The Cider Making Ghost of Wurtsboro

[andy brennan in the field]Andy Brennan bought an 18th-Century homestead in Wurtsboro, NY and started making cider. But it didn't happen overnight. His journey began 25 years ago in a fishing shack on the Chesapeake Bay. I spent a day on Andy's farm, walked through his trees, and learned how he went back in time to make some of today's best cider. [TRUE]


Summer, Salmon, and Fishing the Prince William Sound

[]Josh Saul is a crime reporter for the New York Post. He's from Alaska, and he spent a summer in the early aughts there fishing for dog salmon on the Prince William Sound. I met him at a diner on the edge of Chinatown to talk with him about that experience over coffee and hash. Read the story over at, the online version of a men's magazine that ran from 1937 to 1974 that bestselling Times author and New York Magazine editor Geoff Gray has brought back to life. [TRUE]


A Fried Chicken Evolution

[A plate of fried chicken at Willie Mae's Scotch House in New Orleans]I wrote an article for Serious Eats about fried chicken's evolution in the States. How it went from a Southern, bone-in wonderfood to a boneless McNugget that helped McDonald's grow to over 35,000 locations. But there's so much more. I talked to historians and linchpins in the industry and peeled back the lid on a world I never knew existed. I hope the article is as much fun to read as it was to write.


Dear Eagle Provisions, We Miss You

The music was louder than usual inside. But no one had tampered with the volume knob. That hadn’t changed since December 13th 1979, when John Zawisny, along with his dad and brother, opened Eagle Provisions at 628 5th Avenue. Real estate agencies have come to call the neighborhood South Slope, but 35 years ago, the area on and around 18th Street in Brooklyn was just another enclave of city dwellers paying cheap rent. And like most pockets of urban environments, this one was comprised of folks from like heritage. In this case, Polish. The Zawisnys setup shop and began selling provisions to sustain this community.

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Tacos vs Tortas, Sort Of

My friend Max at Serious Eats has long felt NYC's tortas and cemitas are better than its tacos. His argument, and now mine, is that the bread game in NYC is better than the tortilla game. That's not to say tortas are better than tacos, but because of the great bread here, there are more bad tacos than there are bad tortas.

I spent some time at a few panaderias talking to bakers to find out what makes New York's bread culture, and the pan tradicional of Mexico, so good. Read what I found over at Serious Eats.


Our Favorite Meal of 2014: Breakfast at Cafe Privato in Istanbul

Turkish breakfast was always a mystery to us. We'd never been to Turkey, but heard from more than one source on more than one occasion that the morning meal there was an unrivaled one. We spent a week in Turkey, in Istanbul, in the hip and beautiful Beyoğlu neighborhood. One overcast morning, after a 15 minute walk up and down narrow streets lined with skinny sidewalks, past dozens of cats and fresh pomegranate juice stands, we stepped onto a small platform that stuck out from a green storefront. Large accordian doors were folded open. Above them, written in wood, was "Privato."

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We Make Lidia Bastianich's Goulash

With the unseasonably warm weather this week, we've almost forgotten the cold winter that waits around the corner. No matter. As summer turned to fall, and September to October, a familiar chill started to surface. Seventy degree days became fifty degree days, and that, according to us, is the perfect time to test cold weather recipes. So as we dust off sweaters and start wearing pajamas to bed, let's also get the oven on, rearrange the kitchen, and make way for braises, stews, roasts, dark beer, red wine, squash, pumpkins, gords of all shapes and sizes, cauliflower, cardoons, brussel sprouts, and the bounty of other veggies that turn a cold shoulder to freezing soil.

After the fun and success we had with Lidia Bastianich's Malloreddus al Ragu, we thought we'd try another recipe of her's: Goulash. The dish is centuries-old, and of Hungarian origin, but is enjoyed in Friuli because the region was once part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Because of this eastern European influence, Friuli is the only region in Italy where you'll find paprika, and that's what gives this dish its unique, signature smokiness.

We made the recipe last week, when it still felt like fall, and highly recommend you do the same when it gets cold out again. It's cheap, easy, and deeply satisfying. Here's what you'll need.

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Donde Dinner? - 2344 Arthur Ave

Donde Dinner? aims to make your next dining experience an adventure. So every Friday we pick a restaurant and post its address for you. The catch is, that's all the information you get. No name, no type of cuisine, and no Googling. Before we post this week's address, here's last week's:

107 1st Avenue = Huertas

In typical Donde Dinner? fashion, price, quality, and accessibility have all been taken into account. You won't be waiting at the bar for two hours with $16 cocktails and you never have to worry about a dress code. Just hop on the train, or your feet, or your bike, and head to:

2344 Arthur Ave (map)