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Best Ecuadorian cuisine in NYC

Sorry no recs from me as I'm not really familiar with Ecuadorian food. But what a coincidence! I was just thinking about this yesterday (Sunday) as I was walking along Roosevelt Avenue from the 100s to 74th Street. Noticed a bunch of Ecuadorian food trucks/carts, maybe 10 in total, clustered around the SE corner of Roosevelt Ave and Warren St. Quite busy at 4-5pm with customers eating and some watching the TV screens set up at a couple of the trucks. A fair number of people were having soups.

One lady offered me a sample of fried pork skin from her cart so I got some along with a mashed potato and some corn. The first few pieces of the pork tasted great, but after a while it started to feel too salty and kind of heavy. Based on some internet searching later and this link http://iwantmorefood.com/2011/11/01/e..., I determined that I actually had chicharron con maize, hominy, and llapachingo.

Are these trucks and carts always parked at this corner or is it mainly a weekend thing? They all seemed to have very similar dishes/menus which struck me as odd. How does one decide where to go? Or do some trucks specialize in certain dishes and just use a common menu template? I was also surprised at the prices. Most dishes were in the $10 range, seemed kind of high for a food truck/cart. There were also a few other Ecuadorian carts spread out along Roosevelt and another truck parked near 80th St.

1 day ago
churros in Outer Boroughs

Your favorite place to get a slice of NY pizza?

Grandma pizza was supposedly "invented" on Long Island by King Umberto's. See Newsday article and Chowhound thread:

http://long-island.newsday.com/restau...

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/252359

Sep 10, 2014
churros in Manhattan

Continued Feedback on Moderation Changes, and More Guidance for Bloggers

Not sure what you're getting at. Reviews are by nature subjective. There's no right or wrong or being completely impartial and accurate.

I would just rather not have CH reviews influenced by things *other than* food and service. For example, these "valuable" conversations by business owners, otherwise known as good PR.

I think that Chowhounds, even with the best intentions, can't help but be influenced by these threads. So I'm not going to rely on any of these reviews myself.

Sep 03, 2014
churros in Site Talk
1

Continued Feedback on Moderation Changes, and More Guidance for Bloggers

I feel like many of these comments are overly focused on the obvious shills/ads. Yes, those are annoying and don't belong here. But they are really easy to spot as ads and ignore, and also are unlikely to affect reports by regular users.

The bigger issue in my mind is those threads mentioned in the OP. The Little Jewel thread and the Andrea Nguyen thread. Are those having an impact on subsequent Chowhound discussions? Do we trust the positive Chowhound feedback that has already ensued and may continue? Or do we wonder if those reports are unduly influenced by the posters' positive interactions with the business owners on this site?

Personally, I'm going to take those professional threads and subsequent Chowhound reviews with a grain of salt. These are all noise to me. If enough of these pop up on the boards I frequent, I'm going to use this site a whole lot less.

Caribbean/West Indian food in Queens

FYI, the annual West Indian Day parade is this Monday, Sept 1 in Brooklyn. http://wiadcacarnival.org/

I've never been and won't be able to make it again this year. But some older Chowhound reports make it sound like there's a lot of good food:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/551901
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/247235
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/243920
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/241012

Aug 28, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Caribbean/West Indian food in Queens

I know very little about Caribbean and West Indian food and recently decided to do some exploring in Queens. Here are my quick notes:

1) Trinidadian doubles. Tried a few different places and ordered each doubles with “everything”. I found that I prefer the ones with more condiments.

My favorites were Sandy’s Roti and Trinciti Roti. The doubles at these places had the most condiments including pickled cucumbers.

Anita’s Roti was also good. Although the bread was less well done and the chickpea filling was less seasoned, the doubles felt less greasy. Condiments were also good. (Note this spot is located in Jamaica, not Richmond Hill/Ozone Park like the others. Across the street from Maima’s Liberian which is on my list of places to try.)

Sonny’s Roti was just okay. Doubles tasted fine up until my last couple of bites, where it was kind of muddy-tasting with just chickpea filling and no condiments.

Singh’s Roti was a miss. Very little condiments (just a bite’s worth) and the chickpea filling left on its own was muddy-tasting. The bread of the doubles was also overly greasy. (On a separate note, the food on the steam table looked great. I stopped by another day, hoping to take out their Chinese-style and BBQ chicken dishes, but the line was way too long.)

2) Maracas-style bake and shark at Trini Delite. I read about this fish sandwich here: http://www.realcheapeats.com/entries/...

Huge sandwich enough for two and the toppings and condiments are great. Fruity, spicy, garlicky. Good sandwich. I probably won’t get it again myself though as I don’t like meaty fishes (the shark seems similar to swordfish). On a side note, I noticed that a maracas bake and shark sandwich is also available at Sandy’s Roti.

3) Caribbean patties. I found good Jamaican beef patties a couple of months ago at Jamaican Flavors. Decided to try some other types.

Got a couple of Haitian patties at Le Bon Pain Bakery. A beef patty and a herring patty. The crust is completely different from the Jamaican ones. Lighter and more flaky, similar to a croissant. Personally not a fan as they seemed overly greasy. The beef and herring fillings tasted fine.

Also tried Guyanese beef patties at Sybil’s. The crust was similar to the Jamaican type, but I didn’t enjoy the ground beef filling. Was a little dry and didn’t have much seasoning. I like the paste-like beef filling in Jamaican patties more.

Here are the names and addresses of the places I visited:
Sandy’s Roti: 121-10 Liberty Ave, Richmond Hill
Trinciti Roti: 111-05 Lefferts Blvd, Ozone Park
Anita’s Roti: 106-13 Guy R Brewer Blvd, Jamaica
Sonny’s Roti: 118-06 Liberty Ave, Ozone Park
Singh’s Roti: 131-18 Liberty Ave, Richmond Hill
Trini Delite: 110-02 Liberty Ave, Richmond Hill
Le Bon Pain Bakery: 211-65 Jamaica Ave, Queens Village
Sybil’s: 159-24 Hillside Ave, Jamaica + other locations
Jamaican Flavors: 228-01 Linden Blvd, Cambria Heights + other locations

Would love to hear other opinions. Are the places I tried good representations of their respective regions/foods? Where are your favorites? I will probably look to try rotis next.

Aug 24, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs
1

Good Fried Chicken in the City

I really like the fried chicken at Bobwhite in the lower east side. Haven't been there in a while though.

Aug 22, 2014
churros in Manhattan

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

Thanks. I've eaten at Ganso a couple of times but must have never gotten the gyoza. Will have to give this new shrimp ramen a try. And I love the wings there!

Aug 22, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

Oh good grief, I've ignored most of your arguments because I don't think they're relevant to this discussion. Historians, Emily Dickinson, really?

On everything else, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree. I weigh first-hand datapoints more heavily than internet research. I also find posts that draw conclusions based solely on internet research (including cherry-picking other Chowhound posts) and present them as fact to be problematic.

By the way, there are a lot of things on the internet that conflict with your posts. A quick google search will yield many gyoza pictures that don't have the crepe-like bottom. Some sites call the crepe-like dumplings a particular name (hane), suggesting that this may not be a prevalent preparation in Japan. And many recipes call for the use of additional starch and say nothing about the use of more water than normal or fatty pork. I'm not saying that these are right and you are wrong. But there is some conflicting information out there.

Aug 20, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

As I said, I think answering questions is fine. I just don't care to see cookbook authors blatantly promote their books.

I disagree that there's no value in hearing from a chef or owner of a restaurant. I imagine some people would like to learn more about how certain dishes are prepared, how the chef thinks about the menu, the particular cuisine, the chef's influences, etc.

Sure, things may change in the restaurant over time. But that's something we have to keep in mind anyway about all restaurant posts regardless of whether or not a professional is involved in the discussion.

All that said, I'm wary of this policy change of allowing greater professional involvement. But if the site goes down this route, then I think ground rules need to be set and applied consistently.

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

Besides the fact that some posters know who Andrea Nguyen is and like her books, her thread isn't really any different from some of the other problematic threads mentioned here. It's not as if she joined an ongoing conversation about banh mi. She created a thread just to talk about her book. Of course she's going to answer questions.

I imagine most of these other promotional posters would also be happy to answer questions. That is, if Chowhounds engaged them in a positive manner instead of the mostly antagonistic approach taken so far.

If you think Andrea Nguyen's thread is appropriate, then you must also be accepting of all these other threads.

I think Chowhound needs to still draw a line for industry professionals. Answering questions about their business or participating in discussions where they have expertise is fine. Creating threads to pimp their business is not.

Aug 17, 2014
churros in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

Not sure how I feel about these threads by Andrea Nguyen and Brian Yarvis:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985635
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/985865

I thought the recent change in Chowhound policy was to allow professionals to more actively participate in general discussion. Not to create threads specifically to pimp their own books.

Is Chowhound really opening the site up to these types of threads?

Another thing, I only noticed these threads because they've been popping up in the top right hand corner of my screen. In the box highlighting recent posts using the new Q&A and photo story formats. I actually thought they were paid advertisements with pretty pictures. Interesting that the site is now allowing this free publicity. Or should I say, it's "inviting" them.

Aug 15, 2014
churros in Site Talk

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

How do you know your posts are accurate? There is a lot of misinformation on the internet while it's hard to gauge other people's exact meanings and frames of reference.

I don't have an issue with you saying that these dumplings in question sound similar to the Serious Eats' gyoza description. But I question some of your other statements which are presented as fact. Like all Japanese gyoza are encrusted. Or the New World Mall vendor apparently used more water. Or the crust of the New World Mall dumplings is thicker than the crust of Japanese gyozas.

How can you say any of these things with certainty if you don't have personal experience?

Aug 12, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs
1

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

I can't tell if your posts are based on personal observation or just piecing together stuff from the internet. Have you had these dumplings in the New World Mall? Have you had gyoza in Japan?

Aug 09, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs
1

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

Thanks. I also just googled guo tie bottom and found a Serious Eats food lab post by Kenji that discusses this. Basically the same idea:
http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/02/as...

Aug 07, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

Ah, this explains why this discussion was left up:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/969778

I thought the promotion by the owner was over the top, but the LA board seems very enthusiastic about it.

Aug 07, 2014
churros in Site Talk
1

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

I meant, I'm not sure Kenji is actually describing the large crepe-like bottom in question in his blog post. Gyoza are just dumplings. Sometimes they get stuck together during cooking, much like Chinese potstickers. I think that might be what he's referring to. I haven't had gyoza in Japan though so I could be wrong.

I've had the pan-fried dumplings at this stall in New World Mall and they're quite spread out. My guess is it's not simply the dumplings getting stuck together as they cook but that they do something different to make the crepe-like bottom. Probably how Pookipichu describes it below.

Aug 07, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

It's not really clear to me what Kenji is referring to in that article. But, in all the ramen shops I've been to in NYC, I've never had gyoza presented in one large crepe-like piece before.

Aug 07, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Weird Dumpling Crepe Thing, Possibly Shanghai (in Flushing)

I think the beef soup with hand-pulled noodles (#1) is really flavorful. Is it distinctively Henan? I'm not sure, but it seemed similar to the soups at Uncle Zhou in Elmhurst and Spicy Village in Manhattan Chinatown.

Peter Cuce mentioned this place last year
(http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9138...), and his friend's blog talks about it in more detail: http://ericeatsout.blogspot.com/2013/...

Aug 07, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

The Q/A format is odious

I think the exact opposite. The "favorite" or "best" questions are actually well-suited for the Q&A format. They're straight-forward simple questions, with answers based on personal tastes. Debating over personal tastes is not always useful.

Aug 07, 2014
churros in Site Talk
1

Feature Request - Add Date & Time Sorting to Q&A Topics

I think most people answering the Q&A will care about other responses. So you have to make it easier for them to participate and follow along.

Ongoing Feedback for New Conversation Types

For the Q&A format, I think it would be helpful to show more clearly the clarifying questions and the OP's answers. Also, as others have mentioned, being able to sort by reply date would be useful.

In general, I don't mind the Q&A concept. Not everything needs to be discussed to death. Occasionally, I find the clique-ness of some sub-threads to be a real turn-off. And when some people just chime in to bash others' recommendations.

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

If Khao Kang were in Manhattan or Brooklyn, prices would likely be a lot higher.

I think it's good value for what it is, for 1-2 people to sample a variety of dishes and who don't need or want waiter service. If I lived or worked in this neighborhood, I would come here all the time. But, as you noted earlier, it's not really any cheaper per person than nearby Thai spots. So I wouldn't really view it as destination-worthy.

Aug 05, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Okay, I think we probably share fairly similar tastes in pizza. I also like Nick's, Amore, New Park, and King Umberto's. Haven't been to Patsy's in Whitestone or Grimaldi's in Douglaston (though if they're related to the Patsy's mini-chain in the city and the Grimaldi's by the Brooklyn Bridge, then I don't care for them either).

Here is where I think is the source of our disagreement. Your assertion that (I'm paraphrasing) "if only there were more skilled pizzaiolas, there would be many more excellent pizzerias" seems overly simplistic and therefore flawed to me because you're not segmenting the pizza market and taking into account the different demand drivers. The slice joints and the whole-pie places shouldn't really be judged against each other. As you note, different price points. But also they're serving different customer needs.

Earlier, I mentioned what drives the slice joint market (quick, cheap, and filling) and compared it to street food. The whole-pie places, on the other hand, are meant for customers who have more time and money to spend on the meal. They're competing more with other sit-down restaurants. They can afford to use higher quality ingredients because they have customers who are willing to pay for that. Their pizza is being made to order and not ahead of time and reheated like most slice joints. Nick's is a whole pie place as are Roberta's, Lucali, Franny's, and Paulie Gee's. It makes sense that in general, these whole-pie places would make "better" pizza than the slice joints. I don't think, however, the market can support 1600 of them or even many more than currently exist (50, 100, 150?).

Shake Shack is more like the whole-pie place. Burgers are made to order, and the food is not really that cheap. It's not comparable to the vast majority of NYC pizzerias which fall in the slice joint category. I'm not saying customers can't enjoy both a Shake Shack burger and a slice. Or both a slice and a whole-pie. But they probably want these at different times.

Di Fara, even though it does sell slices, currently shares more characteristics with the whole-pie places given the wait time and price. I think it's also important to note that, based on some Chowhound threads, it seems that Di Fara was a regular slice joint and not doing particularly good business until the place started to get media attention. Dom then had the luxury to transform his pizza, use higher quality ingredients, and raise his prices because there was a ready and willing customer base. Many other slice joints don't have this luxury. There are some things that are done that might compromise quality but that's the business environment. The demand side of the equation matters a great deal. Doesn't mean these pizzaiolos are necessarily less talented or lack pride in what they do.

Jul 26, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Do you like or dislike the new format ?

Indifferent for now.

It seems that the site just added a few new features which I can easily ignore. And the hearts don't bother me.

One benefit I see in the Q&A format is that this thread is much easier to read than the "Introducing New Conversations Type" thread. The other one has pretty much been overtaken by a few displeased folks and is bogged down by chattiness.

"Artisan" Western-style bread in Flushing

Ahhh, okay. I thought that you hadn't been to Cannelle before in which case I would have recommended going there just to try their other stuff. By the way, if you go back to La Boulangerie, I heard their almond croissant is very good though I haven't tried it myself.

Agreed on the service at both places. Not the most friendly, but that seems par for the course for a lot of bakeries throughout NYC. At least in my experience.

Jul 22, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

"Artisan" Western-style bread in Flushing

I think I worded my post awkwardly. I meant that I far prefer the viennoiseries at Cannelle over the ones at La Boulangerie. Breads are probably comparable though I admittedly have less experience on that front.

Leo's Latticini almost always had a few pre-assembled Mama's Special sandwiches on the counter on my visits. They would then add the roasted peppers and mushrooms at the time of purchase. I never had a problem with the sandwich until this last time. Hoping it's a fluke as well. Along with my roast pork sandwich visit.

Jul 22, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Khao Kang in Elmhurst?

Went a few days after the NYT review came out. The lady behind the counter was very friendly, first asking us if we wanted spicy or non-spicy, and then directing us to the appropriate dishes. Picked 2 spicy dishes and 4 non-spicy. Enjoyed all except for the spicy sour bamboo shoot dish (probably just not for our tastes). Our favorite was a fried pork dish (non-spicy). It was sweet yet also had some other flavors. Maybe anise or cinnamon or something else. Also got a couple of desserts that the server was very enthusiastic about. One had green tapioca and coconut milk, the other was a dessert with a layer of jello and a layer of brown cream (with coconut, I think). I didn't enjoy them (I'm not a big dessert person) but my friend did.

Jul 22, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

"Artisan" Western-style bread in Flushing

I think breads at Cannelle and La Boulangerie are both fine. I like the other offerings at Cannelle a lot better though. The almond croissant, the apple turnover, the pastries, etc.

Going off-topic a bit, since you mention Leo's Latticini...I've been disappointed with my last two visits there over the past year. Got the roast pork sandwich on one visit and the Mama's Special on the other. Both were pre-assembled which I never minded in the past, but they didn't taste that fresh and were kind of dried out. Was I just unlucky or are they not as good anymore?

Jul 22, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Restaurant week dispute

We can turn your statement around and say: would it be enjoyable for the OP to have his friends' enjoyment "diminished" (as another poster said in this thread)? And then for his friends to lie about that or tell the truth about that?

The OP is not wrong and his SO and friends are not wrong. For this situation, I'm weighing the SO's side a little more because it seems that the meal was set up primarily to enjoy RW. That if it weren't for RW, this group of people might not be getting together at all that evening.

I proposed earlier that the OP pick another RW restaurant and increase his chances of having a good RW meal while maintaining the "spirit" of the meal for the group. The suggestion that the OP consider not going to this meal at all seems like another good solution to me.

Jul 19, 2014
churros in Not About Food