Anytime Oats – One Man’s Meal – Social Distancing Edition

Oats are extraordinarily good for you.

Nutritious and delicious, my Anytime Oats are a powerhouse of energy, protein, and anti-inflammatory goodness.

Have these Anytime Oats as a hot breakfast cereal with a cup of milk or yogurt for 8g additional protein, and optional honey or maple syrup. Or have them cold from the fridge, or reheated as a side dish with savory meals instead of stuffing, rice, or potatoes.

One 1-cup serving has 326 calories, 8.2 g protein, 6.2g fiber, 10.2g fat based on 1/2-cup walnuts

The ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and blueberries are all wonderfully healthful, adding antioxidants and renowned anti-inflammatory benefits. Oats are recommended for cholesterol control, and are quite filling, so they help reduce hunger for a long time.

Anytime Oats Soical Distancing onemanz.com

Blueberries and cinnamon turn the water purple

Anytime Oats – 20 minutes cooking time

Ingredients

5 cups water

2.5 cups dry rolled oats. (Makes 5 cups cooked oats) I use Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.

1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnut pieces

1 cup frozen blueberries (tried tart cherries are good too!)

1 Tablespoon turmeric

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger root, pealed and finely diced or shaved

Bring water, walnuts, spices and blueberries to boil in a pot. The ginger can be peeled and sliced and added while the water comes to boil.

Slowly stir oats into water, return to boil, then reduce to vigorous simmer.

Stir frequently – scraping bottom often if not using a non-stick pan.

Continue until water boils away, turning down heat as needed and stirring frequently to release steam.

The longer you cook off moisture the more texture the oats will have.

Serve hot. Refrigerate remainder and eat over the next few days.

Today I had mine hot over chopped banana and cup of applesauce for the extra vitamins and fiber.

Beefaroni Birthday – Birthday Weekend Part 4.

Beloved childhood comfort food leads to an annual ritual –
Beefaroni on my birthday

Beefaroni brithday treat onemanz.com

Updated 02/25/2019

Chef Boyardee is a brand of canned pasta products. But once upon a time Chef Boyardee was the head of the kitchen at the five-star Plaza Hotel. He is personally responsible for Americans associating “Italian food” with pasta and tomato sauce, and particularly spaghetti with meatballs.

Many of my earliest memories concern eatable entities, at least the fondest of them. From Play-Doh, which is rather bland, but very salty, to Funny Face, a competitor of Kool-Aid, which my mom would put in milk to trick me into drinking that calcium delivery device, I have vivid remembrances attached to many eating and drinking experiences.

My dimmest memory is a view from my high chair, looking across some sort of food and out the kitchen to the front door some 40 feet away. It hovers in a corner of my mind; where it’s dark, as if it is night and all the lights are off. There is a photo of me in that very seat on my 1st birthday. But I assume the remembered event came a bit later.

Childhood Favorites

When it comes to “real food,” there was my mother’s chili. Years later I sought out how she had made it, and was somewhat disappointed to learn it consisted of Campbell’s tomato soup with red beans, browned hamburger and about three pieces of raw onion per person. She didn’t even add the chili powder called for by the recipe on soup can.

Another favorite for me and my sister three years my junior was the macaroni and cheese made by our older sister when she would be babysitting us. Again, it proved a let down to learn it was simply boiled macaroni with a large brick of Velveeta melted throughout.

As my childhood comfort food pillars toppled one by one, only one has remained steadfast and forever satisfying. Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni, part of this complete birthday feast.

Beefaroni brithday meal onemanz.com

Served in vintage Fiestaware!

2017’s Birthday Carbfest was just as grand.

2017 Beefaroni

As was 2019’s.

beefaroni birthday 2019

I have enjoyed Beefaroni on my birthday for years beyond count, rarely missing the opportunity, whether I have it for lunch, or supper, as we called dinner back in Ohio, or squeezing it in as a late night snack.

I do not now remember when Beefaroni entered my life. But I remember clearly splitting one 15 oz can with my little sister, on many occasions, after walking home from school for lunch. Now I often have two full cans just for me. But I cannot buy the large cans, as the consistency just isn’t the same. And even with the regular cans, I have to put a good dozen of them to my ear and give them a shake to find the two with the least amount of slosh. Otherwise the sauce is too soupy. OK, these days it is always too soupy. Sigh.

A Surprising Pedigree

I was not able to find any data concerning when it was actually invented. But the chef on the can really was a chef, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, in fact. It was the premiere hotel in the United States. And to provide some perspective, today rooms start at $825 a night.

Ettore Boiardi worked in restaurants in Italy near Bologna, starting at age eight, and then followed his brother over to America in the early 1900s, where he is reputed to have worked his way up in the Plaza’s kitchen to Head Chef.

He also oversaw two major dinners for President Woodrow Wilson, his second wedding, and a White House homecoming dinner for 2,000 World War I veterans.

At some point he anglicized his name to Hector Boyardee, and opened a restaurant in 1926, at Woodland Avenue and East 9th Street, in Cleveland Ohio.

Il Giardino d’Italia was both popular and influential in popularizing what we now think of as Italian food in America. As demand for his recipes grew, the Boyardee brothers opened a factory in Pennsylvania for their Bolognese-style dishes, which families could prepare at home. Spaghetti and meatballs soon became a national dish of America as well as Italy.

During World War II, the factory made rations for the U.S. Army, and returned to normal but increased production in peacetime, retaining all of its employees. But they had an added advantage: the vacuum-sealed can, and the machinery necessary to make it thanks to the War Department. And that is how just about every canned food you can think of came into being.

The company was eventually swallowed up by corporate giants, as family businesses usually are, but Chef Boyardee remained a figurehead well into the 1970s.

An Acquired Taste

A taste of the old country remains in Beefaroni, the humble carb and fat delivery device that remains every bit as good as it did when I was 8 years old.

I never liked canned pasta products, and still don’t with one important exception. And when the ingredients consist of hamburger, macaroni and sauce, the sauce matters a great deal. It can be any brand, they all have this same fakey orange color and are far too sugary. While tis true Beefaroni has its share of sugar, or actually corn syrup these days, it has always stood apart, with a tomato sauce that actually tastes (a lot) like the genuine article.

I know some of my preference for Beefaroni is related to a pleasant sense memory from my boyhood. But it really is good. And it is not all that bad for you, with less sugar than many grocery store products that claim to be healthy.

Everyone has their favorite comfort foods from their childhood, and others have certain birthday foods of which they never grow tired. What are yours?

Beefaroni can onemanz.com

~

Here is a commercial I still remember clearly from long ago:

~

 

Beefaroni on my Birthday

Beloved childhood comfort food leads to an annual ritual –
Beefaroni on my birthday

Beefaroni brithday treat onemanz.com

Chef Boyardee is a brand of canned pasta products. But once upon a time Chef Boyardee was the head of kitchen at the five-star Plaza Hotel. He is personally responsible for Americans associating “Italian food” with pasta and tomato sauce, and particularly spaghetti with meatballs.

Many of my earliest memories concern eatable entities, at the least the happiest ones. From Play-Doh, which is rather bland, but very salty, to Funny Face, a competitor of Kool-Aid, which my mom would put in milk to trick me into drinking that calcium delivery device, I have vivid remembrances attached to many eating and drinking experiences.

My dimmest memory is a view from my high chair, looking across some sort of food and out the kitchen to the front door some 40 feet away. It hovers in a corner of my mind, dark, as if it is night and all the lights are off. There is a photo of me in that very seat on my 1st birthday. But I assume the remembered event came a bit later.

Childhood Favorites

When it comes to “real food,” there was my mother’s chili. Years later I sought out how she had made it, and was somewhat disappointed to learn it consisted of Campbell’s tomato soup with browned hamburger and about three pieces of raw onion per person. She didn’t even add the chili powder called for by the recipe on soup can.

Another favorite for me and my sister three years my junior was the macaroni and cheese made by our older sister when she would be babysitting us. Again, it proved a let down to learn it was simply boiled macaroni with a large brick of Velveeta melted throughout.

As my childhood comfort food pillars toppled one by one, only one has remained steadfast and forever satisfying. Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni, part of this complete birthday feast.

Beefaroni brithday meal onemanz.com

Served in vintage Fiestaware!

2017’s Birthday Carbfest was just as grand.

2017 Beefaroni

I have enjoyed Beefaroni on my birthday for years beyond count, rarely missing the opportunity, whether I have it for lunch, or supper, as we called dinner back in Ohio, or squeezing it in as a late night snack.

I do not now remember when Beefaroni entered my life. But I remember clearly splitting one 15 oz can with my little sister, on many occasions, after walking home from school for lunch. Now I often have two full cans just for me. But I cannot buy the large cans, as the consistency just isn’t the same. And even with the regular cans, I have to put a good dozen of them to my ear and give them a shake to find the two with the least amount of slosh. Otherwise the sauce is too soupy.

A Surprising Pedigree

I was not able to find any data concerning when it was actually invented. But the chef on the can really was a chef, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, in fact. It was the premiere hotel in the United States. And to provide some perspective, today rooms start at $825 a night.

Ettore Boiardi worked in restaurants in Italy near Bologna, starting at age eight, and then followed his brother over to America in the early 1900s, where he is reputed to have worked his way up in the Plaza’s kitchen to Head Chef.

He also oversaw two major dinners for President Woodrow Wilson, his second wedding, and a White House homecoming dinner for 2,000 World War I veterans.

At some point he anglicized his name to Hector Boyardee, and opened a restaurant in 1926, at Woodland Avenue and East 9th Street, in Cleveland Ohio. Il Giardino d’Italia was both popular and influential in popularizing what we now think of as Italian food in America. As demand for his recipes grew, the Boyardee brothers opened a factory in Pennsylvania for their Bolognese-style dishes, which families could prepare at home. Spaghetti and meatballs soon became a national dish of America as well as Italy.

During World War II, the factory made rations for the U.S. Army, and returned to normal but increased production in peacetime, retaining all of its employees. But they had an added advantage: the vacuum-sealed can, and the machinery necessary to make it thanks to the War Department. And that is how just about every canned food you can think of came into being.

The company was eventually swallowed up by corporate giants, as family businesses usually are, but Chef Boyardee remained a figurehead well into the 1970s.

An Acquired Taste

A taste of the old country remains in Beefaroni, the humble carb and fat delivery device that remains every bit as good as it did when I was 8 years old.

I never liked canned pasta products, and still don’t with one important exception. And when the ingredients consist of hamburger, macaroni and sauce, the sauce matters a great deal. It can be any brand, they all have this same fakey orange color and are far too sugary. While tis true Beefaroni has its share of sugar, or actually corn syrup these days, it has always stood apart, with a tomato sauce that actually tastes (a lot) like the genuine article. I know some of my preference for Beefaroni is related to a pleasant sense memory from my boyhood. But it really is good. And it is not all that bad for you, with less sugar than many grocery store products that claim to be healthy.

Everyone has their favorite comfort foods from their childhood, and others have certain birthday foods they never grow tied of. What are yours?

Please use the Comments form below to share your favorites!

Beefaroni can onemanz.com

~

Here is a commercial I still remember clearly from long ago:

~

 

The Desert Spoon

 Siempre Sotol makes the Desert Spoon extra exotic

My idea of a mixed drink is scotch and soda, but how could a Spoon resist trying a Spoon, created by the mixologist at the Tinderbox in Flagstaff, AZ.

Desert Spoon made with Siepre Sotol

The primary spirit is not well known outside of Mexico, or in it for that matter.

It is the distillation of the wild sotol plant, and can be favorably  compared to Mescal, as it is smoky and spicy when sampled straight from the bottle.

Tinderbox recipe for a Desert Spoon with Sotol

Huevos de Los Dioses

“The Best Huevos Rancheros You’ll Ever Eat”

Thus Nashville songwriter Jim Wolf on the Huevos Rancheros at MartAnne’s of Flagstaff, Arizona

Not that I needed telling. I have been making a point of having their Huevos Rancheros since I first started visiting my brother in Flagstaff in a previous century.

I normally prefer this dish with red sauce, but there is no doubt that, even with the change in location and the death of the much-beloved cook, MartAnne’s still makes the Grand Canyon of Huevos Rancheros.

Before

MartAnne's Huevo Rancheros before

After

MartAnne's Huevo Rancheros after

OK, the Grand Canyon isn’t something one can finish off in one sitting.

The Grand Canyon of Huevos Rancheros

But the metaphor remains valid, as both are pretty awesome.

 

Treasure Trove on Cornelia Street

Since 1977 the Cornelia Street Cafe has enriched the cultural life of New York City.

For almost 40 years, this West Village mecca has provided delicious food and the unique, inspiring performance of music and the spoken word.

And it is currently proving as impressive and delightful an experience as ever, if not more so.

The Bill

Stopping by for an excellent meal, I learned about their summer Solo Fest, starting this week.

Each evening will feature solo performers, beginning with Amy Stiller on Wednesday, July 13, in “Just Think,” a semi-autobiographical journey of the only non-famous member of a very famous family.

 All Solofest offerings are at 6 PM and cost $10, which goes to the artist, plus a $10 food or drink minimum.

That is a spectacularly great price for the chance to see Arturo O’Farrill, the multi-Grammy-winning composer and leader of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, playing alone on the baby grand piano in an intimate setting. As he will on Friday, July 15.

And on Tuesday, July 19, the cafe’s own Robin Hirsch will present “The Whole Word Passes Through” with tales of the many fascinating people, both famous and obscure, who have crossed the threshold of the Cornelia Street Cafe.

This former Oxford, Fulbright, and English-Speaking Union Scholar never disappoints when it comes to his prose or his extemporaneous storytelling.

The festival runs through July 27, with music, comedy, theater, and political satire. See the cafe’s official website for the full line up and the many other performances taking place this summer.

 The Food

There isn’t an item on the menu I cannot recommend. But my favorites include the kale caesar salad, with just the right amount of avocado and grape tomatoes; the smoked salmon plate with toasted bread, chopped red onion, herb cream cheese, and large capers on the stem; and the richly luscious sea scallops, when they have them.

My go-to entree has been the crusted salmon, which is always excellent. But I only recently had the chicken breast for the first time. Was I ever missing out? It is so tender and juicy and flavorful that it may make you rethink ordering more exotic fare when dining out around New York City. It really is that good.

 The Wine

Mr. Hirsch is understandably proud of the wine list, which offers some interesting and quite reasonably priced selections from around the globe, many of which you are unlikely to taste elsewhere.

I am a new and enthusiastic fan of the Skyline Red, from Idaho, of all places. This blend of several grape varieties is velvety to the point of buttery, with plump dark berries, and integrated oak that is spread throughout, rather than just providing the fruit bowl.

There is also the Cafe’s own label, which appears on a refreshing chardonnay of grape skins, with orchard fruits ripening over time, and on a juicy plum of a pinot noir, both with nicely mild oak and extremely moreish.

And just last night I had a very interesting white wine from France – Perle Bleue, made with a grape used for Cognac and Armagnac. I am not by nature a white wine drinker, but this was extraordinary. Not sweet, but not particularly dry, it had a wisp of sea salt on the nose, and arrived on the palate like an ocean wave, with a vibrant splash that quickly subsided into a relaxing, lingering finish. Itself moreish, but in a curiously enigmatic way.

I cannot speak much to the beers. When people ask me if I am a beer snob, my reply of “Beer is an English word for something made in England by Englishman,” usually shuts down the conversation rather quickly.

But the cafe currently has Bell’s Two Hearted Ale on tap. This Michigan brew is one of best beers in America, with a medium body that is dry yet malty and buttressed by a crisp hoppy edge that remains firm but not overbearing. So it is on par with an English IPA and therefore not the face-puckering astringent grapefruit juice typical of American craft brewing.

The Spirit

But I of all people would be remiss if I did not mention they have some nice Cognac brandy available, which is reminiscent of typical cafe digestifs in France – grounded and pleasant at a decent price. And they also have Brenne, the French single malt whisky.

Made with French barely in French stills in the Cognac region, Brenne is aged in new oak from the Limousin forest, and finished in casks that had previously aged Cognac.

A pure malt spirit of high quality, it is hard to believe it is a scant 7 years old. The telltale toasted marshmallow and wood spice of French oak are further enriched with the orange zest, white pepper, and maraschino cherries of the cognac finishing.

Its youth is revealed by the bubble gum vanillins and lactones on the nose, and the relatively quick finish. However, single malt this young would normally be a blend of various casks, to cover up the rougher edges of immature spirit and smooth out the uncouth tannins. Brenne is bottled as single cask whisky! – astonishing, since it shows none of the harshness normally experienced in younger malts.

If you haven’t already figured it out, the Cornelia Street Cafe is a veritable jewelry box of sensual pleasures and sensational Jazz, poetry, and other artistic expression. It is well worth the time if you are in Greenwich Village, and well worth the effort to get there if you are not.

Open every day except Christmas Day, with 700 shows a year.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here is what Trip Advisor has to say on the cafe.

And that is one man’s word on…

The Cornelia Street Cafe

Cornelia Street Cafe Painting

Painting by Stephen Magsig

Pesto Without Pasta – One Man’s Meal

Delicious and nutritious pesto dish that is so satisfying

Ideal for Passover or just when you want to avoid all those bread carbs

Start with one good size tomato, chopped and chunky.

When garden or farmer’s market tomatoes aren’t in season, I find it worth the upgrade to vine tomatoes.

Pesto pic 1

On goes some crumbled walnuts and about half dozen capers. In this case I added a few lupini beans and bits of peppers, taken from the olive mix that I buy at Blue Apron in Park Slope.

Steamed vegetables make up the largest part.

Cauliflower and broccoli are super nutritious, while the stalks under the florets provide a nice starchy firmness. Green and yellow summer squash (courgette/zucchini) are another staple for this dish. And I will often include some shredded kale.

Pesto pic 2

All that’s left is to add pesto.

Be it homemade, or your favorite brand name, experiment with how much to include.

Mix it all up and enjoy, as your main course or a side dish.

For those wanting to go the extra distance, this is even better if you start with some fresh garlic simmered in olive oil, black pepper, and oregano. I often used a blend that has black, red, and white pepper together in one grinder.

After about 30 seconds sizzle, add the capers for another 30 seconds, being careful not to scorch the garlic. I often will add the walnuts at the end, but they will soak up all the oil. Adding more oil works well, but it also adds that much more fat and calories.

Pour the results onto the vegetables before you add the pesto.

But if you are in a hurry, or wish to limit the fat to what is already in the nuts and pesto, it tastes great without the extra step.

Pesto pic 3

And for those who do not care about the bread carbs, this works very well with pasta too.

Please note that some freshly ground finishing salt can add a nice zing, but many pesto recipes already have plenty of salt.

Pesto pic 4

Culinary Regions of Indian Food – Monday Map

Indian food is all over the map

Where there is something for everyone

Indian food map

The Science and Math of Indian Food

In two related scientific papers, researchers at the Indian Institute for Technology at Jodhpur investigated thousands of dishes native to the Indian subcontinent before confirming their conclusions, summed up in one of papers’ titles, Spices Form the Basis of Food Pairing in Indian Cuisine.

My initial reaction was to say, “No duh!” But while that may seem obvious to anyone who enjoys great Indian food, the depth and breadth of the research presented in the paper is fascinating and at times mouthwatering.

A PDF of Spices Form the Basis of Food Pairing in Indian Cuisine is found HERE.

Analysis of Food Pairing in Regional Cuisines of India can be read at PLOS.org HERE.

Each has all sorts of tables and figures and lists of the various flavor components.

Spicy Does Not Mean Hot!

When most Americans ask a waiter “Is it spicy?” they are usually asking “Is it hot, as in chili pepper hot?”

While many Indian dishes are “spicy” in that way, there is so much more to the herbs and spices that are used to make Indian food so aromatic and so memorably delicious. The researchers found nearly 200 different spices in use among the 2,500 recipes they chose out of some 17,000 available at the culinary website http://www.tarladalal.com/.

The basics of salt, black pepper, garlic, vinegar, and ketchup that stand as the pillars of Western cooking is but a child’s watercolor set, compared to the Technicolor 3D Hi-res extravaganza that is Indian food.

But it is how they are used, and how that differs from Western cooking, which makes it all so very interesting. Where Western cooking is mainly about complementary flavors, the Indian pallet is based on juxtaposing flavors that are more in conflict than commentary. When done right, it can be dramatic as well as delightful, and oh so satisfying.

At present my favorite Indian restaurants in NYC are:

Mali Marke, on 6th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan.

http://www.malaimarke.com/

Joy, on Flatbush near 6th Avenue on the border of Park Slope in Brooklyn. Delivery is slow, but very worth it. If you call direct rather than using an on-line ordering system, they will often throw in some free appetizer or condiments – since you are saving them heafty fees to the on-line services.

http://www.joyindian.com/

 

Russ & Daughters Cafe – One Man’s Meal Review

How could I have lived this long without the scrumptious culinary delights at Russ & Daughters Cafe?

Well, it is partly because they opened just 14 months ago. But there is 101 years of tradition on sale at this shiny new eatery, located at 127 Orchard Street, a few doors above Delancey.

Russ & Daughters Cafe Review at onemanz.com 1

(click photos to enlarge)

The fourth-generation family enterprise has been in the business of “appetizing” since 1914. Their thriving sliver of a shop on Houston Street features smoked and kippered fish that temps from behind the left counter, while sweets are longed for from behind the right counter. It is one of the last holdouts from a time when the neighborhood was dotted with similar shops.

But while the cafe offers traditional Jewish fare from indulgent delicacies like caviar to kibbutz comfort food like kugel, it is a thoroughly modern concern, with a hip, multicultural staff and clientele, reflecting the demographics of today’s Lower East Side, although the menu is focused very much on tradition, and quality.

Even the coffee is excellent, if pricey at $3. There was none of the citrus sourness too often infecting boutique brews these days. It was nutty and robust, while the acidity was understated, so I had no inclination to add milk. But I did eventually, just to see. It actually took a good deal of milk to make a dent in such a deep, dark roast, but with the proper ratio it transformed into a luscious café con leche. Left black, it is full-bodied, with a taste akin to espresso, making it the perfect companion for my chocolatey desert.

But I am getting way ahead of myself, as that was the jewel at the end of a satisfying meal.

Matzo Fast

As a waspy Ohioan growing up a long way from the sea, I never liked fish of any sort. But I had always wanted to try matzo ball soup, after hearing about it in countless movies and TV shows. I have since become something of a connoisseur, so of course I had to order it, despite the 95 degree heat outdoors. Thankfully, the cafe’s AC is top notch, and it’s been ages since I tasted this centerpiece of Jewish bobeshi cooking. It was a great way to end my matzo fast.

Traditional but not typical, R & D’s matzo ball soup ($8) is made with a dark and savory bone broth. Russet colored and flecked with herbs, with a smallish ball of dense matzo accompanied by buoyant arcs of celery and a rogue piece of carrot that lounged against the side of the bowl.

It is incredibly salty! Stunning really. But my pallet adjusted quickly, and all that salt was balanced with the subtler flavors in the broth, accented by the tannic crunch of fresh celery.

The menu listed chicken in the ingredients, but I didn’t see any. And then I realized it was in the matzo ball. That is a nice touch, as it imbues much more personality than found in the usual bland wad of pithy dough.

Each bite provided a schmaltzy satisfaction, enhanced by the occasional little morsel of dark chicken meat. And the matzo ball was not salty, so it proved a toothsome counterweight for the broth, which took on more chickeny taste as the ball was sliced up. I only kept from drinking the last ounces because of all I had yet to ingest.

Classic Lox

While I still avoid the fishiest of fishes, decades of living in a deep water port have expanded my tastes, so I followed the soup with “the Classic” smoked salmon plate ($16) and was enraptured.

Russ and Daughters Cafe Review at onemanz.com 2This fish is delish, and oh so rich. Silky yet firm, thin yet massive and melting with tenderness. It was lightly smoky – think Oban rather than Laphroaig, both of which are available by the glass at market prices for diners who like to pair smoked fish with smoked single malt whisky.

Being late in the day and intent on desert, I had my lox with pumpernickel bread, rather than one of their bagels (which are sourced from the Bagel Hole right here in Park Slope.) And I indulged in the tangy pleasures of the salmon, alone or as a tier in a stack of onion, tomato, capers, and cream cheese.

The menu refers to this fish as gaspe nova smoked salmon. Once upon a time that would have meant wild salmon from the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec that was prepared like traditional Nova Scotian “lox.” Today it means high-quality farmed salmon from Norway (where my favorite sashimi comes from,) which is smoked in Brooklyn, to approximate the gaspe nova lox experience. And it was terrific! The same can be said about the quality of everything that passed my lips.

The July tomato was meaty and tasted like it came straight from a garden, or at least the farmers market. So good, I ate most of it by itself. The onion was crisp and kindly, and every bit as fresh as the tomato; the cream cheese earned its qualifier, and the capers were plump and popping with flavor. My only complaint is that the smidgen of dill wasn’t nearly enough for the ample supply of fish. But I do know it has gone missing from local bodegas, so perhaps they are trying to stretch their current supply. Also, the bread was so mild it was basically a delivery platform. Next time I will try their old-fashioned shissel rye, as this salmon should stand up to it nicely.

Rounding Out

Although they have a well-stocked supply of spirits and wines, I had one of their soft drinks, concocted at the soda fountain from seltzer and various flavored syrups. I enjoyed the cucumber soda ($5.) It was a good choice for the meal, softly flavored with essence of jasmine, fennel, dill, anise and lime, and garnished with a long slice of fresh cucumber, which when eaten was an ideal palate cleanser between the lox and the “babka french toast,” ($10) full of gooey chocolate spread, and served with fresh strawberries and sour cream.

Russ & Daughters Cafe Review at onemanz.com 3

Even with the very adult coffee, the babka was almost too much for one person – almost. But I did get a good look and whiff of the fruit compote blintzes, and I am definitely having them next time, after a knish or perhaps some latkes, and another smoked fish plate. I have always wanted to see what sturgeon tastes like.

Yes, one pays some premium to sit down to delicacies that can be had at the Houston street shop for less. But many things well worth having are available only at the cafe. And the AC is awfully nice, even though the seats at the counter seem made for one sprier and smaller than I. But otherwise, the environment is quite enjoyable, as is the cheerful, young wait staff, for their fashions and body art if nothing else.

I just happened to pick up some rugelach at the shop to take with me to Martinfest in a couple of days, and I was feeling a bit peckish. So I thought I would finally check out Russ & Daughter’s cafe, to see what it was like.

I am glad I did, even if I am also glad it is not closer to home or near my usual thoroughfares. Otherwise, it could be far too habit-forming.

And that is one man’s word on…

Russ & Daughter’s Cafe

127 Orchard Street, above Delancey
212-475-4881

No Reservations

Menu

Drinks Menu