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masterofceremonies

Visiting NYC? Where to Eat (and Avoid) in Little Italy and Chinatown

To all the Parm haters: you're doing it wrong! No question that it's overpriced, but for my money the turkey sandwich still reigns supreme. And for what it's worth, I think the throngs of people have died down a bit from what they once were. All that being said, their weeknight special of Thanksgiving dinner on a plate for $25, now that is a ripoff.

We Eat Every Sandwich Filling at Kalustyan's

Awesome roundup! I will say I've had the grape leaves from the prepared foods section in the back and they're much sturdier.

Behind the Scenes of wd~50's New Tasting Menu

Sure wd-50's food can be polarizing, but they're offering easily one of the better deals in fine dining right now with their bar special: sit in the bar area (there are two tables available in addition to seats at the actual bar) and pay $25 for two courses plus $15 for each additional course. Even better? You can choose any dish from either of the main tasting menus, meaning that it's possible to eat a 5-course meal of your own design for $70.

For this kind of cooking, it's downright steal. Just went earlier in the week and it was awesome. The Pho Cup cocktail (a Gibson-esque concoction utilizing traditional pho herbs and spices) is beautiful on its own, and ethereal when paired with the Pho Gras dish.

Who you calling shrimp?

shrimp and grits! shrimp and grits! the momofuku version.

anyone want to go in on some MANX meat?

@strangetimes They're from the same island! That cat is also indigenous to the Isle of Man.

Looks like I'll have to make a visit to get a taste.

From Behind the Bar: On Vodka Sodas and First Dates

@dyem4pb - the hope is that the price of those $12 drinks is justified in the amount of alcohol, as many of these classic cocktails are comprised of different spirits that add up to one boozy end result. Therefore, the $24 spent on two cocktails gets you as drunk as three cocktails would have.

I think we're all fortunate to gain insight from Mr. Neff's musings. Not only is this a great "behind-the-scenes" series, but it encompasses so much more than just the straightforward job of pouring drinks. For that alone, I'm thankful.

In The Midnight Hour: Schiller's Liquor Bar

@biancapaige - I enjoy eating there, but I'd never, ever want to live anywhere near it. Good thing you got out of that situation.

Master Chef: theater of the culinary absurd, or a good watch?

I treat this dog and pony show the same way I treat American Idol: I watch for the auditions, and the inherent absurdity of overly dramatic garbooge, and then I forget about it -- because really, who cares? It is a FOX show, after all. And moreover, a Gordo Ramses show, so the outcome couldn't matter less.

In The Midnight Hour: Blue Ribbon Brasserie

@EazyB - If it's the same guy I'm thinking of, his name is Jaime and he's been working the bar/raw bar since at least 2006.

First Look at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans

How exciting to get to sample all these new products! I love drinks using all kinds of bitters, but I'm also excited to taste the actual bitters themselves.

A Sandwich a Day: Roasted Loin of Pork at Once Upon a Tart

Great sandwich! I used to grab one weekly when I worked in the area. It's probably the best sandwich on their menu, for all of the reasons you highlighted!

Cocktails and Spirits with Paul Clarke: Alcohol Delivers Flavor, Just as Fat Does in Food

@kevinkliu - that's exactly what I'm doing! I tried fat washing with pure grain alcohol and bacon and got pure bacon flavor that I would add sparingly to bloody marys in dashes like bitters.

Your best party foul

I have to say, how is cutting a sausage in half a party foul? Unless it was a sausage party and even then depending on the sausage, but I digress. I've prepared three haiku about three separate fouls (all true) where I should've gotten a red card for my behavior. Yes, I've still got World Cup fever.

not my finest hour
face plant in a pile of beans
there's beans on my jeans

ooh, there's a lemon
boy am I gonna squeeze it!
my bad, you can't see

"I just spilled my drink...
I'm not seeing a doctor...
it's not pee, I swear..."

Fast Food International: Tim Hortons

Madison Square Gardens? I wasn't aware that there was much flora near Penn Station. Maple donut looks great, though!

Double Down Showdown: KFC's New Doublicious

Loving the pop culture analogies in this post. I wonder, who's the Lady Gaga of the fast food world?

The Di Fara T-Shirt Is Now Available

Ha, amazing! I went the day before to shed myself of my Di Fara hymen and noticed the shirts (figured they'd always been there).

Can't wait to hear what you think, Aaron. I'll save my comments for your post.

Solo Dining in Manhattan

This is one of my favorite topics! NYC has some truly great single-dining restaurants. For one, I'd start with restaurants with counters: The Momofukus (Noodle/Ssam Bar, Ko (provided you feel like going through that annoying reservations process)), L'Artusi, anything from the Yakitori Totto/Torys group. Also, there are enough singles in the city that solo dining is pretty widely accepted at just about every place. Torrisi is exceptional, and a steal at $50, but you'll have to get there at least a half hour early if you want to snag a seat. I'd also suggest Degustation as being very much overlooked, great Spanish-inflected small plates, and again a steal at 5 courses for $50 or 10 courses for $75.

Have a wonderful stay!

Poll: Do You Call Them Jimmies or Sprinkles?

Torrisi Italian Specialties: Spectacular Dinner Menu, Way Beyond the Red Sauce

@simon It's first come first serve. By the time I got there last week (at 5:50, they open at 6) there was a line 16 deep. Luckily, my pops had been waiting since 5:30 so we were golden, but just as an indication of how respected this place has become since opening, Geoffrey Zakarian was in line behind us, and during the meal Gotham Bar and Grill's Alfred Portale showed up to check it out.

Big Daddy's Diner Redeems Itself with Improved Beef and Buns

@UnasBravas Why don't you and all your cronies at Hunt's take it down a notch.

19 Percent of Gulf Now Closed to Fishing Because of Oil Spill

@simon - you're absolutely right. Sushi's my favorite food, so that's where my mind went first when I learned that an area of the ocean was in danger. Some dissenters have claimed that this isn't a big deal because "the ocean is really big", but long term, I can't imagine that this spill isn't going to affect all marine life in some way.

19 Percent of Gulf Now Closed to Fishing Because of Oil Spill

I've been saying since the spill that, catastrophic damage to our planet aside, this is also going to screw up seafood prices and availability everywhere -- but especially with sushi. Personally, I'm going to get in as much sushi eating as I can before we get into any Mad Max scenarios.

The Crisper Whisperer: Beyond Guacamole - 5 Ways to Use Avocados

For NYers, Mooncake Foods (there's one on Watts St, and another on 30th b/w 7th and 8th) has an awesome, simple side dish of a halved avocado dusted with black sesame seeds and drizzled with a sweet mirin/soy sauce that is stellar.

Favorite Japanese curry spots in NYC?

Go Go Curry is the one to beat. @Robyn -- what's your go-to Go Go meal?

In Philadelphia, a Pizzazz Pizza Is Topped with American Cheese

Oh man, I'm most upset about the name -- since boyhood (or at least since boyhood intersected with manhood), I've wanted to open an 80's-themed pizzeria with pies that came with different neon-colored sauces called Pizza Pizzazz. Curses, Philly!

Also, hello SE community! Nice to make your acquaintance.

Washington Post Pilfering Will Gordon!

Perhaps imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, but I was surprised to see that the Washington Post just started a "Bottom Shelf" column:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/going-out-gurus/post/the-bottom-shelf-gummy-flavored-vodka/2011/11/02/gIQAf3YWgM_blog.html

Thoughts?

anyone want to go in on some MANX meat?

Somehow I found myself on the Wikipedia page for the Isle of Man, a small island in the Irish Sea that seems like just about the most awesome non-tropical place on the planet. There are maybe 80,000 inhabitants, and there's also a breed of indigenous lamb called Manx Loaghtan that usually have either 4 or 6 horns, the meat is supposedly leaner than Australian and American lamb and frankly, I've never heard of it so my curiosity is piqued.

I contacted a company that sells different cuts, but shipping will be about $150, and so far the dude has only quoted me for the filet which is $60/lb - aka too rich for my blood. Not sure how this would even work, but is anyone interested in trying some? I'm in NYC.

More information here: http://manxloaghtan.com/

Favorite Post-Coital Foods

I know that we Serious Eaters keep things pretty classy 'round these parts, but is there anything you crave (besides a nap) after making sex? For me, nothing beats a refreshing bowl of gazpacho to energize me for round two. Maybe it's the vegetables, fortifying me with their nutrients and sexy PETA-approved vitamins. Or maybe it's just the spice, which permeates my psyche and gets me in a fiery mindset. For whatever reason, in the winter I lean towards bison chili.

Smokiest Local Bacon?

Looking for a local replacement for Benton's, which to me has the richest hickory flavor of any bacon I've come across. What's the smokiest bacon you've tried from within a reasonable distance? Let's say, within the East Coast north of...Virginia?

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