Tag Archives: meat packing

Pastis

I stopped into Pastis yesterday to try the burger. It was fantastic!

I have to be honest – part of me wanted to hate it. I know Pastis was loved by many back in the day, but I always despised the crowd of douchebags who went there. The place was (and is) beautiful. I don’t remember the food so much from back in the day, but this perfect chef’d-up Big Mac will definitely have me going back for more. I’ll try a steak frites too eventually. The fries are amazing, and they give you a lot with the burger.

PASTIS
52 Gansevoort Street
New York NY 10014

Intersect by Lexus

This place has some great snacks and cocktails at the bar upstairs. They’re becoming well known for their interesting cocktail glassware.

My wife and I tried a bunch of stuff so let me get right to it.

COCKTAILS

1) Elementary, My Dear

This sweet and easy to sip Japanese whisky drink comes in a glass shaped like a pipe. It’ll go down fast so nurse it a bit.

2) Nemo

This cocktail is like an Aperol spritz without the ice, and comes in a blowfish glass.

3) Smoked Rum Old Fashioned

My favorite of the four we tried, this elevates the quality aged rum with a nice smoke aroma.

4) Black Magic Woman

Probably our second favorite, this well balanced and easy to slam cocktail is beautiful

SNACKS

1) Fluke Ceviche

Absolutely awesome. The perfectly seasoned and well balanced flavors make for a refreshing, cool summer snack. A top dish of the year.

2) Paella Croquettes

Warming, comforting, salty and spicy balls contrast with the cechive in this delicious hot snack that will have you drinking your fancy cocktails faster than you anticipated.

3) Tartare Tacos

There’s beef striploin in here but it’s a bit overshadowed by the dressing and accompaniments within the tartare itself. Otherwise tasty. A bit salty though.

4) Fried Chicken

These perfectly fried bone-in nuggets of breast meat come with a jalapeno cream sauce and a drizzle of honey. The flavors balance nicely and this is a great dish, I just wish they used boneless morsels of thigh meat instead.

5) Burger

This burger “intersects” Asian and American cuisines seamlessly with a perfectly seared beef patty that’s nestled in the folds of a warm sesame seed bao bun and covered with a miso cheddar cheese sauce and topped with pickle slices, pickled chili and crispy shallots. Lovely. Another top item of the year.

6) Cheesecake Donut

To be clear, this is a small ring of cheesecake that looks like a donut – not a donut with a cheesecake filling or something like that. It’s light, fruity and tasty. They also sell them downstairs at the coffee counter sans service charge if you want to try this on the go without sitting at the bar.

7) Melon Margarita Kakigori

This flavored ice dish is a hit with the locals passing by. There’s a little booth station beside the bar where you can get them on the fly. It was delicious, and we got ours “spiked” with tequila.

I definitely recommend this place. It’s a no-tip Danny Meyer joint, so expect a little sticker shock. But find comfort in the bill being the final number you see on your credit card (they don’t accept cash).

INTERSECT BY LEXUS
412 West 14th St
New York, NY 10014

STK Rooftop

STK Rooftop overall score: 87

I came here with a group of friends for a steak night. I have to be honest; I wasn’t expecting much from a scene-heavy location on a rooftop in the meat packing district, but this place delivered. Everyone seemed happy at the end of the meal, especially me, which is all that really fucking matters anyway.

Flavor: 10
I ordered their off-menu special cut, which was an 8-10oz spinalis (the fat cap of the rib eye). It was topped with pickled mushrooms, pickled jalapenos and chimichurri sauce.

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This fucker was perfect. Unlike Bowery Meat Company, which ties together several slivers of trimmed cap to form one round cap steak, this seemed to be one full hunk of the same spinalis. I was impressed with the flavor and cook quality of the meat, and the pickled items added a nice pop of brightness and flavor to the meat. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare / medium temperature, it was juicy and I could taste the dry-aged flavors come though (this was the only dry-aged offering). 10/10. Also note that this is the only other place in the city aside from BMC that offers a version of this cut, so go get it.

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I also had a taste of a bone-in tenderloin that a friend ate, and it was very tasty as well (9/10). To clarify, he actually ordered a rib eye but they delivered a filet. He was a little bummed about it but decided to keep his filet. In the end I think he was happy with the steak.

I noticed that all the steaks had a good charred crust on them, and they all seemed to be seasoned generously. I snapped a few photos to demonstrate:

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I didn’t get to try the rib eye this time, but here’s a shot of it:

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Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
All the steaks on the menu are prime quality beef, but they didn’t offer anything that was aged aside from the special that I got (which was not on their menu).

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The good news is they have several sizes of steaks to suit whatever kind of pussy appetite you might have, and two people can probably share the large steaks.

Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are pretty good here. While two of the large cuts seemed a bit pricey, I felt the porterhouse was fair and that all the other cuts were correctly priced as well. Side items and apps were also good. Plating was basic but with a touch of attention to beauty.

Price: 9
We were eating with nine people and the bill came to $187 per person, with tax and tip included and two of the diners not paying (they won credit card roulette). There were lots of cocktails and wine involved too, so I thought this was pretty fair, though we did skip dessert. For the quality you get, this is a good deal.

Bar: 8
The main bar here is a bit small, but you’re up on a rooftop that looks out across the Hudson. It’s a nice spot, and there is also a lounge on the other side of the dining room if the bar area is too crowded. I think it just would have been better planning to have the bar and the lounge adjacent to each other rather than split by the dining room. In any case, the drinks were made well, and the cocktail menu was pretty interesting.

Specials and Other Meats: 9
There is chicken, lamb, duck and beef short rib for those who don’t want a real cut of steak. As I mentioned above, they had a great spinalis special. But they also have some wagyu selections available as well, for those with fatter wallets.

Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
We started with some oysters for the table. They were small, which I don’t mind, but some people do. They were west coast fuckers too, so a bit more fish and brine flavors involved.

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I had the octopus appetizer, which is done two ways; grilled and braised. They’re served together on the plate with nice purple potatoes and roasted, skinless grape tomatoes. While some bites had a bit more snap to them than others, overall this was a tasty dish and the octopus was tender.

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I also tried two other sides that we ordered for the table: truffle fries, and mac and cheese. The truffle fries had a good truffle flavor but they weren’t crispy enough. That was a bummer, and it made me think that the truffle flavor was just an oil-based add-on that was poured on top before serving, which could have been why they weren’t crispy. But the mac and cheese was awesome. It was topped with a nice baked bread crumb crust, and the cheese was top notch quality. Apologies for not getting a pic of either.

Seafood Selection: 8
There are at least three or four fish items on the entree menu to choose if you have a snatch and don’t eat meat, but we certainly didn’t try any. The appetizer fare is chock full of shellfish and other seafood items, however, and some of those, as mentioned earlier, were pretty good.

Service: 10
Our waitress, Sue Ann, was great. Not only did she properly explain each cut of steak on the menu, but she was forthcoming with her opinions on which steaks were better than others. She was also looking out for us, because when we first arrived, three of us were not yet there. They wouldn’t seat us at our table for nine until all guests arrived. The table for six, at which we were originally sitting while waiting for the final three, was really just comfortable enough for four people. There’s no way we could have eaten there, even if the last three didn’t make it. She told us to start ordering and when the others arrived, it’d be timed right as another large group would be finishing up their meal, so we would swap tables. It worked out nicely.

Ambiance: 9
The rooftop is beautiful. I’m only taking a point off because I thought the space could have been laid out and organized a bit better. I think it’s great that they have cover in the event of rain. Also some areas are still uncovered so if the day is nice, you can get some sunlight. They even have temperature control, at least near the bar. It was a muggy night but we were still very comfortable while eating dinner up there. Nicely done.

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STK ROOFTOP
26 Little W 12th St
New York, NY 10014

Gansevoort Market

Below is a quick and dirty photo dump of some of the cool joints in Gansevoort Market. My wife and I strolled through after eating lunch so we didn’t really partake in anything here. When I get back down here I will update this post accordingly.

Bruffin:

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 Luzzo’s Pizza:

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 Some other interesting shops, like gelato, tacos, sushi, etc.

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MEAT! Cappone’s and Macelleria:

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 Some signage:

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This little crepe joint was cool too – I nabbed some video:

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Greek yogurt being made, teste bag format:

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Bangkok Bar looked delicious:

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Donostia has some interesting looking sandwiches:

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This was probably the coolest thing to behold. Bacon on a stick for $5, and it was HUGE:

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Would love to try a chorizo dog too.

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Essentially I need to go here with the intention of eating, vomiting to make room, and repeating. Fuck yeah, Bulimia!

Mosner Meat & Butchery Class

For our fifth wedding anniversary, my awesome wife surprised the shit out of me with a butchery class and tour at the Mosner family meat processing plant in Hunt’s Point in the Bronx.

Butchery Class 087

The business has been around for nearly six decades, starting with meat deliveries from the back of a station wagon until the brand slowly built up to become a well known, high-end meat distributor for some of the area’s finest steakhouses and meat purveyors.

Butchery Class 001

Three grandchildren of the original Mosner start-up (Seth, Jessica, and Ben) run the incredibly informative tour and butchery class on Saturdays. The first thing you’ll do is suit up in a butcher’s coat and some gloves. Just a word of advice – bundle up if you do this. Inside it is just about freezing.

Butchery Class 055Butchery Class 010

It starts out with introductions and some information from Jessica about the company, what they do, the history, etc. Then comes an awesome, testosterone building meat chant in call-and-response format. MEAT MEAT MEAT! This is a shot of Ben pulling us in for the huddle just before the chanting began.

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Once inside, the learning begins. Seth and Ben informed us about the lamb and veal they deal in, including how it is treated at the farm (they enjoy a stress free and healthy life, which makes for better flavors), how it is slaughtered (with the utmost standards of humaneness), and how it is processed (skilled artists and craftsmen butchers).

Ben & Seth & Veal
Ben & Seth & Veal
Ben & Seth & Veal
Ben & Seth & Veal
Ben & Seth & Veal
Ben & Seth & Veal
Me & Veal
Me & Veal
Lamb
Lamb
Veal
Veal
Veal
Veal

Check out some of the other beautiful decor here:

Hooks & Pulleys
Hooks & Pulleys
Lamb Mobile
Lamb Mobile
Lamb
Lamb
Lamb
Lamb
Lamb
Lamb
Yum
Yum
Hooks
Hooks
Lamb all wrapped up in plastic
Lamb all wrapped up in plastic
A peek underneath the skirt of some hanging lamb
A peek underneath the skirt of some hanging lamb

Next up, Jessica runs through some of the important (and often times confusing to those not in the know) labels that the meat industry applies to various products.

Jessica educates the class
Jessica educates the class

“Antibiotic Free” vs “No Antibiotics,” for example (“No Antibiotics” means NO ANTIBIOTICS have ever been in the animal. “Antibiotic Free” means that there were no traces of antibiotics in the animal at the time of slaughter, but that doesn’t mean the animal never had any antibiotics in its lifetime). Here’s a nice little print-out that they gave the class: not everything we learned is on here, but this is a great start.

butchery terms

After this, we watched Chris, AKA “Da Butcher,” perform a lightning fast demo of his amazing butchery skills as he broke down the roast and rib ends of a pig in what had to be under 3 minutes WITH pauses in place to show us and explain what he was doing.

Da Butcher's Tools
Da Butcher’s Tools
"Da Butcher" in action
“Da Butcher” in action
Da Butcher's Artwork
Da Butcher’s Artwork

Then we had an opportunity to buy some high end meat at super wholesale prices. I’m talking PRIME beef for $9.99/lb. They even had an entire trailer full of game meats, with lots of harder to find stuff like elk, duck, venison, kangaroo, gator, snake, ostrich, pheasant, squab and others. Are you FUCKING serious?!?? I was in heaven! We decided to get some rarities like duck sausage and confit duck legs, but I could have easily blown the mortgage on this delicious shit.

high-end meats for sale
high-end meats for sale
duck leg confit
duck leg confit
sausage variety
sausage variety

Now for the hands-on stuff. I had to put my camera down, so there are no “action” photos, but we all got to do what “Da Butcher” did in his demo: namely, slice up the roast and rib of the pig.

Piggy
Piggy
Piggy
Piggy
The Classroom
The Classroom
The Classroom
The Classroom
The Classroom
The Classroom

We were instructed on everything from the best way to hold the knife, to how to properly get the meat off the bone without nicking or slicing up the good bits. Afterwards, we took all our cuts over to the vaccum sealer and put them into boxes that were pre-labeled with our names on them. That’s right – you get to bring home all that delicious piggy meat that you just butchered!!!

my share of the butchery
my share of the butchery
one of our boxes
one of our boxes

I watched as the staff expertly portioned and wrapped the prime stuff that other classmates had purchased.

Ben saws some porterhouses down to size
Ben saws some porterhouses down to size
Ben & "Da Butcher"
Ben & “Da Butcher”
Some prime T-bones
Some prime T-bones
"Da Butcher" trims some of the fat off before it heads to the sealer
“Da Butcher” trims some of the fat off before it heads to the sealer
Porterhouses coming off the vacuum sealer
Porterhouses coming off the vacuum sealer

Then Ben took me around to show me some of the offal that they sell as well. I’m talking everything – liver, heart, bones, sweetbreads – you name it, they sling it.

Veal Heart
Veal Heart
Liver
Liver

As you may have guessed, I’ve reviewed some of their steakhouse customers, and I have to tell you: there is a stark and obvious correlation. The places that use Mosner to source their meat all have excellent ratings on my leaderboard.

What an amazing gift! If you guys get a chance, you should definitely go as well. Not only do you learn a lot about the meat proteins you are eating, but you will come away with a great appreciation for the hard work and effort that goes into bringing these products to your dinner table. My wife knows that I secretly wish I were a butcher, so this was a real treat for me. Look – I even got a participation award.

Butchery Certificate

Once we got home, I was itching to try some of what we just worked on, so I took the stew meat scraps and threw them into the slow cooker with apple moonshine, apple sauce, apple flavored water, and a bunch of mulling type spices like cinnamon and cloves.

Me, magic-wanding in a mix of kosher salt and crushed red pepper
Me, magic-wanding in a mix of kosher salt and crushed red pepper
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stew meat swimming in the slow cooker

I set it on low and slow. Four hours later the result was amazing. My wife and I threw it onto a sandwich with some pickled cabbage and a spicy mayo. Check out the recipe HERE.