If you ever go to Turks and Caicos, you’ll probably eat conch once while you’re there. If you’re like me though, you’ll probably eat conch every day. I love conch, and lucky for me, the slippery mollusks were everywhere on the islands. In fact, Providenciales is home to the only conch farm in the world. Not impressed? Well, the conch farm also has two conchs named Sally and Jerry trained to come out of their shells on command. I kid you not. In any case, I did not eat Sally or Jerry, but I ate several of their brethren, and the best place to do it was at Da Conch Shack (Site Warning: music auto-plays on load. Your boss may have no love for “One Love.”) MORE »
I’ve been eagerly waiting to go to Food Gallery 32, the new Korean food court in K-Town. Finally, last week, I took a trip down. Twice to be specific. If you’re familiar with the food court in H-Mart on Broad Avenue in New Jersey, it’s similar, but much, much bigger. Like in H-Mart, you order and pay at one station, and then go to the restaurant from which you ordered to pick-up your food. At Food Gallery 32 though, you also get the added bonus of a buzzer (à la Outback Steakhouse). When the buzzer flashes and vibrates, it means your food is ready for pick-up. I’m kind of used to this type of ordering system, so I thought it was pretty straightforward, but when I ran into Gordon and the lovely ladies of Lunch Studio on a visit, they told me it was confusing. I guess it’s even more so if you’re not too familiar with Korean food and need to refer to pictures or visuals at the individual restaurants.
So far I’ve only tried Big Bowl at Food Gallery 32. Kal Guksu (칼국수, knife cut wheat noodle soup; $6.95), was way too salty, but I was really happy with their Mul Nang myun (also spelled mul naengmyun, 물냉면, noodles in icy cold beef broth; $7.95). MORE »
I’m still in conch paradise (a.k.a. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos), but just wanted to give a shout-out to the Rye & Pastrami Croissant ($6) at Momofuku Milk Bar. The Rye & Pastrami Croissant is as good as it sounds. It’s a rye croissant with lots of rye seeds filled with thickly sliced pastrami, Russian dressing, and sauerkraut. (Interestingly enough, according to the ingredients, the croissants also contain Sriracha, but there’s no discernible spiciness.) The pastrami, although juicy, doesn’t have the depth of flavor as Katz’s pastrami, but when it’s stuffed in a buttery croissant with sauerkraut and Russian dressing, it really doesn’t matter. MORE »
Kalustyan’s is one of those special places in New York I love visiting. It’s a treasure trove for any spice imaginable. Need peppercorns? They have black peppercorns from Ecuador, Brazil, Kerala, Lampong, Malabar, Sarawak, and Thalassery (Tellicherry). (They also carry Szechuan pepper, but Chinatown is cheaper.) Besides spices, they also carry a lot of sweets. Usually when I’m in the area, I stop in for some Lebanese halva for my BF. He loves the stuff. But last week, I discovered Kalustyan’s is good for more than just sweets and spices. If you’re looking for quick bite, a tasty sandwich awaits you upstairs. MORE »
Happy New Year! Another year is upon us, another 365 days to fill with delicious eats. For me, New Year’s Day began — as it does every year — with a big bowl of my mom’s ddukguk (떡국, rice cake soup). I’ve written about it before; it’s the Korean tradition to have ddukguk on New Year’s Day, and if you don’t eat it, they say you won’t become a year older. (Many bad jokes about ddukguk and aging are abound New Year’s Day.) Now as to why we eat it, there are a few theories. The most credible, in my mind, is that dduk being white (the color of purity), it symbolizes the new year and new beginnings. In any case, I ate a sh*t-load of ddukguk along with tons of grilled Berkshire pork wrapped in perilla leaves and dipped in salted sesame oil. It was a great start to the year. 2011, holla! MORE »