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Favorite restaurants in Chinatown?

Pearl Villa is my favorite for seafood. Their scallops on the half shell are amazing and they do a pretty good seafood soup.

macarons with splenda???

Macarons are notoriously finicky cookies and their light chewy texture is created by the reactions between sugar and the protein in the egg white. Even in recipes with sugar it is very hard to master the technique (too little/much of any ingredient will cause the cookie to crack or deflate or be too dry). Because splenda is chemically different from sugar it will be very hard (if not impossible) to get the recipe to work.

Aug 30, 2011
lycheefloat in Home Cooking

Molecular Gastronomy Pearls + Alcohol

You will have a very hard time spherifying hard alcohol straight up using the traditional sodium alginate/calcium cloride method because alginate is a polar molecule and will dissolve in other polar substances like water, but not in nonpolar substances like alcohol. You can overcome this by diluting your alcohol with some water or juice or fruit purée or using a cordial with lower alcohol content. Willpowder might also have some other chemicals that you can add to the alcohol to faciliate gellation. Some people find it helpful to thicken the mixture slightly with xanthan gum because alc has a lower surface tension. Also, if you are doing this for a party, you should make the spheres as last minute as possible because the reaction will continue until the spheriphication is a gel all the way through. I've never tried the reverse spherification with alcohol, but I imagine it may be hard to dissolve the calcium gluconolactate in the alcohol as well.

Aug 27, 2011
lycheefloat in General Topics

Where should I bring college girls on dates?

As a 19 year old college girl, I am a little bit creeped out by this thread.

Sketchiness aside, I recommend Small Plates in Harvard Square. It's cozy, romantic and has great tapas. Also, the new bar that opened up where Z Square used to be is fantastic.

Small Plates
56 Jfk St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Z Square
14 JFK St, Cambridge, MA

Boston and beyond. College Visits for daughter, fun food for mom.

I'm all for experiencing the flavors of New England, but on these college visits, I suggest grabbing a meal at the college dining hall with your daughter, since this is where she will be eating breakfast lunch and dinner for the majority of the next 4 years. The food isn't great, but it's a great way to see the students at the college, and to get to know the school beyond a simple tour. I suggest going to Annenberg Hall at Harvard for breakfast before your tour-- it's less crowded then and absolutely gorgeous inside. You can purchase a meal where students swipe in.

Chef Chang's becoming Sichuan Gourmet?

While most of Chef Chang's dishes were mediocre, the had the best peking duck in Boston. I've been going for years and the same big chef comes out to carve the crispy duck tableside and they make a great duck stew out of the carcass when you're done. Do you know if they'll keep the peking duck chef?

best pancakes in boston?

Harry's All American Breakfast in West Roxbury makes the best pancakes I've ever had They're crisp and buttery on the outside and very flavorful and tender on the inside. IHOP pancakes are slabs of floppy cardboard in comparison.

Thai Restaurant Week

Good soft serve ice cream?

Berryline is still in Harvard Square. And it is wonderful! It's a little less pricey than pinkberry and the closest substitute you'll find in the Boston Area. They have mochi now and the flavors of the week are mango and coconut. Mango is amazing.

Berryline is my go to meal replacement when I don't like the menu at Harvard's D-halls.

Reasonable Pinkberry Substitute Near Fenway

A lot of places are trying to hop onto the tangy yogurt train these days. JP Licks has a pinkberry style yogurt out now too. They call it flavor x i think. I love froyo myself, so I'll def have to check out this Fenway place.

FENG SHUI, Chelmsford,Ma.

Well it's not authentic like something you would find in China, but the flavor of the food isn't too Americanized. My parents loved the food; they didn't complain that it was too sweet, too fried or too bland. They're Chinese and don't hesitate to voice their opinions about places like PF Chang's and Mandarin Gourmet...

FENG SHUI, Chelmsford,Ma.

I love Feng Shui! The design of the restaurant is gorgeous and the food is authentic yet the presentation is updated. I usually get a little annoyed when restaurants try to mix a ton of different types of asian, but I really enjoyed the sushi at Feng Shui to.

Looking for deep fried desserts in the Boston area...

You should try making them at home! They're super easy, I just use Bisquick Complete and add a little less water than I would for pancakes. Just dip the Oreos into the batter and drop them in a pan with a few inches of oil, flip them until both sides are golden and voila fried oreos! =]

I love the way that the filling melts into the cookies! The cookies turn into something like gooey chocolate cakes which contrasts the crispy exterior.

Bostonian in need of 'different' seafood

Hamachi collar-- its super fatty and flavorful and usually simply broiled with a light sauce. Fuji 1546 in Quincy or Oishii Chestnut Hill make excellent versions.

Lobster Sashimi. They have this at Ginza Chinatown and at a few other Chinatown places. The lobster tail is quickly sliced thin and served in its own shell. When it's brought out to the table the antennae still move!

Pickled Baby Octopus. I actually like the ones you get at the sushi place in the Corner Mall.

Restaurants with Tempeh

Buddha's Delight in Chinatown has a lot of dishes with tempeh and tofu. There is absolutely no compromise in flavor just because the dishes are vegetarian.

North End with patio dining?

Do you know if you can reserve that one outdoor table?

What are your current Top 5 food cravings/addictions for MetroWest?

Shui zhu niu rou (beef in chili sauce?) at Sichuan Gourmet on Rt.9

Luo bo gao and other dim sum at Green Tea 2 off Rt. 9

Mushroom Gnocchi at Sel de la Terre in the Natick Collection

Crab Salad melt at The Cottage in Wellesley

Kinutamaki at Oga's on Rt 9

Kiku Yama-Dedham

I feel like with teppanyaki steak houses, dinner is more about the show than the food itself. I had a lot of fun watching my food being cooked at Kiku Yama (I especialy enjoyed the onion volcano).

My order was a thin piece of steak wrapped around green onions and my friend got the lobster. The meat and seafood was cooked to the desired doneness, but the flavoring all tasted really similar--kind of like when you get food at Fire and Ice. The vegetable tempura and squid tempura are super crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. And the sushi at Kiku Yama is way underrated. I also recommend Feng Shui in Chelmsford for teppanyaki.

What's Boston known for?

This isn't really a Rest. Rec, but I recommend you take a Harpoon Brewery tour instead of Sam Adams. It's def a local favorite as far a beer goes.

As far as Boston specialties go, I agree with previous posters about Neptune for some fresh east-coast seafood. Also try Harvest or Henrietta's Table in Harvard Square for really nice seasonal dishes.

Great House-made Pasta Dishes

The pasta "a la chitarra" at Dante is pretty good. They hand make the pasta on a machine that looks like guitar strings.

I love the gnocci at Sel Del La Terre too. A lot of other gnocci that I have had since seem gummy by comparison.

Perfect slice

I love Haymarket Pizza. The place is literally a hole in the wall, but their slices are delicious (and less than 2 dollars!)

Softshell Crabs

I prefer the asian preparations of soft-shell crab as well. I recommend the soft-shell crab dish at Peach Farm.

Sashimi Shrimp Question

In China I had a drunken white shrimp dish. The dish consisted of tiny (one inch long) white shrimp in a rice wine sauce. The shrimp are served live, so when the cover of the dish was opened they would jump around in the sauce. All of my relatives sucked on the little heads, so I did too. The sauce was so strong that I couldn't really describe the shrimp head flavor though. I don't think theyres any harm in trying the heads.

Jul 20, 2008
lycheefloat in General Topics

Looking for the tourist traps...

Don't forget to hit the "Cheers" Bar while you're there! I think the Boston Cream Pie at the Omni Parker house is kind of a touristy. I saw it in a food network special =P

Best Seafood in The Hub?

Oh thanks for the catch, I missed the "upscale" part when reading the original post.

I've also had a pretty good meal at Turner Fisheries in the Westin hotel. It's a bit more upscale and they accept reservations

Best Seafood in The Hub?

The Daily Catch in the North End is one of my favorites for seafood and it's pretty consistently good. The calamari is to die for.

Genki Ya in Brookline

I took my mom out for sushi today at Genki Ya on Harvard Ave. (where Nori used to be). It was a great experience overall. I was really impressed with their attention to detail. Outside the restaurant they had a menu and display rolls on a little table. The inside was impeccably clean and nicely furnished (though I wasn't the biggest fan of the bamboo in front of the windows). We sat at the granite sushi bar. The menu was a gorgeous bound book with pictures of all their special rolls and entrees so you know exactly what you are ordering. I am a total fan of their pointy japanese chopsticks! They're perfect for picking up every morsel of rice and tiny bits of wasabi. And they're much more environmentally friendly than disposable.

The waitstaff was very friendly, the chef and owner both stopped to talk to us. The food was great. Their whole schtick is "all organic," which is great, but the food holds its own regardless. The fish was sweet and fresh and sliced in thick, long portions. The yellowtail was very fatty and delicious. The mushroom tempura roll was also very good; the tempura was crispy, the mushrooms tender and the lettuce crisp. They had torched sushi, which I'm a big fan of. They executed it very well, charring the outer edges while leaving the center of the fish raw.

I highly recommend trying this place.

chocolate chip cookies

The Paradise Cafe in the Prudential Center food court makes awesome cookies. The chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips is awesome.

northern chinese comfort food, but s. italian?

Calzones are a lot like Chinese Bingzi.
Tortellini are probably derived from wontons.

The fillings are completely different of course, but the methods are very similar thanks to our good friend Marco Polo.

Jul 07, 2008
lycheefloat in General Topics

Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails/Virgin Drinks/Mocktails/etc.

Blue Ginger has a homemade ginger ale that's pretty good.