Monday, August 30, 2010

El Charrito Taco Truck - Richmond Hill Ave. Stamford, CT

This might be one of the best lunch spots in Stamford.  El Charrito is a taco truck that parks across the street from Beamers on Richmond Hill Ave.  They offer a wide variety of items, and have plenty of daily specials.  If you are in the mood for Mexican, pass up all the sit down spots in Stamford, and head to El Charrito. 

The highlight of the meal was one of the daily specials, the Torta Charra.  A hot pressed sandwich that consisted of the following: Saudero, Tinga de Res (Chipotle Marinated Steak), Chorizizo, Sauteed Onions, Cilantro, Chipotle Mayo, Refried Black Beans, and Jalepenos. 

Other items enjoyed during this trip included tummy and tongue tacos, also a special, Al Pastor w/ pineapple taco, and a spicy chicken taco.  Everything is made to order and is fresh.  It is definitely worth the wait.  If you are pressed for time, call ahead and have it ready for when you arrive.  When you are too busy to get out during lunch, stop by after work, they are open until 9 pm.

- Lunch Pail
The Truck
Tummy (L) and Tongue (R) Tacos
Al Pastor w/ Pineapple Taco
Al Pastor Bite-View
Torta Charra
Torta Charra - Under the Hood
Torta Charra  - Bite-View

Monday, August 23, 2010

Halal Cart - 53rd and 6th, NYC

From Peter Koutroubis:

"This past weekend I was fortunate enough to experience the 53rd & 6th Halal Cart! After a long day of walking around time square & central park, I txted my friend Sonia to see if she wanted to grab a quick bite to eat before I left the city… She responded "Yeh! Street Meat at 53rd & 6th in 20 Mins" Sure enough I walked to the location and the first words out of my mouth were "WTF!" There was a line of about 100-120 people for a damn street cart and my brother and I walked to the back of the line thinking how retarded this was… The next 40 minutes was the best and most worth while wait in any line for food in my life...better than the wait at In-N-Out Burger on a Friday night, better than the wait at Colony, better than the wait for a Philly cheese steak at the old Yankee stadium behind home plate! The moment arrived when it was my turn to order and I went with the half & half platter. The menu is simple: chicken and/or Gyro in a sandwich, platter with rice, platter w/o rice. To the right of the cart they have a milk crate with 9 white sauce bottles and 3 hot sauce bottles. The white sauce is what makes this meal perfect…no one knows what the ingredients are, but you have to lay it down thick! The hot sauce is extremely hot..nothing to play around with, but I was up to the challenge and made sure I had enough to savor the entire Halal Cart experience. The food was amazing, the shredded chicken and chopped up gyro over the rice was so filling, comforting, and downright filthy (as Estrich would say). Next time you're in the city, it’s a must have!"

- Peter

Long Line
Worth the wait!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Japanese Brunch - Abis Restaurant - Thornwood, NY

Abis Japanese Restaurant offers a Sunday brunch between 11:30 and 2:00.  Knowing not go food shopping while hungry, I planned on stopping here before a recent food shopping excursion.  Conveniently, Abis is located near the Shop Rite in Thornwood, NY.

The brunch offered a wide variety of sushi rolls as well as a selection of hot food items.  The rolls offered were: California, eel, eel and avocado, tuna, tuna avocado, spicy tuna, salmon, salmon avocado, salmon skin, Philadelphia roll, shrimp tempura, California roll, spicy crab stick tempura, and a few others.  The sushi was made fresh by two sushi chefs and replenish the rolls as needed and was pretty good.

The hot food offerings included: shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings, shrimp lo mien, fried rice, shrimp tempura, chicken katzu, beef w/ peppers and onions, ginger pork, and mussels and clams in a black bean sauce.  The hot food was decent, with the true winner of the group being the mussels and clams.  Next time I go, I will focus on the sushi and minimize the hot food.

If you have an extra $20 to spend and don't want to go food shopping while hungry on a Sunday, check this place out.

- Lunch Pail

Hot Food

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hey, how's the veal today?

I recently met up at Nonna's in Stamford for lunch, but wasn't in the mood for pizza.  I asked the guy behind the counter how the veal was, but I guess he was a vegetarian because he didn't answer me.  He had to ask the guy next to him, who then told me it was the "best in town".  Taking his word for it I ordered a veal parm sub.

After a few bites, the guy behind the counter gives me a thumbs up and says, "The veal is really good right", I nodded back and agreed it was good.  It was well cooked and tender.  The sandwich however, could have used some more sauce, some more veal, and some more time in the oven. 

- Lunch Pail

Overhead Shot
Chomp Shot

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer Grilling

Below is an email submitted to Lunch O'Clock from my Uncle Bobby.  It is one thing to grill hot dogs and hamburger, but cooking a ribeye like that on a charcoal grill is a whole other level of summer grilling.  The best part of a rib eye, or any great steak, is that it doesn't take a lot of prep work.  A sprinkle of salt and a few cracks of pepper go along way. 

"The attached is a before, during, and after of a rib eye steak. It’s part of the summer time diet when we are in Long Island. When we go out to the house we do a fair amount of cooking outdoors. The main tool of the trade is a 22” Weber kettle grill burning natural lump hard wood charcoal. This paired with the local farm stands or what comes out of the garden in the backyard makes for tasty results."

Life of a Ribeye

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Buffalo Wings - Chicken or the Egg - Long Beach Island, NJ

I don't thing words are necessary.

Snee recently enjoyed these and has cemented them within the top three of the all-time best wings he has ever eaten.  By the look of them, I would have to agree.

-Lunch Pail

Cassano's Pizza - Tarrytown, NY

My quest to find the best pizza in the Tarrytown area has begun.  Having a go-to-place place to grab a slice in your living area is key.  

After some searching online, I settled on Cassano's Pizza on N. Broadway.  It is a nice place with restaurant style seating in the front, and a pizza counter towards the back.  They had a variety of pies on display to get by the slice, some of which included: pepperoni, chicken parm, spinach and mushroom, white, sausage and peppers, meat lovers, Sicilian, chicken scarpariello, and plently more.  The meat lovers and chicken scarp slices are in the running for which slice to eat on my next visit.  I went with a pepperoni (pictured below) and a spinach and mushroom.  Both slices were terrific.  The mushrooms were fresh, not canned and the pepperoni slice had a nice grease factor.  The slice was the perfect thickness/thinness and had a slight crunch when you bit into it.  The crust was perfectly cooked, folded without snapping, and had a good bite.

Overall the slices were great and I will definitely go back.  I cannot yet say whether this is the best slice in Tarrytown, since this was my first stop, but I can say it is better than any slice in Stamford, CT. 

- Lunch Pail


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Baseball's Best Burger - Gateway Grizzles Ballpark - Sauget, IL

The below burger is submitted by Peter Cerone, and it looks awesome.  I wonder if the games get sold out because of the burger or the baseball team.

This beauty consists of a Krispy Kreme donut as the bun, 1/4 lb. burger, with bacon and cheese, served with a side of waffle fries.

Two Please.

- Lunch Pail

The Madurkis - Dalton's Deli - Norwalk, CT

The Madurkis is a favorite of Rob Young.  This hero sandwich is loaded up with chicken cutlet, bacon, melted cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard.  As a bonus, Rob requests his with hot sauce.  I recently had the chance to enjoy a Madurkis, bu it seems Dalton's has slipped a bit from last summer when they first opened. 

Everything was great, except for the cutlet.  The hero roll was fresh, the bacon was crisp, plenty of cheese, not too much lettuce, and the honey mustard/hot sauce balance was perfect.  The chicken however was very dry, some parts were jerky dry.  This is most likely the result of the chicken sitting in the steam table too long.  I have had their chicken cutlet before and it was good, so I was surprised with the quality of it this time around.

Overall Dalton's is a good deli with respectable egg sandwiches and a good lunch menu.  If you are ever near the Merritt/Rte. 7 side of Norwalk, grab a Madurkis or the Doc's Panini.

- Lunch Pail

The Mighty Madurko