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7 nights in Brooklyn

I agree with the above reviews on the Fort Greene restaurants listed. There is good food in the area, but not amazing enough to warrant a special trip, I'm sad to say. (I live here.) If you want to take a look around Fort Greene, which is a lovely neighborhood, come for Saturday's Brooklyn Flea, where there are lots of delicious food vendors. I haven't been to Smorgasburg yet, so can't compare, but at Fort Greene's flea my favorite vendors are porchetta rolls, the redhook ball field vendors, the grilled cheese stand, the pizza stand, brooklyn soda works, people's pops, and the new donut people. Plenty to eat! And lots to look at. Then you could perhaps take a stroll around the neighborhood and to the park, where lots of people picnic. OH. And I love the new taco truck, "The Jalapeno", where they have delicious stewed goat tacos. I love lengua, too, but I dont' think their lengua is amazing. The stewed goat, though... mmmm. It's usually parked near Fort Greene park on Saturdays.

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Brooklyn Flea
176 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Smorgasburg
27 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Jul 08, 2011
shirlotta in Outer Boroughs

Searching for cast iron? Go Griswold, not Lodge.

Thanks for the comments guys! I agree that Lodge can be great. Mine was for a brief period before it became really gunky. I'm not sure what happened, because I always cleaned it with water/bristle brush right after using. I often made steaks and fatty things in it, which I assumed was best for the cast iron. However, I probably messed up somehow. I know lots of people are very happy with their Lodges. I'm very happy with my Lodge combo cooker, which I use to make Tartine sourdough country bread with great results!

However, I do think for someone new to and apprehensive about the seasoning of cast iron, getting a smoother, easier to season pan is a better option. The whole "pre-seasoned" Lodge thing seems rather misleading to me. I had been raving about cast iron to a friend, and finally got her a pre-seasoned Lodge hoping that it would ease her in. I assumed that if you simply cook in it a while, it should take on a smoother seasoning, although I know it's better to remove the pre-seasoning and start from scratch. In retrospect I should have seasoned it for her, because I'm pretty sure it's now sitting unused in her kitchen. When I've asked after it, she says it still sticks and politely changes the topic of conversation. Haha. She loves to cook and is amazing at it, but she's quite intimidated by the seasoning thing. I think this is understandable, especially for a mother with a handful of a toddler + a small NYC apartment that is easily smoked up by anything going on in the kitchen, much less the seasoning of a pan. Next time I'll get her a Griswold and start off the process!

Jul 08, 2011
shirlotta in Cookware

Searching for cast iron? Go Griswold, not Lodge.

I'm actually not sure how old the griswold is. I'm very impressed with your sanding/grinding abilities. Knowing myself, I would end up with the equivalent of potholes in my pan if I tried it. Haha.

Jul 08, 2011
shirlotta in Cookware

Searching for cast iron? Go Griswold, not Lodge.

Speaking as a somewhat newcomer to cast iron (5ish years?), I have to say that I am ready to toss my Lodge 10" skillet for a Griswold. Especially since I want a 12" skillet, which I think will suit my needs better than the 10", as I often like to cook two steaks at once.

I recently acquired a Griswold #5 on Ebay, for about $15. When I stripped it of its seasoning, it was smooth and beautiful. And so easy to season, compared to my 5-year old Lodge. I covered it with an extremely light layer of peanut oil, a sheen you might say, and stuck it in my pre-heated Weber charcoal grill. It's pretty nice to season a pan without smoking up your entire house. Afterwards, cooked a few batches of bacon in it, and the seasoning is taking nice and smooth. This was a few weeks ago, and my pan can already almost cook eggs with no oil.

Compare this to my Lodge, which has never been quite right. I mean, it was my first cast iron pan, and maybe I messed up its initial seasoning, but I followed instructions culled from these boards to the tee. However, the seasoning's always been a bit bumpy/rough. I shrugged and figured continual use would help even things out. But after seasoning my Griswold and seeing how lovely it is, I decided I definitely should start over on the Lodge. Today I stripped the seasoning off, and was dismayed to find that the iron underneath is quite rough, and that there is a big pockmark in the middle of the pan. I had known the iron was rough, from when I initially got the pan, but I hadn't seen it in 5 years and was comparing it to the Griswold.

I've seen threads suggesting taking a sander to the Lodge in order to smooth out the roughness, but... I just don't want to go through that, especially since I'm not confident in my ability to evenly sand. It's probably not fair to my old Lodge to compare it to a Griswold, which is (I think universally recognized as) a superior cast iron maker. But for people looking into getting their first cast iron, I feel like it's worth the added search to get a Griswold rather than roll the dice on a Lodge. It costs about the same if you find a good deal, and you'll love it so much more. Unless you're a handy person who loves to sand things, in which case, Lodge all the way!

Note: I'm somewhat of a lazy person, and I totally understand that there are lots of people who love their Lodges. With some determination you'll have a lovely Lodge pan. I just lack the resolve, I suppose.

Jul 07, 2011
shirlotta in Cookware

warming shelf vs. warming drawer?

i have to say, sherri, you're really selling me on the warming drawer. not that we have access to stunning sunsets from where we are located in brooklyn, but getting to relax for a bit before serving dinner sounds wonderful.

Aug 14, 2008
shirlotta in Cookware

warming shelf vs. warming drawer?

wow, sherri, thank you for the thorough reply. i really appreciate the information. do you find that the warming drawer does what an oven cannot? i will have double wall ovens, so i'm thinking that one or the other of them could serve to warm food if need be.

Aug 13, 2008
shirlotta in Cookware

warming shelf vs. warming drawer?

hello hounds. i was wondering if anyone could weigh in on warming shelf vs. warming drawer. the ventilation hood i'm thinking of for my kitchen (viking chimney wall mount vcwh3648) includes a warming shelf with heat lamps. do people who have this hood use and enjoy this feature? i had been considering getting a warming drawer, as i entertain often, but maybe i shouldn't bother if i have a warming shelf.

additionally, i know there are several threads recommending vent-a-hoods and zephyrs - how do people find their viking hoods? it's top rated on consumer reports.

any advice would be much appreciated!

Aug 13, 2008
shirlotta in Cookware

ideal number of bowls for kitchen sink? 1, 2, or 3?

aah, okay.

Jul 15, 2008
shirlotta in Cookware

ideal number of bowls for kitchen sink? 1, 2, or 3?

thanks for everyone's feedback! i think i'm going to go with a one bowl on the island, with a prep sink elsewhere in the kitchen. a lot of the problems with dishes piling up that i've had in the past have sprung from not having enough space anywhere in the kitchen to get things done, while preparing large meals. i want to go undermounted, stainless steel, and am probably going to go with blanco or franke. thank you!

Jul 14, 2008
shirlotta in Cookware

ideal number of bowls for kitchen sink? 1, 2, or 3?

thank you everyone for all the input! hmm. so it sounds like people are more in the one bowl camp, with some people pro-two bowl. for those who use one large single sink, do you find it easy to divide between prep work and dish stuff? i am not so good about getting things cleaned while i'm cooking, although maybe in the past that was due to extremely limited tiny new york apartment kitchen issues. maybe 2 bowl would be better for me... but the flexibility to wash large things easily is alluring, as i like doing braises and baking.

Jul 14, 2008
shirlotta in Cookware

ideal number of bowls for kitchen sink? 1, 2, or 3?

hi foodwich - how did she dissuade you?

Jul 14, 2008
shirlotta in Cookware

New to Fort Greene Area

welcome to the neighborhood! not that i'm particularly qualified, having only lived here for about a month myself. no one has mentioned abistro, which i tried this weekend. it was AMAZING. their fries were out of this world, perfectly crispy with fried parsley in it, and a sprinkling of hot pepper. i had the blackened salmon with coconut plantains, which was simply luscious. the salmon was perfectly done, the skin nice and crispy, and the plantains. my god. caramelized in coconut milk, the crispiest bits were the nicest, lots of coconut flavor caked onto the sweet, tender plantains.

i also love luz, which has amazing roast chicken. so tender and juicy, and my husband and i fight over the skin.

and habana outpost of course! yummy latin food, and lots of outdoor seating especially if you get there a bit early. their mojitos are crazy strong.

choice market is really good for sandwiches and breakfast.

next to try for me are little piggy, cafe martino, buff patty, and le grand dakar.

i have to admit, i really disliked taro sushi and sushi d. i guess they're okay if you're really craving sushi, but... meh. very mediocre.

Jul 14, 2008
shirlotta in Outer Boroughs

ideal number of bowls for kitchen sink? 1, 2, or 3?

i'm trying to struggle through the relative merits of single vs. double vs. triple bowl kitchen sinks. my husband and i are completely renovating our new home (we just got married! still getting used to saying "my husband." : ) any input you hounds could provide would be so very helpful, since i'm getting stalled on a lot of the kitchen details, including this one.

ONE BOWL: i can see the allure of having one very large sink that fits large pots and baking sheets.
TWO BOWLS: i would like to install a garbage disposal, and thought it would be nice to have a little bowl dedicated to that in addition to a large bowl.
THREE BOWLS: in case i do have one small bowl dedicated to garbage disposal, it would also be nice to have two large bowls, one for accumulating dirty dishes and one for prepping food, which would come in handy for large dinner parties.

what do people think? also, do you have recommendations for particular sinks? i am leaning towards an undermount triple bowl blanco, 513-690, stainless steel with two bowls 17"x18", and one bowl 9" x18". but perhaps a large single bowl with a garbage disposal, and a separate prep sink would be more functional? and maybe cheaper. help! thanks!

Jul 14, 2008
shirlotta in Cookware

frank's in chelsea market closed!

whatever shall i do??? this is really upsetting, i really liked the guys who ran this butcher shop. i'm sure there are other butchers in my neighborhood, but i never bothered looking because their meat was of such good quality and their location was so convenient, since i generally do my grocery shopping at chelsea market.

does anyone have suggestions for good butchers around chelsea market? how is western beef?

Jan 08, 2008
shirlotta in Manhattan

june in fort greene?

i was just there tonight for dinner. wow, i just realized the original post was from 3 years ago! well anyway. it was okay. it wasn't great, it was just.. pretty good. the beet & grapefruit salad and the crabcake were all right. i had the blackened salmon, which was cooked nicely, it was moist and tender. the couscous that came with it was mushy and had too much butter, and it was served on a bed of spinach, which was also all right. but the dish itself was... meh. okay. my boyfriend had the mango roasted chicken, which was also tender and it was good, but... meh. somehow something was missing from all the dishes to make them something really good.

our waitress was nice but very slow, although there weren't many customers. overall, i wouldn't go again unless i wanted to get a lowkey drink at the bar.

Jan 05, 2008
shirlotta in Outer Boroughs

please help an overwhelmed nychound with her picks

wow, thanks for all the recs. i guess i looked at the map and it seemed really far away, but i'm thinking in terms of maps of manhattan. i am leaving too early on saturday morning to hit the farmers market! boo.

please help an overwhelmed nychound with her picks

ciao, hounds!

i am feeling ultra overwhelmed combing through your boards for top picks. so many choices! can you help with places i've come up with so far, and add to or amend the list? i will be in town for thursday night - saturday morning in the beginning of october. i'm staying in the soma area and do not have a car (but i guess cabs are pretty easy to get?)

so: arriving late thursday night. would like to go to a wine bar with good food. i was thinking yield, since i just saw an article in the ny times about it. i'd like a nice, unpretentious wine bar, cozy and friendly with yummy little eats. suggestions?

friday: i will be alone for most of the day, thought of going to:
1. ferry building for breakfasty things
2. good pho for lunch - i just went on a trip to vietnam and am so missing the food - of course, i was in hoi an so i wasn't having northern vietnamese, but... there's really no good vietnamese in nyc. i wanted to go to turtle tower, but it's so very far for one with no car! or maybe it's actually not that far? any recommendations?
3. Can people study/do work at Tartine cafe, or is that not possible? Does anyone have recs for a good study cafe in the vicinity of soma?
4. zuni cafe for dinner (from what i gather, seems sort of touristy, but i love their cookbook so much...)

i mostly need help on those two days. any recommendations would be much appreciated! thank you!

Recommendations for Few Tables/Small Space/Intimate

you have to try tia pol! they have super yummy tapas, and the space is very cozy. it's a narrow brick-walled restaurant with high dark wood tables lined with benches or high-backed stools. the sangria is great, and i've loved everything on the menu that i've tried. i used to live around there, and went to tia pol on a regular basis. it's on 10th avenue between 22nd and 23rd.

for pretty good and cheap italian around there, pepe giallo is also an intimate space - on 10th avenue between 23rd and 24th.

in west village:
little owl
casa
home
blue ribbon bakery (upstairs)
those places come to mind. there are tons of cozy spaces in west village, though. have fun exploring!

Jul 16, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

overrated restaurants

i really love bo ky's fishball noodle soup. what you have to do is pile a whole ton of their special chili sauce on each bite of the fish balls, and let the extra chili sauce mix with the broth. but it really isn't a thrilling meal, more of a good comfort food. it makes me think of my childhood, when i hated fishballs, and how odd it is that i love them now. if i could i would rewind and allow my grandma to feed them to me.

Jul 13, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

Favorite Grocery Stores

really? i've always found the guys at frank's to be very helpful. maybe it's because i'm a girl. heh.

i love all of the above, as well as ronnybrook's dairy products, the chelsea wine vault, the kitchen supply store in there, the italian market, and fat witch brownies.

Jul 13, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

Ssam bar tonite....

i just went for the first time this week. the pickles are really excellent. the sugar snap peas are sweet and crisp and balance well with the porky bits and broth. i also had the clams with rice cakes, and i really loved it. the clams are small and tender, and the bits of chinese sausage - yum. there is also a little bit of spice to it, and the broth is very flavorful. i also loved the chewiness of the sliced rice cakes, which really absorbed the taste of the broth. have fun!

Jul 12, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

best non-american breakfast

WOW that sounds so good. i'll definitely try it. yummm.

Jul 12, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

best non-american breakfast

do they do japanese breakfast?

Jul 12, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

farm fresh fruits and veggies delivery for lazy girl

yeah i was looking at CSAs, too! but i prefer a delivery service where, if i'm not going to be around or have time to cook that week, i can opt out of receiving the box for the week. however, that being said, do you have any CSAs you like? i was looking at chubby bunny.

Jul 11, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

Favorite Grocery Stores

i love:
chelsea market
the greenmarket in union square (monday, wednesday, friday, saturday)
sunrise mart
random vegetable stands in chinatown (can't miss them, just walk around)
murray's cheese! yum!
fairway and citarella when i used to live on the uws. also bruno ravioli for their fresh pastas.

Jul 11, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

farm fresh fruits and veggies delivery for lazy girl

hallo, hounds. i'm looking to try one of those farm produce delivery services, where you get a box of fresh in-season produce every week. sometimes i'm just too lazy to go to the farmer's market, and it would be nice to have more great fruits and vegetables on hand. some people have discussed urban organics on this board - any services that people use and love? and anyone got reviews of urban organics?

Jul 11, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

best places for japanese dessert? tea rooms in particular.

hallo, hounds. i have a hankering for japanese sweets and tea... i've been to the place on 9th street between 2nd and 3rd (can't remember its name) and really liked it. some cozy little spot with excellent japanese dessert. also places like chickalicious and kyotofu would be yummy.

so i guess to be more precise - sit-down places for japanese desserts and tea, from traditional to modern style. thanks!!!

Jul 05, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

Amazing Turkish restaurants?

beyoglu on the ues is really good! they have a wonderful mezze platter.

Jul 04, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

Best Bakery for Birthday cake

the little pie co has really moist, yummy cakes at a reasonable price. unfortunately, they don't do cake decoration on the spot. of course, you could take it home and decorate it yourself for a personalized cake...

otherwise, chinatown bakeries have lovely fruit cakes that are very light and fluff, not too sweet, and very pretty with all the fruit on top. i think fay da should have them. unfortunately when i go to chinatown i rarely note the names of the shops i go into.

Jul 03, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan

Babbo - terrible experience!

it was a while ago that i had them there, but casa mono's sweetbreads were really good. and the langostine. mmm.

Jul 03, 2007
shirlotta in Manhattan