thoughts about Matt and some stick food

Asia Dog, NYCA few things about Matt Armendariz. He has a cool blog (but you already know that). He's an amazing photographer. He took the photos for a book I'm publishing with the folks from Good Bite in the Fall (can't wait for this one!). He's probably going to photograph a couple more cool books for me in the next few months which I can't talk about yet (one hint here...). I've never actually met Matt in person (weird, I know). And I haven't yet gotten myself a copy of his new cookbook -- On a Stick! But I was thinking about some yummy stick food I've tried recently, so here you go. First up, Brooklyn Flea favorite Asia Dog has opened a shop on Kenmare Street, nearby Chinatown. There aren't many seats, but with portable food like this kimchi-flavored corn dog, you won't mind taking your food to go.Horchata ice popIf you live in NYC and haven't been to the Hester Street Fair yet, get your butt over there! La New Yorkina is there of course, and I couldn't resist trying this horchata pop, with a rasberry filling. I hope you don't mind -- I had to eat about halfway through to get down to the filling for this photo. The things I do for my blog...Landhaus maple-glazed bacon stickAnd this bit of heaven is from the Landhaus (finally found a web site for these guys) booth at Smorgasburg. It's called Maple-Glazed Bacon Stick. Yes, that's pretty much it, except they sprinkle some spice on it right before serving. This is perfect food.

this and that and why i cook

Arancini Bros, NYCThe title of this post over-promises a bit. I'm only going to get a little philosophical. I've got about seven different blog posts in the works and dozens of photos from recent food ventures around the city I'd like to talk about, and yet the words aren't coming to me. No, I don't mean I've got writer's block, although I understand why that happens to bloggers from time to time. I just mean, nothing feels very important to me right now. One thing I've learned lately is that I don't much like cooking for myself. Heck, I don't really bake for myself either. The baking is more obvious though -- I make a big batch of cookies and bring them to the office to share. In fact, while some bakers might drop off their goodies by the water cooler or coffee machine for anyone to try, I keep my containers of cookies, bars, etc., in my office. If you want a snack, you've got to stop by and visit. And believe me, a lot of people aren't into that kind of thing. They'd rather pick up a treat anonymously, but that's not how I work. If you want something sweet, you've got to at least say hello. So what does that say about me? Well, maybe I'm a needy guy? Or perhaps I just bake for the attention? Or maybe it's a social thing? I'm a social baker. Does that make sense? But back to cooking -- I'm not doing it so much lately. When I'm alone, cooking isn't on my mind. Yes, I'm always running around the city to try out the newest hot spots, but to me that's different. I'm talking about making dinner, for myself. Yes, tonight I made myself a huge batch of shrimp jambalaya which I'll be snacking on for a couple of days, but that's not the norm. Most days lately I've got so little interest in cooking, I sometimes forget to eat at all. And as I type those words, I realize that doesn't sound very much like me. I guess I'm still adapting to change. At least for me, these things take time. First up, some amazing arancini from Arancini Bros. at the Hester Street Fair. When I first encountered these guys at the fair last year, they didn't have a shop. Well, now they do.Brooklyn TacoSpeaking of Hester Street, I tried this spicy veggie taco from the Brooklyn Tacos stand recently. That drink in the background is a cantaloupe agua fresca -- yes, I'm trying to branch out a little.Xiang Ying, Chinatown, NYCWould you believe I've been to this place (I think it's called Xiang Ying) three times already (Marc, Jason, Hazel, Margaret) and still not taken a photo of the food. Well, if you like really hearty hand-pulled/stretched noodles and dirt-cheap prices, I suggest you give it a try.THELEwala, NYCI have a thing for Indian street food, and MacDougal Street seems to be the hot spot for it lately. Thelewala is the newest place in the neighborhood for rolls and chaats, and I'm pretty sure I'll be going back soon to try more.Zabb Elee, NYCZabb Elee, NYCSpeaking of group outings, Jackie put together a small one to try Zabb Elee just before the Times reviewed it, which inevitably means it will be tough to get a table there for a while. But what really made the meal was the expert ordering by April. Yes, I'm sure we could have winged it, but instead we just let April do all the work. I can't say enough about how much I like this place, but be warned -- this is seriously spicy Thai, like the kind of stuff you usually have to go out to Queens to get.Myron Mixon barbecueMaybe you braved the crowds for the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party -- personally it's too much of a mad-house for me. But I really lucked out and got to try Myron Mixon's bbq a few days early at a private party. OMG, the ribs. Unreal.Hecho en CasaYes, I stopped by the Renegade Craft Fair, somehow dodging the rain. Yes, it was awesome, and I bought myself some cute tea towels and an oven mitt. No, they didn't have much to eat, but I did manage to try a shrimp arepa from a stand called Hecho en Casa.Smashburger, BrooklynSmashburger in Brooklyn... order a rootbeer and hopefully they'll offer you a frosted glass. That really takes me back to my childhood.Smashburger, BrooklynAh, but what about the burgers? Well, I can't vouch for the classic because I had to order the Brooklyn Burger, topped with pastrami and Swiss and served on a pretzel bun! How could you not order that? I love how they present the burger, by the way, open face to savor before you add ketchup to taste. And the fries rock, just so you know. Maybe best of all -- it's on De Kalb, just down the block from Junior's.P&H Soda, NYCA quick shout-out to P&H Soda which I spotted at the New Amsterdam Market... mmm, grapefruit.Pie CorpsSpeaking of New Amsterdam Market, I picked up a salt cod & feta hand pie from a stand called Pie Corps, but I was captivated to this work of art. You probably can't tell from the photo, but this thing was huge. Anyone want to joint me next week to share one of these, because it will be on my mind every day until I get a taste?Doughnut Plant, NYCA cashew doughnut from Doughnut Plant. And that's a strawberry-lemonade on the side. The strawberry flavor was amazing. The doughnut was amazing.Wichcraft, NYCAnd a ham & cheese from 'wichcraft, which has turned into my go-to spot lately for meet-ups nearby Union Square. Thanks, Olga and Jennie, for always listening.