Salami Sando Battle

Sat, Jul 18, 2015 by

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VS-italiansubs

You probably already guessed a winner based on the picture of the salad above. I know, it totally looks like a giant salad on a sub. That’s Mike’s Deli’s “the works”, which you want to get when you order a sandwich regardless of the seemingly over dressed-ness. This battle is one of taste not looks. And so it begins…

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Gourmet Gamble

Fri, Jul 10, 2015 by

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Cavatelli and fava beansI like nature. I like the woods. I like the effort it takes to get in but I always try and bring some of the creature comforts with me. Specifically when it comes to food. On this years first trip, my buddy Joe and I, travelled to one of our tried and true regions in the Adirondacks but decided to explore a lesser traveled section of forest. That was one of two risks this trips itinerary had marked on our topographic itinerary. The second, I went mad gourmet with our meals in hopes of breaking the bar on the definition of camping food. I don’t think you have to eat freeze dried hiking food, canned beans or GORP just because you’re not near a sink or refrigerator. Sure, I know SPAM makes a great alternative for breakfast but I think we can do better. In fact, for years we’ve been progressively expanding our definition of “camp food” leading us up to this trip which I call FULL GOURMET.

To achieve this level of cuisine while five hours by foot from the nearest kitchen you just have to…

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Breaking Beef

Tue, Jun 30, 2015 by

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La Barbeque-Austin, TXMeat free for 30 days has it’s benefits. As a staunch carnivore I always new this “test of discipline” had it’s limit. I crashed through that last week at 330mph when I landed in Austin-Bergstrom Airport. I love Austin and not just for their meat. It’s close to a second home having been their a lot for work and play. This trip was play with a strong prescription for beef. Here’s how it started.

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Ahi Burger Battle

Wed, Jun 24, 2015 by

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VS-Tinaburger

I’ve been off the meat! I know, What the F? It was temporary. Austin fixed that. I’ve been quenching my cravings with Ahi Tuna burgers which is something that are on quite a few menus once you toss the moo, cluck, oink to the side and start perusing menus deeper. Of all of them these two stuck out.

On the left, Umami Burger’s Tuna temptation comes with daikon sprouts, crushed avocado, gingered carrots, wasabi flakes and wasabi tartar. Of course, its all on a a signature Umami bun. Branded U and all. On the right, Genuine’s awesomeness Ahi. This gem is served with cilantro, pickled daikon, cucumbers and ponzu ginger slaw all on a standard, soft, white flour, processed burger bun. What I quickly realized is that it’s about two things when dealing with tuna burgers. First, how rare and fresh is that tuna. Rarer and fresher the better, obvi. Second, the toppings.

Genuine wins this battle for two moves, one offensive and the other defensive. The soft, white flour, processed burger bun is unapologetically good. It makes everything squeeze into it like a food sponge sucking up tasty. The defense was NOT over doing the flavors on the toppings but picking medium flavors that compliment each other. Honestly, I was a little over wasabi-ed at Umami.

Ahi Burger Battle winner: Genuine

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Olivia • Austin

Tue, Jun 16, 2015 by

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Olivia, Austin, Texas

Lamb testicles. Any testicles for that matter, just don’t make it into a sentence that ends in “delicious”. It’s a shame because, as many new chefs can attest, it’s the psychologically “off” parts of animals that sometimes make the tastiest dishes.

This week I am heading back to Austin. I’ve been off meat for 30 days and it’s been…well…interesting. I’ll save the recap for after my return as I feel the re-introduction to meat is part of that story. For now, I reminisce and look forward to landing in AUS and biting into my first pork rib while still waiting at baggage claim. Aside from the outstanding Texas BBQ, Austin packs a plethora of restaurants serving up some of the best, and sometimes most unusal, cuisine in the country. My Odd Duck story is a testament to that. Which brings us back to these testicles. Lamb fries, as the menu slyly masks their origin, coaxes dinners to not think about what they are. Deep fried in a flavorful, crispy crust and served with a whole grain mustard aioli is all you need to turn these unspoken, nether area jewels into a kings gastronomic crown. I mean, come on, tell me those don’t look delicious.

Go there:

Olivia
2043 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
(512) 804-2700

 

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Alma de Cuba • Philadelphia

Fri, Jun 5, 2015 by

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Alma de Cuba, Philadelphia

Last week we were in Philadelphia and we made an after dinner stop to one of my favorite dinner restaurants in Philly. Digest that for a second. We popped into Douglas Rodriguez and Steven Starr’s Alma de Cuba just for the Tres Leche cake. I’m a sucker for the treat as you might have noticed. Alma does it a little different with a brown cake and a mad sexy ambiance. Although not totally traditional each component is carefully crafted and layered onto the cake right down to the toasted, carmel popcorn on top. It’s even shaped more seductively than most cakes.Missus Tasty and I like to finish our Philly evenings with a night cap here. It’s always just a few blocks from the hotel, because we stay around Rittenhouse Square, and makes for a short walk home. When I do these Killer Dish posts I always look for the standout ingredient or dish of the whole meal. In this case the dish is so good we made a special meal out of just that. I think the Negroni’s and Manhattan’s might have a had a bit to do with this mission for more BUT I’m not mad about it. Only thing I am mad about is the Alma website. Guys, please make it as sexy as this cake.

Go there:
Alma de Cuba
1623 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone:(215) 988-1799

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Yes Way Jose

Sat, May 30, 2015 by

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DC_Jose_Andres 001There’s two things that are important in this story. One is my lack of travel, and therefore eating, in the middle east. Second, my man crush on Jose Andres due to his gusto and passion in everything he does. Let’s tackle these one-by-one.

The middle east, a region that is highly debated internally and internationally with just about everything, the “borders” of the region maybe one of the least important. To diffuse the political onslaught of opinions and debate, I am ONLY defining the middle east borders for purposes of cuisine. They are some of the best in the world which have fallen outside of my travels for far too long. NYC does lots of regional foods fantastic but when it comes to the likes of Israeli, Turkish or Lebanese food the choices are slim. This void has made my itch to eat the authentic food of this region, in region, like a bad brush through poison ivy in July. Finding Zaytinya in DC was a touch of calamine lotion for my middle east itch…

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Forked with Michael Chinnici

Sat, May 23, 2015 by

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michael_chinnici_2Michael was my first BIG boss in the real world. I remember interviewing with him like it was yesterday. The office, the sunlight, the exposed brick and the immediate connection. Since that day back in 1997 a lot has happened and our relationship has grown from Young Junior Art Director/CEO to Entrepreneur/Entrepreneur or Food+Photography lover/Travel+Photography lover, depending on the conversation you catch us in. Michaels latest endeavor has me very excited. Michael has always been a “Doer” and that’s the thing I admire about him most. In his latest “Doing” he merged photography, travel, food, cool and fun into a tidy little 7 day package. How does that not sound awesome. We recently sat down for lunch. Here’s what he had to say about dinnertime.

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Harlem EatUp Ate

Tue, May 19, 2015 by

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Street BirdBeating the crowds is hard in NYC. Just when you think you have the inside line, the back door or the loop hole figured out you’re usually met with hundreds of other NYers who figured it out too. Not the case with my latest plan of attack for the first annual Harlem EatUp. Truth be told this plan was great for beating the crowds but very poor for experiencing the festival. You should check out the insta and some of these stories for better festival happenings. See, I was in Harlem a week before the event. I dabbled along the bustling Frederick Douglass Blvd. poking my head into every new restaurant, cafe, butcher and bakery I could find. And, there’s quite a few. Of course, I missed out on…

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Ascending Arequipa

Mon, Apr 27, 2015 by

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Arequipa, Peru 3When I left you last on this Peruvian adventure I had just grabbed our handmade chocolate and was heading to the bus station. Ant and I had booked ourselves an overnight bus to Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city and the home of some of the countries most majestic peaks and canyons. Rather than fly we opted to use our sleep time to travel and booked ourselves on Cruz del Sur’s double decker sleeper bus. When booking, we upgraded ourselves the, $11US up charge, VIP seats. Although we only planned on sleeping on the $43US per seat trip, it seemed like a no brainer. We boarded the bus at 7:30pm and that’s the last thing that went right for the next 10 and a half hours…

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