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