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Peppa’s Jerk Chicken

It doesn't seem right, but I don't think I've ever had jerk chicken. Real, fake, or anything in between. So, to become acquainted I thought I should start at the top. I really need to dig into that strip of Flatbush Ave. with West Indian everything. Bakes, doubles, roti, I don't know that food well and it's not because I don't want to (I love how doubles is singular like a McGriddles). I'd read about both Danny Express and Peppa's, which are a block apart and used to be one restaurant Danny and Pepper (food feuds seem rampant in NYC). I didn't have the appetite to try both, so I'll have to return for Danny (and the fascinating De Bamboo Express across the street. I thought Chino-Cuban and Indian-Chinese were it, but Trini-Chinese is crazy–they have freaking jerk lo mein on the menu. I'm also curious what "provisions soup" is).

Peppas_jerk I wasn't sure how to order, as there were maybe five different prices listed for the jerk chicken. James said large, which I think was the $10 choice. I do know that the total bill was $12 and we had two ginger beers and I'm guessing the sodas were closer to $1 apiece than $2, though I could be wrong and we ordered the $8 portion of poultry. You get a round aluminum take out container filled with rice and beans topped with hacked up chicken and a little salad wedged into the corner. Before they pack it up (it's a bare bones take out joint with a counter and no seats) you can sauce your bird. They offer bbq sauce, which is odd and the scotch bonnet sauce, which makes more sense.

I think James went a little wild with the hot sauce, so it's hard to offer a true flavor profile of the meat. Obviously, there was an overwhelming spicy hit at first, but underneath a sweet, peppery woody taste emerged. I'm not sure what I had expected, but the chicken was far tastier than I'd anticipated. We definitely could've eaten more than we ordered. Initially, it looked like too much to eat, but that was because the rice and beans take up the bulk of the container. Normally, I'm pretty so-so on rice and beans but these were particularly appealing with a thick and smooth mouth texture. All I can guess is that there must've been lard or animal fat of some kind in them.

I was recently in a meeting at work and we were discussing our potential client, a chain restaurant that was failing with their Caribbean food concept and I don't have much hope for this pitch because everyone was clueless and asking what Caribbean food is and someone said jambalaya, which is retarded and then another said jerk, which prompted another to wrinkle up her nose and make a disgusted face. And all I could think was why am I in a room with these people (I've had this thought countless times before)? There's no way that someone who had eaten Peppa's jerk chicken would be able to scowl like that.

Peppa's Jerk Chicken * 738 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

Lettuce Entertain You

Stew Food marketing is fascinating. As I mentioned before, the only reason my last week before vacation has been tolerable is because I'm doing chain restaurant research and it totally rocks. I've been trying to get away from this corporate niche that I've started getting myself into (and I might possibly have an out in the next few weeks, but who knows because whenever I say that it never materializes) but if I were to really peruse that route with a vengeance, I would have to somehow get into food marketing. I was so completely in awe at a meeting last week when we brought in this head honcho from a corporate food consulting company to get us up to speed since our company is filled with middle aged (or close to it) NYC women who wouldn't and haven't set foot in a chain restaurant and need to get up to speed asap on in the industry. I loved this guy. Seriously. He was 40-something, suit-y, polished, kind of like an executive version of Marc Marrone (who I also love) but sounded exactly like Steve Buscemi and was very wry. He knew every menu item at every chain in existence and what times of day women eat at particular chains and how much they spend and how to develop new flavor combos and crazy menu items like southwestern eggrolls. I tried impressing him with my knowledge–I was the only one in the room who knew what Bonefish Grill was and that it was a chain to watch (I liked that he compared the mix and match approach of Bonefish to Craft in their initital iteration, which showed that he's up on all levels of dining).

Like I said, I love this guy (um, I even looked him up because he struck me as someone who would live in Manhattan rather than Westchester, NJ or CT just because he has a wife and kids-and he is in NYC). How do you get to travel around the U.S. giving insights and making recommendations to corporate chefs and heads of marketing?  I think these are MBAs, and that's a route I can't go. More and more I see jobs that ask for an MLS or MBA, which is interesting. The major difference is that librarians are good at finding information, but they're not generally equipped to offer insights or analysis. And I assume the latter is what people expect from business school grads. The money is in the insights not the info. When I interviewed at McKinsey for a gussied-up cataloging job, the head of the dept. noted that what I'm currently doing is more R&I (I had no idea what that stood for and had to look it up-research & innovation) and had I considered going that route as it's much more lucrative. Those jobs are scary and you'll work your ass off and I'm not one for working my ass off (though it's a different track than consulting, which are the truly coveted, highly competitive, work 16 hours a day, make shitloads of money jobs). And they're always in industries I'm unenthused about like finance, real estate, insurance. Out of curiosity I did look at the knowledge center page of the McKinsey site and they profiled a few employees, mostly males with MBAs, but there was one female and she had a library degree (of course) so while difficult to get your foot in the door, it's not unheard of. I just don't think it's me, however. It's hard not to look at the photos of employees and wonder whether or not you would get along with them.

So, after learning about "eatertainment" last week, I was excited to see a retail-tainment piece in today's Times. So tantalizing, yet grotesque. I think what's offputting is that most of these concepts are devised to make shopping fun for families. And as you might know I loathe how this generation of youngsters is catered to. In-store dining, free ice cream cones, musical entertainment, petting zoos, animatronics aren't there to entertain me-they only create more logjams and chaos in the aisles-they're to distract the kids long enough so their parents don't have to beat them in public. So, too bad for old folks and younger cranky childless people who view grocery stores as a place to um, buy groceries. The Shopping Buddy does sound promising, but as you'll note not a single NY Stop & Shop is on the list (yes, I realize it's more of a New England chain, but they do exist in the boroughs and I have a Stop & Shop card)

I see that the 30s can be very lame. You're too old to be targeted as hip or creative, but you're hardly into boomer uplift me with retirement planning commercials using Paul McCartney. You're useless, so it's your likely overindulged offspring that are being spoken to with marketing tactics. Now, I see why people stay in NYC. I never used to get what the big allure was. In your 20s it's a giant hodge podge of possibility, but gradually people get grounded, settle down and frequently move away to cities that provide more retail-tainment options. If you don't need space, convenience, good schools or suburban comforts because it's just yourself to contend with and it's not worth the bother, then you stay because why would you want to surround yourself with those unwarranted things. So whoever's left here when they're adult adults is a very specific breed or else very wealthy and could create peace and relief in any setting (and I hate those people unless they're that food marketing guy I met last week because I love him).

Jesus, I'm supposed to be writing a short book review of a Cuban food writer's memoir, but here I am wasting a good 30 minutes writing about absolutely nothing of importance. And I'm also supposed to be getting downstairs and using that elliptical trainer and instead I'm eating more of that See's candy that causes digestive tract mishaps. But aren't Saturday morning supposed to be like that? Procrastinating and potentially pooping on yourself.

It Always Comes Back to Depends

Yeah, I've slacked for a couple of weeks, but this Friday I'm back (one can only spend so much time working when said work involves searching publications like Infection Control Today and Assisted Living Consult for hours on end. Those aren't made up magazines, by the way).

Ccdevillepinkhair2iv 1. C.C. DeVille bladder problem

You may not know this, but I have a soft spot for C.C. DeVille. I really warmed to him after seeing one of those Behind the Music episodes where he talked about a period after quitting drugs where he got fat and moved in with his mother in Brooklyn. There were photos and he was totally huge. I really loved the idea of this former made-up, bleached-out Poison member all hefty and downtrodden with that raspy voice living with his mom in Bay Ridge or wherever. His real name is Bruce, you know. No one appreciates a washed-up fatso in L.A. (or anywhere, for that matter).

As to a bladder problem? That, I don't know. Perhaps the searcher is confusing their Surreal Life participants. It was Verne Troyer who peed on the floor in season 4. While C.C. is quite short, I don't think he's 2'8".

2. Mormon recipes "sweet soup"

I'd never given much thought to Mormons having a unique cuisine and I'm not sure that I like the sound of sweet soup. As many know, Utah is the most Jell-O crazy of all 50 states. I'm starting to suspect that sweet soup is simply hot water with Jell-O powder dissolved into it, the pre-gelling stage. You know, kind of how cookie dough went from being a raw in-progress item to finished edible product loved by all. Eating raw, hot Jello water and calling it soup is just the kind of thing Mormons would do. I know, I've seen Big Love.

Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?

Because I've included a frightening day of the birthday photo for at least the past few years, I feel compelled to continue the tradition despite going against better judgment (I mean the sweaty/greasy face factor-it's a problem with summer birthdays). 34So, now you know what 34 looks like. I was hoping the bout with bad skin and my digestive tract would be it, but now it seems like memory loss is settling in too. Somehow I forgot my wallet at home today, which only became apparent when I went to get something to eat for lunch and didn't have it on me. It's wasn't the end of the world (I bummed $6 and got a Subway turkey and provolone sandwich. I don't think Jared eats them with cheese, but how much fat can a little processed slice of dairy product really contain? Oh, it's right on the napkin-two cheese triangles have 3.5 grams of fat and 40 calories. Don't you love nutritional info printed right on the napkin?) but it seems very stupid, even kind of stupider than forgetting keys and being locked out. Then, as I was about ready to leave work I started giving back the $2 I had leftover from my borrowed lunch money and it occurred to me  that I used the last $2 on my Metrocard this morning so I wouldn't even be able to get home on it. Thank god I'm a cheap luncher or else I would've been stuck, penniless in midtown like when Jane Curtain on Kate & Allie got treated like a homeless person after she left her purse in a cab. Of course that scenario would never happen today because Allie would have her trusty cell phone or Blackberry on her.

I was taken out to Cookshop for my birthday, and it was very solid and enjoyable. It was food food, if that means anything. I got some cash from my mom and a Chococat bag and that box of See's candy that gave me gut trouble and a used book, Before You Say "I Quit!" I got a little cash from my grandma too. I usually use her funds to buy a sandwich or two for lunch. Sandwiches of the fancy ilk, non-Subway stuff like the pulled duck confit one (the description cracks me up with its specificity and I don't know whey they spell out three but not seven: three sprout salad, 7 minute eggs, young pickles, sweet garlic-Pommery mustard dressing, ciabatta) I had Wed. from Starwich. That thing was pure fat and I didn't need a nutritional content napkin to tell me so. James gave me a Sephora gift certificate and Fodors and Let's Go Barcelona guides. I also got a Barcelona guide Le Cool from my sister. Unfortunately, I won't be able to completely read up on the city by next Thurs. when I head out.

I'm so so inexplicably exhausted and I don't think it has anything to do with aging. Maybe it's the weather, maybe I'm under the weather, it might be this job which I need a vacation from desperately even if it's only a week and a half. I'm finally starting to get excited about getting out of the city.

Sunday Night Special: Soy & Paella

Citrus_soy_chicken As is often the case, Sunday I was feeling bored and lazy and couldn’t be bothered to make anything too ambitious. I wanted to make do (urgh, or is that due—I’ve always been confused) with what was already in the house. I had a bunch of frozen drumsticks and a bunch of mint that was rapidly blackening.

I found something to make use of both in Terrific Pacific. I'm sure I've mentioned recipes (i.e. violated copyright) from this book before. It’s surprising, how much use I've gotten out of this collection over the years. It must be the accessible versions of Southeast Asian cuisine that manage to stay un-bastardized. Though I'll admit the name has never done much for me.

Sometimes I'm bothered when a cookbook is written by someone not native to the cuisine, but that’s never been the case with Anya Von Bremzen. Allowances are made in this book like using anchovy paste instead of shrimp paste, but it's a suggestion not mandatory. Plus, the book is a decade old—I think American tastes have expanded since the '90s.

Sweet Soy and Citrus Baked Chicken

3 ½ pounds chicken pieces
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Salt, to taste
1/3 cup Ketjap Manis or sweet soy sauce
1 small seedless orange, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
½ cup chicken stock or canned broth, or more as needed.

Rinse the chicken pieces well and pat dry with paper towels. Prick the skin all over with tines of a fork.

In a small bowl, combine the coriander, cayenne and salt. Rub the chicken with the mixture. Set aside.

Combine the soy sauces, orange, garlic, orange and lime zests, vinegar, lime juice, maple syrup, mint and pepper flakes in a food processor and process to a puree.

Place the chicken in a large shallow dish, add the marinade and turn the pieces to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the chicken and marinade in a roasting pan. Roast until the chicken begins to brown, about 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Pour the stock into the pan and roast the chicken until cooked through, about 25 more minutes, basting with the pan juices. Add some more stock if the bottom of the pan looks dry.

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter, spoon the pan juices over it, and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

From Terrific Pacific by Anya Von Bremzen. Workman Publishing, 1995.

* * *

Paellafixings While vaguely on the topic of this cookbook author (whom I have a minor fixation with–and you thought I was just nutty for Malan Breton): In March, I bought James a slew of Spanish groceries like sweet and hot pimenton, saffron, squid ink, rice from Despaña for his birthday. I'd been wondering when they'd get put to use. Last week he used a paella recipe from Anya Von Bremzen’s most recent (I got it for Christmas) foray into Spanish cuisine, The New Spanish Table. I haven’t made anything from it, maybe I’m more intimidated by Spanish cooking than Asian.

Chiringuito Seafood Paella
Paella a la Marinera

About 5 cups shrimp shell stock or 3 ½ cups clam juice diluted with 1 ½ cups water
1 large pinch of saffron, pulverized in a mortar
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound monkfish or other firm-fleshed fish, cut into 1-inch chunks
Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
4 to 6 ounces cleaned squid, bodies and tentacles cut into 1-inch pieces
10 medium-size garlic cloves; crushed with a garlic press, 2 minced
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut in half and grated on a box grater, skin discarded
1 ½ teaspoon sweet (not smoked) paprika
1 ¾ cups short-to medium-grain rice
½ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
12 small little neck clams, scrubbed
12 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving
Allioli, for serving

Place the shrimp stock in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the saffron and keep the stock at a simmer until ready to use.

Place 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 15- or 16-inch paella pan set over a single burner and heat on medium until it starts to smoke. Add the monkfish and cook until barely seared, about 1 minute, seasoning it lightly with salt. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a bowl. Cook squid, stirring, until just seared, about 2 minutes, seasoning it with salt.

Push squid to edge of the paella pan, where it's not as hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to center of the pan. Add crushed garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes to the center of the pan, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring the tomatoes several times, until thickened and reduced, 5 to 7 minutes. Using two wooden spoons, push squid toward center of pan and mix it up with the tomatoes. Add the paprika and stir for a few seconds.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Add the rice to the paella pan and stir it gently to coat with the pan mixture. Pour in 3 1/2 cups of simmering stock (5 cups if you are using bomba rice), keeping remaining stock simmering in case it is needed later. Set the paella pan over two burners, stir in parsley, and shake the pan gently to distribute the rice evenly. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes. Periodically move and rotate the pan so that the liquid boils evenly.

Press the clams and the monkfish into the top of the rice and cook until the cooking liquid is almost level with the rice but the rice is still rather soupy, another 2 to 3 minutes. If the liquid is absorbed too fast and the rice still seems too raw, sprinkle on some more stock.

Transfer the paella pan to oven and bake until the clams open and the rice is tender but still a little al dente, about 15 minutes. Check the paella a few times and sprinkle more stock over the rice if it seems too al dente. Remove the paella from the oven and discard any clams that have not opened. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and let stand another 5 minutes (the rice gets better as it stands).

Paella While the rice is standing, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Stir-fry shrimp, a few at a time, adding some of minced garlic to each batch, until shrimp are bright pink and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and keep warm.

To serve, arrange lemon wedges around the edge of the paella and decorate the top with the shrimp. Serve paella straight from pan, along with the allioli, for stirring into rice.

Serves 6 as a first course, 4 as a main course

From The New Spanish Table by Anya Von Bremzen. Workman Publishing, 2005.

Soup du Jour

Ok, what needs to be said about your own birthday? The less said, the better, I suspect. I will say that yesterday I woke up with acne-esque pink mounds all over my face. I was never zit prone as a teen and haven’t had problems as an oldster, so this was unexpected and not cool. I thought I was being smart by starting to wear tinted moisturizer rather than foundation and powder since it has been so disgusting and humid, but my light cosmetics plan must’ve backfired on me. Neutrogena can go to hell.

Soup Then, I was a block from work, on my way to get sushi for lunch and I started to spontaneously “poop soup” (I told you I'm starting to warm to Rosie). This must’ve been payback for using that phrase last week amongst company that hates bathroom humor and told me to stop and I wouldn’t. I won’t go into the detail (you know, job prospects and all) but it pretty much was what it sounds like. I actually think it was an unfortunate side effect of binging on birthday See’s candy that I’d ravaged like a wild animal the night before. Apparently, at 34 you begin losing control of your bowels and get hit with the bad skin you thought you managed to avoid in high school.

Slurpees Aren’t Even the Half of It

Since there aren’t many 7-Elevens around the city (no, I never got into that brief urban nostalgia craze when they started opening in Manhattan last year), I forget how crazy and full of amazing innovations they are.  When I lived in Sunset Park for a few years, I had an On the Run, complete with a small parking lot (atypical for Brooklyn) on the next block. It met the minimal requirements for a convenience store, but they didn’t get too wild with the products (except for the Green Mountain blueberry and pumpkin flavored coffees advertised in the gas station).

I popped in the Bay Ridge 7-Eleven this weekend after a patience trying, but ultimately fruitful Century 21 visit (I’ve really been wanting these green sandals with a cork heel, (they're not jade like in the photo but true color crayon green) but $79 seemed completely overpriced. $59 at Century 21 was still more than I thought was fair, but then I remembered that I had a little birthday pocket cash and all was good). It was a bonanza of bizarre edible inventions. I wish I’d had my camera with me because, duh, a picture is worth a thousand words (and my words aren’t even that worthy). If berry and squash coffees were disturbing, 7-Eleven goes one further with a whole machine devoted to making key lime cappuccino. How did that flavor combo even cross someone’s mind?

Despite not even drinking soda, I was very impressed with their beverage station that was promoting a “flavor blast” concept. You could push a button and choose a squirt of additional flavor like cherry, vanilla or lemon to pep up your Coke, Sierra Mist, whatever. I think vanilla root beer would be nice. It reminded me of how at Farrell’s (I don’t think there are many left in the world) you used to be able to order vanilla, cherry or chocolate cokes that had syrup mixed in.

Creme_egg_ice_cream I did purchase a Cadbury Crème Egg ice cream, if you can imagine. The actual icy confection on a cone doesn’t really resemble the illustration on the wrapper, but my photo didn’t turn out (I’m lame and can’t figure out how to make the object in the foreground in focus rather than the other way around). The top portion is kind of small, smaller than a Drumstick. And there really is a yellow fondant fake yolk in the middle of the vanilla ice cream. It was kind of creepy and incredibly sugary and I loved it.

The P'EatZZa Sandwich is "a marriage made only in 7-Eleven heaven." Well, they said it. I’m more fascinated by the spelling and pronunciation (Puh-Eat-Zuh) of the damn thing than the actual item itself.

There’s nothing novel about selling two-packs of hard boiled eggs, but sometimes simplicity gets you too.

7-Eleven * 301 65th St., Brooklyn, NY

When You’re Here, You’re Family

Perhaps god has taken pity on me because after six months of dread and doom, we’re finally pitching a client that’s fun (to me—I’m sure this would be torture to many). A good deal of my time is spent getting up to speed on topics I know nothing about and/or have no interest in, so I can pass along the info to someone who actually does something with it. Like I’ll research pharmaceuticals that are totally unnecessary (you know, things for dry eye and restless leg syndromes), see how CEO’s in certain industries are being quoted so we can “position” our client strategically, find background on the steel industry in the Balkans. Stuff that makes you want to scratch your eyes out. (And that’s just the work, which I don’t really have a problem with—it’s the people around me that make me wish I was blind and deaf.)

So, we have a major chain restaurant conglomerate to pitch (I can’t say who, though it’s not like corporate spies read my blog). That means I’ll spend the next week studying the competition, i.e. what’s on their menu, what’s the pricing structure like, who their target audience is, what kinds of promotions are they doing, etc. Oh, and we’re supposed to try out the restaurants and one of our client’s brands isn’t in NYC so it would involve a daytrip. Unfortunately, I’ll be in Barcelona while my coworkers are eating cheese slathered coconut shrimp or some nonsense. It’s for the best because the company you’re with greatly affects the chain dining experience, and I’d just end up miffed and traumatized.


Luckily, a friend is having a birthday dinner at Olive Garden next Monday so I’ll be able to indulge in a little mass produced fare with people I like. My birthday is Tuesday and I suspect I’ll be taken out to dinner someplace since I usually am, but I’m never informed until the last minute.

August is the Cruelest Month

Closed_sign I don't know when I got to be so particular about planning vacations. I never even took vacations for a good majority of my life (well duh, I just answered my own question–that's why I'm so obsessive with making the most of my time off). Growing up, we might annually go to Canon Beach for the weekend and rent a cabin from an old couple from church. We went to Disneyland twice and Canada once. That's about it. Oh, in '85 I drove with my dad and sister (my mom stayed home) to northern California to visit some of his relatives that we rarely saw.

Surprisingly, two of these California cousins (who are closer to my mom's age–their kids, my second cousins, are teens and twenties) are coming to my sister's wedding, which is kind of odd, though not in a bad way. Odd, because I've seen these relatives maybe three times in my life that I'm old enough to recall. I did see them once as a grade schooler, once as a young teen, and then again in 2004 when my dad was in intensive care. That's it. They are the few semi-well-adjusted relatives I'm aware of on my dad's side, though I don't know much about the progeny of my father's eight other siblings.

Now that getting out of town is close enough to get excited about–two weeks from today–I'm ironing out details, making restaurant reservations (or rather forcing James to call since he can handle rudimentary Spanish and I'm useless. I'm really convinced that Asia is an easier travel destination than Europe. But then, I just have a weird Asian fetish and am admittedly lukewarm on much of European culture. As far as continents go, I would prefer visiting South America or Australia over Europe.) and getting really disappointed.

It wasn't my idea to go to Barcelona in August, I was just trying to squeeze in a fun side trip from Wales. As it turns out, the entire freaking city is practically closed. Goddamn lazies. I'm trying to cram as much goodness into my lame eight days off work and these people are out of commission for an entire month. Almost every place I want to go to is closed for the month of August. Yeah, I'm being a crybaby, but if I'm going to pay over $900 just to fly to the U.K. and blow good money on blah B&Bs and eat so-so food, I want the rest of my vacation to bend to my will.

I'd wanted to try Cinc Sentits for modern cuisine, Enric Rovira for chocolate, Papabubble for pretty handcrafted candies and Quimet i Quimet for tapas. None of these places will be open. I had to work my way down the list of must-dos. But really, third best will likely wow me since I'm hardly a first hand expert on Spain's nueva cocina.

On the bright side, my first choice restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona (about an hour out of Barcelona) will be open and we got reservations. I've never followed the whole Michelin star thing, but I've definitely never eaten in a two star European establishment (they don't even have twos or threes in Barcelona proper).  I would've gone the three star route, but I've heard better things about Can Roca in comparison to nearby restaurants, Sant Pau or Can Fabes, and reservations are kind of out of the question for El Bulli. I think they were always tough to get, but with the recent mainstream attention the establishment has been getting in the U.S. it must be even harder now.

Ok, enough boo-hooing. I have to go watch Henry Thomas in tonight's episode of  Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King on TNT. James and I are taking bets on how many minutes he lasts before getting killed off. It's going to be hot.

Cube 63

It recently occurred to me that I never ever eat sushi for dinner. Yeah, I pick up deli (technically Sushi-Tei [they advertise this link, but this particular restaurant is nowhere to be seen on the website] which is no Café Zaiya or Yagura. I’m still mourning both after six months in my not-so-new-anymore job neighborhood) sushi a couple times a week for lunch, but that’s not like real. I know, purists get all grossed out by fast food sushi, but those midtown you pick, they toss, salads make me want to hurl. And fast food sushi is cheaper than a lot of midtown mediocrity.

Cube_63_sushi I picked neighborhood Cube 63 for no reason in particular. I think Osaka is the local higher end fave and clearly Hana Sushi is just plain popular. While Cube 63 was nearly empty around 7:30 on a Saturday, Hana, one block over was stuffed to the gills. I would say that those diners must’ve known something we didn’t if it weren’t for the fact that I don’t trust the judgment of most people in Cobble Hill.

We were fairly restrained in ordering. I picked spicy tuna rolls, spider rolls and yellowtail sushi. James asked for scallop sashimi and the 63 roll (spicy tuna, avocado, lobster salad). Yeah, a bit tuna heavy. All in all it was an acceptable dinner, but there was something flat and perfunctory about the experience. Of course it was more enjoyable than deli sushi, which isn’t saying much.

Cube 63 * Court St., Brooklyn, NY