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Mike R.'s Profile

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Shelsky's smoked fish - home made matzoh?

$20 a box for half a pound is not cardboard, it's way overboard.

Get the fullest experience and a choice of numerous "shmura" matzohs from Williamsburg or Kensington/Boro Park or Lakewood or even Russia at one of the huge kosher stores near 39th Street. Gonna be crowded.

Should run no more than $25 for the FULL pound. You can also score boxes of broken or burnt cakes for less. One bakery worth going to is Shatzer's on Cortelyou between East 2nd & 3rd Sts. "F" train to Ditmas or last stop on the B67 or B69.

Apr 12, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Chengdu Heaven still great?

Do not leave without ordering Chengdu's mapo dofu...sent me straight to eternity on my last Golden Mall adventure...will return to earth soon.

Tea-smoked duck also on the greatest hits list.

Apr 12, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Flushing Dim Sum: Menus instead of carts

Can think of a few selections at every dim sum parlor where shellfish wouldn't pose an issue...rice noodles with meat (?beef?), char siu bao, sesame balls with bean paste center, beef balls, small plates of sauteed green vegetables.

Try to avoid the added sprinkled-over sauces.

Mar 26, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Question about Chocolate Room

Fifth Avenue / Park Slope is moving to a different location. Likely still under construction.

Go with Court Street.

Mar 19, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

St. Patrick's Day fare Park Slope any suggestions?

I would think a bar on Fifth Avenue between 12th & 16th would have it...Freddy's, Sidecar, Commonwealth maybe even Prospect.

Or Sharlene's on Flatbush?...gotta be someplace adding a couple of corned beef & cabbage trays for the revelers.

Mar 16, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

The route of the lechon in Puerto Rico

Whatever you do, at whichever lechonera, just point to the head and ask for some "cachetas" (cheeks).

Drove the road a couple years back, stopped at BRUNY'S late afternoon. Was I glad to see their 60-lb. pig had nothing but the head and shoulders left. Hit it with their homemade spicy sauce and try a few side dishes, a piece of morcilla and the succulent turkey.

Mar 12, 2014
Mike R. in Latin America & Caribbean

roast duck, dumplings, and sauerkraut.

Yorkville Packing House had a devastating fire and never returned. The Hungarian Goulash mural remains on the East 81st Street side wall, but it's a Chirping Chicken now.

Schaller & Weber and the Heidelberg on 85th & 2nd...Andre's Hungarian Bakery...across the street...that's all folks.

Mar 10, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Brunch/Beer Before/After Brooklyn Brewery

Hardened veteran of BL...the place has such a great vibe and selection and the staff knows its suds. Even more special when their backyard patio is open for warm-weather imbibing.

Get on their weekly e-mail list.

Mar 02, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Just moved to Bay Ridge - looking for advice (restaurants, provisions, etc)

Is there any love for the Indian restaurants along 3rd Avenue?

Feb 08, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

All inclusive family vacation

Check the specs and reviews of Paradisus Punta Cana Resort...which seems to fit your criteria nicely.

I was there in December and there's sufficient variety for all ages, especially food. Two buffet centers, six or seven upper scale restaurants included with basic package. Everything was freshly prepared with lots of tropical fruit and vegan choices. The staff is attentive.

After the nightly shows, the bars stay open and there's a side buffet station - with lobster.

Jan 31, 2014
Mike R. in Latin America & Caribbean
1

Tasty new Mexican restaurant in Kensington

Ditto on Wheated.

A far as Tacos El Catrin goes, a single diner is at a disadvantage in one sense...the three-to-an-order (single skins) taco plate for $7 can be only a singular variety of taco. I really wanted to sample their lengua, mushroom and al pastor but could not. Perhaps they could bend this rule when not too busy.

That said, flavors, especially their salsas, crispy-salty chips and complex guacamole were distinctive and authentic. Mexican-owned and operated, cool decor which will get even better.

Jan 26, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Punta Cana recommendations?

Dangerous?...It can be viewed as such if you are unfamiliar with the DR's laws and customs. If you are city folks, Punta Cana / Bavaro has all the trappings of a city, including tourist traps and souvenir shops AND typical places where real folks eat lunches and dinners.

We spent a pleasant afternoon in Higuey, the closest off-resort city. It was an adventure, to be sure, requiring a taxi to the intercity bus station, but for $3 per person each way, it was a fun ride and down to earth as far as seeing the countryside, quite colorful. Yes, the cab rides can be dear IF you don't negotiate them. On the return trip from Higuey, the bus makes stops in front of nearly every hotel.

I would exercise some caution in town walking thru the bustling marketplace area. As we discovered, having a companion with language command works best.

Higuey has the wonderfully unique Basilica and a pastel-hued Dominican Restaurante ("Aqui Me Quedo") directly across the main road with great fish and native comidas. Priced fair.

Back in Bavaro/Punta Cana Beach, we had a beautifully prepared fish dinner at "El Capitan Cooke", by the beachfront. The hosts were super-accomodating and sent some extra appetizers to the table. Whole fish and native lobsters their specialty. Credit cards accepted.

Jan 25, 2014
Mike R. in Latin America & Caribbean

Puerto Rico Report

Loved El Fogon de la Cuerva...and its wonderful owners!
Excellent native "comidas latinas"...including a special, broth-y mofongo. The meats were also superb.

Jan 25, 2014
Mike R. in Latin America & Caribbean

South & West Puerto Rico - Latest & Greatest

Meal-planning for upcoming family vacation in Ponce/Guanica area next month.

We are looking for good native home cooking, coffee and dessert places and a couple of classier seafood restaurants.

Already know about the King's Creamery in downtown Ponce and have been to Villa Parguera restaurant in the past. Still good I hope.

Can travel about half-hour each way if needed...and willing to try quality off-the-beaten path.

Muchas gracias.

Jan 23, 2014
Mike R. in Latin America & Caribbean

anyone remember SHATZKIN'S knishes

To carry this discussion up the West End Line a ways, there was another outstanding knishery underneath the 50th Street station called or "Hershey's" or "Hirsch's" or something close to it.

We would bend our route to grandma's house by one subway stop in Borough Park just to score some of those exquisite potato masterpieces.

Can anybody on Board confirm this memory?

Jan 23, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Henry's End - Which End to Try?

I've heard that Henry's End has had some ownership / management changes during those 30 years.

Has the quality actually become better in that time?

Jan 19, 2014
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Staying in Long Island City, Comfort Inn Fri 12/27-Sun 12/29

John Brown's BBQ - Ribs, chicken and (wowwee!) burnt ends - pretty sure it's just a few minutes walk from your hotel.

Also well-curated craft beer specials.

Dec 27, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Bronx Zoo/Arthur Avenue with toddler

Try some spinach and cheese bureks at Giovanni's - directly across the street from the Arthur Avenue Market. They're sizable, filling and about $5 each - and as quick as it takes to heat 'em up in the brick oven.

Dec 27, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Dover on Court St

Oysters at $3/each (closer to $4 w. T&T).

Per Ralph Kramden - "a mere bag o' shells"!

Dec 20, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Park Slope New Year's Eve resto?

New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving, Valentine's and Mother's Day...same story. Kinda reminds me of those "special" Restaurant Week "deals"...which, IMO, aren't so.

Dec 19, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Dover on Court St

Over or under the $100 mark for the two of you?

Dec 19, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Attention Fairway shoppers

Fairway and most other supermarkets change their circulars and sale prices on Fridays these days...used to be Sunday thru Saturday cycle back when.

Yeah, they may have been lax in flipping a sign over or removing it, but next time, take a dated and timed photo, show it up front and avoid any hassles.

They've got some pretty dependable Italian EVOOs at Trader Joe's (especially the one with the bottle topper attached) at $7.99 or below.

Dec 10, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Dim sum in Bklyn Chinatown: Pacificana or East Harbor

I'll cast a vote for the "Good Day" on 18th Avenue and 62nd Street (former World Tong).

A wild and crazy crowd packing tight quarters every time I've attempted a visit. Variety matches or exceeds most places.

Dec 10, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Looking for panforte

Try Royal Crown Paneantico's store in Bay Ridge (if it's still around) or, better yet, Villabate on 18th Avenue and 70th Street in Bensonhurst.

Dec 01, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Meltkraft

I would hope that if the Valley Shepherd / MeltKraft folks read the Board they'd supply an explanation.

Otherwise, it's up to us "hunds" to get the answer. Let's see who's gonna dash over to 9th Street to fetch it.

Dec 01, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Vostok 13th Ave Brooklyn.

Thanks, "mom"!

Nov 30, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Seeking Babka - non-chocolate

Is Rigo still in business?

In Brooklyn, there's Ostrovitsky's on Avenue J around East 12th Street. Not sure if and what flavor profile it has.

Greenpoint's Polish bakery babka tends to be light and yeasty.

Is Green's the cinnamon-y, chocolate-y stuff you are referring to that's sold at Zabar's and Barney Greengrass? You can also check Fairway in Red Hook, Douglaston or Manhattan.

Nov 29, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Wheated - Church Avenue - loved it!

The defunct Trini place was called something like "In Between Eatry and Pastry"...and IIRC, the lady's name (owner) was Fran.

She made a terrific, sizeable aloo pie with channa...and other great stuff.

Nov 26, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Vostok 13th Ave Brooklyn.

Been there. The usual array of skewers, samsas, lagman, etc.

All good. Healthy portions, aa I recall.

Nov 24, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs

Wheated - Church Avenue - loved it!

I agree with your assessment of Wheated - owner David is very serious about the quality of his pies. On my first visit there he re-made one for us 'cause the crust was just a tad overdone. Next time in I'll explore those "brown" goods.

That Indian place, Anarkali, is an enigma. Why any restaurant wants to hide behind a veil of half-blacked out windows is a mystery, especially when this style food is colorful, complex and should be on display to the outside world.

Nov 24, 2013
Mike R. in Outer Boroughs