Crispy Dough

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I am bad with secrets. I’ve always been bad with secrets. You shouldn’t tell me any secrets, secret holders, because I will give them away.

Case in point: the brunch you see above. What is it? Where can you get it? Why do I love it so?

If I were a good secret keeper, I’d end the post here. But I am not a good secret keeper and alas you shall know…

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Long Tan’s Lamb Curry

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You know that episode of “Sex & The City” where Miranda gets upset that the woman at her Chinese delivery knows her order so well she finishes Miranda’s sentence? Well, that may soon happen to me.

Our favorite place to order in from here in Park Slope is Long Tan, a Thai restaurant on 5th Ave. between Union and Berkley. I long ago decided that Long Tan would replace Pongsri as our favorite Park Slope Thai restaurant and now it’s become the place we order in from exclusively.

We should have their number on speed dial. Craig and I each have our two favorite dishes that rotate: Craig rotates between the Pad Thai with shrimp and the Pad Seeu; I rotate between wok-seared Udon Noodles and, of course, the lamb curry.

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Moim

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Last we spoke about restaurant reviews, I’d sworn them off (see here) with the caveat: “If I go out to eat and have a spectacular meal, of course I’ll tell you about it.” Well a week ago that happened right here in Park Slope at a place called Moim.

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Farewell Diana, Hello New Banner

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A full year has passed since Diana and I moved into our apartment here in Park Slope. It’s been a fantastic year–with brunches, bargains, pork shoulders, trips to Maine, near-death experiences, and food in threes; there were discussions about ethical eating, pound cakes that threw up, and the best cookies of our lives–but life marches on. Yesterday, Diana moved to a new apartment (not too far, still in Park Slope, so she’ll be back!) and Craig officially moved in. It’s an exciting time, sure to bring lots of stories and anecdotes and recipes. But this post is dedicated to Diana: a fantastic roommate and an even more fantastic sport when it came to enduring all of my cooking experiments. She was a great audience and an even better judge and I hope that now that she’s moved out she’ll finally pick up where she left off before she lived with me and journey back into the kitchen. So farewell, Diana. We’ll miss you! [Note: for her farewell dinner, I made a roast chicken that’s both hers and Craig’s favorite…. it’s from the Chez Panisse cookbook, it’s the best.]

If the news of Diana’s departure upsets you more than you expected, take heart: as promised, there’s a new banner to enjoy. (Remember? As part of my new site design, there’ll be a new banner and a new color scheme each month.) If you can’t see it, trying emptying your cache and reloading. If that still doesn’t work, load it up temporarily in another browser. Thanks to Leah, Ben and my new illustrator Erin for doing great work on short notice. I love it.

Eating While Standing Up (Banh Mi Saigon Bakery & The Bagel Hole)

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In the current food issue of The New Yorker, Calvin Trillin wonders–in another one of his hilarious food essays–if “through some rare genetic oddity, my sense of taste is at full strength only when I’m standing up.” He wonders this because of his deep love for street food. As a participant of the Calvin Trillin walking tour last year, I was lucky enough to eat street food standing up with the man himself. And the best bite of the tour was, by far, the bite you see above.

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Brunch at Flatbush Farm

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Brunch, more than any other meal, celebrates abundance. We don’t want one pancake when we go to brunch, we want a stack of glistening, syrup-coated chocolate-stuffed pancakes. Yet one pancake–a solitary, singular pancake–is one of the peculiarities you’ll find on the brunch menu at Flatbush Farm, a lovely neighborhood gastropub in Park Slope.

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Deep Fried Twix Bars

The other night at Chip Shop in Park Slope with Kirk, James and Diana we’d stuffed ourselves silly with fried fish, fried potatoes, and fried beer (ok, the beer wasn’t fried). Then Kirk tried to kill us. “Who wants to share deep fried Twix bars? They’re awesome.” In all my years of adventurous eating, I’d never had a deep fried candy bar. So I said I was game. So was James and, eventually, Diana. Here’s what they brought out, photo by James:

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First of all, kudos to Chip Shop on their thoughtful presentation (notice how they’re stacked and dusted with powdered sugar?) Second of all, look at Kirk’s beer: he had a Monty Python Holy Ale. I took a sip and it made me say Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni!

Anyway, after staring for a bit we finally lifted our forks and dove in. And OH MY LORD: you have no idea what you’re in for when it comes to a deep fried candy bar. It’s not just sick, sweet decadence: it’s much more than that. The chocolate and caramel MELT within the crispy batter so that it becomes almost unrecognizable in its goodness, like a whole new category of sweets you never knew existed. Words fail me now. All I can say, is if you’ve never had a deep fried candy bar you really should. I plan to have one every day until I die which, if I really have one every day, may happen sooner rather than later. You’re all invited to say “Ni” at my funeral.