Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

Every week in New York, there are a slew of great local restaurants that are forced to close due to rising rents, changes in the food world, etc. With all these unfortunate changes, it’s sometimes a relief to stop and think about the ones that are succeeding and growing.

The Gumbo Bros. started a few years back as an idea between two friends who went to school in New Orleans and started a modest stand at the pop-up markets around the city. I met them at the Vendy Awards and was very excited to see them committed to bringing authentic Cajun food to the city. Many of the businesses at those markets seem to come and go, but the Gumbo Bros. actually got to open their own restaurant on busy Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

This permanent space isn’t terribly bigger than their market stall but there are seats and beer and a larger menu.

When I found the time to stop by, I wanted to try more of their namesake – I’ll have to get the po’ boys another time. I remember their gumbos being good at the Vendy Awards but not quite this good.

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Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

There are certain restaurants that I try so hard to get to, but it takes longer than I hoped. The Brooklyn iteration of El Atoradero (which I visited up in the Bronx when Denisse Chavez was serving her carnitas from a modest bodega) is one of those restaurants.

It’s tucked away in Prospect Heights and originally they were only open for dinner except for the weekends when they open the back garden for brunch. That has changed as of this writing and now I could visit them just about any day for lunch, but I managed to already check it off my list on a weekend afternoon.

That’s not to say I won’t want to return on a Tuesday afternoon, for instance, because the Mexican food is excellent. The carnitas tacos are the runaway hit and the meaty, crisp pork chunks are heavenly. Expect to see them on my year Top 100 dishes.

But I was very excited that the waitstaff allowed me to order something off the dinner menu even though we were quite a few hours before the sun would begin to set. And that something ended up being richly flavored and incredibly hearty.

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Come back on Wednesdays for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. In Locals Know, I explore a new city through the tours of Urban Adventures.

Somewhere back in my lineage, some of my ancestors came to New York from Hungary. Unfortunately, their stories and where they came from in the country has been lost to time. But when I visited Budapest last summer, I certainly felt a strong connection to the energy and the history of the city. I can’t imagine it had anything to do with all that goulash and strudel.

Food obviously plays a big role in the Bites & Sights Food tour that is featured on the newest episode of Locals Know. For this episode, Livia from Budapest Urban Adventures is my guide who helps me navigate both the Hungarian language and its wide reaching cuisine. We wind our way from the historic Central Market to a Communist-themed bar into the old Jewish quarter and to a traditional Hungarian strudel house. Of course, stopping to sightsee and eat along the way.


Category: Travel, Video

My search for the best dumplings in New York continues….

A friend of mine who lives in Pittsburgh recently asked me if I had ever had soup dumplings. He saw them featured on a television show and thought they sounded very interesting. Have I ever had soup dumplings??

I told him to look for a Shanghainese restaurant and that they should have them on the menu since Xiao Long Bao (I very obnoxiously told him the real name of this dish) are a specialty from Shanghai.

So knowing that China Blue, a spin-off of a very good Szechuan-focused restaurant in Midtown, concentrates on this regional Chinese cuisine and has even decked out the large Tribeca space to feel like Shanghai in the 1950’s (not sure how accurate it is since I was never there), I figured I should try their soup dumplings. (more…)


Category: Dumplings

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

I’ve always found it amusing that breakfast and dessert are often interchangeable. What you eat as the final bite of the night is also acceptable as the first thing you eat in the morning.

So even though we were at Two Hands for brunch one Sunday afternoon and the banana walnut bread was at the top of the menu, we decided to order it after our eggs and smoked salmon.

This shockingly gluten-free pastry (not sure what they make this out of, but it’s sinful) was so good, next time we’ll order it both before and after the meal.

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Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

I decided to treat myself recently. My birthday was a few weeks ago and I always crave high-end sushi around that time. Let’s face it, I’m always craving high-end sushi. But I am also craving a place to live so I can’t always make it a reality.

But in the last year or so, a number of spots in New York have started specializing in what many consider affordable high-end sushi. These omakase tasting menus range from $50 up to $85. Some of you may still refuse to believe that this is affordable, but when you consider Masa costs $595 per person, $50 sounds like a steal.

The first to gain much notoriety with this was Sushi on Jones which is part of Bowery Market and features outdoor seating only. I walk by this tiny hole in the wall very often and have been tempted by their $50 12-piece omakase. When I finally got around to splurging, I discovered the controversial chef David Bouhadana had left and opened a new $50 sushi restaurant called Sushi by Bou. (more…)


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LOCALS KNOW: BITES & SIGHTS FOOD TOUR in BUDAPEST AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: IRAN AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: PERU AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: GREECE
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