Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stuff I eat at work


Working on a Saturday is sad.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Shrimpghetti

Summer is here, meaning it's time for a new favorite meat (right?)! I'm going to go with shrimp, pictured here with spaghetti. This was a really satisfying meal, actually. My apartment smells pretty gross, but at least it's no crab fiasco.

Alright, I'm off to the hamptons. Peace.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You CAN Go Home Again...Just Be Sure To Get Drunk First.

New York City has always seemed like a culinary epicenter to me, a hub of gastronomic pleasures one would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. However, I grew up in Ohio, and as far as food was concerned we had to make do with what we had (I actually think that's actually the state motto, come to think of it).

It's natural to assume that Ohio has little to offer in the way of food satisfaction, but I reaffirmed during a Memorial Day trip home that this is simply not true. I'll spare you the details of home-cooked meals and perfect burgers straight from the grill and focus on the most important thing: pizza.

Everyone in the Midwest eats pizza, just as everyone in New York eats pizza. Granted, Midwesterners don't seem to be as...inventive as New Yorkers in this arena (I'm talking about YOU, Artichoke), but there are a ton of superb pizza joints near my hometown. One of the best: Danny Boy's.

I was craving it pretty intensely as soon as my plane landed on Thursday evening, and I finally got it on Monday night. A calzone bigger than my face stuffed with cheese, mushrooms, green peppers and sausage plus a $4 glass of wine pretty much made my evening. Sure, I spilled some of my wine on the table, but what else is new?

I couldn't finish the calzone, so I did something I consider pretty heroic. I took it home, put it in a ziploc bag, and stored it in the refrigerator. The next day, I dropped it into my purse and took it on the plane.

I had to whip out my calzone (that's what he said?) at the airport and put the accompanying pasta sauce in its own ziploc bag in its own little tub to send through security. The man working there, amusingly, seemed completely unfazed by this production. I guess maybe he's used to people loving Danny Boy's calzones enough to bring them back through airport security to New York? In any case, I had a delicious Tuesday evening meal that reminded me of home, and it was totally worth it. Totally.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

POUTINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



OH MY GOD GUYS SOOO AWESOME. So yeah, no one can hate poutine until they've had this. This place, La Banquis, is open 24 hours a day and has a bazillion different kinds of the delicious gravy covered fresh-curd-cheese fries. We got the veggie kind, which had onions and peppers in it. I swear to god I would die of obesity in about 8 months if I moved to Montreal because this stuff is so amazing. I am not expressing how awesome this is well at all. Imagine some triumphalist story about an explorer, nearing the end, climbing some mountain top and discovering the paradise s/he'd been seeking the past decades accompanied by a choir of angels singing and playing awesome trumpets and you'll be close to understanding.

Not just a follower

Hi Guys,

Job freak out, excuses etc. aside.

I'm waiting on the picture for the post I want to make so badly, but in the meantime: eggspectation.

That is the name of a breakfast chain that I went to with about 25 people who like to listen to loud industrial-y music. They have a lot of egg-pun named breakfast dishes that looked really good. I wanted to try the poached eggs over latkes (oy vegg), I'm from Florida so I had to eat the boca raton benedict. Think the normal benedict but replace ham with guacamole. I gotta say, it was delicious.

The home fries were cute too. The drinks, though, were awful and overpriced.

That's all I've got until I finish the last half of the jar of peanut butter or I get a picture.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Asparagus Fail

So sure, I love asparagus. It stands to reason that a food that perfectly compliments such classy meals as burgers and pierogi would make a very sophisticated late-night snack.

NOT SO, MY FRIENDS.

Especially when you cover it with shredded cheese (which seriously doesn't make any sense, for a lot of reasons) and dip it in a measuring cup full of melted butter. I dirtied no less than 5 dishes for this disaster. Sad stuff.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And then K and I went to Curly's...again.

This beautiful photo depicts the much-lauded Santa Barbarella sandwich with the now-legendary sweet potato fries. Also, we sat by the window! And we got sangria! Of course.

Spike the Punch

I like Punch. Let me just start off by using that very bland description of my feelings toward the place. What I mean to say is...it's nice. A banal adjective to match a bland verb. Both of these things are true. But while niceness and feelings of "like" can often be used to define casual friendships, they are not the stuff of great romance. Thus, it follows that Punch fits that same category.

Let me clarify. I would definitely recommend eating here. The food is quite good, and if you choose carefully the prices are reasonable. I suppose the point I'm trying to convey is that it's an agreeable dining situation, but I wouldn't rave about it and force everyone I know to eat there immediately (SEE: Curly's, Last Stop, Awesome Thai).

I had a lovely brunch experience there last summer with my friend R, so when she suggested a return trip for dinner last week I was all in. Most of the entrees were a little pricey, but since I'm easy to please so I went with a turkey burger and (you guessed it) sweet potato fries for $12. The turkey burger was juicy and quite meat-alicious and the fries were good (although I finally satisfied my SPF craving at Curly's a few days later, which obviously blew Punch's version out of the water).


Two mild annoyances: the wait staff basically ignored us, so we had to sit around for quite awhile and then flag someone to take our order even though there were only a handful of people in the restaurant. The second issue was with the dessert. Although it was a good concept (ice cream sandwiched by two chocolate chip cookies) with a lovely presentation (which included strawberries!), the cookies seemed to be a bit stale. Maybe they were supposed to be hard rather than soft, but when we had difficulty chipping them apart with a knife, it became evident that there was an issue.


Still, overall the food is good and affordable if you choose wisely. It's true I didn't fall head over heels, but Punch and I certainly have a nice platonic relationship developing. I feel like I should punch it (pardon the pun) on the arm and call it dude. Or explain to it that we're just friends and nothing more can ever happen between us. Or tell it I'll be really busy with other restaurants for awhile, but we should definitely try to get together in a few months when things settle down. Okay, stop typing, eLs. Stop typing.

New Summer Outdoor Food Market!

At South Street Seaport on the weekends:

http://www.fultonstallmarket.com/home.html

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ninth Avenue Food Festival 2009

Ninth Avenue International Food Festival and Street Fair: May 16-17, 2009


This is apparently called a mozzarepa, which to me sounds like an offense for which you might do 20 years in a maximum security prison. In actuality, it is pure amazingness: melted mozzarella between two grilled cornbread patties.




Crepe with chocolate and strawberries. Thank GOD for Ninth Avenue, food, street fairs, fruit, chocolate and the person who invented crepes, because all of that led up to this wonderful moment.

Ring-a-ding-ding: Rangdhonu Cafe

I'm sure there are a lot of great things about living in Manhattan. Everything you need is at your doorstep, there's always some variety of hustle and bustle, and commuting can take the form of walking a few blocks instead of riding the rails from the outer boroughs.

However, there are also a few great things about living on the fringe of city life in Astoria, Queens. The rent. The beer garden. Tiny old Italian and Greek people waddling around sweeping doorsteps or shaking newspapers at you. And the FOOD.

Obviously the restaurants in Manhattan deserve a pretty important gastronomic nod here, but as we all keep reading, Astoria is quickly becoming an almost-cool neighborhood. This means that not only are places like the unsurpassable Kabab Cafe, countless Greek restaurants, Telly's Taverna, Neptune Diner, Last Stop pizza, and Watawa sushi cropping up, they also remain hidden outer-borough gems. If you live in the neighborhood, these places are enough to make you want to stay. At least, until the advent of gentrification (or hipster-ification) in a few years.

The point of this post is the discovery of another fabulous new addition to the Astoria Foodie Landscape: Rangdhonu Cafe, a Bengali restaurant on 36th Avenue that opened so recently it doesn't even have a Web site.

After reviewing options that included a Brazilian buffet and yet another Venezuelan arepa bar, my friend Eric (it's pointless to use an initial at this point, since he's all over this blog) and I stopped into this place, which has a sort of fast food restaurant decor. Eric wanted to try it out because it reminded him of his old neighborhood in London, which was predominantly Bengali. As he pointed out, the restaurant is located on a "South Asian stretch of 36th Avenue, complete with Bengali grocers and a sari store. The barber across the street has its signs in sanskrit, too."

Rangdhonu is awesome and weird in a really cool, important way. In addition to the aforementioned fast food atmosphere, the place was populated entirely by what appeared to be Bangladeshi (I hope that's proper usage, Eric) men. I was the only female patron in the entire place, except for a mother with her baby and husband at the table behind me.

After we arrived, a waitress brought us plastic cups and a miniature pitcher of water, which we poured for ourselves. The menus were presented to us by a completely different person, a round man with a heavy accent and an appealing gap-toothed smile. He explained to us that the menu actually changes every day depending on what they make, and he patiently showed us which items were available before bustling off to allow us to mull things over.

When he returned to take our order (beef curry for Eric, chicken tikka from the tandoori menu for me), he informed me that Americans generally found the Chicken Tikka to be too spicy and suggested the Chicken Tikka Masala ("pieces of chicken tikka cooked in creamy masala sauce") from the curry menu instead. We ordered an appetizer of Mughlai ("Light pastry filled with spiced eggs, vegetables and chicken"), and the waiter actually laughed at me when I had to clarify that I wanted a side order of naan IN ADDITION to the rice that already came with my meal. Somehow, instead of finding his slight mocking mildly offensive, I was mildly charmed. It was kind of nice to feel so welcome by such a helpful employee, as opposed to the usual displays of indifference common to restaurant staff in this city.

The waitress brought us a small basket with plastic utensils a few minutes later, even though the waiter had warned us that our mughlai would take at least 10 minutes to prepare. When the mughlai arrived, we were given a backup basket of utensils.

The mughlai was totally delicious, wrapped in flaky pastry and reminiscent of a chicken b'steeya dish served at the Middle Eastern restaurant I loved in my college town. It was huge and flat and cut into manageable squares for us. It was also served with two types of sauce in thimble-sized containers, one that was ultra-spicy and one that had hints of what Eric called out as parsley. I'm not entirely sure what types of vegetables were encased in the pastry shell, but I'm pretty sure I ate more than my fair share.


Within a reasonable period of time, our meals were served. Both the appetizer and the meal were served on ceramic plates with an elaborate floral design, despite the fact that we were eating with plastic silverware. Another element of strangeness, certainly, but it somehow lent itself to the overall amazingness of the place. We received plates piled high with more rice than I've ever seen in my life, as you may notice. I poured my delicious curry over it and went to town.


It was DELICIOUS. Now, I enjoy spicy food, but I can't take anything too spicy. This dish was, surprisingly, not spicy at all. It's a good choice for someone like me, especially when I already had leftover spicy panang from Awesome Thai awaiting me in the refrigerator. Eric's was also delicious, and it's important to me at least that I could distinguish the flavors of his beef curry from my chicken. It's a bit worrisome when the meat all tastes the same (which has happened to me before, to be sure). The tandoor sauce was a bit sweet, and it complimented the chicken quite well.

My only problem was that the chunks of chicken were HUGE and had to be cut into manageable pieces. Also, the chicken-to-rice ratio was a bit off, with the chicken weighing in on the sparse end of things. Still, I was only able to eat a little less than half of it before I called it quits. The naan, which was delivered after the meals, was a delicious, doughy, perfect side. Plus it only cost $1.

And on that note...Eric and I got a can of soda, a shared appetizer and two entrees for $21 total. With tip, my meal was $13 and I finished off the rest of it for lunch today. Plus, there was no indication of any sort of ethnic food stomach issues (if you know what I mean) at any time, which always earns extra points in my book. I will probably go back to this place on every possible occasion, so get ready to be dragged there if you live in the area and enjoy Bengali food. We will be going.



So Manhattan, you may have the Empire State Building, but I have cheap and easy Bengali food. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Strangely appetizing...and horrifying...I'm so confused!

I keep forgetting to post this, but I am MESMERIZED by it. Is it wrong that so much of this actually appeals to me?

http://thisiswhyyourefat.com/

Thank GOD for six-inch bagels.

Portion size comparison...what the hell would you do with a three-inch bagel?

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/user-post-portion-explosion-456931/

awesome thai got awesomer

as i think we've all expressed, it would be a huge undertaking to write an spf post about sripraphai (or as i believe mike dubbed it - awesome thai). but i noticed a new component to the menu last night that i am excited about sharing.

in the very back of the menu there are two fluorescent green pages containing a vegetarian menu! i have only run into a couple of problems with their menu in the past: 1) it didn't say which dishes are not offered with tofu/without meat and 2) there was no galangal soup without chicken. both of these problems have been remedied by this new menu, and it seems that they've started offering more of their dishes sans meat. which means i can have my own bowl of galangal soup. and that someday i might go there and order something other than panang curry with tofu. it's not likely though.

note: i also noticed that the panang curry off of the vegetarian menu includes baby corn and thai eggplant. i'm indifferent about this addition, but thought it was worth noting.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Skin Deep

I'm sorry, but when one of the most emailed stories over at the times is titled "Confused by SPF? Take a Number," my heart skips a beat.

Don't get too excited, we're not all that confusing. Well, maybe mwr.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It all comes down to BRUNCH

BRUNCH IT. BRUNCH IT GOOD.

http://www.sheckys.com/newyorkcity/nightlife/articles/bottomless_brunch_boogie_7118.asp?fc_c=1924166x4638723x352991904

You say sil-ANT-ro, I say sil-AHN-tro...

And now the question becomes...how do YOU feel about cilantro?

http://www.ihatecilantro.blogspot.com/

http://fuckyeahcilantro.tumblr.com/

My New Diet

So, anyone who knows me also knows that every Spring I complain about winter pudge. Everyone who knows me also know that I flip out about money irrationally. Well, now that I'm going to be unemployed in about two months I've decided to pit my faults against one another in a struggle to the death from which only one can survive, am I'm banking on my flipping out about money taking the title.

Excess aside, here is how I eat now. It's been working for about 7 days, so I think I've got a thing going.

Breakfast: 1 cup oatmeal, 1 banana, and some cinnamon.
Lunch: 1 package top ramen, 1 PBJ sandwhich
Dinner: I go all out for this one. Sometimes it's curry, sometimes it's more oat meal, and sometimes it's kale-tempeh salad. I give myself a $3 budget for this meal, since the other two are about $2 combined.

Even then, $5 a day X 30 days a month and you're looking at 150 clams to keep me minimally fit, and that does not include the excessive coffee and tea I drink. Still, it's under the $200 a month I can get in food stamps if I don't find a job before August.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A couple of things

So there's a pizza place on the corner of 14th and 6th that I had to pass a lot going to school on Thursdays. It's good, but not good enough to justify the inflated prices. However, they did have one thing I've never seen before and was pretty happy with. They took one of their garlic knot things, which were pretty big and sliced it in half. In the middle they had a slice of mozzarella cheese, a slice of tomato, and a basil leaf. They heated it enough to make the role warm while keeping the cheese cold. It was delicious.

I also went to Curly's the other day with Z. She had that fake crab cakes, which were good but not at all crabby...and kind of not filling enough. There was a blackbean-corn salad in the middle of the plate that looked pretty awesome though. I had the fake Philly cheese-steak and I was disappointed with it, just like I was with the Quantum Leap version. Maybe I just don't like that dish.

Finally, sweet potatoes work will in green curry too! This is exciting because I thought they might only be a red-panang thing. Curry is totally an affordable dinner for a soon-to-be-unemployed person to eat. white rice, potatoes, and onion all cost basically nothing! So if you keep it simple and don't add any fancy pineapple or pepper then you're basically only paying for coconut milk and spices, which come to 2.50. $3 for at least 3 meals and usually for? sounds good to me!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"I mean, it's no Sweet Potato Friends, but..."

A few other allegedly great foodie Web sites, probably far inferior to this one, that were called out by Entertainment Weekly:

Foodie Sites

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The best things start with a B

Stoop Special

I love you, pierogi and asparagus dinner.
xoxo

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Il Bagatto hits the spot-o...sort of.

My friend L is an Italian food junkie (and won't eat much else), so she chose this place, Il Bagatto, for her belated birthday dinner last evening. A small group of five diners braved the V train to the Lower East Side, and we arrived at around 5:45 p.m. to begin the festivities.

The first, and perhaps most accurate, thing that I need to say about this place is that it's weird. First of all, the restaurant's Web site doesn't even include a regular menu, just a takeout menu. And, as it turns out, they only had half the items listed on the menu provided by nymag.com. Hello, "fusilli served with sausage, mushroom, peas, fresh tomato and a touch of cream"...where were you?

The restaurant itself is actually very pretty, with the standard "we're a rustic Italian trattoria" decor of exposed brick and white linens and candles. The strangeness began when we were ushered downstairs to wait at the bar while they "got our table ready," despite the fact that we were the only people in the restaurant at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday. The downstairs bar, which is pictured on the nymag.com Web page, is actually pretty cool, and the back rooms are beautiful and private and would probably be quite romantic if you were hiding away with someone. However, we were not hiding away. We were loud, loud people who planned to celebrate a birthday in a drunken haze.

After five weird (there's that word again) minutes talking to the bartender and trying to decide what to order, they informed us that our table was ready. Upstairs. So, we all trooped back up there and plunked ourselves down. We ordered a bottle of wine (obviously), and listened to the list of specials, which seemed to have no end. It seemed strange that the list of specials was longer than the menu, but there were quite a few great choices, so there were no complaints. I ended up ordering fusili with eggplant in a tomato and ricotta sauce, and after everyone had selected their dishes we dissolved into drinking, witty conversation, and tearing apart the delicious hunks of bread varieties in the basket, including one with kalamata olives.

This is where a few more weird details make their appearance. L isn't a fan of eating bread dipped in olive oil (I'm pretty sure she's faking her Italian heritage), so she always asks for butter. When she requested this from the waiter, he informed her that they don't serve butter with the bread.

Silence. Crickets.

We know they have butter. They know they have butter. Why won't they just give us a pat of butter to humor us? Are they cutting back on their butter usage so much that they can't let the poor girl use a smidge of it for her damn roll on her BIRTHDAY?

A similar issue arose when we were served our meals. The waiter offered to drizzle a bit of parmesan on my pasta (which I OBVIOUSLY accepted), but when L asked for cheese on her meal she was told that they couldn't put cheese on her choice. I'm not sure exactly what she got, but it was PASTA, for heaven's sake. They can't spare a spoonful of cheese? My friend A, naturally, spoke up and asked if she couldn't please have the parmesan cheese anyway, despite their ludicrous policy. The waiter apologized and said that no, she could not, but he might be able to get her some pecorino romano cheese instead. She declined.

It must be said at this point that the food was pretty sensational. The bread was great and the fusili was pretty delicious too. I'm not ashamed to admit that I wolfed down the entire plate! Also, they agreed to serve the same fusili dish to A, who is vegan, without the cheese, so in their defense they were at least accomodating in that respect.

After dinner, I wondered quietly to A if I should bother telling the wait staff that it was L's birthday, and she whispered back that she'd already told them. However, if we were expecting some kind of fuss to be made, we were mistaken. No slice of cake with a single candle. No singing. No discount. No mention of her birthday whatsoever from the employees, not a peep. However, they did manage to write "Happy Birthday" on the BILL. Happy birthday INDEED.

So all in all, I suppose I would recommend this place again considering the food is decently priced and pretty good, plus the decor is cute. However, do not make any perfectly reasonable requests for things like butter or cheese in this ITALIAN RESTAURANT. You will be DENIED.

Good thing we left and went to a bar.

Side note: I also have a few Italian restaurants that I'd like to try at some point: Fresh Basil, which didn't get a great review from nymag.com but which was highly recommended to me by a coworker, and Baraonda, which L found while walking to meet me for dinner elsewhere the other day. They had me at "semi-weekly dance party..."

Sweet surprise

Good news! Our vegetarian friends at Maoz have introduced a new dish that is dear to our hearts here at SPF. That's right kids, sweet potato fries (pictured here with a healthy dousing of tahini) are now available alongside your exploding falafel. Veg out!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gnocchi Gnocchi! Who's there?

I just got a hot insider tip regarding some all-you-can-eat action. Apparently, Piola (that italian place on 12th) has a bunch of leftover gnocchi at the end of the month or something. On the 29th of each month, they offer an all you eat gnocchi special! It's around $12, and comes with soup or salad in case you somehow fail to turn your stomach into solid mass of dough. One month ends, and a new food coma begins.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

James Beard Awards!

Winners: http://www.jamesbeard.org/files/2009_JBF_Award_Winners.pdf

Thanks to T for that...and thanks to the dick who made the poll. It's like Homecoming Court (or, more accurately, Student Council) all over again.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

New Coffee Shop Find

So I'd like to post some followup to my "what I think makes a good coffee shop" post, but I'm not going to do that now. I will, however, discuss a new place that has a lot of whatever it is (except the great coffee, oddly enough). The Outpost Lounge in Bed-Stuy is a pretty nice place to sit. Here are a collection of my reflections on the few hours I just spent there, numbered for your pleasure:

1. Liquid consumables. The coffee itself was adequate, but only that. It was slightly less expensive than the excellent coffee available in the more northerly parts of Brooklyn. That said, they had excellent tea, Awesome (!) cran-lemonade, and they served various boozes. Among the various downers my favorite was The Bed-Stuy Mimosa (without having tried it): a red stripe mixed with OJ or Pacifico and grapefruit juice.

2. Solid consumables. They had food, which I think is a big plus. This is not just your usual 'we had baked goods shipped in' stuff, but cheese plates with fresh mozzarella, chili of the meat and veggie kind, and pasta salads. Their salad was excellent, they had baguettes, all kinds of good stuff.

3. Location. It's in Bed Stuy. The clientele was 'mixed,' but only sort of. The ratio of 'hip' looking people to 'not hip' looking people shifted upon entering to such an extent that it was impossible not to notice even for someone as oblivious as myself. As a result I'm not sure how I feel about the place in some capacity. Maybe it's bringing a nice new opportunity to the neighborhood? Maybe it's forcing renters from their homes? I have no idea, but it's probably worth thinking about. All that said, a big plus about it's location is that there was room mid-day on a kinda dreary sunday, which is a big deal.

4. Music: they played some jazz that was nice, but then there was an awful lot of music that I loved, but which also made me think: holy shit I must be some kinda target demographic now. Of note: queen, madonna, george michael, GnR, Christ this list could go on forever.

5. Seating. There was a huge back porch that looked beautiful from the inside. Too wet to use a computer at, though. There was plenty of seating inside, though this lead to a dearth of walking room. Once you were in place it was not uncomfortable, but if you had to move for any reason things got awkward.

6. Decor: falling apart wood things that were obviously gotten on the cheap. It looked nice, inexpensive, and somehow not contrived. That was particularly refreshing given the ostentation its competitors. There was some 'local art' but it didn't dominate anything and was easily ignorable.

7. Hunkerability. There's free wi-fi, and at no point did I get anything like a dirty look for having had a computer plugged into a wall for hours while only having ordered a single beverage. People are doing their own thing, but they're friendly enough if you need them to move to plug in a computer, or if a cringeworthy song comes on and you happen to have forgotten to keep your verbal cringing to yourself.

All in all, it seemed to have most of the things I want out of a coffee shop going on except the great coffee. It reminded me of a place I used to go in Clearwater whose slogan was "because you don't have anything better to do" or "because there's nothing else to do," or something like that. The only difference is this is New York and there's a lot of better things to do. So why go there? What can I say, I like sitting in a place full of strangers listening to music and drinking stimulants.

PS. Lucky Shot, the place on Driggs in Greenpoint has very good coffee (Stumptown) made by people who know how to work an espressos machine. It is worth checking out.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What (Sweet Potato) Friends Are For: A Side Dish Conundrum

Solving food problems exclusively via g-chat and text:

Eric: so I need to borrow some of your creativity...good side dish to go with mac and cheese?
me: ohhh....hmmm...what kind of m&c?
just regular?
Eric: homemade!
Eric: a little bit spicy
me: OH NICE...i would say a veggie of some kind
what about asparagus?
let me poll my foodie friends...

CaseyMustPie: asparagus...something green
CaseyMustPie: it's tough bc mac & cheese is a side dish
me: THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT

mwr: well that's southern, so i'd got with collards...you can get 'em nice and spicy and they're a great acompanyment ... and will also help digest that huge mass of noodle&cheese...most recipes call for a lot of boiling and stuff. if he doesn't want to take that much time just sautee 'em in olive oil and throw in some red peper/cayenne pepper and vinigear and add some onions too. if he wnats to get really fancy sautee it in pig fat...it's much better, though less healthy. it needs to be sauteed in some kindafat though otherwise it won't breakdown well and it'll be gross to eat.
mwr: Collards is the most fiber-pack and also healthiest of the big green leaves (kale, chard, etc.) and for that reason i think it goes well with mac over something like, say, spinach. Eating great and then feeling great afterward is amazing and rare
me: AGREED

T: bitter greens, like steamed kale with mushrooms & bacon or something like that
me: oooooh that' sounds good
T: yeah it's really easy too...kale is my go-to...with portobellos garlic and bacon and lemon juice

Eric: OH GENIUS...I make wilted spinach sometimes, but these are along the same lines but more creative than what I usually do...I usually just do some butter and onions
me: i'm asking R too, just to get a full spectrum...K comes in to work at 11
Eric: haha well I won't go to the veg stand until I hear all ideas

R: greens...jicama salad...something cool and crunchy to offset it
me: jicama salad?
R: yea--jicama, mango, red onion, cilantro...
me: i am unfamiliar with this jicama you speak of
R: http://search.chow.com/search?query=jicama+salad
me: oooh! thanks!
R: it is delicious

To: K (via text): Okay, foodie poll...Eric is making spicy mac and cheese and needs a good side dish so I'm polling everyone...thoughts??
From: K (via text): Sauteed kale with garlic
To: K (via text): NICE.

Eric: i'm excited for this experimentation...i'll be dorking it up later this morning, carrying my old lady shopping bag to the veggie stand