Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ripper Hotdogs RUTTS HUT













The Other Side





Garbage Plate



  Didn't think so, neither did I, but it seems quite interesting and I'm sure most American's would just love it if they ever new of it if it wasn't for the fact that it's a regional specialty of Rochester, New York. So what is it you say? A Garbage Plate is a plate consisting of Hash Brown Potatoes, Macaroni Salad, and a type of Chili all on one plate. The plate might also contain a Fried Egg and or Cheese, and I'll bet that some Bacon and some sort of Sausage might make it on a plate as well. Now isn't that the kind of dish most American's would just Love? If only they knew about it.


The Garbage Plate at NICK TAHOU HOTS



320 West Mains Street, Rochester NEW YORK


Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 12.01.18 PM




ABIDE in IT !!!

Friday, October 7, 2016

New York Cheap Eats


Sadly, it has now Closed



118 Eldridge Street,   Lower East Side NEW YORK

F RESTAURANT Clinton Street LES New York, this joint is one of my FAVES!!!! Nobody knows about it! Guaranteed if ask 1,000 New Yorkers if they've ever heard about this place, let alone if they'd ever been there, you be hard pressed to find a one. I'm gonna let the "Cat Out of the Bag." People should start paying me for this. Yes F. Restaurant on Clinton Street down on the Lower East Side (LES) of New York is without a doubt one of the Coolest restaurants you could ever dream of going to. Paris Hilton has never been there. F. Restaurant is a restaurant that serves incredibly tasty Puerto Rican Cusine. "Bet you've never had any? Yes you!" You will pretty much only find Lationos and Latinas at this joint. I've been going their for about 15 years now. "Love It!" The food is oh so tasty, and the prices are tailor made for the sluggish economic times we now live in (2008). Hope we go on a upswing soon. "Very soon." Most dishes are about $1.20 or $1.50 a piece. Yes this is not a typo, dishes that cost $1.20 a piece. You can make a small meal out of just two. if you're Papa Relleno which is a Fried Potato Ball that isstuffed with ground beef as well. "Yum!" They also have wonderful Morcilla (Blood Sausage) and Pollo Fritto (fried chicken). They have the "Coolest" sign you have ever seen hanging over the counter area that says "If WIFE CAN'T COOK, DON'T DIVORCE HER, BRING HER HERE," Bring her here to eat with you." The sign is written in both Spanish and English. "Cool as Hell!" You've gotta LOVE IT, and if you ever go, you'll just Love "F. Restaurant" down on the Lower East Side.  F. Restaurant..... Clinton Street, just North of Delancy  Sadly, this restaurant Closed a few years ago, but it was great while it lasted. 



Dumpling House 118 Eldridge Street  is without a doubt, the Greatest Restaurant Food deals in all of NEW YORK. Five "DELICIOUS PORK DUMPLINGS" for a BUCK. That's right $1.00. You just can't beat that. Not even anywhere in South East Asia where you can Thee Most AMAZING STREET FOOD in the WORLD. You get amazing Food on the Streets of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Saigon , and Hanoi for just .75 Cents or a dollar. The thing is, most people in NEW YORK probably make close to 10 times the amount of Money that most people in South East Asia do. so when you can get a amazing dish for the same amount of Money as In South Asia and you're in NEW YORK making considerably more, 5 "PERFECT PORK DUMPLINGS" in NEW YORK may very well be the "Greatest" food deal in the entire WORLD.  2 HOTDOGS and 1 of their famous Fruit Drinks at Gray's Papaya is pretty good as well, but I think the Dumpling House may have beat them ... UPDATE on Dumpling House (Now VANESSA DUMPLING)


Formerly Dumpling House

118 Eldridge Street



4 for $1.50

When I first wrote about the Dumpling House the Pork Dumplings were 
5 dumplings for $1.00. You now get 4 dumpling for $1.50 or 8 for $2.50, which is still probably the greatest food-deal in town any way you look at it.

I came across the original article I wrote about the Dumpling House 10 years ago back in 2006 .
Back then and up until about 2010 I used to go over to LES for Dumplings at least once a week or more. Wow, now I only do so, maybe once every two months. What happened? Can't answer,  (maybe it's the long walk there and back) all I can say is, I'm going to start up again, probably tomorrow or Sunday for sure. 


Was just $1.50 back in 2005, now $2.75

or you can get one with PEKING DUCK for $3.25

An order of 8 Steamed Dumplings just $2.50

"Now that's a DEAL" !!!


Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 12.01.18 PM


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Big Lebowski Burritos Tacos Recipe

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 1.23.45 PM


 Burritos and Tacos. What the difference, some would ask? What’s the difference? Most know, as does The Dude, but in case you’re from Bum F_ck, Iowa, or you just don’t know, here goes. Well, they are both made from Tortillas that are made of either Corn or Flour. Dude usually prefers Flour Tortillas. Tacos are a smaller Tortilla that are filled with various Meat, Vegetable, Fish, and or Poultry, or just about anything you want to throw in them. You fill the tortillas with your fillings of choice, fold in half and eat. Burritos are larger Tortillas, made mostly of Flour, but can be corn. Burritos can have the same multitude of ingredients, whatever the person making or eating the Burrito decides on. Where the Taco is filled with the ingredients and folded in half, a Burrito is packages to completely envelope the contents inside. The Burrito also may have rice inside, which Tacos usually do not. Also, one Burrito should be enough for a full serving, were as with Tacos you usually need Two or Three to make a meal and they may be of one, two, or three different types. Maybe; one Pork, one with Beef, and one Grilled Chicken Taco. On the Baja Peninsular in Mexico and in San Diego, California where the Dude, Donny, and Walter have been known to make many a road trip to, the Fish Taco “Rains Supreme” and is most popular in these areas. Yes the Dudes clunker was able to make it there and back, a number of times. Yes, our hero “The Dude” really loves his Tacos and Burritos, most Los Angelinos (all Californians) do. Dude loves all kinds of Tacos and Burritos, filled with Chicken , Pork, Fish or what-not, and Dude eats all of them. But when it comes to eating Tacos and Burritos at home, most often with the Dude, they are Chili Cheese Tacos or Chili, Rice, Beans, and Cheese Burritos. The reason is simple. Dude loves making his Cowboy Chili, and once Dude has a batch made, it’s Chili and Cheese Burritos all the way. They’re easy, once Dude has his Chili already on hand, in the frig.   

 DUDES CHILI CHEESE QUESADILLA Quesadillas are a great item to serve at a party, along with Guacamole, and perhaps some Chili con Carne or one of The Dudes favorite Chicken-Wings Recipes, as the main event. Dude often likes to make a Quesadilla and have it along with two Fried Eggs for breakfast or anytime of the day. “A great combo!” says ole Duder. To make a Quesadilla, simply take one or more large flour tortillas, sprinkle grated Cheddar, Monterey Jack or some type Mexican Cheese over the top. Put some heated Chili on top of Cheese in spots here and there, not over the whole tortilla completely. Put on a sheet pan and heat in a 375 degree oven for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven, fold the Quesadilla in half so it is in the shape of a half circle. Cut into 4-6 wedges and serve.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 11.08.03 AM



 “The Dudes Way” Hey Man, it’s California, it’s LA, Dudes a slacker Hippy. Of course he likes his “Guac.” Dude got this recipe from his buddy Juan. And it’s a good one. Serve in a bowl at a party with Tortilla Chips, or add to the filling of any type of Taco or Burrito you like. INGREDIENTS: 1⁄2 cup finely chopped white onion 2 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and minced 2 tbsp. finely chopped Fresh Cilantro Salt, a pinch 2 medium Hass Avocados (ripe) 2 Plum Tomato, chopped to a medium dice Cut Avocados in half. Remove the pit. Scoop out pulp and put into a medium size glass mixing bowl. Mash avocado with a potato-masher or back of a wooden spoon to break down the avocado. Add all remaining ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Serve with Tortilla Chips, and or use as an ingredient for Burritos & Tacos. And Enjoy!   



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Italian Red Sauce Joints


 Gino’s of Lexington Avenue? This restaurant was one of the most special restaurants that ever was. Ask any of the few hundred regulars who ate there so many times a year. How many you ask? Well, there are regulars who ate there 2 to 3 times a week, some once a week, some one or two times a month, and some maybe four to six times a year, but all regulars. That’s how it goes with regulars in restaurants, and this is a solid foundation that all good restaurants need to succeed in New York. Gino’s had a pretty long history for its regulars to enjoy for any number of years. The restaurant opened in 1945 by Gino Circiello and two partners, was in operations for 65 until it closed in 2010 after losing their lease. Needless to say this was a sad day for all its devoted regulars which included the likes of; Gay Talese, David Suskind, Frank Sinatra, many luminaries along with numerous businessmen and women, and people in the fashion business, publishing, law, and all sorts of businesses. Gino’s customers loved and revered the place, a wonderful Italian Red Sauce Joint where you could get a great meal of solid Italian classic dishes, at reasonable prices, with good service and a perfect ambiance that included one of New York’s last remaining telephone booths and the famed Zebra wallpaper. And it was the clientele that really made the perfect ambiance that was Gino’s, which was par excellence. Gino’s was filled to capacity each day and night for lunch and dinner, jammed with people doing business, or just simply having a great time eating Baked Clams Oreganta followed by Linguine w/ Clam Sauce, Chicken or Veal Parmigiano or perhaps a daily special like Veal Ossobuco or braised Lamb Shanks, the food was always good at Gino’s, everything was. The people just loved it there. The vibe was always great, lively and full of life, that was Gino’s.  

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 2.15.20 PM.png

 . There was Gino and later on Michael Miele (a former employee who became the owner), there was of course the Zebra Wallpaper, the old-school waiters, the tasty food, and the clientele themselves that filled the air of Gino’s dining room with good natured chatter and that special feeling that a room full of happy people makes. And you were always more than happy when you were in Gino’s. Yes, Gino’s was a restaurant that’s now known as an Old School Red Sauce Joint. This being a restaurant that had pretty much the same standard dishes that so many people love, millions in fact. The menu had items like; Caprese Salad, Baked Clams, both Casino and Oreganata, Seafood Salad, Spaghetti w/ Tomato Sauce, or Bolognese, Manicotti, Ravioli, and Gino’s famous Pasta Segreto with their famed Secret Sauce. You had all the most popular chicken, fish, and veal dishes, dishes like; Chicken Parmigiano, Veal Saltimbocca, Veal Piccata, Veal Milanese (Sinatra’s favorite), Shrimp Scampi, Clams Posillipo another Sinatra favorite, Lobster Fra Diavolo and the sort of solid Italian food that Italian-Americans and the rest of their American brethren all loved and still love, regardless of what snobbish food critics may say or think. For Gino’s clientele knew what was real, and Gino’s was as real as it got. If you asked Frank (Sinatra) he’d set you straight, “Gino’s is the Real Deal Baby.” Well, so sadly, Gino’s closed in 2010. It was a sad day indeed, and for regulars an actual tragedy, we lost our favorite clubhouse of all. A place that was so special and uniquely wonderful you just can’t replace. Yes a sad day indeed. Gino’s was irreplaceable, it’s a sin that it died, never-the-less it did. This was a crime, a crime against New York, Italian-America and Gino’s many devoted fans. If you knew Gino’s you’d surely agree. Yes, even Gino’s a historical Old School Italian joint came to an end and died, a fate happening all over the country. We’re losing our wonderful beloved Red Sauce Joints. Places that are a part of American history, the history of Italian-America and even of Italy, as it was the citizens of our motherland who came here and created Italian-American Cuisine and Red Sauce Joints like our beloved Gino’s and other restaurants just like it all over America. Farewell to Gino’s and places like Rocco’s in Greenwich Village and all of our famous red sauce joints of years gone by. Now hold on a minute. Yes we’ve lost many a great red sauce joints in the past years, and even still. But guess what? With places like Frankie’s Spuntino and Carbone in Greenwich Village, Red Sauce are now hip and as beloved as ever. They’re among one of the hot new restaurant and food-trends of most recent years. Unfortunately, Carbone is very expensive. Frankie’s on the other hand is not, it’s quite reasonable and in the true spirit of Old School Italian-American restaurants. Let’s hope this trend continues and instead of so many flashy restaurant that are not in the spirit of old school Italian-America, we need to get more restaurants like Frankie’s and Rubirosa. And if we’re lucky some day, maybe someone will open another Gino’s complete with all the old dishes like Pasta Segreto and the Scalamandre Zebra Wallpaper of course, of which Gino’s would not be Gino’s. Gino’s we miss you so. So now it’s a sad state of affairs when we talk of these wonderful old Red Sauce Joints of our lives. We’ve had many good time there; family dinners, meals with friends, and courting and such. These places provide the perfect ambiance with great food, wine, and the animated waiter or two. But sadly not many are left. As you know, we lost Gino’s a few years ago and numerous good old restaurants before that. In Manhattan where I live it doesn’t even take the fingers of one had to count how many old Italian Red Sauce Joints are left. There’s Rao’s up in East Harlem, one of the all-time great new York City old-school Italian Restaurants with just the right ambiance and wonderful old-school Italian food, but guess what, you can’t get in. The place is sort of an exclusive club where people have a table reserved once a week and there’s never any opening, unless you know one of these elite in the know people, just Fuggetabout-it! So there’s Rao’s up in East Harlem, Patsy’s in mid-town, and John’s of East 12th Street down in the East Village. John’s opened in 1908 and is still in business. Not only is it still in business, but the place has been wonderfully preserved and retains its original décor from 1908, the old tile floor, murals of Italian Cities and places like Venice, Rome, The Bay of Naples, and more. They still have the original bar and autographed pictures of movie stars and other celebrities from a large part of the 2oth Century. The menu at John’s has most of the expected Red Sauce dishes like; Spaghetti with White or Red Clams Sauce, Veal Saltimbocca, Chicken Scarpara, Veal Piccata, Speedino of Mozzarella alla Romano, Baked Clams Oreganata, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Lasagna, and Canneloni. The kitchen churns out real solid food with standouts being there Baked Clams and their Speedino alla Romano which is without question the best in the city. John’s has quite a history with Lucky Lucciano being a regular once upon a time, along with numerous mobsters back in the day, and John’s has seen the likes of The Ramones, Cindy Lauper, John Lennon and other luminaries walk through its doors. There’s one other old Red Sauce Joint around the corner from John’s, and that’s Lanza’s on 1st Avenue and 11th Street. Lanza’s is actually a few years older than John’s opening in 1904. Lanza’s is pretty nice and a good part of it has been preserved, although a few years ago they made some changes to the décor which sort of ruined it a bit. Lanza’s has that great classic red sauce joint menu with items like Spaghetti Marinara, Pasta Fagioli, Manicotti, Braciole, Cannoli, and the like. Now we come to Patsy’s on West 56th Street in mid-town Manhattan. Guess what? This was Frank Sinatra’s all-time favorite restaurant, he ate there hundreds of times over the years and just loved it. It’s a great restaurant and if you go there, why not get some of Frank’s favorite dishes? Frank’s favorites were; Clams Posillipo, Spaghetti Marinara, and Veal Milanese. And yes, Sinatra went to Gino’s now and then, but it’s a well know fact that Patsy’s was his favorite. Well, that’s about it on red sauce joints, they’re a dying breed I’m sorry to say. If you’ve never been to John’s, you must check it out. This place is like a museum. Truly. The owners have preserved its décor in an admirable manner, and what you see now is pretty much what Lucky Lucciano would have seen a 100 years ago. You’ll get a wonderful experience here of days gone by. An experience you’ll not find at too many places, so grab it while you still can.     

 Excerpted from Daniel Bellino Zwicke's new forthcoming book, MANGIA ITALIANO, my Memories of Italian Food .... 

Due October 2016  


Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.04.43 AM

This, and more in MANGIA ITALIANO - Memories of Italian Food

COMING October 2016


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Jersey Pasta Crab Sauce Recipe

  Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 1.34.47 PM   

   .Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 1.34.34 PM   


There are plenty of Maryland Blue Crabs down on the Jersey Shore, as well as plenty of Italian-Americans. The two go together, and this Crab Sauce for pasta is a specialty of Jersey Italians who love seafood, along with their Brooklyn and New York neighbors. They all love it! So will you.   


 12 Hard Shell Blue Crabs 12 tablespoons Olive Oil 12 Cloves Garlic, 1 for each Crab, peeled and chopped 1 Small Onion, peeled and chopped fine 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 1 – 28 oz. can whole San Marzano Tomatoes 
 1 – 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes 
 1- 16 oz. can Tomato Puree
 ½ teaspoon dry Basil ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley 
 1 pound Lump Crab-Meat, fresh frozen or canned 1 pound imported Italian Spaghetti or Linguine   

Put olive oil in a large pot and heat to high. Place the Crabs in the pot and sauté at high heat for 10 minutes. After browning the crabs, remove from pan and set aside. 

 Put onions in pan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper to pan and cook on low heat for 3 minutes. Add whole tomatoes to pan and cook on high heat for 4 minutes whole stirring with a wooden spoon. Add crushed tomatoes and tomato puree. 

Add the Crabs back to the pot. Cook for 90 minutes on low heat. Remove the crabs from pan and let cool on the side. Remove all the meat from the crabs and discard the shells. 

Add crab-meat to sauce with your extra pound of lump crab-meat and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Cook pasta according to directions on package. 

Drain pasta and put back in the pot it cooked in with 8 tablespoons of reserved pasta cooking water. Sprinkle pasta with a little olive oil and mix. 

Add 2 cups of crab sauce and half the parsley to pasta and mix. Plate the pasta with sauce on 4 plates in equal portions and top with some more sauce and some parsley.  

 Notes: Do not serve with cheese! Italians never have cheese with Seafood Pasta. This is enough sauce for 2 to 3 pound of pasta, or about 12 portions, so after you make this Pasta with Crab Sauce with 1 pound of pasta, you still have plenty left over for another day. 

Finished Sauce
Finished Sauce
"Yummm" !!!
Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 1.34.15 PM.png

Pasta with Jersey Shore Crab Sauce

and Other Great Recipes
by Daniel Bellino Z

Friday, July 29, 2016

New York 's Best Pizza ... Thus America's Best


Coney Island, BROOKLYN New York

DiFARA PIZZA, Brooklyn New York