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Cafe D'Alsace -food has gone downhill.

A friend and I stopped by for dinner last night. It was well after 11; we had both finished shifts at our restaurant jobs. The hostess seated us immediately at a table directly in front of her station. More than 5 minutes passed (we were in conversation) before I made note that we were yet to be greeted by a server. I stood up and went to the hostess for menus. She asked where we were sitting, which was odd since she led us to the table personally and pulled out the chair for me. It took a few minutes before our server dropped off the menus. Total time before our water glasses were filled: easily 8 minutes. We placed our order after another few minutes. The fromage plate came out as did our Belgian beers. A De Koninck and a Kwak. The Kwak came in a glass that took considerable attention to remove from its cradle. It was tasty, though. So, having stopped picking at our cheeses, the server had neglected us for some time more before rushing over and telling us he'd 'fire' our dishes. My friend laughed because minutes earlier I had guessed they had yet to start on our food. It actually turns out I was wrong; the food was brought out within a 15 seconds of his trip to the kitchen. They had the roast chicken and d'alsace burger warming. During the course of our meal, another server had trouble with a table. The patrons began arguing when our server stepped in to intervene. There were plenty of raised voices and stares from everyone seated at the bar. I'm left with an overall impression of mediocrity due to service. Food-wise, I'll withhold judgment because we ordered what some may deem 'pedestrian' fare.

May 06, 2007
kwanito in Manhattan

Chinatown for Vegetarian?

A tip for vegetarian dining in China, preface your order by saying you're a practicing Buddhist. It might not be the case, but you can pretty much ensure your meal will not have minced meats or seafood hidden at the bottom of a dish.

I recommend both Buddha Bodai & Vegetarian Dim Sum House.

Jan 29, 2007
kwanito in Manhattan

Best Chicken Wings

I co-hosted a Wings Night every Wed. all last year for 20+ Columbia students. It was glorious. I'm partial to these guys.

I'm pretty lucky to have Rathbones, Back Page, and Blondies in my 'hood. Will check them all out soon.

Dec 20, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

is the egg cookie lady still there

there's usually a cart on Canal, too.

Dec 18, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Calling all favorite fish dishes

My favorite recipe:
poached whole sea bass with soy, a ginger & scallion chiffonade.

the ginger can be fried for a crispy contrast to the soft moist fish.

the bone structure of bass makes it easy to filet at the table. grab 2 spoons and separate the top side, then lift the entire skeleton out and you've got the bottom side left on the plate.

i find poaching to be a fairly fool-proof method when dealing with fish. my father adds chicken fat to the water. once the fish is plated in the pool of soy, spoon hot oil atop the fish. i've had this dish at least once a week since childhood. very simple flavors from this Cantonese recipe.

Dec 14, 2006
kwanito in Home Cooking

Do you wear an apron when you cook?

I snagged one, too! I also received a black one with white lettering. So I have 2 to commemorate my barista days.

Dec 14, 2006
kwanito in Not About Food

Manhattan eats for dirt cheap prices?

Yeah, I thought of the tea egg after my post was submitted. It seems more likely.

Dec 13, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Manhattan eats for dirt cheap prices?

thousand year egg, maybe? it's the only one i can think of that would have spots, or a pattern.

Dec 13, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

What to eat before a hockey game

Soul Fixins' on 34th & 9th.
burger & cupcakes on 36th & 9th.

If I'm eating in the area, it's generally Korean.

non chow-related:
I'm looking to take a friend to her first Ranger game, but as a diehard fan, I can't bring myself to sit in the Garden and support the (mis)management team of Sather, Renney, Dolan.
Sigh. Have fun watching Ovechkin tear up the blueliners.

Dec 13, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Manhattan eats for dirt cheap prices?

Malecon on 97th & Amsterdam. Grab a seat at the counter with the regulars.

Dec 11, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Manhattan eats for dirt cheap prices?

there's a pizza counter on 41st and 9th ave that rolls out pies every 5-10 minutes. highest turnover i've ever seen. a buck/a slice. supplement it with a hotdog and drink from the corner on 42nd and 9th.

Dec 10, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Upper Eastside recommendations

Ottomanelli's Cafe is on York Ave.

Nov 27, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Replacement for McHale's burger

Where does Walker's stack up against a Molly's or Paul's?

Nov 25, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Where to find best quality raw fish for making sashimi at home?

Ah, understood. I really like sashimi/sushi, but know next to nothing about its preparation. Thanks for the thread.

Nov 25, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Where to find best quality raw fish for making sashimi at home?

I've always wanted to do the same. I would go to Chinatown really early when the fish get delivered, unless there are better options.

Nov 24, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

cuban or cuban/chinese

I'll recommend Flor De Mayo, too. Although it's actually Peruvian/Chinese.

I recall them using raisins/olives in the papa rellena.
The sweet fried plantains are called maduros.
The salty chip-like ones are called tostones.

Any Spanish restaurant worth eating at will have both. I visited Little Havana (W. Village) for the first time last week. The maduros were underwhelming. The thing is, it's fairly hard to screw up maduros.

Nov 12, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Sake

Try Decibel or Kenka. Both are in the E. Village. Hopefully you'll find the sake.

Nov 12, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Top Pizza in NYC

Well, I went to dinner at John's on Bleeker last night for the first time.

My friend and I ordered one pie:
half plain
half meatballs, pepperoni, peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

The plain was fine. It was nicely charred/crispy and the sauce was not overly sweet or tangy. I found it was just right. The cheese tasted good and wasn't too stringy when bitten into.

We both started on the plain, and by the time we got into the topped slices, they had cooled off considerably. The slices became slightly bogged down and were somewhat soggy. I think I'll save the topping overload to deep dish pies from Uno's or the like.

I enjoyed the plain slices very much and the topped ones slightly less. My friend and I both hadn't had pizza in quite a while, so we didn't have any memories to recall for a basis of comparison.

Nov 10, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Britt candies, or similar.

I was snacking on Britt candies from Costa Rica, and came to the realization I'm nearly out.

I'd like to track down the following:

Chocolate covered Guava jelly
Dark chocolate covered Macadamia nuts
White chocolate covered coffee beans

Thanks.

Sep 29, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Amy Ruth's

I just got an invite to a Alumni Networking night where Carl Redding will be the guest speaker. I now have to make a trip uptown for what appears to be some very good chicken & waffles. Thanks for the rec.

Sep 25, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Any cheap but good mexican and $4 Margaritas?

Frozen margaritas at El Sombrero are $7 a pop.

Aug 22, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Sushi near Morningside Heights/Columbia?

Tokyo Pop. I recommend it if you're in the nabe. Very solid sushi rolls and sashimi. In fact, it's better than what Tomo offers at the same price. It's fun, so bring a friend and chow out! I'd love to hear you sing their praises.

Aug 08, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Pastelitos de Guayaba, Coco and Carne in NYC?

This is now my craving too! I had these (or variations) in Costa Rica.

Jul 15, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Any suggestions near South Street Seaport

Agree with Cabana. I've enjoyed good meals here.

Jul 14, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

UES Foodie needs suggestions for some good eats

Cafe D'Alsace is the newcomer to this nabe.

Jul 12, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Inexpensive lunch near Bloomies (59th)

If Kar Won is the rest. that serves roasted meats like the joints in Chinatown, then I recommend it as well. While working at Bloomberg, I often ordered from these folks. I'm also slightly more selective when it comes to Chinese cuisine because of my background.

Jul 12, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

Best Taco Truck?

While the truck at 96th/B'way delivers, the quality doesn't seem to hold up in the process. Eating the freshly prepared tacos or tortas fresh off the griddle is best best. The truck is great for a simple fix. The sauces are very fresh, so too, are the ingredients as evident in the flavors. A cheap and authentic option. I recommend it.

Jul 11, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

ISO -- UES Coffee Shops

I agree with chaz. DTUT can at times border on boisterous. I have absolutely no problem enjoying a drink and a snack there- I just wouldn't go with the intent on completing any serious work.

Jul 10, 2006
kwanito in Manhattan

My Strawberry-Vodka Infusion...mmm...

Is the process as simple as getting the fruit covered in vodka and waiting? Is there any way infusions can go wrong, like in canning/jarring?

Jul 08, 2006
kwanito in Spirits

Soy based Ice Cream

Tofu Fa- a soy custard. Not quite ice cream, but you might enjoy it all the same.

http://www.ellenskitchen.com/clearlig...

http://chinesefood.about.com/od/desse...

Jul 08, 2006
kwanito in Home Cooking