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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Federal Donuts: I'll have the Chicken


Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: an undershirt not only keeps you warm, it can be used as an emergency napkin.



I hope to never have to ever go to a methadone clinic because from what I understand how it works and seen, Federal Donuts is a methadone clinic for fried chicken. There are people in a small space all wanting the same thing, schedule chicken "dispensing" and limited quantity of it.
Every day from 11:45 am and 5 pm on the weekends, Federal Donuts is dropping chicken into the fryer and selling until they run out. There are a limited number of chickens so once the chicken runs out, you got to head to Crown Chicken to get your fix. In order to get some chicken, you need to get a number, I was told that I could start getting a number around 11:45 but when I came by around 11:30, they were already at number 20 which was okay and still secured me for chicken. Also from what I saw, there is no limit really on how many tickets you are allowed to have so if you want to be "that guy" and get 8 whole chickens, have at it. Each number is equal to one order of chicken, which is half order of a chicken, which is 4 pieces. Unfortunately, this concept was too complicated for many and just enforces the fact that ¾ of Americans are retarded.

One Ticket=One order of chicken=4 pieces of chicken.

So for those of you that clearly did not do so hot on the SAT Math section, if you want a whole chicken, how many tickets should you get? Exactly.



I have to credit and praise the staff at Federal Donuts for dealing with and putting up with so much and even during a service rush, was polite, courteous and descent human beings. I am pretty sure if this was New York or the line at Difaras, some of these patrons would have ended up with a sharpened rusty piece of metal in them.

my tickets for a chicken fix


There are two styles of chicken that you can get, the twice fried Korean fried chicken glaze and the dry/Southern style chicken. The Korean fried style glazed chicken, you get it either in chili garlic or honey garlic and the dry/Southern Style, za'atar, coconut curry, harrisa or as is. Chicken after the jump!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Prince Katsu: Taiwan

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Does Prince Katsu share any lineage with Burger King?



I remember when this place first opened in the Breeze Center back when I came to Taiwan in like the 9th grade. The lines for this little Katsu place was ridiculous. It was like the line to Space Mountain, there was those stupid barriers and every few feet, there was a sign telling you how long you have to wait.



Thankfully, the lines have easily died down and there is not longer retarded waits for a sandwich. I have despite my Asian heritage, I have a very low tolerance and impatience for lines. Shake Shack is the closest I will make an exception, and even then, 10 minutes is about my wait time tolerance.



Prince Katsu I would suspect do great in the US because it revolves around all things fried and then stuffed into a sandwich. The most popular is the tonkatsu, the pork one and after so many years of not eating here, I wanted to see if things have changed and if it was still good.



The sandwich is a neat little package and almost reminds me of eating a cafeteria style sandwich, in its uniformed and modular appearance. The tonkatsu is still tasty and juicy and not greasy, a sign of a true master of the fried arts. The cabbage is crisp and crunchy and the addition of raw onions give it a nice spicy zing. Though people moved on to line up for newer things, Prince Katsu holds its own and still produces a tasty sandwich. This by the way, like most fried foods would most definitely, be great late night drunk food. Prince Katsu, look into this, you can thank me later for this idea with payment of a tasty sandwich or two.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Craftbar NYC


Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: If I ask for cream with my coffee, please to question me and offer regular milk, nice you care about my cholesterol intake but I'll take my chances

I actually never hit up a Tom Colicchio restuarant before and this weekend, I had brunch at Craftbar with the family and overall had a great time. The place is located just down the street from the Gramercy Tavern and directly above the subway, for you can feel and hear the unmistakeable rumble of a N train coming through. The place is spacious and has a casual atmosphere.

Scotch Quail Eggs

To start, we had a few things starting with the scotch quial eggs because brunch is always better with something fried. Also, no Scotch in it. The scotch quail eggs were tasty and though the egg in the center of scotch quail eggs can fall victim to dryness, this one did not.

The pastry of the day, was a brioche doughnut with a chocolate glaze and a banana creme filling. One thing that I do no like, which is no fault of Craftbar is the banana creme filling looks kind of...well grey. I mean, "legit" banana cream anything unless you use food coloring (thanks for telling me that one Milkbar Cookbook) banana cream is going to look like something a 3 month child regurgitate. The doughnut was hefty, dense and a slight chewiness to it that you would expect from a yeast doughnut but was good overall.
We also decided to g heavy on the carb route and do the biscuits and gravy. This was actually considered to be a side, which is a steal giving the portion size of this. The biscuits and gravy could of been a meal on its own, two biscuits that were light and airy that gets a heavy helping of sausage gravy on top. The gravy was thick, flavorful and meaty and a cement stick to your bones quality to it. It was hearty and had itis potential to it.
the menu ranges from eggs dishes, sandwiches and actual entrees.

Biscuits and Gravy

the shrimp and grits here is worthy homage to any Southern kitchen. the shrimp were small but they wee tender and flavorful and the grits were creamy and smooth and they added some blistered shoshito peppers in it which though good, were not really necessary to an already good tasting dish. Though the addition of chorizo brought a little spicy and meat kick to the dish and adding chorizo is always a good thing.

Shrimp and Grits

 The Berkshire Pork Cubano was a solid and hefty sandwich. The Cubano has melted Gruyere, pickled jalapenos and i think a really thin slice of ham in it. This was a really refined version of a tasty Cuban sandwich. The pork was shredded and had a bit of a tuna fish salad consistency to it, but it still worked well, the bread was well toasted and the cheese was plentiful. The house made potato chips were addicting and together made this a good tasting sandwich.

Cubano

We had the Spaghetti and Veal Ricotta Meatballs which would sit comfortably at all Red Sauce Italian America place. the meatballs were very light and the Ricotta was distinct. the spaghetti, looked more like fettuccine, was could nicely and had that little bit of bite you look for in pasta.

Spaghetti and Veal Ricotta Meatballs

Butter Poached Cod
The Butter Poached Norwegian Cod was a winner as well. The Cod was done so well, my mother actually questioned if it was indeed cod because she never had cod cooked this well before. Also she learned what butter poached means and how much butter goes into cooking the fish and lets just say...she will not be asking me to do that much more. Whatever, its not like you are drinking the butter that you poach it in!
 Overall, the service was prompt and professional and if we wanted too, we could have sat there for a while and hang out and bit. Many critize that Coliccciho restaurants have lost a bit of quality to them since his celebrity-like status but at Craftbar, which may not be a flagship restaurant, the food and service was what anyone would expect from a top restaurant in New York. We would have went with dessert but the food and portions were generous and plentiful and besides...Shack Shake was a block or two away, and they had the Jeremy Lin Shake and their hardcore Taiwanese pride needed to support anything Jeremy Lin. 

Craftbar
900 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
www.craftrestaurant.com/

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bien Cuit

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Smearing Nutella on a pain au chocolat, what is that on a scale of 1 to awesome?



It took me a while, but I finally made my way out to Bien Cuit. Bien Cuit is a fairly new bakery, that opened last year and despite the current rage of cupcake bakeries opening, Bien Cuit is making delicious breads and pastries. Bien Cuit is Frog language for “well cooked” from the breads and pastries I have tried here, that is certainly the case. The inside of Bien Cuit has a rustic vibe going on with beige wood d├ęcor but gives a relaxed atmosphere and the feeling it has been here for years. The breads and pastries at Bien Cuit are of the French tradition, meaning that there will be a lot of butter and nothing covered in frosting.
The first thing I noticed about Bien Cuit is that their pastry case differs in which it is not completely filled and in fact, looks empty anytime of the day. However, do let it turn you off, thinking you are getting leftover pastries because they are constantly making and turning out fresh pastries. My usual go to Frenchie-like pastry is a pain au chocolat. Buttery laminated dough and chocolate? Yes. 

The pain au chocolat was the size of a fist and was a buttery and well folded, imparting chocolate with every bite. Despite its darkened shell, the pain au chocolat did not have a flaky, crunchy exterior that you would expect however it was still tasty. The Danishes here are not adored with dollops of jam and they put creative twists on them. One of them is their Apple Crumb Danish which is wonderfully crisp and plenty covered with crunchy streusel. 
The breads are not to be missed here as well and they give the majority of their breads, you can buy half a loaf rather than a whole, which I am always thankful for. Do you know how much space a boule takes up in a backpack? Answer: a lot. Though his Pan Pugliese is their best selling bread, I however, dig their rye sunflower bread. I also will openly admit I am going to attempt to recreate this at home. This health bread is a wonderful mixture of nutty slightly sweet sunflower seeds with the slight bitterness of the rye. This bread is versatile and can be made into a badass grilled cheese to a perfect vessel to eat with jam, speculoos, nutella or all combined (note* never tried this combo, if it is good, someone tell me). 


Bien Cuit is a welcomed edition to New York and a good addition to an already foodie centric neighborhood. I have only sampled a few things here but so far it has all been good. They also have sandwiches and pretty good coffee program, meaning I can order a cortado and not have to explain what it is. As a home bread maker, I avoid buying bread anywhere for the simple fact I feel I can make better bread at home so to want to buy bread here does give me a slight feel of defeat, but to eat their great breads it is a defeat I accept.


Bien Cuit

120 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Purple Yam

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Purple Yam ain’t a taro

Filipino food does not really get much attention and it is easily a cuisine that is written off. You are most likely going to get a blank stare if you tell people that you want Filipino food and maybe, someone will know what the hell adobo is. Truthfully, it is rare to see a sit down Filipino place and Filipino food is generally synonymous to a cafeteria hot line. I mean, that’s basically how I usually got my fix. But that image of the hot line is slowly starting to turn around, with places such as The Purple Yam up in Ditmas. 

Purple Yam is a casually sit down place that is at the core, a Filipino restaurant with some other Asian influences. I came here with my rather giddy and excited Filipino friend for brunch and overall, it was great.
We started off with the Lumpia which was a rice crepe, stuffed with Napa cabbage, leeks, mushrooms and all topped with a peanut and tamarind sauce. The crepe is lazily draped over the mountain of vegetables which were crisp and the tamarind added a nice sweet sour to everything. It was good and despite the mountainous amount of cabbage, it was not filling at all and was a good starter.

Bagoong Rice- tasty and fun to say
For our mains we got the Ticino and Lechon Kawali with a side of Bagoong rice. Bagoong rice is spiked with fermented shrimp and not only is it fun to say, it was incredibly flavorful, sticky yet fluffy at the same time. The Ticino, featured a piece of pork that gets cured in a sugary mix and served with eggs, rice and pickled vegetables and makes me think of this is a Filipino Astronaut breakfast, so when that Filipino space program gets off the ground, those folks going up to the wild blue yonder, are going to be doing pork and eggs. The pork was juicy and charred nicely with sugary burnt edges. The addition of beautifully cooked eggs, this had all the makings of a post-brunch nap. Rest of the food after the jump!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mos Burger

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Eating Mos Burger before getting on a plane is easily yield better results than eating White Castle before getting on the plane: sorry people I sat next to on a flight back from Chicago



One thing I am surprised when Western friends come back from Asia is their immediate love for Mos Burger. One of my friends that did a stint in Japan eyes would light up when he would talk about late night debauchery and talking about how Mos Burger was the perfect way to end the night. Though it is no Uncle Chang, this Japanese fast food chain is all over Taiwan and has been a staple final eat that I get at the Taoyuan Airport. What sets Mos Burger apart is not just their superior service and ridiculously comfortable seating, but their burgers that replace the buns with rice cakes. Though they do have a respectable “regular” burger it is the rice patty burgers that you have to get.
I got a promotional burger that was filled with pork, ginger, scallions all in between 2 slabs of rice. It came with a side a fries and a drink which I went with iced black tea. There is pseudo-table service in which you grab a number and the food is brought out to you. Your burger is made to order and nothing is left sitting under heat lamps and simply put, fast food done right. 


It comes out piping hot and you would think that a “bun” made of just rice would taste bad and have questionable structural issues but surprisingly does not. The rice is actually pretty good and tender and firm enough to be eaten as a handheld treat. The pork was sliced into pieces and they went heavy on the ginger but overall, it was good and the addition of radish it added a nice crunch. The Fries were fine, good enough to finish. The burger reminds me of a Chinese lunch platter that was transformed into handheld food.

Though I started hitting up Mos Burger for pure novelty factors, I would not hesitate to eat here on a consistent basis. I mean, after I ate through everything else and was still hungry; sure I would hit up Mos Burger.

  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Roberta's

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: If Bumfuck was an actual place, the restaurants there would be amazing and tasty





Sometimes you need to go out of your way to get good food and as annoying as it maybe to take the L to Brooklyn, it places like Roberta's makes it worth it. Roberta's is located is a desolate area of Brooklyn and coming out of the Morgan Ave station can make you a bit uneasy. It looks like there is a bunch of warehouses, the street is pretty empty and there are random shady menacing  looking hipsters that have questionable hygiene. Once you actually find Roberta's that feeling does not really leave you as the entrance is tagged up, and has no signs of food being served here. Anywhere else and not having prior knowledge of its existence you would easily walk by it, and if you were driving, most likely check to make sure your door was locked. However, you would miss out on some great tasting food.

Once you enter in Roberta's you are transported to a busy restaurant. Well, you are not stepping into a Jean Georges, the tables are wooden and aged and long picnic tables rule the room. The scrawled tables, rock music and dim lighting, it seems more like the dive bar I would sometimes go to in college (Corner Tavern @ Rutgers anyone?). However, the food being served here is nothing like the setting suggests with simple fresh and food that you would find at a 3 star establishment or in this case, a 2 star New York Times. I came here about 40 minutes after it opened, and the place was almost filled. Anybody that claims they like food, is doing themselves a disservice by not visiting here at least once and if not for their pizza.


 I went with the Beastmaster which automatically one of the best named dishes ever. Thankfully not like that show that was on the WB and after Xena and Hercules (I watched a lot of tv as a kid) the pie consists of tomato, mozzarella, gorgonzola, Berkshire pork sausage, capers, jalapenos, red onions. I generally do not mess with a pizza by making substitutions or adding stuff on but its rare when I can throw an egg on top so that is what I did. I mean, the addition of the egg is always a plus.



The pizza came out mouth roof burning hot. Not a fault on them, more like one on me, but I see it as a consequence of eating tasty fresh made food. the pizza was thin crusted and a great amount of char on it. Normally thin crusted pies do not have much going on in the taste of the dough because the trade off of a crispy pie is sometimes you cannot taste the flavors of the dough. However, in this case, the dough was flavorful and crispy which I have rarely enjoyed. the topping combination was great, the sausage was juicy and the jalapenos was a great spicy kick. On the side they have chili oil which if you are a spicyhead, is a must. the Egg addition was of course a good idea and the runny yolk was great to soak up with the crust.

Though I only stopped by quick to try the pizza, it is more than enough of a reason to come back here for dinner service or again to try their the rest of the menu. The service was great and is worth a trek out.

Roberta's
261 Moore St
Brooklyn, NY 11206
www.robertaspizza.com

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bowery Diner

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: The Bowery Diner insults every Jersey Diner.



tl;dr/note: suggest not coming here with so many other options within cripple walking distance


Mathieu Palombino's Motorino is one of my favorite places. Everything from the food, service and every aspect of this restaurant is on point. The opening of his newest venture, the Bowery Diner, I was in high anticipation however, after last night, I will most likely, not be going back here again. There are such things as an off night, but last night was far from beyond an off night, it was like a catastrophic failure. I was so unsatisfied with the meal that I did something that I have never done after a meal in New York: got pizza. 


Pistachio Milkshake- good


I guess like a colonoscopy, lets ease into this. The place is done up like a Pleasantville 1950s diner and the retro look stand out on the Bowery and I liked it. As the name says, it is a Diner and had all your usual diner fares but of course, being New York, they got a bit more than just flapjacks, omelets and burgers with whelks escargot style (which by the way, I did not get but sounds like something the Joe Beef guys got going on in there book, not starting anything, just putting it out there), cocktails, choucorute. Bowery Diner is a clash between a Bouchon and the American Diner. 


Brussel Sprouts- Okay




I stopped in here around 6 and the place was about a little over half full and decided to get a quick bite. Being a diner, I needed a milkshake (boozy ones offered as well), and I got the pistachio flavored one. I ordered the Bowery Special and a side of Brussel Sprouts because you need to get some veggies in some how. 


The good which unfortunately is not going to take to long:


1. the milkshake is hard to mess up and they were thankfully able to do this sucessfully and sadly the highlight of the everything. Also gave you the excess milkshake that did not make the cup which is always good
2. brussel sprouts was cooked with bacon and got the flattop treatment and had a nice char
3. the pickle that came with the burger. 


Okay, we eased into it, take a deep breath, try to relax and bend over:


Bowery Special- bad




the Burger the Bowery Special was topped with a pastrami patty done up in house, a beef patty, greyere and brown mustard. A nice rift on a a Rubuen. Apparently cooked to order is not really done here and I only had the choice of medium rare or medium. That is it. When I asked for the burger to be rare, I server, some dude with a Bro'd out fauxhawk ignored my clear request for a rare burger and when I insisted on a rare burger he reacted the way you should not react or respond:


faux grimace


"uhh we don't do rare here"


When I inquired why not here is another way to not respond


"we just like, don't"




This should of been my sign to leave. Like Napoleon marching into Russia and seeing snowfall, should have paid attention to the sign, and just turned the hell around.


After taking my order and bringing my milkshake. This would be the last time I would see my server. Oh, except when he cleared my stuff. 


The burger was a sad affair. the burger patty was mealy and apparently cooked to order did not matter because as dim as the lighting was, that was cooked beyond medium rare and closer to well done and "why are you abusing this meat". It lacked any beef flavor, mealy. The pastrami patty was just okay and was a step above the beef patty. the bun to meat ratio, even with 2 kinds of meat in it was clearly off and the bun was just "ehh". The fries which clearly took up the most real estate on the plate were greasy and limp. This was just a sad plate. The damned clown, and easily the fast food Ginger makes a better burger. I wanted to complain, but unannounced to me, I apparently had SARs or a contagious disease because no one was to be found. I had to flag down the hostess, just to get a side of mayonnaise.


Finally when my server made a cameo and cleared my plate, he did not even question the barely touched fries and the burger that was left, and if he did not really care, then I guess I just stopped caring either. 


This is probably the biggest negative review I have ever written so far in this blog and I hope there is only going to be limited to a few. This place just failed on so many levels and compared to his other venture, Motorino where the server actually questioned me of all was alright when I left pizza bones on the plate it does not seem possible that these two places are opened by the same person. The website to the Bowery Diner has a picture of a diner car being pushed over into the water which in truthfully ironic, because this is my exact feelings on this place. 




Bowery Diner 
241 Bowery
New York

bowerydiner.com/ 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crif Dogs

Om Nomz Hero Note to Self: Wrapping things in pork never goes out of style


Crif Dogs is one of the finest practitioners of the frying arts with a minor in wrapping things in bacon. I do not know how you cannot like Crif Dogs, unless you are a Hotdog purist Nazi. Looking at the menu, you can get a regular dog and but with so many choices, why would you just go for the regular hotdog here. About a good percentage of the menu features the hot dog being fried and has a direct correlation of it being wrapped in bacon. Pork on pork? Yes please.


I got the Jon-Jon Deragon dog that has cream cheese, scallions and everything bagel seasoning. The cream cheese on the dog would have been fine but the addition of the everything bagel seasoning is genius.

The Morning Jersey was a must order for me, being a native New Jerseyian, it had one of my favorite meats, Taylor Ham. And better yet? It was wrapped around the hotdog. Skipped heartbeat? Yes. From the grease and cholesterol? Unsure. 

The Morning Jersey is a deep fried hotdog wrapped in Taylor ham, with egg and cheese and no doubt homage to the most traditional of New Jersey breakfasts.

If you are drunk or sober, Crif Dogs is sure to satisfy any craving you got going on.