Brooklyn

Miss Ada – Its All in the Name

Miss Ada Labne Mousse

Food is the new high tech.  Israel, the size of New Jersey continues the sabra assault, sending our way talent and cauliflower in a furious rate.  From Nur, to Timna, to the Einat Admony empire, to Miss Ada a newish Israeli in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.  Buzzy Israeli joints are opening in a furious rate all over Manhattan and Brooklyn these days.  Good news?  Not entirely.  While I’m loving all these options, I would sub about half of them for a high quality sprawling casual place serving the simple stuff (Shawarma, falafel, Kibeh).  A place like Itzik Hagadol in LA, where I can take my extended family on a whim.  “Pita Off the Corner” in Brooklyn is close to that, but its way too fast-casual and low grade.  With so many high caliber, mid range $75 per person places popping up in Brooklyn the last few years, you just have to wonder.  Is Brooklyn the new Manhattan?

But the plan here was not to start with another anti gentrification rant, but talk about the awesomeness of Miss Ada.  Sometimes I start writing and just go where the wind blows.  But then I close the windows and get back on track.  Now its a gentle draft from the living room setting the stage for a much gentler post.  Miss Ada has been on my radar for about a year now.  Thats what happens when you open in Fort Greene.  I live in NYC, and visit Italy more often than that part of Brooklyn, even though I’m in Brooklyn 3 times a week.

Miss Ada

Miss Ada’s perfume of choice is Amba.  As soon as you enter, you smell this mango condiment engineered primarily for Shawarmas, but here used liberally in many dishes.  A curly Miss Ada looking like a typical Sabra pictured everywhere from the business cards to the menu.  So who exactly is this Miss Ada you may ask?  She’s a decoy!  Its a play on words.  Combine the words together and you have Missada which means restaurant in Hebrew.  This is Tomer Belchman first Missada after stints with Bar Bolonat, Gramercy Tavern and pork legend Maialino.  Ironic somewhat considering three hours prior to the meal, I was eating the best white beans in town at Nick Anderer’s (Maialino, Marta, king of Roman pastas, pizza, and beans) newest Martina, followed by an unexpected dessert: Beans with a spicy pork shoulder ragu, leftover from a sexy bean photo shoot at Martina

The menu is sectioned in a way that makes you order more than you can handle.  Like straight out of restaurant business school.  The whipped Ricotta is silky smooth addictive sweetness.  A little bit of honey and brown butter goes a long way.  Hummus Masabacha is essentially hummus with deconstructed hummus and other goodies.  We took a chance with the chicken liver and caramelized onions which worked and wasnt as oniony as it looked for onion sensitive Mrs Z.  The Short Rib (We ordered the Kofta, but got the rib.  Write it down people ;)) was nicely charred from the outside, tender and flavorful on the inside.  Like a true Sabra!  Came with Amba on the side.

Miss Ada Hummus

Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchoke) are in season, and the soup always gets our attention.  This one is as good as it gets.  Spicy, complex, with pine nuts and crunchy apple bits.  And by law, Israeli places must feature Za’atar spices on the menu or on pitas I believe the law states.  Here you have both, including a well cooked salmon coated with that gentle Za’ataness.  Add Labne, charred shallots and Japanese eggplant and you got a St  Patty’s parade in your belly.  Labne Mousse for dessert is another winner.  While others use Granita to shock and overwhelm, here the Pomegranate Sumac Granita is carefully put on top of the delicate Labne with poached pear bits mixed in.  Nice use of fruits and veggies throughout the menu.

Miss Ada
184 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn
Rating: 2.5 Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Whipped Ricotta, Salmon, Sunchoke soup, Labne Mousse

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Traif – Hold the Gefilte

Traif - Foie GrasIn order to understand the name, one first needs to understand the location.  One block over to the south is Hasidic Williamsburg, the most ultra-Jewish neighborhood in a borough loaded with Jewish neighborhoods (around 5).  Once inside Hasidic Williamsburg you are not mistaken where you are.  This is the one place in Brooklyn I’m not comfortable touring with visitors and I declined such requests in the past.  Traif simply means “non-kosher”, a term not really used much even with Jews.  Practically next door is sister restaurant Xixa, the Mexican version of small plate Traif.  Xixa is pronounced Shiksa which means gentile girl, especially one that attracted a Jewish boy.

The Jewish husband cooks in Traif, while the Shiksa in Xixa.  This type of Chuzpah would normally attract a visit from the local Rabi.  Perhaps the logo of the pig with a heart in the middle on the Traif door legally prevents it from happening.  And the Shiksa in the other place complicates things further.  A third venture called Kish Mein Touchess would essentially entice a riot but thats just a rumor (which I’m starting here).  Traif is a pork-centric establishment after-all.  But you get the sense that even if you remove all the porkiness like the bacon around my drink rim Rude Little Pig (meh), this will still be a very good restaurant.

Traif

This is the type of place that expires on me over time.  Its 8 years old, generating nothing but praise and a steady young local crowd.  But at some point, due to the location you move on and forget all about it.  Its easy to get lost in the shuffle in this town that produces at least 20 new good ones every month it seems.  The menu reads Spanish tapas-like, but once you take a closer look, its tapas meets New American.  And while there’s always a risk attached to a tasting menu as such, the $55 chefs tasting at Traif is build to impress.

We started with a glorious welcome, a cup of creamy chickpea soup.   Then came perfectly seared scallops on a bed of mushroom risotto.  The intense mushroom perfume especially elevated those scallops nicely.  Its an odd one to start a tasting menu, but the heck with rules.  Simpler but tasty combinations followed like King Salmon with avocado, and Squash with cheese toasts.  Spicy tuna tartare over eggplant tempura was one of the more memorable early on.  If you are not a fan of Sweetbread, the riff on General Tso’s here may convert you.  Another hit was a gorgeously seared duck sporting a nice outer crisp.Traif - Scallops

Perhaps the most impressive dish of the night however was a seared foie gras with yukon potatoes, bacon, and sunny side up egg.  A tangy sauce and proper spices tying everything together and its Siman Tov ve Mazel Tov in your mouth.  Would love to come back to this.. alone.  On the other hand, the worst dish was the orange ribs.  Its tender!  Thats the only thing I can say about it.  Gnocchi with mushrooms and shaved black truffles – cant go wrong with that.  Finishing, in your face style, with bacon donuts with coffee ice cream beating the weak Panna Cotta.  All in all this is another GO folks!

Traif
229 S 4th (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Rating: 2.5 Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Tasting Menu

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Popina – Wacky New Italian in WeCo

Popina PappardelleI suppose I need to explain the title first.  We dont really have an area called WeCo.  Not yet at least.  According to Google Maps the small no man’s land west of the BQE around Columbia street in Brooklyn is called Columbia Street Waterfront District for some reason.  While other Brooklyn neighborhoods nearby like Greenwood and Sunset Park include their waterfront districts, Carroll Gardens, and Cobble Hill decided to neglect it, blaming the construction of the BQE that broke them apart.  And while it didnt work for Clinton (Hell’s Kitchen) much and other neighborhoods, the name change can definitely work here.  So might as well continue with our lazy Real Estate naming conventions and call the area WeCo (West of Cobble Hill).  Other consideration were Pok Pok City, and “That area where Pok Pok is”.  I used the latter to describe the location of Popina to my wife and friends.  No one around here heard of the Columbia Street Waterfront District.

Popina is the anti-Lilia.  Ever wonder why Lilia doesnt have a Michelin star by now?  Its simple.  Inspectors cant buy a reservation.  Ever since my meal there, its been notoriously difficult to get a table of any size.  But while the meal we had at Lilia left us very impressed, the place felt more like a neighborhood joint than one of those destinations you need to wait until midnight to reserve 30 days out.  Popina’s cooking approach and neighborhoody feel reminds me of Lilia in some ways.  But its their dedication to the neighborhood with their no reservation policy that will win the hearts of the locals WeCos (See, its catching on already)

Popina Chicken

They dont come much tinier than this.  We sat comfortably by the bar, and by 7:45 or so on a Friday night the place filled up.  By 8, the wait was more than an hour.  Other than one or two bars nearby, there’s not a whole lot to do and drink in WeCo (Industrial funk, Red Hook-like zone).  Chris McDade and James O’brien are the two Maialino and Marta veterans opening their first restaurant.  Being under the guidance of Nick Anderer and co at Maialino can make all the difference in the world, and it showed

This is my kind of menu, a picky eater worst nightmare, and classic WeCo.  Small and to the point.  Around 10 items all together, including only 2 secondis.  Starters include terrific Arancini ladened with honey with hints of saffron.  Raw Bay Scallops with soppressata and pistachio the only dish that didnt work for me.  The Bay Scallops were just too large for the rest of the ingredients to catch up and balance that scallopy sweetness.  Maybe some more acid and pink peppercorns can help.

Much has been written about Popina being a mesh-up of Italian and Southern cuisine (McDade grew up in the south and speaks fluent Southern), but I’m just not seeing it.  The menu has all the look and feel of Italian with some southern hints here and there.  You wouldnt know that you are eating in a southern establishment unless someone told you.  And much has been said, for good reason, about the spicy Chicken Milanese that suggests that southern influence.  Its essentially a Schnitzel gone wild.  But for my taste it was the Pappardelle with Ham Hock that really showcases these guys capabilities.  Perfectly cut fresh Pappardelle, slow braised goodness, with no tomato to be found.  The kind of dish you may find in the hills of Piemonte.  Chocolate dessert is that proper finish one would expect here.  This is a GO!

Popina
127 Columbia St (Kane), WeCo, Brooklyn
Rating: Two Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Arancini, Chicken, Pappardelle, Chocolate dessert

 

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Ugly Baby Delivers Adorable Heat

Ugly BabyIt’s Michelin Star season.  When gracious winners throw parties to celebrate, while the losers and pretty much everyone else in the industry celebrate its awkwardness.  Its the behemoth that everyone enjoys hating.  In NYC two, and three stars are distributed with care while single stars are distributed like Halloween candy.  My mother turns out has one.  Some lose their hard earned stars within a year or two only to find themselves suddenly a lot more affordable (Bib Gourmet) while sporting the exact same menu that earned them the star.  Should you look at Michelin for your French, Sushi and the default “New American” menu needs?  Maybe.  Should you look for it for Italian, Thai, Russian or [Name any other cuisine] needs?  Nyet!

You would otherwise miss on places like Ugly Baby, the newest hottie in Carroll Gardens.  With elevated neighborhood joints like FOB, Lucali, Frankies Spuntino, Buttermilk Channel and the boozy Other Half Brewing, Carroll Gardens is transforming into a dining and drinking destination.  Young professionals, tourists, accountants and even parents of beautiful babies in the nearby Park Slope are noticing the development, and this newest Seinfeld-esque name.  Apparently in Thailand its more common to call babies ugly so not to attract the ugly spirit.  An important lesson the next time you give a baby a compliment.

Hence at Ugly Baby the name serves as an anti-jinx agent.  And if the ugly spirit (lets call it Michelin) cant be fooled by the name, the spices will sure block it.  BYOB in this case means Bring Your Own Bounty.  We are talking about people all over the place sweating like a hooker on a “$5 Wednesday”.  When we asked the friendly waiter what they are planning to do with the entrance when it gets cold, he said “We will just add more spices”.  An hour later, all warm and fuzzy, we concluded he was serious.

Ugly Baby Chicken Skewers

The dishes here are fittingly ugly as you can see.  Just like picking Thai establishments on 9th, the uglier the better.  The Duck Salad (Ugly Duckling?) ended any hope of easing you in slowly as they throw you straight into the fire.  Complex, addictive heat, unlike any Larb I ever had.  The closest thing to a must here.  The Chicken Thigh Skewers will make you cry a little more, and cry every time you eat chicken satay at [Name any Thai Restaurant].  More succulence without easing too much on the heat.  By this point your tingling mouth is telling you this is as far as as you can get from Pad Thai nation.

The Kha Soi, perhaps the most underrated soup in the world, features welcomed sweetness and restrain, but more pleasant heat nonetheless and outrageously delicious beef shank cubes.  At this point you start to wonder which dish you like best.  Your hand keeps poking at the ugly duckling, so maybe that’s the one.  The Snapper, swimming in ginger & tamarind broth serves as something between a cooling agent and a waste of dish, once you try everything else.  This may be the true Ugly Duckling.  The final bill at the end answered the “do they have any desserts, like something with sticky rice inside a banana leaf” question.  Dessert or not, Ugly Baby is for real and a major Go!

Ugly Baby
407 Smith St, Brooklyn (Carroll Gardens)
Rating: Three Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Kha Soi, Chicken Skewers, Duck Salad

 

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Llama Inn – The Odd Couple

Llama Inn TiraditoThe first thing I have to tell you about Llama Inn in Williamsbutg is how gorgeous it is.  Out of all the Peruvian I’ve been to in NYC, this is possibly the best looking.  Albeit oddly situated in a not so attractive location by the highway.  In fact I’m pretty sure the last time I came here this building was a gas station surrounded by other gas stations.  The space is stylish even for the hotel filled chic Williamsburg standards.  Designed by Joseph Foglia Designs, one can see how much time and effort went into this project.

The second thing I have to tell you is that we hardly saw any of this.  As soon as I saw the space I regretted not bringing my big boy camera as there was plenty of light outside.  But by the time the food start arriving I was content with my little boy phone.  It was dark!  It may sound cliche but we do like to use all of our senses while eating.  A well crafted dish doesnt need to be pretty but it needs to be seen.  Its like you get a prize for best tattooed arm in the country fair, and you decide to cover it up in the evenings.   We essentially turned into my father in law.

The third thing I have to tell you is that midway through the meal we realized something we rarely experience in NYC.  At mid 40’s we were the oldest couple in the room.  This is a place that got significant buzz and praise when it first opened, and this was totally unexpected.  We were that odd couple in need of hearing aid and glasses.  Both kinds of glasses I should add.  The staff was professional alright, even when we politely asked for ‘regular’ wine glasses to replace the stemless.

And what is it with the stemless glasses lately.  Are they trying to be cool and trendy forgetting that we are creatures of habit.  I’m all for moving forward and design that make things simpler.  But getting white wine in what looks like a regular water glass feels like a regression in dining elegance.  What will the restaurants do once wine scientists discover that plastic cups is the best way to serve your Gewurztraminer.

The food was a mixed bag.  The best sounding items on the menu were large dishes that seemed a lot more expensive ($60’s) than they should be.  A whole Branzino at $60 better be the baddest Branzino in town.  Same for the Tenderloin sit fry ($68)

Anticucho – These little skewers feel like street food one can find off the streets of Lima for 25 cents.  In Williamsburg they go for $5-8 a pop.  For about $2 per bite you do get pleasant complex flavors out of the chicken and pork belly.  But I would skip the Shrimp

Quinoa – One of the more popular dishes here for some reason.  With the occasional presence of bananas and bacon not every spoonful is the same which normally is a good thing but not here.  With her getting all the bacon and me getting all the bananas, something has to give.  Its like the Russian roulete of Quinoa

Sea Bream Tiradito –  Best dish by far.  Although the Sashimi is swimming in sauce the acidity is restrained.  And the occasional Cancha (toasted corn kernels) added a nice crunch.  The one dish that reminded me that I’m eating Peruvian

Rock Shrimp – This should not be a surprise if you do your homework.  But while the rest of the menu lists the main ingredient first, this is more of a well crafted seafood paella.  It includes rock shrimp but also mussels, squid and clams.  Some of the seafood is breaded which just didnt work for us

Short Rib.  Another meh!  Slightly overcooked meat with grilled summer beans that stole the show.

Llama Inn
50 Withers St, Williamsburg
Rating: One Z (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Tiradito

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Brooklyn Tour FAQ

After doing this for about a year now, I feel the need to write this.  This is a collection of the many questions I get often (besides the first one).  If I’m missing something, write in the comments, or shoot me an email.  This will also appear in the tours site of course

What is the Brooklyn Tour?

Its a full day driving tour of Brooklyn where we explore about 6 distinct neighborhoods not very easily reached otherwise.  While there will be plenty of interesting food involved, the tour is more of a cultural immersion experience with the goal to show visitors the “real” Brooklyn

What time does it start and finish?

9 to around 5 or 6, although an earlier finish time can be requested.  I’m usually around the pickup location 15 to 30 minutes prior.

How much does it cost?

At the time of this writing its $100 per person for 3 or more people in the tour (regardless if its the same group or not), and $125 for just 2 people.

What’s included in the price

Food and water.  As of tomorrow (August 23rd, 2107) I will finally start utilizing my super cool Trip Advisor cooler 😉

Can I come solo?

Oh Yes!  But as long as I can combine you with another group.  Many solo travelers have joined this tour over the last year, and its a great way to meet other people

When should I book?

As early as possible, and as soon as you know your dates.  As of this writing (August 22nd, 2017) much of September and October is already booked, and pretty much the entire Xmas holiday season.

How do I book?

Just send me an email with your dates, and how many people. EatingWithZiggy@gmail.com

How many people can the tour include?

4 to 6, or as many as I can fit into an SUV with a folding third raw.  4 comfortably plus 1 or 2 smaller people in the back.

Where is the pickup location?

Usually the hotel.  But in some cases it makes more sense to meet at a predetermined location closer to Brooklyn, usually at 22 Warren st (outside of Gran Morsi restaurant).  The situations include hotels that are too far, and multiple groups with hotels far apart.  If you are not familiar with Google Maps, this is the time to get familiar

Where is the drop off location?

At the same location as pickup or other convenient locations.  Many prefer to be dropped in Dumbo and walk Brooklyn Bridge back, concluding a wonderful day in Brooklyn.

What neighborhoods are we going to see in Brooklyn?

Red Hook – One of NY’s most funkiest neighborhoods.
Green-Wood Cemetery – Perhaps the most beautiful and important cemetery in the US
Brighton Beach – An oceanside, Russian speaking neighborhood
Coney Island – The most iconic Brooklyn neighborhood
Prospect Park South – An historic district consisting of large homes in a park-like environment
Sunset Park – The most genuine Chinatown in the US today (Yes, I’ve said it)
Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights – Quick stops if we have time, and/if you are interested.

What are we going to eat?

A lot of good stuff.  Nothing is set in stone as some places close sometimes.  But it may include a visit to a chocolate factory, experience the best key lime pie in NYC, Portuguese egg tarts, Chinese, Uzbek, Korean, Russian, American, and more.  We will also visit some International stores and a Chinese supermarket.  Some of the places are very unique to Brooklyn and pretty much the USA

Should I make dinner plans?

No!  Unless its very late.  You will not be hungry for a while.  This may be a good day to have some late pizza and I can certainly help with that.  As of this writing I’m working on a pizza map

What about gluten-free, vegetarian, allergies?

Yes, all can be accommodated.  The only thing I cant promise is avoiding the possibility of cross contamination.  Also, many of the people working in some of these places have extremely limited English but I will do my best

My husband is a very picky.  Will he starve?

I had plenty of picky eaters so far that came back very satisfied.  If anything some of this may change your views on food.  And there’s always Nathan’s!

You are not available for my dates.  Can you recommend a similar tour?

I get this asked often.  I’m not aware of any other tours like it unfortunately.  The closest I know are the various pizza tours like A slice of Brooklyn and Scott’s Pizza Tour.  These are bigger, more organized tours that are fun no doubt, but you can get amazing pizza in Manhattan as well.  I concentrate on the things you cant.

Can I customize the tour with you?

Only if you are the only party.  If you want to see other parts or eat other food like pizza, we can.  But if I’ll feel that you will get a lesser experience as a result, I will let you know

How much walking is involved?

Between 30 to 60 minutes in each neighborhood with plenty of stops.  Sometimes during the tour we even elect to drive through some areas

What if I fall asleep in the car.  Will you drive around the drop off location for a while until I wake up, and put some easy listening in the process?

Yes, I’ve done that too.

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Adding Green-Wood Cemetery

IMG_6312The evolution of the Brooklyn tour continues.  In the next few weeks I will take some time to write more of a detail post about the current tour and what it entails, as it changed quite a bit since its inception.  But the big development is that I’m adding Green-Wood cemetery.  I’ve been toying with the idea for a while, and experimenting with Green-Wood during the last 3 tours, and frankly I dont know why I havent done it sooner

If you dont know what I’m talking about, wondering why I’m adding a cemetery to a food tour, a simple Google or Google Images browsing will answer that.  The proximity to the current route also makes sense.  If you booked a future tour and are not interested in Green-Wood, just let me know.  As it stands right now though, this is a quick 30 minute stop, unless anyone wants to spend more time there.  Simply put, this is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.  The reason you dont hear much about it is because of the difficulties for tourists to get there.

And no this is not Nicolas Cage future grave pictured below.  His Pyramid is much taller.  And if you just happened to have a Nicolas Cage fetish (seriously, who doesnt these days), we can also visit Cage’s favorite restaurant in Brighton Beach.

IMG_6294IMG_6308IMG_6309

 

 

 

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FOB – You Had Me at Halo Halo

fob-halo-halo

July 4, 2017 Update:

How is this place not packed every night.  Yet another great feast at FOB, this time with the family.  The chicken wings, overnight Chicken Adobo (with coconut milk this time), Fish Inihaw are absolute musts.  But there are a few other potential gems on the menu we didnt get to sample yet.  The type of neighborhood place every neighborhood should have.  But dont take it too literally chef Armando.  I like you in just that one place

December 9, 2016 Post:

If you close one eye and both ears, Brooklyn’s Smith Street during the holidays feels like a small town Main Street.  Xmas tree vendors hugging corners.  Colorful shops, bars, restaurants getting dressed for the holidays.  You can almost hear George Michael’s Last Christmas before the moment interrupted by a commuter.  A commuter who believes if he beeps long enough, Santa will come down to part the sea, before heading for some Sisig and a beer.

Homey Filipino F.O.B. is the latest to join the happy Smith Street Mishpucha.  And by the look of the Xmas tree dominated glassy front, it’s playing the part.  When you sit down, you immediately get the sense that if you drop your napkin, you may just have to pick it up yourself.  And that any service mishaps will be treated just like you would at a diner (Though some Yelpers clearly had other expectations from a two week old establishment).  The room is simply decorated, and the lighting is an Instagrammer wet dream.  In other words, my type of place.fob-shrimp

But I didnt come here for the tree, nor the home away from home family atmosphere.  I came for what looked and sounded like a promising menu by a Daniel alum, a menu that is lacking in that part of Brooklyn.  My extent of the cuisine stretches from visits to Lumpia Shack in West Village and recent visits to Maharlika in East Village where the Sisig became my go to dish.  The Sisig at FOB (which of course means Fresh off the {Ikea} Boat.  Thats the closest boat to the establishment I can think of) didnt sound too promising to my dining partner so we left it for another day.  Oh and did I mention that this meal was one of the best meals I’ve had in 2016?  Perhaps it would have been fair to start with that comment before losing 65% of my audience.

Corn Bibingka – A Fine semi-sweet Starter.  Rice cake with a nice layer of coconut butter that tastes like cornbread.  Reminded me of some Sweet Thai desserts like in Pure Thai Cookhouse, also cooked in Banana leaf.

Spicy Chicken Langkawas – These were quite good.  The wings are grilled, so not much of a crunch in the skin.  But the flavor is there thanks to the wonderful thick salsa of chilies, lime, and coconut milk.  The waiter learned the hard way that any sauce left on the plate is as if any chicken left.fob-chicken-wings

Peel & Eat 7-up Shrimp – The most enticing app was the most disappointing.  Some of the shrimp were limp and the sauce just didnt offer much.  I was hoping based on pictures for something closer to New Orleans style buttery BBQ shrimp

Fish Inihaw – A strong candidate for dish of the night. Delicately cooked Flounder (fish varies based on market freshness) topped with an extremely complimentary salsa.  Better than a similar fish nearby at one Michelin La Vara.

Overnight Chicken Adobo – This was surprisingly excellent (explanation to follow).  Two perfectly sized moist and deeply flavorful pieces (half a bird).  There’s another chicken on the menu that is “moms” chicken while this Abobo is “pops”.  The difference if I understand correctly is that pop doesnt like coconut, so its essentially the same thing without the coconut.  Instincts suggest going with mom, but the Adobo is getting a little buzz, coupled with the fact that Mrs Z face turns into Robert de Niro when she tastes coconut (Its quite a funny sight) means we are getting the Adobo.fob-chicken-and-sides

Sides of Garlic rice and green beans & Longanisa were fine.  Especially the Longanisa sausage which was like a delicious tease they can easily make an app from.  Better than the Longanisa at Maharlika which is a little too sweet for my buds.

Dessert – The traditional Filipino Halo Halo is bucket list worthy.  Not because its so amazing, but because its so different than anything out there.  After many attempts at Lumpia Shack where it takes the winter off, this was actually my very first.  While it didnt exactly knock my sucks off, I can see myself ordering it again.  The flan with caramel sauce on the other hand became boring after a few spoons.  Still, a solid 3 Z’s meal in Brooklyn.

FOB
271 Smith St (Degraw/Sackett), Brooklyn
Rating: Three Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Corn Bibingka, Chicken Langkawas, Fish Inihaw, Overnight Chicken Adobo, Halo Halo, beans & Longanisafob-rice-cake fob-fish fob-adobo-chicken fob-flan fob-brooklyn

 

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Introducing EWZ Tours

img_7142-1Some tours developments for ya…

We have a name, a website, and the least attractive attractions on TripAdvisor (meaning the guide, not the experience)

The three tours are shaping up quite nicely.  I’ve made some changes to all three already and quite satisfied with all the routes.  I’m fairly booked for the holiday season, but not so much after January 3rd.  Yes, I’m doing the walking tours throughout the winter

I think the most painful part of this whole process was coming up with the name.  Eating With Ziggy Tours ultimately beat Angry Panda, Touring With Ziggy, and Hungry Penguin.  I was all set on the last one, but no one liked it.  Touring With Ziggy was the natural progression, but then the expectations of Drinking With Ziggy, and Sleeping with Ziggy would follow.  I would have already gotten a review on the last one, and I’m afraid it’s not good

It took about 6 weeks but we are finally on Trip Advisor, and Facebook.  On Instagram which I finally joined in the summer, I’m “EatingWithZiggy”, and on Twitter I’m still good ol’ Ziggy601

In order to get on TA, I had to quickly create a dedicated site which I’m still working on https://eatingwithziggytours.com/

Why East Village

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Mister Dips – A Burger With a View

mister-dips-viewA famous person once said, “I didn’t know that I was starving till I tasted you.  Don’t need no butterflies when you give me the whole damn zoo.  By the way, by the way, you do things to my body.  I didn’t know that I was starving till I tasted you”.  Always a joy listening to this one in the car with the kids around (rolling eyes smiley goes here).  I knew that I was starving before I tasted this burger.  Well, I wasnt literally starving, but it was a solid notch above first world hunger kind of starving.  And while I didnt quite get the zoo when I visited William Vale’s second floor terrace (or is it third), I did envision butterflies roaming around there in the spring.  And yes, it did things to my body.  Wonderful things!  Followed by guilt, despair, and total loss of hope in humanity (especially after the elections).

Maybe I should have just stopped with a single patty.  Did I really need a double?  And instead of plain waffle fries, did I really need the porn name sounding “Dirty Dipper”, covered with spicy, gooey, wonderful cheddar and scallions?  Yes, I needed all those things.  Raise your hand if you are tired of your partner’s “Do you really need that?” every time you reach for a dark chocolate?  Do you REALLY need that diamond ring?

The Mister Dips burger, sold from a parked Airstream trailer, is as solid as a Shake Shack burger can get (yes Shake Shack is is now officially the “Bounty” of burgers).  The flavor profile is spot on, and the price is right.  Coupled with the dirty Waffle Fries, and.. watch out Shake Shack, there’s a new bounty in town.  You know things are going well when you forget to drink your beverage while eating.  But that’s not all.  The park, terrace, Low Line, or whatever they want to call it, is a stunner.  A “chuppah” of colorful patio furniture, overlooking lower midtown Manhattan, with grassy hills to boot.  Gorgeous views, especially once you ignore the construction in between.  Did I mention the speakers blasting gangsta rap and 80’s in the background?  So check it out, along with a well earned bathroom break at the new William Vale, before the mister shuts its Dips for the season.

Mister Dips
111 N 12th St (Williamsburg. William Vale Promenade)

mister-dips-burger mister-dips-park mister-dips

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