Author Archives: glenn van nostrand

About glenn van nostrand

Spent some years making my way around the cities and states, working, learning about new food ideas and planting and eating my share. The most pressing lesson I came away with, now that I am less nomadic, is that we all need to reject the corporate take over of our food, both dining out and shopping to bring home. No matter what size your living area, you can always grow something and enjoy the nurturing experiences of the growth to the nutritional value it gives from the table..

Leo’s Latticini Mama’s

 

 

“Why are we driving all the way to Astoria for roast beef?
“Fat encased Tuesday’s Roast Beast” (aka Roast Beef). “It’s by far the best roast beef anywhere, you’ll see.”

Spoken with an aire of confidence I just couldn’t muster up enough hootspha to challenge, so I mumbled and grumbled under my breathe while peering out the window at the passing hope of my Shake Shack desires.

Cured meat hanging by rope from rafters coupled with white buckets of olives will thrill me till the day I take my dirt nap.
The ante upped – a whole display case of additional cured meats, specifically salami, whatever happened to salami anyway? I can’t recall anyone calling its name too top an egg or populate some bread with provolone, never happens, its eighty five percent of my sandwich meat & home noshing. Ham? Turkey? Gosh — they bore me too death.

Two little women advanced the slicing arm purposefully- – too and fro with reckless abandons, a seven or eight pound piece of that spoken gelatinously encased meat was getting wacked up thin, in the Hobart slicer along with thick cuts of mozzarella.

Every single customer order was the same as the modulation of chants “I’ll have what he’s having” grew like crickets playing telephone, chirping to the moon at night, anxiously growing and bellies groaning at the passed deli papered sandwiches reached their homes.

Opting for the gravy and mushrooms atop, the taste from bite one to bite last was something out of an edible musical, deliciously dramatic and delectably theatreacle.  Overture to cadenza the magical taste had really grabbed me in a food transe that kept me under its uniquely wonderful spell for the remainder of the day and night.


Ready for Easter brunch.


Foodporn 201.


Review of Corvina Peruvian Kitchen on Yelp

A 4 star review of Corvina Peruvian Kitchen by Glenn V.:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/corvina-peruvian-kitchen-queens-2?hrid=fZ11liU57ei4AehEAf3bxg&utm_source=ashare&utm_campaign=direct_share&ref=yelp-android


Review of Il Poeta on Yelp

A 5 star review of Il Poeta by Glenn V.:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/il-poeta-forest-hills?hrid=8xie9voa8OmHL-h7PeWccQ&utm_source=ashare&utm_campaign=direct_share&ref=yelp-android


Review of La Coya Peruvian Restaurant & Steakhouse.

 

A 4 star review of La Coya Peruvian Restaurant & Steakhouse by Glenn V.:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-coya-peruvian-restaurant-and-steakhouse-forest-hills-2?hrid=_4oha5RqnHCCN12TXXjhSg&utm_source=ashare&utm_campaign=direct_share&ref=yelp-android


Queens NY Delight Dinner Club Night


After the many delicious success sitting for dinner at Room 55, I was approached by owner, chef and TV personality, Vinny Accardi regarding hosting a Yelp Supper Club event. Restaurants have approached me prior to run an event, but it never enticed me, never really grabbed my interest — this request did.
The menu we was created, is intended to showcase Chef Accardi’s culinary masterpieces of modern American cuisine and we set the date of April 6th, 2017 at 7:00pm to launch Room 55’s very first Unofficial Yelp Event.

Queens Delight Dinner Club Night Tasting Menu includes:

~ Cast Iron Mac & Cheese. (Cheeeseeees and Cheeeseeeey…!)
~ “Everything” Tuna (Mr. NYC Bagel — meet Mr. Tuna)
~ Crispy Pork Belly (Pumpkin Gastrique? Heck yea)
~ Pasta Danielle (Lamb, Prune & Sage Pasta Love’in)
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Take a sip of water or wine, take a little breather — because there is more…..

~ Seafood Pistou (Chefs Seafood and Shellfish Selection with Risotto- Peas, Saffron/ Fennel Broth — Oh My.!)
~ USDA Prime Hanger Steak (Oyster Mushrooms- Radicchio- Roasted Potato- Cabernet Sauce – SIGN ME UP!!)

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~ Desserts is chefs choice from a trio of scrumptious sweets taken directly from the Room 55 menu, please check the URL for details.)

~ Enjoy a glass or two or three or four of red and white wines to accompany such delicious dinner dishes for only an additional ten dollars. Coffee and tea are readily available as well.

~ Come and enjoy Queens Delight Dinner Club Night with your Yelp buddies, Elite or not — your all Elite in my eyes – Yelp work colleagues, Yelp friends, Yelp family or Yelp alone.

Do not pass up the opportunity to eat handsome portions of Chef Accardi’s Modern American cuisine, have some laughs and taste the leader board of dishes from the dinner menu that will captivate the eye, dazzle the smell with aromas, euphorically exhaust the taste buds with flavors are — In my opinion — second to none outside of Manhattan..

TRAVEL and TRANSPORTATION:

fleet_24-Passenger-Executive-Bus

Transportation will be provided by: Big Ben Transportation, (bigbentransportation.com)
Departing from Station Square – 1.5 blocks south of the subway station of 71 Continental Ave,Forest Hills subway station & Long Island Rail Road Forest Hills station to Room 55 at 7:00PM.
Returning back to Forest Hills subway and LIRR station at 11:00, times subject to change, proper and advanced notification will be given.

RESERVATIONS:
Credit card customers, please call Room 55 at (718} 897-0055 to reserve a seat, cash payers must provide a valid credit card number to hold the reservation.


Cat Cafes Have Arrived.

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Cat cafes: The basic idea is as follows. An establishments that allows the customer to make feline friends while they enjoy their coffee.
This rather unusual business model already exist not only in Japan, but in Paris as well. Yet outside of Japan, the concept has yet to really gain much momentum for different reasons, including Health Department regulations, but there are some ready for their launch coming up this year and the next.
Entrepreneurs in Canada are giving the idea a try in British Columbia and Vancouver, the United Kingdom has already launched a handful in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Nottingham with reasonable success. True to the tradition of the French, food is involved and their version of the cat cafe is essentially a diner that includes desserts, tea, and, of course, cats. It is ideally situated in the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris, but call for reservations before just walking in.

The concept has hit Oakland, California as the first city in the United States to engage in this model, with a bit of a feel good twist. Unlike many capitalistic cash grab business with possible animal exploitation, the model of the cat in Portland, San Diego, Denver, NYC, Michigan and Massachusetts, partner with a local chapter of The Humane Society or another local cat rescue group.
Cat Café History: The world’s first cat café, “貓花園” (Cat Flower Garden), opened its doors in 1998 in Taipei and became a smashing success attracting tourists from all over Japan and beyond. Part of the reason for the success is in part due to the limited living space in Japanese apartments and rules disallowing most all pets that you can pet and play with. In addition, customers’ young and old, looking for mild to more serious companionship were the most prominent of all customer profiles.
This confirms that it’s time for Americans to just let animals start hanging out in our cafes and restaurants all the time. Health codes are kind of bogus anyway, right?

Here’s a YouTube video of the experience in Japan’s Cat Café. (Cut and paste in to your browser.)


How Restaurants are Bamboozling You into Spending More.

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Dining out has become so common that many of us that sit for a meal probably do not consider what goes into a dining experience behind the scenes, having not worked in the business. What I recently found most interesting about the behind the scenes activities is what restaurant consultants and menu engineers get paid to do by many top tier eateries. The menu consultant is a relatively new niche that has paid tremendous dividends to the restaurants bottom line which explains the boom in popularity.
Significant thought and planning goes into properly nudging the customers decision making process toward the way the restaurant wants you to choose the food you eat.

Listed below are only five of the many ways restaurants use psychological tactics to get you to spend more money, trust me when I tell you that there are many more:

1. Have you noticed many restaurants defer from using dollar signs before the listed price of the dish? The dollar sign is one of the top printable characters that most all restaurants avoid using. The symbols initial interpretation to the customer is a reminder they are about to spend money, triggering a slight pull back response to higher ticket meals as negative feelings can enter their thinking, resulting in less money pulled from their wallet or purses.

2. How is the difference of the last two numbers to the right of the decimal interpreted by consumers? (Eg1: .09 – .95 and .99 ) Menu items ending in .99 tend to signify value as opposed to .95 which is more effective as it appears friendlier and not as close to the next higher dollar amount. That is why menu consultants advise their clients to scrap the entire idea of adding the decimal and the numbers to follow, making the menu easier to decide from but increasing the price if only by a few cents.

3. Using extremely descriptive language is a new approach to offering menu items. Using creative and clever wording has proven to increase sales on many menu items when compared to those that do not have such descriptions.
As an example the item would read something like this. “Maryland Style Crab Cakes: Hand rolled, Chesapeake lump crab meat with a touch of sweet mayonnaise, our secret blend of herbal seasoning encrusted in golden cracker crumbs, creating our one of a kind, signature crab cakes”.
The words description brings a high level of sensory experience to the customer who is reading over the menu. Similar to how a professional server can tantalize the table with their descriptive terms when explaining the evenings special’s and both deliveries typically add more money to the total bill. Additionally it leaves the customer with a more satisfied sensation an the meals end and continue right on through to the desert menu.
Note: I do not intend to include chain restaurants gross misuse of descriptions when using other company names to sell their poor meals such as ‘Jack Daniels sauce atop our Angus Beef Burger’. Its not a novel idea and a poor marketing ploy only Well Doner’s would fall for. (A Well Doner is someone that orders a steak well done, basically cooking out any of the steaks flavor)

4. Connecting food to family is another useful and popular way menu designers drive traffic to a particular item. Customers are drawn to names of relatives such as Aunt’s and Grandmothers. It is likely that Grandmas Homemade Meatballs or Aunt Margie’s Beef Stew sell better than without their names involved.

5. Using expensive items as decoys to draw your attention to a slightly less expensive item is a tactic employed by many fine dining restaurants. The idea is as follows. The restaurant is betting that the customer will not buy the most expensive menu item, but is likely to spend on the second most expensive menu item or one closer in price, believing they are getting a similar item at a more reasonable price, that is the trap.
The reason the $120 item is on the menu is that it stands out as likely the only triple digit menu item and distracts the customer into thinking that all other dishes near it appear more of a bargain yet the entire menu in the same time can be increased in price. What the customer does not realize is that they will receive a smaller portion at a relatively higher price based on what goes into the food cost of the meal. Exactly what the restaurant wanted all along.


Baa Humbug to the Last Outdoor LIC Flea for the Season.

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The outdoor venue gods must have a special place in their hearts for Yelp Elite events as the sun shines down upon the LIC flea market in mid October.

The beer garden area was my first stop and with three taps pouring local brews, Queens specifically, my head soon felt like a toasting marshmallow after I consumed a few beneath the suns rays. It felt good.
I had the opportunity to chit chat with some of the people but the food distractions were far too difficult to ignore to discuss anything meaningfully lengthy in time. Samples were abundant which left me perplexed by those vendors that did not participate. The Greatful Bread stand sold breads with none of the genetic funny stuff, bought two loaves.
The tempura stand folks were so sweet and generous with their delectable offerings. But Southern Wheels Eats really won my affections with a great spin on Southern fare, as a former Charlstonian (SC) the flavors brought me back to where mac-n-cheese is a vegetable, ah yes, the deep south.

With other dogs in attendance Sydney was entertained, great company that I brought as well as just met not to mention close proximity to the Beer Garden, I was having such a great time. So good in fact that I was stuck in my location, just north of corn-hole, I rarely moved unless needing provisions.

With so many other fabulous vendors selling their wares, I lapped the market two more times and was quite thrilled to learn the market will be moving indoors for the remaining season located directly next to the outdoor venue.