Thursday, August 30, 2012
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....
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
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
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
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 to...um...shop 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...
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 country...in 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
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
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
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...
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 well...you'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...
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 much...so basically I really don't care. Of course because it's McDonald's it's a story...
Thursday, August 16, 2012
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
|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
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
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 Doughnuts...how 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
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
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
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:
Coconut Tiger Shrimp
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
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...
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 bit...how 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
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!
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
red wine vinegar
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
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
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
Granny Smith Apples (My vitamins)
Store Brand Ice Tea Mix
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...