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Dish recommendations at Tanoreen!!

Rather than start a new thread, I decided to update an old one. I went back to Tanoreen earlier this week for the first time in years -- indeed, since they were in their old place. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed, and found many of the dishes were lesser versions of their previous selves.

The good things were the hummus, which was very good, and the eggplant napoleon remained a real treat. The breading on the eggplant was thicker than in the past, which gets very near throwing the dish off balance, but I think it didn't quite cross the line.

But the cauliflower salad was REALLY not up to par--overly large pieces of cauliflower (which means they are mostly mushy interiors, rather than caramelized edges) and it was completely and inexcusaby oversatured in the pomegranate syrup, with very little tahini to balance it. I love pomegranate syrup, but this was way too heavy of a hand. It just made for a too-sweet mush. The dandelion greens were also oddly mushy and lacking a bite (I was desperate for something bitter to cut the caulflower), as if they had been sitting for too long. We also had a fava bean dish that I forget (with cumin, I think?) but liked quite well enough, but it wasn't memorable.

Rawia was still there working the room, and since I always loved her lamb perhaps I might have had better luck with that (I was with a vegetarian), but the food didn't have the expert touch that I associate with her kitchen.

Jul 03, 2014
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

Marco's Brooklyn

I ate there for the first time last week, and had absolutely wonderful food, and less impressive wine. I had the same dish you did -- the tagliatelle with prosciutto -- and it was fantastic. We also absolutely loved a fiddlehead fern app, and most loved the shell beans side dish. This was something of an afterthought, and was quite a humble little mush of beans, but they were phenomenally well prepared--very well infused with aromatics and spices.

We were also underwhelmed by the wine by the glass selections. We each had an okay glass, but we were surprised at the relatively limited range.

Still, it was such an excellent meal, especially at this season, that I will happily go back. I also appreciated the general air of competence and the calm vibe (even if not quiet) of the place.

Jun 16, 2014
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

restaurant with vegan options near BAM

That's pretty close to Bati, the Ethiopian restaurant. Although intermittently the food has been excellent, usually it is just fine -- not great. But it's an attractive space, lovely people, and Ethiopian works well for vegans.

Apr 16, 2014
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

where to buy fresh turmeric root

I have always found frozen whole turmeric roots in stock at the Thai/Indonesian grocery store on the west side of Mulberry Street, between Bayard and Canal (about 3 doors up from Bayard). Same with Bangkok Center Grocery.

Dec 16, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

Staying in Park Slope- NYC for cheap (adventurous) midwesterners

Yunnan Flavour Garden, in Sunset Park (Brooklyn neighborhood south of Park Slope). Not walking distance, but not far on the R train. Excellent noodles.

Dec 04, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

best rice cooker for brown rice, no teflon?

I've read some of the older threads, but it's not entirely clear to me which would be best for brown rice, if that matters. And a smaller rather than larger one might be important -- it's a gift for someone who lives alone. Thanks.

Dec 04, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Cookware

Christmas morning? dim sum/jiao zi with kid, nearish TST

So strange, I thought I replied to your "how early" question earlier. Sorry.

Answer: EARLY! Flight lands at 5:30 a.m., probably head back to HKG around 12:30 p.m. Looking around at many of the places mentioned, I do see they are meant more for 11ish.

So if there are any ideas for places that might open early -- either dim sum or simply Beijing-style dumpling houses -- then I'd welcome them. And Central is fine too -- can ride the ferry, ride back.

Thanks! I'm continuing to scout around.

Nov 21, 2013
mary shaposhnik in China & Southeast Asia

Christmas morning? dim sum/jiao zi with kid, nearish TST

I'm landing in Hong Kong early Christmas morning with my 5 year old, then flying out in late afternoon. My plans may have to be jettisoned depending on how we're doing, but I'd love to spend at least a few hours in the city -- probably just ride the Star Ferry, walk around a bit, maybe the playground in TST to stay outdoors as much as possible.

But we'll be hungry, and it will be early Christmas morning. Where would you recommend for dim sum at that time? And I mention jiaozi because that's what my kid likes most. We'll be on pretty low wattage, so can't be anything too complicated.


Nov 14, 2013
mary shaposhnik in China & Southeast Asia

tumeric root uses?

Here's a post on a turmeric-based tea, by a very long-time Chowhound contributor:


It's also a component of a lot of Thai curry pastes. It freezes very well.

Nov 12, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

Good inexpensive restaurant near MOMA

Not near MOMA, but still in midtown, would be Szechuan Gourmet on 39th Street between 5th and 6th. Lots of discussion of the place on here. But further north than that -- I got nothing.

Jul 19, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Manhattan

Using sour cherries (split from San Francisco Bay Area board)

Same here, every year.

I also always do a cherry cobbler.

The rest of the cherries, I pit and freeze, usually with maybe a tablespoon of sugar. I'll make them into a cherry sauce for pork tenderloin. It would probably also work with duck, but that's not something I am good at cooking.

Then I always use the last of the frozen cherries in something to bake for Christmas morning.

Jul 12, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

Purslane - what do you do with it?

Claudia Roden's big blue book had a simple, perfect way to prepare it. Make a dressing whisking yogurt, pressed garlic (not minced), olive oil and salt and pepper. Pour on purslane. Done.

I find if I use lebneh instead of yogurt it works even better.

Jul 09, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

Mission Chinese Food: An Underrated Overrated Restaurant?

Under/over, I don't know. First time the other day, and had a very lovely cold rice noodle dish with sausage (noodle texture was off, but the flavor balance was great), and what was unquestionably the worst mapo tofu I've ever had. Absolutely flavorless, without any depth, with just a bunch of Sichuan peppercorns thrown in.

Jun 26, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Manhattan

Cookbook of the Month June 2013: BURMA Basics, salads, soups, vegetables

Ginger Salad (p.48): This is such a staple that I expect a lot will try to make it. Refreshing and lovely. I found the recipe made a lot more salad than I expected -- I had a lot of leftovers. I expected the ginger taste to be more noticeable, but the many other flavors in the salad balanced it out. For myself, I'll up the ginger the next time around because I can eat tons of it, but following the recipe closely, the dish would be very compatible with a lot of other dishes and non-Asian cuisine.

Jun 03, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

Falansai (Vietnamese in Bushwick)

I don't like to get into safety-related discussions because I find that people who might love the same food can have wildly varying perceptions of safety--different baselines and different tolerances for varying from that baseline. FWIW, this is located about two blocks from the crazily popular Roberta's, which has people waiting all night. We are also in the longest days of the year now. I didn't think twice about dinner with my kid there.

And thanks HungryWino, though I must say I have little expertise in Vietnamese food!

May 30, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

Falansai (Vietnamese in Bushwick)

I have eaten there once, and I was waiting to eat more around the menu before piping up, but will chime in since you pictured the standout dish of my first meal: the shrimp and okra. It's a great use of okra -- stir fried so it stays crisp and crunchy, texturally working wonderfully with the shrimp and very delicate seasonings of Sichuan peppercorn, peanuts, galanga and dried shrimp.

By way of disclosure, the owner lives in the same apartment building that I do, and is very congenial, so I do wish him well.

This is a very new place, and I expect it to evolve. The Slanted Door references will probably lead to all sorts of wrong impressions and expectations, but I have to say it did feel similar in approach to what I remember from when Slanted Door opened around the corner from me in the 90s--an elegant approach to cooking, with very good technique.

My eating choices that first visit were constrained by my dining companions (a non meat eater and a 4 year old), so I want to go and eat more, especially the meats and Chaozhou influenced choices. Apart from the shrimp and okra dish, the vegetarian cha gio were also outstanding -- perfect non-greasy crispiness and delicate fillings. The goi du du was crunchy and refreshing, though because we had it without any heat for the kids' sake (futile, it turns out), the one I had was on the sweet side. The curried eggplant shown above was also subtle and lovely.

Very pretty room, could easily work on a date. Very near the Morgan L.

May 29, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

Washington Place brooklyn Corner Restaurant, long line just to get in....What and Why?

I am guessing the place you saw was Tom's Restaurant, on Washington Avenue. It's been so many years since I've eaten there that I have no idea how it fares, but it's insanely popular for its ricotta pancakes and breakfasts in general.

Did you try the peanut stew soup at Skazzy? Thanks for the rec.

May 27, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

Cookbook of the Month June 2013: BURMA by Naomi Duguid

I'd try again if I were you, and just use less. One of my biggest obstacles in eating is that for almost all of my life I have hated seafood (and grew up on the Chesapeake, so Ms. Paul's fish sticks are not to blame!). It has only slowly worked its way into my palate with Thai food, but even then, only at the margins. I write to say that I am VERY sensitive to fishy tastes. I have made a few of the salads in Duguid's book, and found that the shrimp powder really did just melt into the dish -- like anchovy paste often does, or fish sauce. Maybe try different dried shrimp? Do you have a reliable vendor to get good quality? Anyway, I'd just say keep trying...

May 27, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

According to Gawker, Robert Sietsema has been laid off from the Voice

Before and after, for me. I'm not terribly concerned about anyone being able to claim "firsts" or "scoops" or "discoveries," and find those to be loaded terms -- loaded with class/ethnicity/inside-outside assumptions ("discovered" means what? by whom? etc). To me, Sietsema's value during his long run at the Voice -- one I hope will be continued elsewhere -- was the deep well of information and knowledge he brought to his project of casting the geographical and ethnic net very widely. Even if I wasn't scooting off to the places he mentioned, I learned an enormous amount about food -- accurate information -- from reading his columns. It doesn't mean he didn't have hits or misses, but by an overwhelmingly large margin, I found him to have a consistent point of view and taste that could give me far more direction than I can get from scanning multiple blogs with little blips that might talk about the same restaurant. He really knows an incredible amount, and I want there to be a continuing outlet for that knowledge.

May 21, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Manhattan

According to Gawker, Robert Sietsema has been laid off from the Voice

Pretty funny, coming on the heels of the Voice's press release about the layoffs:

May 20, 2013
mary shaposhnik in Manhattan

Where to find dried sour cherres.

I strongly suspect Kalustyan's would have them. You could call and ask.

Dec 28, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Manhattan

Christmas Eve, what's on the menu?

It's a simple family meal. For the last few years I've been doing pork (tenderloin or chops) with sour cherry sauce made from the cherries I pit while watching Wimbledon and freeze. Roast potatoes, some greens.

Dec 23, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

Is this a good cheese straw/cracker recipe?

I've never made cheese straws or cheese cracker/cookies before, but have a hunk of cheddar and was thinking these Cheddar cookies could be cute in holiday shapes:


Was just wondering if this appears to be a workable/standard recipe, or anything I should know. No time for trial runs. Thanks.

Dec 21, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

Burning for Burmese

Allegra, I just wanted to say a big thanks for all you have posted so far, and to encourage you to continue to add to it! I am definitely going to be returning to this thread after the holidays, and really appreciate hearing the results of your (and everyone else's) experiments.

Nov 15, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

Burning for Burmese

I haven't had a chance to cook out of Duguid's Burma book yet, but I, too, had wondered why she didn't say anything about dao jiao as a substitute for tua nao. Realistically, I'm not going to get around to making tua nao for...oh, probably years. Was your side by side comparison of miso and dao jiao in the context of a certain dish, or just straight up?

Nov 15, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

Indonesian bazaars, Masjid al-Hikmah, 2012

This is a great tip, thanks.

Oct 11, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

Pok Pok NY...good, not great

I shouldn't be surprised, given that I generally have gotten a lot from missmasala's posts in the past, to find myself nodding vigorously in agreement on many, many counts, based on my (long delayed!) first visit to PokPok. I wasn't going to chime in since it was just one visit, but I just had to say a "me too!"

Meaning, you hit the nail on the head that it felt just like a Thai restaurant. We were there on a hot, sticky night, which just added to it, but I was incredibly happy crunching on the gravel and then coming across the back patio.

It sounds like our parties ordered similar dishes, and I had similar reactions. I thought the pak boong was fantastic, and the sai oua was very pleasurable as well. The latter was, however, a bit disappointing -- it was more like I was so pleased to be eating it again that it didn't matter that this was a relatively "eh" version. Part of the appeal for ordering it again would be that it come with nam prik num, which was quite good. In general, I was surprised not to see dips/jaews like this featured more prominently on the menu. I think Ricker could introduce folks not familiar with these northern Thai dishes to them, and could feature these as stand alones.

I also liked the northern laab/laab khua. I would have liked to see far more intensity to it than I got -- it wasn't as deep and "dark" as I expect this dish to get. It was, however, a tasty dish, though I think I was the only one in our party really lapping it up.

I wouldn't have ordered the khao soi as part of a meal, but a friend really wanted to, and I thought it was bad. And I see folks got on a discussion of it below, and I have definitely had some FANTASTIC khao sois before (and I have to say make a generally pretty good one too), but neither Srip nor this gives me any desire to order either one again.

What else, we did have a lovely fish -- steamed or whatever, I can't remember -- with a great green sauce.

The eggplant salad surprised me--I expected more balance and certainly some more heat and piquancy. Likewise, I think we got neua namtok, which was fine, but Srips on a good day is better.

We did NOT get that pork neck dish that others mention, though a friend who is a frequent PokPok eater also says it's fantastic, and I'd put that first on my list next time.

I am definitely going back and I'm definitely eating the entire menu through and through, because I love having someone trying to bring these foods I love here. But I'm a little puzzled as to why some of them haven't quite translated as well as I suspect he knows how to do.

Sep 12, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Outer Boroughs

Preserved Lemon -- Is that normal

I have no idea what the black dots are and whether it's safe or unsafe. But I've bought tons of preserved lemons and never seen that.

Jul 13, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

galleygirl sour cherry cake revisited

Thank you. What is mahlab usually used for? That sounds interesting.

Jun 30, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

galleygirl sour cherry cake revisited

(yea, you're here!) Good idea to replace some flour. I was just going to throw it in. Often I find mine doesn't really cook in the middle anyway--which is still okay.

I'll give it a try tomorrow. (Sour cherries have been in NYC for 2 weeks now, and usually it's a 3-week season).

Jun 29, 2012
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking