Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mexican Meat Pizza

In "Lil Mexico", Sunset Park, Chris and I went to get some pizza (well, not Chris, he is vegan and was happy with a Squirt, his favorite Mexican soft-drink jumpoff). I asked the dude what was inside that mysterious double-crusted pizza he he said "Todos tipos de carne."
I didn't realize that he meant "TODOS tipos de carne", like, in el mundo. The thing had pepperoni, ham, ground beek, breaded chopped chicken and sausage. Look at that photo, it looks like the cover of a gory Mexican tabloid about narco-violence. I ate about a third of it. There's just something obscene about eating that much low-quality meat in so few bites.

The Brooklyn Laundry

My second gig catering was with The Brooklyn Laundry, which is an awesome crew led by Fiore Tedesco (left). My friend Lee was working side by side with Fiore in the kitchen and I was out on the floor tending to the guests of a 50th Birthday party for a publishing executive. The party was held in a penthouse loft in the same Chelsea building that houses Tesla Motors, makers of incredible electric sports cars. The 5 course menu was Moroccan-themed and culminated in a lamb-shank roasted in a paper bag which you can see them plating below.

Brooklyn Laundry largely operates as a traveling supper-club that serves seasonal, thematic and local menus in various locations throughout NYC. In this capacity the company doesn't turn a big profit, so Fiore bankrolls his labor of love with special catering gigs like this one.

The punch was Bulleit Bourbon, Tangerine Nectar, Fee Brothers Peach Bitters and San Pellegrino.
And the afterparty looked like...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sadat X- True Wine Connoisseur!

Sadat X from Brand Nubian has found a new calling as a wine tasting expert on youtube! He's like the Gary Veynerchuck for the streets! His price-point range is between 10 and 11 dollars, he drinks the wine straight out of the bottle and rates the wine using the "fucked-up factor", e.g. how fucked-up it will get you. Do yourself a favor and click though the related videos to watch all the episodes this shit is hilarious. "Smoove!"

And if you don't know who Sadat is, here's a Brand Nubian throwback from 93, "Punks Jump up to get Beat Down" to jar your memory.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


A messy, fucked-up mix from messy fucked-up kids. Salem on record are all backwoods Michigan nihilistic druggy gay chopped'n'screwed black metal vibes and Chicago juke gone evil yet mopey. On this mix they play some of their own songs and other things that make you feel like you are tripping on Robitussin DM. You can read more about Salem's singer John Holland turning tricks at truck stops, smoking crack, and appreciating Mariah Carey in this interview from BUTT magazine.

Download We Make it Good Vol. 11: Salem (Click Here)

1. Psycho Drama – Alkuholiks
2. Salem – Pig Fucker
3. Skeeter Davis – The End of the World (Drag Remix)
4. oOoOoo – Seaw
5. AIDS 3D – Party Animal Dirge
6. Salem feat. Gucci Mane – Round One (SalemRemix)
7. Salem – Hoodrych
8. The Beach Boys – Whispering Winds (Drag Remix)
9. Sinistas – SZXZ
10. oOoOoo – Mumbia
11. Salem – Water
12. Twista – Hey Lover Boy
13. Tha Pope – Track 41
14. Light Asylum – Shallow Tears (Drag Remix)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sopa de Camarones

When you are sick in Sunset park with some kind of swine-like virus, dragging yourself out to get some Mexican soup and loading it up with lime and salsa Valentina is the best decision you can make. That is, until the jukebox fires up with some ear-splitting Banda music which makes your head pound X10 worse.

Catering Part 1

Oh Hai, here is the view from where I worked my first catering gig. It was a holiday party for a cheerful bunch of folks called "Fiduciary Trust International". One overheard conversation:

Conservative financier #1: This "Mister" Obama is going to be a one-term-President!
Conservative financier #2: Oh, absolutely.
Conservative financier #3: And God forbid something happen to him during that term!
(knowing chuckles all around)

This was real old money. One gentleman there, I was delighted to see, was wearing a pinstripe suit, spectacles, and a name tag identifying himself as "Lark". "Er, it's a faamily name. Laarrk was Mummy's uncle.", I imagined him to explicate through Patrician clenched jaw.

Oh, and question: How Mi Look?

... answer:


Saltie is an aesthetically-minded sandwich shop on Metropolitan which which was started by a former chef from Diner. Their aesthetic bent is all-encompassing: the name is British slang for sailor. The shop is all navy blue and white. The sandwiches all have nautical monikers like the "Ship's Biscuit" and the "Captain's Daughter" (it's the fishy-smelling one). Add this to the seemingly all-lesbian staff presided over by a British lady bo'sun who looks and talks like a slightly less-pretty Shane McGowan and it's like traveling to some alternate reality where old-time seafaring Cockneys were largely concerned with sandwich preparation and scoring Teagan and Sara tickets.
I did go for the Captain's Daughter (is anyone surprised?), which was "high quality tinned sardines" with capers and flat-leaf parsley. It was sort of like an ultra-savory high grade Tuna sandwich served on a chewy homemade focaccia biscuit.

Jewish Christmas came early

Later in the day after Egg and Bloody Mary's at Enid's, we decided to to have Jewish Christmas dinner- Old-School Cantonese Chinese enjoyed in a slightly depressing, seasonally decorated environment.
Chinese Musician is an awesomely unique name for a Chinese restaurant. Their food was maybe not as indelible as the name, but it did stand out for being decidedly more classic than most of the crappy Chinese in the Greenpoint. Little touches like carved vegetables and the shu-mai wrappers that come with the Peking Duck make you remember why this kind of food used to be such a favorite before things like Sushi and Thai food came to kick it's ass.

The only thing unenjoyable about this meal was when one of the British guys in the booth next to us tried to show off his worldliness by yelling "NEE-HOW!" to get the waitress' attention. Then they proceeded to complain about one of their dishes, which apparently didn't live up to the standards that they have grown accustomed to in London. These type of cunts are crawling all over New York right now, throwing around their exchange rate weight, wearing twee spectacles and Plimsoles and charming ladies with their Geico lizard-like cadences. It makes me want to watch some Rednecks stomp them while I listen to "Party in the U.S.A."

3 more seconds to choose your knife.

Alicia Silverstone R.I.P.

Goodnight, sweet princess.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


When we got to Egg on south 6th in Williamsburg there were so many other parties waiting ahead of us, writing their names down on the guest list posted out front that we were nearly discouraged and sent off to one of the many lesser brunch options in the neighborhood. Luckily many of the parties ahead of us felt similarly and ended splitting before their name was called. The hostess crossed out like five names from the list and we were soon seated. All those quitters may have had a passable meal, but these is no way they found a place that is nearly as goddamn serious about breakfast as Egg.
The menu was deceptively simple. There were not as many adjectives and compound-words as I had thought there might be. This was not molecular gastronomy, it was really good breakfast. The quality was apparent right away from the excellent coffee they serve to you in your own personal French Press. As the caffeine takes hold and you wait for your food to arrive you can draw on the table with crayons. Chris waited patiently to enjoi his food. "Damn, Homie."

I went for the eggs Rothko, which was basically Toad-in-the-Hole, an egg and cheese cooked into the hollow middle of a slice of bread. We nerdily conjectured that this version must have gotten it's name not from being a favorite dish of the abstract painter, but for actually kind of looking like one of his works:

Actually, we are not nerds for figuring this out, they are nerds for thinking of it. The best kind of nerds!
There were confit tomatoes and everything, even the breakfast sausage was either local, sustainable, handmade, artisianal, theraputic, homestyle or some combination thereof. Xina went for cheese grits and there biscuits and blackberry preserves, mimosas and happy-pig pork products being passed around.

Cafe Luluc

My reoccurring NYC dining partner Lilah and I traveled to what seems to be an hotbed of pseudo-Parisian bistros in Brooklyn: Smith street in Cobble Hill/Carol Gardens. We were drinking wine at Bar Tabac but left there for fear that the place was too theme-restaurant to have authentic French food and stumbled into what might be the most inauthentic bistro of all: Cafe Luluc.
This place is what happens when one group of the multitudes of Mexicans that are well versed and seasoned in French culinary technique make the logical step off breaking off from whatever French-owned institution they cut their teeth in to start their own brand of bistrot.
I could tell this was the case right away, but then got excited at the idea of sampling this new, post-modern branch of cookery. The fact that the entrees were all close to five dollars cheaper than any of the other more authentic joints in the area sealed the deal.
As I had guessed everything was just a bit off: the bread seemed to have been sliced from a half-stale Italian loaf from the bodega, the wine was a bit sweet, and my steak was more like carne asada with a sweet caramelized shallot sauce and handful of fries that I thought might have been imported from a McDonalds. The meat wasn't bad at all, but also not nearly rare enough. Lilah's handmade raviolis with a sage brown butter sauce were delightful, though- they displayed that certain Gallic magic of making something swimming in fat seem light. Vivre la Mexique, guey!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sting 2009

I just finalized my plan to go down to Jamaica next month for my friend's wedding, though I'll be too late for this shit:
Bounty Killer versus Vybez Kartel! If you don't know the deal, Vybez was basically Bounty Killer's protege, but has since stepped out of his shadow to become the biggest artist in Jamaica. The only other contender to that title is Mavado, who Vybez battled and defeated at Sting 2009. Now he has turned his sights on his former mentor in a dramatic development straight out of a kung-fu movie. This is the young, fiercely talented upstart challenging the leader of the old guard in the most theatrical of settings. Bounty is still highly respected but may be past his prime in term of lyrics and relevance. Whatever may happen at this Soundclash, I can still remember when Bounty was the undisputed king. Remember this one?

Look into my eyes, tell me what you see?
Can you feel my pain? am I your enemy?
Give us a better way, things are really bad,
The only friend I know is this gun I have.
Listen to my voice, this is not a threat
Now you see the nine are you worried yet?
You've been talking 'bout' you want the war to cease
But when you show us hope, we will show you peace.

Look into my mind, can you see the wealth?
Can you tell that I want to help myself?
But if it happen that I stick you for your ring
Don't be mad at me it's a survival ting.
Look into my heart, I can feel your fear
Take another look can you hold my stare?
Why are you afraid of my hungry face?
Or is it this thing bulging in my waist?

Look into my life, can you see my kids?
Let me ask you this,do you know what hungry is?
Well in this part of town, survival is my will
For you to stay alive you've got to rob and kill.
Look into my house would you live in there?
Look me in the eyes and tell me that you care,
Well I've made up my mind to end up in the morgue
Right now I'd rather die, cause man a live like dog.

Look down on my shoes, can you see my toes?
The struggle that we live nobody really knows
Stop and ask yourself, would you live like that?
and if you had to then, wouldn't you bus gun shot?
Look into the schools, tell me how you feel?
You want the kids to learn without a proper meal
Den what you have in place to keep them out of wrong?
If they drop out of school dem a go bus dem gun

The South Philly Roasted Pork Sandwhich

The South-Philly style roasted pork sandwich is one of those regional sandwich specialties that requires a very precise application of specific elements. These are: Roasted Pork loin which has been rubbed with Italian herbs and salt and pepper, an Amoroso Italian roll, shaved extra-sharp provolone, steamed or sauteed brocolli rabe, sweet-hot marinated Italian cherry peppers, and a extra side of the fatty juice from the bottom of the roasting pan. The bitterness of the Brocolli rabe and bracing intensity of real Italian sharp provolone make this a surprisingly challenging crowd pleaser, but it is the binding element of hot, seasoned liquid pork fat that has made this sandwich as dear if not dearer to the swollen, clogged hearts of Philadelphians than the cheesesteak.
When I was down visiting my Mom for Thanksgiving we attempted to find a real Roast Pork sandwich and were only marginally successful. This sandwich's pork, for one thing, was thin sliced and not lopped up in meaty chunks as it should be. Herr's Salt and Vinegar chips were a nostalgic accompaniment, however.

Saint's Alp

Saint's Alp tea house (click that link, their website design is epic) is a newish bubble tea and snacks place across from where I was living on Bedford. This is the kind of place found all over Asia where teenagers hang out after school having good clean fun getting jacked on sugar and comparing Nintendogs or whatever. Although Saint's Alp is a chain from Hong Kong, the snacks and light meals they offered appeared to be largely Taiwanese, though I could be wrong about that. I went for a to-go rice bowl that included fried chicken, picked daikon, bok choy, and by far the best element: a sticky, sweet/spicy minced pork sauce that come with most of their rice bowls. This stuff reminded me of the Cincinnati-style chili you might get on a hot dog. This rice bowl didn't travel very well, even across the street to the beer store and back, but for 5 or 6 dollars it proved to be a worthwhile expedition into one of the more obscure of the Asian cuisines.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Storage Mart

Does anyone else think that it's fucked up that this storage space in South Williamsburg wants you to store your pets in their units? I mean, no matter how much food you leave in there, you know the dogs are just going to eat it all right away and get sick and spend the next weeks just slowly wasting away. Even if the cats are a bit more conservative with their consumption, there is only so long they can last in those little spaces, howling for attention. And what about feces? They are bound to be ankle deep in the foul stuff by the time I return, if ever, from Turks and Caicos, with some little trinkets and a few half-hearted apologies.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fette Sau

When my Sister came to visit I finally had an opportunity to try out Fette Sau, the hella-serious Barbeque/Smokehouse place on Grand near my place that fills the surrounding blocks with the glorious smells of hickory and roasting pig. Caitlin was pleased with my choice, saying that the Brisket was some the best she had ever tried. We also went with some Ribs and some Burnt-End piece baked beans, which seemed to have absorbed all the delicious and dark elements of Barbeque, right down to the fat, the carbon, the caramelization, and indeed the essential transgressive thrill of being carnivore itself.
I was only disappointed that they didn't have more soul-food type sides. I could have dealt with some Mac and Cheese or at very least cornbread, but instead we were offered only white rolls and some cole slaw. Probably by even complaining about the paucity of sides I am exposing myself as a Barbeque philistine to the bearded grillmaster elite types they had working behind the counter there.


Although it's kind of silly to sit there and google "Polish Restaurant Greenpoint", when you could also just go to Manhattan avenue and throw a pierogie and hit one, I did it anyway and came up with Lomzynianka. The restaurant review sites rated this place highly, saying it was huge portions of home-cooked food for next to nothing. Many of the reviews took issue with the decor, though. Apparently the visual sense of sitting in a Polish family's tacky dining room is distasteful to the rarefied sensibilities of the Chowhound cognoscenti. Some of the reviews also paradoxically promised that this place is only frequented by real people from the neighborhood, not yuppie trash, which begged the question in my mind "So who are the people writing all these reviews?!"

As I guessed, the place was filled with young Williamsburgers who looked like they were mentally preparing online reviews (especially me, because I actually was... you want some meta-Kielbasa with that?) and the only Polish being spoken was in the kitchen. But, the reviews were right about the food, it was plentiful and plainly being whipped up by a real Polish grandma. Her son, the owner was waiting on all the tables in between having adorable Sunday night quality time sitting watching TV with his teenage daughter. And though the prices had certainly gone up since the menu you can find on their website was posted (it promises things like a 5$ Polish platter), it was still a super-cheap way to get disgustingly full. I'm not sure if the pierogies and even the kielbasa were supposed to be deep fried like that, but otherwise it was an awesome Polish experience where the only strong flavors are dill and vinegar, and if you are sitting close enough to the owner and his daughter having family night, you feel like you are in an outtake from one of the more tender episodes of The Decalogue.

And, No, I cannot pronounce that name either. I had to re-google it to write this, because all I could remember is that it sounded something like "Lizstomania".

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter in NYC

One cool part about staying in New York in the winter is that the weather report on the news every night is just this:


"Vetty Cold!"

Sleepers Work Dec 20th

This thing turned out to be pretty chill and loungey last time we did it, so come out and you'll actually be able to talk to your friends between bouts of weird dancing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cruel Intentions

BIG Tune!!! You might have heard the O.G. of this on that Aeroplane mix I posted last month, but I must say Joker owns this shit with that Bristol Dubstep/G-Funk sound. That's Beth Ditto of the Gossip on vocals BTW getting all 90s R&B Diva on that ass. Beth seems commited to never recording a good song with own band and making huge dance singles with British DJs.

As a flipside to indie-rock chicks getting all R&B, here is Solange Knowles (who apparantly is now a pseudo-hipster celebrity DJ) covering the Dirty Projectors. She handles the vocal workout nonchalantly, all over the instrumental from "XXplosive" off The Chronic 2001.

La Superior

La Superior is a real-ass Mexican place not far from the base of the Williamsburg bridge. They have Lengua, Sesos (Brains), Cebollitas (Grilled green onions soaked in Worcestershire sauce), and fucking Tortas Ahogadas straight out of Guadalahara. They have fresas Mexican hipsters working up front and naco Mexicans working in the back, they have Luchador memorabilia on the walls and cumbia nueva on the stereo, they are doing it right in my book. The only thing they don't have is a liquor license, which sucks because if they could serve micheladas I would never have to leave. As it is, I'm trying to get a job there so I probably shouldn't say much more, but the tacos de lengua and the incredibly spicy pavo en escabeche tacos were excellent. I would prefer them at Mexico city prices, but what can you do?
Bien pedos.


You know when you wake up on a trashed speedboat in the Mediterranean with vague recollections of partying in Ibiza with a bunch of British models before heading to the club where you reign supreme with your Handbag-house inspired vapid rave anthems with dubious melodies sung in your mealy-mouthed Scottish accent? This video totally captures that experience.

Beef Bourguignon

What are my attractive, disgustingly wholesome roomates up to this time?
Beef Bourguignon, French wine and crusty bread.