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Year of New Editions

I don’t know why its taken me half the year to get down to business here. Keeping up with new foods is highly important work, but sometimes work, school and socializing get in the way. Anyhoo, I’ve been pretty happy with all the new, unusual flavors and colors being concocted lately. But now everyone’s declaring these new items to be “limited edition,” as if to ensure prompt purchases. Living in NYC stresses me out enough already, I don’t need the added pressure of catching goodies before they’re gone.

The white and dark chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kats fall under this umbrella. I do like that white chocolate, perhaps a little out of novelty and a little out of an upbringing filled with bad taste. I don’t know why white chocolate carries a bourgeois, trashy stigma. Neon orange, glowing Mountain Dew Live Wire is also purported to only be on shelves temporarily. I don’t drink soda, so good riddance. Uh Oh Oreos are inside out and for a limited time only! It’s got nothing to do with Oreos, but has anyone seen the Sealab 2021 episode that makes crazy use of “uh-oh?” If not, there’ s no explaining.


McCain Smiles have a messed-up website so I can’t directly link to their little smiley face potato products. I just wanted to mention that I’d only seen these before at Chinese buffets, which is weird enough. Now the general public can re-create that Asian steam table effect at home.

Cositas Ricas

Rule number one: Hawaiian anything always rules. Rule number two: anything Hawaiian by way of Colombia is bound to puzzle…and yet still please. After a scary engagement party on the Upper East Side, we ended up like bats out of hell drunk, and still hungry (little crackers and pates just don't cut it) on the BQE. A food trek to Roosevelt Avenue didn't sound like a bad idea, and Cositas Ricas was still brightly lit and beckoning post-midnight.

The menu has a stuffed arepa section and a crazy juice/fountain drinks (jugos, mixtos) section, but I was mesmerized by the "caprichitos ricos" i.e. delicious caprices. Well said. This is where things like hamburguesa farahona: farahona (whatever that is) hamburger with ham, cheese, demiglase(sp) sauce and french fries and salchipapa, which is a plate of fried, chopped up sausage, french fries and hard boiled egg, are found. Of course, my personal favorite is sandwich Hawaiano: french bread, baked pork loin, and Hawaiian sauce because I'm crazy for pork and pineapple. The sandwich is large and pressed cubano-style. Absolutely what I was looking for, perfect late-night food. Perfect anytime food, really.

Even if you're stuffed to the gills, grab something to go from the bakery/dessert case. You'll be glad you did the next morning. (6/21/03)

I wouldn't have predicted Cositas Ricas would be my first NYC meal back from a short notice Portland family emergency trip. But its sort of near La Guardia, open late and does the ham and pineapple combo like no ones business. I needed to get my bearings, and Hawaiian sandwiches can be very grounding. (10/23/04)

Cositas Ricas * 7919 Roosevelt Ave., Jackson Heights,NY


Duck confit, frisee and fries certainly don't feel like diet food, but then,
I don't really profess to be on one (I'm a very covert calorie
counter…duh, if I'm eating fat like it's going out of style). But
eating a little French food every now and then certainly won't kill you. I
haven't really patronized the seeming glut of new-ish bistros popping up in
Park Slope, so I can't compare (though I've heard disparaging things about a
few others). But the mood at Cocotte is relaxed, the food is good and the
prices were fair. I can't complain.

Cocotte * 337 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY


Mexican-Asian, huh. In this fusion crazy city (I don't know, are people
still into fusion?), why not go a little wild? I must have walked past this
place at least 500 times in my NYC life (my most frequented bar is on the
next block), so after five years, it had to be done.

The flavor combinations are relatively restrained, in practice. James
had fish tacos, which were only unusual with the inclusion of a spicy, honey
mustard dipping sauce. I tried the unadventurous diner's favorite: roast
chicken. I only did so because I'm a sucker for sides. They totally make the
meal, and the idea of espresso, pomegranate black beans and chili butter
sweet potatoes coupled with chipotle honey-glazed chicken caught my
attention. The food was good, not amazing, but good. Certainly worth one
visit in half a decade.

Closed: Komodo is a goner.

Komodo * 186 Ave. A, New York, NY

Itzocan Cafe

After waiting 45 minutes for a table that wouldn't clear on our original
attempt to dine, I was wary about a second try. It's a tiny place, and we
got a weird table by the door this time. The feng shui must be a nightmare
at Itzocan.

I had wanted to try the place because I liked the idea of Mexican
brothers who'd spent years working at French restaurants doing their own
thing. The food I tried was more than fine, but it lacked some sort of
oomph. It could be what I chose, but it felt diet-y. For an appetizer, James
and I shared a souffl, cake thing made of blue corn and huitalocoche with
radishes and mesclun. I ordered a short rib entre, the man's dish and James
a shrimp and brown rice dish, totally girlie. We ate half each, then swapped
plates for variety. The short ribs did it for me, but I lean towards the
meaty, heavy, strong flavors camp. The dessert, a sort of warm bread pudding
with caramel, walnuts and raisins was also a keeper.

Itzocan Caf * 438 E. Ninth, Ave., New York, NY