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Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So, coffee isn't local. Or is it. the LOCALVORE uses the 80% by weight rule. And a coffee is nearly 97% water. So as long as the water isn't imported, then coffee is local.

So here's my list of the best iced coffees. No, I have not been to each and every coffee shop in New York City. No, I didn't hermetically seal 20 iced coffees, rush to my lab and taste them blindly.

What did I taste? Well, all drinks are ICED LATTES and the smallest size. Why a latte? Well, it ensures that an espresso is pulled fresh and thus the concerns over how long as the iced coffee been in the fridge, how often is the tupperware container washed, what detergent was used to wash the container - all are moot.

Here we go:
  1. Cafe Grumpy - I believe that they are the only place that uses a specific coffee roast for iced beverage drinks. It takes a LONG time, but is worth the wait.
  2. Gorilla Coffee @ GORILLA - Somehow, the iced coffee tastes better when at Gorilla.
  3. Taralucci Y Vino - TyV uses a very mild coffee and noticeably fresh/clean equipment INSIDE (at 18th street - note the little kiosk is not very good).
  4. Blue Sky Bakery - they simply do everything very well.
  5. Ciao For Now - A newcomer and the MOST expensive iced latte at 4.50, but the use of Hudson Valley Fresh (also at Blue Sky) gives this coffee a nice mouthfeel. The morning barista does a slightly LONGER pull for the iced coffee.
Notables that were left off: Cafe Regular, Sit & Wonder, Mojo, 9th Street, Joe - the art of coffee (btw, the 23rd street location feels very dirty, no?)
Still to try : Cafe Pedlar, Clover, Simon Sips, Abracao

Sunday, July 12, 2009

a dinner gone right!

cocina alla casa - cooking at our house - has been, well, not great for the last month. We've been uninspired to make anything really tasty.

All that ended yesterday as the farmer's market inspired some creativity.

"Fricassee of scallops & black fish"
Serves 2
Prep time = short
Cooking time = short
Ingredient procurement = moderately difficult
  1. 1/2 pound of Long Island Sea Scallops
  2. 1/2 pound of Long Island Black Fish Fillet
  3. 1 pint non-greenhouse cherry tomatoes (heirloom preferably)
  4. 1 fresh, local white onion
  5. 1 lb. haricot vert, blanched
  6. 1/2 pound Israeli Cous Cous (non-Local alert), cooked like pasta
  7. salt / pepper
  8. Best Olive Oil you can afford
Slice the onions as thin as you can
Quarter the tomatoes
WASH the scallops
Pat Dry the fish and cut into three
Heat Non-stick pan to medium high
Add sliced onions and more olive oil than you think
Just before they burn, add 4 oz water and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt
When there's no more water, add all the tomatoes and a 1/2 teaspoon of oil
stir occasionally and let cook 10 minutes
toss fish/scallops with salt and pepper
add fish to pan
2 minutes later add scallops and 2 oz water
add a little salt and olive oil
after 2 minutes, turn off heat and leave pan alone for 4 minutes

To plate:
mound cous cous
surround with haricot verts
add a piece of fish, 2-3 scallops and some onion-tomato sauce onto the mound