The Last Supper with David

May 8, 2010

New York Times’ David Corcoran, who’s wonderful restaurant reviews have graced the “Old Gray Lady’s” NJ Metro/Dining section for 10 years.

My foray into food blogging has almost certainly had much to do with my respect and admiration for the newspaper writers, who’s level of reviewing standards I could never even try to emulate with any degree of success.

The print newspaper and magazine staff restaurant writer is a dying breed, one who’s role has had to change with the times, if not for the challenges that newspapers and  other periodicals must now face in competition with the food blogs and other new media outlets.

That being said, I am sad to see this occur, even if I am a willing participant and advocate in this change of focus towards the Web.

Perhaps one of my saddest moments in this realization was a happy occasion — having a wonderful Chinese dinner with a newspaper restaurant reviewer that I call a friend and mentor, who had told me that this meal would be his final review.

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NJ Dining: BBS Chicken

February 6, 2010

BBS Chicken
561 Livingston Street, Norwood NJ
(201) 768-1230

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

BBS Chicken, the rogue warrior of Fried Chicken in Norwood, is the new king of Korean Wings in North Jersey.

As many of you are aware, I’m a bit of an obsessive when it comes to Korean Fried Chicken.

In Northern New Jersey, since I last wrote about the subject in 2007, there have been a number of openings of new Korean wing joints. Unidentified Flying Chickens in Tenafly opened in 2009 and in early January 2010, its sister restaurant in Englewood, Green’Licious Cafe also opened.

However I think there’s a new wing king, and unlike the big names such as Bon Chon which has multiple locations in the NYC/NJ metro area,  it’s an independent takeout/delivery-only store run by a pair of young, enterprising guys with a passion for making a quality product, and they’re on the main drag of Livingston Street in Norwood, where several Korean  businesses have opened up in the last few years, further extending the Korean community from their commercial centers in Palisades Park, Fort Lee, Leonia and Ridgefield.

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Updates 6/15/09: Christian Albin, Tenafly Farmers Market, Adonisa’s, Victor Sasson

June 15, 2009

Chef Christian Albin, who passed away this last weekend at the age of 61. Albin was the long-time Executive Chef of The Four Seasons, pictured here in his marvelous kitchen in October of 2006.

Adonisa's Restaurant, Fort Lee NJ by you.

Grilled Squid over Greek Salad at Adonisa’s in Fort Lee

Tenafly Farmers Market June 14, 2009 by you.

Tri-Color Beet Bundle from Yuno’s Farm at the Tenafly Farmers Market

Shish! at Whole Foods Market, Paramus NJ by you.

Victor Sasson and I lunch at Whole Foods’ SHISH! shwarma/falafel joint and discuss his love of Middle Eastern food and his new mission to help you find the best chemical and hormone-free shopping options in Northern New Jersey.

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Podcast: Victor Sasson’s “Do You Really Know What You’re Eating?”

June 12, 2009

victorsasson by you.

Victor Sasson’s Do You Really Know What You’re Eating? Blog has a focused mission on finding the best chemical and additive-free meat, fish and produce in Northern New Jersey.

When most people retire, they play golf, they go to the Senior Center, they join Facebook and post pictures of their grandchildren, they crochet, or they do various things that don’t involve actual work. Not Victor Sasson.

I’ve known Victor for a number of years, and before he retired from a long career as a professional journalist only about a year ago, he was a food writer  for the Bergen Record. Now, like a travelling culinary rogue, he hunts down the very best places to buy groceries and meat and fish and all sorts of things in Northern New Jersey for you to cook at home, with a focus on natural, organic,  hormone and chemical-free foods. Victor has only been blogging since late March, but he’s already amassed over 50 posts on various shopping venues in the local Bergen County/North Jersey area. It’s going to take me a while to catch up.

I recently had a chance to meet up with Victor over lunch at Whole Foods in Paramus’  Bergen Mall. Click Here to listen to Victor and I talk about the changing New Jersey restaurant scene, and his love for Middle Eastern and Korean cuisines.

Off The Broiler Podcast: Victor Sasson

Victor may be retired, but he’s definitely not tired — definitely check out his blog.

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NJ Dining: Bergen County Dim Sum Parlors (UPDATED)

May 27, 2006

Bergen County has some of the best Chinese eateries anywhere in the state. We’re lucky to have two really phenomenal Dim Sum restaurants, Silver Pond and Dim Sum Dynasty, who make some of the best dumplings in the entire Tri-State region.

NOTE: Please also see my earlier entry for Noodle Chu, in Parsippany. Not Bergen County, but definitely worth the trip if you are in the Morris County area.

Silver Pond Seafood Restaurant
230 Main St, Fort Lee, NJ
(201) 592-8338

Silver Pond is a Fort Lee institution that has been in business for over 20 years. It really looks like something that belongs in Hong Kong, not in Northern New Jersey. Like all Dim Sum parlors you need to get there fairly early on a weekend (11:30-12 Noon is about as late as you really want to get there) and bring either cash or your American Express Card, ’cause they don’t take Visa or MasterCard. In fact, I maintain a personal AMEX Optima just for the sole purpose of eating at this place and going to Costco. That alone should tell you something. The photos here just barely scratch the surface of their dim sum offerings.

Main Dining Room (Chinese New Year, 2010)

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Live seafood tanks amuse small children

Mr. Li, the Big Boss Man. (2010)

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Scallion Pancake

Fried Shrimp Paste Balls, Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce (2010)

Pan Fried Noodle with Superior Soy Sauce (2010)

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Salt and Pepper Fried Shrimp

Cart Service (2010)

Pork Shu Mai, Shrimp Har Gow (2010)

Shrimp and Cilantro Yuba Skin Roll (2010)

Steamed Tripe (2010)

Shrimp and Scallion Pan Fried Dumpling (2010)

Rice Congee (2010)

Eggplant stuffed with Shrimp Paste with Black Bean Sauce (2010)

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Pork Wrapped with Yuba Skin. (2006)

Fried Shrimp Paste wrapped with Bacon (2010)

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Pan Fried Pork Dumplings (2006)

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Sticky Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaf (2006)

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Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf (opened)

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A type of fried shrimp dumpling with cilantro. (2006)

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Fried Shrimp Balls (2006)

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Roast Duck (2006)

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Mushroom Roll (2006)

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Steamed Fluffy BBQ Pork Bun (2006)

Manilla Clams with Black Bean Sauce (2010)

Cantonese Desserts (2010)

Dim Sum Dynasty
75 Franklin Ave, Ridgewood, NJ
(201) 652-0615

If Silver Pond is the classic, dependable, experienced Dim Sum Parlor then Dim Sum Dynasty is the young whippersnapper, with new tricks up its sleeve and wearing a much snazzier outfit. It is by far the more elegant restaurant and has some very interesting offerings that you don’t necessarily get at old warhorses like Silver Pond. This is not to say all the food items are superior, some are better and some are average. I like to alternate between the two restaurants myself.

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Main Dining Room of Dim Sum Dynasty (2006)

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Dim Sum Dynasty’s Pork Siu Mai (2006)

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Fried Squid with Cashew Nuts (2006)

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Crab/Shrimp Beggar’s Purses (2006)

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Shrimp Har Gow (2006)

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Clams in Black Bean Sauce (2006)

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Flaky Pork Pastry Triangles (2006)

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Mango Pudding (2006)

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Steamed Pea Shoot Dumplings (2006)

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Dim Sum Dynasty’s Pork Wrapped in Yuba Skin (2006)

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Green Pepper stuffed with Shrimp Paste (2006)

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Fluffy BBQ Pork Buns (2006)

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Another type of clam dish, this one is dry sauteed. (2006)

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E-Fu Mein Noodles (2006)

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Baked Pork Buns (2006) Dim Sum Dynasty’s are not to be missed, especially if they are just out of the oven.