Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Desi Food Truck

Today I had a Chicken Anda Kati Roll from the Desi Food Truck at 50th and 6th.  As the sun has been out more and more the lines for food trucks at lunch time have multiplied-- today's longest line goes to Big D's Grub Truck.  The menu at Big D's looks pretty delish but I'll have to make it down early one day to beat the crowd.  The Desi food truck had a bit of a queue of its own, but it moved pretty quickly.  

A kati is a flat, buttery, doughy bread with any number of fillings.  Mine had chicken, a bit of spinach, onions and a flat fried egg.  I was surprised that there wasn't more spinach and I couldn't make out any of the alleged coriander mint sauce but for a mere $5.50 it was very tasty and filling.  Hot chili sauce was optional and I'm glad I opted out because the curried chicken was spicy enough on its own.  I really liked the addition of the egg; it fought the heat and won at times.

I would definitely go back to the Desi truck because it's outside my office every day, it's cheap, and it's tasty.  I would like to try the daal platter and maybe one of the veggie kati rolls.

My trip is coming so soon I'm starting to get really excited and rrrrrrreally hungry for some Thai food!

Desi Food Truck: Check site for daily locations, (212) 961-6193

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chicken Saltimbocca

Yeah I made chicken saltimbocca, and it was easy.  I had prosciutto and fresh mozz from when we recently made the pizza, and I added my fresh spinach for a little green-ness.  I found this recipe on Williams-Sonoma and it was really straight forward.  I didn't have enough white wine and was too lazy to go buy more so I worked with about 1/4 of a cup instead of 3/4.  It really didn't create enough sauce so I would definitely improve upon that next time. Besides that, the recipe was super easy and only took about 20 mins.  Not bad for a first attempt.  
(All of the greens are fresh from my garden!  It feels great to make my own food.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bian Dang

I finally got the chance to try the Bian Dang Taiwanese food truck that is outside of my office on Mondays.  I have been thinking about it for a while but for some reason Mondays have never worked for me until now.  I ordered their Taiwanese style fried chicken over rice with pork sauce and a zong-zi, which is sort of like a Chinese tamale: glutinous rice stuffed with peanuts, dried shrimp, pork, chinese sausage, green beans, radish, mushrooms and szechuan veggies, wrapped in bamboo leaves.  
I really enjoyed the fried chicken although it was a bit messy for a desk lunch.  The chicken skin was crispy and delicious, but the best part of the dish was the pork sauce and pickled veggies over the rice.  The brown pork sauce was salty deliciousness and I saw on the menu that to order extra only costs $1.  I wasn't a huge fan of the zong-zi and I wouldn't order it from Bian Dang again.  I expected it to have so much more flavor since it has so many fillers, but really it was just super sticky, bland rice with a few unidentifiable pieces of stuffing.

I have seen that many people on yelp have said that they do not think the chicken or pork dishes are worth $8 at Bian Dang, but I think that for a midtown lunch the price really isn't too bad.  I would definitely try the pork chop over rice next time.  Bian Dang has a location in Food Gallery 32 in Koreatown as well which I have been wanting to get to all semester.  Maybe this summer.

Sorry for the cell-phone pictures,  I have to start bringing my camera to work just in case a good meal arises!

Bian Dang: See site for daily truck locations, or visit Food Gallery 32 at 11 W. 32nd St.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


On Thursday night Marissa, Amelia and I went to ALTA, a restaurant serving Mediterranean inspired small dishes down on 10th St. between 5th and 6th.  We were looking forward to dinner for like a week in advance after drooling over the menu, and I wasn't surprised to see the restaurant packed when we arrived at 7pm.  We decided to each choose two dishes and to share everything.  We settled on: Fried Goat Cheese with lavender infused honey, House-made Pizza with roasted bacon, thinly sliced onions, mascarpone, fromage blanc and chives, Crispy Brussels Sprouts with granny smith apples, creme fraiche and pistachios, Grilled Shrimp and Chorizo Skewer with avocado mousse, garlic and sherry vinaigrette, Angus Beef Sliders in Turkish pastry with mahon cheese and spiced ketchup, and Pulled Pork Empanadas with a sweet and spicy cilantro dipping sauce.
Fried Goat Cheese and Angus Beef Sliders

My favorites of the dishes were the brussels sprouts and the shrimp and chorizo skewer.  The sprouts were perfectly cooked to a point of salty caramelization, and it was nice to get a bit of each element of the dish in one mouthful.  The shrimp and chorizo was delicious as well; the shrimp was cooked perfectly and the avocado mousse was so light and tasty.
Brussles Sprouts
Shrimp and Chorizo

Some of the other dishes, however, were underwhelming.  I thought that the pizza was a bit lame and sparse on toppings.  The pork empanadas and beef sliders were both satisfying, but with the sliders I found that I didn't know where all of the ingredients were in the dish.  I could not make out any cheese or pickle relish on the sliders and although they were cooked to a nice rareness I thought they could have used something else.  We ordered two more dishes towards the end: Bacon Wrapped Dates and Olives stuffed with almonds, and the Crostini of House Cured Duck Breast, ricotta, sundried tomato, orange and truffle honey.  I enjoyed the duck crostini but we all pretty much hated the dates and olives.  

I don't often go out for small dishes but all in all it was really nice to be able to try a bunch of different things off of the menu.  Some of the dishes were hit or miss but others were delicious.  If I were to go back again I would definitely try the lamb meatballs or the spaghetti pepperoncini, which were both recommended by the waitress.  We each paid about 30 dollars which I thought was quite reasonable.  The place was loud and really social but drinks were a bit pricey and we were happy we went for a few before going to the restaurant.

ALTA: 64 W. 10th St. between 5th and 6th Aves. (212) 505-7777


The first of my radishes are ready to eat!  Hopefully I can get a few more good ones out of this little project.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Midtown Lunch Heaven

I don't know how I didn't know about Cafe Duke on 51st between 6th and 7th until yesterday.  Midtown is lunch hell when it comes to prices, lines, and quality of food for cheap and I usually find myself eating at Bocca on 50th or in the Time Inc. Cafeteria. yummm (yeah right. although the Pad Thai there last week wasn't too bad.. but we'll talk about Pad THAI later..) So anyway I was going to head down to Bocca for sushi when my boss suggested I try Duke.  When I stepped in the doors my life changed forever.  It is Asian lunch food paradise.  I might as well be Asian for the amount of sushi, ramen, and Korilla truck I have eaten this semester anyway.  Duke's has everything from hot food tables which I did not really explore to a great sushi selection, ramen and udon made to order, sandwiches, pizzas, and even Korean food made to order.  Needless to say as I walked in the door I wanted to cry out of disbelief, happiness, and the overwhelming nature of the crowed food mecca, but I held my emotions in as best as possible to keep lookin' cool.  I circled around until I decided on a spicy shrimp roll (right in photo) and a thing of shumai (left).  The roll was typical but tasty, and the shumai (Japanese shrimp dumplings) were the best I have ever had.  They each had a little shrimp on top and were huge and delicious.  You won't pass your tiny shumai off on me anymore, Bocca. 

Yeah Duke's is kind of expensive, but if ya livin' in the corporate world (which I am pretending to although I only intern 3 days a week,) spring for it.  It's freakin delicious.  I'm trying the udon next.

Anyway, speaking of Thai food, I'm going to Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia in about two weeks.  Not only am I basically dying of excitement and nervousness and lack of funds, I am also unbelievably excited for the food, duh.  Look forward to photos of food, and just call me Anthony Bourdain.  

Oh and thanks to everyone for all of the blog compliments over the past few weeks!

Cafe Duke: 140 W. 51st St. between 6th and 7th (212) 455-0010

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Zagat's Food Truck Frenzy

This looks like it will be a great opportunity to try some of the cities best food trucks!  I've wanted to try Bian Dang for so long now and Korilla is obviously one of my favorites-- They'll both be there, along with many others.  The event is only $20 at the most if you buy your tickets there.. I just might have to attend.

Check the event out here:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Garden

My vegetables are ready for harvest.  I have decided that the lettuce and arugula is big enough to start eating, and it's so nice to have my own fresh lettuce on my roof that I can pick whenever I need it.  The spinach however has come in quite sparsely, and I hoping that it will fill in a bit more before I start eating it.  If I dont get a big harvest of spinach, I'm going to try to use it all in one enjoyable recipe that will last for a little while; I'm thinking some kind of homemade spinach hummus.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Eat This:

Pumpernickel, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing grilled cheese.
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