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Category Archives: English

All About My Cheddar

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Top o’ the morning to ye and welcome to Mastication Monologues!  Today’s post involves an Irish pub with plenty of class and delicious food.  I’m talking about Lady Gregory’s located on the north side of Chicago.  The name references a female Victorian Irish playwright who penned “Playboy of the Western World”, a play made infamous due to its scandalous reference to underpants.  Ohhhhh my! She faced plenty of resistance and even death threats from audiences until Teddy Roosevelt saw the play and praised it.  Looks like the king of “Bully!” stopped the bullies, and Lady Gregory’s menu contains the same sassyness the original Lady Gregory possessed.  It ranges from flatbreads, salads, soups, burgers, and big plates.  Plus, they have plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to wet your whistle.IMG_3254

As for the layout of the restaurant, it has both indoor and outdoor seating.  Janice and I chose to sit inside, so we were ushered past the impressive wrap-around bar to the area known as “the library”.IMG_3253  Why?  Simple.  It’s an actual library that has walls stocked with reading material to go along with your eats and a few board games as well if you’re not entertained with simple conversation.IMG_3252  After looking over the menu, I went for the ultimate grilled cheese ($10) and a side of champ ($3.50).  My meal eventually came out, and it looked great.  When they say the grilled cheese is “ultimate”, they mean that every element of the sandwich is coated, stuffed, and/or infused with cheese.  *Cue Homer moment*.  It was unlike any other grilled cheese moment I’ve had in other parts of Chicago or in my life.  First, the bread was a Parmesan encrusted sourdough that had plenty of crunch, cheesy flavor, and consistency to support the flavor bomb that was ticking between the slices. IMG_3247 When I bit through the beautiful bread, I was greeted by an avalanche of lava hot cheeses:  Gruyere, Irish white cheddar, mozzarella, and brie to be exact.  While these smooth and flavorful cheeses were cascading down my palate, I also managed to catch some of the mashed tomatoes in the waves of dairy along with some delightfully smoky yet sweet, candied bacon pieces. IMG_3251  I’d highly recommend this delightfully rich in flavor but not in price plate.  The free pickle on the side only “sweetened” the deal with its sour, dill crunch.  As for the champ, it’s an Irish take on mashed potatoes.  Called brúitín in Gaelic or “poundies”, this side takes basic mashed potatoes and combines them with butter, green onions, and milk.IMG_3250  A simple food that packs plenty of complex sensations into a humble bowl.  While the potatoes were extremely creamy, the rich butter contrasted with the semi-strong green onions that introduced a bit of attitude like a champion side dish should have.

So if you want to have some great versions of simple meals that won’t cost you a pot o’ gold, check out Lady Gregory’s!

Lady Gregory's on Urbanspoon

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London (Days 4 and 5)- When the Disco Hits Your Eye Like a Steak and Kidney Pie

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As if day three in London couldn’t get any wilder, day four was extra crazy as my friends and I went off to have dinner at an Italian eatery called Bunga Bunga.  It’s located in the Battersea area of London which is just south of the Thames nearby the posh Chelsea neighborhood.  It was a dining experience unlike any other I’ve had in my life, so I hope this installation of Mastication Monologues can adequately describe the madness that is Bunga Bunga.  I’ll also cover my pre-match meal before seeing Tottenham Hotspur play in north London later on in this post.

So, Bunga Bunga.  If you aren’t up on your geo-political happenings or history in general, politicians are known as getting things done, both good and bad.  In Italy, there is a man named Silvio Berlusconi (former prime minister of Italy) who is one part politician, one part business tycoon, and one part Lothario.  That last part is where the restaurant gets its name from because “Bunga Bunga” is a joke that became synonymous with sex parties he threw for his friends and cronies complete with hookers, drugs, and bribes to keep everything hush hush…until recently when all of these allegations came to the surface.

Need I say more?

Need I say more?

With all of this info in the back of my head, I was wondering what sort of mischief Bunga Bunga had in store for its diners.  As soon as we walked in, I didn’t see any saucy vixens, but there was plenty of Italian kitsch adorning every square inch of the walls.IMG_2277  We knew it was a unique place when the servers would randomly break into a choreographed dance routine accompanied by pumping Italo-techo music in the middle of the restaurant (much to their annoyance).  I kind of felt bad for them since the novelty of it wore off after the first time.  Anyway, we started our meal off with three fancy mixed drinks (12 pounds each) that ended up being fantastic and hilarious since they sported names of famous Italians. IMG_2280 I got the  BungaBunga which was served in the head of a winking Berlusconi.  It consisted of gin, Martini Fierro, peppercorns, and grapefruit juice.  It was light and spicy with a bitter aftertaste, kind of like Berlusconi’s eventual fall from grace.  My friend Ravi got the SuperMario Monti (the prime minister of Italy post-Berlusconi) which was basically gin combined with muddled cucumbers which was cleaner and more refreshing than my cocktail.

My failed attempt at winking.

My failed attempt at winking.

As for my friend Bob, he’s a big footy fan, so he went for the Chellsi Balotelli (maverick soccer player who now plays for AC Milan) that had rhubarb vodka, rhubarb puree, cranberry juice, lime juice, and bitters all of which made a sour and strong drink.  Fitting for a man more known for his off the field antics and sulky personality.IMG_2283  For appetizers, we then got a side of cheesy garlic pizzicato (5.95 L) and cheese and spinach bruschetta (6 L).  The former was ok since it was starch combined with cheese, but I wouldn’t get it again since it was a bit too oily for my liking.IMG_2284  As for the latter, I liked the addition of spinach to modify the traditional bruschetta recipe, but once again it was extremely oily that kind of put a damper on the meal.IMG_2282  For the main course, we ordered three different pizzas (range: 9-13 pounds each).  I got the Ruby Loves (11 L); Bob ordered Chef Share-issimo’s Favorito (13 L); and Ravi’s a vegetarian, so he got The Naughty Napolitano (10 L) that had gorgonzola and pears on top.  Bob’s and my pizza were brought out on a long board like some sort of meaty centerpiece for a Roman feast.IMG_2285  My choice consisted  of N’duja soft sausage, salami, and cherry tomatoes.  It was tasty with the savory and salty meats but greasy once again (notice a trend?).  As for Bob’s side that contained rosemary seasoned lamb and chili, I liked it better because the lamb was expertly roasted and proved to be a lighter, less greasy topping compared to the pork products on my side.

So.much.grease.

So.much.grease.

I needed something to cut through the Mediterranean Sea of grease in my mouth, so I got their specialty, Ferrero Rocher gelato, for dessert. IMG_2287 It did the trick as my palate was coated in a molto delicioso wave of semi-dark chocolate ecstasy with interspersed crunchy Ferrero Rocher candy pieces.

Free wine and ice cream.  Winning!

Free wine and ice cream. Veni,vidi, vici!

As the night went on, the place filled up with plenty of party goers as the stage was filled with a variety of performers like a cabaret singer, a magician, and karaoke singers.

Abra-ca-blabra.  Make with the magic.

Abra-ca-blabra. Make with the magic.

NOTE:  If you want to go to the discoteca upstairs, make reservations for that in addition to your table.  We made that mistake and were confined just to the first floor.  Either way, it was a fun time aside from a brief upset stomach compliments of the greasy food.  I recommend Bunga Bunga to anyone if you’re looking for a crazy dining experience, but I don’t think I would make it one of my regular haunts.

Bunga Bunga on Urbanspoon

The following day was a bit rough given that we left Bunga Bunga, got crazy in the Clapham neighborhood, and didn’t make it home until 3 am.  Thankfully, it was laid back as Bob and I just spent most of it watching football or soccer in Amurikan.  Before watching the League Cup, Bob and I got lunch at a cafe nearby White Hart Lane.  While I was contemplating doing the English breakfast that had everything I loved like hash browns and bacon, I decided to go more for a footy classic with a steak and kidney pie with tea on the side.IMG_2300  I was disappointed with the pie and tea.  The crust was ok, and the insides were coated with a peppery white sauce.  However, they were missing a key ingredient:  brown gravy drizzled over the top, and the tea looked anemic.  As for the pea mash and chips on the side, they were passable.  Those were enhanced with the addition of this mysterious “brown sauce” that was in a squeeze bottle on the table that I could only liken to a sweet gravy with a hint of sour aftertaste and a lighter ketchup consistency.  This meal was as exciting at the Spurs vs. Cardiff match we saw, but maybe it just required a change of venue.  The only highlight was seeing Adam Richman of Man vs. Food fame on the field!  At least my last days in London would prove to be much more exciting.

Live and Let Fry

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‘ello everyone!  I’m writing about British food today, so forgive the terrible accent I’m trying to convey through my lovely prose.  Anyway, national stereotypes aside (Warning:  I will use a lot of random British slang, so keep calm and carry on), welcome to another edition of Mastication Monologues!  As I just mentioned, today I will be talking about Battered Sole, an import all the way from Old Blighty that somehow landed in Seoul.  It’s located at Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea.  It’s pretty easy to get there.  Go to Sinchon station on the metro and come out exit 2.  Walk straight up the main street you see to your left until you see a McDonalds on your left hand side.  Make a left down that street and then walk straight until you see the restaurant on your left on the second floor.  You also can’t miss it with the Union Jacks fluttering over their walkway. Here’s their website.IMG_1299IMG_1288

So I’ve been wanting to try this place for the longest time after hearing rave reviews from my British (both Scottish and English) friends over here.  If there’s one thing the Scots know, it’s the quality of deep fried goods.  Plus, I have spent my fair share of time on the tea-drinking side of the Atlantic to sample some really good fish and chips or trying it stateside in New York City.  So it seemed only natural that I would enjoy a belated birthday celebration there.  Before we even walked into the place, we were greeted outside by one of the employees who introduced himself and asked us for memorable quotes for his welcome board.

Where the witty banter went down.

Where the witty banter went down.

I liked this place already just for the very English welcome of being very polite yet awkward yet fixated on witty wordplay.  Wonderful.  We walked in around 7 pm, and we had the place to ourselves more or less.  The decor was very kitchy in some senses with the Rolling Stones and Union Jacks everywhere, but it wasn’t overkill. IMG_1289IMG_1292 Looking at the prices, it was average prices for foreign fare in Korea.  Meredith and I got the battered cod and chips (or French fries for Amurkans) for 11,000 W.  I also threw caution to the wind and got a London Pride for 11,000 W which naturally jacked up for being an import.  They also have chicken wings, sausage and chips, and various sides if fish isn’t your bag.  The beer came out first, and as I expected it was a slightly hearty brown ale like many English beers.IMG_1290  It had slight caramel notes along with some bitter tastes throughout with a crisp aftertaste.  On a scale from pure rubbish to a ledge, it would probably be jolly good.  Finally the  star of the show made its appearance in front of me. IMG_1291 It was a substantial piece of fish that looked exquisite along with some freshly made chips nestled right next to it.  The fish portion of the duet was in harmony with my palate.  From its flaky white flesh to the thick and buttery breading, I was brought back to the East End in London the first time I had fish and chips in the homeland.  I also appreciated the lemon wedge, tartar sauce, and malt vinegar.  The tartar sauce was quite creamy but not as tangy as I’d like.  As for the chips, they were not super crispy but more savory and filled with the fry oil that I really enjoyed.  It wasn’t the most filling meal in the world since I have a big appetite, but it was extremely satisfying and worth it.

So if you’re looking to catch a great meal, Battered Sole is the place for you.

Sir Winston looks a little fishy...

Sir Winston looks a little fishy…

Going Out With A Bang

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‘Ello everyone!  Welcome to another edition of Mastication Monologues.  I am currently writing this while rocking a food baby to sleep on this cold November evening.  Even though I may have had a bit of a rough day today, I still managed to have a dinner that chased away the blues and the cool weather.  I ended up going out to a British gastropub called Chequers located at 100 West Burlington Avenue  La Grange, IL 60525.

At first I had looked up some reviews on Yelp to see what exactly I should expect from this restaurant, and I did not see many good comments.  Now, I did take these reviews with a grain of salt since some foodies out there are quite demanding of establishments, and the British aren’t known for their culinary prowess.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  Upon walking through the doors, I was greeted with a beefeater cutout and plenty of kitschy 19th century pictures of England and advertisements for travel, beer, and stereopticons(well, maybe not that last one).  The service was very prompt, and the actual interior was quite cozy for a winter night.  To drink, I went with a Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale since it was on special, and I do love my pumpkin flavored items aside from the pumpkin lattes or whatever they are at Starbucks.

A fine brew for a bite

I know I’m going to get a lot of hate mail from that statement, but c’est la vie.  Anyway, the actual beer was quite tasty.  It had an orange amber hue that embodied a light, spicy flavor with a slight pumpkin aftertaste with every sip.  It provided a classy undertone to the overtures of our larger than life appetizers:  onion rings and Welsh rarebit.

Appetizers fit for Godzilla

The former was pretty straight forward in terms of presentation since there are only so many ways one can cut up onions and fry them.  However, these rings were literally big enough to be worn as bracelets.  Even though these monstrous rings could serve as earrings for Shaq, their taste was equally large.  The breading was crisp and buttery and thankfully not very greasy.  The accompanying sauce was a tasty spicy ranch with a horseradish and black pepper foundation.  With the latter appetizer, the Welsh rarebit, I have always wondered of what it consisted?  For the longest time, I would think that it involved rabbit meat in some form since “rarebit” looks similar when glanced at very quickly.  However, I would cross off another food on my bucket list since I found out that it is the rough English equivalent of fondue sans the forks and mini-pot of cheese.  Instead, it is a small casserole dish of melted Cotswold cheese (the very same that people chase in the Cotswold Games), stout, mustard, and Cayenne pepper.  This spread was then supposed to be eaten on the toast points provided with the dish, and the bread was a wheat rye that was nicely toasted.  The melted cheese was quite smooth and savory, akin to a Gouda, while I could taste the hearty stout mingling with the semi-sweet mustard.  ‘Twas good to say that I had it, but I don’t know if I would get it again.

Shhh! Don’t wake the sausages

Once we managed to somehow destroy these two appetizers (it was mainly me), I got down to business with my main dish:  bangers and mash.  Now I know that there are certain Britishisms that make Americans go tee-hee, i.e. fags, bangers, and rubbers (translations:  cigarettes, sausages, and erasers), but this meal made my stomach go tee-hee with how delicious it was.  First, the sausages were roasted in a stone ground mustard sauce that still had the seeds in it which was a nice rustic touch.  Its semi-sweet/acidic yellow mustard taste complimented the pork based sausage perfectly.  As for the sides, the mash was smoother than Cool Whip and somehow incredibly buttertastic without having an entire irrigation system of Land O’ Lakes extending slowly across my plate.  The steamed vegetables were pretty pedestrian, but they were adequately prepared.  It was a hodgepodge of cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, and carrots.

By the time we finished, the pumpkin bread pudding for dessert was a long way away in my mind.  I had bigger problems to deal with like attempting to maintain consciousness on the border of a food coma.  So if you’re looking for a slice of jolly old England with an American twist in regard to portion sizes, cheque out Chequers!

Chequers on Urbanspoon

Chequers of Lagrange on Foodio54

Candy is Dandy but Liquor is Quicker

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To those who actually got the Willy Wonka reference in my title, bravi, for I was figuratively transported to a restaurant that was a veritable horn o’ plenty of delicious food and exquisite beers.  I received my golden ticket to this factory of culinary wonders, Owen and Engine which is located at 2700 N Western Ave Chicago, IL, from my friends Eileen and Justine.  They were playing it up for a long time about how wonderful the dishes are, so we decided to take a journey there in order for me to see if this truly was the Shangri-La of sustenance they were making it out to be.

At first, Owen and Engine did not grab my attention immediately as the façade of the building was a simple one, but upon entering it seemed like any pub I’ve been to in London or in the UK in general, classy and understated.  However, I was generally worried due to the Hipster-ish attire of the hostess/waiters/bartenders (i.e. vintage flannels, Ray-Ban wayfarers, and ironic facial hair), but once I was seated my fears were allayed due to the genuine passion our waiter had for their beers.  Once he was done rattling off 25 different beers of the day, he thankfully explained the menu due to the fact that there were certain items that I never even heard of but of course was going to try.

For starters, I went with the Old Rasputin Imperial Stout which definitely did not taste as nefarious as its namesake nor gave me free reign over the Russian Empire while wooing the czarina (unfortunately).  However, it definitely gained a special place in my heart due to its deep black coloring that belied its heavy dark chocolate and bitter aftertaste.

Привет Rasputin!

As for my meal, I plumped for the pork rillette (for those who don’t  of what this is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rillettes)

Bonjour ma rillette!

that was served with whole wheat flatbreads seasoned with sea salt and the beef carpaccio which was garnished with rocket and olive oil.  As for the other lovely ladies at my table, Eileen went with the gnocchi (a gutsy move for ordering Italian food at an English pub), and Justine decided on a safer but equally tasty steak sandwich.  Plus, they ordered a tub of squeak (or mashed potatoes for those on the westside of the Atlantic) for everyone to share.

The thumbs up for gnocchi with the squeak on the side

When my food came out, I initially thought that I had received the short end of the stick since my orders seemed to be lacking the body and presentation of the ladies’ dishes.  I started my meal with the beef carpaccio.  It was absolutely delectable as the lightly seasoned, juicy beef was sliced paper-thin, almost to the point of falling apart on my fork.  The rocket and olive oil provided a fresh herbal aftertaste to the savory meat.  On the whole, it was a lot more filling than I expected.

Up Close and Carpaccio

As for my pork rillette, I was definitely surprised to see the overall presentation since I was expecting more pork than flatbread.  I can only liken the actual rillette to a thick, coarse butter that tasted like pork chops, and the sweet pickles provided a sugary contrast to the salty flatbread/pork.  This dish, however, was not my favorite as the flatbreads quickly became a thorn in my side due to the fact that they were VERY liberally coated with raw sea salt.  Before long, my tongue felt like it was turning into beef jerky, so I would advise those who don’t enjoy really salty food to avoid the rillette flatbreads.  After tasting these two debutants, I managed to get a sample of the gnocchi that really blew me away at how molto bene it really was.  The dumplings were lightly buttered with oregano garnishes, and it was ramped up to the next echelon with the use of smoked bacon chunks to give them a meaty body to round out the flavor (definitely not the soggy tater tots I was expecting them to pass off as authentic gnocchi).  As for Justine’s steak sandwich, it was quite hearty with a refined flavor due to the balance of beef with the zesty horseradish mayo.

Justine's AZN pose with STEAK!

The high quality meat possessed a smidgen of fat to make the sandwich sizzle with flavor.  As always, I saved the best for last:  the squeak.  It seemed like just a simple bowl of mashed potatoes with chives on the top, but as soon as I took a bite…I was in ecstasy.  Need I say more? (just for posterity’s sake, the potatoes were churned to perfection with bacon, cheese, and a certain je ne sais quoi.  Definitely the dark horse of the dinner that outshone the other dishes).

The end of the meal was quite enjoyable since we somehow managed to get a free dessert just because Justine is such a baller and knows everyone there.  It ended up being this chocolate beer based mousse souffle which had a triangle of chocolate rice crispies driven into its center like some sort of beautiful sail on a catamaran of sugary paradise.  Plus, the souffle was flanked by two espresso syrup flourishes on the plate which gave the cake underneath the mousse more of a tiramisu consistency/flavor.  I don’t know if they offer this dessert on the usual menu, but the chocolate beer combined exquisitely with the moist, coffee laden cake underneath to leave my palate in some sort of Frapuccino-esque heaven (don’t sue me, Starbucks, por favor).

Deliciousness Incarnate

Once we paid our bill, we bellied up to the bar to delve further into this veritable beer treasure trove.  Our bartender was named Charlie (who bore an eerie resemblance to a grown up Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka which made me believe he somehow inherited this amazing restaurant from an eccentric Gene Wilder-type beer wizard after going on a tour which included feeling the furry wallpaper-walk upstairs and you’ll see what I mean), but I digress and then some.  However, he was very knowledgeable being a certified cicerone (the beer version of a sommelier).  I was taken aback when he asked me what I liked in a beer, and like a trained Spider monkey, scurried about and brought out two bottles that I would proceed to drink that night solely chosen off my criteria of a full-bodied, bitter, dark ale.  My first brew was Ola Dubh which hails from mighty Scotland.

Where Ya Hail From Laddy?

The name, funny as it may look, actually means “Black Oil”, and it certainly lived up to its moniker as it looked like I was literally drinking crude oil.  Even though it seemed to be terrible based on looks alone, the taste was quite robust and bitter which was further enhanced by placing a candle underneath it to warm it in order to further open up the hops which normally leads to a better aftertaste.  My second choice was a Nut Brown ale which was not as strong as the first since it didn’t look like something I’d drill from the ground in Venezuela, but it was a very warm beer that had chestnut undertones and a slight bitter aftertaste.

I'm Just a Squirrel Looking for a Nut

As for the nightcap, I tried the Hoss beer which was a pale ale that was the complete opposite of how I started since it was a light translucent yellow with a taste of grass and a hint of lemon that gave the beverage a light and clean finish.

In the long and stout of it all (beer pun intended), Owen and Engine definitely got me revved up to return as soon as possible due to its intimate atmosphere, great food choices made with only the finest ingredients, friendly/knowledgable staff, and the astronomically long list of artisanal beers from all over the world.

Owen and Engine on Urbanspoon

Owen and Engine on Foodio54

¿Cómo Ni Hao Ma?/In Cod We Trust

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This post is a two-part feature on two restaurants I went to in New York City recently. I took one of the Bus Tours to New York from Moncton. Restaurants here come from completely opposite ends of the culinary spectrum, but the result was the same both times:  me being extremely satisfied and delving into a deep food coma soon thereafter.  The two establishments I speak of are Flor de Mayo and the Chip Shop.

When I was originally looking at restaurants to try in NYC, I was deciding to go the Adam Richman Man vs. Food route and perhaps try the curry challenge at Brick Lane or the seppuku wing challenge at Buffalo Grill in Brooklyn…thankfully I realized that I didn’t feel like being cooped up in a bathroom while my temporary glory from the previous day was painfully all for naught.  Thus, this one restaurant, Flor de Mayo, caught my eye.  It was advertised as a Chinese Cuban restaurant with apparently the best Peruvian chicken in the country.  Those three nationalities in one establishment had my mind spinning with ideas of what exactly they would serve there, but I´d be sure the Cuban and Chinese cuisine would serve up some decent pork at least.  However, I did have worries that it would be some sort of pretentious fusion restaurant that attempts to combine Asian flavors with some sort of Latin dish or just completely think outside the box in terms of presentation and flavor combinations.

With my fears in hand, I reached the surprisingly unassuming storefront located at 484 Amsterdam Ave. between 83rd and 84th St.  Upon entering the very claustrophobic entrance, I could see that this place was the real deal.  Mostly locals were waiting for tables as the wait staff promptly seated us after a less than ten minute wait.  The seating was a bit cramped with the waiters and waitresses running all over the place like mad men/women, but I think it added to the atmosphere of the place.  Looking over the menu, I didn’t know where to start because not only did it have classic Cuban delicacies like congri (red beans and rice), black bean soup, and even mofongo for the Puerto Rican crowd, but also Spanish tapas, Chinese classics, and Peruvian chicken.

Naturally, I went with what they did the best, Peruvian chicken, which also came with a choice of fried rice/noodles all for about 12 dollars.  The wait time from ordering to receiving my food was pretty average for a busy place (around 25 minutes), but I couldn’t believe how much food I got such a small amount of money…

The half chicken was roasted with a slightly seasoned skin that nicely complimented the fall-off-the-bone, succulent meat.  As for the fried rice, it was not greasy at all, but they really did pack a lot on the plate as you can see by the mini-cannonball-esque pile of bbq pork fried rice.  On the side, I received a slightly spicy relish that was a mix between gazpacho and pico de gallo, but provided a nice cooling sensation on the palate to balance out the piping hot chicken.  Long story short, Flor de Mayo was a great bargain dining experience, but they did not sacrifice quality for quantity which was all the more amazing which is aptly demonstrated through the aftermath of my dinner…

Needless to say, I enjoyed the food

Flor de Mayo on Urbanspoon

Switching gears away from strange and intriguing culinary mixtures of East vs. West, the Chip Shop located at 383 Fifth Ave. (at 6th St.) in Brooklyn, NY provided a slice of England/Scotland with many classics brought back from old Blighty, including their namesake:  fish and chips (French fries to us in the Colonies).  It is quite easy to get there by subway or bus, and the neighborhood is quite interesting to walk through with many different types of specialty shops and boutiques (even a superhero shop where you can dress up as your favorite crime-fighter or super villain).  The actual dining establishment is pretty tiny, but I learned it was bigger when the English ex-pat owner originally opened it up.

Me before my arteries were clogged with fried goodness

though business may be slower, they still provide the option for you late at night to get take-out fried goodies at their side window or even bring in your own food to fry.

Upon entering the restaurant, the walls were coated with various types of British memorabilia from throughout the ages, including the usual Beatles/Queen Mum/Rolling Stones/James Bond pictures, but also some less common ones like Bovril/Marmite/Pingu and Ali G (Booyakasha!).  Upon looking at the menu, I could see that their prices were a bit higher than average with the cod and chips being $14, but I resolved to get it and a fried item.  Along with the plethora of British favorites:  the English breakfast, Welsh rarebit, bangers and mash, chicken parmos, and various curries, the Chip Shop also sold other foods to go for cheap (including a tin of mince pies I pounced on for $1).  The drinks also came from across the pond which surprised me as they actually had Lucozade of all things on their soft drink menu (it’s like a carbonated version of Gatorade for those not acquainted with British beverages).

Anyways, I finally got my fish and chips which was gigantic compared to some of the fish and chips servings I’ve purchased in London from street vendors.

English food with American sized portions

Upon tucking in, I found that the batter was superb since it was light, buttery, but not too greasy.  It also made up for the cod which I found to be too flaky for my liking, and having it piled on top of the chips made it a lot harder to eat.  The chips were fried to perfection with a creamy inside which tasted good with the tartar sauce or the malt vinegar that came with the fish.  Once I finally destroyed my main course, I decided to represent the mighty Scotland by ordering a fried Mars Bar instead of the fried pizza slice…I definitely made the right choice.

One small step for my mouth, one large problem for my cholesterol

It was a bar of pure fried decadence as I needed to pause in between bites for fear that I might develop type II diabetes if I carried on any faster.  Strangely enough, I think the haggis I had in Glasgow was actually better for my health than this tiny candy bar.  Calories and Atherosclerosis aside, I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who doesn’t really have the money to fly to Great Britain to try some standard fare that is prepared to an extraordinary standard.  As I received my bill after a satisfying meal, their slogan was a great mixture of British wit and American roots which sums up the wicked deep-fried humor of the Chip Shop.

Chip Shop on Urbanspoon

Flor De Mayo Restaurant on Foodio54

Park Slope ChipShop on Foodio54

The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live.  ~Confucius”

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