Yeah, yeah, Do or Dine is the Bed-Stuy BYOB joint of the moment, but I haven’t even been to Umi Nom yet. I’ll be seeing that foie gras doughnut in 2013. Umi Nom, which really isn’t that Filipino despite many online references to it being a Filipino restaurant, very much deserves a full write-up and three shovels, but I just remembered my 2011 vow to blog less about what I eat (ha, I have not used this category since June). Initially, I wondered why someone would pay $2 for three hot sauces, a seemingly audacious menu option, but after tasting the fiery, fish-saucy red accompaniment to the sweet sausage and sticky rice I realized chef King Phojanakong knows how to blend chiles and aromatics. I’d pay $2 to sample more. This was my favorite dish followed by the not-that-traditional adobo pork belly in an opaque sauce. I only wish I had ordered rice to temper the saltiness even though I’m trying to go easy on starch. The rice vermicelli with grilled beef was kind of dull (it needed more fish sauce funk in the dressing) and the pork stuffing in the spring rolls reminded me more of lobak in their denseness (I liked, James not as much) than cha gio (which they weren’t advertised as). Three out of four hits and a 2009 bottle of Keller Riesling Trocken equaled a pleasant Saturday night meal (mixing beer, tequila and an Aviation at Black Swan afterwards was pleasant at the time but not so much Sunday morning).
As recently as two years ago I’d never eaten a gyro, and now I’m a pro. Well, not really. While exploring Ditmas Park (and realizing a house for sale that we had been looking at was technically in Midwood) for potential livability and searching for turmeric (Key Food nor any of the bodegas/delis around Foster St. had it) we stumbled upon a Pakistani street fair on Coney Island Ave. I picked up a box of mithai at Gourmet Sweets and was coerced into takeout from Gyro King, which is like street meat but indoors, and found a goldmine of turmeric and was regaled with stories about its magical medicinal properties. Also, I learned that some Pakistanis like making a beverage out of the yellow spice, which is going too far if you ask me.
A new Wednesday night ritual involves picking up something from Waterfalls and then having a few drinks at Last Exit or Floyd after my evening Spanish class nearby. This time, a split falafel sandwich (pitas wrapped around and things and held together by foil are gyros, right?) and lamb schwarma platter. I wish more places stayed open past 10pm on weeknights along the corridor of Henry Street from Atlantic Avenue to Fourth Place.
Blue Ribbon Brooklyn
Someplace sit-down with real food on the later side. A shared half-dozen Beausoleil and Kumamoto oysters were followed by a lamb steak with couscous and spiced chickpeas. The food always strikes me as a few dollars more than it should be, and I’m always attracted the appetizers like the bone marrow or steak tartare but feel they’re inadequate for a dinner entrée, but James likes going and that’s fine if he’s paying. Overheard at the bar in regard to an speedy oyster shucker: “Look at that Mexican nigga!” Ok, then…