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LilBrownBat's Profile

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d-bags at alden & harlow

57 comments? Over this? Must be one hell of a slow day.

about 22 hours ago
LilBrownBat in Greater Boston Area
1

Siljans knacke in Boston area (NOT IKEA)

I'm looking for Siljans knackebrod, the big wheel in the blue paper wrapper, somewhere in the Boston area. Not IKEA. Wasa is ok but not as good, I want the real deal. Any sightings?

Regional snacks for gifts?

It really depends where you're coming from and how widely you define "the area". If you're from another part of the continent or world, you might consider maple products to be a good representative of the region. It IS maple season!

Why does the Acton/Concord area have NO GOOD RESTAURANTS?

This is the best food news I've read in nine years of commuting on Route 2. Any idea when they'll be opening?

Lamb spare ribs

They were probably mutton rather than lamb. Real honest-to-god lamb ribs are tiny, nothing like what people think of when they think "ribs".

Where You Go as Opposed to Where you are Supposed to Go?

Huh. Fries at Porter Belly are all that? How's their fish-and?

Wedding restaurant + grounds for 25 people in Southern New England?

Amazing, huh? The Warfield House in Charlemont MA has an amazing view, and their own grass-fed beef herd (or at least they used to). You'll have to judge for yourself how amazing the food is. I couldn't tell you since they shut out the general public in favor of the function trade *sniff*

Where You Go as Opposed to Where you are Supposed to Go?

I have no idea where I'm supposed to go, but with my mother dead and gone more than ten years, I figure I can drink the milk from the carton and eat anywhere I want. Where I want to eat, these days, is mostly Rod Dee, and what I want to eat is tom yum noodle soup with chicken. I don't think it's actually on the menu like that any more, but just ask for it and they'll make it. It is the only antidote to this horrible winter.

Why doesn't Daikanyama in Lexington get more love here?

I've never been there, but I think you're onto something with the "precious and contrived". Just from their website..."Daikanyama at Lexington"? and "Miyabi Zen"? Please.

It is an alarmingly large menu -- what are the odds that their execution is better than "meh" in areas as diverse as noodles, sushi, and absolutely everything in between? The arm-long list of Ridiculous Maki, the absence of prices, the presence of sukiyaki and teriyaki dishes "smothered" in sauce, and the location in the suburbs...alarm bells are ringing. It could be fantastic. But I'm guessing "OK but not great" is more likely, and the prices you quoted are borderline special occasion prices.

Japanese Bento Boxes

You'll find what you want in most Japanese restaurants, although I don't think you'll find many that refer to it as "bento". A bento box is just a Japanese version of your old favorite Superman lunchbox, a container with separate compartments for different courses or food items. It's used by brown-baggers, and sometimes offered by restaurants as takeout. If you're eating in, IME it is most often referred to as a "set" (ex. "salmon teriyaki set"), meaning accompanied by rice, salad, usually soup and pickles.

Best Little Restaurant, formerly Ho Yuen Ting, in Chinatown

Way back in the day, Ho Yuen Ting was our Friday lunch place...always with the whole sea bass. They served excellent "hot pot" which is nothing like the soupy table "hot pot", it's more like a clay pot only theirs were metal and always falling apart. And wow, in these snowy days do I ever miss their hot and sour soup.

ISO: Raw Milk - Preferably MetroWest

http://www.nofamass.org/content/infor...

With Eastleigh Farm gone, there is nothing very close to you.

Polenta or Cornmeal from Local Organic Corn?

http://fourstarfarms.com/shop/flour/s...

Four Star Farm in Northfield MA has a no-GMO coarse cornmeal that might work for you. They also do a fine grind if that's what you want, and they have lots of other yummy stuff too. Also great recipes on their website.

Does the snow keep you close to home?

The snow is making life SUCK, eating-wise. I don't dare get off the T for fear I'll never be able to get back on, and I don't dare drive to my fave places for fear it'll be a complete nightmare. I hate it.

best french fries in the pioneer valley?

Local in Northampton is pretty damn good, fries that taste like potatoes but they're not double-fried.

Blackbird Donuts?

You won't, ever. Downtown rents make this impossible.

I've been bringing in donuts from Adams Donuts in Greenfield on Fridays. I'd put 'em up against Linda's, Ohlin's or Verna's, quite possibly better than any of these. Two dozen for $14.65.

Where to buy Scotch in Boston?

+1. Very very knowledgeable, excellent selection, and they have stuff at good price points too. Tell Joe what you want to spend and he'll find you the best available at that price.

Graduation dinner/May 2015

Second that, and please be patient. If you call your restaurant of choice and are told that they're full that day (yes, it could very well happen even though it's January), maybe ask them for advice -- they may have another restaurant to suggest, or they may be able to accommodate you at a different time. Patience and flexibility are your best weapons here.

Boston: gifts of food for the non-cook?

I've got to round up a birthday gift for a friend who has too much stuff already, and I was thinking I might get her some food gifts instead. She does not cook except once in a blue moon -- it's just tedious and no fun to her, and there is no cookbook, kitchen tool or ingredient that will change that. She does like tasty food, however. So, I'm thinking of a food gift, or a subscription, or possibly a restaurant gift card or something like that, and hoping that folks here can help me out.

A few particulars:

- No alcohol. She just doesn't like it.
- She likes fruit but has some odd reaction to certain fruit peels/skins -- peaches, not sure what else. I think berries, cherries and grapes are fine.
- She likes cheese but can't eat too much dairy, and doesn't have terribly elevated cheese tastes.
- She likes charcuterie and will trample her momma for good prosciutto.
- She's less interested in fine dining than a really good plate of chicken and waffles.
- Chocolate good, but milk only.
- Tasty baked goods yes.
- Ice cream yes.

Any ideas?

need advice on affordable New England wedding venues

(and now I feel like a bit of an idjit since it's an old thread)

need advice on affordable New England wedding venues

How much work are you personally willing to put into it? I have friends who had a very nice and affordable DIY wedding, but pulling it off took some real work and some real connections. The couple are both grownups, each already owning their own blender, so they asked certain guests to help them in lieu of wedding gifts. Two professional photographers volunteered services and did the production at cost, likewise a couple of bartenders and a caterer, people in the biz got them hooked up with wine at wholesale prices, and I transported the beer kegs from the brewery 150 miles away. They borrowed the venue for nothing -- again, a matter of knowing somebody -- and the setup and teardown of tables, tent etc. was mostly done with volunteer labor.

The problem with this approach if anyone expects/demands a storybook wedding: you, your intended, or any of the guests. If everyone's a grownup and has been to plenty of weddings already, they will likely not mind pitching in, and will be grateful not to have to buy another damn bridesmaid's dress that they'll never wear again.

Best southern-fried chicken in the Greater Boston area?

This I don't get, at all, at all. Fresh? Try injected with salt water, rubbery, tasteless and nasty -- like all the chains. You meant freshly "cooked"? Maybe. But fresh chicken, no, no way, it's inferior chicken highly altered and not the better for it.

Best southern-fried chicken in the Greater Boston area?

As near as I can tell, there ain't none :-(

Tamales

You haven't had Mi Tierra tortillas yet, I take it? You should. You can get them at Whole Foods.

Meat Buying Club in Boston?

Boston is a little closer to the farm than NYC, and you don't have to join a club or go very far to find farms that will sell you what you want. The best source is CISA's local food finder at http://www.buylocalfood.org/buy-local...

Local meats/eggs w/o breaking the bank...recommendations?

I wish I could say that it's that well thought out! I have a slight advantage in that I live in farm country, with many truly local producers, but that still doesn't give me an enormous price break. By that I mean that I'm sure there's a substantial markup if you're buying at retail establishments in the city, but you won't often see prices dip below $6 a pound for any kind of local meat (with the exception of soup bones and the like). To get an idea, here's the price list at a farm where I've been buying beef for about 10 years now: http://www.wheelviewfarm.com/pricelis.... At the same time, though, supermarket beef is not exactly cheap these days. There's a good reason for that and it's not about to change. So the difference between supermarket and farm is less than it used to be.

Chicken is often not the cheapest option. This surprises many people who think about the relative prices of chicken and beef in the supermarket, but unless they're factory farmed, chickens are not that cheap to raise. It's a matter of literally killing the goose (or chicken) that lays the egg: traditionally, among farmers who raise chickens, it's rare to kill a bird -- you keep them for eggs instead. Same with any kind of meat animal: you slaughter it and you're done. So, finding farmers who raise meat birds is not easy -- the production doesn't meet the demand. And chicken is difficult because you usually have to buy whole birds, frozen, which means you can't portion them. Pigs are pretty economical because they mature quickly, without a ton of feeding, and they produce good-sized litters...but, again, not what we'd call cheap.

So, yeah, most of the time I use the less expensive cuts and just don't eat as much. Beef shank or shin is a great cut for anything that involves braising: chili, spaghetti sauce, beef barley soup, etc. And I eat fish, but not shrimp, as much as I love it, because it's an ecological catastrophe. I just don't eat as much meat as what you find in the average American diet, and it works out okay.

Local meats/eggs w/o breaking the bank...recommendations?

The prices you list are pretty good, tbh. I don't think you're going to beat those and get local humanely raised meat. The stuff just isn't cheap to raise and bring to market.

This is not what anyone wants to hear, but I think we, the buying public, need to reexamine what we mean by "so expensive it's prohibitive". You need a big budget to eat local humanely-raised meat...IF you eat meat the way the average American does, that is, in large quantities and on a daily basis. But if local and humanely raised is a concern to you...at the risk of sounding like I'm tut-tutting, maybe it is worth thinking about the true cost of eating a lot of meat, not to your wallet but to the world. We don't like factory farming, but it's a chicken and egg problem, metaphorically speaking: factory farming is simply the only way you can bring large amounts of meat to large numbers of people. So, if these are issues that matter to you, maybe the best route is to eat local humanely-raised meat, but eat less of it.

Chinatown up and coming?

You seem to have completely lost track of who I was responding to. Hint: it wasn't you. So, maybe you should stop preaching at me.

And yeah, I know plenty about small-plot gardening, composting, and any other related subject you'd care to hold forth on. I've got a garden that I've been hand-tilling and improving the soil for going on fifteen years now. I know exactly what it takes. There's more to gardening than paying someone else to build a raised bed and trucking in a load of soil.

Chinatown up and coming?

It's "doable" in the sense that you can grow crops on a rooftop (with a lot of effort -- you can't just truck the soil in once and be done with it). But it won't scratch the surface of demand. It's a tiny "farm", and it still needs to truck its goods to the consumer -- the only difference is distance (plus a lot of aggravation that a non-urban farm does not have...it's easier to load from the field into your truck than from the top of a building).

Finding the Seaweed Used in Japanese Seaweed Salad

The type of seaweed typically used in Japanese restaurant seaweed salad is wakame. Dried wakame can be found at most Asian markets and reconstitutes just fine. Hijiki (a dark brown spaghetti in strands) may be a little harder to find, but also makes a great seaweed salad (usually served with carrot strands).