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