Thursday, November 03, 2011

On the Road Eats: North Carolina

Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill was another stop on my tour of Southern food in North Carolina. Although the menu had some of the usual stuff of Southern restaurants, like shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes, it also produced some more interesting offerings as well. The food was solid and the atmosphere was casual and comfortable.

The green Tabasco chicken was my pick —half of a roasted chicken served with mashed potatoes and sauteed mixed vegetables. The green supposedly comes from jalapeños, but I didn't taste much spice. No matter though because the sauce was tasty and the chicken was perfectly cooked. The dish was clean and simple and on the healthier side of all the meals I had.

Shake Shack in November

November brings us these custard flavors at Shake Shack:

Monday: Apple Rosemary
Tuesday: Chocolate Cinnamon Spice
Wednesday: Pumpkin Pie
Thursday: Maple Brown Butter
Friday: Banana Bread
Saturday: Red Wine Poached Pear
Sunday: Salted Caramel

Monday, October 24, 2011

On the Road Eats: North Carolina

Thanks to Chowhound, my dining companions and I discovered a little place called Cúrate in Asheville. It was relatively new, having opened in March of this year. And we scored the last available reservation for that evening on OpenTable. Despite the late time of 9:45, we still had a short wait when we arrived, perhaps attesting to the popularity of this elegant tapas bar. The hostesses were quite congenial though and while we waited, we were able to observe the fast-paced action in the open kitchen, including the preparation of some of the dishes we ended up ordering.

Once seated, we settled on a broad cross-section of the menu.

Pan con tomate with Manchego cheese was a nice portion size and the large chunks of bread were good to have with some of the other dishes we ordered too.

From the list of cured meats, we chose one of the more expensive and, according to the menu, more flavorful options, the jamon Ibérico de Bellota Fermín. It's a cured ham from the black-footed pigs of Spain but ones that feed only on acorns. The result was a smooth piece of meat with a slightly nutty taste. 

Tortilla Española is the dish by which I judge a tapas restaurant; this was an incredible iteration that really spoke to our overall experience. This was no ordinary tortilla — once you sliced through the small round, the inside had a uniquely liquidy center, like an over easy egg. It was heavenly. The small mound of salt mixed in made for a perfectly flavored tortilla.

Monday, October 17, 2011

On the Road Eats: North Carolina

The South is full of rich, fatty, stick-to-your-bones food. No matter what you eat — biscuits, fried chicken, barbecue — it seems like it's not likely to be the healthiest, but there is a lot that's tasty. I had a good sampling of it recently.

I started at The Pit in Raleigh. I had heard of The Pit because of its famed pitmaster, Ed Mitchell, who has been a part of New York's annual Big Apple Barbecue festival. Although he recently left the restaurant, I figured it was still a place worth a try.

Pumpkin skillet cornbread with maple butter was much larger than I expected. It was delicious, though I wouldn't have minded if  the pumpkin flavor had been a tad stronger. The melting maple butter was irresistible.

The fried green tomatoes with buttermilk lime dressing and basil were also a great choice for an appetizer. They were light and the basil was a nice touch.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Shake Shack October Flavors

The new flavors for October are:

Monday: Shackenstein
Tuesday: Coconut Caramel
Wednesday: Ginger Pear
Friday: Pumpkin Pie
Saturday: S'mores
Sunday: Apple Spice Cake

Shacktoberfest, with special menu items, returns from October 7 to October 16. And until October 21, you can also enjoy the food stands at Madison Square Eats.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Small Bites

- The Nation magazine produces a food issue, which includes articles by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

- Many claim that Mexican Coke tastes far better than what we get in the United States because it uses real sugar instead of corn syrup. Serious Eats tests it out.

- Eliminating salt from your diet is difficult

- Two essays on Gilt, one on Thai food, the other on Chinese food,  come to the same conclusion about the idea of authenticity: Letting go of it allows us to love food for what it is.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cafe China Review

Despite (or perhaps because of) the plethora of Sichuan restaurants in Midtown, newcomer Cafe China recently opened its doors, inviting diners into the world of 1930s Shanghai. The decor is chic without the higher prices often associated with such an atmosphere. That's something it has going for it over some of the other Chinese restaurants in the area, though it may seem a bit incongruous with the Sichuan food it serves.

Beyond partaking in standard fare, liked dumplings and ma po tofu, you can venture for spicy diced rabbit or duck tongue with peppercorn. But my meal was fairly tame.

The savory tofu with celery shoots seemed bland at first, tossed with a little salt and soy sauce, but the combination grew on me. Between the softness of the tofu and the crunchiness of the celery the dish became oddly addictive.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Peels Review

Dinner early on a Saturday evening (necessitated by the need to make a movie) of a holiday weekend was the perfect time to try Peels. Though I'd read much about it being a popular, sceney spot on the Bowery, what I found was a comfortable restaurant whose white wood paneling decor makes you feel as though you've made a beautiful escape to the country.

The restaurant covers two floors and has outside seating. The lower floor has a to-go counter and the ambiance of a cafe while the upstairs feels uncharacteristically spacious for New York with roomy booths and tables that aren't too close together. The laid back service might help to encourage a sense of relaxation or it might just seem lackadaisical to New Yorkers often accustomed to being waited on more quickly. There were also several other service quirks, but I'll get to soon. But you should know — the food and the cocktails are solid.

Corn dogs aren't my thing, but my dining companions quickly devoured these Andouille corn dogs, which had just a bit of a kick to them.

The Baja salad —tomatoes, avocado, jalapeño-lime vinaigrette & Cotija cheese — combined with the chilled golden tomato soup worked as a lovely summer meal. But to like this soup, you have to like the tartness of tomatoes. A slice of bread would have been a nice complement. We asked for some, but the restaurant didn't have any, so we ordered a side of the Parker House rolls. Though they're not exactly what you want to eat with soup, they did come out warm and slightly crispy.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Small Bites

- Chez Panisse turns 40.

- Liquid nitrogen ice cream shop coming to New York City.

- Could eating bugs be the solution to the world's food crisis?

- Waffle House chain known for reopening quickly after tough situations like Hurricane Irene.

- Google buys Zagat.

- Slate writes about how the earthquake in Japan caused a fear of food.

- What mom eats may help to shape baby's food preferences even when it's in the womb.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

September Shake Shack Flavors

It's time to head into fall with new custard flavors for September:

Monday: Cinnamon Spice
Tuesday: Chocolate Banana
Wednesday: Figs & Honey
Thursday: Thin Mint
Friday: Coffee & Donuts
Saturday: Red Velvet
Sunday: PB&J

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Small Bites

- Slate tries to explain why so many restaurant Web sites are really terrible'. 

- One way to use Google + — host a live cooking class.

- The recession means newer restaurants are opening in tight quarters; that shouldn't be new to most New Yorkers.

- Decreasing intake of red meat by substituting it with nuts or low-fat dairy reduces the risk of diabetes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

wd-50 Review

For a city with such a grand array of dining options, New York comes up short for those interested in and intrigued by molecular gastronomy, most prominently represented by Alinea in Chicago and the recently closed El Bulli in Spain.

Maybe that explains why reservations are still tough to come by at Wylie Dufresne's wd-50 eight years after it opened in 2003. When I went looking for one, the only reservations available were at 10 p.m. for most of the next month.

wd-50 does play around with the traditional notion of food, presenting it in forms other than what you might be accustomed to. Some of it is delightful and divine. Some of it is fun, but you’ll find it fails to serve the function of feeding you.

My dining companions and I did notice that Dufresne was in the kitchen. It was nice to see a chef in his own restaurant, despite having reached the level of Top Chef fame.

The delicious Tommy-O (orange peel gin, lillet, clarified o.j.) and Catch o' the Day (cantaloupe, Campari and gin) cocktails.

A papery-thin sesame cracker reminiscent of papadum, an Indian cracker. It's so light and addictive, you'll be reaching for pieces nonstop until it's gone.

Each of the appetizers came with three sets of the featured composition, which worked out well for our party of three. The corned duck with purple mustard and horseradish cream atop a rye crisp was fabulous. The meat wasn't too gamey and the flavor was in the same family as pastrami. The horseradish really muscled its way through and worked well in this dish.

Friday, August 05, 2011

La Fusta Review

Sometimes you need an extra little push to make the effort to get to the outer boroughs to eat — a personal invitation brought me to La Fusta, in Elmhurst, Queens. But don't let its location stop you if its Argentinean food you seek.

The restaurant sits across from Elmhurst Hospital, but off the main road. Because I was a guest, the menu for the evening was taken care of. But given that everything was delicious, I had no problem with that. We tried a bit of everything.

To begin — a shallow platter of broiled, bubbling provolone cheese. Hot and melty and delicious on bread.

Though Argentinean food might be more typically associated with meat, don't let it stop you from ordering the fried calamari or this watercress salad. The calamari was lightly breaded but tenderly cooked.

The watercress salad was a fun mix of hearts of palm, tomatoes, sliced hard boiled eggs, red onions, avocado and large, sweet shrimp.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Restaurant Week: Colicchio & Sons Review

Though I had previously been to Colicchio & Sons and was underwhelmed, I chose to return because my first experience was only brunch, which often isn't representative of a restaurant's best efforts. Dinner was better, but it wasn't without its flaws.

In the plus column, Colicchio & Sons did offer its entire regular menu for Restaurant Week, meaning that this meal would give my dining companion and me a good sense of the restaurant's abilities.

The raw salmon with celery and pink peppercorn was bright and flavorful, but the portion was on the small side, the equivalent of what felt like just a few bites of food.

The roasted bone marrow with truffle vinaigrette and drunk onions was the best dish of the evening. The marrow was rich and unctuous and perfectly paired with the earthy truffle sauce. The marrow, served in the bone, also came with toast.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Shake Shack August Custard Flavors

It's hard to believe it's already August. But here's another new month of flavors.

Monday: Vanilla Almond Fudge
Tuesday: Caramelized Peach
Wednesday: Fromage Blanc Raspberry Swirl
Thursday: Strawberry Shackcake
Friday: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Saturday: Blueberry Coffee Cake
Sunday: Basil

Monday, July 25, 2011

Restaurant Week: L'Ecole Review

After six years in New York, I feel like a veteran Restaurant Week eater. Each time it comes around, there are new restaurants added to the usual roster, but the list of places I get excited to make reservations for is now often composed mostly of old favorites that I can rely on returning to for a good meal. But this time, a coworker mentioned that L'Ecole, the restaurant at the French Culinary Institute, was on her to-try list. So, I thought I'd check it out.

The space is lovely, elegant and comfortable. And the RW menu was extensive with many options for each of the three courses.

Lunch even began with an amuse bouche — a delicious potato and chive ball topped with crème fraiche and salmon roe.

The seasonal salad was better than your average boring mix of lettuces. It had watermelon radishes, shimeji mushrooms, pickled cherry tomatoes and sherry shallot vinaigrette that made it all a bit tart, in a good way.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Small Bites

— These days, frozen treats go way beyond ice cream — ice cream sandwiches, shaved ice and popsicles are in.

— Grant Achatz talks about the next act (following Paris 1906) for his restaurant Next: present-day Thai food.

— The brilliant technology of the evolving pizza box.

— The SodaStream is making fizzy drinks popular at home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mexicue Review

Mexicue is one of those food trucks that I had heard of and wanted to try, but I just hadn't yet caught up with it. The idea of melding Mexican food and barbecue seemed like a good one. I signed myself up for the mailing list as a reminder to myself to try it. As a result, I was able to get an early (free) sampling of the food when they opened up a storefront on Seventh Avenue between 29th and 30th Streets.

I tried an Alabama chicken taco and a Berkshire pulled pork slider. Each would normally be $3.50, which seemed a bit pricey for the small portions. But I also wasn't crazy about the food. The meat in both could have been more tender. The taco was dry (maybe they forgot the barbecue sauce) and tasted mostly of the two layers of tortilla. The pork slider came with avocado and pickled onions, which was a nice combination in theory. But the barbecue sauce on the meat was too sweet. I did like the Arnold Palmer to wash it all down though. Not having tried the food from the truck, I can't say if this is how Mexicue serves all their food. But I hope that the new restaurant, which has a nice, casual seating area upstairs, works through the early phase and improves.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Steve's Ice Cream Review

A small, new ice cream shop, Steve's Ice Cream, opened recently in Midtown. In addition to an interesting selection of ice cream, the shop also sells an assortment of local pastries (including Scratchbread brownies, which I've had at the Brooklyn Flea and loved). The staff was friendly and let me taste several flavors — blackberry honey, too sweet; and olive oil pine nut, delicious — before I settled on Tea Time.

The ice creams had strong flavors; the tea had a great citrus burst to it. The texture visually resembled slightly melted candle wax, but was smooth on the tongue. It's a bit pricey — this mini size was $2.50 — but the portion is just right when you want just a little bit of ice cream to cool off. I welcome new spots to get good ice cream and only wish that they would stay open later. The shop is open until 8 p.m. on weekdays and 7 p.m. on weekends.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

July Custard Flavors at Shake Shack

The weather feels like summer now and so do most of Shake Shack's custard flavors for the month.

Monday: Peaches 'N Cream
Tuesday: Mud Pie
Wednesday: Sour Cherry Cinnamon
Thursday: Blueberry
Friday: Salted Caramel
Saturday: Chocolate Chip Cookie
Sunday: Sweet Corn

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

On the Road Eats: Bottega

Yountville restaurants are all about the star power. It's almost impossible to avoid it. And so my dining companion and I ended up at Bottega, which belongs to Food Network star Michael Chiarello, for lunch.

The food was pretty good, though I imagine that in a few months I won't remember what I ate there. The service was memorable — because it was terrible, slow and inept. It started with our having to ask for our drinks twice before they finally arrived.

We began the meal with the shaved artichoke salad with Parmigiano Reggiano. The artichokes were served two ways, braised in lemon olive oil and fried. It was tasty and showcased, once again, the terrific produce of the area.

But after eating this appetizer, the waitress informed us that the kitchen didn't have the main course we had ordered. We're not sure why she waited that long to tell us this and why she didn't immediately bring a menu so we could choose a replacement dish. When she finally gave us a menu, she didn't return to take our new order for quite some time. 

For a second appetizer, we had the green egg and ham olive oil-poached Delta asparagus. It came with a crispy soft-boiled egg, prosciutto bits and Cambazola crema. The coating on the egg was a bit too thick and the fried taste overwhelmed it. The asparagus was fresh, though I wish it had been crunchier.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunrise Grill Review

Life is definitely interesting when I can get Jamaican food twice in one week from two different food trucks in Midtown. Early last week, I tried Jamaican Dutchy. I told a friend about it and her coworkers mentioned another nearby truck, Sunrise Grill. For some time now, I've walked by the bright yellow truck with its flashing sign nearly everyday, but hadn't had a chance to stop by to see what they were serving. So I decided to go for my second Jamaican lunch of the week.

The handwritten menu advertised the day's offerings. Like Jamaican Dutchy, they also had stew chicken, but I decided to try the oxtail instead.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jamaican Dutchy Truck Review

Last week, I passed by the Jamaican Dutchy on 38th Street near the corner of Broadway. The truck wasn't serving food yet because they'd had some trouble parking, but I grabbed a menu and hoped it would be back. Today, it was there again and they said they would be at this location daily. The truck had a steady flow of interested customers, but there wasn't much of a wait for my food.

There are several items to choose from, including oxtail or curry goat, but I decided to try a small stew chicken for $8. The portion was huge and the chicken came with rice and peas, a plantain and some cabbage and a bag of chips. The tender chicken was smothered in a brown sauce with a heavy flavor of spices, which was quite good. I wasn't crazy about the rice (and that's coming from someone who loves rice), but there's plenty of chicken to fill and still have leftovers. I'm looking forward to going back to try the Midtown Lunch-approved goat curry.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On the Road Eats: Ad Hoc

Yountville, California, is Thomas Keller's town. For those who can't get into The French Laundry, the options to get a Keller experience abound. There's Bouchon Bakery and the adjacent Bouchon Bistro. And a bit farther down the road, Ad Hoc (which happens to sit right next to Redd).

Ad Hoc, originally intended as a temporary casual dining restaurant, has continued to live on as a permanent spot serving one simple four-course menu, family style, that changes every night. So, this is one for those who are ready to take their chances with what might be served. You'll likely have made a reservation in advance, but on the day of, you can check the Web site to see what your $52 will get you.

The interior is comfortable and without pretense or stuffiness. It's the right place to unwind after a day of touring wineries.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On the Road Eats: Redd

For the food-focused, a visit to San Francisco should include a side trip to Napa Valley if time allows. My Napa experience was centered in Yountville. The town is small  and though the "downtown" is just a small strip along Washington Street, it's disproportionately filled with great restaurants, the most famous being The French Laundry. There's also a branch of Thomas Keller's Bouchon. While I wasn't lucky enough to count myself as a diner at The French Laundry, my dining companion and I stumbled upon a wonderful lunch place called Redd. The menu lent itself well to making a meal out of several appetizers.

The crispy calamari was a huge portion tossed with a little bit of parsley. It was filling and delicious.

The shrimp salad with shredded butter lettuce and tomatoes was fresh — the produce really does taste better there. There were several pieces of shrimp, large and perfectly cooked.

Monday, June 13, 2011

On the Road Eats: San Francisco

Though it's hard to shun dim sum when in Chinatown on a weekend, congee (Chinese rice porridge) is a good alternative. And Hing Lung specializes in it. My dining companion and I ordered two bowls — one with pork and preserved egg and the other with salted pork bone — along with a Chinese fried doughnut. Two bowls was too much and we could have done with just one. But they were both delicious and the doughnut tasted fresh — a crisp crust with a chewy, doughy inside.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

On the Road Eats: San Francisco

After having read about Humphrey Slocombe in The New York Times (and given my love of ice cream), I knew it was a must-try spot during my trip to San Francisco — an ice cream shop serving up some truly wacky flavor combinations that dare you to try them.
The shop is located in the Mission District, a newish storefront among the many established places with old-fashioned signage and much of it in Spanish. Though there were just a few people when I first arrived, the line grew quickly behind me. You can try flavors, but it's hard to limit your tastings to just a few of the 10 or so flavors offered on that day. But the staff was patient and friendly, singing along to the pop music playing. And if you pay by credit card, you sign by scrawling your signature with your finger on an ipad.

The final combinations: kumquat poppyseed and cucumber ice milk sorbet, and hibiscus beet and strawberry Szechuan sorbets. My favorite was the kumquat poppyseed — there was a playful balance between the fruitiness and the dark nuttiness of the poppyseed. I didn't care for the cucumber ice milk, but I don't particularly like cucumber flavor except in its original form. The hibiscus beet had a strong beet flavor that worked surprisingly well. The strawberry Szechuan wasn't spicy as I thought it might be but the strawberry flavor had a peppery undertone.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Latest Shake Shack News

The newest branch of Shake Shack opens today in Battery Park City. Eater tells us that besides the location-specific concrete mixtures (Wall-nut Street: brownie sundae with cherries; Lower West Side: chocolate with marshmallows and Mast Bros. cocoa nibs; Downtown Butter Brown: hazelnut brown butter streusel and fresh fruit), they'll be the only branch in New York offering half-sized portions of concretes.

If you want to stick to scoops, here are the flavors for June:

Monday: Boston Cream Pie
Tuesday: Raspberry Granola Crunch
Wednesday: Strawberry Cheesecake
Thursday: Black Raspberry
Friday: Honey Roasted Peanut
Saturday: Coffee & Donuts
Sunday: Banana Bread

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On the Road Eats: The Slanted Door

For just about as long as I've been interested in food and restaurants, I've associated San Francisco with The Slanted Door. The upscale Vietnamese restaurant in the Ferry Plaza building has established its reputation quite well over the past 16 years and, from my experience, it seems that the reservations for dinner in the large dining room are still being easily filled.

Unable to get a table, I thought I might try my luck as a walk-in at the bar. But as it turns out, my dining companion and I ended up here at lunchtime just as the restaurant was opening. A line was already forming at the door. We tried our luck and were able to get in and were seated at a lovely table with a view of the water.

The long, overwhelmingly intriguing menu nearly guarantees that your eyes will be bigger than your stomach. But by ordering several appetizers, we were able to several things.

The spicy vermicelli rice noodles with chicken, green cabbage, cucumber, mint, peanut sauce and lime was a nice first plate. The tangy mixture was flavorful, though I did wish the chicken had been marinated longer so it tasted less of meat and exuded more freshness.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

On the Road Eats: Chez Panisse

When I travel to a new place, my first thought turns to food and what new places I might be able to try. As soon as I found out I would be headed to Berkeley, California, for an intense weeklong workshop, I sought a reservation at Chez Panisse, the esteemed restaurant of Alice Waters, a leading advocate of local and sustainable food and the slow food movement.

I was able to get a late reservation at the upstairs cafe, the more casual side of the restaurant. I was warmly greeted by the host and taken to a corner table. The menu I received said that it was inspired by Colman Andrews, one of the founders of Saveur magazine. As it happens, the following week would be Chez Panisse's 40th anniversary. So, for each of the 40 weeks leading up to it, the menu would recognize the inspiration of 40 different chefs.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recent Eats

It was a gorgeous Sunday not to be wasted. I eat like a maniac and thankfully have some friends who love to indulge in the same. What you are about to read did take place within a few hours in just one afternoon.

First up, Diner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I'd heard rumors of long waits for brunch here and when I called the restaurant to ask when that typically began, I was told 11 a.m. My dining companion and I aimed to be there by that time and we made our deadline. We were rewarded with no line. Diner sits inside of an old dining car, but we passed up the charming interiors to bask in the sunlight.

Though there is a short printed menu put down on the table, it's bare bones and there are no decisions to make until the real menu arrives —a recitation by your server who fills in the blanks, listing all sorts of ingredients for each dish and scribbling crib notes on the paper tablecloth. Ordering brunch turns into a memory game, which isn't the thing most people are in the mood for on Sunday morning. Restaurants, if you want to change your menu constantly, at least give us a chalkboard.

The raisin scone with creme fraiche and rhubarb compote was the most worthy thing we ate at Diner. It was delicious, from the buttery scone topped with large crystals of sugar to the creamy center and the fruity accoutrement.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Melt Bakery Review

Opening weekend at the Hester Street Fair was a sea of people. By the time I arrived, much of the food was sold out. And I couldn't even get close to most of the stands that still had food because there were so many people trying to make their way around in the small space. My hunger was becoming urgent. I spotted a promising place across the street that might fill that need — North Dumpling. There was a short line, but it moved fast and the food was produced quickly. The fried dumplings (10 for $2) and the steamed dumplings (8 for $2) were delicious and wonderfully hot. The sesame pancake with beef was just okay; too much bread and too little meat, which was fatty as well.

Having sated my stomach some, I was better prepared to deal with the crowds, which I needed to do so I could try one of the ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery. I gleefully handed over $4 for the "Lovelet" — two soft red velvet whoopie pie cookies cushioning cream cheese ice cream. This baby was well frozen and needed several minutes to thaw out, but it'll be nice when the sun really starts to heat up this summer. I loved the flavors in this. The cookies were fluffy and very recognizably red velvet flavored and the ice cream was smooth and creamy. Melt's Web site lists several interesting flavor combinations of cookies and ice creams that can be ordered for delivery or picked up from their location on the Lower East Side. They'll be opening a storefront soon as well. I hope to try more in the coming months to keep me cool.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Smoke Joint Review

After a long evening show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, finding a spot open for a late dinner or drinks turned out to be a little harder than I thought it would be for Fort Greene. It seems that many of the places nearby close around 11 p.m. or midnight. Luckily, my dining companions and I slipped in to The Smoke Joint just before the kitchen closed. The restaurant was still full, so we were seated at the bar. We ordered fast and after a minor glitch, the food came soon after. 

I had ordered a half portion ($8) of the tender smoked chicken, but they were out of the dark meat. As a result, we got two huge portions of white meat. I was a bit disappointed as I prefer dark meat, but once I tasted this, my doubts evaporated. The chicken was extremely juicy and flavorful. A light layer of barbecue sauce coated the skin of the chicken, but there were bottles of barbecue and hot sauces on the counter, so you could season to your taste.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Small Bites

 - Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, defends foodies who focus efforts on improving the agriculture of eating against those calling them elitist.

- Pick up some tips to improve your food photography.

- Sbarro's declaration of bankruptcy in April seems unsurprising given its tendency to cater to indifferent eats, and this Slate piece confirms it.

- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created a fascinating "food desert" locator — it shows low-income areas with little access to grocery stores — based on Census tracts. DCentric notes that Washington, D.C.'s food deserts are areas with high concentrations of children.

- Among odd eating experiences — dinner served on the L train from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Coolhaus Early Review

Several blogs had posted about the food truck promotion last weekend between Coolhaus and Firefox (yes, as in the Internet browser). They teamed up to give out several flavors of ice cream sandwiches in a few different locations around the city. Coolhaus was debuting in New York and this was a great way to introduce its product amidst the burgeoning food truck movement. I liked the sound of the unique ice cream flavor combinations (the mention of Earl Gray ice cream is nearly enough to make me an immediate fan). And, honestly, what could be better than getting one of my favorite things to eat for free!

So I decided to try out one of the ice cream sandwiches at its near-Bryant Park location. Though I got there at noon, when it was supposed to open, it took another 15 to 20 minutes before they actually started serving customers. And by that time, a decent line had formed. They were actually waiting for the ice cream to soften up a bit. And the Firefox promotional people were just arriving to hand out swag. Though the offerings were limited to four flavors, the ie ice cream sandwiches weren't premade, but rather, scooped upon ordering.