Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kyotofu - Manhattan

You Watching Hatervision, Again?
Puff, change that channel - all the jealousy is not good for you. This post may only make it worse, though. Kyotofu is a small restaurant near Amy's bread in Hell's Kitchen. It's like a small slice of Japan here in the Apple. I found it last night as I was trolling through this sweet blog called Dessertbuzz.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chung Moo Ro - Manhattan

Korean Barbecue Perks up Monday
Hatebean and I met up for lunch in Koreatown. There are a slew of spots to choose from on 32nd St. between 5th and Broadway. I picked one at random and either got really lucky or Buddha is looking down on me. The place was absolutely packed, we had to wait for a few minutes to get a seat.


Just Plain Tired of Coffee?
Fancy a cup of tea, love? Why not change it up every once in a while? This Madison Ave tea house may just be what you are looking for, Puff.

It looks like an ideal place to work. The space is clean and bright, spa music plays almost imperceptibly in the background. There is a long work table with electrical outlets and free wi-fi. Plant yourself here and get a lot of work done. When not working, peer out the window and do some people-watching.

There are myriad teas and coffees offered as well as other goodies baked by International Delights. I chose a blueberry scone, which was shaped like a boomerang. It was alright, nothing special. You should check out the teas - you know more about that than I do.
121 Madison Ave

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gorilla Coffee and Trois Pommes

Breakfast via the B63 Bus
Long live the B63! I hopped on, heading for the Slope this morning. This sign look familiar, Puff?

Within minutes I was at the first stop: Gorilla Coffee. I jumped out, dodged traffic and jumped in the long line inside. It was especially hipsterish today. I, like usual, looked like a homeless.

In your honor, I got a latte. Yes, still delicious. Yes, still rich and strong. Stiffened my spine right up. I sat in the window and read the NY Times for a while. When I was done, I jumped back on the B63 again, headed down 5th Ave.
Next stop: Trois Pommes Patisserie. Yeah, well, there were like 33 things I wanted but I decided to go for an old favorite: the peanut butter sandwich. It was even better than I remembered, if that is possible. So crumbly and delicious.
I then followed it up with a red velvet cupcake. It was tiny - I popped the whole thing into my mouth in one go. Highly recommended Puff.
Gorilla Coffee
97 5th Ave, Brooklyn
Trois Pommes Patisserie
260 5th Ave, Brooklyn

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mercury Dime

A Coffee Shop You Could Take Grandma To
Don't get the wrong idea, in her day my grandma could kick your ass. What I'm saying is that I felt totally at home in this cozy, two-story coffee spot. Yes, it is slightly dog-eared and worn, but that only adds to the charm. It is manned by a single barista who greets you from behind a tiny coffee bar when you walk in.

There are four small tables upstairs, two of which look out onto E. 5th St. I took a seat at the window and people watched as I sipped my coffee.

What a peaceful view onto E. 5th St, no? As I stared out the window, I could hear the muffled conversations from the floor below.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot - the target of my visit- coffee. It is strong and bracing, just a step below Gorilla coffee, Puff. Throw in the fact that they offer free wifi and sell gelato from Il Laboratorio del Gelato and I think we have a winner.

246 E. 5th St
Map it!

Donut Pub

Friday + Dress Down + Donuts = Happiness
Yes, it really is as simple as that. On the way to work I jumped out at the 14th St. stop on the 2 train and ducked into the Donut Pub. We're talking old-school donuts, propped up in the front window, drawing you in. Long counter on your left, old-timers stooped over on stools, muttering to themselves and wise-cracking with each other. These folks eating at Dunkins or Krispy Kreme? What kinda stupid question is that? Have you been paying attention?
We're talking 24 hours a day. We're talking fresh and warm at 8am. Just so happened, I arrived at 7:55am. Momma didn't raise no dummy.
Picked up two for the road: chocolate glazed and cream-filled. Back on the 2 train and guarding the bag like it was full of gold. Why does everyone bump you when you're carrying a fragile load? Hey, guess what, Momma sure didn't raise no photographer either. A pro woulda put the darker one on the right - gotta love that shadow on the chocolate glazed.

But forget all that. Now we're talking sweet, crumbly old-school deliciousness. Get in my belly!!
203 W. 14th St.
Map it!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Middle Eastern Comfort Food?
It is a cold, windy, gloomy day in the Apple. Fall is here, winter is around the corner, summer is 33 months away, life sucks, etc and so forth. Time for a little bit of comfort, no? Not hot chocolate and smores (though, as I write - that seems like a great idea) but my favorite street meat from Rafiqi. Hey, Puff - do you even know what a smore is?
There are a handful of Rafiqi carts, but I've only been to the one on Park Ave and 24th.

I love these guys - they are the model of efficiency. Join the line, order, pay, get your food in about 30 seconds, tops. In order, from left to right, you got the money guy, the chef and the sous-chef. Gentlemen, I salute you.

I went with my old standby: chicken on rice, with grilled onions and barbecue sauce. As far as I am concerned, they don't even need to throw in the "salad." Life is a little better now. I think I will make it.
Park Ave South, Between 23rd and 24th St.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Thai in Woodside, Queens
I have never been to Thailand, don't have any Thai friends and don't claim to know real Thai food in any way, shape or form. I boarded the 7 train to check out Sripraphai and compare it to my favorite Brooklyn Thai restaurant - Joya. I texted my boy Hatebean and told him to take the 7 train to 61st St to meet me for some Thai food. At the agreed upon time, he called me from 61st St and 7th Avenue in the upper west side of Manhattan. Yeah, ok, sure - I will do this one on my own, I guess.
Just off Roosevelt Ave, the small storefront doesn't do the interior justice. It is sunny and bright on the inside with a beautiful, flowered garden patio out back.

The first couple of things I noticed when I walked in were that it is cash only and most of the patrons were Asian. Cannot say whether they were Thai or not, but it gave me that "authentic" feeling, whatever that is. I started off with something called Fried Golden Bag - a deep-fried dumpling of chicken, corn and pea. It tasted as good as it looks below:
I then moved onto a Cornish hen soup called Tom-Zab which was laced with onions, mushrooms and chilies. It was potently spicy and made me flush immediately. It was also very difficult to eat since the Cornish hen chunks included bone and cartilage. I used my fork and soup spoon to eat and it took quite a while to finish. I had to stop once in a while to drink some ice-water.
I am torn. I cannot say I enjoyed the meal as much as most I have had at Joya. However, I want you to check it out Puff, see how you like it. I would like to try a few of their other dishes before I make up my mind.
64-13 39th Ave (and Roosevelt Ave)
Woodside, Queens

Fette Sau

Who You Calling a Fat Pig?
Who woulda thought that in these politically correct times you could open up a barbecue spot called "Fat Pig"? Ok, ok, nobody knows that Fette Sau means exactly that in German. Anyway, I took my boy Hatebean out to there for some barbecue. Located about half-way between the completely gentrified part of Williamsburg and the BQE on Metropolitan Ave, it looks like it could have been a steampipe wholesaler in the olden days (say, in the 90's.) Turns out, it used to be an auto repair shop.

It is set back from the street about 30 feet. There are picnic tables scattered in the alley leading to the entrance and a bright sign hanging from the adjacent building. Upon entering I immediately noticed the knife and cleaver beer taps. I shoulda invited Triple-X, he woulda loved the way they sell the beer: by the gallon.

But this night, the focus was clearly on the meat. Here is how it works. They sell all manner of it by the quarter pound. You just point at each of the meats, ask for the quantities you desire and add sides. The bearded, trucker hat wearing dude then piles it onto your tray (hey, we're in Williamsburg, you didn't think the dude was gonna be clean-shaven with an Izod golf shirt, did you?)
I chose ribs, brisket and a spicy pork sausage. I added some potato salad as my "veggie." A few rolls were thrown in for good measure.

Ok, so remember your first kiss? Remember the dizzying, vertiginous happiness? Do you also remember the painful breakup the very next day? The first bite was fatty and delicious. A perfect blend of flesh and fat and char and sauce. The sausage burst with smokey flavor in my mouth. Yes, it doesn't get better than this!! Oh, wait, uh-oh, I ordered too much, it is so rich! I think I can finish it, I HAVE to finish it, it is so damned good. I am feeling a bit full. I am feeling off......

At 3am, I turned over while in deep sleep and was awakened by a greasy, smokey, acidy meat-burp.

Lesson learned - quarter pound of this good stuff is more than enough....

354 Metropolitan Ave
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Tuck Shop

It's All About the Meat Pies, Mate
My boy Hatebean and I went for a couple of nice lil Aussie pies for lunch today at the Tuck Shop on the LES (Lower East Side.)

I once again had a Thai Green Chook Currie Pie, which was
as spicy and delicious as always. I added a dash of sweet
curry sauce and was off to the races. I cannot think of a more
perfect lunch.

Unlike my last visit, there were Lamingtons available. I jumped
at the chance. A lamington is a sponge cake with chocolate
and coconut frosting and a strawberry jam center. I was totally
unimpressed. It was dry and tasteless.

68 E 1st St.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rodeo's Half Chicken Gets My Whole Attention

God created man. God created chicken. You know what happened next...... For my money, the half chicken at Rodeo is one of the better things that happened next. Crispy-skinned on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, served on top of a bed of delicious Mexican rice. It keeps me coming back, over and over.

Don't look like much from the outside:



Monday, September 15, 2008

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

What do I know about peanut butter cookies? Absolutely nothing, other than I have made them in the past and making a really good one is not too easy. I tend to like those that taste like a spoonful of the creamy stuff.....

Here is how I rate them:
Trois Pommes Patisserie
The peanut butter sandwich from Trois Pommes Patisserie in Park Slope Brooklyn. A delicious, crumbly shot of peanut butter straight into the veins. Chef Emily Isaac left the Union Square Cafe to bake these specifically for me (that's the way I see it.)

Treat Truck
Treat Truck's peanut butter sandwich with peanut butter filling. The first bite weakened my knees, the second knocked me out for the count.


I will add to the list as I find more....