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Extra Virgin [Kansas City MO]

Melanie - did you make it? How was it?

Nov 20, 2012
penguinista in Great Plains

Anyone have a good pickled daikon recipe?

How long would this last?

Jun 27, 2011
penguinista in Home Cooking

Birch Restaurant, Palo Alto? On Birich Street near California Ave.

I just went and had exactly that - hot dog and fries, plus a side of aioli (no pickle). It was a very good hot dog, but yes, pricey at $7.50 since it's just a hot dog and bun with ketchup and mustard. The fries were the lightly cooked, sort of french style fries - very good with the aioli, but again, pricey. My friend had the spaghetti, which smelled good. Service was excellent, but I would only go back if the prices were $1-$2 lower. I guess Bistro Elan is not doing lunch any more?

Bistro Elan
448 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Indonesian bazaar in San Jose?

I saw a posting for a Pasar Malam (Indonesian bazaar, maybe?) at Napredek Hall in San Jose, Sunday June 8 from 10-4. Does anyone know anything about this? I've seen posts about events like this before, so I thought I'd try to find out more information. I would love to go, if it's open to the public. The link is here:

Thanks in advance for any information!

Dining along the lake - not in Chicago

This might be *way* out of your way, but Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee is really nice (and expensive).

Jun 13, 2007
penguinista in Chicago Area

Trader Joe's

When I lived in Toronto, we loved the snacks at Marks & Spencers - shrimp chips and potato rings...of course, we moved to the States, then M&S closed all their Canada stores. I went to Hong Kong a few years ago and hunted down an M&S just for a taste of those potato rings!

Jun 08, 2007
penguinista in Not About Food

Dim sum: Triple Crown vs. Phoenix?

I second Shui Wah's - it's great - very fresh and good flavor. It's across from Joy Yee's, which always has a huge line of people getting smoothies. If Shui Wah's is packed, Happy Chef is next door and is also pretty good. I would try to get to Shui Wah's around 10:30 because the restaurant is kind of small.

Jun 07, 2007
penguinista in Chicago Area

Dim-Sum Pittsburgh or Cleveland

In Cleveland, my in-laws took me to Li Wah's, which I liked very much (2999 Payne Ave). It's not Toronto or San Francisco dim sum, but it's still very good. It was the first time I had ever had Xiao Long Bao (Shanghainese soup dumplings), which I highly recommend - they were really good and had nice flavor. If you're driving all the way to Cleveland, you might as well try them!

Jun 05, 2007
penguinista in Pennsylvania

Yays and nays from Trader Joe's, lately [OLD]

When we lived in Chicago, I loved the Ciabatta, but we moved to San Jose and I haven't seen any in our local store. For some reason I thought the Chicago stores had a local bakery, maybe that's the discrepancy?

May 24, 2007
penguinista in Chains


It doesn't serve rijstafel, but I think that Penang in Chinatown has decent malaysian food, which is similar to indonesian.

May 11, 2007
penguinista in Chicago Area

Trader Joe's Frozen dinners

Ooh, that's a great help! Thanks! (and thanks for everyone's comments - now I have all kinds of things to try out!)

Mar 27, 2007
penguinista in Chains

Trader Joe's Frozen dinners

Any suggestions for good ones? I love the chicken masala, but I'm looking to branch out! Thanks!

Mar 26, 2007
penguinista in Chains

Expensive -- and other -- in Barcelona

Cinc Sentis - a lot of people on the board have recommended it, and it was fantastic - I would totally go back and do the tasting menu (65 euros, plus wine for 30 euros) in a heartbeat.

Mar 25, 2007
penguinista in Spain/Portugal

Report from Spain trip

My husband and I just came back from our honeymoon in Spain, and I used chowhound extensively in planning so I just wanted to report!

El Escarpin: This is a tapas bar between Puerta del Sol and Opera. It had a great atmosphere - sit by the bar, the bartenders take the orders and it's bustling and loud and everyone speaks Spanish and it was just great. They specialize in cider. The prices were a little expensive (5-15 euros for tapas), but the portions are big - it's more of place to go with a group.

Maceiras: on Calle Hubertas. Also a tapas bar - very good, and a bit cheaper, although I thought the food wasn't *quite* as good. It filled up really quickly as soon as it opened (at 8:30), and we were pretty crammed in there. It was a good place to sample some tapas and hang out with locals, but the menu wasn't that big.

La Finca de Susana - we went for lunch, which had a pretty good set lunch (less than 10 euros/person). The appetizers were good, but the main entrees were just okay.

Bodegas Campos: We did the tasting menu - it was good, but I'm not quite sure it was worth it. If I had to do it again, I would've skipped BC and save the menu to do the full tasting at Cinc Sentis in Barcelona. Everything tasted really good, but I found both the atmosphere and the food a little stuffy and old fashioned. We were also totally out of place in the restaurant. Also, it's all smoking, which I'm not a huge fan of in a dining room.

Taberna Pepe de la Juderia: I just have to say, this restaurant was more expensive than I thought it should've been, and the food wasn't good enough to justify the cost.

La Cavea: this was a small tapas bar near the Archealogical museum, and I really liked it - very cheap (2-4 euros/tapas), good selection, and the food was good. They had a nice small patio, and it was just nice to sample a lot of different things - the pinchos and the solmorejo were particular good.

Nothing special here, but we loved the sizzling shrimp in garlic at La Altamira

Tokyo: okay, we were desperate for sushi. The fish was really fresh, but we didn't really get sushi, per se, it was more like fish rolled in rice, and it was way too expensive to justify it.

El Mussol: This is a charcoal grill restaurant that specializes in Catalonia cuisine - our hotel recommended it because it was cheap and close by, but we really liked it. The entrees were reasonable, 5-15 euros, and much to our delight, they had a good selection of grilled vegetables. Nothing too special, but generally consistent, good and not too expensive. Good selection of desserts as well.

Els quatre gats: total tourist trap, but a surprinsingly good set menu for lunch - 3 courses, plus wine and water, for 12 euros. They brought us a whole bottle of wine and a whole bottle of water too. The only thing is get there early or make reservations, because we got there early and it was overrun with tourists by 2pm.

Cinc Sentis: This was the food highlight of our trip. We went for lunch, and they had a 39 euro menu, pick one appetizer, one entree and one dessert. The chef also sent out two amuse bouche appetizers and an amuse bouche dessert with our coffee. The whole experience was fantastic - I very much wish we could go back and do the tasting menu. Everything was wonderful and amazingly delicious!

Mar 25, 2007
penguinista in Spain/Portugal

Help me, Ronda (and Carmona,Cordoba,Granada)

I just came back from Cordoba, so some thoughts:
La Cavea in the Plaza de Jeronimo Paez - really cheap tapas. They had a pretty large selection - the moorish meat skewers and the solmorejo were particularly good. They also had some tables outside if you don't like the smoke.
Bodegas Campos - we went here for our dining highlight, and got the tasting menu. It was 48 euros (I think) for 6 courses. It was good, but it was a little expensive (especially considering the exchange rate), and I thought it was really stuffy and old fashioned.

Mar 25, 2007
penguinista in Spain/Portugal

Amsterdam - Seasons Restaurant

My husband and I just had a lovely dinner at Seasons Restaurant in Amsterdam in the Jordaan district at Herenstraat 16. They had a 3 course menu for something like 25 euros, and everything was fantastic! The menu had 3 choices for each course, appetizer, entree and dessert - the highlight was the appetizer, which was four good-sized shrimp with a spicy tomato cream sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. My husband had lamb with couscous, and I had seabass with a shitakke mushroom risotto, both very well done. Overall, we thought the service was excellent and the food was great, and good portions for the price. Their website, in case anyone is interested, is - the menu that's up there now isn't the same menu that we saw, so I'm not sure if it's been updated. Just wanted to let people know!

Broadway Cellars Brunch

Nothing to do with brunch, but we had a wonderful dinner there the other night - DH had the coffee roasted pork loin, which was fantastic. I had the steak sandwich, which was pretty good - the fries were really good, the steak was okay. The wine flights were the best part - 3 generous 3 oz pours for $9, so much fun to mix and match. We had the puddin' trio for dessert, and the pot de creme was fantastic!

Mar 01, 2007
penguinista in Chicago Area

Still mourning Chinatown's Hong Min

I like Shui Wah's for dim sum, which is next to Happy Chef and across from Joy Yee's. I was not a fan of Happy Chef, but I have some friends from China who like it. Shui Wah has high quality, but limited selection, and you order off a menu.

Feb 22, 2007
penguinista in Chicago Area

Ethiopian suggestions?

I've been to Ras Dashen and Ethiopian Diamond in the past two months, and I like Ras Dashen over Ethiopian Diamond for three reasons: 1) RD is much smaller, and more intimate in my opinion. 2) at RD you can put together your own combo (I think there's a pick 2 or 3 option), whereas ED has set combos that may or may not be to your liking. 3) RD lets you pick some little sides (chickpeas, salad, veggies) to accompany your meal, which rounds it out much better.

Feb 22, 2007
penguinista in Chicago Area

Favourite pizza topping combos?

This is a pain to make, but roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, rosemary and some kind of pepperoni or sausage...

Jan 22, 2007
penguinista in Home Cooking

Groceries in Andersonville?

That's not the sausage company that I was thinking of, I don't think. The one I'm thinking of is more of a butcher that happens to make a few types of sausage. It's really close to the Jimmy John's on Broadway. They do make a fantastically garlic polish sausage...yum!

Nov 14, 2006
penguinista in Chicago Area

Groceries in Andersonville?

The Dominick's on Broadway on Thorndale recently remodeled, and it looks pretty nice, although I prefer the Dominicks at Sheridan and Foster because I think it has a better produce selection. Oh, and there's a butcher on Broadway north of the Dominicks that makes their own sausage and generally has really nice selections of meat.

Nov 11, 2006
penguinista in Chicago Area

Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Celiac Safe Restaurants or Cafe's in Chicago

Actually, as I recently learned, Lou Malnati's has a gluten-free pizza! It uses a very large disk of sausage as a crust :). It's pretty good, but I imagine it's not very healthy. At all.

Oct 08, 2006
penguinista in Chicago Area

Will Chinatown restaurants be open Labour Day?

Thanks for the help! We always have Chinese for Christmas in Kansas City!

Will Chinatown restaurants be open Labour Day?

Does anyone have any idea? Specially, I was hoping to go to Ruby Rouge or Kam Fung for dim sum Labour Day lunch. If anyone has any ideas, I would greatly appreciate it!

Wedding Caterer needed

Try Froggy's Catering in Highwood - they're a french caterer with really reasonable prices, and they include the wedding cake!

Aug 16, 2006
penguinista in Chicago Area

Rogers Park / Clark

I second Heartland Cafe. Also, there are a ton of Thai places - my favorite is Indie Cafe for something cheap; they do sushi too. Also, there's a tiny Venezuelan place called Caracas Grill on Clark St and Devon - it's kind of a hole in the wall, but the food is fresh and fabulous.

Aug 15, 2006
penguinista in Chicago Area

Reservations at Au Pied de Cochon

This doesn't really answer your question, but I just made reservations for September 2 (Labor Day weekend), so they take them at least two weeks in advance.