Web Sites »What’s Good At Trader Joes

tjReviews of Trader Joe’s Brand Food Products From People That Are Totally Not Affiliated With Trader Joe’s

Having a Trader Joes (two actually) nearby that aren’t insanely crowded like our old Union Square location has allowed us to fully embrace the chain of that specializes in easy but unique ready made meals, cheap wine, and can boast that it does not use GMOs (yay). But, the variety can be overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be great if someone out there had tried all the offerings then written concise, entertaining reviews?

Well, I have good news for you! What’s Good At Trader Joe’s does just that and it’s already led me to their Mango Passion Granola (yum!) and Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip (yum, again!) neither of which I would have necessarily picked up while browsing. It’s a little over doing it to do research before shopping like this, but we like to over do it, right?!

A few more photos wouldn’t hurt, but I am impressed that it’s consistently updated.

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Posted on May 3, 2013

Spend a Couple Minutes »5 Umami Paste

20120323-214528.jpg by Laura Santtini

Even though I don’t have to disposable income I once did, it’s still hard to walk out of The Meat Hook without one impulse buy.

This time it was 5 Umami Paste, a potent tomato based paste that was perfect atop a bowl of spaghetti for a quick delicious lunch.

I know “umami” has risen quickly to be the latest arguably obnoxious foodie term but it’s actually a century old Japanese discovery and considered the 5th sense.

You could also call it savory if you wanted, but I was much more drawn to “Umami paste” than I would be to a “savory paste”.

The taste is up my alley – all anchovies, sundried tomatoes, garlic and porcini. The uses are undoubtedly endless and I look forward to discovering them all.

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Posted on March 25, 2012

TV Shows »Supersizers Go

On The Cooking Channel

If your passionate about history and food look no further than Supersizers Go for a fun serving of both.

Brits Giles Coren and Sue Perkins, a food writer and comedian take on a different era each episode taking on the customs, dress and most importantly food of the time most often from the richest society.

They recreate actual menus from recipe and historical books.

By the end of the week they compare their overall health.

It’s fascinating to see how people used to eat and this is a great companion to the new York Public Library What’s on the Menu project.

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Posted on February 13, 2012

Spend a Couple Minutes,Web Sites »What’s On the Menu

New York Public Library Project

What’s on the Menu is a project from the New York Public Library to transcribe vintage menus for prosperity.
They have over 40,000 menus from the 1840?s on and you, yes you, can help by transcribing dishes in your spare time all while discovering dishes like Consomme Madrilene Frappee and Cream Fritters Au Sabayon.

The menu covers are also great to browse.

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Posted on February 13, 2012

Spend a Couple Hours »Brooklyn Flea Part 2

27 North 6th St., Williamsburg, Sunday 10-5

Brooklyn Flea Market week two and Jim’s plan to “eat everything” was not too far off from what happened. We skipped stuff we’d already had either at the market or elsewhere which still left plenty to get full on. Good thing we had at least some restraint and split everything…

Beginning with one amazing donut (you know, breakfast first!). It came from Dough, a Cobble Hill shop that features unique flavors like Hibiscus and Blood Orange. I decided to try a simple glazed yeast however, to get a general feel for their goods. I hate to say it, but it rivals Peter Pan. I can’t wait to have another next week.

But the deliciousness didn’t stop there, no! Next we were on to Mile End‘s smoked cured brisket sandwich. A marvelous and simple sandwich that is juicy, smokey, and meaty. Do not skip the mustard, it adds a great kick. One of the best savory dishes at the market.

Asia Dog offers a large menu of unique Asian inspired toppings, we had a temporary lapse in restraint and went for the pork belly cucumber. It was intense. Maybe too intense. Next time I’d opt for the bahn mi hot dog or another less fat pork topped choice.

After all this we still were hungry (the key is not to eat before hand) and I was on the fence about making our last sandwich the Red Hook Lobster Roll, just because of the comparatively high 15.00 price tag.. but with Shaun’s urging that it was totally worth it, we relented and ordered Maine style. It was incredible, over flowing with big lobster chunks that tasted fresh and with just a hint of mayonnaise – the key to a good roll. Too many are just loads of mayo with tiny bits of lobster hiding among the celery. Here they do it right. Another best bite contender, especially with the summer months coming.

To wash everything down we tried Brooklyn Soda Works Root Beer, a spicy, none too sweet beverage that will quench the thirst even if you dislike soda.

I couldn’t help but get another jar of marmalade (this time grapefruit hibiscus) since my lemon vanilla is almost used up and we bit the bullet on the insane price tag ($7) for some Ragged Butte Bison Jerky to take home. It’s pretty awesome, but I don’t think I can rationizle speniding that kind of money on dried meat again.

Thank goodness this thing is only once a week.

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Posted on April 11, 2011

Spend a Couple Hours »Brooklyn Flea

Sundays 10-5 at 27 North 6th St.

I am so happy Brooklyn Flea has decided to set up within walking distance this summer. Not too psyched that it’s on gravel which made stroller pushing impossible – but lesson learned – next time we will use our carrier.

There were the usual selections of vintage goods and silk screened tees, with the dapper vintage tie seller Travis Sylvester selling particularly tempting bow ties at reasonable prices. But I was mostly indulging in the food stuffs.

For on the spot eating I enjoyed the Frgal Cakes, a pear crumble pizza of sorts that are traditional in Czechoslovakia. Also excellent was the homemade ricotta, arugula and fresh carved prosciutto bruschettas from Salvatore Brooklyn.

I brought Jim home a merguez sandwich from Brooklyn Bangers which was nice and flavorful with an incredible kicky sauce. A refreshing warm weather watermelon juice allowed me to almost ignore the bitter sudden gusts of winds that shook the proceedings.

For take home yumminess, I opted for Lime and Pickle mayonnaise from Sam Mason’s Empire Mayonnaise, which I haven’t tried yet, but expect to be wonderful and a jar of vanilla lemon marmalade from Momofuku Milk Bar and Friends which we just enjoyed on warm English muffins. So delicious and summery.

Can’t wait to return to try what I missed, including the Mile End smoked meat sandwich and local beef jerky.

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Posted on April 3, 2011

Web Sites »The Girl Who Ate Everything

A Blog About Food

If you’ve ever looked up a restaurant on flickr, chances are that one of the mouth watering images you’ve seen will have come from roboppy – aka Robin, the blogger behind the food blog The Girl Who Ate Everything. There are over 1600 pages in her flickr photostream (!) so believe me when I say that the few images I’ve included only scratch the surface of her bright and appetizing photos… just be sure not to go through them on an empty stomach.

The blog itself is charming and not limited to the city. Her travels will surely offer good ideas for where to eat abroad and elsewhere in the US. My only complaint is that it’s a little difficult to browse the extensive archives.

She also writes for one of my favorite blogs, Serious Eats and recently became a fan of exotic short hairs (Tiptoe loves having fans). What a gal!

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Posted on October 20, 2010

Style Icons: Male »Daniel Spoerri

Food Artist

With art and food intermingling so much (chef’s are probably more well known today than our greatest working artists) and people enthralled with all things food related, lately this viral video of food rotting, I thought of posting about Daniel Spoerri, in interesting artist whose medium was the aftermath of meals. He called his works “snare-pictures” described as “objects found in chance positions, in order or disorder (on tables, in boxes, drawers, etc.) are fixed (‘snared’) as they are. Only the plane is changed: since the result is called a picture, what was horizontal becomes vertical. Example: remains of a meal are fixed to the table at which the meal was consumed and the table hung on the wall.” He’s world renowned as a major figure in 20th century art but a new name for me personally that I am currently a little obsessed with.

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Posted on September 26, 2010

Spend a Couple Minutes »Malaysian Night Market

A Crowded Celebration of Flavors

The organizers of the Malaysian Night Market in Chelsea grossly underestimated the crowds that would flock to sample the varied flavors of region. Of course, by cramming in many vendors, live entertainment and Jeremy Piven (who I sadly, did not see) into a tiny triangle block, without any streets getting blocked off, it would seem that they expected a crowd of about ten. It was jam packed, shoulder to shoulder making the pungent laksa (spicy noodle soup with fried little fish) from Fatty Crab one of the least wise picks for eating ease, but it was the winner taste wise of the night. They never shy away from flavor at Fatty Crab and this dish was exquisitely bold. The other tasty treat was a chicken sandwich (sorry, not sure which booth it came from). I was less impressed with other bites (fish balls, fried rice, and filled crepe) but Jim was happy with the milder flavors.

The crowded event has the dubious distinction of possibly being my last major outing – the tradition of offering a seat to a very pregnant woman doesn’t apply to the rough streets of the Meatpacking District – in fact, several ladies held empty spots with purses… but I knew the day would come when my stamina for long outings would end temporarily, and at least it included tiny fried fishes, really spicy chiles, and a glimpse of a dapper Lewis Dodley (who Mike recognized first from his baritone, silky voice).

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Posted on September 18, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Eataly

200 5th Avenue

After months of speculation and anticipation, the Italian food market mecca Eataly from Mario Batali, Lidia and Joe Bastianich is finally open and it is awesome! Clean, bright, dazzling and massive, there is so much to see that it will require several visits to feel like I’ve done it all. There are after all, several restaurants, a beer garden, a coffee shop, a cooking school, and all the super market sections you could want. I was extremely tempted by the stunning variety at the fishmonger and am determined to get razor clams next time (when I will be headed straight home after shopping and not worried about fresh seafood + the heat).

I really could have gone any direction for an amazing meal, whether grabbing some sausage (as Mike did for an extremely yummy gnocchi sauce) or enjoying the brick oven pizza I jealously saw so many taking gooey bites of at the pizzeria. There are colorful pastries as well as a crowded counter with gelato for dessert. In the mood for something easy for lunch, I opted for a “Stella” squash ravioli, some fresh sun-dried tomatoes, and a wedge of Parmesan from a huge wheel that one strong armed man spent the day slowly chopping up for our consumption.

Mario was there, and I took a tentative quick shot after the jump (not really into paparazzi shooting) and it begs some explanation since it looks like he’s reaming out an employee. He was actually strutting around like a proud papa and seemed ecstatic about the place, as well he should have been. I am sure Eataly is bound to become both a destination as well as one of the perks of living in New York and a part of the fabric of the city.

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Posted on September 5, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »Big Apple BBQ

at Madison Square Park

We’ve braved the long lines (that actually go very quickly) and major crowds many times now to enjoy the outdoor Big Apple BBQ, which features pitmasters from around the country. We went in with a plan this year. We came when the festivities began to help ease some of the crowding and made for two specific places. First, 17th Street Bar and Grill, the Mike Mills Illinois based stand that featured baby back ribs and baked beans. I’d heard so many raves about the cue, that constantly, throughout the festival boasts incredibly long lines. There’s a reason – these are incredible! Slightly sweet, but mild, but flavorful and moist, I was thoroughly impressed. The baked beans that featured a variety of beans beyond the basic haricot beans.

Second, we made our way to the sandwich that we look forward to eating once every year – the whole hog from Ed Mitchell’s Pit. Perfectly, subtly vinegary and incredibly moist, like always it didn’t disappoint. I am psyched Van got to develop such good taste for BBQ so early in his life – I was hoping there’d be a baby onesie among the merchandise but no such luck.

There were less sweets than other years, only Blue Smoke offered them (we got the rootbeer float) and I was bummed to see there was no Brunswick Stew, but all in all, despite all the grumbling I heard and the crowds, I always love the Big Apple BBQ and look forward to it annually.

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Posted on June 13, 2010

Web Sites »Eating Asia

Stunning Food Blog

Inspiring food writer Robyn Eckhardt and the gorgeous photography of David Hagerman will not only put Eating Asia at the top of your favorite food blogs, but Malaysia at the top of your list of places to visit. I particularly love the savory breakfast foods that are heavy on garlic and other bold spices often ignored in Western cooking for the first meal of the day. Some great images from the site are below, all photos are by David Hagerman. Please take a look at the site for even more mouth watering entries.

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Posted on April 4, 2010

Web Sites »Bier Hall Crawl

Ein New Yorker Deutsch Bierhalle Tour Fur Das Jahr 2010

Sure, you could devise some typically boring New Year’s resolution like eating right, getting more exercise, or spending more time with your family – or, you could be like my good friend Mike, and resolve to visit every German beer hall in the five boroughs!

He’ll be documenting the journey on his site, Bier Hall Crawl, which will surely contain photos of myself partaking in many a sausage (therefor ruining my typically boring resolution to eat better).

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Posted on January 31, 2010

Spend a Couple Hours »New Amsterdam Market

new amsterdam marketat the South Street Seaport

I ‘m giving you ample lead time to plan on attending the next New Amsterdam Market (Dec. 20) because I don’t want any of you fellow food lovers out there to miss out on such a unique, lovely, and delicious event. I do have one word of advice, though: do not fill up on Anella’s brunch burger before hand (as superb as it is), because if you’re like me you’ll have no will power against the tasty treats laid out before you (fresh shucked oysters,  how could I say no?!) and those foods you do manage to say no to, you’ll later regret not pigging out on.

Things we did try that stand out? Said oysters from the friendly W&T Seafood stand (we opted for the Moon Shoal), pulled pork on crisps from Jimmy’s, a lemon tart pie, and ice cream from the Bent Spoon.

Things I will go back for? Lobster rolls (despite a crazy long line), chocolate black truffle caramels, a black skinned duck, perhaps some balls (testicles), and pretty much everything else I missed the first time around. See you there!

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Posted on December 13, 2009

Places to Visit »Mini Food Tour of Atlanta

repast atlantaBiscuits, Crab Cakes, Nuggets and Room Service

I was hoping to offer more insider tips on Atlanta’s entertainment, shopping and sites of note, but a busy work schedule left me no time for any of that (no worries: an upcoming trip will provide plenty) so instead I’m offering this mini food tour of the city.

Repast is a lovely, modern place that features an intriguing menu. Our table shared bacon wrapped dates, roasted beets, salmon tartare, and crab cakes before swooning over entrees. I opted for the free range chicken with kale, gnocchi, pancetta and black truffle jus and benefited from the kindness of my co-eaters with a bite of an incredible pork belly.

The next night, we revisited a place I ate at a while ago on another business trip, South City Kitchen, which has lost none of its tastiness in the interim. Pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, and mac and cheese were shared with gusto and my salmon with spaghetti squash, home made mascarpone, pomegranate and watercress was great.

Also, and I’m stating the obvious here, Chick-Fil-A f-ing rules (I ate it both for breakfast and lunch one day in a feat of impressive gluttony) and the Four Seasons is a pretty nice place to stay (they also offer a nice array of small plates in their lounge as well as crazy dolled up specialty cocktails).

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Posted on December 13, 2009

Spend a Couple Minutes »Acme Fish Fridays

20091112-IMG_122930 Gem Street, Greenpoint

The hours for Acme’s Fish Fridays (8am to 1pm) make it difficult to squeeze in before work, but I can assure you it’s certainly worth the effort. The factory, a fourth generation family-run business sits in the heart of industrial Greenpoint and the fish smoked there can be found in most local grocery stores, and it supplies many restaurants too.

When the factory opens to the public, great deals can be had, not only on their packaged goods, but their fresh smoked products, which I was more interested in. Samples are available and I decided to get a chunk of the cold smoked salmon which was delicious.

A grand party platter could be made with all the delectable offerings, including a large tub of caviar for $25.

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Posted on November 15, 2009

Spend a Couple Minutes »Greenpoint Food Market

hot heirloom pickles brooklyn brine greenpoint food market

The Greenpoint Food Market is a brand new local centric spot that launched last week near McGolrick Park. Open from noon to six every Saturday, the market has something for any food lover. My favorite purchase: spicy pickled heirloom cucumbers. The company, Brooklyn Brine, is working on a whiskey barrel pickle that will be ready soon.

We also got a delicious ginger syrup from Morris Kitchen that mixes well with seltzer and will be fantastic when I try it in some cocktail concoctions, sticky, yummy pecan pie from Dixie, sweet and yummy pumpkin butter from Skimkim (will have to get a bag of their flavored popcorn next time), excellent curry lentil soup from The Soup Spoon , Bing Means Pancake scallion pancakes(best to eat them right off the pan while they're still warm) and we took home some tea eggs.

Support local businesses! And take a look at all my photos at RC!

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Posted on September 21, 2009