Monday, November 22, 2010

Delicious Sweet Potato Fries From Maoz

Oh sweet fries! The last time I went to Maoz I carelessly left without ordering the Sweet Potato Fries because I didn't spot them on the menu which in turn gave me a somewhat empty feeling in my gut. Now I did have a very delicious Falafel Salad, thank goodness, and the empty feeling wasn't because my stomach was actually empty, it was simply that I'd had my mind set on eating the Fries as well. What it really comes down to is the simple fact that I am a dummy. Yup I'll admit it, I'm stupid. All I had to do was ask the cashier if they had them. Duh! Anyway on the next visit I noticed that the Sweet Potato Fries were actually on the menu and I'd simply just missed it (say it with me...I am an idiot! No not you, I meant me.) Well let's just say that along with a Falafel Salad I also ordered the Sweet Potato Fries and quickly forgave myself for the earlier blunder. Growing up my Mom always baked Sweet Potatoes for Thanksgiving and it annoyed the hell out of her that I refused to eat them everytime. I was a bit of a finicky eater as a kid and wouldn't eat certain foods because of the way they looked and to me orange potatoes looked and smelled funny, but I never actually tried them. I don't remember exactly when it was but when I did finally try a Sweet Potato, in French Fry form, I was completely hooked. Well actually I still won't eat the ones my Mom makes, she just needs to get over it already. So now when ever I have the chance to order the fries I do and often get very excited about it. Sweet Potato Fries will make you happy. They will put you at ease and make you more attractive. People who you don't even know will come up to you and want to be your friend. When you eat Sweet Potato Fries you will no longer have any worries and your boss will suddenly promote you for no apparent reason. Ok, so only the happy part is true but it sounded so good when I was writing it that I just couldn't stop. Sorry if I mislead some of you into thinking that Sweet Potato Fries are better than they actually are and can make you feel really good for eating them. Hey wait...that's actually the truth! At Maoz they serve up their delicious Fries in a paper cone which is perfect for eating on the go and also great for pretending to be a microphone if you also like to sing and eat at the same time...guilty as charged. And let me tell you, they don't cheap you on the serving either, it's a lot of Fries! Pour on some delicious Garlic or Yogurt sauce and you are good to go, just make sure you have plenty of napkins, after all sticking your face into the cone can get pretty messy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Early Reaction To NYC's Letter Grades For Cleanliness In Our Restaurants

Just recently I've started noticing the new restaurant grades that are supposed to be posted in the front windows of all restaurants, at least the ones that have been graded so far. Well let's just say I've seen some pretty interesting placements. First off no owner wants to be given a C because that means that major violations have been found in the restaurant. An example of a major violation? Food left out too long. Dirty floors. Fish and meat not kept at proper temperatures for storage, just to name a few. As stated in the guidlines, once a restaurant has received their grade they are to post the sign in a prominent place, preferrably the a front window so that customers can see it. So far every A that I have seen has been pretty easy to spot, not a surprise, one restaurant I saw even had it blown up into a larger sign. We got an A! Yeah! Anyway the C's have been a bit more troubling. Not to finger point but Mangia on 23rd St. got a big fat C and did actually post it in their front window, of course with a giant pine bush placed in front of it. How convenient and within the rules I guess. Restaurants do have a chance to fight the dreaded C and once the re-evaluation is in process they are able to take down their C and replace it with a sign that says grade pending. So I suggest that everyone be on the lookout for these signs to make sure we are not accepting a restaurant that has a C. Also let's hope that all these restaurants clean up their acts, so-to-speak, because we as consumers deserve the best possible product, shit we already pay enough for it as it is!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Shake Shack Grows In Brooklyn

Man! I just want one damn IN-N-OUT Burger! Well until that fateful day we have Shake Shack and reports are that a new one will open in Brooklyn early next year. Apparently SS will get a prime location at the Fulton Street Mall at the corner of Fulton and Adams. Wait, isn't Tony's Famous Pizza already on that corner? Yeah but Tony's will be moved to a new location to accomodate Mr. Meyer's burger joint. The Fulton Street Mall is currently under a major renovation project with lots of new and fancy stores joining in on the fun (gentrification anyone?) Of course not everyone is happy about it. Many of the current store owners feel like they are being pushed out, which they are, and see this as a bad sign. Who knew a burger could do so much damage...other than your intestines of course. 

Bacon Flavored Soda? You Gotta Be Kidding Me

Seattle based Jones soda asked 40 New Yorkers to taste test a new soda flavor the other day, simple enough you'd think, right? Well first let me say that half of the people asked turned down the offer flatly when they heard exactly what flavor they were being asked to try. What was that flavor? Bacon. Huh, what? Bacon as in pig? Yeah that's right. Why on Earth would anyone in their right mind want to drink Bacon soda? That's just gross. And that's what 19 of the 20 who actually tried it thought. Most said they felt like throwing up after just smelling it, not a good start. There was some baloney about the soda being vegetarian and kosher but who cares? I'd want to drink Bacon soda about as much as I'd like to try Pizza actually that exists too...see above. Stop the madness!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Is Ronald McDonald The One Making Your Kids Fat?

Artist Sally Davies decided one day to chronicle the decomposition of a McDonalds Happy Meal right in her kitchen by taking a photo of it each and every day until it rotted into oblivion. Well as you can see above on day 180, the meal is practically unchanged except for the fact that it was hard as a rock. Now I for one have never really thought about the significance of food going bad. Usually when my bread turns green I just toss it in the trash, but imagine what they put in that food that makes it repel Mother Nature? Maybe someone will start shooting it into their lips instead of Botox? Hmmm...On to an article I read today in AM New York about fast food and the rampant epidemic of obesity in today's children. The article discusses whether it's the parents or the over-suggestive advertising that is marketed towards the children that is to blame. I for one am a perfect person to debate this issue since I have two young ones who both love going to McDonalds. Now let me just say that I try to relegate the amount of trips to McDonalds to two times a month and honestly the kids desire to go only stems from what toys currently are being offered in the Happy Meals. That my friends comes from advertising. These fast food companies know that kids spend a ton of time in front of their televisions, usually watching cartoons like Spongebob or shows like iCarly, and think that it would be the perfect time to promote their product. Some part of me thinks that's truly brilliant advertising and the definition of what marketing is supposed to be, but as a parent of young children it makes me believe that there is also some evil at play. And when I say evil I don't mean some red dude with horns. What I do mean is a corporation who sits around all day crunching numbers devising ways to get kids to eat more kids meals. Ultimately as parents we are responsible for what our children eat and I still believe that it is up to us not to just simply give in. Then on the other hand we can't completely eliminate the bad food because eventually our children will be old enough to just buy it on their own. I remember when I was a kid my Mom wouldn't allow us to have any sugared cereals in our house and until my first sleep over I didn't think anything of it. But once I got my first taste of Fruity Pebbles and Lucky Charms at Mark Mitchell's house all I knew after that was that I wanted more of it.  It's a double-edged sword but as parents we have to be more accountable either way.
Here are some interesting statistics:

$4.2 Billion dollars was spent on advertising by the fast food industry in 2009

12 kids meals out of a total 3,039 were considered to be nutritional

84 percent of parents say they take their kids to eat fast food at least once a week (wow!)

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Great Chicken Sandwich At Goodburger? Who knew?

It actually doesn't look so pretty in the picture does it? No matter, it's the taste thats the key. Seemingly running out of choices that I felt like eating last week, I walked on in to Goodburger feeling a bit defeated that I couldn't come up with something new. Now if I had been hankering for a burger it would certainly have been a great choice even if I have already blogged about them before, but this time I was determined to try something else. Now I wasn't completely sure they actually had anything else so I reserved myself to the fact that I might have to end up with an order of Onion Rings to go, oh well. Thankfully I was relieved to see that they had a choice of either a Grilled or Crispy Chicken sandwich and I suddenly felt the urge to try the Crispy with the hopes that it wouldn't be some frozen board that they warmed up in the microwave. Of course completely unnecessary but delicious, I ordered a sack of Fries to go with my sandwich just in case the sandwich underwhelmed, you know so I wouldn't go hungry. The first thing I noticed when I unwrapped my sandwich was that the Chicken was very thick and stuck out from eaither side offering me a chance to take an un-altered bite of just the Chicken. All I could say! It was really good and high quality for that matter. Of course once I put it all together and took a bite with the bun and all the fixings I was completely satisfied. The Fries became secondary so I covered them in ketchup and ate them all really fast, nothing like warm Fries in a sack! So the next time you are near a Goodburger but don't want a burger, you now know that they have an extra delicious Chicken Sandwich to choose! However it does make me sad that there are no Chick-Fil-A stores in NYC because that's my absolute fave.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Picture Of The Ruben I Ate On Thursday

It's ok to be jealous...that's why I posted it. As I have stated before the Ruben is the greatest sandwich ever! This one came from the Soho Garden Deli on Thompson between Grand and Canal. Of course not nearly as good as the one from Katz, but any Ruben is better than no Ruben.

Sausage and Shrimp and Potato Teriyaki Balls...Oh My!

Those are my two new friends, Mimi and Coco, serving up really great Teriyaki Balls (like Dumplings) at their last street fair this year, so of course I made a special trip down to see them today! Just about a month ago I first tried their Balls at a fair that was right outside of my job and I was completely surprised at how good they were. So when I got down there today I saw that they had three kinds to choose from...Sausage, Shrimp and Potato and being as super nice as they are, Mimi and Coco let me try all three, how cool! They were also nice enough to pose for a quick photo for me but I got out of there so they could get back to helping their next customer (I had to get back to work too). Anyway back uptown I went, Teriyaki Balls firmly in my grasp, passing all the crappy choices that street fairs usually offer. A quick note...always look for better choices, you'll find them. Ahh the warm and delicious Balls. The Sausage was really my wait I loved the Shrimp...actually the Potato were fabulous! Make up your mind man! Ok I will, all three were really great and I am really happy that I was able to go and see Mimi and Coco today, well worth the trip. My stomach thinks so too.
Gratuitous Ball Shot

Thursday, November 4, 2010

That's A Spicy Little Candy!

Forget Red Hots, this is the spiciest candy I have ever had! After having lunch at Laut on 17th street a few days back I was given one of these little gems with the check. Now all in all I love the flavor of ginger but man this was like eating the root! It was gummy and had a hint of honey, but jeez that spice! I am ending every sentence with an exclamation point! Beware the ginger candy! 

Ruben's Empanadas: Feeding NYC Since 1975, Just Hold The Raisins

These are not yo momma's empanada's. Nor are they like the ones you'll find in the Cuchifritos (Hispanic Luncheonette) all over town where they are deep fried and golden. Not that those aren't great, because they are. Ruben's Empanada's hail from Argentina and come in a wide variety of choices. My personal fave is the one pictured on top, the Broccoli with Mozzarella and Ricotta, just add hot sauce. You also have the choice of regular or whole wheat dough which I think is really great even though I have only ever tried the regular. At $4.00 a piece it is rather reasonable but I do suggest buying two because you know I am just like that. So the other day when I was there I ordered one Broccoli and one Beef thinking those would be my favorite two choices. The Beef Empanada is flavored with various spices and has an occasional Raisin mixed in which I could have done without. Not that it's strange or anything but in certain parts of Italy people put Raisins in their Meatballs, however I do not much like that either but I was willing to give this a try. Of course the Broccoli and Cheese was great with a smattering of hot sauce and I finished it rather quickly. With the Beef I decided to take it a bit slower trying to savor the flavor a bit more and to see how much the Raisins would bother me. Let's just say that if I had known there were Raisins in it I wouldn't have ordered it. Now I don't want any of you thinking that I am anti-Raisin, because I am not, I believe in equal rights for all fruit, dried or not. On their own they are a delicious snack and can be exceptionally tasty in one of my Moms Oatmeal cookies or also in a Chunky candy bar (I love Raisinettes too!). Enough about the Raisins. Anyway I highly recommend Ruben's Empanadas which can be found in several locations around the city (I frequent the one at Thompson and Broome), so stop in for a tasty treat that is sure to warm your tummy, even if you order the Beef and don't like Raisins.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

POP Burger Coming Soon To University Place

I was walking down University Place yesterday and saw this in a storefront window and suddenly got excited. It was at the corner of University and 11th Street. Being that I have never tried POP Burger this will now give me an opportunity to sample their fine sliders and apparently now their fine coffee. So far their website mentions nothing about the shop but on the window it simple states 2011. I will be on the lookout.