Nectar on Court St near my apartment is a juice bar. Three years I have walked by it and never once did I think to walk into the store. Sure I like juice but I prefer a good cup of coffee in the morning, a nice pint of beer in the afternoon and another nice pint of beer in the evening. So there isn’t really any room for juice. But one day I was looking for suggestion for lunch places around here and my friend Amanda, over Twitter, suggested Nectar and said her friend loves their sandwiches especially the avocado and sweet potato sandwich. So that was the sandwich I got. (I know some of you are surprise that I got a vegetarian sandwich!)
Even though this whole sandwich lacked any texture (except for the mushiness from the avocadoes and sweet potatoes) this was one damn good sandwich. This sandwich worked because all of the parts worked really well together.
After eating this sandwich, I kept telling Howard about it since you know he’s a vegetarian. And finally he did. I was afraid of what he thought of the sandwich (he can get quite picky with his foods, HA) but I was happy to find out that he enjoyed it. *Phew….
– Nectar 198 Court St, Brooklyn
To get to Phayul you have to follow the signs around the corner from where the street address really is. Then you pass by the guy selling batteries, and walk up a narrow flight of stairs following the signs for a hairdresser and advertising a basement office for rent. You pull back a curtain and suddenly you’re in a small bright room, with perhaps a Buddhist monk sitting in one corner, and you realize that you’re the only person there for whom English is the first language. It’s places like Phayul that make NYC an amazing place to dine, because you can picture yourself in a Tibetan café and yet it’s less than an hour away from your Brooklyn apartment. I almost don’t want to write about Phayul because it feels like a wonderful secret.
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Few weeks ago I was taking photos of Laena McCarthy of Anarchy in a Jar for my Foodaissance project and she told me she had started to sell Roberta’s bread at her table at Smorgasburg. I knew they were using their large oven to bake breads but didn’t know they were selling them too. Laena was so enthusiastic about their breads that I just had to go find me some.
But what do I want to eat the bread with? The obvious answer was to make a sandwich with it. I was heading over to The Brooklyn Kitchen because that’s where they sell Roberta’s breads and I decided to finally use my Meat Hook giftcard (thanks Scott & Steph for feeding me). I bought a big old inch thick pork chop and a loaf of Roberta’s whole wheat bread. Now a pork chop sandwich ain’t a pork chop sandwich without some melty cheese on top. For that I headed over to MY FAVORITE BEER & CHEESE SHOP, Eastern District in Greenpoint. I told Beth, owner, what I was making and asked her for a cheese recommendation. She suggested the tarentaise cheese from Spring Brook Farms
I first sliced the pork into two half inch thick chops, seasoned with with salt and pepper and placed it in a hot pan. Jamie Oliver likes to make cuts along the fatty side to get more fat juice out of the chops. There’s no need to oil the pan because of the pork fat. I cooked the pork chops for about 3mins per each side. I finished the chops by holding them vertically to just cook the fatty part, make them extra crispy.
If you really want, after slicing the bread in half, you can place the bread in the same pan that cooked the pork chops in to give them a nice toast and to also soak up some porkiness (though i recommend pouring most of the pork fat out first and just leave about a tablespoon in).
To assemble I placed the pork chop on a piece of bread then shaved some cheese over and topped it off with sliced tomatoes and avocados. THEN to finish it off, a layer of spiced beer jelly from Anarchy in a Jar was a must.
I used to work on the Upper East Side, and occasionally I’d walk past Cafe Sabarsky, which is in the same building as the Neue Gallery for German and Austrian Art. This was in the dark ages, before this blog existed, and yet it always stuck in the back of my mind. After starting this blog I started reading other food blogs, and references to the greatness of Cafe Sabarsky starting popping up on blogs like the Amateur Gourmet and My Name is Yeh. On a recent Thursday morning I found myself on the Upper East Side with several hours to kill, and decided to eat breakfast there.
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Dim sum. It’s so hard to find good dim sum (well at least for me) in this city. People say you have to go out to Flushing or Sunset Park but even there I’ve had just ok dim sum. I usually don’t really care about finding great places, as long as it’s tasty I’m cool with it. But for some reason, I’m quite critical about my dim sum. For example the skin on the rice rolls has to be smooth and silky yet at the same time firm enough to be picked up by chopsticks without falling apart. Turnip cakes has to have a good ratio of shredded turnips and rice flour (most dim sum places make theirs mostly with rice flour and a little bit of turnips).
Of course I was surprised to actually find good….great dim sum from a dim sum parlor in Chinatown that opened in the 1920s.
Continue reading “Want Great Dim Sum? Go To Nom Wah”
It’s funny how much the books I read as a kid continue to have an influence on me. When I was younger I was fascinated by Turkish Delight, something I’d never eaten but had read about in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe. In the book, the White Witch is able to bribe Edmund with Turkish Delight, for which he betrays his family. When I was in Turkey I made it a point to go to the shop that claims to be the original Turkish Delight place. So when I wandered into the London Candy Co., the shop on the Upper East Side that imports British candy, and saw that they were making cakes based on candies, I knew I had to try the Turkish Delight. For $4 it wasn’t very big, and it wasn’t all that great — a kind of sour red jelly was sandwiched between two pieces of dry cake. Still, the shop is filled with whimsically named snacks that reminded me of another one of my favorite books: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Where else are you going to find Curlywurly Bars and Baked Wotsists?
The London Candy Co. — 1442 Lexington Ave
You probably think Red Hook, Brooklyn would be the last place to find Filipino food. But if you know the story behind Philly Pinoy (used to be the “Bait Shop” with a tiki bar looking exterior) then you know it’s exactly where it should be. Catered to the large number of Filipino cruise ship workers that come in with the Queen Mary 2 and Caribbean Princess, Philly Pinoy is just mere blocks away for the homesick workers to get some home cooked meals. Last time without knowing how Benjamin David, owner of Philly Pinoy, runs his shop, I went looking for lunch and failed to get any food.
This time armed with my new found knowledge and the handy Brooklyn cruise terminal schedule, I didn’t fail.
Continue reading “Philly Pinoy Is A Cure For The Homesick”