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Ensenada, near Cruise Port: What's Not to be Missed?

I'm just back from my own Princess cruise (onboard food was generally pretty mediocre; the only thing I remember with fondness are the desserts, and the franks and sauerkraut they had one german buffet day).

1) La Guerrenese. We thought was OK but a little over-rated: we had four tostadas, each topped with avocado and seafood: one with sea urchin (not much urchin!), one with some VERY chewy clam, one with octopus (not bad), and one with sea snail (not bad). Disappointed there was no sea cucumber available. But the total was only US$5, the service was quick despite a crowd, and they even had a few chairs to sit on.

2) Birrieria Guadalajara (just off López Mateos on Calle Macheros) where we split a regular order of "borrego" (lamb) birria. It was OK, but nothing special. Together with two bottled waters and including the tip, it cost us US$12.

3) The Mercado Negro fish market may be worth a visit--if you've never been to Super H Mart or any big Chinese supermarket; at many the latter they will actually fry fish for you, which is not the case at Mercado Negro.

We didn't try any fish tacos because we've had enough to last us awhile from Señor Baja.

Anyway, yes, it's all a short walk from the cruise ship dock, US money is accepted (in both cases prices were quoted to us in English), and the only Spanish I used was "borrego", even though the menu has English.

Oct 21, 2013
hanmeng in Mexico

Is There Such a Thing as an Openly Gay Friendly Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown/SGV?

I'm guessing the average restaurant staffer would understand 歡迎同性戀人 better than 同志友善, which gets lots of Google hits.

Feb 01, 2013
hanmeng in Los Angeles Area

Inexpensive dark chocolate in SW San Bernardino County?

I just discovered the Good & Delish line at my local Walgreen's & got the last 10 oz. (sic) bar of dark chocolate & almonds for $4 there.

Jan 09, 2013
hanmeng in Los Angeles Area

Asterix and Obelix dinner

If you're Swiss, don't forget to polish the stick before the beating!

Dec 29, 2012
hanmeng in Home Cooking

What's a "brown onion?"

Maybe it's a California thing? The Mexican grocery does the same thing.

Dec 29, 2012
hanmeng in General Topics

Inexpensive dark chocolate in SW San Bernardino County?

Thanks for all the suggestions; please keep 'em coming.

At Von's, currently buy 2 Reese's dark chocolate pb cups and get 2 free. (maybe for cardholders only? Anyway, you can apply).

Dec 29, 2012
hanmeng in Los Angeles Area

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

I believe it usually happens in restaurants with a largely Chinese clientele. I imagine sometimes the dishes are simply items that the chef decided to make after the menu had been printed, but also they're afraid non-Chinese won't like the dishes.

It's not just the Chinese. Once in France I ordered steak tartare, and one of the staff emphasized that it was "crue" (raw).

And look what happened to Tyler Cowen in an Ethiopian restaurant:

'...he spots a problem: our raw beef is cooked. “They think we’re wusses.” After asking for the real deal, he tells me that “a lot of the problem with eating out at a place like this is not even choosing but convincing them you’re serious”.'

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/36ea6428-46...

Dec 23, 2012
hanmeng in General Topics

To Coke or Not?

Too sweet. We add fresh squeezed lime juice sweetened with honey and mix it with club soda. Yum.

Dec 23, 2012
hanmeng in General Topics

Keeping part of a baguette for the next day

I bake my own baguettes. I use a baguette mold but otherwise pretty much follow the recipe for No-Knead Bread "adapted from Jim Lahey". The crust is not as crispy as a proper bakery baguette, but the bread is tasty and it keeps well. It's delicious sliced & toasted even after it's been in the refrigerator a couple of days (due to the high moisture content?).

Dec 23, 2012
hanmeng in General Topics

Inexpensive dark chocolate in SW San Bernardino County?

Back when I lived near an Aldi's grocery, I could get inexpensive dark chocolate bars with hazelnuts, but out here I'm lucky to find Reese's dark chocolate pb cups or a Von's knock-off of the minicups.
The other dark chocolate I have found is more expensive:
Lindt's at many of the groceries and drugstores
Dark Toblerone at Cost Plus World Market
Trader Joe's dark chocolate caramels
Are there any inexpensive alternatives, or is there simply not much of an American market for dark chocolate, so it's a specialty item here?

Dec 23, 2012
hanmeng in Los Angeles Area

Buche de Noel cake?

worldmarket has a Tronco Di Natale Log Cake for $14.99. I have no idea how it tastes.

Dec 19, 2011
hanmeng in Los Angeles Area

Selam or Meskerem in st louis?

Meskerem is one of my favorite restaurants in St. Louis: the food is cheap, tasty, and filling. My wife and I usually split a vegetarian combination, and don't order anything else, because it would be more than we could eat. You get what you pay for, though; the setting is pretty basic.

I found out about Selam when I ran into an employee buying ingredients. It's more expensive, right?

Jan 15, 2009
hanmeng in General Midwest Archive

Mango Peruvian in St. Louis?

It was recommended to me by a Peruvian, but I found it kind of expensive, and felt I was paying for nice decorations. The tamal was good, and the bread in my pork sandwich was pleasantly chewy, but the meat was too salty for me. The small side salad was OK, but small. My wife's beef dish wasn't salty, but the french fries weren't good.

Jan 15, 2009
hanmeng in General Midwest Archive

Chinese food in St. Louis

Wei Hong is still there. When we went the huge room was chilly and mostly empty. The food was OK, but not much variety. But at the attached bakery, I like the fried sesame balls and the zòngzi; the latter use pork and hulled mung beans.

Jan 15, 2009
hanmeng in Great Plains

Chinese food in St. Louis

Randall Robert's review of ChaoZhou Cuisine is "Chinatown Confidential: The Chiu Chow cuisine of Meng Lei", here:
http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2007-0...

Sep 20, 2008
hanmeng in Great Plains

Chinese food in St. Louis

We went to Lulu's for dimsum the other Sunday. The service & food wasn't bad, but it cost us $35 for nothing but dimsum and tea. Either they cheated us or they're ridiculously expensive.

Also, when we left we saw a vat full of chicken quarter legs marinating while sitting outside in the sun behind the restaurant.

We won't be back.

On the other hand, we got some 粽子 zòngzi at the Shanghainese restaurant across the street from Lulu's. Although the color of the glutinous rice looked alarmingly brown, apparently from soy sauce, they were pretty good, though aside from the sticky rice they only had a piece of (delicious) fat pork.

However, the Asian supermarket down the street from them had several varieties of zòngzi. A single Hong Kong style zòngzi was nearly twice the size of the restaurant version, and in addition to the pork, also had mushrooms, hulled mung beans, and an egg yolk. Of course, you've got to steam it yourself.

Finally, a few days later we tried the ChaoZhou Cuisine restaurant (8233 Olive), which like the Shanghainese place next door apparently has no menu and only a single chef, without a waiter. We didn't have much of an appetite, and all we had was the 拼盤 pīnpán, sort of Chinese cold cuts/charcuterie, which was pretty good.

I'm not sure that either the zòngzi or the pīnpán would appeal to Joe's crab rangoonians, though.

Sep 18, 2008
hanmeng in Great Plains

Chinese food in St. Louis

St. Louis is the only big city near where I live (a couple of hours away), and don't think much of the Chinese food. Lulu's weekend dimsum was passable last time we had it, but it's uncarted.

We often get the Cantonese style roast duck at Royal Chinese BBQ to go. Today we also went to 家鄉, at 8237 Olive across from Lulu's on the corner of Olive & Grant. There is no English name on the outside, and inside the menu on the wall is in Chinese, and the only English menu they have is one from the previous owner. And they don't speak English! I told them they should really get English translations for their dishes. I suppose you could take a takeout menu from another restaurant and order from that...

That said, this means their current clientele is mostly Chinese, and their food (they're from Shanghai) is pretty authentic. We had the sliced fish, which was pretty good, the "fish style" eggplant, also good, and homestyle tofu, so-so. They've got noodles on the other side of the menu.

We'll certainly be back, or maybe try the Teochow place next to it.

Sep 08, 2008
hanmeng in Great Plains

[STL] Ruchi Indian Cuisine

I went there last night and had the lamb vindaloo with the added on thali. It wasn't very good.

Jun 17, 2008
hanmeng in General Midwest Archive

Chinese & non-Chinese in Flushing & beyond?

If it weren't for the cold NY winters, my wife & might do the same.

Apr 14, 2008
hanmeng in Outer Boroughs

Chinese & non-Chinese in Flushing & beyond?

My wife & I are going to be staying at a hotel in Flushing for 3 nights & 2½ days (without a car) in early May and are unfamiliar with the area and would like suggestions for particular dishes at local inexpensive ethnic restaurants/bakeries for breakfast, lunch & dinner within a mile or so of the Main St-Flushing stop of the 7 train. Of course we could take public transport and then walk a mile.

Clearly we'll find plenty of cheap Chinese food in the area which we'll know how to order (she is Chinese), but even she would also like something else.

Fussy points: she's become a lacto-ovo vegetarian, but is unenthusiastic about Buddhist style vegetarian fare. The only vegetarian I really like is South Asian food, but I'm not fond of big pieces of meat (steaks or chops) either. We particularly like "Indian", Thai, and Mexican food, but are ready to be educated.

We live in a small-town culinary wasteland and my drool from reading the postings keeps shorting out my keyboard. I am starting to believe I could throw a stone from our hotel and randomly hit a decent place to eat. (Hell, now I want to move to Flushing!) Originally we were considering the contestants of the "vendies", but now I wonder if there's any point in going to Manhattan for cheap eats.

Apr 13, 2008
hanmeng in Outer Boroughs