Last Friday I got invited to the One Girl Cookies Dumbo store opening party. What an awesome January 2012 for my friends, a book and a new store! Their new Dumbo store is nothing like their Boerum Hill store. The new store is airy, has high ceiling and has an industrial feel to it (very appropriate for Dumbo). The store officially opens this Wednesday 2/1 (33 Main St), so make sure to go check it out!
Check out some photos after the jump
It’s been over three years since my first and only trip to the Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side, and since that time I’ve discovered what is probably my favorite doughnut in the city at Dough. Wandering around Chelsea the other day I found myself in front of the Doughnut Plant’s newest location on West 23rd St, and decided it was time to give them another chance. I ordered yeast doughnuts instead of cake, to further level the playing field against Dough. I went with the peanut butter doughnut filled with blackberry jam (on the left) and a Meyer lemon glazed (on the right). The PB&J was very good; the doughnut crunchy and peanut buttery, the jam fresh tasting and sweet. The lemon was a good, straightforward yeast doughnut with a slight acidity to it. If I said that the doughnuts were not quite as tender as those at Dough I would be nitpicking, but that’s okay, I love to nitpick.
Doughnut Plant, Chelsea — 220 West 23rd St
A few weeks ago I read about SE:NY’s trip to Legend, a new restaurant in Chelsea. According to SE, Legend was serving pretty good and authentic Sichuan food. I was particular taken with their photo of “Tears in Eyes”, and knew I wanted to try it for myself. When the dish arrived at my table the contents of the bowl were quivering. “Tears in Eyes” is comprised of thick, soft, square-cut rice noodles doused in a spicy sauce. There are dried, fresh, and pickled chiles, chile oil, Sichuan peppercorns, along with a few crumbles of toasted peanuts and some scallions. It was difficult to eat, because the noodles kept breaking up, but it was worth the effort. The dish was delicious, and very spicy. But tears in eyes? Actually, toward the bottom of the bowl I did start to tear up just a little. So yes, “Tears in Eyes” did live up to its name.
Legend — 88 7th Ave
Back when I wrote about Steve’s Ice Cream, I mentioned that I was first drawn to the pints because of the hand written labels. I had a similar attraction to the whimsical designs on the labels of Phin & Phebe’s ice cream. Imagine my delight when I discovered they are a local company, started by a couple right here in Brooklyn. Since I first discovered them a couple of months ago I’ve done my duty and sampled many of their flavors. The Vietnamese Coffee was rich and agreeably bitter; the Ginger Cookie Snap had chunks of cookies in it; the Coconut Key Lime had rich coconut flavor with the sour tang of limes. My favorite by far has been the Banana Whama: banana pudding ice cream (not banana ice cream, banana pudding ice cream) with chunks of vanilla wafers. Even now in the dead of winter, I’m happy to eat this locally made frozen treat.
Phin & Phebes Ice Cream
On a recent trip to Elmhurst I stopped by an Asian market on Broadway. I picked up a few things: Chinese broccoli, a tub of fresh coconut and tapioca candies, and a bag of yam leaves. Never having seen them before, I wasn’t sure what to do with them; I just hoped they wouldn’t be as intensive as the pumpkin vines I used in WI. My “extensive” research told me that they were not — I simply had to pick off the leaves and tender parts of the stems. I quickly sauteed some mushrooms, then tipped them out of the pan into a bowl. I added a bit more oil to the pan, then tossed in the yam leaves. When they began to wilt I salted them and tossed them, then added the mushrooms back to the pan. I added a splash of vinegar and soy sauce, and covered it for a moment to let it all steam together, then served the mix over rice. The yam leaves didn’t have unique flavor; they were delicious, tender greens, with texture similar to pea shoots. They’re much easier to use than those pumpkin vines; if you see yam leaves on sale, I’d recommend picking some up.
Here’s a thing I learned at a Christmas party I went last month…..AVOCADO AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND BACON TOGETHER ARE DAMN DELICIOUS! Why why why did it take so long for me to find out?! I vowed to put avocado in everything I eat starting today.
I tried to recreate that same dish but with pork cracklings (cracklings came from this recipe..slow roasted pork shoulder) instead of bacon. I par boiled the sprouts first for few minutes. Then moved them into a bowl, drizzled olive oil and seasoned. Added the pork cracklings and mixed the whole thing together and spread the mixture onto a baking pan. Then I roasted them in the oven at 350degrees until they’re nice and crispy.
I was lazy so I just scooped pieces of avocado into the Brussels sprouts and crackling mixture. I think a squirt of lemon juice might’ve been good.
My sister and I visited 10 Downing, in the West Village, on a cold and rainy night. Our clothes were soaked through by the rain by the time we had walked the three blocks from the train to the restaurant, and our teeth were chattering. Upon entering, though, we were suddenly warm and comfortable; the wedge-shaped dining room glowed by candle light, and the windows looked out onto 6th Avenue and reminded us of how lucky we were to be indoors. Photographs of child actors gazed down upon us; I recognized Macaulay Culkin, Gary Coleman, and an almost impossibly young Jodie Foster. Why were these photos there? I have no idea. I also have no idea how to classify the food at 10 Downing; despite its British name, which I suspect is just a happy coincidence based on the actual address of the place, our meal transcended any cultural boundaries, touching on cuisines as diverse as Italian, Thai, and American Southern. The one constant was that the food was very, very good.
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