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Mardi Gras Beer Dinner at the Manchester

You find the most random stuff on Facebook sometimes but this time it worked out in my favor. So I was perusing through Facebook and saw an ad for a Mardi Gras Beer Dinner at a place called the Manchester Pub. So I checked it out and emailed Lawrence which was one of the owners. When I arrived for the dinner I was greeted warmly by him by name which was actually quite nice and unexpected. Its actually added to the warm atmosphere of the Manchester. As I was speaking to one of the patrons I remarked that this is an interested place and didn’t know what to expect. The best way I can sum this up is its an English Pub, ran by Asian owners and running a Mardi Gras inspired beer dinner and oddly all works together. Welcome to New York! So lets start with the menu for the night

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We start off with a shared hor d’oeuvres plate with Fried Pickles, cheesecake and crab stuffed tomatoes. This was served with a Flaming Dr Pepper(Beer and a shot with Amaretto and topped with 151 then lit on fire) and it legit tastes like Dr Pepper. I liked the crab and pickles but wasn’t a fan of the cheesecake.

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Next course was the Barbequed shrimp served with Farro Grits(I personally think that farro grits are better then regular grits but good grits are good grits). The beer it was paired with was Abita Restoration Pale Ale. The interesting fact about this beer is that it was created months after hurricane Katrina and raised over 1/2 a million dollars. That’s pretty amazing and its a great beer.

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Next course was a muffaleta with a twist as it was served with homemade porchetta, sharp provolone and olives. I’m normally not a fan of muffaleta’s because I’m not a fan of olives but this rendition was delicious and tasted great with the Abita Grapefruit IPA(Tastes like Grapefruit and its kind of ridiculous)

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Next course was a Turducken(Chicken and duck stuffed in a turkey and deep fried) served on top of a hoecake(a delicious pancake) and topped with sriracha maple syrup. Its one of the most interesting versions of a chicken and waffles and I loved the New Orleans twist and served with the Abita Turbodog.

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Next course(I know I’m starting to feel full and a little drunk but chug on, its worth it) is Jambalaya which is southern style soupy rice served with Lobster, Andouille sausage and smoked chicken. So good and the smoked chicken is a nice touch to this dish. Its served with Abita Mardi Gras Bock.

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Alright woohoo we made it to the last course and its Beignets(You really can’t get anymore New Orleans then then Café Du monde holla)and Banana Pudding served with a Café Brulot(Basically a coffee with orange liqueur, also lemon peels, orange peels, cloves, sugar cubes and cinnamon sticks all cooked together) and the Abita Abbey Ale. Its a really great way to end out this great meal.

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I can’t wait for the next dinner and should hopefully be in the next 6 weeks. I hope to see you guys there. Its great food, great management and also great patrons. Everybody is so friendly and its different from what I’m used to in New York. Also Chef Matthew Garelick is awesome for setting up this menu.

Manchester Pub on Urbanspoon

 
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That Shaved Ice Thou

Any time I think of shaved ice I can only think of one place and that’s Ono Ono Shave Ice Kauai. I went here last year on my Honeymoon and the Wife and I wanted to try shaved ice in Hawaii for the first time. So many flavors, so little time. We got one huge shaved ice (can’t remember the flavors but I remember it was delicious) with Macadamia nut ice cream at the bottom. That ice cream was so good and so creamy that it was a little bit ridiculous. I need to plan another trip ASAP!

He’s the wife enjoying her first Hawaiian shaved ice.
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Ono Ono Shave Ice on Urbanspoon

 
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Secret’s Epic Adventure

So thanks to my wife we got invited to an epic adventure in the city thanks to Secret starting with a Chocolate Making class at Tache Artisan Chocolate.

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Check out the display
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Our instructor for the evening
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Ready to go with my piping bag
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I won’t quit my day job, I’ll stick to savory over sweets.
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The wife filling up some Chocolate molds
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Check out some chocolate roses I made
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After making all that chocolate it was time for dinner at Artisanal

Our menu for the night
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I never realized how good fondue was and I came to the right place for it. Bread, potatoes and veggies dipped into hot cheese. So good!
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Their lobster Risotto might be some of the best risotto I’ve had in New York legit.
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Check out that huge Cheese selection
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After all this chocolate making and dinner its time for dessert at Maison Kayser

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So many choices so little time. The place is a real tight fit but the desserts are good.

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Once again I want to thank Secret for an epic evening.

Artisanal Fromagerie & Bistro on UrbanspoonMaison Kayser on Urbanspoon

 
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Smashburger

So many burger places, so little time but I’m here to try them all. So I take a trip with my dad into Pelham and stumbled upon Smashburger. Seems interesting enough but I cringed a little bit at the thought of smashing a burger and thinking of all the juices oozing away and being left with a dry burger. Well I was wrong because I guess whoever they go about it creates a meat crust that retains juices and leaves you with a well seasoned and pretty juicy patty. If I’m in the area I’d try out something else besides the classic I had. Also I like there fries but I prefer thin cut crispy fries over large steak fries any day of the week and any time I get an option to add rosemary, olive oil and garlic to my fries I will do so.

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Smashburger on Urbanspoon

 
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Uptown Bacon Haven

So let me get this straight, they made a restaurant and its main purpose is to sell bacon and bacon accessories. Well I’m sold, here just take my money. Ahh the Baconery which is located in the Upper west side is everything bacon and with some many options where do I start. I’ll start by walking in the front door.

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We walk in and look over the menu and feeling a rumbling I decide to get a savory sandwich and get the Pumba which is Sriracha, Bacon, Cucumber, Lettuce. The cucumber is an important ingredient because it helps sooth some of that sriracha burn. The sandwich is good but the bacon is great.

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Also decided to grab some bacon sweets to share later on so we grab a chocolate and bacon covered pretzel rod, a big old strip of chocolate covered bacon and chlorate covered bacon with nuts on top. It really satisfies your sweet tooth and bacon tooth(Its a thing, I think?!). Check it out and enjoy!

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Baconery Café on Urbanspoon

 
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Pork Chili and Cornbread – Ain’t nothing wrong with that

Its been really cold in New York lately so all I want is comfort food. Hope you got 18 hours because you are going to need it to make this Chili.

First off you will need to cook your pork shoulder
Take your 5 lb bone in pork shoulder (or whatever amount you want to use) and rub it with salt, pepper, brown sugar, onion powder and garlic powder.
Place it in your slow cooker with 12 oz of beer (I used a nice lager for this)
Let it run for 8-10 hours so basically put it in before you go to sleep
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Basically when its done it should be easy to tear off the bone
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You should be able to break it apart with a fork into small chunks and discard of the big bone.

Now get will need to get your veggies ready.
Chop up 1/2 a yellow union and a whole red and green pepper
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Add back your shredded pork and veggies into your pot.
Also add 1 can (28 ounces) of tomato puree
1 can (28 ounces) of crushed tomatoes
1 can (19 ounces) of black beans, drained and rinsed (black beans are my preference but you can use kidney beans
1 can (5 ounces) of tomato paste
6 tablespoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of smoke paprika
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

Mix well and let it cook for another 8 hours
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In the meantime while your chili is cooking why don’t you make a nice side. Some Honey jalapeño cornbread.
You will need
6 Tablespoons of melted butter (Its super healthy I assure you)
1 cup of cornmeal
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of jalapeños (deseeded and sliced thin, about 2 jalapeños)

In a large bowl mix together your dry ingredients
In a smaller bowl mix together your eggs, milk and butter.
Pour your milk mixture into your dry ingredients and stir until there are no dry spots.
Also add in your honey and jalapeños and stir a little bit more. It’s fine if there are some lumps in your batter.

Pour your mixture into a greased 8 inch square tin.
Cook in your oven at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes.
Test it with a toothpick (If your toothpick is clean then you are good to go)

It’s been anywhere between 16-18 hours and the food should be done by now.

Pour yourself a bowl and add cheese and some tortilla chips and dig in!
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Thai Market NYC

This has got to be one of my favorite Thai places in NYC. We found this spot years ago when my wife lived on the Upper West Side. Now that I live in Washington Heights I’m actually just to lazy to go over there as often as I like. I went there this past Saturday and it’s just as good as it always is. Also I forgot how strong Thai whiskey is, it really sneaks up on you. Our go to dishes are the Chicken Pad Sapparod(pineapple, cashew nut, scallion, sweet & sour sri-ra-cha sauce. Also order a side of sticky rice with it.) and the skirt steak (marinated, served sliced, with sauteed vegetable, chili garlic puree, sticky rice). Always pleases us! This time I actually didn’t take any pictures but here’s a video review.

Thai Market on Urbanspoon

 
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My time in Culinary Arts

I thoroughly enjoyed taking Culinary Arts classes at City Tech in Brooklyn. When I decided to leave I felt kind of weird and like I was letting myself down because of the ideas I wanted to do but I realized I can do whatever I want in Culinary degree or no degree. Also the timing was really bad with a full work schedule and wedding coming up but I don’t want to make excuses. Now I just want to show pictures from my Baking and Culinary Arts classes. I don’t remember the names of all the dishes that were made but enjoy. I sure did and those ten pounds I gained didn’t help but oh well.

Doing cuts like this are the bane of my existence but at least I know how to do them.
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Fried eggplant with fresh made tomato sauce
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Potatoes for days
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More Potatoes for days
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I know the middle is French Onion soup but the others slip my mind
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These right here are the reason I gained weight so quickly haha
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This didn’t help either but it was delicious. I love making pasta by hand. If you have the time(actually make time for it) and room for it then do it
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Blueberry and Apple Pie. I also don’t like buying crusts because making them is so easy.
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So much breakfast, so little time
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Practice, practice, practice, because you don’t want to make a brown omelet for you final(I actually did practice that and my classic French omelet is on point)
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I just want to say that I hate butchering fish. It’s the most annoying satisfying thing to do.
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So much salad, so little time
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Baking like a boss
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Teamwork at its finest
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I think that was our final cooking day before finals. That chicken was so good
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That beef was also really good and rich
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The two cakes I made for my final. I was proud of those cakes and they were also devoured quickly by my wife’s office and mine.
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If you made it through all the pictures then Thank you. I just wanted to share some of my experiences. What I took away from all this was some decent knife skills and a greater love for food. I’m still working up the courage to do an underground dinner and trying to sell food mobile this summer. Just things I’m working out in my head and hoping to break on through to the other side.

 
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Divine – Rhode Island. Divine Italian food indeed!

I’ll start this off by saying I’m really surprised how much good food you can find in the Warwick, Rhode Island and the surrounding areas. Normally in the summer months I’ll visit my in-laws up in Rhode Island and on occasion we go to Divine which is an Italian restaurant. It’s a very simple menu that is done very well. They have one of the best appetizers I’ve had in an Italian restaurant which is a Black Angus bruschetta. When you think of a bruschetta you think of toast bread topped with tomato and basil. Their version is topped with angus beef and a béchamel sauce that is so delicious that I wish they could deliver it to me right now. For the entrée I choose to have a 4 cheese baked pasta. Baked pasta is just one of those dishes that I can’t get enough of. It’s so simple but when its well done its all you can ask for in life. Also when you add 4 cheeses it makes it that much better.

Can’t wait to head back up there in the summer.

.DiVine Italian Home Cooking on Urbanspoon

 
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How about some Chinese food in the Heights

I was meaning to do this post before the new year but ish happens. So the wife and I decided after a very large Dominican Christmas Breakfast at my parents house and nap that proceeded that we wanted to order out for dinner. After watching a Christmas Story marathon for those past 24 hours I wanted some Chinese food. Golden Star is one of my neighborhood Chinese restaurants and the only one that has Pan fried noodles in the area (my wife’s favorite and only dish I swear she will order) so if she wants Chinese food we are ordering from there. I personally am not a fan of their food, its just a little bit to bland and also when you have Chinese and Japanese in the same restaurant things start to get all mucked up in my opinion. Chinese Spanish on the other hand is the greatest fusion ever and you can kick rocks if you think otherwise. Nothing beats an order of chicharrones de pollo sin hueso with a house special fried rice. That shit is magically but I’m really getting sidetracked and I get to this in another post. Anyway I decided to go with the classic of Americanized Chinese food, Sesame Chicken with pork fried Rice and an eggroll.

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The chicken tastes ok but a little bit rubbery at times and the rice is only ok. Their eggroll I have never been a fan of but I end up ordering it on principal because I want an eggroll with my Chinese food (Americanized Chinese food that is). What do you expect, it was Christmas but I was content with life because my wife was happy with her food. They make a decent Pan fried noodle at least.

I don’t know why its listed as Lucky Star, that might be the old name but its Golden Star now.
Lucky Star Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 
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