One of the things I love most about leading food tours is introducing folks to new and delicious—or sometimes just new and strange—foods. Chapulines, for one. The fried grasshoppers are a popular snack in Mexico. A snack that stopped me dead in my tracks in my latest tour of the 7 line. (more…)
There are many, many sandwiches to be had in New Orleans as I learned when my fellow Chowzters set themselves the mission of eating every po’ bo they could get their hands on. I skipped that mission and focused my sandwich eating energies on the muffuletta. Leave it to this Italian-American boy to go all the way to New Orleans for a Sicilian sandwich.
Central Grocery, located in the Big Easy’s French Quarter is credited with inventing this Sicilian sandwich combo. It takes its name from the round sesame seed-studded Sicilian loaf. Central’s version consists of Genoa salami, mortadella, ham, mozzarella, and provolone, dressed with an olive salad. My eating buddy Joe “Hungry Dude” Hakim split a half sandwich as we were saving room for yet another Italian-American meal, fried chicken at Fiorella’s. (more…)
When it comes to New Orleans—land of jambalaya, crawfish, and po boys—fried chicken isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Turns out though that, like much of the South, the Big Easy has some mighty fine fried chicken.
I ate more fried chicken—heck more everything—in the course of a whirlwind weekend with my good friends from Chowzter than I have in quite some time. A quick cab ride from Louis Armstrong airport and Yvo “Feisty Foodie” Sin joined our fellow Chowzters at the iconic Dooky Chase’s, where everyone from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to President Barack Obama have dined. (more…)
As a good eater, gourmand, glutton and reluctant foodie I’ve been meaning to visit New Orleans for at least 20 years. This weekend that long-deferred wish came true when I attended the Chowzter Awards for North America. As the Chief Chowzter for Queens, I really wanted Team Arepa Lady to take home a trophy, but alas, they did not. The winners, ranging from a stupendously tasty sounding raw honey and sea salt doughnut from Pip’s Original in Portland,Ore., which took won tastiest dish to the ricotta ravioli from Rino’s Place in Boston, which won tastiest pasta, all sounded truly amazing. The winner that most impressed me though was the town itself, New Orleans, which won the award for Foodiest City in North America. I was there for only a weekend and can’t wait to go back. Given that I ate everything from fried chicken to an elegant sit-down awards dinner at Commander’s Palace, I guess when it comes to New Orleans I am indeed a foodie after all. Stay tuned for a whole lotta Big Easy coverage here on C+M!
At heart—and stomach—I am a glutton, but I’m no fan of all you can eat buffets. That’s because I often reach the point of diminishing returns and indiscriminate eating simultaneously. Over the years though there has been one AYCE concept I can get behind. That’s the Brazilian rodizio/churrascaria, a carnivorous carnival wherein one is served various delectable meats carved off skewers by roving waiters. Each diner is given a chip, green on one side to signal, “Bring on the meat,” and red on the other to signal, “No, thanks.”
When Texas de Brazil—a national chain of Brazilian churrascaria steakhouses—opened in New York City I was intrigued. I forgot all about it until a few weeks ago when someone from the company reached out to invite me and a guest to a meat fest. So I put on my fat pants and made the arduous trek to the Upper East Side. (more…)
Leave it to John Brown Smokehouse, the only Queens BBQ joint that serves kimchi to come up with a low and slow take on the Mexican torta. Like most tortas, the chupacabra ($12) is a monster. Queso fresco, tostones, pickled jalapeños, and pulled pork are piled high upon a brioche and lashed with ghost pepper barbecue sauce. (more…)
On this first real day of winter with snow falling and the remnants of a head cold I wish I was in Chelsea Market. Actually, scratch that I wish was in Mok Bar, to hell with the rest of the market and its hordes of gastrotourists. A bowl of Esther Choi’s kimchi ramen ($13) would do this body good right about now.
At times like these spicy soups are a go-to, and Choi’s doesn’t disappoint. Not only is the fiery broth packed with kimchi and springy noodles, it has a double dose of pork thanks to smoky bacon and a nice chunk of meat. (more…)
As 2014 draws to a close rather than offer up a roster of resolutions—less chips more gym, save money, etc.—C+M presents a list of 14 of our favorite things, a highlight reel of the year that was. Let the mostly Queens-focused cavalcade of offal, mashups, secret eats, and overall deliciousness begin.
1. Sweetest mashup
Part pain au chocolat, part rugelach, all decadence the chocolate croissant—aka rugelssaint—at Andre’s Hungarian Bakery was my go-to guilty breakfast this year.
2. Best goat meat bonanza
Not only was the three-course black goat meat feast at Ban Ga Ne one of the best Korean meals I’ve had in a long time, it was some of the best goat I’ve ever had. Plus as the proprietor pointed out, it’s um, invigorating.
3. Best pizza
Some friends and I made a pizza pilgrimage to New Haven this fall. Everything we tried was good, but the real revelation came when we dug into the fresh clam pie at Zuppardi’s Apizza. Fragrant with Little Necks and oregano atop a crackling thin crust, it was simply astounding. (more…)
Rarely does the same dish get ordered twice on one of my food tours. It’s happened precisely twice. The first time, a Filipino family and I ended a summer afternoon of eating our way along the 7 train at John Brown Smokehouse. They were so smitten by the burnt ends—crisp, fatty chunks of double smoked brisket—that upon finishing an order they immediately asked for more and also got some to go. The second time was just a few weeks ago at Hunan House in Flushing. (more…)