Tag Archives: Traif

I’ve devoured Time Out’s 100 Best dishes and now, once again, I’ve been inspired to create my own list. These are the 100 dishes I have continued to think about since tasting them at some point in 2011. Look for another five dishes every few days. These are in no particular order. 

30. LEMON BAR from THE TREATS TRUCK

I miss The Treats Truck so much. Ever since Kim Ima stopped parking in Midtown due to the ban on food trucks, my treats intake has shrunk dramatically. And while my doctor might be happy with that, my tastebuds certainly are not.

One of the treats I miss most is the Lemon Bar. I’m not even a fan of lemon desserts, but this one which premiered last winter as a way to reminisce about the bright days of summer could turn even the biggest lemon snubber into a fan. The shortbread crust gives the gooey dessert an extra buttery crunch, while the sweet and tart filling is fresh and succulent. And Kim always asks you which piece you want, giving you the option of getting the crunchy end piece. She still parks at a few locations in Manhattan, so she’s just a subway ride away from wherever you are. And even though they wouldn’t be the same, maybe I’ll have to buy her new cookbook and attempt to make them myself. Just don’t tell my doctor. Price: $2.50

TREATS TRUCK
Locations Vary
Check Twitter: @TheTreatsTruck
(212) 691-5226
treatstruck.com

29. COCONUT CHAI at BONOBO’S

This was a true New York discovery. I was just thirsty one afternoon and wandered into what looked like a generic deli across from Madison Square Park. In fact, it’s Bonobo’s, a casual vegetarian restaurant. And on display, I stumbled upon a very intriguing drink, which turned out to be one of the most delicious things I had tasted in my life!

With creamy, sweet coconut flavors on the front and spicy, sweet chai masala spices on the finish, this drink may as well have been dessert and a nutritious one at that. It’s made with fresh young coconut and the only extra sweetener is the healthier agave nectar. My only complaint is how small the bottle is and how addicting the stuff inside is. There’s not even close to enough to give me a satisfying fill of my new favorite discovery. I guess that just means I’ll have to buy another bottle.

BONOBO’S
18 East 23rd Street (between Madison Avenue and Broadway)
Flatiron District
(212) 505-1200
bonobosrestaurant.com

28. GO FIG YOURSELF PIZZA at PAULIE GEE’S

Good ol’ Paulie Gee! I’ve written about his amazing contributions to the pizza world and have been a fan of his since the first day I tasted his wood-fired creations. Last year, the Cherry Jones made my list. And this year, a seasonal pie with similar ingredients made my list. That’s right, this is another fruit pizza!

Usually the thought of fruit on pizza (pineapple?) earns gasps in the serious pizza world. But Paulie is a master of flavor combinations and discovering fresh ingredients. The Go Fig Yourself (the name alone should make a Top 100 list) uses fresh black mission figs (hence the seasonality of the pie). The rich bite of gorgonzola and salty earthiness of prosciutto di parma keep the sweetness of the figs and fior fi latte in check. All good chefs know every dish should have some sort of acidity. Paulie takes care of that with a sprinkling of orange blossom honey. Brilliant! Price: $17

PAULIE GEE’S
60 Greenpoint Avenue (between West Street and Franklin Street)
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
(347) 987-3747
pauliegee.com

27. STRAWBERRY CINNAMON RIBS at TRAIF

I’ve always been a bad Jew. I used go out every year for my birthday to get a big slab of BBQ pork ribs. They really were my favorite. And I would tend to agree with most of Brooklyn that pig is the tastiest of all the meats.

Traif is a perfect place for me in many ways. The name itself hints at things only a bad Jew (or a non-Jew) would eat and the food here is stupendous (and affordable). The second dish to make my list this year (there were two on last year’s list as well) are the glazed baby back ribs. This is a throwback to my youth, but I never experienced any as uniquely flavorful and tender as these. The glaze is quite complex with a good level of sweetness from the strawberries and a mild spiciness from the cinnamon. Maybe this could convince more Jews to finally come over to the dark side. Price: $9

TRAIF
229 South 4th Street (between Havemeyer Street and Roebling Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(347) 844-9578
traifny.com

26. GRAPEFRUIT GIVRE at BOULUD SUD

The Grapefruit Givre was perhaps the strangest dessert I’ve ever tasted. And yes, I’ve had beet ice cream and celery sorbet, but this takes the cake. Not because of the strange flavor combinations, but because there are so many things going on in this visually striking, slightly avant garde, playful dish. 

I probably wouldn’t have tasted this if it wasn’t listed on Time Out’s list for 2011, so I’m eternally grateful. Pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira, who hails from Tunisia, uses a hollowed out frozen grapefruit as the bowl. Inside are layers upon layers of delicious treasures, including a tart grapefruit sorbet, creamy sesame foam, and chewy pieces of floral rose candy. The interactive dish is sealed up with a brittle sugary caramel tuille and beautiful cotton candy-like halvah shreds. The fruit is garnished with sesame seeds. And like an enthralling piece of art, at first I didn’t know what to make of it, but eventually I let the experience overtake me and I reveled in its glory. Price: $13

BOULUD SUD
20 West 64th Street (between Central Park West and Broadway)
Upper West Side
(212) 595-1313
danielnyc.com/boulud_sud.html

I’ve devoured Time Out’s 100 Best dishes and now, once again, I’ve been inspired to create my own list. These are the 100 dishes I have continued to think about since tasting them at some point in 2011. Look for another five dishes every few days. These are in no particular order. 

NUMBER 85: EGG-IN-A-NEST at TRAIF

I’ve been cooking “eggs in a hole” for many many years. It’s rather simple: butter a piece of bread, cut a hole, and while frying the bread, break an egg in the hole. Flip, and after a few minutes, there you have it. Simple.

Traif takes that simple idea, but turns it up a notch… or three. Chef Jason Marcus takes two pieces of rich brioche toast, stuffs it with brie, béchamel, truffle cream, and meaty portobello mushrooms. All of that is topped with a perfect fried egg that once broken adds another layer of richness. And while all that decadence sounds like it could be too much, it’s incredibly balanced and you’re left craving more. Thankfully it’s served with the actual bread hole on the side (stuffed with more earthy, cheesy goodness). Price: $11

TRAIF
229 South 4th Street (between Havemeyer Street and Roebling Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(347) 844-9578
traifny.com

NUMBER 84: MARIA SIN SANGRE at CLOVER CLUB

While I love the flavor of Bloody Marys, I usually think it’s like drinking a thick spicy tomato sauce. I’d be happy to pour it on some pasta, but I can’t usually swallow an entire glass of it. Mixologist Julie Reiner of Clover Club serves four versions of Bloody Marys at brunch. And I’m so relieved I took the plunge and tried one.

The one I chose, the Maria Sin Sangre, translates to Mary without the Blood. And that’s partly why I liked it so much. It’s a subtle mixture of muddled cherry tomatoes, basil, silver tequila, sherry, and lemon juice. The drink exhibited the perfect balance of sweetness, herbaceousness, and spice. This is a brunch cocktail that Bloody Mary lovers and haters can agree on. And you’d have to be crazy to confuse this light, complex cocktail with something that goes on pizza. It’s meant to be sipped and savored. Price: $10

CLOVER CLUB
210 Smith Street (between Baltic Street and Butler Street)
Cobble Hill
(718) 865-7939
cloverclubny.com

NUMBER 83: CHICKPEA FRIES at PEACEFOOD CAFE

Ok, so technically this was not something I ate at breakfast – although I believe this vegan restaurant on the Upper West Side serves these in the morning. They’re a healthier, more interesting version of french fries. And they reminded me of a wonderfully savory take on french toast.

Imagine the logs of fried chickpeas are the toast (they’re gluten-free) and the tangy, earthy tahini dipping sauce is the maple syrup. They’re seasoned with aromatic Indian spices (cumin, cardamom, chili powder, and cinnamon) that give it a complimentary sweet and spicy flavor. They’re somehow crispy without any excess grease and they give way to a warm, soft center. Combine the concept of falafel, french fries, and french toast and you have a delicious creation any time of the day. Now if only they’d serve it with a side of bacon! Price: $7

PEACEFOOD CAFE
460 Amsterdam Avenue (between 82nd and 83rd Street)
Upper West Side
(212) 362-2266
peacefoodcafe.com

NUMBER 82: CACIO E PEPE at MAIALINO

The brunch at Danny Meyer’s Maialino was the most memorable breakfast I’ve had in a long time. Time Out brought us here to try their take on lox and cream cheese (they use swordfish and robiolina cheese), but every dish we tasted was stellar. I could have included any of them on this list.

But the stand-out was the Cacio e Pepe, which translates to cheese and pepper. This combination is traditionally served on pasta (and Maialino does a version of that at dinner), but it made for one of the most memorable egg dishes I’ve ever had. The porridge-like dish was quite simple, but Chef Nick Anderer’s refined hand and technique was evident in the revelation of textures and flavors. The soft scrambled eggs were creamy and tender, with the rich pecorino cheese and generous fresh cracked black pepper playing up the earthy, spice qualities. I haven’t stopped dreaming about this since.

MAIALINO
2 Lexington Avenue (between North Gramercy Park and 22nd Street)
Inside the Gramercy Park Hotel
Gramercy
(212) 777-2410
maialinonyc.com

NUMBER 81: EGG BAGEL at ABSOLUTE BAGELS

I devoured a lot of bagels this year, but only one was life changing. And it wasn’t at one of the old school Jewish bagelries across the city, but rather at a Thai-owned neighborhood spot near Columbia University.

Sam Thongkrieng, who has worked at classic spots like Ess-a-Bagel, has trained his staff at Absolute Bagels very well. He wasn’t there the day I tried one of their famous egg bagels with a sweet shmear of strawberry cream cheese. The hot out-of-the-oven bagel was life changing. The yellow-hued dough pulls apart so easily and melts in your mouth as you chew. The rich bread has a sweet and savory flavor that is the perfect foil to the cream cheese. And the fact that they bake their bagels throughout the day means you can have this transcendent experience whenever you want. You just got to get yourself up to 107th Street. Trust me, it’s worth the trip. Price: $1 (without cream cheese)

ABSOLUTE BAGELS
2788 Broadway (between 107th and 108th Street)
Upper West Side
(212) 932-2052

Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

Many bloggers are amateur chefs writing about the recipes they create. I’m not that guy. I have a knack for finding great recipes and following directions to the point of making a delicious meal. And while I have plans to teach myself how to cook (ultimately without a recipe book), I’m sort of lacking in the culinary skills department. I consider myself more of an appreciator of food than a creator of it.

But one thing I can cook like nobody’s business are eggs. I know those are the easiest things to prepare aside from boiling some pasta, but I make a mean omelette.  I also get a little creative sometimes by making an egg in the hole. A fried egg inside a piece of toast has been around for ages yet I think everybody believes they were the first to have concocted it.

Traif, which is slowly becoming one of my new favorite restaurants in the city, makes what they call an Egg-in-a-Nest and if anybody should get credit for the creation of the egg and bread combination, it’s Traif Chef Jason Marcus. He doesn’t just butter two pieces of white bread, cut a hole in the center, and crack an egg through it. No, what he produces is a complex and rich brunch dish that puts all the cheese omelettes in this town to shame.

I don’t venture out to brunch too often because I sleep rather late and am not a fan of waiting in lines. But we got to Traif about 30 minutes before they closed at 3 and were able to secure a table no problem. In addition to the list item, we also tried an interesting pineapple starter, which was sliced into pieces, drizzled with pomegranate molasses and lime zest. It was a little too tart and was missing one texture component: crunch. I thought the addition of some candied crispy bacon bits would have been heavenly and would have made perfect sense at a place called Traif (meaning unkosher). We also tried the amazing Pumpkin Pancake with sweet, tart cranberries and orange zest. It was one of the best pancakes I’ve ever had in terms of fluffy texture and complex flavors.

The Egg in a Nest came with a side salad and a round bready cake that I assumed was potato. But on closer inspection, I realized this in fact was the hole from the bread. Or breads, I should say. Because what Chef Marcus does is he basically makes a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich with two slices of brioche using brie, béchamel, and some truffle cream. He stuffs the bread with some portobello mushrooms and then for good measure, tops the decadent concoction with a perfectly fried egg that easily breaks open to release its yolk.

It sounds like all these rich ingredients would be too much, but it works incredibly well. My only complaint in fact was that there wasn’t enough of all that artery clogging stuff in the main dish. However, that unassuming little bread hole on the side held all the creamy, cheesy stuffing that I hoped would be throughout the sandwich itself. It’s probably brilliant that the overflow ends up on the side rather cramming so much lusciousness into the bread, which would probably overwhelm the flavor of the egg. It was just all so good that I wanted as much of it as possible.

It only costs $9 which is an amazing deal. In fact, the entire brunch here is fairly priced and delicious. Even if I was able to cook this stuff, I’d still travel to Traif for their awesome brunch and dinner.

Would Traif’s Egg-in-a-Nest make my Top 100 of the year? It’s part of the best brunch I’ve had in a while and so for that it gets aout of 10. The only problem was I wanted more intense flavors in every single bite, but that’s just a quibble when those few intense bites were incredible.

TRAIF
229 South 4th Street (between Havemeyer Street and Roebling Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(347) 844-9578
traifny.com

If Time Out New York can do it, so can I. I’ve been inspired and satiated by Time Out’s 2009 Top 100 list and look forward to conquering their 2010 list very soon. But from now until the end of the year, I present my own Top 100 Dishes of the year in reverse order. Look for another five dishes every few days.

65. THE COMPLETO at SAN ANTONIO BAKERY #2

A Chilean hot dog is not something you come across every day. Unless of course you live in Chile.

But here in New York, I believe there are only a handful of places that have a Completo on the menu (probably because there are only a handful of Chilean restaurants in the entire city).

I’m lucky enough to live close to a really good one: San Antonio Bakery #2 in Astoria is an unassuming little restaurant that serves great sandwiches, pastries, and Completos. And they don’t have a menu so you have to pretty much know what you want.

The Completo (which translates to “complete”) is a grilled hot dog topped with the Chilean works: fresh tomatoes, onions, guacamole, and mayonnaise. It’s all balanced on top of a fresh toasted bun. The rich creamy textures play really well off the smoky snap of the wiener.

It’s a hot dog like you’ve never had and one you won’t taste too often in this country. Unless, like me, you know where to find them. Price: $2.50

SAN ANTONIO BAKERY #2
3620 Astoria Boulevard (between 37th and 36th Street)
Astoria, Queens
(718) 777-8733
panaderiachilena.com

64. GREEK FRIES at SOUVLAKI GR

I don’t think I have to convince anybody about the joys of french fries. Even vegetarians are on board.

But besides some fancy sauces or frying the things in duck fat (I just lost the vegetarians, I know), I didn’t think there was a whole lot of room for improvement. That was until I tasted the Greek Fries from the Vendy Award winning (for Rookie of the Year) Souvlaki GR Truck.

They’re usually parked in the Chelsea area and besides really succulent and tender pork and chicken pitas, they make these unbelievable and surprising french fries. The fries are warm and crispy and then loaded with oregano, salt, pepper, and crumbled feta cheese. I’ve seen Belgian frites, British chips, and of course, the French Fries we’ve made our own. But this new Greek version is a welcome addition to the fried potato world. Price: $4.

SOUVLAKI GR
In the Vicinity of: 21st Street and 6th Avenue
Chelsea
Follow on twitter: @souvlakitruck
souvlakigr.com

63. BACON DOUGHNUTS at TRAIF

Free food is hard to resist for me. But the one thing I will consistently turn down are doughnuts. I’ve been (heart)burned one too many times with the fried fritters. So I avoid them unless they’re made fresh on a farm or featured prominently on a fancy restaurant’s dessert menu. Or if they have some unusual flavor.

And that’s why I just had to try the Bacon Doughnuts at Traif, the proudly non-kosher gastropub in Williamsburg. Lots of people are still squeamish over the idea of bacon in dessert. In my mind, it works the same way as it does at breakfast. Bacon, pancakes, maple syrup, whipped cream. These are perfect flavor combinations.

Traif takes it one flavor further by topping it with coffee ice cream. The doughnuts are light and fluffy, dusted with fresh bacon bits, and drizzled with ducle de leche. The sweet, salty, and greasy flavors are so perfect, I’d be happy having them at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

And so they make my Top 100 for not only being seriously delicious, but also because they were so fresh and light that I felt no pain while digesting them. Why are these never the free doughnuts on offer at morning meetings? Price: $6

TRAIF
229 South 4th Street (between Havemeyer Street and Roebling Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(347) 844-9578
traifny.com

62. TARTE FLAMBEE at AUGUST

Having worked at The Modern for many years, I feel like I’ve had the ultimate tarte flambee. Chef Gabriel Kreuther is from Alsace (where the pizza-like dish originated) and it’s so light, crispy, and full of deep comforting flavors.

I’ve had a few others and none come close to what I consider to be the ultimate version. So I was hesitant when I saw one on the menu at likable neighborhood spot August. How could it possibly compete with the one that’s near and dear to my heart?

Immediately I felt it was too thick with big chunks of bacon (as opposed to the thin smoked slices) and globs of onions. This was all wrong!

But as I took a few bites, I discovered it was totally different than The Modern’s and in its own way, just as successful.

The crust was actually quite light and crispy with a strong smoky flavor coming from the bacon, a bit of sweetness from the caramelized onions, and a nice bite from the creme fraiche. It’s exactly how I’d describe the one at The Modern (although I’d say that one is more refined) without being the exact same dish. It’s an example of how different chefs can interpret one dish and they end up completely different yet both turn out right. Price: $14

AUGUST
359 Bleecker Street (between 10th Street and Charles Street)
West Village
(212) 929-8727
augustny.com

61. LAMB BURGER at THE BRESLIN

The search for the best burger in New York will happen for me one of these days. This is a city that takes its burgers very seriously. But truth be told, I’m sort of tired of the same old beef burger. Sure, you can put interesting toppings on it and use different cuts of meat. And that’s all well and good, but I’m always searching for surprising flavors and for the most part, a burger’s a burger.

Then I tasted the lamb burger at The Breslin, inside the Ace Hotel. It exploded with flavor. April Bloomfield (of The Spotted Pig fame – which also has a killer burger) uses lamb meat, which is not the newest of flavors for me. But I’ve never had a lamb burger that has retained that salty, gamey flavor while bursting with the meat juices accustomed to a juicy beef burger. This was a revelation.

It was served on a firm, yet soft bun, cooked to a perfect medium rare with a nice smoky char on the outside. Even though the price tag is more than I like to spend on a burger ($17) at a bar (even a glorified bar like this one), it was well worth it. Price: $17

THE BRESLIN
20 West 29th Street (between 5th Avenue and Broadway)
inside the Ace Hotel
Flatiron District
(212) 679-1939
thebreslin.com

If Time Out New York can do it, so can I. I’ve been inspired and satiated by Time Out’s 2009 Top 100 list and look forward to conquering their 2010 list very soon. But from now until the end of the year, I present my own Top 100 Dishes of the year in reverse order. Look for another five dishes every few days.

NUMBER 100: GREEK SALAD WITH CHICKEN at CHICKEN SHACK

I don’t often spend more than one or two afternoons home for lunch. But when I do, I’m usually too lazy and pressed for time to actually prepare something, so I almost always look out in the neighborhood for my midday meal. And Astoria is not the easiest place to find a cheap, healthy, to-go lunch.

But recently I’ve found some place to fill that gap: the Chicken Shack. And my order is always the same, the Greek Salad with Chicken. The Shack (as I affectionally call it) has just as much atmosphere and style as a typical rotisserrie chicken chain. But the flavors are closer to local NY favorites like Pio Pio. All the chicken I’ve had has been juicy and flavorful, making it one step up from the typical fast food joints.

The generous portion of chicken breast (I always have enough for two lunches) is expertly grilled. The char on the outside has a vague flavor of sweet, tangy barbecue sauce and gives way to tender succulent slices of meat. I’m not usually a fan of the white meat because it’s often bland and dry. Not so here.

The salad itself is not the best version of Greek salad I’ve ever had (especially in Astoria). It has the requisite lettuce, olives, grape leaves, cucumbers, and feta cheese. Some fresh tomatoes for acidity and pepperoncini for a little heat round out the salad. Nothing too special, but it’s fresh and is a nice bed for that juicy chicken.

The fact that I order it every week must mean it belongs on my list. Even at the very bottom. Price: $8.99

CHICKEN SHACK
35-02 30th Avenue (at 35th Street)
Astoria, Queens
(718) 721-3035

NUMBER 99: STEAMED PORK BUNS at MOMOFUKU

If you’ve gone out to eat (outside of fast food chains) even once in the last year, you’ve probably heard of Momofuku. Although, if you truly have only eaten out once, I take that back.

David Chang basically gentrified Asian cuisine in the East Village by giving it a hip, local, slightly grungy facelift. Strange concept. He has five locations of Momofuku now – the Noodle Bar (ramen and such), the Ssäm Bar (Asian wraps), Momofuku Ko (higher end reservations only), Milk Bar (wacky desserts), and now Má Pêche (Chang in midtown!). And while theoretically each location has its own concept, it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference. And the fact that all the locations (even the Milk Bar) serve the steamed pork buns brings this company one step closer to a national chain with a consistent menu.

I’m being a little too harsh on Momofuku, but they can handle it since they’ve gotten so much good press over the years. I’m not a huge fan of the restaurants in general (although to be fair I’ve never had more than a few dishes at a time), but this review is because I have loved their steamed pork buns from the very beginning.

In order to include them in my inaugural Top 100 list, I re-visited Noodle Bar and found them listed under the “etc.” column of the menu.

I was a bit put off by the amount of fat on the pork. Were they always this fatty? I don’t remember them being quite this greasy. But I closed my eyes and scarfed down the little guys. And they were as decadent and fresh as I had remembered.

The pork was soft and fatty, but full of rich flavor. The cucumbers add a nice crunch, the hoisin sauce gives it a dark sweetness, and the pillow buns themselves are perfect to sop up all the grease. They’re almost like a savory marshmallow.

So as tired the Momofuku empire is getting, I’ll never get tired of their pork buns. Until they’re sold at every restaurant across the city. Price: around $9 (varies according to location)

MOMOFUKU NOODLE BAR
171 First Avenue (between 10th and 11th Street)
East Village
(212) 777-7773
MOMOFUKU SSÄM BAR
207 2nd Avenue (between 12th and 13th Street)
East Village
(212) 254-3500
MOMOFUKU MÁ PÊCHE
15 West 56th Street (between 6th Avenue and 5th Avenue),
inside the Chambers Hotel
Midtown West
momofuku.com

NUMBER 98: L’HEURE VERTE NO. 2 at ALLEN & DELANCEY

I know this is very annoying and if Time Out did something like this, I’d be pissed. Allen & Delancey, which was the restaurant I got this cocktail from is now closed. Meaning nobody can get the cocktail the exact way I had it at the beginning of 2009.

But I took note of the ingredients and maybe somebody can re-create it. So, if you have decided to embark on my list as I have on TONY’s, I’ll give you a pass on this one if you make it yourself.

The L’heure Verte No. 2 was a stirring of tequila, absinthe, a smoky Islay scotch, bitters, and sweet agave nectar. It was deeply complex and incredibly interesting to drink. This overshadowed the Tinker’s Stand No. 2, which was on my Time Out list (the restaurant was still open then). It kept finishing with new flavors on my palate after I put the drink down. Smoky, sweet, bitter – amazing.
And if anybody does decide to re-create it at home, will you invite me over? Please?
ALLEN & DELANCEY
NOW CLOSED

Photo courtesy of: behindtheburner.com

NUMBER 97: BBQ BRAISED SHORT RIB SLIDERS at TRAIF

Traif refers to all the things that are not kosher (and in a very sinful way, the most delicious). But I grew up Jewish and going to Traif is comfort food and makes me feel like I’m a kid again. We were good people, but bad Jews.

The BBQ Short Rib Sliders are one of the less sacrilegious dishes as he rib part refers to beef. It’s still not blessed by a Rabbi but, in a pinch, the Hassidic community of Williamsburg is not too far away. I’m sure we could find a Rabbi to bless this meat. Although I can’t imagine that would ever work out.

But in my mind, these sliders don’t need any blessings. They’re little sandwiches of flavor. I find short rib to be very fatty (which is why it’s so flavorful) and sometimes unpleasant to eat, but these were incredibly meaty and melted in my mouth. The sauce was sweet, smoky, and just a little spicy. The mound of perfectly tender sweet potato fries were addicting and made it difficult to figure out which to eat first.

Those Hassidic Jews down the street don’t know what they’re missing! Price: $8

TRAIF
229 South 4th Street (between Havemeyer Street and Roebling Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(347) 844-9578
traifny.com

NUMBER 96: PILSNER from KELSO OF BROOKLYN

There are only three breweries currently operating in New York City. Most people know Brooklyn Brewery by now and Sixpoint is gaining popularity. But Kelso is a lot more humble and under the radar, but they turn out some awesome brewskies.

Kelly Taylor also brews the beer for Heartland Brewery and he does it all out of a little brewery called Greenpoint Beer Works in the middle of Clinton Hill. I had the great opportunity to visit it one night and talk with Kelly. And he poured me a glass of his pilsner. I was a bit disappointed that the pilsner was the beer I was tasting. I’m generally a fan of ales and more full-flavored beers. Budweiser, Amstel Light, Coors, those are all pilsners. And if that’s all on draft, I’ll generally just drink water.

So it was completely unexpected for this Pilsner to be so complex and full of flavor. There was a bit of cereal sweetness at the beginning but it ended with a nice hoppy dry finish. It was easy to drink and a pleasure to enjoy.

If you don’t get to make it out to Greenpoint Beer Works, Kelso is also available at any restaurant in the city with a respectable beer list. Price: Varies according to location.

KELSO OF BROOKLYN
Available at bars and restaurants across the city
kelsoofbrooklyn.com

Photo courtesy of: flickr.com


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