Tag Archives: anthony

Sik Gaek Seafood Hot Pot

Me, my wife, and some of our friends went to this pretty crazy Korean restaurant in Woodside called Sik Gaek. Good luck reading the website if you can’t read Korean. However the pics are nice under the “Delicious Table” drop down menu. They have some nice looking meats and fish.

I say “crazy” not to be judgmental of other cultures, but rather to demonstrate the purely subjective boundaries which I needed to cross to actually partake in the ingesting of food here. It’s crazy for ME, in other words. I typically eat my food cooked (with the exception of sushi, ceviche, shellfish and tartare). Not only that, but I usually eat my animals and fish AFTER they are good and dead (again, with the exception of shellfish). Also – my food usually isn’t MOVING. As you’ll see below, these western culinary conventions are thrown out the window at Sik Gaek. And that’s a good thing.

This place (the Flushing location rather than the Woodside spot we went to) was actually featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show on the Travel Channel called “No Reservations.” The show is now off the air, as he has moved to CNN with “Parts Unknown” (it’s essentially the same show). In the “No Reservations” episode clipped below, he was in the midst of doing a tour of various “hidden” Asian food and culture spots around Queens with renowned chef David Chang. Watch as he eats still-moving, live, marinated and chopped octopus:

It makes me think of a shocking scene from the Korean film Old Boy, which has one of the most fucked-up twist endings ever, and is one of the most fucked-up but excellent movies of our time. No doubt this film will garner even more attention when Spike Lee fucks it up upon the release of his remake later this year, starring Josh Brolin:

Anyway… on to the actual food that we ate. It turns out there was a huge disappointment. They were out of live octopus. So after all that babble above, I didn’t really get to test the limits of my culinary tolerances. We did enjoy some delicious food though, and some of it was still moving while it cooked in the hot pot. Check out the pics below.

First, the drinks. Two types of beer, two types of soju, and a watermelon full of vagina juice (watermelon punch):

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Almost forgot the Psy shot glass:


Next, the starters. First up, eggs and veggies:


Then rice cakes and tofu skin with spicy sauce, along with some pickled items and dips:


Then we had some thick cut pork belly:


Then we moved on to the seafood hot pot, which contained lobster, blue claw crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, razor clams, abalone, baby octopus, squid, udon noodles, bean sprouts, and cabbage. They even give you a trash bucket beside the table to throw all the shells in.

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And YES – the lobster was still moving at our table while it cooked:

Since they knew we were there for the live octopus, and we had made the reservation and tried to reserve a ‘pus for the table way in advance of getting there, they felt bad and gave us a plate of bacon wrapped mushrooms on the house:


One of the best parts of the meal was using the broth pan to cook fried rice. Packed with flavor, and nice and crispy:


Two more shots – one of the restaurant space, and one of a little kitchen flood:

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49-11 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodside, NY 11377

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza

You may not know it, but I happen to be a huge pizz-o-phile. Growing up, I was spoiled by having my mother’s homemade pizza available on a nearly daily basis, so I have pretty high standards when it comes to the old sauce, cheese & dough combo. There are lots of different styles of pizza out there. I prefer a very crispy dough/crust, thin, with fresh mozzarella and a nice flavorful tomato sauce. Currently my absolute favorite, outside of my own and my mother’s, is Saluggi’s in Tribeca NY. Thin, crispy, fresh, and fucking delicious.

So anyway – the point of this quick post is to say that ALL New Yorkers are spoiled when it comes to pizza – not just the eye-talians who grew up with great home made shit. We have it made here for food in general, and when it comes to pizza, we are the best (FUCK Chicago – that’s right – I said it…).

That said, I recently became aware of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, a budding pizza (and wings) chain. I was fascinated by the pics I saw, and by the method of cooking (mounds of ember-glowing coals roasting the pizza BBQ style in huge ovens), so I had to give it a try.

I must say – I am impressed. This is good pizza. Great sauce, nice crispy crust but with enough depth to satisfy those who like a little more chew or substance to the dough, and good bubbly, quality cheese. If this is the standard that the rest of the country can expect at these establishments, then pizza is finally going to be good outside of NY/NJ/CT/FL. FINALLY the rest of the country will get a taste of what REAL pizza is like. Not Dominos, not Pizza Hut, not California Pizza Kitchen, not Chicago deep dish garbage, which requires a fucking fork and knife instead of a one-hand fold… REAL NY PIZZA.

I wish them great success, and I hope they spread to more states. This is good news for the middle-of-nowhere places that get one of these chains in their strip malls. They will understand finally what pizza really means.

The wings are pretty good to boot. They taste like they’re fresh off the BBQ grill, roasty, crispy, and a little char. Very nice.

Check out the pics:

that’s-a-da pizza
and that’s-a-da chicken wing

4180 Veterans Memorial Hwy
Bohemia, NY 11716

Vic & Anthony’s

Vic & Anthony’s overall score: 84

NOTE: this restaurant is now CLOSED.

This place is brand new in NY, taking over the location where Angelo & Maxies was located. There are three other locations around the states. I saw the website and it looked really impressive, so I was itching to get my mouth around some delicious steak and seafood there. A group of us decided to give it a try when a friend was back in town for a visit.

Flavor: 8

I had the bone-in ribeye. It was nicely cooked and even all the way through, but lacked a little bit of char and crisped edges. Otherwise it was well rested, juicy, and seasoned appropriately. The others leveled similar criticism about the meat, but I must say despite that mishap my steak was really fucking tasty, so I am only deducting two points. One of my buddies almost sprouted labia and ordered lamb chops, but he was quickly set in line and went with the ribeye as well. I wonder if he would have been happier with the lamb. You can see in the pic below that the meat actually looks wet and not crusted.

Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 9

Vic and Anthony’s covers the basics in top fashion. They have two ribeyes; a boneless, and a bone-in. They have two sizes of filet, a boneless strip, and porterhouse for two. They also list “domestic Kobe beef” on the menu, a contradiction in terms (see earlier post on Kobe and Wagyu items in this country). Not a bad beef selection, though they would benefit from having one or two other cuts specially prepared, like a flank or skirt. They have toppings that you can order with your steak, like blue cheese bacon butter, or bone marrow bordelaise, but I am somewhat of a purist. I tried the blue cheese bacon butter on the side and it was actually really good, as was the bordelaise. Maybe they would have been good for fries, but I don’t like putting sauces on my meat as a general matter. As I’ve said in the past: this review blog isn’t about the dress; its about the meat underneath, so who cares about the fuckin’ sauce.

Portion Size & Plating: 8

The sizes are good here. They have 8oz and 12oz filets, 16oz strip, and 16oz and 22oz ribeyes. No size was given to the porterhouse, but they are usually around 36oz-40oz (shared between two people). As for the other items, the portion size was small for the cured meats platter, good for the creamed spinach, asparagus and mashed potatoes, and good for the creme brulee.

4) Price: 7

It seemed a little pricey for some of the items (cured meat platter and sauces specifically). The steaks are all just under $50, which is the new normal I guess. My bone-in ribeye, however, was $57. The total bill was $714 for 5 people (after tax but before tip).

Bar: 9

The bar was nice and big; the whole place is newly decorated, and there’s lots of glass everywhere, and wine bottles. The bar is set up like a square shaped island that splits the rear dining area from the front. The martini was made perfectly; cold and crisp, at $13. Also the location of this place is in a cool spot, near a lot of other walk by places, so it is definitely a cool spot to pop in just for a drink and some bar grub.

Specials and Other Meats: 8

On special they had several items, but nothing jumped out as sounding amazing. She talked about some of the “domestic kobe” items when reading off the specials, but I wasn’t that interested. I also restrained myself from taking notes during the meal like a dick. For “other meats” they had lamb chops, veal chops prepared two different ways, and chicken prepared two different ways. Not bad.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8

We ordered two dozen oysters and a cured meat platter to start. The oysters were AWESOME – in fact they were jerkworthy. Cleanly shucked, ice cold, creamy, briney, and crisp. We actually started with one dozen but as soon as we each had a few we knew we needed more. The cured meat platter was nothing really special. This is something that can be put together several times for $10 cheaper on a simple trip to the grocery store or deli. GOBBAGOOL! The creamed spinach was extremely cheese-laden and heavy.  I liked it, but it was really like having an order of creamy blue cheese with a little bit of spinach threaded through it. Certainly not the traditional “mostly green” style, but interesting nonetheless. We also had some mashed potatoes, which were average, and asparagus, which was also average. For dessert we all had a few bites of an order of creme brulee, which was really nicely done. I love that shit. If I could, I would rub it on my balls like lotion.

Seafood Selection: 10

I was really excited to see Alaskan king crab grace the menu here. Really amazing. I wanted to order it as a side dish to be honest. They also had lobster tail (as well as full lobsters), pepper crusted tuna, salmon, a number of seafood pasta dishes, and a fish of the day, which was probably something that I willingly ignored during the reading of the specials. The app selection of seafood is also impressive, and covers a huge variety of cold items. If the seafood flavor is comparable to the oysters, then this place should get a score of 10 here. In fact I will leave it at 10 just for the oysters.

Service: 10

Theresa was our waitress, and should be commended for an excellent job. She was really great, and knew exactly what drinks we brought over from the bar when we sat down just by overhearing us talk about what we each had, what we liked, etc. Pretty impressive. She was also really sociable and friendly, and we welcomed her and other workers into our conversations about how shitty our HTC Thunderbolts are, about kosher beef butchering processes, etc. She turned out to be a great source of info as a matter of fact. The table breads were basic, but they were warm and crispy, and served with soft spreadable butter.

Ambiance: 8

The decor was all brand new but not necessarily my “taste.” There were lots of weird colors on the rug in the rear dining area, like a weird late 80s piece of wall art. There’s lots of glass and pillared areas with wine bottles interestingly displayed, which was actually very cool. The front and sides have booths, but there is also a lot of space for massive crowds of diners at tables. The bathroom was definitely shit-worthy; clean, nicely decorated. I was hoping there would be a bathroom attendant with shave gear, so I could have shaved my entire full beard and then returned to the meal clean shaven as if nothing happened, but there wasn’t one on staff. They did have thick paper towels with their Vic & Anthony’s logo printed on them.