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Queens Night Market kickoff tonight

Yep. My friends were calling it the Queens NightMARE Market. Truly hope they work it out because I think it would be such a fun concept here. What vendors were there in the end? The people I know hightailed it out of there without even seeing what was being sold at the front of the long lines.

about 15 hours ago
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs
1

Queens Night Market kickoff tonight

I was all set to go but pretty much every friend who went texted me and told me to stay home. Very few vendors. Ridiculous lines with outrageous waits. I think I will delay my visit until the kinks get ironed out. A bunch of friends got there, saw the lines, and then went to empanadas del parque and Lemon Ice King instead so it wasn't a complete debacle. I hope that ultimately they figure it all out because I love the concept and wish them well.

1 day ago
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Queens Night Market kickoff tonight

I think the cooler weather caused some vendors to cancel, but I'm hoping there is still a decent showing. Does anyone know what vendors signed on and will be coming?

Thanks!
Lisa

1 day ago
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

Hmmm. I still stand on record as saying that Chef Rudy's pistachio croissant is the best thing I've put in my mouth so far this year. The year is quite young, however. I guess we can chalk this difference in opinion up to my beloved HS Latin teacher's favorite expression relating to all matters of taste: "De gustibus non est disputandum." Incidentally, I was at Spicy Lanka on Sunday enjoying string hopper and kotthu after a particularly awful baskeball game. It provided the perfect consolatory fare for my son and his teammates. One of my Queens faves.

Apr 14, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

One memorable dinner in Westbury or thereabouts [reposted on New York State]

Pleasure. You won't be disappointed. They also own the Market Bistro in Jericho.

Apr 13, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

One memorable dinner in Westbury or thereabouts [reposted on New York State]

Twilight special at the West End Cafe. Look up the menu online but get the pork chop. And the parfait for dessert. Great vibe and top quality dishes. An eternal favorite of all our LI family.

Apr 13, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs
1

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

If you scroll up you can see the gorgeous Napoleon Chef Rudy made for us for Palm Sunday. He charges 4.50 per slice for custom orders. It was outstanding. You can discuss many different cake options with him.

Apr 11, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rocky and Carlo's in Chalmette? Brocioloni/Bruccolini/Bracciole?

What do they normally add to the breadcrumbs for stuffed artichokes in New Orleans? Here in NYC most Italians add lots of grated cheese (Locatellin or pecorino)parsley, garlic and olive oil. We use this same mixture atop roasted asparagus as well.

Apr 10, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Any thoughts on Bon Ton Cafe these days?

I **completely** got what you were saying Hazelhurst and have valued your comments on these boards for quite some time.

Apr 09, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Any thoughts on Bon Ton Cafe these days?

Bahn mi would be one of my Monster's Ball food choices if I ever had to make one. We get some phenomenal ones here in New York City. And some **really** phenomenal ones in Falls Church, Virginia and Toronto! If I had known that there was a great local place, I would've definitely checked them out in New Orleans. But I digress...

Apr 09, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Rocky and Carlo's in Chalmette? Brocioloni/Bruccolini/Bracciole?

Some people "cheap out" as we say here in Queens, NYC and just use parsley, breadcrumbs and Locatelli cheese. Real bracciole for us includes salami, ham, mortadella, hunks of provolone, chopped hard cooked egg, tons of garlic and parsley. Watching my grandma take the twine-tied bundles out of the Sunday sauce and then slice them all up on a platter is one of my happiest childhood food memories. My mom makes them great for us too! And she's a vegetarian ;)

Apr 09, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Any thoughts on Bon Ton Cafe these days?

I'm sure it's excellent but in a town with so many choices I generally tend to check out the places that people seem to be *very* passionate about. My fave places for what it's worth are along the lines of Katie's, Liuzza's by the Track, Casamento's etc. Smaller neigborhood spots. And then the old guard spots like Galatoire's and Antoine's etc.

Apr 09, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Any thoughts on Bon Ton Cafe these days?

Thanks. That screams out MISSABLE to me ;) There are just too many reataurants in New Orleans from which to choose; unless someone oozes some semblance of passion, I generally skip.

Apr 08, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Rocky and Carlo's in Chalmette? Brocioloni/Bruccolini/Bracciole?

Had a fantastic conversation with a Sicilian-Creole in NOLA yesterday. He heard our NYC accents and recognized us as Italian-American New Yorkers and pulled up a chair and talked food with us for a looong while. We talked about St. Joseph's Day altars and foods, our love of Angelo Brocato's and bracciole. He waxed poetic about a place called Rocky and Carlo's and told us we should take a taxi the 5 miles to Chalmette, but we couldn't because it was our last night in NOLA and we had Pelicans tickets (what a game!) and plans to go to Irene's. He went on and on about their version of bracciole which they call Bruccolini. I was fascinated as Bracciole is one of our fave family dishes and tough to find made right.

Has anyone been? What do they stuff their bracciole/brocolioni with? It's such a beloved Sicilian dish that we enjoy here at home and we would love to check it out on the next trip.

Apr 08, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

New Orleans Trip Recap/Emeril's Disappointment

Just back from a delicious four days in NOLA. Mr. B's (that Ya Ya gumbo! The BBQ shrimp! The crab cake! The hot buttered pecan pie oh my! The phenomenal and gracious service! Such a perfect first meal) Liuzza's by the Track (Everything! Just everything! If I had a "place", this would be it! This spot is requisite on every trip) and Irene's (that soft shell crab over papardelle!) will remain cherished places for us. Muriel's was solid but nothing I'd have to seek out on future trips (the trio at the Easter Jazz Brunch was excellent though). Louisiana Pizza Kitchen offered some excellent and much craved big green salads on a day we wanted to be super casual (didn't get to try Domenica or Ancora as planned) but the pizza itself was forgettable. The crust was more like a pita bread which didn't work for me. Galatoire's, unfortunately, was not visited on this trip as the gents in our party wanted to go casual and did not pack jackets. Didn't make it to any Donald Link or John Besh places either. Thought the beignets at Cafe du Monde tasted dried out all three times we went and liked the ones at Cafe Beignet on this trip more for the first time ever. Loved our breakfast at the Ruby Slipper Cafe in Marginy. All in all had a spectacular time as always and enjoyed some really nice conversations with locals about food and life.

One thing that really shocked me was how flat Emeril's was. Trust me, I knew there were better options ( I was thinking Herbsaint, Bayona, Brigsten's, Clancy's, etc) but being as this whole weekend was a 70th birthday celebration for my dad and Emeril has always been one of his favorite television chef personalities, I thought it would be a very solid choice as I have enjoyed excellent meals there and at NOLA in the past. However it ended up being really Meh and the only meal I can say left me feeling cold and ripped off.

The large circular table we were seated at was super spacious and at first I liked the openness, but it did not lend itself to conviviality. I felt like I had to shout to be heard and it was tough to easily share food. The andouille/boudin appetizer that I ordered featured a paltry three inch half of an andouille sausage and a pasty flavorless boudin. The braised collard greens which I actually thought were red cabbage were the best part. The andouille crusted drum was very good but the shoestring potatoes beneath were greasy. My son's tamarind chicken seemed like it came off a spa menu; the portion was minuscule albeit very flavorful. My mom's shrimp and grits came out 15 minutes later than all the other entrees and even though we were super nice about it and the server and manager apologized repeatedly, it was annoying. My husband ordered the salmon and our server told us they had run out and were substituting a red snapper. Perfect! He preferred it to salmon anyway. When the bill came the 24 dollar salmon was listed as 40 dollars because of the snapper swap. Would have been nice if they had told us when we had ordered it, although they DID adjust it when we asked. We had to ask for more bread. The server who brought it the first time disappeared and we never saw him again. The banana cream pie that I remembered as being so decadent in the past tasted dry and featured lots of fresh banana but not enough custard cream. The "mouth feel" was lacking. The peanut butter and chocolate mousse with grape sorbet did not work at all. Again, the cake was not moist or creamy and the sorbet watery without enough depth. I noticed quite a few tables had ordered the fried chicken for two "with all the fixin's" and it looked excellent. Maybe we should have done that? Not sure. All in all, the whole experience was not memorable for the right reasons. The next day we were antiquing on Royal Street and got into a conversation about food with one of the proprietors. He said many locals had stopped frequenting EMERIL'S restaurants after Katrina because Katrina and its awful aftermath "was not his finest moment". I thought that was interesting and might explain why the food felt so flat. Perhaps the tourists' palates are not as discriminating. Not sure, but I won't be running back any time soon.
Next trip will include Cochon, K-Paul's, Clancy's, Brigsten's, Katie's, Jacque-IMOS and back to Galatoire's.

Thanks for all your input over the last week; it was much appreciated! I look forward to many more visits to New Orleans.

Apr 08, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Any thoughts on Bon Ton Cafe these days?

Thanks!

Apr 08, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

How's Mr. B's these days?

Just came back from Mr. b's and thought my meal was extraordinary. The gumbo was piping hot and the roux was super dark. I loved it. Might even tie with Liuzza's and that's high praise methinks. The BBQ shrimp were heavenly, the bacon wrapped shrimp and grits featured some of the best grits I've ever had and the crab cake was superb. We had about a half dozen other things that were all excellent quality. Loved the hot buttered pecan pie. And the service was truly top notch! I believe our waiter's name was JC and he was really fantastic at making us feel welcome. I was very pleased overall.

Apr 04, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

High quality buffets in New Orleans?

Is that an oxymoron? Taking my dad for his 70th and have been to NOLA many times. On this trip we have Muriel's Drago's, Irene's, Liuzza's, Cochon, Emeril's and possibly Galatoire's if I can get all the gents to sport jackets. My dad loves a good buffet. I personally hate them, but considering this trip is all about HIM, I thought it might be nice to throw one in. I recall one at Dookie Chase's that was just okay, but am wondering if there are any others that would be recommended?

Apr 04, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

How's Mr. B's these days?

It will be about 8:30 pm and probably the only time we will really be near Bourbon Street at night on our entire trip. Haven't been to Mandina's in many years. Will have a look at the menu. My husband also threw Irene's out at me. Want to avoid waits if at all possible. Was able to get a reservation at Mr. B's fairly easily. Of course I will cancel it, if we come up with something better. Thanks!

Apr 04, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

How's Mr. B's these days?

Haven't been in years and years but I remember a fantastic meal about 10 years ago. Is the BBQ shrimp better there or at Pascal's Manale's? Overall, is it worth it for a dinner in the Quarter? Very close to our hotel and we will be tired from our flight and want something nearby. Truthfully, I'd be fine with a bunch of chargrilled oysters at Acme, but don't want to deal with long waits. A sit down at Mr. B's could be better in the end. What are we thinking 'Hounds?

Apr 04, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Favorite gumbo without andouille/meat?

Hands down my favorite gumbo is the dark, rich one served at Liuzzas's by the Track. Unfortunately, for my mama at least, that one has some andouille in it. She doesn't eat meat, just fish and seafood, so what can you recommend? I don't want her to leave NOLA without a big bowl!

Apr 02, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Restaurant within walking distance of WWII Museum?

Thank you so very much. We have reservations at Emeril's on Easter night. I will definitely check out the menus at Cochon, Peche and Butcher. Is Boucherie near there?

Apr 02, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Restaurant within walking distance of WWII Museum?

Last time we were in NOLA, we really enjoyed the WWII Museum and the awesome 4D film, Beyond All Boundaries. We'll be back over the Easter weekend and want to return to the museum. We had had an excellent meal at The American Sector when we were last there, but have heard that John Besh is no longer running it. Anything else that is fairly close by that you would recommend?

Thanks in advance,
lisa

Apr 02, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Restaurant right near Smoothie King Center?

Is there anything noteworthy right near the center? We'll be staying in the Quarter as always and will take a cab over, but I was wondering if there is anything not to be missed right around there? Thanks!

Apr 02, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Easter Sunday Brunch/ Lunch Suggestions?

Thanks! We will be casual for sure. But very neat and stylish ;) I have a reservation at Galatoire's right after mass on Easter Sunday that I will end up canceling in favor of Muriel's as the gents in my party don't want to wear jackets. Galatoire's is one of my favorite dining experiences in NOLA, but will have to wait until next trip. Truthfully in all my visits, I've never had a bad meal in any price category. Looking forward to being in your lovely city and fingers crossed the humidity won't be too bad. Easter Blessings to All!

Lisa

Apr 02, 2015
ZenFoodist in New Orleans

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

Glad you like it. I run about 4 miles a day six days a week and yet having this guy down the block has resulted in an 11 pound weight gain since January! I have to stop.

Mar 31, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

For anyone following this thread I just thought I would share that I asked Chef Rudy to make me a Napoleon cake for Palm Sunday. It was stupendously good. A lot of old timers who passionately believed Corona's Stasi's to be the hands down best, were completely impressed. The layers were so crisp and the cream so light and delicious. I had asked for fresh berries to be added to the layers with the cream, and in the future I will pass on the fruit addition only because the cream itself is so delcious and light that it doesn't need tempering. At 4.50 per slice I thought it was an excellent deal for the quality and artistry.

Mar 30, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

I noticed today that Ched Rudy decided to add ham croissants to the repertoire. They are delectable! A bit of onion, some thinly sliced tomato and some...you guessed it...ham. The quality of the croissant is excellent. It's a perfect snack. Strangely enough, I happened to be at Payard over the weekend and although the eclairs DO look very similar in their slender elegant way, I have to say Rudy's are much better. I appreciate the fact that they are not nearly as sweet.

Mar 25, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Best St. Joseph's Day pastry (sfingi di San Giuseppe) in NYC?

Thanks for the Robicelli recommendation. I'm a staunch traditionalist with my sfingi and believe D'Aquila's to be the best, however I looked at Robicelli's Facebook page after reading his post and saw the photos of their sfingi and they look absolutely gorgeous. I will definitely partake next year! Grazie Mille.

Mar 25, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs

Ramen restaurant in Flushing

There is Hashi Ramen and Izakaya on 192nd and Northern right down the block from Pier 1 Imports, but you would need to take a bus from the 7 train, and it's really not worth it. I've eaten there a few times because I work very close by, and although it's fine for a quick lunch, it is not destination dining by any means. The ramen has a cup soup taste for sure; we're not talking bones simmering for hours here. The pork belly one with an egg is decent if you really need to sate a yen, but I personally wait until I can get to Minca, Ippudo, or Hide-Chan in NYC. Also looking forward to MU in LIC.

Mar 19, 2015
ZenFoodist in Outer Boroughs