Friday, June 29, 2007

Kissui Vodka

Supposedly launching in the States real soon.
Available in NYC and LA.
Japanese "Rice" Vodka.
40% alcohol per volume
Made in Japan with Japanese Rice.
This is the real deal... Smooth and Cool.

(pic taken at this year's James Beard Awards)

Tropical Fruits

As a kid, I would always travel with my family to Taiwan to visit the grandparents during the summer.
The weather wasn't much to brag about, since it was hot and humid most of the time (like in the 100s everyday with 95% humidity - not very fun if you don't have A/C).
But the food was fantastic. From snacks, to meals, to desserts and especially the fruits.
I recently read an article in the Times about tropical fruits and how they may start appearing in our grocery stores pretty soon.
Now I'm not talking about mangos or papayas, or even lychees. That's stuff we all know and love already. I'm talking about Mangosteens, Rambutans, Biriba, Bell Fruit.
The idea of them being available to consumers in the US tickles me pink.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

That's why they're the Best...

excerpts from a article

about Thomas Keller:
Story 1
Where other chefs may try to maximize the complexity of each dish, Keller views the meal as a kind of gustatory epic with more acts than the Mahabharata. In his detailed service manual he writes, “All menus at the French Laundry revolve around the law of diminishing returns, such as the more you have of something the less you enjoy it. Most chefs try to satisfy a customer’s hunger in a shorter time with one or two main dishes. The initial bite is great. The second bite is fabulous. But on the third bite, the flavors lessen and begin to die.”
“Many chefs” he continues, “try to counter this deadening effect by putting many different flavors on the plate in an attempt to keep interest alive. In doing this, the focal point is often lost and the flavors get muddled . . . In five or ten small courses we try to satisfy your appetite and spark your curiosity with each dish. We want our guests to say, ‘God, I wish I had one more bite of that.’ ”
Story 2
Occasionally, as in all kitchens, especially those at this level, someone fucks up, and the chef will let his displeasure be known. First-time visitors often remark on these displays of temper. After a while you realize that this is the way all kitchens are, especially in the heat of battle. Keller expresses himself sotto voce but, if you are on the receiving end of his displeasure, fiercely. One night I watched as the new fish guy was having a little trouble keeping up. Keller walked over to him and said something. The kid tried to explain himself when Keller interrupted: “I talk, you listen. That’s the way it works. Got it?”

about Gray Kunz:

Brought up in Singapore and Switzerland, educated in cuisine in Bern, and apprenticed under one of the greatest European chefs, Fredy Girardet, Kunz exudes courtliness and a sense of old-world decorum reinforced by Asian-inspired reserve and propriety. Similarly, his food is the product of two worlds, marrying classic French technique with a mastery of the flavors and ingredients that he first acquired during his childhood in the Pan-Asian food culture of Singapore, and then broadened during five years as a chef in Hong Kong. His cuisine is not so much fusion as the product of a man fluent in the food languages of Europe, India, China, and Southeast Asia. When Ruth Reichl gave her first four-star review in the New York Times, it was to him. “He struck me as the first European-trained chef who really understood Asian ingredients, not just as an accent, but innately,” recalls Reichl, now the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. “You can’t learn this. I don’t know of any other chef who has it as part of his vocabulary. You add that to his impeccable training and it gives him something that nobody else has or can compete with.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cooking for you!!

NOTHING TO HIDE courtesy The NY Times
From left, Cat Cora, Sandra Lee, Giada De Laurentiis, Nigella Lawson and Rachael Ray
wear the new uniform of women who cook on television:
Form-Fitting Sweaters.

It's a good thing guys. Clearly, it makes the food taste better.

Gougeres - Recipe

makes about 20
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup or more freshly grated Gruyere, or sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup or more freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Combine the water, butter, and salt in a saucepan; turn the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cook, stiring, until the butter melts. Lower the heat, and add the flour all at once and cook, stiring constantly, until the dough holds together in a ball, about 5 mintues.

Remove from the heat, and add the eggs one at a time, beating hard after each addition. Beat the mixture until the dough is glossy, about 3~4 minutes. (This is a little bit of work if you are mixing by hands.)

Using a melon scoop or a teaspoon, drop the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake until light brown, about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

BBQ Battle Washington DC

So we dudes on foods checked out the BBQ Battle in DC this past weekend. Never been to a BBQ competition before, so I was pretty pumped. I was expecting something similar to what you see on the Food Network competition shows - checking out all the competitors and tasting all the competition bbq. Too bad this was not the case.

What we experienced instead was lines, lines, lines. It was basically a street fair with a bunch of random vendors with huge lines. Crab cakes were great there, but I shouldn't be eating crab cakes at a bbq event. The bbq that I did get to eat was decent, but nothing mind blowing. The one bbq vendor that won multiple awards had lines that were at least 1 1/2 hours long. Still had a great time in beautiful DC hanging out with the dudes. Also, all the competition bbq looked and smelled phenomenal. Next time you go to a cooking competition, make sure the competitors will be sampling their own food...

Agua Ardiente - Review

Agua Ardiente - Not Recommended (food only)
1250 24th St NW, Washington 20037
Btwn M St NW & N St NW
Phone: 202-833-2600

Stopped by Agua Ardiente for a party with the other dudes on foods, but unfortunately the party was a mellow get together. We decided to stay for dinner because the scenery was insane and by "scenery" I mean hot girls. The food was pretty mediocre, but we still walked away relatively happy because of the "scenery." This place is definitely not recommended for the food, but I would 100% come back for drinks. Overall, I give the place a 60/100.

My Menu
1) Huevos Rotos - Not Recommended
2) Codorniz a La Parilla - Average
3) Salteado De Vieiras - Recommended
4) Croquetas De Jamon - Average
5) Salteado De Calamares Y Setas - Highly Not Recommended

These dishes were not on the website, so I'm making the names up
6) Pork Bruschetta - Not Recommended
7) Rabbit Stew - Recommended
8) Stuffed Squid - Not Recommended
9) White Sangria - Highly Recommended

Dish Comments
The bread they served was no better than wonder bread...completely ridiculous.

1) Soggy, very oily potatoes. Overcooked eggs. Good chorizo however. This was a bad sign, since this is a very easy dish to make.
2) Grilled quail, which was overcooked. Decent red wine sauce.
3) Perfectly cooked scallop which matched well with the sauteed spinach
4) Good crispy texture, but absolutely no jamon inside. Also, the flavor of the croquetas mixture was not that good.
5) Sauteed calamari. This dish was terrible. Absolutetly no flavor, but good texture.
6) Grilled pork that was overcooked on some mediocre bread
7) Very flavorful tomato braised rabbit that was falling off the bone.
8) Decently cooked, but absolutely no flavor. The stuffing was tasteless...
9) A great white sangria. Nice and light with a good touch of sweetness, but not overly sweet.

Overall Restaurant Experience (60/100)

  • Food 6.0/10 - Food here is average to below average.
  • Service 4.0/10 - Terrible service here. We waited 10 minutes and no one seated us until we asked a waitress. Took another 10 minutes for them to figure out what seats are available. Then she said they were really busy, even though 3/4 of the tables were unoccupied. Waitress was nice, but they have no idea what they're doing here. Food came out relatively quick though.
  • Atmosphere 10/10 - Restaurant/Lounge scene with lots of hot girls. In fact, it seems like 70% of the patrons were females. Got there Saturday night around 10pm with no reservations.
  • Price 6/10 - Price was OK per person ($50), but you could probably spend that $50 somewhere else and be happier.

Closing Comments
This place is pretty subpar in terms of tapas restaurants. By no means am I a tapas expert, but the tapas restaurants that I've been to in NY are much better (Tia Pol being the best). Kinda disappointed in my DC food experiences so far, but I definitely like the scene. Seems like a lot of restaurants that I've been to in DC are all about the scene and less about the food. I'm holding out hope though and I know DC has better places to offer...

Friday, June 22, 2007

preview of this coming weekend for the Dudes in DC?

Always good for a laugh.
Chili Contest
These are notes from an inexperienced chili taster named FRANK, who was visiting Texas from New Jersey... "Recently I was lucky enough to be the 10,000th attendee at the State Fair in Texas and was asked to fill in to be a judge at a chili cook-off. Apparently the original Judge #3 called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there when the call came in and was assured by the other two Judges (Native Texans) that it would be a fun event and a true taste of Texas hospitality. They assured me that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy and besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted. Here are the scorecards from the event."

Chili # 1: Mike's Maniac Mobster Monster Chili
JUDGE ONE: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
JUDGE TWO: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
FRANK: Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway with it took me two beers to put the flames out. Hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

Chili # 2: Arthur's Afterburner Chili
JUDGE ONE: Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight Jalapeno tang.
JUDGE TWO: Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
FRANK: Keep this out of reach of children! I'm not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to walkie-talkie in 3 extra beers when they saw the look on my face.

Chili # 3: Fred's Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili
JUDGE ONE: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
JUDGE TWO: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.
FRANK: Call the EPA, I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting shit-faced.

Chili # 4: Bubba's Black Magic
JUDGE ONE: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
JUDGE TWO: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
FRANK: I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Sally, the bar maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills, that 300 lb bitch is starting to look HOT, just like this nuclear-waste I'm eating.

Chili # 5: Linda's Legal Lip Remover
JUDGE ONE: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick.Very impressive.
JUDGE TWO: Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
FRANK: My ears are ringing and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me burst into flames. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw those rednecks!

Chili # 6: Vera's Very Vegetarian Variety
JUDGE ONE: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.
JUDGE TWO: The best yet. An aggressive use of peppers, onions and garlic. Superb.
FRANK: My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulphuric flames. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone!

Chili # 7: Susan's Screaming Sensation Chili
JUDGE ONE: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
JUDGE TWO: Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge Number 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
FRANK: You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin and I wouldn't feel a damn thing. I've lost the sight in one eye and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava-like shit to match my damn shirt. At least during the autopsy they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing, it's too painful. Screw it,I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4inch hole in my stomach.

Chili # 8: Helen's Mount Saint Chili
JUDGE ONE: A perfect ending... this is a nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
JUDGE TWO: This final entry is a good, balanced chili, neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge Number 3 passed out, fell and pulled the chili pot on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor Yank.
FRANK: --------------(editor's note: Judge #3 was unable to report)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's Kobe Beef, not Kobe Tai

For those of you out there that got the title right away... "Right On!!"

Any who... I requested to sample some Kobe Beef for an upcoming event we are going to have... So earlier this week, we got a box full of Kobe Beef flown in from Japan.
We held a meeting Wednesday morning, taste testing the various cuts and came to a unanimous decision. That it's all Freegin' Awesome.

But I wanted to take it one step further... So I brought the remaining cuts to my good friend, the Chef at a pretty nice bistro in Manhattan, and his staff prepared a Kobe Beef Tasting that was out of this world.
Nothing pretentious... Just straight forward good hearty French Bistro flare.
It Was Out Of This Woooooorld.

Here's a slide show and menu.

Amuse Bouche - Asparagus shooter
Pre-Appetizer - Gougeres (cheese puffs)
Appetizer - Kobe Beef Cubes / Stilton & Artisanal Fondue
1st Course - Kobe Beef Burgers w/Foie Gras in Profiterole Buns
2nd Course - Kobe Beef crusted black pepper Top Sirloin with
Bearnaise and Potato Galette
3rd Course - Kobe Beef Morel dusted filet with Mushroom
Watercrest Ragout
4th Course - Sea Salt crusted Knuckle meat Flambe
Dessert 1 - Panna Cotta
Dessert 2 - Baba Rum
Dessert 3 - Chocolate Fondue with Fruits and Petit Fours
Coffee / Espresso

Compliments to the Kitchen. Thanks guys for a GREAT meal!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Top Chef vs Hell's Kitchen

It's funny watching Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen back to back (love the tivo!). They're completely different styles of tv shows, but I actually enjoy both equally. This season's Hell's Kitchen is absurd with chefs that any of us dudes could beat in a cooking competition. One guy actually passed out in the kitchen and hit his head on the stove. It seems like each season the chefs get worse and worse. Still love watching this train wreck though.

Top Chef on the other hand has phenomenal chefs and has really raised the bar. It seems like every chef on the show is either an executive chef or sous chef - there's even a sous chef from the famous Guy Savoy. The food they are plating is beautiful and looks delicious. Curious to see how both shows will end...

Monday, June 18, 2007


I pass the Maine Avenue Fish Market in D.C. ( on my way home when I drive, and recently I stopped by and picked up fresh, sushi-grade tuna steaks. What attracted me was the beautiful red color. I never prepared them before, and I was risking ruining a gorgeous pair of tuna steaks, since tuna is very easy to overcook. I took a risk, consulted Porthos, and came up with a fantastic - and healthy - dinner. Follow these steps for a wonderful meal. Enjoy!

Tuna Tartare
3 ¾ pounds very fresh tuna steak (diced)
5 ripe Hass avocados (diced)
2 mangoes (diced – as best you can)
3 Asian pears (diced)1 ¼ cups olive oil 5 limes, zest grated 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 2 ½ teaspoons wasabi powder 2 ½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 2 tablespoons hot red pepper sauce 2 ½ tablespoons kosher salt 1 ½ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper 1 ¼ cups minced scallions, white and green parts (12 scallions) 3 ¼ tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper, seeds removed 1 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, optional

Mix in a bowl and chill.

Tuna Steaks
2 – ½ pound very fresh tuna steaks
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
Juice of ½ lime
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
Pinch dried red pepper flakes
6 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Dust the tuna steaks on each side with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Put aside. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl. Put aside. Heat pan to hot. Add olive oil, and let it heat for 20 seconds. Add tuna steaks, and sear for 1 ½ - 2 minutes on each side. Once both sides are cooked, remove them from the pan, add the sauce to the pan, and turn the heat down to 1/3 the heat. Slice the tuna steaks, plate the fish, turn off heat on the pan, and spoon sauce over the fish. Add tartare to martini glass, and accompany to tuna steaks.

Worst Sushi Ever

I was in Detroit this past weekend with the wife, meeting up some friends from the college days.
On our way back to Jersey, We grabbed a meal at the airport so that we could use up some meal vouchers from the airlines.
I had about $50 worth of vouchers so I thought blowing it on sushi would make sense.

I was wrong. I should have known eating sushi at Detroit airport was a bad idea.
A hamburger, a caesar salad, a grilled chicken sandwich would have been a better (and only logical) choice.
It's true when they say hindsight is 20/20.
But unfortunately, I gave it no prior thought, and was utterly dissapointed when I got my food.

It is quite mind boggling how people can charge money for this shite.
It may not be instantly noticeable but these rolls were the size of my forearm.
If you are familiar with Sushi (and I mean the real stuff)... most Maki-sushi is rolled with a half sheet of nori, which almost never overlaps. And even when it does, (for california rolls and such) it's no more than 10 percent overlap.
Take a look at the nori and you'll see what I mean. (And by no means was this considered a futomaki)
Further more, the tempura was soggy, the fish was fishy (bad fishy), the rice wasn't seasoned, and the whole thing was pressed too hard.
So whomever made these rolls clearly has no idea what sushi is or what it should look like.
By the way, these rolls were $16 and $18 dollars a piece.
I laughed at the meal and at the bill, then apologized to my wife for making her eat this garbage.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day 2007

Parents came over for father's day and I made a nice light summer dinner. They're into the seafood and salads, so the menu below kinda made sense to me.

1) Scallop Ceviche with Guacamole
2) Summer Salad with Balsamic and Anchovy Vinaigrette
3) Red Snapper, Asparagus, and Corn Puree

Scallop Ceviche with Guacamole
This came from my one of favorite books - Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin. I made a slight tweak with my own guacamole recipe. My favorite thing about guacamole is the smoothness of the dip and the flavor of the avocado. Some recipes include cilantro and tomatoes among other things, but I think that drowns the flavor of the avocado out. I feel this recipe enhances the flavor and texture of the avocado. Scallops are sweet and creamy, which match perfectly with the guacamole. Què aproveche!

Scallop Ceviche Ingredients
8 sea scallops sliced into thirds
Sea Salt
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Lemon

Guacamole Ingredients
2 Ripe Avocados
1 small cloves garlic minced
1 tsp yellow hot pepper sauce (scotch bonnet, or habanero) - my favorite is Baron West Indian Hot sauce
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
1 lime
1/2 white onion minced and rinsed under water
5 tortilla chips

1) Lay scallops on a plate, sprinkle sea salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Put scallops in the refrigerator and let marinate for 1 hour.
2) Remove avocado flesh and place in bowl.
3) Add minced garlic, juice of 1/2 a lime, 1/2 the amount of the olive oil, 1/2 the amount of the pepper sauce, pinch salt and pinch pepper and stir around - texture should be 3/4 smooth and 1/4 chunky.
4) Taste - this is the most important part. If you want it creamier, add more olive oil. Spicier add more pepper sauce. More flavor another 1/2 pinch salt and pepper. Re-taste.
5) When the flavor is to your liking add the white onion, and stir around. Rinsing the onion removes the bite and adds light crispness to the guacamole.
6) Remove scallops from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving. Place scallops slices around the plate. Add guacamole in the center and crush the tortilla chips on top of the guacamole for texture. You can add more hot sauce to the scallops if you want to wake the flavor up.

Summer Salad with Balsamic and Anchovy Vinaigrette
Usually I like making more unique salads, but sometimes a nice basic salad is great. These flavors definitely reminds me of summer - tomato, basil, crunchy cucumber and red onion. The key to the salad is a nice crunchy texture and fresh flavors. Anchovy adds a nice meaty taste to the dressing.

1 package of rinsed romaine lettuce
3 ripe tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
2 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed
3 cucumbers (same type as the ones for pickles) sliced
10 basil leaves hand torn
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
Kosher Salt

Dressing Ingredients
1/4 tablespoon anchovy paste
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup mustard
2 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

1) Combine ingredients and lightly toss to make sure all ingredients are incorporated well. Again, I never measure, so all the ingredients are about equal in proportion - except for the red onion, which is much less. Add salt and pepper to the salad.
2) Whisk together dressing ingredients in a separate bowl. Taste and adjust to your liking.
3) Add the dressing to the salad and lightly toss. Make sure the dressing lightly coats the salad.

Red Snapper, Asparagus and Corn Puree
Never tried poaching red snapper in white wine, but I gave it a try. The fish was a little overcooked - fish was raw at first when I first checked. 2 minutes later the fish was overcooked. I think next time I need to cut the fillets into smaller pieces and check more frequently. Flavors were still great and the dish came out pretty good. Corn puree has really intense, rich flavors and would work perfectly with chicken.

2 fillets red snapper cut into 1/2
4 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed
1/2 cup of parmiggiano-reggiano
16 stalks of asparagus cut in half, tough ends removed
Sea Salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon
2 cups white wine
3 tomatoes, seed and juice only (same tomatoes from summer salad)

1) Put corn kernels, parmiggiano, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a blender. Taste. Add salt and pepper. If needed add more parmiggiano and/or olive oil.
2) Preheat oven to 400F. When the oven temperature is ready, add asparagus, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Cook for 8 minutes or until just tender. Asparagus flavor will really intensify by roasting it.
3) Add fillets to a cold pan with the white wine. Add salt, pepper, and olive oil to the fish. Bring the wine to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Check after 3 minutes of simmering - you can check by sticking a knife in the fish. Remove from the heat when the fish is tender. Make sure not to overcook the fish.
4) Pour out all but 1/4 cup of the white wine. Add corn puree to the remaining white wine and cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes - it should thicken up quickly. Make sure not to burn the corn puree.
5) Place corn puree on the bottom of the plate. Add 4 pieces of asparagus to the plate. Add fish on top of the asparagus. Add lemon juice to the top of the fish.
6) Combine tomato seeds and juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour tomato mixture on top of the fish.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Recently, I found myself in Sweet Home, Chicago. Of course, I had to get a deep dish pizza. A REAL deep dish pizza. A pet peeve of mine is when I see “deep dish pizza” on the menu, I order it, and it’s not deep dish; it’s a thick crust. What the heck kind of a concept is this? Like a loaf of bread with a pizza spread! Sure, a dish that was deep was needed to bake this pizza, but deep dish pizza is like a pie where the crust is on the bottom and the sides, and the toppings fill it in. Deep dish pizza started back from the days when people made casseroles. Some genius (and I’m not being sarcastic) filled it with pizza-type toppings, and bada-boom-bada-bing – the deep dish pizza was born. And I’d like to shake that person’s hand over a slice of pepperoni, shrooms, spinach, and (sliced, not diced!!) onions.

Oh, and while I’m at it, I’d like for everyone to STOP USING UTENSILS WHEN EATING PIZZA! Can you tell I find it annoying when I see people using a knife & fork on their p-i-z-z-a?!? Unless the slice is so hot with that molten lava cheese, and you just can’t wait for it to cool down, then there should be no utensils allowed to touch the za. And that excuse is me being nice. When I see people doing that, it reminds me of the “The Pledge Drive” episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza eats a Snickers bar with a fork & knife. Unfortunately, this video will have to do, since I can’t find that clip on the Web:

So now enjoy these pix of my pizza, because I sure as hell enjoyed the pizza! I went to Giordano's, by the way.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kitchen 22 - CLOSED

Kitchen 22, a great neighborhood restaurant that served affordable high quality food using solid cooking techniques, is now closed. Very glad I got to go before the closing, but pretty bummed since I thought it was an amazing place for the price...

Artisanal - Review - Aramis

Artisanal - Highly Recommended
2 Park Ave, New York 10016
At 32nd St, btwn Madison & Park Ave
Phone: 212-725-8585

I've always wanted to check out Artisanal, but never had the opportunity to do so. Artisanal is a solid bistro that is also a phenomenal cheese shop. The food here is consistently very good, which is very rare. Every single dish was slightly better than the previous dish. Overall, I give the restaurant an 85/100.

My Menu
Not sure what the cod and salmon dish were, since we did not order it. Thanks D'Artagnan for the ordering.

1) Onion Soup Artisanal - Recommended
2) Stilton Fondue - Highly Recommended
3) Cod Dish - Highly Recommended
4) Salmon (special of the day) - Recommended
5) Macaroni and Cheese - Highly Recommended
6) Cheese Plate - Highly Recommended
7) Cheesecake - Highly Recommended
8) Panna Cotta - Recommended

Dish Comments
1) A very good Onion Soup. At first the flavors are spectacular, but as you taste more the bold flavors dissipate slightly. Great thick cheese layer though.
2) Great blue cheese flavor and great melted cheese consistency. Perfect with apples.
3) Cod was perfectly cooked - flaky and moist. Very flavorful and matched perfectly with the chorizo, peppers, and onions. Fried potato was spectacular...crispy on the outside, smooth and creamy on the inside.
4) Salmon, sauce, and some type of fried concoction were decent by themselves. But, combining the three components it was a perfect match . Like the cod, the salmon was cooked perfectly.
5) Macaroni and cheese was spectacular, maybe one of the best that I've ever had. Perfectly cooked noodle, goat cheese bechamel sauce, and perfect crispy panko/parmesan topping. You know a dish is phenomenal when you want to recreate it at home...i will be posting a mac and cheese recipe soon.
6) The cheese is insane here. Someone picked 6 cheeses and they were spectacular. I heard Artisanal has better cheeses than Murray's Cheese Shop, but I had to see for myself. I definitely agree now - definitely coming back just for the cheeses.
7) One of the best cheesecakes I've ever had. Perfect flavor and texture. Junior's Cheesecake is great, but it really can't compare to Artisanal's cheesecake.
8) Panna cotta is pretty good here, but the rhubarb and strawberry soup was spectacular.

Overall Restaurant Experience (85/100)

  • Food 8.5/10 - Very odd that every single dish was very good to great. Solid food.
  • Service 8.8/10 - Service was very good for us dudes on a Monday night.
  • Atmosphere 7.7/10 - Place is packed and we went on a Monday. I can't imagine how this place is on th weekend. Also, tables are very cramped together. Crowd is a mixture of tourists, families, business people, and the young crowd.
  • Price 8/10 - Price is a little pricey for a bistro ($26 for the cod dish), but comparable to other mid-range restaurants in Manhattan. Regardless, every single dish was consistently good that it was well worth the price.

Closing Comments
Probably the best bistro in Manhattan that I've been to. Again, it's very rare to have that many dishes to be so solid. Actually, the next dish was alway slightly better than the previous. Fancier food than the average bistro - Artisanal is definitely better than Les Halles. Great stuff and can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

AIWF Champagne Gala

The AIWF or American Institute of Wine and Food is a non profit organization determined to enhance the quality of life through education about what we eat and drink.
In addition, the AIWF looks to pioneer enriching scholarships for the future of American cooking.
The "Days of Taste" being one of the main programs.

I just got back from the gala event tonight at the Hotel Pierre. (11:42pm Tuesday)
Met some really nice people at the Champagne Gala so that was nice.
The food was a bit on the underwhelming side, but since the company was good, I am happy.

So the food really didn't shine.
And perhaps it's because there were literally too many chiefs and not enough indians in the kitchen to do the work.
Everything tasted average... Like some cooking school beginner put it together by looking at a recipe.
There wasn't the clear balance in flavors in the dishes that led me to believe a true chef and his crew crafted it.
Oh well...C'est la Vie. Sometimes you just have to accept things for what they are.

Here are a few pics I took during the courses.
Link to the Menu from tonight. List of pairings and such... link

First Course - Duck Ballontine - Daniel
Second Course - Black Cod Miso - Nobu 57
Third Course - Beef Duo - Tabla
Fourth Course - Cheese Plate - Harpersfield
Fifth Course - Candy Bar with Banana Gelato and Popcorn - Del Posto

I'm all Tattinger-ed out. What a great problem to have.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Say Goodbye to Camembert...the real stuff that is.

Only in France, can people get their panties up in a bunch over Cheese.
AOC this AOC that.
Can it really be for the money?

clip from the article-
"...Their real reason is that they want to step up production, and it is impossible to do that using 'lait cru'," said Gerard Roger, president of the newly-created Defense Committee for Authentic Camembert..."

Yah, you read that right. They have a defense committee for Cheese.
We're here fighting a war on "terror" and their over there worrying about pasteurization.
Actually, I wouldn't mind jumping on the fresh milk bandwagon myself.

Putain Fromage

- courtesy of Yahoo News
LESSAY, France (AFP) -

The fate of one of France's best-loved cheeses is in question after the two biggest manufacturers of "real Camembert" -- the traditional variety made with untreated "raw" milk -- stopped production, citing health risks for the consumer.
To the fury of purists, Lactalis and the Isigny Cooperative -- who together supplied 90 percent of "lait cru" (raw milk) Camembert made in the northwest region of Normandy -- have switched to using treated milk for their top brands on the grounds that it is safer.
In so doing they have had to surrender the coveted "Appellation d'Origine Controlee" status, which is normally seen both as a certificate of authenticity and a vital boost for sales. It is the first time ever in France that a cheese producer has voluntarily withdrawn from an AOC.
Spokesmen for the companies said the reason for the unprecedented move is the impossibility of eliminating the health threat from bacteria in milk that has not been subjected to heating or "microfiltration."
"This was an extremely difficult decision to take. 'Lait cru' Camembert is in our genes," said Luc Morelon, communications director at Lactalis -- the world's biggest manufacturer of dairy goods.
"So why did we do it? Because consumer safety is paramount, and we cannot guarantee it 100 percent. We cannot accept the risk of seeing our historic brands disappearing because of an accident in production."
But food campaigners are up in arms because they say Lactalis and Isigny Cooperative are acting out of purely business motives. And they fear the companies may yet use their commercial weight to get AOC regulators to change the rules -- placing the future of traditional Camembert in real jeopardy.
"They talk about a supposed danger to health, but they know it is nonsense. Their real reason is that they want to step up production, and it is impossible to do that using 'lait cru'," said Gerard Roger, president of the newly-created Defence Committee for Authentic Camembert.
"What this is all about is the limits of mass marketing. A behemoth like Lactalis cannot answer to the needs of the real Camembert -- which is not just a cheese but part of our culture," he said.
For cheese-lovers, the difference between a genuine Normandy "lait cru" Camembert and the common supermarket variety made with pasteurised milk is like the difference between vintage wine and a mass-produced "vin de table."
"Camembert does not exist unless it is made with untreated milk. 'Lait cru' is what gives the richness, the taste, the originality. If you heat the milk, you'll still have a cheese, but it won't be Camembert," said Roger.
Half a century ago there were scores of independent dairies across the Normandy region of northwest France making 'lait cru' Camembert, but now the number has dwindled to just five -- as Lactalis has steadily bought up nearly all the small family-run operations.
In 2006 Lactalis produced 8,000 tonnes of "real Camembert" -- alongside vast quantities of the pasteurised cheese -- but it has now stopped 'lait cru' for its best-selling brands Lepetit and Languetot. Today the milk is heat-treated, though at a lower temperature than for full-blown pasteurisation.
With Isigny Cooperative following suit with a process of "microfiltration" that is also banned by AOC rules, overall production of 'lait cru' Camembert will fall by two-thirds this year from 12,500 to 4,000 tonnes.
"The big companies have launched a hostile take-over bid for Normandy Camembert," said Bertrand Gillot, whose Reo brand of 'lait cru' cheese has been manufactured by hand in the village of Lessay for 80 years.

"They have already introduced machines for pouring out the curds,
while we continue to use hand-held ladles. Now they are switching to treated milk, because they cannot make 'lait cru' Camembert on the scale they want," he said.
Two years ago Gillot halted production after an outbreak of illnesses in children was linked to a harmful bacterium in Reo cheese, but he has since further increased health checks and insists eating 'lait cru' Camembert is much less dangerous than driving a car.
His biggest concern is that Lactalis will prevail on the National Institute for Quality and Certificates of Origin (INAO) to loosen the rules, so that heat-treated or microfiltered milk also qualifies for AOC status.
"If INAO does that, it will kill 'lait cru' because there will be nothing to distinguish our authentic Camemberts from their ones," he said. "And if we lose 'lait cru,' we'll never get it back. The culture, the knowledge, the methods -- they'll all be gone for good."

French Laundry Reservations

I'm going to Napa for vacation with the girlfriend, so I was thinking French Laundry is a must. French Laundry is considered by many as the best restaurant in the US, so I wanted to see what the hype is all about. Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible to get reservations. Here's the details of my attempt to secure a reservation.

Reservation office opens up at 10am (pacific time), which you can only book 2 months to the calendar day.

12:00am EST Tried using the opentable website to book the reservation early, but got a message saying that the tables are not available to book yet.
9:00am Tried using opentable again - this time all tables were completely booked. Fortunately, opentable only holds 2 tables (out of 12) for French Laundry, so I still had a chance later in the day.
12:59pm (9:59am PT) Tried calling the reservation office early. Received a message saying the reservation office doesn't open till 10am pacific time. We were figuring it was worth a try to call early.
1:00pm My girlfriend and I started calling using 3 phones (2 cell phones and 1 house phone). Lines were busy. Continue calling and calling.
1:24pm Phone connected! Was put on hold for 5 minutes and the whole freaking day was booked solid. We're put on a waitlist, but I'm not holding my breath.

We're going to try again for the next couple of days, but I'm not too confident we'll get something. Worst case scenario we can eat at 3 nice restaurants for the price of French Laundry (2 people will probably be $600-700)...

6:15am Got up for work today and tried opentable again. All tables booked.
1:20pm Girlfriend got lunch reservations for Sunday after rocking the two phone method for 20 minutes. I actually completely forgot about the reservation, since I had meetings from 11-2pm.

Girlfriend mentioned it was more difficult dialing into French Laundry than American Idol. Funny how people usually keep on dialing and re-dialing radio stations to win money. We're dialing and re-dialing to give away a crap load of money. Hope the food meets the expectations - I'm assuming it won't...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bridgewaters NYC

Went to a friend's wedding last Saturday (congrats Bryan and Janet!) at Bridgewaters located near the South Street Seaport. Beautiful place with great views of the Brooklyn Bridge. The food served during the cocktail hour was great and the dinner menu was solid. Usually wedding food is average at best, so I was very surprised. Some of the highlights included tamales, fried oysters, steak bruschetta, yellowtail tartare, and steamed clams with chorizo. They even had a grilling station where they had thai chicken and grilled salmon skewers...good food, good music, and good times.

Fast food tip

Sometimes you just gotta stop at the McD’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, etc. Lots of those times it’s very late at night when nothing else is open. You see your future meal sitting on the counter, baking against that light bulb. You imagine the cheese turning into plastic, smearing itself into the wrapper while the grease from the burger penetrates the pickles, and the bread hardening as the time goes on. The fries limp and get soft and soggy as they soak in their oil. How do you overcome that? Simply order your food… “modified.” For a burger, ask them for extra pickles, for example. For fries, tell them you can’t have salt. (But ask for a packet of salt!) Guess what – they need to make a fresh sandwich and a new batch of fries. You may have to wait a little longer making your fast food not-so-fast food, but it’s better than eating the mush that was waiting for you. Try it, you’ll see. Just a tip I picked up from my friend when he worked at Burger King back in high school days. Heck, I use his advice even if it’s during lunch. Just to make sure my stuff is done my way (pun intended).

You’re welcome

Veggies in Paris

I guess vegetables are important enough to write about.
At least for Mark Bittman and Patricia Wells, that is...
Here's a link to an invigorating article on the former food writer and restaurant critic for The International Herald Tribune; Patricia Wells.

courtesy of NY Times - Dining and Wine Section

NY Bar Show

Held Sunday and Monday. (June 10th and 11th)
From 12 noon to 6pm at the Jacob Javitz Center in NYC.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon Bakery - Highly Recommended (for desserts)
10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor, New York 10019
At 60th St
Phone: 212-823-9366

Got a bunch of desserts to go from Bouchon Bakery to go with the Salmon Salad I made for my parents. Never ate real food here, but the desserts are great. They have fancy desserts as well as great comfort desserts (nutter butter is awesome). Lines sometimes get long, but shouldn't be more than a 5 minute wait. I've heard actually eating here is unpleasant due to the servers and wait time, but I cannot confirm. Won't give this place a rating since, since we didn't sit down and eat here but I highly recommend the desserts.

My Menu

Starting from the top left of the picture going clockwise

1) Seasonal Berry Tart - Highly Recommended
2) Banana and Chocolate Mousse - Recommended
3) Chocolate and Coconut Macaron - Recommended
4) Oatmeal Cookie - Recommended
5) Nutter Butter - Highly Recommended

Broiled Salmon on Summer Salad with Ponzu Vinaigrette

My parents came over to help install some screens for my windows, so to pay them back I made a nice light summer dinner.

Broiled Salmon on Summer Salad with Ponzu Vinaigrette
4 salmon fillets scaled, pin bones removed
1/4 cup Sake
1 cup String Beans
2 Tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cobs of Jersey Corn (the best)
3 Radishes thinly sliced
Mixed Greens
Sea Salt and Pepper

1/2 cup Ponzu
1/4 cup Sake
1/4 cup Mirin
1 tablespoon Wasabe Paste
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup Olive Oil
teaspoon Honey
1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1 shallot finely minced

1) Marinate salmon in sake. Can add to zip-loc bag and refrigerate.
2) To make the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk together. I made the measurements up, since I really just started adding all the ingredients, tasting, and adjusting, until I liked the flavor. Set aside.
3) Start a small to medium pot of boiling water. Heavily salt and add string beans for 1 1/2 minutes (until tender). Remove string beans and run cold water or place in ice water.
4) Pre-heat broiler. Remove salmon and don't cook until it is room temperature. Pat salmon dry with paper towels making sure skin gets really dry.
5) Add sea salt and pepper to skin and flesh side of salmon. Put in broiler and cook for about 5-7 minutes. You are looking for the skin to get crispy and the flesh to be moist and firm. The best way to test is always to touch. If it's firm with a little give, it should be OK.
6) Remove salmon and let rest
7) Combine all the salad ingredients into a bowl. Again, I made up the measurements, but just make sure that all the ingredients (corn, tomato, radish, string beans) are close to equal in proportion. Add dressing to lightly coat, not drowning. Another key is to not overwork the leaves.
8) Lay salad down on a plate and place salmon on top.

Salad is nice and light. The fresh corn, tomato, radish, and string beans give you the nice sweet and crunchy texture and flavor of summer. First time blanching string beans and I really like how they turn out. Nice and bright green color with a tender texture, but not mushy and really flavorful.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

AIWF Champagne Gala - coming soon

got my tickets already and will report post facto...

AIWF New York Chapter Presents:
AIWF NY Chapter - Champagne Gala
Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007 6:00 PM EDT
at The Pierre Hotel

6:00 PM Reception
7:00 PM Dinner
Silent & Live Auctions
Russell E. Burke III, Auctioneer
Attire: Black Tie

Reception Hors d’Oeuvres, The Pierre
Champagne Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus NV

Jean François Bruel, Daniel
Ballotine of Liberty Farms Duck with Fresh Almonds, Foie Gras & Salad BurnettChampagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rose 2000

Matthew Hoyle, Nobu 57
Chilean Sea Bass Marinated in Sake LeesChampagne
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 1998

Floyd Cardoz, Tabla
Spice Crusted Beef Striploin and Pulled Braised Shortribs & Greenmarket Vegetables
Agricola Punica Barrua, Isola dei Nuraghi, Sardinia 2003

Harpersfield Cheese
Selection of Artisanal Cheese
Delaforce Colheita Porto 1986

Nicole Kaplan, Del Posto
Chocolate Caramel Tart with Caramel Popcorn, Peanut Butter Powder & Roasted Banana Ice Cream
Champagne Taittinger Nocturne, Sec NV

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Bloody Bull

What is a bloody bull you ask? I asked our French waiter the same question at La Goulue on Sunday - something about the name intrigued me. Could it be red bull and tomato juice? Nah, that would be too disgusting. A bloody bull is basically a bloody mary (tomato juice, vodka, horseradish, etc.) with beef broth. Yes. Beef Broth. Surprisingly, I like the drink a lot and it actually pairs perfectly with steak.

However, I speculate (scientifically I may add) daily consumption of a Bloody Bull may have the following side effects:
  • Your voice dropping 2 whole octaves
  • Wild hair growing on your face, chest, back, etc.
  • Having an uncontrollable desire to start licking furniture and dry humping walls
Btw - When I told the waiter this drink increased my testosterone levels, he said in a French accent "Like bull from Espana" while mimicking like he had huge joke. My results are inconclusive whether the waiter's response was due to the bloody bull or him being French. More research to be conducted...

La Goulue - Review

La Goulue - Recommended
746 Madison Ave, New York 10021
Btwn 64th & 65th St
Phone: 212-988-8169

Porthos and I originally intended to go to Japan Day in Central Park to hang out and eat some Japanese Food. That plan didn't work out so well, since Japan Day was way too crowded and we dudes were way too hungry. We ended up at La Goulue for Sunday Brunch and it was definitely a great time. Place is decent with one dish being great. Overall, I give the restaurant an 83/100.

My Menu

1) Assorted Breads - free
2) Eggs in Cocotte - Highly Recommended
3) Steak Frites - Recommended

Dish Comments
1) Breads were excellent with buttery flaky croissants and rich corn breads
2) This was spectacular. Perfectly crispy bread dipping in the runny egg yolk topped off with ratatouille made me extremely happy. I've made ratatouille many a time and this was something special.
3) Steak had a nice crust, but was not too tender. However, if I cut into small pieces across the grain, it was much better. Good beef flavor though. Frites were good, but the bernaise sauce was ridiculously good.

Overall Restaurant Experience (82/100)

  • Food 8.3/10 - Egg was spectacular, but a little let down with the steak. Steak was still good though.
  • Service 7.0/10 - They were nice and accommodating, but it took a long time to get some dishes and also the check.
  • Atmosphere 9/10 - Sat on the sidewalk on madison ave - great stuff on a nice NY day. Different crowd from a large family to the old couples.
  • Price 7/10 - $39.50 for app, entree, cocktail, and bread. Ended up being around 50+ for brunch which is relatively pricey, but I was still happy at the end.

Closing Comments
Solid French Bistro that is a little better than Les Halles. That being said, the steak was not really tender. If I was in the area, I would definitely stop by, but if I wanted a better bistro I would pick DB Bistro Moderne or Artisanal.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Café Citron D.C. - review

Café Citron
1343 Connecticut Ave. NW
(Dupont Circle)
Washington, DC 20036
Subway - Dupont Circle
Parking - Street/Valet

Although this is a food blog, I base my reviews on several aspects to be fair. I look at the food, of course, but I also look at pricing, ambience, staff, and most importantly, how I felt. Fortunately, I was introduced to Café Citron by a friend. Café Citron ranked very well on all aspects, especially the way I felt. Then again, it was a festive occasion where three Chicagoans were showing D.C. how it's done, but one of the best quotes I heard was from my friend who was visiting D.C. He is extremely well-traveled, has been to more places on earth than anyone I know, and has about 1,500,000 miles (and counting) racked up. His quote: "I had the best time in D.C., better than any other city in the country." (He did stress "in the country.") Part of that reason is because of our time at Café Citron.

Café Citron is a three-level restaurant/bar/nightclub. It has a deep Latin theme, but it also has a world beat. The staff there is wonderfully friendly. The DJ was spinning the best Latin music and other wordly music. Most of the music sounded like it came from my own personal collection. Entertainment was surprising and talented. Pricing was very fair. And the food. Well, after having all of this, I wasn't expecting much from the food, but I must inform you that they definitely delivered: from the appetizers to the main course to the dessert to the drinks. I love this place. I will go back, and I will bring others.

When we walked in, the hostess sat us down with a terrific smile and gave us information on what she likes to eat. While we were waiting, we all took out our cameras to view our inventory from the National Mall. I took a few pictures of the place, and they did, too. It was enough for the waitress to come over and jokingly ask what's going on. Looking back, I can see how we would look funny with our cameras and large lenses poking everywhere like a porcupine. We explain the touristy aspect of the cameras and the food blog. With that, she also gave us suggestions on what to try. She stated they are known for their mojitos, so we order a pitcher. (I never had it from a pitcher, so I was a little worried.) As we perused the menu, our mojitos were delivered, and I poured them. Just as I thought... not too good. Very "okay." Oh well. The waitress returns, and we ordered Lomo Saltado, Salmon, and the Chicken Stew. We also ordered Fried Plantains for an appetizer. I wasn't too keen on that, since I really dislike plantains. In fact, I wanted to order the Jamaican Curried Goat, but I didn't since part of the dish involved plantains.

While we were waiting for dinner to arrive, different people from the waitstaff stopped by our table to talk, hang out, and ensure we were having a good time. One such time we were surprised by a round of shots of tequila. Not just any tequila, but Patron Tequila. Down they went, very smooth. With that, you know why it's more costly than other tequilas and is not one to make margaritas with. We voiced our opinion on the mojito, and the bartender graciously offered to make us some more. By hand. All individually. I'm glad we took her up on her offer, because I can say that it was pretty close to being the best mojito I've ever had. It did not have a stick of sugar cane protruding from the drink, but everything else was pretty close to perfect. She redeemed the restaurant in a big way, especially since my friend is quite picky and the connoisseur when it comes to mojitos.
The food finally arrived, and it was the typical presentation with dustings of spices around the edges of the plates, sauce strewn about in a decorative format and so on. It was very dim, but when my flash hit the food, it was quite colorful. Again, I wasn't expecting much from a place that turns into one of D.C.'s most popular nightclubs. Much to my chagrin, I was delightfully surprised. I went according to the waitress' suggestion and had the Chicken Stew and was not sorry I did not get the goat. I sampled the other dishes, and they were good, too. But my Chicken Stew was tasty. I was encouraged to try the plantains. I knew I would not like them. I despised them as a young person and all through my life. I was at a Colombian restaurant in Chicago the week before, and I didn't like them. Why would these be different? Fine. I tried them after much coaxing, already making a bad face - but then a smile appeared. Could it be that my taste for plantains changed within a week? I didn't think so, either. Citron just prepared them in such a way that, not only can I tolerate them, but I ate several more pieces after that preliminary piece. Oh yes, I was happy indeed.

And then dessert. At Latin-themed places, it's flan. Almost always flan. I can eat it, but I'm not a flan fan. The others ordered it, so I can taste, but I ordered the Tres Leches. Again, Citron did not disappoint me. The flan was... flan. It was good, but it didn't stand out against other flans I've had. But the Tres Leches? Heavenly. My mouth is simulating the moist texture of the cake when it was in my mouth as I type this. I didn't want it to end. What a way to finish off dinner. But what, there's more. I hear a bartender beating on a tambourine, the bouncer tapping a bongo, and the DJ spinning Middle Eastern sounds. I look up, and a belly dancer has taken the floor. Her show is well done, and her body pulsates perfectly with the music, each part moving independently to the others. Well done.

We were invited to return for the nightclub portion, which started in an hour, but we didn't go back. I guess the goat and the club is another reason to return - along with everything else Café Citron has to offer. I highly recommend this place.

Mojito - pitcher - $30 - C
Mojito - glass - $8 (I think - it was free) - B+
Shots of Patron - (don’t know – free again) - B+
Fried Plantains - $4.50 - C+
Cooked in Curry spices, potatoes and carrots served w/ fried plantains and rice w/black beans
LOMO SALTADO - $10.90 - C+
Succulent strips of beef, grilled w/onions tomatoes, peas and fried potatoes served w/rice
CHICKEN STEW – Around $11 - B-
CITRON FLAN - $4.50 - C
Traditional Cream caramel
TRES LECHES - $4.50 - B
Traditional Latin American specialty, white cake soaked in sweet caramel milk