Food Product Reviews
Anthony Bourdain’s World Travel: An Irreverent Guide is a bitter sweet release given the icons untimely passing. Set for release in April, we have not read it yet but expect a must eat list in true Tony voice. Promised by write ups and his long time assistant and co-writer, Laurie Woolever, are his stories and picks of some of the most fascinating places he visited, according to him. As we always made sure to mention, if not obvious, all of Anthony’s shows and books were about experience, not food. Sure, food was his co-protagonist, but his use of that common interest allowed him to share experiences from cultures many of use will never touch first hand. This truth married with his snarky, yet caring, prose drew us in and…kept us “hungry for more”. The pages promise a travel guide in Tony’s own words dropping essential advice on how to get around, where to stay and, what to avoid and of course what to eat. Augmenting the guide are essays by friends, colleagues, and family shedding further light on the location and Anthony’s experience. Illustrations by Wesley Allsbrook carry that frenetic, punk rock story vibe visually through the book. Pre-orders are now available.
We stumbled on this book from the Pizza Pilgrims just a few weeks ago. Looking like a pizza box and claiming pizza history, recipes and stories we knew it was an instant must buy. But, we didn’t exercising that consumerism, instant gratification, constraint. This week we caved and had it delivered to our door which actually made it feel like pizza delivery given the aforementioned pizza box book design. Turns out it is a who’s who, step by step of the Pizza Pilgrims epic adventure from an idea in a British pub to a series of, what at last count looks like 15, pizza shops. The book is way more than a cookbook although it has some fantastic recipes. It talks to everyone from Domino’s to Scott’s pizza tours. Showcases cities finest pizza from Naples to New Haven. All that fits in between some history of pizza and the full step by step of their epic pilgrimage from idea to Italy to pizza shop empire. We particularly love the pizza box art section and the fan submissions. Brilliant. Now that pizza week 2021 is coming to a close, pick up this pizza bible to stay connected all year round with our favorite meal ever.
It’s pizza week! To celebrate we rounded up our Top 10 Pizza themed things we’ve discovered over the last few years. We’re always on the lookout for items that nod to our favorite on the go snack. Hell, Our favorite meal really. THe is nothing better than the slice but wearing, sending or sharing a pizza based product or event is a second best in our books. With that we’ll jump right in to the list.
10. Pizza Card – A puntastic card that also has my favorite food front and center. Giving this to my wife is like saying I love you more than anything in the know universe being that pizza ranks #2 just after her.
9. Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven – When we saw this we had to have it. We validated this spend by calling it a right of passage for our Italian-American heritage. Truth is this might be the best solution to the age old Italian dilemma, “How can I make authentic Neapolitan pizza in my back yard if I can’t get any of my baking devices over 600 degrees unless I spend $2000.”
8. Pizza Pin – Not only do we love to eat that crispy crust, bubbling cheese and aromatic triple meat topping BUT, we’ll wear it on our lapel. Jen Adrion and Omar Noory make lots of perfect little, delicious items.
7. Pizza Battle T-Shirt – This Pizza Battle T-Shirt will do the trick the next time we have to fly to Chicago. Although, you wouldn’t catch me wearing this in Naples. Those guys will take a life for an offense of this magnitude.
6. Pocket Pizza Notebook – Gold Teeth Brooklyn decided to smash the foodie and the Brooklynite together by borrowing the big players form factor and creating a food focused series of pocket notebooks.
5. Pizza Love Party Napkins – The genius behind these paper proclamators is a company called, Creative Converting. They make eating extra fun and take parties to a level your five year old, and maybe your 35 year old, will love.
4. Pizza Wrist Watch – This line of craveable Food Wrist Watches calls for a time out. We, of course, would opt for the center image so that it’s always pizza time o’clock in our dough filled, tomato sauce world.
3. Gozney Dome Pizza Oven – The Gozney Dome brings pro level operations and modernized old school aesthetics to your back yard. Spring is around the corner. Vaccination availability seems to be picking up pace. There will be a group of backyard revelers stopping over sooner than you may think.
2. Extra Large Pizza Pie T-Shirt – You love 🍕. Your family loves 🍕. Your best friend loves 🍕. Yet none of you have an Extra Large Pizza Pie T-Shirt yet. Makes a great gift for the slice junky in your circle and, if that’s you, well treat yourself. Think of it like a couple extra toppings on that next corner shop slice.
1. Vans Pizza Slip-ons – Marry the classic slip on to a classic slice. If they say you can’t have your pie and wear it too, this just changed the rules.
It’s PIZZA WEEK here at FTHQ. This is one we have been jonezing for for quite a while. The Gozney Dome brings pro level operations and modernized old school aesthetics to your back yard. Their first move into this space was a few years back with the Roccbox. The Dome up levels what they achieved in Roccbox with more cooking space, a steam injector for baking, easy wood to gas fuel switching all while maintaining that near 1000 degree temperature. Plus, just staring at it when not in use is a gaping drool fest. You know we like beautiful things that are also super functional. No surprise we already belabored this point thrice. The price tag is a bit hefty but if you consider the $10,000+ pro oven cost you are staring down a bargain. Spring is around the corner. Vaccination availability seems to be picking up pace. There will be a group of backyard revelers stopping over sooner than you may think. Plus, we don’t have much to talk about these days as quarantine pretty much shut down all out good answers to “Hey, So, what’s up?” Think about the monologue you can go off on when this is propped up on a throne-like your backyard queen.
It’s been a long week of zoom calls, home school disasters and Amazon delivery thefts. You go to reach for the corkscrew only to remember it’s still Dry January. A quick rummage through the panty is a reminder you finished the gummy bears and the Chips Ahoy went stale. A freezer burned teaspoon of Chunky Monkey sits lonely at the bottom of a dilapidated pint container. Worthless. For a second you think you remember how to make a cake. Then you also remember the time and effort even the quickest of Betty Crocker box mix entails. Enter the Keurig of ice cream to literally and figuratively cool your frantic, throttled up jets. Coldsnap is a countertop soft serve machine that takes meer minutes to produce a sweet, fresh, creamy antidote to your week of woes. Debuted at CES just weeks ago, the dessert gods have delivered everything but a link to purchase. Seems like it’s still in production. Coldsnap peeps made this cute little video to build the anticipation further. They say it should be shipping soon. Until then you’re stuck with Cookie Puss for a few more months.
Yeah, we know, you’ve started your detox. You feel horrible about 2020. You’ve finally admitted to your roomate, or spouse, that your pandemic excuse to imbibe undermined all your positive behavioral aspirations leaving you with bar bottles as low as your self-esteem. First off, buck up. You just made it through one of the the hardest years of your life. Coping mechanisms were expected, that is why they are called that. Now that you’ve coped you are ready for a new, vaccinated year of mindfulness and positive manifestation. Good for you but don’t go too far down the rabbit hole only to hiccup in late January and blow the whole thing. My dad used to say everything in moderation and in most cases that works well. I co-opted that idea making it my own, “drink like an Italian”. Which is to say, cold turkey isn’t your only way to mental and physical bliss. For now, we’ll play along. We’ve corralled our top 5 non-alcoholic (or almost alcohol free) substitutes to aid in your epic January crusade to stay off the hooch.
2. Kin we’ve not officially tried yet but their commitment to wellness is so deep that we couldn’t even find the “we are a non-alcoholic” description on their website without serious digging. Talk about manifestation. I guess they think their energy communicates their value prop. Ohh sooo modern millennial of them.
3. Monday Gin is our newest fav because we’ve been know to overstock gin like we were headed to an ark during a flood. The art deco labelling lets us feel quite Gatsby while we sip everything from G+T’s to negronis.
4. Haus was started by an old photographer friend of mine and is this lists only low-alcohol choice. Back to that moderation, a full ABV removal isn’t always necessary and this trio of flavors champions the apertif. Again, Drink like an Italian. With flavors like Spiced Cherry, Citrus Flower and Lemon Lavender, you’re bound to find a refreshing pre-dinner sip that gives you enough of what you crave without too much of what you are trying so hard to avoid.
5. Lyre is last on the list and newest to us. They have the most complete range of alternative spirits on our list. Cleverly they used known alcoholic vocabulary to bundle their products and direct us to what we’d like best. Things like the negroni set or the boulevardier set are trifectors substituting each of those critical ingredients to produce a non-alcoholic version of your 2020, mid-week, home, happy-hour ritual. The line up includes a Dry London Spirit, an American Malt, a White Cane Spirit , a Dark Cane Spirit, a Spiced Cane Spirit, a Dry and Rosso Aperitif, a Coffee Liqueur, an Amaretti, an Italian Orange, and finally an Orange Sec. Not surprising, their dry Jan twelve pack is sold out. Regardless if you are an abstainer or a moderator this January, start with the above list for a leg up in your new endeavors.
Our favorite place to start is linked below. That should get you on your way to turning that bad bar into a good czar of mindfulness. Happy sipping.
You’ve been at home for nearly a year now. You’ve learned how to properly stock a pantry. You honed those knife skills. You’ve tackled even the most complicated of mid-week entrees. There’s only one place you have left to go besides starting a livestock farm. And that’s, dry age meat. Forget about clicking below, for a move as epic as this you need an 800 number. Grab that smart phone, remember where the keypad is and +1-844-7DR-YAGE. That’s right 1-8-4-4-7-D-R-Y-A-G-E and get ready to accept delivery of your very own dry aging machine. The team at DryAger made it simple. Two models, Large and Small. Two levels, personal and professional. Let’s stick with personal for our first buy. The DryAger UX500 is about the size of your college dorm fridge but makes much more than cold bed water and a place to keep your bong. Set up is a breeze just pop out that under used wine refrigerator (you have a wine cellar now right?) and slide in the Dry Ager. Of course this isn’t just an old school aging machine there’s state-of-the-art technology involved, ohh and a smart phone integration of course. How it works is explained in incredible detail with visuals worth checking out so you can educate your friends when you stand around it gloating. By know you probably guessed this was the inspiration of a passionate German hunter and refrigeration engineer. We know, you are drooling but have so many questions. We did too and most are answered here. Now after you hang up with Bavaria you are going to need to decide what your first aged items will be. Game, beef, pork, there are so many options. Don’t worry, once you are hooked you can upgrade to the 1000lbs model. Time for that kitchen renovation.
You love 🍕. Your family loves 🍕. Your best friend loves 🍕. Yet none of you have an Extra Large Pizza Pie T-Shirt yet. You’re now wondering, “Why don’t I have one and how do I fix it.” We have an answer in an easily clickable black button below but before we get there, let’s talk design. Many pizza T-shirts are junked up with puns or funny sayings that get old by about the third wearing. You don’t need a shirt that references a 90’s rap star (slice slice baby) or one that states the obvious (I like pizza and maybe like 3 people). Other designs showcase a gooey, dripping slice or round pie. This we can get behind but it’s, as we used to say in the ad biz, too on the nose for an every week wear. Our pizza shirt, yet bold, has a classic, simplistic expression of this beloved and universal delicacy. We personnally love it because it’s the best street food of all time and our home town’s food icon. Regardless of your connection to this treat, and we know you have one, this soft, comfy Tee comes in a myriad of colors so you can dial up or down your boldness in statement. Makes a great gift for the slice junky in your circle and, if that’s you, well treat yourself. Think of it like a couple extra toppings on that next corner shop slice.
I have an unnatural penchant for simple, straightforward things. Design is one of them. When I was a kid I loved the no-frills aisle in my supermarket. To this day, simple food packaging gets me jazzed. Public Goods is the latest in the short line of cleanly designed packaging available. The trick to these companies is that the food needs to be equally as good as the package design. Yeah, we eat with our eyes but only until it touches our tongues. So when my first box arrived I admired the unboxing but then tore right into a pack of ramen. Slurping down the last little bits of noodles was the acknowledgment of quality and validation of the small membership fee that allows these inexpensive, yet quality, items to show up on my doorstep. They jumped off as a Kickstarter and now are in full swing with stock across personal care, household, grocery, vitamins and supplements, and pet supplies. We heavied up on the grocery department but threw in some dental floss for good measure. Pro tip 😉 Oral hygiene is key when you are always eating. If you’re fast, you might still be able to catch the sale they were running on membership this month.
Thirty-eight years ago David Letterman started his late-night show, Tylenol capsules laced with potassium cyanide killed 7 people and the first issue of USA Today was published. As an eight-year-old, all of that paled in comparison to the introduction of McDonald’s McRib sandwich. This first brush with BBQ left an indelible mark that would stick with me years later at Memphis in May and while slurping up every full slab I could find from Mississippi to Chicago. Today this sandwich king is available nationwide for the first time since 2012. I know what you’re thinking, with all the incredible BBQ available across this great country why would I opt for a frozen, pre-formed, visually faked rib sandwich? You could easily dismiss my love as nostalgia but it runs deeper than that. Anthony Bourdain made a point to champion all food through the lens of culture. He was also known for his penchant for some of the more, let’s call it, faster of food options from time to time. With that in mind, the McRib is that food for me. Its impact on me was just as culturally profound as David Letterman challenging Johnny Carson or USA Today taking on the New York Times. I’m not the only one who feels this connection. McRib fans across the country have had lunch planned since this announcement in October so a word of advice if you are going to give it a go, and you should, get the McD’s app and order early.
Thanksgiving 2020 is going to be an unprecedented one. Less family gatherings. Higher COVID 19 rates. More cooking in your home. That’s why we thought we’d offer a reprieve from at least one of those tired realities. Our top 10 Thanksgiving delivery dinners in New York City. Take a needed break from the kitchen and order in some gourmet. For this list we looked beyond the turkey because, let’s face it, a big bird is only good if there’s enough people around to eat it. If you’re in ear shot of DeBlasio, Cuomo and Murphy you know a full family gather is not the recommended agenda. Sure that day-after-turkey-sandwich is delicious but our list has leftovers potential we think puts that makeshift sando to shame. We’re not hating on turkey. We’re just mixing it up with some alt options since there is nothing traditional about this Thanksgiving. Let’s keep with the theme. Here’s our list with the star item called out on each. Most orders come with an array of sides and other accouterments. Cost runs from cheap eats to 5 star in home. You frugal festive Forkers can get away with only a $39.99 investment. For those of you posh revelers, our top end choice comes in at $588. Choose wisely.
The Breslin-Roasted Turkey Breast and Smoked Leg
Fields Good Chicken-Cascun Farm Whole Chicken + Cornbread
Popeyes-Cajun Whole Turkey
Jean Georges-Whole Roasted Organic Turkey and Sourdough Stufffing
M. Wells – Meat Pie
Mission Chinese Food – Whole Roasted Chicken with smoked sweet tea brine, five spice citrus glaze
Hometown BBQ – Whole Smoked Brisket
Kimika – Turchetta (think Porchetta)
Seamore’s – Salmon Roast
Forma Pasta Factory – Bolognese Lasagna
Last weeks debacle by our former NYC mayor was just another notch on the ever chipping political follie tree. Shouldn’t it have tiiiiimbeeeeered by now? This mistake, and for those of you who had not heard-check this, caused a lot of attention on an unexpecting Philadelphia landscaping outfit. The reverberations quickly took over the world reaching Dublin and the peeps at Rascals Brewing quite quickly. Debuting their limited edition Four Saisons Total Landscaping Saison beer was not only marketing genius but set up to be quite tasty too. Only available in Ireland for now, you might have a tough time getting your hands on it but I think we can all get tons of benefits from revisiting the can visual every once in a while for a chuckle.
We never thought of putting garam masala on cold greens either but a few nights ago we were treated to such a salad. A sprinkle of this quintessential Indian mixture onto crispy fresh fennel, juicy grapefruit supremes and the occasional candied ginger, worked better than I would have ever guessed in making our tastebuds dance. With a bit further investigation (Raiding our friend’s pantry) we discovered this triad of masalas from the late, great chef Floyd Cardoz in collaboration with Burlap and Barrel. Chef Cardoz passed from complications of COVID-19 in March 2020 but left a legacy through his compassion, teachings and artifacts, like these spices. Burlap and Barrel partners directly with small farmers to source spices that have never been available in the US before and help improve the livelihoods of their partner farmers. This collab was no exception. Working with Chef Cardoz’s wife and business partner Barkha Cardoz, as a memorial to his love for the cuisines of India and his passion for sharing them with the world, the three masalas are uniquely different but all Chef Cardoz. The garam masala is floral, sweet and aromatic. Second in the trifecta, the Goan masala has an earthy, pungent, gingery complexity flavor profile. Lastly, the Kashmiri masala brings the heat with a fennel, ginger and aromatic profile anchored by the Kashmiri chili. Aside from being great on your favorite greens, this trifector collection is a fantastic way to pay homage and connect with a chef who made a huge impact on the culinary world.