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

For those of us who have been lucky enough to eat at a high-end fine dining restaurant, we know that even after the dessert course is served, there is still more to come. You should expect some little petit fours and a handful of well-crafted chocolates, macarons, bon bons, or truffles. But often times, you are so stuffed from the previous meal that those little chocolate bites are eaten mindlessly.

One such fine dining restaurant is Gabriel Kreuther and his pastry chef Marc Aumont is pretty adept at getting loads of surprising flavors into bite-sized chocolates. I’ve been fortunate enough to try a number of his creations. And now, thanks to the opening of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate (right next to the restaurant itself), you can splurge on some of these chocolates without the foie gras and lobster consommé.

I decided to pick up a few of these for Valentine’s Day and needless to say they were a huge hit. (more…)


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

In the last few months, there have been a series of big Japanese chains that opened their first US location in New York. Normally, I don’t like to eat at chain restaurants, but it’s a bit of a novelty and Japanese fast food is generally more nourishing and exciting than American fast food.

Wagamama, TsuruTonTan, and Ichiran were the three major Japanese noodle players that have debuted to long lines in New York City. The one that intrigued me most was Ichiran partly because they are located in a big factory in Bushwick but also because they have special solo dining flavor concentration booths.

In the booths, you are completely alone excpet for a button and a curtain. When the button is pushed, the curtain is partially raised and the torso of a waiter appears who will respond to your needs.

The entire experience, including the recommendations on how to be savor the soup is a little precious. As a busy New Yorker who often deals with many people, I did appreciate the opportunity to dine completely alone and not have to deal with anyone else. But I imagine the ramen would taste just as good if I was sitting at a table with a group of people.

You also get to customize your ramen from the firmness of the noodles to the richness of the broth to the amount of added toppings. I went down the menu circling the options the restaurant recommends for first timers.

So my soup ended up on the medium side of just about everything. And it was pretty great. The thin chewy noodles were truly fantastic and the complex super porky tonkotsu broth was indeed worth savoring. The other notable addition, besides some serious garlic, scallions, and a meaty pork chashu, is their signature top secret spicy red sauce.

It was one of the better ramen soups I’ve had recently. Like many, I was dismayed by the prices  here (almost double the price of the Japanese locations) and the gimmicky flavor booths are a little too serious. But there’s no denying that this is one seriously good bowl of ramen. Price: $18.90

ICHIRAN
374 Johnson Avenue (between Bogart Street and Morgan Avenue),
(718) 381-0491
Bushwick, Brooklyn
ichiran.com/en

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

Despite all the complaining about price, I must really like Great Northern Food Hall. I find myself here once or twice a week. Granted one of the tours I lead begins at Grand Central Station and I often need to find a quick lunch before it begins. But I drift here before most of the other food courts in the area.

Also, this is the second dish of the week I have discovered from the Danish food hall. My go-to is usually the open-faced Smørrebrød sandwiches. However, I recently discovered something much heartier from one of the other kiosks. And I can’t get enough.

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Come back on Wednesdays for more funny, informative videos documenting my inept food adventures. In Around the World in One City, I travel around the world and taste authentic dishes without ever leaving New York.

I have been sitting on this video for a while. A few things have gotten in the way and stalled me. First off, I am entrenched in another exciting project that took me to Europe this summer. The videos from that will be live soon. I’m excited to share them with you.

Secondly, one of the restaurants featured in this video closed due to rising rents in Greenwich Village. When I first learned the news, I wasn’t sure if I should re-film or edit it out or what. So I sat on it.

But when the political climate reached sweltering this past week with unconstitutional immigrant reform, I realized just how important these videos are. Especially since Iran was named as part of the Executive Order.

You’ll also note that in the video I decide to not discuss politics. That was well before this current situation. If filmed today, I would have taken a bigger stand about the importance of this culture and its gracious people here in the United States.

But I still do want to focus on the food because as Saeed Pourkay says in the video, it can “do nation building.” So enjoy this video about a sadly underepresented cuisine and a now opressed culture. If you have never tasted Persian food, you really don’t know what you’re missing and it’s more important now then ever before.

On this episode, I first meet Saeed Pourkay who has followed his passion and is running a successful steam table in the corner of a generic pizzeria in the Flatiron District. The food is homemade and you can taste it in every bite. Then I head downtown to meet Shiva Stein, a British-born woman of Iranian decent who resides with her family in Brooklyn. We have a lovely meal at the sadly closed Cafe Nadery, modeled after an all-day artist hangout in Tehran. Transport yourself to Iran and get to know the people and its food as I go Around the World in One City.

For those that would like to get a taste for themselves, my friends have organized a food crawl that visits the businesses owned by people from the countries affected from the ban. Donate to help and eat for a good cause by clicking here.


Category: Video

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

There are times when I’m at a restaurant and I have to ask the waiter to explain a dish. Often the menu descriptions are lacking or not clear or full of hip adjectives that are more confusing than descriptive.

But at Spicy Village, it’s pretty clear what you are going to be getting when you order the Spicy Big Tray Chicken. No questions required.

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

2016 was a pretty sad year for the New York restaurant world. It seemed like every week another announcement revealed that an old standby or well-regarded food spot was closing – victims of astronomical rents or high labor costs or just plain bored chefs.

Carnegie Deli, Soto, Montmarte, Betony, Fritzl’s Lunch Box, and Pork Slope were just some of the great dining establishments we lost. But the saddest for me by far was Victory Garden.

I didn’t write enough about this goat milk ice cream business in the West Village. I think that’s probably because I was so busy enjoying it and always forgot to sit down and reflect. It was definitely the place I visited the most – after dinner, after work, on the way home. Whenever I could. The soft serve was simply divine and the flavors were healthy and surprising.

But unlike most of those other businesses, we haven’t completely lost Victory Garden. Thank the good Lord!! They will still be packaging their ice cream in pints at local grocery stores, summertime will bring an ice cream wagon, and their incredible soft serve is available (albeit in one flavor only) at a cool little stand at Chelsea Market.

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LOCALS KNOW: LET'S MAKE HIERBAS! in MALLORCA 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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