2012 Archive

Ali Baba On The Upper West Side

For a few months last year I was working on the UWS, and after so many years of working here in Brooklyn the biggest challenge was finding new places to eat lunch. There are a lot of mediocre restaurants around, and very few cheap ones. I had eaten a couple of meals at Hummus Kitchen, a mini-chain which was pretty good but more upscale than I usually like my falafel places. On one of my last days working in the neighborhood I came across a place named Ali Baba, and as soon as I walked in I knew I was going to like the place. Ali Baba is an Israeli-run falafel joint, with only one table (with about eight chairs) and a bunch of freshly made salads lining the counter. I got the falafel platter, which included some of the best falafel I’ve eaten outside of Israel itself — full of herbs and spices, not merely fried chickpeas. The salads were fantastic, and tasted homemade. There was a spicy cooked onion and tomato salad, slices of fried eggplant, sweet and sour cooked carrots, a salad of raw tomatoes and cucumbers, hummus, and pickles. Pickles are my favorite falafel topping, by the way, and one that is often overlooked. Over the next week or so that I worked in the area, I would pass by and see the restaurant closed at odd hours; not just during Shabbat, but at random times as well, so if you’re in the neighborhood and hungry, it’s worth passing by to see if they are open — but make sure you have a backup plan, just in case.

Ali Baba — 515 Amsterdam Ave, NYC,

Krescendo

Finocchio Flower Power pizza

While everyone was away during the holidays, me, Howard and our friend Corrine took a trip to Krescendo, the newly opened restaurant by Elizabeth Falkner. With getting 1st prize in the 2012 World Pizza Championships in Naples, Italy we definitely had a higher than normal expectation for the pizzas. While I enjoyed my meal, Howard wasn’t too thrilled (he had the margherita).

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Howard’s Favorites of 2012

I know it’s been a while since I posted anything; time has been going by way too quickly. The end of the year is suddenly upon us, and that means it’s time for my annual list of favorites. Above you see rice cakes from Mission Chinese, dusted with copious amounts of mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorn. A great dish, to be sure, but did it make my list of favorites?

Click to continue…

The Big Gay Banana Sundae

Big Gay Ice Cream W.Village

The new West Village Big Gay Ice Cream spot has been opened for few weeks and the guys have been making new flavor ice cream almost every week. The space is bigger with benches and tables for people to sit down while they enjoy their ice cream. Though the biggest advantage of having a bigger space is the room to experiment. Doug and Bryan have been making ice cream flavors like coconut and hazelnut brownie. Yesterday Doug even tried making sundaes (vanilla ice cream, hazelnut brownie ice cream, awesomesauce, whipped cream and caramelized bananas).

Check out their new space and the banana sundae after the jump…
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Howard’s 2012: A Year of Food in Video

Howard’s Restaurant Meals of 2012 from Eat to Blog on Vimeo.

The other night I got a (drunken) request to do a follow-up to my year-in-review video from last year. I thought that was a great idea, so here’s the video of my 2012 restaurant meals. Above you will see a lot of the food I ate this past year, though certainly not all of it. All restaurants are here in NYC unless otherwise noted. Enjoy!

Check out more of our videos by visiting Eat to Blog on Vimeo!

La Newyorkina

La Newyorkina

The local food people here are an amazing bunch. When one needs help, everyone will jump in and help. Just like my friends over at Lonestar Taco. When Fany Gerson’s, aka La Newyorkina, kitchen in Red Hook was ruined by hurricane Sandy, they decided to help out by making and selling Besitos Picantes using her recipe from her book, My Sweet Mexico. All proceeds go to help Fany rebuild her kitchen.

Though if Besitos Picantes aren’t your thing, you may want to check out the holiday market at Columbus Circle. La Newyorkina has a booth there selling loads and loads of Mexican sweets like spicy candied orange peels, Mexican hot chocolate, brownies with Mexican chocolate, pumpkin seed brittle and so many more tasty treats.

Buy delicious goods to help someone get back on their feet and at the same time make your tummy happy! Wins all around.

Also, keep buying locally this holiday season.

The Splendid Spoon’s Splendid Revival Plan

The Splendid Spoon

My friends Nicole and Brian of The Splendid Spoon (formerly known as Sea Bean Goods) are introducing the Splendid Revival plan. With each plan you get delicious, homemade soups with 2 or more servings of vegetables that are under 300 calories. Us New Yorkers are busy people. Sometimes we just don’t have the time to make something good and healthy and instead just grab whatever are quick (like 99cent pizzas). And I’ve been guilty of that myself and few times my body just couldn’t take it. So do yourself and your health a favor and check out the Splendid Revival plan.