Tag Archives: Mexican

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

SADLY, MAYAHUEL IS NOW CLOSED.

This blog post is going to be an ode to one of the greatest bars of our generation more than an actual post about a specific dish. Mayahuel has been the country’s premier tequila and mezcal bar since Phil Ward and his partners opened the bar in 2009. It has been the hand’s down highlight of our Craft Cocktail tour since the beginning and has spread the love and knowledge about quality agave based spirits.

But like many of my favorite places to eat and drink in this ever-changing city, Mayahuel is forced to close its doors. Come August 8, they too will fall victim to greedy difficult landlords.

I have not felt as personally hurt by a restaurant closing since Cafe Edison (my breakfast spot of choice in my early New York days) was forced out of Times Squre. But this one really hurts. (more…)


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

Last weekend I had the great opportunity to design a special food tour for a hungry family from New Jersey. They had already explored much of Manhattan and wanted to learn about the best food in Brooklyn. They came to the right guy. We had a car and hopped from food stop to food stop in the hippest borough.

Now this couldn’t really be all the best things in Brooklyn because it would have been a week-long tour. Instead, I curated a list of places that tell the story of food in Brooklyn (we visited a hipster Asian restaurant, an old time Italian red-sauce joint, a brewery, coffee roaster, and dessert).

I also knew that I wanted to showcase the new immigrant food that is iconic to much of Brooklyn. Since the tour would be mostly in South Brooklyn, I looked to Sunset Park. I had my pick of places here – on one side of the neighborhood is Brooklyn’s growing Chinatown along 8th Avenue and on the other side is a large Latin American community huddled around 5th.

So in the name of research, a few days before the tour, I did an unofficial taco crawl trying to decide which of these iconic spots to take the group to.

(more…)


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

This year the best taco purveyor in Manhattan (Los Tacos No. 1) opened a secret little side bar making the best fish tacos in the city. These guys are called No. 1 for a reason. Seafood reigns supreme here and their ceviche is top notch. Served on a crisp tortille and topped with fresh avocado, the bass mixture is bright, fresh, and completely satisfying. Price: $4
LOS MARISCOS
409 West 15th Street (between Ninth and Tenth Avenue),
Inside Chelsea Market
Chelsea
(212) 920-4986
http://www.losmariscos1.com

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

2016 was a tough year. From a whirlwind political circus to the loss of many beloved celebrities to worldwide tragedies, the news was full of sad things. But there was still joy out there and as usual, I found a lot of that joy through food. And here in New York, these are the 10 dishes that gave me the most joy….

NUMBER 10: HOT DOG at FELTMAN’S OF CONEY ISLAND

A Coney Island historian named Michael Quinn bought the Feltman’s brand this year. For those that don’t know, Charles Feltman was the originally creator of the hot dog in 1867 and was the employer of the more famous Nathan’s. Pepper and garlic flavors explode with each snap of the lamb casing. The warm grilled sauerkraut and homemade apple cider vinegar mustard plus the addition of no nitrates or chemicals help put this in the running for best hot dog in the city. Price: $4

FELTMAN’S OF CONEY ISLAND
80 St. Marks Place (between First and Second Avenue),
Inside William Barnacle Tavern,
East Village
https://www.facebook.com/Feltmans-of-Coney-Island

NUMBER 9: PUEBLA DRINK WITH NO NAME at MAYAHUEL

SADLY, MAYAHUEL IS NOW CLOSED.

It’s no secret that I love Mayahuel. It’s become one of my favorite bars, visiting it often on the Craft Cocktail tour but also bringing friends who are in town by for a drink. I was looking for a smooth, chocolatey drink to pair with their excellent churros and one of the servers suggested this classic. It has no name (well, sort of) but lots of intense flavors – spicy and smoky mezcal infused with chile de arbol, a moscatel sherry infused with ancho cili, some aged rum, cacao, and mole bitters. It’s modeled after a Oaxacan mole sauce, but it’s also the perfect final sipper to a night out. Price: $15

MAYAHUEL
304 East 6th Street (between First and Second Avenue),
East Village
(212) 253-58888
mayahuelny.com

NUMBER 8: KUBANEH BREAD at TIMNA

It’s hard for me to justify paying for a basket of bread. But this is not just any basket of bread. It’s called kubaneh and is a traditional Yemenite breakfast bread with a yeasty, steamy center. It arrives in a flowerpot with accompaniments of jalapeño salsa, crushed tomatoes, and a dollop of yogurt. Each piece rips apart easily and releases aroma and steam that adds to the experience. This slightly sweet, soft and tender bread disappeared too quickly. It had the sweetness of a brioche, the softness of a popover, and the brownness of a pretzel. Imagine that lovechild. Price: $12

TIMNA
109 St. Marks Place (between First Avenue and Avenue A),
East Village
(646) 964-5181
timna.nyc

NUMBER 7: CLASSIC BURGER at SALVATION BURGER

SADLY, SALVATION BURGER IS NOW CLOSED.

After Salvation Burger finally re-opened following a debilitating fire, I finally made it up to check out April Bloomfield’s hip, swanky burger palace. I was hesitant to spend so much money for a burger and even more doubtful that it would be worth it. It well-exceeded my highest expectations. The classic burger is modelled after thin-patty fast food burgers but it’s full of meaty char and topped with a secret cheesy sauce, sweet caramlized onions, and bold tangy pickles. If McDonald’s burgers tasted this good, I would have a serious problem. Price: $17

SALVATION BURGER
230 East 51st Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue),
Inside the Pod 51 Hotel
Midtown East
(646) 277-2900
salvationburger.com

NUMBER 6: PANDI-ICE CREAM at HOUSE OF INASAL

We’ve all probably had an ice cream sandwich, but not necessarily one quite like this. The popular Filipino street food is composed of sweet eggy pandesal bread that is toasted and liberally painted with thick halaya, which is ube (purple sweet potato) jam. Then it’s topped with a scoop of the same deep purple-colored ice cream. And finally, it’s garnished with some pinipig (crunchy rice) and young coconut. It’s sweet, warm, cold, crunchy, and absolutely luxurious.  Price: $5.50

HOUSE OF INASAL
65-14 Roosevelt Avenue (between 67th Street and 65th Place),
Woodside, Queens
(718) 429-0709
houseofinasal.com

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

SADLY, MAYAHUEL IS NOW CLOSED.

Don’t ignore the food menu at Mayahuel. While their expert tequila and mezcal cocktails may be distracting, their Mexican small plates are phenomenal. Every evening here must end with the crunchy, creamy, and cinnamony churros dipped into a decadent bowl of rich, dark chocolate. Price: $10
MAYAHUEL
304 East 6th Street (between First and Second Avenue),
East Village
(212) 253-58888
mayahuelny.com

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

EMPELLÓN AL PASTOR, 123 St Marks Place (at Avenue A), East Village

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. When Empellón al Pastor announced they were re-thinking their menu and it would now include a cheeseburger taco, I assumed they had jumped the shark. What started as a great bar for excellent authentic tacos was now doing a seemingly gimmicky taco itieration. I was worried.

But since my Cocktail tour starts just across the street, I decided to give these cheesy sounding tacos a try. And I was incredibly surprised just how good they were. (more…)


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