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Romanian Meats/Groceries

I definitely agree that a Polish grocery would probably have good substitutes. But the family has a strong preference for the Romanian stuff they are used to having every year. Thanks for the tip.

Dec 10, 2013
dg5411 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Romanian Meats/Groceries

My family is spending our first Christmas in Baltimore this year and my Romanian wife and mother-in-law are wondering if there is a place we can get some of the traditional Romanian holiday foods. We are looking for varza murata (pickled cabbage head), picior de porc afumat (smoked pig's foot), slanina (Romanian slab bacon), and cozonac (walnut loaf). Anybody know of anywhere in the Baltimore/DC area that has this stuff? We are willing to drive. We already heard about Tudor Gourmet in Sterling, VA, but my wife called and they don't have this stuff.

Thanks!

Dec 10, 2013
dg5411 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Middle Eastern Caterer for Wedding

Any recommendations for a good middle eastern/israeli restaurant that can do catering for a large event, i.e., a wedding with 175 guests? Wafa's and Tanoreen are on my radar screen, although I'm not sure they could do an event of that size. Any other recommendations are helpful. Cheap is good, but up to $50 per person is doable.

Mar 29, 2012
dg5411 in Outer Boroughs

Large Brunch Party -- Recommendations

I am organizing a special occasion brunch for about 40-50 people. The only real requirements are that the cost be less than $75 per person and eggs benedict should be on the menu. I would appreciate any suggestions if you have organize/been to this kind of a brunch and had a positive experience.

Mar 26, 2009
dg5411 in Manhattan

New Job in Times Sq -- Seeking good lunch options

Thanks!

Oct 24, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

New Job in Times Sq -- Seeking good lunch options

Like most native NYers, I've spent most of my life avoiding Times Sq. and passing through only to switch trains or catch the occasional broadway show. Now, thanks to a new job, I find myself coming here every day for work. So I'm soliciting help from fellow chowhounds who know the area -- what are my best lunch options (dinner too, since I work late a lot)?

To narrow things down a bit, I'm generally looking for the quick/cheap/takeout kind of lunch, but a notch or two above pizza or fast food. I'm also interested in hearing about more upscale/sit-down places that are good for those days when a more leisurely lunch is in order.

Places in the area between 39th and 46th from 5th ave to 9th ave. are most convenient. Thanks in advance for your tips!

Oct 23, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Chinese, Thai or indian lunches near city hall?

Try Pakistan Tea House for Indian (Pakistani?). It's on Church St, a block or two north of chambers There is another place right across the street that also has Indian but I've forgotten the name. Both are pretty good, but I think PTH is more popular. There used to be a place on chambers called Kiran, but it has new owners I think and was closed for renovations last time I noticed, which was a few weeks ago.
I also recommend the thai place on bayard (called pongsri) and in chinatown, which is really pretty close to city hall, there is certainly plenty of good chinese. For specific chinatown recommendations, I suggest doing some searches on this board for tips from the experts.

Jul 15, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Mamoun's on Friday

Mamoun's falafel is actually pretty mediocre. It's only redeeming quality is its price. I agree that Taim is much better.

Jul 11, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Manhattan's Best Salad Bars

Maoz -- locations on 8th St., Union Sq., and maybe UWS. Not a traditional salad bar, but an Israeli style one. Get a salad box and fill it up!

Jun 20, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Best martinis in the West Village

I think Absolutely 4th is closed -- http://nymag.com/listings/bar/absolut...

Jun 19, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Nearby Alternatives to Clinton St. Baking Co.

Supposed to meet a friend for brunch this weekend. I don't mind waiting for those blueberry pancakes, but I'm worried my friend wont be able to hold out. If need be, what are some good back-up options within a short walk from Clinton St. Baking Co. that would not require as long a wait for a table on a weekend?

Jun 12, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

ISO best Manhattan diner

I like Everest, in Chatham Sq. It's a great place to go for a quick and tasty pancake breakfast. It's got a friendly and very fast staff.
I guess the food is nothing special--obviously the pancakes are nowhere near what you would get at Clinton St., but like any good diner it is relaxed and makes you feel comfortable.
There's also a place on Church and Chambers that I like. They do a quick, no frills lunch business.

Jun 10, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Israeli Restaurant & Falafel

I ate last night at Maoz. I went to the one on 8th st., but there are several other locations. The falafel was good, though there are better places for falafel. However, what really impressed me was the salad bar. You can help yourself to a variety of israeli style salads--spicy carots, chopped tomatoes, red cabbage, pickles, olives, etc.

Jun 09, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Israeli Restaurant & Falafel

I found the hummus at hummus place to be extremely bland. A tub of sabra's from the supermarket is better.

Jun 06, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Where Would You Eat After 2 AM In Manhattan?

French Roast (one location on 6th ave and 11th st., another location somewhere else) is a place I would go late at night to get a good, if nothing special, meal. You can go there at 4am and get steak frites or duck confit with a glass of wine. Good desserts too.

Jun 03, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Venue needed for summer party

WTB doesn't reserve space unless you guarantee a $4000 minimum. And it would be hard to spend $100/person there. However, it would be feasible to have a party there if you get enough people there early enough to grab tables. Also keep in mind that they have special events some nights, and that can lead to extra crowds and/or cover charges.

Look into Gowanus Yacht Club.

May 29, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Chinatown "over rice" dishes

Thanks for the suggestions. Yup, we are at the courthouse. But perhaps one of these days we will venture to Skyway. If not, these other suggestions should keep us busy.

May 23, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Chinatown "over rice" dishes

My coworkers and I and up ordering chinese for lunch a lot since a) we work across the street from chinatown; and b) we are poorly paid government workers and chinese food can be cheap

We tend to go for the "over rice" dishes. These are usually some kind of stir fried meat/vegetable combo served with white rice for about $3.75-$4.50. Due to time and money constraints, we don't usually go for the fancier and more involved dishes.

Anyone have any thoughts on the best places to get this kind of food in chinatown? We used to be fond of Moon House before it closed. Are there any other dishes in this price range that would make for a good lunch?

May 23, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Bad Bad News! Mei Lai Wah is not reopening afterall...

I never knew about mei lai wah while it was around. I now find myself working in chinatown. So what is the consensus view on what the next best thing is?

May 22, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Perilla

I loved the edamame falafel. As BW212 points out though, the menu is seasonal so the falafel may be gone.

May 22, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Places You Can't Walk By Without Getting Something

I share this exact same weakness.

May 20, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Best burger below 14th street?

I would definitely second Corner Bistro and Royale as very very good burgers. Five Guys has a location on Bleecker & 7th, and they are a pretty good burger place with more of a "fast food" feel (though not taste). Has anyone been to BLT burger on 6th ave. (around 12th st. I think)? I've never made it there, but theoretically it should be good given the caliber of the BLT name and the fact that they purport to specialize in burgers.

May 20, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Cheesesteaks

There is a place on w 3rd street between 6th ave and mcdougal. It's tiny, and all they sell is cheesesteaks and cupcakes. (I think they are actually separate businesses, just sharing one tiny store front).
Be warned in that it looks different from a philly cheesesteak. It's served on a round roll, more like a burger. Tastes good though.
BTW, I don't mean to piss anyone off, but I've generally found the cheesesteaks I've had to be pretty indistinguishable in terms of quality. Granted, I have only had cheesesteaks one or two times outside the great city of Phildelphia (it's the kind of food that I feel the need to eat whenever I visit Philly, but don't feel the need to eat anywhere else). So it could just be that I have only eaten at the best cheesesteak places. And I'm sure there are some random pizzerias or diners around NYC that make a mediocre cheesesteak. But how bad can it be? It's steak, cheese, and bread?

May 14, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Best Salad in NYC

I think salad is such a broad concept that it's difficult to talk in general terms about what the best ones are. A really great ceasar salad can be delicious, sure. But with the cheese and dressing it might pack as much fat as a hamburger. That's my way of saying that I like my salads healthful and delicious. For me, the best salad will have two general characteristics: 1) a variety of vegetables and 2) those vegetables are finely chopped. These two characteristics will generally ensure that the salad tastes good as with each bite you get a mix of different vegetables. And it will be nutritious because the different veggies have different vitamins and minerals.I hate it when you order a "salad" and all you get is some iceberg lettuce and some tomato wedges, and about 1/4 cup of dressing.
So my ideal sald would have greens, carrots, tomatos, bell peppers, brocolli (fresh, not thawed), radishes, onions, green olives, radishes, and cucumbers, for starters. A simple and light coat of dressing is fine because the combination of veggies gives you plenty of flavor.
You can get this sort of thing at dozens of places around the city. But I've never found the freshness of the produce at any of them to be that compelling. My dad makes a great salad, with fresh veggies, and that keeps me going home to visit as often as possible!

May 14, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Israeli Restaurant & Falafel

I'm generally not much of a food snob, but I am a snob when it comes to falafel. I've never had falafel in this country that could compare to what you can get in the middle east. But I do regularly eat at Taim and would put among the city's best. I have to admit that I have never been to Azuri cafe (I'm not a midtown person), so maybe that place is a shining start amidst the darkness.
The best tasting falafel I have had was at Perilla restaurant in the village. However, this is as far from an Israeli (or middle eastern) restaurant as you are likely to find. The restaurant is run by a former Top Chef winner and the falafel is made from--Edamame! A totally different texture compared with normal falafel, but the crispiness and seasoning is perfect. I wouldn't send you there to satisfy a falafel craving, but I do recommend trying it if you happen to dine there.

Apr 28, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Pizza in NYC

I'd also echo the comments of those who have emphasized how a person's favorite pizza is a very personal thing and thus it's not really useful to make statements such as "XXX has the best pizza." Maybe you think so. I think the pizza you like has a lot to do with whatever kind of pizza your local pizzeria served growing up. If your local pizzeria had a sweet tomato sauce, then that's the kind of sauce you like. If it was heave on the cheese, then you like pizza that is heavy on the cheese. So I'm not really interested in what other people think is the best slice of pizza in NY. Some people love Joe's, others think it's just mediocre. Now reasonable people can disagree on lots of things, but I think this is especially true when it comes to slices in NY.

And also, it doesn't really surprise me that out-of-towners are disappointed by the NY slice. Part of it is that they are used to papa john's and that sort of thing. And part of it is that the legend of the NY slice is a bit exaggerated. Sure, it's delicious, but I can see how without the personal connection that native NYers, it wouldn't seem so remarkable. That's kind of how I feel about philly cheesesteaks. Sure they are delicious, but I don't really get as excited about them as people from philly do.

Mar 14, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Pizza in NYC

I'd echo the earlier comments regarding the distinction between "the best pizza in NYC" and "the best NYC pizza". I am your stereotypical born-and-bred NYer. Growing up, I'd eat pizza 4-5 times a week. Back then I had the metabolism for it. When me and my friends got pizza, we got SLICES. And we got them from little neighborhood spots where you ordered at the counter and ate your slice either standing in the store, walking back to school, or at one of the few tables. Afterward you could get an italian ice if you wanted. Now there were some of these pizza places that were better than others, but by and large the differences were not huge. A truly bad pizzeria simply would not stay in business in NYC for very long.

I never tried coal oven pizza until I was in college. Since then, I've been to all the famous coal oven pizzerias in NYC. I've also sampled the "best" pizza in Chicago, New Haven, and Rome. I've enjoyed all these experiences. But none of them--including Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, John's, etc.--are what I think of as NYC pizza. Maybe the coal oven places reflect an earlier period in NYC history. But for the last 50+ years pizza in NYC has meant a slice served on a paper plate that you fold in half and eat on the run. So to an out-of-towner who wants the real NYC pizza experience, I'd say try and stop by a few different random pizzerias and grab a quick slice. If you're concerned less about experiencing NY and would rather have the best pizza, then I defer to the more expert views posted on this thread and elsewhere regarding what the "best" pizza in NYC is.

Mar 11, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Chicken and Waffles at Melba's?

Thanks for the tips! I've actually never had chicken and waffles (together that is) but now I'm inspired to become a connoisseur.

Mar 06, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan

Chicken and Waffles at Melba's?

I recently saw Melba's stunning victory over Bobby Flay in a chicken-and-waffles throwdown on the Food Network. The premise of the show is that Bobby goes up against someone who has perfected a particular dish. So is Melba's really the best chicken-and-waffles (at least in the NYC area)?

Mar 05, 2008
dg5411 in Manhattan