Month: June 2012

Market Watch: Artichoke Season

Artichokes have a short growing season here in New York. It’s easy to overlook that fact, since we import so many artichokes from California that they’re available almost all year long. These little local beauties only show up at my local Greenmarket for a few weeks every year, and I get super excited when they arrive. Since they’re so small they don’t require much prep — just avoid the tiny little spines on the end of the leaves.

In Video: Eating Fresh Durian in Kuala Lumpur

Trying Fresh Durian in Kuala Lumpur from Eat to Blog on Vimeo.

I recently visited Singapore and Malaysia, and here’s a short video shot by my sister while we were in Kuala Lumpur. Jalan Alor is a busy street, lined with restaurants and fruit vendors, where we sampled many fruits of Southeast Asia. Here’s my reaction to eating fresh durian for the first time. If you’ve never heard of durian, the outside resembles a spiky football. Inside are creamy lobes of fruit flesh surrounding large pits. Oh, and it smells like rotting garbage and is an acquired taste. It’s considered a delicacy, but because of the stench it’s been banned in many places, including our hotel.

Not seen above: I actually went back for a second piece. Once you get past the initial flavor, it starts to take on notes of caramel, which is great. But it’s still a struggle to eat it, and two pieces was all I really wanted to eat.

Brooklyn Crab, My 2 Cents

Brooklyn Crab

There seems to be more hate (Yelp, Eater) for the newly opened Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook than love. While I think the idea is great, I’m quite sad that it is in Red Hook. I see Red Hook as the ball field food vendors, the more intimate restaurants like Kevin’s and the elusive Philly Pinoy. To many, Red Hook is like going on a trip but for me it’s just a quick 30min walk. Okay, I actually don’t mind Ikea being there (sorry..trips to the Port Authority and then taking the Ikea shuttle is not quite fun).

After couple weeks of being opened and many have shared their thoughts, 9 of us decided to take our chances at the Brooklyn Crab.

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Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares Comes To Carroll Gardens And Your Chance To Be On It

We are so used to seeing Gordon Ramasy screaming at people but what I love about his show, Kitchen Nightmares, is that he gets to show his soft side (well you do also see him yell at people). He tries his best to solve problems for the restaurant and at most times solve family problems. Anyways…so Gordon Ramsay is coming to Carroll Gardens in the hopes of turning around Mama Maria, an Italian restaurant on Court St and Degraw St. I walk by it a lot but never once did I think to stop and look at the menu.

So Brooklynites, here is your chance to quite possible get your face on tv. The production company is taking reservations for the restaurant during the filming from 6/21 to 6/23. Simply send an email to and “reservations are given on a first come first served basis, patrons must be over 18 years of age and all dinner patrons are responsible for their own meals and drinks, as the money goes directly to the restaurant.

Uncle Gussy’s

Uncle Gussy

One of the great things about shooting the Blondie and Brownie cookbook is the chance to meet all the street food vendors they’re writing about. Some of the trucks I’ve been to many times and finally get to tell them “Thank you” for having such awesome food. While some I’ve never been but have heard many great things about. Though I guess Uncle Gussy’s fall somewhere in the middle. I had met the owners when I shot Brian Hoffman’s Mother’s Day video and now with the cookbook, I’ve been inside the truck many times. So far everything I have eaten has been sooooooooo good! AND they are SUPER nice people!

The pork chop and oven roasted lemon potatoes is a special so you’ll want to follow them on Twitter to find out when they will have it. I will tell you that it will be worth the wait. For $10, it was a lot of food. Who doesn’t like grilled pork chops?!?!

Papri Chaat At Masalawala

I’d been craving Indian food for a while, so when my friend Jess asked if I wanted to meet for lunch on Memorial Day I suggested Indian food. To find a place I consulted my other friend Jess (and her husband Garrett) in the form of their blog, and picked Masalawala, which specializes in upscale versions of Indian street food. One of my favorite items that I only discovered in the last few years is chaat, a refreshing salad that usually has an intriguing blend of temperatures, flavors, and textures. The papri chaat was pleasing on all fronts; a mix of potatoes, chickpeas, yogurt, crispy “wafers”, yogurt, and chutney, I couldn’t stop eating it. I wasn’t as taken with my entree, sabzi milan, which promised “seasonal vegetables” in North Indian spices but delivered a mediocre experience. Best stick with their versions of street food, I think.

Masalawala — 179 Essex Street, NYC

No Name Bar

No Name Bar

No Name Bar in Greenpoint is one of those rare bars that I just really liked after one visit. Happy hour drinks till 8pm, cool crowd, cool bartenders, backyard, locals only and most importantly the noodle bar downstairs. Last week I met up with Howard at Allswell for some happy hour food and then we were off to Manhattan Inn so that he could do a write up about their veggie options. Manhattan Inn is sort of across the street from No Name Bar so I thought “heck we should go!” After getting our beers and ordering our food, we proceeded downstairs to the noodle bar.

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