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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

nick and barbara go to lima...and then so do we

Nick Taylor is a sailor, travel writer, and leading non fiction writer with an instinct for the right book to write at the right time( eg American-made about the depression era WPA ..paperback in February. QED). Barbara Nevins Taylor is an Emmy award winning tv journalist who is known for investigative discoveries. And now for the food Nexus. They went to Peru, discovered and drank Pisco sours, ate shrimp and veggie Causas (mashed potato balls),Peruvian Cerviches, chicken anticuchos (hot green sauce) and aji de pollo(shredded chicken with yellow pepper sauce) ; so we all went to Lima's Taste on Christopher and Bedford and sat in the window and ate some of the best spicy food I have ever had. It is a little dark...a little moody. The waiter was a little dour.
Jeanne and I were alot happy. Keep sailing, friends, and continue to create microcosm replications of your taste experiences.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

red bamboo vegamatic

dekalb and adelphi in bklyn. i have a vegan and vegetarian restaurant to bring my wife to that doesn't make me think only about the chits she owes me.

Mexican joyous hole in the wall Chavella's

732 classon ave bet park pl and prospect place. Plato Don pictured here says it all. This little 8 table cozy spot has spicy not too spicy Elotes corn and cheese stew and guacamole and mole and shrimp and dreams and kindness and wine and beer and patience and aamazing food. One of brooklyn's best Mexican spots. When the snow flakes begin to fall outside the window this becomes a warm hole in which to crawl.

Salami and Ham Boot

Salumeria Rosa has class and style and fine food. Through the window you can see the hanging meats and cheese case.
Once inside you will notice the overhead map of Italia with regionally aligned meat features. The small plates of lasagne or brussel sprouts delight but go for the meat and cheese platters,nice wines and superb service. And say thank you for me
because they were so accommodating as relatives did drop ins. Amsterdam and 73rd st.

Monday, November 24, 2008

ed levine, eat my tailpipe

Sorry to be hostile and competitive ,but ed has been my pizza guru. I waited 4 hours on his say so at Biancos in Phoenix. And I dragged my daughter's in laws there...but we loved it. Finally, I may have gotten there first. Tonight on an understated lead from Time Out I tried Toby's Public House on 21st
and 6ave in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Great saloon ambiance with a wine cork ceiling and decoupage in the rest rooms. Many taps. A gorgeous brick oven and a pie so good we ordered another. Certified Buffalo margarita. Crispy yet not crackery. A fine arugula salad with apples and goat cheese. Sure I would recommend
Totonno's or Lombardy's or Patsy's or John's or Franny's or Nicks or or Pizza town or Adrianne's or Amorina or Di Fara's or Giginos or Grimaldis or Savoia or Apizz or La Villa or Arturos (all great) ...nothing is better. Nicola Bertolotti is the pizza impresario.
As we walked to the subway (R at Prospect),we passed a vest pocket park called "Park". So i suggested to my wife that since I had walked by it on the occassion of this great discovery,the park should be named after me. "Yes ,she said, "We'll call it blah blah park."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Madison Cafe Albany

This was the Pine Hills Coffee shop and served french toast on your choice of five breads.It is now Cafe Madison(on Madison Ave).
It may be my favorite Albany choice. Grilled shrimps in a pineapple tequila marinade and comfort bread with olive tapinade.Nice wines by the glass or bottle. Warm balcony seating. Unaffected but professional staff. Oh Albany!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Camp 18 Elsie Oregon

Its been years,but when Jim said he was going to Oregon I immediately pictured the pancakes and the french dip sandwich at Camp 18...huge lumber beams and Paul Bunyonesque portions and a view of the woods. He returned with a wooden post card and an appreciative note and a correction ...I had said it was on mile 17 on the road from Portland to the Ocean...mile 18 would
have been a more accurate lead. 

Ditmas Park Brooklyn on the streets where we "spun the bottle"

S. and D. gave JR and I a stomach satiating and heart warming tour of a neighborhood I last  toured as a pre -teen on the way to spin the bottle parties. Argyle,Rugby Rd., Cortelyou- these streets reminded me of early kisses ,some with tongue but there was also the rejection when I was asked what I had been eating and my answer was "Genoa salami." No tongue on the menu 
or salami November 6..but S,D, jr, and I did discuss liver and onions (at Lou G. Siegals in the garment district).The tour started at Cafe Tibet which overlooks the open Q Train track at  1510 Cortelyou Rd. If
it hadn't been drizzling we could have sat outside under a thatched umbrella and next to a large growth of plastic flowers. Inside we were greeted by a crew of charming Tibetans and a smiling Dali Lama(photo only--but boy that would have been something if...but I digress). We shared the momos(vegi but available in other colors ). These are large hearty steamed dumplings served with a mild and a killer creamy, chili pepper sauce. We then shared JR's turine/bowl of veg-thenthuk, homemade flat noodle soup. Everything on the menu looked new and fabulous...plenty for the pork and fish and chicken and chow mein and fried rice lovers. They now deliver...we were told by each lovely staffer.  718 9412725   Hello Dali!
                     Next was a cocktail break at a flower shop/bar with a comfy version of the bar on N. Moore street in Manhattan  [the Bourbon Library]. This place is called SYCAMORE and it is on Cortylyou and Westminster.  Way in the back is a garden at which we could have sat  had it not been drizzling. Great long planked urban garden with umbrella tables and the smell of local fireplaces in the Fall air. Greeted at the front by a warm friendly voice seated at a clerks desk??...then greeted by a young bartender who immediately poured 4  melon{medori} cordials with pineapple and contreau(?) which we sampled before the tap beers , cider, and wine we ordered.  This is now my bar. The toast was to our new President, whom we toasted again at the next stop{not the last}...POMME DE TERRE 583 Argyle road with some benches outside that we didn't have time to sit at even if it wasn't drizzling because we were seated right away at our table. And were served a wonderful Sancere{topped off with out any request) and mussels,and potato leak soup and salad with tangy mustard dressing and mushroom ravioli in a brown butter sauce and D's entre portion of what he called the best sardines ever. This place is for the Ditmusites ,but sneak into their realm and you will feel at home...cozy french bistro full of happy adopted neighbors... And then to the surprise ending.... NYC ICY!...........
They were CLOSED... so we ventured to Carol Gardens and found solace in some Court Street ices and gelato{ Marias}.
S will investigate why NYices was closed , but if there is no hope we will Try Ralphs on 18st or F and B Spumonis in Bay Ridge. Ubiquitous Uncle Louie will not suffice. Disappointing ending? NOT. Just one of the best nights out ever. Thanks S and D and JR...and thanks for the memories of bottles spinning and hormones surging.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Curtis BBQ Vermont

Go to Vermont. Go to Curtis. May close for winter since he serves out of a bus in Putney.
Picnic service. Ribs and chicken so good you will think you were in Memphis.

Gramercy Tavern and the michelin men

Judson was the PERFECT waiter. He was asked to explain "crones" which were to attend the meal with the chicken. "Beans," he said ,"shaped like little Michelin men. " Anna introduced herself. She is Agnes' sister. Agnes is in Hawaii . She had joined the wait staff at Gramercy(22st and park ave south) after a legendary stint as bartender at Stone Park. The Faro and warm vegetables and clam salad and the squash soup with creme fresh and the bread pudding were all tops. This is no diner or dive but as the man with the frosted hair says on the food channel,this was the money.

XO in the land of Brotherhood...Providence

Early bird at the Steakhouse. No Steak for us ,but the Branzino was terrific. The service,patient(grandchild in tow). We got to sit under the mural of historical figures ,media celebrities and Buddy, the former Mayor with the scarlet past and now in  reentry mode.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Best Veal Piccata Ever

Gerhardt[nice man) will seat you soon...sometimes, but if you are there for the veal piccata remember what my nieces said{see title above} and wait. There is energy and buzz. Tom Selleck was sitting up front the last time I was there. And I must have stared because he looked at me with a practiced return glare;sorry ,but why were you up front? Architect, Richard Meier, had the same seat on an earlier occasion and didn't mind my stare{I was checking out the veal}. Second Ave bet 84 and 85 on Manhattan Isle.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

La Fenice dont hondela with the gondela

69st and Broadway. penne arabiata, fine wine list,baked sole,grilled vegetables, art and Marco,a
fine host, but no reason to quibble with the prices because it is fine dining with joyful service in an open air setting .Sidewalk french bistro chairs to enjoy the Fall.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pete Seeger and Chili Fiesta at Bklyn Botanic

Next Fall :don't miss The Chili Fiesta , Bklyn Botanic Gardens. Yesterday folk community organizer, Pete Seeger , his grandson and Guy Davis (back Oct 27)  .
Chillis to buy and chili to try.  Mark's corn chowder, Thai and vegi Chilli,burritos, , Bklyn Lager. The hootenanny  inspired the crowd and wowed the kids. All under a huge tent so the drizzle and mist just added mood.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The tv ad says Fushimi is Zagat rated...but

Zagat seems to be talking about a restaurant on Staten Island...not the one advertised in Bay Ridge.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Maxwell's Bar lives

Tribecca Grill was one of Drew Nieporent's and Robert De Niro's first restaurants and dinner last night at Greenwich and Franklyn
was as good as ever...artichoke garganelli...shrimps and white beans...ribs and jeanne marie whites. But the large center bar which once stole the show at Maxwells Plum on Third ave remains the center of gravity here in its not so new home.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Better "Barrio"

7th av in park Slope and 3rd street...a few months old but now ready for its close up. Superb cilantro shrimp...watermelon/mint margaritas and cute little tortillas..gazpacho verde with melon. Black bean empanadas.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moim Park Slope stylish Korean

I would leave the Slope if I had to in order to find excellent kimchi/pork pan fried dumplings and Bim Bop rice bowl. Moim is the reason why that is not necessary. Attractive setting,good service, and nice wine list as well. 206 Garfield near 7av.Moim on Urbanspoon

Hecho in Dumbo...Mexican food to satisfy the sceptics

Go. Corn stew...corn soup...111 front steet..under the bklyn side of the bklyn bridge...sign says cafe THE DUMBO General Store...margaritas..nice list of wines by the glass...assorted benches and tables and chairs...and sopes de pollo...and salad rosaura(citrus and avocado) and mollete (think mexican bruchetta)..Go. Its not the bklyn bridge I am selling-it is this Mexican restaurant and other stuff under the bridge(jacques torres for chocolate...bubbies for the pie...the views..the Low Bar
at Rice...or Superfine for music... Go! See also: plate of the

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ironbound? Newark for a burger...liz in guest entry entices

i have recently moved to the ironbound .i had started to scope
out our newark n.j. neighborhood. when we lived in the far frontier of new
brunswick, we didn't get many visitors. while i believe this has to do
with the fact that those who love and care for us actually fear
visiting beyond the north jersey line unless they're boarding a plane
( i swear s and v have been visited more in edwardsville, il.
than we were in new brunswick, NJ. come to think of it b and j
may have been visited more in washington in the year they've been there.
but i digress), i also realize we didn't "sell" our location. As a
result, so i must tempt you with the charm
of down neck (so called because of the way the Passaic River curved to
form what looked like a neck), aka the ironbound (result of the many
forges and foundries that were found in this area during the latter
half of the 19th century; however, the name could also have come from
the rail tracks that surrounded the area when the railroads were
constructed during the 1830s.)

so today i decided to check out krug's tavern. and i had one of the
best burgers i have ever had. first off, for those bartenders among
us. you think you have it bad, you don' t even know. these bartenders
are also the cooks. and there not just slinging burgers and fries back
there. the menu included shrimp scampi, chicken parm, and a host of
sandwiches (with fresh roast beef on tues and thurs and fresh ham on

i got the bacon cheddar burger. wow. it's a 3/4 lb burger, which is
huge. as you wait for your burger to cook they hand you a half a
pickle (one of those kosher deli treats) and two hot cherry peppers to
nosh on, but be sure to save some to put on your burger. high quality
meat. did i mention it was one of the biggest burgers i've ever had?
they also have a nice selection of beers on tap and some of the
coldest bottled Bud I've ever had. that last part was directed to
someone in particular. i expect you to be among the first to clamor
out here.

filled with a few old-timers who switch between what a disaster
rasner's pitching (no surprise that the pitcher jeter has gotten the
most hits off of is bosox tim wakefield - yankees play sox more than
any other team and jeter and wakefield both started with their teams
in '95; and still he's only 30 hits off the knuckleballer) and
politics (ferocious but balanced debates about who should be our next
president. biggest issues - health care and taxes for those who are
interested) and how to cook fresh italian sausage from arthur avenue
in the bronx (too many ways to count).

and for those of you who are not swayed by having a burger at krugs
(or the shrimp which looked, and from what i've heard is, delicious)
than maybe you could be tempted by the boutique across the street -
please, innocents among us read no further or shield your ears if
someone is reading this to you - a boutique for erotic dance and foot
wear (its tagline, not mine)...sassy assy. i kid you not, that is the
ps - did you notice i didn't start with the portuguese food - it's
because there's so much more than that...By LIZ from Newark

Friday, August 22, 2008

why Perch?

If you have a 2-6 year old and a weekday morning to program ,try the garden at Perch on 5st and 5ave in Park Slope. Granola,waffles,latte for you and a singalong for the kiddies. Or try the shrimp curry or veggie ruben and a glass of wine with some folk guitar on a Week-end eve...or poetry or pie. Perch is clean and basic and one of a kind.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Buffalo in Brooklyn

Esquire Magazine called the beef on Weck at Schwabl's in West Seneca New York one of the " best sandwiches in America".
In case you are not headed that way, try Bonnie's on 5th ave and Garfield in Park Slope,Brookyn. The salted weck rolls come from radish sauce and beef recreate the concept well. This place has its own is "regionally spiced cuisine"...many Buffalo clues..nice counter and a few tables....but the short order cooks are surrounded by Gardol and
only seem to be in the present when they look up at the tube to get a score.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Query...cold brewing?

Anyone out there with experience on this latest effort to improve on Joe D's Mr Coffee and it progeny and successors?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jug Addicts

Friday April 30 2011 ten pm the jug addicts at Barbes in Park Slope..6av and me. R train to 4av and 9st

Red Hook and more

Sunnys has a blue grass jam on saturdauys after 10 ..around the corner from Fairway..the Ikea ferry will get you there, and it is a gem; Good Fork on Van Brunt offers a veltliner and scallops...and dumplings..service is slow ,but the garden is a treat...Rocky Sullivans has an Irish music group at 10..Hope and Anchor has Kay Serah leading the best karaoke in NYC...Baked is the bakery if you come early ,and Tini has great light eats with fine wines in a laid back environment(next to Nells, a world class liquor store.....but if Fort Green is your destination try Locanda Vin and Oli (Gates and Cambridge)..for a turn of the century drug store turned Italian food fest. Ask for Francoise . Olives , Branzini steamed in parchment, fresh by the measure...oh just go. see

i'm flippin'

The corner of 9th st and 7th ave in the Slope has been a loser for several restaurants, most recently the burger- something, it is now Flipster's and the first experience suggests that Flipster's is a comer. My friend Lucy had a burger and rated it 8 to 9. I had a veggie burger so I could determine whether the spouse was going to like it so I could come back and have a turkey burger. She's going to love it, but the real story concerns children. Sliders, shakes and mozzarella sticks presented on a tray with each stick in a shot glass half full of marinara sauce. WHAT FUN! F train goes right to the corner.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Night and Day

Had good music on Mondays(Mary Claire and Deborah) and decent food and then converted to ok BBQ and now as Lookout Hill Smoke House as it has whiskeys and bourbons and the food stinks (5th ave and President in Park Slope) Change for the worst at Belleville( on 5 and 5) also. It was good when Joe and Jerome cooked and Pascal
was the more...find Pascal at Trinity or Elephant in Manhattan. Joe opened Toast on 7av and 12st but then became a special ed teacher and rented his place to Beer Table, a cozy successor.. his wine joint, Toast ,was charming,but microbrews are in, and he turned it over to some good folks.

Bill was right

Piizzatown does have good pizza despite its name...5th ave and Park Place...Park Slope....aand then walk to 3rd street and read one of the official long over due Revolutionary War commemorative signs about the Battle of Brooklyn...and visit the Old Stone House in the JJ Byrne Park.

something old and something new

When my French Canadian son-in-law came into town not long ago we brought him to the perfect late night snack...poutine, a Quebecoise blend of fries cheese curds and is a spiritual thing. The place was Sheep Station on 4av and Douglass in Bklyn(R train to union). And if poutine doesn't get you up and running ,go for the excellent Canadian/Australian pub grub and variete' de bier. Ask for the charming and very real Martine{once at Spartina when Cindi Smith and Steve Kalt made that place my favorite(now Harrison).
The "old" refers to two lost BBQ joints ...Smokies on 9th ave and 27th( sink near the tables to wash off the sauce)
and Pearsons in Long Island city Queens...a brit who taught himself ribs...briefly revived at the former Butterfields in Manhattan and then back of a bar in Jackson Heights, Queens...speaking of which did I boast that i was the author of Queens Cuisine(before many believed there was such a thing)? Back to the present and speaking of Jackson Heights...try Delhi
Palace for marsala dosa.. a long long long crepe stuffed with potatoes and onions and served with a gravy and forgetahboutit...which in Bklyn means don't.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

food nostalgia

Soft pretzels on Wilson ,Myrtle, and Himrod...older men with baskets of star street pretzels...towels in the baskets and hand rolled pretzels hot at 11 am...Knickerbocker ave Woolworth's with hot open turkey sandwiches........Kaplans deli on myrtle...Gebharts on myrtle for German food...Voisin in Manhattan..Forum of The 12 Caesars with a Bob Newhart sighting...Jillys on 52st in manhattan with Nick Defedericco and Burgess from the yankees and and Harry Carey from St Louis Cardinals and Rocky Grazianno( "Somebody up There Likes Me") and Al, the bartender who bet me that Pinky Lee was dead when he wasn't...and Shluckers bakery on Dekalb and Sumner with crullers,jelly donuts and corn bread and onion rolls..and
Luchows on 14th st with steins of beer and the best sauerbratten and spaetzel...Mama Leones and the provolone..and La Fonda Del Sol when mexican food was rare in NYC. They served multi-colored sugar crystals with the coffee.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

red stripe

This was our best restaurant stop in Providence. Very child friendly and good wine selection and nicely presented whole snapper..

Rooftop Films picnic

The Old American Can Company roof was the venue for tonight's indie film,"I'll Come Running". south slope 3rd st and 4th ave top of converted 19th century factory...Rooftop also shows outdoors in Williamsburg and under the Bklyn Bridge and the Battery. This night was cool...the sky at sunset was filled with orange coated white billowy clouds... the warm up for the film was the live music ... a little less funky than the theramin player from Barbes last night(the duo was called Bell ..a Regina Spector sounding but more disonant thing with some moody screeching. But the real need was eats...I left my spouse on the roof and headed to the cafe next to Marias on Union and 4th...closed. we needed tamales and they were closed. The bagel place next store provided some tofu on a bially and tortelini salad and a total of 19.84 worth of snacks. The counterman noted that in 1984 he was in his prime.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rhode Island and Conneticut

We stayed at the Interlaken Hotel in NE Conneticut(lakeville) to swim in the lake (perfect). The hotel was ok . The building both corporate and chaotic. But Geof at the front desk sent us to Chives at 2 Ethan Allen Street and that was a break. The Heirloom
Tomato Tart with smoked warm mozzerella on pastry&potato puree was purr-ee.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

SOUTHWEST faces the water at the World Financial Trade Center. Before the River to River Johnny Cash tribute (eclectic excellent) we sampled the lobster club and black bean burger on arepas>>>with a marguarita for my wife (not special)
and a glass of ok white wine for me. The view and ambience was perfect. There are children hosts who seem lost and waiters who actually do get lost.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I say my wife is not a vegetarian but a fusseterian , but I take her side when it comes to vegoppression. Example:
"What do you have for a vegetarian?" Oppressive answer: "The chef will surprise you." Wrong. Would you ask what meats were available and allow a chef surprise?

Grazing Brooklyn

I have eaten out too often, but this is my way of making sure more than girth has been gained. Visit this blog for observations
and insights and for my predictions about the restaurants that will or won't ..the ones you should or shouldn't...the odds your lunch or dinner will or won't meet expectations.
Let's begin on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn: MAXIES. This may become the next five years. Industrial/
child playground ambiance. Hamburgers, fries and shrimp curry. Order at the counter,carry a number on a ten inch flag stand and head to a booth. The eats are inexpensive and fresh. The atmosphere is wild with families at ease and the fries,onion rings, and the service are real.
For a Park Slope brunch visit the "Two Joshes"....aka Stone Park. Here's where you go the Saturday after you start your first big city job when the Rents come to visit from Seattle to let them know you are still in civilization. One of the Joshes won awards in Vermont for his cooking and later showed his stuff at the River Cafe. Great Bloody Mary and the Hang-town Brunch willbring you back 5th av. and 3rd st across from the old stone house where the Marylanders held off the Brits in the August '76 first major battle of the Revolution. Bar menu at night puts you in touch with Meghan or Shay and frito misto or a pulled pork sandwich...fries and Bok Choy are the choice sides. The wine selections are sophisticated and Josh(the front man) will help you choose. He brings years at Tribecca Grill to inform his advise. Pork Chop ,Scallops, and the steak will all please for dinner.
Last of the first postings>>>LV's (la Villa) ...Garfield and 5th Ave. for soup,salads and highly under-rated Pizza>Chicken Parm and the best sausage and broccoli rabe. Casual and friendly...more than friendly: a dozen likable staffers.
First campaign: the Slope needs good chinese shanghai soupy buns/juicy buns..soup filled dumplings and rice cakes.
It is unjust that they are unavailable and if you serve anything other than freshly made moo shu pancakes you are not worthy.