Tag Archives: Tapas

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

img_0681 I’m doing something I’ve never done before on this blog. And that’s because I just came back from an adventure that was unlike anything I’ve ever done before in my life. For six weeks of the summer, I was travelling around Europe meeting wonderful locals and eating amazing food. And I got paid for it!!

The real reason I was there was to make videos on some Urban Adventure tours. Stay tuned for 14 new episodes of Locals Know. But until then, to whet your appetite (and for me to re-live my incredible dream-come-true journey), I’ve decided to document the food I ate in each city.

So instead of picking just one dish of the week this week, I’m going to pick 14 – one for each city I visited.

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

AMADA, 250 Vesey Street (between North End Avenue and West Street), Inside Brookfield Place, Battery Park City

There is one dish on the menu at the brand-spanking new Amada that is super super exciting. In fairness, many of the dishes are super exciting. There is an arugula salad wrapped in serrano ham, a gourmet artichoke empanada, and all sorts of grilled chorizo and sausages. But we have those dishes in one form or another at other Spanish tapas bars around the city. I’ve yet to encounter anything quite like the Ibérico Presa. (more…)


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

EL COLMADO, Inside Gotham West Market, 600 Eleventh Avenue (between West 44th and 45th Street), Hell's Kitchen

I’m taking a much needed vacation this week to Portugal and Spain. Having never been to the Iberian peninsula, I’m super excited. This means a chance to try lots of tapas and to practice my Spanish (and Portuguese).

Recently, I visited the hip food court Gotham West Market before a show and I got a dish from the always-crowded tapas bar El Colmado. It was so good and I’m just hoping all my meals in Spain are as memorable.

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Now that I’ve eaten my way through somebody else’s list (Time Out New York), I’m ready to compile my own 100 spectacular things I’ve tasted in 2012. Look for another five dishes every few days.

NUMBER 10: AREPA DE QUESO at THE AREPA LADY

Up until now, there has not really been a rhyme or reason as to why one dish got ranked as a specific number on this list. I can’t say with any certainty that something was the 73rd best dish I’ve eaten this year. So I stuck with categories to help me organize my food thoughts. However, now we’re at the top ten and these dishes were definitely my favorite this year. So here goes…

It had been a long while since I got a taste of the sainted Arepa Lady’s Colombian treats. It’s difficult for me since she doesn’t appear with her cart until after 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Now that I’m well into my 30’s, I’m not usually roaming the streets of Queens at that hour. Thanks to my friend Jeff Orlick, I got to try her food at a reasonable hour. He got Maria Piedad Cano to emerge for the Viva La Comida festival, where she grilled up her two varieties of corn patties. I prefer the Arepa de Queso, a soft, buttery white disc filled with melted mozzarella and topped with some salty queso blanco. These arepas are certainly among the best street food in the entire city. Price: $3

THE AREPA LADY
Roosevelt Avenue and 79th Street,
Jackson Heights, Queens
Twitter:@ArepaLady

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For the third year in a row, I’m going to attempt to eat every single item on Time Out New York’s annual 100 Best Dishes list. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100. Let the gluttony continue…

There was something not quite right about Caliu. Maybe that’s why Lady Gaga famously spent a New Year’s Eve here a while back. It felt a little sloppy, amateurish, and almost as if we had stumbled into some teenagers playing restaurant.

Walking down Hudson Street, we passed RedFarm and a few other restaurants that were surprisingly busy for a Wednesday night. When we arrived at Caliu, there was not a single person in the dining room. And this was at 7:30, which is closing in on prime dinner time in NY. For the record, three more groups showed up while we were dining.

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For the third year in a row, I’m going to attempt to eat every single item on Time Out New York’s annual 100 Best Dishes list. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100. Let the gluttony continue…

When Salinas opened last year, its chef Luis Bollo was welcomed back (he cooked at the acclaimed Meigas in 1999) with open arms for bringing authentic Spanish cuisine to New York. The dark, loungy restaurant is nestled on the parameters of two very hip and seemingly exclusive neighborhoods, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. When we walked in without a reservation on a Friday night, the host hinted at how lucky we were to be able to get a table.

I was surprised by the clientele at this hot spot. We were definitely the youngest people in the restaurant (aside from the lukewarm servers), but the vibe had a very young, hip feel begging for people to be looked at. But to be honest, there was nobody terribly interesting to watch.

So instead we focused on the food. Most of the menu is comprised of tapas, but the list item (which turns out to be Time Out’s Number One choice) is their signature entrée: rosejat rápida. I ordered it in my best Spanish accent and the server didn’t seem to understand me. He blamed the volume in the restaurant. I know it couldn’t have been my pronounciation: I had four years of Spanish in high school. Dios mío!

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