October 24, 2008

The ultimate bacon flavored spread



October 13, 2008

The Magic Chili Dog

After all my years in Alphabet City one thing stayed consistent through the gentrification: Ray’s Magic Chili Dog.

No matter what you did, how much you drank or how late you’ve been out, one of Ray’s Chili Dogs before bed and you are guaranteed to wake up hang-over free. The power of the Magic Chili Dog has been tested and re-tested with 100% re-produceable results.

I had completely forgotten about the Magic Chili Dog until I stumbled upon this: Ray is now offering recession based $1 fries and $1 ice cream cones. Rays is such a unique East Village spot. Ray’s is the first place I experienced the Egg Cream.

Three or four in the morning at Rays I consistently ran into the oddest people— including the macho worldwide account director for eye-bee-em… and his gaggle of secret boy-toys. AWKWARD when we had a client meeting the next day! Somewhere I heaps of Lomo rolls from late night debauchery with Murph and Dave that frequently ended there.

_ A side note and warning to you crazy kids out here: the same scientific method used to discover the magic powers of Ray’s Chili Dog, also identified that Two Boot’s Mr. Pink and Cleopatra Jones as post-drinking/pre-bed nosh harnessed the complete opposite “evil” power… Either slice is guaranteed to cause killer Pyrosis and greatly enhanced morning hang-overs. _


August 21, 2007


Tonight we're headed to the friends & family opening of Julian Medina's Toloache. I'm interested in trying the Chapulines (dried grasshopper). Menu here.


May 25, 2007

Memorial Day Boil

Ah, the annual Hatton Crawfish Boil is this weekend. Can’t you just feel the burn of that corn on your lips? It’s the taste of the start of the summer. This year’s will be the biggest yet with over 60 in attendance, including a large contingent of real spicy New Orleanians. I’m a little sad the NYC posse is MIA for the second year in a row.

I don’t think they can handle the spice.


October 6, 2006


Off to the motherland for Canadian Thanksgiving. It’s going to be a quick road trip. 7 hour drive to Prince Edward Country today and 7 hours back on Sunday. It’s worth it for some turkey and farce (stuffing).


August 21, 2006

The power of PR

With a petition, loyal customers and good old fashioned public relations— The Place is saved!
CBGB should have hired Food Shelter.


June 19, 2006

Delicious space

Saveur Placement 06

Check it out: The kitchen in our family beach house is featured in this month’s Saveur Magazine. This kitchen is one of our favorite places to be. There’s nothing we enjoy more than entertaining in this space. Everything about this kitchen is functional and makes entertaining a joy. My wife (a trained chef) cooks up a storm here and makes me a little fatter each visit with her delicious concoctions and to-die-for meals.

You can see more of my Mother’s kitchen designs in her portfolio— or featured in the book “Spectacular Homes of Greater Philadelphia.”


June 15, 2006


Overheard at the Cingular Store on 19th and Samson:

She received the cellphone as gift, but doesn’t want the caller-id to show up as Georges Perrier. Can this be changed?


June 5, 2006


(c)2006 jonathan hudson
Annual Hatton Crawfish Boil. Berwyn, PA 2006


October 10, 2005

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

(c) 2003 Jonathan Hudson The first North American Thanksgiving was held in Canada 43 years before the pilgrims of Plymouth Rock.


July 11, 2005

Phillyist Food

Gothamist’s offshoot Phillyist launched today. I’ve been a huge fan of Gothamist for ages— it gives me my daily Big Apple fix. Thanks to Murph I got connected to ist-network’s uber-talented Neil Epstein ages ago. Now I’m happy to say we’re joining his family.

Joanne is writing for the Food section of Phillyist. Her articles, reviews and interviews with top chefs can be found in the fozen food section. Congratulations!

I have faith Phillyist will become the local culture powerhouse that Gothamist has become. My only gripe: it may be the city of brotherly love… but I’m not so fond of the pink background.


June 29, 2005


(c)2005 jonathan hudson
Mercat de la
Boquer’a Barcelona, Spain 2004


June 3, 2005


NYC Bars with Barbecues.


May 27, 2005

One more for the road

(c)2004 jonathan hudson
Berwyn, PA 2005


May 27, 2005


Louisiana style crawfish boil
Summer’s start: the annual Hatton Crawfish Boil. Burn-your-lips-off spicy crawfish, jambalaya and andouille sausage. It hurts so good.

More ...


May 16, 2005


Serendipity 3 - don't believe the hype, the wait time is artifically pumped up to fake popularity and demandA few weeks back we took my lovely niece to New York for her birthday where we waited for three hours for a “coveted seat” at Serendipity 3. Home of mediocre food, less than stellar service and their only redeeming quality. which incidentally comes out of a packet, the famous Frozen Hot Chocolate. A very good friend actually waited for us while we were sightseeing to try and avoid the long wait (insert laugh here)…

We were told the wait would be 1 hour 45 minutes. After strolling through Dylans Candy Bar, we returned a bit early and were told another hour from the hour and 35 minutes we already killed– totalling our wait time to almost 3 hours. If this wasn’t enough to send us reeling, upon returning for a 2nd time a party of scammers who made reservations at 6 (it was only 4:45) tried to get in early on their reservation laurels and thus take the next available table promised to us. It didn’t initially work, but a mere five minutes later while we still waited at the front of the line, ANOTHER person in the same party tried the same thing with a different host and they were all seated. If we didn’t have my niece with us, my wife and her friend would have made this an extremely ugly, heated, scene…

More ...


April 30, 2005

Happy Other Easter

(c)2002 jonathan hudson
Yum! Greek Orthodox Easter, Mikinos Greece 2002


April 10, 2005

ChefAID 2005
moblog cellphone photo


Mobile Photo: captured and posted in real-time with a Treo650


April 8, 2005

Starr Light, Starr Brite

We dined at two Starr1 establishments in the course of 2 weeks (not difficult considering he has pretty much cornered the Philadelphia dining scene).

My new wife and I went to Barclay Prime2 the other evening with my folks and it was delicious. As semi-obsessed “foodies” (a ridiculous term, but I am using it to avoid a long-winded explanation and history of my wife, my Mother’s, and hence, my new recent love affair with all things edible) we consider ourselves very judgemental, highly critical, keenly observant and as a result a restaurateurs worst nightmare.  

We had nothing bad to say. A small miracle in and of itself and something Mr. Starr should not take lightly and bask in the glow of the compliment. Service was attentive and helpful, but not annoying. The food was worth it, so expense isn’t an issue when the food is worthy of praise and rises above its intense scrutiny and discerning palate test (except the lobster bisque I was told was a Sauce Americaine, which is technically not a bisque, but whatever, I digress). The atmosphere was also very cool and we plan to make it a watering hole of choice because we think many of our friends will like it too. As far as a steakhouse goes, this was an upscale, deliciously overall positive experience.

Very unlike our Morimoto3 dinner last week. We spent an absolute boatload of cash for culinary mediocrity (and that’s being generous). Unlike Nobu, Sushi of Gari or Jewel Bako – three New York City-based Japanese restaurants well worth the price of their omakase selections – Morimoto was uninventive, unimpressive and uncannily expensive. The wait staff, despite being overbearing,  couldn’t even remember one simple sea urchin request (whereas if we ordered ourselves, we could have gotten about 50 sea urchins). The palate cleanser course was the same sorbet used in our very bad dessert course (the culinary equivalent of giving away a first born child as far as my wife is concerned).  Also, despite us not caring at all about cost when we have a positive experience, when it is negative, she starts to calculate how much the food cost was on the meal versus what we actually paid and then the real fun starts and my evening of listening to the rants begin. Needless to say, we are not going to Morimoto ever again. We also got a flare-type postcard hawking the Food Network and Morimoto’s show when our big, fat, bill arrived. This sent both of us reeling. Were we in TGI Friday’s or an alleged, upscale sushi place?

There will soon be a Morimoto in New York. All I can say is, New Yorkers are much tougher. I hope the ‘Iron Chef’ – who by the way was MIA and my wife suspected this was the root of all of their back of the house problems - has his knives sharpened for battle. He will need them. Especially against his old boss and former stomping ground filled with bellies waiting to take him down.

NOTE: I am not linking above to Steven Starr’s sites to spare you from the atrocities of his web design firm — who has built all his sites the same. They have crafted terrible 100% Flash websites (experiences?) that not only spawn new windows all over the place- but take control of your bowser and blow the windows full screen. On my 1920x1600 resolution display— it’s more than a little annoying.

1 Starr Restaurant Organization
2 Barclay Prime
3 Morimoto


March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

(c)2004 jonathan hudson
White Horse Tavern, New York, NY


January 14, 2005

Fill your belly for good
Sweet Relief


January 9, 2005

Mmm… Dinosaur BBQ
Dinosaur BBQLast night Missy set up a surprise pre-birthday dinner for Dave at the new NYC Dinosaur BBQ. A week early to squeeze in a party before he heads to LA to shoot Sprite spots.

We used to frequent the original Dinosaur when Dave and I were roommates at Syracuse. The new one Manhattan is just as tasty and finger-lick’n. A good time was had by all.

It’s in a strange location— I don’t think I’ve ever been so far into Harlem before. The place was packed… and I don’t know how anyone gets home. You’re not going to get a cab easily on 131st and 12th Ave. If it wasn’t for most of the party taking Town cars home, I think you’d get stuck up there. Regardless- it’s well worth the hike uptown.


December 6, 2004

Caviar & Banana
Caviar BananaLast night we did a preview tasting at Jeffrey Chodorow’s new Caviar & Banana Brasserio. The Brazilian/French restaurant replaces Rocco’s terrible NBC reality eatery “The Restaurant.”

With the smell of fresh paint in the air and construction paper on the windows— we enjoyed a delicious dinner. The service still has a few kinks that need working out. A waiter emphatically told us that a Hearts of Palm tapas, mistakenly brought to our table, was actually the Blue Cheese and Cashew relish that we had ordered. After proving to him his error— our original order of Blue Cheese and Cashew relish never arrived at the table.

It was the first of many pre-opening tastings— the service (and wait staff’s knowledge of the menu) will only get better. The food was excellent. Our favorites: the ribs with guava sauce, fois gras and the hot chocolate dessert with hot pepper flakes. Another fine ChinaGrill restaurant.


October 18, 2004


ono garden - zen thingyLast night we did a pre-opening “friends and family” tasting at Jeffrey Chodorow’s new restaurant Ono. The Gansevoort Hotel hot spot will be open to the public in less than a week. The preview we had was outstanding. Great robatayaki and sushi. In both presentation and quality the food was excellent. The Jeffrey Beer’s designed interior (and garden bar/lounge/cabana-thingy) are pretty impressive— though it’s probably a little late in the season for the garden to get much use.


October 10, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

(c) 2003 Jonathan Hudson“A day of general thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” The first North American Thanksgiving was held in Canada 43 years before the pilgrims of Plymouth Rock.


August 20, 2004

Wit out

You may recall Kerry’s cheese steak faux pas. Bush visited Philadelphia and used it as a vehicle to poke fun at Kerry. The truth: “The commander-in-chief fooled thousands Tuesday to believe he eats like the epicureans here.” (President Bush Nailed by Cheese Cops). Time for some Cheese Steak Eaters for Truth spots.


July 14, 2004

Who de cap fit?
diet coke tampering


Dunc got a Diet Coke™ out of a vending machine... and not only was the seal already broken-- but it appears the bottle has been recapped. The stamps don't line up. We snapped this shot (for display purposes we aligned the two stamps by spinning the unconnected safety ring). Duncan called Coca-Cola™. End result of potential product tampering? A coupon for free six-pack. Long gone are the days of finding a mouse in your Coke bottle.


July 6, 2004

Eat Me

Takeru Kobayashi once again wins the Coney Island Nathan's hot dog eating contest by inhaling 53.5 hot dogs (with buns) in twelve minutes. Trying to be a contender-- Saturday night I put down two well garnished dogs and a PBR in 3 minutes flat at my new favorite post-drinking-bing-eating venue: Crif Dogs.


May 28, 2004

Dip your chip in my dip, dip.
2 Skinny Js - BBQ Memorial Day means one thing- BBQing. This weekend is the Hatton annual Crawfish boil. All the mudbugs, fried turkeys and grilled delights you can eat.

Pump up the gas grill. The summer has started, the propane and keg are flowing. So kick it, grill it, we don’t care if you spill it— because we’re outside.

2 Skinnee J’s : BBQ.mp3 (offline)


May 25, 2004

Slow Food
slow foodWe went to a Slow Food event last night at Bistro St. Tropez. Slow Food is a movement that tries to maintain the taste, tradition and pleasures of food. Slow Food promotes a rediscovery of authentic culinary traditions and the conservation of the world's quality food and wine heritage. The organization resists fast food and supermarket homogenization, while promoting artisan food producers. Last night's dinner featured traditional French Provence fair in a 5 course meal paired with wines and cheese from DiBurno's. It was wonderful-- and took over 3 hours to complete. I plan to make the Slow Food dinners a regular event.


February 1, 2004

Tres Bein!

Daniel was fantastic. One of the best meals I've had in sometime.


January 30, 2004

Gastronomic adventures

The fasting has begun. I need to save my strength. Saturday I'm headed to Daniel. Hands down the best French restaurant in New York- and possibly the country. Once again my culinary-well-connected fiancée scored an impossible last minute reservation- as she regularly does with hard to get into places like NoBu. I'm extremely excited for what should prove to be an outstanding meal.


August 20, 2003

When cheese slips your mind…

Kerry's people on him ordering a Swiss-Cheese-Steak, from Pat's:

"I suspect that Kerry was thinking about provolone cheese but became distracted by thinking of the more than 3 million jobs that have slipped through the holes of George W. Bush's economic plan."

The correct way to order a steak