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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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Juices

Do you ever want a cold pressed juice?  Perhaps apple and kale and a dash of lemon?  Or how about beets, carrots and lime?  I will admit that sometimes I crave cold, refreshing cold pressed juices.  Sometimes I get one (or two) at the juice store.  I put on my favorite jump suit, strap on my fanny pack, and fast-walk to the juiceteria.  I can smell the fresh juices from a mile away.  A whiff of wheat grass; a hint of mint.  The smells are very fragrant, fresh and satisfying.  When I walk into the juice parlour they greet me by name (yes, I admit it, I go to get a juice [or three] all the time, so they know me very well).  "Mr. Goldblum!  It's very nice to see you!  What will it be today?"  I tell them what it will be today, and then I drink my cold pressed juices and feel the energy building.  I feel so cleansed!  The juices are so fresh.  Then I fast-walk home and do some jumping jacks.  What kind of juice will you have today?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Juicy Frederick

When I was young people laughed at me.  "Why are you laughing at me?" I would ask them.  But they would not answer.  One day, to one, I asked: "Hi would you like to be my friend?"  The one replied: "Hahaha NO."  Things were not going well.  Everyone laughed at me and I had no friends, so I had to figure out what to do.  I started eating fruits and I went on long runs and meditated and lived a very healthy life.  I got plenty of sleep and thought about beautiful skies and clear, babbling brooks.  I enjoyed my fruits, but I thought to myself: "what if I could have all different fruits and vegetables in a concentrated liquid form? What if I could have fresh fruit and vegetable juices?"  And so I started blending fresh, homemade juices.  Sometimes before running I would blend kale, limes, beets, carrots into a fresh juice.  The juice was so fresh and vibrant.  When I drank it I would get shivers and come alive, ready for an invigorating run.  When I came back, I would drink more juices, this time maybe with watermelon, blueberry and watercress.  The juices cleansed me and encouraged my body and my cells to work perfectly.  People noticed how wonderful I was.   "What is your secret?" they asked.  "I drink many fresh juices."  Don't you ever want fresh juice?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Chili Bean Complexities

Have you beheld the intoxications of Chinese bean sauces and pastes?  The rich deep dark mahogany complexities?  I remember the first time I did.  I couldn't believe what was happening.  Oh my god I love these complexities!  For a while, I traveled all over in search of these rich complexities, but let me explain a little more.  I searched for them as they were used in the dishes of Chinese restaurants.  At some point, if you're a real man, you say to yourself the following:  I must use these complexities myself - I must make my own Chinese dishes using the bean complexities!

One day I was sitting somewhere, staring the wall, and I said the following: I must use these complexities myself - I must make my own Chinese dishes using the bean complexities!

But if only it were that simple!  You go to your local Chinese grocer, and you see dozens of various bean complexities!  Some use broad beans, some use soy beans.  Some use one kind of oil, some use another kind of oil.  Some use a mix of oils.  Some use chili and garlic.  Some use various mixes of artificial preservatives.  So what should you get?  Which complexity?  You can see the problem: there is a complexity of complexities!

Now you see.  Please join me in a new series: Chili Bean Complexities.