Friday, April 30, 2010

Don't Touch My Heine Baby

A tall cold one for the train ride home because after a long day it's necessary.
Because it's relaxing.
Because it tastes good.
Because it's a Heine.
Because it helps me tune out the noise.
Because...well just because. Just always remember to keep it in the brown bag so no one knows you're drinking it. Yeah right. TGIF.

Ennju Japanese: Coulda, Woulda, Shouldn't Have

I don't eat sushi but I really like eating Japanese food. Teriyaki, tempura, katsu, udon you name it, it's all good. Unless of course you choose the Vegetable Tempura at Ennju on 17th st...Ok I am being a bit harsh. Unfortunately for most of us, including open minded me, first impressions are very important and often times decide whether we frequent a food shop more than once. The restaurant itself is a bit disorienting at first, not the typical neat and tidy Japanese setting that I am used to. One shining example being the Mistuwa Grocery store across the river in Edgewater, NJ, it's fabulous you must go. Anyway here I couldn't tell whether you could order to go or if you selected from the pre-made dishes next to the register. There also seemed to be a self serve area but at that point I was shaking my head. Once I fugured out how to order I chose something fairly simple that I assumed I would like, Vegetable Tempura and because who doesn't like fried veggies? It came with a small side salad and white rice all for about $9 bucks, not too bad I thought. The salad was exactly what I thought it would be, simple and tasty but not overly great. I probably poured a bit too much of the salad dressing on it though. Ah the tempura. Always a challenge when you take it to go depriving yourself of the usual crispiness when eaten at the restaurant, but that never bothered me too much. However in this case it might have helped. Unfortunately other than the broccoli and zucchini I didn't exactly know what I was eating. There were a couple pieces of a potato like thing  that I didn't like to much especially when I crunched something that looked like dirt. The best part of the whole meal? The wonderfully delicious white rice which saved me from starving to death. Ok so someone told me they have really good sushi and they liked the place a lot, that doesn't quite help me now does it. Suffice it to say I may not give it another try because good white rice doesn't quantify a good enough reason to go back. Sorry Ennju. Ennju is located at 20 East 17th street if you want to see for yourself.

Dos Toros Versus Chipotle!

Here are the combatants. On the left we have the Pollo Asado Burrito from Dos Toros Taqueria and on the right we have a Chicken Burrito from Chipotle. Both worthy opponents but only one can be the victor and it will be up to me to decide! Let's get it on! Well I am not exactly sure my stomach can handle all this burrito business but damn it I am sure going to try. Actually the consumption of these two burritos happened on separate days as to allow me more time to live my life and not experience a food coma. Over the last ten years or so Chipotle has gone from a small company with a few locations to having over 900 between the US and Canada. Certainly a chain restaurant, it has pioneered the fast casual dining establishments popping up all over the country, and that might be seen as a bad thing. I disagree. Not that we are talking about the healthiest food around but Chipotle does it's best to bring you the best made food it can thru local growers and naturally raised meats (find out more at With only one location Dos Toros Taqueria offers up similar fare, also at a very high quality, to those wanting a bit more of an authentic flavor. This charming location is always packed (as are most Chipotle's) and has a similar structure to the way Chipotle operates, but that is where the similarities end. The difference is the flavor and it's a big difference. At Dos Toros you start by choosing your meat which includes rice, cheese, black or pinto beans, salsa and sour cream. After all the helpings are piled on it's wrapped up tightly in aluminum foil and you're ready to eat. At Chipotle you also start off with your meat choice, then white rice and choice of bean (black for me). Then you are asked your choice of salsa which they have 4 kinds, Dos Toros only one. I like to go mild which is pretty much the same in both places. Then I added cheese, sour cream and lettuce (no lettuce at Dos Toros).At both places I also ordered a side of chips and guacamole because what's another 1,000 calories when it comes to delicious food. Pricing is virtually the same so neither have any advantage there. Of course Chipotle has numerous locations versus Dos Toros one (137 4th Avenue), and there happens to be a Chipotle right across from it on 14th street. Great for comparing. As for the burritos...both are very delicious and fresh and I will continue to frequent both of these fast casual establishments. However the edge has to go to Dos Toros for the fact that their rice is better, which is more traditional mexican brown/yellow rice. I also like the chicken at Dos Toros better with its more smokey flavor. As for the chips and guac I preffered Dos Toros as well because they serve plain chips versus the lime flavored chips at Chipotle. I've never liked lime tortilla chips but I still ate them anyway. So in this contest the victor is Dos Toros, yeah! That should not however discourage anyone from going to Chipotle because their burritos are still a favorite of mine. One thing to remember is that Chipotle's serving size is about twice the size of Dos Toros and can be a bit daunting (and unhealthy). I chalk that up to the tortilla's that they use which are very thick, so if that is a concern for you drop the tortilla and ask for it in a bowl (not available at Dos Toros). For more info on Dos Toros Taqueria please visit their site,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

8 Places New Yorkers Shouldn't Eat

Walking across town on 23rd St. the other day I noticed 2 restaurants I hadn't seen before when I crossed 6th Avenue. It's really no shocker to miss a restaurant here or there since there are so many in town, but these particular places are extremely well known, albeit for all the wrong reasons in my opinion. The culprits you say? Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse, glorious representatives of America's shopping mall culture, and not but a few feet from each other. It matters not to me where in the city these mediocre food establishments are but what really twists my shorts is why? Undoubtedly the constant influx of tourists and people who move here from all over the country is the reason. When asked most people will tell you their reason for going to say Applebees on 42nd St. isn't because the food is good but because it reminds them of home. "Oh look Bobby TGI Friday's, that so reminds me of Topeka."  Some other reasons for going are as follows: easy, cheap, serving size and convenience. Hmmm...I always think of food as convenient...who gives a shit if it tastes good! Anyway for those of us who actually live and/or work here, this is my list of places New Yorkers shouldn't be caught dead in.

1. TGI Friday's: Now this lovely establishment was actually started here in NYC but that is no reason to give them any kudos. To me this is my prime offender primarily due to their onslaught of advertising particularly when I am watching football. For example their tag line, which is very annoying, says...'Everyone could use more Friday's!' No not really. How about...'Everyone could use better food so don't come here!'

2. Applebee's: Another restaurant with an annoying ad campaign that states...'Welcome to our neighborhood!' What neighborhood? Are you referring to the 1600 hundred locations in 49 states? That's some neighborhood. Applebee's rates very low in the food quality and taste department pushing their atmosphere, rather than their food, down our throats. Very troubling is their use of memorabilia that they plaster all over their walls (common on this list) to make it feel like a local joint. Of course this is mainly to distract you from the terrible food.

3. Olive Garden: Extremely egregious, Olive Garden (who runs a culinary institute and owns a restaurant in Tuscany) exists here where you can find some of the best authentic Italian cuisine without having to do much research. Thankfully I have never been dragged there for any reason, to me it would be like ordering from Domino's (see later), a cardinal sin that I would be held accountable for eternity. I'm half Italian so I take it a bit personally and the only reason this isn't first on my list is because the advertising isn't quite as bad as the others. However trying to pass off authentic Italian cuisine at a franchise restaurant pisses me off. I really hate the name too.

4. Red Lobster: Almost as bad a name as Olive Garden, how dumb is it to call yourself Red Lobster. It's lobster and it's red. It's food and it sucks! This place is certainly troubling in the north east where great seafood is readily available. I can only imagine the guilt eating at this restaurant in say...Boston!

5. Outback Steakhouse: Out of all of the chain restaurants Outback is the one I have eaten at the most, never in the city mind you, but still a thorn in my side. Long ago a place for fellow employees and I to hang out after a long day at work. In this case it was the only place close by....convenient, easy...I know, we're not talking NYC ok! Anyway annoying commercials, of course. Good food, not so much. If you like lots and lots of added sugar and salt this is the place for you (very common on this list as well).

6. Chili's: Ok perhaps it's the king of the most annoying commercial jingles, (that always seems to bounce around in your head) but thankfully Chili's has not ever been a stop in my travels. So I guess I can't say anything bad about it right? There's one in Queens so don't go there to eat that's all.

7. Hooters: Do I really need to tell you a reason not to go here?

8. Domino's, Pizza Hut, Papa John's, Little Ceasars: Obviously these are not restaurants but there's no way in hell any respectable New Yorker with a conscience should ever order from one of these places. Now if you are at an office party and there is nothing else to eat but this stuff (I don't like calling it pizza), DON'T EAT IT! Run down to the corner and grab a slice from Ray's, you'll feel much better.

Honorable Mentions:
Ruby Tuesday
Johnny Rockets
Hard Rock Cafe
Planet Hollywood
California Pizza Kitchen

Monday, April 26, 2010

Top Ten Pizzas In NYC:

Please check out this link (below) to read an interesting top ten list of the best pizzas in NYC. It's always interesting to see how people rate the different pizza places in the city. This list does have a variety of traditional to gourmet but it sticks strictly to the whole pie, no slices! Of course pizzeria's like Grimaldi's in Brooklyn or Jon's Pizzeria on Bleeker are represented as old standards. However there are some new entires and that always gives me a reason to go eat some more pizza!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pommes Frites: Golden, Delicious, Fries and Sauce!

Just below St. Marks Place on 2nd Ave. is a lovely little shop called Pommes Frites that has some of the tastiest fries in the city. What's really special about this place is what they put on the fries or frites as they call them in Belgium. Generally I am a ketchup guy (ok for fries). Sometimes I like to add a little mayo and once in a while honey mustard. But at Pommes Frites there are just so many sauces to choose from. So many sauces, so little time. I won't go into them all, and I've tried a bunch, but my clear fave (so far) is the Peanut Satay. An interesting flavor sensation at first but it really grew on me. Of course always in search of perfection the next sauce on my list to try is the Curry Ketchup Especial. A combo of Frites Sauce, Curry Ketchup and Raw Onions, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. What's extra fun about this place is how they serve it, in a paper cone, and your choice of whether to have the sauce poured on top or on the side (always on top). Sure it's a bit messy but food is more fun that way. Also this is one of those places you want to go with someone or even a few friends. It's great to sit around trying each others sauces eventually deciding that you love them all (not your friends, the sauces). But sadly if you bring a friend who doesn't want any sauce, he or she must sit alone somewhere, preferably in a dark room with the door locked. A cruel but fitting punishment. Please check out their website,, to see what sauces might tickle your fancy. No sauce, no glory.

Nathan's Famous: Hot Dog History NYC Style

I've been going to Nathan's since like forever. My Dad used to take me and my sister to the one in Yonkers on Central Ave back when we would see him only on the weekends. It wasn't that often but when we did go it was extra special. Nathan's and New York, especially Coney Island, go hand in hand. Many years ago the governor of New York, Nelson D. Rockefeller, once stated that..."No man (or woman?) can hope to be elected in this state without being photographed eating a Nathan's famous hot dog." Thanks to Mike Bloomberg this tradition has continued but I am not sure Hillary Clinton has given one a try yet. Anyway the point of this blog is to talk about food, not poilitics, so I'll make it simple. I won't make any wild boasts about Nathan's being the best hot dog in New York, all I will say is that it's my favorite mainly because it reminds me of my childhood. Not that it was an overly happy one but little things like going to Nathan's on a Sunday afternoon with my Dad and my sister make me think it wasn't all that bad. Now getting down to the nitty gritty I like mine with mustard, sometimes with sauerkraut, but never with ketchup. Personally I think ketchup on a dog is a sin and boo to me if that's the way you like it, but remember this is my blog. There's nothing like the snap you get when you bite into one of Nathan's Famous even after all these years. I really love the flavor better than any others, it stands out all on it's own and in my opinion doesn't need anything on it. That's why I always find it fascinating when I see heaps of condiments overloaded onto someone's hot dog, it's like their eating the extras and not the actual dog. That goes for pizza too in case you were wondering. Unfortunately I have never been to the original shop in Coney Island, a crime of epic proportions I know. However this year I have plans on attending the July 4th Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest with my family. And no I don't plan on competing, that's just gross. I will take lots of photo's and post them here after the event so you'll all know I was actually there and who knows maybe the dogs on Coney Island taste even better than the ones in Yonkers. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Katz's Deli: NYC Pastrami Institution

 Look at that sandwich. You are staring at one of the oldest traditions in the city of NY, a Pastrami on Rye at Katz's Delicatessen, established way back in 1888. Thankfully not much has changed over the years including the cafeteria style dining area, the hustle and bustle lines or the free taste test of your meat before your sandwich is made. All a very important part of the experience which some feel is a bit touristy, but so what. The real key to NY's best sandwich is in the preparation. Mainly for me it's the Pastrami. Cured for I don't know how long, forever I think, the Pastrami is steaming when pulled out for carving. Like I said a sliver is offered on a plate just to make sure that's what you were looking for. A generous helping of deli style mustard is wiped on the rye bread and pressed down creating a picture of perfection. No sandwich is complete at Katz's without a healthy serving of pickles, they usually give you a couple but ask for extra. Then down the line you go for a beverage. My personal fav? A Dr. Browns Black Cherry soda which for me completes the whole meal. If you find yourself craving for this masterpiece (uh yeah) I suggest you make it a priority on your schedule. And if you are thinking of taking it to go, don't. Park yourself at one of their cramped tables, stare at the wall of pictures and stuff yourself silly until you can't eat another bite. That's surely what's going to happen. Rarely am I able to finish the whole sandwich, usually staying an extra few to see if I can manage just one more bite. I actually think it's part of the tradition, not finishing I mean, it assures that you feel the need to come back and give it another try. Obviously you will because I said so. Katz's is located on Houston at the corner of Ludlow (205 Houston) and they have a website if you are interested,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Goodburger: It's A Damn Good Burger!

Where are the fries you say? In my belly that's where, duh! Honestly I couldn't wait to put them down and take a picture and as you can see I almost couldn't wait on the burger either. This, my friends, is a cheeseburger from Goodburger which has 5 locations throughout the city for us to choose from. It's got a 5.5oz pattie that is 100% Hereford beef (better than Angus) and the reason it's worth the $6.75, the meat is simply fantastic. I always get it with everything on it: Lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard and mayo. Whew! It's the only way to have it, pure bliss. Oh yeah and those fries...Fresh potatoes, never frozen. Fried in 100% pure, cholesterol free, zero trans-fat, vegetable oil and packed in a little sack that's always empty before I get back to work. For those of you who wish to have a great burger and don't want to wait at Shake Shack's long ass line in Madison Square Park, Goodburger has a convenient location at 870 Broadway (between 17th and 18th), and if it's raining a place to sit inside. To check out their menu or for online ordering go to:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good Food Read: New York Magazine

The other day I was riding home on the train (of course) staring blankly at the seat in front of me when I was interrupted by someone asking to sit next to me. The nerve. Anyway an over-perfumed female plopped herself and her two overstuffed bags next to me and began to unfurl herself from her belongings. Why carry so many things I wondered. Once settled she pulled a copy of New York Magazine from her smaller satchel seemingly unfazed by my obnoxious staring and started to read. Normally I would have returned to simply focusing on the faux leather seat in front of me tracing it's realistic skin creases with a keen eye, but something my neighbor was reading kept me staring. A two page spread of deliciousness. Actually the article was called Deliciousness Block by Block and it encompassed pages 84 and 85 of the April 19th issue of New York Magazine. I know this because once I got off the train I went to the newsstand and purchased a copy.
Immediately I haphazardly rifled through the pages so I could get a closer look at what had lead me to this state of frenzy. 60 wonderful pictures of New York Mag's critics' favorite dishes at places all over the city. From Harlem to Fort Greene. Woodside to City Island. Fried chicken, Meatballs, Sushi, Tacos, Clam pizza and much, much more. Admittedly I had only visited 3 of the locations myself and suddenly I felt a bit inadequate. Honestly I am just an amateur even if I don't like to admit it and often need guidance on where to find good eats. That's what it's all about. Living (or working) in the greatest city on Earth with it's never ending supply of great food and the stories to go with it. It just makes me want to get out there more. Check out to read this informative issue.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Roast Pork Heaven at Defonte's of Brooklyn

You see that right there, over to the the photo right there. That sandwich, in case you were wondering, is what heaven is like. Pure Friggin' (Love that word) heaven. One of the best sandwiches in NYC, probably in the whole country, and that's no joke. I am so emotional right now talking about this beautiful creation, it's just so sad that I had to eat it....wait what am I saying? That's the whole point. Of course I am being a bit silly but this place can do that to me. I am talking about Defonte's of Brooklyn (In Manhattan no less) and my favorite sandwich there, the #34 Roast Pork. To call it simply a sandwich doesn't do it any justice but certainly doesn't take away from the experience. The first time I went to Defonte's I was a bit overwhelmed by the choices seemingly liking everything I saw on their chalkboard. You cannot waver. You must dive right in and grab hold of your choice like it's the most important decision since choosing what you watched on TV the night before. Ok I'm not serious but it's still important. There are simply no bad choices at Defonte's, so whatever you pick it's gonna melt in your mouth and fill you up for the remainder of the day and probably into the evening.

On the ole' #34 they start off with a fresh Italian roll and pile on what they call 'Hot Salad,' a semi-firey mix of pickled veggies that's actually great all on it's own. Then they layer on their signature breaded and  fried Eggplant, which in any other instance I wouldn't eat because I just wouldn't, but here it's amazing. Then a couple pieces of swiss cheese and finally the piece de resistance, the Roast Pork with it's natural jus. The (dare I say) hero is probably too much to eat all in one sitting but you just gotta do it because it isn't the same when it sits for awhile. While I was paying, the gentleman at the counter unfortunately pointed out that if I liked the Roast Pork I should give the (newly written in on the side) Firehouse Special a try. Hmmm I thought....any chance I could eat two sandwiches? Nuts. The Firehouse Special has Roast Pork (of course), Fried Eggplant (of course), Broccoli Rabe and Provolone cheese. Whew! I know what I'm eating tomorrow. Anyway it's about $10.00 for every sandwich at Defonte's and if that seems a bit pricey it's really a misnomer because when something is this good it's easy to know what you've spent your hard earned dough on (besides the uncomfortble lump in your belly). To see their full menu (sans specials) go to, and while you're on the site take the time to read about their history, it's very cool. Mangia.

Pizza Bash NYC: Let's Get This Party Started

Where's the party you say? It's at Pizza Bash NYC in Union Square that is. Well there is no party actually that's just a rouse to get you inside to buy a slice of really good pizza. Seriously I am a big pizza fan and can be very harsh in my assesments of pizza establishments if they don't live up to the reputation of NYC pizza. Basically it is easy to slap a name on a shop and call it a pizzeria with there being one on almost every block in the city but the secret to success is not in what you make it's how you make it. Now I am no gourmet pizza lover. I don't like numerous toppings or exoctic ones like pineapple, yuk. I am strictly a traditionalist when it comes to eating a triangle; plain, pepperoni or sausage is usually the way I go to get the best read on a particualr joint. It was no different when I stepped into Pizza Bash a few days ago to pick up some lunch. The first thing I noticed upon inspection of the small operation was that it wasn't the traditional looking pizza place and much care had been taken when designing it. There were several high tables with stools to my left filled with folks seemingly enjoying themselves and on the right more stools for those of us who intended to dine alone. In the back I spotted the oven and I quickly made my way there scanning for a plain slice. Two slices and soda, $8.50, a bit pricey but flavor would be the ultimate judge. After devouring the two pieces I am happy to report that it was extremely delicious, high praise I know, but it's well deserved. With it's crispy thin crust, (thinner and crispier than traditional NYC slices) baked in a brick oven, fresh mozzarella and tasty
sauce, it really sets itself apart from most places. As usual with me I could have eaten two more slices but not wanting to be a piggy I grabbed a menu and headed back to work. Currently Pizza Bash does not have a website but there are a few other reviews on the web if you are so inclined. They are located at 42 Union Square East, between 16th and 17th. So stop in and try a slice to see what you think...Hmmm maybe next time I'll try the Pizza Jesse (White Pizza) with some garlic knots, oh man I am hungry...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kelley and Ping: If At First You Don't Succeed....

Walking thru Soho one day looking at expensive furniture (just looking) I passed by Kelley and Ping Asian Grocery and Noodle Shop and thought how interesting and that I'd have to give it a try at some point. A few days later actually I walked thru the front doors with high expectations. Now to understand me better I always have high expectations or at least I always expect to get fed and like what I eat. Rarely do I totally dislike the food that I am eating and generally find something good to say about it. This is the case with Kelley and Ping. My high expectations were first met with mediocrity on finding that saying Asian Grocery on your front window doesn't mean there is actually an asian grocery inside. Having a couple bottles of soy sauce for sale doesn't qualify. So what, right? Anyway I was still excited to have some food so I made my way to the back of the restaurant where you order and quickly chose the Dim Sum lunch box for $8.50. The menu said it included: steamed dumplings, shumai, spring rolls and sesame noodles. Plenty of food right? I was then directed to sit towards the front of the place to wait and someone would bring my to-go bag shortly. The place smelled really good and I watched the chef mix up some noodles with vegetables in a wok that looked extra tasty. Mmmmm I thought, can't wait to see my Dim Sum sampler or box as they called it. Oh I also ordered a side of Edamame (a necessity) for 4 bucks and a drink that I don't remember consuming. After a bit of a wait (no biggie) my brown paper bag was delivered to me and I dashed off to eat my supposed smorgasbord. If you sense a bit of! All kidding aside I was rather disappointed when I returned to work moments later to see what was actually inside my box. Not that it wasn't presented nicely but I was expecting a bit more. There I go, expectations. Actually it was simply the fact that the food didn't look fresh and seemed like it hadn't been made when I ordered it. It had only taken me 4 or 5 minutes from the restaurant to my office so it couldn't possibly have been from being in the bag too long. Overall the food tasted ok even though there wasn't that much of it. The Sesame Noodles stood out, of course being a dish served cold (not a reference to revenge), it's preparation was fine and full of flavor. Enjoyment however comes from small green soybeans and the Edamame saved me from starving, ok not actually but it saved me from running out to get some pizza. A lot of people may look at this as a negative encounter or a bad review but that couldn't be farther from the truth, I'm not a reviewer. I think it's important to form an opinion over a period of time and not jump to conclusions like a film critic. One dish, one experience does not make a restaurant so I fully intend on giving Kelley and Ping another try. Please check out their website for more information,, and take a look at what else they serve.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Zaro's Popcorn Commute

It's 6:38 pm and I'm heading home on transit.  I'm a commuter and nothing is better on the train than a bag of Zaro's popcorn and a 16oz. bottle of Coke. It's more like a tube of popcorn that's all greasy and salty. 4 or 5 napkins is a must because you don't want to be wiping your hands on your dress pants. Here's another quick tip: try not to finish the whole bag on the train, stop halfway thru to keep from a nasty tummy ache. Trust me I have experience in this area. Popcorn great, tummy ache bad.

Rice NY: Another Great Place for a Crispy Treat

Seemingly always on the look out for a great tasting rice crispy treat I highly recommend the treats at Rice on 292 Elizabeth just above Houston. A bit pricey at $4.00 a pop but well worth the once-in-a-while expenditure. The street on which they are located could easily be assumed as a back alley and be missed, so be sure to remember the address. No need to walk into the restaurant for your treat as they have a convenient walk-up window for coffee and quick eats. The treats come in two choices: with cranberries or with apricots and are served in really great containers, its just a little thing but I love presentation. The difference between these treats and others is I usually tend to eat these alot slower instead of my usual stuff-my-face method which is very attractive. Here I like to take these home and enjoy them after dinner, somewhat because of the containers but because the added fruit makes it a bit more dessert-like and not so much a snack(to be shoved in my mouth). Also I always feel the need to share these and have other people, like my family, give them a try as well. Usually I am a bit more protective of my crispy treats, hence my normal intake of them, but like I said these are special. So when you have the chance and you are in the neighborhood give Rice a visit and your business. P.S. this is also a pretty good restaurant or so I hear, I will have to give it a try sometime and let you all know how it is.

Update 1:39pm: I forgot to include a link to Rice NY's website so make sure you check it out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Treats Truck Is Here! The Treats Truck Is Here! All Is Right In The World

All I gotta say is Oatmeal (Colorful Language) Friggin' Jammie! And I say choose the apricot filled, I could eat 12 of those things. The question is where is the Treats Truck today? You say what's the Treats Truck? Only the (Colorful Language...Again) Friggin' best thing ever to happen to the streets of NYC, that's what. Ok a bit of an overstatement but I am easily excited, especially when it comes to food and damn good oatmeal cookies. Anyway the Treats Truck travels around town setting up shop (mainly midtown) to sell scrumptiously baked goodies from Monday to Saturday. Check out their website to find out exactly where they will be each day and then RUN to pick up some goodies to stuff your face with, that's what I do. For instance yesterday I felt a rumble in my tummy that only a huge, oversized rice crispy treat would satisfy and luckily for me the Treats Truck was just around the corner on 5th ave and 15th st from 4pm to 6pm. Running with a gait similar to a gazelle, I made my way outside to find the truck exactly where the website said it would be. Be sure to review the menu on their website so you can be prepared when you arrive, that way you won't waste anytime stuffing an Oatmeal (Here we go again) Friggin' Jammie in your mouth even before you have paid. Ok I want to clear something up...the term Friggin' in between Oatmeal and Jammie is all mine and don't want anyone to be disappointed when they arrive at the Treaks Truck and don't see it on the menu. Remember I am the excitable type. Anyway I digress. There's always lots to choose from; for instance the aforementioned (Rice) Crispy Treats (Way bigger than Mom's), the Chocolate Chipper, Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies, Brownies, Daily specials and other stuff. There's also a tray of samples that you can finger if patiently waiting in line. Wait there's more! They also have a frequent customer card that after 10 punches you get something, what that is I can't exactly remember because I'm always too busy stuffing my you-know-what. So like I said check it out, eat some goodies and tell all your friends to give the Treats Truck a try.

The Other End Of The Spectrum...Rainbow Falafel & Shawarma

Right next door to the lovely Dogmatic is a hole in the wall called Rainbow Falafel & Shawarma, actually they have the same address, 26 E 17th st, but they couldn't be more different. The hole in the wall comment is no joke, it is literally a hole barely big enough for a couple of people to stand and order a Falafel. Mainly for utter curiosity I stopped in to give it a try because it certainly wasn't for it's first impression or by recommendation, not to worry. Since I had never actually had a Falafel, or at least I couldn't remember, I just ordered the first item on the menu which of course is a Falafel. The gentleman behind the counter asked if I'd like some white sauce and onions to which I said sure, I mean why not, and I was ready to go in just a minute.
At first it felt like I could have used a second one since the bag was pretty light but on inspection it was more than enough even though it could've used a bit more of the Falafel stuff. Actually the Falafel part is ground up chick peas with some delicious spices and it was in fact delicious. The important part is there wasn't too much onions and lettuce, so basically no wasted space and that made it more enjoyable. For that reason I will certainly visit again and try something else on the menu. Obviously Rainbow Falafel & Shawarma is not about appearances which I for one am often swayed by the presentation and packaging. However none of that guarantees a good experience and I am happy to say it worked here for the opposite reasons.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dogmatic Does It Right

Not long ago I happened upon this lovely little restaurant called Dogmatic on 26 E 17th St while out searching for something quick to eat. I don't know if I would actually call it a restaurant, its more like a rest stop, but that's no biggie. With so many choices in the Union Square area it certainly would be easy to miss this little joint especially with the hiddeous scaffolding blocking their entrance. No matter, once found it is truely a delight. A warm atmosphere with a great decor, Dogmatic offers up gourmet sausages in their deliciously unique buns accompanied by tasty sides and their own freshly made soda's. So far I have tried three of the sausages: Lamb, Pork and Beef, and all have been very good. There are also lots of sauce choices that they squeeze into the buns as well, like horseraddish mustard or jalapeno cheddar (the only two I have tried) and I am looking forward to trying the others. They also offer several choices of sides of which I have only had the cole slaw and it was good as well. What really stands out to me and will keep me coming back is the bun, actually a mini baguette, as this really sets this establishment apart. I am a bread fanatic so I put alot of importance in this area and these buns really deliver. Dogmatic has a great website ( that you should check out where it offers up alot of great info about how their eats are prepared or grown in some cases, and where you can see the full menu. So the next time you find yourself in Union Square hankering for a bite to eat be sure and give Dogmatic a try, you'll thank me.