Posts made in July 2019

Never Heard of Goody’s “Soft-Baked” Granola Till Today. Check it Out @ Whole Foods. Have I Ever Led You Astray?

I have this belief that much in life as all about timing’. Seems simple enough…yes?

Well as it turns out…my timing was pretty good today if it just happened to be that I was interested in seeking out some new granola….which I was. As I was exiting the fruit and veggie section at Whole Foods and looking for the granola aisle, I run into this fella offering tastes of his granola and I say to myself ‘Kismet’…ie…destiny…meant to be. He asks me if I want to taste any of the 5 choices on his display table and I jumped right in. “For sure”! He tells me his product is ‘hand made’ in Brooklyn and introduces himself a “Goody”.

Meet Goody…Granola Personality Extraordinaire!

For me…always sensing a possible food story if it’s something I enjoy… it’s only natural (pun intended today) to get the names of the people I meet in the word of food…so I ask if that’s his first or last name and he replies “It’s Goody…my friends call me Goody”.  Okay Goody, this granola is phab!

Bottom line here…short and sweet like it is with many of my phood finds…this is a granola worth seeking out. What I especially appreciated: as sweet as the taste was, there were only 12 grams of sugar in 2 full ounces. Not only that, every ingredient was healthful!

So…next time you’re in Whole Foods, make it your biz to seek out my latest discovery and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to meet and eat with my latest phood find personality…Mr. Allen “Goody”.

Thanks for your fine reception Goody…see you again for sure!

You can see below the ingredients listed in the 5 flavors we tasted today. Pumpkin pie and cranberry we missed…thus more to come.

Ingredients: oats, sunflower seeds, raw slivered almonds, roasted peanuts roasted cashews, coconut, dark chocolate, dried cherries, honey, molasses, peanut oil, vanilla and almond extract, cinnamon.

Goody’s Base Granola: Ingredients: oats, sunflower seeds, raw sliced almonds, roasted peanuts roasted cashews, coconut, honey, molasses, peanut oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon.

My Personal Favorite: Ingredients: oats, sunflower seeds, raw sliced almonds, roasted peanuts roasted cashews, coconut, dried blueberries, honey, molasses, peanut oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon.

Ingredients: oats, sunflower seeds, raw slivered almonds, roasted peanuts roasted cashews, coconut, dark chocolate, honey, molasses, peanut oil, vanilla and almond extract, cinnamon.

Ingredients: oats, sunflower seeds, raw slivered almonds, roasted peanuts roasted cashews, coconut, dark chocolate, honey, molasses, peanut oil, vanilla and almond extract, cinnamon.

My Jericho, NY Whole Foods

As always folks…we love your comments. Feel free to input in the “Comment” box just below “Leave a Reply”

Mangia Bene

Chef Bert


North Fork Doughnut Co. = NOFODOCO on the NOFO. Where else?

This may be the shortest and sweetest (pun intended) blog entry yet. The North Fork Doughnut Company opened up last summer and I/we have to say it’s the only doughnut we eat…anywhere!

Doughnut Worry! Meet Happy Mackenzie with my favorite! Oh yeah…cool shirts, nice hangers 🙂

My favorite preserve just happens to be seedless black raspberry and when we went it to check out this new doughnut shop last summer…just guess what the jelly doughnut is filled with. Yup…you guessed it and now I can’t  pass the place without going in for a black raspberry filled jelly doughnut or 2 or 3 or 4!

Now here’s the interesting part. ALL of these doughnuts look like they are out of a storybook and simply delightful, however we haven’t tasted any others.  I’m sure this will change as we keep visiting…but for now…trust me when I/we say this doughnut texture and flavor combined with the fine sugar coating makes this the best jelly doughnut we’ve ever tried…and with a flavor to be savored.

At home with my Black Raspberry Filled Jelly Doughnut

Check out some of the other NOFODOCO possibilities!

Cereal Killer

 Classic Boston Creme


Hmmmmm…gonna have to get the name of this one…

OGS Strawberry, Vanilla & Chocolate

On our most recent visit, we were greeted by more happy NoFoDoCo cast members showing off their famous Cannoli doughnuts.

Folks…meet Kelsey & Brett. Smiles like that could make doughnuts taste better!  🙂

Check out their website to see what doughnuts are there for you as the menu can vary.

The coffees…hot or iced are deliziosa and delisioso…and the selection of tea’s compliment whatever your doughnut choice may be. So go ahead in and savor!


As always, we love comments in the “Leave A Reply” box seen below….so please don’t be shy 🙂


Mangia Bene’

Chef Bert


Crab-cakes & More at Braun’s Seafood Grill in Cutchogue, L.I., N.Y, USA…And Now With Chef Michael’s New Crabcake Recipe!

Hi Folks! Well we’re back on the NOFO at Braun Seafood Co., a full-service seafood distributor that delivers THE freshest selection of fish, clams, oysters, and lobsters to restaurants and markets throughout Long Island and beyond. They’re in business since 1928 and when you are in business that long your formula is working well. 

It’s only 5 years later and they still make the best crabcakes around!

Chef Michael…Well done!

Don’t worry folks…Chef Michael’s pic soon to come:)

Attached to this iconic retail seafood location is Braun’s Grill, which Sandy and I first discovered about 6 years ago. We  just love looking forward to our day trips to the NOFO in summer and winter where, over the last almost 20 years, most of our favorite restaurants and new favorite restaurants exist. Peruse and you will see many of those foodie heaven restaurant posts for our faves on the north fork of Long Island.

Today we bring to you another phood find with our winner for the best crab-cake on Long Island.

Braun’s Grill Crab-cakes prepared by Chef Brandon


Of course everyone who enjoys crab cakes has their own favorite (please share with us if you are so inclined), however this one is ours…and that’s just the beginning.

In the winter months, except for when they close in January, we just love coming out to Braun’s to savor their soups and warm the soul. Yup, 120 miles round trip for soup…and, well, maybe a glass of Long Island wine at one of the 40+ north fork (NOFO) wine country vineyards.

Lobster Bisque

Our friend Jude…lovin’ her lobster bisque!

Yes, there are also posts right here on my blog for those of you who are curious to find some of our favorite NOFO vineyards, phood finds and restaurants too! Here are just a few we’ve visited along with Braun’s 🙂

Just click and you can delight in them as well!

On the North Fork, the "Finds" keep coming at Croteaux Vineyard, Rafael Vineyard & Grana Trattoria Antica

New "Anniversary Shrimp & Clams Scampi" & Touring on The NOFO Election Day November 8, 2016

Just Say YES…and you get Clovis Point, Potato Leek Soup and Keith Luce

Lobster bisque, crab bisque or shrimp corn chowder are our favorite soups at Braun’s and they also serve New England & Manhattan clam chowders…even though the list can vary from visit to visit.

Not quite finished…

OK…are you ready? Short and sweet…literally. There is no better coleslaw ANYWHERE! That’s right, Coleslaw!! TRUST ME!!!


Now…here are a couple of especially important details that I feel compelled to mention, and that I cannot overlook, when I write about any restaurant. There ‘needs’  to be a certain level of creativity in any restaurant’s kitchen to stimulate and surprise patrons with recipes that manipulate and finesse ingredients to reach a level of individuality that sets them apart.  Consistency from one visit to the next is also key. If any restaurant cannot accomplish these unique functions and because I write nothing negative, they simply cannot be included in this blog.

That said…as you enter Braun’s Grill, you will see on a large easel a list of daily specials and although I have not tasted everything I have seen, I have spoken to people who have ordered many of the specials on different occasions we have visited and each response is nothing short of…yes…special…ie…phab!

Daily Specials…Even the hand writing looks appetizing 🙂

Just today on the list of specials was a blackened striped bass taco with a fresh cantaloupe salsa.

My mouth is still watering from seeing this blackened stripe bass being prepared by Chef Brandon in the kitchen and then given to Cathy, Braun’s food plating expert, manager and personality extraordinaire, to enhance it’s presentation with a distinctive and savory coating of cantaloupe salsa.

Oh yes…and here’s Brandon preparing our crab-cakes. You know what they say about happy people?

Brandon’s Happy Crab-cakes

One more phab looking dish that I watched being prepared by Anne Marie just before we were leaving was Baked Chopped Clams with a secret bread crumb recipe topping. I’ve never actually ordered them before, but will next time.

Anne Marie’s gloved hands preparing Braun’s Baked Clams…chopped style. A little sweet butter on top and bake!

As busy as they were during the frenetic pace at lunchtime, the staff seemed to exude a certain level of pride in what they were doing as you can tell in thee pics I took.

Say Hey Sadie!

Happy people! Meet Maryann & John…two Braun’s fans who popped in for lunch and commented how they enjoyed  that little dash of  Old Bay garlic & herb seasoning sprinkled on top of their phabulous crab cakes.

Saving the best for last…or should I say…The Last of the Best! Food Master Cathy,,,Me…and Special Guest Chef Cara.

Again…you know what they say about happy people…Yes? Ok…well…just so you do know…they make you happy with their food!

Well folks…Sure would love to hear from you in the comment box below. Suggestions…sharing…insight…ideas? Don’t be shy…

Mangia Bene’

Chef Bert





BestaPasta Independence Day Lobster Rolls Served with Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella and NOFO Marion Gardens Organic Lettuce Leaf Basil

Short and sweet folks. Summer time is lobster season for us. It just happened to be July 4th, thus this entry is simply titled Independence Day Lobster Rolls.

The only difference between this recipe and my past recipe is the addition of a bit of fresh flat leaf parsley that is growing abundantly in our backyaaad!

BestsaPasta Lobster Rolls

-1.5 lbs. lobster meat from app 6-7 lbs. of steamed lobsters

-3 stalks coarse chopped (center cut) organic celery

-juice from 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon

-heavy 1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise

-1 oz. melted butter (cooled off)

-10 or so taps of Old Bay seasoning

-2 tsp. fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

-few turns fresh mill pepper

-pinch or two of kosher salt

-Blend all ingredients…and then add to very coarse cut lobster chunks. Refrigerate for at least two hours

Very slightly toast open buns in toaster oven…remove and lightly butter with unsalted butter while warm

-place a slice of butter lettuce (optional) on bun and fill with lobster salad

NOTE: Remove the triangular tips of the lobster claw meat. They are not the same consistency or taste and will detract from the overall true taste of the lobster.

The pics below will show you exactly what you should remove when I refer to the “triangular tips of the lobster claw meat”. The top pic shows the entire triangular tip. The bottom pic shows you what you should remove (the 4 pieces seen on the lower right). Are we clear?

Just so you know..If you are in N.Y….I bought these particular lobsters at Uncle Giuseppe’s @ 7.99 lb steamed and in order to get the approximate 1 1/2 lbs. of lobster meat, I purchased  approximately 6.5-7 lbs. of lobster…or 5  1 1/4–1 1/2 lbs. each.

Enjoy 🙂


Don’t be shy folks. I look forward to hearing from my readers with comments or suggestions in the comment box below.

Mangia bene’

Chef Bert


The Best of The Summer Fancy Food Show 2019 at The Jacob Javits Center in New York City

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I know that many of my readers and folks who find us are looking forward to recipes, food destinations and restaurant pics…however keeping you informed of what is new and different in the world of food is very important. The major trend over the last few years is wellness (as seen in several of my past entries). I know you can see it as you shop…thus I sincerely hope you can appreciate where  takes you.

Kudos and a huge thank you goes to the Specialty Food Association for organizing what I consider to be among the best  food shows in the world with exhibitors from all over the world!


First and foremost…Knowing how to pick the best at a show like this can only be based on what we tasted and what we liked. I’d like to thank Chef Richard and Chef Marcelle for attending with me as their input and perspective about the foods we tasted always helps in writing more objectively and open-mindedly.

Chef/Baker Richard

Chef Marcelle

So let’s get to it! What better way to start off than pasta-aaah!

Within the first ten minutes at the show we discovered a totally unique concept in pasta.

Get this: Italian organic half whole wheat semolina pasta by IRIS. The key words here…Half Whole Wheat. 

So let’s discuss this. First and foremost, I and most, if not all, of my readers have never heard of half whole wheat pasta. It’s always been semolina or whole wheat semolina. We know whole wheat is a healthier way to go by virtue of fiber content and the natural benefits of whole wheat, however in most instances taste and texture are sacrificed and many of us simply stay with  regular semolina. Already, we’ve tried the IRIS whole wheat version from a few of the products given to us at the show and we can tell you that the whole wheat pasta (6.6 grams of fiber per serving) is the best we have ever had. The half whole wheat pasta with 4.2 grams of fiber per serving tasted just as good as the semolina pasta (2 grams per serving) we all know and love.

Manuela Massaro, Project Manager Carla Gambini and Alberto Rota.

So meet the happy Organic City folks who represent Iris pasta.They simply radiated passion and enthusiasm about their products and I couldn’t wait to get home to get a whiff of the aroma they claimed steamed out of their cooked pastas. After pouring the pasta into the strainer I swear I could smell something that distinguished their pastas from others I’ve eaten. Power of suggestion? To some small degree maybe. Either way the taste was distinctive and I’m sold on these products.

Bottom line…this is what we come to these shows for. We look for new and innovative products and thanks to these folks we now know what is coming down the road. 

Although we now know the product is being manufactured in Italy, it is not yet available in the USA as they were seeking a distributor. if you want to be the beneficiaries of this new product, simply try to help to create a market for it by asking your gourmet grocer for IRIS pasta so we can all enjoy them! I know for sure I’m going to do my part.

Please read the material seen below in their product information sheets and keep this name and these different types pf pastas on your radar. Trust me…have I ever lead you astray?

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Next up:

Feltman’s Hot Dogs “Most likely the best hot dog you’ll ever eat in your life”


Feltman’s of Coney Island…The Original Hot Dog 1867 is how it is marketed.

The history of the hot dog took me by surprise and for sure most of you will be just as surprised. The story is super long and if you want to know and understand all you really have to do is Google charles feltman worked for nathan’s

Meet Michael Quinn…proud and passionate about the original Coney Island, New York staple that he has revived using the same hot dog recipe created by Charles Feltman, They are also producing (a testament to wellness by many food manufacturers at the food shows nowadays)  their new uncured beef hot dog. Their Feltman’s Deli Style Mustard made with apple cider vinegar was perfect!

Meet Elliot Simhon…Feltman’s “business man”! You know what they say about happy people…yes?

Way to go fellas. Effective today, we are fans!

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Next up…Coco  Goods!Meet Sales Manager Phong Ho,  and VP of Sales, Jim Downing

There are lots of reasons why one should consider coconut products to benefit health-wise and here are just a few that Coco Goods and we feel are important to emphasize. We just also happen to think their products were best coconut products at the show. Plain and simple…short and sweet we loved their organic coconut water and coconut milk. We’ve tasted their products several times over the last couple of years and we are happy to introduce their company to you.

Coconuts have emerged as a versatile food  because of the many surprising health benefits. Here are some of the ways a coconut can positively improve one’s health.

Boosts Energy Levels

The reason why coconuts are able to improve one’s energy level is that coconuts are rich nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. In addition, coconut water contains far less sodium and sugar when compared to other sports drink. At the same time, coconuts are also rich in a variety of electrolytes such as potassium, chloride, and calcium. This proves to be very effective when it comes to boosting energy levels and re-hydrating after a heated workout.

All of these ingredients essentially make coconut water an energy drink of sorts. With the combination of the rich assortment of vitamins and minerals as well as helpful electrolytes, coconut water is a rich source of energy.

Helps Digestive Problems

Another thing that makes coconuts unique is the fact that it contains lauric acid. This is important because lauric acid converts into a substance called monolaurin. This monolaurin is vital in helping the body’s gastrointestinal system fight off parasites, viruses, and worms. It also serves as a deterrent to a variety of infections of the intestinal tract in adults and children. In the process, coconut water will also help re-hydrate the body in the process. This can prove to be useful for those who suffer from diarrhea or constipation.

Weight Loss

For those who happen to be at an unhealthy weight, coconuts can be a surprising source of assistance. This is because of all of the electrolytes that the coconut contains. With the rich amounts of calcium and potassium that is in a coconut, the body’s metabolism will naturally increase. This means that whatever you eat may be converted to energy or nutrients much faster as opposed to being stored as fatty deposits and subcutaneous fat. Therefore, those who have weight issues may want to consider incorporating coconut water into their daily regiment.

Cardiovascular Health

People who tend to have blood pressure issues also suffer from hypokalemia, or low potassium levels. Having coconuts can replenish those levels to a degree and assist the body in retaining a healthy blood pressure reading. Also, there are other studies that have suggested that coconut water can increase HDL, or good cholesterol in the body. This makes coconut water a viable option to improve one’s cardiovascular health.

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It was the last day of the show and on the way out of the show, virtually all of the exhibitors are handing out tastes and samples of their products. One of those for me were 2  little 5.1 ounce cans of cold organic Italian espresso. Cans of Espresso? Organic? 100% Arabica Wha? Hmmmmm!

So I took them graciously and before I had the opportunity to open one up I was being handed a fresh made hot espresso with a small piece of chocolate from the next booth over. So into my bag went the 2 little 5.1 ounce cans of Italian espresso and I didn’t see them again until I returned home and they went directly into the refrigerator.

Almost a week went by before I was home in the middle of my not peak hour and decided to try one. I popped it open, poured it into a glass over a few ice cubes and right there was my first ever iced espresso with one gram of sugar topped by a velvety thick  reddish-brown crema that would for sure be appreciated by connoisseurs.  Delizioso! I also woke up:)

Bottom line…after much research, Nuts…I can’t find it…but I will! 


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Next up…An Extraordinary French Confection!


This segment will be written by Chef Marcelle. Since she conversed with these folks in French, she has a better understanding of the product.

OK Marcelle…It’s all yours!

Dragees Reynaulds Is a manufacturer of sweets based out of Marseilles in Provence specializing in what the French call “Dragees“ and “fourrages”.

“Dragees” are Jordan almonds covered in a hard sugar coating available in different colors and often used as favors for weddings, baptisms and other celebrations. These delicious sweets are offered in beautiful packaging’s from bulk for occasions to elegantly wrapped boxed gifts.

The fourrages” translated into “coverings” consist of chocolate and other candies or nuts covered in either hard flavored sugars, chocolate and other flavorings such as caramel, pistachio or raspberry with very distinct colors and defined flavors.

Of particular beauty in presentation are the chocolate fourrages that emulate the sugar-coated almonds or dragees available in different colors. One presentation that was particularly striking was a hard cellophane box with a third of the dragees in red, a third in white and a third in blue depicting the French flag; the chocolate was of good quality and the crunchiness of the coating  gave a mixture of textures to the treat.

Perusing and tasting these products immerse you for a moment in the French café experience.,+fourrages+reynauld+emballage&chips=q:dragees+fourrages+reynauld+emballage,online_chips:jordan+almonds&usg=AI4_-kRW5_0tzQLdWwaxtfV4YU4Yw6CDxQ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj0ibSExJ7jAhUsSN8KHYitDG0Q4lYIKSgA&biw=1440&bih=684&dpr=1

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While we’re on the subject and confections…here’s one we found in Italy. I absolutely loved this soft nougat almond torrone covered with a divine dark and white chocolate too!

Seriously…you can SEE how phab they are!

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Onward folks…

Introducing Amarena Fabbri Wild Cherries in an all natural syrup…

These luscious and intensely flavorful Amarena cherries from the province of Emilia-Romagna are one of the most sought after all over Europe. The Fabbri family has been producing these luxurious wild cherries in syrup since 1905 from the guarded original recipe of founder Gennaro Fabbri. The local wild cherries which are a dark red variety with a sweet and slightly bitter flavor are preserved in a rich syrup made from the juice of the same fruit. Heaven!

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Why Pasta di Gragnano is Good For You…

Pasta di Gragnano
If you’re gonna eat Italian pasta…do it the Gragnano way.

Pasta di Gragnano is considered among the best pasta produced in Italy and here’s why…

– Location makes the difference. Pasta di Gragnano is produced in the small town of Gragnano, on a plateau facing the Gulf of Naples, at an altitude that varies between 350 and 600 meters, near the Monti Lattari, where the water is less calcareous and the climate is mild and slightly damp throughout the year; these elements allows the pasta to dry in a gradual and natural manner (essicazione naturale). This slow process safeguards the proteins and nutritional qualities of wheat, which in turn give the cooked pasta a better taste and greater capacity to keep its texture.

– Equipment matters. The art of making Pasta di Gragnano has been handed down in this territory from generation to generation and some techniques are still crucial for obtaining a quality product: these include trafilatura in bronzo. The machines (trafile) used to work the dough, a mixture of durum wheat and calcium poor water, give Pasta di Gragnano its signature roughness; a rough, porous surface holds the sauce so much better.

– In praise of durum wheat flour. The type of wheat used influences the flavor of the pasta, the ability to stay al dente, and to absorb the sauce. The cultivation method also affects the quality of the wheat grain. Pasta di Gragnano is made using durum wheat of the highest quality, which has a high protein content. In fact, in order to be certified Pasta di Gragnano, it has to contain at least 13% protein, whereas regular pasta normally has 11,5%.


What caught our eyes here were some of the never before seen the shapes…

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There is one exception at the Fancy Food Show that I include in every post.

It’s because without their attendance and because I have a soft spot in my heart for their former USA Parmigiano Reggiano Queen Nancy Radke who retired from the company recently, this show for me  and many others would feel incomplete!

I guess this is my way of saying “Nancy, you are missed…and thanks for the memories!

So…for now…Bert & Fede say Arrivederci per ora…grazie per essere venuto…ci vediamo l’anno prossimo.

Buon appetito!

English Translation: Goodbye for now...thanks for coming...see you next year.
Good appetite!

…and as always…please feel free to comment in the Comment box below. Love hearin’ from ya!

Bert 🙂

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