"Mangalitsa" (Mahn-gah-leet-sa) describes several closely related breeds of heritage hog first known from early 19th-century Hungary. The Mangalitsa is so curly-haired that without a snout-on view, you might briefly mistake it for a sheep; an alternate German name, in fact, is "Wollschwein."
Eyes closed, many food lovers compare its flavor with that of beef. My burger ($9), dressed with cheddar and New Jersey tomato ketchup, was well-served by the juicy, fatty-but-light texture of ground Mangalitsa; a canopy of Mangalitsa bacon was the ultimate indulgence.
Previously: a grilled Mangalitsa sausage ($9 per pound) didn't melt in my mouth, not quite — though perhaps I didn't hold it there long enough to truly find out.
In most parts of the Malaysian peninsula, Singapore included, this dish would be called "Indian rojak." As served by Tamil street-food vendors, typically it includes a mixture ("rojak," in Malay) of vegetables, tofu, and various fried things as innocuous as fried dough and as adventurous as lung and spleen. A crucial component is a warm, tangy sweet-potato-based gravy.
The name "pasembur" ($8), however, provides a very broad hint that the proprietor's first home was in the north of the country — Penang, to be precise. Even in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, which has no shortage of good chow, Penang is considered a culinary touchstone. This street-cart pasembur contains no meat, let alone offal, but the gravy maintains a good balance between sweet and spicy, and the bowl is ample.
Also shown: a boneless short-rib beef rendang ($13), moderately sweet and sufficiently tender but not complex. Hence the fixings: sambal-tinged onions and hardboiled egg; the tart salad called achat, heavy on the pineapple; and jasmine rice scented with coconut and pandan. A ramshackle papadum canopy has been removed to give a better look at the other ingredients, but the second photo doesn't capture the size of the order. The rendang is as broad and deep as the pasembur, but heftier.
Mamak cart Weekday lunchtime: Hanover Sq. near Water St., Manhattan Most days, dinner through late night: North 5th St. near Bedford Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn www.Twitter.com/LoveMamak
A baked Uruguayan beef empanada ($3) — equally plump chicken patties were also available this day — and its complement, chimichurri. Even if you merely turn your head as you stroll pass the Mami Tere table, you'll very likely be offered a taste of dulce de leche. The house blend, sold in jars and in the sandwich cookies called alfajores, is less pasty and less caramelized than most, and perilously enticing to serial snackers.
Mami Tere 718-429-4776 At Fulton Stall Market, South St. between Fulton and Beekman Sts., Manhattan Saturdays and Sundays during the warmer months (Note: market closed Saturday, July 7)
Snow ice and shaved ice are cousins, not twins. The latter, scraped by hand or shaved by machine from a block of ice, can be granular or fluffy; flavored syrup and, sometimes, condensed milk are applied on top. Snow & Tell's product begins with a cylinder in which water, milk, and flavoring, in this case taro, have been frozen together. (See also the heavily loaded taro and mixed bean snow ice at Ponji Juice Bar, which may have been artificially empurpled.)
The consistency is creamier than shaved ice, as you'd imagine. My serving (with one topping, toasted coconut, $4.75) was almost elastic in texture. The shavings are said to resemble ribbons, sheets, or, in Taiwan, xue hua bing — snow flower ice.
Snow & Tell www.Facebook.com/SnowAndTellLlc At Fulton Stall Market, South St. between Fulton and Beekman Sts., Manhattan Saturdays and Sundays during the warmer months
Kale in soup, to my mind, quickly suggests two possibilities. One is caldo gallego, named for the northwesternmost region of Spain; the pork-rich soup is also common, thanks to a Galician diaspora, in Dominican cuisine. With a change of protein, kale also figures in many recipes for Portuguese fisherman's stew; this one ($5) featured hake and smoked haddock.
Would have peered into the smoker when the pitmaster lifted the lid, but didn't want to risk my place in line. Gazed instead under the propped-up hood of my sandwich; everything sliced in the first photo also figures in the second. Brisket on brioche, with pickled onions ($9).
The sweet and savory flavors of five-spice squash, quince, and candied pepitas (sandwich, $6) are set off beautifully by bland, creamy ricotta. Yes, there's the matter of oozing, especially with that first bite, but surplus ricotta and loose pepitas go great together, too.
I8NY At the New Amsterdam Market, South St. between Peck Slip and Beekman St., Manhattan www.I8NYFood.com
Snow ice, the proprietors call it, is a hybrid of Hawaiian shave ice and the toppings-heavy Taiwanese version. The ice itself is a hybrid, too. It begins with frozen blocks of water (Wooly's "original" version) that may be flavored (say, by green tea) but are invariably enriched by a small amount of milk. This milky ice is shaved, by machine, into a serving cup.
The artist Oscar Bach — whose metalwork adorns Radio City Music Hall, Riverside Church, and the Brooklyn Flea's winter abode, the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank, among many other projects — created these figurative medallions for New York City's Department of Health Building. The Art Deco cube, designed by Charles B. Meyers, was completed in 1935; today it's also named for the departments of Hospitals and Sanitation.
Bach's medallions, which illustrate various themes associated with nutrition and health, still befit the building's tenants. But in light of DoH regulations governing personal hygiene of food-service workers, the attire is clearly not up to code.
Figures of a farmer and a fisherman Health, Hospitals, and Sanitation Departments Building, 125 Worth St. (Lafayette-Centre Sts.)
Two of Brewla's four tea-infused flavors had already vanished in the summer heat, but on an undercaffeinated afternoon, "The Buzz" (honey vanilla black tea, $3) did me a solid. The Brewla name, do note, also leaves open the door to coffee-infused pops down the road.
Brewla Bars At the Fulton Stall Market, South Street (between Fulton and Beekman streets), New York Sundays during warmer weather www.BrewlaBars.com
Originally this was the City Bank Farmers Trust Building, designed by architects Cross and Cross and constructed in 1931. Given the agricultural connection, you might imagine (as I did) that these wheat stalks signify the bounty of the harvest, or the prudence of saving in fat years in anticipation of lean years.
Perhaps they do — but since this granite carving is one of eleven replicas of coins from countries where the bank had offices, the more pertinent message is "render unto Caesar." Now that the upper floors of the skyscraper have been converted to luxury rental apartments, the building is home to many tenants who hand over lots of coin, once a month.