Gael Greene In her role as restaurant critic of New York Magazine (1968 to January 2002) Detroit-born Gael Greene helped change the way New Yorkers (and many Americans) think about food.
"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Ice Cream But Were Too Fat To Ask," "The Mafia Guide to Dining Out." and " Nobody Knows the Truffles I've Seen" were early pieces. In more recent years her annual roundup of New York City's dining favorites, Ask Gael, was a gourmand's collectible for many years and she continues to write a weekly Ask Gael column for NYM. Earlier she worked at the New York Post.
As co-founder with James Beard and a continuing force behind Citymeals-on-Wheels as board chair, Ms. Greene has made a significant impact on the city of New York. Citymeals, the largest public/private partnership in the country, has raised $200 million in its twenty-six-year history to help feed the city's frail elderly shut-ins.
Ms. Greene's memoir, "Insatiable, Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess" was published April, 2006. Earlier non-fiction books include "Delicious Sex, A Gourmet Guide for Women and the Men Who Want to Love Them Better" and "BITE: A New York Restaurant Strategy." Her two novels Blue skies, No Candy" and "Doctor Love" were NY Times best sellers.
I have my esoteric money-doesn't-matter dining life. And I have my ethnic adventure, no-dive- too-low-down world. Not to mention the in-between of pursuing the best of the best eating city in the world. At least, the world I know. I've never been to Estonia.
So, of course I was game for a taco crawl organized by Hagan Blount and Katie Smith-Adair, his partner -- romantically and professionally in PlaceInvaders, a ninja dinner site I discovered a few weeks ago. Hagan was in search of taco truth as he had tracked it in years of criss-crossing Mexico on his motorbike. They invited Lawrence, the NYCFoodGuy.
We launched into outer space gingerly with a stop at Taqueria y Fonda on Amsterdam in Manhattan Valley before trekking north into Spanish Harlem. I didn't see much hope for snaring one of the few tables in the relentlessly florescent closet-size joint. It was already packed with local cognoscenti and a stand-up fridge chilling Mexican beer. But Taqueria y Fonda is a place for serious taco research. Click here to discover why you might want to trek uptown too. 968 Amsterdam Avenue between 107th and 108th Street. 212 531 0383.