Miss Ginsu: About/Bio

 

Mmm... Mercadito Cantina

I've never really been wild for flan. It always just seemed like some soggier wanna-be dessert next to the perfection of the divinely crisp 'n creamy, burnt-caramel goodness embodied by the crème brûlée.

And there's so many bad examples of flan out there in the world. But having just recently eaten at Mercadito Cantina, I have seen the light. I am now a flan convert (not that that's going to do anything good for my cholesterol level).

Dos Flans

J happens to have a friend who works there, and seeing as how the place opened months ago, we were loooong overdue for a visit and a taste-test of their fish tacos (so dear to my heart and tastebuds).

After our dinner (which I can't praise enough, by the way: so. very. tasty.), we were sent a duo of dense little flans. Vanilla and Goat's Milk. My goodness, people. A well-made flan is a smooth, rich, decadent delight. A real treat.

Michelada

After freshly-made guacamole, killer salsas, a michelada that rivals my own, excellent fish tacos and sautéed mushrooms with huilacoche (not to mentioin generous bites of J's outstanding pulled pork taquitos), I was so full I couldn't even bear the thought of dessert.

And then it appeared... the little platter of tasty flanitos. One bite, thought I. But oh, mama. They broke my will. (Oh, what a thrill...)

Iban and the cooks

That said, if you want to visit for yourself, you'll have to be crafty.

Word is already out, and true to New York standards, the place is not roomy.

We went on a Tuesday, and they were well-filled by 8 p.m. I don't even want to see the crush on Friday. Early dinners and brunches may be a better bet.

4 spoons

Mercadito Cantina
Mercadito Cantina on Urbanspoon
172 Avenue B
East Village, NYC
212.388.1750

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9.23.2008

Hedonista Hundred, Part VI: 26-30

In which Miss Ginsu gushes about a run of wonderful, inexpensive pleasure places.

Yes, this is a project that's taking me forever to complete, but I press on... The Hedonista 100 is an ongoing list of 100 favorite food finds: cookbooks, snacks, tools, places, recipes, ideas & more.

Now, I could give you a thousand words each on these delicious entries, but I believe a pretty photo alongside an ounce of linguistic restraint might be a bit more in order. Thus, herein you'll find a five-pack of tasty photos and their corresponding source sites.

Brekkie at Le Pain Quotidien
26. The Grand Street (off Broadway) Le Pain Quotidien. A soft-boiled egg and bread with a cafe latte whilst sitting at the communal table, perusing the Sunday Times.

Shakshuka and Hummus Brunch
27. Shakshuka and hummus brunch at Hummus Place, 109 St Marks Place just off Tomkins Square Park. Don't miss their zippy, spicy green sauce. It ignites the tongue (in a good way).

Gingered Duck Soup at the Slanted Door
28. Gingered Duck Soup at the Slanted Door in the Ferry Market, San Francisco. Clean, sleek decor alongside fresh, flavorful food. Whenever I feel I'm teetering at the edge of a cold, I want this gingered soup in a bad way.

Pastries at Bonaparte Bread in Baltimore
29. Pastries at Bonaparte Bread (903 South Ann Street, Fells Point in Baltimore, MD) are everything a pastry should be: flaky, tender, buttery, lightly salted... among of the best you'll find this side of Paris.


30. Banana batidas and tasty arepas at Caracas Arepa Bar, 91 East 7th St in the East Village. Always crowded... and with good reason. They just keep putting out awesome food at reasonable prices.

Miss out on the previous 25 wondrous food finds? You'll find them at the archive page.

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1.16.2008

Insert Your Wurst Pun Here







Ketchup? Check. A peck of mustard? Yep. Hot sauce? Sure. Cumin-pineapple relish? Well, why not?

All that's on offer at the condiment counter. Still, of all the tempting tastes at Broome Street's spanking new Broome Doggs, the most exciting was indubitably the currywurst sauce. Tomato-y, zippy, earthy. Like ketchup after a trek down the spice trail.

"They're all over the place in Germany. They're crazy for them there," attending dog slinger Todd told us, slopping a generous portion of spicy red glaze across a steaming dog. "Really. Look it up on the web. Just type in 'currywurst' and you'll find all kinds of stuff."

Todd did not lead us astray. Said to be one of VW's biggest products (at least in Wolfsburg), the saucy, spicy currywurst is apparently the most popular fast food dish in Germany. Berlin even goes so far as to host a Currywurst Museum, and a documentary homage exists within "The Best of the Wurst."

My favorite of the Currywurst worship pages might be this one, in which we discover that, "First you learn german (sic), then you may have a Currywurst." Brilliant incentive program.

Folks with DIY impulses should investigate one of the many recipes out on the interwebs.

Broome Doggs
250 Broome St.
(Btwn Orchard & Ludlow)
917.453.6013

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9.20.2005

Hey, Hey, Babycakes!

Babycakes

Aw! A cupcake mosaic on the front stoop of that spanking-new Lower East Side bakery! Adorable.

Oh! The pretty shopgirls all wear obscenely cute candy-striped pink pinafores. Sweet!

Whoah! Vegan? Really? No, wait... Not just vegan but sugar-free, gluten-free and all-natural? Daaaamn!

Babycakes

Yes, my LES operative reports that the mint-lemonade is refreshing, the lemon cake is tasty and the menu is... well, confusing.

Imagine! A whole shop filled with baked goods whipped up with no cream, no refined sugar, no eggs, no white flour and no butter. In short, a traditionally-trained pastry chef's worst nightmare.

And yet... they have muffins. They have poundcakes. They presumably have cupcakes. So what do they use to construct their sweet treats?

J. reports it's spelt and garbanzo flour sweetened with things like fresh, farmers' market fruits (local peaches, for example).

He's sworn to eat his way through their menu for the sake of science (and those friendly gals in candy-striped aprons). Brave man. We await his report.

Babycakes
248 Broome St.
(btwn Ludlow and Orchard)
212.677.5047

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9.08.2005

Beer. Garden. Sausage. What more could you want?

A sausage in Astoria

For the few New Yorkers not heading out of the city for the weekend, the City conspires to treat you to its richest display of hospitality. Stinky piles of garbage? Gone. Stuffy, crowded subways? Fuggetaboutit. Stifling heat and humidity wafting up from the asphalt? A fuzzy memory.

The weather promises unparalleled beauty, the streets will be uncharacteristically quiet, parks and restaurants will be joyfully unpopulated and Czech beer will flow in a big backyard in Queens.

Sit under the trees, observe the rich cross-section of humanity at nearby tables, eat a juicy sausage, drink a cold beer and offer up a toast to yourself. You've had the foresight to realize that zipping around on the subway is superior to sitting in a hot metal box on the L.I.E.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
29-19 24th Ave
Astoria, Queens
718-274-4925
bohemianhall.com

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9.02.2005