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Herbs and spices in Dublin?

I just moved to Dublin and wanted to know if people had suggestions for good places to shop for herbs and spices. Interestingly, I'm not having trouble finding Asian/Middle Eastern spices, but good quality thyme, oregano, and other "Western" spices seem to be harder. The grocery store near me just has overpriced bottles of stale herbs, typical of supermarkets. And my bag of "sweet basil" from an Asian shop is full of twigs and has no aroma. Help!

Aug 08, 2011
kshankar in U.K./Ireland

Indianapolis - "The Journey" ( where?)

I will always remain loyal to Adobo Grill and Udipi Cafe (South Indian vegetarian) in Indy. Udipi has a pretty good buffet (some unusual items not usual found on Indian menus).

As for Bloomington...glad to see someone else question the myth! I've gotten flamed here for daring to say anything about the restaurants in B'ton, but I'll say it again: it's just not the be-all and end-all, esp. the service. I just went to dinner at Finch's Bistro for the first time and for a $60 meal for 2, the service was ATROCIOUS. It took 10 minutes to even get a glass of water, the food took so long we asked for some bread (which was brought during the meal and we were charged $1), and the waitress brought us the wrong drinks twice.

"Taste of <name your town>" Food Fairs rant

A lot of places I've lived and visited do an annual "taste of" food festival, where restaurants set up booths and happy hungry hordes are welcome to come, hang out, eat, and of course, pay.

After bouts with several of these including in the town I live in now, I refuse to go anymore and think they're a scam, and not a way to showcase local restaurants at all. By the time entry fees and costs at each booth are added up, you find yourself paying $15 for 2 slices of pizza and 2 lemonades (as reported by friends recently). What's being sold is often not at all related to the restaurant and is included just a money maker. You're often stuck paying more than you would at the restaurant - and not for a taste so you HAVE to make a meal of whatever you've gotten. I can't get a little bit of soup/bread/whatever for $1 but instead must pay $4 or more and get a large serving.

Any thoughts?

Jun 25, 2008
kshankar in General Topics

Best in Madison, WI

Best visuals and diner grub: Ellas Kosher Deli & Ice Cream. The entire restaurant is filled with toys, puppets, paper-mache figures, you name it. The owner (I think) builds new ones and keeps the oldest ones in good repair. It's great diner-style food and huge ice-cream desserts (cash only) too - pancakes, sandwiches, burgers, and so on. In summer they have a carousel outside.

Phenominal meal at Restaurant Tallent [Bloomington IN]

WHAT?! Trulli is no more?! Wow, that was quick - the place was open only a year or so. And I just saw it in April!

Ok, here's the deal with Bloomington. There are a lot of restaurants. People rave about the number of restaurants. You know what? Most of them suck. The service is bad, the food is bad. It's a college town and standards aren't high. After living in Bloomington for 4+ years, I've narrowed down the ones I like to:

"Nicer" restaurants:
- Tallent. Discussed above
- Limestone Grille, on the east side. Unprepossessing from the outside, but good food, nice atmosphere, good wine list, and they make an effort to use local ingredients
- Scholar's Inn, on 11th and College (or thereabouts).
- Truffles, also on the east side, also in a strip mall.

- Michael's Uptown. I haven't really had a bad meal there (except once when the Indonesian corn fritters were undercooked) and the service is good too.
- Samira, on the town square. Best ethnic place in town. Wonderful Afghan food, nice atmosphere, good for vegetarians, interesting wines. Love this place. Consistently good, and I can never choose so I just get all of it.
- Turkuaz, on 3rd Street. Unpretentious little Turkish place. Try the gozleme bread. YUM! And their coffee cake is delicious. Also carries some Turkish groceries.
- Anatolya, on 4th street. Also Turkish.
- Anyetsang's Little Tibet, on 4th: get the Indian dishes here - they're some of the best in town! Greasy but good. I think it's the best of the Tibetan places in town. Great momo and shabalay.
- Django's. Eclectic Asian menu, nice interior, good for vegans and vegetarians.
- Shanti. Indian place (better by far than Bombay House). Some complain that it's too rich (one Indian friend calls it "Party food"), but it's good. Service is horribly uneven (getting change can sometimes be an insane experience, and I had one waiter freak out on me once)
- My Thai, on the west side. Best Thai in town.
- Trojan Horse: it's ok. I think it's overrated. Great desserts, though!
- Bucceto's: one on the east, one on the west. Good pizzas, quick service, good if you're going with kids.

Other folks like Malibu's - I think it's overpriced for what is essentially souped-up bar food.

Avoid, avoid, avoid:

Mikado: sushi place on the east side. Ugh. Wretched service, too.

Burmese place on 4th Street: couldn't get a second PLATE there. And the food defies description in its badness. Which is sad - I went to a wedding catered by the owner, and the food was great there

Snow Lion: the horror stories I hear tell...

I think all of the Mexican places suck unless you like your chips stale and greasy, your salsa watery and mild, and no margaritas in sight. Go to Indy for decent Mexican.

As someone else said, check out the farmer's market on Saturday's (and a smaller version on Tuesday's during the summer). Quite wonderful. A sausage sandwich from Loveland Farms, some coffee from Bloomingfoods, and I'm a happy camper.

Phenominal meal at Restaurant Tallent [Bloomington IN]

Post got duplicated - sorry.

Lunch at FARMbloomington (IN)

Good to know - thanks for the tip! I'll put it back on the list.

Lunch at FARMbloomington (IN)

I had a really delicious lunch/brunch there a while back, and really liked it. I think the menu looks overpriced for dinner, though.

Phenominal meal at Restaurant Tallent [Bloomington IN]

Tallent is pretty phenomenal - too bad I can't afford to eat there more often!

Vegetarian/Vegan Eats in Amsterdam?

Your dinner in Oosterbeek sounds foul indeed! Just got back from Brussels...Have a safe trip back to Los Angeles (where I lived for 7 years!!) I'll keep posting...

Jun 03, 2008
kshankar in Europe

Vegetarian/Vegan Eats in Amsterdam?

Worst meal: a really nasty...something with fries in Appeldoorn. I don't remember what it was, but it was gross. The Indian dinner I had at Madras was pretty lousy too. And then there's the canteen at my office...

If you go to Arnhem and have a car, go to the tourist bureau and ask them about the "Arnhem Meisjes" cookies (they have there) and how to get to the bakery. The bakery is in an apartment complex area so not in the center of town. Roald Dahl described these as the "best cookies in the world". Finding them was a bit of a vision question for my husband and me. And they are GOOD. A yeast dough cookie with a caramelized bottom. And skip the WW II museum. Which doesn't leave much, come to think of it.

I had a fantastic dinner at De Waaghals tonight. It was their "monthly special": asparagus with scrambled eggs, pesto, and goat cheese; an olive- mushroom bruschetta, several mushroom-ricotta dumpings, and new potatoes. Dessert was yummy - an Algerian date-meringue tart.

The women at the next table whom I ended up having a lively conversation with loved their meals: one had a West African veggie stew with sides and vanilla pudding with rhubarb for dessert; the other woman had a pasta with chard and tofu, and the same dessert.

Enjoy Rotterdam!!! I'm heading to Brussels on Sunday and will be back Tuesday. I'll be hanging around town tomorrow.

May 30, 2008
kshankar in Europe

Need help with dinner in Rotterdam ASAP!

I was in Rotterdam yesterday and had lunch at the Bagel Bakery (which is actually on Witte de With). I had a wonderful mezze platter with carrot salad, couscous, marinated mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and best of all, a delicious bread they called "Liefdesbrood" (true love bread) with cumin, orange peel, and onion baked in (!!) and a really great hummus.

Vegetarian/Vegan Eats in Amsterdam?

And I ended up eating bread, cheese, and fruit in my apartment - decided I was too tired to head back out :). Haven't been to Betty's either. This is all in my neighborhood, so it's not far - just haven't gone yet.

May 30, 2008
kshankar in Europe

Vegetarian/Vegan Eats in Amsterdam?

I was in Rotterdam all day, so nothing new (in Amsterdam). We should clearly meet up for dinner :).

I thought about heading to De Waaghals tonight...

May 29, 2008
kshankar in Europe

Need help with dinner in Rotterdam ASAP!

Just picked up my Let's Go, which is not usually known for fine dining, but often has some decent picks. Here are two of theirs for nicer places:

Zin - Metro Stadhuis, or a short walk from the station (Lijbaan 40; Tapas place, main courses from 12 Euros. Sounds "cool".

Bagel Bakery (don't let the name fool you; it's apparently nice): Schilderstraat 57A. Mezze, middle eastern dishes, and such

Vegetarian/Vegan Eats in Amsterdam?

That's funny - I was just going to mention it, as I went there last night (I'm working in Amsterdam for 6 weeks, and I just walk around different neighborhoods until I stumble into something interesting). I definitely liked this place - one of the nicer meals I've had. They gave out free samples of their rose hip/hibiscus/ginger/lemon ice tea - I liked it so much I ordered a regular sized glass. I wasn't terribly hungry, so I ordered nachos, and they were excellent. Lots of vegan options.

May 28, 2008
kshankar in Europe

Vegetarian/Vegan Eats in Amsterdam?

Blech! Phooey! There wasn't a single south Indian dish on the menu, and the north Indian food was icky. Walking home a different way, though, I found another veggie restaurant, De Waaghaals. I'll check it out one of these days.

May 26, 2008
kshankar in Europe

That place is pricey?

And location, location, location. I've had pizza, a carafe of wine, and dessert for 3 in NYC for $125 for three of us. Seemed scary at the time. It's hard to spend that for dinner for 2 (with 1 glass of wine) at the nicest, free range waiters /local meats/organic produce/expense account in my nutty-crunchy midwestern college town.

May 26, 2008
kshankar in Not About Food

Vegetarian/Vegan Eats in Amsterdam?

Yeah, Dosa is no south Indian restaurant :). The sambar was decently spiced, but in my 2-3 Indian meals in Amsterdam, it's clear that's not where it's at. I miss spices. I miss heat. I suspect there aren't any other places to get a decent south Indian meal.

Will continue posting as/if I find vegetarian meals (not necessarily great ones, but I'll try)...

Edited to add: I wrote too soon. Just read about Madras, a restaurant just off my route going home! I know where dinner will be tonight.

May 26, 2008
kshankar in Europe

tempeh must it be fried to make it less "eh"

I would marinate it, say in soy and garlic or the like. Then dip in egg white and then bread/cereal crumbs. Put on cookie sheet and bake till crispy on both sides.

May 24, 2008
kshankar in Home Cooking

Dinner in Brussels...

I'll be in Brussels for two nights in a couple of weeks - any suggestions for a nice place where I'll be comfortable eating alone? Doesn't have to be high-end or anything, just good food. I'm staying in the St. Catherine area.

Vegetarian/Vegan Eats in Amsterdam?

I just went to the Noordermarkt for the first time today - the salad greens haven't quite come in yet, alas, but there are small, local strawberries!

Another vegetarian restaurant: Boelhod, at 62 Prinsengracht (just steps from the Noordermarkt and the Anne Frank House). Canal-side dining, but the interior is cozy too. Quiches, soups, vegan pate, hummus, and the like. I had a really interesting veggie quiche and a combo of salads (couscous, green beans in peanut sauce, slivered carrot and cabbage) - about 11 Euro. Quite tasty.

May 24, 2008
kshankar in Europe

Good uses for baby kale?

I can eat it raw, but then I think I don't have that bitter "supertaster" gene...
One of my favorites: cook it with garlic, ginger, and onions, ground cumin, ground coriander, hot chili (dried or fresh). Potatoes and/or tomatoes are a good addition. Semi-authentic Indian home cooking. Now that I think about it, I do this with almost any greens, young or old. If they're big leaves, I'll cut them small, or even puree them.

May 21, 2008
kshankar in Home Cooking

JUNE COOKBOOK OF MONTH - Suggestions, etc.

How is this cookbook? It's on my "get from the library list" (which I do with all cookbooks before I buy them?)

May 21, 2008
kshankar in Home Cooking

Vegetarian/Vegan Eats in Amsterdam?

I'm new to this board, but have been in Amsterdam for about 2.5 weeks and will be here another month. I thought I'd share some of my vegetarian finds. I haven't found this to be a great eatin' town. I've had some horrendous meals. But there are a few good finds.

Maoz - vegetarian falafel, and the extra salads are delicious

Dosa - right across from the entrance to Vondelpark on the Overtoom. A pretty good dosa can be had (south Indian rice/lentil crepe, filled with potatoes and served with a weirdly sweet chutney but a nice spicy lentil soup called sambar). This isn't a vegetarian restaurant, but it's one of the only places I know of to get south Indian food

La Margarita - a Mexican place across from the Dam down a crowded side street. A number of vegetarian dishes on the menu, heavy on cheese.

Pancake Bakery - on Prinsengracht, in an old Dutch East India Company warehouse. Amazing variety of pancakes, including vegetarian ones. I had a great brie, spinach, and cashew pancake (they called it the "Greenlandic". Go figure.) And the location is unbeatable; they have outdoor seating on the water.

Produce is quite easy to find - I live near the Albert Cuyp street market and have been picking up delicious strawberries and cherries. The salad greens aren't great. but I keep a bag in my fridge to round out my lunches.

May 21, 2008
kshankar in Europe