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Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

Actually most of the restaurants I've looked into ask that you call them directly due to the size of the group -- you can't make the reservation over OpenTable (and you can't reserve private rooms over OpenTable either, to my knowledge).

Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

Here are a few other places that have been recommended to us:

Iron Grill
1789 Restaurant (sadly the Garden Room is not available on our night)
Hank's Oyster Bar (yes, very casual but we have a connection to someone who works there, so we're looking into it...)
Woodward Table

One thing I've noticed is that at least 2 places (Rasika, Blue Duck Tavern) have small dining spaces that max out at 12 (and then much bigger spaces that can fit 3x or more guests that are outside of our price range). Too bad we can't knock two of our guests off the list! ;) Something to note for future readers.

Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

Thanks for all these recommendations! I'll look into them. Also -- I'm intrigued by your screen name; it is a family name of mine! Small world here on Chowhound.

Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

Thanks for this good feeback -- I contacted Ris yesterday and hope to hear from them sometime in the next few days.

Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

Thanks Steve. Zaytinya is one of the few places we've contacted that is available, so your observation re: noise is very helpful in terms of helping us decide if we actually want to book there or not.

Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

Thanks Elyssa, this is a helpful list; I will look them up.

Right now we are casting a wide net just to see what's actually available on the date we have. We're asking our guests (aside from the guests of honor) to contribute a small per person amount, and we will cover the rest -- so price is sort of negotiable... TBD by what restaurants can host us.

A private room is not necessary, provided that the main dining area of the restaurant is quiet enough for conversation. We'd prefer to reserve a time at the earlier end of the night, which should help with that.

Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

Thank you for this rec; unfortunately L'Auberge is in Great Falls, which is outside of the travel range for some of our guests.

Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

Hi all, seeking current opinions on D.C. restaurants that would be worth looking into to reserve a Friday dinner, party of 14.

Here's where I've looked so far:
Restaurant Nora (not available)
Blue Duck Tavern (awaiting response)
Zaytinya (available)
Farmers Fishers Bakers (not available... no parties >8 on weekends?!?)

The guests of honor have well-rounded appetites. The dinner is in celebration of a significant anniversary, so I'm looking for a place that would be able to host that (i.e. has great food & environment -- does not have to be a culinary or trendy experience).

Thank you all in advance for your advice.

Amaretti cookies near Rittenhouse?

I need to buy some amaretti cookies in a hurry, but keep striking out. Does anyone know of a place near Rittenhouse/Fitler/west South St. area that sells them for sure?

Jun 23, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Lunch near Haight St/ Golden Gate park [San Francisco]

It's my opinion that the upper Haight can be tricky for food because it's such a tourist zone. Nevertheless, I recommend checking out:

The Alembic (marvelous cocktails as well!)
Zazie (up the street in Cole Valley)
Cafe Reverie (also in Cole Valley)

Both Nopalito and Park Chow are in the Inner Sunset, and there are many other great places to eat there as well if you're willing to relocate.

Looking for Mission District Lunch Spots [San Francisco]

I've had lunch at Fiore Caffé on 24th & Guerrero several times -- really lovely food & atmosphere (sit-down, no wifi!)

I also like Rosamunde, Old Jerusalem, and Delfina, mentioned elsewhere in this thread.

Hot Cross Buns recipe: your favorite, your tried-and-true

Wow, I totally gave up on this thread -- but you really brought it to life!!

I don't mind that it's not technically HCB season anymore. Yours look great and I'll give that recipe a try sometime.

May 10, 2013
insectazoids in Home Cooking

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Thanks for this. (And apologies for the late reply.) Like I said in my original post, I certainly don't expect to find anything as "good" (exhaustive/bountiful/specific) as BB or Rainbow... but I still want to find enough places to fill my grocery needs. I agree with you -- the truth is that the quotidian food culture of the west coast is just very different from the east, and I accept that.

I'm looking forward to exploring Philadelphia's restaurant scene and some of its more unique cafés.

Thanks also for the Headhouse Square FM tip. I will look it up.

May 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

El Pedal: rad craft beer bar in Madrid

Let's say you're in Madrid & you've got a hankering for a beer with a little more going on than Mahou or Cruzcampo. Let's say you're a beer geek. Let's say you like beer and you also like riding bikes (not motos) and alt/punk music from the 80s & 90s. I say: El Pedal!

El Pedal is a super fun and cute beer bar in Lavapies with a wide range of American & European bottled beers (Anchor Steam, Brooklyn Brewery, Samuel Smith, St. Peter's Brewery, plus many others) and 5-6 Spanish microbrews on tap. Here's what was on tap when I visited:

Dalmoru (weissbier from Ales Agullons Cerveza Artesana)
Suria (pale ale from La Pirata Cerveza Artesana)
Largato Barbudo (red ale from Reptilian Cerveza Artesana)
San Diego (IPA from Dougall's)
95 (Imperial IPA edición Chivas from Guinea pigs! Cerveza Artesana)

You can try cañas of each (like 1/2 pint size) or get a full pint. Cañas ranged from €2-3 apiece and pints were a little more (but I don't quite remember how much more since I only bought the cañas...).

There's a smallish seating area inside and several tables outside on the sidewalk. I visited with a friend and we happily chatted away at the bar while trying each beer on tap. Snacky bits were offered, including some really addictively seasoned quicos. El Pedal serves a small range of tapas, which we did not try. They also sell wine for your ridiculous non-beer drinking friends.

Definitely worth checking out!

They keep their Facebook page updated with the current beers on tap:

Calle de Argumosa, 33
Tue-Thu, Sun 6pm-1am
Fri-Sat, 6pm-2am

May 10, 2013
insectazoids in Spain/Portugal

Cook & Taste: Barcelona cooking class (5/2013)

I took a half-day cooking class earlier this month at Cook & Taste in Barcelona, whose kitchens are located in El Barri Gótic not too far from the Jaume I Metro stop. My package included a walking tour of La Boqueria market, where we purchased the items we needed to prepare our meal.

I was in a group of 12 people, almost all American tourists (save one Australian couple), and as such the class was conducted in English by a chef/graduate of ESHOB. Cost for both the tour & the class was €78, payable with a credit card (I also tipped in cash).

The day started at 9:45am, when we met at the kitchens to deposit bags and walk to La Boqueria. By 10am the market is already teeming with tourists and regulars alike. Though touring with groups bigger than three is really, really not my thing at all, our chef supplied enough useful/interesting information about the origin and traditions behind the food we saw to make it worthwhile.

We returned to the kitchen to produce:

Romesco with asparagus
Sopa de pimiento rojo al aroma de azafrán tostado con bacalao
Paella de marisco
Crema Catalana

The recipes were given to each of us in a printed packet. We also snacked on mixed olives and jamón pata negra y pata blanca with seasoned toast while we cooked. Red and white wines were also poured throughout the cooking & eating process (I'm terribly sorry that I have no record of what we drank to share with you!)

Each participant volunteered to cook one segment of the meal, with the chef instructing and interjecting when needed. For me, watching and participating in the preparation of the paella, which was done with the aid of a special gas burner, was actually quite interesting. (I'm ambivalent about paella and this was in fact the only one I ate during 2 weeks of traveling in Spain... what can I say; I guess I just prefer all the other Spanish treats!) The food was prepared in such a manner that we sat to eat all the courses in sequence, and though nothing was gonna blow yer mind, everything was quite good. We didn't eat until about 245pm.

Overall, I really valued and enjoyed this experience: I love learning to cook "in person" by watching others; I gleaned a lot of useful info about both food and vendors from the market tour; and as a solo traveler, this is the kind of group experience I want to splurge on/be a part of.

The one variable bummer, I think, would be your group. Mine wasn't particularly spirited or knowledgeable, really (when I cheerfully asked if anyone from the States had experience smuggling jamón through customs, I got a lot of blank stares, and then one voice piped up "isn't that *illegal*?" I did hit it off with an awesome lady from Bali, though.)

I wager that the tour, instruction, and food (and bottomless glasses of wine) are a decent deal for the price and a fine way to spend half of your day in Barcelona. Recommended!
Paradís 3 08002 Barcelona

T. +34 93 302 13 20

May 10, 2013
insectazoids in Spain/Portugal

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Philly Ray, I know Chinatown is not too far from City Hall. Do you know where I would find a good Middle Eastern market or a good Indian market?

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Yay for hippie grocery stores!

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Not yet, though I anticipate living in Center City/University City/Art Museum areas... I think. I'm pretty mobile, though, with bike and car.

I'll be visiting for a week in early April to look for apts. and will likely check out any promising looking grocery places then as well!!

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

OK. Well, perhaps I will just have to make do with WF then! Here, WF bulk is comparatively expensive and not particularly wide-ranging in terms of what it offers. I understand that turnover is important. I'll add Weavers Way & Mariposa to my list and check 'em all out.

How about Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Latinoamerican markets? I am curious if Philly has markets that support non-Western communities.

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Thanks for these selections!!! Esp. the spice recs. I don't mind Penzy's; it's nice to know that there's a retail location nearby. And I'm excited to explore Philly's many markets.

The deal is that I know about WF already -- they are a major chain that's permeated virtually every city in the US! I want to know about the other places -- smaller and/or local shops. I imagine that these shops have the potential for better prices & greater diversity than WF.

I don't expect to find replicas of Berkeley Bowl (Berkeley) or Rainbow (SF) in Philly... I just want to be able to fill the gap when they're gone. WF by itself does not fill that gap.

Also, I'm most curious about dry goods, not produce...

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Bulk food/hippie grocery stores in Philadelphia

Hi Philadelphia board!

I'm moving to Philly in June from SF and am looking to get a lay of the land. More specifically, I'd like to find one or two good grocery stores that sell bulk goods -- grains, beans, spices, flours, etc. -- and are *not* Whole Foods.

(The two analogues that come to mind out here are Rainbow and Berkeley Bowl, if that helps.)

Got any good grocery/food shopping advice to share? I am all ears.

Mar 10, 2013
insectazoids in Philadelphia

Hot Cross Buns recipe: your favorite, your tried-and-true

Doing some ahead-planning. Does anyone have a recipe to recommend?

Feb 04, 2013
insectazoids in Home Cooking

Found travertine slab for pizza stone -- your thoughts, please

A friend of mine knew I wanted a pizza stone, and he picked up a 1" thick slab of travertine for me at Urban Ore ( that fits nicely in my oven.

Functionally it would work great for pizza, but I don't know where this travertine has been or what it's come in contact with. Is it useable? Usable after a special cleaning? Useable with a silicone mat or other protective layer on top? Should I use it as a flagstone instead?

Dec 08, 2011
insectazoids in Cookware

Looking for vegan friendly ethnic (but not too wild!) restaurant for a party of 15-20

Where will the civil ceremony be taking place? San Francisco? Berkeley? San Jose? et. al.

Where to find Mole Tacos and/or Burritos in the Bay area?

Papalote has chicken mole and tofu mole on their menu.

best hamburgers and milkshake in sf ?

I've had the burger at St. Francis a few times and it is a totally tasty average burger -- not sure it is a "destination burger" -- but it certainly is a cool-kid burger & shake experience. Also you can get Yo! MTV Raps trading cards (unless they've sold out).

I discovered Pearl's on a walk last December and didn't have time to try it out, but it was packed on a weekday and looked very tasty. Any favorite styles to try?

There's probably a thread or two on Pearl's that I'll check out later.


Sounds like you'll like Summit Cafe. I personally like Atlas Cafe or Sugarlump to work in, but to my knowledge neither serves the "brand name" coffees you're looking for.

Anthony Bourdain seemed to like the Cubano at That's It! on Mission and 23rd. Maybe you'll like it too. My favorite place to take out-of-town guests for Mexican breakfast is San Jalisco (formerly Jarritos) on S. Van Ness at 20th.

2862 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Trouble Coffee Company - One Inch Thick Cinnamon Toast, SF - who's tried it?

I have gone on long walks and bike rides with the intent of going to Trouble Coffee at some point specifically for their cinnamon toast. It's simple and terrific after being outside in fog and chill.

Don't know the story behind the bread, but it is certainly quite fresh. I know Outerlands makes a Tartine-style sourdough loaf; this is a sweet loaf.

Street Eats

Agreed. Portland really has us beat on this one.

Best Take-out Places for a "Big Salad" (Dinner)?

In the East Bay I personally LOVE the tostada salad at Picante -- huge! Tasty!

1328 6th St, Berkeley, CA 94710