Mandymac's Profile

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Great pancakes in Brooklyn

The pancakes are really good at Cheryl's Global Soul in Prospect Heights, they are famous for them. Tom's is truly not worth seeking out for the food -- it's a neighborhood tourist institution, people love it for the kitsch and the experience, but not for the food.

Apr 10, 2014
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Williamsburg food tour

Williamsburg is definitely not impossible on the weekends if you strategize. For instance, you'll want to sit down for dinner before 7 PM, and if you want brunch try to be there at 11AM sharp, rather than 12 or 1. You could always nosh it up at Smorgasburg, which has a lot of variety and is a lot of fun. For better restaurant options, I've always really loved Dressler, and it has a fairly large dining room. Aurora (Italian) and Potlikker (eclectic small plates) are two other favorites. You would never have to twist my arm to get me to go to Roberta's, but again if the weekends, you need to go at strategic times (v. early for dinner, or very late for brunch).

You're getting great suggestions here as far as beer -- Torst is the new spot and Spuyten Divul is great. You might also swing by Barcade. I love hitting Brooklyn Kitchen for kitchen novelties too. Bakeri is great, and I've always loved the baked goods at Blue Bottle.

There are things I *like* about Red Hook, but it's no alternative to the 'Burg food-wise, and if you wanted an alternatives in the realm of beer, I'd say Carroll Gardens/Smith Street would be better, and bakeries, other areas of Brooklyn are teeming with awesome ones, Bien Cut on Smith (for bread), Four and Twenty Blackbirds (Gowanus, for pies).

Apr 06, 2013
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Swedish couple on their way to the LES, Brooklyn and Queens, pls help!

I wanted to weigh in as an avid cyclist and foodie since lots of people on the thread are not really cyclists. ;-)

Brooklyn and Manhattan are both totally awesome for cycling itineraries -- lots of bike lanes, lots of beautiful neighborhoods, and lots of areas that are packed with goodies and close to each other. I have bike-chowhounded in Queens but in many ways I would steer you toward the 7 train there, for a variety of reasons -- Queens is very spread out, many of the bike routes are not as scintillating as you will find in other parts of the city, while the 7 train is a stunning ride and a very "New York" experience. The exception would be LIC which is really gorgeous and could be tacked onto a Williamsburg/Greenpoint biking itinerary and put you at PS 1 for contemporary art and a bite at M Wells.

As far as food itineraries go, I would reserve a fair amount of time for Williamsburg, maybe on the weekend so you can check out Smorgasburg. I would spend at least an afternoon, snacking, trying great beer bars and then reserve maybe a dinner for one of Williamsburg's deservedly great "fancier" restaurants.

Someone else mentioned Red Hook -- same deal, what a gorgeous bike ride, a truly unusual area that's packed with hounding finds. Maybe plan an excursion around brunch?

I have mixed feelings toward steering the Swedes towards Mexican in either Sunset Park or Queens. While there are finds to be had here it's definitely not where my mind goes first for out of town visitors as representative of NY's best food. Sunset Park is not a destination for biking, IMO, both because it's industrial and not in a memorable/historical way like Red Hook and not terribly easy or fun to bike through.

Mar 17, 2013
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Does anyone else but me prefer, or even insist on, light roast coffee?

It's so funny that you mention this because I have the opposite problem -- I am a dark roast drinker (always black coffee, Chemex) and I am always wondering to myself why medium-bodied coffees are so popular. All the trendy coffee snob places like Blue Bottle, Grumpy etc seem to me to almost never have a darker, richer roast. Got a subscription to Craft Coffee and I have seen nary a dark oily bean in any of their shipments.

Barring the basic Starbucks blends and brews (which I do not typically drink) I think it's mostly a matter of personal preference. For me lots of the medium or light beans produce a coffee that tastes sweet (to me, cloyingly so), and I just like the bitter, chocolately richness of a dark roast.

Mar 14, 2013
Mandymac in General Topics

Well priced brisket for corning

I just saw a huge piece of brisket with corning spices yesterday at Costco, but I guess that's not on your list ;-). M and S Prime Meats is really good, as is Fleischers -- I'd wager it's priced around $8 a pound there?

Mar 12, 2013
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

BIG Birthday Adventure for Coolest Chic EVER. - Please Help!

In an ideal world, I'd say Blanca would definitely fit the bill. It's hard to get reservations there, however, so perhaps hit something new in Williamsburg...Potlikker, for instance, fits your delicious-eclectic-but-not-excessive requirements.

Mar 12, 2013
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Looking for a splurge worthy of the price

Throwing my two cents in...years ago a foodie friend and I splurge on a WD-50 tasting menu, and while it was good, I was disappointed...probably partially b.c. of the ambiance and partially b.c. of the expense-accounters absolutely everywhere.

I'd skip Brooklyn Fare and the Momofukus. Agree with EMP, you might also consider Gramercy Tavern and Craft. Another to consider is the tasting menu at Blue Hill, which has lots of bang for the buck compared to other restos like it.

Feb 05, 2013
Mandymac in Manhattan

Gift card / certificate for Brooklyn restaurants

For a wedding gift, I gave some friends a GC to Brooklyn Larder. They really enjoyed it and it allowed them to go wild a little. I'd recommend that -- a gift card will go pretty far there.

Jan 12, 2013
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Going no-carb- some modern ideas

I'll tell you a weird/random product I found at Trader Joe's that I'm obsessed with -- they take the stalks of broccoli that are presumably left over from bags o' florets, run it through a cutter and give you a bag of completely uniform matchsticks, I think with some carrots thrown in. It is perfect in place of noodles or rice, very sturdy and has a pretty good shelf life. I know I could try and reproduce it in food processor, but likely not so cheaply or simple.

Dec 23, 2012
Mandymac in Special Diets

BrisketTown

I was a "Brisketlab" subscriber, BBQ connoisseur and Texas traveller. Yes the first round was really mushy but in subsequent samplings, it got a little better. Not sure I would travel to Briskettown if not already in the hood.

I feel best brisket is NYC is undoubtably Hill Country's. Mile End also does a great (and different) one, but I feel with the recent price increase they are really sticking it to their customers -- as it is MORE expensive than Hill Country's!

Dec 16, 2012
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Do I "Need" a Food Processor?

Food processor is literally one of my favorite appliances! If you run it under water ASAP after using clean-up is easier.

I had a shaved raw brussel sprout salad at a restaurant once and went on a huge kick making those in the food processor. Toss with oil and vinegar and treat like a Cobb salad (eggs, bacon) -- it's wonderful.

Salsa is ideal for the food processor.

I also free bananas and whirl 'em up with peanut butter and yogurt for a soft-serve like dessert.

Nov 29, 2012
Mandymac in Cookware

Homemade Ice Cream Troubleshooting

I make ice cream a lot with the cuisinart model you've got -- custard ice cream is a must. With inexpensive home equipment you're always going to be fighting a losing battle with texture and eggs will go a long way toward fixing that. I'd recommend looking at Mark Bitmann's How to Cook Everything recipe. Ice cream recipes shouldn't be complicated. Basically you just need a simple technique for heating the cream and egg to a custard (coats the back of a spoon). I have never used a thermometer, but trust me, making ice cream at home without eggs is a recipe for something that isn't really ice cream.

Jul 05, 2012
Mandymac in Home Cooking

Minetta Tavern for wife's 30th Birthday ( good idea or not)? Also, Black Label Burger-- Is It Worth It?

I've done this for a birthday -- my boyfriend's. We are huge burger fans and this one was fabulous. Like others have said you need to be somewhat flexible as the wait times can be long. We arrived very early, like when they opened, at 5:30 I think? We also elected to dine at the bar, which I really enjoy in general.

I'd recommend ordering both burgers, the Black Label and the Minetta -- really, we loved them both, they are just different and it's a lot of fun comparing and contrasting. I find their cocktail program excellent as well -- when I went I had one of the best martinis of my life. I've had other decent dishes on their menu as well but none were so memorable as the burgers and the cocktails. I think it totally depends on what you are in the mood for -- there are tons of more upscale, more predictable options. But if kick-ass burgers fire your girlfriend up -- go for it. Just be prepared to wait a bit.

Jun 24, 2012
Mandymac in Manhattan

Anniversary Dinner in Brooklyn

I just tried a new place you might consider -- Potlikker on Bedford Ave. Chef co-owner was same at Queen's Hideaway in Greenpoint. Cuisine is of the caliber of any of Williamsburg's best restaurants and is eclectic and sharing-friendly. We had a delicious melon gazpacho, calamari salad, scallops and ribs. I'd highly recommend.

Jun 19, 2012
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Need to know where to get the best fried chicken and fixings

Everybody I know thinks the Commodore in Williamsburg has the best fried chicken around, possibly in all of Brooklyn. I have been to Pies and Thighs and think it's pretty meh. Sidecar has the most atrocious kitchen, I have been twice for meals and never again (though the cocktail program is great). If you want to stay in South Brooklyn you might consider Seersucker or Buttermilk Channel, both are good restos with decent fried chicken.

Jun 19, 2012
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Aluminum exposed on the rims of tri-ply cookware

You've got a lot of good replies from knowledgeable people -- if I may chime in one more. The "aluminum is dangerous" thing is a folk theory, sort of like an urban legend. There are chemical substances that leech into our food and theoretically do damage, for instance, BPA in can linings. The aluminum thing is basically a non-issue.

Feb 02, 2012
Mandymac in Cookware

Brooklyn - Dinner Recs.

If the request is "just one" restaurant in Brooklyn for out-of-towners, I'd send you straight to Dressler. Seems like exactly what you're looking for in terms of style and cuisine. It really is a superlative experience--and unlike some of these other places that are really crazy hard to get into, it accepts reservations. Beautiful neighborhood and right over the Williamsburg Bridge too.

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Dressler
149 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Oct 22, 2011
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Nice bar for cocktails and maybe some snacks in Park Slope?

IMO, two of the very best for this purpose are in Prospect Heights--Franny's (cocktails are good and the apps to die for), or James (good cocktails and good snacks, you just might be tempted to stay for the hamburger!).

Otherwise, I'd put Vanderbilt on your list--I've had decent cocktails there, and they have lots of small plates for sampling. If you're feeling like more, cross the street to Weatherup to continue your cocktail crawl.

Sorry if that's a roundabout way of answering your questions--I don't think there are too many great cocktail places in Park Slope unfortunately (tho Stone Park/Thistle Hill definitely worth considering).

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Franny's
295 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Stone Park Cafe
324 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

James
605 Carlton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Weather Up
589 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

The Vanderbilt
570 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Thistle Hill Tavern
441 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Oct 22, 2011
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn this weekend. Decision making time.

I like both Franny's and Motorino. Franny's is definitely a bit nicer, and likely to make a stronger impression on you but the pizza is great at both places. For Friday dinner, can I suggest Dressler, which is near Marlow? It's a real knock-out and you can make reservations. Have fun!

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Dressler
149 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Franny's
295 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Motorino
319 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Jul 23, 2011
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Dressler, Locande Verde, Peasant, Saul or The Grocery

I think Saul and Dressler stand above most Brooklyn restaurants; I've had consistently exceptional meals there. I might steer you toward Dressler because it's a bit more of a fun/hip atmosphere for the 19 yo's.

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Saul
140 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Dressler
149 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Jun 20, 2011
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

We got a car. Where do we go?

Do you like Indian food? If so, Southern Spice in Flushing is an absolute must, I've never had better in the city.

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Southern Spice
1635 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park, NY 11040

Jan 03, 2011
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Reusing pre-baked pie crust for Turkey Pot Pie -- will this work?

They are kind of scrappily made tart bottoms (hey, what can I say, I am not a baker!). My thought was to mix up all the turkey pot pie filling and throw chunks of this crust on the top. But I could always buy some puff pastry...

Nov 26, 2010
Mandymac in Home Cooking

Reusing pre-baked pie crust for Turkey Pot Pie -- will this work?

Let me know your thoughts on this one. I pre-baked a couple butter crusts for pies that I didn't end up using yesterday. Want to make some sort of turkey pot pie today with leftovers--would it work to just layer chunks of this pie crust over a turkey casserole type concoction?

Nov 26, 2010
Mandymac in Home Cooking

Any & All: Eat-in bakeries, Great beers, Inexpensive & atmospheric - Brooklyn

Based on what you like in Manhattan...

Mixology joints: try Clover Club and Brooklyn Social (both on Smith), Fort Defiance in Red Hook. Quarter, if you find yourself in Sunset Park (20th and 5th Ave), is something of a dark horse in this category. Char No. 4 is cool if you like whiskey.

There are great beer bars within walking distance of BH: Brazen Head on Atlantic and Bar Great Harry on Smith, and if you are willing to go a little further, 4th Ave Pub, Pacific Standard or Mission Dolores on 4th Ave. Definitely hit Bierkraft while you are here--in addition to being able to pick up a growler of unusual beer, you can now have a cheap pint right there. IMO, all of these are as good as Double Windsor but closer to where you are located.

For brunch, I've never been that impressed with Good Fork. My absolute faves are: Stone Park (in Park Slope), Fonda (South Slope, great Mexican and nice change of pace from the ubiquitous eggs benedict and pancakes), Buttermilk Channel (in Carroll Gardens), Fort Defiance (but only if you get the fried chicken dish and the bourbon milk punch, in Red Hook), and James (Prospect Heights). Heard good things about brunch at Char No. 4.

To round out your stay, I'd definitely send you to Mile End for under $25 (but barely) good eats.

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Stone Park Cafe
324 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215

The Good Fork
391 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

The Brazen Head
228 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Clover Club
210 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Char No. 4
196 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Buttermilk Channel
524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Bar Great Harry
280 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Fort Defiance
365 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Brooklyn Social
335 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

The Double Windsor
210 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Mile End
97 Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Mission Dolores
249 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Nov 20, 2010
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

Lotus of Siam in NYC

Don't worry -- we had a fantastico meal on our way into Vegas (w/o the billion dollar cab ride), it was just on heading back to NYC, while trying to have one last bite. Believe me, Chowhound definitely steered me right on this one.

Nov 10, 2010
Mandymac in Manhattan

Lotus of Siam in NYC

OMG, the cabbie said he had a special "faster" way via the freeway. The tab was so high that we started grumbling and he shut off the meter. It was so sketchy--puts New York to shame. The worst part was the takeout was only so-so (maybe I didn't specify to make it spicy?) and it was a lot of liquid items that were packed in styro, so we had to wolf it down before going through security.

Nov 01, 2010
Mandymac in Manhattan

Lotus of Siam in NYC

The suspense is killing me. Is something about being in Manhattan a killer of Thai restaurants? If LOS can't do it, no one can!

Oct 30, 2010
Mandymac in Manhattan

Lotus of Siam in NYC

OMG, I go every time I pass through Vegas, and in fact I took a $100 cab ride to get take-out from there while on an airport layover. I'm a high roller for nothing except Thai food.

Oct 30, 2010
Mandymac in Manhattan

Micheladas in NYC?

Also Chavela's in Prospect Heights/Crown Heights.

Oct 17, 2010
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs

fatty cue vs fette sau

I wish I felt this way. When the Fatty concept was explained to me, I was like, I love smoked meats and I love Asian flavors and spiciness, so these should go together like chocolate and peanut butter!

In practice, I feel like the the pleasure of great barbecue is in the essence of the meat and the smoke. When you do a big spice rub on that, I lose my communion with those two essential elements. To me FC is less than the sum of its parts and that's unfortunate.

As to the original question, I think neither place is destination barbecue, but if I was in the 'hood and HAD to have some barbecue, it would be Fette Sau for sure.

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Fette Sau
354 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Sep 11, 2010
Mandymac in Outer Boroughs