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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.

1 day ago
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.

Aug 17, 2014
churros in Site Talk
2

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.

Aug 05, 2014
churros in Site Talk
3

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.

Aug 05, 2014
churros in Site Talk
4

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.

Jul 26, 2014
churros in Site Talk
4

"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

Restaurant week dispute

Not an error. The link is to a specific post within this thread.

Jul 19, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

I explain further downthread. May be easier to understand if we substitute this particular situation with a non-food activity. Or not. If you don't see my point of view, that's cool. Maybe I just spend more time with people where money is tight.

Jul 18, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Check Facebook and twitter. Di Fara was closed for vacation and re-opened a couple of days ago.

Jul 18, 2014
churros in Outer Boroughs

Restaurant week dispute

The discount seems to be the source of enjoyment for the SO and the others. And based on the OP's post, why this dinner was set up in the first place.

I also don't like RW so I sympathize with the OP. But I see the other side as well. The OP could be viewed as unreasonable, thinking better food is more important than the group's enjoyment.

Jul 18, 2014
churros in Not About Food
1

Restaurant week dispute

I think DGresh's post explains this concept pretty well.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9825...

Jul 18, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

Yes, that makes sense. My posts here have been mainly in reaction to Bkeats' suggestion that the customers are to blame for RW not working. Those damn bargain hunters, they ruin things for everyone. No, the RW model is problematic.

Jul 17, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

Fine, send them over. What do I care? How does how they feel impact my dining experiences? It also doesn't seem like this is business the restaurants would have otherwise gotten if it were not for RW.

Regarding the RW model, if the restaurants are not happy with the clientele they're attracting and the short-term and long-term financial returns, then they have to make some adjustments. Reconsider whether it makes sense to participate in RW anymore. Change the menus that they offer. If one of their goals is to encourage customers to return, then change the value proposition. I recall some restaurants (maybe the Danny Meyer ones?) in the past giving RW customers coupons to use on subsequent visits. Did that work? I have no idea. Maybe not since I don't hear much about that anymore. Or maybe it did and those restaurants have been able to improve their business as a result and have no more need for RW.

If RW is not helping the restaurants meet their targets, the onus is not on the RW customers to change. The restaurants have to figure out something else. Think of promotions that will encourage the clients they want and discourage the ones they don't.

Jul 17, 2014
churros in Not About Food

Restaurant week dispute

What's wrong with bargain hunters? So what if they feel good about spending money on things they neither really want or need. There are also plenty of people who pay full price on things they neither want or need. If it makes them happy, who cares.

I don't see the problem with people ordering the bare minimum during RW. It's a deal the restaurants choose to offer. Customers should feel free to do whatever they want. Some of these people might not order drinks or any extras for non-RW meals too. Is that a problem?

Saving a few bucks on restaurants for most of us here is not important. We prefer to maximize our dining experiences and a RW meal is not experiencing the restaurant at its best. But for others, money is often top of mind. RW allows some people to experience restaurants they may not otherwise go to. So what if they don't know better about the lack of value and that they're getting a lesser experience. If RW makes them happy, who cares.

This thread is about whether the OP should prioritize his own desires for a better meal over the desires of the group to truly enjoy RW. No right or wrong answer really. Depends on the people and relationships involved. Personally, since the service is likely to be harried and this is already going to be a less-than ideal dining experience, I'd go with the flow.

Jul 17, 2014
churros in Not About Food