Nick’s Famous Coney Island — a Portland gem

My recent trip to Portland, Ore., to visit with my daughter included some great places she picked out for us to eat. Knowing that I grew up in Coney Island, she decided to take me to a Portland classic locale — Nick’s Famous Coney Island Food & Cocktails.

IMG_2867Portland is a funky town, no doubt about that, and Nick’s fits right into its artsy cum blue-collar waterfront vibe. The bar has been on the same street for 85 years, most of those in the same spot and it looks it with its old-style bar and stools on one side and its dark interior. It reminded me of a place that could have been along the Brooklyn waterfront circa 1950.

We were there for the hot dogs and I was not disappointed — nor was my vegetarian daughter who tried their veggie dog offering. Note, of course, that hot dogs are not on my usual low-fat, low-salt diet.

But this was a vacation treat, much as Nathan’s is when I’m in NYC. Plus, oddly enough I was just getting over a bout of food poisoning the week before I visited that caused me to drop nine pounds in seven days, so I thought a food splurge was in order. Continue reading “Nick’s Famous Coney Island — a Portland gem”

A vegetarian hot dog that actually sounds tasty

Red meat is still part of my diet, albeit a much smaller part since my heart surgery in 2012. I have red meat once a week now, and only the leanest I can find, which means either fillet mignon or a cheek-meat sandwich at Naf Naf Grill.

Zucchini dogs, a meatless alternative to hot dogs.
Zucchini dogs, a meatless alternative to hot dogs.

I’ve stopped eating hot dogs and other processed meats altogether, except for the occasional splurge at my boyhood favorite, Nathan’s, when I’m in New York City. That said, I can’t bring myself to eat any of the fake vegetarian meat substitutes, several of which are high in sodium themselves.

So when I first saw the article, This Hot-Dog Alternative Is So Simple, You’re Going to Wonder Why You Didn’t Think of It Yourself, I assumed it would be something I wouldn’t want to eat. Continue reading “A vegetarian hot dog that actually sounds tasty”

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”

Processed meats: they’re yummy but stay away from them

This is turning into healthcare week on the blog it seems. A lot of health-related items seem to be filling my e-mail box, hopefully they can help you, although my intent here is to write more about food than health because health science is a moving target that I don’t often completely trust.

Processed meats, like this sausage I had in London a few years ago, are ff my menu now.
Processed meats, like this sausage I had in London a few years ago, are ff my menu now.

Today’s topic is processed meats — you know, hot dogs, salami, sausages, cold cuts of all kinds. I loved them all and ate them all regularly until my 2012 angioplasty. Now they’re just a distant memory for me. That’s because they’re high in salt and other things that are thought to be less than healthy for us. Continue reading “Processed meats: they’re yummy but stay away from them”

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