Tag Archives: bacon

Affordable Eats at Chelsea Market


The colder weather is not making life easy for this aspiring street food blogger, but thankfully there are indoor markets, such as the Chelsea Market on 15th and 9th Avenue, which is the focus of this post. Chelsea Market, according to Wikipedia, is located in the building that used to house the National Biscuit Company, which incidentally, invented the Oreo cookie, which can only be a good thing.

I visited Chelsea Market two years ago in the summer of 2012, just as the hipster movement was becoming mainstream. I remember being very taken in by the grungy, underground feel of the place, with it being a former factory and all. I was very much looking forward to pay another visit to the place and see what had changed and what didn’t. Also, having the benefit of having more disposable income the second time around, I was hoping to try more food than I did the last time.

The first thing you notice when you enter is that the Market is actually a lot smaller than you would think. There is a walkway from the entrance at 9th Av, that leads through the building. When you exit at 10th Avenue, there are restaurants, shops and bars on both sides. I decided I had to check out this European bakery, called Amy’s Bread, where I laid eyes on a Ham and Swiss quiche. They say that real men don’t eat quiche, but that’s not true. Everybody eats quiche, real men admit they do. When I was in Nice, France in April this year I was having one for breakfast every day for the three days I was there, from this little bakery on the corner of the road, with a very nice French lady eager to speak to us in English.

Ham and Swiss quiche
Ham and Swiss quiche

The ham and swiss quiche looked promising and it did certainly smell good when served up. While I liked the filling, I felt that the pastry to filling ratio was a little too high for me, and, the bottom of the quiche was a little burnt, unfortunately. Nevertheless, the filling was good.

I then wandered into this seafood hall called the Lobster Place, a brightly-lit, ridiculously crowded place stocked with the freshest looking seafood and a very tempting sushi bar. As I entered I saw Japanese tourists carrying plates of the largest, reddest looking lobsters I had ever seen – and boy did they look good. Unfortunately, I do not have THAT much disposable income, so I settled for a chowder, which was supposed to be quite good. I was going to go for the classic New England clam chowder, but I saw a scallop and bacon and a lobster bisque option. I went for the scallop and bacon, and I was really glad with that choice. The chowder was so flavorful – salty with the sea and enriched by a glorious bacon back note. I would highly recommend doing that if you’re on a budget, or perhaps try the lobster bisque that I saw other folks making a beeline for.

Scallop and bacon chowder
Scallop and bacon chowder

Lastly, I decided I needed a burger to wash it all down, and went to Friedman’s Lunch for a takeaway burger. A proper beef burger with fries would be the best way to end the day. I had the Friedman’s burger, medium rare, which was cooked to perfection. Many times you don’t get a perfectly cooked burger, dark and caramelized on the outside, soft and pink inside, but Friedman’s did it just right. You’re allowed other toppings as well: lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, cheese, mushrooms and avocado. I settled for the veggies, Swiss cheese and bacon (again), which I believe you can’t go wrong with anyway. The fries were very well-cooked, but I had too much to eat by then that I unfortunately couldn’t finish them all. If I were to be critical, I would say the patty needed a good twist of seasoning, which was a shame, because the actual cooking of the patty was spot on and the buns perfectly toasted. But, hey, everyone’s a critic.

Burger from Friedman’s Lunch was well made.

Perhaps I don’t sound too enthusiastic about Chelsea Market, which is true, because Chelsea Market left me pining for London’s famous Borough Market, which I miss greatly, with its cooked food and produce stands run by people from all over the world. Chelsea Market is not too expensive, and dishes out quite decent grub, but lacks a certain market vibe – it feels more like a decked-out hipster food hall than a bona fide market, and I admit I am being harsh here. I guess it’s an expectations problem. What impressed me at Chelsea Market, though, were the grocery shops, specifically BuonItalia and the Manhattan Fruit Exchange. BuonItalia especially was great, selling every type of pasta you could imagine and lots of types of cheese and other Italian goodies, for reasonable prices as well. Definitely worth a trip just to take a look at what they have available. Also impressive, coffee from ninth street espresso, which was aromatic, full, proper coffee that, at $2.50, was a decent price for your standard pour.


What Chelsea Market does well though, is reflect what New York is. They’ve fit a mind-boggling, almost overwhelming array of shops and variety of cuisines in what is a very small area. You can get almost anything you might want here, everything will seem expensive, but if you look hard enough you could find a good deal. There will be hits and misses, bored-looking hipsters, tourists in New Balance sneakers and mums with kids in tow, it will be hustle and bustle but if you take your time to scratch beneath the surface you just might unearth some gems.



Waffle Creations

Have you made waffles in the dining halls recently? I know I haven’t, and if you haven’t either, I don’t blame you. Most of the time, it just doesn’t seem worth it. Why would you fiddle with the waffle iron and then wait around for two minutes for the timer to go off just to have the regular old waffles with syrup again? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
What we need is some new ideas about how we can spice up our dining hall waffle experience. With these waffle creation recipes, making waffles will totally be worth it!

Waffle Breakfast Sandwich:

Waffles + Eggs + Cheese + Sausage + Bacon = Breakfast of Champions

  1. Ask for two fried eggs with cheese at the omelette bar.
  2. Time for some serious multitasking: While eggs are cooking, prepare waffle. Bounce back and forth between the omelette bar and waffle iron to make sure no one is messing with your unattended goods.
  3. Once waffles and eggs are ready, cut waffle in half and place eggs on one piece
  4. Add sausage and bacon and put the other waffle piece on top. Finished product is featured in the picture above in all its glory.

Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich:
Waffles + ice cream = OMG delicious

  1. Cut waffle into two pieces about the size of a Samsung Galaxy #productplacement
  2. Place two scoops of your favorite ice cream flavor onto one of the waffle pieces. Watch as the hot waffle slowly melts the cold ice cream. Aw man, this is gonna be good.
  3. Squish other waffle piece on top and eat up!


Baconery Poster (Photos Courtesy of Natalie Smyth)

This week’s piece is somewhat of a departure from the normal post about an ethnic restaurant but it’s about a no less unusual find. Baconery is an eatery located on Columbus Avenue between 104th and 105th street. As the shop’s name suggests this establishment is a bakery; what’s peculiar about it is that there is bacon in everything save for the drinks.

The menu features a strange but enticing selection of classic desserts including chocolates, caramel treats, pies, macaroons, cookies, and brownies, all of which include pieces of bacon. Perhaps it is needless to say that this eatery is probably not great for people who don’t or can’t eat bacon. And honestly, even though I consider myself quite the bacon lover, I was hesitant about the concept.


Assorted Bacon Treats

The atmosphere was very cozy with plush seating and abundant colorful decorations (mainly bacon-themed posters and memorabilia). The service was very polite, enthusiastic, and happy to talk about the theme of the bakery and make recommendations. After ordering at the counter we took a seat and were served very promptly. I had already had dinner before heading over to Baconery and had planned only on getting a dessert.

Bacon Mac and Cheese

However, I was told that as part of a weekend special they were offering a mac and cheese dish which included four varieties of bacon. So I decided to try this as well as the dessert I had originally set out for. The mac and cheese was well portioned and very satisfying, even though I had already had dinner I was thoroughly enjoying it. I felt that the bacon was very complementary to the basic dish, and the four different varieties of bacon (some thin and crispy and others think and hearty) made every bite a little different. For dessert I felt compelled to keep it simple and rather than order a bacon cookie, pie, or brownie I choose the chocolate covered bacon strip. There were several varieties of this, in dark, milk, and white chocolate and with a variety of toppings (one of which was more bacon). I choose to keep it simple and order just the milk chocolate bacon strip. The combination of the sweet chocolate with the salty and savory bacon was wonderful; however, I found that after each bite I was left chewing a slab of bacon even after the chocolate had dissipated. That being said it was a fine dessert and well worth the $2.

Chocolate Covered Bacon

Overall, Baconery is a very fun experience where they offer truly unique treats at fair prices in a comfortable atmosphere. And I definitely plan to go back some time to try some of their more exotic offerings.


Bacon Gravy, an Ancestral Breakfast of Champions


artwork from magpie-moon on flickr

Manon tells a heart-warming anecdote about heart-stopping bacon gravy.  Recipe after the jump!

Most of what I’ve experienced of my grandparents’ cooking has come from my dad’s retellings of his childhood memories or from his own adaptations of his parents’ recipes. The best one of these recipes is definitely my grandfather’s bacon gravy (though he was not the only one to make it). Coming from a long line of Spanish-California rancheros, this breakfast dish is robust and rustic. And while incredibly unhealthy and promising to stink up the entire house and your clothes with the smell of bacon and burnt butter, it is a delicious meal that keeps you far from going hungry the entire day. Summer figure concerns do have to be put aside for this one.

Over the years, each generation adapted the recipe to their new and evolving tastes. My grandparents for example preferred a smooth and more viscous béchamel, so they would strain out the bacon bits before adding in the flour, and would pour in the milk tiny bit by tiny bit, all the while whisking furiously to avoid any lumps. Today though, we seem to have returned to a more rustic method of preparation: the bacon bits and lumps are left to be. Don’t be fooled though! While these adaptations may appear to result from ensuing laziness, I promise you that they add to the ancestral, ranchero feel of the dish. It is, after all, a down-to-earth and rugged meal, so less refinement adds to its texture and substance.

So, while the ingredient list and serving suggestions may frighten the heath conscious eater, (and understandably so) I can assure you that having bacon gravy for breakfast is well worth the extra workout that eating it calls for. At least you won’t go hungry on your run? Continue reading Bacon Gravy, an Ancestral Breakfast of Champions

Live from the Culinary House: Survival Guide for Snow

Every week, the Culinary Society blog brings you the latest from our headquarters, the Culinary House. This week, Matt whipped up a savory butternut squash soup to stave off the early cold.

This may be a bit excessive.

In the childhood cartoons, I always remember watching the characters waking up and looking out the window during the winter. Low and behold, a fluffy blanket of white had fallen overnight. The characters were always overjoyed, ecstatic, and they ran for their winter gear and a sled.

Last Saturday, I was thoroughly exhausted from our catering event for the Latino Heritage Showcase. I went to sleep collapsed in bed at 2 in the morning. I woke up around 11:30 to the sound of Claire audibly freaking out right outside my door, “It’s snowing, it’s snowing.”

Yes, I had heard the weather rumors throughout the week, but I didn’t pay attention. My boots stayed stored away in my closet and my winter coat was in the far reaches of our coat closet. I looked out my window and discovered that Claire was right. It was indeed snowing, and this was no slight flurry–the snow fell in chunks! In response to the extreme weather, we wrote our guideline to surviving the early winter snowfalls:

1. Proper Attire: The only clothing that should be worn during these freak storms is pyjamas, preferably warm flannel ones with comfy socks. This should probably be accompanied with a blanket and a hot cup of chocolate.

2. BYOB: The only time that Claire and I ventured out of the Culinary House was to run (and I mean literally run) to the corner liquor shop. When we were safe inside the warm store, we picked out som hearty bourbon and dark rum. Bourbon naturally pairs with hot cider, giving it a bit of extra spice. Plus, bourbon and whiskey, above all alcoholic drinks in my book, have the ability to warm up the whole body. Dark rum is perfect for making hot buttered rum. What else? Buttered Rum is a delicious dessert drink, combining spices, brown sugar, and (yep, you guessed it) butter.

3. Make Soup!

Soup is my favorite of all comfort foods. Butternut Squash Soup is a traditional fall staple, but this version takes a new twist, adding bacon and bleu cheese for a savory kick. You can also try a variation on the main ingredient: sub out the butternut squash and use acorn squash or pumpkin. Continue reading Live from the Culinary House: Survival Guide for Snow


Breakfast Casserole with baked eggs

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. Waffles doused in maple syrup evokes memories of sleep-overs at my friend’s house. Eggs remind me of school mornings with my cousin, watching “Alladin the animated series.” Bacon… well, bacon draws out all sorts of memories… especially Claire singing an ode to its goodness. However, due to the fact that breakfast is the very first meal of the day, I rarely get the chance to enjoy this meal. My typical breakfast consists of a bowl-full of Honey Graham Oh’s or perhaps Greek Yogurt with honey and mango. At 5:30 in the morning, I don’t have a lot of time (or energy) to really enjoy the meal. I dash off to work yearning for some good blueberry pancakes. And even on my days off, I wake up hungry. I don’t have the time to cook an elaborate brunch. I immediately settle for that bowl of cereal in order to satiate my growling stomach.

In short, breakfast was missing from my life and this problem had to be resolved. The solution? I called for a breakfast-for-dinner, inviting Kelcey and Claire and our new culinarian, Leah. (Leah is a fellow co-worker from Dean and Deluca. Claire refers to her as her “cheese sister”–and believe me, they are so much alike, I can hardly believe that they found each other. British ties, English majors, white girls with brown hair. People in the store have a hard time telling them apart…)

I arrived home on one of those sweltering days–it was around 95 degrees outside plus the humidity. I had never experienced heat like this in my life and I could not stand the thought of turning on the oven. Luckily, Claire had been running the a/c all day. (I am sooooo lucky that Claire made me buy an a/c for the apartment. If not, I would have come home and just broken down crying, lying in the fetal position and whimpering… and sweating.) I entered the sanctuary of the air conditioned apartment–Claire lay on the couch, basking in the a/c. In my hands, I carried two loaves of bread: Pane Pugliese (for the breakfast casserole) and an Organic Cinnamon Bread (for the French Toast).

It was unfortunate, but I had to turn on the oven for the breakfast cassserole… The a/c kept the kitchen temperate, at least that’s what I would like to think.

Breakfast rarely seems to have courses. Personally, I am content with my filling portion of grains, enough to sustain me until lunch. This, however, was breakfast-for-dinner. We had three courses with which to contend. The first course: Caramelized French Toast with Mascarpone and Blueberries. To follow, a more substantial course of Breakfast Casserole with Bruschetta. The breakfast casserole was akin to a Thanksgiving stuffing but with a breakfast spin: bread, oil, bacon, tomatoes, chicken stock, onions, and herbs. To top it off? Baked eggs. Oh yeah. When we served up the casserole, each person received one baked egg. We broke the eggs, yolk running into the dish and creating a scrumptious combination of fat with, well, more fat. And don’t forget the final course! As if the French Toast was not sweet enough, we finished with a dessert of Strawberry Souffles with Vanilla Creme Anglais. And of course, we had BACON throughout. Kelcey also contributed a fine bottle of champagne with the option of making mimosas.

I was happy to make the food. In truth, I had avoided heat throughout the summer. Even a quick saute over the stove heated up the kitchen to an unbearable 85 degrees. So this time around, I cranked up the a/c and cooked in a fury, desperate to quickly turn off the oven. Kelcey and Leah arrived at the end of my kitchen scrambling–Claire was already here in the apartment, locked away in her room and avoiding the heat of the kitchen.

Once everyone settled around the table, it was time for the first course. Thickly cut Cinnamon Bread was transformed into delicious French Toast. This course proved the words of pastry chef Michael Laiskonis: “Breakfast is really just dessert with a different name.” Here’s the recipe (it serves 4): Continue reading Breakfast-for-Dinner!

This is Epic!

That’s all I can say!

My suitemate, Warren, just showed me this youtube clip. If you think you had a good Thanksgiving, these people just put you to shame. In fact, they probably put everybody to shame. It even puts the Turducken to shame. The sheer amount of meat and gluttony involved in this meal is CRAZY!


Caution: This movie is not for the squeamish. There is a fair share of butchery involved. No blood though.

Forgotten Foods: Brussels Sprouts

Ok, I must admit that there are a couple foods that I just do not like. Brussels sprouts typically makes the top of the list, and I think that’s the case for many people. Brussels sprouts are often associated with the smell of stinky socks or “the gunk on the bottom of your sink” as my suite-mate so eloquently put it. However, it is this smell that one should avoid while cooking the vegetable. Once the sprout begins to give off this sulphorous smell, it is a sign of overcooking–something one should never do when it comes to vegetables.

Brussels sprouts (in their modern form) were first cultivated in (yep, you guessed it…) Belgium! They are related to (most obviously) cabbage and (not so obviously) broccoli. The harvest season for this vegetable is all the way from June to January. (Which means I have plenty of time to learn to love this vegetable.)

As much as I dislike Brussels sprouts, there is one recipe that I have found that makes them delicious: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon! I should have known that bacon would improve my least favorite vegetable–bacon makes everything taste better! But before I go into a digression on bacon, here’s the recipe:


6 slices of bacon

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh thyme

1/2 C olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. butter


1. Fry bacon, turning occasionally, until crisp, 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic and thyme together in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Remove the outer leaves of the Brussels Sprouts and discard. Continue to remove leaves, and place in a bowl. Remove the core. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leaves and 1/2 C water, cover and raise heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and steam leaves until they are bright green and tender, 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl.

4. Crumble bacon atop the Brussels sprouts leaves. Add in dressing. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper.

Pics from the Hapa Fusion Party

Greetings all, finally posting pics/recipes from the Hapa Fusion Party event! The theme was cultural “fusion” and we were asked to incorporate flavors from four widely different cultures, representing the groups performing during the event: West African, Chinese, Indian, and Phllippino. It was definitely one of our more challenging events as we had to figure out not only which flavors to incorporate, but also how to incorporate them, in terms of ingredients and technique.  Here’s the finalized menu!

  • Puled Pork Lettuce Wraps w/ Mango Salsa
  • BLT Spring Rolls
  • Sweet Samosas with Yams, Bananas and Golden Raisins
  • Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken Quesadillas
  • Homemade Lime flavored Tortilla Chips w/ Asian inspired Guacamole- served as an appetizer
  • Ginger-Mint Limeade

and now for lovely behind-the-scenes pics: