Please Feed Me


Seafood, Seafood And Lots More Seafood!

courtesy of themermaidnyc.com

I don’t know what it is about oysters. They’re slimy, raw and look really gross…but I sure as hell can’t get enough of them. When I use to go to New Hampshire they practically had raw oysters everywhere for so cheap that I would start with a dozen oysters before my entrée came. Here in New York City, they’re not so cheap so I’m not able to eat them as often, which is probably why I do want them all the time.

My date and I headed over to the Mermaid Oyster Bar because we were both craving raw oysters. The front room was packed and noisy, but when we requested a seat change, the hostess was very accommodating and sat us in the back room where there were only a handful of other diners plenty of space. Gold star for that hostess!

Right away we poured over the menu and I started with a glass of prosecco, my date an oatmeal stout, both tasty. For raw oysters we decided on three east coast and three west coast raw oysters and then snacked on more dishes throughout the night, see below.

East Coast:

Hurricane Harbor: I could do without, very blah and forgettable, I wish we had gotten something else.

Pemaquid: In this case size does matter and I was very impressed by the size of these suckers. Now this was an impressive oyster and it tasted good too. Briny, but not too heavy and it finished off light.

Tatamagouche: Slightly above average and it tasted like the sea (which I love), but I don’t need to have it again.

West Coast:

Hama Hama: At first I thought I hated it, the flavor seemed too strong and attacked my taste buds right away, but after I kept chewing, I fell in love. The taste took a step back and turned into something incredible, refreshing and cucumbery! I couldn’t believe that the accents of cucumber are natural to this oyster. Mother Nature really surprises and knows how to seduce you sometimes.

Kumamoto: Light and small, I would say that this would be a great oyster for those who are hesitant of trying raw oysters. It’s a great way to ease one’s self in.

Hog Island: After the Hama Hama, this came in second. Slightly sweet and a light taste of the sea, the flavors pop in your mouth and dance on your tongue. Ugh, I can’t believe I just wrote dance on your tongue. Really bright and impressive.

Crab claw cocktail: Don’t waste your money. For $14 we got 5 small crab claws.

Lobster bisque: The saddest lobster bisque I have ever eaten before. It wasn’t creamy, there were no lobster chunks and it was bland. I felt like I was eating tomato sauce. I was very tempted to send it back.

Fried clam strips: Less greasy then typical fried clam strips, but extremely tasty. Not as good as Lenny and Joe’s, but pretty good for NYC clam strips. Would definitely get these again.

Fish tacos: I’ve never been a huge fan of fish tacos only because I feel like fish has a very gentle and subtle flavors so the slaw, salsa and sour cream overpowers it to the point that I can only feel the texture of fillet in my mouth, but can’t taste it. While for fish tacos they were very good fish tacos, my date loved them, I still preferred to eat the fish separately. It wasn’t until then that I was able to see how beautifully seasoned the fillet was. It was wonderful!

Chocolate pudding: The meal comes with a free espresso cup filled with chocolate pudding and whipped cream. Yes it’s free, but it’s not very good. Maybe that’s why it’s free?

Sidenote: I have been to the East Side locations where I have had their lobster roll. It’s fabulous. Really, really amazing and creamy lobster filling on a butter toasted bun and a serving of bay fries. My one gripe is the price ($26).

7.5 out of 10 (because that damn lobster roll still haunts me)

Go to themermaidnyc.com for their locations.

-Juice

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Dessert Food Porn Pic Of The Day

Park Avenue Spring Restaurant. It looks better than it tasted sadly. In case you’re wondering, it was filled with some type of cinnamon ganache/cream.



Oodles And Oodles Of Ramen Noodles & A Sake Lesson

courtesy of urbandaddy.com

Good ramen makes me feel fat, simply because it’s a big portion of noodles, vegetables, meat and broth, and I find myself slurping the entire thing down to the very bottom of that massive bowl. That big bowl is always bigger than my head, and ask anyone, my head is abnormally large.

On a chilly evening a friend who not only loves Asian food, but knows quite a lot about it because he travels a lot, suggested that we stop by Sapporo in midtown for their tasty ramen. Never one to turn a new restaurant down, of course I went

We started with cold sake…

Side note about sake: Unless I’m freezing and want to warm up, I always order cold sake over hot sake. The flavors come out beautifully and are actually quite refreshing when you drink it cold. Not to sound cheesy, but the taste really does dance on your tongue. It is also usually a higher grade of sake than the sake that is served hot. One time, while sitting at a Japanese bar with a non-Asian girlfriend, the bartender who I was quite friendly with gave her a big toothy grin when she placed her order and even shook his head slightly. He said to her with a chuckle, “Americans always get the same thing, hot sake, salmon roll and spicy tuna roll.” He wasn’t trying to be mean, but just making an observation out loud. She was mortified, though I didn’t really see why she was, after all, she is American. It wasn’t until then that I began to notice that it was true. The majority of people, who don’t come from Asian families, that I have dined with always ordered hot sake over cold and many of them, after I asked, told me that they had never tried cold sake before. So just remember, the next time you order sake, try a cold one if you never have before. A lot of the time, hot sake is really just a lower grade sake that is heated so that you can’t taste that it’s cheap. Besides, with summer coming up, cold sake will really hit the spot.

After starting on a bottle of sake, we munched on pork gyoza, which are simply pork potstickers or dumplings. Not the best I have ever had, but I would order them again. The meat was flavorful. Though, the skin was a bit soggy and the bottom should have been crispier. And then our ramen came.  I wish I could have said steaming ramen, but it wasn’t.  Not that I minded that it wasn’t burning hot. It was at a temperature so that you could start eating it right away, which was a nice for me. But if you like it boiling, you would need to send it back to get it reheated. It might be strategic to get customers out faster or maybe our waitress just left it sitting out there too long.  I ordered the Shoyu ramen which has a soy sauce based broth, thin wavy noodles, pork slices and a fish cake. The broth was great. Simple and savory, I drank every drop of it. And to me, when it comes to ramen, the broth is very important. The pork was lean, I wish it had more fat like Minca pork slices do, but that’s just a personal preference. The noodles were tasty too, no complaints here. Overall, a tasty place to go for a bowl of ramen. Do I like it better than Minca? No. Would I go back? Definitely.

Note: It’s cash only.

6 out of 10

152 W 49th St, New York NY10019

-Juice


Fruit Food Porn Pic Of The Day

Papaya, dragon eyes, figs, sugar (thanks Sam!) apples, strawberries and jackfruit


My Mother In Law Can Kick Your Granny’s A…ahem…Kimchi

courtesy of milkimchi.com and grannychoe.com

Now, I’m not saying that to be mean, but when it comes to kimchi, she really does. I recently purchased varieties of kimchi as a gift for someone, and of course I had to have a taste. I’m not pushy…I’m just hungry all the time. Besides, as the generous giver of it, don’t I deserve to sample it?

After my search, I narrowed it down to two companies. Mother In Law (MIL) kimchi and Granny Choe’s kimchi. Both are based in California. From Granny Choe I ordered a trio of original kimchi, daikon kimchi and white kimchi. Mother In Law offers two options, an original kimchi and a daikon kimchi, both which I purchased.

The Granny Choe had super fast shipping, but since everything is made fresh when they receive the order, when it got me a few days later, it wasn’t ready to eat. I know that because I tasted it. After tasting it again a few days later it kind of still fell flat. And after another few days, I am sorry to say that I was still disappointed. All three varieties had an OK amount of tang, not enough bite and it lacked flavor. I feel really bad for giving something with the name “Granny” in it a bad review, but I gotta’ do it. Forgive me Granny!

[4/25/2010 update: I took Granny’s Choe’s white kimchi and put the vegetables in whatever liquid was left from the regular kimchi jar, left it alone for a week and a half and boy did the heat come! Much, much better. I wish in the bottle had come with instructions saying to not eat the kimchi for another week or two, or that they had ready made bottles that had started fermenting that they could ship. A bit more flavorful and spicy, changing rating below.]

The Mother In Law kimchi took longer to come. About a week, and the recipient of the gift wouldn’t let me open it to try it. Bummer. Well, when he was ready to open it, there I was with a pair of chopsticks. Great heat, full of flavor and it fermented wonderfully. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! I’m munching on it right now as I type this post up.

You can purchase both online to see which company is your favorite, or check out their sites to see which NYC specialty shops carry them.

Granny Choe: 4 out of 10 upon arrival….6.5 out of 10 after waiting another week and a half.

Mother In Law: 7.5 out of 10

-Juice


My New Favorite Drink: Malt Choco Coffee

Now I’ve been known to make some really crappy things in the kitchen. I can’t help it, I like experimenting. But my latest concoction has become my favorite after meal drink. For those who know me, this might be a shocker, but it’s not alcoholic! After staring at the cabinets and being torn between coffee and a malted chocolate milk, I thought to myself, why not combine the two? To make it a bit easier I used instant coffee instead of French pressing one. The end result is a delicious version of a café mocha,  with a slight kick because of the malt, and also because instant coffee is very strong. Even a friend of mine, who is a coffee fiend, downed his own mug of it. Now, when I watch bad reality TV and cuddle under a blanket, I sip on one of these and feel so comforted. Maybe it’s the caffeine. Who knows, but it feels nice.

What you need:

Boiling water

Instant coffee (1 tbs)

Chocolate malt power (3 tbs)

Half ‘n’ Half (3 splashes)

Put instant coffee and chocolate malt powder in a regular sized coffee mug, fill 3/4 of the way with boiling water. Stir till everything is dissolved and fill to the top with half ‘n’ half.

How easy is that? If you care to, I’m sure that it would taste yummy with some peppermint schnapps in there for a more grown up version.


Date Night Dilemma? Head Over To Cellar 58

courtesy of cellar58.com

Night out with the girls? Night out with the guys and looking for girls? Date night? Then why not take a walk over to Cellar 58 for some romantic lighting, tasty wines and small plates. The best part? Affordable prices too.

Cellar 58 is a lovely wine bar that has been around for less than a year. Wine enthusiasts will have a ball here since they have a selection of over 150 wines from all over the world. Craving a merlot from Bulgaria, maybe a viognier from South Africa? You’ll find it here, and prices by the glass start at just $6. It’s great for all budgets. After sampling a red, white and sparkling white, I was pleasantly pleased with the quality of all the wines, especially when I got the check.

Stay away from their pizza. Think Ellio’s. However, their cheeses are quite delicious and are accompanied with delicious marmalade type sides to pair with them. The triple cream cheese melts in your mouth, as it should. Their blue is fantastic, not too strong and so flavorful still. The brie? Hi, I love you, want to spend the night with me? Cheese plates start at 3 for $9.90 and a fantastic assortment of 9 costs an extremely reasonable $23.90.  The presentation is so much fun too.

If you are a fan of desserts, don’t leave without trying their napoleon. It’s messy, not too sweet and fantastic. So fantastic, we ordered a second one for the table. The flaky puff pastry has light whipped pastry cream oozing out from all sides and had me wondering if there was a way I could lick the plate clean without looking too trashy. Sadly, I didn’t find a way.

7 out of 10

Cellar 58

58 2nd Ave, New York NY10003

-Juice


Bacon Infused Old Fashioned Cocktails and Deep Fried Mayonnaise Hot Dogs… Intrigued?

courtesy or eater.com

I think that I’m in an oldie, but goodie mood lately. After a cheap 50% off dinner of sake-tinis, sake, sushi and sushi rolls tonight at Sushi Lounge, it was time for a nightcap at PDT. PDT isn’t new. As a matter of fact, it’s been around for a while.

For those who haven’t been before, PDT (Please Don’t Tell) is a modern speakeasy located behind the phone booth inside Crif Dogs. I don’t feel like it’s a bar that I have to keep a secret anymore simply because it’s definitely not a secret anymore. Try reserving a table there and you will most likely be on the phone cursing out a busy signal for an hour. Plus, they have a website now. I say that with a wry smile. Maybe even a smirk.

A casual, but cool feeling bar, PDT plays great music, has dark lighting and animals around the bar. The stuffed animals (taxidermy) don’t do much for me, but hey, it’s not my bar. What is great about PDT is that it is a no standing bar. Just like Angel’s Share, they only allow the amount of people that they can sit in. No standing. I’m a big fan of that rule.

I ordered their version of an Old Fashioned. Bacon infused bourbon, maple syrup, Angostura bitters and a twist of citrus rind (orange would make the most sense, no?). Sweet and interesting. The bacon flavor threw me off because I didn’t realize it was infused with bacon when I ordered it and it was refreshing not in taste, but in the idea of it. Definitely a winner for those who love Old Fashioned cocktails. And I wasn’t in the mood to eat more as I already had sushi for dinner (and pizza and fried chicken and mashed potatoes for lunch), but, dang it, I couldn’t resist. Having already tried their “Chang” dog (created by David Chang of Momofuku’s) in the past, which is a bacon wrapped hot dog topped with kimchi, my eyes opened wide when I realized I’ve never taken a bite of the “Wylie” dog. The “Wylie” dog (created by Wylie Dufresne of WD-50) has deep fried mayonnaise in it. Yes, you read what I wrote correctly. DEEP FRIED MAYONNAISE! It sounds disgusting, but I couldn’t not try it. The hot dog I was presented with was accessorized with lettuce, dried onions, tomato molasses and wouldn’t you know it, a log about 3/4 the size of the hot dog of deep fried mayonnaise. Think mozzarella stick, but instead of mozzarella, mayonnaise. It was a tasty sucker, but halfway through, it was way too much mayonnaise. I wish that not only that there was less mayonnaise, but that there was a way they could have dipped the hot dog in a thin layer of mayonnaise and then deep fried it. I would think that that would make the perfect mayo and hot dog ratio, and you get that crunch. We also got a side of tater tots with melted cheese and pickled jalapenos. One note I must make. They make a freaking great tater tot. I never thought I would ever think this, but it was the best crisp I have ever gotten on a tater tot before. Why can’t public schools serve them this way?

Cocktails aren’t cheap. They start at $14 and are only worth it about half the time. 50% of the time I’ve loved my drinks, the other 50% I was disappointed in the concoctions. But if you ever need a place to impress out of towners, then this is definitely the place to take them. Take your chance and just walk in hoping that there is room to sit, or try your luck at a same day reservation starting at 3PM.

6.5 out of 10

113 Saint Marks Place

New York, NY 10009

(212) 614-0386

-Juice


To-Die-For Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

taken and posted by savorysimple.net

I came across the site Savory Simple months ago and I’m hooked. The blog is about an “amateur foodie,” (her own words) who is becoming a “professional chef.” What I love about this site is that she is documenting her very tasty journey and shares recipes and gorgeous pictures while she is at it.

The other night I got a hankering for chocolate chip cookies, and while I usually use Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” recipe, I remembered that Savory Simply made some tasty looking ones and thought that I should try that instead. So you see the above picture? Yeah, that’s a stunning picture that Savory Simple took of perfect cookies that she made. However, when you don’t have patience and all the ingredients, they come out like the below. See my cookies that look like droopy pancakes? Don’t they look sad? They may look sad, but boy did they taste fantastic. Notice that I’m not a professional photographer and used my iphone to take the picture?

As any baker knows, follow the recipe if you can. My chocolate chip cookies turned out this way because:

1)    I ran out of white sugar.

2)    I didn’t have any vegetable shortening, so I used all butter.

3)    I didn’t wait for the dough to chill correctly because all I wanted was one damn cookie.

4)    I didn’t let the cookies cool off enough before I stacked them because I have no patience and I was running out of room in my kitchen.

In the end though, I must say, the cookies were fabulous after they cooled off. Eaten right out of the oven, they fell apart right in my hands because they were too soft. However, by the next day, they hardened up just right. Because of the insane amount of butter, they tasted like chocolate chip madelines, and I love me some madelines! The inside was chewy and cakey, and the edges were buttery and crisp. But if I were you, as amazing as these cookies taste, I would try the recipe the exact same way that Savory Simple writes because, after all, she is the professional! And if these cookies are so delicious and addicting when made the wrong way, I can’t even imagine what they will taste like when made the right way!


Thin Crust Pizza At PIE By The Pound

courtesy of nymag.com; photographed by Ben Rosenzweig

New York City is full of fantastic pizza and maybe because it reminds me of my teenage years, but whenever I stroll by PIE in the East Village, I have to go in. PIE sells pizza by the pound and all you do is just tell them how much you want them to cut off, whenever it’s an inch wide or 5 inches wide and it’s yours. The other day I stopped in on my way to buy potting soil and thought that the guy in front of me had the right idea. He bought an inch of what seemed like every pizza they had. Sadly, since I was running errands, I could only purchase whatever would easily fit on a plate and not be too messy. Walk and eat, walk and eat. I went with old time favorites, margherita and white, but they really do have a plethora of choices from eggplant to salad or spinach and caprese. PIE also carries a selection of beer and dessert pizzas (which, even to my surprise I still haven’t tried, I think simply because I love savory pizzas). In the summer time they have $4 sangrias. Oh! And even though I go for the food and not the alcohol, they have a really cheap happy hour of beers and wines! Think alcohol for under $5.

I’m a huge fan of PIE because thin crust pizza is one of my favorite types and also feels very snackable, so I don’t feel too full after I finish my plate. One of my main problems though, is that it can get pricey. For my margherita and white slices that were about 2 inches in width and 8 inches in length, I payed a little over $4, even though it was still smaller than a New York style slice. Was it worth it? Yes, I just wish the price per pound were cheaper. However, I understand that that’s the price that must be payed since I am able to choose as many other styles that you want, without having to pay for a whole slice.

If you love thin crust pizza, then this really is an oldie and a goodie for you to try out.

7 out of 10

PIE

1542 2nd Avenue

New York, NY 10028

-Juice