Grilling season is here — how about grilled salad?

Grilling is a summer favorite. I’ve done grilled vegetables like zucchini for parties and for our consumption over the years. But I never thought of grilling a salad until I saw this in Bon Apetit recently.

Grilled vegetables
Grilled vegetables can work well on a salad too, try them.

I would modify this recipe. Take out the salt, of course. I’d also eliminate the avocado and the pistachios because I don’t like either. If you do, keep them. I’d substitute in some grilled asparagus and grilled portobello mushrooms along with grilled zucchini too.

I like the idea of grilling tomato, I’ve done that for shish kabobs with white meat chicken, using cherry tomatoes which hold up better on the heat than if you tried to slice a regular tomato and use that. Continue reading “Grilling season is here — how about grilled salad?”

Broadway and Nathan’s hot dogs, the perfect match

Visiting New York is all about going to Broadway shows, I think. My wife and I try to see at least one and sometimes two when we’re in town like we were in early June this year for my birthday.

The theater district, like all of New York, has no end of choices for eating after a show and we’ve gone many places over the years. But one of our favorite things to do after a show is go New York old-school and have Nathan’s hot dogs for our late dinner.

Nathan's hot dogs and waffle fries, wondrous stuff.
Nathan’s hot dogs and waffle fries, wondrous stuff.

The original Natahan’s is in Coney Island, about six or seven blocks from where we lived while I was in high school and college. Its an hour-plus subway ride from Manhattan, but if you have the time, experience it, especially in summer when it’s packed with people. That way you can say you’ve done something real New Yorkers do. Continue reading “Broadway and Nathan’s hot dogs, the perfect match”

Da Nonna Rosa — a Brooklyn gem in my childhood neighborhood

New York is home to every imaginable cuisine and price range of restaurant. I wrote recently about a magical meal we had at Morimoto’s in Chelsea Market while in Manhattan. But a recent dream week in New York for my birthday also brought my wife and I back to my childhood neighborhood of Park Slope and a little neighborhood gem of an Italian place, Da Nonna Rosa (Grandma Rosa for those of you who don’t speak basic Italian).

My wonderful seafood dish at Da Nonna Rosa's in Brooklyn.
My wonderful seafood dish at Da Nonna Rosa’s in Brooklyn.

This place doesn’t date back to my childhood, very little of that era remains in the now thoroughly gentrified Park Slope area. But it was there in 2011 when I was wandering the old neighborhood while in town for my daughter’s NYU graduation. I tried it then and enjoyed it, so we went back on our latest trip. It did not disappoint. Continue reading “Da Nonna Rosa — a Brooklyn gem in my childhood neighborhood”

Bye bye trans fats — the FDA finally lowers the hammer

Trans fats, which unfortunately Americans have been eating for the past half century or so, are finally being banned from U.S. foods. The Food and Drug Administration finally has set a deadline for the complete elimination of partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fats in our diets, from things like cake frosting, microwave popcorn, cakes, cookies and other things we used to think tasted good.

Bye bye trans fafts. Maybe now movie popcorn will get healthier.
Bye bye trans fafts. Maybe now movie popcorn will get healthier.

I say finally because this has been a long time coming. I blogged about it way back in 2013, not long after I started this blog. As I wrote then, “food makers and restaurants saw the writing on the trans fat walls long ago and have been phasing it out of most products.” Continue reading “Bye bye trans fats — the FDA finally lowers the hammer”

Junior’s in Brooklyn — coming home, eating amazing cheesecake

Junior’s restaurant in downtown Brooklyn boasts on its website that it serves “The World’s Most fabulous Cheesecake.” If it’s true, is it a boast?

Junior’s is one of the few things in Brooklyn that’s still there from my childhood so, so many years ago. It’s also a place that binds my family together. My parents went there before I was born and then took me there in the days when downtown Brooklyn was where we did our major shopping.

Lunch at Junior with my wife Carolyn, and wonderful friend Vic.
Lunch at Junior with my wife Carolyn, and wonderful friend Vic.

We ate breakfast there in 2011 with my daughter as she was about to graduate from New York University. Even a vegetarian like her loved Junior’s cheesecake!

So my wife and I planned a Junior’s meal as part of my birthday dream week in New York recently. When I realized a wonderful high school friend worked nearby, we invited him to join us, turning a great meal into a great meal with great company as well. Vic was one of my closest friends in high school and now, even though he lives 1,000 miles away from us, has become a major supporter of my new theater company. Continue reading “Junior’s in Brooklyn — coming home, eating amazing cheesecake”

Morimoto’s in New York — an exquisite dining experience, especially for my birthday

If you’ve never heard of Iron Chef Morimoto, you probably don’t deserve to taste the exquisite dishes he has on the menu at the New York restaurant bearing his name. We had been to Morimoto’s for lunch several years ago and fell in love with the place. My wife took me there for my birthday dinner during our recent dream trip to New York and it was as good, if not better, than I remembered it being.

My wonderous birthday sashimi platter at Morimoto's.
My wonderosu birthday sashimi platter at Morimoto’s.

I’m sure the raw food movement folks would approve of my choices at Morimoto’s. I began with a diver scallop carpaccio, served cerviche style, which means the scallops, cut into wafer thin slices, were marinated in a citrus base, likely lime juice. The dish came with a foam atop it that added a wonderfully whimsical touch. Finding the scallop slices amidst the remnants of foam was an adventure, but each one tasted better than the last, I was very sorry when I was done with this dish. Continue reading “Morimoto’s in New York — an exquisite dining experience, especially for my birthday”

A New York lunch with family, what could be better, or healthier?

My recent birthday week in New York included many special meals, but one especially special one was to eat lunch on my birthday with three generations of my cousins who live on Staten Island.

You can get a great view of the Statue of Liberty during a free ride on New York's Staten Island Ferry.
You can get a great view of the Statue of Liberty during a free ride on New York’s Staten Island Ferry.

Staten Island is a suburb within the city, not having seen major housing development until the 1960s when the opening of a bridge from Brooklyn sent Baby Boomers just a little older than me streaming there for new homes as they started their families. Getting there from Manhattan takes some determination. A large contingent of my cousins live there today as do their children and grandchildren.

My trip started with a subway ride to the Staten Island Ferry terminal at the tip of Manhattan. The ferry ride to Staten Island followed. Take that ride when you’re there, it’s free and offers great views of the harbor, the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan on the return trip. Continue reading “A New York lunch with family, what could be better, or healthier?”

Snack EOS, a tasty neighborhood spot in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen

My wife and I were looking for some relatively healthy food our first night out on my recent birthday week in New York. Food is everywhere in New York, literally on every street corner, so finding a place to eat is easy. Finding one with food that isn’t full of salt, far and sugar, is another matter.

Octopus at SNACK Eos was cooked perfectly. I loved it.
Octopus at SNACK Eos was cooked perfectly. I loved it.

But my wife had gotten to town a few days before me and looked around the area near our West Side hotel. She spotted Snack EOS, a cozy place that describes itself as “Greek inspired cuisine featuring seasonal ingredients, classic technique and flavors of the Mediterranean. With a stylish vibe and friendly, professional service, Snack EOS is a warm and welcoming space that features barrel-vaulted ceilings, exposed brick walls and floor to ceiling windows.”

The first chair I sat on was broken and almost sent me to the floor, so that wasn’t exactly welcoming. But once we got past that, the food was wonderful, simple yet flavorful. And while I tasted more salt than I normally eat at home, it wasn’t overwhelming as it is at many restaurants. Continue reading “Snack EOS, a tasty neighborhood spot in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen”

My New York food vacation

My birthday this year was very special for me because, thanks to my wonderful wife, I was able to spend it in my hometown, New York City. We saw two Broadway shows and went to a Tony Awards party while there. And I also resolved to eat the foods I grew up loving, plus some new favorites, during my five days there.

The result of my food vacation? I gained 6.5 pounds over the five days we were there.

My wife Carolyn and I ended our New York dream trip with very late-night drinks at one of the Waldorf's bars.
My wife Carolyn and I ended our New York dream trip with very late-night drinks at one of the Waldorf’s bars.

My splurge included pastrami and cheesecake at Junior’s, a classic Brooklyn deli and cheesecake emporium, hot dogs and waffle fries at Nathan’s, the classic New York hot dog spot, a slice of NYC-style pizza at a street corner storefront, Italian ices, an unbelivable breakfast in bed at the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and the most exquisite sashimi I’ve ever eaten at at Iron Chef Morimoto’s New York restaurant on my birthday night. Continue reading “My New York food vacation”

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