“We’re going to IHOP in the City,” a friend excitedly told me the other day, “You should come, it’ll be fun.” “Uh, no thanks,” I said thinking that I have a list as long as my arm of more important, more flavorful, more international foods to try in Manhattan before heading to the International House of Pancakes. In addition to my general foodwriterly concerns I wasn’t feeling especially hungry having just polished off an order of plov and a meat pie two hours before.
“Have you had their fried chicken? It’s earth-shatteringly good,” he exclaimed. And with that I was convinced to take a car ride to IHOP, a place I haven’t set foot in for at least 20 years. You see, I love good fried chicken, and frankly don’t eat it often enough. On the way there we passed by Momofuku. While my companions made fun of the name, I found myself longing to try David Chang’s $100 two-bird Korean-American fried chicken fiesta, but I stayed the course and we soon found ourselves at IHOP. (more…)
Morocho’s anticuchos: one of New York City’s top Street Eats.
Way back in July I had the distinct pleasure of filming an episode of Street Eats U.S.A. for the Travel Channel. It was so long ago I almost forgot about it. The crew and I spent three days running around in the heat and humidity filming New York City’s finest street foods. The first two days were spent in Manhattan, which has some surprisingly good street food, especially Morocho Peruvian Fusion. Naturally we spent an entire day in Queens, with stops in Corona, Elmhurst, and Flushing.
You can’t go wrong with duck for a buck.
The show airs on 3/23 at 3 p.m. EST. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was excited about being on the Travel Channel, home to Messrs. Bourdain and Zimmern. I am, however, more excited that some of Queens’ greatest street vendors—Soybean Flower Chen who sells cloud-like fresh tofu; Corner 28’s one-buck duck ladies; and Tortas Neza, Corona’s undisputed king of the Mexican sandwich—all get their turn in the spotlight. Check out a preview clip here kids.
After ceviche, my next favorite Peruvian food would have to be anticuchos, skewers of grilled beef heart. In my home borough of Queens there are more Peruvian restaurants to grab this carnivore’s delight than once could shake a stick at. The best anticuchos I’ve had don’t come from a restaurant in Queens, though. They come from a Peruvian street cart in Manhhatan’s Union Square.
Morocho Peruvian serves up two skewers, with purple Peruvian potatoes, and the kernels of hominy corn known as choclo for $6. The secret behind these succulent skewers of is that they are veal heart rather than the beef heart found elsewhere. A lengthy marination in Peruvian aji panca peppers, soy sauce and oregano makes them even more toothsome. Though some would say it is not quite as romantic as chocolate, I think this tender veal heart makes for a fine St. Valentine’s Day snack.
Morocho Peruvian Fusion, 1 Union Square West @ West 14th St., 646-330-1951