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Old 08-17-2009, 08:40 AM   #1
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Our Brooklyn Food Tour

We just got back from visiting my brother and sister in law at their place in Brooklyn. They like to eat as much as my wife and I so our weekend revolved around food. It was a short visit so we packed as much eating into the trip as possible.

We started off at their apartment eating a varieties of meats from a place down the street from them called The Pig Store. I was not fortunate enough to get to go inside as they were closed on the weekend, but the stuff they got from there was amazing. The sopreseta was the best I have ever had and the procuito was amazing as well. We also had a variety of cheeses from the cheese store. She also put out the best tomatoes I have had all season (with mozerella and basil and olive oil of course). Then there were the provelone stuffed olives. YUM!

After our little appetizers we went to this great restaurant in Red Hook and got a few things that we could all share. We started with the fruit and ricotta salad. All the greens in the salad were grown in the garden a few steps away. We also had the hamichi ceviche, but I would hardly call it ceviche. It was sashimi more than anything and it was out of this world. My wife was even brave enough to try it and enjoyed the taste, but once we started calling it sashimi she couldn't finish eating it. More for me
For the meal we got the crab cakes, which I usually am not a huge fan of, but there were amazing. They had cayenne in them and were balanced perfectly. The winning dishes though were the steak with truffle oil and parsnip mash and the scallops on corn risotto. Of course we could not walk away without desert so we got the flourless chocolate cake and the key lime pie. It was a great dinner.

As we left the restaurant we saw something really cool. It was a pickup truck (with MA plates) and the bed of the truck had been converted into a garden. We found it online and watched a few videos about it. the soil is mixed with styrofoam to make it super light and good at retaining water. It was a really interesting concept.

The next day we went for brunch. Nothing special to report there, but we had a very good meal. Omelets and mini burgers and things like that. The types of things you could have gotten anywhere, but they were very good.

For dinner we decided to get some pizza. The place we picked was not yet open when we got there, but they took our name as they get very busy very quickly. In the meantime we decided to try and find this place they had heard about that sells dumplings and shaved ice. Those are the only two things they sell. It is a very weird combination, but it was exactly what we wanted. We found it after a little searching and got the sampler plate of dumplings which came in pork and beef with cabbage, veggie with tofu, chicken with mushroom, and a fourth that none of us were able to remember after we left. They were delicious. There were five dipping sauces to go with the dumplings too so that always makes it more fun.

The dumplings took about 20 minutes to make so we had our dessert first and got shaved ice. It was 90 degrees outside and we had just walked a ways to get there so the cold ice was very welcome. They had some really interesting flavors. My brother and his ice got the coconut which was very good, but they were sorry they didn't try something more exotic. My wife got lime which was good too. I got lychee and that was the big winner as far as I am concerned. I made my bro and sis in law promise to go back there and try the tamarind ice. I thought that sounded awesome.

By the time we made it back to the pizza place our reservation was gone and there was a 2.5 hour wait to get back in. We were plenty full from the dumplings so that was probably good that we couldn't get a table.

I now have to work out extra to work off all the pounds I put on, but it was well worth it.

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Old 08-17-2009, 08:53 AM   #2
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It must be really, really nice having excellent quality specialty shops to draw upon, not just for yourself, but for the restaurants around you so that they can give you those special foods that we strive for and enjoy no place else! I'm Jealous!!!

Oh, and "Food Detectives" did a thing on water from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. They used that water in making a pizza crust where all of the other ingredients were the very same, and then held a taste test. New York Pizza came out unanimously #1 and they determined it was the water that helped make it so outstanding. - Just a bit of trivia.

Are you going back again soon? Do you take shipping requests?
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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I have heard that about the water many times Arky. There was even a guy who lived in NY for most of his life who owned bagels stores there. He moved to CA and decided to open a bagel store in CA, but the bagels just never tasted right. He ended up importing NY water to see if that would make a difference and it absolutely did. That was the magic ingredient. Unfortunately, it was way too cost prohibitive for him to truck in water so he had to give up on that idea.

Yeah it is amazing seeing all the specialty shops so close. And each restaurant was very proud to be offering local foods that were grown or raised a mere couple of feet away in most cases. One of the places we stopped at for drinks was having a chicken dinner the next Tuesday. We could here the chickens clucking as we had our drinks.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:42 AM   #4
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Man I love that idea. Where we live is mostly chain restaurants. When someone is brave enough to open a free standing independant place it usually tanks because the local-yocals shun it because it's not the "norm". What a shame. I envy your trip.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:18 PM   #5
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One thing I really loved is that everyone was so proud of the food they were offering. Each person took a personal interest in it and it showed in the way the talked about the food.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:07 PM   #6
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If more of the owners and people that work/run the restaurants now took that same pride we'd have a much better product out there.
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