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VegaCarpio's Profile

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Road Lunch - NJ to Toronto

We're driving on xmas weekend from jersey to Toronto (and back after xmas day) with a stop in Corning (visiting glass museum). Would love to get any suggestions for a decent lunch along our way w/o a big detour.
thanks much!

Visit to Pittsburgh - how's this list?

we just came back - thanks for all recommendations: we followed them diligently and as a result drank and ate quite well.

Primanti and Pamela's for breakfasts: both quite good. Liked strawberry hotcake. Pamela's on Strip was only half full on Sun morning.
Bigelow Grill for dinner - nice but honestly nothing special (they had an outstanding Dogfish Head 90 mins IPA on draft), the restaurant was practically empty on Fri night.
Church Brew Works - not a fan of their beer styles but the food was quite good especially pierogi and chicken pie.
We also had some oysters at the bar of Original Fish Market restaurant (it was right in our hotel): very decent selection and oysters were good. decent beer list as well.

Sep 12, 2007
VegaCarpio in Pennsylvania

A trip to Bar Harbor

yes this is the place, and i agree (though not a big fan of porter in general) Coal Porter is amazing - unfortunately i can't find any other Bat Harbor beers either in jersey or MA except for their blueberry.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Fried Capers

sauteed shredded brussels sprouts are indeed very tasty especially if you sprinkled them with a bit of good truffle oil just before serving

Sep 05, 2007
VegaCarpio in Recipes

New Japanese Restaurant - New Brunswick, NJ

It's called Hotoke -

We had a dinner there yesterday - very hip decor, remiscent of upscale asian places in NYC or SF. The food is quite good too though a bit pricy. We liked lobster spring roll with wasabi cream, and vegetable dumplings with yuzu/soy sauce, Excellent sashimi.

Aug 29, 2007
VegaCarpio in New Jersey

A trip to Bar Harbor

One more thread that was quite useful in planning the trip. Would like to share our impressions.

Breakfast - Cafe This Way, especially blueberry pancakes - we found them much better than those famous ones in Jordan's. I actually don't know what's the attraction of the latter except for a prompt seating.

Ice Cream - rum raisin at Ben&Bill!

Dinner - Cafe This Way is nice though the menu is a bit eclectic, Rupununi is to be avoided. We had great burgers at McKay's, and good lobsters at Stewman's Lobster Pound.

Snack - nothing beats picking up some wild blueberries while hiking :) And i even found some lingonberries!

And of course beer at Cafe Lompoc - we crushed their every night for couple of glasses at the bar - quite an atmospheric place.

Boston to Bar Harbor--with a few stops along the way --how does this list look?

We made a similar trip couple of weeks ago. Had very good fried clams and oysters at Bob's Clams Hut in Kittery but the most memorable was an impromptu picnic - on our way from Portland to MTI we stopped by Glidden Point Oyster Farm and on the spur of the moment bought a dozen oysters and an oyster knife (they don't shuck) just to realize that there is no even place for us to eat these oysters (i somehow assumed that they have tables in the backyard). Being on motorcycle and the weather quite hot we stopped by the parking lot of a local marina and devoured the oysters basically plain. Fantastic! Many thanks for the tip!

As for Portland we didn't have a chance to get into any of the recommended places - everything was packed on Sat night. So we had some nasty food at Gritty's (and so so beer) though the late night glass of Frye's Leap IPA on tap at Sebago brew pub was outstanding!

Visit to Pittsburgh - how's this list?

What a useful and timely thread - we're going to Pittsburgh on one of the Sep weekends, mostly to see Chihuly again, as well as visit other glass related exhibitions.
We'll be driving from NJ, and the current plan is to get to Chihuly Night on Fri, spend the whole Sat exploring the city, and driving back on Sun with a stop at Fallingwater.

In this regard i have a question: what can be a late night dining option on Fri (after Chihuly) provided we stay in one of the hotels downtown, some nice beer pub with good food would be ideal...

Aug 28, 2007
VegaCarpio in Pennsylvania

grilling lamb--marinade?

These days for me it's a marinade with turkish spices featured in both Sortun's Spice and Wolfert's Eastern Med cookbooks.

The marinade for 3lb of butterflied leg is 2tbs aleppo pepper, 2tbs baharat (Kalustyans), 1/2 tbs dried crushed mint, 1/2tbs dried chrushed oregano, 1/4 cup of good tomato paste, 2tbs of red pepper paste (i usually used piquillo peppers minced to a paste), 1tbs of minced garlic. Spread over the meat, then cover with 1/4 good canola oil, and leave aside in cool place up to 4 hours.
We usually grill this for 3mins on each side to char a bit, and then cover and do indirect grilling for 10-15mins more.

Jul 18, 2007
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

B&G versus Neptune

Could somebody please help me with the following - how long would be a wait for a table on Mon around 8pm in Neptune and B&G? It's sort of anniversary dinner so we prefer not to spend all the time in line...
thank you!

Favorite Crab Recipes

two of my favorites:
warm piquillo and crab dip from F&W magazine:
and along the same lines crab potato gratin from The Basque Kitchen by Gerald Hirigoyen (pictured below with skate but you get the idea):

Apr 09, 2007
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

Recommendations for Tapas

If we go to Taberna de Haro tomorrow, how long might be the wait around 8:30pm?

Lala Rokh

A quick note: unfortunately they don't have Zaitun- E Parwardeh on the menu anymore but there is a fantastic mushroom appetizer!

Anyone dined recently at Saha? favorite dishes?

We had a delightful dinner at Saha yesterday - ordered a Saha plate which insludes several kind of dips, then merquez sauasage and kofta, both coming with their own dipping sauces, fattoush and baby okra: everything was outstanding, especially hummus. Highly recommended.

Venison Tenderloin

i love venison kebobs: the meat chunks are briefly marinated in olive oil, garlic and spanish smoked paprika, broiled and served with hen of the woods mushrooms ragu.
in fact i made this again just recently:

Feb 03, 2007
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

Looking for a recipe for leek or other veggie dumplings

several days ago i made tofu mushrooms potstickers - unbelievably good:

now the question: while having dim sum at Ping Pang Pong in Vegas we tried some dumplings that had nuts in the filling, maybe lotus seeds but most probably peanuts - any idea?

Dec 12, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

unsual cookbooks

for unusual and great tasting recipes get recently published Happy in the Kitchen by Michel Richard - definitely the best book of the year

Nov 14, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

Great Titles for Beers

Brother Thelonious is a great beed with a great name.
have you also seen the ad? love it too:
"A Monk's Dream. Straight. No Chaser."

Nov 14, 2006
VegaCarpio in Beer

Kylie Kwong's "Simple Chinese Cooking"?

i was eagerly waiting for this book too - i like her first two books especially the chinese one but if you check the review on egullet, on australian board - it sounds like way too simple.
The recommended book is Ezard's Lotus (damn expensive and not planned to be published in US - his first book on Thai is great)

Nov 14, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

all about braising

as suggested on Zuni short ribs thread colcannon would be great - and this is what i'm planning to make tomorrow, with black kale...

Nov 09, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

Russian Cuisine

get yourself Please to the Table by Anya Von Bremzen -everything you've mentioned is there in the book - excellent and authentic.
Another perfect book but that covers only georgian cuisine is by Dara Goldstein "The Georgian Feast".

Nov 04, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

Khao Sarn

planning to go there tonight but one in our group doesn't eat a spicy food - is there enough choice of non spicy dishes?

Velvet Pioppini and Other Exotic Mushroom at Whole Foods

yesterday used these mushrooms in paella, with chicken confit:

Nov 04, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

Anybody Tried Paula Wolfert's Slow Mediterranean Cooking?

besides pork coddled in olive oil (which is absolutely amazing) i have some other recommendations, both actually for appetizers:
Herb jam with olives and lemon - very unusual, fragrant, beautiful color, great texture and taste;
spanish manchego marinated with olives and herbs - another very interesting dish;

Nov 03, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

All About Braising

unfortunately i won't be reunited with the book in the next several days so i'm relying and my memory and amazon :)
my favorite would be:
above mentioned chicken confit;
potato/mushrooms gratin - check out the trick to coax flavor from even ordinary mushrooms by slow roasting them;
my recollection is that potato ratatouille with cumin and cilantro was pretty good;
and my absolute favorite is arequipena potatoes, sort of peruvian mac and cheese: now as i remembered i need to make it quite soon!

Nov 03, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

All About Braising

i just realized that Molly coathored another excellent cookbook - One Potato, Two Potato - i used to cook from it a lot, quite a bunch of interesting recipes and ideas.
In fact i'm making chicken confit right now - easy and delicious.

Nov 03, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

Winter Squash Side Dish (to Go With AAB's Duck Legs w/ Port and Cherries)?

Richard Olney's amazing provencal squash gratin, from his Simple French Food:
If you don't have a book go to amazon, the book is searchable.
Deborah Madison has a similar recipe (credited to Olney) in her Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Nov 02, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

Decent Groceries Framingham to Worcester

Recently moved to the area. So far these are grocery stores i frequent:
Whole Foods in Framingham;
Italian next door to Tomasso Trattoria;
asian grocery in Westboro (not a good selection but for the lack of better choice...);
indian grocery (forgot the name) on route 9/135 (again in Westoboro) - the selection looks good but i don't cook much indian;

any mexican? good butcher? asian?

Velvet Pioppini and Other Exotic Mushroom at Whole Foods

Whole Foods started to carry interesting types of exotic mushrooms from Gourmet Mushrooms

i tried pioppini already twice and they're amazing:
first time as a sauce to Burke inspired mini-meatloafs in a bun,
and yesterday in rustichella d'abruzzo spaghetti.

i made a variation on my favorite Kylie Kwong's mushrooms ragout recipe by using heavy cream instead of wine.

and whatever recipe you end up using resist the temptation to use a truffle oil - these fioppini mushrooms are so fragrant by themselves!

Oct 28, 2006
VegaCarpio in Home Cooking

little rock eats

will be in Little Rock for couple of days for business:
any opinion on Vino's?