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srdill's Profile

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Hot Sauce

My problem with Dave's Insanity and all that brand's related versions and all the "hot as hell" hot sauces (all with cute names along the lines of "Burn Your Ass Off") is that most of them source their fire from something mysteriously named "pepper extract," which one aficionado assures me is merely the hot lining of peppers. That's where the Capsaicin is found, the essence of heat tasted/sensed in hot peppers. So those sauces taste more of chili powder than they do of peppers. I prefer to add my own chili powder and use the sauces for flavors that are not spice-based, but vegetable or fruit-based.

One habanero-based hot sauce that I was just introduced to may be hard to find, but it is worth the search. Zaascila is the name of the firm in Mexico that makes it ( and they offer some "cremosa" sauces that are avocado, cheddar or chipotle based. Very tasty! They promise to get their online store up soon, but you know how that goes. If you are in the New York area you can find it in some grocery stores and Latino markets.

Aug 21, 2009
srdill in General Topics

Site Wish List

It would be a great tool in planning a get together to be able to go to a Chowhound map page and ask it to highlight 'pizza in Waltham, MA' and see all the pizza places around Waltham with those that have been reviewed flagged differently than those that are found through a restaurant directory database or advertisers.

That way we can see proximity to highway access, then compare based on pop-ups that include prices, review rating average, links to reviews, whatever.

Just an idea if you want to run with it. No charge.

Stephen Dill

Oct 20, 2008
srdill in Site Talk

Who delivers food (other than pizza) in Providence?

There is a new service for groups (usually 10 or more) needing buffet-style food delivery in Rhode Island. Restaurants To You arranges the order with the restaurant and delivers it. Business breakfast, lunch, dinner or social occasions. 401-441-5277 to speak to a catering specialist or to browse menus and order online.

Recommendations Required

The North End is a logical first trip - any number of great Italian places throughout the area, though others on Chowhound will have opinions to share, I'm sure. My one suggestion is to visit the original Regina's on Thacher Street for a slice or a pie. Classic pizza parlor, one of the few that offer bottles of seasoned olive oil to add flavor to your pizza. (BTW - while you are in that neighborhood, stop by Polcari's Coffee, a great, old general store for foods and coffees.)

Also near your hotel is Union Oyster House. While the restaurant is not recommended, the raw bar is. Wait in line for a stool at the round wooden bar, reading about Daniel Webster's prodigious appetite for oysters while you wait. Oysters and three sizes of clams washed down with any of the draft beers and ales makes for a wonderful appetizer before heading back to the streets. Best raw bar in town? No, but the best history and quite a unique scene.

Down at the harbor I have two recommendations, Legal Seafoods facing the Aquarium (as with any of the Legal locations, HUGE menu, good quality fish, well-prepared standbys, and some adventurous dishes) and The Barking Crab in between the old and new Northern Avenue bridges. I know some people are going to flip at this one (they have been closed by the board of health twice in the last two years), but again I go there as much for the scene as for the food. Simple fare, reasonably priced and served either inside or out under the red & yellow striped, open-sided tent along the Fort Point Channel. Outside you'll be seated at large picnic tables, sometimes with others you do not know, taking plasticware out of buckets on the table and using a rock found on every table to both hold down the napkins in the breezes or crack any shellfish that needs it, but that is exactly what makes it unique and memorable. I have found in my experience of being there dozens of times in the last 20 years, depending on the daily specials, you may have at best one of the tastiest seafood meals in your life, or at least have had a lot of fun.

I'll leave the other 45 recommendations to others. Happy anniversary!

Aug 25, 2008
srdill in Greater Boston Area

Has the Hacienda in El Paso closed?

Tres Horrible! This post:

...says it has. Can anyone in El Paso confirm?

Bummer - one of the best reasons to go back there. They say the staff went to Amigos, any reports on how good that place is?

Apr 17, 2008
srdill in Texas

Wicked a Boston Bistro- Sharon, MA

Yes, on Route 1 next to the motel and across from the Holiday Inn and the package store and the Sharon Fence company. And for raf495, no - it is not close to the MBTA, unless there is a bus that goes to Gilette Stadium.

Anyone tried Wicked Bistro in Sharon?

I have heard three rave reviews for the new restaurant on Route 1 in Sharon, just north of Gilette Stadium called Wicked Bistro. It's in the building that was a Bickford's forever. They kept the "deck" outside that was added two years ago, undoubtedly to take advantage of the scenic view of Route 1, the Holiday Inn Express on the other side, and the high speed blur of I-95 traffic beyond and above that. I've heard the witch motif of the street sign is not too evident inside, thankfully. But all three reviews say the food is exceptional. One even said it is Corriander quality at a lesser price. I'm skeptical, but haven't had a chance to go see for myself.

Anyone else tried it?

Apr 15, 2008
srdill in Greater Boston Area

Prov RI Horn Toot: El Rancho Grande

NIIIICE. Where is it? Link to website?

Sushi Buffet - where and worth going?

It wasn't too late, just a little too far off the beaten path. Many thanks, though. We did end up going to Minado for a very nice meal. I am not overly discerning when it comes to sushi, as long as it's fresh and there is enough of it I tend to be satisfied. Minado did not disappoint. It is not the place for a connoisseur, nor a light eater. At $28 per head there is some serious motivation to eat ... A LOT. The sushi, both maki and nigiri, was plentiful and offered a lot of variety. I noticed one or two people asking the sushi chefs for hand rolls, which they gladly created. The sashimi was limited to salmon, tuna and mackerel, but piles of each. The snow crab legs were plentiful and there was always a line for the oysters. The seafood salads and cooked seafood was good to very good, I didn't try any of the beef and didn't wait for the hibachi or crepes stations. Three fresh fruits, 6 flavors of ice cream and sorbet, many cakes and other desserts, 3 kinds of hot tea - you'd be hard pressed to not walk away full (or beyond) and happy.

Mar 10, 2008
srdill in Greater Boston Area

Sushi Buffet - where and worth going?

I have a son reaching 18 tomorrow (Sunday) who wants sushi for dinner. We will be going to a movie in West Newton, then dinner - either into town or out. Rather than jeapordize his first year's tuition, I would rather go for quantity over 'perfect' quality. I seem to remember a Globe review for a sushi buffet along Route 9, is that Minado? Is it passable for a voracious sushi eater? Hana Sushi on the Cambridge/Arlington line looks afffordable, too. Any thoughts or other options?

Many thanks to the terminal chowhounds!

Mar 08, 2008
srdill in Greater Boston Area

LA Hound in Boston all week need recommendations

Grab a seat at the raw bar at Union Oyster House - between City Hall and Haymarket - but only the raw bar (it's worth a wait). The bar is a classic, almost two hundred years old, and the two guys (why is it always guys?) are fun to chat with, whoever you get. When you do chat them up they look out for you and chose only the best little necks and oysters. Grab a cup of chowder, get some of their corn bread with it, and have them pour you a Bass Ale or Sam Adams. One of the best lunches or pre-dinner experiences in town.

Check the reviews in the Boston Globe, they are fairly reliable. Wander the North End, for the atmosphere if nothing else. Dessert at Mike's, coffee at Caffe Vittorio.


Mar 08, 2008
srdill in Greater Boston Area

Installing Cork Floors in Kitchen

fauchon, this is ancient history for you, but for others considering cork who may find this discussion, I have had cork in my kitchen for 6 years now. For many patterns (and there are many, MANY patterns, sizes and colors available) you have to be on your hands and knees to notice virtually anything on cork floors. The patterns hide dirt, scratches, dropped food, spills, and even dents. I am an admitted floor abuser - I have put down maybe two coats of poly since the initial two when I had the floor installed (where I have seen maintenance recommendations of 3 per year) and wash the floors maybe twice a year, at most. No polishing, nothing but vacuuming twice a week if I get around to it. Yet the floor gets a rave review every time someone comes to visit, even repeat visitors. Cork is timeless, and is still unique enough to be the first time anyone has ever seen it for most of my visitors and neighbors. All the other things are true, too: warm, soft, comfortable, sustainable and easy to fix (tho I haven't had to yet).

I hope you went for it fauchon!

Mar 05, 2008
srdill in Cookware