Chris VR's Profile

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Karl's Smoked Pork Chops (Kassler)

It's been a while since I've gotten it but their triple smoked bacon is pretty awesome.

Why doesn't Daikanyama in Lexington get more love here?

Perfect! I was going to try to search this out at HMart as well but it's good to know where it can be found for sure.

Feb 27, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Meat CSA 2015

Heads up about Pete & Jen's- they are closing their current mini-store in Concord and shifting their entire operation to Sudbury. Verrill Farm doesn't want them on their land any more. It was all in an email that came recently, and is on their blog at http://www.peteandjensbackyardbirds.c.... As of March 31, the current mini-store is closed and the new one opens at 101 North Road in Sudbury (right on Rte 117, just a mile down the street from the existing mini-store).

Feb 26, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Meat CSA 2015

Hmmm the Cambridge would actually work out really well for out us. Thanks!

Feb 25, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Meat CSA 2015

Please report back.. I also bemoan the loss of Houde. I was thinking this might be the summer I drive up there to St Johnsbury and load up at Houde's farm with a cooler of meat to tide me over for a while.

Do you have any information on where Snow Farm does deliveries?

Feb 25, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

This is a must read thread from N.J. Board

That's odd. That's not how "All Discussions" works for me. That tab shows every discussion I've posted in, but it definitely doesn't list every OP I've clicked on, not by a long shot.

Feb 25, 2015
Chris VR in Site Talk
1

Why doesn't Daikanyama in Lexington get more love here?

I hear you about the prices. These days I've been getting out to eat so infrequently that anytime I get out it feels like a special occasion!

Feb 23, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Why doesn't Daikanyama in Lexington get more love here?

We had a really excellent meal there this weekend, and looking through past posts here, it doesn't get much attention. Maybe because their other location is in Bloomingdale's in Newton, and the whole "restaurant in a upscale clothing store" thing feels a bit too precious and contrived? Or because their prices are not modest? Maybe it's because their menu is overwhelmingly large, including the tablet they bring you with another 25 or so additions to the already large menu?

We tried a variety of items this weekend at the Lexington location, some from the specials menu, some from the regular menu. Standouts were:

Asari Mushroom Soup, with a rich, savory clear mushroom broth in a bowl brimming with a few different mushrooms, mostly enoki.

Kimchi Tuna Yamakake: lovely presentation and although the delicate taste of the tuna was a bit lost in the spicy kimchi, the yamakake added a really intriguing textural element. I realized that I need to seek out more dishes highlighting yamakake.

Ume-Shiso Suzuki Nigiri: I am absolutely in love with the flavor of ume & shiso together to start with so I was pre-inclined to love this anyway, but the light and fresh taste of the sea bass was such a perfect complement to the other flavors.

Agedashi Tofu: cubes of tofu with a light texture are coated in what seemed to be tempura crumbs, and served with a small amount of flavorful fish broth, with shreds of tempura(?) over the top. I've had this once before but it didn't really grab me, but this dish will be a must-have for me now.

A few other things were solidly good (unagi nigiri, Daikanyama maki and Fuji mountain maki) but nothing spectacular. I was disappointed with the Hamachi Kama. I've had it a few times and it's usually a favorite but the one we were served was unpleasantly fishy in a quite a few spots. I think also when I first tired it and loved it, it was glazed with a ponzu sauce (?) which this didn't have.

Although the prices felt high, we had all of that, plus a bottle of Asian Pear sake and the pre-tip total came out to $122, which didn't seem out of line considering the quality and thoughtful presentation of the dishes. We've had takeout before which was fine, but that's not a great way to really judge any restaurant, so I'm glad we went in for a meal, and will definitely return.

Feb 23, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Hounds, help us decide

I've been on this site since 2002. I know how things work around here. I just think it's rude to assume that people who didn't have the vote go their way are going to make a stink about it.

Hounds, help us decide

Would you have felt the need to "howl" if your preference hadn't been voted for? Why is there a need to assume that people whose preference wasn't validated by this poll aren't able to accept this decision?

Best Take-Out Lasagna w/ Unsweetened Marinara?

Tutto Italiano was recommended to me when I was looking for this last year. They have a store in Lexington and I was able to get takeout from there, although it's not something they always have in stock. I thought it was very good, especially the meat lasagna. It was a bit pricey but I don't mind paying more for good ingredients.

Feb 14, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Missing? I see it on the board index, about 8 posts down from the top. Here's the link http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/999451

Feb 13, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Re-enable thread notifications after accidentally clicking unsubscribe in email. (turned on in settings but still not receiving emails for followed threads)

I am not sure about the answer to your question (I don't use thread notifications emails) but you don't have to bookmark this thread... you can check all of the threads you participate in at one glance, on your profile page. Just click on your avatar at the top right part of the screen and you'll be brought to your Profile page, which defaults to showing you all the threads you've participated on or chosen to follow (unless you've unclicked "Following"). The ones with new posts are shown in bold type. That's my bookmark to access this site, so I don't even have to remember to check for new posts, since my bookmark brings me right there.

Feb 12, 2015
Chris VR in Site Talk

Fruit Smoothie = "Bad for You"

I've mentioned it here before but when I was nursing and smoothies were the perfect fast, one handed breakfast, I got in the habit of whirring up about 1/4 cup of dry quick oats into a powder, before adding the rest of my ingredients. The oats helped with milk production, but also added fiber into my diet and I found that those smoothies kept me feeling sated longer than the ones I made without the ground oats.

Hounds, help us decide

Those types of threads have also taken place on the Site Talk board, where I don't expect a food focus, and so the threads don't feel out of place. The proposal here is to allow those threads on the board where the incident happened. So Katrina consolations on the New Orleans board, Hurricane Sandy consolations on the New Jersey board, Boston Marathon consolations on the Boston board, Charlie Hebdo consolations on the Paris board etc. I think I'd object less if the proposal was to put them on the Site Talk board, but then, most people from the relevant region wouldn't see them there, so that really makes no sense.

Feb 03, 2015
Chris VR in Site Talk

Hounds, help us decide

I'm sorry if you perceived what I wrote as "scowling' at such sentiments. I was just sharing my personal perspective, that I'd prefer to find expressions of sympathy in a tragedy somewhere other than here.

Feb 03, 2015
Chris VR in Site Talk

Caramel Corn

It stays crunchy for several days, as long as you're keeping it in a pretty airtight container.

Jan 29, 2015
Chris VR in Recipes

Hounds, help us decide

That's a really good point... disasters happen every day, all around the world. If it was important to someone to get moral support when one strikes their area, but it doesn't seem important enough to other members to start a thread about it, I can see hard feelings. People are already worried that there are cliques around here, and unless someone wants to take on the role of initiating threads every time something terrible happens, anytime it happens, anywhere it happens, some disasters are bound to go unacknowledged (which could cause people to feel left out.) And if someone DID take on that role, we'd quickly get overwhelmed with such threads.

Jan 29, 2015
Chris VR in Site Talk
2

Hounds, help us decide

I live in the Boston area, and was here when the Boston Marathon attack happened. IIRC there were some posts on the Boston board but it was focused about which restaurants were open, or, later, holding fundraisers for victims. Especially as the events were unfolding, we were barraged with information and discussion of the event from every avenue. At least from my view, it was nice to be able to go on Chowhound and have one place where everything was normal again and I didn't have to think about what was happening for a little while.

I feel like Facebook and Twitter offer great places for people to reach out and connect with each other in a personal way when tragedy strikes, but I'd hate to see Chowhound become that sort of focus every time a tragedy happens, whether it's a natural disaster or a man-made event.

Girl Scouts goes Digital!

We ended up not pursuing the digital sales this year. My daughter was really excited about selling last year but not as much this year. I follow her lead, and if she'd been really excited to sell, I'd have helped her with it, but since she wasn't, we didn't actively pursue this route.

Jan 27, 2015
Chris VR in Food Media & News

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe has opened in Woburn today!

If you can get there on a weekend, you can get the #6 chilled noodles with the sauce on the side, and just add it as you like. I know I've gotten it with the sauce on the side for takeout, so I imagine you could ask for it that way in the restaurant. I feel like I remember my non-spice-eating daughter was happy with that option. Last week we got a #4 regular and a #4 extra spicy and I have to say the #4 "regular" did not seem at all spicy to me. I used to be a spice wuss but I have a higher tolerance now, so it might still be too spicy for you.

BTW and for those who DO like spicy, we compared the #4 extra spicy to the #4 with a takeout container of chili oil and much preferred the latter. The #4 extra spicy felt a bit unbalanced for some reason but taking the "regular" and adding the chili oil was almost perfect. We'll get two containers of chili oil next time so we can tweak it up a bit more.

Jan 22, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Opions of popcorn poppers

Same here. I previously just used a saucepan with a clear lid but the steam got trapped in there and the popcorn wasn't as good as the Whirly Pop. I love it and I don't find it hard to clean at all. I agree that the handle release is a bit awkward but I just use a pot holder.

Jan 21, 2015
Chris VR in Cookware

Ethnic breakfasts?

I was intrigued by some of the breakfast options in a recent Boston Globe article about Leo's Place, formerly of Cambridge and now reopened in Waltham.

From http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regi... : "Richie Bezjian said their extensive menu of old-fashioned American classics with a “touch of Mediterranean” is essentially the same, with a few additions; the “signature” breakfast items include Duduk pancakes, with dried apricots, almonds, and crushed pistachio ($9.95), and Azad’s Rythem and Blues Omelet, which features soujouk, a Middle Eastern cured beef sausage; fresh mint; and tomatoes ($9.95)." Not much else thnic that jumps out on their breakfast menu, linked from http://www.leosplacediner.com (WARNING: loud annoying music on website alert!) but those Duduk pancakes sound worth a trip.

Jan 17, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Any thoughts on Rice Cube Thai in Lexington?

Thanks! We haven't made it in yet but I'll do the same.

Jan 11, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Dining in Key West

I really love El Siboney but I'll admit I haven't tried their seafood options and it is a bit of a walk if you're staying down by the water in Old Town. Not THAT bad, but more than you usually have to walk in that area. I also think I remember they don't take reservations. It's definitely not at all touristy though and the food I've had there (beef, usually) is fantastic.

Jan 11, 2015
Chris VR in Florida

Grilled/cooked avocados?

I don't remember how we came across this recipe for Chicken Avocado Pasta but it changed my mind about warm avocados.

- 1 lb of Pasta (Fettuccini was recommended but we made it with penne)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of finely diced garlic
- 1 medium onion , finely chopped
- 1 lb of chicken (recipe calls for breast but would probably be good with thighs too), cut into strips or chunks
- 1/2 lb of bacon , cut into small bits
- 3 avocados , cut into chunks
- 1/2 lb of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1 jar marinated artichokes, chopped into small chunks
- Herbs\Seasoning of your choice

Make pasta- while it's boiling, start the chicken. Reserve about a cup of the pasta water when draining.

Saute onions, garlic in olive il until soft. Add bacon and chicken.

When chicken is nearly cooked through, add the avocado chunks, and lightly mash with the wooden spoon while cooking. (As the chunks heat up, some of them start to mash, thus forming the pasta sauce.)

When chicken is cooked through, add the grated cheese, stir until melted and mixed in with the avocado sauce. Add artichokes, and use reserved pasta water if needed for a smoother sauce. Add herbs/seasonings to taste.

Plate the pasta in a swirl on the middle of the plate and place a good serving of the chicken\pasta sauce on the top. Serve immediately.

Jan 09, 2015
Chris VR in Home Cooking

What are my options for local meat?

Since this thread is resurrected I'll mention that Houde no longer delivers to Boston. The last I talked to him, he was still selling meat, but pick up at the farm in Vermont only, individual cuts or whole pigs/lambs and either whole or half cows. http://houdefamilyfarm.com/products.html

Jan 07, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Chinese Tea in the 'burbs?

I don't know anything about this place and Google is being uncharacteristically unhelpful. Where is it located and what other things do they sell?

EDIT: A ha, found it: http://www.solunagardenfarm.com/

"Soluna Herb, Spice, and Tea Emporium, located at 600 Main Street, in Winchester, Mass., is the storefront location of Soluna Garden Farm, carrying a full selection of certified organic culinary and medicinal herbs, spices, and loose leaf teas, in addition to the fresh herbs and cut flowers grown on the farm.

Soluna Garden Farm makes its own line of hand-blended herb and spice blends and herbal teas from individual certified organic ingredients purchased from organic suppliers whose policies and practices support organic farming and environmental sustainability. "

I'll definitely have to check that out!

Jan 06, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Chinese Tea in the 'burbs?

A second for Upton Tea. My husband recently got into roasted green teas and ordered a nice selection from Upton that he's working though. I don't know much about their Chnese options but you are exactly right that their sample options allow you to really search and try a lot of different things to find what you like.

I'm a blend gal myself for my morning tea, and after going around with a few morning blends, settled on their River Shannon Irish Breakfast for my everyday cuppa.

Jan 06, 2015
Chris VR in Greater Boston Area

Prime Rib Restaurant on the South Shore

Thanks for reporting back! I was expecting to spend some time last summer exploring these kinds of places when my parents were visiting but family circumstances kept us away from that area.

Jan 06, 2015
Chris VR in Southern New England