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New ShopRite in Cedar Knolls

Curlz, have you tried one of the Indian grocers for cauliflower? I guarantee you that it won't be 4.99 there.

Nov 22, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

New ShopRite in Cedar Knolls

After my first trip to the new SR, I spent a couple hours googling the new Wegmans. I can't tell you how much it sucks that there's no reference anywhere to a projected opening date. At least the new WF is end of 2014/beginning of 2015. If I have to wait longer than that for Wegmans, that is going to be so unbelievably horrible. The LEAST they can do is give us a date, even if it's 3 years from now.

Anyway, I really don't like the new SR, but most of my issues are relating to the opening and should hopefully be resolved in time.

I've never met more clueless workers than the ones I've met at SR- and some of these folks I talked to today. Zero experience, zero training, just slap a jacket on them and put them on the floor. The guy I spoke to in the meat department today couldn't call the manager because he didn't know how to use the phone.

We're two weeks in and the music is still deafening. I can't believe that the elderly people that shop during the day would put up with this. And the music selection? It's like boyz2men with thumping bass. I can't be the only one with an issue.

I spend many many hours in supermarkets. I've never had a supermarket feel so dirty- and I'm not talking about the level of cleanliness- the place gives off this seriously sleazy vibe. They say "how can we help you" and smile, but they're thinking "how can I lighten your wallet?' I don't ever get that reptilian feeling in Parsippany. I am counting the seconds until Wegmans opens and puts them in their place so they can start being a normal supermarket and stops trying to be something that they'll never be.

It's about a 7 minute drive for me, and about a 15 drive to Parsippany. Until I've heard that they've gotten their act together, I'm not going back.

Nov 22, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

Search Not Working

Windows 7
Firefox 6.0.1

Not working (blank). I did check it on a machine with Firefox 25.0, though, and that was fine.

I'm not sure if it helps, but I checked the scripts on chow.com that both versions were recognizing. 25.0 recognizes eight more scripts than 6.0.1 does:

google-analytics.com
bkrtx.com
bluekai.com
fbcdn.com
cloudfront.net
facebook.net
twitter.com
facebook.com

Is there any chance that any of these scripts might impact the search functionality?

Nov 13, 2013
scott123 in Site Talk

100 Bucks for for a DIY Backyard Pizza Oven and Grill.......

Using cinder blocks in a direct flame setting is incredibly unsafe. Cinder blocks contain moisture, and, when this moisture boils/expand rapidly, in the presence of an intense heat source, such as direct flame, the block can explode.

I've contacted Andrew (through his press agent) and asked that the video be taken down, as it is advocating a dangerous practice.

In the meantime, if anyone does clink on this link and watch this video, please don't follow the advice they're advocating. Cinder blocks have no place being near flame.

Nov 02, 2013
scott123 in Cookware

Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking" is lacking as a great Indian cookbook// Recommend me a different one!

As Boogiebaby pointed out, there is a distinct regional aspect to Indian cuisine. I'd also add that if you live in the U.S. and your exposure to Indian food is primarily through restaurants, then there's a cross cultural aspect as well. Indian American restaurant food shares some similarities to the food you find in India (far more than Chinese American restaurants share with Chinese food), but there are considerable differences- and, to date, these differences are not laid out in any cookbook. Restauranteurs will frequently add ingredients like MSG, sugar and extra fat- ingredients that cookbook authors usually wouldn't dream of adding- and it is frequently these extra ingredients that create a lot more 'excitement' and depth of flavor.

Oct 28, 2013
scott123 in Home Cooking

Other Good Pizza In New Haven

One more vote for Zuppardi's.

And I couldn't agree more about Sally's. I went there a couple months ago. The crust was passable, but it was the worst tomato sauce I've ever had. Starchy and tasteless- zero vibrancy. Also, the quantity of bench flour stuck to the bottom of two of our four pies was outrageous. I work with pizza for a living and I'd have a hard time getting that much bench flour on a pizza. In parts, the flour was coming off in flakes.

The potato pie was very good, but nothing could redeem the egregiousness of the sauce and bench flour. I give coal oven places a lot of leeway when it comes to char and crust characteristics because of the fickleness of the oven, but you can't blame inedible sauce on the oven.

You don't get to be a legendary pizzeria without putting out great pizza, so I have no doubt that, at one time, Sally's was truly great, but, from the pizza I had, I feel that they're coasting on their laurels.

Someone needs to take some these over the top Sally's fans and have them do a double blind taste test between Sally's and Pepe's. Many will recognize Sally's and automatically choose them, but I think quite a few will not, go strictly by merit and choose Pepe's. Pepe's has it's own issues (mostly oven based inconsistency), but, side by side with Sally's, there's no competition.

Btw, there's considerable precedent for legendary places to eventually fall by the wayside. Lombardi's, America's first pizzeria and a NY institution, hasn't put out a good pie in years. Grimaldi's, another hugely famous NY pizzeria, is just as much of a joke.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Oct 23, 2013
scott123 in Southern New England

Having vegan ice cream issues

My pleasure! Thank you, for your kind words.

Aug 29, 2013
scott123 in Home Cooking

Release Notes for 7/23/13 - New Search Feature

Okay, fair enough. While a 'recency' sorted only in title search would be ideal, I think I can make a 'best match' custom date search work for my personal needs. Thanks.

Aug 11, 2013
scott123 in Site Talk

Release Notes for 7/23/13 - New Search Feature

Here's my example.

Before, I was able to plug 'pizza' in the 'title' field and it would only pick up threads with 'pizza' in the title, which I could then sort by date to find the most recent threads. This allowed me to keep up with any new threads with pizza in the title.

As it stands now, if I search for 'pizza' it gives me every post with pizza in it, and, while 'best match' gives me mostly 'pizza' in the titles, it's posts from last year. When I sort by recency, I get every single post with 'pizza' in it- very few of which have pizza in the title.

I'm sure the new search is better for some, but it's not better for me. It's possible that there aren't many of us, but for those that were searching only in titles and sorting by date, the new search is not an improvement.

FWIW, I've never come across a forum that wouldn't let you search only in titles.

Aug 09, 2013
scott123 in Site Talk

Inexpensive Well Marbled Raw Steak in Northern NJ?

Thanks. I go to Carrado's for pizza supplies a few times a year, so I'll coordinate a trip to Fairway and Visentini the next time I'm there.

Aug 09, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

Inexpensive Well Marbled Raw Steak in Northern NJ?

The prospect of paying $50/year just for cheap steak doesn't appeal to me much, but I guess I could probably justify the expenditure with other purchases.

Any idea what the price is on Costco's ribeyes? And, just to confirm, these aren't frozen, right?

Edit: What percentage of the time do you guesstimate that Costco has the ribeyes in stock?

Aug 09, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

Fresh Pita near Weehawken or Maplewood?

It might not qualify as 'near,' but Maplewood is a 20 minute drive from Patterson. Patterson is basically Little Syria.

It's been at least 5 years since I got them, but the pitas at Fattal's were astounding. The house brand tahini is amazing as well. The pitas were so good, I couldn't eat local (Morristown) pitas any more- and haven't had one since.

As with most bakeries, time of the day is most likely a factor, so you might call and see when they're baking. I also know that some bakeries like to skip bake days during the summer, so you might want to inquire about the specific day as well.

Aug 09, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

Inexpensive Well Marbled Raw Steak in Northern NJ?

Is this a pipe dream? For some reason, it seems like 10 years ago, I could get decent marbling at the supermarket for $5/lb. One would think, with the rate of inflation, one should be able to find a well marbled steak for $10/lb, but I can't find any.

I don't care about aging. I just want intramuscular fat. Not Kobe marbling, but more than I've gotten in the last 5 years- for, ideally $10/lb, but, if I could get a really well marbled steak for $15/lb., then I might pull the trigger.

Aug 09, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

Release Notes for 7/23/13 - New Search Feature

For the last 2 years, I've been searching, almost on a daily basis, within titles, by date, not relevancy, so relevancy does nothing for me.

Are you telling me that this feature is gone for good?

Aug 09, 2013
scott123 in Site Talk

Release Notes for 7/23/13 - New Search Feature

The previous advanced search allowed for searching within titles only. Can this still be achieved?

Jul 27, 2013
scott123 in Site Talk

Best Pizza Within an Hour of Harrisburg

Kiran, how are you hitting 650-700 in a home oven? And how would you be hitting 900? Is this a cleaning cycle hack? I don't want to sound alarmist, but I might not recommending pushing your oven that high. You might get lucky and not burn out any wiring, but, every time you do, it's a gamble.

According to my estimates, about 1 in 200 home ovens have strong enough broilers to do 90 second Neapolitan pizza (very high wattage/elements with plenty of coils). Here's an example of one:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/inde...

If you don't have a tightly coiled high wattage broiler, then a balanced 90 second bake is out of the question. You either have the broiler or you don't- there's no workarounds or hacks.

Going on the same days of the week to Patsy's and ordering carryout is very savvy. I don't eat much pizza locally any more (except for testing new places), but, when I did, I would drive past my favorite shop and see if a particular guy was working. If he wasn't, I wouldn't buy the pizza.

Johnny's is about 10 minutes north of Patsy's, in Mount Vernon. I have yet to make the trip, but the photos I've seen look formidable and the press has been stellar. Johnny's has been on the top of Jeff Varasano's list for quite some time.

Jun 19, 2013
scott123 in Pennsylvania

Best Pizza Within an Hour of Harrisburg

Pepe's is high-ish temperature, but it's not as high as Neapolitan, and, from New Haven experts that I've spoken about this in depth with, because of the somewhat fickle nature of coal ovens, their temperatures can vary pretty wildly. I hear stories of 3 minute bakes at Pepe's, all the way to 9. I think they attempt to run them around 650-700, but 650-700 doesn't make a 9 minute pie, so obviously they're missing the mark. Regardless of where they fall in the 3-9 minute spectrum, it's never the 90 seconds of Neapolitan. So NH can be/usually is hotter than NY deck oven style, but it's never the Neapolitan temps I was referring to above.

Coal oven pizza is very quixotic by nature. I think Pepe's might wrangle a bit more consistency out of their ovens than the NY coal places, and I also have a gut feeling that they might have a bit better doughmaking skills/fermentation knowledge than some of the historic NY haunts as well, but, no matter which coal oven joint you visit, it's always going to be a bit of a crap shoot.

I've heard from some pretty reliable sources that Patsy's in East Harlem, while great sometimes, suffers from consistency issues. Have you witnessed this yourself? Have you ever traveled further north to Johnny's?

Jun 06, 2013
scott123 in Pennsylvania

Best of Everything near Lancaster for Two Deserving Retirees!

Apr 30, 2013
scott123 in Pennsylvania

Not happy with pizza dough outcome

I would describe it a lot differently as well. I will defend this book's right to use strange ingredients in a non style specific perspective, but it's by far, not 'nearly everything you need to know about pizza.' Not even close.

Apr 26, 2013
scott123 in Home Cooking

Not happy with pizza dough outcome

double post. disregard

Apr 26, 2013
scott123 in Home Cooking

Not happy with pizza dough outcome

Josh, while I almost always side with purists/authenticists and I applaud your level of passion, I believe that you're painting with too broad of a brush here.

If you wanted to say something along the lines of "Milk and eggs have no place in the top two favorite styles of pizza- New York and Neapolitan," that would be an excellent argument. But you really can't restrict ingredients in a non-style specific discussion. You can't make the inference that any particular style of pizza isn't 'decent.'

Milk and eggs have no place in what most people would probably consider the best pizza (they definitely have no place in my favorite style), but not all.

Apr 26, 2013
scott123 in Home Cooking
1

Best Pizza Within an Hour of Harrisburg

Root's market (Lancaster) has a pizza stall every Tuesday that serves up what could easily be the best NY style slice West of NJ.

http://www.rootsmarket.com/standholders-detail.asp?Image=59
https://www.facebook.com/NormasPizzaAtRootsCountryMarketAndAuction
http://learningknowledgetomakepizza.blogspot.com/
http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/05/pizza-obsessives-norma-knepp-experimental-pizza-maven.html
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=9031

Norma is REALLY serious about her pizza. She tends to go a little thicker than most NY places go for NY style, so if you want something a bit more authentic, you might want to ask her to stretch the pizza a bit further. Regardless of what thickness you go with, this is top notch pizza.

Beyond NY style, Norma is a virtuoso with Detroit style. There's not a lot of Detroit competition on the East Coast, but, from the looks of the pies she's made, she could be making one of the best Detroit pies on the planet. I'm not sure that she makes Detroit every Tuesday, though- I'd call in advance just to make sure.

Norma's good friend and frequent partner in crime, Steve Grisafi, has a mobile trailer called 'X-Stream Cuisine', at the Green Dragon Market (Ephrata) on Fridays (weather permitting) that does Neapolitan and NY styles in a wood fired oven.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/X-Stream-Cuisine/394747973922378
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21856.0.html

In the huge swath of area between Pittsburgh and NYC, I'm confident that this is the best Neapolitan pizza you'll find, by far.

These will both be a bit of drive from Harrisburg, but, for the area, I don't think anyone can touch the quality of pies Norma and Steve are putting out.

New Haven style, in your area, isn't going to happen. You could ask Steve to stretch his NY dough further and put it in a cooler part of his oven, and that might get you something a bit New Haven-ish, but the coolest part of his oven might still be a bit too hot. For NH, as Melpy mentioned, I think your best bet is to make it yourself. A home oven will never truly match a coal oven, but, with a little initiative, you can get pretty darn close:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/inde...

Apr 25, 2013
scott123 in Pennsylvania

Best Canned Indian Food?

Thanks, everyone, but I'm looking for feedback on canned options, not jarred, packs or frozen options. I'm specifically interested in cans because of the expense.

Apr 03, 2013
scott123 in General Topics

Best Canned Indian Food?

Are there any canned Indian food brands that you'd recommend?

I recall, about 10 years ago, having a canned saag that tasted okay, but I'm drawing a blank on the name. Even if they're cheap, I'd still prefer to not have to taste too many different brands to find one that I like, because I do recall that some brands aren't fit for human consumption.

Apr 03, 2013
scott123 in General Topics

Seeking Incredibly Inexpensive Meals in Northern NJ

Alright, I'm resurrecting this more than 2 year old thread to see if anyone can come up with some new options.

The buck double is no more, and, by the time I made the trip to a polish restaurant lead in Lake Hiawatha, it was closed.

Any new ideas?

Apr 03, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

Just Moved to Summit, NJ (from Brooklyn) and struggling to find good food! Help.

CH411, I just saw your question.

While I do have professional aspirations, right now, it's homemade. I have a small list of pizzerias that I've consulted for, and that's beginning to grow, and, I would at some point, eventually like to open my own place, but, in this area, the sheer number of pizzerias is pretty intimidating. Even though mediocrity seems to rule the day, mediocre pizza can still muster a great deal of brand loyalty, so if I do enter the market, my ducks have to be in a row.

I'm not in your area a great deal, but if I do get a chance, I'll look into your suggestions, thanks. Btw, Pizza Town, my favorite up here, has a second shop in Ocean Grove called the Pizza Shoppe. In conversations I've had with Michele Tomo (P-town's co-owner), I believe that the father might run it. I've never been there, so I can't vouch for it, but she has assured me that they're doing things the same way at both places.

Feb 24, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

Pizza that's real New York ?

Zippyhaas, I'm glad that Pizza Suprema worked out for you, but, for this kind of style, there are far better options in the NY area. The only catch is that you have to leave Manhattan.

If you love pizza, coming to NY and missing out on the outer boroughs is a tremendous tragedy, imo. Manhattan is tourist pizza and it differs very little to the pizza found in anytown, USA- with a little digging, you'd probably find something comparable in your home town. It's only when you get out of Manhattan that the magic happens.

Feb 24, 2013
scott123 in Manhattan

Just Moved to Summit, NJ (from Brooklyn) and struggling to find good food! Help.

CH411, my favorite pizzas in the area are my own :)

As far as the rest, well, it depends on how you define the area :)

For Neapolitan, Amano, as I mentioned is excellent, although it pales in comparison to Keste's lardo pie, Motorino's brussel sprouts pie or Paulie Gee's hellboy. Forcella (Brooklyn) is in the top 4, although it's my favorite crust and I haven't found the ultimate topping there yet.

As much as I like Neapolitan, though, my real love is NY. This area is a serious wasteland for a truly great NY slice. I haven't been everywhere, but I've been trying slices for decades and, recently, have stepped up my game and probably hit over 80 slice places in the last 6 months. The results have generally been abysmal. Here's how I rank them.

My own, at the top of my game: 9.5
Pizza Town, Elmwood Park: 8.5 (If Michele Tomo is making it, otherwise, 7.5)
Nonna's (Florham Park): 4
Angelo's (Parsippany): 3.5
Pomodoro (Morristown): 3
Everything else is less than 1

There's a few places I've been meaning to get to, such as Reservoir tavern and Star Tavern, but it could be a while because those styles are not that much of a draw for me.

As far as certification being a racket... it can be. The main certification group, VPN has been frequently accused of certifying anyone with a checkbook. Roberto, though, is a little different. I actually talked with Roberto about the APN at length. At the time, I wasn't aware of his affiliation (whoops!) and was quite critical- no softball questions there. Merely taking his course doesn't guarantee certification. Roberto is renowned for being a very demanding boss, and I have no doubt that he's not certifying anyone on a whim. I'm not, at this point, expecting the certification process to be the end all be all for assuring great authentic Neapolitan pizza, but, between APN, VPN or no certification all, APN gets my vote.

I should also note that while VPN takes a lot of flack, my issue is less with the organization as a whole but with certain instructors. VPN has some, imo, less talented teachers, but they also have some great teachers. If Giulio Adriani (Forcella) certifies a new pizzeria, then I trust that assessment. He definitely has some skills. If I see a VPN sticker on a window, though, without knowing who did the certification... that's not much of a selling point.

Feb 08, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

Just Moved to Summit, NJ (from Brooklyn) and struggling to find good food! Help.

$18 for a margherita is insane. I've been waiting for this place to open since Roberto (Keste) told me about them about a year ago. Keste and DA are noticeably less expensive, but don't forget Amano, in Ridgewood, which, imo, is equally as affluent as Morristown (Whole Paycheck *cough*) Their prices and quality are on par with Keste as well.

Roberto, btw, isn't technically a consultant. He's part owner of Amano and Don Antonio and either part or full owner of Keste. He's president of the APN (Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani) a training and certification organization in the U.S. Schedule allowing, Roberto trains aspiring Neapolitan pizza makers. The folks at Millies are his students. Roberto is a great teacher, and some talented people have studied under him, but I should point out that his courses usually last no longer than about 2 weeks, and, while that's an excellent foundation for making Neapolitan pizza, it takes months to master- especially tending an oven. Being a student of Roberto's doesn't automatically make someone a master pizzaiolo.

I'd like to say that at some point I'll be able to judge the extent of their mastery of these skills, but, at $18 a pop, I'm not sure they're ever going to see my business. Maybe eventually I'll break down and try it, but, right now, $18 seems incredibly offensive to me. Neapolitan pizza, at it's heart, is food of the people, not food of the elite. Some of the best pizzerias in Naples only charge around $8 for a pie. Even if Millies makes the best Neapolitan pizza ever, right now, I'd still see myself spending the time and gas to drive to Ridgewood, just on principle.

I'd also like to try their coal pies as well, although coal in NJ hasn't had the best track record in recent years (Anthony's). I'm not repeating my Tomato Pie experience ($18 for one of the worst pizzas I've ever had).

Pizza is my life, and I do live in Morristown, so, in theory, I should be knocking down the doors to get in, but, I also have pretty passionate beliefs about fair pricing of goods and services. Right now, my level of offense is outweighing my passion for pizza.

Edit: I just spent 15 minutes looking through the photos on Millie's site. Photo's of topped skins before baking, photos of heavily sugared Nutella pies, but not a single shot of a baked margherita? I'm sorry, but that's a really bad sign.

Feb 08, 2013
scott123 in New Jersey

Fried pizza

I've had it at Forcella in Brooklyn, and, while I have the greatest respect for Giulio Adriani's doughmaking skills, the Montanara wasn't thrilling.

I have yet to meet any serious pizza obsessive that's been all that amped about Neapolitan fried pizza. It's great in theory- anything fried HAS to be better, right? But in practice... meh.

Jan 07, 2013
scott123 in General Topics