Before we get down to business, today’s Foghat Jam:
Last time on the city’s most exciting and divisive blog, I self-challenged myself to drink a cup of City Bakery’s hot chocolate every day of February for their hot chocolate festival. (A different flavor of hot chocolate every day.) I failed in this endeavor on the first day when I ordered my hot chocolate with a marshmallow, and got to the cash register where the cashier told me it’d be $7.50. I said I’ll pass and walked out.
I’m usually ok paying a premium for good food, but $7.50 for a small cup of hot chocolate, delicious as it is, is outrageous. I’m sure you know what I did next!
It took no more than five days before City Bakery banned me from posting to their wall. My initial objections to the price of their hot chocolate didn’t get a response, but when they posted a picture of balloons with a caption saying balloons to celebrate caramel hot chocolate, and I responded with, “well I guess you can afford balloons when you’re gouging your customers on the price of hot chocolate,” that did it.
Dejected, and depressed that I couldn’t get a shot of liquified hot chocolate, I wound up in Maison Kayser and was briefly elated to see that they had homemade hot chocolate for $4.50. But like a child busting open a pinata filled with poisonous spiders, my joy turned to horror when I saw the counterperson proceed to make the “homemade” hot chocolate by dumping an orange packet into a cup of steamed milk. What the cock, Maison? At that point I was so desperate for chocolate that I paid for it, drank it, and was suitably underwhelmed. Despite my best efforts, they have not banned me from their facebook page yet, nor have they responded to my requests for a comment.
I finally got good hot chocolate at Little Chef located in the Gotham West Market, aka the only good thing on 11th avenue in Manhattan. It was rich, made with cream and melted chocolate, and spiked my blood sugar. I don’t know what the hot chocolate scene in the city has come to when I need to go to this much trouble just to get a decent cup. I guess maybe my first mistake was not going to Jacques Torres instead. Oh well.
If you’d like to express your disgust at City Bakery’s or Maison Kaiser’s hot chocolate standards and practices feel free to contact them via facebook and tell them that Fresh Whipped Cream Mike Sent you.
Welcome to the first fresh whipped cream of the new year. A couple of things to take care of here.
First, in a horrible miscarriage of justice I discovered a few days ago while trying to avoid the Grammys that there’s no Foghat subreddit. But no worries, I’ve quickly remedied that. Check it out at:
It’s sparsely populated at the moment, but please feel free to contribute to the only subreddit that matters.
In other news, since the new year I’ve managed to get myself un-banned and then quickly re-banned from the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop’s facebook page. Apparently they’re opening up a shop in L.A., and had a picture of the owners in none other than Tommy Lee’s kitchen, doing god knows what. In response to that picture I innocently asked if Tommy Lee tolerates whipped cream from a can, and was swiftly banned again. I would imagine that other than in bed, he does not tolerate whipped cream from a can.
Not to be outdone, but Cronut masters Dominique Ansel Bakery have also banned me when I criticized them for being too cutesy about announcing their new winter pastries. Their social network guy kept saying Dominique Ansel is rumored to do this and that, and I bluntly told him that it’s ridiculous to use the term “rumored” for something that the owner of the company you work for is doing. He’s either putting out new pastries or not, dammit! I was banned.
And in other news, in a few days, the hot chocolate festival begins at City Bakery, I hope. I haven’t been able to find the flavors on their website, but presumably a different flavor of hot chocolate will be available every day in February. When I first moved to the city I attempted to get hot chocolate every day in February, but failed because drinking that much cream and chocolate on a daily basis is difficult. This year I hope to slay the beast and have 28 cups, at least, of hot chocolate in February.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment about whose facebook page you’d like to see me get banned from next.
Good evening, everybody.
An update to my earlier quibbles with The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop: I have been banned from posting comments on their facebook page. They didn’t care for my heroic crusade in the name of fresh whipped cream. Not that I won’t keep trying. In any event, I went there today for a Monday Sundae, and upon requesting it with Pumpkin Soft Serve ice cream, the counterperson informed me that of course I could have it with pumpkin, because I’m a “decadent bitch.” True enough.
(They still used crappy canned whipped cream.)
In other news, it looks like my next target for improvement is the Salty Road Taffy company; I bought a box of their taffy from Brooklyn Larder, and foolishly did not read the ingredient list until I got home. I assumed since it was $6.50 for a small box, it would be quality taffy without some sort of godawful atrocious ingredient in it.
I was wrong. To my horror it was made with HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL. If I wanted that junk in my taffy, I would go to the corner bodega, like a savage, and buy a package of laffy taffy or airheads. I’ve sent the Salty Road an email expressing my outrage; I’ll keep everyone updated on that.
And finally, let’s document my literary adventures wherein author Marisha Pessl has been dodging my pressing questions that need answered about Jewish appetizing and NYC geography. I don’t usually cover books here, but I’ve enjoyed her work. Topics in Calamity Physics turned out to a surprisingly unpredictable and compulsive read, and Night Film, the subject of my inquiries is definitely worth picking up. It’s an effective horror/mystery about disgraced reporter, Scott McGrath, tracking down an elusive cult film maker. The ending is a bit disappointing mostly due to the stories within the story telegraphing the ending, but it’s a well crafted novel.
Anyway, about midway through, McGrath needs to get some information from one of his sources. This source happens to really love Jewish Appetizing, so he decides to pick some up to butter her up. Herein lies the problem. He lives in the West Village on Perry Street. His source lives in Middle Village, Queens. Now, stay with me here. He decides to take the 1 train to the UWS to go to Barney Greengrass for the goods. It’s certainly an institution and an excellent choice for lox et. al, but it makes no sense to go there if he’s going to Middle Village! Middle Village is off the M train. You know what else is off the M train? Russ and Daughters!!! It’s stupid to go all the way to the UWS via the 1 train, to just have to shclep back down, completely leave the subway system to the get the M. (unless he wanted to catch either the 7 or L train, and then transfer AGAIN to the M) when easily could have walked to Russ and Daughters from his apartment, then gotten the M train at Broadway Lafeyette, and taken that to MIddle Village. This has been keeping me up at night, and so far my inquiries on Pessl’s facebook page have gone unanswered. As always I’ll let everyone know if I get a response.
Writer’s Block: what a concept.
Anyway, Smorgasburg started up this weekend and I went there to eat twice my recommended daily intake of calories in just about a half hour or so. I arrived at around 11:15 A.M. to avoid crowds, which worked out pretty well. Most of the vendors were already set up or just about finished setting up, and I didn’t have to awkwardly cut in line and ignore people’s indignant protests.
Here’s what I ate:
I started at Mighty Quinn’s BBQ because I was denied on Friday evening due to a line piling out onto the street in its East Village brick and mortar location. I hear the line at Smorgasburg got pretty brutal as the day went on, but I didn’t have much of a problem. I picked up a very good pulled pork slider, and had no complaints. The slider was imbued with an intense woody smoked flavor, and the sprinkle of kosher salt they put on it brought out even more flavor and added an interesting crunch. Pickles and pickled onions rounded out the slider for a good start to the day. Mighty Quinn’s might be my new favorite BBQ, mostly because unlike John Brown’s, they haven’t banned me from their facebook page yet.
Next up, I made my way to Brooklyn Wok, mostly by default because I was having trouble deciding what to get. I had heard good things about their restaurant, but never made it over there. They were serving Fried Wontons, and while it’s killing me to be so positive, they were some of the best fried pork wontons I’ve ever had. They came out fresh from the frier, and had a thinner skin than most fried wontons from other Chinese places. The pork was also delicious, both piled on top of the wontons and within as well.
Then I said fuck it, and went to the Bombay Sandwich company and ordered their quinoa chickpea stuffed sandwich which was kind of a panini and kind of a samosa. They guy told me to come back in five minutes, so I took that opportunity to head over to Cake Bites where they were serving cake truffles, and ordered a salted caramel. Unfortunately I didn’t realize until after I paid that it was vegan, but it was surprisingly excellent. The chocolate coating was serious dark chocolate, and the cake had an intense, burnt sugar flavor while being very moist. Not quite as good as Momofuku Milk Bar’s cake truffles, but still quite good.
After my cake intermission it was back to Bombay Sandwich company to pick up my Chickpea Quinoa concoction, and it turned out to be very good, topped with some of the best Green Chutney I’ve had in the city. They also have a killer hot sauce that’s very hot without sacrificing flavor. And I almost forgot, there was a mango-mint lemonade which was a worthy accompaniment, but could’ve used a bit more tartness. It was more like mango mint juice with a smattering of lemon.
So, by this point I had had enough of savory, hit stage two of my smorgasbinge, and picked up a s’mores pie from Butter and Scotch, because I had not had enough pie lately. It was delicious, consisting of a nice chocolate pudding base topped with toasted marshmallow cream. If I made one mistake that day, it was not ordering two of them. I washed that down with a salted chocolate chip oat cookie from S’mores Bakery (perhaps ironically) that was about the size of my face and also delicious. I usually don’t like salty tastes in my desserts, but it wasn’t overpowering, and the cookie had nice caramelled crispy edges that really heightened the experience.
I was pretty full at that point, but alas I couldn’t leave without going to one of my favorite vendors, Landhaus for their maple bacon stick, which is so amazing that it won the nobel prize last year. Kind of a bacon slice on steroids, it’s about three inches, by one inch, by 1/4 inch thick, put on a stick, grilled, spiced, then topped with maple syrup. It’s amazing because it can simultaneously cause heart disease AND diabetes.
Here’s to another year of Smorgasburg. Also in case in anyone was worried that this was too positive, I plan on ripping Jacob’s Pickle’s a new biscuit hole soon.