Traditional recipes

Empire State South's Fried Shrimp Po'Boy Recipe

Empire State South's Fried Shrimp Po'Boy Recipe


For the remoulade

  • 1 Cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke's
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce, preferably Trappey's
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the fried shrimp

  • 1 Pound cleaned and de-veined shrimp
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • Seasoned flour with salt, pepper, and paprika
  • Oil, for frying

For the pickled jalapeños

  • 5 closed, seedless jalapeños
  • 1 Cup distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup sugar

For the sandwich

  • 1 small loaf French bread, sliced horizontally


Calories Per Serving5561

Folate equivalent (total)572µg100%

Oxtail Posole

This past weekend we were invited to the inaugural Food and Wine festival in Atlanta . For those of you not familiar, Food and Wine magazine hosts a food lovers dream in selected cities, gathering the country’s top chefs to participate in classes, dinners, and food tastings. The event we were asked to participate in was the Late Night Street Cart Party, held from 10 PM to 1 AM Friday and Saturday night. Along side the goose and the pig were Chef’s Alberto Cabera, Jeremy Fox, Katsuya Fukushima, Eli Kirshtein, Dan Latham, Plinio Sandalio, and Adam Sobel.

The dish we created for the event was Oxtail Posole. Posole is a dish that originated in Mexico but is most commonly found in the Southwestern region of the United States and oxtails are well…. the tail of an ox. Cooking oxtail can be time-consuming, Ted Lee said it best when he said you make oxtail’s for someone you love. I guess this means we loved everyone that came to the Viking street cart and enjoyed our food.

We braised 110 pounds of oxtail leading up to the event at the Greyfield Inn. Oxtails are mostly bone, so the yield is pretty low. Once they were out of the oven and cooled we spent hours picking the meat from the bone and chopping it. We left the Island on Thursday morning with our oxtail in tow, and our side kick Pete the boston terrier. We spent Thursday night (more like the wee hours of Friday morning) putting the dish together in the kitchen of good friend and former boss Hugh Acheson of Empire State South. We were fuled by multiple espresso’s and inspired by the late night cooking of Chef de Cusine Ryan Smith who made us the best hot dog ever, hands down. The ramp mustard was out of this world.

At the event, we were honored to use the Viking food truck which is used by their competition BBQ team. The truck was awesome: a smoker, a grill, convection oven, range with 4 eyes, sink, stainless steel counters, and all the Viking pots, pans, and knives we could need. We shared the space with Chef Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak in Washington D.C. who made peanuts cooked like BBQ beans. The posole was a hit and the event was fantastic. Everyone involved had a great time.

english peas, white chocolate, and macadamia nuts by jeremy fox

sidewalk treats in atlanta, i got the cantaloupe ginger pop

fried oyster and local shrimp po boy and truffle fries from jct kitchen. yum

We spent the rest of our time eating at some of Atlanta’s great restaurants: Miller Union, Empire State South. Farm Burger, JCT Kitchen, and best of all Papi’s (my favorite Cuban sandwich shop).

Here is the recipe for the Oxtail Posole, make it for someone you love.

Oxtail Posole

5 to 6 pounds of oxtail on the bone

1 Negro Modelo beer (or similar Mexican Beer)

3 sprigs of thyme and oregano

Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Trim the oxtail of excess fat. In a large saute pan or pot heat 3 tablespoons of cooking oil (canola, peanut, vegetable) on high. Lightly salt and pepper your oxtail. Carefully add oxtail to the pan and sear rotating the meat until all the sides are a uniform golden brown. Remove oxtail and place in a deep roasting dish or a deep pot. Add in chopped vegetables. Lower the heat and cook them down for about 5 minuets. Add 1/2 the beer to the pan and cook on high for 1 to 2 minuets. You want the beer to help get all the little pieces of browned meat from the bottom of the pan, they will add a lot of flavor to the soup. Then pour the vegetables and beer over the oxtails. Add in the thyme, oregano, and bay leaf. Cover with chicken stock and cover. Cook in the oven for 3 to 4 hours. They will easily pull away from the bone when ready, very similar in texture to short ribs. Cool in the braising liquid for 1/2 an hour. You want the oxtail to be room temperature when you pull the meat from the bone. Take you time when you pull the meat and avoid any fat or tendons. When pulled, rough chop the meat. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh strainer and reserve. Skim the fat from the top before use.

5 poblano peppers, charred, skins and seeds removed, and diced

2 teaspoons picante chili

1/2 bunch cilantro chopped

In a large pot on low heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add in onions and sweat down until translucent. Do not brown. Add in poblano peppers, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook for 2 more minuets. Next add the braised oxtail meat. Stir together. Add in cumin, picante chili, and strained hominy corn. Add in reserved braising liquid and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minuets. Before serving add in lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste. Garnish with shredded lettuce, cotija cheese, and sour cream. Eat with someone you love.

Lobster Roll, Maine

Its origins may be a bit unclear, but there’s no denying that Maine and lobster rolls are a match made in seafood heaven. New Englanders take pride in the hefty chunks of chilled cooked lobster meat lightly tossed with mayonnaise and served on a toasted hot dog bun. Though there are many twists on the recipe, including warm butter in place of the mayo or the addition of celery and a plethora of spices, true purists prefer their lobster rolls to be pretty bare-bones.

Visitors can find this extravagant, yet humble, sandwich served at almost every restaurant in Maine, but there are a few places that bring it to new heights, including Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, Bagaduce Lunch in Brooksville, and Five Islands Lobster Co. in Georgetown, among many others.

Check Prices for Squire Tarbox Inn in Wiscasset, ME

Dining in the new home of the Braves

Spring brings the return of baseball, and this season will be a big one in Atlanta, thanks to the completion of SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves. The modern, 41,000-seat stadium, though smaller than the Olympic-sized Turner Field, will be full of fancy new amenities that fans new and old will surely enjoy. But it’s the food and drink options that have us already hungrily humming “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park Photo Credit: Mike Jordan

SunTrust Park will be home to The Battery Atlanta, a residential, office, retail and restaurant space constructed just outside the stadium. Inside The Battery will be restaurants from some of Atlanta’s most revered chefs, offering a diverse array of unique dining options and creating an updated drinking and dining experience for those ready to consider upgrading their traditional ballpark favorites.

A section of SunTrust Park's stands have beer-cooling cup holders Photo Credit: Mike Jordan

One of the chefs is Todd English, whose Todd English Tavern will be part of Live! at the Battery Atlanta, the destination’s main dining and entertainment district. Centering on wood-fire-grilled meats created in an open kitchen, the Tavern will serve what English called “neo-bistro” food. He says the focus will be on “interesting elements of food and international flavors, but localizing them” by using local ingredients and indigenous cooking techniques in order to give them a different culinary style.

English was raised in the Sandy Springs suburb of Atlanta. A true celebrity chef (how many others have ever been named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People?), he's been both a host and a judge for two separate PBS cooking shows, and has more than 15 restaurants around the country and beyond, including one in the Philippines.

Now that he’s bringing one to his hometown, it's fitting that it’s in the Braves new stadium: Prior to attending Culinary Institute of America he had a baseball scholarship to attend North Carolina’s Guilford College. Now he’s combining his chosen path with a pastime that might have become a profession.

Todd English Photo Credit: Jeff Roffman Photography

English is testing items for the new menu now, experimenting in order to create a new experience for Braves fans, instead of simply bringing over the menu from one of his already successful restaurants (which we probably wouldn't mind anyway, to be honest). Some of the dishes he'll be trying out will include duck prosciutto flatbread, a duck burger and Heritage pork belly, among others. [Read to the bottom of the story Todd English shares an exclusive recipe from Todd English Tavern: Squash-Baked Macaroni]

“What I love is to take common ingredients and present them in an uncommon way,” English said, speaking about his culinary style. “Neo to me means taking it out of its element and remixing it a bit, like music and fashion, but keeping to the traditions that we still stand by, this being Atlanta. Taking that Southern tradition and bringing it into a different direction. It can be serious, it can be simple. Never taking ourselves too seriously, but then again being disciplined about what we’re doing and having fun with it. And it’s a fun environment!”

Chef and cookbook author Hugh Acheson is another one of those big names. The James Beard award-winner, Top Chef judge and Empire State South restaurateur will bring artisanal hot dogs and sausages to both The Battery and inside the stadium with his First & Third Hot Dog & Sausage Stand.

Hugh Acheson's First & Third at SunTrust Park Photo Credit: Mike Jordan

Menu options will include merguez and andouille sausages sourced from Patak Meats, which specializes in European styles of meat and is located just 12 miles southwest of the stadium in Austell, Ga. In addition to First & Third, Acheson is also a “culinary partner” in Punch Bowl Social, a two-story bar and entertainment complex with a variety of gaming (bocce ball, vintage arcades, bowling), private karaoke rooms a large circular bar and a 2,200-square-foot rooftop patio. He plans to bring southern flair to Punch Bowl’s burgers, sandwiches, salads and more.

Other popular chefs who’ve signed on to have their own spaces at The Battery include Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch, and Ford Fry, whose family of restaurants include The Optimist, JCT. Kitchen, St. Cecelia, Superica and others. Fry will open the second location of Tex-Mex restaurant El Felix, and Hopkins, taking things up a notch from his heralded cheeseburger offered to Braves fans at “The Ted" ,will open a steakhouse named C. Ellet’s, named after his great-grandfather.

Terrapin's ATL BrewLab beer tank at SunTrust Park Photo Credit: Mike Jordan

The comfy options will continue at Terrapin Taproom, where the Athens-based craft beer brewers will offer small batches of experimental beers created in the on-site ATL BrewLab and not available outside the stadium. Favorite Atlanta barbecue restaurant Fox Bros. will provide their famous sauced-and-smoked meats.

Black truffle burger at Yard House Photo Credit: Breslow Partners

There’ll be even more beer served in the 12,000 square feet of Yard House, which will seat over 800 guests and offer 130 tapped beers, including offerings from local and regional breweries.

And because baseball, like all things, is better with fried chicken, you’ll get your double-brined fill from FEED - Fried Chicken & Such, Chef Marc Taft of Marietta restaurant Chicken and the Egg. FEED’s poultry will come from Georgia’s own Springer Mountain Farms, and the menu will feature Nashville-style hot chicken, North Carolina catfish, chicken-fried steak and other meals sure to inspire a walk around the Park, but only after a sip or two of beers, bourbons, vodkas and gins from the Southeast.

Todd English's oyster po' boy Photo Credit: Jeff Roffman Photography

All in all, SunTrust Park sounds like it’s going to be a great place to root for Braves as well as enjoy new food concepts from some of Atlanta’s most respected culinary minds. Sure, it’s certainly a new day when such heralded chefs heed the call to cook for baseball game attendees, but for his part at least, Chef Todd English can hardly wait for the gates to open, the grills to fire-up and the games to begin.

“Whether it’s the fried oysters or a tuna poke with charred pineapple, it’s bringing my experiences of traveling around the world and bringing it back home,” English said. “I enjoy the challenge and the journey, because it keeps it interesting for me as well. It’s the fun of creating and discovering, and it’s constantly changing. You’ve gotta stay hip to it and be part of it.”

You can purchase single-game tickets starting today at Even if you're not usually the baseball type, you'll be a fan of The Battery Atlanta and your new field of feeding options at SunTrust Park.

Until you get your seat, here's an exclusive recipe for one of the dishes that will be on the menu at Todd English Tavern, offered by Chef himself.

  • 2 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1 piece (about 1 pound) blue hubbard squash, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking dish
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 ¼ cups freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup ground store-bought amaretto cookies


Preheat oven to 350˚. Butter a baking dish set aside. Transfer squash to a rimmed baking sheet drizzle with oil. Toss squash until evenly coated. Rub the cut sides and the cavities of the squash with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Place cut sides down. Bake until squash are very soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Do not turn off oven.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scoop flesh into the bowl of a food processor discard skins. Add cream and pureé until smooth. Add nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Process until well combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl set aside.

Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil add salt. Add pasta, cover, and return to a boil. Uncover, and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and add to bowl with cooked pasta along with 2 cups Parmesan cheese and the marscapone cheese. Stir until well combined. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and amaretto crumbs. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the surface of the pasta mixture. Bake until heated through and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

South by Southeast

Hugh Acheson’s (Empire State South in Atlanta) roasted Caw Caw pork belly with woodland fermented carrot and radish, kimchi, sorghum soy lime vinaigrette and “Anson” benne. Caw Caw is an ‘artisan’ pork producer in St. Matthews, SC.

Fall is an awesome time of the year to be in Bluffton, South Carolina! Not only is it the season for oyster roasts and all manner of outdoor activities, when the calendar rolls over to November then it’s time to gear up for Music to Your Mouth (MTYM) at Palmetto Bluff. Attending the Culinary Festival during this week-long event is an honest-to-goodness gift of the highest order, if you are, like me, a foodie.

Music to Your Mouth is now in it’s seventh year of laser-focusing attention on all things delicious and Southern set against the wild, beguiling beauty of Bluffton’s May River and environs. And being the good neighbors they are, MTYM dedicates a portion of ticket sales to local non-profit Second Helpings, who distributes food destined for landfill to the disadvantaged in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton Counties in South Carolina.

Chef Acheson’s visual recipe explains the genius behind this great concoction…

During the week leading up to the crescendo of the Culinary Festival (and afterwards too) there are food-centric events like a “foraging cruise” nearby Daufuskie Island, a cooking class with James Beard award-winner Chris Hastings and a floating cocktail party aboard the resort’s circa 1913 yacht, dubbed the “Stink & Drink”. I love that name! Add in the annual Potlikker Block Party and the Kiss the Pig Oyster Roast and you’ll find that the “best sips, swills, sweets and savories in the south” and the most “talented local and regional chefs and artisans” are to be found at MTYM.

The bacon “forest” complete with sweet and savory porkalicious offerings.

Not only that, but this year there was even a “bacon forest” – I am not joking people! The Culinary Festival also included a veritable king’s cellar of fine wines and spirits for the sampling and cooking demonstrations by the likes of celebrity chefs Kevin Gillespie, Mike Lata, Sean Brock, Hugh Acheson and Ashley Christensen. Southern Foodways Alliance director and all-around Southern food enthusiast, John T. Edge, hosted all proceedings for the day.

Even with all the regional chef-celebrité under the tent it was exciting to see local favorites Orchid Paulmeier (One Hot Mama’s), Ted Huffman (Bluffton BBQ) and Matt Jording (Sage Room) bring on the creativity. Ted’s creamy, smoky pork barbeque with traditional crunchy slaw started my culinary tour off right! Orchid kicked it up with her “Lowcountry sushi” and Chef Jording’s duck with microgreens and crisp sesame noodles was perfection on a plate.

Chef Chris Hastings and his wife, Idie, hard at work under the big tent. In the two years I lived in Birmingham I could not make it to his restaurant, Hot & Hot Fish Club (dang it!), but I do have his cookbook, which is excellent by the way!

Other favorites were Chris Hastings lamb with quinoa and Craig Diehl’s paté wrapped in pastry. I am not exaggerating when I state that everything I tasted was over-the-top fantastic. However, I will go out on a limb or rather a palm frond, and pin my top taste “award” of the day on Chef Sean Brock (Husk & McGrady’s restaurants in Charleston, SC) and his ‘apple salad’.

At first glance this plate deceivingly presents a few crisp apple slices with what appears to be black sawdust on top. Huh? Just dig in with a fork… and surprise! There’s local lump crabmeat nestled underneath the black butter (not saw dust!) and thin apple slices, lightly drizzled with delicious hazelnut oil and circled with a trace of bright green tarragon puree. Managing to get a bit of it all in one bite, it was in two words: extraordinary and sublime, all at once. Chef Brock, you did it, again. If my mouth could swoon then it just did… and I’ll be trying to figure out how to make black butter for the next month.

Chef Sean Brock’s FABULOUS apple “salad” with fresh lump crab, hazelnut oil, a trace of bright green tarragon puree and that unusual black butter. It was great.

Once again the Music to Your Mouth Culinary Festival delivered the goods – in every way possible, I may add. If you’ve never been, its a unique and wonderful foodie experience like no other, and if you have, then lucky you! Either way, may the foodie Gods (and the fine folks at Palmetto Bluff) hold another fabulous MTYM in 2013. Count me all in!

Bacchanalia (Atlanta) served a yummy hand pie with hot pot likker consomme – great on a cold day as it were. Some more table “art” too. Chef Anne Quatrano participated on the chef’s demonstration stage and was quite the card. It’s refreshing to know these “celebrity” chefs don’t take themselves or their “art” too seriously!

Jeremiah Bacon’s clam filled ravioli with pine nuts and kale. His restaurant, The McIntosh, is located down the road in Charleston, SC.

The Sage Room (Hilton Head Island) and chef Matt Jording hit all the perfect notes with his duck dish – served with micro-greens and sesame ‘crispies’.

All that great food and libations were accompanied by river front scenery and some live music fitting for the day. The columns you see are the remements of tabby ruins and some brick work from the original home on the property.

The big tent at the Culinary Festival is perched adjacent to the May River and the Inn at Palmetto Bluff. Don’t be put off by the Orvis and Burberry clad “Garden & Gun” set. At this event you’ll find a veritable foodie paradise where you can actually meet some of the best chefs in the South. Ask questions too… they love that!

In Williamsburg, chefs bet on beers with a soul-food chaser

Stephen Tanner, a former partner of Williamsburg’s original under-the-bridge soul-food joint Pies ‘n’ Thighs and former fried-chicken master of the neighborhood’s locavore hangout Egg, was sitting in one of the white vinyl chairs at his new bar The Commodore on Bedford Ave. on a recent muggy Tuesday night dressed in a bright green T-shirt, drumming out the beat to the classic rock song playing on the stereo with his fingers on the bar.

He’d played bass guitar in an Athens, Ga. noise outfit called Harvey Milk in the '90s before coming here to bring his Southern cooking to Brooklyn diners.

“Is this Dust?” he asked the bar’s co-owner, Chris Young, who was sitting next to him. Young wasn’t sure.

By twilight, Tanner’s kitschy, beachside-themed dive at Metropolitan and Havemeyer will have lured a crush of slim girls in cotton dresses and guys with pomade-slicked hair and sleeve tattoos. They’ll have slipped beyond the tattered black awning leading to a front door with no doorknob and squished into vinyl booths in the front dining area, where floral wallpaper that would seem appropriate in a grandmother’s living room dresses the walls and a vintage video game is tucked in the corner. They’ll have hunched over his signature soul-food plates: thighs of fried chicken and biscuits, “hot breast” sandwiches with house-made hot sauce and green chili hominy.

Around the corner from the half-dozen booths, there is a modest bar space with more vintage-style, burgundy seating nestled along the wood-paneling and and a brick wall painted in Oscar the Grouch-green.

But it was still quiet in the early evening. Tanner asked the barback for a burger with no bun and a plate of fries.

Before opening The Commodore, his kitschy soul food outpost on Metropolitan Avenue, Tanner was working the kitchen at Egg and New York Magazine reviewers observed him “rather testily bemoaning the fried-chicken frenzy engulfing his neighborhood.” He told them he was looking forward to opening a place with a no-frills, stool-level menu. “Like Applebee’s, but better,” he told New York magazine. In May, he opened exactly what he promised: a dive bar where he felt at home, but with bar food elevated to cuisine status.

Young was a bartender before opening The Commodore, his first restaurant, with recording engineer Taylor Dow.

“Anybody can go out and get some kind of greasy Chinese food or burger down the block,” Young said. “And you don’t want a formal dining experience either. That can also get very expensive [for the restaurant]. Even if you have an amazing menu, you have to keep it on a level that is affordable.”

So Tanner and co. banged around in the kitchen to find a medium between a neighborhood “Applebee’s” fare and white-clothed dining.

WILLIAMSBURG IS CONTESTED TERRITORY. WHERE ONCE mid-level ambitious Manhattanites rehabbed their own loft-spaces to be greeted with stickers on their doors that read “DIE YUPPIE SCUM,” the punks who put them there eyed suspiciously by the Boriqueño that preceded them, the food chain has added a new top layer of condo-buying drop-ins only now starting to be served by expensive restaurants untouchable to the recent college grads and artist-types who still manage to thrive in the neighborhood. And as always, everyone has rubbed off on everyone else more than they might care to admit. The neighborhood that arguably brought Pabst Blue Ribbon in a can back into vogue (after a brief late-'90s flirtation with Miller High Life in clear glass bottles) now expects a $10 to $15 dollar meal with seals of approval from the food-blogosphere, or even the Times or New York, to be available within stumbling-home distance.

The problem is that those economics don’t quite line up with running a restaurant. So the bars have for some time been morphing into playgrounds for local young restaurateurs.

The Commodore is the next logical step: make a restaurant but dress it up as a bar, and people will come to drink and eat, but mostly drink, which pays the rent. It's pretty ambitious. There’s competition from street food carts lining up on Bedford Avenue and the taco trucks parked in the yards of scenester bars like The Woods, Union Pool and East River Bar. Across the street from The Commodore, Fette Sau and Spuyten Duyvil owner Joe Carroll recently opened a “haute snack bar” called St. Anselm, offering fried “Newark hot dogs” for $11, along with other meats finagled into street-food-inspired dishes.

Even The Charleston, one of Williamsburg’s diviest dives and one of the last of the neighborhood's old-school punk bars, is stepping up its bar fare to try to appeal to this newish market.

The Charleston sits on the edge of Williamsburg’s busiest corner, a kind of mini-campus-quad formed by the intersection of North 7th Street and Bedford Avenue, where the first L stop in Brooklyn lets out.

Sandwiched between a Salvation Army and a Vietnamese bahn mi shop, The Charleston is guarded by the beefy guys in white tees and army shorts who sit on the few chairs out front drinking beers, keeping one eye on their pit bulls and another on the parade of young things prancing by.

In its dingy basement, the Bedford Avenue mainstay hosts rock shows on most nights of the week, giving the patrons upstairs a foot massage from the noise beneath them.

The time-tested gimmick of a free small pizza with each drink had been the Charleston’s claim to fame.

But the free pizza had turned out to be a problem for the Charleston. The free-food crowd “low-balled” on tips and sometimes would come for the pizza, then bail without buying more drinks, according to Dorian De La Mater, The Charleston’s long-time bartender and manager for the past two years.

“We somehow got the reputation as a shitty metal bar,” he said, which affected them financially. There were also three other bars within walking distance that had some kind of “free food with your beer” deal.

“It was either lose the pizza or lose the bands,” he said. “We chose the bands, which we feel is more of a commitment to the community.”

So the pizza was abandoned in favor of an outfit conceived by Jesse Martinez and Josh Martin, two members of the punk band Ex Humans, and ‘wichcraft alum and The Weight band member Jameson Proctor. They operate a food outfit called Honeychiles’ in The Charleston’s kitchen, offering deep fried Cajun po-boys, jambalaya, cornbread and Black Eyed peas.

The Charleston has all the trappings of your typical dive bar: tattooed bartenders, and that smell, the one that was supposed to go away a little while after the smoking ban but that seems, in some bars, baked into the walls.

There are band stickers on the garnish organizer on the bar, and broken beer bottles serve as lamps hanging low over small, uncomfortable booths along a wall padded with burgandy vinyl and peppered with metal pieces attached by screws. There’s black rubber on the floor for easy clean-up, and there are always pools of questionable water leaking from the bathroom and out into a back room.

Honeychiles’ is parked beyond the entrance to the bar, walk-up kitchen is no bigger than what you’d find in a food truck.

Martinez worked on the menu with his girlfriend, Karen Vasquez, who he plays with in a band called Foster Care. Zasquez worked at Don Pedros, an East Williamsburg dive bar that had a kitchen that was essentially abandoned. During late nights, they worked on a Cajun-inspired menu, the same seafood Crawford grew up on in Jacksonville, Florida. At first, he wanted to start a street cart or maybe drive around a gumbo truck. But getting a street food license was too complicated. About four months ago, his roommate and band mate Martin told him The Charleston was ending the free pizza. They refinished the small space, with some money from their friend and bandmate Proctor, and opened two months ago.

On Tuesday afternoon this week, Martinez was scraping meat from a stovetop griddle, dressed in gray stone-washed skinny jeans and a navy blue T-shirt with James Brown Production printed across the front. He has cropped brown hair and brown eyes, and a salt-and-pepper-shaker set tattoed on his right forearm.

“I think we’re really filling a void that needed to be filled,” Martinez said in his charming Floridian twang. He did not need a prompt to talk about Tanner’s Charleston enterprise. “Tanner, you know, at Pies n Thighs, he’s doing his thing,” he said. “But I wanted to bring some real Cajun cooking to the neighborhood.”

A blonde woman from Arkansas interrupted to ask for a to-go container for her fried shrimp special po'boy. “I’m from the South and it’s just as good as it is down there,” she said.

Honeychiles uses seasonal ingredients and local meats and produce in their seafood po'boys, which are about the size of a small baby. There’s also jambalaya (a menu favorite, according to Crawford), hush puppies, cornbread, and black-eyed peas. The Village Voice recently called it “some of the best bar food in Brooklyn.”

But not all of The Charleston’s clientele are happy about the change.

“It’s hard to replace something that’s free,” Martinez admitted. “People would walk up here and were like, ‘No, but it was the best pizza!’ No it wasn’t! Maybe at 3:45 in the morning when you’re wasted and can’t make it across the street.” (Anna Maria Pizzeria faces The Charleston on the other side of Bedford Avenue and sells slices for $2.50).

The Charleston’s foot traffic took a hit since Honeychiles moved in. But now their numbers are “just below” normal, according to De La Mater.

Once Dorian De La Mater makes a bit more money, he says he plans on remodeling “the cave” in the back of the club, setting up a more pleasant seating area so Honeychiles can host family-style dinners and brunches.

“There might be some people who were upset at first. But rowdy rock ‘n’ roll and Cajun food goes hand in hand,” Martinez said. He convinced The Charleston to add Louisiana beers and a bourbon to their bar menu. They are working on some kind of "buy a po'boy get half off a beer" special. Classic rock with a country flavor trickled from the stereo on recent weekday nights.

“They brought in this vibe, just as really nice, Southern people, and that changes who comes in here,” De La Mater said. “It’s just a better atmosphere, and there’s less bullshit.”

He was at the bar, dressed in a Buzzcocks T-shirt and finishing up a po’boy from Honeychiles, his bet on the bar’s future.

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Marinated a last year’s wild turkey breast split in 2. Orange juice , Italian dressing, crushed red pepper wrapped in bacon. Smoked on apple chips. Haters hate but so juicy and delicious Sent fro

Catchy New Names for the Same Sustainable Fish

Would you happily try mahi-mahi, but draw the line at dolphinfish? How about giving dorado a go? Well, here's a secret: they're all one and the same fish.

Juliet Capulet famously asked: "What&aposs in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Although she had a point, when it comes to fish, you&aposd be surprised what a new name can do. For certain denizens of the sea, shedding an unfortunate moniker is the most important part of a glamorous new makeover. And when a new alias catches on with consumers, it&aposs like pulling pure gold from the sea.

You may recall two incredible re-branding success stories of the sea. The lowly slimehead was, no surprise, a marketing disaster. But re-branded as "orange roughy," this fish was quickly discovered by the masses𠅊nd found to be quite delicious. White, mild, and moist, with large flakes, orange roughy became so popular, it was soon endangered. Or consider the slow-selling Patagonian toothfish&aposs fate. Renamed Chilean sea bass (although not a bass at all), it rocketed to success and was promptly overfished to the point of non-sustainability.

Let&aposs take a look at a few of the more recent "a.k.a."s of the sea. Seek out these aliases at your local supermarket.

Gizzard Fish/Mud Shad/Lake Whitefish

Found in fresh and brackish water across the U.S., this fish was named for its most novel trait: the possession of a gizzard. In the simplest of terms, this organ is an internal, naturally occurring sack filled with rocks or sand that helps an animal digest its food better. It&aposs an anomaly more commonly associated with birds and dinosaurs, which is what made its presence remarkable enough to define the species. But that doesn&apost exactly sound appetizing, and neither did "mud shad." Find this sustainable fish under the much-improved moniker of Lake Whitefish from the Great Lakes to do your part in eating green and combating a bum name.

Pompano Dolphin/Dolphinfish/Dorado/Mahi-Mahi

In much the same way people initially confused coronavirus as having something to do with the beer, consumers also confused dolphinfish as being some kind of variant of our beloved bottlenosed friends. (They&aposre not.) To combat that, the name was changed to the more exotic-sounding Mahi-Mahi, from the Hawaiian language, and the more palatable but debonair-sounding Dorado. Nowadays, hardly anyone remembers a time when it was called any variant of dolphin at all--mission accomplished!


Even with the valiant Brynden Tully bearing this nickname in Game of Thrones, "blackfish" just doesn&apost sound that tantalizing. It&aposs a fighting fish with "teeth [that] can reduce a crab to shrapnel in seconds," giving an idea of toughness of spirit … and of flesh. But actually, this firm wrasse fish, ideal for chowder, is actually among the tastiest, taking on the flavor of the shellfish and crustaceans that make up its diet. Try it as Tautog and see if it tastes a little bit more delicate now.

Recipe to Try:

Scup/Sheepshead/Porgy/Sea Bream/Silver Snapper

Scup is kind of a cute name, which can be fitting for a fish that only averages about a pound. Perhaps too cute to eat? While on the opposite spectrum, Sheepshead--a reference to Long Island&aposs Sheepshead Bay, where they are often found--sounds distinctly unattractive. The common label of "porgy" falls somewhere between the two, but sea bream and silver snapper sound distinctly more elegant, and it&aposs more than likely that you&aposll see on a restaurant menu instead of its other identities.


Neither of these are particularly mouthwatering handles, but to be honest, neither is the mien of this large, notorious fish. They were traditionally trash fish due to the percentage of unusable flesh, as only the tail part is edible. However, as fishers experimented with this non-flaking fish and realized its similarity to the most luxurious crustacean on today&aposs tables, lobster, the "goosefish" was reintroduced as "monkfish," and fine dining restaurants enthusiastically embraced the poor man&aposs lobster under its new identity.

Recipes to Try:

Alaska Pollock/Bigeye Cod/Snow Cod

Commonly cut into sticks and patties under a layer of breading or transformed into surimi by large seafood manufacturers, Alaska pollock has earned itself a reputation as a cheap commercial fish. But due to its ubiquity throughout the North Pacific, it&aposs actually one of the most popular menu items around the world, sold as generic whitefish … and now also as Bigeye and Snow cod. This mild, delicate-tasting fish actually has a bit more flavor than the less oily true cod and haddock it traditionally passes for, making it a prime, sustainable swap under its fancier, newer names.

Recipes to Try:

Snot Fish/Snotgall/Snotty Trevally/Yellow Spotted Trevally/Blue Warehou

Another fish named for its prodigious mucus production, this medusafish is easy to track due to the excretion of fibrous orange and brown clumps. Yummy, right? Except the fish itself is yummy! The fillets are thick with medium to low oil content, and are meant to be cooked with care to avoid toughening. Find trevally on tables in the Indo-Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand.

Hogfish/Hog Snapper/Red Snapper

The hogfish/red snapper story is less about renaming than irresponsible marketing. Simply search the term "red snapper" online and you&aposll find plentiful evidence of the intentional mislabeling of this desirable fish. Along with cod and bass, red snapper is one of the three most carelessly slung names in the marketplace. Hogfish, named after how they use their pointed snouts to dig up crustaceans and mollusks from the sea floor, is actually a type of wrasse. It&aposs an excellent substitute for what&aposs known as "red snapper" in the South Atlantic and Caribbean. It actually holds more moisture in cooking than a true American red snapper, and comes out sweet and silky.

Mud Shark/Dogfish/Huss Salmon/Rock Salmon

Neither dog nor shark, this sustainable fish earned the names mud shark and dogfish because it feeds in packs off the coast of New England. Ninety-nine percent of this catch is shipped off to Europe, including old England, where it carries the more palatable name of Huss or Rock Salmon and is served with even more palatable chips.

Recipe to Try:

Grunt/Mangrove Snapper/Gray Snapper

Called grunt for the sound their air bladders make when they grind their teeth, these little bottom-dwellers are often bycatch for fishers angling for grouper and triggerfish. Mild, white, and flaky, they do just fine in their native Florida marketed as grunts. In other regions, the fish is mistakenly re-categorized as a snapper, despite having a fixed lower jawbone that separates it from that type of fish.

Recipe to Try:

Pacific Greenling/Buffalo Cod/Cultus Cod/Lingcod

A blue-green tint to the raw meat is perhaps what led to this fish originally being called greenling. But why it&aposs now called lingcod is anyone&aposs guess. It&aposs neither a cod nor a ling, with a stronger taste than cod and far more sustainable than ling, which is caught via trawl fishing. Its other names, Buffalo and Cultus Cod, are lesser known.

Recipe to Try:

Asian Carp/Silverfin/Kentucky Tuna

Typically, when one thinks of Asian carps, what comes to mind are the decorative koi fish that wriggle, fat and bright, through garden ponds. No one wants to eat a pet fish. The Asian carp is, in fact, related to koi and goldfish. But the flesh of this invasive species is "bright white, clean, high in protein, low in fat, and mild in taste". and far more palatable under its newer names: silverfin and Kentucky tuna.

Recipe to Try:


Squid calls to mind rubbery tubes filled with dark ink, or bait cuttings sacrificed for a better catch. Calamari, on the other hand, conjures up images of light, battered rings served up golden with lemon wedges and tomato sauce𠅊nd that&aposs no coincidence. This renaming was actually an intentional effort by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Division, Long Island Fisheries Assistance Program, Empire State Development Program, and the Economic Development Administration of the Federal Commerce Department. It happened in the 1970s and &apos80s, when Long Island fishermen were pushed to sell squid to make up for a depletion in their usual flounder and cod hauls. The CCED urged them to do it under squid&aposs Italian name, and restaurant owners, skeptical as they were, decided to give it a shot, frying and serving it as an appetizer so that people could have it as a try-size portion. The rest is now history.

Recipes to Try:


Now one of the most respected, beloved, and famous seafood items from New Orleans, these little mini lobsters used to be considered "poor man&aposs food," all the way up into the 1960s. But my, have times changed for these crustaceans, which are neither insects nor fish! Today, they grace the tables of many a fine restaurant in the South, and crawfish boils are making their ways up north. Modern nomenclature depends on geography. "Crayfish" is used more in the north, "crawdad" in the midwest, and "crawfish" in the south. "Mudbug" is used with tongue in cheek

Recipes to Try:

Sand Crabs/Atlantic Rock Crab/Peekytoe Crabs

These lobster bycatches have gone from throwaway trash to sought-after prizes for fine dining restaurants. Rod Mitchell, the owner of Browne Trading Company in Portland, Maine, gave sand crabs the new and catchy name "peekytoe crabs"𠅊 reference to the "picked" (slang for "pointed" pronounced as "picket") distinctively inward-pointing sharp point on the leg. Available only to chefs due to their fragility and inability to be shipped alive, their cutesier name is far more fitting than just plain old "sand crab."

Whore's Egg/Sea Urchin/Uni

This jewels of the sea earned their profane original name from the nuisance they created for lobstermen off the coast of Maine, as they greedily grabbed lobster bait from their traps. However, with the increasing popularity of sushi, these creatures became a delicacy rather than an annoyance. The part gourmets love to eat, colloquially called their roe, is actually their gonads.

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