The Most Adorable (And Moving) Argument For Vegetarianism Ever

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I have to confess that I am an unrepentant carnivore. I like my burgers and my steak tartare. Whenever someone tries to convey how horrific slaughterhouses or chicken farms are, I actually get hungry. So you can imagine how I wouldn’t expect little Luiz Antonio to challenge my long-held position, but that’s just what he did.

Luiz is having a disagreement with his mother about eating dinner—not so unusual, right? Except Luiz’ reasons for not wanting to eat his meal have a bit more philosophy behind them than typical little-kid crankiness. Within minutes he has his mom weeping by asking her why the animals have to die to feed humans. He prefers when the animals don’t die and can stay “standing.”

 Be sure to turn on the English close captioning here, unless you’re fluent in Spanish:

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Brisket Boom

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In April 2012, Texas native Daniel Delaney started Brisketlab, a pop-up shop featuring, what else, smoked brisket. In 48 hours, he sold 2,500 pounds of meat and earned a name for himself and his product. Now, Delaney dishes up brisket at his first brick and mortar shop Delaney Barbecue, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There, you can buy tender, fatty brisket and smoky ribs by the pound, along with a tangy potato salad and coleslaw. Bring your own beer to chase the meat, and lots of friends to share it with.

Also dishing out stellar brisket is Bill Fletcher, who runs Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue in Gowanus. What is Brooklyn barbecue you may ask? The owner said it’s not from Texas, it’s not from St. Louis, and it’s not from the Carolinas, it’s from Brooklyn. Plus, in sticking with the local, organic, grass-fed beef trend that, thankfully, many restaurants in the borough have adopted, Fletcher’s also makes sure their product remains sustainable. You can also buy by the pound here, and, aside from ribs and brisket, they serve Pat LaFrieda spicy sausage, pork shoulder, baked beans, and house-made fridge pickles.

Recently, in Astoria, Queens, The Strand Smokehouse opened up with former Jeffrey’s Grocery chef Eric Milley cooking pulled pork, smoked pork loin, and macaroni and cheese. They have a good selection of beer and have a handful of whiskey-filled barrels right for tapping. 

 

Photo Credit: Critter

Bring on the Meat: New Places to Pig Out

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In the last month, it’s been a sausage fest in New York, and the latest joint to make the scene is San Francisco transplant Rosamunde in Williamsburg. This rustic shop just opened a week ago on the bustling Bedford Avenue, and already it’s become a hot spot. Maybe this is due to Rosamunde’s laidback staff and lack of hipster bartenders. Maybe they are stoned (they’re from California!). Or maybe the meat is so good that everyone is just high off of sausage. I like this option the best, but if you want to check it out for yourself, go to their official opening party on Saturday from 6 to 9 PM. There you can get sausages like the spicy pork Italian, wild boar with apple, or chicken habanero, which is smoked with tequila.

You can also fill up on sausage at the newly opened Die Koelner Bierhalle in Park Slope. This biergarten serves up some mean German fare, including a traditional bratwurst with sauerkraut, bauenwurst, currywurst, kielbasa, and the wurst of them all, wiesswurst, which comes pressed into a soft pretzel with sweet mustard. Also in the German sausage category, Radegast Hall & Biergarten has a whole griddle full of meat links, and, if you don’t know what they are, just point to what looks good. For a more high-class sausage, Daniel Boulud’s DBGB in the East Village offers excellent homemade ones.  Is there a missing link? Feel free to chime in on more great sausage spots?

You Say Tomato, Alobar Says Tomatoes – and Lots of ‘Em

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Kicking off the start of tomato season, Alobar, Jeff Blath’s nose-to-tail restaurant in Long Island City, Queens, is letting the red fruit loose with their Tomato Festival Menu, created by chef Ian Kapitan, formerly of Jo Jo, Vong, and Danube.

"What I like about tomato season is the versatility in working with tomatoes and the various preparations that you can do with them,” said Kapitan. “The most unusual preparation has probably been tomato water Jello. It throws your senses off until you figure out what it is."

Tomato gelatin won’t appear on the special menu, but there are at least six other tomato-based dishes to try, including an Algerian-style spicy tomato soup, roasted tomato ravioli with house-made ricotta and mushroom bacon broth, and tomato bread and jam. The restaurant also offers two drinks in honor of the festival: a tomato water martini and Bloody Mary’s with fresh-squeezed yellow tomatoes. The special menu runs from September 3 to 9 and $30 will get you two courses and a cocktail.

While tomatoes are the focus of that week, you can still order from the cozy restaurant’s regular menu, which features meaty dishes like country fried rabbit, maple bacon popcorn, Amish pig tails, and duck confit sloppy Joes. Plus, they have a great beer and wine list, creative cocktails like the Smoked Peach: a mezcal, jalapeño, and Cointreau drink. If you hit up Alobar on a Tuesday, you get the bonus of $8 whiskey drinks, bourbon flights, and appearances by various whiskey and bourbon distillers.

Meat Meets Woman: Q&A With Brandi McHan of Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse

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In the world of meat, men usually rule. But at Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse in Gramercy Park, chef Brandi McHan is in charge of the grill. The 30-year-old Texas-born chef has been cooking since 2007, and for the past three years has cut her chops at chef Bryan Caswell’s Reef in Houston. When Angelo’s Steakhouse shuttered its doors last year, Vic & Anthony’s moved in and opened their fourth restaurant and their first in New York. McHan moved here in December to open the steakhouse with them, and so far, she likes living in the city. I caught up with the petit chef to find out how she got into meat, and what it’s like working in man’s world.

How did you get into the steakhouse business?
Actually, it just kind of happened. I have worked in Mexican, seafood and Italian restaurants. So, the next step for me was a steakhouse. 

Where did you learn to grill?
I learned to grill from my grandpa and parents. It was a weekend thing to turn the pit on and barbecue. 

Do you think it’s odd not many women are executive chefs at a steakhouse?
I don’t think it’s odd actually. I think a woman can run a steakhouse, but it is few and far between. It won’t be in the years to come. Women chefs are being more accepted every day, and, who says a woman can’t do a steakhouse or any other restaurant.

How did you break the mold?
To me, there was no mold to break. I’ve worked with both men and women in the kitchen.

What’s the hardest cut of meat to work with?
One of my favorite cuts of meat is sirloin, but it’s also the hardest to work with because it can be tough if not cut or cooked properly.

What do you like to eat on your day off?
I love sushi. So, I like to try all the different restaurants around the city like Sushi Samba, Kyo Ya, and Blue Ribbon Sushi. But, I don’t have a favorite here. I’m kind of spoiled from back home because there is a restaurant call Uchi and it’s my favorite sushi. 

Since you are new to New York, is there anything you always wanted to do in this city?
This may sound funny, but I want to try the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in Madison Square Park to see what it’s really about. I’m from the south [Texas-south] and barbecue is one of our things.

Los Angeles Opening: Kitchen Table

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If you’ve been kicking rocks down the streets of the Old Bank District, hands deep in your pockets, lamenting the fact that there are zero rooftop options in the area to enjoy a rib eye or an artichoke salad… well, guess what? You’re a caricature and need some friends, but also you can raise your head because Kitchen Table opens today, and with it, a not-so-hidden hidden rooftop dining room.

Push through the charming blue and yellow doors, admire the chubby angels painted overhead, and smirk at the few tables around the intimate space. Before you can be shown a seat, simply request a table outside. Soon you’ll be dining al fresco, ordering that rib eye or the pork belly or Alaskan cod, enjoying a rooftop view and a glass of red.