omoshiroi's Profile

Title Last Reply

Raleigh area for MD blue crabs??

Fishmonger's in Durham has had them in the past -- give them a call. I only wish they served hushpuppies.

Jul 05, 2013
omoshiroi in Southeast

Charleston, SC

I was in Charleston this weekend visiting a trendy niece. We went to Xiao Bao Biscuit on Spring Street and it was amazing. The Thai duck was spicy and crispy and a little funky and the coconut rice that came with it was great for soaking up the sauce. Everyone loved the Japanese cabbage pancake appetizer. The fried biscuit dessert w/condensed milk dipping sauce was just ok, but I was pretty full by then. The older members of our party found the place noisy and too busy but the rest of us found the former gas station ambiance to be quite fun. So, if you need more choices I would definitely throw this into the mix -- I don't think I've seen it mentioned on Chowhound.

Apr 16, 2013
omoshiroi in Southeast

Coriander root in Triangle?

I don't think World Market would help -- you have to use it fresh (at least in all the Charmaine Solomon recipes I have seen.) I'll bet if you ask the herb sellers at the Carrboro Farmer's market they'll pull some with the roots -- I used to get it (along with the cilantro leaves on the top) at my farmer's market in California.

Mar 26, 2013
omoshiroi in Southeast

Mekong Vietnamese, Greenville, SC

Well then I need to thank you too. I was in Greenville visiting the in-laws for the Superbowl and had just read what you wrote about Mekong and we gave it a try for lunch. I had the Pork w/ Vermicelli and my partner had the Pho and we were both really pleased. It wasn't as good as my favorite Vietnamese place in Manhattan, but it was heads and tails above most anything else I've had in North or South Carolina. We spent a good amount of time trying to figure out what sort of fast-food restaurant it had been in its previous life. Anyone know the answer to that? It looks like they grow their own herbs in buckets in the back of the restaurant which strikes me as a good sign of quality control (not to mention cost savings.) The prices were very good and I am also hoping to return to try the Bahn Mi.

Feb 17, 2013
omoshiroi in Southeast

Lucha Tigre Chapel Hill

That IS expensive, but it was also French. I hope it was an exquisite martini.

Dec 12, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Lucha Tigre Chapel Hill

And what is a cheap restaurant cocktail? I just had drinks at City Kitchen and they were 8/9 dollars, and at the Crunkleton they are 10-12. Not that I relish paying these prices but they are not out of line, and the beer at LT is pretty reasonable for us cheapskates.

Dec 12, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Lucha Tigre Chapel Hill

They say they are open 5-midnight every day of the week except Sunday.

Dec 09, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Lucha Tigre Chapel Hill

Their thing is locally sourced Asian/Latino fusion. Most items are small plates at reasonable prices with a few larger items at larger prices. In addition to the Sake and Beer and Cocktails they have an extensive tequila menu.

Dec 09, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Lucha Tigre Chapel Hill

Just had dinner at Lucha Tigre in the old Flying Burrito spot (near Hunam and Kitchen.) Not too crowded for a Saturday night, but I don't think they've done much advertizing yet (none that I've noticed anyway.) Interesting menu (which I think is going to change up pretty often.) We tried the Bulgoki Tacos (very nice and drippy, served with apple kim chi), Mu Shu Taco (I think this would be better in a pancake than a tortilla, but the filling was quite good -- in fact it was Mu shu pork without the egg), Thai Peanut Chicken Empanada (good but the chicken was a little chunkier and dryer than I would like, but the salsas served with it were very tasty), Posole (nice and just a little spicy), and pan fried pork dumplings (very juicy but with a little chew.) Extensive Sake menu but kind of pricy for these, lots of beers were more reasonable -- we each had the big Kirin Ichiban for $6 a pop. I hope it makes it as I can walk there and I really liked the food and the atmosphere. The servers seem to know what they are doing, and could explain the menu clearly. With this and Mei Asian on East Franklin the downtown dining scene seems to be re-balancing from West Franklin, of course there is also the new Waffle House going in.

Dec 08, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Chapel Hill: new Vietnamese/Thai

I think the atmosphere is nicer than L & B which seems institutional to me; it is definitely not casual, but not formal either. It was quite comfortable, but not casual comfortable if you know what I mean. No Bahn Mi, but I did hear that the menu will expand over time.

Oct 02, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Chapel Hill: new Vietnamese/Thai

Just got back from dinner at Mei -- opened yesterday according to the proprietress. They do not have their alcohol licensing so no beer or wine yet, but they are hoping to offer those soon. Small space (14 tables by my count -- a mix of 2 and 4 tops) but pleasant and very different from the Front Porch layout. Not crowded tonight, but I'll bet it can get loud based on the floor and the walls.

The owners are Malaysian but the menu is definitely pan Asian with Sesame Chicken and Kung pao Chicken along with Noodle dishes and Noodle Soup dishes. We tried the Half-Fried Chicken Dumpling Appetizer -- 4 dumplings that were more than serviceable accompanied by a small serving of killer pickled vegetables. At $5.50 a bit overpriced but this is Franklin Street. For entrees we got Malaysian Hokkien Mee w/Roast Pork and Cantonese Wonton Mee Soup. Both were really good and a reasonable portion. The Wonton soup was loaded with pork, ramen noodles, wontons, and bok choy in a nice broth, the Hokkien Mee is made with Udon noodles (very nice) and had a sweet soy glaze. For being in the shake down period I think they are off to a good start. Service was warm but not cloying.

Doesn't seem like a student oriented place so I hope they can survive -- it's nice to have an alternative to Lime and Basil (Mei also serves Pho and Thai noodle salads.)

Sep 30, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Your favorite food memoir?

I think Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking and More Home Cooking are some of the best and least pretentious food writing around. Which is odd because her novels (she was mostly known as a novelist) are pretentious. Her food books describe a number of life slices, and also have great recipes, in fact her recipe for jalapeno spinach casserole has been my go-to for 20 years.

Sep 14, 2012
omoshiroi in Food Media & News

Seafood dinner between Charleston and Myrtle Beach

Louis's at Sanford's. Doesn't specialize in seafood. I would not recommend it for anything but Happy Hour. I was last there in March, maybe it has improved since then (but I doubt it.)

Jul 22, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Pasteurized eggs in the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) area?

But LulusMom the problem may be the flour not the eggs.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12...

Jul 22, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Seafood dinner between Charleston and Myrtle Beach

I really like Chive Blossom in Pawley's Island. But they don't open for dinner until 5:30 and in August you should definitely have a reservation. Their Southern Bouillabaisse and their crab crepes are both fantastic (and for non-seafood they make a truly amazing Duck Salad.) Others may disagree but I find the food and the ambiance better than Frank's. It does get loud though.

Jul 21, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Fresh Cut Fries in Chapel Hill/Carrboro

Believe it or not Carolina Brewery has pretty good fresh cut fries, particularly if you order them well done. Fresh fries with fresh beer can be a very happy thing. I find the garlic fries at Tyler's overwhelming and usually greasy.

Jun 07, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Louis Osteen returns to Pawleys

We went to Louis's at Sanford's two weeks ago (Friday 9 March.) and had been to Sanford's pre-Louis about five times over the past two years (actually went shortly after it opened.) Overall, we liked the earlier version better for the food, the ambiance, and the prices. The wonderful happy hour food specials have vanished -- used to be able to get a ton of chicken wings, chips, and celery for $5 happy hour. Now the chips are gone and there is no happy hour pricing. there is still a beer discount and the bar area is still very pleasant..

The house was packed Friday night at 7:00pm and the noise level was shocking, the phenomenon where the volume increases as people try to talk over the noise was demonstrated clearly. Louis was making the rounds but didn't stop by our table. We (party of four) ordered a stuffed trout dish, the chicken liver appetizer (as an entree), the chicken fried duck breast, and smoked trout tacos and deviled eggs/w salmon. I was very excited about the chicken fried duck but it was disappointing -- not a very crisp crust, not particularly tender (like any chicken fried meat I would expect it to be pounded, it wasn't), and the sauce (a kumquat reduction) was good enough,but not really special. I had the duck breast salad the next night at Chive Blossom and the cooking (i.e. tenderness), combination of ingredients, and quantity were all better than the duck at Sanford's. The duck at Chive Blossom was $3 less ($15 v. $18!) The chicken livers were a hearty portion with excellent caramelized onions and my mom pronounced then excellent. The stuffed trout was very good according to my dad, but he couldn't really detect much flavor from/in the stuffing. My partner's deviled eggs were a big disappointment in terms of seasoning and quantity of salmon, the trout tacos were also lacking in flavor and fish. The service was fine, but pretty informal, and not in the attentive informal way it can be at Frank's.

Overall a mixed review -- but for the price point, the lack of (pleasant) ambiance, and the incredible noise we will probably not go back for dinner. Also disappointing is the lack of focus on the smokehouse aspect of the restaurant, which was its original raison d'etre. So, happy hour yes (though Quigley's Pint and Plate for snacks) but dinner at Chive Blossom.

As a final comment, when having a few beers at another Litchfield bar we stumbled into some locals complaining about the changes at Sanford's both in terms of food but more in terms of beer selection. They said they felt less welcome and would not be returning. For what it's worth.

Mar 24, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

am I missing something or should I switch it up? 4 days over St. Patty's day weekend

Why would you skip Cochon?

Mar 11, 2012
omoshiroi in New Orleans

Late Night Great Food in the French Quarter

Deja Vu at Conti and Dauphine. Open 24 hours -- food is pretty good. Too bad it's not Monday -- that's Fried Chicken night.

Mar 06, 2012
omoshiroi in New Orleans

Starving Student Couple Needs Advice on One Fancy Meal

From the two you mention I would definitely pick Commander's. In our last trip (last year) we ate at Emeril's one night and Commander's the next. There really was no comparison in terms of overall experience. Commander's was like theater (good theater) and Emeril's was like dinner.

For example we had a few mix ups with our drink orders at Commander's which our server rectified with aplomb. She ended up giving us a tour of the kitchen which was a treat. At Emeril's the service was rather laissez faire and many of the other customers seemed to be posing and posturing rather than experiencing a fine meal. The food was fine at both places, but the experience was worlds apart. There also seemed to be more New Orleans type people in Commander's (a big birthday party that was obviously mostly locals for example) and more auslanders at Emeril's. But I have to admit I didn't ask to see everyone's drivers licenses so it could just be my fantasy of CP.

Mar 06, 2012
omoshiroi in New Orleans

Authentic szechwan option in Durham

Went to try out Happy China for lunch today, took my parents. We all ordered lunch specials (not items from the Szechuan menu) and found the Americanized Chinese food to be below the standard of other places we go (Red Lotus, Ming Garden, Gourmet Kingdom.)

We were all disappointed because the setting is quite nice and the ingredients were fresh and plentiful but the whole was less than the parts. My dad hit it on the head when he said the food was lacking character. He had the Sha Cha Shrimp (we both really like the Sha Cha Beef at Red Lotus), my mom had Pepper Steak without the peppers (i.e. beef and onions) and said it was lackluster in comparison to other variations of the dish in the area, and I had the Kung Pao Shrimp, which I ordered spicy and found it to be not particularly spicy and not particularly interesting. The egg rolls were crisp but contained nothing but cabbage (as far a I could detect). My dad found the won ton soup (which he had to pay an extra $2 for as only Hot and Sour or Egg Drop are included with the lunch special) to be bland (and it only contained one wonton, and no sliced pork on top.) So perhaps the Szechuan menu is great but I won't be back for my standard luncheon fare.

Mar 06, 2012
omoshiroi in Southeast

Restaurants near the Wharf?

I ate at Sotto Mare last week and found it to be excellent -- Italian seafood and not all that far from the Wharf. It was just reviewed in the Chronicle so it might be extra-crowded. I've had the seafood risotto and the Cioppino there and found both excellent. To the Slanted Door discussion I have looked at the menu about a dozen times, and always decide to eat somewhere else, mostly due to the cost to value ratio.

-----
Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Sotto Mare
552 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Oct 31, 2011
omoshiroi in San Francisco Bay Area

Gourmet Kingdom (Carrboro) issues?

I've had the same saltiness issue -- I really like pork with garlic and sometimes it is Lot's Wife salty and sometimes it is not. I've also noticed that there is variability in the dry fried v. gloppy nature of some dishes and have discovered if I just ask for it dry it comes out the way I like it.

Oct 06, 2011
omoshiroi in Southeast

Charleston watering holes?

Was at the Blind Tiger on Sunday two weeks ago and it was quite entertaining and a blessed refuge from the heat and humidity. if it's less tropical when you're there, they have a great courtyard. It's way downtown on Broad Street. No harbor views, but also no frat boys or price gouging either.

Aug 11, 2011
omoshiroi in Southeast

Chow recs needed for trip to Charleston, Savannah, and Hilton Head

I just tried Jack's Cafe in Charleston, very near College of Charleston and inhabited by a number of good looking people (and some more regular people too.) Super cheap for breakfast and real diner-type food -- great hash browns for example and the bacon biscuit was excellent! it's on George Street near King.

Aug 09, 2011
omoshiroi in Southeast

Dining near South Point or between there and Chapel Hill?

Bangkok 54 is in the Mardi Gras plaza, and has excellent food. Their Thai Basil is great and I really like their Massaman, but the potatoes are always raw (which seems to be endemic in massaman, or perhaps is just the Thai way....)

Aug 04, 2011
omoshiroi in Southeast

New Asian Big Box Grocery in Durham

Tried the Shu Mai and Char Shu Bao and one other porky dumpling and found them all to be pretty meh. The frozen sui mai at Trader Joe's were better imho. On a tangential but related note the pan-fried pork dumplings at Jade Palace in Carrboro are really good.

May 31, 2011
omoshiroi in Southeast

best Mexican in Durham/Chapel Hill?

The tacos al pastor at Cinco de Mayo are great and enormous. Make sure to get the Charro beans instead of the regular refritos for an extra dose of porkiness.

Mar 13, 2011
omoshiroi in Southeast

New Asian Big Box Grocery in Durham

I visited on Friday (3/4) and was pretty disappointed. I was excited at the idea of not having to drive all the way to Cary but I thought this store was basically an Aldi or Compare with a bit of Asian flavor. The small selection of soy sauces, noodles, hot sauces etc, would have fit into a corner market and did not even rise to the level of the (very missed) tiny Asian market on Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill. However, the produce looked good, and I would have bought some shallots ($1.99/lb) and red cabbage ($0.69/lb) if the check out lines weren't so crowded. The seafood looked ok, but I am off buying non-wild caught shrimp these days. I hope that the business plan changes to one more like Grand Asia, because I think the Target (practically) next door is a better bet for most of the items sold at Li Mings. As a final issue -- the only odor I noticed was the fishy one which I notice at the Harris Teeter at University Mall as well (but not so much at the one on MLK.)

-----
Harris Teeter
, New Bern, NC 28560

Mar 08, 2011
omoshiroi in Southeast

Litchfield/Pawleys - What's new and what's still great?

Went to Chive Blossom on Feb 12 and agree it is fantastic. I really liked High Hammock (never been a real Frank's fan) but Chive Blossom is a whole 'nother level. I had the Duck Confit appetizer which was transcendental -- sweet glazed nuts, salty/rich duck meat, arugala, and sweet potato strings -- may sound weird but it really worked. Paired that with the Crab Crepes (I was going to have them with the She Crab Soup and the server talked me out of it -- she was oh so right.) My companion had the Cioppino which he loved (thought he found the aioli on the crostini a bit bitter.) It was a wonderful Pawley's experience and well worth the cost (about $100 including four glasses of wine.) We also checked out a new place, Sanfords, in Litchfield (behind the Bi-Lo across the street from the Litchfield Golf and Beach resort on 17.) Only open about 5 weeks according to a bartender but a great happy hour ($2 drafts and $5 chicken wings served with chips!.) We had dinner there on Sunday night and it was very good. They smoke their own meats (sounds pornographic but you know what I mean.) The brisket was excellent and their hushpuppies were out of this world (unless you don't like sweet and puffy.)

-----
Chive Blossom
85 N Causeway Rd, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

Feb 16, 2011
omoshiroi in Southeast