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Posted by Michael Stern on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 5:01 AM

It isn't easy for a pizzeria to stand out in Connecticut, where there are so many excellent ones; but Stanziato's of Danbury has earned a huge reputation in the five years since it started wood-firing its creative pies. Just the other day, the mastermind behind it, Matt Stanczak, announced that he has sold the place and will be leaving later in the summer. We wish the new owners well, and we thank Matt for so many memorable meals. Here is the review.

Posted by Michael Stern on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 4:01 AM

Bring a full wallet and a large appetite if you are dining at Moishe's, which is Montreal's high-end steak house. Opened in 1938 and now located upstairs on an inconspicuous block in the old Jewish neighborhood, it is not strictly Jewish. You can start your meal with shrimp cocktail or have a main course of grilled shrimp; but the more typical appetizers are herring in cream sauce and chopped liver; and many folks side their main course with latkes (potato pancakes) or karnatzlech (the little sausages common at local delis).

Steaks, cooked on a charcoal grill that dates back to the 1930s, are the menu's featured attraction. There are many cuts available, including rib steak, sirloin, filet mignon, and T-bone, not to mention sweetbreads and a mixed grill. The one we like best is the bone-in filet mignon. A huge pillow of meat laden with juice, it provides almost no resistance to a knife and offers fuller flavor than most boneless filets. We also like "Moishe's famous Monte Carlo potato," which is the house version of twice-baked.

Dining at Moishe's is a plush experience. Spirits are high at the white-clothed tables in the bright dining room as couples, families, and business comrades partake of a meal that everybody knows is the best that money can buy.
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Roadfood of the Day: Heid's - Liverpool, NY
Posted on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

German Frank (with Chili)

Another variation on the Texas Hot, but with a German frank instead of a White hot, this made for one fine meal!
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Posted by Michael Stern on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 4:35 AM

Two More Flavors

At Woodside Farm Creamery, ice cream is all about the cows. A small herd of thirty Jerseys is moved to a fresh field every day after their morning milking, giving them plush green grass to eat and allowing previous days' fields of clover, alfalfa, orchard, and rye grasses to flourish again. Each produces four to five gallons daily, which, compared to Holstein production, is scant. But farmer Jim Mitchell asserts that milk from a Jersey cow is more nutritious and better tasting. (Holsteins are the black and white bovines; Jerseys are brown, as exemplified by their most famous good-will ambassador, Elsie.)

Woodside Farm's thick Jersey milk makes magnificent ice cream. As produced in the creamery adjacent to the milking parlor, it is more cream-sweet than sugar-sweet. Low overrun (minimal added air) creates such density that melting makes it more like crème fraiche than spilled milk. The butterfat content is about 15%, varying slightly depending how the cows' grass is growing, placing it high on the richness scale. But unlike many high-butterfat, superpremium brands that can assume such overwhelming intensity after a scoop or two that you feel like you are gagging on spheres of flavored butter, this stuff tastes positively salubrious. Two or three scoops are no problem; if we lived near New Castle County, we'd come for a cone a day.

Woodside Farm is a particularly nice destination because of its al fresco picnic tables and grassy fields to which some customers bring blankets and box lunch for which ice cream is the grand finale. The view from the tables is of cattle grazing. Nothing like an ice cream shop in a strip mall, this place is pure country.
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Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Killer Seafood's Own Version of Fish Tacos

A tuna filet, marinated, then grilled and sliced, served with two flour or corn tortillas, with a special house sauce.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Monday, June 29, 2015 5:58 AM

While imbibing cold-brew coffee drawn from the tap at Stumptown roasters in Seattle's Capitol Hill (Stumptown's HQ is in Portland, Oregon), we tucked into a curious micro-donut, shown here with the dollar to illustrate its size. A first-bite reaction was to call out "State Fair!" This little sinker had the devil-may-care flavor of well-used oil typical of cheap Midway eats. There is no logical culinary justification for loving the brutish little pastry, but maybe it was the yin-yang of its contrast to Stumptown's very elegant coffee that made it so enjoyable. Shown below is a cup of Stumptown cold-brew at the tap.

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2015
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Posted on Monday, June 29, 2015

Hot Pastrami Sandwich

A mountain of delicious moist meat only made better with a nice schmear of mustard.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Sunday, June 28, 2015 1:30 PM

Coming up on Independence Day (that's July 4th!) in Nashville, Tennessee, in East Park at 700 Woodland Street is Nashville's annual hot chicken festival. Whereas regular fried chicken tends to be comfort food, hot chicken is discomfort food -- delicious discomfort food, four-alarm ferocious! The festival starts at 11am, and the first 500 visitors get hot chicken samples for free.

Posted by Michael Stern on Sunday, June 28, 2015 5:49 AM

King of Crab Cakes

Forget all the spongy, bready, fishy blobs that pass as crab cakes elsewhere. To know the paradigm, you must eat in Maryland, preferably at Faidley's. In this eat-in-the-rough joint on one side of the boisterous, centuries-old food emporium known as the Lexington Market, a crab cake is a baseball-sized sphere of jumbo lump crab meat held together with minimal crushed-Saltine filler and a whisper of mayo and mustard that is just enough to be a foil for the marine sweetness of the meat.

While Faidley's offers "regular" crab cakes, made from shredded claw meat, and backfin crab cakes, made from slightly larger strips of body meat, the one you want is the "all lump crab cake." It is significantly more expensive than the others, but the silky weight of the big nuggets, which are the choicest meat picked from the hind leg area of the blue crab, is what makes these cakes one of the nation's most memorable local specialties.

Operated by the same family that started it in 1886 – and who still form each jumbo lump cake by hand – Faidley's offers minimal amenities. Stand up to order, then stand up to eat at chest-high tables provided. You can down raw oysters at the oyster bar, and in addition to crab cakes, the menu includes both Maryland crab soup (red) and cream of crab soup, as well as the unique Baltimore fish cake known as a coddie, composed of cod, mashed potato and onion.
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