"" What's She Eating Now?: July 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Guest Blogging on The Daily Grub

Here is my post about a recent lunch in Korea Town on The Daily Grub, Grub Hub's food blog. Admire my camera phone photography and enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do You Think They Serve It in a Tumbler?

Awesome photo I found on my brother Nick's Facebook page. I wonder what the entree special was.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Green Market Blues

I just returned from the Union Square Green Market and I must say I feel a little ripped off. For years I have been enjoying the fresh produce and cheerful conversation of regional farmers at the market but is it me or has the increased popularity (dare I say trendiness) of "buying local" caused the prices to go up and the banter to become largely disinterested? I don't expect the red carpet, and would accept a neutral attitude, but at $12 per QUARTER pound of buckwheat sprouts refraining from acting like I am bothering you would be a nice gesture. (Insert image of apron-clad cashier peering up from her salad as if to say "Can't you see I'm on break" with her eyes).

And $2 for a dixie cup of cider? $4 for a handful of completely average raspberries? $1 for a single peach? Really? The gouge-the-drunks-when-they-leave-the-clubs bodega on my corner has better prices. And friendlier service-- I practically had to threaten to put on my "W 2000" t-shirt to get any notice whatsoever.

Although wounded at the moment I will still go back as there are some good finds at the market if you know where to look:
  • Find the egg vendor on the west side (Wednesday location) for large (presumably) organic free range eggs at $2.50 per half dozen. One of the two people from there is consistently nice, so a better deal than wholefoods and a pleasant experience.
  • The baked goods guy on the west side near the north corner has a vegan (there, I admitted it) carrot raisin muffin I adore for which he charges a very fair $2, smile on the house.
  • At the north west exit today I also noticed some beautiful and mysterious super model cousins of gerber daisies for 50 cents each, generating some disappointment at the mini roses I overpaid for at my usual place as they were a little beat up today and the farmer was not his usual happy self.
  • Keith's Farm can always be counted on for top notch produce at a good value and exceedingly nice staff (wed on the west side, sat on the north side). One of their specialties is garlic, which I don't even particularly care for, and I still go there.

Click here for a fuller list of vendors. And remember, no one needs a tomato that badly. If you feel like you have to don controversial apparel to catch someone's attention in order to ask a question or even pay for something, vote with your feet and find a stand you'll look forward to visiting instead. After all, tomato, tomato.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CYA Marketing

I was recently introduced to Carlsberg Beer's slogan.

Perhaps this cautiously enthusiastic branding came from the marketing powerhouses in the town of Brasov in Romania's Transylvania region.

Stay tuned for dining details about my trip to Romania but I can pre-announce my tagline for the food: "Probably the best way to get heart disease in the world."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

From Romania With Love

Greetings from Romania. I was told this is the land of abundant internet access, comfortable mattresses and meat served with a side of meat for every meal. Only one of these things has proved to be true so apologies for my absence. I look forward to sharing some hilights from my trip when I get back next week (or also along the way if the information side access road here permits). Spoiler alert: there will be pictures and stories of meat from many different sources, and when I say sources I mean animals, not purveyors. Til then, from Romania with love.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wedding Chefs Wear Rose Colored Glasses

Does that look rare to you? I know wedding catering is a tough job, hundreds of consistent plates that need to go down simultaneously. But it never ceases to amaze me the lengths these caterers seem to go to have their servers say "No, medium rare is really medium rare here" when that temperature is not even in their skill set. With some skepticism I usually specify rare nevertheless in hopes that something that resembles meat will come out but alas, filet a la shoe leather, the cruel joke among the wedding catering underworld.

I'll go a little out of my comfort zone here and make some political commentary in hopes of explaining this age old culinary enigma. Restaurants are the ultimate free market experience where people vote with their wallets. Unapologetically overcook a diner's meat and he is unlikely to return. Wedding catering, on the other hand, bears more resemblance to communism. Diners have no choice but to be there and if the venue is popular they will be forced to come back time after time despite what they know is waiting to mock them under those silver plate covers. Like the USSR was to China, weddings bear a lot of similarity to association dinners and other such events often dubbed "rubber chicken dinners."

Maybe my politicization of wedding food is off base. But if that's the case the only plausible alternate explanation is that wedding catering chefs must always wear rose colored glasses.

Widest part of a "rare" steak from a wedding accompanied by inedible peas and a mystery starch. The flash bestowed a generous amount of additional color to the steak. It mostly looked like that gray part in the lower right hand corner.

Calling All Cars, We Have a Bacon Emergency

Apparently there must have been a bacon emergency in Chelsea over the weekend. I spotted the bacon superhero's car Saturday night and shuddered to think what horrors he might be saving someone from. Dinner party with no fatty pork? A lone carnivore suffering attacks for his love of all things belly at the hands of a ruthless cadre of righteous vegan villains? Or maybe he was rescuing a small defenseless child from a tragic bacon deficiency. All I know is Bat Mobile, Optimus Prime, and Kit, you have nothing on Bacon 54, and I'll sleep better knowing he's out there.

Also from the bacon files, this product found on Accoutrements is a brilliant innovation that gives new meaning to "bringing home the bacon," though I think I would find more useful a wallet made out of money that you can keep your bacon in.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sommeliers at Burger King?

Saw this on Eater who found it on Flickr. Personally, I think Dr. Pepper may pair better with the Tendergrill Salad than Diet Coke but the beauty of soft drinks is to each his own, with refills.


Dan and I hosted a blind wine tasting last night. More on that when I recover. In the meantime check out my guest blog at Stories About Food. Its the first story.

Here are some photos of the food mentioned in the piece: Green Rocambole Garlic. Notice some scapes still attached.

SaraJane from Keith’s Farm answers questions about garlic scapes.

Garlic scape mashed potatoes.

Skirt steak off the grill.

Skirt steak with garlic scape chimichurri.

Grilled corn with garlic scape butter. Try not to eat the picture.

The whole scape she-bang.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Overheard at the Union Sq Green Market

I didn't tape record it but it went something like this:

Kitchen Slave: Do you have these greens with the whole plant?

Windfall Farms Farmer: We don't harvest that way because it destroys the plant so we pick this part.

Kitchen Slave: I am from Bouley, I assume for us you'll do it the way we want it.

So much for sustainability when fancy plating is at stake.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Aureole: Starship Enterprise

Just back from meeting a friend for a glass of wine at the new location of Aureole. Where was this place when I worked at 3 Times Square and the best place to meet someone for a drink was Heartland Brewery? The new location looks lovely, if a little like the Starship Enterprise. Some decent wines by the glass at very reasonable prices for a fine dining establishment and as a bonus, friendly service at the bar where several guests were enjoying dinner.

I was there with an industry insider who was immediately made when we walked in. For some unfathomable reason, however, my friend turned down on-the-house offerings from the kitchen. Um, we're friends and all but I don't recall nominating you to speak for me. I wouldn't have ordered an entree but I certainly wouldn't have kicked the foie gras torchon with wild strawberries out of my proverbial dining bed. Or the crispy blue
soft shell crab? Come on now, they're in season. Not even the fluke sashimi from the bar menu? So I guess tasting the food will have to wait for another day but I did have a Charlie Palmer sighting and was able to casually snap this shot below with my camera phone as I pretended to check for a text. Until next time, live long and prosper.

Above: Aureole wine cellar and ceiling light fixture

First the Engagement Ring, Then the Wedding Ring, Then the Suffer-Ring

I thought you might appreciate this category juxtaposition I just happened upon at the card store. There is one live car crash advertised as nuptials I was invited to this summer for which the left hand side would certainly be more fitting; but cooler heads prevailed and I purchased two wedding cards for the couples... and two sympathy cards for me, extending myself condolences for having to eat wedding food.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Greatest Athlete of Our Time

LeBron James? Tiger Woods? Lance Armstong? Michael Phelps? All respectable nominations, but the greatest athlete of our time hails from the world of professional eating. Earning his third victory in a row in the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, Joey Chestnut set a new world record by eating 68 hotdogs in 10 minutes and didn't need an overtime to handily defeat rival Takeru Kobayashi this year. Chestnut adds this world record to eighteen other such achievements in catorgories as varied as gyoza, matzoh balls, and Pizza Hut P'Zones. Take that Usain Bolt. Sure, you can run the 100m in 9.69 seconds but how many hot dogs can you eat while you're doing it? Hats off to Joey Chestnut, greatest athlete of our time.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ads More Novel Than The Novelties Themselves

I was in the W4th Street subway station and came across a brilliant ad campaign for Ben & Jerry's newest freezer creation, Flipped Out. The product concept is a sunday already pre-made for you: brownie on the bottom, then ice cream, then fudge topping and they package it upside down so when you turn it over and empty it into a bowl, presto alakazam, its an insta sunday. I checked 4 stores and couldn't find it so unfortunately a review will have to wait but you can click here to see a "how to" video on the Ben & Jerry's website (I guess people lazy enough to value a pre-made sunday may also need an instructional video on how to eat it). To set expectations the sunday definitely looks better in the cartoon ad.

While the jury is still out on Flipped Out, the campaign supporting it is quite cute and awfully clever. Designed upside down, like the product, the ads feature some witty tag lines and cheeky cows. I have included some shots of the best ones below for your a-moo-sment. Enjoy and Happy 4th!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


After hearing from the fine folks at Mosner Veal & Lamb, I made a correction about where to get Strauss Free Raised Veal in my review (see June 30th post Fancy, and Not So Fancy, Food). It is not yet available at retail in New York but they are rolling out a new program in a few weeks. For those who can't wait that long for their delicious and ethically raised veal, the inside scoop has it that you can get it online at Allen Brothers under the private label Meadow Reserve. I will keep you posted when it hits the shelves in NYC.

Above: Jessica Mosner of Mosner Veal & Lamb cooks up veal hot dogs at the Fancy Food Show.