Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

Rocky2's Profile

Title Last Reply

Best Birthcake in Astoria?

We had a Red Velvet birthday cake ordered from Terrizzi's bakery on 30th avenue. It was too good for words.

35-14 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

Sep 25, 2010
Rocky2 in Outer Boroughs

Sripraphai overrated

Yes yes yes. Sri is overrated overhyped and is mediocre. Now y'all stop going there so I don't have to wait on line so long to get in! Woo hoo!! Gonna Thai one on!

Sep 15, 2010
Rocky2 in Outer Boroughs

What's the difference between a stramboli and a calzone?

I believe that panzerotto is the Pugliese word for pansoto/panciotto. That would be linguistically. The word is used for different dishes, obviously.. I don't know if panzerotto means waistcoat in the Pugliese dialect.

Jul 24, 2010
Rocky2 in General Topics

What's the difference between a stramboli and a calzone?

Capicola is also not correct (of course, common usage makes anything correct eventually). It should be "capocollo" from the old Italian word for head "capo" (related to French chef, Spanish jefe) and still used to mean someone in charge like a Mafia capo. Plus "collo" or neck. I assume that "capocollo" wound up being pronounced "capuh colluh" by people in the industry and ultimately written down as capicola. Something similar must have happened regarding portobello mushrooms since I've been seeing them sold as "portabellas" in too many places.

Jul 23, 2010
Rocky2 in General Topics

What's the difference between a stramboli and a calzone?

Pansoti are related to the Italian word for belly: pancia (PAHN-chah). Belly is pansa in Ligurian. So pansoti would be like Italian panciotti. Panciotto happens to mean waistcoat in Italian. I do not know if pansoto has the same meaning in Ligurian.
Regarding pronouncing Italian words, I understand that the American tongue can only do so much, so certain changes are inevitable. Bruschetta will always look like brushetta, unfortunately. However, if we can remember that lasagna is lazanya, we can remember broo'SKEHT-tah

Jul 23, 2010
Rocky2 in General Topics

What's the difference between a stramboli and a calzone?

"Au" corresponds to "al" in Spanish and Italian. It literally is a contraction of "to the": Fr."a le"; It "a il"; Sp. "a el" In culinary terms. the contraction is used to indicate a 'style'. For example: al dente "to the tooth" for pasta cooked with a bite; al fresco "in the fresh [air]" . Most people are familiar with the feminine It "alla"; Fr., Sp.: "a la" For example: spaghetti alla carbonara; pie a la mode. So "roast beef sandwich with au jus" is more like "spaghetti with al dente" or "Pie with a la mode" It is certainly redundant but not literally "with with" Just nitpicking :)
Regarding calzone, the Latin root word is "calc-" or "calx" meaning haiving to do with the heel. Words derived from this root have come to be used for shoes, socks, stockings, underpants, shorts, and trousers. Also, shoe is not "calzon" in Spanish. It's "zapato".

Jul 23, 2010
Rocky2 in General Topics

The Basics: How to Make Basil Pesto

Pine nuts are not strictly mandatory but not simply optional either. They are important to the recipe.. Pesto shouldn't ever feel heavy. If it does, maybe too much is being used. Rule of thumb is one clove of garlic for every 30 basil leaves. The garlic should be of the less pungent kind if possible. Food processors and blenders are not optimal as best results are obtained from gently ripping the leaves, not mashing or shredding them. Even with a mortar and pestle, one must be careful as to not seriously pound the leaves into pulp. Use gentle circular motions to shred. This prevents the basil oils and flavors from escaping the leaves. Also, often, too little olive oil is used. I would double the amount in this recipe. People shouldn't worry about too much oil. You only use a tblspn or two of pesto in a portion. That really doesn't add up to a lot of oil. And When seasoning the pasta, the pesto should be diluted in some of the cooking water. As a compromise, .I use a mortar and pestle for the garlic and pinoli, but chop the leaves on a cutting board with a half moon blade. Then I mix them.

Jul 20, 2010
Rocky2 in Features

Pasta Carbonara with Peas

Great idea adding peas to this dish. Peas traditionally go with bacon and similar pork products in Italian cuisine. I grew up eating my mother's chopped bacon and peas. Also, the peas give a nice touch of color. On the other hand, a short pasta is usually selected when peas are used. I wonder how this recipe would turn out using small shell pasta instead of linguine. I'll have to try it.

May 19, 2009
Rocky2 in Recipes


Until the post World War II ear, Provence and the French Riviera were simply extensions of Piedmont and Liguria, also known as the Italian Riviera. Geography placed the Alps in the middle, and split the area between France and Italy. Since WWII, the strong cross border regional personality has been largely wiped out by French and Italian 'izations' of the region.

The great Italian patriot Garibaldi came from Nizza, now French Nice. And Monaco, with its capital Monte Carlo, are well within France. The famous Herbs of Provence are simply Italian Seasonings identical with Piedmontese and Ligurian varieties.

There was a time locals could go between regions and be mutually intelligible speaking their local dialects, and recognize each others cuisines. For example, you'll find aïoli on both sides of the border. Socca in NIce is Farinata in Liguria. Foccaccia is Fugassa in Liguria and Fougasse in Nice. It's not that these things necessarly originated on the Italian side of the border, but that the entire region shares a similar linguistic and culinary history. This is analogous to French Alsace on the German border. Although within French borderss, Alsace shares its linguistic and culinary history with the German side. Sauerkraut becomes charcroute and Riesling wine abounds.

Oct 11, 2007
Rocky2 in Recipes

European-style vegetable market in Queens

What do you mean by fresh carrots? From someone's garden? Individual with the green tops on?

Dunno who'd have those kind of carrots in Queens. I do all my fruit and veggie shopping at the 24hr Greek markets on 30th Ave and 33rd St, or the Top Tomato on Ditmars Blvd or the little Korean place on Broadway and 29th St.

Buuuuut....just a stone's throw from Northwestern Queens is Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and there's a wonderful little place called The Garden on Manhattan Avenue off Kent St. They may have what you're looking for.

Oct 07, 2007
Rocky2 in Outer Boroughs

An Astoria List

El Mariachi for Mexican on Broadway btwn 33rd and 34th St. Love the tortas, burritos, soups and horchata beverage.

Try Yaiya Thai on 30th Ave near 34th St. I like it a lot, and Thai friends have told me that it's closest to Thai homecooking. I think they also make Thai offmenu dishes for Thai customers.

Balkh Afghan Grill near corner of 23rd Ave on 31st St. I'm addicted to the pitcher of sweet lassi and the combo grill.

Oct 07, 2007
Rocky2 in Outer Boroughs

Disappointing NY pizza [Moved from the LA board]

Some of my favorite pizza is in Astoria and Maspeth. I don't stick with any one pizza for too long though, since variety is the spice of life.

In Astoria, I enjoy:
Rizzo's pan pizza on Steinway St, just south of 30th Avenue. Not quite the same after they got the new pizza oven years ago. Must be something about the old oven's calibration.
Grand Ave pizza on 30th Ave and 35th St. Slightly small, but tasty.
Polito's Pizza on Broadway just west of Steinway St. (especially when I want a hefty slice).
Rosa and Tony's Bakery on 31 St just south of Ditmars Blvd. My only criticism is that they make the pizza early in the day, so you can only get oldish reheated pizza. I'd love to try some freshly made.
Sac's Pizza on 29th St and Broadway. Some people just don't get why others love the place. Tastes differ of course. But I'd like to recommend a suggestion. Order a pie from scratch and eat it straight out of the oven. To me, the dough is like fine pastry. Unfortunately, the pizza doesn't stand up to reheating or delivery. I think it's the steam from the heat that ruins that dough. They use full metal pans to place their pies. I think the pizza would stand up better on perforated pans, so that the crust doesn't get soggy and wet. If my first slice there had been a wet soggy reheated slice, I'd never have gone back. Again, try a fresh pie from scratch in the joint.

In Maspeth:
Rosa's Pizza on 69th St just north of Grand Ave. Gotta love it.
Caruana's Pizza on corner of 69th st and Grand Avenue. Just down the street from Rosa's. Sesame seeds on the crust.

And before I forget, there's just something about Pizza Boy's Sicilian slices I can't resist. They're located at 74th St and 37th Avenue, right in the middle of Little India

Oct 02, 2007
Rocky2 in Outer Boroughs

Casual group dinner for 50 in Queens [Moved from Tristate Region]

I've attended group dinners at Uncle Peter's, between 83rd and 84th Streets and Northern Blvd, many times. It's cozy and attentive. And I can't hate any place that have hearty olive oil and crusty bread on the table for dipping.

Oct 01, 2007
Rocky2 in Outer Boroughs

Best Lunch Near 37th Ave and 21st St, QNS?

Bulgara's, on 37th avenue going towards the East River. Maybe five or six short city blocks from 21st Street.

Sep 15, 2007
Rocky2 in Outer Boroughs

alternative to Sripraphai?

Arunee Thai on 79th St just off the the NW corner of Roosevelt Ave

Sep 15, 2007
Rocky2 in Outer Boroughs

Savory Cannellini Bean Spread

Skip the pepper flakes. Add cumin to taste. And don't be stingy with the olive oil.

Sep 15, 2007
Rocky2 in Recipes

Kebab Cafe status

Please grant Ali some slack. He's been under pressure lately. Apparently, the city is demanding that he install an air chute if he wants to offer a grilled food menu. Unfortunately, his landlord won't allow it so Ali pulled the menus because they included grilled items and he doesn't want to get in trouble. The poor guy is squeezed by the city, the landlord, and customers seeking menus. I hope he gets this resolved so he can get back to being his cheery self. But hey, as long as you went to the wonderful Mombar's, your patronage stayed in the family.
I think Mustafa and Ali should go partners and open a place in a more strategic place. I like 24th ave near the EL, where Elias Corner and the Bohemian Hall are located. Or something around 36th avenue between the EL and Steinway St.

Aug 29, 2007
Rocky2 in Outer Boroughs