Met up with Sam planning to go to his favorite brunch spot, Wombat, but instead noticed a new Vietnamese sandwich and bubble tea shop across the street –conveniently named “Banh Mi”. I was surprised at how good these banh mi’s were for being a new place in Williamsburg. Their Classic (pork roll, brawn, roasted ground pork & pate $5.50) banh mi ranks up there with ones I’ve had in Chinatown. The Hanoi Catfish (catfish marinated with ginger, Vietnamese spices & dill $8) is a beautifully fried piece of fish and awesome when you get a bite with mayo sauce. Maybe that means I could’ve used more mayo sauce? Another thing is that “spicy” is not too spicy. But perhaps, my mouth is burnt out from all the Ghost Pepper sauce I’ve been eating …and they do have backup with a bottle of Sriracha cock sauce on the tables.
I liked my Taro Black Tea with Tapioca Balls and Sam’s pink Watermelon bubble tea tasted like Hello Kitty, but in a good way.
Banh Mi – 580 Grand St (btwn Lorimer & Leonard St) Brooklyn 11211
Aaron brought over this bottle of ghost chile pepper hot sauce a few weeks ago for the Final Four. I always thought of Melinda’s as a pretty tame brand, so I was surprised they made something like this –with bhut jolokia (aka the hottest pepper in the world). We got scared when the tiniest drops started to get mixed in with the ketchup for our tator tots. Super nice burn and very addictive.
I grabbed a bottle for $9.75 at Dual Specialty Store (91 1st Avenue between 6th & 5th St in Manhattan), right underneath those upstairs Indian restaurants. There’s like two or three displays advertising this hot sauce at the register. Must be one of their biggest sellers. I haven’t stopped using this sauce all week. I can’t stop. Rusty and I agree that it doesn’t mess up our stomach like a lot of other hot sauces. Maybe it’s because we use such a small amount that it’s contained mostly in our mouth and never really hit our insides. Rusty also thinks it would help him wake him up in the morning with just a drop on his pee-pee. We’ll have to see.
I went over to the two upstairs Indian restaurants on 1st Ave & 6th St with the Christmas lights, peppers and beach balls draping the tiny cramped space …and where the two hosts fight over your patronage. I remember a few years back, one of the guys squeezed the other guy’s arm really hard and pointed a finger in his face. So I went with him –the aggressor. Normally I’d root against the bully (at least in the movies). I’m not sure why, but I guess I preferred his take-charge attitude and that he seemed to really want me to eat there …more than the other guy. So I revisited Panna II, the one to the right.
I got the dinner special for $13.95. Started off with the complimentary pupad crispy flat bread and chutney. Next, decent Mulligatawny soup and two potato & peas somosas. I was already full by then. Then came out my Lamb Korma with cabbage, dhal (which I don’t understand how to eat. Like soup or sauce?), rice and paratha bread. Not the best Indian food in Manhattan, but I was so stuffed. Mild food on the stomach at a good price. BYOB and the place rocks when it’s someone’s birthday.
I wish I took the photo of the restaurant before I entered. There was perfect moment where the two men were outside. Unfortunately, only one of them was there when I left. To help discredit the rumor that the two restaurants have the same kitchen or owned by the same owner, here’s this nice article from the Villager about them and the two men trying to fight over you.
Panna II Garden Indian Restaurant – 93 1st Ave (@ 6th St) New York, NY 10003
My friend Carmen sent me these cool photos of Saumagen. This definitely looks like something I want to try. I hope I can find it. I know I’ve looked for real authentic haggis in NYC, with no real luck. Maybe I can find this.
Carmen: “I grew up in Germany and one of the local specialties is called Saumagen – there’s even an English Wikipedia entry which will help explain some of it – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saumagen It’s basically a pig’s stomach filled with ground pork, potatoes, onion, eggs, various spices. It’s tied up, slowly boiled and then pan-fried for a crispy skin.”
I’ve been feeling like meat overload for the past 33 years. I just wanted to eat some vegetables for lunch. Then Sam proposed Hill Country BBQ. Then I proposed the Halal truck on Madison Ave at 28th St. $6 combination platter – chicken with (gyro, kofta, or fish), rice, salad, falafel, french fries and a free soda. One of the best garbage plates I can remember having. …White sauce is a vegetable?
Went to Pavement’s Wowee Zowee (33 1/3) book launch party with Kevin & Kate Wednesday night. It was interesting hearing the author’s perspective on my favorite band of all time. I took away a few good ideas. Grabbed a lamb gyro pita sandwich around the corner at Mediterranean Shawarma. The guy really loaded it up with that lamb meat off the vertical spit. I don’t think it was good food, but it was good drunk food ($5). Then went to Adam’s workshop and jammed with the gang. I haven’t randomly jammed in years. I forgot how fun that was.
Those good ideas I came up with, I forgot them after a huge styrofoam cup of Bud at Call Box Lounge. Here’s a new idea. A little notepad to help remember the stupid shit I think of when I’m drunk. Or an iPad.
Mediterranean Shawarma (@ Noble St) – 849 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn 11222
Name: Rice Vermicelli Duck Flavour
Cost: around 59cents
Contents: Brick of dry vermicelli, seasoning pack & white goo pack
Cooking: 3mins with 2 cups of boiling water. I added dried mushrooms
Results: Great flavor. I don’t really taste duck, but licorice from the star anise seasoning. Best flavored broth so far. Not sure what that white goo is. Not sure if I want to know.