03/27/14 10:25am

A box of bakso at OK Indo Food in Elmhurst.

OK Indo Food Store is one of my favorite ethnic grocers in Queens. What I like most about the little mom and pop shop run by Tante Santí Su and her family are the prepared foods that line the counter every weekend. The offerings range from an intense durian cheesecake to things like this box of bakso Surabaya ($7) that I found while still in the grips of the late winter/early spring cold from hell. “Everything’s already cooked, you just need to microwave it for a little bit,” Su’s son Chip said of the meatball soup as I peered at the plastic bag of broth in the plastic container. (more…)

06/19/13 10:22am
Persian meatball surprise with homemade ghee and cherries.

Persian meatball surprise with homemade ghee and cherries.

As a kid I hated surprises. Presents were okay, but surprises that blindsided me? Not cool! Some 40 years later my waking hours are filled with culinary surprises. And I love them. That’s because they’re not really surprises: I seek them out as part of my insatiable thirst for new flavors. So when I met Anne Marie Cruz of Sandwich Surprise at a panel discussion on a social media and the food business I was intrigued. Since February she’s been surprising people—friends, strangers, former co-workers—with  lovingly homemade sandwiches everything from a Cronut Benedict to steak sliders with fennel apple slaw, all documented with photos and recipes on her blog.  (more…)