The Park Slope Gastronome

Back in Park Slope.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Work dinner at Po Brooklyn

Although it's listed on the menu, our table were served an amuse of the white bean bruschetta. It was generous with the oil and beans, but miraculously not soggy.

I shared a couple appetizers with my boss: polpetta di carne and marinated anchovies with barley. The meatballs were good, but I found the sauce overwhelming. I loved the chewy density of the barley, a very interesting and successful pairing with the little fish.

I loved, loved, loved my linguine vongole, a dish I grew up eating at the local pizzeria. As a kid, I felt exotic ordering it. You want that mixture of clam juice, white wine and garlic to coat the pasta, but not drown it. But you certainly don't want it dry. It's got to be soupy enough so you can sop it up with a nice hunk of bread. And it has to have just the right amount of parsley to provide a bite of freshness every so often. Po's super garlicky version met all the criteria. Plus there was pancetta and as we all know, everything tastes better with pork.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Amsterdam Part II (mostly about pancakes)

Caulils is a fantastic "delicatessen" that was down the street from our apartment (Haarlemerstraat 115). For an early lunch/late breakfast, while someone was still snoozing, I picked up an assortment of meats and cheeses from Caulils as well as an unremarkable baguette from the Albert Hein. I also bought a couple bottles of the house label AH beer that might have cost 20 Euro cents but we didn't get a chance to drink them. We alternated between yummy bites of Jamon Serrano Reserva, a fennel salami called Finnochiona, chorizo Pamplona and a wonderful organic Gouda called Wilde Weide. The next morning, the leftovers were turned into a sandwich that was a great alternative to dreadful, overpriced airport food.

After a fruitless search the night before, we finally found Japanese Pancake World (2e Egelantiersdwarsstraat 24a). The restaurant was a lot smaller than I had imagined. It was a bi-level space with a few tables downstairs and a couple stools upstairs at the grill.

Okonomiyakis in progress.

Dan ordered the o7 Shogayaki special with beef, spinach and onion, Osaka-style. The bonito shavings sprinkled on top are charmingly referred to as "dancing fish flakes."

I ordered a Hiroshima-style Butama, which came with pork, cheese and mushrooms, in addition to the noodles which are standard in this type of okonomiyaki, and one of the main differences from the Osaka-style.

After pancakes part 1, we weathered the line for the nearby Anne Frank Haus. We had been gauging the line our entire stay in Amsterdam and it never appeared to get shorter (except for once at 7:30PM when we walked past and there was no line). It was very cold outside. When we were finished with the tour, we were greeted with snow. We started walking back to the apartment but as we passed The Pancake Bakery (Prinsengracht 191), Dan decided we needed to end our trip with more pancakes.

This was the traditional style with cheese and green apples. Rod Stewart was playing on the hi-fi and if you watch the movie above, you'll notice Dan rocking out to our favorite bocce namesake.

I opted for the poffertjes - mini pillowy pancakes with lemon and syrup, blanketed with powdered sugar. These were soooo good. They were so chewy and delicious and not heavy at all like pancakes can sometimes be.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lunch at tHe BistrO (aka the HBO cafeteria)

A friend of mine recently started working at HBO and invited me over for lunch at their employee cafeteria. Despite its silly name, I was psyched.

Sensing my arrival, the featured cuisine was Korean! Thanks, guys. By the way, $0.30 an ounce is not a typo.

Even though I didn't like they way they spelled kimchi, I thought it was very bold of the HBO cafeteria workers to serve it for lunch. As much as I love to eat the food of my people, it makes me paranoid as hell. It's so pungent and the smells really freak people out. Even though Korean food is I guess a bit trendy these days, I am scarred for life from all the times that people made fun of me or made a big stink (no pun intended).

I had a little bit of both kinds: cucumber and carrots to the left, cabbage and of all things, water chestnuts on the right. Both were tasty! I'm going to guess they had a ringer on hand or imported the goods from a Korean market.

For the main portion of my lunch, I opted for the hanger steak special.

A very generous portion of steak, potato wedges and roasted cauliflower for $5.99! I had enough left over for lunch the next day. You know what $5.99 gets you in midtown? Not much! I'll scoop some beets onto my plate at Dishes and it's going to cost me $5.99! $5.99 barely gets you a medium soup at Hale & Hearty. THe BistrO is a dream come true. I also had a huge rice krispie treat and a Tea's Tea that, ironically, cost almost as much as my entree!

Lindsey had the salmon burger as a platter, with a trio of salads. One was jicama and some other stuff. I think it cost fifty-five cents. I wonder if Omar's eaten here.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

pre-bocce pie at lucali's

Finally ate at Lucali recently before heading to a bocce doubleheader. Ok, it was over a month ago but I forgot to post the photos. Dan and I shared a large pie with pepperoni and garlic, probably my favorite toppings combo. The pie was delivered piping hot with a crisp but tender crust (with a char on some pieces bordering on burnt) and blanketed with a generous sprinkling of grana padano. It was a lovely site and with a deliciousness to match. I should have stopped at the third slice, but the idea of an uneaten slice upset me so I powered through the fourth. At the time I felt great, but this would not be the case later in the evening.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Amsterdam Part I

On our first night in Amsterdam, we ate at the very cozy Eetcafe Rosereijn (Haarlemmerdijk 52) just down the street from the apartment we rented. We shared the beef stew special and a mozzarella, tomato and pesto salad.

We also drank many little glasses of Jupiler.

The most delicious frites with deliciously unctuous frits saus (aka delicious Dutch mayo) from Cafe Stevens Nieuwmarkt B.V. (Koningsstraat 3hs). I had a couple Palms and Dan also had a mint tea that was made by pouring hot water over a bunch of mint leaves. It was nice and refreshing. Did I mention it was snowing? What started off as a whipping rain, turned into a really beautiful snow of large flakes.

Tampopo (Haarlemmerdijk 168) is a stylish Asian specialty food shop, also located down our street. It looked great, but smelled kinda funky. I didn't appreciate the can of kimchi being lumped in the Japanese section but other than that, it's hard to not love a store named for a movie about the pursuit of a perfect bowl of ramen.

Ok, so we had some special baked treats at went to the Van Gogh museum. Afterwards I tried to lead us to Japanese Pancake World, but as my cognitive functions were still failing me, we wound up getting lost in the tiny streets of the Jordaan neighborhood. Eventually, we got back to the area we were staying in and we were starving. De Vries (Haarlemmerijk 1o8A was right across the street and we stumbled in. We ordered steak sandwiches and I, not realizing our sandwiches came with salads, also ordered a salad. Then Dan thought he saw nachos on the table across the way, so we asked for that. Moments later Dan realized the the nachos were not nachos, but in fact a floral centerpiece. But it turns out that De Vries does serve nachos and they were awful. They were made with paprika flavored Doritos. The food took forever to come out and because the meat was thrown on the grill in a lump half of it was cooked and the other half was raw.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008


Chocolate and salted caramel macarons from Pierre Herme (72, rue Bonaparte).

The plat du jour at bistrot Le Troisieme Chinon (56, rue des Archives) on March 18 was a steak bernaise.

Close-up of the crisp and delicious potatoes.

Korean in Paris! Japchae and plump mandoo, washed down with Hite at L'Arbre de sel (138, rue de Vaugirard)

Bulgogi for Dan and dolsot bibimbop for me. I had to request the kochujang! Dan's bulgogi could've used more garlic and sesame oil, but I guess you have to adapt a bit for a culture not accustomed to such spice and pungency.

Kimchi pancakes sound so exotic when written in French.

A beautiful and delicious roasted veggie salad from Il Croccantino (139, rue de Vaugirard), a tiny traiteur we sought refuge at on our rainy, last evening in Paris.

Pizza with parma ham made in the oven at the back of the store and served piping hot. We had the salad, pizza, a large piece of lasagna (nothing notable), three drinks and a couple cookies for 32 Euro, not bad at all even with the crummy exchange rate.

Birra makes DMR a happy man. So does making iMovies about Paris.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

SXSW - Day Four and Five

March 14
Las Manitas - Trip 3

chilquiles verdes

chilaquiles verdes shot 2, with cantaloupe aguas frescas and cinnamon coffee

High Places @ Emo's

Iron Cactus

queso! sadly, this was cold and watery.


tofu bibimbop with lots of fresh, crunchy vegetables. the kkochujang was surprisingly fiery.

Best Wurst Stand

a bratwurst with onions and kraut after the kill rock stars showcase signals the end of my sxsw.

March 15
Salt Lick Annex at Bergstrom International Airport

my flight was delayed a couple hours due to mechanical failure. i ate half a brisket sandwich.

brisket sandwich (view 2)

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

SXSW - Day Three

March 13
Las Manitas - Trip 2

i had back-to-back meetings here but i forgot to take a picture of my food. during the first, i just drank a small glass of carrot juice. for the second, i ordered some cinnamon coffee and the migas especiales con hongos. delicious.


meat combo platter with a big red to wash it down. i know it's hard to keep up with the volume during sxsw but this was a bust. the sausage was moist and juicy, but the brisket was dry and the beef rib mostly inedible.

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