Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Vendy Awards 2014 09-13-2014

Location: Governor's Island
Time: 12:30-5pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-This is the 10th annual Vendys, the Oscars of the street food! Tickets were sold out in advance.
-All the drinks were pouring, including all you can drink Brooklyn Beer and wines from Santa Cristina, but the rain started to pour instead towards the end of this fun event.
-Thankfully, Yelp has prepared us with their adorable ponchos.
-Kids eat free (children under 8). CK was given "under 21" wrist band. It's his first.

Our Vote:
  • The Vendy Cup: Lechonera La Pirana (Mr. Angel and his machete, hat and delicious pork combo won our heart)
  • Masters Cup: NY Dosas (RB's lunchtime favorite)
  • Best Dessert: Ice &Vice (Grab their ice cream asap. It is the best.)
  • Best Market Vendor: Zha Pan Asian/ Bolivian Llama Party (Both our favorite savories of the show)
  • Rookie of the Year: Big D's Khao Cart
  • Ramen and Friends Award: Ice &Vice
  • CK's Favorite Award: Dough
The Vendy 2014 Winners:
  • The Vendy Cup: Cinnamon Snail
  • Masters Cup: Calexico
  • Best Dessert: Ice & Vice
  • Best Market Vendor: Zha Pan Asian
  • Rookie of the Year: Snowday
  • People’s Taste Award: Nucha
Congratulations! Thank you, Vendy's for a great time. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Big Smoke Burger 09-01-2014

Location: 70 7th Ave.
Time: 2pm
People: RB, CK and myself


-Ontario based burger chain, Big Smoke Burger opened with three scoop milkshakes and a beloved Canadian delight, poutine.
-This new NYC outpost is owned by a Calexico mogul.
-It is supposed to have a variety of Canadian and local beers, but they are currently waiting for their liqueur licence.
-Excellent, friendly, fast service.
-With the generous amount of cheese curds and gravy, the poutine ($6.50) is a major winner here.
-For the burger, there are four to choose from: veggie pattie, chicken, lamb or organic beef.
-RB's "Big Smoke Burger" ($8.95 horseradish mayo, caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, tomato and lettuce) was overcooked for his liking. This chain specializes in medium well burgers, so if you prefer some pinkish hue in your meat, this may not be the place for you.
-Easy access to poutine is always a plus.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

UFC: Unidentified Flying Chicken

tLocation: 60 3rd Ave.
Time: 1pm
People: RB, CK and myself


-Jackson Heights' famous Korean fried chicken spot, UFC opened a new location in East Village, occupying the former Apiary location.
-Certified organic and humane chicken is made-to-order, so expect some wait (about 20 minutes) and make sure to order some starters.
-Delicious and refreshing pickled Korean radish ($2.50) and simultaneously crispy and soft Asian sweet potato fries ($6.50) are must. Fried shrimp is crispy and flavorful. We didn't need to use the tartar sauce.
- The hot drumsticks were moist and tender with a crispy crust, but not as much heat as RB would have liked.
-They were so generous and gave us soy flavored wings for CK to try.
-Bulgogi burgers and salads are also available and salads. Lunch special during the weekdays is a great deal, with 5 pieces of chicken with fries or rice for $10. All drinks are half price.
-Plenty of craft beers at the bar.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yonekichi 08-18-2014

Location: 238A East 9th St. (former Otafuku location)
Time: 7pm
People: RB, CK and myself


-Much anticipated Yonekichi soft-opened with rice burgers and shaken fries. There was about 30 min wait last Monday.
-Rice burgers have been popular in Japan since the fast food chain, MOS Burger first introduced in 1987. I recall all the rage when they were first released.
-Fultummy's in Brooklyn (now closed) used to serve good rice burgers in NYC. Yonekichi is the first spot to specialize in rice burger in the city.
-They don't travel very well - The rice buns were dry, and overall it was quite salty. But the kinpira ($6.50) was tasty and the pork shoulder, Ginger Mugifui ($8.00)was well seasoned and tender.
-Shaken fries with plumkombu-cha and sansho pepper was also salty (even after shaken), but it could taste amazing if the seasoning ratio is re-considered.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

North River 08-17-2014

Location: 166 1st Ave.
Time: 11:30am
People: RB, CK and myself


-Amazing list of comfort food with locally sourced ingredients...without kale and other overdone cliches.
-Victorian style flatware and decor in modern setting. There are more seats in the back room.
-Highly recommend "Belly Doughnut"($8)-- toasted coconut doughnut is sliced, and pork belly is sandwiched in between. It is playful and creative but never gimmicky.
-Eggs are perfectly cooked, and the seasoning for home fries is well balanced.
-Every flavor is subtle and elegant yet vibrant, and the quality of ingredients is exceptional.
-Serves complimentary rolls with butter and sea salt (delectable) and seltzer water. Free seltzer!!!
-Also recommend fluffy banana bread despite its dense appearance.
-When we were dining, they were playing amazing 80's power ballads. They complimented the wonderful soft butter. Both melted in my heart.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Coffee Talk: CoffeeTonics 08-10-2014


-Apparently, coffee tonics are the summer drink of this year now that cold brew has become a staple of almost every coffee shop.
-Espresso tonic at Konditori in Cobble Hill (114 Smith Street) is refreshing and crisp. The combination of bitter and subtly sweet is perfect for the summer heat.
-Coffee flavored products are very popular in Japan: I grew up with coffee gum, coffee jelly, coffee candy, and coffee soda (tea soda is also ubiquitous). Why not try this Suntory's Espressoda if you see one at your nearby Japanese supermarket?
-If you want to try something even more interesting, try Thunderbolt at Smith Canteen in Carroll Garden (343 Smith St). It's a coffee version of Arnold Palmer, made with freshly made lemonade and Counter Culture coffee.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The MasalaWala 07-27-2014

Location: 179 Essex St
Time: 4:30pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-Delicious Southeastern Asian (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan) street snacks served at this low key LES spot.
-Friendly service.
-Extremely flavorful with dense, complex layers of notes without too much grease or salt.
-Vegetarian friendly. Try the Wala Veg Sampler ($10) for the assortment of street food like Mumbai Samosa, Dilli Bajji, and Paneer Pudina Tikka.
-Lamb Pasandra ($18, Australian lamb in fresh tomato cream and ground onion sauce with crushed aniseed)
is addictively delicious.
-Next time, I'll definitely have to try their NIzami Kati Rolls! ($6)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue 06-08-2014

Location: 433 3rd Ave. BK
Time: 4pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-It's quintessential Brooklyn Barbecue: sustainable and humane in practice, wooden communal tables, bar with great beer selection.
-Sleek and stylized comfort food.
-The sides are the winner of this joint. Creamy mac and cheese, pit-smoked baked beans, great burnt end chili-- if you are not a fan of meats and barbecue, just go for the sides.
-I asked RB regarding the meat, and he says, "very meaty."
-This is Gowanus after all. You will encounter some musicians whose guitar cases will take over the entire space before/after their show at The Bell House.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ramen-Ya 07-06-2014

Location: 181 W.4th St.
Time: 1pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-Cash only, unpretentious cozy ramen shop in West Village, which did not have much ramen presence until now.
-Quintessential superb Japanese service.
-Everything is made in house including miso and sauces.
-Broth is clean and simple, no frills, just the way I love.
-They serve a respectful, delicate bowl of ramen, similar to the flavor you get in Japan--no over-salted, spicy, fatty broth you get at famous ramen shops around the city that gears towards American palate.
- Shio black ramen is $12. With extra $1, you can have a spicy option of chili oil.
-Soupless ramen (abura soba, $15) is delicious and flavorful.
-They have a perfectly cooked bowl of smooth, shiny rice. That's how you can tell if they are a legitimate spot for Japanese restaurant.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

French Louie 07-05-2014

Location: 320 Atlantic Ave. BK
Time: 5pm
People: RB, CK and myself

- This new French Boerum Hill restaurant by the Buttermilk Channel team has a beautiful outdoor garden.
- Go at 5pm, secure the outdoor table and enjoy the most serene dining experience. Experience a little oasis in Boerum Hill.
- French Louie is by no means French Louie CK. It is named after a Canadian folklore, Mr. Louis Seymour.
- There are small dishes (1er, $10-$14) to large dishes (2eme, $19-$27) plus steak frites ($24-$37), sides, dessert and of course, cheese.
- Each dish is playful, clean and fresh. It is mainly French bistro food with new American influences such as grits with bacon paired with snail.
- Highly recommend "cauliflower and mixed grains with Harissa yogurt ($7)." It is nutty and creates a lovely flavor heaven.
-Warm, friendly service.