“We got Queens in the house today?” Action Bronson recently asked a studio audience during a cooking segment on Good Morning America. One person from New York City’s most majestic borough responded with a whoop. So, since many folks from Queens didn’t see the segment I thought I’d present it here. It’s an ode to a very particular New York City sandwich, no not the pastrami on rye, but the breakfast sandwich.
“I’m going to make an egg and cheese on a roll, which is a New York City breakfast staple,” Bronson says before preceding to sear $150 worth of wagyu in pan. It gets better from there, ending with a mountain of parmigiano reggiano grated on top before he hands the it off to ex New York Giant Michael Strahan, but not before mentioning that it is “keto approved.” Action, if you’re reading this can you pretty please open a coffee cart?
A pesto slice resting atop a regular one at Dani’s.
I’m a simple man when it comes to pizza. Buffalo chicken, ham and pineapple and other novelty pies are not for me. I prefer an old-school NYC slice, as executed by New Park Pizza or Margherita. There are some notable exceptions to this otherwise rigid pizza protocol: the falafel slice at Benjy’s,Zuppardi’s fresh clam pie, and the pesto slice at Dani’s House of Pizza. That last one, a sauceless slice stained green by pesto and flavored with basil and garlic is utterly delectable. The way the crust fries in the oil from the pesto is an added bonus to this oddball slice.
Dani’s takes great prides itself on the sweetness of sauce on its regular slice. It’s a bit too sweet for this pizza eater, but that never stops me from getting one regular and one pesto. On a recent visit I had the brilliant idea of creating my own novelty slice, by stacking a pesto slice atop a regular. “It will be a veritable Christmas morning of a stacked slice,” I thought as I sipped a Coke waiting for the red and green slices to emerge from the oven.
“It was off the wall it was so good,” proclaims Queens-based rapper/chef/plus-sized male model/marijuana enthusiast Action Bronson in the latest episode of his Vice show Fuck, That’s Delicious. The object of his affection? The liveracce sandwich at Paesano’s in Philly, which manages to combine fried chicken livers, orange zest, and gorgonzola. Fast forward to the 16-minute mark to check out this inspired creation. (more…)
Action Bronson is many things: rapper, chef, Twitter oversharer, and gourmand of prolific proportions. Above all though, he’s my favorite emcee, spitting complex rhymes that are as dense with references to Queens as they are chock full of food. So it’s no surprise that his home borough features heavily in the debut of his new Vice Munchies series, “Fuck, That’s Delicious.” (more…)
Rap has made it all around the world my friend Damianos said marveling at the Tibetan hiphop that played in the background as we munched on momos and laphing at Himalaya Kitchen. “There’s this Greek dude, So Tiri, who raps about food,” he said describing a video about feta and a visit to Titan Foods in Astoria. And to think I thought Action Bronson was the only Queens-based food rapper. I tracked down the song “Feta Kai Psomi,”whose title translates to feta with bread and had a good laugh. I also found out So Tiri is actually a Bronx boy. Nevertheless, he’s Greek through and through and has written a love song to his favorite cheese, or so I learned after reading the English lyrics. “I drink the broth from the pail with fish roe salad for a snack,” the Greek parody rapper sings as a profession of his affection for the salty cheese. Oh, and, in case you were wondering, that’s not a dog he’s walking in the video, it’s a goat.
Thanks to Gary Stevens for turning me on to this great piece on Wai Wai, the Nepalese snack that’s become something of an obsession for me. In it the author describes how the noodles eaten raw were the province of the cool kids in his school. Nice to know I’m finally one of the cool kids.
Max Falkowitz waxes rhapsodic about his favorite steakhouse, and it’s not Peter Luger’s, but rather Argentinean steakhouse El Gauchito in Corona. “The crust is a rich, purple-tinged mahogany, heavily dosed with salt; it gives way to a buttery, resoundingly beefy interior without a trace of chewiness,” he writes of the skirt steak. Have a feeling I’ll be going there soon. (more…)
Saveur’s James Oseland declares Flushing’s Mamak House “Probably the best Malaysian food in the States right now . . . especially the shrimp curry with fresh turmeric leaves”
The funny folk over at NPR’s Sandwich Monday take on Chicago’s knockoff Cronut from West Town Bakery. Quoth Peter, “Who wanted this in the first place? Who bought a croissant and said, ‘Dammit, this needs frosting’” (more…)
Almost every genre of music from jazz and blues to rock and roll and rap has songs about food. There are songs about sweets, paeans to poultry and there are even raps extolling food critics along with bush meat and bánh mì. Here are a few of my favorite gastronomical ditties, with food pairings.
1. Pass the Peas, The JB’s
Just like Bobby, I like soul food “because it makes me happy.” Pair this funky jam by James Brown’s band with a plate of stewed pig ears, collards and sausage and rice from RCL Enterprises. RCL Enterprises, 141-22 Rockaway Blvd., Rochdale, (718) 529-3576
2. Brunch, Action Bronson
Sure the video for this tune by Flushing’s finest chef turned rapper is a grisly tale of romantic betrayal and murder, but hey it’s got a great blues hook and food too. Pair it with an offal-themed brunch from M. Wells Dinette.M. Wells Dinette, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, 718-786-1800
3. Taco And A Pork Chop, Ray Brown, John Clayton, Christian McBride.
Beyond the call and response, “Taco And a Pork Chop,” there are no lyrics to this swinging bass virtuoso showcase. Pair it with the truly spectacular pork carnitas taco from Tortas Neza. Tortas Neza, 111-03 Roosevelt Ave, Corona