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Helen F's Profile

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Lunch near 149/Concourse?

I'm curious to hear what you think. I rarely eat store-bought lunch anymore, instead bringing lunch from home almost every day for the past few years. I have no doubt that the hero got extra points from me simply by virtue of not being my daily salad. But I did think it was a fine example.

Feb 23, 2014
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Lunch near 149/Concourse?

We get their pizza in the office fairly often. It's fine-- I wouldn't say it's horrible. But I had an eggplant parm hero there a while back that was absolutely perfect. All one would want in an eggplant parm.

Feb 15, 2014
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Dec. 2008 - Jan. 2009 Cookbook of the Month: The Zuni Cafe Cookbook [Jan. 2007 COTM Revisited]

I just read about it, and my first thought was to make that inspired chicken recipe.

Dec 04, 2013
Helen F in Home Cooking

Has anyone tried Bolognese in a pressure cooker?

ps To explain my multi-posts in the last few minutes regarding that site's URL: I am enamored of my new pressure cooker and got hooked on that site. (I've been hooked on this one for many years.) And they had to switch to a new URL. And I haven't felt very productive at work today, so detours like this are especially appealing.

Oct 11, 2012
Helen F in Home Cooking

Has anyone tried Bolognese in a pressure cooker?

That site has a new URL: http://www.hip-cooking.com/

Oct 11, 2012
Helen F in Home Cooking

What do you make in your pressure cooker?

I'm nerdily going through the CH posts to supply the corrected URL to the "Hip" site: http://www.hip-cooking.com/

Oct 11, 2012
Helen F in Home Cooking

pressure cooker beans vs. stovetop cooked beans

The Hip Pressure Cooking's new URL, as of today: http://www.hip-cooking.com/

Oct 11, 2012
Helen F in Home Cooking

Lobster shack around Fairhaven/New Bedford?

Ok, so LePage's it was, and it turned out to be exactly what we needed -- as described, a nice, simple place, that knows what to do with a lobster, or, more to the point, what not to do. Here's a better version of their link, the one above didn't work for me: http://www.lepagesseafood.com/

They had a number of lobster specials on Saturday. We both opted for the 1.5 lb lobster w/ 2 sides, for $20. The sides were fine, I especially enjoyed the barely sautéed mix of zucchini & yellow squash -- I hate overcooked veg, this was fresh, almost raw & still tasted like a vegetable. Very nice, and rare to find in a restaurant. The slaw was a bit on the sweet side, but otherwise fine. The lobsters were fresh, sweet, and meaty. We had a grand time dismembering & devouring them. The staff was super-nice, and the view from the shaded patio very pleasant.

Thanks again for coming to our rescue with your suggestions.

Edit: also, a couple of minutes E on Rt 6, we enjoyed Lickety Splits for our once-in-a-summer splurge of hot fudge over soft-serve. Hard for us to believe we managed it after that lobster lunch/dinner, but we did! Very nice example of the genre. Thanks to the server at LePage's who recommended it.

Sep 03, 2012
Helen F in Southern New England

Lobster shack around Fairhaven/New Bedford?

Thanks to both for your suggestions. We're about to hit the road so your timing is perfect. I'll look those places up right now.

Sep 01, 2012
Helen F in Southern New England

Lobster shack around Fairhaven/New Bedford?

Thanks, did see Evelyn's mentioned, but we can't eat another fried thing. Really need that boiled lobster dinner, preferably in simple surroundings. Is this attainable?

Aug 31, 2012
Helen F in Southern New England

Lobster shack around Fairhaven/New Bedford?

Thanks. Funny name for a lobster place.

We're leaving tomorrow, we're now focussing our lobster search on the area between Fairhaven and providence. Suggestions still most welcome.

Aug 31, 2012
Helen F in Southern New England

Lobster shack around Fairhaven/New Bedford?

My online searching isn't helping me, so I figured I'd ask the chowhounds. I think I've about exhausted the various posts covering the area, so I hope you folks can help a visitor out.

Coming to the area towards the end of the week, looking for the kind of place where you order from a counter and pick up up your order when they call your number. You know, the basic lobster shack. Don't mind a drive (maybe half an hour?), but the closer the better.

I think I've got it covered for my fried clams fix, for ice cream (so many intriguing options!) and for a sit-down meal, but this lobster thing has me stymied. Any ideas?

Aug 28, 2012
Helen F in Southern New England

Queens - White tablecloth Italian for 60th Birthday Lunch/Dinner

Well, Parkside is always an option if it's the more formal type of place you're looking for. Certainly a lot of opinions on this board for you to judge by. I haven't eaten there in a while, but I thought the food was very good, if the service a bit starchy for my taste. But that might be what your mother has in mind.

We had a 90th bday party for my mom recently at Manetta's in LIC, and everything about it was excellent. Several of my food-snob relatives were blown away by it. But IMO it doesn't have the more formal atmosphere that it sounds like your mom and her friends would prefer. We had the whole restaurant, so everyone looked mighty spiffy, but in my observation as a neighborhood place on a normal night, it comfortably accommodates both dressier and more casually dressed diners.

When we were vetting places for the party we tried L'Incontro. I really didn't love it, though I was hoping to after the raves I'd heard. My recollection, admittedly hazy a couple of months after the fact, was that a lot of the dishes were "fancied-up" with one cheese or another. That never impresses me. The meal we had was not memorable. But I recognize that it has a lot of fans, so ymmv. It's certainly got a nice atmosphere.

Jul 14, 2012
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Jackson Heights Greenmarket

Things are slowly picking up, as the vendors who trudged here thru the winter are joined by others. Yes to the grass-fed beef, there's also the Di Paola turkey, the fish guys from L.I., the Hoosick poultry people. The mushroom guy has been out all winter, also featuring some great root vegetables. We are also seeing the rugelach guy, the Red Jacket apple people, the cheese people, and wine people (as in the fall, sometimes it's Anthony Rd from the Finger Lakes, sometimes the one from LI). The guys from Philips Farms in NJ have recently returned, with apples, produce, and pussy willows, among other things. There's also a bread bakery stand (a new one) that is great, and a guy from the Hudson Valley with beautiful, organic, baby greens. Oh, I think the honey people are usually there as well. So things are nowhere near what they are when the market is in full stride, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.

Oh, you also asked about pricing -- I'd say most everything's on the expensive side, at least for JH. (For example, the baby greens IIRC are going for $5 for .25 lb.) For the vendors, I'm sure the pricing is fair, given what it takes to produce the stuff and get it down here.

Mar 05, 2011
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Monkfish

I paid $10/lb yesterday at the greenmarket in Jackson Heights. Still looking for an easy recipe for tonight. C'mon out to Queens, y'all!

Dec 06, 2010
Helen F in Home Cooking

Bayou in Staten Island?

Well, to answer my own question, I'd say it's entirely miss-able. The space is charming, we were comfortable, and the staff very competent and very nice, but the menu is a train wreck. Like, what does stuffing a pork chop with brie have to do with Louisiana? A lot of weird-concept items like that on the menu. All our food was at least adequate, nothing inedible, but not where I'd go for authentic cuisine. One outstanding special had nothing to do w/ NO, but was perfectly executed: a seared tuna w/ sesame seed crust.

Apr 22, 2010
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Banh Mi other than Manhattan

Do tell!

Apr 19, 2010
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Bayou in Staten Island?

Wondering if any of the regulars here have tried this place lately. I see a few posts from a few years ago that mention it, but no actual c'hound reviews that I can find. Anybody been there?

Apr 17, 2010
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Spicy & Tasty -- disappointing dinner

I saw from relatively recent posts that a lot of people are still happy with S&T, but there are also enough negative comments to make me think that our experience tonight was not an anomaly, but rather a confirmation of a downhill trend.

We've been eating at S&T a long time, going back to the days when it was on Roosevelt, but hadn't been there in more than a year. Instead we've mostly been going to the Szechuan Gourmets in Flushing & Manhattan.

We got there tonight at 9 and had no trouble getting a table -- we were a bit surprised, rarely having gotten in there without something of a wait, but we figured maybe it was due to the freezing weather. The place never really filled up, kind of surprising on a Saturday night. In my experience, popular places in Flushing are packed until quite late in the evening.

We ordered a number of dishes we've had twice or more in the past, and were roundly underwhelmed. The Dan Dan noodles were completely devoid of heat; their sauce was kind of murky and brown, very salty. The dried bean curd w/ celery had a mild ma la tingle, nothing like that dish has been in the past. The double-cooked pork had very little heat, the pork was pretty tough (I know, I know, it's been cooked twice, what do I expect?) and the leeks the best thing about the dish. The sauteed pea shoots were just ok, but I'll chalk that up to the season, not the cook.

It wasn't terrible food, but not up to their past standard, which was at times transcendant. Sad to say, but with so many excellent alternatives, I don't think we'll go back anytime soon.

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Spicy & Tasty
39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354

Jan 30, 2010
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Looking for killer pancake mix recipe

They were in a kitchen cabinet, no direct light, not close to heat. I wrote to the company and they kindly sent me a replacement. It's possible that I had bought a box that had been on the supermarket shelf a long time.

Dec 20, 2009
Helen F in Home Cooking

Looking for killer pancake mix recipe

I've gotten great results using the Saco product with Alton Brown's recipe, so I can second your suggestion. My only question is whether this would be ok when preparing a large of batch of the pancake mix -- can the dried buttermilk just keep indefinitely?

I've only done it where I scooped out that day's worth of Alton's mix from the large batch I'd made previously, and then sifted in the buttermilk. But I've had packets of Saco's that hardened (and were unusable) before I got to open them, which makes me think it might not be a great idea to mix it up into the master recipe for the pancake mix. But admittedly I haven't actually tried it.

Dec 20, 2009
Helen F in Home Cooking

Freezing a Yogurt-Based Curry?

Wondering if anyone out there has tried freezing leftovers of a yogurt-based curry, such as the Mughlai chicken curry from Madhur Jaffrey that's described in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/656224 . I made Nigella's version, from the Food Network site, which sounds remarkably similar. I used whole-milk yogurt, also it's got a bit (ok, half a cup) of heavy cream.

It came out great, but since our intended dinner guests canceled on us, I've got a load of leftovers, and my chances of serving it for dinner again this week look pretty slim.

I'm a bit leery of freezing b/c (1) I'm afraid the spices, already pretty subtle, will recede from the freezing, and (2) I'm afraid the yogurt in the defrosted sauce will clump up, or otherwise act weird and refuse to stay integrated.

TIA for any advice you can render.

Helen

Dec 20, 2009
Helen F in Home Cooking

Fiesta Mexicana - JH's

Just in case anyone missed it in another post, this place unfortunately was closed by the board of health last month.

Mar 05, 2008
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Are there real french Bretagne crepes in Queens? Help us Cannelle in JH!

Have you tried Cafe Henri in LIC (near Vernon-Jackson)? They have both savory and sweet crepes on the menu, and they're pretty good. Not in JH, but a quick trip.

Feb 25, 2008
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Oscar menu: "oil"-filled bundt cake?

I'm thinking whiskey instead of liqueur, for greater movie-authenticity. Not sure it would taste as good, though.

Feb 21, 2008
Helen F in Home Cooking

Real Azteca (Bx) Expanding

Well, I said I'd write when they had the new wing open, so I'm reporting. It's open. Not completely finished, but they're serving in there, so one isn't relegated to takeout or a stool at the counter. I'll write again if I get the chance to eat in there.

Nov 13, 2007
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Creating an Outer Boroughs Sticky - Your Feedback

Some other perennials:
7 train
Shea
U.S. Open
Yankee Stadium

Nov 13, 2007
Helen F in Site Talk

New Jackson Heights/Elmhurst Thai

Well, now we know how it's doing, one year in. Shame you had such an unpleasant experience.

Nov 05, 2007
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Jackson Heights Food Carts and Hours?

Sietsma recently did a Roosevelt Ave. taco truck survey from Corona into the eastern part of JH. http://tinyurl.com/2rtso3 He reports a sighting of those two taco trucks (right outside the station), but didn't manage to try them for the article.

I did actually try one, the one closer to 75th St in fact, one weeknight around midnight a couple of weeks ago. This one had much more of a line, and felt livelier, compared to the one closer to the door of the station. I had one of carnitas and one of chicken, and I would have to say I was underwhelmed. The carnitas one was fine, but not that flavorful. The chicken one was forgettable - the meat was pretty bland and a bit dry (though I do think it was cooked to order). The white meat syndrome, I guess. I'll try another filling next time.

Oct 10, 2007
Helen F in Outer Boroughs

Need rec for good Persian near Jackson Heights

(Sorry to be topping an old thread, but wanted to clarify, plus see if maybe someone else would remember this place.)

That's the end of Main St. I was talking about. There was absolutely a Persian restaurant there, well-reviewed in Newsday IIRC. I think I ate there in the early-to-mid 90's. It was the first time I'd tried that cuisine. (Does that jog anyone's memory?)

Sep 29, 2007
Helen F in Outer Boroughs