opinionatedchef's Profile

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ISO the best noodle for lo mein

dh, i think they also sell various fresh chinese noodles at Market BAsket in Somerville. If you like shopping in Chinatown, do you know Sun Sun Market? Wilson and his brother are 3rd generation owners, born and raised in U.S., and if they don't have it (they have EVerything jammed into that place!) they can help you find it. Wilson doesn't smile much (but I think that's part of the chinese package) but he has been my mentor in all things Chinese cooking these last 30 yrs!(And SunSun gives you free parking right there when you shop w/ them.)

about 2 hours ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Food concept in search of a name

Interesting question. Because, iiuc, you are saying that there is one (occasionally more) dish that you associate with a particular country, I went about answering your question by creating a single template that could be used for each country.
I came up with a few variations. What would you think of:
"All over Mexico, Tamales are the signature street food."
"All over Mexico, Tamales are the National Dish."
"In the U.S. the hamburger is the National Dish."
"In the U.S., the Hamburger is the Signature Street Food."
"In Japan, Ramen is the National Dish."
"In Japan, Ramen is the Signature Street Food."

about 2 hours ago
opinionatedchef in General Topics

Boston's best salads? A round up

We have become major devotees of Ribelle's 2 diff kale dishes.They are both so unique with elements of creamy, crunchy and acidic punch. The Kale w/'Oyster crema'did not appeal to me but of course, after eating it, I swooned! and now i have to order it every time we go there.

Newburyport area?

sounds like Brine is a great addition to the dining scene up there. I also continue to be a fan of Black Trumpet in Portsmouth (have you been up there? V. diff from Newbport but also similar with big area of great architecture, well preserved and well maintained. Driving around the charming island of NewMarket is a treat too.)
Last year, we discovered The Deck at the Marina in Salisbury, just across the bridge ; it's a beautiful view right on the river looking over to Newbport. Always a lovely breeze. Hope you have a well earned restful vacation!

Can It Be?! Is Our Beautiful City Finally Getting a Terrific French Bakery?

"any pastry chef can make something look good, but it takes real talent to make it look good and taste wonderful."

Truer words were never spoken. Penny, you are one smart cookie!

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

That's terrific to hear. i have not tried those items yet, but after getting the DETAILED low down on the clam chowder (so THAT"S why it's so fantastic!)I now know that Chef Nick is one serious dude! He knows a ton, he cares alot,he wants honest feedback, and he actually listens! and adjusts some things accordingly.Cool, eh?

Artisan/premier bakeries in Boston?


This is the newly touted french pastry shop in the South End. You may want to check out their cakes as well.

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

o.k. I FINally have the scoop on the chowder. This will be long. And remember, I'm just the messenger here. Don't shoot the messenger.:

Razor clams dug daily in Ipswich by chef's friend. (Chef Nick does not like saltiness or texture of quohogs in chowder, only uses razor clams for it.) Pork belly is 3-day cured in many spices/herbs, then braised; braising juices go into chowder base w/ clam juices etc. Lovage, originally used, too expensive and not noticeable, so excluded from recipe now. So, what is the meat? Braised,then pan-crisped pork belly strips. NO BEEF ("That's disGUSTing", said Nick. [Then he vowed to forever tease the offending server.])
Any more questions- go ask Nick. As for me, SP is closed on Monday, but I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow...!

Looking For Lotus Leaves

banana leaves are also commonly used for the same thing.they should be common. i bought mine last time at super 88 allston in freezer.
Maybe it would help if you printed out some web photos and took those along to show the staff. but if you still get stuck, call Wilson at Sun Sun in Chinatown. Fluent English; stocks most things and knows tons.

Can It Be?! Is Our Beautiful City Finally Getting a Terrific French Bakery?

yay penny!

Chipotle Corn Soup

plus a little minced sauteed jalapeno, and fresh lime juice!

Aug 24, 2014
opinionatedchef in Recipes

Tryst in Arlington

sounds like an excellent brunch, ferr. We'll have to try it!

Artisan/premier bakeries in Boston?

vivki lee's in belmont does some excellent moist cakes with 100% butter (not margerine or crisco)buttercreams.

Can It Be?! Is Our Beautiful City Finally Getting a Terrific French Bakery?

I've been reading "any day now" for awhile. Plse someone, tell us when they open!

Red Bird - Waltham gets something special!!

Sounds great!Is it the same owner/chef (Jimmy Burke still?)or a whole new team? Thx for the detailed report.

Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh- 1 dinner Each; Ethnic or Other

just wanted to thank youall for your suggestions. I made a copy of them for him and he leaves tomorrow.He's looking forward to having some lovely seafood over there!

Aug 22, 2014
opinionatedchef in U.K./Ireland

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

ferr, thanks so much for posting this. We followed your lead and got take-out hanger sdwches today. I really enjoyed it. I liked having a salad on top of an open-face sandwich much more than having a hunka meat-packed sandwich. We got an order of fried chicken as well (even though i didn't realize it's not on the official Lunch menu) and I do have to say- that boneless tender and crunchy chicken is really in the blue ribbon class! Aside from the 2-3 day buttermilk brine, I think he lightly brushes it, post frying, with a tiny bit of sweet glaze so that just a hint comes through, and it's not heavily salted, yay!

Los Angeles Couple Taking Daughter to BU Needs French or Italian Recomendation

We're pretty loud-averse and no, not too loud for us. Also, the front of the space now opens to the outside, which helps too.

Los Angeles Couple Taking Daughter to BU Needs French or Italian Recomendation

for 'fun', that's an easy answer- Ribelle for sure. Great welcoming vibe, open kitchen (as in Right There!)and terrifically unique/inventive food (chef did 6 years at Momofuku.) Excellent bar. Sidewalk patio in a hip bustling new restaurant part of town that would probably be very exciting for her to feel part of.
**Just one caveat>> the menu is wicked understated; i.e. the descriptions are at the very most-- Minimalist and you realize that from your first dish. Full of delightful surprises!

Ribelle also does Brunch Sat and Sun:

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

yes,molly, i saw that. but the description also mentions lovage and old bay seasoning, and i don't taste either of those! i'm hoping someone else is going to CH write up the answer THEY get! i meant to ask nick the other day, when i met him....

Los Angeles Couple Taking Daughter to BU Needs French or Italian Recomendation

If you want something on the elegant/visually beautiful side,with service to match, I'm thinking you might really like Mistral.It is close to Copley Sq. Other suggestions (erbaluce, bistro du midi, prezza...) also have excellent food, but for a memorable space, Mistral wins that hands down.

Gran Gusto - What Am I Missing?

Went tonight for the first time in many many years.8:30 Tues. very full inside and out; most tables were eating pizza. The eggplant parm was v good but def not like it was before, and Marco's in Peabody is my go-to now.

The bronzino in mushroom sauce and the red snapper in lemon sauce w/olives, capers, cherry tomatoes-- had the same set-ups--
potato and broccoli. Both v good but nothing really notable.Wish I could have tasted some of the pastas, but nothing we had made us want to return . Our waitress smiled, but it seemed like she was subbing for someone and was pulled from the kitchen maybe. The greeter/owner was gracious but left the whole inside dining room to this woman who really spoke almost no English. Crappy bread, but that's usual in Italian restnts for me. The marguerita pizza at the next table looked limp and anemic.

I know this place has had a lot of CH fans (a lot of positive reviews in '08)but we left knowing it was unlikely we would return.

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

I felt the very same way about the pricing--odd. $9 for a CUP, that's 8 ounces, of, admittedly the best chowder I've had in boston, but $9 feels steep. But then there are 4?5? fried boneless chicken thighs for $9, and that feels very fair.
I also find it very odd that the dish that the restaurant is named for- has not had a big wave of fans in the reports I have read.... Because there are so many oddities, I'm guessing that it's just going to take time for everyone to get in the groove and things to settle down. Maybe the managers are immersed in myriad behind-the-scenes dramas, but they need to get their front of the house act together better.

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

yep! i thought of you and imagined you doing the happy dance!

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

we also went for brunch- this afternoon. Got:
-R.I. JohnnyCakes with berry jam and apple butter
- Breakfast Biscuit , griddled, with egg, cheddar, bacon
- Fried boneless chicken thighs (buttermilk brined)
-Chorizo and Caramelized Onion Omelet
The only loser was the omelet- too dry (what do you expect? you can't produce a 'baveuse' omelet on a flat-top)
The Johnnycakes were, I believe, made of liquid and some non-wheat flour (supposed to be R.I. white cornmeal, but these had no indication of cornmeal flavor or texture)and no eggs, so they were dense, chewy, heavy and perfect foils for the spreads. They reminded me of the glutinour rice flour 'pancakes/cakes' at Paris Baguette.
The biscuit was huge(very generous for $5). It broke easily so it worked better for me to tackle it w/ knife and fork.

The fried chicken was pretty perfect- thick clean crispy crust and moist meat; generous serving.Comes with an unusual not-too-sweet sauce on the side. If you like Sarma's fried chicken (best i've had in boston) I think you will like this too. They were identical to me except that Sarma's has herbs and spices in the coating.

Same crew of sweet friendly young servers.They willingly switched reggae for the rap, and that made a world of difference. The major downer there is the bar. I do understand that they just wanted to get up and running this week, but they only have a few non-alcoholic drinks and they are all sodas. I'm sure they will fix that soon.

I met Nick the chef who explained that they are starting w/ a conservative/recognizable names menu, until they see what the neighborhood tastes are.(but he is anxious to do more inventive dishes.) We're psyched!


gotcha. makes sense to me.

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

Often a visitor's eye (or tastebuds) can offer particular pluses. Not meaning to ruffle local CH feathers,but your descriptions of the 3 diff donut venues- have been much more detailed/helpful than those i've read before. just checking one thing (as i really prefer Cake donuts)-- Kane's include Cake, yes?

p.s. for those of us planning Toronto visits, it would be great if you could mention a few spots uniquely worthwhile in T! Thx!
(I don't mean spots that sell donuts or lobster rolls; i mean spots that do some unique T food that we might want to compare, whether it be Cornish Pasties or Tourtiere or French Bistros....)And congrats on your successful trip.

Snappy Patty's West Medford: An early report

I was as surprised as you, but our charming waitress was adamant that it was smoked beef and not pork. Whatever it was, it was deeelish.


hargau, sorry if you have answered this question before but where is it that is in the greater Boston area (not sterling or sturbridge or.....)where you have liked the wings? btw, my scovel tolerance is nowhere near yours, so the hotness of the sauce is not my goal, just the flavor is. Thanks.

Boston - Saturday Night - No Reservations - Where to Go?

there are good detailed Alden and Harlow threads, if you do a Search. I hope you'll get the Winter squash ribbon salad w/ hazelnuts, and the Smoked chocolate bread pudding(ask for 2 scoops ice cream; it's so rich it needs that second scoop!)

I really urge you to have the brunch at Ribelle in Brookline. It serves both Sat and Sun brunch and the chef does astounding things (not reflected in the menu descriptions.)I love Portland and its talented chefs, but, trust me, Ribelle is like nothing you have there! And brunch reservations are easy there.