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Showing posts from August, 2012

Ample Hills Creamery

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Brooklyn is poppin', you guys.  Not only is it my home borough, but it is the site of an ice cream parlor that is at the forefront of all foodies' to-eat lists.  Also, my coworker and dear friend's son works there.  Welcome to Ample Hills Creamery!
Ample Hills Creamery, before you get R-rated, gets its name from Walt Whitman: "I too lived.  Brooklyn of ample hills was mine."  It is located in the beautiful neighborhood of Park Slope/Prospect Heights and attracts a diverse community of ice cream eaters: people of all backgrounds and ranging all ages.  I kid you not, a young family even brought a few-weeks old infant when we were there.  The store is colorful, cozy, and comfortable.  The flavors of ice cream, however, are far from just comfortable.  They are bold, I'm telling you.


Ample Hills is famous for a couple of outlandish ice creams, including Maple Bacon and Salted Crack Caramel.  If you plan on visiting, consult their website beforehand because they t…

Lederhosen

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Sometimes, you are just in the mood for sausages.  Am I right?
We used to satisfy that craving with Currywurst Bros and Sausage, Inc. and incidentally, we've found another wiener-ific spot in the Village.  Lederhosen is the German equivalent of a gastropub.  I'm pretty sure after the sun goes down, the place flows with German/European beers.  However, we were here for a nice lunch on a sunny day and the sun streamed through the vast skylight overhead; the ambiance was very subdued.
Alex Jagendorf, the only real-ish German person I know, and I had the double lunch combos: two sausages with either fried potatoes or potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage, onions, and crusty bread with big dollops of grain mustard.  I had a plate of currywurst and kielbasa, while Mr. Jagendorf had the bratwurst and weisswurst.
An explanation, from my non-eastern-European brain:
- Currywurst is a sausage swimming in a ketchup-like sauce and dusted with curry powder.  Bizarre, you say?  Delicious, I…

Santa Rosalia

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I got Brooklyn pride.  I got Bensonhurst pride.  When I was born, Bensonhurst was known as a heavily Italian neighborhood.  Now, 20 years later, Bensonhurst Italians are spreading outward to Staten Island or New Jersey, whereas minority immigrant groups are moving in.  The “heart” of Bensonhurst is 18th Avenue and the 60s-70s Streets.  Mind you, I actually live on Benson Avenue, not just within the vague boundaries of Bensonhurst you see on Google Maps, so I am a little miffed that people don’t consider my street to be the center of Bensonhurst…. 

Every summer, Bensonhurst is the host of the Feast of Santa Rosalia – better known as The Feast by locals – in honor of the patron saint of Palermo, Sicily.  The Feast is similar to the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy in the fall, and both have their pros and cons.  San Gennaro is far more popular and located in a historic, chic neighborhood, particularly with the Lower East Side and SoHo nearby.  There are more vendors and restaurant…

Pig Island Preview

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I like pig.  Do you like pig?

Pig Island is coming up, which means Veritasty is about to hit its first birthday!  Pig Island is an annual outdoor food extravaganza on Governor's Island.  It features pig, and lots of it: locally farm-raised pigs prepared in a vast variety of ways by local restauranteurs.  There is an emphasis on cooking all parts of the animal, snout to tail.  I've recently been watching Bizarre Foods and No Reservations, so I've seen just how many ways you can prepare a given animal, and just how many parts are edible.  Even the funny bits that Westerners might never consider palatable can be delicacies in other places (I am a big fan of chicken feet, oxtails, pig stomach, and tripe, for starters).
But let's bring it back to the pig.  It's a creature unfortunately seen as "unclean" by practitioners of some religions.  I was embarrassed to tell my Orthodox Jewish boss that I was going to Pig Island, but she admitted that before becoming …

Brooklyn Farmacy

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Today, I fell in love.

Mind you, not with a person (not today, at least), but rather with a place we encountered on a foodventure.
In exploring the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, we happened upon the Brooklyn Farmacy.  When I stepped inside the front doors, I felt like I literally stepped inside a time machine and emerged in the 1920s.


The Brooklyn Farmacy is a soda fountain shop that is housed in a restored apothecary/pharmacy from the good ol' days.  We were greeted by red-lipped, bob-coiffed waitresses behind the long bar.  The low bar was lined with fat brown-cushioned barstools.  The opposite wall was stacked with what looked like products from that era, but in reality were local Brooklyn-made products in cute, antique-style jars.  We spotted some familiar products like Rick's Picks (pickled veggies), McLure's potato chips, and Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup. Behind the main dining area, there was a more private table surrounded by actual shelves of century-old jars an…

Alouette

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Alouette, gentille Alouette Alouette, je te plumerai
I never learned French in school and now I wish I did.  Not only would it have helped when I traveled to Paris (and as I will travel to Paris again next month!), but I think I would have a different perspective of French food.  Today, Alex and I visited Alouette, a French bistro on the Upper West Side.  I fully admit that I was really tired and didn't feel like shlepping all the way up to 96th Street - and on top of that, I wasn't really in the mood for French food, whatever that is - but this meal had me absolutely repenting and converted.


When we arrived at the small restaurant, I was immediately reminded of a bistro I ate at in Paris, complete with outdoor seating and dark wooden furnishing.  Moreover, there was LIVE MUSIC (!!!), a man looking suspiciously like Anthony Bourdain strumming a guitar at the front of the house (side note: I've read four of Bourdain's books in a row, so maybe any gray-haired dude looks lik…

Giacomo's / HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX!

In celebration of my favorite co-blogger's birthday, and in enjoyment of today's beautiful weather, Alex and I ventured around Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in search of a suitable place for dinner.  We were content to slowly stroll through the peaceful, tree-lined streets of Bay Ridge, stopping in Middle Eastern bakeries to peek at the baklava and watching in curiosity at eyebrows being threaded.
Finally, Alex settled on Giacomo's, an Italian restaurant with a brick pizza oven.  The wait staff was very friendly and the ambiance was inviting and classy.  We were seated quickly and our food came in no time.
Since we were in a celebratory mood, I craved something hearty and indulgent: spaghetti carbonara.  My plate had a heaping pile of spaghetti and a puddle of carbonara cream sauce, complete with pancetta bits, onion, and black pepper.  I was a little afraid at first that the pasta would get clumpy and the sauce would form a film over it once it started to coo…

PARKED!

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Recently, New York has been inundated with a new gastronomic phenomenon: food trucks.  Especially prevalent around NYU in our last year, food trucks provide quick, convenient, and mostly gourmet fare right outside your building or around the corner.  For some restaurants, their food trucks bring the food to you with their mobile offshoots.  In my nutrition class last year, we debated the (lack of) sanitation and health issues surrounding food trucks but let's face it, they are fun, delicious, and here to stay.

Today, we went to PARKED, a food festival celebrating local food trucks and carts at South Street Seaport.  The streets around Seaport were already packed with one of those ubiquitous New York City summer street fairs (gyros, Italian sausage subs, mozzarepas, grilled corn, etc.) so PARKED was extra crowded.
The first thing I had was a mini shrimp roll from Red Hook Lobster Pound.  The mini shrimp roll actually was a mini roll with mini shrimp on it!  The roll was buttery and…

Fig & Olive

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Every time New York City's Restaurant Week rolls around, Alex and I try to visit at least one place (e.g. Le Cirque last summer and Smith & Wollensky earlier this year).  I've previously expressed a whole lotta love for Restaurant Week, but my thoughts have changed a bit as I've realized $90 on a meal for two people is kind of steep and in our chronicles of foodventures, we have had so many great meals for far less.  Still, it's a good excuse for us to dress up pretty for a night out!
I've been wanting to dine at Fig & Olive for a while and tonight I finally got my wish.  It was a nice dinner, but there was room for improvement.  Fig & Olive, as you might gather from the eponymous foodstuffs, focuses on Mediterranean cuisines, a sort of hodgepodge of Greek-Turkish-Italian-Moroccan-style foods.  The decor in the restaurant is a modern take on natural earthy elements and is pretty inviting.  Sadly, once the dinner rush picked up, the dining area was real…