Friday, December 7, 2012

I Made Mrouzia

I was inspired to make Mrouzia, a traditional Moroccan lamb dish characterized by sweet honey and almonds, by a tweet and photo from Saveur magazine. I love lamb and am always up for some tender, slow-cooked meat. I took elements from the Saveur recipe and also from the NY Times and three hours later, bam: sweet, spicy, tender lamb over tri-color couscous. Look at that presentation, people. Ugh. I kill myself.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Burnt Ends and Danger at the John Brown Smokehouse

A few weeks ago after a shoot in Long Island City, a few of my colleagues and I decided to check out the lauded John Brown Smokehouse just around the corner from that day's loft location. Reviewers rave about the burnt ends (the fatty and charred tip of a brisket) so I went with that. It comes with a side for $11. I chose mac and cheese, but also nibbled on others' collard greens and cornbread. Add a huge Weiheinstephan Hefe Weiss and I'm good to go. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Vege Favor: I Went There

I'mma break it down for you. If you're from the general Islip area, chances are you've seen Vege Favor on Main St. and been like, "WTF is Vege Favor and how do I treat it?" Then you heard it was vegetarian Chinese food but saw a meat filled menu and were like, "nuh-uh with that hippy tofu food." I must admit that when browsing the website out of fear months before opening, I developed a humorous outlook on the supposed chain restaurant. The site boasted great reviews after the to-be flagship store's June 2012 opening... when the store wasn't even open yet. That's funky. Also, what's with that spelling? What were they going for there? (I think they meant flavor, but you can draw your own conclusions.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'm Thankful for Pear and Almond Tart

...and a lot of other things! I recently had a really delicious plum and almond tart served with cold creme fraiche at the Charles Lamb, my favorite pub to eat at in the Islington area of London. Almond is kind of an obsession of mine right now, and if you ask me what I want to drink at the bar I'm likely to make you order me a Disaronno on the rocks. In all seriousness. So, I told Denise that I would be making a plum and almond tart for Thanksgiving. Of course, it's not plum season.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Toast Monster is on my Radar

It's Thanksgiving week, so it's finally OK to stuff our faces unapologetically until we go into food comas. To start all of that off, Emily and I decided to go to the Toast Monster cart on Tuesday for an appetizer before we sobbed at our desks into our boring brought-lunches. (Mine was boring, not sure about hers.) This cart is a fairly new addition to the corner of 50th and 6th, and what I saw on the menu Tuesday morning really piqued my interest: Mac and Cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meat at Mangalica & Társai Húspatika

Húspatika's slogan is "I Feel Food!" I like that cheeky attempt at an English play on words. On our first night in Budapest we told our hippy hostel dude that we wanted to eat Hungarian food. He directed us to Húspatika down the road from our place. It's a butcher shop and restaurant specializing in meat from the Hungarian curly-haired pig species. Hungarians love meat.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hungarian Classics at Szatyor Bár és Galéria

Ahh. Szatyor was like our little go-to spot in Budapest, if you can have a go-to within just three days. Charlie and I were directed to this bar on our first night for drinks after dinner at Mangalica, and we entered to packed tables and a lively atmosphere. A friendly, English-speaking manager told us we sat on a reserved couch, but swiftly grabbed us from the bar as soon as a table was open. We drank Soproni for 490 HUF for a large. That's like $2.25 each. A couple at the table next to us were fascinated that we were speaking english and struck up a convo with us -- in this area of Budapest, tourists are few and far between. We left drunk to walk home in the rain. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hummus Bar and Bors GasztroBar in Budapeshhhht

Let's talk about study abroad. Americans love it for good reason. There's nothing better than a 5 month vacation in a "historical" playground that has alcohol that mom and dad are funding or you don't have to pay for until a few years later when you realize that your student loans are real. Many of you who studied abroad might join me in fond memories of running around cities like Prague and Amsterdam and taking photos of everything and putting cool filters on them and looking AWESOME on Facebook. You might also remember Bohemian Bagel in Prague and Bagels and Beans in Amsterdam. These spots are heaven for study abroaders in cute Euro outfits with new piercings. Each have a few locations, trendy menus and welcoming atmospheres. I got the same vibe last weekend at Hummus Bar in Budapest.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricanes and When Mac Met Cheese

I'm stuck in London until Saturday but for once the only place I want to be is New York.  In the wake of Hurricane Sandy I have only been able to sit by and watch CNN from over 3,000 miles away. Instead of flying home today I can only imagine being with my family in my house on Long Island. At this point, after emerging from my cocoon, I'd definitely be in my pajamas making a box of mac and cheese.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Waffle House

My long-time dream came true the other day; I got to eat at Waffle House. We've all driven past that caps-lock, highlighter yellow sign a million times on weird family car trips that last hours, but have you ever stopped at one? And have you stopped at one in Maryland on a bleak, rainy Sunday? This is middle America at its finest. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shacktoberfest ain't no joke

Oh America. I love you so much because where else can I freely enjoy the finest of fusion food during the Oktoberfest holiday? (but not a large sugary drink with it, strangely enough) Shake Shack's Shacktoberfest menu is seriously wurst heavy and I found out first hand that it is not for the faint of heart. As you can see above, I did not hold back. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mission Chinese is hit or miss

So, seriously, what's up with Mission Chinese? Charlie and I hit it hard a few weeks ago and after hearing so much adulation and praise, I wanted to love it. BUT, my most lasting impression was really this:

Me: I kind of want to vomit that up and eat something else.
Charlie: Me too. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pok Pok Phat Thai

The latest in NY from Thai fare legend Andy Ricker is Pok Pok Phat Thai in the Lower East Side. Phat Thai took over the tiny former Pok Pok Wing spot, and besides the fact that spirits on Yelp are mourning the loss of wings, the first reviews of Phat Thai are mixed. Ricker has said that he hasn't put pad Thai on the menu at any of his other restaurants because he thinks that the dish deserves the same attention and care that it gets on the streets in Thailand. Thus, a whole space and staff are now dedicated to it. A few of us headed down there last week to try it out.

Charlie and I split the Phat Thai Ruam with ground pork and shrimp, the Kuaytiaw Khua Kai and a tamarind drinking vinegar. They don't sell water but there is a free-for-all cooler of pandanus water in the corner. 
When the food came I was surprised how huge the pad Thai was. Served on a banana leaf and garnished with scallions, peanuts and lime, this was a delicious rendition. One of the best I've had in New York. Emily couldn't stop raving about the fresh pieces of scrambled egg scattered throughout, and I thought the tamarind sauce was really nice and the tofu tender. Charlie thought there was too much fish sauce but I disagree. The noodles were perhaps just a bit overcooked and bordering on gummy in my opinion.
The Kuaytiaw Khua Kai, wide rice noodles stir-fried in pork fat with chicken, cuttlefish, egg and green onions served on lettuce was a bit more out there. The portion was much smaller but the noodles had a golden brown crisp and the cuttlefish was tender. We loved this dish, and the drinking vinegar as well.

Dishes here aren't super cheap but the food is certainly worth it. (The pad Thai was $12 but huge.) Don't get drunk before Pok Pok Phat Thai because the tiny store has no bathroom. If you hit it up, let me know what you think!

Pok Pok Phat Thai: 137 Rivington St. between Norfolk and Suffolk. (212) 477-1299 Pok Pok Phat Thai on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monkfish with Tomato Sauce

Monkfish is a milky, meaty delicacy that apparently goes for $15 a pound and is called poor man's lobster. I guess it rings true that I never look at prices when I food shop because when the fishmonger put these tails on the scale I was basically like, "Oh shit, I'm about to spend $20 on fish. I don't even know how to cook fish." But pride stepped in and there was no turning back.
Earlier in the morning Charlie and I had run rampant at the Saturday Farmers' Market. We got sweet peppers and plum tomatoes to make into a sauce. Monkfish with tomato sauce it is.
We added boiling water to a bowl of six plum tomatoes and 5 smaller tomatoes and let them sit for a few minutes to loosen up the skins. I peeled and cored each tomato and Charlie crushed them in the bowl with his hands.

We started the sauce by cooking half a chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic, half of a jalapeno and a chopped sweet red pepper on low heat for about 10 minutes until translucent. We then added the crushed tomatoes, basil, a bay leaf and a bit of red wine and let that all come together for about 20 to 30 minutes. 

To cook the fish, we salted the filets about an hour before cooking to draw some of the excess moisture out. This didn't work. We put the filets on a frying pan on the stove for about two minutes on each side, and lots of water began to release from the meat. We thought we ruined the fish and tensions were running high. We wiped away excess moisture and moved the filets to the oven on 425 degrees for about 6-8 minutes until they had a little color. 
Everything turned out OK! We all came out alive! I think we narrowly missed disaster but you couldn't tell while eating. The fish was meaty, tender and moist and went really well with the sweet sauce. I think a nice red sauce could go with any white fish and I'd probably pick a cheaper one next time so when I inevitably screw it up it won't feel like I lost my life savings (which $20 basically is right now.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer Rolls in Florida

Bet you haven't made your own summer rolls before. Between lounging in the pool and dodging alligators in the nearby lake, Emily, her friends and family and I found time to roll up some fresh ones. We packaged rice noodles, lettuce, mint, coriander, scallions, shrimp or chicken and hoisin sauce into translucent skins moistened in hot water on the stove.
We dipped these in peanut sauce and garlic fish sauce for a fresh starter. They were so easy to put together after a little practice and everyone got to roll their own. We joked that "make your own summer rolls" could be a birthday party theme.

If you find yourself in Orlando, eat at Pio Pio off I Drive. They have locations in New York too. If you're with a few people, get the Matador, a combination of moist rotisserie chicken, fried and sweet plantains, french fries with little hot dogs in them, rice, beans, and a starter salad with a creamy garlic dressing. Ask for avocado on the salad, you'll be glad you did.

Pio-Pio International: 5752 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819. (407) 248-6424

Monday, August 27, 2012

Smorgasburg is fun

I finally made it to Smorgasburg recently and of course found myself overwhelmed with choices of what to eat. Marissa and I first split a mexican sandwich from Cemita's with carnitas, lettuce, tomatoes, pickled onions, white cheese, avocado and various sauces. With red hot sauce on the side this was a huge (and messy) winner. 

We digested for a bit and then dove back into the crowds for pupusas from Solber. We got one with pork and one with beans, cheese and jalapenos, and a strawberry lemonade on the side. We both preferred pork pupusa over the other. It was more moist and flavorful. Toppings on the side included pickled onions, peppers, lettuce, sour cream and hot sauce. 

Smorgasburg opens every Saturday of the summer through November 17th, rain or shine, in the location of the Brooklyn Flea. Seating is available within the gates of the tent market, but benches and green grass with city views are always available just outside the fence. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Eat this in London

London does have good food! Pay no mind to those who deny this, just know where to look when you get there. As seen on the map below, my palette has no geographic bounds. If you find yourself in any of these areas, or hungry and bored (basically the story of my life,) these spots are worth-it.
A. Good for Food Cafe, Finsbury Park: Finsbury Park is a magical land. (I don't think you'll hear many people saying that.) Dotted with kebab and bagel shops, run down pubs and workers cafes, there are few stand out storefronts that are blazing the way towards gentrification. Good for Food is located towards the top of Blackstock Road and it's a gem of a cafe. They serve all kinds of sandwiches and frittatas and things but Charlie and I popped in for sweets and got cappuccinos, a slice of moist carrot cake and a dark chocolate and macadamia nut cookie. There is a small garden out back with seating, and the narrow room leading out back is currently displaying a riveting set of photos of the Roma people in Italy. 
B. Lucky Chip at the Sebright Arms, Hackney: If you want a burger come here. Lucky Chip previously slung its celeb-named, generously topped and super messy burgers at the Broadway Market but have now taken over the kitchen at hipster-pub extraodinaire, the Sebright Arms. I had the el Chapo burger with roasted jalapenos, aioli and blue cheese, and Charlie had the Kevin Bacon with bacon and cheddar. We weren't asked how we wanted the burgers cooked but I'd say they both came out around medium. They were really moist so it didn't much matter, even though I usually go a bit redder. There's no tube in Hackney so I really can't tell you how to get here besides be dedicated in your resolve for great burgers and figure it out. Take the overground to London Fields and walk.

C. Vegetarian Falafel at Lower Marsh Market, Waterloo: Charlie found this small market when he worked in the Waterloo area, and after drunkenly promising me the best falafel in London for the next day we headed here and split large one for £4. Fresh toppings included hummus, lettuce, tomato, eggplant, pickled veg and garlic sauce. The falafel were nice and light and the whole thing was really colorful.
D. Thai food at The Heron, Norfolk Crescent: We were looking for Esarn Thai food in London and came across The Heron, a pub with a small karaoke room in the basement serving authentic northeastern Thai food. The room is seriously bizarre. It's dark and decorated with soccer player cutouts, flower pictures and soccer balls hanging from the ceiling. We ordered a crispy catfish salad, crispy pork, and glass noodles with prawns along with a huge bottle of water because we knew it would be super spicy. Everything was great but I especially loved the catfish. It was crumbled up and fried to a crisp, and served with a fiery chili sauce. It was easy to ignore tiny little bits of bone that popped up intermittently. The pork was positively reminiscent of the same dish at Zabb Elee in NYC.

E. La Creperie de Hampstead: I'm confident that these are some of the best crepes in the world. I mean, the best crepe stand has to be somewhere, and I think this is it. There are many options for both sweet and savory crepes. I always go savory, but you could do what my sister did back in my study abroad days and get savory and then go back 10 minutes later for sweet. She's committed to crepes, and I endorse that. I like to get spinach, egg, cheese and cream, but ham and cheese with a runny egg used to be a favorite as well. This last time I got mushrooms in the mix too but I would skip them next time because they are a bit bland. Watch the (intimidating) chef as he or she expertly spreads the crepe mix in a circle on the grill, shaves the softened white cheese and adds huge pats of butter to create a prefect golden brown crust.  It's hard for me to go to Hampstead and not get one.
Good for Food Cafe: 16 Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DW. 020 7503 0034

Lucky Chip at the Sebright Arms: 31-35 Coate Street, London E2 9AG. 020 7729 0937

Vegetarian Falafel: Lower Marsh Market, Waterloo SE1

The Heron: Norfolk Crescent, London W2 2DU. 020 7724 8463

La Creperie de Hampstead: 77 Hampstead High Street,  London NW3 1RE. 020 7445 6767

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Burger and Lobster

It seems that Mayfair's Burger & Lobster has quickly become a mainstay in the London food scene. Arrive just before 12 noon and you will find a line of foodies, devotees and educated first-timers waiting to be awarded the first seating at noon. Somewhere towards the middle of the line is the best place to be, because you will be sure to miss out on the already cooked crustaceans that come out right away to the early birds, and your lobster will be cooked to order and steaming hot upon its arrival on a silver tray in front of you.

The choices at Burger & Lobster are simple: lobster, burger, or a lobster roll. Each comes with fries and a side salad for £20. Now, my math isn't the greatest, but it didn't take me long to realize that while 20 quid is quite fair for a whole lobster, it's a lot for a burger or a lobster roll. The going price for a lobster roll in NYC is a tall $17, but out on Long Island you can get a damn good one for around $13. HOWEVER, I was informed by my company that lobster isn't as readily available in England as in the good ole' US of A, and thus, the concept at Burger and Lobster is a winner. (I still don't get the burger part.)
Charlie and I split a lobster and a lobster roll. You can choose to have it grilled, but my decent-sized steamed lobster came out as perfection. It was skillfully sliced right down the middle before presentation and cracked on each claw, rendering nutcracker handiwork unnecessary. The fries were nice and salad fine but forgettable. 
The lobster roll was presented in a golden grilled and buttered roll and topped with chopped chives. Chunks of meat were lightly and loosely coated by a mayo-y mixture, so the sweetness of the meat was not masked. I was glad to see large chunks of meat, but I do wonder if there was a whole lobster in there. 

Being presented with a sandwich was less exciting that a whole lobster, so I think I would skip the sandwich next time. There's something to be said for appearances, and the lobster looked bigger...? I don't know. Just seemed to have better value than the sandwich. No one at my table got the burger, but I scoped it out and it's big. I hear you can get cheese or bacon or both on it for free, so, if you're beef biased, go for it.

Like everyone else who has been there, I would go to Burger and Lobster again! They won me over, dammit. The interior in Mayfair is pubby and laid back, offering booths, crowded tables and barstools. The service is attentive, although I'm glad we weren't the very first few in because as soon as they sat down and ordered, the food arrived, and I'd say some people were out in a half hour. Too quick! They don't take reservations and the place is wildly popular so be ready to wait for a spot. They have just opened another location in SoHo, and I'm sure it's doing the same volume of business as the flagship store. 

Burger & Lobster: 29 Clarges St., Mayfair, London W1J 7EF. 020 7409 1699 Burger & Lobster on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tramshed does a few things right...

...including huge, perfectly cooked (almost uncooked) steaks, moist, flavorful chickens and greasy, rosemary tinted fries. 

If you want variety, don't look here. Mark Hix's Shoreditch, London outpost, Tramshed, limits the options to a few communal starters and chicken or steak, both served with chips for mains. I went on a Saturday night with Charlie's family and the six of us ordered starters for four, one whole chicken, a one kilogram steak, chips, onion rings and a small salad of minted peas and green beans. 

The starters that came were delicious. We shared silky, whipped chicken liver pate with yorkshire pudding, a fresh tomato and aubergine salad and smoked salmon with fennel and samphire, all for £7.50 each. The chicken arrived topped with stuffing and with feet still intact on a bed of chips, and the steak came with another two bowls of chips. Chicken gravy and bearnaise sauce were served as well. We just kept eating until it was all almost gone. This is definitely a place to share. 

The hipster-ific service was attentive (we are in Shoreditch, after all) and the atmosphere was loud and fun. Art, provided by Damien Hirst, included a shrine-like real cow and chicken in his familiar formaldehyde tank style, and a huge painting of ridiculous cartoon characters, Cow and Chicken. How appropriate.
Go here with a big group, sit in a big booth, and let Tramshed do its thing.

Tramshed: 32 Rivington St., London EC2A 3LX. 020 7749 0478
HIX at The Tramshed on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mandalay Burmese Could be Better

Since the Olympics have started there has been a huge focus on the best places to eat in London. Time Out London recently did a best dishes feature and listed Mandalay, a Burmese restaurant on Edgware Road, as having one of the best one-bowl dishes the city has to offer. Time Out also boasted that Mandalay is the only Burmese in London. I was intrigued by the idea of a mix between Indian and Thai food, and just finished reading a book about Burma, so I dragged Chuck to try it out one night. We called ahead just in case and arrived to a small restaurant crowded with plastic tablecloth laden tables. Looking good.
It took a little while for the waitress to come and take our order, but I think that may be because they were still preparing for the night when we arrived at 6:30. Time Out recommended the khow suey, which is a coconut curry dish with noodles. I ordered it with prawns. We started with bean sprout and prawn fritters, and Charlie ordered country style lamb for his main with a side of coconut rice.

They made the bean sprout fritter into two pieces for us to share, and it was served with a few sauces including something sweet, soy, and a hot sauce I recognized from a Heinz bottle in Thailand. The shrimp in the fritter were small but the combo was not too bready overall. Just not anything super exciting.
Our mains came and the first thing I thought was that the lamb portion was really small. The noodle dish was bigger, but I was not impressed overall. The soup had an overpowering spicy coconut flavor which was tasty, but I was really expecting to be blown away with depth and a larger variety of ingredients after Time Out's review. The noodles themselves were undescript egg noodles of the supermarket variety, and they were quite gummy, maybe overcooked. There were maybe four good sized shrimp, and the dish was topped with crackly dried rice noodles. Charlie's lamb was nice but, again, just very coconutty. We both enjoyed the rice.
We weren't totally displeased, but neither of us could really see a reason why Time Out has raved about this placed time after time. It wasn't even that cheap. Maybe we are just too used to the depth of flavor in Thai food, or maybe we just didn't try the right dishes. I just wish it was better.

Time Out's piece also includes Tayyab's for grilled meat, Burger and Lobster for seafood, Koya for one-bowl and Banh Mi11 for street food, all of which I can attest are delicious.

Mandalay: 444 Edgware Road, London W2 1EG. 020 7258 3696

Monday, August 6, 2012

London 2012 Olympics: What you're all wondering about

Team GB (most annoying nickname ever) has recently pulled it together and crept up on the Olympics medal count boards. That's great, but you know what I always say: athletes shmathletes. Forget about displaced families and corporate entrapment. The real question is: does the London 2012 Olympic food get the gold? I went to London to find out.
I know you like that gray sky. Before I watched Brazil crush Mauritius in women's Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards Parade in central London, I went for a sandwich from the roast stand. Choices were pork with apple sauce, chicken with pineapple salsa or roast beef with horseradish. I was worried beef might be dry so I went with pork, which was kind of dry itself. The roll was really bready, but the gooey apple chutney substance helped moisten up the whole affair. The most redeeming quality of the sandwich was a bed of rocket nestled below the shredded pork. This was the first day of the games, so it could have been much worse.
A few days later, during a break between games of the women's Basketball around 10 pm, I was ready to hit the bangers (sausages) stand within the basketball stadium in the Olympic Park in Stratford. The stand was out of food by then, however, as were all of the other food stands except for the Caribbean one with jerk chicken. No thanks. Bummer. Great planning people. (If you type in dancing sausages on google images, the below is what you get. It's a potentially dangerous search, but fruitful. I added the strikeout.)
At my third and final event, Athletics, I left my seat around 8:30 for a pastie, which is basically like an English empanada. We were met with a huge line but in about 15 minutes we got to the front, only to realize that they were bringing like 5 pasties out of the kitchen at a time. SLOWWWWW. We wanted steak and onion and cornish ones, but all that was available was lamb and mint. Minging. It was actually OK though. It didn't taste much of lamb or mint, but the ground meat and potato combo was filling enough. The whole thing was really freakin' hot, and the dough was quite moist and tasty.
I'm willing to award the Olympics food a silver medal. Pros were a diverse selection ranging from fish and chips to curries. Cons were long lines, high prices, food shortages and poor management. When it comes to stadium food, I'm quite easy to please. Anyone wanna pay me to go to Russia or Rio in the next few years to compare?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Finca Milagrosa and Casados in Boquete, Panama

I should start this post by saying that I just quit coffee. I think today is my sixth day coffee free. (But not totally caffeine free. Green tea has been my stand in.) Boquete is a mountain town in the interior of Panama known around the world for its crisp clean air, expat retiree population and coffee.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Being German at Zum Schneider

In America it's like second nature to call yourself Italian or Irish or whatever more interesting country your ancestors have come from. I didn't realize that outsiders think this is stupid until I left America for more than a week and basically found out that when you say these things to a real-life European you sound like an American. Technically we're all just American, unless of course you yourself crossed over the border permanently from your homeland at some time in your life.
Like an American, I enjoy calling myself German and I love Germany. Thus, I have learned that as a good German offspring, I must forever be on the quest to find good German food. Namely, freaky sausages and meats and super starches doused in dark gravy and washed down with BEER.
Enter Zum Schneider. Yeah, the NY Times just wrote about the new Montauk outpost recently. Yeah, I worship the NY Times, but Montauk is far away. Alphabet City is far away too, but not too far. Ed, Denise, Emeline and I made it happen last Thursday, because German food has to be a family affair. Except of course when I went to Germany without them. Oops. 
I went on the treadmill once this week, and I feel good about that. I have convinced my immediate genetic relatives that in order to provide an unbiased account of the quality of food and service at a restaurant, it is imperative to order as much as possible off the menu. We started with Reiberdatschi, potato pancakes, and Brotzeitteller, a plate of cold cuts and cheeses. When these arrived is basically when we realized that we had reached Mecca and the feeding frenzy began. The pancakes were nice but the meat plate was exceptional. Fresh brie, stilton, liverwurst, radishes, tomatoes, crunchy pickles, butter, crusty bread and more. I would go back just for this and some beer like, tomorrow.
Denise got a beautiful smoked pork special, Ed went with the Schweinswürst'l plate of Nürnberg sausages, and Emeline had the sausage platter featured above. Each finely crafted dish had sauerkraut, mustard mashed or oven baked potatoes, and fresh garnishes. Emeline's weisswurst was soft and snappy. I love weisswurst. I went with the below, Schweinebraten: roasted pork in dark beer gravy with a big freakin' potato dumpling. The meat was so tender. No knife-age was necessary, and the potato ball was starchy and light. Perfect.
My dish came with the below Bavarian salad which involved beets, red cabbage, cole slaw, creamy garlicky cucumber, mustard mash and fresh greens. We also all shared an order of the Käsespätzle with cheese, caramelized onions and bacon, because you just can't skip spätzle. The spätzle dish looked just like a plate I devoured in Berlin two years ago in the best little restaurant ever with Marissa. (omg remember that?)
We somehow ended with apple fritters in beer batter with ice cream. These were made a minute before they arrived on our table. (If I'm wrong, good job deceiving me.) Our overall experience at Schneider's was a great one. The German/something else waitress was friendly, even when she asked us to switch tables so a bigger party could have ours. The beer was cheap to reasonably priced, and it came in huge quantities. I had a big Hofbräuhaus for $5 and a Schneider Weisse for $8. The owner has an oompah band, and the restaurant has a soccer team. It was crowded, with good vibes all around. I'm confident you'll find me here for Oktoberfest.
Moral of the story here is: If your ancestors escaped squalor decades or days ago and ended up in the land of the free, celebrate it and share your meatballs and matzo balls with me. Oh, and, bring me back to Zum Schneider. The end.

Zum Schneider: 107 Ave C at E. 7th St. (212) 598-1098 Zum Schneider on Urbanspoon
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