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Best Northern Thai Larb?

Wow

Jan 21, 2015
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Williamsburg, BK- the hipster diaries

I mean, I don't really know what this means either. But if you want to look at rich kids trying to be cool, go to Greenpoint (e.g., Five Leaves). You want slightly less rich kids trying to be cool, gotta go to Bushwick and Bed-Stuy (a high percentage spot would be Happyfun Hideaway). Williamsburg—even on the east side—(where I live) is a jumble these days.

That said, Roebling Tea Room, which doesn't have very good food, often attracts a suffocatingly self-conscious crowd, or used to. See also: St Mazie. To a lesser extent: St Anselm.

Those spots full of bearded guys and skinny girls with fancy clothes and expensive haircuts are very different lot than The Levee though, so is this really all one group you're talking about? For the Levee set, long ago you might've said Bushwick Country Club. For the dance music crowd (and slightly more recently) Tandem or Bossa Nova Social Club. But last few times these places all seemed like they could be anywhere really. Bizarre Bar.

I'm curious why you're interested in this though?

Jan 20, 2015
zbs in Outer Boroughs

Best Northern Thai Larb?

Really? I made it a few times (though not that recipe) and it was stupid easy. Also love how precise you can control the heat since it's usually dried chile based. The only tricky bit is having glutinous rice to toast.

Does Andy's recipe include any unusual steps?

Jan 20, 2015
zbs in Outer Boroughs

GG's in the east village

I went back cuz my pal loves this place I guess.

The burger is also killer. Like, top-ten list quality. I would compare it to Fritzl's Lunch Box burger. And put it in my top-3 or so. (But never had the Minetta/Nomad/Brindle type version.) The fries are sorta like the fries at the Breslin. Not my fave style but v. well done.

My aforementioned pal also had a grandma slice (they sell 'em after ten?). I had a bite. Still not impressed. This town has a lot of good grandmas. (My pick? Williamsburg Pizza.)

Jan 14, 2015
zbs in Manhattan

GG's in the east village

The agnolotti was spectacular. Not super-impressed by the Gradma pizza. I thought it was slightly on the pricey side considering but my dining companion thought it was fine. Lukewarm recommendation!

Jan 12, 2015
zbs in Manhattan

Manhattan Bars for Local Beers

I dunno about locality per se but Proletariat on St Marks probably has the most elite tap list in Manhattan in terms of obscurity/rarity, and generally, quality. It's the closest the city comes to Greenpoint's Torst. Not a thousand taps but a dozen or so constantly changing.

Dec 16, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

New Threes Brewing Brewpub in Gowanus?

They had a fire the morning the day they were set to open, but managed to open on schedule anyway.

Excellent beer: both their own and the cream of the local crop: Carton, Other Half, Evil Twin, Grimm, etc. Good prices, esp. compared to e.g. Torst. A little loud and a little disorganized (unsurprising, opening party). Very large space. Dan Delaney (Briskettown) was working the kitchen (it's to be a Roberta's satellite at some point in the future). He was making pulled pork sandwiches, mac and cheese, smoked turkey and some other things. Excellent, as he usually is.

Dec 15, 2014
zbs in Outer Boroughs

rolled tacos in Manhattan

This thread is ancient, of course.

The terminology in New York favors "tacos dorados," though some places they're called flautas. They're a super-typical menu item at NYC Mexican restaurants. And sort of a good fall back if the quality is questionable, since they're sort of hard to screw up...

There is even a specialist on the LES called Taquitoria.

Dec 15, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

Great bars/restaurants for winter/Christmas?

The seasonal decor at Molly's is the best. Christmas lights cover the ceiling, changing the coloration of the place altogether from the rest of the year. Minimal, I dunno, but it's true there are no animatronic santas or reindeers.

Dec 04, 2014
zbs in Manhattan

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
1

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