A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was (UPDATED 02/09/12)

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billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
2012/01/19 08:49:48
I have been really loving all of the year end reports, especially the ones from Wanderingjew, Buffetbuster and Kaszeta.  Here is my little piece of RF for 2011, in chronological order.  
I wasn't feeling particularly Roadfood-y at the beginning of 2011 as I had been in running mode and I stayed away from RF for a bit while training, however, a visit from Ayersian (Chris & Amy) jump-started my RF taste buds...a trip to Peter Luger to share a steak, a bacon cheeseburger and some apple strudel with schlag was just what the Roadfood "doctor" ordered.  We also made a visit to Pies-N-Thighs for a tasty hot sauced fried chicken biscuit.  A stop at City Bakery for one of their pretzel croissants and some thick caramel hot chocolate (with a homemade marshmallow) was just right on a cold day.  And I finally had the pleasure of meeting and breaking bread, er, Toasted Marshmallow milkshakes with Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle at STAND.  Really an honor to be able to hang with them.









 
More to come...
post edited by billyboy - 2012/02/09 07:15:54
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/19 08:55:15
So far...looking good....oh that chicken & biscuit  !!
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/19 09:07:45
billyboy -
Your camera work is absolutely superb!
Execellent!
Keep it coming...
CTD
 
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/19 09:12:43
Oh, this is going to be fun!  Love that Peter Luger burger!
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/19 09:20:43
buffetbuster

Oh, this is going to be fun!  Love that Peter Luger burger!

 
BB:  Just out of curiosity, how did you know that was a Peter Luger burger???
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/19 09:53:08
Paul-
Because it looks exactly like the one I was served back in April, which was the best burger I ate in 2011.
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/21 17:39:32
Just a few days after I met up with ayerisan, my girlfriend and I had dinner at The Meatball Shop on the Lower East Side, NYC.  I had been wanting to try this new-ish place for a couple of months.  With their motto, "We Make Balls" and their audio clip, "Mmm, balls!" on their website, I knew I'd like this place.  My beef balls with parmesan cream sauce over polenta were just amazing.  Dayna's vegetable balls (mushrooms and green lentils) with tomato sauce over mashed potatoes were pretty good too.  The real surprise here were the HUGE ice cream (house made!) cookie sandwiches for dessert.  The fresh mint ice cream between a chocolate chip AND a brownie cookie that we split was a revelation.

 

 

 
While checking out the SeriousEatsNY website one day I came across an article about a bakery in Chelsea that was making homemade Twinkies, Yodels and Funny Bones.  No sooner had my heels cooled off I found myself standing in front of Lulu Cake Boutique.  While my selection at 6:00pm was somewhat limited, the red velvet Twinkie with whipped cream cheese filing and the comically oversized Yodel put Hostess to shame.

 

 

 

 
I found out about Bowery Beef one day while reading a NY Metro newspaper on the commute to work.  Promoting "North Shore Boston-style roast beef sandwiches", I just had to check it out.  BB is situated in the front room of the Bowery Poetry Club & Cafe, hence the staircase in the shot below.  I've not yet been to see any live performances but I've heard it's something I should check out.  Their sandwich was pretty good, but not what I think of in terms of a North Shore style.  No onion roll though the sauce was good and they did offer horseradish.  Being a huge Seinfeld fan I had to try the Bosco chocolate soda and discovered I really don't like the taste of Bosco!  Worth a trip back for another sandwich with a side of live poetry.

 

 

 
Luke's Lobster, Butter Lane Cupcakes, Caracas Arepas Bar and Porchetta are just some of the tasty offerings on East 7th Street in the East Village.  A porchetta plate with beans and cooking greens was perfect way to fuel up on a cold, blustery winter's day.  There was a well-balanced mix of soft shreds of pork mixed with various herbs along with those crispy bits of pork skin.  The beans were soft and creamy though the greens could have been wilted a bit more.  Add to that the great food conversation I had with a pair of Los Angelenos(sp?) seeking good eats and the very kind elderly Italian man I met whose son brought him here for a taste of home (thank you so much for not choosing the Olive Garden!) and it was a wonderful day.

 

 
Much more to come...stay tuned!!
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/21 17:46:35
billyboy -
You sure travel in style...
 
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/21 18:51:57
Fabulous, thus far, my friend!
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/21 22:26:10
Don't like Bosco...Oh my.... grew up on the stuff in the 50's...that and Cocoa Marsh
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/25 03:41:11
When I moved to NYC from Boston one thing I knew I was going to miss was my 2-3x a week burrito fix at Anna's Taqueria.  I had searched for a place here in NYC that had a similar taste and came up short every time...until recently.  Dos Toros Taqueria is a little closet of a place near Union Square serving up some most tasty carne asada and carnitas burritos.  While I wished they made their tortilla in-house, the intense flavor of the beef and the pork has made me a repeat offender!  The carnitas with pintos and guacamole gives me flashbacks to Anna's in my old Boston neighborhood.  Thanks, Dos Toros!

 

    One thing that draws me to Dos Toros besides the food is their sense of whimsy with their signs...

and especially their tip jar!  They change it periodically and some of their recent signs were: "Tip Lincecum" (they're big SF Giants fans) and Joe Guac-er (complete with a picture of Joe Cocker from Woodstock).

 
 
While walking around the East Village doing some food research I came about the Dessert Truck's "brick & mortar" location, DT Works, just a stone's throw from Katz's Delicatessen.  While everything on the menu looked great, I was drawn to the brioche donut squares (big surprise!).  They come two to an order and I went one a different filling for each one.  What blew me away is that they are fried to order.  No donuts sitting around here and it is worth the 5 minute wait.  Hot, fresh and full of gooey, creamy goodness these are definitely an indulgence I'll be partaking in again real soon!

 

 
While I am a huge fan of Vanessa's Dumplings I thought I should check out Prosperity Dumpling a few blocks further down the street after reading about it on a local food blog.  The pork & chive dumplings and sesame pancake are just as cheap and just as tasty.  The atmosphere has a Roadfood vibe to it that made me think, "Wow!  They certainly put the "dump" in dumpling!".

 

 

 
More after the break...
 
post edited by billyboy - 2012/01/27 01:31:36
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/25 08:50:35
Thanks for this report, so far. You've given me some places to check out in NYC!
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/25 09:07:10
The meatball with parmesan sauce over polenta looks fantastic!  Was the beef seasoned with oregano, basil, etc. in keeping with the Italian theme?
 
Brad
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/26 01:53:49
Hey Brad, their online menu says the beef balls are seasoned with prosciutto, herbs and ricotta.  Mmmm!
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/27 04:20:20
Towards the end of February, my girlfriend and I found a good deal with Groupon and we ended up taking a 2-hour cupcake baking class at Butter Lane Cupcakes in the East Village.  For $25 each we were able to sample the cupcakes seen below and had a staffer walk us through making the batter and the frosting along with two other teams and then were were able to take home a dozen cupcakes per person from all of the different flavors we all had made.  We saved a few for the apartment which were most tasty but the majority made it to my office as keeping them close at hand, er, mouth would not have been a good idea.  Highly recommend this class!  My apologies for the low quality photos as I didn't have the camera, only the cell phone but I wanted to show my fellow RFers that from time to time I don't just consume but actually create!

 

 
As much as street cart pretzels are an ubiquitous part of NYC culture, I've never thought of the city as a "pretzel town".  To paraphrase one of my favorite comics, Jim Gaffigan, I think of them as "gamble pretzels", as I never know if they will be cold, stale, hard or crumbly and as a result I've given up buying them from carts when I consider how many frogs I've kissed in my search for a good pretzel.  Finally, Sigmund Pretzel Shop opened in the East Village and serves up some warm, chewy pretzels that come in a variety of flavors.  The day I went a man came in to the store to pick up a party pack for a German-themed party he was hosting.  They offer a variety of mustards and sauces for dipping as well as sandwiches on pretzel bread.

Love this sign!

 
In April, The Travelin' Man put together an epic RF meet-up in NYC and I finally had the honor of sharing a few meals with one Buffetbuster, esq.!!  Steve, Cliff and Beth and I had some adventures in the subway system getting back to their hotel downtown!  We first met up at P.J. Clarke's in the Midtown East section of Manhattan.  The lobster mac & cheese we split was mighty fine and the home fries was good too, but those cheeseburgers and the house-made tater tots are what blew me away.

 

 

 

 

 
The next morning a number of the gang went to Peter Luger's for the burger but I chose to meet up with Ayersian at DiFara's Pizza in the Midwood section of Queens as none of us had ever been and it was on our short list.  After getting over the sticker shock from this wall menu (my wallet jumped out of my pants pocket and double-timed it down the street!) we all tried a slice of Sicilian which was rich beyond belief and we split a large pie with pepperoni and semi-dried cherry tomatoes (good call on that one, Amy!).  Again this was incredibly rich, fresh and bursting with flavor.  The spectacle of watching Mr. DeMarco assemble it was the crowning touch.  Glad I could also get a shot of C & A tucking in and enjoying themselves.

 

 

 

 

 
Before we reconvened with the rest of the gang, we made a stop at the venerable Brooklyn hot roast beef sandwich shop, Brennan & Carr.  Walking in and smelling the aroma of roast beef and that trough of beef broth simmering away was intoxicating.  We split a sandwich dipped in beef broth and it was pretty darn good though I think we may have not gotten the full experience as we stood at the counter and perhaps getting a table and taking time to sit down and savor it and the atmosphere would make for a richer experience.

 

 
The rest of the "Roadfood Rumshpringa" meet-up after this word from our sponsor...
 
 
 
 
joliehamer
Junior Burger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/27 12:30:44
YUM!!!  My husband and I are going to take a drive down to Manhattan this weekend because we have been so inspired by your pictures!!!  Perhaps we'll have to make several trips in...lol 
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/27 15:06:13
$28 for a regular pie...wow.....it must be great!!!!!
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/27 15:06:22
$28 for a regular pie...wow.....it must be great!!!!!
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/27 16:19:23
After our roast beef journey, we met up with the rest of the group outside of Peter Luger's where they exchanged some of their leftovers for our extra pizza from DiFara's.  Not a bad trade-off!  Next up was Sicilian slices and spumoni at L & B Spumoni Gardens in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn.  I never, ever tire of this pizza.  Ever.  An that spumoni is a perfect way to end a meal there.  So glad I was able to spend a couple of days with all of these wonderful people! Love that "old fashioned" condiment tray outside!





 
A short drive away was Nathan's Famous to munch on some of those classic hot dogs and crinkle-cut fries.  Another winner and they really don't taste the same at any other Nathan's location.



 
The group split up for a bit to get some rest and we reconvened in the dining concourse of Grand Central terminal to dine at the Oyster Bar.  This marked my first time trying a fried "whole belly" style clam and it was pretty good.  Now I'm amped up to try some in New England!  The signature pan roast (mine was shrimp) was outstanding.  Heavy with cream and vividly spiced, this definitely needs to be savored slowly, preferably with a LOT of bread!  I'm not one for oysters but most of the gang seemed to really enjoy them.  And RFer Lexi was named "Miss Roadfood" for the night!  ;)






 
 
Naturally, after all of that rich heavy food, we needed something light to balance it out.  I can think of nothing more appropriate than heading across the hall to Junior's for some cheesecake and egg creams!  The carrot cake cheesecake and Red Velvet cake were outstanding.  I tried to get a shot of the classic slice but by the time I had the camera ready they had made short work of it!  That chocolate egg cream was mighty fine too.  I was just eating at Junior's last week and I still am wowed by that cheesecake!



 
 
I called it a night as I had a race the next morning but a few brave souls marched on to the Shake Shack for some concretes to cap off the night.  The next morning I met up with Chris, Amy and Cliff at Pommes Frites.  We split a small order and it was still daunting to eat.  Those frites are a perfect balance of crispy and creamy and they make most of their own sauces in-house and they really are bursting with flavor.  I've tried most of their sauces but the Sweet Mango Chutney mayo keeps calling my name.




 
 
Chris & Amy had some plans that afternoon so we said our goodbyes then Cliff and I walked over to Crif Dogs on St. Mark's Place in the East Village for some deep fried tube steaks.  If you're not sure where it is, just look for the sign below.  The classic Crif Dog and the Tsunami Dog were both decadent and exactly what we needed.  The baked beans may not have been homemade but certainly reminded me of ones from my childhood.  



 
Cliff and I were making our way to the Doughnut Plant, Kossar's Bialys, The Pickle Guys and Economy Candy when The Travelin' Man called and he had just gotten out of work so we cut our journey short and met up with him.  They invited me to join them at Harold's Deli in NJ but I had to decline as I didn't think I was up to the task of handling that much food!  However, walking back home I passed the new location of the Doughnut Plant on 23rd Street and popped in to try three of their new flavors.  I love the atmosphere of this place from the doughnut shaped pillows on the wall, the doughnut chairs and the big screen TV on the wall showing doughnuts being made.  NOTE: When they first opened they weren't actually making the doughnuts on-site but getting them from the original LES location.  They were still great as the place was always packed and there was high turnover.  From top to bottom:  Chocolate Chip Cookie doughnut, Salted Peanut doughnut, Oatmeal doughnut.  And uh, by the way, they were real AND they were spectacular!





 
Not even halfway done with 2011, don't change that dial!!
karilyn
Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/27 18:27:33
LOVE THIS!!!!  Can't wait to see how it ends . . . hope I get to join you on some of what I'm sure will be fabulous adventures in 2012!  karilyn
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/27 18:35:56
Those doighnuts look awesome.
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/27 20:48:34
Billyboy, nobody, but NOBODY, does NYC like you do. Great report as usual! Thanks!
Your trip to the Meatball shop reminds me that I want to get to this place:
http://parmnyc.com/
 
 
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/28 00:05:43
Lee, I my jaw definitely hit the floor when I walked in and saw the prices.  I can safely say though that we were all truly impressed with not only the atmosphere of the place but the quality put into each pie.  Definitely time and money well spent.  
Karilyn, thanks so much!  Always enjoy getting to spend time with you and hope to do so more in Mass. this year.  Would love to travel more. 
Greymo, yeah love that Doughnut Plant and the Salted Peanut had lots of crunchy, salty nuts on it.  
Ken, how did I not know about this place?  Adding it to the Master List.  Thanks!!
FriedClamFanatic
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/28 23:53:11
The outstanding Photo's and the of course, the great comments says I gotta get my butt back up to NYC and get my daughter to take me out to some of these places, rather than have her always returning here for Dad's home-cooked food!  Thanks!
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/30 23:33:55
While on my way to a stand-up comedy show, I stopped for dinner at Bark in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn.  I love that they carry Foxon Park sodas and this Iron Brew was crisp and just sweet enough.  The Bark Dog (a Hartmann's Old World Sausage hot dog with sweet pepper relish, mustard and onions on a buttered and griddled Pepperidge Farms bun) was just the ticket.  The batter on the onion rings was rather addictive but overwhelmed the onion flavor and the beans with a squiggle of yellow mustard were smoky and tangy.  Bark makes a sincere effort to buy from small, local and organic purveyors whenever possible and I think that's pretty cool. 





 
In May 2011, I met up with fellow RFers Bethgrd and Karilyn to participate in The Great Saunter, a 32-mile walk around the island of Manhattan.  While we didn't complete the entire walk, we did take in some pretty cool sights along the Hudson and went right past the U.S.S. Intrepid.  




 
Around 5 miles in, we took a detour to have lunch at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Harlem to refuel with lunch.  The bbq shrimp, fried green tomatoes, Wango Tango wings, deviled eggs and sausage & crackers with pimiento cheese definitely hit the spot as did the brisket sliders (sorry, no shot of those).  And a cold Saranac to wash it all down!




 
A walk through Harlem and a short subway ride later we found ourselves at The Cloisters near Fort Tyron Park.  Gorgeous views and timeless artifacts made for a relaxing afternoon.  



 
A slight miscalculation on my part resulted in missing out on some tasty chicken & waffles, however, we did make it to Union Square to STAND for some deep fried sweet pickles and a buffet of milkshakes (toasted marshmallow, peanut butter cup and chocolate malted) that won us all over with every bite and every sip!


 
A short cab ride later we found ourselves at Hill Country Barbeque * Market for some beef ribs, brisket and smoked pork chops sided with some corn pudding and sweet potato mash washed down with Big Red and real sugar Coke.  Love that brisket and the intense smoke they put in their meats.  




 
We had a great day and after they went back to their hotel I walked around for a bit and came upon a street fair that looked mighty interesting and as it turned out I still had a wee bit 'o space left in my belly!  The Girl Scout cookie themed "Samoa" cannoli was tasty and the blackberry & sour cherry pop was very refreshing after a long day of walking.  I just hope Paul Bunyan's doctor doesn't discover his tongue depressor is missing!  And eating my pop in view of the Flatiron building just capped off a day with great friends and great food.  








 
Much more still to come!!
 
 
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/31 00:03:18
Fantastic! Your year in review, along with all the others, reminds me what this site is all about. Bravo!
jaylhorner
Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/31 09:12:44
As usual, great report..... love the pics!
jaylhorner
Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/31 09:12:44
As usual, great report..... love the pics!
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/31 10:25:08
This get's better with each entry!!!!
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/01/31 12:27:20
Wish I were there ... for just about all the stops !!!
sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/01 20:56:49
WOW. 2011 was a great Roadfood year for you. can't wait to see more.
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/02 04:20:19
With my running coach and his wife, I headed up to Woodstock, Vermont at the beginning of June to run the Covered Bridges Half Marathon.  As fate would have it, we stopped for gas at a station right next door to the Roadfood reviewed Donut Dip.  Honestly, the three of us were in fried cakey ecstasy!  As many of you know, I have a great love for the Doughnut Plant here in NYC, but for the first time I finally understood why so many others (especially New Englanders) prefer old fashioned cake donuts and I think the ones from the Dip might just be my new favorites.  Plus, how can I NOT love a place that paraphrases the "Bard" on their boxes? 




 
After checking in at our motel, we walked into the town of Woodstock and found another RF spot, F.H. Gillingham & Sons, a 125-year old general store that was just a delight to walk through.  Lots of local foods and Vermont based products.  I wish I had brought a cooler with me to fill! 




 
Woodstock even has their own "town crier" in the middle of town listing all of the goings on.  And the Middle Bridge covered bridge was really neat and I was even able to run across it as part of the race the next morning.  I really felt as though I had stepped back in time for a few days and I look forward to going back there this coming June.



 
As a reward for finishing the race (in addition to the hand carved medallion), a local food truck, the Cupcake Queen, was giving out free cupcakes and this yellow cake with maple butter cream frosting topped with chocolate covered toffee was just what I needed!  After a short nap, dinner with family and friends was at the now shuttered (Hurricane Irene) White Cottage Snack Bar.  Lobster rolls, hot dogs, onion rings, fried clams and a scallop plate sided with many laughs made a for a terrific end to our stay in Vermont. 









 
We realized that Frank Pepe's was not meant to be on this trip as they would be closed before we reached New Haven, but after a few very helpful texts from Chris Ayers we found ourselves tucking into some delicious late night pie at Pizza at the Brick Oven in what seemed to be a slightly dicey neighborhood but well worth the trip.  Thanks Chris!  The cheese slices only whetted our appetites for the excellent Clams Casino (clams, bacon, garlic, and basil) pie we ordered.  Though we all agreed that next time we'd ask them to keep it in the oven a bit longer to get that blistered char we love so much.  Washed down with a Foxon Park Gassosa lemon soda (which I think is my new favorite) it was just what we needed to get us through the rest of the late night drive back to NYC. 




 
In the next chapter, back to the races for some regional specialties in Central NY, plus a trip to New Haven and Boston...
jaylhorner
Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/02 06:02:15
Wow!!!
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/02 16:16:07
Darn You Billy
 
I am starvin at here at the horspital and you are killing me!!
 

kland01s
Filet Mignon
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/02 16:42:22
CK, I know what you mean. I was in the hospital about 3 weeks ago but fortunately it was only for less than 24 hours and 2 meals. I hope you are in for nothing serious. 
 
billyboy, I see why you run. I would have to in order to eat what you do!
 
 
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/02 16:59:02
As many Central NYers know, the second weekend in July is Boilermaker weekend, the annual running of the classic 15K Road Race since 1977.  I made my way up to the Rome/Utica area to run my second year in a row, spend some quality time with family and friends and sample some regional fare.  I started out at Nicky Doodles in Rome with my family for a Doodle Dog (grilled Hofmann German Frank, mustard, chopped onions and a spicy cinnamon-y chili sauce on a buttered and toasted split-top bun) and a bbq ham sandwich, a taste of my youth.  Both of these were excellent and I also had the good fortune to run into my former elementary school principal and his wife whom I had not seen in years.  The real surprise for me though, an incredible ice cream sundae with the longest name I have yet heard of:  V.V.S.F.F.A. (Vernon Verona Sherrill Future Farmers of America) Pure Maple Syrup Sundae.  Say THAT three times fast!  The shot of pure, locally tapped maple syrup and the crushed honey roasted peanuts on top made for one very happy Billyboy!




 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2012/02/03 00:04:04
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/02 18:21:07
now you are just being plain old MEAN 
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/03 02:09:57
The day before the Boilermaker my friends and I headed to the Expo to pick up our race bibs and goody bags.  However, I made a beeline for Roma Sausage & Deli before going anywhere else so I could pick up one of their amazing tomato pies which, sad to say, between the three of us, had the life expectancy of an enemy combatant in a Chuck Norris film.  Such is life.  :)   




 
After getting my bib and goofing off a bit I stopped at Holland Farms Bakery & Deli for some half moon cookies (another local specialty) to bring to the pre-race pasta carb load dinner with my friends (below) and we met up after the race to share some beers at the brewery where the race ends and cheer to another successful run.  The post-race meal was a no-brainer, bbq sandwiches, Mexi-Dogs and fries at Voss BAR B Q!  








 
Since my family was having a cookout for us later that evening, Doug, Marisa and I stopped by Holland Farms again to pick up more half moons (classic chocolate and carrot cake versions) as well as a divine chocolate cream pie of which I indulged on many occasions. 



 
And I was able to score a sweet deal on this Roadfood-y/running t-shirt!


billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/03 03:46:20
Right around mid-July I found myself in Hackensack, NJ within walking distance of White Manna.  Alright, who am I kidding?  Once I knew I was heading there, I mapped out how long it would take me to walk there and had written down directions a week before!  Three burgers and three with cheese and sauteed onions were just wonderful.  Beefy, hot, gooey...  The place is a little closet and watching the woman behind the counter go through her routine over and over was mesmerizing.  I don't know if I could have kept all of the orders straight.  What really surprised me though was the strawberry milkshake.  Great flavor and my straw was clogged with pieces of strawberry a few times.  I didn't expect that they would put such an emphasis on it and it was a pleasant surprise.  






 
I had been reading about The Frying Dutchman frites truck and as it happened they were parked a few blocks from my apartment so one warm July day I walked over to give them a try.  I had hoped to find a spot that had frites as good as Pommes Frites but had failed to find a place I liked until this day.  The frites were just a bit greasy (a good thing), crispy on the outside and creamy inside and they offered half & half (belgian frites & sweet potato).  What also sets them apart are the incredibly creative sauces they make.  The one I had with mine was the "Truffle Shuffle" (love the nod to "The Goonies"!), a white truffle and parmesan cream sauce which was rich beyond belief!  The owner asked why I was taking pictures and when I told him about Roadfood, he had the other guy let me try whatever sauces I wanted so I checked out the Yoshi Sauce (red chili, garlic, soy and agave aioli), Big Kahuna (caramelized pineapple & green peppercorn aioli), Guava Lava (Caribbean guava ketchup), Locked N' Loaded (sour cream, applewood smoked bacon and New York State sharp cheddar cheese) and The Big Apple Butter (cinnamon maple apple butter).  All of them were outstanding and there are many more I want to try.  Southern Supper (chicken sausage & mushroom gravy)?  Seriously?  Who has been reading my diary again?!  They seemed liked really nice people taking a classic and putting their own spin on it.  




 
In May 2011 I turned 40 years old and my friend and coach, Doug (a die hard Yankees fan, no less!) took me to see the Red Sox at Fenway park as a gift.  We had a few hours to spare so we took a detour to New haven for our first taste of the original Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana.  While there was a bit of a wait outside and after we ordered, none of that mattered after the first bite.  I LOVE NY pizza but this was on another level entirely.  The quality of the clams on the white clam pie and the bacon on our other pie were top notch.  And they really do take a "less is more" approach and don't try to overcrowd it with toppings.  What still haunts my dreams though is that crust.  Oh, that crust!!  Bready, yeasty, chewy in the middle and becoming more and more crispy towards the edge until it is almost like a cracker and those charred, bubbly edges?  Stick a fork in me, I'm done!



After reading the Finding Boston's Roadfood Gems report from ayersian, I knew we'd need to make a stop at KickAss Cupcakes in Somerville and we thought they would make a nice treat for the ladies when we got back to NYC.  The selection was great and the Chocolate Fluffernutter and the Caramel Mochiatto were the two big winners of our 6 person tasting group.  I love the idea of the Kittycakes (the last picture) but unfortunately my cats thought of them more as toys which resulted in most of them ending up in the vacuum cleaner!  




Watching my favorite team defeat Seattle while taking in one of my favorite nighttime views in New England!




 
We made our way up to the North Shore to the RF reviewed Nick's Famous Roast Beef in Beverly, MA.  This place was full of young students getting their roast beef fix late at night.  While the fries, onion rings and chocolate shake were ok, the real reason to come here is the Super Beef sandwich.  Tender, pink roast beef, piled high on a toasted onion roll.  I had mine with thin sliced red onion, peppery bbq sauce and horseradish sauce.  What a beautiful, tasty mess!  A true taste of the North Shore.  And the collage below features many Nick's fans holding up Nick's bumper stickers all over the globe.



 
More to come...after the jump!
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2012/02/03 03:47:27
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/03 07:22:04
billyboy, Great food choices and pictures.  Looking at the picture from Voss', I could taste the tangy BBQ sauce
 
 
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/03 09:16:06
Billy, Great look back at a great year of good eating.........is the Tomato pie the same as the Sicilian style pizza ????????.........
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/03 14:59:10
Thanks, PNWCHEF!  Nope.  Tomato pie may look similar but it is definitely different than a Sicilian.  The crust is similar is taste and texture to focaccia bread.  And it is only topped by tomato sauce (can be cooked with herbs or uncooked crushed tomatoes) and a liberal coating of parmesan and/or romano cheese.  Usually found at Italian bakeries, pizzerias, children's birthday parties and office parties across Central NY.
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/03 16:13:45
Great job,Billyboy...and that's from a Yankee fan of 65 years!!
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/04 05:45:48
Having some free time one day in late July I walked down to the newest outpost of Luke's Lobster in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan.  I love their motto on the awning: "from ME to you" and the lobster claw salt and pepper shakers are but one of the many nods to Maine in this small shack.  They certainly did deliver the goods with a curious fusion of a Maine and a Connecticut style roll.  It's chilled lobster meat bound with a bit of mayo and a small ladle of melted herb butter is poured on top.  The buttered and toasted split-top bun was on point.  The Maine Root brand sodas (especially the awesome Blueberry flavor) are a nice touch as well.  A taste of New England for this former resident of Boston.  I know it can't replace eating on a deck overlooking the water, but it'll do.




 
In the first few days of August, Chris & Amy (ayersian) came down to the city once again and we plotted out some tasty eats all over Manhattan.  Nothing says breakfast in NYC like bagels from Ess-A-Bagel in Midtown East.  A longish line, a few bagels with cream cheese (I can never resist the everything with raisin-walnut cream cheese!) and a semi-hidden waterfall park in which to enjoy them (thanks for the tip, Brooke!) made for a great start to our day.



 
A couple of blocks away was Melt Shop, a fairly new grilled cheese place.  Situated in a sunken courtyard right near the subway station, one can admire the buildings above.  The Zapp's Voodoo chips were a tangy, slightly spicy joy and that Buttermilk Fried Chicken sandwich (with jalapeno jack, red cabbage slaw and Melt sauce) was just insanely good.  I thought about heading back later that day for another one!  



 
A subway ride up to Harlem and a bit of a walk found us in front of the RF reviewed Patsy's Pizzeria.  The slices at the walk-up window were incredible.  The crust, sauce and cheese all tasted top notch and at $1.75, a real deal.  As if that wasn't enough, we encountered a NYC police detective walking away as we approached.  He took one look at us and said, "Ahh, da best!" as he wiped the crumbs from his mouth.  And all during our walk between the subway there really seemed be a sense of community with the people I saw and it brought a smile to my face.  




 
Heading back downtown our next stop was at the Lexington Candy Shop.  A soda fountain/luncheonette that has been an Upper East Side fixture for decades, they still make their own malts, egg creams, chocolate sodas, etc right at the counter.  This place is full of sincere charm and really nice people working there.  The chocolate malt I had was no slouch either.  And I couldn't pass up a chance to take a picture of the Far Side comic strip they had posted in their restroom!





 
By this point we were all getting full and could only manage to take in some ice cream at il laboratorio del gelato (right across the street from the classic NY deli, Katz's).  I know, I know, "champagne problems", right?  Not the cheapest gelato I've ever had but the quality of the ingredients and the taste made it worth every penny.  Free samples help narrow down the choices.  The maple, chocolate hazelnut, and tarragon were all creamy and yet their base flavors really shone through.  The yellow watermelon sorbet tasted like an ice cold hunk of fresh watermelon.  Really a great day with Chris & Amy and I look forward to many more in 2012!



 
Just a few more months to go...
 
 
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/04 08:26:52
This just gets better and better...wow, Patsy's looks like the deal of NYC!!!!...The real thing at a real good price!!
cavandre
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/04 08:51:42
Everything bagel w. raisin-walnut cream cheese...how did you come up with that combo?
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/04 14:36:22
cavandre, that has been my "go-to" bagel combo for years.  Ever since I was a kid I've had a thing for salty/sweet combinations.
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/04 15:50:09
My friend Brooke and I spent an afternoon exploring the relatively new High Line Park in the Chelsea area of Manhattan.  A really cool park developed on abandoned elevated subway tracks it offers some amazing view of the Hudson River, tall buildings and the city below without the traffic and pedestrian congestion of the streets below.  And there are plenty of relaxing places to sit, enjoy something to eat and just people watch.  Food vendors are starting to set up shop i the park and we found an outpost of People's Pops.  The rhubarb shave ice I bought was cool and very refreshing on a hot summer day. 






 
Towards the northern end of the park we found a food courts, an outdoor ballroom dance class in session as well as some food trucks such as a lobster roll truck, pizza truck and ice cream sandwiches truck.  The one that really caught our eyes was the La Bella Torte dessert truck.  The owner/operator was a man who had left his former profession as a union plumber to do something different.  His wife does the baking and he operates the truck.  We talked with him for a bit and he had some great stories from his life.  The cannoli was really good too as was the S'Mores cake pop.  



 
While I haver never visited Green Acres Orchards near Craryville, NY, I felt compelled to post the pie pictures because well, it's PIE and I have eaten pies from there on a few occasions and have been blown away every single time.  The Apple Raspberry pie was chock full a fresh fruit in a buttery crust but the Peach Pie was the pie of my dreams!



 
I spent another day exploring a some Roadfood eats near the Madison Square Park area of Manhattan.  The estimable RF-reviewed institution that is Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop was a narrow hallway of a place and like a throwback in time.  The egg/tuna salad combo sandwich caught me eye and turned out be be very fresh tasting and jut moist enough and the cherry-lime rickey with which I washed it down was freshly made.  I love that they make the kind of food that they make and you either get it or you don't.





 
Hill Country Barbeque * Market now has an offshoot called Hill Country Chicken just a few block away offering up fried chicken, fried pimento cheese sandwiches, and biscuits just to name a few things.  My reason for stopping here on this days was to sample some of their many pies.  I figured Buffetbuster would appreciate the seeing the "Pie Happy Hour" concept making it's way to the Big Apple!  I picked up a couple of 3" Pie Cups which were between $3 - $3.50 (depending on the kind of pie).  The Whiskey Buttermilk was a silky custard and very good but the Cowboy pie was so rich I almost wished I had ordered a glass of milk with it.  It was exactly like a Magic Bar or Seven-Layer Bar in a buttery graham cracker crust that my mom used to make when I was a kid.  Definitely heading back to try more pies on that menu.  








 
Up next on the year's end RF Channel...back to CNY in October for some races and a tomato pies and pusties smackdown!
 
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/04 16:03:58
oooohh, those pies!!!!!
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/04 18:19:08
My best Homer impression
 
"Mmmmmm Pies!!!!!!!!"
jaylhorner
Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/05 07:35:13
What a great way to start my day!
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/05 09:59:04
Billy, nothing spells out the food culture and simple flavors of New York more than two simple words, "A slice". The walk up window at Patsy's is priceless and a slice at $1.75 has to be the best bargain in America. A NY Slice, only served at one place in my town is $2.50. I don't even want to talk about the Lobster roll, I've been missing these for over 30 years................pnwc
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/06 02:57:47
In mid-October I went back up to my hometown of Rome, NY to run the Delta Lake Half Marathon.  My first meal was at my nostalgic favorite, Teddy's Restaurant.  The teddy bears and Teddy Roosevelt theme has always interested me and the food, especially the chicken parmesan, is quite good.  On this visit, the Utica Style Greens appetizer was a taste of home and the homemade warm Toll House Pie won me over wholeheartedly. 






 
I was going to include all of the tomato pies and pusties I had eaten on this trip but decided to just focus on the best ones I had tried.  However, I did have to include the doughnuts I also bought at Ferlo's Bakery.  Some of the best I have ever tried and I even came back for more at Christmas but forgot to get pics of the Boston Cream, Headlight, and chocolate cake versions I also tried but they were crispy, creamy and quite addictive!



 
A return trip to Roma Sausage & Deli was in order to pick up a half tomato pie and also to try one of their pre-wrapped slices to compare to the others I tried that day.  The crispy, chewy, yeasty crust combined with the fresh tasting tomato sauce and salty, nutty romano cheese put it head and shoulders above the rest.


 
Just a short drive down the same street was Florentine Pastry Shop where I had chocolate and coconut custard filled pusties (pasticciotti) that haunt my dreams to this day.  




 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2012/02/06 02:59:45
mar52
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/06 14:00:24
WOW!  I have so much to say about everything so I won't!
 
You did an outstanding job with your pictures and I love your choice of friends and foods!
 
I like that you chose to eat or report on different types of food in your travels around town.
 
I'm also stealing some ideas on serving from your pictures.
 
Thank you for all that went in to your report.
CCinNJ
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/06 14:34:28
Excellent report Billy!!

Congratulations on the running!! It is not easy but fun when you love to run!!
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/06 14:58:51
Great stuff!
I was wondering about the Utica greens. Are they similar at all to southern style greens? they kind of look the same except for what appears to be cheese on the top.
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/06 16:34:46
I can see why they say "I HEART NY"  Im drooling
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/06 19:39:50
ces1948

Great stuff!
I was wondering about the Utica greens. Are they similar at all to southern style greens? they kind of look the same except for what appears to be cheese on the top.

 
 
I make this quite often.  My recipe consists of  escarole,  chopped onions, chopped  cherry peppers, and a little chopped salami or pepperoni or procuitto.     We love it and  usually have it  with  chicken parmesan.
OOps...............forgot that there are some bread crumbs and  shredded parmesan cheeese in it.
sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/06 22:30:05
HEY BILLY, I,m salivating enough to drown here.
but don't stop. 
great job.
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A look back on 2011: The Roadfood Year That Was 2012/02/07 09:53:29
After reading cecif's report from a few years ago, I put the Patio DRIVE-IN on my short list.  Definitely a "locals" kind of place and with throwback charm I really loved the Ham Bar-B-Que sandwich.  Hopefully I'll be back this summer to try their famous chili dogs.




 
A friend of mine had told me about the homemade pies at Pumpernickel's Original New York Delicatessen in New Hartford, NY so we met up to split a couple of slices.  Despite a big list I immediately honed in on the butterscotch pie and the coconut cream pie.  Both were definitely homemade and I can't wait to go back and work my way through their menu.




 
A couple more trips to Voss BAR B Q (because I can never get enough of that homemade bbq sauce and chili!!)  After I chowed down on a turkey bbq sandwich, Mexi-Burger, and a sausage sandwich with chili I was very content and happy I was able to squeeze in three trips here this summer.  



 
Somehow in between all of this Roadfooding, I managed to squeeze in a half marathon!  Running around the lake where I spent my youth fishing, camping, skiing with my family and friends sure brought back a lot of wonderful memories for me.  And a new memory was created when my 6-year old niece (and the rest of my family) was waiting for me on the sidelines to hand me some much needed Gatorade!  My fan club is loyal!


 
And I had to make one of the last foods of this a trip a homemade cherry pie from North Star Orchards.  


 
 
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