Have an Early Taste and Sip of the Williamsburg Umami Burger

Categories: Food Trending

Photos by Brad Japhe for the Village Voice
One of the country's hippest fast-casual burger joints makes it way to one of the hippest sections of the city, as Umami Burger (158 North 4th Street, Brooklyn) officially opens in Williamsburg along the bustling corner of Bedford and North 4th Street. In addition to a dozen inventive sandwiches built around house-ground beef, the new location offers a few vegetable-forward small plates and a bourbon-centric list of original cocktails. Here are some notable standouts.

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Trending: Banana Cocktails to Drink Right Now

Categories: Food Trending

The smoked-banana margarita at Empellon Taqueria
When we spotted the rhubarb banana daiquiri on the list at ABC Cocina, we joked that we "don't often see banana in drinks that aren't smoothies." In our interview with beverage manager Ann Marie De Bello this morning, we learned that she added the creative concoction to mirror the bananas on the food menu.

But almost immediately after we sipped that tipple, we started seeing banana cocktails all over town. Here are three more to drink right now.

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Go Now: Cafe Katja Has White Asparagus for Just a Few More Days

If you want a good primer on the romance of white asparagus, that luxurious harbinger of spring that sweeps Europe this time of year but is less prevalent, to say the least, in the States, you might want to check out New York Times contributor Elaine Sciolino's recent account of harvesting the vegetable and then cooking it alongside a formidable French chef. She captures in that essay the excitement, mystique, culture and decadence that surrounds the milk-hued stalks, from the delicate digging that frees them from their sandy planter to their smooth, mild flavor.

If you then want to sample white asparagus (affordably!) in all of its sweet, juicy glory, head for Cafe Katja, the Lower East Side Austrian restaurant that's currently paying homage to weiben spargel with a special menu that has a blink-and-it's-gone lifespan.

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Sticking Pot Stickers Together at Ganso and Lotus Blue

Gyoza served lattice-style at Ganso

Recently, FiTR has been spotting a new form of dumpling presentation. We don't know if it yet constitutes a trend, but it certainly results in a more-attractive app, a superior consistency of cooking from dumpling to dumpling, and a bit more of the crunchy crust that you buy pot stickers for. They might temp you on their looks alone, but they taste great, too and it's a way for restaurants to elevate their output slightly above the usual discount dumpling stall or cart.

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Snitching Schnitzels

Harold Dieterle has a schnitzel at The Marrow...

Among Manhattan restaurants, at least, schnitzels are on the upswing. While you may think that the pounded-thin, breaded-and-fried cutlets belong mainly in the city's antique German restaurants like the Heidelberg, Zum Stammtisch, and Killmeyer's Old Bavaria Inn, and also as milanesa res in Mexican taquerias, this dish is undergoing a resurgence on the menus of more stylish restaurants.

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Why Not Mate?

The mate (pronounced "mah-tay") service at Cucharamama.

Cold? Tired? Not fond of coffee but crave the caffeine? Maybe mate is your beverage. More properly known as yerba mate, the hot drink is made from the dried leaves of a shrub related to holly that grows in the northern reaches of Argentina. It is drunk in that country, as well as in Paraguay, Uruguay, and parts of Brazil. The beverage was of Indian origin and first popularized among European settlers in the late 16th century.

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As a Food City, Brooklyn 'Sucks'

Categories: Food Trending

Dominic Perri
As Brooklyn restaurants struggle to reopen after the storm, Josh Ozersky writes a piece for The Observer about the borough's over-hyped food scene. Ozersky praises a few well-known spots, like Seersucker, Mile End, and Pok Pok, but singles out The Farm on Adderley, Buttermilk Channel, and Franny's, as some of the restaurants getting by on hype, rather than talent. And he blames food writers for praising young chefs who don't deserve it.

Apparently as they get older and more established, food writers do not get more confident:

Brooklyn food culture is bounded by the hardest of parameters: the comfort zone of callow youths and the insecure older writers who seek relevance to them.

The piece is long. In short: Writers who can't afford to live in Manhattan are just pretending to love Brooklyn's mediocre restaurants which are run by people with no frame of reference for what makes a place great.


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Dressed Fries: Wave of the Future?

"Pollo al ajillo (over fries)" at El Mio Cid in Bushwick

[See More Food Trending: Bacon Sushi | Where to Get: Souffle]

French fries are ubiquitous in Gotham. You can get them plain with several shakes of salt, or gobbed with all sorts of condiments. But lately Fork in the Road has been seeing them supplemented with other major ingredients, serving as a sort of spud launch platform, often rendering the fried potatoes as a starchy backdrop, and no longer quite the star of the show, but a co-star or even bit player.

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Like Bacon? Like Sushi? Now You Can Have Both at the Same Time

Yup, that's strips of smoked breakfast bacon stuck right in the middle of those maki rolls.

It seems bacon has penetrated every lost galaxy of the dining firmament. Heck, you can get a peanut butter and bacon sandwich nearly everywhere, bacon is de rigueur on your burger, you can buy a men's tie in the shape of a strip of bacon, or save your computer shit on a thumb drive that looks like bacon. Even pork belly -- bacon's more naturalistic step sibling -- can't light a candle to bacon. You can find more than one local festival devoted exclusively to bacon, and you don't have to bar hop too long to find bacon cocktails, and bacon-flavor whiskey. There are even bacon desserts, and a famous burger chain is offering a bacon sundae, though I'm not sure which one...And now one more bastion is falling to bacon.

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This Weekend, Why Not Eat the Easter Bunny?

Fried Rabbit at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, with black pepper, honey, and lemon. 53 Great Jones Street, 212-837-2622

What's traditional for Easter? A baked ham shaken from a can, possibly topped with some canned pineapple? Or, maybe if you're lucky, a roast leg of lamb, probably done to a cinder -- lamb symbolizes Christ, so I don't know why you'd want to eat him, ahem. Is there any other way?

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