Charleston is Calling

Charleston, SC is calling our name for a visit. Half of FP (Kristina) has a good friend living in the city and we keep reading about its southern charm. Another reason is watching chefs from the city compete on Chopped. After an episode this summer which featured four chefs from Charleston, we reached out to contestant Chef Deljuan Murphy, Executive Sous Chef of Fleet Landing, to learn more about him.

Chef Deljuan Murphy, Executive Sous Chef at Fleet's Landing in Charleston, SC. Picture courtesy of Fleet's Landing;s website.

Chef Deljuan Murphy, Executive Sous Chef at Fleet Landing in Charleston, SC. Photo credit to Fleet’s Landing;s website.

FP: We thought you were great on Chopped. 

DM: It was an extremely enjoyable experience. A very long day and a hard time getting on the show.

FP: What was the hardest ingredient to work with?

DM: The hardest ingredient to work with were the clams (but only cause they wouldn’t open).

FP: Oh, those clams! Would you compete on Chopped again?

DM: Yes, I would definitely do it again. I’m planning on it.

FP: How did you get your start as a chef? What do you like most about being one? 

DM: I got my start as a Chef when I enrolled at Johnson & Wales. But I was always in the kitchen as I come from a long line of great cooks. The thing I like most is the creativity and the just making people smile with food.

FP: If you could cook with any three chefs in the kitchen, who would they be and why?

DM: Marcus Samuelson as he is my favorite chef. Charlie Trotter for his knowledge and Mike Lata since I love his food and would love for him to try my cooking.

FP: When you’re at home, what are some of your favorite meals to cook for yourself? 

DM: I am a huge burger/sandwich guy so I love to grill and smoke meats. I also like to build crazy sandwiches such as tea smoked salmon sandwiches with meyer lemon aioli, grilled lamb burger with herbed goat cheese and beef bacon, braised short rib sliders with caramelized shallots, aioli smoked cheddar and homemade sweet sour pickles. Just a couple!

FP: You’re making us hungry! Besides Fleet’s Landing, where are some of your favorite places to eat in Charleston? Or in other cities you’ve visited? 

DM: My favorite places in Charleston are FIG for fine dining. Desano for pizza, which is my favorite food. I go to Hom for burgers and Red Orchid for Asian food. As far as other cities, Red Rooster in NY, The Little Goat and Longman & Eagle in Chicago.

FP: We definitely know about Red Rooster! What are some of your guilty pleasures? We call them foodie pleasures, hence the name.

DM: My guilty pleasures would be homemade cinnamon rolls and doner kebabs from Europe (the best sandwich in the world). I’m trying to get them here.

FP: Did you say Europe? :) On the show, we learned that you’re a rapper/entertainer. What other non-cooking hobbies or interests do you have? 

DM: My hobbies are gardening, music, art, balancing Sugar Rush (my start up company) with work and making Keri Etheridge happy (did i say that?).

FP: You tell us. Were you glad you said that? :) Thank you so much for your time. We wish you continued success!

Bird is the Word

From meeting him in person at an event, watching him as a judge on Chopped and eating at Red Rooster, and reading his books, you can say we’re big fans of Marcus Samuelsson and what he’s done for food and Harlem.  So naturally, when we found out he was opening another restaurant, Streetbird Rotisserie, we had to check it out.

When you walk inside Streebird, the first thing you notice is the design which reflects the energy of Harlem. The walls are filled with bright colors, graffitti and other pieces of art. We sat right in view of the cool sign below:

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With so many delicious options on the menu, we interacted with the restaurant beforehand on Twitter (@streetbirdnyc) to see what we should order. Taking their suggestion, we ordered the Crispy Bird Sandwich. In addition, we ordered the New Jack fried rice, catfish tacos, and Return of the Mac (mac n cheese). Yes, we were hungry!

Despite coming in a smaller bowl than anticipated, the New Jack fried rice was delicious with its combination of pulled chicken, corn and snap peas. We enjoy our share of tacos, and the catfish ones didn’t disappoint with a nice blend of sauce, vegetables and fish. The Crispy Bird lived up to its billing. You can’t go wrong with flavorful, crispy chicken with cheese on top. Return of the Mac also offered a tasty and unique take on mac n cheese.

As with most meals, Allen was still hungry and decided to order curried noodles with vegetables. The curry was delicious giving the noodles a tasty flavor. With the added carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, it was a nice way to end dinner.

We always enjoy making the trip to Harlem and highly suggest stopping by Streetbird when you visit the neighborhood! There are so many great places to eat in Harlem. Let us know some of your favorite locations by replying below or on Twitter (@foodiepleasure) and email at foodiepleasure@gmail.com.

Streetbird Rotisserie
2149 Frederick Douglas Boulevard
New York (Harlem), NY 10027

Family Favorite

When Allen lived in New Rochelle, Karuta was a go-to spot for family gatherings. With a craving for sushi and a family occasion to celebrate, of course Karuta was the ideal choice.

What’s good about eating with a big group is ordering plenty of food for everyone to share. We started with some appetizers such as Tatsuta Chicken, Beef Negimaki and plenty of sushi rolls for everyone.

For entrees, the group shared the Bento Box, beef teriyaki and other delicious plates.

While we don’t come here as often as we’d like, we hope Karuta continues to be a favorite for family celebrations!

Karuta Japanese Restaurant
77 Quaker Ridge
New Rochelle, NY 10804

Back to Patricia’s

We were first introduced to Patricia’s few years back when we celebrated a friend’s birthday there. What we remember from that night was the great service, variety of options and large portions of delicious food. While we have some favorite places nearby for pizza and pasta, we decided to treat ourselves to date night and went to Patricia’s.

As with our first visit, we were greeted promptly and escorted to our table since we made reservations. We highly recommend doing the same as Patricia’s always seems to be busy, even during the weekday. With so many options to choose from, we decided to order calamari, pumpkin ravioli and a pizza.

Calamari is a favorite appetizer of ours. What makes the calamari different at Patricia’s is its extra kick of spice. We can always go for a little heat! We usually don’t order ravioli but decided to order the pumpkin ravioli, which was a good decision. It was nice and soft and wasn’t too heavy on the stomach. The job of finishing off our appetite was given to the La Gardinia pie we ordered. The toppings included eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms, which made us both very happy and completely full.

If you’re ever visiting the Morris Park area of the Bronx, we highly recommend stopping by Patricia’s for some good ‘ole Italian food. Just don’t forget to make reservations in advance!

Patricia’s 
1082 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461 

Lunch Break

This fall, Kristina is beginning a new job in Queens which means, among many other things, easy access to a wide variety of delicious food. Here’s her first report from the neighborhood.

Last week, while on-site at the new gig for planning and preparation, my team and I were looking for a quick lunch option that catered to a wide variety of tastes. We ended up at Tamashii Ramen in Astoria, which offers a variety of salads, sides, rice dishes, and of course, ramen. I had a house salad (can’t get enough of the dressing!) and the veggie ramen, which was especially good with kara (spicy sauce) on the side. At only 7.95 for a bowl during lunch, it was filling and well-priced. I even had some leftovers to bring Allen for dinner!

I look forward to trying more restaurants in my work neighborhood, but will definitely return to Tamashii as well. What are some of your favorite spots in Queens? The options are endless!

Tamashii Ramen
2905 Broadway
Astoria, NY 11106

Will Ride for Food

It’s been a hot few weeks in Westchester County, but tyat hasn’t stopped us from staying active with outside activities. One such activity is riding our bikes along the Bronx River Greenway spanning through multiple towns. Luckily, the the trail cuts through the Bronxville/Yonkers border where we stopped by Pondview Cafe. We drive into Bronxville often and always drive by this popular spot for breakfast and lunch and finally decided to stop in one morning after a bike ride.

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk up to Pondview Cafe is that there is always a line. We see this as a good thing! Once you’re inside, you get a sense that everyone knows each other- the space is very cozy with a neighborhood feel. There are about ten tables inside, as well as a counter with a few additional seats.

The menu has a lot to offer and there is a menu board that changes daily. After a bike ride, we decided to load up on carbs and protein. We shared a burrito (turkey, broccoli eggs and avocado inside) and a plate of Huevos Locotes (eggs, bacon and home fries). Both satisfied our need to re-energize after a long bike ride!

A few things to consider before going to Pondview Cafe: it’s cash only and there is limited parking. But, if you’re looking for delicious diner food with a neighborhood feel in Bronxville, this is the place to go!

Pondview Cafe
3 Pondview Road W
Bronxville, NY 10708

So Gong Dong So Good

We were introduced to So Gong Dong in Hartsdale via multiple takeout orders at Allen’s brother’s house. Each time, we enjoyed the food and said to ourselves, “we’ve gotta check this place out in person.” Last Friday, while running errands in the neighborhood, we stopped by for a quick bite. When you walk inside So Gong Dong, you can immediately smell the good food in the air. Although it was fairly busy inside, we were seated very quickly. We started with some popular Korean appetizers (kimchi, bean sprouts and edamame, to name a few). Known for its noodles and tofu offerings, the menu allows you to customize your meal the way you like. With so many options to choose from we settled on the a combination of oysters with ramen (Allen) and the chicken bimbibap (Kristina).

Allen: With a craving for ramen and something spicy, this meal definitely satisfied my taste buds. Add some tofu and oysters to noodles with delicious broth and I am satisfied for sure!

Kristina: I’ve ordered the bimbibap for takeout and enjoyed it, but it was even better in person. The vegetables really make it– a combination of julienned vegetables alongside rice, chicken and an egg is both healthy and delicious!

If you’re in the mood for Korean fare with multiple options at a reasonable price (both meals cost $9.95 each), check out So Gong Dong in Hartsdale on Central Ave located in the shopping complex near H-Mart and Christmas Tree Shoppe. If you have time to burn before or after your meal, you’ll have plenty of shopping options to keep busy!

So Gong Dong
411 N. Central Avenue
Hartsdale, NY 10530