Archives for posts with tag: Brooklyn
Breakfast, 7 am Qingdao
We found this place that looked similar to the food I had in X’ian.  It was just opening and it looked decent enough and more importantly there were photos of the food.. The photos were located high up so, there was a lot of pointing and charades going on.   i wasn’t confident of what were were getting but, it worked out.
a tomato and meat broth. There was a really nice, sesame oil back note. There was silky ribbons of egg and some homemade noodles in it.

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Qingdao is right on the water.. it is known for it’s seafood.  I mean, it’s known to me and people that are interested in food, for it’s seafood.. For a historian, or for a traveler, i am sure it’s known for lots of other things. For me, I know about the Tsingtao Beer, i know that it has some connection to Germany but, really, i know about the seafood.   There is a spectacular selection in the city and I am a seafood guy.. Big fan of Qingdao cuisine.

I love celery.. This dish was cold celery with sesame oil and these little shrimp.  really awesome. the quality of all the seafood in Qingdao is pretty awesome..


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My day had started in Newark NJ at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on December 10th, it was now 8 pm on November 11th in Beijing China.  After a 17 hour trip, i arrived at a hotel near the airport, in some industrial complex,  I would be catching a flight to Qingdao China, just 8 hours from then.  No time to unpack, no time to really take the 2 hour taxi ride the center of the city,  the best I could do was grab a shower,  grab some food and hopefully catch a few hours sleep before my early flight.

With a little effort, i learned there were two restaurants a few hundred yards away from the hotel.  We walked up and noticed one restaurant had two people sitting in it, the other had 20 people sitting in it.   In this instance, we decided to follow the crowd.

While traveling through China and in terms of eating, there a few things that are a saving grace.

1)Restaurant Menu’s with Photos:  While, English and Photos would obviously ideal, sometimes English could mean a tourist trap. Though, it is not always the case.. I have encounter English menus with photos in the most unlikely of places.  Places that have never seen an American.  But, if you have a menu book with photos or there are photos on the wall, a bit of pointing, a bit of charades, can get you a really nice meal.

2)Fish Tanks:  Fish tanks are just like a picture menu.  In restaurants in Shanghai, or Guangzhou or Qingdao, or many coastal cities, restaurants often have large fish tanks.  Here this allows you to walk around and point at the various fish you would like to eat. There are normally live scallops, clams, oysters, shrimp, fish, frogs, snails, starfish and lots of other things.. You walk around and just point at things.. A little more charades and just see what they bring you.. Most of the time, it works out.

3)BBQ Places: Chinese BBQ Places are restaurants that have lots of sticks with skewered food on. Chicken wings, lamb parts, fish, vegetables and depending on the place, there could be all sorts of seafood as well.   Here you can just point and more charades and again, hope it all works out,  it usually always does.

4)Look around at other people’s tables:  This can be applied at every scenario listed above.  Some of the better things i have tried came from just wanting to eat something at someone’s table.  As a rule of thumb, if it looks like you want to eat it, chances are, you will want to eat it.  Many a time, i have taken a waiter on a quick walk to someone’s table where I would subtly or not so subtly point at a dish and ask for it.  The table of eaters, usually get a big kick of it.

Anyway, i digress.   Here we are, first night in Beijing, tired, hungry, things worked out.

Here is a chicken dish.. it was served on a dish with a burning fire underneath.. the dish was sizzling.  it was chicken, on the bone in a brown sauce with green peppers, hot peppers and a bottom layer of onion. the sauce was had a rich onion flavor, the bottom layer of onion cooked and kept the chicken from burning.  it was a really lovely dish.


Cold dark noodles in a spicy and garlicky vinegar sauce


We ordered some sticks.  There was lamb, lamb kidneys and chicken wings.


A plate of dumplings


they were interesting as they were filled with egg, mushroom and scallions. really nice.


We also had a plate of greens and a few beers. a smashing start.. Dinner was 172 rmb. Or, like 20 bucks with a few beers.


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Bite Club was fortunate to cook the rehearsal dinner for one of my oldest and dearest friends wedding.. The large group of people came to my house where we cooked them a dinner.

First course steak tartare
Second course- scallop cooked in it’s shell with a cube of bacon and a soy butter sauce topped with crispy shallot jelly.
Third Course- soft shell crab cooked in butter, served over fried goat cheese ravioli with pickled ginger beets.
Fourth Course- fried sweetbreads with cauliflower, uni flan topped with uni, sauce gribiche and pickled peppers.
Fifth Course- Sliced duck breast with grilled pineapple, seared foie gras and a cherry demi glace.
Last Course-chomeur pudding with a marscapone lemon granita.

It was a pretty amazing dinner. Was really happy to be able to do this for him and his new bride.


Again, since I don’t take photos of the finished plating, all I can really share are the ingredients and some early prep.


Here is a tray of live soft shell crabs. They were still moving around when i opened the container. you have to cut the eyes out, remove the gills, it’s a lovely process:

Uni: Later became a flan

Fried Goat Cheese Ravioli

These were the Maple Puddings: Later to be topped with the marscapone and lemon granita.

A duck liver:

Beginning of a demi: Later became a cherry sauce

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Duck breastasis:

Bacon for the scallops:

136 Greenpoint Ave
(between Franklin St & Manhattan Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 349-1744


I have never really been to a authentic Polish restaurant. I have had perogies, I have had a few plates of food that my Polish doorman gave me, I have drank many a bottle of zubrowka, however, never a really authentic restuarant. The authenticity of this restaurant was made clear that night when our waitress commented how, they get American customers from time to time. I am assuming the other customers they get would be Polish. By the way, all the waitresses are dressed in traditional Polish dresses.

The food that we ate that night reminded me of a combination of German and Russian Food. Perhaps it was my remedial knowledge of Polish History which influenced me. But, how could Polish Cuisine not be influenced by it’s neighbors and sometimes captures.

The food we that last night was heavy. Heavy and for lack of a better word, shmaltzy. It was certainly undeniably Eastern European.

We started with Perogies. When asking if we should have fried or boiled our waitress said “I find the fried more delicious”. How could we argue.

Though fried on the outside, the inside remained room temp. It was ground meat with not much seasoning bound together with a lot of fat. THe amount of fat coated your tongue. It was topped with fried onions. Everything needed a lot of salt.


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Last nights trip to the Chinatown Grocery Store yielded some fun items.

We have some toasted seaweed packets for lunch, spicy peanuts and anchovies in one container, spicy sichuan peanuts in another container,Sichuan peppercorns, live shrimp,Chinese broccoli, pea shoots, kewpie mayo, various chile oils, ginger and off camera, a big bag of garlic peanuts. Total cost 36 dollars.


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781 Franklin Avenue
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

When you think Brooklyn Food. One can’t help but think of Italian Food. And what is one of Italian Foods greatest claim to fame, that’s right, it’s pizza my friends, pizza.

Barboncino is a relatively new pizza place to come on to the Brooklyn Scene. Located on Franklin Ave in Bushwick, it’s the new hot pizza place is the new hot area.  The space is beautiful, the oven is beautiful, most importantly, the pizza is beautiful.  Though only a few months old, the place runs like it has been open for decades.  This may be my favorite pizza place is Brooklyn.  The thing I like best about the pizza here is the tomato sauce. It’s really bright and beautiful.

This is the plain Margherita Pizza:

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Peaches HotHouse

415 Tompkins Avenue (corner of Hancock)

ph. (718) 483-9111    fx. (866) 781-6228

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Picked up two really lovely lobsters last night.  I was planning on recreating the first real thing I ever cooked outside of my house. It was an Emeril recipe which had me stuffing lobsters with ritz crackers, butter, and some parsley.
When I was in college, it was at the height of Emeril’s Fame.  Me and my buddies would watch him quiet regularly. After watching him stuff these lobsters with a combination of ritz crackers and butter, I mentioned to one of my friends that I would be able to do that.  He disagreed and the story begins.
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Soft shell crab pasta :


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