Not to be confused with macaroons, the popularity of the French macaron has gone worldwide with foodies for some time. My first taste of them was in Japan in 2008, where I was anticipating what I knew as macaroons and not the meringue cookie sandwich with almond powder and buttercream filling. Foodies are huge on macarons, and while I am not a rabid macaronist (is there a term for hardcore macaron eaters?), I can appreciate why some people go nuts over them.
At “Mad. Sq. Eats”, I ran into the “Macaron Parlour” and interviewed them for my video on the event. I could not leave their stand without sampling their goodies, and somehow I ended up walking away with a quadruple helping of them. It was all a blur after that, with a sugar rush on one part of my brain battling against the food coma I was having from so much binge-eating that day…
Anyway, in my calorie-induced madness, I managed to bring back four macarons to do a proper review and get my sugar fix on once again.
“Sukiyabashi Jiro” sits next to a subway exit in the basement of an office building, an auspicious location for a three-star Michelin restaurant. It is the home of Jiro Ono, the world’s oldest sushi maker at 85 years old, and his oldest son, Yoshikazu. With only ten seats, reservations are taken a month in advance, costing 300,000 yen for the meal consisting only of sushi – no appetizers or dessert.
Director David Gelb initially planned on doing a documentary in Japan about the world of sushi, but after much research, he was told to visit Jiro’s tiny eatery in the Ginza district of Tokyo, and the story of one family began to tell itself in front of his camera. 150 hours of footage later, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” was made.
First launched in the summer of 2012 at an upstate New York racetrack, “Mac Truck” is trying to cement itself as the iconic NYC food vehicle for macaroni & cheese. With their tiny yellow truck parking curbside all around Manhattan, they are fast becoming the place to go to get freshly made mac & cheese on the go, attracting not just rabid foodies but the average passer-by that would probably ignore a food truck for being too “hip” or just nothing they want to eat.
Macaroni and cheese is a nostalgic taste for Americans, so it would make sense for Staten Island native, Dom Tesoriero, to bring his truck from Saratoga down into the five boroughs to give New Yorkers a reminder of this childhood favorite. With plenty of variants to keep things fresh, the “Mac Truck” is our stop today for lunch, so let’s check it out!
Regular readers may remember my review of “Super Noodle”, a quaint and hip little noodle shop on the outskirts of SoHo. I was a big fan and a regular customer for some time, stopping my visits purely because I was not working near them for a short time. A few months later, I return to find out that the place has transformed into “70 Super Noodle”.
Retaining the original signage right down to the chalkboard on the sidewalk, the only way you would know the place changed hands is to walk inside. There, you will see that the innards are mostly the same, but gone is the menu that was another chalkboard, replaced by an easier to read and professionally-made sign. None of the old items are gone, in fact, they are all still there. However, the restaurant now serves Tibetan food, mostly soups, in addition to the predominantly Chinese menu.
The place seems to use the same ingredients as its predecessors, but alas, there appear to be some severe growing pains that “70 Super Noodle” needs to work on, and fast.
Vietnamese food is great. The end.
I should probably write some more, seeing as how this is supposed to be a review of the “Paris Sandwich” truck. With a pair of restaurants and now a food truck, “Paris Sandwich” brings distinctly Vietnamese flavors across Manhattan and into your stomach. This particular vehicle hauls the French-inspired traditional Vietnamese baguette sandwiches around the city at an affordable price. Yes, before the word “fusion” ever rolled off of a food critics tongue, Vietnam was immersed in the French culture from years of being a French colony.
A diverse and small menu keeps things simple for this truck, but don’t be fooled by the size of it. Strong flavors are balanced playfully with each other to make for a one-of-a kind experience that you typically expect when you order Vietnamese food. Let’s dig in to one of the five sandwiches that this truck has!
TV chefs Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali joined forces with the help of financier Oscar Farinetti to open “Eataly”. Resembling a traditional Italian market in appearance, every food item for sale is either imported from Italy or made on location using purely Italian ingredients, with the only exception the NY water used to boil the pasta.
The impressively-stocked store hosts a range of places to eat, whether you want a quick nibble or to sit down for a three-course dinner. While there are plenty of edible options there ranging from pizza to meat & cheese platters to full-course meals, I dropped by on my first visit to grab a sandwich. While there were many beautiful-looking options to try, I went with the simplest of the bunch, a baguette with prosciutto di parma. Italian food is all about celebrating simplicity and freshness, so if “Eataly” can turn something as basic as this into something amazing, you know we are in good hands.