Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Best Things I've Eaten Lately

Hello! I'd like to tell you about some things I've eaten over the last month-ish.

Several Saturdays ago I went out to Long Island City with Karrie and her mom...

Because Henry from my high school swim team has opened up a stand selling Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches on the weekend.

Maybe I was just starving, maybe I missed Johnnie's real bad, but this Italian beef knocked my socks off. Very impressed! His place is called Hank's Juicy Beef, go check it out!

And then a Sunday or two later I undertook a simple but ambitious task, to pan roast a chicken like my Sean Brock cookbook says to. First I woke up early and cut the backbone out of my chicken,

And used it to make my own stock...here's the boring part of stock making, where everything is in the pot before it has even started to simmer.

Then that night, when it was dinner time, I made this little boat to roast garlic with salt and sugar in, just like the book told me to.

And then I cut the chicken in half and salt and peppered it.

The recipe called for cast iron pans, so I ran all over the city looking for a 12" pan, it proved a very difficult mission. So Victoria just ordered two on Amazon Prime and they showed up in time to make dinner. Here the chickens sit in the pans, pressed down by other pans, to get started in their cooking on the stove before moving to the oven for roasting.

Here's the chicken, crisped but not yet complete.

Andrea and Victoria came over for the chicken cooking. Here Andrea takes a break from whisking the pan sauce while Victoria roasts some Brussels sprouts.

And here we are: chicken all roasted, with parsley and garlic on top and pan sauce beneath. The recipe was simple, sort of, and the results spectacular. I will make this chicken again and I will do an even better job next time.

Dinner guests that are nuts about doing dishes and are good whiskers. What more could you ask for?

Well, I don't know, maybe $1 tacos? Mission Cantina began serving $1 tacos between 4 and 6pm, so I  could not resist taking a super-long, super-late lunch one Thursday with Trish. I ate tacos and guacamole until I could not bear any more happiness and it cost me maybe $7. Incredible.

Then one Tuesday night I checked out the Happiest Burger at West Village bar the Happiest Hour with Chelsea. It's a real serious burger,  just look at it! I bet it looks even better by daylight.

And then there was this Saturday where I met with Jessica at Underwest Donuts. It's a donut shop inside a car wash. 

I mean it's literally inside the car wash, you can watch the cars go through while you order your donuts. What a perfect thing to watch and eat a donut to.

Unless, of course, it's a beautiful day out. Then it would be better to eat the donuts on a nearby pier.

While I was eating those donuts started getting friendly texts from a mysterious number...turns out Rebecca and Derek were in town! First I ate pizza with them on Claire's roof Saturday night, then Sunday I was lucky enough to grab burgers with them at the Burger Joint because they were staying at the Parker Meridian.  

Then the next Tuesday I tried out Street Bird, this new Harlem hot spot, with Ashley. The place was jumping with long waits for tables but no waits for counters. People! Just sit at the counter!

The food was quite good, really liked the macaroni and cheese a lot.

Their main dish is their rotisserie chicken. But tell me, does this really look like half a chicken to you?

African fish tacos. They were just ok.

Cornbread. The spread it came with, made of, I don't remember, but it had a fish taste to it, anyway, that spread was killer.

One day at work we had ice cream.

And another day we had pizza.

And then on Saturday I ate what I'm going to call a Lebanese quesadilla from this place Manousheh on Bleecker. Really great. Middle Eastern food is having a moment, isn't it?

Then on Sunday I made cheeseburgers on my cast iron pan. This is a thing I'm going to keep working at, making cheeseburgers. And then I'm going to start having people over every Sunday night for burgers. I typed it and I posted it so you've got to hold me to it!

I tried out small, thin patties this week. I think I made them too small. 

Next time: one fewer pickle per bun. And less mayo.

Instead of tater tots I had broccoli. That will be the thing: cheeseburgers with a roasted vegetable at Brigham's.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Best Year So Far

Here's some 2015 stuff worth sharing that I haven't shared yet.

At the beginning of the year old roommate Nate brought Megan, his bride, to New York and I met up with them and Brent at Mighty Quinn's in the West Village. It was Fresh.

This is a cheeseburger. At Joe Junior's. Eaten with Chelsea and Brenda.

I made my own pork-lemongrass sausage and gave a shot at replicating one of the Vietnamese Breakfast dishes from Mission Cantina. Although there is too much white on this plate I promise it was good.

Remember that trip I took to California?

There's still some stuff about it I haven't told you. Like how I met up with Lucas upon arrival and we ate at Pot.

And then sampled a burger from some new big deal burger place.

I spent night one in LA with the Mapps at the Magic Castle. My goodness. What a night. Hope to be sharing a lot more about it soon.

One afternoon we went to the Huntington Library. I was there to check out the carnivorous plants.

Twohey's for sundaes and such is a must.

Got back to New York with plenty of time left (days, really) to make it to Andy's birthday party. Best party of the year, every year, I always say.

Remember how savage winter seemed? All that cold and snow?

One Saturday I went out into Brooklyn

To tour the renovations of the United Palace Theatre

It's a classic beauty, I'll give it that. But I'm a Loews Jersey man and we all know that.

I come home and find the most interesting things going on in my apartment sometimes.

There was a night I went with Grant, Kim and Lauren to Mile End to celebrate another Poutine Week.

Cheeseburger Poutine.

Italian Poutine.

And the winner, the Philadelphia Poutine.

One afternoon I made my own Chongqing Chicken so I am now fully independent from restaurants.

Another trip into Brooklyn, this time for Andrea's birthday

Don't you know about mordidas?

I got sick one Tuesday and went to see Paddington at 10am. Can you believe I was the only one there? Anyway. Movie was so good. So good. At the end there was some joke that made me laugh and laugh until I realized I couldn't remember what the joke had been.

Spent a week and a half or maybe two weeks eating pizza nonstop. The results are HERE but honestly I'd hoped you'd read them already.

Remember when Christian and I went to the All-Star Game? Turns out awesome new backpacks both full of NBA swag and full of NBA swag were a part of the deal. I can't wait to go on a trip and use mine!

Leslie was in town! With young Weston (not pictured)!

Spent a Saturday afternoon checking out the New Museum Triennial with Viviana.

The New Museum Triennial is a survey of what's happening with upcoming artists. It was a pretty good little show.

I wasn't with this guy, and I wasn't following him around...

But he kept turning up in my pictures

Tortoise costume. Wasn't allowed to try it on myself.

I'd been to the New Museum a number of times but never had been up to their Sky Deck.

Another Nolita/Bowery street art landmark is falling to developers. The developers. They always come.

One weekend Carol was in town with some Brits. I joined them for breakfast at Pies and Thighs.

Took a little break for a couple of hot dogs at Boulevard Drinks before a show at the Loews Jersey.

And then met back up with Carol and the Brits for Vietnamese Breakfast at Mission Cantina.

Mission Cantina bathroom mirror is a selfie must. I was trying to capture the reflection of the triangle in my eyes as one of the Brits had done before me. I did not succeed.

One Sunday morning I walk over to Andy's house for General Conference. I bring my Leica. It had been a while since the two of us had taken a walk together.

Hester Street Children's Choir. Feel pretty bad for you if your mom didn't buy you a personal microphone/speaker combo.

Well played, cat. Well played.

Captured the decisive moment when these street badminton players realized they'd roofed their shuttlecock. What ever happened to stickball?

Clever cake cone.

Don't worry. Your bike is still ok.

Got to Andy's to find him as studios as ever.

Andy is patient with my picture taking

But sometimes he's all "Why don't you take your own picture, Brigham?"