Brian S's Profile

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Oklahoma Joe's to change name

Here in Tulsa, we're keeping the name. http://okjoes.com/ (The Tulsa restaurant is still owned and run by "Oklahoma Joe" Davidson.)

Sep 11, 2014
Brian S in Great Plains

Sichuan Dry Pot -- available in Flushing?

There are two. Here's my post about them from the Chowhound board that covers Tulsa. Both have become even better since this post. The dry pot is at China Garden. Mandarin Taste has neat things like spicy pig brains with tofu.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/924411

Aug 31, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

Chengdu, Xi'an in Flushing

I'm really glad these places are still going strong. I miss them both.

Aug 26, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

Sichuan Dry Pot -- available in Flushing?

Dry pot is the latest craze in Beijing. It's a Sichuan dish. The Mandarin name is Ma la xiang guo (麻辣香锅). The food -- a meat you select, such as frog or chicken; scallions, onions, etc., lots of spices and Sichuan peppercorns, and a ton of chilis -- comes to your table in a metal wok with a flame underneath. The spicy, pungent sauce is at the bottom of the wok, but you don't eat it or stir it into the meat. Rather, you let it boil away and the flavorful steam saturates the meat. I managed to find this dish in Tulsa (!!!) at a restaurant whose chef cooked for 7 years in Chengdu restaurants, and it was awesome. (I took a photo of that Tulsa dry pot for you to see.) Do you know any places in Flushing that serve this? I bet there are dozens. If you haven't tried it, it's worth the effort to find it. I believe that at least one and maybe several stalls at the New World Food Court serve it, and there's apparently even this chain. http://www.laomamalatang.com/

Some articles on dry pot:

http://www.chinasichuanfood.com/chine...
http://www.chinaexpat.com/2009/03/12/...
https://windhorsetour.com/blog/differ...

Aug 24, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

Food concept in search of a name

Okay food lovers, here's a question. There is an important food concept and there is no word for it. Can you think of a word? Okay, barbecue, pizza, burgers, sushi, ramen. It is a food item that originated as a snack among average people. Not served to the king or duke in his palace. Not usually cooked or served at home, in fact. Traditional, though. Sort of a street food. Usually originated in the 19th century. You can find these foods all over the place, even in big fast-food chains or frozen at Wal-Mart, but they will be a travesty (i.e. crap). It is possible to make them superbly, but that takes a lot of time, skill and effort, and fresh ingredients too, and the few places (usually not elegant restaurants but humble food stalls and eateries) that make them superbly (all of which specialize only in this one thing) usually have cooks who have trained for decades and often it's a family thing, with cooking secrets handed down for generations. Devoted and in fact obsessed connoisseurs spend much time and work seeking out the best places, trying new places in the most obscure neighborhoods, even traveling hundreds of miles, and argue passionately over what shop or region makes them the best. Examples include, in the United States, barbecue, tacos, pizza, hamburgers, falafel, tamales, hero sandwiches, pastrami and bagels; in Japan, sushi and ramen; in Vietnam, pho and banh mi; in the Chinese parts of Asia (especially Singapore) all sorts of street food, including Hainan rice, prepared by street vendors (in Singapore hawkers markets) who often have 20 years experience in cooking just one thing. Is there a name for this sort of food... apart from "delicious"?

Aug 17, 2014
Brian S in General Topics

St. Louis (or New York?) Style Fried Rice

There appears to be a specific style of fried rice found in St. Louis and nowhere else. Certainly not in New York. It's as described by the poster and some say the best is found in East St. Louis. It appears to originate in some of the poorer neighborhoods, especially African-American. One magazine interviewed a jazz musician from East St. Louis who now lives in Atlanta. They asked him what he will do if he ever returns to his old stomping grounds. "he’ll be sure to fill his childhood taste for fried rice.Where is the best fried rice in town? 'Everybody will tell you the best is the one right around the corner from where they grew up.' " One poster on a St. Louis board wrote "you can't get that fried rice like that NOWHERE. I don't even eat fried rice because I can still remember how the [expletive deleted] in the Lou tastes." "If you ever get a chance," wrote another poster, "get some East St. Louis Fried Rice. It's like going to Philly for a Cheese Steak." Another uniquely East St. Louis Chinese restaurant creation is the St. Paul Sandwich... egg foo young on white bread.

Jun 16, 2014
Brian S in Great Plains

Time for one steakhouse heading south on I35 towards Oklahoma City

Mahogany also has a branch in Oklahoma City. Their Tulsa branch features excellent USDA Prime aged steaks and some of the best service I've ever found.

Jun 10, 2014
Brian S in Great Plains

The Kitchen, York NE -- an oasis in a foodie desert

Thank you so much! Wish I'd known that stuff. Immigrants change things. In Tulsa 5 years ago you'd be lucky to get good chow mein. But now there are enough Chinese students and immigrants to support a wonderful restaurant that features 20 items made from pig insides, including spicy pig brains with dofu, which I didn't think you could get outside of Sichuan. It was delicious!

Jun 05, 2014
Brian S in Great Plains

The Kitchen, York NE -- an oasis in a foodie desert

This is the pie!!

Jun 03, 2014
Brian S in Great Plains

The Kitchen, York NE -- an oasis in a foodie desert

I always pictured the Great Plains as bleak and barren tundra, brown and flat and empty, with hardy, determined Willa Cather type people slogging through howling winds. It's not. It's green, vivid green this time of year, with undulating hills, fertile fields planted with crops, and quite a few trees. But foodwise... yes it IS a desert. Just by chance we found a welcome oasis.

Driving north we reached the junction of Interstate 80 near the town of York, Nebraska. We were hungry. All around were nothing but chain restaurants. We picked one at random. It turned out not to be a chain at all, though it used to be part of one called Country Kitchen. Now, in a faux farmhouse with white wood walls, it's an independent restaurant called The Kitchen.

On our first lunch visit, I ordered a Denver Omelet ($7), which was fairly good, but the pancakes that came with it (baked from the owner's recipe) were excellent... though the portion was so big I could barely eat dinner that night. Even better... one of my friends ordered coconut pie ($3 per slice). "Best in my life!" she shouted and ate it like a maniac. I tasted and agreed. It's the owner's recipe and he bakes the pie personally. The filling, light and flavorful, melded with the whipped cream and perfect crust. So good that we stopped on our way back home 2 days later.

This time I ordered the fried chicken. It is fried to order (15 minute wait) and it's worth the wait. Light crunchy crust and impossibly juicy meat. Alongside were homemade mashed potatoes with a rich white gravy. "Think it's tasty now? Well I had some the first time and it was even better then!" another friend exulted. And then we got the pie. We ordered a whole pie ($15). The plan was to eat a slice, then take the rest home to Tulsa. But it was so good I ate almost half the big pie. There was only a tiny slice left to take home.

The Kitchen
3324 S Lincoln
York, Nebraska (very near I-80)
(402) 362-3368
open daily (I think) till around 10 PM

Jun 03, 2014
Brian S in Great Plains

OKC Downtown restaurants- in town 3 days next week

Ask me about Tulsa and I have 100 suggestions. I don't know Oklahoma City (except I do know that their best restaurant is Ludivine) but maybe this recent Los Angeles Times article might help you.
http://articles.latimes.com/2014/feb/...

Jun 03, 2014
Brian S in Great Plains

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

also the guy who owns and runs TulsaFood.com (it's not me, it's not my blog!) wouldn't be thrilled if I put a lengthy recap of my article on another website, such as this one.

May 28, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

Thanks, Bob!!! I was hoping to get feedback on the article, feedback such as "you're wrong about that Sichuan dish, you can get it at Spicy & Tasty" (although this wouldn't happen, since I checked Spicy & Tasty's online menu). And the best way of doing this was to post a link to the article.

May 27, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

Just wanted to add that over the past 3 or 4 years, Tulsa's top chefs have incredibly improved their game. They could compete in New York, and if you don't believe me -- and if you'd told me this 5 years ago I would have fallen off my chair I'd be laughing so hard -- check out the photos here.
http://tulsafood.com/reviews/battle-o...

May 26, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

MSP to the Black Hills... help!

This recent post has several Black Hills recommendations. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/903853

May 16, 2014
Brian S in Great Plains

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

And of course there is now Au Za'atar for Lebanese food in Manhattan.

Apr 29, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

Wow the Nepali scene has really improved! I'd bet it's better than anything I found in Nepal (not counting the pie shops near Freak Street). Tulsa doesn't have anything than that. If there are any Nepalis here they probably would work in an Indian restaurant, just as our Hmong people (which NYC does not have) cook, if they work in restaurants, Thai food.

Apr 28, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

Yeah I actually made the trip to Bay Ridge to eat at Tanoreen Restaurant. Food was so good I went back again a few weeks later.

Apr 25, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

Best Mexican restaurants in Tulsa? Authentic or Tex

I think the most authentic Mexican in Tulsa is El Gallo Loco. A big glass counter behind which are dishes that scream authentic. Moles, carnitas and lots more. One employee speaks a little English, that's the only English you'll hear at that joint. http://tulsafood.com/mexican-food/aut...

For Tex-Mex, a whole different cuisine, try Ricardo's or Rancho Grande. There are guys who have gone to Rancho Grande every week for sixty years! And you can get dishes like the one in my photo. Nothing more need be said.

Apr 24, 2014
Brian S in Great Plains

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

Also it was way the other side of Queens. The only time I went out there was for a place Jim Leff recommended, Mississippi Barbecue.

Apr 24, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

Tulsa has taco trucks all over the place, and tons of Mexican restaurants, some surprisingly good. But I could not put that in my list because New York has more and better, on Roosevelt Avenue. Similarly, I didn't list Tulsa's fine Lebanese restaurants because you can also find Lebanese restaurants in Astoria around 30 Street west of the elevated subway tracks.

Apr 22, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

"nothing gold can stay," said Robert Frost, but I do my best. So many new excellent restaurants you won't recognize Tulsa anymore. We truly have fine dining.

Apr 21, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

Well there's nothing like Coatzingo here though there are a ton of Mexican restaurants. Though a few restaurants have entrees served in moljacetes, which I never saw in NYC. Also Tex-Mex of course.

Apr 21, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

Thank you for remembering me! What I meant about the steak... of course Peter Luger has better steaks. But Frank Bruni wrote this in 2000, or to be more accurate quoted it from another writer: “There’s not a single restaurant where I found every one of the ingredients that make up a Perfect Steak Experience: memorable meat, stellar accompaniments, an inviting setting, distinctive wine service. Each place I visited had its hits and misses.” And I said that if he visited Prhyme in Tulsa, he would find every one of these ingredients of the Perfect Steak Experience even though Luger's steak might be better.

Apr 19, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

Of course NYC has a few German restaurants. I wonder if the Schlitz, deep in the South Bronx at the corner of 137 and Willow, is still around. Anyone know? But what I said in the article was that unlike any of those, Siegi's in Tulsa makes its own sausages (which are sold throughout the city). By the way in my article I referred to the 1905 boat disaster that decimated the German community, and my 83 year old neighbor said, "my grandparents died on that boat."

Apr 19, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

I never thought of trying that at the Polish places. But Polish food is one thing Tulsa lacks, and people are so envious here when I tell them about all the sausage stores like W-Nassau on Manhattan Ave with sausages hanging on the ceiling and no one speaking anything but Polish.

Apr 18, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

I meant it to have only things which are not available in NYC. But as I said it's been 5 years and I could have got it wrong.

Apr 18, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

You have no idea how much I miss you guys... and miss the restaurants of New York. Maybe I'll write a list of 2700 food things NYC has but Tulsa doesn't. Still, the Tulsa restaurant scene has taken off dramatically in the past 3 years.

Apr 18, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

I meant food from the island of Dominica and not the Dominican Republic. I don't think you'll find food from Dominica in Brooklyn, I searched this message board before I put it on the list.

Apr 18, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs

27 foods you can find in Tulsa but NOT New York. Am I wrong?

because of the photos. The list doesn't make as much sense without the photos. Plus I'd have to reprint the whole list and that will be really long, because again without the whole explanatory text it won't make sense.

Apr 18, 2014
Brian S in Outer Boroughs
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