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Jack Cheese and Grits Soufflé

Made this recipe using regular coarse ground yellow corn grits (Bob's Red Mill "polenta"). Came out wonderful and had a beautiful yellow color, even though I only had provolone on hand. Added a dash of smoked paprika and cayenne for a touch more flavor. I also baked it in individual ramekins and it worked well, baking time was closer to 35 mins for that. Oh yeah, I also used 2% milk. If you are using real grits it should be thick, creamy, and flavorful regardless.

Mar 24, 2009
xariana in Recipes

Advice for Casual Birthday Dinner in Brooklyn

I third the recommendation for Buttermilk Channel. They do take reservations for larger groups and the food is quite approachable for your non-foodie relatives, yet generally well executed. They also are very child-friendly; I had a large group dinner there a few weeks back, 9 adults and a baby, and all went well - the staff was even nice enough to help stow the baby equipment.

I'd definitely do a birthday at Buttermilk Channel over Heights Cafe - the place just feels a bit more special, the waitstaff is much more attentive, the food seems a notch more creative, etc. The ambiance isn't amazing at either place, but Buttermilk Channel at least feels a bit less generic.

Feb 23, 2009
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Blue Marble Ice Cream = Best I've Ever Had

I was in for my third visit last week when I discovered... Green Tea flavor! I LOVE green tea ice cream so I was very happy. One of the workers actually asked my impression of it, so I suppose I was in on a day when it was a relatively new flavor. It was very good, creamy, soft like many of their other flavors, the flavor seemed to increase with every bite. I think I had a double mini marble with the green tea and the blackberry. Or maybe it was the strawberry - I love them both as well!

To the poster commenting on the serving sizes - my last trip there I was served a much much more generous portion than on previous visits (and even previous visits seemed to have more than adequate serving sizes), so perhaps your concern has been addressed.

Aug 10, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs


Thanks all for the replies. Greenmarket today was a no go. One vendor told me they're only sold in May, another said September. So apparently today was not my nasturtium day.

I actually did try and grow some in the late spring (from seeds) but a weekend away killed them off. They seemed to be great growers, though - wish I'd tried again! I'll try the paper towel trick next time, though - thanks for the tip!

Aug 09, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs


Anyone know where I can get some (for recipe use)?

I'll go anywhere the MTA goes; my starting point is downtown Brooklyn.

Aug 07, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Bogota on a weeknight?

What's the noise/crowd situation like at Bogota on a weeknight? I've only been twice, once on a Friday during Restaurant Week (accidentally) - all I remember is that it was really crowded, but that's to be expected for Restaurant Week, I guess. The second time was for a Sunday brunch and it was VERY loud (the music was unnecessarily loud on top of already loud chatter din).

My parents are visiting and I think they'd really enjoy the food, but doubt their 60-something selves would be psyched about having to shout our entire meal. I'm thinking of bringing them for a mid-week dinner around 6pm. They don't have hearing problems or anything, and they enjoy music and a little excitement and such - but at that last brunch I had there it was just *too much*.

Think it'll be okay?

Jun 03, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

"sports bar" in BoCoCa/BK Heights/Downtown Mnh.

Just a heads up if you try to go to O'Keefe's and you've never been before... the storefront isn't actually labeled "O'Keefe's" but rather just something like "Bar & Grill".

But I, too, am a fan of Downtown Bar & Grill. Better food (more diverse menu than just fried bar stuff/burgers/nachos - though they have good burgers), better beer selection.

May 06, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

has anyone been to lobo lately?????

I've always wondered who in their kitchen thought it was a good idea to use american cheese on everything... Cheese enchiladas with american inside are...ew.

And the last time I was there (~3-4 months ago) I had the worst sangria ever. Tasted like watered down cranberry juice with fruit floating in it.

May 03, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Cafe on Clinton?

I, too, was the only veg in our group that dined there about two months ago. The mac and cheese is solidly good, not amazing, but I'd order it again. It isn't super cheesy so you don't leaving feeling like you just ate 1000 calories of dairy (though it was a bit heavy on the butter so I probably still did).

Overall, we enjoyed our experience. The service was very pleasant, the drinks are nicely made (I loved my dark & stormy), and I'm glad I saved room for dessert as they were quite good. About the only thing I wouldn't order again was the panzanella salad - it was like 95% olives with just a few stray pieces of bread and tomato.

May 02, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Pasteurized whole eggs?

The Davidson's website lists stores that carry their product, but none so far in NY (just listed as "coming soon"). Same for CT and NJ, for what it is worth.

If you have use for lots of the eggs - they apparently ship in 5 and 10 dozen packs. Check out

May 01, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

pretzel bread at Almondine (DUMBO)

Mmm, thanks for this - I seriously had a dream about pretzel bread last night (I wanted to make some in the dream but had to go to the store for "pretzel bread flour" first - ha). I might have to hike over to Almondine soon...

May 01, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Goya Ginger Beer

Apr 22, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Vegetarian or raw food in Hill/Heights/Gardens area?

Is the vegetarian strictly into raw foods? Or is she vegan? Or just regular ol' lacto-ovo (i.e., eats eggs and dairy) vegetarian?

Apr 13, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Burger Bar shuttering

In my defense - it wasn't my idea! I just was brought along for the unpleasant ride...

Apr 13, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Burger Bar shuttering

The work permit on the door just seemed to suggest some sort of kitchen remodeling (though I don't know if the language used could cover something more).

I honestly hope for a full overhaul. I went a few weeks ago (even after reading all the negative posts on here, yes that was stupid) and was amazed that it didn't even meet my very low expectations. Service was awful (our orders were all wrong and it was impossible to get a waiter's attention to try and fix it), the bun was stale, the fries weren't good, and even the ketchup tasted bad (seriously - I asked for another bottle because I thought it was just ours that was rancid but it wasn't).

Apr 03, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Lucali: when to go?

Does the 9:00 time work just on weeknights or would that be good for a Friday/Saturday as well?

Mar 24, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs burger in the slope

Would trying to get a table for six at like 7 on a Fri/Sat night be an extremely bad idea?

Feb 24, 2008
xariana in Outer Boroughs

You Say Nondairy Dessert, I Say Ice Cream

I think sometimes you need to use the terminology of the food you're imitating to properly convey the idea. How else would you label something like a vegetarian "chicken" patty? "Breaded soy patty" doesn't seem to really let you know what you're in for (especially as soy can be given so many different flavors and textures). Just as frozen non-dairy dessert doesn't really tell you what you're getting (assuming you're a first-time consumer of that sort of product who doesn't know what code words to look for). I mean - a popsicle or frozen fruit bar could just as easily be described as a non-dairy dessert...

That being said, I'm all in favor of being more clear with labeling. I just don't see "vegan ice cream" as being any more deceptive than "veggie burger." Nobody wonders if a veggie burger has beef in it, just as the word "vegan" in front of "ice cream" should convey that there is no dairy (though I suppose there are some folks out there who don't know what vegan means). Regardless, I do think packaging should be more clear about surprise ingredients (the surprise being the presence/absence of certain things).

(I like meat analogues a lot less than this comment might otherwise suggest~)

Feb 24, 2008
xariana in Features

Vegetarian fast food options

One other place for veggies to try and find on the road is Chipotle. I think they have locations pretty well spread around the country. Vegetarians can get their tacos (soft or hard), burritos, "bols" (burrito fillings in a bowl, no tortilla), or salads vegetarian. This would include black beans and cilantro-lime rice as a base, with your choice of grilled peppers and onions, cheese (with vegetable rennet so it is vegetarian), sour cream (no gelatin - vegetarian), salsas, guacamole, and lettuce. They even do the simple veggie-friendly thing of not putting meat behind vegetables on their assembly line so there is no danger of some pork being dripped into the vegetarian beans.

Jan 02, 2008
xariana in Chains


Sorry to sorta necro-bump this, but I just wanted to say that I decided to check out Bonnie's after reading this thread and was very very pleased. Maybe not a surprise to you folks. But - I'm a vegetarian. The veggie burger was very tasty and had that soft homemade feel to it (as opposed to how most places give me a frozen gardenburger). My meat-eating dining companion, who isn't generally that interested in food, reacted as I've never seen him react to food before (extremely positively)... we can't wait to go back.

About the only bad thing - I'd avoid the cole slaw. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't particularly good, either. But then again, it did come in handy to cool off the grilled-jalapeno slow-burn feeling in my mouth...

Nov 06, 2007
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Recommendations near the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott

One addition - Hecho en Dumbo (located at the Dumbo General Store, link below). Maybe a 10 minute walk from the hotel, but worth it. Kind of like Mexican tapas, very very flavorful. A good choice for a light dinner night.

Hecho en Dumbo
111 Front St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Nov 01, 2007
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Chicken Eaters Will Inherit the Earth

This kind of makes me scratch my head a bit... how could someone who eats eggs and cheese create more greenhouse gasses than someone who eats poultry, eggs, and cheese? I think this article is assuming that people replace poultry with eggs and cheese (perhaps even pound for pound), but this often isn't true, at least in my case (and in the case of any lacto-ovo who thinks about their health at all). I don't find that I eat more cheese as a lacto-ovo than I did as a meat-eater... I fill that spot in my meals with other products such as soy or legumes.

Oct 24, 2007
xariana in Features

Brazilian Guarana Soda

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I'm torn between a trip to Astoria (I moved to NY semi-recently and I'm ashamed to say that I've actually never been to anywhere in Queens that doesn't have airplanes) and the Ironbound run (the idea of a whole Portuguese speaking neighborhood is quite a draw).

(To HLing - I do think Ironbound is the Portuguese neighborhood; I'd actually heard of it before, but associated it with Portugal, not thinking that they'd serve the Brazilian community as well.)

I haven't had much luck with my local grocery stores, unfortunately.

Oct 02, 2007
xariana in Outer Boroughs

Down the Rabbit Hole

Am I the only one who thinks ASPCA should pay the author a visit? Seriously, how many children successfully keep rabbits as pets in this country and he lets his die of such easily preventable things as maggots and heatstroke?

Not to mention his choice of one of the least humane ways to slaughter his hens, merely for his convenience (though inhumane slaughter for food isn't something in the ASPCA's jurisdiction - I'll save my thoughts on this country's inconsistent treatment of animals in the law for elsewhere).

The article just seemed extremely callous with animal it was okay to essentially abuse and waste multiple animals because it made a funny story. I felt kind of sick and sad after reading the article.

Sep 19, 2007
xariana in Features

Brazilian Guarana Soda

Anyone know where I can find guarana soda for sale? Not so much Bawls, but rather the kind you find all over the place in Brazil. I'd like to pick up some six-packs...

I'm in Brooklyn Heights, but anywhere subway-accessible will work~

Many thanks!

Sep 18, 2007
xariana in Outer Boroughs