Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar - Manhattan

Allow Me to Pinprick the Hype Bubble
As a natural contrarian, I'm aware of my tendency to want to hate something that everyone else loves. So, it is with this tendency in mind that I fairly jab a pin into the Momofuku hype balloon. Puffin was having a bad day - I was hoping to cheer her up with a jolt of sugar. We got three cookies and a chocolate shake. The peanut butter cookie was good, no complaints there. However, it wasn't any better than the ones my mom makes - and at $1.75 a piece, I'm gonna talk to my mom about coming outta retirement to open up a cookie shop.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dub Pies - Brooklyn

Loved Everything About It, Except....
DUB stands for Down Under Bakery, which, if you haven't figured it out by now, means this is an Ozzie meat pie place (as in Australian.) However, to add to the confusion, the owner is from New Zealand. None of this matters to the pies - which are fantastically tasty. I've been a few times, most recently I snagged a Thai chicken pie, shown below. It was a spicy treat delivered in a flaky pastry shell. Really good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ba Xuyen - Brooklyn

Ba Down to the Master?
NY's banh mi title is hotly contested in the blogosphere. Some proffer Ba Xuyen as the title-holder. First things first, at $3.75 for a large sandwich, I doubt you can find one a lot cheaper. I chose the shredded pork because I love all things pork. It came stuffed inside a toasty baguette, that had a nice crust.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pommes Frites - Manhattan

Ode to the Fry
The atomization of all things continues unabated. It makes sense on cable tv, I think; you can flip amongst the hundreds of specialty channels according to your interests. But restaurants? There are now places that serve fries, nothing but. I knew this walking into Pommes Frites, but still half-expected a side of chicken on offer or maybe even waffles. So old-school in my thinking....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Paul's Da Burger Joint - Manhattan

Making Your Daddy Angry
Puffin, if I were to take you here and your dad found out, it would be curtains for me. That vegetarian doesn't play! I mean, this is a burger spot where a cow greets you on the way in. It's a cool cow, with a hat and a scarf, but it's still a cow! This post should probably go on the "Not Puff List."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Clover Art Gallery and Coffee House - Brooklyn

The Right Place at the Wrong Time?
I never thought this place would open - it was "coming soon" for many months and man, what a bad economy to open a place, especially one like this. As you can guess from the name, they offer two things, one of which is considerably less in demand these days. The coffee bar is up front and sports a Clover coffee maker, which you can read about here. It was fun to watch my single drip-brewed coffee being made by the Clover, freshly-ground beans and all, but truth be told, it just tasted like a cup of coffee to the kid.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tacos Matamoros - Brooklyn

The Two Little Tacos that Changed Everything
I'd just about given up on ever getting good Mexican in NYC, then I came to Tacos Matamoros. Finally, something to rival the Mexican I used to get on the West Coast. These two little tacos blew me away: Al Pastor (roast pork) and Carne Enchilada (spicy pork.) So fresh, so tasty, bringing back memories of Roberto's in San Diego. My bad photo don't do these babies justice...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Güllüoğlu - Brooklyn

Saturday Morning Turkish Delight
Last fall while visiting the Turkish restaurant Tacis Beyti, I noticed a small cafe with an unpronouncable name that specializes in Baklava. Today, I made my way back to check it out. After a fun Q train adventure I was ready to dig in. I enjoy trying out new things so today was a real pleasure. Not that I've never had Baklava, I've just never had to choose amongst 12 varieties of it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Le Cafe Chinois - Paris

Place des Vosges Tea House
This is the perfect place to decamp and unwind after exploring Place des Vosges or shopping along rue des Francs Bourgeois. The name, "The Chinese Cafe", doesn't quite explain this pleasant tea house. First, it is decorated with what appears to be vietnamese furniture (though I am no expert in such things.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

La Fougasse - Paris

Another Local Boulangerie to Try??
Man, lemme tell ya, it's hard to keep up with all the local bakeries near my apartment in the 3rd. I'm making my way round to all of them to choose one as my real "local." I'm leaning towards La Fougasse, which is about a 5 minute walk and is always stocked with bread and other treats. I like to pass by, snatch a fresh baguette, walk down the street with it and kid myself that I'm a real Parisian.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Enoteca Ai Artisti - Venice

Venetian Tapas
We are on a weekend trip in Venice, walking, eating and shopping. After a "grueling" trek around San Marco we climbed across the Ponte dell'Accademia into Dorsoduro and were rewarded with a small restaurant serving cicchetti (tapas.) Puffin got the seafood plate - grilled mantis prawns, shrimp in polenta, curly octopus salad and two types of cod. She didn't talk to me much as she dug in so I knew to sample some of it. It was very tasty, even the prawns, which looked like giant bugs. You should click on the pic for a closer look.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gusto - Paris

Place des Vosges Italian
I'm partial to small, home-spun places with focused menus and personal attention. Who isn't, right? I usually luck into them - which was the case with Gusto, a small Italian traiteur just off the Place des Vosges in the 4th. It was opened this past summer by an Italian couple - she's from Napoli and he's from Parma. I had a wonderful brunch there a few months ago after wandering around the area. Last night, I took Puffin for some dinner and dessert.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Korcarz - Paris

Jewish Bakery Nirvana
Sunday's are pretty quiet in Paris - most businesses are closed and a lot of the restaurants, if not closed, don't open until late morning. Bucking the trend for obvious reasons are the Jewish eateries in the Marais. I walked by Korcarz a few times and stared in the window, overwhelmed by the many choices.