First Course

Daily Eats: The Sunburnt Cow

The Sunburnt Cow
Cuisine: Australian/Pub Fare
Price Range: Inexpensive

East Village
137 Avenue C
(between East 8th and 9th Street)
New York, NY 10009
(212) 529-0005

The Sunburnt Cow is a refreshingly different Alphabet City watering hole with a flair for all things Aussie. Attracting an eclectic mix of LES revelers, the Cow lassos a steady following with its rainbow of unique, well priced cocktails like the tangy Wildberry Moo-jito. Friendly ‘tenders from Down Under muddle fresh fruit before your eyes and are liberal with the liquor – giving you an even better bang for your buck. From the same people who brought you Bondi Road on Rivington, the Sunburnt Cow is a fun spot that just happens to serve some very good eats. With a variety of tapas-style Australian offerings, the unexpected bar menu takes on a bistro flair. Kiwi Jalapeno Salsa adds a delicious twist to the tender, Calamari Oz Style, while the Lamb Burger is complemented by a yummy eggplant and sweet onion chutney. Barbie purists will enjoy the tender hanger Steak Sandwich. The Cow also offers an excellent value by way of The Counter Meal. This deal includes an appetizer, choice of entrée, and one of their stellar desserts.

Chefs Hit Big on Vegas Gamble

The next time you hit up Vegas, in-between the gambling, drinking and the overall mischief you want to stay there, you should get something to eat. Although it’s not typically known for top of the line restaurants, fine cuisine is a surprising additive to the mischievous nature of Sin City.

Dining critic, Max Jacobson told the Daily news that Vegas’ super-deluxe hotels and casinos brings in high-roller tourists and international celebrity chefs who feed them.

“You can spend a little or a lot, and the competition ensures you will eat well. The high-end dining is on The Strip’s casinos, where the globe’s top toques have unfurled dazzlingly designed eateries. If you’re not a chef here, you’re nowhere,” Jacobson said.

No Excuse for No-Show

That very posh, very exclusive restaurant that you’re dying to dine at, better be worth it. Because as soon as you call to make reservations, they’re in your pockets. Make sure you don’t get sick and if you get into a fender bender, hop in a cab and make sure you make it to dinner. Now-a-days, more and more restaurants are charging hefty no-show fees.

I know they lose a seat for every missed reservation, and this and that. But seriously, how can you charge me if I didn’t eat. Per Se in the city charges $175 per seat for a booking cancelled within three days. Momofuku Ko charges $150 for cancellations within 24 hours. Are they serious? I better be able to come by at closing and pick up some food put aside for me if I have to pay that.

Other restaurants impose the fees for in-demand occasions like Valentines Day and New Years Eve. But just be aware that restaurants are holding you very accountable for tables they book.

Cheap Eats: Fish Tacos

Food from south of the border is becoming more popular- and as Taco Bell comes up with new ways to exploit the taco, its nice to know some places still do it fresh. Places like Pinche Taqueria, who is known for their Taco de Pescado.

At $3.95, the fish taco is a house-made corn tortilla with fried mahi-mahi, cabbage slaw with cilantro mayo, guacamole, chopped onions and fresh cilantro. There’s also battered and fried fish in there. Not your average taco, but a perfectly light flavor for summer outings in the city.

If the fish isn’t for you, you can try the Taco de Polla Asada, which is a charbroiled chicken taco. With the same toppings, the choice is yours, whether you like fish or chicken better. However, if you have a more sophisticated pallet, Pinches Taqueria also has shrimp tacos. I’m sorry, Taco de Camaron. Critics say this one is amazing and the shrimp is fried perfectly.

The 99 Cent Wars

While the price of, well everything goes up everywhere, take comfort in knowing a good ol’ slice won’t demoralize your pockets. Pizza shops are popping up everywhere with the “99 cents a slice” promotion. It’s like a dream come true, ever since the pizza shop in my neighborhood went from $1.25 a slice to $1.35 a slice back in junior high. Pizza prices have been rising steadily since.

But thanks to the recession, pizzerias like 2 Bros. Pizza is opening up a 99 cents shop close to the Port Authority Bus Station. This was done to compete with another shop selling slices for a dollar across the street! They’re nasty, but even Papa Johns has a promo where you can up to three slices for a dollar each. It’s sweet glory that N.Y. pizza is once again affordable! Thank you recession.

Royal Ribs Are Worth The Wait

You know you’ve found a good food spot when you see that poorly formed line protruding from the entrance. You probably weren’t even hungry at the time, but I bet your mouth will water when you see all the impatient patrons, shivering from hunger. Expect that if you plan to visit Calvin’s Royal Rib Shack in Bedstuy, Brooklyn.

The soul-food spot has been open for 30-years and I call it spot, because that’s all it really is. It’s only for takeout and there’s no real venue. You just place your order to the guy in the kitchen, whether it be barbeque chicken, barbeque ribs or a chopped chicken sandwich. Food writer, Nani Lalli said the ribs are on point and the hospitability is as sweet as Calvin’s famous tangy-sweet, barbeque sauce.

Recession Friendly Restaurateur

Chef David Burke is doing good business, despite this recession. He raked in $38 million in 2008 and expects to get $45 million this year, according NYmag. Burke, who owns restaurants in Manhattan, Chicago and Las Vegas, is overbooking his spots and showing overall growth. How?

Ironically, cutting prices is making him more money. He is selling three-course meals with items like oysters and lobster for $20.09 at many of his upscale restaurants. In Manhattan, you can expect to pay $29 for a $44 meal. In Chicago, he is selling $5 burgers and milkshake, where a 14-ounce sirloin is $48 regularly.

Kitchen Conspirators Coming to a PC Near You

The Food Network will launch its first online show on May 1. It will feature the crew behind Williamsburg’s underground supper club, Whisk & Ladle. The show, called, Kitchen Conspirators, will feature the crew, joined by a guest chef as they prepare foods based on cuisine from all over the world for groups of strangers.

Whisk & Ladle will continue to host dinners in their huge loft as they have been doing, only now with a camera crew. So now we get to see the wackiness, profanity and high pressure situations that go into making sure our steaks are cooked just how we like them. The show began production in September and the first episode’s guest chef will be underground culinary personality, Michael Cirino. He hails from the Brooklyn underground supper club called A Razor a shiny Knife.

The Chocolate Challenge

I heard chocolate makes you go crazy. I wouldn’t know, because I don’t indulge in the sweet, yet deadly addiction. I’m sure you do, which is why this one is a battle for the ages.

Round one: Hershey’s Chocolate is vexed at Jacques Torres for selling chocolate bons bons called “Champagne Kiss”. He’s been serving them for two years and now Hershey’s has decided that this is infringement of the Hershey’s Kiss copyright. Torres said he doesn’t call it kisses, he calls it Kiss and he puts Champagne in front of it, to dispel confusion. “They don’t own the world! No way am I going to give up on the kiss-it’s completely unfair,” Torres’s lawyer said. You know it’s real when a lawyer is giving statements for you.

Bigger Burgers

It’s like McDonald’s is trying to combat the nightmare of vegetarianism. Sure it’s healthier and makes more long-term sense, but you guys don’t get to savor the juicy calories packed into a 1/3 pound hamburger.

In an effort to step-up their meat game, McDonalds is preparing to unveil a new 1/3 pound burger in October. It will be called The Angus, which is supposedly made with a better grade of beef than the Big Mac and Quaterpounder. I bet you thought you were already getting the “high-quality” ground beef. You should know better.

The Angus will cost $3.99, a cheaper price then the beefed-up competition who seem to come up without a bigger burger every quarter. McDonalds tested The Angus for two years in California, trying to come up with a tasty burger without having to buy new equipment. It will be a bigger burger, but they don’t want to have to switch from the traditional electric fryers they’re so well-known for. It would cost too much mula. [ChicagoBusiness]

New beef, same McDonalds. I’ll pass on The Angus, but I’ll still eat the nuggets.