Friday, March 19, 2010

Tony's Newburgh Lunch

Our second stop in Newburgh NY, thought we'd give this more diner-like spot right on the main drag a shot. Pretty much exactly what you want at 9:30am in a small town during the early stages of a 12 hour drive. Long counter with colorful locals screaming about Hilary Clinton at the TV, super nice waitress that refills your coffee every 10 seconds.

The Texas Weiner style hot dog (nice breakfast, huh?) was pretty good with mild sauce, onions and yellow mustard, but lacking the snap of the natural casing dogs down the street at Pete's. Standard frozen french fries topped with whiz for something like $1.45. But the real star was the Tom-Tom Patty Melt, a burger on sandwich bread with cheese and grilled onions, cooked on the flat top like a grilled cheese. Incredible.

Apparently patty melts are not uncommon at old-school burger joints. Hamburgers were served on white bread for years until someone decided to put them on round rolls around 1916. I used to think of a hamburger on bread as sub-par but this is pretty much how I want to eat them from now on. The slider trend is getting stale, I think it's time for some waygu beef & fontina cheese patty melts guys.

Anyway Tony's is a great place to stop if you're up that way, they have breakfast too and pretty much everything on the menu is $1.65.

Tony's Newburgh Lunch
348 Broadway
Newburgh, New York

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hot Dogs at the Philly Airport

At the baggage claim at the Philly airport, I will check it out next time I'm there.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hot Dog Of The Week Recap

Just a quick update on some recent Hot Dog of The Week posts.

NY state has a whole mess of old fashioned hot dog places. So many that it's hard to decide where to go. Stopped at a few on the way up North on Rt 87. First stop was Pete's Hot Dogs in the ghost town of Newburgh, NY about 60 miles north of New York City. A strange, tense mix of old school small-town America mixed with low-income projects, dollar stores and taco stands. I saw more than one pick-up truck with confederate flag bumper stickers.

Pete's was totally empty, and dead silent at 8 o'clock in the morning, across the street from a boarded up diner and an abandoned motel. But great hot dogs. Natural casings Boar's head dogs with a great snap. 2 different kinds of chili, and also a NY style dog with red onion sauce and kraut.

Read More on Serious Eats-
Hot Dog Of The Week - Pete's Hot Dogs

Next stop was Gus's Hot Dogs in Watervliet. Much more happening, also we got there around lunch time. This area is famous for it's mini 3 inch hot dogs - 65 cents each. Very unique spicy sauce that they cook in clay pots. Super nice folks, let me shoot some photos of the grill operation.

Read more on Serious Eats-
• Hot Dog Of The Week - Troy, NY Mini Dogs

Then drove way North to Plattsburgh to try the famous "Michigans" at Clare & Carl's but it was closed. Got some nice photos though. We did try some Michigans at a different establishment but I might have to go back up there and try the best before doing a full article.

We took the Ferry through the ice from Plattsburgh to Vermont where the grocery shelves were stocked with New England buns. Even after 4 or 5 hot dogs that day I had to pick some up to bring home. Anyway, while we didn't have any this trip the buns inspired me to finally give Maine's Red Snappers the HDOW treatment.

Read More on Serious Eats-
• Hot Dog Of The Week - Red Snapper

Pete's Hot Dogs
293 S William St
Newburgh, NY 12550

Gus's Hot Dogs
212 25th Street,
Watervliet, NY

Clare & Carl's (Open Sat. March 27th through September)
4729 NY-9
Plattsburgh, NY

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Vietnamese Beef Jerky

There is no bigger flavor explosion than Vietnamese Beef Jerky. My sweet babe of a friend Cathy Le had her parents bring this back from Vietnam, and kindly shared a whole bag with me. It's shredded, lemongrassy, sweet, moist, super spicy meat heaven. Don't be scared.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Delicatessen, in the former location of "Kibitz In The City" has been remodeled as a slightly upscale Jewish deli, and just opened a few weeks ago. Think Paesano's meets 4th Street.

We went with the classics - one turkey on rye toast, one pastrami, both with slaw and russian dressing. But there's also some newfangled business on the menu. The Philly Bagel Roll, a toasted bagel with wasabi cream cheese and tobiko roe; Bubby's Kitchen Sink Pho - probably the first ever viet/kosher fusion soup - rice noodles in broth chock full of pastrami, chicken and matzoh balls. The Jubano is exactly what it sounds like, a jewish cuban sandwich; then there's the Tuxedo Dog - a foot long all beef hot dog jammed with american cheese and wrapped in bacon.

The pastrami was delicious, slaw was fresh and bright, sandwiches came with 2 varieties of pickle - I'm into it. Definitely be back for that hot dog soon. Open for breakfast & lunch. Around $9-12 for a sandwich but they all come with a free side (slaw, potato salad, apple sauce, latkes, etc)

703 Chestnut St

•check out the menu here

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Hot Dog Of The Week Prints

4 brand new prints of some of my latest hot dog paintings. The Cincinnati Coney especially was printed up due to overwhelming popular demand- the original sold in a few days! I would have to say that Ohio folks might be the most passionate about their hot dogs, followed closely by Chicago, Washington DC and Upstate NY, at least in terms of the response I get from the articles. I'm sure New Jersey will be up there when I finally get myself to Rutt's Hutt and Jimmy Buff's.

If you love hot dogs as much as I do (more?) you'll want to have all of these in your kitchen. There are now 16 different designs available. These are gallery quality 11 x 14 giclee prints done up by the fantastic folks at Silicon Gallery Fine Art in Philly. $29 a pop (plus s&h) or grab a set of 4 for $100 and a big shipping discount.

check out all the prints here-
hot dog of the week print shop

the full articles on Serious Eats-
Torta De Salchicha
Cincinnati Cheese Coney
Perro Caliente
Toronto Street Meat

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Greekburger at Gus's Hot Dogs

Gus's burger with fresh rolls in the background

I wrote about Gus's 3 inch mini hot dogs on Serious Eats last week but failed to mention their awesome Greekburger and Sausage Sandwich. Gus's was probably my favorite joint of this whole trip as far as atmosphere goes. (We stopped at 6 hot dog places between New York, Vermont and Connecticut). Counter filled with locals, comfortable booths, crazy shit all over the walls including flyers for eating contests, friendly service and a big pile of food for 4 people for under 10 bucks.

grab a booth inside or order to-go from the front window

The Greekburger was your standard thin fast food patty cooked on the grill and smothered in Gus's signature meat sauce that they cook in big clay pots in the corner of the grill. Gus's sauce is really unique, in the general "texas greek sauce" family finely ground and really strong, with lots of paprika and something that I couldn't quite put my finger on, cloves maybe? Sausage sandwich was a patty with peppers and onions. The size is perfect, not a slider but a notch smaller than what most of us are used to, great if you want to order a couple of Gus's dogs on the side.

Gus's sausage sandwich

What really makes these burgers (and the dogs) are the fluffy white buns that come in fresh every day from nearby Bella Napoli bakery. Before white burger buns were just a crap product you bought at the grocery store because you're too lazy to cook; places like this got them in fresh from real bakeries.

For years everyone seemed to think a burger needed to have brioche or a hard roll to be "fancy" but the move seems to be towards high quality ingredients paired with the comfort of diner-fast food style.. like Village Whiskey and their sesame bun and thousand island dressing. I wish this trend would last forever but next year it will probably be Vietnamese-Colombian fusion burgers with crushed chips, pork pate, grilled pineapple, asian slaw and lemongrass-blueberry mayonnaise.

Gus's Hot Dogs
212 25th Street
Watervliet, NY 12189-1937

Troy Mini Hot Dogs on Serious Eats
Texas Weiners / Greek Sauce
In & Out Burger

Sunday, March 7, 2010

San Francisco/ Mission 2/ Dynamo Donuts

Oh Dynamo Donuts, your 3 dolla holla donuts, with bacon topping and well designed everything and your super serious donut bakers.

Yes Donuts, along with hot dogs and damned cupcakes, taken to a higher level. I love donuts. Drawing for Food is based on a love of drawing butts and hot dogs and finding the perfect donut. Here for 3 bucks you can get a Apple Maple glazed donut topped with fresh crunchy bacon. Or a banana dulce de leche donut ( sold out ), or a fresh hot cross bun donut, with cardamon and vanilla pastry cream.

Yes the maple apple bacon donut, lived up to expectation. Thanks for messing with my donut fantasies Dynamo Donuts. It's like getting the hot bartender's number, but he lives in San Francisco.

Dynamo Donuts
2760 24th St
(between Hampshire St & York St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 920-1978

San Francisco/ Mission 1/ Philz Coffee/

It's kinda wierd to blog about coffee, it makes me feel super nerdy. In a world of coffee culture that is the West Coast, I was very very happy to have been taken to Philz Coffee in the Mission. Where I actually need to read about all the coffee to order my cup, which is made by the cup. And served to you Dunkin' Donuts style where they ask you how you like your cream and sugar, because they are the professionals they know how this should taste. The milk or cream can be heated up for you and your tea is served to you without the bag and perfectly brewed.

Jane and I got the Tesoro, chocolate in the coffee grounds, brewed, so not super chocolatey or sweet. Served with steamed cream and a slapped mint leaf.

My cousin had the off-the-menu Red Sea blend, served black of course.

Philz Coffee
3101 24th St
(at Folsom St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 875-9370

East Oakland/ Fruitvale/ 4 Caminos

We went to visit my old printmaking professor and good friend Jack Ford. We kind of surprised Jack before he had lunch, so we tagged along for his lunch routine. Which is a quick drive to East Oakland, to 4 Caminos, where he get's the "Jack Special". Or as the waitresses who know him well, call him, "Hack" or "Hackie!". The Jack Special turns out to be what he get's for lunch quite often, just one shrimp taco and one carnitas taco. The tortillas are fresh handmade corn tortillas which were fluffy and the shrimp was only dressed in limes onions and cilantro. It was amazing. The carnitas were salty and had a few crunchy bits thrown in with the soft parts. They came with a side of fresh spicy pickled vegetables.

Super Awesome, just like Jack.

4 Caminos
3800 San Leandro St
(between 38th Ave & 39th Ave)
Oakland, CA 94601
(510) 533-4441

San Francisco/ Parkside 2/ Win's Restaurant

We went Shanghai I guess now we'll go Hong Kong Style.

Won Ton Soup is my all time most nostalgic childhood food. Being from Hawaii this is something that Chinese Grandpas made and ate on Sundays. This is something my grandpa ordered for me until he moved away to San Francisco. This and pink wrapped packages of char siu pork that I eagerly unwrapped to eat with my fingers.

Win's Restaurant was another hideaway place we found on are way down to the beach. Shiny hanging pork and duck in the window is what stopped us in our tracks. The old men chopping up meat in the window were also making fresh won tons and noodle soup. Which were huge and fresh and had giant chunks of sweet shrimp in them. The charsiu was delicious! And the sauce that came with them, normally the tasty oily drippings, was surprisingly gingery and light. I dont know about there other food, but anyplace that can make won ton noodle soup and charsiu this good, I would stick to that. That means the talent is in the window, maybe not in the back kitchen. I was also told there congee was delicious.

Win's Restaurant
3040 Taraval Street
(between 40th Ave & 41st Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 759-1818

San Francisco/ Parkside 1/ Kingdom of Dumpling

My cousin Frank and his lovely girlfriend Jane live in the Parkside neighborhood of San Francisco. Which is a pretty overall a Chinese Neighborhood, which is great for close eating.

Kingdom of Dumpling is a Shanghai style dumpling house 5 minutes from Frank's House. Right off the plane,this place had a line on a pretty Saturday morning. The wait was fast, we were lucky. It's a tiny hole in the wall with sticky tables with the nicest wait staff who really want to feed you after your wait.

The dumplings are all made on site with love and care. We had to get the Xiao Long Bao or the Shanghai soup dumplings. Which are little steamed dumplings filled with soup and pork, which was warming and nice. We also got an order of steamed pork and napa dumplings ( they always come in a dozen for 5 bucks) and of course fresh Chinese Donuts. I kind of wished I got a bowl of sweet soymilk to dip them in or if we were at my parents house a hot cup of Vietnamese coffee. And the guy talked us into the fresh cilantro and bean curd noodle salad, yummy but I wish I got the turnip cake or onion pancakes which looked delicious. I really miss fresh dumplings. But I can eat dumplings forever so it's good this isn't near my house in Philly.

Kingdom of Dumpling
1713 Taraval St
(between 27th Ave & 28th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94116
(415) 566-6143

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

caviar and vermont beer

In Vermont a few weeks ago; Jake & Caroline brought up some caviar that they bought out of the back of a truck in Brighton Beach or something (9 dollars for 4 ounces.. and it was good). I haven't made blinis in over a year but in my line cook days made at least 10,000 of these god damn things for banquets and hors doeuvres and every single one had to be perfect. Anyway I wasn't sure I still had the magic but they turned out great.

Also lots of vodka and some crazy Vermont beers. Vermont is pretty amazing, everything is cheap, people are nice and everyone looks like the hippy version of the LL Bean catalog. It gets a little bit on the quaint side with the covered bridges and Garrison Keillor blasting out the windows of every hybrid car.. but the drunk townies at the gas station and growlers of local beer for 8 bucks made up for it.

If you want to find some dirt cheap russian caviar in Philly I would give Net Cost Market in the northeast a shot.