Archives for August 2010

Mother’s Tilapia Fish Sandwich

Rusty and I have been spending a lot of time at Mother’s bar lately for an after-work Gaffel or three. I always see people eat there and finally took my shot at the Tilapia  Fish Sandwich. Dang, it’s good. Maybe needs a little more of that fancy sauce, but it’s a nicely cooked & seasoned piece of fish. And yes, farm raised tilapia is bad for you …apparently worse than bacon (see this article). But I would be happy to order a bacon sandwich just as well, so I know what I’m getting into. I could really taste the delicious heart clogging oils coating the flaky clumps of fish and it was heaven …which might not be too far off eating the way I do.

Mother’s Bar – 347 Graham Ave (btwn Conselyea & Metropolitan) Brooklyn, NY 11211


Xi’an’s Tingly Lamb Face and Stewed Spine & Rib

I finally tried Xi’an Famous Foods’ Spicy & Tingly Lamb Face Salad and Stewed Spine & Rib. Brought it to Columbus Park with Yasmin, who is probably the only person I know willing to eat lamb face and spine with me. I’m not sure what was tingly about the lamb face, but the roof mouth bits were crunchy and the meaty parts were tender and tasty. It’s the most expensive thing on the menu at $8.75. It’s a good dish, but I only ate it because there was lamb face in it.

We ordered the Stewed Spine & Rib with the noodles ($5). There wasn’t much meat on the bones, but whatever was there was very tender. I was looking back at my photos and thought there was a photo of me attacking the spine bone, but dang I realized it was Yasmin. The hand-pulled noodles are good as usual.

I practiced with my new camera and new lens (Canon 50mm f/1.4). Hard to shoot the food up close, but easy to shoot the old Chinese people in the park. Those umbrellas in the tree are for shade I think? An old man laughed at me when he saw me taking photos of food. Another man hocked up a mean loogie when we ate said food. No Senior Citizens Chinese Opera this time, but I still love this park. I still have crunchy mouth bits stuck in my teeth.

Xi’an Famous Foods (Manhattan Chinatown) – 88 East Broadway #106 (but really on the corner of Forsyth) New York, NY 10002

cityhouse New York Tasting Menu

I was hesitant to get a free meal after last time, but this invite sounded too fancy with words like “exclusive dinner,” “sleek new contemporary steakhouse” and “Executive Chef Fabio.” I figured fuck it. I’m selling out. Let me enjoy the good life. So I met Carolyn at this Midtown restaurant located in the Park Central Hotel for their free tasting.

Interestingly, the menu included items I’ve been wanting to eat that day. Seared foie gras that I’ve been dreaming of since I’ve seen Japanese Iron Chefs slice thick cuts of it on TV, and rack of lamb which was staring at only a few hours before at Trader Joe’s. The foie gras was everything I dreamed of –buttery melt in my mouth liver. The lamb wasn’t as good as Carolyn’s Thai inspired Braised Short Ribs over Potato Au Gratin …that was awesome. The Chocolate Lava Cake was good too, even though it was like a microwaved Hines cake.

Maybe it’s because of the Midtown location, the nature of having so many good restaurants in New York and the nature of who I am, but I’m not sure I’d ever eat at cityhouse unless I was staying at that hotel …I’m a Brooklyn hipster. However they do have a very affordable prix fixe –$15 for lunch and $35 dinner w/ a complimentary glass of wine (5-7pm).

I’m happy this free meal turned out well. I have no regrets this time, considering my internal conflict with food blogging ethics. I was trying to be all high and mighty before, but I suppose this is not really any different than going to a media event and getting a free pizza burger. Maybe it’s just time to be like T.I. and live my life.

cityhouse New York – 870 Seventh Avenue (@ 56th Street) Park Central Hotel, New York 10019

Goya Mayo-Ketchup …Instant Fancy Sauce!

At $3.59, I guess you’re paying for the convenience.

Burger King Whopper Bar’s NY Pizza Burger

Burger King sat me down today to eat four Whoppers and a New York Pizza Burger. I’m glad I realized I didn’t have to finish each one.

They invited me to the new flagship Whopper Bar in Times Square to meet one on one with BK’s Chef “J” Jason Sullivan and Vice President of Global Product Marketing and Innovation John Schaufelberger. I was little nervous to come meet them by myself …if I was being suckered into something, like how police capture criminals by telling them they won a boat and to come pick it up. I know what I’ve said about their fries and their hash browns.

They were cool though. Besides letting me try Whopper Bar exclusives –Meat Beast Whopper, California Whopper and BK Black & Bleu Steakhouse XT, they let me create my own. I went for spicy –jalapeños, Cajun sauce, angry fries, pepper bacon, cheddar and lettuce and tomato. It was neat to create my own, but it really didn’t stand up against their pre-tested creations.

In retrospect, the BK Black & Bleu XT tasted the best for the first few bites, but became overwhelming with the bleu cheese …or at least I should’ve finished it while it was warm. I think I’d enjoy finishing the Meat Beast Whopper with its bacon and pepperoni. It was surprisingly good for the couple of bites compared to restaurant burgers I’ve had as of late.

The visual highlight was the New York Pizza Burger. I expected a small burger with tomato paste, but this was a huge burger the size of a small pizza. “…four flame-broiled WHOPPER® patties topped with pizza-lovers’ favorites – pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce and Tuscan pesto sauce – all on a 9 ½-inch sesame seed bun.” It’s not bad. Tastes kinda like pizza, but also like a burger. The pesto herb sauce gives it a nice flavor. They should think of adding that sauce to the Whopper menu. Don’t know if it’ll work on a regular burger, but it’s sure tasty.

The sharable NY Pizza Burger ($12.95) is a New York Whopper Bar exclusive and doesn’t come out until September. It looks to be an attraction not only for tourists, but also for the locals that are into crazy ideas like donut burgers and Double Downs. It’s not quite as wacky, but still fun …I just don’t know how they lay four Whopper patties on it, cut it into 6 slices without noticeable meatless gaps?

I did ask the head chef as I was walking out “How do you get all the onion rings the same size?” He said something about it either being pieced together or cut short. I’m not sure I buy that. I really want to think they take out the very one sized ring and throw the rest away.

Trader Joe’s Take-Out Thali

I’m a big fan of the $2 microwavable Trader Joe’s Indian packets. I checked out the new store on 6th Ave and 21st St, grabbed a bunch of those packets and a box of this Thali meal. Basically it’s two of the Indian packets and rice for $4. Serves 2 and seems like a good deal. Easy, just microwave the packets. One of the packets did fall over and spill in the microwave. The Aloo Matar (peas and potatoes) was okay and the Yellow Daal was gross and chalky. I’d stick to the $2 Indian packets. They taste better and are spicy.

Speaking of which, I’ve had the Indian packets for five office days in a row now. I don’t know what my coworkers think when they see me spooning curry from a paper plate. It looks like something out of a baby’s diaper. Today, I was putting it in the microwave and it spilled and splattered onto the counter. It wasn’t pretty.

Brother Jimmy’s All You Can Eat Wings, Rib Tips & Beer

Guys night out at Brother Jimmy’s for Monday night’s All-You-Can-Eat Wings, Rib Tips & Beer for $20. People warned me about Brother Jimmy’s, but I didn’t think the food was all that bad. And especially at this price, it’s frickin’ awesome. Matt’s a veteran here and pretty much only likes the wings, but this time he said the rib tips were pretty good. I thought they were tender and tasty with extra Blazin’ sauce on it. The wings were a little too salty and I love salt. You get a two-hour time limit and the beer is Bud or Bud light. We did plenty of damage. We even went to an Irish pub after for more beer and to play bloody knuckles. Come to think of it, Brother Jimmy’s was well-suited for this dude’s night.

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ – 116 E 16th St (btwn E Union Sq & Irving Pl) New York, NY 10003

The Commodore’s Hot Fish Sandwich and Fried Chicken!

Two different friends this week told me that The Commodore in Brooklyn has the best fried chicken they’ve ever had. They ain’t kidding. I got some friends to meet there for happy hour. The fried batter was so light and mix that in with the honey butter and hot sauce …hot dang. The Hot Fish Sandwich with spicy fried fish topped with cole slaw was amazing. I gobbled it up so quick because I didn’t want to share no more.

Then we headed over to Good Company, where Sam Jayne was taping his “Hi Mom, I’m on the Sam Jayne Show” –a television variety show filmed in a bar before a live studio audience. He kills two birds with one stone by bartending and hosting a show at the same time. I took a lot of photos with my new Canon EOS T2i DSLR camera I got this afternoon. What you think? I had a difficult time with the 50mm f/1.8 lens, only because I had to be like ten feet away from the food to get it in frame. But luckily this means I can take photos of other people’s food from another table.

After, Rusty and I headed back to The Commodore to give Yasmin (my ex and ex-bandmate) a Justice of the Unicorns shirt. She made us a coconut tiki drink. Russ invited her back into the band. I wonder if that means I’m kicked out.

We ended up at Carmine’s II where we saw Carmine. I think we had too much to drink because Rusty told Carmine the same thing ten times and tried to pay twice. They got a real nice backyard there. Then back home, Rusty modeled a bunch of different Justice of the Unicorns shirts that his friend JB (American Crossroads Apparel) made for us. Not just shirts, but skirts, aprons, negligee and a karate outfit. They are badass.

The Commodore – 366 Metropolitian Ave (@ Havemeyer St) Brooklyn, NY 11211
Carmine’s II Pizza – 436 Union Avenue (btwn Devoe & Keap St) Brooklyn, NY 11211

Footage from the Canon T2i w/ 50mm f/1.8 lens, 1080p 29.97fps (auto-everything, manual focus)
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