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Krista Garcia

Krista Garcia

Writer, former librarian, crank.

I've been food blogging away at Goodies First since the all-text, pre-digital camera days, have written for nymag.com, the New York Post Zagat.com, and Metromix, and am the author of the column, Fast Food International, right here on Serious Eats.

  • Website
  • Location: Brooklyn
  • Favorite foods: Laksa, crab rangoon, bleu de bresse cheese, See's candy, tripe, pork belly (duh), anything drenched in chile oil, fish sauce-y or shrimp paste-y.
  • Last bite on earth: Sripraphai's crispy watercress salad and an enormous hot fudge sundae if I couldn't get to Singapore for a round of hawker stops.

A Homey Take on Japanese at Ootoya, Now in Times Square and the Flatiron

Sure, you can have sushi or ramen at Ootoya, the large Japanese chain that recently sprouted its second US branch between Bryant Park and Times Square, but that would be missing the point. New York already has more than its share of single-minded specialists and Ootoya excels at less common teishoku, set meals with miso soup, rice, pickles, and egg custard, plus dish-specific sides, all presented in eye-pleasing ceramic and lacquerware. More

Fast Food International: Jinya Ramen Bar

The shiny new midtown branch of Ipuddo may be garnering the most recent ramen attention, but it's not the only Japanese import worth talking about. In fact, there are a lot of similarities between the two. Both serve Hakata-style ramen characterized by pork-based tonkotsu broth and thin firm noodles. Also like Ipuddo, you'll get the shouted welcome upon entrance. Unlike Ipuddo, you probably won't have to wait in line for the privilege. More

Fast Food International: Caffe Bene

The concept of this premiere U.S. outpost of a Korean chain isn't unfamiliar: the emphasis on coffee drinks and customers parked with laptops feels Starbucks-y; the pick-your-own pastries in the front wouldn't be out of place in Au Bon Pain; and the refrigerated case of salads, sandwiches and wraps is reminiscent of Pret a Manger. The Korean influence is not particularly obvious. More

A Sandwich a Day: Porchetta at The People's Pig in Portland, OR

Making a lunchtime decision amidst the food courts corralled on Alder Street is no easy task. One of Portland's largest pods, you can try anything from Ethiopian dora watt to Peruvian lomo salt ado. But your nose might lead you to the unmistakably porky scent wafting from The People's Pig, which specializes in sandwiches made from its namesake animal. And your eyes need skim no farther than the top of the menu: porchetta ($8). More

Fast Food International: Amorino, French Gelato Chain Comes to the US

In a city already teeming with chilly treats—both homegrown and from abroad—you might wonder if we really need a new interloper. Maybe we do. Amorino, a Parisian import that opened in early June, is the latest gelato chain to make an appearance in NYC. It strikes a balance between the purist seriousness of Grom and Timi's unabashed kookiness (don't forget those sundaes with faces). More

Fast Food International: BBQ Chicken

When South Korean 'BBQ Chicken' came to NYC in 2007, it took a familiar path and set up on the international fast food row of St. Marks Place, and Chelsea; the chain followed this typical trajectory and eventually shuttered both Manhattan locations. Now, there are two remaining branches walking distance from each other in Flushing, a logical location, and one that makes no sense geographically in Sheepshead Bay. More

Fast Food International: Eat & Go

Situated in a small greenhouse-like structure in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, it's not immediately obvious that overgrown kiosk is anything more than a standard café. It's not until the word Istanbul and the charmingly awkward slogan "Superior Food by Dessertist" comes into view that the stand's foreign origin becomes apparent. More

Sushi By-the-Piece at Wasabi, Times Square's Newest Fast Food Import

Interesting that the eco angle seems to be the dominating concern. I was more fixated on the idea of wrapped sushi from a flavor standpoint.

@theotherworldly there were actually three variations of salmon: totally raw (pictured) lightly seared and smoked.

@Ray G. I think it's a notch up from Boi, or at least something different.

A Hundred Bite-Sized Spanish Sandwiches at 100 Montaditos

@BiggieSmalls: You could also order FIVE $1 versions and only spend $5. I wouldn't exactly call $10 un-cheap eats, though.

@arieleeve: There are a handful that are variations on Spanish tortilla (they were out when I tried ordering one) and some with shrimp.

A Homey Take on Japanese at Ootoya, Now in Times Square and the Flatiron

matthewg: There's definitely an audience for more locations. Both Ootoyas seem to be busy all the time.

Irene: That's possible. The menu just said miso, but it did look like a less chunky version of the tonjiru photos I've now seen.

Fast Food International: Dutch-Chinese Wok to Walk Comes to Times Square

Ok, two votes for FEBO--that's definitely the Dutch chain I want to see here next. We used to have a Danku here, but it wasn't that exciting.

Fast Food International: Yooglers and Vivoli

@serasyl You are correct (and I'm the one who wrote about Amorino originally, so I should know too). I meant to say that both are foreign gelato imports.

Market Tours: El Gauchito, an Argentinian Steakhouse and Butcher in Queens

Last time I was over there I intended to go to La Esquina Criolla, but it was nearly empty while El Gauchito was packed so I changed my mind and crossed the street. Love both, but didn't realize it was the same owners.

8 Pizzas That Haunt My Dreams, 2012

I recently moved close to Speedy Romeo and was happy to discover provel. I'm more partial to the Dick Dale, but that's because I'm a Hawaiian pizza apologist.

Fast Food International: Danish Sandwiches at Aamanns

Yes, they're definitely knife-and-fork sandwiches.

Market Tours: Rossman Farms, a Wonderland of Cheap, Tasty Produce

I've been going to Rossman Farms forever, and still love it (esp. that it's 24 hrs) but it's just not the same with the newish fancy sliding glass doors, organics and cheese.

Top This: The Dick Dale (à la Speedy Romeo)

This is one of my new favorite pizzas. Hawaiian pizzas need love too.

Fast Food International: Hot Pot at Little Sheep in Flushing

@thesteveroller: I'm assuming you're referring to Happy Family Little Lamb on Main Street? That's a knock-off (and not at the same address as Little Sheep).

Fast Food International: Hot Pot at Little Sheep in Flushing

@jo_wang: Thankfully, my hot pot contents managed to stay in my stomach.

@garlicknots: Thanks for the geography clarification.

@metaphora: I totally missed the sesame bread! A lot of tables had it and I couldn't figure out what it was since it looked like cake or a dessert.

Fast Food International: Caffe Bene

ns56: I was going for the less typical things. But supposedly they use beans from Metropolis Coffee Co (in Chicago) so that indicates some level of seriousness.

Thai Shortbread Cookies (Khanom Kleeb Lamduan)

The first time I tasted a dessert in this style, I thought something was wrong with it (now I know better). I was just reading about a new Bangkok restaurant, The Local, that serves a cocktail using candled coconut milk, along with melon, Midori, and rum. Interesting twist.

Thai Shortbread Cookies (Khanom Kleeb Lamduan)

The first time I ate a dessert in this style, I thought something was wrong with it (now I get it). I just read about a new restaurant in Bangkok, The Local, that's serving a cocktail made with candled coconut milk, along with melon, rum, and Midori. Interesting twist.

Cheeseburger Crown Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut in the Middle East

I used to think Asia got the best of everything, now I'm convinced the Middle East is winning at chain restaurant creations.

A Sandwich a Day: Porchetta at The People's Pig in Portland, OR

@DanielJ: Well, porchetta is fatty but typically the cut is mix of meat, fat and crispy skin.

Berlin: Not-Quite Great Burgers at The Bird

Ugh, that English muffin! I really liked their burgers, but am glad to see I'm not the only one who wished for a regular American bun. It totally threw off the proportion.

16 Top Ethnic Eats of Old Dubai

This is great. I've been planning a trip to Dubai, and while I'll admit I'm fascinated by the glitz and imported fast food franchises, I'd like to seek out "real" food too.

Why You Should Become a Regular at Jodie's in Albany, CA

@chanterelle: You've confirmed what I've suspected: NYC is the anomaly, not the entire east coast.

@PommeDG: Wrong, indeed. All the diners in NYC serve them that way and put them in the breakfast section with pancakes and eggs. I don't think that's right either...

Why You Should Become a Regular at Jodie's in Albany, CA

Now that's a monte cristo! The NYC species that's powdered sugarless, open-faced and served with syrup is just plain wrong.

Stir-Fried Clams with Thai Chili Jam and Basil

Weird timing--I made a version of this for dinner last night. I wish I had homemade nam prik pao on hand because the jar I used was already salty and I didn't taste test before adding fish sauce.

Fast Food International: Çiğköftem

trycatchblock: Argh, I should've learned from your comment. That should be Gulluogu minus the special characters.

Fast Food International: Çiğköftem

MWinston: I'd like to try the original version too. I see they have it on the menu at Pera, but that's not exactly fast food.

Walrus McDoodle: I wasn't crazy about the whole scallion, myself. I ended up pulling it out at the half-way point.

gargupie: I'm not a germ-phobe, but it did cross my mind that this would not be the dish for anyone that was.

Erin Meister: It's definitely worth a try.

mandycw: I liked them--definitely tasty--and felt oddly energized after eating a few blobs, though a friend wasn't crazy about the "raw" texture.

trycatchblock: I haven't tried cig borek, but I know they have them at Güllüoğlu under the name sigara boregi.

Is Din Tai Fung the Gold Standard For Soup Dumplings?

I went to a Din Tai Fung in Beijing (no lines at all with many empty tables) a few years ago, and oddly, don't remember the dumplings at all. My main memory is trying to ask for that red bean dumpling for dessert and instead getting a towering mound of shaved ice drenched in red beans and condensed milk that was enough for six people.