Friday, November 29, 2013
If you are reading this the day it was posted I am in India. This is NOT what I ate today but what I ate back in 2009 on a day I let India make my itinerary for me. I chose to post this REHEATED today to accent my return to this wonderful country for a very special reason. I am here to participate in my amazing sister-in-law and her fiancé Bob’s marriage. In addition to that magic, I am also meeting all of Missus Tasty’s extended family for the first time. I can’t wait to share the images, moments and food from this trip. Until than I thought it only right that this weeks Friday post be from my past Indian adventures.
Back in 2009 I started this day by renting a motor bike to explore the nearby town of Agonda. The nearly desolate beach, depicted in the image on the jump, framed up what my Goan experience had been thus far. A place where royal cows could co-occupy a stretch of beach with a western, solo, yogi seemed like the right place to relax and soak in the land.
I found myself hungry and so I bellied up to Dersy Bar and Restaurant, one of three restaurants in town. Sticking with fish, as I did in Palolem, I asked and ordered what was freshest. This simple, tandoor roasted bream (maybe a snapper, I forget) came with a fluffy pile of jasmine rice and a warm paratha. As my tradition mandated, I sipped a Kingfisher between bites and allowed only the simplest thought to pass through my mind like, I wonder when the next big wave will crash on shore.
My trip back, via scooter, held pause at my second largest, artistic fascination after Indian trucks…the bus stop. Adorned with hand painted advertisements I couldn’t help but pause to admire this odd blend of street art and marketing. Seconds after I snapped this picture a man wondered through my frame. He turned to me, speaking no english, and gestured to my scooter. I would never even entertain the idea of picking up a hitchhiker in the states but in Goa, on a scooter, it was a whole different mind set. Little was spoken as we rode the breeze back through the lowlands to Palolem but I could tell we both enjoyed the ride recognizing the beauty of our location and the humanity of our situation.
Friday, October 25, 2013
When you’re in Argentina the last thing you think you’ll eat is a curried leg of lamb. On the fringe of Palermo-Hollywood is an out of place bar named Bangalore. Downstairs you get beers and burgers but upstairs in a semi-secret loft perched above the bar the menu is completely different. A who’s who of iconic Indian dishes line an over sized menu without a trace of a hamburger. In fact, you have to go back down to the bar to order a burger if the explosive Indian selection was not enough for you. The menu’s are strictly separated. Amongst the 16 different items we ordered was this monster leg of lamb. With head shakes and smiles from most of the staff, my party of four patiently waited the 45 minutes it took for this hunk of sub-continent, spiced, goodness to be placed on our table. A cilantro shower was the final touch to compliment the caramelized outer shell of the fragrant and succulent meat. The fat cap gave just the right amount of balance to the muscle allowing each bite to be a cornucopia of spices, fat, meat and char. Finish with a hand made naan roll. The closing move (for one luck participant) is a double fisted, tear off the bone with your teeth set of bites.
y Niceto Vega
Area Palermo Viejo
Transport Bus 93, 151, 168
Friday, August 23, 2013
Wander an Asian street market long enough and your eyes will cross, your olfactory glands will blow out and your mouth will salivate worse than when Mr. Pavlove goes on a bell ringing frenzy. The plan is always to eat early and eat often. On this drop into Malaysia I hit the Chow Kit Market, the largest wet market in Kuala Lumpur. Bazaar Baru Chow Kit, as it is formally named, has everything for durian fruit to goat heads to these sweet potato balls(pictured above). Hawkers sell ready to eat snacks at every turn. Stuck in between the wet market stalls, these vendors cook up and sell everything you can imagine from a myriad of cuisines. Chinese, Indian, Malay…it’s all properly represented. This dish gets highlighted today because it was my gateway bite into about a dozen snacks I had as I wandered through the market. Fresh sweet potato is “meatballed” and dropped in fresh frying oil. The balls are than drained for less than a minute, packed into this take away wrapper and distributed. For less than a dollar I made off with 5 balls. My first bite was a heavenly mix of texture and taste. Crunching through the salty and crisped bark allowed my taste buds access to the creamy, sweet potato inside. As the two textures and flavors mingled in my mouth I grew wide eyed with each chew. Commingling like old high school rivals meeting at their reunion with more mature behavior, I swallowed the bite and hurried back to my green bag of goodness for a second hit. Within a few minutes they were all gone. Clearly an addictive treat that would stick with me all day long. Good thing there is a Night Market version of Chow Kit. A second hit of these was definitely in order.
Chow Kit Street Market
484 Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Friday, August 16, 2013
I’m pulling out some archived footage on this one. If you sometimes play with those video snacks on the right you may have already seen this last week. First up is the above bowl of amazing. Not the best descriptor of taste but one of those words used when you don’t know where to start. I had just landed in Kuala Lumpur from Singapore an hour earlier with nothing but a hip sack and a return ticket departing 24 hours from this bowl of soup.
From the airport I grabbed a train eager to start this ultimate layover. I jumped off as close to the biggest market in the city as possible. That happened to be in the heart of Chinatown (every good city has one). The thing about KL’s Chinatown is that it’s more like Asiatown with an mix of cultures unprecedented anywhere I’ve ever been, except maybe the 6 train in New york City at rush hour. Malay, Chinese, Indian, Muslim, Hindu, Japanese, German, American, Moroccan, Vietnamese, Pilipino…the culture list goes on and on. The video I posted on the jump shows just how abundant this mix is with a 60 second peek into the cities largest shopping mall. I love that about KL. Culture mixing at it’s best.
Back to the soup. Hungry from my travels, I settled on a small stand on the fringe of the market. As always I looked for…Continue reading...
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
There is nothing more exciting to me than a hawker market. This one happens to be in Singapore in the Little India neighborhood. I’m not sure what it is exactly that makes my eyes widen and pulse race when finding a hawker market but I know it’s something about the rawness of the space. Butchering pigs, sorting melons and serving food all in the same general area is both repulsive and intriguing at the same time. Add in, no western refrigeration standards and that many of the meat vendors are also serving cooked food, most people would run the other way. Me? I head straight into the middle. The more unabashed food business that’s going down the better.
I do what most seasoned food travelers do when in a foreign land and don’t speak the language. I find…Continue reading...
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
You go to Parm for something with melted cheese on it just as it’s namesake, and virtually any New York food press, will tell you. This is true. The eggplant parm is the best we’ve ever had. This in no way shuns the veal and chicken versions. (We prefer to skip the meatball parm. Italian grandma. Childhood. Blah, blah, blah.)
YOU GO BACK to Parm for an entirely different reason. And, you go back on a Monday. They have a solid list of weekly specials including Saturday’s milanese night and Tuesday’s patty melt night. We like this. It gives us a good constant special roster any given week. Example, stuck for a place to go on Tuesday? Ohh, it’s Patty Melt night let’s hit Parm. Get it? So, back to Monday.
One of our beloved family meals, and consequentially recipes, is chicken cacciatore. My mother makes the best and can never be dethroned as queen of this Italian favorite. Every once in a while it pops up on a menu. Everyone once in a long while it pops up on a menu where it might actually come close to mom’s. Every Monday night at Parm is one of those long whiles. Did I emphasis every Monday night? The Torrisi boys twist it up by battering and frying these cluckers. A healthy basket of five pieces of deep fried chicken arrives at the table with a honey bear bottle containing reduced balsamic vinegar. A cute and dark play on southern fried chicken and honey. Let’s back it up a sec. Before all that goes down the chicken is first marinated in yogurt and cacciatore spices. This does two things…Continue reading...
Friday, March 8, 2013
That’s what I thought after my first visit to this city. Each subsequent visit always reenforces this desire. Barcelona’s bright culture, food, architecture and people can’t help but become infectious. In Barcelona the creativity is loose, curvy, spontaneous, random and risky. Spain as a whole is creative, partially a bi-product of a country that’s seen it’s share of strife and hardship, with everything they do. With a different flair than Italy and a slightly less structured approach than the Dutch, the Spanish have cultivated a culture that emanates energy, passion and excitement for life. Barcelona is the modern Spanish city that best allows visitors to embrace and experience this. I recently spent a solid week in Barcelona enjoying the 60 degree December weather, eating the freshest seafood around and finding creative inspiration in every building, museum or meal…Continue reading...
Monday, October 22, 2012
It’s very rare that we pull off a dinner that has such direct connection between the location and the film we’re screening. This was that kind of perfect storm. I moved into my office on 34th and fifth about two years ago. Day two I wandered up to the roof and saw the Empire State Building looking down on me. To my left was the perfect movie screen (found on the side of the building just south). From that moment I’ve been working with the Wework crew, the owners of the building, to make this event happen. A few weeks ago my vision of Dinner with King Kong under the Empire State Building became a reality.
For those who are unfamiliar with our dinners, Reel Tasty is Forking Tasty’s summer supper club where we screen a movie on a 2 story building while our guests sample some of our latest and tastiest gourmet creations. For this one we decided to pick some of our favorite NYC neighborhoods to inspire the cuisine. Although we screened the original 1933 film, no CGI for us, we chose recipes that…Continue reading...
Saturday, October 20, 2012
San Francisco definitely has my heart. I consider it the only other place I have really lived other than NY. I sometimes dream of moving back for the landscape, weather and food. Unfortunately my hyper active, NYC brain quickly reminds me that I love NY for many reasons San Francisco sometimes seems to lack. This struggle will never end. The conflict will flip flop in my brain depending on the season, the day and sometimes even the bite.
This year I have been there a lot. It’s not a cheap city but it is possible to do on the cheap. Below is a mix of those cheap and NOT so cheap possibilities. The itinerary covers a tasty and fun tour of my second favorite city in the US.Continue reading...
Monday, July 9, 2012
The Southerner and I had a tough morning trying to figure out the perfect place for a Brunch/Lunch. The first place we thought of was to far away, the next place was BYOB, the next place was cash only, ugh! We decided to head to Il Bambino which you may remember from our Wich Hunt episode 2. We finally both agreed and were off and we were starving. Then all of a sudden on our way to lunch we hit a street fair….Continue reading...