The Best Greenpoint Hangout

The best Greenpoint hangout HAS to be the garden in the back of Brouwerij Lane. A great take-out beer store with a fantastic tap collection and reasonable prices. Fill a growler, or stick around to sample more suds. It is super reasonable as well, I think I bought two rounds for four people and it was under 24 dollars.

The best part? The back garden. If you have some time to kill on a sunny day, why not spend it tasting delicious cask ales and microbrews? Proof!

Brouwerij Lane, 78 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11222

Kimchi Pancake vs. Potato Pancake

I have oft pondered this vexing question…  Which pancake reigns supreme between the Central European potato pancake and the traditional Korean kimchi pancake?  Here at Proof Pudding, the winner of this heavy-weight battle takes all.

It is interesting that whilst both cultures are spread across the world on different sides of Asia, they happen to share the same food inspirations.  Of course the pancakes, the love of all meat and fish, and most importantly the main staple of both diets… cabbage.  Kimchi is essentially the Korean version of sauerkraut and vice-versa.  Cabbage being an essential source of vitamin C, and also one of the easiest vegetables to cultivate and preserve it makes sense that farmers on both sides of the continent picked up on the usefulness of this amazing plant.  I suppose that the cultural correlation should not be that surprising.  Judging from those old M*A*S*H episodes (and TV knows all), the climate of the Korean peninsula makes it seem like Doestoevsky himself would be quite comfortable chillin’ in Seoul.

Seoul Food

Seoul Food

I decided to settle this with a right-proper PROOF-OFF.  I judged by consistency, taste, accoutrement and of course pure satisfaction to find out which pancake truly reigned supreme…

Proofcakes

Proofcakes

Wow, this one was really really tough.  Both pancakes are truly out of this world.  I discovered one glaring issue however which tipped the scale.  That while the Korean pancake can stand alone as a meal, the potato pancake is no-matter-what a side.    The potato pancake is amazing, buttery, crunchy, and topped with some sour cream it is some fantastic comfort food.  I just feel like the potato pancake will always be the side to the main attraction (normally the beef, veal or pork main course).  It is an amazing side, but that is all that it can truly aspire to be.  The flavors are muted so that they don’t take away from the main dish.

The kimchi pancake wins because it can stand alone.  There is way more going on with the flavors. The kimchi is super tangy, salty and spicy, and the pancake itself has a nice crunchy consistancy.  Dunk it in some soy sauce and get ready to party…  PROOF!

Noodle Bar (West Village)

Bowl of Proof

Bowl of Proof

I submit to you a picture of a delicious bowl of noodles from the Noodle Bar in the West Village.  Barbecue pork, with crispy fried wontons, sprouts, peas, broth and egg noodles.  Boom!  The Noodle Bar is no joke.  You sit at the bar, order your noodles, and they are whipped out in front of you within minutes of your order, steaming hot and ready to be consumed.  The best part about it is watching the dude manning the wok at work:

Turkey Club and Yuenglings

Clubbin'

Clubbin'

My friends and I have a fantastic tradition…  On Thursday nights we always get turkey club sandwiches with waffle fries and lagers (that’s Yuengling Lager folks) at Reservoir on 70 University Place.

Then we proceed to humiliate, argue, and degrade one another as much as possible before either catching a flick or procuring some more lagers at one of the numerous East Village or Lower East Side bars with a good punk rock or metal juke box.

Waffle Hutch, but don't Waver

Waffle, but don't Waver

Right by NYU, Reservoir is on probably the closest thing to a college campus downtown Manhattan has.  So naturally I believe the first person to introduce to me to the Reservoir turkey club sandwich was my dear old friend Broken Wing who attended Parson’s School of Design in this neighborhood.  I can picture him hanging out there by himself with his sketch books and sobbing whilst listening to Sunny Day Real Estate.  (Insert requisite art school joke here)

Club Closeup

Bacon Beckons

Numerous trendy new places have sprung up in the neighborhood like the flowering trees and bushes of this season, but the Reservoir remains there on University Place, as stoic and reliable as a marble bust of Marcus Aurelius, serving suds and sandys to the after-work and college crowd.

I don’t know what it is about this combo, but it hits the spot each and every time.   The waffle fries are terrific, and the sandwich is put together perfectly.  The turkey club is one of the most often attempted, and usually failed sandwich formulas.  They tend to fall apart, or they have too much mayo, not enough bacon, the turkey could be too dry… No worries my good readers, the Reservoir consistently does it right.  The lagers are also especially essential to this formula.  Don’t forget about them when you go…  Proof positive!

The Slizzbot

Slizzbot

Slizzbot

One lazy summer night my roommate and I were lamenting the fact that we had to walk all the way (literally one door down from our apartment) to the local Pizzeria to pick up slizzes.  If only there was an easier way we dreamed!

We came up with the idea to create a Slizzbot.  Basically he is a robot that makes slices of pizza upon request.  We also could make him do chores like vacuum, do the dishes, and grab us beers from the fridge.  We would also hurl insults at him and withhold his precious sweet light crude if we were unsatisfied by his performance.  He would be very apologetic, and always be aiming to please his human masters.

Oh Slizzbot on this snowy night, where are you?

Please email your Slizzbot plans and schematics to: emailtheproofmeister@gmail.com

(Picture via Emily O on Flickr)

Movie scenes that make me starvin’

Due in part to a recent comment from my dear friend Saigon John, I started thinking about all the movie scenes that have made me hungry or crave a particular food after watching it.

In no particular order here are a few of the top movie scenes that make me starvin’…  Let me know if I missed any good ones!

Goodfellas, “He used to slice the garlic so thin it would liquefy in the pan with just a little bit of oil.”

Pulp Fiction, “MMMMhmmmmmm This IS a tasty burger!”

Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield.  Scope the sandwich he makes!   Devilled eggs, Swedish meatballs, cheese, and some crusty bread, with a beer chaser.

I defy you not to crave a bellybomb after Harold and Kumar finally get their burgers!

…and of course this list couldn’t be complete without the feast scene from Big Night:

Anchovy Pizza from Patsy’s- what’s the proof?

Shark in the water!

Shark in the water!

So we’ve all heard of the anchovy pizza, but I find that very few have actually tried it.  Everyone seems to avoid the evil anchovy, however I was relatively certain that this was based on uninformed bias and prejudice.  Why is this?  Can this little Italian fish, the “Joe Pesci” of the sea really be all that bad?  Well gentle readers, for your benefit the dedicated people here at Proof Pudding have taken the anchovy pizza to task.

Patsy’s is a local NYC pizza chain started by an old chap named (you guessed it) “Patsy” Lancieri around 1933.  There are various locations uptown, downtown, and midtown in Manhattan.  We decided to use this venerable pizza as the measure by which to grade the infamous anchovy slice.

I gathered together a group of intrepid tasters and we ordered two large pies, one anchovy, and one sausage and pepper.

First impressions:

The Patsy’s pies themselves were pretty to look  at, with a decent amount of cheese and a rambunctiously tangy tomato sauce on top.  The cheese to sauce ration was saucier than most, but with ample mozzarella.  The crust looked spectacular, thin with a nice crispness.  The sausage and pepper pizza was ensconced with toppings, and the delicious aroma of it wafted throughout the room as soon as the box was opened.  On the anchovy pizza there were approximately three anchovies per slice which at first seemed like a reasonable amount, (definitely used sparingly… more for flavor then for additional calories) but we will delve more into that later.

My associate Mike volunteered to be the guinea pig and to be interviewed following his first-ever anchovy experience today…  The transcript is as follows:

Proofmeister: What’s your name and where are you from?

“Mike, and I’m from the Bronx.”

What’s your least favorite borough?

Where do you live?

Brooklyn.

Brooklyn.  Haha, just kidding…  I don’t really have any qualms with any borough…

What’s your favorite pizzeria?

Rambo’s Pizza on Gun Hill Road.

Badass!  How do you get there?

Car.  You can take the 2 train though…

What’s your favorite kind of slice there?

It’s the plain because they really top on the cheese.  It’s their speciality because you either want pizza or you want Rambo’s pizza.

Okay so it’s just the plain slice, their plain slices are the bomb.  Do you find that you can judge a pizza place just by the plain slice?

It’s definitely a good first measure.

Would you ever order from a pizzeria with a bad plain slice?

Well, their toppings better be pretty damn good if they have a bad plain slice.

What do you prefer to drink to wash down your slice?

Any kind of iced tea.

Do you find garlic knots a distraction?

A distraction?  No!  I’m eating them at the end of the meal after I’m done my pizza; I’m grabbing for the garlic knots!

How much pizza do you eat in a month?

In a month???  Probably twice a month, so that would be 8 slices a month.

So you average about a whole pie a month.  Would you consider yourself a pizza aficionado then, being from the Bronx and a regular pizza eater?

I like to think I am.

So why haven’t you ever tried anchovies before?

They never have been presented to me, and I never would go into a place and say that I  want an anchovy pizza.

It’s not because fish scare you?

No.  I’m not afraid of fish.

What about the movie Jaws?

No.

That didn’t scare you out of the water huh?  So there is no fish aversion in you.

No, there is no psychological reason for me not liking anchovies.

Describe the initial taste.

Distractingly salty.  You take a bite, and instead seeing what it would taste like, you just say, WOW this is salty.  And then the second bite is even saltier and then by the end you are just kind of numb to it.

So your taste buds are dead.  Besides that, how do you feel right now?

I feel just like I ate a fish… like I ate a raw fish… with cheese on top.

Gross.  And what is your impression of Patsy’s pizza?

The pizza itself is good, I especially loved their sausage and pepper pizza! The sausage is made just right, and there is just enough peppers so it’s just a nice blend to go along with the rest of the slice.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE SAUSAGE AND PEPPER PIZZA!

I think we get your point.  Next time you’re ordering pizzas with a group will you ever suggest the anchovy pizza?

No I will not.

Thanks Mike.

The verdict is in: Anchovy pizza is a negative proof!  Other impressions ranged from “fishy” to “this makes me nauseous…”  Order the sausage and pepper, the pepperoni, garlic, the plain, anything!  Just don’t ever ruin your pizza with this vile sea-dweller.  Proofmeister out!