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Fried Red Tomatoes: Part 2

15 Oct

seersucker brooklynAs a follow-up to my post from last month where I tried my hand at making fried “red” tomatoes, D and I went to dinner at Seersucker in Brooklyn to test out their fried green tomatoes.  The chef must have known that I was coming to do a taste test between my fried red tomatoes and their speciality, because they weren’t offering fried green tomatoes on the menu that night!  Not to fear though – the trek to Brooklyn was more than worth it for the other savory, delicious Southern comfort foods we tried out.

seersucker brooklynSome of our favorites included deviled eggs, the box of biscuits, house-made potato chips with pimento cheese dip, and the fried chicken.  The deviled egg filling was the perfect creamy consistency and was topped with dill, which is a unique alternative to paprika, the normal deviled egg garnish.  The house-made potato chips were crispy and not too salty and went well with the pimento cheese dip, which was again the perfect consistency and had just the right kick to it.  (They must have an awesome food processor/blender in the kitchen – I wonder what brand it is…!)  The fried chicken was crispy and juicy and came with a generous serving of mashed potatoes.  The portion was HUGE (we split it) and we were stuffed!

In addition to our faves, we also tried the hoppin’ john, collard greens and mac ‘n’ cheese, which were all OK, but not worth a trip out of Manhattan.  Specifically, I should note that Seersucker’s hoppin’ john is not like traditional Southern preparations that I am accustomed to – it was very light on black eyed peas and also contained quite a bit of cheese.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I had in mind.

For dessert, they were sold out of the cobbler of the day, so we finished with a root beer float.  It was a light, refreshing end to our meal.  We will definitely be back!  Hopefully next time the chef will be serving fried green tomatoes so I can challenge him to a cook off! 🙂

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Last Taste of Summer: Sno-balls in NYC!

28 Aug

Hurricane Irene has passed and there’s one more blazing hot week ahead of us in NYC?  Where am I going to stop to cool off?  Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls has been a favorite destination of mine this summer.  You could compare a sno-ball to the icy, sno-cones I used to eat as a little kid at the circus, but that wouldn’t do the sno-ball justice.  Sno-balls are a Southern treat, originating in New Orleans, and created by shaving blocks of ice using a special machine that produces fluffy, light-as-air shaved ice with the consistency of freshly fallen snow.  With over 33 flavors (including all the usuals plus unique flavors like Tiger Blood, Mardis Gras King Cake, Orchid Cream and Sweet Lou’s Nectar Cream) and two topping options (condensed milk and vanilla ice cream), the number of flavor combinations you could create is endless!  I’ve listed some of my favorites below.  Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls is closing it’s doors at the end of August, so you have just a few days left to try out these Southern delicacies for yourself!

 A Few Recommended Flavor Combinations:
The Hurricane Stopper – Tiger Blood & Mojito
Wild Strawberry & Lemonade
Creamsicle & Tiger Blood
Orchid Cream & Mardis Gras King Cake
Sweet Lou’s Nectar Cream & Birthday Cake

Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls
145 Seventh Avenue South (@ Charles Street)
Phone: (251) 366-7777
Twitter: @Imperialsno

Where I Come From, It’s Cornbread ‘n’ Chicken

21 Aug

I’m in London for work and earlier this week, my very British coworker and I were trying to decide what to order for lunch.  She recommended the chicken goujon salad from Tossed, proclaiming it a traditional British meal.  You can imagine my surprise, when I opened my lunch box and found a salad of iceberg lettuce, shredded cheddar, carrots, and fried chicken fingers!!  It made me smile because it seemed so typical for the Brits to take a casual, blue collar food and try to make it seem more upper crust by adding a fancy name to it.  This was JUST like one of the many fried chicken salads that I ate growing up in the south.  It did get me thinking though – NYC has designer BBQ (more on that in a future post), but New Yorkers don’t seem to appreciate fried chicken or “chicken goujons” nearly as much as the Brits do.  Where can you get good fried chicken in New York?  In my opinion, the pickings are slim.  Here are a few recommendations for when you get a fried chicken craving:

Lowcountry
142 West 10th Street
(212) 255-2330

The Fried Chicken Biscuit is one of the best things on the menu, which is filled with lots of Southern specialties (pimento deviled eggs, shrimp ‘n’ grits, bourbon chicken livers, onion dip w/old bay chips).  This entree comes with a generous portion of fried chicken breast on a warm cheddar biscuit topped with country sausage gravy and onion jam.  If you’re watching calories, ask for the gravy on the side, but you’ll probably end up wiping the plate clean it’s that good!  Recommend washing it all down with a John Daly, an alcoholic version of an Arnold Palmer (sweet tea, lemonade, vodka and a splash of soda) and, in my option, the perfect summer cocktail.

Hill Country Chicken
1123 Broadway (Corner of 25th Street)
(212) 257-6446

I LOVE everything about Hill Country BBQ.  The food is awesome, the atmosphere is relaxed and great for groups, and the live karaoke nights are a ton of fun.  Given all of this, I was thrilled to try out their new sister restaurant specializing in fried chicken a few months back.  To be honest, while the decor is very cool and the concept original, I was a little bit disappointed with the food here.  HCC offers two types of fried chicken – the Hill Country Classic and Mama Els’ recipes.  Mama Els is skinless, which to me doesn’t truly qualify as fried chicken, nor does it taste as such.  The Hill Country Classic comes with the skin on, but has sugar in the breading, which creates a different flavor that most will not like (I certainly didn’t).  The real reason I have this restaurant on my list of places is because it’s one of the only places in NYC that serves 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer.  I am not much of a beer drinker, but this beer is enough to make me consider switching from wine to beer.  It’s light, crisp, slightly fruity, and the perfect complement to a fried chicken dinner or any outdoor BBQ fare.  You can also find this seasonal release at Whole Foods if you want to enjoy a six pack at home.  I always have some in my fridge in the summertime!

Blue Ribbon Brasserie
97 Sullivan Street
(212) 274-0404

Blue Ribbon might be best known for it’s raw bar and first-date atmosphere, but it’s also a great spot for good home cooked food.  In addition to a fabulous, filling fried chicken entree (it’s big enough for two) that is served with mashed potatoes and gravy and collard greens, the restaurant also serves fried oysters and grilled shrimp remoulade, two more Southern classics.  One word of advice on the fried chicken though – it is served with a side of honey which I’d suggest skipping.  It detracts from the flavor of the chicken and makes for a messy meal (not so good if you are on a date here!).

Bon Korean Chicken
98 Chambers Street
(212) 227-2375

I stumbled upon this hole-in-the-wall a few years ago when I was serving jury duty downtown.  While you won’t find Southern fried chicken here, you will find quick, no frills Korean fried chicken wings and breasts with the slightest hint of sweetness and spice cooked into the skin.  The name has changed a few times since my first visit, but the food is still the same.  The next time you’re downtown, be sure to check this place out!

Images courtesy of http://www.itcamefromnyc.com, http://www.monkeybrewster.com, http://www.cango.com.