Кузнечный переулок • St. Petersburg

Fri, Apr 11, 2014 by

0 Comments

Кузнечный переулок, St. Petersburg, Russia

This week I thought I’d dig back and post a Reheated from our Russia mayhem. Jumping on the boat back in 2009 with Tony and hitting Estonia, Helsinki, Stockhom and St. Petersburg was an epic, light filled, adventure. It made sense to heat it back up this week with all the recent Russia news and because we finally made heads or tails of our YouTube channel. It’s all organized and pretty now. Check it out.

The pickled beets and cabbage above was crazy delicious. Think Russian style kimchi. It’s worth pointing out we waaaay overpaid for it after being taken advantage of at the market (Video 1). We’ve been lots of places but Russia might take the cake for feeling most foreign. From the streets to reading signs to ordering food, it’s tough to navigate everything. Let’s leave it at that, like we did most of what we ate in Russia. Best to not try and figure out what it is but just enjoy the tasty. Here’s the conclusion of this epic 36 hour, post iron curtain, beauty of a city escapade.

Go there:
Кузнечный переулок (Kuznechnyy Rynok)
Kuznechnyy pereulok, 3, St Petersburg, Russia
+7 812 312-41-61

Continue reading...

‘Wich Hunting: Episode 12

Tue, Apr 8, 2014 by

0 Comments

The Lucky Dill – Palm Harbor, Fla.

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.

Continue reading...

Forked with Joe Campagna

Mon, Apr 7, 2014 by

0 Comments

Joe Campagna

Joey and I are what you call goombahs. It took no more than 30 minutes for him and I to bond a friendship that centered around food, Italian-isms and retouching. Yes retouching. I was still a green, 22 year old kid trying to make a life in advertising. We’re talking 1997-98. On day three of my new job I was walked one floor down to our sister company, ICON Digital Photography. Joey was the in-house retoucher in a medium that was in it’s infancy.  Noone shot digital in ’98. Joey could take an image and have a final hi-res file ready for layout in under an hour from the snap of the camera. Of course the industry still had to catch up to that level of speed which left Joey and I with some time to chat about things like Chicken Parm (while eating chicken parm), colon cleanse, his mother’s fig tree in Brooklyn and many other randomly, interesting topics. For a while, “family” lunch down at ICON was my favorite part of the day. Fast forward 16 years. Joey now works at DC Entertainment (Yes. Comics!) as Director of Original Material & Periodicals while holding watch over The Late Show’s Studio out his Broadway facing office window. After too long of a hiatus from those lunches in the 90′s, Joe didn’t miss a beat taking me to the Three Monkey’s Bar for his favorite lamb burger in NYC. Goombah’s foreva! Check out what he had to say about dinnertime, a ritual he holds in as high a regard as I do, on the jump.

Continue reading...

Empire Cake • Manhattan

Fri, Apr 4, 2014 by

0 Comments

empire cake

When I was a kid my mom used to take us to the Hostess bakery a few towns from our house. She’d pick up a few loaves of Wonder, a Home Pride (butter top wheat. You know the jingle) and then, much unlike the treats we’d be granted in the wallpaper store, mom would let us each pick a box of sweets. My standard go to was the famed Chocodile. This mythical, high-fructose boned, molar destroying, creature surpasses the unicorn, the centaur and even Frankenberry to own the category. Think I’m going a little too far? I’m not the only one who holds the Chocodile in such high and memorable regard.

For those who don’t know, the Choco-dile was a chocolate covered Twinkie that used a cocoa crocodile as their mascot and food advocate. The marketing alone was enough to love this amped up treat. Sinking my teeth through the chocolaty crust and into the spongy mid layer in anticipation of hitting the sweet cream center never got old. By now you’ve all heard what’s happened to Hostess. Alas, the death of an era, and a treat, that was in my all time top 10.

Backstory over. A couple weeks ago I walked past a new-ish Chelsea bakery and, with an ironic twist, the branding of the shop drew me in. Once inside my eyes widened as I peered into the oversized glass counter. Just beyond the crystal window I saw dozens of little pill shaped confections. Their specialty, I came to find out, were these small cake like loaves in unique flavors. Aka, home made Twinkies. As my brain caught up to what my eyes were frantically searching for my lungs released the breath I had been subconsciously holding since I walked in the shop. There, amongst the other gourmet flavors, was the smile inducing, cream filled, yellow cake covered in chocolate. Or…Chocodile 2014. I almost didn’t make it home but I knew I had to show Missus Tasty (who could care less about my quest to find Chocodiles). Seconds after I pulled it from the bag, showed my wife and declared my discovery (over her rolling of the eyes) I bit into the cake with every taste bud I had on red alert. A couple chews. A swallow. A final swallow and…NOPE. Not a Chocodile. A good attempt but I guess nothing is going to beat mass produced, decade long shelf life, 1980′s national bakery manufacturing. This was not unlike the time I purchased unopened underoos off ebay because as a boy that was my favorite smell on earth. Alas, both of these ivory-towers will only live on in my cortex. In the mean time Empire Bakery is a good quick fix and beyond the Choco flavor has a few other loaves worth a bite.

Go there:
Empire Cake
112 8th Ave, Manhattan, NY 10011
(212) 242-5858

Continue reading...

‘Wich Hunting: Episode 11

Tue, Apr 1, 2014 by

0 Comments

Bombay Sandwich Company – New York

About ‘Wich Hunting: Anthony 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.

Continue reading...

The Oceanaire • Miami

Fri, Mar 28, 2014 by

0 Comments

The Oceanaire, Miami

I’ve been trying to find a tres leche cake better than this for the last 3 years. Miami is known for their amazing Cuban food but living in NYC you’d think I’d be able to find something that comes close to this cream dripping, authentic dessert. Not true. If you know of a place I can scratch this sweet itch please let me know ASAP. We’ve been all over the Bronx and Brooklyn looking for a triple milk payday. To no avail. I’m in another browser window as we speak setting up Kayak price alerts for a weekender to Miami. Word is I have to try Jersey for a local fix of all things Cuban. There may be an adventure West early this spring.

Go there:
The Oceanaire
900 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33130
(305) 372-8862

Continue reading...

Forked with Abby Bernstein

Mon, Mar 24, 2014 by

0 Comments

Abby Bernstein

I met Abby because I inadvertently licensed one of her songs for a Manifold Project. All on the up and up of course. Abby reached out to say thanks and see what else we were up to. She’s made the move from singer-songwriter on a solo track, to using her talents for corporate, commercial and content development. She finds this more exciting and rewarding. I can understand that. Her gift of gab doesn’t hurt when it comes to convincing creators to let her work out the music for their piece. Aside from the food chat we spent a lot of time talking about storytelling. By the time we finished the meal she had me hooked on RISK and the burgeoning NY Storytelling scene. Seriously. Tomorrow I am heading to my third different spot. This time in LIC to catch some open mic stories. Check out what she had to say on the jump.

Continue reading...

Brasa • Minneapolis

Fri, Mar 21, 2014 by

0 Comments

Brasa-Minneapolis

I was recently in Minneapolis. Yes it was very cold. No I could not live there. But I could eat there. As Portland has become Brooklyn has become the norm, food cool has found it’s way into most every city I’ve visited in the last year. Not to be left out, Mini has it’s own industrial repurposed eatery scene budding through the frozen urban tundra. I chose a repurposed gas station garage on the west edge of Dinkytown, a ‘hood known for small businesses, restaurants, food courts, bars, and an overflow of student housing from the nearby university.

Brasa spins chickens and other meats to perfection. I always say the trick is the seasoning and at Brasa they nailed it. Of course my samplings meandered beyond the bird. From rotisserie chicken through slow pulled pork with yuca fries and a generous cup of rice and peas I conquered most of the menu. Still the crowned winner is the chicken. Alex Roberts knows exactly how long to let that creole dry rubbed bird spin to ensure a flavorful crunchy skin and a deeply spiced inner flesh. With flavor influences from West Africa, the West Indies and South/Central America he is playing on my heart strings and taste buds like Bob Marley at an all night Peruvian house party.

Go there:
Brasa Premium Rotisserie
600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 379-3030

Continue reading...

‘Wich Hunting: Episode 10

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 by

7 Comments

Bob White Counter – East Village, New York

About ‘Wich Hunting: Anthony 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.

Continue reading...

Denino’s • Staten Island

Fri, Mar 14, 2014 by

0 Comments

Staten Island-Denino's-Scungilli

Three words. Scungilli. You know, SCUN. GIL. LI. BOOM! DONE! Johnny T. Staten Island gets a bad rap. If you find yourself passing through, as so many NYers do, take a stop. Head for Denino’s but skip the pizza. Instead get a double order of their Italian conch in marinara. I’ll travel just for it. In fact I’ve gone the long way home just to pass by. It brings me back to being a little kid poking around on the holiday counter eating up all the good stuff before it was served. Once you polish off all the conch get ready with the little shoes. That sauce is gold. A Scarpetta until you see white porcelain. I promise it’s worth it.

Go there:
Denino’s
524 Port Richmond Ave
Staten Island, NY 10302
(718) 442-9401

Continue reading...