missmasala's Profile

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Al Di La - Whats Good These Days

Glad you had a great meal and liked the affogato. After I wrote that I started craving it, so I'm going to have to head back to Al di La soon!

Sep 14, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Al Di La - Whats Good These Days

Like Jen, it's been a while, but I really liked their polenta with greens and an egg. Also not crazy about the beet ravioli, but the malfatti are good. Most of the pastas and salads are very good. I haven't had as many of their mains. They also do an excellent affogato (homemade vanilla ice cream "drowned" in a shot of espresso) I'm not a coffee drinker but I love this dessert. Unfortunately, I can only order it at lunch or I'm up all night.

Sep 10, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Moldavian Cherry Preserves?

I have no idea if these are what you're looking for, but at brick oven bread on king's highway last year I bought a jar of georgian cherry preserves that turned out to be small sour cherries (with pits) suspended in a liquidy syrup. Though not useful for toast, the cherries were delicious and I ended up using them and the syrup in cocktails. They definitely had a sort of spicy flavor. Just finished the jar and recycled it, or I would post a pic here.

Aug 04, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

I just ate in one of those cafeteria places in Thailand. It wasn't small, though, and the dish choices were numerous. What I liked about it was there were dishes that I hadn't seen on restaurant menus and hadn't had before, like a delicious green bean curry in a sort of sour curry sauce. If Khao Kang is offering dishes that aren't on other Thai menus, that would be a plus.

Also, how would a vegetarian fare there? Need to be able to feed the vegetarian for a family meal. She would probably be willing to eat the sauce from a curry if they would leave off the meat for her. Are there a lot of vegetable options or would they be able to give her scoops of things without the meat?

Aug 04, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Generous portions, cheap prices, good food--is it possible in NYC anymore?

I have 2 suggestions for you:

1. Consider upping your limit to $20. Years (okay decades) ago, the litmus test for me for a good cheap meal in NYC was $5-$10, but now it's really $10-20. There are lots of great meals to be had for under $20 in the areas you describe, though perhaps not that many dinners in a nice, unhurried environment. Which brings me to my second suggestion, one that I follow quite often:
2. Consider eating out for lunch instead of dinner. Many restaurants offer very cheap, large, and filling lunch specials, and, since it's not the coveted dinner hour, you can sit, enjoy, and linger as long as you like. If your schedule allows for it, poke around for some good lunch specials in the neighborhoods you want and try those. I find a leisurely lunch to be a very pleasurable meal to eat out.

Bostonians stayting in Brooklyn, need advice

Lots of good recs on this board. If you guys are avid bikers then biking to coney island should be fine. we do it several times a year from pretty near where you are staying. we take the bike path down ocean parkway. it's a nice ride. If you go down to coney island on a thurs-sun i recommend getting pizza at totonno's. great pizza and a real new york experience. brighton beach is also totally worth a stroll and a nosh.
Not sure about patties, but check out the doubles at A&A on Nostrand ave in bed stuy. A great west indian snack of curried chickpeas sandwiched in between fried roti breads.
Pok Pok is good, upscale thai, but I agree that you are also close to east village, where you will get excellent thai at zabb elee. or bite the bullet and trek to queens, where the best thai is. Though it can be uneven, sripraphai is still my fave, mainly for the breadth of the menu--you can get almost anything there, though not everything is a sublime rendtion.
Mexican in sunset park is also good. Agree that tacos el bronco is great.
And definitely check out the stuff close by on Atlantic, like Sahadi's and Damascus. Every time I go in those stores, I'm happy that I live nearby. You could get great picnic fare from these stores and spend the day in brooklyn bridge park
Also agree that red hook is worth a stroll. love the sandwiches at defontes. I'm not crazy about the good fork, but everyone else likes it, so it must be me.
People like the bagels and lox at shelsky's, an appetizing place on smith st not too far from you, but I never go, so can't vouch for them.
Another option is polish in greenpoint--lots of good, cheap restaurants there. It's an old polish neighborhood that is turning hipster at a quick pace.
For indian, i will recommend dosa royale on court street in carroll gardens. it's more upscale than most indians, but the food is good, esp the dosas, the lamb curries, and the okra. A very good meal and some nice cocktails can be had there. Plus, it's probably walkable from your hotel.

May 19, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Lahori Chilli and Sweets, Coney Is. Ave...

Yes, it looks more like keema than haleem, though not like any keema I've ever seen or made.
Haleem is a real treat for me, as I don't make it and no one else in my family likes it, so we tend not to get it when we all go out. So I can only get it from those storefronts as part of a plate lunch or dinner.

Apr 17, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Lahori Chilli and Sweets, Coney Is. Ave...

Haleem? That's one of my faves. When it's good, it's great!

Apr 08, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Chinese or Chinese-ish for 20th Anniversary dinner?

Second on Pacificana not being what it used to be. The food has gotten very mediocre and, while the space is stunning, the decor has also gotten a little run-down.

If Chinese is what you want, I agree with the rec for East Harbor. But, while the food is good, the atmosphere is that of a giant dim sum palace. If that's not what you want, and if, by Chinese or Asian-Fusion, you mean any cuisine that clearly has a chinese influence, then may I suggest these, in no particular order:

Pok Pok in Cobble Hill--Thai, which is a cuisine heavily influenced by China

Purple Yam in Ditmas Par--Filipino, ditto

Nightingale 9 in Carroll Gardens--Vietnamese, ditto

Talde in Park Slope--pan-asian, not my favorite but probably the most upscale in atmosphere

I'm sure there are others, particularly in Williamsburg, that I am omitting.

At all of these you can have a festive meal (cocktails etc) but also fine places to bring a child. Haven't been to Purple Yam or Talde in years. Pok Pok and Nightingale 9 are good, though IMHO overpriced, but I'm usually willing to overlook that for special occasion meals.

If this is the kind of thing you had in mind (rather than dim sum parlors and food courts) speak up, because I'm sure there are other good places like these that I don't know about but other hounders do. For instance, is Uni Nom still around?

Apr 03, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Your Favorite Carrot Recipe

I'm late to this thread, but here are three carrot recipes I love:

1. "Morroccan" carrot salad--I make it with roasted carrots, crushed coriander seeds, garlic, cumin, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, and fresh cilantro. Sometimes I throw some toasted walnuts in as well. Every time I serve this, someone always asks for the recipe.

2. Amanda Hesser's carrot and watercress salad with curry leaves and mustard seeds from the New York Times a few years ago. This salad is amazing--nutty, crunchy, bitter from the watercress and sweet from the carrots. I love this salad.
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/13/din...

3. "Korean" carrot salad--this is actually a dish served in central asian (ie. Bukharan) restaurants. It's a grated carrot salad with garlic, cilantro, and lemon juice or vinegar. Simple but good. There are tons of recipes on the web. Look it up.

It seems to me that having grated carrots around can allow you to make a salad that goes in any flavor direction to match the cuisine you are cooking.

Also, and this isn't really a recipe, but I sometimes use shredded carrots instead of papaya to make a thai-style "som tam."

Feb 14, 2014
missmasala in Home Cooking

Advice for making Bo Ssam (Aka Korean pork shoulder)

That's funny, to me, it looks like the pork has no skin in the photos.
This is a question I have been trying to get the answer to for a couple of years, and I haven't been able to get a definitive one. I guess I will just have to go to Momofuku and have it myself.
I like skin, so I have been making it with the skin, but think the crust might be better without the skin. I like msonycs idea of cooking the skin separately, and may try that next time.

Jan 13, 2014
missmasala in Home Cooking

Dosa Royale (Long)

I've only been to Dosa Garden once, a couple of years ago. I had high expectations because at the time it was getting a lot of love on this board, but I found it somewhat disappointing. I remember the dosa being only so-so. Part of the problem was that I was with people who preferred more typical Indian restaurant fare, so we ordered a lot of dishes that Dosa Garden probably doesn't excel at. Next time I am on SI and craving Indian (and not Sri Lankan) I will give it another chance.

Jan 06, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

They may have been shallots and not red onions. I wasn't paying that close attention.
Though now that I think about it, I think I might prefer yellow or white onions in my uttapam. I think shallots would be too sweet.

Jan 06, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

I think the rava masala dosa did have red onions in it. But I'm still confused: regular red or even yellow onions as opposed to what kind of onions? Special Indian onions?

Jan 01, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

Court street between Sackett and Degraw streets in Carroll Gardens.

Jan 01, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

Didn't try the uttapam. However, forgot to add in my report that we also had the onion rava dosa. The flavor was good, but it was a little greasy and soggy due to the way it was folded on the plate. Which is the way rava dosas are usually folded, but somehow other ones I have had do not end up as soggy/greasy. The regular dosas were way better.
Not sure why we didn't try the uttapam, as I am an uttapam fan.
And not sure what you mean by good onions. Not sure I paid enough attention to the onions in the rava dosa to know if they were "good" or not.

Jan 01, 2014
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Dosa Royale (Long)

Was so excited to see the sign for this place going up right in my neighborhood. AFAIK, this is the first south Indian restaurant in Brooklyn. Finally went, with a big family group, so we tried what felt like almost everything on the menu.

Drinks: We didn't have cocktails but we did have mango lassis, which were delicious—I think they use a high quality mango pulp to make them. Wish they were a little bigger for the price, but they were rich and I would order one again.

the veg and the non-veg thali: The non-veg thali had a fish curry and an egg curry on it. I didn't try the fish curry and the egg curry was only ok. All in all, I was not super impressed by the thalis. First of all, the rice was cold and a little bit hard, as if they had tried to warm up yesterday's but hadn't nuked it enough in the microwave. Also, it had too many similar dishes on it--ie. rasam, samber, and two other dal-like dishes. I'm no fan of rasam, but the other ones were good. I just wish they had swapped out one or two of those for more vegetable dishes and a salad. The carrot sweet with the thali was very good, as was the paratha that came with it.

Dosas: The regular dosas were large and well-made. The dosa royale is huge and comes with 3 kinds of fillings--one would easily feed two people. While I liked the fillings, I didn't like them in the dosa. I'm a traditionalist and really only like the potato masala filling in my dosa, if that. Next time I would order the fillings on the side. We tried to do that this time, but the kitchen didn't comply.
The dosas came with sambar (tasty) and two chutneys. The coconut chutney was pretty flavorless, but that's a lament I have at almost all south Indian places. I've yet to have any coconut chutney like I get in India.

Idli: The flavor of these were good, but they were too dense and dry. I am still searching for good idli in the NYC area. There are a couple of places that do decent ones sometimes, but they are really hit or miss.

Curries: We ordered both the chicken and the lamb. The gravies of both were delicious, but the lamb pieces in the curry were a little small and sort of mysterious. I think the chicken was a little better. The curry portions also seemed a little small.

We also ordered the okra that is listed as an appetizer and that was outstanding. And a side order of puri was also good.

I can't remember what else we had, but my overall impression was positive. The service was pretty good—I liked our waiter and the host, but the guy running the food from the kitchen bordered on the surly and just kind of plunked stuff down in an angry way, which was off-putting. Still, my family liked the dosas enough to go back the next night again,but without me.

The bottom line is that it's a nice addition to Brooklyn and I'm happy to have it in my neighborhood, but if I want a thali and not dosa or meat curries, I will head to Saravannas or some place on Lex in Manhattan.

Dec 31, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

School me on Trinidadian food, please!

I'm a big Singh's fan, too. Their rotis and doubles are great. Not sure it's worth trekking all the way out there if you have Ali's and A&A close by, but Singh's is very good if you happen to be in the area. Think I tried Sylvie's once and preferred Singh's, but once is probably not enough to make an informed decision.

Dec 31, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Wheated - Church Avenue - loved it!

Yes, that's the place. Never knew the lady's name but she was really nice. I wonder what happened to her. If she had another place, I would seek it out.

Nov 29, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Wheated - Church Avenue - loved it!

Yes, she claims to make doubles but she has always been out when I have tried to get them, so I have never had them. And didn't realize she wasn't Shayna. She is very nice, however.

The lady at the other place--wish I could remember the name, it was in from the corner where Shayna's is-- reliably had doubles on the weekends, which is when I usually went.

And will check out Am Thai when I am in the area. What dishes do you recommend?

Nov 26, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Confessions of a stuffing junkie

You definitely can do this. Mark Bittmann recommended it in the times one year and and I did it because I could only fit a butterflied (spatchcocked) bird in my oven. The stuffing (dressing) came out delicious.
I just packed the stuffing into a roasting pan, put a rack on top, and then put the bird on that. I'm sure you can google the Bittmann recipe.

Nov 25, 2013
missmasala in Home Cooking

Your best thanksgiving greens

Brussels sprouts braised in cream are to die for. And if topped with a parmesan crust they could only get better. If sprouts can count as greens, I would go for this one.

Nov 25, 2013
missmasala in Home Cooking

Wheated - Church Avenue - loved it!

Shayna's rotis are very good and she is v nice. I still miss the other place (forgot the name) with the woman that made doubles.

Nov 25, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

The veggie options at Tawa's Nepali Hut rock

In the past, when they used to offer "kati rolls" they would do exactly what Joe DiStefano asked for: the ladies in back would hand a freshly made paratha to the people up front, who would fill it with chicken or egg. The combo of the fresh paratha and tasty meat is what made them so good. Glad to know one can still get these, and now, it appears, with an even bigger variety of fillings.
Also, can you still order the parathas to eat in from the back. These used to cost $2 and were twice as big as the packaged ones—and delicious as they came fresh, hot and blistered off the grill.
We had stopped going to Tawa because for a few months there they seemed disorganized and the atmosphere was a little tense--like the back and the front hadn't quite figured out how to work with each other. But now it seems like its running smoothly again.

Nov 25, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

What is your favorite dessert in Brooklyn?

The chocolate pudding with sea salt at Rucola. I'm sure there are other, better ones, but I love that dessert.

Nov 21, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Holy Basil in Brooklyn or Queens?

not sure why this doubleposted

Nov 17, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Holy Basil in Brooklyn or Queens?

Thanks Silverjay. This is great info. I appreciate it!

Nov 17, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Holy Basil in Brooklyn or Queens?

Thanks for kaffir lime tree info. Been thinking about getting one for years. Don't know why I haven't, as I have both south facing windows and a garden.
I did grow lemongrass one year, but back then I didn't make a lot of Thai food. Also, lemongrass is easy for me to find—they have it at the local greengrocers; kaffir lime, not so much.
And Silverjay, frozen galangal is totally fine, but I have a hard time even finding that at the asian markets in sunset park where I shop.

Will try growing the holy basil next season.

And looks like I need to make a trip to 45th and Bway in Elmhurst soon.

Nov 15, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Holy Basil in Brooklyn or Queens?

Thanks for kaffir lime tree info. Been thinking about getting one for years. Don't know why I haven't, as I have both south facing windows and a garden.
I did grow lemongrass one year, but back then I didn't make a lot of Thai food. Also, lemongrass is easy for me to find—they have it at the local greengrocers; kaffir lime, not so much.

And Silverjay, frozen galangal is totally fine, but I have a hard time even finding that at the asian markets in sunset park where I shop.

Will try growing the holy basil next season.

Looks like I at least need to make a trip to 45th and Bway in Elmhurst soon. Want to learn how to make a good rendition of tom kha gai because my kids like to eat it for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) we used to just buy two quarts at a time from sri, but that expensive and lately it hasn't been that good there, even when I try to explain what I want, and even when they know me. They say the cooks will refuse to do it that way, but I think they're just cutting corners.

Nov 15, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs

Holy Basil in Brooklyn or Queens?

Thanks, that sounds like one-stop shopping for me, as I also need the lime leaves. Do they always have those? What about galangal?

And where is U.S. Market?

Nov 13, 2013
missmasala in Outer Boroughs