Miss Needle's Profile

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Moving to 129th and Lenox-and I'm vegetarian...

Cecil has a good amount of vegetarian options. The okra fries are not to be missed.

Dec 15, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Soup dumplings in Brooklyn?

Some of the dim sum places offer soup dumplings during dim sum hours. I believe Pacificana had some. Unfortunately they weren't that great from my recollection.

A good XLB would be awesome in Brooklyn. Somebody needs to open up a place that just specializes in all sorts of different types of soup dumplings. I'd be there in a heartbeat.

Dec 01, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay Notes

Not sure if they are related but Brick Oven Bread's khachapuri is very good. I preferred this version to Taste of Georgia.

Their oreshki (Russian shortbread-like cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche and walnut) are also really delicious.

Nov 30, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

What are the cuisines that you know little about but want to try?

Cambodian. It sounds like something I would love. My experience is very limited. I had it a couple of times in NYC and was pretty underwhelmed.

Will be heading to Philly later today and excited to check out a Cambodian restaurant. Hopeful that my experience will be better than what I have had back home.

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

If you read his posts you'll know he was being tongue-in-cheek.

Eating our faces off, any suggestions?

Though not traditional, I find their mushroom lumpia much tastier than their pork. Be sure not to miss this version.

Nov 20, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Dumpling Galaxy - Dumplings and more

I actually liked the curry dumplings. Reminded me of a jamaican beef patty in dumpling form.

For me my favorite was the pork with bitter melon. Such a good combo!

Nov 17, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

There are certain cuisines I prefer over others. Some cuisines that don't jump out at me include Tibetan, Filipino, Russian, Colombian. But I usually can find at least a few things to eat from a cuisine that I'm not that crazy about. And sometimes I encounter really good versions of certain items at a particular restaurant.

Beach Chick, I can understand why some people may be turned off by Korean food -- very pungent, spicy and sour. I like Korean food but there are some dishes in that cuisine that just don't do it for me like kimchi casserole and soon dae, the Korean version of blood sausage -- actually I have not met a blood sausage I like. Some Korean foods that I find friendly to the Western palate: bulgogi or kalbi (BBQ beef), jap chae (vermicelli noodles sauteed with veggies and meats and seafood), seafood pajun (seafood and scallion savory pancake), mandoo (meat-filled dumplings), korean fried chicken.

btw, I've noticed some people in this thread talking about how they don't like sushi. Sushi is a type of food, not a cuisine. There is a lot more to Japanese food than sushi. It's like saying you don't like Italian food because you can't stand pasta.

Kao Soy--new Thai in Red Hook

"Khao soi was the best I've had in NYC, which is faint praise because nobody seems to have tried very hard to make a good version of this..."

Have you tried the version at Uncle Boon's? It is a lot more expensive than Kao Soy but I enjoyed it very much. Haven't been to Kao Soy but looking forward to trying it at some point. Thanks for the review.

Nov 13, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #5 – 11/12/14 (spoilers)

I agree with your husband. If Gregory did win the whole thing they would have probably edited it very differently, downplaying him. Instead they keep building him up.

Nov 13, 2014
Miss Needle in Food Media & News

Changes coming for Serious Eats

I'm pretty sure that all of these editors, writers, reviewers for food magazines/blogs visit Chowhound for research/story ideas. So I think my views will be heard by somebody from SE. Whether or not they will take it into consideration is something else. I'm so old school, not participating in facebook, instagram, twitter, etc (their primary methods of communication). So perhaps my view would not be considered pertinent as I may not be their target audience.

Nov 10, 2014
Miss Needle in Food Media & News

Changes coming for Serious Eats

Well, they need to write these new york pieces in a way as to attract all of the readers. At one point their ny articles were about nyc restaurants and stores. Now they're a lot more generic in nature -- the Fung Tu recipe for noodles, the trials and tribulations of opening a BBQ restaurant. Even the articles that seem NYC centric aren't -- they're made to appeal to everybody as they explain what chaat and tarte tatin are.

I understand why they're doing this. As a NYer, the site isn't as relevant to me now as it used to be -- which is probably a good thing. Gives me a chance to catch up on other stuff!

P.S. If SE is reading this, it would be great if Robyn can write a few guest articles from Taiwan.

Nov 10, 2014
Miss Needle in Food Media & News

Changes coming for Serious Eats

Yes, I'm aware of those restaurant reviews. I just don't consider an article talking about one dish at a restaurant a review. It's actually more of a cooking article (Fung Tu).

I only used to read newyork.seriouseats.com. You used to get several posts a day. Now their posts are sporadic at best.

That's probably why I noticed an increase in recipes -- cuz I really never read seriouseats.com until now.

Nov 10, 2014
Miss Needle in Food Media & News

Changes coming for Serious Eats

I do miss the restaurant reviews (NYC) SE used to have. Now it does seem that the site is geared towards home cooks.

I noticed a shift in the site after Robyn Lee left. Loved her quirkiness and enthusiasm. I miss her.

Nov 10, 2014
Miss Needle in Food Media & News

Parents of Adult Children: When should kids start picking up the check?

Agree. I'm not a parent but a middle-aged woman with one living parent. My dad refuses to have me pay the check. I make more money than him (he's retired) but it doesn't matter. Think it's a pride thing for him -- that, and he'll always think of me as his little daughter, as evidenced by him always telling me what to do!

With my in-laws, my husband and I always picked up the check unless it was something inexpensive like dim sum where my father-in-law insisted on picking it up.

With my sister (who is middle-aged as well), I usually end up picking up the check because I am more capable of doing so at this time. When I was a poor grad student and she was working full-time, she ended up paying for more meals.

Different families, different rules, different circumstances.

Ridiculously Downhill Alert: Damascus Bakery

Ah, but you haven't had their kanefeh in 20 years or so. So if the sesame cookies had changed, there's a chance that the kanefeh has as well.

I don't know the differences between the different kanefehs. I just think that Damascus's is too dry with way too much kataifi compared to cheese. It also needs a heavier dose of syrup.

I will try the dish at Gulluoglu next time I'm there.

Nov 04, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Ridiculously Downhill Alert: Damascus Bakery

I never get the sesame cookies at Damascus. Haven't noticed a change in the stuff there that I buy. There are some items there that I think were never good -- such as the kanefeh. I agree with gforce -- think it's unfair to slam an entire bakery based on one cookie.

You may want to give Cedars a try in Bay Ridge. I prefer the mamoul there to Damascus. Perhaps they'll do a better job with the sesame cookies.

Nov 04, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., 114 Nassau at Eckford

Just wanted to report that I got some spanish mackerel from Greenpoint Fish and Lobster. Wonderful! Really fresh and not "fishy" at all.

Yes, prices are a bit expensive but not out of line with the better fish mongers in Manhattan.

Nov 03, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

2 Duck Goose in Gowanus

According to a report on yelp, it appears that you can order 1/4 duck. Not sure if this is still true as the menu doesn't reflect that but it doesn't hurt to call and ask.

Nov 03, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

2 Duck Goose in Gowanus

I've only been there for brunch but I think it's a very promising restaurant. Service was a bit slow (especially since there was hardly anybody in the restaurant) but the food was terrific. I'm not a salad person at all but I actually enjoyed my salad topped with a Sichuan peppercorn dressing. People working there are very sweet. Looking forward to trying it for dinner.

Nov 03, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #3 - 10/29/14 (spoilers)

Tom Colicchio didn't go to culinary school and he's doing really well for himself.

The challenge during our two months in South Korea

You must have an iron stomach! My husband and I just came back from lunch where we shared 1/2 fried chicken and three chicken wings with 2 sides. We are super full now.

Koreans do have a lot of rules. I've actually never heard of the Korean rules you've listed before. Guess my family members have loosened up on table etiquette since immigrating to the US. But I think I must have absorbed the rice bowl rule growing up with Korean parents. I never lift my rice bowl off the table and was shocked when I first saw my husband (who is Chinese-American) lift his bowl to shovel in the rice with his chopsticks!

It's been over 30 years since I've been back to Korea. Sounds like a visit is in order soon!

The challenge during our two months in South Korea

I can kind of understand this no sharing policy as the banchan is included in the cost of a meal -- two people ordering one soon tofu jigae and filling up on unlimited banchan would probably be frowned upon. But it sounds ridiculous that you guys had to order 2 chickens a piece!

In a culture where people share items like jungol from a communal pot, I'm a little confused by this no sharing practice policy in Korea. I understand no sharing if two people order one dish. I wonder if business/work situations call for different rules than a family/friend one?

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

And in addition to the introductions, you would need to be deaf to not hear Katsuji shuck clams.

Oct 22, 2014
Miss Needle in Food Media & News

Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., 114 Nassau at Eckford

That's so great to hear. There's nothing like really fresh fish. Thank you so much for spreading the word!

Oct 20, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., 114 Nassau at Eckford

Thanks for the report. I know this is the OB Board, but how does it compare to places like Lobster Place and Citarella (my 2 faves for seafood)?

Oct 20, 2014
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Is Chinatown the best place in Manhattan to buy live lobsters?

I don't recall them being that more expensive than other C-town vendors, perhaps a bit more but not like what you're seeing on the website. Perhaps the website prices are inflated to account for handling costs (boxes, ice, etc.)?

Oct 20, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Is Chinatown the best place in Manhattan to buy live lobsters?

Yes, I do like Aquabest in Chinatown. Bonus points for the people being cordial (sometimes difficult to find in C-town).

Oct 20, 2014
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

"Someone made the good point about picking the weakest chef to challenge, but so early in the season, how would you even know?"

Everybody had to introduce themselves to the group. Gregory worked for Jean-Georges -- so even though he screwed up the mackerel, I would think that he would be a more formidable competitor.

Just based on the clam shucking alone, I probably would have picked Katsuji. What a mess!

What's better in Singapore vs Penang?

I hope the mods will forgive me with this question. What is the dress code at Violet Oon's and Pidgin? Are shorts appropriate? Just figuring out whether we need to go back to the hotel to change before dinner.

It appears to me that Violet Oon's is a lot more casual and shorts would be OK. But I'm not familiar with the Singaporean dress culture and wouldn't want to offend. We made that mistake when we walked into a yoshoku restaurant in Tokyo for lunch and saw that all men were in suits (even though it was 100 degrees outside). Didn't realize that eating omurice in a restaurant named after a cosmetic company required some fancy duds!