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Casa Villa in Stamford - an update

Thanks Adam. When I first tried Casa Villa about two years ago I'm pretty sure it was based on your words in these (since remodelled) pages. I love it. Casa Villa's was my first Al Pastor (definately read about it from you) and now it is my favorite all around taco.

They are much busier than before the remodelling and the other day I stood around waiting for my take out tacos while the cook and one of the backroom guys cooked about ten meals with intensity. The shrimp they were cooking looked amazing but I have yet to try it. Some locals (not dressed for an office) were also eating the seafood stew and raving to the cook about it. Another thing to try.

The al pastor can be a bit spicy if they hit it too hard with the sauce. I also like the adobada.

Thanks again. I can recommend Lupita's Deli for tacos. It is on Mamaroneck Ave in Mamaroneck on the South Side of the Ave just where it ends in the Post Road. Total hole in the wall grocery but they make the very most out of a tiny kitchen in the back. I wrote a little bit on it awhile back in another online venue (which I think I'm not supposed to linke to on ChowHound) and the others who tried it on my rec. liked it too.

Worst restaurants in Westchester

Hey now, Rays has alwayso been a mess. But a delicious one. I think it is still one of the best - if you disagree just try their sauted beef with chinese eggplants in garlic sauce.

Worst restaurants in Westchester

I really want the Watercolor Cafe to be good - but it hasn't been in my experience. Like others, for me it's the service that's lacking. They just seem not to care; and to the point where it makes you nuts. Not that it matters for the food but the name also evokes insipid suburban arts and crafts efforts - strange for one of the few outposts of good music in the Burbs.

There is some great music to hear there though and I plan to go back for that. One of my faves, Amy Correia, played there a few weeks ago. Amy fu#@$% Correia, right at the little Watercolor Cafe. Worth putting up with some bad service.

Woodstock, where to eat

The Bear Cafe is a reliable good choice. If you have a craving for Chinese, the Little Bear is exceptional and right on the stream. It's on the site of the Woodstock Playhouse.

Best Bakeries

Easy - Kneaded Bread in Port Chester. They have an amazing chocolate cake. Deep rich and moist cake with frosting that is all smooth butter and chocolate. I love the stuff. Also they have a crusty, yeasty chocolate bread that has large chunks of ganache studding a soft country loaf. I've never had anything else like it. Great, great all from scratch bakery. Its on North Main in P. Chester.

Best Asian Noodle Dish

I love the Hanoi pork with rice noodles at Pho Bang on Mott Street. The ground spiced meat patties are served with thin slices of tender pork immersed in a nouc cham sauce. The pork, not the noodles is the star here - but the noodles are essential and oh man the it's a great noodle dish.

Dec 22, 2006
wesfoodie in Manhattan

The Holiday Meal

So what are people having for the main meal this holiday?

My extended family has perfected the art of making the decision far too complex and far less fun than it ought to be with weighted voting (no, I'm serious).

I had been hoping for a prime rib roast but it ain't in the cards this Yule.

Dec 22, 2006
wesfoodie in General Topics

Bakeries in Westchester? Need a great loaf of bread

The Bread Factory is good but very different from Kneaded Bread. BF has an old time taste which recalls neighborhood bakeries - but very well done unlike most neighborhood bakeries. It's top notch and I love their buttery chocolate chip loaf which somehow is both light and dense.

Kneaded Bread is a contemporary artisan bakery. In my book, it can't be beat. The chocolate bread is yeasty, crusty and filled with pockets of rich dark chocolate - never too sweet. The chocolate cake (ya think I like chocolate?)is the best I've had, anywhere - truly. The frosting is butter. Butter with deep flavor, but butter. Its outrageous; a truly great frosting. The bread is beautiful too - baguettes to rival any in America.

I almost stopped there today on my way home, now I know I should have.

Favorite cooking word or phrase?

"Putting fire to pan" - cooking

"The downward arc of my coffee palate is unmistakable" - going from Pete's roasts to Dunkin Donuts as my coffee of choice



Oct 29, 2006
wesfoodie in Not About Food

free "Nasty Bits" by Anthony Bourdain

I never got my book and I signed up right when it started. But I did eat the print out of the Web page instead and it was pretty tasty. Orangie but a few too many words.

Oct 27, 2006
wesfoodie in Food Media & News

Where to eat in Bridgeport, CT?

I was told by a Yalie (by way of rural Alabama) and certified Asiaphile that there were some excellent Vietnamese restaurants in Bridgeport. He has gone to Hong Kong and I never got any specifics. Is it true - and if yes, where!?

Best Soul Food In NY?

C'mon up to Pelham and try a soul food institution: Yvonne's Southern Cuisine Restaurant. The trip is only half an hour and its fun.

Oct 19, 2006
wesfoodie in Manhattan

Are there any Middle-Eastern restaurants in Westchester?

1895 Palmer Avenue

is a very good Turkish restaurant. Although North African, not proper Middle Eastern:

1127 West Boston Post Road
914 835-8350

is also very good - it's Morrocan. Belly dancing on Thurs., Fri. and Saturday nights too. Delicately spiced, succulent dishes. Top entree is $25.

Anything good in Stamford, CT?

In addition to the above, I really like the pollo ala brasa at Fiesta Restaurant on Atlantic - its Peruvian.

I also like casa villa for the tacos - the al pastor is particularly good as is the carnitas taco. I'm pretty sure I learned of it from a posting by Adamclyde and he's right that they are sometimes not as good as on other days but its good 90% in my experience.

Hey, while we're on Stamford food, what is with the "farmers' market"?! Its more like a NYC fruit cart with second grade industrial fruit and vegetables than anything close to a farm (with a couple of exceptions). Someone ought to run for Mayor of Stamford on a "put some standards in place" platform!

Times praises Jim Leff

Yeah, I read the deserved nod to Jim Leff in the Sunday Book Review as well. He has built, with his team, what no one else has: a truly egalitarian space for intelligent, fun and useful discourse on food. I love it. And it certainly has changed how I approach food and food writing.

The other thing about A.O. Scott's review, it reminds just what an incredible institution The New York Times is for food in America. They may have lied down on the war in Iraq and suffered numerous other blows to thier standing recently, but on food they are second to none.

Sep 30, 2006
wesfoodie in Food Media & News

Vietnamese or Eithopian in Westchester??

Looks like a good solid Vietnamese menu. The prices are right too. Only a few Chinese style dishes (which one must excuse for the first Vietnamese out in Rockland). Thanks. Can't wait to try it and get them to come over the Tappanzee!

Vietnamese or Eithopian in Westchester??

Sadly, no pho in these burbs! But please join the People's Campaign to Bring a Vietnamese Restaurant to Westchester! Together we will walk into the golden sunshine of a bright bowl of pho ga.

And, to my knowledge, like the Vietnamese restaurant, you're more likely to find an East African joint in Maine than Westchester.

But, I believe there is Vietnamese in Danbury and Poughkeepsie (but why not head to NYC then, right). If you want great non-Euro and U.S.American, the best in Westchester will be Port Chester, which has many great South American places and there are some in New Rochelle too.

In Greenwich there is an Asian fusion place called Nuage - which folks like and there may even be a Southeast Asian dish or two on the menu.

questions on garlic festival, saugerties.

I went last year. Its unbelievably well attended. I mean literally miles of parked cars and tens of thousands of people. But its fun crowded.

The "farmers market" area was my favorite. Justs dozens of fresh garlic (to eat or plant) merchants and lots of free tasting. Great stuff! I got around half a dozen varieties and grew a few dozen plants this year. Back there was also a donut maker with nice freshly fried donuts and you could get a free garlic dip with the dough - Do it! Best food I ate there. Also some very good pesto, one from Woodstock which was awsome and one from Binghamton which was good.

Generally, the food in the food area (which is also big) was gross. Disappointing, I know. Lots of stuff like boiled supermarket hot dogs but with garlic pieces on top. So if there was great prepared food there, I missed it.

Good crafts, t-shirts, great garlic. Lots of fun!!!!!!

had a 2 pound lobster at ebb tide-really great!

Can't wait. I recently got back from a trip to Maine. I found a place just across the bridge into Maine from New Hampshire that has the best lobster rolls - warmed buttered bun and sweet fresh boiled lobster meat.

Warming the bun really makes the roll.

Best Mexican with fun atmosphere, good food and amazing margaritas?

Rocking Horse Cafe in Chelsea. The original great authentic Mexican still rocks!

Sep 16, 2006
wesfoodie in Manhattan

How many of us Chowhounds are fat? [Moved from General Topics]

I'm definately getting chunky again, but I've kept lean the past seven years by running at least 10-20 miles a week. Lost 40 pounds by exercising like mad and eating very, very carefully 7 years ago.

Now I eat pretty much as I like (which favors rather fattening foods, its true). I try to moderate the intensely chubby-making. But there are few things as satisfying as sitting down and eating an entire box of Entenmanns chocolate covered donuts in one, uninterrupted sitting.

Sep 14, 2006
wesfoodie in Not About Food

Ideas for Vietnamese shrimp dish?

There is a good recipe for shrimp in caramel sauce at Viet World Kitchen too.

Here is the link:

Love the stuff.

Sep 14, 2006
wesfoodie in Home Cooking

A hit and a miss at Mims, Portland, Me

Hey Pat Hammond. If you're in the Portland area for some more time, and you haven't yet, try the Standard Baking Co., downstairs from the Fore St. restaurant, and Two Fat Cats on India St., bakeries (a couple of blocks apart). They are really, really great.

If you haven't tried them, let this be my pay back to you for recommending the great Westchester bakery awhile back.

The financiers at Standard are a must try!

Pepe's pizza in Fairfield

Oh, that's disappointing to hear. We had been looking forward to trying the Fairfield shop (my wife grew up in New Haven and the whole family worships the stuff).

I've seen it before. A pizza oven makes the pizza. We have a local place whose success spelled the doom of its pie. They did such a great business that they bought bigger new ovens. Ooops. After that the pizza was never the same again.

Tony Bourdain's India Show

Who doesn't pop a few raw seal eyeballs now and again. Everyone needs a way to relax, right?

Its the iguana meat he could't take - but a little shop by me in the Burbs sells cans of it. Someone must like the stuff.

Bourdain is great. When I was a teenager in the eighties and everything was pop and fluff, I dreamed of a tv show with a hard drinking, rough edged, literate character at its core. Its really something that he's such a hit. Bravo. Plus I think his brother lives in my town.

Sep 09, 2006
wesfoodie in Food Media & News

new foodie show coming to PBS

I can't wait for Ruth Reichl's show, Diary of a Foodie. She is really just consistantly terrific.

PBS scores again. Too bad Food Network doesn't go for quality anymore.

Sep 09, 2006
wesfoodie in Food Media & News

Vietnamese Food in Portland

Thanks. I tried Thanh Thanh twice and it was really great both times. First rate pho. Excellent rec.

almond croissants?

I recently had an airy, flaky almond and chocolate croissant showered in roasted slivers of nuts and white sugar with two deep rich veins of chocolate running through its center. It was had at Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Bldg at Columbus Circle. With a cool iced coffee it made a most wonderful late morning snack.

Aug 25, 2006
wesfoodie in Manhattan

Great Places to Eat in Portsmouth

I'm coming through Portsmouth for a couple of days and I'm hoping to find a new great place to eat. I love Sakura.

Are there any places worth eating at? And, esp. Vietnamese?


Vietnamese Food in Portland

Hey, thanks a lot. I had Maples high on my list of places to eat at when in Portland - also the Two Fat Cats!

Is this the same Vietnamese restaurant that used to be on Congress?