Wednesday, March 11, 2009

32 Shopping Days until Easter


That can only mean the return of green Peeps*, those little marshmallow activists, saving the world one whale at a time.
Not forgetting that Easter also means the annual quaffing of the Peepacoladas!*Amazing website.

Feeling Crabby



Since I discovered Maine crab, I won't buy any other kind. It's essential for crab rolls, which are definitely superior to lobster rolls. Last week, on that beautiful Saturday, I wanted to make crab for dinner, as a salute to the evanescent nature of spring.

I strolled over to the Lobster Place, but they were down to only one container of Maine crab--I guess other Maine expats or Maine-by-marriage types (like me) had the same idea. Headed to Citarella and picked up another half pound there. The difference was noticeable: Citarella's crab is to the left, Lobster Place to the right. While the crab from Citarella was absolutely fresh and unimpeachable, the crab from Lobster Place, reached up with its claws, tweaked my nose and shouted: "Crab! Ocean!" I found the larger chunks more appealing as well.

Given the disparity in the appearance of the two, I decided on crab cakes instead, using even less mayonnaise and few breadcrumbs that usual. The smaller and larger chunks melded well, yielding damn near perfect crab cakes. Next time I'm making crab rolls, however, I think that the Lobster Place would be my first choice.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

That Wouldn't Fly in Flatbush


After reading in the NY Post that size-minus-zero Gwynnie had stopped at the Lower East Side's San Marzano for a slice, I should have known that their slices would be on the slender side, but a more meager slice I have never eaten. Perhaps it's my Brooklyn pizza perspective, but I expect a slice to be a meal. My two slices left me decidedly unsated, and my wallet lighter than expected.
I had deciding on one pomodoro (mozzarella, tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley, extra virgin olive oil) slice, one margherita (mozzarella, san marzano tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, basil). To my disappointment, the pomodoro was unavailable in slice form right then. However, slicers can't be choosers, so I went for the quattro formaggi (mozzarella, fontina, ricotta, gorgonzola). The other options, including chicken with pesto, were too fussy.
The slices looked a bit on the small side, but I guess I was so eager to get them home that I didn't realize how just how small. These slices are tiny. Appetizer tiny. Each slice weighed 3 ounces and measured 5 inches from crust to tip. At $3.50 per slice (slice prices are not posted in store, nor do they appear on the menu), that is not a lot of pizza.
What there is of them is so-so. The margherita was not to my taste, sweet and unsubtle. I tossed on some parm, which perked it up a bit . The quattro formaggi was better, riddled with creamy puffs of ricotta; the only off note was the gorgonzola, which shouted down the other cheeses . I finished both slices (something I haven't managed since high school), right down to the lovely crisp, bubbly crust, but I don't think crust alone will lure me back.

San Marzano Brick Oven Pizzeria
71 Clinton St
, New York 10002

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I'm a ninth-generation Brooklyn native living in Manhattan.