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Pizzeria Pronto Backyard Pizza Oven-any reports?

Just purchased one this past week and have since used it twice. So far so good. The product works well and certainly exceeds the quality of pizza made in the standard oven. The toppings, cheese, and sauce are on par with brick oven results. The heating of the oven to 700 degrees takes 10-15 minutes on the highest level, depending on the outside temperature. This evening was in the upper 20's and the stone warmed adequately in about 15 - 20 minutes to generate a crust that was perfectly browned. Cooking time ranges from 5-7 minutes for most pizzas.

The oven is easiest to use for smaller pizzas in the 10-12 inch range. Larger than that and the margin for error is much smaller and since there is no lip at the rear of the stone, a pizza could easily partially slide off (which mine did the first time I used the oven).

Have made several different pizza styles, including the Napoletana Margherita which came out nearly perfect.

Proper technique in handling the peeler is needed and it is vital to flour it. I find that a 14 inch peeler is about the maximum size that will work with the slot size.

Have used several types of dough including homemade and Trader Joe's and both times the results were excellent.

I plan to try calzone and other thinner cuts of meat or fish in the oven in the near future.

This product generally exceeded my expectations and seems to be a good value. The company also seems genuinely interested in feedback and ways to improve the current product.

While not possible to do true Pizza Napoletana STG in this oven due to construction characteristics and the inability to reach 900 degrees F, the results I've obtained thus far indicate that you can get much closer to it with this device than most pizza restaurants can.

Nov 13, 2013
Highland Park in Cookware

Charleston, WV suggestions?

I'm not sure Blossom still exists. The other two should still be fine. If dining solo, you may find the atmosphere at Bluegrass to be more fun, although either are suitable. Food-wise they are very different, but both good in their own ways.

Jan 03, 2013
Highland Park in Mid-Atlantic

calabro impasata ricotta

Calabro Ricotta is sold at Whole Foods in Newton at the Beacon & Walnut location. I would call to be sure since its been a few months since I've bought it there.


I can vouch for the Southern Fried Chicken at Hungry Mother. It is excellent.

Restaurants currently serving shad roe?

It was on the menu as a starter at Hamersley's last Saturday. This is the preparation I saw:

"Sautéed Shad Roe and Crisp Smoked Bacon Lardons with Dandelion Green Salad and Sherry Emulsion"

Trattoria Toscana ??

The dish I referred to is a beef cut charbroiled at very high heat and served sliced with a very pleasant and simple vinegar drizzle.

As for the offal, its a pretty authentic Tuscan place, so what can you say? Tripe has to be on the menu I suppose. Some of that will disappear as the seasonal menu changes, although the tripe is a constant from what I can tell.

I think you would like the summer menu a little better - there are some wonderful gnocchi with meat and pasta with fish dishes that they do. The meats on the secondi menu lighten up a bit too.

Trattoria Toscana ??

I agree, the secondi is not to be overlooked. The Tagliata All' Aceto Balsamico is outstanding, simple yet lovely and not so easy to replicate at home.

olive oil?

Possibly. My experience is that the Nashua and Dedham stores hold onto this stock longer than say Waltham, but lots of people do know about the value in this product and even more so than last year.

olive oil?

The 2011 harvest of the Toscano is now available at Costco. The price is $11.99/liter, a little higher than last year but still a good deal. I picked up 4 bottles of it in Nashua on Saturday. They had quite a bit of it in stock.

Parkersburg WV Recommendations?

I realize this is an old post at this point, but Chams on Market Street is an excellent choice for Lebanese. It closes at 8:00 during the week and is closed on Saturday and Sunday. The owners are very gracious and pleasant.

Jan 18, 2012
Highland Park in Mid-Atlantic

Lots of lobster in Boston?

Does the OP have a car, and if so are you willing to drive 45 minutes? You could go up to Newburyport/Plum Island to Bob Lobster, which does a nice job with lobster and other seafood at very reasonable prices in a fairly rustic environment relatively close to Boston. Winter hours are a little limited but are generally Wed-Sun.

Looking for cooked turkey for Christmas

On a similar theme, but different location south and west of Raymond's not too far from the Rte. 2 corridor, Bob's Turkey Farm in Lancaster, MA does traditional roasted as well. Price is $25 + cost of bird.

Looking for cooked turkey for Christmas

Do you live near a Whole Foods? They may be able to work with you.

Looking for cooked turkey for Christmas

Do you want traditional roasted turkey or would something different be OK, perhaps smoked? For smoked I would recommend ordering a hickory smoked turkey from Greenburg Smoked Turkey in Tyler, TX ( It is an outstanding product and quite reasonable. You can likely have it delivered late in the week as desired if you order soon.

Coq Au Vin [split from Boston]

Those two are excellent choices. Joy of Cooking works well too, and pretty similar to the aforementioned.

Dec 15, 2011
Highland Park in Home Cooking

Coq Au Vin [split from Boston]

Why not make it at home? Its an easy dish to prepare, comes out perfect nearly every time, and your coq will not be swimming in fat like like when you order it at most restaurants. If this doesn't appeal to you, the two best options in Boston in my opinion have been highlighted in these previous posts.

Dec 15, 2011
Highland Park in Home Cooking

Looking for Pappy

Did you try Charles Street Liquors? They try to carry it when its available. It might be tough at this time of year, but they do have it from time to time.

olive oil?

It seems as though WF is now stocking an olive oil from the same Toscano grower as the Costco one. Its not in the 365 line, but rather just says Whole Foods on it. It is a cylindrical bottle of 23.5 ounces and sells for 12.99. Not the same deal as the Costco 32 ounces for 9.99, but not bad. I picked up a bottle of that and the Columela in Bedford on Monday.

B'day dinner for woman of a certain age in Newton/Needham/Wellesley/Dedham/W Rox

Hmmm. Kouzina is closed on Sunday for sure. I don't think there is private dining, but the place is small enough that you would get a whole area to yourselves.

Have not been, but B Street in Newton Center may be an option. Easy parking and long hours. Menu looks OK, but not overly special.

B'day dinner for woman of a certain age in Newton/Needham/Wellesley/Dedham/W Rox

OK fair enough. How about Kouzina in Waban?

B'day dinner for woman of a certain age in Newton/Needham/Wellesley/Dedham/W Rox

Skipjacks on Needham Street in Newton has private dining. Not a terribly interesting or exciting choice, but generally reliable and likely below your price point. Certainly better than its seafood competitor at the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center. I don't know how old your Mom is going to be, but this restaurant is generally appreciated by mature diners.

ISO Black Bottle Scotch

Saw it again last night at Marty's. They had the two expressions: no age statement for 17.99 and the 10 year old for 37.99.

ISO Black Bottle Scotch

OK. I see. Most of my comments aside from where to find Black Bottle pertain to Single Malt Scotch (Malt Whisky). Black Bottle is a blended Scotch which means that it is comprised of about 50% grain whisky and 50% malt whisky (from many different distilleries). Malt whisky is not typically mixed to make cocktails, although some do it much to the chagrin of most malt whisky drinkers. Malt whisky is best served neat or with a touch of water. There are many avenues that one can take to learn about whisky, both blends and single malts, including tastings offered at liquor stores. However like most food-related topics, education is best obtained by reading about the different styles and experimenting with the different flavor profiles to determine what you really like, and these preferences, like food, will change over time. There are many online resources and publications devoted to discovering whisky, particularly single malts. Learning about the various Scotch producing regions of Scotland is a good start as this will give you a general idea of what to expect when tasting one. There are also some decent threads on the Spirits board of Chowhound worth a quick read. Best of luck to you.

ISO Black Bottle Scotch

Agree that Federal has a great selection particularly for their tiny size, and that Joe is an excellent resource for spirits, but if the OP is interested only in Black Bottle, I would go with the cheapest and closest place and the one with the easiest parking. Nothing against Black Bottle, but its a pretty straight-forward and relatively inexpensive Scotch purchase and doesn't require much expert knowledge other than that it is in stock. If the OP is after other interesting rare makes or independent bottlings, then they should go to Joe equipped with knowledge about the styles and taste profiles that the whisky drinker prefers. Without this knowledge, Joe's resources will not be put to full potential. I would not go to Federal to make a common purchase of a standard commercial bottling available at most reasonable stores.

Fresh or Fresh Frozen Octopus ?

WF in Bedford has the frozen packages too. I bought the squid and mixed seafood packages from the same manufacturer recently and was quite happy with them. Bedford also carries the Philippine Baby Octopus product in frozen bricks of 2.5 lbs and often has the same available pre-thawed around holiday time.

Quick bite near Symphony Hall

Brasserie Jo is a good option for casual French. Plenty of write-ups on this board with many approvals. Not especially vegetarian friendly, but should work and the crudites are excellent for such (all) eaters.

olive oil?

The Kirkland Signature Toscano olive oil with grower ID and origin stamp is an excellent quality and flavorful oil, particularly for Italian cooking (obviously). It is not discontinued. It is sold out for the season and should return once the current harvest wraps up and the new oil is produced. Hopefully it will reappear in February, at least that's what the Costco manager tells me. It is a bargain at that price and will sell out again no doubt, so stock up when it reappears.

Max and Leo's. Real pizza just off exit 17, Newton.

I went to Max and Leo's for lunch yesterday and found it a very worthy pizza, up there with some the best you can get in Boston proper. I had the Margarita and really enjoyed it. My only criticism would be the quantity of cheese which I thought was too high for my taste. The crust was excellent and the pie was turned well in the oven so as to be consistently cooked all around. The lunch scene is a bit chaotic, but a little patience is warranted and things will work out fine. Sauce was DOP San Marzano tomatoes with a pinch of garlic and salt. I will definitely be back for the L'Enza. I had no issues with parking at lunch time. The place is tiny and not upscale at all but nice enough, and very much purpose oriented. Max and Leo seem like very down to earth guys, are friendly, and insistent on using only the finest ingredients. Thanks for the recommendation Hyde.

All you can eat dosas

Thanks OC, I enjoyed reading your post on BP and found it very informative, helpful, and detailed. You seem to be very well-versed in S. Indian cuisines and I agree your specific analysis in this thread.

All you can eat dosas

No, I haven't been to Biryani Park, but I've been meaning to make it over there and will give it a try soon. The Sri Lankan food looks interesting. I'm not as familiar with it as I am with Tamil Nadu vegetarian and Keralan styles of food, but I suspect there are many similarities.