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Five Leaves

Last week my friend in Greenpoint, Sherri, suggested we check out Five Leaves and say hi to our mutual pal who was one of the chefs. Strangely, just minutes before her email I received one from him mentioning that he’d already moved onto another job. I don’t think it had even been three weeks. (For some reason I equate hasty throwing in of the towels with west coasters, which both he and I are. I’ve always had the same compulsion. Even after getting my master’s degree in 2004 and trying to be serious, I’ve managed to breeze through four jobs.) No matter, the new restaurant was still in need of a visit and as the only New Yorker who seems to enjoy riding the G train, it was a journey I didn’t mind.

At 7pm it was still early enough to have a choice of three open tables. Being of the wobbly chairs wedged inches from your neighbor school of style, we picked one of the single two-seaters in the front near the takeout window. Honestly, it didn’t matter; it’s a tiny place. We were still in the line of traffic and next to the bar. I’ve never been to Moto, but Sherri remarked that they looked similar right down to their triangular shapes. That was astute since the same person designed both interiors.

Five leaves ricotta We started with ricotta flavored with thyme and honey (at least I thought it was honey–the sticky substance looks more like marmalade in the photo) and topped with a few fig wedges. The fresh crumbly cheese paired well with the sweet raisin-studded bread. I think the smaller plates might be where they excel.

Five leaves burger It looks like the Five Leaves burger is a classic Australian rendition (though I recently read somewhere that this peculiar item is actually a New Zealand invention). I hadn’t heard of the beets, pineapple and fried egg combo until Sheep Station opened in Park Slope a while ago, and now it seems like these burgers have been creeping up throughout the city. It’s the beets that are the strange component, I think. I declined a bite so I’m not sure how this version was.

Five leaves frisee My frisee was heavily dressed but not off-puttingly oily. The unusually meaty lardons were the highlight of my meal. I know it would be grotesque to eat even a small bowl of cubed pork belly as a meal (well, I guess that's what lechon is but there's nothing remotely Australian about it) but really the egg and lettuce were nearly superfluous. I also ordered a side of truffle fries, which were a little on the underbrowned and soggy side. I do love starch, salt, and I guess the occasional drizzle of truffle oil, so it didn’t faze me much.

The overall consensus was that the food was average, and so too the service—at least by Williamsburg standards (yes, I realize this is just over the Greenpoint border, but it’s still on Bedford Ave.). You may wait eons for food, you might never get what you ordered and that phantom item will most likely show up on your bill anyway. It was hard to tell if the crowd that amassed outside during our hour-and-a-half there was due to sheer popularity or lackadaisical pacing inside.

Sherri described this service type as typically Brooklyn, but I think the cute and well-intentioned yet negligent staff is more uniquely Williamsburg and environs. I wouldn’t incriminate the entire borough. But no one who lives in 11211 seems to care, so no harm is really done. And if you happen to be one of those laid back types who live nearby, it’s worth a stop in for drinks and snacks but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the place for a serious meal.

Five Leaves * 18 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY

As American as Processed Cheese

Lofthouse cookie

Normally, I enjoy a New Jersey grocery shopping excursion (I’m still trying to muster interest in the brand new Trader Joe’s walking distance from my apt.) but this weekend I was too preoccupied to tag along with James.

As a result, items I might normally veto turned up in the cupboard and fridge. The first being Lofthouse cookies. I have extolled their virtues before. I don’t know what the hell they put in these cake like treats (ok, I did see red flag partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredient list) to make them so irresistible.

Lofthouse container
They’re unusually soft and create a satisfying substantial feeling on your teeth when you bite down. Coupled with a thick swatch of ultra-sugary frosting, it’s the perfect sugar cookie. The only disconcerting aspect is why in September they’re selling a version with springy yellow icing and perky sprinkles. I would’ve imagined oranges, browns or blacks more seasonally appropriate.

I try not to eat more than one sweet thing a week so this tray of Lofthouse cookies is big trouble. If I were an eating disordered freak I would either scarf the whole batch then puke or toss the whole container in the trash before I could get any ideas. But I neither purge nor throw away perfectly good food so I’m going to have to learn to get along with the Lofthouses as long as they’re sharing living space with me.

White american cheese

Later, I discovered a plastic-wrapped Styrofoam tray of sliced white American cheese. I’ve never liked those shiny, completely unnatural non-melting orange squares that you can sometimes pick up for 99-cents a pack at fine stores like C Town. This form of processed cheese is thicker and more hefty in texture like the Kraft thick singles.

I love processed cheese. I do. I’d never buy it (my own contribution to the crisper drawer is a raw milk Abbaye St Mere) but I can’t resist its salty, creamy charms. I prefer it to a mainstream cheddar (real Cheddars—I’ve actually been to Cheddar, well driven past the town—are a totally different beast) even the Tillamook I grew up with.

In grade school, kids would take turns helping out with lunch service. I can’t even remember if this was voluntary or not, I think you got free lunch in exchange but it wasn’t a low-income program. For me, the best part was sneaking into the walk-in fridge and furtively pinching a mouthful of grated orange cheese stored in giant rectangular bins on the shelves.

I didn’t outgrow my passion for fake cheese either. In high school, my friend Tara had what I guess you could call government cheese in her fridge, and I know that on at least one occasion I sampled some. Maybe it was gauche, eating a family’s free food, but it was that good.

Thankfully, I’ve never developed a taste for Kool Aid, bologna or Miracle Whip. You have to draw the line someplace. We do have a bag of those individual serving ice creams with little wooden paddles in the freezer, though.

And apparently these types of “cheaper high-margin” products are in. They’re being touted as wallet-friendly according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Lower end rather than premium brands—Banquet frozen dinners, Campbell’s condensed soup and yes, Kool-Aid—are all getting a marketing push. Say goodbye to Pringles Select.

Spirit of ’76

FightLogo_sm_3 Ok, it has now been two months since my birthday and I’ve come to the conclusion that all my fellow 1972ers did this year: it’s ok to make up your age. I was not initially on board, especially since I’m not really dating (and attracting the young‘uns seems to be the point of digit deceit) but the more I think about it—what’s the harm in saying you’re 32? That’s not so young, it's still woefully gen x, no one would ever question it, but it gives a totally different impression than 36 does. And a better one, I might add. I mean if women who look like this can claim to be 37, I have little remorse in fudging.

The only trouble in maintaining this ruse will stem from pop culture references. Like the new 90210 could come up in conversation and I might be tempted to say something about watching 90210 in college (though frankly, I’m more fascinated by how someone can be my height and weigh 100 pounds) and now I’ll have to remark, “Oh, yeah, I watched it religiously in…uh, high school. Yes, high school.” And I’ll have to claim that I’m too young to have seen Star Wars in the theater when it came out, you know, being an infant and all.

And do you know what clinched it? Bonnie Root. Yep, that girl I went to school with who has become a faux-fixation of mine (background here and here). The other night I was on imdb trying to determine if a character I only caught a glimpse of on Prison Break was played Bonnie Root. I didn’t think so, this actress seemed blonder and a few years older. And it turned out that it was someone named Stacy Haiduk. What I did notice is that Bonnie Root has her birth year listed as 1975. Not unless she skipped three grades…

Little Lad’s

Nooooo! Little Lad's has packed up its basket and is moving to Delancey St. I can't walk there for lunch. (8/16/11)

Last month James mentioned some half-secret subway passage he’d discovered that connects the M train at Broad Street to the 4/5. I’m still not convinced that that’s true (would it be the 4/5 at Wall Street or Fulton? Neither seem that plausible). I work a block from the M but that still doesn’t do me any good since I live on the F/G. I’m always trying to find ways of streamlining my commute and will stop at nothing. Even after a year-and-a-half at my present job I’m still in denial that four subway stops can take 40 minutes (an experiment of two F stops, then a one-block walk to the R, then another two stops took me 50 minutes this morning, I’m dead serious. I left home at 9:15 and didn’t get to my desk until 10:05).

I was more interested at his description of a dated subterranean greasy spoon that time had forgotten. Really? I envisioned 99-cent patty melts and woodgrain formica. Maybe you could even smoke at your table.

But I have a tendency to disbelieve people, James in particular because he’s not very observant. All he thinks about is work and his high maintenance mother. I might mess around in a subway passage during the middle of the day (actually, I wouldn’t either—I tend to use my lunchtime to write crap here but haven’t even had the time for that in the past week) but he wouldn’t. It must’ve been remarkable enough that he noticed at all, so a lunch meet up was in immediate order because this sounded good.

We entered the subway station on Nassau Street, below the Chase building. I can’t recall how many levels we descended or how many twists or turns we took, but we ended up in a narrow passageway that no more than two people could fit in at a time side-by-side. And then we were there.

Little lad's exterior

Hmm…faded, kind of like a Denny’s that hadn’t been remodeled since 1981. And photo murals and stained glass too? Even more perfect, the restaurant was called Little Lad’s. There didn’t seem to be menus, no one greeted us when we came in and there didn’t appear to be a counter or cashier. We sat in a booth-for-two and waited. This didn’t seem right. It wasn’t even close to crowded at prime lunch time either. I made James peek around the corner.

Little lad's interior

As it turned out, we came in the back door; the main dining room was on the other side of the L-shaped room and the centerpiece was a small buffet. Signs indicated that whatever you could fit into (no, overfilling) a Styrofoam bowl and plate on a plastic tray would be yours for $3.99. Yes! People mock my $5-or-less weekday lunch rule but it’s really only so I can splurge on dinners–they just don’t see me during the evening.

The food was odd, though. One section appeared to contain cold salady items and the other cart had what I guess you could call main dishes. Two pots of soup sit off to the side with a bag of hearty multigrain bread between them. I then noticed that meat seemed suspiciously absent but this wasn’t even ordinary vegetarian fare. Frankly, everything looked kind of boiled like prison slop. After I heard the girl restocking the blobby dressing respond, “that’s tofu, we don’t serve cheese” to a flirtatious inquisitive customer, I realized everything was vegan.

Maybe the clientele would give me further clues. There seemed to be large number of black patrons, office ladies in groups and solo gentleman. Ok, so this um, soul food? Not like I’ve ever seen before. Or maybe like a rasta vegetarian thing? But everyone was too clean cut. Should I be here?

Well, there were some white people who looked like the types who work in the Financial District but insist on commuting by bike. And a youngish Indian dude in skintight flared slacks, shades and sporting muttonchop sideburns and a pompadour. The staff seemed bizarrely mellow and polite. Too polite.  Something religious, kind of Amish, was definitely at play and I hoped I wasn’t going to be sucked into a modern day cult.

There also appeared to be a window where you could order food cooked on the spot. I wasn’t sure what to make of the first item on the list called a “handburger.” Or the “haystack” at the bottom of the sign. I’m guessing a handburger is a meatless sandwich, but they probably shouldn’t use such a fleshy word in the name. I’m still not sure what the hell a haystack is.

Little lad's lunch buffet

The food has grown on me during my two visits. It’s not really hippy but more bastardized Midwestern. I mean, three-bean salad and raisin-carrot slaw? I'm surprised they don't have animal product-free jello (I guess that would be agar agar, which is the base for crazy-pretty SE Asian desserts). The strange thing is that many of the items taste kind of pickled or fermented. The zucchini was tart and fizzy, so too the tomatoes. Mushy is the overriding texture. I like the beets, tofu dressing and how all the scoops of mysterious substances blend into a big wholesome blob. Their flyers and signage make all sorts of health claims. I don’t fall for hyperbole but my wild blood pressure and elevated sugars can use all the help they can get.

Little lad's entry way

The foyer in what I think is the main entrance has a tv playing sermons and lots of baked goods and fresh fruit on display. On my second visit, I picked up a naturally sweetened apple-cherry pie and James grabbed a bag of lemon herb popcorn. We were rang up by a clean cut middle aged white man that seemed very bible belt and extremely un-NYC. We didn’t get proselytized, just asked, “How did you find us?” A good question.

I later found out that the restaurant is Seventh Day Adventist. I didn’t think that they had any particular dietary restrictions so that is peculiar. The only Seventh Day Adventists I’ve ever known were the family who lived kitty corner to me growing up. I’m certain that I’ve mentioned them before. They stood out, not simply because they were the only African-Americans in our neighborhood but also because the wife had multiple sclerosis and rode around on a motorized scooter, baked cakes from scratch (which my mom thought was outrageous) and the husband was a male nurse. I’m still not sure why male nurses are such a strange concept to people, but they most definitely are. Same for guy librarians.

Part of the appeal of Little Lad’s is that going there feels like I’m snarking out. My favorite book in middle school was Daniel Pinkwater’s “The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death” because I was/is that kind of a dork. The misfit teens would sneak out at night to watch schlocky movies and find places like hidden beer gardens constructed of abandoned railroad cars where they also served baked potatoes.

I guess I can’t truly call Little Lad’s excursions snarking out because out of the blue during a recent company dinner an office mate started talking about the vegan restaurant she goes to every week. It’s definitely a secret, though. When I mentioned that I wanted to write about it she begged me not to and I completely understand why. Luckily, my audience is infinitesimal enough that a mad rush at Little Lad’s will never ever occur as a result of this missive.

Little Lad’s * 120 Broadway, New York, NY

Little Pepper

1/2 Sometimes thwarted plans don’t bother me. Saturday night I had intended to try Flushing’s Hot Pot City. All you can dunk hot pot with unlimited beer? A place after my own heart. But unfortunately it was no more, literally, a dry erase board at the bottom of the staircase read “no more hotpot.” And they hadn’t simply run out of soup--the second-floor space had morphed into a foodless bar.
Ah well, that left me with two nearby favorites: A Fan Ti or Little Pepper. When in doubt it’s always Sichuan. Plus, last time I attempted Little Pepper it was full and I had to settle for Spicy & Tasty (which isn’t really settling).

I’ve been enough times now that I was determined to try new things. However, the cumin lamb was a necessary repeat. I’m still not sure why it’s served in foil, the char-edged meat and onions are clearly the mark of high heat sautéing. Sometimes pools of orange oil are alarming, but not so with Sichuan food. You need that oil.

Also sitting in a wonderful pool of spicy oil was the largest serving of dan dan noodles I’ve ever seen. Normally, these pork-dotted coils come in a small vessel similar in size to a single rice serving. It’s hard to tell scale from the photo but this was practically a salad bowl, and I’m pretty sure they cost less than $5.
I don’t recall portions being so huge in the past. We only ate about a third of each of our dishes and had so much left over that the to-go containers were bulging. But I order with future meals in mind. I noticed the other twosome sitting near us only ordered one braised dish and a vegetable. That’s probably more normal.

I tried branching out and asked for the ox stomach in mashed garlic. That didn’t sound terribly appetizing but I figured it was just tripe, and I wanted to see what a cold appetizer would be like with mashed garlic rather than the usual chile oil. Sadly, it was a no go. Maybe next time. The one thing I noticed was that the tingly peppercorn effect was very muted in all of the dishes that normally would showcase it (these tendons, the noodles and lamb). Maybe it was just an old batch of Sichuan peppercorns—I have the same problem at home.

Cauliflower with smoked pork was one of two pale-on-pale white dishes. I was imagining a crispy, roasted vegetable, which is kind of silly because Chinese do not oven roast (hmm…and this amusing thread appeared right after I wrote this). No, this was a steamed, soupy dish with most of the flavor coming from the very smoky meat. It seemed kind of like an excuse to nibble fatty meat under the guise of eating your vegetables.

Venturing into the braised section of the menu was new for me.  I wasn’t ready for organs, so fish it was. Enough fish for six people. This was also a chile oil-free presentation. The flavor was delicate with a very mild flaky fish (I did not ask what kind). The secret to livening things up is to get a bit of the salty-hot pickled chiles in each mouthful. It’s the difference between a staid and tongue-searing. (9/13/08)

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South Brooklyn Pizza

If I am offered free pizza a few blocks from my apartment, the odds are that I’ll say yes (though I might balk at Papa John’s chicken bacon ranch, also nearby). And so I sampled a few of South Brooklyn Pizza's new offerings  this weekend. I'm cheap and lazy. Why not?
On my first and last visit to South Brooklyn Pizza I was a little put off by the unabashedly burnt crust. But that was my only beef—there weren’t any service glitches and I wasn’t wildly bothered by the margherita-only menu (I never did get a cookie, though).
Not that I didn’t think it was odd to serve only one style of pizza. Now they are trying to rectify the situation with three new pies. Clams and oregano appear to be the highlight. In addition to the clam pie there are also clams on the half shell and baked breadcrumb-topped clams oreganata.

Having never tried Frank Pepe’s New Haven original or even a new-breed Brooklyn version a la Franny’s, I can only judge this on its own. The flavor was a touch salty, though I’m not sure if that came from the clams or the pancetta. I tend to think it was shellfish brininess and not unpleasing. I liked this pizza, but I’d be curious to hear other opinions on it.

I started doubting myself when I was told that this was an oregano pizza because there was no way all that arugula-looking foliage was said stemmy herb. It turned out to be pizza verde.
Now, this is a slice of oregano pizza. The classic pizza herb comes on strong. I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to eat it.
The crust has much improved. Now there’s just a little char, enough to stave off doughiness. Hopefully, this is a new standard and wasn’t a one-night-only fluke. I wouldn’t say that South Brooklyn Pizza is a destination pie like Lucali’s but I think it’s a fine enough addition to the lower end of Carroll Gardens. We don’t have much down here. (9/15/08)

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Bright Lights, Big City (of Light)

 Despite Gourmet not providing me with any solid alfresco porn this month, they offered up a much more tantalizing bit. It seems that Jay McInerney proposed to his fourth wife (Patty Hearst’s sister) using food a vehicle. My favorite cliché!

A ring in the puff pastry at Alain Ducasse in Paris? Louche is one thing, but déclassé, as well? Quel horror.

Unfortunately, I will have to use my imagination for what this sweet (or was it savory?) baked offering looked like.

Trash Talking

I love Singapore to death. I would move there in a heartbeat if given the option. Even though guidebooks view it as a two-day-and-under starting point for more exotic Southeast Asian travel and anyone who knows anything about the orderly island believes it to be authoritarian (I think the only association many Americans have with Singapore is that Michael Fay caning incident) and sterile.

I love it because I love rules (not that I actually follow them) and orderliness. While much of Southeast Asia is smoggy, smothering chaos, Singapore is as easy as (durian) pie. It’s Asia in cuisine but everything is in English and communication problems are few. Air conditioning is in abundance, and everything is spotless; no touts, no street beggars, lots of malls–even the occasional homeless cat is well behaved. Hawker stalls spell everything out for you, almost always in English and often with photos. I think that’s why intrepid foodies sing the tiny city-state’s praises. Calvin Trillin and Tony Bourdain immediately come to mind.  

Thaimenu As I’m researching dining for my second Thailand trip, I’m reminded of how intimidating it can be to face a menu lacking a single English word (minus the baffling “T steak”), even on the Coca Cola logo. Even Beijing and Shanghai weren’t that opaque. Five years ago when I first visited, I was underemployed and actually had the free time to listen to Thai language tapes and attempted to learn a few characters. I’m not so delusional this time. I’ve been formally studying Spanish for over a year and still have the vocabulary of a dimwitted toddler.

But Singapore is not all magical chili crabs and happy bowls of laska. There is a dark side. I’ve found my new cheer-up Flickr pool, Ugly Singapore. I’m frequently petty, it doesn’t take much to set me off or ruin my day. NYC can be exhausting and loud and soul crushing…and then I see people in Singapore genuinely upset about Oreos left in the frozen chicken section at a grocery store and everything is put in perspective. Ok, I’m not uptight at all.

If one stray bag of garbage on the side of the road is enough to set them off, imagine how they’d take the perpetual trash bag heaps in New York or street couches. Now, if they would just spend more time making babies instead of documenting society’s ills…

Thai menu photo from

Flea Bitten


Gourmet really let me down this month. Not only is the entire issue devoted to Paris, a city I try to get excited about but can barely muster interest over, but there’s not a single alfresco photo spread either. What? All those bon vivants eat indoors?

Bien sur, but believe me they do it with great whimsy. The next best thing to an impromptu lakeside picnic is supping in a flea market, correct?

I’m not convinced that the raven-haired gamine eats (that might be a miniature chamber pot beneath her thigh—the French are rustic that way, right?) but the burly guy in the back probably partakes in some butternut squash soup with chestnuts whipped up on a hot plate by the gentleman with a chapeau jauntily balanced atop his curls.

Park Avenue Autumn

1/2 Park Avenue Autumn turned out to be the opposite of Cambodian Cuisine, which was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. I imagined a little upper midtown stodginess mixed with seasonal worship…and not even the right season (yes, I’m still stuck on the public’s refusal to acknowledge September as part of summer). But the food was great, service professional without veering uptight and the menu was on the quirky side.

Or should I say menus. There was a hefty main menu, a giant wine list that was all over the place with call out boxes with titles like “It’s Hunting Season.” I was sold on a Columbia Valley Merlot based on a section called “Merlot’s Great Comeback.” If they say it’s ok to order this shunned wine again, I’ll believe them. And then there was a tiny square pamphlet of a menu featuring Indian Summer specials.

Ah ha, at least they were acknowledging my current pet peeve. I picked Park Avenue Autumn partially for this very reason. (See, this was a ninth anniversary dinner [dating, not marriage. I’m officially a crazy person because nine years is a heck of a long time to still refer to your significant other as a boyfriend. It either makes you sound teenage or like you’re casually dating, which I guess I’m not. But you can’t say partner because straight people who use that term are creepiest of creepy]. Blue Hill was the original choice presented to me but as the partner/boyfriend/roommate always does things last minute, they only had 11pm availability on a Saturday. Perhaps it’s not proper etiquette to meddle in celebratory meal plans, but after nearly a decade there’s no stepping on toes by just making the damn reservation myself. I always have my own plan B.)

I wanted to embrace the wrongness of changing an entire restaurant’s décor and menu over Labor Day weekend when temperatures still hovered in the high 80s. It didn’t even feel gimmicky, though. There’s something smart and utilitarian about the unsnapping, Velcroing color scheme switch every three months.

The room was glorious in earth tones, all right. The bubbly copper lamps were like a lighting version of the Bloomindales’s font. Chic ‘70s. Rope and leather ornaments lent texture while cranberries in glass vessels and pear and cider flavored cocktails let you know it was fall inside these doors. I direct you to the photo on their site because I cannot do the room justice with my point-and-shoot camera. Attempting to capture even so-so shots of my candlelit food was difficult enough.

Park avenue autumn fig carpaccio

Fig carpaccio, hoja santa, goat cheese. This was the most boring thing I encountered all evening. James’ salmon tartare was much more impressive. I’m just not one who gets worked up over produce even when I try. The Mexican herb was a nice touch as well as the mild goat cheese and scattering of almonds I think what threw me off was how cold the fig slices were. I know that “carpaccio” doesn’t imply warm. It just didn’t come together for me.

Park avenue autumn kentucky fried quail, dips and biscuit Park avenue autumn kentuck fried quail

Kentucky fried quail, pear slaw, warm biscuit. This exemplifies what I mean by fun food. Mini fried chicken-style quail legs are not only cute but flavorful, all dark meat with a high crust to flesh ratio. And the little bucket bearing their autumn logo was fitting. Two dips were included: honey and a honey mustard. I preferred the soul foodish plain honey, which wasn’t as cloying as it could’ve been since the diner controls the amount of sticky sweetness. The biscuit wasn’t nearly as good as the warm rolls presented at the beginning of the evening, but the bar had been set high by a cheesey spiral bun that was flecked with what I think was sage. Maybe I had a little too much Merlot but I kept thinking that the magenta-tinged pear slices were beet-dyed pickled eggs.

Park avenue autumn sweet potato fries with ranch

We were tempted by the broccoli with Cheetos. How could you not be? I saw the neon orange squiggles on the table next to us. But sweet potato cottage fries with ranch dip were perfect, non-greasy and crispy-edged. They weren’t too sweet like these starchy tubers sometimes can be. I only wish that there was more ranch for dunking.

Desserts came in yet another menu more like a catalog with glossy color photos, showcasing confections from seasons past. Luckily, I like looking at images of cakes and pastries.

Park avenue autumn banana crepe

Caramelized banana, frozen maple mousse & crunchy bacon crumbs. Played out or not, the dessert incorporating bacon was a must-order. The Blue Hill at Stone Barns banana fritters and pork cracklings dessert is lighter and cleaner. This trio was down and dirty, super porky, unrefined and kind of oily. And tasty, too.

* * *


Broccoli wtih cheetos

Unbeknownst to me, while I was writing this James was recreating Park Avenue Autumn's broccoli with Cheetos dish based on a description he heard the waiter relaying to the couple who were sitting next to us. All I know is that it involves smoked gouda and parmesan. No, he didn't go so far as crafting his own puffed cheesy snacks from scratch.  And neither of us have any idea if this concoction even approximates the original in taste (it does resemble the glimpse I caught) but it’s the thought that counts.

Park Avenue Autumn * 100 E. 63rd St., New York, NY