Monday, March 8, 2010

An Choi - Lower East Side

More banh mi? Sure, why not. This is a relatively new place on Orchard St. in the LES that specializes in Vietnamese street food, namely banh mi and pho noodles. Prices average around $8-$10 and are made fresh. Aside from the normal slew of banh mi choises: pork, chicken, and Viet meats with carrots and cilantro, An Choi offers some more eclectic flavors like sardines in tomato sauce, basil meatballs, portobellos and lemongrass tofu.

I wasn't blown away by the banh mi here, but still good stuff. I'd prefer the cheaper stuff at Saigon or Roots & Vines. An Choi does offer more Vietnamese specialties than both of those places though aside from the Pho and Banh Mi: check it.

The banh mi I had might not have been that amazing to me because it wasn't toasted and the wait was sort of long even though there was hardly anyone around. I think the bread was a bit too thick and blocked the flavor of the meat and veggies. I would suggest going for a hot banh mi if you head over to An Choi in this case. I got the cold cut mostly because I'm trying the cheap stuff. I'm always interested in the good cheap stuff.

85 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002, 212 226 3700,

An Choi on Urbanspoon


Alarm clock that wake you up with bacon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I don't have any of this stuff.

Kitchen essentials according to the LA Times

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alidoro - SoHo

I've mentioned this place a few times before, finally got around to taking a picture of one of their masterpiece sandwiches. Alidoro is currently at the top of my list for Italian deli sandwiches--they are supreme in every category. The ingredients are the highest quality and freshest I've ever had when it comes to breads, mozzarella and especially prosciutto. A tad on the expensive side, most sandwiches are $10 or more, but this is a rare exception since each sandwich is absurdly delicious.

I suggest that you order any of the sandwiches with prosciutto--it's the best I've ever had. A lot of times prosciutto in too tough so when you bite into a sandwich you end pulling out the whole strip of prosciutto with it. However, Alidoro's prosciutto is the perfect consistency, so thinly sliced, salty and savory--each bite is severed cleanly. Along with top notch oils, sweet peppers, dried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, I am confident in saying that all of Alidoro's sandwiches are delectable.

Something I should mention about this place is that it has a sort of reputation. The best way to explain it would be to liken it to the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld:

You'll see signs about no whining, cell phones, ordering custom sandwiches, asking questions, etc. And I've heard multiple stories of ejections from the store and rude behavior. I think it's sort of their characters for the store, but a lot of people some genuinely put-off by the vibe. I don't really care, because the sandwiches are the bomb. I suggest the Dino and the Pavarotti (picture above). Try anything on foccacia bread as well--it's perfect.

105 Sullivan St., New York, NY 10012, 212 334 5179

Alidoro on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Man Vs. Food

Been watching this show recently and loving it way more than I expected. I want to eat everything. Recently saw the NYC episode and I think it has finally pushed me to go to Katz's Deli this weekend. I'm intrigued by Sylvia's (shown above) since I am addicted to fried chicken. I wonder if they can beat Georgia's Eastside BBQ for title of best fried chicken in NYC I've had.

The Mexican Cart - Midtown (43rd and 6th, northeast corner)

This is one of the best carts in Midtown and one of the few Mexican carts I've been able to find in Manhattan. The cart is located on the northeast corner of 43rd St. and 6th Ave., they dish out super cheap and amazingly tasty Mexican treats. I used to go to Chipotle all the time on my break for burritos, but since I found this cart I haven't been back. The food is more authentic and served by some legit amigos; they're so OG they wear their IDs around their necks--legit business, bitches.

The chalupas (above) are $6 and you get to choose carnitas, beef, chicken or chorizo. Three chalupas with beans and rice for $6--you will not find a better deal in Midtown. Fluffy, crumbly rice, and refried pinto beans go well with the chalupas--especially if you're like me and order lots of hot sauce on everything.
And here is the Torta. I should have taken a better photo, because this thing is huge and also only $6 and I swear the guy making them has been slowly making them bigger and bigger every time I get one. They're almost as big as footballs. He loads lettuce, tomato, guacamole, beans, pico de gallo, chicken, cheese, onions, and hot sauce onto a buttered and toasted roll and this thing is a monster. Have you ever tried to eat a football? You should. This thing is super messy, you just got to embrace it and fork up everything that falls off. I cannot express how gleeful this torta makes me.
Lastly, I always pick up at pastelillo from this cart. They're like over-sized empanadas. They sell out pretty quick too for only $1.50 each. Super crispy on the outside, they hide tender shredded chicken on the inside that's been infused with hot sauce. Holy crap. Awesome. 

Go to this cart if you are ever in Midtown. For $6 or $7 you can get some tasty Mexican food. Bueno.

Northeast corner of 43rd St. and 6th Ave.

Homemade Mandoo

Every year on Christmas Eve we make hundreds of mandoo for our family gathering the next day. All by hand.
Last year my brother got my mom a deep fryer which helps a lot on clean up.
This year we did a pork and beef combination with scallions and onions among other seasonings.
You gotta fold each one and press the sides together with water making sure there aren't any air bubbles.
Just the beginning.
Frying cutlets with chopsticks!