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Is there any traditional Kishka or Stuffed Derma in the US?

Where is your local Russian deli and what is the name? Does he use beef intestine?

Sep 14, 2014
Buzzy2 in General Topics

Is there any traditional Kishka or Stuffed Derma in the US?

Most of the time I had kishka it was cooked in a roasting pan with meat (such as brisket) and vegetables, sitting in shallow juices/gravy, so part of it was exposed and that part of the skin (intestine) would get crisp. At my local deli they roasted it in a pan with gravy, but still exposed so that the upper portion got crisp.

Sep 14, 2014
Buzzy2 in General Topics

Is there any traditional Kishka or Stuffed Derma in the US?

I've been to R&D many times but I never saw kishka there, and I have never heard that they sell authentic kishka before. Are you saying that they it is now available from them?

Sep 14, 2014
Buzzy2 in General Topics

Where can I get Stone crabs in Miami Beach besides Joe's (who served me frozen claws twice)?

Two great suggestions. I hadn't heard of either one, being a bit north of that area, but now they are on my list. Thanks!

Where can I get Stone crabs in Miami Beach besides Joe's (who served me frozen claws twice)?

Hi EMac,

Thanks for the reply. I can't make any generalizations based on a few bad experiences. After all, they represent a statistically insignificant sample size. I do regret not complaining at the time, however, because I think you are absolutely correct and they would have tried to correct the situation. Stone crab should be sweet and crisp, almost snapping as you bite into the larger part of the claw. It should not be limp or chewy and it must have a very pleasant sweet flavor. If it doesn't meet those criteria, wherever I order it in the future, I will send it back. I'm making myself hungry for stone crab now. :)

Where can I get Stone crabs in Miami Beach besides Joe's (who served me frozen claws twice)?

OK, I'll guess at your intention. :)

Stone Crabs can be overcooked, more likely than undercooked, and this will affect their taste and quality. Once cooked, they are packed. When they are delivered to restaurants, they might or might not be repacked right away, but even after being unpacked and inspected, they are not always served immediately. Thus there are plenty of opportunities to degrade the quality even if the Stone Crab was never technically frozen. They could be packed in ice and partially or completely frozen by the ice. They could sit in liquid for hours or even days. The liquid might come from the crabmeat or melting ice or condensation. If it comes from the meat then we are talking again about poor quality stone crab. If it comes from other sources, you start wondering not only about the effect of water on crabmeat, but you also have to wonder about microbes.

So, all I am saying is that I have eaten stone crab at Joe's that has suffered from one or more of these problems, but I am not suggesting that they haven't done anything about it. I am also not suggesting that they buy frozen product because I couldn't substantiate such a claim. All I know is that a few times during the past few years I ordered stone crab that was not sweet and crisp the way I believe it should be, and the poor quality was likely (IMHO) due to one or more of the scenarios I described.

I'd go back though, even just for the hash browns. :)

Where can I get Stone crabs in Miami Beach besides Joe's (who served me frozen claws twice)?

So I have heard. I'm not sure that I understand your point though. Please explain.

Where can I get Stone crabs in Miami Beach besides Joe's (who served me frozen claws twice)?

I've only been to Joe's about 50 times, so I don't have the ranking of a centenarian (LOL) but I've eaten stone crabs many hundreds of times and to misquote Jim Morrison, "I eat more shellfish any man ever seen!"

My opinion is that there is a lot of variation in individual taste, in quality, in preparation and in storage. From my POV, the best stone crab is crisp, not limp or chewy, sweet and full of flavor, and it doesn't stick to the shell or appear shrunken within the shell. Given that this is what I prefer, I am disappointed when I receive tasteless, limp stone crab meat from any restaurant, and over the past few years I have had exactly that perhaps 3 times at Joe's.

During the prior decade I was quite happy with my crabs almost every time. Having investigated the problem, I am now of the opinion that it is likely that during the last few years Joe's has SOMETIMES either purchased frozen product, frozen their product on purpose or accidentally or left their product sitting around, perhaps in liquid, for much too long. Any of these actions could yield the poor quality I experienced. If you cook stone crab and put 20 pounds of it in a plastic bucket with some ice, chances are that some of the crab will be soaking in liquid for a while. That's not good.

The last time I was at Joe's I had much better quality Jumbo stone crab, but still not close to the best I've ever had. It was a little better than just OK, and I was fine with that. Actually I had eaten so much bread and other food to begin with that my tastebuds may have been compromised.

Joe's stone crab is still worth a visit. And, as more than one person has mentioned, they will try to correct any problems, so if you get stuck with watery and limp crab, let them know about it.

Is there any traditional Kishka or Stuffed Derma in the US?

From my mom, the best source for such things - her mother used to buy the cows intestines. They were small, not large. I'm guessing that they were 1-3 inches in diameter if my memory serves me well. She had to scrape them under running water, outside and inside, for a long time to get rid of anything that might be unhealthy or just plain ugly. One side was smooth and the inside was not. After cleaning, she stuffed them with flour and chicken fat and seasonings (salt, pepper, paprika, ground onion) and she would put the kishka in with a brisket to roast, sitting in the juices at the bottom of the pan. The end result was that the outside was mostly crispy and not tough. It was a little like crispy chicken skin. Perhaps she turned it in the pan so that it wouldn't dry out too much.

Anyway, it was absolutely delicious with gravy. Mmmmm.

Feb 25, 2014
Buzzy2 in General Topics

Best Three Restaurants in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area.

One of my favorite restaurants, perhaps my #1, is Gabose in Lauderhill, an extremely authentic Korean Barbecue spot. Uniquely, they offer about 8 tables with wood charcoal (and other without) for cooking marinated beef (awesome!), pork, chicken and shrimp. They make their own dumplings and most other items, unlike 99% of the other Asian restaurants in the US. This is not to be missed.

Favourite orders at Le Dome (Paris)?

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to try it when I get back.

Aug 06, 2012
Buzzy2 in France

Where to eat John Dory fish dinner in Paris?

Depending on your location, I would consider L'Acajou in the 16th. I had the best John Dory (prepared similar to Sole Meuniere) I have ever had there. On the other hand, I had a terrible meal at Le Dome (the seafood platter and the Sole were both average to poor and not freshly prepared.)

Aug 03, 2012
Buzzy2 in France

Paris Le Dome, Rotonde Montparnasse, etc?

I'd be interested in how things went. FYI, I've left some comments about Le Dome (very negative) and suggested other spots for seafood such as Huiteries Regis for Oysters (just for oysters and a couple of other items on the very short menu.)

Aug 03, 2012
Buzzy2 in France

Favourite orders at Le Dome (Paris)?

I've eaten seafood in Paris hundreds of times and I've had better seafood than I had at Le Dome most of the time. I was there last about a year ago and I won't be back. I had the large seafood platter with friends as well as a Sole Meunière. The raw shellfish was OK but the oysters were nowhere near the quality of places like Huiteries Regis. The cooked shrimp was average. I live in Boston and the cooked shrimp at Legal Seafoods is so much better than at Le Dome that you can't even compare it. Fresh, properly cooked large shrimp have a snap to them that lesser shrimp lack. Le Dome's certainly weren't as fresh as they should have been. The lobster and crab tasted as though they had been cooked that morning (or earlier) and the crab, specifically, was so 'not fresh' that it tasted like it had been frozen at some point. I've had better seafood platters with fresher seafood at Le Congres! (For less money too.) And the sole - again, it seemed as if it had been pre-cooked. It didn't come out of the kitchen hot. It wasn't crispy on the outside and light and moist on the inside the way it should have been. I've had MUCH better at L'Acajou. Overall it was a big disappointment.

Aug 03, 2012
Buzzy2 in France

Morton's, Cap Grille and Ruth's Chris. How do you rank them?

I'm shocked. I have been there perhaps 6 or 8 times and had nothing but great food and great service. I am aware that some people prefer their steak rare with a cool center, but I am not one of those. The manager should have come over to you when the steak was returned to your table to make sure that it was OK. I believe that one time there was a problem with something we had ordered and not only did the problem get taken care of, but we were given a free dessert. What happened to you is not acceptable. You should talk to the GM there or someone at corporate.

May 24, 2012
Buzzy2 in Chains

Morton's, Cap Grille and Ruth's Chris. How do you rank them?

"I've had better steaks at good burger joints."

Really? Really???

Please, I've been to RC over 100 times and to Morton's, CG, etc. altogether at least as many times and the best average quality steaks are at RC - for one thing, they use carefully selected prime quality beef. I don't know which burger joints you are going to, but I have a funny feeling that they aren't selling prime beef. LOL

Perhaps you just don't know the difference.

I would not go there for apps, sides or desserts, but the steak is excellent.

May 21, 2012
Buzzy2 in Chains

Is there any traditional Kishka or Stuffed Derma in the US?

Edible casings, including kosher versions, are definitely available and used to make modern day kishka. What is not (easily) available is the actual beef intestine that was used prior to about 1970. The difference between today's edible casings, which impart no flavor at all, and the old style beef intestine, is profound.

May 03, 2012
Buzzy2 in General Topics

Is there any source for Kishka made with beef intestine?

I assumed that the FDA had made the sale of beef intestine illegal due to the issue of cleanliness. My grandmother used to spend hours and hours cleaning it inside and out. If worse gets to worse, I'm going to make it myself, with chicken skin. Think of it as a cross of gribenes and old style kishka from 1965 and earlier.

Apr 30, 2012
Buzzy2 in Kosher

Is there any source for Kishka made with beef intestine?

I'll check it out. Thanks.

Apr 30, 2012
Buzzy2 in Kosher

Is there any source for Kishka made with beef intestine?

I heard about the Romanian Kosher Sausage Company but I haven't tried their product yet. I'll be in Chicago this summer, so I'll try to check it out.

The one characteristic that seems to have disappeared from all kishka is the crispy, chewy, delicious casing. I may have to make my own version from chicken skin. :)

Apr 30, 2012
Buzzy2 in Kosher

Is there any source for Kishka made with beef intestine?

When I was a child I remember eating kishka that differs significantly from anything I've had ever since. It was made with a fairly thick beef intestine, chicken fat, onion, flour and a few other ingredients. It was crisp on the outside and had lots of flavor. It was not like the 'natural' casing on a sausage because it was much thicker. These days, delis mostly sell a version of kishka with either inedible casings (paper, plastic, cellulose) or edible casings made from collagen from processing the skin of cows and other means. I don't know of anyone that makes kishka from hand-cleaned beef intestine, do you?

Apr 29, 2012
Buzzy2 in Kosher

Is there any traditional Kishka or Stuffed Derma in the US?

I've been to Carnegie, Stage, 3rd Ave, Katz's, Ben's and many others in NY. I've been to Langer's in L.A. (GREAT Pastrami on homemade rye bread), Art's and Jerry's. I've been to just about every Jewish deli in the Boston and South Florida areas.

The kishka I am talking about has not been made at most deli's (none that I know of) since the 60's. What I am describing is VERY different from what one finds at these delis today.

Recently I heard about the Romanian Kosher Sausage Company on the north side of Chicago in Rogers Park. Unlike most delis, they use an edible natural casing. I'll have to try it sometime, but I am guessing that unless you use actual beef intestine and chicken fat, you won't get the flavor and crispiness that I remember from my childhood. The closest thing that I can imagine making these days is a chicken skin version, since beef intestine isn't sold at my local supermarket. Buy chicken necks and remove the uncooked skin, then stuff the skin with a moist flour and onion mixture (perhaps chicken fat, beef fat, paprika, matzo meal, seasonings) and stitch it closed before roasting it until the skin is crisp. It's not the same, but it is a truly delicious guilty pleasure.

Apr 29, 2012
Buzzy2 in General Topics

Le Petit Maison in Nice

My comments above are from a visit to the restaurant this past June.

Apr 10, 2012
Buzzy2 in France

Restaurant in Paris, wishlist

Hi Phil, thanks for the comments. I was definitely unlucky, but that doesn't change the fact that the food was sub-par. Keep in mind that I was not looking to go to the typical restaurants recommended here (le Cinq???) since the A list (and the B list) was not what I was interested in. However, these restaurants were recommended here in their categories (bistro, seafood, casual lunch and Japanese non-fusion.) And keep in mind that I did have some nice meals at other locations that were recommended. I was living in Paris for months, not visiting for a few days, so I wanted to experience more casual venues, such as bistros. I was also located near Porte d'Auteuil which influenced some of my choices.

I notice that you have stated that there is a lot of bad, overpriced food in Paris, so I know that at some level you agree with me. :)

I don't want to beat a dead horse, no French meat puns intended, and I don't want to suggest that all the food in Paris is bad. At the top there are some truly great restaurants. In specialty shops and markets you can find awesome food. I just expected a trickle down effect on casual restaurants that I didn't experience. At home my meals of choice are primarily Asian, and Asian food in Paris was another source of disappointment, but I didn't come to Paris to eat Asian food. However, it does express a bias which I freely admit to.

Here's one difference between us. Over your week at Christmas did you search out great examples of street food? That was one of MY priorities. LOL

BTW, have you tried St. John in London?

Mar 30, 2012
Buzzy2 in France

Restaurant in Paris, wishlist

Dear Dietndesire,

You are confusing comments from different people. You should review again which people made which comments. I will address your thoughts as they pertain to some of mine, and I will add a comment regarding NY.

'Good food' means many things to many people. I have tried to make it clear that for me, it can be anything from a hot dog or a crepe to a 3 star restaurant meal. I have also stated that having eaten food prepared by dozens of the top chefs in the world (3 stars or whatever) I am now more interested in local specialties and 'ethnic' food. Thus, for me, a 10 euro lunch at a stand in La Boqueria can qualify as one of the best meals of the year. Of course, since this is purely subjective, I admit that my love for Barcelona may have influenced my perception, but not unduly.

I also stated that I was very pleased with most of the food purchased in Paris specialty stores and many markets including farmer's markets and La Grand Épicerie. It wasn't all great, but overall it was very good with a few outstanding experiences.

You asked me to name every spot that was terrible. I have documented many of my disappointments in other submissions to this board, but I will mention some again that come to mind at the moment. I had poor experiences at some of the restaurants recommended here such as Les Deux Stations, Le Dome, Cafe le Nemours and Tsukizi.

Now as for NY vs. Paris, I will limit myself to stating my belief that in the category of 'ethnic' food (not traditional American fare) NY has it all over Paris. Clearly Paris has pretty good ethnic fare, such as French (!) and some of the French colonies. However, in general, I found Asian food in Paris to be disappointing. Chine Massena served me the toughest Peking Duck I have had in many years and several other items were just passable. Although I enjoed Lao-Lane Xang it didn't blow me away and the nearby Le Lotus (LLX was quoting a two hour wait the first time I went there) served me a pho with very tough meat. I think that NY has more non-US restaurants that cater to locals and visitors from these cultures. And then, of course, there's the matter of pizza. 'nuff said.

Finally, regarding Perduinparis' comments, I can only say that I love Fergus Henderson and I love his restaurant, St. John. I have never had a bad dish there. I can't possibly generalize beyond that.

Mar 29, 2012
Buzzy2 in France

Restaurant in Paris, wishlist

PhilD, you were probably responding to Perdu and not to my earlier comment, but just in case I was wrong, I want to chime in. First, I absolutely agree about the great produce in some of the shops. My disappointment was with restaurants. I visited many, many great food shops while I was in Paris last year and I was rarely disappointed. Second, I noted in my earlier comment that one of the bistros that was recommended to me here was serving frozen food and was, IMHO, not good overall. I absolutely used Chowhound frequently and tried to discern those recommendations which were supported by several people whose comments I respected as opposed to the monotype recommendation (one and only one.) I avoided the higher end restaurants because I've always eaten at those in the past and this time I wanted to live in Paris like a local as much as possible. I had some very nice meals as I have documented elsewhere, but overall I was disappointed. I even ended up with a case of food poisoning during my stay. I had much better food, on average, in Nice and Barcelona later in the year. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed eating cooked food in La Boqueria and I ate there as often as possible during my short time in Barcelona.

it's one man's opinion, that's all, but it's mine.

Mar 28, 2012
Buzzy2 in France

Yasuda - Where is he now?

He has family in Japan that he seldom saw and I would guess that this was one of the most important factors for him. In addition, he told me that he wanted to learn and to improve his skills and he felt that Japan would give him the best opportunity to do this.

Feb 24, 2012
Buzzy2 in Manhattan

Yasuda - Where is he now?

Thanks for the update. I was able to get in touch with him and I will see him when I go back to Japan in a few months.

Thanks again.

Feb 24, 2012
Buzzy2 in Manhattan

Le Petit Maison in Nice

Sounds like we'll both be back!

Feb 01, 2012
Buzzy2 in France

Le Petit Maison in Nice

I was only there once and I understand the issues people have with the aura of exclusivity and the personality of the owner, but I treated everyone there like royalty and expressed my great desire for an opportunity to sample their fare and they eventually responded with warmth and great service. My meal was magnificent. Incredibly fresh produce - fresh tomatoes and lemons on every table. The tomatoes smelled and tasted like they had been picked from the garden a few minutes earlier. The eggs with truffles were perfect. The fish filet and vegetables were magnificent. I want to go back!!!!! And I intend to. I plan to spend a few weeks in Nice one summer now that I know that I can eat well. LOL

Jan 30, 2012
Buzzy2 in France