howdini's Profile

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Malai Marke - a new Indian on (gasp!) 6th St.

Yeah, l'm with Pan: we've grown to really appreciate Malai, and we've both recently been disappointed by meals there. l, for one, sincerely hope that it was just hiccups, but l was surprised by that last meal, how it wasn't anywhere near the level that l'd come to expect. lt was definitely a 5, 6 tops.

l look forward to your next dispatch, Bob.

about 18 hours ago
howdini in Manhattan

NYC Itinerary (and suggestions to fill the gaps)

Haloumi eggs is my go-to dish at their St. Marks location: make sure to slather on the harissa. Their tagines are also good.

1 day ago
howdini in Manhattan

Looking for best Dim Sum for a Sunday Brunch in NYCity

l went to 88 Palace for lunch last week, as l'd read good reports about it here, but it was meh at best.

1 day ago
howdini in Manhattan

Malai Marke - a new Indian on (gasp!) 6th St.

The last time l ate at Malai, maybe a month ago, l was also underwhelmed in a way that had never happened before. l was considering writing it up, but hesitated because, hey, everyone's entitled to an off night, right? l can't now remember specifically what it was we had [l was with my gf and her two daughters], but it was a bunch of dishes, and every one was lacking in the complexity and oomph to which we'd grown accustomed, and a couple were oversalted, as well, making them taste not too dissimilar to Punjab on Houston. l'd planned on returning, but your post now gives me pause...

1 day ago
howdini in Manhattan

Mimi Cheng's Dumpling's: Meh Meh

None taken! I'll just post as a female from here on in.

Jul 26, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Mimi Cheng's Dumpling's: Meh Meh

Cute spot, small but airy, with communal tables and counters [ledges?] along the walls. Counter service is very friendly.

l had the "Reinvented Classic" dumplings: minced organic pork and chive. l thought the filling was very underwhelming, but the skin was very good, thin and crispy from the frying. The much-hyped dumpling sauce was, um, much-hyped. Tasted like vinegary dumpling sauce to me, but it did make the dumplings taste better. House-made lemonade was very good, nice and astringent, not too sweet, quite refreshing.

At $8.00 for six dumplings, this place is no bargain, and, given my druthers, l'll take Prosperity or any number of others.

Jul 25, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Which 4 breakfasts in Lower East Side would you choose?

Oo, why have l never tried this?! Next time 'round, thanks!

Jul 22, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Which 4 breakfasts in Lower East Side would you choose?

I can't speak for Barbounia, as I've never been there, but can definitely vouch for Cafe Mogador, as mentioned above.

Jul 21, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Your favorite place to get a slice of NY pizza?

La Margarita, a relatively new place on Ludlow between Stanton and Rivington, makes some damn good pizza.

Jul 21, 2014
howdini in Manhattan
1

Which 4 breakfasts in Lower East Side would you choose?

My gf has been going to Mogador for nigh on twenty years, and l've been a regular there with her for the past five. l have difficulty straying from the halumi eggs, with a nice slathering of harissa: so good. The tagines are very good, too, and are on the weekday lunch specials.

Jul 20, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Which 4 breakfasts in Lower East Side would you choose?

l've found the greatest success getting tables at Prune by going about a half hour before they stop serving, at about 2:30. There's usually a wait, but not so bad.

Jul 20, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Old Tbilisi Garden - new Georgian restaurant

Thanks for this. Despite loving Georgian food, and living only a couple of blocks away, l still haven't yet tried Oda House.

Jul 20, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Old Sichuan 老正川 – Good Sichuan Food in Chinatown

Mmmm...l'll probably go back next week.

Jul 16, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Old Sichuan 老正川 – Good Sichuan Food in Chinatown

l'll try that next time, too.

Jul 16, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Where do you buy ground coffee in Manhattan to brew at home?

Thanks for the tip, Simon! A coupla days ago l bought another bag of Rainforest Blend at WF: the price was so high l ground my teeth after the beans.

Jul 15, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Open XLB Kitchen at Shanghai Heping on Mott St.

Yes, I've had it there once: pretty much the same as Shanghai Heping.

Jul 14, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Open XLB Kitchen at Shanghai Heping on Mott St.

FYI: they've taken the fish with tofu skin off of the menu[!!!!!!!], but when l went about a month ago, they made it for me after l asked about it.

The stewed pork belly casserole with chestnuts is still great [l let my son have most of the chestnuts, as l'm not too keen on them], and the xlb are pretty durn good.

Jul 14, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Old Sichuan 老正川 – Good Sichuan Food in Chinatown

Went last week with my son [who was craving XLB] and his gf. We wound up at Old Sichuan because it was after ten, and Shanghai Heping, Shanghai Cafe and 456 were no longer serving.

The ox tongue and tripe in hot oil were terrific, as were the sheng jian bao and xlb [xlb were better than l would have thought: pretty thin skin and good flavor soup, tho could have had a bit more soup in each one]. But the surprise standout were the dry sauteed stringbeans: these were the best l've yet had, perfectly cooked, with lots of wok hei.

Next time, the water cooked fish!

Jul 14, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Mission Cantina Report

Went back again last night: menu, as always, under constant revision. Both tacos l had were winners, the beef heart [tho l thought this could have benefitted from dicing the meat: slices weren't easily bitten through, and got pulled out whole], and, most especially, the fish taco, which they're now deep-frying in masa batter. Super-crispy and flavorful, with a crema that reminiscent of tartar sauce.

Japanese-style spicy cucumber was good too, served in a red sauce that tasted of, by turns, miso and sesame [seemed unevenly blended, but that kinda added to the appeal], with varying heat depending on the bite.

They were out of a few menu items, a couple of which l would love to have tried; they've also brought the masa back, revamped a bit. l didn't have it on this outing, but will next time, as l love masa.

Jul 14, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

I found the best organic eggs in manhattan

l think ospreycove is getting this one right; it's not a dictionary definition of the term that we're concerned with, but the USDA's:

"Free-range. This label indicates that the flock was provided shelter in a building, room, or area with unlimited access to food, fresh water, and continuous access to the outdoors during their production cycle. The outdoor area may or may not be fenced and/or covered with netting-like material. This label is regulated by the USDA."

http://1.usa.gov/TKgltK

'“Generally, this does not mean that the chickens have a large, grassy ‘range,’ but that they are given access to a fenced area outside the chicken house,” explains Richard Lobb, spokesman for the National Chicken Council.'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eatingw...

Jul 14, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

I found the best organic eggs in manhattan

Jul 13, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Best Dishes 2014

That's exactly what l thought about the fried chicken at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, but then l discovered that you can order it without the spice rub, in which case it comes to you straight from the frier, fresh as can be [same thing if you order french fries without salt].

Jul 11, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Xi'an on St. Marks open again...

Good to know! I might go back tomorrow.

Jul 08, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

EV Lebanese mentioned in NYT

l had lunch there with my gf a couple months ago: ordered a bunch of mezes. l thought it was ok, nothing to write home about, but we didn't have any meat dishes, so l can't speak to those.

For this type of food, l much prefer Balade, on 1st Av. Every meal l've had there has been excellent.

Jul 06, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Update on Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan

l'm not sure which fuss it is to which you refer. Spicy Bampa is very good, but l have had less-than-stellar individual dishes there [consistency-wise, l mean: sometimes their green beans are served with garlic that is practically raw, which makes it taste terrible to my palate].

What do you mean "there is no need to go to other places"? lf that's true, what's the point of chowhound, then?

l have to ask, do you actually read these posts? lt doesn't seem like you do.

Jul 06, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Black Seed vs. Baz - Bagel Wars

Ha! l remember reading that article a while back and thinking, before l reached its conclusion, that those bagels, when they finally got to their offices, were already too old to be considered fresh.

When l get a bagel to eat on my own, l always ask which was the last batch out of the oven: those are ones l go for [with the exception of salt bagels and cinnamon raisin, neither of which l like that much]. l like it to cool down just enough to where it doesn't melt the cream cheese.

Jul 05, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Bereket is closing [maybe closed]?!?!?!?!?!

Oh, that's great news!

Jun 30, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Sunset Park: Favorite Restaurants and the Dishes Therein

Thanks for the update; l'll definitely check out Puebla when l'm in the neighborhood.

Agreed on Rico's salsas; speaking of which, l posted on the Manhattan board last week about El Aguila, right across from the 103rd 6 train stop: very good Mexican with a standout torta tinga and stellar salsas. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.

Jun 30, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Bereket is closing [maybe closed]?!?!?!?!?!

l'll miss these guys, too. Good people.

Jun 29, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Bereket is closing [maybe closed]?!?!?!?!?!

This is absolutely TERRIBLE. l eat there about twice a week after work. The lentil soup was consistently delicious, as were the doner and adana kebabs. l will miss it deeply.

http://www.boweryboogie.com/2014/06/r...

Jun 29, 2014
howdini in Manhattan