opinionatedchef's Profile

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Indonesian market

fwiw, 2 yrs after the OP, I have found lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, pandan leaves, taro, thai basil, etc at one or more of these stores:
China Merchandise (only place i have found loose, unsweetened Thai tea)
EZ Indian Market, Woburn Center
Super 88/HongKong Market, Allston
SunSun, Chinatown

Many of these items freeze well.

about 2 hours ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Any place for XLB (soup dumplings) north of Boston?

China Star Dim Sum in Lowell- has had many good reviews and i think i read that they have them. Just fyi, they are usually called 'small steamed pork buns' for some strange reason. Dumpling House in Camb. has them. Other CHs will know many more places.

about 3 hours ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Largest Variety of Lark Cookies?

I was researching Lark cookies for another CH thread and, much to my astonishment, I found that they make ~12 varieties! Dave's Pasta and Formaggio Kitchen only sell 2-4 kinds (I loooove the Fennel Burnt Sugar shortbreads.) Has anyone seen a pretty large variety, and where? Thx so much.
* yes, you can buy them online
http://www.larkfinefoods.com/cookies....

about 3 hours ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

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

As to Ohlin's apple fritters, i always call ahead and have them held for us and we often pick them up in the late afternoon. I have never felt they suffered, though in my mind, the moistness of the interior and the glaze that covers their exterior- combine to keep them from drying out :-} And yes, I have enjoyed 'next day' apple fritters as well.....

about 3 hours ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Any special MA or NE foods to look for try out/buy?

yes yes yes! Indian Pudding, a very thick baked-forever cornmeal pudding/mush w/ molasses and pumpkin pie-like spices. Warm it up and serve w/ vanilla ice cream-- the best! I have made it from scratch but i also think the canned one (isn't there only one?) is excellent. Great suggestion, cm. (Durgin Park is the only Boston menu that lists it- that I have seen.)

about 5 hours ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

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

rlh, sorry but " I know nawthink" about Paul !

about 5 hours ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Metzy's Taqueria Truck on Plum Island.

how exciting! is the fish grilled or fried and do you happen to know what kind of fish? We had some at The Deck in the Marina recently (have you tried those?)and we're thinking of going there again, but wondering what's best to order......

And we've never eaten at Bob's. Do you think their fried clams are as good as The Clam Box? thx!

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Looking for wood *chunks* appropriate for smoking fish

yes, we've always gone to them for our grill and smoker supplies. and they deliver as well.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Les Zygomates- still good?

Devra First reviewed it recently. Though the new owner is fairly new, she wrote well of it:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/...

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Chinatown or similar cakes for a wedding

I have zero experience w/ Chinatown cakes but just wanted to mention that 2 Asian bakeries- Japonaise in Brookline and Paris Baguette in the front of the H Mart in Central Sq.- produce some lovely cakes.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Any special MA or NE foods to look for try out/buy?

imo, neither Cain's mayo or any local commercial potato chips- are worth the trouble.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Any special MA or NE foods to look for try out/buy?

It's not a Boston thing, or even regional (that I know of, that is) but Pepper Jelly might be new to you. Made w/ Jalapenos and sweet red or green peppers. I mention it because they sell jars of it at When Pigs Fly (Brookline and Somerville.) I grew up eating it with cream cheese on crackers.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

"Eat It Up: Food Talks" series

Eat It Up is an ongoing series of five talks for local, regional and national chefs, food writers, brewers, sommeliers, farmers, foragers and others to discuss their insights into food culture. The goal of the series is to provide the Seacoast community a look into the local and national food culture with a focus on sustainability, artistry and innovation.
This series begins next Monday in Portsmouth N.H. at the Seacoast Rep Theater, with a talk by Black Trumpet chef/owner, Evan Mallett. Boston and other regional and national chefs to be announced.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Northern New England
1

Any special MA or NE foods to look for try out/buy?

Not in grocery stores, but Formaggio Kitchen has the best representation of high quality local products, imo. Aside from VT cheeses and pastas, my favs include Lark Kitchen- Fennel and Burnt Sugar Shortbread cookies; Effies Oat Cakes, EH Chocolates.....

http://www.effieshomemade.com/

http://www.larkfinefoods.com/cookies....

https://twitter.com/Zagat/status/3317...

http://www.zagat.com/b/boston/6-up-an...

http://www.massvacation.com/blog/2012...

Another mention- Boston's own Bantam (hard) Cider.
And if you are a fan of hearty sourdough based breads, When Pigs Fly has a Davis Sq, Somerville and Brookline retail store where you can sample any of the 20-30 breads they sell daily. From Sauerkraut Rye to Lemon Blueberry, Chocolate to Jalapeno Cornmeal (they change daily.) Unlike trad French style breads, Pigs Fly are fine when eaten days after purchase.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area
1

July 2014 Vacation Closings

Hong Cuc in Lowell: Maybe they are on July vacation? When we called today to Grand St (and Dutton) there was no answer and no machine.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Eat Healthy and Beat the Heat: Follow the Lead of the SE Asians!

Maybe they are on July vacation? When we called today to Grand St (and Dutton) there was no answer and no machine.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Sunday brunch/lunch between Brookline and Arlington

that's great! so glad you liked it.

Jul 20, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

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

so sorry, i meant Yankee Lobster.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/916276

I don't know if you saw this, but i just read it and there were a number of mentions of places that CHs generally pan, but that had some recent good reports, so thought you might be interested:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9827...

Jul 20, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

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

56, FV's take here is what i mostly see on CH re USD. Personally, I seem to only like cake donuts, so I am not the person to evaluate Boston's donut scene (where glazed dominate) but one sweet that I haven't seen you mention- that we an be very proud of- is ice cream.

I think it's pretty safe to call Toscanini the biggest winner in the many various ' ice cream favs' discussions; T certainly has the largest number of varieties that change daily, and the most unusual flavors. Central Sq., a few doors down from Craigie St. Bistro. The other fav ice cream stores are JP Licks( many locations, incl. Harv Sq.) and Christina's (Inman Sq, relatively near Oleana.)
We don't have any great gelaterias but Cafe Sport in the North End has had good gelato in the past. Also, asking for 'tastes' or 'samples' of various flavors- is very common here, and they provide receptacles on their counters for the used sampling spoons.

Just fyi, a 5 min bike ride up Brattle St. from Harvard Sq., we have Formaggio Kitchen, a very famous local cheese emporium cum specialty imported foods shop- packed to the gills w/ temptations that they (often) import themselves (incl. fresh breads from Paris.) And they always have out about 5-6 cheeses to sample.

And if you find yourselves in need of a sit-down in AC, with cold drinks and bathrooms, Starbucks and Panera Bread are located throughout the metro Boston area and suburbs.

Jul 20, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

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

Lee Napoli, chef/owner of Bread and Butter, is a major talent in the world of Boston croissants and French-style pastries, but if the OP is from Toronto, they just may have some quality French-style patisseries up there. Agree w/ you totally about Mike's, but I always remember the very very very gourmand Chicago visitor who reported Mike's cannoli trumping those of Modern (which totally surprised me and obviously left an impression!)

Jul 20, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Miracle Fruit in Boston

Jul 19, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

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

i think total was referring to not bothering w strip T's if you are doing ribelle. I completely agree w/ all of total's advice; very well thought-out. I am so impressed with your choices, esp. Oleana and Ribelle. I would rec ICOB for dinner over No.9 Park and Craigie, but there will be just as many CHs suggesting the opposite. ICOB is just such a visually and energetically- charged room and i love that they really cover all the bases- fascinating unique non alcoholic drinks, top service, exc trad and inventive dishes. If you do go, ask for a banquette on the rear wall.

For your lobster roll, i'll pass along that a Canadian visitor last yr said that their fav was at Lobster Shack, over more expensive rolls; you might do a CH Search for details. Neptune is such a sardine-packed memorable get-to-know-your- neighbor experience! High voltage! My Love always orders the scallop dish or the lobster roll; i get the Johnnycake w/ Smoked Trout (or other) and the Vitello Tonnato sdwch.

Salem is sooo special! Really hope you'll have time to walk or drive Chestnut St. A number of positive posts recently for Scratch Kitchen for lunch- a quick walk from the really diverse and well curated PEM. Just fyi, even though Salem was built on seafaring merchant fortunes, it does not have much of a scenic waterfront presence. Marblehead, a 15 min drive from Salem, is a fantastic harbor town with great historic architecture and charming shopping area, and Fort Sewall w/unbeatable views of both the boat-filled harbor and the ocean, w/ islands.

I don't know if it will continue when you are here, but we have been enjoying an uncommonly less-hellish July than usual. Cambridgeport is a handsome well-kept tree- lined neighborhood w/ lots of interesting 19th and early 20th c. architecture.

You really are doing such a great trip- planning job. Just make sure to double check itineraries against maps, or you can end up spending alot of time in transit.

Jul 19, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

fries in Cambridge

For next time--Lord Hobo had some top notch crispy thin fries w/ a real truffle aioli.

Jul 19, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Boston's best salads? A round up

wow, those all sound really terrific. i wanted to mention Ribelle's amazing kale treatments. Often it's stir fried/charred, but with its presentation and temp, it comes off as a salad.The oyster crema is prob my fav treatment (they always include some neat crunchy element [ like toasted quinoa] to complement the creamy and chewy) and it is one of my top fav dishes i have had there.

Jul 19, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

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

cool word for sure. Is there a good word or expression for 'gives me the creeps'? i bet a bunch of different languages have fun words for that!

Jul 19, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Best new ethnic restaurants in Cambridge/Somerville?

Sarma is a short drive. Owned by former chef of Oleana, mostly Turkish and Middle Eastern influenced small plates. Large menu, bustling, lots of fun, very popular,VERY veg friendly. Best to make reservations.
Do a CH Search for detailed recs there.
Atwood's Tavern is close by, very popular, eclectic menu. Mary Chung in Central Sq does wonderful dim sum til 3pm and regular menu all day. Gourmet Dumpling House is very new, Mass Ave between Central and Harv Sq., v. popular on CH.

oh, where did you end up going last sept when we rec'd GDHouse and you asked about Maharajah?

Jul 18, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Sunday brunch/lunch between Brookline and Arlington

I wish you had sat near me when you had those drinks. I 'm so inexperienced bar-wise, I just can't get myself to experiment much w/ aperol or the zillion things I've never tasted (very expensive ventures, those). I agree w/ you on the polenta; never have liked that. But the pancakes? oooh, certainly rich but I find them like clouds because of the technique he uses, folding a meringue into the batter! Anyway, I know we both feel lucky about brunching there! It only took me ~5 visits, but I think I finally figured out (duhhh) that the dishes only seem expensive until you realize that each one easily feeds two hungry people. If the 2 of us split pancakes or French toast, eggs on the side, kale--that's all we can fit!

Jul 18, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area
1

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

geez, you guys. You KNOW i am not talking about breads. Of COURSE we have an excellent bread scene; and for those who just love to jump on me, you know that i know that.For years I have vociferously praised Iggys, Clearflour, Pigs Fly. I am talking about PATISSERIE. And I am talking very speCIFically about Boulangerie on Pine in SF. So, if you are not familiar w/ it, i suggest you cut the attack. AND i am not talking about patisseries on the Cape, or in Hartford, or in Portland either, but HERE in Boston, my beautiful historically unique home which has so many excellent food places but has never had a Patisserie/Boulangerie to match, or even come close to, the aforementioned in SF. The End.

Jul 18, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Catering on Cape Ann and vicinity

Low budget is prob your major roadblock. you can sometimes learn alot by asking advice from function managers at various venues. Even on a 'first call-around', some will be willing to give you some names.
Also, maybe BBQ/Cook out as a less expensive option?
There's American BBQ in ~Newbury iirc; good food and they prob travel. Also, lunch and hors d'oeuvre parties can be alot less exp than seated dinners.

Jul 17, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

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

After today's news in Eater, I am trying to hold in the reins. Oh me, i've been complaining about Boston's sad crappy bakery scene for so long now, it is really hard for me to believe that a new longed-for era may be dawning!
According to Eater, Madeleine should be opening very soon. So many of us would love to end our complaining and finally have a great new ______(Mexican place, Burmese spot, etc etc) and a Pattisserie/Boulangerie as good as SF's Boulangerie on Pine is at the top of my list, so pleeeze, CHs, keep us appraised of this new opening. I am so hopeful that quality and variety will be terrific!!

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaur...

Jul 17, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area