I had to run by a photography exhibit tonight so the idea of a home cooked meal was starting to fade. But Meena had picked up a bunch of great ingredients and I had a really simple dish in mind, so we figured it would probably be faster (and more delicious) than just calling in one of the old delivery favorites (and it was!).

Meena got started on this delicious reuben lavash before I got home. Folks, not only did it smell great, this thing was just exploding with delicious reuben flavor. From time to time, Meena just craves a good reuben. Last night, she took matters into her own hands and whipped one up.
- lavash
- thousand island dressing
- swiss cheese
- sauerkraut
- roast beef

She did a really nice job with it. I think she also found the perfect method for the lavash. Unlike the tortillas that do really well on a skillet, these bad boys are meant for the oven. Nice, crisp and melted through.

When I rolled up, I got it going with a little salmon dish that I'd made a couple other times back in the day. When cherries are bursting off the store shelves, I always start to think about this balsamic sauce.
- cherries
- balsamic vinegar
- sesame oil
- black sesame seeds
- salt
- black pepper
- wild king salmon fillets
- asparagus
- white wine
- roast beef slices
- butter

Niiiiiice. I probably could have cooked the salmon a touch longer for Meena's taste, but I like mine a little undercooked. Not raw or anything, but I hate it when a salmon fillet goes too far. The asparagus stems should have been trimmed a little further. Got a few tough bites. But other than that, this one was a dream. Wonderful flavor. Wonderful ingredients.



In hindsight, I probably should have made a big giant spread for my 200th Memoirs post. I should have pulled out the stops and made this one to remember. But if I'm being true to the concept of the blog, it wouldn't make sense to let the blog rule my culinary endeavors. The purpose is simply to document what I'm eating.

So I guess it's appropriate that my bicentennial post is just another night of Hiro delivery. We actually didn't know it was post number 200 when we ordered and honestly, after flying back from Indy at 6:00 a.m. and completing an entire day of work, we probably would have just ordered it regardless. It had been a long, long day.

Anyway, enough with the chatter about blog concepts. On with the food.

Meena had:
- shrimp shumai
- chicken tempura roll
- spicy tuna roll

Alec had the:
- miso soup
- maki combo A (spicy salmon roll, california roll and tekka)

So I know there aren't many readers out there, but I'm told frequently, there are a few loyal fans who keep up with the memoirs of my palate. Thank you to all of you who find this incredibly dorky indulgence interesting lunchtime reading. Fear not, we've got another 200 (and then some) in us.



Unlike that old Ben Folds song, this really was our last night in town and Mom and Dad were prepared to send us off with a bang. We'd had some nice Italian food for lunch with the grandmas, so we weren't just insanely hungry, but keeping with the weekend's trend, we kept eating.

We were given the option of all sorts of nice things, but in the end, we settled on firing up the Weber one last time. We can do a lot of things in NYC, but firing up Dad's grill just isn't one of them. So Italian sausage and hamburgers were on the menu this final night in Indy.

In addition to the meats, Dad made his famous baked beans. I'd tell you what he puts in them but I'd have to silence you. Isn't it funny how all sorts of recipes can be shared for all sorts of complex things, but the really basic stuff is always guarded like Ft. Knox? Dad's bean recipe is no different (although he did tell me in the car on the way to the airport at 4:45 a.m. this morning). And man ... they were good.

We also had a little store bought egg/potato salad. It was nice and creamy. And more than likely pretty terrible for me. Everything else this weekend was. Why not one last hurrah, right?

Now we're back in NYC and Memorial weekend is over for another year. Thanks everyone for such a wonderful time. Thanks for reminding me why this will always be one of my favorite weekends of the year.



This year's Indianapolis 500 will best be remembered by a ton of delicious food at the track (giant smoked turkey legs, sandwiches, beer, cookies and chips), Dario Franchitti and plenty of rain.

We spent most of the day in Speedway, IN going to and from the car and dodging buckets of rain, so when we finally got back home, we weren't in the mood to go anywhere. Lucky for us, Mom anticipated such a mood and picked up some Puccini's Bar 20 pizza and delicious salad.

I worked at Puccini's for a time when I was home from college. It's a nice little pizza place. And the do a barbecue chicken pizza better than nearly any place I know. And their fat-free Italian dressing is awesome (TONS of garlic).

So the gang pounced on the spread with the quickness and it was all eaten up before we knew it.

No surprise, race day was awesome yet again this year.



After a very eventful Friday, we had a mostly uneventful Saturday in Indy. We woke up late and mostly just hung around the house until we worked up the nerve to hit the town for some groceries and stuff.

Allison was having a few friends over for dinner, so while we were out, we hit Mitchell's Fish Market for some fresh salmon. We got a lot more than we probably needed, but with a couple fresh cedar planks soaking at home, we weren't worried about anything going to waste.

Once Dad had the grill fired up, he hit those fillets with some Yucatan rub and got them smoking on the Weber.

While the fish was cooking up, Mom threw together a wonderful corn and black bean salsa that featured all sorts of stuff like red onion, cumin and fresh parsley. I didn't get a picture for some reason, but I assure you, it was delicious.

I also went ahead and threw together another round of the red onion chutney I'd been so fond of last week and I think everyone enjoyed it. I kept it a little less spicy than I had been making it and the crew seemed to enjoy the sweet and spicy flavor with the delicious planked salmon.

Wonderful meal, indeed.



In Indianapolis, we have this little thing called the Indianapolis 500. It's sorta a big deal. Both there and worldwide from what I'm told.

The race is a huge part of my life. I haven't missed one of those legendary Sunday afternoons since the early 1990's. It's just one of those things I wouldn't miss for the world. The cars. The atmosphere. The food. EVERYTHING.

There's also this little thing in Indianapolis called Carb Day. It's traditionally the Thursday before the race, but the powers that be got smart a few years ago and started having it on Friday. And for the last two years, I've been there with Grant, Sara and a whole host of other great friends gettin' down with some of Indy's finest.

There are more pictures than I could ever post, so I just stuck with the ones that included food. We had all sorts of burgers, sausages, chips, etc., etc. And more beer than any human being should ever consume. I don't really remember the unique flavors or tastes of anything I consumed. It was just pure consumption for the sake of it. And it was amazing.

And once we'd had our fill of beer and meat products, we got some more beer and hit the Kid Rock concert.

Simply amazing. Can't wait to do it again next year.


NOTE: I'm tall. Like ... nearly six foot three inches to be exact. But when I go home, I stand among giants. Look at these guys! They make me look like Willow!



It is becoming a tradition for Meena and I to find the cheap Chinese food stand at every airport we visit. I'm not sure why this trend became popular with us. Or when. But it is and we've remained pretty true to it. Last night (as you can see above) was no different.

I think this place is called Asian Bistro? It's in the US Air terminal at LGA. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. I doubt anyone is going to be offended if it's not, however. These places all serve the same food, so knowing their distinct names isn't probably necessary.

Meena had:
- sky chicken
- chicken with onions and peppers
- lo mein

Alec had:
- bourbon chicken
- chicken with string beans
- fried rice

Nothing special. Just the same. But you know, for some reason, necessary if we're about to take to the air.

Funniest part of the meal? Some guy sitting near us saw us eating and felt compelled to comment that I was eating with chopsticks and Meena was eating with a fork. Bucking stereotypes ... that's us. I just told him we're a modern couple. That seemed to satisfy him.




Tonight was a big night. The season finale of Lost was gearing up to blow our minds and we had a Clinton Street Baking Company gift certificate to use. So we hustled down to the Clinton Street all-star for a bit of wonderful food before the show.

I just have to say, I love this place. The setting is great. The people are nice. The street is fantastic. I wish I lived about this spot. It's the best.

After some mind blowing biscuits, we got started with:
- butcher plate (bobolink cheddar, sliced chorizo, pecan-raisin toasts, sweet onion jam)

This was a near perfect starter. The toasts with the cheese and the jam? Out of this world. And those delicious bites of chorizo? I love sausage so much. It's the truth. I just do.

Meena decided to try a Wednesday night special for her dinner:
- fish tacos (cod, red cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, jalapeño cream, guacamole, corn tortillas)

Alec had their daily 6-8 p.m. special:
- the 10 dollar beer and burger (black angus cheeseburger on a brioche roll, caramelized sweet onions, swiss, cole slaw, and homemade chips)

I had a winner and Meena didn't. Her tacos weren't that bad, but they were mostly just bland. There was something missing. I'm not sure what. But something wasn't there. It could be that we've been spoiled by Miracle's offerings. Or it could be that the special just wasn't that special.

My burger was a different story. It was really delicious ... and honestly, a Brooklyn Lager and a burger on brioche for 10 bones? Sign me up any day of the week man. That's a steal.

I can't wait to go back.


I got home late last night, so cooking wasn't in the cards. And in my opinion, there are few better Tuesday night treats than Tara Thai's delicious delivery.

I didn't get a shot of Meena's pad thai, but you've seen it all before. I promise it looked the same. Meena also had some delicious spring rolls and she said they were very tasty.

Alec had:
- tom yum koong
- beef krapraw (beef with basil)




We were thinking about hitting up Clinton Street Baking company last night to cash in the gift certificate Laura and Rudy got us (THANKS, DUDES!), but my geekdom prevented us. Last night was the 24 season finale and I had to check it. So a quick pasta was produced instead.

I liked the chutney we had on the chicken the previous night so much that I just thought I needed to work it in here somehow. So I did. And it was delicious!
- red onion chutney (red onion, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, coriander, mustard seeds, brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper)
- canned tuna
- angel hair pasta
- kale
- shiitake mushrooms
- anchovies
- olive oil
- tomato sauce
- black sesame seeds
- romano cheese

For all the HUGE flavors in this thing, my first couple bites were oddly bland. But I think that was mostly due to my poor mixing once I incorporated the pasta. The remainder of the dish was great. Sweet, spicy, salty, delicious. And Meena really enjoyed it. So I think it was a winner. The chutney for sure. It'll find its way in to many dishes no doubt.



Today was a really good food day. From saam to that amazing sorbet stuff, we ate really well. Basically, what I'm trying to say is, the bar was set high for tonight's dinner. I had to go big if I was going to top all that other delicious stuff.

I read about this chutney in Cooking Light and thought it sounded nice. They also had a recipe for a Korean barbecue rub that I thought looked nice. With those two things in mind, I set out to whip up a chicken dish that would help us enjoy Tony and company.

This spicy little Korean inspired number featured:
- chicken breast
- Korean barbecue rub (brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, sambal oelek)
- red onion chutney (red onion, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, mustard seeds, cumin)
- kale
- black sesame seeds
- shiitake mushrooms
- rice wine vinegar

This thing was exploding with sweet and spicy flavors. The Korean barbecue was really nice. It was a little thin (my fault ... I added more soy than was called for ... it just seemed too thick!), but after cooking in the pan, it thickened a bit. The chutney was out of this world. I'll make it a whenever I have the chance. And the kale and mushrooms were really nice as well.

This one is probably a new staple. Really easy to make. Really, really delicious.


Oh my. We've found a winner.

While we were rolling casually through the Lower East Side, we came across some kids buying sorbet from this dude on Delancey Street. It was just a random cart manned by a guy who didn't really speak English right outside the Duane Reade.

Well, Meena wanted some. I figured, why not?


Meena had some rainbow sorbet and I had the coconut.


I'm not really sure what it was. I'm not sure where this man came from (heaven, obviously) or where he gets this stuff, but I'm probably going to crave it every day for the remainder of the summer.

The best part was that it only cost 2 bucks. Total. A dollar for each! I quickly gave homeboy two more for his troubles.

This may be some standard operation I haven't come across in my time in NYC. If so, I'm not sure how I've missed this stuff. It's made of dreams and rainbows and love and happiness!


Saam. Wonderful, delicious, Momofuku saam. Last night Matt and I had discussed at length our intention to have some late night saam, but Miller High Life had other plans for me.

But even though I went with the gyro last night, my saam craving was not satisfied. There was no way I'd be able to go on with my day sans saam, so we decided we'd head to 13th and 2nd just as soon as lunch was served.

An odd side note ... we actually ran into Matt on our way there! He was on his way to a NY Times event. The world is funny sometimes.

Anyway, Meena had:
- chicken saam (with a host of things that I can't remember other than extra red kimchi paste)

Alec had:
- original saam (with all the wonderful pork, edamame and shiitake's I love so much)

Amazing. I was so full at the end of it. Thank goodness we walked around the neighborhood for hours afterwards. I needed some exercise to counteract all that consumption.


Last night was a great food night ... it was just really random. Meena went to Williamsburg to have dinner at Zenchiki and hang with Diana and Mariel. I have no photos, but Meena had a 12-course tasting menu. She reported that all 12 were quite delicious.

Before she left, we ordered a couple quick bites from Hiro. Meena had:
- chicken tempura roll
- shrimp shumai

Alec had:
- miso soup
- hamachi & jalapeño roll

I really liked my roll. Very spicy. Very nice.

While Meena was having dinner, I went out with James, Matt and Ed for some wandering about town with the bros time. We hit Tara Thai for some quick bites because Mr. Naddeo was starving. While I was there, I had a a nice summer roll and a couple Singhas.

Meena and the ladies finally met us for some beers at Hi Fi. We had plenty of cheap suds and decided to call it a night. On the way back, though, we made a quick stop at Falafel Star, a spot we hadn't hit in a long, long time. Their gyros aren't the best, but they have the most amazing hot sauce.

Meena had:
- falafel sandwich

Alec had:
- gyro sandwich with tons of special hot sauce

Like I said, it was seriously random. Lots of great eating though!



After taking Laura and Rudy to my favorite spot in the entire city, we thought we might as well show them our go-to joint in the neighborhood - Lil' Frankies.

The crew spent the day hanging around the LES and the East Village while I was workin' and we all managed to get a pretty major appetite going. And the big beers we all had at Zum Schneider had us even more amped for some delicious pizza and pastas.

Nearly everyone (Laura, Dan and Meena) went with the tried and true fan favorite -
- rigatoni with baby meatballs

I'm still in love with my:
- pizza marinara (NO CHEESE, SUCKA)

And Rudy went crazy with a special pizza:
- pizza with artichoke and mozzarella

Everything was amazing. As always. And after dinner, we decided to forgo the bar scene and check out the stars on our rooftop with some wine. Excellent way to finish out Rudy and Laura's last night in town.



I got really lucky last night. After we hit the Aperture gallery in Chelsea after work, we went down to my absolute favorite restaurant in the city - Ivo & Lulu. Oddly, we'd never been there with Dan and Steve and we for sure hadn't taken Rudy & Laura. So Broome and Sixth was our heaven for a few amazing hours last night.

It was (no surprise) really busy last night, so we actually ate at their little outpost next door for the first time ever. Not bad, actually. It is a little more spacious than the normal spot, so you could spread out a bit more. Very nice.

We all ate, but I'll only bore you with the details of mine and Meena's meals.

I had:
- baked pear with blue cheese and honey garlic oil
- rabbit and ginger sausages in miso and carrot sauce

Meena had the:
- smoked mussels in cilantro chili butter
- broiled chicken with goat cheese and papaya puree

Again, you're getting the motorola treatment. Didn't have a camera on hand. So in the case of the pear especially, you can't really see much up there. But it was delicious. Don't even trip. That pear was out of this world.

And normally I'm not a fan of a creamy sauce, but the miso and carrot sauce with the sausages was out of control (that's a good thing).

I think everyone really enjoyed it. Which made me happy. Because I love this place and I want everyone else to as well. Mission accomplished.



For last night's big "welcome to the East Village" party for Rudy and Laura, we decided to do what we know best with some varied sliders. We've started to get better and better (although we're still working out kinks and trying new things) and I think everyone is really pleased with the results.

Meena started us off with a crab cake appetizer from Whole Foods. They were GIANT and pretty good, actually.

The first round of sliders was the tuna option:
- tuna steak
- green onion
- red onion
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- smoked paprika
- panko
- egg
- avocado
- salt
- chili paste
- black pepper
- brioche

The second round was NOT Steveo friendly, but we carnivores were big fans:
- organic ground beef
- worchestershire sauce
- tomato sauce
- salt
- black pepper
- dried basil
- olive oil
- sautéed onion (with old bay seasoning)
- cheddar cheese
- homemade mustard
- homemade ketchup (tomato, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, black pepper)
- brioche

And the third and final round (the wild card round) was a shrimp salad burger:
- rock shrimp
- garlic
- mayo
- green onion
- feta
- salt
- pepper
- arugula
- hoisin
- worchestershire sauce
- brioche

Laura summed it up best when she said they should be ranked like this:
1. tuna
2. beef
3. shrimp

We also made too many. Who knew?



Last night we went back out to Park Slope for another bangin' dinner. Sadly, Dan had to work late on some sort of DKNY photo shoot, but we tried our best to have fun while he was away.

The weather was AMAZING, so we walked down 7th Ave. to Miracle's Brooklyn outpost. We'd had lots of luck in the West Village with Miracle, so I was stoked to see if the outpost was as good.

After some chips, salsa, guacamole and some margaritas, we got the whole dinner thing going.

Meena and Steveo had the:
- catfish tacos (with sesame slaw, smoked jalapeno tarter sauce and garnished yucca fries)

Laura and Alec had the:
- tilapia tacos (with smoked garlic cream, green salsa cruda and garnished with yucca fries)

And Rudy got all different and stuff with:
- organic chicken tamales (with salsa verde, mexican crema, cotija cheese and sautéed seasonal greens)

I was totally impressed with my tacos. Very well spiced. The final flavor of all the various elements was spectacular. And the yuca fries were good! We hate the yuca fries at Yuca Bar in our hood, so sorta expected more of the same. Miracle does a WAY better job. Still really starchy, but in the end, quite delicious.

Sliders in the East Village tonight, y'all!



Wanna know what's great? Laura and Rudy are in town! We're really excited to have the LA crew in the NY for a couple days ... and nearly as excited about all the places we'll get to eat with them while they're here.

Last night we went Park Slope-ward and tried one of Dan and Steveo's spots - Al Di La. Strange name ... good food. I didn't have a camera handy, so all you get is the Motorola treatment. It really doesn't do the food justice ... it all looked very nice.

Alec went big with the:
- hanger steak "tagliata" with arugula

Dan and Meena both had:
- tagliatelle al ragu (homemade pasta with a meat ragu)

Rudy had:
- saltimbocca alla romana (pork loin scaloppine with sage leaves and prosciutto served with sautéed potatoes)

Laura had:
- malfatti (swiss chard and ricotta gnocchi with brown butter and sage)

Steve had a special:
- artichoke ravioli

I think everyone really enjoyed theirs. I thought mine was a standout. Rudy did too (he was soaking up my balsamic sauce with bread after I was finished). Steve really enjoyed his as well. I had a bite and I'll agree. Very smooth. Very nice special.

I think we may do Park Slope again tonight ... and maybe cook tomorrow? We (and you) will just have to check back to find out!


HIRO SAVED OUR SUNDAY (spoiler alert)

After a long weekend (albeit a mostly relaxing one) of traveling, we parked it on the couch back in the East Village and called in some Hiro. It felt like the only acceptable option.

Meena had:
- chicken tempura roll
- spicy tuna roll

Alec had the:
- salmon and avocado roll
- california roll

Our little spread was perfect for a night spent unpacking, getting organized and watching Tony kill Christopher.



What you're looking at up there was dinner last night at Amber and Frank's wedding in South Boston, VA. I didn't blog about the food from the previous night's rehearsal party because it was mostly just tapas and other delicious little bites around the pool. And I didn't have any really good photos. And we mostly just drank our dinner at the tavern that night!

But the wedding was a totally different affair. Well documented and many courses of wonderful dinner.

We started off with a creamy lobster bisque. I'm not typically a fan of creamy soups, but this one was quite delicious.

The next dish to arrive was a very deceptive salad. It looked like they had used prosciutto, but upon tasting, we realized it was just a razor thin slice of sweet Virginia ham. They also had very thinly sliced green apple. Delicious. Really made me want a mandolin.

The main course was a nice fillet cooked just beyond medium. The peppers and grilled vegetables were nice with the meat.

They finished things off with a nice slice of the beautiful wedding cake. It was honestly great. Tons of berries and stuff instead of loads of frosting. Perfect.

It was a really wonderful wedding and a fantastic weekend away from the city. We had TONS of fun with Meena's family and the Inn at Berry Hill was pretty much perfect. Amazing. I'd go back anytime!