Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Prime Meats - Revisit

My last day at work and I knew I had to do Prime Meats with my buddy since he is quite the connoisseur of burgers. We went for burgers, but we ended up doing a trifecta instead. I've said it before on the blog, but I need to reiterate this is a 100% must visit for any food nerd out there.

Our Menu
Pork Schnitzel **
pork loin, braded and fried served with home-made potato salad
I literally just had schnitzel at Blaue Gans which I thought was great, but this thing blows it out of the water. A nice light crispy batter with pork that is insanely tender and flavorful. Add the bright and refreshing potato salad and you have a dynamo combo.

House Cured Pastrami (special) ***
I don't get this but this beats Katz's deli. The pastrami is so flavorful, not chemically so, but natural tasting. Plus, it has a ton of fat and marbling...in a good way. This is food that will make your knees weak.

The Prime Meats Burger ***
1/2 lb. creekstone certified black angus, house-made sesame roll & fermented dill pickle, lettuce, tomato, onion & hand-cut french fries
Best burger ever - tastes like a phenomenal steak, eats like a burger. Enjoy the food porn shot.

Prime Meats Pilsner **
A delicious beer for a workday lunch.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way


Homemade "Tsukune" with homemade "Tare".
I dig minced meat grilled on a stick.


Industry buddy of mine invited me over his house for a home cooked meal.
It's a great change of pace when you spend most of your day out with sales reps and constantly feeding your face with restaurant food. Not that it's a terrible thing to eat out all the time, but a nice home cooked meal is definitely nice once in a while.

This particular dish is called Asparagus Bacon. A very popular dish in the Yakitori repertoire.
Pretty self explanatory. Great combo and even better when cooked over charcoals.


Monday, May 30, 2011


Recette - Dude Grade C-
328 W 12th St, New York 10014
At Greenwich St
Phone: (212) 414-3000

I've been wanting to check this place out for a while, so I decided to stop by for date night with the wife. Colameco raved about this place and the menu looked so in my strike zone. Unfortunately, this place didn't quite come together for me. I need to learn my lesson going forward - food that looks delicious on TV doesn't always equal being delicious in person.

Our Menu

Marinated Hamachi, Uni, Sea Beans, Harissa
This was not bad, but unfortunately the combination of flavors didn't work out so well. You totally lost the flavor of the hamachi since the uni killed it. Texture of the hamachi was also m'eh.

Duck Breast *
leg & foie gras terrine, chard, chanterelles, walnuts
Pretty fun dish. Duck breast was nicely cooked, but slightly salty. Unfortunately, the foie gras was oddly a little flat in flavor - not terrible by any means though.
haricot vert & lentils, local greens, tomato vinaigrette

This dish was alright, but was slightly bland.

"Smores" ***
graham cracker ice cream, toasted marshmallow, "hot" chocolate ganache
An insane wtf dish - not the prettiest thing in the world, but it was uber delicious. A phenomenal combo of textures and flavors - smooth chocolate ganache, delicious smooth marshmallow, crunchy chocolate tuille.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way

Overall Restaurant Experience
  • Food (C+) – This place seemed like it would so be in my strikezone, but it definitely falls short. Not bad by any means, but I wouldn't go back for anything except the smores.
  • Service (D-) – Server there was a douche that was pushing us hard to order more food. When we told him we only wanted a few items, he rolled his eyes. Took forever to get anyone's attention there.
  • Atmosphere (B) – Quaint little place in the west village which I dug. Seats around 30-40 people. Lots of families and couples there. We got seated at 6 immediately, but it was insanely packed afterwards.
  • Price (C-) - Portion sizes off the regular menu are tasting menu sized portions which encourages you to order lots. Prices are around $18-24 which is a bit too much for such small portions. The service totally ruined it for me though not worth the money.
Closing Comments
If you want this style of food done 1000x better, go to Ma Peche. Price overall would be comparable as well with better service and food.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fried Oyster Sandwich

Like a Po Boy but with freshly shucked fried Cape Cod Oysters and a homemade remoulade sauce.

This really hit the spot. I mean REALLY hit the spot!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lobster Roll

Lunch at the Lobster Pot in Provincetown (Cape Cod), MA.
Celery, Taragon, Mayo and Lobster Knuckles.
Yes, this was AWESOME!

Doughnut Plant

Doughnut Plant - Dude Grade: A
379 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 505-3700

I've heard about this place for quite sometime, but never made it out due to the location - never around that area for breakfast. Luckily during my last week at my former company, one of the co-workers surprised us with the gift of Doughnut Plant!

Any who - it is hands down the best doughnut I've ever had. A satisfying al dente chew going on while still maintaining a light airiness. The coconut glaze was perfect - not too sweet and tasting like natural coco-goodness. Highly, Highly Recommended.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jumbo Jumbo Bubble Tea - Review

Jumbo Jumbo Bubble Tea
765 E Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 545-1708

My coworker took me to this place since I was looking for Taiwanese fried chicken. When we got there, I realized we got our lines crossed since I went to another one last year. (Yes, there are multiple "Taiwanese fried chicken" joints nearby.) But it didn't matter, since this was also good. We both ordered the same thing: "Taiwanese fried chicken with ground pork on rice." That's pretty much what it is with additional "salad" on the side. The chicken is nicely fried and crispy with the spice on top adding to the flavor. The ground pork is just enough to let you know is there, so not really flavorful, but it's not supposed to be since the focus is on the chicken. I also ordered a chocolate bubble tea. It's average as far as chocolate bubble teas go, which means it was damn good. It's hard to screw this up. I was happy to see they used real milk tea and did not blend it. The boba was cooked nicely and not mushy nor hard. I'll definitely be back. Hao chi! Hao he!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Best Schnitzel

Prime Meats (Brooklyn)
Veal Schnitzel and German Potato Salad. Is there a better combo than that?

Never change PM!
Still the best in my book.

Bad Boy

The "Never Frozen" meat patty is so key at Wendy's.
Love it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Locanda Verde Revisit

Met my wife up for lunch at Locanda Verde and as usual - it was pretty solid.

My Menu
Caramelized Onion Focaccia ***
A WTF fluffy flavorful bread with awesome bits of caramelized onions. It was so good we ordered three rounds of this bad boy.

Local Snap Peas with sicilian pesto and radish **
Delicious springtime flavors. Snap peas were sweet, slightly crunchy and it was covered in two styles of pesto - classic basil and a sicilian sweet tomato based pesto.

Spring Pea Ravioli with pancetta affumicato, ramps and parmigiano
More springtime flavors with a great silky pasta texture.

Toasted Almond Semifreddo citrus stuffato, grapefruit mandarin sorbetto **
A phenomenal dessert. Chewy semifredo with great almond flavor and perfectly paired with the grapefruit sorbetto.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way * Good ** Great *** What the F – in a good way

Monday, May 23, 2011

Classic Chicago Hot Dog

I was on a layover at O'Hare Airport. "When in Rome," right? I went to a hot dog stand and ordered a classic "salad on a bun" with a beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun topped with tomato, mustard (NO KETCHUP!!), celery salt, pickle, and that nuclear green relish. Mmmm... tastes like skyscrapers, mafia, Bulls, and corn. Click on the picture below to maximize the virtual hot dog experience. Oh yeah, you know you want one.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not a bad last piece

I always feel a little saddened when the last piece of sushi is plopped down in front of me. So my new thing to do is go out with a bang.

Toro answers the call big time.

Best Soba in town

Soba Totto in Midtown.
This particular soba is made with Dassai 23 sake kasu, (the sake lees from one of the best sakes money can buy) so it has a unique aromatic sensation when you eat.

If you love good handmade soba noodles, duck, shiitake mushrooms, dashi, and the act of slurping, this is a MUST have.

They only make 20 servings a day so get there early enough to lock down an order for yourself.

Breakfast en Route

More Southwestern Eats

My cousin's wife's specialty are enchiladas. "Prove it!" I say. Oh yes, she sure did. With the usual suspects on the side of Mexican rice, refried beans, & chili peppers, of course. The one in the rice was tame, but the fatty on the table was closer to nuclear. And ya gotta love a fried egg on top. Mmmmm, creamy. She finished it off with cherry-topped pecan crunch dessert. ¡Gracias, Raquel!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Homemade Mexican Eats

I was in the Southwest recently, and I was force-fed good (authentic) Mexican food almost the entire time.

Okay, so it was more voluntary and not so much forced.

Anyway, right from the kitchen: chile relleno, refried beans, and tortillas. ¡Delicioso! ¡¡Gracias, Emma!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Umami Burger (LA)

The Umami Burger is one amazing burger. It's jazzed up with a ton of yummy condiments, along with a great soft buttery bun and killer burger patty that has what tasted like dashi inside.
And did you notice the Parmesan crisp? So smart!

Perfectly fried up thin fries with garlic aioli sauce. And Mexican Coke.

Sorry In 'n Out, but the new girl in town is way hotter and she puts out an even meaner spread.
I'm in love with this joint.

Men's Eating Club - Part Deux

The Men's Eating Club had our second meeting and it was a humdinger if I may say. At first, we were going to visit the Cuban standout Coppelia, but our All American QB Porthos saw something at the line of scrimmage and made a last minute audible to Ma Peche. Although we just went there for some beef carnage, it was decided based on their new spring menu this would be perfect for the group and oh boy...it definitely was.

Our Menu
fluke – blood orange, avocado, black rice **
Classic momofuku - awesome combo of flavors and textures and a great palate opener.

warm asparagus – king crab, egg, chili butter ***
The first of the killer WTF asparagus duo. Soft egg was so damn sexy with the sweet crab and asparagus.

mushroom + asparagus – watercress, goat cheese, pistachio ***
The combo of the almost silky mushroom with the asparagus and creamy goat cheese sauce was outstanding.

soft shell crab – pickled lotus root, jicama, sugar snaps **
I love me some soft shell crab and this was hella fun. I'm used to eating the soft shell crab simply with no accompaniments, but the combo of the bright pickles/jicama really amps up the sweetness of the crab.

lentils and duck sausage *
Earthy and tasty dish which is almost an amuse to the onslaught of meats.

meat pie (creekstone farm, ks) – tongue, potato, caramelized onions ***
Maybe the most fun dish I've eaten in years. Pastry provides the perfect back note to the smooth forcemeat of tongue, potato, and caramelized onions. Huge WTF flavors on this bad boy. It was so good I could have eaten this whole thing by myself.

pork chop (bev eggleston, va) – potato, ramps, green peppercorn **
I love-a tha pork and this was something magical. This basically was the best quality pork chop that honestly looked like pork belly - had tons of melt in your mouth fat...in a good way.

chicken (bell & evans, pa) – maitake, leeks, vin jaune **
Delicious chicken flavor with some amped up umami notes with the maitake.

reserved cheese **
Soft stinky cheese with a ton of condiments - pretty friggin great. I dug the espelette powder and the truffle honey.

homemade chocolate chip cookies ***
I absolutely looooove chocolate cookies and these are out of control delicious. Crisp on the outside, perfect chewy texture, with a ton of melting chocolate chips. Really a WTF cookie and quite delicious with whole milk...or for D'Artagnan - armagnac :)

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way

Uni is Back!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mitsuwa - Chicken and Egg Dish

Most Asians in the NJ/NY area know about the awesomeness that is Mitsuwa - basically a large Japanese supermarket with a fun food court. This is one of the tasty dishes you can get there...crispy, sweet goodness!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A yummy $6

This Halal cart right in front of my office in the city makes THE best chicken/lamb on rice platter. Hands down.
And for 6 bucks (with a snapple), you just can't beat anything else out there.

IMA Restaurant - Review

IMA Restaurant
445 Cedar Lane
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Phone: (201) 357-5789

I'm a lucky food nerd as I've been finding some delicious eats out in suburbia. IMA Restaurant is an Israeli joint that dishes out some tasty comfort food and is definitely part of our rotation when the wife and I go out to eat. According to the website, IMA Restaurant is actually based in Jerusalem but the daughter opened a branch out in North Jersey. Not sure what this means towards the authenticity of the cuisine, but no matter - they're serving up some delicious comfort food.

Our Menu

Salad Platter **
Hummus, Babaganush, Tabouli, Beet Salad, Israeli Salad
The first thing that I noticed is the pita is by far the best pita I've ever had. It's as fluffy as a cloud with a great chew and awesome flavor. The next thing I spotted are the dips are so bright (lots of lemon juice) with tons of flavor. I've had all these dishes a million times and yet these are still great here.

KTSIOT (meatballs) **
Majadara (fried rice with lentils, served with onion flakes), Green Beans
Again, I've had meatballs thousands of times and this was somehow still different and delicious. Meatballs were tender with great flavor, but this did not remind me of the Italian classic at all - even though it was still covered in tomato sauce. Even the rice and lentils were uber satisfying - great eartly flavor and awesome texture to the lentils and rice.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way

Overall Restaurant Experience
  • Food – Great home cooking - familiar, yet still different.
  • Service – They're always pretty busy here, so you sometimes wait a bit for things like water. Not terribly long though.
  • Atmosphere – Place is white walls and even white floors - pretty bright in there. The place seats 30 and on a Tuesday it was 70% full. We were seated right away. Crowd was all families there.
  • Price - Entrees are about $8-12 so totally reasonable.
Closing Comments
I'm not an Israeli food expert by any means, but this place just friggin rawks. Chicken shnitzel is 100% calling my name next.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Delta Pilar Kitchen Faucet

As part of my full integration into the society of the suburbanites, I have learned to enjoy my "weekend projects." Lame to some - to me it's a source of relaxation away from the non-sense at work.

This particular weekend project was to install a new kitchen faucet. We first started with the Kohler Forte and although the thing looked great, it friggin leaked right away. Everyone also complained about the leaks online, so it was an obvious pass.

After doing more online research, we chose the Delta Pilar 980T-SSSD-DST and this is one of the better purchases I've made in a while. It not only looks great, but what makes this special is the "Touch20" technology where you tap anywhere on the faucet to turn the water on/off - no more raw meat hands on the faucet handle! Going to be incredibly handy during the summer season when I'm handling burgers, chickens, lamb, etc and running out to the grill. Also, love the fact that there's no wasted motion for you - after washing your hands you just tap the faucet which is closer than moving to the handle. The little things always matter :)

Any who, install was under one hour, so not so bad. Only odd thing is this requires 4 batteries for the sensor. Price is double the Kohler model, but 100% worth it in my opinion. Highly Recommended.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Poached Halibut with Spring Onions, Chorizo served with Romesco and Aliloli

With the warm weather coming on, I wanted to do a lighter fish dish for Mother's day and I was thinking Spanish flavors made sense. The first thing I was thinking was a play on two contrasting sauces - smoky/earthy/creamy romesco sauce and a bright/creamy alioli sauce. Then, I was thinking what makes sense for a Spanish garnish. In Spain, a classic combo is calcots (spring onions) and romesco sauce so had to do some spring onions. Finally, I was thinking a salty, crispy chorizo made plenty of sense as a textural contrast. Add it all together and you have a fun combo of textures and flavors.

2 pounds halibut (4 portions)
1 cup orange juice
1 cup white wine
3 cups water
Salt and white pepper
4 pieces thinly sliced chorizo or other salumi
2 bunches green onions

Romesco Sauce
6 plum tomatoes
1 vidalia onion quartered
4 cloves garlic
3 pieces white bread toasted
6 roasted almonds
1 tbsp smoked spanish paprika
1 dry roasted chili soaked in warm water - seeds removed (not spicy e.g. anaheim chile)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp sherry vinegar

4 cloves garlic
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1) Make the romesco sauce by placing the tomato, onion and garlic under a broiler. When the tomato/onion starts to get blackened, remove and place in a zip lock bag so it steams. Remove the rough skins from the tomato/onion/garlic and place all the romesco ingredients in a blender and puree it. Taste and re-season as necessary. The sauce should be creamy from the bread, earthy and rich from the onion, smoky from the paprika, and bright from the vinegar.

2) Make the alioli sauce by placing all the ingredients into a blender and use the aerate function. It will eventually turn into a nice thin mayonnaise sauce. Taste and reason as necessary.

3) Cook the garnish by crisping up the chorizo in a pan and setting aside. Cook the spring onions (cut in half) in the same pan with the chorizo oil with salt and pepper. Cook until just soft - about 5 minutes and set aside.

4) Poach the fish by bringing the orange juice, white wine, water, and salt/pepper to a soft boil. As soon as it comes to a soft boil, remove from the flame, add the fish, and cover. The fish should be finished in 8-10 minutes. I would check every now and again to make sure you don't over cook the fish.

5) To finish, add a circle of the romesco sauce to the plate. Add 2 whole spring onions , then the chorizo. Add the fish and finally top off with the alioli. It's a pretty complex play of flavors and textures, plus it's uber fun to eat. Leftover romesco sauce is killer to eat with chips or even just by itself!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


When was the last time you broke off a Toblerone Triangle?

Swiss Milk Chocolate w Honey and Almond Nougat.
Mmm mmm good.


Full rack of ribs for lunch. Oh yes, it's go time.