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UK Pub-style Chicken Curry???

By chance, did you work at Pret? They have a recipe posted online that includes tomato puree, and I was wondering if tomato puree in the UK is the same as tomato paste in the States. (http://www.pret.com/pdfs/Coronation_C...) The reason I'm asking is because I used tomato paste in the original cooked version (posted by Workalot above), and the reduction became very dry. Also, is thick cream the same as heavy cream? I used Patak's Hot Curry Paste--that could have been the wrong one to use, too. It looked more like Russian dressing rather than curry dressing.

Feb 05, 2010
grubcrawl in Home Cooking

SCONE RECIPE WANTED: must be good [Moved from U.K./Ireland board]

I know it's been a very long time since the original post, but I must tell you that I tried Gordon Ramsay's scones at The London in New York, and they are so tender and flaky. His "Perfect Scone" recipe exists online but also calls for "self-raising" flour in grams. While I know that self-rising flour exists in the U.S., I suspect that the English self-raising flour and the American self-rising flour has different components. Therefore, I'm afraid to substitute it blindly. Also, there are many volume measurements to convert flour to self-rising flour. Does anyone have one for metric conversions? I also have to mention that castor sugar DOES exist in the U.S., but it's cheaper and more practical to just blitz granulated sugar in the food processor quickly. Thanks!

Feb 01, 2010
grubcrawl in Home Cooking

Ben's Best

I'm in agreement with everyone here about Ben's Best, and that's just too bad since I live in Queens. It really is tough to find good food in Queens, particularly in the Rego Park/Forest Hills area. The pastrami was definitely leaner than other places I've tried, but my beef with it was that it didn't arrive hot or even warm. Also, they do go lighter on the meat here than other places, and the rye really didn't have any flavor. I've had the pastrami (to-go) at Deli Masters, which is fattier and sliced thinner (strange), but I did like it. While Carnegie Deli is expensive, I do like the mile-high pastrami portions and the rye. After eating a sandwich there, I realized how important good rye is in this deceptively simple meal. I used to go to Katz's, but it is just too out of the way and manic for any of my visiting friends or family to find worthwhile. Unless you live in New York and can appreciate a just-carved pastrami, you can't justifiy spending more than $10 on a sandwich.

Sep 28, 2009
grubcrawl in Outer Boroughs

Istanbul report - Rego Park/Forest Hills

I love that great message boards like Chowhound exist because I have been able to find little "gems" in my neck of the woods, Rego Park/Forest Hills. My friend and I play tennis around Istanbul, and she's a very picky vegetarian. I had read that Istanbul had a very popular and tasty vegetable appetizer for $11.50. I also read on Yelp that there was a patio in the back, which was perfect for a nice, sunny day. The restaurant itself did not seem dirty at all. On the right, when you walk in, there is a deli/meat case where most people probably get their take-out (e.g. kebabs, doners). You can also get baklava. But the dining room had white tablecloths and a really friendly staff. It wasn't as divey as I was expecting. We asked to sit in the outdoor courtyard area, which has a wooden deck and some plants. The tables and chairs were of the "folding" variety. No tablecloths here. It was a perfect retreat for my friend and me, who just wanted some fresh air and a small bite to eat. Immediately upon sitting, the server gave us hot bread (the diameter of pancakes but much thicker than the pita we see in the supermarkets). I'm not sure if it was pita, although some reviewers describe it as such.

Now onto the appetizer plate! It was abundant and bursting with flavors! It did not disappoint (and that's saying a lot because my friend is finicky). There were about eight different kinds of things to try on the plate, but the ones I remember were hummus, baba gunuss, Acılı ezme (spicy ezme), tabbouleh, yogurt sauce (tzaziki?) and a seemingly out-of-place mayonnaise-based salad (looked like potato salad). You'll have to pardon my spellings, but I'm new to Turkish cuisine (although I've tried "New Turkish" a la Whole Foods and Eli Zabar). I'd go back to have the spicy ezme all by itself! The server said that there were bellpeppers, jalopeno peppers, sumac and garlic in it. It was like their version of salsa! I'd definitely go back to try the falafel, stuffed grape leaves and other goodies when my friend and I work up more of a sweat! Oh, and it's convenient for those who take mass transit--it's steps from the 63rd Drive subway stop and the Q60 bus stop (across the street from the Marshalls/Sears/Old Navy complex).

May 26, 2009
grubcrawl in Outer Boroughs

Long week end in Barcelona

Thanks, PBSF! You're such a great resource. The reason I asked if Can Mao and Can Mano were the same is because I've searched online that they are both listed as being located at Carrer Baluard 12, both on Barcelona-Guide (http://www.barcelona-guide.info/zones...) and eG Forums (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s...). Thank you!

May 10, 2008
grubcrawl in Spain/Portugal

Five Dinners in Barcelona

Thanks, MercerChow!

May 10, 2008
grubcrawl in Spain/Portugal

Five Dinners in Barcelona

Thanks for the comprehensive review! Agut, Merendero de la Mari and Senyor Parellada were at the top of my list--I'm visiting in June. I'm now skeptical about Senyor Parellada. Quick question about Merendero--is it prix fixe only? I saw on their website, "46 Euro" a person, so I was curious. We have a cruise the day of our arrival, so I wanted to eat somewhere in Barceloneta. I came across Cal Pinxo and Can Mano as recommendations as well. Thank you!

May 01, 2008
grubcrawl in Spain/Portugal

Long week end in Barcelona

Hi, PBSF,
I enjoy reading all of your comprehensive posts and am going to Barcelona for the first time in June 2008! Quick question about El Merendero de la Mar and Can Mao. Does El Merendero have a "prix fixe" menu only--do you HAVE to choose a starter, main course and dessert? Their web site indicates that it is 46 Euro a person, so I wanted to confirm. Also, does Can Mao also go by the name Can Mano? Are they open on a Sunday--it's difficult to find their hours posted anywhere, and their line is always busy when I call. Of the three that you recommend in Barceloneta, which serves the best paella? I have the misfortune of only being in Barcelona on a Sunday and Monday and wanted to find out if they are open on a Sunday (hoping around noon). Our flight arrives on Sunday at 10:00 a.m., and we have a cruise that departs later that evening. We were hoping that Barceloneta would be a convenient stop before checking into our cruise (we'll be toting our luggage in the meantime, unfortunately). Thank you in advance!

Apr 30, 2008
grubcrawl in Spain/Portugal