Category Archives: New York City

GERMANY!

Probably you think Andie and I are extremely elegant foodies with refined palates and probably you think that we eat  foie gras and escargot and, probably, you are right. Except, no you aren’t. Andie and I are from Texas: we are not  refined. We like street meat, Doritos and BEER, German beer.

Both Andie and I are lucky to have found a boy  as easy to please as we are, and this weekend, one of those boys had a big birthday

This photo posted without his permission

This photo posted without his permission

To celebrate, we took this bum to Zum Schneider, an indoor Bavarian beergarden on Avenue C on that lowaiside. If you are looking for a loud, rowdy place to eat pretzels,  drink huge beers, and scream a lot, WE’VE FOUND IT.

Now, this particular night, Andie had already made me a delicious dinner of leftovers from Dinosaur Bar B-Que (another New York must) but once we got to the bar and I looked at the menu, I knew this was gonna be one of those two dinner evenings.

In an effort to not be a fat kid, I went with an Appetizer. I ordered “Schupfnudeln im Sauerkraut ” – which loosely translates to “YUM!” No, actually its, “Hand rolled, pan fried crispy potato dumplings tossed in sauerkraut”. Oh damn, my mouth just watered.

Andie’s camera sucks, so here’s a blurry picture of my Potato-Cabbage Delight:

This picture does no justice

This picture does no justice

 

The potatoes were crispy and soft at the same time , and the Sauerkraut  was DELICIOUS – salty perfection!

To wash down the sodium, I started with a big ass $7 Schneider Weisse (wheat beer) followed by a really smooth Jever Pilsener. Andie started with a Würzburger Pilsener, that she claims to have loved, followed by the Reissdorf Kölsch (lager), an Augustiner Edelstoff (the birthday boy’s favorite) andddddd a drunken bedtime. Great night – well spent with friends and beer: they go together like me and fabulosity, or Andie and fringed cowboy boots. HAHA!

Bye Bye!

Bye Bye!

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WORST. FINALE. EVER!!!

Wow….247 people have already checked this blog for our reaction to last night’s Top Chef, and its not even 10am! I guess you really care what we have to say. That, or you’re just as PISSED as we are and you’re looking for a place to vent. Either way, I think we all agree that the only possible reaction to last night’s Top Chef is: WHAT THE FUCK!?!??!

Never in my life have I been so unhappy at a Final episode of a series.  NEVER. Even the Sopranos ended better than this. My trust/love/respect for this show is shot to hell, truly. It’s been nearly 12 hours and I’m still angry. Mother Trucker!

Oh, you mean some of you don’t know? Ok: The idiot gap toothed baldie bear jerk , with the help of  Top Chef Season 4’s far superior Richard Blais, beat Carla and Stefan for the title.  The judges loved his venison…they loved his red snapper app…they thought his only mistake was serving meat instead of a sweet for his final course, but they loved the damn meat, so they forgave it! And Carla totally bombed. And Stefan shot himself in the foot with this dessert Padma so hilariously described as “Pedestrian at best.” HA! The one bright spot in the show, for me anyway. Padma is so stupid. Anyway…

It just kills me how Casey, Carla’s sous chef, came back and, in her one chance to redeem herself from her shotty showing at her own Top Chef Finale episode in season 3, she COMPLETELY recreated the exact scenario she was in 2 years ago: a strong contender who coulda gone all the way doesn’t cook what she knows how to cook and she ends up in a distant 3rd. So sad.

What killed me is how upset she was.  Carla – what did you learn when cooking for Wylie Dufrense? Jacques Pepin? Freakin  ERIC RIPERt? You succeed when you cook your food!! C’mon, there’s no Love in Sous Vide meat! You don’t do sous Vide meat! And why would you not make a tart!? The judges LOVE your tarts! Seriously Carla: I am so dissapointed.

But you know what? We still love you, HOOTIE – FOREVER! And I’m putting my money on Carla being Fan Favorite next week at the reunion. Screw Fabio. Yes – I said that.

It really sucks that the judges based their final decision on one meal instead of the competition as a whole (especially since they so obviously gave Stefan a pass in order for him to get into the finals) but that’s the TC policy since day one, weather we like it or not, and that’s why this guy is now “Top Chef,”

hosea

And why I have to go barf now.

Please comment and share your angry rants with us. We need to bond together in times like this. Its not healthy to go through these tough moments alone. To quote Harvey Milk, “I KNOW YOU’RE ANGRY! I’M ANGRY!!!!!” Let us heal together. In the comments.

To Mark Bittman, From the Great State of Texas

Dear Mr. Bittman,

I read the New York Times Dining Section on a weekly basis and enjoy most of the articles. And I usually enjoy your columns. Today’s for instance – I’ve been bored with my breakfast lately and your idea of polenta pizza with bacon seemed mighty tasty.

However once I got to page two of today’s article, I was shocked. SHOCKED. How could a food critic – one that is so well-traveled – describe my favorite meal, migas as the following:

Essentially stir-fried bread: Take 1/2-inch pieces of good whole wheat or rye and cook it in (lots of) olive oil with garlic, crumbled chorizo, or whatever else you like, until the bread is crisp.

Any self respecting Texan knows that this is incorrect information! Mr. Bittman, migas is DELICIOUS, greasy, certainly not healthy breakfast meal – most commonly eaten after a long night of drinking in Austin. It consists of the following:

1. Eggs
2. Beans
3. Salsa
4. Onions
5. Peppers (bell and jalepeno)
6. Tortilla Chips

Please get yourself down to Austin ASAP and visit one of the following: Trudy’s, Juan and a Million, El Arroyo, Taco Shack – I’m sure there are more. The commenters will fill in where my mind is blanking.

Love Always,
An Insulted Lone Star State

Return to Form

I think we can all agree that Top Chef was a return to form last night: It was a seriously entertaining episode with a good challenge, a great guest judge, and some quality dishes. Lets start at the beginning.

 

First: Ripert. When you see him, you know something good is coming. Before I continue, I have to post this picture I found of him on teh google image search:

I will love you and then I will cut you

I will love you and then I will cut you

Wow. Just, wow!  There are tons of pictures of Ripert on teh interwebz looking all sexy and shit. They’re a little silly, and they make me like him  a lot. He seems like a nice dude, and he gives the best quickfire challenges. Example: last nite’s fish off.
During round one I was totally caught off guard by fabulous, loveable Carla and the way she charmed the PANTS off Eric Ripert. How cute was that? She just talked to him like some dude, unlike Hosea who couldn’t stop going on and on about how he’s a fish chef and he was dissapointed in himself, blah blah blah. Is it just me, or is Hosea A LOT less likeable than he used to be? Seriously dude, enough with the America vs. Europe shit. As my friend Sophie said:  Its not a U.S . vs. E.U. thing, its a YOU vs. STEFAN thing. OOOOOO! BURNED!
Carla totally melted the ice  off this French fisherman’s heart, and you could tell that he liked it. 
 ripert23
Oh ya, Ripert likey!
Round two was boring (except when Leah just gave up for no reason, but I’ll get into that later) and then, I gotta tell you, when Ripert pulled out that eel – my eyes popped.  AND, when Stefan nailed that eel to the cutting board and ripped off its skin with his bare hands, my jaw pretty much hit the ground.  That was a little too much violent German for this Jewish girl’s taste, I’m just sayin.
So, Stefan wins OF COURSE, and the Cheftestants retreat to Williamburg where they go to bed, get up, and get all dressed up and snazzy for lunch at Le Bernadin. Except Jamie. What the hell, Jamie? Putting on hoop earrings does not appropriately dress up your t-shirt for lunch at a 5 star restaurant. This is New York, not San Fran. Adapt.
Anyone with an ounce of sence, besides the cheftestants it seemed, knew what was about to happen. They were going to eat 6 fabulous dishes, and then be asked to recreate them. I couldn’t beleive how suprised they all acted. Are they really that dumb? They’ve done this EXACT challenge on the show before: hello: Dale, Casey, Hung and Brian, Season 3 with that potato, leak, fish thing! Maybe that tall guy was there too. What was his name? Whatever. ANYWAY!
The elimination challenge went along as most elimination challenges do, and in the end, it was Jamie who went home. Personally, I think it was because she didn’t respect her large-egoed elders. She didn’t dress up for lunch, she talked shit about the dishes and, in the end, she was not excited to cook the food. She made her own bed, I get it.
But truly: I wish it was Leah who had gone home last night. I’m SO SICK of her. She never makes anything great, she never says anything great, she never acts great, she never nothing. She’s so bland. She’s like pasta with butter. She’s chicken you cook in the microwave. She a jelly sandwich. Enough with her. SO SICK of her.
 
And: I wish it was Carla who’d won last night. I know Ripert was DYING to give it to her, but he just couldn’t. Maybe Stefan’s dish was a tad bit better, but damn, can you imagine: Carla shadowing Ripert for a week and then roadtripping it to Aspen together?
FOOD AND WINE OR BUST!

FOOD AND WINE OR BUST!

WOOOOOOOOOOOO! CAN YOU IMAGINE? I’m sure Carla would trade her superbowl tickets for a chance at this trip. This scenario is SCREAMING spin off, or at least prime time special.

Let us pray for this in the future.

Beer Tasting? Yes please!

One of the perks of being friends with media people is they have fabulous events with fabulous little surprises even during fabulous recession-more-like-a-depression-times. That said, I want to tell you about the BEER TASTING Andie took me too last night at Gourmet Magazine.

Yes, you heard right, BEER TASTING. Can’t think of anything better? Nope, we can’t either.

So – the Beer tasting was in honor of/hosted by this guy named Justin Philips who has a little “eating a drinking room” in Brooklyn called Beer Table that “serves rare and specialized” seasonal beers along with some tasty snacks. And let me just say – this dude knows his brew, and his nibbles. I had some of the best beers and best cheeses I’ve ever had last night.  For you beer and cheese lovers out there (and I know you exist, Wisconsin!) let me lay down a few faves for you:

First, the appetizers, we started with Beer Cheese, maybe the most unbelievable cheese I’ve ever tasted. Commonly made with soft cheese…and…um…beer…and…spices? It sort of speaks for itself, I guess. Anyway, the Beer Table people make their own version of it and I think I could probably eat about a pound of it if let loose in their kitchen.

beer-cheese

Jesus God. Ok, secondly they had this homemade delicious ricotta cheese served on little lightly toasted baguettes and topped with almonds, black pepper and a little maple sugar:  unfortunately, I can’t show you a picture, but it was beautiful and it. was. DELICIOUS!!! a yummy sweet little treat which brings me to the beer:

We had six artisinal beers last night,  an assortment of IPAs, stouts, etc. made from small little independent breweries from all over the world.  They were all pretty good, flavorful and satisfying, but the one that stood out was the Hitachino Sweet Stout from Japan.

sweet_stout-bottle1

This beer was served with the ricotta appetizer and the pairing was incredible. The beer is made with lactose, which gives it a sweet sort of milky almost dark-chocolately flavor that really complimented the maple syrup. It was like having a dessert in a glass; Andie noted that it’d be a great substitute for a piece of cake or cup of ice cream after a meal and I have to say, I agree!

SO: survey says: we like beer tastings. I highly recommend attending one in the near future. So choice.

Happy weekend!

Dissapointment of a Lifetime: Mesa Grill

There are very fews things I like better than comming home around 11 on a Saturday night (yes, I’m boring) getting into my PJs (and slovenly) laying on the couch (not to mention lazy!) and turning on the TV to see watch my 2nd favorite (may be moving to first favorite anyday now) food show: IRON CHEF: AMERICA!

The Chairman!

The Chairman!

Everyone has their favorite Iron Chef, mine has always been Bobby Flay: a man with a love for Southwestern Cuisine is a man after my own heart! With EVERYTHING Bobby makes I take one look at it and go, “OOO -Jalepeno crusted Swodfish with saffron herb oil – THAT’S what I want to eat!” So, when restaurant week rolled around this year, I got mad excited when Ben, being the good boyfriend that he is, got us reservations at Bobby’s restuarant, Mesa Grill. I’d been DYING to try this place, y’all! BIG NIGHT!! So excited!!

SO how was it? Well, let me try and sum it up in a word or two.

How ’bout… yuck?

Or maybe …ick? or blech! Or maybe even, “GOOD GOD!”

It was bad, y’all. Like, real bad. Like – Ben ordered a steak medium and it came out burned on the outside and pink on the inside. And I ordered a $21 Cornmeal Encrusted Chille Relleno and, while it was ok, it was maybe 5 bites and came with no side dish. The salad we split was literaly hearts of romain with creamy garlic dressing and 3 croutons…like, If I wanted a pretty good, heavy ceasar salad, I woulda made a reservation  at La Madeleine. Honestly, we didn’t even stay for dessert it was so bad. Really, I’ve had yummier meals at Chili’s. MMMMM, Chili’s.

Luckily we saved the night with a trip to the Momofuku Milk Bar on 13th and 2nd Ave where we split a peiece of candy bar pie. DDDDDDDDDDlish! I will be going back for the “Crack Pie,” if anyone wants to make a date.

Moral of the story – Bobby Flay = BAD! I am strictly a Batali supporter from now on.

NPR does TC

Everyone’s favorite old bear radio man, Leonard Lopate, had Tom Colicchio and founder of the French Culinary Institute, Dorothy Hamilton, on his show yesterday to discuss the question, “Have shows like Top Chef made viewers more — or less — likely to choose careers in the Culinary industry?”. Interesting! And relevant, as food, and Food TV, is having quite the cultural moment (clearly, just look at this blog). Really I think ole Leonard just wanted to have another bear on the show. Bears stick together. Bears don’t shake hands, bears gotta hug!

Anyway, if you love Tom, like we do,  click here to listen! Its a bit less than 30 minutes.

-Allie