Archive | August, 2012

Coffee snob espresso-ordering techniques

30 Aug

I had no idea people even behaved like this:


“You’re using a blend? What are the different regions in there?”

“I like a brighter-tasting espresso. How would you describe yours?”

“Are you dialed in to your machine? When was it last serviced?”

“I was in France, and they pull their shots for about 65 seconds, and then dip a croissant in it. Kind of like a cookie in milk. Can you do that for me? Do you have twice-baked croissants?”

“I want my espresso iced, but can you pull the shot into a centimeter of water, just to save the espresso from souring? Also, do you have almond milk?”

At least now I don’t feel so bad for squeaking shyly: “Do you do macchiato?”

Pyramid Schmyramid

30 Aug

Simple yet pertinent point; the reason the food pyramid has been killing us is that nobody has been obeying it:

Hob Nobbing with the Big Nobs at Nobu

9 Aug

We went to Nobu for dinner, but the actual food was slightly overshadowed by the fact that when we went in and sat down, the most hunted woman in America after K-Stew was sitting right behind Mrs CL – along with her 6-year-old daughter and nanny.

Initial excitement was quelled when I quickly realised I would not be able to photograph Mrs CL or my food, as every time I took my camera out, a waiter sprinted over to stand between me and the former Mrs Cruise, and a huge bouncer-type dude cast a withering stare at me until the camera went back into my bag. This kinda pissed me off, as I couldn’t give a shit about taking her picture, but I wouldn’t have minded a few more shots of my new wife!

Since Mrs CL had been seated in a really annoying seat with waiters pushing past and bumping her and hovering over her as they chatted to other diners, we swapped seats, so now she was facing the celeb table and I was facing the window, which overlooked a lot of scaffolding out on Hudson Street. I now took this opportunity to take a pic of Mrs CL swigging sake out of a “masu”, as I sipped on my own Emporio Martini (Tanqueray with cranberry, lychee and sake).


Mrs CL’s wooden crate full of booze

The food was nice enough but did not even come close to all the hype.

The cod with miso was a standout (or, THE standout – it was absolutely delicious), and everything else was just ‘good sushi’, ‘good sashimi’, and ‘good chocolate souffle’…

Around the time we were enjoying snapper ceviche with Peruvian chili, our erstwhile dinner companions ran out and dove into a waiting Escalade, with the paparazzi snapping away as they went. Assuming the paps had now left, Mary-Kate Olsen took the opportunity to sneak out of the restaurant too.

So for a couple of provincials in the Big Apple, it was an enjoyable evening out at Nobu, but that had very little to do with the food.


CLs in Brooklyn

7 Aug

I have to admit I am severely turned off going to Brooklyn by the hipsters. But a friend wanted to meet in one of its many great beer gardens so we headed on over on the L Train to see what the place was all about.

We had only just emerged from the subway stairs when our worst fears were realised; “Vegetarian tamales!” yelled a young crusty hipster pushing a shopping trolley of what I can only assume were the ingredients to make her wares – vegetarian tamales. After squeezing past her we encountered not one but TWO busking outfits consisting of banjos and double basses (virtually obscured by the players’ long bushy beards).

We started off in Lucky Dog Saloon, which was fine, apart from the table next to us (all of whom were drinking Tecate and smoking American Spirit) puffing smoke into our faces for an hour or so. I got to sample a couple of local brews though and we had a fantastic catch-up with our friend, who I went to high school with. There were even a million dogs to pat as we sat around carousing – total lesbian bonus!

Our friend then suggested a place for dinner – Marlow and Sons. It didn’t look like anything fancy from the outside, and nor did the menu, which said this:

Brick chicken

But it served up delicious oysters, beautiful slow-cooked beef shanks, and a wonderful peach cobbler with homemade basil ice-cream. Not to mention a delicious German wheat beer (my personal fave type of beer). And the waiter provided me with the pleasure of viewing my very first hipster combover.

Whilst the general vibe in Brooklyn is a bit try-hard and 10 years ago for my taste, the food there is delicious and we look forward to going back there!



Burgers. A whole new ball game

6 Aug

We could be forgiven for thinking burgers are popular in the US. There is absolutely nothing like the style and quality of US burgers in Australia. And it has been an absolute pleasure researching what I call the burger phenomenon.

We have tried Brgr in Chelsea (grassfed – nice but boring), Shake Shack (ok but tasted cheap), and Five Guys, Long Beach (no fillers or preservatives).

Five guys was the clear winner:


But at 960 calories for this little beauty, I probably won’t be treating myself to another…

Coffee. In NYC

6 Aug


Australians drink very specific coffee. It usually has swirly stuff on top, it is strong, and it doesn’t ever drip out of a percolator.

It’s been interesting trying to find a place that makes it strong enough for us (without being bitter).

Joe on 85th and Columbus was very very close. Some other fine finds have been 11th st cafe, Mojo, and Stumptown.

We have discovered the “cortado” which is like a piccolo where I come from. But we embarrassed ourselves by assuming all New Yorkers knew what a cortado was and ended up trying to explain it – whilst having no idea ourselves how to define one.

Cigar Borek, Istanbul Grill w14th st

6 Aug


Every time we walk past this place I ask Mrs CL if she wants to try the cigars – her family are big borek eaters, being Bosnian. Finally we went in. They were delicious, if a little ‘spring roll’ like. We also had ayada lamb, which was DELICIOUS. Also one of the cheapest meals we have had here.