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:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVAoPmlKITA&w=560&h=315]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGgjiWEhLMs&w=560&h=315]

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

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5g2yqpI6v8[/embed]

Vanilla Shake M&Ms

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnKz4ScApJo[/embed]

L&P

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYsHxwZPs2I[/embed]

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

boehner cheese

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

 

UPDATE: Ice Cream Winner and Revised Menu

The 2010 Reunion Ice Cream Social Poll is now closed. You all are a bunch of weirdos: out of 58 votes, Bavarian Raspberry Fudge won by a landslide. Bavarian Raspberry Fudge? Do you hate America and puppies and babies in miniature versions of grown up clothing?

Whatever. You've spoken. You'll get your satanic Bavarian Raspberry Fudge. The obvious choice was Peanut Butter Mini, but I hope you enjoy your Fascist farce of a flavor.

There will also be three other TBD varieties, so don't fret if your favorite didn't win.


In other news, the menu I listed for Friday night's dinner is a little wrong. Here's the revised menu (which is better and more exciting and has a whole Italian dessert station):

Friday, June 5th 
Dinner
Italian favorites – salad bar, garlic bread sticks, pizza station - cheese and pepperoni, pasta bar - alfredo sauce, marinara sauce, italian meatballs with marinara (served with red pepper and italian cheeses), tuscan vegetables, Cornell Dairy ice cream, Italian dessert stations, cream puffs, chocolate eclairs

EXCLUSIVE: Cornell 2010 Reunion Food Preview and Important Ice Cream Query

brblgbm
For all my fellow Cornellians, Little Girl Big Mouth has the exclusive behind-the-scenes look at everything being served at the Class of 2010 5th Reunion from June 4th-7th. Of equal importance (some might even say MORE importance), LGBM readers have the immense privilege and responsibility of deciding what Dairy Bar flavors will be served at the Class of 2010 Ice Cream Social. Vote below and scroll down to read each day's menus and plan your stomach contents accordingly.
[polldaddy poll=8875857]
Thursday, June 4th 
Late Night Food
30 pizzas (cheese, pepperoni, buffalo chicken, bbq chicken, mushroom, green peppers, onions, black olives, hot peppers), 375 mozzarella sticks, 200+ servings of french fries

Friday, June 5th 
Breakfast
Continental breakfast - fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, assorted muffins/pastries and bagels, coffee/tea/juice
Wine Tour Lunch
If you're not going on the Wine Tour, you're on your own suckasss. But if you are...
Choice of sandwich (turkey, spring mix, brie, plum chutney OR fresh mozzarella, tomato, mayo, basil pesto OR hummus, roasted red peppers, sprouts), bag of chips, jumbo cookie, bottled water
Dinner
Italian favorites - caesar salad, garlic bread sticks, chicken parmigiana, veggie lasagna, sauteed veggies, fettuccine alfredo, cream puffs, chocolate eclairs
Late Night Food 
Buttloads of assorted sandwiches and goodies

Saturday, June 6th
Breakfast
Continental breakfast - fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, assorted muffins/pastries and bagels, coffee/tea/juice
Midday Snack
Flavors TBD by YOU!
Did you vote yet? SCROLL BACK UP WTF YOU WAITING FOR?
Dinner
Southern cuisine - pulled pork, Texas BBQ chicken, macdaddy & cheese (that's mac and cheese for us Yankees), buffalo blue slaw, stuffed portobello mushrooms, spinach salad, cookies
Late Night Food
216 pounds of wings, onion rings, french fries, salad

Sunday, June 7th
Breakfast
Continental breakfast - fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, assorted muffins/pastries and bagels, coffee/tea/juice

And don't forget:
158 cases of beer
31 cases of wine
61 cases of juice and soda
Over 100 gallons of water
Plus tons of snacks still TBD!

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.

If you live in NYC, please let me give you $10

carrying money2 Munchery, one of the latest players in the somewhat-prepared meal delivery space, just launched in NYC. Their private chefs create a couple of entrees, sides, desserts, and drinks, and you can order any combination of them to be delivered to your door around dinnertime. It's way easier than Blue Apron or Plated, because the meals are already fully made, so you won't have to spend the suggested 25-35 minutes preparing dinner (or in my case, chopping lemon rind and thinly slicing rainbow chard for 2 hours). The meals arrive "chilled" but not frozen, so they just need to be popped into the microwave or oven. You can order a week in advance or same day.

Some sample items from next week's menus:

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Honey-Tea Braised Chicken Thigh

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Seared Spring Salmon

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Celeriac, Fennel, and Apple Soup

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Banana Cream Pie

Want some free food? Click the link below to create your account, and get a $10 credit. Bam.

Click Me For $10 Free from Munchery!

A Fried Oreo and A Life Change

This is a tough one to write.

After some of the most wonderful times with the most extraordinary people, today is my last day at Cater2.me. I'm moving to a really awesome opportunity at CommonBond, a start-up that is changing the way grad students get and pay their student loans. My role will be helping borrowers make sense of the system, so instead of making people happy with meals, I'll be making them happy with large amounts of money, which some people like even more than food!

Even though this is a step forward for my career, I'm incredibly sad to be leaving behind such an amazing group of people. And even more than the people, I'll miss all the free food.

JUST KIDDING JUST KIDDING PEOPLE > FOOD

For my final days, one of my favorite catering managers, Jason from Papaya King (yes, that Papaya King!), came by with farewell fried oreos, because there's no better way to say goodbye than with obscene carnival cuisine.

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That is a FRIED STRAWBERRY OREO.

Thankfully, my new company uses Cater2.me's services, so I'll still be getting awesome lunches once a week. I'll keep posting pics and writing about ludicrous food news and trends, so stay tuned.

To the next adventure!

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