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Great Mexican near downtown or Gaslamp

Blind Burro was outstanding. Excellent shrimp tacos and cinnamon lemonade. Thanks for the recommendation.

Jun 05, 2013
Manhattan Diner in San Diego

Great Mexican near downtown or Gaslamp

Thanks for all the great responses. Sorry that I was so vague with "great." I probably should have used "authentic," although I know that's also open to interpretation. Turns out I'm staying at the Loews Resort in Coronado which is VERY isolated. I'll definitely try Candelas.

Jun 05, 2013
Manhattan Diner in San Diego

Great Mexican near downtown or Gaslamp

Visiting this week but won't have a car. Can anyone recommend some wonderful Mexican within walking distance of downtown or near Gaslamp?

Jun 04, 2013
Manhattan Diner in San Diego

Day trip to Reims

We will be in Paris next week and would love to take a day trip to Reims to tour a few champagne houses and have a nice lunch. We had hoped to take the trip offered by the Cook'n with Class group, but they are booked up. Can anyone recommend a company that offers day tours to Reims from Paris?

Oct 16, 2012
Manhattan Diner in France

Need new shop for frozen dumplings in Chinatown

I was heartbroken to see that Sun Dou Dumping Shop at 214 Grand Street in Chinatown had closed. I used to buy big bags of top-quality 50 frozen dumplings for about $10 each. Does anyone know another shop or restaurant in Chinatown that sells good frozen dumplings?

Mar 07, 2010
Manhattan Diner in Manhattan


We hit Lisbon in search of great meals during our week-long visit, armed with printouts of Chowhound reports and guidebooks from Time Out and Lonely Planet. I’m happy to report that almost all our meals were outstanding, and we fell in love with this beautiful city. Here are the details, with prices where I could find the receipts. After the addresses I’ve added the neighborhoods in parentheses.

Travessa do Santo Antao (Baixa)
A big Chowhound favorite, and we immediately understood why as soon as our whole roast chicken arrived. It was one of the best we’ve had, second perhaps only to Zuni Café in San Francisco. With the creamed spinach as a side dish and a half-bottle of their house red wine, it was a perfect lunch for 25 euros.

Praca de Rossio 96 (right on the plaza in Baixa)
The outdoor seating provided some entertainment when a tourist asked a local resident to put out his cigar. The man with the cigar was hugely offended by that request and started yelling that he had a perfect right to smoke his cigar at an outdoor table. When the humbled tourist apologized, the man kept raging, “Apology NOT accepted, sir!” That said, the cappuccinos and pastels de nata (small pastries with a creamy custard filling) were excellent.

Rua dos Douradores 200 (Baixa)
Not exactly a disappointment, but nothing special. The bachalau (10 euros) and shrimp acorda (10 euros) were a bit gooey and bland. They were huge portions, and we could have easily had one of the dishes and shared it.

Rua dos Douradores 8-A (Baixa, at the bottom of the hills of Alfama)
We had a wonderful meal on the outside patio. The grilled sardines (7.50 euros) and chicken/rice dish served in a clay pot (9.50 euros) were outstanding.

Rua do Norte 46 (Bairro Alto)
I had read mixed reviews of this restaurant, but it was probably our favorite in Lisbon. We got there early and grabbed one of the few remaining tables (it only seats about 20). The owner recommended clams in garlic sauce, which was an outstanding dish. The giant prawns in garlic sauce were a lot of work to get out of their shells, but it was worth it. We ordered extra bread just to soak up the two sauces. Their gooey chocolate cake was as good as advertised. With wine and bottled water, the meal came to 40 euros total for the two of us.

Rua de Embaixdor 172 (Belem)
This was a Lonely Planet guidebook recommendation, and it was excellent. It was filled with locals for lunch, and the friendly waitress helped us order despite our non-existent Portuguese. We had a beef dish that reminded me of Argentinean bife de lomo and a fresh sausage that was like chorizo. With wine and water, the tab was only 11 euros.

Rua de Belem 84-92 (Belem)
This place (and their pastels de nata) totally lived up to the hype. Fresh from the oven, they were wonderfully flaky, and the custard filling was decadently delicious. We ordered at the counter (along with half the tourists in Belem) and then decided that we wanted more, so we found a table in one of the many, many back rooms. Don’t give up if you can’t find a table. There must be a dozen or more rooms in the back.

Rua da Gloria 43 (Baixa)
We were in the mood for Indian food and decided to try this Time Out recommendation. The owner Mardev Walia was very gracious, and when he discovered that we like spicy foods he served us two extra sauces with the extra light and flaky papadum. The paneer with chilis and prawns (peeled fortunately) with tomatoes and onions were both excellent.

Rua Sao Padre de Alcantra 45 (Bairro Alto)
At first, this place was a big disappointment. We settled into comfy chairs in the beautiful dark-paneled room (just like an old-fashioned men’s club) and waited for our waiter. And waited. He kept smiling at us and walking by, promising that he would be over soon, but he never made it. 15 minutes later I decided to go up to the bar and see if I could order our port wines myself, but he scurried over and said that he would be over to take our order soon. We waited 10 minutes more, and finally gave up. But three days later, we decided to give the place another try and (luckily) found a more efficient waiter who took our order right away. The prices are certainly reasonable (between 1 and 3 euros for most of the port wines) and the portions are certainly more than just a tasting.

Rua da Pimenta 43 (Parque das Nacoes)
About a 15-minute walk from the aquarium (which is amazing), this is a great restaurant right on the river. The prices are a bit higher, but the quality was worth it. We had cod tempura (14 euros) and hank in mango sauce (17 euros).

Ava da Fe 60 (Baixa)
A family-run restaurant with great food and a cozy ambience. I was having a hard time with the Portuguese-only menu, but the owner and I were able to communicate with animal sounds. I was hoping for roast suckling pig, so I made some oinking sounds. He shook his head to say no and instead put his hands on his head to show me that they had roast goat. The half-servings of roast goat and a pork dish (6.50 euros each) were terrific, just the sort of dishes I would imagine a Portuguese grandmother would serve. And the chocolate mousse was one of the best we’ve ever had, very rich and velvety.

Avenida da Republica 15A (near Parque Eduardo VII, which has a great greenhouse)
The pastels de nata were almost as good at the ones in Belem. This is gorgeous Art Noveau pasteleria.

Rua do Salitre 2 (Baixa)
This place is a bit pricey, but since we weren’t as hungry we decided to share the shrimp in garlic (15 euros) with rice as a side dish. The flan was nothing special.

Rua da Barroca 57 (Bairro Alto)
This small restaurant served some of the best sausages we’ve had: farnheira (sausage with bread crumbs) and linguica (5.50 euros). The duck and rice dish (9.50) and grilled pork with potatoes and cilantro (9.50) were pretty good.

Rua da Atalaia 8 (Bairro Alto)
This was a Time Out recommendation, and it was a bit of a disappointment. The staff was friendly, and the atmosphere was festive, but the food wasn’t as good as we had hoped. The clams with wine and garlic (10.50 euros) didn’t make much of an impression, and the pepper steak (14.90) was kind of rubbery. Maybe we just ordered the wrong items.

Caltada do Sacramento 40 (Baixa)
Probably the fanciest (and hippest) restaurant that we tried in Lisbon. The staff was very friendly, and the food was excellent. The house wine was a bargain at 12 euros for a bottle. The appetizer of baked goat cheese with jam (7 euros) was wonderful. The bacalhau (16 euros) was the best we had in Lisbon, and the grilled tuna steak (11 euros) was superb.

NY Hound in New Orleans Dining Report

We're coming back to New Orleans this Wednesday for five days. Would any locals care to add any restaurants to the list that we simply must experience? We've never tried Emeril's or K-Pauls, and I definitely want to try the roast beef po boy at Domilse's. I've read mixed reports on Willie Mae's, so I'm not sure if that's worth the trip.

Oct 27, 2008
Manhattan Diner in New Orleans

Great chiles en nogada in D.F.?

Can anyone recommend any restaurants in D.F. that serve chiles en nogada? We're staying at the Majestic Hotel in Centro.


Apr 16, 2008
Manhattan Diner in Mexico

food/restaurant reviews in Mexico City

Are there any comparable sites in English?

Mar 24, 2008
Manhattan Diner in Mexico

NY Hound in New Orleans Dining Report

I wish I could remember more of the options. It's on Saturday only (the restaurant is closed on Sundays), and I think it opens at noon. It's three dishes for $25 (and extra dishes are $8 each). You order all 3 at the start of the meal, and they bring them out one by one. Aside from the two dishes I mentioned above, I remember that others at our table had a yummy garlic soup, and there were a couple of tasty salads. You can choose a dessert dish for your third plate (or fourth or whatever you want). Bill and I both had the mango empanadas with dulce de leche. Everything that we had was excellent.

Feb 06, 2008
Manhattan Diner in New Orleans

NY Hound in New Orleans Dining Report

After being away for almost ten years, I was so happy to be back in this wonderful city. I printed out loads of Chowhound posts, and on the plane ride to New Orleans I devoured all the detailed reports from so many Chowhound members (I especially enjoyed the posts from Hungry Celeste). New Orleans is probably my favorite food city in the U.S., and I was so happy to see it on the mend. I'm also very glad to report that we didn't have a single bad meal. Here's where we went:

Magazine Street, Uptown. We went there at 12:30 on a Friday and were disappointed to see a very long line waiting to get into the small dining room. We estimated that it was going to be at least 45 minutes, so we ordered two fully dressed oyster po-boys (or "oyster loaves" as the waitress gently corrected me) to go. We gobbled them down sitting on a grassy area on the other side of the street. The oysters were perfect, lighter than I remember the ones at Acme Oyster House in the Quarter. The bread was a lightly toasted giant white bread, not a roll.

Magazine Street, Uptown. We were still stuffed from our lunch and hadn't planned on stopping here, but as we were walking past, it looked cute, and I remembered reading some good reports. So we stepped in and had coffees and excellent bread pudding. Next trip I'd like to get a meal here. The gumbo looked very tasty.

St. Peter Street in the Quarter. I suppose it's a tourist place (maybe most places in the Quarter are), but my big bowl of red beans and rice was superb, nice and buttery. Our waitress could not have been sweeter. My partner had a combination plate with shrimp creole, jambalaya and red beans. I think I made the right choice.

Decatur in the Quarter. Of course, we had to hit this spot to see if it lived up to our memories. It didn't, but it was still fun to be there. Two orders is probably too much for two people. It took an hour or so for the sugar shock to subside.

Dauphine Street in the Quarter. This was probably our favorite meal on this trip. We went there for Saturday brunch, and they offer a $25 meal with three small (well, small-ish) dishes. All of the choices were excellent, but our favorites were the duck in puff pastry and the quail with cornbread stuffing. The chef Susan Spicer knew one of the people we were dining with, and she came out to say hi. It's a beautiful restaurant.

Warehouse District. This was another Chowhound favorite that we had to try. It's a short walk from the Quarter, and we felt completely safe walking around the area at night. The fried alligator strips and wood-fired oysters were excellent appetizers. My partner had the catfish, which was wonderful. I ordered the restaurant's signature dish (so the waitress told me) of slow-roasted pork. As i was waiting for it to arrive, I suddenly remembered that one Chowhound poster had warned that is was kind of bland. Sure enough, it was. But when I sprinkled some hot pepper vinegar on top of the pork, it came alive and was great. This was our most expensive meal (two appetizers, two main dishes and soft drinks) at $89. I don't know if it was quite worth that, but overall we were very pleased.

St. Louis in the Quarter. I also had very fond memories of this spot, and it didn't disappoint. We both had the Cajun sausage breakfast (boudin and andouille, eggs, grits and toast). The service was great, and our waiter even gossiped a bit that one of the young (and very cute) servers had been a stripper.

Frenchmen Street in the Marigny. We wanted to see the Pfister Sisters, a 3-piece girl group who model themselves on the 1930s sister act the Boswell Sisters. So even though we were still pretty full from our Petuna's breakfast, we came here for a brunch of Lost Bread and fried green tomatoes and crab. Both were excellent, but I was disappointed that most patrons weren't paying attention to the singers. When we took our coffees over to the couches near the bar, we were able to better hear the singers. They're great, by the way.

Frenchmen Street in the Marigny. I was pushing for Dick & Jenny's for dinner, but our New Orleans relatives were convinced that it would be too long a wait. So we ended up at the Praline Connection, which wasn't bad but also wasn't anything special. The red beans were kind of bland, and the fried chicken was just okay. I did bring home a box of their pralines, which were just about perfect and a big hit at the office.

St. Peter in the Quarter. This was always my other favorite breakfast spot in the Quarter, and it lived up to my memories. The warm waitress called us each "Baby" and kept us filled up with coffee and excellent breakfast grub. We had perfect Lost Bread and excellent eggs, grits and sausage.

Hagan Ave. in Mid-City. I was determined to make it to this spot after all the Chowhound reports. We waited forever for the Canal streetcar to show up in the early afternoon on Sunday, and finally gave up and took a cab. The gravy-laden roast beef po-boy was just as wonderful as everyone reports, and Bill's oyster po-boy was also excellent. We left completely stuffed and satisfied.

New Orleans Airport. I'm delighted to report that even the airport food in New Orleans is good. We both got red beans and rice from this airport outpost of the Quarter restaurant. It probably won't win any dining awards, but it hit the spot and was a great way to end our trip.

We can't wait to come back and sample Domilse's, Dick & Jenny's, Dantes, Crabby Jack's, Willie Mae's Scotch House, drinks at the Columns Hotel and probably a hundred other great spots!

We LOVE New Orleans!

Feb 03, 2008
Manhattan Diner in New Orleans

Dining Report: NYC Chowhound in SF

Thanks to great recommendations from other Chowhounds, we had a series of wonderful meals in San Francicso in our 6-day visit:

Located at at Mission and 24th. Widely recommended and deservedly so. We had some of the best tacos we've ever enjoyed. There's always a line, but it moves quickly. The burritos were good, but the tacos were better. We ended up going here three times!

Located at Guerrero and 18th. Again, there's always a line. The lemon tarts were amazing, and the brownies and bags of cookies (kind of pricey at $6.50 for a bag of 11 cookies) made great gifts.

Located at 901 Cole Street. Excellent small plates of Asian fusion food. The tuna rolls were superb. Most plates have 6 or so servings, so the place is perfect for a group.

Still a champ. I remember coming here in the 1980s. The roasted chicken served on a bread salad is perhaps the best chicken I've ever had. It takes an hour to prepare, but it's worth the wait. I asked the waitress if the Zuni cookbook version of this dish resembles the real thing, and she said some folks have come close, but it's taken them several times. No doubt a wood-burning fire would help.

On Mission and 21. One of the best brunches we've had. Dinners here are supposed to be pricey, but the brunch was quite reasonable. We sat outside beneath the space heaters, which were comfortable. I had a scrambled eggs tostada, which was great. Their huckleberry pop tart was also wonderful.

Gay dining near the Castro. Enjoyable comfort food and reasonable prices.

Upscale Brazilian food (with a bit of Italian thrown in) in North Beach at 1548 Stockton Street, again at reasonable prices.

On Washington Square Park in North Beach. The best brunch ever...and it even tops the glorious Good Enough to Eat in New York City. On a weekday, it opens at 8, and all the tables were filled by 8:30.

Right across the street from Mama's. The best foccaccia I've ever had. We bought 4 of them to bring back to NYC. If you can't get into Mama's grab some foccaccia and sit in the park. The lady at the counter told us that their 100th anniversary is coming up in 2011.

Thanks SF and fellow Chowhounds. We'll be back! I want to try Range and Palma Mexicatessan next time.

Eating in Chinatown -- a beginner's guide

Let me add my voice to the chorus of praise for this post and the thread it inspired. Today I went to the Dumpling House at 118 Eldridge, fully intending to order dumplings, and instead I was won over by the sight of the sesame pancake beef sandwich. What a wonderful sandwich, so simple and so tasty...and so cheap at only $1.50. It compared favorably to some of my favorite sandwiches I've had at Mother's and Central Grocery in New Orleans! The counter at the dumpling shop was a bit chaotic, but it was definitely worth the 10 minute wait at lunchtime.

Nov 12, 2007
Manhattan Diner in Manhattan

Culinary Guidebook for NYC

I just discovered The Food Lover's Guide to the Best Ethnic Eating in New York City by Robert Sietsema, and I love it. It's the updated 2004 edition, which is sadly already out of date (I wonder if ethnic restaurants tend to go out of business more quickly because the food is often cheaper). Anyone know if a new updated version is in the works?

Late night drinks in Burbank or Toluca Lake?

I'm meeting a pal for drinks next Wednesday and had hoped to go to Don Cuco on Riverside Drive in Burbank / Toluca Lake. But they close at 10:00 pm. Any other places nearby that anyone can recommend. It doesn't have to be Mexican. Thanks!

Need help for group of 10 in Portland Orgeon

Karam was a big hit with the group. Very affordable and great service. Thanks, all! One of our group has asked if there's good Indian in the NW or SW sections. I did a search and nothing jumped out. Anyone have a recommendation?

Need help for group of 10 in Portland Orgeon

Thanks again gang. We do have our Karam's reservation, so we're all set for the group dinner tonight. I'm now exploring lunch options as I wander the beautiful streets of Portland. Any yeas or nays on the following for lunch: Dan & Louie's Oyster Bar, Koji Osakaya, Mother's Bistro, Bijou, Maya's Taqueria, Jakes Famous Seafood.

Need help for group of 10 in Portland Orgeon

Thanks, all! We made a reservation at Karam. I'm also very much looking forward to sampling the wares at Ken's Artisan Bakery and his Artisan Pizza place.

London Good Cheap Eats-Report

The bagels were very good, and it certainly helped that they were fresh out of the oven and piping hot. My NYC favorite is H&H, but these weren't quite that good. They were a bit softer and less chewy, which made them work quite nicely as a sandwich. If you're in the Brick Lane area, you should definitely research some of the Indian restaurants. There were many that looked tempting.

Apr 30, 2007
Manhattan Diner in U.K./Ireland

London Good Cheap Eats-Report

The dollar is at an all-time low against the British pound, but we still found some (relatively) inexpensive restaurants with good food thanks to fellow Chowhounders and a few guide books. Here's the report from our four-day trip:

47 Endell Street, Covent Garden
I knew this place from my last visit. Wonderful fish and chips. We had cod and haddock, and both were excellent. There's picnic table outside seating if the weather is nice. There's nice indoor seating upstairs, and lots more room downstairs, but it's a bit claustrophobiic down there you'll be near the toilets.

47 Chandos Place, near Charing Cross Tube and Oscar Wilde monument
A wonderful pub with farm-fresh sausages that they put into rolls to make terrific sandwiches. Settle in with a pint of beer or cider and a sausage sandwich, and soak up the atmosphere. The front window opens to the street, so it's always bright and breezy inside.

80-81 Wilton, near Victoria Station
Another good fish and chips restaurant. Large and airy, not much atmosphere. Maybe not quite as good as Rock and Sole, but not far behind.

147 Earls Court (near Earls Court tube station)
9 Marshall Street (Oxford Circus tube)
Other locations
A chain of Indian restaurants with very good (and surprisingly spicy) food. They have an early-bird dinner before 6:00 or 6:30, and they also have a huge price fix meal that's a good deal.

159 Brick Lane
If you happen to find yourself in the Whitechapel area (as we did taking a fun Jack the Ripper walking tour), don't miss Brick Lane, which is a funky artist-friendly street that reminded me a lot of the East Village in NYC before it got gentrified. There are tons of interesting looking Indian restaurants, and this place, which is an institution. They serve a freshly baked bagel, fill it with salt beef (sort of like corned beef), slather it with mustard and dressing, and boy is it tasty.

Apr 28, 2007
Manhattan Diner in U.K./Ireland

Need help for group of 10 in Portland Orgeon

NY Hound traveling to Portland this week and need an affordable place downtown for a group of 10 this Wednesday. The hotel we're staying at recommended Alexis (Greek) or Andinas (Peruvian), both of which seem to be only moderately liked on the Chowhound boards. Anyone have a better idea? Thanks!

San Juan Puerto Rico Report (Long)

Thanks for the nice comments on my post, gang. The hot sauce is indeed a pique sauce. I also prefer the Louisiana style hot sauce, but this one is pretty tasty...and very hot. The Santruce area is inland from the Condado section, which is on the beach. Condado is filled with high-rise chain hotels and casinos and chain restaurants. Santurce is on the other side of a major highway that cuts through the area. We walked there every night, but if you're feeling uncertain there are lots of cabs around. We also took the bus a lot, which is only 50 cents, although the buses certainly don't show up as often as in Buenos Aires or Rio. There is a bus depot near the main plaza in Old San Juan, so if you want to save a bit of money going back and forth from Old San Juan, you might want to wander over to the depot, where there's always a bus departing soon.

72nd and Amsterdam- Just Moved In

A few of my favorites (most of these haven't been mentioned yet):

Tamarind (Amsterdam and 80): good Indian food, about the same quality as Swagat across the street. If you get the ValPak neighborhood coupons in the mail, there are always coupons for Tamarind, Earthen Oven and Masala Garden. I agree with other posters that Earthen Oven has the best food by far. Their prix fix lunch is a great deal.

Hampton Chutney Company (Amsterdam around 83 or so): nice dosas and reasonable prices.

Silk Road Palace (Amsterdman and 81): I think it's the best Chinese in the neighborhood, but that isn't saying much. I wish I could find a great Chinese restaurant in the area.

Emack and Bolio (Amsterdam and 79): great ice cream

Good Enough to Eat (Amsterdam and 82): it's a mob scene for brunch on weekends, but weekdays it's the best in the area for breakfast and lunch

Nice Matin (Amsterdam and 79): attractive French restaurant with great breakfast (the spicy lamb scramble is out of this world). It's a bit pricier than other breakfast spots but worth it.

Feb 14, 2007
Manhattan Diner in Manhattan

Going to San Juan, Puerto Rico anytime soon?

I posted yesterday with a post about the San Juan market and the hot sauce. It is truly amazing stuff!

San Juan Puerto Rico Report (Long)

Just back from a whirlwind four-day trip to Puerto Rico, armed with lots of recommendations from fellow Chowhounds (and a few guidebooks). Happy to report that we didn't have a single bad meal, and we had several that were outstanding. From the best to the not-as-good:

We were tempted to try the Sunday all-you-can-eat buffet at the Hilton (right next to the Normandie Hotel where we were staying), but we decided to go for the more authentic (and lots cheaper) all-you-can-eat buffet at La Casita Blanca in the edge of the Santurce neighborhood. The area is fine during the day, but it's a bit out of the way, so you'll probably need to take a cab. The place opens at noon, and it's really charming inside. The buffet is great, over a dozen options, and all seemed like typical Puerto Rican fare that a grandmother might prepare. Great appetizer plantain chips. We had the aecerola fruit juice, which is a tasty red cherry-like fruit that's loaded with Vitamin C (had it in Brazil before). The back room has a tree growing in the middle of the dining room. The service and atmosphere couldn't be nicer. And the price was certainly right: $12.95 per person. We walked off our lunch by walking toward the El Condado section and then taking a nice long walk along the beach.

We fell in love with this place in Old San Juan on Calle San Francisco. It's a breakfast/lunch joint, and we sat at the long counter every morning to have their great coffee and mallorcas, which are puffy sweet rolls that are pressed (like a Cuban sandwich), filled with eggs, ham and cheese (or any variation) and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. Very filling and very tasty. The coffee machine is this huge Rube Goldberg-like contraption that is the size of two men. The place filled up on weekends with tourists from cruise ships, but we never had any trouble getting a seat. They have great pastries in the window, too. There's a similar place across the street, Cafeteria Mallorca, but we liked the atmosphere in La Bombanero better.

A lovely restaurant overlooking the plaza in Old San Juan. The prices are very reasonable (especially for Old San Juan), and it was probably the best Mofongo we had (we were on a bit of a mofongo craze on this trip). If the second floor is open, there's a great view of the plaza.

Not a lot of personality (sort of like a giant Denny's) but great food, inexpensively priced. It's a short walk from the Condado section, on the edge of the Santurce neighborhood. I alerted the manager to a Chowhound report on the place, and she was thrilled. The Mofongo was superb.

We hit the Santurce Market (a giant building filled with vendors selling fruits, vegetables and meats) on Friday afternoon. We were in search of a hot sauce that a Chowhounder had written about, and we found it with no problem. It's in a booth run by a little old lady, and it's a wonderful vinegary, VERY hot, peppery sauce that she sells in old rum bottles. I'm sure she would have been astounded if I told her that I had read about her sauce on Chowhound. Unfortunately, her English was not any better than my Spanish, so I couldn't tell her about Chowhound. There's another booth around the corner from her that sells batidos (fruit shakes). Be careful if you get the large, because it's a giant shake that fills a blender carafe. We had two (you could easily split one) and then weren't as hungry for dinner as we might have been. We had read about the party atmosphere around the market on Thursday and Friday nights after everyone arrives after work. Sure enough, at around 5:00 the area filled with people standing around socializing and drinking beers while music played. It wasn't exactly a wild party scene, but it was pleasant. There are dozens of restaurants surrounding the market, and we chose Don Tello, where we had great Mofongo dishes; Bill had chicken and I had shrimp.

We had read in all the guidebooks that the fancy Dragonfly in Old San Juan was closed on Sunday evenings, but when we got into town we discovered that it was actually open. Unfortunately, we were wearing shorts, which is a no-no at Dragonfly. The folks at the door who were trying to drum up business urged us to come in anyway by telling us that we could wear sarongs and that we would be put in an out-of-the way location in the rear. Neither of those options appealed to us, so we decided to try the tapas restaurant El Picoteo in the gorgeous El Convento Hotel. The atmosphere on their plaza was probably the nicest on our trip. It was a bit pricier than the other restaurants, but the white sangria was great, as were the albondigas. The chorizo was a bit of a disappointment, not at all like Spanish cured chorizo, but more like cocktail wieners. We even tried the "diablo" ones at the suggestion of our waitress, who said they were more flavorful. I can only imagine how bland the regular chorizo must be! We split three tapas plates and sangria, which was not a lot of food, but just enough for us.

We love arepas in New York City, so we decided to give this place a try on San Francisco in Old San Juan. The prices were certainly right ($10 for two giant arepas), but they were not quite as good as some of the ones we've found in NYC. We got the ones with chicken and avacado. They certainly were filling, though.

This place in Old San Juan is in all the guidebooks. It has nice, quaint atmosphere (a guitar player was there the night we went), but the food was not spectacular. Most of the dishes seem to come from steam tables at the back of the restaurant. Bill's mofongo was very good, but my tamales were a bit boring.

72nd and Amsterdam- Just Moved In

Hey, what's wrong with Nikkos? Great bread basket. Huge menu with lots of interesting Greek choices. Very reasonable prices on food and wine. Excellent thin-crust pizzas. It's one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants.

Jan 23, 2007
Manhattan Diner in Manhattan

favorite Maine lobster roll spots?

There was some little shack on a dock that was mostly a fresh fish market but also made a killer lobster roll. It was so good that I actually went back and immediately got another one. It was somewhere north of Ogunquit and I think below Kennebunkport. There was no seating in the store as I recall. Any idea where this was or the name of the place?