Miami Dining: Late Night on Calle Ocho

January 31, 2010

South Florida may be the land of senior citizens and early bird dinners, but late at night, Calle Ocho is hopping with activity.

Last week I went on a last minute business trip to Florida, with my base of operations being very close to Miami International Airport.

While I dreaded the idea of having to work what would certainly be very long days confined to conference rooms and then emerging late at night ravenously hungry, there was some consolation in the fact that unlike other parts of South Florida, where your food options late at night are restricted at best, downtown Miami and the neighborhood surrounding 8th street (“Calle Ocho”) which calls itself Little Havana (home to Free Cuba in Exile) has some of the best late-night eating anywhere in the state, and probably in the entire country.

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The Secret Ingredient is… Nothing.

January 30, 2010

For those of you who landed on this page today expecting extensive photographic coverage of the culinary competition in which Chef Jesse Jones of Heart and Soul Catering was to compete against Adam Weiss of Esty Street, only to find there are no photos at all, I deeply apologize. Due to circumstances which were completely out of my control, I was unable to cover today’s cooking event.

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Ultimate Chef Bergen County 2010: Battle Pignoli

January 26, 2010

That’s right folks. It’s time again for your favorite culinary battle competition, Ultimate Chef Bergen County, sponsored by Chef Central in Paramus, New Jersey. For the second round,  Chef Adam Weiss of Esty Street in Park Ridge went up against  Chef Ike Koutrakous of Cooking in Your Kitchen.

This fight was a doozy, resulting in the closest competition that Chef Central had ever had to judge. Let’s get to it!

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(UPDATE) NJ Dining: Picnic Caterers

January 26, 2010

Chef Christine Nunn announced some Good News / Bad News last week. First the bad, Picnic in Emerson will be closed for lunch effective immediately. They will still be doing catering out of a professional kitchen, so all scheduled parties will not be effected, and you can continue to book parties as well (call the number, below). This is all to make time in Chef Nunn’s life for the GOOD news: Picnic, The Restaurant, will be opening at the Radburn Building in Fair Lawn, hopefully in June. Stay tuned for more about Picnic, The Restaurant, as Off The Broiler learns about it.

Picnic Catering
(201) 321-3213

You’ve heard my praises about Christine Nunn and her wonderful little catering operation in Emerson before (click for podcast and previous photos). However, as of last week, Christine and her merry elves at Picnic have been doing dinner take-out orders. I recently had a chance to sample some of the dishes, and if you’re not inclined to cook for yourself this evening or some night in the future, but you want a restaurant-style meal to take home that will knock your socks off, get a good look at some of these:

Picnic’s Chef Christine Nunn, with an abundance of chanterelle mushrooms.

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Kindle Applications? Really? Now?

January 22, 2010

So, Bezos, lemme get this straight. You waited TWO YEARS to launch a Kindle developer program, a week before Jobs launches iPad/iSlate/Jesus Tablet?

Talk about too little, too late.

Read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler.


Gear Up for Montclair Restaurant Week

January 19, 2010

To launch Montclair’s second-annual Restaurant Week, organizers have planned a kick-off event for Sunday, Jan. 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Halcyon Restaurant, 112-114 Walnut Street, Montclair.

Special guests for the event are Montclair’s own TV-star chefs – Michael Carrino of Passionne’, winner of “Chopped” and “Iron Chef America” contestant Marcell Veiga of Giancarelli’s Cucina. The chefs will draw the winners of the Restaurant Week online contest, featuring three, lavish “Night On The Town” prize packages.

The kick-off evening includes hors d’oeuvres, tastings of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, fine wines and Egan’s microbrews, live entertainment by Eveleth Jazz and a dessert cupcake bar by Love My Cake bakery of Montclair. The cost is $31 per person.

Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated by Halcyon, via the Rotary Club of Montclair, to Restaurant Week beneficiaries The Salvation Army Food Program, Human Needs Food Pantry and Toni’s Kitchen.

All guests will receive gift bags and have the opportunity to bid on exclusive auction items – “Table Hop For Charity” – a progressive dinner for four at three celebrated Montclair Restaurants, and a spa treatment at the Bangz Wellness Spa in Montclair.

Montclair Restaurant Week 2010 begins on Jan. 25 and runs through Feb. 7. To make reservations for the kick-off event, enter the online contest and for more information, visit www.gotomontclairnj.com.


NJ-Based Chinese OTB Groupie Needed

January 18, 2010

Yup, it’s finally come down to this, we’re absolutely desperate. We’re looking for that special someone who can speak Mandarin, Cantonese and other regional Chinese dialects that is familiar with the New Jersey Chinese restaurant scene and knows how to get us “The Good Stuff”.  There are restaurants we’d like to go to, but our lack of Sino-communication skills are preventing us from getting the very best authentic dishes.

If you can tolerate hanging out with a bunch of hungry and loud food-obsessives that like to take photos of every single thing they eat, inquire within to jperlow AT Gmail DOT com.


I want Medeco locks installed on my GMail account

January 18, 2010

The fallout from Google’s recent Chinese cyber-attacks which may cause them to cut their ties with the communist nation raises a number of questions as to what sort of data protection and security the company should provide to its huge customer base of GMail and Google Office applications.

I don’t know about how everyone else is feeling, but as a GMail and Google Apps user I’m starting to get that creepy feeling that the front door of my house is wide open and the bad guys are waiting to walk in and grab all of my stuff while I’m away.

Click to read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler.


Ultimate Chef Bergen County 2010: Battle Cranberry

January 16, 2010

That’s right folks. It’s time again for your favorite culinary battle competition, Ultimate Chef Bergen County, sponsored by Chef Central in Paramus, New Jersey. For the opening round, Chef John Marsh of Green Door Cafe in Tenafly went up against Chef Jesse Jones of Heart and Soul Catering.

Click Here to view High-Res Photo Slide Show.

The ensuing battle was a clash of titans, a 40 year veteran of the New York restaurant scene with a classic cooking style versus a Southern style, North Carolina down-home cook. As with with many of these TV-style competitions, the focus was on a “Secret Ingredient”. For the opening round this year, it was Cranberries.

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Chin-O, get off my Tivo

January 14, 2010

The TV Network scheduling conflicts, ratings wars and analysis methods of the last five decades will be made obsolete by DVR ubiquity and On-Demand viewing technology.

With one of the worst natural disasters in modern history claiming untold amounts of human lives unfolding in front of us all over the media, it seems trivial if not completely callous to talk about the petty time slot scheduling differences between late-night television hosts as determined by network programming executives. But I promise, by the end of this blog entry, you’ll understand why I chose this subject today.

Click Here to read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler.


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