Thursday, November 18, 2010

Xi'an Famous Foods - Manhattan

Game, Set, Match!
You're unlikely to find a tastier, more satisfying batch of noodles than those served at Xi-an Famous Foods.  I was dumbstruck when I took my first bite of their "Savory Cumin Lamb Hand-Pulled Noodles."  I didn't think something could be this delicious.  These are giant, flat, ragged, hand torn noodles that you might not associate with Chinese cuisine, but alas, China is a big place.  Xi'an presents food from Shaanxi province in northwestern China.  Their noodles are spicier, heartier and more delicious than any I've ever had.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baohaus - Manhattan

And the Old Shall Be Made New Again
Back in '92 I was working for a mis-Fortune 500 in a slim glass skyscraper in midtown.  I spent a lot of time at the firm's library trying to convince the manager that I was cooler than all the nerdburgers working there.  She usually waved me off but one day Miss Lopez said "ok, you wanna take me out - meet me at the Mexican spot on the corner of Stanton and Ludlow."  The pre-gentrification lower east side (LES) was another world entirely in those days (click here)  but when you're young and horny a pretty girl can make you walk through a dicey hood. Fast forward a couple decades and I'm sitting a block away at Baohaus munching on Taiwanese bao.  The LES has changed a lot but not enough to stanch the flow of memories.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Brats: Dogs & Wieners - Manhattan

Thirty?!?  Yes, Thirty!
A two dog lunch at Brats: Dogs & Wieners set me back thirty smackers!  Yep, you read that right - thirty beans!  I don't know doodlysquats about fancy-schwanks dogs but for that price they better leave me moist in the pants.  This is a high-end sausage spot that sports higher-end prices.  You have to ask yourself "do I want a high-end sausage?"  Suffice it to say that I left full, poorer and dry in the crotch.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Slavyanskiy Bazar - Brooklyn

Attenuating the Jetlag Recovery Formula
It's only a slight exaggeration to describe my life as being composed of two halves: jetlag and recovering from jetlag. I have different formulas depending upon the direction.  From Paris to Brooklyn: no sleep on the flight, stay up late, up early the next day, get out of the apartment and stay away until nightfall.  Today was that "next day" so I went deep into Brooklyn to a neighborhood called Gravesend and had some Ukranian food at Slavyanskiy Bazar.  It's a food that I want to like but it never cooperates.

Friday, November 5, 2010

DEPUR - Paris

Un Pause Gourmande
Depur stands for "drole endroit pour un recontre", which literally means "strange place for an encounter" but I prefer to translate it "funny running into you here."  Feels like they came up with "depur" and then found a sentence that fit it.  Nevertheless, I stopped in for a "pause gourmande" otherwise known as "snack."  Not any old American snack like a Snickers or a 1,000 calorie bucket of fries, no, something healthy.  A tomato with a cheese hat.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Frenchie - Paris

Frenchie, R.I.P
I have a Slingbox, which is a life-saver for a TV-addicted American living in Paris.  I can watch my NY television here in Paris and keep up with my favorite shows.  I was just watching a recent episode of Bourdain's "No Reservations", the one where he returns to Paris after a few years away.  Half-way through the show there was a shot of him walking up rue du Nil.  I recognized it right away and my heart sank.  I started screaming at my TV "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  Don't tell 'em about Frenchie!!!"