Archive for the 'food' Category

The Times on Brooklyn Food, Frank Bruni on Buttermilk Channel

Today’s Times Din­ing sec­tion has some great cov­er­age of Brook­lyn food. First, there is a great arti­cle on food pro­duc­ers through­out the borough:

These Brook­lynites, most in their 20s and 30s, are hand-mak­ing pick­les, cheeses and choco­lates the way oth­ers form bands and artists’ col­lec­tives. They have a sense of com­mu­ni­ty and an appre­ci­a­tion for tra­di­tion­al meth­ods and fla­vors. They also share an aes­thet­ic that’s equal parts 19th and 21st cen­tu­ry, with a taste for bold graph­ics, sal­vaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.

Make sure to check out the inter­ac­tive map, too.

Also, Frank Bruni reviews one of my favorite new restau­rants near our home in Brook­lyn, But­ter­milk Chan­nel, along with an audio slideshow:

But­ter­milk Chan­nel [is] a restau­rant of real stan­dards, note­wor­thy ambi­tion and uncom­mon slav­ish­ness to trends. It’s laud­able and pre­dictable in equal mea­sures. And it was packed every time I went…

The look of the restau­rant, whose cor­ner loca­tion affords it pret­ty win­dows on two sides, is on the pol­ished side of homey. There’s nice­ly buffed wood, a spi­dery brass light­ing fix­ture and a hon­eyed glow from it and hand­some sconces along the walls.

There’s also ample space between tables: the own­er, Doug Crow­ell, isn’t try­ing just to jam in as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble. But he does ask you to trade some com­fort and con­ve­nience for the refresh­ing­ly low prices.

These few blocks on Court Street are start­ing to fill with inter­est­ing and tasty culi­nary oper­a­tions: But­ter­milk Chan­nel, Frankie’s Spunti­no, and the new­ly opened and not-yet-vis­it­ed soon to open Prime Meats.

UPDATE: The Times post­ed a Q & A between read­ers and sub­jects of the Brook­lynite food pro­duc­ers piece.

Jennarator on Hershey’s Switch to Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Jen­na on Hershey’s deci­sion to replace cocoa but­ter with par­tial­ly hydro­genat­ed veg­gie oil in their choco­late candies:

Every­one feels tricked and betrayed by their beloved Her­shey. And to that I say, it’s f*cking her­shey, get over it. It’s not a high qual­i­ty prod­uct to begin with (still love it, though).

I just think this is a dumb thing to get worked up about, espe­cial­ly when so much food right now is mak­ing peo­ple sick. Can we focus on mak­ing and grow­ing food that won’t give us E. Coli and for­give a lit­tle veg­etable oil?

My answer is no, but I think that foods of all kinds con­tain too much processed sug­ars and fats.

Waitin’ Tables

Can’t help but pass along this Remain­der from Jason Kot­tke — NY Times food crit­ic Frank Bruni spends a week “under­cov­er” as a wait­er at a [Cam­bridge] restau­rant. In the end, he real­izes the hell that is being a waiter:

try­ing to be flu­ent in the menu and the food, calm in the face of chaos, patient in the pres­ence of rude­ness, avail­able when din­ers want that, invis­i­ble when they don’t. It’s a lot, and I should remem­ber that.

Does this real­iza­tion damp­en his din­ing expec­ta­tions? Nope:

I’d still like fre­quent water refills. And a mar­ti­ni from hell. Straight up.

It reminds me of the polite lit­tle argu­ments Pres­ley & I have on whether or not to leave 20%, even when receiv­ing shit­ty ser­vice. Though I nev­er advo­cate leav­ing less than 15%, I also think that the bonus tip should be reserved for com­pe­tent, polite servers. What’s wrong with that?

9 years

cardThe years are just fly­ing by, I can’t believe it… on mon­day, the girl and I cel­e­brat­ed 9 years togeth­er, in the best way we know how: shar­ing a tasty meal.

And what bet­ter place to have a nice din­ner, than a 4‑star restau­rant in a con­vert­ed Burg­er King? Seri­ous­ly.

Ren­dezvous just opened up in Cen­tral Square, in the old Burg­er King, and it is real­ly real­ly good. The Phoenix loves it. So does the Globe. And we do, too.

Eat and Destroy

Kung FungPay atten­tion, you Boston-area food­ies! Todd is start­ing up Eat and Destroy, a Boston area food/restaurant blog.

I can’t wait to try a Mon­go­lian Fire Pot.


Pressed Sandwiches

pressedPressed, Cen­tral Square
736 Mass­a­chu­setts Ave, Cam­bridge, MA 02139 [map]

Rarely am I moti­vat­ed enough to post about food… after all, it’s some­thing I do every day (that is, eat). But, there is a newish eatery in Cen­tral Square called Pressed, which I’ve lunched at a cou­ple of times now, and I felt com­pelled to offer some observations.

Pressed is the kind of sand­wich shop that puts all the empha­sis on detail… the inte­ri­or is dec­o­rat­ed very mod­ern, with an earthy green glow, black chalk­boards with the offer­ings, and nice light treat­ments. One odd thing that I noticed is that every­thing is brand­ed with their leafy logo – from lit­tle bags of can­dy, to bot­tled water. Think high-end McDon­ald’s, with­out the playground.

Set­ting aside the ambiance, (which I will return to lat­er), how is the food? Quite good, it turns out. I’m a fan of pani­ni-style sand­wich­es, and toast­ed bread in gen­er­al, but often times when you order a pani­ni at oth­er places, you get reg­u­lar old sub-shop ingre­di­ents pressed between way too much bread. Pressed hits the mark both in the qual­i­ty of ingre­di­ents, and bread. Their break­fast sand­wich­es are espe­cial­ly deli­cious, made with real eggs and cheeses. They serve cof­fee with the haughty brand name of Ter­rior, and it’s pret­ty tasty in hot and cold form.

So, for Pressed to spend all this ener­gy get­ting all these details cor­rect, it’s a shame they don’t put the same effort into ser­vice. I stood ungreet­ed for about 5 min­utes today, ready to order, while two employ­ees were mum­bling about the cash reg­is­ter. Then, after order­ing, and hold­ing out my $20-bill, the young man (who looked like an art-school post-grad), start­ed shuf­fling menus and look­ing up prices in silence… after what seemed like all morn­ing, he announced that my $3.75 break­fast sand­wich and large iced cof­fee would cost – $5, even. After a sec­ond of pro­cess­ing, I fig­ured out that the reg­is­ter was bro­ken. Not a big deal, it would make sense to com­mu­ni­cate this to the customer.

So, I sad­dled up at a table to flip through last week’s Week­ly Dig, and wait­ed for my break­fast. After 10 min­utes or so, I final­ly stood up, and the oth­er employ­ee, (who looked and sound­ed like he’d be more at home in a fam­i­ly din­er, behind the grille), turned and grabbed a bag from the counter, and hand­ed it to me. How long had it been sit­ting there? If I had sat there anoth­er 10 min­utes, would he have called me then?

Ser­vice is a big deal to me – even in a fast-food sand­wich shop. My pre­vi­ous two vis­its might have gone smoother, how­ev­er it’s a shame that this one has cement­ed my impression.

Fat-kins Diet

I’ve been on a high-pro­tein diet for about 6 months, and I’ve dropped about 22 pounds since, and I feel much health­i­er, etc.

Still, this Neu­rot­i­cal­ly Yours flash ani­ma­tion makes me laugh: Fat-kins Diet

Steak Salad

steak saladI watched a bit of FoodTV on Sun­day, and suf­fered through Rachael Ray and her awful accent and man­ner­isms… I’ve nev­er once want­ed to eat any­thing she cooks, because she annoys me so much.

But after Rachael, a delight­ful woman came on, who I’ve nev­er seen before: Gia­da De Lau­ren­ti­is, and she appar­ent­ly cooks Ital­ian. Sure, she’s hot, but the pro­duc­tion val­ues on this show are a lit­tle more mod­ern, (think Nigel­la), with nice light­ing and editing.

The show was so pleas­ant to watch, I end­ed up cook­ing her Steak Sal­ad for Pres­ley and I last night. I went a lit­tle over­board on the Gor­gonzo­la, but I real­ly love the creamy taste. And, you can nev­er have too much cheese, right?


A Club Sand­wich with­out bacon, is not a Club Sand­wich.

Fast Food Nation

Is it wrong to look at moth­ers in the mall food court, and won­der why they let their kids eat McDon­ald’s and Pizza?

(There are lim­it­ed culi­nary options near my workplace)


Provoca­tive title, espe­cial­ly for this weblog… but, it does­n’t have any­thing remote­ly to do with what you may be imagining.

With Pres­ley busy study­ing for her final exams, I’m on my own for din­ner. What to do? Grab the Power­book, and head for the Mir­a­cle, of course. Free wi-fi. Nice wait­ress. Beer. This is all the Mod­ern Urban Male needs.

Why the sil­ly entry title, then, you ask? Well, I’m get­ting to that.

I sit down, turn on my Power­book, and order my Grilled Chick­en Sal­ad (with the most deli­cious lime-cilantro dress­ing), a pint of Bass. When the wait­ress leaves, i look down, and my com­put­er is ask­ing me if I want to join the Wire­less net­work “Mir­a­cle­Sex”.

Need­less to say, if I had been tak­ing a pull on my Bass, I would have spit it out onto the tabletop.

Then I real­ized, I was sit­ting in the Mir­a­cle of Sci­ence, and was two doors down from Mid­dle­sex, a new lounge opened up by the same own­ers. They share the same wi-fi con­nec­tion, so why not call it “Mir­a­cle­Sex”?


Oh, and in case you were won­der­ing, I’m sit­ting in Cam­bridge, the largest city in Mid­dle­sex coun­ty.

Say ‘no’ to MAX cat

max cat makes you vomitFYI: Our cat Katya start­ed barf­ing after we switched canned cat food to MAX Cat Lite Chick­en & Lamb, and now both cats won’t touch the stuff.

They weren’t raised dumb, you know…

Breakfast for Dinner

Every­one is abuzz about Sat­ur­day’s Break­fast for Din­ner, host­ed by Jason and Kim. I’m going to be total­ly fat after this… look at the menu.

And if that isn’t enough, the drink menu will have me falling down drunk pret­ty quick.

Great idea, “Break­fast for Dinner”…

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Pancakes with Tomato Sauce

Ear­li­er this week, I men­tioned to my friend Keiko that I want­ed to make Zuc­chi­ni bread, a sum­mer tra­di­tion in my fam­i­ly. I sus­pect the tra­di­tion arose from the fact that the only thing that grew well in my father’s gar­den were Zuc­chi­nis… every­thing else usu­al­ly failed, or was eat­en by the neigh­bor­hood fauna.

The next day, she brought in from her gar­den a cou­ple of the largest Zuc­chi­nis I’ve ever seen… so large that I start­ed hav­ing visions of eat­ing Zuc­chi­ni bread for the remain­der of the summer.

Any­way, a day or two passed, (work has been all-con­sum­ing), and I had­n’t begun my project. Then, yes­ter­day, I came home at a decent hour to find Pres­ley in the kitchen, grat­ing Zuc­chi­ni, and prepar­ing not only bread, but also a recipe for din­ner — Goat Cheese-Stuffed Zuc­chi­ni Pan­cakes with Toma­to Sauce.

I got to tell you, those lit­tle Zuc­chi­ni pan­cakes were the most deli­cious things I’ve had in months. I enjoyed them so much, I did­n’t leave any room for the Zuc­chi­ni bread…

I’m a lucky guy sometimes.


I don’t know what pos­sessed me to try the new McDonald’s McGrid­dle break­fast sand­wich, but I wish I hadn’t. I had no idea that the “grid­dle” part is basi­cal­ly pan­cakes with arti­fi­cial maple syrup, built in.

So, a sausage, egg & cheese McGrid­dle real­ly is like eat­ing a brick of crap- and it sits in your stom­ach for hours. Here is the break down:

Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles™:
7.0 oz (199 g),550 calo­ries (300 from fat), & 33 grams of fat

Holy Jesus!

The Big Dig

Pres­ley, Tbone, Meg­ger, Chris and I just got back from the Mid­west Grill in Inman Square, where we cel­e­brat­ed Pres­ley’s 23rd birth­day. She real­ly is get­ting quite old.

But, on the way home, we con­vinced Chris to dri­ve down to South Boston, so we could come up the new I‑93 N tun­nel– that’s right, the Big Dig is open. Well, par­tial­ly open. The tun­nel is wide and bright, with actu­al sig­nage that gives you some actu­al notice about your exit before you dri­ve by it.

But the real treat was emerg­ing from the tun­nel, and dri­ving onto the Zakim Bridge. It’s real­ly beau­ti­ful. I stuck my head out the win­dow in the rain, and just gawked up at the tow­ers. Even with the neon pur­ple lights, it is real­ly some­thing to appre­ci­ate– espe­cial­ly at night. Noth­ing about it says “Boston”, except for its name.… but, you real­ly should take your own trip. Every­body is doing it.

Damn the Flavia Machine

I’m absolute­ly addict­ed to the Flavia machine here. $0.50 a cup, but a cup is like 6 oz. It’s Yum.

UPDATE: Note to self: Cafe­te­ria clos­es at 1:30. You will not eat a late lunch, unless Dori­to’s and Ramen out of a machine count.

caw caw caaaahhw. chau chow

caw caw caaaah­hw. chau chow city.