Fall finally makes an appearance

But there’s (just a little) time yet for some Red Hook action:

Everyone goes on about the huaraches and tacos, but I have to say, these might be my favorite. Best tamale I’ve ever had in NYC. And god, I LOVE maduros.

Other recent highlights:
– Aquavit, which has made it into my top 5. If you’re a fan of bright, clean Scandinavian flavors (or bright, clean Scandinavian furniture design), this is the place for you. Oh, and there are those meatballs too. Unlike Franny’s, the check holds only pleasant surprises.
– Queen’s Hideaway, which impresses with its price point but disappoints with incredibly slow, inattentive service. (I guess you get what you pay for. Or don’t pay for, more like.) If you don’t like your food salty (sometimes inedibly so), this is not the place for you. Good ideas, imperfect execution, but I’ll definitely go back. There’s just something that feels right about it. And if I ever move out of Fort Greene, Greenpoint is where I plan to hang my hat. (Though by the time I get around to it, I bet I’ll be priced out of the hat rack.)
– Black bean soup, which is the first thing I think of when I make stock from the gleanings and leavings of a roasted chicken. I think I hate Whole Foods’ beans though. Soup is the first thing I ever made that showed me how magical cooking can be — all that flavor, coaxed out of ostensibly inedible bones, and the whole most definitely more than the sum of its parts. So much more.

Listening to:
– Animal Collective’s “Strawberry Jam”
– Stars’ “In Our Bedroom After the War”

Reading:
– (like everyone else I know) Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Bonny Wolf’s Talking with My Mouth Full: Crab Cakes, Bundt Cakes, and Other Kitchen Stories. If you liked Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, you ought to read this one as well. I’m inspired to cook something from every single one of the essays in this book.

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