May 17, 2010

Taco Time in Austin

POST #    3026

I was in Austin a couple of weeks ago and ate a lot of tacos. From top to bottom:
- Taco Deli
- Izzo's Tacos
- El Chilito
- Torchy's Tacos

I went to Torchy's several times and got the Ranch Hand again and again. So good!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Travel at 12:55 PM

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April 16, 2010

Randolph and the Pizza Box: The Return of the 'Dolph

POST #    3025

Randolph has returned to exact revenge on the pizza box! While that last pizza box already succumbed to the cat, he's back for more against the original box's great great grandchild.

But is the sequel ever as good as the original? And will they make a third movie? All that will be answered in the future...

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Randolph at 7:01 PM

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March 17, 2010

Kobayashi Likes the Meatballs

POST #    3023

Takeru Kobayashi really likes eating. Last Monday, he set the Guinness Record for most meatballs eaten in one minute when he devoured 29 meatballs. I was lucky enough to be there in person, but if you're curious what that meatball eating pace looks like, I have video below. It seems like he had to swallow each meatball and show the judge before moving on. I suspect that's the reason for the low count.

Takeru Kobayashi Sets Meatball-Eating Record from tienmao on Vimeo.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos, Sports at 6:10 PM

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February 25, 2010

Eating Portland: Le Pigeon

POST #    3021

D'oh! Really, really slow in getting to these images even though I told myself that I would be better about it.

One of the "fancier" places that we ate at back in our November visit to Portland was Le Pigeon, which is barely in Southeast. I say "fancier" because in Portland, there's really no such thing (or at least that I experienced). But a reservation is recommended and I think the guy sitting next to me was actually wearing a sportscoat, thus making Le Pigeon fancy.

Le Pigeon is an intimate restaurant with an open kitchen with three chefs doing all the work. We elected to sit at the bar (I enjoy watching the pros cook) for our meal. Since the meal was so long ago, I can't really remember what we ate (oops), but we had a gnocchi to start, Shannan had the fish, and I had the beef cheek bourguignon (something always on the menu). There was also a burger at the table. I do recall that we all loved our food. My dessert was a crème brulée with what I think was a coffee pot de crème.

In 2007, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon was named one of Food & Wine Magazine's best new chefs.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Oregon, Travel at 6:29 PM

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February 18, 2010

Chinese New Year Dinner 4707/2010: Welcome Year of the Tiger

POST #    3019

We celebrated the Year of the Tiger Saturday night (New Year's Eve) with dinner at my parents apartment. As is the custom, my mom prepared a feast.

Saturday night we had ten total dishes. Pictured above is: smoked chicken, fresh loofah, lion's head meatballs (tiger's head?), shrimp, rice cakes, mini dumplings, whole fish, glutenous rice cakes. Not pictured were soy beans (maodou/edamame) and a fish ball soup.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 8:50 AM

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January 13, 2010

More Pizza Photos — This Time from the PDX

POST #    3012

What do we need more of on this site? Pizza photos! Duh. From our trip out to Portland in November, here are photos of two pies from Apizza Scholls and slices from Escape From New York Pizza.

The pies from Apizza were their Apizza ‘Margo’rita and their Tartufo Bianco. The pizza was very good. Could it have been better than Di Fara, which I just went to over the weekend? I would say it's possible! I can't say the same for Escape From New York Pizza though, but it did taste like pizza from any slice joint in NYC.

If you're wondering, I will not be following this up with photos of pizza from Taiwan as we didn't have any while there.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 4:45 PM

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January 11, 2010

A Deflowering at Di Fara

POST #    3011

I've had a lot of pizza in my life, yet strangely this was my first time to Di Fara. Di Fara is a legendary pizza joint, in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn where Dom DeMarco has been toiling away for over 45 years, making each pie himself with the best ingredients. Is the pizza good? Yes, it's very good. Is it the best in the city? No, I don't think it is. Especially with all these new "artisanal" pizza places that are popping up all over the place. I'm not even sure if, taste-wise, Di Fara is better than a Patsy's (original) or a Grimaldi's.

First, the bad parts: Perhaps it's just my preferences, but I wasn't a huge fan of the end crust. While the crust to support the cheese, sauce, toppings, etc., worked, the ends just seemed to be lacking a little flavor. It's possible that the end crust was even slightly underdone on the first pie we had (plain). And, of course, there's all the olive oil that is poured (not drizzled) onto the pie. I know olive oil is healthy, but I think a drizzle of the stuff could have been better (note napkin pile). Our second pie (broccoli rabe and sausage) didn't seem as oily, nor did our final one (plain square). Maybe there was just more stuff to distract us from the oil. Some of the pies started off so "wet" that attempting to slide a slice from the pie onto our plates resulted in a pile of hot cheese on the pizza pan and a relatively cheese-less slice. And all the toppings and overall wetness, lends itself to a floppy slice of pizza. That wasn't the case with the square pie we had as it's a naturally firmer crust.

Now, the good parts: The ingredients and the care that are put into each pie is excellent. It's easily on par with all the "fancy" pizza places you go to in the city. You can taste the quality of the ingredients with each bite you take. The fine mozzarella, the grana padano he sprinkles on top, the fresh basil, and even the plentiful olive oil, lend to a delicious bite of pizza. Of course, that shows up in the cost of the pies (we paid just under $100 with drinks for 7 people), but quality doesn't come cheap. It's the ingredients and the care that Dom puts into each pie that seems to set this place apart from many pizza places.

Am I being overly critical? Perhaps. But going into my "virgin experience" at Di Fara, I was expecting a lot. Some people talk about Di Fara pizza as if it were a nectar of the Gods. Sure, Dom DeMarco has done something at Di Fara that exceeds the pizza of any neighborhood pizza place in the city, if not the world, and it's excellent pizza that I would eat again. I'm just not sure if it's as mind-blowing as I had hoped (or expected) and I certainly wouldn't wait in line for two hours just to get a bite of it. That said, I would like to go back sometime in the future to try it again. After all, it could have just been an off day at Di Fara, right?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:00 PM

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December 17, 2009

Pat, My Mounted Turkey Head

POST #    3001

New to the walls of Gothamist HQ, my mounted turkey head. It's the remainder of Pat, the wonderfully crafted piñata that Mari created for Fakesgiving.

I managed to make the board for the head myself. Well, after Shannan drew the lines.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:04 PM

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December 9, 2009

Soup Dumplings at Din Tai Fung

POST #    3000

What's a trip to Taipei without a stop at Din Tai Fung for soup dumplings! On our first full day in Taiwan, we went to Din Tai Fung for lunch, on what happened to be Japanese Tourist day (Monday). Even by the time we arrived (which was before noon), there was a line outside. Thankfully, they didn't run out of food yet.

How did we know it was Japanese Tourist day at DTF? Well, the place was packed full of Japanese people, the wait staff was speaking to us in Japanese (despite us not being Japanese, obviously) and the soup dumpling instructions even had Japanese on them (no picture). In fact, every time they came to our table, they spoke to us in Japanese! Eventually they caught on when we replied to them with our blank stares.

Needless to say, they were awesome as usual.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 12:15 PM

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December 7, 2009

Breakfast in Taipei at Yong He

POST #    2999

After flying halfway across the world to Taiwan (with a stop in Anchorage where we could see Russia), we landed at around 7 in the morning. Tired with jet lag, hungry and wanting to check into our hotel, we were unable to do so for a while since it was so early. So we wandered the streets around our hotel looking for a place to eat. Shannan ruled out anything even slightly western, which was fine. But we were kind of limited in our options because of my out of practice Chinese.

We ended up stumbling upon Yong He, which working out well for our needs. Nevermind the fact that it didn't have an English menu (not that I expected it to) and that I can't read Chinese. There was a lot of mixing and matching of pictures/characters to order, but we ended up getting the food that we wanted, so it all worked out!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 4:42 PM

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November 19, 2009

Eating Portland: Bunk Sandwiches

POST #    2997

Another lunch spot we hit up (non-cart lunch spot), was Bunk Sandwiches in Southeast. Much to my dismay, they didn't have the pork belly sandwich that even the cashier recommended on the day we went. So I went with the meatball parm hero instead. It was good. Better than most pizza place meatball parms that you get, but much smaller as well. I guess I didn't need the extra calories anyway, considering all the other stuff I ate on the trip.

If you do go to Bunk though, be sure to avoid the busy lunch hours. We got there at 11:30 or so and there was a line out the door 20 minutes later.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 6:49 PM

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November 18, 2009

Eating Portland: Nong's Khao Man Gai

POST #    2996

Portland's food cart scene is ridiculous. The food carts in Portland don't seem to be of the mobile variety (like the ones in NYC), but mostly parked in parking lots around the city, and mostly concentrated in the downtown area. There are so many carts, in fact, that there's a blog dedicated solely to food carts in the city. For comparisons sake, the sheer quantity of carts in just one of PDX's parking lots puts the Red Hook Ball Fields to shame (in quantity of carts and possibly quality of food — no he didn't? Yes, I did).

In the 10th and Alder (Southwest) parking lot is Nong's Khao Man Gai a Thai cart that specializes in Khao Man Gai, or chicken and rice. They're so specialized, in fact, that it's all they have on their menu. For $6, you get your chicken and rice, a side of ridiculously tasty sauce and some slices of squash as well as a soup (perfect for a chilly Portland day).

As good as the food is, sitting in front of Nong's and watching Nong Poonsukwattana interact with her customers is just as enjoyable.

Possibly the only thing I regret not doing in Portland during this trip was eating at more food carts. I only had time to eat at two. And one cart was actually sold out of meat! WTF?!

More information:
- Nong's Khao Man Gai website
- Nong's on Food Carts Portland
- Profile of Nong on Serious Eats

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 1:08 PM

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November 17, 2009

Eating Portland: Slappy Cakes

POST #    2994

If you like pancakes and you like cooking food at your own table, then Slappy Cakes in Southeast Portland is your heaven. At Slappy Cakes, which just opened two weeks ago, you can make pancakes at your table with your choice of toppings. But don't worry, if you're not into paying to make your own food (which I totally understand), then you can order pancakes from the kitchen. And if you don't want pancakes, they have other food for your tummy.

The way it works is you order a bottle of batter (buttermilk, buckwheat, vegan and gluten-free and carrot) and then cook your preferred pancakes at the oiled griddle at your table. The downside of Slappy Cakes, much like Korean BBQ and any "self-cook" restaurant, is that you leave smelling a little like the food you were preparing. And no matter how easy pancake making is, you can still fuck them up (see 4th photo). You can also order a bacon strip in your bloody mary, something that apparently isn't very popular yet.

I'm wondering how long until New York City gets one of these.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 11:10 AM

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November 16, 2009

Eating Portland: Mother's Bistro & Bar

POST #    2993

Get ready for an onslaught of food porn from Portland. While out there last week, we ate our way through the city (kind of, anyway). After asking people where we should eat in Portland, several people responded with suggestions.

One of those suggestions was Mother's in Southwest (the city is divided into five areas, primarily using the Willamette River for east/west and Burnside Street for north/south). I ordered the wild salmon hash while Shannan had the grilled portabella mushroom scramble. Delicious!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Photos, Travel at 9:10 AM

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June 23, 2009

Our 1st Week From the Greenpoint-Williamsburg CSA

POST #    2974

Pictured are strawberries, a bunch of lavender, pea shoots, and garlic scapes. Not pictured asparagus, cilantro, rhubarb, sugar snap peas, mesclun, kale, and eggs.

Some of this helped make a tasty dinner on Sunday night!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 3:47 PM

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June 18, 2009

Willa at the Big Apple Barbeque

POST #    2973

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:23 PM

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April 21, 2009

On Mountain BBQ in Vail

POST #    2960

While skiing at Vail, you can eat barbecue at 11,000' at Wildwood Restaurant. As with all the on-mountain food, it's not cheap. But if you've already eaten your homemade sandwich for a really early lunch, a late lunch of BBQ is good stuff. And since the weather was so nice on our final day, we ate our food outside in the glaring sun.

Posted by tien mao in Colorado, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos, Travel at 6:21 PM

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March 24, 2009

I Make-Ah Da Meatballs

POST #    2953

Making meatballs is absurdly easy. That's what I discovered last weekend after we bought some meat at the grocery store. It's like making meatloaf, if not easier. You just have to play with raw meat a little more, which is somewhat unappetizing, but the end result is worth it.

And not only did I make the meatballs in the picture, I also made the tomato sauce. The bread is from the grocery store.

If you're wondering what it looked like as I was cooking, this video should give you a good idea:

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 3:55 PM

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March 16, 2009

Just Because It's More Disturbing, Doesn't Mean It's More Disgusting

POST #    2951

Things that sound gross don't always taste bad. For example, when I first saw the Oreo WaferStick, I thought "ew, that's disgusting." But it was actually pretty tasty. I had the same thought about the chocolate flavored Skittles, but those were actually disgusting. Some of the flavors were okay (brownie batter and chocolate pudding), but overall, they were a pretty awful tasting pack of Skittles.

So if you ever find yourself thinking about buying these Skittles, don't do it!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 5:04 PM

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February 2, 2009

Bacon Explosion!! Ka-Bloom!

POST #    2938

Any thoughts that people had about Calvin being crazy were confirmed yesterday. Last week, the Bacon Explosion was featured in a Times article and what does Calvin make for a Super Bowl party? The Bacon Explosion, of course. Two pounds of bacon, two pounds of sausage, all rolled into one huge log of pork. It was ridiculous and insanely over the top (and I love bacon). That said, it was surprisingly tasty, if not really salty. It's a good thing I was stuffed on lots of other food, otherwise I might have wanted to eat more than one piece of this monster.

Oh, that exploding sound was my heart from eating the Bacon Explosion. My heart aches a little just from looking at these pictures. At the same time, my stomach grumbles.

And if you're wondering what a Bacon Explosion is, here's the breakdown: a woven bacon exterior, with two pounds of sausage inside, and even more bacon inside that.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:36 PM

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January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year's Feast for the Year of the Ox

POST #    2933

Happy New Year!!

Above are photos of what we ate to celebrate the Year of the Ox. The highlight, as always, was the lion's head meatballs. MMMMMMM!!!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 5:15 PM

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January 7, 2009

Jonas Saves Some Cake For Later

POST #    2926

The cake that Margaret bought for Shannan was so tasty that Jonas kept some around for eating later.

Jonas actually did a very good job of washing the cake off moments after this photo was taken.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 6:33 PM

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January 6, 2009

My Year in Photos / Project 365 For 2008

POST #    2925

On January 1st, 2008, I started out on an insane project that many other people have done: taking at least one photo every day for the entire year. After taking the photo, I eventually (usually not the next day) put them onto flickr. Some, but not all, of the photos have appeared here. But the photos are all in one set on flickr.

You may think taking a photo every day for 365 days is easy, but I actually found it really, really hard. It was extra hard in 2008 because there were 366 days.

I encourage you to take a look at the photo set that turned out. It's an interesting capsule into one year of my life.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Illinois, Mortimer, NYC, Photos, Randolph, Sports, Travel at 12:08 PM

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December 9, 2008

Daisy May's Cureall

POST #    2912

When your girlfriend is working late into the night, having Daisy May's BBQ delivered and joining her for dinner is a nice thing to do. At least, I thought it was a nice thing to do.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:08 PM

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December 8, 2008

Boatloads of Food at Danny Ng's on Bowery

POST #    2911

Saturday night, we headed to a farewell dinner for a family friend at Danny Ng's Place on Bowery. There was a ridiculous amount of delicious food, including that conch dish in the second picture. Incidentally, I think conch is my favorite seafood item. The "food item" in the third picture is a pig's hoof, which still has hair on it. Ew. I didn't have any of that dish.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:57 PM

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December 1, 2008

Food from Thanksgiving, 2008

POST #    2906

I love Thanksgiving! Too bad those football games sucked. This year, Shannan and I made garlic mashed potatoes as well as a pumpkin pie. It was the first time I made pumpkin pie and it turned out really, really good and I discovered it's absurdly easy to make.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 2:54 PM

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November 24, 2008

Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park

POST #    2903

Saturday night, we went out to Sunset Park to check out Zach's new apartment (very nice and it seemed to have a woman's touch) and to have some good Mexican food. We went to Tacos Matamoros, which Peter Meehan of The Times said, "were some of the best, if not the best, tacos I’ve had in New York." Pictured (not that you can see the meat) are two carne asada tacos (left, center) and a chorizo taco (right). I actually liked the chorizo one better, though the carne asada tacos were pretty good.

So much for hating Mexican food, huh? Well, I still hate the bean aspect. And I'm not so into all that enchilada business.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:35 PM

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November 13, 2008

Who Likes Beer?

POST #    2898

Neil does!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 5:30 PM

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October 30, 2008

Apple Sidra...So Delicious It Has a Facebook Page

POST #    2889

I think the first time I had this tasty drink was when I was visiting Taiwan. Ever so briefly this summer, I saw it at a store in Chinatown. Naturally, I bought some. And it was delicious.

What does it taste like? This is how they describe it on Facebook:
"A crisp and light beverage. It has an apple flavor, but its not an apple cider. Its more like a light sparkling citrus drink like 7up or Sprite. But the apple flavor adds a nice soft edge where the usual lemon-lime drink can be a bit harsh or overly sweet.

This drink is crisp & sweet with dusty apple skin flavors, kind of subtle and enticing additions to the flavor. Overall it is mellow and juicy, a refreshing drink."

I would say that's pretty accurate.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 5:59 PM

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October 21, 2008

Double Shack Burgers Do Not Travel Well

POST #    2882

They don't travel well, especially from the Upper West Side all the way to DUMBO. Though it would have still been really good if I didn't already eat lunch.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:57 PM

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October 20, 2008

Vendys Under the Brooklyn Bridge

POST #    2881

Saturday, the Vendy Awards took place at the Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO. It was a fun, tummy filling event that resulted in the Calexico Carne Asada cart winning the Vendy Cup.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 7:22 PM

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October 13, 2008

More From Banksy's Village Pet Store and Grill

POST #    2876

In the top photo, chicken nuggets are dipping themselves in BBQ sauce and a just hatched nugget is drinking egg whites. On the bottom, a rabbit is grooming itself in its display.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:45 PM

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October 9, 2008

Now Open in NYC: Banksy's Village Pet Store and Grill

POST #    2874

Banksy recently opened a new exhibition up in the West Village at a storefront he's named The Village Pet Store and Grill. Pictured is fish sticks in a fish bowl. Brilliant!

See the full gallery over at Gothamist.

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:38 PM

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September 30, 2008

Looking at This Sandwich May Give You a Heart Attack...

POST #    2867

but it may also make you salivate. Saturday morning, a few of us went to Zingerman's for breakfast. I decided to go with the breakfast B.L.T.: Applewood-smoked bacon, Vermont cheddar, lettuce, tomato & mayo on toasted Bakehouse white bread. Topped with an over-easy egg.

Mmm...heart attack!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Travel at 5:25 PM

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September 16, 2008

Wide Angle Grandma Syle Pie From Drigg's Pizza

POST #    2858

Grandma style pizza from Driggs Pizza with pepperoni and pesto. It was quite delicious, but also quite oily.

What's grandma style, you ask? Adam's got a pretty good description:
"Essentially a thin-crust Sicilian. I've gotten guff for saying that in the past, so if any of you out there want to correct me and argue for a workable definition of this style, please comment. It was sort of a Long Island thing until the past couple of years, when it started making inroads into the boroughs of New York City. Typically has a fresh, lightly seasoned sauce."

In fact, Sliceboy lists out many regional style pizzas. I didn't get an upskirt for the pizza-perv though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:59 PM

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September 4, 2008

Homemade English Muffin Pizza

POST #    2850

Last night, I made my own English muffin pizzas using homemade tomato sauce from earlier in the week, some mozerella cheese, pepperoni, and Thomas' 100 Calorie Original English Muffin. First, I toasted the English muffins to crisp them up a little. After adding all the toppings, I baked them in my toaster oven. I would say they turned out pretty well!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 6:38 PM

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August 25, 2008

Sunday Eats in Red Hook

POST #    2843

Late Sunday morning, Shannan and I headed to IKEA in Red Hook to check things out. After taking the ferry to Manhatan and back, we met up with Jeannette and Yvan at the Red Hook Ballfields for some more food. Nothing like eating Swedish meatblals, a pupusa, plantains with sour cream and Mexican corn in a span of about three hours.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:28 AM

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August 18, 2008

Tasty Ronnybrook Yogurt

POST #    2838

Saturday afternoon, after getting brunch at Lokal (poor service, undercooked eggs), Shannan and I stopped by the green market in McCarren Park. On our way out, we spotted the stand selling Ronnybrook Yogurt. Shannan was hesitant about buying a drinkable yogurt at first, but I decided to get a blueberry and pomegranate yogurt. Just after crossing the street, we opened it, tasted it, and promptly turned around to buy some more. We ended up bringing seven home. I wouldn't be surprised if they're all gone by the time I get home.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:12 PM

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August 13, 2008

Spicy & Tasty in Flushing

POST #    2835

Way back in the middle of June (almost exactly two months ago), Matty and I went to Spicy & Tasty in Flushing. We were planning on a Mets game, but torrential rain put a damper (hahahaha) in those plans.

After waiting briefly for a table, we were seated and ordered some of the items that Frank Bruni mentioned in his NY Times review a while back. While the food was occasionally spicy, and occasionally tasty, I didn't think it was all that spicy or tasty. It was good, but it wasn't blow my socks off, give it two stars good. Granted, it was only one meal, so it's hard to judge the place on that visit.

I'll just have to go back another time. Hopefully just with the idea of eating and not going to a baseball game.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 6:58 PM

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July 29, 2008

Jonas Eats Cotton Candy at Mets Game

POST #    2824

After Jonas finished (what could have been his first cotton candy ever), he was a sticky mess. Just brushing against me left a sugar stain! Longtime readers will know that I too love cotton candy at baseball games!

And it should be pointed out that I was using a wide angle lens. Really, really wide angle.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos, Sports at 6:34 PM

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July 21, 2008

Not Exactly the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

POST #    2819

There's nothing like cramming copious amounts of food down your throat on a hot and humid day. The challenge: first to 6 hot dogs (max of 10 minutes) and no reversal of fortune. That's what went down Saturday afternoon on Adam's roof, except the Marlon didn't need 10 minutes to down 6 HDB, just a little over 5:30. It wasn't really much of a contest for Marlon.

I think with training, Marlon could be a contender on the professional eating circuit.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 10:49 AM

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July 16, 2008

The Most Affordable Food Option in DUMBO...

POST #    2816

assuming you have an unlimited Metrocard. If you don't, this is still a reasonably priced meal for the area.

All you have to do to buy food at this restaurant is take a trip on the F into Manhattan. One short stop from York Street to East Broadway, you'll find a restaurant at East Broadway and Rutgers Street. There, you can get what's pictured above (three treasures over rice or san bao fan in Mandarin) for the super cheap price of $4.50. It even comes with those veggies. My order had two types of pork and chicken and for an extra charge, I think you can get a fried egg on top.

If only the name of the restaurant didn't escape me right now. But if you go, it's right on the corner with meats hanging in the window. And if you work in DUMBO, you'll be back at your desk in 30 minutes.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 3:15 PM

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July 8, 2008

How a 2 (Almost 3) Year Old Eats a Cracker

POST #    2810

It's done by saying cheese a lot (when having your photo taken) and showing the contents of your mouth (also when having your photo taken).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 6:03 PM

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June 23, 2008

Calexico in SoHo

POST #    2800

I remember when I first started working in SoHo, I told Jake that there was no way I was paying $7 for a burrito from a cart. But after several months of working here and paying that much for lunch every day, I broke down last week and got a $7 burrito from Calexico. At this point, I think paying $7 for lunch is a bargain. So sad. The biggest downside of eating at Calexico is the 20-30 minute wait for your food. It makes sense considering the small amount of grill space they have and the devoted following.

Pictured is the tasty Calexico carne asada: grilled skirt steak with rice, beans, cheese, pico de gallo & avocado sauce wrapped in a giant flour tortilla.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:54 PM

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June 11, 2008

Eating at Peter Luger Steakhouse

POST #    2792

If you go to Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn, this is what your eating experience will look like. That is assuming you've ordered a steak for three with creamed spinach and German friend potatoes and a "Holy Cow" sundae for dessert.

That thing to the right in the 1st picture is the fish of the day. Sole, I believe it was.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC at 12:38 PM

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June 10, 2008

The 2008 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

POST #    2791

Because I didn't sweat enough Saturday at the Belmont Stakes, I decided to hit up the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party on Sunday. I was actually cooler while stuffing myself with meat than I was watching horses running in circles.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:35 PM

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May 14, 2008

Lonely Ping Pong Table

POST #    2774

The ping pong table at Iona sat idle for a brief moment.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:44 PM

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April 24, 2008

Jonas Does Shake Shack

POST #    2762

A plain old hamburger (with lots of ketchup) and a vanilla shake.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 12:00 PM

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April 1, 2008

Nathan's on Coney Island in Black and White

POST #    2750

I'm trying some stuff out in Lightroom. You can see the original photo on flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 9:16 PM

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March 31, 2008

Eating Cold Pizza is Best Done Pantless

POST #    2749

Pantless, yes. But with the rest of your Easter outfit on.

Posted by tien mao in Film, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 8:34 AM

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March 13, 2008

Making Dumplings With Family

POST #    2737

Sunday night, Shannan and I went over to my parents' apartment to participate in a traditional Chinese expeience...dumpling making. I'm not sure I've actually ever done this, but apparently people all over China do this on New Year's Eve when members of the family return home for New Year's celebrations.

There are a few stations involved in the process: the dough maker/chopper, the dough flattener, the skin former, the filling stuffer, and the dumpling pincher. I'm sure there's some official terminology for the actual people in those positions and that some of these roles can be combined, but for the five of us (Aunt Bonnie was there too), that's how the roles were split and that's what I'm calling the process. The easiest job fell to me most of the night - filling the dumplings (if you know how to use chopsticks, you can do this job).

It took us a little while, but we made something like 200 dumplings - pork and shrimp with Chinese leek and pork and shrimp with Chinese cabbage. The best part about the labor intensive process of making dumplings has to be the family bonding and of course the dumpling eating afterwards.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 5:13 PM

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March 11, 2008

The Bo Ssam at Momofuku Ssam Bar

POST #    2735

Mmmm...Bo Ssam.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 3:04 PM

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March 3, 2008

Jonas Attempts to Eat a Rib at Hill Country

POST #    2729

Some of the meat items at Hill Country are rather large. For some reason, Jonas wasn't keen on trying much of the food (perhaps it was the ice cream that he was eating), but he did seem to enjoy the spare rib once he got his hands on it. It's unfortunate that actually eating the rib wasn't an easy task. Jonas also enjoyed dancing around on the stage with some random kids, but I don't have any pictures of that.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, NYC, Photos at 10:35 AM

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February 26, 2008

Wegmans is Your #1 Stop for Peeps

POST #    2725

Or so I would hope they claim to be. I mean, look at all those Peeps they have on display! This was right across the isle from the health-food section.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 1:52 PM

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February 25, 2008

The Beautiful Chaos of Hot Pot

POST #    2724

The first hot pot of the winter.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:57 AM

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February 19, 2008

Croque Madame from Cafe Henri in Long Island City

POST #    2720

Sunday brunch at Cafe Henri in Long Island City.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:40 PM

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February 14, 2008

Taco Bite Reopens in Williamsburg

POST #    2717

When I relayed what Janelle told me to Shannan - that Taco Bite had reopened - Shannan was very excited. How excited? She insisted that we go that night AND she said I should have kept it a secret and taken her there for a Valentine's Day dinner. Ever since Taco Bite closed way back in 2006, she hasn't been happy. She would go there as many as three times a week for dinner, so when it closed she lost a major part of her diet.

Taco Bite just reopened this past weekend, but it's no longer all that close to us. Now it's on South 4th St at Rodney (by the BQE). They've expanded their menu and are a full fledged restaurant now, no longer just operating out of the side of a restaurant. They're still waiting on their liquor license, but their menu spans a whole two pages now (not including booze/desserts).

After talking to the owners/employees, it seems that they'll deliver all the way to our apartment. I'm not sure if we're really in their delivery zone or if they're just willing to deliver to us because they still remember Shannan.

Taco Bite 310 S. 4th St (at Rodney) in Williamsburg, 718.302.1117, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner except on Mondays

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:32 PM

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February 13, 2008

Sausage and Peppers from the Crosby Connection

POST #    2716

It may not look appetizing, but it sure tasted good. And I don't even love sausage and peppers that much!

It's not on the regular menu of the Crosby Connection. It was the special that day. Yum.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:22 PM

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February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year's Feast for the Year of the Rat

POST #    2711

It's a Chinese New Year feast fit for a emperor! A king! A prince!

Last night, my mom did her yearly Chinese New Year cooking and as usual it was extremely delicious and filling. From top to bottom are: peanuts, jellyfish, chicken and something to wrap in lettuce, lion's head meatballs, eight vegetable dish, a shrimp dish, vegetables with dried scallops, a whole fish, and glutinous red bean rice cake.

Welcome, Year of the Rat!

Posted by tien mao in Culture, Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 4:53 PM

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January 30, 2008

Acapulco Deli and Restaurant in Greenpoint

POST #    2705

Now that I've determined that beans are the main component I hate in Mexican food, I've found that there are actually some items that I like.

With Taco Bite near our apartment closed, we've turned to Acapulco Deli and Restaurant, which is almost as north as you can get in Greenpoint. The typical items I order are pictured - Pacifico (complete with frosty mug!), chips with red sauce, and a steak burrito (no beans). Not pictured is the Mexican Coke I always get as well.

And it's not just me that loves it, the users over at Yelp are big fans too.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 2:10 PM

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January 23, 2008

From the Crosby Connection

POST #    2699

One of the better lunch options in SoHo is the Crosby Connection. Pictured here is the meatball sandwich (Crosby special), the smoked gouda and ham sandwich (with apples), and the beautiful prosciutti (freshly sliced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, sundred tomatoes, sweet roasted peppers, basil, virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar). Yumm.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 3:12 PM

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January 15, 2008

Testing Out the Deep Fryer

POST #    2694

Way back in 2006, I was given a deep fryer for Christmas. Since then, it's been in our cabinet waiting to be used. Why hasn't it been used since December, 2006? Because Shannan hates the smell associated with deep frying. As she was away this past weekend, I seized the opportunity to fry some shit up! On the menu were fries, onion rings, and chicken wings (I was watching football).

I found that fries were the easiest (essentially all you do is cut and fry), followed by wings, and onion rings. It was hard to tell when the chicken wings were done, but otherwise they were easy. I think I liked the results the best with the onion rings, but my batter, while good, could have used some salt. I also learned that you can't put a whole bunch in at once because they stick to one another.

I think that everything I fried tasted good and seemed healthier than any fried food I would get while eating out. Maybe it's because I used fresh ingredients and knew what I was putting into/onto the food.

Given the results, I don't think Shannan should discourage me from using the deep fryer again. I think she would be pleased to eat the results.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, House and Home, Photos at 12:29 PM

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January 9, 2008

A Warm Day is a Good Day for Shake Shack

POST #    2690

While it can probably be said that ANY day is a good day for Shake Shack, yesterday was almost the perfect day to go. They may be putting heating lamps in for the winter, but I'm still not sure I would want to sit in the cold eating a burger. After all, those things can only warm you up so much.

Besides, isn't it possible to have too much of a good thing? Waiting for Shake Shack to open used to make the burgers that much more satisfying. Now they're going to be open all year, making a shack burger that much less special.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 12:27 PM

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November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

POST #    2661

Looking at this photo, you can kind of see what it was like at Thanksgiving for me. Sadly, you can't really taste what it was like or smell what it was like.

Pictured clockwise from the turkey are: two types of cranberry sauce (one with walnuts), garlic mashed potatoes, yams, corn with pine nuts, some strange avocado/shrimp, and green beans.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 9:35 AM

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November 21, 2007

Lady Liberty as an M&M

POST #    2658

Lady Liberty with M&Ms that were made to help the Central Park Conservancy.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:20 PM

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November 14, 2007

La Nueva Conquista in SoHo

POST #    2653

Lunch options in SoHo are generally not cheap. A good sandwich runs $6 or $7, depending on where you go, and anything else tends to be $9+ for lunch. Salads (not that I eat them for a meal) can sometimes set you back more than $10. No thanks!

On Lafayette St. near Spring is La Nueva Conquista (formerly just La Conquista), which will stuff you silly for the same price as that good sandwich - $7. Pictured is my lunch from Tuesday - yellow rice, pork chops (which are briefly fried in oil), rice crust (I would call this guo ba in Chinese), and topped with onions and gravy. I usually get plantains as well, but I went with the rice crust this time as I've never seen it as an option. La Nueva Conquista seems to be described as a "hole in the wall" quite frequently, but I think it's slightly larger than a hole. And if you're walking by at any time, you'll see that the restaurant has quite a devoted customer base.

More information:
- La Nueva Conquista is located at 236 Lafayette Street
- Eat for Victory (Village Voice)
- Yelp

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:17 PM

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November 12, 2007

Jonas Eats the Pizza

POST #    2649

I think I've figured out one reason Jonas and I get along so well. Our mutual love for pizza (and his snacks). Though I think if he suddenly decided one day that he didn't like pizza anymore, we would probably still get along.

And if you're wondering why he looks so disheveled, it's because he was eating after he got up from his long nap.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 11:43 AM

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November 5, 2007

A Lobster Roll from Ed's Lobster Bar

POST #    2645

Eating this lobster roll at Ed's Lobster Bar last week made up for that horrible, horrible seafood that Jake made me eat at City Island.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:16 PM

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October 31, 2007

From Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant in City Island

POST #    2642

After going up to Westchester yesterday, Jake and I stopped in City Island (The Bronx) for lunch. Somehow we ended up at Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant, which I was pretty disappointed in. I think, in hindsight, I would have preferred a McDonald's (though I didn't see one). Pictured are the fried calamari and fried clams. Not pictured is the horrible stench of sewage that seemed to permeate the establishment.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:08 PM

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October 29, 2007

Candy Porn from Papabubble

POST #    2640

From Papabubble, the new candy store that opened up last week. This is their fruit mix, which is my favorite so far. While there are some fruit flavors that I like more than others, it's nice to mix it up on occasion. And the fruit on the sides is a nice touch.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 11:47 AM

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October 18, 2007

Dinner at Tang Pavilion

POST #    2631

I feel like the quality at Tang Pavilion has dropped off a lot since I last went there a couple of years ago. But it's still popular enough that members of the head of the UN mission for China dines there (he was there on the same night).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:40 PM

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October 15, 2007

Another Year, Another Soktoberfest

POST #    2628

Ahh, October. When we combine socks and the month to create Soktoberfest. It's the best time to break out your fanciest pair of socks for a party at my place. After all, you gotta keep the floors clean. The parties keep getting bigger and better. And despite thinking that there was way too much beer, there really isn't too much left over at all.

Best costume (no, not required) clearly goes to Grego and Adriane (not pictured), who came in authentic (I think?) German outfits. And whatever Jake thinks, he didn't have the best socks. I think that goes to Miguel and Julia, who made their own fancy socks!

Final alcohol consumption totals: 115 12oz beers, 1 1pt 9.4 oz beer, 2 1pt 6oz beers, 1 1pt .9oz beer, and one 1.1 imperial gallon beer.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, House and Home, Photos at 5:17 PM

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October 11, 2007

Meal at Sun Moon Lake

POST #    2626

While the food looks pretty good, I don't remember it being all that awesome. It was supposedly an example of the local cuisine in Sun Moon Lake though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 12:30 PM

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October 3, 2007

The Gutter in Brooklyn

POST #    2619

In the long-standing tienmao.com tradition of putting things up way after I take the pictures, here are some pictures from The Gutter - a new bar/bowling alley in Greenpoint/Williamsburg (it's really right on the border). Almost the entire bowling alley is made of old lanes, which gives the place a nice look. The best part about The Gutter? It's conveniently located to my apartment.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos, Sports at 12:28 PM

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October 2, 2007

Borough Food and Drink

POST #    2618

Last night, I went to Borough Food and Drink for dinner with a bunch of people. At Borough Food and Drink, their menu is a homage (said with an H - think hom-age - by our waitress) and they outsource (again, according to our waitress) their dessert cakes and pies.

Pictured are the dumplings (surprisingly good), the mac and cheese pancake, tobacco onion rings (very good and oily), the jerk lobster (I wouldn't order again or recommend it), and the banana split (the candied walnuts were virtually missing).

I'm guessing the restaurant will be closed in less than two years. It's only okay in my book and Shannan got a martini with glass in it and some possible food poisoning from her braised pork shoulder. That's at least two reasons we won't be passing on another homage to NYC. They also seem to spill maple syrup on occasion.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 3:00 PM

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September 17, 2007

A 7-Eleven in Taiwan

POST #    2605

7-Eleven in Taiwan is all over the place. Taiwan has the 3rd most 7-Eleven locations, only trailing Japan and the United States (in that order). One of the nice things about 7-Eleven in Taiwan is that they have hot food that is actually somewhat appealing. Granted, like 7-Eleven here, you would only want to eat it if you didn't have any better options.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan at 9:09 AM

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September 13, 2007

Making Pizza Again

POST #    2601

It's been a long time, but last week I finally made pizza again. I'm not sure pizza making is like riding a bike, but it turned out decently. The only issue was that the dough turned out way too thick, so it wasn't really cooked all the way through. Okay, that's kind of a big problem. But I figure if I half the purchased dough, then it will be fine the next time.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:55 AM

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September 3, 2007

Our First Meal in Taipei

POST #    2595

When we arrived in Taipei, it was rather late and my dad and I were hungry. Nobody else was, so we ventured from our hotel to find some food. We found a local restaurant on while walking around that liked serving seafood dishes (as evidenced by the seafood noodles, fried cuttlefish, and clams). The one non-seafood dish we had was stinky tofu.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Taiwan, Travel at 8:13 AM

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August 22, 2007

Calvin Eats 4 Hot Dogs in 3 Minutes

POST #    2584

Calvin has always been a fast eater and drinker. And he's always loved hot dogs. So one drunken night, he told Adam that he could eat 10 hot dogs in 5 minutes and really thought he could do it. We had our doubts, but on Saturday we did an abbreviated version of that bet - 4 dogs in 4 minutes. Miraculously, he finished in 3 minutes, but not without the shakes from eating so fast. AND he didn't have a reversal of fortune.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Sports at 9:09 AM

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August 16, 2007

Offerings from McDonald's in Hong Kong

POST #    2579

Why eat at McDonald's when you're in a foreign country? Never underestimate the power of air conditioning and the knowledge that they have clean bathrooms.

Pictured here is the red bean pie (not nearly as good as the apple pies at non-U.S. locations or the sweet taro pie), corn (not very good), and a coffee from the McCafé.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:49 AM

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August 8, 2007

Nestlé's Mango Madness

POST #    2572

In case you were wondering, the Mango Madness ice cream cone does in fact taste like mango. It definitely hit the spot on a hot day at Ocean Park.

P.S. - Sorry for the late update, I had about 3" of flooding in my basement because of the wild storms this morning in New York City.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Travel at 11:39 AM

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August 6, 2007

Grilling it Up in Fairfield

POST #    2570

Saturday morning, we went up to Fairfield, CT to hang out with Kim, Cyrus, and James. After hitting up the beach, we hung out on their porch, eating and rehydrating. I had to come back Saturday night, but I hear Sunday was fun too. It was a fun little trip that we'll have to do again sometime.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 9:24 AM

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July 25, 2007

Pizza in Hong Kong

POST #    2560

I can't really remember exactly where we got this pizza, but it seemed like a restaurant that turned into bar at night and it was on a somewhat secluded street that had a bunch of bars on it. Nice, right? I think after a few days Japan and a couple more in Hong Kong, I was definitely craving pizza. Pictured is a sausage and olive pizza, which was actually pretty good. I'm not sure if it was good because it was actually good or because I missed pizza that much. If you're so inclined, here's a pizza upskirt.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Travel at 8:38 AM

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July 24, 2007

Grandma Wong's Vegetable Stand

POST #    2559

One of our stops in Hong Kong was to the vegetable stand that Calvin's grandmother used to own (Calvin's great aunt currently runs it). While his grandmother is now in New York, the stand is still there. I thought it was a pretty cool, non-touristy stop for us.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Hong Kong, Travel at 8:22 AM

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July 19, 2007

Overindulgence at Hill Country

POST #    2553

Tuesday night, a group of us went to Hill Country Barbecue - one of the latest 'cue joints to open here in NYC. A little different than your typical restaurant in NYC, at Hill Country you line up at various counters to order your food. There are counters for the meat, the sides and the drinks. While at the meat counter, you order meat by weight. The first picture is about 1/2 lb of the moist brisket (it didn't seem like enough to share with Calvin). We ended up with 1 lb of the brisket, 1/2 lb of the pork spare rib, and 1 jalapeno cheese sausage. We also had the white shoepeg corn pudding, sweet potato bourbon mash, and corn bread (with ancho honey butter) for sides. It was sooo good (especially the brisket and sides), but super filling. So if you ever go and you like to eat, eating a pound of meat and sides should be your upper limit. This would have been useful information to some of the other people at the table - I think someone got about 2 lbs of meat for himself.

Note to large groups, you can make reservations for 8 or more people, but they only allow a limited number of reservations each day for those groups. Although we didn't have a reservation, we only had to wait about 50 minutes for our table after getting there at 7:30.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 9:57 AM

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July 9, 2007

Our First Meal in Hong Kong

POST #    2540

Our first meal in Hong Kong was breakfast. What did we get? No, not dim sum, but noodles and Hong Kong-style French toast.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:03 AM

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July 4, 2007

A Guinness in Stanley

POST #    2539

Let's start the photos of Hong Kong off right! With a beer!

While in Hong Kong, we went to Stanley the childhood town of Calvin's mom. We wandered around a bit and grabbed a pint at the Smugglers Inn, a bar that's "that's very popular with both tourists and expats." It even had its own drunk white dude in the middle of the day! One thing that seems rather popular with bartenders in Asia is the shamrock on the Guinness. We saw them a lot in Tokyo as well.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:26 AM

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June 27, 2007

A Yoshinoya Beef Bowl

POST #    2531

The Yoshinoya chain of restaurants specializes in gyudon (a bowl of rice topped with beef) and is actually one of the larger fast food restaurant chains in Japan. We stopped in one day for lunch and it seemed pretty popular. Not surprising as it's relatively inexpensive and tastes good. I believe that this is just a beef bowl, but I can't be certain as I couldn't read the menu. There was some pointing and nodding going on.

Looking at their US website, they have tons of locations on the West Coast and it seems they even have on in NYC.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 9:08 AM

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June 20, 2007

Remnant Pictures from BLT Burger

POST #    2523

This was from a trip to BLT Burger before going to Asia. The 2nd picture is of "waffle bites" - kind of like potato skins with waffle fries instead.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 4:36 PM

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June 14, 2007

From the 2007 Big Apple BBQ Block Party

POST #    2516

I couldn't bring myself to see these photos from the Big Apple BBQ Block Party on my site until today. I simply had too much BBQ on Sunday to see them again. I'm not sure when I'll be able to eat it again. Maybe when summer's over?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:33 AM

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June 6, 2007

Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters

POST #    2508

Another thing tourists do when visiting the French Quarter is go to the Court of Two Sisters to have brunch. They have a jazz brunch buffet every day where they have live jazz and you eat in the ... courtyard of the building. I wasn't all too impressed by the food, but I don't think the restaurant is about the food, but about eating outside in that setting.

Shannan and I didn't have as nice an experience as Margaret, Neil, and Jonas. They saw, and talked to, George Takei - of Star Trek fame and now on Heroes.

In case you can't read it on their site, here's a snippet:
"We are far too cool to say anything or take a photo. I pointed him out to Neil and we had a smile, but that was it. Jonas is, apparently, less cool. He was running around chasing birds while Neil and I called after him, "Jonas, no!"

Suddenly, Takei speaks, "Well, hellooooooo there Jonah! (I didn't correct him.) He had a little conversation with the imp, remarking that while Jonas's throughly slobbered finger might taste good, his tasted better (I'm not even kidding about that.) A few minutes later he even said to someone on the phone, "I'm here having brunch with Jonah and his mommy and daddy!" As we were leaving he commented on what a cute kid we had and Neil responded with a "We love your work." It was, in all, a very pleasant celebrity experience."

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 8:57 AM

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June 5, 2007

Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter

POST #    2506

One afternoon in the French Quarter, we were looking for a light snack so we went to the Acme Oyster House. It's a pretty touristy destination (isn't the whole Quarter somewhat touristy), but it was tasty nonetheless. We shared the oysters (Neil's first one, I believe) and I had the Creole Jambalaya.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 8:23 AM

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June 4, 2007

Drinking in the French Quarter

POST #    2505

I can confirm that the Hurricane from Pat O'Brien's are very strong. Not long after Jonas passed out, I too passed out. The Hand Grenades from Tropical Isle clearly aren't as strong. Even Jonas withstood the alcohol from them.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 3:14 PM

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June 1, 2007

50mm Shake Shack Deliciousness

POST #    2501

Nothing like a double shack burger. Plus that grilled/burnt cheese stuff at the top was pretty tasty too.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 4:17 PM

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May 30, 2007

Iced Café au Lait and Beignets at Café Du Monde

POST #    2496

Onto New Orleans! One of our first stops in New Orleans was Café Du Monde, a café famous for its beignets. It's a stop that every tourist to the city needs to make, no? For those unfamiliar with what a beignet is, here's a simple explanation: deep-fried dough with powdered sugar on top. The Café Du Monde website explains them thusly: "the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar." Pretty straightforward. They also say that historically, they were sometimes filled with fruit and brought to Louisiana by the Acadians (the word that Cajun originated from). The coffee they serve at Café Du Monde is a coffee-chicory mix, a custom also brought to New Orleans by the Acadians. What can I add about the beignet? They are awesome. That's pretty much it. There's also a ton of powdered sugar as you can see. There's so much of it that the floors, tables, and chairs are covered with it. On a somewhat breezy day (as the day we went was), you can't leave without being covered by the stuff.

The coffee that I ordered while there was my first ever. Quite a milestone, I think. And if that last photo isn't sexy enough for you, check this one out.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 7:35 AM

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May 24, 2007

When in Cajun Country, Attend a Crawfish Boil

POST #    2490

The day after the wedding, Thuy's parents were nice enough to have people over to their home for a crawfish boil. Thuy's dad bought 160 pounds of crawfish and prepared them himself behind the house. He has quite the set-up back there, perfect for entertaining people.

The crawfish we had were gigantic as it's relatively late in the season and Mr. Bui actually toned down the spice on the boil this time, but it still seemed adequately hot for me.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Louisiana, Photos, Travel at 9:18 AM

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May 17, 2007

Late Afternoon Burger from Standard Deli

POST #    2484

If you like to buy expensive clothes and eat food at almost the same time, there's a store in Tokyo that's perfect for you. Journal Standard, which has a few stores throughout Japan, has a location in Shinjuku with expensive men's and women's clothes on the first and second floors and food on the top floor. While I don't buy too many expensive items of clothing, I do like to eat food. The store was obviously Calvin's dream come true. We also went to their location in Shibuya, but the store and deli there are in two separate, but close, locations. They call their restaurant the "Standard Deli" and as you can see, I had a burger. I think it was the "Standard Burger", which, while decent, wasn't nearly as good as MOS Burger.

The Shinjuku location used to have a trailer where they cooked the food outside on the roof, but it's no longer there. It seems like they moved it outside the location of their Shibuya store.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:05 AM

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May 16, 2007

Sushi for Breakfast at the Tsukiji Market

POST #    2482

While visiting Tsukiji Market to see the fish market is something you shouldn't miss in Tokyo, eating there is another must do. It's literally the freshest sushi you can get in the world. There are two sushi places in the market, both insanely crowded with tourists, but what can you do? We went to Daiwa. Though it's not the most ideal thing to eat at 7 in the morning, Calvin and I throughly enjoyed the experience. Johnny, not so much. I think the meal ran us about $30 something for the set meal, which worked out best because we didn't have to order a thing.

I even ate the unagi, which I usually stay away from, and what looks like the ark shell thing that I took a picture of (3rd picture). I believe Calvin and I walked away agreeing that it was the best sushi we've ever had.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 9:36 AM

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May 10, 2007

The Asian Colonel Sanders

POST #    2477

It's all in the eyes. Seriously. It's slight, but it's there.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 10:46 AM

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May 9, 2007

More from the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo

POST #    2475

Back in March I posted one image of the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. Here are some more from the early-morning trip to the market. If you ever go to Tokyo, I would highly recommend a visit. Just watch out for all the tractors and the people that are actually there to shop. I think some of the fishmongers really had disdain for the tourists, while others were somewhat receptive.

If you're wondering what's in that third picture is, I have no idea. And to get an idea of how large those frozen tuna carcases are, check out this image for scale (only a half tuna pictured). And that picture is just a fraction of the tuna that were on sale that day.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:54 AM

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April 25, 2007

Eating Teppanyaki in Tokyo

POST #    2461

One night while in Tokyo, we met up with Calvin's friend Akira for dinner. I'm not sure I ever knew the name of the restaurant (it might have been Teppanya), but it was teppanyaki, which uses a griddle to cook the food. It was really, really tasty. Insanely tasty. We also got a little tipsy, as you might be able to tell. I didn't have quite as much to drink as I nearly fell asleep at dinner (jetlag, yo).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 9:48 AM

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April 16, 2007

Getting Bombed at Propoganda in Roppongi

POST #    2452

In my first night out in Japan, I wasn't able to stay awake. It was bad. I would have a beer in hand and be falling asleep. The second night out I was a little better. We spent most of the night at Propoganda in Roppongi (a popular district for Gaijin). After teaching the bartender how to make an Irish car bomb, the three of us had quite a few.

The best part of being the person with the camera? You can edit the pictures of you out!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:56 AM

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April 12, 2007

Breakfast from the Excelsior Caffe

POST #    2449

With Johnny away from most Western foods while in Medan, Indonesia (the third largest city in that country), he was jonesing for bread that wasn't sweet. We passed a bagel place one night, but couldn't find it the next morning, so we settled on the Excelsior Caffe. With my lack of Japanese and the lack of English from the person taking my order, there was a lot of nodding and pointing on my part. Somehow, I ended up with two sandwiches - the smoked ham & cheese, mushroom and some other "panini" - it had egg, ham, and cheese and was warmed/cooked in the microwave (the egg was still slightly runny). It might have been what they called the croque monsieur.

While it wasn't what I envisioned as a traditional Japanese breakfast, there were a fair amount of people that came in and out of the store while we were there. Calvin told us that a lot of people eat like this in Japan.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:43 AM

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April 9, 2007

Beheading the Lamb of God

POST #    2445

I don't think I've ever seen a Lamb of God before, so I've certainly never seen one beheaded. Well, that all changed yesterday. It's a good thing Jonas was occupied while Margaret lopped the lamb's head off. She also made a stuffed toast (2nd image) that had cheese and bacon on top. Inside was a whole egg! It was tasty, but probably would have been even better if warm. Best food item of the day - Margaret's brandied pear dessert topping.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 9:11 AM

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April 5, 2007

Yes, That's a Chunk of Butter on My Ramen

POST #    2442

It was breakfast, so it's okay, right? One morning, we were hungry for some Japanese food, so we stopped into a little ramen shop for breakfast. This was some ramen with some pork and scallops in it. To purchase, you actually put money into a vending machine (with pictures and no English) and the staff takes your printed order.

Oh, and it was delicious. The butter just made it better.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:10 AM

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April 3, 2007

MOS Burger in Japan

POST #    2440

When we arrived in Japan, our first meal wasn't ramen, udon, or any fish related item, it was MOS Burger (MOS stands for mountain, ocean, sun). Chalk it up to arriving very late and Calvin's never ending love of the Japanese chain.

Pictured above is the spicy MOS burger, French fries and onion rings, MOS burger, teriyaki chicken burger, and the MOS chicken. My favorite of the bunch had to be the spicy MOS burger, which had a nice kick to it with the jalapeños on it. The best way that I can describe the sauce on the MOS burger is that it's similar, yet not the same, as a marinara sauce. I didn't care too much for the teriyaki chicken burger. The MOS chicken is a fried chicken leg that is partially de-boned. The drumstick part still has the bone in it, making it easy to eat the rest of it. And it comes in nifty packaging!

More information:
- MOS Burger's English site
- Wikipedia on MOS Burger
- MOS Burger pool on flickr
- AHT on MOS Burger

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 8:29 AM

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April 2, 2007

50mm Food From the Weekend

POST #    2439

Perhaps a little too much food that had a casing?

From the Bohemian Hall, Nathan's, and Totonno's.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:01 AM

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March 23, 2007

Straight to the Sushi Source in Tokyo

POST #    2429

A word of advice for those that are going to the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo - you're going to end up smelling like fish. It's a pretty crazy scene. While we didn't make it in time for the auction, there was still plenty of fish around. The size of the actual tuna fish is gigantic (as pictured here). I've got plenty more photos from the fish market as well as some photos of the sushi we ate. Best sushi I've ever had? Yes. Freshest sushi ever? No doubt.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Japan, Photos, Travel at 12:01 AM

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March 15, 2007

That's a Lot of Frankfurter Rolls

POST #    2420

I guess you can never have enough if you're running Grey's Papaya.

I'll be traveling some over the next couple of weeks, but I'll try to update when possible. Things I may miss - hot dogs, a good burger, maybe steak. Good thing I had all those recently!

And yes, I know there's a new error somewhere in the redesign.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 5:32 AM

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March 13, 2007

Lucali in Carol Gardens

POST #    2424

Ever since it opened, I've been hearing things about Lucali. I'm not sure I heard one bad peep, but until last week, I haven't made it to the Carol Gardens restaurant. I was not disappointed. You may recall that I tried to go to Lucali a couple of weeks ago, only to find that it's not open on Tuesdays. So keep that in mind if you're going. This time, I made the trip with Matty, Adam and Janice. We ordered one plain pie, the calzone, and a pepperoni pie. While the menu may be sparse, the food certainly doesn't lack in taste. Something else to note is that Lucali doesn't have a liquor license, so you can bring your own alcohol. Conveniently, there's a deli a couple doors down from Lucali.

More on Lucali:
- Gothamist
- Slice
- NY Times
- NY Magazine

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:59 AM

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February 28, 2007

Yemen Cuisine on Court Street

POST #    2406

Last night, I was going to hit up Lucali's in Carroll Gardens for some pizza. Little did I know that they're actually closed on Tuesday. That was my fun discovery when I got there, only to see chairs stacked on the tables. Matty suggested we try an Italian place called Sam's, which was only a short walk away. Closed. Possibly for good.

We eventually decided to go to Yemen Cuisine...which serves Yemenese food. I was somewhat skeptical, but Matty tried to comfort me by telling me it was on The Villiage Voice's Best of List and that it was similar to Indian food. Not necessarily that comforting. But we tried it, and it was really tasty. There was lots of lamb on the menu, but I steered clear of that (I don't eat lamb) and went for the chicken gelaba, which Matty recommended. What's chicken gelaba? From their menu: small pieces of chicken sauteed in tomato sauce. It came with rice and we ordered some aseed (that giant pizza/naan-like bread. The portions for the chicken gelaba are very generous and I waddled away quite satisfied.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 9:07 AM

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February 27, 2007

Pigheadded for the Year of the Pig

POST #    2404

There are still lots of reminders that Chinese New Year was recently celebrated in Chinatown - confetti on the sidewalks, festive lights and decorations, etc. But I think this display is there no matter what time of year or what year it is.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:25 AM

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February 20, 2007

Welcoming 4705 and the Year of the Pig with a New Year's Feast

POST #    2394

Hello, food photos! When was the last time so many of you appeared on this site? Saturday night, we went over to Brooklyn Heights to have dinner with my parents. Also there were my cousin Julia and her husband and my other cousin Stephanie. What we encountered was a 13 dish meal (plus dessert) to help ring in the Chinese New Year. Based on the Lunar calendar, it's 4705 (2007 is so far behind) and the Year of the Pig. As we do every year, my mom made an amazing assortment of dishes. My favorite was the lion's head meatballs and the rice cakes. I could eat those every day!

See also the Year of the Dog, the Year of the Rooster, and the Year of the Monkey.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:31 AM

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January 30, 2007

Two Items from Momofuku Ssäm Bar

POST #    2380

I've been to Momofuku Ssäm Bar a few times now, but last week's trip was the first time I actually took pictures. Pictured are the insanely tasty steamed buns and the cured hamachi with edamame, horseradish, and pea leaves.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 8:18 AM

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January 22, 2007

Friday Night's Heart Attack...

POST #    2373

Was delicious. We should have had a side of fries though. And this was the aftermath.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:58 AM

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January 11, 2007

American Dream Pizza in Corvallis, Oregon

POST #    2364

When we went to Oregon last August (can you tell I'm catching up on photos? It's a resolution), we drove through Shannan's college town of Corvallis. She was going to show me around campus a little and take me to a pizza place that she's been raving about ever since I've known her. Campus was really, really dead as pre-school year activity had yet to start up, but at least American Dream Pizza was open.

American Dream is kind of a psychedelic pizzeria, which seems perfect for the state of Oregon and a college town. I can imagine scores of college students flocking there after a night of drinking or smoking to satiate their hunger.

While I'm not generally a fan of crazy items on my pizza, American Dream has a long list of toppings that you can combine to make your own pizza. When in Corvallis... The combination we went with on our pizza were the normal crust, tomato sauce, American bacon, jerk chicken, olives and fresh garlic. The pizza was very tasty (it better be with all those toppings) despite its cornmeal crust, something I tend to despise on pizza. The crust was fine, but a tad chewy. Maybe that was because we were there very early in the day? Or maybe they just count on the cornmeal to make their crust crispier.

We left American Dream full, smelling of garlic and with several slices left for the road.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:59 AM

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January 10, 2007

The Pacific Northwest's Burgerville

POST #    2358

While in Oregon, we stumbled upon Burgerville while driving around. Shannan and her uncle both had Burgerville in the past (as they lived and live there), but I never even heard of it before our trip. The chain takes pride in its Northwest roots, using "fresh all-natural Oregon Country Beef" and lots of seasonal ingredients for their milkshakes. I didn't notice any discernible difference in the meat and didn't think the burger was all too special, but it certainly wasn't bad. I had the Tillamook Cheeseburger which has Tillamook Cheddar Cheese (I visited their cheese factory). The milkshake I got was delicious though.

Check out their full menu. (.PDF file)

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:10 AM

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January 4, 2007

The Reason Deep Frying Turkey is Dangerous

POST #    2356

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present you with the reason deep frying a turkey is dangerous. Lucky for us, the attempt was made on grass and not on a deck. And nobody was foolish enough to put the fire out with water or anything like that. Shannan's mom decided that a ham wasn't enough for Christmas dinner, so she thought about preparing a turkey. When she asked how to prepare it - oven, deep fry, etc. - I might have said something like, "I've never had a deep fried turkey." Problem is - they had never made a deep fried turkey. Despite the flame, a turkey eventually went in the oil.

The end result was less than tasty. While the meat was tender and moist, the injected marinade wasn't very good. It actually smelled pretty repulsive. I'm told that there's a large, large oil spot in their back yard now. I wonder if anything will grow there in the future.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Illinois, Travel at 7:57 AM

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December 21, 2006

Shannan's Award Winning Pumpkin Roll

POST #    2345

Last week, Shannan's company had a bake off in their office. She decided to make her tasty, tasty pumpkin roll and dress it up a little bit. There were awards for best taste, best appearance, and most original. Her pumpkin roll won for taste and appearance.

I believe the recipe is online somewhere.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:59 AM

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December 20, 2006

Did You Know That I Love Cotton Candy?

POST #    2344

In case you didn't remember from a while back. This was at Cronkite Pizzeria & Wine Bar and not the Mets game. I might have a sugar high in the 2nd photo.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:59 AM

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December 18, 2006

Visiting Tillamook Cheese

POST #    2338

While driving up the Oregon Coast, we stopped at Tillamook Cheese to take a little tour. Shannan was always raving about Tillamook, but it seemed like any other cheese to me. While there, I made sure to get a little something from the creamery section of the tour. I had the marionberry pie (see blurry picture here) ice cream as marionberries are a west coast thing. Marion Barry and Marion Berry are unrelated.

And if you're wondering how much Shannan likes Tillamook Cheese - we've got two 2 lbs blocks of extra sharp cheddar sitting in our freezer. She already consumed one.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Oregon, Travel at 7:57 AM

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December 13, 2006

Night Sky Above Shake Shack

POST #    2337

From the night before it closed for the winter. They actually ran out of burgers.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 7:58 AM

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December 6, 2006

LVHRD at The Players

POST #    2329

To celebrate the end of prohibition, LVHRD and Dewar's threw a party at The Players. The club opened on New Year's Eve in 1888 and was founded by Edwin Booth - John Wilkes' brother. The club has an impressive list of past and current members.

P.S. - I took Janelle's cherry. She let me have it.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:45 AM

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December 4, 2006

Fare Thee Well, Taco Bite

POST #    2324

As much as I enjoy having a new bagel store only a few hundred feet from my apartment, I would gladly trade it for the return of Taco Bite (and I don't even like Mexican food that much). The tasty hole in the wall eatery that operated out of Monsignor's Italian restaurant (I hear it wasn't any good) disappeared just before Thanksgiving. We thought that they were just closed for the long weekend, but last week we saw signs on the building and the roll-down gate that the store was for rent.

Considerably more disappointed than me was Shannan, who swears that the burritos were laced in crack and that it was the best burrito in Brooklyn, if not all of New York (there are other rave reviews as well). I think it was just the hot sauce that she liked. I think there's only one future occupant in that space that could make her happy...Starbucks. It probably won't happen, as that intersection is pretty sleepy, but a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins did open up just a block away.

I'll never forget your burritos and your freshly fried tortilla chips.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:56 AM

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November 28, 2006

At Least We Had Turkey

POST #    2320

I showed this picture to Shannan and she said, "Where are the mashed potatoes? Where's the pumpkin pie?" Well, at least we had a turkey. Clockwise from the turkey is the cranberry sauce (homemade, though I prefer canned), Asian sweet potatoes, green beans, sweet corn with pine nuts, yams. We didn't have stuffing either - which is fine by me as I'm no fan of stuffing. I thought everything we ate was great and the turkey was very juicy.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:47 AM

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November 23, 2006

Thankful for Bagels in Greenpoint

POST #    2316

There are many things that I'm thankful for this year. I won't bore you with them here, but this is one of them. The new bagel store that opened up in Greenpoint. It opened its doors about a week and a half ago and I had my first bagel there yesterday. It's apparently the Baker's Dozen Bagels' second location (the first in Kew Gardens). Not only do they have a full assortment of bagels and spreads for the bagels, but they also have a heathy deli selection. There's a list of sandwiches and panini (31 in all). The bagel is good, but I think it needs a little work. They certainly weren't as good as Joe's Bagels, but I think they were better thank Peter Pan Bakery's bagels.

My biggest problem with the store - they think Greenpoint is two words.

It's located on Manhattan Ave. between Meserole and Calyer (closer to Meserole).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 9:35 AM

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November 20, 2006

Hot Pot is Colorful

POST #    2312

Isn't this image sad? We were all waiting for our pot of half hot-half mild broth and all we could do is look at all the uncooked food. Eventually that did arrive and it was delicious. It almost surprises me how many of my friends didn't know what hot pot was. Here's the Wikipedia entry on it.

There are actually a lot of hot pot entries on this site.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:11 AM

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November 9, 2006

Cronkite Pizzeria & Wine Bar in the Lower East Side

POST #    2302

A little more than two years ago, Adam and I went to the opening of Fornino in Williamsburg. On Monday, we went to the opening of Cronkite Pizzeria & Wine Bar in the Lower East Side. Cronkite is the latest pizza venture by Fornino's owner, Michael Ayoub. At Cronkite's opening, Adam and I had a Margherita Classica and a Pugliese (mozzarella, sausage, broccoli rabe). We didn't end up getting any wine and the restaurant is still so new (you can still smell the paint). I'm sure that given time, Cronkite will be just as good as Fornino. Right now, they're still experimenting with the dough formula as the two have different oven types.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:52 AM

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November 7, 2006

Joe's Bagels in Harlem

POST #    2300

Okay, so "Joe's Bagels" isn't an actual store, but it could be. On Saturday Joe invited a few people to make and eat bagels at his apartment in Harlem. He had the dough made before everyone got there and it had extra gluten in it. Everyone rolled their dough, formed bagels, applied toppings, and waited for the end result. How did they taste? Pretty damn delicious. Whether or not they were better than the best bagels in New York is hard to say as they were fresh out of the oven.

Because the bagels weren't enough deliciousness, Joe also made apple pie and pumpkin ice cream with ginger chunks.

Joe was so prepared for the event (maybe overly) that he'll be eating creamcheese all week! For a more detailed analysis on the whole process we went through, check out Bagel in Harlem.

A few more photos in my flickr set.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:50 AM

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November 2, 2006

Mmm...Shake Shack

POST #    2296

Tuesday night I made my first and second trip to Shake Shack this year. The first was to get a shake and concrete for Shannan and the second was to actually eat. While eating my double Shack burger I wondered where the tomato was. It turns out that it was there, but just really, really small. Like size of pepperoni small. The best part of eating the burger? The last bite that was nearly all meat. Mmm!!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:49 AM

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October 24, 2006

Playing Chubby Bunny

POST #    2288

Friday night at the hotel and Saturday before the game, there were some hilarious games of chubby bunny. What's chubby bunny, you ask? Well, you stuff a food item in your mouth and say 'chubby bunny' afterwards. Kristin and Schreiber played first with Schreiber easily winning that competition. Later, I played against Shannan and Mickala, which I won despite shoving one less mini powdered doughnut in my mouth. They both shoved six in their mouth and I put five in my mouth (I could have had one more, but Shannan had one doughnut, gave up and started over). They lost because they didn't swallow after putting six doughnuts in their mouth. I had no problems with that.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:05 AM

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October 16, 2006

A Pizza Lover's Dream

POST #    2281

The day after gorging on pig the other week, I went to Long Island to judge a pizza contest organized by LongIsland.com. Naturally, I was in heaven. Over the course of about 5 hours, I sampled 25 slices of pizza in five different categories. I also witnessed a guy eat a whole pie (except for about 4 inches of crust) in around 6 minutes.

A lot more photos in my flickr set on the contest.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:48 AM

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October 2, 2006

Bananas Foster at Two Boots in Park Slope

POST #    2263

I have mixed feelings about French toast. I'm not usually a huge fan, but when I saw the French toast at Two Boots in Brooklyn, I had to give it serious consideration because of the bananas Foster factor. In the end, it beat out pizza, a burger, and ordering eggs. I just love bananas Foster and it's rare that you find it at a restaurant in any form, let alone something like French toast. I did have to get a side of bacon though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:19 AM

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September 27, 2006

Rogue Brewery on the Oregon Coast

POST #    2257

One of our stops on our drive up the Oregon Coast was Newport. After spending the night in town, the next morning, we took in a few sites - Mo's Chowder, sea lions (more on that later), and the Rogue Brewery. Unfortunately, we missed the brewery tour, but we did stop by the bar to sample some of the beers Rogue makes. This left me drunk after about 2 sips from each our eight small glasses of beer. Unfortunately, because of the airline restrictions, we weren't able to bring back any of the tasty, tasty beer they had.

Fortunately, at Barcade tomorrow, they are going to have 20 (!!) Rogue beers on tap. Details in the extended entry. I know where I'll be tomorrow night!!

This Thursday night 9/28 we are very excited to welcome Rogue Ales and brewmaster John Maier to Barcade as they take over our taps and pour 20 of their amazing beers. On draft:

Dead Guy Ale
"Dry Hopped" St.Rogue Red
Juniper Pale Ale
Kells Irish Lager
Smoke Ale
Brewer Doppelbock (Locker Stock #3, vintage keg)
I2PA
Old Crusty Barley Wine
Russian Imperial Stout
Imperial Porter
Chipotle Ale
Glen Ale (vintage keg)
Brutal Bitter
Integrity IPA
Schwarzbier
Love & Hoppiness
Uber Pils
Shakespeare Stout
Issaquah Bull Frog Ale

and

Chocolate Stout (on cask)

Basically, there should be something for everybody in there. If not, then you don't like beer and you're probably not coming anyway. Also, we'll be giving away a lot of cool Rogue stuff, plus there'll be a nice bread and cheese spread too. Beer starts flowing at 6pm.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:48 AM

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September 18, 2006

Mo's Chowder in Newport, Oregon

POST #    2248

On the drive up the coast in Oregon is Mo's Chowder in Newport. The Newport location is the original storefront for the restaurant that now has many locations and will actually ship chowder via FedEx. They actually make 500,000 pounds of chowder a year, which seems like an insane amount.

The chowder was good, not all that spectacular or anything, but probably better than average. It was just regular New England Clam Chowder - served in Oregon. The one thing I had never seen before was the piece of butter they placed on top of the soup.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 8:14 AM

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August 14, 2006

A Wine Tour of the North Fork

POST #    2223

While last Sunday was Eric's birthday, he and his wife organized a trip to the North Fork of Long Island this past weekend to celebrate. Of course we had to travel in an H2 limo. Nothing like gas-guzzling, prom-style class. We had some major problems with our limo driver: he was an asshole, two of the vineyards we went to wouldn't accept large groups without appointments (he said we didn't need any because he knew all the places), and he charged more than the contracted amount. Despite those problems, the trip was fun as we went to 3 vineyards (and not the promised 5). Oh, and the douchebag driver was also talking on his phone while driving (not handsfree) and looking at a map while driving.

And in case you didn't notice, there was some tasty macaroni salad.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:51 AM

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August 10, 2006

More Action in Greenpoint - Donuts and ICE CREAM!

POST #    2219

I can't count the number of times that I've finished dinner and had a craving for ice cream. Soon my problems will be answered with the newest addition to Greenpoint - a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robins on Manhattan Ave and Bedford Ave. The are moving into the old Moon Shadow space and the store next door. From the looks of it, the store will be open pretty soon. They lights are done and they've got a freezer already delivered.

The donut/ice cream combination will certainly open before the We the People bagel spot which now has an awning and real name. They should have kept the old name and the notary. People are always in need of a notary with their bagel.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:17 AM

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August 9, 2006

Disturbingly Delicious - Smucker's Uncrustables

POST #    2217

uncrustable.jpgAfter Saturday's Cyclones game, there was a little giveaway of Smucker's Uncrustables sandwiches, something that I'm not sure that I even knew about let alone eaten before. I didn't actually grab one on the way out, but someone else handed me theirs (apparently they thought it was a disgusting concept). Slightly hungry and very curious, I opened the Uncrustable up and started to eat.

In case you're wondering what an Uncrustable is, here's the general idea - a packaged sandwich with different types of fillings with a crimped crustless edge. I had the peanut butter-strawberry sandwich which was just a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich on white bread. There were two layers of "creamy" peanut butter surrounding the jam and applied to the bread. As far as I was concerned, the sandwich was pretty tasty. While the bread seemed slightly damp and soggy, I liked the even distribution and ratio of peanut butter to jam. The best part might have been that there was no possibility of jam drippage.

While I liked the sandwich, I'm not sure if I would actually buy these in a store - mostly because it's not hard to make a PB&J and because it's probably much cheaper to make one yourself. That said, if I was going somewhere where I couldn't make a sandwich, I would be all over these.

And if you think these are disgusting, there's also a grilled cheese flavor, which I'm not sure I would ever, ever try.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:46 AM

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August 1, 2006

Blueberry Crepes

POST #    2209

Sadly we didn't have any blueberries left or any vanilla ice cream. We did have strawberries and powdered sugar though. And I wish I made the blueberry crepes myself, but they're store bought.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:08 AM

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July 31, 2006

Golden/Yellow Kiwifruit

POST #    2208

I've always enjoyed the kiwi fruit, but sometimes it's a little acidic for my taste - even in the ripe versions. This weekend, I had the golden kiwi (also sometimes called yellow kiwi) for the first time and it was excellent. The golden kiwi has a sweeter taste and no noticeable acidity. You still get little seeds in your teeth, but that's not that big a problem. Wikipedia says it took 11 years to develop the golden version through cross-polinization. Apparently the skin is edible, but not something that I ate. Next time I'll be sure to give it a try. Now I just need to find out where to get some of these from my mom.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:08 AM

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July 18, 2006

Tasty Meat Heart Attack

POST #    2195

There's nothing quite like a trip to Katz's to get the arteries clogged. I can't seem to remember the last time I went too well, but I don't think I had as much difficulty finishing as I did on this last trip. I swear that by the end of my pastrami sandwich, I was thisclose to puking. One problem could have been the two beers I had before eating. About 20 minutes after returning home, I went to pass out in bed.

Crazy that I actually wanted to take another trip to Katz's the next day.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:47 AM

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July 11, 2006

Sexy Burgers From the QBQ BBQ

POST #    2185

Yummy! From top: Guber Burger (that's tasty Peter Pan pb), the Green Chile Cheeseburger, and the Butter Burger. And as good as the Butter Burger might sound, it was a little too much butter for my taste. Think buttery bread, with buttery meat, and a lot more butter after that. The Green Chile was my favorite of the ones pictured.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:50 AM

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July 10, 2006

Tasty Burgers, Tasty Faces

POST #    2184

At the Gothamist-A Hamburger Today QBQ BBQ last month. Perhaps some pictures of the tasty food tomorrow. And I think that 2nd picture is one of my favorite pictures ever.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Photos at 7:59 AM

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July 3, 2006

Calvin's Castle of White Castle

POST #    2176

It was the yummiest castle-like creation around. I could eat another half of that castle right now. All in our preparation to split a crave case.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:46 AM

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June 15, 2006

Belmont Stakes 2006/Hellmont '06

POST #    2160

Last Saturday, I went on a little trip out to Belmont Park to catch the third leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. With no possibility of a Triple Crown and none of the horses that won the previous two legs (Barbaro was injured and Bernardini was resting), so there wasn't too big a crowd on hand. In 2004, the last time I went, there were about 120,000 people on hand. This year, the crowd was a little more than 60,000. After boarding a bus of 56 people at 10 in the morning and being suffeciently drunk by noon, I threw away less than $30 on the ponies (a number I'm kind of proud of) coming close to winning bets a couple of times.

For a much better summary of the day, be sure to read Arash Markazi's account on SI.com (he was on the same bus I was).

Also, some more photos in my Belmont photoset on Flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Sports at 7:56 AM

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June 13, 2006

Final Day of the 2006 Food Diary

POST #    2156

Ahh, the final day of my 2006 food diary. A week is a long ass time to keep one, I can't imagine keeping it for a year. Thankfully, I didn't have to take photos of everything I ate because there were a couple of days where it would have been insane. I endured a countless number of people wondering what I was doing. Why I was writing down everything I ingested. Was I on a diet? Nope. Why are you keeping track of it then? Just because.

But there are things you learn from keeping a food diary. I drink lots of water (and pee a lot). It's clear that I can also pack in the food. And while I don't think I'm that horrible an eater, the food diary provides evidence to the contrary. But I don't think this past week was a very typical eating week for me. Not enough pizza, too many bagels, too much alcohol, and a weekend full of gluttony.

Finally, while the diary should merely been something to track my food and beverage intake, it somewhat helped in keeping myself in check (believe it or not). Sunday night, I probably could have eaten more pizza, but I didn't because I could clearly see that I already had 9 slices (incidentally, these were pretty small slices and pies). There were also times where I didn't eat something just because I would have to write something down - not anything major just a snack that I knew I didn't really need.

So without further adieu, here is my final day of the 2006 food diary. You can see all the archives from this year and 2004 here.

Oh, and that image has nothing to do with the food diary. I just like it and dug it up from my archives.

2006 Food Diary, Day 7
9:15 a.m.: Start 30 oz water. Finished at 12:05.
9:22: sesame seed bagel with cream cheese
1:03 p.m.: Start of 20 oz water. Finished at 3:14. Lunch - chicken rice noodles, Coke.
3:38: Start of 16 oz water. Finished at 5:26.
4:13: Fuji apple
4:52: One pretzel that was kind of sweet - almost like a graham cracker pretzel. Nasty.
8:15: Home. Take out from Wasabi. 1 pint of water, edamame, sip of miso soup, 2 pieces of gyoza, soy sauce with wasabi, 5 pieces spicy tuna roll, 4 pieces of California roll, 1 piece sushi, 2 pieces sashimi.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:49 AM

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June 12, 2006

Matt Is One Sexy Bitch; Two Awful Days for Food Diary

POST #    2155

Matty is so sexy that I'm just not sure what to say.

I've had two crazy days of eating. Saturday was a group trip to Belmont, affectionately called Hellmont. It was a bus of 56 people and lots of alcohol. Sunday, I went to a barbecue in Palisades Park in New Jersey.

2006 Food Diary, Day 5
10:15 a.m.: Miller Light, everything bagel with scallion cream cheese.
10:44: Milwaukee's Best
11:56: Miller Genuine Draft
12:19 p.m.: One cup Chatham Artillery Punch, which includes: win, rye whisky, gin, rum, brandy, grenadine, tea, brown sugar, and champagne.
12:28: 1/4 ham and cheese sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion.
12:34: Small piece of brownie
1:27: Half cup of punch (the other somehow fell out of my hand)
2:40: Two handfulls of Cracker Jack
2:43: Potato chips
5:52: Sausage and peppers
7:03: Half a plain bagel
7:10: Vitamin Water (Power-C)
7:43: ~20 Pringles, 1 Sapporo
10:19: 2 strawberries, 1 glass water, 1/2 mango

2006 Food Diary, Day 6
9:46 a.m.: Tea egg, cup of water
11:16: 20 oz bottle of Coke
12:00 p.m.: Blue Corn Tostidos
12:11: Rice Crispy treat
12:21: BBQ chips, Blue Corn Tostidos with salsa
12:34: Hot dog with ketchup
12:39: Cheeseburger with ketchup and onion, potato salad
12:51: Corn
1:02: Hot sausage
1:53: One piece of beef from a shish kebab
1:54: BBQ chicken
2:03: 2 cups Pepsi
2:09: Pound cake with strawberry topping and vanilla ice cream
3:51: 1 cup Pepsi
3:56: 2 chicken drumsticks
6:10: 2 gulps of water
6:38: 2 gulps of water
7:42: Handful of popcorn
8:39: 2 gulps of water
9:01: 2 gulps of water
9:25: Hoegaarden with lemon
9:57: Regular pizza, 6 slices, with pepper, 1 slice, with pepperoni, 2 slices.
10:30: 8 oz of water
11:07: Pint of water

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:59 AM

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June 10, 2006

Randolph and the Pizza Box

POST #    2154

Aww, how cute is that. Randolph sleeping on a pizza box. Could this even win the heart of a certain non-cat loving pizza lover? I'm not sure what topping category Randolph falls under though.

2006 Food Diary, Day 4 (This could be the worst day of eating for this entire endeavor. Today could encroach that though, we'll see.)
9:52 a.m. - #1 meal from McDonald's (Egg McMuffin, hash brown, orange juice)
11:59 - Start of 24 oz of water. Finished at 3:24.
1:17 p.m. - Ham and swiss sandwich with mustard, lettuce, and tomato on white bread. One bag of Firey Habenero Doritos and 20 oz of water.
4:52: Start of 18 oz of water. Finished at 6:23
4:59: 3 pieces of Welch's Concord Grape fruit snacks
5:19: 3 pieces of Welch's Concord Grape fruit snacks
6:54: #1 meal from White Castle (4 burgers with cheese, fries, Coke)
7:26: Magic Hat Hocus Pocus on Calvin's roof.
8:44: Rinse and repeat the above.
10:38: Home. Glass of water.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Randolph at 7:31 AM

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June 9, 2006

Mortimer Still Adjusting; Food Diary Redux, Day 3

POST #    2153

Having my parents' cat Bobo around is helping Mortimer deal with Randolph - mostly because Randolph and Bobo chase each other. Shortly after this picture though, Randolph and Bobo chased each other around for a bit. But the reason he loves Bobo the most is that he eats any food she doesn't finish right away.

2006 Food Diary, Day 3:
8:52 - Still warm everything bagel with scallion cream cheese from Baglesmith.
9:23 - Work, start of 25 oz of water from Nalgene. Finished at 11:31.
11:40 - One substantial sized strawberry
12:48 p.m. - 20 oz bottle of water with lunch. Same sandwich as Monday from BP.
2:23 - 26 oz of water. Finished at 3:30.
3:53 - one chestnut - at this point, I'm getting a little hungry.
3:58 - 10 Veggie Stix
4:02 - small piece spicy chocolate
4:05 - half a fig newton-like fig bar
4:09 - one stick Stride gum
4:27 - six nacho cheese Doritos. I think they should have a variety with extra flavor, something like extra nacho cheese. Mmm.
4:37 - 18 oz of water. Finished 5:17.
5:46 - 6 more Doritos
6:43 - 10 peanuts
7:12 - Dinner at Rialto. Three glasses water, one mojito, two pieces of bread with butter, calamari with chipotle dipping sauce, grilled pork chop topped with shredded apple in a honey sauce with mashed potatoes and spinach, shared an ice cream sundae.
10:47 - Home. One pint water.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Mortimer at 8:59 AM

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June 8, 2006

Gotham Girls Roller Derby; Food Diary Redux, Day 2

POST #    2152

Last Friday, I went to my first roller derby bout ever. The Gotham Girls Roller Derby match was between the Queens of Pain and the Brooklyn Bombshells (their other two teams are the Bronx Gridlock and the Manhattan Mayhem - clearly no love for Staten Island). It was really a lot of fun. I sat rinkside, which got me insanely close to the action, which proved to be a bad idea (or good, depending on how you look at it) when Raggedy Animal got shoved into me. Picture 7 of 8 happened right before I was flattened. My camera and I didn't seem to be damaged either, which is probably the most important thing. In the end, the Bombshells won the close match making their home Brooklyn crowd quite happy.

- More photos from Bombshells vs Pain in my Gotham Girls Roller Derby set on Flickr

2006 Food Diary, Day 2
12:26 a.m. - Home, one glass water. Really needed that glass of water after 64 oz of Bud Light.
9:04 - Work, 32 oz of water. Finished at 12:02.
12:46 p.m. - McDonald's medium #1 meal (that's a BigMac and fries) with a Coke. For some ungodly reason, they were selling an extra Big Mac for only $1 more. Of course, I had to buy and eat it.
3:07 - 30 oz of water. Finished at 5:54.
8:02 - Home, pasta with clams and garlic, one glass white wine.
8:20 - Water, one pint.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Sports at 7:48 AM

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June 7, 2006

Calvin and Jess Graduate; Food Diary Returns

POST #    2151

Believe it or not, Calvin graduated from Brooklyn Law yesterday. Jessica, his sister also graduated, but with many, many honors. Both of them will be great lawyers, especially as they will never be late for a deposition, meeting, or court date (they might not ever have these) because of their fancy graduation gifts from their parents.

Also yesterday, Youngna pointed out a New York Magazine article which details the eating habbits of 5 New Yorkers over a week. Longtime readers may remember that I did this for a week back in 2004 when the NY Times had an article about Tucker Shaw. Shaw had been keeping track of everything he ate in photos and was also the co-author of the New York article. This time, no photos of everything, just a list every day of the previous day's items and maybe some photos.

So I invite those of you who wonder how I'm not 500 pounds (my clothes hide the extra weight well) to follow along and compare what you eat to what I eat.

2006 Food Diary, Day 1
Tuesday:
9:00 a.m. - Work, everything bagel with cream cheese from BP, can of Arizona Green Tea with ginseng and honey (the ginseng makes it healthy)
9:56 - Work, started 24 oz of water from my Nalgene bottle. Finished at 10:56.
10:49 - Work, Portuguese egg custard from Egg King Custard Cafe. I have no idea how the Portuguese egg custard is different than a regular one. It just seems to be burnt and heavier. I need to do a side by side comparison.
12:37 p.m. - Turkey sandwich from BP. Including tomato, lettuce, mayo, cheddar cheese, smoked turkey on a multi-grain bread. 26 oz of water from Nalgene. Finished at 2:14.
3:20 - Chinese milk candy
3:26 - Chinese milk candy
3:31 - Starting on 18 oz of water to get that nasty milk candy taste out of my mouth. Finished at 6:00.
7:19 - Oriental Garden Seafood Restaurant for Calvin and Jessica's graduation party. 2 cups of Coke, 1 cup tea, pickled vegetables, one shrimp, 1 glass red wine, 2 sea scallops with mayo, 2 bowls fish soup, fish, squab and chinese broccoli, 2 crab legs, lobster with noodles, 2 bowls rice wrapped in lotus leaf, 2 pieces of watermelon, a mini almond cookie, a mini moon cake-like ginger thing.
10:02 - Palais Royale, 32 oz of Bud Light
11:14 - Palais Royale, 32 oz of Bud Light

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:52 AM

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June 1, 2006

Congee Village

POST #    2144

It's been too long since my last trip to Congee Village on Allen Street. But last night we went over with my parents and aunt (dad's b-day and mom and aunt heading to China today). Even though I don't like thousand year old egg, my favorite congee is the one with the egg and pork. And of course you can't go to Congee Village without getting the rice with chicken baked in the bamboo. But one of the best items last night was that chicken. Mmm. That last dish was some sweet potato desert thing, but it was just okay.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:53 AM

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May 29, 2006

2006 Schnack Stahl-Meyer Hot Dog Eating Contest

POST #    2142

Today in Red Hook was the 2nd Annual Schnack Stahl-Meyer Hot Dog Eating Contest at Schnack. I've always considered myself a pretty good eater, after all, I did win a small cheesecake eating competition. But this was insane. "Gentleman" Joe Menchetti finished a custom made 30" Stahl-Meyer hot dog in under two minutes. 1:53 to be precise. He just blew away the competition. A man amongst boys in this competition. He won't be in the Nathan's competition though as he's an independent eater and that's an IFOCE event.

- More photos from the Schnack Stahl-Meyer Hot Dog Eating Contest in my set on flickr
- Jesse has more photos in his flickr photoset as well

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos, Sports at 4:15 PM

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Steak 'n Shake - Peoria, Il.

POST #    2141

The last time I went to Steak 'n Shake was in November when I went to Ann Arbor. When I heard that there one in Peoria, we had to go. It was tasty as always, but I forgot to get cheese on my Steakburger. It was tasty nonetheless.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 9:56 AM

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May 25, 2006

Emo's Dairy Mart - Peoria, Illinois

POST #    2140

The first stop when we got off the airplane in Peoria was for lunch at Emo's Dairy Mart. Shannan kept telling me about how good their Coney Dogs were. They were quite delicious, but I think the actual hot dog could have been of better quality. I can't argue with the bean-less chili though, as I hate beans. A standard Emo's Coney Dog is a hot dog with mustard, bean-less chili, and raw onions.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:48 AM

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May 10, 2006

St. Vincent's Banquet - Where Balloons Go to Die

POST #    2123

About two weeks ago, I helped out at a banquet for St. Vincent's Living-at-Home Program at Jing Fong in Chinatown. It was complete with entertainment in the form of purple-haired singers. It was a good time despite hanging out behind the bar for most of it and cutting my finger in an attempt to open a bottle of wine.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 8:07 AM

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May 9, 2006

Inside the Donut Pub

POST #    2089

I previously spotted the Donut Pub, but never went in. Some time last month, I took a chance despite being full after eating fabulous "Mexican" food. It was late when I went in, so nothing was too fresh and it showed when I started to eat my Boston creme donut. So I was a little disappointed, but I'll have to give the Donut Pub another chance.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:06 AM

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April 27, 2006

There's a Blimpie Up in This Biatch

POST #    2113

You just can't stop the improvements in Greenpoint. With local residents unsatisfied with just a Subway up Manhattan Avenue, a Blimpie opened up just recently at one end of the Nassau Avenue G stop. While it doesn't seem like they bake their own bread or to have Hershey's Ice Cream in the store (Subway has both), they seem to have some little cart that is destined to serve some craptastic Mexican food. On the plus side, they have an eager and helpful staff and plenty of seating.

So it's T-Mobile, "We the People Bagles" (which hasn't made much progress) and now Blimpie. What's next?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 7:58 AM

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April 26, 2006

Christina's in Greenpoint

POST #    2111

Over the weekend, Shannan and I had dinner with Jeannnette, Yvan, and Vivian here in Greenpoint. Shockingly, it was the first time I've had Polish food despite living in Greenpoint almost two years. On one of Jeannette and Yvan's neighbor's recommendation, we went to Christina's on Manhattan Avenue. It was really good. Granted, I can't necessarily say that it was authentic as I'm not Polish, but it was definitely tasty. The most peculiar thing though was the wait-staff - both Polish and both wearing similar skimpy outfits.

I had the fried kielbasa with a side of sauerkraut and corn. Also pictured is the Polish platter, an assortment of pierogis, and red cabbage with cole slaw. For dessert, we had the blintzes - the fruit and the fruit with cheese.

As you can see from the picture of the menu (full menu here), the prices were pretty reasonable. I don't have any idea if the pig knuckles are any good though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:58 AM

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April 24, 2006

Spring 2006 Taste of Chinatown

POST #    2110

Saturday afternoon I went over to Taste of Chinatown despite the weather forecast. The turnout was surprising as well as the miniscule amount of food I ate. Not sure why I didn't eat that much despite my hunger. Maybe it was the imperfect system of walking around with food in my hands and camera under my arm while trying not to get wet.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Photos at 8:02 AM

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April 20, 2006

Brunch at Aurora in Williamsburg...Redux

POST #    2106

Over the weekend, I had brunch at Aurora again. With the weather nice out, it's becoming a favorite brunch spot because it's a nice walk over from Greenpoint and I tire of the madhouse that Enid's is sometimes. Last time I went, I had the French toast, this time, I went with the Aurora beef burger. It's a tasty home-made burger topped with bacon and fontina cheese. The burger itself has some sort of green spice inside (I didn't stop long enough to figure it out). I'm not sure what the other dish is and I didn't try it - I think it was just two eggs that came with mushrooms, beans, and a potato croquette.

I think the next time I go, it will have to be for dinner.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:49 AM

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April 19, 2006

Sushi Bandaid - Looks Like Sushi, Smells Like...

POST #    2107

Fish? Ass? Roses? I guess it depends on the foot, doesn't it? If the food bandaids came scented, I would probably go with bacon. Because when it comes down to it, you can't go wrong with bacon.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:00 AM

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April 12, 2006

Happy Early Birthday Matty!

POST #    2100

Oh that Matty. So, so young. Matty had a bit of an early celebration for his birthday yesterday as he'll be away on his actual birthday on Friday. It seems like he tried to re-enact his mozzarella eating, but it's just not the same. He gathered a whopping 17 people for a dinner at Frank.

Food pictured is the antipasto, garlic bread with anchovies, black linguine (black with squid ink!) with calamari, and the skirt steak. All very tasty. The garlic bread could have used some more garlic though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:58 AM

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April 6, 2006

Move Over Pierogi, Here Come the Bagles

POST #    2093

Not only do we have a T-Mobile, but it looks like some bagels are coming to Greenpoint. I, for one, welcome them. Especially since the bagel place on the corner of Meserole and Manhattan is horrible. I also think they should keep the canopy and name of the previous occupant.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:15 AM

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April 5, 2006

Chipotle - "Mexican Food" I Can Like

POST #    2085

I've previously said that I hate Mexican food, which I think I can probably back off on slightly. Now, I probably just dislike it. I've started to find some items that I'll eat and even like at times.

The other night, I went to Chipotle and it's "Mexican" food that I think I could eat on a consistent basis (nevermind the digestive issues I had later). I had the crispy tacos (I can't stand the smell of the soft tortillas) with steak and roasted chili-corn salsa. Taaasty!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:02 AM

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March 27, 2006

Brunch at Aurora in Williamsburg

POST #    2078

Saturday morning, we took a short walk around Williamsburg. Looking for brunch, we happened upon Aurora, which has an awesome backyard garden. I had my eyes on the Nutella doughnut, but it was unavailable. They did, however, have an awesome Nutella croissant. I didn't end up finishing it though as it was insanely rich. While the French toast was also good, I probably shouldn't have had two really sweet dishes in one meal.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:51 AM

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March 23, 2006

Coming Soon - Pizza with the Freshness

POST #    2076

There are many signs of a good girlfriend, like encouraging your boyfriend to do stuff with various books, kind words, stuff like that. Shannan does that and she bought me some fresh garnishes to use when I cook. While a nice gesture, I think she just wants me to cook more and make more pizza. I can see right through her dirty tricks!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, House and Home at 7:30 AM

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March 21, 2006

Gothamist-Slice Pizza Party

POST #    2073

Can I say I've never had truffles sprinkled into my mouth before? And why would I have? Well, that all changed last night at the Gothamist-Slice Pizza Party at Fornino in Williamsburg. It was so amazing. Michael Ayoub (the owner) estimated that there were 200 pizzas served (he had very little dough left) through the night. One of them was the truffle pizza, which usually runs $35/45 a pie - and there were at least 20 of those made. That was one of my favorites. There was also a mozzarella making demo and some spumoni at the end of the night. I was so full at the end that I thought I was going to throw up. I tell you, that's the sign of a good pizza event.

A few more photos in my flickr set.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:20 AM

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March 16, 2006

The Donut Pub

POST #    2069

Alas, I did not go into this magnificent concoction for a sampling of their fare. I really should have though, no matter how full I might have been.

Especially after seeing such kind words on the Internets:
- Menupages
- Roboppy's set on Flickr

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:49 AM

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March 15, 2006

Tostitos Sensations - Red Chile & Lime

POST #    2068

I stumbled upon these chips last night at the grocery store. I think it's a new line of products from Frito-Lay as I thought I saw a potato chip in the "Sensations" line of products as well. We chose the Red Chile & Lime over the Southwestern Ranch (that had a picture of some black pepper-like flakes on a chip). While the image on the packaging might make you think "hot," it's not that hot at all. You can certainly taste the lime though. I definitely like Frito-Lay's Spicy Nacho Doritos better.

Come to think of it, the potato chips actually sound a lot better: Kettle Cooked Four Cheese, Kettle Cooked Lime & Black Pepper, and Kettle Cooked Sweet Chili & Sour Cream.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:05 AM

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February 28, 2006

Signs of Gage & Tollner at T.G.I Friday's

POST #    2057

It's good to know that while changing Gage & Tollner to Friday's they were still able to preserve some of the historical interiors. Despite Friday's not even close to being the oldest restaurant in New York, let alone that stretch of Fulton St, I like how they kept the old window signs. On the inside of Friday's, they still have the lamps that used to be gas lamps before Gage closed down. Obviously there's no gas there anymore.

All this comes from that awesome heart attack inducing trip to Fridays.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:07 AM

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February 23, 2006

Ghenet in SoHo

POST #    2055


For Johnny's birthday dinner, Katie organized a substantial sized gathering for Ethiopian food at Ghenet. I had previously only had Ethiopian at Meskerem. It was the perfect type of meal for a group of our size - especially with all the food we got.

Pictured top to bottom are the sambusa, engouday tibs, kitfo (I think), and several main meat dishes - yebeg tibs, shrimp and scallop tibs, doro wett, and the siga wett - with vegetable dishes around them. With plenty of injera, it's safe to say that we were all full when we left.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:06 AM

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February 16, 2006

A TGI Friday's Adventure!

POST #    2048

I think I just had a heart attack! Last night, I went to TGI Friday's with Janelle, Jesse, Youngna, Brian and Shannan (missing from the team were Jake and Jason - shame on them but good for their bodies) for the heart attack special - their 3 course menu for $12.99. There were two options, the healthy side and the unhealthy dark side. I had the fried mozzarella, the bacon cheeseburger (it had more fried mozzarella on it) and the Cinnabon cheesecake. Guess what I chose.

And let it be known that if you go to a Friday's in NYC, you probably can't use your gift card. The location we went to was the former Gage and Tollner. Some pictures from the interior next week.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:02 AM

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February 7, 2006

Briefly, From 'inoteca

POST #    2040

That 2nd photo is the nutella panini from 'inoteca. Yeah, it's as good as it sounds. The last photo is by Youngna, who, as evidenced by all the photos on my computer, now knows about burst mode.

Previously at 'inoteca last year for JK's birthday. It's kind of striking how different my photos of food are in just one year.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:53 AM

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January 30, 2006

Happy New Year! The Year of the Dog and 4704/4703

POST #    2032


Arf! Arf! Bow wow wow yippee yo yippee yay. Hmm, can't think of anymore. Over the weekend, we celebrated Chinese New Year with some crazy eating. Pretty much the same as last year (the title of my post is even the same). The food did change slightly though.

On this year's menu: beef with eggs, "lion's head" meatballs, whole chicken soup, shrimp, duck, eight assorted vegetables, a whole fish, and glutinous rice cake. Not pictured are the cumquats.

And for more, check out food pictures from last year (year of the Rooster) and the year before (year of the Monkey).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:55 AM

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January 24, 2006

My, What a Big Burger You Have

POST #    2025

You gotta love when you can barely take a bite of your cheeseburger.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:42 AM

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January 3, 2006

New Year's Eve Dinner at Casa de K

POST #    2001

Before heading over to Mark's party, we went up to dinner at Katie and Johnny's. On the menu was a really tasty osso buco using a crock pot (!!) and an excellent creme brulée. Sending out the 2005 with a delicious meal was a good way to go. But lesson to the wise, champagne can be dangerous.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:02 AM

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December 29, 2005

Egg Custard King Cafe in Chinatown

POST #    1997

After seeing David's photo of the Egg Custard King Cafe in his flickr photostream, I decided that I must go. Over the weekend, I finally went. While the name might make you think they only have egg custard, that would be incorrect as they also have actual food. OF course, I didn't get any of this. Just an overload of egg custard.

Egg Custard King Cafe has several flavors of egg custard and I went with four different ones, none of which were the traditional flavor you might find at dim sum. Pictured are the almond, strawberry, honey dew, and mango flavored egg custards. They also had plain, banana and some sort of white egg custard (possibly egg white?).

Are they tasty? You bet. Just don't eat four in a 5 minute span. Why would I do that? Well, I had to taste one right after another but without finishing the whole thing. It's a good thing I didn't get each flavor they had. I think my favorite of the bunch was the honey dew egg custard followed by the almond, strawberry, and mango.

And for 75¢ each, I might have to go back and try the other flavors. Certainly not all at once though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:18 AM

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December 28, 2005

Christmas Dessert

POST #    1995

After eating an insane amount of food for dinner, we moved onto dessert which included a Bûche de Noël from Bouley and a tiramisu cheesecake from Fairway. The Bûche was a Bûche Jivara (milk chocolate and vanilla) and was really, really good. The tiramisu cheesecake was good, but it was just overkill. Combining the two is pure madness.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:15 AM

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December 27, 2005

Christmas Dinner

POST #    1994

Sunday night, I went over to J-Dub's as he and Jen graciously played host for a Christmas dinner. They ordered an insane amount of food from David Bouley's Boulet Bakery. It was an insane amount of food, especially purees. On the menu for dinner was a lobster bisque, string bean and walnut salad, butternut squash puree, potato puree, zucchini mint puree, chestnut puree, roasted chicken and a roasted pork loin. See? Insane amount of purees. Needless to say, I'm pureed out for the rest of the year.

Pictured are the butternut squash puree, zucchini mint puree, string bean walnut salad, Bouley's signature bread, the pork loin and roasted chicken. And yes, the zucchini mint puree was kind of strange tasting, but not in a bad way. Just something I've never had before. I'm not sure I could taste zucchini at all.

Tomorrow, pictures of dessert including a really tasty Bûche de Noël.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:00 AM

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December 22, 2005

Sripraphai in Woodside

POST #    1987

Last Friday, I headed out to Woodside with Jeannette and Yvan to Sripraphai (SEE-PAH-FYE). I had not been since last winter before they finished renovating part of the restaurant. Despite the finished renovation/expansion, the place was packed when we got there. For good reason too because Sripraphai is great. (It's not even owned by Chinese people!) The food is marvelous and occasionally knock-your-socks-off hot. We didn't even order hot, we just asked for slightly hot. Even with that degree of hotness, we were already enduring stomach pains and runny noses. Not that that's a bad thing.

Pictured above are the crispy Chinese watercress salad, green duck curry, drunken noodles with pork, sticky rice container, and the clams with basil and chili sauce. All of it was great. We determined he drunken noodles to be the hottest and that's without the addition of the sauce on the side.

- Frank Bruni's two-star review in the NY Times
- NY Metro's listing on Sripraphai
- Citysearch listing for Sripraphai

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:30 AM

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December 19, 2005

Celebrating Katie's Birthday

POST #    1984

Saturday night, I went to Shelly's on 57th St. to help Katie celebrate her 20-something birthday. I personally had never been to Shelly's, but anything that has steak and seafood couldn't have been too bad. The item I was most disappointed in was probably the creamed spinach, which seemed too watery/creamy.

And if you're curious as to what that last item is, it's a marshmallow dessert with ice cream inside. It was doused with flaming Bacardi 151, which was really, really cool.

Also disappointing was the quality of the pictures I took. Man, going back to the S70 in low light didn't turn out well. Perhaps it was a combination of the lack of usage of the S70 combined with the stellar results of the 20D in low light, which makes the results so disheartening. Mental note, lug 20D wherever I go from now on.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink at 8:04 AM

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December 14, 2005

Hot Pot at Grand Sichuan

POST #    1982

Friday night, I had some hot pot at Grand Sichuan with my parents. I can't tell you how good hot pot is when it's cold out. Funny thing is that it's mostly eaten here when it is cold since you tend to sweat profusely when you're eating out of the spicy side. I remember traveling in China a while back and seeing restaurants that were dedicated to hot pot. There was no option of a half mild, half spicy side. It was only spicy and really red looking. I wish I could say I tried it, but alas I did not. It didn't seem like the best idea to burn a hole in my stomach while in Chongqing.

And don't blame me for the photos - I was trying to eat and take photos at the same time.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:58 AM

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December 7, 2005

Dumont Burger in Williamsburg

POST #    1973

After reading Adam's glowing review of Dumont Burger, I went to check it out Monday night. For some strange reason, I decided to get blue cheese on my burger, which probably wasn't a great idea. The burger was still great, but blue cheese is a little much on the pungent side. I went through a "hmm, it tastes good on wings, why not burger" thought process.

One thing I didn't love as much as Adam was the onion rings. I kind of like them crispier and not with a sweet taste. I also didn't like the pickles that they provided. The pickle chips were sweet and the pickle spear that came with the burger was tasteless. But those two things shouldn't detract from the tall and tasty burger.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:06 AM

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December 1, 2005

My Favorite Candy Bar - SKOR

POST #    1967

I've determined that my favorite candy bar is Hershey's SKOR. You can't go wrong. There's milk chocolate (I hate that dark chocolate crap) and a tasty butter toffee inside. Mmm. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

One thing I noticed recently is that they changed the shape of it. Making it narrower and longer but keeping the same net weight. I could swear that it was less candy, but I guess not. It must be a psychological ploy to make consumers think there is less so they have to buy more. Gotta love consumer gluttony because that's exactly what I did.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:07 AM

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November 28, 2005

Clinton Street Baking's Cuban Sandwich

POST #    1963

Saturday afternoon, we headed to Clinton Street Baking Company for some lunch. I was torn between the cheeseburger (which I could really go for right now) and the Cuban sandwich. As you can see, I went with the Cuban. I'm curious if the Cuban is one of the saltiest sandwiches out there. While I enjoyed eating it, the sandwich was almost like instant dehydration.

In addition to the Cuban, I also got a raspberry-chocolate milkshake, which was good, but I couldn't really taste any chocolate.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:03 AM

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November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving '05

POST #    1962

Mmm...Thanksgiving. It's a good thing there were lots of leftovers, because I can eat the meal all over again for the rest of the weekend. Okay, not all of the meal. Just a couple of items.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:55 AM

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November 21, 2005

The Perfect Pizza/Pasta Sauce?

POST #    1956

So when I make my own pizza at home, I like to use homemade sauce (the store bought crap really didn't cut it). And when I say homemade, I don't mean fresh tomatoes, although that's not out of the question, I just don't do it because it's a bigger pain. After picking up a tip from Adam, I started using canned whole plum tomatoes for the sauce.

Here's the list of ingredients I add:
- olive oil
- fresh garlic
- 1 can whole plum
- oregano
- basil
- hot peppers (I added 3 yesterday)
- salt
The outcome is pretty good in my mind, but I wonder if there's anything else I should add. One recipe I read had onions as an ingredient, but I've never really added them. I suppose if I'm actually using the sauce for pasta, there would be a longer list of things I could add.

Thoughts?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:59 AM

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November 14, 2005

Din Tai Fung at the Sheraton LaGuardia

POST #    1949

Friday night, I went to Din Tai Fung's "traveling road show" at the Sheraton in Flushing. For about nine days, the Taiwaneese restaurant sets up shop at the Sheraton selling a reasonable facsimile of their famous soup dumplings. Unfortunately, I have this cold and was severely congested to the point that I couldn't taste anything.

Nevertheless, I forged on, eating the dishes that we ordered and just imagined how good they tasted. From what I was told, the soup dumplings were not as good as the original restaurant in Taipei (of course not) but were still better than all other soup dumplings in New York.

Din Tai Fung's last day in New York is Sunday, November 20th with reservations needed to eat there. Unfortunately, it is fully booked so I won't be tasting it again this year. Unless I travel to one of their 25 locations around the world.

- Din Tai Fung set on flickr

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:08 AM

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November 9, 2005

Steak 'n Shake

POST #    1945

I've often lamented New York's lacking in fine burger franchises (Sonic, In-N-Out) and while I was in Michigan, I found yet another chain my fair city is missing, Steak 'n Shake. Sure real estate prices in New York might make it impossible for any of these chains to survive, but how about placing one in Long Island or in New Jersey. Plenty of land available. I would certainly make a trip.

Started in the town of Normal, Illinois in 1934, Steak 'n Shake is "famous for its Steakburgers" and has insanely delicious milk shakes. If those two items aren't enough, they also have a good list of side dishes including a Bean Crock, which has made cameo appearances in their advertising (ad #4).

While it currently isn't in the New York market, apparently a franchise opportunity is available here. Anybody out there have some money they want to throw towards this? It's a guaranteed hit! Especially with those fancy hats.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:48 AM

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November 2, 2005

Bleu Drawes Cafe in Greenpoint

POST #    1937

A week or so ago, we went to the Bleu Drawes Cafe here in Greenpoint. Man is that place hard to get to. It's pretty much as north as you can get in Greenpoint on a quiet industrial street (obviously it's becoming more residential).

Pictured is the really tasty jerk chicken, a grilled pork chop, and two desserts - the insanely sweet carrot cake (it almost seemed like it was pre-packaged and then nuked) and the Bleu Drawes, a really heavy sweet-potato pudding that almost looks like something uneatable.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 7:58 AM

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October 26, 2005

Bozu in Williamsburg

POST #    1931

A week ago we went to Bozu with the rents for a tasty, tasty meal of Japanese Tapas. Yeah, who knew there was Japanese Tapas to begin with. Everything we ordered was so good. The dessert pictured is a red wine sorbet wrapped in strawberry. Yeah, crazy, but really good. Very sweet though, not that I have an issue with that.

The food pictured top to bottom is seaweed salad and tuna, stuffed mushrooms, asparagus with bacon and mushrooms, scallops and shrimp, spicy tuna rolls, the Party Bomb (Pink bomb with salmon and scallion; Mclow bomb with tuna, avocado, wasabi cream sauce; Spicy mcbomb with tuna, cucumber, spicy mayo; Ikura bomb with salmon roe and cucumber), the dipping sauces with varying amounts of wasabi, skirt steak, and the red wine sorbet.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:05 AM

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October 22, 2005

Tailgating a Week Ago

POST #    1923

From one week ago when I was in Michigan. Yes, that is a huge match lighter. It was actually pretty awesome. And yes, that's a gummy worm hanging out of Andrew's mouth while he's drinking beer.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Sports at 9:48 AM

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October 20, 2005

New York's Best Cupcakes

POST #    1920

OMG OMG!!! I just had the best cupcakes in New York ever!! And you know what? You don't have to wait in line and they are available almost everywhere!! From your local grocery store to your local bodega. These cupcakes come neatly packaged in a container of two, have a creme filling, and you don't even have to peel a silly wrapper before eating! Even better, they last forever! SOOOO GOOOD.

I like cupcakes and all, but it's not a fucking godsend. It's a freaking desert, people! Lets move on. Stupid cupcake craze. I'm not even sure the cupcake is the best cup or cake. I would rather have a cup of water or a cheesecake.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:08 AM

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October 2, 2005

Dinner in PA

POST #    1898

There's nothing quite like outdoor dining. It's even better when the food is made for you. The only problem with it is that tasty food goes cold after about 5 minutes.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 11:53 AM

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September 7, 2005

Dinner at Chez Panisse

POST #    1870

I'm not much of a fancy eater. I typically don't eat very many fancy foods, just the occasional fancy meal here and there, so what I am about to say might not count for much. I think the meal I had Thursday night at Chez Panisse in Berkeley was the best meal I've ever had. That's right, the best meal I've ever had. But really, what do I have to compare it to? I'm not sure what the fanciest place I've ever eaten at is and I've never been to the vaunted restaurants of New York (it's just not my scene). Then again, I'm not saying that Chez Panisse is the best restaurant in the world, it just happened to serve me the best meal I've ever had.

On the menu for September 1st was:

White gazpacho with almonds, grapes, figs, and jamon serrano
Shrimp and squid paella with quid ink sauce and allioli
Loin of Laughing Stock Farm piglet with summer vegetables baked in the coals
Ricotta fritters with warm honey and Indian Red peaches

The shrimp and squid paella might have been the best single dish - and easily best rice dish - I've had in my life (and this includes my love for Peter Luger steak). It had a smokey flavor that was outstanding and beyond delicious. I can't really describe it, but any description I give it wouldn't do it justice. Oh how I wish I could eat that paella over and over again.

Everything else was excellent as well. The gazpacho might have been the "worst" course of the meal, but it was by no means bad. I'm just not a huge gazpacho fan. Why? Because you don't make friends with salad, that's why. The pork was tender and tasty as well, but the coal baked vegetables were just okay. And the ricotta fritters were a perfect way to end the meal. I was very close to licking the honey off the plate during the dessert. I can't imagine that would have gone over well though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 8:09 AM

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September 6, 2005

Dim Sum at Yank Sing

POST #    1869

While in San Francisco over the long weekend, I had dim sum with some family members at Yank Sing. San Francisco has one of the better (if not the best) Chinatowns in the country, but the Yank Sing wasn't really in Chinatown. It was in the financial district's Rincon Center. It was kind of odd and food court like. We were sitting in the atrium of the building and eating dim sum.

That didn't detract from the tastiness of the food though.

Full sized photos in my Yank Sing Flickr set.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:56 AM

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August 29, 2005

Cyclones vs Yankees at Keyspan Park

POST #    1864

Sunday night was the last Cyclones ticket in my weekend package, so it might be the last time I head to Coney Island this year. The last trip to Nathan's, the last ride on The Cyclone, the last time to hear the PC Richards jingle, to hear the "We Deliver" song for a local car dealership. Okay, maybe another trip to Coney Island has to happen. If not for a baseball game, then at least for rollercoaster fun and eating.

The game against the Staten Island Yankees wasn't pretty. The Yankees started with two quick runs in the 1st inning, hitting balls that had eyes and proceeded to shut the Cyclones out. In fact, Brooklyn failed to get a hit until the seventh inning.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC, Sports at 7:53 AM

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August 28, 2005

The 2005 BBQ NYC

POST #    1862

Yesterday afternoon we went to Ward's Island for BBQ NYC. It was delicious, as you can kind of tell from the photos. It was very different than my previous BBQ experience this year, the Big Apple BBQ Block Party. Like I did then, I really liked the hot links. I also loved the salmon. Actually, everything was really good. Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:37 AM

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August 25, 2005

Go Suck a Lemon

POST #    1858

So a couple weeks ago when I was at Paprika for Calvin's birthday, I ordered a lemon desert. It was a tasty lemon ice that came in a whole lemon. Determined to get every last drop of lemony goodness, I started licking the lemon and trying to bite it. Eventually, I stuck as much as it could into my mouth and sucked on the lemon. It was pretty much frozen solid, making my mouth kind of numb.

And does anyone know where the phrase "go suck a lemon" came from?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:45 AM

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August 18, 2005

Making Pizza with Fresh Direct's Flat Bread

POST #    1848

I haven't made pizza in a while, but last week, we made a Fresh Direct order so I ordered some pizza items. While you can make pizza without Fresh Direct, I spotted some grilled flat bread while placing my order. Longing for home-made pizza and grilled pizza, buying the flat bread seemed like a perfect solution. Their description of the bread didn't hurt either:

Our tempting flatbread gets its extra-toasty flavor from a brief encounter with a hot grill. This flatbread is exceptionally versatile -- makes a wonderfully crisp pizza crust, great hot or cold wraps, and is an ideal platform for dips or a brushing with our herb butter. For a Middle Eastern treat, cut into wedges and serve with hummus.

So I made some spicy tomato sauce, which I should really do more often, that would eventually be used on the pizza. The first pizza I made was good, but it didn't turn out great. I should have kept it in the oven a little longer. My pizza stone helped the crispness of the crust, but it could have been better.

The second and third pizzas, pictured, were awesome. I decided to make a spinach pizza and another pepperoni pizza. I'm usually skeptical of veggies on pizza because it turns a good pie mushy, but I must say that it came out pretty damn good.

So if anyone wants to buy some flat bread and beer, I'll totally make some pizza.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:57 AM

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August 17, 2005

Eric's Last Meal

POST #    1845

Not only was the meal pictured here on our last night in Cancun, but it was also Eric's birthday. So in a way, it was a happy and sad occasion. Happy because of the birthday thing and sad because he's soon to be wed. But the speech he gave went something like this, "I can't wait to get married!!"

This is the last of my Cancun photos (finally!), and besides the fact that I'm not in the 3rd picture, can you spot what's slightly off?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:55 AM

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August 12, 2005

Late Night Tacos at the Taco Factory in Cancun

POST #    1839

There's nothing quite like a late night taco when drunk, hungry, tired and ready for bed. That's where the Taco Factory comes through in a pinch at 5:30 am. And I don't even like Mexican food.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:56 AM

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August 10, 2005

Oooh Barracuda! Or My Poor Attempt at Fish Tacos

POST #    1836

After catching the fish out at sea, they were filleted for us so we could take it with us to eat. Little did we know that barracuda isn't the tastiest fish out there - at least not the ones in Cancun. The meat was just too tough. The first few bites were tasty though, but I chalk that up to being really hungry and the e"we just caught it, it's going to be good" syndrome.

A couple things that were tasty were freshly made tortilla chips (just fried and still warm) and the rice. Not sure what it was about the rice that made it so good.

And yes, that's a lame fish taco. What do you want, I didn't have salsa or anything yet.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 12:23 PM

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August 4, 2005

Post Kayak Dinner at Blue Pete's

POST #    1826

Immediately after kayaking in the Back Bay, we had dinner at Blue Pete's. The cool thing about eating there was that we literally rowed our kayak ashore in front of the restaurant. The restaurant is right on the river and has a good selection of food and is surprisingly reasonable price wise.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 4:18 AM

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July 17, 2005

Bow Down Before Me, For I AM Your Cheesecake Eating Champion

POST #    1801


(I believe I'm on slice 3 in the first picture and 4 in the second. Note the amusement of the crowd and the visiting team. Photos by Kim)

Yesterday I went to my first Brooklyn Cyclones game of the season after missing the first ticket in my weekend ticket package. While waiting for the game to start, I was presented with a unique opportunity, a cheesecake eating competition. Despite some hesitation and some questions to the Cyclones marketing rep, I agreed to the contest and signed my waiver. I was told that the slices of cheesecake were not that big, my competition was bigger than me, and that the record was five slices of cheesecake. Sounds pretty easy, except it's a 30 second competition.

While waiting for the end of the 3rd inning (when I was to report for the competition), my mind was going crazy. What kind of cheesecake will it be? Thick? Fluffy? Will there be water? Do I drink the water? How much bigger is this guy than me? Is he old? Young? How much chewing should I actually do? Would three cheesecakes be enough to win?

My competition, while technically bigger than me, was not very intimidating at all. He was probably in his 50s, about 5'5", but he had a belly like he knew how to pack away a cheesecake. I was happy to hear that he had never participated in an eating competition before, but dismayed to hear that he usually gets a cheesecake when he goes to a Cyclones game. Little did he know that I could pack away a decent amount of food and that cheesecake is my favorite cake.

Around comes the end of the 4th inning and it's showtime. The MC decides to introduce us by last names. To his left is Edison and to his right, me. "...Mao. He claims no relation to the Communist dictator." Nice. Before us is a table of 18 cheesecakes, 9 for each of us. No forks allowed and we were told that the messier, the better. Of course. 30 seconds, here we go...

I move to pick up the first piece and it's a disaster. The cheesecake breaks in half. It's warm and humid, and the cheesecakes have become soft, making them easy to shove into your mouth, but difficult to pick up. A cheesy mess. I shove the first piece (now two pieces) into my mouth and go with the natural, but unnecessary, instinct to chew before swallowing. As I start on my second piece, the MC says I'm actually behind with Edison at 1.5 slices. I look over and it seems like he's on his second too. This was probably about 10 seconds into it. Time to focus.

The beauty of eating the soft cheesecake is that it was very easy to cram into your mouth. So I proceed to cram, chew, swallow through the second piece, then the third. "Mao is now in the lead!" The fourth goes in, and finally piece number five as time expires. While I didn't really swallow #5, I'm going to go with what I see during IFOCE competitions - if it's in the mouth, it counts. Lets ignore the fact that at least half a slice was on my hands and face. I had vanquished Edison who probably only ate 2.5-3 slices. Easy as pie. My arm was raised in victory. As we walked off the field, I proceeded to eat the cake off my hand. Why waste it, right?

My prize was a hand that smelled like cheese the rest of the night and a $50 gift certificate for more cheesecake. Now, pass the Lipitor and sign me up for that angioplasty.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Sports at 11:25 AM

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July 13, 2005

Dinner at Jaya

POST #    1792

If there's one thing about this whole larger images thing, it's that my photos of food are now even larger. Then again, if I'm hungry (or you're hungry), it's going to make looking at this site all the more painful.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:00 AM

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July 10, 2005

Mon Dieu! A Waffle House in Pennsylvania!

POST #    1788

For the first time in the Northeast, I've seen a Waffle House! I didn't have time to stop in, but perhaps I will in the future. Yum.

Now, if we could only get an In-N-Out in the area...

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:12 AM

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July 8, 2005

Lychee, the Shrimp of Fruits

POST #    1776

I think for anything people do, there is a certain effort/reward calculation. Is the effort worth the reward? I think this calculation also applies to eating. One thing I have to put in a lot of effort for is fresh shrimp. Now, I'm not talking about the stuff you get at Red Lobster with the shells off and only that little tail part left, but the kind you get in Chinatown - head, shell, swimmerets.

Shrimp meat is very tasty, but it's such a huge pain to get to. You have to rip off the head, the swimmerets, the shell. Such an ordeal. Even though I've virtually perfected a speedy and ill-mannered way of eating them. Take the head off, bite off the swimmerets and spit onto plate, and then tear off the shell with my teeth. See, very painful process that is so much effort that it's not really worth it. The effort to meat ratio is all imbalanced.

I feel like the lychee is the fruit equivalent to shrimp. The shell is hard to open and somewhat prickly. Once you do crack the shell, you're left with a tasty bit of fruit with a pit so big that you wonder why you did all that work. Just like the shrimp, the effort to meat is all out of whack.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:37 AM

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July 6, 2005

Corn is a Vegetable, Right?

POST #    1784

I sure do hope so, because as you can see in these pictures of food from the long weekend, there weren't many vegetables in my diet. Not pictured were a piece or two of lettuce and onion as well as some spinach. At least I loaded up on watermelon and didn't really eat too much ice cream.

God, I'm hungry now.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:06 AM

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June 30, 2005

My First Trip to Shake Shack

POST #    1780

Last night, I made my first trip to Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. First trip?? Yep, despite all the food I've had pictured on my site, I only made my first trip last night. It was the perfect night to go. Overcast with drizzle and a non-existant line and plenty of seating. I ordered a double shack burger, fries and a chocolate milkshake.

I must say that the burger was very, very tasty and possibly the best burger I've had in New York. I can't think of one that's better off the top of my head, but I can say that it's better than the burger at Corner Bistro. Then again, I think the only reason people love the Bistro Burger that much is because they are either drunk when they start eating or waited so long that they can't help but love it.

One thing that I loved about the burger was the meat to bun ratio. It was perfect. At the end, there was a nice little beef overflow that makes that last bite delicious. Mmm. I'll be coming back to this page all day to torture myself with these images.

More information (much more comprehensive):
- A Hamburger Today on Shake Shack
- Cheese Dip on Shake Shack

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:59 AM

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June 25, 2005

Father's Day Dinner

POST #    1771

Hmm, post coming a bit late, I suppose. But there's nothing quite like a stomach burning, ass flaming father's day dinner.

The 2nd dish is called "ants crawling up trees" (or something like that) because that's what it's supposed to look like. I don't see it, but it sure tasted good and un-ant like. Hmm, Fear Factor should do a real dish with ants crawling up trees. And the fish tasted better than it looks.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:04 AM

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June 23, 2005

Twistini Pure Butter Croissant Twists

POST #    1770

Just the other day, I cracked open a box of Twistini Pure Butter Croissant Twists that I've had for a little while. I'll just say that the next box won't be sitting around for nearly that long. They should rename the product though. Maybe to something like "Twistini Pure Heart Stopping Twists." I mean, they are PURE BUTTER. Well, they use pure butter. Is that a change from regular croissants, which always taste buttery to me.

I think all the twists were gone within a few hours of opening the box. Granted, the box didn't have many to begin with. And despite using pure butter, there are only 85 calories per serving with 30 of those from fat. I can think of plenty of other things that are more unhealthy. Minor detail - each serving is two twists.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:58 AM

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June 20, 2005

The Meatballs at Paprika...

POST #    1765

are FABULOUS and served with Swiss chard and mashed potatoes. I'm curious as to how the meatballs would turn out in a meatball sub. But that would just be a waste, yes? I kind think they look better in the picture than they did in person, but I can say that they taste as good as they look.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:59 AM

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June 18, 2005

The Bastardization of Lombardi's Pizza

POST #    1764

I've never liked Lombardi's Pizza. Sure it's historic, but I don't think that a pizza crust should be so bread-like and I feel like that's what you get with Lombardi's. As much as I don't like their pizza, I'll gladly eat it (especially late at night when hungry), but was it really necessary to expand like they did?

I had no idea until last night that Lombardi's expanded. Not only did it expand, but it did so in such a tacky tourist trap manner that can't be good for the pizza - there's a jukebox for crying out loud. There will be butts in the seats because of the 100 year history that the establishment has, but I'm sure the "quality" of pizza can't keep up. Not quite 100 years down the drain or Gennaro Lombardi rolling in grave changes, but it's just too different. It's lost that feeling.

I remember John's tried a similar thing thing at some point in the 90's, and more than doubled its size. They even added ovens, but the quality of the pizza and the general feel of the whole place changed. They since went back to a smaller size, but I don't think the quality has ever returned.

Oh, and if you didn't know, for all things pizza, you should turn to Slice.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:25 PM

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June 16, 2005

Subway Watermelon Nastiness

POST #    1761

06-15-05_1835.jpg

On my way to dinner last night, I was on the 4 to City Hall when a passenger broke out a 1/4 watermelon piece. If that wasn't somewhat odd enough, he decided that he wanted to share it with his friend. To break it, the two geniuses decided to push down on each end of the melon while balancing it on a knee. Not surprisingly, one half of the watermelon tumbled to the floor and skid about half a foot. The man who was going to eat that half said "Damn!", picked up his half thought about it for a second and then started to pick a few things off his half and dug in. As you can see, I captured it on the cameraphone and for that one man, the 5 second rule applies to the subway too.

Quite possibly one of the more disturbing things I've seen inside the subway. It's up there with the pile of shit I once saw.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 8:05 AM

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June 13, 2005

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2005, Part 2

POST #    1757

Because the photos I posted yesterday weren't tasty enough looking, here are some more from my trip Saturday to the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. Of everything I tried, I think the sausage from Southside Market & BBQ in Elgin, TX was my favorite. I was told that they are famous for it. Besides, when an establishment brings 1000 pounds (HALF A FREAKING TON) of sausage, you know they take their sausage seriously.

Then again, there might have been a slight bias to the food I tried in the beginning because at the end I was absurdly full.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:51 AM

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June 12, 2005

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2005, Part 1

POST #    1756

Much like last year, the Big Apple BBQ Block Party was an insane eating extravaganza. So much food, so much over eating, so many people. All very bad on the waistline, but it seemed like such a good idea at the time. I believe I had one of each barbecue item at the event except for the snoot and anything from Blue Smoke.

So, a list of what I had:
- Brisket with sausage and beans from Southside Market & BBQ in Elgin, TX
- St. Louis spareribs with coleslaw from Whole Hog Cafe in Little Rock, AR
- Whole pork shoulder with beans from Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, AL
- Baby back ribs with beans from 17th St Bar & Grill in Murphysboro, IL
- Whole hog with coleslaw from Mitchell's BBQ in Wilson, NC
- Beef brisket, sausage and coleslaw from The Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, TX
- Pork shoulder with coleslaw from Ubon's in Yazoo, MS
- Pork shoulder with beans from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in New York

Insane, I say! INSANE!!!! More later. Damn, I could go for some more today...

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 10:40 AM

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June 3, 2005

Yum, Yum, Cheesesteak

POST #    1737

It's unfortunate that one cannot subsist on pizza, hamburgers, and cheesesteaks alone because if you could, I would be eating them all the damn time. And like nobody can replicate New York pizza if they tried, nobody can replicate a cheeseteak from Philly. Carl's, 99 Miles, nobody.

The cheesesteak above is from Jim's Steaks, which I had been to before. I was going to head to Tony Jr's, but for some reason they were closed on Sunday. It's unfortunate that I only had one cheesesteak on the weekend. Especially since I'm convinced I can easily eat two in one sitting.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 9:03 AM

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June 1, 2005

Wedding Related Food From the Weekend

POST #    1733

The top two are from the rehearsal dinner when I had to order the key lime pie (that's something I have to order if it's available). Dinner at the wedding is pictured in photos 2-5. It was a pear salad, some steak related item with tasty mashed potatoes, and a chocolate containing wedding cake.

Many more photos on Flickr including the wedding cake before it was cut and the awesome looking groom's cake which I didn't get to try.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 8:09 AM

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May 26, 2005

Osem Sesame Coated Pretzel Rings

POST #    1725

Since I love sesame seeds, when I saw a bag of sesame pretzels in the supermarket I thought to myself, "could this be the greatest invention ever?!?" Not quite. While the Osem Pretzels are good, they lack the crunch of your typical pretzel. They have a consistency similar to that of a cracker if that makes any sense. The sesame is a nice and tasty touch though.

Another problem is that they aren't salty enough. So note to those Osem people: while your product might be perfectly Parve and certified by the Orthodox Union, it could be tastier with a little salt and crunch.

Also, what's with the OU Chinese site?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:04 AM

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May 22, 2005

Food From the Rehearsal Dinner

POST #    1720

After the wedding rehearsal Saturday afternoon, everyone made the quick walk over to Amsterdam Restaurant and Tapas Lounge for dinner. Of course I took pictures. The first picture was of chicken with prosciutto and spinach, the second is steak and the rest is dessert. The desert options were an apple crisp, some crepes, and a molten chocolate souffle.

More pictures from the wedding to follow. And yes, Tom, I take a lot of food pictures.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 11:38 AM

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May 19, 2005

Last Meal in China - A Casual Breakfast

POST #    1717

The whole time I was in China, I was craving some local fare, but it seemed like all I ate was fancy dinners at restaurants. The last morning I was there though, I was dead-set on something more low key. When we asked the doorman to the hotel where we might get xiao shao bing and you tiao, he seemed hesitant to point us in the right direction. I'm happy that he eventually did.

If I remember correctly, the whole meal (for 5 of us) cost about 2.5 RMB or about 30 cents. Not exactly a fancy place, but it was good, cheap, and really hit the spot.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:46 AM

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May 13, 2005

Cooking Dinner for the Rents

POST #    1704

Last night I did something for the first time ever...cooked for my parents. It was a mild success. You can never tell with parents. Are they just being modest or do they genuinely like your food? Dammed if I know. All I know is that most of the food came out well.

On the menu, with thanks to a Fresh Direct order, was: Caesar salad, corn on the cob, spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce (my own recipe), and a lime and cumin crusted skirt steak. For desert, fresh strawberries and raspberries.

The skirt steak was good and tender, but there might have been a bit too much seasoning. I also kind of thought that the steak was much smaller than it was...oops. Besides those minor issues, it was great. Hopefully, my parents enjoyed the meal to some extent.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:14 AM

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May 9, 2005

Making Fried Rice

POST #    1696

Fried rice has to be one of the easiest Chinese dishes to make. It's got to be if I can do it with decent results. The ingredients I used were a cured ham, eggs, scallions, peas, and rice. I've made it with chicken before, but that never turns out quite that well because I always seem to cut the chicken too thick.

The secret is not to use fresh rice as that's usually too moist. I cooked the rice in the morning and made the fried rice in the late afternoon. Decent results, but I didn't get the rice crisp enough. Maybe I'll make it again in a couple of weeks and see how that turns out.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:03 AM

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May 5, 2005

The Burger Joint on 3rd Avenue and 20th Street

POST #    1688

Over the weekend, I went to The Burger Joint on 3rd Ave and 20th St (241 3rd Ave) for some eating, which regular readers will know I'm always up for. The Burger Joint shouldn't be confused with Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian, which is totally different. The Burger Joint serves tiny burgers with freshly ground beef and very few options. Customers have their choice of cheese, grilled onions, and how they want their burger done. That's it. No lettuce, no tomato. If so inclined, one can double their burger/cheeseburger.

Possibly the best feature of The Burger Joint is their selection of sodas. Besides Stewart's, RC Cola, and the like, they have Bosco (!!) mixed into a chocolate soda form. George Costanza would surely be upset.

And if that's not enough reason, it's cheap and they use potato rolls for buns. A cheeseburger costs a mere $1.00 and a cheeseburger is $1.25. I would not recommend getting four burgers and an order fries. A bit too filling.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:04 AM

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April 25, 2005

More Food Pictures From China

POST #    1667

So I went to China about a month ago, and I still haven't gotten through all my photos. I took a long break in posting them and only started to get back at the end of last week. I've got this food set and another one or two food posts and then some more "scenic" china photos. Actually, I just looked at my photos again, and I've got maybe seven more China posts. Sigh. Mental note: take less photos in the future.

While I was in China, we ate out so many times. I think the only meals we at at my aunt's house were our breakfasts, the won ton meal, and one lunch. We were at her home for about 4 days. Not too much in the way of home cooked goodness. The meal pictured here was actually one of the more low key ones at a Sichuan restaurant in Jiading. The funny thing is that besides the fish, it didn't feel/taste very Sichuan-like to me.

Pictured are some vegetable dish, a spicy fish dish, Indian bread (how it can be "Indian bread" with beef in it is beyond me), fried custard/milk, some tripe containing dish (didn't eat it), and a dessert dish with some glutinous dough-like balls.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:42 AM

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April 21, 2005

Shabu Shabu at Cafe Swish

POST #    1662

Last night, a bunch of people from Gothamist Food headed over Cafe Swish for some shabu shabu (Japanese hot pot). It was good, but I think the broth we selected was a little too bland. I think I prefer the spicy Sichuan hot pot to the shabu I had last night. That said, it was quite enjoyable. There's nothing quite like cooking your own food...

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:53 AM

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April 20, 2005

Dine in Brooklyn: Alma

POST #    1659

I don't like Mexican food, as I've stated before, but last night I went to Alma in Red Hook, which is another one of the restaurants participating in Dine in Brooklyn. My pictures turned out crappy, but I had the flautas, which are corn tortillas stuffed with seasoned shredded chicken and deep fried and the steak fajitas. The flautas were really excellent and the steak was good too. I didn't eat the rest of the dish, mainly because I don't really like tortillas either.

Topping off the meal was the key lime pie. I just love key lime and to make it even better, it was Steve's Key Lime Pie! My favorite!! And a local Red Hook business.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:57 AM

5
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April 19, 2005

Dine in Brooklyn: Thomas Beisl

POST #    1658

Last night, I went to Thomas Beisl in Ft. Greene with Jeannette and Yvan. The restaurant is participating in Dine in Brooklyn which ends today. Nothing on the prix fixe really appealed to me, so I got the burger, which was good. For dessert, we had a crepe and a linzertorte.

Also at Thomas Beisl, they had Terry Bradshaw Heinz ketchup.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:58 AM

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April 15, 2005

Mom's B-day Dinner at Tempo in Park Slope

POST #    1652

For my mom's birthday, which is today, the family went to Park Slope to dine at Tempo. Conveniently, Tempo is also participating in Dine in Brooklyn. For $20, I had the duck pastilla roll, roasted chicken and nutella gelato. Pretty good deal. The duck pastilla roll was amazing. I highly recommend that.

Happy birthday mom, your birthday is on a day that I can never forget.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 9:01 AM

1
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April 14, 2005

Pizza: So Easy to Eat in Two Bites

POST #    1650

Last night, I headed up to Patsy's with Calvin and we had some pizza. Well, he had some, I had a lot. Like 9 slices, a lot. We probably didn't need the 2nd pie, but after eating the first, I just wasn't that full. After eating eight slices, I told Calvin, "You know, I once ate one of these in 2 or 3 bites." He didn't believe me. For shame, for shame.

The good thing is the Patsy's slices are very thin, soft, and pretty easy to eat. We had three slices left, one on the small side (even for Patsy's), another was medium, and the third was a little larger than the medium, but quite charred. I went with the smallest one. Eating it wasn't really that hard. Step one: stuff the slice up to the crust into your mouth. Finish that and polish off the crust.

Oh, that's two bites. Nine slices on the night. I think I might need a good bout of exercise sometime soon. Oh wait, I exercised this weekend.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:07 AM

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April 12, 2005

Because Being a Voyeur is Fun!

POST #    1647

Because I apparently have nothing better to do and because I just got an order of FreshDirect yesterday, I was chatting with Jen about doing a Flickr group. Originally, it was going to just be a FreshDirect group, but that might have been too exclusive, so Jen suggested "nyc groceries," which is obviously perfect.

Jen's description on her first group image:

After interrogating Tien about what he ordered from FreshDirect, I thought it would be funny if FreshDirect had a Netflix/Flickr-like functionality where you could see what your friends ordered, what they liked. He suggested I upload my Fresh Direct order. And there was talk of starting a group for all NYC grocery shopping. Let's see how this group goes.

We'll probably be bored of doing this in a couple of weeks, if not sooner. If you're on flickr, join on up! Plus, you know it's fun getting an idea of what people do with their time and what they buy.

My most recent order and my biggest order (really, not that big).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Tech at 8:00 AM

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April 11, 2005

More American Product Influence in China

POST #    1645

The influence of American culture in China doesn't stop at McDonald's and Häagen-Dazs, but it reaches into the grocery stores and convenience stores too. Many of the products have a slight twist in them from the American original. McDonald's has their sweet taro pie, Sprite has some extra flavors, and the chips are totally wild. Besides that good old lemon-lime Sprite, there is also Sprite Icy Mint and Sprite on Fire. I didn't get to try Sprite on Fire, but the Icy Mint one was like Sprite with a breath mint aftertaste that left a cool (as in cold) feeling in your mouth. Kind of strange.

Also strange are some of the potato chips they had. I didn't buy the Laa-Laa or Tinky Winky chips, but I did try two Lay's flavors pictured. They nailed the flavors right on. Cool Cucumber tasted light like a fresh cucumber, but Cool Lemon was kind of strange like the Sprite Icy Mint. Lay's also had chips that weren't of the cool line, including what I think was a Mexican Meat flavor. Yeah, didn't try that one.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:52 AM

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April 10, 2005

A Crawfish NY Crawfish Boil

POST #    1644

I have a confession to make - I've never eaten a crawfish in my life and have obviously never been to a crawfish boil. That changed yesterday when I went to a crawfish boil by Crawfish NY. Suffice it to say, I had more than a few crawfish. Crawfish NY compares the crawfish with the lobster, but to me it's more like a hard-shelled shrimp. Kind of small, not that easy to eat, and almost not worth the effort to eat. But at a crawfish boil, it's more than just eating crawfish. I had a great time and if I had a house with a backyard, I would totally do a boil.

The only problem is that I think I still smell like crawfish almost 24-hours later.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:26 PM

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April 8, 2005

Some Dian Xing in Jiading, Shanghai

POST #    1640

While the first meal we had in China was some homemade won tons, the first meal we had out was at lunch at a restaurant where we ordered a bunch of small dishes. To order these, there wasn't much of a menu, but you would walk up to a table covered with food and order what you wanted.

Pictured are some sort of glutinous pumpkin item that tasted somewhat like pumpkin, smelly tofu that didn't smell that bad until you got it right to your nose, salted duck egg with mayo (yes, strange), fish, and some sort of wine in the last picture.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 1:24 PM

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April 5, 2005

Häagen-Dazs and Hot Pot/Fondue

POST #    1635

In China, American franchises, products and stores are all slightly different from their original American form. McDonald's has the fried pies that I love so much and Häagen-Dazs is also a sit-down ice cream store. While in the Xin Tian Di area of Shanghai, we stepped into a Häagen-Dazs because someone had a craving for something sweet. Cough, cough.

There were a whole bunch of strange drinks that we couldn't really decipher as well as your standard ice creams. Nothing really all that different on the ice cream front - a green tea, mango, red bean, but nothing too crazy. We opted for the ice cream hot pot/fondue.

The hot pot (not really hot pot, but I believe that's what was on the menu)/fondu dish had something like 14 different small scoops of ice cream, some fruit, wafers, and both chocolate and raspberry dipping sauces. To dip the balls of ice cream, they give you these handy forks that were pretty much long seafood-forks. Great concept, but it doesn't really work that well. The ice cream is so hard that when you try to stick the fork into the balls of ice cream, they squirt away. And the flame that is warming the dipping sauces comes from a candle. Eventually, the ice cream melts enough that the chance of losing ice cream is reduced.

The cost was $200 RMB, which is about $25 USD, kind of pricey.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:58 AM

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April 4, 2005

The Best Thing About McDonald's in China

POST #    1632

When McDonald's went "healthy", more than one thing changed. The most unfortunate change in my opinion, was the apple pies. Now they have more of a baked like quality (who knows if they actually are baked) while they used to be fried. Thankfully, McDonald's has chosen not to change their pies in China.

Unfortunately, I was only able to have one apple pie, but I did try out the other pies on their menu. They had pineapple, banana, and sweet taro. The pineapple was not bad, the banana was too banana-y, and the taro was actually good.

Oh, and in China they still seem to use the "I'm lovin' it" slogan.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:53 AM

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April 2, 2005

First Meal in China: Won Ton

POST #    1630

The last thing I probably wanted to do after the 13 hour flight to China was eat. Then again, eating a light meal of homemade won tons was probably the best thing I could have eaten after all that airplane food. It seems like my relatives made thousands of won tons. Clearly, it was a sign of lots of eating to come.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 10:22 AM

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April 1, 2005

Too Much Airplane Food

POST #    1627

As a child, I would never eat on an airplane. I would get airsick most of the time anyway, so it didn't make sense to eat all that bad food on the flight. All I would usually need is a can of Planters Cheese Balls and some food on the stopover. Times have changed. It seems like airplane food has improved (somewhat, at least), I no longer get airsick, and I eat the food now.

In my absurd travels in the past week, I was served all the "food" pictured above. A flight to San Francisco, then another to Shanghai. On the return, Shanghai to Chicago. Nice of them to stuff me so full while I'm strapped into my seat.

JFK to SFO:
- Pancakes with sausage: pancakes were very dry and absorbent, leaving me to want more syrup; sausage was surprisingly good.
- Oven roasted chicken and cheddar: also dry, but I had mustard which seemed to make things tolerable.

SFO to PVG:
- Meatloaf, potatoes, peas: meatloaf was dry (sensing a theme) but surprisingly decent; potatoes were horrible; peas okay.
- Instant noodles: not much to say about those, are there? nice of them to provide some trans fat for the flight too.
- Ginger beef: ginger beef (?!?!?) was eh; rice in these meals tend to get stuck to the containers because of the heat, which isn't good; not bad, but really not great meal.

PVG to ORD:
- Chicken: decent, taste and good vegetables with it.
- Instant noodles: see above
- Noodles: most horrible meal all week - foul tasting and everything - I really regret getting this selection.

Oh, and I'm well aware that the pancakes and sausage kind of looks like shit and butt cheeks.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 10:12 AM

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March 31, 2005

Market in Jiading, Shanghai

POST #    1626

This local market in Jiading is decidedly different than the über-store I posted about yesterday. Perhaps this is the type of store that Auchan is putting out of business? Perhaps not. This small little market has several vendors selling the same goods. A couple of vegetable isles, a row of meat merchants, a row of fishmongers, and a few booths selling other staples. It doesn't, however, carry any bras. Much to my disappointment, of course. Any fish purchased in this market were guaranteed fresh as they killed and cleaned on site - I assume by request only.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:52 AM

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March 30, 2005

Auchan in Jiading, Shanghai

POST #    1625

When I think China, I don't really think huge multi-functional grocery stores, but small markets. But times change and with foreign investment, anything can happen. In Jiading, one of the biggest stores has to be Auchan, a french chain, which is similar to a Super WalMart. It's huge and has all sorts of groceries, clothing, and even a parking lot. The selection of any item was enormous, not only is there one type of saltine, there are 15 different flavors. Fantastic. They also have those scanner machines in the isles if you want to look up a price. And for price check, they have employees on roller-blades that will even look up the price of a bra.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 7:59 AM

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March 21, 2005

Good Pizza in Norfolk: Cogan's Pizza

POST #    1619

Cogan's

This Sunday, I was brought to Cogan's Pizza in Norfolk, while visiting Shannan and Mortimer for the weekend. I didn't know what to expect from the pizza, but it was surprisingly delicious. The crust was light, yet doughy, and somewhat thicker than a "typical New York pie" would be. We opted for a pepperoni and mushroom pizza with mozzarella cheese and spicy tomato sauce. When ordering a pie, you're given several options for cheese and sauce. The spicy sauce was excellent. If you like hotness, it's great. It's like having pre-added red pepper flakes but better. One thing I noticed about the crust was a pattern on the bottom that looked somewhat like a cookie sheet. I can only assume this was to aid in the cooking of the pizza.

They also have several beers on tap at Cogan's. (One site I've read says something like 30 beers.) Aside from your typical beers, they also have Iron City, which I've been told several times is from Pittsburgh, and Brooklyn Brown Ale, which was surprising since I was in Virginia. The best beer they seemed to have was Cogan's Gorilla Piss. When we inquired as to what it was like, our waitress told us that it's just Pabst Blue Ribbon. Nice.

The food was reasonably priced, with the pizza running about $10 for a plain pie and beers running from $2.50 to about $5. How can you not like a place like that? Cheap, good pizza, and gorilla piss. Perfect.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:56 AM

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March 17, 2005

Dinner @ Diner

POST #    1613

Last night, I headed out to South Williamsburg for dinner at Diner with Janelle, Jason, and Youngna. Diner is this tiny little restaurant in a refurbished dining car from the Roaring 20's.

Not all of my pictures came out clear (like that's stopped me before) from the night - I blame the pre-dinner Chimay. Pictured are the crostini and the hangar steak with mashed potatoes. Not pictured are the duck with mushrooms and fried polenta (my dish), pork wrapped in bacon (!!!!), a salad with coppa, a watercress soup, and a lemon something dessert.

I didn't really love the polenta, which brought down the overall quality of my dish, but the duck was quite tasty. Jason's pork dish was wrapped in bacon, which is obviously hard to dislike. The coppa on Youngna's dish was tasty as well, much like prosciutto is. Janelle's hangar steak was tasty despite being ordered medium well, but her potatoes were too smooth. Must have more lumps. Most of all, I loved the crostini, which was topped with olives and brocoli. Mmm...so good. I could have eaten that all night. All in all, a very good meal. Besides, how can you not like a place that writes the specials on the table's paper.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:48 AM

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March 10, 2005

Late Night Pastrami

POST #    1604

A late night trip to Katz's Delicatessen probably isn't the best idea in the world, but when you're on the Lower East Side, you're a little drunk, and have yet to eat dinner, it might be one of the best ideas out there. Besides, I'm sure that I've slept off all the calories. It should be noted (for my future reference) that they close at 10 on Monday and Tuesdays, 11 on Wednesday and Thursday, and 3 on Friday and Saturday. Mmm...tasty, tasty pastrami. To think that some people have lived in New York for an extended period of time and not been to Katz's. For shame, for shame.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:08 AM

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March 8, 2005

Sichuan Dynasty on 40th Rd in Flushing

POST #    1600

Last week, my parents and I went to Sichuan Dynasty in Flushing for some eats after I picked them up at the airport. Recently, there seems to be a lot of Sichuan restaurants sprouting up all over NYC. The food we did order, didn't seem to be the typical stuff one would order when eating Sichuan.

Top to bottom: tofu and fish, some kind of mellon, dried bean curd and pork, eggplant. It should be noted that the waiter thought the eggplant would be especially photo worthy.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:08 AM

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March 6, 2005

Birthday Dinner at Peter Luger

POST #    1597

Last night, to celebrate my birthday, a few friends and I went to Peter Luger Steakhouse and gorged on meat. As always, there was an insane amount of meat and we left uncomfortably full, which made for a not so fun rest of night at the bar.

Earlier in the day, I decided to donate some blood (warning! blood pictured!) because it's been a little while since I last donated.

Thanks to all that came out to dinner and to Ace Bar at night. Nothing like celebrating a birthday with a big group of friends - all making fun of you. Awesome.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 12:47 PM

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March 5, 2005

B-Day Dinner with The Rents

POST #    1596

With the birthday two days away, my parents took me out to dinner last night at Patios in Brooklyn. I had the 14 oz. sirloin, not pictured. The gelatto is quite a filling dessert at Patios and it's almost like frozen fudge.

You know the craziest part of dinner? My parents have become very cooperative with my picture taking.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 11:23 AM

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February 25, 2005

Plain Tasty Things From Last Night

POST #    1588

Sometimes dinner has got to be about the simpler things. You can't eat fancy food or pizza every night, so last night, I made myself dinner. Well, not really dinner. I kind of just had tuna fish sandwiches and chips. But that were tasteee because they contained things that I just love.

- I love mayo. I don't think I could eat a tuna fish sandwich if there was no mayonnaise in it. And mayo really makes almost every sandwich better. Ham, turkey, tuna. They all need mayo. The only think mayo doesn't really work on is a hot sandwich...unless it does...hmm...

- Sesame seeds have got to be one of the best edible seeds out there. They provide a great flavor to so many things I enjoy. Good thing I'm not allergic. Those tasty Stella Doro sesame seed breadsticks are soo good. And the best part, there are lots of sesame seeds left for enjoyment. Sadly, the only sesame seeds I had were on the toast that I had my tuna on.

- The last tasty thing I had last night were Baked! Lays. So good. So crunchy. The only problem is that the original flavor might be a bit tasteless. No worries though, because they seemed to be coated in salt, making them quite tasty.

Mayo, sesame seeds, Baked! Lays. Perfect combo.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:46 AM

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February 23, 2005

Celebrating JK's 27th at 'inoteca

POST #    1584

Last night, a few of us gathered at 'inoteca to celebrate Johnny's 27th birthday. Damn, those 27 year olds are old. Us youthful 26 year olds are so chipper in comparison. 'inoteca is a great space, but the light makes it extremely difficult to take pictures, especially of food as the colors are all lost in the lighting. Oh well, you'll just have to imagine what they look like as the images might be too dark on the PC.

Later this year, Johnny will be the first of three (!!!!) weddings that I'll be in this year. At least I won't be the best man at his, just a lowly groomsman. On the plus side, no need for a speech. Or is there...? Anyway, the food was good, but I have no idea what all of them were called. Some meats, cheeses, calamari salad, panini, truffle bread, mozzarella bread, eggplant, and beets.

Oh, and if you don't know what Johnny looks like, here are two pictures.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:29 AM

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February 22, 2005

Dinner at Tung-Shing House in Rego Park

POST #    1581

Who knew that there was quality Chinese food in Rego Park? Then again, I can't say that I've eaten any food in Rego Park, let alone Chinese food. When you walk into Tung-Shing House, you wouldn't necessarily expect quality food with the decor selection they had, but it was pretty good traditional Shanghainese fare. And surprisingly cheap, less than $70 for all the food pictured plus a dish of soy beans.

Oh yeah, and no soup dumplings.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:32 AM

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February 17, 2005

Cupcake Crazy for Gothamist

POST #    1573

Happy Birthday, Gothamist! To celebrate its second birthday, there was a concert and cupcakes. Sounds like you can't go wrong. Especially when you start stuffing them in your mouth.

See, I'm trying to remedy that whole lack of me stuffing face picture thing.

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:56 AM

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February 9, 2005

Happy New Year! The Year of the Rooster and 4703

POST #    1561

Well, another New Year's Eve, another feast at the Mao household. It looks like my mom even out did the dinner from last year. People born in the Year of the Rooster are supposed to be hard-working, definite about their decisions, not afraid to speak their minds, which can sometimes come across as boastful.

Plenty on the menu this year: cucumber; eggplant; peanuts; beef with tofu and eggs; duck (with dipping sauce); chicken; loofa with fresh bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and dried scallops; shrimp; striped bass; "lion's head" meatballs; and glutinous rice cake. On top of that, there were oranges, cumquats, grapes, and lots of alcohol.

There is no doubt in my mind that I'm still full as you read this.

More information:
- Last year's feast
- All these photos, full size, on flickr
- Wikipedia on Chinese New Year
- Chinatown online on New Year in NYC

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:42 AM

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February 3, 2005

Why I Hate Mexican

POST #    1549

The main reason - beans. Besides making you toot, I'm just not a huge fan of the beans found in Mexican food. I can obviouly pick them out, but how big a pain is that. I also know that Mexican isn't just beans, but that is a major component, no? The extent of my Mexican food likes? The rice (without beans) and carne asada. Yeah, rice and steak. Can't go wrong with either.

Also, when you think about it, what are your "common" Mexican options? Tacos, burritos? Tacos are okay, but I'm not a huge fan of tortillas - the smell, taste and consistency kind of weird me out - and burritos almost always contain beans. I don't really like the spices that are often used on Mexican food either.

I guess I can be a picky eater at times. But it's not all beans. Just the beans in Mexican food. Black, brown, refried, whatever. I do like soybeans and the such though. However, if someone wants to buy me some good, authentic Mexican food, I'd be more than willing to try it.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:56 AM

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February 2, 2005

Strawberry Season? Nope.

POST #    1548

I went to the grocery store the other day and bought strawberries. I have no clue if it's strawberry season - I would guess not since I haven't seen too many - but these looked good when at the store. As you might have imagined, they weren't all that good. But they did smell good, for when I opened my fridge last night, it was quite fragrant.

Since I was a child, whenever we would eat strawberries, there would be some sugar on the side. I'm not sure if the sugar was used to lure me to fruit, or just the way things were done, but to this day, I love strawberries with sugar. One of the best parts is licking the leftover sugar at the end. It's like sweetened strawberry juice! Tasty!!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:48 AM

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February 1, 2005

Damn Polish Beer Promotion

POST #    1546

Well, this is just great. I need some quick Polish lessons! I was at the local grocery store last night when I saw this sign. I figure the top word is "promotion" and there is something about a t-shirt. I assume it means buy some beer, get a free t-shirt. But a display at the front of the store also had a fleece hat. I don't see "hat" spelled out.

Update:
Ah ha! Answers via my Flickr version of this photo.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:53 AM

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January 30, 2005

More Cerveza Please

POST #    1543

Last night at The Magician. Obviously, I needed more beer. One with flash (damn those people that take their cameras everywhere!), one without, I like both.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Photos at 9:48 AM

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January 27, 2005

Tasty Saltines

POST #    1537

I have this strange love of saltines. When hungry, I can eat big package in under 20 minutes, which is certainly not a good thing. But they are just so tasty. Salt, carbs, and almost flavorless - wait, flavorless isn't a good thing, is it. Of course, one side affect of this is thirst. For the rest of the day, I'm usually hungry. And all those calories with little to no nutrition can't be good either.

Also good with saltines, honey and soup. Unfortunately, I don't usually have either. And that whole thing with six saltines in a minute? I've only accomplished that once.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:55 AM

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January 19, 2005

The Buffet at the Bellagio

POST #    1526

The buffet at the Bellagio in Las Vegas isn't exactly your Old Country Buffet. You know, I'm actually a little disappointed in myself, I didn't eat nearly enough food. I blame the lack of pizza when I went up to get some.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:25 AM

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January 12, 2005

Mary's Dairy Sucks and She Can Go Suck It

POST #    1514

I went to Mary's Dairy back in May and loved it. Then, they put up their website using my images without my consent. So...Mary's Dairy and Mary's Dairy and Chocolate Bar can suck it! See, there is this little thing called a Creative Commons License that I've attached to my site, which they seem to ignore on their site. Sure, they credit the photo to me, but last time I checked, their site is commercial and they didn't get my consent. Lest you think I didn't contact them, I did. No response.

So, even though Mary's Dairy seems to be doing successful business, and seem to be opening up a new store - Mary's Dairy and Chocolate Bar - in the East Village soon, Mary's Dairy sucks. And their construction workers were working late into the night.

You would think they could offer to pay for my photos. A token fee, perhaps, or even ask to use them. Nope, nothing. Or, you think they could just take their own photos. No, that seems too difficult.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Rants at 8:06 AM

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January 3, 2005

Doumar's in Norfolk

POST #    1499

Because you can never have enough drive-in eateries (see Sonic post from August), a weekend trip we took to Doumar's in Norfolk was awesome!! It's kind of like Sonic, but old and with only one location. Doumar's opened in 1907 and relocated to the current location in 1934 after a hurricane and is the home of the world's oldest ice cream cone machine.

The green drink I had was a "lime freeze" which is essentially a milkshake using lime sherbet. Since I love almost everything lime, I had to get this. It was a tough call, with limeade also sounding delicious. Shannan had a BBQ sandwich, which I had a bite of - it was delicious - and I had two cheeseburgers, also delicious. Strangely, neither of us had an ice cream cone. Probably because of our shakes. (see full menu)

We were going to go back on Sunday, but Doumar's is closed on Sunday. For shame, Doumar's, for shame. One slightly disturbing aspect of Doumar's is the birds that circle over the parking lot. The waitresses have to dodge multiple birds, cover your food, and generally make sure the food gets from the storefront to the car. Unlike Sonic, there are no buttons to press to place your order. To get the waitstaff, you turn on your headlights.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:24 AM

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December 20, 2004

The Great Pizza Mishap

POST #    1478

Yesterday was my last weekend of Sunday Ticket since I'm going to Virginia on Sunday. I'll miss it...sniff, sniff. Until next year, my friend.

I also decided to make some pizza, which didn't turn out too well at first. There was a range of factors besides ineptitude by myself (there was plenty of that too). I think the dough was too cold and then warmed up and actually started perspiring, there wasn't enough flour, and the pie was too big for the peel. Those factors led to the pizza sticking to the pizza stone as I tried to slide it off. It didn't slide off, I tried to add more flour and then I finally slid it off. Parts of the dough were all pierced, leaking sauce all over the pace and creating a big mess later. As added pressure, Adam was over as well.

Johnny was nice enough to go out and buy more dough so I could get it right. The results of that are in the 2nd picture.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:42 AM

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December 19, 2004

Sprouting Garlic

POST #    1476

So what does one do with garlic that has been sprouting like this. I guess it's obvious that this bulb has been sitting around for a while.

I did confirm that it's okay to use though:

Garlic has the potential to sprout. If it does, the compounds responsible for its pungency will partly seep into the new sprouts, leaving the bulb itself diminished in flavor. Cloves that have sprouted can still be used, although you may need to include more of them in your recipe to compensate for the milder taste.

Too bad I don't have some dirt that I can plant the bulb in.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:08 AM

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December 18, 2004

The Slice Pizza Club Hits Midtown's Angelo's Pizza

POST #    1472

Last night, Slice had it's seventh pizza club (has it been 7 already?!?) with a trip to Angelo's Pizza in midtown Manhattan. Not only was there pizza on the agenda, but ice skating was also on tap.

While Angelo's location is great (at least for tourists, midtown office people, and revenue), I was not a huge fan of their pizza. While they do have a coal oven, the oven does not guarantee a great pizza. Signs that the pizza was from the oven were evident, like the charred crust, but it wasn't the oven that turned me off, it was the dough. Totally flavorless. People were adding hot pepper, salt, olive oil, all bad signs that your pizza is bland. The only pie that had any flavor was the pepperoni (others included plain, mushroom, sausage, and prosciutto) and that was because of the pepperoni. The crust was very light, but that didn't turn out to be a good thing. On the plus side, Angelo's was pretty accommodating to the biggest pizza club yet - 18 people.

I ended up not ice skating because I'm lame and don't know how to skate. So I just walked around and took some photos.

And for the record, I only had four slices.

- All entries on the Slice Pizza Club

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:12 AM

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December 16, 2004

DUMBO Holiday Party

POST #    1469

Last night, Halo invited me to the All DUMBO Holiday Party that Two Trees hosted for the neighborhood. Catered by Rice with free drink, free food and live music, you couldn't possibly go wrong. Unless of course, you froze from the temperatures. Youngna and Jesse also stopped in to enjoy the goodness.

Possibly the best part of the whole thing was the dessert. Brownies, a variety of rice krispy treats, including mint chocolate chip (which I'm not a huge fan of), and a delicious custard that tasted kind of like yogurt. Also, they had plenty of those lovely Rice containers with rice krispy treats in them. Somehow, I have four at home right now. No sign of the condiment containers though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:54 AM

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December 15, 2004

Oh, That Delicious Circle of Popcorn

POST #    1467

Holidays are great in the office because you're bound to get one of these round popcorn things. They are so tasty, so unhealthy, so perfect for the office. The only problem is that by the bottom of the can, the popcorn is usually really stale. Of the three flavors above - carmel, cheddar cheese, and butter - I'm not sure which I like the most. They all have their merits.

What I'm wondering is why our vendor didn't spring for some of the other flavors that were available. Maybe a little more expensive, but check out some of those flavors!! Okay, half of them look really disgusting (like all the ones from the candied section), but check out those supreme and nutty flavors. Yum!

Which flavors would you go for? Such decisions.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:48 AM

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December 13, 2004

Sunday Dinner and Glove Puppets

POST #    1465

As previously noted, there was dinner to be had last night. Quite tasty. With my newly acquired pizza peel and pizza pan from King Chef (as per the recommendation of Slice), pizza was in order for the night. Turned out great. A very thin crust, with some tasty homemade sauce.

Jeannette also made some nice glove puppets which you have to watch the video of to get the full effect.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:53 AM

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December 12, 2004

fud coma

POST #    1464

this is jeannette, guest-posting from tien's apartment. suffering from food coma as a result of the delish dinner he cooked tonight. he outdid himself, making spice-rubbed ribs, sauteed chinese cabbage and mushrooms, and homemade pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni. topped off with cheez doodles and neopolitan ice cream.

we also watched a great episode of desperate housewives. shannan had to provide extensive background, but i think i've been officially roped in. (dammit!)

mmmmm.... zzzzz......

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:25 PM

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December 2, 2004

Lay's Dill Pickle Chips

POST #    1444

I first experienced the joy of Lay's Dill Pickle chips when I went to Michigan in September. There's nothing quite like seeing an unopened bag of a product you've never seen before. After that Saturday, I never saw the dill chips again. That is until last weekend at Wal-Mart in Virginia. They have a huge chip isle, unlike the small grocery stores here that are usually loyal to certain brands. Naturally, I was thrilled to see that Wal-Mart carried Lay's Dill Pickle chips. I guess not having the chips near me is the price I pay for not living in the vicinity of a Wal-Mart. I think I can live with that, but it's going to be hard.

The chips are similar to salt and vinegar chips but with a pickle taste. So tasty. If you like dill pickles, that is. Has anyone seen this around NYC? I know that Associated doesn't have them. Neither does CVS. Yes, poor selection of chip stores here in Greenpoint.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:53 AM

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November 27, 2004

The Thanksgiving Meal

POST #    1434

Down in Virginia for Thanksgiving, in possibly my first Thanksgiving away from home since...ever? I might have had one away from home during college, but I think I returned home every year. Shannan and I did some prep work Wednesday night and some cooking Thursday morning. It really wasn't all that hard making all the dishes, but the timing of it all was kind of difficult.

A rather small oven is not conducive to getting several items ready at once. Besides turkey, the menu included (clockwise from turkey): butternut squash with apples, cranberry sauce (fresh), green beans with bacon and onions, mashed potatoes (with lumps), cranberry sauce (canned), and candied yams. For appetizers, we had some cheese and crackers, deviled eggs, salad, and lobster bisque. Dessert was poached pears and pumpkin pie. An insane amount of food for five people, but ample leftovers for all those delicious turkey sandwiches.

Notes on the meal, no gravy since nobody really liked gravy much and the turkey didn't even need it. The turkey was prepared by brining it for a day, resulting in juicy and flavorful meat. There was no stuffing either because, again, nobody at the meal really liked stuffing. And we had plenty of food already.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 12:47 PM

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November 14, 2004

Tomato Sauce as Meal

POST #    1410

I made some more tomato sauce last night and I wonder if it's possible to eat it as a meal. It's so tasty, but I'm not sure it would be healthy. I almost feel like adding it to pasta would be a waste...maybe to some dough and cheese though. I did forget to add onions though, oh well.

Maybe I'll do this in conjunction with a meal some time. I also don't think I'll be going back to "traditional" sauce anymore. This is just so easy.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:48 AM

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November 9, 2004

Krispy Kreme Wedding Cake Record

POST #    1399

I thought the West Coast had healthy people. Apparently not. Out in Issaquah, WA, they made a 5'3" wedding cake (that's taller than some people!) out of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The doughnut mountain was made out of 1,818 doughnuts and was a whopping 363,600 calories of wedding cake. To see them topping off the cake, click here. The base of the cake was 170 doughnuts, but I'm curious how the light and fluffy Krispy Kreme doughnuts at the bottom but were not crushed by the weight of the doughnuts above.

As much as I love Krispy Kreme, I'm not sure I would do this for a wedding cake...although, it is cheaper.

- Seattle Times: Going for world record was a real piece of cake

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:01 AM

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Pizza Tuesday

POST #    1398

For no good reason - not that you need a good reason - here is a photo of the pizza I made on Sunday. I had a fair about of leftover pizza ingredients so I went out and bought some dough to make use of the sauce, cheese and pepperoni. The only problem is that my pizza peel is now broken. It was accidentally baked in the oven last weekend and developed some cracks. Mental note: take trip to restaurant supply stores on Bowery as recommended by Adam.

The pizza can speak for itself. It says, "Eat me, eat me." Lucky for me, there are some leftovers. Hmm...I need sleep.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:58 AM

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November 7, 2004

Build-A-Burger Gummies

POST #    1396

Tuesday during that whole election-blogging fiasco, I almost finished a bag of Haribo's Build-A-Burger gummies. How unhealthy is that?!? This fun gummy candy comes in various types of burger items. Buns and patties, lettuce and cheese, and tomatoes and cheese. Unfortunately (or fortunately), they do not actually taste like a burger, just like regular gummies. I actually think I tasted some root beer flavor. FYI to those on Atkins, you can't separate the bun from the meat. Sadly, that may mean the downfall of this line.

Pictured above is my double cheeseburger with tomato.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:11 AM

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November 1, 2004

Anniversary Weekend Eats

POST #    1381

A special weekend with phenomenal food. Thanks to all that helped me eat it all, you know who you are.

Above, Malpeque oysters and the lobster pot pie from Mary's Fish Camp, parmesan crusted salmon with vegetables, pepperoni pizza, and ribs with a savory rub (from Fresh Direct), all made at Casa de Mao.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:06 AM

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October 30, 2004

Good Cooking ≠ Genetic

POST #    1379

Last night, I attempted to stir fry some beef with broccoli, something so simple, but something that I have never made before. Of course, my mom has done it several times, and I've witnessed it a few times, so I thought there might be a chance that I could do it. Nope.

I tried to marinate the beef before hand, which worked fine. I also put some corn starch on, which didn't work too well. As it turns out, there might have been too much on some pieces but none on the others. I now realize that there was no water in the corn starch mix, which I think my mom usually has, resulting in the uneven mix. Mental note for the future.

The broccoli came out fine, but the beef was less than stellar. Stellar being my mom's cooking. I hope that after some practice, I can semi-perfect the dish. I even tried my hand at soup noodles, and even that didn't turn out great. Too much water resulted in semi-flavorless noodles.

Clearly, good cooking ≠ genetic.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:30 AM

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October 28, 2004

Cupcake, Cupcake, Cupcake

POST #    1373

Break out the insulin, because here come the cupcakes. Last night, I went to check out Clare Crespo's book signing in the West Village. Clare is the author of "Hey There , Cupcake!" There didn't seem to be any of her creative cupcakes around, but there were certainly lots and lots of cupcakes. Some surmised that these were from Magnolia Bakery, but I am without confirmation. Cupcakes everywhere. On the coffee table, on the dining table, in the back yard, everywhere a cupcake. I wonder if there were cupcakes in the bathroom (even though that would be disgusting).

And add cupcakes to my amazing eating feats (two slices, five bites). I managed to finish one cupcake in three bites. Three seems like a lot, but the first bite is difficult, especially when you don't want to get frosting on your face.

Thanks to RKB for alerting me to this cupcake feast and Heidi for being a witness, willing or not.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:36 AM

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October 21, 2004

Fornino - Great Pizza in Williamsburg

POST #    1359

Last night was the opening night of Fornino, the new pizza place on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. Dutifully, Adam and I went to try it out and it was excellent. We had three small pies, sampling as much as we could without getting too full. Michael Ayoub, the chef/owner, has three "generations" of pizza on his menu and we sampled piesfrom two - the first and third.

Our first pie was a margherita classica, which had tomato, mozzarella, basil and two parmesan cheeses. Next, we had the patate e salciccia, a fennel sausage, potatoes, fontina and cherry tomato concoction. Finally, we had the vongole, which was clams, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic and oregano. All the pies were smalls, which were $8 for the first generation and $10 for the third (the second was also $10). Large pies run $14 and $16.

The consensus favorite was the margherita, which was super light with a perfect crust. Our second pie was rather eh, with the potatoes "not adding anything" and the sausage lacking spice. The clam pizza was very good, but overladen with oregano. In a twist from a more traditional clam pie that you might see in New England, the clams were served on the shell. If there were less oregano, I think this would have been my favorite pie.

As it's first night open, the pizza was very good and it will probably only improve from here out. Fornino's has a greenhouse out back where they want to grow some of their own ingredients. The oven at Fornino is wood burning, which is evident when you walk by it. Fornino has been dubbed a "artisinal pizza" place, which seems to be the trend these days.

For some reason, we decided to get desert after the meal (damn persuasive waitress). While I had the spumoni, Adam had the ice cream cookies, which had pumpkin, mint chocolate chip, and vanilla cookies. Turns out that after desert, we were stuffed anyway.

A great pizza place and Tasti D-Lite on the same block in Williamsburg? There goes the neighborhood.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:55 AM

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October 19, 2004

Pizza - Runs in the Family?

POST #    1352

Does cooking run in the family? I certainly hope so because my mom's a damn good cook. Over the weekend, she made some pizza, which was good, but almost overloaded with toppings. The dough was homemade, something that I have yet to do, and the dough was thick. There's nothing quite like a weekend away with good food, despite the manual labor.

Tips for mom, heat the pizza stone more, make the dough thinner, and ease up on the toppings. As far as the rest of your food, no tips necessary.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:47 AM

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October 14, 2004

Slice Celebrates Its Birthday with Patsy's

POST #    1346

There may be better ways to celebrate a birthday than eating pizza, but when you have a pizza blog, that might be the best way to go. That's exactly what Slice did last night with pizza at Patsy's in East Harlem. Celebrating the best pizza blog in New York (if not the country or worldwide) with the best pizza in New York. It was also billed as the latest Slice Pizza Club gathering. Two birds, one stone.

Instead of cake, there were pies of pizza...five of them for eight people. Two plain pies, one fresh mozzarella, one mushroom, and one sausage and onion. I believe I had seven slices when the dust settled. It's hard to say as things became hazy after six. I do know that I managed to eat two slices in five bites. That sounds really impressive, but for those who have never had Patsy's, the slices are very thin.

Happy birthday to Slice and congratulations to Adam, the head honcho over there at Slice.

More information:
- Youngna on "Slice, Patsy's"
- Joe on "Returning to Civilization at Patsy's"
- Slice on "Bringing A One-Year-Old To Patsy's"
- Gothamist Interview: Adam Kuban, Pizza Enthusiast
- All entries on the Slice Pizza Club

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink at 7:50 AM

5
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October 9, 2004

Jeannette's Birthday Dinner

POST #    1337

Jeannette's birthday is Monday when she turns 20 something and last night, a few people gathered for dinner at Grand Sichuan, a place renowned for its spicy food. Spicy it was. We had hot pot, some appetizers, and some main dishes, but none of Mao's favorite dishes.

There was also a three flavor ice cream cake, which hit the spot after the spicy food. Banana, red bean, and lychee, the perfect trifecta for Asians. Yum. The only issue was the fire that came in the form of candles. Good lord those were some strong and dangerous candles. I don't believe a fire extinguisher was on hand.

Happy (early) birthday, Jeannette!

Posted by tien mao in Birthdays, Food/Drink at 9:16 AM

5
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October 7, 2004

Tasty Cookies

POST #    1333

I was sent some tasty cookies over the weekend and they are almost all gone. I think one way to win my heart with food is to add lime. These cookies were good to begin with, but with the addition of lime, they became really good. Made from scratch and lime...you can't beat that. Some of the cookies even have corn flakes baked onto them. Yum!

So think about that...lime making everything better. The cookies, your gin and tonic, the Limon in Sprite - everything better.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:55 AM

9
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October 5, 2004

In Need of a More "Manly" Cereal

POST #    1328

I'm not sure why, but apparently Special K is targeted towards women. It's a shame because it's my favorite cereal. It's not that I'll stop eating it because of the marketing towards women, but maybe they could tone down the feminine colors just a little? I can accept the offer for a pedometer or even for the promise pen or pin...but the huge image of Courtney Thorne-Smith and the pink on the box have got to go.

I'm sure there is some sort of market research coming out of Battle Creek that tells them that women like their cereal more or that having a woman's cause would increase sales. (Sick to think that a marketing person might think like that, but I'm sure it crossed their minds - cancer = sales!)

Oh well, what can I do, I love Special K and it's ricey goodness. It's like Rice Krispies for adults. I'm just asking for a little less pink. Anything. I mean, I might even accept purple over pink.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:23 AM

19
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September 24, 2004

Pizza, Movie, and a Surprise

POST #    1311

Last night I made my first pizza with toppings and it turned out pretty damn good. Using homemade tomato sauce again (also spicy), the pizza was topped with mushrooms and pepperoni. Just like a pizza at Grimaldi's, the mushroom made parts of the crust soggy. I had some issues getting the pizza off the peel, but that might be a combination of waiting too long to get the pizza into the oven and not enough flour.

While eating my tasty pizza, I watched In the Cut. Meg Ryan's in the movie, but it's no Sleepless in Seattle. It's more like the scene at Katz's from When Harry Met Sally - over and over and much more graphic. There's no denying that Meg looked good in this movie despite being 40+.

Towards the end of the movie, I was greeted with a surprise at the door that I thought was my idiot neighbor, but thankfully it was not. The surprise has given me a smile that will carry right up until Monday morning though.

I'll be out of town this weekend enjoying a football game in Michigan. See you when I get back.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Movies at 7:53 AM

13
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September 22, 2004

Popcorn Extravaganza

POST #    1307

All I wanted was one bag of Smartfood, but I ended up with two totally different types of popcorn. I made the best of it and ate some Cracker Jack before eating the Smartfood.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:49 AM

1
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September 17, 2004

Sugar Free Candy

POST #    1271

Is sugar free candy still candy? I mean, when I hear candy, I think sugary and delicious. While there are plenty of tasty sugar subsititutes, it's surely not the same. Main reason - I actually want the sugar. I might be a candidate for onset diabetes, but I love me some sugar (I used to eat sugar from the packet as a kid). Maybe they can start making some good candy with Splenda.

And with sugar free candy, you just don't get the same sugar rush that you do with sugar laced candy. Actually, maybe you do. I have no idea. Maybe your mind just needs to recognize the sweetness and the high will kick in. I think I need to experiment on people. Any volunteers? Not sure how I would measure your "rush" since I don't have any scientific instruments, but I think that could be interesting. Of course, it's possible that someone already did this study. If not, feel free to go ahead. Just give me some credit somewhere. Thanks.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:25 AM

3
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September 13, 2004

The Perfect NFL Sunday

POST #    1278

Why was yesterday the perfect NFL Sunday? Don't know really. Maybe it was the homemade Buffalo wings, or the homemade pizza. But the biggest thing was probably the NFL Sunday Ticket package from Direct TV. Sure the Giants played poorly, but at least we could chose between the two other games on TV. The early slot had many games to choose from, but that's where the two TV setup was most beneficial. It's a minor detail that both of my TVs are kind of small, so I should buy a larger one, but I don't really have the money.

One classic moment came when a game and a Cialis commercial overlapped. Almost a subliminal message about football and the need to combat ED. There was the image of a smiling man - presumably a Cialis user - that was right next to the goalpost as they were lining up for a field goal.

As far as the pizza goes (if you must know), it turned out pretty good. Buying dough from the local pizza place makes things so much easier. I made it thicker this time, and when finished, the crust was a firm and chewy. It was kind of bland, which I must investigate, but the sauce was excellent. I used the tomato sauce that I made a little while back that had two hot peppers in it, so there was a nice little kick. Next time, I might have to try a topping.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Sports at 8:00 AM

13
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September 7, 2004

Grillin' on Labor Day

POST #    1261

What a good way to spend a holiday. Eating grilled pizza and chilling in a backyard. Adam was gracious enough to have many, many people over at his apartment and to feed us all. All we needed to give him was Dr. Pepper and/or beer.

Adam made dough for more than 20 pizzas, which was absolutely insane. A kind, kind man Adam is. Unlike last time, I didn't have two burgers as an appetizer, but rather as an addition to the excellent pizza. At the end of the day, I was still stuffed.

- Rachelle on "Not Your Typical Labor Day BBQ"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:44 AM

7
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September 3, 2004

Mountain Dew - Pitch Black

POST #    1257

Mountain Dew Pitch Black is some sort of concoction from the makers of Mountain Dew. It has a "blast of grape with other natural flavors," but it tastes more like a strange artificial grape flavored drink that only Mountain Dew could do. It doesn't taste quite as grapey as Welch's grape soda, but it is a "limited edition" that will only be sold through Halloween. If it does well, I'm thinking it will continue to be sold. What can I say, I'm a sucker.

I don't even like grape soda that much. But when in the need for caffeine and sugar, there's nothing quite like a Mountain Dew product and it hit the spot. Sure, I crashed and couldn't keep my eyes open a few hours later, but for the hours after drinking Pitch Black, I was flying.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:21 AM

9
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August 29, 2004

Pizza at Frank Pepe's and Sally's Apizza on Wooster Street in New Haven

POST #    1244

Clearly, I've gotten myself caught-up with some people that love pizza, for yesterday, I went on Slice's Pizza Club No. 5, which brought 10 pizza enthusiasts to New Haven. The plan was to eat at Frank Pepe's and saunter down the street to Sally's Apizza. Battling all sorts of traffic up and in Connecticut, we eventually made it and gorged on some great pizza. The two establishments are considered as some of the the best pizza in Connecticut and some say that it is as good as some of the more famous New York pizzerias. As New England pizza is known for its clams, some clam pizza was indeed ordered.

The first stop was Frank Pepe's, established in 1925. We arrived at about 2:45 and there was still a line to be seated. Thankfully, it didn't take long because I was damn hungry. We decided to order three pies which was eventually upped to four - one large white clam, one large mozzarella, one large mushroom mozzarella, and one small plain (this was for eight people). The difference between plain and mozzarella? Plain was pretty plain, with only sauce, garlic, oregano, and some parmesan. Plain is how they first made pizza at Frank Pepe's and was a late addition after we learned that nugget of information, while mozzarella is more like your "typical" pizza.

I'm not sure if it was my hunger or not, but the pizza was damn good and the clam pizza was really excellent. The mushroom pizza was rather eh, so I wouldn't recommend that, but all the other pies we ordered were top notch. When we first arrived, there was a sign on the door that said "no clam pies," which would have been quite a travesty. Lucky for us, they took the sign down soon after we were seated. The crust was thicker than a Pasty's or Grimaldi's crust, but it was very good. This might have led to my downfall though, as I was very, very, very full after finishing up at Frank Pepe's. A lovely employee of Frank Pepe's informed me that they make 500 pies a day and when we were there, they already went through six bushels of clams - by 4:15.

After finishing up, our group walked a few blocks to Sally's Apizza, established in 1938 and the other venerable pizza establishment on Wooster Street. Sally's only opens for dinner at five and when we arrived, there were already two people in line. As we waited, the line grew steadily. If you're going for ambiance, Sally's isn't something that's going to impress you at all. It's hot inside, with poor air circulation, and some suspect seating and order-taking hierarchy. After being seated, it took more than an hour for our three medium pizzas to arrive. For the record, we ordered a mozzarella, white clam, and some potato onion pie that was the special. I can't really comment on how the pizza tasted, because I was so full from the first stop that I actually excused myself from the table. It seemed like the consensus was that the crust was better, and that the clam wasn't nearly as good as Frank Pepe's. Someone also noted that the mozzarella was way too oily, which. from the looks of the pictures I took, was very true.

After returning home last night, I was of course hungry and tried the clam and the potato slices. It's obviously unfair and impossible to compare fresh pizza to cold pizza, but there was a noticeable difference between the two establishments. The clam was indeed not as good as Frank Pepe's and was also quite oily. The potato slice was actually decent, when you got past the onion and a herb that was added as seasoning.

It was an insane trip that was excellent and enjoyable despite some major discomfort. It was also cheap. For all the food we ordered, I only worked out to around $20 a person. Ignoring the pizza, New Haven definitely beats out New York. Account for the pizza, and you're in for a good debate.

- All entries on the Slice Pizza Club
- Joe on "Somewhere between Heaven and Hell in New Haven"
- Slice on "New Haven Pizza, Part One: Frank Pepe's"
- Slice on "New Haven Pizza, Part Two: Sally's Apizza"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:21 PM

25
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August 22, 2004

Revisiting a Love...

POST #    1233

A love of pluots. I had previously written about my love of pluots last year, and they are back! They have been in stores for a little while now, but I just bought them for the first time yesterday (I don't shop all that often). I purchased four at the local Associated and ripened them up over night. This morning, two are already gone. I might have to buy some more later.

If you've never tried a pluot, or dinosaur egg, you should go out and buy some. It's a plum crossed with an apricot and really, really sweet. So go out, buy them. You won't be sorry. You might have to ripen them though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:48 AM

8
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August 19, 2004

Wings, Reading, Icy

POST #    1229

Let me get the details out of the way first. 120 wings, 14 people. Unfortunately, we couldn't all fit in one area, so we were split up into two factions about 5 feet from each other. No matter, it was a fun and interesting night. Joe, our resident wing statistician even came up with a chart of wings eaten in previous nights.

Rachel gave me some reading material for all the help that I've given her this past week. It wasn't really that much help, so the gift came as a surprise. Now I'll have some good reading material in the apartment. Some of us read excerpts, while others looked at pictures. Still others talked about hot dogs and someone even proclaimed, "I have a hot dog like that at home!!"

Afterwards, we took a trip to NYC Icy, always a great cool down after some spicy wings.

An additional note to all: Just to clarify, this weekly gathering isn't supposed to be a "blog" thing, but it seems to have turned out that way. Now there are too many people, and it's just getting out of control.

- Joe on "Storytime with Tien"
- Laren on A Picture is Worth...

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:21 AM

12
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August 17, 2004

Chocolate's Tasty Companion - Peanut Butter

POST #    1223

I'm not sure M&M's Minis really had to be combined with a chocolate bar in the first place, since they were so good already, but M&M has done the same with peanut butter Minis to make the Peanut Butter M-Azing. I don't really love peanut butter M&M's, but when in mini form and combined with chocolate, I like them a lot more. It's obviously a lot less chocolate than the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, which I love (hmm, as I typed that, my eyes got larger), and much more chocolate than Reese's Pieces, which I don't really like. It's a very subtle peanut butter flavor, which is nice. I'll attribute that to the fact that they are mini M&M's.

- Previously, M-Azing, Quite Possibly the Best Chocolate Invention Ever

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:12 AM

8
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August 15, 2004

Grillin' It Up at Casa di Slice

POST #    1222

Adam's block in Park Slope was having a block party, so he decided to grill pizza in front of his apartment. I knew it would be good, but damn, that man knows how to cook up a pizza. Adam made his own dough and his own sauce, bought some fresh mozzarella, some pepperoni, and some mushrooms. Armed with those ingredients, some olive oil, and a hot grill, he got his cook on.

Appetizers of burgers were good, but limited pizza intake. Despite having two burgers, I still consumed plenty of slices. The grilling process is complex, but as long as you have everything ready, it seemed pretty easy. Then again, I wasn't exactly doing any work.

Looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me if I want to get close to the taste that Adam had on his pizza. Granted, I'm not grilling, but I have a strange feeling that if Adam were using my oven, the results would be much better.

- Adam on "Grill Skills"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:46 AM

14
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August 12, 2004

Challenges While at Wings

POST #    1214

To spice up a normal wing night (yeesh, gotta hate stupid puns), there were attempts to suck bones clean and to eat hot peppers. While there were some successes with the bone sucking, the peppers didn't go over so well. Above, Halo sucks the meat off a bone and Matt doesn't seem to like the peppers.

Not sure what kind of peppers they were, but I tried two seeds and my tongue was tingling for a while. If anyone wants a pepper, let me know.

For those counting, only 120 wings were consumed by 9 people. Sad, people, just plain sad.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:45 AM

13
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August 11, 2004

M-Azing, Quite Possibly the Best Chocolate Invention Ever

POST #    1204

I think I've stumbled upon the best chocolate ever. No, I don't mean the quality of the chocolate, but the best combination since maybe the Crunch Bar or Raisinettes. It's M&M's new M-Azing. It's milk chocolate with M&M Minis in it! Chocolate with more chocolate and a crunch. I don't need anything else in that chocolate bar. What can I say, I'm an easy man to please.

Of course, tonight is wing night. Please email me if you're coming. Don't want to run out of seats again.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:41 AM

19
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August 9, 2004

Bruster's Ice Cream - Taaasty!

POST #    1208

What's better than ice cream? Freshly made ice cream! And that's exactly what they have at Bruster's Ice Cream.

I mean, their about page explains it all:

At Brusters, we believe that ice cream is one of lifes great simple pleasures. It gives us a chance to slow down, appreciate the good things, and enjoy a quiet moment with the people we hold close.

Ice cream is many things really a well deserved reward, a spontaneous treat, a secret indulgence, a happy celebration, or just plain fun. Ice cream erases our worries, and no matter what our age, always brings a smile to our face like magic.

They make their ice cream fresh every morning, and supposedly make their waffle cones every day too. It was certainly delicious. Their flavors may vary based on the season though. One of the flavors in season now is Peach, which actually tastes like...peach. I had the pistachio, since it is my favorite flavor. I could even taste a hint of salt on the nuts in the ice cream. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:00 PM

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Sonic, America's Drive-In and I'm Missing It

POST #    1207

It's funny, but by all accounts, I love New York. I love living here and I love everything about it (except maybe the summer weather). The one thing that we miss out on in New York is great fast food. You might wonder, "who needs fast food when you have all the food that's great in New York," but sometimes you just crave the greasy food, no? Well, I do.

Over the weekend, I went to Sonic for the second time ever, and it was as good as the first time I went about a month ago. There's no Sonic in New York, which is just one thing I'll probably never get when here. I mean, if Sonic is indeed "America's Drive-In", I doubt they will ever open one here. Few people have cars and there's just no space for anyone to open up a drive-in where people can just sit there and eat.

Sit and eat, you ask? Yes, that's right. For those unfamiliar with Sonic, you can actually sit in your car and eat. You drive in, press a button to order, and short moment later, your food comes out delivered to your door. Alas, the food servers aren't zipping about on roller skates, but it's still great. For those that are more daring, you can actually eat below a covered area.

What else are New Yorkers missing out on? In-N-Out Burger is the biggest thing in my book, but I'm sure there are many more.

Oh, and FYI, Sonic has tater tots. You can't loose with tater tots.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:21 AM

23
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August 7, 2004

Don't Knock It Until You Try It - Ham and Cheese Goodness

POST #    1203

I don't know what I was thinking last night, but I was in LaGuardia Airport and kind of hungry. I walked around the food court and didn't want airport pizza, some lousy chinese food, or a deli sandwich. After going thorough security, there was an Au Bon Pain, which seemed good, but there was a long line. I opted for Pretzel Time, which was right next to the good bread.

The smart thing would have been to just get a regular pretzel, maybe with a side of cheese, or even a hot dog pretzel, but I opted for some ham and cheese concoction. Ham and cheese pretzel? It was more like a ham and cheese patty, in the Jamaican beef patty sense.

The ham and cheese pretzel patty probably had more sodium than I should have eaten in a week, but it was damn tasty. It was just a strange food item that I had to have. Nice, tasty, oozing cheese.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:58 AM

3
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August 5, 2004

Record Turnout, Not Close to Record Numbers

POST #    1201

17 people turned out for the weekly tradition, but only 160 wings were eaten. Of that 160, 20 were BBQ wings. I didn't have a single one, but I dipped my finger into the sauce and it was mighty sweet. The only problem with 17 was that I only told the hostess that 8 people were coming. Whoops! Hopefully there will be a better head count next time. People, people, e-mail, phone, IM...I'm always available.

Jake, who has quickly become the photographer for wing night. Unfortunately, he'll be out of town for quite a while due to his wedding.

And the blue and yellow - not a tribute to Michigan's maize and blue. Over the weekend, I will be reading Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, which has nothing to do with Michigan (but does have yellow in the title). I also had a nice talk with Warren St. John, the author.

- Jake on "Goodbye to all That"
- Laren on "Triple Punch"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:35 AM

12
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August 4, 2004

At The Delancey

POST #    1200

Two nights in a row at trendy places? So not me. Beer for $6? Not good. It's just hard to fault The Delancy for anything since their roof deck is damn nice. Thanks to Janelle and Lockhart for organizing. And welcome to New York, Jess (who I didn't actually welcome...) and Jen.

Speaking of trendy, Croxley Ale House is becoming popular. la depressionada was kind enough to send me an article from The Village Voice featuring Croxley's. I just hope it doesn't blow up too much. If you're coming tonight, shoot me an email or leave me a comment.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:37 AM

10
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August 2, 2004

Pizza Attempt #2

POST #    1196

Last night, I made another attempt at some home made pizza. Let's just say that it turned out much better than my first attempt at pizza. Again, I bought dough from the local pizza place, but for some reason, it was cheaper this time. Using tips from the helpful readers of this site, I easily got the dough into a nice round shape and heated the oven up so it was really hot. I had some smoked mozzarella in the fridge, so I tried that on 1/4 of the pie (mental note, it's not that good).

Cook time for the pizza was much shorter at about 7-8 minutes and I think I can cut that down even more. There was no stick-age despite the fact that I didn't use cornmeal - I just don't like the stuff since it reminds me of Domino's. The only real problem I had was that my pie was simply too big. It was too big for the pizza peel and too big for the pizza stone.

It's possible that I spread it too thin also, since the crust was almost as thin as Patsy's (East Harlem). Unlike Patsy's though, the crust under the cheese was quite crispy. The end crust was a bit wide though, which leads me to believe that I can make the crust a little thicker next time.

There was noticeable progress though, which is a very good thing.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:31 AM

18
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August 1, 2004

Mmm...More Beer Garden

POST #    1193

What's better than sitting outside drinking beer on a nice day? Nothing. Yesterday, I went to the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria with Jeannette, Yvan, Eleanor, Christina and Laren.

I previously went in May, making this my second trip. Last time, I had a burger off their grill, but this time I tried the kielbasa, which was delicious. Mmm.

I guess I could have a beer at home and find some Polish kielbasa in Greenpoint, but then I wouldn't be sitting outside, would I?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:10 AM

11
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July 31, 2004

Tasty Chinese Pastries

POST #    1189

Friday was someone's last day at work, so in lieu of cake, some pastries from Chinatown in Flushing were picked up. So they weren't quite that tasty (I've never really liked Chinese cake pastries), but look at them! At least they look cool. I mean, they have eyes! EYES!!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:00 AM

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July 29, 2004

Man, I Can't Keep Calling These Successful...

POST #    1185

Because the title would be too repetitive. Eventually, we're bound to have a subdued wing night, but last night wasn't it. 13 people in all showed up, with 140 wings eaten. Not bad, not bad at all. I feel like I had a lot, but I can't remember because the busboys were clearing the plates so quickly.

- Jake on "Pretty Girls Eat Spicy Wings" (he does some interesting work with his camera)

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:35 AM

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July 28, 2004

Oh Ice, Why Are You So Tasty

POST #    1181

I think I've always had this habit of chewing ice, but it has recently only gotten worse. It's been encouraged by the never-ending presence of ice in my apartment. To this point, the ice chewing has not caused me any trouble. I know it's not the best thing for my teeth, but it's just too addictive.

With my ice maker and the refrigerator's ability to crush that ice, now I don't even have to wait for the ice to melt to a manageable size. I can chew immediately. Instant gratification is the best!

Unrelated, tonight is wing night. Who's down? You know the drill, send me an email. I'll be there around 7.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:27 AM

23
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July 27, 2004

An Attempt At Making Some Pizza

POST #    1179

Armed with several housewarming gifts, I attempted to make a homemade pizza last night. With a pizza book from Christiona, a pizza peel and a pizza stone from Adam, everything seemed so simple.

There was a thought of making my own pizza dough (I actually bought the ingredients), but after a stop at my local pizzeria, I acquired some real pizza dough for $3. Score! I attempted to cut the dough in half to make half the large pizza, but I had major issues trying to turn the first half into circle. After giving up, I took the other half and left it as a malformed semi-circle.

Everything seemed to be going well. I preheated the pizza stone to 500°, which seemed too hot, so I lowered it to 400°. After placing the "pizza" onto the stone, it seemed like I was set. About 25 minutes later, the pizza looked done and the cheese was very toasted, so I turned off the oven. Sadly, the crust in the middle was soggy and didn't seem to be totally cooked, so it stuck to the pizza stone. The crust in the back also seemed to be a little uncooked.

It seemed to be a good start, considering I've never even bought flour before. Hopefully, I only need to try 3 or 4 more times before I make something decent. The crust was uncooked, the cheese was too cooked. There were major issues with the consistency of the crust. What was cooked though, was decent, but overloaded with tomato sauce. All mental notes for the future.

When finished, I used the stainless steel soap from Eleanor and Masako, but thankfully not the toilet paper from Necia. Of course, I washed all this down with some water in the glasses from Jonathan and Fan.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:33 AM

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July 25, 2004

Welcome to My Home

POST #    1177

Last night, I had some people over to warm the apartment. Friends were brave enough to come all the way to Greenpoint just to see the place and to drink. I had a good time and I hope everyone that came did too. Only now am I getting to the mess that was left behind. I didn't get many pictures from the night, but I know there are some that might be floating around out there - including one with me getting my hair braided. Yikes.

Thanks to everyone who came, thanks for the gifts, thanks for the booze, thanks for coming out to Greenpoint. No thanks for the mess that I am now cleaning. Sigh...I hate cleaning as it is, and now I have to clean. That's what I get for having a party.

More information:
- Jake on "At Tien Mao's" (awesome photos of the evening)
- Joe on "Tien's Housewarming Party" (evidence of braiding)

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, House and Home at 5:13 PM

10
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July 24, 2004

Friends Coming Together

POST #    1175

In the foreground are four new friends, in the background are three friends - two siblings and another friend. These seven friends wouldn't mind some new friends tonight. Hopefully, by the end of the night, all my friends won't be gone.

There are a few more friends in the refrigerator, but probably not enough.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:12 AM

2
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July 23, 2004

Smartfood - The Best Deli Popcorn?

POST #    1156

You know, with all the junk food I eat, I've got a lot of favorite snacks, from Munchos to Cheez Doodles, but my favorite popcorn has got to be Smartfood. I've non-scientifically determined that. It's just so delicious. It almost seems like the popped kernels dissolve in your mouth once they hit the saliva. Mmm...disintegrating cheesy corn.

Of course, since the white cheddar gets on your fingers, you have to use the lazy eating method.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:34 AM

3
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July 22, 2004

Another Successful Wing Night

POST #    1171

Ahh, nothing like gathering everyone for another night of Buffalo wing indulgence. Over the course of the evening 100 wings were consumed. That pales in comparison to the 200 wings when people came out for Shannan, but still, that's a lot of chicken in very small and spicy doses. As you can see, there were also some curly fries consumed last night.

I guess we'll have to do it all again next week!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:38 AM

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July 21, 2004

Totonnos in Grammercy Hill

POST #    1169

Last night, I went to dinner with Kim at Totonno's in the Gramercy Park/Murray Hill area of Manhattan. I had previously gone to the Totonno's in Coney Island as part of a Slice Pizza Club trip, and I was quite anxious to try their 3rd outlet (they have another one uptown). I was curious if Totonno's would become like John's Pizzeria post-expansion, or remain the superior pizza that it was when I tried it last.

Lucky for us, it was excellent. The decor and the storefront are nothing like the Totonno's in Coney Island. The walls are pink verses a white with a sea-foam green, and the pizza place looks more like a diner (the lighting reminded me of a cheap Mexican place for some reason). The pizza itself was so delicious and paper thin. There was a nice charring of the crust that was perfect as well. Sadly, I do not remember Totonno's of Coney Island too well, but I can honestly say that I was not disappointed in the new branch for the pizzeria.

Soon after taking my first bites of the pizza, I wondered if Totonno's could now be the best pizza in Manhattan. No doubt in my mind that it's the best pizza south of 110th Street. As for the Patsy's/Totonno's smackdown, I will let the people at Slice handle that.

Oh, and if you're coming to get wings tonight, shoot me an email.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:05 AM

12
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July 19, 2004

Parmesan Crusted Salmon

POST #    1167

Inspired by Rachelle's entry on her grilled salmon, I had a desire to have some fish. I went to the grocery store, picked up some random stuff, and some salmon. After coming home, I looked on the various food sites for a recipe that involved salmon, ingredients I had already, and one that was easy. I finally found a parmesan crusted salmon recipe on the Food Network's web site.

Indeed it was quite easy. All I had to do was add some salt, pepper, and coat one side of the fish with cheese. The recipe calls for skinless salmon, but I like the skin, so it kept it on. Of course, I couldn't have a meal without some carbs, so I made some corn that I had in the freezer. Nice, easy, tasty, and somewhat healthy.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:50 AM

7
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July 14, 2004

This is Why Traditions Are Good

POST #    1157


Christiona and Jeannette, composite photo.

Bubble blowing contests and bets to see who would drink wing juice - that's why coming Wednesdays to Croxley Ales is a good idea. I mean, the wings are 10 freaking cents. Why wouldn't you come?

The weather was a tad crappy last night, and I was the first person to show up. I waited and waited, but Joe finally showed up, and I knew Halo was coming, so that got us a table. Christiona showed up the same time as Halo and Jeannette and Eleanor came a bit later. I was very worried that it would be a bust at first, but turnout was pretty good and hopefully it can last. Get tired of wings, you ask? At 10¢, I refuse to get tired of them.

Next week, same time, same place. Mental note though, find out who is coming beforehand so you can tell the waitress how many people are in the party.

- Joe on "Wings and Bubbles"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:40 AM

14
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Who Wants to Start a Weekly Tradition?

POST #    1154

Since every Wednesday at Croxley Ales features 10¢ wings, I think it needs to be a weekly tradition of going. No pressure in going, but just make it if you want. And why wouldn't you? The wings are cheap and the beers are reasonably priced. Bring some friends and a good time is guaranteed to be had.

I'll be there today, and if you want to join me, come on down! I'll be there around 7 again and hopefully you can make it. Hell, I'll even buy 20 wings each for the first 3 people to show up.

Yum! My mouth is watering and my tongue is already tingling at the thought of the wings. Sure, there's not a reason to do it like last week and the weather may not be the greatest, but why not eat and drink? Unless you're a herbivore or something. For you, there are always curly fries.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:23 AM

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July 13, 2004

Happy Birthday Krispy Kreme

POST #    1148

Today is Krispy Kreme's 67th birthday. I'm not sure if they are giving away birthday doughnuts, but they should! Especially to bloggers that seem to love their product and talk about their tasty delights (that sounds really dirty). Mmm...I want some birthday doughnuts. In lieu of that, I would also accept a "Friend of the Month" listing. I mean, really...I eat your product enough, no?

I digress. So everyone should go to their local Krispy Kreme and buy a doughnut and wish them a happy birthday. Sounds like fun, no? Who's up for it? I think it could be a lot of fun. Since I didn't ride my bike to work anyway, damn rain, I might as well pack on some calories.

For those that want to know more about Krispy Kreme, here is some information from an e-mail:

Krispy Kreme is 67 years old and still growing! So much has happened since Vernon Rudolph, our founder, sold the first Krispy Kreme Original Glazed doughnuts on July 13, 1937. We've gone from one little store with a hole cut in the wall for taking orders to more than 375 retail stores worldwide. Thanks to you, we hope to have many, many more years to come!

Full disclosure - I'm a stockholder. Not many, maybe like 40 or so shares...but I hear good things about their shareholder's meeting (free doughnuts). What can I say, when I believe in a product, I'll buy its stock.

- Previously on Krispy Kreme

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:46 AM

3
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July 9, 2004

Saturn Peach

POST #    1147

I've been eating these peach things recently, and I didn't look at the labels until yesterday. Apparently, they are called "Saturn Peaches". I mean, they don't really look like Saturn at all. I think the people at Sun Valley Packaging are trading on the good name of Saturn.

I'm on the road, so I guess I won't be commenting here and stuff...

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 6:30 AM

8
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July 3, 2004

Reunion Dinner

POST #    1136

Last night, "the families" had a reunion dinner, something we try to do once a year. Eric, Mark, and I have been friends since early, early childhood (like infant early), so every time Eric comes home from California, we try to get together for dinner. The dinner took place at Fu-Lai in Chinatown and was fabulous. At least twelve courses, nine bottles of wine with seven different varieties, all for twelve people. There was some serious eating going on.

Such a great way to get a long weekend going.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 10:40 AM

1
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June 28, 2004

Taste of Chicago - Oh, So Full

POST #    1127

After arriving on Saturday and spending a few moment's at Rachelle's apartment, the three of us headed over to Taste of Chicago. It was similar to the Big Apple Barbeque Block Party in the crowdedness, except with about 10 times the number of food stalls.

The food we had (shared between three people):
Breaded steak sandwich, chili, coconut shrimp, 1/2 cheeseburger, cheesecake, ribs, Chicago dog, Italian beef sandwich, cinnamon role, pizza, turtle soup, caramel apple sundae, key lime pie, fried plantains, and fried dough.

All of this was in the span of about three hours with one break. It was pretty insane. Needless to say, we were stuffed to the gills. There is a possibility that I'm still full from that. Wait, what am I talking about. I'm only backed up from it.

Despite the stuffing, it was a very good experience. We were able to try all sorts of Chicago fare that is typical of the city. Chicago-style pizza, the Chicago dog, and the Italian beef sandwich among them. I had Chicago-style pizza last time I came to Chicago as well. Let me expound further on the pizza in Chicago. It's almost an overwhelming experience. Lots of cheese, lots of dough, and plenty of sauce - but maybe not enough sauce to counter the cheese and dough. While I can appreciate this mix, I've got to say that I prefer New York style pizza by a far greater margin.

More information:
- Rachelle on "People of the Taste"
- Rachelle on "More From Taste of Chicago"
- Rachelle on "Flip Us Over & Roll Us Home
- Chicagoist on "Oooohhh.. Indigestion!"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Travel at 8:42 AM

5
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June 24, 2004

Slice Pizza Club at John's Pizzeria

POST #    1121

Last night was the first meeting of the Slice Pizza Club that took place on a weekday, at night, and in Manhattan. All this for a trip to John's Pizzeria on Bleecker St. Adam and his crew at Slice hoped turnout would be better because of the location, but it looks like there are only a few dedicated pizza eaters out there - three slice correspondants, and two Slice friends, myself included (for the record, Astrid showed up a little late and I hear that Janelle has been busy). For shame on the rest of you, for shame!

As is the norm for John's, the quality was rather "eh" and disappointing. Everyone who comes to New York breaks out their guide books and proclaim, "Let's get the best pizza in New York!" Then they head to John's, which, in my opinion, might not even be the best pizza on the block anymore. Sure, you can't compare a brick oven to a regular slice, but if you factor in expectations, John's isn't even close to the pizza places that bookend that stretch of Bleecker St - Joe's and the new Bleecker Street Pizza (pictured above in the 2nd picture and dubbed by the apparent authorities on pizza, the WB11, as "The Best Thin Crust Pizza"). Honestly, John's barely makes my top-3 brick/coal oven pizza places in Manhattan. Sad, but true.

I have to say that the pizza at John's used to be my favorite. I was young, the product was better, and I'm not sure what has changed. Is it the oven staff? Is it the ingredients? Or is it that I've just become more discerning when it comes to my pizza tastes? John's was one of the three pizza places that I grew up on, Joe's on Bleecker and Michelangelo's on Hudson St. being the other two. John's and Joe's are both excellent places to cut your pizza teeth on, but John's has fallen a long way.

The pizza at John's was dry and inconsistent. I can't put my finger on exactly why I didn't like it, but maybe it's because there were so many things wrong that I need more fingers - the solid cheese plastered to the crust or the sour tomato sauce are two that come to mind. So if you're a tourist and you're reading about John's, don't go there. While it's the best in the tour books, those people don't really know what they are talking about. Dollar for dollar, the pizza at Joe's or Bleecker Street Pizza is probably better.

More information:
- The Tien/Audrey or Audrey/Tien review of John's
- The Tien/Audrey or Audrey/Tien review of Joe's
- Citysearch listing for John's (clearly, voters on the site are crackheads)
- Citysearch listing for Joe's
- Citysearch listing for Bleecker Street Pizza
- All entries on the Slice Pizza Club
- Astrid on "Slice Club Outing #4"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:20 AM

7
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June 23, 2004

Jingoism Gone Awry - Star Spangled doodles

POST #    1119

I'm always one to try "new" products and fall for marketing gimmicks (see Shrek Cheetos), but I think this might reach a new level. Wise has rolled out the "Star Spangled doodles", their white cheddar cheez doodle with some specks of red and blue and a patriotic bag. I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that they are dubbing it "Star Spangled" or that they slapped this silly packaging on it.

I've yet to try them yet, since I actually cooked last night, but I think they are calling my name. "Tien, be patriotic, eat us...eat us!!! If you don't, you're not American..." Sorry, left over hallucinations from the Phish concert.

Lest the consumer get confused about the product, Wise has summarized the Star Spangled doodles on the back of the bag.

Summertime is the perfect time for parades, picnics and Wise Star-Spangled doodles. Made with real premium White Cheddar Cheese, Star-Spangled doodles are the delicious, all-American snack that goes great with summer fun, barbeques and patriotic celebrations!

Wise Star-Spangled doodles are packed with the same mouth-watering flavor as Wise White Cheddar cheez doodles, but also festively decorated with Red & Blue sparkles. The combination of cheezy flavor and patriotic colors makes Star-Spangled doodles a truly revolutionary snack sensation!

I feel über-American now. Hooray!

- See the full bag here.
- Read the back of the bag here.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:48 AM

9
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June 22, 2004

Summer Restaurant Week 2004 - Steak Frites

POST #    1117

Last night, I went to Steaks Frites which is participating in Summer Restaurant Week 2004. $20.12 buys you a three course lunch and $30.12 buys you a three course dinner. Foolishly, I forgot my camera (what kind of lousy bloger am I?), so I don't have any tasty images to make you druel. Hopefully, I can summarize the meal.

Their prix fix menu had three options for each of the courses. For my appetizer, I ordered the tuna tartar, with sea salt, preserved lemon, and mustard oil. My entree was the pave de beouf with smoked tomatoe and shallot compote and housemade fries. Finally for dessert, I had the green market peach Napoleon with vanilla cardamom ice cream.

This may not be all that interesting without the photos (who comes to this site for the writing?), but if anyone else is planning on going to Steak Frites for Restaurant Week, I would recomend the steak as the best value on the menu. The size of the steak was probably a little smaller than a tennis ball and was quite delicious with the compote. Someone else in my party had the jumbo sea scallops, but they only came with three scallops. My dessert was also on the small side, but I guess that's what you get for a prix fix menu at a New York restaurant. It seemed like the espresso chocolate pot de crme with a saffron white chocolate ganache was a better value.

More information:
- Steak Frites (official site)
- Citysearch listing for Steak Frites
- Previous entries on Restaurant Week

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 2:35 PM

4
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June 13, 2004

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

POST #    1102

Yesterday, I went to check out the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. It was the perfect day to be outside, but the number of people there and the lines were insane. Insane, I tell you, insane!!

It was $6 per plate of food and with seven types of barbecue to be had, I sampled four of them. I had the Kansas City spare ribs from Blue Smoke, the beef brisket from K.C. Baron of Barbecue's R.U.B. BBQ, the whole hog from Mitchell's Ribs, Chicken & BBQ, and the baby back ribs from 17th Street Bar & Grill. To top that all off, I had some strawberry-rhubarb cobbler and a piece of watermelon. The best BBQ for the money were the ribs, but I liked the beef brisket from K.C. Baron the best (Pitmaster Paul Kirk is in the 3rd picture slicing the brisket). It was so tender. Yum!

It goes without saying, but I think I've had my fill of BBQ for at least a week.

More information:
- Rion also visits the Big Apple BBQ (her photos are dangerously tasty)

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 2:18 PM

6
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June 12, 2004

Happy Hour at the Brooklyn Brewery

POST #    1101

Friday nights at the Brooklyn Brewery are happy hours, where the beer flows, and the brewery is packed. Drinks are cheap and tasty, which is perfect in my book. Last night was the unveiling of "Brooklyn Scorcher", which the brewery describes as a "golden light-bodied ale carrying a big stick of bitterness and big American hop aroma." I must say that it was quite delicious.

I'm not sure why I've never been to happy hour at the Brooklyn Brewery, but I'm sure I'll be going again sometime soon - especially since you can have pizza delivered to your tables.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 4:49 PM

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Nothing Quite Like a BBQ at Work

POST #    1100

Yesterday afternoon, we grilled some meat at work. There is nothing quite like trying to feed 120 or so people with copious amounts of food, 120 beers, and a fire that is way too hot. Some of the few hairs I had on my right hand are now singed. I'm surprised that my hair didn't get burned by the wild flames. The event turned out well, despite some uncooked meats, which I was not in charge of. Next time, no more grilling for me. Note the warped grill surface and the discoloration of the grill from the heat.

And can I just say that propane grills are so much better than charcoal. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Work at 11:06 AM

2
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June 10, 2004

Dinner #2

POST #    1095

Last night, I made dinner again! Shocking, I know. While the ideas were not entirely my own, the execution (good and bad) was all me. I made some bruschetta, linguine with clam sauce, and a chicken and broccoli stir fry. The bruschetta and linguine were both excellent and pretty easy. But the chicken/broccoli wasn't the best I've had. It's not a difficult dish to make, but it was lacking some flavor to make it taste good. It wasn't bad, it just didn't taste right.

What I've really got to do is get out of this whole pasta cooking thing. It's so easy that I feel that, while I may be making tasty food, I'm not really progressing much as any sort of cook. With the items I made, at one point were three burners were going at once along with the toaster oven. I'm not sure how people do the four burner and oven thing, but I'm game to try it. I figure the next thing I should try to cook is something involving the oven. But first, I need some sort of meat thermometer.

While I'm sure many of you are thinking, "psh, that was really easy," you have to keep in mind how little experience I have in the kitchen. There are times, not so long ago, where I would just have a bowl of cereal for dinner or snack instead of cooking. I'm not saying that I'm giving up the lazy dinner lifestyle entirely, but cooking once in a while can be nice. Baby steps, baby steps.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:05 AM

10
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June 7, 2004

Sea Sick

POST #    1088

After eating at Sea in Williamsburg last night, I've determined that I won't be dining there ever again. While I love the atmosphere and the decor, the food just sucks. It's decent, but the food is too sweet. Eating at Sea makes you think you're going to get onset diabetes. You should be able to order a insulin injection with your meals. Seriously, why all the sugar? I understand that Thai food (at least in the United States) is always sweet, but do you need to overload on the sweetness? It's like they are trying to hide the quality of their food with sugar.

I had the Red SEA Duck and it was swimming in sweet red sauce. It was very overwhelming. I almost felt like I had to ask for extra napkins and soak the sauce off the duck, like one soaks grease off pizza. I also tried some of the other dishes and like mine they were too sweet. Dessert, of course, was sweet, but that was expected. I might go as far to say that dessert was less sweet than the meal itself!

It wasn't my first time at Sea, but it's going to be my last. Every time I go, I think it's too sweet, but I go again. Unless my hand is forced, I won't be going again. I'm not sure why the place is so highly rated. I'm sure I can get the same quality food elsewhere without the sucrose induced shakes.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:50 AM

7
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June 4, 2004

McBreakdown

POST #    1084

After watching Super Size Me, I thought I might not eat McDonald's for a month. This morning, I broke down and had to have some. Actually, it wasn't so much of a craving for McDonald's as much as it was a, "hmm, I'm hungry and McDonald's sounds good." Obviously, that's a horrible thing to think, but I just love breakfast from McDonald's.

So it didn't quite reach a month. I saw the movie on May 8th, which was 27 days ago. Close enough, right? During the month, I didn't have McDonald's at all - it was offered, but I never had it. I did, however, have fast food during that time. It wasn't as much about cravings, but about laziness and things sounding like better options, just like this morning. I guess that's much of the problem that faces America - people turn to McDonald's because they lack better options and the time to prepare real food.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:48 AM

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May 28, 2004

First Supper

POST #    1073

Jesus had his last supper, last night I had my first supper (Blaspheme! Blaspheme!!) at my new apartment. Using my order from Fresh Direct, my new oven and range to cook the meal, execution was less than perfect. My excuses? I don't really cook - I think the last time I did was back at my old apartment in Murray Hill - and I lacked some required cookware. I'm also lacking some vital pieces of furniture, but that's another issue.

The actual meal turned out decent, but it obviously wasn't anything too fancy or difficult. Baby steps, baby steps. As you can see, the meal was carbohydrate-laden. Spaghetti with some sort of tomato sauce that I put mushrooms and asparagus into, parmesan cheese, corn on the cob, and beer. Not pictured is the garlic bread. Not bad for a first meal at the apartment. Next up, some more intense use of the oven and learning how to cook.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:17 AM

11
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May 27, 2004

Well, This is a Nice Addition to the Area

POST #    1069

Just a few weeks ago, when I checked Fresh Direct, my neighborhood was not in their delivery area. Now, to my joy, it is. That means, I don't have to get off my lazy ass to get food anymore. You can decide if that's good or bad. What might be worse is that a bulk of my new order is for beer. But this will certainly come in handy when I order some snacks for my eventual house warming party.

What's funny about Fresh Direct is that you can order a baseball cap (that's not the funny part). The description for the cap, besides the standard what they are made of and marketing blurb includes, "Please check product label for nutrition & ingredients." Too funny. I don't think it's an attempt at humor either, since it seems to be on other pages that don't contain food too. Just their standard boilerplate.

I've used Fresh Direct before and only really had one incident where I wasn't that happy, but that's because I had a major craving for watermelon and I was sweating my ass off.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:45 AM

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May 21, 2004

Johnnie Walker Journey of Taste

POST #    1050

Last night, I went to a Johnnie Walker tasting and education event at Avalon. At the event, there was plenty of Black Label to be had by all. We learned several things, like the ingredients of Scotch, how it is made and distilled, and how to taste the different flavors within the blend that is Johnnie Walker Black Label.

The ingredients of Johnnie Walker are barley, yeast and water, which are unique to Scottish Whisky. American whisky uses corn while Canadian whisky uses rye. Scotch also has to ferment for at least 3 years in Scotland before being considered Scotch, while Black Label is fermented for 12 years. JW Black Label is blended from over 40 different whiskies that result in four distinct flavors - fresh fruit, rich fruits, vanilla, and an earthy smoke. These flavors combined make up Black Label.

In a whisky, there are four things to look for, legs, nose, palate and finish. Legs are how the whisky "sticks" to the glass, nose is how the Scotch smells, palate how it tastes and finish is how long the taste lasts.

It was an excellent even that reminded me a lot of the Guinness Believer's Event. It seems like I'm getting invited to a lot of these free booze events. Bring it on!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:20 AM

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May 19, 2004

Mary's Dairy - The Queen of Cream

POST #    1048

Mary's Dairy is a relatively new ice cream shop in the West Village and it's got one really good reason (in my book) to go - they will put ice cream on a Krispy Kreme doughnut! For those so inclined, they also carry banana splits. They have a bunch of unique flavors that a more traditional ice cream parlor wouldn't have. It kind of reminds me of Rice to Riches in the way that it takes something traditional and makes the product and the store fancy. I actually overheard someone else actually say the same thing while we were there. The "Double Creme", as I think it was called, was a scoop of ice cream on top of the doughnut. It was insanely sweet, but quite delicious. I think I became a diabetic just eating it. Prices are a little more expensive than a normal place, $5.25 for the doughnut thing, but it's almost an experience going there.

I thought their logo was very interesting. Take a close look. What does the ice cream look like? And she's the "queen of cream"...I'm just saying.

Mary's is at 171 W. 4th St, between 6th and 7th.

Updated: 1:10 pm, 5.19.04
The Times has a small blurb about Mary's Dairy (scroll down to "Frozen Cream de la Cream"). Sandy, was actually the flavor I had on my order - chocolate with pistachio halvah.

- Chowhound on Mary's Dairy

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:20 AM

9
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May 18, 2004

Obscene Cupcake Photo & Technical Note

POST #    1045

I guess this picture was just too precious not to post, so here it is. There are other pictures out there where I'm doing some pretty bad things with food, but we'll just let those go. This picture was from last week while celebrating Christina's birthday.

The technical note is that I'm going to start having my pictures at a 450 pixel width. I've previously had them at 400, but I took a look at some site stats and I think very few of my regular readers use 800x600 resolutions. If you do, I'm sorry that the site might get messed up for you. I think my only concern is that eventually the images will take up more space, but I'm not even close to that yet.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Tech at 7:37 AM

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May 16, 2004

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden

POST #    1037

After the trip to Sac's, the whole group decided to get some drinks at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, aka the Astoria Beer Garden. It was the perfect day to go - too hot in the sun, but nice and cool in the shade and especially so with a beer in hand. We ended up spending a whopping five hours there drinking and eventually eating too. By the time we left, every table was full of people enjoying themselves.

The Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden was established in 1910 by the immigrants of Bohemia. It serves as a cultural center for members of the community so they don't loose touch with their Bohemian roots. Their menus said that in Bohemia, "crowds went to see and be seem in beer gardens and relax under the shade of fragrant linden trees." Exactly what we were looking to do.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:08 AM

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Slice Pizza Club at Sac's

POST #    1038

Yesterday was Slice's 3rd Pizza Club meeing which was at Sac's Pizza Place in Astoria. Christina, Shannan, and I met up with Adam and Janelle for some fine eating.

Sac's says they use the finest ingredients, including fresh mozzarella, and that they say they load up on the toppings if you get them. Of course, they also have a coal oven to cook their pizza. I enjoyed their pizza, but I liked our pepperoni and mushroom pie substantially more than the plain pie. The sauce was had some spice to it which was unique; their cheese was fresh, but a bit plentiful on the plain pie; the crust was thick yet light. Their plain pie was nothing special though. Just very plain, for lack of a better word.

The last trip with the Slice Pizza Club brought us to Coney Island and Totonno's.

Updated:
- Adam brings readers his grand summary of the 3rd Pizza Club Meeting.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:20 AM

7
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May 14, 2004

Cheetos Twisted - Turning My Tongue "Shrek Green"

POST #    1034

The moment I saw them sitting there in the gas station, I knew I had to have them. Cheesy snacks and me go hand in hand. Silly marketing gimmick to sell more of them makes them even better! Cheetos partnered with Shrek 2 on their latest product, Cheetos Twisted - "Shrek Green". Beautiful. I read "limited time" and say, "how much?" And if they were the same great taste, why not buy them? They seemed to have some little specks that turned green on contact with fluids, be it saliva or water. As the packaging says, Cheetos Twisted turned my tongue Shrek green "making these snacks the coolest your friends have ever seen." Oh that silly Chester Cheeto...what will he come up with next?

So is this snack coolest thing you've ever seen?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:52 AM

15
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May 4, 2004

Court Street McDonald's

POST #    999

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again, the McDonald's on Court Street is the worst McDonald's in the world. After last night's movie, I was quite hungry and had a disturbing craving for McDonald's. I get out of the subway, saunter on over to McDonald's, pull on the door, and it's locked. Frankly, this came as a big surprise because I clearly remember advertisements saying that McDonald's is now open when you're hungry and that they are now open later, some all night. Now, you're probably thinking, "well, maybe this McDonald's wasn't open that late." It was 10:20 and it was all locked up. This might be considered late if your hours dictate 10 p.m. as closing time, but the sign clearly stated that they close at midnight.

What the hell? This confirms that the McDonald's on Court Street in Brooklyn, New York, is the worst McDonald's ever. Well, at least the worst one I've been to.

Update: 11:33 p.m., 5.4.04
There was another sign tonight that said they are upgrading their equipment and will close at 10 p.m., while they are doing that. Will that improve their personnel issues? I hope so. They still suck.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Rants at 4:48 PM

7
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May 3, 2004

Dos de Mayo (?) Dinner

POST #    996

Last night, Jess and her roommate invited a bunch of people over for a pre Cinqo de Mayo dinner. I'm not a huge fan of Mexican food, but I figured what the hell. I had never been to her place before and heard that it was amazing. It was an excellent time and I'm glad I went, but it's not like you need a reason to go to someone's apartment to eat, drink, and enjoy a great view. As you can see, dessert was also pretty good.

Thanks for the great time Jess.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family at 7:22 AM

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April 30, 2004

My Favorite Potato Chip

POST #    989

I've got to say that Munchos are my favorite potato chip. Not that they contain any potato at all. They don't even claim to be a potato chip, but a "potato crisp". I'm surprised that oil and salt aren't before potatoes on the ingredient list. And the potatoes they use are dehydrated potatoes. They don't, however, surpass my love of Cheez Doodles (puffy and crunchy), which aren't technically chips.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 3:20 PM

15
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April 29, 2004

Hershey's Presents the Top Ten Kisses in Film and Caramel Kisses

POST #    986

Last night, I was invited to the Empire State Building to watch Nick Warnock and Amy Henry from The Apprentice unveil the top ten kisses in film.

10. Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites
9. Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in Singing in the Rain
8. Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club
7. Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift in A place in the Sun
6. Molly Ringwald and Michael Schoeffling in Sixteen Candles *
5. Rock Hudson and Doris Day in Pillow Talk
4. Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina
3. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca
2. Omar Sharif and Julie Christie in Doctor Zhivago
1. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind

* it should be noted that they incorrectly credited Justin Henry as the other kisser in Sixteen Candles. Jen pointed this out immediately after they said this.

Hmm, why no mention of the kissing in The Crying Game, Wild Things, or Bound? So many kisses, such traditional choices. No hot lesbian action. What a shame.

At the event, there were also plenty of Hershey's new Kisses filled with Caramel. They are kind of like a Rolo or a Caramello, but Hershey's describes them as "smooth milk chocolate and creamy, luscious caramel together." The caramel was much gooier than the Rolo contents and more similar to that of a Caramello. They are really quite delicious. And if shoving several in my mouth at the event wasn't enough, they sent everyone home with a whole package of them. I also came home with a copy of Casablanca.

Special thanks go out to Gothamist reader Michelle for inviting us to the event.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Movies at 7:29 AM

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April 28, 2004

Too Much of a Good Thing

POST #    984

Sigh, I knew it was bound to happen. I think I've had too many Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. This is what happens when you use coupons that give you 12 free doughnuts. Jeannette, Yvan, and I took the plunge and went in on the special together. I had one Monday night and then two more Tuesday morning. Probably not a good idea to eat three doughnuts in less than 20 hours.

I don't think I can have another for a while...that is, unless someone wants to go in on another 24 doughnuts...

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:34 AM

11
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April 27, 2004

The Virtues of NyQuil

POST #    975

"Oh NyQuil, how you came and you put me to sleep-e, with my sick and painful throat-e." Yikes, that was bad. Sounded good when I sang it in my head. Since I'm sick with at least sniffling, coughing, and a stuffy head, I've been taking NyQuil LiquiCaps (or their generic equivalent) for the past two nights. I absolutely detest the taste of any liquid cough syrup, so I never enjoyed taking NyQuil or Robitussin as a child. But ever since they invented these capsules, I just love taking them. I probably take them once a year for a cold so I can "can get the rest you need to have a good morning."

Procter & Gamble, I have the following message for you:
I enjoy your product and how it decongests me so I can sleep. I don't necessarily like the groggy feeling I have in the morning, or the strange sensations in my legs for a few hours after getting up, or the strange dreams that I have, but I love the way your little green pills just put me right to sleep. I think there were times in college when I used your product to fall asleep. Those times were especially great because I could sleep late to avoid grogginess. - A fan, Tien Mao

p.s. - if this makes no sense, it's because I'm feeling the effects of the NyQuil.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:40 AM

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April 22, 2004

The Most Addictive Nut?

POST #    967

I haven't really given this much thought, but I'm wondering, "what is the most addictive nut?" For me, the frontrunner right now is the honey roasted peanut. A evil co-worker dumped some in my hand this morning (by some I mean an overflowing handful) and I promptly scarfed them down. Obviously, I craved more immediately, but I was out of the office, so couldn't eat any more of them. But said co-worker just plopped the rest of the peanuts onto my desk, clearly expecting me to polish them off. Told you she was evil.

I don't even like honey roasted peanuts that much (my favorite nut is almond in pretty much any form - nut, Almond Joy, extract). I guess the reason I'm addicted to them is that they are sweet and slightly salty, probably the perfect combination for a nut (har, har) like me. There is probably a better nut out there, but right now, my mind is in a honey roasted glaze. Excuse me while I go eat some more peanuts.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 2:42 PM

7
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Who Wants Some Krispy Kreme?

POST #    965


(click to enlarge)

In their never-ending quest to enlarge both my ass and my belly, Krispy Kreme was nice enough to send me this coupon yesterday for a dozen free doughnuts after buying a dozen. So I was wondering if there were any people that would like to partake in them with me? Or if someone is having a party, I'm willing to bring some doughnuts...

Of course, they have a disclaimer:

Stores in the following locations are not participating in this promotion: Southern California; Colorado; Connecticut; Boynton Beach, FL; Daytona Beach, FL; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Gainesville, FL; Melbourne, FL; Miami, FL; Tamarac, FL; West Palm Beach, FL; Bogart, GA; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Iowa; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Gulfport, MS; St. Louis, MO; Nebraska; Buffalo, NY; Latham, NY; Penn Station, NYC, NY; Rochester, NY; Syracuse, NY; Nevada; Asheville, NC; Hendersonville, NC; Hickory, NC; Wilmington, NC; North Dakota; Oregon; Altoona, PA; Erie, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Washington, PA; Rhode Island; Florence, SC; Myrtle Beach, SC; Spartanburg, SC; South Dakota; Bristol, TN; Kingsport, TN; Pigeon Forge, TN; Sevierville, TN; Beaumont, TX; El Paso, TX; Houston, TX; Missouri City, TX; Utah; Burlington, WA; Issaquah, WA; Seattle, WA; Vancouver, WA; Wisconsin; Australia, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:19 AM

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April 18, 2004

Cheesecake Challenge

POST #    951

Yesterday was the Cheesecake Challenge at Corie's apartment. People came from the far reaches of the city to try various cakes and decide where is the best cheesecake from. (Did I build the drama up enough?) Cheesecakes included homemade cheesecakes, two cheesecakes from the article that started it all, and several from other bakeries around the city.

Several people with blogs attended, including Chris, Dahlia, Doug, Joe, Jos, Linus, Sam, and of course Corie. With all these people, non-bloggers, and guests attending, there were several people to have what seemed like an endless amount of cheesecake.

The winner was from Cakeman, with second going to a homemade Ginger Lemon Cheesecake by Michael, and third going to Delices DE Paris, aka Paris Bakery. Surprisingly, Eileen's (my favorite) and Monteleone's, two of the cakes that made The Times, didn't come close to winning. Perhaps the strawberries and glaze put off the purists who don't like the topping on Eileen's and the consistency of her cake, which turns into mush when the cake becomes warm, which it was. I still think that Eileen's is my favorite cake. I need to take this case to the Supreme Court or something - or is there some sort of food court that this can be debated in.

More information:
- Corie on "The Results Are In"
- Joe on "The Cheesecake Challenge!"
- Linus on "Smile and Say Cheesecake"
- Jos on "Cheesecake and circadian rhythms"
- Chris on "You got served"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:55 AM

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April 8, 2004

Food Diary - Day Seven, 4.7.04

POST #    925

Yesterday was the final day of my food diary. Mini-Ritz with cheese, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Blimpie's for lunch including half a bag of chips and half a Sierra Mist. After a late afternoon snack of roasted peas, dinner was some instant noodles, Chinese leftovers and leftover pizza.

With the food I eat, I'm surprised I'm still walking. Normally, I would eat better because I'm virtually living at home, but my mom is away, leaving my dad and I to scrounge around. When I move, perhaps I can cook for myself or eat cereal every night. Healthy, right?

Besides learning that I'm incredibly unhealthy (wait, I knew that), I learned that it's very hard to take pictures of everything you eat or drink. You have to endure countless questions from the people you work with, get comments from waiters, and get strange looks from strangers.

- Read all "Food Diary" entries

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:27 AM

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April 7, 2004

Food Diary - Day Six, 4.6.04

POST #    921

Yesterday was my best food day so far of this seven day food diary. The Cheez Doodles might make it look bad, but I only had a few, which caught me by surprise. More Chinese food for lunch, which included Hainan chicken and some spicy shredded pork, and another winning Pepsi. Dinner was Japanese food, where I think we might have ordered too much for three people. At least most of yesterday's food was healthy.

- Read all "Food Diary" entries

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:29 AM

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April 6, 2004

Food Diary - Day Five, 4.5.04

POST #    918

I think I'm noticing a trend, a bad food trend. Today's list of food: chestnuts, a smorgasbord of Chinese food for lunch, and an iced tea, from Burger Joint, some Sam Adams (x4), fries, cheeseburger (x2) and a milkshake. I think a diet is starting Thursday.

Burger Joint was excellent. It was cheap, fast, and tasty. I'm not sure it's quite as good as a Bistro Burger, but it's damn good. Cheeseburger for $5.50, fries for $1.50, and brownies for $1.50...how can you go wrong?!? (Mad cow, heart disease, and cholesterol don't count.)

- Read all "Food Diary" entries

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:24 AM

15
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April 5, 2004

Food Diary - Day Four, 4.4.04

POST #    917

Ugh, another really bad day of eating. I went out to Coney Island yesterday to have some Totonno's pizza, had to get a hot dog and share a Coke, which means I should have cut down on the pizzza, but noooo, I had six slices. I then went to dinner at my cousin's pad in Williamsburg and had some cheesecake, Pepsi (x2), salad, mashed potatos, and meatloaf.

It was a delicious day of food to top off an insane food weekend.

- Read all "Food Diary" entries

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:23 AM

2
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April 4, 2004

Food Diary - Day Three, 4.3.04

POST #    914

This might have been my worst food day ever. Yikes. Items included more saltwater taffy (x3), apple cider, bread with butter (x3), salad (x2 bites), German fried potatoes and creamed spinach, steak (all from Peter Luger's), starburst, chocolate coin, ice cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, pizza (x2), more starburst (x2), half a bottle of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar.

On the plus side, we did walk over the Brooklyn Bridge between steak and ice cream.

- Read all "Food Diary" entries

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:41 AM

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April 3, 2004

Food Diary - Day Two, 4.2.04

POST #    913

Day two of my food diary: Chinese food (some sort of noodle thing) and Coke for lunch, a small piece of an oatmeal raisin cookie, saltwater taffy (x2), Guinness, six wings, cheeseburger with fries, Zagorka beer (x2) at Mehanata.

- Food Diary - Day One

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:40 AM

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April 2, 2004

Food Diary - Day One, 4.1.04

POST #    910

Earlier this week in The NY Times, there was an article about Tucker Shaw, a man that is attempting to document what he eats this whole year with photos. At the Photoblogger event in February, Cypher discussed his blog, which has pictures of all his meals. This is my tribute to them.

I'm going to take a picture of everything I eat and drink (excluding water) for the next week and present it here. It's not going to be pretty because, as you'll see, I eat a lot of junk. It will be even uglier than normal this week, since my friend Justin is in town and we're going to Peter Luger's on Saturday and I plan to hit up Slice's trip on Sunday.

A summary of yesterday, an Egg McMuffin meal for breakfast, half a sandwich and half a soup for lunch, a Pepsi after lunch, a beer at the NIT game, and some Starburst at home. Like I said, not pretty.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:16 AM

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March 26, 2004

Curiously Addictive

POST #    890

Yesterday afternoon, I opened up a package of Altoids Apple Sours, which were quite delicious. Almost too delicious. Is it possible that Callard and Bowser coat their products with cocaine to make them more addictive? Hmm. Well, obviously not. But my tin of Apple Sours is getting very close to empty. I tend to like popping Altoids and other mints like they were ... uh, candy...

Maybe it's the fact that they are sour contributes to the addictiveness. I like sour candy, be it gummy or non-gummy, but probably not as much as mints and the such. On cross country trips, I used to buy large bags of starlight mints and just pop them as I drove from to and from Michigan. Yum!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:22 AM

8
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March 25, 2004

OY! The Gauntlet Has Been Trown

POST #    888


Yikes, that's some nice Photoshop work Corie!

After all the discussion about cheesecake earlier this week, Corie has thrown down the gauntlet. It looks like the "Cheesecake Challenge" is on. Who's the benefactor of the event? Me. Well, maybe not, but my gut will certainly benefit from the event.

***Dramatic Announcer Voice***
Tune in, April 17th, to find out who will win...THE CHEESECAKE CHALLENGE! Will it be Brooklyn's own Junior's or will another cake walk away with the crown? There is only one way to find out! Tune in...to the CHEESECAKE CHALLENGE!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:12 PM

5
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March 23, 2004

Eileen's - The Best Cheesecake in New York

POST #    878

Last night, Christina and I made a pilgrimage to Eileen's Special Cheesecake, which in my opinion is the best cheesecake in New York. I absolutely love the cheesecake at Eileen's, it's just delicious. It was all inspired by last week's entry on cheesecake, and it was well worth the wait. In fact, I bought a small cheesecake to bring home. I'll be having that for desert tonight with the rents. Following cheesecake, we had dinner at Lombardi's, which was better than I remember, but still doesn't live up to the cheesecake.

Again, if anyone wants to hit up Eileen's sometime, let me know. I would be more than happy to go again.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:17 AM

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March 21, 2004

Worst McDonald's Ever

POST #    875

They didn't see me smile, I wasn't loving it. I think I've discovered the worst McDonald's ever. It's on 82 Court Street in Brooklyn, New York. Whether or not I should be patronizing McDonald's is not the issue here, the issue is the poor, poor service at this location. Never have I seen so many people work at a "fast food" establishment with such slow service.

There is probably a optimum number of employees to run a McDonald's of that size, but they were over it. Did the restaurant (I use that term loosely) need 3 people working the burger line? Maybe when there are a substantial number of customers, which there were. But when you are making food faster than you are giving people their orders, you don't need all the people and something is wrong. The person I ordered from had the manager assisting her, yet still became backed up with her orders! How is that possible?!? I've noticed a trend at McDonald's, they take multiple orders before going to get the food. This is probably to allow for preparation time, which makes sense. But if your kitchen is turning around orders quickly, do you need to take so many orders? Three orders were taken before the person assisting me left the register. Did she bother to get food for the other people? No. Did she bother to get people their drinks? No. She also didn't have any singles in her register. Did she get the manager? No. She got the money from the person next to her, which makes sense, but how much did she get? Ten? Twenty? Nope. She got change for a five dollar bill!! Last time I checked, that's only five singles. You have no singles, and you get change for a five. Do people in McDonald's not think before they act?

This is the worst McDonald's I have been to, and I've been to several where English isn't the first language of the employees. Spanish in Brooklyn, Chinese in Beijing, French in France, and stoner in Ann Arbor. I would say the second worst McDonald's I've been to is one in Ann Arbor. It was at South University and South Forrest. I don't think it's there anymore, but that place was just dirty. Service was acceptable, but the cleanliness was questionable. I would say that was more due to the location than the employees though.

Thankfully, I'll be moving soon, so I the McDonald's at 82 Court Street will no longer be my local McDonald's.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Rants at 2:05 PM

6
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March 19, 2004

Lazy Eating

POST #    864

Sometimes, I'm lazy. I like to take shortcuts and sometimes I do this when I eat. It's not like I am too lazy to eat, although my mom has said that if I were starving and had un-peeled fruit to eat, I would probably starve to death. Or is it more like the guy that has food in a necklace around his neck, but starves because he only eats the food in the section in front of him and doesn't bother to rotate the food necklace.

Anyway, yesterday, while eating some Fritos that seemed like there were heroin-laced, I just dumped them into my mouth. I was towards the end of the bag, so this made sense, right? I've done this with french fries and popcorn too. Except with popcorn, I was nowhere near the bottom (I didn't want to get cheese on my fingers). It's just too easy - dumping the food into my mouth. It makes me think of Homer Simpson when he was at the retirement home and found out about IV's. He felt like he was cheated his whole life, wasting time on chewing.

I guess this is just the tip of my laziness. I wonder what other shortcuts I can take.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:30 AM

7
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March 17, 2004

Mmm...Cheesecake!!

POST #    859

I love me some cheesecake. It's my favorite cake, even though it's not your typical cake. In today's NY Times, there is a take on the best cheesecake in New York. I'm happy to say that Eileen's Special Cheesecake, which is my favorite, made the list of seven places that the writer of the article deemed the best cheesecakes in New York. (It should be noted that Junior's didn't make the list.) Eileen's is described as, "ethereally light, and not too sweet." I want a piece right now!

If anyone here wants to take a trip to Eileen's let me know - we'll go. If you're coming in from out of town, let me know - I'll take you. I'm always down to eat one more piece of her cheesecake.

- NY Times: In Cheesecake City, a Quest for the Best

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:31 AM

12
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March 16, 2004

Sushi and Crepes Mix, Right?

POST #    853

Last night, I went out to a late birthday dinner with my friend Kim. It was delicious. First, we went to Zutto, a place that I've actually been to as a kid (the one in TriBeCa), then we went to Elephant and Castle for a crepe.

Just looking at these photos is making my stomach grumble.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:18 AM

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March 12, 2004

Mmm...Cold Pizza

POST #    838

Why is cold pizza so delicious? I might like it better than warm pizza...okay, not really. But I do really like cold pizza, and can't figure out the reason. Sure, I love pizza to begin with, but I've always had a soft spot for cold pizza. When I was younger, there were times when I would order a slice but ask them not to heat it. Yum.

Obviously, this works better with some pizza than others. Is it the solidity of the cheese, or the taste that the cheese has when it's cold, or is it the pie or the sauce? When cold, the crust of the pizza doesn't seem to hold up though. If it's in the fridge, the pizza crust seems to dry out. The best cold pizza is when you eat the previous night's dinner for breakfast. Cold pizza at its freshest.

Sure, eating cold pizza might be a tad unsanitary, but it's just so tasty that I block that part out of my mind.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:48 AM

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March 8, 2004

Five Hours Into the Day - 70% Sodium

POST #    820

I've been up for about five hours, and I've been snacking furiously on some sourdough hard pretzels. One serving, which is one pretzel, accounts for 10% of your daily allowance of sodium. I've had at least seven. All this before eating lunch or dinner. Not a good sign, especially when your lunch plans are McDonalds and you want to eat pizza for dinner. And people wonder why people in this country are getting fatter. Despite the pretzels being fat free, I think I'm skewing the statistical data towards fat. At least I'm drinking a lot of water so my mouth won't resemble sandpaper in the afternoon. Stupid addictive pretzels. I blame it on them, not my brain for its lack of control.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:44 AM

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March 3, 2004

It's Like a Birthday Gift for 6 Months

POST #    806

Because Krispy Kreme loves me so much - or is it because I love Krispy Kreme so much - they are re-releasing the key lime pie doughnut!! This just makes me ecstatic. I love key lime pie and I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts, so this is great! Unfortunately, it's only from March-August, but that's 6 months of key lime pie doughnut goodness.

That said, I'll probably end up having it two times.

For those of you that are wondering, pumpkin spice will be offered the other 6 months of the year and caramel kreme crunch will be offered year round.

And why is it a birthday gift? Because my birthday is this Saturday. Feel free to buy me a gift.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 2:57 PM

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February 28, 2004

Soul Food, Harlem, Times Square

POST #    795


Soul food at Charles' Southern Style Kitchen.


Phat Cribs International in Harlem.


Ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery.


The horsies out in Times Square.

When Mike mentioned soul food, I thought, "where and when?" since I'm never one to turn down a good meal. I must say, it was a great idea. Eleanor, Jeannette, Yvan, and I went up to Charles' Southern Style Kitchen in Harlem, but we showed up kind of late, so we ate at a separate table. Dinner cost us $13.02 for an all you can eat buffet, which had fried chicken, ribs, yams, mac 'n cheese (which I tasted and was decent, considering I don't like it that much), and some other stuff. It was all taaasty, and I left feeling quite satisfied.

After dinner, some of us were craving dessert, so we went to Cold Stone Creamery. I absolutely dread Times Square, but for ice cream, I'm willing to swallow my pride. With all the photos I took, I did feel a little like a tourist. Cold Stone takes ice cream and mixes various things into it - fruit, candy, peanut butter, you name it. The employees at Cold Stone also seem to enjoy being loud. Every time they get a tip, they sing. They also break out in random "I scream, you scream" chants. It got annoying after a while. Needless to say, the ice cream only made me more full.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:10 AM

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February 26, 2004

Great, Thanks for the Info

POST #    789

I got an e-mail this morning from Fresh Direct letting me know that they now carry health and beauty products. Good to know that includes a healthy array of women's products (see products on the right of image).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:15 PM

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February 22, 2004

Sichuan Hot Pot

POST #    779

Last night, we continued to work down Rachelle's things to do list (we had Peter Luger's before) by having Sichuan hot pot at Wu Liang Ye. Sichuan food in general is notorious for being spicy and their hot pot is no different. Since not everyone was down for the hotness, we requested that the pot be split into hot and mild. Hot pot is essentially a pot of boiling broth that you put various uncooked food items into. It was delicious. Both the spice and the temperature of the food got to me a few times while eating, but it was great. (The spice will get me a couple more times over the next few days too, if you know what I mean.)

- Rachelle on "My First Hot Pot"
- Dahlia on "Hot Pot"
- My hot pot experience at home
- Jen's post that kind of started it all

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:08 PM

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February 21, 2004

Drinking with R-Beezy

POST #    778

It's strange, I've known Rachelle for a little while now, and we've gone on many adventures, but I seldom go drinking with her. I think last time was the first time I've seen her drunk and maybe the last time too, since she's moving to Chicago. Anyway, it was a good time had by all at Croxley's.

Really though, it's all part of a super Rachelle send-off that brought us to Peter Luger's earlier this week.

- Rachelle on "Going Away Party"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 1:14 PM

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February 19, 2004

Peter Luger Steakhouse, a Pseudo Sendoff

POST #    775


Luger's steak for three. Two huge porterhouse steaks, medium rare.


Steak, German fried potatoes, and creamed spinach. Bye bye belt!


Rachelle and one set of gifts, tumblers and a magnet from the Transit Store.


Rachelle, sporting her Neighborhoodie and holding her Rachel Leb.com hot pants.

With Rachelle moving away in a little more than a week, there are only a few more days for her to do "New York things" before she leaves. Jeannette, Jess, Yvan, and I decided to take her for a farewell dinner at Peter Luger Steakhouse before she left (not that you need an excuse to go to Luger's, which has been open since 1887). I've been there at least 10 times, which doesn't sound like a lot, but at $50 per person, it's not cheap to eat there. In my opinion, it's worth every penny.

As a grizzled veteran of Peter Luger's (the others in our party had never been), I knew exactly what I wanted - steak, potatoes, and creamed spinach. Those are the three items that you must get, no questions asked. Optional items include tomatoes and onions (ordered), shrimp cocktail (ordered), and dessert (ordered). Steaks at Luger's are broiled and served on the plates they were cooked on. They are placed on small dishes so the oil pools on one end of the plate. Perfect for dipping. Complimentary with the $50 cost per person is a chocolate gold coin for everyone.

With Rachelle moving, I'm not sure who will supply me with pictures of themselves eating and making funny faces. Obviously, that's just one of the things I'll miss about Rachelle. In my heart, I secretly hope she moves back to New York after a brief stint in the Second City.

- Rachelle on "Peter Luger's"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:29 AM

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February 18, 2004

Mmm...My Mouth Salivates at the Thought of Luger's

POST #    770

I'm going to Peter Luger Steakhouse in a little more than three hours, and just thinking about the steak is making my mouth salivate. Mmm...steak, German fried potatoes, creamed spinach. You just can't go wrong. Who needs a menu, when you know exactly what you want.

More tomorrow if I survive the food coma.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 5:32 PM

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February 13, 2004

Goodbye to Gage & Tollner

POST #    764

Even more tragic than the closing of Lutce is the closing of Gage & Tollner, a Brooklyn institution. The restaurant has been open since 1879 and has been at 372 Fulton street since 1892. 1892!! How crazy is that? In its present location, there are 36 gas lamps in their dining hall, each one lit daily by a waiter. Gage & Tollner even has cut-glass chandeliers and mahogany tables.

Their were a few problems that Gage & Tollner faced, the Downtown Brooklyn are was not favorable to business and perhaps they didn't adapt to the times. The area around Gage & Tollner is full of discount stores and fast food eateries, with many things closing by nightfall, resulting in a "dead" area. Some analysts said that Gage & Tollner also failed to adapt to the changing palates of diners. The current owner hopes to re-open Gage & Tollner in a new location, but in my mind, a lot of history will be lost if Gage & Tollner isn't in the same four-story brownstone.

I've been to Gage & Tollner once, and I can see how they might have fallen behind newer restaurants. The food was decent, but not spectacular. The space though was charming and, in my opinion, reason enough to try to keep Gage & Tollner in the same location.

- Gage & Tollner
- Gage & Tollner's Citysearch listing
- NY Times: Eat and Be Merry; On Saturday 2 Classics Die

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Food/Drink, NYC at 1:51 PM

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Goodbye to Gage & Tollner

POST #    764

Even more tragic than the closing of Lutce is the closing of Gage & Tollner, a Brooklyn institution. The restaurant has been open since 1879 and has been at 372 Fulton street since 1892. 1892!! How crazy is that? In its present location, there are 36 gas lamps in their dining hall, each one lit daily by a waiter. Gage & Tollner even has cut-glass chandeliers and mahogany tables.

Their were a few problems that Gage & Tollner faced, the Downtown Brooklyn are was not favorable to business and perhaps they didn't adapt to the times. The area around Gage & Tollner is full of discount stores and fast food eateries, with many things closing by nightfall, resulting in a "dead" area. Some analysts said that Gage & Tollner also failed to adapt to the changing palates of diners. The current owner hopes to re-open Gage & Tollner in a new location, but in my mind, a lot of history will be lost if Gage & Tollner isn't in the same four-story brownstone.

I've been to Gage & Tollner once, and I can see how they might have fallen behind newer restaurants. The food was decent, but not spectacular. The space though was charming and, in my opinion, reason enough to try to keep Gage & Tollner in the same location.

- Gage & Tollner
- Gage & Tollner's Citysearch listing
- NY Times: Eat and Be Merry; On Saturday 2 Classics Die

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Food/Drink, NYC at 1:51 PM

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February 9, 2004

Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart? I DO!!!!

POST #    755


Hello BP!! Located on Vandervoort between Grand and Metropolitan.


Mmm...so many chips.


Halley pointing out one of the fine Tostitos dips.


Lactose intolerance my ass!

Never have I been so happy to see a gas station open. I don't have a car, yet the opening of a BP Amoco across the street from work is a godsend. It is an oasis in the urban jungle that is the "East Williamsburg Industrial Park." This area is devoid of all stores and decent eateries. That means no snacks, no drinks, no nothing. That all changed this afternoon. They have everything I could possibly want, bread, milk, chips, candy, ice cream, beer, smokes (wait, I don't smoke), and windshield wiper fluid (wait, I don't have a car).

I am a happy, happy man. Yes, it takes very little to make me happy, I am easy to please, and pleased I am. Today is a new day, a day when I start snacking my ass off and my ass grows to heights never before seen, today is a good day, maybe the best day I've had here in three years. Sad, I know.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Work at 4:37 PM

11
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February 5, 2004

Foiled By the Popularity of Hot Chocolate

POST #    746


Click on image for the full schedule.

Last night after work, I headed over to City Bakery for some hot chocolate. All this month, they are having a "Hot Chocolate Festival" where they feature a different flavor of hot chocolate every day. Despite being a February tradition since 1992, it's not much of a festival to me, since it's only their hot chocolate. If it included hot chocolates from all over the city, then that would be a hot chocolate festival. Yesterday was supposed to be caramel hot chocolate, but since I arrived at around 6:40, they were already sold out of it. Much to my disappointment, they replaced it with ginger hot chocolate. Blech. Since I don't work anywhere near City Bakery, I'll probably have to go on the weekend to check out their so called festival.

- More about the "festival" at their crappy site

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:11 AM

8
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February 4, 2004

Pom: Some Damn Expensive Juice

POST #    745

For the most part, I have always loved pomegranates. They are tasty and fun to look at. My one complaint is that they are hard to eat. A product introduced last year tries to introduce pomegranates to the general public and introduce how healthy pomegranates can be.

Last night, I tried the POM's mango flavored pomegranate juice. At $3.99 a pop, this isn't really a cheap drink. Pom was tasty, but I kind of think it tasted like grape juice. I'm not sure the drink is affordable enough to have me drink it again. I'll just stick to the actual fruit when it's in season. On the plus side, the bottle was cool.

- POM product site (quite extensive)

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:21 AM

15
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January 29, 2004

Restaurant Week 2004 - Dinner at Compass

POST #    730


The bar at Compass.


Our dinner table.


Assorted breads.


Chopped Salad - maytag blue cheese, sherry vinaigrette


Roasted Poussin - chicken blanquette, seasonal vegetables, fine herbs


Apple Strudel - caramel sauce, gianduja, and vanilla ice cream


Blueberry pana cotta, pistachio cookies, coconut chocolates, and chocolate truffles

Last night, I went to eat at Compass - my second trip to a fancy restaurant this week, all thanks to Restaurant Week (Monday, I went to Maya). This time, I ventured to the Upper West Side with Jeannette, Jess, Rachelle, and Yvan. It was a great time. There is nothing like a fine meal with friends, no matter how immature you act as a group.

Compass opened in 2002 and quickly picked up an award from Interior Design Magazine for Best Restaurant Design that year. In the 2003 NYC Zagat survey, Compass was rated the #1 new restaurant. One reader even called it the "best thing to happen to the West Side since Lincoln Center." All quite high praise for this newcomer to a tough restaurant market.

I'll have to agree with ID Magazine and say that the design of Compass is truly beautiful. Everything from the exterior of the establishment to the bathroom had an excellent design look. Their logo was a little "eh", but I guess there is only so much you can do with a compass.

The food, the food was pretty damn good. The salad was interesting and visually appealing, but had celery, which I despise. Despite that, it was still quite tasty. The chicken that I had was pretty much standard chicken. Good, but I've had better chicken at cheaper restaurants. It's possible that my appetite was spoiled by the breadsticks at the bar though. The barkeep said they were laced with a drug. For me, desert was the highlight of the night. I was leaning towards the cheesecake, the other desert on the prix fix menu, but our waiter Bobby said that he preferred the strudel. Strudel it was. I'll tell you what, that might have been the best apple strudel that I've ever had. There was ice cream, caramel sauce, what more could you want. As if that wasn't enough sweetness, Bobbie was nice enough to bring out a dish of desert stuff for us. The combination of the cream from the pana cotta and chocolate was so good that I think Rachelle even made her "oh! face".

The one thing that I think set Compass apart from most of the restaurants that I've been to is the service. While you definitely expect good service at any restaurant as nice as Compass, the service from out waiter Bobby went above and beyond. He engaged in conversation with us, joked around with us, and made a delightful evening even better. Obviously, this won't fly with all people, but he seemed like he knew what he could get away with while waiting on our table. If you ever go to Compass, ask for Bobby, he will make a great meal even better.

- Rachelle on "Gone Wild at Compass"
- Compass (official site)
- Citysearch review
- NY Metro listing
- Restaurant Week 2004

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:24 AM

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January 27, 2004

Restaurant Week 2004 - Dinner at Maya

POST #    725


Maya's table-setting.


Sangria.


Calamar Azteca - sauteed calamari/plaintain puree/arugula/adobo sauce


Carne Asada - grilled hangar steak/mashed purple potatoes/cactus salad/chile guajillo sauce


Chocoflan - dark chocolate/caramel flan/candied pecans

Last night, I went to Richard Sandoval's Maya, a fancy Mexican place that is often considered the best Mexican food in New York. Because it's Restaurant Week in New York, I had a three course meal for a reasonable $30.04.

Those that know me well, know that I don't really like Mexican food (it's mainly the bean thing), but I'm trying to branch out. By branch out, I mean go to eat Mexican food, but order the carne asada. Last night, of course was no different. I'm not sure if Maya can even be considered Mexican food though. It's fancy food with a Mexican flair. It was very, very good, and I left the restaurant very full.

Every dish was exquisitely prepared and presented. The calamari appetizer was a combination of flavors that almost exploded in my mouth. The sweet taste of the plantains and the bitter flavor of the arugula. Bueno. The carne asada was excellent as well, tender and delicious. The cactus salad also presented some slightly bitter flavors that were delightful. Desert was a flan that Sandoval named "Chocoflan". It was rich and delicious, with the candied pecans adding that extra "umph."

Overall, an excellent experience. I would gladly go back again. Maybe not for a regular priced dinner, but present me with a $30 prix fix for Restaurant Week and I'm all over it.

- Maya (official site)
- Citysearch review
- NY Metro listing
- Restaurant Week 2004

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:08 AM

5
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January 26, 2004

Diet Coke with Lime

POST #    724


Like the lime, don't like the diet.

Last week, I read something about Diet Coke with Lime and how this was a new product that Coke was rolling out. I might have read that they were thinking of other flavors as well. But I also might be imagining that last part. Anyway, this weekend, I spotted a Diet Coke with Lime for the first time in my local bagel place.

I don't like diet soda at all, but I do like Coke, and anyone who has read this site for a while knows that I love lime (anything key lime is a plus in my book). Why Coke insists on making it Diet Coke with Lime, I do not know. If they had Coke with Lime or Coke with Lemon, I would be all over them (I don't like Pepsi as much). I would say that Coke with Lime is pretty good, but I couldn't get over that diet aftertaste. It is probably something that takes a little getting used to, but I'll take my onset diabetes when it comes to me and enjoy all the Original Coke I can.

Has anybody else tried this caffeinated-lime concoction?

More information:
- BevNet.com: It's Time for Lime!: Diet Coke With Lime
- cnnMoney: Lime Diet Coke hits U.S. stores

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:27 AM

7
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January 23, 2004

Chinese New Year, Take 2

POST #    718


The seafood display. We didn't specifically eat these, but we could have.


Nice outfit!


The anatomy of a funny story with Rachelle telling Jeannette.

As if eating dinner on New Year's Eve with my family wasn't enough, last night (New Year's Day), I went out to dinner again. I met up with Jeannette, Michael, Rachelle, Sarah, Vivian, Yim, and Yvan to eat dinner at Oriental Garden Restaurant. The sad part about it was that between Vivian, Yvan and I, we couldn't really communicate with the restaurant staff that well. Thankfully, Yim showed up. It's just not the same when you don't have your parents around. We had a few more dishes than I had the night before, but we also had 8 people. We had shrimp, seafood soup, a mixed seafood plater, fish, lobster, sauteed clams and mussels (both with shells), sauteed oysters, seafood fried rice, noodles, veggies, and oranges. We also had three bottles of sake (yeah, in a Chinese restaurant) and some beer.

After dinner, we went to La Bella Ferrara, which was good, but over the top after all the food I ate. While there though, Rachelle shared a great story with everyone. Jeannette even started crying. I'm not at liberty to share the story with you, but if you want to guess, feel free.

- Rachelle on last night: "Get in my Belly!"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:10 AM

6
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January 21, 2004

Real Men Genius and Real American Heroes

POST #    714

Any sports fan would know that Budweiser's Bud Light has a recent ad campaign celebrating "Real Men Genius" and "Real American Heroes". These ads celebrate things like the inventor of the foot-long hot dog, people who wear too much cologne, and really bad toupee wearers.

You can even pick up a Real Men of Genius CD on their site (you have to enter your age first, but there is a link on the main page of the store). And, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can listen to the commercials here or here.

There is even a spoof of this floating around on some Internet sports sites. It's called "Real Men of Genius - Mr. Really Mad Internet Sports Fan". Justin passed this along to me after he read this on an...Internet sports site, how surprising.

Reeeeal men of geeeeeniuuuus!

Today we salute YOU, Mr. Really Mad Internet Sports Fan

"Mr. Really Mad Internet Spo-orts Fan!"

Only YOU can fully appreciate the mind-blowing tragedy of a bunch of 18-22 year old athletes you'll never meet, losing a game.

"Don't you TAAAAALK to me about perspective!!"

While others are too preoccupied with things like real life, you take your anger directly to the place where it will make the absolute least possible impact: An Internet discussion forum.

"Loggin' on now!"

Your unique eye for logic allows you to sling turds of doom every which way, and then brag about how you were RIGHT as soon as one of the pieces sticks to the wall – regardless of how many dozens fell limply to the floor before that.

"See I told you sooooooo!!"

And if some idiot newspaper columnist has the gall to not be as incensed as you are, you unleash your fury down upon him with all the tenacity and mercilessness of a rabid pit bull with a tender buttock locked in its jaws.

"Total anonymity!"

So keep clicking away, oh Marauder of the Mousepad. Because when the results you so desire finally come about years from now, you can say it was because YOU demanded it."

"How come they haven't fired that dumbass coach yet?"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:40 AM

12
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January 16, 2004

Dessert at Rice to Riches

POST #    703

After dinner at Rice, Corie, David, Dahlia, Rachelle and I went for dessert at Rice to Riches, heaven for anyone that enjoys rice pudding. I'm not that big on rice pudding, but I had to have more rice after dinner. It's just not possible for a Chinese person to live without rice, right? Rice to Riches has to be one of the slickest stores in NY, it even rivals the Apple Store in SoHo. They also have fancy packaging that you can take your rice pudding home in. I got the Coast-to-Coast Cheesecake and the Pistachio Protest. While the pistachio was good, I liked the cheesecake much more (must have something to do with cheesecake being my favorite cake).

- Corie on the "Rice-A-Thon"
- Dahlia on the "Rice-A-Thon"
- Rachelle on the "Rice-O-Rama"
- Gothamist reviews Rice to Riches

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:25 AM

11
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Dinner at Rice

POST #    702


My main course, the rice pilaf.


More rice pilaf.


Dessert at rice...Rice Krispy treats, what else?

Last night, I got together for dinner with a Corie, David (hopefully a future blogger), Dahlia, Rachelle, mostly blog friends that are becoming "real life" friends (except Rachelle, who I have known longer). The convergence of online and off line is always strange, but I met all of them at Corie's housewarming party a while back.

We had dinner at Rice, which pretty much incorporates rice into every dish, I got the wild rice pilaf. It consisted of wild rice, mushrooms, and herb pilaf and served with grilled pieces of beef topped with a balsamic and honey glaze. It was quite the tasty pilaf and beef. With this and the trip to Amy Ruth's, that's two meals with honey in 3 days.

- Corie on the "Rice-A-Thon"
- Dahlia on the "Rice-A-Thon"
- Rachelle on the "Rice-O-Rama"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:22 AM

2
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January 14, 2004

Another Trip to Amy Ruth's

POST #    697


Amy Ruth's cornbread.


Councilman Bill Perkins - Honey dipped fried chicken with sides of candied yams and fries.


The aftermath.

Last night, I met up with Eleanor, Jeannette, Jess, Joe, Masako, Rachelle and Yvan, for my second trip to Amy Ruth's. It was a cold night to head up to Harlem, but with fried chicken at the end of our travels, it was well worth it (minus getting off at the wrong subway station - oops). Joe was also gracious enough to have us over to his apartment beforehand, which is a stone's throw away from Amy Ruth's.

Like last time, I got the Councilman Bill Perkins, which is honey dipped fried chicken. Mmm, mmm good. For some reason though, I got full rather quickly. This is a good thing since I'm trying to train my stomach to want less food (watch out if there's pizza though). It was a good time despite the cold weather (I'm shivering just thinking about my cross-town walk).

- previously on Amy Ruth's
- Rachelle on this trip to Amy Ruth's
- Joe on the trip to Amy Ruth's

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:56 AM

2
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January 13, 2004

McRainbowFlurry

POST #    695

For some reason, during the winter, I cannot resist the cold treats. During the winters when in junior high, I have memories of buying Dannon Yogurt ice cream bars, but not during the summer (during the summer, I would order cold pizza).

Yesterday, despite the cool temperatures, I couldn't resist a McFlurry. Forced to choose between Oreos and M&M's, I went with the M&M. I actually wanted Butterfinger, but nooo, they didn't have that. Has anyone else noticed how the M&Ms in a McFlurry lose their color and create a sort of rainbow colored ice cream treat with cold chunks of chocolate? Yum.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:53 AM

11
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January 12, 2004

Hot Pot

POST #    693


So much meat.

I can't think that my parents were inspired by Jen's post about hot pot, but tonight, we had hot pot for dinner. I think the hot pot dinner was due to the frigid weather outside, since I don't think my mom reads other blogs just yet. Jen was saying how the Cantonese call hot pot "da bing lo", but us Mandarin speakers call it "huo guo", which literally translates to fire pot.

I can't say that out hot pot experience was quite the same experience as Jen's, since I didn't help go shopping, but I'm sure the end result was the same - stuffed stomaches.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:03 AM

5
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January 5, 2004

Los Angeles Eats

POST #    682


The Original Pantry


Apple Pan


Apple pie from the Apple Pan


Mmm...apple pie


Yum, In-N-Out Burger


Norm's

While I was in Los Angeles, I ate a lot of unhealthy food. Most of it was cheap, some of it was good.

The Original Pantry, located in Downtown L.A., is a stone's throw away from the Staples Center, and serves steak and chops amongst other items. I had a porterhouse steak with hash browns and peas for $14, which is reasonable, but the quality of the meat wasn't that great. I didn't really care for the style it was cooked in either. They pretty much just throw the steak on the grill. Justin pretty much summed it up when he said, "they cook steak like McDonalds cooks a burger." But, if it's good enough for John Robinson (we saw him there)...

The Apple Pan, around since April 11, 1947, is another area restaurant that we dined at. Well, we actually only stopped there for their apple pie. It was quite delicious, especially with the vanilla ice cream. The burgers are supposedly excellent as well. You have to love a place that has a waiter that has been there for 40 years and where "new guy" has been there 15 years.

In-N-Out Burger = Delicious. Need I say more? I wish I could eat this every day, thankfully, they are only in three states in the West. If I lived there, I would probably end up eating there every day, but that wouldn't work for the West-coast lifestyle, would it?

Norm's Restaurant is the SoCal version of Denny's. It's cheap, decent food. You simply can't beat it for the price. That and they have a cool neon sign. I had steak, chicken fingers, fried shrimp, soup, and salad, for $8. I'm kind of upset that the waitress didn't call Justin or I "honey," "dear," or "sweetie."

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:17 AM

14
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December 24, 2003

Moo...I've Got Mad Cow

POST #    665

Looks like mad cow has reached the United States. That's not good news for beef lovers like myself. I have yet to read Fast Food Nation, so I still eat ground beef, but I'm thinking that I might have to read it now. I should make it part of my vacation reading, but that would seriously hinder my plans of eating In-N-Out Burger for every single meal. The cow was found in Washington, so I don't know how likely it is to turn up in my New York beef despite the fact that all cows go to large processing plants. Yes, that is correct, I am in denial. That's the first stage of death anxiety, right? Denial, anger, fear, bargaining, acceptance.

Reminds me of The Simpsons episode "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish":


Dr. Hibbert: Now, a little death anxiety is normal. You can expect to go through five stages. The first is denial.
Homer: No way! Because I'm not dying! [hugs Marge]
Dr. H: The second is anger.
Homer: Why you little! [steps towards Dr. H]
Dr. H: After that comes fear.
Homer: What's after fear? What's after fear? [cringes]
Dr. H: Bargaining.
Homer: Doc, you gotta get me out of this! I'll make it worth your while!
Dr. H: Finally, acceptance.
Homer: Well, we all gotta go sometime.
Dr. H: Mr. Simpson, your progress astounds me.

The experts say we should avoid certain foods like ground beef, brains, cheeks, neck bones, head meat, t-bones, pizza toppings, taco fillings, hot dog, salami, and bologna. Hmm. I'm looking at that list and I feel like I'm a prime candidate for eating some mad cow exposed meat. Except for brains, cheeks, neck bones, head meat, taco fillings, and bologna, I eat everything on that list. Trouble. Oh well. (Am I already at acceptance?)

- NY Times: Countries Ban American Beef After First Mad Cow Case
- NY Times: Danger to the Public Is Low, Experts Say
- USDA news release
- More on Gothamist

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:26 AM

10
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December 22, 2003

'Dem Be Some Good Wings

POST #    661

Yesterday, Johnny and I met up to eat some wings on the Upper West Side. Usually, I am loathe to trek all the way up there, but I make exceptions for food, especially wings or all you can eat. Since we were going to watch some football and we wanted wings, he recommended Blondies. I must say, it was an excellent idea. I love me some buffalo wings. I'm not a big fan of the "Hooter-type" wings, which are fried, but I do like the slimy-ish wings, which is what they had at Blondies. They were big, juicy, and hot. Nothing like wings that burn twice - in and out. Looks like we may have found a new place to watch Monday Night Football as well - Blondies has all you can eat wings on Monday nights.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:57 AM

3
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December 20, 2003

MRBI Holiday Party

POST #    659


The band at the MRBI holiday party.

Since I am not fortunate enough to work for a company that is having a holiday party, I am left to go to Calvin's dad's holiday party. It sounds awkward, but I go to so many of their parties that it seems like I'm an employee, which in a way, I am (see HK Dragon Boat Festival). Overall a good time, free food, live music, and last but most important, open bar. Now, I have been known to go a tad overboard when there is an open bar, but there was food too, so I ended up building a nice base. I also didn't drink that much, which was a good thing, considering everyone else that I was hanging out with was plastered. Last year, the party was at the Puck Building, but this year, they had it in their newly renovated office, which will soon become a studio for Sino TV.

And for those of you looking for another embarrassing photo of me, here you go.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:15 AM

6
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December 12, 2003

15% vs. 20%

POST #    633

Last night, I went to Banania Cafe on Smith Street here in Brooklyn (someone - not necessarily wise - once said of Smith St., "it's the Park Avenue of Brooklyn.") to eat dinner with the 'rents. I had the grilled pork chop with garlic mashed potatoes and caramelized apples. The pork chop was a tad dry in the middle, but I loved the garlic mashed and the apples. It's my opinion that you can't go wrong with garlic and potato. Anyway, I'm not looking to break the rules of blogging or anything, so I'll get to the point...

It came time to figure out the bill. The price for four people was $104 before tax. Tax worked out to around $9. Usually the rule of thumb for tipping is 15-20% of the pre-tax bill. In New York City, people usually just double tax and do some rounding, since the sales tax here is 8.625%. In NY, it seems to be that double tax is assumed and 20% is almost expected, with 15% reserved for poor service. My mom and I debated this fact for quite a few minutes. She was thinking $18, which is 17% and not a lousy tip at all, but I was thinking $21, which is 20.19%. She thought that she was being generous and I was being too generous. I said that for the service that we got, 20% was a fair tip. I don't think my mom is cheap, I just think she grew up in different times. Of course, after the debate on tipping, I got the obligatory, "do you think money grows on trees?" lecture. Dios mio!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:45 AM

4
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December 11, 2003

Know When to Stop

POST #    631

gluttony - noun 1: habitual eating to excess 2: eating to excess (personified as one of the deadly sins)

Recently, I have been eating to excess far too often. I'm not sure why, but this can't be a good trend. Incidences of note: Monday, I had a 6" sub and fries for lunch at Blimpies, followed by a personal pizza from Pizza Hut. Today, I had a large #1 from McDonalds and a McChicken sandwich. I don't know what my problem is. Each individual meal should be more than enough to fill me up, but no, I had to have more. The Blimpie/Pizza Hut incident should be the most disturbing, since I got the pizza while I started to get full.

I need to get my stomach in check, lest my Chinese metabolism start slowing. Right now, I think I'm out-eating my metabolism, so I'm getting a tad bigger. I like to think of it as "winter weight." I plan on losing it for bikini season though...no, not really for a bikini. I guess using my gym membership would be the wise thing to do, but we can't be wise all the time, can we?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 2:31 PM

6
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December 6, 2003

Hot Chocolate is Perfect in the Winter

POST #    613


Kind of what Brooklyn looks like.

Since it was cold outside and snowing, I decided to meet up with some friends to go to the Jacques Torres shop for some hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was so thick, but it definitely hit the spot.

- My previous visit to Jacques Torres

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 6:22 PM

2
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November 29, 2003

Why Buy Starbucks When You Can Have Juan Valdez

POST #    598


100% Columbian coffee.

Remember Juan Valdez, the advertising figure for Columbian coffee? Well, he’s back, and now he’s taking on Starbucks. The Columbian Coffee Federation, the force that was behind Juan, is opening a chain of coffee shops, hoping to take advantage of America’s interest in specialty coffee. The coffee federation is an organization that represents 560,000 coffee growers in Columbia, the 2nd largest producer of coffee after Brazil, trying to get them the maximum value for their coffee beans. Even with “fair-trade” coffee, which tries to guarantee a living wage to the coffee farmer, the growers aren’t making much money (about 68 cents a pound). Starbucks currently buys fair-trade coffee at $1.20 a pound, but by cutting out the middleman, the coffee growers can only benefit.

Who wouldn’t go to this store? Even I would go to this store, and I don’t drink coffee! It hopes that by opening their own stores, they can increase the money per cup returned to the farmer, which is currently around 1cent a cup. In their own stores, they hope to increase the coffee per cup to 4-5 cents. With the profits from the retail stores, the federation plans to increase marketing of the Juan Valdez brand and improve the coffee-growing regions by building roads, schools, health centers and housing. They plan on opening the first shop in New York at 57th and Lexington, with other flagship stores in Boston, Washington, and Seattle. The stores will not be the same as Starbucks, which encourages customers to lounge around, but “a place to get superior coffee, the best coffee in the world.”

- NY Times article: Move Over Starbucks, Juan Valdez Is Coming

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 9:25 PM

1
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November 24, 2003

Lunchtime Creations

POST #    587


Halley marveling at our White Castle Tower

Lunch boredom and some White Castle boxes led Halley and I to create a tower made of 14 boxes. We added some kinks to it for some extra aesthetic appeal. Luckily, Halley is an architect (he said he didn't do so well in the engineering classes though).

It kind of reminds me of building bridges with toothpicks in elementary school. That was fun too.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 1:42 PM

3
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November 23, 2003

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving

POST #    584


The Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving spread.

What is better than having a Thanksgiving meal - the food, the company, and of course giving thanks? Having two Thanksgivings is the only thing that could possibly be better. Last night, Jeannette and Yvan had some people (20+ people) over for their Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Dinner. There was more food available than I knew what to do with. I was soo stuffed. Turkey, potatoes, pumpkin bread, stuffing, veggies, cream corn, spinach salad, meat pie, spinach dip, pecan pie...I'm getting full just thinking about it.

Thanks to Jeannette and Yvan for all the effort they put into the dinner and for having me over. I had a great time and my palate is now whetted for Thanksgiving with my family.

- Rachelle's post on the fabulous dinner (many more pictures)


Jeannette - about to carve the bird.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 3:59 PM

1
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November 22, 2003

Ugh...Chocolate OD

POST #    582


Me, Jeannette, Jacques, Jessica, Rachelle - All sporting super sexy hairnets.

About one month ago, some friends and I went on the Forgotten NY tour of Brooklyn Between the Bridges. After the tour, we went to Jacques Torres Chocolate. Jessica, the mysterious, had a bad experience with one of the employees there and Jeannette contacted the store to complain. On his website, Jacques says his employees are definitely willing to extend some pretty amazing customer service," but during our visit, this was not the case. To apologize, Jacques invited us over for a tour of his store and chocolate factory.

This morning, Jeannette, Jess, Rachelle and I went down to Jacques Torres Chocolate in DUMBO for the tour of his chocolate factory. For Rachelle, this was obviously heaven (she loves the chocolate). The store, which opened in late 2000, was a gamble for Jacques because at the time, DUMBO was still very industrial. It's hard to imagine that just three years ago, there were few retail stores in the DUMBO, because now the area is thriving.

All the chocolate at Jacques Torres is made on site with a bunch of machinery imported from Europe. Last year, the store turned about 23 tons of chocolate into 50 tons of retail goods. Business is so good in New York, that Jacques has decided to open a store in Manhattan. For those of you outside of New York, you can order chocolate on their website. They have a computer dedicated to shipping out all orders received on the Internet. During the tour, Jacques showed us a bunch of his products and let us sample some of his creations. Besides a cup of "wicked hot chocolate," I had a chocolate covered cornflake, a chocolate covered pretzel (which Jacques also loves), a chocolate covered apricot, a chocolate covered orange, and a chocolate cookie. Yes, that is an insane amount of chocolate, especially since I had nothing before the tour.

A special thanks to Mr. Jacques Torres for taking time out of his schedule and honestly does care about how his customers view his store. Jacques was the most cordial chocolateer that I've ever met (that I've only met one is a minor detail).

- Rachelle's entry on the chocolate extravaganza.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 2:36 PM

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November 5, 2003

Oooh...Cupcakes!!

POST #    548


A chocolate cupcake with a buttercream sunflower, from Cupcake Cafe.

Today's NY Times has an article on cupcakes in New York. What more can you ask for? Do not read the article or watch the audio slide show if you are craving cupcakes, you will probably go insane. If you aren't craving them, you will after you read. The cupcake revolution in New York which was started by the Cupcake Cafe and grew with the opening of the Magnolia Bakery, which now sells about 3,000 cupcakes a day, and $40,000 a week from the sale of cupcakes. Man, now I really want a cupcake.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:39 AM

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October 31, 2003

America - Global Terrorists...Global Food Terrorists

POST #    537


As a stockholder, this is what I like to see.

With the opening of a Krispy Kreme in Harrods earlier this month, the term "hot now" doesn't conjure up thoughts of stories in a London tab anymore.

This of course, comes at a price, the increasing waistlines of Europeans. The New York Times reports that, the Europeans are catching up to Americans in their rate of obesity. The obesity rate in British children has tripled in the last 10 years. In parts of southern Italy, 36% of 9 year olds were obese or overweight. In Spain, the figure hits 27% for children and adolescents.

Krispy Kreme obviously isn't the only cause, but other foods, like McDonald's, have also made their way across the Atlantic. The increased fatty food intake, the larger portions, and the increasing sloth-like state of children are all factors, much like they are here in America.

Brooke Smith, a KKD spokeswoman, said that doughnuts "are a normal part of a healthy, balanced diet. We are a taste treat." They sure are, they sure are...

Oh, and did you know that one original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut has less calories than a plain bagel? It's true, I saw it on TV, and everything you see on TV is true. Sure, I'm not talking about fat or anything, minor detail.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:37 AM

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October 29, 2003

Pizza Review Page - John's Pizza

POST #    513

Earlier this month, between openhousenewyork events, Audrey, some guest reviewers, and I stopped by John's Pizza for some food. While there, we reviewed it for our Pizza Review Page, as part of our continuing efforts to review the pizza in New York. I finally finished up the review for the site today and it's now up on the pizza page.

John's has a special place in my heart as one of the pizza places that I grew up with. The location is quite close to where I used to live, making it a great place for my family to pick up some pizza or head over for some quality pizza. Unfortunately, the quality of the pizza has slipped and is not as good as I remembered.

Thanks to our guest reviewers, Ingrid, Jess, and Rachelle and thanks to Rachelle for going back to snap a picture of the exterior.

- Our review of John's Pizza

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 3:14 PM

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October 27, 2003

Mmm...Key Lime Pie!

POST #    508


Before.

One of my rewards for closing my apartment, was a mini key lime pie from Steve's Authentic. Yum!!


After.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 3:52 PM

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October 23, 2003

No Colossal Colon, but Colon is in Use

POST #    472


Colossal Colon it was not, but the honey-dipped fried chicken was D-licious.

Tonight, the plan was to go up to Harlem and visit the Colossal Colon, which is in fact, a colossal colon. It's a 40' long, 4' wide replica of the human colon. There are even viewing windows where healthy and diseased sections of colossal colon can be seen.

Unfortunately, after making our way up to the colon, Eleanor, Jeannette, Masako, Rachelle and I were foiled by lazy employees of the massive colon. The colon was supposed to be open for entry until 7, but they sealed it up at 5:30. I guess that's what happens when you station a huge crap receptacle in Harlem.

***serious section***
But seriously, colorectal cancer is an important issue that people should be aware of. It is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, surpassed only by lung cancer. This is despite being a very preventable disease, where yearly check-ups can prevent many of these deaths.
***end serious section***

Since our tour of colon was aborted, we proceeded to the second part of our plan. Food. We walked over to Amy Ruth's for some soul food. There were many options on the menu, but I finally decided on "The Councilman Bill Perkins," which is southern honey-dipped fried chicken. It was covered in honey, not oily, and it came with two sides. I got the pan fried apples and the buttered corn, which were not as exciting as they sound and not as good as the chicken. For desert, we all shared "Janette Ruckers Red-Velvet Cake." Also quite tasty.

Overall, a good night despite the "colon incident."

- Rachelle's entry on tonight.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:31 PM

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October 5, 2003

cheese and potato, how can you go wrong?

POST #    432

on my way home, i picked up some cheese fries from jim's steaks. sure, it's 2 in the morning, but cheese fries are good at any time, right? they may be a little unhealthy, but i had a guinness earlier. and i learned on monday that my pint of beer is just like having a pint of skim milk. now to burn off my cheese fry calories with some sleep.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 2:30 AM

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October 4, 2003

oyster-fest

POST #    431


nothing like a guinness and oysters to start your day.

today was the new york city oyster festival in downtown manhattan. calvin, sas, and i braved the weather for the event, which benefitted the merchant's house museum. on their site, they say that the event was "to celebrate the time when new york was the capital of the booming northeastern oyster industry, wealthy merchants built elegant rowhouses like the merchants house, and oyster bars lined the streets of lower manhattan." interesting bit of history.


hmm, they don't look too appetizing here, do they?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:20 PM

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October 1, 2003

philly cheesesteaks in new york?

POST #    422


carl's - it's no pat's or jim's.

new to my current neighborhood is carl's steaks - philly cheesesteaks. their specialty, as you might have guessed, is the philly cheesesteak. the look to the operation is pretty authentic with the grill, the meat, and the onions, but it seemed like there was something missing (i would like to think i can judge because of my philly trip). first, it seemed like they had too many people working behind the counter. while in philly, they may have a lot people, but they also have a lot of space. carl's does not. also, they just started out, so things got a bit hairy when a couple of their deliveries were messed up. it was also a slow process in comparison to the two places i went to in philly. again, after some time, this should get better. but the fact that i still smell like cheesesteak means that it's at least somewhat authentic. the beef was a little on the dry side too. but the woman taking my order (maybe carl's wife since she seemed to know carl well) did know what i wanted when i asked for a "whiz with." bonus points for her.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:39 PM

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$6.25 for soup?!?

POST #    420

while in lower manhattan for a notary test, i stopped in at daily soup, which is essentially a gourmet soup establishment. since soup is always tasty, i decided to get a cup. i ordered up the chicken pot pie soup, which was a whopping $6.25 for 16 oz. why didn't i just get the small order? because i'm a big proponent of getting more if the cost difference is minimal. the soup was pretty good, but i don't know if it was $6.25 good. there was a crust-like thing that they put on top to make it like actual chicken pot pie, which made it a little more worthwhile. i guess the joke is on me though, since i bought the soup. at least i supported the lower manhattan economy.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:37 AM

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September 30, 2003

uh oh...because i needed this

POST #    419

a cheesesteak shop just opened up in my neighborhood. i stopped in tonight to take a look, and it looked semi-authentic, with the grill. i'll have to give it a try tomorrow. with my memories of philly still fresh, i should be able to compare the authentic philly cheesesteak and the new york facsimile (hopefully, a reasonable one). fortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it), i'll be moving home soon.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:16 PM

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September 29, 2003

i think i got too much head

POST #    415


the near perfect pour. (i say that because the bartender sucked.)

tonight was the guinness believers event, an event billed as, "a celebration of the world's most famous beer." the event was held at the espn zone in times square, which is great for sports fans since it's apparently a sports themed establishment.

it was an excellent deal. for forking over a little information about myself and my drinking habits, the good folks at guinness, supplied me and a friend with all the guinness i could drink and all the food we could eat. all for the $0. i bought johnny along, since he said he liked guinness and has a penchant for eating and drinking as much as he can. while there, we learned a little bit about guinness from their rep, okay a lot from the rep. here goes...
- guinness isn't carbonated, the bubbles come from nitrogen and carbon dioxide.
- the lease on the guinness brewery was signed for 9000 years at about $73 a year.
- a guinness has less calories than many light beers, including sam adams light, and has the same amount as amstel light and coors light. there was no mention of carb content. what is most surprising is that, ounce for ounce, a pint of guinness has the same number of calories as skim milk.
- guinness has introduced a new product, guinness draught in a bottle. it uses an invention they call, "the rocket widget."

for all this trouble, johnny and i got some free gear to boot. a huge t-shirt (they seem to think that their drinkers are big, despite their low calorie drink), a bottle opener, and a espn game card with 40 points on it (a $10 value). all for spreading the guinness name by word of mouth. pretty smart if you ask me.


their new product, in tubs, at every table.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:08 PM

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September 26, 2003

cotton candy

POST #    406

cotton candy is delicious. i had some last night at the mets game. shockingly, my only cotton candy of the long baseball season.


yum!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:13 AM

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September 24, 2003

i love guinness and guinness loves me

POST #    399

last night, i got home, checked my mail and i had this curious envelope. mysterious sender and anthrax be damned, i opened it right away (bills and junk go unopened for several days). i received an invitation to a guinness appreciation event. what more can you ask for? there will be food and guinness. maybe there will be bartenders that have irish accents too. monday night will be brutal.

i'm not sure if other people can register too, but check it out. i'm going on the 29th, if you want to join me.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:50 AM

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nasty, but good

POST #    398


D-licious!!

is there anything more tasty than mcdonald's breakfast? some egg mcmuffin, hash brown, and oj (or coffee if that's the way you swing). delicious. sure, it's really unhealthy, but i think that because it's unhealthy it tastes good. is there need for the butter on the english muffin part? no, but butter always makes things taste better. yum. and yes, mcdonald's breakfast on top of cheesesteak. i know, my life will be short. at least i didn't have one of those mcgriddles.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:29 AM

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September 23, 2003

cheeseburger fries

POST #    395


cheeseburger fries - yuck, i just lost my lunch.

i love cheeseburgers and i really like fries, but the advance food company has introduced cheeseburger fries. what are they, you ask? they are made out of a meat and cheese compound and breading that tastes like a cheeseburger. they weigh about one ounce each and have 75 calories and four grams of fat a piece. advance also has a school version of the product which has 60 calories but more fat (6 grams). i understand it's hard to believe that i am repulsed by the product, but i have to stop somewhere. advance also makes jalepeno cheeseburger fries.

read more about this nasty invention in the ny times article.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 1:29 PM

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September 18, 2003

bread storage?

POST #    384

while grocery shopping on sunday, i bought some bread for my tuna craving. after using my bread, i put it in the microwave to keep it fresh. the downside to this is that i just remembered having bread today. upon mentioning this to jess, she was taken aback by my storage technique. i usually just put my bread on the counter, but it gets moldy too fast. then i remembered hearing somewhere that storing bread in the microwave works just like a bread box. and because i live in new york and don't have enough counter space for a bread box, i used the microwave. after doing a search or two on the internet, i couldn't find anything to support my microwave thing, but i did find this how to store bread page. they say that bread should never be stored in a fridge (several other sites say this too), but to store the bread in a cool, dark, dry place, with bread bins/boxes being ideal. again, since i lack one, i used the microwave. the microwave is cool, dark, and dry, no?

is there anyone else who has heard of this at all? what other bread storage techniques are out there?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:08 PM

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September 16, 2003

one day ice cream

POST #    378

ben & jerry's had a special one day ice cream flavor - maple-powered howard, which consists of maple syrup, vanilla ice cream, walnuts and maple-flavored whipped cream. upon hearing about this, gregg easterbrook had some funny things to say, "you won't find maple-powered howard at your local outlet unless you live in vermont, however; it is not an auspicious sign for dean's prospects that even ben & jerry's thinks no one outside dean's home state would want a product bearing his name."

he also came up with some flavors for the other candidates and politicians. my favorites include joe's kosher swirl, denny's leftward lurch, john-boy's trial-lawyer's delight...wait a second, i seem to be naming all of them. just check out the whole thing on gregg easterbrook's blog.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:53 AM

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fizzle and food

POST #    377

last night, i trekked up to central park for the much hyped light cycle display, i was quite disappointed. maybe it was the fact that i missed some of it, maybe it was the rain, or maybe it was the short 5 minute duration of the event, but i would say that the whole thing fizzled in the drizzle. it was a good idea, but i in new york, if you've seen the 4th of july fireworks, other fireworks displays just seem rather blah. the times reported that there were some residents around the park that didn't know it was going on, so they called the cops. i guess in hindsight it sounded like artillery fire and machine gun fire, but did they really think that we were under attack? people, it's called watching the news or reading the newspaper. try stepping foot outside your apartment for once.

halley also went to watch the fireworks display, feel free to read his deafening experience.


i stood in the rain for this?

afterwards, johnny, sas, and i made a trip to brother jimmy's for some all you can eat/drink action and monday night football (which we won't talk about). the all you can eat wings and rib tips aren't that great, but for $12.95, who cares. plus there is all you can drink beer. i didn't quite match my 3.5 plates performance from the last time i went, but i did have 3 plates. the 3 of us also had 6 pitchers of beer to wash down all the meat. as if that wasn't enough, the waitresses brought out some concoction of alcohol that was in a fishbowl. that was the last thing i needed. at this point sas had already left, so johnny and i had to try to finish this ourselves. it was just bad news. i think right after my first sip, i started to get drunk. if it wasn't for that drink at the end, i would have been in decent shape, but it totally pushed me over the edge.


the chicken and johnny thinks people should eat more pork. (photo by saskia foley)


johnny doing what he does best. sucking. well, attempting to make a dent in the drink. no such luck.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, NYC at 10:13 AM

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September 2, 2003

you like espresso? pay the tax.

POST #    340


10¢? why not 15¢ or even 25¢? better yet, 50¢...it can be a cross marketing campaign.

in a move to raise money in these difficult times, there is a voter initiative in seattle to tax espresso. initiative 77, would add 10¢ to the cost of every beverage served in seattle that contains a half ounce or more of espresso. the anticipated windfall from this tax? $6.5 million (says one estimate) that will be used to pay for day care and pre-kindergarten for low-income children. the city says the tax will raise $1.8 million to $3.5 million. the $6.5 million figure was based on a statistic on west coast coffee consumption (.38 cups per person) and seattle's population and commuters (but when you calculate it, i'm not sure exactly how they got their $6.5 million .

why isn't this an idea that new york is considering? i couldn't find any statistics on east coast gourmet coffee consumption, but assuming .15 cups per capita (a rather low ball estimate if you ask me) for the east coast, 8 million people in new york city, and 1.5 million commuters, the city would collect $40.6 million a year (since i couldn't figure out the exact formula for seattle, i used $6.5 million x % difference in pop x % difference in coffee consumed). while $40.6 million is just a drop in the bucket, every million goes a long way in helping.

some think this is a step in the wrong direction, taxing the "luxuries" in life. well, those people need to suck it up. it's 10 freaking cents. do you really need your ten cents? i don't think so. i would say the children need the money more. and if you buy a luxury car, you pay more too, but people don't seem to care about that, just the espresso tax.

for more about this, check out the times or the initiative 77 website.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:45 AM

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is there such a thing as too much food?

POST #    339

monday night at brother jimmy's is all you can eat wings and rib tips and all you can drink bud and coors light. the cost? a reasonable $12.95 for two hours of gorging. now, i've been to brother jimmy's before (see here), but all you can eat is a totally different monster when compaired to a regular entrée. johnny, calvin, and i all went for the all you can eat/drink deal and i had an absurd 3.5 plates of food. i think i'm still full right now (3 hours later). it really was a rediculous amount of food.

i did have a treat on the cab ride home though. the cabbie had some jazz on, it was a rainy night, and there was no traffic. watching the sites of 5th avenue out the window was just really cool. i can't explain it. seemed like it could be a scene from a movie where the character is being pensive. i don't know. just trust me on this one. it might have been the food though.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 12:59 AM

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August 28, 2003

pluots - 1 down, 9 to go...

POST #    328


pluot - they should just call them "dinosaur eggs" like they have on the stickers. seriously, so much easier.

i think they need to be ripened a little more, because the one i had was just okay and not as amazing as they usually are.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:51 PM

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mmm...pluot

POST #    326

you know what season it is? no, not baseball or football (although i am excited that both are now here), but pluot season! i love the pluot. my local grocery store didn't have a great selection, so i ordered 10 of them from fresh direct (maybe i went overboard?). i can't wait until they come tonight. something to look forward to after the gmat.


pluot - a cross between a plum and an apricot.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:15 AM

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August 27, 2003

grill pizza?

POST #    325

to even put "grill" and "pizza" in the same sentence seems wrong, but the times has an article on grilling pizza. as a pizza reviewer, i feel it's my duty to bring this news to you, the reader.

according to the article, all you have to do is get some dough and throw it onto the grill. sounds easy enough. now if i only had a grill, i could attempt this.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 4:58 PM

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August 26, 2003

public service announcement - free doughnut!

POST #    323


kkd's caramel kreme crunch.

okay, so it's not exactly the key lime pie doughnut, but the august and september doughnut of the month (why month if it's available for two months? i don't know) is caramel kreme crunch. and, for a limited time, krispy kreme is offering people one of them for free! all you have to do is sign up for their newsletter.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 3:02 PM

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August 22, 2003

feelin a bit logy

POST #    315

so i might be taking this whole love of pizza thing a little overboard. last night, i had pizza for dinner and i just had pizza for lunch. but it isn't really the pizza that is making me feel lethargic, it's the fact that i had 4 slices! ack, i'm insane. there will be major food coma in the next hour.

speaking of pizza, check out the pizza review page.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 2:37 PM

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August 21, 2003

pizza review added

POST #    312

about a month ago, audrey and i (along with calvin) went to arturo's pizza to work on our pizza review page. after a month, that review is finally up. check it out here.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 1:19 PM

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August 20, 2003

saving some for later

POST #    311

so i'm sitting here after taking a practice GMAT and what do i notice on my shirt? leftover "cheese" from snacking on crunchy cheez doodles. i also noticed how the real cheese that they use seems to leave more of an orange color than other real cheese. i suppose that would be the yellow 5 and yellow 6 that are in the ingredients.

the whole thing kind of reminds me of my drunk blogging entries (here and here). thankfully, that doesn't happen anymore. knocking on wood as i type.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:26 PM

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August 14, 2003

cheesesteak gate

POST #    298

a couple of days ago, presidential hopeful john kerry was in philadelphia, trying to drum up support for his 2004 presidential campaign. now, i'm not saying if i support the guy or not, but he made a blunder that might cost him the tough philly electorate. in a trip to pat's king of steaks, kerry asked for swiss cheese! he didn't even ask for the snootier american cheese or provolone cheese. upon finding out that swiss was not offered, he opted for the standard cheez whiz. i wonder how this miscue will play with the union leaders that he was eating with. i'm sure all they could do was shake their heads wondering how they could voice support such a prissy candidate in their union halls.

when abc news asked kerry's staff for comment, they said, "things never go right the first time, just ask the bush administration." quite a witty response.

i wonder why they stopped at pat's and not at geno's steaks. was it an executive decision or was it because pat's was rated citysearch's best of 2003 for cheesesteak?

from the philadelphia inquirer article:
"Kerry gamely nibbled away at a cheesesteak hoagie after asking photographers - in vain - not to photograph him in that messy act. (He had asked owner Frank Olivieri to put Swiss cheese on his steak, but Olivieri set him straight. Swiss cheese was not an option. So Cheez Whiz it was.)"

you can also read the entry about this stop on kerry's blog (written by a staff member named jon favreau, i presume not the actor).


"i really wanted swiss cheese."

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:52 AM

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August 8, 2003

to fresh direct or not?

POST #    284

today's ny times ("all the news that might be true" and yes, i am still borowwing the phrase) has an article on shopping with fresh direct vs. your regular grocery store. i ordered from fresh direct a couple of times. the first time, they give you $50 free in food, the second time, there is a $40 minimum. i haven't ordered anything since my second order because i don't ever buy $40 worth of food. overall, i've had no major complaints. i did order a watermellon once though, but it broke in the truck. it was a huge letdown though since i had a watermellon craving.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 1:39 PM

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August 5, 2003

the obsession continues

POST #    275

my fondness of anything key lime has been noted several times (here, here, here, here, and here), so me mentioning it again would not come as a surprise or anything.

anyway, johnny (yes, the one that makes frequent appearances here. no, this time i'm not going to post a link to stuff with him, but feel free to use the handy search field on the right) sent along this article on key lime pie. it discusses some of the differences between key limes and the common tahiti lime as well as locations where they like the key lime pie. sadly, they did not mention steve's key lime pies, an unfortunate oversight in my opinion. great, now i have a craving for key lime.


screw the scenery, just give me the pie!

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:19 AM

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July 30, 2003

"another hot beef injection?"

POST #    260

last night, with my plans to see the wave ufo exhibit thwarted, i went out to dinner (gmat homework be dammed!). dinner was at brother jimmy's with my friend johnny, who you may remember from the night of the pearl jam concert (anything to work in that photo of him), katie, his cousin rachel, and her friend brian. i think i've had enough meat now to last me the rest of the month (yes, i'm aware that it's almost over).


this is just the beginning


"diagnosis...delicious!"


johnny eating wings orgasmically

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:59 AM

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July 28, 2003

spotted at the ballpark

POST #    256

i'm not sure why i didn't mention this yesterday, but shea stadium has two new food vendors. i think i was reminded by espn.com - page 2's baseball tour of america, which recently stopped at edison field. anyway, at shea, they now have burritoville and ice cream from cold stone creamery (well, this is actually an assumption). burritoville replaces caliente cab co and i believe cold stone replaces baskin-robbins (i say i believe because there was an actual announcement for burritoville, but cold stone only had a sponsorship and replaced ads by baskin-robbins). the actual vendors that walk around in the stands also got a spiffy makeover - fluorescent yellow uniforms to replace their old yellow ones. these changes come with many other changes at shea before the season - improved lighting, bathrooms, signage, usher and security uniforms - and many changes to the players during the season.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Sports at 5:01 PM

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July 24, 2003

bad pizza

POST #    248

bad and pizza are two words that i never thought i would use together in a sentence, but i am using them in the case of the pizza i had tonight. okay, bad might be a little harsh, but considering how much i love pizza, if i ever say bad, it's probably not that good. where was this pizza you ask? arturo's. i know i won't be going back there again. and they will hear about it on the pizza page.

on the plus side, i had a stewart's orange'n cream when i got home.


arturo's ≠ good pizza

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 11:05 PM

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ice cream isn't health food? when was this decided?

POST #    247

so i guess we all know that ice cream isn't the healthiest of snacks, but a new study by the center for science in the public interest (public interest my ass!) says that ice cream is far from healthy. not just like 100 feet far, more like miles away far and maybe even across the ocean far. don't get me wrong, i love ice cream as much as the next guy, but this study has got to be an eye opener. thankfully, i don't tend to buy the items they examined, but it's still a shocker.

this morning, while watching good morning america, they showed what some of the ice cream items equaled in other food that people might know:
1 empty ben & jerry's chocolate-dipped waffle cone = 1/2 lb. of baby back ribs
1 baskin-robbins large shake = 3 mcdonald's big macs
1 tcby large chocolate cappuccino frozen yogurt = 2 pork chops, 1 baked potato w/butter, and a side of caesar salad
1 häagen-daaz mint chip dazzeler = 1 t-bone steak, 1 baked potato w/sour cream, and a side of caesar salad

read (or don't read) the reuters article on the study here and the cspi's study here (in .pdf format).


seriously, how is one supposed to resist this in the summer?

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 10:06 AM

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July 22, 2003

pizza is healthy

POST #    243

okay, so there are some issues with the study, but italian researchers have found that pizza lowers the risk of cancer. they found that for those that ate pizza regularly, cancer of the digestive tract was less likely to develop.

thanks to calvin for pointing out the pizza article. you can read the ny times ("all the news that might be true") blurb about it here.

it should also be noted that america's new "super-size" approach to food has caused americans to become obese. read that article (also in the times) here.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 7:55 PM

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July 19, 2003

dinner

POST #    234

went to dinner at taj mahal on 6th street tonight with abby and carolina. we all ordered way too much food.


waiter: "2 chicken curries?"

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 2:13 AM

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July 9, 2003

i scream, you scream, we all scream...

POST #    208

for ICE CREAM!!!

okay, it's not cool of the new york times ("all the news that might be true" and registration required) to put this up. especially when i can't get any right now.

an article about ice cream as well as a list of the "best ice cream in new york" (it should be noted that i plan on visiting each in the coming weeks).

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink at 8:22 AM

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June 26, 2003

"glazed fluffy clouds"

POST #    15

this article talks about one of my favorite companies - k