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Pickled Herring

It's a bit late to reply to this one, but I think you mean pickled herring without cream.

I too get the plain pickled herring w/o cream and to the jar add more bay leaf and onions. When I actually eat it, I add to my plate non-fat plain yogurt (usually Stonyfield), in the probably naive attempt to make the dish less caloric.

Rather than Nathan's I usually buy the pickled herring at Costco that is both cheaper and better, imho.

On the other hand, there is no question that the Russian delis mentioned have a much greater variety.

Pickled Herring

That is a tough one, but maatjes herring is, I believe, onion free.

September 2015 Openings and Closings

Actually the URL leads to a useless website that offers no menu, suggesting that, if open, Moldova is still not fully up and running.

What does appear are alluring pictures of six typical Moldovian dishes with the notice:

"This is not an actual Menu. All images are portaid [sic] solely for presentation purposes."

That food looks good, but it is not clear that any of it is actually served in this restaurant. I would dearly like to get a dish of mamaliga, something that my grandmother made in the last century, but it is uncertain when, if ever, it will be served.

One major plus about their website in progress. Ut does not bombard the viewer with irrelevant music and flashing videos. However s simple sample menu would be useful.

It would seem that Moldova is still a legitimate candidate for a September opening. So no one wasted a post.

Any Restos/Food Shops near Blackwell Hotel 2110 Tuttle Park Pl Columbus?

I have been surfing the Columbus resto recs, but since I don't know the city the neighborhoods and streets listed mean nothing to me.

As a matter of principle I avoid hotel restos since they cater to a captive audience. Would anyone suggest that Blackwell's is the exception?

I will be in the city for about a week in June for work. No car, but I am happy to walk and take buses. The hotel claims to offer a free car service (subject to availability) for destinations within 3 miles or so, such as Grandview Heights, the Short North, the other side of campus or the OSU Wexner Medical Center, but I have no idea what if anything that will yield. Are any of the favorites that I have seen listed in those areas?

During the day my work will keep me near the hotel so the more distant (and probably better ??) options must be reserved for dinner. Breakfast and lunch will have to be in the football stadium/hotel area. I probably will also try to do some shopping for bread and fruit so I can have some light fare during the day. Generally I am not a breakfast person. As for lunch I am often happy with the left-overs of a good meal from the night before.

1) Food shopping: any decent supermarkets or specialty stores nearby or within a half/hour walk or the 3 mile car service radius? Is there any good artisanal whole grain bakery or pastry in town?

I like crusty substantial flavorful bread, as far from wonderbread as possible.

2) As for food preferences, no chains, no pizza, no burgers, no sushi, no Mexican, no wings. Unless the Indian/Chinese/Asian food is exceptional, probably no to that too. It is not that I dislike those options, but it is that I prefer to find something that is distinct to Columbus. I travel a fair bit, but I am based in Boston so fish in the land-locked part of Ohio makes little sense.

I do like bbq. Is Ray Ray's Hog Pit, 2619 North High Street, any good? It seems to be a food truck. Is the bread and food at Whole World Natural Bakery and Restaurant, 3269 N High St, any good? The menu seems blaah. While I like vegetarian, I dislike vegetarian pseudo-meat and they seem to have a lot of that.

Most of the other North High St. places listed on Google Map seem like chains.

Italian food is good, but Italian restos are a waste of money, overpriced pasta.

How far away is the North Market? Are its shops and restos likely to be open at night?

I know that Starliner is local, but it seems inconvenient w/o a car and Cincinnati chili does not thrill me.

About a decade ago the following got mentioned: "L'Antibes for great French food, Alana's on campus for creative fusion, the Refectory on Bethel ( has great French food and a bargain weekly bistro menu that has 3 courses for a really cheap price, like $25"

I probably would not fly to Columbus to eat French, but I would prefer that to pizza. Is Alana's still in business?

MARBLE GANG got mentioned a decade ago for soul food, but by then it was already out of business. Is there any other soul food left?

What are "low-country type fancied-up dishes" for which a decade ago Braddock's got a recommendation?

Anything new and local worth considering? Other than Cinci chilli is there anything distinctive to Columbus and Ohio in general worth trying?

Apr 09, 2015
VivreManger in Great Lakes

Berlin food store like G. Detou

I should add that I will be staying in Mitte so something in that area would be ideal.

Mar 24, 2015
VivreManger in Europe

Berlin food store like G. Detou

Is there a store in Berlin like the Paris institution G. Detou, a small store that offers gourmet products -- mostly canned, bottled, packaged, cryovaced -- at semi-wholesale prices? I usually go there for their Nestle, Belgium-produced thick liquid concentrates of beef, veal, and fowl, etc. that are like industrial strength demi-glace. I suspect the same product is available in Berlin, but the question is where.

In the absence of a store exactly like the Paris shop, where might I find a shop in Berlin that would have a variety of high quality gourmet products -- please note I am not talking about ready to eat.

Several years ago I did identify on-line several German produced demi-glace type concentrates, but their names now allude me. However the Nestle food service product is the likeliest to be available now.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Mar 24, 2015
VivreManger in Europe

Quick Lunch near Humboldt University, Unter den Linden

From someone who works at Humboldt University, there is a dearth of good places in that neighborhood, but that the Cafe in the Deutschen Historischen Museum is the best spot for lunch.

It is a very pleasant site and does its German-Austrian menu well.

Mar 20, 2015
VivreManger in Europe

Quick Lunch near Humboldt University, Unter den Linden

Thanks again.

My own preference would be to go to a echt Berlin resto, that does this food well, but I am meeting someone who does not necessarily share my tastes so I have to consider options.

Yes I love pastrami, but I generally enjoy that in NY and Montreal. I am looking for food that is not as readily available in the US, particularly the northeast.

Mar 20, 2015
VivreManger in Europe

Quick Lunch near Humboldt University, Unter den Linden

Just looked over some trip advisor reviews on Melia Tapas.
Some were highly critical; recurring nasty comments about the garlic chicken set and the cold potato bravas set off alarms.

Hamburgers and pizza are not appealing.

As for the Maredo steakhouse chain, is their beef really from Argentina, or simply butchered according to Argentine cuts.

I spotted several locations, but was not sure which is close to Humboldt University since I don't know Berlin.

Mar 19, 2015
VivreManger in Europe

Quick Lunch near Humboldt University, Unter den Linden

A tapas bar sounds the best, though I probably would prefer something more locally distinctive. At least it is not a chain. Pizza I am ruling out, though I would consider a good Turkish place, but a search on Google Map yielded no such option.

A tapas bar is likely to be quick and interesting.

Many thanks.


Mar 19, 2015
VivreManger in Europe

New Feature: Email Notifications

How can I activate notifications on my account? I can't find the option in my profile. For that matter I can't find my profile.

Mar 19, 2015
VivreManger in Site Talk

Visiting Berlin Oct. 15th-recommendations please?

How noisy or quiet is Herz & Niere likely to be for dinner? Some posts seem to suggest that Jolesch and Wirtshaus zum Mitterhofer are two different places, while others refer to it as
Jolesch Mitterhofer. I assume they are two different restuarants/

Mar 19, 2015
VivreManger in Europe

Quick Lunch near Humboldt University, Unter den Linden

Any recommendations for places to lunch near Humboldt University. Unfortunately I have only about 90 minutes between appointments.

I have identified many places in that area, but nothing immediately jumps out.

Mar 19, 2015
VivreManger in Europe

Berlin Resto on the Quieter Side

I am planning a evening meal with three colleagues to discuss academic research during a conference in Berlin next week. I have identified the following as possible choices:

Jolesch, Wirtshaus zum Mitterhofer, Felix Austria, Herz & Niere, Weinbar Rutz (winebar as opposed to restaurant).

I suspect that the winebar at Weinbar Rutz would be the nosiest. Where would the others be on the spectrum from funeral to rock concert?

Herz & Niere looks like the most interesting, but would it be quiet enough for four middle aged academics to hear each other speak?

Mar 18, 2015
VivreManger in Europe

Gohyang Korean Hadley, Closed?

Has this place on 111 Russell St., Hadley closed? A friend told me it had gone out of business and the phone number is out of service?

ISO Lamb Sausage

Fomaggio on Huron Ave. does sometimes offer merguez. A few years ago they offered to make it to order, but I never tried it. The price then was about $10 a pound. Certainly worth a call to see if they still can do it.

If they will special order it for you, you definitely can get them to up the oomph.

One reason I never bothered to order them was that I found this superb recipe in the NYTimes that produced some of the best merguez I have ever tasted.

I offer it, even if you never want to bother making it yourself, so that you can identify the key ingredients that you seek in a store-made product. Obviously supplementing cayenne pepper with red pepper flakes would increase the bite of the sausage. The other addition I would make to the recipe is to be sure to have a good fat content in the basic ground lamb mixture. If you can I would suggest trying to get lamb shoulder, in addition to or in place of the more readily available leg of lamb. The fat content of shoulder can be higher than that of the leg:

March 25, 2009


Homemade Merguez

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 pound ground lamb

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped; more for serving
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Olive oil, for cooking

Harissa, for serving (optional).

1. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast cumin, coriander and fennel seeds until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer warm spices to a spice grinder and grind well, or use a mortar and pestle and pound seeds.

2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Form lamb mixture into desired shape (1-inch-thick by 5-inch-long cigars make nice merguez, but fatter cylinders or patties will also work). Chill for up to 5 days, freeze for up to 3 months, or use immediately.

3. Brush sausages with oil and grill or broil them until browned and cooked through. Or fry them in a little oil until well browned all over. Serve with more cilantro and harissa on the side, if desired.

Yield: About 1 pound of sausages.

Gohyang Korean Restaurant Closed?

Has this place on 111 Russell St., Hadley closed? A friend told me it had gone out of business and the phone number is out of service?

ISO saurkraut for choucroute garni

Got the cabbage from FK. Choose the larger size can with wine added to the cabbage, Good stuff. It made the dish much better.

Unfortunately North Shore Karl's Sausage is too distant to be practical, but I should add it to a future shopping trip.

By the way Spitzkraut's comparison of the two was not clear. Are you saying that FK's brand is better than Hengstenberg?


ISO saurkraut for choucroute garni

I want to add some already prepared saurkraut to a dish a choucroute garni I have made. The cabbage sausage ratio is too sausage heavy. Any suggestions as to who might have a jar or can of already cooked cabbage? I don't want sweet vinegary cabbage, but aromatic preparation to supplement what I already have.

West on Centre, a warning

Three decades ago we used to live in West Roxbury. It used to have some of the worst restos in Boston. Recently, according to the posts I see from time to time, some oases of decent dining have appeared, but I am not surprised that an underlying foundation of bad restaurants has not completely disappeared. I am not surprised by what I read here. There still is an undiscerning local clientele in WR that is not interested in pushing for better food.

ISO Quiet place for a winter drink, Harvard-Porter-Davis Squares

Though the list of recommendations was inspiring, offering many good options that I want to pursue in the future, we wound up at Nubar after all. We were happy with the choice. As it happens the day was dry and relatively warm so a mulled drink was not as high on the agenda. Their list of draft beers while not extensive was well-chosen. We had an IPA from the North Shore which I had not drunk before, Newburyport Greenhead IPA. It is quite good. The vibe was comfortable, the noise level was reasonable to low, and it was not packed, but still well-peopled. Service was exemplary. Truth be told, I did not notice a fire-place, but I forgot to look.

The reason for choosing Nubar was the location. I had to drive there and its area of Cambridge has less traffic and more on-street parking than the belly of Harvard Square at 5:15 PM. That knocks Grendel's Den, Henrietta's Table, the Red House off the list, but when I don't have to bring a car the others sound appealing.

Thanks to all for the suggestions.

Source for Premium Dried Fruit

It is difficult to find dried fruit in bulk. Since it can get sticky and is difficult to handle merchants prefer to package it for sale.

Generally I find that Trader Joe's has the best selection, quality, and price.

However at a higher price Whole Wallet aka Hole in My Pocket also stocks raisins, prunes, but not the white peaches and other more unusual varieties to be found at TJ.

ISO Fresh, White Carrots?

Russo's often has them.

ISO Quiet place for a winter drink, Harvard-Porter-Davis Squares

To meet a friend for a quiet chat I seek a bar in the Cambridge-Somerville, tri-square area, that offers, ideally, mellow quiet, good wines and draught beers, as well as mulled cider and wine.

Not every element on the list is necessary, but quiet is.

The bar at the Sheraton Commander is a good place for a chat, but I don't remember the choice of beverages as particularly noteworthy. Almost nobody does mulled cider and wine these days so I am not optimistic about that detail, but seek and ye shall find.

I do not need fancy cocktails, a hard-surfaced room packed with noisy drinkers, or the latest scene, just someplace quiet to have a drink on a cold winter afternoon.

Market Basket

Do you know if Somerville MB will be open on Monday, Labor Day? I am eager to get your report on the supplies in that store over this weekend.

Best Stuffies Between Barrington and Newport

Going to a high school reunion in Middletown, RI, but planning on a bit of traveling in the neighborhood to score some Del's Frozen Lemonade and stuffies.

Any one have any recommendations on the best place to find some of these clam, onion, celery, linguica (if Portuguese), and bread stuffed quahogs?

A friend and I are planning a stuffie crawl so all recommendations welcome.


H Mart Open in Central Square!

For those who might not know the precise location of the H-Mart, it is 581 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA.

I presume that the store has no parking lot. Parking in Central Square is a hassle.

Caravan King's Cross versus Grain Store, which less noisy?

For a late afternoon dinner, around 5:30 on a Saturday, meeting with two old friends, I am now choosing between Grain Store and Caravan's King Cross. Both seem intriguing, but based on the menus I would prefer the Caravan to the Grain. The choices seem greater.

However the determining factor is, which would be quieter at that hour?

Feb 23, 2014
VivreManger in U.K./Ireland

Avoiding Noisy Over-Priced Lout-Ridden London Restos

In my other recent post on Bloomsbury St. Pancras restos,

I had raised and considered the possibility of trying Shrimpy's. But a careful viewing of the website confirmed by postings from zuriga1 and mjgauer has removed that from my list. At the moment I am replacing it with The Grain Store for a very early (5ish) Saturday dinner. I hope that at that hour it won't be too noisy.

Just now I read a - perhaps too much nostalgie de la boue, Peregrine Worsthorne-like- - article in the Guardian that identified the problem,

It appeared in the Friday, 21 Feb, edition, written by Ian Jack. He contrasted the understated quiet dignity of a good reasonably priced meal in Antwerp with the decadent dining dominating London.

I wonder if any of you share his sentiments.

Feb 22, 2014
VivreManger in U.K./Ireland

Bloomsbury St. Pancras Resto Recs?

Thanks for the other ideas. Grain Store had been on my radar screen. I will check it out.

Any version of Tayyab is worth trying, especially if it is convenient and does not have the never-ending queue.

Any comments on the other ideas, Shrimpy's and Newman St. Tavern. Jay Rayner raved about the lamb at Newman St. Is Shrimpy's more of a scene for drinking and being seen, rather than a place to eat?

Feb 17, 2014
VivreManger in U.K./Ireland