I recognize the funky odor that comes from the belly of the Bowery Ballroom as "concert stench", but for some reason it never occured to me that "concert stench" was borne from many open, wafting cups of beer. My short attention span plowed through while the first opener was performing; my thoughts were concentrated not on the musical prowess of what was going on in front of me but that the smell of fermented barley water reminded me of a bakery, which in turn reminded me of bread, which in turn reminded me that I wanted to eat bread. Right there. At that moment.
I guess my appetite is back. AWESOME. I am one step closer to obesity.
I ate out for dinner just once this week, which I realized is probably average (or above average), but that means I don't have much reason to update my blog more than once or twice a week unless you want to see every unexciting piece of store-bought food, piece of fruit, cookie or candy bar that goes into my mouth. Which you do not. I think.
On Thursday night I met up with Lisa, whose business card probably doesn't say "Jacques Torres Cookie Bitch" even though I think that's a fine job title, in front of Kyotofu. But first we needed real food, which is how we ended up in the back room at Kashkaval. The front of the shop looks like a deli, but turns into a wine bar mid-way to the cozy, warm, wood-accented back room where you better not mind sitting with strangers because...it's crowded and you will. But it's not crowded in the sense that its too noisy or that moving an inch puts you at risk for accidentally dipping your hand in someone else's food. It's just...cozy. Like I said.
We started with a small sample platter of their cold mediterranean tapas (four choices for $9):
Back: Eggplant Tapende (eggplants, garlic, tomatoes)
Left: Spicy Walnut Pepper Spread (fire roasted peppers, walnuts, oil, garlic, parsley)
Right: Red Pepper Spread (roasted red peppers, olive oil, garlic)
Front: Beet Skordalia (baked beets, garlic, herbs, and spices)
Everything was pretty much...awesome. Especially smooshed on top of warm, fluffy slices of pita bread. Our four choices happened to encompass a good variety of flavors (and colors). Eggplant was the least flavorful, walnut was crunchy and spicy, red pepper was smooshy and not so spicy, and beet was lightly sweet. Annnnd that's as good as my descriptions are going to get, even though I'm sure there are a gazillion better words to use. "VERY TASTY, WOULD EAT AGAIN, A++!" They also offer a large sampler of four flavors for $15, but I can't imagine how large that is after being totally stuffed with the small sampler (we couldn't finish everything, even though we wanted to).
On top of the pita and many spreads, we shared a spinach and feta borek (spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo dough). The dough was heavier than I thought it would be, but not in a bad way. Just an "Oh, my stomach isn't really big enough to eat all of this" kind of way, which you don't realize until you've eaten everything and realize that your stomach has turned into an anvil. (A few hundred calories too late, I mean.)
I would see myself going to Kashkaval more often if I lived closer to it. Lots of people were having fondue. I want fondue! Kind of!
We waddled down to Kyotofu for dessert action. Although we each probably could've downed an order of the prix fixe, we shared one. You know that thing called "moderation"? It pops up every now and then. I SWEAR.
The prix fixe started with the "original tofu" with black sugar sauce and dried apricot. It tasted like desserty tofu. Like that Chinese stuff. But denser. And in a non-disposable cup. I know that's a crappy description, but I'm tired and hey, you should have low standards when reading my blog. I aim for sub-mediocrity.
Oh, we liked the tofu. NEXT UP.
Whoa, four things on one plate, what the shizz! Have no fear—these are not full-sized desserts. No stomach death occured. Here are some excessive descriptions:
Back: ginger infused japanese rice oyaku (sour cherry, kuromitsu whipped cream, ginger candy)
Left: sansho-pepper tofu cheese cake (shiro-an vanilla cream, shochu ginger, fruit carpaccio)
Right: chocolate cake...thing!
Front: fig yokan
My favorites were the rice pudding and the cheesecake. The cheesecake was very light, like...well, not so much like regular cheesecake. Mousse, perhaps? The chocolate cake smelled strongly of cocoa, but I don't think the taste was as strong. The fig yokan tasted like fig in jelly form. Which is what it's supposed to taste like. The jelly tasted crisp and clean, if that makes sense sense. Like if a fresh dewdrop were actually a solid blob of fig flavored jelly.
...Wow, that didn't make much sense. I'm just gonna move on now.
The final course was a green tea chocolate dipped cookie and a black sesame white chocolate kinako cookie. I liked the black sesame one more, but overall I wasn't very into either. Maybe I'm too particular about my cookies. They need to either be laden with butter or laden with sugar. Preferably both. Anything that the food pyramid wants you to eat sparingly is what I want in my cookie. A cookie of death, apparently.
The main dining room at Kyotofu was disarmingly noisy, either because the room amplified everyone's conversation or because people were just talking really loudly. Not that there's anything wrong with that—I'm just warning you. Although Lisa and I weren't interested in ordering drinks, we noticed much interesting beverage action on other people's tables. Oops. So perhaps you should take a look at their drinks menu besides the dessert menu. Kyotofu's desserts are well made, artfully presented and have interesting flavors, but for casual dessert-ing I'd rather eat a cupcake or some ice cream. Hell, for non-casual desserting I'd rather eat a cupcake or some ice cream. Fun to have the occassional new treat every so often, of course.
AH, I'M TIRED, BRAIN DOESN'T WANT TO REVIEW FOOD RIGHT NOW, SORRIES.
I impulsively bought a City Bakery chocolate croissant while shopping at Whole Foods. I think grocery shopping is bad for my health.
There she is. She is tasty, but she is also more doughy and heavy than most chocolate croissants I've had. Those are the fattest croissant layers I've ever seen, squeezing the life out of the chocolate that hides within because it cannot escape the wrath of the Dough Blankets of Death. This croissant needs to go on a diet...just like you after you eat it. You can be gym buddies! Or not! I'm not saying this chocolate croissant isn't worth eating, as it is perfectly tasty, but if you're expecting one of those light, airy layered things, this ain't it.
I also tried a chocolate croissant from Cafe Zaiya, which you can see has more delicate, less doughy layers than the CB croissant. It wasn't as flavorful as CB's version, but at least it wasn't disarmingly filling. I should probably stop looking for chocolate croissants and just wait until I go back to Paris (32 DAYS, OH MY GAWD).
Last Monday I went to Bite near Union Square for sandwich action. The Sabih sandwich made of sauteed eggplant, hard boiled egg, middle eastern chopped salad, and creamy hummus smooshed inside a chewy baguette-esque roll refueled my burning love for sandwiches.
...Whoa, that sounded weird. Fuel. Burning. That's too intense. How about, it stick a bright yellow post-it in my brain that said, "REMINDER: YOU LOVE SAMMICHES!"
....Damn, that sounds dumb.
I like sammiches. Especially those from Bite. "FAST, CHEAP, TASTY, FILLING, WOULD EAT AGAIN A++!"
Sorry, this wasn't a very good entry. I'm a little distracted by...life. Trust me, I can't wait until I can concentrate more on my blog and not fill it with crap.
Heeeey everyone in NYC, check out Blogsoop, a site that lists restaurant reviews from blogs. Craploads of blogs. SOMEONE'S GOTTA DO IT. So glad it wasn't me.
Another thing: menuism's food fight is to find the BEST PANCAKE. EVER. Or at least in Chicago, Seattle, New York and San Francisco. I haven't eaten enough pancakes to decide where to get the best ones in NYC, but someone out there probably does. I do know that the ones at Clinton Street Baking Co are hella tasty, especially doused with maple butter, nectar of the pancake gods.
The New York Times takes a lookie at the NYC food blogosphere. Like whoa! It's weird to see so much food blogging-ness distilled into one not very long article. And am I the last food blogger in NYC to have not eaten at Momofuku Ssam Bar? Perhaps.
Andrew Bird influences foodie nyc to cook...chicken! I wish Andrew Bird could dig out the chef in me, but there isn't really one. [sigh] However, Andrew Bird does make me VERY VERY HAPPY by filling my head with wonderful things. Listen to his newest songs. They're better than sandwiches.
This is more for me than for you, but I was reminded by a commenter on flickr to check out this random hot dog and fries place deep in the East Village. Deep is anything that goes into the lettered avenues. Yup, I don't get out much. Anyone want to join me?
69 Cooper Sq