Friday, March 30, 2007

Still Eating

I am still eating in case my loyal readers were worried about the lack of posts recently. I have been swamped with non-eating responsibilities that have kept me from the computer. I am hoping to be back next week.

If anyone has an amazing meal they want to talk about, by all means - send it along.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Can You Actually Kill a Computer?!?

I just spent my lunch hour writing the best post ever. Well it was alright, but still - I put pretty pictures and links and poured my soul into it. And the f$*!*%ing computer just ate it. At least he had a good lunch, I just ate a crappy egg and cheese sandwich and am nursing my mediocre coffee wishing it had bourbon in it to ease the pain.

Oh well, I will try to remember what I wrote and do it again later.

Back to work now.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Blanquette de veau

Last night I defrosted veal stew meat that I bought on my Arthur Avenue trip....remember that trip? Actually, I was quite impressed with myself because I remembered to do this when I got home Saturday night after the aforementioned Guinness, dirty Martini et. al. That's Irish for you...

Anyway, the veal was in the fridge Sunday morning and I needed a recipe. I did a quick Google search and Blanquette de veau popped up over and over again - so out to the market to pick up a few ingredients and we were good to go. I varied the recipe slightly from what I found and would actually recommend a few changes still.

I started by peeling about 10 small white onions and chopping 3 carrots. These got tossed in the crockpot along with about 15 small crimini mushrooms. I would add more of all these veggies.

While I was chopping, I browned the veal quickly in some butter.

Browned veal say hello to carrots, mushrooms, and onions.

A little chicken stock (about 1 cup), 2 bay leaves, and about 4 sprigs of thyme went into the pot. The timer was set to 5 hours on high and nap time began.

When the beeper went off, I went back to the pot, added 1/2 cup cream that was mixed with 2 tbsp. flour. Back on high for 20 minutes and voila.

I served the stew with some rice and fresh parsley.

Not bad. I added a bunch of salt before serving and some lemon juice. Next time I will add more thyme early on. Also more lemon juice. I also think some saffron would go nicely. All in all a very hearty meal that dutifully earned the descriptor "satisfying."

I forgot to bring the leftovers to work with me but am looking forward to them tomorrow. I just wrote a note on my hand so I won't forget.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up

Had a pretty good week/weekend of eating.

Tried a few new restaurants including Stanton Social and Cookshop. The first was a pleasant surprise and the second a bit underwhelming.

Partook in a obligatory and always good Guinness on St. Patty's Day. Had a Havana Sidecar and a dirty gin martini afterwards. The first nice and tart, the second not quite filthy enough.

About to sit down to a crockpot version of Blanquette de veau and husband just brought me a delicious Jack Rose (inspired by a recent re-reading of "The Sun Also Rises."

This past week was a little insane between work and afterwork activities. I got a lot done this weekend so I am hoping that this week will be a little better for the blogger in me.

Will be in touch soon.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Pimms Cup

This is by far my new favorite cocktail.

This picture doesn't do it justice. The backdrop should be a veranda with palm trees, some sand, a big wooden deck chair, some seagulls and of course the ocean. Oh, and it should be that time of day when you just came in off the beach, took a shower, put on some clean crisp white clothes and settled down for your first cocktail of the evening.

The husband used the recipe from the Napoleon House in New Orleans - the spot where he first tasted one.

Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice and add 1 1/4 oz. Pimm's #1 and 3 oz lemonade.
Then top off with 7up.
Garnish with cucumber.

BTW, Pimms #1 is a gin-based liquor. Apparently, the recipe is a closely guarded secret only known to 6 people - or so it says on the bottle.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Burger Joint

Quick post about Burger Joint. at Le Parker Meridien.

I plan on doing a longer post about my favorite burgers in Manhattan, but in the meantime take a look at one that is very high on the list. I love it for how big it is, for the bun (not to big, very soft) for all the fixings you can get with it, for it's juiciness, that it is cheap, and for the fact that it is served in a brown paper bag. The no atmosphere space is great also.

This burger was enjoyed a few weeks ago when I stopped there for a bite with a friend before a matinee at the Ziegfeld. (Great movie theater btw)

As a note: we got there just before 12pm and walked right up to the front. Ten minutes later, the line was out the door. As much as I love this burger, it really isn't worth waiting forever to get it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I am definitely going to hell - and I don't even believe in hell. But, there is no other place for me to go. Gluttony is a sin, right? If it isn't it should be!

I ate my weight and more in meal after gluttonous meal the past week or so and I am a little embarrassed about it. Not enough that I wont post, but a little ashamed.

Oh, who am I kidding. I loved it! I would do it all over again!

So, over the next few posts you will hear about:

Burger Joint
The Modern
Korea town
The 21 Club
Flat Iron Lounge

Throw in Old Town, cheese croissonts for breakfast, meatball parm subs, homemade saffron rissotto, Pim's Cups (new favorite cocktail), and a few other items I am surely forgetting - and my ticket to hell is fully paid for.

Anyone want to join me?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Guide to Arthur Avenue

I've posted before about Arthur Avenue (Little Italy in the Bronx) but I didn't have a fancy camera at the time, so there were no pictures. I thought I would take you through a typical visit for me. This one was a few weeks ago when the fridge was particlarly sparce.

First, I hop on the MetroNorth train from Grand Central, Harlem-Line local (blue train), to Fordham Road. The ride is about 20 minutes. From the station, it is a short walk down Fordham Road (keep Fordham University on your left). Make a right onto Arthur Avenue, a block after White Castle.

The start of all the shops is a few blocks down - you'll pass a playground and a Chase Bank. If you don't have cash, get it now, most places only take cash. It is about a ten minute walk, 15 at the most, from the train. Oh, and I always bring an empty back pack and a messanger bag to bring back my loot.

Of course, you can drive there also...if you have a car.

My first stop is usually at Full Moon Pizza. This is my absolute favorite pizza in New York.

The crust has a slight crunch and the sauce is tangy and flavorful. Plenty of cheese. A root beer is a nice accompaniment.

I then walk further down the Ave - taking in all the shops, planning my strategy, making a mental shopping list. This takes me to the end of the road and makes me hungry again. So I stop at the Arthur Avenue market. In the back is Mike's Deli. This was once a must stop for me, but they may have gotten too big for their britches. They've been featured on Food Network one too many times I think. I wanted to order one of their Greco Specials (potato, salami, cheese wrapped in dough) - but they wouldn't heat it up unless I bought $25 worth of them! So, on to Cafe Mercado on the other side for pasta fagioli. The macaroni is al dente and the soup is perfectly comforting on a cold winter day.

Ok, time to start shopping. While in the market, I usually pick up the green olives at the stand over by Mike's Deli. Ask for a taste to make sure you get what you want. Sometimes, I get spicy red pepper spread from the counter near Mercado's on the far left side. If I need vegetables, I'll pick some up here - also if you need any staples like risotto or dried pasta - this is a good place. However, if you need sauce or olive oil - go to Teitel Brothers, it is a few bucks cheaper there.

Next to Biancardi's. If you don't live in Manhattan, you may not think the meat here is as cheap as I do. But you can't deny the quality of the meat and the guys behind the counter are pros.

The order for me this time: 8 veal cutlets pounded very thin, 2 pork chops, 1 lb veal stew meat, 2 rib eyes, 2 strip steaks, a chicken cut into pieces, 1/2 lb prosciutto. I've also gotten their short ribs, chicken cutlets, osso bucco, and sausage - all great. Into the back pack it all goes and onto the next shop.

Madonia's Bakery is my favorite place to pick up bread. On this visit, we picked up some pizza dough and a loaf of the olive bread. But their plain round loaves are great and make excellent paninis. We also stopped at Teitel Bros. and picked up some Dominick's sauce and olive oil before hitting Casa della Mozzarella (around the corner from Full Moon).

CdM has by far the absolute best fresh mozzi I have ever had. You must try it, really you are missing out if you don't. I prefer the medium salted ball of mozzi. The husband perfers the knots, or bocconcini. If you smile and ask nicely, they'll usually give you one to taste. They are also generous about tasting all sorts of other cheeses. The order on this visit was a medium salted ball and 1/2 pound of grated parmesan.

A little further down on the right side across from the church is Borgatti's. Fantastically fresh pasta, cut to order, in addition to ravioli and manicotti. I love this place as much for the atmosphere as I do for the pasta. You won't notice it when you first get there, but strike up a conversation with anyone who works there and the atmosphere seeps past the counter.

We took home a pound of spaghetti (2nd to thinnest cut) and a pound of pasta cut as thick as possible. We asked them to pack them in 1/2 pound portions so that we could freeze it and have several meals. We always ask for the recommended cooking time and write it on the package so we are all set to go when it comes time to cooking.

We also got a pound of cavatelli and a dozen ravioli.

All this shopping is tiring and a stop at DeLillo's Pastry is in order.

The cappuccino is perfectly foamy (frozen capp in the summer is also good). It is nearly impossible not to give in to the desserts begging to be eaten, so this visit included a mini cannoli. We also walked out of there with a dozen cookies as a house gift for a dinner party we were going to the next night.

Now rested and caffeinated - it was time for the walk back to the train. If you're alone, which often I am, this walk can feel a little long and heavy. But with the husband it is a cinch.

It may seem strange to walk around with a backpack full of meat.

But it is all worth it when you look at your goodies on the counter, carefully load your freezer and fridge, and plan out your meals.

That evening started with a snack of mozzi, prosciutto, and olives.

Followed by broiled steaks, ravioli with Dominick's sauce and fresh parmesan, and some sauteed asparagus.

The next morning, eggs with parmesan and asparagus accompanied with a panini made of olive bread and mozzarella can't be beat. Especially when enjoyed with the Sunday Times. And prosciutto is so much less messy then bacon. The olive bread panini was new for us - and I would definitely do it again.

Many more meals have come from this one trip and there are even more to come. Absolutely worthwhile for the experience, deliciousness, and the efficiency.

Remember, this is all just a guide - the best part is discovering your own favorites and trying new things. Don't forget to be adventurous.

Here's a website for specific addresses and more information: