The Corn Cookie

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Delaying gratification is an exercise few food lovers can comprehend. We nibble the hors d’oeuvres before the guests arrive, we gobble up the bread basket before the waiter puts pad to pen, we’re ready for seconds while most people are still on their firsts. Which is why I deserve some credit for not devouring the Corn Cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar on my walk home from the East Village last week.

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Saltie & Blue Bottle Coffee

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Last week I decided to take a field trip to Williamsburg.

While working on my book, I did take a weekly sojourn to Park Slope, my old stomping grounds, to grab sushi at Taro and to do work at Gorilla, but I did that because it was comfortable and familiar (and I think Taro has the best, most reasonably priced sushi lunch deal in New York); I also like working at Gorilla, it’s a nice change of pace from my daily West Village routine. But Williamsburg? Williamsburg I know very little about.

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The Most Michael Pollan-ish Plate of Food in New York

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I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while, because I really believe in it.

Like many of you, I’m a fan of Michael Pollan, his book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” (which I wrote about here) and his useful and helpful food rules. I’m also a big fan of Maury Rubin’s City Bakery on 18th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. How are these two things related? Let me explain.

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The Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie at Jacques Torres

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Citizens of America, it is my duty to inform you about something unholy, something sinful that is going on in that wicked city known as New York. Deep in the bowels of a village known as “West” is a veritable Sodom & Gomorrah of chocolate whose creator, a Frenchman!, is trying to tempt our children into evil with a contraption known as the “cookie warmer.” This sick device results in the dangerous, corrupting specimen you see above!

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Tortilleria Nixtamal

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Yesterday I made a journey I’d been putting off for a while.

Actually, it wasn’t even a journey I knew I could make. See, for my cookbook, I needed to track down fresh corn masa. I wasn’t sure where in New York I could get that until I read this excellent post on the Cooking Issues blog which details Dave Arnold’s attempt to make fresh corn tortillas in the French Culinary Institute kitchen. Dave ultimately finds fresh corn masa at a place called Tortilleria Nixtamal in Queens.

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The Hot Dog at Katz’s Deli

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There was a time in my life when I couldn’t conceive of going to Katz’s Deli and not ordering the pastrami.

That would be like going to France and eating pizza; or going to the world’s best sushi restaurant and asking them to cook your fish. Go to Katz’s and not order pastrami? You’ve got to be kidding! Only the other night, after we saw our friend Cary’s movie “Jane Eyre” (Cary went to film school with Craig), we found ourselves at Katz’s Deli and I was very hungered. And the line for pastrami was oh so long. Reader, I got a hot dog.

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Dinner with Chinese Scholars at Grand Sichuan

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Speaking of Chinese food (what is this, a stand-up act?) the other night we had the unique opportunity to dine with Craig’s cousin Dave, a senior at Georgetown, and several of the friends he met while studying abroad in Beijing last year at our favorite New York City Chinese restaurant, Grand Sichuan in the East Village.

Three factors made dining there with Dave and his friends special: (1) they all speak Mandarin Chinese; (2) having lived in China, they turned us on to a new dish; and (3) they could tell us if the food we love at Grand Sichuan tastes like the food tastes in China.

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