sgordon's Profile

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Maille Mustard Boutique

Haha. No, this is much more important than Cuba.

I think people catching a show at LC might wander the neighborhood and window shop a bit before/after their matinee. I probably would, and given the infrequency of my ever being North of 14th St, I might as well be a tourist! Or I'd walk South down Columbus after a trip to the NHM. And isn't that weird little curiosity shop up Columbus? I can't remember the name, it's tiny but famous.

about 2 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Maille Mustard Boutique

Yeah, I found that a bit odd as well - why does one empty pot cost more than another? Hmm...

Maybe there are a couple shreds of Perigord in there, I dunno. Like how, technically, a 40-year tawny port can be made from 99.99999% year-old port with one single drop of 80-year-old port added. Point being, it's redolent with flavorant, regardless. And the ingredients list ends with "Natural And Artificial Flavor" - if they did put actual Perigords in there, even enough to warrant that price (how they would do that when they're not in season, I dunno, but let's look past that for a second...) they were sadly wasted because as soon as the flavorant is added it's so powerful it masks any real truffle flavor that might have subtly lurked in there. Might as well put toasted moth wings in it for all the difference it would make at that point.

But hey, if you like it, buy it. I ain't stopping you.

about 2 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Maille Mustard Boutique

Hah, I wish, but didn't see any like that - although their Dijons are among the more pungent on the market. And they've a really good horseradish mustard, which isn't quite wasabi, but might do in a pinch.

On those occasions I'm cooking at home and want a Chinese-style mustard, I just whip it up from scratch with some powder. I don't even know of a good store brand.

about 3 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Maille Mustard Boutique

I dunno - I'd say being two blocks from Lincoln Center counts as "touristy" - if not quite as much as Times Square. It's not exactly a suburban block.

We spent about the same, though half of that was gifts - was a little put off by the fact that the gift boxes were $11 (you'd think, especially being a new place, they'd just include one with the purchase of X number of jars) - it's the old battle of "encourage repeat customers" versus "grab a buck where we can" retail philosophies, the latter suggesting that they are in fact more tourist-focused, at least for now. But at least they were nice-ish boxes.

about 3 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Maille Mustard Boutique

I had that one before too - but I didn't see it on the shelf. There were a couple I've had from Europe that weren't there, but maybe they change the offerings every year?

There were some good ones - I liked the Apricot Curry although I felt there could have been a bit more of the curry. If you like Blue Cheese (I'm not the biggest fan, personally) that one might grab you. The Blackcurrant was really good, and the Walnut. (And if you mix the latter two together you get a strange but oddly tasty "mustard PB&J" effect...)

about 3 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Maille Mustard Boutique

What kind of truffles? Perigord? Burgundy? Oregon? Chinese? "Actual truffles" doesn't mean much of anything. As I noted, the mere fact that they don't use a geographic modifier is a bit telling.

There are dozens of cheap, flavorless truffles out there. Only a couple kinds are actually valuable (White Albas and Black Perigords) - and this year's Black Perigords haven't even hit the market yet, which means it's for sure not those - and those would be the only "black truffles" that would warrant a $45 price tag for that size jar. These are not the same "black truffles" you'll be paying a supplement for over your pasta at Babbo next month.

There very well may be some kind of truffles in there - Chinese or summer truffles, maybe - exactly what's in those bottles of $13 truffle oil with a truffle floating in them. That's fine - they're $13. That's what they're worth.

My assertion about a chemical additive: it's based on the fact that I know what it tastes like. If you're eating a sandwich and you tell me there's peanut butter in it, I'm assuming you know what peanut butter tastes like. In this case, the mustard doesn't taste like truffles, it tastes like 2,4-dithiapentane.

That's ("2,4-dithiapentane") not what it'll be listed as under the ingredients, of course - it's usually listed as "truffle aroma" or even "natural truffle flavoring" - doesn't mean it naturally came from a truffle, just that it meets the FDA's definition of "natural" is all. Hey, diacetyl and/or acetoin - a/k/a the "butter flavoring" they put on your popcorn at the movies and in hundreds of other products - can be made naturally. Doesn't mean there's a quark of butter in them.

Honestly, whoever is mixing it up may not even know themselves. They could be adding drops of "truffle oil" along with the summer or Chinese truffle peelings to "enhance" the flavor and they've no idea that that's what they've just added to it. What I imagine they do know, though, is their own costs - and that their raw materials aren't warranting the final price tag. Or maybe they're buying some overpriced "truffle oil" that's no different than the Roland brand and thinking it's higher quality. I dunno. But I know what's in the mustard.

Anyway, not to dwell on that one topic - it's a cute store, most of what I had was good (the other mustards "on tap" I liked) - how well they'll do, who knows? They have a number of boutiques in Europe that do well.

about 3 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

HATE the pagination. Hate even more? The fact that it no longer auto-collapses replies one has already read. THAT made it easy to navigate, one could could quickly go through a long thread (like this one) and immediately see where the new responses are. Now, what, one has to re-read the entire 200+ responses looking for new ones along the way? STUPID.

It seems like along with this downgrade, you've also stopped color-coding our "followed discussions" lists. A day ago one could look at the list and quickly see where new responses were, because those thread would would appear in white while the rest were shaded in grey. No more? There's a numbnuts idea - "hey, let's take this simple useful function and completely remove it just to annoy people."

Jeezus.

about 4 hours ago
sgordon in Site Talk
1

Maille Mustard Boutique

Ventured uptown today to check out the new Maille flagship store - if you're into mustard, it's fun. Tasted a bunch, bought a few. There's only so many mustards one can taste in a row, though.

It's a little pricey - the special varieties (jarred) are $9 for a small, but they're mostly good - everyone's tastes will vary so I'm not gonna describe them all. Then there are the FANCY fancy mustards, on tap, where you have to buy them in refillable crocks. They ranged from $25-$45 for the small crocks.

Those were - with one exception - really good, very wine-forward, the Sauternes one borderline boozy. The one exception was the Black Truffle. Now, of course one should always assume the worst when something just says "Truffle" without any geographic modifier - what kind of black truffle? Of course, It turned out to be none (or if any only shreds) of any kind but in fact my old nemesis, 2,4-dithiapentane instead. Which gives no validity to the $45/crock price tag. Feels a little shady to charge that much for the same chemical additive that's in the $12 bottle of Roland "Truffle Oil" on the shelf at Gristede's. Heck, even the Urbani sauces (which also use 2,4-d) are about half that price for an equivalent amount. Not that I'd pay anything for any of them since I think they all taste like kerosene fumes crossed with that weird two-week-old sprouted garlic head you forgot was in the bottom drawer of the fridge, so I dunno why I even brought it up...

But the Sauternes mustard is really good.

about 22 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Curing salt in Brooklyn?

Do you remember what their prices were? At Kalustyan's I know it's $10 / 3oz, which is plenty if you're only using it now and then. And it's about half that price by weight if you buy it in bulk (14oz bags were, like, $25 as I recall)

Just curious - as from Carrol Gardens (where the OP is) it's basically the same distance / subway time to either one.

1 day ago
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Can't find my favorite salsa! L.A girl needs help!

Update: according to the Hormel website the nearest place that carries it is a Waldbaum's in Long Beach. About 90 minutes on the LIRR, or a shorter drive if you have a car. I guess it's worth the trip if you want to buy it in bulk to stock up...

I usually make my own salsas, but for store-bought I like a couple brands: Frontera is generally solid, and a little cheaper there's the Herdez "Casera" line - it's not super-chunky but flavor-wise it's probably similar to the La Victoria.

1 day ago
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Can't find my favorite salsa! L.A girl needs help!

It's a national brand - owned by Hormel Foods - so I'm sure it's somewhere. What part of Brooklyn are you in? Brooklyn's a big place.

1 day ago
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

New Threes Brewing Brewpub in Gowanus?

Went to the opening night party as well. Had the house IPA and it was... well, I thought a pretty typical IPA. Not my personal favorite style, but not bad for what it was. More of a summer brew, really. Nice space, though, has a lot of potential. We'll see what the other offerings are as they go along.

1 day ago
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Curing salt in Brooklyn?

I'd check Sahadi's - would not surprise me if they had it. Not everything they've got is listed on their website, but they're always worth a trip, and not far from CG.

If not, and you find yourself in Manhattan, Kalustyan's has it for sure, and again, a place worth a trip - you'll always find other things you want/need while you're there. There's also The Meadow in the West Village, but I wouldn't go out of my way for them.

1 day ago
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

last minute help needed- a date with a vegan saturday night

Franchia is the more casual "sister" restaurant / noodle shop to HanGawi - of which much has been written on these boards.

HanGawi would be well worth checking out by the OP, as it's not just one of the best vegetarain/vegan places in town but also simply one of the best Korean restaurants in Manhattan in general. Much more romantic than Franchia, as well.

Some other places:
Kajitsu was a good call.
Scarpetta has a full vegetarian menu and a number of things on it can be made vegan if you ask.
Dirt Candy, when they reopen - Amanda Cohen is pretty much the forefront of vegetable cookery.

For a casual lunch, Il Verdure at Eataly is kind of great - I think it's the best of the stands in the place.

Having been in a couple of "mixed" relationships before, and having friends who've been in them as well, I can say that if food is something you take seriously... you might run into some stumbling blocks down the road, even if she's not the "preachy" kind of vegan. And if all goes well and you eventually move in together... just be prepared to convert.

(Not to jinx it or sound like a downer... I've just literally seen more relationships eventually lose their "click" over this specific issue than I have over even religious differences...)

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Which restaurant have you eaten at the most?

If you've ever eaten crayfish, shrimp, lobster, crab... you pretty much already stepped there - they're all Phylum Arthropoda. Just some are bigger and live in the water is all.

Dec 16, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Lincoln Ristorante - Need soothing words to calm me down!!

I'll have to report back on Lincoln another time, as it appears they're closed tomorrow (Weds) night - or at least not taking bookings, maybe they have a private event or something. Regardless, looks as though we'll be having pâté and boudin across Broadway instead...

(Or maybe we'll do Marea, though I often find them a wee bit overpriced it's been awhile since I've been... decisions, decisions...)

Dec 16, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Which restaurant have you eaten at the most?

Remind me to sit next to you when you're drunk sometime.

Dec 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Lincoln Ristorante - Need soothing words to calm me down!!

If I do, I surely will. GF was at Scarpetta the other night, though, so she might not want to do two Italians the same week. If not, we might go charcuterie crazy at Bar Boulud instead.

Dec 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Lincoln Ristorante - Need soothing words to calm me down!!

I can't remember the last time - if ever - I wasn't offered a choice when I asked for a suggestion. Or at least poured a taste first before pouring the whole glass.

Well... every place has "off" nights, unfortunately, even the best of them. And people who've worked in restaurants can tell you - if for some reason there's stress in the kitchen that night, it spreads like a zombie plague until even the non-kitchen staff are off their game. It -shouldn't-, especially at a high-end place, but it does. And then not only the food but the service is off, as well - there's kind of a domino effect.

Not to say that's what happened that night - you might have just gotten the new guy or something - but you mentioned the food being a little lackluster for them as well.

Dec 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Lincoln Ristorante - Need soothing words to calm me down!!

Well, she did ask for it - she said she'd like a glass of red to go with the dish. That kind of implies leaving it up to them. That aside, usually when I ask for a suggestion a somm will point to a couple of options (which is a nice way of them feeling out your price point without directly asking)

Dec 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Lincoln Ristorante - Need soothing words to calm me down!!

Oh my god, that Strozzapretti con Aragosta was amazing. One of the dishes of the year, for sure.

I've been quite the fan of Lincoln the last couple years, though I haven't hit the current menu yet. There's something to be said for a restaurant that lacks signatures because they keep reinventing their menu (a la Lincoln) and keeping things fresh, and there's something to be said for places (like, say, Babbo) where aside from a couple specials you pretty much know what you're in for every time. Sometimes you want surprise, sometimes you want familiar.

(But seriously, if he's going to have a signature dish, that strozzapretti should be it, not the reginette - no reason he couldn't do it year round)

Might go back this week, one of the rare occasions I have other reasons to be up in that part of town, will probably grab dinner there or Bar Boulud.

Dec 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Japanese Craft Beer in NYC

"Really great and varied" not so much, but that's on account of many not being legally available in NY. There are a few I can think of that often stock brands outside the usual Asahi & Sapporo (or Hitachino Nest if they're fancy) -

SakaMai
Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya
Kanoyama

Dec 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

List of places serving the best burgers in NYC

I'm pretty sure there isn't a molecule of truffle anywhere in the vicinity of Umami Burger's "Truffle" anything, except for that fancy limited $75 burger they had last year. At least not the good kind of truffles. They're just doused in 2,4-dithiapentane and dolled up with minced peelings of cheap, flavorless varietals for show.

But that can be said for "truffled" anything pretty much anywhere, not just at UB.

Dec 15, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

List of places serving the best burgers in NYC

If you've already hit Nomad Bar, Gato, and Cherche Midi you're more acquainted with the current scene than many New Yorkers already.

As to Brooklyn Heights: more a question for the OB board, and off the topic of burgers, but a quick response: Henry Public for cocktails, for sure. Henry's End for dinner - especially this time of year, as all through winter they do a special game menu. Their Elk Chops are pretty legendary, and they've got the best dang bowl of Turtle Soup you'll find North of NOLA. Duckling is also a can't-miss there, one of the best ducks in town. (Although if you're dining alone that might be a bit too much food...) - anything further, we'll take it to a new thread...

Dec 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Pete Wells's Top Ten NYC Ramen

All this talk of BBH... now I can't get it out of my brain. I am so totally going out to Sunset Park after work.

Dec 12, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Chip Shop Park Slope

Haha. It's everything around the fish! Also, the irresistible mac n' cheese balls and the steak n' kidney pie... mmm...

Dec 12, 2014
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Pete Wells's Top Ten NYC Ramen

The vegetarian chickpea ramen at Momofuku, for a modern twist, is quite good. I actually like it more than their two meat ramens. I think it's worth the $14.

Dec 12, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Pete Wells's Top Ten NYC Ramen

I've enjoyed the BBH at Xe Lua and Cong Ly, though probably my favorite was Thanh Da in Sunset Park. Nightingale 9 used to make a good one, though I noticed it's no longer on the menu.

Dec 12, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Grand Central Oyster Bar- Park Slope

I live on that block, and have been watching it take shape in the infamously "cursed" space. It's 90% empty 90% of the time. I suspect it's not long for this world.

At first I was excited about the retail counter - having a fishmonger right there. And for the first few weeks their prices were quite reasonable, before abruptly increasing to where they're probably the most expensive monger in the neighborhood.

Its huge space (for the neighborhood) which just makes it feel even more empty. After they inevitably close, the landlord should really look at breaking it into two separate spaces.

A neighbor had heard (and who knows how much veracity there is to these rumors) that GCOB corporate wasn't terribly concerned about how well they did - if it succeeded, great. But it was really a "test-run" for expanding the brand, just keeping it local and small-scale to start before opening GCOB Mohegan Sun or GCOB Atlantic City or GCOB Vegas or whatever.

Dec 12, 2014
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Chip Shop Park Slope

It's sad, although my arteries will be better off for it.

Dec 12, 2014
sgordon in Outer Boroughs