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Great coffee in Brooklyn

I realize this is an old post, but I have always heard that NYC water is soft, not hard. According to a NYC government site: "New York City’s Catskill/Delaware System water is predominantly “soft” with a hardness of about 1.0 grain/gallon (CaCO3)."

1 day ago
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Lakruwana Sri Lankan in S.I. - Tips for First-Timers?

To expand on what Anicca wrote, if going to Lakruwana, take a side trip (walk) up St. Paul's Ave. if you like grand Victorians. It is a NYC historic district, between Clinton St. and Trossach Rd. Much closer to the restaurant is a little side street called Harrison St., with smaller but pretty Victorian (and earlier) homes.

I live in the neighborhood and have been to both Lakruwana and SanRasa several times. The Sunday buffet is wonderful particularly as there are plenty of dishes to satisfy both vegetarians and meat-eaters. For a la carte, the Lamprey, or Lampreis (NOT an eel) is a sort of combination plate with a lovely variety of tastes and textures, served on banana leaf.

Though often spicy, it is definitely different from Indian cuisine. Enjoy.

Apr 07, 2015
comestible in Outer Boroughs

NYC first visit (kind of) - where to eat to feel like you're in NY!

And now if you want a beer to take on the ferry, you can get a draft Lagunitas IPA in the Manhattan ferry terminal.

Mar 26, 2015
comestible in Manhattan

George Clooney launches Tequila in UK

It's available in the US now. I've had the reposado, and I like it.

Feb 27, 2015
comestible in Spirits

Best website to buy tea?

Just wanted to add, as I am a sencha enthusiast, that smaller kyusus ARE possible to find, but it takes careful searching. (I'm the only tea drinker in the household, so those large ones are useless to me.) I'm in NYC, where I see nice ones occasionally at Japanese specialty crafts places, and even a few at Harney's. Nice ones cost minimum around $45, often much higher, but the craftsmanship is so nice, I think it's worth it. Online, I've ordered kyusus from Yuuki-Cha; they're beautiful but I ordered two, one was broken in transit and too much of a hassle to get refunded. I think their packaging is inadequate for shipping.

A good website will give the capacity in ounces or milliliters, which enables you to select a small one. And they will have good photos that show you both the inside and outside of the vessel.

Cheaper, less "artisan" kyusus can be found too. Big chinese teaware places sometimes have a few; I once bought a nice one in San Francisco's Japantown (hardware store) for $13.

Feb 25, 2015
comestible in General Topics

Best pizza in SI, Joe&Pats or Deninos

Curiously, their pizzas are offered "grilled" or "fried." I got the grilled.

I am not familiar with this nomenclature...thought pizza was baked, though people can get good results on outdoor grills.

Feb 08, 2015
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Best pizza in SI, Joe&Pats or Deninos

I had a couple of great pies from Elm Park Inn recently. Beautiful charred crust and nice toppings (spinach, mushroom, artichokes...)

Feb 04, 2015
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Coffee stained bone china cups

I use diluted bleach solution on my teaware, which gets badly stained. An overnight soak leaves them pristine. Not sure why it isn't working for the OP. Has the glaze worn away such that the coffee has set into the unglazed material?

Jan 16, 2015
comestible in Cookware

Williamsburg, BK- the hipster diaries

Never been to Williamsburg! I'd better get over there to experience the hipster thing before it morphs into something else. Thanks for the list, Bob.

Jan 15, 2015
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Lower end Scotch tastes

OK, I have a new recommendation: Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition. It's $30 here. Yes, it's a blend, but a wonderful one. 100 proof but takes kindly to some dilution. It's spicy and complex and flavorful, not peaty, not heavy. I'm not generally a fan of the blends, but this one is a real winner, in my opinion.

Jan 15, 2015
comestible in Spirits

How long have you been a vegetarian ? And why did you become one ?

Vegetarian (not vegan) for the past 40 years, for both health and animal compassion reasons. I'm very happy eating this way.

A couple of months ago, I started to experience some weird neurological symptoms. Normal scans and tests, except for a blood test that showed very low Vitamin B-12. So I will be off to the doctor for injections, and after that probably supplementation.

Not that everyone need be concerned, but it's something to watch out for.

Jan 13, 2015
comestible in Vegetarian & Vegan

Staten Island Pizza

Updating this old thread a bit...with recent experiences.

Pier 76 has fallen a bit in my estimation, and it's the crust. It's quite thin, yes, but dry, and there's something hollow about the flavor, almost as though it were made with baking soda, not yeast. Wonder if anyone else agrees.

Discovered and am very happy with the pizza at Elm Park Inn on Morningstar Rd. Used to be called Upper Crust (in a room above the Elm Park Inn) but now you just call the Inn. Beautiful charred crust, lovely toppings (we had spinach/artichoke and a spinach/ricotta pie). Spinach was evenly layered across the whole pie.

Still enjoy a pie from Giove when I'm out that way. Haven't been to Denino's in years, but I need to try them again since it's so often held up as the standard of S.I. pizza.

Jan 12, 2015
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Wing-type corkscrew that doesn't fall apart?

Olasek, I've seen one of those before. I remember admiring it!

Jan 08, 2015
comestible in Wine

Wing-type corkscrew that doesn't fall apart?

I myself am happy with the waiter's friend type, but my wife prefers the wing type (with two opposite geared levers). In our experience, these last only a short time before breaking or becoming misaligned. She received an OXO brand this past Christmas, which looks pretty sturdy but it does have a non-steel "worm" so I wonder if there will be problems.

Is there a reliable brand available of this type corkscrew? Thanks.

Jan 05, 2015
comestible in Wine

Where Best Places for Local Brews ?

Another place to check out is Gambrinus, on Atlantic near Third Ave. Friendly, small place with about a dozen offerings on tap that change all the time, all local or regional. And many bottles available for take-home.

Dec 15, 2014
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Where Best Places for Local Brews ?

There are local breweries all over the place now. You can almost not go wrong! And many local taverns have local beers now.

I'm in Staten Island and we got our own brewery (Flagship) about a year ago. Good stuff.

Dec 11, 2014
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Glencairn glass for bourbon?

Hi, I need to get a gift for a bourbon-loving friend, and wondered if the Glencairn glass is advocated by bourbon drinkers. I myself use them for single malt and love them. But I wondered if a bourbon drinker would appreciate them too.

Thanks.

Dec 11, 2014
comestible in Spirits

What's the best inexpensive scotch out there?

Just as a follow-up, I was able to speak to the buyer at the store yesterday about the Black Bottle. He tastes everything he stocks, and said it does taste different from the old one, due to the fact that some malts become unavailable at some times, and the demand for peaty/smoky malts has lessened their availability to BB. Of course, that means it could change again when availability changes.

Dec 08, 2014
comestible in Spirits

What's the best inexpensive scotch out there?

I guess I was wrong about either how good the old bottle was or how bad the new one was! It will still be interesting to get further opinions. But I'm still not buying it again; I far prefer single malts anyway.

Dec 01, 2014
comestible in Spirits

Best website to buy tea?

I'll have to try Zencha. I've only ordered sencha before from O-cha.com, which was nice. By the way, and this will surprise you (as it did me) but one particular sencha sold by Harney's I find quite good, especially when I run out of tea and need to buy something locally. Their Sencha "Scent of Mountain" has a deep pine scent and rich flavor, and it's only $20/4 oz. A few months ago it was $15/4 oz. ...

Dec 01, 2014
comestible in General Topics

What's the best inexpensive scotch out there?

My retailer had a long spell where he couldn't get Black Bottle. Now it has reappeared, but the bottle shape is different, and IMO, so is the taste. It has lost much of what peatiness (smokiness?) it had, and perhaps some smoothness, and doesn't seem like the value it used to be. The price went up from $17 to $20.

Nov 27, 2014
comestible in Spirits

Best website to buy tea?

I was sorry to see Ito En close, too. I shopped for Japanese teas there; now I wish I had tried the Makaibari too.

Just a note on the Chinese multiple-steep method: Yes, it's traditional, and I do it all the time. But even with Chinese teas, some of them give it all up in the first steep. My tea buddies and I would refer to these as "one-steep wonders." But indeed, there is much to appreciate in the succession of flavors and intensities that multiple short steeps have to offer.

Nov 24, 2014
comestible in General Topics

Best website to buy tea?

I can't recommend Porto Rico for tea, sadly. I used to purchase some tea at their Bleecker St. store, and those teas were part of my learning process. But really, IMO there are purveyors of better quality teas out there.

Now, it's possible their internet portal sources different teas, but I"m going on experience with the storefront.

Nov 22, 2014
comestible in General Topics

Bread... What is going on!

The major brands have abandoned real bread, my friend. Fortunately, where I live (NYC), there are places to find decent bread. But don't expect to see national distribution and familiar names. Great bakers like Balthazar and Grandaisy. Even the local supermarket now carries Bread Alone, a relatively small baker in the Catskills, a nice variety of multigrain, sourdough and other types. Not to act NY-centric, but glad to have these options available.

If I lived where the bread was lousy, I'd make my own, or head for the ethnic markets, or order by mail and freeze.

Nov 11, 2014
comestible in General Topics

DeFonte's opening a location in Staten Island (!)

I was told by a gentleman on the site (who may have been a manager or owner) that the plan was to offer the same items as in Brooklyn.

Nov 11, 2014
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Tongue: Authentic Mexican Outer Boroughs

Hi, Dave. The place I seem to remember is Taqueria Puebla, at 1285 Castleton near Clove. But I don't think it's the only place.

Nov 08, 2014
comestible in Outer Boroughs

DeFonte's opening a location in Staten Island (!)

Hi, I live in the area and passed a vacant storefront on Water Street in Stapleton where a sign was placed saying "Coming soon, DeFonte's of Brooklyn." From what I've read of the favorable comments here about DeFonte's, I'm looking forward to this, and hope it is really going to happen. For residents of St. George and Stapleton, the nearest Italian deli is Montalbano's in Rosebank. Plus DeFonte has some rather unique specialties, yes?

Nov 02, 2014
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Steel or glass electric kettle?

Old thread, but this is just an update to my post above. The Chinese (Boni) kettle I wrote about broke the other day. The tab that switches it on and off simply broke from its moorings when I turned it on. That gives it a 3-1/2 year lifespan. But I note that it got a lot of use, several heat-ups per day.

It would be interesting to compare how long other kettles last.

Anyway, I went to Chinatown and bought another, same brand but a bit smaller. Set me back $23.

Oct 17, 2014
comestible in Cookware

Diner Ecstacy Near the Staten Island Landfill

Point of order: we don't call it "the landfill" any more; it's now Fresh Kills Park. :)

Lived on SI for 30 years, and I am still looking for a great breakfast place.

Oct 10, 2014
comestible in Outer Boroughs

Staten Island - Whats up?

Are you headed down Front St., Edgewater, and Bay toward Ft. Wadsworth and beyond? That's nice biking, mostly with little or no traffic except for the Bay St. stretch. There's a bike path through Ft. Wadsworth (but it can be tricky to find) to the boardwalk area and beach, where the path continues down to Cedar Grove.

A nice place along that route is Basilio Inn, a relaxing Italian place set off the road, ample bike parking.

Sep 10, 2014
comestible in Outer Boroughs