Motorino i love you…….This really was a trip i was looking forward to well before i touched down in NYC.
Anyone who knows me will know that while i profess a love for food it really only extends as far as the junk end of the spectrum. I can appreciate the skills of a Michelin chef and profess that some of my favourite places to eat in London are fancy, but the truth is nothing makes me happier than a great pizza or burger.
So all my previous visits to this great city have been based around searching for the best junk money can buy (oh yea and seeing my lovely girlfriend), and trust me some of these places are not cheap. Motorino is the brain child of Mathieu Palombino, a man after my own heart, he has worked in some of the cities top restaurants even earning a Michelin star at his last job. Just think all that chef know how channeled into three basic ingredients, bread, tomato and cheese. Well Motorino truly delivers, i think my first visit was one of those rare experiences where you feel they’ve just nailed it… Perfectly charred crust, sweet tomato and proper fior di latte (cows milk mozzarella), this allied with some spicy sopressetto and pizza heaven….As good as it gets.
My return visit was of similar high standards, the oven at its centre as you would expect draws you in and the pizza does the rest. But not only do you know you are going to be fed well but it seems over generous then to offer a lunch special which includes pizza and a simple green salad all for $11.
Ok so the salad is nothing to get excited about, and it seems odd that the simple lemon dressing they give you on the side can be so badly imbalanced that even a lemon lover like me wishes they would tone it down a bit. The only other criticism i could offer is a slightly over eager waiting staff, i lost count of the number of times i was asked if everything was ok, a little annoying but i can put this down to the lack of customers at 2.30 pm on a Wednesday.
All this said i am grateful that the pizza lives up to the billing “the best i’ve ever had” and i’ve had a lot, all over the world.
Once i paid the bill and worked out the correct level to tip….a constant source of annoyance for me which i will return to, i headed off in search of the Brooklyn Kitchen brooklynkitchen.com.
Very generoulsy when i left Melrose and Morgan (melroseandmorgan.com) my home for 5 years i was given a voucher for this place so i thought i would go and investigate since it was close by. Its a cook shop, cook school and butchers all housed in an old warehouse just by the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE). Its a fantastic space full of all the toys an aspiring chef could want. It also includes some basic ingredients, pulses, grains etc as well as some special locally sourced dairy and vegetables. This alogside a serious meat counter (The Meat Hook) makes this a food lovers paradise.
I gleefully wondered around forming ideas of what i could spend my vouchers on resisting buying on impulse. I now have an idea of the essentials i will need so look forward to returning.
I also just discovered that the Mc Clures are doing a pickling class next Monday 25th October so i have booked myself on that. These guys are for me the king of picklers and i have built up quite a addiction to their garlic dill spears….so here is to hoping i can pick up some tips and save myself some cash in the long run…..
Ok so first mistake…..bloggers always take pictures, well i forgot so i am afraid you are just going to have to use your imagination, or go direct to the website, www.mileendbrooklyn.com its a pretty accurate picture.
First of all i should say Mile End is ‘a montreal jewish delicatessen in brooklyn’, their words not mine. This means that its not quite like all the others, although my idea of a NY deli is Katz and to my mind that is just a tourist trap living off Meg Ryan’s orgasm. Its a shame because as we all know a truly great sandwich is orgasmic…..
Mile End offers Turkey and smoked brisket sandwiches (salt beef) amongst other things and sings the praises of local and homemade. They do in fact do all their own smoking and pickling on site which is impressive given the size of the place. I had the perfect perch at the bar to watch the sandwiches being carefully constructed, small yet overflowing with meat at the same time. Quite an achievement….
Well the verdict….as you will come to understand i am not easily pleased and on this occasion i felt a little let down, the meat somehow lacked the melt in the mouth texture i was hoping for, the rye bread while tasty, was missing the added dimension that caraway seeds provide, and the mustard, well it has to be English really and it wasn’t, this said the only real bum note was an insipid pickle lacking any kind of punch.
Everything else was good in its own way just not what i was looking for. I will return as it was generally a good experience and right in my neighbourhood. Maybe i’ll try the turkey or just revisit the brisket with a more open mind and a jar of Colemans!!
So this is the start of my 90 day all you can eat buffet.
The joy of life is that your never too far away from your next mealtime, and since my life revolves totally around food this is a very good thing.
As with every other trip to NYC my first thought is where am i going to eat, thankfully on this extended journey i have all the time in the world.
This obviously relieves a little of the anxiety, wondering how i am going to get my semi-vegetarian girlfriend to go and eat in all the places i want to drag her to.
Ok, so i know semi vegetarian is a slightly vague term so i will return to it at a later date, but for now lets think about whats for lunch, it is after all nearly 10 am……
The options, as you will come to discover, are mainly bread based.
I do not know where this developed but for as long as i can remember if i could put it between two slices of bread it could become a thing of beauty.
So after 2 hours careful research i am going for a salt beef sandwich.
I will report back…..