Thursday, December 20, 2012

Weeknights on Bedford Ave

On the nights during the week where I'm not caught up doing necessities, I have a little ritual with a few key people.

We start at Maison Premier for $1 happy hour oysters. The deal ends at 7pm, so we act quick. Sit at the bar instead of wait for a table, and order a dozen each. Some are briny, some are creamy, some are viscous, some are mild. We've compiled quite the list of favorites and least favorites at this point. Delaware Bay, Chincoteague, East End and Rome Points are agreed-upon favorites. Penn Cove, Sister Point and Fanny Bay are on the do-not-call list. Cuttyhunks go either way.

Now that we're full on oysters but not on actual food, we head across the street to N. 3rd for a taco from the Endless Summer taco truck. I usually stick with a basic pork taco, double wrapped in tortilla and topped with queso fresco, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. We eat it standing or on our way to our next destination.

Which is... the beloved Rosamunde Sausage Grill that we first experienced in San Francisco! Now here in Brooklyn! The first time I went into the new spot right after Hurricane Sandy I stared into the glass display case full of beautifully, fatty encased meats and grinned like a loon. I finally said, "I'm so glad you guys are here!" They must have thought I was special because the response I got was "We're glad you're here, too."

This Rosamunde is even better than San Fran's, because they have a full bar. With growlers! And Dogfish Head! Even picklebacks, if that's your thing. They make their own sodas, too. The cucumber one goes nicely with the spicy sausages.

Ah, the sausages. At this point I've almost tried them all. The duck with figs are my favorite, the lamb with fennel a close second. The beer sausage has those deep spices that remind me of mulled cider on Christmas. The cheddar brat with the oozy center. The positioning of this outpost has been a blessing and a curse.

Then I walk home along the bus route. And since the B62 is definitely cursed, I get a good mile and a half walk home.

It's a pretty awesome ritual.

298 Bedford Ave (betw. Grand & S. 1st)
at Bedford & N. 3rd -- USUALLY.

285 Bedford Ave ((betw. Grand & S. 1st)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Two Sides to Sushi of Gari's Omakase

Ok, so in short, I don't know what's up with Sushi of Gari. When four of us went for my birthday six months ago and ordered omakase, it was mind-blowing. When four of us went for omakase this past weekend, the only part that was memorable was the check. I can't figure out if it's a seasonal thing, or an off-night thing, or problem with my own too-high expectations. But the more I think about it, the more it really puzzles me.

Sushi of Gari is known for their innovative, decidedly anti-purist approach to sushi. Some signature combinations include common fish with nontraditional toppings, like tuna with a creamy tofu sauce (one of my favorites), red snapper with greens, pine nuts and lotus root (a perfectly respectable sushi blend), and salmon with tomato (not a fan of this one either time I went -- the tomato was too overpowering).  

On my first visit to Sushi of Gari, I didn't bring my camera. I just wanted to experience and enjoy. A wonderful parade of different types of raw fish arrived three at a time until we could stomach no more and had to say please, stop! We had the standard tuna and salmon, but there was also toro, and uni, and foie gras with daikon and balsamic. It was all so rich and decadent and heavenly. The rice was perfect, the fish was flawless, the freshness sang through. The service was wonderful. And it was Saturday night (though I admit, a little early on a Saturday night).

Fast forward to this past Sunday night. We arrive for our reservation on time but our table isn't ready yet. The hostess tells us we'll have to wait. Wait where? She gestures outside. Granted they have one of those winter areas around the door but still! This is a Michelin star rated restaurant, and we're cold and hungry and looking through the glass salivating at everyone's food like hungry orphanage children.

So we finally sit and -- of course -- order omakase for the table. Now when I order omakase and promise we all have no restrictions whatsoever, I expect to see a little bit of flair. A bit of imagination or adventurous sushi. Especially when the waitress asks, are you really okay with everything? Foie gras is okay? Yes, especially foie gras! Okay, and uni? Yes, we LOVE uni! And lobster and eel? Yes, bring all of it!

Friends, we didn't get to see any of these things. No foie, no uni, no lobster, no eel. Now I'd only be kinda peeved about this if she hadn't just spelled out all the things that they offer. But come on!

So not only are we getting a bunch of salmons and tunas and ho hum sushis, but in many cases the pieces we received were seared or cooked in some way. I want sushi, and I want it raw!

For the omakase this go-around we opted for a first course of sashimi. This included seared salmon, yellowtail with minced jalapeno, toro with daikon and ponzu, and an oyster. They were fine, but nothing really mind blowing. I liked the yellowtail best, and had to scrape half the ponzu sauce off the toro so it didn't overpower it too much. I'm not devout sushi purist, but I do need some balance.

Then the sushi. The first course was the aforementioned red snapper with taro, tuna with tofu, seared mackerel with mushrooms and something I don't remember with a plain glaze. Okay, game on. Time to get this omakase going.

Then a seared halibut with a quail egg. Again with the seared fish, but I'm not going to complain too much about this one because I actually really liked it.

Then the final course -- a seared toro, the salmon with tomato, and one or two others. 

The end.

I ordered a final round of uni for us all because I felt like I was still hungry and felt like we were just getting started. I had to twist some arms for the uni because everyone was generally unimpressed and ready to be done. We'd spent enough as it was.

The uni add-on arrives and it was okay, but it wasn't the sushi I was expecting, it was a roll. The jarring taste of hard seaweed doesn't set well with the wet, whisperlike uni. We were done.

The check knocked me back pretty hard, and we hadn't even ordered wine, because the list was not only terrible but incredibly overpriced.

I don't know what happened. Everyone says this is the best sushi in the city. Am I just a snob? Was my first experience just a dream? Am I being too hard on them? I don't know. But I do know that I'd head back to Sushi Azabu, Jewel Bako or Kanoyama before I come back to Sushi of Gari. It hurts me to say that, but there's too much out there. 

Maybe Karumazushi next year?

Sushi of Gari

402 E. 78th St

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

You Want Whoop Crame?

So the response always comes, my sister jokes, when she orders a coffee from the Dunkin' drive-thru. "You want whoop crame?.. Drive up."

She always declines on the whipped cream offer, but I have a stronger affinity for the cloud-like sweet stuff. Especially home whipped, with a little bit of vanilla extract added into the Kitchen Aid. 

But! I'm learning there are more flavors to experiment with, both sweet and salty.

So far my favorite has been the ginger whipped cream, with candied ginger chopped into tiny pieces and mixed in along with the residual sugar. Dollop that puppy on some warm apple pie and it brings on a new flavor dimension. I might add some on the pumpkin bars I made for Thanksgiving, with an awesome buttery hazelnut shortbread base. Check out the recipe here, but be sure to double the ingredients for the shortbread portion of the recipe only. The dough won't stretch enough for a normal 9x13 pan (believe me, I've tried). 

Last night I tried my first savory whipped cream. About a half a cup of heavy cream, two springs of chopped dill, and a generous dash of sea salt. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so to merge the flavors, then dollop generously on hot soup. I tried it with a cheesy roasted potato and cauliflower soup -- recipe for both the soup and accompanying whipped cream can be found here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Homemade Granola Bars

It's that time of year again when I start spending more time in the kitchen. It's finally cooled down to the point where I chop vegetables without sweating, let alone turn on the oven. And in an effort to get healthier, I've been trying to cook more vegetarian meals. This past week's new efforts included pasta puttanesca (I swapped anchovies for artichokes instead) and couscous with a hearty stew of chickpeas, spinach and mint from a Times recipe (garlic hot sauce is a very fine alternative to harissa).

But one of the recipes we've been tinkering with all summer is the homemade granola bar. It's quick and easy to make, and something you can eat every morning at the office, so it makes sense to keep coming back to it and trying to improve.

The original recipe is from The 4-Ingredient Vegan by my family's nutritionist, Maribeth Abrams. Check her out!

Preheat oven to 350. Convection ovens work great with these.


1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup agave nectar
1 tbs flax seeds, ground
2 tbs coconut shavings
2 tbs hazelnuts
2 tbs chocolate chips
1 tbs brown rice flour
1 tbs organic soy flour
about 2 tbs water (however much you need to make the dough stick)


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Spread evenly on parchment paper. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Let cool. Slice into bars.

I gotta say, the raw "dough" for this recipe is quite delicious -- and safer than cookie dough!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What to do with 16 Lobster Shells

Every year in Maine's Moody Beach, we have a big lobster dinner, outside. Everyone gets their own lobster, even the kids who are barely bigger than the sea bugs themselves. Then we are faced with a fairly awesome problem -- what are we going to do with all the shells?

In the past, we would throw them in a heap with leftover rubber bands and crumpled up napkins and toss it. But then someone pointed out the flavor waste and made lobster stock last year. She wasn't at the cottage for lobster dinner night this year, so Rob and I took it upon ourselves to see what we could do with the leftovers. I liked to think of it as an episode of Dinner: Impossible, only, you know -- not terrible.

We did a bit of research on Epicurious and Chowhound trying to find a good lobster stock recipe, but a lot of the instructions we found called for two or three lobster shells. Ha! Instead of multiplying everything by eight, we just looked for similar techniques and ingredients, took what we liked and ran with it.

First comes the task of taking all the leftover meat and gills and tomalley and gristle out of the cavities. It's tempting to want to use the edible meaty parts -- like when the kids forgot about the entire second claw -- but its really best to concentrate on the simplicity of the shells for full flavor.

Drizzle with olive oil and bake the shells in the oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes to bring out the flavor of the shells.

Meanwhile, chop up the aromatics. For this many lobster shells, you need a lot of carrots, celery, garlic and shallots. Remember that this is an awesome problem and stop complaining about how all that chopping makes your hand crampy. 

Sautee the aromatics with olive oil until it smells like you want to stick your face in the stewpot. Then start adding the lobster bodies and mash them up as you go. A wooden spoon does alright. Watch for flying lobster parts.

Now add some herbs. I think the best greenery for lobster stock is a bit of thyme and lots of tarragon.

Now the liquid. We used water and a little white wine. Simmer as long as you can. We left it on the stovetop while we flew kites on the beach for a few hours. Let it cook down to a nice rich color. The fragrance should reach over to the next room.

The next part is kind of gross, so I didn't take pictures. I started to second guess the whole thing but it's always darkest before the dawn, right?

Scoop out your concoction, blend in the blender, and press through a cheesecloth. It sounds easy, but there will be so many little tiny shells threatening to rip holes right through the cloth. Just continue scooping, blending, sifting, and pressing. What comes out the other wide of the cloth, thankfully, won't look so goopy and brown.

There will be a lot of stock. Freeze what you can. We took most of it and used it as a base for fish stew. While it re-simmered, we added potatoes and whatever other veggies we could find around the cottage. If the corn wasn't so amazing this year, there might have been leftovers for the soup, but there wasn't.

Earlier in the day we'd headed to the store and picked out whatever looked fresh in the seafood department. We settled on some sea scallops, hake, and maybe some haddock. Chopped into generous chunks and dropped into the stew about 5 minutes before serving time, the fish was perfectly cooked and completely enveloped in rich lobstery deliciousness. We scooped out just enough for 16 bowls. We settled back outside for dinner. The lobster life cycle was complete.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fried Pizza for Brunch

I admit I was disappointed when Gypsy bar on Greenpoint Ave closed down. Even though one of the bartenders and I didn't always see eye to eye, I liked being around the corner from a bar that was home to Punk Rope happy hours, giant plates of mac 'n' cheese and long group Jenga games.

But then Adelina's moved in and wooed me instantly with five words: fried pizza with house-made mozzarella. Rob and I hit it up on a Friday night and even though Adelina's was clearly still working out the kinks service-wise, the pizza was pretty awesome. Think fried dough pizza from the fair, only with real, chewy mozzarella instead of soggy Parmesan mess that usually ensues.

Brunch was better, if only because it was much emptier. Maybe people still see it more as a bar than a morning restaurant, or because they play heavily on the wine bar thing. I have to say that I like this wine-on-tap thing very much. At night, of course.

The brunch menu, like the dinner menu, is very reasonably priced. For around $12 they offer a prix fixe with a super-charged Americano, a fresh squeezed OJ and entree. Their pizza special on Saturday included speck with the fresh mozz and egg, adding a much-needed amount of saltiness that I thought was missing from their nighttime pesto pie.

Rob had the truffled egg with fontina and asparagus. It was tasty but on the small side and neither of us tasted any truffle. Stick with the pizza here. But go quickly, because this space has been about five different things since it was an Internet cafe when we first moved to Greenpoint six plus years ago.

159 Greenpoint Ave

Monday, August 6, 2012

Caravan of Dreams Realized

"A meat and potatoes kind of guy" is an understatement when describing the eating habits of my dad was up until a few months ago. He'd eat meat, sure, but only cheeseburgers void of any kind of condiments (and that includes tomatoes and lettuce and the other semi-healthy burger veggies). Potatoes, yes, there were potatoes, but only the kind doused in butter and cream and cheese and if its not piping hot he would not eat said caloric potatoes. And that was about it. Most kinds of dessert were fair game, as long as it wasn't anything fruity. Lemon ice being the only exception.

So when my parents came to visit the other weekend, pulled out their vegan-approved list of places to eat and suggested we have lunch at Caravan of Dreams, I was quite skeptical of how this would turn out. It's one thing to hear over the phone that a new healthy lifestyle is happily consuming my parents' lives. It's quite another to witness a real invitation to an organic vegan restaurant that isn't palpable sarcasm.

I quickly scanned the menu myself and was almost a bit skeptical. "Live" nachos? What does that even mean? Am I the only one picturing the Mexican hat dance unfolding on the platter in front of us?

Well, I honestly don't have a lot of comparison for vegan fare, but even so I'd have to say Caravan of Dreams is pretty good. My beet ravioli (live, of course), was thankfully not doing any kind of jig. The walnut and sundried tomato filling inside vinegary slices of beets were mild, the hemp mint cilantro dressing gave it a nice kick. Rob's rosemary shiitake mushroom burger was pretty slammin' with a large grilled onion and a nice flavorful tarragon ali-oli. Dad's hummus was nice and smooth with finely chopped onions on top to mix in (though he declared his homemade version was better) and Mom's rice and veggie platter was better than what I've made at home. 


For dinner they asked us to take them for their first Indian cuisine experience. Dad eating hummus and garlic naan with chicken tikka masala in one day is a little much for me, and definitely a little much for a single post.*

*In case you were wondering, we went to Bay Leaf in Williamsburg and guess what? Hey Mikey, they liked it!

405 East 6th Street

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Smorgasburg & Brooklyn Flea

Lately my weekend mornings have started like this: wake up, stretch, and stroll over to the Williamsburg waterfront to get some grub. On Saturdays, Smorgasburg has dozens of food vendors from all over Brooklyn. On Sundays the space is shared with vendors selling jewelry and antiques and other overpriced junk at the Brooklyn Flea, so the food selection is smaller. Either way, it's a great summer alternative to brunch.

We usually start with a Vietnamese iced coffee made from a blend of Viet style coffee, Cafe du Monde and condensed milk. Sometimes I taste a bit of chocolate in there. Really sweet and refreshing.

Then its onto the food. On super hot days when I need something light and cool, I really like the Cheong Fun noodle from Noodle Lane. It's kind of like a deconstructed summer roll with cucumbers, scallions, sprouts and peanut sauce.

Or if heat's not an issue, a whole pie right out of the oven from Pizza Moto is not a bad choice. Featured here is the pepperoni with basil.

If its meaty sandwiches you crave, there's a Porchetta stand, and we know how I feel about that. But there's also another great choice -- the Smoked Meat sandwich from Mile End. Cured and smoked brisket with just the right amount of mustard. The meat is fall-apart tender.

Speaking of brisket. I'm not a huge hot dog person, but even so I can appreciate a good weiner from Brooklyn Bangers. The brainchild of Saul Bolton, Brooklyn Bangers serves up dogs made with 100% brisket. 

As for the things I wouldn't go out of my way for, the short rib Takumi Taco is a bit overpriced and not so memorable, and the original sandwich from Bombay was a bit carb-heavy with the potatoes. Plus it got a little mushy.

I like to end things on a sweet note. If it's ice cream you crave, Blue Marble is a very respectable choice. 

But I personally cannot leave the waterfront without a donut from Dough. They made fun of me when I got a plain 'ol sugar cinnamon, so today I had the chocolate frosted with cocoa nibs, the bitter chocolate balancing the sweet amazingly. I have no idea how they get these donuts so high and fluffy. They might even be better than Peter Pan, but I think further research is necessary before I make such a crazy statement. I still have to try the dulce de leche, blood orange and cafe au lait flavors... to start, at least.

Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea 
East River Waterfront
Entrance at N. 7th and Kent Ave
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Walking Tour of E. 7th St.

I like to see New York as my own personal food carnival, popping in for phenomenal snacks to munch on while walking to the next destination. The block of 7th St. from 1st Ave to Ave A is filled with lots of shops with quick eats that are conducive to the munch-and-continue-on lifestyle. Here's a little walking tour of the East Village block.

Start at Porchetta. Enter, inhale the smell of porky bliss. Order the porchetta sandwich (obviously). Eat it on the bench outside. The pork, roasted with savory herbs, is served on a ciabatta roll, with the porous holes great for catching and hugging the greasy fat of the meat. The best part of the sandwich is the super crispy skin, adding a little crunch to the otherwise soft and tender meaty sandwich. If you have someone (or a few someones) to share it with, get the roasted potatoes with burnt ends.

Take a deep breath. Cross the street and get a lobster roll at Luke's. I believe that their lobster roll is the best in the city all year-round, but in the summertime, when lobster meat from Maine is ridiculously cheap, you get a lot more bang for your buck. Cool lobster claws seasoned with a hint of tarragon, served on a warm roll with a shallow base of mayo. A summertime staple.

Head next door to Caracas. If you've had enough meat for the evening, a vegetarian arepa will do you well. Maybe La Del Gato, with guayanes cheese, fried sweet plantains and avocado slices. Or perhaps La Mulata with grilled white cheese, jalapenos, black beans, red peppers and plantains. Stringy cheese on a sweet corn base holds so much appeal to me.

Now, take a break before dessert. Walk around the block. Get a drink and settle in the back garden at DBA.

Ready to get back at it? If you're still full, you can grab a light People's Pops right at the corner of 7th. I've only tried the peach mint pop, which I wasn't crazy about, so I'd recommend pressing on. Head to the opposite side of 7th, closer to Ave A. Hop into Butter Lane and grab a cupcake for the line at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop. The line will look long, but it'll go fast. Get the Salty Pimp, vanilla soft serve on a cone with a drizzle of caramel-like dulce de leche, a few shakes of salt, and the whole thing dipped in chocolate. You'll have to eat it fast as the ice cream leaks out of the chocolate dip pretty quickly on hot evenings, but you're up for the challenge, right?

Next week, maybe a walking tour of East 8th St. is in order...

110 E 7th St

Luke's Lobster
93 E. 7th St

Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E. 7th St.

People's Pops
118  First Ave

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 E. 7th St.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Outer Banks Highlights 2012

Ah, the annual trip to the Outer Banks, where we hit a few tried and true spots and try to find something new. Which can be hard, since we've been going since I was about 11. No trip is complete without a leisurely dinner at Kill Devil Grill, and this year I had an awesome soft shell crab with sweet corn, black beans and polenta. They truly never disappoint.

This year the parents discovered a Jamaican-inspired spot down the road from us in Southern Shores, called Rundown Cafe, which I'm fairly sure also owns Tortugas' Lie down in Nags Head as the menu is pretttt-tay similar. But Rundown differentiates itself with a great coconut milk soup with fish, yams, tomatoes an onions that "run down ya throat sooo good, mon."

But the best discovery of the year was made by Rob and I on our way to the fishing pier one morning. We always drove by Duck Donuts, a mini chain down in the OBX, without giving it a second thought, given the name and its association. But what's in a name; will another donut taste as sweet? Fortunately the donuts here are nothing like the DD's I was expecting. They actually make the donuts fresh here, while you watch, and then dunk them in a glaze while its still hot. We got lemon. And the cakey yet greasy donut was still warm and sticky by the time we got down to Avalon Pier

2008 S Virginia Dare Trl
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
(252) 449-8181
5218 Virginia Dare Trl N
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
(252) 255-0026

3014 S Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-7299

Duck Donuts
5230 N Virginia Dare Trail
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
(252) 261-3312

Monday, July 2, 2012

Annisa is Still My Favorite Restaurant

I love Annisa for a lot of reasons. The dining room is the right balance of comfortable and elegant, the bar is great for downing one signature cocktail after the next (try the Nash), and on the menu, there is always something new to taste and something familiar to savor. But the best reason to love this place is safety in trying a completely new (to me) ingredient. I can almost guarantee that I will enjoy whatever this new thing is. But then, I'm spoiled by how great it is. For example, I tried my first soft shell crab here, and, thinking I really liked it, ordered at a few other restaurants before realizing I only really like Anita's soft shell crab. C'est la vie.

On our last visit I tried cooked calf liver for the first time (had an amazing raw version at Bozu two years ago, though). Annisa's, with bacon, sweet peas and maple blossoms, was fantastically prepared, with warm, hearty, tender meat practically melting into sweet peas and tangy onions. So comforting and yet so original.

Frog's legs. I have never tried frog's legs until a recent Annisa visit. They remind me of tiny chicken wings with funny, tiny bones, only super tender and delicate. The delicacy was offset by buttery lobster in buttery grits, at once a familiar Southern comfort and a decadent luxury. Those lobstery bites may well have been my favorite of the evening.

There were a few other new things for me, too. Fried calf brain came alongside medallions of veal, and after a few timid bites, I realize I really liked the soft, fragrant and meaty nuggets, if only I could forget what they were. And pig's feet, stuffed with sherry inside a whole pan roasted chicken.

And while we're on the topic of new fried food, I really liked the garlic fried milk that accompanies the Spanish mackerel. It wasn't at all what I expected. I assumed it would be more of a liquid than a savory, creamy beignet. Almost like a cheese puff.

I'm going back in the Fall. And I already can't wait!

13 Barrow St.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Brunch at Back Forty West

The girls brunch this month took place at Back Forty West, a cute spot in SoHo with a spacious, homey and air conditioned upstairs seating area ideal for to wasting a few hours on a hot Saturday afternoon. I haven't had a fried poached egg in awhile, maybe since Prune awhile back, and this one reminded me why I love them so much. It came on an open faced sandwich with capers, parsley, large chunks of celery and a lemony mayo. Salty and acidic to wake you up when the iced coffee alone isn't quite cutting it.

Back Forty West
70 Prince St. (at Crosby)

Sweet Summer Treats

I walk by Sweet Leaf in LIC every morning on my way to work. Sometimes I stop in for an iced Vietnamese or New Orleans coffee, but only recently did I discover they have pretty amazing baked goods, too. My newest obsession is a strawberry scone with black pepper. It's fresh and moist and has lots of pepper to offset the strawberries baked inside.

And today, wandering from the West Village to the East Village just for its own sake, I needed something ice cold to keep me going. The chocolate dipped pistachio gelato from popbar did the trick, until it started melting about five seconds later. You gotta eat these fast on 90 degree days!

Sweet Leaf
10-93 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, Queens

5 Carmine St. (@ 6th Ave.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fatty Meats at Fatty Crab

I was already fan of the Fatty empire on my first visit to Fatty Cue in Brooklyn about 18 months ago. First, it was the super strong but well-balanced cocktails at the bar. Then, it was the intoxicating smokiness in the dining room that filled my head with visions of blissful backyard barbeques and farmland smokehouses. Then it was the food -- the noodles with meat juices, the fried bacon, the spicy pork ribs. 

Fatty Crab holds the same philosophy in meat, fusion and flavors, but with less of an emphasis on pork and more of hints of fusion -- in this case, Malaysian. While Fatty Cue is like Fette Sau in a hipster's tuxedo, Fatty Crab leans heavier in the Southeast direction.

My first trip to the West Village location on Sunday night lent itself to four types of meat. The beef rendang reminded me of Srirpraphai's beef penang curry, with tender, meaty and fatty short ribs melting over heaps of spicy coconut rice. The mussels were slightly sweet with yuzu. The bone-in duck was perfectly cooked, medium rare. But the stand-out was the crispy pork belly with watermelon, both with a crunch, with sweet and vinegary watermelon a refreshing reprieve to the saltiness of the hot pork. 

 Next time, I'd like to try the crab.

643 Hudson Street
(between Horatio and Gansevoort)

Jazz Fest Food: Hydration

This is the last post about Jazz Fest, I promise. There was plenty of beer for the afternoon, but the morning required a good combination of caffeine and cool refreshments to keep our thirst down in the sun.

The best drink by far was the strawberry lemonade. People lined up for this longer than any other food or drink item at the festival. More sweet than tart, with fresh strawberries floating on top. For $5, you get a pretty giant cup large enough to sip on for over an hour. And that's the crazy part. You can sip as slow as you want and the last few slurps aren't watered down or undrinkable. In fact, its still cold -- and still good! -- much later than you would expect. Not sure how they pulled this off.

The iced teas were good, but not as good as the lemonade. They offered rose mint and mandarin -- both fun to try once, but not worth heading back to.

And, of course, our morning cafe au laits, creamy and sweet, from either Cafe du Monde or the New Orleans Coffee Company. A pretty awesome way to start any day in the Big Easy.

Strawberry Lemonade
Café Reconcile

New Orleans, LA

Rosemint Iced Tea, Mandarin Orange Iced Tea
Sunshine Concessions

Covington, LA

Café Au Lait
New Orleans Coffee Company

New Orleans, LA