Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spartan Souvlaki

image courtesy of The Porkchop Express

A few weeks ago, some friends and I trekked all the way to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn for dinner. Tom had read about Spartan Souvlaki on the blog, The Porkchop Express. Apparently every Saturday they roast two whole pigs! The last time I had roast pig was at someone's house in Boston and they dug a pit in the backyard and cooked the pig in it for hours (it sounds disgusting, but it was good). We were all very excited.

Sarah and I got there a little after Tom and Gina. They had already ordered some appetizers, a spinach pie, a cheese pie, and some sausage. Since everything there is made to order, it takes awhile to come out, but it's definitely worth the wait. The pies were especially good, not too crispy, and cooked to perfection. It was akin eating comfort. We were trying to figure out what was in the cheese one because it tasted both sweet and salty - the waitress told us it was a combination of feta cheese and ricotta.

Just as we were gearing up to order a plate of roast pig, the waitress told us that they had run out and that ideally, we should get there between 5 and 7pm (who eats at 5pm?) next time. But that was the whole point in coming! For the pig!

As we were looking at the menu to decide what else to order, George, the owner, came over with a small plate of roast pig. He said it wasn't much, but since we made the journey for it, he thought we should at least taste some.

How nice is that? The roast pig was delicious, moist, juice, rich and not overly flavored so that you can taste the pork (according to The Porkchop Express the only seasoning is some oregano-seasoned salt). Apparently, if we had received a proper plate it would have included pork from all parts of the pig.

The rest of the dinner (a gigantic tomato salad, grilled octopus, lamb and chicken kebabs) was also amazing. It all felt a bit surreal, sitting outside surrounded by ivy eating great food and in a part of Brooklyn I would never venture to.

When we got the bill, it seemed a bit low for all the food we had ordered. Then we realized that the waitress hadn't charge us for the appetizers. Since everyone at the restaurant was so nice (and we got a free plate of pork), we told her. She was very grateful.

We certainly didn't want karma to kick us in the butt later on, especially if we wanted to (and are definitely going to) go back to Spartan Souvlaki. It was a trek, but it was worth it.

Spartan Souvlaki

6820 8th Avenue
Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 748-5838
Monday-Saturday: 11:30am-10pm

Cash only

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tiffin Lunchbox

While browsing on The Curiosity Shoppe the other day, I saw a cute stainless steel lunchbox made by To-Go Ware. Called a tiffin lunchbox, it is a lunch carrying system from India where you can put different foodstuffs in each compartment and the lid doubles as a plate. According to Wikipedia, in South India the the term tiffin is generally used to mean an in-between-meals snack. I have seen other lunchboxes like this, but being a great fan of plastic Tupperware, I'm not so sure I can make the change.

Then, today while flipping through New York Magazine I saw a Design Within Reach ad for the Tiffin Lunch Box Set, three different lunch boxes of different sizes. At a whopping $85 for the lot (who needs three? maybe a family?), I began to wonder what these would cost in India. Heck, these may be even made in India. How ironic would that be?

With this price tag in mind I went back to To-Go Ware's website to check out the price of their tiffin lunchbox (an aside: is it lunchbox or lunch box? According to Dictionary.com, if you type in lunch box, it says to see lunchbox), and saw that they have updated their product and that it begins shipping on 9/17/08. It also costs $18.50 and comes with a sidekick tiffin for dressings or sauces.

Let's compare the tiffins.

The old tiffin from To-Go Ware is cute, maybe a bit too cute and roundish. I think I would feel like a Japanese school girl carrying it around. Plus, since it seems to taper up to the top, I'm not so sure how much food it can hold.

Base Pot - bottom diameter : 6.5", top diameter : 2.4", Height : 2.4"
Upper Pot - bottom diameter : 5.5", top diameter : 5.1", Height : 2.2"
Plate - 5.9" diameter
Total Height : 7.3"

The new tiffin lunchbox from To-Go Ware seems more grown up and a little industrial from its hard edges, which I like. Plus the sidekick tiffin is super cool. It is also a bit bigger than its predecessor.

Pot dimensions: 6 1/2" D x 3 5/8" H
Assembled height: 6 1/4"
Sidekick: 3 1/2" D x 3 1/8" H

Design Within Reach's tiffin set is a nice balance of hard and soft edges. I have this love/hate relationship with good design and the huge price it carries with it, but I do like these tiffin lunchboxes. Too bad you can't just buy one. DWR didn't give specific measurements for each one, but it seems like the smallest one may be a bit smaller than To-Go Ware's.

Height: 4–7.5" Diameter 5.5–6.5"

Final verdict? Well, since we have lunch catered at work I never bring lunch, so I don't need one, but I'd probably buy To-Go Ware's one since I like it and I like supporting small businesses.

Which one, my dear readers, do you like? Or do you know of other cool lunchboxes? My first lunchbox was a pink My Little Pony one with a matching thermos.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Unlikely Combo

image courtesy of Daily Mail online

Just learned from Faded Youth Blog (my favorite site for celebrity gossip) that Gordon Ramsay and Posh are opening a restaurant together in LA!

Ramsay says, "
“Yes, it is true that Victoria and I are setting up a restaurant in LA together. I’m really excited. She’s really keen to focus on a traditional English-style menu, like bangers and mash, fish and chips and such like.”

While I'm a huge fan of anything that Gordon Ramsay does, I'm not so sure about this unlikely partnership...but maybe it'll help Posh but on a bit of weight.

Ta for now!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Whole Foods Tribeca

image courtesy of Whole Foods

Last night I went to Whole Foods Tribeca to get some Citrasolv (I stupidly got some oil on my brand new microfiber sofa and read that this might get it out). I called them beforehand to see if they had it and the employees there were so nice on the phone and checked for me.

I had first seen the Whole Foods Tribeca when I went to Bed Bath and Beyond a few weeks ago (they're in the same complex). From the outside it didn't seem that there were that many people inside, certainly not nearly as many as the one in Union Square. So I was delighted when my expectations came true last night- there weren't that many people there and I could walk around freely. It was amazing.

After I picked up my Citrasolv, I spent awhile walking around looking for other things to buy just because I could, but didn't pick up anything else. When I went to go check out there were long lines. It seemed like all the cashiers were really slow, especially in my line. My sense of time this week has been off though (I've been working so much and feeling zombie-like) so I'm not sure how long I actually waited in line, but it seemed like it took FOREVER and I was only buying one item.
It's a new location so I will give it some slack as I'm sure the employees will pick up speed.

I definitely recommend going to this Whole Foods.
I might kick myself later when other people figure that this is the Whole Foods to go to and it becomes crazy busy like the others, but I thought everyone should know.

Whole Foods Market Tribeca
270 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
Store Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week.

P.S. In case you were wondering the Citrasolv got the stain out of my couch. Yay for orange-based cleaners! Plus, it gets extra points because it's good for the environment.

P.P.S. I'm writing this post on the Bolt Bus on my way to Boston. It has free wifi and plugs for your computers! An interesting aside: When I was waiting on the subway platform this morning to get to said bus, someone on the other platform yelled in a high-pitched shreikiing aggressive voice, "Does anybody know if this train is running?" I glanced briefly to see a crazy old woman. A couple of seconds later she yelled, "What the fuck are you looking at?! I'm just asking if this train is running!" I glanced up again to see a girl on my platform mutter, "Nothing," and look away. Poor thing. The old woman began walking down the platform possibly to look for a station attendant. Then this old man on my platform began saying, "That woman is crazy," over and over again, to the point which I thought he might be a little crazy himself. Now, you know someone's really crazy when another crazy person thinks so.