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Best Specialty Foods (pupusas, soup dumplings, rillette, etc) in NYC/Brooklyn??

Thanks everyone for all of your great suggestions! Just got back a few days ago and wanted to give a little recap on a delicious trip.

Momofuku Ssam: pork buns, pickled mussels, rice cakes and sausage. Pickled mussels stood out as the best thing there. The rice cakes were quite toothsome and greasy, but satisfying. I think I was thinking of more of a chinese rice cake than the korean tubelike ones which are more dense. Pork buns were delicious, but it's hard to go wrong with pork belly.

Solber Pupusas from Red Hook: they happened to be at the event I was at so I lucked out and got to eat delicious pupusa platters with bean & cheese pupusas, curtido (pickled cabbage & onions), sweet plantains, and sausage for two days.

Gerard's Paella: also at the event. I'm sure it was just an off day for them or something but we didn't have a great chicken and shrimp paella from them. It was a little undercooked, there was no socarrat crust, and it was a little bland.

DBGB: charcuterie plate, flatbread with brussel sprouts, guanciale, parsnip, and egg, and pork schnitzel. The charcuterie was pretty good and you get a ton of it in the assorted platter. I probably enjoyed the country pate the most and also wished there was triple the saucisson. The best rillette I had in NY was at Clover Club, but sadly they didn't have their pot of quail rillette on the menu this time around. That rillette has definitely set the bar high. The flatbread was extremely delicious; not sure why they said the schnitzel was one of the most popular dishes because it wasn't great or special. It made me a little sad. The roasted potatoes with it were some of the best I've had though.

Blue Ribbon: bone marrow with oxtail marmalade, pirogi, and duck breast. The duck breast was succulent and delicious, but the bone marrow is something that makes my mouth water everytime I think about it. What can I do to get closer to this bone marrow and have it in my life all the time?

Katz's Deli: the legendary pastrami is worth the hype. So tasty and the pickles were unexpectedly mild and fresh.

Spotted Pig: pickles, sheep's milk ricotta gnudi, and the burger. The gnudi was perfect and tender. The burger was delicious and the garlic chips and fried rosemary on the fries made them memorable.

Clover Club: still sad about no quail rillette, but duck fat chips with truffle creme fraiche are great drunk food. Obviously the ala minute cocktails were phenomenal, but that's for a different cocktail post about this trip. ;)

Vanessa's Dumplings: pork & chive fried dumplings, boiled shrimp dumplings, mini pork buns, sesame pancake with peking duck. Holy wow this was the biggest and cheapest meal of my life, not the best ever but damn satisfying. We had to pick and choose what to eat more of because we wanted to save room for other food. The pork fried dumpling was so so but 4 for $1?! Crazy. My favorite was the mini steamed pork buns that were pan fried on the bottom I think. The boiled shrimp dumplings were tasty and made me nostalgic. The sesame pancake-wich was a little bland and too chewy for my taste.

Porchetta: This was pretty tasty but maybe not worth all the hype. I appreciate what they're doing and we kind of came at an odd hour in the day, so maybe that's why the pork was a little dry, but still flavorful. I got bits of perfectly crunchy awesome skin and then bits of crispiness that almost broke my tooth. Glad we got that amazing ginger beer to wash it down.

We'll have to try some of the other suggestions next time we're around. Sad that we didn't get to try Ippudo, the uni panini at Quinto Pino, and all of the other delicious stuff you've posted about. So few days and only so much stomach space.

Thanks!

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Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

Vanessa's Dumplings
220 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

Ippudo
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

Porchetta
110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

DBGB
299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

Oct 04, 2010
mmmmmmpls in Manhattan

Best Specialty Foods (pupusas, soup dumplings, rillette, etc) in NYC/Brooklyn??

Thanks so much for the helpful tips, Kathryn! I'll definitely have to do some searches in the Outer Boroughs boards for good ethnic. I am actually going to be in Flushing for the two weekend days, so maybe I'll plan to eat there. Looking forward to a very delicious trip!

Sep 12, 2010
mmmmmmpls in Manhattan

Best Specialty Foods (pupusas, soup dumplings, rillette, etc) in NYC/Brooklyn??

I'm visiting Manhattan/Brooklyn for 4 short days and looking for some delicious, mind-blowing, must-try foods at restaurants, take-out spots, street food, markets, wherever. We love all foods of all ethnicity and are willing to go out of the way to eat (or drink) something memorable. We would love suggestions for the best ____ or anything strange that we may not have tried before or can only get in NYC. We'll also be making rounds to craft cocktail bars, so suggestions for foods that will soak up the alcohol are always welcome. ;) Here's a list of some foods that we're interested in, but are not limited to:

Best Dumpling (or Soup Dumpling):
Best Chinese Buns:
Best Takoyaki:
Best Curry (any country):
Best Dosa:
Best Pupusa:
Best Arepa:
Best Tamale:
Best Taco:
Best Basque Pintxos:
Best Rillette:
Best Charcuterie:
Best Pie:
Best French Fries:
Best Biscuit Sandwich:
Best Cuban Sandwich:
Best Pulled Pork Anything:
Best Pastrami:
Best Chicken & Waffles:
Best (etc, etc, etc)

Thank you in advance, NYC chowhounds! Sorry for the broad question but I'm looking forward to checking out your suggestions!

- Christina

Sep 02, 2010
mmmmmmpls in Manhattan

Fresh Padron peppers in MSP?

I've been wondering if there's anywhere around that sells fresh Pimientos de Padron or Padron Peppers. The kind that you have in Spain that are pan-fried in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt? They're generally mild, but every 4th or 5th pepper is crazy hot. Russian roulette with your mouth!

Mar 05, 2010
mmmmmmpls in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Huitlacoche in MSP?

I've recently fallen in love with huitlacoche gorditas at Los Ocampos. Does anyone know where I can find this delicious diseased corn smut for sale in markets in Mpls or St Paul so I can experiment and cook with it myself? Canned or fresh? Do they have it in farmer's markets during Spring/Summer at all? Any help would be awesome!

Mar 05, 2010
mmmmmmpls in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MPLS - Best Mexican?

My favorite right now is probably also Los Ocampos (not the one inside of MGM) for their chicken pozole (red) and their gordita with huitlacoche (corn mushrooms/corn smut/murky deliciousness). They have a killer spicy avocado salsa that will melt your face off (sometimes you have to ask for it.) They have beer there too.

Otherwise, I love the chilaquiles verde with over easy eggs or the tamales at La Loma inside MGM, but alas, no alcohol there!

Maybe I'm crazy for saying this, but sometimes I totally crave the Pina de Mariscos (half a pineapple filled with seafood in a tomato-chili-pineapple stew/sauce...I like it without the melted white cheese on top) from La Que Buena. A total seafood fix and sides for only $15! They at least have beer there, but maybe more.

I also think that Masa's happy hour is one of the best in town and you can definitely booze it up there. ; )

Mar 05, 2010
mmmmmmpls in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Chaat, bhel puri & other Indian snacks [MSP]

Ever since Bombay 2 Deli closed, I don't know where to go to get some good Indian street food snacks. Preferably take out and cheap. I know that Namaste has some chaats, but I'm wondering what else is out there. Any suggestions?

Mar 25, 2009
mmmmmmpls in General Midwest Archive

112 Eatery (MSP)

I am kind of in love with their cauliflower fritters with a good squeeze of lemon on top. The only thing I've ever had there that I didn't thoroughly enjoy was the Tres Leches cake, but maybe it's just not for me.

Mar 25, 2009
mmmmmmpls in General Midwest Archive

Best Bloody Mary in MSP

I haven't had it for awhile because usually I don't drink bloodies at night, but Best Bloody ever goes to King and I Thai. Of course since it's a Thai place, it was perfectly spicy-delicious with lots of sriracha, thai chili, roasted garlic and cracked pepper (homemade mix, I imagine). There's also a veritable garden of garnish including (if my memory serves me) basil, cucumber, olives and possibly more. I want one right now.

Mar 25, 2009
mmmmmmpls in General Midwest Archive

MSP- Hell's Kitchen - What to order

I love the Huevos Rancheros. It could get monotonous, but they add tiny bits of pineapple that lend acidity to cut the delicious greasiness. Yum! I hardly ever order anything else when I go there. And though I don't like sweet stuff for breakfast, their lemon ricotta pancakes are so light and fluffy that I could eat them for days. The portabella benedict was just alright. Don't forget to try the homemade peanut butter even if you have nothing to put it on.

Feb 13, 2009
mmmmmmpls in General Midwest Archive

Just Desserts [MSP]

Though there are "just dessert" places here, I don't think any of them are where you'll find the best desserts in town. After going to Chikalicious in East VIllage NYC, I've been longing for a really incredible only dessert bar here and I'm crossing my fingers that it will happen someday.

If you want desserts and an extensive cocktail list, try Bradstreet Craftshouse. Their dessert there is incredible (best chocolate torte I've ever met with an amazing black sesame ice cream...and i've heard the moscato gelee is very good too). The Strip Club also has an extensive drink selection and phenomenal seasonal desserts. I've been blown away by all of them. I'm not sure if you can get desserts at the Lounge at La Belle Vie, but it would be worth a shot because their desserts are fabulous and so are their cocktails.

Feb 12, 2009
mmmmmmpls in General Midwest Archive

Bradstreet Craftshouse (MSP)

I love the Bradstreet. I had my reservations about the location since I couldn't really see myself frequenting a bar inside a hotel, but it's decidedly worth it. I've been there a couple of times since they've opened and will be coming back often (or whenever I get up the nerve to go into downtown)...mostly for the drinks, but the food's not bad either.

The service is excellent and very knowledgeable. It's incredible that the bartenders can memorize 50+ of Toby's intricate and intensive drink recipes AND know the history and flavor notes of everything going into the drinks. The cocktails are crazy delicious and have so much depth. I've loved everything I've tried (Fairview Manhattan, Black Walnut Old-Fashioned, Winter Sidecar, Juliet & Romeo, Cooper's Union, Maltese Cross, and some off-the-menu drinks that Toby made...I am a fan of his signature shake and can't help but smile).

Not that I've tried the oyster spring rolls, but I believe the "cheese" sorbet is a parmesan, which makes more sense and sounds a lot better than a cheddar sorbet. I've only had vegetarian things on the menu, but I hear they do meat very well there, especially anything with lamb. Foodwise, the only thing that I find myself still daydreaming about is the flourless chocolate torte. I'm not even a huge dessert fan, but the combination of the perfect chocolate torte and black sesame ice cream blew my mind and tastebuds. The polenta fries are also pretty good and have a nice texture. Nice attempt with the pasta nachos, but I'm just not into them. I find myself wishing that they could narrow their focus with the food (something more like the Strip Club) and not have so much fusion. I cringed a little when I saw edamame, hummus, and Spanish cured meats all on the same menu, but they work it better than I expected.

Go there for the drinks, sit at the bar, learn more than you'll ever need to know about bitters and their selection of rare imported liqueurs. And try something with St Germaine elderflower liqueur...it tastes delightfully like lychee.

Feb 12, 2009
mmmmmmpls in General Midwest Archive

MSP: "Best" Grocery Store

I love grocery shopping in the Twin Cities, but I find that I have to shop at a combination of places to fill all of my needs (beautiful produce, ethnic, affordable, etc). I live in Minneapolis and try to avoid big box stores (SuperTarget, Walmart, Sams, CostCo).

TRADER JOE'S (General/specialty/organic food)
Though you can't do one-stop shopping here, the things that you can get are well-priced and tasty. Decent cheeses, some produce, bread, pantry goods, nuts & dried fruit, grains. I like the St Louis Park one since it's closest. I also like that they have a wine and beer shop with a fair selection right there.

MIDTOWN GLOBAL MARKET (Great produce/mediterranean/mexican)
At the PRODUCE EXCHANGE, there's really pristine produce most of the time and way better prices than Lund's or Kowalski's. They keep it local when they can and have an assortment of other delicious pantry items. At HOLYLAND, you can get Greek, Leb & Med foods. I love the bulk olives, olive tapenade, and feta there, and they're crazy cheap. There's also a tiny mercado there for Mexican essentials and my favorite fresh or frozen tamales are at La Loma.

SHUANG HUR (Asian grocery)
I've been to a lot of Asian grocery stores in Mpls, but this is my favorite. They almost always have really fresh Asian herbs and vegetables. They have nearly every kind of soup, sauce, curry paste, noodle, pickled or canned thing, etc that one could ever need. They are much cheaper than United Noodle and have more selection of SE Asian & Chinese.

PATEL'S (Indian grocery)
There are plenty of places to find Indian groceries on Central Ave NE but this is my favorite. There are tons of authentic spices, chutneys, batter mixes, and snacks. Right across the street, there's a delicious deli called Bombay 2 Deli (I think) that serves up my Indian street food faves like Bhel Puri and Chaat.

For everything else, I usually end up going to Kowalski's, Lund's or the Wedge. Hope that helps a little!

Feb 02, 2009
mmmmmmpls in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Restaurant/bar suggestions for my Chicago trip next week?

My boyfriend and I will be going to Chicago for an early Valentine's Day from Monday to Wednesday next week. I want it to be the most delicious trip ever! I'm veg and he's normal, so there has to be at least a veg option or two on the menu. We might go to one nice restaurant and bar (nothing as expensive as Alinea), but for the rest, anything ranging from divey (but great) - up to $30/entree. I really enjoyed HB (Home Bistro) the last time we were in town, but want to try some new places.

These were some options that I've been toying with but I would love some more suggestions: Avec, Violet Hour, Sticky Rice Thai (for the ant egg omelet), Handlebar, Bongo Room, Perennial, Green Zebra.

Feb 02, 2009
mmmmmmpls in Chicago Area