)...
And of course the Fried Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon Topped with Pringles and Mayo. I gave up fried for for Lent so I passed on these, but Little Bobo said that if you mix the chili paste from the table with the mayo these little fried shrimpy bacon treats actually work pretty darn well. Let's hear it for fusion dim sum (and bacon!).
My hands down favorite dish of the meal were the fish dumplings. This came by on a cart with a little sizzling grill and they were studded with corn. Super flavorful and delicious. Next time I'm ordering more of these.
Here's a slideshow of all our dishes--we doubled up on several of our orders and came in for under $20 a person.
Golden Unicorn Restaurant
18 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002
Monday, March 22, 2010
first look's at Manhattan's first Kyochon, checked out oatmeal options, showed it's possible to make a chicken tikka sandwich, ate overpriced cookies, found our newest Balkan place, and some Irish spirit at Pret.
compared some vegetable soup options.
Check out our Midtown Lunch-ing highlights and lowlights over on MidtownLunch.com. jump
Friday, March 19, 2010
Irish Americans had their St. Patrick's Day fun on Wednesday, but for Italian Americans, St. Joseph's Day is where it's at. Today I'll be on my annual zeppole hunt. I'm still in search of chocolate zeppole in the city...
First a little St. Joseph's Day background:
St. Joseph's Day falls on March 19th which is always during Lent. Now remember the whole all meat and dairy products were forbidden during Lent in the olden days? Well, on a saint's day you have a special dispensation from the rules of fasting and abstinence of Lent. The proximity of St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day is one of many reasons why 'tis good to be both Irish-American/Italian-American. Take it from one who knows.
Of the zeppole I've had in New York, I'm partial to the ones at Roccos. They have both the vanilla custard filled zeppole and the cannoli cream filled sfinge, either will run you $3.50 each. Personally I prefer the zeppole to the sfinge.
Ferrera. I've asked at Villa Abate. They all look at me like I have two heads. I'll put the question to you, dear readers, has anyone ever encountered chocolate zeppole in New York?
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The pie I created last weekend for Pi Day is officially a finalist in the Serious Eats and Science Blogs' Pi Day Contest. Woo hoo! My inner math geek is so proud. Now I need your help and your vote...
As of writing this post my pie is in a hot race for 2nd place, but we can still rock the vote. Voting is open through midnight tonight at Serious Eats. Vote for Brownie's R-Squared (Raspberry Rhubarb) Pie here. Thanks in advance for the voting love!
Pig lovers rejoice! Cochon555 is in town this Sunday, March 21st. Mark Ladner from Del Posto, Corwin Kave from Fatty Crab/Fatty 'Cue, Marco Canora from Hearth, Adam Kaye from Blue Hill New York, and Gavin Kaysen from Cafe Boulud will engage in a little friendly competition each preparing a 125 pound heritage breed hog from head to toe. Count us in...!
Gamble Family Vineyards, Buty Winery, Elk Cove Vineyards, Wind Gap Wines, and K Vintners
will be on hand showcasing their wines. Watch whole pig butchering demonstrations by VIP Butchers Tom Mylan from The Meat Hook and Resident Butcher Ryan Farr from 4505 Meats, and enjoy over 750 lbs of swine, great wines, brews and piggy desserts. Guests and professional judges will determine a winner based on presentation, utilization and overall best flavor with the winner taking the title "Prince of Porc".
Want one more reason to attend? Our pal Rhonda Kave of Roni Sue Chocolates will be there cheering on her son defending NYC champ Corwin Kave. Rhonda will be serving BaCorn (originally created for last year’s Cochon 555) and their newest bacon-centric creation the Fuster Cluck to the crowd. And according to Rhonda, everyone gets a Maple Bacon lollipops for the road.
See you there?
March 21, 2010 (Sun)
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Tickets $125 general/$175 VIP, click to purchase online.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
GAME CHANGING UPDATE!: Gothamist is reporting Shamrock Shake sightings at the Union Square McDonalds! But in case your local branch doesn't have them here are some alternatives...
Option 1) Peppermint Patty Custard from Shake Shack: I haven't had the Peppermint Patty flavor from Shake Shack, but it sounds fantastic. Available at both the Madison Square Park Location and the Upper West Side. Warning...normally the Shake Shack doesn't do shakes with their custard of the day. Not sure if there is a St. Patty's Day exception, so just steel yourself for the possibility of a cup of custard rather than a shake.
Option 2) Mint Chocolate Cookie Shake: Mint Chocolate Cookie is one of my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavors. If you're headed to catch the St. Paddy's Day parade you can nab one of these in the concourse at Rock Center. Ben & Jerry's is all into natural mint so BYO food coloring.
Option 3) Mint Chocolate Chip Shake from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory: Love, love, love the Chinatown Ice Cream factory. You can get a shake from any of their flavors and they usually have mint chocolate chip in stock. If they are out of mint, you might venture down the street to the Haagen Dazs on the corner of Mott and Bayard.
Option 4) Matcha Shake from Jamba Juice: Who says that your green shake has to be mint flavored? Jamba Juice makes a creamy matcha shake.
Option 5) Make your own at home: Check out this recipe from the the February Daring Baker's Challenge. Makes a mean mint ice cream and an even better mint shake.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
According to our sources it's officially Girl Scout Cookie Cupboard time! If you haven't been able to order your Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs from your neighborhood Girl Scout, the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York's Cookie Cupboard has you covered starting today...
This year's Cookie Cupboard will run from Tuesday, March 16th through Thursday, May 6th. As in years past, each of the five boroughs has their own cupboard. Here are the dates and times for each:
Manhattan Office Cupboard
Girl Scout Council of Greater
43 West 23rd Street 6th Floor
New York, NY 10010
Brooklyn Office Cupboard
St. George Episcopal Church
452 Gates Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Queens Office Cupboard
Holy Trinity Evangelical
246-55 87th Avenue
Bellerose, NY 11426
(entrance on 86th Rd. at
Commonwealth at rear of
Staten Island Office Cupboard
613 Midland Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10306
No appointment is neccessary, you can buy just one box or several cases. If you are planning on a larger order (think a couple cases or more) it is best to phone in advance.
I'll admit my first time visiting the cookie cupboard I was expecting a Willy Wonka-ish experience wandering around a room filled to the ceiling with Trefoils, Thin Mints and Tagalongs. Alas, when you go up to pick up your cookies they don't actually bring you back to where the cookies are stored. You just wait in the reception area and a Girl Scout Council employee will bring you your treats. Cookies are $3.50 per box. Bring cash. The money collected from the Cookie Cupboard goes back to the NY Council, not a specific troop.
For those of you in tax mode, according to the Girl Scouts site the purchase of Girl Scout Cookies is sort of tax-deductible depending on the situation.
* The cookies ARE NOT tax-deductible, if the customer keeps the cookies: "Individuals who buy Girl Scout Cookies and take the cookies home, or consume them, have purchased a product at a fair market value. For this reason, no part of the price of a box of Girl Scout Cookies used in this way is tax-deductible."
* The cookies ARE tax-deductible, if the customer leaves the cookies with Girl Scouts. Many Girl Scouts ask customers to pay for one or more boxes of cookies for use in their community service project, for example, collecting for a food pantry. The customers not receiving any Girl Scout Cookies do not benefit directly from paying for them. Those individuals may treat the purchase price of the donated cookies as a charitable contribution.
Purchases made for "Operation: Cookie" a Girl Scout initiative to get cookies to our troops overseas are 100% tax deductible. If you don't want to buy cookies for yourself, consider buying up some boxes for soldiers serving overseas. Girl Scouts will take care of the shipping and delivery. Pretty sweet deal.
The Girl Scout Council of Greater New York
43 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010-4283
Tel: (212) 645-4000
Monday, March 15, 2010
In two Sundays, the 28th, Palm Sunday for the Catholics, brunch will be served at high noon at the usual Food Experiments spot, The Bell House. Stonyfield is providing milk and yogurt, JetBlue is providing two round-trip tickets to the Grand Prize winner, and someone's getting a Cuisinart Mixer. All four competition sold out and I'm sure this one won't be any different. Get your tickets here, $20 advance, $25 at the door (if there are any). And if you think you have the best brunch dish around, go to www.thefoodexperiments.com for information on how to enter.
The Bell House
149 7th Street
Friday, March 12, 2010
To truly honor Pi Day, I wanted to make a π themed pie. Thinking back to my early geometry lessons, I remembered that:
The area of this particular pie is approximately 70.88 inches and the r-squared so happens to be raspberry and rhubarb and here's the recipe...
You can use any kind of butter crust that you'd like. Of late I've found good results with this recipe from the New York Times. And here's the filling I created:
Raspberry Rhubarb Filling
2 pounds trimmed rhubarb
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 cups raspberries
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and orange juice until the cornstarch is dissolved and set aside. Wash the rhubarb and trim off the edges. Cut rhubarb into 1/2-inch slices so that you have enough to fill approximately 4 cups. In a medium saucepan stir together rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. Cook over the mixture on moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is melted and bubbly. Add cornstarch mixture to rhubarb mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When rhubarb mixture reaches a boil stir in 2 cups of raspberries and continue simmering and stirring until rhubarb mixture becomes thick Then transfer mixture to a medium bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until the mixture is cold.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Roll out your chilled pie dough so that you have two circles. One to fit in an approximately 9.5 inch pie pan and one that will rest on top of your pie. Chill the pie shell and the rolled out top crust pre-baking for about 30-45 minutes. Once the crust is chilled fill it with the chilled filling, add it with the remaining 1 cup of raspberries then cover with the top crust Trim off any extra scraps from the edges and pinch the crusts together to seal the pie. Using the remaining scraps roll out a lower case r and superscript 2. Score the bottom of the cutouts and the top of the pie where you are going to place them. Brush the top of the pie with egg and sprinkle the r-squared with sugar and cinnamon, if desired.
Bake for 20 minutes on a center rack in the oven, then turn the temperature down to 350°F and bake for 10 minutes more or until golden brown. Cool pie on a rack at least 1 hour to set filling.
If you prefer a crumble topped pie to a double butter crust, you can't go wrong with this rendition--topped with a Chai Oatmeal Crumble (note the filling proportions are slightly less than the double crusted pie). Either version will make a fitting way to cap your Pi Day Celebration.
New restaurants confirmed on the evening's line up include: AM-Thai Chili Basil Kitchen, Krik Krak, Juliette, Resto, Café Glechik, Peppa's Jerk Chicken, Bunny Chow, Sigmund Pretzel Shop, Xunta Tapas Bar, Salumeria Rosi, Jimmy's No. 43, Xi'an Famous Foods, Lucy's Whey, Counter, An Choi, and Café Steinhof.
Some of the restaurants have announced their offerings and we're pretty excited that Del Posto will be doing their Chocolate & Olive Oil Bastoncino. This simple dessert--it was basically a little gelato ice cream pop covered in chocolate and bread crumbs--was one of our hands down favorites from SWEET at the 2009 New York Food and Wine Festival. We will be snagging a couple of these for sure.
The early bird tickets already sold out and if last year is any indication, this event will sell out in advance.
For a sneak peek of all the deliciousness that awaits check out our coverage and photos from last year's event.
Date: Monday, March 22, 2010 5:30PM-9:30PM
Location: The 69th Armory
68 Lexington Avenue (btwn 25th and 26th Streets)
New York, NY 10010
Click for tickets.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
If you guessed: Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, and Betsey Johnson, you're right! Check out The Gloss for a gallery with close ups of each of the designers in their fully frosted glory.
For more frosted celebs check out:
Lady Gaga Cupcakes
Liza Minnelli Cupcake