Five years ago, I blogged about my adventures with Night Train, Alize, Thunderbird, and Brass Monkey. While that post still remains one of my highest trafficked and popular blog posts, I want to talk to you today about some additional hardcore liquors that you may not be aware of from Northern Germany. No, I’m not talking about Jägermeister. While Jäger is a respectable liquor with 35% alcohol content, I am talking about manning up to Heidegeist, Ratzeputz, and Bullenschluck which are all Kräuterlikörs (herbal liqueur or spiced liqueur) distilled with special herbs like your friend Jägermeister, but have 50%, 58% and 43% alcohol percentages respectively.
First off is Heidegeist. It’s 50% alcohol and is distilled with 31 specialty herbs from the Lüneburger Heide region, known for its pastoral fields in northeastern part of the state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany. It’s a mild and flavorful liquor best enjoyed over ice or can also be served as shots.
Next is Ratzeputz. I was first introduced to Ratzeputz two years ago on a trip to Germany to visit my girlfriend’s family. We had just finished a really hearty meal at the local DreiKronen restaurant and her step father was recounting the story of St Hubertus (the original Jägermeister) and ordered a round of Ratzeputz shots as a digestifs. I was blown away by the spicy aftertaste of Ratzeputz and it definitely did the job in helping me digest my meal and warming me up on that cold winter night (58% alcohol content). Distilled with ginger roots, Ratzeputz is known for its strong spicy flavor and is highly regarded for its medicinal benefits for the stomach. If you ever get the chance to try Ratzeputz, definitely don’t let the chance slip by. After you’ve tried Ratzeputz, Jägermeister tastes like soda.
Finally is Bullenschluck which I was just introduced to this Christmas/New Year’s holiday. This stuff is no joke and as far as I know it isn’t really even sold commercially, unless you know the actual guy who makes it. First look at the top of the label of this bottle and you’ll notice the cow, pig, rooster, dog and horse figures. The first line says something about how this liquor can be used to revitalize lameness in horses, cattle and oxen!! The 2nd line says it can also be used for people internally. Goodness! So basically Bullenschluck is a medicine that is applied externally to wounds on farm animals, but for some crazy individuals it can also be ingested. In other words this is seriously hardcore, backwoods, German moonshine. So………………….…..Yep, we did a few shots over New Year’s. It tastes and smells like Chinese medicinal herbs. We had a shot of Bullenschluck, some champagne, Feurerzangenbowle , and then shot off fireworks for New Year’s! Wow I love Germany! Next time you are in Hamburg or Hannover, definitely take a chance to try Ratzeputz or Heidegeist. Now we just need Axl Rose to write a song about them and they’ll soon be popular worldwide.
Apparently only available at the Burger King Whopper Bar
561 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10018
So Burger King is about to release the new pizza ‘sandwich’ next month at its Whopper Bar in Times Square NY. Maybe the BK Pizza Burger is not as revolutionary as the KFC Double Down but maybe it is. You can share the BK Pizza Burger for one thing! It has pepperoni, mozzarella, marinara sauce and nearly 2 pounds of beef. It’s sliced it like a pizza into six individual slices and you eat each ‘slice’ of the burger pizza like a small slider. Thankfully I’m on a cleanse right now so I can power one of those down without feeling guilty. Oh man, just waiting for the food challenges now. Still need to do the animal kingdom combo meal at McDonalds one of these days (eggs, chicken, fish, beef, pork).]]>
GO GO CURRY USA
273 W. 38th Street
New York, NY 10018
Take the Japanese obsession of Hideki Matsui and the Yankees and combine that with craft of amazing comfort food dish Japanese curry over super crispy katsu and you get the funky GoGo Curry shop down in the garment district in midtown NY. What’s the connection? Not really sure but Matsui’s number 55 is where it all starts. Five is apparently pronounced “go” in Japanese so that’s where you get the “GoGo”. The dishes are sized based on baseball terminology (walk, single, double, triple, home run, etc). Each additional larger dish includes different types of sides like shrimp, sausages, eggs, etc. On the 5th, 15th and 25th of each month you have specials that go along with these dishes.
I could barely eat a single by myself and couldn’t finish a Grand Slam (pictured above) and we thought that was really the largest dish until these two hipster Asian law students sitting next to us ordered the world series dish. The dish itself takes up the entire table (you can see a portion of our measly grand slam dish on the adjoining table).
Think you can eat it all? They actually have a curry eating contest (of course). Check this place out!! Enjoy!]]>
386 Flatbush Avenue
It seems like a month already but it’s only been three weeks since we moved to DUMBO and it’s been a lot of fun discovering a lot of the local restaurants (stay tuned). A few weeks ago, we checked out Junior’s on Flatbush. It’s not technically in DUMBO, more like Ft Greene but let’s just say it’s DANGEROUSLY close enough.
This is the original location by the way so F’ the tourist packed Times Square location. Inside you can see photos of Ebbets field and signed memorabilia from the original Brooklyn Dodgers.
But back to the cheesecake. I kind of forgot that there was more than just the original. My sister and her boyfriend got the Apple Crumb, Gisa got the Black Forrest, and I got the original. The Apple crumb and black forrest were pretty amazing but you can’t really taste the creamy cheesecake as much as you’d expect – still not a bad option though. Guess I am kind of purist. Anyhow, will need to go back and slowly work my way through the rest of the menu. There are more than twenty varieties from what I could count on the menu!
Haven’t tried one yet?
Click here for a free slice of Junior’s!
Who said America has lost its edge in innovation!? Introducing America’s latest fast food triumphant and over the top invention: a bacon cheese sandwich that replaces the conventional bread buns with two fresh crispy deep fried pieces of fried chicken from KFC! Yes only in America – where else?
Last Friday I went with an old friend of mine and checked out the KFC on 50th and 7th Ave in Midtown NY. It was just about noon and already the place was packed. I ordered the combo which includes the double down sandwich, a side order of crispy potato wedges and a large drink ($8.62 incl tax). The sandwich was a little greasy as expected, and long as you don’t think about the 1000’s of calories, saturated fats and cholesterol that are about to clog your arteries, I have to say it was very good! If it was allowed, it would be a good move for Pfizer for a Lipitor product placement at every KFC.
Ok, I know that a lot of you are thinking it’s irresponsible for America to introduce another unhealthy food item. I’ve seen Fast Food Nation. Yes, this is horrible and some drunk frat dudes will probably push the limits and pile these sandwiches on top of each other and call them quadruple downs. There will be food eating contests, and there will be a lot of ugly consequences.
A ‘Business’ Case Study
But despite all the shock value, I have to say it is a genius move by KFC from a business perspective. First of all, it’s got the shock value so food bloggers like me are going to write about it – guaranteed free press.
Secondly, the ingredients make up a recipe for success: Bacon, Fried Chicken and Cheese. Did I say mention BACON?
Next, operationally it is genius: KFC already makes fried chicken. It’s easy to put the double down together and you don’t need the extra cost of inventory, prep time, and expense for the bread buns. No need for mayo, mustard, speical sauces, etc.
From a marketing perspective the double down is also genius. The marketing segmentation is spot on. When I went last week, the entire KFC was dominated by men in their 20s and 30s. The name ‘double down’, speaks to those who like to gamble (with their lives). It’s a good use of KFC’s core brand values – KFC makes great fried chicken. (You probably wouldn’t go to Subway or Burger King for one of these). KFC can also extend to other segments of the population with a baked chicken version (‘healthy’ eaters). Remember the Atkins diet? No bread in the double down.
Finally, the double down builds KFC’s customer base by getting traffic into the door it gives KFC an opportunity to reintroduce their menu to people who haven’t been in a KFC in long time (like me). I spoke to the store manager and he says, since the promotion launched, his store sells over 2,000 sandwiches a day and actually sold out on the first two days. Nice move America! Enjoy!]]>
Finally getting around to posting some photos from the event last month. All I have to say it was amazing and will definitely go back again next year. Some of the highlights include stealing a bottle of tobasco from our neighbors’ table, building a wall of empty McSorley’s beer cups, and having a small food fight with a competing beer cup building crew across the hall! The beef was actually better quality than I expected and although the beef was at the beginning served at slow intervals, over the 3 hours you defintely get your fill.
See you all next year at the the Brooklyn Beef party!
348 Congress St
Fort Point Boston
617 737 1234
I met up with my cousin Alan after work this week in Boston and we checked out the Sportello Restaurant and the Drink Cocktail bar in the supposedly trendy Fort Point neighborhood of South Boston.
Upstairs at Sportello, a zig zagging countertop (no tables) and an open kitchen makes for a unique casual dining experience that’s probably not much different from hanging out at your gourmet chef friend’s kitchen and eating at the counter. From the vantage of the countertop you can see (and smell) your dish being prepared right before your eyes. Brown apron clad servers walk about serving dishes in tandem with the standard black and white colored uniformed chefs.
We started with the veal sweetbreads served with thinly sliced turnips over a fresh mild salsa. It was suggested and challenged by the waitress and it was good. For entree, I had the special which honestly I don’t remember the exact ingredients but it had noodles, bacon and duck fat (yes). It was also very good (of course).
Drink Cocktail Bar Boston
348 Congress St
Boston, MA 02228
Next we went downstairs to Drink, which by the way also has the zig zag countertop, and had a few cocktails. Now the funny thing I have to say is that on average most of the Yelp reviews for Drink go something like “OMG it was so hard to find, but it was great”, ” … great hidden secret basement bar .. in middle of nowhere..”, etc. I guess coming from NY it’s not unusual to find bars in unusual places especially the basement. Come on Boston, it had a nameplate on the door anyways – most ‘cool’ places in NY don’t.
But Drink is definitely a ‘cool’ place and the cocktails are incredible. It’s an example of pure alchemic brilliance and mad fucking bartending skills to get a awesome drink out of (check this out): Gin, Ginger Beer, and St Germain over hand crushed ice with a dash of chipotle flavored tobasco sauce. The surprising result brings you back to a taste of a spicy sugary bbq washed down with an iced lemonade on a hot summer afternoon. Amazing! I asked the bartender about equally awesome bars in NY and he wrote down a list for me. Stay tuned for future blog posts (with street directions for you Yelp’ers)….]]>
Last year my team blew out close to $600 for a lunch at Peter Lugers (IT WAS AWESOME). Maybe just as legendary – check it out:
Sunday Mar. 21
Endless Steak and Beer for 3 hours
2-5p seating and 6-9p seating available.
Commemorative apron (lol)
HIPSTERS…what more could you ask for?
The Bell House presents
The Brooklyn Beefsteak featuring Endless pitchers of local beer on every table, mountains of choice steak cuts & Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
Sunday, Mar 21, 2010 6:00 PM EDT
– Sunday, Mar 21, 2010 9:00 PM EDT
at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY
149 7th street, brooklyn, ny 11215
The BROOKLYN BEEFSTEAK is back, bigger and badder! Endless pitchers of local beer on every table, mountains of choice steak cuts, and absolutely no utensils. All enjoyed to the sweet tunes of Brooklyn’s favorite hillbilly boogie band, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Company. This is a celebration of America’s favorite libation and our carnivorous inclinations. Boisterous crowds committed to communal singing are not only welcome, but encouraged at this winter affair.
At the height of 1880s New York celebration, Tammany Hall politicians invented the all-you-can-eat-and-drink beef and beer feast to buy votes. The flash-in-the-pan extravaganzas were fashionable among New York’s elite, but lost favor in the early 20th century, surviving only in backwaters of New Jersey.
After 100 years in exile, come one, come all, to partake in the raucous atmosphere of the New York docks and saloons of years past.
*Everyone will take home their very own souvenir apron so you always have a cow map handy when you are grilling poolside.
Ever wonder how chefs carve out decorative flowers made of carrots, watermelon, cucumbers, etc? I found this orange flower peeler in a crazy Japanese gift / grocery store on E59th and 2nd Ave. As far as I know, it doesn’t do anything else but make flowers out of oranges. Why the bird? I have no F’n idea, but it’s fucking cool no?
Anyone able to read Japanese? Please help me translate this craziness:
Da Dong Roast Peking Duck Restaurant
Bldg. 3, Tuanjie Lake, Chaoyang District
Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
This post is long overdue. We went out to visit my friend Elmar in Beijing in Jan and after much fussing over which Peking Duck restaurant to go to we decided to try the fabulous Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant. It’s miles apart from the semi-ghetto-now-becoming-way-too-touristy Li Qun Peking Duck joint that I wrote about a long time ago. I would still go back to Li qun anyday, but I wanted to experience Da Dong since it’s one of those ultra way over the top Beijing Chinese restaurants that go the full 9 yards. First off, it not only has the sexy qi po dressed hostesses at the door but it also has a few security guards ( in case some black market mafia / politician pulls up in their new Audi ).
Chinese resaurants love to showcase their prowess. The chef has received multiple awards from government officials and there’s a gallery of photos of him next to the premier, presidents from around the world, and celebrities. It’s one of the things I loved when I lived out in Beijing – you can dine and party at these ultra elite places minus the attitude and pay a reasonable price. [By the way if you are not familiar with the ridiculous degree of showcasing that goes on in Chinese busineses – check out one of the most hillarious posts I’ve ever read and videos I’ve ever watched on Cha Xiu Bao Blog]
We started off with some delicate dishes such as the Huang Gua dish – which is pickled cucumbers served with chili oil. We also ordered some random dish that I forget but these little puff pastry ducks on the side of the dish are hillarious. I actually ate one of those ducks and was surprised to find that they were filled with a tasty sesame paste.
You can get Peking duck all over Beijing and it will normally cost you around 38 – 60 Yuan per duck ( $8-9 USD ). The difference is whether the restaurant uses an electric stove or the traditional wooden stove to roast the peking duck. Here at Da Dong it’s over 100 Yuan but in my opinion you should try it cause it’s definitely worth it. Like Li Qun, they also roast their Peking ducks in a wood burning oven.
Midway through our meal, they wheeled in our Peking duck on a cart and a master chef carved it right before our eyes. The meat was roasted just right and served immediately. We rolled our duck wraps in the flour pancakes and enjoyed some really great Peking duck. I have yet to try the famous Peking duck restaurant over on He Ping Men which is supposedly the city’s best but I can’t imagine the duck getting any better than this. peking duck beijing – da dong restaurant]]>