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

Burger King + Beer = Profit?

Ponder this lead paragraph, published in a recent edition of USA Today:

"Gimme a Whopper, fries—and a beer. Those words are no longer wishful thinking."

A great, gripping, surgically accurate introductory thought, presuming that whoever is doing the wishing is a stone-cold gastronomic masochist or, more simply put, an idiot.

You may be thinking: Hell, a Whopper would go down easier with a good domestic craft beer. But that's not what's afoot.

READ MORE

Dim Sum Etiquette

jumpingmonk feels slightly guilty for being unable to grab a crisp, flaky dim sum pastry with his chopsticks and guide it to his plate without shedding hunks of flaky crust all over the table. How bad is it to just grab one with your fingers? Erika L advises "'turning' them so that the chopsticks are grabbing the top and the bottom instead of the sides. This seems to give me a better grip."

ipsedixit has another approach: "Pick up the tray with the puffs with your hand and bring it close to your dish, then use the chopsticks to transport the puffs from the tray to your dish."

But really, "forget about the chopsticks," says PBSF. "Some dim sum such as buns, egg custard tarts, and puffs are eaten with fingers."

"There are few things as relaxed and informal as eating dim sum," agrees cheesemaestro "You don't have to worry much about etiquette. People at other tables are usually engrossed in conversation and aren't watching what you eat or how you eat it."

Discuss: Dim sum ettiquite question

The Four Worst Restaurant Etiquette Gaffes

The Four Worst Restaurant Etiquette Gaffes

How to behave better when dining out. READ MORE

Who Let the Kraut Out?

There are only so many hot dogs a person can eat, so what else can you do with leftover sauerkraut? It's versatile stuff, says The Professor: "Sauerkraut and kidney bean soup is an old family favorite, as is Szekely Goulash (pork braised w/ sauerkraut, paprika, and sour cream)."

Pork, of course, is a classic kraut pairing. melly likes pork ribs and sauerkraut, and WhatThePho has an old family recipe for pork sausage, bacon, and sauerkraut, served over hot potatoes.

pasuga likes a recipe for pork chops that's straight out of the ’50s: the chops bake in a bath of sauerkraut, cream of mushroom soup, shredded apple, and chopped onion. "Serve with baked potatoes. No need for butter or sour cream, just mash the kraut into the potato," says pasuga. "My Dad used to call this peasant food—lucky peasants!"

Discuss: sauerkraut

Clementines in the Dead of Winter

Clementines are sweet, sunny, cheerful little balls of summer that can add interest to the produce-limited dishes of winter. tcamp makes clementine salsa, and Caitlin McGrath mentions the popular clementine cake.

rovingfoodie likes them in a quick, refreshing fruit salad, along with grapefruit. To prepare them, cut off the tops, bottoms, and peels with a paring knife and slice in rounds or half moons, says rovingfoodie. Niki in Dayton makes a sweeter version of clementine salad that's also suitable as a dessert by adding "toasted coconut, toasted almonds, and a bit of orange liquor."

"For our appetizer salad on Christmas I made a salad with arugula, shaved fennel, and clementines," says foodsnob14. "I made the dressing with shallots, lemon juice, clementine juice, and a touch of olive oil. I also seared some shrimp and topped the salad with those, very refreshing and quite yummy!"

Clementines can also infuse their juices into warm, baked winter treats. "Once peeled and thinly sliced we decorate the tops of tea bread, muffins, and pound cakes with clementines just before baking and they add a wonderful texture, fragrance, and taste to each," says HillJ.

Discuss: What can I do with clemantines?

Overheard on the General Topics Boards

"At the pho place we always go to in Philly, we get a side of this stuff that's listed as 'fatty scallion head broth.' it's a small bowl of warm yellow oil (or maybe beef drippings—sometimes it's got brown stuff in it) that has long sections of cooked scallion." - ramonasaur

"It looks kind of like treacle—thick, goopy black syrup. But it has a very deep salty flavour. The Japanese would say it is very umami, which is the descriptive word meaning savoriness. Think beef stock or French onion soup. It's kind of hard to explain the flavour. Just go ahead and try it." - NickMontreal, on Marmite

"Although my time as a consultant is limited and expensive, I sometimes go to places like Laos or Mexico for free just to eat." - Sam Fujisaka, on the crazy things we do for food cravings

If You Happen To Be in Allston

Allston is in the midst of a neighborhood restaurant renaissance, with casual hole in the wall favorites like Jo Jo Tai Pei and Shanghai Gate drawing visitors to a decidedly untouristy section of Boston. Now here's another: Blue Asia Cafe, which has a menu that veers from Taiwanese to Korean and nothing over $10.

eatanddestroy recommends the fried Chinese red wine pork belly (tender slices of fatty pork over rice) and the fried tenderloin pork with apple curry (more tasty pork with a wonderful sauce). Even though the plates are cheap, they come loaded with sides: "The belly had ground meat and a light sauce over the rice, a fried egg, and a side of a vegetarian dish that I have no idea what it was, but it was sort of noodle like." There's also a Korean ginseng chicken soup on the menu that gourmaniac says is great, made from a whole chicken stuffed with sticky rice, ginseng, and Chinese plums.

Blue Asia Cafe [Allston]
113 Brighton Avenue, Boston
617-202-3868

Discuss: Blue Asia Cafe in Allston - short report

Go Savory at Danish Pastry House

Maybe if Danish Pastry House in Medford changed its name, hounds wouldn't be so disappointed by the sweet pastries within. "Not worth the calories," says gansu girl. "Most stuff just not that delicious," agrees StriperGuy. Put down those pastries and try one of the sandwiches on incredible multigrain bread instead.

"This chicken salad cranberry sandwich on some bread, I'm not sure how many grains, but it was a lot, was phenomenal. I've always thought their breads were great, but man what I way to use them," says louis22.

gimlis1mum speaks up for the panini too, particularly the ham, goat cheese, and fig panino, as well as the clam chowder. If you can't stay for a sammy or the bounteous $15 brunch buffet that's offered some months of the year, just get a loaf of that terrific multigrain bread to go.

Danish Pastry House [North of Boston]
330 Boston Avenue, Medford
781-396-8999

Discuss: Is it weird that I came for the marzipan and left craving a chicken salad cranberry sandwich on 9 grain bread?
Danish Pastry House -Medford

How to Eat Your Trash

Care2.com has recently come up with 35 tips to repurpose food "waste." It's something we think about a lot at CHOW, and hounds are doing plenty of brainstorming on the same topic. The USDA estimates that Americans throw away more than 25 percent of the food we prepare, about 96 billion pounds each year.

With that in mind, here are some of our favorite ways to eat up that trash: READ MORE

Overheard on the Boston Boards

"The buffalo chicken pizza has got to be the best of its kind I've ever had. The pie itself wasn't thin or thick crust, just in the middle and the buffalo chicken tenders were cut so finely, the pizza itself just looked sooo appetizing." - Snoop37 on MJ Sub and Pizza

"People here put me on to getting the Cinco de Mayo tortillas from Somerville Market Basket, which are often still warm on the shelves." - chickendhansak

"Don't know if this was just a one-time thing, but I spotted Cheryl Ann's challah—sweet, almost more like a cake than a bread in sweetness—at JP Licks in Harvard Square." - fredid