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Friday, September 16, 2016

Burger Investigations Part II

Oh, hello.  I didn't see you there.  If you recall, back in July I listed three burgers I had enjoyed so far during the summer: Lure Fishbar, Upland, and MaPeche.  MaPeche was definitely the best.  Now, the thrilling conclusion: I went to Lupulo, Roberta's, and Emmy Squared.  Lupulo - good, nothing crazy.  Roberta's - still my favorite burger I've ever had.  So flavorful and well-salted.  Emmy Squared - good but too flavorful, flavorful in a "we're going to assault you with so much flavor and stuff and you're going to love it" kind of way in which you don't actually love it.  The housemade American cheese was too cheesy tasting for me.  If you love American cheese, you might love this burger.

Final recap of summer burgers, ranked in order:

1. Roberta's: a perfect burger
2. MaPeche: flavorful, great bun.
3. Emmy Squared: next time I will get it without the cheese and I might like it more
4. Upland
5. Lupulo
6. Lure Fishbar

Questions of the Fall

Oh god the crispness. The fresh crispness is here, the fall. It’s sunny and not cold, should I wear that zip-up hoodie? Oh special the pumpkin donuts and muffins and scones. But when it comes to the pumpkin donut, should it be a pumpkin spice donut, the batter mixed with the pumpkin spice flavor, or do I want a regular pastry filled with a pumpkin mousse?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

In Search of Great Bakes

Oh god I want a great pastry, cake or bread.  Something perfectly baked.  Not underdone and raw, but not over-baked and burnt.  Just right.  Something with good flavor, a perfect bake.  Give it to me you son of a bitch.  I know you are holding out on me.  I will come to you and demand a danish, and you best give it to me!  I want to wake up in the morning, a beautiful morning, and have a tender pain au raisin and a great cup of coffee.  I want to smell the aromas and smile and look like Benjamin in that old Foldger's Coffee commercial.  I want that look, the one which proves to the world you're satisfied with your life.  Give me the pastry; give me the satisfaction.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Noodle Technician

Is a great Asian noodle stir fry too much to ask for in this godforsaken world? I go to many Chinese restaurants and see people eating lo mein and chow fun and what have you and these people look so delighted but they're idiots.  I want to shake them out of their noodle complacency.  "Snap out of it, you idiot" I want to say while shaking them.  "The noodles you're eating are not that good!"  What is a good noodle?  I thought you would never ask.  A good noodle must be made with fresh flour, be it wheat or rice or whatever type of flour.  It must be lovingly constructed and cooked to perfection, not underdone but not overdone either.  The noodle should taste springy and supple and have good snap.  Then, the noodle must be mixed with excellent ingredients and sauces in a simple, not overpowering way so you can still taste the flavor of the fresh noodle.  Where can you get such noodle stir frys?  I'll tell you.  Great N.Y. Noodletown is one place.  I recommend the Singapore Chow Fun, a delightful wide rice noodle in a subtle yet flavorful curry sauce; I also recommend the beef e fun noodle, a simple, workingman's noodle with beef and a little soy sauce.  I ate these noodles the other night and when they were first brought to the table I was pleased, for it seemed like I was in store for some expertly made noodle stir frys.  I smelled the aromas and could make out the curry and soy sauce and onions and meat, yes, but the unmistakable scent of fresh noodles filled my senses and delighted me.  "I am delighted by these aromas!" I screamed.  I sampled the stir frys and could tell these noodles were made by a noodle technician of the highest order.  My Cantonese is not great due to my strong Mongolian accent I picked up while living in Kansas, but I got the attention of our server and said, in serviceable Cantonese, "my compliments to the noodle technician."  The server smiled and nodded; he seemed pleased.

Great N.Y. Noodletown

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Burger Investigations

Hello, and welcome back.  It's summer.  For a while.  Then summer will end, transforming into fall, which will transform into winter, which will transform into spring, which will transform back to summer, and so on until the sun blows up.  What is the significance of summer?  I'm sure there are many significances, but one is that I make it my mission to eat a lot of burgers during summer.  What are the burgers I've eaten thus far?  Sit back and relax, for I will now list the main burgers I've eaten this summer and provide some thrilling commentary (please note I am not counting Shake Shack's burger, of which I've eaten a few, and which is a reliably good hamburger).

First off, I ate the burger at Lure Fishbar.  Yes, I know what you might be thinking.  But despite its name and propensity for seafood, Lure Fishbar was reputed to have a very excellent burger.  I ate the burger.  I would not go so far as to say it was excellent, but it was pretty good.

Next up is the burger at Upland.  This was a good burger, perhaps even quite good, but not a moan-inducing burger.  This burger had avocado.  The fries were crispy and quite good.  A nice, good burger but again, I didn't convulse in ecstasy.

Finally we have the burger at Ma Peche.  Now this was a very good burger, perhaps bordering excellent.  The meat was certainly flavorful and well-salted, with melted white cheddar and a savory bacon jam.  The bun was tender and full of sesame seeds.  For me this was a burger worthy of a return visit.

Well, I've hope you've enjoyed yet another episode of my continuing adventures.  Unless the sun blows up ahead of schedule, I will be back soon to report on my final round of burgers for the summer.

Lure Fishbar, SoHo
Upland, Flatiron
Ma Peche, Midtown

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cacio e Poo-poo

Oh god the juices are calling to me.  I love a good juice.  A fresh, cold-pressed juice.  Perhaps kale and watermelon, or a mango and lime?  The juices are fresh and refresh me.  I drink the juices.  I drink them and then go running, I run 80 miles, and then I stretch and meditate and drink more juices.

But juices are not the purpose of this blog today.  Today I write of the firm, al dente pastas of Rome. On Saturday I visited a cute little trattoria on the Upper East Side called Sandro's.  I had read  of this special little trattorio on Grubstreet, which had posted on the best cacio e pepe in New York. Some of the places I knew about, but Sandro's? No, I had never heard of it.  But as I read of the creamy pasta flecked with fragrant, course black pepper, I knew I couldn't resist!

What is cacio e pepe, you ask?  Well yes, let me tell you.  It's pasta with cheese, black pepper, and, of course, some of the pasta cooking water to help form a sauce with the cheese.  Oh god the suppleness of these pastas and creams is amazing.  I ate the pasta at the bar with my lover and delighted in the pasta.  They were very nice to us and gave us complimentary items, including a delicious vegetable soup and soft, tender sugar cookies.  What a special little trattorio, indeed!

Sandro's
Upper East Side

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mexico City Sauce Crevices

I went to Mexico City in late April in search of sauces and crevices, and sauce crevices.  In these searches, I ended up dousing my own crevices with sauces.

Where can I begin?  The ancient City of Mexico is a sauce-lovers' dream.  The bustling streets are filled with mole houses and tacquerias and tortillerias.  What is amazing about Mexico City is that every one of these cantinas or fondas or antojito houses have homemade sauces, always at least a red and green sauce, and often multiple red and green sauces.  The sauces are piquant, fresh, savory, flavorful and arousing.  Soon, I was screaming in sauce pleasure!

As I was walking down a crevice (a street), I found a sauce crevice (taco) stand.  I ordered a sauce crevice and proceeded to pour red and green sauces into the sauce crevice.  "Wow these sauces are amazing!" I said as I ate my sauce crevice.  The sauce crevice was so full of sauce I dripped sauces into my own crevices.  I stood on the crevice eating a sauce crevice dripping sauces into my crevices.

Sauce crevice establishment and sauce crevices consumed
Lopez 167 - 2
Tacos Gonzalez - 1
El Vilsito - 6
Grandma taco crazy (some random lady near Chapultepec Metro)- 1
Tacos hola - 2
Contramar - 4 (possibly 5)
Ricos Tacos Toluca - 1
Pujol - 1