Thursday, May 27, 2010


So we get up Wednesday have coffee and hit the streets about 10:30 a.m. We are going round the corner to pick up a package we sent Fed Ex to ourselves. Sheets and towels and a few other things.
After that our plan is to go to the New Museum. It's a new museum of contemporary art on the Bowery. We are gonna walk, it's not to far and we enjoy NYC best on foot. You can take your time and stop if you want. You miss a lot in a cab. If we had not walked we never would have been able to stop at Murray Cheese Shop. Where we grabbed a small flat bread with cheese and meat. Murray's is a great shop and we didn't need to know what kind of cheese or meat was used, we new it would be good. The monger threw it on the grill for a moment and that made it even better.

We get to the New Museum, it's not hard to find. The Bowery is not surrounded by giant skyscrapers so it's easy to pick out the shiny new 7 story museum. We go to pay our $12 each fee and the guy tells us they have just been awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize for their shiny new building and to celebrate admission was free for the day. I thanked the man and ask how he new we were broke and on a tight budget. He said everybody was and also gave us two passes to join a tour of the building with one of the award winning architects. The tour was to start in a few minutes. Hell yeah, our lucky day.

The tour was the best part of our visit to the New Museum. The art on display was ok. Maybe we looked a few pieces that were interesting, but the tour with one of the guys who helped design this building was the best. This building that just won the Pritzker Architecture Prize. I think this is a huge deal. This is what I found on wikipedia.

The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually by the Hyatt Foundation to honor "a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture"

Above is a photo Stacey took. It shows the screen used on top of the sheet metal that was used to clad the exterior of this building. Like I said it was a seven story building and each floor is a cube set on top of, but not directly on top of, the cube below. From what we learned it was quite a feat of engineering. Lot's of weight that needed to be distributed all over the place.

Like I said, our lucky day. After the tour Stacey and I decide to go around the corner and eat, come back and take a second look around the New Museum. We knew Rivington St. was just a block up the Bowery and BaoHaus came to mind. BaoHaus is a small sandwich shop that sells nothing but Bao. A Bao is a small sandwich. You can choose from pork or beef. In this case the best pork or beef available. You should really click to their sight and read up on the product and Eddie, the guy behind it. Neat story.

Any way we are making our way to BaoHaus and come across Freeman Alley. I know don't shit about Freeman Alley except a thing I read in Gun And Garden Magazine about southern spots in NYC. Freeman's at the end of Freeman Alley at Rivington. Here is what I read in the magazine.

Freemans At the end of a nondescript alley on the Lower East Side, a mix of glam and hipster diners feast on Southern-skewed specialties like shrimp and grits and creamy corn pudding. The decor is part Victorian, part Southern sportsman, part colonial tavern, with taxidermy and antique regimental paintings given equal billing. Plus, it’s one of the only places in town that serve juleps in real silver cups. Try the seasonal blackberry variety. End of Freeman Alley;

This happened a few time this trip. We have a place on our list to find and all the sudden we are standing right in front of the place. That's how we came across Freemans.
So we had a beer and a little food at Freeman's instead of going on to BaoHaus. We had plans to eat at BaoHaus and see a burlesque show at Nurse Betties the next night any way.

We had a soup, Leek with a lemon zest. We had 3 cheese macaroni. With toasted bread crumbs on top. Good food, and a really cool room. I also enjoyed 2 Victory, Hop Devil beers. Good beer, gonna try and find it in Atlanta.

We return to the New Museum, we go up to the 7th floor and take pictures. We then walk down checking the art as we go. The tile in the men's bathroom was awesome. Take a look.

We head back to 104 Perry and rest for a while. We have a beer and drink some of the tequila left over from our last trip. Than it's back out. We are gonna go do a falafel comparison.

Mamouns is known as the falafel King of the West Village. We have enjoyed a falafel sandwich from Mamouns many, many times. They are deliouis and only cost $2.50. It's a walk up, small spot with a few seats. Most get it to go. You don't wait but a minute or two and they are open 11 a.m. til 5 a.m. every day.

The other falafel shop in our comparision was Taim. The lady who own's this spot worked for Bobby Flay, so I figure she's gonna do good stuff. Also, I have read good things about Taim.

Both Mamouns and Taim are in our hood. So we take a walk, get a falafel at Taim and eat it as we walk to MacDougal St for Manouns. After eating Mamouns falafel we decide Taim is best. It is also more expensive at $4.50 to Mamouns $2.50. But, Mamouns is good and open late/early.

There is a lot more to Taim other then falafel. They have no web site right now. You can read a bit about them here. I had a ginger lemonade that rocked. I'm gonna make some at home.

After falafels we walked around for about an hour and then crashed.

18$ Fed Ex Package

4$ flatbread Murray cheese

37$ Freemans

8$ six pac beer and 2 limes

4.50$ Taim falafel

2.50$ Manouns

74$ total spent on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


This is a photo of a painting I was commissioned to do. Click on photo and it gets big.

I had never heard of the children's story, Goodnight Moon. After looking at the book online and speaking with my client this is what I came up with.

He liked it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Stacey and I have been all over the place this year.

After Mardi Gras we went to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Next we went to New Orleans. We also went to NYC. Then back to Mobile for Easter. Then back to New York last week.

On our last visit to Manhattan our host, AD2, informed us she was done. Kaput. Enough. She was moving to L. A. So as we departed 104 Perry St. a few weeks ago, AD2 tossed us the keys and told us we better do it while we can. She was gonna be in Hawaii for the month of May and if we wanted to use her West Village apt. now was the time.

So last Tuesday we head back to NYC. Can't afford it, but we got to use the apt. on Perry st one last time, before AD2 moves west.
Stacey and I have decided to see how much money we spend on this trip. We fly for free and sometimes we have a place to stay for free, but we still seem to spend a lot. Most folks, upon learning Stacey works for a major airline, say "hey, cool you fly for free you must travel all the time". I wish. It's expensive to travel, just check this out.

$9. That's a round trip for two on MARTA to and from airport.
$3. We get to the depart gate and need food. Two chocolate chip cookies.
$2. Cookies make ya thirsty. 7.7 o.z. H2O
Haven't got out of Atlanta yet and were at $14

Around midnight we get to LGA international airport. We get a cab. We tell cabbie 104 perry st. and step on it. Cabbie gets going and ask "Williamsberg"? "What" I ask. "Williamsberg Bridge?" he ask. "Sure, sure" I say "Williamsberg".

This guy drives like a mad man. FAST. We get to Perry St. and the meter reads $28. Cool, that's cheapest ride from LGA to Manhattan, ever.

So we arrived back at 104 Perry St. around midnight last Tuesday. We drop off our bags, put on shorts and head right back out for a walk around the neighborhood and to pick up a few provisions. Our Apt is a half block off Bleeker St. One of the most popular streets in NYC. So we head the other way, towards Hudson. We find a place to buy water and half and half for coffee. We head back to 104 Perry St. and crash.

$35. Cab ride with tip.
$ 5 half and half and a bottle of water

Total spent day one - arriving in NYC $ 54
Wait a minute, the dog sitter! $80 for 8 visits. So we are actually at $134.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I was just turned down for a $3000 job. I've been hungover for two days now, how much did I drink and what was it? I got a busted finger and have no idea how that happened. I'm broke and not motivated. Fuck it. I'm going to NYC for a few days to get things straightened out. Whatever that means.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Today the very sad news of the oil getting in to the grass of the wetlands of lower Louisiana was broadcast. BP has really done something bad. Like a chef ask me the other day "what are they doing to our gulf coast?". The only thing to fix this will be time, many, many years.

I have been lucky enough to be present for a few jubilee's. It truly is a phenomenon that only happens in Mobile Bay and somewhere in Africa. I have tried to find out about it occurring else where and have had no luck. Check out this piece Stacey found. I guess this is the end of the jubilee's also.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I grew up about 40 miles from Bayou La Batre. My wife spent most summers as a kid there. Her Moms family were all connected to the seafood indursty there. I remember going with my Grandfather to the Blessing of the Fleet many times. This little video will be part of a larger movie about southern food to come out in 2011. I'm sure the oil spill has put a new spin on this project.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Friday I found the latest edition of New Orleans Magazine in my mail box. The cover was graced with a beautiful soft shell crab. I drooled. Then I immediately picked up the phone and called Stacey's cousin - Matt - executive chef at Valenza. This was Friday about Noon.

By Four, Matt had called back and said he had 36 soft shells coming Saturday afternoon. Sunday about 11 a.m. we met Matt at Valenza. We followed Matt back to the kitchen, where he had 2 of the soft shells laid out. He had already cleaned the other 22. He had those 2 out to show us how to clean them and how to determine the sex. He showed us how to cut the face off, cut the ass out and cut the gills (lady fingers). He packed those 2 away with the others and asked us who was going to help us eat these. I told him I had no plans, but thought I would freeze some. Matt made a funny face and I knew something was up. He said you should not freeze them once you clean them. By the look on his face I could tell he was serious.

So we are heading South on I-85 and I am going through my mental Rolodex. Who would want to eat some soft shells ? Who would want to spend the afternoon cooking them four different ways ? Who has a wife that would also want too? Who lives near by and brews his own beer? Good Beer? So I called Jamey. He said he was in. Bringing the home brew. But right now he was under the house doing plumbing and he would be a couple of hours. His wife Sydnee would join us later.

So, Stacey and I got home and immediately pan fried two soft shells. Stacey boiled about a pound of shrimp we had in the fridge. We sat on the front porch and enjoyed them both with a ginger remoulade sauce.This is a very good sauce for all kinds of seafood.

So, Stacey and I are playing boccie ball in the yard when Jamey showed up - with home brew. So we immediately got some charcoal going and barbecued 5 soft shells. That's right, we cooked 5 soft shells on the BBQ. We slathered them in olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled them on each side for about 4 minutes. Matt told us how to do this.

We devoured those with some of the Ginger Remoulade sauce. After a couple of games of boccie ball, it was time to cook some oysters that we had in the refrigerator. Are you starting to see a theme here? Seafood. Lots of it. Gulf Coast. Get it while you can.

So as I was saying we cooked oysters. We cooked Oysters Rockefeller on the BBQ. We got the dish all ready and laid the oysters on a couple sheets of tin foil and laid that smack dab on the coals. I closed the lid and played a game of boccie. About 15 minutes later the three of us split a dozen oysters. Everything is better cooked on a live fire.

Next up fried soft shells. Jamey's wife Sydnee showed up with a couple beautiful pieces of salmon. We soaked 2 pieces of cedar wood in water while the BBQ was fired up again. We have a portable stove on the front porch and that's where we do our fried foods. Actually we cook a lot on that little burner. Anyway, we heated oil in a deep cast iron pot and cooked 6 soft shells. 3 at a time. I must say we did a good. Jamey put each piece of fish on a piece of cedar and put that on the grill. Thy cooked perfectly using this method. You could really taste the cedar. We enjoyed the crabs and fish with a corn a pea salad. Lot's of home brew and probably something I'm forgetting. Because, as has happened before, soon after eating all this food i slipped into a food coma. I was in this coma until late the next afternoon. I woke up wearing a sear sucker suit and white bucks. So I grabbed Stacey and went for cocktails.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010



The po'-boy sandwich, seen here nice and sloppy and, in the parlance, "fully dressed," had its origins with a streetcar strike in New Orleans, according to a society dedicated to the po'-boy's preservation.

In honor of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, we figured we'd pass along news of an interesting article in about the history of the po'-boy sandwich.


This 1929 letter in the archives of the Po'Boy Preservation Festival states:

"Dear Friends: We are with you heart and Soul, at any time you are around the French Market, don't forget to drop in at Martin's Coffee Stand and Restaurant, Cor(ner) Ursuline & North Peters Sts. Our meal is free to any members of Division I94. We have thirty nine employees, all riding Jitneys to help win the strike. We are with you until h--l freezes, and when it does, we will furnish blankets to keep you warm. With best wishes to your cause, we are, Your friends and former members of Division I94, Clovis J. & Bennie Martin."

Turns out, the sandwich iconic in New Orleans but eaten around the South (and known around the country by different names, including sub, hero, hoagie, etc.) has some leftist roots.

While there are differences of opinion about just about any piece of history, people seem to agree that the po' boy was invented by the Martin brothers, Clovis and Bennie, who owned a restaurant and coffee stand in the French Quarter in the 1920s, the report states.

The article further states:

When the city's streetcar conductors organized a strike in 1929, the Martins, former conductors themselves, offered to feed any hungry strikers who came their way for free. To do so, they contracted with a baker, John Gendusa, to make exceptionally large, rectangular-shaped loaves of bread that they could fill quickly and cut into sandwiches big enough to feed the strikers and their families.

The strike turned violent and lasted for months, and as more and more streetcar workers came to the Martins' shop, they would call out to each other, "Here comes another poor boy." In hilarious New Orleans fashion, the phrase stuck to the sandwiches.

The po'-boy is iconic enough in New Orleans that for three years now the city has held an annual Po-Boy Preservation Festival. Created to help drive business to merchants on Oak Street, has been an undeniable hit, attracting thousands of foodies who cram the narrow corridor for a fried oyster loaf or debris on French, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reports.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Get em while ya can

I'm worried. It's a fear in my gut I have never felt before. It's a fear that I won't be able to fill my gut with Gulf Coast seafood in the near future.
I have just returned from my local seafood shack. Usually I am getting fried shrimp po boys. I have mentioned these $4.29 works of edible art on this blog more then once. Today I spent about $200 on fresh oysters and shrimp. The folks that run my local seafood shack are from Bayou La Batre , Alabama. They get their seafood as fresh as can be in landlocked Atlanta. The oysters are from East Point, Fl. The shrimp are Alabama wild shrimp.

Watching the talking heads you get no idea the extent of damage to expect from the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico the other day. I expect the worst. I expect the gulf coast fresh seafood industry to disappear for 2 to three years.

The seafood I've been getting at my local seafood shack lately has been beautiful. The oysters, the shrimp and the blue crabs, all beautiful.

So I've been working on my Oysters Rockefeller recipe. I don't eat the raw oysters in Atlanta. If I buy them in the shell or at a oyster bar down on the coast I will eat dozens raw. Here in Atlanta I usually fry them. It's easy and most times I have put the fried oysters on a salad with a heavy duty dressing that goes well with both the oysters and the salad. Lately that's been Sriracha, a.k.a Rooster sauce and mayo. Just about equal amounts of each. Maybe a tad more mayo than Sriracha. It's good stuff.

Soooooo, I spotted the oysters when picking up a po boy. They were really fresh so I bought a pint and right away decided to do Rockefeller. Everybody like Oysters Rockefeller. I got a recipe off the Food network website. It's a good recipe because you don't have to be exact. I use vodka in the place of Pernod. I use a lot more cheese than called for. And different cheeses, not just the cheese this recipe calls for. Above is a photo Stacey took of some oysters we cooked. Her's a recipe on how ya do it. Really it's easy. Ya don't have to be exact and you can leave out or change the ingredients.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs, Panko preferred
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup Pernod
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash red pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chervil or parsley
  • 2 dozen oysters, on the half shell
  • Rock salt
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish


Melt butter in a skillet. Saute the garlic for 2 minutes to infuse the butter. Place the bread crumbs in a mixing bowl and add half the garlic butter, set aside. To the remaining garlic butter in the skillet, add shallots and spinach, cook for 3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Deglaze the pan with Pernod. Season with salt and pepper, add a dash of red pepper sauce. Allow the mixture to cook down for a few minutes. Finish off the bread crumbs by mixing in olive oil, Parmesan and chervil, season with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture on each oyster followed by a spoonful of the bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle a baking pan amply with rock salt. Arrange the oysters in the salt to steady them. Bake in a preheated 450 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Serve with lemon wedges