Christo invited me out to one of his favorite East Village hangouts for breakfast. Toward the end of the project, I was trying to get writers in who I learned about after the project started. I don’t know how he found me, but it was very cool to hang out with him for the morning. He’s a private chef and an avid blogger with quite a vibrant community going over there at Chez What (his blog). He told me the secret behind his nickname (Doggy Bloggy – which is my favorite blog-related nickname of all time) and the secret to staying young at heart and having fun in the city. When I grow up, I hope to be as cool as this guy. It was a blast shooting the shit with him (or poking it with a stick? I don’t know) and I will definitely hang out with him when I get back to NYC.
Let’s talk about food, bay-bee:
Moroccan Hot Cereal
Couscous with Raisins and walnuts. Can you count the raisins in this picture? That’s all we got. This dish would have been more aptly named “Cold War Era Russia Hot Cereal” with its meager raisin ration. Our waitress brought out the hot milk a good three minutes before the cereal came out, and after the pictures were taken, I had her warm it for us. She was happy to oblige. I poured the milk on and tried it with honey – too sweet. Then we did maple syrup – just right. I gotta tell you, this was a pretty great cream of wheat/oatmeal/grits supplement. We would have finished the whole bowl if our raisin pairing was adequate.
Here’s the recipe for harisa (link). I thought it had some cumin in it, but I guess I was wrong. We put this stuff on everything (but the aforementioned) and I swear, if I see a tube of this stuff at the store, I am buying that shit.
Middle Eastern Eggs
Seriously. These guys have a falafel shop somewhere nearby – I immediately wanted to go there after biting into this bready incredibleness.
I was interested to see what “Middle Eastern Eggs” were, and when they arrived, I was disappointed that they were just poached eggs with hummus, tabouleh, and pita. I put my thoughts aside and put all four together (plus Harisa, obv) and took a bite. I think I laughed out loud at how great the combination of flavors were. I don’t quite know what made it work, but for some reason, it worked.
Christo was describing this cheese to me in full detail. It has a weird quality that doesn’t let it fully melt, so it crisps on the outside when you pan sear it. It was the highlight of the meal for sure. I made a little sandwich with the pita, the egg, and the Harisa. Totally took the cake from the Middle Eastern Egg Sandwich. This is what you should order if you come here for breakfast.
This was one of the spots that I paid for and I would rank it somewhere around the 60th favorite place I’ve been. The poached eggs were extremely well poached, I must admit. And our waitress was hot, so that was a plus. She did forget our bacon (we had wanted the sausage anyway), and I told her I wouldn’t talk about that in my post, but I guess I lied. I won’t tell you her name; I’m sure there’s more than one hot waitress at the CafÃ©.
Here’s our video:
Guest Writer: Doggy Bloggy … Here’s his post
101 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10009
cool – too see it! how is everything going?
Almost done! The final post of 93 Plates will be up on the 24th
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