All posts by Ken Pierce

I'm a Freelance Music Photojournalist from NYC and Founder of the Heavy Metal website PiercingMetal.com; I created this blog site to showcase the other things in life that keep my interest or catch my attention. Believe me that is a lot of stuff to talk about when it comes down to it. I hope you enjoy what we are delivering because there is so much to share as a resident of this bustling metropolis.

And So…….Acme Bar & Grill Has Closed :(

ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME?????

“You have to be joking!!!” is what I said to my friend when he said that he had learned that the popular Acme Bar and Grill over at 9 Great Jones Street had closed it’s doors after twenty five years in the location. I cannot tell you how upset that this news makes me. Oh wait, yes I can and I will as that is what the blog is for. With that being the case, the closure of Acme Bar & Grill really bummed me out because it was a place that I had been enjoying for about six years.

A Shuttered Acme

I realize that I had not been coming here as long as some other folks but I sure made good for it over those number of years that I had.  I first ventured into its doors when the band Blackfield was playing at the Bowery Ballroom.  I was hitting that show with Skeleton Pete and he suggested it as a dining choice.  Having enjoyed the Cajun style of food I was totally down for this.  I actually remember what I ordered that day for some odd reason and it was a chicken fried steak, with their mashed potatoes and some black eyed peas.  This would become one of my favorite dishes at the establishment and a fail safe order for me in the event of indecision.

Acme By Night

There was so much good about this place and after that night it became one of my continual picks as a spot to hold media discussions with press friends, enjoy the company of lovely dining companions or just chill out with buddies who were just wanting a good dinner and drink night out.  The food never disappointed us nor did their wall of hot sauce.  I wish I had photos of that in my archives but I never shot images of them because quite honestly I never thought I would be lamenting the restaurant’s having gone away.   The place would start its diners off with an order of freshly made corn bread and while that is not the most calorie conscious kind of thing, it tasted so good that few would argue.

 

 

I also enjoyed their house brew which was a red ale of some kind.  It was not too heavy and had a nice bite to it.  Sometimes they would do $2 pints of the beers and that always managed to make for a fun night.  I found the waitstaff for the most part to be friendly and on a number of occasions I met some interesting people in entertainment.  Some were dancers while others musicians or actors and actresses.  A typical New York situation.   The other aspect of the restaurant was that it was also the home to the once called Under Acme Rock club which eventually became Ace Of Clubs.  In my adventures as a music journalist I had covered a few shows at the space and also just went to rock out when the time was open for me to do so.

 

There was a rumor that Acme was going to reopen after being worked on but that doesn’t seem very likely since I read postings on popular regional blogs that said the whole staff had been terminated and that what all knew and loved as Acme was gone for the foreseeable good.  I will miss the place for sure since it was such a good memory for me and those who enjoyed being here with me.  The upside of being in NYC is that you can always find a new place and they can eventually become a favorite.  That sure doesn’t take away the sadness at this restaurants closure.  Thanks Acme, I will miss you very much.

Foodtastic: Baking Some Brooklyn Pita-za

Growing up in NYC, one of the delicacies that I have almost always found favor in is good old fashioned pizza. In my eyes its one of the truly great pleasures in life and its magic is all based on a very simple recipe with only a few ingredients. I’m located in Brooklyn and have sworn allegiance to no less than ten pizzerias over the course of my life but sadly many of them have gone away due to retirement or even worse after new owners took over and made a mess of the formula that worked best for the establishment. When that becomes the case I always cross my fingers that a new and appetite pleasing place will come along. In a pinch you can opt for either Dominos or Papa John’s but to the conventional Brooklynite, these are not really what we are looking for in pizza. I prefer the quick fix of a traditional pizzeria over them anytime. That leads me to the recipe being discussed in this segment of my “Kitchen With Ken” blogs as it’s a pizza concoction that goes a little outside of the normal process but still comes out good at the end. Well. I like it at least and have made it for years. I felt the best name for it would be “PITA-ZA” since we use pita bread instead of dough but everything else is generally found on “normal pizza”. Let’s begin.

Required Ingredients:
1 medium sized piece of pita bread. You need to go to an authentic Middle Eastern bakery or produce store to find the differently sized ones as opposed to the mass market package of ten that are all perfectly sized and the same (unless you really want those and feel like cooking for a few people).

– 1 section from a garlic clove. I just love fresh garlic so we will be using this puppy.
– 2 or 3 pepperoncini (they often come in a jar of many and look like mini bell peppers but they have a chili pepper kick to them). You can also use plain sliced green, red or yellow peppers if you feel like it. They work out also.
– 2 or 3 decent sized mushrooms. Remember that we are only discussing how to one serving.
– 1 small can of tomato sauce (you will not use the whole can for this).
– 5 or 6 slices of pepperoni (or sausage, meatball, tofu). Slice these things thin.
– Mozarrella cheese.

Tools: A toaster oven and about ten minutes.

First Step:
Take your pita bread and pour some of that tomato sauce on it but not too much since it will likely spread out while its cooking/baking in the toaster oven. I like to sprinkle on some oregano and also the garlic that I mentioned we would need for this. Depending on your taste, don’t overdo the garlic.

This particular recipe was using pepperoni and I think its much better to add this right on top of the sauce and then putting the cheese on top of that with the mushrooms and peppers. It lets those ingredients act as a bit of a blanket to the other stuff. Of course as you can see in the provided photo, for this time around I decided to add the peppers in before the cheese as well.

The Pita, The Sauce, The Pepperoni and the Peppers

The shot above shows our already covered in sauce pita bread since I did not take a lot of pictures of the preparation process.  I didn’t think that it was necessary for this little episode.   I didn’t grate the cheese and instead opted to slice it into smaller chunks and position them accordingly.  It worked for my purposes as you can see in the upcoming pic.

Let There Be Mozzarella Cheese

Second Step: Add the mozzarella cheese. You can also season it up a little more and let it bake with the optional hot pepper or garlic powder.  I mentioned needing some fresh garlic so you can also slice that fine and scatter it about the pita bread.  Not too much of course as you don’t want to breath fire after you eat.

Our Pita-za Is Done. “Well done” actually.

Third and Final Step – Cook ‘Em Up:
Since we’re doing this in the toaster oven as opposed to the larger one in the kitchen we’re also only making one of these at a time. I guess you would fire up the big box if you were making them for company. Having made these for some time I have found that you only need to bake them for about ten minutes at 300 degrees at the most. My toaster oven has a button that let’s you “toast” as well, and if I want the cheese a little crispier I press that but you MUST monitor its progress so you don’t burn it or anything else. This is really a quick dining fix when you add the preparation and cooking time together so don’t get involved in anything while you are making them. This is especially true if using the big oven and making a few of them for guests.

I told you this was a quick one.  It probably takes longer to wash the dishes and make sure everything is put away as opposed to making this.  Bon appetit.

But Ken, I’m A Vegetarian!!!!

Oh yes, you guys 🙂  Well, that is not a problem with the recipes for pita-za that I make, because you can easily substitute any of the meat options with some extra mushrooms (perhaps portabella ones) and the vegan delicacy of choice – tofu. I am sure the stuff would absorb any of the sauces and seasonings and come out rather good in the end.   As you might have noticed I suggested we keep a few mushrooms for this particular cooking adventure but as I started preparing it, I realized I did not have any on hand.  I left it in the recipe of ingredients just the same.

PiercingMetal Goes To Toy Fair 2011

This past week in NYC was the 108th Annual Toy Fair and as with many events of its scope would be held over at the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side.  You might recall that PiercingMetal.com was on point at this very location for the NY Comic Con back in the last 1/4 of 2010, and if not, we suggest you hit this LINK to enjoy all of our narratives about the event.

Toy Fair 2011 would be no less the daunting effort and while I am still coming to grips with my some of my own coverage, you can see the chapters that are currently online by clicking the Toy Fair logo above.  I attended this incredible event with my comrade in arms Skeleton Pete who was a busy little bee as well.  He even wrote up a few narratives that can be enjoyed over on his own website SkeletonPete.com – Click the image below to be taken to them.  This was an amazing convention and an experience that I will never forget.

Skeleton Pete & The Skeleton Man

Please know that comments have been disabled for this post as its merely a traffic sign to the larger coverage. You’ll find numerous posts on PiercingMetal.com that you might add topical views to as you need to.

A Quick Visit To Pho Hoai Bay Ridge

When your day kind of looks like this outside there is really only one sure fire cure to get you back into proper order and in my opinion that thing is a big bowl of Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. Now, don’t get me wrong here because while there is nothing like good ole Mom’s brand of the stuff, it’s not always something that is immediately at hand. That being said, today I headed over to Pho Hoai to pick up some lunch as I love the place but since I was on my own I brought my treats home and wanted to share the visuals with you to inspire interest.

A Snow Covered Urbania

Continue reading A Quick Visit To Pho Hoai Bay Ridge

Some Stewart Air Force Base Stuffs

Given the random nature of this blogs very existence and its premise of being a place to share whatever photos or thoughts that I see fit, I decided to present this small handful of images from a not too long ago visit upstate.  It was the summer of 2009 and I was visiting friends who live up in a part of New York called Newburgh, and they are not too far from the Stewart Air Force Base which is located in New Windsor.

stewart air force base, Continue reading Some Stewart Air Force Base Stuffs