Thursday, September 29, 2011

Food Truck Oatmeal

A great thing about working in downtown NYC is the access to the coliseum of food trucks. One such truck that rawks is the vegetarian food truck that serves steel cut oatmeal. This stuff is unbelievable with textures a bit like risotto and delicious with the soymilk, banana, and raisins. Amazing that this comes out of a food truck considering the fancy deli at work serves more expensive oatmeal with texture like Elmer's Glue - no bueno.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Hudson House

The Hudson House - Dude Grade: B+
134 Main Street
Nyack, NY 10960
Phone: (845) 353-1355

The wife and I like stopping by Nyack, NY for a little mini get away. It's a beautiful drive especially during fall foliage season with views of the majestic hudson river. They also have some decent restaurants with a Hoboken feel - tons of restaurants and bars. Checking out some of the local reviews, The Hudson House seemed to be a favorite of the locals so we decided to check it out. Good call as the food we had was pretty damn delicious.

Our Menu
Lump Crab Cake *
Endive & Apple Salad, Curried Tomato Sauce, Cumin Vinaigrette
Crab cake was done nicely here. Nice and light with the crab cake being almost all crab. The apple salad and curried tomato sauce was a nice complement to the crab cake.

Gnocchi **
The gnocchi was just what I wanted that day and awesome with the peas. The gnocchi was nicely made also - not heavy and doughy.

Indian Ridge Pork Chop ***
I love me some pork and I have to say this is by far the best pork chop I've ever had. Awesome crust on the outside, 100% perfectly cooked, juicy and with an insanely porky flavor - unlike any chop I've ever had. Great with the accompanying parsnip puree and sauces. For me, the place is worth the drive just for this pork chop.

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 (B+) – Bistro/comfort food done very well.
  • Service (B+) – Server was very attentive, checking up on us multiple times. Food came at a decent clip too.
  • Atmosphere (B-) – An old timey type of feel with tin ceilings, brick wall, and nice photos of the hudson river. It is pretty damn dark inside though.
  • Price (C) – Entrees were around $28-31 which was a tad pricey, but totally worth it based on the quality they were serving. Minus points for false advertising - the website mentioned 3 courses and a glass of wine for $44 on certain still has that deal up on the website. We were there on a valid day, but for some reason they said they were not serving it...kinda shite in my opinion.
Closing Comments
Definitely my go-to place when I'm in the area. Pork chop alone would be worth the visit, but I want to check out the chicken as well.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Smile :-D

Sometimes the littlest things can make a big guy smile.

And sometimes it can rob it, too - like when this was full...   and then empty  :-(

Good thing I bought a case!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Met up lord fluffernutter and the crew for a 15 pound suckling pig done up latino style. The meat was juicy, tender, and quite porky. I've had suckling pig many a time, but this was pretty delicious with the garlicky/sour/sweet mojo. Btw - the plate below was just one of two plates - oh yeah and we killed both plates between 6 people.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

15 min Quick-Fire Dinner

1- Throw Magret and Merguez on the Grill.
2- Cut Pont Leveque and let temper.
3- Wash and toss salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And toss
in Cherry Tomatoes.
4- Let Magret rest and slice along with Merguez.
5- Plate and garnish with Olives and Country Bread.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How To Cook A Wolf - Review

How To Cook A Wolf - Dude Grade: A-
2208 Queen Anne Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109-2312
Phone: (206) 838-8090 ‎

Visiting the in-laws out in Seattle and the one thing my father-in-law always wants to do is eat non-Chinese food since he eats it all the time. He was requesting some Italian food, which made me a little concerned since there's just so much crappy Italian restos out there. Hitting up my usual channels (, chow, yelp) and I zero in on this place and what a great decision. Highly highly recommended.

Our Menu
Octopus **
Avocado Puree, Pickled Radish, Cucumber
Incredibly delicious dish and great way to start the meal. This totally had the momofuku feel going on with bright flavors (pickled radish), great textures (creamy avocado, crunchy cucumbers), and the perfectly tender octopus.

Melon Salad **
Hot Coppa, Watercress, Walnut
Another perfect combo - the cantaloupe and watermelon were so ripe, delicious, and floral which was perfectly offset by the porky spicy salami, bitter watercress, and crunchy walnuts. Forget the classic melon and prosciutto combo, this is definitely the way to go from now on.

Heirloom Tomato **
Pine Nut, Soft Boiled Egg, Pecorino-Romano
I'm definitely a slut for anything with egg on it and this made so much sense. Great combo as usual and the salty pecorino just made everything pop so much more. The only thing holding the dish back from being a WTF dish for me was the heirlooms while super delicious, I wish it had a lil more tomato pop - needed a lil more ripening

Chicken Liver Mousse **
Gooseberry, Crostini
Chicken liver mousse is so damn delicious and this was just perfect. Earthy, rich and awesome with the tart/sweet gooseberry.

Lobster Mushroom ***
Bacon, Green Bean, Fried Duck Egg
Another dish to fulfill my egg and bacon needs. Combo was awesome and the surprise was the perfectly cooked and uber flavorful green beans.

Potato Gnocchi **
Chanterelle, Corn, Parmigiano-Reggiano
We were disgustingly full at this point, so most dishes wouldn't have been that tasty but this some how ended up being pretty great. Gnocchi was so light, airy, and delicious - not that heavy doughy crap which most people serve. A great combo of flavors and uber delicious.

Squid Ink Spaghetti
Clams, Chiles, Basil
The only pass of the night for me. Not bad by any means, but this should be an easy home run. The pasta was cooked nicely, but it was too dry. Needed more clam juice/pasta water to give it that silkiness that it deserves. Clams were very sweet and tasty though.

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 (A-) – Food was so damn delicious with incredibly pretty plating - colors totally popped off the plate.
  • Service (B-) – Server was very friendly, but the food took a little while to come out.
  • Atmosphere (B+) – Relatively tiny place that seats maybe 50 or so. Hip place that's all brick wall or wood with a ceiling that's completely arched up. Place was packed with couples of all ages - young and old. Definitely dug the vibe here and pretty laid back atmosphere.
  • Price (A) – $100 for all the above for 4 peeps. Plates are $8-15 which is 1000% worth it.
Closing Comments
place is so damn good that I wish we had an italian joint like this in NY. Definitely a momofuku vibe with the food, so maybe the Chang-er will want to do some Italian riff eventually. The father-in-law said he wants to go back the next time we're out there and I'll have to agree with him.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brewing Pioneers Toast the Arrival of Japanese Craft Beer with a Discussion & Tasting at Japan Society

Japan's Beer Revolution: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Japanese Craft Brewing

Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 6:30, at Japan Society

New York, NY – Japan is a new power participant in the global craft beer movement, according to a recent Slate exposé. “Beyond high-quality renderings of popular Belgian, German, and American styles,” notes the article, “many breweries are experimenting with Japanese flavors, like ginger, yuzu, or even fist-sized Uramura oysters.” Thanks to Japanese craftsmanship, gourmet ingredients and attention to quality, the country has experienced a revolution, adding to the global craft beer industry’s overall retail sales growth of 12% in 2010.

In Japan Society’s first-ever craft beer talk and tasting, Japan's Beer Revolution: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Japanese Craft Brewing, Bryan Baird, of Baird Beer of Numazu, Japan, and Brooklyn Brewery’s Steve Hindy discuss the 17-year history of craft brewing in Japan, offering critical review of the good, bad and ugly of an industry that has struggled to find its bearings in parallel with the rest of the world. They also look at how changes in laws in Japan allowed microbreweries to take off in 1994 (similar to what occurred in the U.S. in 1979), and discuss the range of brews currently available in the U.S.

The discussion takes place October 5 at 6:30 pm, and is followed by a tasting of over 20 kinds of beer. Samples are available from at least 10 breweries including Baird Beer, Brooklyn Brewery, Coedo Brewery, Dieu du Ciel, Echigo Beer Company, Ise Kadoya, Kiuchi Brewery (Hitachino), Orion Breweries Ltd., Ryujin Shuzo Co., and Stone Brewing Co. Some of the beers will be specially brewed using gourmet Japanese ingredients for the Japan Society, some are brewed in honor the victims of the March 11 earthquake in Japan, and some stem from unique U.S.-Japan collaborations.

“New Yorkers are rediscovering their rich beer heritage as seen in the explosion of craft beer bars, beer gardens, and beer-food pairings,” says Devin Stewart, senior program director at Japan Society, and sometimes beer blogger. “At the same time, Japan’s contributions are trickling into the U.S. market. This program should not only give connoisseurs and novices alike a handle on the history, but also introduce some delicious new flavors and surprising complexities.”

A central force in advancing Japan’s craft been revolution, Bryan Baird is founder of Baird Beer. He holds an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

One of the pioneers craft beer movement in America in the 1980s, Steve Hindy is co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery. He was formerly a foreign correspondent with the Associated Press and was named one of Crain’s New York’s top entrepreneurs in 2009.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a world-class, multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Japan's Beer Revolution: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Japanese Craft Brewing takes place Wednesday, October 5, at 6:30 pm. Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd St.) Tickets are $25/$20 Japan Society Corporate and Individual members, seniors and students. For reservations or more information, visit or call the box office at 212-715-1258.

Corporate programs are generously supported by Japan Society Global Leaders & Corporate Partners. Global Leaders are Citigroup, Deloitte, Mizuho Securities USA, and United Airlines. Corporate Partners are Toyota Motor North America and WL Ross & Co. LLC. Japan Airlines is the exclusive Japanese Airline sponsor of Lecture Programs at Japan Society. United Airlines is the exclusive U.S. Airline sponsor of Lecture Programs at Japan Society. Additional support is provided by Chris A. Wachenheim and the Sandy Heck Lecture Fund.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Shannon Jowett, 212-715-1205,

Kuniko Shiobara, 212-715-1249,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yam and Ginger Soup

At the local Korean grocery store and they were passing out some purple yams to try. They were pretty damn fun and I decided to try and recreate this delicious sweet potato soup I had in Taiwan. It came out awesome and visually it just popped with the purple color. Pretty simple and delicious stuff especially in this cold weather - something about ginger in a warm soup that's super comforting. And don't worry, it won't be too sweet.

1) Peel and cut up 3 purple yams and dump in a pot of cold water - sweet potatoes would work just fine.
2) Add a knob of peeled/smashed ginger, pinch of salt, and a 1/4 cup honey.
3) Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sandra Lee - Semi Real?

Here's a clip of some outakes from Sandra Lee's food network show dropping some eff bombs and feeling herself up...not so priss and prim.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Silks Place Taroko Hotel - Dude Grade: A-
No. 18, TiānXiáng Rd, Sioulin Township
Hualien County, Taiwan 972

Our final tour of Taiwan led us to Hualien, a beautiful town up in the mountains on the east side of Taiwan. The wife did a fantastic job and we stayed at the beautiful Silks Place Taroko Hotel. Although we stayed in the hotel most of the time, the food was pretty damn delicious and the views in the hotel were amazing. Highly, highly recommended.

Mei-Yuan Restaurant Menu
Assiette of Appetizers **
A delicious cold appetizer plate - octopus was tender with a slightly sweet sauce. The veggies were so delicious - crunchy and very flavorful.

Braised Scallop "XO" Sauce *
As I've mentioned before, I'm not a big fan of the scallop dishes in chinese cuisine since they're usually boiled in oil till they're tasteless. These still had that boiled texture but at least the scallops were pretty sweet and tasty with the veggies and the xo sauce.

Teriyaki Beef Tenderloin **
Insanely tender beef with decent beef flavor. It was great with the julienned scallions and the slightly sweet sauce.

Soft Shell Crab Tempura, Japanese Mayonnaise **
I love me some soft shell crab and this was pretty damn fun. Coating was light and crispy and the crab flavor still came through.

Braised Pork Tendons with Rock Sugar ***
One of my favorite food memories in Taiwan is the delicious Don Po Ro. This has the essence of the don po ro (slight sweet, insanely porky, tender) but instead of it being pork belly, this was using a bone in cut. So delicious and great with white rice.

"Sate ayam" Chicken Satay, Peanut Sauce
Crispy and pretty juicy chicken which is usually a-ok in my book, but the curry powder was a lil too en-tense. I still finished the thing, so it was a borderline good dish.

Stir Fried Seasonal Vegetables *
Sauteed gali-chi (taiwan cabbage) - sweet and slightly crunchy. Can't ever complain about this - it's always delicious and my favorite cabbage.

Steamed Sliced Fish with Fish Sauce **
An incredibly delicate fish perfectly steamed. Great flavors on this bad boy.

Palm Heart with Spare Ribs Soup **
A surprisingly light broth that had this beautifully sweet and slightly porky undertone. Definitely a broth that puts you in a comforting mood.

Beef Noodle Soup *
This wasn't part of the set menu, but the wife wanted to order it and so glad we did. Solid noodles, tender beef, and pretty delicious broth.

Desserts ***
A big surprise in the dessert section as we had this incredibly buttery and flaky pastry served with sweetened pork - the Taiwanese love their pork. The other dessert was this marshmallow type texture that tasted of sweet milk. Both were big time wtf dishes.

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

Overall Hotel/Restaruant Experience
  • Food (B+) – Surprisingly delicious food at a hotel.
  • Service (A) – Hotel staff were excellent. When you first arrive, you get tea, a hot towel, and some cookies. The restaurant staff were extremely accommodating and the food comes out pretty quick.
  • Atmosphere (A) – The hotel itself is definitely a top tier hotel (not the best), but what sells this place is the beautiful surroundings. You're up in the mountains and at night you can actually see the stars perfectly. A 10 minute drive and you see an incredibly blue ocean. Great stuff.
  • Price (N/A) – We got a phenomenal deal at the hotel, but it regularly costs $600 a night which is pretty damn pricy. The dinner was 800NTD which comes out to $30 a head which is a phenomenal deal. 100% worth it overall
Closing Comments
An incredibly beautiful place and definitely so glad we saw the area. Oh and their breakfast buffet rocks also :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Taiwan Bento Box

The Taiwan railroad system is quite convenient and the thing you must get is the bento box (Tai Tyeh Byen Dang) which costs $2 USD...not a typo. It is friggin fantastic. Smothered pork chop, marinated hard boiled egg, sausage, picked vegetables, tofu shreds, and cabbage served over white rice. So, satisfying in terms of flavor as well as filling as hell. Great stuff.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Our second visit to a city outside of Taipei was Kenting, a beach town on the south-side of the island. This place is beautiful and made me think this is what Hawaii would be like. Beautifully blue water, palm trees, and lush green mountains. Besides the beautiful scenery, they got some real good eats and here's a sampling...

Meat Buns (Da Ro Bao) ***
Shao Du Bao Ze (小杜包子)
Address: 屏東縣恆春鎮恆公路18號及20號

I've had this dish a ton of times, but this version floored me - definitely the best I've ever had. The bun was so fluffy and light as a cloud. The meat flavor/texture was perfect as well - such a big porky flavor and it came with this super meaty broth. I could really eat 3 of these things in one sitting and still want more - I had 2 and was mad I didn't get more when I finished :) The red bean/mochi version was just as killer as well

Street Food - Shrimps **
There's one main street that's full of street vendors with plenty o' delicious food to be had. This was my favorite there. Huge shrimps that's stir fried with some garlic, ginger, and scallions and seasoned with white pepper and salt. Friggin fantastic. Shrimps are so delicious and sucking the heads are phenomenal. Only complaint is you will definitely get your hands incredibly dirty (go to the 7-11 and get wet naps) and it's impossible to find garbage cans there (7-11 again).

Oysters **
Fried Fish **
Xian Yu Keh Zhan (鮮魚客棧)
Address: 屏東縣恆春鎮船帆路232號

Taking our scooter around town, we stopped by this local seafood joint which was recommended by the locals. This place serves incredibly fresh fish and you can pick which fish you want to eat. Kinda cool seeing fisherman walk in during the afternoon showing off the local catch that day too. Any who, oysters done thai style was delicious - sour, sweet, spicy and delicious monster oysters. The fish was really fresh and incredibly tasty fried up until crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Place inside is pretty dingy, but it doesn't matter when you're eating fresh fish across the street from the ocean.

Rating System

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

Funny in Taiwan

Went to a Thai/Burmese restaurant in Kenting, Taiwan (more on that later) and I noticed this funny misspelling . Maybe they're trying to offer the full Bangkok experience?

Friday, September 9, 2011


The wife was excellent planning this trip to Taiwan as she made sure I saw more than just Taipei this time around. Our first city outside Taipei was Tainan - known as a food nerds paradise and the food was pretty damn delish. Tainan is near the water (west-side), so you see a ton of oyster dishes. Here’s a sampling of the more memorable dishes from Tainan.

Our Menu
Owa-Zen (Eggs and Oysters) ***
I’ve had this dish a ton in Taipei and back home in the states, but this was the best version (at Gua Hwa Jeh 國華街三段) I’ve ever had. Egg flavor was very prominent (which usually is not the case) and the oysters were so flavorful and juicy. The texture was definitely sex on a plate as it was so silky and perfectly cooked. It made sense as this 70+ year old dude just cooks that dish only all day – nothing else. He also cleaned up the tables which I thought was funny, but this dude works hard for his money.

O-Deh (Fried pork and oysters) **
This reminded me of an arancini – a big fried ball of goodness. Inside was juicy oyster and delicious ground pork. Another prevalent thing I’ve noticed in Taiwan were bean sprouts which I saw in a ton of other dishes – here it adds a nice crunch. We were eating this and I was freaking out on the street how good it was that two American tourists stopped by and said I need to have me some…you’re welcome dudes.

Yuen Zhu Ming Shi Ban Kao Ro (Aboriginal Grilled Pork) **
Like all cultures, the Taiwanese had their original Aboriginal peeps before the Chinese moved over. At most night markets, you'll see these homeboys with their headbands listening to their tribal music. If you see these dudes, you need to stop and immediately order their mixed pork dish. It's friggin phenomenal - bacon and pork that's so juicy, porky, and slightly sweet. Great with the accompanying pickled vegetables and raw garlic. All for $3USD. Side note - the Tainan Night Market is one of the most organized night markets I've ever seen - multiple rows of food stalls all side by side. Much better than the chaos that is the Shilin night market - a jungle of long roads that's difficult to find where the food is located.
Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way | (no stars - poor to average) | * Good | ** Great | *** What the F – in a good way