We recently traveled to Turkey. The trip was a great experience. I really enjoyed the food, and wanted to upload a few pictures here:
I am in Japan for the first time in almost 10 years. Many things have changed since the last time I visited this country. For example, I can now use 3G anywhere to upload photos and videos to my blog. As I have this luxury, I decided to upload some photos as my trip goes along.
One of my absolute favorite things to do on the weekend is walk through Chinatown and look for tasty things to eat. There are alot of dumpling places that I like, but as for a bakery, the absolute best, in my opinion, is Double Crispy.
They have a fine selection of baked goods, including the typical Chinese hot-dog buns and corn and mayo buns, but they also have really fine fish and chicken cutlet sandwiches. The fish and chicken are not on the same sandwich….
Double Crispy Bakery also has a nice selection of steamed buns. My favorite is the BBQ Pork Steamed bun, but vegetable is a close second.
The store is quite clean and there is ample seating. The prices are unbeatable for the quality of the buns.
One of my favorite places to eat in New York is East Village. The food is good and its cheap. I am also a big fan of ramen noodles — not instant ones (I like those too) but rather the good ones you get at Japanese restaurants. A good place to try Ramen — Japanese Style — is at Rai Rai Ken. It is a little place with only a bar to eat at, but that is all it needs. They have a menu with a variety of different asian foods, but I would recommend sticking with the specialties of the house — Ramen Noodles, Gyoza, and Beer.
I am particularly fond of the miso ramen. The soup is tasty and the toasted garlic its topped with really adds something to the flavor and texture of the soup. The noodles are prepared semi-al dente, close to how ramen should be. The gyoza are some of the best around. Rai Rai Ken uses gyoza with thin skins and pan fries them so they are nice and crispy on the outside. Beers offered are the typical Japanese selection minus the fantastic Yebisu (what is up with the prices of Yebisu by the way?!?!)
Anyway, I took some pictures with my cell phone and they are below. The resolution isnt the best, but you can get an idea of the type of place it is. Rai Rai Ken is definitely worth checking out.
I got a new blender the other day. I shopped around long and hard to find a blender that could make smoothes, soup, and pretty much anything else one would want to make with a blender. In the end I chose the Breville BBL600 ikon 600 Blender.
I have to say after using it for a while, the blender is really really good. It makes perfect soup and smoothies as well as any number of other things. The blade in this blender as well as the pre-programmed settings are the secret to its perfection.
I got the blender on sale at Macy’s for a pretty good proce (under $150) and I think you can find it for that price if you look around.
One of my absolute favorite things to eat in China Town is the Vietnamese sandwich from A Chau Deli on Mulberry Street. It is really just a tiny little stand with very very little room to eat. I think two skinny people might be able to sit down and eat, but it would be hard for anyone else to order while they were eating.
This, however, does not matter, because A Chau Deli is all about the food — and the price. For $3.50 you get a choice of 4 or 5 different types of sandwiches, Vietnamese style on a French Baguette. My favorite is the meatball with jalapeños.
The toppings are really what make the sandwich stand out. The pickled carrots and daikon are just fantastic and go perfectly with the meatballs and the spiciness of the jalapeño.
I am ready to eat one of these bad boys right now, too bad they are only open till 7PM. Oh well, lunch time tomorrow will have to do…
This weekend Aki and I decided to goto see “The Dark Night”. Before the movie, we wanted to grab a bite to eat. After a bit of discussion, we setteled on trying the burger at a local joint called Purity Diner on 7th Ave in Park Slope. We have been to Purity a number of times for weekend brunch, but never for lunch or dinner. I am quite fond of their eggs benedict, so I wanted to try something else on the traditional diner menu.
I ordered a delux burger which came with lettuce, tomatoes, fries and a dill pickle. I also asked for a side of raw onion which I was gladly provided. Aki decided on the mushroom – sauteed onion burger delux. It was basically the same but had sauteed mushrooms and onions. We recived our food very quickly and it did not disappoint.
We also ordered a couple of beers with our burgers which came out quickly and icy cold. This was good to know as Purity is open 24 hours a day and cold beer late ate night isn’t always that easy to find in Park Slope.
After eating, we headed off to see the movie. Much to our dismay, the line at the theatre was around a block long, so we decided to work off our Burgers with a little walk around Prospect Park and some window shopping down 7th Avenue on the way home.
One of the best things about living in New York City is the access to great restaurants. This city is really a fantastic place for foodies. Generally, I like to walk around and look for a place that looks like its doing a good business and give it a try, but last night I decided to check out a sushi bar based a recomendation from the book “The Nasty Bits”, by Tony Bordain.
Sushi Yasuda was recommended based on its attention to detail, and I have to say I agree with this statement 100%. I had never had such tasty yet simple sushi. There were no frills — no special maki or anything else. Just simple sushi — they way it is supposed to be.
I started by ordering an Yebisu beer. This is really one of my favorite beers in the world – I grew to love it in the time I spent in Japan, but lately it has become very hard to find in the US. It has also become VERY expensive here. One bottle at Sushi Yasuda was $11.50. I thought this was too high, so I switched to Asahi after my first. Anyway, I was not there to drink beer but rather to eat.
I ordered a variety of al-a-cart sushi and maki and each was prepared individually for me as I was sitting at the bar. As we tried the different fish, I was shocked at how different the taste and texture was from the typical places I eat, which are quite good as well. As the meal went on and we switched to more interesting things like Uni, we decided to ask the chef what the difference between Yasuda and other places were. He explained that it was the fish buyer. Apparently the buyer is VERY skilled and knows all the ins and outs of where to get the best fish.
In general, I found Sushi Yasuda to be a bit expensive compared to other places, but the food is more than a step above any other place I have been in New York City or Tokyo for that matter.
If you are in the mood for great sushi with every attention payed to the details I would recommend giving Sushi Yasuda a try. It is worth the extra cost.