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Posts from the ‘Restaurants & Cafes’ Category

Avery Island, Part 2

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Now that I’ve talked about the Tabasco, I wanted to get back to the food and more importantly the people, because both were pretty great.  Waking up that first morning at the Marsh House, I opened the door and followed a cloud of bacon upstairs to large family style dining room just off the kitchen where Stanley Dry, Louisiana chef and food writer, was making breakfast.  Aside from the bacon that woke me up, there was chicory coffee, eggs, boudin sausage, fig preserves spiced with fennel and bay leaves, fried pies filled with persimmon jam or peaches sweetened with Avery Island honey, pain perdu dripping Steen’s cane syrup and trees dripping in Spanish moss on view from every window.  That was how we started every day and it couldn’t have been lovelier. Read more

Helado Tostado El Carmelo

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It’s been coming for awhile, but instagrams are now everywhere.  Nostalgia for the present makes sense in the summer and that seems to be the app for it.  While I love the effects, there’s something unearned about tapping an icon and adding a 1977 filter  to a 2012 happening.  As someone who already has a seventies-circa filter coloring their earliest memories, it can be disorienting, erasing the line between then and now. Read more

The Latin American Cafeteria

If you ask Miamians for their favorite sandwich counter, they’ll often mention the Latin American Cafeteria on Coral Way.  The fact that it’s been closed for almost a decade doesn’t seem to have diminished its popularity.  While researching the Cuban sandwich, I had to deliver the sad news to friends that the original Latin American no longer existed.  People were so surprised that I had to wonder how many of us had driven down Coral Way and projected the giant arches and wrap-around counter onto the generic Sergio’s franchise that had taken its place.  Though there are still eponymous Latin American locations throughout the city, it’s just not the same.  There are many contenders for second, but it’s only what someone will settle for when they can’t get what they really want. Read more

El Bulli

I saw the announcement that El Bulli was closing for two years beginning in 2012, but it didn’t seem real until I read this interview with Ferran Adria in the Wall Street Journal.  Not only is it true, but there are reasons.  Outside of vague if-only-but-maybe future, I had no immediate plans to attempt a reservation.  While I look forward to whatever innovations this hiatus will bring, I can’t help but regret that even if I’m lucky enough to visit future incarnations, I’d have missed an opportunity.  Not ready to give up, I visited their website and saw that while 2010 is no longer available, there’s always the final 2011 season which hasn’t even begun.  Already a remote possibility, there’s no reason to give up on the daydream months in between just yet.

Universo Venezuela

I was happy to hear that Miss Venezuela had won the Miss Universe title for a historical second year in a row.  Though I don’t follow the pageant and can’t speak for the universe, they do seem to want it more than any other country.  I think it was seeing this in the news that reminded me of a Venezuelan restaurant I had wanted to try for a few weeks.  When I read in the New York Times about the patacón Maracucho served in El Cocotero, I felt deprived.  Having grown up on fried plantains, Read more

New Stop

After writing about Calexico a few weeks ago, I learned that some friends from the neighborhood were about to open Oaxaca, their own taqueria on Smith Street.  I’ve known the young owners for a long time since they grew up nearby and worked at Lobo, one of my favorite brunch spots.  Though still in high school, they never scowled, even if I did something stupid like ask to split an order of french toast or substitute my home fries for fresh fruit.  That’s why I was so excited to come across this mostly positive review in this weeks New York Times Dining & Wine section.  Though it’s still coming together, they’re off to a good start.

Next Stop

At the risk of losing points on my facebook  “Are you a real New Yorker?” quiz, I don’t actually like to eat and walk at the same time (though just to be clear I can do it).  Naturally, I was interested to read that Jesse, Bryan and Dave Vendley, the brothers behind the popular Calexico Carne Asada trucks in Soho were putting down roots and opening a new restaurant in Red Hook.  Serving traditional Mexican street food from the California border town where they grew up, everything we tried – pulled pork taco with pickled red onion and crema, Anson Mills grits topped with fresh corn and jalapeños, carne asada burrito and cantaloupe agua fresca – was bright, well seasoned and straightforward. Read more

Chili Days Ahead

Just past perfect city views and standbys like Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and The River Café, there’s a short stretch of DUMBO’s Water Street that’s been in a state high design disreapair for years.  Covered with blueprints for future city parks, it’s easy to ignore the scaffolding and power generators on either side the street and think about the coming soon instead. Jane’s Carousel, also on Water Street, has behind glass all winter, so I loved seeing it’s doors open this afternoon.  Next door to the new Jacques Torres ice cream stand, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a scoop of Wicked, the ancho and chipotle spiced, Mayan inspired hot chocolate  that’s become my favorite ice cream flavor. I love the hot and cold creaminess and now that the Brooklyn Flea has reopened in an empty lot down the street, I’ll be going again and again this summer.  To take a break from the heat outside to finish my cone, I can always read how the carousel will eventually move to it’s permanent home in Brooklyn Bridge Park, some time in the “near future.” Read more

Something to See

When I wrote about Botero last week, I titled the post Art Break since it wasn’t strictly about food.  Normally, I don’t make too much of a distinction between art and food.  I often catch myself telling people I went to see the Gustav Klimt exhibit at Café Sabarsky.  Really, I went to see the smoked trout crêpes with horseradish crème fraîche at Sabarsky.  The Klimt paintings were upstairs in the Neue Galerie itself.  If I’m going to MoMA, I can’t help thinking of the raspberry & fromage blanc sorbet sundae at Terrace 5, which has the added advantage of overlooking the sculpture garden.  And the Met is always beautiful but less overwhelming, if you can let it all sink in over afternoon tea at the Petrie Court (or a Crumbs cupcake in the the cafeteria, I’m not picky).  That’s why I was so excited when I came across the news in Tasting Table about the special menu Spanish chef José Andrés created for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. to coincide with their exhibits, Luis Meléndez: Master of the Spanish Still Life and The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits form Imperial Spain.  Garden Café España will be running until September 17, 2009.  I can’t wait to visit D.C. this summer to eat the exhibit.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of Pablo Picasso’s She-Goat (1950) from the MoMA’s Abby Alrich Rockefeller Scupture Garden

The Way They Do Their Corn

I don’t think they could have possibly been as happy to see me, as I was to see them.  The women running the grilled corn stand at the Brooklyn Flea never, ever want for customers, but I really, really want their corn.  This winter the market moved indoors to DUMBO but there was no place for the Red Hook Vendors among the jaded hipsters walking their architectural dogs.  That made the open air return of the Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School location in Fort Greene that much sweeter.  I’d heard about the fresh grilled corn slathered in Mexican crema and cotija cheese and topped with chile when some friends, who insisted it was Cuban, kept asking me where they could find it.  It’s actually a Mexican preparation that I finally tried last year.  I’ve been daydreaming about it since April, knowing that soon I’d be back on steps of the high school enjoying the first corn of the summer.  I noticed today that this is also the best place to watch the vendors at work.  Perfectly preparing each one with just the right amount of cheese and chili powder, calmly facing the long lines that never end.

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