Profile

FritesandGeeks

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.

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?

@finsbigfan It is! Thanks so much.

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 adult..so 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

@frackle

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

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Pat LaFrieda Sliders

Big sandwich! Dip! Hangover Monday!

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:

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2013/05/del-posto-offering-entire-pasta-menu-gluten-free.html

Seems delicious and special-occasion worthy!

What Are the Best Nachos in New York?

Oops. I x'ed out of this window so my boss wouldn't see and didn't think my original comment posted. Well, que sera. If the world needs to see my uber enthusiasm for nachos, so let it be my legacy.

What Are the Best Nachos in New York?

I second the nachos at the Commodore! Queso! Queso! QUESO!

What Are the Best Nachos in New York?

I already nominated it on Talk but doing so again: The Commodore in BK is queso-soaked heaven.

Eating Well When You're Broke

1. Ramen: I sautee peppers, squash, bok choy, garlic, and extra-firm tofu (or chicken) in soy sauce and siracha and then add in ramen noodles (I usually don't use the flavor packet). Whole thing is about 2.00 a serving and I usually have leftovers.
2. Keeping hardboiled eggs on hand for quick protein fixes in salads, pastas, etc adds more bulk to meals.
3. Having beans, pasta, canned tomatoes, eggs and potatoes is pretty cheap and can be made into a variety of meals. Eggs in Carozza, pasta with beans, minestrone soup, homemade hummus or white bean spread, eggs and homefries, etc.Those paired with whatever cheap produce you can find at the grocery keep things interesting.
4. Boxed mac'n'cheese with grated zuchinni (drained of moisture) and baked again in the oven with some breadcrumbs on top is pretty good.
5. I always find that tortillas come in big packages and can be stretched: make soft tacos with cheap produce and chicken/beef, fry some up and make tortilla chips for migas, make a quick salsa in the food processor and make chilaquiles. Store brand Cheddar cheese is always around 2 bucks a block (and I live in NYC), which enhances each of these dishes and you can also make quesadillas with it.

Good luck! Eating on the cheap can be difficult, but it does feel really good when you learn to make healthy, wholesome meals for cheap.

Best nachos in New York

I'm a big fan of the Cadillac nachos at The Commodore in BK. It is a wonderful gigantic spicy pile of queso.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: High Road Ice Cream 6-Pack

Tiramisu or seven-layer cookie ice cream!

NYC Restaurant Week

http://www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek/#/

New York Restaurant Week is on from now until March 7th, but looking through the menus nothing has caught my eye completely yet. Two of my favorite restaurants (Perilla, The Marrow) are on here but does anybody want to share their opinion on best menu/bang for your buck?

Valentines Day With No Prix Fixe!

The borgfriend and I are trying to plan a Valentine's Day dinner with no fancy-pants romantic prix fixe. That is not really our thing--the heart balloons and the kissy faces are out: we are looking for something fun and really delicious with good drinks and a relaxing, laid back atmosphere. I just want to kick back and munch on some tasty food with my babe. Any suggestions (in Manhattan, mostly)?

4 Foods of the Apocalypse

Saw this awesome article today and wanted Serious Eaters to get in on the discussion:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-satran/four-foods_b_4557019.html

Basically the premise is this--you have survived the apocalypse and can only live off of four ingredients (NOT composed dishes ingredients) for the rest of your life. You get a steady supply of oil, salt, pepper, flour and sugar. What do you choose?

I think I'm going with wine, chicken, eggs and spinach. But I know l will regret this!

Best Restaurant for Fancy Pants Deliciousness

It's my anniversary in June, and being the sentimental so-and-so I am, I want to take my boo out for a REALLY nice meal.

Eleven Madison Park is like WOWZA prices for me--this is a writer's budget, here--but I'd like to spend around 250 bucks (bottle of wine, too!)

I've thought about Marc Forgione's restaurant and Hearth, but I'm coming up blank mostly.

Any good places to recommend?

P.S. No seafood places!

Favorite Place To Eat In Boston

I lived in the Boston/Cambridge area for almost five years, and as all of us have the city on our mind today, I thought it would be kind of cool to name some of our favorite spots and food memories there. I keep thinking of walking down Boylston with a Boloco burrito on free burrito day, and the feeling is warm and inviting. Food is comforting to me.

However, an actual favorite has gotta be the Clover truck right by South Station. Best vegan sandwiches I've ever had, and I could probably eat a whole pig if you gave me a big enough bib. Their eggplant-and-egg pitas got me through many early morning shifts at the Starbucks I worked in in the Financial District.

Got anything to share?

Where is a good Puerto Rican restaurant in NYC?

I was raised on my mama's authentic PR cooking, and when I moved to Bushwick, I was surprised at how most of the restaurants were Mexican... (I live right by Ave of the Puerto Ricans).

The only restaurants I've seen are in Manhattan and are usually twenty bucks a plate. Where can I go to get a real good, real unfussy Puerto Rican dinner?

Turkey Chili tips?

Am making turkey chili for four very hungry guys this weekend, and am looking for some tips on how to make it extra good. I usually add some dark beer which turns out well, but does anybody have any really great tips to make this chili better than the standard boring recipes I'm finding online?

It's My Party and I'll Eat off The L If I Wanna?

It's my 24th birthday in a couple of weeks. Old as the day is long!

I've lived in the Bushwick area for around a year and a half, but I still can't choose a place to have my birthday dinner because all I do is eat at the Commodore while I dream of going to Traif.

It's around 9-10 people, needs to be affordable because come on, I'm a 24-year-old living in Brooklyn. None of my friends have a lot of money, and I only the insatiable hunger for burgers....who also has a vegetarian best friend.

Good beer selection would be great, because come on. I like beer.

Heading into Manhattan off the L or J would be okay, too.

Help would be appreciated, you guys!

Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Radish Fattoush Salad

If fattoush salad is not in your regular culinary vocabulary, add it now. This Mediterranean bread salad is crunchy, fresh, colorful, and, like most good Mediterranean foods, stunningly good in its simplicity. While fattoush almost always has cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, and pita, there are tons of variations out there that can be easily guided by what's in your fridge. More

DIY Black Tahini and Beet Hummus

Black tahini offers a sweeter, nuttier flavor than tahini made with white sesame seeds. With such black gold at my finger tips, I decided to add it to a hummus that could stand up to it, pigment-wise. The color alone is sure to turn a few heads at your next gathering. More