Another theme week… Mobile Food

Site Info Written by Nathan Mattise

All blogs love a good theme week.

Each year of our short existence we’ve done a Diner Week where there’s a daily featured review, spanning diners from across the country and culminating in a 5/5 review. Last year we showed our U.S. Futbol support with a week of diner reviews written in the form of patriotic songs. This time around things get a bit more practical.

It’s been about a year since I went to Europe for nine days and the local media is pushing something that reminds me of it every second. While I can get takeout at some diners, that’s nothing like having a true breakfast of mobile food.

This comes in a variety of forms: true street food, food trucks, grab-and-go counter places, etc. Each day we’ll revisit a mobile food experience from the past year and use the same scale as always with a few tweaks (ex: true mobility of the food) to put it in perspective. I’m not sure any of the locales can match the Boulangerie I had the pleasure of eating at in Giverny, France (below), but there’s only one way to find out.

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Recipe Review: Captain Crunch cookies from Miss In The Kitchen

Recipe Review | Prepared, written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Original recipe from Miss In The KitchenOverall Rating: 3

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A week’s worth of food spawning a week’s worth of links

Food Links | Compiled by Nathan Mattise

Today’s trivial links courtesy of my last week of eating…

  • While in NYC, I also found my way to a small Astoria place called The Kebab Cafe. Hardcore Bourdain fans may remember it because of Ali and co.’s quick spot on No Reservations. It’s expensive but a well-worth it experience. Ali personally delivers and introduce his hand-selected menu of authentic Egyptian cuisine… which may often include parts most don’t eat regularly (testicle, sweetbread, tongue, liver, etc.). Not exactly a hot spot for vegetarians, though NPR recently said bacon could be their gateway so to speak.
  • Finally, a few days earlier I provided some videography work for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs event here in CNY. That good deed got me access to all the good feed (? sorry).  The list of restaurants represented was a who’s who of the area’s highend cuisine. A few of the better dishes from the night are in the brief slideshow below.

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Diner Critique: Cooperstown Diner (Cooperstown, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating: 5

If you’re in Cooperstown, N.Y., chances are you’re there for baseball (with the exception of locals and those seeking out Brewery Ommegang of course).  Baseball and food go hand and hand however (see slideshow for details), and that’s why an establishment like the Cooperstown Diner needs to fit into your travel plans. It may appear less extravagant than that hall just down the street, but there’s just as much charm and value here for baseball purists and the rest of us alike.

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Recipe Review: Milkshakes from 1st Milkshake and Smoothie Recipes

Recipe Review | Prepared, written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Original recipe from 1st Milkshake and Smoothie RecipesOverall Rating: 5

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Diner Critique: Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn (Angelica, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating: 3

The saying goes it’s about the journey not the destination, right? On that criteria alone, the best diner in the world is located in rural western New York.

You really need to be in the know and have true breakfast passion to make your way to Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn. It’s only open from the beginning of February through the beginning of April.  The closet cities are Buffalo and Rochester… and each manages to be about an hour and a half away. If it wasn’t for a PBS breakfast special, this wouldn’t have even been on my radar.

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Recipe Review: Buffalo Chicken Dip via Frank’s Red Hot

Recipe Review | Prepared, written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Original recipe from Frank’s Red HotOverall Rating: 5

Frank’s Red Hot is a Central/Western New York institution. Tabasco may have its stronghold on other areas but not in this neighborhood. Keeping that in mind, I’m not sure there’s a more praised application of the sauce than with this (affectionately called) Buff Chix Dip.  It’s a hit at everything from classy contemporary adult parties to college ragers where it gets eaten both hot and cold. That versatility (and its incredible ease to create) make it a must for any novice cooks out there. Continue reading

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