Streams

This, More Than That

A Highly-Subjective Snapshot of My Tastes at This Moment in Time

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WNYC
Flat white and espresso at Toby's Estate in Williamsburg. (Amy Eddings/WNYC)

A story this week on "All Things Considered" on why the best chocolate is the one you eat last has me thinking about my own personal food preferences.  Feel free to chime in with yours.

I really liked the flat white coffee that I had at Toby's Estate in Williamsburg, Brooklyn earlier this week.  But I've been starting to sample more espressos, to get a sense of coffee in its purest form, and I have to say, the milk in my coffee is starting to get in the way.  I actually liked the espresso of decaf, single origin "Guatamalan Ghosttown" more.

I like the sesame and poppy seed bagels I bought from Bagelsmith in Williamsburg earlier this week.  They were dense and chewy and big, but not scary Ess-a-Bagel-big.  But I like the bagels from Park Slope's Bagel Hole more.  They've got a slightly tangy flavor that I love.  They're smaller, sure, but that's a good thing.  Perhaps that will lead the industry back from silly calorie-saving notions like scooped-out bagel halves.  (A place in Hoboken smashes them; customer testimonials say they taste better that way. Yeah, like melted ice cream tastes better than a big, thick scoop.)  

I like the banana and chocolate chip cake at the Little Cupcake Bakeshop on Prince Street, primarily because it's got Nutella frosting.  But I like the Dreaming Princess cake more.  

First, the girlie name: gotta love it.  "I'd like a dreaming princess cake, please, with a sprinkle of fairy dust on top.  Have the unicorn bring it over to that table by the window."  Second: it's an airy marriage of almond cake with raspberry preserves and vanilla buttercream in the middle, frosted with meringue.  The banana and chocolate chip cake was dense and moist...so moist, it was almost like eating the batter.  

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I like the sweet-savory tastebud tussle caused by chicken liver mousse and strawberry jam.  I had some on a toasted sesame bagel (from Bagelsmith) this morning.  I got the idea from an old New York Times Magazine recipe for foie gras and strawberry jam sandwiches.   It helps that the excellent mousse, from The Meat Hook, was garlicky and super savory, and the strawberry jam from Brooklyn small batch jammer Anarchy in a Jar wasn't Smuckers-sticky-sweet.  

But — and you knew one was coming — I like the umami tongue wrestling that goes on between cashew butter and white miso (fermented soy bean paste) spread on toast.  This idea came from David Chang, of Momofuku, who wrote somewhere about the deliciousness of peanut butter and white miso.  The back-of-the-nose smell of the miso adds a whole new sensory level to breakfast.  Talk about about a wake-up call. 

We're big on "best of's" and comparisons.  What's in your "best of" category this week?

 

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Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

BAYREUTH, GERMANY AT WAGNER'S FESTSPIELHAUS DURING THE SUMMER FESTIVAL PERFORMANCES OF WAGNER'S MUSIC DRAMAS there is adjoining the FESTSPIELHAUS dining for all and sundry, covering every taste bud. MUSIC and FOOD together satisfy the spirit, the health and can inspire the loftiest of projects and plans generally. Commercial business activities have for eons it seems had businessmen luncheons at night clubs where music and food together foster mutually encouraged deals. I am a Wagnerian romantischer heldentenor, opera composer: "Shakespeare" & "The Political Shakespeare" & the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where professional actors are trained for the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers are coached in the Wagner roles, voice production and dramaturgy techniques. I may be reached by phone at the Institute. My next concert in New York will be on Saturday, June 9th at the YOGA EXPO at the SOHO venue at the New Yorker Hotel. The title of the concert is BRING HIM HOME, with that song from the musical LES MISERABLES, encouraging the return of our armed forces and inspiring hope and love of country with This Land is Your Land, The House I Live In, You'll Never Walk Alone, Climb Ev'ry Mountain, Billy Bigelow's Soliloquy from Carousel, Granada, The House I Live In, Wien, Wien, nur du Allein, The Impossible Dream [The Quest], Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, Do You Hear the People Sing?, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Kumbaya, Earth Anthem and eight other selections.

May. 24 2012 02:44 PM

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