Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

azra's Profile

Title Last Reply

Snacks for Korean Executives

I do not recommend macarons or any tteok cakes. The macaron-type desserts are not popular in Korea (imho), and there are just too many better and fresher options than Boston-area tteok.

Greenteajoa's recommendations are good for an idea of what you could serve, but from the posted HMart links, stay away from everything except the choripdong rice snacks. Everything else should only be served if you can get a similar item fresh from a bakery. Foe example, the Paris Baguette has a fancy roll cake that would be fine. As digga said, they will notice that you are serving baked items out of a box from HMart.

Still, if you need another shelf stable item, then you could probably put out some Piroulines along with the rice rolls, if they are on a table with a nice spread of fruit and fresh baked items.

Nuts are definitely popular, but I don't know that I would recommend them for a business event. They are put out more for celebratory events or as drinking food.

Same with gimlis1mum's recs for smoked meats. Anju-type foods are very popular, but don't belong at business events.

For Korean-palate bakery desserts, I recommend the custard cream bun, an donut, azuki cream croissant, or ichigo cream croissant from Japonaise bakery.

I agree with the earlier poster's comments about cheese, but cheese cake is very popular in Korea. A light Japanese-style cheese cake or even just a thawed New York cheese cake would be well received, especially alongside a big plate of fresh fruit. I hate to recommend it, but an Edible Arrangements centerpiece (not dipped fruit) would make a great impression.

If you want a different type of cake, the Eldo Cake House sponge cakes or sponge-fruit cakes are also likely to be well-received.

Chocolate is an appropriate gift to bring to Korea, but I would not bother with it at a catered event. I think fresh cream-filled or baked items would probably make a much stronger favorable impression than anything chocolate.

And if you can't get to any of these things, you will not insult them by going with hotoynoodles recs for any elegant and local pastries.

Joyful Garden Chinese New Year Menu

I can't blame your attitude hargau, but just so you know, the menu isn't that much more informative to people who can read Chinese. Please post back KWagle if you can find out more details!

The most descriptive item that I see on the menu is the golden pig platter ($48.88) but I don't see the number of people it serves, and it isn't clear if all the items in that list need to be pre-ordered, or just the first one. Maybe I don't know the names of traditional dishes, but all I see on the rest of the menu are vague descriptions like spring blessings, happiness, blossoming flower, every year dish, etc.

Jan 26, 2014
azra in Greater Boston Area

Newsflash - New England Charcuterie opening in Waltham

Yes, a real loss but at least Salem closed on its own well-deserved terms.

Oct 15, 2013
azra in Greater Boston Area

Salts vs. TW Food

If your gut is telling you to choose Salts, then go with your gut. In my opinion, you can't go wrong by choosing Salts. I love Salts and I would expect you to have a wonderful evening there. The feel of the room is nothing like Menton, and Analia is so sweet and keeps the front of the house running so smoothly.

Give her a call, tell her it is a celebratory meal, and ask her about the menu, or even better, ask about the tasting menu! I find the Salts tasting menu to be one of the best in Boston, in part, because it is often very creative and is never simply a sampling of a bunch of entrees from the current menu.

TW Food is certainly more of a board favorite, but that doesn't make it my favorite or the best choice for you. Hope you have a wonderful time, congrats to your boyfriend, and please post about your experience!

May 02, 2013
azra in Greater Boston Area

Best Beef (or Lamb) Shwarma

Armenian Market and Bakery on Elm Street in Watertown, just across the side street from the Target end of the mall parking lot. The shawarma is well seasoned, juicy, and served with pickles and good yogurt. Owners are from Istanbul, and they have Turkish style rice pilaf, housemade sujuk (fresh), and beef manti (frozen) too.

The pictures of their beef and chicken shawarma are from their webpage.

Mar 15, 2013
azra in Greater Boston Area

When Pigs Fly Cookies?

Anyone know what's up with Cow & Crumb? Their webstore has been closed for a few weeks or more.

Where else can I get an amazingly rich and buttery and not too sweet shortbread cookie? Or a great shortbread cookie with nuts. The shortbread cookies from Lakota may be the best I've been able to find, and I have been disappointed at countless other bakeries.

Feb 01, 2013
azra in Greater Boston Area

Oyster Bar

Oceanaire is fine, but I find it a bit on the sterile side. There is only so much you can do with a former bank!

Legal harborside is okay for oysters too. Only the second floor has that fine dining feel.

How many in your party? There are quite a few places where you can have good oysters at the bar. I have also enjoyed the oysters at Lineage, Gaslight, Marliave, Citizen Pub, Summer Shack, Central Kitchen, Rendezvous, Russell House, Dante, and Summer Shack. Some of these place only had island creek, but others have at least 3 or 4 varieties of east coast oysters.

Jan 07, 2013
azra in Greater Boston Area

HELP! Any grocery or liquor stores open right now (6:30 PM)?

Sorry, don't know if a Target or Walmart superstore would carry Coco Lopez, but the Watertown Target closes at 9pm tonight, so you could check some closer Targets and Walmarts. The Raynham and Walpole walmarts are open 24 hours, so they might be open the latest tonight. Good luck!

Dec 24, 2012
azra in Greater Boston Area

ISO: Chinese Delivery NOW (Thanksgiving Night) Wakefield

I wish I had a car and could deliver myself! Checked foodler and Lucky Star in Medford is listed as being open till 12:30am tonight for delivery and delivering to parts of Wakefield. Can't say anything about the quality of their food though. Nothing else shows up for Wakefield. Any hotel restaurants near their home? Good Luck!

Nov 22, 2012
azra in Greater Boston Area

YumeWoKatare Ramen - anyone been yet?

They've had to reduce their seating to 12. Don't know when I'll try it because there were about 20 ppl in line today at 5:45pm, and over 30 ppl in line about a half hour later. Also, they stagger the seating, so they don't just let the first 12 ppl in at 6pm.

Oct 17, 2012
azra in Greater Boston Area

YumeWoKatare Ramen - anyone been yet?

Confirmed -- no ramen takeout and they won't pack your leftovers. Didn't ask about pork.

Oct 17, 2012
azra in Greater Boston Area

My tofu skin salad fell flat - what should I do differently?

What's its name on their menu? I don't think I've ordered it, but I just has to have garlic in it. Maybe white pepper too and possibly just a bit of ginger.

I agree that an important step is to pre-salt then gently squeeze the cucumber. They might also add a little vinegar for the pre-salting. 15-30 minutes should be good enough and probably up to 2-3 hours is okay. Discard the liquid that you squeeze from the cucumbers.

Did you use soy sauce because their dressing was dark? I would skip the soy sauce, use white vinegar instead of rice vinegar, add a little white pepper, and add more sugar. If their dressing was dark, it probably has chinkiang vinegar (chinese black vinegar) in it either instead of or with the white vinegar. MSG also adds a good flavor to this dish.

Jun 23, 2012
azra in Home Cooking

Reasonably priced live lobster in Boston

The coral (or roe) is the unfertilized eggs of a female lobster, so virtually all females have coral.

Egg bearing or berried lobsters are protected and it is illegal in Canada and the US to land or to sell them. They are released after their right tail flipper is notched to identify them as protected breeders. Photos courtesy of google.

Recipes for baked stuffed lobster and lobster stock often call for the coral. If you like the coral or tail meat (females have a wider tail than males), just ask for females whereever you buy your lobster. And if you want mostly roe and tomalley, ask for female culls!

Other people dislike the coral or prefer the bigger claws of males and ask for males.

Jun 21, 2012
azra in Greater Boston Area

Reasonably priced live lobster in Boston

How are the lobsters at Restaurant Depot? Cheaper than Yankee Lobster or PJs? Is there a minimum quantity or bulk/case price?

Jun 20, 2012
azra in Greater Boston Area

I have found my long lost Empanada - And the Waltham Mangos are IN!

Tara has both baked and (much smaller) fried empanadas. I quite like the fried corn empanada.

The baked empanada is listed on Tara's menu under "Dinners." Does it come with anything?

I prefer their grilled beef churrascos and lomitos to their chacerero. They are all enormous, although the meat in the lomitos and chacarero can be a tad dry and is sliced a bit too thick.

Jun 18, 2012
azra in Greater Boston Area

April 2011 Openings and Closings

Floating Rock is still hoping for a mid-week soft opening. They may open with dinner-only service for a week or so, before opening for lunch too. The dining room is beautiful and quite large, and they will have a much broader menu than they did in Revere, with some American/Cambodian-American dishes in addition to their Cambodian dishes.

Floating Rock
485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Apr 10, 2011
azra in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum and Parking

Since the silver line eliminated much of the meter parking in Chinatown, almost every store and restaurant in Chinatown is now validating parking for the Beach Street garage. I think it is $2 per hour up to $3 hour max ($6 max) with validation. Look for the sign in the window and don't be shy about asking to get your parking ticket validated.

Jan 02, 2010
azra in Greater Boston Area

Ebisuya Japanese Market in Medford

Yes, and they are still projecting an opening some time in January.

Jan 02, 2010
azra in Greater Boston Area

New Deal ~ New Years

Actually, the CSF only canceled 3 days last week due to weather. They delivered shrimp on Tuesday while Thursday and Friday were scheduled holidays.

If you are hoping for a Monday delivery, I'd say your chances are zero. The marine forecast is for gale winds through Sunday night and 20 knot WNW winds on Monday. All that wind make for *very* choppy seas. But the seas could be back down to 3' by Tuesday morning and stay that way for the rest of the week.

Jan 02, 2010
azra in Greater Boston Area

Drink prices increased and no longer the same for most choices

I agree that the wings are pretty good, but it is not that much food for $10. Of course, it is a lot more food than the classic shrimp cocktail four piece ($12). The fries ($6) look like a big portion, but they are stacked for height and there are not that many fries in the serving.

Dec 02, 2009
azra in Greater Boston Area

Drink prices increased and no longer the same for most choices

No, they don't tell you the price or price difference before they mix. My receipts tell me that cocktails with champagne (like the Seelbach or French 75) are $12.15. I've also been charged $12.15 for some cocktails that didn't seem any different from the $10.75 cocktails. And I haven't gotten any freebies (even after 3 or 4 rounds) since the prices went up.

Dec 01, 2009
azra in Greater Boston Area

North End recs? (carbonara, gnocci, and frutti di mare)

I loved the carbonara at Bina. Where can I get the real deal in the North End? I'm not expecting to get the pig butter and parmesan foam, but I don't want a cream sauce!

I also like the Frutti di Mare at Maurizio's and Giacomo's. Any other solid versions in the North End?

I love Prezza but have never loved their gnocci. Who has consistently light and feathery gnocci in the North End? Do any compare to Bina's?

Are there any restaurants in the North End that do all three of these dishes well?

Oct 09, 2009
azra in Greater Boston Area

New Bridge Steak Tips

Why marinate in soda which just goes flat, when they have the coke syrup.

Anyone have the recipe for Sadie's steak tips?

Or can anyone describe the differences between the Newbridge ,Quiet Man, and Sadie's steak tips? Thanks.

Oct 06, 2009
azra in Greater Boston Area

Cape Anne CSF members - what's the mid-term grade?

I'm surprised by all the reports of the high quality of the fish. For the last two weeks, I've gotten cod that couldn't be sold retail. The fishermen probably know this when they are catching the fish, and definitely know it when they are gutting and sorting the fish. I am starting to feel cheated and will be very unhappy if this continues. Sure the cod has been caught in the last 36 hours, but I didn't join to get fresh fish that's only good for chowder.

At my last pickup, I overheard some other people talking about the soft fish so I know that I am not the only one getting this.

My grade for the first few pickups is an A, but a solid F for the last two.

Jul 21, 2009
azra in Greater Boston Area

Best Gyro in Cambridge?

Hey Lipoff, thanks for the tip way back about Skampa's roast beef sandwiches. And these recent posts about restaurants near MIT are full of surprises! First Thailand Cafe with the new sichuan menu, now Stefani Pizza makes good gyros? Do they make own? How's the bread? Is it better than Village Grill? Please tell more!

Jul 15, 2009
azra in Greater Boston Area

Oak Room Leaves Hollow Feeling


Welcome to the board, but please stop spamming the board with your out-of-date postings. This review was posted on your blog on April 9, 2007, and only two of your postings (Pigalle and Mount Blue) are even from the last month.

FWIW, your Phantom Gourmet format and style may be fine for TV, but I find it annoying.

Jan 13, 2009
azra in Greater Boston Area

Chinatown Question

I am pretty sure that Peach Farm, Vinh Sun BBQ, New Golden Gate, Hei La Moon, Pearl Villa, Best Little, East Ocean City, Shabu Zen, Kaze, Chau Chow City, China Pearl and New Jumbo Seafood all serve beer, and that Kaze, Chau Chow City, China Pearl, and New Jumbo have a full liquor license. I think that New Jumbo Seafood is the best in Chinatown and they validate at the garage across from East Ocean CIty.

Oct 18, 2008
azra in Greater Boston Area

Quick solo meals near the Jurys Hotel?

I'll be working in this neighborhood again, and need some affordable and relatively quick places to grab lunch and dinner within a 10 minute walk of Berkeley & Columbus. Chinatown is way too far, as is much of the South End and the Back Bay. I'll be working long hours and going back to work after dinner, so I probably won't be drinking with my dinner.

I know that I've got a pretty small area to choose from, but I don't need a great restaurant. I just need a restaurant close by with one (or a few) very good lunch or dinner entrees. No dietary restrictions, and I've got a very big appetite so quantity is a plus as long as there's matching quality.

Picco, DeLux, and the Parish Cafe are the only lunch places that I remember liking. Any menu changes or recs? I also need more variety. Any great soups or stews nearby? Is there a way to put together a decent lunch at Fire + Ice? Is Viga worth the long lines?

For dinner, I liked the Franklin Cafe but need more variety. Masa was fine, but expensive for a quick every day dinner (on my tab) and then back to work meal. Any cheap ethnic food in this neighborhood?

I remember trying once but not going back to the Stanhope Grill, Benigans, Fire + Ice, Cottonwood, 33, Laurel, Via Matta, McCormick and Schmicks, Legals, Rustic Kitchen, and Sibling Rivalry. Oysters at 28 degrees were okay, dinner wasn't so good. I think that B&G might be further than I want to go for a meal. Did I order poorly? Any recent chef changes, or very good affordable entrees at these places?

I think Addis was way too slow, and Maggiano's had a wait, so I ended up at Legals. Is this typical?

Grill 23, Smith and Wollensky, Flemings, Palm, Bonfire, Mistral, Icarus, Excelsior, DaVinci, Davios, and Pigalle are all close, but they look way too pricey. Do these places have a bar menu or any specials? Is it okay not to drink at the bar?

Or are there any happy hour specials where I can get a good dinner without feeling weird about not drinking? Any other bar menu recs?

Am I missing anything? I'm looking for a better eating experience this time a round. Thanks!

Sep 19, 2008
azra in Greater Boston Area

Where have you always had a bad meal?

Johnresa, do you have any suggestions for combinations or sauces? I'm working right by the Back Bay Fire and Ice, and it would be really convenient if I could put something together there that I liked.

Sep 19, 2008
azra in Greater Boston Area

Your favorite thing to eat in and around Boston at the moment

Thanks BFP and YY. I've ordered the grilled chicken banh mi several times since BFPs last post, and got perfectly grilled chicken each time. I was even starting to doubt my memory of the weird lightly breaded chicken banh mi, until seeing YYs post.

Maybe it depends on the breading or how long it sits out, but I didn't finish the last breaded chicken banh mi that I was served.

Feb 12, 2008
azra in Greater Boston Area