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Peruvian Seafood near Miami International?

Totoritas?

May 28, 2014
bigjeff in Florida

fresh tortillas for purchase

looking to buy corn tortillas, flour, maybe even tostadas. any recommendations in Miami proper (downtown, overtown, maybe midtown?) any neighborhood tortilleria around here that I can just roll up on to?

Looking for wine yeast balls (qu / jiuqu / jiuyao)

I wish I had a specific rec but these little suckers are definitely in any Chinatown market, Kam Mun or the big one on Elizabeth, in the aisle with most of the sticky rice powder and other "baking" supplies. I will look more specifically next time.

Mar 25, 2013
bigjeff in Manhattan

delightful meal at Prima (EV)

looking for some seafood place that was not Mermaid Inn, had good prices, and offered deliciousness, and Prima did not disappoint. It's a small but attractive space with horrible acoustics and loud diners so be prepared to scream, especially if you ate at 8:30 on a Friday night like I did but truly delicious food. For two, we had a really simple meal:

+ the Strada ($65 raw bar dual-tier platter)
+ Arctic Char

We originally wanted the octopus salad, the skate, and maybe the fried hake sandwich but after the raw platter came, we nixed the rest of the order and our server graciously complied. we also had some tasty cocktails (alcoholic as well as virgin). no dessert. The Strada was the small so I am scared of what the big one (Prima, $95) consists of because it was a ton of raw (and chilled seafood), all delicious:

- half a lobster was perfectly cooked, flavored, dusted with fine salt and slathered on one end with aioli. a delight. claw was good too and I even went all chinese on the legs; delightful.
- whelks (big boys) were tasty, lightly flavored
- crab claw which I am not usually a fan of was great
- shrimp were not as good as the lobster but, good texture. needed salt
- a dozen oysters (2 of each variety offered that night, pretty much all good, and all quite different)
- raw clams were (as usual) not as good as raw oysters
- a ton of mussels cooked in some delicious broth; some slightly overcooked but really good
- literally, 50-60 snails/periwinkles in the ice. tasty, good with the accompanying sauces, but we tired of them after a dozen each
- ceviche of the day was mackerel; truly delicious with nice mackerel flavor shining through a simple olive oil ceviche (not too much acid)
- fluke sashimi was yuzu flavored and really yummy
- good brown bread, great butter
- sauces were ok; I mostly stuck with the aioli cuz their cocktail sauce and mignonette were so-so
- arctic char was perfection in seafood although the crispy skin was really hard to cut and separated from the fish. pre-cut before the sear would have alleviated that problem. accompanying green sauce was far from chermoula or anything like that and unexpectedly good (no emulsification)

total bill was $140 all told with couple drinks, tax/tip, etc. but completely kicking the ass of all other raw platters I've had before. service was great, scene was hip and a meal, truly enjoyed. It's located on 1st Street, about a half block west of First Ave (that weird little street just north of the 2nd Avenue F train exit by the park).

Definitely worth a return to try some of their less-virtuous dishes (burgers, fries, tempura, etc.) but as far as feeling really satisfied by a light meal, it's perfect. And their happy hour (5-7pm) is astounding with dollar oysters and twofer cocktails.

Prima
58 East 1st Street

Mar 16, 2013
bigjeff in Manhattan

Elmhurst's Chao Thai is opening another branch

thanks lau! that omelette looks like a proper o-a-jian (forgive my taiwanese); I'll check it out when I'm in the area.

a note on service: it was great and we had no problems. we were the only party seated at 7pm but by the time we left, the place was packed, with lots of impressive orders on each table. our beverages were constantly refilled, plates and dishes were cleared, and they were responsive to requests, additional orders. the place was humming with adequate staff. restaurant was clean, trim, comfortable.

Jan 14, 2013
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Elmhurst's Chao Thai is opening another branch

what's up fellas! I haven't been eating excitingly for a long time, hope all's well in the new year. ate on friday and . . . . it was good. not amazing though, damnit!

+ hoi-tod mussel pancakes
+ sao-ua sour sausage (crumbly)
+ sai krok e-san even more sour sausage (garlic-y)
+ yum phak boong krob fried morning glory salad with seafood
+ som tum green papaya salad classic
+ yum kai tod fried chicken with mango salad
+ larb neux beef larb
+ pad prik khing with chinese broc and crispy pork
+ red curry with tofu
+ pla neung cee eiw - whole steamed fish, thai style
+ khai yio ma pad kra prao - 1000yo egg stir-fry

I think that's all we ate, 7 of us, $225 total (tax included) including a couple of beverages, beers, etc. cash only.

overall, I forgot to order the homok but, we had mostly salads, plus a couple of stir-fries. the food was very large, good value, plentiful, and with spice and heat, but afterwards, for some reason, I felt like it wasn't particular well-seasoned or extremely flavorful. perhaps it was because the first few dishes that came out were pretty spicy, and we ordered "medium" so we had them tone down the remaining dishes. we also had someone who was allergic to crustaceans so some of the salads and dishes did not have dried shrimp or other flavorings that might have brought things over the top but in general, the meal was great, but not amazing. not even sure why; they gave us huge family-style bowls of rice, we had so many dishes to pick and choose from, and everyone enjoyed themselves, but maybe I was looking for something else. maybe it was just too many good dishes, so it was hard to concentrate on just a few?

both sausages were stupendous and very different from one another; almost all of the salads were good. the mussel pancakes were a disappointment (Sri's still rocks) and the fried morning glory salad was good but mostly, it was just fried batter. the crispy pork prik khing was unbeatable, the beef larb was great, the fried chicken salad was kinda boring, and I like Thailand Center Point's 1000yo egg dish better than CTT's. the whole fish was really really good. steamed, not sure but some delicate river fish, very nice clean flavor and very different from the spice and greasebombs that the other dishes were (not necessarily a bad thing).

definitely worth a couple more trips, maybe with less people and less dishes, so we could really concentrate on the food. most of the folks at the table lived in the hood so they know local thai food well and were all very satisfied. I honestly think it was just too much good food in one sitting, so it was overwhelming in that sense.

Jan 13, 2013
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Elmhurst's Chao Thai is opening another branch

eating here tonight; huge fan of the original Chao Thai and also a fan of My Thai (which is the space that Chao Thai Too took over); any special recommendations? planning to go northern of course, get some soups, maybe a whole fish dish. looking for specialties too. thoughts, anyone, or should I stick with whatever I liked at the original?

Jan 11, 2013
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Pineapple Talk - How To Pick A Ripe Pineapple

my aroma test only applies for the "butt" of the pineapple. but then again, I live in New York City, so what do I know about pineapples? All this Maui talk sickens me.

Dec 07, 2012
bigjeff in General Topics

The Diss, Updated: Calling Asian Food "Hipster"

but, have you seen the dude from mission chinese food? sorry, dude is a hipster. he just happens to be asian.

Aug 28, 2012
bigjeff in Features

Absolutely the BEST pretzels I've ever had!

concur. all of their stuff is amazing.

Jun 10, 2012
bigjeff in General Topics

The End of "Ethnic"

article is totally trolling. whole foods is the devil.

Jun 10, 2012
bigjeff in Features

What's the Status of Stasi Bakery in Corona?

I never ate at Stasi but, I'm happy to say that the cannoli cake/napoleon from Krystal's is amazing. The story goes, from the person who served the cake to me (and know's the Stasi cake), perhaps not that Krystal's outright bought Stasi but when it closed, some of the bakers moved on to Krystal's where the cannoli cake is available only on special order. And yes, it is like a cannoli napoleon so I can't say that it is the absolute original from stasi which is layer cake with cannoli cream.

regardless . . . . big, and delicious.

Apr 18, 2012
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Chennai on UES

never ate here and probably never will on account of the signage. funny right?

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Chennai
1663 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028

Feb 18, 2012
bigjeff in Manhattan

Been to Don Peppe in Ozone Park lately?

what is the chinese chicken?

Jan 23, 2012
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Anyone know where to find hong zao jiang 紅糟醬 (red wine lees / red wine dregs)?

that's weird because I definitely have seen it under the manhattan bridge sold by the vendors outside (where they sell various things out of sacs); one guy had a metal set of shelves full of quart containers of it, leaned up against the brick wall. but, it's been awhile; I'm surprised you didn't see it even if you made it into the actual supermarket itself.

Dec 29, 2011
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Can anyone think of a list of round/circular foods?

Oct 21, 2011
bigjeff in General Topics

Can anyone think of a list of round/circular foods?

sounds good!

Oct 21, 2011
bigjeff in General Topics

Great African restaurant?

hey racerx x;

this place (african grills and soul food) is now called Accra and I just ate there last week:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3737...

delicious!

Sep 16, 2011
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Delicious Ghanaian food! In the Bronx ,easily accessible

this place is now called Accra and I just ate there this past week:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3737...

delicious!

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Accra
2041 Davidson Ave, Bronx, NY 10453

Sep 16, 2011
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Ghanaian Food - Authentic

so the place African Grills and Soul Food is now called Accra but I don't know for how long it's had that name. regardless, I went there this week with my sister and a friend who spent two years in Ghana and just came back this summer, with a hunger for the cuisine she ate so much of. It's a great restaurant, close to the train, steamtable but not self-serve and great service; husband and wife behind the counter (Davine is the really helpful and friendly big guy) and family in the kitchen; we had:

+ pepper soup with cow foot and various beef parts (the place is strictly halal)
+ palmnut soup (not peanut or groundnut soup) with various beef parts, fishy
+ spinach with egusi (ground pumpkin seed)
+ jollof rice served with gari (dried and fried cassava powder)
+ smoked turkey butts
+ suya (grilled steak offered in medium and well-done versions)
+ fried fish (maybe tilapia)
+ banku (fermented cornmeal / cassava)
+ cocoyam fufu
+ rice fufu
+ ginger drink (spicy!)
+ shito (red pepper sauce)

wow, what flavors! we really enjoyed the meal and could barely get all the food down, mainly because we had 3 of the fufu starch bombs; I liked the cocoyam fufu and rice fufu a lot; apparently the plaintain one is really good but they didn't have it ready; the banku was definitely more sour and fermented and the kenkey is supposed to be even more sour; all were good foils against the rich and spicy food. the spinach was amazingly fresh and tender and totally green yet totally infused with flavor; hard to describe but definitely a must-order. there is an okra dish that is supposed to be nice but that wasn't ready yet either; we went at 1pm on a weekday and they had a big selection out but this might be more of a mid-afternoon or dinner place.

the meats were really good; the steak was kinda dry but the turkey tails were a revelation; smoked to a porky bacon-y goodness but poultry instead, these had deep flavor. the two soups were very good; the pepper soup was quite spicy with deep flavor and went really well with the jollof rice; the palmnut was also very good and deep with dried-fish flavor so you have to like the taste of salted/preserved/dried seafood. they didn't have groundnut (peanut) soup which our friend insisted would be much tastier but we found it great. the fried fish was lengths of bone-in fish but really delicious; no batter and fresh; excellent with some kind of hot sauce they served it with over the jollof rice.

the jollof rice was amazing; great texture, great flavor and really a wonderful flavor. Davine kept telling us that it was "voted" the best jollof rice of all the african restaurants in NYC; not sure how he surveyed everyone but indeed, the best I've ever had. the gari is interesting; like a fried topping that didn't really add crunch but, something of a good texture. if you dumped that in any of the soups or stews as a thickener, you would seriously get a full meal.

the shito was a deep-red and smoky hot pepper paste that added great flavor but not much spice; reminded me of the hot chili oil at Shanghai Cafe or at Hand-Pulled Noodle on Doyers; sort of a sa-cha thing going on; very good. there was also a green sauce that we saw but weren't served; that's probably really good too.

overall, an excellent meal; this place is close to the train and the prices are very reasonable. there were maybe 3x more dishes available but after jabbering with the servers for 10-15 minutes, we just asked them to "hook us up" and indeed they did. they had many more different fufus available in various colors and a few other starches as well plus a bunch more stews. and as we ate, we kept seeing more big trays come out of the kitchen. the place has a great seating area in the back of the restaurant with comfortable tables and booths so don't get the impression that it's strictly a takeout joint. the A/C is really cold though so bring a jacket or something.

I don't have that much experience eating west african food but I've had meals in restaurants and home-cooked; this was a great meal and I'd love to get back up there and try some of the other dishes. ya'll should check it out.

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Accra
2041 Davidson Ave, Bronx, NY 10453

Sep 16, 2011
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Little Pepper Opportunity

finally ate here. short review: fu qi fei pian is amazing. everything else we had, good, except for the cold spicy cucumbers: not good since I like the sour kind and this was just plain oily and salty.

Aug 08, 2011
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Chicken Sandwich on a Pineapple Bun at Carnation Food in Chinatown

yup. the same. and same prices! tried the Manhattan one for the first time and had an amazing meal for under $5. Try the vegetable steamed rice rolls; they are really good.

Aug 08, 2011
bigjeff in Manhattan

Chicken Sandwich on a Pineapple Bun at Carnation Food in Chinatown

I heard this opened! I still think this is one of the great baked good places and now in a much more convenient location. definitely gotta eat this stuff fresh, get the crazy pillowy square one with the black sesame seeds.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733839

Jun 07, 2011
bigjeff in Manhattan

Lotus of Siam in NYC

also, maybe folks eating at LoS-NY simply haven't heard of the Vegas branch and just see it as another nice thai restaurant in the neighborhood? not everyone is a food-nerd, and not everyone has been to Vegas. for me, the fact that I've never been to Vegas but I am a food-nerd cancels me out I guess.

Jan 26, 2011
bigjeff in Manhattan

Lotus of Siam in NYC

Jan 26, 2011
bigjeff in Manhattan

korean bakery

sometimes koryodang has "ugly" cakes which are really good. also the bacon dutch is good.

Jan 25, 2011
bigjeff in Manhattan

Lotus of Siam in NYC

thanks kathryn, I just read the article. great move on part of the Chutimas to stand by their health and their morals.

Jan 24, 2011
bigjeff in Manhattan

Lotus of Siam in NYC

they are getting some very favorable coverage in the NY weekly-mag media (the usual suspects); I just thought it was funny that NYMag at least gives a nod to CH whereas VV never mentions the word "chow" or "hound" in any of their writing. But then NYMag always paints CH-types as a bunch of cheapskates; what's with the snobbery, dude? Sorry buddy, the 7-train is where it's at.

http://nymag.com/restaurants/reviews/...

Jan 18, 2011
bigjeff in Manhattan

"Obscure" ethnic eats

missmasala, I forgot, there is also an Apna Bazaar that opened recently, it's at Hillside and 260th. This is the same place that is by 37th ave and 73rd st in Jackson Heights so basically, Floral Park has totally replicated the triumvirate of big indian markets in Jackson Heights. They just need a Haat Bazaar out there!

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Haat Bazaar
37-11 73rd St, Queens, NY 11372

Jan 12, 2011
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs

Pho Bac

re: fullness/emptiness of pho bac/bang

or the other way around. I've never ever eaten at at that Pho Bang; I just have some loyalties to Pho Bac for some reason. Oh, and I believe Pho Bac has the same owners/staff as the vietnamese place in downtown Flushing across from the library; the place that is half chinese-steamtable and half-vietnamese restaurant. can't say that it helps or hinders it quality.

Jan 11, 2011
bigjeff in Outer Boroughs