Monthly Archives: February 2013

Meatball in a cup from “Meatball Obsession”

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Practically a hole in the wall, “Meatball Obsession” has a tiny nook between some large office buildings along fifth avenue. The snackbar is purely a storefront, no seating since there is no inside – it’s just a counter and the sidewalk. Owner Daniel Mancini opened the place out of nostalgia for his grandmother, who used to cook Sunday dinner for the family and would give him a meatball in a cup with some bread to soak up the sauce. Passing down the tradition since 2008 to New Yorker’s getting off the 14th St. F-Stop train, it was time for me to taste some of Nonni’s old-country cooking and see how this meatball stacked up.
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Sweets ‘n’ Treats: Ring Ding from “Murray’s Cheese Shop”

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“Murray’s Cheese Shop” in SoHo is known mainly for one thing, and if you do not know what that is please read the name of the store until you do. Aside from it’s namesake, they have plenty of meats both cured and fresh, wine, an amazing olive bar, fresh pasta and sauces, and other goodies hiding in their nooks and crannies.

It’s easy to miss something in the store since there is so much around, but if you get lucky, sometimes something will stand out at you. Right next to some packages of Salami, I found a few sweets, including the one we are reviewing today.

Originally created by the Drake’s company, a subsidiary of Hostess, the Ring Ding ceased to exist in November 2012 when its parent company was forced to close its doors. This left a huge gap in the world of commercial desserts, along with the extinction of Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Yodels, and Funny Bones. Thankfully, there are some baking geniuses who figured out how to make these items themselves, and Murray’s just happens to have one. How does this version hold up against the real deal? Let’s find out!
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“Kimchi Taco” fuses Korea and Mexico together inside a tortilla

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Find me a person that does not love tacos, and you will have found a person that has an allergy to deliciousness. Tacos are plentiful in NYC, as are trucks that trek around the five boroughs to bring them to different spots on a daily rotation. Not limited merely to the classics, many of these trucks add their own unique ethnic touch to make them stand out. Case in point, “Kimchi Taco”.

Run by Phillip Lee, a Cornell University alumni with a Master of Management in Hospitality, spent years working on other people’s restaurants until he decided to make his own dreams come true. In 2010, Lee combined his knowledge of restaurants and love of street food to merge them into one being, albeit one being merged with another. “Kimchi Taco” is a fusion of the classic Mexican taco combined with classic Korean cuisine, making for a modern classic unto itself.

Truth be told, I am very picky when it comes to kimchi. I’m not a huge fan of it, so for me to eat it, it needs to exactly what I want. For me, that is a kimchi that does not have an overpowering scent and tastes like more than mushy cabbage with an abundance of red peppers. “Kimchi Taco” was going to be an eye-opening experience for me, and after much hype around the inter-webs about it, I thought it was time to dive in and get me some tacos.
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Olive’s Hero at “Olive’s” has few olives, but tons of taste

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“Olive’s” in Soho has been impressing foodies since it opened in 1992, and continues to see lines out the door during the local lunch rush. Named after the owner’s Portugese water dog, their selection of freshly made sandwiches and salads keeps people coming back for more once they have had their first bite.

Even though there are not a ton of sandwiches to choose from, eight in most cases, I had a tough time deciding which one to try. It all became clear when I noticed what seemed to be the most popular sandwich, the “Olive’s Hero”. Why is it such a fan-favorite? It could be because it’s just that damn good.
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“Super Noodle” is, indeed, super

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People who know me well know that soup is kind of a big deal to me. It’s a universal comfort food, and so simple to make. I am a sucker for noodle soups, especially the Asian variety. When I was in Japan for my brief trip, I managed to slurp down at least one bowl of soup a day, whether it was udon, ramen, or something else along those lines.

While walking towards Bleecker st. along 7th Avenue, I had noticed that a vacant store finally had a new resident. That empty spot used to be a Szechuan hot spot, and before that another random Chinese restaurant. Today, it was “Super Noodle”, an authentic Chinese noodle house. Since this is a NY winter, 7th Avenue was acting as a windtunnel for the harsh 20 degree weather, and it was obvious the only thing I could do to survive from freezing to death was to get myself some soup.
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A fine nosh at “Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen”

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Sometimes you get a hankering for some deli meats. I don’t mean turkey, ham, and tuna salad – I mean some authentic “New Yawk” (since that is the right way to pronounce it) Kosher deli. That craving came to me, and I had the need – the need to nosh!

“Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen” has had a location in Queens that I remember being there back when I was a wee youngling, still suckling on pizza bagels and “Cheerio’s”. Much has changed since those days, for example, I now only eat the more sophisticated “Honey Nut Cheerio’s”. I had never ventured to “Ben’s” before, but thanks to the subconscious succubus that is TV, I had been seeing plenty of commercials for them and it would appear their hypnotic tactics finally worked. So I grabbed my gentile friend who had never had truly had the Kosher deli experience before and trekked out to “Ben’s”.
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“Eddie’s Pizza Truck” is more like pizza – yuck!

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I was ecstatic to see a truck serving pizza parked nearby my office, and jumped right in line to grab myself a pie. “Eddie’s Pizza Truck” is an off-shoot of “Eddie’s Pizza” restaurant in New Hyde Park, which is the home of the “bar-pie”. What a bar-pie is, I still can not tell you, but if it’s what I ate, I would rather not know.

If you can not tell by the absolutely stupid title of this post and the extremely negative-sounding third sentence, I was not too keen on “Eddie’s Pizza Truck”, and for good reason. What looked like a promising slice of awesome quickly turned into a nightmare topped with cheese.
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