Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Good Bagel In NYC Is Like Having A Good Friend, And The Bagels At Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Co. Are My Best Friends

Though I wonder is it a good thing to want to eat your friends? Well in this case yes it is.

For some reason, in this darn town, good Bagels are becoming hard to find. Don't get me wrong you can find Bagels in every food shop from Inwood to Coney Island, but just because you buy a Bagel in New York doesn't mean it's any good.

I actually have some experience. Back in my younger days, high school in fact, I worked a part time job at a Bagel shop in Mt. Kisco (Westchester Co, NY) where I'd make the Bagels each day before I went to school. This is where my love for Bagels grew and my appreciation for making a great Bagel was born. Flour, Yeast, Salt, Water and some kind of malted smelling stuff. I still remember watching all that mix in the gigantic mixer until it became dough, pulling it out and cutting it into pieces. A little Flour for the cutting board then I'd take the rolling pin and flatten it out, not too flat as the owner liked his Bagels plump (me too.)

There are many ways to make Bagels. There are many places to buy Bagels. There aren't many places to get good Bagels...did I say that already?

Dunkin Donuts? You gotta be kidding me. Einstein Bros.? Not a Bagel. The Street Carts in the morning? Good gosh no.

The place for me is Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company, and the one I go to is on 8th Avenue between 24th and 25th (286 th 8th Ave.) They have 3 other locations, all in Astoria:

35-05 Broadway
36-14 30th Ave
35-9 Ditmars Blvd

A good Bagel has a hard exterior, just like most New Yorkers. And just like most NY'ers, when you pull back that tough shell you'll find a soft interior, or in this case a delicious filling. It really boggles my mind when people ask to have the middle of the Bagel scooped out because they are trying to watch their weight. Skinny little ladies in their ultra tight jeans miming the act of scooping because the guy behind the counter might not know what she means. Ok that might be a stereotype, but it sounded good.

I guess I'm a purest. I often like to eat a Bagel with nothing on it, fresh from the store, still warm from the oven. When I used to bake Bagels it was so hard not to stuff myself constantly. Bagels right out of the oven are sooooo soft and delicate, you can peel them apart without any trouble and cram them down your throat and not even know you ate one.

What's great about Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company is that their Bagels remind me of the old days, and isn't that what it's all about? Good memories, great times.

Not that I eat it often but their selection of Cream Cheese is outstanding and their Coffee is top shelf. They also make delicious Breakfast Sandwiches, a variety of Pastries, Salads and Sandwiches for Lunch as well.

So get your butt on over there to try one of the best Bagels in the city and stop eating the crappy ones you usually buy!

The Pizza At Aliotta's Pizzeria Was 'Molto Bene!'

Molto Bene in Italian means 'very good' and usually is accompanied by some sort of lips kissing finger tips, not that I do that. I'm Italian, well half of me is, but in no way do I speak the language much to the dismay of the other Italian kids that I grew up with. They called me a fake italian...nice, of course I don't speak to any of them anymore. I can actually speak english and sound like I'm Italian, but then I sound like Marlon Brando in the Godfather...'We're going to make him an offer he can't refuse...' Sometimes I scare people when I do that.

Either way I loves me some Pizza and working in a newish area the first thing I gotta do is try out all the Pizza joints. It's exhausting, especially when you try to do it all in one day! Ok that's not what happened. So far I've tried two places, one that I won't mention and the other being Aliotta's Pizzeria at 191B Prince Street. I actually found it online through GrubHub since I was alone and not able to go out for lunch, so actually it was a shot in the dark that it would even be good.

Obviously by the title of this piece you already know how it was, yes it was good, quite good, especially since I'd had no prior knowledge of the place. But isn't that really how it should be? I mean I know there is a whole system of reviews and stuff, and sort of what I do here, to help people find new places to go, but isn't it a little self defeating to never go out on a limb? Not that eating Pizza is really reaching but it could have been total crap. Thankfully it wasn't.

The crust was extra crunchy with lots of bubbles and charred edges...love that. The cheese was extra gooey and tasty. Sauce oozed out the edges dropping blotches on my paper plate which I later mopped up with crust. If there was any complaint, but it's not really a complaint, was that it was a bit thick, not the typical thin crust NYC style Pizza, but that's just being picky. One benefit was that I was able to save some slices the next day because who doesn't love cold Pizza?

Honestly I don't think I would ever go out of my way to eat at Aliotta's again, there are far too many other Pizza joints that I prefer. However if I am working Downtown again and have a hankering to have some Pizza delivered, it will certainly be ordered from there.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Look Out NYC! The Girl Scouts Are Coming! The Girl Scouts Are Coming!

It's bad enough that there are Girl Scouts set up at every damn supermarket out where I live screaming out to ask if I want to buy cookies when I enter and leave the stores. "No, I don't want to buy your damn cookies! I didn't want them when I came in and I certainly don't want them now that I'm leaving! I already ordered the damn things from my neighbors little girl and even she was annoying about the whole process! Jeez!" I get a little excited.

Now comes word that the little cretins will be milling about the City tomorrow in their Girl Scout Cookie Trucks, AHHHHHHH!

Save the date my ass...

In case you were wondering they will be in four locations, primarily in the Midtown area...apparently Downtown is beneath them, literally and figuratively! Well screw you kids, Downtown NYC has plenty of delicious cookies to choose from.

8:30am-10:30am  42nd and Madison

11:30am-1:30pm  57th bet 6th and 7th

2:30pm-4:30pm   Park Ave bet 52nd and 53rd

Amsterdam Ave bet 70th and 71st

Beware the evil hordes of little girls in their costumes pretending to be sweet and kind, wanting you to buy boxes of their delicious cookies! They really just want your souls!

Hmmmm...on second thought, are Samoa's worth my soul? Quite possibly.