Tag Archives: New York

Diners of the Caribbean- The Islands

Ricky and I have eaten the $200 dollar steak dinners and have tasted desserts that look like miniature works of art, but some of our most memorable experiences have been at hole-in-the walls, tasting new and delicious food with locals.  This weekend, we trekked back to our old stomping grounds to eat authentic jerk chicken at The Islands in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

When Ricky and I arrive, we are surprised to find that it is quite literally a hole in the wall, the bottom floor consists of just a counter top and kitchen.  The waiter asks if we would like to eat there and points us upstairs to a room that is, if possible, even smaller than the first floor.  I try to get to an empty table, knocking chairs and bumping into other diners as I make my way.  I  turn around worried about how my 6’2 tall boyfriend will manage only to see him nestled snuggly, wedged between the table and the wall.  The things this kid will do for good food.

We order the large Oxtail platter that comes with rice and beans, salad, and cabbage.  The oxtail, saucy and flavorful, falls off the bone and is amazing with the tender rice. Best of all, we got a HUGE plate for just $15.00.

Their signature dish is the Jerk Chicken, just as ginormous and only $12.00, also accompanied by rice and beans, salad, and cabbage. The rub on the chicken is spiceful, not too hot and so juicy and tasty.  Everything just worked together so well with the spice from the meat, the mellowness of the cabage, the sweetness of the salad and the starchiness of the rice and beans.  If this is what people in the Caribbean eat every day, then pack me in a shipping crate and send me over express.

We also overheard a lot (A LOT) of people talk about how good the mac n cheese is there.  So much so that we almost ordered it to go. Good thing we came to our senses because by the end of the meal, I was so full jerk chicken was coming out of my nose. It truly is a great value. 

Comfort food like this is, in my opinion, some of the hardest dishes to get right.  The ingredients are basic and making it is just as simple, but when it’s done right… I whoosh into my childhood like Anton Ego after his first bite of Ratatouille.

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Season of Giving- Feeding New York

If there’s one thing I love to do in life, it’s eating.  It’s such a basic/essential part of the human experience.  Everyone has to eat, but sadly not everyone always gets to.

My parents taught me and my sister to appreciate food at a very young age.  They made sure we understood that every grain of rice was precious; that we were lucky to have a full bowl to eat every night; and that being picky and wasteful was a luxury most of the world could not afford. Even in New York City, one of the richest cities in the world, food poverty is around every corner.

As the holidays approach, I like to find ways to help others in my community whether it’s donating money, clothes, or time.  This year, before Thanksgiving I will be working with Food Bank NYC which offers volunteer opportunities to help end hunger in New York.  You can join in working at a local soup kitchen, packing food to be delivered to homes in need, collecting and distributing canned goods at food pantries, or campaigning to help keep the program going. I usually like to work in the soup kitchens because, I’ll admit, I’m kind of a creeper and like to watch people eat and enjoy food, but this year I’ll be part of the packing crew at Pier60. I believe the volunteer registration is closed for Thanksgiving, but they will probably need more people for Christmas as well.  Please let me know if you are interested in volunteering and you can join my group for Christmas packing!

Who knows, maybe we’ll run into Kevin Bacon at this thing and ask him what he thinks of the new Footloose.

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Scenes from Fort Tryon Park NYC

My favorite park in NYC is Fort Tryon Park by the Cloisters Museum in Inwood. Take the A uptown to 190 st to a little slice of serenity. Click “read more” to see some additional pics.

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A Hungry Bunch- The Kanhayuwas Visit

Warning: Picture heavy post

I tried to write about my family’s visit this past week, but all I can really recall is the food.  That’s because we didn’t do much other than eat. Yeah, it was warm and fuzzy and the Kanhayuwas are always a funny, joyous bunch, but above all they are just hungry. Six meals in one day. This is how my parents travel.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again, the best thing about having visitors is showing them how New York does food. These pictures are just from the first day and still some entrees and dishes are missing (aka have already been devoured).  After day one of taking blurry, half eaten shots of our food, we all just sort of went “screw the pictures” and ate the face off New York.  Now that I’ve briefed you, let’s just cut the crap and head straight for the good stuff, the pictures (in no particular order).
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The Creator’s Project comes to New York in DUMBO this weekend with film screenings, art shows, and performances galore.  Not the mention, food from Brooklyn Flea. Hollaaa! RSVP here! I’m going on Saturday so I can see Arcade Fire and Florence + The Machine.  See you guys there!

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