alkonost's Profile

Title Last Reply

Sushi Sake Sashimi Omakase

I went to sushi sake last week and am going to return at some point for omakase. How does it compare (the experience and fish quality) to some of the other restaurants that offer omakase in DFW? I lean towards sashimi omakase since rice tends to fill me up too fast.

Dec 12, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Rice cooking wine without salt/sodium content

Thanks so much for the info!!

Dec 12, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Rice cooking wine without salt/sodium content

Sweet! Which store did you find it at?

Dec 11, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Long lost Curry Hill

Thanks for the heads up on the secret code! I tend to get things mild on account of my acid reflux. "Not spicy" would have been a disaster for someone like me!

Dec 09, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

BEST STEAK - Celebration - KILLEN'S or VIC and ANTHONY or PAPPAS BROTHERS ?

Agreed. I'm in DFW but I noticed this thread and wanted to pop in and let you know that I had a similar experience at Pappas Bros in Dallas a few months ago and found the steaks to be quite a let-down. So it's not just the one in Houston that has issues. If this is supposed to represent some of the better steakhouses I don't see myself trying another one.

The sides and appetizers were good (locally sourced quail and creamed spinach with some rather nice mushrooms), but the steaks had the flavor and texture of a costco steak. Spouse had a rib-eye and I had a bone in fillet rare (both were supposedly dry aged). I'm not a fan of fillet but never had it with the bone in so I decided to give it a try. There was more sinew than meat (I was literally fighting with the steak), and the meat itself - while fresh- was incredibly bland. It had none of the flavor characteristics of a dry aged steak. I was very tempted to ask about their dry aging process in house, or who they source their dry aged meat from, but the poor server would have felt awful and I don't like to punish servers for the vile sins of the chefs. Was it a bad steak? No, but it' wasn't great. And I get ticked off when I go out to eat to a reputable steakhouse that fails to produce a better steak than what I can whip up at home.

I didn't have a problem with the service, nor would I cared if it was terrible so long as the food came through. It didn't.

Two weeks later grass fed cowboy ribeyes were on sale at Central Market and we grilled up a couple with just S&P, the flavor on those blew the Pappas bros steaks a thousand-fold, kicked it's sorry butt down the street and then ate it for breakfast.

Dec 09, 2014
alkonost in Houston

Rice cooking wine without salt/sodium content

If you do find it let us know!

If it makes you feel any better, I couldn't even find it in NYC Chinese grocery stores. I think it could have been found in Chinese specialty liquor stores but there was a language barrier I was unable to cross and the rice wine they sold wasn't for cooking- prices looked like $30 a bottle and up.

You might want to see if you can sub dry sherry or maybe sake instead? I don't know if you were looking for a sweet Japanese cooking wine, but you can just add a little sugar to sake to sub for that.

Dec 09, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Delta Wants to Get You Drunk on Craft Beer

Can't be more expensive than most Manhattan beer prices. Regardless I prefer Delta, and they have nutella in the Skylounge. Ever make a Delta cheescake? Traveller's hack of champions at the Sky Lounge: Get a Biscoff cookie (Delta likes to serve these) and a pack of philly cream cheese. top cookie with cheese. Eat. Cookie is sweet enough to make the cream cheese taste like cheesecake, and the cookie emulates a gingery cracker crust. This saved my hungry ass on numerous long connections.

Dec 09, 2014
alkonost in Beer

What can I do with roasted beets??

+1. He could also make Khrin or Tsvikly

Dec 09, 2014
alkonost in Home Cooking

Great Sushi near the DFW airport?

Ate at both recently (lilly & shinjuku, will review later). They renewed my faith as I was about to slit my wrists. Though I miss Mr. Max, shame he passed on.

Dec 09, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Looking for a rare spice/grain/ingredient shop (similar to Kalustyan's in NYC)

I went to Euro Deli and Market yesterday in search of untoasted whole buckwheat from Eastern Europe. Unfortunately they only had the toasted type in a box, which isn't what I was hoping to find. Have they stopped carrying buckwheat or is this more or less what I'm going to find at the Eastern European markets here? I lucked out when I went to Super H Mart a few months ago and bought high-quality, dark, unroasted, whole buckwheat imported from Ukraine! Fucking jackpot, toasted that mofo and made kasha like a boss. But I used it up and when I returned to buy more it looked like HMart has been thinning down its European offerings and they don't have any buckwheat. I've had a rough time trying to find more. Central Market has whole untoasted buckwheat but it's the "white" buckwheat with a differing flavor profile.

If anyone has some inside info on where I can restock I'd appreciate it :) I was thinking of checking the Russian market further up Coit or trying Taste of Europe in Arlington to see if they carry it. If I'm out of luck I'll probably order it online from a supplier in Brooklyn, but I'd much rather buy locally if any place has it.

Dec 09, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Looking for a rare spice/grain/ingredient shop (similar to Kalustyan's in NYC)

Thanks LH, went to the Taj Chaat house and loved it. They also have sweet paan so I was extra pleased about it. The wait for takeout was long but sooo worth it. I stopped by after checking out Patel Brothers.

Dec 09, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Looking for a rare spice/grain/ingredient shop (similar to Kalustyan's in NYC)

Thought I would update, the spices at CM are a bit staler than the ones sold in bulk at Spice and Tea exchange. Bought some sumac and a couple other things and learned a lesson. For spices with high turnover CM is just fine, but the more exotic ones can taste like they've been on the shelf a while.

Dec 09, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Where can I find great PIEROGIES in Manhattan??

Yeah they're kind of potsticker-like when you pan fry them after boiling, you get the crispy/soft texture contrast on the wrapper.

Dec 08, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan
1

Where can I find great PIEROGIES in Manhattan??

If they're cold in the middle after being fried, yeah, then it's likely been frozen. Shame! Since pierogies are rather tidy and self-contained I'm not sure if there's any benefit to freezing them for frying purposes.

I'll tell you a dirty little secret. Frozen pierogies boil up just fine, and it's what most home cooks do.

I've probably made thousands of pierogies at home with family. You make them assembly-line style by the hundreds; it's a lot of work but produces lots of food you can freeze for later- and they freeze *very* well. Obviously you're not going to eat them all at once, so it's common to blanch and then freeze them for later consumption (thank goodness for ziplock freezer bags). Assuming the pierogy was thawed and boiled properly, it's not always so easy to tell if it's fresh or not. A good, quality pierogy will be excellent either way, just slightly more excellent if fresh. But still excellent if not.

However, when you're going out to eat you're paying a premium for fresh ones, and it's a shame if you're getting frozen ones at restaurants. I wouldn't be shocked if some places used leftover pierogies (or frozen ones) from the day before to toss in the fryer. Since the frying crisps them up on the outside it you won't really notice unless that pierogy has really been abused (reheated a few times and left to dry out, you know what I mean).

I also noticed the pierogy size getting smaller at Veselka, but I wasn't really a big fan of their pierogies to begin with. Then again, when you have a Baba cooking your meals (and my Baba did work in the kitchens at Veselka back in the day), Veselka just can't compete.

Dec 07, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

Where can I find great PIEROGIES in Manhattan??

I still find them to be very tough even when they're steamed! Veselka has some perks but the pierogies aren't one of them. It's not just the dough, I've found the potato filling to be dry and bland requiring lots of beverage to wash it down. Pierogies should stick to your ribs, not your throat :) The borscht (hot, cold, vegetarian and Christmas), however, is fantastic.

Dec 03, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

Where can I find great PIEROGIES in Manhattan??

They tend to get tougher if re-heated. Streecha is is cheap and decent. True, there are better places but you'll pay a bit more for it.

I went to this one Baba's house once, her pierogies were really mushy since she used a lot of sour cream in the dough. They just lacked tooth to the point you could eat them even if you "misplaced your dentures". It's possible they might have a different dough recipe at Streecha. There's no hard and fast rules for how stiff the dough should be, it varies from recipe to recipe. Veselka's has a much firmer dough, last time I went to Stage they were somewhere in the middle and the ones sold in the fridge case at EV meat market I'd also call "medium". I tend to go for medium, but if I had to choose between firm or mushy wrappers I'd pick mushy. I don't like to have to fight the pierogies when I eat them :)

Dec 02, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

State Fair of Texas - First Timer

I was a first timer this year, too. I was disappointed with some of the award winners. The deep fried shrimp boil and Texas deep fried sweet were disappointing. Not bad, just not great.

Loved the fletcher's dog, was looking forward and it didn't disappoint. I also had the deep fried chicken skin, I liked it but made the mistake of not getting something to drink with it right off the bat- they give you a lot and it's nicely seasoned with salt/spice mix. It was 90 degrees and I was whimpering for a coke.

Dec 02, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Where can I find great PIEROGIES in Manhattan??

Sounds like the ones you had were over-boiled. If you leave them in the water too long they get mushy.

Dec 02, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

Sushi moments in nyc

I love shiokara! Haven't tried Tuna or Buri wata though, I'm curious about the flavor differences. When I moved to DFW I was lucky enough to find an Izakaya that served shiokara not too far from my house. Sadly the owner died recently and it closed down :(

Dec 02, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

Where can I find great PIEROGIES in Manhattan??

No worries! Just recommending the fruit ones in case you hadn't tried, those generally aren't served with too much butter as they're not intended to be "hearty". Yes, some people go overboard with the butter... I still love it, but in some Slavic kitchens "hearty" occasionally implies gratuitous use of pork fat and butter. There are some coping strategies for it: eating pickled cabbage, tsvikly & khrin. Those side dishes cut the richness :)

Dec 02, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

Where can I find great PIEROGIES in Manhattan??

Pierogies aren't really intended to be "light" since they're meant to stick to your ribs (in my house they were always served with onions sautéed with butter and bacon lardons, not to mention generous side of sour cream and horseradish beets) with the exception of the ones filled with fresh summer fruit. Veselka sells fruit pierogies during the summer, if you see em try them. They're really good but its a seasonal thing so I doubt they have them at the moment.

Dec 01, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

What do New Yorker's think about Dean & DeLuca and other expensive gourmet shops?

All of them are terribly overrated, especially if you've got basic cooking skills and can follow a recipe. I prefer to go to ethnic specialty food shops like Kalustyan and places in Chinatown and Ktown to find exotic or imported ingredients. No need to get ripped off at tourist traps.

Nov 26, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

Where can I find great PIEROGIES in Manhattan??

I prefer Stage's varenyky (also known as pierogies) over Veselka's, but I figured I should mention Streecha and Baczynsky's EV Meat Market since no one else has. If you want to buy some varenyky to take home I would go to Baczynsky's East Village Meat Market (across the street from Veselka) they sell them in their refrigerator case nearest to the entry doors, but they also sell hot food to go and there's usually a big tray of hot varenyky ready for the taking.

Nov 26, 2014
alkonost in Manhattan

Must go in Fort Worth Texas ??? (Best steak, best BBQ, your favorites)

If you've ever had a Pat La Frieda short rib burger cooked properly at home (I miss Fresh Direct's grocery deliveries) you might be spoiled for life. I haven't found a burger anywhere that can beat it.

Apr 25, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Salt and pepper shrimp at Jeng Chi

I've had the salt and pepper shrimp at Jeng Chi but I had a starkly different opinion of it. It was the worst salt & pepper shrimp I've had, however it was my first S&P shrimp dish in the DFW area. The dish was rubbery, overcooked,woefully underseasoned, and missing the shells and heads which (if fresh and cooked properly are delectable- I strongly dislike the shell-off approach) I happen to enjoy. I ate three pieces and gave up, there was no point to eating it. I also ordered their soup dumplings which had a rank funkyness (and no, it wasn't the vinegar) to it that had me wondering whether I had an off-batch, or the poor hog that was ground up had a short, suffering life.

This was my first excursion to Richardson for dim sum & Chinese food, the drive wasn't worth it and I left every disappointed. Unless I happened across this restaurant on a very, very odd and bad day I am not too optimistic if this restaurant is considered among the better ones. I've been looking for a dim sum restaurant to take the family out, since half of us have relocated to Texas, I think I'd rather try someplace different than give Jeng Chi another shot.

Mar 30, 2014
alkonost in Dallas - Fort Worth

Your worst foodie gifts

Yes, but I've also received boxed mix from the grocery store. I've never found any packaged mix to be any good, with one exception: a family recipe from a friend.

Dec 07, 2013
alkonost in Not About Food

low-mid range restaurants for dinners with friends in east village

I don't know about the owners specifically, but it's not uncommon to find a Uke & Pole couple, being neighbors and all (and lots of history) they both understand the other's language.

I went there a couple times, but coming from a family with a Baba that really knew how to cook makes it difficult to dine out for Uke food.

Dec 07, 2013
alkonost in Manhattan

Otafuku is expanding

Awesome! More space = more room for takoyaki pans cranking out delicious goodness.

Dec 06, 2013
alkonost in Manhattan

Do you have family/friends who don't appreciate good home cooking?

Tell your ungrateful family to cook for themselves. If a few days of them going hungry doesn't change their tune, they don't deserve to eat. Tough love works. Don't let them mow over you and take your hard work for granted.

Dec 06, 2013
alkonost in Not About Food

Your worst foodie gifts

Baking mix. Nothing says "I hate you" like getting a baking mix for xmas.

Dec 06, 2013
alkonost in Not About Food
1