Friday, December 24, 2010

3, is the Magic Number!

Bob Dorough- Three is the Magic Number

Happy Birthday to me (HowfreshEats) and me (Howfresh)!!! 3 years since I stepped on the scene. Originally a gift that was meant to keep giving, but writing's become more a chore than the fun, creative outlet it's supposed to be. We've been slow motion for the past year or so, only 17 posts thus far. A tad more frequent than that female friend. Don't fret- engine's revved, foot's on gas, optimism for numero cuatro. I do appreciate the few readers that have stuck around- those stubborn mufuers.

De La Soul- Magic Number

This the type of soiree we're talking about. That photo is more of a reenactment but you get the picture. Less pigs at my party. I'm in to more stand-up broads. Peep the cake though. We had the sparklers sparkling. I see my man Puerto Rico in the corner. What up playboy!!

Then shit got crazy. I really have no explanation other than shorty wanted cake on her bum! I ain't eating off it though. Don't really know her too well. Kind of pissed cause the artwork and frosting was PROPERS. She was expeditiously removed from the venue. We're too highbrow for these sort of shenanigans. And her boobie's looking all sorts of retarded, tampered with steez. We only deal with Mensa itties!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh Shit! I knew I forgot something!

My blog.

Here's hoping it doesn't happen again.

I'm glad I was able to have Dennis Franz portray the melon slapper. NYPD Blue was my shit.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Come on the Blog like duh duh duh duh, With Some Fugazi Tickets & a Fitted...

Jay-Z- Jigga That Nigga

If anybody knows Martin @ 212-960-3080 tell him I'd like to speak with him. There seems to have been some sort of miscommunication. I said I wanted real tickets that admitted entry. Not the kind that leave you embarrassed at the gate short $250. I need to be more clear next time. Cocksucker.

But at least I get to create my own rendition of the Mastercard Priceless ads:

Fresh out the box BX Nike Air Force 1s- $135.

Crisp Yankees World Series '09 fitted- $40.

Section B4 Jay-z/Eminem tickets with invalid barcodes- Priceless. Literally price-less.

50 hours have passed since realizing I was duped, played, treated as a mark, etc. I'm over it. Nobody wants to lose money, but more importantly I really wanted to be posted up in centerfield in Yankee Stadium. Hallowed ground where the Mick, Joe D, Rickey, Bernie Baseball and so on snagged fly balls and grabbed their crotch. I am aware that none of these players ever played in A-Rod's cribbo but we're discussing the legacy of New York's CF. It's all for naught since I never made it past the turnstyle.

I was giddy all day. Shit, I wanted to get fresh. How Fresh? Easter in September. Hit several sneaker spots but nothing caught my eye. Not that I don't have special event jumpoffs, just aware that kicks could get mightily fucked the fuck up when there are a lot of feet around. Point is I was hyper than the hyper.

I was comfortably lounging on the BX 12 stuck in traffic over the Harlem River when I got the BBM telling me the terrible news. Somebody tried the tix and was denied entry. To say my mood changed with the quickness would be quite the understatement. Having copped off a dude from Craigslist we joked that we'd be cloud 9ing it till we got 86ed at the stadium. After the laughter comes...

From what I caught on 161st St., the show sucked. Sound was terrible. Haha. Nah, I make chistes. Jiggaman brought out Mary for "Heart of the City". That right there was worth the price of admission. Everything else would be a bonus. Especially Drizzy and Nicki. Pardon me while I fart. Who am I kidding, peep the H-Pod and you might catch me with the baby bills crew screaming "Free the Baby F Weezy!!" Then again you might not.

The conclusion we came to is as follows: The tickets were real but the barcode was used with a matching e-ticket or the tix were put on Stubhub thus invalidating the barcode. The black circle is from a scalper I was talking to. He put a lighter to the bottom and said that if a black circle appears and the ticket doesn't burn it's a real ticket. Exactly what happened. Doesn't make matters any better. Just taught me and others that this ticket shit is not a game. Doubt I'd cop tix off C'List ever again unless escorted to the gate.

You didn't think this would end on a sad note? Never that. Headed into the city with my drunk corporate connects. I was sober and fairly miserable. After several attempts at finding grub after 11pm on a Tuesday we found ourselves at PJ Clarke's under the Empire Hotel on 63rd and Columbus Ave. Open till 1am 365 days a year, so they say. Through the glass I saw "Kusshis" on the chalkboard over the raw bar. The mood changed. Puppydogs and ice cream came back into play. Amazing how an oyster can change the color of my mood ring. Ugh, pardon and fuck me for that one. Just paraphrasing my boy Sammy Sifton who paraphrased...

Not the best Kusshis I've had. Smaller and not as firm as usual. Also lacking that dynamic taste experience- no briny, sweet, cucumber combo. Salinity was the main note. Shell fragments were a tad too many. Graveyard shucker needs to hone those skills. We split 2 dozen in which I must have consumed 18? Good looks Arc-doggy. And the skirtsteak? Wow. Impressed. Butter soft, no gristle. Delicious. Fall off the bone baby back ribs? Yes indeed. Tender as the talent (not on stage) in Yankee Stadium.

One last thing for shits and giggles: Waiting for a cab on 161st and the Concourse during Em's show I pulled out the camera to take a pic of the fireworks coming from the stadium and what appears? "No Memory Card." Now imagine I was in there and no card? Aw man homie. Rookie moves coming from a vet are the true definition of hustling backwards.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Who You Know Fresher Than How? Riddle Me That....

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You're far too kind (for still checking out HFE)...

Jay-Z- Encore

Now can I get an encore? Do you want more????? Shit, it kind of makes sense. Now what the hell was I waiting for??? I've been gone for close to 60 days so an encore is in store for those still in attendance. It's safe to call this an encore, hopefully a permanent one, as the content and themes are still the same. I want my residency back.

I see the irony too. How fresh? Fresh??? What the fuck are you talking about? Dormant's more like it. Not a coma because I've been moving around. Heavy in the streets in fact. Nothing rotten or putrid though. No nasty stench when you walk in the room. I kept the AC on high so not to let all the produce go to waste. But you can only look at the same zucchini and red pepper for so long. Don't worry, we got some shipments on the horizon. No Fresh Direct, we hit straight from the farm. Please wipe your dirty footwear on the welcome mat. This time of season is special too- tomatoes!!!! I love me a good tomato. Matches my all red Nike Air Max '09s.

Freeway- Where U Been

Howfresh where you been????

Between eating, drinking, traveling, going to shows, listening to every new Cam record ad nauseum and hand-stitching the fitted cap above, where could I find the time? My clock only has 24 hours in day. It's pretty amusing that most of the things I partake in are fueled by the notion that I will write about them (eventually). Eventually finally knocked on my door so let's crack those knuckles and get the keyboard keyboarding. Believe you me, I got material. Classic Material!! Classic Material!! Howfresh Eats with the Classic!!! Classic Material!! Classic Material!! Now all I need is the discipline. Self-control is far from my strong suit.

We all know I love the H. Unhealthily? Obsessively? Narcissistically?? H-ubristcally?? I disagree with the last 2. Please don't misinterpret my H-ness for conceit. Personally I find it anything but the truth but there are some H-aters out there. Unfortunately the H Well is rather arid. There are some joints out there but the idea of shelling out $60 plus for a fitted doesn't agree with me anymore.

So we improvise. Think outside the box (or front panels). And now an entire new universe has been introduced. A while back I copped a Frank's Chop Shop joint and worked around the "F". The double-sided extra thick bill isn't aesthetically pleasing and compromises the fit of the entire cap. A shame because there's a plethora of them. "F" caps are hard to come by. Marlins, U of Florida, a minor league team hear or there. So I went left and got cozy with the "W". The Nationals cap is perfect. A clean, respectable W. Bordering on hoighty-toity with some flair. Finger out when I sip my chamomile, but I'll still say hello and acknowledge your presence. I'm a people person. Don't get it twisted.

Big shouts to Amidou up on 109th for lacing the kid. Lids and other authorized New Era stores are prohibited from touching the front panels. So I dig deeper. In criminal, stealth like fashion, he did a great job. I fully recommend his services. We got more in the works so stay tuned.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Element of Surprise... Jay Electronica & the ESPN Zone Cheesesteak.

Upset the set up, the element of surprise...

Surprises. Some are for the better, some the worse. You find out your ex-girl you still have feelings for is pregnant by some piece of shit, with quadruplets- terrible surprise. An estranged great uncle left you a yacht, vineyard and lootcakes that measure 20 ft high- an awesome surprise. Bad broad in the building digs you too- pretty great surprise. An extremely talented artist that you heard had a poor live show flipped it and did his thing- pleasant surprise. A Disneyfied Times Square establishment churns out a non-offensive (decent in fact) meal while you watch your team win- pleasant surprise. You get it. Some are hypotheticals. Others are real talk, true story, I really mean it, word is bond, bladda bladda bladda steez.

So this fucking bitch got knocked up by this Job Corps cat. You believe this chicken face? Said she loved me and wanted to be with me... Nah, I'm playing. #2 happened. I'm deading this blog shit, I'm rich bitch. If you're my peoples we ride together, I got you on oysters and Napa Valley white- I told you he had a vineyard. If you aren't, I suggest you befriend me quick, cause these greenbacks are incendiary and will be ashes before you know it. Uncle Irwin. Good man. Gone too soon.

I lied, no wealthy family members. Just hoping my brother makes it so I can get the West wing. Rather watch the sun set than rise. Ya digs? Let's go Al. Finish that thesis already. Shit's taking FOREVER.

Bad bitch in the building? Working on that.

OK, OK, OK. 4 and 5 occurred. On the same night mind you. That was sort of my fault as I'll explain shortly. The stars were aligned. The man, the myth, the legend known to mere mortals as Jay Electronica was billed to open for N.E.R.D. at Irving Plaza aka Fillmore NY on Wednesday, April 28. Quietly promoted, luckily my boy put me on to it and furthermore blessed us with the tix. VIP status as well which enabled the nice footage. Peep below. N.E.R.D.? Couldn't care less. If I don't like it, I don't like it, that don't mean that I'm hating. Common knows, even though I kind of hate him now. No hate. Mind you this show occurred prior to the Jay Elec v Kay Slay squabble, and while I rep NYC hard, I still fux with Jay.

The odds that Jay Elec actually shows up range from 5-2 to 11-1. I was leaning towards the latter, though not as high. Several hours before show time word was that he'd hit the stage at 8 pm or so. What. Thee. Fuck. Is. That. About.? This is hip hop. The freaks come out at night steezos. But I was cool with that. Lloyd Banks and Reflection Eternal were doing their thing at Nokia Theater, or so I thought, and all I wanted to do was peep Beamer, Benz, and Bentley live. Believe that. The early show would have enabled the double dip.

Exhibit A

Much to my surprise Jay hit the stage shortly after 8. Irving Plaza was pretty packed. Putting the sound board towards the back center of the main floor forced people to get tight. Poor usage of space in my opinion. But I digress. Jay did his thing off the bat. Full disclosure, I'm not up on his entire catalog. I know the heavy hitters along with some other joints that had beat knocks. But the standom only goes so far.

Exhibit C

We all know he's a cerebral rapper. A dope and refreshing element to a rather ignorant bunch. Dumb Rappers Need Teaching... But I'm a boom bap cat and I need that beat. A cappellas are cool but let the track ride. I didn't come here for spoken word homie. He was able to incorporate both into the show. On Exhibit C he kept motioning for the DJ to cut the beat so his lyrics would get top billing. Somewhat overdone and offbeat, but he killed C so I still got loose. For a song of that caliber the crowd was hyped early but fell off. Come on people- that shit is CRAZY. The thing that was most impressive was his banter with the audience. Joking with fans and having a good time. Singling out a chick on the mezzanine who had her back to the stage and having the audience get at a cat who jeered him. Think of the "Asshole" chant directed to a Sawx fan. He made it personal. Light and loose, all with a smile. For a younger audience, that's a dope thing. Fun at a hip hop show?? Never that. The stan level increased.

The World Is Yours

So the show ends and it's early, 9pm-ish. Banks isn't hitting the stage till at least 10pm. BBB is the hottest shit out and I just wanted to see the crowd go APESHIT (see 5:30). Caught the N to Times Square and we're good money. Not even 10 pm. Hit the ATM to deal with the scalpers and then I realize that the show is the following night. FUCK ME x 1000. Silver lining- I'm closer to home, my boy takes Port Authority, and we didn't want to see N.E.R.D. anyway. And the Yankees game is on. But where to eat? Unfortunately the Village Voice's top 10 eats in Times Square wasn't published yet. It was all on me since this dude was cleansing or some shit like that. I roll with healthy folks. But whatevs fams. I'm about to pig the fuck out.

Sports was all that mattered so ESPN Zone it was. I know I've gotten on people heavy for eating there, so maybe it's somewhat hypocritical, me being the gourmand that I am, but we all have weaknesses. No time to waste. Plus I was buzzin' cousin. Chicken fingers and the cheese steak. I needed that unhealthy heavy shit. I had a trek uptown ahead of me and I needed that energy.

The chicken fingers are very enjoyable. Generously sized and far from dry. They're fried and there's honey mustard. How bad can it be? I was more nervous about the cheesesteak, being somewhat of a cheesesteak snob. I didn't want a burger and doubling up on chicken was a no-no. Need to diversify that bitch. For real, for real, pleasantly surprised. According to the menu "shaved ribeye with onions and mushrooms, topped with provolone cheese." Prefer a wiz or American but this is fine. The bread was the most impressive. Light, airy, yet strong enough to hold everything, and there was a lot to hold. Steak, onions with a nice crunch, mushrooms and cheese. Maybe I was a little drunk, maybe a little hyped from running uptown, maybe I was starving. Regardless, I was extremely satiated and pleased with the choice.

My boy's meal. A Caesar Salad without the fade. Lettuce, cucumber and lemon. Nothing else. The waitress felt so bad she kissed the baby's forehead.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fish Taco Face-Off. Pinche Taqueria vs. La Esquina Taqueria.

I hate commitment. I just can't do it. Get the sweats, short breaths, lose focus. Start freaking out. Need to keep things on a whim- no handcuffs. In and out. That's why tacos work well with me. Hand-sized, easy to eat, limited mess (all depends on one's dexterity). They're gone before you know it, so you have the option to order more or switch things up and diversify the portfolio. Fish tacos in particular are healthy, light and refreshing. The perfect mid-afternoon snack. Heading uptown to catch wreck on some Charles' fried chicken at 7? A 3 pm fish taco will hold you down. It's a shame they aren't more prevalent in the Big Apple. NYC is a harbor city you know.

Pinche Taqueria and La Esquina Taqueria are 4 blocks from each other. Prime time taqueria territory. There is another Pinche on Mott between Prince & Spring but I like to move in straight lines- rook status. Closer to a subway too.

Let the battle begin...

La Esquina's Pescado A Las Brasas Taco

This taco consists of grilled market fish with shredded cabbage, red onion and salsa verde ($3.95). The operative word is grilled. It is healthier than the fried version below, but doesn't help much when it comes to taste. The fish has a burnt, acidic, bitter essence. It's not charred, cooked very well in fact, but this underlying unpleasant taste overpowers every bite. Even the accompanying cabbage and salsa couldn't provide a fresh experience, something fish tacos usually do.

Served on a 6" taco, the chunk of fish is dwarfed by the tortilla. 6" taco with a 2.5" chunk of meat. Hmmmm. That means 3"s of just shell and cabbage. It's a rather hefty chunk of fish, and could easily be sliced in half to cover the entire surface area, but isn't. Honestly though, based on the taste it's probably better served in limited portions.

Pinche Taqueria's Taco de Pescado

Line caught mahi-mahi served on a slightly smaller tortilla with cabbage, chopped onion, cilantro and a smooth bright green cilantro dressing. Flavors upon flavors. Textures upon textures. The slender piece of fish is lightly fried having a nice crunchy shell. The fish remains moist and flaky. The fried aspect might irk a few, but the enjoyment and satisfaction should make up for your health quirks.

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm a sucker for cilantro. It adds a clean, cool dimension. And that's exactly how it went down. Big said it best, Cool as a fan, fish tac in hand... No matter what wonders cilantro can do, I don't think it would have helped Esquina's taco.

As a bonus I got Pinche's taco de camaron. Ocean caught shrimp served in similar fashion to the fish, just not fried. Pleasant flavors but over-cooked. A bit dry. For what it's worth several people mentioned that the Mott St. location executes the scrimp taco better.

I like the fact that both spots appear to use fresh, high quality ingredients. Since both places are made to order the wait is usually 5-10 minutes depending on the crowd. But the similarities end there. When it comes to flavor, Pinche is overwhelmingly ahead. El Rey del Taco de Pescados.

View Larger Map

La Esquina Taqueria (A)
114 Kenmare St. on corner of Centre St.
NY, NY 10012
Mon - Sun 12 pm - 1:30 am

Pinche Taqueria (B)
333 Lafayette St. off Bleeker St.
NY, NY 10012
Sun - Thurs 10:30 am - 11 pm
Fri- Sat 10:30 am - 12 am

Monday, April 19, 2010

H is for H.B.I.C.

The H rocks 40" cables, eating black label, My chain hang down to my dick my piece bang glass tables...

Mobb Deep- Quiet Storm

Aw man homie. This blogging shit is not a game. You knew it was inevitable. Shirts, hats, plaques, signs, belt buckles, carpets, rings, pendants, tattoos, name changes, etc. This was no accident. Heading back from Opening Day, THE YANKEES WIN!! THE YAAAAAAANKEES WIN!!, I came across the H on diamonds. It just so happened to be directly behind the BX12 bus stop (see the reflection). Had time to kill so I'm peeping the jewels. You know, the same old bullshit- gaudy iced out watches, Jesus pieces, a variety of chains, some G-Shocks, rings, bracelets and so on. Sandwiched between a bodega and 99 cent store. I wouldn't call it high-end.

Huh? What? An H piece? For real? In all my years of truck jewelry window shopping I can't recall seeing that H. H-ayzeus, but no H. Ya dig? Speaking of which, the H was sitting between a script J and a Jesus piece. J for Judas maybe? I'm not even trying to get biblical. No higher meaning necessary. What cat sold this back to this place? H-ector, H-orhay. I'm thinking it was a Spanish dude. Just a H-unch. How many bags of H-eron were sold to furnish that piece? Doesn't matter, the blood has already been washed. At least that's what I'll think to remove the guilt once I purchase the fucking thing. I was in front of the store again Sunday following yet another Yankees victory. But you already knew that. The intentions of inquiring about the price were there, but the bus came, and with Sunday MTA schedules I didn't want to risk it. I'll be back shortly. Turns out there's an African restaurant I want to hit several blocks south on Jerome Ave. so we might 1-2 punch it.

When dealing with baby princess cut diamonds in a platinum setting I can't just throw any H fitted out there. We need some majestic shit. I believe the above cap fits the bill and then some. Baby H-ippo skin dyed in teal extracts from the H-imalyan H-ighlands. I know, this shit sounds crazy, but I couldn't even make this up if I tried. I don't even know how this bad boy made it through customs. Baby hippo poaching is illegal. It's sad.

Found this in the mail about a month ago after a h-omegirl from the West Side looked out for the kid. Another Hall of Fame "Mighty H" creation. The Zeus-like lightning bolt, backyard speak with thunder... Peep the detail. Very soft to the touch, as baby hippos are. The stitch- hand done by master tailors in H-ollywood. The attention to detail is unparalleled.

Not just looking fly, but feeling good. Words of encouragement on the dome piece. By laws of osmosis the idea that 2nd Place Sucks will permeate into the membrane. I can't lose with this one.

Silk lining? Indeed. Thai silkworms working hard for the kid.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Crustacean Nation Stand Up!! The 2010 Crawfish NY Boil.

I get the boil boiling...

I love crawfish, beer, outdoor events, and spring in NYC. You love reading this blog. Therefore it would only make sense that you love what I love. Transitive property thinking in FULL EFFECT. But this time, rather than talk about what happened, with vivid photos and witty commentary (tell me I'm lying), why don't you come along and experience it for yourself. You don't need to wear an H cap or have any Cam on your ipod (though preferable) to rock with the kid. Just make sure Saturday, May 15th is free from 4 pm - 8 pm for the 2010 Crawfish NY Boil, arguably the best outdoor food event held in NYC. Big Apple BBQ block party gets it in, but this is on the water, less crowded, there are no lines, and money is raised for a worthwhile cause. And there are crawfish, crawfish and more crawfish. Just look at that photo above. Taken at the '09 extravaganza. Buttahfingas.

SolarOne is the location, just south of 23rd and the FDR. People will be looking at you while you mutilate these little mudbugs, jealous they can't partake in the festivities. Beat it suckas!!! Please don't throw the empty carcasses at them. We're better than that. You can curse at them though. All we have to pray for is a beautiful day. Sun, lots of it, and a slight breeze blowing 5-7 mph NW. That's not too much to ask for. $75 gets you at least 4 table loads of crawfish (this was more than enough, basically all you can eat), as well as all the Six Points brew and Hurricanes one can imbibe. If Saturday doesn't work for you, it's about to go down... on Sunday too. If we're lucky we might even see some cats spitting Kanye lyrics at the East River mini-waves. I couldn't make that shit up if I tried. THESE TICKETS SELL OUT FAST SO ACT QUICK. To purchase tickets or for more info click HERE or check below:


Crawfish NY presents our 5th annual crawfish boil fundraising event!

This year we will be raising money for the organization, Kids Need A Melody, dedicated to providing free music classes, instruments and concerts to young children living in the shelter system.

This epic two day crawfish extravaganza will take place at, SolarOne, a gorgeous outdoor venue on the East River at 22nd Street.

Each day we will be shipping up over 1,000 lbs of live crawfish and cooking them up at the party with potatoes, corn, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and sausage. All washed down with ice cold SIX POINT BREWERY BEER and NEW ORLEANS HURRICANES.

Come join us and eat crawfish for a cause!

Tickets are $75 and must be purchased in advance. There are only a limited number of tickets available so buy now:

SATURDAY, MAY 15* FROM 4-8PM @ SOLAR1, 2420 FDR Drive South



Giddy to the tiddy!! LET'S DO THIS!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I do the Recruiting, I Tutor the Students... Cam'ron @ Highline Ballroom 3/31/10.

I nurture their brains, I'm moving the movement...

You might've heard there was an XXL Freshmen of 2010 show at Highline Ballroom this past Wednesday, but all I know is that I was at a Killa concert. Young rappers need teaching... Yeah, a group of cats performed, more or less internet fan-boy artists, but I was too busy sipping my cabernet to pay them any mind. Seriously? Who drinks '08 cab at a Cam show. Walk with me people.

It felt like Tramps circa '96. You know, standing around for hours, waiting for the main event. I hated it then and I despise it now. But there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. No rainbow. Haha. I had to laugh. Plus with the all the fuckery among the crowd, amusement was available at the drop of a dime. What kind of amusement? How about this one. I really mean it...

Some cat engages me in the following exchange as he walks to the bar:

Dude: Who's up next?

Me: No clue.

Dude: I think it's Donnis.

Me: No clue.

(Through speakers DJ screams Donnis up next)

Dude: I told you it was Donnis. You owe me a drink.

Me: No doubt. Next time.

Dude: You don't like him?

Me: Never heard of him. I'm here to see Cam.

Dude: Ahh. Which crew you like more Skull Gang or U.N.?

Me: Don't give a shit. Whichever Cam is part of.

Dude: OK. You want a drink?

Me: No thanks. I'm good.

Dude: You sure? Want a beer?

Me: Nah, I'm cool.

(puts arm around my shoulder)

Dude: I like you. (several second pause, as in silence) No homo.

Me: Thanks. No homo.

Who says that? Aside from this retard. He was a hot mess. Trying to give me a pound every time he walked past. Leave me alone, let me just live my life... So apropos. Fams, back up off me, give me room to breathe. Best believe I will take him up on that drink offer if I ever see him again though. No ho... At least he didn't tell me he loved me as he did my man's homegirl. I think they had their first date tonight. Right Yooj?

I'd say Cam hit the stage around 1 to a full house. PACKED. As my man Dallas Penn says, most of the industry shitbags shot for the exit, but who needs them anyway. I don't even know which track he came out to, never heard it before. He was rhyming over his own vocals, which is a concert no-no, but whatevs. Only lyric I remember was "Picture it, vision it, about to drop on ya'll like pigeon shit."

Vado emerged once Killa spit his shit and the crowd got even more hyped. Of all the new cats, these so-called "freshmen", Vado's probably the dopest of them all. Yeah, I might be sipping some Kool-Aid based on association, but he's been pretty consistent with dropping joints. At least he has an ear for good music. "Large on the Streets" knocks (the '10 version of Big L's "Ebonics) and "No Turning Back" is that gritty NYC Nike boots in dirty snow steez. In hindsight getting snubbed by XXL worked to his advantage. He didn't get lost among the relatively banal newjacks and had Killa as his hype man. No Byrd Lady though.

Who is she? I have no clue. Quite intrigued though. Maybe 4' 10". The right side of her head was shaved. Interesting. Check the last video below. Apparently this is the chick that sang on "Cuffin'", a track that I banged heavy in late 2009. It never made the Boss of All Bosses 1 or 2, but that beat had me from get. Yeah, Gucci Mane was on it, but he rhymed last so I just brought it back. "Yo, I get Velveeta, Chain Antarctica...My cheese American, but the cars are foreigner." Double cheese references. Wow. Peep...

Cuffin'- Cam'ron ft. Vado & Gucci Mane

The catalog is deep, but the set was short. You didn't feel gypped, just wanted more. Following Vado's set Killa set it off with "I Really Mean It." That's some grand opening, grand closing shit right there. Bananas. In no particular order he ran through "Wet Wipes", "Suck it or Not", "Get it in Ohio", "Dipset Anthem", "Down and Out", "Cuffin'" and I can't recall any other joints. No "Amber Lamps" though. "Sorry" neither. All swell god, no love lost ock.

Peep video I took below. Some is too bass heavy, and at times the camera shakes, but that's how I dooooos it. I hate recording anyway, but it's a necessary evil. The "Cuffin'" footage is courtesy of xmiltonx.

I Really Mean It

Wet Wipes

Dipset Anthem

Suck it or Not


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Deli 2.0- The Canadian Version- Mile End Brooklyn.

While I'm not allowed to eat bread and other things during these holy days, I can damn sure write about it and relive those fond starchy memories. 4 days left. It's nothing...

Brooklyn again? Aw yeah, again and again. I'm already peeping the rental listings. One day I'll be singing with Roy Ayers. Yeah, aiiiiiight. Stop it 5.

I love Jewish deli. Unfortunately they are a dwindling breed. Then a beacon of hope was delivered. David Sax's Save the Deli mentioned the introduction of Montreal deli to NYC. I'm on the West side of Brooklyn, looking for a bustdown,... throw my 2 arms up, touchdown!! It was deemed the Best Deli of 2010 from New York Magazine and it was this blurb from NYM that got me hook, line and sinker. I'm a sucker for certain buzz words. "Locavore". "Fresh ingredients." "In-house." I'm too easy. And I quote:

"Mile End, the barely open, instantly overrun Canadian-Brooklyn oddball, has already, in its infancy, reinvented the venerable form. This is a deli for locavores, a deli for the next generation of deli lovers, with a respect for tradition contemporized by a rare premium on great, fresh ingredients, cooked from scratch, smoked and pickled in-house, served with an unfamiliar (in the deli world, anyway) smile."

Last time I was in Montreal, it wasn't for the pastrami. That said, I never experienced this northern smoked meat phenomenon. Personally, if I never ate a pastrami sandwich (or something similar) prepared by somebody not named Katz's I'd be fine. But I'm always down to try something new so I set sail towards Boerum Hill. It was a beautiful day and the idea of eating deli in the park was quite appealing.

Smoked meat and pastrami are different, even though they look fairly similar. From what I can deduce, smoked meat is dry rubbed and cured while pastrami is prepared with a brine and steamed longer. But the argument goes much deeper than that.

Upon first bite of the Smoked Meat sandwich I noticed much stronger hints of pepper and garlic than accustomed to. Far from overbearing, I'm just used to a bit more saltiness. The meat is also drier than a typical NY pastrami sandwich, but that is due in part to the curing and smoking process. I liked it. The rye bread held up, thanks to the lack of excess moistness.

Seeing some extra fat on the meat always favors well in my book. Don't be scared of the fat people, it's all natural. For $8, this sandwich is a bargain. Don't forget about the ingredients, all natural, pastured Creekstone Farms brisket prepared on premises. (Side note- HERE's an interesting article in the Times about Creekstone from 2 weeks ago.) I'd say the bread measures around 5" side to side, so it's not the largest sandwich, but at 2" tall it makes up for the limited reach.

You didn't think I just got 1 sandwich? I never know the next time I'll be back. Up next was the Ruth Wilensky ($7), a salami sandwich pressed on an onion roll with mustard. This too is made with Creekstone Farm- a brisket/short rib blend, hand stuffed, and smoked over oak for 7 hours. Full disclosure, I prefer soft salami to hard, namely Hebrew National. (Fuck your pause). Way more panini-ish than expected and spice out the noodle. For real for real. I wasn't expecting that. This joint brought it. Dry too. But that's how Montreal keeps it. With the smoked meat at least. This didn't do it for How and will not be ordered again.

I couldn't say no to the house cured pickle ($1.50). It's sort of a necessity when getting biz with a deli sandwich. It wasn't sliced, which would have been preferred, but good nonetheless. This was moist. And crisp. Not as strong as a sour, tougher than a half sour. Let's call it the 75%er.

Where's the Dr. Brown you ask? Come on bredren, this ain't Deli 101. We in 2.0 Beta version fams. Slight Bizarro deli. But Mile End doesn't wander too far from the blueprint and hits you with the Virgil's natural Black Cherry Cream Soda ($2.50). Micro brewed with black cherry and vanilla beans. What did I tell you about using that fancy language. I'm powerless. They also offer root beer and cream.

I love what they're doing here. Even though I was 1 for 2 with their wares, I'll most definitely be back to try the other options off the very limited menu. I really want to try the turkey sandwich. And I don't even like turkey. A friend of mine lives fairly close and has eaten there several times in their short existence. I trust him. Be aware that breakfast and lunch follow very strict time frames. 8am till noon is breakfast items, Montreal bagels, lox (wild king salmon!!), etc. B'fast will be tough before I catch that sublet. At noon the big boys come out and are usually depleted by 4pm. The place is fairly small with limited seating and a counter table. Friendly service. But it's Canadian so you knew that.

Mile End
97A Hoyt Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Mon - Fri 8 am - 4 pm (call for food availability)
Sat - Sun 10 am - 4 pm
F, G to Bergen
A, C, G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn
2, 3 to Hoyt

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HowfreshEats: "I Had Intimate Relations With Pies -N-Thighs."

Even in the throes of this confession I found myself sitting in one of the stools on a mid week night. I had to get it out of my system one last time. Thank goodness this chicken don't text. Tiger knows.

It's true. I can't dispute the evidence. Those thick thighs and sweet pies made me stray. I was in Williamsburg 3 days in a row from March 5 through the 7th. Not too deep in the Burg, close enough that an escape via the Bridge was easy money. That escape route is necessary. At first it was harmless. Just a meal with with the boys before a night out in the Planet of BK. It made sense. Party in BK, so might as well grub in BK. But I had no clue what I was entering. For the record, I have no regrets. Yeah, I said it.

Before closing their doors back in January of 2008 Pies-N-Thighs achieved mythical status. Apparently this was the go-to for southern food up north. A year and a half later members of the PnT team set up shop at Roberta's in Bushwick slinging fried chicken out the back door. Finally in early March of this year, they reopened in the shadows of the bridge. I had the Willyburg boycott on heavy rotation for years so it was all a dream. But I matured and sanctions were lifted so I made it my business to venture southeast towards the Hipster Hamlet. Don't tell that to Bushwick.

It was all about the fried chicken. Everything I read said Big Tings! Having just completed an independent study at Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken I was eager to see how PnT measured up. I'm here to enter the world of fried chicken academia. Got to pay to play baby.

Aside from seeing some flannels, facial hair and keds I didn't know what to expect. I figured there would be a line but it wasn't bad- maybe 10-15 deep. We were told to order our food and then we would be given a table once some jerks went to go play Buck Hunter. Damn How, easy with the vitriol. Good vibes baby, good vibes. The front room was packed so we thought the wait would be long, but were told there was seating in the back. Drinks and pies were handed over upon payment and hot food was delivered to the table. All food is made to order.

Got a table in the back and waited for the food to be served. Took at least 15 minutes to get the grub. Relatively speaking, 15 minutes isn't bad. I think I might have expected things to move quicker, but you live and learn. This was uncharted territory. All good, now I know what to expect. And you do too. Truth be told I was starving and it was tough not to go in on the pie in front of me (banana cream) as well as finish the sweet tea and beer.

I ordered the fried chicken box- 3 pieces of chicken (2 legs and a thigh), 1 side (mac n cheese), and a biscuit ($10). 2 hefty, meaty legs with the thigh to match. Let me say, YOOOOOO. If you know me you get it. If you don't, then YOOOO. This is some serious fried chicken. Crunchy and crispy shell, extremely moist meat and flavor in every bite. Topped off with sea salt flakes. It looked good and tasted better. Delicious. Anybody can make a mean dredge. It's what happens after that, that determines fair or fowl. PnT knows what they're doing. That first bite said it all. The future visits were already in the books. The tarot cards read more trips to BK. The mac n cheese was fine. Not baked, more like the Kraft kind. But that's my shit. If you're a baked mnc snob, you might be disappointed. Speaking of disappointment, let's discuss the biscuit. Mine was cold and partially raw. The only negative from the entire meal. The cornbread more than made up for it. But the chicken, oh the chicken. BK Bowl has nothing on it. WORD IS BOND.

In order to smorgasbord it, we strategized. One dude got the fried catfish box ($10)and another got the pulled pork sandwich box ($10). The 4th cat hates eating. I know, a shame. Good dude though. The catfish box consisted of 2 generous sized fillets with 1 side (black eyed peas), a block of cornbread, cole slaw, slices of pickle and a small puddle of homemade tartar sauce. I should be clear that it's all homemade. The catfish was banging. Lightly fried in a thin layer of cornmeal, the fish was extremely flaky and moist. Catfish isn't overpowering, well shouldn't be at least, and here was no exception. Very mild. The dill heavy tartar with the fish made for some very enjoyable eating. The black eyed peas were served cold, caught me off guard at first but decent. Rich and smoky. Didn't try the pulled pork but the way it disappeared with the quickness I'd say it was pretty good. Homeboy gave the nod of approval and proceeded to sip some White Rascal.

So we've handled our business and just shooting the shit letting everything digest when I hear the waitress come through the door and scream my name. Say my name, say my name... Apparently some extra food was ordered and the lovely PnT ladies thought we would appreciate it. You damn right. She brought over 2 plates- 1 catfish box with baked beans and 2 extra sides, mac n cheese and cole slaw. Mind you, we still had pie. Fuck that- we fat fucking it. But it's fish so it's light- right? What more is there to say. As if the chicken wasn't enough to put a ring on it (heavy with the Beyonce today), free food?? I'm smitten. I'll paint toenails. Braid hair. Whatever.

So it's a done deal that I'm heading back on Saturday. Not even a question. My boy was visiting from DC and he was trying to get his BK Trini bake and doubles on (I'll reserve that for a later post) so BK made sense. I'm all about slaying 2 birdies with one stone and that's how it went down. The game plan was fish and grits. Mornings was fish and grits ($9). Jada fucks with hash browns, this is how I gets down. But you don't understand. It was ALL about the fish and grits. Grits are hard to come by in NYC, but if I could order them at any diner/spot in the city instead of potatoes, best believe I would. As my pops says, FDP.

Threw an over medium egg on top just for GP. Breakfast without an egg might as well be lunch. Same applies to brunch. A little non-spicy tomato salsa on top brought some sweetness. I've already told you the fish was on point. And I just expressed my affinity for grits. That leads to quite the enjoyable dining experience. Though I was full and about to get my salt bake and phoulourie on, pie was a necessity. I refuse to travel far and wide and not slice it up. Coconut cream just because.

Brunch and dinner were conquered. A 3rd trip wasn't necessary. But then it happened. Sunday morning and spring came early. I was experiencing sun retardation. Not as in being slow, but as in poor judgment was all around me. Coffee'd up and copping fitteds, shirts, jeans. Life was motherfucking good. Jonesing for a Russ & Daughters bagel and lox. LESed it to find out half of NYC had the same idea. Line was out the door. Took a number and the thoughts started thinking. I'm downtown. Close to the bridges that connect Brooklyn. One of those bridges is the Williamsburg. Williamsburg is the home of Pies-N-Thighs. Need I go on?? The mind of a maniac. Not one that causes harm to others, just to himself. Someone help me. Please.

The image of the brunch menu popped up in the mentals. Banana short stack (#6). Fried chicken. Sweet. Savory. Etch that shit in stone. All systems go. Line was longer than I would have liked but I endured. Got the corner stool by the window in the back room. The french doors were open and the sunlight was shining bright. Rays hit the kid on some biblical shit. I was holding court in the corner. Excuse me miss, more coffee please.

Fun fact about the kid, I hate condiments. Condoms too. Hate babies more though. And hivs more than that. But I digress. Point is, I don't need maple syrup on pancakes or waffles, ketchup on a burger, etc. I let the ingredients shine. These banana pancakes illuminated. I was warm on all sides. Solar on one side, banana flap jacks on the other. Hold up- I used a little butter, just to lubricate. Them dry joints can pop early. Just sticking with the theme. Safe sex and banana pancakes. Ya dig?? The combo was better than any bagel and lox sandwich. There was some sort of bliss going on.

One would think that 3 days between Pies and Thighs (legs are more like it) would have satiated my desires. And I was doing well. Close to 2 weeks passed. No need to hit BK. Had a lobster roll here, a burger there. I was diversifying. Then the nice weather hit again and I'm on the Brooklyn Bridge, via foot, touristing it the fuck up. Photos on the span. Camera on the hip. "Wait, is that the Statue of Liberty?" Bikers screaming at me for not following the rules. Go fuck yourselves. Smiling. I was fucking smiling. I'm always mean-mug status, but this day I was cheesing. As if I arrived in JFK earlier that day from Anyplace, USA.

PnT wasn't on my mind. The Atlantic Chip Shop was but once I was there I figured the G train wasn't too far away. Fast forward I find myself walking down Broadway heading towards the hallowed ground on 4th & Driggs. Dapped my Hasid fam and kept it moving. I told them the food was Kosher style but they still reneged. I lied. Forgive me.

Line was short. Fried chicken box was on the agenda and then I see wings on the menu. Wasn't even a question. Got a stool in the back and waited for the grub. Met a nice local and we chatted it up. A recovering vegetarian mind you. 1 for the carnivores. She was eating the wings so I figured she was good money. And she didn't take any offense to my W'burg bashing. Sorry.

Wings were delicious ($5 for 6). Medium sized with a great crunchy exterior. Nice dosage of heat, but not tear-status. Frank's hot sauce? Possibly. Nice chunky blue cheese on the side. I was feeling good.

The fried chicken box with biscuit appeared next accompanied by a side of collard greens with smoked pork ($10). Yes, yes, and yes. The biscuit was better this time, baked all the way through. Greens were rich. Very rich. Cooked through, no stringiness, with some kick. Huge tender chunks of pork sitting atop money growing like grass with the mass appeal. I had super big eyes for this meal. Tarsier big. After trekking for miles around BK the appetite should have been major. I did my best. Knocked off close to everything with exceptions of half the greens and part of a chicken breast. I can do better, I know I can.

Being one not to mix savory and sweet on the plate, I will perpetuate that way of thought here. A pie post will be coming shortly. Believe me when I say I've eaten enough of their baked goodies to give more than ample feedback. Seriously though, after seeing all the lovely images above with witty and insightful commentary, what more do you need to go? Do you have no pulse? No tongue? No teeth? Then just go for the aromas. That good shit. Half a block away you know something special is on the horizon.

Oh yeah, the sweet tea ($2.50) is some of the best in the city. Breakfast, lunch and dinner you cannot go wrong. You can only go right. Very right. Put that Weezy, Jeezy and Drizzy on and enter Pies N Theezy...I'm going in, I'm going in...

166 South 4th St. at Driggs
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Monday through Friday
Breakfast 8-11
Lunch 11-4
Dinner 5-12
Saturday & Sunday
Brunch 10-4
Dinner 5-12