chowcito's Profile

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ISO: Lemons with leaves intact

Thanks! But there's a dearth of lemon trees in Manhattan :) If I were in sunny Florida or Arizona no problem!

Jun 19, 2013
chowcito in Manhattan

ISO: Lemons with leaves intact

Hi folks: Looking for a market, green grocer or other in Manhattan where I can buy a few dozen lemons with the leaves still on the fruit. Any ideas?

Jun 19, 2013
chowcito in Manhattan

Quick notes: Madrid, Tudela del Duero, Toro, San Sebastian, Getaria, Hondarribia

To be honest we did not see a menu during our visit. I believe they only offer the lechazo or a chuleta de buey (beef). The main meat course was served with the white asparagus and a green salad. We spoke only in Spanish to the owner however I am sure he speaks English or at least enough to communicate the offerings. I would reserve ahead with your request (beef or lamb) so they know to expect you. As for lodging we only drove through. Valladolid is 10-15 minutes away driving though Tudela del Duero likely has some small hotels.

Enjoy!

Jun 10, 2013
chowcito in Spain/Portugal

Best Lechazo in the Ribera Del Duero

Not sure if you are still traveling or perhaps en route however I cannot say enough about the experience at Zurita: http://asadorzurita.com/ you will not be disappointed.

May 16, 2013
chowcito in Spain/Portugal

Quick notes: Madrid, Tudela del Duero, Toro, San Sebastian, Getaria, Hondarribia

Just back from a wonderful 10 day trip to various locations in Spain. Per our itinerary we ate our way through some very good food. Below are some brief observations and recommendations based on what we liked.

MADRID:

1) Malacatin (cocido Madrileno, Madrid)
We started in Madrid and eased our way into some cocido Madrileno at Malacatin: www.malacatin.com while everyone has their favorite, oldest, best cocido restaurant for us Malacatin is a perfect combination of charm, service, and just some delicious (albeit abundant) food.

2) Sasha (Spanish bistro, Madrid)
Sasha is a neighborhood bistro but one that puts out exceptional comfort food that is executed to perfection. The menu changes regularly but a staple of said menu is their incredible bone marrow which is served in a rich dark jus with a side of beautifully marbled beef. All dishes we tried here were simple but soul satisfyingly good.

We headed out of town to visit some vineyards north of Madrid in Toro and stopped for lunch outside of Valladolid in Tudelo del Duero.

TUDELO DEL DUERO

1) Zurita (Asador, Tudelo del Duero
)Restaurante Zurita is an asador or roaster which specializes in lechazo or baby lamb (http://asadorzurita.com) All of the ingredients are locally sourced including the incredible white asparagus which were in prime season. On our visit we arrived promptly for our 2pm reservation and of course were the only ones in the dining room until it filled at 3:30pm. No matter we had a fantastic meal and the simply prepared ingredients (only adorned with salt and very fresh very green olive oil) were as good as could be.

TORO

1) If you have the time and want to see an old bodega make your way to Toro and visit A. Velasco E Hijos. We sampled 3 of their red offerings, all Tinto de Toro (Tempranillo) and enjoyed them very much. One of the proprietors gave us a tour of their “wine museum” which up until 1998 was where they made all of their wine until they modernized their process and started distributing throughout Spain and New York. www.bodegasvelascoehijos.com/

After a few more days in Madrid we headed north to Pais Vasco and San Sebastian. We had decided not to go for the Michelin stars but rather go on our own camino of Txikiteo.

SAN SEBASTIAN

1) Cuchara San Telmo (Pintxos, San Sebastian – Parte Vieja
)We were a little worried when the older Danish couple in matching windbreakers and guidebooks were a few paces ahead of us and looking for the same place. Alas the place was packed with locals and tourists alike in this convivial spot. We learned quickly that unlike in Madrid in San Sebastian to go out for Pintxos or Tapas can be a full contact sport. In this way Madrid seemed more genteel though slightly boring in comparison. We ordered and ate very well here: puplo, queso de cabra, the best scallop of my life, and many other all washed down by canas and txakoli.

2) After we went to Borda Berri, also pretty good and Fuego Negro. Fuego Negro was a lot of fun and a totally unique experience compared to the rest of SS pintxos. http://www.afuegonegro.com/

GETARIA

We spent a day in the beautiful town west of SS, Getaria.

1) Elkano (Seafood, Getaria
)Without hyperbole this is by far the best seafood I have ever had (this includes NYC trips to Le Bernadin, Marea, etc.) The restaurant is known for serving whole turbot (rodaballo) which allows the diner to try all parts of the fish and taste their unique characteristics. It was unreal how good the fish was – and the simplicity of the preparation (over charcoal grill) tells you just how special their ingredients are and what good relationships they must have with their fish guys. In addition to the turbot we had the cocochas, and a few other stellar items but the star undoubtedly is the rodaballo.

HONDARRIBIA

We took another day trip to Hondarribia, another pretty seaside town for lunch

1) La Hermandad de Pescadores (Seafood, Hondarribia)
A fun communal table seafood place. Sort of a step up from a fish shack with serviceable food. http://www.hermandadpescadores.com/

May 10, 2013
chowcito in Spain/Portugal

What to do with Lamb Stock

We had a beautiful bone-in leg of lamb for Sunday dinner and with the leftover bones made a stock similar to what we do with our chicken carcasses. This is the first time trying this with lamb bones and we're wondering what to do with the resulting stock. It seems too rich for standalone soup (not like the chicken broth which we can enjoy immediately)

It yielded a good 3-4 quarts of stock so it'll likely go right into the freezer in small batches to enhance other dishes.

Any suggestions on what to do with this stock? All recipes/ideas welcome!

Apr 03, 2013
chowcito in Home Cooking

good bluefish in nyc

The Num Pang version is delicious -- lucky enough to have enjoyed it many times since they are close to my office in midtown.

Aug 10, 2012
chowcito in Manhattan

Solo lunch -- enjoy bar seating, good wine

Thanks all for the recommendations -- thought I'd report back on my experience. Ended up going to Comme Ca for lunch and had a solid meal. Oysters, burger and a few cocktails, exactly what I wanted and nicely prepared -- good start to the weekend. In general I was impressed with the Cosmopolitan and their restaurant options (even if I can get most of it in NY) -- and even though its got a slightly annoying New York hipster vibe -- it's a nice retreat from the mega-hotels of the strip.

Other meals we had that were good included Craft Steak which we enjoyed immensely. Huge and varied wine list that's not found at all steak houses. Thumbs up.

Jan 26, 2012
chowcito in Las Vegas

Solo lunch -- enjoy bar seating, good wine

Thanks for the response guys. I hadn't thought of Emeril's but that just might work!

Looks like Sage is a dinner only place but does look pretty tasty.

Anyone have an opinion on Comme Ca?

Jan 17, 2012
chowcito in Las Vegas

Solo lunch -- enjoy bar seating, good wine

Arriving into Las Vegas well ahead of my friends and just in time for lunch. I'd like to sneak in a good meal by myself before everyone else arrives. Eating at the bar is a favorite pastime of mine, solo or not. That said I'd love to hear some recommendations on a place where I can have a leisurely lunch at the bar. I'm thinking multi-course and having a good wine list, not overly formal but not a glorified diner either. Staying at MGM Grand and thought l'atelier joel robuchon would be good but they're a dinner only place. Any thoughts on Comme Ca @ The Cosmopolitan? Others?

I'm not in any way tied to eating at my hotel...any suggestions for a solo diner?

Jan 13, 2012
chowcito in Las Vegas

El Tesoro Paradiso Tequila

I ended up buying (and sharing) this bottle with my Dad. Extremely smooth bottle and to be honest a little too round for our tastes. This isn't to say that we didn't enjoy it BUT it really lacked some of the bite that I enjoy while drinking tequila. However if you enjoy Anejo tequila you'll like this if you can get over the sticker price.

Jul 11, 2011
chowcito in Spirits

El Tesoro Paradiso Tequila

For father's day I'm considering splurging on this interesting tequila. According to my research this is an anejo that's been barrel aged in cognac barrels. Normally I don't (nor does my Dad) go for anejos -- we prefer reposados. BUT I'm thinking this might be something cool to try out. Anyone out there given this particular bottle a whirl? Care to share your impressions?

FROM EL TESORO (please excuse the superlatives)

Created by Don Felipe Camarena and Alain Royer of A. de Fussigny Cognac, this unique, handcrafted blend of 100% blue agave tequilas takes on a remarkable elegance from its distinct, Cognac-barrel aging process. Aged for 5 years, El Tesoro Paradiso® is irresistible and deliciously smooth.

Jun 15, 2011
chowcito in Spirits

Quick lunch near South Station or Commonwealth Pier?

Thanks, Yanz. Ideally seafood, in the same vein as BG Oyster. So...oysters, lobster rolls, good beer/wine selection. Prefer casual setting, though not a sports bar.

Aug 27, 2010
chowcito in Greater Boston Area

Quick lunch near South Station or Commonwealth Pier?

Any suggestions on the topic above or are we out of luck for lunch in this area?

Aug 27, 2010
chowcito in Greater Boston Area

k-cup coffee, god help me

greeting folks, the office has just purchased a k-cup machine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-Cup_Co...) and I'm hoping we can get a decent coffee to go with it.

I'm a coffee drinker and enjoy stumptown beans at home. Anyone out there know of a decent brand that makes these k-cups?

Yes, I've googled options but am not familiar with any of these brands so suggestions are welcome!

Aug 11, 2010
chowcito in General Topics

Tulum: El Tabano - crazy good!

We were there in March/April 2009. Tabano was indeed our favorite -- our review of Tulum here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6090...

Jun 08, 2010
chowcito in Mexico

Long time, no posts on Zihua... anything Chowish there?

Thank you Dee!

We're staying close to Playa La Ropa. First time visit for both of us so any suggestions are appreciated. I'll check out Tango today.

We're intrigued by La Gula, who claims to be a Slow Food restaurant (http://restaurantelagula.com.mx/index...)

Any help is appreciated!

Apr 09, 2010
chowcito in Mexico

Long time, no posts on Zihua... anything Chowish there?

Anything to report from your January trip? We'll be going in May for our honeymoon and am looking for recommendations from the upscale to the taco stand -- any and all welcome!

Apr 06, 2010
chowcito in Mexico

Our dinner line-up: Cochon, Rib Room and Pelican Club

Ended up going to Luke, Cochon, La Boca and Bacco.

Luke was nice for a relatively casual meal. The place itself pretty staid and lacking in ambiance but the food was fair and prices not outrageous.

We all loved Cochon. Ordered each of their appetizers to share. The fried oyster and bacon sandwich was incredible, also good was the oyster roast and the gator was interesting. The brisket and horseradish potato salad was a hit too.

The winner of the trip however might have been the Argentine steak place, La Boca. Fantastic steaks, absolutely top notch beef grilled to perfection. The gaucho platter with sweetbreads, sausage and empanadas was also excellent.

Bacco was just ok -- had the lobster ravioli which was nothing special.

Will be back to sample more. Wonderful city with food, drink and people to match.

-----
Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

La Boca Restaurant
857 Fulton St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Bacco Restaurant
310 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Mar 29, 2010
chowcito in New Orleans

Our dinner line-up: Cochon, Rib Room and Pelican Club

Howdy folks, this is our potential dinner line-up for an upcoming weekend. We'll be 6 old college friends getting together for good food, drink and convivial atmosphere. During the day we'll get our fill of the more casual food New Orleans has to offer. Does this trio offer a nice snapshot of New Orleans? Any and all input on these venues would be much appreciated -- OR suggestions on other places where 6 guys can let loose with good food and drink would be welcome. Thanks in advance!

-----
Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Pelican Club Restaurant & Bar
312 Exchange Alley, New Orleans, LA 70130

Mar 24, 2010
chowcito in New Orleans

Rehearsal dinner recommendations in San Miguel de Allende

We've been to The Restaurant and think it's pretty good -- though we're hoping for Mexican food if possible. I'll check out Casa Luna too, thanks.

Anyone eaten dinner at the hotel Villa Santa Monica? It is on our list of candidates.

Mar 12, 2010
chowcito in Mexico

Rehearsal dinner recommendations in San Miguel de Allende

Hello, I'm searching for a venue in San Miguel that can accommodate 50-75 guests for a rehearsal dinner. We're kicking around the idea of having it include drinks and passed food however it'd be nice to have the option to have a sit down dinner as well. As for cuisine we'd like Mexican food - traditional or Mexican-inspired are both ok. We're both food lovers as are our guests -- looking for something with equal parts atmosphere and food/drink.

Any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Salud!

Mar 03, 2010
chowcito in Mexico

Best Resturant in Tulum

Here, here for Tabano! See my review of it and a few others here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/609047

Jan 11, 2010
chowcito in Mexico

PHX Steak -- City Hall or Ruth's Chris OR . . . . . . .

Thanks all for the input. Can anyone compare the pricepoints at these restaurants? City Hall, BLT, Ruth's Chris, Donovan's?

Dec 15, 2009
chowcito in Phoenix

PHX Steak -- City Hall or Ruth's Chris OR . . . . . . .

Howdy folks:

I'll be in town for the holidays and to celebrate a birthday. The guest of honor has requested steak and we're weighing these two options. Have heard good things about City Hall and we're also considering Ruth's Chris as a known commodity.

Looking for some locals to share their thoughts on these two OR other great steakhouses. I'll share my concerns with each of these two venues.

1) City Hall: have heard that it's a scene -- however if the steaks AND service are good I'm willing to forgive some attitude from the clientele.

2) Ruth's Chris: it's a chain and therefore might be lacking in ambiance -- and the food could be uninspired even for a steakhouse.

Thanks in advance to any and all PHX carnivores for weighing in here and helping an out-of-towner treat a birthday girl to a nice night out.

Dec 13, 2009
chowcito in Phoenix

Oaxaca on Smith St.

Best mexican we've had in the neighborhood. That's not saying much but for two Mexican expats we were happy and really hope this place holds on. We ordered carnitas, asada and chicken all great. . .and tortillas were good quality.

Aug 02, 2009
chowcito in Outer Boroughs

ISO: vietnamese sandwich upper west side

UWS has some culinary chops but for lunch is a relative wasteland. Any ideas on uws vietnamese sandwiches?

Jun 23, 2009
chowcito in Manhattan

Looking for good Father's Day Juice

Excellent, thanks for the recommendations!

The Onix and Rotllan I've had and like -- I'll give the l'Obac a try.

Jun 17, 2009
chowcito in Wine

Looking for good Father's Day Juice

Howdy folks, looking to bring three or four bottles over for this weekend to share immediately. The recipient is a fan of Spanish and Italian wines with preference towards Priorat and Brunello. I'm heading to Astor Wines (NYC) to select a few bottles -- any input on the few below -- or suggestions on alternatives you've found at Astor?

Prieto Picudo "Gamonal", Pardevalles - 2006 -- have never tried this grape but it sounds unique

Brunello di Montalcino, Mastrojanni - 2003 -- have had the 99 and 01 of this and liked -- any idea how the 03 fares?

Schramsberg, Brut Rosé - 2004

Jun 17, 2009
chowcito in Wine

TULUM REPORT

We spent four nights in Tulum and did not have a disappointing meal in this time. We did research some, thanks to this board and others and think that informed most if not all of our dining decisions. Here we go, in order:

From Cancun airport we stopped in Playa del Carmen for tacos at La Floresta. This taqueria is open air and very clean – it’s right along highway 307 on the west side of the street between Constituyentes and Juarez. The options here are tacos or tostadas (they may do ceviche too) and when we were there the fillings were: shrimp (lightly breaded and fried), fish (same, breaded and fried) and crab (shredded and in a lime and chili sauce). We tried all three with the shrimp being the standout. Each taco was $1US and made for a great way to ease into the trip. I’d give anything for a Floresta taco as I type.

Once settled in Tulum we walked from our hotel to Zamas which is a restaurant attached to a hotel with the same name on the beach. The menu was fairly eclectic and ranged from Mexican food to seafood to pasta and pizzas. (We found it odd that so many people were ordering pizza, who knew) We worried that such a range meant that they didn’t have anything worth while on the menu. Nonetheless we ordered some guacamole and quesadillas to start which served their purpose and a michelada and margarita. The tequila for the margarita was pretty bad so I might recommend calling your own tequila if you order one. For our entrees we each ordered grouper though different preparations. She had the whole fish with achiote sauce which was really good and nicely prepared – and I had the grouper steak (which they call mero) with chorizo which was nice but not as good as the whole fish which we think is their specialty. That night there was also live music playing which was a nice bonus. I recommend getting there early as the sizeable dining area was packed by the time we left at around 8:30pm. We paid around $70US for this but left satisfied.

For breakfast we usually ate at Casa Banana. They served strong and tasty coffee and made pretty good chilaquiles which we’re suckers for. Under $20 for breakfast.

Apparently the owners of Casa Banana and the adjoining hotel, Nueva Vida de Ramiro are from Argentina so every Friday they and some of their paisanos who also own a hotel in Tulum have an Argentine cookout and offer grilled ribeyes. Being the carnivores that we are we gave it a try and were not disappointed. We each got a sizable ribeye accompanied by a baked potato and some grilled onions and peppers. It was a nice convivial atmosphere. We each had a glass of wine and shared a beer and the total was around $75.

Another thing that I read about this restaurant that I really liked was that all of the proceeds from it go back to the staff – which if that really happens makes them a true model for other places in this area. The hotel, as many others along this stretch do, promote themselves as being sustainable and eco-friendly – as part of that mission they hire within the community of Tulum and seem to give back which I thought was cool.

In Tulum Pueblo we tried Don Cafeto for lunch. The menu here again, was far ranging but we had a good experience. To start we shared a ceviche mixto which was really superb and quite substantial. After we each had the arrachera (beef) tacos -- the meat and tortillas both very good. Service curt bordering on rude. . .whatever. Ran us $25 US.

For dinner we tried the much lauded El Tabano two of the nights. First off the space, which is entirely outdoors, was very charming and welcoming. The tables were spaced out nicely in a garden of local plants and some quirky sculptures strewn throughout. The owner is from Mexico City and his “mujer” as he called her from Catalonia, Spain. While everyone working here might not be related they did seem like a family as you could see them working together in the open kitchen like a normal family might for a big dinner. The menu was displayed on two large chalk boards and each of the dishes were prepared very simply but deliciously. The wine list had about 20 wines, approximately 10 red and 10 white paying homage mostly to Spain – and all bottles reasonably priced as compared to the U.S. Our first night we each again tried grouper two ways – hers ala veracruzana and mine al horno (in oven) – veracruzana was better but each were good. To start the meal we shared the jalapeno rellenos which were stuffed with chicken which I’d have again. That night we had their Priorat which we paid around $30US for – a relative bargain. And for dessert we had a bread pudding with a tangy yogurt sauce which was outstanding. The bill was $70 and would have been much less had we not splurged on the wine.

On our second night there she had the onion soup to start which was almost like a consommé and a nice surprise. I think this goes to show how wide ranging yet successful this menu is – everything simply prepared yet not pigeonholed into one type of cuisine. Anyway. . .I had the ceviche mixto which was just ok, there’s better to be had in Tulum. For wine we had an organic Rioja which was their second least expensive bottle at around $17 – drinkable but that’s it. Our entrees were for me the meatballs served in a tamarind like sauce, very good but oddly topped with potato chips which didn’t bother me but funny considering how much attention went into the rest of the meal. For her the tortilla lasagna which she loved. For dessert we had a fruit pie which was spot-on delicious. We will definitely be back next trip.

Apr 02, 2009
chowcito in Mexico