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...