Nab's Profile

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Ain't nothin' but a ghee thing, baby!

Hankering for hawker grub, I'm curious to revisit Punjabi Dhaba's snacks and chaats. For a "roadside cafe" I wonder if they're as good as RKR's, which are quite good.

Apr 07, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

What is a traditionally odd, spicy and delicious thing to order at a Sichuan restaurant?

A good way to start any Sichuan meal is with fuqi fei pian - sliced beef (shank) and beef offal (tripe, tendon) in chile oil garnished with crushed peanuts and cilantro.

(New Shanghai's pictured below)

Apr 07, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area
1

Will Someone Plse Bring the Jibarito to Boston?! Why Should Chicago Have All the Yums?

Correct. It is a menu fixture - a coupla weeks ago, the owner told me it's become the most popular item.

Overstuffed jibarito and jibarita below.

Mar 24, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Merrill & Co.

When dishes are somewhere between app & entree, intended to be shared, the shotgun approach does seem increasingly reasonable. Perhaps I'm a precious pansy but when it comes to raw oysters (which I like to have a little splash of gin with) I think it's a bit crass to crassostrea to chuck em in the midst of other darker, dirtier flavours.

Mar 17, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Has Sichuan Garden in Woburn gotten even better?

There are preps of bamboo shoots across SE-Asia that I often find more challenging than stinky tofu. Sometimes they're dried bamboo shoots that, when reconstituted, really express a funky musty odor. Similar to certain dried chiles or mushrooms (reconstituting chile pasados this past weekend made for helluva stanky valentines). There are also pickled bamboo shoots, like 'sup nor mai' (Issan style salad), which I don't even really order much because it's usually too much funkenstank.

Feb 17, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Chicago Beef Sandwiches and Giardiniera in Boston?

Oh sure. Like NYC pizza. Most of the beefs in Chicago are unsuitable for consumption. Same could be said for clam chowder here. Nothing to get excited about a gluey white bowl of chowdah in Des Moines, just because it's clam chowder. But the WCE dog is a quality dog worth seeking out, comparable to tier 2 dog in Chicago like, say, Portillo's.

Jan 13, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Chicago Beef Sandwiches and Giardiniera in Boston?

I don't see giard around many places here beyond the occasional gourmet grocer/specialty food stores. Best bet is to order it online.

Windy City Eats uses Vienna giard and mostly all Vienna products (and Boar's Head). The dog is quite good, and the polish not bad either, but the beef is dunked in dishwater and is quite a sad sandwich.

Jan 11, 2014
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Some Ting Nice, is it?

Lorenz patties, which I find plausibly home-made, pictured below:

Nov 23, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Papaya salad...favorites

Much easier eating with your hands and sticky rice, or just a spoon.

S&I has a nice rendition, though I actually prefer Pad Thai Cafe's - their prik nam plaa is exceptional (still haven't figured out what they do differently), the som tam incendiary, and just strikes the right balance consistently.

Thai North also a nice northern version with pounded pickled crabs (pictured below).

Nov 14, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area
1

Where to buy cheap chicken fat?

Never buy gribenes from a mohel.

Nov 04, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Ginger Exchange (Symphony)

They're pretty snappy with the delivery service (my only experiences FWIW) and the super-sized sushi is a good value, as tasty as those b-listers operating above the supermarket sushi grade. Probably a better bet to aim at the fad-foods like Korean fried chicken which was quite good (sauces less so) and baos and noodles which I've yet to try. The bibimbap was sad, the hamachi kama probably great if requested un-glazed.

Oct 22, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Broasted Chicken Anywhere?

Riverside Pizza & Seafood has a pressure-fryer (not the Broaster brand) and fry up a good bird, albeit occasionally a little underseasoned.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785072

Oct 13, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Local Heady Topper Source

I'm not sure, I've only drunk HT on site. But they do sell most of what is on the menu in the retail store. Along with a small but thoughtful collection of whiskies (eg, Black Maple, Col EH Taylor).

Oct 03, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Local Heady Topper Source

Seiyo in the South End across the street from Toro usually has it, but good idea to call to see if they''ve re-upped since I drank their last can a coupla weeks ago.

Seiyo, along with its 'South End sushi' and retail wine store, curiously has an exceptional collection of high craft beers. They often have the other highly sought after east coast IPA, Lunch, as well as west coast Pliny seasonally (should be coming soon), but the 40+ list of beers (no taps) goes far beyond and includes an excellent selection of sours, Belgians, saisons, Japanese beers, and limited release collaborations. With Parish Cafe, Estelle's, and Five Horsies, that part of the hood has become a good stompin ground for the beer geeks.

Oct 03, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Patty Chen's Dumpling Room

Most of the Chinatown restaurants are not on Foodler but recently a small consortium started this gamechanger !

http://chinatowndeli.com

No, not 5-spice pastrami.

Sep 25, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Pretty good HK-style clay pot rice (bou zai faan 煲仔飯) @ Clay Pot Cafe

For the sticky short-grain version, a similar and exceptional dish is the dungeness crab with xo sauce and sticky rice casserole at Bubor Cha Cha.

(the green goop on rice in the 2nd pic are crab brains, ceremoniously spooned out by the server)

Sep 24, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Yangrou Chuanr at Wow Barbecue

Dumpling Cafe's offerings are typically fried, and then possibly hit quick with some kind of direct heat, but not in the smoky charcoal live fire way. Brushed with hoisin or other similarly sweet sauce. Chicken meatballs, chicken skin, and duck tongues pictured below.

Sep 16, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Current taco situation in the area looking for a great taco

On the point of trompos, I would agree that the ideal is pastor sliced off the spit, but the unfortunate reality is that most places that griddle their pastor are often serving a better taco. Trompo timing is everything. Even places that specialize in pastor, partly because they're high volume, will often slice before the meat has had a chance to attain the proper caramelized crust. Many places will slice and then finish on the griddle but they should really just not serve it until it's done on the spit. Multiple spits can circumvent this issue but those places are in a whole 'nother league. Trompo does not always trump the griddle.

Sep 05, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Best Rice Cake Dishes?

China King has a nice rendition with pork and Sichuan pickles, despite lacking in wok hei.

Aug 27, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

August 2013 Openings and Closings

My conversations with the owner many months ago indicated his growing preference for more healthful cooking (at that time he said he was not deep-frying anymore) with a focus on more vegetarian dishes. However, I am still surprised by this recent decision.

Aug 26, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Solo dining in Chinatown?

I also posed a similar query not long ago:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9059...

Aug 14, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

There's certainly no arguing taste.

Nor should there be arguing for taste based on perceived authenticity or popularity, likewise arguing against taste based on herd hype.

Aug 01, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

It's deserving of hype for at least the novelty of this regional cuisine here, the rarity/allure of hand-pulled noodles, and Gene as a personality, too. It'd be great to see more regional cuisines represented here, and I'd particularly cast a vote for idiosyncratic singular specialists. It'd be nice if the food was tasty, too.

Hoards line up for Jiro-style ramen here in town, does that make that bowl of ramen objectively tasty ? Maybe it's authentic (personally find the style grotesque!), maybe it's hipster hype of the ramen du jour, and maybe somebody in that line genuinely finds it tasty regardless.

Aug 01, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area
1

2013 Lowell Folk Festival 7/26-28

The Filipino guys run the most impressive operation, down to the cute kid wearing the menu, and the lumpia lady's cigar factory. The food smelled amazeballs, but the meats were again cooked to food safety regs. The redpants show was def'y amazeballs !

Jul 28, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

2013 Lowell Folk Festival 7/26-28

The Liberian ribs were maybe the best bite of the day. A little chew, but a lot of flavourful heat, especially the side sauce. Speaking of chew, most of the festy fare is comprised of over-cooked meats. I spent the better part of the afternoon chewing on the same bite of Nigerian goat stew but the music is why ya keep coming back. The music is amazing ! And that Burmese tofu salad and chicken curry that goes great on a white shirt.

Jul 28, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Newton Four Corners - Sichuan Gourmet House and ?

Swung by for some take-out snax this afternoon.

Fuqi fei pian ("Sichuan spicy beef slices") was excellent, as good as any other around town, but a small portion for $8.

Kou shui ji ("Diced chicken with house special sauce") was not good. The chicken had a mushy texture and the sauce was gloppy like ketchup, with a highly off-putting after-taste. Large portion, taboot.

Garlicukes were mild, not quite enough bite.

Rice was a tad dry.

Very friendly folks.

Jul 11, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Gene's Chinese Flatbread Coming to Boston

It's a cool place with all the elements of chowhound charm. Gene is a heckuva personality, the cuisine is unique and novel for Boston, and of course hand pulled/ripped/cut noodles gets everybody excited these days. My experience mirrors yours. The green giant vegetable medley was off-putting and the broth (chicken) was watery with a few droplets of oil and vinegar, though I did enjoy the spaghetti. The hand-pulled noodles made for good rappelling but I must confess to being a sucker for that ultra simple chile oil garlic bomb sauce.

Jun 21, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

Where to eat in Chinatown on a Sunday night?

I've been meaning to start a thread on solo dining in Chinatown, as it's not a trivial task to figure out a meal for one. I'm talking about sitting down to properly eat a complete meal, as opposed to going into a restaurant and ordering 5 dishes and taking most of it home (that's cheating). gourmaniac, I know you know your way around all the lunch specials (which are nicely designed for a single diner), I wonder if you also have some good insights to share about particular dinner strategies when eating for one. Not that I mind ordering baskets of XLBs, a platter of pork chops and scallion pancakes for myself but, you know, it is bikini season.

The BBQ joints immediately come to mind (Vinh Sun, Kantin, HKE, Wai Wai, Quick Pik, etc) - roast meat, rice & veggies, that's a nutritionally complete meal for one person right there.

Vietnamese cuisine (eg. Xinh Xinh) I find is also well-suited to solo eating. A bowl of soup, a plate of bun, a rice plate ... each are all pretty well set up with everything you'd need to make a meal. I'll occasionally superfluously supplement an appetizer or a salad, but it's unnecessary.

Cafe de Lulu (HK-style diner) has a great pick-3 option which is another good one, especially if variety is what you're looking for (almost a hundred dishes to choose from).

I'll occasionally pop into Winsor or other dim sum joints for a bowl of congee and maybe an order of dumplings if I'm feeling particularly carb-deprived, so it can work too, but it's much better done with company.

I don't know how the hell you'd do it at Montien. I don't think there's any single dish, or two dishes, that would comprise a civilized portioned dinner for one person, as much as I like the place (Thai menu, that is). The curries and soups are pretty big and intended to be a part of a larger group meal. I guess ordering one of the rice plates could work, though they are rather large and also portioned for sharing it would seem, but at around only $12-14, I guess it could work.

Penang there are a coupla ways to go about it. A bowl of laksa, done. Noodle dishes are huge and also seemingly intended for sharing, but I think the rice plates, particularly nasi lemak offers a nutritionally complete and portioned meal for one person.

Again, not sure how the hell one would do it at New Shanghai, or Best Little Restaurant, or Taiwan Cafe or most of the other restaurants in Chinatown, but I'd be curious to hear the strategies from others out there. I guess one could sit down to a bowl of mapo tofu and rice (New Shanghai) and call it meal.

What I'm interested in are places where there's already an option specifically designed and intended for one person to make a meal, or other suitable strategies for making a reasonable meal for one that don't involve just ordering multiple dishes with intentions for leftovers or ordering any one particular plate without regard to its appropriateness to be consumed in isolation as a meal. I hope that makes sense, but it dawns on me now that I am in dire need of coffee.

Jun 20, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area
1

I want to try Thai... again

It's another one of these split personality deals, like Thai North. They do a pretty serious business with both gringos and Thais (mostly students, like Pad Thai Cafe). They have a sausage lady who delivers sai krok issan and when it's available it's quite good & sour. Their khao soi is excellent, but you have to request a chicken leg or thigh, or else you get the boob by default. Nam prik ong is usually available by request, although I don't think it's on the Thai menu (I'll have to double-check my copy later). Their phat phet plaa duk is also quite good, despite their heavy hand with bell peppers (gah).

Jun 14, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area

I want to try Thai... again

Fortunately, it's become diverse enough that we don't have to rely on a single 'best' restaurant. There are several great Thai restaurants with several non-overlapping specialities, which have been noted above. I agree with your and Luther's picks at S&I. Thai North makes some wonderful northern dishes you won't find at S&I or anywhere else in town. I agree with Aromatherapy about the noodles at Rod Dee, and there are some things on the Thai menu at Montien that I prefer over other places (kai yad sai, sai krawk issan, yum kra por plaa). The salads and 'blue-plates' ordered from the Thai menu at Pad Thai Cafe are excellent, and even the salads ordered from the Thai menu at Bangkok Blue have been standouts (particularly yum pla duk foo). Everybody's got their own set of goods, I try to keep 'em all on rotation. I can recall a time when all we had was Dok Bua and even they couldn't fully satisfy a jones sometimes. The options now are better than what you'll find in most cities around the US.

Jun 13, 2013
Nab in Greater Boston Area
2