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The Bedford

My friend Nina from The Food Joy set up an event here at The Bedford as a way to gather up all the crazy Instagram influencers in one place for a post-holiday holiday party, and to provide some well-deserved promotion for this awesome Williamsburg gastro-pub.

I only sampled a few of the many items that came out, but everything I tasted was excellent.

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Let me get right down to business:

The Bedford Plank Burger is a grass-fed, custom blend patty, topped with grilled onions, garlic aioli, chili-ketchup and American cheese.

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Very simple construction with top level execution.

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This baby was so tasty. I will definitely be back for another one of these. It comes with an amazing side of crispy battered fries as well. This is an excellent buy at just $14.

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I also tried this open faced kielbasa sausage and egg sandwich.

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The sausage is split and grilled, then set on a bed of wilted spinach atop a slice of sourdough, with a smear of grain beer mustard on the plate for dipping. Great for breakfast!

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I also tried the ricotta gnocchi with roasted cherry tomatoes and chorizo. The sauce was creamy and tangy – very nice.

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Last but not least, beer braised pork shank!

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This was super tender, as you might expect. The outside had a good crisp as well. Great quality meat from the Niman ranch.

I also tried the mint julep creme brulee, which was very creamy and interesting (I didn’t shoot it). However I did shoot these two items, which I did not try: flatbread and dandelion salad.

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I definitely recommend this place. Not only is the food good, but the cocktail and beer menu is very nice too.

THE BEDFORD
110 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Angelo’s Pizza

Through all the years that I’ve lived and worked in midtown, I never once thought to venture into Angelo’s. It’s dumb/arrogant of me, but I always just assumed it was a tourist trap for the people going to see Letterman or Colbert next door. And being just a few streets up from Times Square and right on Broadway, I just assumed it was a shit show, like almost everything in Times Square. Boy, was I wrong.

While it may indeed get crowded at times due to the location, the pizza is definitely on point. They use a nice big coal-fired brick oven that heats up to 900 degrees.

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The guys slinging the pizzas work with robot precision, and nearly every pie that comes out looks identical.

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They’re not all square, obviously, and in fact these square pies are rolling out on the menu soon. The current pizza menu is quite diverse and full of really nice variations. The one that the guy was making above (at least in most of the pics) was a simple style pie with sauce, mozz, chunks of parm and basil. It was pretty good.

My friends at NYCFoodFOMO and BeFatBeHappy invited me here for an Instagram influencer event to sample and take pics of the food for promotional purposes.

The joint itself is category 1 in my pizza review taxonomy, which means that it’s a pie only place, with no sales by the slice. But it’s also a legit Italian restaurant as well with a fully stacked menu. With all that said, here’s what I tried:

There were two pizzas conceptualized by NYCFoodFOMO and BeFatBeHappy. One had sausage, roasted peppers and pepperoni, and the other had ricotta, garlic, bacon and red onions.

Here’s the first:

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And the second:

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Both were excellent, and the circular pies were more of a success than the square pies. I think if I had to choose one, the sausage, pepperoni and roasted peppers was the winner.

We also tried some pasta dishes. Three to be exact. The first was a nice and simple bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.

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The meatballs were pretty good. Nothing can compare to mom’s, but these did get the job done.

Next up was a  carbonara pasta dish with fettuccine and mushrooms.

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Not bad! But it just needed a touch of salt. I guess the pancetta in the dish wasn’t as salty as expected.

Finally was a shrimp and pasta dish with added baked mozz on top.

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Very nice. And then we moved on to dessert. Tiramisu, cheesecake and vanilla/chocolate mousse pie.

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If you’re wondering who these folks are, they’re some of the crazy Instagram food people from the event. Check out the madness:

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UPDATES 7/5/17 & 7/23/17

I finally made it back to try a classic style pie. Awesome.

It is now my go-to delivery pizzeria as well.

ANGELO’S PIZZA
1697 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

Savour Sichuan

Savour Sichuan serves up some authentic, spicy-as-hell Chinese food in the heart of midtown.

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Executive Chef Zhong Qing Wang masterfully put together about 14 dishes for a press meal, showcasing not only his skills as a chef but the difficult-to-come-by and truly authentic cuisine of China’s Sichuan province.

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The Lazy Susan in the center of the table displayed an array of about a dozen styles of pepper, including pickled peppers, dried peppers, fresh peppers, pepper powders and peppercorns.

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Let me get right down to business, since there are a lot of dishes to discuss here.

APPETIZERS

Cold Chicken with Sesame Sauce

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This was tender, sliced white meat chicken that was served in a somewhat sweet and savory sesame sauce.

Pork Belly with Garlic Sauce (aka “meat curtains”)

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These thin slices of pork belly were also served cold, but with a hot (spicy) chili oil and garlic sauce for dipping. Really nice. I took to calling it “meat curtains” because, well, that’s what it looked like, and I have a weird sense of humor. It isn’t the official name on the menu.

Szechuan Country Smoked Pork Ribs (aka “pork wheelbarrow”)

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I gave this the “pork wheelbarrow” name as well, because it looks like a little ox cart filled with small pork ribs. The meat was sweet yet spicy, and also dry yet succulent. A conundrum.

Baby Shrimp with Red Pickled Pepper

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This was a spicy dish. The sliced up green fresh peppers packed heat, but the shrimp were cooked perfectly and retained a great seafood flavor with good texture.

Dumplings

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These were classic, with a great pop of spice from the chili oil.

Crispy Cucumber (no photos)

Very simple: just raw sliced cukes with a dipping sauce.

ENTREES

Fish Filets with Spicy Green Peppers

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Widely hailed as one of the best dishes of the night, this large, family style platter was filled with green peppers (not too spicy) and perfectly cooked medallions of fish.

Sliced Beef

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As a beef guy, you know I was liking this spicy dish made from slices of tender beef that were lightly breaded and stir fried with hot peppers and served on a bed of cooked scallions.

Yellow Millets and Pork Ribs

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This tasted like a broken sticky rice type of grain with small bones of pork that had tender meat still clinging to them. Very tasty.

Szechuan Pepper Chicken/Pork and Crispy Noodles

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Another favorite of the night was this dish made of tender morsels of baby pork rib (our platter didn’t have chicken but it can be made with either) and fried noodle twists. This was almost like eating a bagged corn chip type of snack. I loved it.

Okra with Garlic and Pepper

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I hate to say it, but I loved the okra. Yep. I loved the veggie dish. It’s a rare thing to get okra that isn’t slimy after being cooked. This was nice and fresh, even had a little crisp to it, absolutely no slime, lots of bright flavors and a good amount of heat.

Seafood with Tofu in Spicy Sauce

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This was essentially shrimp in a spicy broth with fried tofu pillows, onions and bell peppers. It was herby and fresh, and it was presented with a glowing candle beneath the bowl.

Fried Soft Shell Crab

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I’ve never really been a big soft shell crab fan, but these were excellent. My experience is always that the shells aren’t really that soft. They still retain a “shrimp shell” quality to them, which I don’t want to eat. These were soft through and through, and beautifully fried with a delicious batter that was reminiscent of fried chicken.

Fresh Frog Pot with Pickled Peppers (no photos)

Although I didn’t take photos, this was a nice dish as well. I would have liked more lumps of leg meat as opposed to the other bits, but the sauce was very nice for putting on top of a bed of rice.

DESSERT

Brown Sugar and Steamed Sticky Rice Doughnuts

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These had the texture and consistency of a rice or tapioca cake, but with a crisped outer edge and some sugar on top. Very simple and mildly sweet.

Fried Yellow Bean and Rice Ball with Black Sesame Paste

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We all loved these. The sesame paste inside reminded me of the red bean breakfast and dessert pastries I sometimes get from Asian bakeries downtown, only the outside was soft and powdered instead of crispy.

Here’s a 360 shot of the table, and then the dudes all together.

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If you have any interest in who everyone is, check out their Instagram accounts:

@mattbruck
@thecakedealer
@ibitefood
@rebecca_chews_nyc
@jillish_
@sherrytao88
@thegrubfather
@boddenbites
@missyanacherie
@gramercygourmand
@nomnomnycgirls
@food_p.o.r.n_ny
@thefoodjoy

I’ll definitely be back here again, and probably soon, since I’d really like to get more than just a taste of some of the dishes that I liked most. If you like spicy Chinese food, this is the place for you!

SAVOUR SICHUAN
108 W 39th St
New York, NY 10018