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An Choi - so so banh mi

I've been to Saigon Bakery. I'm just not a big fan of the fatty fried pork niblets that both Saigon & Bahn Mi So serve. And the baguettes are also just way to thick, for me it's too much bread. I'm a fan of of the thinner baguette, not as round and a better crust:dough ratio, like a traditional french baguette. Plus, last time my sandwich from Saigon had been sitting out pre-made for a while, and I kept getting big fatty chunks of gristle in the meat.
Nicky's, it's always hot and made to order. I have to say I like Nicky's over Saigon Bakery & Bahn Mi So. Not the crazy $4 deal, but size is good, meat tastes better, both pork chop or pate is good.

On my list to try is Baoguette and Nha Toi

Mar 24, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

An Choi - so so banh mi

I live in nearby and have been twice now. They're a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I ordered the crispy pork the first time, flavor was there, great bread skinnier than most, not like the thick bread at Bahn Mi So 1, so there is less white part and more crust. The crispy part of the pork was a little tough but good. I was hoping for a chicharone kind of crunch but was more like dried pork crunch. I also would have liked a little more spice. Overall a really good $8 sandwich.

Definitely much better quality than what i've had in chinatown, and a small step up from Nicky's (not as close to me either). On the 2nd visit we tried The Cha Gio had a nice flavor of the crab with the pork, but the tiny basil served with it was very sad and wilted. I prefer a big fresh mint sprig with them like Cong Ly.

I'm eager to try An Choi's Pho too. I think they can make it, yes the price is a little more than chinatown bahn-mi, but you get what you pay for and the quality shows.

Mar 23, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

Fleur de Sel vs. Bouley

I thought about that. I would assume that Chef Renaud will maintain the same standards until closing.

Feb 05, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

Fleur de Sel vs. Bouley

Great info, and very convincing.

Feb 05, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

Fleur de Sel vs. Bouley

Oh I didn't know they're closing. Found info here: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkint...

Feb 05, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

Fleur de Sel vs. Bouley

Need some help for a very special valentines dinner. Would have liked Le Bernardin or Blue Hill also but were booked. Any thoughts?

Feb 05, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

Best olive oil to buy in Manhattan?

Freshness is key, so look for bottles that show date of harvest. If I can't taste it first I need to at least be able to see the oil, that's why I avoid the cans.

DiPalo has a nice selection of premium olive oils and the prices are fairly reasonable, but because of the price I don't cook with this oil. I really like the spicy Tuscan "Frattoria Peraccio", ask them, they'll give you tastes to see which type you prefer.

At whole foods they a good olive oil selection, but nothing super unique. I like the Paesano Olive Oil, price is a less and it's a very cloudy unfiltered, super-flavorful, first-press virgin. They also have some good organic olive oils there too.

Jan 15, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

why is the pho in nyc so bad and where can i find boston-like pho?

Ditto. I tried several pho places in chinatown and Cong Ly is by far the favorite. Rich broth, fresh ingredient, clean kitchen and friendly old man. But I don't think they do a poached chicken pho.

Jan 15, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

any recommendations for a Chinese hot pot restaurant?

Went to Grand Sichuan right off the bridge last month. We ordered the hotpot, and it was good, spicy oily broth, lots of different spices, meat selection was huge, and our beef was fresh, side of rice was old and the place wasn't that clean unfortunately. Flushings i must go. Here's a shot of the pot half way through our meal:

Jan 12, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

Fresh Masa?

Anybody have a source for Fresh Masa or Organic Dried Masa? Looking for something other than MaSeCa.

Jan 12, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

best east village pizza

Another vote for Gruppo if you want a thin crispy crust and room to sit down. I'm also a big fan of Artichoke's Sicilian square pie, but not so much the actual Artichoke pizza.

Jan 12, 2009
bweb in Manhattan

Back forty - thoughts/recommends?

After hearing about their local and organic approach to cooking, which I highly respect, we decided to give them a try about a week ago. We came in around 6:30, they had plenty of seats. We got sat in the back room. The place looks nice, lots of light wood, still could smell the paint/varnish a little.
I ordered the homemade Pork Sausage served with red cabbage.The flavor was there but unfortunately they were overcooked and dry. Even cooked correctly the the dish needed some moisture.
My friend ordered the Cheeseburger which I tried and was very good, cooked perfectly. On the side we had the brussel sprouts which were tasty and and fries which has rosemary in them but were hot but soggy.
By the time we left they had filled up. I want to like BackForty. I might go back to give them another chance. From this first experience I was kinda disappointed.

Jan 17, 2008
bweb in Manhattan

Dinner for 8...moderate price

I've got relatives in from town ranging in age from 20-70 who want to have a big dinner tomorrow. I need to get them out of Times Sq.

There will probably be 8 people, 1 is a vegetarian, but that can't way too heavily on our choice. We need something that is big and crowd friendly, good food and fairly moderate in price.

Any suggestions?

Oct 10, 2007
bweb in Manhattan

Móle review: best Mexican in the city!

Another ex-Californian here and yes Mole is really good Mexican. It is the closest thing to the Mexican restaurants I was once knew, except for the premium prices, but hey. I've been all over Manhattan looking for good Mexican, Mole is the best yet. For cheaper Mexican nearby, I like Paquitos in EV.
Yes, the guacamole is table-side and delicious, $9 for the small. Chips are good, homemade. Salsa, given on request is ok, a little to acidic for my taste. I've had the Carnitas, Chicken Mole Enchiladas, and the Burrito, all of which are very well done.

Service is friendly but inexperienced, except for the big guy behind the bar. Exerise patience and you will be rewarded with good food. His wife does the cooking and is from Mexico City. Mole is owned by the same owners of TacoTaco uptown, but I have never been.

Aug 15, 2007
bweb in Manhattan