Burlington Beverages and Brooklyn Bodegas
The best of both worlds
Welcome back to This Needs Hot Sauce! Today, we’ve got a Vermont recap, more Bon Appetit News (scroll to Something to Read for all the details), and updates on two local restaurants.
Let’s dive in.
I wrote about owner Trigg Brown’s abusive behavior and interviewed Rafael Joson weeks ago and the big news is that nothing seems to have changed. The lines outside his two restaurants are as long as ever and on Instagram he’s back to regular programming, posting his cute baby and dogs (classic). It seems there was no acknowledgement of wrongdoing and Rafael shared that he may be back in the kitchen. It’s disheartening to see something like this blow over with minimal coverage.
Irina Groushevaia wrote about the situation at Archie’s, a pizzeria in Bushwick, for Eater NY. They did a great job covering a very difficult situation (there are over 30 victims and it seems owner Diego Macias was a serial predator) and mentioned pending legal actions.
I’m not here to compare these two situations or equate the harm done. I want to encourage us to pay attention to what blows over, what we’re willing to forgive and forget, and what sticks in our news cycle and in our collective consciousness. I always think of the victims, their trauma, and the pressure they face to have perfect stories with no details missing to even have a chance at justice or public sympathy (this pressure is heightened for Black victims and people of color). Last year, I read Chanel Miller’s Know My Name, which lays out, in painstaking detail, the aftermath of both her assault and the trial. I highly recommend it (as well as following her on Instagram) to get a sense of how we as a society treat those who deserve support, justice, and compassion. We fail in innumerable ways and we need to understand that in order to do better.
Something to cook:
We took advantage of having a car for our Vermont trip (thanks to my parents for lending it) to visit Wegman’s and wow, it’s a great supermarket! The prices were great and it had everything, including a huge cheese selection with affordable castelvetrano olives. Highly recommend.
In Vermont, we made breakfast sandwiches on english muffins with tomato, avocado, and Vermont cheddar. All about those nooks and crannies. We also had some pre dinner cheese boards and our friend Myriah put out some pesto with the cheese. Such a good idea!
I tried Shanika’s method of cooking walnuts for a salad and it was so good!
There’s no recipe for this, but if you haven’t made caprese salad yet this summer, consider this your reminder. Julianne grows basil on her balcony and finished it with a baslamic drizzle.
Cherry tomato pasta is on repeat this summer. My method is here and it’s such a fun dish to cook. The tomatoes release so much flavor as they cook down.
If you’re grilling (or inside with no grill like me), make these veggie burgers. We made them again on Friday and they are so good! Season heavily and add a little extra panko if they’re not sticking. Julia confirms they freeze very well. Commit to the theme with potato rolls (which also freeze well), sliced tomato, lettuce, cheese, and condiments.
In an effort to cook more from my cookbooks, I made a tomato chickpea salad with lime tarka from Meera Sodha’s Fresh India for lunch. It’s so good and easy and I’ll be sharing the recipe with paid subscribers on Thursday!
Smoothies are such saviors on weekend afternoons after a park hang. This recipe (which makes two smoothies) is our base and you can swap the fruit, add in kale, and otherwise tweak to your liking (you can’t taste the tofu at all). They taste better with a metal straw.
Something to order:
Dale and I had a lovely trip to Vermont, where we stayed with friends in Burlington (get the highlights here). Aside from the (excellent) food and drinks, we loved being outside of New York for the first time in months and spending time on the water. I lived in Guatemala on Lake Atitlan for a year and love a big lake. We felt comfortable doing outdoor dining based on the low number of cases (Important: we got covid tests and quarantined for a week before traveling to Vermont). Thank you for sharing recommendations, I wish we had more time to try everything!
There’s an incredible beverage scene in Burlington and many breweries have restaurants attached (many of them distribute widely so you might be able to find them near you). We loved Deep City, which is right by the water next to Foam Brewers (get the onion dip).
Zero Gravity makes our favorite beer of the trip, Frankie, which is brewed with fruit and so refreshing. It’s attached to American Flatbread, which has really good flatbreads (not quite pizza) and a famous house salad (need to try the dressing).
I’ve followed Krista Scruggs of Zafa Wines for a long time and was so excited to try CO Cellars, her space with Shacksbury ciders. They offer curbside pickup on Fridays and Saturdays and sell out weekly, so order in advance. I tried her Poetic Justice wine, which is a sparkling red that uses maple syrup for dosage (SO cool) and we also got some cans to take home.
Ice Cream is big in Vermont and we visited Ben and Jerry’s at noon where I was too full from breakfast to get some (shame on me, right?). Dale said it tasted way better than the pints at the store. We also got creamees, Vermont’s version of softserve traditionally flavored with maple, at Little Gordo Creamee Stand (it wasn’t amazing there, next time I would try Bragg’s).
We’ve driven through Westchester, where Dale grew up, the last two weekends and always pick up food. Candlelight Inn makes his favorite wings and I really like their veggie burger and waffle fries (dipped in the blue cheese sauce). Bronxville Diner makes a darn good breakfast. Also in Bronxville, Topp’s Bakery has great cookies and the Haagen Dazs is perfect for a hot day (their vanilla chocolate chip is excellent).
Julia and I spent yesterday in Cooper Park, eating breakfast sandwiches under a tree. Bodega egg sandwiches are a wonder to behold: $3 each (always tip) and made exactly to your liking. She got a roll, I got a sesame bagel, and we both requested salt, pepper, hot sauce, and ketchup. Five stars.
Something to read:
Bon Appetit’s implosion continued this week. Priya Krishna, Sohla El-Waylly and Rick Martinez announced they will no longer make videos for the brand (Videos are under Condé Nast Entertainment, which has separate leadership and contracts from the rest of the magazine). The next day, Molly Baz announced she will also stop appearing in videos, as did Gaby Melian. Gaby, Molly, and Sohla will keep their full time editorial jobs (can’t fault that, especially during a pandemic) and Priya will continue to write for the magazine and site.
On the editorial side (the print magazine and online content from Bon Appetit, Healthyish, Basically, and Epicurious), Sonia Chopra, formerly of Eater, was named Executive Editor. Eventually she’ll report to the Editor in Chief, but for now she’ll report to Anna Wintour. I know Sonia and she’s wonderful and I hope Condé gives her the resources and support to really overhaul things. The day after her hire was announced, the only two Black editorial employees, Jesse Sparks and Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, left the company (I linked to both of their exit statements, which are worth reading).
That’s a lot in a few days, but it’s the result of nearly two months of exhausting negotiations, which were described as humiliating by the participants. Walking away was no doubt painful, but I’m glad they didn’t settle. For Condé, it’s appalling to double down on racism and exclusion, especially when the talent in question has a dedicated fanbase and following. But that’s what Condé did and we should never forget that (this is part of a long history of racism at the company). It’s hard to imagine a path forward for the brand, especially when it comes to video, and the silence from certain staff members is noted (Brad/Andy/Chris).
I’d love to know your thoughts on this, especially if you were a Bon Appetit fan. Remember to support independent Black led food media (Whetstone and For the Culture are great) and send Tammie Teclemariam a venmo for her labor in all of this.
On to some lighter fare:
A beautiful story about caring for a new mother in the midst of Covid
The future of food media is in your inbox (so many great newsletters featured here)
Love seeing Aaron Hutcherson on NYT Cooking and I need to try that kale salad.
Frida wrote about the free fridges helping neighborhoods cope with hunger
Alicia Kennedy wrote about community and how meaningless it can be, especially when used by corporations (I’m a paid subscriber and love the Friday interviews)
This week, I’d love to know what you dip your french fries in? I’m a ketchup person but can get down with mayo occasionally (and in Europe). And what kind of fries are your favorite? Reply to this email and let me know and I’ll share the answers next week.
Finally, I want to thank you for being here! I hit a big milestone (1,000 subscribers) last week and am so grateful for all your support. We did it! And save August 25th for a special workshop for aspiring and existing newsletter writers, I’ll share more details soon!
Happy eating and thanks for reading.