Tag Archives: Organic

Extra Extra! Oaxaca Revolucion de Taco

Oaxaca Taqueria Delciousness

Oaxaca Taqueria Delciousness

Everyone loves a good taco. But not everyone makes a GOOD taco. And by good I mean one that uses ingredients sourced from local, organic and sustainable sources. Oaxaca Taqueria is a recent discovery and a delightful one at that. Tucked down a small alley called Extra Place, somewhere in the vicinity of Bowery and 1st street, is a taco counter that depends on taco revolution geeks to seek out their special selections {read: no foot traffic at this hideout}. It’s authentic Mexican street food at its best.

At $6.95 for two tacos, rice and beans, the lunch special is a steal. I went with the Korean special of the day which included a topping of crunchy kimchi over the korean-spiced steak {highly recommended by my new friend behind the counter} and the braised pork carnitas with pickled onions that can be found on the regular menu. Each were topped with their own special sauce and a squeeze of refreshing lime that contributed to a drip-down-your-arms excitable experience. After alternating bites to decide which should be saved for the last, the Korean special slightly inched out its pork competitor, but it was a close battle.

The Skim: With another 60-degree February day upon us, go out scavenging for a quick authentic mexican bite. The beauty of this tucked-away taco treasure is not only the food, but the abnormal silence that you can relish in sitting at the outdoor cafe tables.

Map: 16 Extra Place {off 1st street between Bowery and 2nd Ave}
Other Locations:

Park Slope, Brooklyn: 250 Fourth Ave {Between Carrol & President}
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn: 251 Smith Street {Between Douglass & Degraw} 

Other Mexican Hideouts:
La Esquina Still Has the Taco Market Cornered
Weekend Brunch: Eat Eggs @ Edward’s

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NYC Best: A Cafe Stands For…

A Cafe Gulf shrimp sauté, in a coconut milk crème fraîche with cayenne curry

Adventurous…Alluring…Anonymous…Appetizing…the A train??

A Café has been a small eating haven on the upper west side for over 10 years, but somehow I never discovered it until recently. It’s not the type of place you walk by and take notice of. The front is anonymously non-descript, it’s nestled next to a defunct custom hardwood floor shop and the name itself doesn’t exactly provide any tantalizing color. But should you venture inside this small space, you will find organic French Caribbean cuisine worth writing about and a BYOB policy to jump for joy over {hard to find in NYC}. What’s even more exciting? They take reservations and offer a prix fixe menu for $25 from 6-8pm. Ok, so it’s inexpensive, easy to get into, personal wine collection-friendly and quaint, but the food?

Amazing.

The whole operation is more or less a one-man show. With a tiny — and I mean TEENY TINY — kitchen in the back, plates keep flying out with the speed of a assembly line operation. Your host/server/expediter/bus boy/”bartender” works the room with such precision you would never even notice staff size {or lack thereof} unless you took a trip to the restroom in the back and saw where all the magic happens.

And magic it is — the grilled Hass avocado, mushroom terrine in a shiitake-sesame dressing {must try to recreate this at home}, was an alluring combination of flavors that was creamy and earthy, while also surprisingly {and pleasantly} served warm. The broiled Bourgogne escargots, with pastis in a cilantro-chili butter was lick your plate-worthy — and lick we did. We had the pleasure of sitting at a table next to the owner and chatted it up for quite awhile. He was quick to tell us these are not just any escargot, but sourced from the best of the best — and I think I agree. For my entree I had the gulf shrimp sauté, in a coconut milk crème fraîche with cayenne curry. This was the dish that really caught my attention and showcased the marriage of the French and Caribbean cuisines. The flavors were rich and comforting and left me wanting more.

The Skim: If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, a trip up to 108th/Columbus is well worth the adventure. And if you know anything about Duke Ellington’s song, Take the A Train, {check it out HERE} well then you’ll understand where A Café really got its name {west 106th street was named Duke Ellington Blvd after his death}.

Map: 973 Columbus Avenue {between 107 & 108th}
Reservations: Taken! email: reservations@acafeny.com
Phone: 212.222.2033

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New York City Wine & Food Festival Kicked Off With Good Eats

Chelsea Market After Dark

New York City Wine & Food Festival kicked off Thursday night with several star-studded events attracting celebrity chefs, industry big-wigs and foodies for a weekend long line-up of good food for a good cause. The weekend is jam packed with 120 day and nighttime events, seminars, demos, book signings and dinners with up close access and to some of the biggest culinary names and their tasty creations. The best part about it all {besides this being foodie heaven} is that 100% of net proceeds go directly to Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength, two community-based organizations focused on helping to fight hunger — allowing us to literally put our money where our mouth is.

Alton Brown Sock Puppet Blue Print

What better way to launch into a series of eating and drinking events, than by attending the Chelsea Market After Dark event hosted by Food Network great and host of Good Eats, Alton Brown. Every single business operating out of Chelsea Market also showed up with some of their tastiest creations to design an evening centered around an assortment of flavors and bites for foodies to sample as they socialized through the halls of the former Nabisco factory, which is now home to some of NY’s best specialty food shops.

Alton Brown, looking awfully fit and sharp in his corduroy jacket, hosted his own mini-bash amongst some of his set props and scientific paraphernalia, generously mingling and taking photos with the crowd. As fans inched in around him, I jumped in for an intro and took the opportunity to learn a few things worth sharing:

Favorite Kitchen Utensil: His Brain
Most Important Dish to Learn for New Cooks: Eggs {I agree!}
Favorite Spice: Cumin {have you tried my cumin egg salad recipe Alton? We might be new friends}
Favorite Recipe: Whatever his wife makes {always a good answer}

Alton Assuring Me He'll Attend My Next 8.ate@eight Supper Club

Know Your Beef

A True Chemist

Taste Buds Dissected

Chelsea Market is one of my favorite places to shop, with everything from bakeries and farmstand meats to an olive oil filling station and kitchen supply store, there is no shortage of places you can stop in to pick up the makings for a weekday dinner or artisanal products for a unique gift. After hangin’ with Alton’s whimsical puppets and props we explored the rest of the market for other worthy discoveries. Lots to taste, but here are some highlights:

The Lobster Place: Fresh shucked oysters
One of my favorite places to pick up fresh fish or seafood — they have a huge selection of whole, filleted and pre-seasoned fiddies, the prices are reasonable and there is a chowder and sushi bar for a quicker bite when cooking is not an option.

The Lobster Place Shuckin' Oysters

Pure Food and Wine: Pinot Noir Pepper Tarts with Cashew Cheese, Caramelized Shallot and Black Trumpet Mushrooms
Don’t run away when I tell you Pure prepares only raw-vegan and organic food. They are doing things with fresh ingredients that would make you believe magical cooking techniques were involved, but in fact everything they serve you has not been cooked. The flavors are extraordinary, the presentation beautiful and you don’t leave feeling in need of undoing a button or two.  I love meat just as much as the next carnivore, but this was MY FAVORITE bite I sampled the entire evening. There’s something to say for not messing with nature.

Pure Food and Wine Pinot Noir Pepper Tarts

Jacques Torres: Chocolate Chip and Mudslide Cookies
Everyone who knows me knows I’m not big on sweets, but after taking a bite of these I would recommend to all you chocolate lovers to run and get one for yourself. The Jacque Torres chocolate chip cookie was top notch, but the mudslide cookie was a chocolate champion, replacing the butter in the recipe with more chocolate and creating a richness that will make your head spin.

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip and Mudslide Cookies

Dickson’s Farmstand Meats: Pulled Pork Sliders
After too much chocolate on the tongue, I had to wash it down with something savory again. One of the most popular tables of the evening {as evidenced by the line} was Dickson’s Farmstand Meats pulled pork sliders. And I can understand why — using all locally sourced, artisanal pork, they topped this guy off with a creamy, pickley slaw/spread/relish — whatever you want to call it, it was good. Full of flavor and texture it was MY FAVORITE CARNIVOROUS bite of the night.

Dickensons Farmstand Meats Line Awaiting Pulled Pork Sliders

DFM Pulled Pork Sliders

Yum! ‘nough said.

More to come on other NYC Wine & Food Festival events. In the meantime, stop by Chelsea Market if you haven’t already discovered this mecca of artisanal and good food goodness. Its factory feel is cool enough to check out on its own, but I could get lost for hours among the ever increasing number of shops and stands bringing some of the freshest and best food products to New Yorkers.

Map: 75 9th Avenue @ Chelsea Market

Other Chelsea Market Favs:
recipe goodness :: Alton Brown Does Bourbon in the Morning
Hands On with Giada De Laurentiis at Food Network’s NYCWFF Demo
NYC Best: Falafel @ Ruthy’s, Chelsea Market
Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?
NYC Best: Take the Dull Out Of Cooking {Knives} with Samurai Sharpening @ Chelsea Market

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SF Best: RoliRoti Rolls Out Revolutionary Rotisserie

RoliRoti Sets Up

At first RoliRoti may sound like the name of an Indian restaurant, but in fact it’s a food truck rolling out gourmet rotisserie recipes originating from the Swiss Alps and taking the Bay Area by storm. Rotisseur Thomas Odermatt, the son of a Swiss “Metzgermeister,” or Master Butcher, grew up in the family’s Swiss butcher shop before moving to Berkley to pursue an education in organic farming. Serving only sustainably-farmed meats and organic produce, Thomas learned the importance of premium cuts from his father and perfect preparation with a secret spice rub from his mother, bringing a crowd-pleasing culinary combination to the local San Francisco market.

…and to my brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner. Normally to get a bite of RoliRoti you would have to queue up in a long line of hungry Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market foodies on Saturday morning, but after standing in many long lines themselves, my brother and his wife decided to hire RoliRoti to cater the Friday night rehearsal dinner. Lucky us.

So what kind of goodness did this infamous truck roll up with? It’s all about the rotisserie chicken and porchetta slow roasting over a bed of potatoes — yes, vegetarians will have to pass on these spuds. RoliRoti’s prized crispy rotisserie chicken is served with a generous portion of rosemary sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lime for a burst of zesty flavor. The porchetta consists of Heritage’s free range pork loin rolled into the belly with RoliRoti’s original herb mix and lemon zest, grilled on the rotisserie for four hours until crispy brown on the outside, resulting in one succulent hunk of pig!

Dinner's Done!

Rosemary Sea Salt

RoliRoti's Famous Rotisserie Chicken and Roasted Potatoes

The rotisserie may be the main attraction, but the steakhouse salad with sweet early girl tomatoes, red onion and roquefort cheese is a perfect pairing. Or try the charred corn summer salad with fresh avocadoes tossed in punchy lime-jalapeño vinaigrette, garnished with halved cherry tomatoes, bell pepper chunks, and cilantro. Both provide a light and refreshing plate partnership to your carvings.

Early Girl Tomatoes

RoliRoti Summer Salads

The Skim: Whether you’re looking for some finger lickin’ chicken at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market or a really kick-ass party pleaser, roll over to the RoliRoti truck and you will be begging for seconds. Case in point, after a lot of excited and hungry guests, RoliRoti packed it up early after running out of food — only the second time that had ever happened!

Map: San Francisco Ferry Plaza
Phone: 510.780.0300

More on the Left Coast Cuisine:
Bistro Don Giovanni: Napa-Sourced & Italian-Inspired
Do This!: Le Grand Fooding 2010 New York vs San Francisco

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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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I Scream, You Scream For MilkMade Handcrafted Ice Cream

MilkMade Homemade Black Currant and Gingersnap Ice Cream

It all started with a purchase of an ice cream maker, a small East Village kitchen and two friends trying to churn out their love for ice cream with their own two hands for kicks. Using nothing but premium, local ingredients sourced from farmers at the NYC greenmarket and a touch of inspiration from seasonal flavors and dining experiences, Diana Hardeman and Michelle Truong, quickly went from being just roommates with a taste for scoops of ‘scream to business partners and co-founders of MilkMade. Once these two milk maids started sharing some of their handcrafted treats with friends, it wasn’t long before many were clamoring for more creamy creations. A shared scoop became a request for a pint became a featured dessert at dinner parties and then suddenly they were getting coverage in local publications and a new business was born. I sat down with Diana last week and she shared not only some scrumptious ‘scream, but the ups and downs of being a small artisan food purveyor in NYC. Here’s the scoop:

First things first, the ice cream goodness. After a long and hot bike ride down to the East Village, this was a welcomed treat for a girl whose body temperature had risen a couple of degrees. Each month MilkMade creates two featured flavors from which their ‘scream subscribers get to choose. For August the churned choices are Black Currant with Chunks of Homemade Gingersnap Cookies or Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie. Black Currant with Gingersnap — two flavors I have never used in my own kitchen, let alone thought of as a perfect match, but let me tell you it was a prized pairing. The fresh tartness of the currants, mellowed out by the creaminess of the ice cream is smooth and delicious on its own, but then you get a crispy chunk of the cookie with the ginger spice and you think, something about this just works — it’s refreshing, it’s rich and it’s something I’ve never tasted before!

So how do you try some for yourself? Well you used to be able to sample at the Greenpoint Food Market, but due to a string of bureaucratic city health regulations, the market was forced to close until all its vendors could find a certified kitchen to operate from along with a range of permits and certificates — all of which can be prohibitively expensive for start-up artisanal food purveyors who barely break even while selling at the market. Lucky for us, MilkMade also has a membership-based subscription option, where those fortunate enough to get off the wait-list can get a pint hand-delivered to their door each month. The ice cream is so fresh, the ingredients are bought, churned and delivered to you within a 2-3 day window. The cost of this unique experience? $50 for 3 pints of ice cream. {!!!}. Expensive, yes, but when you consider the costs I referenced at the beginning of this ‘graph, the fact that this premium treat is hand made in small batches with high quality ingredients from farms such as Ronnybrook Dairy Farm and Knoll Crest, and hand delivered to you by the founders themselves — well, you can’t buy that kind of quality and experience in the freezer section.

Of course for those of you who are lucky enough to grab a seat at a future 8.ate@eight Supper Club, you may just get a sampling of this special treat, but in the meantime, give a gift to yourself or a well-deserving friend and sign-up to put something more exciting in your freezer than a late-night frozen pizza or bag of peas.

Screaming for More?
Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
Michael Pollan Agreed With Me, $8 Eggs Are A Good Idea

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Michael Pollan Agreed With Me, $8 Eggs Are A Good Idea

You may remember the post I wrote in June called:

Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table

In that post I attempted to make a case that paying $8 for a dozen free-range, organic, local eggs was not crazy. Yes, it may be double, even triple what you COULD pay for eggs at the grocery store, but there is a vast difference in how those egg-laying hens were likely raised, fed and bred, directly impacting the consumed end product: your egg.

So imagine my delight when I came across a WSJ article yesterday called “A Dozen Eggs for $8? Michael Pollan Explains the Math of Buying Local.” Upon reading this article I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Michael Pollan, the author of Omnivore’s Dilemma, read my blog.” I mean come on, we both bought $8 eggs and were delighted enough to make a case for all their glory by simple math: $8/12=$0.66 per rich, golden egg and a meal cheaper than any item on McDonald’s value menu. Coincidence? I think not.

It is a beautiful thing when life comes full circle. I read Pollan’s book this past winter and it changed my outlook on food shopping immensely. I was previously completely ignorant to thinking about where the food on my table originated and why some uniformly similar looking products can vary in price so drastically. Isn’t a chicken just a chicken? And then there’s the marketing behind organic, free-range, all natural — what does it all mean? Ok, so a chicken is not always just a chicken. There are certainly a range of farm sizes and approaches to raising what will one day be packaged and purchased by the unknowing consumer who picks up that standard yellow styrofoam tray, inspects the plump pinkish, skinless, boneless, veinless cutlet and goes on her merry way. Often we are unable to know anything about the origins of our dinner, other than perhaps one or two word details distinguishing its grade — so we shop based on price.

So what is the point of all this? Certainly not to encourage you to spend $8 when you can spend $4. No, the point of my post and the point of Michael Pollan’s published works and life mission is to advocate for the local-food movement. To spend more time buying from local farms where you can not only see the freshly harvested goods, but often speak to the farmer directly about how they grow their product — whether it’s an egg or a zucchini. And by visiting a local greenmarket you also know that what you’re buying is fresh and has not had to travel far to reach you — that’s good for you and for the environment {you don’t have to wear tie-dye to appreciate that}. Yes, we all have budgets we need to consider, but when shopping locally and buying what’s in season, it’s often not hard to spend the same amount of money for a higher quality product. And when should you be willing to spend more for a premium, locally grown or organic product? When it’s something you consume frequently. Counterintuitive? Perhaps, but if you eat something regularly, that just means there is a greater health impact to you or your family, so spending a little extra money now to buy local, organic or antibiotic / hormone-free of those select items will be better for you in the long run.

I challenge you: go out to a local farmer’s market this weekend. See if you can find a farmer selling pullets {the first eggs to come from a hen, which are small, rich and delicious} or any locally raised, free-range, organic eggs. They may not be $8, but give ’em a try if they are, and let me know if your meal for $1.50 didn’t taste delicious. Click HERE to find days/locations of NYC greenmarkets.

“Eight dollars for a dozen eggs sounds outrageous, but when you think that you can make a delicious meal from two eggs, that’s $1.50. It’s really not that much when we think of how we waste money in our lives.”
-Michael Pollan

Read More about my $1.50 breakfast:
Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Cheaper & More Scrumptious Food on Your Table
recipe goodness :: how to cook the perfect sunny side-up egg

The Perfect Egg

Color IS an indication of flavor.

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Two Thumbs {Bouley} Up{stairs}

A Peek Inside the Bouley Kitchen

Walk around the corner from Bouley Upstairs {the casual Bouley offshoot} and you can get a peek inside the meticulous, energetic kitchen of Bouley through the street-side-open-for-viewing windows. Redefining “open kitchen” these windows provide a glimpse to any passerby at the well-trained kitchen staff at work. Enticing and smart marketing! But you don’t have to go high class or high cost to enjoy the highly reputable food coming out of David Bouley’s kitchen. At Bouley Upstairs, the menu changes frequently to focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from family farms and finished with the Bouley flare for harmony and intensity to fully express the ingredients gracing your plate. The space is intimate and casual, with open air dining in the front and moderate pricing, so it’s easy to sit back, relax and focus on enjoying your meal.

Fresh Calamari Salad Cooked a la Plancha

The menu offers a wide selection of options that will suite any mood from sushi, to fresh fish or even a hearty burger. We started with the fresh calamari salad cooked a la plancha, meaning it’s cooked on a metal plate, creating a wonderful brown sear on all sides with a firm, yet tender bite. Our waitress was full of strong recommendations, so I took her word on the entree and ordered the seared black bass with a cider-bacon vinaigrette, served over sauteed bok choy with cubes of bacon. I suppose you could call this a modern surf and turf — a crisped skin, white mild fish lovingly paired with the earthy, salty bacon and slightly sweet cider glaze. All in all a match made in heaven.

Black Bass with Cider-Bacon Drizzle

The Skim: Bouley’s name speaks for itself and at Bouley Upstairs he is speaking to a crowd who wants to enjoy his masterful creations without breaking the bank. {130 West Broadway and Duane}

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Greenmarket: Put Smarter, Affordable & More Flavorful Food on Your Table

Greenmarket Groceries

Happy Father’s Day to my dad and all the other great dads out there. It’s on holidays such as these, that we are reminded of the people we love and want to do the best to take care of them and ourselves so we’re together as long as possible.

Eating better is one way we can certainly make an effort to do that, so I made a trip to the Columbus Ave Greenmarket this morning to pick up some things for breakfast and dinner and thought I’d share a little encouragement to make your own trip to a local farmer’s market. I may not be able to convince you of the wonders of the greenmarket meal over a blog, but I will do my best to paint a picture for you as to why it’s at least worth trying. Once you taste the meal prepared with farm fresh ingredients, I hope you will agree that it’s worth every penny and can taste far superior than a meal you’re willing to tip someone for.

Affordable:

First things first: cost. You look at the price at a local stand and think “some of this stuff is more expensive than what I pay at the store.” It’s all relative. Compare the cost of farm fresh food to all your dining options, as well as the quality of ingredients.

  • Brunch OUT at my favorite UWS joint: $12.88 {food, tax, tip, no drinks}
  • Egg on a roll DELIVERED from the local deli: $4.72 {food, tax, tip, ignoring min. delivery requirement}
  • Breakfast COOKED with deliciously farm fresh organic, antibiotic and hormone-free greenmarket ingredients: $1.77

Let’s break this down even further. This is what I bought:
1 Loaf ‘Not Just Rugelach‘ 7-Grain Bread (~20 slices): $4
1 Quart NJ Organic Strawberries (~40 berries): $6
1 Dozen Grazin’ Acres truly Free Range Pullet Eggs: $8
Grocery Total: $18
Cost / Breakfast: $1.77-$2.43

Assuming you make 12 breakfasts out of what I just bought (1 egg per meal), that $18 turns into  $1.77 per meal. And if you’re the kind of person who likes 2 eggs in the morning, it’s still only costing you $2.43!

Flavorful:

Ok, the math works, but $8 for a dozen eggs you scream! $6 for a quart of strawberries?! I can buy a dozen Free Range, Organic eggs for half that cost at the grocery store and 2 quarts of strawberries for the same cost as what you just spent and lower the cost/breakfast even further than that. True, you can. But do those same purchases taste anything like what I just bought? NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Here’s why. The strawberries are field grown, with absolutely no pesticides or unnatural fertilizers. What that means is they grow with nature, at the speed nature intended.  Often when chemical fertilizers are used, the growing process is accelerated and produce retains more water, diluting the sweet, natural flavors of a plant that is allowed to grow without these additives.  I can’t let you taste how sweet these strawberries were through the power of the Interwebs {at least not yet}, but take a look at how RED they are all the way through each berry and you will get a sense that this is no ordinary store bought fruit. Buying from a local market allows you to talk to the farmers {who woke up at the crack of dawn to bring you this goodness} and ask them about the size of their farm and growing methods. The bigger the producer, the more “help” they need to maintain the volume required to supply grocery chains. Buying local and buying from smaller farms often means there is more attention given to what is being produced and what ends up on your table.

Color IS an indication of flavor.

And the eggs. Oh, the eggs! Yes, I admit, $8 for a dozen eggs sounds crazy. BUT, if you have read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, these are the happiest little egg-producing chickens out there. These gals live in an eggmobile {love it} and follow around Grazin’ Acres Grass-Fed Cattle, munching on nutrient-rich larvae from the cow poop {mmm!}, fertilizing the grass that the 100% Grass-fed beef eat and contribute to a finely tuned symbiotic relationship from grass to cattle to hens to us. Read more about it here, if you’re interested. The bottom line: truly free range, organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free eggs that results in yolks a shade of orange you have never seen before, with a nutrient rich flavor I could never even begin to convince you of on a computer screen. Try them, if only once for curiosity sake.

Smarter:

No chemicals, no added hormones. Period. There are plenty of experts out there arguing the negative health impacts of industrial farming where pesticides, chemical fertilizers and added hormones make things grow bigger and faster. I won’t bring those arguments in here, but I’d prefer take a bite out of something that hasn’t been tainted with potentially harmful chemicals, wouldn’t you?

The Skim: I’m not getting all tree-hugging hippy on you, I’m just telling you that the breakfast I had tasted better than any $50 brunch you could throw at me from any high end, place-to-be-seen NYC hot spot.  By visiting the local market, you can pick up some seriously premium tasting ingredients without spending a fortune {and hey, it’s better for you too}. So tell your friends to bring the mimosas, cook up some ridiculously good $8 eggs and give Pastis a run for it’s money. Who knows, maybe you’ll even earn some tips.

Like This? So Does Michael Pollan:
Michael Pollan Agreed With Me, $8 Eggs Are A Good Idea
How to cook the perfect sunny side-up egg
How to Cook the Perfect 8.5 Minute Egg
How to Cook the Perfect Poached Egg {with Ramp Butter!}
Cumin & Dill Dijon Egg Salad with Radish Sprouts
Secret DiLaura Family Frittata with Sweet Italian Sausage
 

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Community Food & Juice: Fresh & Fantastic Fare

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Weekend=brunch. Sunny long weekend=outdoor brunch. There is no better place to settle in for a delicious cup of joe and ‘egg’cellent sunnyside-up-something, than my favorite UWS-get-your-morning-going hot spot, Community Food & Juice. Usually buzzing with Columbia students and adventurous eaters willing to explore a 3-digit neighborhood {located @ 112th/broadway across from the Tom’s, the infamous Seinfeld diner}, C F&J lures brunchers with seasonal, local and organic fare that is simple, yet unique.

Orange Juice sound good? Try blending it with their freshly squeezed carrot juice for an ultra-orange, vitamin C-packed morning refresher that will help clear away the fuzzy head. Or if you’re more of a hair-of-the-dog kind of person, I highly recommend the Wasabi Prairie Mary that features house made bloody mary mix and wasabi powder for that extra kick that any good Mary requires. As for the more substantial part of the meal, you really can’t go wrong. The blueberry pancakes with maple butter syrup are one of the most popular dishes and have diners sopping up that liquid gold and asking for more. My favorite dish is a slightly new twist on an old classic. The B.E.L.T. is what a true breakfast sammie should be — double cut applewood bacon, a runny sunny-side-up organic egg, lettuce, tomato & mayo served on sourdough toast with a side of carrot hash browns. Is there really anything more you need to start your morning out right?

The Skim: Forget the breakfast sandwich from the cart guy on the corner and treat yourself to fantastic, fresh fare at Community Food & Juice. While most restaurants consider brunch a money making complement to their main dinner menu, C F&J’s brunch is the standout favorite meal of the day. So go on and get Juiced! {2893 Broadway, btw 112th/113th}


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Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?

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Thanks to the renovation of the High Line, Chelsea Market is abuzz more than ever. Over the past two years a lot of great new purveyors of local and artisan food products have claimed a spot in the market to appeal to professional and casual foodies alike. One of my favorite shops is the Ronnybrook Milk Bar, which is both a great place to pick up some premium organic dairy products, as well as a fun place to grab a bite to eat. With milk crate-stacked walls and pull-handle glass front refrigerators showcasing Ronnybrook’s old-fashioned glass bottled milk, the food bar has the feeling of being run right from the farm. The glass bottles aren’t the only thing old-fashioned about Ronnybrook though — the farm prides itself on producing “beyond organic” local products from a herd of grass-fed, free range cows that are hormone and pesticide free, just as farming used to be.

“Our cows’ health is more important to us than the label.”

The Milk Bar’s menu goes beyond their udderly delicious creamline milk, with items such as the Free Range Roast Chicken sandwich with spicy aioli, avocado on a baguette or the homemade Hummus with warm pita, tahini, mushrooms, olive oil and pickles. But don’t fret, you will not leave without enjoying the creamy goodness of the Ronnybrook Farm. Before we even ordered we were presented with an ‘amuse bouche’ single shot of a super premium vanilla milkshake — a delightful and unexpected surprise! But it didn’t stop there — midway through my chicken sammie, our server brought us another shot of a chocolate milkshake, followed by a third shot at the end of the meal of an apple milkshake {not my favorite}. If they weren’t so generous with the free milkshakes, I might have been tempted to order some ice cream for a post-lunch treat, but as the title says…

The Skim: …Or The Creamline — know where your food comes from. You don’t have to be a hemp-wearing, tree-hugging hippy to understand the benefits of chemical-free, locally produced sustenance. If you haven’t given Ronnybrook a try, stop in for a bite to eat at the Milk Bar and nab some free samples — maybe then you’ll fall in love with the creamy goodness. {Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave.}

Check out other Chelsea Market Good Eats:
NYC Best: Falafel @ Ruthy’s

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Filed under Eat Here!