Category Archives: To Go

As Indian as Apple Pie

I don’t have Indian food very often. It’s just not too convenient to where I work in the city, nor to my abode in Jersey. So when I’m visiting my folks in Yonkers, and they want to order some take-out, I always request Indian.

We usually- switch it up between two places: Zafran Restaurant (off Central Avenue) and Bukhara Grill (near Cross County Mall). I think Bukhara has better traditional Indian, but Zafran is definitely more unique, with several “fusion” items on the menu. And it’s also closer to the ‘rents and therefore, a shorter ride to my stomach.

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Key Lime Pie on a Stick

The geniuses at the Key West Key Lime Pie Company came up with this beauty of a frozen treat and it’s the best thing since key lime pie on a plate.

Honestly, I’m not sure how you could go wrong with this process. Covering already delicious desserts in chocolate and freezing them on a stick just seems like the right thing to do.

My Lunch: The Mythical Garlic Cart

I usually try to avoid food carts: those mobile metal eateries that litter city streets despite said cities having about a bajillion other places to eat.

Excuse me while I generalize, but I find them to be depressing, dirty and just plain superfluous food entities that prey on hurried and uncreative business people. In other words, most of us.

But sometimes, there’s a story. A story which floats around your office like a bad odor. A story that eventually makes it to your cubicle despite it starting in another department. It’s a story about The Cart. For my office, it’s known by an additional, crucial word: garlic.

THE GARLIC CART

According to the story, which had now taken on mythical proportions (at least in my mind), the garlic cart was an institution. The owner/proprietor sets up shop around 10:30 a.m. and caters only to an in-the-know lunch crowd, some of whom wait on line for upwards of a half hour.

What does this wizard create? Probably the tastiest, strangest and most garlic-filled sandwich in all of Philadelphia.

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The most disgusting thing ever (updated)

Wow, take a gander at this monstrosity. Only in Japan, a land virtually untouched by obesity, can the marketing wizards at Pizza Hut peddle a 646 calorie per slice (per slice!!!) food to kids without the least demonstration of conscience or remorse.

According to Gizmodo, Pizza Hut’s “exclusive” Double Roll pie includes bacon-wrapped wieners, mini hamburgers, pepperoni, three kinds of cheeses, and a few veggies.

And because that’s not hurl-inducing enough, how about adding a little ketchup and maple syrup? Because, ya know, that other stuff just doesn’t have the thick, viscous quality that’s driving all the kids nuts these days.

Honestly, when food becomes this kitschy, it’s more sad than cute.

Thanks to Meghan for the heads-up on this article.

Update 5/9/08

More crazy Asian pizza crusts here!

No Second Fiddle: The Philly Roast Pork

Unless you’ve been living in a cave (I’m looking at you, Osama), you know that only one sandwich reigns supreme in Philadelphia – the cheesesteak.

Contrary to popular opinion, however, it’s not the only hoagie in town. Recently, a different meat and cheese combo has emerged from the City of Brotherly Love to challenge (or at least provide an alternative to) the almighty cheesesteak. It is the roast pork with sharp provolone.

A number of places in and around Philadelphia specialize in this new nirvana, among them John’s Roast Pork, Tony Luke’s, and the lesser known Lenny’s (in Conshohocken). Tommy DiNic’s in the great Reading Terminal Market may be the best of the bunch.

Like the others, Tommy’s has an extremely limited menu — your only choices are the pork or the beef brisket — and is a cash-only establishment. What you see is what you get, and what you get is heaven on a roll.

There are just three add-ons: sharp provolone, roasted peppers and greens (broccoli rabe, I think). From what I’ve seen and tasted around the Philly area, the first two are standard and the greens are optional.

A few other things to keep in mind when you visit DiNic’s:

  • As you may or may not be able to tell from the picture, the pork is sliced, not shredded or chunked. It’s certainly different from the other ways I’ve tried, but the format doesn’t matter. Taste is the thing that counts.
  • Same thing goes for the roasted green peppers. I’m more accustomed to the red ones, but the greens went just fine.
  • This thing’s sloppy. Remember to roll back those sleeves and get your legs under the table. Better yet, bring a bib.
  • Sharp provolone doesn’t melt all that well. You may miss some of the ooey-gooeyness from the cheesesteak, but the sharp’s flavor more than makes up for it.
  • Be prepared to wait, especially during peak lunch hours. It’s worth it.

Will the cheesesteak ever be toppled? I doubt it; certainly not in Philly. But if you have time for just one more lunch and you’ve had your fill of the great beef beast, try something different.

The Philly roast pork – it’s like Yahooing when everybody else is Googling.

    Worst. Muffin. Ever.

    Some may argue that by ordering a muffin – any muffin – at the fledgling Juan Valdez Cafe (JVC) kiosk in Philadelphia’s Suburban Station, I was asking for trouble. This is true.

    But when a muffin – any muffin – is this offensive, this disgusting, this undeserving of the label “food”, let alone “muffin,” I feel a modicum of outrage is still justified.

    The best I can say about the low-fat blueberry “muffin” I ordered this morning was that it looked like a muffin. When I attempted to separate a piece from the highly-coveted muffin top, this is what happened: Instead of a delicious crumb of pastry, I was forced to strip around the entire overhang to pull anything off.

    This was no breakfast.

    This was a piece of rubber masquerading as something edible. When, after at least twenty chews, I finally spit the monstrosity out, I swear I could actually hear the blueberries crying out, as if trapped in some horrible, chemically concocted prison. “Free us,” they screamed from inside the beast.

    I saved as many as I could before burying what was left of the abomination in the closest garbage.

    Though you may know a thing or two about coffee, ponchos, wide-brimmed hats and mules, Juan Valdez… you have a hell of a lot to learn about muffins.

    My Lunch: Mama’s Platter

    mamas.jpg

    I’ve written about this place before, but I didn’t have any good pictures of the food. Now I have good pictures but not much to say.

    falafel.jpg

    I always order the Mama’s Platter, which is more food than the average human needs. Even though it’s more traditional to eat falafel as part of sandwich – “the cheesburger of the Middle East” – I like using a fork. Because I’m a rebel.

    Here’s what comes with the platter:

    • Veggies – diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, and pickled cabbage
    • Falafel – eight nicely fried balls of chickpea meal
    • Hummus – with a little bit of tahini sauce
    • Pita bread – not pictured, but homemade and excellent

    The only thing I don’t get is why Mama’s uses styrofoam trays. Aren’t vegetarians and environmentalists supposed to be best friends?