[yiddish] To eat like an animal, i.e., quickly, noisily, and in great quantity.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Frame opened today

Frame on 33rd between 9th and 10th opened for all of us midtown very west and south lunchers. The high levels of swank that they have going on with the decor is humorous. Options include salad, soup, sandwiches, drinks, udon, bibimbop, sushi, and baked goods. The by the pound tables are currently low on options, I am sure they will fill them up quickly, but at $7.50 a pound(or $3.50 per half pound as they phrase it) its not cheap. Most exciting to me were the baked goods they get from CeciCela and Sullivan St Bakery. I picked up a chocolate tarte thing made by Sullivan St and it was divine as expected. I noticed a rack of breads that looked very Sullivan Streetlike, and I found out that they were, but for now they are just a tease and display only. Frame could certainly stand out from the pack if their sandwiches came on Sullivan St bread.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Woorjip's bulgogi and kimchee rice wrap

While in line to purchase my box of steam table faves from Woorjip, I noticed something that I hadn't seen there before- a bulgogi and kimchee rice wrap. Though a sign advises that it be eaten right away, I had to save it for lunch the next day. It heated up well and I was very impressed. Wraps often bore me, but this one had some personality. The rice had flavor on its own and there was a good amount of savory bulgogi meat. A slice of pickled turnip was an unexpected but welcomed accompaniment. For $3 it makes the ideal snack on its own, but to make a full meal you would need two or the addition of some buffet items.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day in Jackson Heights

This is how we do father's day in my family- full day eating fest. I convinced the fam to ditch Flushing for once in favor of Jackson Heights.
With so many amazing ethnic restaurants all within a few blocks, it is fressing paradise.

Himalayan Yak:

Our first stop was Himilayan Yak, you know, for breakfast. We started with an appetizer sampler, samayabajee, that came with shredded meat, pickle, beaten rice, and soy nuts. The beaten rice was very unfamiliar to us; it resembles uncooked oatmeal and had a pleasing chew and took on the sauce that it came with.

We could not turn down the wild boar sausage, which looks like a fatty piece of bacon.
It was loaded with smokey flavor but had a bit too much fat on it for me.

Momos were another must have, we ordered the pork version.
With the doughy bun and juicy filling, Sister compared the texture and flavor to a soup-less soup dumpling, and I agreed.

Street Festival:

We followed some music that led us to an Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani street festival. It was packed with people dressed in bright colors and stand after stand of spicy food.

We sampled a type of chaat (I have had better at the 6th ave news stand) from one of the friendly vendors. We made a stop for spicy but refreshing picked mango, which came in bright yellow and a darker curry color. Fried veggie patties were plentiful, we only tried a nibble to avoid too much grease, after all we had plenty of eating left to do

Hornado Ecuatoriano:

Next we stopped at Hornado Ecuatoriano, a favorite of mine for ceviche. I usually order the shrimp ceviche, but we opted for the mixto. The shocking dark color of this ceviche was due to the conch that floated around along with the shrimp. Despite its muddy appearance, we loved the limey liquid and every drop was consumed.
Tostones on the side helped soak up the last remnants from the bowl.

My parents pepped up with café con leche that they claimed to be exceptional. I opted instead for a glass of chicha, the taste of slight fermentation just does it for me.

Los Chuzos:

A sign advertising arepas and chorizo caught our eyes next,
and we went into the tiny eatery, Los Chuzos y algo mas. We shared one cheese arepa and a fresh fruit juice with strawberry, pear, and orange. Both cost $3 and were devoured in seconds. There is a window for ordering from the street.


Tacolandia has a window right on the street and you can guess what they sell. We had a taco al pastor and one of chorizo. The meats are all on a steam table and finished off on the griddle to order. The chorizo was the better taco. Neither were the best of my life.

Unidentified Flying Chicken:

We finished off with fried chicken for dessert. UFC has supposedly famous Korean fried chicken that we had to judge for ourselves. We sat downstairs in the dining area and got the $10 small order of wings and drumsticks in soy garlic and sweet and spicy.

The soy garlic, the traditional kfc, was the clear winner, with that perfect crisped skin and umami flavoring. We also agreed that we would order only wings next time, as they provide more crisp to meat ratio. I also ordered a cup of tea, which is not the perfect accompaniment to fried chicken but I required something soothing and caffeinated at the time. I have to point out the cuteness of the tiny little honey cup they brought out for me. That combined with the wee little chicken motto was borderline too much
cuteness to handle.

Guayaco's Truck:

More ceviche? Yes, because it came from a truck and we got our selections to go. Guayaco’s Ecuadorian truck had a horde of men watching the soccer game of the t.v. attached to the truck.

Our other order, cazuela, made me retch. I could probaby start dry heaving right now if I thought hard about the way it tasted. It was extremely fishy, but leave it to my dad to say he likes it. I was expecting cazuela de pollo, my mistake.

The shrimp ceviche on the other hand was very fresh tasting and would have fulfilled the ceviche craving had we not just had some 15 minutes before. They even threw in a bag of plantain chips.

Grocery Shopping:

Later at the Asian market I spotted something that made me cock my head to the side and go hmmm? Sliced deer horns. Apparently they can be used as a sexual tonic. Eeek. I’ll just purchase my powdered dashi and be on my way.

La Casa Del Pollo Peruano II:

My mother can never resist a Peruvian chicken, so I took her to La Casa Del Pollo for a bird to take home. A whole chicken can be ordered for take-out for under $8 with the elusive green sauce. Extra sauce is another quarter; sister insisted on extra. The Peruvians have it down, the next day my lunch of meat was moist and the skin was charred and spiced in that way that makes mouths water.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy! You are a champion eater.

Himalayan Yak: 72-20 Roosevelt Ave
(718) 779-1119

La Casa de Pollo Peruano 2: 8707 Roosevelt Ave

UFC: 71-22 Roosevelt Ave
(718) 205-6662

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mixed grains, veggies, and ricotta salata (see mom, I can be healthy)

I made it to Cheese of the World in Forest Hills before it closed up for the day and got inspired for my dinner. The ricotta salata was pretty cheap- about $7 a pound (in contrast to a fave of mine, Midnight Moon, that I also picked up which is $24) I figured I could somehow make a dinner with this. I need to eat a bit healthy to make up for the glutton fest in Philly this weekend (post to come). I prepared a Trader Joe grain medley. I threw in two chopped tomatoes, a diced red onion, and asparagus that I steamed and then sauteed. I used only a pad of butter when cooking the grains and a few tablespoons of olive oil for the asparagus, thats not too bad right? I use cilantro, parsley, and scallion all the damn time, so with this I used dill to change it up. Salt, pepper, and some apple cider vinegar added some flavor, but the ricotta salata pulled it all together. I like the colors that are going on and I have enough for my lunch today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

NYC Food Film Festival

The 3rd annual NYC Food Film festival was super fun! Last nights showing included a fascinating film about food distribution in NYC and a short about a guy who eats an extremely impressive amount of deep fried fair food.
The weather held up for us at the South St Seaport Water Taxi Beach and though there was not enough seating for everyone, I arrived early and got comfy at a picnic table so I was a happy camper.

The staff did an excellent job with the free food. Free food events have tendencies to get crazy and leave people angry and hungry, but here that was not the case. Hundreds of fried cheese curds were generously passed around and they were more delicious than you can even imagine in your head right now. Corn dogs were corn dogs, meaning good but not divine. Later on the clam pie came out, imported straight from the town in which the related short film featured. Delish mush of buttery crust and clam.

Drinks were not free, and were interesting... I felt like each drink was almost very good, but had something slightly off.

I was highly entertained and stuffed full of fried food by the end of the night, so great success here. Financier patisserie supplied tiny little buttery yum cookies. And we even got a parting prize of useful lunch bags filled with crapola and some Pop chips.

Chez Napolean

Chez Napolean is tiny, eclectically decorated, and a bit romantic. They churn out a long menu of legit French dishes. Entrees average $24, a full meal here is not going to be super cheap. For me, the service kinda feels like you are a guest in the home of a French matriarch who is stern but has a heart of gold.

I am a sucker for garlicky escargot, and tend to order it when I see it. Here 6 of them came in individual little ceramic containers.

My entree, canard a l'orange, was really delicious. Thee duck was moist on the inside with just a hint of orange flavor and the outside was crisp and glazed with the orange sauce. Normally I am not a huge fan of orange and meat, but it definitely was done right here. It came with a nice helping of wild rice.
I ate a lot of the bread that came at our table during the longish wait for our food and I knew I had to save room for dessert so I took practically half of my main dish home and it made for a hearty breakfast.

Make sure to order your dessert souffle at the beginning of the meal to give it time to be made fresh. Ours came with a booze filled grand marnier sauce, that only added to the major wine buzz I had going on.

A much better French dining experience than the neighboring Tout va Bien.

365 W 50th

Dolla Breakfast Makeover

I would be lying if I said this was the first time I got the 99cent breakfast from Papaya Dog. It comes with two eggs (cooked how you like it for the most part), two pieces of buttered toast (either white or wheat), and hashbrowns that have been generously coated with some kind of oil out of a squeeze bottle. Its not really delicious. But it is 99cents and you will not be hungry until lunch time. Why is this Papaya Dog breakfast different from all other Papaya Dog breakfasts? Because I asked them to slop on some of the onion goo meant for the hot dog. Now there is actually some tastiness going on and they didn't charge me extra. Try it out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wonton Time

I bought some wonton skins from a market in Flushing and attempted to make some dumplingish things. I was very pleased with the stuffing: pork, scallion, garlic, and the part that I thought added the most- sauteed shitake mushroom. I threw in soy sauce, vinagar, hot sauce, and other spices to the mix.

I did the fold over and pinch with a fork method, which worked when I boiled them, but when I tried to crisp them a bit by pan frying, they mostly fell apart. Oh, well- at least the taste was there. I probably should have folded the ends over and made them more wonton-y. Next time.

But what to do with the extra wonton skins...

Oreos are the answer to most food questions. I crushed some up and rolled them cannoli style and did a quick deep fry. If you had to ask, yes they were awesome. Now why won't post this as an entry, I do not know. I sure think it qualifies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Flor de Mayo, get your translations right

After enjoying the Museum of Natural History's Sonic Vision, we went to dinner at Flor de May for cheap, fast, solid food. The place gets pretty crowded, but the 10 minute wait for 2 on a Saturday was not terrible especially when ordering a pitcher of Sangria with freshly cut fruit from the bar. Flor de May is a no-frills Peuvian and Chinese restaurant. Not so strange when you think about the large Chinese immigrant population in Peru. The menu is divided by cuisine, general Spanish food, Chinese food, and Peruvian specialties. A mixed ceviche was passable, but very one-dimensional and lacking hominy/sweet potato/typical accoutremonts.

A Peruvian special of the night was a stewed cabrito. They translated this in English to lamb, when it is actually goat. A harmless error as the sauce was spicy and the meat was tender.

The menu claims that the roast chicken is award winning. You can never really go wrong with a nice Peruvian pollo a la brasa. Here is did not disappoint. The skin was crispy (and the best part), the meat was moist, and for about $10 for 1/2 a chicken with some enjoyably fried rice (and stupid salad)- this is a safe platter to order and is just the right amount of food.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hell's Kitchen Flea Market and Farmers Market

I love sauntering through the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market on 39th between 9th and 10th. I have never had too much luck there, maybe a brooch or two. But its still fun to sift through the ugly sweaters, funky hats, dusty jewelry, and old things that may or may not qualify as antiques.

On my past visit, however, I was lucky and came across some adorable vintage aprons. For $8, I had to pick one up, even though it is similar to an Amish apron I own. The owner lady mentioned she doesn't often display them, so if you do come across them, pick some up. They make great gifts- so useful and pretty.

Further north on 43rd St (also between 9th and 10th Ave) a small-scale farmer's market is held until 3:30 on Saturdays. I never knew about this and quite pleased to have another market to walk through to make my gorgeous Saturday that much better. Unfortunately since I had dinner plans, I did not pick up any of the meat, cheese, or veggies. But I had no choice when I saw a pickle and olive stand selling full sours. I got a pint for $4 and although they lacked the snap that I look for, the flavor was closer to what I require of my pickles. Its hard to find real full sours out there and these did a fine job.

Monday, June 8, 2009

There's another Mexican-deli-thats-also-a-taqueria in town: meet La Rosita

After picking up some baked goods at the Sullivan St bakery, we wanted a cold beverage and went across the street to a deli called La Rosita to pick one up. To my most delighted surprise in the back of this nondescript deli was a window selling Mexican food, a la Tehuitzingo.

The menu includes breakfast items, tacos, burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, tortas, and some main dish meat/chicken/fish platters. Prices are what you would expect to see in Jackson Heights; this was the first time I had seen a taco in Manhattan for exactly $2. (Over at Tehuitzingo a few blocks over tacos run from $2.50- $2.75)

I ordered a chorizo taco to assess the quality of their tiny kitchen. It was the double tortilla savory taco that you would hope to receive, with ample meat, fresh radish, cilantro, onion, with a lime and hot sauce on the side. And they did not skimp on the meat.

I had to return the next day to feel out the rest of the food there.

For $3 the breakfast burrito is an excellent option in the morning, though they serve it all day.

It comes with cheese, egg, onion, and your choice of meat- the sausage was a few steps up from the typical breakfast sausage patty found at most delis and I bet they would substitute any of the other non-breakfast meats on their menu.

Their sope might be the best deal of the house. A huge crispy tortilla is piled with meat (I chose shredded chicken, which aside from a few pieces of fat was delectable), lettuce, onion, radish, and topped with cotija cheese. I could not finish it all in one sitting. At $2.50 that is as cheap as it gets.

Another chicken dish was also quite successful. The chicken fajita was expertly stuffed with oozy cheese, onion, and tomato. The chicken was blackened to perfection.

Though not on the menu, I ordered a taco al pastor, and it was good but not as good as the chorizo taco and did not include any pineapple.

The one big fail was the chicharron con salsa verde taco. I was expected crispy skin but it felt more like warm raw pig skin. I threw the meat out and just ate the taco with the rice and fixings.

I also got a side order of freshly made guacamole. It was a full coffee cup and well worth the $3.00 (though listed on the menu as $1.50)

They offer occasional specials of tamales, pancita de res, and pozole.

La Rosita sells the expected Mexican deli fare: avocado, cheese, eggs, canned chipotle peppers, candy, beans, spicy chips, Goya
seasonings, juices, beer, etc. I was particularly intrigued by the 32 oz Blue Moon, I haven't seen that anywhere else.
I also bought a bag of Kranky on a whim, which ended up being awesome- chocolate malt covered rice krispies, a perfect snack or ice cream topping.

While you wait for the food (it can take a while) you can page through the People en Espanol magazines located under one of the potato chip displays.

The deli has been offering food for over 10 years. They have a generous delivery area (basically 33rd st to 60th st between 5th ave and 12th) and no minimum delivery amount.

526 W 47th St

212 -397 -1137
718- 578- 5811
718- 578 -5679