Worst Magazine in America?

My heart leapt when a friend sent a link with the title "20 Worst Foods in America 2009." A dozen possibilities raced pell-mell through my fevered brain - Did they mean worst-tasting foods? Worst foods for the environment? Most expensive foods? Most boring foods?

But when I got to the website, it turned out to be a magazine with the worst (in this case, most yawn-provoking) title I can imagine: Men's Health. I think I'd rather read a magazine called Zebra's Health, or Orangutan's Health. Anyway - you guessed it! - their idea of Worst Foods in America is based solely on number of calories and amount of fat.

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Opening Day

Categories: Featured


Brother Jimmy's is the first Yankee Stadium vendor to reveal its opening day menu. Grub Street gets the exclusive on pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket sandwiches, hush puppies and fried pickles... er, frickles.

Strange Snacks of the World: More Mexican Candy

Maybe I'm craving sugar because of the recession, but I'll go with Mexican candy over Twizzlers and Kit Kats any day (try Pulparindo and see if you're not a convert). Mexican confections tend to be more inventive (like a mango-shaped and flavored lollipop), but really it's the spicy-sour-sweet flavors that make them so addictive.

Wandering around Sunset Park, I found a bakery (Panderia Mi Mexico Pequeno, 4513 Fifth Avenue) with a good selection of candies I hadn't tried before. You can also find these candies at many bodegas or on Mexgrocer.com.

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Like the inside of a Pixie Stix only better, Lucas Baby (packed in what looks like a baby bottle) is just a whole bunch of sour-sweet powder. This one is mango flavored, and I swear, it's really, really good.

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How could any lollipop be more exciting than one called called Rockaleta Diablo? The pop is layered--coated in a sticky chile powder-tamarind goop on the outside, followed by a sweet chile-flavored lollipop, with bubble gum in the core.

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Only for those who like their gum with those weird gushy centers, this Bubbaloo gum (knock-off of Bubblelicious?) is sweet-tart tamarind flavored, the middle filled with spicy goop.

On The Chopping Block


It's been three episodes and now we're definitely able to say with complete certainty that we don't care. Eat me daily reported that the show is getting hammered in the ratings, and after last night's Central Park episode - was the Black team's pigeon from the park, too? - we're going to have a hard time continuing to tune in.

The main problem, we've decided, are those dreadful end-of-episode meetings around the table, where emotions are vented, accusations made, and tears shed. We like a chef-testant break down as much as the next guy, but these meetings feel contrived and about as riveting as any end-of-shift staff meeting. Maybe if the food shots were a little more porny, we could find ourselves slightly more excited by CB, but there's something about raw fowl (see episodes 1 and 3) that is a major turnoff. And, while the food critics on the show are a great source of entertainment, they aren't enough to keep our attention or, apparently, that of most viewers.

Ducasse Gets Waxed


This week in chef news...

Daniel Ochoa Pascual of Llanten, a restaurant in Valladolid, Spain, has been invited to cook at Le Cirque on April 7. Wine director Paul Altuna will pair Spanish wines with Pascual's dishes for the occasion.

The second annual Top Chef Tour starts Friday at the Flatiron Pedestrian Plaza. The 21-city tour will have the chef'testants stopping in New Orleans, D.C., Boston and L.A.

Alain Ducasse is the proud papa of a new baby boy, Arzhel. The French chef has also been immortalized in wax at Paris' Musée Grévin along with his signature dish, cocotte des légumes.
[NY Post]

Michael Psilakis, of Anthos fame, cooked at the White House yesterday, calling the experience, "a carpet ride that has just been magical... surreal."
[NY Times]

Canadian School Bans The Bottle

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Food safety advocacy groups are urging President Obama to appoint a senior food safety official within the FDA, and are pushing for a new agency devoted solely to food safety to eventually be created.

A study conducted by Columbia and the University of California has shown that high school students whose schools are within a block of a fast food joint are more likely to be obese than those who study even a quarter of a mile further away.
[NY Times]

Beware your sweet tooth. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a link between the consumption of fructose and increased food intake, which may also lead to a higher risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
[Science Daily]

The backlash against bottled water continues. A Canadian University will gradually ban the sale of the stuff following a student vote to do so. The decision is part of a wider campaign to implement greener practices at the university.

Paco Bell: Rabbit Taco


Oh. my. god. This is Paco Bell, the winner of the rabbit costume contest at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. There's an entire slide show of costumed bunnies (including a borderline unacceptable gangsta rabbit) here. Carry on.

[via Eat Me Daily]

The Early Word--Casa Vieja

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I first read about Casa Vieja on Chowhound, and a quick Google search yielded this 2006 NYT article, about the restaurant's owner, Lourdes Pena, who was a food vendor at one of the Red Hook baseball (not soccer) fields.

This is a very Early Word on Casa Vieja, as the restaurant only opened last Friday. I've been twice, and I think the place has a lot of potential, and will only get better as they get their feet under them. The only issue is the prices. The awning advertises "fine dining Mexican cuisine," and you can appreciate that Pena and her husband are skilled cooks who wanted to open an ambitious restaurant, but the prices really are astronomical for the area. A side of guacamole is $8, grilled rack of lamb is $21, garlic shrimp are $20.

Still, if you order carefully, it's possible to eat here on a budget. I've been twice now and think several dishes are great. Pictures, after the jump.

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Pix from Rockmeisha

Categories: Featured, Sietsema

This week, Counter Culture barges into Rockmeisha, a West Village itzakaya, or Japanese pub. The occasion of this invasion was a piece in rameniac.com (Hailey Eber also blogged about it) that claimed the place offered the fourth best ramen noodles in NYC. Indeed, the chashu ramen are delicious, though less fussy than the comparable product at Ippudo:


(click to enjoy)

Rockmeisha offers much other estimable pub grub in a Japanese, American, and English vein, including "pig toe" (tonsoku) salad:


Grilled sardines that may or may not demonstrate a Portuguese influence in that part of the world:


A luscious yellowfin (negima-ae) appetizer in a pool of shoyu dressing:


But one thing we didn't dig was a serving of pure cream cheese ("cheese yakko"), plated as if it were tofu:


Eat These Shorts


Bloody and marbled is how you want your steak. So, why not your steak shorts? The Weird Clothing Company sells these Bermudas in authentic looking supermarket meat section packaging. A clever nod to the mass industrialization of meat or loud carnivorous fashion statement? Guess it depends on who is in them.
[via Eat me daily]