It’s the end of the year and you know what that means….time to celebrate the best of 2014! This year, I was invited to Thrillist’s ‘Fest of the Best’ event in Williamsburg. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know half of the restaurants there but I was really glad I went.
The winning best of the best restaurant went to Bacchanal. Their confit lamb shoulder was amazing……it was so amazing that I went back for seconds.
A close second for me were BLT Fish with their raw oysters topped with wasabi peas and nori and French Louie with their snails Merchand de Vin with Falls Mill grits. Some other great dishes that I can imagine myself eating over and over again where Emily’s smoked chicken and some really tasty sunchocke chips, Seoul Chicken’s mini fried chicken sandwiches served in Kings Hawaiian rolls (man oh man, I grew up eating Kings Hawaiian bread), Avo Toast by Two Hands because avocado toasts are so in right now, and surprisingly the warm grain and kale salad from Randolph.
Thanks Thrillist for a damn good Saturday afternoon (even though it was pouring rain) and some really great foods. Congrats to all participating restaurants for being part the best of 2014.
Photos courtesy of Kimberly Mufferi
I’ve been wanting to check out Ricky’s Fish Tacos ever since I read about him on Dylan Ho’s blog few years ago. Though without a Twitter account, it was a little difficult to track him down, especially it takes about an hour to go to LA from my parents’ house. But finally he joined Twitter and I was able to see if he’ll be out on the street serving his delicious fish, shrimp and some times lobster tacos. So last October, while I was out in LA with the Big Gay Ice Cream guys, I drove to 1400 N. Virgil Ave in Los Feliz where Ricky was suppose to be. Sadly, after driving around the same corner a dozen times, I gave up and drove home.
This time, armed with my iPhone and Google Maps, I succeeded in locating him!
Continue reading “LA Eats: Ricky’s Fish Taco”
For a few months last year I was working on the UWS, and after so many years of working here in Brooklyn the biggest challenge was finding new places to eat lunch. There are a lot of mediocre restaurants around, and very few cheap ones. I had eaten a couple of meals at Hummus Kitchen, a mini-chain which was pretty good but more upscale than I usually like my falafel places. On one of my last days working in the neighborhood I came across a place named Ali Baba, and as soon as I walked in I knew I was going to like the place. Ali Baba is an Israeli-run falafel joint, with only one table (with about eight chairs) and a bunch of freshly made salads lining the counter. I got the falafel platter, which included some of the best falafel I’ve eaten outside of Israel itself — full of herbs and spices, not merely fried chickpeas. The salads were fantastic, and tasted homemade. There was a spicy cooked onion and tomato salad, slices of fried eggplant, sweet and sour cooked carrots, a salad of raw tomatoes and cucumbers, hummus, and pickles. Pickles are my favorite falafel topping, by the way, and one that is often overlooked. Over the next week or so that I worked in the area, I would pass by and see the restaurant closed at odd hours; not just during Shabbat, but at random times as well, so if you’re in the neighborhood and hungry, it’s worth passing by to see if they are open — but make sure you have a backup plan, just in case.
Ali Baba — 515 Amsterdam Ave, NYC,
While everyone was away during the holidays, me, Howard and our friend Corrine took a trip to Krescendo, the newly opened restaurant by Elizabeth Falkner. With getting 1st prize in the 2012 World Pizza Championships in Naples, Italy we definitely had a higher than normal expectation for the pizzas. While I enjoyed my meal, Howard wasn’t too thrilled (he had the margherita).
Continue reading “Krescendo”
The new West Village Big Gay Ice Cream spot has been opened for few weeks and the guys have been making new flavor ice cream almost every week. The space is bigger with benches and tables for people to sit down while they enjoy their ice cream. Though the biggest advantage of having a bigger space is the room to experiment. Doug and Bryan have been making ice cream flavors like coconut and hazelnut brownie. Yesterday Doug even tried making sundaes (vanilla ice cream, hazelnut brownie ice cream, awesomesauce, whipped cream and caramelized bananas).
Check out their new space and the banana sundae after the jump…
Continue reading “The Big Gay Banana Sundae”
The local food people here are an amazing bunch. When one needs help, everyone will jump in and help. Just like my friends over at Lonestar Taco. When Fany Gerson’s, aka La Newyorkina, kitchen in Red Hook was ruined by hurricane Sandy, they decided to help out by making and selling Besitos Picantes using her recipe from her book, My Sweet Mexico. All proceeds go to help Fany rebuild her kitchen.
Though if Besitos Picantes aren’t your thing, you may want to check out the holiday market at Columbus Circle. La Newyorkina has a booth there selling loads and loads of Mexican sweets like spicy candied orange peels, Mexican hot chocolate, brownies with Mexican chocolate, pumpkin seed brittle and so many more tasty treats.
Buy delicious goods to help someone get back on their feet and at the same time make your tummy happy! Wins all around.
Also, keep buying locally this holiday season.
My friends Nicole and Brian of The Splendid Spoon (formerly known as Sea Bean Goods) are introducing the Splendid Revival plan. With each plan you get delicious, homemade soups with 2 or more servings of vegetables that are under 300 calories. Us New Yorkers are busy people. Sometimes we just don’t have the time to make something good and healthy and instead just grab whatever are quick (like 99cent pizzas). And I’ve been guilty of that myself and few times my body just couldn’t take it. So do yourself and your health a favor and check out the Splendid Revival plan.