I have a few more items from 2008 that I’m planning to post, but I also have a ton of things from so long ago that I have to admit I’m never going to get around to posting about them. So I’ll lump them all together in a 2008 Food Round-Up!
In March I met Donny at the Wafels & Dinges Truck on 7th Avenue. Because it was my first trip to the truck i got the basic wafel, simply dusted with powdered sugar. It was a nice warm breakfast, but the wafel was way too dry — next time I’m going to go for the nutella topping. They do cook out of a truck, so they are in a different location every day. To find the Wafel Truck near you click here. Recently Wafels & Dinges had added some savory lunch-type options to their menu, so don’t think you have to go only for breakfast.
In April I used my mandoline to slice some potatoes ultra-thin, and made this delicious tortilla espanola. The potatoes may look burned, but they are actually perfectly caramelized; first I browned them on the stove top, then poured egg over the top, cooked it for a bit, then finished it in the oven. Best served like a slice of pie with a little green salad over the top.
In May I made my own ricotta cheese, and found it surprisingly easy. Simply bring some milk to a boil, then add lemon rind and lemon juice and a little salt. The curds separate from the whey almost immediately. Drain the solids in a cheese cloth and eventually it becomes cheese. Then I got lazy and used wonton wrappers to make ravioli with the homemade ricotta.
In June Donny and I went to the “Egg Rolls & Egg Cremes” festival on the Lower East Side. What we found were soggy egg rolls and tiny egg cremes. When it started pouring rain we ran for it and headed over to Hong Kong Station for shelter/lunch.
I let Donny choose the noodle for me — he ordered lai fun, which were amazing. I got tofu and two orders of greens on top of my noodles. I’m sure the broth wasn’t vegetarian, but I wasn’t wasking any questions when the dish was so good.
Then we headed back to Brooklyn for the 7th Heaven street festival, where I succumbed to the siren song of the deep fried oreos. The oreos are battered and deep fried, and become a hot, almost liquid mass covered in powdered sugar.
After a boat ride to see the Waterfalls, my friend Jeff and I wandered from the South Street Seaport to Barbarini Alimentari for lunch. Jeff had a chicken sandwich that he liked very much; I had this hand cut pasta with pesto, which was only mediocre.
Also in July I wandered into the newly opened Park Slope branch of Thai Tony’s for some take-away. Both the dumplings and the tofu dish I got were surprisingly bland. It seems like they have already closed, and I’m not surprised.
In August I made a vegetarian cassoulet from a recipe from Food & Wine magazine. The cranberry beans I purchased were undersized but the dish was still great — creamy and rich, and topped with crispy panko bread crumbs.
I finally made it to Enzo’s Brick Oven Pizza (a mere two blocks from my apartment) only to be confronted with this watery pie. I think you already know how I feel about too much sauce on pizza, so I’ll leave it at that.
On the way from the Met to the Whitney, my sister and I stopped for a light, outdoor lunch at Nectar Cafe on the Upper East Side. She got yogurt with fruit and honey, I got this amazingly fresh and delicious Greek salad (no anchovies).
Finally, in October Donny and I stopped by Eton in Carroll Gardens for some handmade dumplings. The vegetarian dumplings were filled with a rich mix of lentils and vegetables, and though they were a little bland there was plenty of soy and vinegar to punch them up.
As I said, there are a few more things I will be posting from 2008, but these are the places and foods I know I won’t be devoting any more time to. It feels like a load off my back to finally post these — I should have done this sooner.
Hong Kong Station — 128 Hester St
Barbarini Alimentari — 225 Front St
Enzo’s Brick Oven Pizzeria — 217 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn
Nectar Cafe — 1090 Madison Avenue
Eton — 205 Sackett St, Brooklyn