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Good Bengali Food In London?

We will be arriving in London on 8/13, our hotel is in Earl's Court. Bethnal Green is probably a bit distant for us, any Bengali (or other Indian recs) in the EC area?

Aug 03, 2015
albinoni in U.K./Ireland

Sunday dinner between Newark and Edison

Garlic Rose on North Avenue in downtown Cranford. Basically Italian, but they make preparations that are original and well-executed. Not BYO.

Jul 09, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Dave & Buster seeking approval to open in NJ

When the government takes property by eminent domain, the owner is entitled to compensation. That's in the Constitution. But ordinarily, changing a state law that indirectly takes away someone's advantage does not give them the right to compensation. Normally, new laws are given an effective date sometime off in the future, which would help the owner recoup some of their loss. But my point is that there is something wrong with New Jersey's laws when someone has to pay a half million dollars just to sell a bottle of wine.

Jun 19, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Dave & Buster seeking approval to open in NJ

New Jersey's archaic laws regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol are in serious need of a massive reform, not just a Band-Aid to permit beer to be sold next to the skee-ball lane. The cost of obtaining a license in some areas is prohibitive, if it is even possible, and the truth is that in most cases, restaurants make their biggest profits on alcohol sales. This situation causes more damage than we might think. Although the limited benefit is that BYOB places are relatively easy to find in New Jersey as opposed to neighboring states (and I seek them out because we can enjoy a great bottle of wine at lower cost), the broader disadvantages are that alcohol in the places with full bars is really pricey (especially wines). Also, at the risk that I may be oversimplifying here, I believe that the bar and restaurant-based revitalization that has occurred in formerly dangerous and forbidding urban neighborhoods elsewhere(think parts of Brooklyn) or economically depressed small towns (think Hudson, NY) is absent in locations in NJ where it should have happened long ago (think Plainfield) because there is no economic incentive to open a food-only place. While opponents to any loosening of the laws would justify their opposition on the grounds that we should not make it easier for drunks to get behind the wheel, and I get that, I think the real culprit here is the political muscle of those whose self interest is best served by keeping things exactly as they are.

Jun 18, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Stone Mad Pub in Cleveland

I'm a New Jersey Chowhounder--we've been visiting Cleveland once a year for the past few years, and discovered the Stone Mad Pub on W. 65th St. in the Gordon Square Arts District. It's a beautiful old pub in a neighborhood that is making a huge comeback, and its really popular with the locals--it has indoor/outdoor seating, and a bocce court. Their burgers are some of the best we've had anywhere, and they are huge! They also have some really good ales and beers on tap--I had a Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger IPA that I loved (I don't think that Great Lakes is easily found in NJ). Fist Sunday night of the month they feature live traditional Irish music.

Jun 10, 2015
albinoni in Great Lakes

Jersey Sloppy Joe gets its due at Serious Eats

Deli King in Clark makes a really good Sloppy Joe.

Jun 10, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Best new (old) Diner !

Also in that area is Tiff's (formerly Tiffany's), where a bunch of us had dinner a few weeks ago, and really enjoyed the ribs. They also have a great selection of craft beers and ales on tap. The place has been totally redone on the inside. www.tiffsunion.com.

May 01, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Best new (old) Diner !

That's funny, I just drove by there a few days ago on my way to the Social Security office which is nearby, and I thought there was something new and different looking about the place. For everyone's information, it's on Morris Avenue near the Lowe's.

May 01, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Happy PassEaster or EastOver, to all my NJ peeps!!

I ate at Billy's years ago--the stone crab legs were great, I still remember them!

Apr 06, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

First visit in 43 years

BTW, Blackberry's closed about two years ago.

Mar 18, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

First visit in 43 years

Thanks Chuck, some worthy-sounding options!

Mar 18, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

First visit in 43 years

That was before my time, jr.

Mar 17, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

First visit in 43 years

Do you recall the names of any of the places--particularly the Ecuadorean?

Mar 17, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

First visit in 43 years

Chuck, I do live here, I realize it may not be for everyone, but in spite of Plainfield's bleak downtown and some serious urban blight, mostly on the West End, there are some really good neighborhoods that have some of the best housing stock and friendliest people anywhere. It's been a great place to live. The fact that the downtown has the architectural bones to be another Hoboken or Red Bank but still defines urban dysfunction is a travesty which has its roots in political corruption and some very poor decisions on the governmental level.

That said, I am completely unfamiliar with any of the Latino restaurants which are so ubiquitous. Have you tried any?

Mar 16, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Strip Mall Shangri-Las

The Chinese place is Mee Mah.

Mar 13, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

New Latino restaurant in downtown Plainfield

Just read on our local Plainfield blog (Plainfield Plaintalker II) that a new Latino place called Itzayana just opened at 119 Park Avenue, near Front Street. The owner is assisted in the kitchen by his wife and sister, and as reported, the menu features empanadas, chicharrones, chiles rellenos and tacos. The Mayor attended the grand opening. Sounds like a Chow-worthy destination. Phone number is 908-462-1778.

Feb 19, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Le Malt ~ Colonia

In today's Star Ledger, Pete Genovese talks about several bars that were voted on in his readers' poll and which he visited. One of them was LeMalt, which he calls "swanky". He says it has a VIP room,and that drinks are mixed table-side. He also interviewed the mixologist. Sounds like someplace not easy to find in Jersey.

Feb 19, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Happy birthday dear, the butcher wasn't very pleasant.

Interesting sub-thread--it recalls the conversation my wife and I had at the time of our disappointing experience with the steak from John's, when we both agreed that there was an A list and a B list, and as newbies, we were not on the A list.

Feb 19, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Happy birthday dear, the butcher wasn't very pleasant.

I might be wrong, but I have never seen Frank's discussed on these boards. John's is by far one of the most famous, and by many, well-loved butchers in New Jersey.

Feb 18, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Happy birthday dear, the butcher wasn't very pleasant.

Many years ago, for a similar special occasion, my wife went to the same "well known" butcher for the first time to buy a steak that would exceed anything she could get in the local A&P. We had one of the most memorable dinners in our life that night, but not in a good way--that steak was flavorless, tough, scandalously overpriced, and after all the hoopla, totally disappointing. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Feb 17, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey
1

Roosterspin Korean Fried Chicken in Westfield

I've been thinking about trying this place, but a friend of mine told me that she and her husband went there last night and after 45 minutes, never got their dinner, even though the place was empty when they arrived. They were ignored by their waiter until he came back to tell them that the computer had lost their order, and they ended up walking out. I'll take their experience as a warning to stay away.

Feb 06, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Pros and cons of glass vs. ceramic baking dish

For over 25 years, I've been using Pyrex loaf pans for baking bread. I originally bought them because they were half the price of metal pans, and I achieve the best crusts when I remove the loaf from the pan about 15 minutes before it is fully baked. Even without doing that, though, the result is fine. They say to reduce the baking time or lower the oven temp by 25 degrees if you are using glass pans, which I do.

OTOH, I recently picked up a Pyrex 8 by 8 square pan at a local closeout shop to supplement my stainless steel 8 by 8, which I use to bake lemon squares. I find that the Pyrex gives a nice carmelization to the crust which the s/s does not. That not only adds taste and texture--it also makes it easier to remove them from the pan.

Feb 03, 2015
albinoni in Cookware

Sophie's Bistro

At the outset of this review of our experience, I will openly state that I think that Fricassee in Montclair sets the standards for the French bistro experience outside of NYC and France. Yesterday we were in the vicinity of Sophie's,which is located in Somerset, just outside of New Brunswick, and after reading a lot of good things about the place, we went for dinner. Things started off on a strong note (except that my reservation never got entered, but we got a table anyway). Bread was excellent, as was a salad with greens, blue cheese and walnuts--house dressing was applied with a welcome light touch. I ordered the cassoulet, which was also quite good, and came in a generous-sized portion which I could only finish half. My wife ordered the mussels in a Thai curry sauce--Sophie's is promoting a mussel festival right now, for $22.00, she got an app size portion of mussels that were about the size of pencil erasers. Sauce was delicious, and made a very flavorful broth, but I'm sorry, if a restaurant is going out of its way to promote a particular dish as a month-long special, it had better be special, and this fell short--by comparison, Fricassee serves a huge portion of gigantic mussels as part of its regular menu, so its not like there are not better ingredients available, and as the cost of mussels do not break the bank, a skimpy portion is downright unacceptable. For dessert I ordered blueberry clafoutis--the flan-like "crust" was pasty and flavorless, the vanilla ice cream generic. All in all, some hits, some misses that were serious enough that we will go back to Fricassee next time.

Feb 01, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

Chowdown at Four Seasons Thai in Piscataway

Today is my first time on Chowhound in awhile, just saw this post :-(. Oh, well, even if I had see it, I had to work on Monday, so I could not have made it. Let's shoot for a re-meetup, maybe in early March, or whenever the south-of-the Raritan contingent wants to make the trek again! (BTW, Paul, our waiter at the 2014 lunch, has moved back to Thailand, along with all of his wonderful but secret off-the-menu dishes that he would gladly order for us).

Jan 02, 2015
albinoni in New Jersey

100 Steps Supper Club- Bizarre Experience

For those of us Chowhounders, who have read good things about this place and are considering going there, this was a very useful review that went behind the buzz. Thanks for the honest review, Sockster.

Nov 26, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Manhattan Memories

Somewhere in a box of books in my attic, I still have a copy of The Underground Gourmet. I wonder how many, if any, of the places reviewed are still there.

Nov 18, 2014
albinoni in Manhattan

Gothenburg and Copenhagen

Hi, we'll be spending a few days in Gothenburg and then in Copenhagen in the beginning of October. Any chow-worthy suggestions at either place? Thanks.

Sep 09, 2014
albinoni in Europe

Chengdu in Green Brook?

Four of us went there last night--it was their opening night, so I will cut them slack. The service was chaotic--waitresses appeared randomly, orders came in haphazardly, at one point they were screaming at each other across the room--obviously the place was understaffed with inexperienced help. I think the coup de grace was when they had three huge parties going on simultaneously, the smaller tables were totally ignored.

As far as the food, I have to be honest and say that I prefer Chengdu 23 in Wayne, or E-mei in Philly. Some it it was very good, good enough to go back and reorder or try some other dishes. Again, opening night is not for final judgments. I liked the spicy wonton app, they also had a very simple spicy cold broccoli app that was a killer. The kungpao chicken--a dish that has become ubiquitous on takeout menus, but was once unique and exotic, and, if done right, can still be revelational, was just ok--Chengdu 23's is far superior (either way, make sure you order it Sichuan as opposed to American style). We also had a sliced pork in spicy sauce, was loaded with chopped hot pepper which I got tired of picking out. Ants climbing a tree was made with cellophane noodles and minced pork, spicy, I took most of it home and just had it cold a few minutes ago and liked it better today. BTW, our friends, who know nothing about authentic Sichaun, ordered off the "special dishes" menu, which was nothing more than crappy westernized preps. One chicken dish was made with maple syrup.

Aug 30, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey

Chengdu in Green Brook?

Sounds good. My wife is on board. I will try to round up some guys from my bike club who like spicy, as well as their wives, though from past experience, this can be like herding cats.

Aug 26, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey
1

Chengdu in Green Brook?

sounds great! Eric, what time do you expect to be there?

Aug 26, 2014
albinoni in New Jersey