Thanksgiving at Daisy’s

November 19, 2010

Here’s one of our best Thanksgivings ever. We’re bumping this post up in case you want some great holiday ideas.

This year, Rachel and I were invited to our friend Daisy’s house for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating family traditions, and like many families, Daisy Martinez’s yearly observance of the holiday is one of integrating her American-ness with her cultural identity, which is Puerto Rican and Latino.

Turkey (“Pavo” in Latin-American Spanish) the iconic American centerpiece of Thanksgiving, has also been integrated into Puerto Rican culture as Pavochon, which was probably created by New York Puerto Rican immigrants (“Newyoriquens“) between 50 and 70 years ago as an affordable substitute for roast pork, or Lechon, for Christmas.

Related: A Jewish Puerto Rican Thanksgiving

Like Lechon, Pavochon is rubbed with a garlic, salt/pepper and oregano wet adobo and marinated for over 24 hours and then roasted. This one was marinated for 48. In the last half a century, Pavochon has since been imported back to Puerto Rico,  is a popular dish eaten throughout the year and is served alongside Lechon in the central Guavate region.

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Partying with Daisy Martinez

March 6, 2010

Last night Rachel and I were privileged to attend the launch party for Daisy Martinez’s new cookbook, Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night: Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes.

This book is a bit of a departure from her previous and excellent cookbook, Daisy Cooks! in that the dishes are more oriented towards entertaining and she’s really put a serious creative spin into it. The previous book was more of a foundation or introductory type book to Latin American cuisine — this one really makes it take off like a supersonic jet blaring reggaeton music on its way into the stratosphere.

The party occurred at Don Coqui, a brand-new and massive  high-end Puerto Rican restaurant in New Rochelle, New York owned by Jimmy Rodriguez, who is among the most prominent Latino chefs and restauranteurs in the country. Jimmy has opened several Latino restaurants over the last ten years, including Sofrito restaurant in New York City. Rodriguez has now devoted his energies entirely to Don Coqui, and rightfully so.

I never thought a Puerto Rican place would be a destination restaurant in the burbs of the New York metro area, but there it is. It’s also got an entire floor and kitchen dedicated to catering, so it’s a great place to have parties.

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NJ Dining: Last Meal at The Citrus Grille

February 13, 2010

Last night, our friends who live in the Ramsey/Mahwah area introduced us to one of their favorite restaurants, The Citrus Grille, located in nearby Airmont, NY, which is owned by CIA-trained chef Steve Chrisitanson, who cut his culinary chops at New York City’s The Four Seasons Restaurant under the late Christian Albin.

I was extremely looking forward to adding another fine dining location to our list, only to hear from our friends that this was the restaurant’s last weekend after 13 years in business.

However, there is a silver lining to this story. While The Citrus Grille will be closing after Valentine’s Day weekend, Christianson will be opening a new restaurant in nearby Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, in a newly constructed space in the Fall of 2010. So think of this post as a preview of great things to come, and not a goodbye.

While the new restaurant doesn’t have a name yet, I’ll keep you apprised of upcoming developments.

I apologize in advance for the lighting/color in the photos, as we were sitting by a nice warm fireplace that was giving off orange light.

What do you start the evening off with? Why, a green tea Zen Martini.

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Kosher Orgy: Save the Deli launch party at Ben’s

October 19, 2009

"Save the Deli" launch party at Ben's Kosher, NYC by you.

For those of you who have been living under a rock the last several years, my friend David Sax has been working diligently on his book Save the Deli, a chronicle of his travels throughout the United States and Canada in his efforts to seek out what remains of our dying Jewish Deli culture.

I was invited to his launch party this evening and I have to say, the man seriously knows how to throw a kosher rumpus — invite Borscht Belt King  and Friar’s Club dean Freddie Roman as master of ceremonies, attempt to feed some of the hungriest fressers in the city with enough cholesterol and saturated fat to kill a rogue elephant, and get Jewish Elvis to entertain the masses. Now THAT my friends is a party.

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NYC Dining: Taverna Kyclades

September 28, 2009

Taverna Kyclades
33-07 Ditmars Boulevard, Astoria NY
(718) 545-8666

Web Site: http://www.tavernakyclades.com

Kyclades Restaurant, Astoria NY by you.

Taverna Kyclades in Astoria, Queens has a nice outdoor dining area and specializes in fresh seafood cooked in Mediterranean/Greek style.

As I have written in my previous posts about Telly’s Taverna and Kabab Cafe, Astoria, Queens has now become my go-to place to eat lunch or dinner before heading out on a trip, given that LaGuardia has now become my preferred airport to travel from.

Astoria has many, many Greek restaurants, some of which are old established restaurants such as Telly’s Taverna, Uncle George’s (Papa Georgi) or Stamatis, and others are newer. One of the “newer” ones is Kyclades, a seafood specialist cafe which I had gotten a few nice recommendations about from Greek friends that really know their food.

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Off The Broiler Supports Partners in Caring

August 11, 2009

ShopRite Partners In Caring logo

The ShopRite organization recognized the pervasive problem of hunger experienced by so many people right in the neighborhoods served by their stores. It’s a problem that not only exists during the holiday season, when attention is focused on charitable giving, but it also exists throughout the year.

With the help of more than 50 manufacturers, the ShopRite Partners in Caring program is committed to helping to feed and meet the nutritional needs of families and the elderly who may otherwise go without. These generous companies are a major reason why ShopRite Partners In Caring has been such a success.

Off The Broiler is proud to be part of a network of regional food blogs which supports the efforts of ShopRite and the companies which support this critical charitable cause to fight hunger.

Today, the ShopRite Partners In Caring program supports 23 regional food banks and more than 1,400 charitable agencies with food or meal components. With a $2 million annual donation, more than $20 million has been donated since 1999 in the fight against hunger.

How It Works

Companies that have joined ShopRite in the fight against hunger are marked in stores with the ShopRite Partners In Caring shelf label. By choosing these products, ShopRite customers support manufacturers who contribute to the program.

Each of the 217 ShopRite stores in the six states that ShopRite serves (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland) selects qualified local organizations to benefit from the program. These local food charities use their designated funds to acquire supplies at a food bank.

Every time a customer purchases products with the ShopRite Partners In Caring shelf tag, they support the brands that support the fight against hunger. At ShopRite, customers are not just filling a grocery bag; they are helping to fill empty bowls for thousands of hungry families in your community.

For more information on the ShopRite Partners in Caring Program, please visit:

Web Site: http://www.shopritepartnersincaring.org/


Rhode Island Dining: Caserta Pizzeria

July 31, 2009

Caserta Pizzeria
121 Spruce Street, Providence RI

Web Site: http://www.casertapizzeria.com

Caserta Pizzeria, Providence RI by you.

Caserta Pizzeria is OLD school pizza from an old New England Italian neighborhood. Don’t pass it up.

Some people want to live vicariously through my stomach, in order to re-live their childhood.

One of these people is Andy Patrizio, a friend of mine and fellow technology industry journalist who lives out in the San Francisco Bay area. As soon as he heard I was going to be traveling to Rhode Island and Providence, where he spent the first 25 years of his life, his face lit up. Well, I didn’t actually SEE his face lit up, but I could feel as much with his IM’s and Twitters coming my way.

Andy insisted that I could not leave the city of his youth without going to one of his favorite haunts, Caserta Pizza. I don’t do a lot of Pizza these days, but I do know that New England has legit pizza traditions, such as the style served in New Haven, CT. Like New Haven, Providence has its own version of Little Italy, complete with restaurants, groceries and delis,  and it also has its legendary pizzeria — Caserta’s, which has been in operation for over 50 years.

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