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Cold Soba Noodles

I'm still mourning the loss of Matsugen (circa 2011), but in the meantime, I get my fix at Ootoya in Chelsea (only one kind available: plain zaru soba). If you like uni ikura soba, EN Japanese Brasserie serves an amazing one at brunch.

Really hoping for Daruma-ya to fill the soba void!

Apr 04, 2014
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Great champagne boutique & tasting at "Au 36" in Hautvillers, betw. Epernay & Reims

"Au 36," a champagne boutique and tasting room in Hautvillers, was recommended to us by a native from Epernay on a recent trip through Champagne. Strapped for time (and on a Sunday!), we were spoiled with a dégustation of 7 items made from local products of the Champagne-Ardenne region for €15:

- Beetroot mousse with trout and parmesan crumble
- Potato cake with cured ham from Reims
- Boudin blanc with mushroom pastry
- Pâté en croûte
- Champenois lentils with ham
- Chaource (a local cheese) & baguette
- Rose & raspberry macaron

Everything was delicious, and the owners were warm and welcoming. Highly recommend a visit if you're in the area and want to try champagnes from different houses!

Note: they're closed on Mondays. Check their website for exact hours.

Dec 24, 2013
Noodle fanatic in France

Thanksgiving for 2 in Portland

Thanks! The North Point sounds great. I just called and they said they'll be open from 2 p.m. to midnight and taking walk-ins.

We're staying at the Hampton Inn downtown on Fore Street.

Inn on Peaks sounds interesting as well. They're offering a $19 buffet with all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes and open until 3 p.m.

Now we'll have to decide where to go for lunch vs. dinner.

Thanksgiving for 2 in Portland

Any ideas on where a couple of out-of-towners from NYC should eat on Thanksgiving Day in downtown Portland? (We won't have a car.) I've gone through the list of restaurants that will be open, and the options are slim.

The Thanksgiving menu that most appeals to us (we love seafood!) is Eve's at the Garden at Portland Harbor Hotel, but they've been sold out as of the first week of November. It's a $45 buffet with oysters, shrimp cocktails, seafood chowder, the Thanksgiving staples like turkey/ham/prime rib, and more creative sides such as crab & saffron couscous and edamame salad w/ chorizo.

Now that our top choice is all sold out, we're debating whether to pack a picnic from NYC and heat it up in our hotel room, or "splurge" on options that don't seem very exciting. We'd love to pick up supplies locally, but our flight arrives at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and from what I've heard, everything's closed, including local bakeries.

We'd love your help, Portland food lovers!

1. Which is the best pick, if your options were limited to the following on Thanksgiving Day?

A. Five Fifty-Five: $75 4-course prix-fixe menu ( Would this disappoint two New Yorkers? Value for $ is important to us. We don't mind spending $100+ pp if the food will impress us. Let us know if you think it's worth it!

B. Twenty Milk Street at the Regency Hotel: a la carte with appetizers around $12 and entrees around $30 ( How's the food there? We couldn't find any positive/recent reviews.

C: Denny's. We've never eaten at one, and it could be an interesting kitschy experience.

2. Where could we go for dinner/drinks? We're thinking of Three Dollar Deweys, but would love to hear which other places will be open.

3. Any other suggestions?


Beer Hall Type Place needed for group of 12 celebrating birthday on a Thursday

Between Bierreria and Spitzer's Corner, which has better food?

Jun 24, 2012
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

superlative vancouver foods?

Would love to hear a comparison between Yew and Blue Water for anyone who has been to both.

superlative vancouver foods?

Thanks for the advice! Kibune sounds perfect!

The only reason I put Shizen Ya (downtown) on my list was because they seemed to have gotten good reviews and is conveniently located. Although upon further inspection of their menu (not enough variety of fish) it's off our short-list given that we only have 1 day in Van.

superlative vancouver foods?

Great thread! What would you recommend to 2 seafood-loving New Yorkers in town for just 1 day? Need recs for breakfast, lunch, snack/afternoon tea, and dinner on a Saturday. We're quite spoiled as well, being based in Manhattan, and having just returned from a trip to Hong Kong. (Should add that we used to live in Hong Kong and go back regularly, so for Cantonese recs, only crème de la crèmes please.) From all my restaurant research so far, I gathered that we may not necessarily be wowed, but I can't imagine seafood to be anything less than stellar if Vancouver is close to the heart of the best seafood sources in the world? Where can we find the best oysters and freshest sashimi/sushi in Vancouver? How about the best cooked seafood? Non seafood suggestions welcome as well. Our palate leans French, Japanese, and New American. But ready to throw that out the window as well as we're really just looking for the best food Vancouver has to offer. We won't have a car and will likely hang around Kits, Gastown, Yaletown, or South Main.

For oysters - Rodney's, Chewies, or Blue Water Cafe?
For casual seafood - Lobster Man, Kaboom, or Go Fish?
For locally sourced meals - Edible Canada or Kitsilano Daily Kitchen?
For sushi - Hitoe, Shizen Ya, or Miku?

We'd love to experience as much as we can in 1 day before going up to Whistler!

Catering/Delivery for Overnight Event (Union Square)

What about a good plain NY slice? I'm struggling to find something...

Nov 09, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Catering/Delivery for Overnight Event (Union Square)

Thanks! We're on the south side, where the movie theatre is. (Broadway/13th St)

Nov 08, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Catering/Delivery for Overnight Event (Union Square)

I'm hosting an event for around 100 people, and need to feed them breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and a midnight snack. It's a 24-hour coding marathon/work session where software developers hack stuff and make apps. Pizza, sandwiches, and red bull are the norm at these types of events, but I want to make it cool and serve more interesting foods (or really delicious versions of said foods).

Which are the best catering/delivery spots around Union Square for...?
- Breakfast
- Falafels/hummus/pita
- Meatballs
- Pizza
- Sandwiches (not Subway)
- Salads
- Sushi
- Coffee/tea/pastries
- Beer/wine
- Late-night delivery (like 3 a.m.)

Other food ideas welcome!

So far, my colleagues have recommended:
- Rickshaw Dumpling
- Ennju Sushi
- Maoz

Thanks in advance!

20 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

38 Union Sq E, New York, NY 10003

Rickshaw Dumpling Bar
61 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

Nov 08, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Best weekday lunch in Meatpacking, Chelsea, West Village

Any suggestions for lunch under $10 in the same area?

Oct 28, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

How can Americans incorporate more fruits & vegetables in their diets on a budget?

According to the USDA's new MyPlate guidelines (which replaces the food pyramid): Make half your plate fruits and vegetables!

Some general tips:

1. Fire up the grill
Use the grill to cook vegetables and fruits. Mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and garlic area all awesome on a skewer. Grilled fruits like peaches, pineapple, or mangos add great flavor to a cookout.

2. Expand the flavor of your casseroles
Mix vegetables such as sauteed onions, peas, carrots, or tomatoes into your favorite dish for extra flavor.

3. Add vegetables (or even fruits!) to your pasta dish
Put peppers, zucchini, asparagus, squash, onions, etc into a traditional tomato sauce. My friend likes to put yellow raisins in his spaghetti with almond and olive oil. (I know, sounds strange, but it's good!)

4. Look into Asian recipes
Explore Chinese and Japanese preparation of veggies. I grew up eating lots and lots of napa cabbage, baby bok choy, radishes, Chinese broccoli, pea shoots, etc. They're super easy to prepare, and can be incorporated easily into soups, stir-fries, and 1-pot meals. Sukiyaki and Chinese hot pots are my go-tos for a fairly quick and easy dinner.

5. Be creative with baked goods
Add apples, bananas, blueberries, pears etc. to desserts.

Oct 26, 2011
Noodle fanatic in General Topics

Best weekday lunch in Meatpacking, Chelsea, West Village

I went to Co Ba today, and had probably one of the best Summer Rolls I've had in NYC! (Tom Cuon – grilled prawns in soft rice paper with rice noodles, basil and lettuce, and a peanut dipping sauce). It was $7 for 2 skinnier-than-expected rolls, but it was well worth it since the grilled shrimp was very fresh and well prepared. The roll focused on the shrimp and didn't contain too much vermicelli. Some might say not enough vermicelli, but it was delicate and well balanced in my opinion.

I also had the Banh Mi Thit (assorted cold nuts, grilled honey plum-glazed pork, house made pickles, cilantro, jalapenos and mayo on a french baguette) for $7.50, which was pretty good.

Just wish they'd have paté in heir banh mis. Will ask the next time I'm there.

Co Ba
110 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Oct 25, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

9/11 Memorial on Saturday

Where are you coming from? For example, if you're coming from the Lower East Side, we might make recommendations in that area instead...

Oct 21, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

How can Americans incorporate more fruits & vegetables in their diets on a budget?

It's not that vegetables are more expensive here in the US, it's that Americans don't eat enough of it, and it contributes to the high overweight & obesity rates:
- 33.8% of adults
- 17% (12.5 million) children and adolescents aged 2–19
- nearly 40% of children in African American and Hispanic communities

Oct 19, 2011
Noodle fanatic in General Topics

How can Americans incorporate more fruits & vegetables in their diets on a budget?

U.S. Americans.

Oct 19, 2011
Noodle fanatic in General Topics

Best weekday lunch in Meatpacking, Chelsea, West Village

I think so. Do you mean this place?

The menu looks legit. What's good there?

Oct 17, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Best weekday lunch in Meatpacking, Chelsea, West Village

Thanks! Will start trying today and report back.

I liked Colicchio & Sons for its beautiful space – good value for a business lunch spot. But wouldn't go out of my way to dine there otherwise.

Has anyone tried the Standard Grill for lunch? My dinner there last week was overpriced and nothing special. Nice atmosphere though.

Standard Grill
848 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014

Colicchio & Sons
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Oct 17, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Best weekday lunch in Meatpacking, Chelsea, West Village

Haven't been to Red Cat in years... any standout dishes for lunch?

Oct 17, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

How can Americans incorporate more fruits & vegetables in their diets on a budget?

Most Americans don't consume the recommended quantities/variety of fruits and vegetables. (I could go on and on about the reasons, but I'm looking for practical solutions here from fellow hounds!)

Please share some practical tips on how you've added fruits & vegetables to your diet without spending a lot of money. I'm looking for:

A. Tips for kids
B. Tips when eating at home
C. Tips when eating out

Thanks in advance!

Oct 17, 2011
Noodle fanatic in General Topics

Sushi Azabu - The Best Deal for Quality Sushi in Manhattan

Oops, Silverjay is right! Wafu (和風) is Japanese style. Sorry I got my characters mixed up.

Oct 16, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Sushi Azabu - The Best Deal for Quality Sushi in Manhattan

Indeed. Wafu translates to Asian-style.

Oct 15, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Best Business Lunch in Tribeca?

What's your budget? Any particular cuisine in mind? EN Japanese Brasserie (more west Soho, but depending on where you are in TriBeCa, could be fine) and Megu both have private rooms.

Other good business lunch spots that may or may not have private spaces:
Locanda Verde
The Harrison

Oct 15, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Sushi Azabu - The Best Deal for Quality Sushi in Manhattan

Haven't been back to Greenwich Grill for over a year, but my conclusion back then was that if you crave wafu pasta/food, go to Basta Pasta instead. Also, there was a cheap alternative: TriBeCafe* nearby (owned by the same company as GG) had $8 mentaiko pastas and a nicer space. GG's menu is hit or miss in general, and salads are definitely not their strong suit. Things that are good (but overpriced) on their menu: fish carpaccio, some sort of wafu pasta, lobster, jidori chicken.

*Note: TriBeCafe isn't serving wafu pastas anymore, and have changed their restaurant concept entirely to something spanish. I'm still mourning the loss of Tokyo Bar, TriBeCafe's previous concept/restaurant in the same space with splashy manga walls and katsu curries. As a lower Manhattan restaurant, I can't wait to see a place like Tokyo Bar return to our neighborhood!

About Tokyo Bar turning into TriBeCafe in February 2010:

About TriBeCafe's menu change from Japanese Italian to Spanish Winter 2011:

Basta Pasta
37 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

Greenwich Grill
428 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013

277 Church St, New York, NY 10013

Oct 15, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Best weekday lunch in Meatpacking, Chelsea, West Village

I'm looking for reasonably priced take-out and fairly-quick (in and out within an hour) lunch spots for a party of 4 near my office, which is right by the Standard in the Meatpacking district (W. 13th St./Washington St.). Please list your recommendations below, and point out any standout dishes. Thanks!

Here's a list we currently have on rotation:

*(Brackets) denotes restaurants I wouldn't travel out of my way for, but only eat at for lunch/take-out since I'm nearby and craving a specific item that can't be found in the immediate neighborhood. If you know of place that has a better version of the dish I listed in the neighborhood, please share!


Tuck Shop at Chelsea Market – Great chicken and ham pie.

Dickson's Farmstand Meats at Chelsea Market – Assorted sandwiches and daily specials. Particularly fond of their meatloaf sandwich, pulled pork, or chicken legs.

Lobster Place at Chelsea Market – Clam chowder, scallop and bacon chowder, shrimp salad, lobster roll, slider special (3 sliders: 1 crab, 1 shrimp, 1 lobster), sushi, sashimi (rice is free with every order!)

L'Arte del gelato at Chelsea Market – Best flavors: olive oil or hazelnut.

(Bar Suzette at Chelsea Market) – Crepes.

(Tebaya) – a little far; Japanese fast food.

(Baoguette) – delivery; hanger steak with fried egg over rice.


Green Table at Chelsea Market – Nice home-made chicken pot pie. Delicious unique desserts.

Meme Mediterranean – Everything is yummy.

(Tanuki Tavern) – $12 Cha Shu ramen with kurobuta pork, tori dango (chicken meatballs in rice crust with spicy ponzu).

(SEA Thai) – Not special, but cheap & not bad for a $9 lunch (appetizer + entree). Best on the lunch menu: steamed chicken and shrimp dumplings, grilled pork chop. Gripe: very skimpy on rice (literally only give you 3-4 bites).

(Bill's Burger) – Burger, malted milkshake, chili cheese fries.

Corner Bistro – Burgers + fries.

(Tavern on Jane) – No-frills American food. $12 lunch specials. Menu not too exciting and very basic, but it's cozy and homey.

$20 AND OVER (Because sometimes, it's OK to splurge)

(Morimoto) – $24 prix fixe (braised black cod box with salad, tempura, sushi, miso soup, and fruit panna cotta). Don't order the ramen here, it's a bowl of $15 chicken consomme with a few strands of inaniwa udon which they call ramen and a few strips of chicken. Sadness. I'm sorry, but inaniwa udon ≠ ramen. Sure, you can stretch the meaning of ramen/拉麵 (no pun intended), which literally means pulled noodles and hence can be any pulled noodles, but honestly, I was disappointed.


Cafe Cluny

Spotted Pig

Mary's Fish Camp


A good hot bowl of noodles (soba, ramen, udon, pho, laksa, Cantonese wonton noodles, etc.) – Sometimes I order delivery from EN Japanese Brasserie for soba, but feel bad it's $14 afterwards.


Good pasta (I have great options at dinner-time, like Dell'Anima and L'Artusi, but neither are open for lunch)

Salad bar (the kind where you pick your own ingredients) – is there an alternative to Hale & Hearty?

L'Arte del Gelato
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

144 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

Corner Bistro
331 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

9 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

The Green Table
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Mary's Fish Camp
64 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

Tavern on Jane
31 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014

The Lobster Place
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Cafe Cluny
284 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

228 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10014

Sea Thai
835 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

Pho Sure
120 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

Bill's Bar & Burger
22 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

Tanuki Tavern
18 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

Dickson's Farmstand Meats
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Bar Suzette
425 W 15th St, New York, NY 10014

581 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

Tuck Shop
460 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011

Oct 15, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

food at JFK airport

I don't think anyone can expect much at JFK... I've had some OK smoked salmon on toast points at Vino Volo at Terminal 8 (AA). Check here for their full menu:

They're an airport winebar chain.

Oct 15, 2011
Noodle fanatic in Outer Boroughs

Please dont hate: Tomoe or alternative, (big portions, decent quality)

Sorry, but Japonica is way overpriced for the quality of fish they serve. For that price, I'd go to Kanoyama for real sushi.

175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Nov 12, 2010
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

Reasonable wait/eat at bar without reservations Friday night downtown

Thanks for the wonderful suggestions Kathryn! Perilla was where I wanted to go tonight but couldn't make a reservation for at the last minute. Will definitely keep both places in mind for my next impromptu dinner.

9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

Nov 12, 2010
Noodle fanatic in Manhattan

"You may have eaten X or Y and or lots of Z, but if you have never had "A", you have never eaten real <insert country/city of choice> food"

K K - Thank you for this amazing post! Reading about TVB, 啟德 (Kai Tak), 蛋塔 (egg tarts), 奶茶 (milk tea), 大牌擋 (dai pai dong), brought back wonderful memories of growing up in Hong Kong. I remember going to the 街市 (outdoor farmer's market) in Happy Valley with my mom after school, turning a corner and being scared by a giant head of a cow hanging in a stall, watching old ladies pick eggs under red bulbs, the distinct fragrance of a 米舖 (a rice shop that has barrels of rice from all over Asia), discovering 粢飯 and 鹹豆漿 (Chinese sticky rice burrito and salty soy milk), buying 粽子 (glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves) from random old ladies on the side of the street in Causeway Bay, buying 豆腐花 (fresh silken tofu in syrup) made in questionable giant plastic paint buckets, going to dingy 茶餐聽 (Hong Kong style diner) for breakfast, afternoon tea, and 消夜 (late night snack)... I'm only in my late 20s, certainly not an old fart, but I certainly hope that the spirit of the Dai Pai Dong can be preserved. It saddens me to hear that "only a handful of people know how to make it to this day"; I know you were making a general statement, but I'm curious as to which specific items you were referring to by "it"? Hopefully food historians are taking the steps to interview the handfuls of people left who know how to make those things?

Nov 12, 2010
Noodle fanatic in General Topics