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EliEats's Profile

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Out-of-towner needs quick weekend meal recs

For the Upper East Side, if you walk over to 83rd & 2nd Avenue then stroll south, from there through 77th St, it's littered with the exact types of restaurants you describe you are looking for. These are the neighborhood joints that the locals frequent, a variety of great options of all different types of cuisines.

Jun 11, 2010
EliEats in Manhattan

Do you have a favorite I'm-alone-now-so-nobody-will-know favorite dish?

This is quick and yes, some may say gross, but for me it's a little slice of heaven with a childhood nostalgia factor built in as well:

Whip up boxed mac and cheese, then mix with can of Manwhich, yum! And left over chile will do to.

May 27, 2010
EliEats in General Topics

Do you have a favorite I'm-alone-now-so-nobody-will-know favorite dish?

I do my tortillas over the gas burner as well, then dip them in refried beans - sometimes cold straight from the can when I'm lazy. And hit it with the Tapatillo here and there.

I dated a Mexican-American and she got me totally addicted to this.

May 27, 2010
EliEats in General Topics

What food find still haunts you - that you had once and haven't found since?

Lobster with brussel sprouts at Mesa Grill. The sprouts were INFUSED with lobster flavor in a way I have never tasted them infused with anything. And they were perfectly crunchy. I"m still baffled at how perfectly they pulled off the infusion. If I could cook brussel sprouts this good, I'd cook them everyday.

May 27, 2010
EliEats in General Topics

Would like to finally learn how to cook

Everyone has wonderful suggestions. On top of books, tv and websites and just cooking regularly, I would say to have someone who cooks show you how to make some dishes in a home kitchen. They can give you the subtle stuff throughout the process you can really only learn in the moment and from cooking often. And you'll get to see how most people actually cook vs. professionals on tv. Also have them show you around their pantry so you'll know what basics to actually stock up on vs. those usually overly long lists of items most cookbooks suggest.

I watched my father and grandfather cook my entire childhood so I essentially learned the basics through osmosis. Which I think is important as much of cooking is about picking up on the cues from sight, sound and smell.

May 27, 2010
EliEats in Home Cooking

Non-professional Street Food?

That's right, the food license issue, that makes sense. Too bad, though in the bigger picture, it's probably better they enforce that than not. I guess technically, this means they would also have to shut down a kids lemonade stand! I actually did that once growing up in the suburbs - in nyc I would have been an 8 yr old public enemy, haha!

Mar 11, 2010
EliEats in Manhattan

Non-professional Street Food?

In the morning right outside the subway entrance on the NE corner of 14th St & 1st avenue, there is often a woman selling the Daily News, who also sometimes sells her own tamales for $1.50. They're delicious, cheap and there is a homemade feel to the food and in the act of purchasing. She essentially just has a cooler with a handwritten sign on it. It's non-professional and she is likely just making them in batches in her apartment.

Also, years ago I came across women who sold tamales too, right outside the Jefferson St. L Subway stop.

Does anyone know any other regular non-professional food sellers with homemade type food for sale on the street. Where the seller is often at a single location on a somewhat consistent basis?

Mar 11, 2010
EliEats in Manhattan

hound-worthy breakfast weekday near (or in?) Grand Central Station

I second Cucina & Co. in the MetLife building, I believe you can sit down in their too?

Pershing Square is over priced as far as I'm concerned, but the food is decent. If you want somewhere to sit that gets you away from the frantic energy of the midtown morning commuters, it'll do.

Mar 11, 2010
EliEats in Manhattan

unattended oven or stove

I'll dump the garbage or grab the mail with something on the stovetop, but that's about it. Though I'm on the first floor of an apartment and both those activities take less than a minute. I do sit in the other room right around the corner on my computer though.

However, I do leave with the stove on for 15-20 minute intervals - running to the deli, etc. I think these are acceptable and responsible risk limits. Sort of like getting into a car. At this risk limit, something could happen, but unlikely and I'm not going to let the small possibility stop me from driving - aka: heading to the dry cleaner with a roast in the oven, etc.

Feb 15, 2010
EliEats in Not About Food

Stupid easy recipes you really love

Sloppy Joes are one of my favorite "stupid and easy" meals. I mix the sloppy meat with boxed mac and cheese for leftovers, yum!

Feb 03, 2010
EliEats in Home Cooking

How do you define trashy?

Serious, that was my diet at home from the time I was born till about15 or 16. Except for the weekends which I spent at my Grandparents, where my Grandpa cooked amazing standard Italian American fair - thank god! :)

Dec 10, 2009
EliEats in General Topics

How do you define trashy?

I'm a "foodie" now, but my first home as a child was in a trailer park. Needless to say, my diet was the anthropological definition of "trashy" :) Here's the diet I remember:

Hamburger Helper, Salisbury Steak (processed), Canned Vegetables only and rarelyd (luckily, fresh corn on the cob in the summer) Boxed Mash Potatoes (that weird oatmealy mix stuff) anything involving Bisquick, canned chili mixed with Kraft Mac & Cheese, hamburgers you buy boxed in the freezer section cooked well done on wonderbread buns, value brand hotdogs, Cheeze Whiz, Cheezits, Kraft Cheese Singles (those non-cheese processed slices wrapped in individual plastic). Sometimes we'd have a "cheese" singles brand that wouldn't melt when you tried to make grilled cheese. Ewww!! Pre-paged cold cuts in the refridgerator section, polly-o string cheese, Fishsticks, tater tots, spaghetti with margarine (and if lucky - kraft parmasean ), Bologne bewteen wonderbread slices. Oh, and though their not specifically trashy, Dominos, Arbies and Burger King were one out of 3 or 4 dinners. With TV Dinners thrown in here and there (Hungry Man!). And "juice drinks" instead of juice (sugar water).

On weekdays, that was the gist of it, along with all manner of chips, processed dip, hot pockets and soda. I swear, I should be an inch taller if I was fed right! :)

Dec 09, 2009
EliEats in General Topics

Is either A Voce worth trying?

I agree that this place is somewhat generic. The acoustics in the dining area are indeed horrendous. Though the bar is kind of nice though. Great place to grab a glass of wine when shopping in Time Warner. Maybe a good way to get a look sometime before going all in on dinner.

Nov 30, 2009
EliEats in Manhattan

Gourmet specialty mustards-where to get 'em in NYC

Williams-Sonoma in the TIme Warner Center in Columbus Circle might have an interesting selection.

Nov 12, 2009
EliEats in Manhattan

Where to buy rabbit in NYC?

The meat folks at Grand Central Market have it. They usually marinade it (which is pretty good)and sell it in halves, but you can ask for it ahead of time however you like. Fyi - It's often not in the display case but they usually have it.

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Central Market
30 Rockefeller Plz, New York, NY 10112

Nov 12, 2009
EliEats in Manhattan

48th and 3rd Greek Style Food

There's literally a Greek Restaurant, pretty good, on the corner of 48th and Lexington a block away called Avra. You can see details on their website at avrany.com

Sep 15, 2009
EliEats in Manhattan

Columbia University Area; best chinese food (delivery)?

Empire. They are on 100th and Broadway (not sure what their delivery range is). They are also a nice place to eat in and reasonable prices. Shockingly, as they serve both Chinese and Japanese food, both cuisines are actually good. The chinese food has good quality ingredients and they never drown you in goopy sauce like much affordable chinese take out. You can order online too:

http://www.empiretogo.com/

Sep 11, 2009
EliEats in Manhattan

Where to buy bulk foods in Manhattan?

Fresh Direct (order online and then delivered, as you probably know) is fantastic for bulk buying. Usually great prices and they do all the traveling and lifting for you.

Sep 11, 2009
EliEats in Manhattan

Pasta & Sauce

My Italian American Grandfather, who cooked pasta and red sauce every Sunday for the extended family did it this way as well. He would "marry" the pasta with some of the sauce over the heat and serve us all plates of lightly sauced pasta (we didn't put the pasta on the table, my Grandfather served the portions hot straight out of the pot in the kitchen) We also had a gravy boat or pyrex bowl with extra sauce at the table for those who wanted more. If we had Sausage, Meatballs and Braciola, etc. that week, they would be in separate covered bowls in a little sauce on the table for people to serve themselves as well. Obviously Parmesean and other condiments were on the table too. I and most my family still cook pasta and sauce this way.

"Marrying" it really does give you the most flavor, in my experience of having it other ways.

Sep 11, 2009
EliEats in Home Cooking

Frank Bruni's last moves, acceptable or not?

Does anyone find it annoying that Frank Bruni (NYTimes Restaurant Critic) is making such large last moves right before he leaves? Just recently he took a star from Union Square Cafe and today he awarded Eleven Madison Park four. Maybe he has the right? Any takes?

Aug 12, 2009
EliEats in Food Media & News