opinionatedchef's Profile

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Strong Coffee Ginger Chews

I really enjoy the ginger peanut chews sold in little blue rectangular foil at Whole Foods, so i decided to see if i could get them in bulk on the web. Sure enough, The Ginger People sell them as GinGins on their site. AND , best of all, they also make other flavors (all have ginger as their base). Because i usually find candies too sweet, i always seek out coffee ones (to temper the sweetness) but rarely find any. Well, the Coffee GinGins are SUPER! Strong coffee flavor. And of course, the entire line can be eaten sans guilt because ginger is so good for you in so many ways ! (ho ho ho, candy that's good for you. I think that def qualifies for an oxymoron, eh? Tasty though :-)


about 17 hours ago
opinionatedchef in General Topics

Mint Creme Filled Peppermint Straws CAN be Found!

Don't now if anyone else has been frustrated in their search for these, but my google search turned up many sites selling these but they were always out of stock, etc. I finally found them available on oldtimecandy.com
The hysterical thing is that i emailed them and asked if they had a creme filling and the reply was that their straws contained NOTHING . But they ARE creme filled ! (she said, after being compelled to sample (ahemmm) a few after rcvg them yesterday.)Yay!


about 18 hours ago
opinionatedchef in General Topics

Replicate Knorr's Leek Veggie Dip?

Long ago, I made an addictive dip with Knorr's Leek Soup Mix, Sour Cream,Yoghurt and Pureed cooked spinach. No more Knorr's Leek Soup Mix(it came in a dry packet) it seems. Anyone have packaged product ideas to replicate that component? thx so much.

about 18 hours ago
opinionatedchef in General Topics

Doing the North Shore drive with wife and kids tomorrow. Best clam shack !!!

she who chomps, excuse me for stepping in, but i don't think Scchick has eaten at Choate; I was the one who revived this thread because i wanted to laud Choate. Light coating, no hard bits IME.Also bellies not mealy, just regular (my word) but not squirty. I'm guessing you'd have to ask a clammer your stomach texture question.Without being a marine biologist, I would offer that the texture of the tummies must have to do directly with what the little fellas eat; and weather/season must be a big part of that. Choate buys from Ipswich Shellfish and the clams are local. I found them very fresh, and sweet.Choate will be our go-to place now. We might also just try the recommended clams at Agawam Diner too(if they use veg. oil); i liked their coconut cream pie v much, and their friendly waitresses, when we got take out CCP there this week. I've also always wanted to try Farnhams because of the lovely view onto the marshes, but there were, as i recall, enough CH 'nays' to keep me from trying it.

about 18 hours ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

need seafood

Brunch recs back bay or close:
Sonsie (Newbury near Mass. Ave)
Brasserie Jo (Huntington Ave across from Symphony Hall)
Bistro du Midi (on the Public Garden)

So. End near Boston Public Garden end:
The Gallows (known for their Poutine.reports have been very varied lately.)

about 19 hours ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Silly debate going on... What was the People's Republic in Cambridge called before...

5th, no, she is talking about Bay St off Mass Ave in Camb, between Harv and Centr Sq.

Help a Boston CH Have Great Food in TX !

th you, doc. Your TX temps sound great; how about the green? grass and leaves this time? th you again.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Texas

Help a Boston CH Have Great Food in TX !

I am a long-time Boston CH who really enjoys helping visitors to New England, where I have been a chef and foodie for 40 yrs. I am beginning to plan a return trip to TX in late November, focused on some specific limited-time art exhibits and some permanent collections. Similar to our route in December 12 years ago,we will likely be looking for ~4 dinners and lunches @ in Dallas/Ft.Worth and Houston, and 1 or 2 in Austin, and hopefully,somewhere on the coast SW of Houston (if we can find whooping cranes.)

We didn't have a lot of luck in TX food-wise those many yrs ago, so I'm hoping to get inspired enough this time- to return, as there are so many other things that draw us there.

But first, could you comment on this: In late Dec., we encountered a pretty bleak TX ( we have long winters in New England, so I'm very familiar with bleak!) Just wondering- do you think late Nov will be much different: will there be green grass? some trees with leaves?

As to food, we will be happy to have BBQ once on our trip, but not more.Same w/ Thai. We are both very wood-fire oriented and we love Mexican, SWern, Latino and American Regional foods, as well as Spanish, French,and Turkish/Mediterranean. But we have Italian restnts 'out the ying yang' in Boston, so I'm not seeking them in TX. Ditto Asian except I am a huge fan of traditional sushi and trad. Japanese cuisine. I get very excited by creativity; new food stuffs and inventive ways of making and presenting things. Dining room formality is not a draw for us,but if it goes hand in hand with extraordinary food, we will tolerate it. $ is not the deciding factor except that we have, almost every single time, found that our most expensive meals were disappointing, and never our best meals. Lunch will likely be sandwich type fare except where we need to fit in a restnt where we can't have dinner.

Could you link me to some useful lists, or write a list for us to work from? Or do I need to go to each different board and ask this? I really do appreciate your time.

We will have a car and driving to eat is not a big deal. Haven't begun to locate hotels; wanted to see what y'all had to say first. Thanks much again!

2 days ago
opinionatedchef in Texas

Doing the North Shore drive with wife and kids tomorrow. Best clam shack !!!

hey, thx for the benefit of the doubt, jo.
I learned my fat attribution from a long CH thread on tallow and fried clams in MA.- that I read a few years ago.

I don't know where you are coming up with your 'inferior' comment; in my 2 recent posts about Choate and CB, i never used a negative qualitative adjective to describe the CB product; i simply said we were new converts to Choate. Both put out top notch FrClams, but I have learned that I prefer a non tallow frying medium.
Silly me.....

Apple cider donuts?

I have to say, it is amazing what a difference it makes when a donut is freshly fried . The only one that i had that way on our informal crawl (Calarosso's, Russell Hill, Cider Hill) was Cider Hill , and they bowled me over. But when I had a Cider Hill one later, at the end of the day,the impact was considerably lessened.

Apple cider donuts?

mongrel, i use Potato Flour in my biscuits, for tenderness; i never knew/thought of someone using it for donuts. Have you made them that way; is that how you know about it? Maybe that's what they use at Cider Hill.....
Are the Davidian bros. a religious order or does it just sound that way? The donuts sound beautiful.

Doing the North Shore drive with wife and kids tomorrow. Best clam shack !!!

Nope. As an old friend says, "It's your mind; only you can change it." Much to my surprise, with regards to fried clams, I have become a Choate Bridge Pub convert. Choate and Clam Box both do an excellent job with their coating,with the cleanliness of their frying fat, and with using sweet and fresh local clams. For me, the difference is that Choate must use a vegetable oil, and Clam Box must use a tallow/ beef fat. The fat affects the taste but mostly the mouthfeel, both during your meal and after you've eaten, as the tallow lingers on. ymmv.

Doing the North Shore drive with wife and kids tomorrow. Best clam shack !!!

We found ourselves at the Clam Box today for 4pm lunch and I admit it feels funny to say this, but , as of today,similar to that new expression "___ is the new ____" (Orange is the new Black, etc)Choate Bridge Pub is the new Clam Box. I preferred the dredge on the Clam Box onion rings, compared to the batter on those at Choate, but the clams were a different story. Those at Clam Box are obviously fried in a medium that includes tallow/ beef fat, and it leaves a coating, a textural residue in your mouth. But the clams at Choate (equally sweet and tender) are clean through and through. No oftertaste or mouthfeel, so i'm guessing all-vegetable oil is used. Beautiful. So thx again CHs; 2 new converts!

Apple cider donuts?

We completed our Cider Donut Crawl today. Calareso was the only place that has a 6 donut MINimum! They were made from a mix, small, crunchy, and good but not stellar.The unfriendly man making them out front would not let you take them hot from him;you had to buy a 6pack before walking to the other side of the store to pay.

Tender Crop on Rt 1A was not making donuts.

Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury had hot donuts, made in front of you all day, that you could package yourself. And these donuts were absolutely aMAZing. Their insides were moist and soft and delicate like a feather, or baby skin, or beautifully cloud-like gnocchi, with a bit of outside crunch. WOW. I wish everyone who thinks they've had a great donut- could try these from Cider Hill. They don't taste very strongly of cider, but it didn't matter; they were def Gold Standard material. I didn't go in and watch them being made but I am actually wondering how they could handle dough that soft and delicate. Once fried, the donuts didn't quite hold their shape in your hand; they squished easily (but they were perfectly fried, not raw inside.)

For Boston dwellers, I know Amesbury (just a few miles south of the NH border) can seem like far, far away,but from the Rt 128/93 intersection, it only took us about 40 min. And the land around Cider Hill is really beautiful. Rolling verdant hills. We were hoping to catch lunch at the Deck at the Marina in Salisbury, with its beautiful river and Newburyport views, but they had closed for the season, so we drove my favorite MA route- through Newburyport on High St,East through Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, and over to the Clam Box and Agawam diner. Beautiful day. Cider Hill was the star in the crown!
Thx Madrid et al!

El Diez Food Truck

I'm not familiar w/ this spot or Dominican empanadas; would you plse decribe them? thx much.

Banh Mi at Pho House

1790 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
in the block of shops that includes Joie de Vivre, on the west/left side of Mass Ave. when heading towards Porter Exchange from Harv.Sq.

Banh Mi at Pho House

Far out, Sam. What great news!

El Diez Food Truck

I'm hoping someone will post a photo of an empanada and describe the beef filling (if they do one)! thx.

Apple cider donuts?

The new settled location of Union Square Donuts is serving one type of cake donut- Cider donuts. Anyone tried them there?


Burlington: Take-out empanadas, opening date for Wegman's

thx much for that warning; didn't know anyth about it.

Burlington: Take-out empanadas, opening date for Wegman's

grey, any word on the new empanada place; have you tried them yet?thx.

the great croissant hunt

Is that a croissant filling you find in CN? I have never seen mascarpone in a croissant filling anywhere, and not in Boston. Almond by itself, yes. Mascarpone is an Italian food; i've not seen it used in a French bakery for French pastries. Patisserie Japonnaise def does not put mascarpone in any of their croissants. As to deliveries, I don't think any bakeries deliver small orders to homes. Large corporate orders- yes.

Doing the North Shore drive with wife and kids tomorrow. Best clam shack !!!

no idea. never eat that stuff, only lemon, lots of lemon!

Doing the North Shore drive with wife and kids tomorrow. Best clam shack !!!

After reading CH raves for many years, we finally made it to Choate Bridge Pub in Ipswich Center.Boy did we luck out w/ this waitress, Lisa, who was everything you would want a waitress to be. I love to think of visitors getting her to welcome them because she would make them feel so comfortable. Food was really good on the most part. Caesar salad just fine (dressing was surprisingly good for a bottled product (I'm guessing.)
My fried clam plate had clams as good as any i've had at The Clam Shack (equal to the best i've ever had); sweet, not huge,lightly coated, very clean fry job w/ no greasy aftertaste.
Their clams come from Ipswich Seafood and are dug only in Ipswich, fwiw. (Lisa said some clam places get theirs from VA and ME.)
Onion strings were very good for battered onions, but i much prefer dredged onions.Potato salad was just weird- a bowl of BIG red skin potato chunks coated w/ mayo and onion.I brought it home to doctor. My Love enjoyed his cole slaw and lobster roll (cold; unfortunately they don't do warm w/n butter)but said it was nothing memorable.

The only bad thing i tasted was a sampling of the horrifically awful clam chowder. Have you ever seen clam chowder hold its own shape?!Put a spoon in and it would not fall over. It looked as awful as it tasted. Maybe it came out of a package. A wicked thick blob of potatoes and clams; it reminded me of a
painful memory of chipped beef in white sauce in Home Ec class long ago. The milk part of the chowder had a really off-putting taste like powdered reconstituted milk. (Lisa said the fish and seafood chowders, offered on other days, were good.)

I know we will be returning there for the c

lams. It was great having a comfortable sit down place to enjoy such fantastic fried clams, with china and cutlery. A fun and funky retro spot.
p.s. Cash only.

Apple cider donuts?

We did a foliage and food trip up north on this glorious day. Sampled the Russell cider donuts.What a pretty place; great spot for kids too. We both thought the cider donuts there were very good; not greasy,a bit of exterior crisp, moist and tasting of cider. We were curious to see how they compared w/ our fav., which are at Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury Center VT., but these were a bit different in their spicing. And the VT ones are yellow inside while Russell's are light brown/tan.


It's a bit of a schlep for us to get to Central Sq.,so I bought a few of the Blueberry Yoghurt Cronuts at Paris Baquette (in H Mart).Prob because it was a rainy day, the fresh one was subpar to previous sI've had there. I left the box w/ the other cronut on the counter for 3 days,and then i lightly baked it in the toaster oven, It crisped right up and the cream filling was fine.
thx so much for toasting suggestion! I think i'll do all my donuts (very few) that way!

Cilantro Restaurant | Fusion Cuisine located in Salem MA

Those churros sound terrific, but we ate there maybe 10 yrs ago and it was among the worst meh mexican experiences i've had. Every time we drive past it I shake my head at the memory.

Strip T's Jared Forman leaving Oct. 26

bugs, thx so much for posting this. I don't see a specific menu; do you?

Shabu & Mein

For a really worthwhile ramen, also in Cambridge, somewhat nearby, is East by Northeast on Cambridge St. Their very unique and fantastic ramen, served only on Wednesdays, always leaves me thrilled.(But this is def a Quality over Quantity experience.)


Matsutake Mushrooms in Boston area???

stein, i think you misread me. what i said was:
< AFAIK, fresh shiitake come mostly from PA growers >