Food | A Continuous Lean. - Page 3

Discovering Those Who Make.

Sep 12th, 2012 | Categories: Food, Video | by Michael Williams

Short videos of people making things is nothing new around these internets. How many factory videos have I posted on this site? Answer: a lot. Does it mean that all of the attention to craftsmanship is slowing —not so much. And it is not dissipating because it is still interesting. People are also becoming more and more interested in actually making things —be it leather goods or food items. Small batch goods from small batch makers in towns all over the world.

The discovery of the tumblr Those Who Make came as a very welcome surprise. The site is sort of a catch all for interesting maker films — sort of like a regionally unspecific version of my Fuck Yeah Made in USA, but with a more open concept for food, consumer goods and all sorts of other interesting stuff. After looking through, I found some of the food / spirits films most intriguing and original. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but the culinary film aspect hasn’t been as front and center. With the exception of the Mast Brothers who must have had thirty shorts focus on them. I pulled out a few of my favorites, and added in a few other recent film discoveries that seemed to fit the same bill.

I should add that far and away my favorite film of this sort was made by The Smith (discovered via Devour) who profiled hunter / gatherer /cook Rohan Anderson —who could be the most badass man on the internets since Aaron Draplin crushed the world one slice of illustrator at a time. Watch as Rohan builds himself a smokehouse by hand, all with bacon in mind. It is a gloriously representative film for a mesmerizing movement that I hope continues to flourish.





Caught in Time | Nom Wah Tea Parlor

Aug 30th, 2012 | Categories: Food, Kate Dulin | by Michael Williams

Dim sum is one of those things that I always want to eat, but rarely do. Chinese restaurants in New York City with dim sum are madhouses on weekend mornings (when dim sum is typically served in the States), and it’s best to go with a big group in order to maximize pushcart access and dumpling variety. But rallying a bunch of my hungover, bacon, egg, and cheese-craving friends for anything but an American-style brunch early on a Sunday morning is never an easy task.

Thankfully, a friend of mine recently recommended Nom Wah Tea Parlor, where it’s totally acceptable to eat dim sum anytime, regardless of the day of the week or who’s coming along. Though new to me, Nom Wah is the oldest dim sum restaurant in the city and a New York City institution. It opened at 15 Doyers St. as a bakery and tea parlor in 1920, but lost its lease in 1968 and was forced to move into the building next door. It has been at 13 Doyers ever since.

Below: Pell St & Doyers Street circa 1901.





Parma & Co. | Taking Prosciutto Very Seriously.

Jul 20th, 2012 | Categories: Drinking, Food, Italy, Milan | by Michael Williams

Wine, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, bread and a little pasta with basil and tomatoes. That is really all one could want for on a sunny afternoon in Italy.  There’s a salumeria called Parma & Co. that happens to be the perfect place to enjoy the tastes and pace of Brera, one of Milan’s most enjoyable neighborhoods. Brera is quaint and historic with a lot of great restaurants and shops. It’s more low key than some of Milan’s more happening neighborhoods, and is my favorite place to hang out while in Italy’s most stylish city.

The food at Parma & Co. is simple and delicious, very typical of Italy. The must have is the Prosciutto di Parma — the restaurant claims to have won some type of Italian cured meat award, something I don’t doubt actually exists. Regardless of its prosciutto bona fides, your author can confirm that Parma & Co. definitely worthy of a detour, some of your hard earned money and an opportunity at an enjoyable Italian lunch.





Still Going | New York’s Prime Burger

Mar 5th, 2012 | Categories: Food, New York City | by Michael Williams

A few weeks back, I wandered into an old greasy spoon in Gramercy Park and was reminded of a certain New York that has become more the of exception rather than the rule. The general speed and efficiency of the classic New York bodega or greasy spoon is still something that impresses me. I notice lack of New York pace more and more as I travel around the country and the world. While the speed of the City is, at times, appreciated, what I really love is the old school ambiance. That’s why I obsess over places like Keen’s, Eisenbergs, The Side Car, Harry’s, 21 Club and all of the other classic New York spots.

If you aren’t clear on the specific ambiance I am talking about, this video from This Must Be the Place (found via Devour) does a great job of illustrating what makes old school independent businesses so enjoyable. Prime Burger is no exception. It’s about the place and the food, but it is also about the people who have stayed for years or even decades. Supporting the little guys, the independents more fun and keeps our world (and New York) interesting.

Don’t forget about Viand, the high rent diner. And there’s more disappearing New York food and drink here.





Chicago’s Most Famous Obscure Sandwich

Feb 7th, 2012 | Categories: Food, Kate Dulin | by Kate Dulin

A lot of American cities have an iconic sandwich. In Philadelphia, it’s the cheesesteak. New York’s got pastrami on rye, New Orleans: the muffuletta. In most cases, these sandwiches are well known enough outside their respective cities that tourists hunt them down and imitators attempt to introduce them in new cities with limited success. But there are also sandwiches that manage to escape national recognition and remain untainted by Subway (unlike The Big Philly Cheesesteak).

Often eclipsed by the Vienna hot dog in the national sandwich dialogue, the Italian beef is the most famous Chicago sandwich that no one outside the Midwest has ever heard of. After moving to New York, I was shocked to find out that none of my East Coast friends had ever tried a beef. The only way I can explain it to outsiders is by comparing it to a French Dip, although the ingredients in these two sandwiches are similar, the end results are entirely different. The Italian beef at its most basic level uses thinly shaved roast beef that is allowed to soak in its own garlicky, seasoned juices for hours until it has fully absorbed the flavor of the gravy. The beef is then piled inside chewy Italian bread and topped with sweet or hot peppers. Of course, this foundation allows for a number of different sandwich combinations, and every beef stand in the city offers its own flavors and variation on the classic style.





The Layover

Dec 28th, 2011 | Categories: Food, Travel, Video | by Michael Williams

SINGAPORE

I spent a lot of time flying around this year — my frequent flyer account tells me 127,000 miles flown ytd — and the one thing that makes me not regret all those hours spent on planes next to a bunch of C.O.S. is all of the time I was lucky enough to spend experiencing a bunch of different cultures and cuisines. It’s easy to say that no time was more enjoyable than my exploration of Italy with my good friend Courtney, who has been the most amazing guide to all things good in not only Italy, but in life.

With it being the end of the year, I’m guessing that everyone is either on a beach, a ski slope or killing time (at home or work) on the internets. So I figured it would be a good time to think about the places and adventures that will shape 2012. This idea came to me recently while watching every episode of Anthony Bourdain’s food / travel show The Layover. I missed all of these shows when they originally aired (because I don’t really have any time to watch teevee), but thankfully all of the shows are available online and for me to share with you here.





Cured Meat for the Soul | Salumeria Biellese

Oct 26th, 2011 | Categories: Food, Kate Dulin, New York City | by Kate Dulin

My family has always had a theory that the uglier and more out of the way a restaurant, the better the food. When I was a kid, my dad was under the impression that there was nothing worth eating in our suburban Chicago town, so we routinely found ourselves at 65 Restaurant in Chinatown, which had a giant red and gold Buddha in the entrance and a wonton soup to which I compare all others.

I felt a little out of the loop when other kids would talk about eating deep-dish pizza from our local Giordano’s chain, but we had Buffo’s; a sleazier, wood-paneled joint 45 minutes from home with decidedly better pizza. While it used to annoy me, I’ve come to embrace the theory wholeheartedly as I’ve gotten older. It’s no secret that restaurants that look like they’ve stood the test of time tend to serve great food, or maybe food just tastes better when you have to work a little for it.

Either way, Salumeria Biellese is one of those places. If it weren’t for the sun-faded press clippings and awards plastered all over one of the font windows, you could walk by every day and not realize that it offered anything to distinguish it from the hundreds of other generic corner delis in the city. It resides on a stretch of 8th Avenue below Penn Station with little to lure in crowds besides superior encased meats. While locavorism and slow food have become increasingly popular in recent years, Salumeria Biellese has been making its own cured meats and sausages since 1925. They expanded operations to New Jersey a few years ago, but local family farms continue to supply all of their meat (mainly Berkshire hogs), and the salumi are based on traditional Piedmontese recipes.