Essex Market, Lower East Side. Heritage Meats.
A major freegan score today!
A perfect condition Le Creuset 3.75 quart oval stoneware, green. Retail price $60-$75… My New York City, found on curb in Bed-Stuy price? Gratis.
Another reason to love stumbling on goods in New York.
The holiday season is about giving and good cheer so you are welcome in advance for this underground gem I’m about to hand you on a silver platter. Don’t say I never gave you anything.
But first, you need to know that this morning I had a rich delicious coffee splashed with Coquito. Earlier in the week I began drinking it straight up and by the time Christmas and New Year’s Eve are but a sweet memory, the current supply I have will be demolished.
A Christmas in NYC is not complete for me without La Reina (The Queen) of Christmas cocktails— Coquito, a creamy, dreamy Spanish-Caribbean created cocktail that I would equate to Egg Nog.
Serena Medrano has been serving up the beverage for more than three decades in her Essex Street apartment and before that in her native Dominican Republic. Even though we are friends she won’t tell me exactly how long she’s been turning out batches of the rum drink, and she definitely won’t tell me her secret recipe. The only detail I could squeak out of her is that her rum of choice is Bacardi.
What I do get when Coquito passes my lips is a creamy sweet texture without cloying sweetness. The sharp alcohol cuts the sweetness but complements the experience. Crushed nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla round out the spice notes. They float around in the milky liquid I’m pretty sure consists of sweetened condensed milk and other yumminess. It’s best served chilled and it’s easy to over-indulge because it’s so sweet and smooth.
Traditionally, I call ahead and then pick up at her apartment. We always exchange pleasantries, kiss (on both cheeks of course) and then she asks “how many bottles?” It’s always a surprise which recycled bottle I’ll get. A wine container or an old soda bottle can hide away this creamy concoction. It’s not uniform in presentation but always spot on in flavor and generosity of booze. Serena swaddles the bottles in newspaper and gives you a plastic bag. We talk a bit more, my kids run around her apartment, I yell at them, she gives them small trinkets to play with and we all wish each other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. At this point I can’t wait to get home to crack open her brew.
I promise you this underground, homemade drink will make you the most popular kid at any holiday party. It’s twenty-five bucks a bottle. Cash only obviously, worth every penny.
The deets are below:
Serena Medrano 212.529.6740
115 Essex Street, NYC
Commuting with a Christmas Tree. #NYCProblems.
Photograph taken at Delancey Train Station Friday November 9, 2012.
Holy Cow… Duck actually. Well Duck fetus truthfully. Duck fetus inside its ultimately not protective shell, inside a restaurant, at a bar Tuesday November 27th 2012. Convoluted, I know. I’m really stalling discussing what Balut is :(
The “delicacy” Balut shown here was eaten by brave Brie at Filipino Gastro Pub Jeepney, the edgier little sister to NY’s now famous Maharlika.
Quack it, slurp it, rub it down. Oh no, I need a vomit bag (Sing to the tune of Bell Biv Davoe’s Poison.)
All it is is a duck miscarriage. A duck abortion? Culinary delicacy? It still has feathers, cartilage and obviously not a fully formed body but yet still inside the egg. I believe you can boil or smoke em.
After endless amounts of photos, Brie gave the thumbs up and said it was “really good.” Her cohort Kevin indulged too even though he stated “I said I’d never try one.”
They didn’t seem to be in ecstasy but it seems they conquered and had a Fear Factor moment.
I went strictly for the excellent non-fowl-abortion fair and yummy cocktails.
Would you, could you Balut?