08/21/14 10:42am

A selection of Czechoslovakian and German charcuterie at Chef Dave’s.

Spicy Italian dry sausage with a slight fermented funk, mortadella, liverwurst, blood sausage. These are some of my favorite forms of charcuterie. Recently I added a few more to the list. I don’t know their names, but I do know they’re from the Czech Republic. My pal chef Dave smuggled them back after a European vacation. My favorite was a skinny pork sausage flavored with paprika and a spice we couldn’t quite put our finger on. Then, it hit me. Caraway! Germany was also represented in the form of schwartenmagen, a rustic tinned liverwurst of sorts. So here’s what I’d like to know. What’s your favorite form of charcuterie? Tell me in the comments or hit me on the Twitter, @JoeDiStefano.

02/13/14 12:34pm

The hordes of barbecue and booze and enthusiasts had a blast.

About 10 years ago good barbecue in New York City was about as available as snow boots are this winter. Back in the dark ages of low and slow smoked cooked meat the best place to get the best ‘cue was on the competition circuit, an opportunity I availed myself often enough in the guise of my hard-drinking, meat-eating, smoke-loving alter ego, Joey Deckle. Fast forward to 2014 and there’s more quality barbecue in our fair city than you can shake log of post oak at.  (Heck my pal Tyson Ho is even opening up a whole hog emporium later this year.) Much of it was represented at last night’s Brisket King NYC, in which more than a dozen pitmasters vied for the crown. It was so crowded that I found myself chanting, “Ain’t no riot like a meat riot, cause when you’re on a meat riot, you never diet.” (more…)

08/16/13 11:41am

Sandheko wai wai, cool kids only!

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…)

Josh_Ozersky_2This week I caught up with my old friend Josh Ozersky, the Meatopia maven and food writer. Of late Josh has been writing hunger-inducing dispatches like this one on modernist barbecue over on Esquire’s Eat Like A Man. In case anyone is wondering the rumors about Josh and I rolling around in the dewy heather on Martha Stewart’s compound are dirty lie. It was asphalt

Where do you like to eat when you make it out to Queens?
I still have a soft spot for the Bukharian places in Rego Park, like Arzu and Cheburchnaya, and I never miss a chance to visit the Northern Chinese “mutton men” of Flushing. I would like to go back to La Portena someday.

Ah, the mutton men. You owe it to yourself to try Fu Run’s Muslim lamb chop. Tell me where did you learn to use chopsticks?
I haven’t, and I won’t. Chopsticks are the stupidest implement in history. There can be no more ludicrous act of pretension than an American claiming to like them. You might as well wear a powdered wig, or carry a Roman short sword into battle.

I seem to remember reading something about you having a beef with chefs overusing bone marrow. Tell me more? It’s all written right here. The simple fact is that bone marrow sounds sexy, but it’s just tasteless fat, never meant to have a starring role. It should be, like Joyce’s God, invisible and omnipresent in a dish.  (more…)

04/01/13 12:04pm
Yuk hoe, steak tartare Korean style.

Yuk hoe, steak tartare Korean style.

As a kid I always wanted to try steak tartare. Even though my father was an adventurous eater he drew the line at raw flesh. No sushi, no steak tartare. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I tried it. Actually it wasn’t steak tartare, it was yuk hoe, a similar Korean dish. San Soo Kap San in Flushing has an excellent version for $17.95. Mix up the ground tenderloin with the accompanying batons of Asian pear and raw egg and dig into this carnivore’s delight.

Steak tartare at M.Wells Dinette.

Steak tartare at M. Wells Dinette.

Only in the past few years have I begun to enjoy classic preparations of steak tartare, largely at the hands of Hugue Dufour. Over the summer I had the privilege of eating some now highly controversial horse meat tartare. It was lean and delicious. Sadly Dufour’s M. Wells Dinette does not serve horse meat. Nonetheless there is excellent steak tartare to be had. Shot through with mustard seeds, and some sort of chewy grain and topped with a poached egg, the latest incarnation is quite nice. I hope the restlessly creative Dufouir keeps it around for a while.

San Soo Kap San Korean Restaurant, 38-13 Union St, Flushing NY 11354 718-445-1165
M. Wells Dinette, MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, 718-786-1800