Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jeepney

I don't have much experience with Filipino food. Sure I've been to a few restaurants here and there. But I certainly cannot call myself well versed in it. So when a friend wants to do dinner at a Filipino restaurant, I'm always game. The food intrigues me and I always want to know more. For this food adventure, it was TT's birthday. The FBM crew sat at a large table, ordered too much, them watched as our table was piled with every inch of space with food.
And here we go... This is the Chicaron Bulaklak ($10) which is described on the menu as crispy pork ruffle fat. While most internet definitions will say this is fried intestines, it is indeed not. It is actually the membrane that keeps the intestines attached to the abdomen. It's naturally tough so boiling then frying is a necessary to get it crispy. The version served here was a bit heavy and greasy. One basket was enough to feed the 8-10 of us that night. It's certainly not something you can eat a lot of. At least not me.
Read more...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pio Pio

If you're looking for an affordable group dinner that isn't Asian, Pio Pio is a good choice. This Peruvian restaurant has many outposts in NYC. The one in Hell's Kitchen is modernly decorated with a huge space in the back and downstairs. In fact, I've seen groups of 20-30 being lined up there. So if you're doing a group of that size, this may be the place for you.
We were only a group of 5 this night and we ordered accordingly. First, the chicken. We can't go to Pio Pio and not order the Rotisserie Chicken with the delicious marinade of herbs, spices, and oil. Don't squawk at the $16 price tag. It feeds a lot of you and it's worth it.
Read more...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Splash of Thai

If you're a regular reader here, you would know that when I lived in Hell's Kitchen, there was plenty of Thai places to choose from. Although, I recently found out that my favorite place is now closed?! Is this what happens when I leave the area? Sigh... Anyway, one of the best things about living in NYC is that the variety of cuisines and restaurants is endless. Especially with Asian cuisines. Man o man did I love eating types of Asian food. But now that I'm in NJ, good Asian food is much more difficult to come by. Luckily there's a good Asian grocer not too far away so that I may make my own food all the time. But when I just want to eat out, the choices are a bit more limited.
A Splash of Thai boasts a pretty sign near the Westfield train station. It's hard to miss them. They advertise pretty good lunch deals but we were there for dinner. As a group of 4, we sat near the window and commented about the atmosphere. Although there were very few tables occupied (it was a weekday), the service was still friendly and the place looked modern and clean.

We decided to share a bunch of plates as this was our first time there. Also, a couple of the guests claimed not to be too hungry. We started with the Thai spring rolls ($8) with glass noodles, vegetables, and a sweet peach sauce. These were meh for me. In general spring rolls aren't that good to me. Most places just don't know how to make them really good. Either the filling sucks or the wrapper isn't crispy. Or both.
Read more...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Seafare Chippery

Interesting thing about my new neighborhood is the variety of fish and chips places. These stand alone fried fish and seafood joints certainly only make one type of cuisine. You would think that just one place would satisfy the many in the surrounding towns. But behold, there are several to choose from. The closest to me is the Sea Fare Chippery. It's easily spotted off the roast as a small blue building with a giant anchor outside.
The menu is short, the service is fast and friend. Since we wanted to try a variety of things, Mr. M&P and I shared a bunch of things. First, the seafood salad ($10) for a large pint. As one of the few items not fried, this was delicious. Fresh tasting seafood, bright olive oil, and tasty herbs envelope each piece of mussel, clam, shrimp, conch, and calamari. Normally, seafood salad is priced per pound making it a pricey dish. Not so here.
Read more...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mitsuwa

Mitsuwa is a great place to grab hard to find Japanese and Asian groceries. But really, I go there for the prepared food. The food court is always busy so be aggressive. Their prepared sushi is also good to take home for a later meal. This post is mainly to showcase the former.
The ramen line is always long. Put your order in and just wait for your number to be called. In the meantime, find some seating. People are hawks when it comes to this. Don't be afraid to walk extremely fast to get a table.
Read more...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cooking: Sesame Noodles

The sesame noodles I made for the potluck were relatively easy to make. In fact, much like Italian pasta, it involved a quick sauce then tossing it with freshly cooked noodles.
Read more...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FBM Potluck 14

This is a long overdue post. The last potluck which was in the spring. Beer Boor graciously hosted this time. And a plethora of food graced the table.
This is my first plate of many that night. A little of of what was served first. Then I went back for other items that were being heated up. Oh and the dessert. Don't forget about those.
Read more...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns

Awhile ago, my good friend and I went out to lunch. He's a big fan of Asian cuisine so I suggested we try out Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns which opened not too far away from the office. We left a bit early in hopes of scoring a table. And we were happy that we did. Shortly after we sat down, the line was long with people waiting outside.
As true to any "authentic" Asian restaurant, service to brisk and to the point. You won't have people asking you how you are today. Instead, they want your order and will serve you right away. Hey, I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible too. This wasn't a day to spend 2 hours at leisurely lunch.

So I ordered a bowl of the house special ramen ($11.50) to start. It's not Japanese ramen but instead a Chinese version of noodles in soup which came with shrimp, beef, egg, and bok choy. The bowl is regular sized and warmed me. I was happy with this simple dish.
Read more...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lunch Weeks 21-26: Sabbich, Mustard Salmon Salad, Pork Stir Fry, Vietnamese Summer Rolls, Leftover Pulled Pork with Coleslaw and Potato Salad, Smoked Salmon Salad

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the weeks 21-26: Sabbich, Mustard Salmon Salad, Pork Stir Fry, Vietnamese Summer Rolls, Leftover Pulled Pork with Coleslaw and Potato Salad, Smoked Salmon Salad

So just quickly running through my lunches from the past few weeks.

Israeli Sabbich: falafel, fried eggplant, hard boiled eggs, spring mix, cucumber, tomato, red onion, tahini, yogurt
Read more...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Perla

Date night in the city with Mr. M&P. We didn't want to spend too much money nor did we want to do something too casual. So we met halfway and went to Perla. We sat at the bar so that we would watch the staff work behind the counter and prep food.
After we sat down and ordered, they brought over some amuse bouche to star. It was homemade ricotta cheese with honey on top. A nice light taste to start to meal.
Read more...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cooking: Broccoli Rabe with Sausage, and Asparagus with Pecorino

To round out the meal, I made two sides: asparagus, and broccoli rabe with hot sausage. A couple of very simple sides where prep can be done ahead of time and then finished off right before you serve. The broccoli rabe may take a bit more work since I served it with hot sausage.
But the asparagus is no slacker. A fresh grating of pecorino romano cheese on top makes it bit more punchy.
Read more...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cooking: Stuffed Calamari

The main dish may have been satisfactory enough but I always do more. I did stuffed calamari again but this time with pesto sauce instead of marinara. Unfortunately, I used a pesto that I wasn't completely happy with. Next time, I should stick with my gut feeling and use what I think is good.
Read more...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cooking: Oxtail Ragu

Well now that I have started blogging again, I decided to continue with my last real post. Yes, it was the dinner party that I had. You may ask why since I've already posted about it. Well, truth is, I was really proud of that meal. I tried a recipe that I've never attempted before (oxtail ragu) and it was very successful. So I wanted to show you, my readers, how to make it too. It's a fairly easy dish but just time consuming. But don't fret, it is well worth it.
And this is a really good party dish. Not only does it make a lot of food, it also works well being cooked ahead of time then being reheated when you're ready to serve.
Read more...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Independence Day Party

Shortly into the Spring and Summer, I realized that most of my big family parties are based during the winter months. So much time passes by before I have people over for a big feast. Sure, I'll have dinner parties here and there but nothing like a big spread to impress. So for this year's Independence Day, I decide to host a party. The really difference was that I made it a lunch instead of my normal dinners.
So here is what I made for my beloved family: lobster rolls, make your own pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw, corn, Korean spiced chicken wings, and potato salad.
Read more...