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Wilton Manors and Oakland Park

I thought I'd share some of my favorite restaurants in the area. It's not an easy place to find good food, so here goes.

My new favorite is Gaysha, a sushi bar on Wilton Drive. This is the best restaurant I've been to in Broward. He makes up for the limited menu and spartan decor with phenomenal and beautiful plates. Very fresh, high quality ingredients and a lot of care and preparation make it stand out from the your run of the mill sushi joints and its neighbors. When you eat the food its clear a lot of care is taken in its composition and I really appreciate that. The tamago really stands out, but I've liked everything so far. The lighting is very bright, but they make up for that with awesome music. Interesting choices for Japanese beers and a few sakes. It's a bit pricey but worth it, including drinks you're looking between $30 and $50 per person, after tax but before tip.

On the other end of the spectrum, I like the tacos at Alegria on Andrews Ave between Oakland Park and Commercial. Tasty, Mexican tacos and a few other staples like tortas and menudo. It's in kind of a gritty area, and the design of the place leaves something to be desired, but the tacos are big, fresh, and yummy. So far I've like the lengua and al pastor best, but there's no accounting for taste. I typically embarrass myself by getting three tacos, rice and beans and a 1/2 litre of Mexican Coke for about $13.

My standby for regular, weeknight dinners has become Fuego Latino on Commercial near Dixie. It's a Cuban restaurant with some Mexican and Spanish offerings, while I've only gotten Cuban the paella looks decent. Everything I've had, with the exception of a fried fish which was too small a serving, has been very good, but I keep going back to the ropa vieja. Awesome prices, friendly service. The ropa vieja is $9 and comes with side dishes, most other things are in the same ballpark.

Really good Balsamic vinegar, looking for suggestion

You could try John Dewar's in Newton Centre. My Villa Manodori (but it's from Modena, not Sonoma, or is that where your friend is?) is from there, I want to say it was about $35ish for 8.5 oz., a very fair price IMHO. I recall they had a few other nice ones, including possibly some sort Villa Manodori bottled personally by a teenaged Julius Caesar or something in it to really make your strawberries pop (or maybe it was just a bigger bottle that made it cost so much more, but I digress).

If I were you, though, I'd ask Formaggio (or John Dewar's or wherever) if they had any open bottles so you can taste them, see what appeals to you.

Oddly enough, I'm looking for the same thing in Miami for a wedding gift.

Dim Sum in Sunny Isles

Just had a nice dim sum dinner there (I know, take it to the NAF thread, don't judge me). Very good food and service and I didn't have to get on the Palmetto to get there. Everything tasted fresh and honest, and the dim sum prices were great, especially by south Florida standards.

Our waiter was very helpful, and as the place is new, was good at correcting/clarifying some of the translations on the menu. The black truffle and scallop dumplings were recommended and were awesome. The har siu bao could have been larger and better, but for 9 PM in a new restaurant on a Monday, that's no problem at all, yet.

I can't wait to get back to eat off the dinner menu, everything the diners around us were eating looked and smelled good, though the prices appeared high (I wonder if some of them are meant to be shared?).

My last observation is that all of the menu, dim sum and dinner, looked really forward-thinking for a Chinese restaurant that's not in some fusionland, and I hope they keep that up.

Marc in Miami/Broward

Does anyone know where I can find a bottle of marc (French pomace brandy)? Preferably a slightly aged one. I would expect a place that has a phenomenal cognac/armagnac selection would have it, but so far they just look at me like I have two heads.

Thanks for your help, I really need to get my fix!

Things That Call Into Question A Cook's Credibility...

Oh, I'm hung enough for that challenge.

Still, you ketchup pack defenders frighten me, almost as scary as those Canuck fans that thought they would win.

Jun 15, 2011
sailormouth in General Topics

Things That Call Into Question A Cook's Credibility...

Like I said, snap and unfair judgments. I've been lucky with vegans, unlucky with vegetarians. Perhaps the level of dedication required for veganism ennobles it in my primate brain. (I also suppose it could be coincidental with my #9 reason, but that's likely more than you needed to know).

Indian vegetarians get the distant country bonus, so I guess it balances out.

And eww, have you seen how long people keep ketchup packets in their kitchen drawer or glove compartment? Soy sauce packets I view as guilty by association, though are certainly more in the misdemeanor category, but please, just buy a bottle.

Jun 15, 2011
sailormouth in General Topics

Things That Call Into Question A Cook's Credibility...

I believe that some of these may have been mentioned earlier, but my reasons for snap and often unfair judgments. I'm reticent to eat at the home of those that:

1) Order steaks well done;
2) Save ketchup packets;
3) Profess to allergies galore and ignore them regularly [you know who you are];
4) Are easily squicked;
5) Buy mail-order food that is available at a better price and quality at their local markets;
6) Indulge in color-based diets;
7) Regularly drink "Lite" beers;
8) Are vegetarians;
9) Are bad in bed.

Contrarily-wise, my snap and unfair judgments of who I think have good cooking skills. Those that:
1) Dine out at a variety of places that I like;
2) Are vegan;
3) Hail from a distant country;
4) Have the gadget I've been coveting;
5) Have a killer wine/beer/liquor stash;
6) Speak French;
7) Work in a restaurant kitchen;
8) Feel bad for the lobster, but eat it anyway with gusto and reverence.

Jun 14, 2011
sailormouth in General Topics

Canned 'octopus in garlic sauce' - what to do with it?

Two 55 gram cans of octopus in oil
Three large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 large shallots, finely chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
4 oz. French Vermouth or another dry white wine
1+ tsp. Cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying

Fry up the garlic and shallot in the oil, add the octopus, wine and cayenne, add the tomatoes and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. S&P to taste. The recipe can be halved but use two tomatoes and keep the whole lemon.

Feb 04, 2011
sailormouth in Home Cooking

Should I make my own orgeat. . .

Or is there a good one out there I can buy in Boston?

Jun 29, 2009
sailormouth in Spirits

Restaurant Death Watch - Marliave

Marliave has one of my favorite burgers in town. If the bartending went up a few rungs I'd be there more often. I've had some very poorly made drinks, and the glasses are ginormous, my poorly made martini ended up being a warm glass of gin. I still drank it, of course, but would have enjoyed a smaller, better made one. I almost always order beer there now.

I actually rather like the space as well.

Ok, I'll give you 4 dollars, where are you going to spend it for lunch. And here's the catch- no pizza.

Ditto with Ba Le, and I'd add a banh bao (kinda like a massive dry dumpling stuffed with meat veggies and an egg) and it could still be under $4.

Neptune Oyster Owner Really Unpleasant!

Just to pile on, about a month ago I had a very similar experience. The rest of the staff was fantastic and appeared like they knew the drill.

What really ruined it is that about half the dozen or so oysters I ordered had a lot of broken shell in them, and most of the rest had a little. I would have said something had be bothered to ask.

I used to love the place and it was my default for a oysters, but I've had weak service there before and the poorly shucked oysters are forcing me to get my fix elsewhere.

Dorchester coffeeshops

There are also a few Vietnamese places on Dorchester Ave. not too far from there. Not the type of place to bring a de Beauvoir, but decent coffee and fine pastries.

Fortune Cookie 911

The CMart on Lincoln, despite having a truly impressive cookie aisle, didn't have them. I got them at a bakery about a block into Beach St., $3 for a 50 cookie bag.

Fortune Cookie 911


Where can I buy a boatload of fortune cookies downtown after work today? And how much should I expect to pay?


Green Street, taco Wed? I had no idea!

Big fan of taco night here! Very tasty and go surprisingly well with any sort of potent potable you may want.

relatively new to boston.. help?

Thanks! Grabbed an early dinner of pork pie (awesome) and black bean jello cake (better than it sounds, or looks).

Any retailers of Mallomars in Greater Boston?

Great article! Especially loved the "les Mallomars sont arriv├ęs."

relatively new to boston.. help?

Can you eat inside at Mei Sum? Or is it takeout only?

relatively new to boston.. help?

It's still fun though!

Wuchon and Buk Kyung are two or three doors down from each other in Union Square. Buk Kyung has been described to me by more knowledgeable people as northern Korean.

relatively new to boston.. help?

I think you already have quite a list running. A few more would be:

-The Vietnamese banh mi shops. I'm partial to Ba Le, which is in my neighborhood on Dorchester Ave near Savin Hill. Chinatown has some good places too.

-Troquet has a splurge worthy and an inexpensive (relatively speaking) but very good by the glass option wine list. There's an older thread on a wine's by the glass value by MC Slim somewhere out there that should be required reading. The food isn't bad either, to say the least.

There's some good Korean around. I had dinner tonight at Wuchon in Union Sq in Somerville. Nice, standard Korean.

Late night is challenging. If you're talking post 2am you may be SOL, though Chinatown has a few spots open that are okay. Order cold tea.

Liver + Onion Lunch?

For a few years running, Harvest had them on their lunch menu, but I haven't checked recently. Quite tasty.

Any retailers of Mallomars in Greater Boston?

You can't hunt marshmallows before Thanksgiving.

Comprehensive Chowish Craft Cocktail Compendium '09

Yuppie Gap hipsters and douchey after workers and sanctimonious hounds, oh my!

I must say though, it is more enjoyable on the off times.

Green Street, Hungry Mother or Central Kitchen?

Just one? Tough to choose between those options, especially adding in Craigie. The first to go for me would be Central Kitchen (not bad, but the cocktail requirement quickly knocks them out).

Between Craigie and Green St I'd probably say it's a toss-up. I'd actually respectfully disagree with an earlier poster and say Craigie has the better cocktails now, but it is dependent upon who's working when. Green St sans Misty is still no slouch, has much better beer and more consistent service, the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed and I'd put the food in the more comfort category (oh, it's much cheaper too!).

I'd probably do dinner at one followed by drinks at the other.

Hungry Mother is great food (likely my fave of the bunch, by a hair), the cocktails on my two trips are well below Green St and Craigie (not bad, just not that remarkable). It's also a little farther away, eliminating a quick walk to sample another place.

Besides Harrow's, anywhere to get a good pot pie?

I got a very nice one at Richardson's Dairy in Dracut last weekend. Just chicken and gravy. The largest was $6.50 (or so) and was about five good servings.

Rolls/bread/spreads...the best

My personal favourites, and I'm more of a bread and butter guy, are, in no particular order:

Troquet's good bread and awesome butter;
Henrietta's Table (I'd sometimes go for this primarily);
Cafe Polonia's bread and lard, I can't believe . . . I'm the first to mention this;
The "special complimentary snack" often served at lunch the Tamarind House, I think they're shrimp puffs or something, like the crunchy things you see in those "subgum" Chinese dishes in the south.

For fun, I'll throw in a worst list (ok, not worst, but places I think ought to do better):

DBar, that uberdoughy bread is over;
Kashmir, last two times the dosa's been chewy.

Any retailers of Mallomars in Greater Boston?

I regularly see them at Market Basket (but was studiously avoiding that whole aisle on my last trip, so can't say definitively this year, yet. . .). Not especially cheap, but no where in neighborhood of $12 a box, unless, of course, they're serving them at the Butcher Shop.

Pinwheels are no substitute, so don't even go down that route. It's a Hydrox/Oreo situation.

Who Serves the Best Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

I've been happy with it at DBar and rumor has it that the No. 9 bolognese has found a new home at Sportello.

what to do with a bottle of Maraschino liqueur?

Try 1/3 maraschino, 1/3 green chartreuse and 1/3 brandy, stirred and strained.

Jan 01, 2009
sailormouth in Spirits