Salvadoran Treats in Red Hook

Elote Loco

I was lucky enough to have a chance to bike over to the Red Hook ball fields this past Sunday, where every weekend to accompany soccer and baseball games in Redhook some amazing South American food carts are open for business (Clinton and Bay Streets, Brooklyn).  Above is some grilled corn “Elote” which is basically grilled corn with some Mexican crema, sprinkled cheese and cayenne pepper.  It was amazing.  I had to get two, because never had I had corn that tasted this good.  This is definitely going to be a featured item on my next BBQ menu.



Above are two pupusas…  They are a Salvadoran staple which are simple yet delicious corn tortillas.  It is basically an extra thick corn tortilla stuffed with cheese and pork, chicken or veggies.  Pictured are some veggie ones, frijol con queso and lorocco con queso, (lorocco is a native flower bud from South America) and they are garnished with pickled onions, cabbage, and jalapenos.  This cost me only 5 dollars and definitely stuck to my ribs, a perfect way to re-nourish after biking around Brooklyn on a 90 degree day.  I can’t wait to go back.  Proof!

Anima in Fort Greene Pix

Grilled Octopus

Anima is an Italian “Bistro” in Fort Greene, owned by the same owners of Il Porto down the street.  Il Porto is a great restaurant, and it’s little bar-centric brother Anima is no slouch either.  The grilled octopus salad above was a tasty treat.

Ribbon Pasta and Meatballs

Pretty good meatballs.  The sauce had a very unusual flavor… was it cinnamon?  I’m not 100% sure, but it certainly worked well.

Quattro Stagioni

The pizza crust was great, wood-fired and super thin.  However the toppings didn’t do the trick.  I think some more ham, a little pecorino romano and less olives and this guy might’ve been a winner.

Goodfellas Prison Supper Dialogue

Paulie was doing a year for contempt…  and had a wonderful system for garlic.  He used a razor and sliced it so thin…   it would liquefy in the pan with a little bit of oil.  It’s a very good system.
Vinnie was in charge of the tomato sauce.  
-“Three kinds of meat in the meatballs.  Veal, beef, and pork.  You got to have pork. That’s the flavor.”                      

I felt he used too many onions, but it was still a good sauce.

“Don’t put in too many onions.”

-“I didn’t put too much onions in, Paul. There are only three small onions.”

“Three onions? How many tomatoes?”
– “Two big cans.”
“You don’t need  three onions.”
Johnny Dio did the meat.  We had no broiler, so he did everything in pans.  It smelled up the joint and the hacks used to die…  but he cooked a great steak.
“How do you like yours?”
-“Medium rare.”  
“Medium rare.  An aristocrat.”
When you think of prison you get pictures in your mind… of all those old movies with rows and rows of guys behind bars.   It wasn’t like that for wiseguys.  It wasn’t bad, but I missed Jimmy, who was doing his time in Atlanta.    
-“Give me two steaks.”
Everyone else in the joint was doing real time, all together, living like pigs.
But we lived alone. We owned the joint…
“Sorry it took so long.  That skinny guard’s a pain in the ass.”
– “We have to take care of that bastard.”
“I took care of him.”    
-“What’d you bring?”
“Some bread.  I got peppers and onions.  Salami, prosciutto, a lot of cheese.”
-“What else?”
“Scotch.  Red wine.”               
– “Now we can eat.”
– “Some white, too.”
“Beautiful give me the white too. Okay, boys, let’s eat.  Come on, Johnny, Vinnie. Tomorrow sandwiches. You got to go on a diet, Vinnie.”

Breaking News- Double Down Saloon Fire

Today a three alarm fire broke out at the building that houses the Double-Down Saloon… home of the best bloody mary in NYC!  Also it is a great old-school punker bar.  The sign on the window only said “Closed for Renovations” when I checked it out at 10pm tonight.  Hopefully everyone is okay, and they will be serving delicious slim jim infused beverages again soon.  The good news is the Library Bar across the street remains unscathed.  Booya!

Take Out

Karaage With Rice

Lunch from Tebaya in Chelsea (144 W 19th   6th & 7th Ave).  Karaage chicken with rice and a jasmine iced tea.  The best analogy for Tebaya is that it tastes like a Japanese Chick-fil-a.  Good stuff, and a good deal, the lunch special is around 6 bucks.  Not bad for Manhattan!



Escargot in garlic butter from Le Gamin Cafe  in Chelsea (183 9TH Ave New York, NY 10011) 

These large snails were some of the most succulent and buttery treats I’ve had in a long time.  I also had a large order of mussels in saffron cream sauce, but there was no comparison in flavor between those sea-shelled mollusks and their mostly slighted and very slimy land dwelling distant cousins.  The snail’s flavor completley upstaged the mussels and would most likely be the winner if there ever was a mollusk taste-test battle royale between the two.

I also highly recommend the savory crepes with goat cheese and leeks.  It was like a little mini pancake stuffed with goat cheese.  Yum.

Le Gamin had some really nice bistro-like ambiance and the brunch menu looks pretty spectacular.  I will be returning.  Proof positive!