Tag Archives: Food Shops

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.

What’s not to love about Paris? It’s grand, romantic, and incredibly delicious. While you got to come here and get views of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, you also want to get in to some of the hips neighborhood where locals hang out and that’s what I did on the Gourmet Marais tour.

On the newest episode of Locals Know, I get a taste of the classics with Paris Urban Adventures in the historic and hip neighborhood of Marais with my local guide Adele. She takes us shopping along the vibrant streets for baguettes, meats, pastries, and of course, wine. We discover this is where the cool kids have always hung out and after experiencing this tour, I totally understand why.


Category: Travel, Video

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

This year was another crazy ride. And while politics and breaking news stories often drifted into my anxious psyche, food still played an important role. And this year was full of surprising dishes that were nourishing, pleasurable, and a much-needed distraction. Here now are the top 10 dishes – an exciting mix of hearty classics like burgers and lasagna, along with some brilliant vegetable concoctions.

NUMBER 5: FRESH MOZZARELLA at JOE’S ITALIAN DELI

If you study this 100 Best list, you’ll see I spent a lot of time up on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx this year. It was part of my job giving food tours. Tough job. By far the best thing we taste on the tour are these bits of fresh mozzarella made throughout the day. Joe’s is only a second generation run business, but both generations have the magic touch when it comes to making the cheese. The mozzarella is so clean and fresh that I feel absolutely no guilt when eating it. It’s truly the best I’ve ever tasted.  Price: $8.49/pound

JOE’S ITALIAN DELI
685 East 187th Street (between Cambreleng and Beaumont Avenue),
Belmont, Bronx
(718) 367-7979
joesitaliandeli.com

NUMBER 4: NEW CREATION at SUPERIORITY BURGER

Amazingly, this is a vegan cheesesteak. But instead of bland and temperamental soy or tempeh, we get shaved and griddled yuba, Yuba is the skin of tofu and in this vessel, it is shaved very thin and browned to an almost meaty-crispness. It also has the tenderness of thinly sliced steak. To enhance the cheesesteak sensation, gloppy cashew cheese, caramelized onions, and some pickled cucumbers are added. It’s served in a roll and is truly one of the best cheesesteaks I’ve ever had. Even though there’s no cheese and there’s no steak. And this establishment is definitely not in Philadelphia. Price: $7

SUPERIORITY BURGER
430 East 9th Street (between First Avenue and Avenue A),
East Village
(212) 256-1192
superiorityburger.com

NUMBER 3: LASAGNA ALL BOLOGONESE at TRA DI NOI

It’s hard for me to resist classic lasagna when I find it on the menu and I’m so glad I gave in at Tra Di Noi. The amazing thing about this lasagna was how richly flavored it was yet it also had a surprising delicacy. The thin pasta layers were masterful with just the right amount of cheese and the meaty bolognese was hearty without being a full-on gutbomb. Imagine that: a refined red sauced lasagna in a classy restaurant nestled in the Bronx that most Manhattanites have never heard about. Price: $13.95 (lunch)/$17.95 (dinner)

TRA DI NOI
622 East 187th Street (between Hughes and Belmont Avenue),
Belmont, Bronx
(718) 295-1784
tradinoi.com

NUMBER 2: BURGER at CAFÉ ALTRO PARADISO

Every year I manage to discover a new burger that changes the game of my view on the burger scene in New York. And this year it came from an Italian restaurant in Soho of all places. Unlike most burgers in the city, this rich patty was peppery and charred like usual but it also had an extra kick of flavor from fish sauce, chile oil, and rosemary. Then it’s topped with funky gorgonzola, a sweet caramelized radicchio, a red pickled onion and a caper before it’s sandwiched on a buttery brioche bun. Can’t wait to see what burger will steal my heart next year. Price: 22

CAFÉ ALTRO PARADISO
234 Spring Street (at 6th Avenue),
Soho
(646) 952-0828
altroparadiso.com

NUMBER 1: CORNBREAD + CRAB at GRISTMILL

I never would have guessed my top dish of the year would have been discovered at an unassuming brunch in Park Slope, Brooklyn. But here is the exquisite cornbread from Gristmill. I’ve never seen a piece as browned and caramelized on the exterior with a sweet rich and crumbly corn-filled center. To ensure it’s place in infamy, it’s topped with some serious jumbo lump crab and a garnish of edible purple flowers. Needless to say, this is not your grandmother’s cornbread. Price: $12

GRISTMILL
289 5th Avenue (between 1st and 2nd Street),
Park Slope, Brooklyn
(718) 499-2424
gristmillbk.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

After experimenting with some different soda flavor combinations, two friends stumbled upon the surprisingly perfect marriage between coffee and citrus. After roasting their own flash brewed coffee, they add a blend of tangerine, lemon, and lime juice and some cane sugar for a sweet refreshing pick-me-up.

KEEPERS COFFEE SODA
keepers.co

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2017…

Baked potatoes always felt like an easy way out when it comes to cooking potatoes and they’re too big for a snack and not substantial enough for a meal. And frankly, they’re pretty boring. Mekelburg’s proves me wrong at every end. These salt baked tubers are tender and tasty on their own, but are taken to another level with the addition of créme fraiche, dill, black caviar, and bits of smoked black cod. It’s complex and luxurious and somehow manages to be the perfect meal. I love to be proven wrong. Price: $12

MEKELBURG’S
293 Grand Avenue (between Clifton Place and Greene Avenue),
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
(718) 399-2337
mekelburgs.com

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

There are seven different businesses around Arthur Avenue in the Bronx that make their own mozzarella daily. That’s an insane number of places committed to quality cheese in a small block radius.

For those that don’t realize it, Arthur Avenue is the real Little Italy of New York – with more third generation owned businesses than any other neighborhood. This is the place to come for quality Italian sausage, cheese, sandwiches, and dinners. And it’s all ridiculously cheap.

At Urban Adventures, we just launched a new Arthur Avenue Food Tour (it’s run by a couple who grew up there and have strong connections to the neighborhood). I was fortunate enough to train on the tour so I can give it when they are out of town. And it might have been my favorite training for any tour ever.

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

I’ve had all sorts of fake meat over the years. Broccoli hot dogs. Veggie burgers made from just about anything you can imagine (except meat. of course). And most recently I tried a yuba philly cheesesteak that blew my mind.

But through it all, I’ve never tasted anything that pretended to be fish. Unless you count those imitation crab sticks. So I was intrigued and a bit skeptical when I discovered that Orchard Grocer, the new trendy vegan bodega was serving lox made out of carrots.

It’s pretty ballsy to hawk a bagel with vegan cream cheese and carrot lox in the Lower East Side. Despite the changing demographics of the neighborhood, the breakfast sandwich is still associated with the historic Jewish immigrants that once lived here.

But I tell you, the masterminds behind this vegan deli would have made bubbe and zayde proud.

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