Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Brussels sprouts pasta

I know the first post-Thanksgiving post probably ought to talk about the awesome stuffing-muffins that Z's mom made. Oh well. Here's a picture of a delicious Pasta Z helped me make.

Adam made this dish for me once when I stayed over at his place. (He also made a delicious delicata squash, so that meal won by a long shot). It's pretty simple. While the campanelle is boiling sautee garlic & pine nuts in oil. Add BsSs (just the leaves) and mushrooms. When the pasta is a little underdone drain it and toss into the pan with the rest of the stuff. Add a little Romano and you're done: gourmet tasting meal in 20 minutes and 6 ingredients.

I've also always mistakenly called them brussel sprouts, not brussels sprouts.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fall into the pumpkin

Happy fall, all. We are over half-way through the the -bers, so I figured it was damnabout time to make pumpkin bread.
pumpkin bread, chillin' in the late afternoon autumn sunlight

I used this recipe, substituting canned pumpkin for the "real" variety. Now, I was mostly eyeballing the dry measurements (at which I am surely not good) so who knows, but I'm finding the loaf somewhat dull. Is pumpkin not a partularly thrilling bread theme, or would using the real deal have made all the difference? It does smell just wonderful.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

hello my babies!

in the spirit of eLs's recent discovery of and irrational love for the G train, i'd like to pass along this G-train-related activity courtesy of Brooklyn Based:

A G-Train Tour Through Pumpkinland!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fette Sau: Worth taking the G Train for

It's inevitable that eventually my deep love for the G train would become a topic of conversation on a blog about food and restaurants. Well, maybe not. But I talk about it all the time, so I decided to incorporate it here.

I. Love. The G Train.

I do. I really do. I can't help it. Never, ever has it disappointed me the way it disappoints so many others. Last time I took the G, it graciously waited for me to walk to the center of the platform at a normal pace, and the moment I arrived and turned to face the track the G came speeding (well, crawling) into the station. No one else has the relationship with the G that I have. The G is everyone else's bad boyfriend who finally shapes up for the love of his life. I'm a lucky girl.

That said, I don't mind taking the G train, and that's good news for when I want to leave me home in Queens to meet my Brooklyn friends (like K and C, for example) without taking a long, roundabout trip through Manhattan. This was precisely the case last Friday night, when I met my friends J and A for barbecue at Fette Sau (which translates as "Fat Sow" from whatever language that is...probably German). According to one of my coworkers, this place is relatively famous, but I'd never heard of it before J suggested it. He had never been their either, but one of HIS coworkers vouched for its deliciousness, so we decided to give it a shot.

Fette Sau is located on Metropolitan Avenue, quite close to Lodge (one of my favorite Brooklyn restaurants, as K and mwr know), so I knew approximately where I was heading. It also makes me pretty proud when I can navigate around Brooklyn, considering I have a pretty good mastery of Queens and Manhattan already. Brooklyn is my final frontier, and understanding that I needed to get from the G at Union and Metropolitan to Fette Sau by passing Marcy and Havemeyer made me pretty proud. Baby steps.

There's a neon sign outside of the gate announcing that you've arrived at Fette Sau, and immediately inside are some outdoor wooden picnic tables. They were mostly empty, despite Friday being unseasonably warm. The inside, also littered with picnic tables, was packed. I also noticed that one wall was adorned with illustrated depictions of meat, which was a nice (if weird) touch. We joined the short line and waited to order.

Fette Sau has a unique setup, in that you stand in line deli-style and order your meat by the pound. You're provided with buns and several types of sauce, and side orders of potato salad, baked beans and the like are available.

We decided to split a half pound of brisket and get a pork sausage each, plus a side of potato salad and a side of baked beans to share. J and I perused the list of whiskey options as well, which the place is apparently famous for. They had several tasting menus, in which you could pay anywhere from $11 to $30-something and get three different types of whiskey in one-ounce portions. We ultimately decided not to do this, but I'd definitely be up for trying it next time.

We headed outside to sit, and as we were exiting I heard a man in line explaining to his friend that he had NEVER seen the place so empty, and by this point the inside crowd had already begun to spill over to the outside picnic tables. I had a sneaking suspicion we might be sharing our picnic table with a few strangers after all, but if what the man said was true we were getting off easy.

Four types of sauces and a roll of paper towels adorned each table, so we chose an empty one and sat down. Although the brisket was delicous and the sausages were delectable, I still felt hungry afterward. Note to self: next time, I need more meat! (That's what she said...)

The potato salad didn't really do it for me, but the baked beans were good and had chunks of beef in them, which I had never experienced before (and was told it was weird that I hadn't). I could have definitely gone for whiskey to wash it all down though, and the sauces were tangy and hot and wonderful. We were eventually joined by other people at our table, but it wasn't so crowded that we were forced to make friends with them. Phew!

Overall, the food was yummy and the place boasted a nice, rustic vibe. I'm not usually a big BBQ person, but I definitely enjoyed this. Brooklynite meatlovers, I urge you to check it out. You might want to go on off hours though, if the rumors about it typically being ultra-crowded are true!

And now, a really ambiguous photographic representation, courtesy of my phone:

Making the Magic Happen with Paradou

Alright, it's about time I stopped TALKING about reviving SPF and actually did something about it. I started to feel overwhelmed about all the delicious places I was eating and finding a way to post about it all, so instead I'm going to scrap that for now and just post about my most recent dining experience. I'll hopefully have time to do a Retroactive Roundup sometime in the near future to clear my guilty conscience.

Yesterday I planned to brunch with my friend L, and we wanted to go somewhere new instead of hitting up old standbys. I asked around, and one of my coworkers directed me to Paradou, located on Little West 12th Street in the Meatpacking District. I am rarely in this area (although I recently attended a birthday party on Washington that was quite fun), so I thought it would be a nice change of scenery. I called the day before and made a reservation for 2:15 p.m. (day after Halloween, people).

The entrance is easy to spot, but a little difficult to navigate (I had trouble opening the huge pastel blue wooden doors, but eventually figured things out). We were seated promptly in the back outdoor dining area, which was covered with a tent and boasted a heated floor. It's beautiful and has great lightning, so I think it would also be a totally gorgeous place to eat at night or even on a chilly winter day. They also had Christmas lights up, so that's probably not an impossible option.

My coworker touted this place as having the best brunch she'd ever eaten in the city, and part of the reason was their champagne brunch option. Unlimited champagne plus an entree for a mere $29. Did I hear unlimited? Yes please!

The best thing about this option is that it doesn't have to be straight champagne; the brunch applies to champagne cocktails as well. I had two bellinis and they were perfectly blended, just strong enough to keep me pleasantly buzzed for a few hours. If you choose not to do the champagne brunch, the menu items are reasonably priced at $11-$16 with $6 sides. If you choose carefully, you could definitely have a great brunch here for under $20.

For my entree, I chose the "Sassy Sausage Sandwich," which featured spicy andouille sausage with grilled onions and a sweet chestnut spread. I also got a side of potato gratin. L ordered French Toast with a side of bacon.

Our waiter was friendly, although they didn't keep an eye on our drinks as well as I would have liked (I had to flag someone down to get a refill after my glass had been empty for awhile). Besides being slightly inattentive though, the staff was great and very polite. Plus, brunch is a meal where you like to linger anyway, so it didn't really bother me. They didn't try to hustle us out either, which was nice.

The food was also delicious. I wasn't as over the moon for it as I expected to be after my coworker built it up (or as over the moon as I am about Elephant & Castle or Sarabeth's), but it was DEFINITELY amazing. The sandwich was great and the potato gratin was especially good, cut kind of like a slice of pie with several layers of potato that were perfectly flavored. The potatoes that came with my meal, however, were sparse, if tasty. I would have liked to have been advised that the meal came with potatoes, because it was not indicated on the menu. I probably would have chosen a different side had I known this. Although maybe that's a bad thing, since the potato gratin was so good...

I tried L's French Toast, and that was good as well. The bacon was crispy without being burned, and the blueberries tasted fresh with a hint of added sweetness that I thought added just the right taste.

So, the moral of the story is that I would definitely recommend this place. I'm even thinking of going back this weekend with my sister, so that's a good indication if I'm already craving it again. The atmosphere really makes it a great choice as well, and the friendly service helps! It's also kind of out of the way, so it feels more private and leisurely. Plus, tons of great (expensive) boutiques offer post-brunch shopping just around the corner. Great place!

Next up (hopefully): an entry about Fette Sau, the BBQ place in Williamsburg. I ate there on Friday and it was divine!