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Budapest - rustic/traditional? help, please

yes :)

-- 21 Magyar, despite being in the very touristy Castle District, is wonderful...we esp liked the catfish stew...

-- Fulemule is a great value for homestyle Hungarian-Jewish cuisine (goose leg, duck, cabbage, hummus)...a bit limited for vegetarians though, unless mountains of cabbage and onion-potatoes and hummus and pickles will do the trick...

-- Matrojska is a fun Russian bistro

-- Mazel Tov is a bit of a trendy bar scene w/ decent Israeli food; i didn't love it but your veggie sis will have plenty of options there w/ hummus and salads and falafel...

-- Lumen Cafe is a lovely casual coffeehouse that has soups, salads, sandwiches (many of them vegetarian); not a notable place for chow alone but a nice hang w/ music some evenings and we liked the soups...

Please report back...

about 23 hours ago
Simon in Europe

Hi Strumi, (VIENNA) Your leads back in 2008 brought me to some great meals in Vienna, looking for some advice again.

Please report back in detail -- we loved Vienna so much that we are planning on spending a lot more time there, so updates and finds and impressions are most appreciated :)

1 day ago
Simon in Europe

2 Nights in Philly - Restaurant Recs for Seasoned Brooklyn Foodie

we also have started visiting Philly often from NY...our favorites:

-- Kanella
-- Il Pittore
-- Pub&Kitchen
-- The Dandelion (great chicken soup, fish&chips)

1 day ago
Simon in Philadelphia
1

Hi Strumi, (VIENNA) Your leads back in 2008 brought me to some great meals in Vienna, looking for some advice again.

Konoba and Cantina Osteria Friulana (both recommended to us by Sturmi) were two of our fav meals in the city...Konoba especially...

Here is our recent trip report:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1002731

1 day ago
Simon in Europe

Georgian in Brooklyn: Pirosmani vs. Tbilisi vs. Tone Cafe vs. Mtskheta

Spasiba for the great report!

Feb 21, 2015
Simon in Outer Boroughs

Serious Eats: Where to Eat Chinese in NYC

i like Wu Liang Ye too -- my standard order there is the pickled cabbage and either kung pao chicken or prawns (w/ specific instructions for authentic Sichuan-style w/ no random American veggies)...

Feb 19, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Georgian in Brooklyn: Pirosmani vs. Tbilisi vs. Tone Cafe vs. Mtskheta

Please report back on Tone Cafe if you go there...we got some eggplant and bread (both very good) to go from there one day last year but haven't been there yet for a full meal...looks like a cute place...

Haven't been to Pirosmani yet...enjoyed Lagidze on my one visit (though i think the khinkali are much better at Old Tbilisi Garden in Manhattan), but Tone Cafe looks like more cozy place to dine...

And just another Brighton Beach idea: Cafe Kashkar is great for Uzbek/Uighur if you feel like eating that cuisine on another trip

Feb 16, 2015
Simon in Outer Boroughs

When the vibe of the place just doesn't feel right

Having had similar experiences (all over the globe but esp here in NYC), i now do this: if it's place i am going to w/o any reservations nor any specific need to try that day, i'll walk in and say "Hi, how are you?, this looks lovely, we might come here next week, can we see a menu, please, just for future reference?"...

If the vibe is good and the menu looks good, then we'll say "Hell, this looks fabulous! do you possibly have a table now?"...but if the vibe is off, we'll leave much more easily than if we'd come in asking for a table and then had to ponder whether to bolt or underorder or risk what intuitively seems like a crap meal in the making...sad to have to go such lengths, but sadder that the quality of so many places is not worth the time and money spent on even a drink or a snack...my take: trust your intuition...

Feb 15, 2015
Simon in Not About Food
2

Need opulent/gaudy Indian restaurant!

i thought Junoon looked an unappealing upscale airport restaurant, and on my one visit the food was bad as well...

Feb 14, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Italian

+2 on Bar Pitti

Feb 14, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Anyone know where to find this exact brand of Adjika? (Georgian/Abkhaz Pepper Paste)

thanks for the recipe link...i actually have all but two or three of the ingredients (e.g. marjoram) in my pantry...i think i'll try to make it one day...and/or hit that store the next time i'm in that part of Queens...

Feb 06, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

Buvette

i like their salade nicoise and salade poulet (always fine and fresh ingredients), and the selection of wines is smart as well...

But as others have said, it gets crazy-crowded -- so i only go at very off-hours (it's not worth waiting long for a table, because even if you're craving the food, it's too crowded for a pleasant meal)...but at 4pm on a rainy Tuesday, it can be perfect...

fwiw, i lived in Paris for a few months, and i find Buvette to be a better version of a French cafe than most anything else we've got here (which is not saying much)...though, the price pts for wine Here-in-NYC Vs France makes me wince (i.e. in a random Paris cafe i can get a glass of Brouilly for a few euros and in NYC one is lucky to get a (usually too-warm) glass of whatever for 13+ bucks (but at Buvette at least the selection is good albeit normally pricey...

Feb 04, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Oxtail Dishes? preferably organic/natural/etc

hi...any suggestions on restaurants that serve great oxtail dishes? (Manhattan esp, but open to all Boroughs)...and, as we usually prefer to stick to beef that's raised organically/hormone-free/grass-fed/etc (like at St Anselm for example), that would be a huge plus...thanks in advance...

Feb 03, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Sichuan Hit Han Dynasty to Open on Upper West Side this Spring

Pookipichu, i agree with you completely...after a couple small (so-so) orders from there early on, i recently decided to get a larger order and give Han Dynasty a 3rd shot: their kung pao chicken is like Kung Pao Chicken McNuggets: super-greasy, heavy-with-flour, saturated w/ oil that tastes like fast-food quality (and i'll add that i have no problem w/ good Sichuan that's swimming in chili oil -- i've been to Chengdu, lived in China, etc, and am perfectly comfy w/ the amount of oil in some Sichuan dishes which some people may find difficult to enjoy)...

I can certainly understand Han's appeal as a delivery option for many of the adjacent NYU dorms, but in terms of Sichuan cuisine in NYC overall, it's a step backward...

Feb 03, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Sam Sifton interactive Manhattan restaurant map

ahh, i thought at last the nytimes had done something right and destroyed all of Sifton's bad writing and ludicrous conceits...i was momentarily heartened when the posts suggested they might have expunged him...he's one of the worst food writers in modern times...(though he's about the same as much of the nytimes writing these days)...

Jan 28, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Vienna - January Trip Report

vanderb, my friend who lives in Vienna goes to the Naschmarkt for his veggies too and i can see the appeal/need :)

re: Konoba, it was my favorite restaurant of the whole 9-day Vienna/Budapest trip (high praise, given that we had some stellar meals at other places in both cities)...

Jan 22, 2015
Simon in Europe

Vienna - January Trip Report

dankeshoen!...good to know re: Viet places new locations -- we liked Vienna so much that we plan to come back for an extended period of time sometime in the future and we'll go to the new locations...i really enjoyed the Russian place, as i speak some Russian and i was able to chat a bit w/ the staff (btw, there is a nice Russian bistro in Budapest called Matrjoska if you ever visit there -- i will be doing a Budapest Trip Report soon and include all the places we went while there)...

Jan 22, 2015
Simon in Europe

Fans of Honmura An, where do you go now?

this is a 3 yr old thread, but Sobakoh (5th St), specifically the cold inaka soba, is still the best soba i've had outside of Japan, including Honmura An...

Jan 21, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

Vienna - January Trip Report

Firstly i have to say we loved Vienna, just intuitively and aesthetically, as soon as we arrived...fantastic city...and thanks to Sturmi and others who recommended food...here is where we went...

-- Konoba - Croatian seafood w/ open kitchen, Neubau/Spittelberg area...love this place...amazing seafood platter w/ veggies for two (pictured)...delicious Croatian wine...nice staff...if i was a local i'd go once/week...

-- Gasthaus Poschl - solid casual Viennese...liver dumpling soup (great), pumpkin soup (great), weiner schnitzel, chicken w/ bread stuffing, chestnut cream dessert, something that was listed as a souffle but was more of a cake...nice local vibe...glad we made a reservation as its a small place and virtually every table was reserved...haven't had enough beisl cuisine to fully compare it to similar places, but we were happy enough...

-- Ulrich - ...late-20-something/early-30something crowd, casually trendy...call the cuisine modern/organic...the chicken soup w/ parsley dumpling was some of the best chicken soup i've ever had, and salmon w/ cooked perfectly and nice wines too...a very very well-run kitchen...nice wines by the glass too...

-- Cafe Corbaci - not a destination place or anything, but a pretty spot for a midday snack in the Museum Quartier...the herring in cream sauce is a good deal and the soups decent...

-- Cafe Sperl - as we'd had litres of coffee w/ breakfast earlier, we just had tea here...but liked the old vibe and would likely return often if i was in town longer...

-- Cantina Osteria Friulana - wonderful rustic interior, charming waiter...the highlights foodwise were the veggie antipasti, the marinated sardines, and the cavola soup w/ zampone...grilled octopus was tender but lentils undercooked; the pork cheeks were underseasoned for our taste and cook have used more sage...loved trying all the Fruili wines...would still recommend it highly despite the slightly underwhelming main courses...

-- Zarewna - tiny Russian stand in the Naschmarkt...on a cold afternoon, the pelmeni and bowls of borsht hit the spot...a very filling little meal for about 12 euros total for two people...

As a sidenote, i would say the Naschmarkt is actually a place to AVOID unless one is seeking out this Russian place or maybe some of the Viet places i've seen mentioned here: it was low-season but it had a nasty vibe and very aggressive shop owners hard-selling crap (e.g. wasabi hummus, stale-looking vine leaves, ubiquitous olives)...we disliked the Naschmarkt intensely; it was the only place in all of Vienna that we disliked...a local friend told us he buys his veggies there because he lives close but doesn't linger nor dine there...

-- Tachles - woodsy bohemian bar in the Volkplatz area...just had a quick drink here...old cinema posters, silent films running, a crowd ranging from 20-something hipster to 70-something white-haired intellectual...smokey though, so we only stayed 25 minutes...

-- Weinfach Vinothek - tiny modern place much-loved on Tripadvisor...charming owner, fabulous cheese&charcuterie plate (all either Austrian or N.Italian) w/ local dark rye, and fab wine selection...recommended as a wine&snack stop when exploring that area...

Can't wait to return to the city again and explore more at length...

Jan 21, 2015
Simon in Europe

Vienna in January - rustic, traditional places, non-smoking a plus

Thanks Sturmi and everyone for advice...twas a great trip and will post a full trip report soon...will add now that Konoba was our overall favorite of the 5 dinners we had...

Jan 21, 2015
Simon in Europe

Budapest - where to eat? And especially on Sunday evening?

hi...just back from 4 days there and will post a full trip report soon, but here are some places we liked:
-- Borbirosag Wine Bar
-- 21 Magyar (excellent food/service in the Castle District)
-- Fulemule (open Sunday, Hungarian-Jewish, great duck, homey)
-- Mazel Tov (bar scene w/ Israeli food in a covered alley)
-- Matrjoska (casual Russian w/ good pelmeni)
-- Lumen Cafe (tiny and cute cafe w/ live music some nights, just some soup and sandwiches for food)

Jan 21, 2015
Simon in Europe
1

Pescatore & Pete's Tavern

Pete's Tavern serves average food in a nice historic place -- there isn't much notable foodwise, but they'll surely be able to serve up a decent burger, plate of American-style spaghetti and meatballs, martini, etc...if you go with low expectations, you'll prob have a nice time...

Dec 30, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Lan Sheng – First Rate Szechuan in Midtown

thanks for the thorough review...the only time i've been there was about a year ago, i went there and my friend ordered in Mandarin and we tried 5 or so dishes: everything was in that netherworld of bad/mediocre/forgettable where i can barely remember the specifics but i had zero desire to return...and the staff were rude...

Your review makes me want to give it another shot though...

fwiw, Wu Liang Ye is my favorite - but they know my strong preferences in various dishes and always make things to order as i like them (i.e. less/no sugar, very ma-la, no extraneous Americanized veggie additions, etc)...

For delivery, i usually order from Legend, but that's a crapshoot as even w/ specific ordering it can range from excellent to nasty depending on who's cooking that night and how well the order-taker relays the order to the kitchen...

Dec 29, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Han Dynasty

the spice was good -- it was the breading that bothered me...i'll get some takeout from there this week and give it another shot :)

Dec 29, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Han Dynasty

i love Philly :)

Dec 28, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

great indian food (dinner) in manhattan

i've nver been to that branch: so can you compare/contrast it w/ the Tamarind that was in the Flatiron (i think it closed recently)?...i found the Flatiron Tamarind to be pretty lame and overpriced and not a place i'd return to willingly...

Dec 28, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Han Dynasty

Thanks for the update...haven't gotten food there in over a year myself: the kung pao chicken was both nicely spiced but heavily breaded both times, and the owner is a nasty clown (as i was leaving he realized i was the person who had called in a takeaway order "very ma-la, no/low sugar" and he went out of his way to delay me and insist that he refuses to cook "very spicy" food for people until they've been there 3+ times to determine if they really like it -- i tried to a) assure him that as a former-resident of N.Thailand i have no problem w/ chilies, and b) uhhh, i have already paid and am hungry and am going home to eat so please leave me the *#^# alone -- he's a tone-deaf clown, yet evidentally his heat/sugar/starch algorithm works, so more power to him)...have heard some better reports of the food recently so i'll likely give it a go at some pt...i'll try the fish that you had, and please update if you find other dishes you like

Dec 28, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Jura wine 'pope' Jacques Puffeney sells off vineyards | decanter.com

this is troubling news...i love his Poulsard and Trousseau (which i read that he is keeping some of)...hope the new owners continue to make the Poulsard...

Dec 21, 2014
Simon in Wine

Sichuan Hotpot Reports This Winter?

Last time we had it was about a year ago at Legend, which was decent...never had at Szechuan Gourmet, so would be interested if people like it at SG...ditto Famous Sichuan or others...thanks in advance...

Dec 21, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Maille Mustard Boutique

Thanks for this report...i was excited by the headline, as i lived near one of the Paris branches once and a friend used to bring me jars back to NYC sometimes...don't remember it being quite this costly though...so i'll curb my enthusiasm...thanks for saving me the sticker shock for when i eventually/inevitably visit the store...

fwiw, i have one of my old Maille jars, which i now use for making and storing pate/terrine...they are perfect for compressing the just-cooked herby and wine-saturated duck liver&heart into...

Dec 19, 2014
Simon in Manhattan