Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Riesling Week..Danke

"For one week only, experience world-class Rieslings from Germany, Austria and Alsace at the top restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Las Vegas. Restaurants will be featuring European Rieslings by the glass, offering flights of top quality European Rieslings or creating special Riesling pairing menus that showcase the great pairing ability of this varietal." Check it.

One of my favorite white wines..and for this week featured at restaurants like Craft, Bobo, and Blue Water Grill. June 16-22nd only. So put on your clogs or something (Do they even wear clogs in Germany?)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Food from the Holy Land

After a month hiatus of over-working and traveling Israel, I'm finally back. Yes, I know it's hard to believe that when I don't write I'm actually still eating, but that is the case. And during that time, I've come across hidden gems, weird food products, and some busts as usual.

In the holy land, i ate a lot of the same: falafel, shwarma, cucumber tomato salad and of course their fav hummus and pita. I'm a huge fan of food in the Mediterranean variety, but no matter how great the falafel was every time or how hot and fresh the pita was cooked; I got tired of this fast. I even vowed to never eat hummus again. Clearly, a lie. But I believed it when I said it. My travel companions, a bus of 40, could probably vouch the same sentiment. Although last weekend, Ms.Onesie and La Mer (2 of these such travel companions) and I found ourselves craving late night falafel (a pita pocket of salad and fried chick peas and of course covered in hummus). When we caved for the LES version at 3 Monkeys, it just wasn't the same or rather bad actually. I can't tell if it was the alcohol talking or my pallet but the falafel tasted like cinnammon and while cinnamon goes well with things like french toast or even a latte, it does not go well with falafel and hummus.

In Israel, our group (br939) basically ate the same things over and over. Because this was a free trip, the organizers went for the 10 sheckel hotel deal- which lucky for us meant the same buffet at every city in Israel with the same traditional food. In the mornings, it was the breakfast of champions: eggplant tomoato and cucumbers salad, hard boiled eggs, rolls, some scrambled eggs if we were lucky, some more weird salads with cabbage or tuna or pasta (left over from dinner from the night before?), and complimented by bug juice. Most everyone stuck to the rolls and the hard boiled eggs. For dinner, there was usually chicken on the bone, some mystery meat (which oddly enough was good once), a vegeterian "option",some more of those salads (cucumber tomato, beets, what have you), dinner rolls, and of course hummus. From what I hear Israel actually has really good food across the country aside from their street food- like fresh sushi, but, unfortunately, I wouldn't know this because we were like children held on one of those unacceptable kid leashes by an unkempt parent. I really would've been happy if they said "OK- no scheduled dinner tonight. Go fend for yourselves" but we were only allowed to find a place to eat for a few lunches.

When we were allowed to 'take lunch' we found ourselves scurrying for falafel or to the nearest Aroma (which there is an Aroma on Houston..). Aroma has fresh salads and sandwiches and the ice coffee they serve all around Israel. Our guide told us Aroma has the best ice coffees--and it was good but some of the random stands/bodega type places were way better. And when I say iced coffee I really mean the Israeli version of a 2000 calorie frappaccino that we downed everyday. When I went to Aroma in New York, they, of course, had the Iced coffee which they refer to as an "Iced Aroma" and the New York version of it- the "Aroma light." Realizing that means the calories of the regular "Aroma" must be your daily calorie max, I tried this "Aroma light" version and was thoroughly disappointed. It was like ice shavings and the foam at the top of a cappuccino; reminiscent of the real one but not even coming in at a close second.

Throughout the trip, we also snacked on the Israeli version of chips, doodles, and crisps. I mean we had to be authentic to the culture...or something. The two fan favorites were Bisslli and Bambas. Bambas are like cheese doodles without the cheese but with a peanut butter twist. Sounds weird and at first kinda is--but by the third one, you're in for the long haul.

Bissllies come in a variety of flavors including BBQ, pizza, and Falafle (yes, falafel..and I'm surprised there wasn't hummus flavored ones). LawClerk1 and I found the BBQ flavor in the square shapes to be our favorite-- and though we didn't like the pizza flavored one when we got it, we had no prob finishing the bag. And while we weren't careful in Israel about what we were putting in our mouth, as Ms.Onesie put it so poignantly, "Bissllis make you beastly" so buyer beware.

While the food was redundant when I was away and kind of odd at times, it was still an experience at that. It's funny how when you leave those situations that were so annoying at times (being treated like you were 16 or force-fed hummus on pita), you find yourself yearning to go back. I'm hoping to find a good Israeli spot soon and make the BR939 trip go for a "group dinner". I hope I can find a buffet...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quick Post: NYC Food Film Festival

Foods include Grimaldi's pizza, cheese steaks and an Il Buco Olive oil tasting. And the films are about the foods. Check it