Archive for the 'European Food' Category

10
Oct
11

Wafels & Dinges

It was an unusually warm evening in October when I decided to take a few minutes to slow down and enjoy the city.  I am normally very happy in my relationship with the city but I’ve been feeling a bit stifled in the relationship lately.  I was really feeling like I need some space and some time away- that the principle of reciprocity was off balance.    And then I got some perspective in the form of cool and creamy ice cream over a soft and crispy warm waffle.  I had passed the Wafels & Dinges truck the day before and although it looked and smelled amazing and it seemed to live up to the publicity that it has been getting in the foodie pages but the long line in front of it was the only deterrent.  Tonight was the night.  There weren’t mobs of people passing by and through the Time Warner building and there weren’t too many people polluting the air with cigarettes outside so I became the third person in line at the Waffle truck.  The guy in the truck served me with wonderful attitude and he gets an A-plus in customer service.  I had a ton of questions and when I asked what was in the Spekuloos spread, he said, “Rainbows, magic, and a little bit of James Franco,”  as he handed me a sample of it.  “Wow, James Franco is really hot and this spread is really good!” was what came out of my mouth.  The waffle came hot off the iron and the Spekuloos (Belgian gingerbread-cinnamon) spread melted gorgeously over it.  It was topped triumphantly with raspberry-vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.  I got it in a mini size which was perfectly sized and proportioned so that  in my mind I didn’t have to convert the calories into time on the treadmill.

I did say something about perspective earlier so here it is, as promised.  There was a question posed to me last week at church: Are you a consumer who takes from the city or do you seek the peace and prosperity (Shalom) of the city and it’s inhabitants?  I had been taking for granted that the city is about people and culture, not necessarily about places and things.  Yes, this was an amazingly delicious wafel that I was enjoying but it represented something more than just a food product.  Someone who is passionate about food was able to turn that passion into a wonderful experience that brings smiles to people’s faces, that brings foodies, families, and friends together, and that serves as an ambassador of Belgian culture.  Why does that song say, “New York, New York.  If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere?”  What makes the city unbearable to me sometimes is exactly what makes it a cultural influencer.   It’s feels crowded and dirty, the weather is fickle, and there are always groups of people speaking their mind (or playing loud instruments badly) whether solicited or unsolicited.  But the thing is, the more needs that arise, the more creativity and resolve rise up to meet them.  While I feel the need to go someplace that resembles nature, I feel more compelled to go down to Wall Street to help Occupy it.  I need to check in on those friends that I haven’t heard from in a while.  And I should find a way to use my talents for good instead of complaining that my talents go unnoticed.  And yes, all this came out of a wafel.

Wafel & Dinges

 

08
Aug
09

“No Reservations” U.S./Mexico Border

I checked out Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations Collection 2 from the library and I’m on the US/Mexico Border episode.  He starts the episode by taking the viewer into the kitchen of his home base restaurant Les Halles and asking where the chefs are from.  They are all from Mexico.  I see the point he’s trying to make- that there is a large and talented pool of chefs coming from Mexico and has become a backbone for restaurants and their diners.  Being Chinese-American myself, however, it reminds me of the large number of Chinese that either started laundries or restaurants because it was all they were allowed to do back then in the States.  I know that this could be a potentially loaded conversation due to the complexities of immigration and minorities in America but I have noticed that many, many restaurants hire Mexican cooks, including Italian and Chinese restaurants.  So what I’m wondering is, who does the cooking at Mexican restaurants?

06
Aug
09

Chelsea Market

It was my first time at Chelsea Market and besides being excited about seeing Melissa d’Arabian, I had fun walking through and seeing what was there.  I missed the period when Food Network was selling tours of their studios, darn it!  I’ve been trying to figure out how to get my foot in the door there.  Anyways, there were some fun places like The Lobster Place, food markets (Italian and others), gelato, bakeries, and a sample sale going on.  Oh, Sarabeth’s was looking for counter help.  I may just apply if I don’t find some steady work soon!

Pizza for lunch at Chelsea Market

Pizza for lunch at Chelsea Market

Hamburger Cupcakes

Hamburger Cupcakes

27
Jul
09

Mario Batali’s Lupa

Thanks to the generosity of friends, I am still able to experience the wonderful restaurants that inhabit New York City, even during these rough economic times.  My friend Lea took me to Mario Batali’s Lupa Osteria Romana last week when she came to visit.  It seemed like a quiet and sleepy Thursday noon hour in the East Village.  I loved that the menus had glossaries on the backs of them.  It was very helpful for ordering.  I got to taste the Dandelion Greens and the Broccoli Rabe with Ricotta.  Lea and I shared the Hanger Steak with Fingerlings and Asparagus, and the Spaghetti alla Carbonara.  Excellent, excellent, excellent.  I always hear in sermons at church that repetition is used for emphasis.  It is true in Chinese, as well as Hebrew and Greek!  The desserts were good, too.  We had the Tartuffo and the Panna Cotta.  It was my first time having Panna Cotta, which Lea had fallen in love with while traveling in Switzerland.  Served with cherries and ultra-smooth.  Delicious.  All of it was excellent.

Hanger Steak with Asparagus and Fingerlings

Hanger Steak with Asparagus and Fingerlings

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara




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