Weekend Roundup

Hitting 4 out of New York’s 5 boroughs this weekend… I actually published this on Sunday, but I couldn’t get it out of some funky mode…

Friday: Bought 40 pounds of kal bi (Korean short rib) from Assi Plaza. The stuff comes rock solid. People were doing double takes as we rolled out of the place with the stuff. Since we had an ice chest, we had enough time to go out for dinner.

We went to Pine Garden Restaurant, 141-43 Northern Blvd., for Korean. It’s a very homey neighborhood place, not like those massive BBQ emporiums such as Kam Gum San. We ordered the Nokcha-yangnyum Galbi for the BBQ, which is black angus rib marinated with the house special green tea sauce. It had a unique sweet taste, and the meat was very lean. We also had Jop Chae and ManDu Goo Yi (pan fried dumplings). Excellent – recommended.

When we went home, P made a big pot of chilli for the picnic the next day – that took about 3 hours before we went to sleep.

Saturday: We went to Costco with a bunch of other people from Asian Alumni associations. We walked out of there with $1,000 worth of picnic stuff – 5 shopping carts. Kalbi, fish balls and the chilli were a big hit. We’ll have to cut out more hamburgers and get more drinks though. And NYU wins the tug-of-war for the first year.

That night, I spent a couple of hours to get rid of the kim chee smell out of the back of the zip car. Wow, that stuff gets really ripe. Note to self: kim chee gets really dangerous when it gets warm – the active cultures puts off a lot of gas that causes the bottle to leak.

Sunday: Tiger Beer sponsored a Singapore Chili Crab festival in Brooklyn DUMBO – I had two plates this year. The sauce was much milder and more coconut flavored this year, which I preferred. We then made a b-line to P’s sisters place near the GW bus station to walk the doggies. We got them a snow-cone (without flavor) which they really enjoyed.

Later we went to Galapogos Art Center in Williamsburg to see the Sulu Series, a monthly menagerie of Asian American performing artists curated by Reggie Cabico from NYU APA. It featured a number of spoken word acts, guitarists, and a rapper that needed an audience to film his new music video.

We went because of Wendy Ip, who was performing and was by far the best act. Wendy’s song “Our Little Room” is now my current favorite. I though she had great technique on keyboard and original lyrics – completely different than everybody else with the sterotypical lone guitar strapped around their necks. She’s something between Carole King and Carole Bayer Sager. I think it was in an interview between Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello where Bacharach said “you don’t have to apologize for being harmonic”. No apologies – Wendy Ip is Recommended.

Afterwards, we went to Fornino, Michael Aylub’s pizza laboratory down the street and around the corner. Brickoven pizza with organic ingredients works well. Herbs are grown in the back yard, so it is as fresh as it could be. It is slightly thicker than the only other pizza in Brooklyn in the same league, Grimaldi’s. Score: toppings better at Fornino, bread better at Grimaldi’s. Fornino has more room for seating, doesn’t have lines around the block and takes credit cards, which are some points in their favor. So overall, a slight edge to Fornino. However, Grimaldi’s is within walking distance from the house. Both recommended.

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