Thanh Da in Sunset Park is one of my favorite Vietnamese spots in the city. I used to only go for the (delicious) banh mi, neglecting everything else on the menu. Then one day I saw that they offered bun rieu, a Vietnamese crab and tomato noodle soup that I hadn’t seen anywhere else in New York.
And what a shame too. This dish is immensely flavorful, with bright tomato-y broth, bits of crab paste, tender pork, fried tofu puffs, and a hearty amount of rice noodles, all topped with fresh mint and bean sprouts. To compare: the last time I had a bowl of bun rieu was in Hanoi at a street stall. Thanh Da’s version is almost as good, without requiring a plane ride to Vietnam. Read the full article →
Hello again! Wow, it’s been quite a month. Since we last spoke, things have gotten crazy here at Brooklyn Galley HQ (which, as some of you may know, is also Appetite for China HQ). So I just wanted to update you on what has been going on!
First things first. My 2-year-old project The Chinese Takeout Cookbook was finally released on December 11th. The day was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I had a small launch party at 61 Local, one of my favorite Brooklyn bars, and had a great turnout from friends, food bloggers, and others in the NY food community. (Read more about the launch party here!) Read the full article →
Recently I’ve found myself craving tacos almost every day. It has been a while since I was last in CA, where, unlike here, good Mexican food is ubiquitous and cheap. In this town, you used to have to go to Jackson Heights after 10pm to find maybe one tacos truck that serve anything close to what the West Coast offers. Recently, though, it has become easier to find tasty tacos in many neighborhoods. This summer I became determined to seek out great tacos in my own city, starting out in Sunset Park and working my way through other parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.
On those previous trips I failed to capture any of the taco-eating moments on camera. But last weekend I tried out Gran Eléctrica in DUMBO for the first time and was able to snap a few photos. It’s a relatively new spot, open since the spring, that my friends Max and Barb recommended, exclaining they finally found Ensenada-style fish tacos on par with good taquerias in Southern CA. (Seeing that these two lived in San Diego and LA for 5 years, it felt wise to trust their judgement.) Read the full article →
As much as I like freelancing from home, I do miss one thing about office life: being around other people. During busy periods, you can spend days without speaking to a single other person. And as a result, you go a little loco. So I’ve started getting together with my friend Barb, who also works from home, to explore lunch spots in our neighborhood. It’s a nice break from our solitary work environments. It also helps us cross off places in our massive, oh-so-geeky Google spreadsheet of restaurants to try. Two birds, one stone!
Here are two great places we’ve recently hit. Read the full article →
Gotham Bar & Grill is one of those classic New York restaurants where it feels great just to walk into, with its soaring ceilings and polished decor. I had gone there once for dinner last spring and left stuffed and very satisfied (and dreaming of their signature chocolate cake for a week!) So it was great to head back there yesterday for the launch of “Greenmarket to Gotham 2012″, a seasonal lunch that runs for twelve weeks and supports both Greenmarket farms and the Grow to Learn NYC initiative. Read the full article →
Ever since reading about Pok Pok in Portland several years ago, I had wanted to try their take on Thai street food. The Brooklyn location opened last night and I went with two other food-obsessed friends. Pok Pok NY is on Columbia St., in that vague area that some might call Red Hook and others call Cobble Hill. As we expected, people in the surrounding area showed up in full force, and the wait was over an hour, but wow, was the trip worth it!
Here are a few snapshots from opening night: Read the full article →
My friends Barb and Max, who moved to New York a few years ago from Los Angeles, often lament that back in L.A. it was hard to find places to dine outside. For a city with almost perfect weather year round, it has surprisingly few restaurants or bars with outdoor seating. So they were happy to find, upon moving here, that New Yorkers are pretty hardcore when it comes to dining al fresco, even in the midst of garbage cans, bus fumes, sirens, and the occasional crazy person.
Fortunately, Park Slope offers much less of a sensory overload than almost anywhere in Manhattan. I walk by Thistle Hill Tavern at least a few times a week and noticed that since Saturday the outdoor tables have been filled, even when it was in the low 50s. So yesterday, on the last day of winter, which felt like the first day of summer, we took the opportunity to have dinner outside. (In March!) And what better food to have while celebrating the start of outdoor eating season than a nice juicy grassfed burger? The big fat salt and pepper fries don’t hurt either, or the happy hour price of $15 for a beer and a burger.
P.S. Thistle Hill also has a beautiful newly renovated bar that seats about 3 times more people than before. After closing down for maybe 3 days to renovate. Everything in New York should get built this quickly.