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Ippudo ~ NYC

Asian, New York City By January 18, 2020 Tags: , , , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Ippudo 65 4th Ave New York NY 10003
the eats: Ramen
the bucks: $16 
the full nelson: a ramen that comes with a ton of hype and some seriously good pork belly buns

How much should you pay for a bowl of ramen? That answer has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, in the US at least. In college, I never touched the stuff. And by “the stuff” I mean the ramen packets my pals would turn to when they realized that their food allowance took deep of a hit from last night’s beer run.

Cut to around the mid 2000s and I finally went to a respectable ramen joint. A spot that gets the people hooked with that super rich Tontkatusu pork broth and a line out the friggin’ door. The place was called Daikokuya in Little Tokyo – downtown Los Angeles. Back then the line was fierce but the tab was pretty tame. 14 years is a ways back but I’m pretty sure a bowl of ramen loaded to the loaded to the gills should have set you back no more than $10. Today, expect to drop about $14. Which takes me to a ramen joint in NYC with a big rep and wide net: Ippudo, a ramen joint that can be found in locations spanning four continents.

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Casita Nicole Antojitos Mexicanos ~ Austin TX

Austin, Tacos/ Mexican By January 11, 2020 Tags: , , , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Casita Nicole Antojitos Mexicanos 9618 Manchaca Road Austin TX (parked at the Texaco)
the eats: Machete, Huitlacoche quesadillas, and everything else on the menu
the bucks: $10 a person will set you up nicely
the full nelson: the taco place Danny Trejo should have opened and Austin’s answer to a Mexico City delicacy

Just when I think I have seen it all when it comes to tacos, I come across machete tacos, tacos shaped like a machete blade though far safer to eat than a machete blade, or any blade for that matter. Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to tacos, but in the case of these Casita Nicole Machete tacos, well big is kinda awesome.

Especially when the taco is bigger than the plate.

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Salt and Time ~ Austin TX

Austin, Burgers, Southwest By December 31, 2019 Tags: , , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Salt and Time 1912 E. 7th St. Austin TX 78702
the eats: Butcher’s Burger
the bucks: $11(with cheese)
the full nelson: the best burger I have had in years . . .

I’ve been reading Aaron Franklin’s book about steak recently, and it got me fired up to splurge on a premium steak. Not just a Filet Mignon from Whole Foods(ps I think filet is overpriced and not close to the best) but a steak carefully sourced from a local farm. I’m fortunate to have two butcher shops here in Austin to fulfill that request. One is walking distance to me. The other serves The Salt and Time Butcher’s Burger, the best burger I have had in years.

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Better Half ~ Austin TX

Austin, Burgers By December 22, 2019 Tags: , , No Comments

The Vitals:
the spot: Better Half 406 Walsh St. Austin TX 78703
the eats: Better Half Burger
the bucks: $10
the full nelson: A respectable burger that’s a real deal at happy hour

One trend that cannot be denied is that restaurants aren’t getting cheaper these days. A more promising trend for people like you and me are restaurant concepts that merge counter service with high quality food. If you have been keeping up with Bang for your Burger Buck, you saw that Sixth and Waller fits this bill with a nostalgic burger built with quality ingredients. Better Half is another such place with a burger that becomes a real deal during happy hour.

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Recipe: Holiday Prime Rib Dinner

Recipe By December 6, 2019 Tags: , , No Comments

The Vitals:
recipe: Prime Rib Holiday Dinner
difficulty: Easy. Seems intimidating but the technique is nearly fool proof with the right equipment.
health rating: indulgent. It’s the Holidays after all.
time: Prime Rib: 4 hours including cooking time and prep. the roast has to be seasoned the night before.
Mashed Potatoes: 30 min. Creamed Spinach: 30 minutes

Cooking turkey is a big fat pain. There I said it. And this is coming from a guy who literally did a Thanksgiving cooking demo a few weeks ago. Maybe that’s why I was burnt out on the idea of more poultry for the Ultimate eating holiday but I have always been one to change things up for Thanksgiving. In years past I have had fun with cornbread and sausage or bacon and oysters when it comes to the stuffing game. And I am a big fan of dry brining though for my Thanksgiving demo I did a wet brine with a Mexican twist. Still, even with all the tips and tricks I have accumulated over the years, no roast turkey recipe can compare to the ease and glory that is the Almighty Prime Rib. This is how to absolutely nail it + a few recipes for sides.

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