Archive for the ‘Food’ category

Big Apple Barbeque Block Party 2008

June 7, 2008

Do you want good BBQ? Great BBQ? NYC’s the place for you, but only for two days a year. And today is one of those days (tomorrow’s the other). Every year…well, at least for the past six years…New York plays host to a mess o’ the best barbeque you could hope for. Vendors come from Mississippi, they come from Texas, they come from a whole host of places and they set up shop in Madison Square Park and sell BBQ and coleslaw.

You may notice that the crowds are pretty fair in size. You know what they say don’t you? “If you cook it they will come.”

The park’s a perfect place for the BBQ. It’s in the midst of the City and yet it’s a bit of an oasis. NYC does parks right. Anyway, the vendors set up all around the periphery of the park and, this year at least, actually had a whole lot of stuff inside the park. I was here last year and I swear it’s much bigger this year. Of course, I came late on a Sunday that time so some of the vendors may have already left.

Below is one of the places that I ate from. Ubon’s had pulled pork sandwiches with a really good cole slaw. You don’t find good slaw in this town, either.

I went to two places this year and grabbed a sandwich from each. One thing I learned last year: go to the place with the longest line. And the lines are really long. Some can be a couple of hundred yards long. The place below served something a little different: Brunswick Stew. I like it, but it doesn’t compare with more traditional BBQ fare.

The next picture is from just across the street to the east. The crowds were impressive.

The one thing that made me curious. I think last year they called it BarbequeFest. This year, Big Apple Barbeque Block Party.

Hey, doesn’t matter. The food was great.
 
-H

A Post of Three Delis

May 16, 2008

If you wander down Seventh Avenue, starting around 57th Street, you will eventually run into three delis: Carnegie’s, The Stage, and Roxy’s.

You will also see about 40 other places calling themselves “delis”, and a few are no doubt very good; but they aren’t in this company.

First, it’s Carnegie’s. I’ve eaten there once and was overwhelmed by the sandwich. Really, really good. And there’s always a line. In the picture below, the van blocks the view of maybe five to eight people waiting to get in. Once in, the accommodations are pretty bad, but the food is wonderful.

Next, it’s the Stage Deli. I haven’t eaten there, but it always appears about as jammed as Carnegie’s. I saw this sign on the window and knew I’d have to post it as my picture.

Finally, Roxy’s. A purest will note that it is actually on Broadway, but it is where 7th Avenue and Broadway come together. That’s Times Square for those of you who didn’t make the connection.

Roxy’s has a pretty fair amount of seating despite being dwarfed by its neighbors and the neighbor’s signs. I’ve eaten there about four times and the sandwiches are great.

There are lots of other terrific delis in NYC. But these are the three I ran into that day.

And I didn’t eat at any of them.

-H

Inside the Second Avenue Deli

April 25, 2008

I finally ate at the 2nd Avenue Deli.  I’ve posted on it twice (here on their location and history and here on their previous site).

But now I’m a graduate of the place.  Or is that an alumnus?  Or a patron?  Or an experiencer?  Anyway, I’ve now eaten there.

It was fine, but it’s just a deli.  A good deli, but just a deli.  In truth, they don’t try to pass themselves off as anything but that.

It’s got a nice interior.

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And they have the traditional pictures on the wall sort of thing.

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At the entrance into the place, there’s the traditional counter with food, too.

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Anyway, I had their meat and potato knish. Sort of a big potato pancake. Pretty good.

-H

Dumpling Man. Food Fit for Famous Ankles

March 20, 2008

In the Lower East Side, just down St. Marks Place, sitting on the south side of the street; is a little slice of perfection:  Dumpling Man!

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If you read reviews of Dumpling Man, you’ll note they claim they make the dumplings right in front of you.  True, but not the truth.  They make scores, even hundreds, of dumplings in front of you; but when I was there they tossed my pre-made dumplings into the cooker while they were rolling and setting up the dough flats in preparation of making more hundreds of dumplings.

And mighty fine dumplings they are.  Mighty fine dumplings.

My advice (take it for what it’s worth); run to Dumpling Man and grab a mess o’ them.  But just use the soy sause and the chili sause that’s out for all to use.  I didn’t have much use for their extra charged “super hot” sause.  It wasn’t anywhere as good as the chili and soy combo I combined and scarfed down at the counter.

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I wimped out inside.  I asked if I could take a picture of the place and the woman making the dumplings said she didn’t want her picture taken.  I shoulda anyway.  She makes a fine dumpling and should be proud of it.

-H

Dale and Thomas Popcorn in Times Square

January 19, 2008

I can’t remember what the show was, but last Friday I was flipping the channels and ran across a show extolling “Dale & Thomas Popcorn” and how it was made and why it was so good and so on.

And I remembered something about a popcorn place in Times Square.  At the end of the program, I went and googled it and found they were the same place.  Or, at least the Times Square Dale and Thomas store was one of the company’s franchises or outlets.

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I had to try it.

It’s on 48th Street and Broadway.  A very busy corner.

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So, on Saturday I went to check it out.  The place is small and very, very clean.  It was also empty of customers, save for Famous Ankles himself.  I can’t imagine that’s a surprise.  It was a cold day and popcorn isn’t really a cold weather kind of food (at least in my estimation).

The popcorn is gourmet quality and they love to tout their flavors.  You can check the link above for their various flavors (and they do have a big variety).

There were two flavors that I was interested in:  white cheddar and black peppercorn popcorn and the chocolate drizzle.

I’m pleased to say that they do give free samples.  I tried the peppercorn first.  That was really, really good.  I then tried the chocolate drizzle; also very good.  And then it was time to make a choice and all I could think of was that I didn’t want to wander the cold streets with a bag of popcorn…so…I bought a sealed bag of “peanut butter & white chocolate drizzlecorn”.  At my leisure, I took it home and ate it later while watching the tube.

Too decadent for my taste.  Really good, but too much for me.  I’m not tempted to buy it again but that’s because I’m a cheap man and at $5.42 for 3.75 ounce bag (a smaller bag than you might expect from popcorn as the chocolate and all has some weight to it), I can resist the temptation.

But I think the peppercorn is calling my name…

-H

Mariella’s Pizza

January 13, 2008

“Cuzn Cathy”, an occasional commenter on this site, mentioned to me that she had heard that Mariella’s Pizza had the best pizza in NYC.

Now, Cathy lives in a very faraway land.  Why, it’s well beyond New Jersey!  (Can you imagine?)  How she can find out such information on the mighty subject of NYC pizza is nearly beyond me, but she made the suggestion and I thought I’d follow up.

There are actually four of them in Manhattan.  I chose the one closest to me, on 60th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue.  If you know Manhattan, that puts it across the street from Bloomingdales.  That means I’ve walked past “the best pizza in NYC” about 100 times or so.

It was time.

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It’s the place in blue.  I’m not one to take pictures of the interiors of crowded restaurants, so that’s the best you’re gonna get from me.

I went, I ate, I mostly enjoyed.  I checked out some reviews on www.menupages.com and they stated that the cheese pizza was their best.  And that’s the way it always is.  If you want good pizza, the cheese pizza is the measure.

The interior of Mariella’s is nondescript.  It’s long and thin and only stands out because it has a lot of granite throughout the place.  You order at the counter, pay at the counter, and then go hunt for a seat.  I got the last open table (right next to the ATM if you know the place).

How was it?  The crust was perfect.  I have to admit they got the crust perfectly correct (at least to my taste).  The cheese was excellent.  The sause was marginal.  Not bad, but just not worthy of the crust.

Would I go again?  Yeah, but it’s a little out of my way.

Every New Yorker has his favorite pizza place.  Mine is a place close by Tudor City called “New York’s Delicious Pizza“.  How can you go wrong with a name like that?

-H

BAMN! The new Automat

November 21, 2007

The NYC Automats are legendary.  Long ago in a NYC that is no more, the Automats reigned as the place to go to for a cheap meal.  They took only nickels and you could show up with a pocketful and sit and eat all day.  When I talk to old-timers, they wax eloquent about the Automats.

You’d put in your nickels and get sandwiches, soup, sandwiches, salads…just about everything you would want to eat.

The problem?  Well, people would come and get their coffee and stay all day long.  You can’t pay the rent when your seats are taken by people paying a quarter for a whole day’s rent on a table.  Over time, the Automats were chased out of business by that sort of behavior.

Well, they are starting to come back, but with some significant differences.  BAMN, a Dutch company, has opened one Automat-style restaurant in the East Village, located on St. Marks near 2nd Avenue.  To say it is an “Automat” is probably an exaggeration.  From what I understand, the original Automats had “thousands” of little glass doors with food behind them.  This one has only a little more than a hundred.

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It’s an open-air restaurant.  There are no doors into it and, although you can eat in there, it is standing room only.

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You get your drinks from a separate service area behind a counter.

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You still stick your coins into the slots for the food, but it’s dollar-coins only.  There’s a change machine since no one seems to carry dollar coins.

Each of the columns of the little windows has a sort of “food theme”.  Nothing special, but it’s lots of simple foods.  Nothing elaborate here.

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The food’s okay.  I can’t say that the color scheme is pleasing; and I’m not one to mention color schemes so that’s saying a lot. 

-H