Food Product Reviews

Classy AF Cocktails Book

Culture | Books

You don’t have to be Ryan Seacrest to Close 2020 with the Perfect Classy AF Cocktails.

Tonight most celebrate the beginning of a new year. Oddly, I always thought we were celebrating the closing of the previous year. To that end, the close of the notorious 2020 seems like an appropriate moment for my type of celebration. For such a monumental celebration you need to summon the classy AF in all aspects of your evening. That walk from your bedroom to your living room party will be your own personal red carpet tonight. Make sure those sweatpants are bedazzled AF. Hell maybe even throw on that tiara. In addition prepare your imbibe plan appropriately with a Kindle download of the Classy AF Cocktails book. Special attention to the author Calligraphuck. Great name and secret designer/comedian persona. Inside you will find the classics done classy (as the name implies) but the real win is the snarky setups to each drink. Said to celebrate the fine arts of drinking and swearing, the intro paragraphs to each cocktail set the mood with phrases like “When the day hands you your ass” OR “Sure the Cosmo may have fallen out of fashion but it definitely doesn’t have a stick up it’s ass.” This is language we can get behind especially as we bid ado to our the evils of 2020. This falls in line with my 2020 daily rituals of foul mouthed mundane moments like my use of the equally abrasive Carrot weather app. We’re starting with the classiest take out pizza and a Sbagliato, quickly moving on to Negronis and will most likely wake up still holding the remnants of an old fashioned. We hope you have as much revelry as possible shutting down the year that shut us ALL down. See you in 2021 hopefully in a effectively vaccinated, eradicate COVID world.
dry age meat from dryager

Gear | Kitchen

Dry age meat at home with no risk DryAger’s German engineering

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.

Extra Large Pizza Pie T-Shirt

Design | Fashion

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. 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.

public goods delivery

Food | Pantry

Public Goods warmed my designer heart and belly

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.

mcdonalds mcrib sandwich

Food | Fresh

McRib season is nationwide this year

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.

jean georges thanksgiving
mission chinese food thanksgiving dinner
kimika thanksgiving
Whole Brisket
seamores thanksgiving
Forma Pasta Factory thanksgiving
Fields Good Chicken thanksgiving
the breslin thanksgiving
Popeyes Cajun Turkey

Food | Fresh

Top 10 Thanksgiving delivery dinners in New York City

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

four saisons beer

Drink | Beer

Four Saisons Total Landscaping Beer

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.

floyd cardoz x burlap and barrel spices

Food | Pantry

Floyd Cardoz collab with Burlap and Barrel

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.

foodie vote tshirt

Design | Fashion

Vote T-Shirt Foodie Edition

This November is one of the most important elections in our history. Collectively we have the power to shape our future, as we always did it just seems extra important this go round. The pride in this power is palpable and you might just need something a little more lighter-hearted than the recent headlines to show your patriotism. This donut flag tee should do the trick while reminding you of the sweet reward you can indulge in after you hit the polls. No matter your affiliation, or lack there of, be prepared for long lines and hunger pangs. Which reminds us to plug this equally important effort for those experiencing food insecurity. It helps those in that situation to vote and receive food. A true win-win. Back on topic, this donut vote garb will keep people on line smiling and you out of the crosshairs of a more unsavory voter. Now the only thing you need to decide is if your a yeast or cake donut lover. There it is, yet another divide. Why is there always 2 dominant choices? Can’t there be room for a strong third. In the case of donuts we supposed that would be cronuts.

off limits cereal

Food | Pantry

Off Limits Cereal Says Eat us Anytime.

Adult cereal and adaptogens are quite old but both are fairly new to most of us. Dare I say trendy. Off Limits is a new cereal brand developed by Emily Miller, famous for all sorts of breakfast stuff like books and tours. Watching my grandmother eat her daily milk doused bowl of bran and wheat germ with a yuck face had me running for my Tony the Tiger well into my 30’s. These days, as a smarter, slower metabolism, dude an alternative was in order. We’ve highlighted some of these new cereal brands before. What takes Off Limits to the next level are these wonderful little adaptogens added to the crunchy O’s. Adaptogens are things you’ve heard of but don’t really know what they are aside from “they are good for you”. Originally created in 1947, I told you they were old, to describe a substance that may increase resistance to stress, today they promote other benefits such as anti-inflammation and hormonal balance. They have crazy names like rhodiola, schisandra and, most trendy, ashwagandha but they are basically roots and plants you can find in various parts of the world. Ashwagandha is the adaptogen in one of the two current Off Limits flavors, Zombie. The green O’s are made from rice, oat, and coconut flour with notes of vanilla and pandan. BTW, pandan is a Southeast Asian plant that when crushed gives off a sweet, floral scent. The other flavor is Dash. Championing a caffeinated female rabbit mascot, these dots are a chocolatey, coffee goodness guaranteed to pep you up. There are three different coffee ingredients in them. WOWO. No chill adaptogens in these. Together these two options get you up in the morning and put you down at night hence their claim that this is cereal for any time of day. As cereal nerds, we like that idea a lot. Aside from the quality and taste, the design of everything from the box to the website wins in our book. Emily partnered with Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One for the character development and Pentagram partner, Astrid Stavro for the visual identity. She didn’t stop there. We opened this post with “old stuff but new to us”. Continuing on the old is new theme, they even brought back the free toy inside, although it’s not inside. It’s more a carnival ticket system approach. You accumulate tickets with each purchase and then can go shopping in their online toy store for stuff like mascot keychains and other fun tchotchkes. Next time you are hankering for your childhood, need a boost but hate 24hr energy, or need to mellow into slumberland drop some Off Limits in a bowl and fix that need in a most delicious and fun-loving way.

Food | Refrigerator

6 Sweet Reasons not to leave New York City

OddFellows Ice cream just dropped a NYC collab with the Bodega Boys celebrating what can only be flavors loved by die hard New Yorkers. If there was ever a reason to squash that idea of leaving the city, these pints will have you deep in thought reminding why you came here OR stayed here OR was born here. The grit, the hustle, the culture and of course the obligatory BEC. Cram all that into a 14oz paper container and the brain freeze you’re experiencing isn’t just the ice cream. We’re not sure how comedians Desus Nice and The Kid Mero met up with chef Sam Mason but with flavor names like baconeggncheese (All one word damn it, A smoked cream ice cream with candied bacon, whipped cheese cream and candied egg yolks), Budget Breakfast (A honey ice cream with chunks of homemade honey bun cake and coffee soil) and Bodega Counter Crunch (A light caramel ice cream with chocolate covered pretzels, honey roasted peanuts and crushed homemade butter crunch cookies) we are sure glad they did. To do the boroughs the way we do these days a special ice cream truck is touring for the next month, check out the schedule and hit up the traveling end of summer bodega ice cream mayhem. We all scream for it especially those of you contemplating packing your bags for less dense lands. This will have writing one more month’s rent check for sure.
yakitori recipes from Chicken on Charcoal
yakitori recipes from Chicken on Charcoal
yakitori recipes from Chicken on Charcoal

Culture | Books

Chicken on Charcoal is your quick Tokyo trip

The world’s most popular meat sizzling on a skewer over a smokey high end charcoal fire. Yes and YES. We’ll take our chicken yakitorized any day. Originally popularized in the 1950’s after Americans introduced broiler chickens to Japan, (Leave it to us to blow up portions and popularize the American food dream) this street food was initially shamed because the smell and act of cooking meat was shunned in much of Japanese culture. Thankfully the tasty sticks proliferated and once popular enough on Tokyo corners they moved into restaurant setting and spread beyond Japan. Our first encounter with the delicious, and often obscure, chicken parts was at, now shutteredYakitori Torys, a semi-secret second floor spot off a random street in Hell’s Kitchen. The second feasting came shortly after on a quick 48 hrs pitstop in Tokyo. This provided us the authentic experience we craved after our NYC introduction. A decade later chicken on sticks have become much more popular and prevalent. When we saw Yardbird Chicken on Charcoal published by chef Matt Abergel we jumped on it. Having never been to his famed Hong Kong spot YardBird, we brought the restaurant to us through his award winning recipes. This bird bible is packed with easy moves to grill all summer long. Quick recipes, many with that weird stuff we mentioned before, make for goodness on any page. Chicken hearts, butts you name it, Matt cooks beak to tail. He explains more here. Most of you won’t be on your way to Hong Kong anytime soon so turn your backyard or balcony into a 1950’s Tokyo street stall for a night with the help of Matt and his cookbook. It’s as close to international travel as you’ve been in months. Enjoy the trip. And, if you jump to Yardbird’s site you can grab one of these awesome souvenir shirt.
Good Humor X RZA Ice Cream Truck Jingle

Culture | Video

Good Humor X RZA Ice Cream Truck Jingle

Good Humor and RZA ice cream truck jingle just dropped with the goal of ending the racist roots the current song subliminally drives into our brains. Here in Queens, this oppression is monotonous most afternoons. The song is derived from  “Turkey in the Straw”, an old mistral song. If that doesn’t mean much to you take a listen to this NYTimes podcast. Now that you understand why that connection is horrific, watch and listen to the new tune here. Leave it to a Staten Island rapper and a 100 year old ice cream company to bring some equality-based joy into our lives amidst one of the darkest times in our country’s history. I always said, “You can count on ice cream to always bring a smile.” I never thought it would simultaneously help deconstruct generations of systemic racism. If you are so moved by this to obtain a music box of your own to perhaps gift your local ice cream truck proprietor, Nicholes Electronics specializes in pre-programmed, looping, music boxes for just such an application.

Rice's red snapper franfurts

Food | Refrigerator

Rice’s Red Snapper Frankfurts

They make these RED hot dogs in Maine. Locally they are called red snappers and are what everyone from Kittery to Caswell uses in their summer backyard BBQ’s. We picked up a pack of Rice’s (one of two OG competing makers) before we left the state to try the red dye, natural casing snap for ourselves. There are two bits of folklore important in this maker story. One, sometime in the late 18th century, the red dye was added as a marketing gimmick to have their dogs standout amongst the 30 other competing butchers. Two, after World War II, Rice headed down to NYC where he heard a few German sausage makers, turned soldiers, turned POW’s were being held. He interviewed them and hired one to create his hot dog spice mixture. Kidder & Rice, the companies original name, was sold to a few larger industrial meat purveyors over the years until W.A. Bean and Sons, Rice’s original competitor in 1898, bought the Rice name back from Tyson Foods. Today W.A. Bean and Sons pump out 500,000 pounds a year of Rice’s original recipe. With all that history we were intrigued what a naturally cased, steamed Red #40 food dye, pork and beef dog would taste like. The snap lived up to the legend. The taste was on par with the Nathan’s of the world but the marketing trick was what hit the home run for me. The contrast of the red dog, yellow mustard and green relish just makes it stand out and create conversation. Just like when you repeat this story to your pals when you try one. What’s still confusing is W.A. Bean and Sons also makes a red snapper. How they both “stood out” with the same marketing trick is unclear as is who was first. Regardless W.A. Bean and Sons now make both recipes so I suppose that origins moment is moot.