July 01, 2016

The Mobs Line Up at Brooklyn's L&B Pizzeria

Anytime, anyone of my out of town friends show up in my home town, Brooklyn, it is a necessity to take them to the famed pizzeria, established by Ludovico Barbati in 1939 in the Gravesend section of this wonderful borough of New York City. I've lived in Gravesend my whole life, and L&B offers probably the best Sicilian pizza (the so-called "square slice") you'll ever eat anywhere. They put the mozzarella on the bed of the pie, and top it with a tangy sauce and grated cheese that will make your mouth water; and if you're into Italian ices and Spumoni, there are fewer places in New York that offer anything creamier or more refreshing.

To my knowledge, the only mob ties to the famed pizzeria are the mobs that line up awaiting their slices, sitting in the outdoor "Spumoni Gardens", especially in the summer months. Today, I learned differently.

Remarkably, last night, for the first time in eons, my sister and I stopped by at L&B for a square slice; around the same time, the grandson of Ludovico, the 61-year old Louis Barbati, co-owner of the current restaurant he built on 86th Street in Gravesend, was murdered in his backyard in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn, his family inside the home. It is being called a "mob-tied" hit. Apparently, back in 2012, a mob war almost erupted over accusations that some folks had stolen the L&B secret-tomato-sauce recipe. And today, perhaps a casualty of long-time disputes, Louis Barbati is gone.

I've heard of mob wars over narcotics and neighborhood turf, but not this. I truly extend my heartfelt sympathies to the Barbati family.

Ed. Note: We learned the day after that apparently the murder was the result of a botched robbery. All the more senseless and tragic.

May 28, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday to Nathan's Famous

Today, Nathan's Famous, a worldwide food chain, celebrated its 100th anniversary (having started as a hot dog cart) at its landmark Coney Island address, where, for 2 hours, they offered customers hot dogs for their original 1916 price: 5 cents a piece. You had to agree to buy two!

Brooklynite I am, but crazy I am not. Temperatures in the 90s and millions of people on line for a 5-cent hot dog. No. Not gonna happen.

So we bought packaged Nathan's hot dogs, cooked 'em up, and had a blast. Not quite the same taste as the one's sold in Coney Island, where the chefs swear that it is the salt water in the air that gives them their distinct taste, but a celebration nonetheless.

July 05, 2007

Joey Chestnut, Top Dog

Congratulations to Joey Chestnut, who set a world's record, scarfing down 66 hot dogs at the annual Nathan's Famous Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Competition.

Watching this on ESPN turned my stomach... I can only imagine what it did to Chestnut's! But seeing 30,000+ people crowd onto Surf Avenue and Stillwell Avenue, not ten minutes from my home... was terrific! Long live Coney Island!

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!

January 23, 2006

Mmmm ... Cushman Honeybells

I am not in the habit of making my site into a commercial affair, but I just got through eating a Cushman Honeybell. And this morning, I made myself a glass of sweet, delicious Cushman Honeybell juice with my breakfast. That's because we order these Honeybells every January.

What on earth is a Honeybell?

It's a hybrid fruit that looks like an orange... but is much sweeter than any orange I've ever eaten. In truth, this unique natural hybrid citrus fruit is derived from a Dancy Tangerine and a Duncan Grapefruit... and tastes like neither of them.

If you have never eaten this fruit, go to this link, and check out the produce!

And NO, I am NOT getting any kickbacks from the company. But you can't order these babies beyond the end of January. Act fast!

And now we return to Notablog...

Comments welcome.

August 19, 2005

The Brooklyn Egg Cream

I posted some follow-up at SOLO on that 10th Anniversary Thread. In that post, I mentioned the Classic Brooklyn Egg Cream, in my attempts to explain what I meant by "seltzer" (my drink of choice):

Seltzer is seltzer-water, or carbonated water, or soda-water. It's like club soda (without the sodium) or mineral water (without the minerals). I add this explanation because anytime I've traveled out of the NYC area, and I order Seltzer, some waiter or waitress thinks I mean "Alka-Seltzer" or "Bromo-Seltzer" for the tummy. But seltzer is a classic New York drink. You can even make Egg Creams with seltzer. (I'd add another footnote to this footnote, but that's not standard academic practice. Suffice it to say: Egg Creams do not include Eggs or Cream. See here for instructions on how to make a classic New York Egg Cream. Also see here. And yes, we have real seltzer water delivered to our home in Brooklyn.)

All I can say is: If you've never had a Brooklyn Egg Cream, you've never had a refreshing drink! There are all sorts of debates as to how to make it. The ingredients are simple: syrup (chocolate, but some heretics use vanilla), milk, and seltzer. Some add the milk and seltzer first and stir in the chocolate syrup; some add seltzer and chocolate syrup first and stir in the milk.

But I love the original Brooklyn Egg Cream. Some insist this is the Bronx Egg Cream and that the Brooklyn Egg Cream starts with seltzer and milk, instead of chocolate syrup.

But this is the recipe I learned, growing up in Brooklyn:

Begin with chocolate syrup; in a tall 8 oz. glass (glass is the only way to go!), add about 3/4 of an inch-to-an inch of syrup; then another inch or so of milk; then add seltzer from a Seltzer Bottle (only resort to a newly-opened can of seltzer if you're desperate).

And there you have it: The Classic Brooklyn Egg Cream, with a nice thick white foam at the top, and a delicious carbonated beverage that will quench your thirst. Great for the "Dog Days" of August.

Comments welcome.