s

szfoster's Profile

Title Last Reply

best mexican food on oahu

I used to love eating chicken flautas (and enchiladas verdes) as a kid, but it's been 25 years since I had an excellent plate of flautas...I will try this Serg's very soon, though I am headed to Austin next month and have a Sunday brunch reservation at Fonda San Miguel--- yummy pics: http://www.fondasanmiguel.com/menu/ga...

Apr 17, 2012
szfoster in Hawaii

best mexican food on oahu

El Palenque was good the 3-4 times I went, but it's been years since I tried it. Go to El Mariachi in Kaneohe, call beforehand and make sure Palermo is cooking thay day, and then request "un menudo pinche autentico del famoso buey Palermo".....hands down the single best mexican dish on Oahu.

Apr 17, 2012
szfoster in Hawaii

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

Hello Kim,

My school was subsequently acquired by by Capital Normal University and became Capital Normal Shifan Waiguo Yu Xue Yuan (a long mouthful), though in early 93, my school did not have the "Shoudu as part of the name, though I am still wondering if perhaps we were at the same place.

I am trying to remember, and it does seem to me that there were some Duke students studying there. My Chinese name is Chen Zhong. At the campus where I lived, there were foreign students living in two different areas. I lived in the 'Si He Yuan' (i.e. courtyard) and had a Chinese roommate. Most of the foreign students lived in a Gui Bin Lou that was probably 4-5 stories and you had to climb the stairs. CET (China Educational Tours) ran the foreign study program. There was an older woman named Betty who lived in the taller building. There were also some French kids who lived in the Si He Yuan.

If you arrived in June, I was just leaving. I was there from late 92 through June 93. There were a couple restaurants just off the main road which was Fu Cheng Men Wai. This area was also called Gan Jia Kou or Bai Duizi.

I visited with my wife in about 2005 and Uigurville was already totally gone, nothing remained. The school itself was still there, but due to be demolished. I checked Google Earth a couple years ago, and the school is gone too.

That China where we used to live exists primarily in our memory. The egg McMaos and the jiazhou niu rou mians are gone. The guy cleaning your ear for a couple kuai is gone.

Alas, time moves on.

My wife is a Uyghur from Urumqi. She cooks food just like what we used to eat on Xinjiang Jie back in 93, only yummier.

After my study program ended in 93, I went back to Middlebury, VT to finish my senior year. I graduated in 94 and went straight to Hong Kong where I lived, worked and traveled throughout China till 02 when I decided to move to Hawaii.

I bet you hung out at the Black Cat in Nanjing.

I am very good friends with Shannon Wong, a born in America Chinese girl from Greenville, SC who went to Duke and would have graduated in 94. She studied Chinese at Duke.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. If you are ever headed to Hawaii, my email is john.foster@ficoh.com. I am a fountain of information, so feel free to drop me a line.

Apr 12, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

Sounds like we were both on the same streets of Beijing the same year. Where were you studying? I was at Beijing Waiguo Yu Shifan Xue Yuan, a couple short blocks south of Xinjiang Jie (Uighurville). My name is John Foster.

Apr 12, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

There are lots of great Uyghur restaurants all over China. The original Uyghur restaurant in Beijing that attracted expats to Uyghur food throughout the 90s was Afanti where people ate great food and ended up dancing on the tables (unheard of in Chinese restaurants). Steve's meal sound 100% authentic to me. Uyghurs eat kabobs small, medium and large, over coal or wood or mixture of coal and wood. Chinese will cook kabobs in little electric ovens that can also be tasty, but this method would not be acceptable in Uyghurland...

Apr 05, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

Hello Mike,

There are around 15 million Uyghur people living mostly in what is now far western China. The province where they live is called the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Like Tibetans, if you ask an Uyghur if he or she is Chinese, their answer will be "No". Lamb plays the central role in their food, so lamb dumplings can be boiled, steamed or baked. Polo is another staple where the lamb is stir fried in oil, then taken out, and finely sliced carrots are fried in the same oil, add rice, some spices, and lamb on top of the rice/carrot mix, add water and steam the whole thing. Uyghurs eat polo with their right hand. Uyghurs dance and kiss, culturally quite different from Han Chinese. If you want to know more about one Uyghur in particular, go to youtube and enter "Butterfly Voyage" - it's a short documentary about my wife.

Apr 05, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

OK. I made a dinner reservation at Zaytinya for 11 on July 6th at 5:30 p.m., 6 adults and 5 kids! They have a mezzanine, and I told the nice lady on the phone she better separate our table from the boring patrons. The location is perfect also as Dad as staying at Monaco Hotel that looks very close and we are staying in a serviced apt on Mass Ave which is also close, so I am pleased as truffled peas....Thank you everyone, especially my old friend Steve. I will report back.

Apr 04, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

I think they may be Uyghurs from Uzbekistan. I went to Kashgar for my honeymoon so perhaps I am a bit too sensitive, but it rubs me a little bit the wrong way for Uyghurs from Uzbekistan to open a Cafe Kashkar.

Apr 04, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

Before DC, we will be in New York for a week. I don't think they have a 100% authentic Uyghur restaurant either. My wife is from Urumqi and whips up killer laghman, da pan ji, shorpa, manta, samsa, etc., so I get to eat it all the heavenly time, but with my Texan Dad and Shanghaiese stepmom coming up from Houston, I thought we might find some Uyghur food in DC.

However, Steve, seems to be right-- the list of Uyghur restaurants in the U.S. is very short. Perhaps I should leave my prop casualty insurance career and j.v. with a Uyghur restauranteur from Urumqi and open up bomb Uyghur restaurants all over America....Anyone with deep pockets want to invest? Hit me up. Los Angeles. Houston. New York.

Apr 04, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

That was July 12th, 2008.

Anyway, Zaytinya sounds good. Normally, I am 'stuck' on Oahu most of the time, so when I head for the mainland, or China, or Europe, I am normally on the hunt for yummy experiences. I lived in Turkey when I was 16 and wife is a Uyghur. Dad is coming up from Houston to DC to spend 4th of July with us, so I am looking for my normal wild, eclectic and surreally tasty bits.

Apr 03, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

I just found your other response:

Llajtaymanta, a Bolivian restaurant in Falls Church, VA prepares some of the most exotic meals around. Please follow the following link for more description.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/17667...

But I would have to say that Myanmar prepares exotic food and is one of the best kitchens in the DC area as well.

You could have quite a feast there to include:
Ginger Salad, gram fritter salad, shrimp and bean sprout salad, goat curry, pork with fresh mango, tomato tofu, and whole roasted fish. Make sure to get the condiment Ngapi (this is a menu item, not sure how it is listed, about $5) which has the dried toasted shrimp in it to sprinkle over your food.

If you want to go African, then I would go for the Manioc (cassava leaf stew) at Chez Auntie Libe. Add to that orders of Yassa Chicken, Lamb Tibs, Maffe (a VERY rich peanut stew) and whole fish, and you've got yourself an extraordinary feast.

Apr 03, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

Thank you, Steve. Are you the same Steve that responded to me about exotic food the last time I was headed to DC, back in 08 or 09? I bet you are.

Apr 03, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

A Good Uyghur Restaurant?

Aloha D.C. Hounds,

I'll be in D.C. for the 4th of July with my wife and 3 little ones and was wondering if there might be a good Uyghur restaurant somewhere in the DC area. If not Uyghur, then a Turkish rec would also be welcomed.

Thank you kindly,
John

Apr 03, 2012
szfoster in Washington DC & Baltimore

Driving myself crazy, need one specific dinner rec, please help!!!

Aloha Everyone,

First off, I want to thank each one of you for your advice. I got in last night (Sunday) around 9:30 and decided I better go for a long walk, both to burn a few calories, but also to gain a lay of the land. I walked up and down 4th, 5th and 6th, stopping rather frequently to peruse the posted menus. After a couple hours, I heard the still small voice in the back of my head whisper that I would need to head out of 'town' to find San Diego, and so last night I decided on Kitchen 1540.

I am happy to report that you chowhounders do not need to worry about me as I just finished a very perfect meal. John, the server, was awesome, six stars. The beet salad, six stars. The feel of the place was perfect, and fulfilled my unreasonable demand that a restaurant represent a city. The hamachi was a 9 out of ten for flavor, but a 10 for creativity. The rabbit was very yummy. Basically, I had a great time. If anyone is looking for a perfect dinner in 'San Diego', you need look no farther. Enjoy a walk down to the park overlooking the beach beforehand. Thank you SD hounds for coming through for me!

Oct 10, 2011
szfoster in San Diego

Driving myself crazy, need one specific dinner rec, please help!!!

Another excellent idea, thank you.

For all the boyfriends and wannabe boyfrieds, take notice on how to begin an unforgettable evening...

Oct 07, 2011
szfoster in San Diego

Driving myself crazy, need one specific dinner rec, please help!!!

Excellent idea, thank you!

Oct 07, 2011
szfoster in San Diego

Driving myself crazy, need one specific dinner rec, please help!!!

First off, thank you!!!! I am feeling much more at ease now with the excellent advice you have provided. I will attempt a quick response to all you kind people:

Beach Chick: I will look at both recs, thank you
Honkman: I like you. We could have a good conversation. While Barrafina is hardly Brit pub food, it is a marvelous example of how far the world of London cuisine has progressed. I mentioned budget, $50-$200 for 2 not incl drinks, and the implied meaning is that I am looking for a nice sit down meal ranging from a nice mom and pop to a more highfalutin affair.

CSTR: thank you, Super Cocina looks great, a gem. I will try to steal a breakfast or lunch here, but my schedule is packed, but I will try...

Karaethon: thank you. You have touched a tender nerve in my soul. I very much appreciate your advice, but I can't follow it. I started collecting beers from around the world around age 12. I even went to a couple beer can conventions, but I didn't quite fit in with the can collectors as I was really a flavor collector. How I loved being in Brussels for the first time when I was 16 and enjoying my first perfect Belgian ale. I was the guy who built beer bongs in high school. I was the only guy in high school who could bong a Colt 45. I later added wine, cognac, armangac to the fields I enjoyed wandering in. Alas, I ran into a woman who could tame me. I haven't had a drink in 8 years. Gather ye rosy ales while ye may.

Josh: though I didn't specify fine dining, your recs look perfect, thank you!

ChowBaccus: thank you, the rec of a Carbonara above all others is golden and much appreciated!

Dining Diva: thank you. The last time I was in San Diego was 1991. I was 19 years old, and it was an adventure. I was sitting in Houston that summer wanting very badly to get myself to San Diego. So my already active and somewhat off-the-wall brain concocted a scheme to get myself from Houston to San Dieo for pennies on the dollar. My friends dropped me off on the outskirts of Houston. I stuck my thumb out and made my way to Laredo. This is really the only time I have truly hitchhiked in my life. The first guy that picked me up got me to Victoria. I rode in the back of his pick-up. He pulled into a Whataburger and told me to get whatever I wanted. I got a double whataburger w cheese and jalapenos, extra mustard, and it was probably one of the most memorable burgers of my life. I'll cut a good story short: Laredo to Monterrey where a cousin let me crash for a few days and introduced me to yummy tortas, and then 3 days on a non air-conditioned bus from Monterrey to Tijuana. While I love adventure, I guess I'd like to find a meal in San Diego, not south of the border, but thank you again for the rec and for taking a walk down memory lane w me.

I will post what happens when I get back. Beach Chick and Josh -- thank you for being so fluent in the lingo of 'crazy for food'.

-----
Super Cocina
3627 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

Oct 07, 2011
szfoster in San Diego

Driving myself crazy, need one specific dinner rec, please help!!!

Like many of you, I am crazy about food. I need help with a dinner recommendation for this coming Monday night. I need dishes made with passion and confidence. I need the best dining experience San Diego has to offer on a Monday night, budget $50-$200 for 2 not including drinks. I have read your boards, perused your admirable spreadsheets, but I am afraid that no single restaurant has called out to me, so I am asking for your help. I'm there on business (Manchester Hyatt) for a few days and will be taken to Bertrand at Mr. A's one night and De Medici another night. Monday night is my dime, and so it's personal. I thought I would go to Cafe Chloe on Monday night, and the fact that they don't accept reservations isn't what deterred me, rather that I noticed someone mentioned uncomfortable, hard wooden chairs. I know there is a bar there, but I'm looking for a table. If I am going to get my wish, I think your recommendation must be a meal that can only be had in San Diego, one that defines what San Diego is all about. I read all the yelp reviews of Oceanaire Room...I want to tell myself that it will be excellent, but having lived in Hong Kong for 10 years and traveled all over China, particularly southern China, I am not easily impressed with seafood. I had an 8 lb crab in Cebu once, now that was a crab. Oysters from Normandy eaten in Paris in the winter can hang with fresh Hong Kong seafood any day....I now live in Hawaii and we have some very respectable sushi here, meaning that while Kaito sounds good, I am not hankering for sushi. I went to London last year and a fellow food-crazed female chowhound directed me to Barrafina, a Spanish Tapas restaurant in Soho. I was traveling with my jaded 60 year old boss who used to regularly eat at French Laundry before the hype, and he was making all kinds of adolescent noises over the sardines at Barrafina, noises he never made before or since. The flavors in those dishes were heavenly. Is there a food heaven on a Monday night in San Diego?

-----
Cafe Chloe
721 9th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Oceanaire
San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

Hong Kong Restaurant
3871 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Oct 07, 2011
szfoster in San Diego

10 Day Foodie Trip to Paris in April 2011

Do you know about the Grande Epicerie? It's def worth a visit when you are in St. Germain. And thank you, I think you have convinced me to book one lunch at Le Cinq. I better get to sleep...au revoir

Feb 25, 2011
szfoster in France

10 Day Foodie Trip to Paris in April 2011

Great thread. I was last in Paris for the Millenium and spent two glorious weeks (and $10K) on food. Back then, I was young, crazy and passionate about all things edible. For sure, the oysters in Dec/Jan are truly delectable. I'm not sure about April though. The best meal of my life was on Dec 24, 1999 at Taillevent, around $800 and worth every cent. Flash forward to the here and now, and I am looking forward to taking my wife to Paris in mid-April- her first time. She'll be 7 months pregnant with our third, and my plan is to enjoy Paris at a leisurely pace befitting a queen. My free advice: take your time, don't rush, one big meal per day, snacks, relax, explore and discover.

Feb 25, 2011
szfoster in France

London- your most memorable meals in your favorite places

A real time update. It's been three days of grueling meetings, but I have managed to do a few fun foodie things besides collect 40 new name cards. I did enjoy the lunch at Albemarle at Brown's on Sunday, the roast was fine but not as memorable as the potatoes which were crunch munchy on the outside and piping hot on the inside, how do they do that I wonder? Eton mess for dessert which was pretty yummy actually. Calf livers at the Wolseley for dinner with my boss who lacks the energy to go to any 'destination' for food. The calf livers were good, but not great which was how I felt about the whole experience there. I did see one table enjoying a fruit de mer platter and they looked like they were having a right good time. Monday was all work and bad food :( Tuesday was more unmemorable lunch, but ahhh, then things changed. I convinced my boss we had to go to this place on Frith Street. We are staying in The City, so he was a little hesitant, but finally agreed. We hopped in a cab and soon arrived at Barrafina. What a wonderful restaurant!!!!! Excellent and very memorable food. I introduced myself to the charming Jose who was happy I'd made it to his place. We proceeded to enjoy a most excellent meal. Everything is made with love and care and the flavors were deeply sensual and made me feel like life is worth living dammit. My boss was pretty damn impressed as well. He's a New Yorker who lived in San Fran for 10 years and know his food and looks down on almost all food most of the time (he was going to French Laundry before the craze). He started acting completely out of character. The sardines made him act positively 35 years old. I asked Jose which dessert was his favorite. He said that was a tough question as he liked the strawberries, chocolate cake and almond tarte all very much. I smiled and told him I would have to decide for myself and proceeded to order all three. Ultimately, I would say that they all became my children in that I loved them equally even though they were all very different. 10 stars for the desserts. Tonight I finished meetings after 5 and had a ticket for Love Never Dies, so I figured I might be able to squeeze in a Fish & Chips. I took the tube to Waterloo and walked around lost for about 30 minutes before I got my bearings and basically jogged down Waterloo Rd. to number 191, Masters Superfish. I got there at 6:20 and not too many people. The waitress was speaking in Chinese which made me worry the restaurant had recently been sold. I started chatting with her in Chinese (I lived in China 10+ years) and she made it clear (in Chinese) that they were the best in town. For what it was, it was excellent. I was pouring vinegar on every bite toward the end there. Dashed off to the Adelphi and enjoyed the show though it's more entertainment than art (Phantom seemed to lean the better way) but it's not really that important either way. Then I came back to the hotel and worked 3 more hours in the lobby to finish something that was so late the CEO is emailing my boss to tell me to get it done, as if I didn't already have enough on my plate, dang HR. Tomorrow is my last day. A couple short hours of meetings in the morning and then I will be loosed on your good city.

I just want to say thank you to all of you for all your help and advice without which I would have been truly lost at sea. If you ever need food advice in Honolulu, email me at szfoster@hotmail.com just mention chowhounder from London and I'll know.

Eat well and be happy,
john

Jul 07, 2010
szfoster in U.K./Ireland

Aloha from a long lost Houstonian, need one lunch and one dinner rec

Went to El Tiemp for dinner. It's a great restaurant serving up traditional tex-mex. I hadn't had such a nice plate of enchiladas suizas verdes in years. Nice subtle flavor. The green sala was a little too creamy, needed just a bit more bite. The red sauce was smoky, full of flavor and wonderful.

Jul 03, 2010
szfoster in Houston

London- your most memorable meals in your favorite places

I tried to make a reservation for Barrafina on Sunday night, but the kind manager Jose Etura replied that they don't take reservations. So, without reservations, I will try to get a table at Barrafina Sunday night around 7:30.

Thank you all for everything.

Jul 02, 2010
szfoster in U.K./Ireland

Aloha from a long lost Houstonian, need one lunch and one dinner rec

Excellent torrential rains did not stop me from finding Pierson's today. I went to love it, wanted to love it, but must say that I just ended up liking it. The location is excellent, The people were excellent. The sauce was excellent. The potato salad and beans were excellent, but the BBQ was below excellent, maybe very good. The brisket was too dry, was too dry, like I almost complained. If you go, ask for your brisket wet, maybe that was my mistake.

Jul 02, 2010
szfoster in Houston

London- your most memorable meals in your favorite places

Dear Abby,

I think we must have been born under same celestial alignment as I have Barrafina, Magdalen and Viajante down on my short list. I actually tried to reserve a table at Viajante but was told they are booked for dinner every night next week. I asked about their loft dinner with Nuno, and they said they'd check, but no response, o well. btw, if you are a taurus/rat, that would be too weird.

I will now happily go and google terroirs.

Jun 30, 2010
szfoster in U.K./Ireland

London- your most memorable meals in your favorite places

thank you greedygirl, why so greedy?

Jun 29, 2010
szfoster in U.K./Ireland

London- your most memorable meals in your favorite places

Thank you for the tip. I booked lunch at Albemarle which Hix is associated with for Sunday lunch. I'm going to google Anchor & Hope.

Jun 29, 2010
szfoster in U.K./Ireland

Aloha from a long lost Houstonian, need one lunch and one dinner rec

La Mexicana was definitely there. There was the main owner, Jose, and his brother. When I was 16, I used to pool all the money I could find between me and my friends, drive down just before midnight and offer him $80 bucks for $60 bucks worth of beer. He was good to us and me and my friends were hooked up through high school by La Mexicana. I am glad to hear his place has held up.

I've never had a semita, sounds good too....thank you!

-----
La Mexicana Restaurant
1018 Fairview St, Houston, TX 77006

Jun 28, 2010
szfoster in Houston

Aloha from a long lost Houstonian, need one lunch and one dinner rec

Sounds good, and I grew up in that neighborhood, so I should be able to find. Thank you much for the excellent tip.

Jun 26, 2010
szfoster in Houston

Aloha from a long lost Houstonian, need one lunch and one dinner rec

Thank you for el tiempo, pun intended, James.

Jun 25, 2010
szfoster in Houston