I hate people who are not serious about their meals. -- Oscar Wilde

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Donut Quest Part II: My Search for Nostalgia?

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Dude asking for a Metro Card swipe will take a donut instead, apparently a donut=metro card swipe

In my quest to find the best and unfortunately the worst (not actively trying to find the worst) donuts in New York City, I came upon two in the Outer Boroughs, Alpha Donuts in Queens and Peter Pan Bakery in Brooklyn. I know there are other doughnut places in Brooklyn especially such as Mike’s Donuts and the newly opened Dough, but these two fall into the New York counter doughnuts and I had to check them out.

Take 2 in the future?

First up was Alpha Donuts all the way up in Queens. I am a bit of a nostalgic person and I tend to romanticize places, especially places dealings with food. Sometimes the image in my head is in sync with reality, but unfortunately Alpha Donuts was not. Alpha Donuts is located right outside the no. 7 train stop and the counter was filled. Everything about it was picturesque: the huge coffee machine going, people at the counter reading the newspaper and eating breakfast. To give it an even more New York vibe, two guys were talking about the upcoming season and Andy Petite retiring (this is truly sad, one of the great Yankee Pitchers). I wanted to start talking with that stereotypical Queens accent and dropping “o” and calling it “New Yawk”.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Donut Quest: Part I

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Donuts take up a lot of space in a backpack

 Donuts at Donut Pub

EDIT** Apparently the Mr. Wells of the New York Times beat me to the doughnut tour part. DAMN YOU WELLS!! its okay, I missed some places (Make more doughnuts Brindle Room!) and he missed some and this is only the being of Donut Quest.For the New York Times write up, click  Here

I do not get it, how the hell do you spell donuts? Is is D-O-N-U-T or D-O-U-G-H-N-U-T? I am not that bright and this confuses me. I need an adult to guide me.

Donuts are America’s pastry. Historical origins suggests that it was brought to America by Dutch settlers, this fried sugar rush goodness is an All-American treat. Parts of the American dream with the white picket fence and all that jazz is waking up on the weekend, getting the paper, making a pot of coffee and having a box of a dozen fresh donuts. That is the picturesque American Sunday morning. I remember that donuts were a treat that we got rarely in my house. But one thing was for sure was that on your birthday, not only did you get cake, but you also got donuts to bring to school and share with your classmates. I do not know where this tradition comes from, bringing donuts in on your birthday but I was not complaining. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s my birthday, why the hell am I bringing in the donuts? Shouldn’t everyone else be bringing me donuts? This is a broken system. Whatever.
In a city that is filled with donut shops and commercial chains like Dunkin Donuts and the Canadian donut chain Tim Horton’s immigrated to the United States, finding a good donut place is becoming difficult. On my epic eating quest and my on going food quests, I decided that I will go and seek out the best and unfortunately some of the worst donuts of New York City. Start off with the classic, the new and the alternative option. 

The Donut Pub: Open 24 hours

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

M. Wells Diner in Long Island City

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: I will stop making fun of Canadians Canadian Cuisine

M. Wells Diner Logo. 2 questions, what is that and is that on the menu?

I have not been to Canada in ages. Canada is not the most exotic locale and it is easy just to say that all they got is Celine Dion, hockey, socialized health care and that country that John Candy was able to invade. What is generally less know is that it has a thriving food scene from Vancouver to Montréal. I have already have it set that if I go to Canada, specifically, Montreal, even before booking a hotel and making travel arrangements, my first order of business is to book a table or even a seat at Au Pied de Cochon, but not just book one reservation, but a two day reservation just so I can eat through their extensive foie and pork menu and hopefully not result in a trip to a free emergency room trip. M. Wells is under the command of the chef de cuisine  Hugue Dufour, a veteran of Au Pied de Cochon and in July 2010, opened up Magasin Wells Diner, M. Wells for short, in Long Island City with his wife a Queens native.
Quebeco-American Cuisine inside!

I am a little late to the M. Wells train but this week was their first dinner service since opening and I figured that I had to check it out their brunch service. Although they are located in Queens, it is thankfully only two stops into Queens and the diner is conveniently located within a few steps from the stop. Unfortunately, since opening, M. Wells has developed a following which means people lining up even before it opens to get some morning grub. I arrived about 15 minutes before they opened and already, there was a few folks waiting outside. I generally avoid places that involved ridiculous amount of people waiting outside (I am looking at you Clinton St. Bakery!) I despise it so I avoid it as much as possible but I of course make exceptions and being an earlier riser now, I understand its advantages.

Monday, February 21, 2011

No. 7 Subs

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Anything done General Tso's style will most likely taste great.

 I can't explain this. I only minored in Art History because I liked looking at pictures 

Walking into the Ace Hotel I felt like I was stepping into an episode of Gossip Girl…and I just realized I just openly admitted to watching Gossip Girl before. The lobby of the hotel is filled with no one above the age of 30 and just people hanging out and probably tweeting about their bbf Jill.

 Grade Pending? Oh the Suspense

Sorry for the rant but back on topic, as if I needed a reason to go visit the Ace Hotel which is home to The Spotted Pig and the John Dory it also has a great sub shop, No. 7 Sub. Sister shop of the No. 7 restaurant in Brooklyn, the No. 7 Sub is not the average turkey and cheese sandwich shop. They start of with general gourmet fillings like short ribs, eggplant parm and cilantro chicken fare that would not raise an eyebrow, but then they take you on a psychedelic acid trip and making combination like the Brussel Sprouts Reuben with swiss cheese, Russian Dressing, potato chips or the Brie with pickled blueberries, pistachios, chervil. It is like the sub shop equivalent of that weird dream in the Big Lebowski where you basically have no idea what is going on but you like it. No. 7 Subs is redefining the space between bread. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Meat Hook at the Brooklyn Kitchen

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Not everyone gets as excited about render duck fat being on sale, weirdos.

The Outside of the Brooklyn Kitchen and Meat Hook. I always wondered,places that have a garage, wtf is in there?

I have no problem going out of my way and actually plan my routes around the city just so I am able to find myself “conveniently” near a gourmet market, sandwich shop, bakery or a butcher shop. To me this is not annoying, but to my friends, I am sure they dread it after we meet up and eat and then they hear me say, “By the way, can we just make a stop over there? We just happen to be near the area!” Although they are mainly too polite to say no, (thanks guys) I know they are generally less than enthusiastic about staring at a meat counter. I am a loser in which I can not describe the level of excitement I get when I am in a butcher shop and I just see a beautiful array of meats. I guess it is like a Meth Head going into a Meth-lab except it is less dangerous and illegal...and not done in a trailer park.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I can has Cheese?

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Female Cheesemongers are hot

 I had to walk away from my desk at work one day because I was about to physically assault a co-worker and according to me skimming the company HR booklet, I am apparently not allowed to do that. The discussion came up about cheese and she was inquiring me on how many calories a piece of cheese has. I asked her to clarify in what kind of cheese, meaning the prepackaged and processed cheese or tasty artisanal cheese. She them goes on to utter not fighting words, but beat down words:

“Well there isn’t a difference, isn’t all cheese like processed anyway?”

I had to excuse myself from my desk, in order to not give her 5 finger slap in the face. There are so many things wrong with that statement. I am pretty sure if you said that in a country that celebrates cheese such as maybe France or Italy, she would be publicly shunned and all the kids at school would laugh at her. Although I do respect the singles slices for the nostalgia factor, to compare it to such cheeses as a sharp Comte, or a creamy Mozzarella is insulting to anyone that makes and likes cheese.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Chicks dig guys that can double fist pies.

Ain't nobody going to jack pie from this place.
Like gravity, it is a Universal Truth that everyone likes pie. How could you not? Crusts that are either buttery flaky or crunchy sweet with endless fillings ranging from the savory to the sweet, there is a pie out there that has your name on it and you will like it. I go a step further and say that man can survive on pie alone, but I have yet to test this theory and anyone that wants to is more than welcome too. I ventured out to the hipster wasteland to eat pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds and it was well worth the trip. Once you eat a piece of any of their pies at 4 & 20 Blackbirds there will be no doubt in your mind that everyone likes pie. Pies after the jump

Just Kidding...

Im sticking here on blogspot.

Scratch Bread

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Food will always outweigh my hatred of hipsters

I admit: I hate going out the Brooklyn. I hate that the subway ride is so longer. I hate that I am not familiar with it. I hate hipsters. Brooklyn is crawling with them. I am a straight hater for Brooklyn and I will step to the right. One thing that Brooklyn does right however is food. I do not care what Mimi Sheraton says here, Brooklyn has a growing food culture and people that are willing to put in the hard work in supporting it and making the perfecting whatever craft. One of these places is Scratch Bread.

The cliché is that food connects with people. As cheesy and stupid as it sounds, it is true and I believe that bread has the ultimate personal connection and anyone that has made bread, real yeast bread (quick breads like banana bread and stuff I do not recognize as being bread. It is a cake in a loaf pan) that requires your hands to knead the dough has a connection with food like no other. The warmth of your hands and the bread as you slowly stretch and fold the dough as it transform from a shaggy, sticky, goopy mess, to a elastic, sleek, smooth and stretchy living organism. Dough itself is a living thing where you leave that sucker alone and it will grow and rise within hours and it is constantly changing.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Pork is awesome in any language, especially a dead language

Finally got to do brunch at Maialino, which serves Roman style food is located in the Gramercy Park Hotel Maialino are one of the newest restaurants in the Danny Meyer’s stable and certainly one that should not be overlooked. The word Maialino apparently means “Pig” and anything that is named after such a magnificent and tasty animal, I am there.The Romans were known for a lot of things like creating a functional government and giving Russell Crowe a movie career; they had really good food.

One thing that I like about Maialino is that most places stick to the brunch and will pretty much have eggs benny, some kind of pancakes, French toast or waffles and some kind of burger. Maialino of course has the brunch staples but does a good job changing it up and also do fresh pastas as well.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Macaron Parlour via OpenHouse NYC

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Have restraint, don't try and eat macarons on the NJ Transit train, weird Indian girl will stare at you for the whole ride. 

The same day that I encountered the craziness that is the Hot Josh, I also encountered Macaron Parlour at the OpenHouse NYC. Another place that do not have an actual store front, their base of operations is located in the Lower East Side and mainly do orders. They are a regular at the Hester Street Fair and although they have the traditional flavored macarons, they have some interesting combination such as the Thai chili and S’more flavored macarons. Although any French pastry chef would scoff and be applauded by these kinds of flavors, I for one am interested and support people that are stepping out of the conventional and trying out new flavor combination.

 Rainbow of sugar French Cookie Awesomeness

With the macarons, I went with six of them: the Candied Bacon with Maple Cream Cheese, the Peanut Butter Cup, the S’more, Red Velvet, the Earl Grey and the Nutella.


Overall, they were good macarons. The macarons were light and chewy, mushy meringue with a thin outer shell. Yet, their flavor combinations were all solid. As great as bacon is, it has unfortunately become a cliché. It seems like every place needs to throw bacon on for the hell of it and will unfortunately get “bastardized” in dessert dishes. I was hesitant trying their candied bacon however after my first bite; I knew this was no cliché. The bacon was nestled in a thick, creamy pillow of maple cream cheese and achieved salty sweet Zen. The bacon was still crisp melded perfectly with the light and mushy interior.  Another flavor that stood out was the S’ more, which tasted as advertised and the exterior even had a bit of that graham cracker taste to it as well. The Peanut butter I originally had low expectations for because of the preconception that the peanut butter filling would just be well, Skippy’s but it was a smooth whipped buttercream that was not overtly sweet and executed well. The owners of Macaron Parlour Christina and Simon who I was able to talk to a bit, are passionate about their craft and are always happy to talk and answer any questions about their macarons. They are able to instill a creative American touch on a classical sophisticated French cookie and do it well. I will be on the look out for these macarons in the future at the Hester Street Fair and other places. Also, like all macarons, they do the whole fancy box thing again, emasculating me every time I buy macarons. 

Nothing says I am a tough guy eating a box of macarons with a ribbon around it

 Macaron Parlour
Check website for locations

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shopsins: Mo' Jemima

Im Nomz Hero Note to Self: Nothing wrong having a milkshake at 10am. Screw you hipster dude at the next table

On an epic quest on all things food, I sometimes have to go solo. Okay fine, I go solo a lot of the times. I just did not want to seem like a complete loser. Although awkward at first, going solo to places is not so bad, the only downside that I have ever experienced and one that I am constantly plagued with is lack of stomach space. One place that I have no problem eating at alone and I already wrote about is Shopsins. I mean, technically, although I am dining by myself, I have the shoppers of Essex Market and of course, Kenny ranting, I am not really by myself. Sorry, went a bit philosophical on everyone but nonetheless, even without company, you are entertained and you eat well which is the point. 

 The Mo'Jemima: This is what Zeus ate for Breakfast

There has not been anything that I ate at Shopsins that I did not like and every time I go, I like to try something new. However, this might change now that I tried the Mo’ Jemima. The Mo ‘Jemima is a stack of Bacon Mac and Cheese pancakes, topped with three poached eggs. Writing it just makes my mouth water and makes me crave and salivate for it like a starved rabid wolf in a pediatric ward. The pancakes are just the perfect marriage of salty and sweet with the bacon cooked into the pancake. The pancake is light and fluffy and with a crispy exterior that comes from a thin coat of crispy cheese. I am a sucker for crispy cheese. I go for the corner pieces of any cheese laden casserole like dish from lasagna to oven baked Mac and Cheese so I can get the hard slight carbonated cheese. I will over-stuff a grill cheese just so it will ooze out of the sandwich onto the pan so I will get a hard cement cheese border. To make the dish even better, is the poached eggs have a runny center which just oozes out and coats the pancake in rich goodness. Shopsins is smart in that cut out a hole in the center of the pancake stack, to allow any of the running egg goodness from escaping. The best way is to utilize the man-made hole is to allow the runny eggs yolks, maple syrup and hot sauce to meld thus; creating a sink hole of euphoria that will soak the pancake from the inside out. This dish makes my heart whimper with joy cholesterol bomb, but it was tuned out by the sugary and salty ecstasy of the Mo’ Jemima. Shopsins. Get at it. 

Essex St Market
120 Essex St
Stall 16

New York, NY 10002


Friday, February 4, 2011

Jacque Torres and Oro Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Eating chocolate chip cookie, walking and texting is true multi-tasking

I am always on the look out for a good chocolate chip cookie and this week I was able to try a cookie from Oro Bakery in Little Italy and Jacque Torres in the Meatpacking District/Chelsea Market. Reputable sources such as the internet, swear that each of these bakeries make a damn good chocolate chip cookies and I had to check it out. I mean, when has the internet ever lied to me? Oh by the way, if anybody talks to that disposed Nigerian Prince that randomly emailed me and needed some cash, can you see how he is doing? I hope he and my sure investment is doing ok.

Jacque Torres is a straight up badass chocolatier. Dude gets to rock a special collar on his chef collar that only the French President can give you. Not something that they give away to just anybody and very few have this honor of rocking this collar. I assume they also get some kind of decoder ring as well but that is for another time.
Jacque Torres Cookie, thumb not included

The cookie is hefty and it is nice that they will heat up the cookie for you if you want, just enough to get a bit of that chocolate to soften and melt a bit. The cookie itself is buttery and is very much like a shortbread cookie. The cookie is like a hybrid of a pastry and a shortbread cookie. The cookie has layers in it and is buttery like a pastry but has a crumb texture and firm consistency of shortbread.  He also uses chocolate disks that are layered in-between the layers. Like if the cookie was the earth, it the chocolate would be like tectonic plates…tasty tectonic plates.

Oro Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie

Next up was Oro bakery up in Little Italy. It is a bar/café and has a small selection of bake goods and mainly known for their Frenchy pastries such as their croissants and madeleines. However, off to the side and should be displayed more promiently are their cookie jars, filled with cookies and one of them being the chocolate chip cookie. The cookie has a firm yet it is able to soft at the same time. The cookie was littered with thick chopped chocolate chunks but did not give you a sugar high and balanced just right with the hint of salt that hits you after you taste the chocolate.

A good chocolate chip cookie is hard to come by when it is the minority in a city full of mediocre and complete crap cookies. Both these places not only have good chocolate chip cookies but other great products as well that you can shove into your gullet without feeling like it was complete waste of caloric intake.

Jacque Torres Chocolate
Various locations in NYC

Oro Bakery and Bar
375 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dickson's Farmstand Meats

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Sandwiches should always be bought in pairs
Like so many others in this great country, my family is the first generation of immigrants. My parents came to the US in the 80s and I was a 90s kid. That meant GI Joe, POGs and supermarket foods. Unfortunately, many of my generation and the generation of my parents have grown up in the supermarket age where food is prepackaged and unfortunately for many children that grew up in suburbia in the 90s, it meant that meat came broken down in a plastic package and Captain Crunch destroys the roof of your mouth. However, thankfully with the help of such places as Dickson’s Farmstand. Meats I can have that 1950s nostolgic butchershop experience and pick up some great meat.

Pretty Meat