4th annual vendys. definitely my favorite NY food/anything event. walked to DUMBO to work up an appetite. stopped for momentary MB pre-party but couldn't relax enough to even sit down so kept on running to the gates. line was already there, short wait, and then they let us in to the awesome...
kind of a thunderdome of food, it was a giant brick enclosure with no roof, and a vendor in each corner. lines formed too quickly, and it was pretty much a madhouse:
we formed a battle plan on the way over, deciding that the soul food cart would be our first stop. Got jerk chicken, rice and peas, and lentils:
pretty delicious. real spicy sauce on the chicken that mixed well with the rice. small portions, but they obviously were being careful so as not to run out of foods.
next stop was the Biryani cart, which ultimately walked away with the people's choice award for the day. Great Biryani, and the real highlight was the chicken tikka with spicy green chutney. definitely the ultimate morsel of the day and probably the best plate of food served there. The people voting clearly agreed. The judges... faulty.
while we waited on the biryani line, other members of the team got on the line for the Calexico Mexican food truck. They seemed to have the longest line all day, but they were making a pretty hearty sampler platter with steak and pork tacos, chicken mole tamales, and shrimp quesadillas. It was probably the most attractive plate, but it got cold fast, and just wasn't as wildly flavorful as we hoped it would be. The judges ultimately awarded the vendy here, and it was a touch of a bummer. Not sure if they were wowed by the grandeur of the plating or something, but it just didn't come off as street food in too many ways....
at this point i went and got Kwik Meal - lamb kabob sandwich and falafel sandwiches (and i later went back for a second lamb as well as a chicken!) - these were so good that i ate them before i remember to take a picture. the falafel were tiny and fried to perfection, but the lamb was the highlight. Kwik Meal took the first runner up prize, but it would have made alot more sense if biryani cart took first....
last stop was an old favorite, the papusa guy from the red hook ball fields. perfect crispy pork papusa, great plantains, and they served up some amazing horchata while we waited on line, but ultimately, it just wasn't as great as a few others. still wonderful though: Outside the gate were 3 dessert trucks (there was supposed to be a fourth with waffles, and they didn't show. weak.):
to the far right was treats truck, which had amazing homemade oreos and caramel brownies. they won the desert category. they also served the PB Jammer:
I've been planning for a long time of writing out a list of the top 10 sandwiches I have ever eaten, but it has recently become clear to me that there are more than 10 top sandwiches in the universe and rather than sleep on ever making this list, I should start telling the world of these spectacular sandwiches with the dream of compiling them all at a later date:
Today we went to Defonte's in Red Hook, which I was not previously aware existed.
it's at 379 Columbia St. near where "the hook" used to be - you just take Van Brunt into Red Hook and make a left on Commerce St. you can see it as soon as you turn onto Commerce, straight ahead of you:
So the jam here is totally the fried eggplant, BUT that doesn't mean you get just the eggplant. I went with the roast beef, fresh mozzarella, and eggplant:
now this sandwich comes in two sizes - 1/3 and 1/2.
i went with 1/2... which begged the question 1/2 of what, as it was pretty much a whole in just about any category and actually took me about 3 hours of on and off eating to fully consume. the pictures here are actually only of 1/2 OF the 1/2.
Here is why this sandwich was awesome: 1. The eggplant was fried almost zeppole style, so it was big and crusty and delicious. 2. the roast beef was warm 3. the took a ladle of roast beef juices from the vat full of roast beef and poured it on the inside of the top piece of bread. 4. gigantic.
Please go here, eat more sandwiches (they have tons of other stuff and you can totally invent your own sandwiches too) and tell me what else to try.
Loyal JIDYT reader T. hit up the famed "Hospital Bell" last week at the hospital on the corner of Atlantic Ave and Hicks st. in Brooklyn
hours are not confirmed for this specialty bell, but upon his sunlit weekday arrival, it was open:
It really is inside a hospital:
It is actually a taco bell "express" but that usually does the trick. Unless of course you are looking for some sort of buffalo meat 7 layer mexi-melt gordita wrapped in a chalupa sprinkled with churro dust, which you might have to visit a more expansive Taco Bell for. But the TB express functions as a true utilitarian taco bell, serving up a limited menu that is probably not all that limited due to the vast amount of TB meals you can cook up within a set amount of slightly variable ingredients.
T. had arrived that day to sate a hunger based on advertising.
His hunger was sated - apparently the first one was only OK, but the second one was just right. Technically the difference between a volcano taco and a taco taco is a red shell and a "volcanic" cheese sauce. One would also thing that adding the Taco Bell "fire" sauce to this equation would be both name appropriate as well as delicious.
Volcano Taco - Jammed!
here are some other kids that are excited about this:
So, yeah.. Crazy taco scene in sunset park confirmed. I went to Metamoras which is on 5th ave b/w 45th and 46th. The place was clean, staff was nice, and tacos cheap and delicious. I dropped a little espanol on them, but they spoke back to me in English, so I guess they weren't impressed. There are two kinds of pork -- carnitas and enchiladas. I had the enchiladas, which is apparently the spicier version of the carnitas. It was the best. I also had chicken and carne asada. The chicken was surprisingly good.. just the right mixture of tender white meat and crispy dark meat. It actually tasted like chicken (in a good way)... not just a sauce and topping delivery mechanism. The carne asada hada nice char-grilled almost smoky flavor to it. It was good, but probably the least flavorful of the three. They come topped with cilantro onion mix and guacamole. I would consider getting the guacamole on the side in the future, because it sort of overpowers the other flavors and textures. Scraping it off is risky since the toppings get stuck to it.
Tacos come in two sizes - pequeno and grande. Prices are about 1.50 and 2.50. Two grandes is definitely plenty. Two kinds of house salsa - green and red. Both are delicious. Green is best on the white meats, red on the red. Pretty standard. The tacos were rolled into cones and wrapped in wax paper. Sort of like incorrectly made falafel sandwiches. I'm not a fan of the cone wrapping steeze for any kind of food, since the first bite is all meat and toppings and the last bite is just wax paper, but in the case of the Metamoras tacos it was tolerable. Ditch the wax paper and redistribute the filling. Easy fix. Tacos Xochimilco is across the street and is supposed to be good too. I'll hit that next time.
FYI, Sunset "park" is a block away. It looks SKETCHY.
Ingredients: 36 ice cream sandwiches 3 80z tubs Cool Whip 1 jar hot fudge 2 large (6 serving) boxes instant chocolate pudding mix 30 oreos freedom flakes.
note: this is a tripled version of an original recipe that came in a junk mail magazine from kraft foods. it was the best piece of junk mail we have ever received.
1. in a bowl combine three generous cups of cool whip with a normal sized jar of hot fudge and stir until you have a light and fluffy chocolate cool whip.
NOTE: my grandmother may have invented chocolate cool whip, though there is no documentation to prove this. It should be noted however that decades ago, she had a vision and started pouring chocolate syrup into cool whip containers and mixing it together for an even better version of the original. We salute you Lois, and the freedom of mind that makes you a true dessert visionary.
2. once cool whip is chocolatified, mix in the pudding mix, followed by two dozen crushed up oreo cookies. - easiest way to crush em it to put them all in a ziplock back and then just mash em up with your hands. - mix it all together for awhile. its going to get thick, its going to start to hurt your wrist, but its going to get all delicious like this:
2.5. if the mixture gets too thick, pour in some milk. that will also help the pudding mix from being too crispy, which is a weird mouth feel.
3. it helps to have a helper at this point cause it is about to get hectic, and you just don't need that sort of stress. get one box of ice cream sandwiches out, and lay them end to end - we did 12 across here:
4. as soon as the first layer is down, start laying on a way thick coating of the fudge mixture. you want to use about half of it for this layer - if you are smart, your co-captain is already unwrapping the second layer of sandwiches, and as those go down you put on a second layer of the fudge. finally you top that with a THIRD layer of ice cream sandwiches:
5. this thing is huge and melty, right? you're almost there though, keep your eyes on the prize kid. you should have some cool whip left, now is when you use all of it to cover the outside of the cake:
6. wrap that thing in foil and very carefully move it to your freezer. you should probably have prepared ahead here and made a bunch of room in your freezer so that you can fit all this in there. (also seen in freezer, chocolate chip waffles (see earlier jam), new italian flavored chik patties, veggie cakes, vegan riblets (major ingredient in award winning vegan chili), klondike bars '07, fresh direct olive pizza, soft pretzels, ice)
7. it is now the next day. did i tell you to prepare this a day ahead? i should have. sorry about that. also, the next steps work best if you happen to both a. live in america and b. be celebrating your nation's independence - though if you change the color of sprinkles you can probably celebrate any nation's independence in style with this cake.
anyway - crush the remaining oreos on top and then sprinkle with the rainbow of freedom:
this feeds about 30? not really sure. if you are lucky there is some left over. cut it thin, and you might get lucky and have some to eat when everyone goes home.
also, the thin slice is fine for showing off the best part of this, which is the mega intense cross section (from the bottom up: cookie, ice cream, cookie, fudge filling, cookie, ice cream, cookie, fudge filling, cookie, ice cream, cookie, cool whip, toppings) :
if done properly, ever bite is an Ultimate Morsel (tm)
P&A hosted an indian dinner party on friday with a wonderful menu:
samosas / mint chutney (to be discussed in more depth momentarily) - Samosas were hand folded and filled with onion potato flavor. baken in an oven, but browned golden enough to make your brain think they were deep fried. HIGHLY JAMMABLE:
chicken curry/fancyrice/stringbeans and onions curry/shredded carrot saladslaw/naan:
mint chutney may be the cornerstone of indian cuisine. it is both delicious and green, and it makes everything better. This leads us to a new concept - The Ultimate Morsel(tm). each meal has an ultimate morsel. it is the most delicious combination of all the things at the table. sometimes it involves them all, sometimes it only involves a single perfect part of the cuisine. for this meal, The Ultimate Morsel(tm)involved a small strip of naan, wrapped around a bite size piece of chicken, and dipped heavily into mint chutney. the resulting bite was something like a soft mini taco with extreme indian flavors. behold:
ingredients: 2 eggo chocolate chip waffles 3 scoops Ben & Jerry's "Vermonty Python" Ice Cream 2 Ice cream sandwiches, chopped one handful dark chocolate ships one handful raw almonds chocolate syrup Caramel syrup
make it happen: - toast two waffles for 5 minutes - put cooked waffles on plate with a scoopof ice cream on each waffle and a scoop in the middle (acting as some sort of land bridge between waffles) - sprinkle with ice cream sandwich chunks, chocolate chips and almonds - apply chocolate and caramel syrups liberally, and with a little flair