week 39: tehuitzingo

not that i'm too much of a gossip girl,
but i do lovvvve a good secret.
{secret passages, secret forts, secret burger joints...}
is the first secret mexican place i've been to.
it reminded me of the time my friend took me to a gross, broken down bodega in boston: he told me to walk directly towards the vending machine in the back of the store, and as i was about to chicken out for fear of smashing my nose, the vending machine slid to the side and tout à coup i was standing in the biggest, most luxurious sneaker store i ever did see...
tehuitzingo doesn't have a secret vending machine door, but it does just appear to be an itsy bitsy snackee store in the outskirts of hell's kitchen. {one that i probably wouldn't have gone to, had a tipster not told me about the secret in the back}. after squeezing past some pastries and piles of mexican candy that look like they're about to avalanche on your head, a wooden man welcomes you to a space with counters in the back. and there you are... sitting in a green-lit nook that's reminiscent of the jungle gym from your youth. a half-door at the back is where the cook takes orders...
and of course i got a torta.
as i waited, some music came on via the jukebox {hey, my jungle gym didn't have a juke box! no fair!}
and when i finally stopped giggling from being in the secret world, i gobbled up my torta, no mess. it was heavy on the lettuce and avocado which made me feel good cause i was getting my recommended daily amount of vegetables. i think. 
the bread was a bit crispy, and held its junk in real good.
the horchata was non existent :-( but, i mean, what can you do with four square-feet of space? 
mirrors on the walls made the space, and my rump look bigger {maybe it wasn't the mirrors...}
dessert was this cutie patootie from the front of the store!
it was like the inside of a milka egg. and equally as importantly, it came with a little plastic spoon. teehee.

it was a very scrumptious and mischievous meal indeed.
i will be back!
but first...
i've got 13 more restaurants to go!!



tehuitzingo is on 47th and 10th

week 36: totto ramen

and just like that, as if it were on some kind of cue,
it is soup weather. 
{you know, the edible version of scarf weather. the best kind of weather}
not that it needs to be soup weather to eat ramen
because ramen was the non-kosher food of choice at summer camp... 
my friendsies brought cases of the stuff in their duffels. don't even ask how we cooked it. it's really embarrassing. 
but anywho. 
ramen is the type of soup that tastes best when you're eleven and you've just had a really long ice skating practice and you're still in your skating tights and your little skating dress but you must have food to even have the energy to change into your jammies. so your mommy bypasses the leftovers and just sticks some "line noodle soup" on the stove. bless her.
and maybe it's because i'm so used to the mommy line noodle soup that i've not been so terribly wild about all these ramen places around the city {i am no chris p thompson}
but let it be known
is the exception. the first of its kind.
there are two levels of spiciness, but i think one would win:
there was a really long line when i went but i think my friend matt must have given the hostess the sexy eyes or something because we got in way sooner than we expected.
we started with the 
char siu mayo don
pork+mayo+magic rice+green things
even though it was pork, it was very light and clean tasting. like a good albert herring performance... at first impression, you think you're going to want a little something more {like a spicy bit or a sauce} but, no no, it's quite comforting as it is. 
the ramen that both matt and i got was the
totto miso ramen
koji miso+ground pork+paitan soup+egg+green things+bean things+onion+char siu pork
what is a koji and a paitan? i do not know. but they were happy and them two together in the broth were i think the secret behind why i liked this ramen a lot a lot.
the broth was thick. not thick like the dead sea up in thur, but in it you could taste the little miso granules.
and the little granules clung to the doodles.
my goodness it was tasty.
{alas, still no doodle will be mushy enough for me, but these were actually closer to my liking than i expected. yay!}
it was really mega flavory. 
even matt who will only eat at harry's burritos really liked it.
hopefully soup weather is here to stay because the owner of totto has another new place, hide chan, across town...
so don't be surprised if that's one of my 12 remaining restaurants!!!



totto ramen is on 52nd and 9th. 
next to lucky burger, kitty-corner from brian's old apartment {read: many a drunk percussionist know this block well}

week 28: zigolinis pizza bar

i have to keep up with restaurant challenge during my schnitzel month?
apparently so, say's my boss {me}

i'm really going gaga over this napoletana pizza business. 
it's making me obsessive.
i need to try all of them.
and then i want to somehow assemble a meal with one pizza from each of the top contenders and judge which one is the best.
but if my food memory serves me correctly,

has the best crust. 

it's the first crust on a napoletana pie where the middle wasn't soggy
{i was beginning to accept that as a casualty, you know, like separated mustard goo}

it's like pillsbury doughboy all up in that shit,
that's how doughy it is.

the first time i went
-i went two times in a week-
i ordered the margherita
which was like dough-overload.
i was all
where's the rest of the cheese, luigi? 
{yes, the pizza dude's name is luigi and he a-comes from a-italia}

lesson learned,
i returned and got 
with mozzarella
can i have tomaters on that?

much better balance of dough to friends
and luigi yelled at me when i tried to put parmesan on it.
like, what?
 is pesto + parmesan faux pas or something?

it was delicious and i gobbled it up and didn't have any room for dessert but got it anyways
get this:
nutella pizza
same doughboy crust,

sugar overload.
i coulda done without the marshmallows and more nutella.
in life,
there's never enough nutella.

if there's a better napoletana crust out there,
i'm going to find it.
but i think it's going to be pretttty difficult.

till then,
i'll just eat a schnitzel.

...24 mi amores!



zigolinis pizza bar is at 46th and 9th