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eG Foodblog: johnder, slkinsey, weinoo (2011) - A tale of two boroughs

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So, on my way to lunch (which wasn't with johnder as those plans got waylaid), and in the interest of all the Pez fanatics, I passed by this joint...

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Where you're not allowed to take pix inside...hahaha. Check out the penny candy collection. They're not a penny, but they are cool...

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They've got these old-time gums...

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As for Pez...

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And I didn't even get caught :smile: .

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Just to give you an idea of how old I am...although why I would want to do that I don't know...I had Pez candy when it wasn't available in North America. My aunt, who was secretary to the Director of the ILO (International Labor Office) was stationed in Switzerland during WWII and after, and sent them to me from Europe in the 40s.

What if I had kept the containers???? :raz:

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So Mitch ended up filling the extra seat at the bee tasting after I convinced him to join after our afternoon visit to cocktail kingdom. We will have lots of photos and info after we are done in a few hours.

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So as you know, I didn't have a chance to grab breakfast and unfortunately I was stuck in meetings most of the day and ended up having to grab a quick sandwich on the way to meet Mitch at cocktail kingdom. Luckily Eisenbergs is right down the block.

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I grabbed a quick Pastrami to go. By default if you order a Pastrami sandwich in NY you will get it on rye, with spicy brown mustard and a dill pickle wrapped in waxed deli paper.

This is about as old school as you can get here in NYC for sandwiches. Old deli counter, surly waitstaff.

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Unfortunately, I had to eat this back the the CK office so it was a real scarf moment. Overall it was a decent sandwich. It was a bit dry, which could be attested to how late in the day it was ordered. But also I don't think they keep their pastrami on a steam table like Carnegie or Katz's

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I ended up meeting Mitch at Greg Boehm's Cocktail Kingdom where donbert is also working now.

This was a total geek out for both of us.

For those unitiated, this is the defacto place to get your quality barware, as well as amazing reproductions of antique cocktail books.

They are going to be moving in a few months, but in the interim they have a very small showroom in the foyer displaying their wares:

Bittters selection

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Dasher bottles and ice tools

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Misc books and Moscow mule mugs.

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Strainers, spoons, mixing glasses

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Moving away from the foyer there is the stock area -- bitters anyone?

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(splitting this into two posts because of all the images)

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So one of the more amazing things is inside Gregs actual office are just random, amazing things lying around just about everywhere. Here Greg and Don are looking for some obscure item to show off to us:

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Maybe some crazy antique hawthorn strainers? One of which there are only possibly 3 known to exist?

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Crazy antique Parisian and cobbler shakers?

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How about a few antique dasher bottles?

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Or a antique wood juicer?

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Also around are some rare liquors, two of which I have never seen before:

Whiskey distilled in Mexico!?

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Medicinal Whiskey instead?

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Lastly, Don and Greg were kind enough to give a few sneak peaks to things that just became available:

Their new wormwood bitters, and a reproduction Flowing Bowl - What and When to drink.

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Lastly, here are are some random items that are in prototype mode. There are two Blue Blazer mugs, the one on the left is the one going to production and should be available soon.

There is also a new julep strainer, which is based on one of the antique models shown above. It is about double the weight of a standard one you can get now, and much more teardrop shaped.

Also, behold the new "pimp my bartool" gold line for the high end bartenders in the group.

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Awesome pics, John. Now what the hell am I supposed to post :angry:?!

Only kidding :smile: . As John mentioned above, we got to see some very cool stuff at Cocktail Kingdom. But before I met John, I was in the mood for some ramen.

We're pretty lucky here in NYC to have a number of decent to good ramen places to choose from. After I made that stop at Economy Candy, I headed a bit further northeast, and ended up here, at Minca Ramen...

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They make all sorts of ramen soups along with some other offerings like gyoza and small salads. I had a big, steaming bowl of pork ramen, which hit the spot. Their noodles tend to be a bit chewier than many of the other ramen joints, in my opinion, and I like that...

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And after cocktail kingdom, we continued on to a beer tasting at Beer Table in Park Slope, or whatever that part of Brooklyn is called.

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Also, as a reminder. If there are any specific proteins you are wanting to see incorporated possibly into the battle mystery box Thursday, start getting your votes in now!

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Last thing, and I hope you don't think I forgot about her. Remember this...

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Which about 8 hours ago I turned into this...

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Now, it looks like this...

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So, it all got dumped out (except for maybe a tablespoon), and fed again like above. We'll see what it looks like in the morning.

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Wow. The selection of vintage cocktail gear at Cocktail Kingdom looks fantastic!! I am so jealous. I've never seen anything like it.

Also, as a reminder. If there are any specific proteins you are wanting to see incorporated possibly into the battle mystery box Thursday, start getting your votes in now!

My vote goes to duck, just because it's my favorite protein.

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We'd also like to figure out ways to save money by bringing lunches to our soul-killing day jobs instead of buying, but we're getting tired of sandwiches and they're kind of a pain in the butt to make every morning.

Amen. I gave up on sandwiches a while ago. Now I repurpose whatever was dinner the night before.

...

I was doing the same thing when I was still working. Leftovers from dinners earlier in the week were my lifesaver. I found a lot of things....pastas especially, or even chunks of protein with some veggies on the side...tasted just fine without being nuked if they'd sat at room temperature for the morning. I'd pull them from the fridge as I was leaving home, and then NOT put them in the fridge at work. They were usually....coolish...when I wanted to eat them, and tasted just fine, better even than if they'd been nuked. As I was cleaning up from dinner, I'd package them into lunch-sized containers that went into the fridge for later in the week.

Some things, obviously, needed to be reheated. Stews, gumbos, braises, layered, baked pastas, anything that had a lot of fatty sauce, needed a quick run through the microwave. But saucy pastas, not so much.

However, don't disparage the occassional sandwich....especially leftover ham, roast beef or meatloaf (my personal fave). But make them the night before, as you're cleaning up from dinner, wrap them and stick them in the fridge. Who wants to face that in the morning !?!?!?! BTW, in most cases (attention...common sense needed), those also taste best at coolish room temperature.

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Thanks, you guys for the "flaming peel" tutorial and encouragement. I'll give it a go this week, and report back.

BTW.....my maternal grandfather ran a speakeasy on Chicago's South Side during Prohibition. You guys are my long-lost soul mates, I think. LOVED the "medicinal" whiskey...Lord knows *I'VE* always found some lovely spirits good for what ails me.

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Wow. The selection of vintage cocktail gear at Cocktail Kingdom looks fantastic!! I am so jealous. I've never seen anything like it.

Also, as a reminder. If there are any specific proteins you are wanting to see incorporated possibly into the battle mystery box Thursday, start getting your votes in now!

My vote goes to duck, just because it's my favorite protein.

Those pix only begin to tell the story, as Greg is a font of information as well. He only likes to acquire things that have a story, and he's pretty much able to tell a story about EVERYTHING.

Here are a couple of items which don't appear above. These are some excellent non-antique swizzle sticks...

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Here are some very old toddy sticks...

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And finally, an ancient book...

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I mean, this book has a date of 1675...and it's not a reprint!

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Can anyone go to Cocktail Kingdom, or only if accompanied by Someone Special? That place looks amazing. Please tell me the book is being safely stored. I'm completely and totally jealous.

That sandwich shop is simply gorgeous. I just don't like sandwiches, never did, so I don't really 'get it' as the sign says, but I'd still like to visit.

Mitch, my starter never looks that soupy, mine usually looks like partially risen dough and I'll use up to 40 or 50% starter. Whole different approach. Interesting.

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Wow. Just... wow. Greg has always been extremely friendly with information and stuff with me, but that's some seriously amazing stuff you're playing with there. Eager to get one of those swizzle sticks soon.

Sam, can you give me a primer in how you're approaching French press? I have been trying to get back in the game after many years due to my love of Intelligensia Diablo. Grind? Temps? Times? Bloom? Stirring?

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First, a realization...and that is that our blog may not be as cooking centric as past blogs have been. That's because New Yorkers, in general, probably dine out more than people in other parts of the country/world. I mean, if we didn't, there wouldn't be over 15,000 restaurants, would there? And the three us don't have families, per se; that is, we don't have kids, which of course changes the whole dynamic.

That said, I felt like "cooking" something for breakfast today, so without further ado...

I started with a couple of slices of this...

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Interestingly enough, the pan that I fry bacon in is specifically used for bacon and only one other thing. It's a Circulon pan that I can't remember where I bought and it's probably 20 - 25 years old.

I also pulled one of these out of the freezer...

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And what goes better with bacon than (well, lettuce and tomato go nicely too)...

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I decided to go with these additional ingredients, which I always on hand...

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Yep, it's fritatta time. I'm sure there are at least 4 or 5 methods for cooking a fritatta, but this is how I do mine (unless I do it another way). First, preheat your oven to 325 F. Then whisk up the eggs and stir the rest of the ingredients in.

So, we have 5 eggs, 2 artichoke hearts cut into eighths, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (the real stuff, please), a tablespoon of chopped flat-leaf parasley, salt and pepper to taste...

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Then, in my fritatta pan (yes, it's the same one I cooked the bacon in, but cleaned), heat up a tablespoonful each of butter and olive oil...

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When it's nice and hot, but before it browns, add the egg mixture...

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I like to fuss a little bit and make sure the ingredients are evenly spread out. Then when the fritatta just starts to set (about 2 1/2 minutes), which you can see at the edges, I move it to the oven...

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As they used to say in cooking school, cook it till it's done! And while the fritatta is finishing, I make a second cuppa. This took another 8 minutes or so. Then I like to remove it immediately from the pan (careful, it's hot) and place it on a rack to prevent steam from forming...

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And here's what breakfast looked like today...

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It's a rather more complicated breakfast than I usually eat, but I'd been up for 3 hours, so it was well deserved :smile: .

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Can anyone go to Cocktail Kingdom, or only if accompanied by Someone Special? That place looks amazing. Please tell me the book is being safely stored. I'm completely and totally jealous.

That sandwich shop is simply gorgeous. I just don't like sandwiches, never did, so I don't really 'get it' as the sign says, but I'd still like to visit.

Mitch, my starter never looks that soupy, mine usually looks like partially risen dough and I'll use up to 40 or 50% starter. Whole different approach. Interesting.

Well, John is special, after all.

Check out the Cocktail Kingdom website. It's all available there.

For sure about the starters. I'd call this more of a mother - lol.

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Wow. Just... wow. Greg has always been extremely friendly with information and stuff with me, but that's some seriously amazing stuff you're playing with there. Eager to get one of those swizzle sticks soon.

Greg did mention that he hopes to be able to display much more of this stuff when they move into their new digs. He's a serious collector - we were salivating.

Here's my bounty from yesterday's visit...

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A few bitters, including the Dandelion & Burdock bitters from our eGullet member evo-lution and Xocolatl Mole bitters from eGullet member BittermensAG. Of course, there are the new Wormwood Bitters from Cocktail Kingdom itself.

Oh, and that jigger. It's a 3/4 oz. backed with 1/2 oz. which is marked inside with a 1/4 oz. line. Pretty cool.

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Can anyone go to Cocktail Kingdom, or only if accompanied by Someone Special? That place looks amazing. Please tell me the book is being safely stored. I'm completely and totally jealous.

That sandwich shop is simply gorgeous. I just don't like sandwiches, never did, so I don't really 'get it' as the sign says, but I'd still like to visit.

Mitch, my starter never looks that soupy, mine usually looks like partially risen dough and I'll use up to 40 or 50% starter. Whole different approach. Interesting.

Well, John is special, after all.

Check out the Cocktail Kingdom website. It's all available there.

For sure about the starters. I'd call this more of a mother - lol.

Given they have a small showroom up front, I think you can go in and browse the items for sale. All the bitters in that front area were open for people to taste. I will see if I can get donbert to chime in.

I was always told I was special by my parents, although I think they meant it in a different way. :-)

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Loved the sandwich bar.. great pics

Dandelion and Burdock bitters - oooh what would you make with that? Ive had some Mawsons D&B cordial sat around for some time for when I am feeling nostalgic, but thats a temperance favourite from east lancs..

Steven

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So I work for a subsidiary of Hearst Magazines, and while I am not in the actual Hearst Tower, I am a block away and often go there for lunch.

They have a pretty amazing cafeteria (as far as office cafeterias go) and it is subsidized by the company to a certain degree. Given a turkey sandwich runs you 7-8 bucks at the deli, spending 7 bucks for a thai fried fish sandwich isn't a bad idea. Also, this cafe is leaps and bound cleaner than most delis in the neighborhood.

If this crazy snow lets up I will venture over there for lunch today.

Typically they have a rotating "chef's station" where they feature different chefs. Also some of the magazine feature recipes they are going to be testing or running in a upcoming magazine. Also daily they have a rotating hot table featuring a different international food. For me this is the biggest hit or miss one. It is really hard to do authentic international food, much less for a building that has 1000 people in it.

Here is this weeks menu:

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Wow, so John and Mitch are kicking my ass in this thing.

Unfortunately, this is my life these days:

Yesterday I was at the SKDJ (soul-killing day job). Had to run errands during lunch and managed to scarf 6 pieces of mediocre Midtown deli sushi. I'm trying to lose weight (down to around 194 this morning from a high of around 220 a year ago, and I'd like to get down to 180 and see how that looks), so I really only eat one meal each day. Lunch usually has more the character of a snack.

So, after the SKDJ I ran downtown to Jeffrey's Meat Market to pick up a meat order. Brought home six chickens, two bone-in strip steaks and a couple racks of lamb. Cost around 80 bucks. Later this week I'll go back down and pick up a case of duck legs.

Train back to the northern reaches of the Upper West Side where I had to pick up two gigantic bags of laundry and some dry cleaning, or else Mrs. slkinsey and I would have had to wear barrels today. Schlepped all that home together.

Stashed the meat in the refrigerator, put away the laundry. Then it was time to practice. Spent an hour on "La vita è inferno all'infelice . . . O tu che in seno agli angeli" (which goes a little something like

). By the time that was over, it was getting on to 9 PM and I was exhausted. Didn't have it in me to break down a half-dozen chickens and take pictures. Three Old Fashioneds later, and Mrs. slkinsey and I were in bed asleep. Not a very exciting culinary day, I know. But fear not, we're going to take pictures of the chicken prep today and I'll discuss my reasoning behind why I'm doing what I'm doing.

Meanwhile, I'm back at the SKDJ. The coffee here is execrable, to say the least, and drinking too much coffee isn't great for my stomach anyway. But I do like caffeine! And it's important to keep myself well-hydrated and my instrument well-lubricated if I'm going to be using it later on in the day. So this is my liquid caffeine delivery system of choice for the moment:

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I'm trying to lose weight (down to around 194 this morning from a high of around 220 a year ago, and I'd like to get down to 180 and see how that looks), so I really only eat one meal each day. Lunch usually has more the character of a snack.

So, after the SKDJ I ran downtown to Jeffrey's Meat Market to pick up a meat order.

Wow, slkinsey, that's an amazing accomplishment on the weight loss. Will we still recognize you tonight?

Jeffrey's Meat Market is where I do some shopping as well. It's located inside here, on the corner of Essex and Delancey Streets...

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More on the Essex Street Market later. Oh, and here's what the starter looked like this morning, after 2 feedings...

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So I am going to go on a bit of a photo journey now. Keeping with the cocktail theme, I will go through the liquor at home, then into the requisite kitchen/pantry/fridge shots.

First, a small butler table in the dining room that contains some "more used" spirits, mixing glasses and a whole cupboard full of antique and new glassware.

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Next, the main liquor storage area. In the front room there are a series of bookcases that hold mostly cookbooks and booze. 70% of the booze is stored here, 20% in another cabinet and the remainder around the house or in the basement. I would imagine that if I had to count I probably have 120-150 bottles of booze not including wine scattered around the house. One of the things you find is working as a bartender and running the back of house at programs like Tales of the Cocktail you come across copious amount of sample and free booze. If it was easier to fly with liquids, I probably wouldn't have room for clothes in the house.

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The other cabinet is where I keep mostly brown rarer stuff. Including 3 years of Red Hook Rye and a vertical of George T Stagg for the last 5 years.

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Lastly, segway into the kitchen, one of my cabinets basically has a ton of bitters and syrups in it.

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Can you tell I like Del Maguey?

:rolleyes:

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