Jaeger Haus, German Food in Tivoli

by Anne Maxfield on October 15, 2018

Accidental Locavore German SchnitzelFriends of ours have been trying to get us/me to Jaeger Haus for German food for months now. Finally a serendipitous text, got us together and we headed up to Tivoli.

Since I was the only one who hadn’t been there before, we decided to get a bunch of different dishes and share them, so I could get a better sense of the menu.

Accidental Locavore German FrittersWe started with the smoked trout and the sauerkraut fritters. The fritters were like a German take on tater-tots or arancini. It was a small bundle of sauerkraut surrounding bacon, kielbasa and Emmanthaler cheese, deep fried and served with Paprika Aioli. Delicious (and a huge improvement on tater-tots)!

Accidental Locavore German Smoked TroutThe trout, smoked in-house, was served with a mustard vinaigrette, cucumber salad and big slices of rye bread to pile everything on. Everything was good on its own, but even better in combination.

The surprise dish of the evening was a special of apples and potatoes—Himmel und Erde (heaven and earth). It was something I never would have ordered, but our server insisted that we try it, and we were blown away by it! The apple and potato wedges were sautéed in butter and tossed with parsley. A simple dish, if it’s on the menu when you go, order it, you’ll be so glad you did!

Accidental Locavore German Apples and PotatoesMain courses are large and perfect for sharing. We spilt a sausage plate with weisswurst, smoked baurenwurst and bratwurst. All three were really good and went well with the warm German potato salad, sauerkraut and mustard.

Schnitzel is a must and Jaeger Haus has several different varieties. We went for the classic Weiner schnitzel—veal with red cabbage and spaetzle—all good.

Accidental Locavore German Sausage PlatterAlthough we didn’t order it this time, I was the happy recipient of some leftover Schweinshaxe when my husband went there the first time. It’s a huge portion of crispy confit of pork shank, with mashed potatoes and it was tasty, even the next day. Plan on sharing it or bringing home leftovers.

Accidental Locavore German DessertIf the dessert we had is any indication, desserts are also large and very shareable. The Windbuetel is a German version of profiteroles. Instead of ice cream, these cream puffs are filled with strawberry jam and whipped cream and topped with a caramel sauce. A delicious order is 4 puffs–one for each and we were happy.

There are local and German beers and ciders. If you follow them on Facebook, you’ll get the latest specials and special beer events.






Exploring Arthur Avenue With Arthur Avenue Food Tours

by Anne Maxfield on February 12, 2018

Accidental Locavore Arthur Avenue BiscottiWandering Arthur Avenue in February might not be your first choice to explore this food mecca, but when Danielle of Feast on History Tours wanted to promote her food tours, I took advantage of the offer!

Going to Arthur Avenue has been on my list for decades and for whatever reason every promised trip has always failed to materialize.

But not this time!

For those of you not familiar with Arthur Avenue, it’s a trip back in time, with family-run Italian shops lining streets near the Bronx Zoo.

Our guide Danielle grew up in the neighborhood and started giving tours a few years ago.

She’s well organized and shares her enthusiasm along with tastes from all her favorite shops. That means you’re not stuffing your face with junk in tourist stops–just getting a taste of insider high points.

The hub is the covered central market, the Arthur Avenue Retail Market.

Accidental Locavore Arthur Avenue Market CoffeeWe met there and enjoyed cappuccinos and biscotti while discussing the plan for the day and getting a little history of the area from Danielle. One of the things I liked about the tour was her gift of giving you just enough history to make it all interesting (and not so much that you’re looking for the exits).

After that, we went to the first of three (totally different) bakeries. This one was a traditional bread bakery, with beautiful loaves lining the windows and shelves. Addeo’s Bakery is known for their “addictive” chicola bread made with chunks of crispy cured pork. If you’ve ever had prosciutto bread, this simply takes it to a whole other level.

Accidental Locavore Arthur Avenue Bread BakeryYou’ll soon learn that anyone who is familiar with Arthur Ave. has their favorite shops and will defend them to the death. If you think you’re going to do one stop shopping fuggedaboutit—there are shops who specialize on each and every item on your shopping list. What all these shops have in common is that they’ve been in business for years, building up a loyal clientele, many of whom are also third generation shoppers.

One of the few shops that everyone seems to agree on is Borgatti Ravioli for their fresh pasta. When you walk in the store, you’re handed a card with the widths of pasta on it. Choose one of 9 different flavors of pasta and they’ll cut it to order–as wide or narrow as you’d like. If you’d rather have ravioli or manicotti, they’ve got that too and all the tomatoes or pre-made sauces you need for your pasta.

Accidental Locavore Arthur Avenue PastaIn between the second and third bakeries, we stopped at Joe’s Deli for tastes of their cheeses. In a world where everyone has the best mozzarella, I’d be voting for Joe’s. Smooth and really creamy, it was one of the best I’ve ever had. I was just sad that it was February with not a decent tomato in sight…

Accidental Locavore Arthur Avenue CheeseThe third bakery was Artuso’s where we had one of the few cannoli I ever really enjoyed. Small and freshly filled, there was the perfect amount of not too sweet filling to crunchy shell. Three perfect bites!

Accidental Locavore Arthur Avenue CannoliThere were stops to several other great spots on and off Arthur Avenue, ending up with a great Sicilian pizza back at the market.

Danielle does such a good job taking you to her favorite spots, that you’ll be armed with all the info you need to explore on your own. It’s certainly a tour I’d recommend to friends (and have) and would even take again, just for fun.

What I also learned, is that a cold Saturday in February, early in the morning is doable. After that even in 20° weather, and it’s a free for all.

My advice? Contact Danielle and set up a weekday morning so you can end up at any one of many great spots with a sandwich or pizza for lunch.



Boston Public Market

by Anne Maxfield on February 22, 2016

Accidental Locavore Boston Public MarketDespite the plethora of food courts dotted all over Manhattan, the Accidental Locavore has yet to find the perfect one. As my readers know, I’ve yet to find any one I’d like to return to, except in case of emergency (like needing a sandwich for the train). Even an attempt at the newest space – the Pennsy by Penn Station (always a decent food desert) – was a bust! They don’t even open until 11! So much for lunch to go.

Accidental Locavore Chestnut FarmsWhen I heard about Boston’s new Public Market, I was intrigued enough to go check it out, but quite honestly, wasn’t setting my expectations too high. It’s down near the North End, a spot that has always had lively markets (although you always had to keep an eye out for less-than-perfect produce ending up in your bag). Nineteen years in the making, it opened last July with almost exclusively Massachusetts vendors.

Accidental Locavore Raclette to goThe emphasis is on fresh food, meat, cheese, fish and produce. This is a good and a bad thing. Unless you’re a huge butternut squash or potato fan, you quickly realize that there are not a ton of fresh veggies in February. But that’s easily overlooked by some terrific-looking meats and a great selection of cheeses. I took the opportunity to introduce my friend Betty to raclette made with Jasper Hill Farm’s Alpha Tolman cheese, and we shared a tub of perfectly cooked potatoes covered in gooey, local raclette. She’s hooked.

There’s a local pastrami stand, dishing out some very nice pastrami. It’s a little more smoked than you’d find at a NY deli, but the prices will remind you of Katz’s. You’ll find teas, spices and flowers, maple syrup and a surprising amount of regional sodas, ciders and beers.

Accidental Locavore American StonecraftTwo of the non-food purveyors are perhaps the most interesting stops in the market. American Stonecraft has a collection of beautiful stone slabs and bowls. What makes them particularly interesting is that Gerald Croteau, the owner, gathers the stones from farms in the area (it’s New England, so not exactly lacking in rocks), cuts them into slabs and polishes them. Each piece has its origin stamped on the back, so along with helping farmers clear their fields, you can have a stone slab for cheese that will put those Brooklyn slates to shame.

Accidental Locavore Peterman BowlThe other one is Peterman’s Boards and Bowls. This time, Spencer Peterman looks for rotting and fallen trees in the forests. He then turns them into incredible bowls, as well as cutting boards, utensils etc. I fell totally in love with an ebonized oak bowl—well actually I fell in love with a lot of the bowls, especially the ones made from burl, but there’s a limit to how much one wants to schlepp home on the train (which kept the American Stonecraft pieces from being too tempting).

Accidental Locavore My BowlBesides the availability of non-food items, the biggest difference between Boston Public Market and the Manhattan food halls is that in Boston, it’s primarily a food market with some prepared food to take home or find a spot to enjoy it in. The layout is better too, it’s open and airy (even on a cold, grey day) and while the seating is few and far between, it’s not just plopped in the middle of the space. If you happen to be in the Boston area, it’s definitely worth a trip!



Contest: Win a Wonderful Box of Goodies!

by Anne Maxfield on September 7, 2015

Accidental Locavore Mary's Summer BoxThe Accidental Locavore was lucky enough to win a subscription to Mary’s Secret Ingredients, a “culinary surprise box.” A quarterly subscription service, I’m on my second box and it’s been a lot of fun and surprises! And if you read to the end of this post, you’ll have the opportunity to enter to win her upcoming fall box, which you’ll most certainly enjoy!

The summer box had something that I’ve always loved and never really hunted down – what the (now, sadly, closed) Vietnamese restaurant Pho Viet Huong in Chinatown called broken rice. This was actually billed as Delta Blue Rice Grits and Mary has written about making wonderful risotto with it.

Accidental Locavore Rice GritsI was more interested in seeing how it would compare with the extremely short rice I’d get in Chinatown as part of the lunch special. There was some leftover Thai style ground pork in the fridge which I thought would work well with the rice.

You cook the rice grits the same way as regular rice – twice as much water as rice, a little salt, bring it to a boil, cover and reduce to low for twenty minutes. Never fails. Except that night I forgot to turn on the timer! It was fine, a little overcooked, but not totally mush (which might be the desired texture for them as grits). I warmed up the pork and tossed it on the rice. It was great and will definitely inspire me to try some other Vietnamese dishes so I can serve the rice. I’ve already decided that rice bowls are going to be my go-to lunch this fall, replacing the ubiquitous salads and occasional souped-up (pun intended) bowls of ramen, so stay tuned and see what crazy combos come out of my kitchen!

Accidental Locavore Broken Rice With PorkNow for the fun part! Mary has kindly offered one of my readers the chance to get their own “culinary surprise box” (and if you’re not an obsessive foodie, please don’t be scared off, there are lots of wonderful goodies in each box and most of them don’t require much more than opening a package). Just click on this link by September 14th, to sign up for the drawing: The winner will be decided by September 16th and have a great box of goodies on their doorstep by the end of the month! Share and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Mary's Spring BoxPS: If you don’t win and would like the box, it’s a very modest $25.99 – shipping included, but you should order soon or you might have to wait until December!