Wild

Wild

The idea of gluten free has been around for a long time now but I’m still quite not 100% sure what gluten free really means. Is it just no flour? What else has gluten in it? So when an invite to attend dinner at Wild, a gluten free restaurant in Williamsburg, I decided to go. I was curious about gluten free and was hoping to learn something.

We were treated to two gluten free pizzas, the Wild Mushroom Truffle pizza with ricotta and arugula and the Wild White pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, truffle oil and cracked pepper. There were also the house salad with beets, tomatoes, artichokes, and goat cheese, pan seared salmon, wild chicken parm, gluten free penne pomodoro, and couple bites of desserts.

I love that there is a gluten free centric restaurant for people that are allergic to gluten, a place to dine out. But this place isn’t for me. I felt bad as I was eating the pizza because the entire time I was thinking about the slice of non-gluten free pizza I was going to eat when I get home. Am I bad? The flavors were there on the topping, I especially liked the white pie but I just love a good pizza crust way too much to give it up. There were hits and misses for the rest of the menu. The penne was over cooked but nice sauce and the chicken parm was pretty good.

Overall it was a fun night and I got to try some gluten free stuff but I just don’t think I’ll give up gluten anytime soon.

Wild, 340 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg Brooklyn

Chocolate Rugelach At Breads Bakery

rugelach

I have high standards when to comes to rugelach. Most people have probably never heard of rugelach, a rolled pastry of Eastern European Jewish tradition. The dough is usually made with sour cream or cream cheese, and the filling is traditionally rasins-walnuts-cinnamon, though fruit fillings and chocolate fillings are also popular. My cousins’ grandmother, Toby, makes amazing rugelach. So when Donny told me that he’d had some great rugelach at Bread’s Bakery, near Union Square, I decided to try them for myself. They are pricey, so I only got four (not that any one rational person needs more than four rugelach). Are they as good as Toby’s? No way. Are they amazing? Yes they are. The pastry dough is buttery, the chocolate rich and not too sweet. If you got these at a bakery in Paris you’d go home and rave to people about the quality of Parisienne patisserie. Having a source of such great pastries right here in NYC is fantastic — but I already have a better, cheaper source. But if you don’t have your own Grandma Toby, and/or you’ve never had rugelach before, Breads Bakery is the right place to start.

Breads Bakery — 18 E 16th St, Manhattan

Ted Allen And Pepcid Tastemaker

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Few weeks ago, I was invited to an interesting event. The Tastemaker dinner, hosted by Chopped’s Ted Allen, took place at Pok Pok NY in Brooklyn. When I got the invite, I wasn’t too sure what it was about especially when the event was from Pepcid (yes the heartburn medicine) and Eater. Thai food doesn’t make me think heartburn and was Andy Ricker suppose to cook the whole dinner from a mystery basket?

I’ve never been to Pok Pok NY and have heard so many great things about it, I decided to check out this event. The night started off with cocktails, signing waiver forms and getting your table number. The bar, the tables and even the restrooms had bottles of Pepcid lying around. Finally, Ted Allen gave a quick speech and afterwards we all sat down at our tables. Dinner was served family style and we all enjoyed yam samun phrai (a herbal salad), Ike’s Vietnamese fish sauce wings, sai ua samun phrai (Thai sausage with chicharron and curry), phak buung fai daeng (stir fried bok choy with chillies), plaa neung bui (whole steamed striped bass with preserved plums), kai yaang tua (whole roasted chicken), and sangkhaya fak thong (sticky rice with pumpkin and palm sugar custard).

Thank you to Eater, Pepcid, Ted Allen and the Pok Pok NY crew for a great night and good food. Everyone was super nice and always great to meet other food people. I can’t say that the meal was amazing like how other people had talked about it but it was definitely good. While everyone was crazy over the chicken wings (I thought they were too salty), I was all over the stir fried bok choy and the salad. Crunchy, light, refreshing, and went so well with the sticky rice. The other dishes were pretty good. I mean, I’m pretty familiar with the flavors so the dishes were good but nothing truly jumped out at me as WOW. I did surprised myself by eating the dessert. If you don’t know, I hate Asian desserts but I didn’t want to offend anyone so I gave it a try and….it wasn’t too bad. The custard was darn tasty.

Thank you to Hunter Public Relations for the invite. I’ve always wanted to try Pok Pok NY and I finally did. Definitely good to have them in the neighborhood.

Pok Pok NY 117 Columbia St, Brooklyn

Red Hook Food Vendors Are Back For Six More Years

Red Hok

Last season when their 5 year permit was set to expire, the future for the Red Hook Food Vendors was up in the air. I couldn’t imagine a summer without eating at the ball fields. Though lucky for us, it was announced early April that they were able to get a new permit that will last for 6 years.

To celebrate their return and also what I like to consider the beginning of summer, a group of us ventured out to enjoy tacos, tamales, pupusas and horchata. The Red Hook Food Vendors is one of my favorite things to do. Besides the fact that I can walk to the ball fields, I can also get some really REALLY damn good food and not have to spend my whole paycheck. Above: for $9 I got a loroco flower with cheese and a chorizo with cheese pupusas plus a big pile of chicharron from the El Olomega truck.

Red Hook Food Vendors, corner of Bay and Clinton St. Red Hook, Brooklyn

Asparagus And Shrimp Pasta With Miso Paste

Asparagus Shrimp Miso Pasta

After many weekends of Brussels sprouts, potatoes, carrots and kale, I finally saw asparagus at the farmer’s market. I love kale but it’s nice to finally have something new. Luckily, I had some stuff in the fridge to fix myself a quick lunch. Check out my recipe for an asparagus, shrimp pasta with miso paste.

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Wine Riot NYC 2014

wine riot

We get a lot of PR emails, and I tend to ignore almost all of them. They usually ask us to mention a specific announcement, event, or whatever, with no real reason for us to do so. But last week we got an email from Clara at Bordeaux Wines saying we could get free tickets (normally $60) to a an event called Wine Riot, and all they asked in return is that we write about the event and mention them in the write-up. Done and done.

I don’t know much about wine. I like to drink it with food; I generally prefer reds to whites; I know two specific Italian varietals that I like; and I read the book The Billionaire’s Vinegar. That’s about it. I’ve always wanted to know more about wine, but it’s an intimidating subject. An event called a Wine Riot seemed just the right way to learn just a little bit more.

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Fried Chicken: Jimmy’s Diner

Jimmy's Diner

Do you like gravy on your fried chicken? If you do, Jimmy’s Diner in Williamsburg is for you. Situated just couple blocks from McCarren Park, Jimmy’s Diner is a Brooklyn style southern diner serving disco fries, steak and eggs to breakfast bowls that put things like tater tots, onions, cheese, guac and scrambled eggs into a bowl. Those all sound quite delicious but I was here for the fried chicken.

At Jimmy’s Diner they serve chicken and waffles topped with country gravy ($13) and a fried chicken platter with brown gravy plus 2 sides ($13). Instead of going twice, I did the smart thing and took a friend with me.

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