01/12/15 1:24pm

As a good eater, gourmand, glutton and reluctant foodie I’ve been meaning to visit New Orleans for at least 20 years. This weekend that long-deferred wish came true when I attended the Chowzter Awards for North America. As the Chief Chowzter for Queens, I really wanted Team Arepa Lady to take home a trophy, but alas, they did not. The winners, ranging from a stupendously tasty sounding raw honey and sea salt doughnut from Pip’s Original in Portland,Ore., which took won tastiest dish to the ricotta ravioli from Rino’s Place in Boston, which won tastiest pasta, all sounded truly amazing. The winner that most impressed me though was the town itself, New Orleans, which won the award for Foodiest City in North America. I was there for only a weekend and can’t wait to go back. Given that I ate everything from fried chicken to an elegant sit-down awards dinner at Commander’s Palace, I guess when it comes to New Orleans I am indeed a foodie after all.  Stay tuned for a whole lotta Big Easy coverage here on C+M!

11/26/14 1:03pm

Rosanna Scotto and I about descend into the Golden Shopping Mall Food court.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year, first and foremost the gifts of home, health and family. Heck I even got to partake of a turducken. Certainly I am grateful for continuing to eat my way through the most delicious and diverse destination on the entire planet. And the opportunity to turn others on to the wonders of Queens via food tours.

A few weeks ago Rosanna Scotto’s people looked me up and asked if I’d take her on a tour for “Wining and Dining With Rosanna.” So I did, it’s not every day that I get to share air time with folks like Bobby Flay. We hit Flushing and Jackson Heights hard from lamb spine to tawa katakat.  You can watch the episode here. Scotto’s no Andrew Zimmern  when it comes to adventurousness, but then again who is? Hoping you have a delicious Thanksgiving.

P.S. if you’re looking for something to do on Black Friday, I highly recommend the black goat feast at Bang Ga Ne. As for me I’ll be leading a tour of America’s best Chinatown.

02/13/13 1:11pm

My first experience with Marmite, the viscous pitch-black spread made from spent brewer’s yeast was in a sandwich at M. Wells Diner. The British spread was slathered on a demi-baguette, along with some butter.  Topped with thinly sliced cucumber, it was really quite nice in an umami bomb sort of way. Then again I used to chew Herb-Ox bouillon cubes as a kid. Many Brits are quite found of the spread and many are not as you can see in the above commercial.

In case you are wondering whether large jungle cats are fond of the stuff you will be glad to know that you needn’t undertake this dangerous taste test at your local zoo. Big Cat Rescue has done it for you.  The video begins with a disclaimer “Small amounts were given to the cats, Marmite is not used for regular enrichment.” Here’s what I’d like to know: Do you love Marmite or hate it?  Tell me in the comments or hit me on the Twitter, @JoeDiStefano.