Monthly Archives: May 2013

Chickwich from “Hill Country Chicken”

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Perched right by the Flatiron Building, “Hill Country Chicken” is the place to go when the Shake Shack in the park is lined up all the way down to Union Square. Serving fried chicken with loads of sides and plenty of homemade pies (including their Apple Cheddar Pie that I really enjoyed), there are plenty of options for a good Southern meal.

Fresh fried chicken can take awhile to make, plus there is that inherent amount of grease and high-calories that come with it. For the diner on the go, “Hill Country Chicken” also offers up some hearty sandwiches, including their fried chicken sandwich with the cutesy name, the “Chickwich”.
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Momofuku’s “Crack Pie” Should Be Illegal

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While I was filming at the “Madison Square Eats” event earlier this month, I saw the cute little “Momofuku Milk Bar” booth, maintained by the equally cute and friendly register girl. Run by David Chang with the baking prowess of Christina Tosi, Momofuku has built an empire around their high-quality food, but I had yet to visit any of their many shops in NYC.

Reeled in with the decorations of mini-pretzels strung atop the booth like Christmas lights and enamored with the pixie-like smile of the register girl, it did not take long for me to drop way too much money at their booth.

On her suggestion after informing her that I was a Momofuku virgin, I bought a slice of the “Crack Pie”. I wondered how many times a day she had to fake-laugh her way through customers that made drug jokes about the pie. Being the gentleman I was, I made one myself, her genuinely warm fake-laugh putting a grin on my face too. Damn you, Momofuku girl. Damn your cuteness and delicious baked goods. Let’s see if your pie was as amazing as you were.
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Key Lime Pie from “Mason Jar”

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I have a soft spot for Key Lime Pie, but I could not explain what it is I like about it. It seems so different compared to the other desserts I like, especially pie, in that I am not a fan of citrus-based desserts typically. Chocolate and oranges are a good mix, but something about it rubs me the wrong way.

While I was hanging out at the “Madison Square Eats” event, I found myself in front of “Mason Jar”, a classic American style bar and eatery that had a ton of beer and a bit of food. When I saw the words “Key Lime Pie” on a piece of 8 x 11 paper taped up on top of their booth, I knew I had to have it. After all, it was the only pie of it’s kind at this food fair, and the pie itself is a wonderful enigma to bakers. Simple in theory, but very easy to do wrong, either making it gelatinous, having a frankenstein shade of green, or an artificial lime flavor. How does “Mason Jar” do their Key Lime Pie? Let’s find out!
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Tour of “Mad. Sq. Eats” Spring 2013 – Part 2

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As promised in part one of my tour of “Mad. Sq. Eats”, I made my return to Madison Square Park for a second round, hoping to scoop up whatever eateries I missed the first time and to return to a few new favorites. Happening twice a year across from the Flatiron building, this food fair brings together vendors from all across the five boroughs, and gives foodies and passerby’s a chance to taste some places they otherwise would not have the opportunity to. Being the opportunist that I am, my goal was to eat my way around the entire event, and if there is one thing that I don’t do, it’s give up without a fight.

Readers may recall that in my first guide, there were not as many photos as I wanted since I was busy filming this video at the event. On this visit, it was a different story, so prepare for a ton of photos from nine more spots at the event to get you salivating and wishing you were there!
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Thai Lunch Box from “Peep”

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I know too many people in my office that don’t do anything for lunch beyond “Subway” sandwiches. The more daring/ elitist ones will venture around the block to go to “Pret A Manger”, exclaiming how they make the sandwiches fresh. I laugh at their pathetic safe lunches, and often challenge them to join me and do something different. Few take the plunge, citing price or distance.

Working near SoHo, there are plenty of places to get lunch on a budget, although nothing can beat a mediocre five-dollar foot-long with inferior toppings and animal by-products according to too many of my co-workers. If you feel adventurous, Thai restaurant “Peep” offers a prix-fixe lunch that allows you to sample a variety of flavors in one convenient and cost-effective way – their lunch boxes.
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Apple Cheddar Pie from “Hill Country Chicken”

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As the old saying goes, “Apple pie without the cheese, is like the kiss without a squeeze.” Apple pie with cheese on top was a big thing in the United States up until it began to fade out in the late ’70’s. These days, it’s extremely difficult to come by this treat at all, my only knowledge of it came from “Taxi Driver” when Deniro’s character orders it in a diner. Ever since I saw that movie, it became my mission to find this version of apple pie, and I finally came upon it in an unexpected place.

“Hill Country Chicken”, a fried-chicken joint near Madison Square Park, offers up much more than just deep-fried poultry. With a large selection of freshly baked pies at the front-counter, when I read “Apple Cheddar” I was immediately sold.
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Tour of “Mad. Sq. Eats” Spring 2013 – Part 1

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Every Spring in General Worth Square on Madison Avenue and 23rd street, “Mad. Sq. Eats” pops up, offering locals and lucky tourists a little taste of some great restaurants from all around the five boroughs. The selection is mind-boggling, with Mexican empanadas next to Korean taco joints, Asian fusion cuisine sitting across from traditional Italian specialties. “Mad. Sq. Eats” is definitely an event not to miss, and I attacked the park on it’s second day of business, shoving through the throngs of foodies to get my fill of this edible haven in the middle of a busy city.

There will not be as many photos in this review as I would have liked since I was there shooting a video (which you can see after the jump), but here is the rundown of some of what I ate (keyword is some as there will be a few supplemental reviews of items that I brought home).
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Video tour of “Mad. Sq. Eats” – Spring 2013

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Welcome to our first original video on Blowtorch Pudding! Bobby Fillet broke out the good camera to go check out “Mad. Sq. Eats” in General Worth Square in between 5th and Madison Avenue on 23rd street.

From May 3 through to May 31, “Mad. Sq. Eats” is a daily food festival open from 11 AM until 9 PM. Featuring food vendors and restaurants from the five boroughs, this years “Mad. Sq. Eats” featured places like Momofuku Milk Bar, Roberta’s Pizza, Calexico, ilili, Hong Kong Street Cart, Bar Suzette, AsiaDog, and many more. This video is a taste of what the event is like!

Stay tuned for more detailed reports and reviews from “Mad. Sq. Eats” and make sure you check it out yourself while it is still open! Special thanks to the folks that let us interview them, including Charlito’s Cocina, Macaron Parlour, Mayhem and Stout, Red Hook Lobster Pound and Mehtaphor.

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Burger and fries from “P.S. Burgers”

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Originally based out of Mineola, “P.S. Burgers” has since opened a second NY location in downtown Manhattan. In this world of higher-quality burgers and fries like Five Guys and Shake Shack, the meat-eaters of America are evolving into more discerning carnivores.

With a logo that is awfully similar to Shake Shack (except their burger is on a stamp), this eatery has a more diverse menu of international burgers than its competitors, as well as sides, salads, and sandwiches with chicken, fish, steak, and even veggie burgers. It’s going to be difficult to do this review without constantly comparing it to Five Guys or Shake Shack, but it only seems fair to do so since these people are all direct competitors with each other. So, with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s take a big bite out of “P.S. Burgers”!
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