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mikhail's Profile

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Madison, WI--Anyone been to Pig in a Fur Coat or Forequarter?

had a couple of great meals at pig in a fur coat. both times no wait (i think we went early on both occasions) and very friendly service. enjoyed pretty much everything we had, but the sardines appetizer (home cured sardines presented in a tin can as if, you know, you're eating canned sardines) and the steak were standouts.

Nov 17, 2012
mikhail in Great Lakes

Thai in Madison

you have to look in laotian places. my current (local) favorite for it is Asian One.

Mar 31, 2012
mikhail in Great Lakes

Where Can I Buy a Scotch/Whiskey Sampler?

I bought a scotch sampler in NH a while back and then saw the same one in Wine Gallery (in Brookline). It was a bit cheaper in NH, of course, but not by that much, from what I recall.

Dec 15, 2009
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

looking for non sweet Thai food

i have the same issue with most thai food i've tried here in boston (perhaps i suffer from the same genetic defect as your mother). IMO, the best solution is to check out cambodian restaurants (e.g., Floating Rock in revere). you can find many similar flavors and even dishes and, owing to a large khmer community, much fewer shortcuts taken in the preparation of the food.

Jun 13, 2009
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

My Restaurant Review - Shiki near Coolidge Corner

i might be biased since i love the food and like the staff at shiki, but here're my $0.02:

i've often had slow service there (i think they're perpetually understaffed - it's basically a family business), but i've never had rude service. and telling a customer that they should order more food is not necessarily rude. here we have a case of a restaurant that serves small dishes and customers who seem to not know what portion size to expect. nothing wrong with not knowing, but that's exactly when advice from a waitress can be seen as helpful rather than rude.

of course, a lot depends on the exact wording and demeanor. but, eek331, in the end you have to admit that the waitress WAS right: even you thought you didn't get enough food.

Apr 12, 2009
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Kotobukiya closing?

reliable is, indeed, very good. but they don't have a number of japanese products that kotobukiya has and the ones they do have are, sometimes, stale due to lower demand/turnover.

Apr 08, 2009
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Kotobukiya closing?

if you start the campaign, i will join. kotobukiya is, in fact, the only good japanese market anywhere in the greater boston area. heck, i don't think there's another japanese market, good or otherwise, left in boston at all.

Apr 07, 2009
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Late night cafe?

there's a JP Licks near coolidge corner, but it too closes at midnight (actually i forget if that's their summer hours, which would mean they close at 11pm now).

there's an internet cafe on harvard ave. in allston (in the korean "strip mall") that's open til 1am: betweenhours.com (beware that it tends to get crowded).

Feb 23, 2009
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Deep Ellum more than slightly annoying.

fyi: a 750ml bottle of Cantillon Fou' Foune seems to retail for over $20, so it's actually not that much of a mark up.

Feb 09, 2009
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

O'Leary's in Brookline

a couple of things to know:

1. it closes at 1am, so last call is relatively early
2. it has live music on w/ends, just so you know what noise level to expect

Jan 29, 2009
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Jerusalem Pita & Grill, Brookline

tried them about two weeks ago. i won't focus on the general issues, of which there were several but which will, hopefully, be worked out in time. but i will say that the chicken shawarma tasted more like baked-until-dry strips of chicken than like shawarma. i think i'll try them again eventually, but so far i'm pretty disappointed. i don't really like the shawarma at rami's either (i go for the falafels), but i think their sandwiches are better overall, at least based on this single experience at jerusalem pita.

Jan 22, 2009
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

stinky tofu

jo jo taipei in allston has it. also not that stinky (very mild according to the "natives").

Nov 25, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Model in Allston

nope. but they never seem to object to patrons bringing in outside food.

Nov 17, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Looking for rhubarb

saw it today at russo's. didn't note the price.

May 06, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Anybody know of a restaurant supply store that sells to the general public?

china fair (http://www.chinafairinc.com

)

not technically a "restaurant supply store" but i'm pretty sure it has what you're looking for and at pretty decent prices. the website only lists the newton location, but they have one right by porter sq

2100 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 864-3050

Mar 12, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Should I sneak into your college's cafeteria for lunch?

in 4 years i've yet to have a good meal there! i mean - ok, as far as on-campus food goes it's certainly not the worst i've encountered. but my no-longer-college-age body barely survived the couple of years i had to eat at GSU on a regular basis. definitely not worth a trip. oh, and don't expect any sort of discount there. a number of things are actually marked up.

Mar 04, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Great Vietnamese in Allston/Brighton/Brookline?

i'd have to posit that great pho doesn't exist in that neighborhood, although i have to admit that i've given up on it some time ago and so haven't kept up with any possible changes.

here's a pretty recent thread on the topic of pho:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/446030

Feb 29, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

good place to pick up some chopped liver?

berezka

Feb 25, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Deep Ellum Slightly Annoying

this is exactly why i tend to go there for brunch/lunch instead of dinner (that plus the fact that it tends to get rather crowded for dinner). their br/lunch menu is a lot more reasonable, including a $5 burger. it's still hit or miss and a bit inconsistent - this sunday i tried the "autumnal salad" with duck confit. the duck was rather dry and the whole salad did not mesh well. and one time i swear that they were just running out of food, because our table got much smaller portions of the same food as the table served right before us. but the burger and pretzels are always good, the wings are great when the fryer's really hot (i.e., it's not a good idea to be the first to order them, but later on they come out nice and crispy), the homemade sausage usually has a very nice deep flavor, and the tomato soup i also tried on sunday was delicious.

plus there's all that beer and cocktails...

Feb 20, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Shiki Last Night

this reminds me of the first time i had yamaimo. i saw "mountain potato with egg" on a menu and thought: i love potatoes and eggs. when i got a bowl of slimy white stuff with a raw quail egg on top, i was rather taken aback. i think i tried a tiny bite and gave up. but it, like natto, is an acquired taste and now one of my favorite dishes at shiki is the tuna tartar with yamaimo. the yamaimo is cubed, not grated, in this one and the tuna chunks are larger and, in my experience, always fresh tasting. i've had tuna and natto there too and thought it was fine, although i tend not to order it much since natto is so cheap and relatively easy to buy and have at home.

i guess saying that it's supposed to be really good for your health won't make it any more appetizing for you if you hate the taste. actually, the way i started eating it was in sushi rolls (as in natto and tuna hand rolls). the rice, plus soy sauce and wasabi, tone down the taste and the presentation partially hides the sliminess. not all sushi places have that on the menu but many have natto on hand and can make it (the roll) on request.

Feb 16, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Brookline Sushi

over the past one/two years i think i've tried every sushi place in the immediate vicinity of coolidge corner* and, as a result, i've pretty much given up on eating sushi in the neighborhood. but i was especially underwhelmed by fugakyu. their fish was decidedly not fresh. but what really turned me off was their miso soup. yes, lowly miso soup, which was so greasy (why, i have no idea) i couldn't finish the little bowl of it for the first time in my life.

*ok, not every single one. i haven't been to newer ones, like gari.

Feb 09, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Tony Bourdain Would Pimp for Prada

from "A Cook's Tour" - "For two hours, I sat and drank and nibbled caviar with blini, watching the most outrageously ugly and pointless violence I'd ever witnessed.... It was nauseating. It was ugly. It was kinda cool." (pp. 82-83)

ever since i read that i've been hoping that they would show him get seriously hurt on his show. guess it didn't happen. maybe some italian will just kick him in the balls. now that would be great television.

Jan 22, 2008
mikhail in Features

Back me up: seafood dynamite?

in my experience it is more common out west, and certainly better done. (several of the LA places i used to go to had it, one had a particularly great version.) the one time i had it at ginza i thought it was much too oily. there's also a version of it at shiki, called Moto Yaki. i really enjoy shiki, but this wasn't their best dish. or maybe it just wasn't what i was expecting, i.e. not the LA style.

Jan 17, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Michael's Deli

i don't mean to be critical just for the sake of criticism, but i do want to make sure future hounds don't stumble on this post and think boston has a katz's or langer's equivalent. IMHO michael's offers a decent deli sandwich, of the thinly sliced variety. in other words, expect a pre-sliced and measured pouch of meat being warmed, not a warm hunk of brisket being hand-carved. i don't particularly like their pastrami, but the corned beef Rachel is a good sandwich if you just take it for what it is. it's miles above zaftig's (which serves the most oily - not fatty, just oily - pastrami i've ever had) but it doesn't come close to giving you the pleasure of biting into a thick flavorful piece of pastrami or corned beef found in NYC or LA. on the positive side: their red potato salad is plain but good. other gripes (besides the ridiculous hours): for a while they kept trying to toast the bread, often burning it badly, but lately they seem to have given up on toasting entirely, at least on the Rachel.

Jan 13, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

One more "Thumbs Up" for Shiki

they're open for lunch as well, although i'm not sure about exact hours and whether it's weekdays only. i do know they're closed on tuesdays.

Jan 01, 2008
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Best Pho in Boston/Cambridge/Brookline

i didn't mean the "no atmosphere" comment to sound negative - to me that's actually a sign of quality. my favorite place in northern CA is just like that. it just means they're serious about their pho.

thanks for the bun info - i haven't tried it there yet. and i guess i really need to head to chinatown. i just kind of gave up on all pasteurs after my allston experience.

Oct 02, 2007
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Best Pho in Boston/Cambridge/Brookline

i'll throw in my $0.02: Pho Yuen Dong in Quincy (in the Kam Man stripmall). it's the first actually good (i.e., better than just decent) bowl of pho i've had around here. it's a real pho cafeteria type of place - big space, lots of cheap-looking tables, no atmosphere, quick service. the broth is flavorful yet light, the meat is tasty, and they have the right greens. not exceptional but hits the spot. (and i know it's a bit far, but somebody already suggested a dorchester place.)

caveat: i haven't tried any of the chinatown places, so i don't know how it stacks up.

other thoughts: pho pasteur (now lee's, i guess) in allston is just too damn oily, with no depth of flavor. pho & i (mentioned in the older post) has decent pho, imho, but not quite good - fine if you're in the area, but not enough to travel.

Oct 02, 2007
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Taqueria Mexico, Coolidge Corner

not only that, but they serve it (breakfast) all day long!

Sep 25, 2007
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

Taqueria Mexico, Coolidge Corner

This place opened on Beacon relatively recently, I believe (there're a number of posts about the Waltham location). I feel I've lost my ability to rate Mexican food on an absolute scale, but on a relative Boston scale it seems quite good. It appears to use all the right ingredients (unlike, say, El Pelon), none of that horribly greasy taste you get in local "mexican" chains, and I enjoyed two meals from there in two days with no regrets. At any rate, I'll stick to the details, and others can evaluate the quality for themselves.

Meal 1: steak, chicken, and tongue tacos, steak torta. beef seemed a bit over-salted/seasoned, but pretty tender. as if to compensate, chicken had almost no flavoring at all (no signs even of being grilled), so it was the weakest of the dishes. tongue was very simple and delicious in its simplicity - just boiled tongue, mmmm... the torta came on long (as opposed to round) bread (which surprised me a little, but perhaps that's as common), but the bread was in fact good. the goopy mess that was inside the bread was tasty, the overseasoned meat aside.

Meal 2: chilaquiles, huevoes rancheros with refried beans and potatoes, beef and potato tostada. chilaquiles had a very nice green salsa and a bit too much cheese for my taste (but that might be just me). they also came with somehow extra-tasty fried onions and peppers and good rice (i know that should be a given, but it really isn't sometimes). rancheros made for a fantastic breakfast-style meal - eggs fried exactly right, decent beans, great home-style fried potatoes. mix it all up and get to work. the tostada was fine - same potatoes, strongly seasoned ground meat.

Overall, definitely deserving of repeat business, IMHO.

Sep 25, 2007
mikhail in Greater Boston Area

No search results found: matzoh brei

i'll tell you now - it's very very dry. when i ate it i literally had to go home and make my own the very next day, just to get the taste out of my mouth.

Jun 01, 2007
mikhail in Greater Boston Area