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Derek's in Manayunk

Since I haven't lived in Philly for a while, I could be wrong, but I doubt you're going to get pushback on not liking Derek's. I don't think it's ever been particularly loved. Sonoma was marginally inventive when it first opened, and not much about Derek's places have been inventive for a very long time.

I saw your Manayunk thread a while ago--Chaaba Thai and Jake's were recommended, and you'd do much better at either of them. Oh, and Han Dynasty, too (but I haven't been there yet).

Jun 16, 2014
nc213 in Philadelphia

Marco's Pizza??

I think the question here is "moving back" from where? If you're coming from a place with great pizza--say most of the Northeast (particularly Philly or NY), Marco's will make you sad. If you're coming from a place with not much of a pizza tradition, it will do fine. As another poster says, it's not dissimilar to Papa John's, but it's somewhat better.

Jun 13, 2014
nc213 in Chains

11 dinners in Columbus Ohio

Harvest, for artisan pizza. Two locations, Clintonville and German Village. The former will probably be closer to you, but I've only been to the latter. (They have GF crust, and I *think* they'll do a vegan pizza.)

Rigsby's in the Short North for a nice meal. Lovely food, $1 Oysters on Monday nights.

Lavash, not far north of campus on High Street for Lebanese/Middle Eastern. It's casual; order at the counter and they bring food to you. Awesome food, great for vegans and GF.

Akai Hana for sushi and other Japanese fare.

Dirty Franks for a Columbus experience. Cheap, fun, hot dogs topped many ways. They have GF buns and tons of vegan options. (Actually, all of Liz Lessner's places--Tip Top, Surly Girl--have good vegan options.)

Skillet--just down the road from Barcelona--for farm-to-table. It's a tiny room with really good food. Afterwards, walk to Jeni's and then eat your ice cream as you walk around Schiller Park for the best of German Village. Tough spot for vegans, though.

Local Cantina in Grandview Heights has great tacos. All of them are discounted (I think $2, but I can't remember) for Tuesday taco nights. It's a fun place and they have a couple of veggie options (but maybe only 1-2 vegan options).

Jun 12, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes

Lunch between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis - (Columbus / Dayton?)

Also, it would be a quick ride (or not long walk) from Skillet to Schiller Park, where you could sit outside and eat with the dogs and they could get some exercise. There is a small outpost of Jeni's--the best ice cream in C-bus and one of the best in the country--a block north of the park (maybe 5 blocks west of Skillet) that you could hit up after.

Also in the area is Katz's deli (a drive from the park, great for takeout) and Pistacia Vera, to get some baked goods for the road.

Jun 08, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes

New and exciting in Silver Spring?

Headed to Silver Spring in a few weeks for Silverdocs (or, as it has sadly been renamed AFIdocs) and planning some good eats. I used to live in the area, so we have some perennial favorites, especially ethnic foods that are less available in our current digs in Ohio. Definites are Abol, Mandalay, Penang, York Castle, and Oriental East for dim sum. Woodlands is also high on the list, though I can get South Indian here.

Anything new that I should know about? I'm seeing positive comments on Nainai's noodles and dumplings and also Charm Thai.

Our film schedule is on the busy side, but we can definitely strike out to Bethesda, Wheaton, or elsewhere once or twice if planned in advance.

Also, we may do a dinner somewhere near the downtown sites, mostly near Gallery Place Metro. We might hit Zaytinya, which I love and haven't visited in years, but I'm happy for other suggestions.

Thanks in advance. So excited to be back in such a great food town.

Thanks UK Hounds

Just returned from a UK trip with a dozen of my students. I want to thank all of you for answering questions I posted and those I didn't post. I lurked extensively for a while and learned a great deal.

In Manchester, our first dinner at Albert Square Chophouse was great. The room was accessible and the food delicious. It was a little frustrating that the group menu is very similar to the early bird menu but much more expensive, but such can be the perils of group dining. We also visited Wright's for a great fish and chips and Try Thai for a quiet dinner for just me and my faculty chaperone.

In Liverpool we had a group dinner at Bakchich, which I learned about from this board, and a spur of the moment most-of-the-group dinner at East Z East, which one of you had recommended. Both were solid, but I'm still thinking about how good Bakchich was; one of my favorite meals of the trip.

In London we ended up at Tas near South Bank for our final meal, which was perfect before a show at the National Theatre.

Sadly, due to the constraints of working with 14 people, I didn't make it to some of the places I had most hoped to visit--like Sedap after our show at the Barbican--but we ate very well in large part due to you kind folks. My students, many of whom who had never had the opportunity or drive to try different foods, ate foods from all over the world and learned that the UK has brilliant and diverse restaurants.

Thanks, all.

May 26, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Pre-theatre in Dalston, post theatre near Barbican

Thanks much for these suggestions. I really appreciate it.

May 12, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Pre-theatre in Dalston, post theatre near Barbican

Hi London Hounds,
Looking for dinner before a show at the Arcola. I'd prefer to make our way to the theatre first and then eat somewhere around there. Anything chowish in Dalston? I'm open to anything, but would prefer less expensive. We already have Lebanese and Turkish for other meals that week, so perhaps something different. (Though another night of either wouldn't bring about a complaint.) I'd be particularly happy for a good Indian place.

I'm also looking for a post-theatre dinner around the Barbican. I'd prefer nearby since we'll be hungry, but I'd also be willing to take a quick taxi or Tube ride.

May 11, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Not another food books thread

Thanks for the additional suggestions. I typically show the film version of Like Water for Chocolate, so that text does make an appearance. I've read the Jaffrey memoir, but for the purposes of the class the Narayan works better (and both would be redundant).

I'll check out the New Yorker anthology--thanks.

As for the Michener, time is going to prohibit me working through 960 pages for the right material this summer. I may add it to my long list of reads, though.

May 07, 2014
nc213 in Food Media & News

Carluccios "European restaurant-market concept" coming to Alexandria

They're really common in the UK. They're fine, reliably fine. I can't imagine getting very excited about one if I lived in Alexandria, since there are so many better independent restaurants, just like I'm always surprised when I see so many people eating there in London. There are just so many better places.

Not another food books thread

Thanks. I've just ordered this. It would be a great chance for me to bring up migration and postcolonialism in ways that tie to Truong's book. I'm excited to read it.

May 03, 2014
nc213 in Food Media & News

Not another food books thread

I have heard about Salt and Cod. I don't have an aversion to nonfiction per se, but I have a colleague in our history department who uses some of these books in her classes. Because I work at a small university, we worry about overlap, so I would steer clear of the in my class.
Thanks for the suggestions, though.

May 03, 2014
nc213 in Food Media & News

Not another food books thread

I don't know Mark Kurlansky, but I'll check him out. Thanks for the short story rec as well. I have some poetry I could put together a reader of short works.

May 03, 2014
nc213 in Food Media & News

Not another food books thread

And I should mention that what I'm also *not* looking for is the type of book in which a wealthy Westerner wanders through another nation and finds its cuisine fascinating/life-changing/inspiring. I want the students to read books from and about other places on their own terms, not as a backdrop or catalyst for Westerners finding themselves.

May 02, 2014
nc213 in Food Media & News

Not another food books thread

Well, I guess it's kind of another food books thread. I've posted on some and read many, but I'm looking for something very specific, so forgive me for starting a new thread.

In the fall I'll be teaching a class on literature about food/eating/kitchens/cooking. I've taught the course once before, and I'm looking to change out 1 or possibly 2 books. My criteria are:
1. fiction, drama, or poetry, possibly memoir, though I would prefer not to add another memoir. (I'm specifically not looking for books about food and eating like Omnivore's Dilemma or Fast Food Nation.)
2. writers and topics from outside the US or Europe but written in English (or possibly from the US or Europe but written by minorities/people of color)
3. literary quality. I'm looking for serious literature, and a lot of the recommendations I find are more popular/book club.

Texts I will be reusing are: Monique Truong's The Book of Salt, Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions, Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss, Austin Clarke's Pigtails and Breadfruit, and (maybe) Shoba Narayan's Monsoon Diary.

Books I'm considering: Bento Box in the Heartland, Ana Castillo's So Far From God, Diana Abu-Jabar's Crescent.

I'm looking for a few more options that I can read over the summer and add to the course list by fall. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have.

May 02, 2014
nc213 in Food Media & News

Dinner around National Theatre [London]

Thanks, all.
After learning that one of my students has a shellfish allergy (which made me nervous about dim sum), I made a reservation at Tas. Their group menu looks perfect, and most of my students have never had Turkish food, so it will be exciting for them.

Apr 19, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Infographic: How to Tip Waiter, Barternder, Barista and Deliveryman and Not Be Mean

It's not uncommon for tips to eat the entire 2.13 min wage. At a couple of places where I worked they would write a number on the back of your $0.00 paycheck, which was the additional tax liability for that pay period (as in, after the $2.13 had all been withheld, you still owed X). If you didn't make quarterly payments, you owed the IRS quite a bit of money at the end of the year.

Additionally, I worked at two different places where I worked entirely for tips, read no $2.13 min. Apparently, (and I don't know how many states allow this), so long as they can show you're earning at least the fed or state minimum through tips, they didn't have to pay us anything.

Apr 10, 2014
nc213 in Not About Food

Dinner around National Theatre [London]

Thanks, Zuriga.
Terrace has no openings before the show, and I doubt my students will hold out until 10:15 for dinner. (They need to be fed almost constantly, not unlike toddlers.) I appreciate the vote of confidence on the other two. RSJ makes mention of private rooms on their website, so that's promising.

Apr 06, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Dinner around National Theatre [London]

I'm looking for a place to take my group of university students on our last night in London. I should have the budget to go a little nicer than most of our meals, but it would still need to be fairly reasonable--probably no more than 30GBP per head including a drink (though if we have no incidents throughout the trip we might have a bit more money to spend, so I wouldn't mind hearing about pricier options). The last time I did this trip we ended in Manchester and had our final meal here: http://oliverestaurants.uk.com/

We're staying by the Southwark tube station, and we're headed to a show at the National Theatre that night at 8, so something in the area would be idea. We're a group of 14, so that could be limited, and I have a couple of vegetarians and a couple of pescatarians in the group, which also limits us. I imagine that Italian or some sort of Asian would be ideal since there would be many vegetarian options instead of just one, but I'm certainly open to other things.

Things that look promising nearby: Ping pong, Ristorante Olivelli, Waterloo bar and kitchen, RSJ. There's also Terrace--the small plates place at the National Theatre.

Any feedback on these or better suggestions would be great.

Also, I imagine they'll want to go out for a drink after the show since it's their last night. Any idea on pubs (ideally) or bars that are open past traditional pub hours in the area?

Thanks for all of your help in advance. I've been lurking on the board in preparations for this trip and another I'm making in July, and you've all been so helpful already.

Apr 05, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

question for european visitors... what surprised you the most about american restaurant culture

Can you think of many common US sandwiches that don't have meat? Sure, there's pb & j, but it's rare to order that out. And egg salad and grilled cheese. After that, most US sandwiches have meat. If you look at most sandwich shops or sandwich chains, you'll see a dozen meat options and 1 or 0 veggie sandwich options.

Mar 08, 2014
nc213 in Not About Food

question for european visitors... what surprised you the most about american restaurant culture

I travel to the UK fairly often (though not as often as I'd like), and I'd agree with you preferring the style of service on most points. And while I hate it when they drop the check while we're still eating (which happens *constantly* in Ohio), I don't understand why it's so difficult to get a check in the UK.

I appreciate that the server is waiting for me to ask, but maybe the server could be somewhere in the vicinity when we're finishing or have finished, or glance at the table on occasion to see if we'd, in fact, like to pay. I'm often trying to pack a lot into my day or make the theatre, and I'm desperately trying to find or make eye contact with the server. sigh.

Columbus - Short North area Restaurant

Without a price range or more specifics, it's a little difficult to know what you want, but I'll take a stab. I think Rigsby's is the best restaurant in the Short North and one of the best in the city. The food is lovely and so is the service. Plenty of seafood and vegetarian options.

For a little more low key, people like the Rossi and The Pearl. I haven't been to the former, the latter is nice, though it seems derivative of a lot of places on the East Coast.

Basi is lovely Italian, but a bit off the main drag.

Mar 04, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes

Columbus, OH downtown happy hour?

I would head North on High and wander around the Short North. Lots of places at various price points.

This link offers Bodega (in the SN) as the best of last year: http://www.columbusunderground.com/be...

It also mentions Lindey's, which is supposed to be a really nice happy hour, but would be a bit of a drive (10 mins or so) south.

or you could check out the new-ish 16-bit bar, which is a good deal of fun if you like that sort of thing: http://16-bitbar.com/events/

Feb 10, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes

Recommendations for Columbus in early March

I think Rigsby's is one of the best restaurants in the city, possibly *the* best. I find the food consistently good, as is the service. On Monday nights they have $1 oysters at the bar.

I always want to like Explorer's Club more than I do.

Katzingers is great if you don't have regular access to a solid NY deli. If you do, then it's just fine.

I'd also mention Harvest for artisanal pizza (close by cab), Tip Top, for casual and tasty and very Columbus (and a quick walk from your hotel), and if you're looking for a diners, etc type place, I'd check out Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace--a very short cab ride from your hotel.

People really like El Arepazo, which is also quite close to your hotel, but I haven't made it there yet.

Jan 28, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes

Trinidadian food - advice please!

Here's a recipe with a number of pics from a site devoted to Trini cooking: http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/200...

And here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsJGRt...

Spellings vary, but the name comes from "busted up shirt," as in one in tatters.

Trinis have a rich and varied cooking tradition. While there are certainly similarities in cooking across many islands of the Caribbean, and as one poster below notes, there is a fair bit of influence from the South Asian population (about 40%) on the island, but most island nations of the Caribbean have dishes unique to their national cultures.

Jan 19, 2014
nc213 in Home Cooking

Manchester help

Thanks, All. I've been in contact with Albert Square Chophouse. They've assured me that they're accessible, and we have a reservation. I'm tucking away your other recs for my night "off" from the kids.

Jan 17, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Manchester help

Thanks for all of this.
I'll start looking at menus and options. My heart just leapt at Malaysian.

Jan 16, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Manchester help

Hi Mancunian hounds,
I'm traveling with a group of my university students, and I'm looking for a place for our first dinner together. The last time I did a trip like this, we found a relatively inexpensive gastropub near our hotel in London, which was perfect. If possible, I'd like to show the students good British cooking--clean flavors and local ingredients. If not possible, I'll settle for good.

I need a place that can seat 14 people, that is relatively disability accessible (one group member uses a walker; he can do a few stairs, but not a whole flight), and that has decent fish and veg options (1 veg and 3 pescatarians in the group).

We're on a fairly tight budget. I'd like to come in at under 20GBP per person without alcohol.

I realize this is a tall order. Anything you can think of that will come close would be great. If we need to, I don't mind moving off the idea of British food. We're staying in Chinatown, so I could always take them for a thai or Indian feast. But since it's their first night and they'll be jetlagged, I was hoping for something more familiar to some of them.

I've looked at the chophouse family; their prix fix meals should work. I also noticed Cafe Istanbul (clearly not British, but seemed to be in budged and well-liked) as a possibility.

As a bonus, the other faculty and I will be dining on our own the second night, so I'm open to any suggestions you have. If you were going to have one reasonable dinner in Manchester, where would it be?

Thanks in advance. I'm exciting to be introducing more of my students to your fine city. We were treated exceedingly well last time.

Jan 15, 2014
nc213 in U.K./Ireland

Columbus OH -- Dinner suggestions

Can you be more specific? There's a pretty big gulf between Thurmans (which is what I think you mean) and Barcelona.

Harvest is excellent and shouldn't have much of a wait at 5pm (but does not take reservations). Akai Hana has excellent sushi and takes reservations, but it a little far from the Arena district. Basi is solid, though it is close to the Short North and you might have to walk a couple of blocks from your parking spot.

We like Tip Top quite a bit. They don't take reservations, but I can't imagine having to wait for a table at 5pm.

Jan 14, 2014
nc213 in Great Lakes
1

are hounds smarter than your average bear? want opinions

Actually, capitalization is a part of mechanics, not grammar.

(Meant with a wink and tongue-in-cheek.)

Jan 14, 2014
nc213 in Not About Food
1