Tag Archives: Beer

The Way to a Girl’s Heart: Beer-Bartered Trout

Prized Trout

Prized Trout

So this is how the story goes: girl buys new shiny grill, shiny grill needs its maiden voyage, girl craves something that can’t be bought — a friendly barter is made, as is a meal worthy of brag.

I look forward to each Sunday when I roll out of bed, hair disheveled, tote bags hung on the crook of my elbow, and meander a few blocks to the farmers’ market. The only thing on my agenda is to say hi to my friends, the farmers — everyone should  be friends with local farmers, they wake up at 4am to feed you. That’s a good friend.

But this particular day was different. I was hanging out with Keith at Grazin’ Angus Acres — eyeing their grass-fed beef and stocking up on  $10 / dozen golden eggs. Conversation turns to the things that fill empty hours — I was telling him about my new  brewing project {remember: brew beer, make friends} and he was telling me about his day of fishing for stream trout that was planned for Monday. Mmmm, beer. Mmmm, fresh trout. Boom: light bulb. “What would you say to a friendly barter?” he proposes. The genius plan: meet back at the market the following Sunday with two tradable treasures that would be mutually appreciated.

A Fine Finned Friend

A Fine Finned Friend

And so came home a fine finned friend — a beaut, as they say.

Grilled Stream Trout

1 whole trout, gutted and cleaned
2 green garlic stems, chopped
1 lemon sliced
4-5 pats of butter
salt and pepper to taste

With nothing more than a little butter, green garlic and lemon stuffed inside and blanketing the fiddy, I wrapped this guy in a foil pouch, threw him on the grill at a steady 350° {yes, the new grill has a gauge!} and cooked him until his clear-as-day eyes turned white — about 20 minutes.

Poach Pouch

Poach Pouch

Voila — maiden voyage success and a meal to remeber!

Grilled Trout

Grilled Trout

Oh, and the best part? A dare to eat the eye. I rarely turn away from a good challenge. Thank goodness for bread and a cold beer.

Eye see you

Eye see you

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Filed under @home {recipes to love}, Do This!

Do This!: Brew Beer, Make Friends

 

Home brew

Home brew

I’m a girl who likes  projects. But even the idea of brewing my own beer intimidated me. Until I became the proud owner of a Brooklyn Brew Shop beer kit after an auction to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief. With a Saturday to kill and my cousin Angela and her fiance Ryan here to provide moral support {and expert home-brewer guidance} we got to work.

The tools

The tools

The kit comes with almost everything you need to get started, but I did have to have my own funnel and large fine-mesh strainer on hand. Oh, and the grapefruit peel and honey for the grapefruit honey ale. I was a little perplexed that these two key ingredients where not provided in some dried or packaged form, but since I was still in my citruspalooza mode, I happened to have grapefruit on hand so got over the disappointment quickly. Step 1: sanitize all the equipment with the  sanitizer provided in the kit and then get work.

The Mash

The Mash

The Mash 

  1. Heat 2 quarts (1.9 liters) of water to 160°F.
  2. Add grain (This is called “mashing in.” Take note of jargon. Or don’t).
  3. Mix gently with spoon or spatula until mash has consistency of oatmeal. Add water if too dry or hot. Temperature will drop to ~150°F (66°C).
  4. Cook for 60 minutes at 144-152°F (63-68°C). Stir every 10 minutes, and use your thermometer to take temperature readings from multiple locations.
  5. You likely don’t need to apply heat constantly. Get it up to temperature, then turn the heat off. Monitor, stir, and adjust accordingly to keep in range.
  6. After 60 minutes, heat to 170°F (77°C) while stirring constantly (“Mashing Out”).
The Sparge

The Sparge

The Sparge 

  1. Heat additional 4 quarts (3.8 liters) of water to 170°F (77°C).
  2. Set up your “lauter tun” (a strainer over a pot).
  3. Carefully add the hot grain mash to the strainer, collecting the liquid that passes through.
  4. This liquid is called “wort” (pronounced “wert”). It will be your beer.
  5. Slowly and evenly pour 170°F (77°C) water over the mash to extract the grain’s sugars.
  6. You want to collect 5 quarts (4.75 liters) of wort. You will lose about 20% to evaporation later on, so you want to start with a bit more than you’ll end with.
  7. Re-circulate wort through grain once.

 

The Boil

The Boil

The Boil 

  1. In a pot, heat wort until it boils.
  2. Keep boiling until you’ve hit the “hot break” (Wort will foam – you may need to reduce heat slightly so it doesn’t boil over.)
  3. Stir occasionally. All you want is a light boil – too hot and you lose fermentable sugars and volume.
  4. The boil will last 60 minutes. Start your timer and add in the rest of the ingredients at these times: Add Columbus Hops at start of boil.
  5. Add 1/2 Cascade Hops 30 minutes into boil.
  6. Add remaining Cascade Hops and Grapefruit Peels 55 minutes into boil.
  7. At 60 minutes turn off heat. Dissolve 1/4 cup Honey and Candi Sugar.
  8. Twenty percent of the wort will have evaporated in this step leaving you with 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of wort. If your boil was a bit high, the surface area of your pot extra large, or you brewed on a really hot day, you may have less than the full amount. Don’t worry – you just reduced your beer a bit too much, but you can add more water in the next step.
The Fermentation

The Fermentation

Fermentation 

  1. Place brew pot in an ice bath until it cools to 70°F (21°C).
  2. Once cooled, place strainer over funnel and pour your beer into the glass fermenter. Yeast needs oxygen. The strainer helps aerate your wort and clarify your beer (as well as catch any sediment from going into the fermenter). Add tap water to bring wort up to 1 Gallon mark if level is low.
  3. “Pitch” yeast. (Toss the whole packet in.)
  4. Shake aggressively. You’re basically waking up the yeast and getting more air into the wort.
  5. Attach sanitized screw-top stopper to bottle. Slide rubber tubing no more than 1” (2.5 cm) into the stopper and place the other end in small bowl of sanitizer. You’ve just made a “blow-off tube”. It allows CO2 to escape.
  6. Let sit for two or three days or until vigorous bubbling subsides. This is when fermentation is highest. You may notice bubbles and foam at the top of the beer. After bubbling calms down, clean tubing and ready your airlock.
  7. Sanitize, then re-assemble airlock, filling up to line with sanitizer.
  8. Insert airlock into hole in stopper.
  9. Keep in a dark place for two weeks without disturbing other than to show off to friends. (If beer is still bubbling, leave sitting until it stops.)
  10. In the meantime, drink beer with self-closing swing tops, or ask for empties at a bar that has some. If you have a bottle capper and caps, you can save two six packs of non-twistoff beers instead.
Bottling

Bottling

Two Weeks Later: Bottling 

  1. Thoroughly rinse bottles with water, removing any sediment.
  2. Mix remaining sanitizer with water.
  3. Fill each bottle with a little sanitizer and shake. Empty after two minutes, rinse with cold water and dry upside down.
  4. Dissolve 3 tablespoons honey with 1/2 cup water. Pour into a sanitized pot. You will be siphoning your beer into the same pot in the next steps. Carbonation comes from adding sugar when bottling, so if you filled your jug with less than the full gallon in the last step, use less honey when bottling. Using the full amount can result in your beer being over-carbonated.
  5. Siphoning (It all happens pretty fast. You may want to practice on a pot of water a few times.) To see it in action first, watch the How to Bottle video at brooklynbrewshop.com/instructions.
    1. Attach open tubing clamp to tubing.
    2. Fill tubing with sanitizer.
    3. Attach sanitized tubing to the short curved end of your sanitized racking cane. Attach the black tip to the other end – it will help prevent sediment from getting sucked up. It will probably be a snug fit, but you can get it on there.
    4. Pinch tubing clamp closed.
    5. Remove screw-cap stopper and place racking cane into jug, just above the sediment at the bottom (“trub”).
    6. Lower end of tubing not connected to racking cane into sink. Suction will force beer up and through the racking cane and tubing. Open tubing clamp, let sanitizer flow into sink until beer just starts to flow out of the tubing, then clamp shut. Open clamp on tubing, allowing beer to flow into pot with sugar solution. Tilt jug when beer level is getting low, but be careful in not sucking up the trub.
  6. Siphon beer from pot into bottles, pinching tube clamp to stop flow after each bottle.
  7. Close bottles.
  8. Store in a dark place for 2 weeks.

Two Weeks Later: Enjoying and Making Friends

  1. Put beers in the fridge the night before you drink them.
  2. Drink. Share with friends if you’re the sharing type. Or barter for fresh river trout {more on that later}

MORE SCRATCH PROJECTS {get back to your roots}

CHEESEHomemade Fresh Mozzarella
CHEESEHomemade Ricotta
BREAD101: How to Make Bakery Quality Bread @Home
MUSTARD & PRETZELSHomemade Soft Pretzels and Mustard

PICKLESHomemade Spicy Pickled Carrots
KIMCHIHomemade Spicy Carrot Kimchi! & Apple Chutney!

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St. Paddy’s Day Delicious Pots of Gold

Just a few things to help you prepare for St. Paddy’s Day. Who doesn’t want to brew your own beer and then make a steak puff pastry pie with it {with cheese}? Yes please!

MAKE: Irish Steak & Guinness Puff Pastry Pie
{click for recipe}

Steak and Guinness Pie

Steak and Guinness Pie

BUY: Everyday IPA or Chocolate Maple Porter Kit 

1-gallon brew kit includes everything you need: 1 gallon glass fermenter, 3-piece chambered airlock, screw top stopper, thermometer, plastic tubing, tubing clamp, racking cane, and sanitizer

Craft Home Brew Kit and Beer Making Book

Craft Home Brew Kit and Beer Making Book

DRINK: Wilfie & Nell: Not Grandpa’s Watering Hole

Wilfie & Nell

Wilfie & Nell

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NYC Best: I’m In Love with Jacob’s Pickle

Jacob's Pickles Warms West Side

Jacob's Pickles Warms West Side

At first glance you might think this picture is of a really cool bar in Brooklyn. Lucky for upper west siders, it’s the newly opened Jacob’s Pickles — an outpost that took over a former lighting store and is bringing a new brightness to the neighborhood’s dining scene. Serving a menu centered around artisanal Beer, Biscuits, Pickles, Jams and Sustainably-Raised Meats, owner Jacob Hadjigeorgis saw an opportunity to bring simple American craft-comfort cuisine to an area that doesn’t welcome news-worthy restaurant openings with the same frequency as stops below 14th-street. I think Jacob is going to be a new friend.

American Craft-Comfort CuisineThe atmosphere has a casual elegant buzz about it. Soft lighting illuminates a wood-planked wall of bottles and jars behind the bar. The opposite wall is lined with tables intimately spaced along an elevated black leather banquette — the looks of which any man’s man would like in his own living room. Sit across from the banquette or at the bar and you’ve scored a seat in the most comfortable and cool looking bar stools I’ve seen in a long time. I should have taken a picture of these perfect perches, but with a deep seat, a back and arm rests, I promise they are the vehicles fit for a lengthy pickling session {you, not the gherkins}. The music is subtle so you can still have a conversation, but adds to the warm vibe — if I didn’t know any better, it could have been my ipod playing. It was the energy of the crowd that was really humming — I was enthralled.

The menu: 25 American craft beers on tap list some of my favorites {Founder IPA from Michigan}, as well as others begging to be sampled {Speakeasy-Prohibition Ale from California}. Intriguing cocktails include the Dirty Aphrodite, a martini made dirty with dill pickle brine, and the B.L.T Bloody Mary, which sounds like breakfast in a glass with peppercorn vodka, Niman Ranch bacon and a jalapeno pickled egg. There’s also a selection of artisanal root beers on tap, lemonade and other craft sodas if you’re looking to keep things simple. But even those can be converted to a float if you want to take it to another level. For the truly over the top treat, try the Sixpoints-Otis Oatmeal Stout float or the Allagash Black float. Beer and ice cream? Awesome.

Honey, Chicken and Pickles Southern Biscuit Sandwich

Honey, Chicken and Pickles Southern Biscuit Sandwich

But don’t get too carried away with the drink selection before you order up some grub. Like pickles? You’ve come to the right place — special or hot sours, candied beets, salt & pepper asparagus, sweet & spicy carrots, sour green tomatoes are just a few ways to get started. There also seemed to be a lot of fried pickle plates coming out of the kitchen {everything tastes better fried}. Our neighbors were ooohing and aaahing over the mac ‘n cheese — not surprising, since Jacob owns a mac n’ cheese shop in Boston, which was his primary focus before gracing us with his presence. The southern biscuit sandwiches all sounded outstanding — we tried the creamy mushroom gravy smothered chicken and the honey, chicken & pickles versions. The latter of which was my order and was the perfect sweet-salty-vinegary marriage of flavors. I swapped out the cheese grits for fries and the house ketchup {which I would bottle up and take home, if I could}. Speaking of which, if you just can’t get enough of these specialties, you can take home jars of their house-made pickles, preserves and 32- or 64-oz refillable growlers of beer. I’ll have to speak to Jacob about adding his ketchup to the pantry. Full menu here.

As if you don’t already have enough reasons to hop on the northbound subway, Jacob’s Pickles will be hosting a daily beer tasting from 3-6pm, which will also feature specials. Sounds like a perfect reason to leave work early.

The Skim: Good vibe. Good beer. Good grub. ‘nough said.  Will be back for more — tomorrow. This newcomer has quickly won me over and despite only opening a month ago, I’m adding it to my Favor8 list.

Map: 509 Amsterdam Avenue {Between 84th / 85th}
Reservations: Not taken
Phone: 212.470.5566 


8.ate@eight Favor8
Seal of Approval

Other Favor8s:
The Art of Eating {and Drinking} Well @ L’Artusi
Rustic Space Features Really Good Wood-Burning Oven Pizza
Highlands Highlights: Scottish Plaids, Pub Fare and Hand 
18 Favorite Meat Dishes for Men & Barbeque Heaven @Fette Sau
The Beagle: A Restaurant You Should Be Loyal To


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Do This! Edible’s Eat Drink Local Week Kicks off this Saturday

Eat Drink Local Week 2011

Local. Local. Local. We at 8.ate@eight and Freshocracy think Local is where it’s at. Not only are there amazing foods being harvested within 250 miles of NYC, but there are amazing people doing things with this food {and drink}. This is one of my favorite weeks in the city each year — everything from local oysters to local brews are being showcased in a series of seriously summery shindigs. So clear your calendar and devour all the goodness coming our way from Edible’s Eat Drink Local Week!

Saturday June 18th — Festival of 7 Ingredients

Those are seven stellar spring foods–in this case strawberries; peas; chives and green garlic; rhubarb; lamb, oysters and yogurt–produced or farmed or fished locally. Each has delicious stories to tell, and to jump start Eat Drink Local Week Edible Manhattan is hosting a festival and tasting (oyster stew! green garlic and chive quesadillas! spicy lamb salad with pea greens!) and includes wine from Wolffer Estate in Long Island and beer from Kelso of Brooklyn.

When: Saturday 6/18 6 to 9pm
Where: OpenHouse Gallery in SoHo at 201 Mulberry Street
Tickets: $25  HERE

Wednesday June 22th — Taste of Greenmarket

The benefit of all benefits to raise money for the Greenmarket Youth Education Project. Just check out this incredible lists of chefs:

Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern
Dan Barber of Blue Hill & Blue Hill at Stone Barns
April Bloomfield of The Spotted PigThe Breslin & The John Dory Oyster Bar
Marco Canora of Hearth & Terroir
Mary Cleaver of The Green Table & The Cleaver Company
Marc Forgione of Marc Forgione
Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter
Kurt Gutenbrunner of Cafe KristallCafe SabarskyBlaue Gans & Wallsé 
Rick Hickman of The Green Table & The Cleaver Company
Lauren Hirschberg of Craftbar
Peter Hoffman of Savoy & Back Forty
Patti Jackson of I Trulli
Gabriel Kreuther of The Modern
Bret Macris of Rose Water
James Meehan of PDT
Marc Meyer of CookshopFive Points, & Hundred Acres
Marco A. Moreira of Tocqueville Restaurant
Deborah Racicot of Gotham Bar and Grill
Julie Reiner of Clover Club & Lani Kai
Aaron Sanchez of Centrico
Justin Smillie of Il Buco
Bill Telepan of Telepan
Karl Franz Williams of 67 Orange Street
Galen Zamarra of Mas (farmhouse) & Mas (la grillade)

When: Saturday 6/18 6 to 9pm
Where: Studio 450 450 West 31st Street, New York, NY
Tickets: $225 General Admission 7 to 10 PM; $350 VIP Tasting 6 to 10 PM Purchase tickets

June 26th — Beer and BBQ

Beer and barbecue at Townline BBQ in Sagaponack to kick off Eat Drink Local on the East End. Look for all seven ingredients, including a roasted lamb with yogurt and chives, smoked oysters, plenty of peas and strawberry-rhubarb something.

When: Sunday 6/26
Where: Townline BBQ in Sagaponack
RSVP: call Townline, 631.537.2271, or buy your tickets here.

JUNE 29 — Meet Your Maker

“Meet Your Maker”: a local food and drink artisan tour at the Brooklyn Brewery. In celebration of Edible’s Eat Drink Local Week Edible is teaming up with The Brooklyn Brewery, Blue Bottle, Brooklyn Winery and Mast Brothers Chocolate for a night local food tours and beers.  $15 gets you a tour of one of four businesses and a gathering at the Brewery for beers afterwards.

Where: The Brooklyn Brewery, 79 N 11th St, Brooklyn
When: Wednesday June 29th, 6 to 9pm
Tickets:
Reserve your space here.

JUNE 29 — Strawberry Social

The Strawberry Social: to raise funds for Food Systems Network NYC at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden.

Where: La Plaza Cultural Community Garden; 9th St. and Avenue C
Tickets:
 $50 Reserve your space here.

JUNE 30 — Oyster and Beer Party

A Long Island oyster and beer party to end Eat Drink Local, at Jimmy’s No. 43. This all-you-can-eat event will offer up precious Blue Points along with “Naked Cowboy Oysters,” wild-harvested bivalves named after the infamous Naked Cowboy himself (heads up, word is he will be making an appearance).  Craft beer and wine (sourced from the East End of Long Island) will be available for purchase.  Featured beer will include Greenport’s Duck Porter, and wines will be from the Paumanock region vineyards.  Notable shuckers will attempt to dethrone Jimmy’s No. 43 champ, Eddie “Oysters,” winner of the 2010 NYC Food Film Festival’s Great New York City Shuck and Suck.

Where: Jimmy’s No. 43
When: Thursday, June 30; 5 to 10pm
Tickets: $35 Get your tickers here!

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Do This!: Brewers PicNYC on Governor’s Island

Are you one of those people who gets excited when everyone else leaves the city for the weekend? “Be gone and leave us to enjoy some of the finer things this city has to offer — like good food and good beer on an even smaller island than we live on…with sand!”

Brought to you by Food Karma Projects (producers of Pig Island, Meatopia 2010 and Brewers 4 Brewers), Brewers’ PicNyc {how clever} is a two-day celebration {May 29-30/11am-5pm} of everything that makes NYC great: street food, craft beer and music on Governors Island’s historic Colonels’ Row.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Added Value Farm – a sustainable farm on Governors Island. This is Governors Island’s official 2011 kickoff, and the unofficial beginning of summer, so spend your Memorial Day weekend eating well and doing good. What a lineup!

Food Vendors: Asia Dog • The Bistro Truck • Cup Cake Stop • Desi Food Truck • East Village Meat Market • Familia Camarena Tequila • Gorilla Cheese NYC • Gotham Artisinal Sodas • Izze • Jimmy’s No. 43 • Joy Ride • Kimchi Taco Truck • Kombucha Brooklyn • Luke’s Lobster • Orwashers Bakery • PizzaMoto • Pizza Truck NYC • Sour Puss Pickles

Beer Vendors: Brooklyn Brewery,Goose Island, Sixpoint and Two Brother’s!

Free ferry to Governors Island from Manhattan and Brooklyn. For more directions click here.

Buy Tickets Here

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Gone Fish. ‘in Sausalito

 

Fish. Dungeness Crab Sandwich

Fish., a sustainable seafood restaurant and fish market in Sausalito, shows sometimes nature’s simplicity is all you need. The chalkboard menu hung over the open kitchen lists the selections of the day and features “f/v” beside each dish, prominently naming the fishing vessel responsible for your fresh catch. Well that’s a glowing idea.

The doors opened for lunch at 11:30am and it was not long before the line was easily 20 people strong and continued to grow with the lunch hour rush. People will wait for good food and Fish. {so says the name} is good food period.  It’s crab season in San Fran, so it didn’t take much reflection to decide to bite into the dungeness crab roll.  This delight was served on a slightly sweet and fluffy brioche roll that was no doubt swiped generously with butter and toasted face down on the grill, before being stuffed with perfectly seasoned crab that did nothing more than slightly accentuate the sweet, natural flavor of the main catch. With a Ball jar of pinot grigio and a side of salty fries, I had the makings of a fantastic mid-week lunch with my brother. As it turns out Fish. was also the location of my brother’s first date with his now wife – I guess they don’t say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach for nothing.

The Skim: Looking to clear out of the food fog? Head on out to Sausalito for a taste of what fresh food should be all about. Weather permitting you can enjoy your catch at one of the picnic tables overlooking the marina – just be aware of jealous seagulls who want a bite of Fish.

Other SF Catches:
SF Best: Nopa
SF Best: RoliRoti Rolls Out Revolutionary Rotisserie
Blue Bottle Coffee Brews One Brilliant Cup at a Time

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Detroit’s Slows Bar-B-Q is Quickly Becoming a Motor City Beacon

Detroit's Slows Bar-B-Q

Despite being a city that has largely fallen to corruption, been abandoned and left for broke, there seems to be a lot of positive attention on Detroit these days – TV shows, Oscar nominated movies, NY Times articles, documentaries. Regardless of these outside influences, Detroiters remain proud of and hopeful for the Motor City on their own. When some small gem succeeds against all odds, the buzz spreads quickly drawing crowds that give the establishment a feeling of being part of a more populous metropolis.

So when the NY Times wrote a piece on Slows Bar-B-Q, I figured it was time to pay a visit to this Motown miracle while I was home for Thanksgiving. Despite being a Monday night, the tables were full and the projected wait exceeded 20 minutes. To pass the time, we grabbed a craft beer from a selection of about 20 local and national artisanal brews and perused the menu. I was happy to learn that all the meat is sourced from Niman Ranch, a network of family farms that raises its livestock sustainably, using all-vegetarian feeds and no antibiotics and added hormones.

Slows Pulled Pork Sandwich "The Reason"

After we finally got a table, we ordered several items from the menu to sample a little bit of everything. By far the best thing we ate was “The Reason” – Niman Ranch pork butt, smoked slow and pulled, bathed in Slows sauce and topped with a signature crispy and slightly spicy coleslaw, thin dill pickle strips, and served between two thick slices of Texas toast. With a selection of Slows sauces on the table, we were able to adjust the flavor of everything we ordered to our liking – spicy, sweet, apple-based, mustard-based, and even a seasonal sauce. I would also highly suggest the mac ‘n cheese – an item that is a perfect companion to any good BBQ, Slows uses jumbo macaroni shells and a generous amount of gooey, melty cheese to make each bite truly rewarding.

Slows Bar-B-Q Sauce Selection

 

The Skim: If you happen to be in Detroit and are looking for a Reason to appreciate this once-thriving city, be sure to add Slows Bar-B-Q to your list of memorable Motown stops. The Detroit renewal may be slow coming, but it’s through establishments such as this that will continue to inspire growth and polish the city’s tarnished image. While you may be tempted to order their smoked, dry rubbed ribs, take my recommendation and go for the juicy, flavorful pulled pork sammie – it’s named such for good Reason.

Map: 2138 Michigan Avenue
Reservations: Not Taken

Phone: 313.962.9828

Craving BBQ?:
18 Favorite Meat Dishes For Men & Barbeque Heaven @Fette Sau
SF Best: RoliRoti Rolls Out Revolutionary Rotisserie
recipe goodness :: red chili-lime cornbread muffins

8.ate@eight #3: Went Whole Hog and Hog Wild @ the Big Southern BBQ

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18 Favorite Meat Dishes for Men & Barbeque Heaven @Fette Sau

How To Cook Meat for Your Man

A few weeks ago I went to this amazingly wacky collectors exhibit in Brooklyn — a range of collections from hotel ashtrays to museum dust {???}. As I made my way around the room of oddities, I stumbled upon one table that did catch my interest. A collection of meat recipe booklets from the June Cleaver days: “Meats for Men”, “There’s Always Time to Cook Meat”, “Meat Recipes You’ll Talk About” were just some of my favorites. All published by various national livestock and meat boards of one nature or another, these booklets are full of hints on how to cook stews fit for a king or manage your meat over the course of the week — good nutrition calls for meat at least once a day, after all. With all this insightful inspiration, I was craving some good honest meat {wouldn’t you?}. Luckily NYC’s #1 rated BBQ joint, Fette Sau, was conveniently located right across the street from all this nonsense. Some pulled pork and a cold draft was in order!

First up, one of their many craft beers poured from the clever cleaver taps — one too many brews and an ornery attitude could get you in serious trouble!

Craft Beer Taps @FetteSau

And this is why you get a beer first. A long line of pork patrons eagerly away their moment to order. Hey ladies, notice how many men are here??? Don’t worry, the line goes reasonably fast, but why not share a cold one and a conversation while you wait.

Fette Sau Patrons

And while you queue up and converse, you can get inspired by the meat wall — a brilliant dissection of piggy cuts that any meat-loving man or woman should know!

Fette Sau Meat Wall

But what we really care about is das menu. The glorious list of smoked meats, waiting for you to step up and order by the pound. Black Angus Pastrami, Berkshire St. Louis Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork Shoulder, Berkshire Spicy Pork Sausage and more, served with a side of Coleslaw, Guss’ Kosher Pickles, Burnt End Baked Beans, among other goodies. The best part about this place — order a sample of everything and anything you want as it all gets dished on a big ‘ole tray with wet naps and some buns. Fette Sau’s BBQ is dry rubbed and smoked with a blend of Red and White Oak, Maple, Beach and Cherry. And while no sauces are applied during cooking, a selection of sauces awaits you at the communal picnic table seating, so you can play around with flavors and get creative stacking and gnawing at your order if you choose. The premium selection of organic, small-farm heritage meat is juicy with a prevalent smokey flavor that permeates the entire cut and decisively reminds you that this is not just another BBQ joint serving sticky sauced ribs. No, this is the #1 rated BBQ destination in all of NYC, and I can see why.

A Little of This, A Little of That

The Skim: If you’re looking to put a little meat on the bone, or a place to take your man so he can eat like a king, then Fette Sau is a must. The beauty of this high quality BBQ joint is it’s small cozy feel. With a tray of smoked goodness and a ball jar of suds you can settle in to stare longingly into the electronic fireplace with your king of the castle.

Map: 354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn
Reservations: Not Taken
Phone: 718-963-3404


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Stick it To My Ribs:
Le Grand Fooding ‘Twas A Grand Yummy Evening
SF Best: RoliRoti Rolls Out Revolutionary Rotisserie
recipe goodness :: red chili-lime cornbread muffins
NYC Best: Summer Sausage & Other Seriously Good Eats @ Summerstage
8.ate@eight #3: Went Whole Hog and Hog Wild @ the Big Southern BBQ

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Do This!: Free Fall Cheese and Chocolate Extravaganza!

Free Fall Cheese and Chocolate Extravaganza!
Saturday November 13
7:30 p.m. until the cheese runs out…

The Red Hook Bait and Tackle
320 Van Brunt St. (at Pioneer St.)

Learn about the cheeses and chocolates
and how to pair them with wines, beers or spirits.

RSVP to wurwarg@gmail.com to attend, so they can make sure there is plenty of cheese and other good things. Did I mention this extravaganza is FREE! Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Matt Bonano and Jessica Wurwarg (Cheese People)
Colleen Riley (Chocolate/Dessert Person)
Edie Stone (Bait and Tackle Person)

Map: 320 Van Brunt St.
Public Transit Directions: Take the B61 Bus or the F to Smith and 9th St.
RSVP: wurwarg@gmail.com

Cheese Plating in Progress

So Much Cheese, So Little Time:
Do This!: A Taste of What to Expect @ Artisanal Premium Cheese Classes
8.ate@eight #2: Who Cut the Cheese Didn’t Stink!
Del Posto Presents Murray’s Cheese & Salumi Wine Party @NYCWFF

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Reliably Good American Bar and Bites @ Rye House

RYEHOUSE: 11 West 17th Street

Sometimes you just want a good reliable NYC bar and restaurant — a place you can grab lunch mid-week, a cold beer after work with friends or a handcrafted cocktail on a saturday night with intriguing ingredients such as orange blossom water, egg white and small production rye. It’s hard to find all those things in one destination, but Rye House has succeeded in creating a reliable bar and restaurant menu with reverence for traditional American spirits and cuisine.

I met my friend for lunch on a cold rainy day and shook off the chill with a soup and sandwich combo. It pleasantly reminded me of something I may have been able to order if I sauntered in off the cobblestone street of New York City circa 1850. The Spring Onion Potato Soup with a sourdough crouton and provolone was served in a sturdy handled bowl and was just the hearty starter I needed.

RyeHouse Spring Onion Soup

The “Pittsburgh” sandwich was the perfect pairing to go with the simple flavors of the onion soup and had its own warming qualities with a unique combo of grilled andouille sausage, provolone, house slaw, fries all stacked together and served on a wooden plank. The spice of the sausage was nicely mellowed out by the crisp slaw, and while the fries weren’t exactly necessary on the sandwich, they added a different sort of salty, crispy bite that made this a lunch to remember {lunch menu HERE}.

RyeHouse Pittsburgh

The Skim: With a long welcoming bar placed near the front and high tables along the wall, the casual atmosphere of Rye House invites you to stop in for whatever you’re in the mood for — a good craft draft, a creative cocktail or memorable, but simple American cuisine. Rye House also holds weekly beer tastings featuring a changing selection of craft brews, so this may just be the perfect place to discover some of the names appearing at NY Craft Beer week.

Map: 11 West 17th Street {Btw 5th & 6th Ave.}
Reservations: Taken!
Phone: 212.255.7260

Pour Some More Por Favor:
Highlands Highlights: Scottish Plaids, Pub Fare and Hand Crafted Cocktails
Not so Standard Biergarten
Mission Dolores {Accomplished}: Great New Brooklyn Beer Garden
Wilfie & Nell: Not Your Grandpa’s Watering Hole

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NY Craft Beer Week, Get Your Goggles On

NY Craft Beer Week is an annual celebration of New York City and its craft beer community. The week’s events range from neighborhood beer walks and bar promotions to tasting festivals, food pairings and beer dinners. So when I was invited to the NYC Brewer’s Choice event at City Winery this week, I grabbed my drinking stein and shoes and headed downtown for what was sure to be a hop-ping good time. City Winery rolled out the wine barrels and rolled in the kegs to throw the best beer bash I have ever been to {even if you count college}. The space was packed with beer aficionados and regular eager amber samplers like myself, who had about 20 breweries to sip suds from and several artisan food purveyors generously pairing our brew with some tasty bites.

Patience and a penchant for tipping back a glass swiftly is what it took to power through the crowds and extensive selection in order to cover the spread thoroughly. There were definitely some highlights and unique brews worth making note of and keeping on your short list for the next time you visit the local pub.

Crafting Crowd

Empire Brewing Company: Roasted Pumpkin Ale (Syracuse, NY)
Made with over 100 lbs of fresh roasted pumpkins from Critz’s Farm in Cazenovia, NY. The pumpkins are added to the mash and then the beer is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and clove. Deep amber in color, this autumn ale is the perfect cross between a cream soda and a pumpkin pie. It is a DE-LIC-OUS draft!

Ballast Point: Navigator Dopplebock (San Diego, CA)
Brandy barrel-aged, this brew was deep brown with a thick foamy head and strong chocolate and coffee flavors. It was easy to drink and the brandy added a complexity that paired very nicely with the 70% Mast Brothers dark chocolate they were serving.

Ommegang: Cup o Kyndness (Cooperstown, NY)
Appropriately named after a line from Scottish poet, Robert Burns’, poem Auld Lang Syne, this Belgian-Scotch style ale was a wee bit smokey and reminiscent of, well, a glass of scotch. One of the more unique pours of the evening, I would highly suggest this on a cold, rainy evening or when you’re looking for something a little different to warm the soul.

Stillwater Cellar Door (Baltimore, MD)
A light golden color, Cellar Door, exhibited hints of tangerine and sage, two delightfully refreshing flavors that made this brew a selection I could sip on a stellar summer day or as a perfect pairing with some salty cheeses or seafood.

Turns out I’m actually bad about taking pictures of drinks, so you’ll have to settle for snapshots of some of the highlights from the food pairings.

Betty Brooklyn, a brooklyn based private chef and caterer, whipped up some amazing deviled eggs with pancetta topping off the delicacy. The yolk was incorporated with some of the rendered pancetta fat homemade mayonnaise and dijon to create a salty, creamy, smoky pillow of flavor in one bite.

Betty Brooklyn: Deviled Eggs

Mama O’s Premium Kimchi was cookin’ up some crazy good kimchi chili and kimchi salsa. That makes so much sense — hot peppery, gingery, pickled Korean flavor goodness meets American classics — why hasn’t anyone done that before!

Mama O's: Kimchi Chili and Salsa

Orwasher’s Bakery crafted some creative crusty breads using Six Point Ale, combining old world technique with new world flavors to create a super soft center surrounded by a crust that echos when you tap it…just how good artisan bread should be!

Orwasher's Artisan Rustic Beer Breads

Clearly a evening to remember — if I can after all that beer. So next time you visit your local Cheer’s, ask if they carry any of these craft drafts and give these suds a sip or two to suit your mood.

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A+ 8.ate@eight Back to School Nite

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Apologies for my absence for a few days, but I have been busy shopping and chopping for what was the last 8.ate@eight supper club of the outdoor season. You wouldn’t think preparing “cafeteria” food would be such a distraction, but when you’re hand selecting figs and prosciutto from Italy for your pizza, catching red snapper off the east coast for your tacos, hunting bison out west for your mini sliders and hand frying potatoes for your truffle-rosemary chips, then there isn’t much time for blogging. Well maybe I wasn’t actually doing all of those things {except the hand frying – look out Frito Lay!} but the menu is accurate. As several friends had kids heading back to school, I thought it would be fun to relive the nostalgia of new sneakers, trapper keepers and the best of school cafeterias — only better! Here’s the full report card…

The Syllabus:

Starter
3 Grilled Pizzettes:
{1} Arugula, Fig & Proscuitto w/ Grated Parmesan Cheese
{2} Greek Olive Tapenade, Pickled Red Onion & Feta w/ Lemon Olive Oil
{3} Spicy Italian Sausage, Roasted Fennel & Fresh Mozzarella
w/ Grandma’s Sauce & Fresh Rooftop Basil

Mini Lime-Chili Red Snapper Tacos
w/ “Fruit Punch” Sangria

Salad
Roasted Corn & Vegetable Medley w/ Chipotle Bacon & Queso Fresco
w/ Bodegas Valdesil Godello Valdeorras Val de Sil Montenovo (Spain)

Entrée
Mini Bison Sliders w/ Buffalo Mozzarella and Olive Tapenade
Homemade Truffle Rosemary Parmesan Chips
w/ “P.S.” Local 2 Brooklyn Dark Ale

Dessert
Coconut “Twinkies” w/ Lemon Curd Filling
w/ Kahlua-Rum Chocolate “Milk”

It was just like showing up to a new classroom — some old friends and some new faces to get to know. This is why I started 8.ate@eight and what I love about my table. People can come together to enjoy good food and drink and easily fall into conversation with an unfamiliar group.

Pablo is the Principal at his own school he started -- how awesome is that!

As the 8.ate@eight-ers filed in, I was busy at work grilling pizzas on the BBQ. Not an entirely new concept, but a new twist on school lunch favorite — wasn’t pizza day a must?! With dough and toppings on hand, I grilled up three different versions: an Arugula, Fig & Proscuitto w/ Grated Parmesan Cheese Pizza, a Greek Olive Tapenade, Pickled Red Onion & Feta w/ Lemon Olive Oil Pie and a crowd-pleasing favorite, Spicy Italian Sausage, Roasted Fennel & Fresh Mozzarella w/ Grandma’s Sauce & Fresh Rooftop Basil.

Fresh Figs

Served alongside the pizza were some Red Snapper Tacos with a Lime-Chili Marinade and Avocado Sauce. I’m pretty sure the lunch ladies didn’t fill our shells with anything better than greasy ground beef, but I wanted to keep it light. Both of the appetizers were served with an adult version of fruit punch: sangria! With a winning combination of spanish vino, brandy, triple sec and lemonade, I soaked a combination of lemon, lime, orange slices and cherries overnight and topped each cup off with a little club soda — every party is better with bubbles!

Red Snapper Tacos

Sangria "Fruit Punch"

Probably the least eaten items on those styrofoam trays were the vegetable medleys and fruit cup cocktails, so I decided to do a combination of both with a modified version of my friend Nora’s delicious corn salad. There are several things that are great about this salad and its a recipe for success that I have written about before: sweet, spicy, citrusy, savory and salty. I roasted several ears of sweet jersey corn, removing the kernels and adding to a combination of grapes {strange, but sweet and amazing}, red bell peppers {peppery and colorful}, red chilis {that subtle spicy kick that I love}, cilantro {a polarizing ingredient for many, but even I converted a hater at the table}, scallions and lime. So that’s the regular combination, but I also decided this salad would do well with a few bits of chipotle bacon crumbled on top with some queso fresco — if only school veggies were always this good.

Roasted Corn & Vegetable Medley

Roasted Corn Salad

It’s not only important to eat your veggies, but a good healthy protein also tops the food pyramid. I keep speaking the praises of bison to anyone who will listen {recipe here}, so I thought if I put them in slider form I could win the hearts of my table too. So let’s reiterate some important facts — please take notes.

Bison tastes very similar to beef, but is slightly richer, so I complemented that flavor with a spread of salty olive tapenade on the mini buns and melted some creamy buffalo mozzarella on top for a better take on a kiddie craving.

Mini Bison Sliders

And just like PB&J is a match made in heaven, so are burgers and chips. So I carried out the dutch oven, a few pounds of potatoes and got to work slicing, rinsing, drying and frying the makings of my Homemade Truffle, Rosemary Parmesan Chips. A lot of work, but there is something very satisfying about putting Frito Lay to shame from your own kitchen {recipe to follow}.

Toss in corn starch to remove moisture and create crispier results

Toss in 375 degree oil 4-5 minutes until golden blond

Strain and Season with Fresh Rosemary and Truffle Salt

Season with Rosemary, Truffle Salt, Parmesan Cheese and Try Not to Eat Too Many

While everyone settled in for the Ferris Bueller classic, Naerim also made a guest appearance and served her Coconut “Twinkie” with Lemon Curd filling and I blended up some Kahlua-Rum Chocolate “Milk” just in case  everyone didn’t have enough to drink.

Coconut "Twinkies" with Lemon Curd

As usual, we cleared the plates, handed out some blankets as the night started to cool and fired up the projector for our guest visitor: Ed Rooney. No better end to another memorable 8.ate@eight supper club.

Ed Rooney Was Our Guest Visitor

Thanks!

Thanks to Naerim again for all the help serving drinks and food and ending the evening with a great new take on an old lunchbox treat! Thanks to Kristin for snapping some pics while I was manning the grill. And I of course want to thank everyone who grabbed a seat at the table — it was lovely to have you all!

I’m ruminating on some future indoor events for the fall and winter, so stay tuned. If you aren’t on the dinner distribution list, email me at 8ateateight@gmail.com to be added. See you at the table!

Recipe Goodness:

Homemade Rosemary, Truffle and Parmesan Chips or Fries

Prep Time: 1 Hour | Cook Time: 20-30 Minutes
Serves 4

2 1/2 # russet potatoes  (about 4 large)
3 QT. peanut or canola oil

Peel and cut potatoes into either long sticks or 1/2-inch thick circles for fries or use a mandolin to thinly slice flat or waffle cut circles {using the waffle blade} for chips. Rinse cut potatoes in large bowl under cold running water until water turns clear. Cover with cold water and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.

Pour off water,spread potatoes onto towels, and thoroughly dry {important for crispiness}. Transfer to large bowl and toss with cornstarch until evenly coated. Transfer to wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet and let rest until fine white coating forms, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large, heavy bottomed dutch oven, fitted w/clip-on candy thermometer, heat oil to 325.  Add half of potatoes a handful at a time and increase heat to high.  Fry, shirring with mesh spider until potatoes start to turn from white to blond, 4-5 min.(oil temp will drop). Transfer fries to paper towels to absorb oil and cool. Return oil to 325 and repeat with rest of potatoes. Let potatoes cool.

Heat oil to 375. Add half of fries or chips, a handful at a time, and fry until golden brown, 2-3 min. Transfer to paper towels & repeat with remaining fries. Season immediately with chopped rosemary, truffle salt and shaved parmesan.

Read About Past 8.ate@eight Events:
8.ate@eight Went Whole Hog and Hog Wild @ the Big Southern BBQ
Who Cut the Cheese Didn’t Stink!
Silencing of the Spring Lambs was Lambtastic!

What are you still doing here? It’s over. Go home.

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Gone Fishin’ :: Back in a Week…

Farewell Bachelorhood!

As I referenced in a previous post, I’m off in San Francisco to be the best groom’s girl I can be in my brother’s wedding this weekend. Jackie, my soon-to-be sister-in-law, works for Ghirardelli. She’s pretty darn sweet as a person, but it also doesn’t hurt that she brings a dowry consisting of a lifetime supply of chocolate. Welcome to the family!

I’m sure I will have no shortage of things to blog about upon my return — I promise it will be more interesting than a post about rice and will include musings from Napa. In the meantime, visit some old favorites…

Make A Delicious Dinner For Friends:
Kickin’ Ancho Chili Fresh Citrus Margarita
Avocado & Tropical Fruit Salsa
Orzo, Spinach & Feta Summer Salad
Whole-Grain Mustard & Rosemary Pork Chops
Grilled Thyme-Cumin Vegetable Kabobs
Violet’s Lemon Cheesecake with BBQ’d Summer Berries {bottom of post}
More Recipes >>> EAT@HOME

Keep Busy in the City:
Do This!: Artisanal Premium Cheese & Wine Classes w/ Jessica Wurwarg
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
NYC Best: Summer Sausage & Other Seriously Good Eats @ Summerstage
NYC Best: Take the Dull Out Of Cooking {Knives} with Samurai Sharpening @ Chelsea Market

Enjoy a Cold One in the Garden:
Not so Standard Biergarten
Mission Dolores {Accomplished}: Great New Brooklyn Beer Garden
Nothing says Warm Weather Like a “Gut Biergarten”

And in the Spirit of Weddings, Go on a Date!:
Summer Lovin’ Me Some Oysters @Mermaid Oyster Bar
Highlands Highlights: Scottish Plaids, Pub Fare and Hand Crafted Cocktails
The Red Cat: Comfortable Quarters & Cuisine
Love, Love Shabu Shabu: Fun to Say and Eat
August in April
Bocca di Bacco: I say PotaTO, You say PoTATo
barmarche: Some Clever Crudites

Eat Up!
Christina

Sibling Fun in Tokyo

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NYC Best: Summer Sausage & Other Seriously Good Eats @ Summerstage

My two most favorite past-times: good food and good music. Both are readily accessible in this fine big apple city that I live in, but put them together and you’ve got yourself the makings of a double good time. Summerstage, the outdoor venue in the middle of Central Park, has long been my favorite venue to catch a show. Most shows are free as it’s privately funded through sponsors and a few benefit concerts, it’s small enough that you can touch the stage without taking a sharp elbow to the gut, and with a blanket and starry night to set the scene, it’s easy to settle down and take in some good tunes.

This season Summerstage added just another reason to love this venue and make it a “must do” summer activity: good food. Normally you would expect the standard overdone hamburger and dirty water dog as the only options at a place like this, but with much excitement I discovered a few food purveyors from Brooklyn Flea and the fine wine makers from City Winery have been brought in to satiate our every desire.

Central Park Syrah from City Winery Anyone?

City Winery

Wash Down a Darn Good Dog from Asia Dog

How about the Ginny with homemade kimchi and nori flakes or the Sidney with thai mango relish, cucumber, red onion, cilantro & crushed peanuts. Those two lady dogs sound a lot more interesting than your usual Frank.

Marlow & Sons/Daughters and AsiaDog

I Adopted Marlow Sons & Daughters

This Brooklyn based butcher serves up a cut above the rest with their grass-fed beef burgers, house made pork sausage and barbecued pork sandwich with jalapeno lime aioli, picked onion, mint and cilantro. I wanted the pork sammy, but popular demand cleared out that supply in a matter of minutes. My pork sausage with pickled relish did not disappoint though, it was flavorful, freshly cooked and the relish added a nice zing quickly making me forget this was concert food.

My Marlow & Daughters House Made Pork Sausage w/ Pickled Relish

Truckin’ Good Pizza from Pizza Moto

Fresh from the mobile wood burning oven {hopefully those aren’t Central Park trees} you can order a slice with all sort of goodies on top and a thin, crispy crust, just as pizza should be.

Pizza Moto

Ice Cream, You Scream for Blue Marble…

If sweets are more your craving, try a a few scoops or classic root beer float {I wonder if they would make this with Blue Moon} from Blue Marble Ice Cream. All products are made only from premium grass-fed organic dairy.

Blue Marble Ice Cream

Prices range from about $4-8 depending on the item, so you won’t break the bank while enjoying these seriously good eats with your tunes at Summerstage…unless of course you get the munchies. The Flaming Lips liked this so much, they threw a party. It’s not too late to catch a show as events are scheduled through September. See Schedule HERE.

The Flaming Lips Threw A Huge Celebration

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Highlands Highlights: Scottish Plaids, Pub Fare and Hand Crafted Cocktails

Highlands Bar NYC

A brief glance at the Highlands menu might have you scratching your head wondering what it all means and WHY anyone would sample Scottish food. Pork Faggot, Haggis, Neeps, Tatties, Cullen Skink…either I’ve had one too many Scotch cocktails and the words have gotten all mixed up or I need one of those fine plaid-clad bartenders to provide a wee bit of foreign translation assistance. But be not afraid, if you are envisioning a plate of unappetizing, unrecognizable food, you are in for a real treat when you order from the menu that was created to showcase modern Scotland. The atmosphere itself will clue you in that this contemporary gastropub is both authentic, but cutting edge at the same time.

Scottish Art?

Highlands is split into two quaint rooms. A dining area equipped with brick walls, close-set tables and a strange painting featuring a young boy with wolves hung over a faux fireplace. And the bar {where you can also order food}, with plaid-clad bartenders and backlit blond wood shelves showcasing some of the finer imports from Scotland:  Scotch, Malts, Gins and Ales. If you plan to eat at the bar, I suggest you get there early, because the bar draws a large crowd eager to imbibe unique hand crafted Scottish cocktails such as the Lucky White Heather {Famous Grouse Scotch, Rosemary Star Anise, Lemon and Egg White} or the Blood and Sand {Glenrothes Special Reserve, Cherry Herring, Orange Juice, Lemon and Bitters}. It’s a great place to expand beyond your usual vodka soda or Amstel light order, while exploring the young and vibrant patrons.

A Menu Must: Lamb Sausage Roll with Mint, Upland Cress and Harissa Aioli. It’s hard not to like when a mini sausage is wrapped in a flaky warm crust and served with a spicy sauce for dipping. I’d like to call it an upscale pigs-in-a-blanket, and well, who doesn’t love those!

Highlands Roast Chicken

I also had the roast chicken breast, that was both crispy and juicy and can be enjoyed whether it’s 90-degrees out or 20. And in case you’re wondering what all those other items are that I referred to, here’s a little cheat sheet. Go ahead and give it a go!

  • Pork Faggot: Kind of like a Scottish meatball, pork mixed with fresh herbs and sometimes breadcrumbs
  • Haggis: Traditional Scottish dish containing sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours. Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a casing rather than an actual stomach. {You may need a strong stomach and sense of adventure for this one}
  • Neeps: Yellow turnip
  • Tatties: Potatoes
  • Cullen Skink: Thick soup made with haddock, potatoes and onions

The Skim: It’s friendly, it’s cozy with great drinks, great food, great bar and great atmosphere. Clearly I think it’s great. I’ll go so far as to say it’s one of my favorite NYC restaurants and bars. You can be as adventurous as you dare, but the menu serves all interests and will give you a taste of traditional Scottish fare with some modern twists. Go to eat or just drink, but either way, go.
Map: {150 west 10th St. btw Waverly & Greenwhich Ave.}
Reservations: Taken!
Phone: 212-229-2670


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Do This!: Good Beer at BAM Brooklyn

Wednesday, July 28, 4-8 p.m.
BAMcafé at Brooklyn Academy of Music,
30 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene

$40 (or half price when you subscribe to Edible)
BUY TICKETS HERE

Watch Food.Curated’s Video from Last Year’s Event: http://vimeo.com/5857294

On July 28, Edible magazines, in partnership with the Good Beer Seal, and with the support of Brooklyn Brewery and Stella Artois, celebrate good beer with their second annual sudsy soiree at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Driven by the conviction that our great beer town deserves an annual bang-up beer bash we’ll serve up the best brews and, of course, the eats, too. In contrast to the typical overwhelming swill sloshfest, Good Beer at BAM offers an intimate setting for breweries, food artisans, and we who love them, to raise a glass (or few) to the role beer plays in the contemporary culinary culture.

Because everyone deserves good beer, Good Beer at BAM will bring together 600 NYC food and drink enthusiasts to sip and sup from:

  • 12 to 15 breweries from New York and the region will pour alongside an edited list of tastes from Brooklyn and Manhattan restaurants and food makers, from lobster rolls to pretzels, and from steak house schmaltz to local seafood crudo.
  • Never-before shared beers brewed just for the event, including a homebrewing demo by Brooklyn Brew Shop.
  • Good Beer Seal bars will be on hand showcasing the best that New York City offers in beer culture.
  • Good Beer helps to culminate July Good Beer month, the city-sanctioned celebration that was launched last year. Learn more here.

Beers by: Brooklyn Brewery, Stella Artois, American Beer Distributors, Southampton Publick House, Fire Island Beer Company, Peak Organic, Kelso of Brooklyn, Palm, Brooklyn Brew Shop, Sixpoint Craft Ales, Sierra Nevada, Flying Dog, Blue Point Brewing Company, Ommegang, Heartland Brewery, Abita, Magic Hat

Food by: Esca, Sammy’s Roumanian Steak House, Brandt Beef, Sigmund’s Pretzels, Luke’s Lobster, Northern Spy, Jimmy’s 43, Gramercy Tavern, Fette Sau, Cafe Glechik, Lucy’s Whey, Organic Valley, Back Forty, Orwasher’s, Co., The Good Fork, Umi Nom, Brooklyn Greenmarkets, Whole Foods Market.

BUY TICKETS HERE

Interested in Good Beer? You Might Also Like:
8.ate@eight #3: Went Whole Hog and Hog Wild @ the Big Southern BBQ
Do This!: Summer Cheese and Beer Extravaganza
Mission Dolores {Accomplished}: Great New Brooklyn Beer Garden
Not so Standard Biergarten
Nothing says Warm Weather Like a “Gut Biergarten”

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8.ate@eight #3: Went Whole Hog and Hog Wild @ the Big Southern BBQ

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It was a dark and stormy night {almost}. The orange and yellow radar covered the eastern seaboard. The dark, cumulonimbus clouds loomed overhead. And the wind blew….but it DID NOT rain. Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then. Good thing, because this 8.ate@eight BBQ took two full days to prep and I was fixin’ to have me a party. All those dixie flavors like to hang out over night, so the kitchen was in full swing from the moment the roosters crowed Friday. Here’s the scoop ya’ll…

The Menu:

Starter
Creole Roasted Corn-Tomato Salsa
Margarita Soaked Watermelon
w/ Fresh Agave-Lime Margaritas with Ancho Chili-Infused Silver Patron

Salad
Oven Roasted Avocado Tortilla Salad
w/ ’08 Basa Ruedo Blanco (Spain)

Entrée
Slooooow Cooked Pork Ribs
Lime-Chili Cornbread
Red Cabbage, Radish & Carrot Slaaaw
w/ Abita Amber, Purple Haze and Strawberry Lager Beer (Louisiana)

Dessert
Banana Puddin’ Served in Semi-Sweet Chocolate Cups
w/ Crios de Susana Balba ‘09 Torrontes (Argentina)

It wouldn’t be an 8.ate@eight without a kickoff cocktail and since I was spicing things up with the food, I also decided to throw together an Ancho Chili-Infused Fresh Lime Margarita to warm things up {thanks to inspiration from my wine friend, Mike}. A smoked Ancho Chili went into the bottle a few hours before serving and I got to work juicing more limes, oranges and grapefruit than a minute maid. But since Top Chef contestants always like to do things “two-ways” I also sliced a watermelon into finger sized pieces and soaked those in fresh lime margarita over night {careful, they’ll get ya when you’re not looking!}

The Fixins' for Fresh Lime Margaritas

Margarita Watermelon ready to chill out for a day

And what better app to serve with fresh margaritas than salsa? I rubbed the corn in Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning and roasted it on the grill before adding to vine-ripened grape tomatoes with more fresh lime, cilantro, scallions and some red chilis from my neighbor’s rooftop garden {thanks Julie!}

Creole Roasted Corn-Tomato Salsa and Chips

Before people had one too many watermelon slices, we all grabbed a seat and I served a Roasted Avocado Tortilla Salad. This was a new experiment inspired by Jamie Oliver — oven at full whack, sliced avocado on a tray tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin seed and roasted for 15 minutes. The result: warm, roasted, lightly charred avocado slices served over crispy tortilla chips, fresh greens, sprouts and a simple lemon-olive oil dressing. Refreshing and unique.

Roasted Avocado-Tortilla Salad

Now for the main event. St. Louis Spare Ribs went for a swim in apple juice and apple cider vinegar before being rubbed with love in a dry blend of spices, garlic and orange zest and left in the fridge for a day to take it all in. Everything is slower in the South, so I also made the slaw a day before so the flavors would mix and mash and come out really tasty. The secret to good cole slaw is time. With red cabbage as the base, I added thin radish and carrots slices, all of which are pretty sturdy veg, so the longer they get to hang out in the vinegar-mayo dressing, the more they soften up and take on the flavor of the marinade. This also means you don’t have to over do it with the mayo — I was pretty light handed, contrary to what you may be used to in the cole slaw department. And it wouldn’t be a BBQ without cornbread, in my opinion. Somewhere along the line I started making my cornbread with creamed corn to make them less dry and add some actual bits of corn to the mix. This time I also took this recipe a step further and added grated neighborly-red chili and lime zest to throw in a little kick.

Carrot, Radish and Red Cabbage Slaw

Chili-Lime Cornbread Cups

Rubbin' the hog ribs

On day 2, I fired up the oven about 5 hours prior to show time and got the ribs into slow-cook mode. While they were doin’ their thang, I got to chopping, sauteing and simmering away to make one of the most unique BBQ sauces I have ever had. Again, thanks to inspiration from Jamie Oliver this blend was a combination of fresh herbs, spices, more red chili, and generally accepted BBQ sauce condiment contributions {horseradish, ketchup, worcestershire, etc.} to add the needed kick and sweetness that any finger-lickin’ BBQ sauce requires. But what stood out amongst the 8.ate@eight crowd as the most distinct and crowd-pleasing flavor was the fresh orange juice and zest — not a common flavor found on the grill, but OH so fine. All this paired quite well with a selection of Abita brews from Louisiana — Amber, Purple Haze and Strawberry Harvest. Do not be afraid of the fruit flavored beer gentlemen — it is subtle and the perfect complement to the spicy red chilies that found their way in to many of the dishes.

Makin' the BBQ Sauce

Abita Beer Selection from LA - Save the Sea!

8.ate@eighters Diggin' In

When I polled my southern friends about their favorite desserts, there were many — cobblers, pies, hand churned ice cream, but one that stood out was banana pudding. Borrowing some more inspiration from a delightful dessert blog I read, Bakerella, I decided to make chocolate cups to serve this somewhat simple, but delicious banana pudding in. Armed with 3 pounds of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate and water balloons {sans water} I got to dipping. My eyeballs nearly popped out of my head trying to blow up the tiny water balloons, but they are necessary to use to get the right size shell. Ultimately these were very easy to make and really jazzed up the puddin’, so the next time you’re looking for a unique serving option for anything that goes well with chocolate {fresh berries, ice cream, pudding, etc.} you should give these a try.

The makings of the banana puddin'

Setting the Chocolate Cups

Pop!

Banana Puddin' Cups

So with full bellies and licked fingers, it was time to sit back, relax and welcome the 3 Amigos into the evening. After so much finger linkin’ food and a large selection of beverages, it was good to have a lively movie to keep the night going and a few guttural laughs to help with digestion. And with still no rain in sight, the evening carried on into the wee hours — I reckon it was another successful and fun 8.ate@eight supper club!

Laughter Helps with Digestion

The 3 Amigos Rode in for the BBQ

Much Obliged:

Thanks, as always, to my guests for being part of the evening. Thanks to my lovely neighbors for the tent and red chili contributions and thank you to my roommate Haley for introducing me to the wonders of Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning.

Stay tuned for news of the next dinner party. Everyone I know and love is getting married in August, so the kitchen is closed until September. If you aren’t on the invite list, email me at 8ateATeight@gmail.com to be added. See you at the table!

Recap of past 8.ate@eight dinners:
Who Cut the Cheese Didn’t Stink
Silencing of the Spring Lambs

Recipe Goodness ::
Banana Puddin’ Chocolate Cups

Pudding recipe courtesy of Cindy Lee

Makes 8-10 servings in one 8×8 pan {9×11 pan if double recipe}

Pudding:
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ cups cold water
1 (4 serving size) pkg. instant vanilla pudding
2 cups whipping cream, lightly whipped
1 box vanilla wafers
4 bananas, sliced

In large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk & water.  Add pudding mix, beat with whisk until well blended and chill in refrigerator about 5 min.  Then fold in the lightly whipped cream {still liquid, but aerated to make thicker}.  Spoon pudding mixture (about 1 cup) into bottom of glass dish, then layer with vanilla wafers, then banana on top of wafer, pudding mix, wafer, banana,  pudding mix, wafer (you want to end on wafer). You will have plenty of pudding mixture, especially if you double the recipe so use the pudding mixture generously on the bottom of the dish and throughout.

Tip: Always best to make this the day before so the flavors will marry.

Chocolate Cups:
1 pound semi-sweet chocolate per 8 cups {I like Ghirardelli}

Blow up 8 water balloons with air, not water {careful not to bust a gut!} Get a cookie sheet ready, lined with a piece of parchment paper. Melt chocolate in a small metal bowl on top of a boiling pot of water or in a double boiler. Continue stirring and once fully melted, remove bowl and move to the counter, letting the chocolate cool slightly so as not to pop your balloons. Take a small spoon and put a dollop of chocolate, evenly spaced on the parchment paper, for the foot of each bowl you will create. Start dipping! I found that it was difficult to get an even edge by dipping the balloon straight down, so I took an angled approach and continued to turn and dip, turn and dip at an angle, creating what looked like a tulip bowl. Once you have covered the base of the balloon, place it on one of the dollops, standing upright and repeat. Let the chocolate harden for about an hour and then pop each balloon with a pin and enjoy!

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Do This!: Summer Cheese Extravaganza!

Jessica Cutting the Cheese

Summer Cheese Extravaganza!
Saturday July 24
7:30pm until the cheese runs out…

The Red Hook Bait and Tackle
320 Van Brunt Street
We will give you cheeses and some desserts too!
We’ll tell you about them and help you pair with wines, beers or spirits.

And YES! The tasting is free!! So get there early before the supply runs out.

Matt Bonano and Jessica Wurwarg (Cheese people)
Colleen Riley (Chocolate/Dessert Person)

Check out more cool cheese events:
Summer Fancy Food Show: Full Belly and Learnings Digestion
Do This!: A Taste of What to Expect @ Artisanal Premium Cheese Classes
8.ate@eight #2: Who Cut the Cheese Didn’t Stink!

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Not so Standard Biergarten

Good German Beer!

Don’t cha just love long weekends that make the next week fly by? It’s Thursday already and although you may still be in a foggy-minded haze from the 101 degree blaze we’ve had to muddle through the past few days, it’s time to think about ways to cool down for the weekend. In my opinion, there is no better way than a good ‘ole fashioned biergarten…or a shiny new one for that matter. The Standard Hotel’s Biergarten opened very late last summer, so is just getting broken in for all its glory this season and already won Time Out NY’s Best New Beer Garden award. Tucked under the Highline, you get both a little piece of NY history overhead and a welcomed roof to keep the blazing sun from beating down. The operation is simple: buy as many $8 tickets as you want from the faux lederhosen-wearing beer maid at the entrance and make your way into the lively space. It’s almost like a carnival for adults {sans the carnies…hopefully}. Want a chilled German draft? One ticket please. Want two freshly grilled brats? One ticket please. Thanks to this clever ticket system, the place runs itself like a well oiled machine {don’t forget to tip your beer maid though!} There is plenty of communal seating amongst the picnic and high bar tables or mill around in front of either the beer bar or regular bar {yes they served regular cocktails as well}. Either way you are sure to meet some other singles or just have yourself a not-so-standard fun summer sipping session.

The Standard Biergarten

The Skim: It’s a hip version of a traditional german biergarten where you can come wearing flip flops or your cutest 4-inch heals and get away with either. Whether  you are coming for a fun evening with friends or on the  prowl to meet some “new friends” you will no doubt enjoy the lively, open space. Good beer. Good brats. Good times. {848 Washington Street @ 13th Street)

Beer Me Some More!:
Mission Dolores {Accomplished}: Great New Brooklyn Beer Garden
Wilfie & Nell: Not Your Grandpa’s Watering Hole
5 & Dime: 10 oz. at Five Napkin Burger, that is

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Announcing 8.ate@eight dinner #3 | Big Southern BBQ Meets Small NYC Rooftop | @7.10.10.8:00pm

I may be a girl from the Midwest, but I love me some good BBQ.  In honor of Fourth of July and celebrating all things American, let’s roast up some hog, chill down some beer and have a proper BBQ with all the fixins of a good meal and a good time. After we lick our lips and wipe our fingers {or vice versa}, Three Amigos will be projected under the stars and a memorable, intimate social gathering amongst new friends will ensue.

See here for a recap of past 8.ate@eight dinners:
Who Cut the Cheese Didn’t Stink
Silencing of the Spring Lambs was Lambtastic

Reservation policy is first come, first serve. When I reach 8 guests, the list is closed for the evening. Please feel free to invite guests or forward to friends. A mixed crowd is encouraged!

8.ate@eight #3: Big Southern BBQ Meets Small NYC Rooftop
Saturday, July 10
th, 2010, 8:00pm
4-course dinner menu, followed by
Post Dinner Movie: Three Amigos
Cost: $70 per person

RSVP HERE!: 8ateATeight@gmail.com

Enjoy and hope to see you at the table!

Christina

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Mission Dolores {Accomplished}: Great New Brooklyn Beer Garden

Mission Dolores Beer Garden

Looking for a local watering hole where the beer selection and fresh air is abundant? Mission accomplished at Mission Dolores, the new beer garden in Park Slope that recently opened its doors and the roof. What was once a run down auto repair shop, has since gone through its own renovation from the two brothers behind Cobble Hill’s Bar Great Harry. The simplicity of the cement floors and small wood tables and stools, makes it easy to focus on the main draw of the 21-tap beer selection — everything from premium local brews to a number of well-known international selections {two of my favorites: Aventinus and Hitachino made the list}.

Full Range of Beer Selections from 21 Taps

If you plan on settling in for the long haul from dusk to star-gazing late night, you can also order food in from a number of local restaurants {book of menus is conveniently available at the bar} that are all too willing to drop off a bite to eat. Might I suggest the taquería, Oaxaca, across the street? For under $10 you can get a selection of 3 fresh tacos, rice and beans — what a deal!

Take Out from Oaxaca Taco Shop

The Skim: It’s smaller than some of the well-known beer gardens around New York, but Mission Dolores delivers a large selection of premium beers at very reasonable prices {$4-$7}. With two pinball machines along the wall and plenty of mini tables and stools, this beer garden has the makings of a good night out and is definitely worth the trip to Brooklyn. {249 4th Ave. Brooklyn}

Interested in Good Beer? You Might Also Like:
8.ate@eight #3: Went Whole Hog and Hog Wild @ the Big Southern BBQ
Not so Standard Biergarten
Nothing says Warm Weather Like a “Gut Biergarten”
Do This!: Summer Cheese and Beer Extravaganza

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Belmont Stakes: Best Get Boilin’ Ya’ll

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Even though the Belmont Stakes is a NY based race, there is something about horse racing that evokes an affinity for all things southern. And even if you’re not into horse racing, you can no doubt get excited by chilled cocktails and pots boiling away on the stove, preparing home cooked fare from the deep south.

Last night I went roof hopping from mine to my neighbor’s {this didn’t involve any James Bond leaps} for my first ever Low Country Boil Bash. For those of you, like myself, who don’t know what Low Country Boil is, let me paint you a picture. First, you start with what could only be created in the south, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka {flown in from South Carolina}. Mixed with lemonade, this stuff tastes exactly like the sweet tea you would expect to find at a southern picnic, but is actually hard liquor. Of course you only realize that after you quench your thirst with a few innocently big gulps on a hot summer’s evening. Good thing there were trays and trays of ‘boil’ to soften the blow.

Crawfish, Crawfish and more Crawfish

So what makes up a Low Country Boil? 6 pounds of fresh Louisiana crawfish were flown up for the evening, steamed to bright red perfection and served with a heap of fresh corn, red skinned potatoes, shrimp and andouille sausage, all of which was boiled together with onions, garlic, old bay seasoning, salt, pepper, butter and lemon halves.  Yes ma’am! And it wouldn’t be a southern meal without a little cornbread or bacon, so why not serve that with bacon-cornbread muffins! The newspaper was spread, napkins were stacked and we all gathered round to dig in and start pulling the tails off the crawfish. This might seem intimidating if you have never done this before, but if you think of it like a mini lobster, you realize it’s not only easy, but fun, and the reward is a sweet meat that is worth the effort. For those who consider themselves adventurous {me} you can suck the head to get to what most southerners claim is the best part {not me}. I wasn’t able to stay for dessert, but I was eyeing the homemade peach cobbler and red velvet cupcakes that topped off a lovely nod to southern cuisine. We should all learn a thing or two from southern hospitality and invite more of our city neighbors to hop roofs or walk down the hall for a friendly gathering, because I have to say, that was one memorable NYC meal. Thanks friends!

Low Country Boil Takes On NYC

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The Great Burger Debate: It’s All About the Bun @ Zaitzeff

Zaitzeff Sirloin Burger on a Portuguese Muffin

When you start talking burgers with someone, you are inevitably going to enter into the debate about the best burger you’ve ever had. You might even pull out the top 3 list. But it’s not everyday you enter this great debate and then are told that one of those on the list is right across the street from where that very conversation takes place. So at 11pm last night I felt I could not pass up the opportunity to check out Zaitzeff, a previously unknown to me burger joint on the Lower East Side. The ambiance is simple —  with lamps providing a soft light, paintings on the wall and candlesticks on the table, Zaitzeff sort of feels like you’re eating in someone’s home. The menu mirrors the simplicity of the surroundings and is the key to why this burger is in fact so delicious. You can choose between American style Kobe or Grass-Fed Sirloin freshly ground onsite, which is served with lettuce, tomato, sauteed onions and the real key to this delight, a Portuguese muffin. If you are feeling like you really want to jazz it up, there are a selection of cheeses, bacon, avocado and even a fried egg that you can add for an additional charge. I have to agree, this was one delicious burger, and thankfully because it’s made from such lean beef it didn’t have me leaving wishing I had made that choice earlier in the evening.

The Skim: It’s all about the bun. Generally an afterthought to what goes in between, the slightly sweet Portuguese Muffin compliments the sweet sauteed onions and premium grass-fed sirloin or Kobe to create a simple, yet delicious burger. You won’t have grease running down your elbows, but you will likely be licking your lips after a visit to Zaitzeff. {18 Ave. B, bet. 2nd & 3rd Street}

More on The Great Burger Debate:
recipe goodness :: bison, a better burger worth biting into
5 & Dime: 10 oz. at Five Napkin Burger, that is

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Wilfie & Nell: Not Your Grandpa’s Watering Hole

Wilfie & Nell

It’s only fitting that I eventually give a nod to my favorite watering hole. I know what you’re thinking — “Your favorite??? Tell me more!” Wilfie & Nell is built on the sentimental charm of being named after the grandparents of Irish owners and brothers, Mark and Simon Gibson {who wouldn’t want to love grandparents named Wilfie & Nell!}. Both Dubliners can often be found stationed behind the bar, pulling from a lovely selection of brews, generous wine pours or a creative list of house crafted cocktails. Might I suggest the Hot Toddy on a cold winter’s night? And what better to go with your soul-warming cocktail than a dish from their limited, but perfectly delicious Irish menu {oxymoron part deux}. Two favorites of mine: The Berkshire Pork Sliders and the Grilled Cheese, both of which are served with a side of whole grain mustard {gold star ingredient to any good dish} and McClures pickles that have just enough spicy kick to them to perpetuate the cocktail consumption. The key to all of their dishes is fresh, local ingredients and tapas-sized portions that allows you to delicately hold your mini slider in one hand while giving a wave to the eligible looking group of guys {or girls} that just sidled up to the bar.

Which brings me to the other reason that W&N wins the favorite award. The space breeds social interaction with friends and strangers alike. Choose from standing or sitting at the bar, around pillars framed with drink sized ledges or communal tables that line the bar’s perimeter, but regardless of where you camp out, you are inevitably likely to strike up a conversation with other Grandma/pa-loving drinkers looking for a good night out. It’s casual, but lively, and the later you stay, the more likely you are to strike up a conversation from the shear result of rubbing elbows with the group next to you, as the bar tends to stay crowded into the wee hours.

The Skim: If you’re young and single and looking for a good night out, pay a visit to Wilfie & Nell. It’s charming, it’s rustic and most importantly they serve good drinks and Irish grub with the same welcoming friendliness that you would expect across the pond. It’s awfully likely you won’t go home empty handed either if you play your cards right. {228 West 4th St., btw 7 th Ave & West 10th St.}

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