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Common Korean Ingredients

I'm no big fan of soju; I prefer beer with Korean food for the most part, but I made green tea soju at home mixing 1/2 iced green tea with Jinro Chamisul Soju that we really enjoyed with galbi gui.

2 days ago
carnicero in Home Cooking

Common Korean Ingredients

+1 for tteokbokki!

2 days ago
carnicero in Home Cooking

Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken opening in Chinatown...

While yes, they are a franchise and follow the protocol, I do think the chicken can get better with time. It's possible that due to their opening delays and staffing issues, their fry cooks may not have the recipe totally nailed yet. Some of that comes with time and practice managing their order volume and training. The guy I talked to (Manager? Franchisee?) told me that they order the sauce from Korea, so that won't change. However, the cook times and crispness of the chicken are in the hands of the kitchen crew and that can certainly change.

I agree with you that their ordering policy and wait time don't exemplify customer service, but the attitudes of the staff go a long way to make up for it. I've had quick but surly service at other places and been less happy with the resulting meal. Had the staff at Bonchon not been polite and friendly, I wouldn't be likely to go back after the inconvenience of not being able to call in my order and then having to wait extra time for it. Since they were so nice and made me feel like they valued my business, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for opening hiccups.

Mar 03, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken opening in Chinatown...

Even though my excitement had waned in all of the opening delays and false starts, I had a craving last night and tried Bonchon after work. They are not doing take-out orders over the phone yet, they say to control high demand, and are only doing eat-in or walk-in take-out orders.

I was greeted by friendly staff at the door and they gave me a menu and took my order. They said 30 minutes for pickup, and I could wait or they would call my cell phone when it was ready. I opted for the phone call and walked around the corner for BarLy for a late happy hour beer. After about 35 minutes with no call, I walked back to Bonchon. The hostess recognized me and apologized for my food not being ready, then went back in the kitchen to check on it. I ended up waiting 10-15 more minutes, but having a friendly talk with a guy at the counter who I believe was a manager or maybe one of the franchise owners. So, my total wait was 50 minutes rather than 30, but the staff was very gracious and I didn't much mind the delay.

After getting home, we dug into half-and-half wings, the seasoned fries, kimchi, kimchi coleslaw, and pickled radishes. The wings were very good, but maybe not quite as crispy as wings I've enjoyed from Cafe Soho. The spicy sauce was excellent, but the soy garlic was just ok. Sides were all really good. So all in all, I can't say whether or not it lived up to the hype, as I think they are still going through growing pains from opening. The food and service were really good, though, and I'll definitely try them again.

Mar 03, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia

Costco Food Finds - 1st Quarter 2015

I usually buy regular Shin Ramyun, not the Black. I get it at H-Mart (Korean grocery chain). Costco's deal on the Shin Black is pretty amazing, as it has bigger cups, more in a pack, and a lower cost than H-Mart, which was pretty good to begin with.

Feb 14, 2015
carnicero in Chains

Moscovado Sugar in Philadelphia?

I've gotten something labeled as "black muscovado sugar" from H-Mart (Korean grocery) over the bridge in Cherry Hill. The Upper Darby and Cheltenham stores probably carry it as well. It's a very dark, fairly moist unrefined sugar, with a bit of a smoky undertaste. I don't know how it compares to standard muscovado that your recipe might call for, but I really enjoy it.

Feb 14, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia

Fresh octopus?

I've also read-- and there are so many myths and legends about cooking octopus, who knows if it's true or not-- that frozen octopus is more tender than fresh because of cell damage caused by ice crystals during freezing and thawing.

Jan 29, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Nongshim Shin Ramyun is the best!

Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken opening in Chinatown...

I understand how awful city offices can be to deal with- I just think maybe the franchise owner has jumped the gun on his publicity a few too many times. Don't get me wrong, I'm still excited to try it and looking forward to having more convenient chicken. I'm just much less excited about it than I was when I first heard they were coming to town, then heard opening soon, then heard delayed, then heard opening soon... and so on.

Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp Salad

quick pickle those carrots and some julienned daikon in a brine of salt, sugar, rice vinegar and water and you've got a winner.

Jan 26, 2015
carnicero in Recipes

Kensington Quarters

I'm not sure if this is what cwdonald meant, but I do have a problem with the location: parking. I used to live in Fishtown and still frequent the neighborhood. There are a ton of great spots now on Frankford and Girard Avenues, as well as back in the side streets, but there is often absolutely nowhere to park. Street parking is super limited, and the only lot off the top of my head is a tiny PPA lot on Frankford that's usually full.

Jan 26, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

Fried rice always sticks

refined coconut oil has a high smoke point. unrefined is fairly low. Sesame oil has a lower smoke point than refined coconut oil. but I'm not sure how it compares to unrefined.

Jan 20, 2015
carnicero in Home Cooking

Very best sausage for cassolette?

I just made my first cassoulet this week, as well as my first batch of sausage. It came out way better than my expectations, which was a nice surprise. This is a small batch, just over 1 1/4 lbs, scaled down from a 5 lb recipe. I'd have to dig through my notes to be sure of exact quantities, but here's what I recall using:

600 grams coarsely ground pork
11 grams kosher salt
very heavy pinch of coarse black pepper
3 cloves garlic, grated on fine microplane
1 oz cognac, armagnac, or other good brandy

combine ingredients in stainless mixing bowl and mix with clean hands or silicone spatula until well-integrated and sticky in texture, chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Then use stuffing apparatus of choice to pack into natural hog casings. Pinch and twist the rope sausage into links about 4" long. Chill until ready for cooking.

Jan 17, 2015
carnicero in Home Cooking

Hot Diggity Closes

I was sad to read this today. I also couldn't be considered a regular, but I grabbed a dog there whenever I was nearby.

Jan 17, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia

Sancho Pistola's Girard Ave

I was there once- not worth going back, for me or my party. There are so many good taquerias, both traditional and nuevo/creative/gringo, that it's not worth the trouble. They do have a strong beer list, but their cocktails were awful.

If you want damn good tacos not far from there, try Taco Riendo (BYOB) at 5th & Thompson. Cantina Dos Segundos on N. 2nd is also solid, plus great beer and the best margaritas. And for the nuevo/hipster demographic that I think Sancho's is trying to hit, I think you'd have better luck at Loco Pez on Norris St. Just stay clear of there for Tuesday happy hour. They do $1 tacos and the place is too packed to get inside.

Jan 16, 2015
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

White Bean soup ideas? (no ham, bacon)

came here to say the same thing

Jan 03, 2015
carnicero in Home Cooking

Your explaining brewing tea wrong..."Your doing it wrong"

To expand a bit further on your point: yes, oxygen and other gases can be dissolved in water. Cold water has a greater capacity for gas in solution, and boiling causes these dissolved gases to escape along with the water vapor. I think the OP is unaware of dissolved oxygen and thinks that whoever she is addressing claims that boiling water causes lysis of the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms, which clearly is not the case.

Dec 01, 2014
carnicero in Home Cooking
1

What are the cuisines that you know little about but want to try?

There's a great Portuguese restaurant in a Riverside, NJ. I think it's called Pavilion Barbecue. It's not fine dining, more rustic or homey than Koo Zee Do, but delicious and fresh.

Nov 27, 2014
carnicero in General Topics

Snagged some hard to find Bourbons to try

I wish BTAC hadn't become nearly as much of a craze as Pappy. It's almost impossible to snag any bottles in PA or NJ. George T. Stagg has to be one of my favorite whiskeys of all time.

As for your OP about Midwinter Night's Dram: I haven't found it in my area yet, but I've loved all of their other bottlings I've tried. Double Rye, Rendezvous Rye, American Prairie Reserve, and Son of Bourye are all great. The silver oat and OMG silver ryes are about the only unaged whiskeys I've really enjoyed.

Nov 24, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Panettone

DiBruno Bros always carries panettone, and I don't recall ever not getting a good one.

Nov 24, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Cabbage Kimchi-Style

Soo... not kimchi, but korean-flavored braised cabbage? Unfermented? With saffron, sugar and bell pepper? Maybe it's good, but it certainly isn't kimchi. Even "kimchi-style" seems like quite a stretch.

Nov 10, 2014
carnicero in Recipes

Where to buy a turkey in Philly?

D'Angelo Brothers Meats in the Italian market, S. 9th St between Montrose & Christian. You have to pre-order a week or more in advance, but he gets in fresh Bourbon Red turkeys (a heritage breed- the body structure is more like a wild turkey than a commercial broad-breasted white turkey). I haven't hosted Thanksgiving or Christmas for a few years, regrettably, but when I did I always ordered a Bourbon Red from Sonny D'Angelo.

Nov 09, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

Battle of the Slaws: Mayo vs Vinegar based

I detest mayonnaise, so it's vinegar slaw for me. Also an option- mustard slaw. Both are phenomenal with barbecue (especially fatty pork).

Oct 28, 2014
carnicero in General Topics
1

Whiskey gift for a beginner?

As I understand it, there are two problems affecting Weller availability in some markets.

First, as you mention, it has received some attention as "Pappy Lite" or "Poor Man's Pappy," and people are snapping it up more than ever before.

Second, Buffalo trace distills, barrels and bottles the Pappy line and William LaRue Weller (as part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection line). The Pappy Bourbons and the WL Weller are both said to be the same mashbill as Old Weller Antique- and command a much higher retail price than OWA. The distillery has been rumored to be holding back barrels that would have been released as OWA in order to have greater quantities of Pappy and WL Weller available for sale.

All that being said, it's been harder for me to find than before, but still available. I grab a bottle or two when I see it because it's still a tremendous value.

Oct 27, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Whiskey gift for a beginner?

I think your bourbon mentions are all fine choices. I keep Elijah Craig 12 in my home bar all the time. I'll add Old Weller Antique 107, Evan Williams Single Barrel and Old Granddad 114 as good products in the same price range.

If your family member prefers ice in his whiskey, consider some nice heavy-bottomed double rocks glasses rather than glencairns. Libbey and Anchor Hocking both make very nice bar/restaurant grade glasses for not much money. I get mine by the case at the restaurant supply store, but they are available individually for slightly more from Amazon and other places.

Oct 26, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Brandied cherries?

Sorry to say that I don't know of anywhere selling brandied cherries. However, While Foods carries a brand of jarred preserved cherries similar to maraschinos but a more natural texture and flavor. The brand is Tillen Farms, product name Bada Bing Cherries. If you drain off the syrup and replace it with brandy, they come out pretty well.

Oct 24, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Whiskies for Fall

I see merit in both of your arguments. Good dilution can tame a heavier spirit and make it more approachable for sure. However, for a fan of Irish whiskey, which I find lighter in body and sweeter in flavor than many bourbons, I'd probably recommend a bourbon other than Bookers. Old Weller Antique 107 is still overproof, but lighter and not as sharp or aggressive as Bookers. It's very beginner-friendly even with very little or no water. It can be a little difficult to find, at least where I live, but it only retails for $23-$26, which makes it a steal for the quality.

Oct 21, 2014
carnicero in Spirits

Need recommendations for business trip

Shake Shack- best old-school flat top burger around

Village Whiskey- what I think of as "pub-style burger"; thicker patty and more refined toppings than Shake Shack (bonus: excellent whiskey selection and good cocktails)

Good Dog- I'll second this one, good casual bar with interesting food and above average beer selection

Reading Terminal Market- indoor stall vendor market with everything from produce vendors to fish mongers to butchers to prepared foods. Your coworkers can get burgers, deli sandwiches, etc., and you can be free to join them or get Cantonese noodle soup, Thai, Cajun, tacos, or pretty much whatever else you might want.

Lloyd: (529 E. Girard Ave)This is much closer to Center City than Blue Duck. Neighborhood bar with a focus on whiskey. Decent cocktails and a small but quality beer list. They make a good burger, as well as a variety of good small plates/appetizers. I recommend the buffalo crispy duck skins. Also, this puts you close to Frankford Hall, a popular German-style beer hall and Fette Sau, a Texas-style barbecue place that serves only humanely raise heritage breed meat.

Oct 20, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia

Rehearsal dinner in New Hope area

I'll second the rec for Triumph. We attended a friend's rehearsal dinner there a few years ago and they did a great job.

Oct 06, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia
1

Philadelphia Wedding Caterers (Report)

The muddled fruit and splash of soda are a more modern/contemporary recipe than what I use. It all comes down to taste, and some people will prefer that version and others the classic. The splash of soda in the newer recipe lightens the drink, where as the older way is more viscous and spirit-forward.

My go-to recipe:
Build on the rocks (or one very large rock, if available):
1/4 oz maple syrup (grade B dark amber preferred)
3 dashes bitters
2 oz whiskey
stir well, garnish with wide twist of orange peel and cherry

Oct 01, 2014
carnicero in Philadelphia