Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

I know that it’s been going on for a while now, but last night was my first foray into this year’s Brooklyn Restaurant week. A joyful time, for those of you who do not know, you better recognize. $23 3-course prix fixe meals at some of Bk’s finest eating establishments. And when a place isn’t fancy enough to dole out 3 courses that are worth $23, then they generously offer a 2-for-1 at $23! Amazing.

So, when my lovely auntie invited me out for a French-African meal at Carroll Gardens’ Korhogo 126, of COURSE I said yes!

Here it is. It used to be called Bouillabaisse 126.

Since reservations are at a premium during RW, we were relegated to a 6:30 dining spot. Totally fine. After a lovely little sit in the park on Smith and Carroll, we wandered across a BQE overpass (also lovely!) and found the restaurant.

Nicely lacquered wood benches covered with sort of African-looking cushions. Homey-feeling hutch as the wait station, topped with small tribal-looking carved masks and statues. It is no wider than an average brownstone, so at my table against the wall I could see right into the kitchen across the way and see what they were doing. Nice plating, I noted on the way to the bathroom.

Anyway….. what am I here to talk about? Oh right. The food.

One downside of Manhattan’s RW can be that the menus are very small – the fanciest places obviously want to limit the number of things you could get for such a low low price. This menu was nice. I liked it. The least exciting thing on the appetizer menu was a Greek Salad (because of when, you know, the Greeks colonized French-colonized Africa. it was complicated). The most exciting thing (I thought) on the app. list was escargots served in puff pastry with fennel compote. Truth be told, I mostly got it because of the fennel compote – a winter vegetable I love but rarely prepare myself.

When it was served up it was definitely NOT your traditional French escargots! When they are stripped of their shell and butter sauce, it turns out that escargots look sort of like swollen mussels (the kind from the sea, not your bicep), and also taste like a milder, less briny version of mussels. These were prepared in sort of a ratatouille, with richly savory tomatoes. Delicious. Except… I think they got confused somewhere between fennel “compote” and fennel… quartered and steamed. It was nicely steamed, to be sure. Not overcooked, not undercooked… but compote it was not. Whatever.

Auntie got a nice plate of citrus-ey calamari and baby octopusses (ew) I mean octopi. They tasted nice, and were a lovely texture, though she was a little freaked out by the bulbous things that seemed to be baby octopus heads that were still attached to the baby octopus bodies.

On to the main dishes! The seafood menu had 2.5 x more options than the meat or veggie menus so we said – OK! We get the message. And ordered some seafood. Bouillabaise. Again, with the fennel! Bouillabaise with fennel. And I love me some West African peanut stew. So we got that.

The Bouillabaisse base (ha!) was outstanding. SUCH a flavorful broth. And it came with toast points spread with some kind of artichokey aioli – really really delicious. As it should be – the whole restaurant used to be named Bouillabaisse (126). And it came with a variety of seafoods in it. But you know how seafoods all take different amounts of time to cook? And how they’re really easy to overcook? Um, me too. And, Korhogo 126 knows it too. Because while the tilapia was perfectly tender, the mussels and shrimp were straight up overcooked. Maybe that’s why they changed their name. Whatever. Let’s move on to the stew, eh?

Now, when you think of stew, it’s steaming and hearty and generously proportioned, right? Me too. Stew’s made of cheap ingredients so that you can have a lot of it, right? Unless it’s, um, saffron stew, or whatever. Do you think of a scant 3 tablespoons, served with a hearty 1 cup of quinoa? OMG, me neither. We have so much in common, you and I. But on this? We differ from Korhogo 126. Weird.


An example of what google images classifies as “stew.”

That thing I mentioned above? About the scant blah blah, that’s what I was served. It was weird – like in a diet program where they’re like, you can eat your peanut sauce and lose weight too! I wanted to ask the waiter if he thought I was too pudgy or something. Because. The small bowl the “stew” was served in. Was. Not even. HALF FULL. In fact, it was not even HALF EMPTY! That’s right. What’s an optimist (or pessimist) supposed to do when you’re barely at 1/3 full (or 2/3 empty)? I don’t know.

OK, to give credit where it’s due, the stew was tasty. Not a stew, as you or I would classify it, but you know, it tasted peanut-ey. It was about as much peanut dipping sauce as you’d get for a plate of spring rolls at most Thai places. Whatevs. Oh! And in the menu it was “stew with okra.” I love okra in stew! It finds its natural place there, where its gooeyness has an appropriate time and purpose. But uh… steamed on the side of my plate? I’m back at diet camp, where I’ve never been, so how they can do such an effective job evoking it is beyond me.

Ugh. So then they bring over the dessert menus. Which have on them, yes, a list of desserts. But also prices. So I think OK, they didn’t want to print up new dessert menus just for RW. Saving trees! Props to you, Korhogo 126, I think in my head.

But THEN. Then… well, let’s save that for later. (This is called dramatic tension and foreshadowing) My Momi (the name of the dessert I ordered. not my actual, um, mom) was a banana-millet cake that was really nice! A kind of gooey banana bread. Served with a poached pear, vanilla ice cream, and African honey. All that was a little too sweet, but overall pretty nice. But, do you know what they served it on? Right, a plate, smartass. But what was BETWEEN the plate and the other stuff? Looked to me like nothing but chocolate syrup. And tasted to me like Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Now, that stuff is fine and good, but how distinctive is the flavor of Hershey’s!! It was like they were writing a movie about someone writing a song, and the song they came up with was “Like a Rock.” And that wasn’t a pertinent plot point. I wanted to suspend my disbelief, but I just couldn’t.


This girl knows what I’m talking about.

Auntie’s dessert was plated on an intensely sweet strawberry sauce that also tasted commercial – it was some combination of strawberries and ice cream and something else. I guess their take on strawberry shortcake? Not so impressive, and not at all nuanced.

Whatevs. Remember that dramatic tension I mentioned earlier? Can you guess what happened? They CHARGED US for the desserts! Assholes! The whole point of Restaurant Week is that you know, up front, how much you’re paying and how much you’re getting. So I do not appreciate them trying to pull a fast one and make us look like some fucking cheapskates just because they can’t stick to a deal.

Suffice it to say, if I had been paying, I would have put up a stink. Auntie is gracious and a grown-up in many ways that I am not, and we left quietly. But I took a solemn vow that I would write a disparaging review for these jerkstores that dared besmirch the decency and trust of restaurant week. For shame, Korhogo 126, for shame.

Pros: Excellent bouillabaisse broth, charming French waiter

Cons: Bloodsucking lying two-faced trolls, heavy-handed with the Hersheys

Korhogo 126

126 Union St., Carroll Gardens

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Today my visiting-from-LA sister and I braved the midtown crowds, Christmas-crazed and gift-bogged that they were, to venture up to the MOMA. I was there during the erstwhile summer months to check out the Richard Serra exhibit – but it was sis’s first trip in a while. The initially daunting line notwithstanding, the entrance fee (one genuine student and one fake student: $8 off the entrance price!) paid and complimentary coat check checked, we headed into the depths to check out this “art” thing.

In one of the first main galleries we encountered HUGE wood pieces – a convoluted and slightly arthritic looking ladder was suspended above our heads and extended into the horizon. Or rather, as your eye traveled up the length of the ladder you saw that the physical narrowing of the piece itself tricked your eye into thinking it was significantly longer than it actually was. The same was true for a contraption with a huge base of treated wood that was topped with a long, unfinished piece of wood that extended into the air and narrowed to a deceiving point.

“Ladder for Booker T. Washington.” Am I as long as you think I am?

The most interesting art for me retains a flickering quality, where opposed ideas can be held in a tense coexistence. – Martin Puryear, 2007

I like reading the artists’ quotes and curators’ statements at exhibits like this. Being left alone to contextualize a roll of paper suspended from the ceiling and dribbled with ketchup and graphite can be a daunting task – at least when I’m reading I know the right spot to nod or furrow my brow. So I guess Martin Puryear’s quote above, whose art I was so admiring, helps me get the juxtapositions of space and solid, flexibility and rigidity, that he’s getting at with his pieces. But all these highfalootin’ words can’t do justice to the strength, comfort, and appeal of these huge wooden pieces.

Upon viewing Puryear’s gallery as it continued on the 6th floor, I decided that the dude has a thing for dinosaurs. (Who doesn’t?) Several pieces significantly resembled brontosauruses (brontonsauri), with lofty necks extending at a graceful angle from a grounded, boxy base.

“Lever #1.” I look like a dinosaur.

Another theme running through Puryear’s work was a recreation of lattice work that at first glance looked pliable, and on second look was revealed to be rigid pieces of wood coaxed and stapled and glued into curving, organic looking shapes. The space inside these overturned baskets was a nice place to dwell mentally, and I imagined curling up comfortably inside a few of the larger ones.

Big enough to hide in. Small enough to love. “Brunhilde”

So instead of taking a trip all the way up to Sturbridge Village to see quaint handicrafts, take a shorter trip to the MOMA and see quaint handicrafts, rendered in mammoth proportions. When a lot of art is exhausting to look at and doesn’t leave me feeling any better equipped to do, well, anything, Puryear’s sculptures really did seem to have something to say about the relationships between carved wood and the hands that carve them, and the natural world and the Brooklyn world we live in.

Martin Puryear’s exhibition is at the MOMA through January 14, 2008.

The MOMA costs $20 for adults and $12 if you still have your student ID. Every Friday 4-8 PM is free. The cost of admission also gets you into PS 1 for free if you go within a month.

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Apparently NBC’s “Heroes” is being beat out in the ratings by a number of other shows that share its current Monday 9p.m. time slot. This is strange because:

1) “Heroes” is an excellent show.
2) Who doesn’t love a show about super human powers? No one.
3) This means America is opting to watch these guys

instead of these hunks:

Lame. Seriously though, what “Two and a Half Men?” Why are you a show, and why are you on like four times a day now? And why do I secretly watch you when nothing else is on TV?

Anyway, being that there’s a writer’s strike and all, I thought this might be a good time to introduce the “Heroes” characters to anyone ignoring this diamond of a show. This way you can get all excited and pumped up for new episodes until you realize that the strike has halted production on the show indefinitely. OR you will realize this writer’s strike allows you the chance to catch up on past episodes prepping you for when new episodes air again. It’s a win/win situation.

I will begin my character/show review by stating the show’s main plot– pretty much evil powers are trying to destroy the world, and these heroes must ban together to prevent such disasters from taking place. However, it should be noted that within this main plot line are about 30 subplots. Some may have a problem with this, but I do not. Multiple subplots shouldn’t bother anyone suffering from a little disease I like to call Attention Deficit Disorder. And as we all know, most of America has self diagnosed themselves with this condition. But “Heroes” is perfect for A.D.D.-ers since as soon as our attention starts to inevitably stray, a new scene begins and we’re like, “Oh shit, what? A man is fighting with his wife’s doppelganger. I better pay attention.” And we do, because we’re interested in where the scene will go. (I took a liberty here by using “we” in the preceding sentence but, I mean, come on. The only reason why you might disagree with me in thinking that your attention is not always focused is because you’re currently on Adderall.)

Now, for the characters:

Peter Petrelli

Peter can adapt to any of the heroes’ powers, meaning if he encounters a hero that can fly, boom, he’s soaring in the sky. Awesome, right? Wrong. This power has plagued Peter in certain instances, like the time he developed the ability to become radioactive. Not the most attractive quality in a product, let alone a human being. But to give you an idea of Peter’s awesome strength, some of the powers he’s been able to call his own over the first season include but are not limited to regenerating body parts after injury (think Wolverine), making fire with his hands, breaking the space/time continuum, becoming invisible, walking through walls, and all sorts of other neat/sometimes awful stuff.

Peter’s pretty much the glue of the series, mainly because if you have 1000 powers, you’re pretty important. But also, he is a genuinely good human being and used to be a male nurse (murse) which means he’s caring. This is imperative, as the most powerful human being on earth shouldn’t be evil.

Nathan Petrelli

Nathan is Peter’s brother. He can fly and is married to a Dixie Chick in real life. That’s all you really need to know about him.

Hiro Nakamura

Hiro is in my opinion the best character on the show. He is an adorable little man and the love in his heart knows no bounds. He’s great. Hiro can break the space/time continuum, hence he can stop time, go back in time, head out to the future, et cets. Basically he’s been able to achieve my dream.

Claire Bennet

Claire (Hayden Panettierre) can regenerate any part of her body, therefore she cannot be killed. She is, how you say, indestructible. She’s also a cheerleader and a hot blonde babe. But more importantly, she’s rumored to be dating the guy who plays Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventigmilia) in real life. This is disturbing because a) Milo is 30 and Hayden is like, 11 and b) Milo plays Hayden’s uncle on the show. But if it makes you feel any better, there is a video circulating the internet of Hayden attempting to save some dolphins from being slaughtered in Japan. So pretty much it’s as though Hayden’s an extension of yourself since, I’m assuming, you actively take part in saving dolphins by purchasing dolphin safe tuna. Therefore, we cannot judge Hayden. We can however, judge Milo.

Noah Bennet

Noah is Claire’s adoptive father and is sometimes referred to as “the man with the horn-rimmed glasses,” already he has the hipsters’ attention. [Spoiler] He used to work for an evil agency (I think?) but is not evil anymore (maybe?). This character is confusing. Noah was once bad, but then was good, and now seems a little bit crazy. His character has many layers. Like a shallot.

Matt Parkman

Matt’s ability is he reads minds. Similiar to Mel Gibson’s character in “What Women Want” only he can listen in on anyone’s thoughts, not just the ladies. I like Matt. Sometimes he uses his power to cheat, an example being when he read minds while taking a test instead of, say, studying really hard. But he just wants to succeed in life. You know, be good at something. So just give the guy a break. Maybe he has A.D.D.

Sidenote: The man who plays Matt used to be on “Felicity” and is a current spokesperson for Weight Watchers.

Niki Sanders

Niki’s power doesn’t so much qualify as a “heroic quality” as it does a burden. From time to time Niki’s dead sister takes over her body and kills people. I think the scientific name for this is called Multiple Personality Disorder/murderer. If you ask me, Niki’s sort of like the Gollum and Smiegel of the show. But that’s just me. Niki’s good people though. Don’t hate.

Micah Sanders

Micah’s Niki’s son. He’s a human hacker who can hack into anything, including ATMs, with the use of just his hands. As in, if he puts his hand up to an ATM machine, money will come flowing out. (Note to self: try to establish Micah’s power.) Also, you may or may not be interested to know that the actor who plays Micah is actually a child genius. He’s a piano prodigy. About five years ago he played for Oprah on her syndicated talk show. So…yeah. He plays piano well.

Maya Herrera

Okay, Maya. Maya was introduced as a new character in Season Two. Seems her power is that she kills everyone around her whenever she gets angry. It’s pretty intense. Her eyes become like black marbles, oozing out blood, and subsequently everyone around her drops dead. I can’t say I fully support this character, as black eyeballs give me nightmares. She also makes dumb decisions which I’m never a fan of.

Mohinder Suresh

Mohinder is the series’ narrator. He possesses no heroic strengths, however it was his father’s mission to find out where these heroes came from and help them work through the fact that they’re different. Unfortunately Mohinder’s father was murdered and therefore his life’s work came to an abrubt end. That is until Mohinder took over for him.


Slyar is Heroes’ main villain. While he’s not a born “hero,” he has figured out a way to make himself into one. Sylar cuts out the brains of those with special skills, i.e. he kills them, and I guess takes out the “hero” brain parts and puts them into his head? I’m not sure how it works, or how he adopts peoples’ powers, but he does. And it’s very scary. He wants the world to end. I’m thinking he has some depression issues.

Well, there you have it. An amazingly in depth summary of 11 of the five billion “Heroes” characters. I’m sure you feel like you’ve just watched all 26 episodes. I left out some people, since there are way too many to go over. But believe me, I touched upon the important ones. Trust.


PS. If you have any questions, please refer to the internet, or ask me about them in person. (I’ve had enough of typing!)

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As nouveau cirque enthusiasts across the city gear up for the upcoming run of Au Revoir Parapluie (Dec 4-16 at BAM), a French food enthusiast is born in Brooklyn.

For two of the last three nights I have warmed myself on Le Gamin’s hearty yet refined sandwiches, delicate yet substantive crepes, and invigorating yet stupefying GROG.


Le Gamin graces New York and Boston with several locations; ours is located on Vanderbilt between Dean & Bergen, nestled on a very special block next to two of my favorite spots, sweetie pie boutique Red Lipstick and reliable repair shop Bicycle Station.

This is a first date’s wonderland with a cozy, romantic feel and a menu that won’t break your bank, even if he orders the most expensive thing (roast beef tenderloin, $15). A fireplace warms the back of the restaurant, and a generously sized patio equipped with umbrellas and picnic tables promises warm weather fun to come.

Mooseknuckle and I both began with sandwiches, or as they call them: “Les Sandwiches.” Isn’t that just darling? He housed the Merguez a la Moutarde Forte – spicy lamb sausage with roasted red peppers. You know how sometimes roasted red peppers are the ‘luxury’ item in a sandwich or salad that you pay extra for, but still you’re like – is this worth it? Should I have just gotten free tomato slices instead? In this case, the roasted red peppers totally complete the sausage – just the two of them there in that sandwich would keep each other well enough, but the goat cheese that Moosie opted to add contributed a lovely smoothness as well as that cool tartness to cut through the sausage-spice and red-pepper-sweet. Mmm!

I went for Le Saumon Fume – smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, mesclun, homemade mayonnaise, and pesto. Right away I liked their boldness at including as standard two condiments. They’re a funny pair. If you added mayo to pesto, it would totally bring down the quality. If you added pesto to mayo, you’ve got yourself some gourmet spread. But allow the two to exist separately but equally (what doesn’t work in society can sometimes work in sandwiches) and you’ve got a sandwich whose mayonnaise helps things stick together and keeps the eggs from sticking in your throat, and whose pesto seeps into the ciabatta and gives your teeth a succulent layer of olive oil to sink through before reaching the chewy crust. I liked it. The salmon itself was also great – not overly salty, and generously portioned.

Both sandwiches,$9.75, were served with mesclun salad on the side – fresh leaves, appropriately engaging but understated dressing.

The next night, intending to just stop in for desert, Mooseknuckle, Johnbaptisedme, and I were taken in by the savory selections. They were sadly out of mussels, so I opted for a Brie crepe ($9). Whaat??! Oh man. Combined with expertly carmelized onions and sliced baby tomatoes, it was excellent. If you are the kind of person who has to restrain herself from downing the whole baked brie wheel at a party, then this dish is for you. Don’t share it!

Moosepie went for a make-your-own crepe ($10.50) with chicken, goat cheese, and ratatouille. After the disappointment that it was not served by animated rats subsided, he tucked into this tasty concoction. The taste I begged off him was very satisfying. More ingredients provide many many possible combinations for personalized crepes. Like an omelette bar but way classier. Also served with salad.

Always a classist, I mean classicist, JBM got Gratinne a L’Oignon, the classic French onion soup ($6). Mmm! The rich broth you want, the crusty bread made soggy in it, the sharp cheese knocking you down. They get it right.

And then of course there’s desert! Though the actual desert menu sounds great, with a warm upside down apple tart served with creme fraiche ($5) and a classic creme bruelee (also $5), how could we do anything but head straight on to the sweet crepes ($4.50-$7)?

Apricot jam made a delicious filling. As did melted chocolate – of a really high quality and cocoa count – either on its own or combined with fresh bananas. They are famous for their crepe with fresh sectioned orange and homemade caramel, and for good reason. Unlike its made-by-Kraft counterpart (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Le Gamin’s homemade caramel does not stand up on its own, instead lending the subtle flavor of burnt sugar sweetness to the juicy oranges and light crepe dough.

The drink options in a French restaurant can be intimidating, but with a small and accessible wine list, I felt empowered to order a glass of Muscadet to accompany my meal. It was a nice choice and at $7 for a generous class I felt like all was right with the world. Mooseknucks opted for a bottle of Brooklyn, which Le Gamin rings in at $5. About reasonable and standard at a Brooklyn restaurant, no?

The drink enticements continued on to the section of the menu entitled “Les Boisson Chaudes,” or delicious wam things to which we occasionally add liquor. I was taken in by the GROG (as I may have mentioned before). It turns out GROG is a simple and refreshing drink, the Mandy Moore of warm winter drinks. Hot water, lemon juice, honey (that you add yourself to your liking), and spiced rum. Serve it in a big ole bowl and you’ve got yourself my new favorite drink!

The next night I opted for a steamed milk, again with honey and spiced rum, again served in an oversized bowl. What is not to like about drinking from a bowl? In a place like this, you feel like a viking and a refined French person at the SAME time! A valuable, if too rarely found, combination.

So, clearly, I recommend Le Gamin with no reservations (ha!). No, really, you don’t need reservations. This 3 1/2 year old restaurant was no where near crowded either night I went. Perfect for a romantic rendezvous or a night out with the gals, Le Gamin has an extensive, inexpensive menu that will make your friends think you know your GROG.

Le Gamin, 566 Vanderbilt Ave, Prospect Heights

Related merchandise: Joie de Vivre, simple living the French way. A book that tells you how to be happy like the French. I’ll stick to the food, thanks!

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Maybe this isn’t the best time to be doing a television review. The picketers are still outside New York skyscrapers holding up blank signs for the writer’s strike (Joke provided by Wait Wait). Don’t want to get up your excitement when television as we know it is on the precipice of doom! I’ll go for it anyways….

While the last show I reviewed was a show I find personally enjoyable (Reaper), Pushing Daisies I believe is legitimately universally the awesome.


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When I first moved to New York, I was a misguided Manhattanite with little knowledge of the great borough of Brooklyn. Manhattan was brand new to me, with thousands of bars and restaurants at my disposal. Why on earth would I want to leave and try out Brooklyn?

At the time, I was also reading a biography called Elliott Smith and the Big Nothing, which, despite being mainly set in Portland and Los Angeles, described a small portion of Smith’s life in which he lived in Park Slope. Although he played the odd show at clubs in Manhattan, he apparently spent most of his time in bars in Brooklyn, and wrote his most critically acclaimed album, XO, while sitting in O’Connor’s.

Upon reading this, I decided to venture into this second borough, making O’Connor’s the first bar I ever visited in Brooklyn. It’s been around since 1931, and I find it hard to believe that a whole lot has changed since then. Aside from adding a few televisions, the price of any beer rests firmly at around $3 to $3.50 (well drinks are around the same price). The bar stools and booths all feel a little like they might collapse beneath you. Even the smell is one of an old, damp Brooklyn bar where you can imagine your grandfather sitting down and ordering a cheap bottle of beer.

I revisited the bar last night with BS enthusiast bearclaw, and was surprised to see that even on a Tuesday night at midnight, the bar was not empty. What is interesting about this bar is that unlike Jackie’s 5th Amendment or Old Carriage Inn (two other old bars in Park Slope), it seems to be a place where youngsters and their grandparents can co-exist peacefully. This is not to say that I have ever see a brawl break out at Jackie’s, but I’ve also never seen anyone there who didn’t have their AARP card on hand. What might bridge the age gap at O’Connor’s? A fantastic jukebox. While going through it, we saw everything from The New Pornographers to Ray Charles. They used to have XO, but have now changed to Smith’s posthumously released From a Basement on the Hill. We played a few songs from this album, in addition to some Loretta Lynn. While listening, it was easy to hear why Smith would choose a bar like O’Connor’s. It’s not a rowdy place, but somewhere you go for good conversation, or to blend in the background, listen to music and quietly drink.

Pros: Cheap, friendly staff, good people-watching, great jukebox.

Cons: No beer on tap, dark, not always available seating.

39 5th Ave
Park Slope, Brooklyn

Elliott Smith

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Not so long ago, Prospect Heights was blessed with a new addition to the happy family on Classon Avenue between Park and Prospect. It is called Chavella’s and it is Mexican and we all love it.

A first glance at the menu will tell you that it’s CHEAP. Seriously cheap. And a first taste of the food will tell you that it’s DELICIOUS. Very seriously delicious.

417478001_8b939e9aa6.jpgThe lunch/dinner menu features hugely generous platos like rotisserie chicken or chicken mole (rich and delicious with all that cocoa sauce) with mounds of rice and beans. My favorite, though, is mixing and matching the various tiny special treats they have for $2.50 – like tacos in soft corn tortillas (roasted vegetables with guacamole, chorizo and potatoes with cabbage, black bean with avacado are my go-to’s). The sweet creamy rice pudding is the perfect end to any Chavella’s meal. And so so so much better than any other rice pudding. Ever. (Sorry grandma.)

Check the specials board because if you see the sizzling camarones (shrimpies) up there then get it. It is ridiculously flavorful and fresh and exciting. It comes with whole jalepeno pieces that beg to be eaten with abandon, scooped up with the juices and rice and veggies and shrimps. My only warning, be a little careful. The seeds stay in and lend a LOT of heat. Balance your bites so you can live to enjoy the whole dish.

Recently they’ve added a Sunday brunch with menu items like eggs benedict on mexican toast with guacamole and jalapeno hollandaise. Yes! Their namesake omelette comes with bacon, avacado, queso oaxaca and the good lord only knows what else… the best part is the chorizo hash that comes on the side of that one. Brunches at Chavella’s start off with a complimentary bowl of Mexican sweet breads – they not only get you started on your way to hangover recovery that much more quickly, but for me they provide the security that I will always be able to balance my sweet with my savory! I’m not forced to order a sweet baked breakfast just to sate my sweet-tooth – I can have my sweet breads and eat my eggs too, as it were. Not that I would deter anyone from ordering the sweet breakfasts here. French toast dipped in tres leches (that’s 3 milks for you anglos) will stare tantilizingly at you off the page.

So, in case you guys are having trouble picking up on my subtlety, I am wholeheartedly endorsing Chavella’s for your casual dining, affordable priced, outrageously fresh and delicious Mexican food needs.

732 Classon Avenue
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

NOTE: No alcohol on the menu so feel free to byob. And they deliver.

Photo from 52 Projects‘ photostream.

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I had given up on television. I was tired of Law & Order Really Bad Stuff Unit, CSI Omaha, and everyone’s favorite, “Make People Compete To Get Married or Date Shmucks for Money”. I was out of the loop. It took me years to get a hold of Lost, Six Feet Under, Battlestar Galactica & their brethren in television. In the end those shows led me to agree with Matt Groening & J.J. Abrams that we are in a golden age of television.

What this all means it that I’ve been obsessively watching television since the beginning of the season. It’s the first time I’ve actually been paying attention. With that in mind, I think I’ll start reviewing some of my favorites & so so’s of the new shows. It may be too late to get started into them, but I’ll let you into one of my secrets on catching up.

I’ll review Reaper first.


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Last night I attended an open studio event at the Lower East Side Printshop. The Lower East Side Printshop is located on 306 37th Street, which some might say is not the Lower East Side at all. But I like to keep an open mind about these things.

I always enjoy attending art events, reminds me of just how uncreative I am when it comes to art. Hence, these events are incredibly character building. (I love you, inferiority.) Anyway, here’s the night in review.

Around 6PM I met up with some friends. After entering the building we waited a few minutes for the elevator. A few minutes = an excruciatingly long time in “elevator waiting” terms. We decide to opt for the stairs, but no stairs in sight. We find two more elevators. Sweet. We get off on the 6th floor into a enclosed foyer area about the size of a closet. Interesting. I open the door only to find a small man stitching up some pants. Oops. We all let out a few chuckles, as nerds usually do when encountering this type of situation. It turns out the building’s floors are sectioned off into divisions, which is both confusing and inconvenient. For us. And for you if you ever decide to attend an event here. So, take note.

After coming full circle, we wait at the initial “taking too long” elevator. We are all clear on the fact that our wait was prolonged even further by our looking for a shorter route. (That’s irony.) And not to throw out some crazy assumptions or anything, but I am pretty convinced there was a muscle man down below manually pulling the carts up and down the floors. (In case you just looked up “muscle man” and didn’t find anything because the internet is not as savvy as I am in terms of labeling human beings, the muscle men I’m referring to are those really strong men from the 20s who donned those overall-ish unitards and handlebar mustaches, and at times could be found riding a unicycle. I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page here.)

Once we enter the 6th floor we immediately start looking at the prints. There were eight stations, all very distinct in personality and design. Subjects varied from environmentalism to consumerism to personal narrations. I would go on further to describe the prints, but I would just butcher every single one with my interpretations. So I’ll let your imaginations run wild. However, what I will say is the exhibit was divided into two rooms, one with the artists and their work, and another with their pieces hung and displayed. Most, if not all, the art could be purchased (prices ranging from $30-$2500), and if you’re not on the brink of destitution (like me), I would highly suggest looking into purchasing anyone of these for yourself. I found Kakyoung Lee’s charcoal animations to be particularly mesmerizing.

All in all, I would strongly encourage a visit to the Lower East Side Printshop. It’s free and definitely a worthwhile trip.

You can find more information on their open studio events here.

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Recklesley and I decided to see Across the Universe today at the Park Slope Pavilion. We thought to ourselves “Hey, we like the Beatles and Julie Taymour, this should be fun.”

Be warned. It is not fun. It is in fact the worst movie ever made.

The “story” concerns an English lad named Jude. Get it? Like the song! He leaves Liverpool (where, according to the film, everyone is an alcoholic or looks like Oliver Twist) for America. He’s in search of his dad, an American veteran who impregnated his mother during World War II, before leaving her behind. While here he meets Max and his little sister Lucy (again, like the song! So inventive!). They all wind up in New York City. Max goes to Vietnam, Lucy becomes a freedom fighter and Jude is a struggling artist. That is basically the plot. The rest of the films consists of the following cliches:

– Inarticulate bohemians
– Disapproving, “square” parents
– Hippie gurus (played, much to recklesley’s disbelief, by Bono, who seems to be channeling Sam Elliott and Jerry Garcia’s lovechild)
– Displaced, angsty lesbians
– Idealistic revolutionaries who become as violent as those against whom they are reacting
– Wounded veterans who become addicted to painkillers
– And many, many more

Writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais apparently decided to conduct research for the film by renting Forrest Gump and Born on the Fourth of July. Sadly it seems that they dozed off for long periods throughout. From this they learned that the sixties consisted of good music, people saying “peace” a lot, and cheesy drug hallucinations. Oh, and apparently during the sixties, no one ever talked about anything aside from how they were living in the sixties and it was all “revolution-y.”

Oh, and did I mention that it was all set to Beatles songs? Because it was. Poorly. Characters like Prudence (the aforementioned angsty lesbian) seem to have been created merely as excuses to incorporate songs (Dear Prudence). Given that fact, and the creators lack of knowledge about both the Beatles and the sixties, I’m surprised there wasn’t a cartoon hallucination racoon named Rocky who traveled with the group on their psychadelic journeys, just so the song could be performed.

By the end of the film, where a Janis Joplin rip off and her band perform All You Need is Love while on a rooftop (!), I was about ready to vomit a field’s worth of strawberries. Several times during the movie, Recklesley turned to me and asked if we should leave. I’m not one to leave films very often, but I have before. I couldn’t leave this one, however. I had to stay. I remained in my seat out of sheer, morbid curiousity.

I have never hated hippies so much in my life.

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