Lina Chavez, the owner of bodega-turned-restaurant Carnitas El Atoradero, is no stranger to hard work. Part of that work is exposing New Yorkers to the real flavors of the Mexican kitchen.
Since 2002, Bronx-based Buddhist monk Thich Thien Chi has been a spiritual guide to Vietnamese Buddhists from throughout the tri-state area. He's also turned his temple, the Chieu Kien Buddhist Center, into one of the city's most interesting dining halls, working for hours every weekend to serve free vegetarian meals along with his Sunday service.
When Theresa Wong experienced a Chinese tea ceremony for the first time, she hadn't considered "the difference between drinking tea and tasting tea." Five years later, the former insurance saleswomanguides customers through tastings at a small gourmet tea shop for a living.
When Delong Chang, a longtime cook in Chinatown, opened A-Wah, he decided to focus on bo zai fan, a dish that was popular where he grew up in southern China.
Deceptively simple hand-pulled noodles depend on a few ingredients and the hands of a skilled noodle maker to bring everything together—by pulling everything apart. The process brings a natural rhythm to noodle shops like Chinatown's Sheng Wang.
When our man Ed publicly mourned the loss of Sal Malanga in 2009, he noted that the man's plain New York slice was "so good that they didn't have to deliver." Three years later, Sal's grandson Lou has broken that rule. He's not entirely happy about it, but the mechanic-turned-pizzaiolo is doing what's necessary to carry on the legacy of Sal and Carmine's.
A look at a chocolate maker that still does things the old fashioned way.
The perfect muffin is a treat worth pursuing, and in this episode of 1 Minute Meal, Blue Sky Bakery's founder Erik Goetze puts into words what his bakers try to deliver in every tray.
Anyone who's been to Queens-based Mexican food truck Tortas Neza knows that it stands at the intersection of fútbol and good food. This episode of 1 Minute Meal is a tribute to that overlap, and to the moment of celebration when your oversized, painstakingly assembled sandwich hits the counter, informing you that those dinner plans will have to be postponed.
Marcos Lainez and his family have run the city's best pupusa business (and just announced Vendy-finalist) for decades. Serving 18 variants of the Salvadoran staple, El Olomega personifies the Red Hook Ball Fields Vendors—a family forged in food at the edge of a soccer field.
Parked on a nondescript street in the South Bronx, the trailer comes alive on Fridays, serving Puerto Rican dishes through the weekend and closing on Sunday evening. The owner and cook, known to the neighborhood as "Piraña," is immensely warm-hearted. Working during the week as a building superintendent, he uses his part-time business (and full-time sound system) to make the corner of Wales and 152nd Street a place to relax, to party, and to gather around good food.
And The Local Butcher Shop, a sustainable butchery in Berkeley, doesn't mess around when it comes to serious meats. They have a way with a grass-fed roast, using half a pound of refreshingly beefy red meat to anchor a meticulously constructed meal.
When we, as diners, talk about how delicious a plate of street food can be, it's easy to lose sight of just how tenuous the career of a street vendor—especially an immigrant street vendor—is. For this brief moment, the Arepa Lady reminded me that for those who come to America to make a new and better life for themselves, cooking (even saintly cooking of national infamy) isn't necessarily the life they have in mind.
Taking place several times throughout the warm-weather season, the Indonesian Bazaar brings home cooks ;together for a community event that serves up New York's best Indonesian food.
In the Queens neighborhood of Corona Heights, the first warm day of the year is synonymous with an ice from The Lemon Ice King. In this episode of 1 Minute Meal, co-owner and store manager Vincent Barbaccia recounts the feeling of that day, and why this ice stand has only become more precious to New York since over the past 69 years.
Meet the man behind NYC's The Hog Days of Summer, a financial research manager-turned-pitmaster who's committed to importing some of the best in barbecue culture from the American south.
Mitsuwa becomes a schedule-clearing dining destination when it stages one of its seasonal food events—the likes of which hit Edgewater, New Jersey last weekend in the form a humbly named Gourmet Japanese Fair. Filling the interior of the marketplace with temporary stands to serve a stunning variety of sushi, ramen, snacks, and desserts, the Fair drew a steady stream of diners from opening to close.
This episode of 1 Minute Meal follows The Baoery on a single day of its pop-up life, telling the story through video and time-lapse photography. If you're interested in baoing down with the chefs, you can help them celebrate The Baoery's 1st anniversary this Sunday, June 13, at Williamsburg's Nha Toi.
Whether this is your first time at the Manhattan rodeo or your eleventh time rubbing pork shoulders with fellow barbecue pilgrims, you will benefit by thinking through the event ahead of time. Here's our shortlist of tips for making the most of your block party experience.
Khachapuri, an umbrella term for a variety of cheese breads, is something of a national pastime in Georgia—and in South Brooklyn. On this episode of 1 Minute Meal we get a peek at what's coming out of the ovens at Georgian Food, a.k.a. Brick Oven Bread.
Dressed with bits of cracklin' and sauteéd onions, this sandwich is a rendition of the classic roast pork so good that it made The Serious Eats Book. Be sure to apply a hefty spoonful of the excellent housemade chimichurri or salsa verde for the optimal bite.
Several sandwiches at David's Brisket House have made the pages of Serious Eats, but there's a lot more to this place than brisket three ways. The deli, originally owned by Jewish immigrants from Yemen and Russia, was passed down to a Muslim partner (also from Yemen) during the 1980s. Now it's keeping up the deli tradition—in Bed-Stuy—in a fashion that's quintessentially New York.
The Italian Store—Arlington's eminent Italian importer-grocer-pizzeria-deli—has a reputation for good food that takes the form of a half-hour wait in line. As we've reported before, the sandwiches are worth the time (or at least an advance phone call for pickup).
Known as Eden Center, this suburban strip mall has been growing into the East Coast capital of Vietnamese immigrant culture for almost 40 years. Here are the 10 must-eats: broken rice, bun cha, and more!
Breakfast usually comes in the form of street food in Taiwan. Vendors will set up shop on the curbside in the morning hours; there's a lot of dough and deep-frying involved. Yung Ho is one of the main Taiwanese breakfast joints in the San Gabriel Valley, a hotbed of Chinese and Taiwanese food in Los Angeles. Here's a detailed breakdown of each individual dish.
Sashimi and crudo may be the John and Paul of the raw seafood band, but ceviche is the George. A little less popular, a little less flashy, but altogether more complex, sharper, and complex, with a bit of acid. It differs from George in one key way though: It's really easy to get into. It comes in on the upper half of the Top 100 Easiest Dishes to Make Of All Time, and I'd bet good money that it's #1 for Most Impressive Return For Your Time Investment. It's a dish that looks and tastes elegant, yet is quite literally thrown together in a matter of moments.
Scott's only serves whole hog barbecue on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. During those three days the stores sells 15 to 20 hogs' worth (between 2,000 and 2,800 pounds) of smoked pork, attracting visitors from miles around. The rest of the week, Scott's is not much more than a half-stocked, rustic convenience mart with doors that seldom open for regular business.
Payne's Bar-B-Q, a family operation that has been in business since 1972, serves some of the best pork barbecue in Memphis, if not the country. The fact that the first thing on my mind whenever I enter Memphis is a Payne's sandwich is no minor detail. When most people I know think of Memphis barbecue, images of ribs come to mind. The barbecue sandwich, however, is just as important to the Memphis barbecue experience. Slow-smoked pork shoulder, pulled, sliced, or chopped, topped with red barbecue sauce and stuffed into a bun with a scoop of slaw.
Memphis in May, an extremely expensive competition with a thing for sweet meats, is not a benchmark for the world, or even for Memphis-style barbecue, as a whole. Is it still fair, then, to call the victors of this year's competition "world champions"?