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Wok fried broad noodles

I like Singapore MF/HF at NYN too, but to me it's a very different thing from "beef chow fun" which I think as having that wok-charred, brown saucy quality that you also find in the other SE Asian derivatives.

Oct 20, 2014
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Wok fried broad noodles

I've got a yen for this variety of dish lately. Anyone want to advance some current candidates for the champs at beef chow fun, or pad see ew, or char kway trow, or similar?

Oct 15, 2014
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Absolute Bagels on UWS

It makes a huge difference. There is some difference of opinion about hot versus "freshest," though. I do like bagels when they're hot—gooey, really—but it's a different thing. Some people understandably find the experience a bit icky. The perfect bagel is probably rested just enough but still warm.

Essa, which in principle are much too large and slightly too sweet for me, are nevertheless quite good when they're hot or warm. One hour later they're pretty bad. Even with the relatively high turnover at 1st Avenue it's crap shoot if you want to get one that's edible after about 11am. David's are better in theory but this problem is even more pronounced there.

I thought both Viateur and Fairmount in Montreal were better than pretty much anything I've had here, and I considered bringing back a dozen but decided it would probably be pointless. One reason they're so good is probably that they're churning out fresh sesames constantly.

Oct 10, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Absolute Bagels on UWS

Yes, indeed.

But personally I find the difference between Bagel Hole and St Viateur to be less than that between Bagel Hole and Ess-a-Bagel.

I think I heard that East River is supposedly being looped into the Carbone/Torrisi Major Food Group circuit, so maybe they'll be easier to get soon.

Oct 10, 2014
zbs in Manhattan
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Absolute Bagels on UWS

No play for Black Seed or East River Bread, then?

Oct 10, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Chinese Takeout Union Square - Gramercy

Dunno how far up in Gramercy but Hunan Manor delivers to me at 21st St, and is excellent.

Great Sichuan at 26th is probably better than Grand Sichuan St Marks, but not by a whole lot.

Sep 26, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Please Critique My (Heavily Researched) Food Crawl Itinerary

It might be a close call if Prosperity's is fresh, which is hard to predict (somehow, even at 3pm during school year, one of their rush hours).

So Vanessa's basically always.

Sep 26, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Please Critique My (Heavily Researched) Food Crawl Itinerary

Sounds pretty good. Here's some alternatives along the route, just to think about: the "pancake" at Spicy Village; Seoul Chicken; Souvlaki GR (they're really small); Russ & Daughters; Dominique Ansel

Sep 23, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Marta - When in NYC, do as...

(They have that one in Brooklyn too now)

Sep 22, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Tamales

Yeah, before 10:30, and only some days. As far as I can tell, doesn't seem to be consistent, but usually at least 3-4 days out of the week.

Sep 15, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Tamales

The 1st Ave stop tamale vendor is still there and still pretty great! $1.50 per. Green, red, cheese, as I recall. Lighter than your average restaurant tamale but a bit dense compared to the very best ...

Sep 12, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Weakest cuisines

Yeah, the "wrap" is freshly made, thin lavash then? That's the durum bit as I understand it.

Aug 26, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Weakest cuisines

Is there anywhere in NY you can get a dürüm doner?

Aug 26, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Best Fried Clams In Brooklyn?

Dunno Kittery but the other three are all good. In order of bang for buck: Sea Witch, Littleneck, Extra Fancy. Littleneck is a little more haute, very good specials. Sea Witch is great and a great deal. Extra Fancy is solid, convenient for N. Brooklyn, open late but a little pricey for what it is.

Jun 20, 2014
zbs in Outer Boroughs

looking for fully loaded poutine

Protip: go to Mile End Brooklyn and get the poutine special request hot dog topping instd of smoked meat.

Nov 18, 2013
zbs in Manhattan

Homemade vs Canned Refried Beans

It makes a noticeable difference, so if you're eating them as a dip or if you're feeling particularly particular about them I recommend making them from scratch. I have one trick that I think is essential, that I will hereby give away on the grounds that, from the sound of it, no one will ever actually do this.

1. Cook dry pinto beans (I do it no-soak, 90m style)
2. Fry adding more and more lard until you reach the right consistency
3. Add stock, ground chili, salt, pepper (they will be too thin now but when they cool it will be better)
4. Mash together
5. Add Mexican canned refried beans (e.g., La Costena) to approximately 1/6–1/5 of total volume

The last step gives them the funky restaurant flavor that seems otherwise unachievable, the rest gives them depth and flavor that the canned beans don't have on their own. Oh, and 6: Fart.

Jun 22, 2012
zbs in General Topics

Puerto Rican restaurant?

Taza de Oro is the real deal, and the cutest place in the world probably.

Feb 08, 2011
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Where to drink before dinner at Roberta's?

In terms of drinks, there are a few options: Roberta's has a bar-ish seating area outside, which may be just as well as anything else. The absolute closest bar to Roberta's is King's County, a block to the north, but it's a very dark divey place— not really what I think of for predinner drinks. Slightly farther are two more welcoming options: Duckduck, on Montrose near Graham, which has crafty taps and heavy pours, and Tandem, on Troutman to the Southeast, which has more refined speciality cocktails and a slightly fussier atmosphere.

There are also two pleasant cafes with beer and wine, Cafe Orwell a block south of R's on Varet, and Boulevard Cafe on Bushwick.

Aug 16, 2010
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Sour cherries — fresh or frozen ?

Trying to get one last pie in this summer; but Union Square Greenmarket proved cherry-less (if only I were making a tomato pie). Anyone know where I can get sour cherries, frozen or otherwise ? (Whole Foods Union Square proved fruitless as well.)

Aug 29, 2008
zbs in Manhattan

sashimi quality fish in park slope area

Land & Sea market on Flatbush near the 7th Avenue subway station often has very good fish, and fairly helpful guys, go take a look at it and be sure to ask to see it up close.

Jun 17, 2008
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Best Bet for Swedish Meatballs?

Was open as of last week.

Superb Swe. meatballs.

The rest of the menu is a little inconsistent but usually at least fun.

Jun 12, 2008
zbs in Manhattan

Best value tasting + wine pairing

Fleur de Sel at lunch.

May 14, 2008
zbs in Manhattan

Root Hill Cafe

I haven't yet. Intelligentsia, though, right? Promising.

May 07, 2008
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Root Hill Cafe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Br...

But I wouldn't hesitate to expand this estimation to include Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Ft Greene, Brooklyn Heights, and Clinton Hill. But certainly there is better to be had in the north—Gimme, El Beit and Grumpy to start.

May 06, 2008
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Thinking of moving from Brooklyn, NY to Austin--what would I be in for, foodwise?

I recently moved in the opposite direction, so I'd say —

Cheese? Nothing better than Whole Foods, though there are alternatives. (And WF is pretty solid, I'd say, unless this is a political rather than gastronomical preference.)

French Bakery? Not really.

Pizza— This is an interesting point. Unless you're a pizza connoisseur, or you're moving from next door to Nick's, etc., your experience may well be better in Texas. Most of Brooklyn has delivery pizza that's considerably worse than the average Austin pizza (those endlessly multiplied Sal's and Antonio's that might as well be Domino's and Pizza Hut). Naturally it also has the very greatest parlors and specialists — though they are almost all vastly more expensive. But I find it tragic that I live in Brooklyn and am unable to sit on my couch, drink beer, watch a hockey game, and eat a good pizza (unless I wait in line, deliver it to myself via train, etc). In this respect Austin has plenty of OK-to-good options that have wide delivery radii and will happily satisfy that particular urge. And you can stop by Enoteca when you want the fancy version, which, while not DiFara, is no slouch.

Takeout & delivery— Not by comparison but I always found it fine, and since places deliver much farther than the do in New York, you may be trading up on many counts (and will definitely getting away from the limitless, identical, completely hollow General Tso—Fresco Tortillas—Vindaloo takeaways).

Dim sum? No. And no Chinatown, though an interesting concentration in the north. The Vietnamese food in Texas is hugely superior to that in New York, as is basic Thai fare (if we ignore traveling to Queens). Chinese itself is hopeless, though, except for comfortable Americanized stuff, which you will consequently find to be overpriced in Texas.

You will find every variety of European food to be inferior, especially French, so get comfortable spending a lot of time with all gradations of Mexican to Tex-Mex, Vietnamese and SE Asian, and BBQ. And annoying your Austinite friends by forcing them to shell out for Uchi or Vespaio or wherever when you need an haute cuisine fix.

May 05, 2008
zbs in Austin

Late Night Eats in Park Slope

My hope is that this "fool's errand" may prove useful for someone in dire need of overcooked eggs and potatoes (fried relatively recently) after the bars close. I grew up in the southwest, where this routine, conducted closer to 2 am and generally with more geographical leniency, was reliably satisfying but still essentially a matter of bad food. My analogous experiences in this city, when I can remember them, have on occasion been sufficient to offend even my heavily addled taste buds (for the record, this includes Kellog's, Anytime, and 7th Ave Donuts).

There is bad food and there is inedible food, and the distinction is not irrelevant.

May 05, 2008
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Root Hill Cafe

Seems like they're still figuring out the workflow, but the capuccino I had was very good— I'd say best in South Brooklyn. Also tried regular drip, which was strong and had a pleasant roundness, but nothing great. Haven't had the Clover there, as I tend to save that rare treat for when I'm in the vincinty of a Cafe Grumpy (and their superlative beans).

May 05, 2008
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Late Night Eats in Park Slope

Maybe it was an extremely off day at 7th Ave Donuts. But this level of off is, for me anyway, inexusable. We didn't ask for anything outside of a reasonable diner repertoire: eggs, liver, and standard sides—home fries, etc. Several in my party were experiencing erm 'munchies'. So the cards were heavily in favor of the diner. And yet we ate maybe 10% of what was on the table. That's a pretty bad showing.

Of diners in PS and environs, the only ones I've been comfortable saying were even worth bothering with are Daisy's and Fifth Avenue, which are pretty much right next to each other, on Fifth down near 9th Street. Both are open 24 hours.

I've heard enough about Purity to never step foot in it. Tom's has its charm and a pretty good kitchen, but limited hours. The Dominican versions (Los Viejos, Gran Castillo) are generally superior in their own way, but none to my knowledge stay up past midnight.

May 05, 2008
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Late Night Eats in Park Slope

Seventh Avenue Donuts is picturesque but the food is miserable, by any diner standard.

For the record, Rico's Tacos in Sunset Park is supposedly open twenty-four hours on weekends, and real late on weekdays. If you can make the trip, hoo boy, that's some real fine late night food.

Apr 28, 2008
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Best thai (lunch)

Zabb City makes very fine salads. Curries are boring & typical though.

Apr 25, 2008
zbs in Manhattan