All posts filed under: Eats

Homesick for Mama’s Cooking: Filipino Garlic Rice

Like other Filipino boys growing up, my brothers and I would wake up on Saturday mornings to the sound of spitting oil and the hiss of garlic, a pungent cloud of hot allium filling the house. It was instinctual: Mom was thirty seconds from adding the last night’s rice to the pan. A minute or so after that, three ravenous little boys eager for grade-A cartoon time would descend on our poor mother, noisily feasting on garlic-studded rice heaps, crowned with an olive-oil fried egg and Jufran banana ketchup, a staple of Pinoy kitchens. We’d make short order of breakfast like locusts plaguing Egypt, before holing up with our Gameboys and TV for the rest of the morning. Dishes could wait. Growing up, rice was available at every meal. For Mom, rice reaches levels beyond comfort food. Even if pasta graced the table, she’d still make a pot, anticipating her garlicky breakfast the next morning. Rice was mixed into pancit (stir-fried rice noodles—more rice!), accompanied lumpia (rice-paper wrapped egg rolls!) and spooned over adobo chicken …

Feeding My Obsessions: New York’s Best Bookstores

It’s the last weekend of Christmas shopping and I’ve basically checked out of consumer culture. Don’t expect much from me this holiday season, unless of course, it’s wine. Or books. From, y’know, the bookstore, not that Internet-commerce hydra, Amazon. Because, try as you might to deny it, bookstores are cool, bro. Cliche, I know, loving bookstores, but! Their smells! And the quiet rustling sounds of spines cracking! Pages fluttering! Other readers breathing!

My Cup Runneth Over

This last month has been quite the doozy and frankly, I’ve been bad at Internet as a result of it. It’s hard to keep up with the blog when there’s so much to do IRL, but let’s give it the whole college try, eh? November was a big month for work: lots of projects, lots of learning. But it was also a fun month of events and press trips. A cruise out to sea—I billed it as the world’s fanciest U-turn—kept me away from the office, while Virginia’s Eastern Shore treated me to waterway adventures in and around Chesapeake Bay, whereupon I ate all the oysters and clams. All o’ dem.

For Public Consumption: End of Day Links

Back in high school, I was one of those earnest little newspaper kids, working with a ragtag crew of other writer-types for the Brea Olinda High School Wildcat. When I wasn’t playing Starcraft with the other dudes in the production room, I was studying for my AP classes, catching up on late assignments or working on lifestyle stories (such as they were at the age of 16). It was my first taste of food writing. The Wildcat was published once a month, yet we somehow got it into our heads to create an annual food issue. I don’t remember the details, but we were able to convince Brea’s “top” restaurants to feed our little gaggle—like, a team of 10—for free, wherein we’d review them in the Perspectives section. Journalism! Looking back, I’m pretty sure our little operation with restaurants like Souplantation and Claim Jumper—it was suburbia, guys—was an upper middle class grift. There were 10 of us! Eating for free! These places didn’t need our reviews—there was only a nascent “online” then, and there’d only …

Party of the Summer: The Governors Island Jazz Age Lawn Party

It’s not quite summertime in New York until you dapper up, don an ascot and take the ferry to Governors Island for a day of big brass band shimmying. For hundreds of New Yorkers this last weekend, they did just that. Held twice a year, the Jazz Age Lawn Party transforms a sun-dappled lawn into a free-wheeling, 1920s-style party, complete with visiting dance troupes, St-Germain cocktails and tasty bites for the most erudite Gatsby fan seeking period authenticity. A highly anticipated event on many calendars, the Lawn Party attracts NYers from all walks to take in a jaunty afternoon of music and dancing, provided by the acclaimed Michael Arenella and the Dreamland Orchestra. In fact, the party is the brainchild of Arenella himself, who plays emcee to a host of acts that channel the best talents of the Roaring ’20s. For some fancy footwork and era-spanning spectacle, you’ll see Gregory Moore and the Dreamland Follies take the dance floor, while chanteuse Queen Esther plays homage to classic jazz. Whatever your flavor, you’ll be surrounded by …

Brunching in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

I’m one of those unlucky souls with only one day off a week. When not in Westchester, commuting, writing or bartending, I don’t usually have the luxury of taking time for myself to, ya know, do stuff. This isn’t to say I find it impossible, just exceedingly difficult. Surprisingly, between an upcoming work conference and a move from Harlem to Queens, I found a few Saturday hours with the bf in one of our favorite areas of Brooklyn, Fort Greene. Tree-lined with BK’s iconic brownstones, Fort Greene is a picturesque ‘hood with a ton of shops, restaurants and bars within a few blocks, great for a meandering weekend’s exploration. It’s one of our favorite ‘hoods for a reason: the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), host to a grip of world class culture and art house films, anchors the neighborhood, called home for creative urban-types. The sloping, arboreal oasis of Fort Greene Park and the bustle of restaurants off the main thoroughfares don’t hurt, either. We planned to meet at the at General Greene, where we’d only enjoyed a cocktail once …