Tip me so I can feed my children.

Brooklyn Beefsteak 2014

I went to the Brooklyn Beefsteak at the Bell House this past Sunday. Unlimited Pat LaFrieda steak bites on a little crostini toasted slice of baguette bread, unlimited McSoreley’s, pickles, peanuts, and entertainment $50+. Actually, when I bought my ticket, I was thinking this was totally something else. But it was a lot of fun. Even going by myself.

01 Brooklyn Beefsteak 2014 Brooklyn Beefsteak 2014

I came late and joined in on one of the communal tables. Luckily, it was one that was serious about their bread stacking. You see… Most people don’t eat the bread. Need to make room in their stomach for meat. And they use the leftover bread to stack. I snuck in a few bites of bread with my meat and it was actually pretty good that way …especially with horseradish sauce made with Sir Kensington mayonnaise.

Anyway, back to the bread stacking. The gang next to me were plenty resourceful. First, they got the rest of our table to join forces and give them their bread. It started to look like a nice tower. I thought it was going to be a snowman, because there was an arm on it attached by a coat hanger wire. It turned out to be there to balance the weight though. Some duck tape help kept it together. Then they tore it down figuring they should start over, much to the dismay of the guy that was further down the table.

15 Brooklyn Beefsteak 2014 Brooklyn Beefsteak 2014

Then in came some green wire poles that someone got from a garden nearby and the use of a full pickle jar for support. They had to stand on the benches to assemble it. That’s how tall it was. And then came in some shoelaces to hold it down like a Christmas tree.

Our only competition was the gang of jocks nearby, who stood along the front of the stage like they were Hell’s Angels security. I was worried they were going to kick our ass us if we won, but I think that was just drunk thinking. They had a nice tall stack without any apparent extra accessories …but surely not taller than our table’s.

20 Brooklyn Beefsteak 2014 Brooklyn Beefsteak 2014

Then Beefsteak Betty (the Master of Ceremonies that looks like a burlesque/Suicide Girl with a huge bosom) came over to measure our bread stack. I think I was taking a picture of her and then she stuck out her cheek. So I kissed her, thinking that’s what she meant. I think she was actually just posing for the camera.

We didn’t win. Although I’m pretty sure we were the tallest. They probably knocked off points for the shoelaces and stolen garden equipment.

As everyone was finishing up, our server asked if we needed anything else. I thought she was flirting with me, but I slowly realized she was waiting for a tip. I think the singer in the Rockabilly band mentioned to tip at the end, but everyone was drunk and already walking out. They should make the tipping part clearer, like when you buy your tickets. Then I won’t mistake the servers with flirting with me.


Food World Restaurant

I feel like there’s more restaurants on Eldridge Street, but they look like hole in the wall places that have been there for years. I walked into this one where everything was written in Chinese. I didn’t know it had a name, but it says “Food World Restaurant” on the menus. This is right next door to Young City Fish Balls.

06 Chrysanthemum Fish with Assorted Sauces Food World Restaurant Food World Restaurant

I got the Chrysanthemum Fish with Assorted Sauces, which is basically a fried whole fish with sweet and sour sauce. It looks rather impressive. The fish was a little off tasting until I made sure each bite was covered in sauce, then all was well. Pretty good.

I’ve had Chrysanthemum Fish at another Chinese restaurant a long time ago. I remember that one was much more crispier to the point where it was hard to eat. This one was much more edible.

Food World Restaurant – 19 Eldridge Street #b. New York, NY 10002

Tio Wally Eats America: El Mexsal Restaurant

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Provo, Utah.

Tio%20Wally%20Eats%20America%20truck Tio Wally Eats America: El Mexsal Restaurant

Greetings from Provo, Utah
N 40° 13.7581’ W 111° 39.7303’ Elev. 4528 ft.

Most people are familiar with cashew nuts. Some may even know of cashew butter. But it seems few know where cashews actually come from, how they grow. Fewer still may be aware that parts of the cashew tree is juiceable.

A short course (of course): Cashew nuts grow on trees. The “nut” is not a nut but a seed. The seed protrudes from the bottom of the fruit of the cashew tree, the cashew apple. The cashew apple is know by a number of names: Star apple in English, Caju in Portugeuse, Marañon in Spanish. Ripe cashew apples resemble a red bell pepper, with the kidney shaped seed hanging out of the bottom.

I had no idea about any of this until I ran across a flavor of aguas frescas I’d never heard of before. I’d gone to El Mexsal, a Mexican/Salvadorian restaurant I’d spotted previously and they had Marañon on the drink menu ($1.99). I asked the server what it was and she kept saying “cashew.” Cashew juice? How the hell do you juice a cashew nut? So I asked if I could try it.

They weren’t juicing the nuts/seeds but, rather, the fruit that produces them, the cashew apple. As it turns out cashew apples are used to make all kinds of stuff: liquor, wine, sodas, candy, syrup, jams and chutneys, preserves, etc. The ripe apples can be eaten raw or juiced, and the fruit contains over five times as much Vitamin C as an orange.

14 Mexsal marañon Tio Wally Eats America: El Mexsal Restaurant

Like many aguas frescas, the marañon was sweet and mildly tangy, with a unique flavor that, though tropical tasting, is neither perfumy nor really exotic tasting. I read where it was compared to Passion Fruit but I didn’t think it was anything like it. I wish I could describe it other than to say it’s very, very good.

I discovered on the InterTubes that marañon is available in the States in most Indian stores as well as stores specializing in Central and South American products, usually as a concentrate. I wish I’d known about marañon before because I’d have looked for it, sought it out. It’s that good.

As for El Mexsal: As you can tell by the name it’s a restaurant with a dual personality, offering a range of Mexican and Salvadoran specialties. I had a combination plate: Beef enchilada, Chile relleno and Beef tamale ($7.49). It was all very good. The tamale was fluffy and cakey the way banana-wrapped tamales tend to be. The relleno was a fresh chile in a fluffy batter, stuffed with lots of cheese. The beef enchilada was likewise quite good. Both the enchilada and the tamale were stuffed with classic desebrada, tender and succulent shredded pot roast.

El Mexsal was a great find, especially considering that it’s located in one of the whitest of the white places in America. They have great food, great service, reasonable prices and, best of all, Marañon!

And so we roll.

El Mexsal Restaurant, 325 S. Freedom Blvd., Provo, Utah

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

Croxley’s Abbey’s 10cent Wings

I’ve always been intrigued at places with cheap wing nights, because wings can be pretty expensive at around $1+ at most places. I know that Croxley’s in the East Village has always had them, but I figured it was probably always packed. So they just opened up a Croxley’s in Williamsburg and they also have the 10cent wings (boneless) and 20cent classic wings (with bones). The deal is during Sunday all day & night, Saturdays 12-5pm, Mon-Thurs 4pm-1am. So pretty much almost all the time. Plus they are doing it during all the March Madness games. Sweet!

05 Twenty Cent Wings Croxleys Abbey Croxleys Abbeys 10cent Wings

I was thinking of getting some boneless and classic, but at 10 wing minimum per order (read the ordering rules below in the pics), I knew I couldn’t finish. So I went with ten 20cent classic with bones. They have lots of flavors. I asked the waitress what the “Fighting Irish” was. She told me not to get it. “It is gross.” I’ll trust her and just get the regular classic like a real man. They came out quick and were really crispy. Reminded me of how Korean wings are really crispy. Great deal!

I’m pretty excited about this new sports bar in Williamsburg. It’s huge. Easy to get a table during some pretty big games. Good attentive service. Great deal on wings!

Ben Sargent (aka Doctor Klaw) met up with me there for a drink. He had this really awesome red Cushman truckster parked out front.

Croxley’s Abbey – 63 Grand St (btwn Wythe & Kent Ave in Williamsburg) Brooklyn, NY 11211

White Castle’s Chicken & Waffle Sandwich

Signs just went up today at White Castle for their new Chicken and Waffle slider. Chicken patty between two Belgian waffles with white gravy and bacon crumbles. Two for $5 or $2.69 each.

The also have a breakfast menu with the waffles. Waffle sandwiches with egg and cheese with a choice of bacon or sausage $1.99. Waffles and Mrs. Butterworth’s $1.69.

08 White Castle Chicklen and Waffle Sandwich White Castles Chicken & Waffle Sandwich

I ordered one of the Chicken and Waffle sandwiches. I saw the lady carefully assembling it, neatly wrapping it up and sliding it into a slider box.

It was really good! The white gravy and bacon had a good peppery taste. It kind of was like eating chicken and waffles.

I imagine if they used the chicken breast from their tasty Chicken Breast Sandwiches, it would be even better. I wonder if you can special order it that way. It probably wouldn’t fit into the box though.

Tio Wally Eats America: Al’s Chickenette

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Hays, Kansas.

Tio%20Wally%20Eats%20America%20truck Tio Wally Eats America: Al’s Chickenette

Greetings from Hays, Kansas
N 38° 51.8428’ W 099° 19.0759’ Elev. 1985 ft.

Al’s Chickenette was recommended by my friend Tony. He’d recommended another place once before — Gray’s Coors Tavern in Pueblo, Colorado — that was spectacularly funky and spectacularly good. Needless to say it didn’t take much faith on my part to follow his lead once again.

Along the way I got a song stuck in my head. I kept hearing the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross version of a Cannonball Adderly tune, Sermonette. It turned into a real ear worm, one of those songs that keeps playing over and over in your head. I just couldn’t shake it.

04 Als outside 3 Tio Wally Eats America: Al’s Chickenette

Al’s Chickenette is located 2.5 miles south of I-70 on US 183 (Exit 159). By the time you get there you think you’ve missed it and you’re about to leave town … because you are. Al’s is one of the last places on the left. It’s easy to spot by the vintage late ‘50s/early ‘60s-style sign out front. I’d love to’ve seen it lit up at night as it has all the requisite neon and 100 light bulbs to render it truly representative of the sign design of that era. I like to believe it flashes.

Inside is equally reminiscent of ‘50s-‘60s “modern” design, with wood floors and a low-rise, 4-stool formica counter. The decor has a look and feel so evocative of that simpler, duck-and-cover time that the only thing missing is the zzzzzzzzz-ing whir of a vintage stainless steel Hamilton Beach commercial milkshake mixer.

Al’s serves soft-serve ice cream but no shakes. But as sort of a throwback they offer 25¢ coffee, which, curiously, is a dime cheaper than the price listed on one of the old menus posted in the foyer. And it’s okay coffee.

It’s an interesting place and the staff is exceptional. I was greeted heartily and my server, Allison, (I hope that’s how she spells it) was vivacious and kind. In fact, I had her help order for me; I always do that because they know.

After I ordered I was walking to the bathroom (I ended up choosing the door with the cock, er, rooster on it) as one of the other servers brought out his lunch, a bowl of chicken noodle soup ($2.95/$5.95). It looked so good that I had to take a picture of it. I first thought it was chicken and dumplings. “No,” he said, “I put some mashed potatoes in it.” Mmm, mmm good idea.

I experienced a most pleasant olfactory blast from the past in Al’s bathroom. It’s a commercial hand soap I run across from time to time. It smells much like Jergens Lotion, which, to me, smells faintly of cherries. Every time I smell it I’m reminded of my childhood. My mom used it when I was very young and when she did I’d often ask to smell her hands. I love that scent. Oh, the fond memories. But I digress.

I had THE WIZARD ($9.95), three pieces of dark meat chicken with two sides and a somewhat silly name; yet another example of Kansan’s ubiquitous habit of linking to The Wizard of Oz. Seriously, they’ll link anything to The Wizard of Oz. It’s just a matter of time before I find a Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean or, hell, a Swiss restaurant in Kansas serving The Toto. But I digress, again.

18 Als plate Tio Wally Eats America: Al’s Chickenette

The chicken — two legs and a thigh — was very, very good. I read on one of the old menus that “Our chicken is fried by a Special Method …”, whatever that means. Al’s chicken has an unusual outer “crust.” It’s very thin, the thickness of the shell of a dipped ice cream cone, and very crispy, crackly. It was spiced interestingly, in a good way, and the chicken was very moist and perfectly cooked.

I only ate the legs while I was there. When I nibbled on the thigh later that night I thought the breading tasted distinctly of pork rinds — cracklins, y’all. I was dumbfounded enough that I saved some to try again later. But then it didn’t taste like that at all. I was confused; I’m always confused. This may explain why some of the fine folks in Kimmerer, Wyoming (scroll down to the Comments section) don’t cotton to my opinions too much.

The real highlights for me were the real mashed potatoes and real pan gravy, though the gravy had a somewhat unusual taste to me. I think I was expecting it to taste exactly like the chicken pan gravies I’ve eaten so many times before. Cracklins? Still, it was pretty good. And the mashed potatoes were the real thing — they actually had lumps in them — so I was in love. The cole slaw was truly fantastic, a blast from my childhood. Drenched in an old-school mayonnaise-vinegar-sugar dressing, it was sweet, crunchy, and heavenly. Just the way I like it.

In all Al’s Chickenette was a great visit, with great people. Truly a really great experience.

Next month Al’s Chickenette will mark its 65th year in business. To commemorate that milestone I made a really bad slideshow/ad, replete with yours truly singing really badly. I rewrote the words to “Sermonette” and, well …

My apologies to Mr. Adderly and the other American Treasures that are Misters Lambert and Hendricks & Ms. Ross.

And so we roll.

Al’s Chickenette, 710 Vine St., Hays, Kansas

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

Frizl’s Cheeseburger is the Best Burger

So a lot of people have been saying Frizl’s is one of the best new burgers. And I thought I had the best burger already at The Grand Bar and Grill. So we went to Frizl’s and yeah, it is the best burger. I think the meat is just salty enough. There’s some kind of relish and brown oozing sauce. All together, it makes the best burger. Only thing though, it might be a little too rich. Like I felt like I ate a stick of butter afterwards.

01 Cheeseburger Fritzl%E2%80%99s Frizls Cheeseburger is the Best Burger

I gotta say $9 for the burger. $1 extra for cheese. Add $3 for a side. Definitely worth it, compared to other places if you want the best burger.

The Creamed Collards were just okay. Too grainy and powerdery cheesy for my tastes.

Frizl’s Lunch Box – 173 Irving Ave (btwn Stanhope St & Stockholm St in Bushwick) Brooklyn, NY 11237

BXL Zoute’s Lunch Prix Fixe

Went to BXL Zoute for their $17 lunch pre fixe. Seems like a pretty good deal.

Choice of:
Soup of the Day, House Salad or Terrine Maison

And Choice Of:
1Lb Moules, Sandwich of the Day or Omelette

1 Stella Artois, House Wine or Soft Drink

I got the Terrine Maison. Here’s a tip. Get that if you are on the fence with that or a salad. Because it comes with salad! I saw a guy next to me order the house salad and it looked like mine minus the Terrine Maison.

The Mussels were good, but the broth wasn’t as drinkable on its own like I expected.

The fries were great!

They have All You Can Eat Mussels on Sundays and Mondays by the way.

BXL Zoute – 50 W 22nd St (btwn 5th & 6th Ave) New York, NY 10010