09/02/15 12:01pm

The Austin Ramen Cho features brisket, bacon, cheese, and kimchi.

When I was growing up the closest thing to an extreme sandwich was something called a Dagwood. It was septuple-decker and was only eaten in comic strips by an absurdly thin man. To be sure there were Philly cheesesteaks around, I just never ate one. Today there are all kinds of extreme sandwiches, including the Puma from Tortas Neza, which is bigger than your head and contains a chorizo omelet among other things. The Puma is the Dagwood of Mexican sandwiches. It’s a sandwich fueled by the twin engines of Mexican pride and team spirit for football club Los Pumas de la UNAM. It is also at its heart an American sandwich, embracing Mexican foodways and turning them up several dozen notches. (more…)

03/18/15 11:39am

Carbohydrate love, Italian style.

“It’s kind of like a banh mi,” the waitress said of the roast lamb sandwich at M. Wells Dinette. As I scanned the menu my eyes darted between the lamb sandwich ($12) and the spaghetti sandwich ($12). Lamb and Vietnamese sandwiches sit pretty high in my culinary pantheon, but ultimately I went with the spaghetti sandwich.  It bears pointing out this kooky sandwich predates, that other noodle-based mashup, the ramen burger. (more…)

10/22/13 11:53am

I can’t wait to try this Brazilian-African mashup in Astoria.

Whether its cronuts or ramen burgers I’m not a fan of the mixed up, mashed up hybridization that’s become such a part of New York City’s culinary zeitgeist. Which is why I’m glad the food writer’s collective Real Cheap Eats, of which I am a proud member has decided to take back the mashup with its latest release, Real Cheap Mashups, a guide to 40 border-bending dishes for $10 or less. The list includes everything from sandwiches and soups to snacks, like my favorite Nepalese cheap eat, sandheko Wai Wai, a fiery uncooked ramen noodle-based chaat that’s a blend of five cultures. Take that ramen burger! (more…)

08/16/13 3:04pm

These do not appear to be faces of gastronomic bliss.

Above is a snapshot of the only two people who appeared sadder than I did on the debut day of the much  ballyhooed Ramen Burger at Smorgasburg. I waited on line in the rain for more than hour, my desire for mutant foodstuffs unrequited. I was angry, sad, and confused. Why did I set myself up for failure by not showing up early enough? Do I really care about such fad foods or am I just trying to drive traffic to my blawg? (Honestly, a bit of both.)

More important than all my navel gazing though is the question I am most asked about weird foodstuffs: “But, is it good?” Based on the expression of the couple above I’d say not really. I will likely eat a Ramen Burger one of these days. My sincere hope is that it is truly delicious. I don’t know if it’s on offer at the ‘Burg  or not, nor do I care. Tomorrow I am looking forward to a day the beach with my brothers. Have a good weekend, and may whatever you eat, faddish or not, be delicious.