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Sport Peppers at Bed Bath and Beyond....

Thanks for this tip. Picked up several jars and, while there, picked up done celery salt too. Here's the result. Note that since I didn't have the proper bun, I used Martin's potato rolls (which I love in general, but which added a little bit of sweetness that one normally doesn't find in a Chicago dog) and sprinkled some poppy seeds on top, which you can see in the photo.

Dinner for 10 in the Village

See if the menu at Blue Ribbon Bakery & Kitchen would work. They have a beautiful table for 10 facing the bakery operation.

May 16, 2015
Blumie in Manhattan

Thoughts on itinerary?

For your additional meals, I'd look to some of the newer places, as you have the old guard pretty well represented. Cochon Butcher is different enough from Cochon that there's nothing wrong with having both in your itinerary: Cochon Butcher for lunch and Cochon for dinner. I also really like Sylvain, and really, really like Coquette (which probably would be my top choice for your one additional meal). Toup's Meatery is another great option among the newer places.

May 15, 2015
Blumie in New Orleans

Dining alone in NOLA

Bacchanal kind of has communal tables in that when it's crowded, sometimes the only option is to ask to sit with others. I've done this and it has worked out quite nicely. I seem to recall that Booty's street food either has a communal table, or tables lined up so closely in a row that it feels that way.

May 15, 2015
Blumie in New Orleans

large group in the french quarter

Ok, so here's a thought that might get me ejected from Chowhound: Olde N'Awlins Cookery. The name and its heart-of-the Quarter location scream tourist trap, but yet the prices are fairly reasonable. And once upon a time the food, while never stellar, was solid. Of course that was more than 25 years ago; no idea what it's like today. Still, it strikes me as a reasonably priced option for a large group to sample a more classic New Orleans menu.

http://nolacookery.com/

May 11, 2015
Blumie in New Orleans

large group in the french quarter

Tujague's will accept a reservation for 13 on opentable, although perhaps their prices are too high for the OP. Anyone want to vouch for their food?

(By the way, Toup's Meatery also will accept a reservation for 13 on openatble. Not in the Quarter, and not classic New Orleans, but a great option IMHO.)

May 11, 2015
Blumie in New Orleans

Thoughts on Itinerary?

JazzyB is a local, I am not, which I report for the record, although I don't know that it affects our taste buds. To the extent I need cred, I will report that I've been in New Orleans in the neighborhood of 100 times over the last 28 years. All of that said: I agree with JazzeB on Brigtsen's -- not necessarily the strategy but on the restaurant overall -- but disagree with him on Clancy's and Jacques Imo's. Clancy's may be my favorite overall restaurant in New Orleans (although with Brigtsen's up there as well). Jacques Imo's has just never done it for me. (It's wildly popular, so I'm willing to admit that I might be in the minority here.) I agree with JazzyB on adding Coquette to the list (which has broken into my Top 5), but am ambivalent about Commander's, where a non-local can have a much lesser experience than a local.

May 11, 2015
Blumie in New Orleans

Shaanxi Gourmet in Natick

Thanks. So I happen to be in Beijing this week, and while touring Tiananmen Square happened to meet a young man from Xi'an. Of course I told him that when he comes to the Boston area he now will have a Shaanxi restaurant to visit!

May 11, 2015
Blumie in Greater Boston Area

Best wine shop close to Route 128?

Don't know how good it is, but isn't there a wine store in the little plaza where Green Papaya is located in Waltham, at the Winter St exit? And of course Costco is right there, with its limited but well priced selection.

May 08, 2015
Blumie in Greater Boston Area

Good restaurant with nice bar area?

Opentable.com is your friend. Rialto has reservations available. Craigie has a 9pm reservation available. Close to Inman, I'm a fan of Kirkland Tap & Trotter; they have reservations available.

May 08, 2015
Blumie in Greater Boston Area

Seafood Options

I would do Peche instead of GW Fin's. GW Fin's has its fans, but it's too much of a corporate feel for me. Peche, although perhaps equally as corporate in reality, has much more of a local feel.

May 08, 2015
Blumie in New Orleans

Best unpretentious italian in NYC?

The title to this thread makes me wonder: what's the best pretentious Italian in NYC?

May 08, 2015
Blumie in Manhattan

Chi therapy in Chinatown leads to amazing soft shell crabs at Sichuan Gourmet (Brookline location)

A good friend of mine has been getting chi therapy from James Luo in Chinatown (I need to give him a plug: 200 Lincoln St., Suite 401, 617-953-6377) on a regular basis for some time, and she recommended that I pay him a visit. As she tells me, James comes from a family that has been performing chi therapy in China for five generations. James, however, left China a number of years ago and came to the United States where he started a family and opened up a Chinese restaurant (I'm not sure which one or where it was). At some point, however, James completely lost his vision and was forced to give up the restaurant. After re-schooling at the Perkins School, James returned to relying on his training in chi therapy to earn a living. (One might speculate that James's lack of vision contributes to his skill as a chi therapist!)

I visited James for the first time several weeks ago, and during the course of our visit, I chatted with him a bit about his personal history. Turns out that his best friend is Johnny Li, owner of the Brookline location of Sichuan Gourmet. I mentioned to James that our family was planning a birthday dinner for my father, and in particular were looking for a place that had soft shell crab on the menu. I told James that we love Sichuan Gourmet, and would love to go there for the birthday dinner, but that I don't recall ever seeing soft shell crab on their menu. (Do any area Chinese restaurants carry it when in season?) Well James sprung into action and told me that he would talk to Johnny and arrange everything for us. And on Saturday night, my family had dinner at Sichuan Gourmet and had some of the best soft shell crab we've ever had. The restaurant prepared it "salt & pepper" style for us, preparing half of it with a spicy Sichuan-style preparation (I don't want to use the word "sauce" because it was not heavily sauced) and half not spicy. I only tried the spicy ones, and they were amazing.

I have no idea whether this is something they'd consider making a part of their regular menu (when the crabs are in season), but Sichuan Gourmet is, of course, a great place for large gatherings, so perhaps anyone planning a party could ask Johnny if this is something they could do for them, as well.

Best Burger in Willamsburg for Lunch

Too late for the OP (although I mentioned it in my earlier post), but I had the burger at Allswell last night and it was superb (as were the fries).

May 04, 2015
Blumie in Outer Boroughs

Black Sheep Bistro, Jessica's, Bob Cat Cafe, Storm Cafe, somewhere else?

Thanks. Completely missed that it's an old thread come back to life.

May 04, 2015
Blumie in Northern New England

Burlington, VT suggestions for father's day weekend

By the way, since you're staying in South Burlington, you might consider going south, rather than to Burlington, for some of your meals. Here's a recent discussion that might be of interest:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918442

May 04, 2015
Blumie in Northern New England

Black Sheep Bistro, Jessica's, Bob Cat Cafe, Storm Cafe, somewhere else?

Here is the correct link for the Bobcat Cafe: http://www.thebobcatcafe.com/

May 04, 2015
Blumie in Northern New England

Burlington, VT suggestions for father's day weekend

My Burlington knowledge is out of date, so I'll let others comment, but I do want to warn you that the B&J factory tour might be a bit of a let down. The tour comprises a short video about their history, a short visit into a room overlooking the factory (this is not the main factory, but still you can see work being done, though I'm not sure there's a Saturday shift), and then a tasting of whatever flavor they're making. And then, of course, you exit through the gift shop! And if they're crowded, which they likely will be, expect a wait for a tour. Definitely worth doing if you have kids with you, but perhaps not if it's just adults.

May 04, 2015
Blumie in Northern New England

Seeking food adventure in VT (not Burlington)

SP1, have you tried Top the Hill Grill? Is their barbecue better than Curtis's? I've been there once and thought the food was decent, but certainly not extraordinary. That said, it might be of interest to the OP -- it's a shack with picnic bench seating overlooking a beautiful valley. BYOB, if that's of interest to you.

http://www.topofthehillgrill.com/

May 04, 2015
Blumie in Northern New England

Aureole or DB Morderne for pre Matinee Lunch?

I prefer db Moderne to Aureole.

May 02, 2015
Blumie in Manhattan

Sport Peppers at Bed Bath and Beyond....

Sorry, I missed the tongue-in-cheekness of it! I much, much prefer NY pizza to Chicago pizza, but much, much prefer a Chicago dog to a NY dog.

May 02, 2015
Blumie in Manhattan

Seeking food adventure in VT (not Burlington)

If you enjoyed Prohibition Pig, I encourage you to try the Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier. Also a gastropub, but I find their food to be better than Prohibition Pig. http://www.threepennytaproom.com/

I love lunch at Simon Pearce in Quechee. Note that there's almost always a wait for a table, but they give you a buzzer and you can peruse the glass and pottery store, and check out the glass blowing in the basement. (They also are open for dinner, but for some reason I've always enjoyed lunch there more.) http://www.simonpearce.com/pages/our-...

I have not yet tried it personally, but Curtis Barbecue, in Putney (just north of Brattleboro), comes highly recommended. http://www.curtisbbqvt.com/

May 02, 2015
Blumie in Northern New England

Restaurant Recommendations? - For Foodies 1st trip to Nola

Good list, SmarttyParty. Not to be pedantic, but for search purposes (and because it's one of my favorites), I just want to correct the spelling of Brigtsen's (the "t" comes before the "s").

http://www.brigtsens.com/

My other two current favorites are Coquette and Clancy's.

May 02, 2015
Blumie in New Orleans
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Sport Peppers at Bed Bath and Beyond....

No offense, but that's really a silly question.
What I like about the hot dogs has nothing to do with the fact that they're associated with Chicago and everything to do with the way they taste. And the fact that they're associated with Chicago suggests zero correlation with liking other foods associated with Chicago.

May 01, 2015
Blumie in Manhattan

Shaanxi Gourmet in Natick

I live in NY (and Boston) and have been to Xi'an many times (most recently about a month or two ago). Is that Shaanxi?

May 01, 2015
Blumie in Greater Boston Area

Shaanxi Gourmet in Natick

For those who, like me, are unfamiliar with Shaanxi cuisine, here's a wiki. Sounds really interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaanxi_...

May 01, 2015
Blumie in Greater Boston Area

Best casual one or two-star Michelin experience in NYC?

Roberta's does.

May 01, 2015
Blumie in Manhattan

Anything I should DROP?

I disagree about the spice levels in NYC vs China. Although my experience in China is limited, what I have experienced is similar to what you'd find in NYC. In particular, Sichuan spicing is intended to create a numbing more than a burning; it's a subtle but very important distinction. For chili heads expecting a ghost pepper level of spice, I suspect you're going to be disappointed whether you're in NYC or China.

Apr 30, 2015
Blumie in Manhattan

Sport Peppers at Bed Bath and Beyond....

I think the sport peppers are more important than the neon green relish. Anyone find poppy seed rolls?

Apr 30, 2015
Blumie in Manhattan

Anything I should DROP?

In terms of difficulty to get in, Minetta and Luger both serve lunch, too, which is a much easier reservation.

Apr 30, 2015
Blumie in Manhattan