Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weird Shit Happens When You Leave NYC.

For years my best friend Alison has been begging me to come visit her up in Massachusetts. Normally I'm afraid to leave New York City because of all the born again Christians.

But when Jules came to town in July, I said "Why not? We'll be adventurous." A little extra baptism never hurt anybody, right?

Big mistake....
The images that I saw that night in Alison's town will remain imbedded in my mind for the REST OF MY LIFE! Kind of like when Roseanne got married.

Alison said to me, "Aram, New Bedford has an annual Portuguese festival to honor the people who blah blah blah blah." zzzzzzzz.

"They have all sorts of great food." zzzzzzzz.

Okay, Alison, we'll go.

So we went. And it was scary! Jules looked at me and said "Baby, please protect me!"

I said "Don't worry babes, I'll just wear my hat like the rest of these douchebags and we'll be fine."

After walking in the dark, we got there and were greeted with this....this....

Let's just say that I know that I'm prone to exaggerration. But when I say that this was one of the saddest things I've ever seen, I'm not joking.

Yes people, that guy is wearing white polka dot spandex. And yes, it gave me an erection.

So Alison kept on talking about how people at the festival buy meat and put it on an 8 feet skewer and then cook it on a communal pit.

But when I saw the sign for the type of beef they were selling, I said out loud, "There's no way in hell I'm eating that." Click on the photo so you can read the sign closely, my friends...



Alison said to me, "You're not into this sort of thing? I thought you were adventurous.'" and I said, "No way man!. That's weird"

Still, I thought it was interesting to observe. Here they are putting the Anus Beef on 8 foot skewers.


They then "baste" the "meat" in wine called Midira. That's portuguese for "I can't believe I'm actually going to eat Anus Beef."
After you do that this guy comes over and wipes his ponytail all over it.


After the "meat" has been cooked you bring it over to the "meat remover." This is where things got interesting.

Check it out:
But the crazy thing is, that's not what the people eat!!!!!! They actually throw all that stuff away, believe it or not, especially the vegetables.

There's actually a saying in New Bedford that goes something like, "You don't eat the vegetables. Duh."

No, what they really eat is the stuff that the meat leaves behind, and I have to say, it's delicious!!!!


Julia was happy!

Then the shit got even weirder when these menstruals started going around singing music.
It was bloody weird.
Get it? Menstruals in stead of minstrels?!?!?! Hahahaha! Bloody weird!!!

Ha!!!

Then Alison and Julia and Aram were happy!



Moral of the story, don't leave NYC. It's fucking strange out there.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Italian Food = Fancy Shit

Everyone always talks about how Italian food is soooooo simple. Simple, fresh, high quality ingredients. Peasant food.

That is bullshit. Italians are fancy. And they are loaded with dough!!!!

Think about this small fact. Where do Ferraris come from?

Where to Lambhorghinis come from? Masserattis?

Yeah, you guessed it! Italy. And those are some expensive, fancy cars. Italians drive them around like frickin tricycles. TRICYCLES!!!!!

So what do people who like fancy cars like to eat?

You guessed it. Fancy food. All that stuff about simple peasant food is just good marketing.

Italians are master marketers. They love going to the market for food. Get it? Ha! Okay I guess that was a stretch, but hey, I just went to the DMV and got my poetic license, LOL.

Okay, so here's some of the fancy shit I recently ate in Italy.

First of all, when you eat fancy food, you have to dress fancy and get a fancy haircut. Kind of like this:

Italians are also known for their style, and I was taking some of their cues. Note how my shirt matches the table cloth...And the curve of my hair shadows the archway of the door. This is some deep shit. It requires sophisticated thinking. But it's not nearly as deep as what Jules and I were about to manga manga on.

Check this out:


This was homemade pasta with bluefish and pistachios. It was really good. Normally I eat my pasta with salmon and a lot of cream.

But this is Italy, and for Italians salmon and cream aren't fancy. Pistachios are fancy.

Jules got spaghetti and meatballs.

Just kidding.

She got spaghetti with awesome seafood and guess what.....that's right!

You got it!!!

Wow! You're so smart! I can't believe you knew that there was seaweed in her pasta! Holy Crap!!!! You're AMAZING!!!! ESP BABY!!!!

Here's a pic:

We also got this fried fish dish.

I love fried clams at the shore. You get a bunch of tartar sauce and ketchup and mix it in with the clams. Gimme that with a can of Dr. Pepper and I'm in heaven. Culinary heaven, that is...

But in Italy they're fancy.

So when they fry seafood they do it up. Check this out.

Check out how fast Jules hands are moving!

I said "Jules, they only gave us lemons to put on the fish. No matter what type of magic you try and do with your hands, they ain't changing to tartar sauce."

She started crying really hard, mumbling "Tartar sauce, that's all I wanted from you."
I said, "Don't worry baby, I'll get you your farter sauce."

Anyway, the fish was good. They didn't have Dr. Pepper, but we had a white wine with it that was from a fancy sounding place.

After dinner we got gelato from a fancy gelato place. I don't have any pics of the gelato, but I was sure to take a pic of this, wink wink wink:


I got tartar sauce gelato.
It was goooooood.

Then we had a romantic walk back to my Ferrari with a fancy view.


Jules got on the back of my tricycle and we cruised off into the night through the hills, as beautiful Al Pacino and Sophia Loren in a make out scene. Our hair swept back. Her arms around my waist with brief kisses of longing at each stop light. Bellies full and our hearts overflowing with the sweet nectar of fancy shit.



Monday, April 26, 2010

Pizza Vs. Amour. Pizza. Yes. Pizza.

Italy.

For most people it brings up images of boots, fat ladies singing opera, and Al Pacino.

But did you know that Italy has delicious food? And I'm not talking about Chef Boyardee or Annie's Mac and Cheese.
I mean food that doesn't come from cans or boxes!

Now don't get me wrong. There's bad food in Italy too.

I don't even know what this is, but it's slightly erotic in a geriatric sort of way, no?



And pizza with hot dogs???
And we thought Pineapple and Ham on Pizza was crazy. Those Italians clearly have us beat.



But there's also really good food in Italy.

This past Valentine's day Jules and I went for dinner in a part of Italy called Tuscany (pronounced Tus-ka-knee).

People think it's romantic and stuff, which is why we went there, because as you know, Valentine's day is a day for romance and kissing and holding hands. And what a better thing to get two people hold hands with each other than to stuff em with pizza first!!!!

So that's what we did!

Now this place is in the middle of nowhere (no one spoke English, not even our waitresses! LOL!), but there were some fat ladies making the pizza, so I figured it had to be good.

For an appetizer we had mussels, calamari and these amazing little fishes with lemon and cilantro. They were amazing.


For her Pizza, Jules decided to get a pie with sausage and onions, because eating onions is great for romance! wink wink wink!

Don't worry, Mom! We only held hands! LOL! NOT!!!

Anyway, here's her pizza. Notice that it's heart shaped. CUTE!!!

Here's a closeup.


I decided to save my sense of adventure for dessert (wink wink wink, Valentine's day jokes, awesome!) so I got a pie with fontina cheese, spinach and cherry tomatoes.

Here it is:



Here's a close up:



And here's dessert. Tiramisu. It was so freakin good. I swear.






It was so good that it made me do this. Cover your eyes mom!

So now everybody, say Tus. Ca. Knee!

One more time! Tus. Ca. Knee!

Yay you did it!

Go there. For Valentine's Day. It's romantic.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka. Holy Mother of God. Sri Lanka.


So people are always saying to me, "Aram, Have you heard of so and so restaurant??!??! It's great!!!!"
They're so excited and cute about their discovery. It gives me a special pleasure to tell them, "Yes, and it sucks."

The other day, my friend Lindsay told me that she and her husband Lev wanted to take me out to dinner at this new place they found. They said there's no way I would of heard of it. I begged. I cried. There's nothing worse than being taken to a place that you've already been to, especially if it sucks rabbit balls.

But to no avail.

Jules and I met Lindsay and Lev at their place in Williamsburg and went straight to Lev's car. I'm thinking, "Chinese in Flushing? East Indian in Crown Heights?"

Then Lev pulls out the EZ Pass and heads for the BQE.

Fuck. There's only ONE thing that that can mean. Staten Island.

For all of you non New Yorkers, Staten Island sucks. It's where you go after you die and you don't declare Jesus as your one and only saviour. And people in Staten Island are really stupid and inbred. Sometimes they think it's part of New York City even!

Silly Staten Islanders.

One thing that sucks hare balls (get it? Rabbit balls? LOL) about Staten Island is that to drive there you have to go over a big bridge. Admittedly, the bridge is beautiful, but it costs $12!!!!

Jesus.

Anyway, we get over the bridge, and I'm so nervous I'm almost ready to vomit.

But LO!!!! A light shined!!!! And ahead I saw that Lindsay and Lev were taking me for....Lo!!!!! Sri Lankan Food!

Readers, this place is fucking amazing.

Seriously.

http://www.newasharestaurant.com/

Everything was sooooooo delicious. Everything was homemade. I've been to India twice so I know what homemade Indian food tastes like. And my mom makes it. As do I. And when I go to a friends house for dinner.

Normally, restaurant food tastes like restaurant food. But for Sri Lankan, I only do homemade.
Seriously.

Here's us before the meal. Four beautiful people, getting ready to chow.
From left to right, Jules, Beautiful, Lev and Lindsay.


For an appetizer, we had a fried lentil thing. It was similar to South Indian Vadas. Really yummy.



For me the highlight of the meal was the eggplant.

Let me tell you something readers. I HATE EGGPLANT.

Eggplant crap-armesan. Eggplant crap-a-ganoush. Eggplant bhaigan-crapper. Fried eggplant crap.

It all tastes like.....crap.

So when I ate this eggplant, I literally jizzed in my pants. Never before has food aroused me so.

Check it out:


It was caramelized and was very sweet, with a slight spicy warmth to it.
Did I mention that it made me jizz? It was a little awkward actually.

The dal was delicious too. It had coconut, very different from Indian dal.

Here's a mixture of rice and eggs and things. Yum!


Okra, not slimy!



And for all you chicken eaters....chicken! Not slimy!



Here's a picture of the chef and me and Lindsay and Lev.

Sorry! I forgot to turn on the "red eye" switch on my camera! Lol!!!



So anyhow.

Get yee to Staten Island.

I think the fact that it has a Sri Lankan restaurant makes it a little less sucky....

Nah, actually, it still sucks, but not as much as THE UPPER WEST SIDE!!!!

BOO YAH!!!!!!



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I've finally found "The One!"

Today, my prayer was answered.

When I woke I realized that I hadn't written for you, my loyal fans, in some time. Earnestly, I prayed, "Lord, please show me guidance. Please help me to find a new kick ass food adventure."

As I was walking home, past the Apna Bazaar on 37th Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens, I looked up and saw a peculiar ad in the window.

It was for something called "Masala Pizza."
Could it really be true that my two favorite things in the world, Pizza and Indian food could be found in a delicate marriage of carnal delights?

I walked into the Bazaar and went straight to the frozen food section, and sure enough, it was true.

This is what I saw before me.

I started weeping. But as perfect as this story is, it actually gets better.

When I brought the pizzas up to the cash register, I asked the young Indian woman who rings me up whenever I buy something there, "Yo, Are these things good, or do they taste like shit?"

Her response forever changed my life.

"Indian people don't like frozen foods. We like fresh food. Every night my mother makes me fresh chapatis and curries. It is so tasty."

In less time than it take you, the reader, to navigate away from this blog, I was down on one knee, asking for her hand in marriage. I still didn't even know her name, but at that moment, I felt such a connection. A connection to the culture, the family, the joyous celebrations of food, music and dance. And most importantly, to the boobies.

"God, not only did you help me find the best food product in the world. You also helped me to find 'The One.'"

After she smacked me and the Sikh security guards forcibly removed me from the place, I went to my apartment and to heat them up.

Delicious and Convenience. Those are two words you don't often see outside of a Bangkok whorehouse.

But they accurately described Masala Pizza. Don't believe me. Check it out:


And this is how convenient it is.
First you microwave the pizza. This helps to lock in the flavor.

Then you take out your tawa and brown it on both sides. THANK GOD I HAVE A COUPLE OF TAWAS LYING AROUND!

Freakin Tawas.

Needless to say, I have neither a Tawa nor a microwave.

So I just heated it up for 15 minutes in the oven at 450 degrees.
I have to say, the masala pizza was actually pretty good in a "just got home from a long day in high school, need to snack and take a 3 hour nap before starting on my homework" kind of way.

Here's a pic.






And a close up.





Alrighty.

It's been a long time, but I'm finally going to divulge where I think the best slice of pizza in Manhattan is.

That's right. Sal and Carmines.

Here's a pic.



I went there yesterday with my buddy Brian.

Sal and Carmines is run by two old curmudgeony guys from Naples, Sal and Carmine. Hence the name.

We were eating and one of them came out from the back.

Here's our conversation:

Me: "Sal!" I exclaimed, as if we had known each other for decades.

Carmine: "I'm actually Carmine, " he croaked.

Me :"Oh."

Me again:
"Well, I think you have the best pizza in the world! I'm going to put it on the internet tonight."

Carmine: "So?"

Me: "Fuck you, Sal. Fuck you."

Carmine: "I'm Carmine."


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

SMOKE + ASH = AWESOME DUMPLINGS!

The other night I decided to invite some friends out for dumplings.
Searched chowhound for a good dumpling place that was walking distance from the club on the Lower East Side that we were meeting at.

Chose Prosperity Dumpling on Eldrige.

We walked ten minutes in the FREEZING COLD to get there, and the place is way too small for all six of us.

I noticed that right next to Prosperity there was a restaurant called the Golden Unicorn.

It was packed with Chinese people, so I knew it had to be good. We walk in and the dudes sitting at the first table (which was piled high with empty Heineken bottles) are SMOKING!!!

That's right, peeps are chaining Camels in a restaurant in 2010.

And the movie on the flat screen had subtitles- IN CANTONESE!!!
I needed to brush up on my characters so I sat down facing the screen.

What other city in the world could you work on your Chinese, ingest vast quantities of MSG, waft large amounts of second hand smoke, and, and and? Yeah, I know, Beijing. You're a genius.

Anyway...

We sat down and ordered.

5 wonton soups

stir fried noodles with crab



soup dumplings (no pic), regular dumpling (2 orders)


5 Heinekens, 2 waters and cock sauce.



Everything was delicious. And believe it or not, for all this food, the waters and the beers, the bill came to only $36.

One woman we were with, Mia, said that the soup dumplings were better than the ones she had at the famous restaurant "Joe's Shanghai" a few days earlier.

Joe's Shanghai is known for having the best soup dumplings in the city.

Looks like they've had their ass whupped by this place.

And you know who discovered it? That's right!!!
ARAM SCARUM!!!!

WOOHOOO!

As we were leaving the cook came out, pulled a live eel out of one of the fish tanks and proceeded to bite of it's head right in front of us!

He said that they have to kill all the animals at the restaurant that way because, as it turns out, the restaurant is owned by Ozzy Osbourne!!!!!

No shit!!

Back in the 80s he invested in restaurants all over the world and named them all "The Golden Unicorn," as an inside joke between him, his wife, his mistresses, his midget brother and his "member."

See, now whenever you go to one of his restaurants, you have to say afterwards,

"I ate (at) the Golden Unicorn!!"

How's that for an mental image?

LOL.

But seriously, this place is good eats.

Check it out!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Swallow Your Noodle....

Asia. It's the world's biggest country after the United States (Go USA!!!).

And one thing that is common throughout all of Asia is a love for noodle soup.

This past week Jules was in town, so we decided to check out two types of noodle soups from different states in Asia: Japan and China.

Believe it or not, the soups from these two places are very different. It's kind of like comparing the McDonald's in different parts of the US. What's up with the "special sauce" in California? I think they make it with avocado or some other over priced hippie product...

Anyway, whenever I go for Japanese Ramen soup in the East Village I start off by getting some Japanese snack food called takoyaki (translated literally as 'little shit fried dumpling hi-ya') on East 9th Street. There's this little tiny place on the south side of the street between 3rd and 2nd ave.

Here they are. They put mayonnaise and barbecue sauce on them. Apparently Japanese people have a penchant for mayonnaise, just like me! Who would have thought?


After that we went to Rai Rai Ken on East 10th.
The broth at this place is amazing.

Jules got a large miso (pronounced 'me so') soup.

When she got it I exclaimed, "Me so impressed that you got that. Me so happy for you. Me so not paying for this lunch you cheap-o bastard."
Poor Jules. She always buys me lunch. As she should....
Anyway, heres a pic.


It's tough to see because of all the steam (it was coming from my ass, not the soup). But there were these little black sesame seeds in the broth.
They're really really yummy.

The next day Jules flight was canceled because of snow (YAY!) and we went with our friend Matt to Chinatown to a place I've been going to for years, Corner Wonton. Matt and I used to play Dungeon's and Dragons together in Kindergarten. No lie. And we played in a band all throughout high school. And he still claims that he didn't make out with the 7th grade love of my life, Michelle, while I was stuck in detention. Yeah right.

Anyway, Matt has a PHD in ethnomusicology and is really smart, so we kept on calling him Dr. Matt.

But Dr. Matt thought he was the doctor of noodle soup, which is of course completely false.
Both he and Jules got the same thing (go figure): roasted duck in wonton soup.

Dr. Matt was pissed that the soup was the best he ever had, as he thought that he knew where the best place in the world was.
He thought that giving me the "bird" would offend me, especially when he kept on saying "Duck you," over and over. But I just laughed.

Then he started pontificating about the differences between arcane types of singing in India and Beyoncee. I'm sorry Dr. Matt, but as sophisticated and subtle as that Indian music is, it's no match for just a few seconds on Beyoncees's ass jiggling on my flat screen.

Dr. Matt was confused by this:

Here's Jules getting "ducked." This photo is the perfect aesthetic symmetry of nose, lips, teeth, duck meat and fingers.



Anyway.

Noodle soup is good.

Get yee to chinatown.