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Max Falkowitz

Max Falkowitz

Editor of Serious Eats: New York

Advocate for affordable, delicious, and international eating in New York from dumplings to dosas. Usually craving doughnuts. Always craving pastrami. Ice cream obsessive.

  • Website
  • Location: Queens, NY
  • Favorite foods: Noodles and dumplings in most every form. Pastrami. Eggplant. Chilies, coconut, and ice cream (occasionally all at once). Beets and sour cream. Lamb and goat. Lentils and mustard seeds. Cabbage and kale.
  • Last bite on earth: Steak tartare. Pass the sour cream.

Behind the Scenes in Max's Home Kitchen

My Astoria, Queens apartment, which I've called home for nearly four years, is not what I'd call my dream house. The floor has a pretty severe slant and some hideous gray carpet. Hot water comes and goes, and I could do without the '70s accents (hello, linoleum!) and crumbling molding. But it's home sweet home nonetheless, and when I get to cooking, it's all good, because I love my kitchen. More

One Easy Base, Three Awesome Peanut Butter Ice Creams

@lux_lisbon I bought mine at a pharmacy, but they're also available online. Cheap, durable, and perfect for ice cream.

One Easy Base, Three Awesome Peanut Butter Ice Creams

@atombaby Besides emulsification, the other advantage of no-stir PB is a relatively constant volume of added oil, which helps soften the texture of this ice cream. I'm not sure what goes into your recipe, but I can tell you that relatively "pure" peanut butter with minimal added oil doesn't hold up the best when churned and frozen. But give it a try—worst case scenario you can always melt it down a bit and make milkshakes.

@lapsangsouchong My go-to entry level machine is the Cuisinart ICE freezer bowl model (the older and newer ones are essentially the same). At the office we use the Kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment. That produces virtually identical ice cream, but it's a little harder to load and add mix-ins. (Though it does save on space.)

What's it Like to Open a Gentrifying Restaurant?

Hey folks, let's keep this civil or I'll have to get the hose.

Where to Buy the Best Macaroons in New York City

The Pain Quotidien macaroons really were shockingly good. Great find there, and same for those Middle Eastern macaroon variants.

Re: Danny's macaroons, some (myself included) may find the fudginess to be a feature, not a bug. The chewy condensed milk texture reminds me of a brownie.

Sous vide recipes?

How to Make Sprinkles Ice Cream (and Set Your Inner Child Free)

@HollywithaY Real fruit oils...like the ones they put in cereal? Because they aren't solely artificially flavored. And yes, flesh does come in many colors—this ice cream is one of them.

If anyone wants to make their own sprinkles, Bravetart has a great recipe here.

How to Make Sprinkles Ice Cream (and Set Your Inner Child Free)

@lil_brown_bat Then a plain sweet cream base with sprinkles might be just what you're looking for. Still looks plenty fun that way.

Perfect Quick-and-Easy French Toast

That tall-stack is the edible Kowloon Walled City and I want to live in it.

The Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in NYC

@big al oof We do think Motorino is one of the best pizzas in the city, so we felt it worthy of inclusion. Same goes for Paulie Gee's where there's a whole vegan menu, too.

I feel you on how the challenges of eating out vegan though. Here are our vegan dining guides:

Where to Eat Vegan in New York »
Kenji's Top 10 Vegan Bites in Manhattan »
Erin Zimmer's 15 Favorite Vegan Meals and Snacks in NYC »

The Best Dishes to Order at the Cleveland

@fwilger This is in New York City. And on multiple visits we didn't leave feeling hungry.

Traveling Mac and Cheese questions

If you have some kind of insulated container you probably won't have to reheat it at all, or if you do, only briefly. Big, dense casseroles like mac and cheese often need time to cool before serving—you're just extending that time a bit.

That said, bechamel-based sauces reheat best. Perhaps add some shredded cheese to the top when it's finished baking, then brown it in the oven when you reach your destination?

The Best Dishes to Order at the Cleveland

@BeavisPeters I feel like I give this reply ad nauseum, but yes, portions and pricing are different in New York than some other parts of the country. More at 11.

2 Hour Wait at RedFarm? Where to Eat and Drink Nearby

Wow, we had no idea it was there. Just called the Chelsea location to inquire, and it appears the 72nd Street location is owned by the same people.

Say Hello to Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding in Park Slope

@simon Babka bread pudding would indeed be brilliant, but croissant bread puddings are lighter and less dense, which is a worthy virtue all its own. The top complaint I hear about bread pudding is that it's too dense—croissant pudding essentially solves that problem.

The Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in NYC

@pseudostatement Definitely good stuff there. We didn't want to overwhelm the list with Indian spots but I'm a big fan.

@nohofoods It's on the list!

Foolproof Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

@Wynonah You could sub coconut sugar for the turbinado. As for the corn syrup, honey and maple don't work as substitutions in this recipe.

What's With the Gas Mask? Time to Grind the Horseradish

@KevinMofM @SammytheBull So far as I know, using really fresh, juicy horseradish and adding vinegar right away are your surest steps for maximum potency.

@dropout Hell yeah! And aquavit, too!

What's With the Gas Mask? Time to Grind the Horseradish

@EmVee Really? That's awesome. I imagine beet horseradish goes pretty well with leftover lamb on a kaiser roll. Also, if you're willing to order online, they ship.

Behind the Bugs and Critters We Ate in the Bronx This Weekend

Where to Eat In NYC and Astoria Queens?

And Now, a Frozen Yogurt Made With Liquid Nitrogen

@Beavis The article points out the textural difference: "much lighter and fluffier than store brands like Ben & Jerry's or Ciao Bella," without any sweetness to distract the palate. You can't achieve this kind of texture with a sugar-free base in a conventional ice cream maker without adding other stabilizers.

The science is pretty simple: the colder and faster an ice cream freezes, the smaller its ice crystals will be, and the creamier it feels on the tongue. I went through the process in more detail in my recent story on ice cream texture:

When you order a scoop of ice cream, a liquid base is poured into a mixing bowl and whipped with specially designed beaters while liquid nitrogen is poured on top. The ice cream freezes in a matter of minutes, and it's incredibly smooth with a spoonable, gelato-like consistency.

"By making every batch to order, we can throw everything out the window. The ice cream doesn't sit around and we don't need to worry about shelf life," says [Smitten owner Robyn Sue] Goldman. That also means no need for stabilizers, alternative sugars, or in some cases even egg yolks, which emulsify and stabilize custard ice creams but also obscure bright flavors.

As I mentioned before, LN2 ice cream takes up little physical space and is very affordable for small batches. For a market that offers it as a side product, that's valuable all on its own. The visual process sure is handy marketing, but it's short sighted to dismiss all the other benefits and just call this product a gimmick.

And Now, a Frozen Yogurt Made With Liquid Nitrogen

@BeavisPeters Why? LN2 ice cream is a very practical approach for those who don't have the space or capital to invest in more costly ice cream equipment. Additionally, freezing with LN2 and serving immediately means you can achieve a super-creamy soft serve texture with less fat and sugar. This frozen yogurt is sugar-free on its own, which I'd consider a nice change-up from cloying Pinkberry/Red Mango/16 Handles.

Great Passover ideas?

Secret Tools and Tricks of the Ice Cream Pros: How to Make Creamy Ice Cream

@George H Stella and Anna use the Girmi, Musso, and Gelato Chef machines, which fall in those price ranges. There are of course cheaper compresser-based machines as well.

Epic Wait at Il Buco Alimentari? Where to Eat Instead

@Scott Totally some restaurants with longer waits. This post is only one in a series devoted to answering these very questions:


We'll be tackling more busy spots in the weeks ahead.

Dulces: Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

I couldn't help but think of the stereotypical fiery Latin temperament when I was making this recipe. Arroz con leche (riz au lait or rice pudding), is such a languid, drowsy, gentle thing, so tender it's even suitable for those with smooth gums and weak constitutions, and yet, it is among the most well-liked and frequently made desserts throughout Latin America. Maybe we're all bark and no bite. More

How to Buy, Store, Use (and Re-Use!) Spices

It continues to baffle me how little attention is given to spices today. Maybe it's because we're told to eat local (they rarely are) or organic (they're usually not). Spices seem to still have a reputation of being slapdash cover-ups for mediocre chicken—and far too often they are—but they don't have to be. Yes, spice hunting requires a little time, effort, and money (though less than you think), but once you start using fresh spices in you're cooking, you may just find yourself addicted. More