Snack Dragon: Toothsome Taco Truck Fare

One of the great things about this recent book busyness has been the nudge it’s given me to venture into unfamiliar territory.

While it’s true that I have managed to eat my way through impressive swaths of New York City in my eight years as a New Yorker, there are some rather untouched spots in in my eating landscape. Based purely on subway inconveniences (and my great sloth) the gastronomically rich far East Village, sadly, is one of them.

So when I recently found myself in that neighborhood, still coming down from the high of having just met and read with the lovely Gabrielle Hamilton, chef of Prune and author of “Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef,” at KGB Bar and completely ravenous from our joint reading from our food memoirs, the stomach, naturally, started calling.

“Mmm … Snack Dragon,” my friend Noa said, her eyes getting so large I instantly could envision them popping out of their sockets. When she started smacking her lips at the thought of the place, I knew we had to go.

Despite the raves that this little taco stand has gotten in the five years it’s been around, I’d never been there. From Noa’s look of utter shock, clearly, this was something that needed to be remedied. Pronto.

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Bar Artisanal: A Big Brunch on a Budget


BA

Two things in life that I adore: A good brunch and a good deal.

And I like them all the better if I’m able to combine the two. 

Bar Artisanal in Tribeca? It delivers on both fronts.

The restaurant has gotten some mixed reviews since Terrance Brennan (of Artisanal and Picholine) opened the place in late April — Serious Eats raved about the lamb chops and lamb burger (“a flavor knockout punch”) while the New York Times’ Frank Bruni picked apart the “overpopulated” duck pissaladi√®re (a French pizza) featuring duck liver, gizzard, confit and a duck egg.

But when it comes to brunch, the verdict is a little clearer — the menu is simpler, the food is perfectly decent. And the prices, well, they just can’t be beat, considering what you’re getting.

At $21 for two courses (which could include two main courses) and dessert, you could make off with a $40 meal for about half the price.

Which, suffice to say, is a pretty darn good deal in Manhattan.

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A Tale of Six Meatballs


CIMG4598 It’s a little scary what can happen when a journalistic killer instinct is directed at something seemingly innocuous.

Like, meatballs. And the battle to be voted top meatball chef in a six-way competition.

There is the non-stop smack talk. There is the repeated invocation of maternal units. There is, even, the reflexive forming of menacing kung-fu gestures anytime the word “meatball” is mentioned.

And we haven’t even gotten to things that my fellow competitors did.

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