amysep's Profile

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Best sushi in the 'burbs?

It depends on the type of sushi you like. It seems that most people in the burbs seem to like bigger, overly stuffed rolls. That's not my thing but if it is yours you will like Vic. It's fresh but the rolls have too much rice and are way too fat for me. I like a roll where you can easily taste every ingredient and cam easily eat in one bite. My absolutely favorite place hands down is sushiwa in horsham and I've heard excellent things about umai in lansdale too.

Oct 03, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia

Lansdale Area Indian Cuisine

Yes we got take out there - our fave place, persis, was no longer in business and was taken over by biriyani bowl. In fact, they took their phone number and I showed up at persis to pick it up and it was now an empty building. Was a very strange sitch! But 7 minutes later we arrived at biriyani bowl to pick up our take out. The food was delish and all our persis favorites that we ordered (from the persis menu!) tasted the same. We liked it!

Sep 06, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia

Barren Hill Tavern

Definitely good flavor, just very strange mouth feel without the jus...

Jul 01, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia

Barren Hill Tavern

We like this place as well. My English husband feels at home (although the bar itself could be a bit more charming). The food we have had and the beers have been good. We like it best in fall and winter when the coziness of the place is more appreciated. But I have to ask, didnt you find it so strange that the porchetta sandwich was served cold? I was not sure what they were going for with that. We were totally turned off by that sandwich and even recommended they tell the chef I serve it warm. Everything together could've worked together but cold pork fat with a slice of cold cheese on a pretty hard roll was bizarre to us. Wondering what you thought.

Jun 30, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia

Marmite in the Philly area?

Wegmans on 309 (montco) def has it.

Jun 20, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia
2

Korea Garden in Blue Bell?

From what I hear, it's better for ambiance and the food is so so. There are lots of Korean options depending on what you want and ur desire for great/niceish ambiance or good food. We like the sweaty little place in back of the giant in that little Korean shopping center off of township line road and 202. The name was always in Korean so not sure what its called! But they have more traditional dishes and ambiance ain't what they are going for.

Jun 17, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia
1

Steak in Montgomery County

Paris bistro in chestnut hill has an awesome steak frites. We rarely go out to eat steal bc we make it well at home but this one is one we have ordered often.

Jun 17, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia

Seeking fresh fava beans

All the Latino markets I've been in recently have had them. Check one of those.

May 14, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia

El Limon - Ambler- Bravo!!

El Limon is most certainly not tex-mex. so don't get your hopes up! It's actually straight up authentic Mexican.

May 14, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia

Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill opening

We were there on Saturday as well and we went w/o reservations (we knew they had none but was willing to eat at the 16 seat bar). Maybe it was because it was our first meal out w/o our kids (just had a baby 2 months ago), but we really enjoyed our experience at Paris. There were definitely a few missteps and they could most definitely improve upon things but, all in all, we thought it was a really enjoyable dinner.

My first question is, what the heck is up with the Philly area not having many French bistros? It is so clear that this place was rammed (and, my guess, will continue to be rammed for a long time to come) because people LIKE classic French bistro food and the atmosphere that comes with it. We were dying for French food and, after some research, realized there are only about 6 places in Philly and the burbs to choose from. This is very strange to me. But, I digress. Like I mentioned before, the restaurant was crazy busy when we arrived around 745. We were excited (but nervous we would get a seat) that so many people were doing what we were planning on doing - eating at the bar. I love that people are doing it but I will say it most definitely slowed down the barmen/barwoman (who already seemed a bit slow/open month jittery?). I definitely understand what you meant about the cocktails taking a long time - if you even were able to get the bartender's attention. That said, I swear I drank the best Manhattan of my life. It took him like 5 minutes to make it, but it was damn delicious. The adorable teenage barback dropped about 5 glasses in our 3 hours there - not that adorable but I feel as though he was really trying to wipe those wine glasses clean.

We finally got 2 seats at the bar around 830 when half the diners at the bar cleared out (Serpico is definitely right about Philly diners mainly wanting to eat at 7PM!). We ordered the oysters which we thought were fabulous. I actually liked the addition of the small diced cucumbers. Actually thought it complimented the Mignonette and oysters well. To each his own, though. Had the comte and cauliflower custard (totally like a sformato or souffle) which was delish as well as the pate which was very nice as well. Those buttery brioche toasts really made it. I thought the bread was really nice. Good crust and nice interior. Our butter was in a ramekin - I like that I could actually spread it. It was cold but not ice cold. Again, to each his own. We split 2 entrees - the steak frites and cassoulet (both we would like to think we are super picky about). The steak frites was really delicious - the fries PERFECT (honestly, bad fries on a steak frites can almost ruin this dish IMHO). The steak was a good size, perfectly seasoned and came out my desired temp. The cassoulet was very nice. After eating cassoulet all over Languedoc (and specifically in Castelnaudary), this is another dish we can be a bit snotty about. I think he did a pretty good job with it. I mean, I'm not sure he took 3 days to make it, but the beans had a nice tooth to it and the duck confit was perfectly falling apart. I would say that the sausage (was it toulouse?) could've been a bit better and could've been a tiny bit bigger of a piece given. Also, I felt that the piece of pork (belly I believe or was it shoulder?) could've definitely been a bit bigger. But, it was flavorful and heavy, exactly the way it should be. They say not to eat this dish in the summer and this version was a good representation of why that is true!

Besides the bar flowing a bit better, there is room for improvement on the menu. Why not add it some other classics that may be liked by the more adventurous French food lover? Beef tartare please. Livers/Kidneys/other offal, please. And what about blanquette de veau? Stuff like that would really bring the menu to another level. I also think the frog legs should be on the permanent menu... just to kick it up a notch.

NOt sure where they are going to put a jazz band. There were tables covering the entire place. Maybe next to the bar if they remove the tables? Too bad the front doesn't have doors that open to the street in the summertime.

All in all a nice experience and we will be back.

Feb 25, 2014
amysep in Philadelphia

Amis First Time

Definitely don't miss the swordfish meatballs. Unexpectedly light, moist (sorry for the word) and delicious. The spuma di mortadella was ordered and rivaled the ones I've eaten in bologna. Ridiculously good. It's so easy to make at home (http://www.weareneverfull.com/spuma-d...). Also that tripe stew was extremely memorable. Honestly, if you are a home pasta maker, i would actially skip the pastas for the other dishes, but that's just me. I mean, yes, the pastas are fab but I thought all the starter dishes were the stars of the show.

Oh wait - that baked pecorino w honey was beautiful too!

Don't think you can go wrong especially if brad spence is there! Have fun.

Dec 04, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia
1

British Grocery Suggestion in Philly

I hear you on the bovril - just had my in-laws Bring us 3 jars and the new squeezie bovril for my stash because it has always been so difficult to find here in the states (even when I lived in NYC bisto was easy but not bovril). I just did a little Internet poking around and it even seems almost impossible to buy online. Wtf?! America needs to get it together and embrace this amazing product. I honestly can't live wo it in my kitchen (but I am married to a Brit!). Good luck and ill be on the lookout for you.

Wegmans not opening til fall 2013 at montgomery mall

We have used Urbani.com (only cause when we have been in Europe that's often the brand of truffle stuff that are easily found in stores. I have also use http://www.gourmetattitude.com (out of NYC) which has some delicious truffle cream, truffle honey as well as many other truffle related things (including a variety of fresh and frozen truffles). Even with the price of white truffles "way down" I'm saddened to say I STILL can't afford it. Damn it! Maybe next year?

Nov 06, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia
1

Wegmans not opening til fall 2013 at montgomery mall

I will say this - the chestnut hill cheese shop is FAR better than the one at wegmans. They live and breath cheese there and, even when it's crowded, they take great care if you. I once got full trying cheese there. It's hard to be in there w a kid though and that's why it's not really in my "rotation". I love that place and, you are right, we need to keep frequenting the mom and pop shops Bc we will all be singing another tune on these boards in a few years if the "corporate monster" takes down our beloved small shops.

Nov 05, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia
1

Wegmans not opening til fall 2013 at montgomery mall

Thanks! It's funny, After 12 years living in NYC, I never drank the koolaid. It really isn't that awesome. I've found virtually one of everything that has exactly what I need around the philly area so moving out of New York is hasn't really resulted in me "missing anything" Bc I can get everything (and in many cases better things!) here. I love that feeling - except
I need some local place that makes soup dumplings closer than philly and some
Puerto Rican food closer to home but beggars can't be choosers!).

The thing that's funny is, just like in Brooklyn , I went to different store for different things. I'm doing the same here in the montco burbs but with a car! Italian I have sam's and taste of Italy, Indian there's shiva and patels. Assi has been a savior for so many things and hmart isn't too far. There arw 2 little mexican marts i frequent in ambler that offer what i need to make some Authentic tacos at home.
Wegmans, whole foods and trader joes offer plenty options for so many other things. I have Carl Venezia for a nice butcher and have no problem getting good (to not awesome) Vietnamese, Mexican, Korean, Japanese eastern european etc. within 20 miles.

This area has surprised me in so many ways. Wegmans will be on my list for certain things but probably won't be the place I will do a "big shop" unless I can get a babysitter!

Nov 05, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia
1

Wegmans not opening til fall 2013 at montgomery mall

Thought that was pretty cool - I actually took a pic and sent it to my husband. I'm a little weirded out by the "over the moon" enthusiasm for wegmans. I'm kinda uncomfortable reading some of these posts! Maybe it's just me and I will come under its spell one day? I thought it was great for the area for two main reasons -
The cheese section (I am dumbfounded that the ambler/north wales etc. area doesn't have a great local cheesemonger in the area) and the seafood section (see same note above). Since moving to the area a year ago (from Brooklyn),there wasn't a single thing I missed about living in NYC except those 2 things and couldn't believe the cheese/seafood places just really didnt exist within 15 miles. I'm happy wegmans is here. It was a bit too crowded and ridiculously large for me at the moment, but maybe with time the hype will calm down a bit and ill memorize the map. I'm also 8 months pregnant and walking 3 city blocks to try and find dishwasher detergent (another gripe - can they have more genuinely Eco-friendly products available?) was a bit much! Maybe after I give birth I'll be down with it.

I requested octopus from the fish monger there and they said they'd call me with info. That was cool. The butchers and seafood mongers seemed to be genuinely informed. The cheese lady not so much (why aren't they making mozzarella in house? Really?). The bread was fab and I like that I can get whole loaves to cut myself. I'm also psyched Bc I finally found canned hominy which, for some reason has been a royal pain to find in these parts.

I guess next we will have to try the pub but I worry about the overhyping factor... I trust you chowhounders though!

Nov 05, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Biriyani Bowl Hatboro

LOVE persis. I always feel like it is our little secret. Unbelievably delish! Have been wanting to check out biryani bowl but if the biryani there is even Half as good as the goat biryani at persis then it's gotta be excellent.

Aug 06, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Seeking suggestions this weekend in northwest suburbs

LOL @phillybestbyob. As of today, my lips are sealed!! Are YOURS too? Pinky swear.

Jun 11, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Seeking suggestions this weekend in northwest suburbs

Excellent! It's one of those places I am torn to tell people about Bc it's that awesome but I know chowhounders get it. So great to bring your son here - love the younger generations getting into culture and authentic foods early on. My 2 1/2 year old went crazy for the piƱatas! Glad you checked it out...

Jun 07, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Seeking suggestions this weekend in northwest suburbs

It's sushi and Korean and at 415 ridge pike. Bw chemical road and butler.

May 31, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Seeking suggestions this weekend in northwest suburbs

No problem! This is gonna e a total thread jack (sorry) I'm actually shocked at how little talk there is about some of the pretty good ethnic restaurants we have in the burbs.

Mexican:
The first place I have to big up is El Primo (norristown). No lie, this place is better than most of the Mexican places I used to frequent in sunset park, Brooklyn (where most of the NYC Mexicans live). It's in a small strip mall and you have to walk thru a pretty awesome Mexican grocer to the back restaurant. The people are friendly and the food is delicious. They serve you a really delish homemade tortilla chips that are smothered in this (not sure what it is but this is a guess) brown bean juice mixture mixed with crema. It's addictive. Everything we have eaten has been fresh, authentic and delicious.

Next I can recommend Taqueria la Michoacana on Norristowns Main Street. His place is much more of a real restaurant and had many diverse local Mexican diners as well as people coming from different burbs (and families which is always a bonus to me). Food was really good with plenty of authentic menu items. They also have a bar. The menudo was awesome.

Finally, I haven't been yet, but hear great things about el rincon de Mexico, Parasio and Carnaceria de Los Compadres. All on Main Street or a few block in off of main st. in norristown.

El limon taqueria in conshy is good too. We are getting their second outpost in ambler soon and I can not wait.

As for Korean, I have to say the options are so good. Not being able to go to some of my favorite Korean joints in NYC was prob the only thing I thought I'd miss about living there. Then I moved to montgomery county and realized we have a huge Korean population. I've tried many of the local joints and these are the ones I can recommend:

First Assi plaza has become a staple for my fam. Grabbing something quick to eat there is pretty good. Wanna make something korean at home, they have everything you need. Very causal and quick.

To Dam Gol korean restaurant in blue bell. This hole in the wall is awesome and shouldn't intimidate suburban diners. It's almost always 99% Korean in there and the little old lady that runs around doing almost everything is friendly. Their menu is smaller and much more focused on dishes and stews than BBQ. I think they offer BBQ but not table side. Personally, go to try new dishes at this home style place.

Next, surah in the giant shopping center in springhouse. This place is modern and kinda nice inside (less sweaty looking and more swanky-ish... For a strip mall restaurant). The table BBQ is really delicious with a variety of things offered. It looks like its family run and everyone is super cool and friendly. Their jjigaes are really delish as well. Had their sushi (why do korean restaurants in the burbs always feel the need to also serve sushi?) which is nice but expensive. If stick w the Korean there. They have a few huge family dining rooms that were filled with 25-30 Korean families the times we were there.

Stonewell in conshy is supposed to be good but I haven't been.

Finally I HAVE to give a shout to Cafe Soho 2 in blue bell. Honestly, forget New York and their supposedly good KFC (Korean fried chicken). Nothing comes close to as good as the KFC that cafe soho produces. If you've nice had KFC before and you are in the mood for the crispiest and most delicious chicken wings ever, please go. They offer 5 Different flavored - my fave being the spicy which is actually SPICY. Not sure what it is about the Thai and Indian joints around the burbs but most of the time spicy means not spicy. I usually get what I want by asking the restaurant to not make it "suburban white person spicy"... They actually know what I want then. The soy and garlic are also amazing. They just got rid of their old menu which, natch, used to serve sushi. No longer trying to do the Korean/sushi thing they are using the same menu as cafe soho 1. Can't wait to try some of their other Korean dishes. We did order their cutlet w rice and sauce the other day and it was really good. These people know how to fry.

Anyways, there ya go! We are so lucky to have some great auhentic ethnic options in the burbs. Get out and give them a try!

One last shout - honestly the best Indian I've had. It's in North wales called Persis. It's a hyderabadi restaurant with some amazingly different offerings. I should write a chow post just for them.

Ok I'm done!

Seeking suggestions this weekend in northwest suburbs

No way that you will get into blackfish on a friday or Saturday night without a reservation. It is summertime and if the weather stays warm and sunny, the burbs may clear out to go down the shore so I guess you could be in luck. I wouldn't assume that a lot of the good restaurants in the area you will be staying in will definitely have room on a friday or sat night. If you don't mind waiting for a table you may be in luck there. Maybe radice in blue bell? Savona in Gulph mills? Blue fin sushi in east norriton? Spring mill cafe in conshy? Seasons 52 in KOP (never been but my parents likes it which actually isn't always a ringing endorsement of a place). Blackfish will be great if you can get a reservation - and it's tight in there. Like almost NYC tight.

I just moved back to the philly area after 13 years in the manhattan and Brooklyn so if you have a particular place in NYC that you are thinking of, I'll see if I can give you any tips.

Btw - if you are willing to be more adventurous and don't mind a very casual atmosphere, there are some great Korean and Mexican options in the norristown area. No white tablecloths though!

Good luck.

May 30, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Wine Tasting in Brandywine

We were just there in feb (just me and my husband) and I think you will have fun no matter where u go. There are def some wines that are better than others but... You will be on a Bach party so maybe the quality may not be as important as you go further along the trail. One thing I would do is though is call each winery first to see if they accept large parties unannounced or if you need to reserve a spot. Some of the wineries definitely do not look that favorably upon large groups at once (prob some of the ones not listed on the wine trail guide). I guess there are often college kids from west Chester that like to do it sometimes. Just telling you what I heard from a few that we visited! Have fun. Cape may is also a fun place to do a wine tasting tour but there's not that many down there.

May 30, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Fresh Direct Has Come to Philadelphia

After 13 years living in New York and using fresh direct since literally the week the started in 2001 (?? A guess), if they are using the same model here in Philly, I highly recommend them. I did receive a mailer the other day and went online to see what they had available and their offerings aren't even close to what was offered in New York. Maybe with time they will have more stuff. I think for the basics and a bit beyond it is totally worth it to use fresh direct for ease - especially if you work a lot. In New York they were always on time and they only hired friendly and non-surly workers (which is hard sometimes in New York!). They have good customer service and were always on time. And they tried hard to work with local restaurants, food producers, etc.

I am lucky to have time to go food shopping so until they offer better and more diverse cheeses, salumi, Spanish and Italian meats and seafood (used to get awesome octopus from the in NYC), I will probably wait.

But I do highly recommend them and hope the are a success here in Philly!

Apr 11, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia
1

Yuca/yucca/cassava?

@cwdonald - thanks for this too. I figured norristown may have it too, just didn't feel like going all around town looking for it. The Mexicans dont seem to use yucca as much as the Dominicans and puerto ricans and west Indians I used to live near to which is why it may be harder for me to find it. I miss almost nothing about living so Long in new York but I think I may have found one thing to miss. Thanks for these great suggestions!

Mar 24, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Yuca/yucca/cassava?

Hmmm redners - never been there but I trust your expertise and will be checking it out!

Mar 24, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Yuca/yucca/cassava?

Thanks for all the suggestions. I guess so far I'm gonna have to go to te city to buy $3 worth of yucca!

Mar 23, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Yuca/yucca/cassava?

Just moved back from 13 years in manhattan/Brooklyn and I'm dying to make some yucca fries. I was so used to being able to walk down to any corner bodega and buy fresh yucca and now I can't find it anywhere. Help! And I really don't want the frozen ones. I've looked t Assi in north wales and havent seen it there. Any ideas?

Mar 23, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Black sesame paste, where can you buy it?

Maybe at Assi market in north wales? I've never looked for it there but they have a huge selection.

Mar 23, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia

Where to find ground bison meat?

Carl venezia - love that place!

Mar 01, 2013
amysep in Philadelphia