Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Best Pizza Places in the US According to Food & Wine

That lovely Pizza in the picture comes from NYC's Don Antonio Pizzeria which was named one of the best Pizza places in the country by Food & Wine magazine. In fact NYC had 14 Pizza joints on the list, of course the most out of any other place in the country, further establishing NYC as the mecca of Pizza. Was there ever any doubt? Below is the list of Pizzeria's that you should try as soon as you can:

Don Antonio
Via Tribunali
Keste Pizza & Vino

Paulie Gee's
Di Fara

I gotta say that I'm a little curious to find out if the Food & Wine people tried any Pizzeria's in the Bronx or Queens, seems like they might have missed one or two places....

Either way NYC dominated...

To check out the full list please click the link below:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Bacon Shortage? Oh My Gosh No!!!

No, no, no, not a shortage of Kevin Bacon, though he's a fine actor.....

...a shortage of actual Bacon! I am getting all emotional already. Actually it's pretty serious business. Over the last couple of years farming has become more challenging than ever due to widespread drought which has lead to the devastation of crops, some of which are used to feed animals like soy and corn. This lack of availability has caused prices of these items to skyrocket and in turn has caused many  pig farmers to cull or get rid of their herds...not good news.

Basically it means that prices will go up and that Bacon, Egg and Cheese you eat every morning on the corner of 39th and 2nd is gonna cost you a little bit more.

Kobayashi Of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Fame Is Developing His Own Hot Dog Line

It's been quite a while since our friend Kobayashi has won the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog eating contest and things really haven't gone too well for him since then. First off he's no longer in the contest, whether it's because he knows he can't beat Joey Chestnut or the promoters no longer want him there, he's just not the competitive eater he used to be. Yeah sure he still competes in contests where he has eating contests all by himself...and you know what? He always wins.

Anyway in his quest to remain relevant, Kobayashi has joined a group of famous investors in the purchase of a small Hot Dog brand called Hoffman Hot Dogs, but with one of the Hot Dogs has to be named after him. Wow, now there's something to be proud of.

Will people really buy a Hot Dog because there is a picture of Kobayashi on the front of the package? I'm not so sure but you can't fault a guy with limited abilities for trying to cash in on being good at stuffing his face...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In A City Built On The Sandwich, Potbelly Sandwich Shop Doesn't Add Much

Do we really need another chain sandwich shop in NYC? Maybe, maybe not, but ultimately it just has to be good.

New York City is a place that is known for great sandwiches, whether it's the amazing bread or the regional choices that define the melting pot that we live in. I love a good sandwich and if I could, I'd probably eat one everyday. However, not just any sandwich because I don't accept sub-standard or run of the mill fare like Subway or Quizno's, but I try to still have an open mind and am willing to try anything once.

So the other day I happened to be in Union Square on 17th Street, a place where I've pretty much eaten at every place from Broadway to 6th Ave except for one, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, which I decided to try. Honestly I hadn't heard much about it before other than knowing it was a chain that had begun in Chicago. Chicago, that's another city that's known for great sandwiches...right?

Maybe not. The picture above is the sandwich that I ordered which they call the Italian but I call the ordinary. You see that's what it was like to eat at Potbelly, it was ordinary. It wasn't bad but come on, there are way better sandwiches in New York City. Actually right across the street is Pret-A-Manger which I believe has much better sandwiches. Also just a couple of blocks away is Tom Colicchio's sandwich shop 'wichcraft, which has amazing selections. Even Lenny's on 23rd has better sandwiches and I don't like them much either.

I was satisfied though...with my water, my Cole Slaw and my Sour Cream and Onion Chips. Seriously though it wasn't horrible, so if you want to go to a place that has ok sandwiches then Potbelly is the place for you!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

McDonalds Opening Up A Vegetarian Restaurant?...In India

In India it's the Maharaja-Mac and it's made with Chicken patties instead of meat. You see in India most people don't eat beef because cows are sacred so in the 250 or so locations of McDonalds there they only serve Chicken and Fish.

So in two of India's holiest cities McDonalds will be opening two Vegetarian Only restaurants to take advantage of the business there. Hmmm, will these holy people really want to go to McDonalds before or after they make a pilgrimage? I'm not sure.

It seems interesting to me that the company will be opening these restaurants and yet they really offer no Vegetarian options in the US....the Fries don't count. I'm talking about a Meat-less burger, they could call it the Soy-Mac or something like that. However the company doesn't have any plans to add any Vegetarian options nor is there any call for it from the public because you know, Vegetarians don't really go there...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just Because It's The Worlds Biggest Hamburger Doesn't Mean It Was Any Good

Honestly, does that even look good? It kinda looks like an animal they killed that's been left in the woods to rot for a week...

Anyway some casino in Minnesota created this monstrosity so they could have the record for Worlds Largest Hamburger...maybe it should be called the Worlds Largest pile of crud.

What a waste of food. Yeah sure they cut it up into a zillion pieces and handed it out to the hundreds of idiots that stood and watched. Really? Watched what? Watched as a crane lifted the damn thing onto the custom made outdoor cooker. Watched as they dumped Lettuce, Onions, Tomatoes and Cheese on top without any care.

2,014 pounds, 10 feet in diameter...

60 pounds of Bacon
50 pounds of Lettuce
50 pounds of Onions
40 pounds of Pickles
40 pounds of Cheese

A rep from the Guinness Book of World Records said..."What I saw today was a feat of remarkable teamwork that resulted in a world record burger that actually tastes really good." That guy needs a reality check. Maybe he should have just simply asked why? Just so a record could be broken?

I'm sorry but to me that's not what food is for...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Vietnamese Bahn Mi For Lunch From My Favorite Shop, Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich

Doesn't that look yummy?

My favorite Vietnamese Sandwich in the City from Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich shop on Broome Street just off of Mulberry. Been going there for years. Just $4.50 gets you one of their over sized Bahn Mi, which is the Vietnamese term for Bread, but whatever it is it sure is delicious.

The House Special is filled with BBQ Pork, Pork Roll, Pickled Veggies, a Cucumber slice and Cilantro all on a scrumptious torpedo roll, and is usually served extra spicy. I've been known to eat two in a sitting especially when they are still hot and the bread is crispy, but one is generally enough. The highlight of the sandwich is certainly the BBQ Pork, a sweet layer of crunchy goodness that is accentuated perfectly by the rest of the ingredients. However I must warn you, it's smell is a bit deceiving.

If you've never had Vietnamese food before than you are certainly not aware of the National Sauce of Vietnam which smells pretty bad. I really can't describe it but it's rank. It's some kind of Fish sauce which they put on everything, but when I tell you it's delicious you have got to believe me. Wanna know why? Because I hate Fish. A foodie who hates Fish, I could I be a true foodie if I don't eat Fish? We all dislike something, so what.

The bottom line is that this sandwich is fantastic and you need to experience it for yourself to understand what I am talking about. When you do, you will thank me.

Friday, September 7, 2012

CoolHausNY Makes The Best Fried Chicken and Waffles...Ice Cream Sandwich!

That's Fried Chicken and Waffles? Yes, indeed it is, and it was fabulous. Actually I don't remember a whole lot about it since I barely took a breath while eating it.

I'd just come from a meeting in Chelsea and decided I was going to see what food trucks were hanging out in Union Square Park, the new hot spot for lunch. Visions of Steak Sandwiches and Tacos danced in my head as I walked down Broadway past numerous eateries that were not going to get my money. Food Trucks are the on-the-go meal trend in the City, for the days when you don't have time to sit and relax.

Eventually my plan was to end up all the way downtown so grabbing a meal-to-go was an obvious choice, but what selections would their be? Luckily there only needed to be one.

CoolHausNY sat amongst five other trucks nestled between a Smoothie Truck and the UPS man. Quickly I scanned their flavors of the day conveniently posted on the side of their truck and also on a chalkboard sign on the street. There it was, like finding a Yeti in the forrest that had avoided me for years, their Fried Chicken and Waffles Ice Cream. I would have jumped for joy if no one was looking, but the line was long so I needed to act quickly.

As I moved into 2nd position the girl in front of me received her order and remarked..."This is the coolest thing I've ever had." An overstatement at best, but I could understand her excitement. The fellow inside the truck, realizing her comment replied..."It is CoolHaus after all." To which I had to chuckle. The fact remains that these Ice Cream Sandwiches really do something to bring out the kid in all of us.

Fried Chicken and Waffles on Snickerdoodle Cookies. Done.

The Ice Cream is so good. The Cookies are delicious. Even the piece of edible paper that they wrap it in is a unique sensation, but the truth of the matter is that I'm not sure I really tasted the flavor and that's not completely a bad thing. I really think I ate it too fast since I was so excited to actually have finally had it in my hands. Still the experience was a good one, wait no, a great one. No one else makes as good an Ice Cream Sandwich in NYC as CoolHaus does and I am truly glad to be able to sample their wares from time to time. 

For me the jury is still out on the Fried Chicken and Waffles which mean only one thing...that I am going to have to try it again sometime soon. Thank you CoolHausNY.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Guy Fieri's Restaurant Opening In Times Square This Month

Don't we all love this guy, I mean Guy? Come on, he's funny, entertaining, interesting to look at and he hosts one of the best shows on Food Network, 'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.' What's not to like?

His rise to fame and popularity is unrivaled in the food industry ever since he won on the Next Food TV Network Star and at this point it seems like there is no end in sight. Opening this month is his new restaurant in NYC, Guy's American Kitchen, a 16,000 square foot behemoth landing in Times Square which will only further enhance the fact that he is already a household name.

So far details of what's on the menu have not been released other than Guy himself saying that it will be a mix of his restaurants, Tex Wasabi's and Johnny Garlic's, and some new dishes that were inspired by his adventures on 'Triple D,' as he likes to call his show.

Obviously being from New York I rarely find myself in Times Square and try to avoid the area as much as's just not for us, it's for the tourists, and that's what this restaurant is for. The true New Yorkers will not be suddenly drawn to one of the most crowded spots in the city because Guy Fieri opened up a restaurant, but this is not a comment on who he is. Guy is an over-the-top personality who resonates with a large part of the country, so it makes perfect sense to open up his first NYC shop in touristville.

One would hope that Mr. Fieri might try his hand at a cool SoHo spot one day or even a 'Dive-like' joint somewhere in the East Village just to show that he's not all about the fame and money. Either way I say good luck to him and his new establishment as it is sure to bring lots of needed jobs to the City of New York...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tom Colicchio Talks About The End Of Craft And Retirement

The end of Craft...

Well not the end exactly, just the end of expansion. Tom is a busy guy these days and with two little ones running around it's got him thinking about walking away from it all and retiring. Wow.

I myself am a self proclaimed lover of all things Colicchio since I've eaten at practically every one of his establishments in the New York area and have never been disappointed. The man knows what he is doing and always seems to know just how to tweak his menus to keep it fresh without blowing it up all together.

So when the man comes out and says he's not going to roll out anymore restaurants I get a little nervous because in my mind that means he'll probably turn over the whole operation to someone else. Eeeeek! I see it as a one way ticket to ordinary, but I'm getting ahead of myself...this isn't going to happen really, he'll never be able to let go. He'll step away for awhile then then make a triumphant return...

Yeah sure...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

KFC Experimenting With An ALL-SKIN Sandwich...Wait, I Think I'm Gonna Hurl!

It's called the 'Skinwich'...yes that's actually what they are calling it and it's already making me sick.

Wonderfully created by the minds at KFC who were obviously inspired by Hannibal Lecter to create something so disgusting only a psychotic cannibal would want to eat it. Ok, maybe there weren't inspired by Hannibal, but what made them think that this would work or would even be edible? Sure, who doesn't like to eat the skin on Fried Chicken? It's crunchy, salty and delicious but it's usually accompanied by the meat.

You know when you get to the end of eating your burger, when all that's left is the bun, the condiments, the lettuce, tomato and the onions, and you've just swallowed the last bit of succulent, wonderful meat??? It's over and the dream has ended. No meat, no more burger. I think this is exactly how I would fell if I ever managed to feel dumb enough to try the 'Skinwich.' I would feel like I was missing something with every bite...where is the damn meat! Of course the gag reflex inside of me wouldn't let me do it. I'd sit there looking at the box, not able to open it for the fear of spewing right there on the table. What a mess.

Gross. Disgusting. Horrendous.

Honestly, why doesn't KFC just engineer a Chicken with double the skin? I mean they already engineer their Chick-a-dees to be plumper, meaner, stronger, faster and able to leap small buildings in a single bound. I think it would make a lot of sense...don't you?

"Hey Jimmy! Get the mop, another customer barfed on the floor after eating a 'Skinwich'! It sure is a messy one too!" Said Al the manager...

"Man, 6th one today, I don't get paid enough for this shit." Jimmy whispered....

Smorgasburg Is Taking Over! Well Not Really, It's Expanding To Sundays In Dumbo

Exciting news my friends, Smorgasburg is expanding to Sundays! Starting on 9/9 they will be at Dumbo's Tobacco Warehouse in a collaboration with Brooklyn Bridge Park and should continue there through November.

This must also be great news for all the vendors who will be able to expand their business with a second day at an already very successful event. What's really fantastic is that it allows people like myself, a foodie, it gives us a greater opportunity to visit Smorgasburg more often, and not only that it gives us two days to choose from.

Hopefully this will also give an opportunity to some new vendors who haven't been able to make the Saturday only event, that way we will all have tons of new choices, not the ones who are there already aren't amazing. It's just really exciting for the whole operation and I'm really happy to those who run it because it's a testament to all their hard work. Let's also not forget the wonderful vendors who put themselves on display every weekend to sell their wonderful foods to all of us lucky folks.

Smorgasburg Dumbo at the Tobacco Warehouse, which is at 30 Water Street (at New Dock Street)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Eataly Performs Above Expectations, So The Plan Is To Open More Stores

I wasn't the biggest fan of Eataly the first time I visited because when I walked in I felt like I was stepping into an unfinished painting, and I guess that's not always such a bad thing. It needed time to jell, to figure out exactly what it should look like, how it should flow, and by the time of my second visit it had already begun the transformation.

Fast forward to the present where the 2 year old establishment has really carved out a niche for itself in the food service and grocery industry, bustling with regulars and tourists from open to close. In just it's first year of operation Eataly had a gross revenue of $70 million dollars, a staggering amount considering the economy and the average price of goods sold there. Projected second year earnings are even greater at $85 million, so you can see where this is going.

Already Eataly is looking to open new shops in Chicago, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, Brazil...just to name a few. The Chicago space is extra intriguing because they plan to have even more restaurants than the Manhattan store and that already has seven.

Whether you are a fan of Eataly or not this is really great news for the industry and even the economy. It shows that people are willing to pay a higher price for a premium product, but we are talking about New York City after all. New York is an enigma and just because it's been a rousing success here doesn't mean it will be everywhere else. That's why I think it's smart not to move too fast and by picking well established markets like LA and Chi-town to be their next openings, they will almost certainly assure themselves of two more successes....

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Best Sandwich Shop In NYC Is John's Deli In Brooklyn According To The Daily News

Oh brother, look at that Roast Beef, it's rare and just the way it's supposed to be...

There's nothing like a really good sandwich to make me salivate on a rainy Monday morning. John's Deli on Stillwell Avenue in Bensonhurst has been rated as NYC's best sandwich shop by the Daily News, in fact Brooklyn held the top three spots. John's has been making delicious sandwiches since 1968 and the "Best Hero in Brooklyn, the Hot Roast Beef with Mutz and Gravy," has been at the forefront.

For a mere $7.75 you get amazingly thin sliced Roast Beef, pink in the middle, with two large pieces of Mozzarella, Caramelized Onions and their famous Gravy which is what keeps people coming back for more. Every morning the shop slow-roasts it's beef to perfection, leaving the middle sublimely rare, making it super tender and juicy. If it isn't pink the flavor is gone, so when you buy sliced Roast Beef at a store make sure it's got some color. Seriously though the secret to this wondrous sandwich is the Gravy and if you want to know the recipe you're out of luck so don't even ask.

These old deli sandwich shops are a treasure to behold in a City where things are changing at a breakneck pace. Thankfully Brooklyn is loaded with them and it's up to all of us to continue their glorious tradition. So get out there and find these gems of a time gone by to enjoy delicious sandwiches that you can't get at Panera Bread!

Read more about it:

"Thank You, Subway!" (PS, you'll have to visit their website to find out what that means)

Friday, August 24, 2012

NYC Food News For The Weekend of 8/25 and 8/26

Ahh...the weekend in the city:

On Saturday, 8/25 at 2PM there's the 13th Annual Blues BBQ Festival at the Hudson River Park. Bands will play. Food will be served. Admission is free.

BBQ from Dinosaur and Brother Jimmy's will be sampled.

Hudson River Park, Pier 84 at W44th Street

I'm skeptical...these types of events can be deceiving in terms of what food is offered. Expect long lines and small servings.

Also on Saturday is, as always, Smorgasburg and if you haven't been well then you haven't been reading my blog. 11-6PM at the Brooklyn waterfront in Williamsburg between N6th and N7th Streets...

Just go already...

FYI...Whole Foods has opened up another location in Manhattan, this time on 57th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. It's a 33,000 square foot behemoth that had hundreds of people lining up at 6AM to be the first for groceries, yeah!

Basically everyone needs to get out and enjoy delicious food in the city this weekend before the warm weather goes away...if you don't you'll be sorry... 

Fordham University Has The Worst Campus Food In The Country

There's not much to get excited about in the Bronx. The Yankees, the Bronx Zoo, the Botanical Gardens and Arthur Avenue...that's about it. Well, there also happens to be a very accredited University by the name of Fordham that resides there, but after a recent report people might not think so highly of it anymore.

The Princeton Review ranked Fordham University as having the worst campus food in the the entire country! Holy moly...and it's a religious institution too!

Some students were polled as to just what is wrong with the food and here are some of the comments:

"There was a grasshopper in my salad."

"Some people found bugs and thumbtacks in their food."

"The food is just bad man, I'd rather eat at White Castle."

Back in 2011 the student newspaper, The Ram, reported that the NYC Health department had cited mice, roaches and poor food storage at four of the university's facilities. Boy paying $41,000 a year doesn't get what it used to.

I say screw the campus food. Just across the street is one of the best food areas in the entire city. Arthur Avenue is one of the oldest Italian neighborhoods in the city and has mostly stayed that way. It houses numerous Italian Markets, including the famous Arthur Avenue Market, several delicious bakeries, fresh seafood stores, homemade cheese stores and a bunch of fine restaurants. Honestly why on Earth would you want to eat on campus when all of this is across the street anyway???

Monday, August 20, 2012

Funny Spoof Of iPhone 5 Only Being Used To Take Photo's Of Food Makes Me Think How Silly I Am

This video is hilarious and also sad...sad that I am one of the schlubs who pulls out his iPhone at meals to shoot pictures that I think other people will enjoy.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Heinz Ketchup Accused Of Stealing An Inventors Idea? Say It Ain't So!

Aren't those Heinz 'Dip & Squeeze' packs really cool? You can dip your French Fries in them or rip off the top and squeeze the Ketchup on the top of your Burger. How did they think of that? By stealing the idea from a small time inventor.

Chicago inventor Scott White created and patented his 'Condi-Cup' in which you can either dip or squeeze the Ketchup...sound familiar?

To make matters worse Mr. Scott emailed his idea to Heinz a few years back to try and get them to buy it from him. Heinz even went so far as to invite him in to present the idea to them, how strange that they would then rip him off, right?

Here is a major fact:

Scott filed his patent way back in 2005 and Heinz didn't come out with their version until 2011.

Granted, Mr. Scotts idea really isn't all that original since it just combines two items that were already in the market, Ketchup packs and Dipping Sauces. Heinz could have certainly come up with the idea on their own which may or may not have been a coincidence...well, errr, not really. You see since he had prior contact with them and they invited him in for a meeting that shows that he gave them the idea even if they changed it a bit.

Ever hear of Facebook? Not that it's similar but the principal is the same. You can't take someones idea and make it your own, even if you change it so that it's a little different.

There is some grey area however and Heinz will surely try and take advantage of that with their high powered lawyers. I remember the line in 'The Social Network' where the character of Mark Zuckerberg says..."Look, a guy who builds a nice chair doesn't owe money to everyone who ever has built a chair, okay? They came to me with an idea, I had a better one." Hmmm...grey area.

That's why it sucks to be the small guy who tries to engage a large company that has all the money and power. You can't trust them. They will screw you.

Let's just hope Heinz sees the err of their ways and gives the man credit otherwise it will be up to a courtroom to decide who's right and who's wrong...

You know what? Chick-Fil-A uses those Heinz 'Dip & Squeeze' packets...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Here Comes Another Food Truck Rally In Prospect Park!

Yup...this Sunday, August 19th in Prospect Park is another chance for everyone to join in on the fun at another Food Truck Rally. I went to the last one and man was it delicious, so I'm telling you that you have to go. Not only will you have the choice of some of the best food in the entire city, you will also be in one of it's really beautiful parts. Grand Army Plaza is truly a wonder to see if you've never been and just imagine that you'll be standing there with some amazing food all around!

Unfortunately for me I will not be in the City to enjoy such things. It is a shame I know but that just leaves a whole bunch more food for all of you fine folks out there....or all three of you that read my blog. Anyway click the link below to get some more specific information from the folks who are bringing it to you:

If you plan to head out to Brooklyn for the Rally please enjoy and take some pictures of your visit, it's always great to remember the good times plus a little extra press for the Rally couldn't hurt...

Would You Eat At A Restaurant Just Because They'd Give You A 5% Discount If You Checked Your Phone?

Cell phone use has hit epidemic proportions in all walks of life. People, including myself, are constantly checking emails, Facebook, text messages etc., no matter where they are even if they are sitting at a restaurant with family and friends.

The other day I had an interview with an unnamed company, where the interviewer picked up his phone right after he asked me the first question...I was appalled! What a rude thing to do.
There is regular use and then there is rude.

I think it's rude to pull out your phone at dinner whether your company is one or six, and unless your wife is about to have a baby there is no really important reason to be checking your phone. To me it just means that your phone is more important than your company. Look if you have to make a call excuse yourself, walk outside for a minute and then come back in when you are done. People will understand and it respects the fact it's more important to be with friends and family.

Oh wait I forgot one thing...if you're a drug dealer you can certainly check your phone as many times as you want. Besides no one at the table is really your friend and they only laugh at your jokes because they are scared that you will kill them.

The real question is...would you go to a restaurant because they offered you a 5% discount if you checked your phone at the door? It's a nice idea but I would only go there if the food was good. The fact of the matter is that a ton of business is done in restaurants and phones are a huge part of that, so I don't see this becoming a trend. I was talking more about social settings and family gatherings where I think the use of a cell phone can be distracting. There is a time and a place for everything and to those who don't care about other peoples time or feelings'll get yours when the time comes. I know that sounds a bit dark for me but to me respect for others is a huge issue. So if restaurants want to institute no phone policies or offer discounts to hand over phones then I say more power to 'em, but really it's up to us if we want to see these habits change....

Hold on a sec, my phone just buzzed...

McDonalds To Start Serving Breakfast At Midnight

It's 2:00 in the morning and you've just left the club after listening to three hours of ear busting music from your favorite band. Head ringing aside, your tummy feels a bit empty and is not willing to wait until you get home after your one hour subway ride back to Brooklyn. Suddenly you spot the gleaming golden arches on 10th Avenue that are telling you to come inside and eat a delicious Big Mac, but that's not what you are hungry for. Your tummy is telling you that it would love some Pancakes with Sausage and a Hash Brown. Oooh or an Egg McMuffin and it's wonderful circle Eggs, but you know they don't serve breakfast until the morning, right? Or do they...
Apparently someone finally got the memo and McDonald's will start serving all their breakfast items at midnight at all of their 24 hr locations. Smart move I'd say. Honestly though, why not sell breakfast 24/7? People love eating breakfast for dinner and to me it just makes sense. Anyway this is McDonald's attempt to jolt some life into the after hours business from 2AM to 5AM, which usually tends to be very slow. However they will be the first in the fast food chain industry to try their hand at it all across the country. Not that other places don't already do this. Jack in the Box already offers their entire menu 24/7, but this move will certainly be significant because McDonald's is nationwide, Jack in the Box is not.
So whether you like it or not, how often will you be awake at those hours anyway? For some pretty often, for me not so basically I really don't care. Of course because it's McDonald's it's a story...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Do You Think Bloomberg Sees This In His Nightmares?

Maybe he sees thousands of these cups filled to the top with fizzy soda, marching after him with pitchforks and torches. They are getting closer and his feet seem to be stuck in the mud. He can't scream because his mouth won't open! Oh no! He's going to drown in delicious Coca-Cola, what a horrible death. Then of course he wakes up in a cold sweat and wishes he had something to drink...a soda perhaps in an obnoxiously oversized container?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Adam Richman's Best Sandwich In America Goes To Philly

Di Nic's is the winner...

The City of Brotherly Love? Nope. The City with America's Best Sandwich...according to Adam Richman. Tonight on the Travel Channel Adam announced his favorite sandwich out of 32 that he had tried across the country visiting 28 cities to do so. That must have been some journey and I'm really, really jealous. And also envious because it was really a tough task to judge something that is truly very subjective and man because I wish I could have done it.

Agree or disagree, that is the question. I sit here and think that I can't do either because I have no common frame of reference. I have only tried two of the sandwiches on Adam's list and I'm totally biased by one of them...Katz Pastrami. It's a sandwich I have been eating since I was a teenager, so how could I possibly choose anything else? And that's my point. Unless you have tried all of the 32 sandwiches you can't definitively choose the best sandwich in America.

So to all of you out there who poo-poo lists (like I have at certain times) that name the best of this or the best of that, think twice. First off it's one persons opinion and second, until you do it yourself, you will have a biased opinion....

So I congratulate Adam Richman on his delicious quest and hope that someday I get the chance to try all 32...

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Best Chinese Fast Food You've Never Had From Wah Mei

You can smell it from down the block, in fact you can smell it from Broadway when you are coming out of the Subway. It's the most unique smell in all of Chinatown where all kinds of smells abound, from Fresh Seafood to disgusting heaps of garbage, nothing will make your nostrils rise with anticipation like Wah Mei.

Just off of Mulberry Street where all the touristy Italian restaurants reside, Wah Mei sits under it's tiny red awning that you are sure to miss...but I bet you'll say 'where on Earth is that wonderful smell coming from?' Honestly for people not in the know it might be a bit intimidating since the place is as tiny as a closet and has only Chinese speaking people inside. Not a problem I say but I had an in. My wife introduced me to the place many years ago and now I am a regular customer, however the staff there still gives me a funny stare whenever I order. Who cares? It's cheap, it's delicious and damn filling! Let me tell you that it's an exquisite taste that matches the aroma. Now I won't tell you to jump right in and order the Hard Boiled Egg at first, I'd say let you taste buds get used to the initial flavors. I myself wasn't a fan of the Egg at first, it grew on me however. They marinate the Eggs in Soy Sauce which gives it it's brown appearance, but once you get the urge to try it, it truly accentuates the dish and after that you can't imagine ever eating it without one. It's that good.

The hard part for me is eating just one. Usually I'm sent there to pick up a couple for the family, often the Chicken, but sometimes I get the Pork Chop just for a little variety. My suggestion is to eat them why they are still warm since all the sauce and flavors mix together better that way. If for some reason you have left overs, or even crazier you didn't eat all of them in one sitting, you can certainly put them in the fridge to be saved for later. Of course it's not the same but left over Wah Mei is better than no Wah Mei.

Wah Mei is located at 190 Hester Street between Mulberry and Mott.

Go. Run there now. Don't think, go.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I Love The Smell Of Doughnut Plant In The Morning

Oh sweet Doughnuts from Doughnut Plant, how you tease me with your deliciousness...

Do you think it's a problem that I wanted to eat every Doughnut in the box? I think not! So we had a visit from a relative this weekend who thought they were being cool and introducing us to Doughnut Plant naive. To think that I, a food blogger, hadn't already visited their shop on several occasions to try their amazing baked confections is utterly irresponsible! Jeez. However it was still a good idea...

I will never refuse a gift of Doughnuts, especially ones that I consider to be some of the best I have ever had (and almost the best in the City, see Dough Brooklyn.) Actually I'd never seen a larger box of Doughnuts before when my wife's cousin walked through our door, but I was even more surprised that she didn't bring her normal wares of Fresh Mozzarella, sliced Sopressata and Three Meat Bread from Parisi Bakery...damn.

To be fair to everyone, we cut up the Doughnuts in little pieces so we could all have a try of the various flavors. Normally I would have opened the box and grabbed a couple to eat all by myself, but I didn't feel like being selfish on this day. There was Carrot Cake, Blueberry, Cinnamon and Sugar, Tres Leches, Pistachio, and Blackout, all of which were of the Cake variety. If you've never been to Doughnut Plant they offer their Doughnuts in two versions: Cake and Yeast. Cake being more dense and smaller with the Yeast being large and lighter. It's a hard choice but one I love to make.

Out of this batch it truly was hard for me to pick a favorite but if I had too it would be Tres Leches, with a close second to Carrot Cake...there I go making a list of the best. Look, they were all amazing, you can't possibly go wrong buying any of the flavors from Doughnut Plant.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Food & Wine Names The 25 Best Spots For Ice Cream In The U.S.

I don't know why we pay so much attention to lists, they really don't mean a thing and yet we want to see who ends up being the best. We inherently want to grade or judge the things we like and I say why? What does it do for us? Not much actually except cause bad feelings.

Lists are great conversation pieces and I would assume are probably really fun to come up with especially when it involves eating a ton of Ice Cream. 'Hey would you like to travel all over the country and find the best Ice Cream places?' Uh yeah! Honestly who cares who ends up as number one, we're talking about Ice Cream here, the greatest dessert in the history of the world!

So when Food & Wine came out with their 25 Best Spots for Ice Cream I was both skeptical and happy. Happy that it was about Ice Cream and happy that they named Blue Marble Ice Cream of Brooklyn as one of the best places to get Ice Cream. Skeptical because I think they probably tried not to pick two in this great city of ours. I will say that Blue Marble deserves the press because they make some amazing Ice Cream which I've recently had the honor of trying at Smorgasburg recently.

There's nothing like eating really good Ice Cream and it's easy to tell the difference between good and sub-standard fare. New York has lots to offer when it comes to this sweet treat, especially my favorite Cool Haus NY and their amazing Ice Cream Sammies. But why just have one favorite. Have 10, have 100...who cares? Why pigeonhole yourself into thinking you can have only one?

Long live Ice Cream!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Food Truck and Beer Festival This Sunday! 8/12 From 12 to 9 at South Street Seaport

The Food fun never ends! And now with Beer...

So get down to the Seaport this Sunday to enjoy yet another Food Truck festival, this time with and international flair. Bites & Brews...well maybe don't bring the kids. What could be better than being in the Seaport eating amazing Food Truck meals as well as being totally shit faced? Hmmm...

Here's a link:

Again I won't be able to go, and man am I steamed about it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Num Pang's Delicious Cambodian Sandwiches In Union Square

A sandwich to rival the Vietnamese Bahn Mi...maybe. Num Pang is a three year old, hole-in-wall, shop that brings traditional Cambodian sandwiches to New York City with it's two locations. One on 12th street just off of University and the other in near Grand Central at 41st street. Similarities abound between the Vietnamese and Cambodian subs with the use of vegetables that accent the meal. However that is where the similarities end. The sandwiches from Num Pang have a wider range of tasty meats and fish that truly set it apart from the more familiar Bahn Mi. For instance there are choices like:

Pulled Pork
Coconut Tiger Shrimp
Skirt Steak
Pork Belly
Turkey Breast

There is also a number of vegetarian selections, soups and salads to choose from, plus an amazing Grilled Corn on the Cob to go along with several other sides. Not to purposely steal a line from Transformers, but here 'there's more than meets the eye' when comparing to the Vietnamese sandwich. So head on over to Num Pang to try out one of their handcrafted selections so you too can compare which sandwich is better. As much as I love the Bahn Mi, Num Pang's sandwiches are far superior, however that doesn't mean I won't eat the former more often...some habits are hard to break.

Click the link below to read the Daily News article about Num Pang:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Eddie's Pizza In A Fight Over Entourage???

Man I miss Entourage. The show ending it's run on HBO has really left a void in my life and no matter how many times I watch the DVD's it's still not the same. Thankfully I have just heard that the creator, Doug Ellin, has started writing a script for what could possibly be the motion picture version of the show. However until then I will just have to deal with the news that Entourage is part of a lawsuit in Long Island...over pizza. Really? Apparently Eddie's Pizza was featured in an episode where the boys have a few pies flown to LA because they feel there is no good pizza there. Soon after Eddie's Pizza became well known for their signature 'Bar Pies' and now are really pissed that other Pizza joints are using what they believe to be their registered trademark.

One of the Pizzerias involved has already agreed to remove the name 'Bar Pie' from their menu even though they think it's silly. They believe the term is a style of Pizza that has been made for over a hundred years and no one should have a claim to it.

Maybe it's time Ari Gold got involved. He could broker a truce by offering the other Pizzeria joints a role in one of his movies. Oh wait, he's not real. He just the actor Jeremy Piven who only eats Sushi and gets mercury poison so he can't do his Broadway play, maybe we'll leave him out of it.

This has happened before. Men in Black 2 (as in 2 too many) used Ben's Pizza in SoHo to film an early scene in the movie. This caused great interest in the Pizza Parlor and to this day the poster for MIB2 is still in their window. Of course other Pizza places claimed to be Ben's, just like the once common Ray's Pizza of NYC, another Ben's opened up claiming to be better than the original.

Can't we all just get along? I'm sure cooler heads will prevail, even in a serious business like Pizza and all will realize that they can exist together. Bottom line? If the Pizza is good people will eat it no matter what it's called...

Cinnabon Opens A Location In Libya?

Oh brother. It seems that there is no end to the trend of crappy food being popular anywhere in the world. Did you know that the expansion of US Fast Food restaurants around the world has led to the decline of good health? Not shocked? Neither am I.

So why not open a Cinnabon in Libya, doesn't that seem like a great idea? Apparently they tried to open the location in that nations capital of Tripoli two years ago, but the country's revolution made them delay a nice. I think it's great when an American company opens up a location in an area where just a year before a crazy ruler was promoting hate and terrorism. Maybe Cinnamon Buns are just what that country needs! Maybe creating some long term health problems will be the answer to peace in the region. Yeah clogged arteries! That way they will forget their disputes over land, or religion, or whatever, because they will be stuck in the emergency room with heart palpitations.

As a bonus the new Cinnabon location in Tripoli also sells Carvel Ice Cream! Now families over there are going to buy a Fudgie The Whale cake for their kids birthdays! Woo Hoo! It's quite possible that Fudgie could be the olive branch to world peace because who can argue that the cookie crunchies inside Carvel Ice Cream cakes aren't the best ever? You see we can all agree!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Parked! 2012 Food Truck Festival This Saturday 8/4 at South Street Seaport

And you thought the Food Truck Rally in Prospect Park was a big deal. Well just wait until Saturday when 30 of the best Food Trucks in the City will be parked by the South Street Seaport! That's right, from 11 am until 10 pm, all of your favorite trucks will be there so you don't have to go running around the City to find them.

Go here to find out more:

How to get to Parked:

Unfortunately this is one big event I'm going to miss, but I hope all that read this will go and report back to me just how delicious it was!

11 Of The Best Cold Noodle Dishes In NYC From NY Mag

I've always loved Cold Sesame Noodles, but it's certainly something I have to be in the mood to eat. To me it's the perfect appetizer to share, that way you are not eating the whole thing and feeling really full before you get to your entree. Now I'm not suggesting ordering Cold Sesame Noodles just anywhere, thankfully NY Mag has come up with a list of the 11 best Cold Noodle dishes in the city:

Also I've included a recipe for those of you who would like to try and make it yourself at home, or to impress your friends at a dinner party. Read below:

Chinese Cold Noodles
1 lb. iron man noodles, cooked, drained and cooled
1/2 lb chicken breast, boiled and juilienned
3 eggs, cooked into egg sheet and julienned
2 cups cucumber, julienned
2 cups carrots, shredded
2 cups bean sprouts, washed
1-2 cups preserved mustard green, shredded or julienned
1 cup creamy peanut butter
~1 cup boiling water
sesame oil
soy sauce
red wine vinegar
To make the peanut sauce: Place peanut butter in a medium bowl. Pour 1/4 cup boiling water into the bowl and carefully stir the water into the peanut butter. Continue stirring until incorporated. Add another 1/4 cup of water and repeat until creamy (pourable) consistency is reached. Add 1-2 tbsp sesame oil, 1-2 tbsp soy sauce and 1-2 tbsp of vinegar to taste. Mix well.
Place a mound of noodles in a bowl or on a plate. Top with carrots, cucumber, mustard green, egg, sprouts, and chicken. Pour peanut sauce over the noodles and eat.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Best Ramen Noodles in The City Goes to Chuko in Brooklyn according to the Daily News

Back during my college years there were many days when I didn't have any money just like a lot students, and often times I could only afford one meal a day. I'm still here however so it wasn't as bad as it sounds. With the little money I had from working a part time job at the Hard Rock Cafe, I'd have to plan out exactly what I was going to spend and couldn't allow any excesses. We're talking about college here where excesses are commonplace, so inevitably I'd run out of money before the week ended which meant I wasn't going to eat...much.

It was NYC in 1989, times were different and some of the supermarkets had yet to convert to scanning every item, still slapping each item with price stickers. So an almost starving student in Midtown took it upon himself to switch some prices around to conserve as much money as possible, horrible I know but completely necessary. My diet consisted of several staples:

Sliced White Bread
Chunky Peanut Butter
Strawberry Jelly
Saltine Crackers
Granny Smith Apples (My vitamins)
Store Brand Ice Tea Mix
Ramen Noodles

That was basically it. On a good day, where it was easy to peel the stickers, I'd leave the grocery store paying around 10 bucks which would leave me with enough money for a Toasted Bagel from the deli near school for breakfast.
Lunch was always Peanut Butter and Jelly and a Granny Smith Apple, not exactly five star quality, but sufficient nonetheless.
At night sitting in my dorm room I'd dream about large Pizza Pies with delicious melted Mozzarella, footlong Sandwiches filled with tasty meats, and sloppy Burgers covered with Cheese, Bacon and dripping ketchup. Oh but it was not to be. My dinners came in a package, but they weren't TV dinners.

Ramen Noodles, never the choice, always the dinner.

Cooked in my trusty little crock pot, the noodles were the cheapest meal on the planet, and probably still are. Unfortunately that's how they tasted as well, but I got used to it.

So forgive me if I wasn't all over the trend of Ramen Noodle restaurants in New York City since I just didn't have it in me to go back to my college days. However I'm starting to think that it's time I changed my tune. Ramen Noodles have truly become a high quality meal from food trucks, to food vendors, to restaurants, and at this point there seems to be no stopping the trend.

This past Sunday the Daily News put out their choice for the best Ramen in the City, which went to Chuko in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Click the link below to read their article...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh No! Nathan's Famous Is Changing Their French Fries!

What?! Nathan's is changing their famous French Fries! How can they do this? Don't they know what this will do to the world we live in? Mountains will crumble! Seas will dry up! People everywhere will run around naked screaming at the top of their lungs! Why? Why? Why?

Wait a minute...they're only changing from their usual Maine Potato to Russets because of a shortage? Really, that's it? That seems like a lot of fuss for nothing. Well not exactly. Apparently a bunch of regulars to the original branch on Surf Ave in Coney Island noticed the difference immediately, a few of them even refused to ever buy them again. The nerve. The Katahdin Maine potatoes have less starch in them which means the Fries are a bit sweeter and are a little darker. Russets are very common in terms of French Fry use, but they are high in starch and can seem dry, so to someone that is used to the flavor would actually notice.

It would appear that Nathan's was trying to pull a fast one on their fans even though they knew they'd be back using the Maine Potatoes within a month. I guess the shortage didn't last too long, besides everyone knows the real difference is that the Fries are crinkle cut. Jeez...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kimchi Grill Opens In Prospect Heights

I had the pleasure of eating the amazing food from the Kimchi Taco Truck at the last Food Truck Rally a couple of weekends back, and I must say again it was some of the best food I have ever eaten from a food truck. The flavors were outstanding with combinations that I had never eaten before. A foodie's dream meal I guess. It's always so exciting to find something to eat that truly surprises, not that I didn't have high expectations, because I always do. However with high expectations usually comes disappointment, or at least the feeling of not being satisfied, so again that is why the Kimchi Taco Truck was such a pleasure.
Here is a link to my blog post regarding the amazing Food Truck Rally:

The Kimchi Taco Truck was definitely the highlight of our lunch that day in Prospect Park, so I was extremely excited today to read about their new restaurant in the Daily News. I think it's great when the local press shows some love to a small business, especially a shop like the Kimchi Grill because it deserves our attention. I have yet to visit the restaurant but it is on my list of must go's because if it's as good as their own food truck, then it will be a delicious trip to remember. Please click the link below to the article in the Daily News:

Also, a few weeks back I wrote a post regarding the transition to traditional brick and mortar shops for some of the Food Truck businesses...Please click the link below to read more about it:

Trader Joe's Issues A Recall Of It's Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad is not something I would ever buy at a supermarket, not even at Trader Joe's, because usually it's not very good. Plus certain food items have a tendency to go bad really fast so I choose to stay away from them. So I guess it should come as no surprise that Trader Joe's has issued a recall of their prepared BBQ Chicken Salad due to possibly containing red onions that may be contaminated by a potentially deadly bacteria. Scary! The bacteria is called Listeria which can cause a virus that has a 20% mortality rate, yikes!
Fortunately for us these recalls have only affected states out West, but I'd be careful about what I buy even if it's a reputable store like Trader Joe's, you can never be too careful...

Click the link below to read the full article from the Daily News:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Is Completely Irrelevant To Real Issues

Yeah! We went to Chick-Fil-A! I am so great, me and my husband went all they way to Houston just to get a chicken sandwich! What an awesome photo op!

This photo was it for me. I am officially over this whole Chick-Fil-A garbage. They don't deserve my money and I'm not going to give it to them. Yes, everyone has a right to believe in whatever they want, but when it becomes a political message for has-beens like Palin well then it's no longer an important issue.

Honestly it's also not an issue for the mayor of Boston, or Chicago to say that Chick-Fil-A is not welcome. Do you want to know why? Because they have a right to open wherever they want as well as people having the right to protest them for being there.

Come on people, we all have bigger issues than this chicken place.

The Birth of the Pastrami Sandwich

There's just something about a Pastrami Sandwich. Visions of one can often cause weak knees, sweaty brows, or even a nervous eye twitch that doesn't go away for a week until you do a voodoo dance with the blood of a chicken poured over your head (thankfully that only happened once.) Good Pastrami, the kind that melts in your mouth, is prepared with a thoughtfulness that considers the history of the fine meat in our culture, especially here in NYC.

The birthplace of the Pastrami Sandwich...right?

According to some, the recipe for creating delicious Pastrami comes from a Romanian ancestry, and brought to the United States by Romanian Jewish immigrants in the late 19th century. Originally it was called Pastrama from the Romanian original, but many believe it was changed to Pastrami to make it sound related to Italian Salami. The Pastrami Sandwich is said to have been first served in 1887 by Sussman Volk who converted his butcher shop to make the incredibly popular sandwiches, but some believe the sandwich had already made an appearance 10 years earlier, sold in food carts on the Lower East Side. Of course it's all up for debate since the owner of Katz Delicatessen believe that they were the first ones to serve the sandwich back when they opened in 1888. Bottom line, the Pastrami Sandwich was born in New York City.

For me it's the smell because before you even take a bite out of a sandwich you walk into a deli and that aroma smacks you right in the face. At least that's how I like my food to treat me. Wouldn't it be truly amazing for all food to be able to do that?

History. It's an important thing to me, as it should everyone. Thinking back to how those early immigrants risked their lives coming to this country, to bring their culture, their food, what an honor. New York City is built upon the backs of these immigrants. Built upon my ancestors who fought to live everyday in a country where they thought the streets were lined with gold. They brought their food for others to enjoy and to this day their mark is still stamped on this city that I love so much.

I'm just talking about a piece of cured meat, that's all it is, and a sandwich that represents America as much as a slice of Pizza, or a Hamburger or a Hot Dog.

Katz Delicatessen is a shrine to Pastrami Sandwiches. A shrine to those who struggled to make a new life for themselves against the greatest of odds. It had meager beginnings, created to serve the poor who could barely afford to eat.
The Uptown crowd didn't know and didn't care what they were missing, dining in their fancy restaurants, and holding their pinkies high during tea. You see the greatest foods of this country were created by the poor for the poor, an enduring tradition that has continued through generations.

New York City. The Birthplace of the Pastrami Sandwich.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Is Harlem Becoming A Dining Destination?

With the recent death of Sylvia Woods, 'The Queen of Soul Food', I wondered what effect it might have on the neighborhood surrounding the restaurant since it has been such a mainstay for all these years. Not that Sylvia's is going anywhere, but when an icon dies it sometimes has a profound effect on all those that they touched in their life. I'm happy to say that after reading a great article in the NY Post, Harlem is in very good hands. Several great restaurants have opened up in recent years, adjacent to the area around Sylvia's, creating a dining renaissance in Harlem. I know that 125th street feels like miles away to some New Yorkers, or that you might feel a bit out of place, but I'm here to tell you that you're missing one of the best parts of the city. What I love about Harlem, though I'm not there often enough, is all of the amazing old New York architecture that is still there, it's like walking thru history. Now with several fantastic restaurants to accentuate the area, there's no telling what heights that Harlem will climb too. Please click the link below to read the article from the Post:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vitamin Water Joins The Coconut Water Competition With Coco Refresh

While in Brooklyn for Smorgasburg last weekend I had my first Vitamin Water Coco-Refresh, a new entry into the Coconut Water trend. I've tried Vita-Coco, and it was OK, maybe one or two of the other brands on the market, but they were nothing to write home about in my opinion. However the Vitamin Water was way more delicious and refreshing and I didn't feel like I was drinking something that was almost good. I'm sure it has a lot more sugar and calories that regular Coco Water, but I don't care. If I'm gonna drink something I have to enjoy it!

Chobani Yogurt Opens In SoHo

The Chobani Greek Yogurt shop opened it's doors yesterday in SoHo at 150 Prince Street at West Broadway. This is the second non-frozen Yogurt bar to open up in the last couple of weeks which some think might become a new trend. Prices start at $3.75 for a 6oz, or $4.75 for a 12oz., but there isn't a make it yourself option. The choices are:

Fruit and Granola
Peanut Butter and Jelly(Sliced Grapes with Peanut Halves)
Pistachio and Chocolate
Cucumbers with Mint, Salt and Pita's for scooping
Chopped Figs and Walnuts with Honey on top
Toasted Coconut and Pineapple

Plus a few more...

I personally think it's a very interesting concept but don't see it as something that will be rolled out all over the place. Either way it's a really great addition to NYC.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012, Where One Goes To Get A Taste Of The Food They Eat In The Movies

Ever get hungry during a movie scene when they are eating? Ever wonder how to make it? The photo above is from a scene in Goodfellas in which the boys make a surprise visit to Tommy's mothers house after they killed Billy Bats in Henry's nightclub. Let's just say I've seen the movie a couple of times. Anyway, in this scene, Tommy's mom (In a typical Italian mothers way) prepares an entire meal in the middle of the night because she thinks her son is hungry. Unfortunately Robert DeNiro, playing an Irishman, dumps a heaping glob of ketchup on his pasta (sacrilege!) pretty much ruining the delicious plate of Spaghetti in front of him...

Well, ketchup on pasta aside, if you ever want a recipe from a movie just head on over to where you might just find what you're hungry for. Started two years ago by Romain Vetter because he wanted to combine his three loves: Eating, Cooking and Movies. Of course I had to put the site to a test and I must say it passed with flying colors!

The test was to see if my favorite Food movie was represented, which is Big Night with Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci. Thankfully the recipe for 'Timpano' is there and that to me shows that someone is paying attention. If you haven't seen the movie you have really missed a great one, see it now!

Check the link below to see a write up about the site from the Daily News:

Also in researching the site I found this blog also dedicated to food in movies:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Great NYC Soda Debate...Is It Just A Big Waste Of Time?

After chowing down on several Hot Dogs at the Nathan's July 4th Hot Dog eating contest, Michael Bloomberg was spotted drinking what looked like a giant, oversized soda. No, not really. I just wanted to put an amusing spin on an already ridiculous debate. Personally I think both sides of the argument are silly.

First you have the Mayor who wants to decrease the size of soda's offered in the City of New York, so no more super-sizing available and no more giant soda's at the theater either. He believes that reducing the size of drinks will help to decrease obesity in the city, but he does acknowledge that it's more than just the soda making people fat. That's all well an good, but what's to stop someone from buying two soda's? How about a restaurant that offers free refills?

Of course you haven't heard anything yet, the other side of the argument is even more ridiculous. The other day I was driving home when a commercial came on the radio that was against the beverage ban. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Someone actually paid for an ad promoting our right to drink soda...and they even had fake testimonials. I couldn't help but laugh, however after thinking about it I just thought it was a big waste of time. I guess the ads may be working since recently 100 protestors showed up at City Hall wearing t-shirts that read...'I picked out my beverage all by myself.' Ooohhh. Wow, 100 people out of a city of 8 million, outstanding support so far.

For people to make this about the right to choose or to suggest that the government needs to stay out of their soft drinks is utterly insane. No one is saying anyone can't have whatever they want to drink. You can still get your Coke when you go to McDonald's, it just won't be as big as it used to be. Is that really something to argue about? You can still go to the supermarket and buy as many 2-Liter bottles of soda as you want.

Honestly, is this really worth the trouble Mike Bloomberg? It just seems a bit misguided to try to limit the size of beverages when you can buy a many as you want. Do you honestly believe the cost of cigarettes are a deterrent to smokers? Don't you think an alcoholic will pay for liquor no matter what the cost? The trouble is he is going after the wrong people. He should be going after the soft drink companies and not the consumers, but he would never do that. He should get behind education to show the effects of drinking sugary drinks like soda. How about putting larger warning labels on the bottles and cans? How about ad campaigns showing diabetics suffering and dying from what they eat?

How about this Mike...don't show up for the Hot Dog eating contest next year instead of showing support of people overeating for no apparent's completely hypocritical.

Is Taco Bell Outsmarting Chipotle? Jim Cramer Thinks So

What is going on? I happened to be flipping thru the channels last night when I came upon Mad Money, and Jim Cramer was holding up a giant piece of aluminum that was supposed to be a Chipotle Burrito. I'll say that I don't watch the show, but when talk turns to food my interests are peaked. Cramer was explaining that during the last quarter Chipotle's stock had taken a tumble, and not just any tumble, he seemed to think that it was the start of a trend. The end of Chipotle? Not likely. The end to an overvalued stock? Yes. So what does that mean exactly?

We've seen this before with Starbucks. Tremendous growth, stores opening on every corner. Guess what happens...cannibalization of their own brand. Chipotle is no different. Too many restaurants in too many markets is a big part of the problem, but that's not the whole story. Chipotle sees itself, as do I, as a high quality product with high standards, and due to the rise in costs over the past couple of years they've had to increase menu pricing. Combine that with a down economy and you get a $300 million dollar loss in company value. It's not all bad news however. Chipotle has still seen growth in the last quarter, just not where it was just a few years ago.

This is where Taco Bell comes in, sitting there with it's inferior product and bombarding us with advertisements about how cheap they are. You see they have no high standards to uphold. They don't worry about giving you the quality you have been demanding over the last few years. They know that at the end of the day people want to spend less on their food because they feel they have less in their pockets. Chipotle can't compete in that arena. They have to continue to uphold their standards and press their customers with the belief that they offer the best possible product.

Is this the end? Of course not, but it continues a trend of overvaluing companies that explode with growth. The company still expects to open 150-160 stores by the time this year comes to an end, plus the continued plans of foreign expansion will keep them profitable for a long time to come.

Don't worry, those delicious Burrito's aren't going anywhere. However in time we are bound to see a few less Chipotle's than we are used too.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shake Shack Opening In Grand Central???

A very interesting read in NY Mag regarding the issue surrounding Shake Shack's apparent move into a space inside Grand Central Terminal. They won a bid to move into a space currently occupied by Zocalo who doesn't want to go because they believe the bidding was done unfairly. The bottom line? Shake Shack will be paying over $100,000 more in rent plus a chunk of the profits will be going to the MTA...It's sounds a little under the table to me but that's New York! Click the link below to read the full article...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Smorgasburg Sweets, Dough Brooklyn

Mmmmm....Doughnuts. Yummy, good, and all mine. No one can share because...well just because.

No trip to Smorgasburg is complete without a sweet treat to complete your meal, but for me it's the most important part. Without it I wouldn't feel altogether complete. It'd be like if I was winning a race and just as I was about to cross the finish line they'd forget to hold up the tape for me to run through. No, that's not quite the same, we're talking about food here. It'd be like a Burger without the Bun. The Pizza without the Cheese. Titanic without Leo! Can you imagine? I know I can't.
So when I go to an event like Smorgasburg a part of me is always focused on what I'm gonna eat after my meal is done. Honestly I'm probably thinking about it more. There's just something so intoxicating about sweets, especially very good sweets, and I know you know what I mean.
I try not to overindulge but it's in my nature. How I deal with it is to try and not eat sweets too often, and as hard as that seems it makes the whole experience feel way more special, and that's what I'm going with. I could easily eat Doughnuts every day, especially these from Dough in Brooklyn, but seriously when you only eat them once every so often they are oh so much better.
Just walking past their tent at Smorgasburg is dangerous. You can smell their Doughnuts even if the Fried Fish tent is right next door, and man is the line always long. Anything that delicious is worth waiting for.
Look, even their sign looks like it was deep fried.

Man these Doughnuts were good, mind you, I didn't eat them all myself. After waiting in the line for a lifetime I still hadn't made up my mind exactly what I was going to pick. Should I get just one to try? Should I get two to compare? Aw crap, just give me one of these, one of these and yeah that one right there. In total 3, but I could have easily ordered 6, or 12, or 20.

Lemon Poppy Glazed, Raspberry Glazed and of course a Toasted Coconut Glazed...I mean those are probably not what they're really called, but I was in such a Doughnut haze I might have asked to buy a piece of the plexiglass in front of me. Yes they had plexi protecting the Doughnuts because they need protecting. I guess I could have just told the lovely lady to pick three of them for me because it really wouldn't have mattered.

Up until today Doughnut Plant had the best Doughnuts in the City, however that crown now belongs to Dough of Brooklyn, and man my taste buds couldn't be happier...