Tag Archives: Caribbean

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

This unique combination had been on my radar for a few years and I finally got to taste the Jamaican-Japanese mash-up. Miss Lily’s switches out the Japanese pork bone broths for a spicy jerk broth. Alongside the springy noodles is jerk chicken, ackee, jerk pork belly, and a soft boiled egg. It’s warming, firey, and a very cool mash-up. Price: $16
MISS LILY’S 7A
109 Avenue A (at East 7th Street),
East Village
(212) 812-1482
misslilys.com/locations/east-village-7a/

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2015…

It was actually very difficult to narrow down all the things I tasted this year to the 100 Best. It was a good year for food in New York. Food is the best way to create memories and these top ten are dishes I’ll never forget.

NUMBER 10: GRIDDLE PANCAKE SKEWER at TASTE OF NORTHERN CHINA

Griddle Pancake at TASTE OF NORTHERN CHINA

The specialty of the house at this hard-to-find Chinatown haunt are northern Chinese skewers. Proteins and vegetables are put on a stick, marinated with spices, and then grilled. The most surprising one I discovered was not made of protein or vegetables. It was a pancake. Playfully presented on two sticks (also because it makes it easier to cook the bread over the charcoals), the pancake is like a dense Naan bread, slightly doughy and enhanced by its grilled exterior and seasoned with the same spice mixture the others get. While cumin, chile, and salt are obvious for meat and vegetables, it works even better on this pancake. Price: $1.25

TASTE OF NORTHERN CHINA
88 East Broadway, #106
(entrance on Forsyth Street),
Chinatown
(917) 302-8831

NUMBER 9: CHOCOLATE NUTELLA BABKA at BREADS BAKERY

Chocolate Nutella Babka at BREADS BAKERY

If you’ve never had the Jewish cake known as babka, it’s both good and bad to start with this one. Good because it is so delicious, but bad because you might never find another babka to compare. This one is the perfect babka. Each layer is filled with Belgian chocolate and Nutella and tastes yeasty, buttery, and sweet. While it might look like a gnarled burnt pretzel, the flavors and freshness speaks volumes. It certainly helps that the very busy Breads bakes their babkas three times throughout the day. Price: $12

BREADS BAKERY
18 East 16th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Union Square West),
Union Square
(212) 633-2253
breadsbakery.com

NUMBER 8: JERK FRIED WINGS at GLADY’S

Jerk Wings at GLADY'S

It takes chutzpah for a white Jewish kid to open a Caribbean restaurant in Crown Heights, a vibrant Caribbean neighborhood. But the community has embraced him. There is no denying he is doing this food justice. A perfect example are the chicken wings, which are sticky and sweet with a backbone of that smoky, spicy jerk heat. Each piece of meat just fell right off the bone yet held on tight to lots of flavor. On the side was not blue cheese, but a sweet, spicy dipping sauce. Price: $7

GLADY’S
788 Franklin Avenue (at Lincoln Place),
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 622-0249
gladysnyc.com

NUMBER 7: PIZZA at ARCADE BAKERY

Pizza at ARCADE BAKERY

I love hidden cafés and restaurants. You totally feel in the know when you walk into a non-descript office building confident about the hidden little bakery in the lobby. That’s the case with Arcade Bakery, but there not just a gimmick. Their bread and pastries are some of the best in the city. The crust is not usually my favorite part of a pizza, but here it’s all about the bread. The rich softness of the olive-oil slicked crust made me wonder if there was cheese inside the crust (there wasn’t). Each bite revealed a warm yeasty interior and I got lost in the doughy bites contemplating the beauty of life itself. All while hiding out inside an office building lobby. Price: $9

ARCADE BAKERY
220 Church Street (between Thomas and Worth Street),
Tribeca
(212) 227-7895
arcadebakery.com

NUMBER 6: THE KOREANO at FUKU

The Koreano at FUKU

Many food critics have proclaimed the fried chicken sandwich the dish of the year. I tend to agree and most people’s favorite is David Chang’s Korean spin at Fuku. I was skeptical by the hype, but quickly won over. The gigantic piece of chicken is comprised of juicy thigh meat and a super crispy breading that hides lots of spices and flavor. Even more flavor hid inside the bottle of magical Ssam sauce. The funky flavors of ssämjang (fermented bean and chile paste) mingle with the sweetness of sherry vinegar and the spiciness of kochujang. It’s truly incredible and addicting. Price: $9

FUKU
163 First Avenue (between East 10th and East 11th Street),
East Village
momofuku.com/new-york/fuku/

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2015…

Jerk Chicken at THE ISLANDS

I’ve been wanting to go to The Islands restaurant for their homecooked Jamaican food since pretty early in my New York foodie career. I finally made it out here for lunch one day when they were not seating people but doing take-out orders. That didn’t bother me because I still got to try their legendary jerk chicken, which features large cuts of bone-in chicken rubbed with a smoky/spicy jerk seasoning and sauce. The chicken falls right off the bone and will warm you up on a cold day or fill you up any time of the year. Price: $8/$10

THE ISLANDS
803 Washington Avenue (between Sterling and Lincoln Place),
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 398-3575

Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. NYC Food Cart Tour is my exploration of the hard-working vendors feeding NYC’s population every day.

Forget hot dogs. Halal food is probably the most ubiquitous food from food carts today. And that is because of an influx of Muslim immigrants into the city over the last few decades. The first halal vendor in Midtown is still going strong and serving the best chicken over rice in the city. Trini Paki Boys is a fusion of cultures named for the owners’ seven sons and nationalities.

Trini Paki Boys Cart


Category: Video

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

GLADY'S, 788 Franklin Avenue (at Lincoln Place), Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Michael Jacober is an extraordinary chef. He launched my favorite grilled cheese sandwich truck (Morris) and opened a New American restaurant called Glady’s in the quickly gentrifying neighborhood of Crown Heights.

But when he announced he would be changing the concept at Glady’s to a rustic Caribbean restaurant last year, I had my doubts. This is a white American Jewish guy attempting to cook authentic Caribbean food in a neighborhood populated with people from the islands. The only words that came to mind were “recipe for disaster.”

Yet Glady’s in its most recent form is a hit. The critics have raved and the crowds are out the door. And amazingly, those crowds are mixed with gentrifying hipsters and the Caribbean community that has been here for years. So Michael must be doing something right.

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For the fourth year in a row, I present the 100 most exciting dishes I’ve consumed during my food adventures around the five boroughs. Look for another five dishes every few days.

This is truly the year of the mash-up. Last night, most Jews in this country celebrated a once-in-a-lifetime mash-up of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with cranberry latkes and pecan pie rugelach. But people have been hybrid crazy this entire year. There was even a fried chicken spot called Hybird (now closed). Maybe it all started with that infamous cronut, but here are five other crossbreeds that are pure imagination and deliciousness.

NUMBER 55: ISRAELI SCOTCH EGG at EASTWOOD

Israeli Scotch Egg at EASTWOOD

A Scotch egg is a classic Scottish gutbomb that consists of a hardboiled egg wrapped in crumbled sausage and breadcrumbs. Bringing the cholesterol down just a touch, the vegetarian friendly version at Eastwood throws in a little Israeli flair. A crisp and sesame-laden falafel serves as the exterior and it opens up to reveal a perfectly cooked egg with a decadent yolky center. Garnished with Middle Eastern spices and served with a side of tahini, this is one Scotch egg that is truly kosher. Price: $3

EASTWOOD
200 Clinton Street (at East Broadway),
Lower East Side

(212) 233-0124

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