Likes petting dogs on the street and eating good sandwiches on a stoop. The glasses are always dirty, the whiskey is always iced.

  • Website
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Favorite foods: Homemade hummus. Burgers in the summertime. Nachos and I won't share. DiFara's pizza. Artichokes. Pickles. Damn good restaurants: Perilla, Rubirosa, Carbone.
  • Last bite on earth: Brunch at Talde and a big swig of bourbon.

Latest Comments

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Standing Before the Community Board


Ah, yes. I've been here over 5 years and the apartment below me JUST went on the market, now it went from 'E Williamsburg' to 'Bushwick' and the price has increased enormously. The neighborhood has changed so much, and everybody's fighting it so much, I'm pleasantly surprised you didn't have more trouble with the community board. But 'Morgantown' or BurgWick or EBushBurg or however they call it, is very sparse. I'm sure in 5 more years my apartment will be as expensive as Bedford Ave and your area will still be industrial. I think it's a great location for the restaurant.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Standing Before the Community Board

I live in East Williamsburg. Didn't even know there were zoning committees that called it such, I was pretty convinced that was my realtor trying to trick me into paying more rent for Bushwick. Either way, I love it here but no BBQ! Excited to have that change. If your writing is half as good as your food, I'll be a happy neighborhood regular.

Win a Copy of 'Fried & True'

In a cast iron skillet with plenty of paprika mixed in with the flour!

How do you avoid overspending?

It honestly depends on what grocery store I go to. I'm in Brooklyn, and I have the option of the a) low-priced, produce-friendly and very generic grocery store, b)more expensive organic grocery and c) Trader Joe's.

I can't go to b) or c) without making impulse purchases since my weaknesses lie in olives, hummus, hot sauces, chocolates, and cheeses...but if I simply want to get what's on my list, going to a grocery store that's centered around simple, every day pantry items and cheap prices is the best bet for me to get just what's on my list.

Ordering beyond the signature dish

I like this question! My NYC answers:

-I loooove the pizza at Motorino's but was really pleasantly surprised by the meatballs there as well.
-I actually enjoy the buns at Momofuku noodle bar more than the ramen.
-When I first went to Talde in Park Slope, everyone was talking about the Bacon and Oyster Pad Thai but as a frequent visitor I think the must-order is the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Fried Rice (at brunch). I think people have caught up to this, though.

How do you like your hummus?

When I make it myself, I love a lot of tahini and smitten kitchen's method of peeling the chickpeas so the hummus is extra smooth (takes a long time, but oddly soothing).

If I'm not makin' it, there's an Israeli brand they sell that I don't know the brand name of because there's no English on it. Package is similar to Sabra with a red top and plastic bottom....anybody know the name of this brand? I live in NYC and I want to buy it anywhere I can but can't always get my hands on it.

What's for breakfast these days?

On the weekdays, the day I get up early enough to make eggs before work is the day I truly become an I currently stick to greek yogurt with some chia seeds mixed in and an apple or a granola bar.

On the weekends, if I'm making it it's an egg with hot sauce and avocado on toast, and if I'm going out it's whatever will cure the hangover. Re: Huevos Rancheros OR Whole Wheat Everything Bagel with Jalapeno Tofu Cream Cheese.

What's your favorite way to prepare cauliflower?

I've read a lot about cauliflower crust pizza (although let's not call it pizza): basically rice the steamed cauli, drain it of liquids, and add an egg/spices. Bake and then fix with pizza toppings and bake again. Could be an interesting take on flatbread.

As for me, I'll happily roast it with garlic and olive oil and lemon juice and mix it into some quinoa with kalamata olives, feta, and tabouli.

Food-related deal breakers when dating?

I am a very adventurous, voracious eater who happens to not like cilantro and mushrooms. I eat everything else and have tried both foods on numerous occasions with no sign of change. I do not complain when somebody orders items with this food item in them, and am happy to pick them out of dishes. Therefore, I hate when I get flak for it ie WHY don't you like it and oh man, you just haven't had it prepared right! and it does NOT taste like soap you are crazy! Like, dude,I'm not squeamish, I'm not adverse to trying new things.. I just have personal preferences.

Asian Vegetables in Non-Asian Dishes

I'm a really big fan of adding bok choy to any soup I'm making--especially homemade italian wedding soup. I just really don't like my greens to be entirely mushy, and the bok choy stalks always add freshness and my beloved crunch factor, even if I boil it for a while.

Cook the Book: 'Kitchen Confidence' by Kelsey Nixon

roasted lemon chicken, turkey chipotle chili, roasted root vegetable pot pie.

Per Se gets C Grade in Health Inspection

@Zinnia1 But why not? I was using my job as an example of being familiar with DOH practices, and while I don't think it's on the same "level", shouldn't all restaurants and food businesses be held to the same food safety regulations? And if that's true, should stuff like sous vide cooking be considered? I think Per Se should be graded in the same way as any business, from one dollar slice joints to five-star dining, but I think it's also fair to evaluate what those standards are in the first place.

Per Se gets C Grade in Health Inspection

Great article! I agree with plenty of it, but I do have to wonder what the correlation between really high-ranking restaurants and worrying less about health code violations is.

DiFara's is a great example, as also mentioned in the Grub Street article. Quite frankly, once I read about the mice and the health code violations when it closed for a couple of days last year, it didn't stop me from paying the place another visit. Why? It's delicious. It's iconic. It's WORTH it. I know some will think that's stupid, and maybe it is, but I think DiFara's has pretty much established (they've been shut down a number of times before) that they don't feel the need to improve on what the DOH wants them to. It seems as if it's more profitable to shut down for a few days every few years than incur the cost it would take to improve the space. Plus, people keep coming, so why bother? It sort of reminds me of traveling to a foreign country with fewer health codes: many volunteer to incur the risk because of the delicious food payoff, and some pay dearly while others pay not at all.

With upscale places like Per Se, however, the kitchen probably isn't filthy or unsafe at all, but I have to imagine the priority is given to food quality over impeccable food safety codes. When I worked at Starbucks, we often had visits by the DOH, so I'm familiar with some of the violations: washing hands after every touch to the face or hair, or even just touching the sink, or a rag, measuring the temp of every drink, not leaving milk out at all, etc. It got distracting and actually did compromise the quality of the product. I imagine in a kitchen like Per Se more focus is put on making sure everything tastes right, testing things out, and focusing solely on the food. I'm sure washing their hands isn't on the top of their list when not dealing with, say, raw poultry or more serious contamination issues. Is that right? Not necessarily. Is Per Se known for the quality of their food or their tendency to make customers violently ill? Pretty sure it's on the quality (and price) of their food. Again, that still doesn't make it right.

I believe your concern should be with the safety of your customers as well as the quality of your food, if you're paying 2 or 200 dollars a place--and I think both the restaurant AND the DOH should work together to keep that in mind.

Guess I took the place of your potential ramble, Max!

What's the Most Expensive Meal You've Had in New York?

@kimchijjigae..ah, dog you already had in the house. A high cost indeed. Yet another example of the absurd upcharge for locally sourced ingredients.

As for me, I'm young and can't afford all the luxuries I'd want, but I happily give up cable and the finest threads to treat myself to a big dinner every once and a while. I think the most I spent was at Carbone for my bf's birthday, and while I realize some will gesticulate wildly at me and tell me how I should go to (insert cheaper Italian restaurant here), I had a really great time and a totally gut-bomb fantastic meal. The martinis were delicious. I saw a Real Housewife! I ate veal and clams voraciously, like a fat old Don. I've finally become the woman I've hoped to be (for one night only).

Truth be told, though, sometimes the most expensive meal turns out to be the "falafel between paychecks" kinda deal.

Ideas for egglant puree other than baba ghanoush

You could use it as a replacement for a sauce layer in a vegetable lasagana, or really just mix it into pasta sauce to enhance a regular ole jar.

Vegan Bunna Cafe Finds a Home for Some of NYC's Best Ethiopian

@lauren rothman: truthfully, realtors call it East Williamsburg when they want to charge more for rent! In three years, I've lived in two apartments in the area (within three blocks of each other) and my address has been called anything from Bushwick, to E Williamsburg to the worst "Bushburg" and everything in between. Calling something Bushwick is usually safer than calling something "(blank) Williamsburg," though.

Where Do You Get Vegan Food in NYC?

So, I know Kenji's not a huge fan of the fake meat situation, but when I was a vegan I was a big fan of "FoodSwings" in Williamsburg for late night drunken munchies. It's basically vegan fast food, and if you stick to the milkshakes and the chili cheese fries, it's pretty awesome.

Sometimes You Need a Microwave, or Lessons Learned From Taco Bell's Latest Desserts


Incredible. Plus "no,'s not what you think..I was at Taco Bell!!" probably doesn't make up for much.

Alinea and 'Babygate:' Should Babies Be Allowed in Fine Dining?

@dashofginger I agree with your points 100%. It is the restaurant's responsibility to handle it, not tweet about it after the fact. If they cared so much about the 80 other diners paying good money for their service, they would have taken care of the situation when it was happening.

The truth is, everybody hates crying babies. On the NYC subway an entire crowd of people give the mother of a crying baby evil stares even though they're not paying for the "subway experience." Anywhere a baby cries it is met with evil scary stares and eye rolls. Nobody likes babies that AREN'T crying either, because they are ticking time bombs that might cry and explode at any moment. Life fact: If you don't know the baby, you don't trust the baby. They're all over the place, too, even in the most inopportune places.

The thing is, I think the parents were being rude, but we don't know what they were thinking. Sitters cancel. Maybe they didn't trust the baby with anybody else last minute. Maybe they are on the verge of divorce and this one night would have saved their marriage! Rom-Com! I have a million movie scenarios here, but I don't know if they are right and it doesn't matter what they are. I DO know what we expect from high-end restaurants, and that is that they handle situations that will impede the dining experience. They failed to do that.

Where to eat in Williamsburg, BK

I've lived one stop away from that stop for 3 years, and I have some options. I suggest heading to Graham Ave, which has some passable (but not amazing) options and you can always bar hop afterwards, if that's your thing.
1. Hachi for pretty decent sushi and throwback cocktails
2. Haab is right off Graham ave and has tasty and modern Mexican
3. Noorman's Kil is a whiskey and grilled cheese bar

Honestly, I'd get off the subway a couple of stops earlier (think Lorimer or Graham) and then walk off dinner on the way to the concert. Quick walk and no reason to get lost:
1. M Noodle Shop: good dumplings and noodles and scallion pancakes. M Shanghai also has good Chinese.
2. The Commodore has the best nachos and burgers and old-school cocktails.
3. Caracas Arepas! Nice Venezuelan sandwiches and margaritas and guac.
4. Roberta's: Serious Eats loves this place and for good reason. It's about a ten minute walk farther down Bushwick rather than closer to Williamsburg, but great pizza and great everything. You could get off two stops past Grand.

Gluten-free restaurants

A lot of restaurants do offer gluten-free options here, but this Serious Eats writeup stands out in my mind:

Seems delicious and special-occasion worthy!