Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

rovingfoodie's Profile

Title Last Reply

Good but not too too expensive Italian restaurant in theatre district?

I agree on Trecolori - we've brought family there a few times now. The food is well-done basic Italian, the prices are reasonable (especially for the neighborhood), and the space is big enough for groups.

Apr 18, 2014
rovingfoodie in Manhattan

Butter & Soy Sauce?

Inspired by the same article, I added a little soy sauce to the butter I was melting for my steamed artichoke the other night (maybe about 1.5 tsp soy to 2 tbsp butter?) So good!

Mar 04, 2014
rovingfoodie in Home Cooking

No Meat Pizza

We made a delicious meatless pizza last week - tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella base, topped with shredded brussels sprouts (about a 1/2 c per serving), chopped pecans, smoked hot paprika, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sounds a little weird, but it was a great combination!

Jan 24, 2014
rovingfoodie in Home Cooking

Ideas for an elegant but simple vegetarian dinner -plenty of catches...

Third on the risotto - I just made a delicious variation of this recipe. All the ingredients travel well, and it would be a nice way of spending some time between courses drinking wine in the kitchen together. :) I added a medium (peeled, diced) sweet potato in the celeriac step, and kept the sauteed celeriac and sweet potato warm in a 250 degree oven while the risotto was cooking. We had it with about 1/2 c of cheese (instead of 1/4) mixed in at the end and chicken cutlets on top. If you want to boost the veggie protein some almonds or hazelnuts mixed in would probably be great; I also had a fried egg on top of the leftovers the next morning with tasty results.

Our Cat Likes People Food

Our younger cat loves baked goods. We discovered it the first time when I brought half of a giant carrot-raisin muffin home in my work bag. I noticed him sniffing around before I went to bed; by the next morning, he had opened my bag, opened the paper bag the muffin was in, and eaten the whole thing out of the wrapper. We've tried to be more careful since, but recently I came down and tried to figure out (pre-coffee, obviously) why I had left two packs of Tastykake krimpets on the couch. He had opened the box I left on the coffee table, pulled two packs onto the couch, ripped open the plastic on one and eaten half a krimpet, and ripped open the second one before we woke up. He's a weirdo...

Nov 08, 2013
rovingfoodie in Not About Food

Do you love Banana Bread? What's your favorite banana bread?

Just made this last night and it was great - the instructions about how to mix the ingredients really made a difference (and be sure to bake for the full hour).
I used frozen and defrosted bananas and also made a few modifications based on personal taste that worked well - subbed 2/3 WW flour for the 2/3 white; 2 tbs maple syrup for the 2 tbs white sugar; 1.5 tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp vanilla (for the .5 and 1 tsp in the recipe); and 1/2 c chopped almonds and 1/2 c chopped dark chocolate for the walnuts.

Sep 30, 2013
rovingfoodie in Home Cooking

Ithaca and restaurant by the road

We did a similar trip last year and I did a quick write-up. For the one dinner recommendation in Ithaca, I'd recommend Moosewood on principle, but Just a Taste had a better set-up for tasting different wines:

And if you make it up to Niagara-on-the-Lake during your trip north, I recommend checking out Stone Road Grille and Greaves Jams and Jellies!

Alternatives to cream cheese? Counting fat calories.

I know some folks don't like the taste of these, but I've actually enjoyed Tofutti's "Better Than Cream Cheese" non-dairy spreads - 60 cal and 5 g of fat per 2 tbsp. The garlic and herb blend is especially good with whole wheat bagels, but the plain kind is fine as well. Certainly worth a try if you're looking for an alternative to regular cream cheese (which I still love to indulge in on occasion)!

Sep 11, 2013
rovingfoodie in General Topics

Where can I get Fried Belly Clam Rolls in NYC?

We've had some tasty sandwiches at Sea Witch in South Slope, including a very good fried belly clam roll:

Sep 05, 2013
rovingfoodie in Manhattan

Shredded chicken--how would you do a large amount?

Glad the idea sounds useful - sorry it didn't make it to you in time! I do try to trim whatever fat and gristle I can off of the thighs before adding them, but I don't bother trying to get them perfect. Leaving a little fat (as well as using thighs vs. breasts) actually works well in the slow cooker, since it keeps the final product a bit more moist.

Aug 28, 2013
rovingfoodie in Home Cooking

Shredded chicken--how would you do a large amount?

Another good quick way to make a lot of shredded chicken is in a big slow cooker - just put boneless skinless thighs (maybe about 1/2 lb per person per meal) in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6. For the preparations you're planning, adding a mix of 1/2 c of fresh lime juice, 1 c water, 1 tbsp cumin or chili powder, and 2 tsp salt (less if your chili powder has salt) might be a good combo for each 3 lbs of chicken.

Aug 27, 2013
rovingfoodie in Home Cooking

(Good) Touristy In Lancaster

+1 for Oregon Dairy - we were in that area under similar circumstances, and we went there based on recommendations on other CH boards. Our favorites were the sweet and sour ham balls (a specialty - more on the sweet side, but in a good way) and the special sundae option - their own vanilla ice cream with chopped local peaches, homemade shortbread (the poundcake style), and whipped cream. We were happy we had decided to split it - the waitress brought it in two dishes and it was enough for two full servings. The chicken with apple butter sauce and pepper cabbage were also good; the lettuce with bacon dressing (another local specialty) we didn't like as much.

Aug 03, 2013
rovingfoodie in Pennsylvania

Tomato water: from canned tomatoes, as non-alcoholic mealtime drink?

We had many non-drinkers at our wedding, and offered sparking apple cider as an option - seems like something that would go well with both entrees. If you want to try something a little fancier, you could offer bottles of grape juice made with wine grapes - we had a delicious juice from Navarro vineyards at The Modern at MOMA. Just be careful not to purchase "non-alcoholic wine" - in my experiences, those tend to be very sweet and not at all good to drink with meals.

Jul 29, 2013
rovingfoodie in General Topics

i have almost 1/2 lb of fresh mint. what can i make?

I made a parsley-mint pesto recently that came out pretty well (we have bumper crops of both) - about 1 cup each of the leaves, 1/4 c almonds, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves peeled garlic, 1/2 tsp salt. (Add more/less of anything to taste). Pulse in food processor until consistency is to taste. Makes about a cup of pesto; easy to double/triple. We used it on whole wheat spagetti, but it would also make a good sandwich spread or addition to roasted potatoes.

Jul 01, 2013
rovingfoodie in Home Cooking

Who has a good (and extensive) selection of Japanese Whiskeys?

Keen's has a pretty amazing whiskey and scotch menu, and I seem to remember them having some Japanese brands on there when I visited a few months ago.

May 28, 2013
rovingfoodie in Manhattan

London with picky 9-year-old vegetarian

We're spending a week in London in June with my 9-year-old stepson, who is strictly vegetarian and a bit picky about food - nothing "spicy" (eg black pepper), favorite foods are pizza and Kraft-style mac and cheese. He's somewhat adventurous otherwise - enjoys plain black beans and rice with tomatoes and cheese, Asian noodles and other pastas, lots of different veggies and whole grains. My husband and I are omnivores (though we love vegetarian/vegan food), enjoy spice, and are looking forward to trying the local city/regional specialties (especially Indian food and local beers).

Any recommendations for places that will have a good range of quality options for all? We'll be staying in Bayswater, so recommendations near there are especially appreciated, but we're also happy to travel and will have a fridge and mini-kitchen at the hotel. A range of prices/atmospheres is also helpful - we'll likely do at least a couple fancy dinners/lunches (he's very well-behaved and I'm thinking Ottolenghi would be amazing for him if we can get a res), but are mostly looking for places that are a good value and pretty informal.

So far this thread ( seems to have the most helpful advice, but any additional recs would be much appreciated!

May 12, 2013
rovingfoodie in U.K./Ireland

Short Trip To Colorado...Any tips??

We've enjoyed both Rioja (Denver) and Frasca (Boulder) over the years; both aren't necessarily unique relative to what you'll find in LA, but both recently won James Beard awards and make an effort to use local ingredients, so they might be worth a visit if you're looking for a relatively fancy lunch/dinner.

No specific recommendations for where to get them, but be sure to check out some of the local microbrews and green chili (a more Southwestern than Mexican specialty, I think) as well. I've also always especially enjoyed trying out whatever local game (elk, bison, etc) is on the menus during our trips out there.

May 11, 2013
rovingfoodie in Mountain States

Soy Milk vs. Rice Milk vs. Almond Milk vs. Skim Milk vs. ???

I'm cutting back on dairy (lactose-intolerant) and my favorite substitute so far is Blue Diamond Breeze Vanilla Almond-Coconut Milk. I pretty much only use it in cereal, and find it works very well. Nutritional info per cup: 70 cal, 3 g fat, no cholesterol, 9 g sugar, 1 g protein, various vitamins/minerals. If that's too much sugar, the unsweetened version (45 cal, 0 g sugar) is also good - just harder to find, in my experience.

Mar 28, 2013
rovingfoodie in General Topics

Sunset Park: Mister Hotpot

We just went last week (with a groupon for $15 off) and very much enjoyed it. My only other experience with hotpot has been a homemade version with a friend's parents (who used to own a Chinese restaurant), and Mr. Hotpot compared well to that.

The first time we stopped by we didn't have reservations and weren't willing to wait an hour, and this time it took a while to park and we ended up sharing a four-top with another couple because they were short on tables.

The food and service were very good, though. We did the split hot pot with pork broth and spicy broth, which comes with a nice basket of fresh veggies (lots of napa cabbage) and a dipping sauce that you can mix with various other things (including lots of garlic) - as we discovered, you're supposed to do the mixing right away so they can take away the platter of add-ins for the next table.

To add to the hotpot, we got the beef brisket, pea shoots, shanghai noodles, shrimp, and scallops. The brisket is a generous portion of curls of thinly sliced frozen meat which cooks pretty instantly - we liked it best with the spicy broth. (Beware of the orange peppers that look like little carrots in that broth, though - I bit into one accidentally and literally cried.) Everything else we liked better in the milky-looking pork broth - the shrimp and scallops could perhaps have been a touch fresher, but that may have been due to eating out on New Year's Day.

Overall, it was a good experience - as noted, the music might not be for everyone (in our case, it was a weird mix of house tracks and cheesy holiday music), but we kind of liked it. Worth a visit to check out a fun genre of restaurant!

Jan 06, 2013
rovingfoodie in Outer Boroughs

Ithaca and Finger Lakes Road Trip Review

We recently returned from a short trip to the Finger Lakes and Niagara Falls areas, and we ate so well I just have to write it up. The trip started in Ithaca, where I had a work conference for the week. We started the week with a quick drink at the Chapter House bar – just down the street from campus, with about 30 mostly local beers on tap. They have great happy hour deals on top of already reasonable prices - $7 got us two pints of local microbrews Sunday night. Dinner the next night was at Agava – good thing we had a reservation for our large group, because it was packed (on a Monday!) The food was a nice selection of small plates with a mostly Southwestern influence, lots of local ingredients, and solid vegetarian options – highlights included the quinoa fritters, the ceviche, and the chile relleno. Next up was Moosewood (which was the one place I definitely wanted to check out while we were in town, having a well-worn copy of one of their cookbooks in my kitchen). It definitely met expectations, with the mushroom strudel and the locally made sorbets being particularly notable.
Both Moosewood and Agava have a wide and reasonably priced selection of wines by the glass, but the wine highlight of our trip was definitely the next night’s dinner at Just a Taste (which came highly recommended by the local professor who was leading our conference). It’s another small plates restaurant with a focus on local ingredients, though this time with a more traditional tapas focus on Spanish-style preparations (the duck leg was especially nicely done). The more unusual option, though, is the wine flights – all reasonably priced at around $10-15 for five generous samples. Both my flight of local wines and my husband’s tasting of reds were thoughtfully presented and selected – it looked like they had a set of wine taps set up behind the bar, which likely helps them keep everything available and fresh.
The next meal out was lunch at Long Point Winery, which came highly recommended from one of the guides who does boat tours of the wineries as having some of the best wine and food on Cayuga Lake. We were lucky enough to be staying with friends with a small boat, and the folks at Long Point are happy to pick us up at the dock in the nearby state park and drive us over to the winery. It was a ridiculously lovely setting – rows of vines overlooking the lake, with a field of grass and flowers and tents with picnic tables set up next to the barn-style winery. The wines were terrific – Long Point is known not only for its whites (for which the Finger Lakes are famous), but also for doing a nice job with reds (which is rarer for the area), and we picked up a few bottles. The lunch was also delicious – they have a small sandwich menu with high-quality ingredients, all made to order. My vegetarian muffaletta on homemade foccacia was especially good, and they even offered kid-friendly PB&Js (and were quite kid-friendly in general to the little ones who were with us.)
We spent the next couple of days in Niagara on the Lake in Canada (where the food was amazing - I’ll be posting that review elsewhere soon), but stopped by the Finger Lakes again on our way back down to NYC. We made a quick pit stop in Buffalo for lunch at Schwabl’s – the famous beef on weck was definitely worth a visit (my husband’s a huge salt fan, so the salt-covered “weck” roll was a hit), and my old-school open-faced turkey on white bread with a ridiculous amount of gravy was great.
The real high point of the trip home, though, was a birthday dinner at The Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles, a gorgeous old tavern which has been hosting travelers for almost 200 years. The restaurant was nice enough to give us a table in the front room, with a lovely view of the lake across the street, and dinner and service were fantastic. The waiter made an excellent recommendation of a local Hermann Weimer dry reisling (which was especially reasonably priced with their Sunday special of 20% off all wines); coincidentally, the exact same wine was just named by the NYT wine critic as one of the best American wines under $20 in the country. The entrees were a little slow coming out (for which the waiter was extremely apologetic and comped us dessert), but both - seared scallops over house-made creamed corn and the roast chicken with black pepper spaetzle - were wonderful when they arrived, as was our fresh berry tart with vanilla ice cream (and a birthday candle).
All the portions were so generous that we ended up bringing the chicken and tart back to our hotel fridge and eating them for lunch the next day outside the Montezuma Winery and Hidden Marsh Distillery, a cute little place just outside the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge on Cayuga Lake. The tasting there is worth a stop to try the unusual fruit wines and liqueurs on offer – we brought home a bottle of the “Cranberry Bog” for the holidays. Overall, it was one of the best trips we’ve ever taken – we’ve traveled pretty extensively, and this is definitely an under-rated part of the country for enjoying great food and wine!

What to do with too dry cake?

+1 - I know you already re-purposed this particular cake, but one of my favorite dishes at the (old) Silk City Diner in Philly was the chocolate bread pudding. As far as I could figure out, it was actually "stale cake" pudding, with big hunks of dark chocolate mixed in before baking. (My guess would be that you would use less sugar in the milk-egg mix than for normal sweet bread pudding.) Delicious, and I bet it would work really well with Bailey's Irish Cream cake!

Mar 23, 2012
rovingfoodie in Home Cooking

Where to go in Prospect Lefferts Gardens?

Thanks so much - this is very helpful! Too bad about Mama Louisa's - I was looking forward to having them as a take-out option on my way home from work, but I'm sure we'll figure out a way to check them out regularly anyway. And yes, I'll definitely post some updates about any local finds!

Mar 19, 2012
rovingfoodie in Outer Boroughs

Where to go in Prospect Lefferts Gardens?

We're about to move from Park Slope to Prospect Lefferts Gardens and would love advice from locals about where to shop and eat. We'll be on the northeast side of the neighborhood (near New York Ave and Midwood) and are planning on keeping our membership at the Park Slope Co-op, but other than that we want to stay local (ie within about a mile) whenever possible.

Based on some browsing of maps it looks like either the Associated Market at Sullivan Place or the Key Food at Nostrand and Winthrop could be our go-to places for basic affordable groceries - any preferences? Ideas for where to pick up fresh seafood would also be great.

Restaurant-wise, we've eaten at Culpepper's (and liked it) and are looking forward to comparing it with the many other West Indian places in the area. Based on online reviews, I'm also looking forward to trying out Mama Louisa's, Blue Roost, Bay Leaf, and Ramagi - any other suggestions? Thanks in advance!

1082 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

The Blue Roost
539 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Bay Leaf
561 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

594 Rogers Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Mar 14, 2012
rovingfoodie in Outer Boroughs

Vegetarian sausage?

Another +1 for the Gimme Lean Sausage (the tube, not links). We just had it for breakfast this morning - slice 1/2 inch thick, fry in olive oil until well-browned on both sides. My husband and I are non-vegetarians and actually prefer this to "real" breakfast sausage patties.

Dec 11, 2011
rovingfoodie in General Topics

Where can I get a Reese's Pieces sundae in Brooklyn?

Glad to hear from another fan! I grew up in South Jersey and there were quite a few Friendly's down there - and actually, I did have a habit for a bit of picking up the sundaes in a cup, which I agree were not quite the same but still tasty.

I'll put Eddie's on my road-trip list - I love those kinds of places! If you're ever in Philly, sounds like you'd like The Franklin Fountain - very fun place and right in Center City:

In the short term, though, the Cold Stone suggestion is probably my best bet - still a corporate chain, but so was Friendly's :)

Oct 15, 2011
rovingfoodie in Outer Boroughs

Where can I get a Reese's Pieces sundae in Brooklyn?

The unseasonably warm weather and the news of Friendly's bankruptcy have me craving their Reese's Pieces sundae, one of the favorite treats of my childhood. (Vanilla ice cream, peanut butter sauce, hot fudge sauce, Reese's pieces, whipped cream and a cherry.) So far my options around where I live (in Park Slope) seem to be pretty limited/corporate - I think my best bet for that particular mix of toppings is probably going to be Cheeburger Cheeburger, though maybe Uncle Louie's would work as well. Am I missing something? You would think there would be a bunch of places catering to the semi-fancy ice cream sundae crowd around here - why doesn't someone open a proper small batch ice cream store/small chain (like Boston's J.P. Lick's)?

Cheeburger Cheeburger
222 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Oct 10, 2011
rovingfoodie in Outer Boroughs

My assistant says my "impressive" gift ISN'T. Help, please?

Great - hope they (and you) love them!

Oct 06, 2011
rovingfoodie in General Topics

My assistant says my "impressive" gift ISN'T. Help, please?

+1 on the champagne-chocolate combo and on John and Kira's - unique and delicious, with lovely packaging and a nice focus on local ingredients. I love Burdick's as well...

Oct 05, 2011
rovingfoodie in General Topics

Who here drinks non-alcoholic beer?

I agree with the posters who suggest you're missing the appeal to recovery folks - my husband's been sober for 7 years now and drinks NA beer because he misses the flavor. Sorry to say that that means O'Doul's is among his least favorite brands, though - too bland. You might find this thread helpful in pinpointing why people drink the various NA brands - O'Doul's Amber does get some recommendations!

Jul 31, 2011
rovingfoodie in Beer

Salted Caramel Frozen Yogurt is way too salty!

I had a very sadly failed homemade ice cream experiment this week - my DH requested some salted caramel ice cream (but is on WW), so I tried out this recipe (substituting 2.5 tbps cornstarch for the arrowroot):


It actually turned out great in every way other than one very important one - it's way too salty, even though I used 1/2 tbsp of sea salt vs. the full tbsp it lists. (Even my husband thought so, and we joke that he should have a salt lick at his desk.


So I have two questions about salvaging this - first, I made/froze about a quart of it that I hate to waste. We're thinking that softening it and mixing it with an equal part of vanilla ice cream would probably cut the saltiness enough to make it tasty (perhaps in a milkshake or five) - any other suggestions?

Also, I have some of the unfrozen mix left, and was thinking of adding an equal part of dairy (yogurt, milk, half-and-half) to dilute it and then making a new batch. Any other suggestions? I don't mind a lighter consistency - do I need to re-do the eggs and cornstarch step as well?

Thanks in advance - I'll post updates as we experiment!

Jul 06, 2011
rovingfoodie in Home Cooking