The Only “Best of” List You Need This Year: My Top Food Moments of 2018

Every time I run into someone I haven’t seen in a while, one of their first questions is inevitably, “You still doing the food thing?” Assuming they are talking about my interests and not whether or not I’m still eating regularly, yes, I am still pursuing my master’s degree in food studies (you can check out this earlier post if you’re confused about what that is). But I’ve done a really poor job of keeping up with my writing, which is a shame because it brings me a sense of purpose and immense joy.

Now that Christmas is over and the flood of “New Year, New You!” marketing is upon us, I am setting a goal and declaring my intention to the universe. In 2019, I will write more, whether that’s on this blog or, hopefully, more mainstream publications. There are so many important discussions happening in the food world, and it’s not all Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out (although that topic has its merits). From farming and climate change, to culinary diplomacy, to massive acquisitions of organic foodstuffs by old guard mega-producers, there are many topics that deserve your time and attention.  

Before we dive into the new year, I first want to look back at some of my personal favorite defining food moments of 2018: 

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1. Sqirl’s Ricotta Toast

I kicked off the year in Los Angeles at Sqirl, an influential and “healthyish” breakfast and lunch spot that is undeniably Instagrammable. Look at this fucking Brioche Toast with Ricotta and Jam.

2. Mole Tasting

In March, I took a week-long course with my classmates in Mexico, learning about the influence of maize in the region. More about that here, but the culinary highlight was this mole tasting in Puebla, the birthplace of mole poblano.

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3. Peter Luger’s Burgers

Peter Luger is known for pricey steaks, but we made a pilgrimage just for the burgers. It was absolutely worth it, and a much more economical way to get in the door and still celebrate a special occasion.

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4. Homemade

Strawberry Pie

I baked a lot of pies this year, but this Memorial Day strawberry lattice pie was my favorite, even if (or maybe because?) it looks like it’s bleeding.

5. Table on Ten’s

Peach and Corn Pizza

In July, Piyal and I took a weekend trip to Table on Ten, a farm-to-table pizza restaurant in the Catskills with a renovated upstairs hotel space. This peach, corn, and mozzarella pizza sounds weird but was probably the best thing we ate all summer.

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6. Make America Dinner Again

As part of my studies this past semester, I worked with non-profit Make America Dinner Again, an organization I wrote about for Civil Eats here. Their mission is to bring liberals and conservatives together over a meal to find common ground and re-learn respectful discourse. Here is the group that I hosted three dinners with, but more to come on this in 2019.

7. Cooking Class Paella

When visiting Barcelona this fall, Piyal and I took a cooking class that lead us through famous market La Boqueria to collect ingredients and then prepare them in a small-group setting. We made this paella with a lot of very potent ingredients, including the squeezed leftover contents of a cuttlefish liver. As I’ve mentioned before, pungent seafood is not my favorite, but I’m proud of myself for trying it.

8. Celebrity Cruise’s Animated Meal

In probably my strangest food moment of 2018, I went on a short Celebrity Edge cruise with my family and dined at an interactive restaurant experience called “Le Petite Chef”. The dining tables and plates were set up below projectors built into the ceiling. Before each course, an animated show danced on and next to our plates to tell the origin stories of each dish. See for yourself at this link.

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9. Classmate’s Indian Feast

At the end of the semester, Piyushaa, an exchange student from London Business School, prepared a heartfelt spread of her family’s Indian recipes for a small group from our class. Moments like these make me grateful to have found the Food Studies program and all the thoughtful, talented people that come with it.

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10. Homemade Rainbow Cookies

Last but not least, I made these fucking rainbow cookies from scratch. Look at them. They’re breathtaking. But still not sexy enough for the two nights I spent baking them. I probably won’t do this again. Lesson learned.

On Mexican Crickets, Hypocrisy, and Shame

“If you want to be more adventurous and get more crunch, try the larger crickets.”

I did not want to try the larger crickets. I did not even want to try the smaller crickets. But in Mexico, on the second day of a week-long academic adventure with my classmates, I was being asked to face one of my fears head on, or more accurately, antennae on.

My fear is not of eating bugs, but rather of being found out as a small-minded hypocrite amongst my peers. Friends and family know me for my enthusiasm and passion for food, which has lead me to pursue a graduate degree to study the economic, social, and cultural aspects of the topic. But only those very close to me know one of my deepest, most shameful secrets: I am not an adventurous eater. I am not into offal, or steak tartare, or oysters. The thought of splitting open a lobster does not excite me – it confuses me with the amount of effort required for so little reward. Spicy foods are unpleasant at best, and brutally painful most of the time. I don’t even like sushi.

“You must not have had good sushi before,” a shocked new friend will inevitably inform me.

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It’s not that I haven’t tried. I’ve sampled all of these items once or twice, and I try sushi about once a year, just to silence the skeptics. But it is never a pleasant experience. The raw fish, rare animal parts, and tongue-tingling delicacies that delight my classmates and friends just don’t appeal to me. My list of favorite foods sounds like the last meal request of an American inmate whose palate stopped developing at age seven. Give me cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, waffles, and chocolate ice cream with sprinkles, and I’ll die an unimaginative, but happy, death.

I knew that going on an international trip with the specific intent to study another culture’s gastronomy with some seriously passionate and open eaters was going to push me out of my comfort zone. While most Americans think of nachos and burritos when they think of Mexican cuisine, the traditional fare is a rich blend of ancient and modern, with many culinary traditions originating from pre-colonial indigenous cultures. Chapulines, or crickets, are fried, tossed in a variety of spices, and eaten as a crispy snack in the outdoor marketplaces that dot the bustling streets of Mexico City. They are also incredibly healthy and sustainable – crickets are high in protein, low in fat, and require much less fuel to raise than traditional livestock. Even though insects have been notably absent from the diets of North Americans and many Europeans, a recent article in Forbes says 80% of countries in the world already feature them as a normal food staple.

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As growing economies like China and India develop middle classes with a taste for meat, many scientists believe eating insects is the key to solving the world’s upcoming protein debt. Entrepreneurs worldwide have started betting on their success with the use of cricket flour for baked goods and processed cricket meat for nuggets. At an academic and environmental level, I am a huge supporter of eating insects. They are nutritious, better for the planet, and can be raised and sold by nearly anyone, regardless of social class or land-owning status. But the “ick” factor still radiates from the base of my throat whenever I think about consuming them myself. How do I reconcile such strong cognitive dissonance between my brain and my mouth?

I turned towards Nico, our handsome culinary tour guide, and surveyed the spread of insects on the silver tray he held with his outstretched arm. “I’ll just try a little one,” I said in a tiny voice, pinching the crispy legs of a critter that had been cooked in salt and garlic. I tossed it into my mouth, chewed just long enough to get a hint of flavor, and swallowed quickly, clearing any extraneous body parts from the inside of my cheeks. It tasted a little nutty and had the texture of the burnt, overly fried bits you find in the pan after making hash browns. It certainly wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t rushing back to pick up the larger insects and risk feeling the separate thorax, legs, and antennae swish around on my tongue.

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As my classmates began nodding excitedly and chatting about their enjoyment of the morsels, I flashed a quick smile and stayed quiet. I survived another day of my contradictory existence as an unadventurous food lover, and my secret shame remained hidden with me.

Whole Foods 365 Opened in Downtown Brooklyn And It's Actually Cheaper Than You Think

There are few things I love in this world more than a good supermarket. One of my favorite ways to de-stress after a hectic day is to stroll through the neatly stacked displays, alone and anonymous, feeling thankful to be present in this moment in culinary history. Five kinds of extra sharp cheddar, pre-spiralized butternut squash noodles, Root Beer Float flavored Chips Ahoy - what a time to be alive! In this blog, I've previously written impassioned announcements of the arrival of Trader Joe's and Wegmans outposts in New York City locations:

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Adding to my collection of real and poorly edited images with markets, join me in triumphantly welcoming Whole Foods 365 to Downtown Brooklyn!

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Whole Foods 365 opened this past Wednesday in the bottom floor of 300 Ashland, one of the myriad of luxury high-rises in the area. The budget-friendly store is a smaller version of its big brother, Whole Paycheck. But is it actually easier on your wallet?

I compared the prices of staple items here to my normal grocery store, the Stop and Shop at Atlantic Terminal, five minutes away from 365. Much to my surprise, 365 is beating Stop and Shop in pricing for nearly every item. See below for a detailed breakdown:

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In addition to being cheaper, 365 is downright classy. Here's a photo tour of the new digs:

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Saige C., who lives in East Flatbush but works in the area, struck up a conversation as I devoured a quick dinner from the hot bar.  When I asked her how she felt about the store, her feelings were mixed.

"I'm proud of the jobs the new store is creating," said Saige, "but I think their use of Fort Greene all around the store is unnecessary. We're in Downtown Brooklyn, which is already pretty gentrified. They should stop trying to make Fort Greene part of their brand."

But if your sustainable seafood doesn't come from a neighborhood with tree-lined, brownstone speckled streets, is it even worth buying?

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The Museum of Ice Cream is as great as it sounds

OMG did you know there's a Museum of Ice Cream now in New York City? Are you just finding out about this? Do you think that would be a fun thing to do? giphy

Too bad. By the time the news hit The New York Times, all 30,000 tickets for the limited-time, summer-only pop up museum were sold out.

Thanks to being a loyal Gothamist reader, I found out about the museum on July 9th and promptly bought four tickets at $15/each face value. I put my tickets up for sale last week on Craigslist for a day for $150, a 900% markup, just to see if they would sell. I had 5 inquiries within 24 hours, and one threatening email telling me, "That's honestly ridiculous, greedy and downright outrageous. I hope you have zero luck selling these tickets." While the lady had a point, she clearly didn't realize how far people are willing to go to experience this limited-time engagement.

If you're shit out of luck and don't want shell out one hundred fifty smackaroos, don't fret: Little Girl Big Mouth is here to show you exactly what you're missing. Sorry. (Not sorry.)

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Room 1: Ice cream! That you eat!

I had a pretty deep rooted fear that the Museum of Ice Cream was just going to involve looking at ice cream and talking about ice cream and there wouldn't be any real ice cream consumption. Thankfully, my suspicions were proved wrong within two seconds of entering the building. You start the tour with a custom scoop of ice cream made especially for the museum.

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Different local ice cream vendors will be offering scoops of custom creations depending on when you visit the museum. Scoop schedule:

7.29 - 8.8: Blue Marble & Kellogg's 8.10 - 8.15: Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. 8.17 - 8.22: McConnell's Fine Ice Cream & Maman 8.24 - 8.31: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory 8.8 & 8.15: Black Tap

Room 2: Edible balloons that aren't ice cream but are still fun

This room is called the "cone room" because it's decorate with a bunch of waffle cone paraphernalia, but the real star of the show is the candy balloon filled with helium that they hand each patron. The balloon is pretty sticky and disgusting but the results are fun:

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Room 3: Creating the world's biggest sundae with freakish non-melting ice cream

This room was a dud. They tell you some history about ice cream and then ask everyone to pick up a sticky scooper and spoon out some magical non-melting ice cream to throw on top of a goblet. You don't get to put anything in your mouth in this room, so it is inherently less fun. They also encourage you to take a selfie with the oversized bowl of unknown substance. Non-melting ice cream is an abomination and it upsets me.

 

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Room 4: The chocolate room, where you can put things in your mouth again

Chocolate! Everyone loves chocolate! This was mostly a space filled with projector screens showing images of flowing liquid chocolate. There was a chocolate fountain in the corner but they tell you in advance not to touch it or drink from it, which I get for hygenic reasons, but still a bummer. Thankfully, there are individually wrapped Dove chocolates all over this room for you to eat while marveling at the melting imagery on the walls.

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Room 5: This is what you came for: the (fake) sprinkle pool

The sprinkle pool at the MOIC is probably going to be in the top 5 things instagrammed in NYC this summer. The museum has been pushing this image hard in their promotional efforts, and for good reason: the thing is pretty fucking cool and everyone looks glamorous in a backdrop of rainbows. The caveat: it's not real sprinkles. The pool is filled with little plastic beads that you find in between your toes hours later. Next to the pool, there are plastic bins filled with gummies, more chocolate, and other sugar delivery devices, so you can literally have your cake and eat it too, or in this case, have your candy and eat it in a pool full of imitation sprinkles.

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Room 6: Take this pill and eat this ice cream that came out of nowhere, you'll be fine, I swear.

As you enter this room, an attendant gives you a pellet of concentrated synsepalum ducificum, more commonly known as magic berries (you can buy them on Amazon for $15/pack). The chemicals in the pellet bind to the sweet receptors on your tongue and make sour food taste sweet for about a half hour. To test the effects, a spooky glove-covered hand appears from behind a wall and hands you tart frozen yogurt and lemon slices.

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Room 7: Tinder is here for some reason

The final room is sponsored in part by Tinder, which doesn't have much to do with ice cream, but okay sure we'll go with it. There's a giant ice cream sandwich you can swing on and an ice cream scoop see-saw. But, again, nothing to put in your mouth, so kind of a lackluster finale.

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So that's the museum! I got to put things in my (little girl big) mouth in 5 out of 7 rooms, and that's more than I get in a normal museum, so this was an overall win. Go team!

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MealPass! Like ClassPass, but food.

For those of you that don't obsessively scan the NYC food blogs, YUUUGE news on the weekday lunch beat: MealPass is coming and it could very possibly change your life. If you work between 10th St and 34th St, between 3rd Ave and 8th Ave, LISTEN UP. You work in the MealPass zone. (Those outside the zone are welcome to keep listening.) Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.04.06 AM

MealPass is a lunch subscription service brought to you by the creators of ClassPass. You pay $99/month and get access to one lunch per day at over 120 restaurants in the Midtown/Flatiron area. Each restaurant offers one option each day, and the following day's menu is posted at 7:00PM the night before. As long as you order by 9:30AM that day, you can waltz into the restaurant, skip the line, pick up your item from the cashier, and sashay out like queen of the world. If the service works the way MealPass claims it should, some potential pros and cons:

The Pros:

Price. The most exciting part of MealPass? The cost. For $99/month, with five weekday meals included, that breaks down to about $5 per meal if you use it every day. This is significantly cheaper than newly launched lunchtime players Maple ($12), Fastbite by Caviar ($15-$17), and UberEats ($16-$20). Put all that extra money in your Roth IRA like the millennial your parents wish you were.

Speed. Have you ever waited in a sweetgreen line a few weeks before peak #croptopseason? Brutal. Your meal will be ready at a designated time and you can get back to work faster.

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Options. MealPass currently has 120 restaurants in its roster, and that's just for the initial launch. Stand out selections include Blue Smoke, Choza Taqueria, Joe's Pizza, and ilili Box.

The Cons:

Options. Wait, wasn't this just a pro? Having 120 options each day can lead to choice paralysis, or what I call "The Cheesecake Factory Effect". Maybe you want the Tex Mex Eggrolls, but shittttt what about the Louisiana Chicken Pasta, but damn the Factory Nachos look good oh FUCK IT just bring me ten loaves of the brown bread.

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Timing. You have to decide what you want for lunch either after 7:00PM the night before, or before 9:30AM that day. Good luck remembering to make your choices during the times you're least likely to be by a computer.

Portions. MealPass launched in Boston and Miami in January. If you can get past the impassioned bickering about the size of a normal cheeseburger, this Boston Chowhound thread shows some early complaints about portion sizes being significantly smaller than advertised.

Delivery. Per the laws of physics, my body at rest in my desk chair tends to stay at rest. I'd actually have to get off my lazy ass and go outside with the masses to pick up the food.

The Verdict:

Who knows! The service launches today and my office is in Soho, so I'm not a great candidate. I'm doomed to $13 turkey sandwiches from Dean and Deluca and $8 pureed raspberries from Joe and the Juice, but if you're in MealPass' sweet spot, sign up here: https://mealpass.com/

Read more here:

MealPass, a ClassPass-Style Lunch Service, Launches in NYC This Week - Eater

Mealpass is a money-saving Classpass for your weekday lunch - Time Out NY

A tradition continues: LGBM and family try Japanese KitKats

My brother recently traveled to Tokyo, and knowing my fascination with foreign junk foods, he brought back some treats: purple sweet potato KitKats: DSC00641

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I first subjected my other family members to the confectionery experiment:

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And then summoned all of my bravery to try myself:

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See the full videos with all of the giggles and facial expressions here:

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BREAKING NEWS: TRADER JOE'S IS COMING TO MURRAY HILL

hearttj I've lived in Murray Hill for over 5 years. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not NOT proud of it.

When I first moved in, there was an overpriced, cramped D'Agostinos and a smelly, generally upsetting Gristedes. Times were bleak.

In 2012, Fairway arrived like a shiny beacon of prepared food-laden, produce-stacked hope. The subterranean space revolutionized my grocery game. But the cheap frozen foods and cheery Hawaiian-shirt clad staff of Trader Joe's was still 13 blocks away. Much too far for a Little Girl with Big Bags of food.

(Also there was this one time where a Trader Joe's checkout guy asked me out via a note in my bag of apples and we went out once and he told me his hobbies included drawing graffiti in subway tunnels but that is neither here nor there.)

EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TO CHANGE. Trader Joe's is moving into the old Food Emporium space on 32nd and 3rd Ave in fall of 2016. Looks like I'll be staying in my apartment in Fratty Hill for the rest of my life. Check out the original article below for more details:

Trader Joe's Coming to Kips Bay - DNAinfo

We're just waiting on you now Wegmans.

A Short Video Series: LGBM and Family Eat Weird New Zealand Gas Station Treats

While traveling with my family through New Zealand, we picked up some traditional and newly developed Kiwi snack foods at a local gas station. This gas station wasn't quite as special as the one in Australia because that one had kangaroo tails in the freezer next to the ice cream. kanga tails

While we didn't buy the frosty Aussie appendages, my family members were kind enough to sample their other New Zealand snacks on camera. Varying results below.

SPOILER ALERT - Pineapple lump face:

THE FULL REACTIONS:

Pineapple Lumps

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Vanilla Shake M&Ms

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L&P

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LGBM is going DOWN UNDER!

kiwilgbmkoala lgbm joeylgbm

G'day mates. As of this Friday, I will be embarking on a two week journey to Sydney and Ayers Rock in Australia and Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand with the fam. I will eat shrimp on the barbie and Vegemite (but not really) and whatever they eat in New Zealand. Are there kiwis in New Zealand or just the birds called kiwis? Is that an ignorant question?

Also, THIS:

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Baonana Split aka fried bao w/ice cream, fresh bananas, salted peanuts & Nutella from Belly Bao in Sydney. Yaaaaaaassss.

Any other reccos?

Grilled Cheese and Entrepreneuship: My article in the Cornell Alumni Magazine

In an unbelievable stroke of luck, the Cornell Alumni Magazine let me write an article about my favorite thing in the world: grilled cheese. Spencer Rubin '08, owner of Melt Shop, spoke with me about his adventures in cheese grilling and what it takes to start a fast casual empire. This is what it looks like in print in the July/August issue, out now: Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 8.56.01 PM

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You can read the full article online here: Earl of Sandwich

Celebrate America with Melted Cheese and New Restaurants

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You can't blame Boehner for getting emotional - that is some sexy cheese. I also may have cried while eating it.

Get out of your backyard (if you're lucky enough to have one) and head to one of these new or newish restaurants in NYC.


Santina

This new hot spot right under the High Line is always full of beautiful, trendy people. The palm trees and colorful dishware make you feel like you're on the Mediterranean coast. The food is light but pricey - buyer beware.

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Cecina with avocado trapenese. Fancy words for chickpea pancake with Mediterranean guac.

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Kale salad

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Tortellini sorrentina - goat cheese tortellini

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Bonus round - Cocktail: Manganelli punch. Comes in a fun pineapple great for taking hilarious "Look I'm drinking out a pineapple!" pictures.

Get it here: 

Santina - 820 Washington Street


Upland

Everyone's been raving about this new Flatiron place for dinner, but I actually liked it better for brunch. And the room glows with gold light so it makes you feel like your robbing the gold bar supply from a bank. A delicious, heavy breathing-inducing bank.

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Pastry Basket - house-made grapefruit pound cake, baguette, bacon and chive scones, cinnamon sugar donuts, lemon poppy muffin, butter + jam

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Spanish frittata - roasted garlic mayonnaise, espelette + chives. A Spanish tortilla masquerading as a frittata. Still good.

Get it here: 

Upland - 345 Park Ave South


Maman

I'm gonna start some shit when I say this: Maman is the new Levain Bakery. If you don't feel like shlepping to the Upper West Side and waiting on a 20 minute line for a cookie, Maman's are just as good.

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Chocolate chip walnut cookie

Get it here:

Maman - 239 Centre St


Gato

This is Bobby Flay's newest Spanish influenced NYC restaurant. Most of my pictures from here came out really shitty because I had just gotten a new camera and didn't know what the hell I was doing, so here's one of the most popular and unique appetizers: scrambled eggs.

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Scrambled eggs, almond romesco, boucheron cheese, tomato confit toast

Get it here:

Gato - 324 Lafayette St


Root and Bone

Southern food is my favorite type of food. I have an unrefined palate and I don't like sushi or clams or beef tartare or basically anything that "foodies" should like. I might be the worst, but Root and Bone is the best.

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Apricot and ricotti bruschetta

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Grilled peach caprese - gooey pimento cheese croquette, charred peaches, pickled green tomatoes, baby heirloom tomatoes, basil & molasses vinegar

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Macaroni and cheese - big pasta, crunchy cheese & biscuit thyme crust

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Fried chicken & waffle sandwiches - whisky maple syrup, pickled green tomato, watercress, on a cheddar cheese waffle. We didn't even order this but they brought it to us by mistake and I wasn't mad.

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Crispy chicken biscuits - tabasco pepper jam, jar of pickles & root chips

Get it here:

Root and Bone - 200 E 3rd St


Raclette

The mothership. This shoebox in the East Village has literally 6 seats in it. You order a plate of vegetables, potatoes, and meat, and they come by with this giant wedge of hot cheese and melt it on top of your food. They have a few other things here but why bother: you know why you came.

They're doing a solid business in takeout, which I don't really understand, because how does the cheese melting work? Does the delivery guy come with the wedge of cheese and the contraption that melts it and do it for you in your living room while you watch your 5th episode of Law and Order SVU? Or, much worse, is the cheese pre-melted? Just do yourself a favor and get here ASAP.

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Get it here:

Raclette - 195 Avenue A

 

HELLO I'M WRITING AGAIN!

For my first published article since October, click here for a review of Brod Kitchen's smorrebrod - open faced Danish sweet and savory sandwiches. They didn't have as much cheese as I like but I made an exception because this one has Nutella, hazelnuts, dates, and mint. nuttela

Now that I'm no longer working my day job in food, I need to get my fix elsewhere, so expect more of these soon.

Beignet, Done That - The LGBM Guide to New Orleans

In what will likely be one of the most gluttonous trips of my life (but not the most because no one should underestimate my future ability to eat delicious junk), I traveled to New Orleans and ate for three days straight. Here I am in GIF form enjoying a beignet from Café Du Monde: Beignet

And if you want to get up close and personal with that fine piece of legendary sugar and dough:

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Was it delicious? Yes. Was it the best thing I had in New Orleans? No. Read on to find out what made it to the top of my list of N'awlins eats and lots more Cajun delicacies.


Commander's Palace is as old school as it gets, setting up shop in 1880. And Wikipedia says, "It was ranked the most famous restaurant in New Orleans," so it was obviously our first stop.

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French 75 - Gin, champagne, lemon juice, sugar

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Turtle soup (with 100% real turtle)

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CRAZIEST MENU ITEM: Mardi "Foie" - Black skillet seared Hudson Valley foie gras over foie gras and cream cheese stuffed beignets with a Abita root beer-foie gras ice cream float. Shiiiitttt.

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Pecan crusted gulf fish with crushed sweet corn, spiced pecans, petite herbs, and Prosecco poached Louisiana blue crab

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Creole bread pudding soufflé

Get it here:

Commander's Palace – 1403 Washington Ave – 504-899-8221


Ruby Slipper Café is perfect for a really decadent brunch and a heart attack.

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Bananas foster pain perdu

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Eggs cochon (Ruby Slippers "signature item") - Slow-cooked apple-braised pork debris sitting on a homemade buttermilk biscuit, topped with poached eggs, finished with hollandaise

Get it here:

The Ruby Slipper Café – multiple locations – 504-525-9355


Pat O'Briens is the best time on Bourbon Street.

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This giant sugar-laden red drank is a Hurricane, their signature cocktail. It will have you singing Taylor Swift karaoke on a stage full of strangers.

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Get it here:

Pat O'Briens – 718 Saint Peter Street – 504-525-4823


Go to Apolline just for this epic bloody mary:

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Pickled green beans, bacon, buttermilk biscuits, shrimp, celery, lemon, lime - in a drink.

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Or come for this cinnamon bacon with brown sugar and pecans.

Get it here:

Apolline – 4729 Magazine Street – 504-894-8881


GW Fins is a fancy seafood place for fancy ladies and gents.

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Lobster dumplings with fennel, tomato, and lobster butter

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Parmesan crusted drum with asparagus, crispy capers, jumbo lump crab, Meyer lemon, brown butter

Get it here:

GW Fins – 808 Bienville Street – 504-581-3467


I obviously had to eat a po' boy, but I opted for a non-traditional variety at Killer Poboys, a po' boy pop-up in the back of a bar. And they are SERIOUS about the fact that it's a bar - the badass lady chef verbally chastised two young-looking boys for trying to buy a sandwich. The boys were terrified but the rest of us were quite amused.

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Glazed Pork Belly Poboy - NOLA rum & ginger cane syrup, lime slaw, garlic aioli

Get it here:

Killer Poboys – Back of the Erin Rose Bar at 811 Conti St 


Our final meal was at local celebrity chef John Besh's pizza mecca Domenica. From 2pm - 5pm every day, they have half priced glasses of wine, bellinis, and pizzas; best deal in town.

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Half margherita and half gorgonzola with speck, apples, and honey

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Roasted cauliflower with sea salt and whipped feta

Get it here:

Domenica – 123 Baronne Street - 504-648-6020


So what was the best thing I ate in New Orleans? An unassuming local donut hole called a buttermilk drop at Wink's Bakery.

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Buttermilk drops are part cake, part donut. When I asked what made them so good, the person behind the counter said, "We use the real stuff to fry them." I don't think I want to know what that means, but this was definitely the best bite I had in all of New Orleans. Better than a beignet. Trust me.

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Get it here:

Wink's Bakery – 1218 Decatur Street - 504-309-2481

LGBM 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! And Africa Sneak Peek

LGBM 1 YEAR OLD One year ago today, I started this little experiment in food, bad GIFs, inappropriate language, and general lunacy. Thank you to everyone who has ever read a post, or told me they read a post, or even LIKED a post. I am incredibly thankful to all of you and have had the best time watching this project blossom into something I'm actually proud of. If you want to reminisce about the good old days, scroll down to find the "Old Stuff" header on the right hand side where you can browse old posts and see how LGBM has evolved.

Other big news, I'm back from Africa. I have content coming out of my ears so its going to take me several weeks to get all of the posts out, but for now, here is some sneak peek footage of my dad trying crocodile in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4FM_-85dsI?rel=0]

And I also wanted to apologize for verbally shitting on biltong in my first Africa post (found here). The dried game meat isn't really that bad.

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Africa Eats - Coming Soon!

LGBM LION KING In exactly one week from today, I will be flying to South Africa for a 2 week journey filled with animals, waterfalls, selfies in safari hats, and copious amounts of family time. I also assume there will be food. I don't know much about South African cuisine, except that their version of beef jerky, called biltong, is thicker and not sweet. It also looks like shit:

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Hopefully it tastes better than it looks and I will eat and write about lots of other delicious, non-shit-looking things.

Before I go, anyone have any good food-related book recommendations?

Where to Eat, Drink, and Debate the Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae in Ithaca - Behind the Scenes

I wrote an article this past Friday for the Village Voice about one of my favorite places in the world: Ithaca, NY. You can check out most of the amazing things I ate here: Where to Eat, Drink, and Debate the Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae in Ithaca For some other awesome eats that ended up on the cutting room floor, keep reading:

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The BoatYard Grill, named for its location next to the boat docks on Lake Cayuga, is a perfect place for outdoor dining and sunset watching. The seafood is decent, but for a real treat, get the sizzling cookie served on a hot skillet and topped with banana ice cream.

Get it here:

The BoatYard Grill - 525 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY 14850 - 607-256-2628 


 

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Backyard Bakeshop is another stellar stand at the Ithaca Farmers Market for both sweet and savory baked goods. Pictured here: a roll stuffed with cheddar and artichoke served warm, raspberry chocolate shortbread, and apricot pecan shortbread. Get there early if you want a crazy huge, fresh-baked cinnamon roll.

Get it here:

Backyard Bakeshop @ Ithaca Farmers Market - 545 3rd Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 


 

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While I already mentioned both Collegetown Bagels and Ithaca Bakery in the Village Voice story, I didn't get to talk about their pizza bagel, which deserves its own article. While these are nothing like the puny, limp Bagel Bites of your youth, they're still just as good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or if you're in college (or back in Ithaca pretending to be like I was), they're also good at 2AM.

Get it here:

Ithaca Bakery and Collegetown Bagels, several locations


Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a note in my Contact section!

4th of July at The Dutch - Corn Dogs and Peach Pie

Happy Birthday America! Can't believe you're finally 2014 years old! (JK.)

Here are some photos of the Ameridiculous cookout menu that was served at The Dutch yesterday. May your long weekend be filled with lots of goodies as rich and fattening as the dishes below. Because THAT'S what it means to be an American.

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Mexican Street Corn with Lime, Chile, and Cotija Cheese

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Corn Dog Stuffed with Cheddar

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Texas-Style Smoked Brisket Plate, Watermelon, Hawaiian Sweet Roll, Potato Salad with Bacon

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Peach Pie, Blackberry - Buttermilk Ice Cream

Get it here:

The Dutch – 131 Sullivan Street, NY, NY 10012 – 212-677-6200