Jeremy’s Ale House

After a little stroll around Chinatown my lady friend and I wander down New York’s South Seaport.  After almost two years living in New York I made the trip down for the first time.  Sitting on a bench at Pier 17, next to the water and the historic ships, in 90 degree heat gave us both a hunger for a little sea food.

There were lots of restaurants around.  But they all looked out of the price range of two poor law students, like a dodgy chain, or both.  But even if we had the money, the upscale fair didn’t seem right.  We wanted the kind of simple seafood that goes great with a beer.  (Yes, Meg’s Boston roots have affected this Midwest boy.)  With the help of Meg’s iPhone, we found what we were looking for—a dive bar with some fried clams on the menu—Jeremy’s Ale House.

Jeremy’s is the kind of place you can smell from the street, in a good way.  The smell of beer as you’re walking towards the door makes you look forward to the beer you are going to order all the more.  The design of the place is Spartan and darkly light with a simple cement floor.  Still, even though it was early, about 6 in the evening, you tell the place can get rock’n.  There are bras literally hanging from the ceiling which has writing from past visitors all over it.

The beer comes one of two ways: small plastic cup or big styrofoam cup.

The simple menu, consisting most of baked and fried seafood and things that go great with baked and fried seafood (like french fries and onion rings).  We ordered baked clams (something neither of us had ever had), fried clams (which, to our surprise, came with French fries), and onion rings (no need for a parenthetical comment about these). 

The food was the cheap greasy seafood treat we had been hoping for.  The fried clams were crunchy and delicious.  The onion rings were those magic ones where you can take a bite without the onion slipping out.  The baked clams might have been more greasy than we were looking for, but with a little lemon and tartar sauce they were pretty tasty.  Oh, and the French fries.  Sometime I forget how much I love a simple french fry.  And all of the food was great with our beers (a big boy cup for me and little cup for Meg).

Jeremy’s is a place I am definitely going to be heading back to when on I’m the hunt for good, simple, fried seafood.

Jeremy’s Ale House 228 Front St.
New York, NY 10038  
(212) 964-3537

Cheese Cake Soufflé

Since I was a little kid, before I can even remember, I’ve had cheese cake for my birthday.  According to my mother, the story goes that around my third or fourth birthday (which is in July) she made a cheese cake for President’s Day.  I guess I liked because I declared that I wanted to have cheese cake for my birthday.  Not believing me, my mom made nice chocolate cake.  I’m sure it was great, but that wasn’t going to stop little me from throwing what I hear was an epic tantrum.  So cheese cake became my birthday tradition.

This year, the girlfriend, Meg, offered to make a cheese cake.  We found a recipe in the Red Book (aka The America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook).  The first step starts with cream cheese.  A lot of cream cheese.  I’m pretty sure it was my work here that led us astray.  So apparently the Red Book told me that the two and a half pounds of cream cheese should be cut into nice 1-2 inch cubes before mixing with a hand mixer.  I missing that bit of guidance.  Meg’s old electric hand mixer met not so creamy cream cheese and just couldn’t handle the caloric mass.  After about 60 seconds the right mixer thing (tong? prong? beater?) stopped working and fell out.  

Left with only a half a hand mixer seemed fine.  Slowly but surely, the dying mixer softened the cream cheese and united it with the rest of the ingredients (eggs, vanilla, etc.).  It actually reminded me a little of some of my favorite force improvisational cooking while cooking with friends back in Minnesota.  Everything got mix and poured on top of the gram cracker crust in the spring pan and put in the oven.

But when we opened the oven after the necessary time we had a surprise:  cheese cake soufflé!  The cake and popped up about two inches above the pan and was light and spongy to the touch (see picture).  As we double checked the recipe to see what we missed and the cake cooled it sank in, just like a cooling soufflé.  Then it hit, all of our extra beating from the gimpy mixer must have filled the batter with air.  Though Meg’s pre-war oven might have played some role as well.  Now I just need to see if I can make a real soufflé when I’m trying!

All in all, the cake looked a little strange, but still tasted great.

Good Food, Good Drink, and Great Living