Tag Archives: pork

Friday Five: Things I’ve Eaten Lately.

I may not have written much during the past few months, but I have had plenty of good food—and become completely obsessed with posting snapshots of said food on Instagram. To the photographic evidence!

1. Bronx pork-a-palooza.

In October, I capped off a wholesome trip to the Bronx Zoo with the amazing — and decidedly unwholesome — lechón at El Nuevo Bohío. The crackling skin alone made the train ride uptown worthwhile.

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Bloody Good Meal.

Jill: Looks can deceive. In the picture below, Verna looks like a kind and innocent woman working in her kitchen to provide her guests with an authentic and delicious Filipino dinner.

In reality, though, she is about to force-feed us pig’s blood. Unlike the pig’s brains we may or may not have eaten throughout the trip, we knew in advance what we were going to have for dinner. (Bethany told us before we arrived in Caba that we would be eating pork blood.) It’s a cliche for a reason, friends: ignorance is bliss.

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Baguio Bites.

Maya: When we stumbled off the bus in Baguio, Bethany had been waiting for us at the depot for nearly two hours—an overturned truck in the middle of the highway had exponentially added to our travel time. Needless to say, we were all in need of a beer (or two) upon arrival; Bethany took us out to her local, a place on Session Road called Rumours, where we got acquainted with a few items that would become familiar territory during the coming weeks. One drink stretched to two-and-a-half, plus a snack, and the combination of warm food and cold beer must have unlocked my jet lag:  Not ten minutes after we’d cleaned our plates, I was ready to sleep. That tiny taste of Pinoy food and culture proved to be the perfect amuse bouche, though. We woke the next morning, appetites whetted to begin the serious business of eating our way through the Philippines.

Jill: That afternoon, we once again found ourselves on Session Road, choosing between two restaurants for our first official meal out. (I’m not counting the loads of snacks we ate on the bus, the bar food or breakfast at Bethany’s because none of those experiences included rice, which, according to Bethany, distinguishes a snack from a meal in the Philippines.) Maya’s tried and true theory of selecting the more populated restaurant brought us to the Tea House, which we hoped would provide us with an introduction to authentic Filipino food.

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Peking Challenge.

It’s difficult to write about a disappointment, especially when it has so much build-up. I made Peking duck, and I made my long-desired scallion pancakes. And when it comes down to it, next time I’m likely to leave the Chinese cooking to the Chinese. Except that it wasn’t a complete loss. The side dishes, the company, the experience and the pictures from my Chinese New Year feast were delightful. And so it goes.

The feast was on the second day of our first big snowstorm, which gave me plenty of time to prepare. Time, it turns out, is an essential ingredient to making Peking duck. My recipe (found on About.com) required my duck—complete with beak, eyes and feet—to hang in a cool drafty place for ten hours. That duck and I spend a lot of time together.

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The Search Begins.

When Maya went on her ramen rant last March, I humbly admit that I just didn’t get it. I know that New York is the trend-setter in food, but I also know that historically, things that are popular are not always good. (Atkins diet comes to mind.) Ramen noodles in broth with pieces of this-and-that dumped in? It turns out that this trend is one I hope lasts. And makes its way to the C-bus.

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Gratitude and Pork Belly.

If what you’re doing on New Year’s Eve is any indication of how your upcoming year is going to go, then I will be well-fed in 2010. I had several friends over to bring in the new year, and, well, we were surrounded by a boatload of food.


Lucky for me, my friends – new and old – brought excellent food to complement the  meal, making the evening a communal event. Terra & Joe brought homemade smoked salmon and almonds. Alex brought a delicate angel food cake with brandy-kissed pears. Michelle showed up with the most beautiful cranberry cheesecake I’ve ever seen. Nathan made salsa. And Michael brought a feast: pomegranate and rosemary themed cocktails, handmade rolls, a pomegranate and spinach salad and Baseball Boy’s favorite of the evening: pears with prosciutto and bleu cheese.

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The Kindness of Strangers.

I was much less itinerant than planned last weekend, unfortunately; the Carnivore’s father was hospitalized, so we were grounded in NYC. It was a birthday trip; I couldn’t go without him, even as starved for travel as I am. Of course, staying in town meant that I had to scramble to come up with a place to celebrate at the last minute; luckily, I keep a long list for just such an occasion.

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His only requests were for oysters and fruity cocktails, and Momofuku Ssäm Bar had both on the menu. Not the best idea for a Saturday night at peak dining hours, but we grabbed a quick drink at a nearby pub, then headed back to the restaurant. We’d barely had time to order a beverage from the extensive list (that’s his Ginger Rogers at the top of the picture, composed of rum, cognac, lemon and ginger, and my ginger-pomegranate-rye sour at the bottom) before we were summoned to the communal table.

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Pork and Bourbon for Breakfast.

I owe you guys an apology. I’ve been holding out on you. While Jill has been attending vegan potluck dinners, I’ve been eating pork. Lots and lots of pork. And it’s been goooooooood.

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Exhibit A: The house-smoked BLT ($9) from swine-and-bourbon–centric Char No. 4, in Brooklyn. Yes, that’s a thick slab of pork belly, deep-fried. Before my mother keels over from the shock, let me say just that if there could possibly be a dainty interpretation of a thick-cut, deep-fried slab of pork belly, this would be it.

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First Date Redux.

My first meal with Baseball Boy was in the parking lot of a Subway off of Cleveland Avenue. This past Saturday, we finally got to visit the restaurant he had intended to take me to on a first date: Ying’s Teahouse & Yum-Yum. Had things gone as planned, I would have been very impressed with both Mr. Baseball Boy and his choice of restaurants. Subway was okay, too, I guess.

I found Ying’s to be both modest and delicious. You don’t go to Ying’s to see and be seen. Rather, you go to Ying’s for excellent food at reasonable prices. You also, it seems, go to Ying’s to get a pot of jasmine tea served upon dishes that your stepmom used during your childhood. These suckers are unbreakable.

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Ying’s, unlike other tea destinations in Columbus, does not charge for a refill of hot water.

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