Author Archive for Chaim Szmidt


Burgers +Q

Over the last months since I discovered, since I discovered Burgers +Q (4726 New Utrecht Avenue; Brooklyn, NY 11219 – Tel: 718.552.2084) I’ve been here many times. Last eve I took some out of town friends with me; after they heard SYR and me rave about it, they wanted to experience it themselves.

JR and I, each had a dish of Chicken Marsala



Chicken Marsala with Beer Battered Onion Rings, fries covered with sauteed onions and  gravy

The chicken was very juicy and flavorful, the onion rings crisp and delicious!

DR started with what he termed “delicious” Wings, then followed with a Bison Burger


Bison Burger

He found the burger juicy, flavorful and plainly… “one of the best.”

SR ordered the Burger Salad


Burger Salad

She declared it the “best burger I ever had.”

JR had a TexMex Burger….


TexMex Burger with avocado and jalapeno pepper

He too thought his burger was outstanding.

I washed my chicken down with my favorite drink, Mint and Tangy Lemonade, made from freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice, with fresh mint and honey

Burgers +Q may not be as upscale in ambiance or pricing as some of the other eateries we’ve reviewed on this blog, but it consistently serves superb fare; well worth a visit, or two, or three…

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



Noi Due Carne Revisited

This past Tuesday, we went once again to Noi Due Carne (141 W. 69th St, New York, NY 10023 – Tel: 212.712.2223). Knowing Golan Chetrit, the owner of both this eatery and the dairy one downstairs (Noi Due), knowing his commitment, his dedication, his passion for the business, I had no doubt this too would be a superb experience – and like every time before it – I was not disappointed. 

While waiting I sipped the House Punch, a delightful combination of rum, port wine, tea, lemon, and nutmeg.

Soon our Black Angus Beef Carpaccio arrived…

Black Angus Beef Carpaccio: mustard vinaigrette, balsamic reduction, baby arugula, and crispy sweet potato.


The combination of flavors, the symphony of tastes, was truly a masterpiece!

We followed with a Lebanese Fattoush Salad

Lebanese Fattoush Salad: Romaine, cucumber, heirloom tomato, radish, red onion, mint, kalamata olives, za’atar pita chips, and sumac red wine vinaigrette.

This salad because of the perfect mix of ingredient and superlative taste represented the deliciousness, the healthiness, the very best of the Mediterranean cuisine.

We segued with a Smoked Italian Eggplant Carpaccio

Smoked Italian Eggplant Carpaccio, with lemon, tahini, pomegranate, pistachio, and silan.

The eggplant combination and the garlic bread together made this also a memorable dish. I never imagined that eggplant and pomegranate could make such a succulent combination!

We then went for the Crispy Roman Style Baby Artichokes. By taking the traditional recipe for Carcioffi alla Giudia – one of the jewels of Roman cuisine – and adding a few modern touches, Chef Beau Hauck has elevated this dish into a contemporary classic, crispy and full of flavor.

Next, we had the Spaghetti and Meatballs, with slow-cooked San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, and basil. The aroma, the meatballs, the al dente spaghetti made this also a special experience for our senses.

We were now ready for the 14oz. USDA Prime Ribeye, with sea salt, olive oil and roasted plum tomato with an additional side of perfectly seasoned potato puree served in its own ramekin. Having grown up in Montevideo, Uruguay, I learned early on what meat should taste like and this ribeye met every expectation.

Throughout the meal, we enjoyed sample quantities of their most popular cocktails…

From Left to right: West Side (scotch, elderflower, blackberries and lemon), Golden Apple (botanical gin, fresh ginger, apple cinnamon, and soda), Jalapeno Business (vodka, Fresh strawberries, lime and a jalapeno pepper), Bourbon Coolata (bourbon, coconut milk, pineapple juice, orgeat, and housemade grenadine).

For dessert – and in keeping with the season – we had a big slice of an incredible Pecan Pie

A hot slice of Pecan Pie, with parve vanilla ice cream drizzled in caramel sauce.

We finished with a Mint Tea. Truly a memorable evening of food and drink! Hope to meet you there soon, gentle reader!



In Conversation with Lubicom’s Menachem Lubinsky on The Kosher Scene Radio Show

This evening at 10:00pm (Eastern Time), we will talk with Menachem Lubinsky, President and CEO of Lubicom Marketing Consulting. Mr. Lubinsky, who holds an M.B.A. in Marketing and Advertising from Baruch College, is a seasoned marketing executive whose successes have spanned many industries.

Mr. Lubinsky is the recognized authority in the kosher food market. In addition to the international kosher food show, he is the founding publisher of Kosher Today, the leading trade publication on kosher for the food industry 

We will be discussing how far Kosherfest has come since its inception 30 years ago, how it helped turn the kosher industry into a multibillion-dollar economy.

Meanwhile, and in case you missed it, why not listen to last week’s broadcast with Elan KornblumElan KornblumEditor, Publisher, and Founder of Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine, (Mr. Restaurant himself!!!and currently President of Great Kosher Restaurants Media, talked to us about Kosherfest 2018, the latest kosher restaurant scene and its up and coming trends. Like every time Elan has spoken to us before, this conversation too was interesting and instructive

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



A World of Books: A Conversation with Israel Mizrahi

Tune us in tonight at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time), on BlogTalkRadio, when we will talk with Brooklyn’s Mizrahi Bookstore owner and founder, Israel Mizrahi. Israel – and his Mizrahi Bookstore – have recently been featured in many publications of Jewish interest.

Israel is a very young man, with an unusually passionate interest in rare Judaica, he buys full libraries where he – all too often – finds long forgotten treasures. He will regale us with stories of unusual finds, some of the history of Jewish books, and various interesting anecdotes.



Israel Mizrahi, in one of the many aisles of bookshelves, and a very partial view of his bookstore’s first floor…

Tune us in tonight at 10:00 pm (Eastern Time), for a fascinating conversation.shoyer

Meanwhile, in case you missed any of them, please give a listen to one of our past broadcasts. Why not start with our latest talk with Pastry Chef extraordinaire, Paula Shoyer, always one of our listeners’ favorite talk show guests?

Come and visit us at, Please? We’ll be waiting for you…



Pho-Men: Asian Cuisine

Last evening, the legendary Lévana organized a tasting at Pho-Men on Troy (411 Troy Avenue; Brooklyn NY 11213 – Tel: 718.697.1947 in the Crown Heights neighborhood,). There were about 38 of us, and I for one had never tasted Vietnamese food before…




Rice Cake, Chicken Karage, Enoki Tempura


Portobello Banh Mi and Ramen Burger


Everything Pho Soup

This tasting introduced me to new and exotic flavors. Overall it was very good, Levi, the owner, humbly said that his menu is a work in progress, thereby showing a willingness to learn, a willingness to improve. I and everyone else in the group enjoyed the overall experience, but I would not be honest if I did not say that while the dessert was good, personally I wish it had been a bit less sweet and just a bit more tart. As for dish #3 on the above Menu: Bi Dao Salad, Lotus Salad, Vegetarian Pad Thai I was thoroughly unimpressed. The beautiful looking Strawberries Orange drink tasted even better than it looked, Peninah – the bartender – did an incredible job. Bravo Peninah! Bravissimo!!!

I always believed in trying restaurants twice, if not more, therefore I will be going back soon. Hope to see you there, gentle reader!



Cheese: A Few Of My Favorite Things

Brent Delman (The Cheese Guy) has, for years brought us some of the finest cheeses in the kosher world. Over a month ago I picked three of them I had not seen before…


Three Cheeses

…and cholov Yisroel too!

The creamery that makes the Mild Cheddar has thoroughly mastered the art of cheddaring. Aged under 6 months, the distinctive Cheddar taste is very much present but it is not that strong that it would overpower anything it’s mixed with, rather it will nicely enhance it with a slight hint of butter. I used it in a salad with kale, onion, cherry tomatoes, and the combination was delicious!

The Gruyere Style Vermont Mountain Cheese made a truly great French, French Onion Soup. Scrumptious! It’s got a unique nuttiness and earthiness.

Pepper Jack was never one of my favorites… until now! It was spicy and yet creamy, full of flavor, in spite of the spiciness.

As usual, The Cheese Guy‘s selection of cheeses does not disappoint, that leaves me with no choice but to try their selections of pasta, crackers, jam, chutney, conserves and specifically that Heirloom Apple and Vermont Maple Syrup Butter… Just writing it makes my mouth water!




Les Gourmandises de France

Tuesday afternoon, as I passed by a French bakery, Les Gourmandises de France, in Manhattan (1437 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10021 – Tel: 212.988.1414), I decided to give it a try. In a small space with walls covered with black and white photos of Paris, and showcases filled with delicacies that reminded me of my visits to the famed Boulangerie Murciano in Paris’ Les Marais quarter, I found…



Strawberry Tart, Lemon Merengue, and so much more…

They also offer croissants, coffee, sandwiches, baked salmon. and a plethora of Shabbat dishes….


Baked Salmon

While I’m not into fish, I must confess that Baked Salmon was good! Early this morning I went back to Manhattan to pick up their challahs


Seeded and no seeds challahs

Quite a number of locals were there to pick up their challahs and Shabbos dishes, considering I had some of my grandkids from Providence over for Shabbos, I ended up getting one seeded and two without seeds. They looked good and judging by the way some of their regular customers praised them I have no doubt they will be. All their baked products are amazingly parve, but you’d never suspect it from the taste!

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



Dinner at Lévana’s

Last week Monday the 11th, early evening, the incomparable Lévana hosted Chef Sara Black (see here and here), Irving Schild (see here and here and many more), and yours truly, at her home for a dinner consisting of two superb dishes.

We had a Herb Cauliflower Salad and a Lamb Soup with Mushroom and Tomato.

One of my food phobias has always been cauliflower, had I known this dish contained cauliflower I might never have tasted it… BUT… this isn’t the first time Lévana has gotten me to eat and love stuff I would never have touched normally!

Lévana  has graciously allowed us to re-post both recipes from her blog:

Herb Cauliflower Salad Recipe

Herb Cauliflower Salad


  • 1 small head cauliflower, hard cores removed, cut in chunks
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, packed,
  • 1 bunch flat parsley
  • 6-8 cilantro, tough stems removed (skip if you don’t like cilantro, or use dill)
  • Optional: a handful shredded carrots, sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, shredded kale leaves
  • 6 scallions, sliced thin
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin


In a food processor, using the pulse button, coarsely grind the cauliflower with the metal S blade. Transfer to a bowl.

With the same S blade, grind the mint, parsley and cilantro medium-fine. Transfer to the same bowl.

Add all remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly.

Makes about 6 cups. Keep refrigerated. Keeps well in the refrigerator several days.

One of my food phobias has always been cauliflower, had I known this dish contained cauliflower I might never have tasted it… BUT… this isn’t the first time Lévana has gotten me to eat and love stuff I would never have touched normally!

Lamb Soup with Mushroom and Tomato

Lamb Soup with Mushroom and Tomato


  • 4-5 lamb shanks
  • 3 dozen tiny baby potatoes
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • a dozen plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 pounds portobello mushrooms, diced
  • 1 dozen dried apricots, diced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 2 good pinches saffron
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 good pinches black pepper


Mix all ingredients in a large crockpot (mine is 8 quarts). Plug the pot, and leave it on low for 8-10 hours. So, if you plug it in the morning, a delicious dinner is waiting for you at home, with heavenly aromas wafting all over the house.

Taste the lamb soup before serving. Adjust consistency and seasonings

This soup is a full meal in a bowl, deliciously filling, just spicy enough for the ashkenazy palate without overdoing it (thanks to the Herbes de Provence), with the subtle hay-like notes of saffron. We washed all down with down with a 2016 Golan Heights Winery Mount Hermon Red. With fruit notes of berries and cherries, along with nuances of Mediterranean herbs, chocolate and orange zest, it was a perfect pairing for a superb meal, but… I expected nothing less from Lévana!

A great meal, with great company and great conversation.



Carrot Tzimmes

Is it possible to sit down at a Jewish religious celebration without being served tzimmes? Is it in even thinkable not to have tzimmes on Rosh Hashana, when carrots symbolize gold coins and the honey symbolizes a sweet New Year? Here’s a favorite recipe:

Carrot Tzimmes

Carrot Tzimmes

Serves 6


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb 8 oz sliced carrots
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of one orange
  • 1/2″ piece fresh root ginger peeled and cut into thin slivers
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Heat the margarine in a wide pan over a medium high flame. Stir in the carrot slices, add salt and pepper to taste and all other ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boi, reduce heat to low and simmer covered, for 15 minutes or until tender. Increase the heat and cook uncovered until the liquid is reduced and the carrots well glazed, while stirring occasionally.


For spicier Sephardic carrots omit the orange and ginger. Boil carrots until tender. Drain. Heat the oil. Stir in 1 teaspoon of of ground cumin, 1 seeded chopped fresh red chile pepper. 1 garlic clove, chopped and the juice of 1 lemon. Cook, stir for 1 minute, Add the carrots and honey and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cook until the liquid is evaporated and the carrots are tender and well coated. Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of mint.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!






Facon Wrapped Fingerling Potatoes

The crockpot isn’t only for cholent anymore! There is something about a slow cooked dish, there is something about its taste, that is scrumptiously unequaled! The following recipe and photo was sent us by reader Esti Bernstein, from Oak Park, MI. I tried it, not only was it easy to prepare, it was really delicious.

Facon Wrapped Fingerling Potatoes

Serves 4


  • 1 lb Fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 lb Jack’s Gourmet Facon slices, cut crosswise into halves
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock *


  1. Toss potatoes with oil, thyme, pepper and paprika in a large bowl. Wrap the facon halves tightly around each potato
  2. In a large skillet heated up over a medium fire, add the potatoes and reduce heat to medium-low. Once browned and the facon becomes tight around the potatoes, put in the crockpot, add the broth and set on HIGH for three hours. Once finished, serve immediately.


* chicken stock

Yield: 16 cups


  • 1 small bunch (about 1/2 oz) Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 pound hen, cleaned and cut into four pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 large carrot
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place the celery and peppercorns on a piece of cheesecloth, then using kitchen string, tie the ends of the cheesecloth together to make a bag.
  2. Place 16 cups water in a large pot. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 hours, skimming the surface occasionally to catch and discard the residue and foam. Add extra water to the broth, making sure the original level of broth is maintained throughout.
  4. Drain the stock through a strainer discarding the vegetables and reserving the flesh for further use in other recipes.

The chicken stock can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen up to 30 days.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!




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