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Rina S's Profile

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Murray's Rotisserie Chickens

Dickson's Farmstand at the Chelsea Market has roast chicken. I haven't tried it but it's humanely raised (AND local) and everything else I've tried from Dickson's is top-notch... Great store.

Nov 16, 2013
Rina S in Manhattan

Got fresh lima beans + okra + San Marzano tomatoes + squash. Stew?

Hi everyone,
I'm trying to figure out how to make a stew that includes all of these ingredients. Of course I'd like the beans to cook thoroughly, and I've heard that the tomatoes would not allow beans to soften. So I'm wondering about how to time things.
Should I cook the beans with the acorn squash, and once they're cooked throw in the okra and the tomatoes?
Or should I give up on the idea of making one big stew of it all...
Thanks in advance,

Sep 14, 2013
Rina S in Home Cooking

Conference in Cambridge by day, visiting museums at night - Where to eat? (Tight budget!!!)

Thanks, thanks everyone for those wonderfully detailed replies. I feel a bit less lost now. I'll probably end up making my own map with all of your recommendations! Thanks so much.

May 07, 2012
Rina S in Greater Boston Area

Conference in Cambridge by day, visiting museums at night - Where to eat? (Tight budget!!!)

Thanks, bear (and everyone else!) I'll definitely report back.

May 07, 2012
Rina S in Greater Boston Area

Conference in Cambridge by day, visiting museums at night - Where to eat? (Tight budget!!!)

I'm attending a weekend conference at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, on Memorial Drive. I hope to have time for evening visits to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Gardner.

Are there any decent eating places near that hotel and the museums? I really prefer vegetarian food or "ethnic" food (Indian, Latin, etc) but I'm game for any place that offers a good meal affordable for someone on a student-type budget.

Willing to take train or bus to a great place, as long as it's not too far from the hotel, since time will be limited.

Thanks in advance, folks. It's my first time in the area so I'll really, really appreciate any advice...
Rina S.

May 05, 2012
Rina S in Greater Boston Area

Help...Heading to Washington DC for one day (tomorrow)...need inexpensive meals around Smithsonian.

More than a year later I followed Rick's advice and I'm grateful for it. Agreed, it's nothing special, but it does save time and energy better spent walking around in those magnificent galleries.

Looking for an old recipe from Gourmet mag... Cod, swiss chard, pepper

Eureka!! That's the one!!!!
Now I see what happened--I had forgotten the cod and the pepper/chard were not in the same recipe. Wow. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. It did bother me to remember this recipe and not be able to find it anymore.
Thanks again!

Nov 14, 2011
Rina S in Home Cooking

Looking for an old recipe from Gourmet mag... Cod, swiss chard, pepper

I can't find this recipe anywhere.

It was published in Gourmet in the 80s or early 90s, in that section they used to have where they had a recipe, and then another recipe that made use of the leftovers. I believe the name of that section was "Twice as Nice."

The main ingredients were cod, swiss chard and red peppers. (This isn't the canelloni recipe they have on epicurious; it was not a pasta recipe.)

Just posting in the off chance that someone here knows this recipe...

thanks in advance,


Nov 13, 2011
Rina S in Home Cooking

need some new ideas for savoury vegetarian sandwich fillings & toast toppings, beyond peanut butter, hummus and cheese

Another vote for avocado, but I don't even mash it. Good Hass avocado, cut in slices, over good lettuce when in season, sprinkled with good olive oil, on any kind of whole wheat bread. Might also sprinkle with some sea salt, but that's overkill.
I could live on this.
Also might add tomatoes when ripe and good, or even sprouts if you like that.

Oct 19, 2011
Rina S in Home Cooking

Olive oil: D'Espana? DiPalo's? Some other place?

...Ooops. Fairway is precisely the place I was referring to. Maybe I just have extremely bad luck, but the last three cans I bought from Fairway (including one Baena) didn't feel fresh at all. The Baena was the last one I got, and I had high hopes for it, but that was the last straw.
I still have the end of that can and I feel so disappointed.

But my intention was to learn about alternatives, and today I ended up getting a medium-size bottle from D'Espana and it suits my purposes. Nice olive oil for daily use, 22 dollars for what looks like 2 liters.
Thanks everyone.

Oct 19, 2011
Rina S in Manhattan

Olive oil: D'Espana? DiPalo's? Some other place?

I'm trying to decide where I'll buy my day-to-day extra-virgin olive oil from now on, because the level of quality has gone sharply down at the place where I usually buy it.

I'm used to paying about 30 dollars for a can (about 3 liters.) The kind of oil I like is full-flavored but not so sharp that it's scratchy on the throat.

Does anyone have any experience with the oils at D'Espana? I see they sell a 22 dollar botttle of some oil but haven't had the chance to try it. And how about the large cans at DiPalo's?

Or is there any other relatively affordable source for this type of oil?


Oct 19, 2011
Rina S in Manhattan

UES: Trying to find the take-out place on 2nd or 3d with great-looking food on the window... probably Italian

This is maybe a needle-in-a-haystack kind of thing, but anyway...
Last summer I was walking up Second or Third Ave (the W side of the avenue) and noticed a small shop. Not sure if it had seats in the back but for sure it had very nice looking takeout stuff on the window. I think it had an Italian name (Rita's? Maria's?). Must have been the 60s or 70s or 80s.
Anyone knows about this place? If it's worth it (and of course where it is)? thx.

Jul 10, 2010
Rina S in Manhattan

Need provisions for flight on Thu. My plan was DiPalo's but their chef's not in. TSA-friendly, no-meat alternatives?

I shop at Fairway and Zabar's all the time but I don't much like their prepared foods. The antipasto stuff at DiPalo's is more like it, for me. Basically I just had the ideal plane meal in my mind and it just got ruined!
I'm beginning to think it will be apple/cheese or PB&J. Life's not easy for vegetarians... :-)

May 11, 2010
Rina S in Manhattan

Need provisions for flight on Thu. My plan was DiPalo's but their chef's not in. TSA-friendly, no-meat alternatives?

I'm flying on Thursday to start what may end up being a 5-day fast-food hell.

To sweeten the trip I'd thought that on Wednesday I'd buy some of the broccoli rabe and prepared veggies with olives at DiPalo, some mozzarella and a whole wheat baguette: easy to pack, kinda healthy, plus would keep well without refrigeration so I could get two meals out of it over the next 12 hours.

But it seems DiPalo's chef is out until Thursday. Where else could I get this kind of simple stuff (the veggie part), well-prepared, and not too expensive? UWS (not Fairway please), Essex Market, Chelsea Market suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

May 11, 2010
Rina S in Manhattan

Orlando Convention Center area... Inexpensive vegetarian options? Or authentic Latino?

I'm going to Orlando for a conference at Rosen Centre Hotel. On a very tight budget. Are there any nice vegetarian dishes sold within walking distance of this hotel? How about a Cuban or other Latino place?
I've been doing some searches but I've never been to the area so I have no idea what's within walking distance. An old post here mentions Pointe Orlando which apparently is by the hotel... Anything good there for someone who doesn't eat fish or meat?
Thanks in advance. Any guidance will be greatly appreciated.

Pointe Cafe
5100 W Lemon St Ste 108, Tampa, FL 33609

Apr 16, 2010
Rina S in Florida

West 14th environs recs

City Bakery for breakfast and for pastries any time of the day and for hot chocolate and a nice tortilla soup. It's at 3 West 18th St.

Dec 19, 2009
Rina S in Manhattan

Something to bring to dreaded office holiday party. About 15 people. Really don't want to spend much.

I usually try to avoid the holiday party at my office. We each are supposed to bring something. In the end it's too much of not really good food (to my taste I mean) and there's so much that a lot goes to the garbage after a few days in the fridge.
But that's how it is.
We'll have it two days before Xmas and I'm not sure yet what to bring. Any suggestions of something pleasant, preferably under $30?
Thanks and... happy holidays! :-)
Rina S

Dec 19, 2009
Rina S in Manhattan

Bittersweet chocolate (in blocks) - Valrhona or equivalent

I used to buy bittersweet chocolate blocks in Fairway and Zabar's but both seem now to carry only Callebaut and not the most bitter kind... Only about 50 percent chocolate as far as I can tell.
Where can I buy good chocolate in blocks at a reasonable price? Thanks...

Jan 08, 2009
Rina S in Manhattan

Will have to eat at Happy Buddha... sigh

This Sunday I will be having dinner at Happy Buddha, in Flushing. But it's not my pick and I'm not too happy, having read the menu! It doesn't sound inviting.
I'm really not an adventurous eater -I confess I'm not a chowhound- but I don't like bad food, of course. The fake meat stuff seems full of landmines, so I'm tempted to settle for either:
(a) fried rice,
(b) hot and sour soup,
(c) house special vege chicken noodle soup, or
(d) something like the sauteed eggplant with basil in black bean sauce, or another of the vegetable plates...
Any advice to avoid a disaster will be most appreciated. Thanks!

Dec 07, 2007
Rina S in Outer Boroughs