Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rocking Horse Cafe -I Like The Way It Hurts - Chelsea NYC Review

I love spicy foods. I definitely get it from my Daddy. His obsession with spicy foods has been well known in our family since before I was born.

At Rocking Horse Cafe, which has become one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, located in Chelsea, NYC, They have this one dish called Carne Guisado that I crave. Translated from Spanish Carne Guisado means Meat Stew.

Now, It may sound a little deep but for me food triggers sensory memories. Sometimes of joy, sometimes of pain.  Oddly enough, Rocking Horse Cafe's Carne Guisado reminds me of a bad romance.

Salsa Rojo with Tortilla Chips

Guacamole with 3 relishes & warm handmade corn tortillas

I went with my friend Mike. We started off with the Guacamole with 3 relishes. Duck cracklings, pickled shallots, and Papaya Pico De Gallo. It was incredible! Each relish added a different and complimentary flavor to the creamy guacamole.

Take a look at the picture below... It's okay I'll wait. Look at how creamy that guacamole is.

Guacamole with 3 relishes & warm handmade corn tortillas

The duck cracklings were a trio of sensuality; salty, crunchy and fatty. 
The pickled shallots added a wonderful crunch and acidity that cut the creaminess of the guacamole perfectly.
The Papaya pico de gallo was an unexpected treat. It was simply out of this world and a must try. The sweetness added the perfect finish to this appetizer. 

Bistec en Recado herb marinated Cedar River Farms natural hanger steak with garlic mashed potatoes, red wine escabeche

My friend Mike had the Bistec en Recado. Translated from Spanish it means Seasoned Steak.

He really enjoyed it. Of course I had to have a taste, in the name of research. And I must say, It was a very well balanced dish. The addition of olive oil was very clever because it cut the acidity and the heaviness of the steak perfectly.
The steak was very moist, wonderfully seasoned and had a nice grilled flavor. The fried onions provided a welcomed sweetness and crunchy texture. The garlic mashed potatoes were muy delicioso.

They also had Escabeche, which in this case was referring to a pickled hot pepper. But it can also refer to a different dish, called the same name, that is popular in Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine. The later version of Escabeche is a seared fish is marinated in a vinegar and herb sauce and then served either cold are at room temperature.

Carne Guisado jalapeño braised brisket in rich tomato-lime broth over garlic mashed potatoes

Carne Guisado jalapeño braised brisket in rich tomato-lime broth over garlic mashed potatoes

I ordered the fiery, Carne Guisado. Before I bite into it I see what I am about to get myself into. I feel the anticipation of the impending heat. I get excited about the tempestuous journey I am about to embark on. I see and smell the danger, the element of unknown. Will I be able to handle it? Will I like it? All these thoughts pulse through my mind.

I take the first bite and the heat creeps up slowly, teasing each taste bud on my tongue, carrying the spice further and deeper into the crevaces of my soft and vunerable mouth. I lick my lips and the pain sets in. The dull heat engulfs my senses and causes me to exhale and wince. It's really hot but I don't want to stop eating. With the heat brings so many complex flavors of smokiness. Ah, the rush! The Thrill!

 I am drawn in by the creaminess of the mashed potatoes, the acidity of the lime; and in that moment, the tomatoes, jalapenos, and succulent brisket melt in my mouth. They gather together like a phoenix making its nest before self combusting. My taste buds are blinded and changed by this heat. The taste becomes something different. And As the flavorful phoenix goes up in flames, new flavors are reborn from it's ashes. There is a brightness and a darkness to this dish that keeps you wanting more. Just like a bad romance.


HOurs           BRUNCH
Saturday and Sunday 11am - 3:30pm

Monday - Friday 12pm - 4:30pm

Monday - Thursday 5pm - 11pm
Friday - Saturday 5pm - 12am
Sunday 4pm - 11pm


                   Appetizers: 6.95 - 9.95
Main Courses: 15.95 - 22.95
Desserts: 6.95

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh You Fancy Huh -- Fancy Food Show

{Janovic Convention Center}

{One of the Many Rows Of Booths... Ahhhhhhh.}

One of my friends hooked it up and got me tickets to the Fancy Food Show. It was amazing. I did not want to leave. I was scoping out corners in the Janovic Convention Center where I could pitch a tent and live. And can you blame me for not wanting to leave? 

The Fancy Food Show gives vendors a chance to showcase their Fancy Food Products to potential buyers and other colleagues in the food production business. There were samples of all different types of food and drinks from all over the world. There were snacks, drinks, teas, candies, pastas, olive oils, nuts, chocolate, desserts, I could keep going on and on but I think the pictures speak for themselves. If you get the chance to go next year you should definitely do it!! 

A Taste Of Chile

{Salmon Ceviche}

The Salmon Ceviche was so fresh. The chopped red onions, celery and red bell peppers added a nice crunch. The tartness of the lime coated and complimented the sweetness of the salmon perfectly.

A Taste Of Argentina

{Argentinean Olive Oil}

It was very rich and had notes to it just like a fine wine.

A Taste Of Texas

{Incredible Salsas and BBQ Sauces}

A Taste Of Greece

{All Different Types of Cheese From Greece}

A Taste Of India

This booth was in the India section. It was a mother and daughter team. They were serving Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Korma and Chicken Vindalo. They sold Sauces and frozen packages that you just heat and serve. I loved the concept and the flavors of the sauce but my sample was still frozen.  Ick.

{Chicken Tikka Massala, Chicken Korma, Chicken Vindaloo}

A Taste Of France

Although there were so many delicious desserts to choose from. I decided to go with the Mango Mouse with a Mango Sponge cake and Strawberry Gelee.

{Mango Mouse Cake}

A Taste Of My Childhood

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love, love, love Jelly Belly, Jelly Beans. My mom still gives me a huge jar from Costco of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans every year for my birthday.

{If you look behind the Chocolate Cake. 
You will see the red top and that's the Jar of Jelly Beans I get every year.}

So when I stumbled upon this booth I stopped and stared for a few minutes. Then I looked down and saw this

It took all my strength not to carry the whole cardboard container filled with those beautiful Jelly Jewels out with me. I took one, okay two packets with me and turned the corner. I could not believe my eyes. My two favorite candies of all time right next to each other.

When I was in 5th Grade, my teacher Mrs. Acra found the perfect way to get me to be an A student in Math. Math was always my hardest and least favorite subject. But in her class for every test you got over  90% as your grade, you got to choose a Sunkist Candy. Let's just say I have never had such high grades in math ever. 
Ah. I remember reaching my tiny, lanky hand into her clear plastic jar. The plastic wrapping on those sugary, gummy delights would crinkle under my finger tips making the most amazing crunch sound. As I reached for my lovely red companion, a symphony of colors - green, yellow, and orange would dance gleefully in my hand. As I unwrapped my sweet taste of victory, my mouth would water ever so slightly. I would gently tear and pull back the wrapper. Then I would lick the sugar off the tip. After it was a littly wet I would sink my teeth into it's gummy wonderland, enjoying every morsel. 

A Taste Of Innovation

If you like to cater your own parties at home. Then you should definitely check this product out. They are savory cones. They come in all different flavors but the most popular are Garlic, Sun- Dried Tomato and Basil. I tried the Garlic Cone with Babaganoush. It was really good and extremely convenient.

When I go to dinner parties or catered events it's always such a spectacle trying to get the dip on the chip. Well with these cones you get the best of both worlds. Since the dip is placed in the cones you don't have to worry about getting your hands dirty trying to shovel out the good stuff. Also, you don't have to worry what kind of rare bacteria are incubating in a cest pool of deliciousness. Another plus side is you get to really enjoy the dip. Just like when you're eating an ice cream cone and anticipating til

A Taste Of Britain

A Taste Of Teas

A Taste Of Italy

{Rotini Pasta with Basil, Sun -dried Tomatoes}

The pasta was cooked perfectly Al Dente and the Sun Dried tomatoes were bursting with a depthy sweetness and a pungent after bite. The basil added a wonderful freshness and the Feta Cheese rounded off the sample creating the perfect sweet - savory bite.

{Olives - That's Amore}

{Vinegar Shots Anyone?? }

A Taste Of Peru

{Chocolate Covered Delights with Peruvian Chocolate}

{Chocolate Covered Quinoa}

I hate Quinoa. I love Cous-Cous but I hate Quinoa. The texture just drives me crazy. But then I stumbled upon Chocolate Covered Quinoa and I had to try it. I must say I was pleasantly surprised, in fact I loved it. This is on my list of desserts to make. So simple yet elegant. I especially like how they displayed the product. This wonderful treat would be perfect for dinner parties, goodie bags, kid's lunch or just a nice snack. And if you like Quinoa then you're really going to love this. And you can make it at home.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Love In Your Mouth - Chick-Fil-A

Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some Chick -Fil -A. And can you blame me? I mean it's delicious, their succulent chicken breast that has the slightest flavorful crunch, sandwiched between a sweet fluffy bun.. arrrrrrhhhhhhggghhh.

Everytime I go to Atlanta the first place I go when I land is Chik- Fil-A. It's actually become a little bit of a ritualistic obsession because in New York for years you could not get Chick-Fil-A.
But one has arrived and while I am happy we have one in NYC it's is not a full service Chik-Fil-A; you can only get a few items. And If you've never had a Chik- Fil-A sandwich than you need to GET WITH IT because it is the best chicken sandwich you will ever eat.

If you want to go to the one in NY here's all you need to know:


{Original Chicken Sandwich with Pickles}

{Chicken Strips}

{Cole Slaw}


{Spicy Chicken with Cheese}

{Original Chicken Sandwich with Pickles}
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