Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mo Pitkin's 1/24/06

Ever since I read about Mo Pitkin's I've been dying to go. They positioned themselves as Juedo-Latino restaurant on where else but Avenue A. Think Jewish comfort food, chorizo and Manishevitz-tinis.

We met our friend Amanda for some noshes and catch-up at their East Village location, following a long meeting with our wedding photographer. I needed a drink.

The center of the menu offers specialty cocktails, JB and I each got a spiked egg cream, mine with Stoli Vanilla and his with chocolate vodka. It was like starting with dessert. I could have had 3.

I wanted everything on the menu. They have brisket, roast chicken, matzoh ball soup, cuban sandwiches, you name it.

We settled on the following -- an order of latkes to start, a mo pitkins platter for Amanda, a Mo Burger for JB and deep-fried macaroni & cheese for me. As you can see, we opted for Jewish, not Latino.

In short, the food is good, but it is a little gimmicky. The latkes were fine, better than the ones JB tried to make in a soup pan in December, and surprisingly the applesauce was superior with lots of cinnamon. I didn't have any of the items on Amanda's sampler that included deviled eggs, chopped liver and lots of veggies, but it was served on a seder plate, so that has to be good.

The burger is one of their trademarks. It comes with a shmear of chicken liver and a fried egg. It was too much for me, sort of ripoff on the DB Burger, though not a bad deal at $11.

And then there was the mac & cheese. It was a brick of breadcrumbs sitting in velveeta soup. Inside was perfect macaroni & cheese. This side order was more than enough food for me, I'd argue that it is a meal for two.

An hour later, I'm still stuffed and probably will still be tomorrow. But isn't that the point of good Jewish comfort food?

Until we eat again, KLB

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Berger Review! Burke in the Box, 1/18/06

It seems that everyone wants to get on the burger train these days. First it was Daniel Boulud, then Danny Meyer and now the latest entry, David Burke.

You'll find Burke in the Box at Bloomingdales, believe it or not. You can enter from the cosmetics department or 59th Street. The idea is smart, have a snack and keep on shopping.

JB and I stopped in for just that in between another one of my all-too frequent visits to the Bobbi Brown counter and a quick movie.

We opted for the sliders which at $9.95 include 3 mini-burgers in haute-cuisine style. They looked terrific and tasted terrible. A serious miss.

The meat was completely dry and the brioche bun was hard. The highlight was the lone cherry tomato atop the bun secured by a toothpick.

This burger is not worth it, too bad, because I would have been a very regular customer.

Until we eat again, KLB

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Yum! 1/16/06

I try not to eat at restaurants that are named for the sound you are supposed to make while eating their food. But I can't help myself at Yum.

I learned about this hole in wall, real dump of a place on chowhound.com. It looks like nothing, but the Thai food taste is all there. Located on 44th Street between 6th & 7th, it is the perfect place if you have only 30 minutes to eat before a show. And it is cheap, $7.50 is the high price on most menu items and the portions are huge.

As we trudged out of Penn Station yesterday, JB and I considered our dinner options. Pizza from the guy downstairs or leftover lamb from Sunday night, we both agreed on Thai food. The lightbulb went on and we wheeled our bag over to Yum for some takeout.

It was worth the trip. The food stayed warm in the taxi home and was the ideal Golden Globe watching fare. I had my pad see yew, JB had his pad thai. It was just that easy.

Until we eat again, KLB

The Palm (East Hampton), 1/14/06

I think its red meat week at the Bergers. After Paul's on Thursday, we were invited to a celebratory birthday dinner for our sister-in-law Melissa at The Palm in East Hampton in Saturday night. The Palm, for those of you who don't know, is a temple to steak.

I'd been to Palm Too and Palm West both in NYC, and JB had been to Palm Too (with me!) and to the Palm in EH before. Actually, it was on his bachelor party weekend so I didn't have too many details and I was excited to try it for myself.

We sat for dinner at 6:30 and the restaurant was mobbed. Families mostly, each with a kid or two, including ours, jammed each table. It was old home week for half of our table who knew the groups on both sides of us. To say it was a scene was an understatement. You'd think it was Boca over Christmas, not Martin Luther King Day in the Hamptons.

Nonetheless, I was there for the steak (and the company of course). We tried to stick to Steakhouse favorites. 4 ribeyes and 2 strips. Sides of creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, green beans and broccoli. Salads all around from caesar to iceberg.

I was the only member of the clean plate club. 12 ounces of steak is no match for me. The first bite was the best - warm, slightly greasy, juicy steak. As I sat, talked, drank and continued eat, the steak became less juicy but kept its flavor. And while I almost threw in the napkin with about 4 bites to go, I perservered after a 5-minute break focusing on the sides.

The sides I had were tremendous with tons of garlic in the green vegetables. We learned the secret ingredients of the mashed potatoes, corn starch and flour, and found them perfectly whipped. I did not try to the creamed spinach, but JB found it a bit thick. There's flour in there, too.

No one had room for dessert but for a birthday we all made the sacrifice. The key lime pie was excellent as was the chocolate mousse pie.

All in all, a great meal. I did not see the bill, nor did I want to, and I can only imagine the cost. This is not a cheap dinner by any means, but worth a splurge to your wallet (and your arteries) once or twice a year.

Until we eat again, KLB

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Berger Review! Paul's 1/12/06

Boy I have missed these Berger Reviews. Its been a busy beginning to 2006 and today I finally had my first burger of the year.

I met JB at Paul's on 2nd Avenue near 8th Street in the East Village. According to JB it's a "dive" but who doesn't love a good dive. I certainly do.

Paul's is full of NYU students, wanna-be NYU students and people like us who read that Paul's has one of the best burgers in town. There were even a few tourists in the corner, complete with camera and all.

JB got there first and was moved to a few different tables before I got there 15 minutes later. (Note: I was not late, he was early!) He was disgruntled upon my arrival but his mood quickly picked up when we got a back table against the wall.

Burgers are the thing here. I ordered a mozzarella burger with grilled onions and JB opted for a cheddar deluxe that also came with raw onion, lettuce, tomato shoestring fries. He also splurged on a vanilla shake.

We noshed on the complimentary pickles and watched Jeopardy on the big screen while we waited. The milkshake came first which was mostly milk and little shake.

The burgers followed quickly and were 8 ounces of delight. They were greasy, flavorful and cooked to our specifications. They also got it right with the bun which was slightly smaller than the burger so you weren't stuck with a boring bun at the end. The shoestring fries were top-notch and there were plenty on the deluxe for both of us to share.

At the end of the meal, we'd spent less than $20 and were more than satisfied.

So the question remains, is Paul's the best burger? Probably not, but it's up there. We have some more burgers to review.

Until we eat again, KLB