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One of New York's Best Burgers... Once a Week

One of New York's Best Burgers... Once a Week

At RUB BBQ in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, pit master Scott Smith takes time out of his barbecue duties every Monday to do a special burger. If you haven't sampled Smith's burger, or his weekly homage to regional and famed renditions, you've missed one of New York's City's most underrated burgers. In late April, Scott made what he called a "Pacific-style" burger, an homage to In-N-Out's Double-Double Animal Style. It was as close as you were going to get to satisfying a craving for the West Coast classic in New York, and in fact, it was better than the original. Scott's wet burgers are his best, and this one was wet with a wonderful char that's absent at In-N-Out. And for these reasons this dish made my list of most memorable meals of 2011.

Click for more of the Most Memorable Meals of 2011.


Eat to Live: Simple Bean Burgers

I’m up to something new! Over the next six months I’ll be making and posting the recipes from Dr. Fuhrman’s book “Eat to Live.” When I first completed the 6 week plan I didn’t take the time to make many of the recipes in the book–no wonder I stopped! Now, I’m no longer a nutritarian-novice and I’m in this for the long haul (not just a quick fix), so I need to take the time to try these recipes out! If you are following the Eat to Live program, join me on my delicious journey and find out exactly how to make these nutrient-packed recipes from Dr. Fuhrman’s best-selling book!

I like heat and serve food. I like convenient food. Unfortunately, convenient almost always means processed. And processed, according to Dr. Fuhrman, almost always means chemical-shit-storm! Yup, it’s a scientific term. You can find my two favorite processed veggie burgers here (one of which is chemical-shit-storm-less). But for the true, die-hard, let’s-get-to-our-ideal-weigh-and-stay-there Nutritarian, (aka who I want to be when I grow up) a homemade veggie burger is required.

Enter Dr. Fuhrman’s simple and surprisingly delicious bean burger recipe! Made with just 7 ingredients (one of which I added myself) and no added salt, these bean burgers have won me over! If I take the time to make a batch of these burgers once a week, I’ll no longer have to support my heat-n-serve veggie burger habit! And, I’ll be that much closer to reaching my ideal weight, and staying there!

SIMPLE BEAN BURGERS (Modified from Dr. Fuhrman’s EAT TO LIVE book all changes noted in italics)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 cups cooked or canned red or pink beans, no salt or low salt, drained and rinsed (I used 1 can of pinto beans which is just shy of 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium ketchup (I used my TJ’s organic ketchup which is not low sodium)
  • 1 tbsp. wheat germ or old-fashioned rolled oats (I used 1 1/2 tbsp. rolled oats)
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • optional: 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • optional: 2 tbsp. water (I used it to help blending)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet with a little olive oil on a paper towel.
  2. I used a blender for this part instead of a food processor and potato masher. In high-powered blender combine the onions, seeds, beans, water, and oatmeal using the “Pulse” button. There should still be whole beans and sunflower seeds remaining.
  3. Place in mixing bowl and add mustard, ketchup and chili powder. Mix well. Separate mixture into 6 portions and mold into patties. Place on oiled baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes.
  4. Take patties out and flip them once. Using a spatula, press them down to compress.
  5. Bake for an additional 15 minutes–burgers should just be beginning to brown on top.

I enjoyed my burgers with a cup of wild rice and a large mixed baby greens salad!


The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week

The amount of excellent food available in New York City is dizzying — even during a pandemic — yet mediocre meals somehow keep worming their way into our lives. With Eater editors dining out sometimes several times a day, we do come acrosslots of standout dishes, and we don’t want to keep any secrets. Check back weekly for the best things we ate this week — so you can, too.

May 24

Basil chicken at Terra Thai Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Basil chicken over rice at Terra Thai

Terra Thai, an import from Boulder, Colorado, has been peddling a handful of Bangkok street food dishes out of a narrow space in the East Village, one block south of Tompkins Square, since opening a year ago as the pandemic was on the upswing. Basil chicken is in many ways the flagship, a dish of coarsely ground chicken swimming in bird chiles and chile oil, giving the hottest things on the Ugly Baby menu a run for their money. The dish ($10.50) is agreeably served with white rice, a poached egg, and side vegetable (in this case broccoli). For vegetarians, it can be made with tofu instead of chicken. 518 East Sixth Street, between avenues A and B, East Village Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Guava-laced buñelos from Salento Ryan Sutton/Eater

Cheese breads at Salento

As part of my overview of some of the city’s great empanadas the other week, I wrote about Salento, a fine Colombian coffee shop in Washington Heights. As luck would have it, I was in the neighborhood again on Friday and got a chance to sample some of the venue’s very tasty baked and fried goods. A barista warmed up a few snacks for me, which I took to the outdoor seating area and promptly devoured. The oblong buñelos ($2.50) were just as they should be, sporting a gently crisp exterior and a warm interior oozing with salty cheese and a smear of fragrant guava. The more disc-shaped pandebono ($2.50), in turn, balanced the savory tang of the component cheese with just enough sugar. I’ll definitely be back here more often. 2112 Amsterdam Avenue, at West 165th Street, Washington Heights — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Southern fried lasagna at Cadence Erika Adams/Eater NY

Southern fried lasagna at Cadence

It’s been a minute since I’ve had a lasagna, and now I’m pretty sure that all other lasagnas have been ruined for me after digging into chef Shenarri Freeman’s version at vegan soul food restaurant Cadence (one of three new spots that restaurateur Ravi DeRossi has opened up in the neighborhood this year). The lasagna ($21) is a crispy, crunchy, deep-fried delight — stuffed with a vegan red wine Bolognese, pine nut ricotta, and spinach — that doesn’t sit heavy afterward. And I couldn’t resist scraping the bowl to get every drop of the lasagna’s housemade chunky tomato sauce, bursting with fresh basil and oregano. 122 East Seventh Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A, East Village — Erika Adams, reporter

Jasmine tea-smoked barbecue ribs at the Nuaa Table

The season of minimalist outdoor dining has arrived, where sometimes the best set-up is just a few sidewalk tables and a slab of artificial grass. Such is the case at Nuaa Table, a Thai restaurant that opened its doors along the Prospect Heights stretch of Vanderbilt Avenue in March. For peak summer dining, head in the direction of the restaurant’s barbecued ribs, which come five to a rack and are smoked in jasmine tea ($23). Glistening in sriracha barbecue sauce, and topped with a mountain of sesame seeds, the dish reminded me of the seasonal pumpkin spice ribs served at Olmsted, a few blocks up Vanderbilt, last summer, but here the tea flavor comes through more fully. The restaurant’s portions are probably best for sharing among two to four — not the group of six we dined with — and be advised that there’s no liquor license or BYOB available for now. 638 Bergen Street, at Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights — Luke Fortney, reporter

May 17

Chorizo and egg breakfast sandwich Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Chorizo and egg breakfast sandwich at C&B

C&B must be one of the East Village’s best kept dining secrets — a narrow storefront right next to the fabled Horseshoe Bar that makes three breakfast sandwiches right on a flattop in the window as a line of hungry New Yorkers wait for them. These three sandwiches feature mushrooms, pork belly, or chorizo in addition to eggs scrambled soft and cheese that will melt before you even get the thing up to your mouth. My favorite is the one for which a very thick puck of chorizo with a spicy afterburn is the center of attention, and eating it is such a mess you may rightfully turn to a knife and fork to help you get the job done. I can’t help insanely adding avocado to the formula, which jacks up the price $3 to $14.99. Yes, there are a few other things on the menu, including bowls and the occasional hero special, and one of the reasons everything is so good is that the bread is made on the premises. 178 East 7th Street, between avenues A and B, East Village — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Seco de chivo at Ñaño Ecuadorian Kitchen

Abel Castro opened Ñaño in 2013, a few years before I moved to Hell’s Kitchen, but somehow I didn’t manage to drop by until just the other week, to test out some (excellent) green plantain empanadas for a story. A few days later, I ordered delivery to try a few more items, including some very good battered and fried maduros, as well as the classic Ecuadorian seco de chivo, or stewed goat ($18). The seco de chivo was particularly tasty cooks slowly braise the ruminant in a sauce of naranjilla, or lulo, a tropical Andean nightshade with a citrusy flavor. The result is tender flesh sporting a sweet caprine punch, with the pulpy braising liquid adding a dose of savoriness. A wallop of cilantro imparts a grassy perfume, a nice counterpoint to the musky meatiness. On my next visit, I’ll try the corresponding seco de pollo, for sure. 691 10th Avenue, near West 47th Street, Hell’s Kitchen — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Beef udon at Min Sushi Bao Ong / Eater NY

Beef udon at Min Sushi

Most of my noodle soup consumption during the past year has involved packs of instant ramen. My feeble attempts at doctoring up a restaurant-worthy bowl usually involves throwing in an egg and rescuing some sad, wilted scallions or cilantro on their last legs. So when I passed chef Kelly Cho’s menu at Min Sushi on an overcast day, my eyes went straight to the beef udon ($10). It’s a bowl I could never recreate at home: a balanced broth that’s just salty enough and feels like it’s been simmering away for hours, thick strands of udon with the ideal springy texture, thinly-sliced pieces of beef cooked just through, and all the garnishes (even scallions) to top off this homely bowl of noodles. 32 St. Marks Place, between Second and Third avenues, East Village — Bao Ong, editor

Saffron ice cream at Shiraz Kitchen Courtesy of Mondona McCann

Saffron ice cream at Shiraz Kitchen

I’ve consumed my fair share of sugary-sweet mounds of frozen dairy in my childhood, which has inevitably led me to this conclusion as an adult: I am not an ice cream person. But every once in a while (or, every time I go to Superiority Burger), I meet an ice cream that reminds me that, in the right hands, this dessert has range. The saffron ice cream ($8) at Persian restaurant Shiraz Kitchen was one such example. The vanilla-based ice cream — studded with tiny dried roses — is so deeply infused with saffron that I had to stop mid-sentence to marvel during a recent mid-week dinner. Served in a firm chocolate cup, the frozen treat was at once tart, a touch sweet, and faintly floral unlike any ice cream that I’ve had before. I couldn’t help but smile my way through each bite. 111 West 17th Street, near Sixth Avenue, Chelsea — Erika Adams, reporter

May 10

Shrimp roti at De Hot Pot Luke Fortney / Eater NY

Wrapped shrimp roti at De Hot Pot

While reporting on flour tortillas earlier this year, one Mexican restaurateur shared that, for years, the closest thing to a good flour tortilla in New York City was a roti. (Several readers also pointed this out in comments on Instagram.) It’s a thought I haven’t been able to get out of my head, and one that’s helped me find a taste of home without leaving the five boroughs. For some of the best roti in the neighborhood, head to De Hot Pot, a takeout counter a short walk from Prospect Park east. I ordered the roti made with shrimp ($12), a neatly folded dish that also comes stuffed with channa, curried chickpeas, and potatoes. Ask for an extra side of hot sauce (50 cents). Cash only. 1127 Washington Avenue, between Lefferts Avenue and Lincoln Road, Prospect Lefferts Gardens — Luke Fortney, reporter

Roasted oysters at Victor Robert Sietsema / Eater NY

Roasted oysters at Victor

The first thing you notice upon walking into Victor’s double premises, which lies along Sackett Street near the Gowanus Canal, is a giant domed black oven. It has been there since the place was Freek’s Mill, and the burning wood does service in all sorts of ways, besides perfuming the air. It is employed to make all sorts of dishes among the apps and mains, including this oyster appetizer ($16). It features a bread-crumb stuffing not assertively flavored, so that the briny flavor of the bivalves can shine. And the crumbs also serve to absorb the oyster liquor, so you don’t so much slurp them as chew them. 285 Nevins Street, at Sackett Street, Gowanus — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Lamb flatbread at Iris Ryan Sutton / Eater NY

Lamb flatbread at Iris

I realized recently that it has been too long since I’ve visited a John Fraser establishment, and so I figured I’d swing by Iris, the chef’s new Mediterranean restaurant at the ground floor of a Midtown West office building. I sat outside — as I always do — and ordered a few dishes, but the Turkish flatbread is what stood out the most. Cooks shape the dough into an oblong boat, not entirely different from khachapuri Adjaruli, and fill the center with a crimson mixture of chili, sumac, cilantro, and ground lamb. The bread itself is quite soft, while the filling packs a hint of acidity, a round savoriness, and just a whisper of ovine funk. At $16, it’s an expensive light snack for one, but it’s a nice pairing for a gin martini on a warm evening. 1740 Broadway, at 55th Street, Midtown West — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Fish balls with rice noodles at Fu Yuan Bao Ong / Eater NY

Fish balls with rice noodles at Fu Yuan

As the weather warms up and I spend more time at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where the U.S. Open is held, I’ve developed a new ritual: Take the 7 train just one stop further into the heart of downtown Flushing and hunt down one new snack that qualifies as carbo loading before hitting the tennis court. This past weekend, I passed my favorite bakery for egg tarts and saw a small group of people lining outside of Fu Yuan. I ended up ordering the same dish as the girl in front of me, who held a cell phone bedazzled in pink sparkles in one hand and a bubble tea in the other. Clearly, she knew what to order. The small serving of fish balls atop rice noodles ($3.25) was a perfect size before a tennis match. Drenched in soy, sesame paste, and a dash of Sriracha, it was exactly what I craved: simple, starchy noodles with a QQ texture with a just bit of protein. I’ve passed this tiny stall many times, but now I’ll have to come back for the congee, rice noodles rolls, wonton soup, and all the other items. That’s a lot of tennis. 135-43 Roosevelt Avenue, near Main Street, Flushing — Bao Ong, editor

May 3

Duck a l’orange skewer at Maison Yaki Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Duck a l’orange skewer at Maison Yaki

Olmsted offshoot Maison Yaki on Prospect Heights’s hopping Vanderbilt restaurant row is a great place to brunch. Sit in the sunny backyard and enjoy a rather oddball Japanese-French fusion menu, the heart of which is a series of brochettes grilled over binchotan charcoal. This one features coarsely ground duck — which tastes very much like duck, with its pond-water flavors — intended to evoke the classic French dish duck l’orange ($14). But wait! It comes with a soy-based dipping sauce with what appears to be a raw egg yolk floating on the surface (it’s like a science-like chef’s trick made out of fruit puree). Using any implement at hand, whip the puree into the soy before dipping the kebab, for an amazing taste sensation. Then wipe the dribbling “yolk” off your chin. 626 Vanderbilt Avenue, between Prospect and Park places, Prospect Heights — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Yellow snowing cheese fries at Pelicana

During my review process for Chick Chick, a new Korean fried chicken spot on the Upper West Side, I made sure to get a batch or two of drumsticks from the Pelicana global chain, which suddenly has quite a few locations in the tri-state area. The short story is that the wings at Pelicana sport a stupendously well-engineered exterior, with a dense crunch, but the meat is often bland and under-seasoned. I’d still order them again they just need a bit of work. The wow factor, by contrast, really comes from the chain’s yellow snowing cheese fries ($8.99), a preparation that somehow involves using the power of industrial food science and dark magic to make the tubers mimic the taste of Cheez Doodles or Cheetos. You can still detect a little potato-y earthiness, but the predominant flavor profile is processed cheese, which imparts the frites with a marked saltiness, sweetness, and orange hue. Also, Pelicana delivers the fries in a half-open container, so they stay crisp during the ride over to your apartment! 641 10th Avenue, near 45th Street, Hell’s Kitchen — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

Chirashi bowl from Rosella Erika Adams/Eater NY

Chirashi bowl at Rosella

I have to admit, I am kind of bummed to see some restaurants starting to turn their backs again on takeout and delivery. (I understand that it was likely hellish to keep running from an operator’s perspective, but sometimes there’s nothing I want more than a nice takeout box on a tired weeknight!) I slipped in what felt like one of my last fun not-supposed-to-be-takeout takeout orders with sustainable sushi newcomer Rosella last week just as the restaurant started to pair down its off-site orders — it now only accepts takeout orders before 6 p.m. or after 9 p.m. — to make more room for its nightly tasting menu. I got the chirashi bowl, now priced at $35, and found a sunny park bench nearby to sit and inhale meaty cuts of fish mixed with thinly-sliced strips of avocado, savory herbs, sweet cubes of tamago, and generous scoops of roe, all laid over a thick bed of tangy, vinegary rice. It was a luxurious park bench meal, and I savored every bit of it. 137 Avenue A, between between East Ninth Street and St. Marks Place, East Village — Erika Adams, reporter

Several dishes at Fandi Mata Luke Fortney/Eater

Tahini and tomato mezze at Fandi Mata

Those looking to venture indoors again — but not sure where to start — might consider a table at Fandi Mata. This Greenpoint newcomer opened its doors one block from McCarren Park last December, operating out of a warehouse that used to repair ambulances. Some trappings from its days as a repair shop remain, but the interior has been gutted and turned into this two-story restaurant with lots of room to spread out, dozens of indoor plants, and tahini ($8) good enough to make you forget it’s your first time indoors in over a year. When the weather gets warm enough, Fandi Mata opens its sidewalk-facing doors, which are more than a story tall and offer plenty of airflow. 74 Bayard Street, between Lorimer and Leonard streets, Greenpoint — Luke Fortney, reporter

Japanese souffle pancake at Rule of Thirds Bao Ong / Eater NY

Japanese souffle pancake at Rule of Thirds

I don’t remember the last time I made it a point to go out for brunch and it felt like the kind of date with friends where the day was carefree and you could wander around multiple neighborhoods. Maybe it was the stylish interior design at Rule of Thirds — the private outdoor bungalows are especially sleek — that set the tone. My friends and I shared three Japanese breakfast sets consisting of roasted fish, chicken meatballs, and braised pork belly served on a nice set of ceramics that look like they could be used in glossy magazine spread. But it was an impressive fluffy Japanese souffle pancake ($18) with honey maple butter that stole the show. Its airy texture reminded us of the sponge cakes from Kam Hing Coffee Shop, the popular Chinatown spot. Each bite was as comforting as a slice of pound cake but so light that couldn’t resist digging in for one more bite. 171 Banker Street, between Meserole and Norman avenues, Greenpoint — Bao Ong, editor


Drink Pink: One Of New York's Top Sommeliers Shares Her Love Of Rosé

An illustration of Jimi Hendrix is not something you'd expect to see flipping open a book on rosé wine, but sommelier and author Victoria James has an explanation. "Mateus, one of the brands responsible for the downfall and negative perception of rosé, once used him in ad campaigns to revive sales," says James. "He's also a pretty cool dude to draw."

In her new book, Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé, James celebrates the revival of critical and consumer interest in these wines — leaving the dark days of inexpensive and over-sweetened brands like Lancers, and the white zinfandel apocalypse of the 80s, far behind. "These are serious wines with great souls," says James. "The stereotypes are over. They're not just for women, and they're not just for summer drinking."

Drink Pink is an easy read, aimed at the average wine enthusiast. You'll learn the essentials, like what differentiates saignée from skin contact, and why you'd only want a blend if it comes from Champagne. There's background on the regions, styles and top producers to look out for: such as Domaine Tempier in Bandol, France, the Cerasuolo wines from Abruzzo, Italy and New World wines like those of J.K. Carriere in Oregon. Also included is a section on cocktails, featuring Dead Rabbit's Oom Pah-Pah for those who've always wanted to mix rosé with tequila, and a cooking section featuring pairings for snacks, picnic and heartier dinners.

Only 26-years-old, James has quickly worked her way up New York's wine scene, from starting out with the wine programs at Marea and Aureole to her current position as the Beverage Director of the Michelin-starred Piora. She was also named Wine & Spirits Best New Sommelier in 2016. Still, when first approached to do a book on rosé, James had her misgivings. "As a young female sommelier it's sometimes hard to be taken seriously. You're taught to wear dark muted colors, not pink. Don't exhibit your feminism. I didn't want to be stereotyped as the 'rosé girl.'" Her love of the wines, however, won out. "They're some of my favorites, and I wanted to explain their background and history."

In addition to promoting her new book, James is in the process of opening up Piora's new sister restaurant Cote, a Korean steakhouse. Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé by Victoria James, with illustrations by Lyle Railsback, is available on Amazon. For more information visit James' website and Piora.


BODYBUIDING Chicken Parmesan Recipe (Quick)

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Like chicken parmesan? Want a healthier option? This Bodybuilding Chicken Parmesan recipe is quick, healthy, delicious, and PACKED with protein!
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Here is the recipe:
1 1/2 Pounds (24 Ounces) Chicken Breast.
2 Extra Large Egg Whites.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil.
2/3 Cup (60g) Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs.
8 Tablespoons (40g) Grated Parmesan Cheese.
1/2 Cup (123g) Pasta Sauce.
3/4 Cup (84g) Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese.
Calories in the WHOLE recipe:
Calories: 1515.
Fat: 43g.
Saturated Fat: 14g.
Sodium: 2010mg.
Carbs: 55g.
Fiber: 6g.
Sugar: 10g.
Protein: 227g.
Calories in each serving (if you make 6):
Calories: 252.
Fat: 7.1g.
Saturated Fat: 2.3g.
Sodium: 335mg.
Carbs: 9.1g.
Fiber: 1g.
Sugar: 1.6g.
Protein: 37.8g.
Take out your Chicken Breast, trim the fat off of them, and then cut them in half (so that they are thin). In one smaller bowl add in your Egg Whites and Olive Oil. Mix those together. In another large bowl add in your Bread Crumbs and Parmesan Cheese. Mix those together. Take out a baking sheet, coat it with some non-stick cooking spray, and then put your Chicken Breast onto your baking sheet. Lightly brush your wet mix onto both sides of your Chicken Breast slices and then dunk them into your dry mix. Coat the top of your Chicken Breast with some non-stick cooking spray and then put them into the oven on 450°F/232°C for 20:00. After 20:00 take them out, flip them over, and then evenly distribute your Pasta Sauce + Mozzarella Cheese over the top of them. Put them back into the oven on 450°F/232°C for another 5:00-10:00 (or until your cheese is melted). Mouthgasm!
Tips: Double or triple this recipe so that it lasts you the whole week!
Add some Sriracha into your pasta sauce to spice things up a bit!
Don’t forget to subscribe! New recipes will be posted every week..
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Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Video taken from the channel: The Protein Chef


Burger Heaven

How did the drippy, juicy hamburger get to be the signature dish of health-obsessed Los Angeles?

After 32 days in a Serbian prison this spring, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Andrew Ramirez had two urgent goals upon returning home to Los Angeles. Reuniting with his family and friends was the first. But then, Ramirez said, he&aposd be mighty ready to hit an In-N-Out Burger.

Most of his fellow Angelenos may never be put to so severe a test, yet they, too, are seriously dedicated to their burgers. This may be surprising in a city not especially noted for its seriousness. Like most places with reputations that precede them, though, Los Angeles has a funny way of playing with your preconceptions.I realized this a few years ago when I lived there for the summer and spent many long afternoons zigzagging up, down and across town. I was disappointed by many landmarks: I couldn&apost believe that the beat-up pagoda on Hollywood Boulevard was the famous Mann&aposs Chinese Theater. On the other hand, I was delighted to find that other icons--white-blond surfer dudes, palm trees, fake breasts--really did exist, in abundance. If there was one thing I didn&apost expect at all, however, it was the burger joints that seemed to be on every other corner.

The cliché about Angelenos, of course, is that they are bantamweights who slavishly obey their personal trainers and subsist on macrobiotic eggless omelets, nonfat free-range fusion food or whatever other gossamer-lean cuisine happens to be in vogue. So I was somewhat shocked to discover that they harbored a devotion to ground beef that was almost religious. Once a young actress dug her nails into my arm as she described the sublime pleasures of the double cheeseburger with bacon ("soft, not crisp") from Fat Burger. Another time, a UCLA professor whipped out his wallet to show me a card listing the location of every In-N-Out Burger in town, which was impressive considering that he was, in all other respects, a vegetarian.

A quick search of an on-line directory tells me that there are more than 150 restaurants in the city with names that contain the word burger. The burger, in fact, could be called L.A.&aposs signature dish. Because this flew in the face of so many of my expectations, I recently returned to Los Angeles to conduct a highly unscientific tour with the hope of gaining some insight into its residents&apos enduring love for real, old-fashioned, down-home burgers.

I started at Cassell&aposs Hamburger (3266 W. Sixth St. 213-480-8668), a cafeteria-style restaurant on the fringe of downtown. The first thing that struck me was the unpretentiousness of the whole operation. A friendly chef served me a naked beef patty on a bun, which I was then able to customize with the sweet-and-spicy house relish. Even better than the sandwich itself were the low-key coffee-shop vibe and the hand-lettered sign that promised nothing more and nothing less than USDA beef. At one table, a couple of white-haired left-wingers lingered over coffee, kvetching about politics. The scene reminded me of lunch counters in small towns across America, those intentionally neutral places where you can gaze at the Formica, mull over the day&aposs events and decompress for a few precious minutes. It was easy to see why people who live with the incessant hype of Los Angeles would seek refuge at Cassell&aposs.

My next stop was at one corner of a busy intersection, near hundreds of other busy intersections, south of Beverly Hills. Mo Better Meatty Meat Burgers (5855 W. Pico Blvd. 323-938-6558), an appealingly simple white structure with sliding windows, looked distinctly out of place, more like a concession stand on a rural two-lane highway than anything you&aposd find in Los Angeles. Mo Better&aposs burgers were covered with peppery spices, then grilled just long enough to give them that delicious, slightly charred flavor you might hope to achieve at the grill in your own backyard. I was enjoying a Proustian flashback to barbecues of my childhood until someone switched on the TV to a talk show on which a woman was learning that her sister and husband were having an affair.My appetite quickly faded.

As I turned away from the TV, I got a sense that perhaps burger shacks didn&apost always bring happiness. I was reminded of a friend who told me that he eats burgers once or twice a week, usually on his way home from work late at night, when other places are closed. He said he finds the practice fairly isolating: "I sit in my car by myself, and when I look around the lot it&aposs full of other people eating by themselves." In a city where it&aposs easy to spend two hours alone in a car commuting--each way--it was disturbing to think that people have to take their meals in their cars,too.

Bonding over Paper Towels
But just when I was wondering if burger joints were actually nothing more than human refueling stations, strategically scattered over a vast and alienating network of streets, I inadvertently happened upon a flashing hot-pink neon arrow pointing down at a humble red-roofed kiosk. It was the flagship Tommy&aposs (2575 W. Beverly Blvd. 213-389-9060), one of the city&aposs most beloved mini-chains. The sight of the place in the soft orange light of sunset sent my burger jones rushing back in full force. A crush of hungry customers watched, rapt and ready, as a crew of superspeedy red-capped cooks moved the burgers off the grill and onto a row of buns (one-two-three-four-five-six-seven), then doused them with chili and onions. The serendipity of finding Tommy&aposs definitely enhanced my enjoyment of this wonderful, drippy burger (don&apost skip the cascabel peppers), but the experience was particularly pleasant because it gave me the chance to hop out of my car for a few minutes and rub shoulders with other human beings. When a young girl and I reached for a paper towel dispenser at the same time (Tommy&aposs doesn&apost mess around with napkins), we looked at each other and laughed. We both had chili smeared across our cheeks. It may not have been the basis for a long-term friendship, but it put an end to my melancholic reflections on burgers and loneliness.

Clearly, the optimal moment for burgering is when raw hunger strikes from out of nowhere and a restaurant magically appears at the next intersection. But in the interest of thoroughness, I made special trips to two places that are as legendary for their ambience as they are for their food.

"Good Enough!"
At the high end was the Musso & Frank Grill (6667 Hollywood Blvd. 323-467-7788), which has been the dark, wood-paneled hangout of Hollywood power brokers for 80 years. Although Musso & Frank is by no means a burger joint, it is famous for its ground beef sandwich. I had no complaints about this Cadillac of burgers, an exceptionally lean and tasty patty of chopped prime steak that lived up to its $12.25 sticker price. But I had even more fun racking my brain for the name of the director in the corner booth.

At the other end of the spectrum was Jay&aposs Jayburgers (4481 Santa Monica Blvd. 323-666-5204), a tiny cabana where I had a great chili burger. By another stroke of serendipity, I got to talk to Jay himself, an elderly gent in a yellow cardigan and golf cap. Jay told me that he once worked at Tommy&aposs but quit way back in 1955 because his boss didn&apost want to hear his ideas about improving the food. (Like the movie industry, L.A.&aposs burger business has its own long-standing rivalries.) "Tommy would always say, &aposThe burgers are good enough,&apos" Jay said, gripping the sides of his head in a pantomime of agony. "&aposGood enough! Good enough!&apos Sometimes I still wake up hearing Tommy in my nightmares."

If I had to pick my own favorite burger spot, though, it would easily be The Apple Pan (10801 W. Pico Blvd. 310-475-3585), a place that many L.A. burger lovers agree is a cut above the rest. Located across the street from an indefensibly large postmodern mall near Westwood, The Apple Pan still occupies the original clapboard building it did when it was founded in 1947. With its swivel seats hugging a U-shaped counter, The Apple Pan is a true time warp. As for its famous hickory-smoked burger--with hickory sauce, onions, pickles, lettuce and mayo--it is to my mind everything a burger should be. A scientist might be able to tell me what biochemical reaction makes human beings flip for burgers like these, but I prefer just to know in my bones that when they&aposre done this well, they are simply sublime.

That afternoon, my last in town, The Apple Pan was packed. I sat between two middle-aged men one had been a regular for 39 years, the other for 42. The latter told me that only two things had changed at the restaurant since he was a boy. The pitchers of cream used to be made of glass, not plastic, and the waiters, in the midst of serving, wiping down and setting up, would magically extend lighters for patrons&apos cigarettes.

Sitting there at the counter, I found it easy to imagine the not-so-distant days of the postwar boom when people were so busy building Los Angeles that they needed to segue immediately into the postmeal smoke. Arguably, the emergence of The Apple Pan and the other burger shacks that sprang up when dirt roads were still common in the city marked the birth of L.A.&aposs first distinctive cuisine: solid, hearty, all-American food that could be eaten on the fly by folks who&aposd come to town to make their dreams come true. In a place that produces so many ephemeral things--churning out movies that come and go in a week and starlets who rise and fall in the time it takes to turn the page of a magazine--there is something profoundly comforting about the endurance of burger joints. They are consistently fast, nourishing and satisfying in a town that doesn&apost offer many other guarantees.

Louisa Kamps, a writer who lives in New York City, has been laying off burgers since completing this assignment.


The Relief of Uncertainty, Muses One New Yorker

As I walk five blocks through my neighborhood, New York's West Village, on my once-every-five-days supermarket visit to restock my kitchen (grocery delivery now takes a week or two), I often think of a line from Albert Camus' 1947 novel, The Plague, about the French-Algerian town of Oran experiencing a ruthless scourge, which he describes as "that of a defunct city in which plague, stone, and darkness had effectively silenced every voice."

The urban silence happening in New York City right now is but a facade, as signs of the clandestine COVID-19 monster can be felt everywhere in what was one of the most bustling cities on Earth. There are far fewer people marching down the street with 24-pack bundles of toilet paper, as there were two weeks ago during the early pandemic panic.

Instead, it's now the sound of a crow I heard the other day on my roof&mdasha first in the 15 years I've lived here. It's the hand-scrawled sign on a shuttered gay bar that reads, "No Money, No Liquor," in anticipation of our society completely unraveling into a looting, panic-crazed miasma of all-for-yourself abandonment. The few passersby not only keep distance from each other, as we should, but we don't even look at each other. In fact, we look away, as if making direct eye contact will somehow transmit the virus.

Or the most ominous image, which I encountered today while walking by the Lenox Health ER: a refrigerated truck, a long white tent connected to the opening of it to shield a ramp for wheeling in the bodies of those who have perished from the pestilence. A mobile morgue.

"Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world," wrote Camus. "Yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise."

As a food and travel writer, I guess I wasn't too surprised when, in mid-March, I began getting emails from editors telling me they were no longer assigning travel articles unless it had a virus theme to it. Food, though, is something we can all still take joy in. Baking bread is on the rise (no pun intended). So are cooking lessons from famous chefs on Instagram.

It's interesting to think back to a few months or a year ago, in prelapsarian times, about what were the agents of our anxiety. From the severely vapid, such as worrying about my receding hairline, to the seriously life-altering, like the woman I was certain I'd spend my life with having an unexpected change of heart and thus shattering mine.

That's why today such superficial worries and heartbreak seem comparatively trite. Now, we have very real fears, from becoming broke and homeless to the deaths of loved ones and, of course, a profound uneasiness about our own painful, untimely deaths. Welcome to the new abnormal. When I asked a friend why he watched the Steven Soderbergh film Contagion the other night, he said it was oddly soothing because&mdashslight spoiler alert&mdashthey come up with a vaccine, even though the film ends without a definitive conclusion about what happens next. Real life, for better or worse, isn't a film, and there are not always happy endings and a cessation of suffering.

I gravitated to Buddhism when I was a graduate student in San Francisco about 20 years ago. It wasn't until a few years ago, though, that I really dedicated myself to meditation and mindfulness. It offered some stability for me in a life of constant superficial change&mdashan on-the-go life of landing in various destinations, waking up and forgetting what city I was in&mdashas well as helping to ease my suffering when the narrative of my life comes to a sudden plot twist, such as the unexpected end of a relationship.

And so it's no surprise that in these wretched times I lean even further into Buddhist philosophy, the core of which deals with how to alleviate suffering. A Buddhist would define suffering with this equation: pain + resistance = suffering. Or as the author and Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön wrote, "The root of suffering is resisting the certainty that no matter what the circumstances, uncertainty is all we truly have."

Which is one of the causes of nearly everyone's unsettled suffering right now. Uncertainty. We're not used to living in an uncertain world where the possible near-future outcome is death. But in these ambiguous, unlit times, there's also a huge opportunity here. It's key to accepting that we don't know how long this is going to last and that we very well might end up contracting the virus. And even dying from it. Because even before this outbreak, nothing in life was ever certain.

What's different now is that we've actually pulled back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz. We've shed the misconception of certainty. We didn't know what the future held for us a few months ago, and we don't know now either. In this sense, we're more grounded in actual reality today than we were in pre-pandemic times. The only certainty in this life is impermanence.

It reminds me of what psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach often asks: What are you unwilling to feel? It's a challenge to make ourselves vulnerable and face our fears and anxiety&mdashand at the moment, we have a lot. And then the reward could be a profound sense of love for ourselves and others, and an increased sense of compassion.

Embracing uncertainty has helped me remain calm and patient in the face of everything from flight delays and cancellations to the more absurdly serious curveballs thrown at me in life. Perhaps this plague will inspire many of us to change the way we look at the world and at life. And death. And everything else that happens to us when we feel the story of our lives has arrived at a major plot twist.

Buddhist monk/writer Thich Nhat Hahn wrote, "Flowers decompose, but knowing this does not prevent us from loving flowers. In fact, we are able to love them more because we know how to treasure them while they are still alive." It's a simple but eloquent reminder about embracing impermanence and appreciating the beauty and love in our lives in the present moment. That beauty and love will change, transform and die.

But it's also about accepting and deeply feeling our pain and suffering in the very moment too. Freud said, "Pain does not decompose when we bury it." The same idea can be applied to the uncertainty of all of our lives right now. If we have gratitude in the moment&mdashfor a great dinner you cooked tonight, for the fact that you're sheltering in place with loved ones, that we have the internet to watch Tiger King&mdashthen maybe living in such uncertain times won't be so bad. And maybe we'll be able to apply this in a post-pandemic world.

Humans have suffered through pandemics, wars and natural disasters many times in the past. So we have to take the long view of history to remind ourselves that we have the resilience to overcome this. We're as vulnerable and susceptible to impermanence and uncertainty as we were in 2019. We are going to lose the loves of our lives. We're going to get sick at some point. And we're all going to die. And so it's at this very moment, living in an uncertain and tumultuous world, that we should be mindful of the fact that we've always been seeking certainty in a groundless world. It is, as Camus called it, the absurdity of life.

After all, as Chödrön wrote, "patience is not learned in safety."

David Farley is an award-winning food and travel writer, penning pieces for Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and National Geographic Traveler, among other publications. He's the author of Underground Worlds: A Guide to Spectacular Subterranean Places and An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town, which was made into a documentary by the National Geographic Channel. He lives in New York City.


The Spots

Rubirosa

In this town, vodka sauce pizza is a thing, and Rubirosa, as far as we’re concerned, is the only place to have it. We’d be happy to eat this thin-crust delicacy next to a dumpster every day for the rest of our lives, but it just so happens that the atmosphere inside this restaurant is excellent, and the rest of the menu (straightforward, Italian-American comfort food) is too. The wait for a table will be long, but that’s only because everyone else in the city agrees with us. It’ll be worth it.

Chef's Table At Brooklyn Fare

Dinner at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare will be one of the best meals of your life. And we don’t mean that in the same way we tell friends their baby is the cutest we’ve ever seen. The seafood-focused tasting menu at this chef’s counter in a Hell’s Kitchen grocery store is packed with luxury ingredients - like A5 wagyu, foie gras wrapped in jamon iberico, and sea urchin topped with fresh truffle. All 15 courses are deluxe enough to make a pharaoh blush, and all 15 have sauces and preparations that leave you with distinct memories. Dinner here is incredibly expensive, but if you’re going to spend several hundred dollars on one New York City tasting menu, it should be this one.

Lucali

If you want to eat here, you either have to line up outside an hour before they open, or stop by, put your name in, and (best case scenario) wait two or three hours. That all might sound like it couldn’t possibly be worth it, but it is. Because Lucali has the best pizza in the city. You’ll want to spend all night in the little candlelit dining room, and after waiting so long for your table, you probably deserve to. Bring cash, and your alcoholic beverage of choice (it’s BYOB).

Casa Enrique

People love to say that NYC has terrible Mexican food. It’s like pointing out a supermodel’s snaggle tooth - it makes all the other cities feel better about themselves. The problem is, it’s mostly true. Mexican food is not our strong point, and if you’re here for the first time, you should most definitely not seek out a burrito. That said, Casa Enrique is not only our best Mexican restaurant, it’s one of our best restaurants in general. This Long Island City establishment has been a favorite of the neighborhood for years, but the smart people in other boroughs also know it’s worth crossing a bridge for. You should too.

Via Carota

Via Carota doesn’t take reservations, and this is both a gift and a curse. On the plus side, it means you can go any night of the week - but it also means you’ll inevitably have to wait an hour or three before you get seated. Why the long wait times? Via Carota serves delicious Italian food. They make our favorite cacio e pepe in the city, a chopped steak that’s better than the vast majority of non-chopped steaks, and roughly 30 other things that deserve to be on your table. If you haven’t been yet, clear your schedule for a night this week, then stop by and put your name in with the server who looks most likely to seat you in less than two hours. Or just come for lunch.

Four Horsemen

When the frontman of LCD Soundsystem opened The Four Horsemen in 2015, he was the most exciting thing about it. Now, almost five years in, that detail almost feels irrelevant. We mean that in a good way. This Williamsburg spot has become our favorite place to drink wine in Brooklyn while eating food that has absolutely nothing to do with “wine bar food.” Whether you’re at The Four Horsemen for a celebratory steak dinner, their highly-underrated set weekend lunch, or just wine and funky cheese, you’ll inevitably want to linger here until they kick you out (then make plans to come back tomorrow). The menus change constantly, so you always have another reason to check back in on this tiny spot making some of the best dishes in the borough.

Sushi Seki Upper East Side

There might be “better” sushi places in New York - more refined spots where you won’t be sitting next to a rich teenager from Long Island who’s wearing a gold Rolex and downing toro hand rolls by the dozen. But Sushi Seki has always been something of a death row meal for us. Open until 2:30am and serving perfect pieces of fish topped with everything from sauteed tomato to tofu sauce in a hole-in-the-wall space on the Upper East Side, Seki is the New York sushi experience you never get tired of. A few non-negotiables: sit at the bar, and finish with a spicy scallop hand roll.

Carbone

Carbone is probably the best Off-Broadway show in New York City. Opened back in 2013, this place is a perfect reproduction/exaggeration of the great American red sauce Italian restaurant. The food is incredible - from spicy rigatoni to veal parm to table-side caesar salad, and the whole experience feels like being on the set of a big budget movie that Chazz Palminteri should be in. Speaking of big budgets, bring a suitcase full of money with you. The Carbone experience doesn’t come cheap.

Kiki's

People always ask us, “Hey, what’s a fun place to get dinner with friends downtown where we won’t have to spend a ton of money?” There is no better answer than Kiki’s - a Greek spot where you can drink carafes of house wine, talk at concert volume levels, and eat delicious grilled octopus, cheesy saganaki, and charred lamb chops for around $15 per person. Come when you’re feeling hot after a haircut, sh*tty after a long week, or ready to party on a Wednesday. It’s so exemplary of the “fun affordable” category that we devoted an entire guide for places to go when you’ve been to Kiki’s too many times. Or you could just keep coming back to Kiki’s - we also support that.

Ayada Thai

If NYC restaurants could win SAG Awards, Ayada would win Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble Cast. From drunken noodles and pad thai that will ruin all others, to raw shrimp with chili and lime, to a crispy catfish salad that looks like a loofah and tastes like the Big Bang of flavors, Ayada has range. Get a big group, locate the nearest E, F, M, R, or 7 stop, and head to Elmhurst for Thai food that will make you realize that actually, NYC has incredible Thai food.

Lilia

It doesn’t matter whether the question comes from Upper West Siders or tourists from LA - when we get asked where to have an outstanding dinner in Brooklyn, nine times out of 10 we’re going to say Lilia. Brooklyn has plenty of places that would qualify, but it doesn’t have any other places like Lilia: an enormous, modern Italian restaurant where you could bring anyone from a date to your parents and have no doubt in your mind that they’d love it. Because they will.

Charlie Bird

When you walk into Charlie Bird in Soho, good music is always playing, great wine is always flowing, and everyone seems to be having an excellent time. The menu of raw bar items, salads, pastas, roast chicken, and the like may read a bit like other Italian/new American spots, but the execution here outpaces the competition. Top that off with some of the best service around, and you’ll easily understand why Charlie Bird is unquestionably a Greatest Hit, and a standard bearer for casual but special downtown restaurants.

St Anselm

Steakhouses are usually reserved for certain occasions. Like retirement dinners, bachelor parties, and taking out that one client who doesn’t hide his hatred for green food. St. Anselm is the steakhouse that changes all of that. This is a casual place where you don’t need a special occasion to eat some of the best red meat in the city. They’re famous for their butcher’s steak (which is $28), but if you do happen to be celebrating something, you can also throw down on an Ax Handle. Bring out-of-towners here, and watch their entire idea of a steakhouse shatter right in front of you.

Cocoron

There are some foods that every visitor or person new to the city hears they “have” to try: bagels, a slice of pizza, maybe a pastrami sandwich or a particular burger. Soba from a cash-only place downtown is not usually on that list. But when we send all of our visitors and newcomers to Cocoron, it invariably ends up feeling like we just had the best possible experience introducing a significant other to our families. Now, those people send us messages in all caps every time they’re back in town, asking when we can get together again to eat ridiculously good soba and tofu that changes minds about tofu. The staff is friendly, the space is warm, and the mera mera dip soba belongs in a museum.

Hometown Bar-B-Que

Hometown Bar-B-Que could sell its brisket out of the back of rusty Ford Econoline on the edge of a gradually eroding cliff, and we’d still go out of our way to get it. Fortunately, this place doesn’t operate out of a van - it’s in a big barn-like space in Red Hook. The only drawback of Hometown is that you typically have to wait in an hour-long line, but that just gives you time to figure out your order and claim a table. Once you make it to the counter, get the brisket, a few kinds of ribs, and a lamb banh mi. And if you’re currently wondering if you really need to get a banh mi at a barbecue place, the answer is yes, you absolutely do.

Frankel's Delicatessen

Smoked fish is to NYC as sample stations are to Costco. We’d make due without, but it just wouldn’t feel right. And of all the legendary Jewish delis here, Frankel’s in Greenpoint is where we feel most at home. The shelves are stocked with sparkling grape juice and babka, the sandwiches are outstanding, and the word “sturgeon” is painted in such elegant cursive on the wall that you’ll consider naming your daughter after it. You’ll find us here most weekends, eating both the pastrami, egg, and cheese, as well as the classic nova sandwich on an everything bagel. No matter how far you live from Greenpoint, Frankel’s is worthy of your time on the G, L, or 7 train.

4 Charles Prime Rib

4 Charles will make you feel cooler than you actually are. Even if you already wear a badass leather jacket while riding your electric skateboard to work, nothing tops drinking a martini in a red leather booth at this intimate West Village steakhouse. Get the fantastic burger as an appetizer for the table, and then watch as a server in white gloves pours jus over thick prime rib. You’ll probably have to stay out past your bedtime to get a table here, but isn’t that kind of cool too?

Her Name Is Han

There are some restaurants (including many on this list) it feels like everyone knows about - they’re the Leonardo DiCaprios. But think of Her Name Is Han as the Alicia Vikander of New York restaurants: at first, you might say, “Who?” but once you look her up, you’re like, “Oh right, she’s incredible.” This casual but cool Korean restaurant on 31st Street makes absolutely amazing food, and every single person we’ve sent here has texted us something to the effect of, “Holy sh*t” after eating here.

Wildair

A couple years back, we came up with the term The Cool New Stuff™, to describe the food served at a certain kind of restaurant. These places tend to do “interesting” small plates involving semi-obscure ingredients, plated attractively on artisan-made plates, to crowds of people who take their taste in podcasts and midcentury modern furniture very seriously. Some, if not most of these places, are fun to try once or twice, but you also won’t be surprised if they’re closed by early 2020. Wildair does check all those boxes, but it feels like a place that’ll be around for years. If you’re looking to eat stuff that’s interesting and also genuinely excellent, and you also want to wear sneakers to dinner, get yourself to Wildair.

Peter Luger Steak House

This iconic Williamsburg steakhouse has been around since 1887, and from the sawdust on the floor to the old-school waiters who refer to melted butter as “vitamins,” the experience here is unlike any other steakhouse (or restaurant) in NYC. What makes it particularly remarkable is the crowd - you’ll see everyone from tourists on their first New York trip to regulars who have been coming here for decades. The only thing everyone has in common is the fact that they were somehow able to get a reservation.

Tanoreen

No matter where you’re coming from or how weird that thing you saw on the R train earlier was, you won’t regret going to Bay Ridge to eat at Tanoreen. You’re here to eat some of the best Middle Eastern food in NYC, in a relaxed space that feels like a family-run restaurant in a small town (like maybe Nazareth, where both Jesus and the chef grew up). Bring a group of people who want to share excellent ground lamb kafta and very creamy hummus, and don’t be surprised if you lie in bed later wishing you were still here.

Al Di La

In a city saturated with great Italian food, it’s almost impossible for an Italian restaurant to prove it’s something special. But over in Park Slope, Al Di La’s been at it since long before Manhattanites realized Brooklyn existed. This place isn’t fronted by a celebrity chef, nor is it trendy. It is simple, rustic Italian cooking at its very best, and one of the most charming environments you can eat in.

Joe's Pizza

It’s the million dollar (or at least $3) question: what makes an ideal New York slice joint? First, the slice has to be perfect. And second, it has to be there for you when you need it. Joe’s checks both boxes. The slices are everything a New York slice should be: hot, salty, crispy, chewy, always consistent, and a little bit greasy. Open until 4am every night, Joe’s is the answer when someone asks you where to find the best slice of pizza in this town. It’s always the answer.

Minetta Tavern

The original Minetta Tavern opened in 1937, and though the current iteration only opened in 2009, you do get that “old New York” feeling here. The steaks and famous burger are very, very good (and expensive), but you’re really coming here to feel something. And that’s what makes something a Greatest Hit. The $152 côte de boeuf with bone marrow is worth ordering at least once in your life, but you’ll also be extremely happy with the Black Label burger.


5 great family dinners from 5 favorite cookbook authors | 2021 Meal Plan Ideas #14

I’m not really sure how it is that we are heading into the last week in April, but here we are! In an effort to rekindle my passion for cooking, I have been seeking out a few new recipes from cookbooks from some of my favorite cooks and chefs. Not all of the recipes below are directly from the cookbooks featured, but if you find a recipe online that you love, it’s always worth a quick search to see if that chef has a cookbook! It’s a tough industry, and any love you can send your favorite cook is so appreciated.

Grab your pen, paper, or open up that AnyList app or your favorite meal planning app, and let’s make our meal plan for next week.

Top Image: Grilled Turkey Burgers by Jenn Segal at Once Upon A Chef | Skillet-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes from Barefoot Contessa.

All books can be ordered from our affiliate Amazon, or please support your local indie bookseller and pick up your own copy!

While eagerly awaiting the release of Hettie McKinnon’s newest cookbook To Asia with Love: Everyday Asian Recipes and Stories from the Heart, I stumbled across this recipe for Creamy Broccoli Soup with Cheesy Macaroni that was reviewed by Lauren Kodiak on The Kitchn. The recipe was originally featured in McKinnon’s Family: New Vegetarian Comfort Food to Nourish Every Day and makes for a cozy, comforting Meatless Monday.

How brilliant to top soup with creamy mac n cheese! I may even have to double up this recipe so the rest of the family gets a bowl I can see myself just eating it right over the stove.

Did you know that you can totally serve a dip for dinner? This is just one of the AHA tips I have learned from former CME editor turned food podcaster, Stacie Billis. This recipe for Chicken Chili Queso Dip is a fun twist for Taco Tuesday. Serve with a bright green salad and a giant bowl of guac and it’s a party in the middle of the week!

By the way, Stacie’s cookbook Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner: 50 Winning Ways to Cook It Up! is one of my weekly go-to resources for dinner ideas, so grab it if you’ve got chicken-loving kids and want to change up your own meal plan a bit.

A good turkey burger can be elusive, however this recipe for Grilled Turkey Burgers by Jenn Segal at Once Upon A Chef is hands down the best turkey burger I have ever made. It’s only five ingredients and was a family favorite last week — so much so, that my kids have asked for me to make it again next week. And that’s always how I evaluate the success of new recipes I try.

I’ve had Jenn’s cookbook, Once Upon A Chef, The Cookbook: 100 Tested, Perfected, and Family-Approved Recipes on my shelf for a few years, and this recipe inspired me to pull it out and bookmark even more of Jenn’s easy, healthy family-friendly recipes.

I have always thought of Ina Garten as the mom I called on when I needed advice on what to cook. But of course I didn’t actually call her because she isn’t really my mom. I was thrilled to snag her most recent cookbook, Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook last fall and am trying at least one new recipe weekly. One winner so far: this recipe for Skillet-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes.

While it may seem overwhelming at first glance, it is really a simple recipe and turns out so good. Everything just bakes in one skillet and you can do other things while it cooks. (Like looking up online resources to help your kids with their homework. Again.) Even if yours doesn’t look as pretty as this one, with those perfectly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes, it tastes perfect.

By the way, I still display my first Garten cookbook from 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, on my kitchen counter every day of the year because it’s just full of those recipes you make over and over. They really stand the test of time.

Nigella Lawson is one of my favorite chefs and authors. I was super excited to snag her newest cookbook Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients Recipes and Stories when it came out this week (yes this week!) — the title basically describes my life. And I know that’s not just me, right?

This recipe for Meatzza — a brilliant combination of pizza and meatballs — was originally featured in her cookbook Nigellissima, which has been lovingly used and stained next to my stove for several years.This recipe combines two of my kids’ very favorites, making it the perfect fun, satisfying recipe for the end of a busy week.

I put these weekly meals plans together based on recipes I am actually cooking for my family, and with you in mind. If you have suggestions, tips or recommendations for recipes or other food bloggers I should check out please comment here, or shoot me a message in our Recipe Rescue group on Facebook. – Lisa


How to Make a Juicy Burger Video

My Favorite Side to Serve with Burgers

My Broccoli Cauliflower Salad is the best summer side dish you will make! Loaded with fresh broccoli, cauliflower and bacon, plus a simple homemade salad dressing drizzled over the top. It is super quick and easy, plus makes a great side for a BBQ or cookout.

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Watch the video: Μπιφτέκια αφράτα με λεμονάτες πατάτες στο φούρνο της Αργυρώς. Αργυρώ Μπαρμπαρίγου (November 2021).