Twin Peakz

Brooklyn TexasComment

After more than a year of spamming each other and all of our friends with Twin Peaks news — David Lynch is directing! David Lynch quit! He’s back on the project! Laura Dern! — we knew that we had to do a BKTX post about our all time favorite show. We’ve read all of the “How to Prepare for the new Twin Peaks” blogs, we’ve read all the cherry pie recipes, and though we wanted to do something to honor our excitement for the new season we knew...no coffee, no cherry pie, no ugly sweaters. So, we decided to watch the first new episode and make something inspired by that.


To resist any spoilers, let’s just say this season holds up to the OG weirdness and suspense we all came to know and love in 1990 2006. The show is freaky. There are donuts, but definitely no pie. All our favorite actors came back. We have no idea what’s going on, we just want to watch more of it. So… we decided to film our reactions to the first two episodes. It’s like we became twin peaks.

Some highlights:

E1 8:39, Olivia: WHA why does New York look like that?!

E1 17:14, Emily: Single best exchange in the history of television.

E1 20:24, Emily: UGH this is so scary.

E1 21:27, Olivia: OMG his eyes are SO BLACK.

E1 21:49, Emily: Are those...pickled potatoes?

E1 28:11, Olivia: I wonder where Z coffee is from.

E1 31:55, Olivia: Um, who does this?

E1, 42:55, both: AHHHHH

E1, 44:00, both: Awwwww =(

E2, 05:55, Olivia: What!????

E2, 36:59, Emily: I'm gonna squish your face like that

E2, 37:15, Emily: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!? 

E2, 1:04, Olivia: *dances*

We love it! It’s scary. Can someone tell us what’s going on!?

BKTX Waffle

Brooklyn TexasComment


My (Emily's) parents are not from Texas. The both grew up in places many thousands of miles away from Texas, in fact, and growing up, they encouraged my brother and me not to be overly influenced by Texas: for example, neither of us said "y'all" until we were in college. Despite being staunch coastal liberals, there was ONE Texas thing that, when I was a kid, my parents fully embraced.

That, dear readers, was the Texas shaped waffle.

The Texas shaped waffle iron we had growing up was amazing. It produced dark golden brown waffles, and had a big star right where Austin is that was PERFECT for overflowing with maple syrup and butter. A few months ago, Olivia discovered that Texas shaped waffle irons were a thing and got one for her birthday; I recently became the proud owner of one from my parents' kitchen, though oddly NOT the one we spent years using (they had...multiple...Texas-shaped ways to make waffles). We used our new one to make Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Waffles, which we drenched with New York maple syrup made by Olivia's friend, Jim the Builder. These waffles would be good in any shape, but we're sure that Texas' shape makes them a little tastier. Also, the Rio Grande Valley is really good for pouring maple syrup along.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Waffles

•3/4 cup cornmeal
•3/4 cup all-purpose flour
•1 1/2 tsp baking powder
•1teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 tsp kosher salt
•1/3 cup grated cheddar
•1  tsp maple syrup
•1 cup buttermilk
•1 egg
•4 tsp melted butter
•2 peppers (we used one jalapeño and one serrano pepper) 

Makes 4 waffles

1. In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, backing powder, baking soda, salt, and cheddar.

2. In a smaller bowl, mix together maple syrup, buttermilk, egg, and butter.

3. Combine wet and dry ingredients. 

4. Stir in the peppers.

5. Let sit for 10 minutes.

6. Follow the cooking instructions according to your waffle maker (we used about 2/3 cup per waffle).

7. Top with maple syrup and butter. Enjoy!

Pass the Pastis

Brooklyn TexasComment

Last summer, we were so excited to write about our favorite aperitif, pastis, that Olivia went right out, bought a bottle, and promptly finished it before we had a chance to come up with anything to say about it. Olivia introduced me to the drink when we were studying abroad, explaining to me that it was what old guys in the South of France drank, and it became our go-to: when you drink it, it’s cool and tingly, perfect when it’s hot out. It’s icy cold, crisp, not-too-sweet and not-too-bitter. The anise flavor doesn’t overwhelm you with black licorice flavor, because it’s light enough to be a little floral and minty rather than syrupy (and it’s usually much less sweet than its cousin, absinthe). We usually swirl an ounce of the light green liquid over a bunch of ice and dilute it with at least equal parts water — sometimes more than twice as much — which turns it cloudy and white.

For spring, though?

I’ve never spent more time staring at a bottle of pastis than when we started thinking about how to make a spring cocktail with it. At the bottom of each bottle, pastis is described as “neutral spirits with anise flavor," which made me laugh because neutral spirits is the last thing you’ll be in after a few glasses of pastis. Hemingway wrote, “Pastis tastes like licorice and it has a good uplift, but it drops you just as far.” That’s a little bleak — we were looking for just the uplift, and no drop… and it took about 7 taste tests to get there. Our inspiration was a cocktail from Sauvage, a newish restaurant and “cocktail den” in North Brooklyn. Their version is a little fruity and herbal, but still has a kick from the pastis, beautifully tying together winter and summer flavors. We finally hit those same notes at home by combining Ricard pastis (no, we can’t tell the difference between Ricard and Pernod), Chamomile, Byrrh (another French aperitif made of wine and quinine), and strawberry simple syrup.

No Neutral Spirits - Spring Pastis Cocktail

1 oz pastis
3 oz steeped chamomile tea
2 oz Byrrh
1 tablespoon strawberry simple syrup

To make the strawberry simple syrup, bring half a cup of water, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 8 large, chopped strawberries to boil. Boil down, stirring, until the strawberries melt into the liquid. Let cool.

Measure all the ingredients into a shaker. Add ice, shake with vigor and force! You can shake your butt too, while you do this. Shake until you can shake no more. Strain (this is very important, you’ll need a strainer to get the strawberry chunks out) into a pretty glass, and try not to drink too quickly — it may not drop you far, but the ride up is a fast one.

Dream Dates Part Trois

Brooklyn TexasComment

When it's your last night in Paris, and all your friends have left town, and your phone is out of data, and you've finished the book you were reading, and you've only got a handful of euros left, it's definitely a good idea to camp out in an Oberkampf bar with a glass of kir and a notebook to revisit one of our favorite BKTX posts: Dream Dates Parts 1 and 2. Here's a continuation of how we daydream about spending time hanging out with people we have crushes on.

• A really giant glass of whiskey with Carrie Fisher

• White Russians with Steve Buscemi

• Tiki Bar in venice beach with Aziz Ansari

• Sushi in the East Village with Mark Ruffalo

• Snorkeling With David Attenborough

• Brooklyn dive with Ewan MacGregor

• Ballet with Romain Duris

• Horse drawn carriage with Jack white

• A really raw steak with Jean du Jardin (I was drunk in Paris when I wrote this)

• Trampoline with Mandy Patinkin

• Eating giant bowls of whipped cream with Anne Hathaway

• A long walk in a beautiful garden with Eddie Redmayne

• Miller High Life at a country bar in Nashville with Jared Leto


Brooklyn TexasComment

Last month, BKTX was lucky enough to go on vacation to London! We had a marvelous time full of double-decker-bus-selfies and offal (we tried oxtail and heart pie — eek!). By the end, we were waving “cheerio” and saying everything was “brilliant,” even though no one really said those things to us. Here are the highlights of our adventures in the UK.

We started out with a full English fry up at Beppe’s, which was one of our favorite things of the whole trip. Beppe’s is a tiny little diner, and the people working there seemed to know everyone inside. The coffee was excellent, and we’ll never get over how fun it is to have beans for breakfast. The grilled tomatoes are worth it alone.

Then, we took a bus to Portobello Road market, where we found an amazing map store. Upon hearing that we were from Texas, the owner pulled out a bunch of rare 19th century maps of Texas — the republic — and how much of the present-day US it took up. Emily bought a map from the 1940s of vineyards in Bordeaux, and Olivia got an etching of two wolves.

We loved visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, and stayed for hours looking at tapestries, snuff boxes, and fashion throughout the years (we found the dresses and shoes from the 1940s looked JUST like what we’re coveting in stores now). Our favorite part by far was the theater section — almost a whole floor is devoted to costumes, set models, sound effects, and lighting of English theater, and you get a look into what goes into designing high production shows that we’ve never seen in a museum. Olivia got to try on a beef eater jacket and Emily put on a hoop skirt.

We managed to have Indian food almost every day (as it should be), but one of our favorite meals of the whole trip was Dishoom (or Mushaboom, as Olivia calls it). We went to the Shoreditch location on Saturday night which we wouldn’t recommend, because they don’t take reservations and you can’t leave your name. We waited in line for 50 minutes, but it was OK because we made friends with the German boys behind us who shared their Heineken and some fellow New Yorkers in front of us. When we finally ordered, we had amazing gimlets, shrimp, chicken curry, and black daal, but the most outstanding by far were the spicy lamb chops.

On Sunday, we went to the Columbia Road flower market, which was exploding with blooms but so crowded with people it was a little hard to enjoy. So, we walked down to Brick Lane and went to a ton of vintage stores, finally hitting the jackpot on a long, industrial work coat for Olivia and a candy-striper uniform top from World War II for Emily. We also went to a shop called Labour and Wait, and we wanted to buy everything from there.

When we went to the Barbican, there wasn’t much art up, but we absolutely loved walking around “The Conservatory,” which sounds like a music school but is actually an amazing indoor garden. You can walk around and it felt like being in a Rousseau painting, and it was nice and warm.

At the National Gallery, we were entranced by this bizarre painting of a horse and of course all of the gorgeous Turner paintings. Emily came up with a theory that the whole museum’s purpose was to prove that English painters rendered dogs beautifully and French painters were really bad at painting dogs. She’ll elaborate more on that at a later date.

Our favorite museums were the Courtauld, which is a lovely smaller art museum, and Sir John Soane’s Museum. John Soane was an architect and collector, who turned his houses into a museum for his hundreds of mediterranean antiquities and 18th century paintings. We were absolutely entranced by how he designed his picture room: every surface was covered in art, but then the walls secretly swung open, so there was more art on the back and on more panels that you could open. It was utterly amazing.

One afternoon, we were super touristy and had tea at the Wolseley. It was perfect timing, because while we had pretty good weather the whole trip, it started pouring on us right before, and tea was the perfect thing to feel cozy on a rainy day. We found the Wolseley wasn’t stuffy or overly fancy, it was just really nice and classy, and we had fun chatting with the very British Londoners we sat next to. Olivia loved the tiny chicken salad and tarragon sandwiches; Emily will be dreaming of those scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam forever.

We tried to go out for drinks almost every night, and almost every night we were foiled. After nearly a week in London, we never really figured out the difference between a bar and a pub, and why some seemed to be closed on Sundays but not all of them, and some seemed to close at 11 but not all of them (though pretty much all of them seemed to close at midnight). When we did manage to get in to a bar (seriously, we showed up at more than 5 closed bars), our favorites were the Dolphin in Dalston, which is pretty much our dream of a perfect dive bar with a pool table, surly drinking comrades, stained glass with dolphins, and a live-in cat, and Bar Termini, a tiny, dark, extremely Italian bar in Soho. We got Boulevardiers and Rose-infused Negronis in the cutest, tiniest glasses.

Since Emily was continuing on to Paris and Olivia couldn’t join, we decided to splurge and have dinner at Frenchie, the outpost of the beloved Parisian bistro. While the atmosphere wasn’t quite as cozy as the original, the food was pretty amazing. The stand out was definitely the dessert, though: Meyer lemon custard, covered in shortbread and shortbread crumble, with rosemary ice cream, and meringue with kalamata olives. It was totally unexpected, but somehow the tangy, creamy, crunchy, and salty worked really well.

One of the tragedies of the trip was that after being foiled by a few closed bars, we went to Mangal II, a Turkish restaurant known for its sassy Twitter presence and for being the favorite of artists Gilbert and George. Not that we’re stalkers, but our waiter told us we missed them by 15 minutes! Apparently they come at 8pm every day. Anyway, we understood why it was their favorite: we had a huge feast of lamb and chicken and bread and hummus and everything was utterly fantastic.


Brooklyn TexasComment

While we were working on last week’s special Texas Independence Day post, I (Emily) took a quick break to check the news, the number one contributor to my split ends, bitten down nails, and stress cheese-eating habit. The breaking news was that Jeff Sessions had actually met with the Russian ambassador a few times during the campaign even though he weirdly said that he had not done so in his cabinet hearing under oath, even though that question was not asked of him. My quick news break turned into a barrage of outgoing psycho text messages that I’m not proud of, in which I imagined the thoughts of every person who has a weirdly cozy relationship with Russia and is currently in government (sorry, Jay) (this wraps it up the best).

I yelled to Olivia from my bedroom, “ARGH! Who on Trump’s team DOESN’T have a connection to Russia? It’s in the news every day and it’s so confusing it’s taking over my brain. I need someone to draw a picture of this for me.” She yelled back, “I can do that.” Olivia specializes in turning complicated things into easy-to-understand visuals, so I did my best to explain everything that has been reported so far, and Olivia worked really hard to communicate it in a way that doesn’t discombobulate me. It also gives some context that other graphics of the situation don’t really have.

K, now back to your stress cheese.

Celebrate Texas Independence Day with Migas!

Brooklyn TexasComment

Happy Texas Independence Day, y’all! Yes, that is a real thing (so is the Texas Pledge of Allegiance, Texas is literally that crazy), but it’s pretty much just a good excuse to stuff your face with tasty Tex Mex. We’re celebrating this kooky holiday by wearing our cowboy boots and making migas with our friends at Jalapa Jar, who have a kiosk in the Clark Street Station in Brooklyn Heights and a stand at Smorgasburg! We first mentioned Jalapa Jar in our Breakfast Taco Map last fall, but then we had a little faux pas last week when we accidentally left them off of our Queso Map (it’s been ameliorated). We decided there was no better way to collaborate than to spread our love for a perhaps lesser-known Tex Mex dish right here in a Brooklyn subway.

“Migas” means “crumbs” en espanol, but it’s not really made with crumbs: it’s eggs scrambled with tortilla chips and salsa, and maybe a little cheese if you like, and it’s perfect inside a tortilla and eaten like a taco with your favorite toppings. The chips add more dimension to the scrambled eggs, which get a little bit custardy and a little bit crunchy, and take on a creamy corn flavor that reminds us of cornbread. We made them into tacos topped with refried beans, cheese, a little bit of bacon, chorizo, and avocado, and of course a good douse of their fresh salsa. Stop by Jalapa Jar to try their Texas Independence Day special, or follow their recipe below to make your own. Yeehaw!

Jalapa Jar’s Texas Independence Day Migas

Handful of crushed chips (we used Tortilla Nixtamal’s, which are the best)
2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt
2-3 eggs, depending on how hungry you are
A few spoonfuls of Jalapa Jar Mild Salsa

Refried Beans
Queso fresco
Chopped cilantro
Chopped Jalapeno

Whisk the eggs, yogurt, and salsa together in a bowl. Pour into a pan over medium-low heat, and scramble until eggs are set. You can eat this with some extra salsa and cheese, but we prefer to top flour tortillas with migas, refried beans, cheese, and salsa...plus anything else we can think of.

Star Struck

Brooklyn TexasComment

If you know us, you know that since we bumped into Amy Schumer last month we haven’t been able to stop talking about it. Not only have we been name dropping Amy like we’ve been buddies for years, that single encounter has inspired us to talk nonstop about every celebrity we’ve spotted, ever. You’d think we would be majorly jaded by now — we used to live right across from the house “Girls” was filmed in, so we saw Jenny Slate and Lena Dunham all the time, and for a few months last year Julia Stiles was living in our apartment building — but we’re seriously not. We promise it’ll stop soon, but in the meantime check out some of our favorite celebrity run-ins.

•Jennifer Lawrence in a hotel elevator with her dog, Pippie (she let me pet her!) TWICE

•Julia Stiles on our apartment rooftop

•Woody Allen and Soon-Yi in Central Park

•Jon Hamm crossing Central Park West and 86th… we made eye contact

•Jimmy Fallon in St. Peter’s Cathedral at the Vatican

•Phillip Seymour Hoffman at the gym

•John Waters at an art opening in Chelsea

•Alexander Skarsgard walking around Soho

•Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson at a bar in Chelsea

•Alan Cumming at the High Line

•Isabel Marant smoking cigarettes in the East Village

•David Cross buying onigiri

•Malia Obama at the bookstore (she bought a book by Hemingway)

What are your best celebrity sightings?

Where to Get Your Queso

Brooklyn TexasComment

Unlike breakfast tacos*, queso is a little easier to find in New York City. Over the last few years, queso became mainstream. It has been celebrated all over the news, and was the darling of sarcastic articles out of Texas in 2015; we remember seeing a headline in the Houston Chronicle “Tex-Mex queso: New York's 'it' food of 2015,” and first feeling pride, but then realizing much of the article was making fun of the prices New Yorkers will shell out for these little pots o’ gold. It’s a seller’s market, OK! The heart wants what the heart wants, to quote Selena Gomez, and it’s definitely the only thing we agree with Senator Ted Cruz about (do we actually?) (answer your goddamn phone, sir!). To help narrow down your options, we made a map of all the places we know of that you can get queso in New York City, with notes on some of our favorites.

*Important breakfast taco update! We were excited to find out Jalapa Jar’s breakfast tacos are now on Caviar for delivery in Brooklyn. Feast on breakfast tacos in bed! 

1. Mamasita
818 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019

2. El Original
735 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019

3. Mexicue
1440 Broadway, New York, NY 10018
225 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

Mexican AND barbecue!

4. Oxido
18 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
Texan-run Chipotle-style burrito place is not a place we’d expect to get great queso, but it’s really good (so are all of their salsas).

5. Javelina
119 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003
Obviously a BKTX favorite, this is for when you want authentic queso but with the works, like all-out Bob Armstrong dip.

6. Cowgirl/Cowgirl SeaHorse
519 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
259 Front St, New York, NY 10038

7. Central Bar
109 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003
Bob Armstrong dip is solid.

8. Hencho En Dumbo
354 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

9. Rosie's
29 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10003

10. Avenida Cantina
25 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009
We haven’t had good experience with this queso.

11. La Flaca
384 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

12. The Levee
212 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

13. The Commodore
366 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

14. El Diablo Taco Truck
484 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

15. Taco Chulo
318 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

16. Jalapa Jar
100 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

17. Lobo
218 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
B- queso (and B- everything else =/)

18. Threes Brewing
333 Douglass St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
These nachos have damn good queso on them. You can get just the queso, but they’ll charge you the same as for the nachos.

19. Gueros
605 Prospect Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11238
This one is Emily’s favorite, she thinks it’s the most authentic of the bunch. Perfect with their margaritas.

20. El Cortez
17 Ingraham St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Thick and white — not really authentic, but really hits the spot.

21. King David Taco
*delivery only

(a) Toloache
251 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

(b) Rosa Mexican
1063 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10022

(c) Empellon Taqueria
230 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014

(d) Empellon Cocina
105 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003

(e) La Esquina
114 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

(f) Fonda
434 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215