Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flowering Chives

An herb garden is a nice thing to have. Fresh herbs at a supermarket are usually OK. And it's easier to get parsley and cilantro there than to grow them or cut them. But rosemary and sage, for instance, are much better grown yourself and cut fresh.

Each year the first herb that's ready always seems to be chives. They've been ready for a while now, in my garden, and they've already gone to flower. Which is bad. Here is a pic of my chives:

(No, I don't know why the bottom part is out of focus. I'm trying to figure it out.)

The point of all this is that my flowering chives remind me of something Alan Harding said on his short-lived Cookin' in Brooklyn, if anyone remembers that thing. I forget what the recipe was, but one of the ingredients was "flowering chives."

Well, as anyone who grows chives knows, once the chives go to flower, the leaves (what you eat) become woody and flavorless. It's like eating straw. So I don't get the point of having that as an ingredient unless you don't know what you're talking about and are trying to make your recipe sound more exotic. Like having orange blossom water or some shit. Give me a f*cking break.

This isn't the only dumb thing Harding said. See here. Not that I didn't like the guy. His recipes didn't really do much for me, and he seemed like a weird dude, but nice enough.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Review: Takara

This is a Japanese/sushi place in the strip mall on Vets Highway in Islandia, just off Exit 57 of the Big L.I.E. It's usually packed for lunch. I've eaten in there a couple times, and it's nice inside--though pretty dim. But mostly we get take out. (I remember being in there for lunch a few years ago and not being thrilled with their lunch selections.)

The spicy calamari appetizer is spicy. Their tempura is average/good. The wife loves their red bean fried ice cream. But the ginger salad dressing is nothing to get excited about. Nor is the miso soup with tofu. Yuck.

The best thing about this place is that the sushi is generally pretty good (read: fresh) and is a decent price--for sushi, that is, which is always a rip off. Always. It's just one of those things you have to accept in life.

The hand roll special comes in big, long pieces of nori. So it's kind of a pain to eat. I've tried cutting them into individual pieces, and I have good, sharp knives, but apparently I have no idea what I'm doing. So it didn't work out.

The best sushi deal in town, though, is their sushi deluxe ($16). I get it each time we go there. It's a California roll, with another type of big roll, with something like 8 or 10 pieces of sashimi (I forget). It will fill you up. Other places (read: Kotobuki) would charge $30 for that.

Now the bad part...I got the take out last week (normally it's the wife). Inside were three or four waitresses, standing around, who were completely clueless and had rotten, shitty attitudes. And because they annoyed me, I am giving Takara 1 star. So suck on that, bitches.

1 star (that's right)

1708 Vets Highway
Islandia, NY 11749
(631) 348-9470

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Best Rotisserie Chickens

I like those pre-cooked rotisserie chickens you get at supermarkets. They're usually around $7 to $8, and you can good 4 or 5 cheap, high protein, low carb meals out of them. For those of you who care about low carb crap, which I do.

Let's start with the worst ones: Stop & Shop and King Kullen. The chickens at these places are always bland, overcooked, dry, and soggy and gross on the bottom. Yes, the chicken is at once dry and watery. Nice combo. The problem is that, since these stores are all over the place, I normally get the chickens at one of them since it's more convenient. And I don't care what flavors they come up with--BBQ, Bourbon, etc. They all suck.

A better one, believe it or not, is from BJ's. The chicken is not overcooked and for some reason seems to taste better overall. It's also cheaper--around $4 or $5 if I remember.

But the best is from Whole Foods in Jericho. The chickens are juicy and, again, seem to have a better flavor, all over, than the Stop & Shop and King Kullen chickens. Also, Whole Foods actually seasons them. And whatever they do (packaging or who knows what), the chickens are not soggy on the bottom. Maybe beause they don't sit in a puddle of chicken juice like the Stop & Shop and King Kullen versions.