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Best falafel in Brooklyn?

I visit NYC often and I'm looking for authentic Israeli-style falafel.
I tried Taim and other places in Manhattan but wasn't impressed.
Please recommend your favorite falafel place in Brooklyn.

Apr 08, 2013
gandro in Outer Boroughs

Best Hummus on Long Island?

Can anyone recommend a good Hummus on Long Island - preferably in Nassau from a market rather than a restaurant? Thanks

Best fresh cream cheese (flavored and plain) in Nassau Long Island

I'm in Long Island/NYC for a few days and in addition to bagels, I want to bring back some fresh cream cheese to California. Please recommend your favorite place for fresh cream cheeses in Long Island. I have an insulted tote that I will pack with a frozen small bottle of water to prevent spoilage in my checked luggage.

Fried Clams in Long Island (Nassau County)

Please recommend some places where I can get some good fried clams in Long Island.
I know about Bigelows in Rockville Centre. I'm looking for some other recommendations.

Bringing fresh cream cheeses on plane from NY to California - how to keep from spoilage

I travel often between New York and California and I often bring back bagels from New York for myself and friends. I would also like to bring back some flavored cream cheeses, but don't know how to keep them fresh for the hours in the airport and on the plane.
Checked luggage seems best, because I have more space and less TSA restrictions.
From what I have heard gel packs or ice is not allowed.
To those who bring back perishables on a plane. What are you methods to prevent spoilage.

Apr 06, 2012
gandro in General Topics

Long Island/Queens diners?

Can anyone recommend a solid good diner in Long Island?
A place open until 10pm or later.
The Pantry diner (in Rockville Centre) was great - but has been closed since November from fire.
I've tried several others, and they were fair to mediocre at best.
I'm willing to drive as far as queens to find good diner food.

Long Island recommendations requested (fish/chips, falafel, chicken caesar salad)

I'm looking for Long Island recommendations for the follow.

1. Falafel - looking for authentic falafel - that I enjoyed in Israel and Palestinian areas.
I tried Hummus World in Roslyn Heights, which was awful.
2. Fish/Chips
3. I'm a big fan of Chicken Caesar salads. A standout has fresh greens, a tangy, fresh and garlic flavored dressing and quallity grilled chicken breast (wood grilled even better.)


looking for fresh hoagie style rolls in the peninsula

I am planning to make authentic philly cheese steak sandwiches and would like to find some fresh hoagie style rolls. The most popular local bakery around here is Esthers bakery who doesn't make soft sandwiches rolls. Thanks

Dec 16, 2010
gandro in San Francisco Bay Area

substitute for salt pork?

I'm making a recipe for New England clam chowder that calls for Salt Pork.
I can't seem to find Salt Pork anywhere. Is bacon a reasonable substitute?

Apr 25, 2010
gandro in Home Cooking

Grilling vegetables over charcoal

I enjoy the taste of food cooked over charcoal and started grilling vegetables over a fire with a grill-basket. They came out ok, but I still think there is something missing. They need more flavor. Either additional ingredients or improvements to my method.

My veggies were garlic cloves, asparagus tips, carrot, sweet potato, slices of corn on the cob, and red peppers. I put everything in a bowl with some light olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary leaves. I let the ingredients sit for about an hour in the refrigerator and tossed every 20 minutes. I cooked over charcoal until there was decent black roasted color on the outside of the veggies.

I would appreciate some advice.

Mar 04, 2010
gandro in Home Cooking

Caramelized Onions - what's the best way to make them

I would like to know the best way of making caramelized onions.
I love the flavor in dishes when I eat out but don't know how to make them at home.
I've made sauteed onions onion, but caramelized onions are different.
Ideally I would like to make a large batch and store them in the freezer or fridge for use in recipes including omelletes and burgers.

Dec 26, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

need enhancement ideas for classic tuna salad

Please share your ideas on adding some unique flavors for standard tuna salad.
I'm tired of just adding onion, lemon juice, mayo and celery.

Dec 19, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Preserving homemade guacamole

I often make homemade guacamole. Just avacados, lime juice, jalepino peppers,
onion and cilantro
After a day in the refrigerator, it starts to turn.
Is there anything I can add that would improve how long it remains fresh?

Nov 13, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Need advice for baked beans - I miss the sweet and tangy beans from the South

I find the baked beans in jars and cans in the supermarket lacking flavor.
When I used to travel down south, I would find incredible baked beans that were sweet, tangy and smoky at BBQ joints. I would love to make my own.
Anyone have recipes?

Oct 08, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Anyone use Ghee instead of Butter in recipes

I recently tried Ghee at a demonstration booth at Whole Foods.
As many of you know, its shelf-stable highly clarified butter.
It seemed to taste more flavorfull than butter.
Just wondering if anyone has substited Ghee for butter in recipes and foods
like Popcorn, mashed potatos, eggs etc.

Oct 07, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Making homemade pizza (from pre-made dough) - share your tips

I want to experiment making homemade pizza.
I don't want to make the effort to make my own dough.
I would prefer to use supermarket refrigerated dough.

I prefer thin crust - should I just use less of the packaged dough
to get a thinner crust?

Do some of you actually buy your dough from a pizzeria rather than get
it from the supermarket. Is there a big difference in taste?

At times I may try making my own pizza sauce.
However is their a canned or jarred pizza sauce that any of you can

Please recommend a high quality pre-shredded or in-tact mozerella

To get a crispy crust, can I just use a metal pizza pan or do I need a pizza stone?


Sep 24, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Bone-In chicken breast vs. boneless

I heard on a food network show that for slow cooking, its best to use a bone-in chicken breast for more flavor.
Is this also good advice for grilling or other cooking methods?

Sep 22, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

When boiing potatos, does salting the water add flavor?

When boiling potatos for mashed or for par-boiling, does salting the boiling water add flavor to the potatos or does it just lower the boiling temperature?

Sep 22, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

When does a quality olive oil make a difference

I know that for cold foods (salad dressing), a good quality EVOO is best and will make a difference. But for foods that are sauteed, fried or baked in olive oil, can you get away with a cheap olive oil?

Sep 22, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Roasting potatos in the oven

does parboiling the potatos help them brown better in the oven?

Sep 08, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Native American Restaraunts - do they exist?

I was in South Dakota recently on a road trip and I was searching for a Native American restaraunt with no luck.
I was anxious to try dishes from the Lakota and Sioux tribes.
Does anyone know where to find native american food in this country?

Sep 08, 2009
gandro in General Topics

Roasting potatos in the oven

I used to make a recipe where I cut up some red potatoes, added carrot, garlic gloves and chopped onions and roasted them in a foil packet in the oven with salt/pepper, olive oil and rosemary.

I recently tried this again but was disappointed that I didn't get a some crust and browning on the potatos.
Any ideas to make this work?


Sep 08, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

New England Clam Chowder by mail?

I love New England clam chowder. The stuff in the can doesnt come close to restaraunt quality.
I live in CA and would like to find some mail order recommendations for excellent New England Clam Chowder to reheat at home. Thanks

Aug 24, 2009
gandro in General Topics

Garlic cloves in jar vs. fresh

Just wondering if anyone has found a big difference in flavor between fresh garlic cloves or WHOLE cloves that come in a jar.

Aug 05, 2009
gandro in General Topics

Dried Garbanzo beans (chickpeas

I am making hummus and using dried garbonzo beans according to the recipe in Cooks Ilustrated.
Are there really any flavor/texture differences among brands of Garbanzo beans?
Any specific brands I should try to get?

Jul 07, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Local fresh ravioli

Do any of you have any brands of local fresh ravioli that you can recommend.
Either supermarket brands or from a pasta shop.

Jul 06, 2009
gandro in San Francisco Bay Area


Please share your tips in making the perfect Kamikaze.
It's my favorite drink and I would love to make it at home.
Whats the best Vodka and Triple Sec for this drink?

Jul 04, 2009
gandro in Spirits


I love making middle-eastern style chicken, beef kabobs with skewered veggies (onions, peppers, yams, carrots). I always cook them over a quality charcoal.
Im still trying to refine my techniques.
Is it best to just brush on a marinade while cooking or to marinade the meat and veggies for a few hours soaking. I usually marinade in olive oil, vinegar, wine and poultry seasoning, fresh garlic. Please share your ideas.

Jun 09, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Vegetarian potluck recipe suggestions?

I often get invited to vegetarian and vegan potlucks.
I am tired of bringing hummus or some side salad.
Can anyone share some good recipes that are quick to throw together that would go well at a vegetarian potluck?

Mar 23, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking

Need substitute for egg (toasted ravioli)

I have been making toasted ravioli according the recipe below for years.
I would like to find an alternative to the eggs used as a binder for the breadcrumbs to stick to the ravioli. The egg coated ravioli ends up gumming up the breadcrumb mixture requiring me to replace it several times during the recipe preperation. This can get costly since I add fresh herbs and a high quality parmesean to the breadcrumb mixture.

2 eggs
Splash of milk or half-and-half
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs, eyeball it
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
12 large fresh spinach and cheese ravioli, about 3/4 pound
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 roasted red peppers, drained
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Beat eggs and a splash of milk seasoned with salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Combine bread crumbs with cheese and parsley in a second dish. Coat the fresh pasta in egg then bread crumbs. Heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat in a skillet then toast the ravioli until deep golden, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
In a small sauce pot heat the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and the garlic and red pepper flakes over medium low heat. Grind the roasted peppers in the food processor and add to garlic after it sautes for a couple of minutes. Stir in tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, transfer sauce to a small bowl. Surround the sauce with toasted ravioli for dipping and serve.

Feb 25, 2009
gandro in Home Cooking