a

albinoni's Profile

Title Last Reply

Chengdu in Green Brook?

Anyone know if it's opened yet?

1 day ago
albinoni in New Jersey

Rob's Bistro, Madison

Oops, that's Friccassee

Jul 15, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Rob's Bistro, Madison

Frisassee in Montclair.

Jul 14, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Copenhagen for 3 nights

We will be in Copenhagen for a few days in early October. All the hotels I'm looking at are clustered near the train station. Are there breakfast options in that area, or are we better off just paying for the hotel buffet breakfast?

Jul 03, 2014
albinoni in Europe

Ample HIlls Creamery Hype overwhelms reality

Yes, orchid biz is doing well. I bike in Prospect Park during lunch hour, one day I'll ride by and poke my head in. We have gardens in the backyard, unfortunately we are plagued with deer, it's a struggle to keep them from eating everything. That's great about the bees--I have two hives of my own!

Jul 02, 2014
albinoni in Outer Boroughs

Ample HIlls Creamery Hype overwhelms reality

Is this the same Jen Kalb that we (Charlie and Helen) knew back in the '90s from the St. Marks Block Assn. Garden? We lived on Plaza St and had a plot there!

Jul 02, 2014
albinoni in Outer Boroughs

Ample HIlls Creamery Hype overwhelms reality

Based on all the raves, I went to their outpost at Brooklyn Bridge Park at lunch today to see what all the fuss was about, and ordered a cup of the butterscotch pudding ice cream. It was OK, no real butterscotch character, flavor seemed to lack a finish. Using Bassett's or Graeter's as a standard, Ample Hills underwhelmed.

Jun 30, 2014
albinoni in Outer Boroughs

"Staycation" in Philly for a suburbanite...

If you are interested in hearing traditional Irish music played acoustically in a pub setting by some excellent musicians, Fergie's Pub on Sansom between 12th and 13th has a weekly session on Saturdays between 4 pm and 7 pm. It's a very cool pub, with a great list of draft ales on tap.

Jun 27, 2014
albinoni in Philadelphia

Seafood in Philly?

Sockii, please post info about restaurants in Collingswood and the crab shacks you've found on the New Jersey board!

Jun 19, 2014
albinoni in Philadelphia

Dinner recommendation in Edison?

Nearby, on Stelton Road in Piscataway, the Four Seasons is one of the best Thai places anywhere. Totally no-frills, BYO, but there's a liquor store in the same strip mall.

Jun 10, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Metuchen (or nearby) recommendations for gift certificate?

Hailey's has a killer selection of ales on draft, but their food is atrocious. Best have a drink at the bar and go elsewhere for the meal.

May 12, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Buccaneer Bay BBQ in Plainfield N.J.

The old Caruso's is now a day-care center.

As far as the lack of an established dining scene and stigma, by way of example I would only point to neighborhoods in Brooklyn such as 5th Avenue in Park Slope, or Smith Street in Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill, which I am very familiar with, and how, over the past 15 to 20 years, went from near-abandonment to becoming food meccas. In fact, they never had much of a food scene to begin with, and built up at a time when most families who lived in urban neighborhoods only went out for special occasions, if at all. Williamsburg? It was once Peter Luger's and nothing else. Bushwick? It was so far gone, most newcomers to Brooklyn had no idea where it even was, and now places are opening near where Roberta's first set up shop to serve single-serving pizzas. Similar stories in Bed Stuy, Crown Heights and Fort Greene--all once considered dangerous and scary, but now really "cooking". It always started with one or two brave entrepreneurs who knew they could draw a following regardless of where they set up, and took advantage of lower rents and costs of capitalization. By contrast, Brooklyn Heights, which has always been Brooklyn's most affluent neighborhood and which always had a handful of restaurants even during the worst of times, has, culinarily, stagnated.

Politically and civically, Plainfield has always found ways to shoot itself in the foot, but the same could be said for Brooklyn, which for years played second fiddle to Manhattan and has always had its fair share of poor leadership and a history of misguided attempts to redefine itself in ways that alienated its middle class. None of this seemed to affect the willingness of chef-owners to take the chances that they have, and who have largely, without any government assistance, gambled and won, and in the process altered the urban landscape. Why the same dynamics don't apply in Plainfield, which, although having extreme poverty, also has a solid middle and upper-middle class that would embrace a downtown restaurant scene, is beyond me.

May 07, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Buccaneer Bay BBQ in Plainfield N.J.

It's really crazy. Plainfield, which has an underutilized downtown with some incredible architecture, would seem to be the place where a cutting-edge, Montclair-type restaurant scene would have gained a foothold by now. Instead, it's populated with 99-cent shops and cheapo electronics joints. Similar situation on South Ave, which is just outside the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood whose residents would enthusiastically support such a place, but which is instead filled with day-care centers and fast-food. Granted, there are many Latino restaurants in the downtown, but nobody on these boards has mentioned having tried any of them.

May 07, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Diabetic eating low carb but not losing weight

Loseit.com has a phone app for I-phones and Androids. It's free. I've found it to be a great help since my diagnosis with type-2 at the end of March. It features a huge database of foods, as well as a barcode reader which makes it possible to add what is not there.

May 06, 2014
albinoni in Special Diets

Noodlicious Is Gone

That's really a shame. Their noodle dishes were excellent, it was a great place for something quick, different, and reasonable.

Apr 28, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Szechuan reviews: Four Rivers and E Mei from Philly Chinatown

We were in Philly for a few days last week on business, and based on what I read here, opted for Emei on Friday night. We ordered two dishes--lamb In cumin, and jumbo shrimp in garlic sauce. (We like it hot, and got a bit more than we bargained for in the shrimp dish). In any event, both dishes were outstanding, and, without having had an opportunity to try Four Rivers for comparison purposes, would return to Emei in a heartbeat. BTW, while I have seen a lot of mixed reviews on these boards re Han Dynasty, a friend of ours whose tastes run similar to ours' went to the Han Dynasty in University City, and said it was excellent.

Apr 18, 2014
albinoni in Philadelphia

Prediabetic to Diabetic- what to do?

I'm a veteran Chowhounder (I post mostly on the New Jersey board) who just received the official diagnosis a few days ago, along with high cholesterol and high b/p--the trifecta! As one who has always lived to eat, this is a tough one, especially when I learned that no matter what I do, I will always be a diabetic. However, in addition to the meds, my MD wrote me a prescription to attend a class that was given by the diabetes clinic at one of the local hospitals (it was covered by my insurance). I learned a lot from the nurse-practitioner and the dietician, and one of the other people who attended that day told me about a smart-phone app called "loseit", which I downloaded and am using as a food diary--an essential component of a treatment plan. The good news is that the weight has begun to come off, and as the dietician told us, controlling portion size and eliminating the foods we should not be having in the first place will both lower our blood sugar and promote weight loss.

Apr 09, 2014
albinoni in Special Diets
1

Forget the Archives, let's talk Plainfield!

I just copied and pasted this from today's (April 8)Plaintalker II, Bernice Paglia's blog on Plainfield. I must confess, though I have lived in P'field for over 15 years, I am woefully ignorant of the mom & pop, mostly Mexican and Central American, places that are sprinkled all over the downtown. This one sounds like a place to try:

The folks at Pollo Campero want you to help celebrate National Empanada Day (today) and their 43rd anniversary this month.

Today, April 8, from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., they say, "Guests can visit any of the five Pollo Campero restaurants in New Jersey all day and receive a FREE hand-made empanada,which are made fresh daily with the restaurant’s famous Latin chicken and proprietary blend of spices."

Plainfield's very popular Pollo Campero restaurant is at 301 East Front Street. The company began in Guatemala in 1971 and when it opened here, the lines were around the block. I'm told Guatemalans are one of the largest Latino groups in the Queen City.

If you don't know an empanada from a quesadilla, this is your chance to sample one of Latin America's most popular food items.If I get out of the PMUA meeting early, I might just walk up Roosevelt Avenue to the Pollo Campero and get me one. And maybe some yuca fries.

Apr 09, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Forget the Archives, let's talk Plainfield!

Elma's Kitchen on South Ave near the Netherwood train station has pretty good Jamaican food, though I would not mind if the jerk chicken were hotter (spicier). Elma is a hoot!

Apr 08, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Noodelicious in Edison

1857 Rt 27
Edison, NJ 08817

This little storefront Taiwanese noodle shop is located in a strip mall on Rt 27 near the intersection of Stelton Road/Plainfield Ave. Right by the Sam Ashe music store, a stone's throw from HMart. Not much to look at from the outside, inside it's clean and functional. Very friendly and welcoming staff. Also, very cheesy music piped into the dining room. Their hours are a little eccentric--for the most part, they are open for a couple of hours mid-day, close, and then reopen at 5:30 for dinner.

But the noodles are excellent--thick, slightly chewy and very satisfying. The menu is very limited, and is broken down mostly into two categories: noodles in broth, and noodles with topping. I had a bowl of the latter, I chose the shredded pork with sautéed mustard greens. No more than 3 minutes could have passed between the time I ordered and the time they brought my food to me--it's true fast food. You can also order hot tea, which came out lukewarm, but which is also quite good. Prices generally within the $7 to $10 range. Highly recommended.

Mar 06, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey
1

favorite restaurant in nj

Fricassee in Montclair (French bistro, one of the best inside or outside of NYC). Chengdu 23 in Wayne--excellent Szechuan.

Mar 03, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Burgers in Central NJ

Central Jersey cuts a huge (for New Jersey) geographic swath. As one who has lived in Camden, Middlesex and Union Counties for a combined total of almost 25 years, and who often drives north as far as the New York State border to pick up the Thruway, I feel safe in placing Edison in Central Jersey.

Feb 24, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Developer says that Whole Foods will be anchor supermarket in Clark N.J.

I'm wondering where this will be. Possibly on Raritan Road & Walnut Ave, where the American Gypsum plant was located?

I too would rather see a Wegmans, since I'm not a big fan of WF, but the Wegmans in Woodbridge is pretty close to Exit 135. However, I do WF's bulk food department, which has surprisingly reasonable prices for grains, rice and organic oats, both rolled and steel cut. A store closer to me than Vauxhall would be nice.

Between a new WF and the always-busy Shop Rite, A&P on Raritan Road, which is always empty, could end up closing.

Jan 15, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Chowdown at Four Seasons Thai in Piscataway

Is this to take place tomorrow 1/11 at 1? If so, albinoni (Charlie) will be there!

Jan 10, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Thai Restaurant in Monmouth County compared to Four Seasons In Piscataway

We've been to 4 Seasons so many times, we've found that 9 out of 10 times, it's exactly what it should be. But like any other homemade product, some inconsistency is to be expected. I can count on one hand the number of disappointing dishes we've had. By that standard, their batting average is stratospheric. We'll be glad to be a part of a CH roadtrip!

Dec 12, 2013
albinoni in New Jersey

Any good BYO's in Westfield?

Haven't been there in awhile, but Boulevard Bistro on South Avenue was very good.

Oct 03, 2013
albinoni in New Jersey

What are your favorite Union County restaurants

Garlic Rose (Cranford)
Boulevard 572 (Kenilworth)

Aug 16, 2013
albinoni in New Jersey

Authentic Mexican within 15 miles of Scotch Plains?

Chuck, have you tried any of the places in Plainfield?

Aug 09, 2013
albinoni in New Jersey

Disappearing mid atlantic food

Really interesting article, and sad. My introduction into regionalized American food was Jane and Michael Stern's Goodfood, which, in a collecton of essays more than reviews, focused on restaurants throughout the country that, as of the book's publication in the 1980's, maintained the local culinary traditions and had not yet succumbed to the ever encroaching tide of fast food and chains. We were traveling a lot in those days, which, of course, was before the internet, and the book became our travel guide, informing us of out of the way places in different parts of the country that we would have never known about, and which offered an experience rather than just a meal. We tried as many of these places as we could. I'm sure that most of the restaurants that Jane and Michael visited are gone now, and when they closed, they left a void that will never be filled.

Jul 30, 2013
albinoni in Mid-Atlantic

NYCer spending 5 days in Westfield

Also in Cranford is Garlic Rose. Westfield Diner has Greek night on Tuesdays, a lot of the stuff is available during the week.

Jul 01, 2013
albinoni in New Jersey