Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sushi in Miami

Those who know me know I'm big on Tradition. But lately, innovative
plating and cooking has made me a believer in (and I hate this word
even more) "Fusion".
Who would have ever thought Mayonnaise, chili oil, and the oh so
creamy avocado would make their way into a sushi roll.

When it's good, it's good.

Sam Adams : New World Tripel

If you can find it in your stores, I highly recommend.
From the Barrel Room Collection.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gingerbread House alla Starbucks

Now that's a Gingerbread House if I've ever seen one.
The entrance to the Starbucks at my hotel is labelled with sheets of
Gingerbread Cookies.

Smells AMAZING!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Double Smoked Bacon

Shaller and Weber, Double Smoked Bacon. Cut to spec by yours truly.

First grilled, then cut up and tossed into soup, salad, and bite sized
pieces to accompany weekend pint of beer.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kin Shop - Review

Kin Shop - Dude Grade: C+
469 Avenue of the Americas, New York 10011
Btwn 11th and 12th St
Phone: (212) 675-4295

The wife and I are Top Chef fans and I've always been curious to see how Harold Dieterle's restaurants were (Top Chef Season 1 Winner). I chose to visit Kin Shop since a friend from London was in town and she was requesting spicy, Asian food. Figured why not check out Kin Shop, Harold's take on Thai food - not exactly authentic, but still pretty fun.

Our Menu
Spicy Duck Laab Salad *
toasted rice, ground chili & romaine hearts
A pretty fun dish with textural crunch (rice and romaine) and spicy/savory thing going on with the duck and chilis. Oddly reminded me of PF Chang's chicken lettuce wrap, but obviously much better.
Grilled Prawns *
fresh lime & "phuket style" black pepper sauce

Nice and smokey prawns that was pretty tender and relatively sweet. Fun with the chili and lime dressing. Prawn heads are always fun.

Fried Pork and Crispy Oyster Salad **
celery, peanuts, mint & chili-lime vinaigrette
What's not to love about this dish - crispy oysters and uber tender pork belly. Friggin phenomenal - the oysters and pork had huge flavors and the textures made it pretty damn fun. Celery was a nice bright surprising pop to the dish.

Red: Roasted Duck Breast *

crispy roti, green mango, fresh herbs & tamarind water

Very tender and flavorful duck breast which was great dipped in the sauce (felt like a massaman wannabe). The roti used to wrap the duck was pretty damn buttery and delicious.

Selection Of Grilled Eggplant
rice pearls, fish sauce & mint

Not a big fan of this dish. Tender, but a tad oily. Flavor was decent with the fish sauce and mint 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 (C+) – Not Thai food, but Thai style flavorings with food that's generally cooked pretty well.
  • Service (B) – Waiter was very friendly and attentive.
  • Atmosphere (B) – Was there on a Monday and it was empty around 7pm, but packed afterwards. Even when we left around 9:30, there were people waiting in line. The place definitely had this quaint west village vibe. Open kitchen is interesting to watch, but the good thing is Harold is actually there expediting. He's supposedly looking into his 3rd restaurant, so good to see him still working the pass on a Monday.
  • Price (C) – Entrees are around $23, but the portions are relatively small. Not bad for the quality though.
Closing Comments
A fun time and the food was decent, but not sure I
would go back. If I want either an Asian fusion thing, I'd stop by any Momofuku or if I want Thai style food I'd go to a Thai restaurant near me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekend Salad

A little creative juices flowing this morning so I came up with this
dish and presentation.

Cherry tomatoes marinated in fig balsamic and olive oil with chives.
Lightly sautéed baby squash with double smoked bacon tossed in. Baby
zucchini quartered. Beets quartered. And alfalfa.

Fun and healthy. I think I won this round.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Whole Foods Wannabe Oreos

The wife picked up the Whole Foods wannabe brand of Oreos and they're friggin fantastic. Nice and crisp with really good flavor. If you care, the Whole Foods brand seems healthier with no saturated fat, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Highly recommended by this dude.

Dinner for One

Sometimes I like to revisit childhood favorites.

It took me a long time to accept and revisit Boston Market (aka Boston
Chicken), but I finally did last night.
Mostly due to my dislike of John Kerry's bitchy wife who owns Heintz
Ketchup AND Boston Market.

Without complimenting the franchise too much, it was a great meal and
if I do find myself in the middle of west bumble @uck PA again, I will
sure like to order another roasted chicken to take back to the hotel
for dinner.

Brownie was excellent too. Damn it!

Friday, November 11, 2011


You know what? It does taste better than Heintz. I never thought I'd
say that. Have been a loyal Heintz patron for ages. But the no high
fructose corn syrup peaked my interest and boy did it taste good.


My guess, Big Eye Tuna, under 200#.

Not bad. But not the best by a long shot.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


When in Philly... Right?
Even the no name cheesesteak joints in Philly make crazy awesome cheesesteaks.

Bull Testicles prepared with Escargot Butter

One of my favorite restaurants in NYC is Yakiniku Takashi, a meat
grilling at your table specialty restaurant.

They constantly push the envelope and dish out new things.

I was as shocked as the next dude with the complimentary dish from the owner.
Thanks Takashi!
I can now say I have had balls in my mouth.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shio Ramen at Mitsuwa

One of the best bowls of Ramen I've ever had on the states.
$9.50 for this bowl of flavorful soup noodle with toppings.

Grilled Chashu
Marinaded Soft Boiled Egg
Flavored Bamboo Shoots
and Scallions

I'll be waiting for them to come back.
Unfortunately this was a limited 4 day run at the Mitsuwa in Edgewater.
3,000 covers only.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Keen's Prime Rib

I haven't had Prime Rib in 5+ years. Hanging with Porthos over the years, he's converted me to a ribeye or strip steak kinda guy. At Keen's Chophouse last night, I decided to re-visit my old friend the prime rib. Friggin fantastic - huge beefy flavor, like big beef broth kinda flavor and uber tender. Just what this dude needed.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Domino's Artisan Sausage Pizza

You know what?
It's still noticeably delivery pizza.
But it sure didn't suck!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

“Seriously? It’s beer,”

St. Louis Brewers Think Small

IN the late 1800s, St. Louisans flocked to brewery gardens to drink, play and socialize. Most were immigrants accustomed to beer as part of daily life, as vital as bread. Out of this enthusiasm arose Anheuser-Busch, perhaps the best-known large-scale brewery in the country. No matter its size, locals have remained loyal to the hometown company.

In 2008, InBev, the international beer company, bought A-B, as Anheuser-Busch is known locally. When that year started there were only three other beer companies within the city limits, each one tiny in comparison. Yet today the city's craft brew options are expanding quickly: by the end of 2011, A-B can expect to have 11 competitors in the city plus another dozen in the surrounding area.

So is there a limit to the number of craft brewers that locals are willing to support?

"Seriously? It's beer," answered Dylan Mosley, the head brewer for the Civil Life Brewing Company in south St. Louis. "You know how many people drink beer? If I opened a hamburger joint, nobody's going to be, like, 'Hey, you know how many hamburger joints there are?' They'd be like, 'Sweet! Another hamburger joint!' "

Last month Mr. Mosley and Jake Hafner, the brewery owner, opened The Civil Life (3714 Holt Avenue; no phone; in south St. Louis. Inside the brew house they built a two-level pub with nooks meant to facilitate conversation among neighbors. The Civil Life specializes in "session beers" of lower strength, meant for drinking in quantity without derailing said conversation. Offerings include a British-style bitter and a rye pale ale ($5 each).

Further south, in the South Carondelet neighborhood, a former Coca-Coca plant is now home to Perennial Artisan Ales (8125 Michigan Avenue;             314-631-7300      ; It opened in September and has a tasting pub where visitors can sample the recipes of its brewer, Phil Wymore, including the dry-hopped Hommel Bier pale ale ($5), inspired by Belgian farmhouse ales.

A short walk from Busch Stadium, 4 Hands (1220 South Eighth Street; is scheduled to open on Nov. 11, with a rye India pale ale and an oatmeal brown among the offerings. The tasting bar is made from the wood of a 107-year-old rural Missouri barn.

But the local craft quake's center has been Midtown Alley, just west of downtown, with three breweries within walking distance of one another.

Buffalo (3100 Olive Street;             314-534-2337      ; is the geezer of the trio, opened way back in 2008. The brewpub's citrus-hopped Rye IPA ($4.50) is a favorite among local beer geeks. Those tired of waiting in line for barbecue from wildly popular Pappy's next door can opt instead for the Buffalo's burgers and mussels.

Six Row (3690 Forest Park Avenue;             314-531-5600      ; opened at the end of 2009. The brewery recently completed an expansion that nearly quadrupled its capacity. Besides standbys that include the Honey Weizen ($4.50), brewed with Missouri honey, are occasional cult favorites like the Bacon Porter, in which a slab of cooked bacon soaks in the cask.

The latest Midtown addition, Urban Chestnut (3229 Washington Avenue;             314-222-0143      ;, opened in January. Florian Kuplent, a former A-B brewer, specializes in a mix of traditional European styles and more experimental attempts. Fifteen different beers flowed on a recent visit, including the crisply hopped Zwickel lager and the chestnuts-laced Winged Nut ale (each $5).

In front of the pub is a small garden with long, sturdy tables; Mr. Kuplent had them shipped from his native Germany. "It is a beer town and I think there's a history there of people that enjoy themselves sitting in beer gardens," he said. "And I think that gene, or whatever it is, didn't go away."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Best $14 Lunch in Manhattan

Aburiya Kinnosuke dishes out some killer combos for lunch.

This was Tuna on Rice and Chicken on Rice. 2 great box lunches for the
price of 1!