Doner on Bedford Avenue

Doner Worry About It!

Doner Worry About It!

Good evening loyal proofreaders!  Big news, a brand-new Turkish kebab shop opened up in that hippest of locales, Williamsburg Brooklyn!  Doner on 189 Bedford Ave, right in the heart of hipsterdom!  How was it you ask?  Let us delve shall we?

First of all, for all you Middle Eastern food aficionados, the cuisine of Turkey is truly the apex of all the cuisines of the Middle East.  The Ottoman Turks ruled a vast empire for hundreds of years which absorbed all of the best delicacies of the Middle Eastern states that they ruled, which made Turkish cuisine truly the apex of all Middle Eastern food.  It should be to no one’s surprise then that it was the Turks who brought the kebab and doner to the West.  The Turkish doner kebab is most often known as the gyro in NYC due to the large Greek diaspora, it is also known as shawarma in Arab or Israeli kebab shops.

Okay, forget about the history lesson, how was the kebab?  Well, from the outside of the shop, it looked legit.  They had both a lamb doner and a chicken

Ba Ba Ba Babaganoush!

Ba Ba Ba Babaganoush!

doner spinning blissfully in stereo.  Juices were running down from the top, marinating it beautifully.  Naturally I sampled both options and also got a side of babaganoush.

The lamb kebab unfortunately was nothing to write home about.  It was rather bland, with none of the spiciness one would expect.  The babaganoush itself was okay, it had a decent consistency, but again nothing spectacular.  The chicken doner however, was very juicy and tasty.  It is hard to tell exactly what went wrong here.  Why would chicken ever be a superior kebab to the lamb?  I think Einstein proved the mathematical impossibility of this in 1937.  Also, they had both a hot sauce and a yogurt sauce available on the tables, but honestly this hot sauce was milder than Frank’s Red Hot.  There was no flavor to be found in this entire kebab shop apparently.  I’m sure that the salt and pepper would have had nothing to add either if I tried them. Doner appears to exist within a rare flavor vacuum in on Bedford Avenue.

If you are looking for some tasty doner, I suggest hitting the street meat guy instead of this watered-down excuse for a kebab!  When will us Northern Brooklynites ever have a decent Middle Eastern food joint?  Like Zaytoons or the Olive VineDoner on Bedford definitely isn’t doing the trick.  Hit up Oasis on North 7th as your kebab option instead.  NEGATIVE PROOF!!

Arturo’s Coal-Oven Pizza

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Arturo’s is on 106 West Houston Street, Manhattan right across the street from Soho…  which makes this neighborhood…  you guessed it right, Greenwich Village!  Sorry that these neighborhoods are so confusing here in NYC!  It’s hard to keep up even if you are a resident. Arturo’s is a classic West Village haunt, with a great atmosphere.  I enjoyed the vibe, it was lively and rambunctious with none of the usual pretentiousness you would expect of the stylish next-to-Soho crowd.  Although I must say, the place (true to form for the neighborhood) was chock-full of super attractive people.  One of the main things that helps to create the vibe of Arturo’s is that the inside just seems like a plain old pub.  A pizza pub.

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The pizza was quite tasty and textural.  It abides by the classic NYC coal-oven convention, and was a relatively thin-crusted and crunchy pie.  The oven must be a coal-fueled inferno, for the crust certainly contained an ample degree of burnage, but just the perfect amount, nothing too charred to affect the taste negatively.  The sauce unfortunately was a little on the bland side.  It seemed as though it was missing a necessary ingredient… salt maybe?  Also, I wasn’t impressed by the lack of pecorino romano in the building.  However, it really was a good pie.  Peppers and onions were the toppings of choice for the night, and they were nice addition on top.

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For two people, I recommend you go with the small pie.  There were abundant slices to spare which made for a tasty lunch the following day.  The large pie should be reserved for slightly larger parties, unless you are preparing to go on a hunger strike immediately after your supper and need to gorge yourself to prepare.  Nice work old man Arturo, whoever you are!  Proof.

Mighty Mac

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Greetings my loyal proofreaders!  I figured that it has been a while since I prepared anything home-made (what with me being such a famous jet-setting blogger), and I was really craving some macaroni and cheese today, so here it is, my mighty mac recipe!

Ingredients needed:

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So Cheesy.

Butter, flour, milk, one brick of Monterrey Jack cheese, one brick of imported sharp cheddar, 2 scallions, 1/2 pound of smoked country ham, and one pound of macaroni (in this case I choose callentani, otherwise known as double elbows).  To do this properly you also need a dub reggae vinyl playing in the background and a frosty mug of pilsner in your hand.

The first thing you need to do is to get that pot a-boilin for the pasta.  Get out the biggest pasta pot you got, fill it up with some aqua and pour in some salt of course.

Next it’s time for the prep work.  I like to leave the cheese out a little while beforehand to soften, you are going to be melting it anyway, you might as well get a head-start.  Cube those two cheeses.  I always like to use Monterrey Jack as my base cheese because it is super mild and lends itself to melting.  It also is the perfect compliment to the more serious cheese, in this case I chose a sharp cheddar.  Dice up a few scallions as well.

Also I bought a 1/2 pound slab of smoked ham from my local grocer.  I choose the store made smoked ham, which seemed to be the freshest and tastiest option.  Proceed to dice this bad boy up into manageable chunks.  Something that can easily be forked.

Ham it up

Ham it up

Next, heat up a large enough saucepan to fit both the sauce and a pound of cooked pasta.  Add about half a stick of butter, then a few of the chopped scallions.  Keep the heat on just below medium… the key to this sauce is to NEVER LET IT BOIL.  If you allow this pan to get hot enough to have your fragile creation to begin bubbling, your delectable and hard-won sauce will break, and your

Slow Melt and Fade

Slow Melt and Fade

mac and cheese be reduced to a mere failure.  It will have a runny consistency with dreadful flecks of grease and oil permeating throughout the entire dish.  Avoid this harrowing situation at all costs.

Next start adding flour to the butter to create a roux, and whisk thoroughly.  When the rue becomes sizable and manageable enough, add a little bit of milk, and combine this with your whisk.  Slowly start adding the chunks of cheese, I like to begin with the softer cheese first, and then follow this with the harder one.  Once the sauce is a good melted and creamy consistency add the ham, and allow this to simmer on low heat.

Add your al dente pasta to the sauce, and stir thoroughly.  I prefer not to bake my mac and cheese personally.  What over-zealous 1950’s housewife came up with that scheme?  I feel that you run the risk of drying out and over-cooking your already beautiful and delicious creation for no real good reason besides an excuse to add some lame breadcrumb ornaments on top of the casserole… Nuts to that Betty Crocker!

I also made a side salad with a cucumber, olives, scallions, and in-season super ripe and locally grown tomato.  Don’t hold it against me for my decision to forgo the feta on my salad just this one time.  Proof out.

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Beefalo

Beefalo

Beefalo

Mankind has played God before, and if Staten Island is an indicator, it shows that he rarely learns his lesson.  But according to the inter-web, the genius that is human kind has finally hit on something so thrilling, and yet so mind-bogglingly simple, that it is amazing that there are not herds of these beasts roaming the mid-Atlantic states.

I give you Beefalo…  There has never been a more delicious hybrid discovered since Pierre Curie invented the choco-taco in 1889.

Now if only someone would figure out a way to merge a lamb burger with a thick-cut pork chop… that would be some proof.

Skyline Chili

What in the name of Thor’s Beard is this Skyline Chili you may be asking yourself? Apparently this distinct chili originated in Cincinnati, Ohio.  A friend of mine who hails from Cincy brought me a can to test out for the ole blogarooski.  I’ve heard many things about this saucy, bean-less Ohio speciality, so I thought it deserved a sampling and at least one proof-blog.

There are a number of ways to consume this product this according to their website:

Canned Heat

Canned Heat

3-Way Chili: Our signature dish…steaming spaghetti, covered with our original, secret-recipe chili and topped with a mound of shredded cheddar cheese.

4-Way Chili: A 3-Way with diced onions or red beans.

5-Way Chili: A 3-Way with diced onions and red beans.

Chili Spaghetti: Steaming spaghetti covered with our original, secret-recipe chili. With diced onions or red beans

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All Dressed Up

I made it using the prescribed spaghetti with chili method.  After tasting, the thought that hit me was that this chili was quite reminiscent of a Philadelphia specialty, snapper soup.   It had aromas and flavors like cinnamon and maybe even chocolate coming through with very little of the typical chili hot and spicy deliciousness that one usually expects from anything calling itself chili.

After opening the can, I immediately came to the conclusion that Skyline chili can not be considered chili at all.  So many necessary factors are missing.  Most noticeably is that instead of a chunky consistency, it is more of a greasy sauce with some ground meat in it.    Maybe if they included some bell pepper, some onions, or maybe a tomato that isn’t just the processed paste.  Also, there were no beans… Yikes. What is the point of chili with no beans?  Without the beans, there was barely anything to bite into.  No consistency what-so-ever.  No chunks of tomato or beef, or anything that makes you think this was anything but processed canned muckity-muck.

So I tried dressing it up a bit.  I added some cheese, some red onion, and also a jalapeno.  I gotta say, pretty much anything would taste good smothered in those three items.   However edible the outcome, it would be a far cry to call it spectacular, and would I be disingenuous if I recommended it to anyone.  This chili seems to be brethren with the 7-Eleven chili squirt can that idles next to the cheeze-whiz squirter for the fifty cent Sev hot dogs.

I felt like I had to apologize to my spaghetti after pouring this chili on top of it.  I should have slurped these noodles down with some meatballs, some slow-cooked short ribs, and a proper gravy instead of subjecting them to this cinnamon flavored gloop.

Negative Proof!