TGIF! Today’s review on Midtownlunch.com –link
ooh, jason lam so hungry in nyc
We were cooped up in the apartment during yesterday’s snowstorm. I heard reports of snowmen creeping up in the neighborhood. Cabin Fever starts to set in and the feeling of madness fast approaches. My roommate and I tried to escape, only to end up Sal’s Pizza on Lorimer, where “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz used to eat. The reviews on Yelp say there’s an autographed photo from Berkowitz on their wall. We only saw a photo of police officers standing in front of Sal’s in tight shorts.
Bonnie got a Grandma slice, in which I liked the cheesy crust. I picked the Pesto slice because it had a fancy leaf design. That was the best part of the pizza. Did Berkowitz eat his pizza with a pesto leaf design?
On the way back, we enountered a snowman on Metropolitan. Bonnie put a pepper in its nose. I thought it was disrespectful.
Sal’s Pizza – 544 Lorimer St (btwn Ainslie & Devoe) Brooklyn, NY 11211
I checked out the new roast beef sandwich shop from the owners of Artichoke Pizza, which had no line when went, unlike their pizza spot. Think a cross between French Dipped (w/ the au jus) and a Cheesesteak (w/ the cheese). I had the This Way (roast beef, au jus, Cheesewhiz on a roll) only $4.50. A lot of meat on this seemingly smaller sandwich (compared to their hero versions). I suppose the au jus is poured onto the meat rather than the bread being dipped. The juice did drip all over my hands, so you must strategize how you eat it. The That Way sandwich is bigger on a hero with mozzarella for a few dollars more. “This a Way. That a Way.” –hang in there, Lil Wayne.
This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef – 149 1st Ave (btwn 9th St & St Marks Pl) Manhattan, NY 10003
I got my newest issue of Time Out and they have ceased to put Mesa Coyoacan in the “New & Approved” section after four or five issues in a row. I’m not sure if I’m the one to blame, but I’d like to think there’s power in food blogging. Now I’m not sure if I should feel good or bad if I did that, but it really was confusing. I kept thinking it was Groundhog’s Day, but that was Tuesday.
So here I am, finally dining at Mesa Coyoacan for brunch. Alyssa got the Chilaquiles with eggs. It was different than the kind at Grand Morelos, which I’m to understand is pretty authentic. Mesa’s was much less mushy and wasn’t mashed up into the sauce. It was still a tortilla chip –a little soft from the ranchero sauce. It was closer to the kind I had in San Francisco. Bonnie’s Huevos Rancheros tasted like the Chilaquiles, since it was the same ingredients –just in a different form.
My Fish Tacos (tilapia) –three small two-bite sized tacos at $9. Pretty tasty with a squirt of lime. I’m usually in need of hot sauce on my tacos and they did bring out three homemade varieties. I tried all them, but it was best without. The tacos were plenty flavorful in each small bite.
Russ asked me what kind of place this is. I said you’d take your out-of-town guy friends to Grand Morelos. For Mesa Coyoacan, your out-of-town gal friends …or whoever you happen to wake up next to. It’s like the Sea or Planet Thai of Mexican restaurants.
Mesa Coyoacan – 372 Graham Ave (btw Skillman & Conselyea) Brooklyn 11211
I stopped over at the DERANGED FAN music video shoot in the Lower East Side and manned the keg. That was pretty fun. I acted like the bartender and I think I was pretty good at it. It doesn’t seem like hip hoppers drink beer much though, so it was easy …and tough because I felt like I had to help empty the keg.
So afterwards, I dragged my drunk ass over to try Baohaus (that Yoshie raved about) to fill my stomach up. I got into a conversation with one of the brothers of the Chinese bun shop. We made the connection of both being from Orlando and from families of Chinese restaurateurs. He knew of my family and even though I suspected they were somewhat important to the history of Chinese American food in Central Florida, I never thought about it much. It now makes me want ask my parents questions.
So as I went on talking to Evan from Baohaus, I felt like my dad when I saw him talking to strangers about the restaurant business. I know now that I have a food blog, my dad has kinda sparked interest in talking about food when I see him that one time a year. But it’s still tough …father and sons talks.
I ordered the Chairman Bao ($7.95 for two. Braised slow and low using Niman Ranch Pork Belly. Served with: Crushed peanut, cilantro, Haus Relish, and Taiwanese red sugar). The bun was nice and pillowy …and with the meat, it made a delicious snack for a drunk guy.
I don’t know how long I went on rambling, but they seemed to close on the early side. I suppose it’s not much of a late night spot. Before I left, they told me about the Chinese New Year Dinner. Sounds pretty good. They’re mother is coming in to help cook.
There’s a great post on the Baohaus blog –“We are not the Flying Dragon Lotus Panda Face Killah.” It’d be good for all reviewer/bloggers to read. It makes a good argument for the trendy hipster spots that are making higher priced food normally thought of as being cheap (i.e. Chinese dumplings) …and for those who question an ethnic food’s authenticity if it’s not in a small hole in the wall. I know I’ve been guilty of making the comparisons (i.e. Rickshaw Dumpling, M. Noodle Shop). If I can add anything: Sometime it’s all gonna have to change. The kids of the Chinatown restaurants have all become lawyers and engineers. No one to take over the shops. Chinese immigrants are fewer because they can get better jobs in China. Perhaps it’s the best time for the new hipster foodie revolution to stick their foot in the door. Now’s your time to shine.
Baohaus – 137 Rivington St (btwn Norfolk & Suffolk) Manhattan, NY 10002
For this review, I get tomatoes thrown at me (in the comments). No one gets my eating Pizza Hut’s Big New Yorker Pizza in New York joke. Poor delivery? …get it? Pizza delivery? shit. –link
Finally got around to trying Five Guys since Obama. I was wary of the free unlimited toppings, but I knew I wanted it all. I just wasn’t sure if they were going to give me stink eye. Been wary of unlimited toppings ever since my band almost broke up in New Haven because I wanted every single topping on the free pizza we were getting. Well Five Guys didn’t give me the stink eye and we didn’t almost break up. Burgers “All-The-Way” is actually programmed in the register.
(Toppings: Mayo, Relish*, Onions*, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomatoes, Grilled Onions, Grilled Mushrooms, Ketchup, Mustard, Jalapeno Peppers*, Green Peppers, A-1 Sauce*, Bar-B-Q Sauce*, Hot Sauce*) *Upon request only.
Now that I see the asterisks on the menu, I don’t think I got those. If you say “everything,” you would think you’d get EVERYTHING. Isn’t that what I requested? That’s what I wanted. I guess I have to request all of them in addition to “everything.” Maybe they would have given me stink eye.
However, Obama is right. Five Guys is good. People should stop comparing it to In-N-Out though …because they should compare it to Wendy’s. Five Guys tastes like a better Wendy’s burger. I can’t point my finger on why, but it does. I almost want to say it’s the ketchup, but that sounds silly. The Cajun Fries were heavily coated in Old Bay-type seasoning. I love Old Bay, but maybe there’s too much on the fries.
Afterwards, Matt showed me some puppies in the window down the street. Then we walked by Waverly Diner and I looked at the people eating in the window. I almost tapped.
Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries – 296 Bleecker St (@ S 7th Ave) New York, NY 10014
Yesterday, I asked on the Serious Eats forums what I should eat for Groundhog’s Day …or Lost season premiere. One person mentioned Setsubun (Japanese bean-throwing ceremony), which is today. I asked Yoshie about this.
Yoshie: its insane. one person becomes “oni” (evil spirit) and we throw soy beans at them
Yoshie: and then we eat big rolled sushi (not the kind we eat here, only veggies and stuff) facing certain direction. you have to eat it in one bite
So I went to the Blimpie downstairs that has sushi. Yeah, it’s a weird combination. The place also has donuts. The sushi (Inaka Sushi) is actually a separate entity from Blimpie and has been there for a few years now. It’s surprising because I don’t think they get much business.
When I looked at their selection, the chefs were eager to help. Nothing has changed from the first couple of times I tried them when they first open. Not meaning that the sushi was three years old, but meaning they were very friendly, accommodating while seemingly eager for business –like Babu and his American restaurant when Seinfeld first walked in.
I picked the fattest sushi they had, Futomaki ($4.90). I enjoyed it. Surprisingly, it’s really not bad sushi for being in a Blimpie. I can’t say it’s great sushi, but everything considered. I hope they get more business. I feel like Jerry and want to help. What would he do? Make the suggestion of making subs or move into a Yoshinoya?
I told Yoshie about my Blimpie sushi. She tells me you have to eat it whole –uncut roll in one bite.
Yoshie: …but if they are cut, you lose the luck
me: crap. I just ate it.
Inaka Sushi – 67 West 23rd St (btwn 6th and 5th Ave) New York 10011