Category Archives: Food

Walkabout NYC – May 2011

Inspired by Danny Choo‘s long running A Week in Tokyo series (possible NSFW link), I want to post an odd assortment of photos taken around NYC in the month of May. Instead of one off twitpics, a series of unrelated NYC photos makes for good juxtaposition.

NYC Subway Ad

Dorky yet amusing.

Kalbi from Shilla Ktown

You can never have too much Kalbi.

Vintage Bowling Set

I don’t remember what UWS furniture store this came from.

Red Mango Fulton St Grand Opening

More pay by the ounce yogurt shops is a good thing. The white peach yogurt I got was a bit too runny

Soul Daddy sauces

South St Seaport area – Soul Daddy of American’s Next Great Restaurant fame

Xiao Long Bao sauce stacks

So great, so far away. Nan Xiang Dumpling House in Flushing

Shaved Ice topped with Condensed Milk

As you can tell, I’m never one to shy away from blanket generalizations! Condensed milk goes great with everything! So does tapioca pearls, aloe vera, and bacon (though not necessarily all in the same dish)

Also in Flushing, at Ice Fire Land

Uniqlo Captain Jack Sparrow Shirt

The Disney hype machine is building up for the latest Pirate’s movie. This shirt was spotted at Uniqlo

Goomba hats

From the Nintendo World store, goomba merch

Bowser backpack

You guessed it, from the Nintendo World store. I’d buy this, but $50 is too much for a novelty backpack

TSL3 Afterparty

From the TSL3 afterparty, you can see Thorzain in the background with the adidas three stripes garb

Brown Butter with Candied Bacon on Brioche Cookie

Coolhaus in NYC. That is one seriously heavy dessert

Monopoly Graffiti

Representing the streets of NYC

Chelsea Market exit

The Chelsea Market is a great example of repurposing old buildings (but this isn’t new news)

Whole Foods - Columbus Circle

Looking down at the Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center

Dylan’s Candy Bar

With Dylan’s Candy Bar, the daughter of Ralph Lauren, Dylan, has her own candy shop in Midtown East. This shows doing one thing well is a good idea. I mean, candy is available at any convenience store, but nobody writes home about those.

5 lb Gummy Bears (top), Gummy Letters

Those 5 lb gummy bears are $40 each. Yes, that’s $40 each.

Chocolate Covered Gummy Bear

Chocolate covered… sure, why not?

Rainbow Peeps

Easter just passed, the Peeps are still on display.

Gummy Bacon

Strawberry flavored? Um, OK. Even though it’s gummy candy, it must feel fat to eat giant swabs of gummy bacon.

ICEE Candy

Nice! Who knew they made ICEE in chewy candy form?

Gumball Bath Tub

You probably don’t want to swim in that.

Jelly Belly soda

I’ll be honest, I was tempted to try some of the flavors. Green Apple is particularly tempting.

Birthday Cake Cupcake Cookies

These are so meta. It’s a cookie that tastes like birthday cakes. It’s a cupcake-cookie thing that tastes like cakes?

Gummy Chicken Feet

For those who can’t get enough during dim sum, you can have some for dessert.

Economics of a Dollar Slice

This post could be a trendy infographic, but I’ll spare you the pain of Yet Another Infographic.

via flickr @jasonlam



The # of current locations each for the kings of NYC dollar slices.

In the past year, the 99-cent Fresh Pizza and 2 Bros. have doubled their operations. 99-cent Fresh Pizza has seven stores in Manhattan and is in negotiations to open an eighth, said owner Mohammad Abdul Hai, a Bangladeshi immigrant and former news stand operator.

Eli Halali, who owns 2 Bros. Pizza with his brother, said the operation has seven Manhattan shops, with an eighth expected to open in Brooklyn next month.



The estimated % cost of ingredients per dollar slice.

According to Tom Miner, a consulting principal at Technomic, a Chicago-based food services industry consulting firm, the wholesale food cost of a dollar slice of pizza is roughly 40 to 45 cents. That’s high. The average food cost for the pizza industry is more like 25% to 30% of the selling price, he said. Mr. Miner estimated that the cost of making a slice include about a nickel for the sauce and 10 to 12 cents for the dough. Cheese is the wild card—depending on the type and amount used—and is currently averaging 25 to 30 cents per slice.



The $ cost per slice of plain pizza at Di Fara, one of NY’s most acclaimed NYC pizza destinations. Contrast the $5 per slice to the $2.75 for two slices and a can of soda at dollar pizza stores.

The price of a slice increased to $5 on July 1, up from $4, the cost for the past year and a half. Just about everything else went up as well: Plain round pies are $25 and specialty square pies are $35.



The # of pizzas made in a day at a dollar pizza store.

He said that he made roughly 15 cents to 20 cents profit per slice and that it was not unusual for one 99¢ Fresh location to produce up to 450 pies a day. His pizza is so cheap some customers treat him like a wholesaler, ordering dozens of pies in the morning and selling the slices elsewhere — for $2 each.

Foodspotting 1Q11

Some food photos, mostly downtown Manhattan.

Pho & Taro PMT @ Vicky's Vietnamese

Go Go Curry

Taiwanese Pork Chops @ Bian Dian (Food Court 32)

Blueberry Pancakes with Maple Butter @ Clinton St Baking Co

Grilled Corn Mexican Style @ Café Habana

Roast Pork with Noodles @ Big Wing Wong

Burger with Onion Rings @ Wall Street Burger Shoppe

Chihuahua & Tater Tots @ Crif Dogs

Shack Stack @ Shake Shack UWS

Pre-Set Menu @ Ayurveda Cafe

Cheeseburger & Cheese Fries @ Steak 'n Shake

Remnants of an Alto Prix Fixe

Alto interior

Alto has closed, so here’s some postmortem food porn taken from a 4 course.

complimentary starter

After ordering the 4 course, this was presented as compliments of the chef. I assume it’s some sort of truffle appetizer.

Note: I’ve tried to correctly identify the dishes below with their menu names. The names may or may not be accurate.

Polpo alla Piastra con Baccala

seared octopus, salt cod, tomato agrodolce, culatura d’alici

Garganelli Bolognese

hand-made pasta quills, milk-fed veal ragu, parmigiano fonduta

Pappardelle con Agnello e Santoreggia

hand-made pasta ribbons, braised lamb, savory, pecorino

Tagliata di Manzo con Funghi e Midollo

creekstone farms sirloin, black trumpette mushrooms, parsnip puree, roasted fingerling potatoes, red wine-bone marrow sauce

Nodino di Vitello con I Cardi

roasted amish veal chop, cardoons, licorice, castelvetrano olives

aftermath of the sirloin


piemontese nougat semifreddo, hazelnut cake, warm chocolate sauce


apple cinnamon doughnuts, caramel sauce

Alto, given its location in Midtown East, is a prime venue for corporate dining. Formerly a Michael White / Chris Cannon joint (emphasis on the former), I expected to be blown away by the pasta dishes. Instead, I enjoyed their mushroom soup (the brown puddle of soup is not pictured above) and the Bomboloni the most.

The Nutropolitan Museum of Art

Billed as the World’s First PB&J Art Exhibit, The Nutropolitan Museum of Art is a worthwhile, fun event to check out while it lasts. It’s free to attend and the last day is Sunday, March 6th.

Note: The gallery exhibits below were conceived by Lee Zalben, photographed (so well) by Theresa Raffetto, and styled by Patty White.

201 Mulberry St

Exhibit Space

The only line is for the DIY peanut butter art room. They let you make a PB slice however you want and give you a free photo print afterwards.

DIY Sandwich Art Station

White on White

My non-contribution to society. White marshmallow creme with candy corn on white chocolate peanut butter spread onto white bread. And an Iron Man toothpick to top it off. Just keeping it classy.

Pizzelle Perfect exhibit

A pizzelle cookie based setup.

Starry Sandwich exhibit

Money Honey exhibit

Sandwich Artist exhibit

And we’re not talking about Subway here.

Peanut Buzzer Sandwich exhibit

Neat application of honeycomb. Honeycomb is photogenic.

All Hail the King exhibit

Shown above are just some of the great photographs at the peanut butter art open house. There are other great works, and while it’s not a huge exhibit, a free jar of peanut butter goes to both yourself and charity for attending.

Doughnut Plant Chelsea

Chelsea Menu

Went over to the Doughnut Plant grand opening at Chelsea Hotel. At this point, I have to confess I haven’t trekked over to their original LES location yet.

Donut plant is amazing since it shows what you can accomplish by doing one thing well. For a person like myself who is used to Krispy Kreme and generic mom & pop donut shops in CA, Doughnut Plant is an eye opener. The ingredients are premium and the price doesn’t shy away from NYC pricing (think $3 donuts).

Doughnut Pillow Wall

The Chelsea location is a decent size, especially for NYC. Seating exists as a real possibility here.

Carrot Cake Donut

The cream cheese filling made the carrot cake donut pack a much bigger punch. Cream cheese in desserts is akin to bacon in anything. Delicious.

Cinnamon Bun

Cinnamon bun was alright. More of a filler type food than the main attraction.

Oatmeal Cake

The oatmeal cake was my favorite donut from Chelsea. Flaked with oatmeal crusting, the texture is amazingly crispy. While not as healthy as a bowl of oatmeal, this donut is a great example of experimenting with nontraditional dessert toppings.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Donut

A remake of the traditional jelly donut. This guy got squared up and peanut butter topped. High in calories? You bet. Great as part of a routine diet? Yes, if it’s once a month or less.

Introducing the McPizza

Over winter break, I was introduced to the concept of a McPizza. As the name implies, it’s a combination of McDonald’s and pizza. If you’re feeling extra creative, you can use other fast foods for inspiration.

McPizza before baking

Underneath the pizza cheese and chicken nuggets are cut up burgers (one McChicken and one McDouble to be exact).

Baked McPizza

After a short hop in the oven (under 10 minutes), you get this calorie bomb that rivals the Double Down.

Pizza Bell

Here is a pizza topped with Taco Bell, as if you weren’t already turned off by hamburgers on pizza above.

Baked Pizza Bell

Here’s a side shot of the taco pizza. It’s heavily carb-laden with soft and hard taco shells in addition to the pizza crust.

Food around town: 5th Ave, Serendipity, and San Gennaro

Here’s a catch up post for some food in the city.

Free drinks at Façonnable

There’s the usual overpriced bar drink in NY. Then there’s the free, all you can drink cheap stuff at luxury retailers on 5th Ave.

Fashion’s Night Out 2010 was the latter. Getting free drinks in Zegna, Versace, etc. while in said stores is simply amazing.

Nine West appetizers

I’m pretty sure this was Nine West. They had drinks and snacks such as the ones pictured above. What a great concept – these were bland tasting toaster pastries, but the presentation was excellent.

Carrot cake at Serendipity 3

Now, we hop over to a long running restaurant called Serendipity 3. They have a little bit of everything on the menu, and they can serve as a dessert place after your dinner if you so choose. The carrot cake above really hit the spot (as well as my wallet).

Serendipity 3 Menu

This $1,000 sundae is a bargain compared to their $25,000 haute chocolate.

Strawberry Sundae

This sundae was as delicious as you would imagine, but this thing is enough dessert for 2 or 3 people by itself.

Pecan Pie Sundae

While the strawberry would be enough for all of us at the table, we had to go ahead and get this pecan pie sundae as well.

Torrisi Italian Specialties booth

OK, the last part of this post. This is Torrisi’s booth at San Gennaro. San Gennaro is a *meh* festival that has been going on forever, but I had to check out Torrisi’s booth since this is their first showing at the festival.

For more background, check out the Times article. I like that they went for an Asian theme at the Italian festival, just as a tongue in cheek way to poke fun at how Chinatown is taking over Little Italy and everything else in the vicinity.

wok-fried mozzarella sticks

These were hearty and had great texture. I felt they were over salted, but hand made mozz is delicious.

roast pork sandwich

The roast pork sandwich. The one I received was cold, bitter, and mildly spicy. I wouldn’t fault it for being cold, but there was no delicious flavor profile for me. It was simply cold and bitter, which was a disappointment since I’m a huge fan of their lunch sandwiches (specifically the Turkey Panama).

cream puff

While oddly shaped, I actually tried their cream puff on two different occasions. This was the star of the booth for me as the cream puff managed to be light, smooth, and not too sweet in a package that really came together.