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Miss Needle's Profile

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Best restaurant for chocolate cake

Yes it's really good. Hope you get to try it sometime when you're in Brooklyn.

As others have noted, Two Little Red Hens is great as well. I remember Dean and Deluca selling the blackout cupcakes. But I find the filling to cake ratio is actually tastier as a cake than as a cupcake.

I've also loved the cakes at Lady M. But I don't think the style is quite what you're after. Lady M cakes tend to be more delicate.

Maybe the Brooklyn blackout cake at Sugar and Plumm would work. It sounds like what you're after. There's a location on Bleecker Street.

Aug 25, 2015
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Best restaurant for chocolate cake

I've actually had Good Enough To Eat's chocolate cake three times. I know mahler loves it, but I think it's dry and tasteless. Different tastes I guess.

My favorite chocolate cake in NYC is not in Manhattan but in Brooklyn at the Chocolate Room. Very tender crumb with dark chocolate cake and ganache. Not too sweet.

Aug 24, 2015
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Varrio 408 in Park Slope

Yes, you're right -- no offal. Lengua is one of my favorite taco fillings.

Aug 24, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Varrio 408 in Park Slope

Tried a couple of tacos here last week. They make their tortillas at the facility. Loved them -- thin but sturdy and pliable enough to hold the fillings. Very limited menu but in my eyes that's generally a good sign as what they do tends to be good.

So much better than Sunset Park's Papi's Grill that opened up recently on 7th Ave.

Aug 24, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Chowhound Beta Site Open to Everyone (Continued Again)

I generally don't comment on these things because I generally go with the flow. I've been on this site since the Jim Leff days and had been able to quickly adapt to all of the changes. But I've got to say that the new format SUCKS big time.

You need to hire a user experience designer. If you've already got one, you need to get a new one. The new site is not intuitive at all. Very confusing and complicated. I was so frustrated until a poster here showed me how to go back to the old one.

You will alienate a bunch of old posters and new ones unless the site is simplified.

Real (and fake) Authentic Sichuan Food in Park Slope!!

Had dinner at Red Hot. For the past month, there's been a new Sichuan chef from Chengdu. There's a limited but authentic Sichuan menu. The waitstaff told us that this menu was for Chinese tastes and the other part of the menu is more for Americans.

http://www.redhotparkslope.com/otherm...

We ordered:

1. Husband and wife's lung -- a mix of beef and offal in a spicy, oil sauce garnished with peanuts; well balanced
2. Fish in hot oil -- with bean sprouts and fresh bamboo shoots underneath
3. Cumin beef -- not a huge amount of cumin flavor but delicious nonetheless

From everything I've had so far, I prefer Red Hot to Tofu on 5th (originally on 7th). The spicing at Tofu can sometimes be a bit unidimensional -- salt and heat. There are a lot more layers at Red Hot. Very happy to have them near me. Hope they keep the new chef around.

Jul 30, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Real (and fake) Authentic Sichuan Food in Park Slope!!

I tried only one thing on the menu -- griddled cooked fish filet with pepper. Not sure what an appropriate translation would be -- similar to dry pot fish but with a wetter oiler sauce. Replete with dried chilis, bamboo shoots, chunks of garlic, and sichuan peppercorns, I thought it was pretty good. The spicing was more nuanced than Tofu on 5/th/7th. Am excited to try other items on their menu.

btw, the Sichuan chef is not in the house for Mon and Wed lunch. He comes in after 5 on those days. Other days he's there all the time.

Jul 17, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

What is the best place in Brooklyn/Queens/Bronx to get breadfruit? Recipe recommendations?

Breadfruit Tree Cafe in Park Slope has breadfruit in pancakes and waffles and side of sliced breadfruit.

Jun 24, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Fresh Taro leaf in Brooklyn

You can find it at Caribbean markets. I purchased some on a market near Eastern Parkway and Utica. It's known as "dasheen."

ETA: You may be able to find some in Sunset Park (around 8th Ave) as well but I haven't come across it.

Jun 16, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Whitefish Salad

Barney Greengrass. Prefer it over the Zabars. The celery remains green and crunchy in Barney Greengrass's version -- probably because they make it more frequently. Zabar's -- celery is dull and soft.

Schnitzel Haus

I like it. Not to be missed is the crispy pork shank. Crispy outside, tender inside. The smallest size is really large. Am afraid to see what the extra large is like.

May 28, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Store-bought vs. homemade grated Parmesiano Reggiano

I generally purchase a block of parm reggiano. Occasionally I have purchased pregrated (ie. have lots of stuff to do and wanted to delete one step, just needing a tiny bit) realizing that you will sacrifice a bit on taste. But last time I purchased the grated tub (from a well-respected local Italian shop), I noticed there was green mold in the product -- actually quite a decent amount. I then realized stores can grate the cheese that's going moldy -- makes total economic sense for the store. I now only buy blocks.

May 26, 2015
Miss Needle in Cheese

In Search of Otak otak

If you have problems finding decent otak otak, I'd try to find a place that does hor mok (Thai). It's similar but not as pungent as otak otak as I think there's a larger ratio of coconut milk in hor mok.

May 19, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Blackout Cake-- does anyone make an authentic version?

It is almost the exact same bakery. They were partners who parted ways a few years ago. They were both called Two Little Red Hens. When they separated, the Brooklyn location renamed itself Ladybird -- kind of similar to the story between Sullivan Street Bakery and Granddaisy. Aside from a couple of things (ie. no cheesecake at Ladybird), you'll find the food (including the blackout) the same.

May 12, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs
1

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

It's probably more similar to MW or Alan Wong than Side Street -- but smaller portions. Be sure not to miss the corned beef tongue musubi!

May 06, 2015
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

There's not much of a Korean slant at Noreetuh. Best way to describe the food would probably be Hawaii Regional.

May 06, 2015
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Food Sake Tokyo by Yukari Sakamoto

I've got the book (actually ended up with two copies as somebody gifted me one) and thought it was really helpful. If you get a chance, try to book a tour with her. I did and Yukari was fabulous! She's very knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about the food.

May 01, 2015
Miss Needle in Japan

Northern NJ Korean

Here are the addresses:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/chung-dam-don...
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tang-maru-pal...

If you want BBQ, it's best to go to a restaurant that specializes in the dish. That's generally how Koreans eat -- they decide what they want to go eat first and then go to the appropriate restaurant for the food. But I understand that sometimes you need to find a place that has Korean BBQ dishes for those who don't like to stray far away from their comfort zone. I think Chung dam Dong had BBQ dishes but Tang Maru did not.

Apr 21, 2015
Miss Needle in New Jersey

Northern NJ Korean

Chung Dam Dong -- have been here a few times. My favorite is their pork belly and octopus chul-pan where they stir-fry some pork belly and octopus and in a spicy gochujang-based sauce. Huge portions. After you have finished most of it, they'll bring out some fried rice and mix it in where it gets all nice and hot and savory. Very generous with their banchan.

Tang Maru -- If you don't read Korean you may have problems finding this place as there's no Tang Maru written in English, only in hangul (Korean characters). I believe the only English word outside is tofu. They have a really good gamja tang and hae mul pa jun. Love their pajun because it's mostly scallions and seafood with small amount of flour. It looks like they specialize in tofu dishes though I did not see one person order a tofu dish. They were all getting soups. Banchan includes one whole fried fish per person.

Apr 20, 2015
Miss Needle in New Jersey

Please interpret this menu pricing....

Yes, we did cross post! I missed your reply until I went back to this post.

Yup, kind of confusing. I'm hoping the OP will come back posting a revised menu. Food looks good.

Apr 20, 2015
Miss Needle in Not About Food

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

I was in the area so I checked out this bakery. Not a destination place but I can see why this type of bakery would be really welcome if I lived in the area as there's nothing like it in Flushing. Prices are really good (but maybe I'm used to crazy Manhattan and Brooklyn prices).

Apr 20, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Ollie and Ry - Park Slope

They do have some interesting sandwiches -- not all of the specials are available even though they list them. It was a little frustrating trying to place orders for items that they didn't have. I think they were out of the 3 items I originally tried to order. The specials were on a whiteboard or chalkboard, I believe. Just erase it if you no longer have it.

House-made chips are a nice touch but they were not super memorable but that may be because I prefer kettle-style chips.

People are very nice. Hope they do well.

Apr 20, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs

Please interpret this menu pricing....

If you read below to my response to your latter post, you'll see that I thought the OP was talking about was a whole lamb chop. So that's why I thought the OP wrote kabob/char-grilled -- as char-grilled referred to a whole lamb chop char-grilled as opposed to in kabob form. And as I stated below, both of us can be right cuz the menu is too cryptic (IMO).

ETA: I always think a kabob would be char-grilled. Having char-grilled refer to kabob would be redundant. That's why I thought OP was differentiating between kabob and non-kabob.

Apr 20, 2015
Miss Needle in Not About Food

Please interpret this menu pricing....

I agree about the reversing of the prices to have one skewer price on left as it seems more natural -- though I wonder if the OP intentionally lead with the higher price as that was what he/she preferred the diner to order.

Apr 20, 2015
Miss Needle in Not About Food

Please interpret this menu pricing....

You see, I interpreted the lamb chop to mean 2 lamb chops or 1 chop. You may be right. I may be right. I think this means the menu needs tweaking.

Please interpret this menu pricing....

I interpreted the lamb chop to be part of the char-grilled section. That said, I think the skewers and char-grilled items need to be separated in addition to clarifying the 2 vs 1 skewer bit.

The average customer isn't going to peruse the menu like Chowhounders do. You'll be doing your waitstaff a big favor by making the menu clearer.

Apr 20, 2015
Miss Needle in Not About Food

Please interpret this menu pricing....

I get the price differential of 2 vs 1 skewer but I think you're going to get lots of questions with the menu as it's printed. Based on what happens at my office I find that many people just don't read. I think you need to make it more obvious, perhaps by adding a heading of 2 skewers under the 19 and 1 skewer underneath the 12 (in koobideh).

And I don't get why you've got 8 oz next to beef tenderloin only. You'll probably get questions about that point as well.

Trip report from my trip to NYC this week

I can understand why a tourist would not be as into the greenmarket as locals are as most probably stay in hotels without cooking facilities. Vendors aren't allowed to cook on premises there so you've got a lack of hot prepared food which is probably what most tourists are going after when visiting a farmer's market.

Apr 17, 2015
Miss Needle in Manhattan
1

Returning to a "never again" restaurant (in my case EMP)

I think it happens more often than we would like to think. I went to a restaurant (not in the US) where they googled me beforehand. I'm a nobody but they treated me like a rock star. They were very nice but the whole experience was kind of embarrassing.

Mar 30, 2015
Miss Needle in Manhattan

Bricolage - Vietnamese in Park Slope

You know, I don't think Vietnamese is done particularly very well in NYC compared to what I've had in California, Hawaii and Vietnam. So in terms of places like New Tu Do, I find the cooking at Bricolage a bit more careful than your NYC C-town Vietnamese restaurants. The spring rolls and banh xeo were cooked crisper than what I would get in a place like New Tu Do. The chicken wings and pork ribs aren't something that would be found in a traditional Vietnamese restaurant so it would be hard to compare. The "unshaking beef" was more tender but less flavorful at Bricolage than at your average Vietnamese restaurant in C-town. Believe it or not, I think the best shaking beef I've had in NYC is at Saigon Grill and its new incarnation, Sugarcane. Most of Saigon Grill's food was not that great, but their shaking beef was actually quite good.

Mar 30, 2015
Miss Needle in Outer Boroughs