Friday, November 25, 2011

Cookies-n-Cream sundae (Dessert Club, ChikaLicious)

Cookies and cream

Evidently my stomach is "disturbingly malleable?"

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I guess the normal thing would be to write about all the things I'm thankful for... awesome friends, loving family, having a great job, but I really don't think any of that really compares to how much I really appreciate the culinary brilliance you see above. Cookies-n-Cream sundae, bitches. Some people say that "calories cannot make you happy." Wrong. Whoever says that is either anorexic or is eating the wrong kinds of food, because you know what - the Cookies-n-Cream sundae from ChikaLicious not only makes me infinitely happier, it is one of the greatest dessert hybrids I have run across in my trek towards inevitable diabetes. I know what some of you are probably thinking: "bitch please, it's just some soft-serve vanilla with hunks of cookie in it. I could go home and break some Keebler cookies into that shit and it'd be the same." Fuck you. Don't belittle that sensually assembled Jenga tower of frozen dairy and butter-laden cookies. Fuck you.

"So prove me wrong," you say? Is it made from the breast milk of a Cambodian immigrant? What exactly makes that shit the dopest ice cream round town? For a couple of reasons. At ChickaLicious, neither the ice cream nor the cookies are an afterthought. They sell those cookies individually... and people pay good money for them, so it's pretty obvious that each one is capable of standing individually without assistance from ice cream. Then there's the ice cream. Is it artisinal and all that jazz? Well... no, but it also isn't McDonald's soft-serve either (not that I don't love McDonald's soft-serve). It's rich enough so that you know your heart hates you, but at the same time, delicious enough that you won't really care.

Awesome cookies

If you thought they just take the shitty reject cookie crumbs and shove them in some ice cream... you'd be epic wrong. They take perfectly good cookies and hulk-smash the shit out of them. The resulting pieces are big enough to satisfy any sort of "fuck ice cream, I wish I were eating cookies" thoughts, but small enough so that little children don't choke on them like the idiots that they are. Also, did I mention that they put three different kinds of cookies in there? Son. Shit just got real. There's "The Situation," "Situation Dark," and "Chocolate Chip." The Situation is a cookie that contains chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, marshmallows, and pretzels... the Situation Dark is basically the same thing, but with a chocolate cookie, and you can figure out what goes into the chocolate chip cookie - here's a hint: chocolate chips. When you fuck all three into some soft-serve - for $6.95 - it's definitely intense.

tl;dr - ChickaLicious Dessert Club makes this sick-ass sundae that has a bunch of cookie chunks mashed into it called the "Cookies-n-Cream" sundae. It tastes like winning the lottery and capturing a leprechaun in the same day. And suddenly... obesity.

ChickaLicious Dessert Club
203 East 10th Street, New York, NY 10003


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wontons in chili oil (White Bear)

Wontons in chili oil (紅油抄手)

I came to two very important realizations this week... one, I haven't written about anything spicy enough to make me regret going to the bathroom lately and two, I haven't talked about dumplings in a while... let's fix both of those things today. Now, I usually adhere to the school of thought that things that are fried are generally better than things that are not fried - case in point: chicken, okra, turkey, pickles, and Oreos. Pretty convincing list. I will however admit that White Bear's wontons - while not fried - are probably the most sensual implementation of pork plus wrapper in the city. Yes, even better than the fried ones at Prosperity (and yes, I know they're different). For once, I'm gonna be one of those assholes who throws around the term 'best'. These are the best fucking dumplings in the city. Feel free to disagree. In which case I only have one question for you - how does it feel to be completely and utterly wrong? Probably awful.

What exactly are these bitches, and why are they so damn delicious? Well, like I said, they're not the same fried dumplings you can find pretty much anywhere in Manhattan Chinatown. They're 紅油抄手 which basically translates to red oil wontons. You take your standard thin skinned pork wonton, cover it in sweetened chili oil, then add on a buttload of scallions and other bits - for flavor and shit.

Like a flower...

Damn son. Look at that shit. Just peep how sexily that chili oil is dripping off the folds of that wrapper... like some oddly inappropriate metaphor that I can't think of right now. It's so explicit this post should be labeled NSFW. Sure, maybe these things don't have a nice crustiness to the skins like Prosperity's do, but they are doused in an oil that could qualify as liquid condiment crack. At first, you only taste the savory richness of the pork and sauce. You might start to think... "oh, these things aren't really that spicy," but gradually - as you shove wonton after wonton into your mouth at an alarming rate - the traces of chili oil start to numb your taste buds. By the time you realize what's happening, you've already shoved 15 down the hatch and your mouth is burning with the passion of 300 Greek men. Kinda like getting paid a million bucks to let someone punch you in the dick. Basically, you're both in heaven and fucked at the same time. The depth of flavor that these dumplings have is unmatched by anything I've had in the states, and probably most of the places that I've had it in Asia too. Shit is too legit to quit.

tl;dr - there's a shady-ass place in Flushing that says it serves ice cream on the awning. Don't be deceived, they serve the finest dumplings in all of New York City. Plus, there's the added bonus that you'll not only enjoy them at the time of consumption, you'll remember them several hours later. Entirely worth it.

White Bear‎
135-02 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Taiwanese food in Flushing (Gu Shine)

Oyster pancake...! (蚵仔煎)

Guuuuuuu shine...

A few months ago, I had mad cravings for Taiwanese food - stinky tofu, oyster pancakes, oil sticks, and a bunch of other shit that most white people aren't even aware of - but there exists the problem that there really aren't any incredible Taiwanese restaurants in Manhattan. Solution: go to Flushing? Evidently not. Instead of finding some dope-ass Taiwanese cuisine, all I gained was a very important life lesson: that you shouldn't eat at a restaurant solely on the basis of it having an awesome name. Even if it's a name as awesome as "Gu Shine." Unfortunately, I don't really think this is a case of the owners being massively pro at trolling people... I'm pretty sure it's just another case of fobbish translations gone demented since the Chinese name of 故鄉 is actually pretty quaint (ps - it means 'home'). What exactly is wrong with Gu Shine?

I guess... technically nothing. It's not as if the food they serve is ass-crack vile, it's just that what they serve isn't an exact reproduction of what exists in the motherland. Know that demotivational poster of "retarded ice cream?" Gu Shine is like that. They get 90% of the way there, then they do something weird and you end up with retarded versions of your nostalgic Taiwanese classics.

Saddest plate ever

Shit son, it's fuckin' oyster pancakes. I love me some fuckin' oyster pancake - so much that I'm willing to break out in hives in order to eat them. Totally worth it. But what Gu Shine did wasn't right. Sure, the requisite ingredients of potato starch, egg, and oysters (as few as there were) were all there... something wasn't quite right. This... is what oyster pancakes should look like - not a plate of placenta explosion as seen at the top. To be entirely fair, their rendition of eggs, starch, and oysters wasn't all that terrible in terms of taste. While the omelette part was kind of nondescript in terms of texture (it should be somewhat gelatinous) and bland in flavor, the sauce was pretty bangin'. But if you're thinking about it that way, you're more or less paying $4 for a plate of sauce. Does that make sense? Probably not, unless you're either rich or stupid.

Stinky tofu (臭豆腐)

There are only two things I enjoy more than shoving fermented pieces of curd that smell like asshole into my mouth, one is Reddit, and the other is probably inappropriate for public knowledge. You're probably thinking... lucky you, Gu Shine has your third most enjoyable thing in the world! Wrong. The perfect plate of stinky tofu has a pungency that offends your olfactory glands from blocks away. The scent possesses a certain endearing charm I can only assume is exactly the same as when male dogs sense a female in heat. Texturally, it should be no different from blocks of fried silken tofu - a skin that's crispy and eerily resilient with a center that essentially melts upon contact.

Blocks of fried awesome

They look like blocks of foam that got refried...

Theirs... is none of that. I was neither offended with the smell nor was I impressed with the frying. It kinda tasted like... eating blocks of semi-fried mozzarella sticks that were starting to go bad. Don't get me wrong, I still ate all of it, but my cravings weren't exactly satisfied. If nothing else, I was just confused about what I was eating. Again, it's not entirely bad, just not what I expected.

tl;dr - The search for legitimate Taiwanese food in NYC continues. Gu Shine serves Taiwanese food almost authentic enough to make you want it more, but also mediocre enough to entirely disappoint you if you've had the original. Sweet name though.

Gu Shine
135-38 39th Avenue, Queens, NY 11354


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Steak and eggs w/fried rice (Boka)

Korean steak and eggs

Holy shit bro... you like steak and eggs? Do you also like kimchi fried rice? Fuck son, me too. If only there were such a glorious place that will fry a couple of eggs sunny-side up, plop them bitches next to some grilled and marinated beef, and serve that ish over some fried rice... shit would be tight, right? Boka does just that, and it's pretty damn legit (in the delicious sense, not the authentic sense). Listen... I know most people go to Boka because they have that sweet-ass deal on Thursdays with the all-you-can-eat/drink BonChon and beers, but if you're already there - I suggest you get a plate of this junk too. It's not that their kimchi fried rice is better than the homemade one made by your Korean friend's mom, and it's not like their galbi is the juiciest/tenderest/most flavorful cut of grilled cow that I've ever put to my lips, and well... eggs are eggs, but when you put all three of those things together and serve it alongside a bottle of soju with Hyori on the label? Fuck yeah it's the best. It tastes exactly like how I felt when Daniel-san beat those assholes from Kobra Kai. No, better. Straight awesome.

tl;dr - yeah I know this isn't really a full post, I just wanted to tell people to go eat some steak and eggs with kimchi fried rice.

9 Saint Marks Pl # D, New York, NY 10003