[NOTE: Semi-scary photo after the jump. Proceed with caution.]
Last weekend it was crazy hot, ninety-eight mother-f*cking degrees hot. So hot that when the power went out in my apartment and the building manager questioned why I had two air conditioners, I went berserk. It wasn’t a meltdown, it was a complete blaze-up. I don’t even know how I managed. I was weak from barely eating for three days (I was sick, not dieting god-forbid), but somehow all of a sudden I was ready to open a can of whoop-ass. Thinking back, I realize I need to take a minute or two before reacting sometimes. The poor guy was just trying to figure out what happened, but the only thing running through my head at that moment was, ‘This is America, I can have two air conditioners if I want!”
In any case, it won’t be as hot as heck this weekend, but a cool icy Halo-Halo ($4.50) from Johnny Air Mart will still hit the spot. The halo-halo at Johnny Air Mart is a milky concoction — more like a very icy frappé than shaved ice — full of soft beans (garbanzo and red mung beans), young coconut strips, caramelized diced plantains, chewy sugar palm fruit (kaong), and jelly-like nata de coco. It’s a gamut of textures. However, for me, the best part was the smooth square of flan swimming on top. I love Taiwanese and Korean shaved ice, but given the choice, why not have shaved ice with flan?! It just seems silly without it. Flan, where have you been my entire shaved icy life? MORE »
One night, after a full day of driving up and around Maui on mostly unpaved gravelly car sickness-inducing dirt trails (I actually missed the dirty New York subways in Hawaii), we came upon Mama’s Fish House. From the name, I had expected the restaurant to be a small homey establishment, but it was actually a bit fancy in the island resort type of way. And the place was packed. We were told there was a forty minute wait without reservations, but we were tired of driving, and decided to wait it out at the bar. When I told our waitress I hadn’t expected the restaurant to be a place where you had to make reservations, she informed me that it was five-star restaurant and reservations were always necessary. ‘OK,’ I thought, ‘five-star, let’s see what you’ve got.’ MORE »
As usual, my blogiversary post is late, but by now you should expect it. It’s become tradition. In any case, Bionic Bites turned two this week, and what better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway to thank all my loyal readers. Thank you for all your wonderful comments, tweets, and likes! Honestly, if it weren’t for you guys, I wouldn’t have kept this little blog going for so long.
As a thank you, I’m giving away a bottle of Esperanto Spiced Oil from Esperanto. If you’re not familiar with Esperanto, it’s a great local spot in Alphabet City specializing in Brazilian and South American cuisine. They serve an incredibly indulgent moqueca that I adore, but the place is really known for the spiced oil that they serve with their bread. The oil is a blend of olive oil, canola oil, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorn, red pepper flakes, salt, and garlic. It has hint of heat, and a nice nutty depth from the fennel and cumin seeds. To put it simply, it’s completely addictive. The last time I was there, David and I went through two baskets of bread, and with the remaining oil, we poured it all over our fried calamari. Probably not a smart move, but certainly delicious. MORE »
As I mentioned, portions are HUGE in Hawaii. Outrageously ridonkulous. So most days, David and I took the big brunch and dinner route. It was like weekends in New York, but everyday. Not a bad thing.
In Maui, our two favorite places for breakfast/brunch were Gazebo and Sam Sato’s. Both places had something for each of us: fat pancakes for David and non-breakfasty Asian-inspired food for me. MORE »
Last month, to the joy of my sugar-loving boyfriend, I was invited by Melissa to Top Ten Pastry Chefs 2010, an event announcing the “the top toques of tuile, cocoa and sugar” according to Dessert Professional. During the event, guests were given the opportunity to walk from kitchen to kitchen at I.C.E. (The Institute for Culinary Education) and sample desserts from participating chefs. A lot of chocolate, sorbet, and even pop-rocks were eaten, but my favorite by far was Chapeau Chic by Nicholas Lodge of the French Pastry School. MORE »