Friday, July 27, 2007


Mapping New York Cheap Eats

An article in the New York Times about people making maps on the web and annotating them with all sorts of information mentioned one for inexpensive but good (I hope) restaurants in Manhattan. I took a look at it and it's interesting. A knife and fork duo mark each establishment and the names appear to the left. Click on a restaurant name and a balloon, pointing to the spot, opens up, gives you the address, and offers directions. I'm waiting for an online map that can also deliver samples.

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Monday, April 23, 2007


More New York: Penzey's Spices Store

We've been fans of Penzey's Spices for a long time. But apparently my wife realized that they also had stores, one of which is in the food marketplace in Grand Central Station. It's not huge, real estate there being expensive, but they still have a solid selection and samples to smell. We bought a number of things, including a double-strength Madagascar vanilla with an aroma that should do wonders for baking. (And at $14 for 4 ounces, it had better...)

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Sunday, April 22, 2007


More New York: Make Your Own Waffles

Technically, this is New Jersey (Newark, to be exact) at a Marriott's SpringHill Suites. A good location - about 10 miles from Manhattan and a price of $109 with a king bed, queen sofa bed, fridge and microwave, free Internet access, and a pool. Oh, yes, and breakfast in the morning is included. It's one of the better morning meals I've seen included in a room fee, with sausage patties and eggs for making sandwiches, yogurt, cereals, and so on. But what took me by surprise was the sight of two commercial waffle makers. The hotel leaves out individual servings of waffle batter. You open the iron, pour it in, close and spin it upside down, and wait for the beeping that says it's done. Fake waffle syrup, unfortunately, but we're not in western Massachusetts at the moment, so the real thing is not so plentiful. At the writing conference I've been attending, I spoke with a colleague, Daylle Deana Schwartz, music industry maven and relationship writer. She was on a book tour last year and said that I'm behind the times, as the DIY waffle making is in many places. Guess I don't get 'round much anymore.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007


More Food From New York

Another stop we made in Manhattan was at a place called Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man. Great name, which was better I thought than the one test piece we picked up - an oversized truffle with filling dipped in a chocoalte shell and then in cocoa powder. My wife liked it but I didn't think that the chocolate was particularly noteworthy. There isn't a Max Brenner either. This is a high concept restaurant with chocolate as a theme. (Here's a New York Magazine review that is fuller than what I'll do.) If you want good chocolate and can be satisfied with a small amount (because it's so freakin' expensive), head to La Maison du Chocolat at 30 Rockefeller Place at 49th. Street. Founded by Robert Linxe, who founded the original location in Paris, the products are the result of a1 genius master. As good as the chocolate is, try the fruit jellies solidified with pectin and not gelatin. Or check here online.

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Friday, April 20, 2007


The End of the Kiev in NYC

Since the early 80s I had been going to the Kiev, showing up at odd hours on arrival in Manhattan, grabbing some Ukrainian food, and then going about my business. When I met my wife, I learned that she, too, was a fan. So we were sad today to see that the Kiev is closed. Some construction is going on at the old site of 7th St. and 2nd Ave. The Second Avenue Deli is long gone, and it seems like the passing of an era. Luckily, Christine's, which also serves all-day breakfast, offers Polish food, so there is still one Eastern European connection that we knew downtown. I remember when the Kiev had moved from the old hole-in-the-wall decor to its more upscale look. We wondered if that was the beginning of the end. Apparently it was.

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