Lost Vegetarian Presents… Grains of the Day at Nha Minh

When I asked for suggestions about restaurants that might be good to feature on Lost Vegetarian, James Boo was quick to recommend Nha Minh, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bushwick. Chef/owner Fred Hua constructs these amazing create-your-own rice bowls, which are huge and filling but somehow light and energizing. He uses the best ingredients he can find and cooks them simply, and then everything is combined with a medley of rice, grains, and pickled veggies. Then you can top the bowl with a wide variety of delicious freshly-made sauces, with options like coffee hoisin and fermented black bean with tahini. In this episode, Hua makes a vegan, gluten free bowl topped with Barry’s Tempeh. I’ve been to Nha Minh twice now, and both times everything was excellent. Enjoy!

My collaborators:
Camera – Donny Tsang (http://www.donnytsang.com/)
Camera – Scott Lindrup (http://www.scottlindrup.com/)
Music – Bayard Russell (https://bayardrussell.wordpress.com/)

Nha Minh — 485 Morgan Av

Roberta’s Takeout & Delivery

Roberta's Take-Out

It’s not unusual to have a 2 hour wait time for Roberta’s now. I have come to accept this. It’s a lot easier to deal with the wait with the bar in the back. Also they are offering the full menu in the garden, which you order at the bar and grab a seat at any of the tables.

But! Roberta’s recently opened a takeout & delivery spot next to the restaurant. There’s no line, no waiting (except for your pizza to be made), and the great thing is, you can take it over to their garden. Besides a full pizza menu, they also have baked goods, sandwiches, fried chicken, and breakfast items. This might actually make me go to Roberta’s more often…at least I have to go back for the fried chicken.

Roberta’s, 261 Moore St. Bushwick, Brooklyn

Meat Hook Sandwich

Meat Hook Sandwich

After months of drooling over photos of The Meat Hook crew testing out potential sandwiches, they finally opened their sandwich shop to the public.

Their menu is short and simple, consisting of 6 different sandwiches. Gyro, Italian, roast pork, roast beef, ham and cheese, and a chicken sandwich. I sort had my heart set on the roast beef sandwich, until I got to see the more detailed menu at the counter. The chicken sandwich wasn’t just a chicken sandwich but a hot fried chicken sandwich ($12). Ding! You know I can’t say no to a fried chicken sandwich. This sandwich was massive and I loved every bite of it. Spicy, crunchy, flavorful, sauce dripping, and everything held together nicely by a very nice bun.

Though just heads up, when Robert Sietsema of Eater went, I noticed the cannibal sandwich had replaced the chicken sandwich. What da what?! On Instagram, Brent Young told me that the menu will rotate like crazy. I’m glad I was able to try the chicken sandwich and can now move onto try the other sandwiches.

Their hours are 11 – 4p everyday.

Meat Hook Sandwich 495 Lorimer St. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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

Fried Chicken: Sweet Chick

Sweet Chick

Howard is my Yelp. Not that he bitches all the time about poor services and bland dishes but he is a bit critical about what he likes and dislikes. Hahaa! So when he said he really liked his vegetarian chicken and waffles at Sweet Chick, I knew we have a winner.

I’m a lover of chicken and waffles. I don’t quite understand why there are haters. It’s a GREAT combination. Crispy, carby, chicken, fried, syrup, butter, hot sauce, all great things. And Sweet Chick does it really really good. The pieces of chicken are juicy, tasty and crispy while the waffles are fluffy with nice crisp edges ($16). Also I love their inventiveness by having General Tso’s chicken and waffle and sometimes duck confit and waffles!

Sweet Chick 164 Bedford Ave Williamsburg Brooklyn

See what other fried chickens I have eaten for my fried chicken project.

Hot Beef And Pie At Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Hot Beef Combo

This past Sunday, I was introduced to something I have never heard of or seen before. Hot beef!

Four & Twenty Blackbirds hosted an event with Amy Thielen (host of Heartland Table on the Food Network) where Thielen served hot beef (a combination of smoked brisket sandwich with a scoop of mashed potatoes and covered in gravy) and the Elsen sisters paired it with their blackbottom oatmeal pies PLUS complimentary Jeni’s ice cream and Kelson beer. Oh…boy. The hot beef was delicious, well I mean what’s not to like about meat, bread, potatoes and gravy?! The meat, smoked by Fletcher’s, was tasty and tender. I went back and forth between the hot beef and ice cream. Dude, that’s Jeni’s ice cream! I couldn’t let it melt so 2 bites of hot beef then 1 bite of ice cream.

It was fun hanging out and catching up with the Elsen sisters and Alex aka Brownie.

Also the unlimited flowing of Kelso beer. Ah yeah.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds, 439 3rd Ave Gowanus, Brooklyn

L&B Spumoni Gardens

L&B Spumoni Gardens

Can’t believe last time I took a trek out to Gravesend was in 2010, when Howard and I ate at L&B and Totonno’s.

You think after eating a bowl of pho, just 30mins before, that I wouldn’t be able to eat pizza. Nope. While on the way home I regretted not getting 3 slices at L&B. I loved their square slices back in 2010 and I still do in 2014. Howard wasn’t a big fan of the thick crust but that’s actually what I like about this. Thick, crispy bottom, sweet and slightly tart tomato sauce, and outdoor seating. Next time for me, 3 slices ($2.50 each slice) all corners it’s the way to go.

L&B Spumoni Gardens – 2725 86th St, Gravesend Brooklyn