10/30/14 12:11am
luciataiwan

Two great tastes in one via Taipei and New York City.

Until very recently I was a pizza purist. Then I ate the falafel slice at Benjy’s Kosher Pizza Dairy Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Flushing. This surprisingly delicious mashup of Israeli and New York City street foods can be found on Main Street in Flushing , not the Chinese portion but the Jewish neighborhood sometimes called Kew Garden Hills. Yesterday I created a decidedly non-kosher mashup in the heart of Flushing’s Chinatown. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Taiwanese chicken parm slice. (more…)

10/01/14 10:11am
PHAYUL1

Sausage and peppers, Tibetan style.

The idea for the Tibetan Triple Decker came to me while eating gyuma ($8) at Phayul. A few bites of gyuma ($8) had brought back happy memories of my father grilling up huge batches of sausage and peppers and serving sandwiches to my extended family at my annual birthday barbecue. With the addition of a bit of chili paste the beef blood sausage fried up with onions and red and green peppers tasted just like my 40-year-old memories of hot Italian sausage. This would make a great sandwich on a steamed tingmo, I thought to myself. (more…)

09/24/14 9:48am
Veal-Tongue-Slider2

Move over White Castle, veal tongue sliders are where it’s at!

Veal tongue, whether stir fried in spicy Tibetan chele katsa or sliced paper thin as a deli sandwich is a wonderful thing. Creamy rich tongue and heart are probably my two favorite types of beef offal. So when Andrew Zimmern, a man who has forgotten more than I shall ever hope to know about entrails posted a recipe for veal tongue sliders on his web site I had to check it out. (more…)

09/10/14 10:45am
SORRISO1

Is this Bensonhurst? Nope, it’s Astoria.

This Queens boy has a secret. A long time ago I lived in a galaxy far, far away called Brooklyn, in the lesser star system Park Slope. Back in the early 90s one of the best things about the hood—and back then it was still the hood—was the relatively short ride to then mostly Italian-American enclave of Bensonhurst. I’d stroll around 18th Ave., aka Cristofo Colombo Blvd., visit Villabate for pastries and inevitably wind up at Trunzo Bros. The old school salumeria/grocery shuttered a few years ago and I still miss it. So for this week’s Sandwich Wednesday I decided to check out Astoria’s Sorriso Italian Salumeria. (more…)

07/02/14 12:08pm
GOTHAM3

Court Street’s take on the roast pork Italian.

Ever since I heard about Gotham West Market—the highly curated Manhattan food court that includes everything from Ivan Ramen Slurp shop to the meatastic offerings of the Cannibal, Blue Bottle Coffee, and an outpost of Brooklyn Kitchen—I’ve been intrigued. I stopped by for a visit the day of the Italy-Uruguay soccer match, and had a look around. I couldn’t pull the trigger because I was overwhelmed, much like I was on my first visit to Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall. (Actually, that’s a lie. I was too full from eating hot dog and French fry pizza.)

As much as I really wanted to try Ivan Orkin’s famed ramen and The Cannibal’s lamb tartare, the thing that intrigued me most was Court Street Grocers, with its roster of a dozen sandwiches, many of which fall into the Italian-American canon. So, a week or so later I returned to Gotham West, after a most restrained browsing of the Summer Fancy Food Show. (more…)

06/25/14 12:35pm
MUFF

Ain’t nothing better than a muffuletta!

Summer is officially here and that means beach time. It’s also my favorite time of year to pack a sandwich and go on a road trip, or in my case a fishing trip. A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to go out on Long Island Sound for an evening of fishing. It was my first time, and I was a little bit nervous especially since I’m not the world’s greatest swimmer. So as I often do I took comfort in food, in this case a muffuletta sandwich that my buddy Dave had made for each of us. (more…)

06/18/14 12:05pm

“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…)

04/29/14 1:40pm
PELLICCIFUSION

Both the full English and the penne Pellicci are impeccable.

I’m grateful to my new friend Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, a Manila-based blogger who I met over the weekend in London at the 2014 Chowzter Awards. For without his gentle prodding I might never have experienced the wonders of a proper English full breakfast at E. Pellicci, an old school East End diner. On my last evening in London the jet lag was kicking pretty hard, but I’m glad that I ventured out next morning to Bethnal Green with Anton and two other international food bloggers Catherine Ling of Camemberu and Stanislaus Hans Danial Subianto of Eats and Treats to this family-run institution. (more…)

04/02/14 10:15am
SW-FLETCHERS

A low and slow take on an Italian-American classic.

When I was growing up barbecue was synonymous with cookouts and birthdays. These days I draw the distinction between backyard grilling and low and slow American barbecue. A while back I made a pilgrimage to the whole hog heaven that is North Carolina. Heck, I even have a barbecue alter ego, Joey Deckle. But back in the 70s my birthday was the perfect excuse for the old man to throw a blowout BBQ. Hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken grilled with tomato and garlic were all on the menu, but my favorite was always his sausage and pepper sandwiches. So when I heard Matt Fisher was doing a low and slow take on this Italian-American classic at Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue I decided to take a trek out to Gowanus. (more…)

03/19/14 10:02am
VASTEDDA

What’s better than vastedda?

A couple of weeks ago while doing some research for a Brooklyn Chinatown/Italian Bensonhurst food tour I stopped by Gino’s Focacceria for a vastedda. I was saddened to see the shop was for rent. I asked a local merchant where I might I obtain the traditional Sicilian calf spleen sandwich. “Joe’s of Avenue U,” she said.

I forgot all about the offal and cheese sandwich until Friday after leading that food tour. After several hours of eating and talking I often like to decompress with even more eating. So I paid the Gravesend institution a visit for a vastedda. My namesake Sicilian diner still sits beneath the Avenue U stop on the F. The old-school sign has been changed, but the magnificent steam table filled with stuffed artichokes and other Sicilian specialties looks exactly the same. And they still have vastedda ($6.99). (more…)