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

Nom De Plume's Profile

Title Last Reply

Astoria Greek recommendation (lamb)?

My father-in-law is turning 70 and is requesting Greek food, in Astoria, for his birthday dinner. He particularly likes lamb dishes. Can anyone recommend a really good place in the neighborhood for us to take him for his Greek lamb fix?

My wife and I used to live in Astoria, but it was 7 years ago and we know there are places that aren't on our radar (particularly since we favored seafood when we went out). Any help or recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Mar 24, 2015
Nom De Plume in Outer Boroughs

Yum Yum Thai Restaurant in Sunnyside

All I know is that they are owned by the folks that run the Thai restaurants by the same name in Manhattan (which I've never tried).

Sep 17, 2010
Nom De Plume in Outer Boroughs


I've never tried their food, because the one time I phoned in a delivery order I called back after an hour of waiting only to be informed that they had no record of the order (despite reading it back to me on the phone), and since it didn't occur to the dunderhead on the phone to even offer a cursory apology, they blew their chance for my business. Sounds like I didn't miss much.

Jun 21, 2010
Nom De Plume in Outer Boroughs

Looking for suggestions for Sunnyside

One place you and your friends might like is Turkish Grill on Queens Boulevard and 42nd Street. They have great food, not too expensive, and it's a pretty nice atmosphere for treating your friends to lunch or dinner.

Nov 29, 2009
Nom De Plume in Outer Boroughs

Papa John's -new Sunnyside

Although there is indeed a lack of good pizza places in Sunnyside, Marabella's, which is on the same block as Papa John's (4107 Greenpoint Ave), is decent, serviceable, and hands-down better than Papa John's and Singha's (and also have other good non-pizza items on the menu). Plus, it's a local, family business instead of being, like Papa John's, a national chain muscling in on the neighborhood. Whole pies at Marabella's tend to be a bit better than by the slice, but for both they're certainly light years above PJ's.

Oct 03, 2009
Nom De Plume in Outer Boroughs

Looking for bar with decent selection of nonalcoholic beer

I can't drink the real deal right now, but I still want to go out to bars with my friends, and I actually like beer and don't want to drink ginger ale or virgin cocktails. Does anyone know any bars with decent nonalcoholic beers (eg: Clausthaler, Gerstel, Kaliber, St. Pauli) beyond the usual O'Douls, Hatcher, Sharps, et al? Thanks in advance.

P.S. I know that nonalcoholic beer actually has a small amount of alcohol in it.

May 08, 2009
Nom De Plume in Manhattan

Make Your Own Baby Food

This is another useful site, with recipes and a lot of info about the age at which you can introduce various foods to your baby's diet:

My wife and I make all of our baby's food, and it's no more effort than making a few extra side dishes a week. If you use the cubes to freeze individual portions, you can make several weeks' worth of meals in an afternoon.

Mar 24, 2009
Nom De Plume in Features

More than Just Arm Candy

Come now, plenty of chow mentions in this: "candy”, "salt", "game", "wings", "ice", "paella"...

Agreed, this is more like sub-Julia Allison advice column fare. Surely the full universe of table manner issues hasn't been exhausted yet, and this site doesn't need to address things like "How soon after our date should I call for a second one?" or "How can I tell if she's into me?".

Apr 30, 2008
Nom De Plume in Features

Good fish store in Rockland or vicinity

We're staying with my in-laws while our apartment is being renovated, and I'm trying to do my share of cooking the meals. I cook a lot of fish, and so far have been getting it from Rockland Seafood, which is my mother-in-law's customary shop. I haven't been thrilled with their selection and quality, and was wondering if anyone knew of any better options within a reasonable driving distance. Or do any of the supermarkets have exceptional fish counters? My wife and I were living in Astoria, and I now realize how lucky we were with the multiple fish and seafood options there. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Stored wine in fridge; is it ruined if subsequently stored at room temperature?

About one month ago my wife and I picked up some good bottles of white and rose on vineyard visits. We stored them in the fridge upon returning home, thinking that we'd consume them within the month, but, lo and behold, now she's pregnant. If we take them out and store them at (cool) room temperature until she's able to share them with me in early summer, will they be ruined?

Dec 04, 2007
Nom De Plume in Wine

Food near Socrates Sculpture Garden

That's Tulcingo (2526 Broadway, 718.726.1525), and I second the recommendation.

Aug 28, 2007
Nom De Plume in Outer Boroughs

Oyster Martini

For all those purists who wag their finger at me when I order a vodka martini and say, "A real martini is only made with gin", I can now retort, "Oh, yeah? Well at least be thankful that I didn't drop a #$%ing oyster in it."

Aug 06, 2007
Nom De Plume in Recipes

Salad/Salad Dressing Cookbook?

Having just joined a CSA and now inundated with lettuce and greens, I'm rapidly exhausting my repertoire of salad and dressing ideas. Can anyone recommend a good cookbook to give me some new ideas? Thanks in advance.

Jun 13, 2007
Nom De Plume in Home Cooking

Flights of port?

Does anyone know of a restaurant or bar in NYC that offers flights of port? Thanks in advance.

Mar 13, 2007
Nom De Plume in Manhattan

The end of the world is truly upon us...

I tried it in England, when someone in our travel group got one (I didn't even know at the time that it had come out of a vending machine, thought it was just lunch cart fare). "Appalling" has two more syllables and five more letters than the word that most accurately described it.

Mar 05, 2007
Nom De Plume in Not About Food

The end of the world is truly upon us...

Not nearly as bad as the spelling error on the website: the fourth word of the sentence "It is an appealing, convenient, hot, nutritious, tasty pizza delivered in approximately two minutes" should be spelled "appalling."

Mar 05, 2007
Nom De Plume in Not About Food

Olive Oil Name Your Favourite

I'm not sure how widely available this is outside of Greek-oriented stores/neighborhoods, but there's an organic Greek olive oil called "Bio-Sita" that is one of the tastiest I've found. It's about $8 for a sizeable bottle, and works well both raw and in cooking.

Mar 02, 2007
Nom De Plume in General Topics

Best (Funniest? Wittiest?) Food Quotes

"I bought a box of animal crackers and it said on it "Do not eat if seal is broken." So I opened up the box, and sure enough... " (Brian Kiley)

"I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick. Not wounded. Dead." (Woody Allen)

"You can never have enough garlic. With enough garlic, you can eat The New York Times." (Morley Safer)

Feb 27, 2007
Nom De Plume in Not About Food

Montreal this weekend

Montrealers m'aident, s'il vous plais...

I'm coming up from NYC for the weekend (which, admittedly, doesn't make a lot of sense from a weather standpoint) and was hoping I could get some recommendations. I've visited before, about two years ago in the summer, when walking around wasn't as chilling as this weekend promises to be! Could anyone help with the following:

1. Can you recommend a really good bistro relatively close to the St-Denis/Saint-Laurant area?

2. Any recommendations for restaurants with good organic foods on the menu (not necessarily vegetarian)?

3. Do you know if there's anything going on for Chinese New Year this weekend? (not necessarily chow-related; any events, performances, etc.)

4. I know that this is off-chow topic, so please e-mail me offsite if you'd like, but any recommendations for INDOOR actitivities or events would be appreciated. I've already taken in most of the museums, Biodome, etc. on my last visit, but if you know of anything going on that an out-of-towner might not pick up on through the regular channels (ie: not ultra-touristy), I'd welcome any suggestions (live music?) I know, I'm a wimp temperature-wise compared to the hardy Quebecois.

Thanks in advance for any info.

El Rey del Taco truck

Yes -- you wouldn't necessarily pick it over other Astoria Mexican if you were planning to go out for dinner, but for the "gringo borracho" needs it's just fine.

Jan 27, 2007
Nom De Plume in Outer Boroughs

Bars/Lounge in Long Island city

The definition of "nice" varies a lot by user, but if a lounge vibe for you is satisifed by couches, downtempo/electronic music and relatively dim lighting with a reddish tint (not to mention the word "lounge" in the name of the establishment), you might try:

Crescent Lounge. 32-05 Crescent St (near Broadway)

Jan 27, 2007
Nom De Plume in Outer Boroughs

About shelling shrimp

I'd never even thought twice about just eating the whole thing (except for on boiled shrimp) until I moved away from the Gulf Coast and encountered folks for whom it was an issue. I still just eat the whole thing; on grilled shrimp I'll usually even eat the whole shell if it's been left on. Good for the nails, and tasty.

Jan 22, 2007
Nom De Plume in General Topics

"Mughal Dinner"

My wife and I tried this place for take-out last weekend, and found it surprisingly good. We had the tandoori fish, which was mighty nice (a bit small for the price, though), the prawn shag (excellent) and the vegetable curry (quite good). Didn't have any naan, but the jasmine rice that accompanied the dishes was fluffy and tasty, and the chutney sides were above average. Our overall impression was that it was a bit lighter than a lot of Indian places, in a good way.

Please at least try to patronize this place as they're starting out -- they were deserted when we went in on a Saturday night, and the fellow with whom we spoke reported sadly that it was a "slow night." They're in a crappy location but seem to be the most promising and perhaps even the best Indian(esque) food in Astoria /LIC.

By the way, to give you an orientation: the menu mentions a number of "north west frontier" specialties, and these are the more unique items on the menu; the folks that run it are Bangladeshi.

Dec 20, 2006
Nom De Plume in Outer Boroughs

What is the most useless thing in your kitchen you won't get rid of?

RiJaAr, your martini glasses may not be as useless as you think. Even if you don't drink, consider them as serving vessels -- I went to a party once where the host served shrimp cocktail in martini glasses with the shrimp hooked around the rim and the cocktail sauce in the glass. It would also work well for ceviche, pudding, or my favorite improv dessert, a scoop of ice cream drizzled with Cointreau.

RE: the spices: if they're REALLY old, eg: over one year, they may have deteriorated so much that it really isn't worth keeping them around regardless of how often you use them.

** Hey, I just saw flipss' post above after I wrote this; ditto.

Dec 19, 2006
Nom De Plume in Not About Food

What do you love to serve to your guests?

Homemade potstickers. They're incredibly easy to make if you get pre-fab gyoza skins (available at many Asian supermarkets, and they taste just fine) and a gyoza press (a plastic device that you can put the skin and fillings on, closes with a hinge and crimps down the edges of the dumpling for you). You can also make up a big batch ahead of time and freeze them. Serve them with a homemade dipping sauce, tell people that you made them yourself -- they'll usually be quite impressed and, more importantly, will scarf them up. There are tons of recipes for the fillings and dipping sauces on this site and elsewhere on the internet; I can post/e-mail you some if you'd like.

Dec 19, 2006
Nom De Plume in General Topics

Cookbook Recommendation For Someone New To Healthy Cooking?

My mother is trying to modify her dietary and cooking habits to eat healthier, and I wanted to get her a good introductory cookbook to give her some advice and ideas. She grew up in the South and is not really a gourmet, so her usual m.o. is to use lots of butter/oil, overcook things, and use a lot of canned/frozen/pre-fab ingredients. Does anyone know of a cookbook with some simpler tips, ideas, and recipes that I can give to her to ease her into healthier habits? Thanks in advance.

Dec 06, 2006
Nom De Plume in Home Cooking

What is scrapple?

Although I wouldn't automatically trust Wikipedia, their description in this article is consistent with what I know scrapple to be and also with the external links used as reference:

Dec 05, 2006
Nom De Plume in General Topics

What are your favorite kitchen myths?

It's OK, I made sure to apply the three-second rule first! (just kidding; the lens fell in the sink).

Dec 05, 2006
Nom De Plume in General Topics

What are your favorite kitchen myths?

I can vouch for this as well, based upon semi-scientific observation: I wear contacts, and customarily have no problems with eyes watering while chopping onions. However, one day while working in a restaurant kitchen I managed to lose one lens mid-shift. When I proceeded to chop onions, the eye without the lens watered like mad, while the other was fine.

Dec 03, 2006
Nom De Plume in General Topics

Amuses/Appetizers for Wine and Cheese Party?

I'm having folks over for an evening of wine and cheese so that I can share some red wines that I recently picked up on a tour of wineries in upstate NY (mostly merlot/syrah/cabernet). I'm set for the cheeses, but I would very much appreciate any suggestions for some amuses bouches or light appetizers that I can serve in addition to the cheese. No meat, but anything else would be great. I'm already planning on setting out some toasted nuts and dried fruit in addition to cheese, bread, and crackers. Thanks in advance.

Nov 30, 2006
Nom De Plume in Home Cooking