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I-15 North to Driggs, Idaho

What I learned: Senor Iguanas in Pocatello is a must to avoid. It was profoundly mediocre--really, I'd say dreadful, except it was edible, and not spoiled or anything. We didn't see any more promising leads, but they can't possibly be significantly worse.

Jackson Hole to Riverton to Cody Wy

I just ate at Dornan's last week. The pizza was kind of like Amy's Frozen pizza, though arguably with less flavor -- too doughy, too cheesy, not saucy enough, and too sparing on the toppings. The spinach salad was very fresh and large, but way overdressed. I agree the wine shop is really good for the region. The main draw here -- unquestionably -- is that the top patio has a phenomenal view of the mountains, and is a perfect place to watch sunset. It's just too bad it doesn't have a better menu.

We did eat a very good meal in Jackson itself at the Local, right on the town square. Nice, unadorned vibe, and nice service. The star of the meal was actually the side dishes, which are ordered separately, but at 3 for $12 (for large, share-able portions) were a wonderful deal. Excellent mushrooms, brussels sprouts (we left off the completely unnecessary and misguided bacon vinaigrette) and heirloom tomatoes. Asparagus was nothing remarkable, but was fine. The elk tenderloin main I had was very properly cooked -- the rare side of medium rare -- and an excellent texture, but I found it a remarkably flavorless piece of meat. I think it's the first elk I've had, and I expected it to be more flavorful than beef, and it was not. I also thought it was overwhelmed by the sweetness of the sweet potato/huckleberry puree in which it was served. Other party had a trout that was a nice piece of fish, but a bit too breaded. Nice wines by the bottle, a weak white-by-the-glass selection. Still, while not fantastic, generally quite good.

Taqueria La Picardia in Port Chester

Recently had two absolutely excellent taco meals at this place, just kitty-corner to the Capital Theater (118 Westchester Avenue). Anyone else try it? I've only had tacos, so can't speak to anything else on the menu, but my next visit will be for pozole (just a hunch). The "taco Arabe" was a wonderfully flavored pork taco, and perhaps most notably, their vegetarian taco is completely worth getting even if you are not a vegetarian taco. It's a wonderful mix of sauteed veggies that really work. I'm not saying it will evoke memories of Mexico, but it's very good. Ample size tacos too. Also a friendly, gregarious owner, which is also really nice. And it turns out the Grateful Dead paraphernalia isn't Dia de los Muertos stuff -- he's just an old deadhead.

I liked these better than Los Gemelos, though those are certainly quite nice.

Newbie Tom Kah Gai questions

Agree with klyeoh.

I'm not sure what you meant about fish sauce suggestions. Do you mean brand ideas, or how to use it in the soup? If the former, I think there are many on the board. I usually use Golden Boy (picture of a fat baby on the front). I wouldn't sweat the brand too much. As for using it in the soup, you definitely want it, and to a certain extent you add it to taste, to flesh out the soup.

I'd never use basil in the soup, but I would use some cilantro.

This recipe looks like it won't lead you astray, though I'd add straw mushrooms: http://www.templeofthai.com/recipes/c...

Jul 31, 2014
mary shaposhnik in Home Cooking

Kneaded Bread in Port Chester

They have a rosemary-olive bread -- I can never remember exactly what kind -- that is truly wonderful. Actually, basically all the breads I've had have been very good -- in some ways, the bigger the bread, the better.

One of the things I really like about this place is that it is very inclusive, and doesn't have to fall on any one side of a gentrification divide. It sells stuff that appeal to a lot of people, and at very good prices.

They also have a very welcome lunchtime soup option. The black bean was very tasty.

Now I'm wanting the cheese danish, though.

I-15 North to Driggs, Idaho

I'm reviving this 6 year old post, since I'm traveling the same route. Anyone have good recs? Thanks.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Thanks.

tumeric root uses?

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

http://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatinga...

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!

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.

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.

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.

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:
http://www.altweeklies.com/aan/restru...

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:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/spicy...

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