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Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

Will I Get Trichinosis from Eating Undercooked Pork?

Will I Get Trichinosis from Eating Undercooked Pork?

Relax, it's a rare condition. READ MORE

The Lapinators

For those who watch Bambi and think Thumper looks delicious, several area butchers around the East Bay can supply fresh rabbit meat for home cooking adventures.

Caf

Egg Curry and Lemon Pickle at Namaste

Namaste is an Indian place with a buffet, but don’t write it off–it has a following among the chowhound family. It’s family dog’s number one restaurant, period, and Kitchen Imp likes it so much she drives there…from Berkeley. Seasoned Chowhounds love it, and it’s also an excellent introduction to Indian food for those not familiar with the cuisine.

Namaste features both North and South Indian dishes, including exciting things like cabbage curry, lemon pickle, and egg curry. Egg curry is basically whole hard-boiled eggs in a beautifully balanced, mysteriously spiced curry sauce. The gifted cook makes about 20 different dishes per day–delicious, varied, and Ayurvedically balanced. All you want from the buffet for $8.99, a real bargain.

Namaste Indian Cuisine [East Bay]
1671 Willow Pass Road, Concord
925-687-7874
Locater

Board Links
Recs for Khana Peena … not the buffet or CTM
Concord -More on Namaste North & South Indian Cuisine ???
Trader Joe’s coming to Walnut Creek!

Challah Fame

Diamond Bakery makes an excellent loaf of challah, just don’t go when you’re in a rush. Even if you pre-order, it can take well over an hour just to pick up your order during the holidays, says PaulF. There are sometimes Diamond baked goods at Ralph’s.

Schwartz’s does a great job with their simple challah and special raisin New Year’s challah, says Jerome.

Pre-order at Bea’s and you’ll get to skip the line for their fantastic challah, honey cake, and sponge cake, says Simihound.

Junior’s round challah has remained consistent over the years.

Pastries by Edie bakes wonderful fresh challah on Fridays, davinagr says. Their pastries and panini are incredible any day of the week.

An order of Gelson’s challah for New Year’s was so fresh that it was falling apart. It was delicious, and gone in about five minutes, says liu.


Diamond Bakery [San Gabriel Valley]
140 W .Valley Blvd. # 120, San Gabriel
626-288-0333
Locater

Diamond Bakery [San Gabriel Valley]
744 W. Garvey Ave., Monterey Park
626-289-5172
Locater

Diamond Bakery [Inland of LA]
1015 Nogales St. Ste. 105, Rowland Heights
626-912-3708
Locater

Diamond Bakery [Inland of LA]
18414 Colima Rd., Rowland Heights
626-912-5380
Locater

Diamond Bakery [East LA-ish]
1940 Frank Stiles St., South El Monte
626-452-8020
Locater

Diamond Bakery [Artesia-ish]
17801 Pioneer Blvd. Ste. D, Artesia
562-402-6728
Locater

Ralph’s Market [Citywide]

Schwartz Bakery [Fairfax Village]
441 N Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles
323-653-1683
Locater

Schwartz Bakery [Midtown]
8616 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
310-854-0592
Locater

Schwartz Bakery [Midtown]
7113 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
323-931-3563
Locater

Bea’s Bakery [West San Fernando Valley]
18450 Clark St., Tarzana
818-344-0100
Locater

Junior’s Deli [West LA]
2379 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles
310-475-5771
Locater

Junior’s Deli Boys [Beaches]
451 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach
310-796-0203
Map

Pastries By Edie [West San Fernando Valley]
21608 Sherman Way, Canoga Park
818-340-0203
Locater

Gelson’s Market [Citywide]

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Diamond Bakery …

Return of the Oysters

Return of the Oysters

Oyster aquaculture may help save the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. READ MORE

Freshly Fried Fish

At 99 Ranch and other Asian markets around town you can choose live fish and the butchers will deep fry them for you. Rex sole, black pomfret, and tilapia are all great for frying, elmomonster says, but whatever’s on sale is always a good option. You can use the fried fish for anything from stews, to seafood hotpot, or even for fish tacos, but elmomonster just serves it over steamed rice and a stir-fry of green vegetables, with some homemade nuoc cham.

One of the Filipino markets on Vermont Avenue fries whole tilapia at the bargain price of $1 a lb., and serves it with chile-spiked vinegar, says monkey

You’re not limited to just choosing whitefish either, meatier fish like salmon cut into steaks and deep fried work great too, says mabziegurl.

99 Ranch [Citywide]

Unknown Filipino market on Vermont Ave. [East Hollywood]

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Deep Fried Fish (99 Ranch, other Asian markets…)

At Stop and Shop, a Lobster Roll for Bargain Hunters

At the deli counter in the Stop and Shop in Glendale, Queens, they’re not big on portion control–which means more lobster for us. Order a $4.99 lobster roll and the staff will often shovel in a staggering amount of lobster salad ($20-plus per pound when sold separately). “They just fill it up until it looks right,” says BigGuy, who’s not complaining. “I think I’m usually getting about a half-pound of lobster. This is a helluva meal.” It’s decent stuff, too: mayo-moistened lobster meat in big chunks, not chopped into mush.

It certainly is a bargain, agrees gravitch. His serving included something like three full claw pieces. A bit more mayo than he would prefer, though.

Stop and Shop Supermarket [Glendale]
8989 Union Tpke., between Woodhaven Blvd. and Margaret Pl., Glendale, Queens
718-846-2310
Locater

Board Links
Lobster Rolls in Queens

French Toast Secrets: Bourbon, Bananas, Creme Brulee

A dash of bourbon in the maple syrup might be the intoxicating difference in the French toast served at brunch at the Spotted Pig. Roasted pears come alongside the toast at the popular Village gastropub. Best version ever, swears livetotravel.

Five Points makes another standout French toast, stuffed with banana and finished with a caramel creme anglaise glaze, reports kathryn.

Banana also does the trick at Public, whose banana-stuffed French toast is served with excellent bacon.

Perennial brunch favorite Jane dips its stuffed version in batter enriched by creme brulee and a shot of vanilla. Its Upper West Side sister restaurant, the Neptune Room, does French toast the same way.

Spotted Pig [Greenwich Village]
314 W. 11th St., at Greenwich St., Manhattan
212-620-0393
Locater

Five Points [East Village]
31 Great Jones St., between Lafayette and Bowery, Manhattan
212-253-5700
Locater

Public [Little Italy]
210 Elizabeth St., between Prince and Spring, Manhattan
212-343-7011
Locater

Jane Restaurant [SoHo]
100 W. Houston St., between Thompson St. and LaGuardia Pl., Manhattan
212-254-7000
Locater

Neptune Room Restaurant and Bait Bar [Upper West Side]
511 Amsterdam Ave., between W. 84th and 85th Sts., Manhattan
212-496-4100
Locater

Board Links
Best french toast downtown?

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a staple in many pickling recipes, but it’s a staple in many Chowhounds’ kitchens for general use, as well. It works well in potato salad, drizzled over cooked greens, mixed with melted butter and poured over fish, and for crisping and lightly pickling a dish of fresh cucumbers. Here are some other ways hounds love to use ACV:

farmersdaughter makes a great salad dressing with ACV, oil, blue cheese, a little bit of garlic, and a sprinkle of paprika.

Combined with honey, chili powder, herbs, garlic, and a bit of salt, ACV makes an awesome marinade for pork, says tuqueboy.

frankiii calls his ACV-based marinade “Saturday Chicken”; marinate boneless chicken breasts, pounded flat, for about 4 hours, then grill for 8 minutes or so, turning once. frankiii notes that the fresh-ground cumin and coriander are essential to this dish.

Frankiii”s Saturday Chicken marinade:

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup white wine
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp. corn oil
2 Tbsp. toasted ground cumin seed
2 Tbsp. toasted ground coriander seed
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Davwud keeps a squirt bottle of ACV and water in a fifty/fifty ratio on hand to douse flareups on the grill.

Cynsa offers this remedy for cold and flu discomfort: fill a mug half-full with hot water, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and spoonfuls of honey to taste.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Teddie Peanut Butter

Teddie peanut butter is made in Everett, Ma., and is a hometown favorite in the Boston area. It’s a fresh, clean-tasting peanut butter.

The “Old Fashioned” variety, made only from peanuts, isn’t homogenized, so it comes with the oil floating on the top. You can get it salted or unsalted. The oil can be easily stirred in. Alternatively, nuke it for about 30 seconds with the top off, says Karl S, or store it upside-down, and all the oil will sink to the bottom. A great tip from Louis: simply pour the oil off through a strainer, and use it to saute with; it has a high smoke point.

Teddie “Old Fashioned” is carried at Whole Foods, and Cheese Boy suggests looking in Eckerd’s drugstores (which will soon be absorbed by Rite Aid), where he’s seen the homogenized version of Teddie (which is like Skippy or Jif, but with more roasted peanut flavor, he says) for just 99 cents!

Teddie peanut butter.

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Teddie Peanut Butter