The Question of Char

Craig’s sister Kristin, a food-enthusiast, came to visit last week and sampled her way through some of New York’s most celebrated pizza (well, its most celebrated pizza within or around Bleecker Street.) And so she sampled Joe’s on 6th Ave. and Bleecker Street Pizza on 7th Ave. (her favorite) and, on Tuesday night, she joined Craig and me for pizza at John’s, our regular go-to good-old-fashioned coal-oven pizza joint.

Skyline Chili & Graeter’s Ice Cream

For as long as I’ve known my friend Lisa (and I’ve known her for over 10 years (see the Lisa A.G. archive)) she’s been singing the praises of her hometown, Cincinnati, Ohio. There were many times where she tried to convince me to visit her and her family there, and there were many excuses why I couldn’t go; but this past weekend, Lisa got married in the Natti and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Strange and Exotic Candies from Around The World

It all started with the heart-shaped glass bowl.

My friend Lisa’s getting married at the end of the month and, earlier this year, when she registered at Crate and Barrel they gave her that heart-shaped glass bowl you see above. On my birthday, in February, she re-gifted it to me. “Adam, I want you to have this,” she said, handing me the box. I unwrapped it eagerly and then stared at it. “What am I supposed to do with this?” I snapped, ungratefully.

“I dunno, fill it with candy!”

How To Host A Vegetarian Dinner Party (Answer: Mushroom Bourguignon)

My friend Lisa was there at the very beginning of this blog. Six years ago, she and I would have debates about the worthiness of olives, we’d sing songs about pumpkin cake, and often we’d cook together. Then I moved far away to a country called Brooklyn and even though Lisa and I still saw each other socially, we’d rarely cook together. Three years passed. In that time, my cooking improved immeasurably and Lisa got engaged. Life is funny that way. And now that I’m back in Manhattan and Lisa still has an appetite I decided to invite Lisa, her fiance Eric, our friend Ricky and his new boyfriend David over for a sumptuous feast. Only problem: Lisa still is (and always has been) a vegetarian. What would I make for dinner?

How To Cook Fish (A Musical)

Dear Readers, I am so proud to share with you my latest effort: “I Can’t Cook Fish,” a musical co-starring my friend Lisa and Rebecca Charles of Pearl Oyster Bar. For anyone who’s written me before saying you’re nervous to cook fish at home, this video’s for YOU!

If you liked it, please head over to our page on the Food2 site, give us a good rating and send the video to all of your friends! And if you haven’t seen our other videos–Homemade Pasta, The Omelet Episode, or Perfect Steak–please watch those too.

Special fish musical thanks must go to Joshua Hume (my collaborator and director), Ricky Marson for arranging the music, Lindy Groening for the awesome artwork, Ben Rasmussen for his choreography, the dancers–Chelsea Bonosky, Alana Isiguen, Alyssa Maksym–and, of course, Rebecca Charles, for sharing her fish recipe and her singing voice!

The Best of Lisa

Where would this blog be without my friend Lisa? She was the Gracie Allen to my George Burns, the Betty Comden to my Adolph Green. In our early days, we cooked together, we ate together, and we made crazy videos and songs about food that I posted enthusiastically on the blog. We’re still good friends but now she lives oh-so-far-away on the Upper West Side and here I am in Brooklyn; and while distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder, it makes it difficult–especially in the winter months–to get together to make even more zany food videos and songs. Lucky for us, though, my archives are practically bursting with classic A.G.-Lisa collaborations. Before we dig ’em up, let’s talk to Lisa for a bit about her history with The Amateur Gourmet.

Karahi (Indian Food in the West Village)

We all know that the first rule of real estate is “location! location! location!” Apparently, though, it’s also the first rule of New York friendships. Want to see a lot of someone you really like? It helps to live in the same borough.

Take my friend Lisa, for example. There was a time we both lived in Chelsea and when we lived close together we made videos about bulimic tomatoes and miracle almond cakes. Then I moved to Brooklyn and she moved to the Upper West Side. We still see each other, of course, but we’d see each other a lot more if she came to her senses and moved to Brooklyn or if I came to my senses and moved back to Manhattan. Either way, the point is that Lisa has a boyfriend named Eric who I hadn’t met yet and so we made a date to meet for Indian food on Sunday so Craig and I could meet this Eric character.

Dinner at Fairway Cafe

My friend Lisa recently moved to her own apartment on the Upper West Side and before I left for my trip, I went uptown to see the place, to give it my blessing (I smashed a bottle of Bartles & James on the door), and to join her for dinner.

“Where should we go?” asked Lisa, smartly deferring to me because of my strong opinions regarding food and restaurants.

“I don’t know,” I replied coyly, wanting to appear open-minded and non-domineering.

“We could go to–”

“FAIRWAY CAFE,” I shouted, creating an awkward moment that took a few minutes to dissipate.


“Regina Schrambling always writes about The Fairway Cafe on her blog,” I explained. “It’s upstairs at Fairway.”

“I know,” Lisa replied, a bit irritated at my know-it-all-ness. “I’ve been there for brunch.”

“How was it?”


“Awesome,” I said. “So let’s go there.”

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