Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rib-eye for the Straight Guy

Butcher Bar is not so much a restaurant as it is a butcher shop w/ room to dine-in.  They focus on fresh, locally sourced meats, and frequently boast that they don't even have a freezer on premises.  As a result, the good stuff sells out fast, so you have to get there while the getting is good.

Butcher Bar
37-08 30th Ave
Astoria, NY 11103
Neighborhood: Astoria

I tried their BBQ sampler when they first opened, what a delight.  The brisket and pulled pork were good, but the ribs surely sealed the deal.  It's so hard to secure good BBQ in NYC, and these guys hit it right on the mark.

More recently, I splurged on their 28oz "Tomahawk" rib-eye -- medium rare.  The steak came w/ two sides and some grilled cherry tomatoes.  With the addition of a third side (mac & cheese), this was enough to fully satisfy two hungry individuals.

The quality of the meat is exceptional, the service is friendly and the ambiance is relaxed.  Add to this some truly delicious BBQ squirting sauces and you have destination that is not to be missed.  They recently received a nod from the NY Times, so they are officially "on the map".  My only gripe about the Butcher Bar experience is the sides are too small!  I don't suggest they super-size the menu, but they should offer both small and large sizes to better accommodate the wants and needs of even the most obese customer.  

© 2012 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable -

Monday, February 20, 2012

Up For Crabs

I discovered these freeze dried crab snacks at H-Mart while on a kimchi run earlier this week.  While they aren't as godawful as you'd think, they are an "acquired taste" -- to say the least.

What type of crab are they?  How are they cooked?  Where do they come from?  -- I have no fucking idea. My best guess is that they hail from Korea or Japan, and are baked and then freeze dried before being candied in a sweet sesame glaze.

They crunch like Cheetos and have a strong, briny taste reminiscent of the "shrimp flavor" packets used to flavor instant ramen.  The sesame glaze is light, but sufficiently sweet enough to balance out this incredibly peculiar treat.

© 2012 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable -