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Star Noodle - Not worth it

Saying average, at best, food is out of this world due to location is like saying Antarctica has amazing weather based on one day of above sub zero temps. Context matters to a point but if you want well executed pork buns or Korean fusion no way I would recommend this place.

Feb 28, 2014
wingman in Hawaii

Star Noodle - Not worth it

Visiting Ka'anapali with my wife and stopped at Star Noodle for lunch today. We had attempted to have dinner a couple nights prior but there was a 1.5 hour wait so we opted to come back for lunch.

I can totally see the appeal of a place like this for an interesting menu concept but found the execution to be severely lacking. We ordered the pork buns, garlic noodles and Brussels sprouts. I found the cut of pork to be far too thick and not braised enough and the buns to be pretty close to wonder bread. The Brussels and garlic noodles were over oiled and didn't have a ton of natural flavor. Living in NY we have a lot of exposure to Korean fusion type cuisine especially at David Chang's restaurants so my expectations may have been skewed. I had really hoped Star Noodle would live up to the hype unfortunately I found the food passable at best.

Feb 25, 2014
wingman in Hawaii

Mother's Ruin - Any good?

Drinks are ok, not to the level of a m&h or PDT. The big offering is a list of fresh fruits that they will use to craft your cocktail. Had more of a Caribbean than jazz age feel. Worth a shot, but id wait for spring to take advantage of their outdoor space.

Jan 11, 2014
wingman in Manhattan

$500 - $600 special dinner in Paris

Hi, my fiancee and I are headed to Paris as the last stop on our honeymoon. We had originally thought one of the top Michelin starred places would fit the bill but the $1500 price tag pre-wine seems outrageous to us. We'd also much rather walk the streets of Paris with a baguette during the day then have a formal sit down lunch.

It also seems like Paris has a huge gap in restaurants, there are fantastic bistros with amazing food for under $300 for 2, then there are the palaces of culinary genius for $1000+ but nothing in between. We have the bistro fare covered with reservations at Frenchie and some other great recs from friends. However, we've yet to find that one really romantic meal with great service and wine for $500 - $600. Any ideas?

Aug 04, 2013
wingman in France

Some thoughts on a culinary exploration of Brooklyn

My gf and I made the decision to move back to NYC after a couple years in San Francisco and wow did I miss the culinary delights of my favorite city! After a weekend exploring Brooklyn my chow senses are on high alert and I can't wait to start scouring the boards for advice again. On Thursday and Saturday we went on a walking tour of Williamsburg/ Greenpoint and Park Slope/ Cobble Hill respectively. Highlights by neighborhood included (drinks & food):

Williamsburg -
Rosarito Fish Shack - wasn't expecting much as we waited to grab a glass of wine at DOC, had a couple beers some decent oysters and a quesadilla that was one of the best I had. The cheese and mushrooms were fantastic and while it probably received bonus points from how hungry we were, I would no doubt go back.

DOC Wine Bar - the food looked fantastic and the wine list was pretty good, although the bottle list was far superior than the glass list. We both thought the glass list had a bit too much of a focus on biodynamic/ organic wines rather than featuring wines that highlight the flavor profiles of Italian wines.

Post Office - our last stop for the night (after pizza) but the drinks were excellent and the setting was much more relaxed than some of the cocktail spots in Manhattan. Really diverse drink menu and the grilled cheese with bacon was a perfect way to ease the pain we felt the next morning!

Greenpoint -
Paulie Gees - very excited to have some NY pizza again after a year of finding passable coal/ wood oven pizzas at A16 and Zero Zero in San Francisco. Paulie Gees did not disappoint! A great selection of Six Point beers on draft and the In Ricotta Di Vita was tasty. I prefer slightly more salt in my crust, but the crust was super airy and the ingredients were top notch, also the space was super cool with an unfinished wood interior and logs for the fire stack all around the restaurant.

Park Slope -
Dizzy's - Had wanted to hit Applewood for brunch but was closing at 2pm. So we headed over to Dizzy's for some traditionalesque dinner fare. All around a good brunch spot for a decent price. For a tasty omelet at an ok price it's a great spot to hit up, but nothing outstanding.

Cobble Hill -
Clover Club - My gf enjoyed the drink list more than I did. I went off menu and ordered a variation of an old fashioned with chocolate bitters, was an ok drink but I've had far better variations of that cocktail at other drinking dens. However, the duck fat potato chips were phenomenal! Place was open and comfortable but for me was just a miss. The cheese plate which featured Stinky cheeses was pretty solid however.

Brooklyn Social - Loved the interior of this place, very kitschy but reminded me of an upstate NY Italian American club, like the one I went to a ton of sweet 16s back in the day. A limited special cocktail menu but I was really happy with my drink which featured egg whites. The gf enjoyed her old fashioned as well. I could totally see this as a frequent stop if we move to the neighborhood.

Jakewalk - Simply put this was a wine bar/ small bites restaurant that seems to get it right. The wine list was pretty varied both in types of wine and price of wine. We were also really happy to see a 1996 Corrison on their menu (a winery we liked to visit up in Napa). We shared their special soup of the day and a spicy cucumber salad - both were EXCELLENT and like many places on Smith they featured a cheese plate from Stinky Cheeses.

Buschenschank - After a day of drinking we were ready for some food that might make our walk back to our hotel slightly easier so finding a German beer hall was like a gift from heaven. We walked in and were greeted by communal tables and a nice sized bar that stretched around the entrance way of the restaurant. The pretzle and beer mustard was excellent as was their sausage platter. The beer menu went from traditional pilsners to darker and wheat beers and had more to choose from than similar restaurants I've been to in the past. All in I was impressed with this spot, thought the atmosphere was great and would be happy to go back.

Mar 26, 2012
wingman in Outer Boroughs

Anything like Animal or Momofuku in SF?

I moved out here from NYC after spending a couple years in VA for grad school. Haven't found any restaurants that really capture the culture here like Momofuku does in NYC but would give the following suggestions and reasons:

Philz Coffee- Mission - best captures the vibe of this city and its love of coffee
Monk's Kettle - Mission - amazing beer list and has great gastropub food, kind of like Spotted Pig but the food isn't as good and vibe isn't as cool
Magnolia - Haight - microbrewery, good food, very San Francisco Vibe
Romolo 15 - North Beach - SF style speakeasy with an awesome grilled cheese, not as exclusive as NY speakeasies like PDT or Milk & Honey (a few years ago)
Burma Superstar - Richmond - more casual than the others on the list but shows the international flair this city has in a really fun envrionment
The new Soma places (zero zero, rn74, town hall/ anchor & hope/ salt bar) - what SF is emerging to, SOMA has the most big city vibe of any area of the city
Suppenkuche - Hayes Valley - fun, german style bar

In general I haven't found anything super sceney in SF, the vibe is really laid back and come as you are which is what makes this city great. Some other options are the burrito joints in the mission, Papalote or El Farilito are both solid and where the locals over there would most go.

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Suppenkuche
525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102

The Monk's Kettle
3141 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Burma Superstar
4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

Jan 27, 2011
wingman in San Francisco Bay Area

My first foodie adventure in San Francisco

Trying to discover the city as best as I can; have canceled all but the Canteen reservation at this point. This isn't a "first date" it's a first date in SF but I'm also not a huge fan of blowing the monthly food budget in one night.

Will check out some of the others you mentioned, looked into SPQR and Flour & Water, but having had my last meal at Otto in NY didn't want to go Itallian again so quickly.

Thanks for checking out Opentable for me.

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SPQR
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Oct 03, 2010
wingman in San Francisco Bay Area

My first foodie adventure in San Francisco

Hi,

I've moved to San Francisco from NY after a quick 2 year pit stop in Virginia for my MBA. In NY I was a huge supporter and fan of chowhound reading and posting reviews of as many meals as possible to spread culinary knowledge among those who feel that food is the soul of a city. I hope to be as knowledge about the food scene in SF as I was in NY; although I'll be happy with half the adventures!

Friday night will be my first real food adventure in SF; right now I have reservations at Canteen, Absinthe and Town Hall - will also be a date night with someone who I think is pretty great so that's under consideration. One of the big reasons I'm so excited about the food scene here is the prevalence of local ingredients and clean cooking. I know Canteen would fit that bill but I fear it's not romantic enough for a great foodie date. Not as thrilled about Town Hall as I am about Absinthe. Would love to go to Range but reservations aren't available until about 10 pm.

Any other places you suggest I check out? Wine list is a must as is fun and inventive cooking - outside of some good ambiance there aren't any other restrictions (hole in the wall ethnic is great but won't work for Friday). And of course I'll report back with thoughts.

Look forward to chowing with you all!

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Town Hall Restaurant
342 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105

Oct 03, 2010
wingman in San Francisco Bay Area

Rocking Horse or Taco Night @ Suenos

I'm briefly back in NYC after my 2 year stint in Virginia for grad school. Since I'm still living off what's remaining from my student loans prior to starting my job I'm trying to find a cheapish place for dinner with my sister tonight on the West side just north of her office.

We were thinking Mexican and taco night at Suenos sounds fun but I also never had the opportunity to try Rocking Horse when I lived in the city - opinions?

Thanks!

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Rocking Horse Cafe
182 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Suenos
311 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

Aug 24, 2010
wingman in Manhattan

BBQ Between Rocky Mount & Richmond?

I'm headed down to Rocky Mount this weekend for an insane triathlon training weekend; have to get out of the snow in Charlottesville! For my reward I plan on eating a copious amount of BBQ when I'm done with my workouts on Sunday. Are there any good BBQ places that are only slightly out of the way between Rocky Mount & Richmond, VA?

I've searched the boards and it seems like most of the amazing places are either 40 minutes west or south of Rocky Mount; was hoping there was at least one good place north of Rocky Mount so it's kind of on my way home.

Thanks!

Feb 11, 2010
wingman in Southeast

Charlottesville Delights from a Relocated Hound.

Pane - welcome to C'Ville! I moved down here from NYC for grad school last year and dealt with some similar growing pains; but gems are to be found! Check out the Belmont area, Mas, and the Local are both great and the Local, each has decent cocktails. Bang just off the Downtown Mall is supposed to have great cocktails but I haven't had it yet.

Revolution Soups off of the Mall is also great for some local fare - salads, soups and sandwiches, kind of a cool funky vibe. A bit further out of town are Blue Mountain Brewery and Devils Backbone, each is a fun experience and I highly suggest trying to get to the vineyards.

Let me know if you need/ want any other suggestions.

Nov 03, 2009
wingman in Southeast

A recap on my Boston Food Excursions

For those who haven't seen any of my other posts, I'm a part time Bostonite. Most of my time is spent in Charlottesville, VA studying for my MBA; I'm a Manhattan transplant who has a summer internship in Boston, and come up many weekends as my girlfriend lives here. Anyway, here's a recap of some of the places we've tried over the past month and 1/2 and our reviews (in order of tastiness):

EVOO - The chinese box was aamzing, atmosphere great and prices were right, if this restaurant was within walkign distance of our apartment I'd probably gain 2 to 300 lbs this summer. IMO this place has everything a great night out needs.

Oleana - A close second to EVOO, the ingredients are amazingly fresh, wine list is pretty cool and the menu is inventive. The whipped feta appetizer was incredible as was everything else we had, the gf had the flattened chicken dish and I had the rabbit, each was an incredible meal. We need to return for dessert one day!

Toro - Tapas are one of our favorite meals and Toro comes in as my third favorite tapas restaurant behind Casa Mono and Mercat (both in NY). There is enough variety on the menu to really get a great sampling and the wine list is as creative as the food - I probably wouldn't bring my parents here but for a fun night out this will be our go to spot.

Abe & Louie's - My gf's Mom loves the crab cake here so this is their must have whenever they visit Boston. The rib eye steak was delicious; I prefer a steak off my own grill on a patio, but for an outstanding (if pricey) meal A&L does deliver great eats, for a steakhouse its also tremendously comfortable and not stuffy at all.

Pasha (Arlington) - On a random evening the gf and I found ourselves in Arlington, and noticed a new Turkish restaurant. Pasha was great, I've really missed ethnic food since moving out of NY and have been dying to find grilled lamb in that middle eastern style. The adana kebab was amazing and I'm dying to go back to try the Donner Kebab, the rice pudding was tremendous as well.

Henrietta's Table - Delcious meal but a huge space and the service did feel a bit rushed. In a weird way HT feels like a hotel restaurant and the boutique at the front gives it a weird ambiance. The food was great and I loved the ingredients, my pork chop was perfectly cooked, but the atmosphere felt sterile for a farm to table type place.

Navy Yard Bistro - On a night when the gf and I were looking to take advantage of the great weather we decided to take a short walk to the NYB. I had the grouper which was really well cooked, and the jasmin rice was a perfect compliment. For a neighborhood restaurant this place is great, probably not a destination but for a random Tuesday its perfect.

The Blue Room (brunch) - The day after a recent triathlon we rewarded ourselves with brunch at the Blue Room, last October we had brunch here and thought it was outstanding, sadly our memories were better than the food. This time around the brunch was just ok, the best thing I had was the saffron rice; really the brunch this past weekend felt more like leftovers than an attempt at a unique experience. Time to find a new place for our lazy Sundays.

Jun 09, 2009
wingman in Greater Boston Area

Seafood, Outdoor Seating, Casual

Oh wow, really? Guess my dream of sushi, outside with my favorite bottle of wine from King's Family Vineyard in Virginia is out the window!

Well outdoors, casual and seafood/ sushi is hopefully doable (outdoors is the least important I guess)

May 21, 2009
wingman in Greater Boston Area

Seafood, Outdoor Seating, Casual

The title says it all, my summer internship doesn't start until June 1st, so I get to enjoy my girlfriend's company until then. She has had a busy week at work and we'd both love to enjoy the weather this evenging sitting outside having seafood (or something healthy) and some wine. If there is a byob place that fits the bill that would be outstanding. Any area of Boston is fine, prefereance to the water front. Any help is appreciated and of course I'll report back!

May 21, 2009
wingman in Greater Boston Area

Romantic & Fun - Boston?

Due to my girlfriend's work schedule and my MBA program down in Virginia we haven't had a chance to see each other in almost a month. I'm finally making it back up to Boston on Friday so we'd love to have a great night out together. Normally we wouldn't be too worried about price but with X-mas and a pending vacation coming up neither one of us can afford to break the bank. Currently we're thinking about Craigie on Main, the Butcher Shop or Sel Da Terre - any recs of those 3 or any other suggestions for a great meal that would be $120 to $150 for the two of us (tops) with drinks?

Thanks!

Nov 26, 2008
wingman in Greater Boston Area

The New Deli - Charlottesville

The New Deli opened earlier this week on route 29 in C'Ville, seeing the Boar's Head sticker in the window I became very excited. After eating there today my enthusiasim is considerbly less.

I had hoped that this would be a deli in the NY/ NJ sense of the word, good bread, simple meats, and great cheese - unfortunetley it was anything but. The menu is convoluted and over complicated, the pre-maid sandwiches seem to be a hybrid between the Bel Aire menu and Whole Foods pre-made sandwiches. The "create your own section" offers Boar's Head speciaity meats like cajun turkey, pastrami and black forrest turkey; but staples like oven old turkey, roast beef and salami were absent.

The menu promises "subs" so I decided to make my own with 12 grain, lettuce tomatto, turkey (whatever kind they used), chedar, and mustard. After waiting about 10 minutes i finally received my sandwich and when I returned to my apartment I was greeted to a pathetic turkey sandwich with what seemed to be American cheese, on 2 slices of whole wheat bread, no mustard, no lettuce and no tomatto. I had prayed that there would finally be an alternative to Bel Aire but at $6 for a pathetic sandwich I won't be going back.

Nov 06, 2008
wingman in General South Archive

Between C'Ville and Richmond

Janet - thanks. Was looking into Edo's but it seems more itallian than traditional seafood. Sensi is also more itallian, right?

One place place that looked great with tons of character is Croakers - is the food there any good? I was thinking Comfort or Croakers might be just what we're looking for.

Thanks

Oct 15, 2008
wingman in General South Archive

Between C'Ville and Richmond

Thanks! My gf isn't a huge fan of thai but I'll be sure to round up some classmates for a trip out that way. That is if we have time with all this school work.

Good to hear from you - I miss the NY board!

Oct 14, 2008
wingman in General South Archive

Between C'Ville and Richmond

After years of being a frequent contributor on the Manhattan board, I'm new to the south and looking to expand my culinary roots. I moved down down to C'ville for grad school in August and this week I'm picking up my girlfriend from the Richmond airport. We're trying to figure out where to eat after I pick her up, only requierments are no BBQ (will be a bit too late and a bit too hard on the stomach). Some initial thoughts are Edo's Squid and The Hard Shell; although an off the beaten path somewhere off of 64 would be great as well - all suggestions are welcome!

Thanks.

Oct 14, 2008
wingman in General South Archive

Saying Goodbye to NYC (at least for a while)

Well favorite is Babbo but I'm already living on loans :)

Little Giant, Spotted Pig and Apizz are some of my favorites because of how casual and comfortable the restaurants are and that they turn out great food. The creative style of WD-50 would be incredible but I'm wondering if that's better served for a trip back to the city rather than my last meal when I have such a connection to the neighborhood.

Aug 04, 2008
wingman in Manhattan

Saying Goodbye to NYC (at least for a while)

On Monday I move to Charlottesville, VA to begin my MBA. After living on the Lower East Side for 5 great years I have countless memories of some of the neighborhoods restaurants. So I'm a bit torn about what to do for my last meal in Manhattan. My new girlfriend is coming to the city for my going away happy hour this Friday, after which we plan on going to dinner. It's a bit special for her as well as most of her trips have been to the Upper East Side - she's every bit the foodie I am and totally incredible so I'd also like to show her the Manhattan I know and love.

I've yet to eat at WD-50 although I've been dying to go for years but wonder if I'll be happier eating at one of my old favorite places. I moved out of the city when my lease ended in June and have since finished my first Ironman so at this point any meal is going to be great.

So hounds what do you think - try something new for the last meal or go somewhere that has always brought a smile to my face. The new would be WD-50 or Allen & Delancy, the old favorites are Little Giant, Spotted Pig (yes I know that is in the WV), or Apizz.

Thanks for all the great suggestions over the years!

Aug 04, 2008
wingman in Manhattan

Dinner suggestion near Rice to Riches?

Finellis Cafe on Prince might be a perfect spot, much more casual (bar food) than what the other posters have recommended and very cheap. Burgers, and beer type food. If you want something a bit more upscale than that with a German twist Laurelei on Rivington could be cool, also very casual.

If you walk East on Spring or Prince there are a ton of casual spots including 24 Prince if you guys are Top Chef fans that's where Nikki works. Alot of options in that area to choose from. Cafe El Portal heading south on Elizabeth is also a great casual Mexican place with good food.

Jun 20, 2008
wingman in Manhattan

Islamaroda Food Review

Last week I visited Islamaroda for my pre-MBA fishing trip with my Dad. With how busy I'll be over the next couple of years I wanted to spend some quality time with the Pops before heading to UVA. After scouring the boards I sampled some of Key Largos and Islamarodas offerings; reviews are below:

Day 1 -

On the drive from Ft. Laurderadale to Islamaroda I satisfyed the hunger pains with a Clif Bar so I could try out Mrs. Mac's both for the food and the Key Lime Pie I've read so much about on this board. I ordered the T.J. Style fish which was one of the most delicatley preparred fish with a tremendously simple salsa that may have created the culinary highlight of the trip. Simply grilled fish with a somewhat spicy salsa, great beans and well preparred rice was perfect lite fare for a humid day. The Key Lime Pie at Mrs. Mac's was also my favorite of the trip, the gelatin like consistency, tartness and thiner crust all was exactly what I look for in a great Key Lime Pie.

For dinner that night we ate at the Island Grill where I simply had to try the inventive Tuna Nachos. The Tuna Nachos are less Nachos and more a crostini topped with seaweed, raw tuna and a wasabi sauce. The tuna was incredibly fresh and the cripsiness of the "toritlla" was a perfect contrast to the softness of the raw tuna - without question this app lived up to the hype. I also had the Island Grill's fried Grouper sandwich which was well preparred but not a stand out.

Day 2 -

We wanted a solid breakfast for our first day of chasing Bonefish and Tarpon so we headed to the Islamaroda Bakery/ Bob Bunz I; please avoid this place at all costs. My Dad and I sat down at a table at 6:40 am, thinking we'd be served and finished with our meals no later than 7:10 am. It wasn't until 7:15 that we were served (the guys sitting next to us had a similar problem) and the food was totally lack luster. I ordered the breakfast burrito which came with chicken (instead of bacon or sausage!?!) and my Dad had the pancakes, neither dish was preparred well and we would have been better served hitting up McDonalds.

Bentley's was the establishment of choice that night; the kitchy decor led to a real Keys feel but I was dissapointed in the food offerings. I really felt like I was ordered a seafood special from a Greek dinner here in NY. Everything was covered in some sort of sauce which seemed to mask the true flavor of the fish. We had the crab meatballs and sampled their 3 styles of cooked oysters as apps - the oysters were all very good but the amount of toppings prevented the flavor of the oyster from being enjoyed. The crab meatballs were ok and were essentially just stuffed mushrooms. For dinner I had the bohemian style Wahoo and my Dad had their fish sampler; the fish was fresh but I can't stand fish covered in a ton of toppings. In contrast to the TJ's style fish at Mrs. Mac's the Wahoo at Bentley's was covered in a really sweet red sauce with a seafood salsa - there was so much glop on the plate that I could barely find the fish! Wahoo is a meatier fish that can stand up to some saucing but really they went overboard - the fish sampler also had the same faults. I felt that the dishes at Bently's lacked direction and the chefs were trying to throw as much on a plate as possible in the hopes that it would kind of taste good.

Day 3 -

Breakfast again was a disaster but the experience and food was slightly better. We ate at the Tropical Cafe across the street from the Tavernier Marina. The food still took longer than expected to be served but was much better than Islamaroda bakery; I had an omlete that was cooked well but not remarkable.

Dinner on day 3 was a total dissapointment. Having fond memories of Mile Marker 88 my Dad and I decided to eat there. The ambiance was straight out of Cocktail with white tables, a blue auning and an awful DJ. I wish the food had stayed in the 80s as well. I had grilled yellow fin tuna which lacked any sort of presentation and any semblance of flavor. I'm a huge fan of simply grilled fish but the MM 88 chefs didn't get the job done. The fish was fresh but had no seasoning/ salting and lacked the sweet flavor you expect from yellow fin - a total dissapointment.

Day 4 -

Finally a great breakfast was had at Mangrove Mikes! Fantastic pancakes, well cooked eggs and fast service. The pancakes were light and fluffy, eggs were executed perfectly, the price was right and service was attentive, easily the best breakfast we had in the Keys.

On the way back to the airport we stopped at Marleys. Apparently Marleys just changed ownership and underwent a rennovation. I was nervous that with the new ownership the food would be lacking but that was far from the case. As a lover of fish tacos I couldn't resist ordering them and was blown away by the flavor. The wasabi mayo, pico de gailo and mahi mahi (I think) all came together perfectly; the best fish tacos I've had since a trip to San Diego a couple years ago.

To recap the highlights of the trip was Mrs. Macs, Island Grill, Mangrove Mikes and Marleys.

The major dissapointmens and places I'd avoid were Mile Marker 88, Bentleys and the Islamaroda Cafe.

Jun 16, 2008
wingman in Florida

Top Chef-Tramonto's [Spoiler]

Without question a great episode; although from the beginning I was nervous as anything that Richard was going to get sent home; the editing had made me believe he was a bit off his game. Thankfully he pulled through with his ironic twists and created what appeared to be an amazing app.

I'm pretty much over all the quick fire challenges. In no way do they showcase the true talents of these chefes. They rarely use flavor profiles or things that will distinguish them from sous or line chefs. The more interesting quick fire challenges are the relay, and taste tests; butchering is a special skill, it is like expecting all the doctors on a medical reality show to know how to do brain surgery or heart surgery (god that's a scary thought!) but the best cardiovascular surgeon probably wouldn't have a clue how to play with a brain.

Illan's comment of "don't shave anyone's head tonight," showed how freaking ignorant he is, him and Spike should go hang out in hipster heaven together and stay away from the rest of America; I'm not sure what made NYC look worse, Illan and Spike or Joey.

At the end of the episode I was praying they would get rid of both Lisa and Spike, while a twist may put Lisa through to the final 3, she is so overmatched by the other 3 chefs it is rediculous to have her in the finals. She has done little, if anything, to distinguish herself throughout the season and really will dilute the final rather than add to it. I can't wait to see what Richard can come up with, wtih free range and an unlimted budget - should be mind bending!

Tramonto's comment of "Point taken bro," to spike may have been my favorite soudn bite of the season.

May 29, 2008
wingman in Food Media & News

Manhattan Street Food Vendor Photography?

I'm leaving this great city in July for the rolling hills of Charlottesville, VA and the Darden School of Business. The one thing that will always remind me of NY is the smell of hallal, that spicy red sauce that I can never quite figure out and the unbelievable taste of lamb and chicken over rice; not to mention some great memories standing on 53rd street waiting for "The Cart." Given that, I'm dying to find some great street photography of Manhattan food vendors - if I had any more than the artistic ability of a 3 year old I'd try and do this myself but I think this may best be left to the professionals!

Does anyone know of any NYC photogs who specialize in street scenes or have done artistic representations of food vendors?

Thanks!

May 29, 2008
wingman in Not About Food

Top Chef - Restaurant Wars [Possible Spoilers]

Restaurant Wars always throws a curve with who is eliminated! And finally a team got it right with this challenge. Bourdain seemed really impressed with "Kitchen Warehouse" (or whatever they called it) ability to create a simple cohesive menu that took the time constraints into consideration. In past seasons the cheftestants had never considered the unintended consequences of an overly ambitious menu. Richard, Stefanie and Antonia kept it "simple, stupid" and executed each dish to near perfection - EXACTLY what this challenge is all about.

While they do not show the full judge's table discussion Dale didn't seem to do himself any favors with the leadership he did show in the kitchen. Examples are below:

1 - He continually told Lisa that the soup was too smokey, and offered ideas to help her change that and to add "heat".
2 - He pointed out to Lisa that the sticky rice wasn't sticky enough and offered suggestions to change it, he tried to adapt to the situation.
3 - His guacamole shaved ice thing needed to be altered because of coloring, he again adapted to the situation and was willing to change the dish if it didn't work.

I fear that becasue AB and not TC was the head judge for this one that the questions which are normally asked were not asked. Tom normally knows how to get down to who was behind what dish and the thought process to it, Bourdain has great insight on flavor profiles and kitchen dynamics but hasn't had the same level of experience at judge's table. I also think Spike would have taken much more of the blame had Tom been there - I think Mularchy was criticzed for much of the same reasons last season, and Stephen in season 1 (the this isn't top somonlier comment).

May 22, 2008
wingman in Food Media & News

Backyard Chicken FiDi

While walking around the other day I passed by a storefront called Backyard Chicken (I think on Pearl St.). If it's good it is without question a hidden gem, before tempting my fate and health I thought I'd see if anyone has tried this place yet.

May 21, 2008
wingman in Manhattan

Looking for favorite bakeries

Crumb just opened on Beaver St. a more traditonal American Bakery alternative (i.e., muffins, cup cakes and cookies)

May 21, 2008
wingman in Manhattan

FiDi street carts

I've never had a problem with asking for more or less sauce at Zak's - just say it with a smile, he'll listen better! Without question he has the best cart food in the area.

I also like Alan's Falafel in Liberty Plaza, Gloria's Mexican Truck on the back side of the BBH building is pretty good. Although I haven't tried it yet Sandra's Hot Dog Truck and Ravioli Fair both have long lines at lunch time (also behind the BBH building). A friend recommended the Jamacian truck down near Battery Park as well.

May 20, 2008
wingman in Manhattan

Best burger below 14th street?

Royale on Ave C is pretty damn good. Pauls near Astor Place is also a stand out. On the gourmet side I think Delmonicos in the FD serves a great burger.

May 20, 2008
wingman in Manhattan