I have yet to eat one, but the combination of smoked pork loin, fried eggplant, kicky pimento cheese, piquant pickled green tomatoes, fruity mincemeat, and maple cream looks absolutely heavenly. Click on over to Esquire’s Napkins Necessary for the recipe, or better yet throw on a sweater and take a stroll over to Harry & Ida’s.
Harry & Ida’s Meat & Supply Co., 189 Avenue A., 646- 864-0967
There’s a reason Tim Ho Wan is famous for its pork buns.
When I heard there were lines snaking around the block for the first U.S. outpost of Tim Ho Wan, a Hong Kong-based dim sum chain, I thought, “Surely we have better in Flushing.” Still that Michelin star had me real curious about what was so special about Tim Ho Wan’s dim sum beyond the fact that it’s served 24 hours a day from check off menus instead of carts.
The answer, as I found out the other day, is that the dim sum at the East Village yum cha parlor isn’t really all that special. The steamed rice roll with shrimp was passable, but lacking in rice flavor, then again I’ve been spoiled by Joe’s. Pork and shrimp shiu mai, were meh. There is one item that stands head and shoulders above the rest though and is truly best in class, the baked BBQ pork buns. (more…)
When it comes to Mexican sandwiches, restraint is not an ingredient. Consider the creations of Corona’s Galdino “Tortas” Neza, the largest of which, The Pumas contains a larder’s worth of ingredients, including a chorizo omelet, fried hot dogs, and a deep-fried chicken cutlet. The humongous hoagie calls to mind the adage: Never eat anything bigger than your head. Good as his tortas are there’s one sandwich you won’t find on the Mexico City born and bred chef’s menu: the cemita Poblana. That’s because it’s a specialty of Puebla. In fact I’ve never had a good version of this sandwich until I tried the Super Cemita Poblana at Villa Cemita in the East Village. (more…)
The bánh mì, a study in textures—cool pickled veggies, crunchy bread, and caramelized pork—and flavors—savory roast meats and charcuterie, and perhaps pate; hot peppers; and Asian mayo—is one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. So much so that a lifetime ago when I was a line cook at Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village, I took it upon myself to add it to the menu while the chef was on vacation. We had charcuterie, pickles, pork, fish sauce, and chilies in house, so I figured why not run it as a special. Chef was not pleased with my addition of what I called the Banh-Jimmy to his menu. (more…)
With summer coming to a fiery close, I thought it would be a good idea for Sandwich Wednesday to get its last licks in with a list of four of our favorite ice cream sandwiches in New York City.
1. Redd Foxx at Mikey Likes It
It’s probably a good thing that Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, the hiphop themed scoop shop in the East Village is a good 45-minute subway ride from me, otherwise I’d be in here every day scarfing down a Redd Foxx. Named for the salacious comedian it’s a freshly made red velvet waffle encasing a scoop of ice cream. Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, 199 Avenue A, 646-896-1836
2. Pandi Ice Cream at House of Inasal
The pandi-ice cream ($5.50) at House of Inasal is surely the most elaborate pair of ice cream sandwiches to ever be served under the 7 train. It’s a duo of ube ice cream sandwiches topped with halaya, coconut, and pinipig. Young coconut and pinipig, a crunchy beaten rice, top each scoop of purple yam ice cream. The warm slightly sweet eggy buns are smeared with halaya, a rich spread made from ube, or purple yam. Pandi-ice cream is the best most purple ice cream sandwich in Queens. House of Inasal, 65-14 Roosevelt Ave., Woodside, 718-429-0709 (more…)
Pork—be it pâté, Vietnamese ham, or crumbly char siu—are all integral players in the showstopping symphony of flavors and textures that is the banh mi. The Vietnamese sandwich, with its cool mix of pickled vegetables, pork product, umami rich Kewpie mayo, and chili heat is one of my favorites. In Italy porchetta, another porkcentric creation, is a popular street food.
One of my favorite New York City spots, Porchett,a is devoted to the dish, served as a platter or in a sandwich. I like to stop by the tiny East Village store just to catch a few whiffs of the aroma of pork fat and fennel pollen while ogling the burnished cylinders of meat with their crackling skin and leave without ordering a thing. A while ago I stopped in to do just that and noticed a sign: “Porchetta Banh Mi $10,” and, despite the fact that I’d just eaten, had to order one. (more…)
Biscuits of the Pillsbury variety—warm fresh and slathered with ersatz butter—were a childhood favorite. I didn’t try true blue fluffy Southern biscuits until many years later. After my good friend Elyse Pasquale forced me to visit Empire Biscuit in the East Village last night I’m convinced I don’t eat them nearly often enough.
I’m only half kidding when I say she forced me. We’d just eaten our body weight in hors d’ouevres—including a killer creation of smoked mackerel nestled in a curl of whey steamed onion, topped with shaved foie gras—at an event hosted by Tabélog at Skál. Elyse doesn’t play when it comes to food, so when she told me that they were the best biscuits ever, I agreed to undertake the long march from Chinatown to the East Village. (more…)
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…)
Slated to be one of the tastiest seafood preparations in the East Village.
When it comes to certain dishes less is more. I’m all for a complex curry with a dozen spices brimming with all manner of goodies or an overdressed báhn mì. For grilled seafood though simplicity is the best approach. That’s why today’s dish of the day is the charred head-on shrimp ($12) at Ducks Eatery.
Four generous specimens are grilled on skewers and lavished with multiple brushing of whipped lardo. And before they’re grilled the head are injected with a mixture of anise and chili. Simple, but just complicated enough to keep it interesting. Served on a slate shingle over a bed of arugula that wilts slightly from the hot shrimp it’s some of the tastiest—and messiest—grilled seafood I’ve had. You’ll want to take your time licking every last bit of seafood infused pork butter from your fingers before heading out into the cold East Village night. I know I did.
Ducks Eatery, 351 East 12th St., East Village, 212-432-3825