The Upper West Side: A Vast Culinary Wasteland

Citrus

It really saddens me to say this, but my new neighborhood is a vast culinary wasteland.

Sure, I haven’t eaten out nearly as much as I used to. The economy and the fabled NYC cost of living increase has certainly taken their toll. However, the wife and I have tried several eateries in the past month and a half, and we were not impressed.

To wit:

Citrus (photo above)

This restaurant is only a few block from my apartment and boasts “Latin fare with Asian flair.” It’s a fun motto, which is matched by the almost clubby atmosphere of the interior. It’s a modern place, very glossy looking, with the patronage to match.

Unfortunately, the food’s not very good.

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POM Wonderful: The Truest Blood

POMtru blood bottle

OK, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that POM Wonderful (or any pomegranate juice) tastes like the synthetic blood featured on the increasingly popular HBO vampire series, True Blood.

Granted, I’ve never tasted synthetic blood, nor any blood for that matter. But even if it doesn’t taste like it, pomegranate juice sure looks like True Blood. It’s dark red and thick…with a slightly syrupy quality.

However, a more apt comparison for the product is V, the vampire blood turned human drug that comes from the same show. Like V, a drug so potent that only a drop evokes waves of hypnotic euphoria, pomegranate juice yields its own bounty: tons of life-prolonging antioxidants.

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Blogging Fail

new_york_city_home

In which I apologize for a distinct lack of posting and explain why that is.

  1. Work has been a madhouse.
  2. I went on vacation.
  3. I moved.
  4. I moved.
  5. I moved.

The good news? I moved to New York City. Or maybe that’s a bad thing, considering how many food bloggers are already here and doing a damn better job than me.

Anyway, I hope to be getting this blog back into fighting shape by September, so please stay tuned!

Broccoli Fail

broc

I am preposterously bad at broccoli.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s fresh or frozen, I cannot for the life of me get this vegetable right. For instance, I bought a whole big bag of fresh cut florets from Costco and threw them in the freezer. I figured they’d keep for as long as it would probably take me to use them – several months.

I also thought they’d be easy to prepare. Boil up a little water, maybe add some salt, throw in the broccoli and let simmer for several minutes. Poof – instant side dish!

broc2Well, not so much.

Over the course of those several months, I’ve consistently prepared some of the most inedible greens this side of the Mason-Dixon.

It’s not that they look terrible (the pictures are of actual samples of the ghastly veggies). It’s just that they are completely tough, taste terrible and stink up the house for at least two days. I’m serious! My wife could not stop gagging the last time I tried this.

In short, I need some help with broccoli. Won’t you please take part in my poll or leave a comment? You will be saving an innocent vegetable from being mangled in new and horrifying ways, and you might just contribute to the domestic peace and tranquility of yours truly.

Thanks!


Kiss My Bundt! (A Carrot Cake Recipe)

carrot cake frosted

My mom used to serve this as a side dish rather than a dessert. That’s why I’ve always found it weird that actual carrot cakes have icing. Mom’s never did.

What she did do was make this cake in a bundt pan. And because I never had one, I didn’t even attempt making this thing. But when my mom replaced her bundt with something new, guess who got the hand-me-down?

That’s right, me. I fished out the recipe and went to work.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 1/2 grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups flourAdd
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting

The last cream cheese frosting recipe you’ll ever need (Slashfood)

  • 8 oz. cold cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp. softened butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectionery sugar, added gradually

Directions

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.

carrot cake beginning

Add all other ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate dough overnight.

carrot cake dough

The next day, pack the dough into the bundt pan (should come about halfway up). Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

carrot cake oven

A little bundt in the oven.

Let cool in pan several minutes, then overturn onto a rack to cool completely. Ice with frosting.

Before icing, the way Mom served it.

Before icing, the way Mom served it.

Enjoy!

Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti

finished agnolotti

So, one day I came home to find a rather large box at the door.

agnolottiI opened it up, expecting to see a major award, only to find a styrofoam-insulated, ice-packed package of Buitoni Wild Mushroom Agnolotti sent to me from the good folks at Foodbuzz.

Though I was bit perturbed at the waste of packaging (the Al Gore in me screamed out in pain), I was just as excited to give these fresh pasta pillows a try.

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Food on Film: What Chunk Ate

chunk

Is there any movie more purely enjoyable than The Goonies?

While I love the whole adventure, it’s characters like Mouth, Data, the Fratellis and Sloth that really make this film an undeniable classic.

But there’s one character I hold closest to my heart: CHUNK. The food-obsessed klutz has some of the best lines, by far the most memorable facial expressions and a charm that shines through even the most serious scenes.

Of course, Chunk’s most famous quality is his ability to eat in the face of danger. For a rundown of his edible conquests, keep reading…

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