howdini's Profile

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Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

Yeah, you turned me on to them...thanks again! Their xlb aren't too shabby, either.

1 day ago
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

Great, thanks!

2 days ago
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

My sentiments exactly. Have you tried other menu items there?

Sep 29, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

Are you talking about Bao on St. Marks? l was thinking the same thing: good skin, "clean" broth, but not as flavorful as, say, Shanghai Asian Manor or Shanghai Cafe. lt does enjoy the distinct advantage of being on St. Marks, tho.

Sep 29, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao (Flushing)....Any Better Successors?

Oo, l haven't tried them at 456...have you had the ones at Old Sichuan? Made with chicken, but very, very good.

Sep 29, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Early Sunday dinner near music hall of Williamsburg

Sorry l saw this so late: l would have recommended Allswell to you. Next time you're in the neighborhood, it's well worth checking out.

http://allswellnyc.com/

Sep 29, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs

has anyone been to au zataar on ave a?

l've eaten there a bunch of times: it's pretty consistently good.

Sep 22, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Notice the marked deterioration of East Village Cheese?

Was it ever any good? l've been popping my head in for years, and have rarely seen anything other than the most basic selection of usual suspect cheeses. l'd usually opt for Murray's, but now Essex Market has my cheese needs covered.

Sep 22, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Marta - When in NYC, do as...

Looks very much like the pizzas that Gaia makes!

Sep 22, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

has anyone been to au zataar on ave a?

Meh. Balade, on 1st Av. b't 12th & 13th, is better Lebanese.

Sep 22, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Beijing Pop Kebab -- new nothern Chinese restaurant at 122 Mulberry

l went last week and had the beef curry dumplings and the boiled lamb and chive dumplings. l thought both were ok, but not worth a special trip. l was kinda disappointed in the bao: l was expecting a more pronounced curry flavor. That fish dish you ordered looks good, tho, and l'd like to try the crispy duck dishes they've got.

Sep 21, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Best Dishes 2014

Last Monday: Corn Tzukemen at the LES lvan Ramen. Nice, thick char shu and roasted plum tomatoes with the noodles, served with a warm corn chowder with lots of bacon down below. A really great end-of-summer meal. lf it's still on the menu, get it!

Sep 17, 2014
howdini in Manhattan
1

Beijing Pop Kebab -- new nothern Chinese restaurant at 122 Mulberry

Fantastic find, thanks! Maybe tomorrow for lunch...

Sep 15, 2014
howdini in Manhattan
1

Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan in Bensonhurst: you are dead to me

This is from one of my comments in swannee's review of the Flushing location, linked to in the OP [and again, for the sake of clarity, l'm discussing the food at the Bensonhurst location]:

"l tried the [l think it was called] braised smoked bamboo with pork. Really flavorful, lots of wok hay, but the bamboo was really inconsistent in terms of texture: some of it was *very* woody, inedibly so, some was very tender, and a bunch was in the middle. Also, not very much pork at all, just a smattering of very thin slices in a good-sized portion of bamboo. l'm not sure whether this was because the pork is just used as a flavoring agent, or if it was a skimpy portion. Since "with pork" is in the name of the dish, l think l'm forced to assume the latter? Still, great flavor, and very nice service."

Sep 09, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan in Bensonhurst: you are dead to me

Yes, absolutely: sorry if this post was unclear on that point.

Sep 08, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan in Bensonhurst: you are dead to me

They say the fourth time's the charm...actually, no, they never say that, but one would hope it'd be the case when discussing the sister restaurant to a highly regarded Hunanese eatery.

After reading swannee's [http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9763...] and Sifton's glowing reviews of the Flushing original, l was super-psyched to try the new 18th Av. location, just a few blocks away from my place. l had a promising start: a big plate at lunch of very good braised pork shoulder [one of Mao's favorites!]. My second visit was not quite as successful, a relatively flavorful but rather difficult to eat braised smoked bamboo with pork. l felt the place held promise, and vowed to have one of swannee's recommended dishes on my next visit [see link above, also for more detail on my experiences at the Bensonhurst restaurant].

Visit #3 is where it went south, when l was served a "big plate of disappointment," [yes, l'm quoting myself] 水煮豆干: water cooked pressed tofu. The dish l was served was in no way similar to what swannee described, despite the assurances of my waiter that it was the same dish. lt, in a word, sucked.

OK. Well. Because l'm an eternal optimist, or not very smart, l went with my son [a newly-minted kitchen professional!] for a deciding meal. To be safe, l went again with the braised pork, with the addition of stir-fried string beans, and another of swannee's recommendations, dried beef with white pepper. The pork was ok, not as flavorful as my first visit; the string beans were good, with nice wok hei. But the dried beef with white pepper, so vividly and appealingly described by swannee, was a *major* letdown: a plate full of chopped up dried peppers with a smattering of dry sliced beef that tasted, for the most part, like cecina. Salty, and not much else, with lots of heat coming from the peppers, and that's about it. Very salty, very spicy, not a lot going on flavor-wise, and a pretty small portion of beef for the money.

To add insult to crushed dreams, we were charged a dollar per bowl of rice.

At this point, l have a sneaking suspicion that the restaurant is a copycat, riding on the coattails of a well-reviewed restaurant that's far enough away to not give them any trouble. Caveat emptor.

Sep 08, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs

Aux Epices, New Malaysian in C'town: anyone try it yet?

Things should be authentically delicious.

Sep 02, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

Really? lt's been a long time since l last read him in the NYPress, but l don't remember those annoying mannerisms when he was there.

Aug 16, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Le Jardin Bistro on Ave. C

Thanks! Always looking for good, reasonably-priced stuff in the EV.

Aug 14, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

l like "fetid." Even if it doesn't apply.

Aug 14, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

I'm not sure if l'd call it florid...more the adjectives l used in the OP, twee and precious, with a soupçon of imperiousness thrown into the olla for good measure.

Aug 14, 2014
howdini in Manhattan
1

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

Agreed on the magic!

Aug 13, 2014
howdini in Manhattan
1

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

Immaculate Infatuation, eh? Haven't read it...is it irritating? lf so, Sifton's doing a great job!

Aug 13, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

Ah, l thought he'd moved on, for some reason. lt's funny, l liked him when he was still at NYPress, now l can't stand him.

Aug 13, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Who creates the editorial voice for the NYT food section?

"Here is [xxx]. And here is [xxx]. You wil [xxx]."

Twee; precious; incredibly irritating: here is someone in desperate need of punch-in-face.

Aug 13, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Rare date tonight -- need recs for dinner LES

l'm late to this, but Blue Ribbon Izakaya is right next door in the hotel.

Aug 13, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Georgia's Eastside - Most Underrated Ribs in NYC?

Whether or not they're "real" BBQ, they're pretty damn tasty and tender, and l think their BBQ sauce is very good. l work around the corner, and get takeout fairly regularly. The rib sandwich in particular is a great deal: $9.00 for five or so ribs on white bread with extra sauce and potato chips is a pretty good deal. The meat is easily pulled right off the bones, so a sandwich easy to make.

Aug 13, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Georgia's Eastside - Most Underrated Ribs in NYC?

[that was ZaZa ;) ]

Aug 13, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Georgia's Eastside - Most Underrated Ribs in NYC?

The cheese grits are really good.

Aug 13, 2014
howdini in Manhattan

Favorite Xiao Long Bao ( soup dumplings) in Queens?

Thanks for the rec! ls this location brand new? lt didn't show up in my google search...there's Shanghai Asian Manor at that location; did it become Shanghai 33?

ETA: just read scoopg's report...never mind!

Aug 06, 2014
howdini in Outer Boroughs