Category Archives: neighborhood

Alternative Views: DUMBO, Brooklyn

Forget the Statue of Liberty,  The Empire State Building, or the freaking Sex and The City Tour. There’s a reason New Yorkers hardly grace any of those attractions. When you come to New York you must visit DUMBO, a formerly industrial part of the city by the water that has in the past twenty years been reclaimed as prime real estate.
Under the Brooklyn Bridge

DUMBO is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, but is actually a great spot to view both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. This area used to be a ferry port and housed several factories before these were shut down and artists took residence, naming it so as an attempt to dissuade developers from discovering the beauty of this area. Today the industrial era buildings and structures are side by side with luxury condominiums. You can’t argue with progress. Continue reading

Sunrise Mart, East Village

Hidden on the second floor of the infamous St. Marks Bookshop in the East Village is Sunrise Mart, a New York institution that offers Japanese and Asian fare only a time-test specialized store would have. It boasts a produce, meat and seafood section as well as condiments, teas,  snacks, and almost everything else one would need to make a basic Japanese meal.

The vegetable section is limited but sufficient, with staples like daikon, choy sum, and watercress.

I am particularly fond of the cute mushroom selection which includes bunapi and maitake mushrooms as well as the usual shiitake.

The seafood section is impressive with octopus, squid and cuttlefish.

The fish section has individually packed salmon, sardines, and eel.  They are packaged in small portions for the convenience of single or small family eaters.

The meat department offers a sufficient selection of thinly sliced meats for sukiyaki and okonomiyaki.

In the back is a cute china section with ramen bowls and dishes.

And a great selection of Japanese tea kettles and cups.

An added bonus is the availability of my favorite chili garlic oil bukkake okazu rayu.

 What else would you need? For a good Japanese-themed meal, I believe not much more.

My stash for the day was modest: shishito peppers for frying, Korean peppers for my sesame beef stew, and some favorite rice crackers.

Oh and a photo of this happy character who gives new (or old) meaning to the word boner.
Everything at Sunrise Mart makes me say “Oishi!” 

Sunrise Mart
29 3rd Ave
(between 10th St & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Mile End Restaurant, Brooklyn

We’ve noticed the weekend crowds at this 5-table-plus-counter restaurant for a while now and finally made it out to Hoyt Street to check it out. Mile End calls itself a “Montreal Jewish Delicatessen,” serving breakfast treats like lox sandwiches, brisket platters and whitefish salad. I was craving maple syrup that morning and did not go wrong with the breakfast burger. Bonus points for this restaurant for being the very few ones who serve a bottle or pitcher of water at the table without being asked.
Breakfast Burger

Turkey sausage, apple sauce, Vermont butter, egg, maple syrup.
I saw the chef put a few squares of butter on top of the patty as it was cooking on the griddle, then placed a steel bowl to cover it while cooking.

Smoked meat hash. Smoked brisket, eggs, potatoes, chives.

Served with sriracha. The hash is so rich that it needed a side piece of toast (ordered separately).

Kitchen and baked goods (double toasted almond challah, cinamon bun, English muffin, apple turnover)

Style elements include vintage Canadian hockey photos.

Great meal fit for champions.
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Favorite Things: Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding

Now I’m hardly a fan of sweets but can never resist this whenever it’s around. Magnolia Bakery‘s Banana Pudding is fluffy and tasty and expertly combines Nilla wafers, bananas, condensed milk and vanilla pudding. This seriously has to be taken away from me or else I’ll finish it all.

A tub of goodness.

If it doesn’t look so attractive to you, just close your eyes.
Pleasure awaits.
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Favorite Things: Chicken Box at Pies N’ Thighs

The chicken at Pies N’ Thighs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has beaten the Harlem classics Amy Ruth’s and Sylvia’s in my book, although I must say that while their biscuits are awesome, their waffles leave much to be desired. (Full disclosure: the waffles are whole wheat, so that might explain it.)

Either way their pies and donuts are lovely, as are the Biscuits and Gravy. Definitely enough to keep me in Brooklyn any day.

My favorite is the chocolate cake donut.

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