Food has always been a passion of mine. Please join me as I hit spots around the world in search of great meals.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

This Weekend

There is so much to write today. I am really behind on my foodie blog so I will have to get caught up over the next couple of days. I guess I just wanted to inform all of my readers or as we say in Spanish, Mi Publico…haha! I always thought that sounded rather arrogant when Mexican stars would say that. In any case, stop the presses for this one because this one is going to blow your mind. We are having a foodie party at The Generals place this weekend.

So if you want to come just drop me a note saying, yo, I want some good Mexican food. I will make sure and make some extra food for you. I think that the menu will read as follows:

Enchiladas de Pollo o Queso (chicken or cheese)
Arroz de Mom (my grandmother’s Mexican rice)
Frijoles de Rosie (my mother’s recipe for beans is da’ bomb)
Gucamole de El General (this is The General’s version of Guacamole mine is a bore)
Tacos de Joaquin (Fish tacos that our my specialty but that I have not mastered)
Cerveza Mexicana (beer and lots of it)

I hope that maybe you can stop by for a plate and some laughs. We will be heading to the Auto Show after so that should be cool. Yeah, see cars in NYC because we can’t drive here…make NYC sense to me. We do live in our own little reality don’t we.

In closing, hope all of you are having great food.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


In a previous blog I stated how John “The General” Lee and I were going to a FOODIENYC event here in the city. I was rather excited given the fact that the event was being put on by a young chef here in the city. Marissa from Gourmet Magazine joined us and she’s always nice to have along. I have mentioned in previous posts how she reminds me of the redheaded girl in that show Desperate Housewives. In any case, I was excited about the food but also the people. I figure that only foodies would be in the house so that’s always good to find because they always direct one to little nuggets in the city that have yet to be discovered.

The event was held at Divine Studio on East Fouth Street. I thought the location was perfect, although a little cold in terms of ambiance. But there was plenty of space which was nice. I didn’t get to sit with The General and Marissa given the fact that they were with the high-rollers and were located at the other table that served the more expensive wine. I was seated at another table and the characters were as follows.

Seat One: myself.
Seat Two: Lady to my left who seemed to be rather thrown off by being there and looked a bit pissed.
Seat Three: Young man who might be an aspiring cook or just came with friends for a night on town.
Seat Four: Older lady who seemed to be with the young man and woman sitting in seat five.
Seat Five: Indian woman who had a pleasant smile.
Seat Six: Nice Spanish woman who had a great haircut…yes, I love the bob haircut.
Seat Seven: Older Southern woman but very pretty and well presented.
Seat Eight: Woman in her late 30’s early 40’s with a pimp shirt (orange with poke-a-dots).
Seat Nine: Young woman who was very elegant in her presentation…yes, another redhead from Desperate Housewives (probably even a bit more than Marissa).
Seat Ten: Guy who was with elegant woman in seat nine. No pretense about him.

I love writing in this blog as opposed to sitting and writing for an event to be published. Here you can just write what comes to mind. When one is writing for publication, you have to sit and think it all out in a concise story. Some people would argue that this is a venue in which to refine and define my voice and writing, but I am just more of a fly by your pants type of person when in this domain.

Here are some of the places that people suggested that I had to eat so I added them to my list. Funny, for foodies the list of restaurants is never ending and always expanding. It’s similar to a writer’s list of books he/she has to read. The only difference is that a foodies night out on the town don’t run them 10.00 bucks for paperback copies…haha! Yes, we have picked a rather expensive hobby to love.

1. Otto (this coming Sunday)
2. Poetessa (this coming Thursday)
3. Alta (next week with El General)
So those places are on the list for a little visit this coming week. I think that Poetessa seems exciting, although I hear Otto has a great staff that works at the bar and that should be fun.

So as the night started I could tell the girl in seat 2 was having an awful time. I tried to chat her up as much as possible but it just wasn’t happening. She said that she thought the wines would be talked about more and that the ambiance wasn’t her style. I was a bit upset at the fact that she tried to play highbrow at such an event. I was thinking that she was bitter and came to the place looking for a man. I was being as nice as possible but sometime during the dinner she got up to use the restroom and never came back. Nuff said…and no, I wasn’t being a mean bastard.

The couple next to me was really cool. Their names were Jennifer and Jim if memory serves me correctly. As most of you know, I suck with names. They seemed like a cool couple who one would like to hit the town with. Although Jennifer was rather polished and made some rude remarks about Brother Jimmy’s (Read Previous Posts) I was willing to forgive her because she still went there in support of her man desire for ribs and jambalaya. People, if you go to Brother Jimmy’s in support of your significant other…yes, you are held in high esteem in my book.

I could tell that the ladies in front of me were foodies. They just rattled off place after place and I have all these notes of places they told me to hit. One could tell that they were partial to the Lower East Side…which I think is kind of the way things work with downtown people. As a side note and nothing to do or any correlation with the ladies I’m talking about…I hate these people that call themselves hipsters that live in the LES. Serious, you all work on Wall St. during the day and went to Ivy League Schools…so quit acting like you are barley making it. So I got some new places that I have to hit via those ladies.

I sucked because people would ask me where I liked to eat and I said my favorite hero place (UWS) and Daniels…serious, I have so many other places…read my previous blogs about places and esp. my 10 favorite places to eat.

The food at this event was o.k. Some plates really outdid others but what I had a problem with was the inconsistency. Maybe I shouldn’t say that so I’m invited back. But I found the food to be rather cold. I enjoy my food to be nice and hot, if not hot, above room temperature which is what a lot of the food was served at.

Braised Lentil: Spring Roll: The taste was well balanced and the nice and crispy. I felt the sauce could have carried a bit more flavor and given the plate a bit more character. Also, as aforementioned, I felt the food could have been a bit warmer.

Pistou Bizarro: I really enjoyed this soup. The layers were really well merged together and one could tell that some TLC was put behind this soup. I know that the taste may have not been appealing to some individual palates, but I really enjoyed it.

Skate and Mushroom Papillote: I felt this was the best plate of the night. The greens still held their crispness which is hard when baking in paper. The paper tends to hold all the moisture and kills the crisp flavor of the greens…but not in this plate. I really didn’t like the sauce with this fish. I felt the fish could stand on its pure flavor. The mushroom sauce could have been put on something else.

Coq au Coconut: I felt I was robbed on this dish!! It was cold!! The girl next to me who left tasted this and got her bags at this time. Not a dinner ending meal, but this had to be served hot in my humble point of view and it would have been right on.

Cassoulet: Good merging of many difficult ingredients to mix. If I were to learn how to cook any meal from this night it would have been this plate. Just superb flavor!!

Homemade Tarragon Ice Cream: I thought the effort was nice…but it just didn’t do anything for my palate.

My favorite wine of the night was 1985 Mouton-Rothschild. It was a complex taste but it went down smooth. I’m always impressed when I can’t get the grasp of a wine flavor wise and it still goes down smooth. It has this earthy with many fruit flavors…need to pick up a couple bottles of this on my own.

I know that this event sounds very thumbs down…but the truth is I would attend again. I found the people at the event to be just awesome. Besides the couple beside me I met Ruth who is a LES food junkie. She is the type of person who knows every owner of a place she goes to eat. I need to get better at this skill. Not only do you get the inside scoop of what’s going on in the restaurant, sometimes they give you small samples of things to taste. Not to mention Ruth loves boxing and spars…no wonder she was wearing the pimp shirt.

There were the other ladies in seat 6 and 7. The lady from Spain was a photographer and had a great sense of the world. I think she’s the person who told me about Alta. The southern lady in seat 7 was a sweet woman and just nice to be around a southern bell every now and then. Not to mention, she had a funny story about a friend who brought a cheap wine to her party and that wine won best tasting in a blind tasting…haha! As I talked about at the beginning of this post…the couple to my right were just really nice people and a couple whom you could have a beer with on the roof while cooking steaks…although to be honest, I think his lady commands a lot of respect so I couldn’t be my crazy self after 10 beers…haha!

In closing, good times with the people more than the food. Yet, this is why I went to this place…to meet other people who love food. So I will go back and hopes of meeting more foodies and who can give me more places to eat at and good stories.

Post Script – Listening to Brad Paisley while writing this entry…yes, one has to love country music to read this blog!!

Monday, March 14, 2005


Another night out with the Dynamic Duo of Dr. Feel Good and The General Lee (look at pervious post on Devi to read about these guys). So being that I was going to dinner with these two characters I figured I would take some notes. For some reason when running with these guys there is always a lot of food involved and lots of liquids (of the alcohol nature) to help one put the food down…thus, one needs notes. Who really cares if as the night goes on and the drinks go down that your notes turn into chicken scratch or that they look like you took too many mushrooms and are trying to draw something profound. I tell you, notes are always a good thing.

So to start off the night I arrived late. This is only because The General has gotten into this habit of talking to me on the phone and telling me to hurry over and upon my arrival he’s barley jumping in the damn shower. What the heck is that all about? Thus, before leaving my apartment from all the way uptown I take my time and don’t run out the door. This is one time I should have hurried. By the time I arrived the boys were walking out the door with a nice bottle of wine in their stomachs. In other words, I missed a nice glass of wine.

As I said, I arrived late and some of that had to due with the fact that I had eaten my pasta with red sauce (read previous article) before my arrival. We tried to hit this one restaurant that I can’t remember the name. It was too full and we had to find a new location. We were walking and we found Arte. For some reason I think the Good Doctor had been here before but one can never be sure. He knew they had a patio out back that should be used for Native American rituals like smoking the peace pipe. But I never did see a back patio but I’m sure it did exist given the façade of the building. In NYC one can usually tell if a building has a back patio by the façade in front…this one looked like it did have a patio.

Upon walking in we take a seat and I take note of the ambiance. It was clean and warm, but the bar had way too much of an influence on the space. Not to mention it seemed like a watering hole for the locals. I didn’t mind that fact, but the people at the bar were rather obnoxious to be honest. I know this sounds off and odd, but I really didn’t like their ceiling. It was one of those circa 1970’s white ceilings with little holes punched in it and they tend to put those in the mobile classes in your Jr. High. You know the one where they confine the “Special Kids” to.

In any case, as I have said before, when you go to dinner with these guys you don’t really get to order. They kind of do this whole fly by the seat of your pants ordering routine. It goes something like this:

Waiter: Are you ready to order?
DFG: Pasta with meat.
Waiter: What type of pasta?
TGL: Fettuccine Alfredo.
DFG: Yes, and add to that plate another pasta and split it.

Sure to some people it might make sense if you have been around people like this. I knew what he was talking about. But the waiter seemed a bit thrown off by it. It’s kind of like your own special order that you want the house to make for you. I was just sitting there laughing at this and that was just the starter course. I didn’t taste this portion of the meal due to being super full on pasta already….but it looked appetizing.

Then a beautiful wine was ordered. I hate tasting really good wine because it’s hard to go back to the o.k. stuff. I wanted them to order some Bartles and James or something of the sort but they ordered Amarone 1996. I thought this wine didn’t have the body and full flavor of the wine we had at Devi, but it did have a more complex taste. It went well with the seafood dishes that were ordered for the main course. I think this is a good example of why I don’t buy into the notion: only white wine with fish. Especially in this instance when you have a light complex tasting fruit filled wine with both heavy and light seafood.

Dr. Feel Good had the Sole Fish and the General had Pisce Soup. Both dishes were good but I thought the fish was far more outstanding (I did eat half the Sole and a few bites of the Pisce Soup). The prep for the fish was interesting in that they warmed up the sauce on the fish, on the serving plate under a burner in front of the customer. I guess that got some cool point from me. I didn’t think that the General Lee’s plate was as appetizing. Throwing a lot of seafood together is difficult, especially when you have tough seafood such as scallions and nice fluffy fish. The difficulty of course lays in the cooking. Many people throw it all together instead of adding one after another and slowly. This gives the tougher seafood time to soften up a bit. Just my take.

After we had an offering to the Gods and relaxed and enjoyed life. It was a fun time and although so much more took place in the area of jokes and humor, well it just can’t be spoken here. Thanks for reading this far.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Best of NYC

Since I promised to write in my Food Blog more this is something that I thought would be fun to write about. Top 10 things I love to eat in NYC and sometimes a reason why. Not ranked, just came to head that way.

1. Nothing beat Korean food at 4:00 am in K-Town with The General Lee drunk off our asses. Korean food is like good Menudo when hung over…sticks to your stomach and helps soak up alcohol.
2. My Little Mexican place on 104th E. Side. I think the name is El Paso or San Antonio Taquiria. Good food.
3. My Little Mexican place on the Amesterdam and 107th…good enchiladas verdes and white pozole.
4. Dinner with Anita (when she is in town) at The Heights. Throw back to days at Columbia and just a lot of remember when stories of friends…good times.
5. TabTos, still a jewel in the city that hasn’t been found. Yuki (the owner and head sushi chef) is a great guy. I feel he’s fallen off in terms of crazy creations, but good straight sushi and a great price.
6. Brother Jimmy’s. I love this place and their ribs. Not to mention they have a Sunday special all you can eat ribs and all you can drink for 20.00 bones.
7. Kornets Pizza. Just been on the list for so many years how I can I take it off now. Best priced pizza in the city and best value hands down.
8. Indian Café/Roti Roll. I love the new extension of Indian Café which is Roti Roll…and I don’t care what any Indian says…Indian Café is the real deal.
9. China Town Food. Nuff said…but I like my favorite place, Dim Sum Go-Go and also Great New York Noodle Factory. I like my favorite place next to OTB…go figure. But very neighborhood place with all the uncles going there for their tea during and in between horse races.
10. Cart Vendors Spicy Hot Dogs. These things are the best and I still eat them.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Random Thoughts

I know, I know, I haven’t been paying attention to My Little Food Blog for some time now. I guess there has been going on in Joaquin’s food world so I should blog about it.

First, the General and I are going to a foodie event this weekend ( We are rather excited to see how this event transpires since we have been reading about these events for some time. In any case, the only problem I see is that The General is going for the high end wine. It sucks having a friend who is not only into good food, but also good wine. I guess they have two diff. levels in terms of wine lists. I think this is a great format, but it leaves the poor souls such as me going for the bottom shelf stuff…haha! No, it’s all good wine but I hear the higher priced wines are like 200.00 for a bottle and they’re having 4 different ones served plus food…great deal. I’m just trying to save my pennies for the WSOP (go to poker blog for details) Some will say that they (great food and great wine) go hand and hand, but once you are addicted to good wine there is no turning back…thus, low-end for the kid.

Second, I have finally found the perfect receipt to my pasta sauce. It’s taken about 10 times trying new formulas, but I have a winner. Yes, I can now try some new types of food. Imagine making huge tubs of red sauce over the past two months to get it perfect…I can’t eat red sauce for a while. On that note, the reason that I really enjoy watching Lydia’s kitchen on t.v. and even her books is because she tends to make all things spicy. Being Mexican one can only imagine how spicy my sauce is. But the flavor is great and something that I really enjoy. I still need to get a food meal to grind down my tomatoes…maybe I will try and pick one up this week to see how much it changes the texture of the sauce. At this point in time I just crush via the old mano.

Third, along with throwing down on the sauce I have been working on my guacamole. I know, I know, this shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish. It’s not, but what I have been finding is that I enjoy a lot more condiments such as onions and such in my guacamole. At first I just use to pepper those things in there…nothing too much. Now I feel with the more you put in there the more texture your guacamole gets. Thus, I’m putting more and more in there as time goes on. We will see where I end up with this. But I have found that eating too much guacamole over a week can kill you. Just too heavy for my stomach and to think that I didn’t like guacamole growing up.

In closing, wish me well on my event this coming week and I will make sure and get back to you with a full report. Sorry for the delays in the entries but I will get better over this coming year. Cheers!