Kurtis's Profile

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Baltimore Puerto 511

Our recent visit here was a winner: passionate chef here makes some of the best ceviche I had in a very long while. His style is bit on a refined side (vs more rustic/market style I am used to eating in Lima) but flavors are all there and brought back many memories. Both tiradito (dont see this version very often outside of Peru so was very glad to find) and clasico versions are great, and very fresh fish that is handled with great care.

We were a group of 5 and so got to taste most of what is on the menu, and all of it was quite good including the desert and the purple corn drink. This is a very small BYOB and Chef/family own & operated place, so do understand and expect some service delays and rsv difficulties, but they are attentive and very eager to please and welcomes your visit to the kitchen if you ask.

about 7 hours ago
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore Puerto 511

Yeah, the anticucho (skewered hearts) is delish street food commonly found on the roadside in Peru. Glad to hear that it's good.

Of all the items on the menu, I am most interested in their ceviche which I have not found a good version locally. Thanks for the report.

Mar 27, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore Puerto 511

The menu reads well, and yelp reports look promising. We will be going in near future. Any recent experience?

Mar 27, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Iron Gate Inn

Many thanks for the reply.

Mar 18, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Iron Gate Inn

Any recent experience in this place?

Mar 17, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Izakaya Seki: The very good and the very bad

Does anyone had charhan here? It's bit unusual compared to all of charhans I had elsewhere in that it's has risotto consistency and quite greasy. It's not served with beni shoga (red ginger) either. Wonder if this is a regional difference...

Mar 07, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lao menu at Bangkok Golden in Falls Church - Report

Flavors of fermentation/pickle here is quite subtle, not pungent as in fish sauce or korean bean paste. It's almost unnoticeable in flavor, but texture and taste at the finish brings it out more. Yeah, I think you tipped me off to the fermented fish, and the raw version.

Chef Seng's kitchen has a soul, passion, and a lot of love. A rare find.

Mar 07, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lao menu at Bangkok Golden in Falls Church - Report

I have returned here on several occasions including yesterday and had consistently great meals. Continuously changing specials are the tickets for return trips for us. Several outstanding dishes to share here are:

1. Fermented Fish: I had this as a cooked version and topped with fried slivers of galangal and savory sauce it was an elegant and very delicious dish. Looking to try the raw version some day. Chef Seng remembered that I had inquired about this on previous visit and suggested that I try it. How nice is that!

2. Pickled Pork Belly: the sauce and galangal is the similar with the fermented fish dish above, and add fried kaffir lime leaves. The pork belly is quite delicious chopsticked along with mentioned garnishes. Again balanced in flavors show elegance that's uncommon in thai dishes.

3. Somtum (thai) with pickled crab: one of our favorite somtum was to be had here yesterday as a special. Sucking on the pickled raw crab meat can be an acquired taste but heavenly for those who enjoy this.

4. Som Pak Kard (Lao Kimchi): lightly fermented green with galangal and thai chili adding extra flavor. Nice clean and cool, with crunchy bite of the green was refreshing 1st course.

5. Woonsen Tom Yum Soup: this was a quite a delightful find. Great balance of sweet and sour that while not a full-on attact to the tongue but very soothing and comforting with much depth to the broth. House-made pork meatballs gives nice break to continuous shlups to the bottom of the bowl.

6. Duck Larb (Lao Menu): beautiful smokey flavor came through this deliciously juicy duck. For me this is the best among the larb family here.

It was a fully packed night yesterday around 7:30pm.

Mar 06, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore
1

A formula for avoiding sitting next to those pesky fellow Yankees who whoop it up and disturb your meal in Paris and finding good food in “secret places.”.

Completely agree, and what makes an ordinary extraordinary is when these entirely personal "souls" communicate: from small sample from the kitchen of an inquired ingredient as you are finishing up the meal, to observing glances and smiles from the "houses" we like to visit.

Mar 04, 2014
Kurtis in France
1

Fork & Wrench w/ Chef Keefer

Foie gras pho is no longer on the menu due to unpopular demand...

Feb 17, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Tasteless food you love for the texture: e.g. Sea Cucumber

Ha, will try this soon. Thanks for this.

Feb 17, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Fork & Wrench w/ Chef Keefer

I also had some issues with execution and seasoning when I was here a couple of weeks ago. Wish this is an isolated event as it wants to offer something different and unique, and I can certainly see and taste some good ideas from this place. It was packed on a weekday nite.

Feb 17, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Help me find Cang Ying Tou 蒼蠅頭 : "Fly's Head"

Made this over the weekend - saw a nice bunch of chive with blossoms at a market- with replacing fermented beans with small amt of paste. Pretty good, but not the real deal...

Feb 17, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Tasteless food you love for the texture: e.g. Sea Cucumber

Cheese that doesn't have much taste? How do you eat this normally? Curious...

Feb 17, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Tasteless food you love for the texture: e.g. Sea Cucumber

I love this!

Feb 17, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Tasteless food you love for the texture: e.g. Sea Cucumber

Oh, the fewd between my sister and I over those fish eyeballs as she magically managed to give me the emptied sockets! (It's in there, you swallowed it, dummy!)

Feb 17, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Tasteless food you love for the texture: e.g. Sea Cucumber

Looking at the list of items that comes up, I think it's quite possible that Asians more readily accepted some of these more texture-driven items (weird to many) than the westerners in part due to the purported medicinal benefits. Anyways, thanks for the interesting list.

Feb 17, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

How do Steak Houses get away with it?

While the markup percentage may be highest with the sides (and likely lowest with the beef), most money is made on alcohol from what I hear: this is generally true in US where people are more willing to pay for pricy alcohol than pricy entree. In Europe it's the reverse.

Feb 14, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

sea cucumbers

That's great! Thanks.

Feb 14, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Tasteless food you love for the texture: e.g. Sea Cucumber

Inspired by this comment on sea cucumber thread:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7642...

For me, sashimi of sea cucumber was a love at first bite: rubbery, slimy, cartilagenous, and essentially tasteless. Any other ingredient/food like it? Any cuisine that embraces texture only of an ingredient to this extent as the chinese?

Feb 14, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

sea cucumbers

During childhood growing up in Seoul, my dad used to order 海參肘子 (braised pork and sea cucumber? correct me if I am wrong) every so often when we eat out. I never touched it then, but is this something I could find in say NYC, Philly, or DC? If so I would love to try it, and perhaps surprise my dad with it.

Feb 14, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Where to feed a pregnant lady in D.C.?

For French bistro fare, I highly recommend Le Diplomate which is hands down the best bistro in DC. The crowd is young and hip, with great translation of bistro cuisine. This is a casual place, but one can make it as formal as one wishes without feeling out of place. Advance reservation is a must.

(For comparison if you are familiar, it competes very well and exceeds with best of NYC's bistro Balthazar at close to 30% less)

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/908336

Feb 14, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Michelin restaurant for Saturday lunch?

...or they are "re-tire-ing." (sorry x 2!)

In regards to cost and choices related to dining, Mangeur summed this well with her definition of what value is:

"Value should always be the goal. It has nothing to do with cost but everything to do with total enjoyment, fulfillment, not least joy. It's about time and opportunity well spent."

Feb 11, 2014
Kurtis in France
1

Baltimore Seafood for 30th B-day?

May the Asian diners continue to serve you well : )

My experience on the presence of certain ethnic group in a restaurant as a barometer for quality/authenticity, even in their own ethnic restaurants, is quite mixed and find it to be unreliable.

Feb 10, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Help me find Cang Ying Tou 蒼蠅頭 : "Fly's Head"

Taipei Cafe in Rockville looks like a good place to request this after getting to know the staff a bit.

Feb 07, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore Seafood for 30th B-day?

Since when Asian (tourist) diners are better barometer for the traditional Baltimore crab houses than local Baltimoreans?

I've dined in most of downtown crab houses to satisfy out of town visitors for the experience, but all of them have enjoyed the subsequent visits to the suburban local favorites far more.

Feb 07, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Bo Ky – Good Chiu Chow Noodle and BBQ Restaurant in Chinatown

Just to clarify, the Singapore version ( bak chor mee ) the soup and noodle are served AND eaten separately? I've not tried it this way and it sounds interesting.

This combodian noodle soup here has been the dish of choice that more than adequately fulfilled my pho cravings. But I have always had it as noodles in the soup with very generous scoops of house chilli oil and pepper/vinegar mix. These condiments are an integral part of this soup IMO, and as I have moved out of town recently, I buy - along with other takeouts - several bottle of them whevere I visit the city.

Agree that their country duck is special. They also do mustard green just right.

Feb 07, 2014
Kurtis in Manhattan

Lunch rec between BWI and Baltimore

Sounds like your husband has guided you well. Would you care to share your better experience with Chinese food in this region?

What is "best" is relative to the extent of individual's experience that makes it not a great point of discussion. I do think that GG has more than a dozen dishes that really shines and compete very well or better with CH favorite joints of similar in NYC.

Feb 06, 2014
Kurtis in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sea urchin pasta

It's the obsessive "armchair dining" that leads me here and everywhere...

(There are a dozen or so places in Manhattan that serve one version or another of this in case you are heading that way)

Feb 04, 2014
Kurtis in Philadelphia

Sea urchin pasta

Positano Coast has it on their menu. I have not been to this restaurant. FYI, Tocqueville in NYC has this as one of their signature dishes: it's excellent and unique.

Feb 04, 2014
Kurtis in Philadelphia