Yes, that’s right, Kool-Aid balls

Some people think I’ll eat just any ol’ crap. And you know what, that just isn’t the case. Just cause I love Twinkies and hot dogs doesn’t mean I don’t have a discerning palate, you know?

Behold, the fried Kool-Aid ball

But yes, it happens, that every once in a while I will eat something totally random, often times gross, and straight out of the imagination of a hungry stoner, and will actually really enjoy it. Such was the case with the fried Kool-Aid balls I recently had at Cowgirl’s Baking, an East Village vegan bakery. Yes, that’s right. Read that back and let it sink in. Fried Kool-Aid balls at a vegan bakery. Continue reading

So over it

Today at one point while I was out and about trying not to die of a damn heat stroke on my day off, I checked my phone to see what the temperature was, and you know what that lying rat bastard phone of mine tried to tell me? 94 degrees. Ninety-friggin’-four degrees!

I’m no meteorologist but really, phone, you and I both know the temperature was a bit closer to 250 degrees. Oh and “sunny” was just a tad of an understatement. Heat-lamp-style, blistering sun would’ve been more appropriate.

So what’s a girl to do on a day like this? Drink lots of water? Well, yes, but I can’t live off water alone. No, no, times like these call for ice cream. Cold, delicious, ice cream. Which is exactly what my friend and I found while roaming around Nolita in search of relief from this disgusting weather.

When the going gets hot, the hot get ice cream.

Little Cupcake Bakeshop, as the name might suggest, had tons of cupcakes and they all looked fantastic, with fat swirls of icing and different toppings sprinkled on top, but the little cart outside with the sign that read “ice cream” was everything I needed. And there were fun flavors too, like Red Velvet, Fruity Pebbles and Brooklyn Blackout (something with about four different kinds of chocolate going on). I opted for Banana Pudding ice cream which was rich and thick, packing a ton of creamy banana flavor and crumbly chunks of what I’m assuming were Nilla wafers into a couple of scoops.

Was I still hot as the devil after eating it? Did I continue to sweat like I was being slow-roasted over a pit of hot coals? Uhm, yea, definitely, but in those brief moments when I was eating that cold, creamy ice cream, I almost forgot that New York had turned into a sauna. And when the weather is as nasty as it was today, I take whatever moments of relief I can get.

A little sno in July

I think I found the one. The official food of summer 2011.

Forget ice cream. Forget gelato. I’ve discovered sno-balls and there’s no looking back. I’m hooked.

While walking down a shadeless 6th avenue in the West Village, feeling my skin literally sizzling under the relentless mid-afternoon sun, I saw it: Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls.

My new favorite summer treat. It's been decided.

What the heck? Woodpecker balls? Wait, no, sno-balls? Wait, huh?

Intrigued, shiny faced, and sweaty, I stepped into the tiny, crowded shop. A sign on the wall listed dozens of flavors: birthday cake, watermelon, buttercream, root beer, banana, dreamsicle and even mojito among others.  Underneath it, two shelves were lined with bottles of syrup in a rainbow variety.

Sno-balls! I get it! Like snow cones, but in better flavors!

Because I found out these were a New Orleans style treat, I stuck with the theme and tried the Mardi Gras King’s Cake flavor… with condensed milk topping. (I’m a pretty firm believer that if condensed milk is ever an option, the answer should definitely be YES.) What I got was a Chinese take-out style container packed high with shaved ice and generously doused in a violet-colored syrup flavored like the traditional cake served in New Orleans around Mardi Gras (sometimes topped with green, gold or purple icing, hence the color here). Drizzled over the purple mound of snow were thick drizzles of sticky, sweet condensed milk.

In a word: awesome! In more words: delicious, creamy, soft like clean, freshly fallen snow, sweet but not in an overtly chemical or artificial way, refreshing and frosty cold. It was quirky and different, new and fun, and well, I loved it.

I want to try all the flavors, and with another two months of summer, I think I might just set out to do that. I’m making it the summer of sno-balls.

Summer hybrid

Is there a more quintessential summer food than hot dogs? Lobster rolls, you say? Well what about hot dog-lobster rolls? As in a hybrid of the two. Too much summer in one food? Nonsense!

Hot dog meets lobster roll

Now, as some of you might know, I actually hate summer. And this particular summer, though not as hellishly hot as summers past, has gotten no more love from me than before. (Partly due to the fact that my boyfriend will be gone for almost all of it, leaving me to count the days till fall.) But I don’t want to be a total hater, so I’m trying to seek out the good in the current season. Enter the hot dog- lobster roll. I read about it online recently, and yesterday during my day off, when I found myself near the place that makes them, I went and got one.

Henry’s Rooftop Bar at midtown’s Roger Smith Hotel isn’t really anything to write home about so I’ll skip straight to the food, which unfortunately didn’t blow me away either. The lobster topping on the hot dog just wasn’t fantastic, it was only ok, and probably needed to be a little creamier and smooth. But overall it wasn’t bad and I still really like the idea of it so hopefully someone out there in the city will tweak it and make it better.

In the meantime, I’ll be riding out the rest of summer, waiting for fall.

Why yes, I am a Fat Pig

Sometimes I really over do it. Total overkill in the eating department. Really.

Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Fette Sau, a small, buzzy barbecue joint in Williamsburg where people gladly wait 30 to 40 minutes—outsidejust to get their grubby little fingers on smokey flavored, dry rubbed meat and cold beers was one of those nights. It was one of those nights and then some.  It was not for the weak of heart, the dainty of diets, the graceful, the delicate, the disciplined, and certainly NOT for the non-carnivores.

For size reference, each one of these trays is about 2 ft. wide. So yea, that’s a whole lotta meat piled on there.

There were four of us: three girls, one guy. To eatbrace yourselves cause this is where  things get out of handthere were two giant, paper-lined metal serving trays topped with a pound of pork belly, a pound of beef brisket, a pound of pulled pork,  four generously sized pork sausages, six soft potato rolls, a heap of tangy cole slaw, and a tub of baked beans the size of my studio apartment’s kitchen sink. Oh and for good measure, there was also a small key lime pie tart (just about the only thing we didn’t go hog-wild in ordering).

All joking aside, a good 24+ hours later I was STILL full. Really! It was such an intense amount of food, so much sticky fingered, saucy (meat was all served without, but there were an assortment of bottles at the table),  smokey, gut-sticking, artery clogging goodness. The only thing I was less than crazy about was the pork belly which was a bit on the fatty side (though I guess it’s to be expected of BELLY!) but everything else was delicious. So much so that no one could stop digging in, arms crossing over the table, scooping, squirting, sandwiching, dripping, slopping. Oh! It was gluttonous and awful and… incredible.

I spent the rest of the night (and most of the following day) in a pork and beef induced haze, feeling fat and slow, repulsed by the mere thought of food.

And the best part? Fette Sau means “fat pig” in German. Appropriate? You bet your fat ass.

Granita for one, please

Gelato's great but I'll have a granita di mandorle, thanks

I’m now approaching week 2 of having an ocean between my boyfriend and I, and let me tell you, it sucks. No way around it. Beyond all the obvious reasons, I hate that he’s gone because of all the awesome food I know he’s eating in Italy without me.

I was in a particular funk the other day on my way home from work when I decided to make a pit stop to cheer myself up. When I lived in Florence, one of my favorite places for an afternoon snack was Grom, a gelato shop I didn’t realize was international until I moved to New York and saw it in Greenwich village. I was originally really excited about until I saw their outrageous prices, but on this particular day, I said to hell with it.

Now yes, their gelato is pretty damn good, but my favorite thing to get (the only one I ever get, really) is something else: the granita siciliana, a creamy, frosty treat (originally from Sicily, hence the name) similar to a slushy but infinitely better. It has a thicker, more coarse texture, and none of the wateriness. You get a spoon, not a straw, and with it, nothing but sweet, refreshing deliciousness.

It’s available in different flavors, but I’m not even sure what they are because I always get the same one: mandorle, or almonds. It’s sweet in a milky, nutty way that feels natural and not sugary. And because it’s subtly grainy but still icy cool, it’s really one of the best things to cool down with.

The beau might have Florence, but I at least still have my granita di mandorle. And that’ll just have to be enough to hold me over.

Lucky No. 7

Roasted pork sub at No. 7 Subs

I’m all about weird combinations when it comes to food, and I’m especially into food that mixes sweet and savory. I dig chocolate and bacon, pineapple on pizza, and I even thought olive oil on ice cream wasn’t half-bad the time I tried it. So when I heard about No. 7 Sub, a small sub shop at the Ace Hotel known for its unusual ingredients and crazy combos, I felt like it was calling my name.

With pairings that included fried oysters with pickled strawberries, zucchini parmesan with BBQ potato chips (inside the sub, not with it), and brie with plantain chips, the indecisive side of me was out in full force. I went back and forth between all of them but in the end I decided I was in a pork kind of mood (really, when am I not?) so I went with the roast pork sub, featuring cheddar cheese, melon, shishito peppers, and Chinese mustard in addition to the piggy.

Inside the roasted pork sub.... mmmm...

Subs like this really make me wonder how some people eat turkey, swiss, tomatos, lettuce and vinagrette on whole wheat day in and day out. BORING. The roast pork at No. 7 was everything that a regular ol’ Subway (or similar) sub is not. It was tasty and bright, interesting and unpredictable. One bite had the spicy, horseradish-like heat of the chinese mustard, while another had the refreshing sweetness of the melon (one of my favorite fruits, too) and some had that sour spiciness of the shishito peppers.  The cheese gave it a sense of familiarity and the pork, which was more subtle compared to the other flavors, was a good taste to tie everything together.

This sub and I hit it off right away, and with nine other subs to try on the menu, I’m looking forward to all the other strange (and probably delicious)  combinations in store for me there.

No. 7 Sub on Urbanspoon