Talk ain’t cheap but tickets could be

Wed, Jul 23, 2014 by

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Udaipur, India

Traveling is a huge part of this blog. In order to find new food experiences we need to be in new places and meet new people. Par for the course includes eating some “crazy” things, discovering some off-beat places and letting your gut lead you through a new land. I can’t tell you how many times our tongues lead us to meet incredible new people and have amazing meals. The above shot was snapped in Udaipur just after we discovered the Lotus Cafe and just before this happened. Recently Hotels Cheap asked us to answer a few questions on the topic of travel and food. Here’s what we had to say about adventurous eating, unfamiliar cities and our favorite eat spots on the planet. BTW, our Peru adventure starts in 48 hours.

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Amis • Philadelphia

Fri, Jul 18, 2014 by

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AMIS

You can’t beat my family’s family dinner. Now that we’ve set the bar, there are a bunch of restaurants that have recently added a Sunday supper to their menu. I’m talking about the way Italian-Americans have been doing it for years. This I like. Now, if you were proper, you’d eat it around 2 or 3 in the afternoon then nap. Which, Amis will allow to happen. Not the nap part. Marc Vetri does an excellent job pulling together the 3 course, mid-day, feast. My grandmother didn’t boil eggs in her sauce but many do. Along with that tasty hard boiled you get two of the best meatballs I’ve ever had outside of my mother’s kitchen. You also get a sausage. All this lays on a fresh bed of spaghetti and sauce. For me the focus of the greatness resides in the center of the plate above. Something new and different (the egg) and something tried and true (the sausage). You see, I was always the sausage-over-meatball kid at our table, so to see the sausage as part of the Sunday meal brings me back. If you find yourself in Philly on a Sunday make a stop in. It’s well worth it.

The second reason for posting this today is because another contender in the “Beat-my-Sunday-Dinner” challenge will be tested this weekend. Red Gravy, a new Italian-American joint in Brooklyn, does a similar meal. Our first visit was on a Saturday night which obviously lacked a Sunday supper option. It will be hard to beat Vetri’s meatballs but Red Gravy’s sauce (Gravy vs Sauce debate benched for this post) is outstanding.  Perhaps the best restaurant sauce I’ve ever had. Rightfully so I suppose as it’s their namesake. The excitement mounts for Sunday. Stay tuned to Instagram for the play by play.

Eat there:

Amis
412 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone:(215) 732-2647

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Forked with Jeff Allen

Mon, Jul 14, 2014 by

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Jeff Allen

I was introduced to Jeff three times independently. That should speak to his social circle. In a word, TREMENDOUS. Which also is an adjective used for the type of guy he is. Jeff’s one of those mild mannered, UBER connected guys that, most likely, has three degrees of separation from Obama but you’d never guess it. He also has quite the discerning tongue. Aside from our marketing discussions, (He’s danced with the devil of PR, marketing and advertising for as long as I have) we tend to eat up most of our conversations around food talk. He’s focused much of his career on the food industry which has put him in close proximity to great food, the people that make it, pay for it, build it and market it.

That said you can usually find him in his home test kitchen instead of the latest, hot, new restaurant. A habit I much admire especially given his early access to the latest restaurant openings or hot new chef event. His reason is perfect, he saves his palette for the amazing and not just the next. Here’s what he had to say over one of my favorite Moroccan breakfasts.

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Ristorante Barchetta • Bellagio

Tue, Jul 8, 2014 by

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Italy-June 2014

Lake Como is beautiful. So is Bellagio, the point of the lake that’s been honored and awed for decades. So much so that Las Vegas felt it necessary to recreate it. Attention like this brings two things. The super rich and the tourists. Although beautiful, finding an authentic spot to eat without feeling ripped off is tough to do. For this one we had to turn to a tried and true companion, Lonely Planet. The Lakes guide steered us towards this elevated osteria with quite the extensive menu (Usually a red flag but not in this case).

Amongst the plethora of items, I immediately saw my hero dish. Since I was a kid and visited Umberto’s Clam House I’ve loved spaghetti with clam sauce. Red or white. Properly described spaghetti con le vongole. When this hit the table I already new I’d need more bread to sop up the tasty broth that would be left at the bottom of this bowl. All went according to plan and the clam infused wine and stock based broth was polished off without a drop left in the bottom of the porcelain marking the middel, not the end, of an awesome lake side Italian lunch. That’s the way it should be everyday.

Eat there:
Ristorante Barchetta
Salita Mella 13, 22021
Bellagio Como, Italy

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Forked with Doug Jaeger

Tue, Jun 24, 2014 by

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Unknown

I first met Doug because he produced a project called LVHRD. Introduced to the idea through a conference he spoke at, I made it my mission to meet him and pick his brain about the invite only, random gathering, collective he dubbed LVHRD. I was fascinated by the idea that like minded people would gather just hours after receiving a text message announcing an event. The part that really got me was, the text went out to specific parts of the LVHRD email list (not the whole list at once). It was simple, brilliant and the inspiration to how I curated my Forking Tasty Suppers list. I’ve come to know Doug well over the years. From his agency days, to our entrepreneurial brainstorm lunches to his current content business, he’s always been ripe with one thing, ideas. He’s a fast thinker producing quality ideas around topics that range from the serious to the silly. His knack for championing a good idea and trying to make it great has always been my favorite trait of his. Like a restless dog hunting an elusive fox, when he picks up a scent he leaves no stone unturned. That’s made him quite successful and a pioneer of not only ideas, BUT entire industries. Doug recently took me to Puffy’s Tavern, a sandwich shop I bashfully say, never made it on my radar. Check out what he had to say about fish, learning to cook and being a NYC fan on the jump.

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I Due Fratellini • Florence

Fri, Jun 13, 2014 by

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I Due Fratellini, Florence

In lieu of the of the plane I’ll be on in 3 hours, here’s a reheated from the last time I walked the boot shaped peninsula. This little hole in the wall, literally, serves up simple sammies on the freshest bread as well as offers a huge selection of wines by the glass. Here I knocked back a sopressata and riccota. I washed it down with a barolo of course. This trip I hope to find the Milano version of this magnificent hero.

Eat here:
I Due Fratellini
Via dei Cimatori, 38, 50122 Firenze, Italy
Phone:+39 055 239 6096
Hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm

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Uncle Boon’s • Manhattan

Fri, Jun 6, 2014 by

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uncle boons

Banana pepper salad. Sounds like a wild and exotic dish right? It kinda is but you get this and some down home Thai grub at the much acclaimed Uncle Boone’s. My personal connection to this spot is quite the telephone game. 8 years ago I shot a spot with Charlie Todd in an elevator. Brendan and Vikram of Disposable TV produced and directed. Bredan hired May, a talented and motivated stylist and designer. Her sister, Ann, who previously lived out in the hamptons and ran Reddings Market with her partner Matt, decided to come back and feed us, among other things, this glorious, salad. Since then May has gone on to do a fashion line of her own. Vik has become an award winning filmaker and correspondent for Vice. Brendan has turned to comedy commercial making. Charlie, of course, continues to be a mainstay of the YouTuber and UCB circle. What an ambitious and talented bunch.

As for Uncle Boon’s. The hype has died down but the food still kills it. Just the way I like my restaurants. Sit at the bar. Get the salad. Order frozen beers. Get something from the rotisserie and get a quintessential Thai street food dish. I say Yum Mamoung. Uhh, that’s a dish, not how I feel about it.

Go there:
Uncle Boon’s
7 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
(646) 370-6650

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‘Wich Hunting: Episode 14

Sun, Jun 1, 2014 by

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The Bao Shoppe – Astoria, New York

About ‘Wich Hunting: Jay and I have travelled the world eating everything from Balut in the Philippines to blood sausage in Argentina. In every destination there has always been a sandwich shop. Some were good and some were bad but they all had their unique take on this ubiquitous meal. The origin of the sandwich is highly debated and we’ll dive into that on our journey as we discover, taste and debate the best sandwiches in the world.

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Perbacco • San Francisco

Fri, May 23, 2014 by

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Perbacco, San Francisco

A throwback to a meal I had on one of my many trips to SF in preparation for next weeks destination. Truffle-herb ricotta gnocchi with roasted wild mushrooms and parmagiano reggiano tasted as good as it looks. Next week I’ll hunt down the NEW Perbacco and see if I can match this creamy deliciousness. Much of my experience was not the most memorable but this dish spiked the flavor meter. After the pillow soft, herb spiced pasta flattened on my palette I immediately was hit with the earthiness of a woody mushroom. The delicate and silky sauce was next. A rich followup that commingled with the gnocchi texture and mushroom flavor creating a melodic and deeply satisfying connection to where my food came from. Teh next 23 bites I can barely remember as I finished the plate. The residual sauce and mushroom bits were by no means left to slide into a dirty bus bin back in the kitchen. A true scarpetta was in order. With a fresh hunk of  bread torn from the loaf I reveled in soaking up every last bit of sauce and plugging my face. That’s how you finish.

Eat here:

Perbacco
230 California Street San Francisco, CA 94111
415.955.0663

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Miss Worcester Diner • Worcester

Fri, May 16, 2014 by

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Miss Worcester Diner

Today marks the final weekend of the Brimfield Festival, a gigantic antique sale in the Massachusetts town it’s named for. Check out what’s happening  now via Barb’s Insta. Last year on our trek to this mecca we were fortunate enough to stumble upon the Miss Worcester Diner. Run by two, hard working women, Ariana and Kim, this unassuming spot packs a punch when it comes to breakfast. They specialize in french toast with easily a dozen options deep on the menu. I chose the house special, thick cut bread rolled in Honey Bunches of Oats and then deep fried. You can’t quite anticipate the texture but you can assume the flavor (which still beats your expectations). The combo is a pure winner. A bold, sweet taste is mixed with a crunchy, flavor packed oatey bread. The addition of pure maple syrup, harvested in neighboring Maine, adds a level of glide to the rough and tumble toast. Aside from the story on my plate there were many more narratives unfolding around me. Check out the photo essay on the jump.

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