Posts made in January 2021

On BOTH Visits…Calm, Courtesy & Invisible Smiles Ruled at The NYC Metropolitan Covid Vaccine Clinic

In these COVID times I once again find myself veering away from my recipe, hidden gem destinations and restaurant review entry’s. Credit simply needed to be given today to those folks who really deserve mention for duty above and beyond at The Metropolitan Hospital.

Inspired by these times of COVID that we are all sharing, I was compelled to do the same thing back in December, 2020 to recognize “Local Heroes In The World Of Food That Deserve OUR Support”.

Local Heroes In The World Of Food That Deserve OUR Support…According To Me!

On this momentous and historic….yes, historic day… Sandy and I drove into NYC so I could receive my first Modena SARS-COV-2  immunization. Even though there is no FDA-approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19 (it has been approved for emergency use), my belief is…

You’re either going to get COVID or you’re going to get a vaccine…

So get the vaccination for your sake and your family’s sake! BTW…As of this writing around midnight of the same day, there is no side effect other than I can feel where I got the shot in my arm.

Update: The morning of the 23rd…the slight pain is gone!

My experience at The Metropolitan Hospital Covid Vaccine Clinic went exceedingly well and I needed to take the opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the people who took care of me for the 1 hour and 20 minutes I was with them.

Say Hello to Dorothy! Yes…there are smiles under those masks…

Hello again to a smiling Tanesia and Marlene. Hellooooo ladies!

So it went like this…

I was cordially greeted by Tanesia B. and asked to fill out a pertinent information form that everyone needs to complete. Any questions I asked were quickly answered and with a smile!

After about a 20 minute wait, I then sat with Marlene C. to review the form I filled out to make sure all the correct information was received and recorded. Again, any and all questions were answered graciously and I was then promptly introduced to the definition of happy… RN Dorothy O.

After Dorothy’s cordial greeting and a few more minutes of questions, answers and smiles too, I was given my vaccine and was then walked to a close-by within eyesight POST VACCINE 15 minute waiting area.

I know all those smiles I experienced were there to help create the calm that I felt and that, according to Marlene, was among their primary goals. Thank YOU for your attention and care and know you are all a credit to your work and to Metropolitan @ NYC Health + Hospitals!

In closing, I have to say it’s been one heck of an all good thing 24 hour period this fine January 20-21, 2021! Oh yes…one more thing! At 9:21 and 21 seconds it will have been the 21st second of the 21st minute of the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st Century! Whew!!

To Dorothy, Tanesia and Marlene…All the best to you and your families for a Healthy & Happy 2021 and beyond…AND…to our new Biden-Harris Administration. Congratulations and the best of luck to us all!

See you again next month for my second vaccine immunization injection  🙂


Part 2 : February 17, 2021

Well it’s almost a month later and I was scheduled for my 2nd vaccine dose on February 18th.  Rather than have to re-schedule for an unknown date (couldn’t reach anyone on the phone) because of a predicted snowstorm for the 18th, we decided to drive in the day before in the hopes of securing my 2nd vaccine dose.

Upon arrival, I became a bit concerned because of the long line that I hadn’t experienced on my first visit in January. At that point, I explained my circumstances to the ladies who were receiving patients at check-in and was extremely relieved to find out that I could receive my second dose.


Because of the unexpected visit, I was informed it would take a bit longer to work it out and after a relatively short wait, ‘Carey’ introduced me to ‘Karis’, the RN who would be administering my shot. Of course what else am I going to talk about in the few short minutes we have together other than food (the #1 social occasion of the world is always met with a smile or two). In that short time frame with Karis I was given the name of a Thai restaurant she enjoys by the name of Bangklyn on 105th Street & 2nd Ave. and in turn, I suggested a fabulous slice of pizza at Salvio’s on 78th Street and York!

One Phenomenal Slice of Pizza That Stands Alone at Salvo’s Pizzabar in New York City!


Guess what…

In that short time frame, my shot was administered and I had to move on to the waiting area to make sure there were no immediate side effects and to make room for the next patient.

While waiting, I again (as I did on my first visit) asked for assistance in quickly…and I mean QUICKLY…rounding up all the folks I worked with and who took care of me so I could again give credit where credit was due to our local heroes*** at The NYC Metropolitan Hospital Covid Vaccine Clinic!

***In my book…a hero is someone who gives of him or herself, often putting his or her own life at  risk for the greater good of others!!

From left to right…and with their invisible smiles…

Meet…Keris, Katrina, Carey & re-introducing…Tanesia!

…and of course…

Re-introducing Marlene…and me 🙂

Hey Dorothy! Sorry we missed you for your cameo. Maybe next time…who knows?  Maybe I’ll be back for a “booster” OY!

FYI…The only side effect was as it was on the first vaccination dose…a pain in my arm where the needle went in. It lasted for 2 days and is now dissipating.

To you all…I/we say:

A SINCERE Thank YOU For Working So Tirelessly To Improve The Health And Safety Of Our Country!!!

As always, please feel free to comment in the box below.  Would love to hear from you!

Thank you!

Chef Bert


Challah French Toast With Fresh Blueberries, Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup and Seedless Black Raspberry Preserves

There are many different choices of bread and several ways to finesse flavors to suit your palate when it comes to making French toast. Popular additions are vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and/or confectioners sugar, honey, and I’ve seen Triple Sec, Grand Marnier and Baileys Irish Cream added to the standard milk and egg mix.

French Toast

This Particular French toast recipe is inspired by my favorite pancake in the whole wide world for the last 65 years…yes… 65 years and as seen here…

For a long time, a blend of maple syrup and boysenberry syrup was my favorite on pancakes and when I made French toast it was usually just maple syrup. Seedless boysenberry preserves were not easy to secure back In New York and so I found myself starting to enjoy much more easily obtainable seedless black raspberry preserves. Bottom line:  Blending these preserves with maple syrup then became my go-to topping for both pancakes and French toast.

What bread I choose to make the absolute best French Toast is Challah bread and here is the recipe for 2 without all the possible additions…ie…SIMPLE!


-Challah bread (2 center cuts 3/4″ thick). The pieces get smaller as you get towards the ends of the loaf, thus you have to compensate for the size. Thus, try to have any slices you use be similar in overall size to the original two center cuts of bread.

-1 extra large or jumbo egg

-1/4 cup milk

-Sweet unsalted butter


-Your favorite maple syrup

-Seedless black raspberry preserves


-Beat the egg and milk together with a few shakes of cinnamon (to your taste)

-Dip & flip both pieces of bread into egg/milk mixture to absorb most, if not all, of the liquid blend. While doing this, set your frying pan to medium low  and coat with melted butter.

-When the butter is hot, add the liquid absorbed challah bread to the hot pan and cook approximately 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Lift bread to see the color matches what you see directly below in this pic.

Challah Bread French Toast

Flip and immediately add more butter (I use a stick of butter and rub into the frying pan) and swirl the challah to quickly coat the bottom with the butter. Cook for another 2 minutes and if it looks done, remove and place on a plate.

-Add a bit more butter and the blueberries and swirl around for just about one minute until they look like this.

-NOTE: When making one slice for 1 serving as seen directly below, follow the same process as above OR add the blueberries (and butter) at the same time you flip your toasted challah bread.

Berries and French Toast

-Add your maple syrup or maple syrup and preserve blend and serve.

Maple Syrup


These next two pics represent a 14″ x 17″ poster plaque I purchased from the DuPars, Studio City, Los Angeles (home of my fave pancakes!!!) location back in 2000 as I just really needed some mementos of my fave pancakes ever with boysenberry syrup to take back home with me to New York.


Poster Notes

Consistently Phenomenal Slices of Pizza That Stand Alone at Salvo’s Pizzabar in New York City!

Sandy & I had to pay a visit to Manhattan last week. It just happened to be lunch time and we decided a quick slice of pizza in the car was in order. No less than 10 seconds later…and by chance… I spotted Salvo’s Pizzabar on the corner of York Avenue & 78th Street.  2 seconds later I spotted a parking space. Perfetto!

So I jumped out…dashed across the street and into Salvo’s I went. As soon as I walked in, staring me in the face was a slice of pizza reminiscent of what I/we usually see on our trips to Italy.

More specifically, slices of pizza with raw veggies and cherry tomatoes seemed to be the norm for many pizza restaurants all over Italy. In this instance with reference to Salvo’s, the red onion and cherry tomatoes brought me right back to Verona, Italy.  You can see what I mean after seeing these pics I took in Verona.

What was totally eye opening was that each slice of Salvo’s pie was topped off with fresh burrata…yup burrrata.***

Trust me…Salvo’s tasting as good as it looks! Check out those small pieces of sauteed fresh garlic too..

***Just so you are aware…Burrata is an Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains stracciatella (shreds of fresh mozzarella soaked in sweet cream) and cream,  giving it an unusual, soft texture.

Boom! Done!!

Short and sweet folks…It’ll be a while before we get back to the city because of Covid, but for sure when we do…it’ll be with a visit to Salvo’s.

Ohhh my Goodness! How could I forget?? The taste was semplicemente meraviglioso…ie…Simply Marvelous!!  Grazie mille to Sal & Kevin for communicating with me so I could write this entry and I/we  look forward to visiting again!


OK…Queeek Update! We were in the city last week and timing wasn’t so great. No burrata slices available. It’s ok though…we worked it out so our timing was great for a bruschetta slice.

After all…Life IS Timing huh huh!


OK Folks…a 2.17.2021 Update! Back in the city for Covid vaccination Part 2…and another visit to Salvo’s!

This time, we were lucky enough to secure a few of our fave slices…and a pic of Chef Paco!

I know you’ve not seen anything like this anywhere. Something also to be said for consistency at Salvo’s.

Hey Chef Paco…whaddayathink about this salad I made the other night for a new slice of pizza? Of course with your famous red onions 🙂

Wanna know more about Salvo’s? Just click here 🙂

Would love to hear from you with any comments in the box below…

Mangia bene’

Chef Bert


We Brought In a Happy, HEALTHY & Safe New Year 2021 With a Fun Friends Zoom Dinner

A few weeks ago, we made plans to celebrate New Year’s eve at a romantic bed and breakfast out on the NOFO of Long Island’s wine country. Those thoughts were put to rest and plans cancelled when the COVID-19 infection rates started to spike and hit their highest levels since spring. Instead, we stayed home and participated in a Zoom virtual New Year’s eve celebration hosted by our friends Fran & Elliot. It was ‘virtually’ like going out to dinner with the same friends we were out to dinner with celebrating the incoming 2020….namely Fran & Elliot, Sandra & Scott and Sharyn & Joel.

You know what they say about Happy People…Yes? 🙂

The time actually flew by with two hours of stimulating conversation, vino and appetizers (which included a goat cheese and red pepper jelly on crackers and baked truffle brie with artisanal whole wheat  bread and grilled marinated baby artichokes)…and then it was time for the main course!

Of course we all had to go and prepare, thus we all raised our glasses to toast to new beginnings, new resolutions, a Happy & HEALTHY 2021 and said nitey-night!

But hey…it’s not over yet!

Here’s what we all prepared 🙂

Fran & Elliot’s Braised Short Ribs with leeks & carrots in a Port Wine sauce w/mashed potatoes 🙂

Sandra & Scott’s Vegetable Paella

Sharyn & Joel’s Chicken Francese & Chicken Balsamico Con Funghi


BetsaPasta ‘Half-Truth’ Grilled Barrel Cut Filet Mignon Bistecca alla Fiorentina Style With Lemon & EVOO

No worries…the sweet butter is in there along with “light” sour cream, milk, salt ‘n mill pepper 🙂

Bert's Secret Thanksgiving Veggie Recipe

Happy & HEALTHY New Year!  PAYING IT FORWARD is also another way to “B Kinder in 2021!”