Posts Tagged With: Mooncake Foods

Happy, Healthy Hell’s Kitchen

fresh-from-hellIts that time of the year again.  Resolution season!  The slowest eating month of the year.  The time of the year when Mrs Z says “Enough”, and I have to sneak out of the house Shawshank Redemption style in order to eat something that doesnt have Quinoa in it.  I then find myself in a dark room in a basement, a resolution speakeasy,  with other men indulging in pizza, and chicken skin dumplings.  These are dumplings deep fried in chicken skin instead of dough.

If you are a well balanced individual, meaning one who can stand on one leg for more than 5 seconds without breaking a wrist, you probably poopoo the entire resolution concept.  Why does one wait until January to change bad habits.  But for the rest of us, who sometimes cant see our own feet in the shower (I’m being nice here with feet), we use January as an alarm clock.  Its time to hibernate.

That leads to this irony.  W42st, the new(ish) Hell’s Kitchen magazine responsible for banning your Ziggy from 3 places Hell’s Kitchen establishments and counting, is back at it again with a new feature.  Its a foldout little zine inside the magazine, or sometimes just sitting on top of it at places.  And inside you have a map of various lists like new places, cool bars, top palm readers, and something called Ziggy’s Eat List where I feature 5 places related or not to the theme that month.  So my first contribution is listing 5 healthy options in Hell’s Kitchen (the irony).  For those who cant get the magazine (this feature isnt available online), here are the places…

Azuri Cafe
As far as Falafel and Shawarma in Hell’s Kitchen go, there’s no Better Than Ezra. Its an institution that comes with a little attitude.  Ok, a lot.Azuri Cafe - Chicken Shawarma
Indie Fresh
Bison Borscht anyone?  Da!  A Gotham West Market staple dishing out healthy soups, broths, and even burgers, utilizing top notch raw materialsindie-fresh
Mooncake Foods
A delicious hole in the wall with a varied Asian influenced menu.  Although I come here for the best Wonton soup in town these days, the rest of the healthy lineup is excellent.  Mooncake Foods Wonton soup
Fresh From Hell
A fresh and promising Hell takeout discovery in a very convenient spot.  Great soups, smoothies, and sandwiches featuring, fresh from hell too, Sullivan Street bread (picture top)
The Marshal
Close relationship with 14 area farms means close relationship with many patrons.  It also means delicious salads, but I cant pass on the bread and the meat options.The Marshal - Capreseimg_4981
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Categories: Midtown West, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Best Soups in Hell

Akamaru Modern Ippudo

Akamaru Modern Ippudo

Winter is here in beautiful Hell’s Kitchen.  The sky is blue, the birds are chirping, and the cabbies are singing “I feel pretty, oh so pretty” and other West Side Story tunes.  That’s what it feels like after you have any of those soups below on a cold NY day.  Let me put this another way… I’m not a soup person.  It rarely excites me, and I would never go out of my way for decent soup.  So for me to write about soup, it must be something special.  This post is 15 years in the making really, and none of these are your average homemade Ratatouille moment grandma soups.  For that I recommend grandma!  (although I will touch on some of those at the end)

Caldo de Bola at Nano – Perhaps I should have added to the above “Unless your Grandma is Ecuadorian”.  A tiny Eucadorian hole in the wall on 10th serves this traditional thing of beauty.  Rich, beefy broth with veggies, beef, corn on the cob, yes corn on the cob which is probably the least interesting item in there.  The most is a giant plantain dumpling with all sorts of awesome deliciousness inside… more beef, raisins, egg and peanut sauce.  Sounds bizarre, but it works

Caldo de Bola at NanoSpicy Ramen at Totto – Home to Ziggy’s first and coincidentally last Ramen, with about 100 in between.  Delicious Chicken Paitan broth topped with spicy sesame oil and your choice of chicken or pork belly (I’ve never had the chicken, always pork).  I like to sit at the counter at the 51st/10th location where you can also get some apps like Spicy Tuna Don at half price with your ramen (lunch time only I believe).  Cash only.

Totto Spicy RamenSukhothai Pork Noodles Soup at Pure Thai Cookhouse– While its hard for me to stay away from the rest of the menu normally, during frozen tundra times, this is the dish of choice.  A clean but tangy pork broth with rice noodles, sweet sliced roasted pork, long bean, bean sprout, peanuts, dried shrimp, ground pork, and if thats not enough, topped with pork cracklings.  Yes, its busy, YES its delicious.  Skip the option to upgrade to the homemade egg noodles and stick to tradition.  TRADITION!

Pure Thai SukhothaiShanghai Pork & Shrimp Wonton Soup at Mooncake Foods.  Calling this Wonton soup is almost criminal.  Whether you generally like Wonton soups or normally pass on them at your neighborhood Chinese takeout in favor of the hot & sour, is irrelevant.  Pure, clean chicken broth with a generous amount of fantastically meaty dumplings, and noodles (extra).  Perhaps the best cure for the common cold in the hood.

Mooncake Foods Wonton soupAkamaru Modern at Ippudo.  I’ve exchanged eye pleasantries and perhaps tasted a spoon or two, but after a dozen or so visits, I’ve never actually had Ramen at Ippudo that’s not called Akamaru Modern, mainly out of fear.  I’ve made it this far, waited this long, not settling for potentially second best.  This porky Tonkotsu Ramen with a secret umami paste transforms ramen as we know it.  A game changer.  While Totto is my quick ramen fix, this one is where I would bring a wife, or a date

Oxtail Soup at Pam Real Thai – I’ve already written about this one in great length.  Forget winter!  This is the official cure to summer time sadness.

Pam Real Oxtail Soup

The RestIndie Fresh at Gotham West Market got unusual and healthy soups like Borscht that can even make a Babushka blush… a rather shy Babushka.  When I’m in the mood for something simple like white bean or split pea soup I head to my friend Anna at Café Ole.  Sometimes when I feel naughty, I get Ezra’s terrific split pea with my falafel at Azuri CaféMocu Mocu serves a most unusual Miso with white bean and Sausage.  RIP Bis.Co.Latte, and Holly’s amazing soups

Mocu Mocu Miso

Mocu Mocu Miso

Categories: Midtown West, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Food-pourri

Reviver Mahi

Reviver Mahi

Random EWZ food news, announcements, and other nonsense

Ziggy gains weight!  This means two health plays entering the Hell’s Kitchen Survival Guide.  Fairly newish Reviver is a small take-out fast food spot on 8th ave with a varied health, gluten-free conscious menu.  And Mooncake Foods, a chainlet with three locations offering various Asian inspired meals like tuna, salmon over rice, and some excellent soups I’ve been enjoying the last few years.  Perhaps I should finally join… what’s that thing called… Googling… a Gym (stop laughing family, friends).  The closest thing to a gym in my life was when Mrs Z brought me the wrong deodorant one day, just so I could come home from work a little stinky, or manly, as if I’m coming from the gym.

Mark the date.  The Ziggat 50 is coming, December 9th!  The Ziggat 50 (will be changed to the Ziggy 50 once I get sued) will feature Ziggy’s favorite $10-100 meals in NYC.  This means it will feature places that are generally less than $100 per person (no Marea, Ko, etc), and more than $10 person (no pizza slices, cheap tacos, etc).   A list for the rest of us 99%.

Capizzi Pizza

Capizzi Pizza

Staten Island Pizza – I’ve always said that the only reason to cross bridges to Staten Island is for Sri-Lankan.  Well, I’ve been saying that for years while secretly enjoying some amazing pizza in SI as of late.  Joe & Pats, Giove, Nonna’s, Lee’s Tavern, the inventor of the bar pizza, and of course the classic, always busy Denino’s.  Check out this recently produced One Minute Meal on Denino’s.  And in a couple of weeks there will be another big name joining the gamg, Capizzi of Hell’s Kitchen.  Owner Joe is no stranger to Staten Island.  He’s converting his old classic NY-American La Bella on Hylan blvd, promising to dish out pizzas just like in Ziggy fave Capizzi.

Bruno Pizza – one of my favorite new restaurants of the year is getting a lot of attention as of late.  Pete Wells gave it zero stars in his somewhat bizarre, disgruntled yelp style review.  The attack on hype machines along with other things has instigated heated discussions on Chowhound, and hype praising articles.  Try it yourself, order what I recommend, and judge for yourself.

Hell’s Kitchen Food Tour is closed for the season, and maybe for good.  I’ve met so many great people during the last few years, some of whom are now friends.  On a recent tour with a photographer I brought my big boy camera as well for an upcoming blog post detailing the entire tour.  Stay tuned for that one.  I haven’t made up my mind if this is something I want to continue doing next year

Peace and Love

Ziggy

Bruno Pizza fluke

Bruno Pizza fluke

Categories: New York City | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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