Bob Martinez's Profile

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A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

You're absolutely right. I recognize your name as a long time poster and yet I can only see your recent posts when I click on your profile.

You may want to start a separate thread on this issue since this thread is really about something else and your post may slip through the cracks.

FWIW I strongly doubt your posts were removed in some sort of Soviet style "sanitization." I expect the true explanation will be something boring. I suspect the posts are still there but the link between your name and the posts has been damaged.

about 13 hours ago
Bob Martinez in Site Talk

Please interpret this menu pricing....

It's perfectly clear to me as well. They may want to use a larger font for the "two or one skewer" description just to make it stand out more. (Right now the font is slightly smaller than the other text on the page.) The description itself is quite clear.

about 18 hours ago
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Burger question

At art galleries you go and see an artist's work. You don't get to tell them what to paint.

Restaurants are different. They give you menus and then the kitchen makes what you ordered. Yes, I'm well familiar with no-choice tasting menus but you know what? They don't have burgers on them.

1 day ago
Bob Martinez in Manhattan

Burger question

They're not artists - they're chefs. Cook the damn burger the way the customer, who's paying their salary, asks for it.

If chefs were artists they wouldn't be in a kitchen cooking burgers.

(Spoken by someone who likes their burgers medium rare. I'm just tired of bossy chefs who forget the customer/provider hierarchy.)

Apr 18, 2015
Bob Martinez in Manhattan

Favorite Bacon brand

I have pedestrian tastes. Oscar Meyer thick cut.

Apr 18, 2015
Bob Martinez in General Topics

Burger question

I really don't think chefs are that sensitive.

About 95% of the time restaurants will ask you how you want your burger or steak. When servers forget, I tell them.

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

We didn't see the need.

I suppose we were missing out on the opportunity expand our knowledge of assholery. Just like the Eskimos have 50 words for snow I'm sure there are multiple kinds of assholes and fine distinctions are possible.

It would be a fun conversation to have but it would be off topic and get deleted. Alas.

The ubiquitous burger

I think I get it. The OP doesn't like burgers very much and doesn't understand why so many restaurants have them on the menu.

Let me answer the question. Most people like burgers - that ought to be indisputable. Restaurants sell them because people will buy them. They appeal to a wide segment of the population. People with sophisticated palates like them and people with unadventurous tastes also like them. Hence their wide availability.

Sometimes you're in the minority. For my part I don't like mac and cheese and pancakes have no appeal to me. I recognize that most people think otherwise and I'm OK with that.

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

No offense to Mr. Dunning or Mr. Kruger but in the Bronx when I was growing up we had a more direct name for people suffering from this syndrome.

We called them assholes.

Why delicious Indian food is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S.

I see you're new to Chowhound so you may not be familiar with some ongoing threads about Indian restaurants on the Manhattan board. Here are links to four well regarded places -

Malai Marke -

Chote Nawab -

Dhaba -

Pippali -

Moving on, I do agree with the point you made about Indian cuisine being held back by the fact that Indians aren't yet widely distributed around the country. That said, the Indian community in the NYC is rapidly growing. From the article that launched this thread -

"There are more than 300 restaurants that serve cuisine from across the subcontinent in New York City alone, according to Krishnendu Ray, a professor at New York Univeristy who has been studying the cuisine's rise for more than a decade. Compare that to the mere 20 Indian restaurants that could be found in the Big Apple in the early 1980s."

The growth in restaurants has matched the growth of Indian in the NYC metro area.

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

Your talents are wasted merely posting on CH. A career in marketing awaits.

Clueless moderation?

That would seem to support my point.

Apr 15, 2015
Bob Martinez in Site Talk

Clueless moderation?

As far as I know political stuff has always been out of bounds but words like "bullshit" are not. This was the policy even in the days when Leff ran the site.

Apr 15, 2015
Bob Martinez in Site Talk

Real Sichuan food in Bay Ridge

My question to ZBS was about the Hunan place. I've been going to Grand Sichuan House since January of 2008.

Apr 15, 2015
Bob Martinez in Outer Boroughs

Real Sichuan food in Bay Ridge

One more thing since I'm posting on this thread. I notice back in 2012 that I was warning people off the dan dan noodles.

Some good news. The dan dan noodles, which were forgettable for years, have been very good for the last year. I suspect there was a change in the kitchen although I didn't notice any changes in the preparation of the other dishes.

Apr 15, 2015
Bob Martinez in Outer Boroughs

Real Sichuan food in Bay Ridge

Now it's my turn to thank you for the reminder. Is this the place on Kings Highway?

Apr 15, 2015
Bob Martinez in Outer Boroughs

Real Sichuan food in Bay Ridge

I've been to Grand Sichuan House almost 20 times since I last posted about it. This place remains a terrific restaurant. Rather than rehas my earlier reviews I'm going to list some of our favorites and post pictures if I have them.

Sichuan wonton w Red oil

Sichuan spicy Dan Dan noodle

Spicy Sichuan Cold Noodle -

Chengdu spicy Dumpling -

Boneless spare Ribs (A friend ordered this and I thought to myself "Totally inauthentic." Then I tred them and though "Authenticity can sometimes be overrated." They were great.


Duck with green beans -

Braised Chili Beef -
Stir this! There's a sprinkling of very hot pepper on the top of this dish which needs to be mixed in.

Beef w. Cumin Flavor -
Like crispy like spicy beef french fries

Cumin Lamb

Chicken w. spicy capsicum -

Doubled Cooked Pork

Guizhou Spicy Chicken

Sautéed Dry Bean Curd and Celery and pork -
An old favorite that I first had at Spicy & Tasty in Queens. Who knew that bean curd could taste so good? The secret is to sautee it until it's very firm and mix it with pork so it picks up the pork's flavor. Terrific.

Cured Pork w. Garlic Shoots -

Sautéed Fresh Sliced Pork -

Lamb with scallion -
Delicate but fully flavored. A periennial favorite.

Green beans with minced pork -

Broccoli w. Garlic Sauce -

Even the pickled cabbage is good. -

Apr 15, 2015
Bob Martinez in Outer Boroughs

Don't let your Debit/Credit Card out of your sight when dining. .

My experience is similar to yours. I've been using a debit card for almost all my non-cash purchased for more than 20 years and *never* had any fraudulent charges on my card. I do check my bank account online 2 or 3 times a week. It takes about a minute each time I do it but I'd always be able to catch a bogus charge within a day or two. So far there have been none.

FWIW, I don't live in a happy small town where everybody knows everybody else and people don't bother to lock their doors. I live in New York City.

I use a debit card rather than a credit card as a form of self control. Years back I accumulated a middling amount of credit card debt - about $7,000 - and it took me years to pay it off. With a debit card I have to keep on top of my purchases and there's no temptation to spend more than I have.

Works for me.

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit

Different *colored* aluminum foils! The marketing could link the colors to the seasons or body types. "Blue foil is for ectomorphs!"

And we'll claim the foil has a special coating that interacts with sunlight and "supports brain health."

Chao Thai

We waited way too long to try this place. It’s not like Peter Cuce hasn’t been posting about them for years. Our loss.

A couple of weeks ago on a cold Saturday afternoon we took a ride out to Elmhurst. We chose “Too” over the original location since I’d read that it was larger and nicer looking. I wanted to lower the chances of being caught in a lunchtime crowd. We needn’t have worried – at 2:00PM the place was quiet. Only a couple of tables were occupied.

It’s a pretty room, more like Ayada than Sri.

We had prepared for our visit by checking out the menu on MenuPages. (CT doesn’t have a web site.) We shouldn’t have bothered – there were major differences between them. As we were leaving we grabbed a take out menu so we’d be prepared next time.

Our starters –

Grilled Pork - BBQ pork Thai style served w. hot salty and sour sauce

This was first rate – a generous portion of juicy marinated pork with a terrific dipping sauce on the side. Just a great dish.

Sweet Pork Sausage Salad - Sweet sausage mixed spicy sauce

This dish is an old favorite that we’ve been ordering at Sri for years. It’s a kind of benchmark for us; we’ve also ordered it at Ayada when they put it on their menu a few years ago. CH2’s version is very good but I’d rate it as an 8.5 to Ayada’s 9 and Sri’s 10. If you’ve never had it before and are going to CT2 it’s definitely worth ordering. If you like their version you’ll definitely love the one at Sri.

On to the mains –

Pad Garlic & Pepper Chicken

Thin slices of nicely marinated chicken, perfectly grilled. It’s dishes like this that make me love Thai food.

Phla Neux - Grilled beef spicy salad

The preparation and flavor of this dish was fine but it was undercut by the quality of the beef. It was chewier than it should have been. I’m not sure if that’s an issue with all of their beef dishes or this was a one off. On the positive side the flavor of the dish was quite good and since there are comparable salads on the menu made with pork or shrimp that might be the way to go.

The spicing levels were robust without being overwhelming, equivalent to a good Sichuan restaurant. When we were ordering we asked for medium hot and that’s what they delivered.

CT2’s menu is deep with lots of dishes that we’ve never tried before. It will definitely go into our regular rotation.

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

See, here's my problem. You initially said this -

"a store cannot legally stop an individual with 10,000 items from going through the "10 items or less" checkout."

Now in my world that means that it would be illegal for the store to try to stop the shopper who was pushing a cart with 30 items down a line that has a 10 item limit.

It appears what you *actually* meant was that the store wouldn't be relying on the power of the law to prohibit the inconsiderate shopper from going through the checkout line, they would instead be relying on enforcing a policy the store had set.

Did you really believe I was saying that there is a law that prohibits people from taking 30 items on a 10 item line?

Oh well. I'm going to drop out of this conversation now.

Apr 13, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

Great example. Both funny and true!

(The fictional Soup Nazi was based on a real person who frequently refused to serve customers.)

Apr 13, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

I have been known, from time to time, to frequent taverns and know how they work. I have seen them eject patrons for many different reasons, not just because they had a few drinks too many. Sometimes patrons become argumentative or overly loud. They get shown the door.

It's happened at restaurants too. Even regular stores - from time to time they ban certain customers for repeated bad behavior.

Nightclubs are notorious for picking and choosing who they let in. Private businesses can make their own rules as long as they don't discriminate based on race.

In general, though, businesses bend over backwards not to alienate their customers and often let them get away with all kinds of things. But those are policy decisions, not legal ones.

There is no law that says "Any business open to the public shall not enforce item counts on checkout lines." Our state legislatures can be remarkably stupid but they haven't gone that far.

Apr 13, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

You're stopped at a red traffic light behind another car. The light turns green but the car ahead of you doesn't move. Do you wait patiently for as long as it takes for the other driver to wake up? Twenty seconds? A minute? Let the light go from green to red two or three times? I mean after all, it's really a comparatively short amount of time. What's the rush?

Or do you do what I do. Slowly count to ten and then tap your horn briefly to wake the other driver up. Not a long obnoxious blast. Just a very brief tap.

I'll bet you do the same thing.

Apr 12, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

But you said *legally* -
"a store cannot legally stop an individual with 10,000 items from going through the "10 items or less" checkout"

Again, could you please provide some links which support your position that a store doesn't have the right to enforce a "12 item or less" policy.

Apr 12, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...

"a store cannot legally stop an individual with 10,000 items from going through the "10 items or less" checkout"

Could you point me to a couple of links that support that? My understanding is that a private business can set whatever rules it wants as long as it doesn't discriminate and doesn't do anything illegal.

Apr 11, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Pippali in the East 20s

I had your post in mind when we went back to Pippali last Saturday. A couple of the dishes we had were overly salty.

Starters –

Khasta Papri Chat garbanzos, potatos, wheat crispies, mix chutney, yogurt drizzle, chickpea "sev."

My GF liked this fine but said she preferred the New Delhi Samosa Chat she had on an earlier visit. I didn’t sample it because I’ve never found a chat I like.

Taash Kabab lamb cubes braised in yogurt, saffron and tangy spices. "malabari paratha."

The spicing here was assertive, something I like. What I didn't like was the salt level which was 30% to 40% higher than I would have preferred. The paratha served along with the lamb helped a bit but the kitchen really needs to have a lighter hand with this dish.

Mains –

Bihari Gohst marinated lamb shanks braised in onion, tomato and whole spices.

My lamb app was somewhat salty. This dish, which my GF ordered, was REALLY salty. Probably at the 50% to 60% level. I tasted a couple of bites and my mouth was just buzzing. The spicing itself was very good but the salt level totally unbalanced the dish. The portion was very generous and we wound up taking most of it home. A couple of days later my GF doctored it up with a bunch of Yukon Gold potatoes which offset the saltiness enough to make it edible.

Lagan Ka Murgh oven roasted stuffed chicken roulade infused in yogurt, poppy, melon and saffron gravy.

There’s some chicken roulade lurking under the surface. Ah, here they are.

Actually, there were 4 and they were excellent. Fully spiced and perfectly balanced. The sauce was somewhat rich so I was only able to finish 2. The remainder are in my freezer where they’re destined to be my dinner on Monday.

OK, back to the salt levels. This was our 3rd visit and we didn’t encounter this issue previously. FWIW only the lamb dishes we ordered this time around had this problem. Maybe it was a one off. Or maybe that’s the way they think those dishes are supposed to taste. We’d never ordered them before so I don’t know which of those alternatives is true. We’ve ordered lamb dishes there in the past and never had this issue.

(In hindsight we should have said something to the manager.


So there you have it. We continue to like the restaurant so we’ll be going back. We’ll keep you posted.

Apr 10, 2015
Bob Martinez in Manhattan

Old school table manners... what were you taught? update

I don't swap my knife and fork from hand to hand either. Born and raised in NYC. I don't believe my parents did either - they were lifetime NYers as well.

Apr 08, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Looking for a nice restaurant in or around downtown Brooklyn

Queen is good for upscale Italian in a nice atmosphere. It's been around forever and still does a great business.

The River Cafe is one of NY's great "view" restaurants. The food is good, not great, but the views of the lower Manhattan skyline are fantastic. It's pricey and your friend would need supplement your gift but with a $200 head start their share won't be that bad.

Apr 08, 2015
Bob Martinez in Outer Boroughs

Market Shoppers: Get out of the quick check out line. You have too many items...


Apr 07, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food