Fozzie_Bear's Profile

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Whitefish Salad

Yeah, I shop at the UWS one. They're definitely putting onions in it there.

Jun 17, 2015
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan

Whitefish Salad

The only whitefish salads I've eaten with any regularity are those from Fairway and Zabar's. I prefer Zabar's--it's kind of my reference whitefish salad. As some people have said, Fairway's has onion in it--I don't mind it as such, but onion doesn't really belong in whitefish salad. It's just a little... odd. On the other hand, Fairway's whitefish salad is chunkier and fishier than Zabar's, which is nice. I've had the whitefish salad from Russ and Daughters, although not recently, but I remember liking it a lot.

Jun 16, 2015
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan

Serious Eats & Roadfood Sold to Fexy Media

Yeah, I used to like SE a lot also. I think the content (leaving alone everything else, for which this critique is also true) is just not the same as it used to be. It used to have a pleasing informality, with more of a blog-like scatteredness. Bits and bobs about fast food, city-specific restaurant reviews, "news" items, etc. Now everything is some cutesy, overly-stylized piece about how "dream-hauntingly yum-o" some niche ingredient is. Otherwise, it's just a feed of recipes with over-wrought and annoyingly inauthentic-looking food-porny photos. "Hey, guys--we need to redo this photo--the fork tines are reflecting light on the wrong wavelength!"

Unfortunately, I don't anticipate that this purchase will help in the inauthentic, cloying and too-smooth-and-glib-by half departments. I still have very positive memories of the old SE, which compel me to click on the current site every now and again. I'm disappointed and annoyed by what I see every time. So it goes.

Cantonese Chinese?

I like Phoenix Garden on 40th Street. It's BYOB and cash only, though.

Apr 03, 2015
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan

Kenji's Best Fast Food Awards (A Totally Biased, Completely Incomplete List)

I think that Kenji has a lot of valuable opinions about food and cooking technique, etc., but I'm coming around to the opinion more and more these days that he has the absolute worst writing style on the planet.

It's impossible to get through an article by him, let alone a paragraph, without some cheeky alliteration, cutesy rhetorical device or annoyingly hyperbolic affirmation of deliciousness. It results in this over-indulgent preciousness that comes off as being almost insincere in its upbeat and informal conversationality. And I'd be real happy if I could read that blog without ever again encountering cliche constructions such as "will haunt your dreams" or "hear me out!"

OK, end rant. Thanks for listening.

Little Italy Pizza UWS

This is something of a mini-chain. I haven't been to the one on 92nd, but I live near the one on 71st and work near the one on 33rd, so I speak from experience when I say it's "OK." I think you're much better off going with Sal and Carmine's, but it's not bad for what it is.

Dec 04, 2014
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan

Changes coming for Serious Eats

I am very unhappy with the direction Serious Eats has gone in the past several years.

I used to enjoy the site because it had an engaging mix of restaurant reviews (both "fancy" and dive-type), other food product reviews, some recipes, and newsy type stories. Plus, I enjoyed the thematic subsections, whether they related to pizza, burgers, local food scenes, etc.

Nowadays, the scope of the site is much narrower. It seems like the vast majority of posts are recipes. And the quality of writing is much poorer and monochromatic, in my opinion. In the past, there were engaging, slightly edgy pieces on bottom-shelf liquor or offal. Now, posts more often than not adhere to the boring formula, "How to make _____ that will haunt your dreams," or something similar. Give me a break.

In isolation, each of the following doesn't bother me much in itself: posts featuring staff members' dogs; posts featuring staff lunches; sponsored posts; the not-particularly-user-friendly and ham-fistedly ugly site design. But as a whole, all of these things are quite irritating when I recall how much I used to enjoy the site.

I'm curious to know if people actually prefer the site these days to how it was, say, five years ago. I'm not sure exactly what demographic they're trying to reach, but it certainly doesn't include me.

Traditional North India / Punjabi

Not quite in the area you specify, but I think Dhaba in Curry Hill (108 Lexington Ave) is quite good.

Nov 04, 2014
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan

First Hungarian Literary Society, UES

Thanks for the report--sounds like it hasn't changed much.

Nov 04, 2014
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan

First Hungarian Literary Society, UES

Has anybody been to the First Hungarian Literary Society on the Upper East Side recently? Like in the past year? I went there ages ago, and it was a worthwhile experience, but I was curious to know if it's still a thing.

Nov 04, 2014
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan

YOUR Martini

Gins of choice by order of preference: Bombay Original, Boodles, Beefeater
Vermouths of choice by order of preference: Noilly Prat, Martini & Rossi, anything else in a pinch (I use not a lot of it, so it doesn't really matter)
Garnish: Cocktail olives (the kind with pimentos), not too big, not too small, about two or three, depending on size, floating around freely and not pierced by a toothpick
Ratio: One capful of vermouth at most. The rest is gin. No olive juice to speak of. I like the ultra-dry approach, but the cocktail does need at least a little vermouth.

Sep 12, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

A good gin and tonic

The lime seems a bit too bitter for me. I think the primary role of the citrus is to bring "sour" to the party rather than bitter (which a good tonic should do). In this respect, a lemon seems more efficient. Also a lemon seems more "classic" somehow.

Jun 20, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

A good gin and tonic

I guess because most G&T's are predominantly tonic--more like 3:1 or 2:1 in favor of tonic. This is not to say that the tonic component isn't important--it's just that I can't justify spending more for a boutique brand when Canada Dry seems to do the trick.

Jun 20, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

A good gin and tonic

My preferred G&T ratio is about 50:50 gin to tonic. For this reason the tonic is a bit of an afterthought or at least not of paramount importance. I find Canada Dry the best of the major brands, and it's my go-to. I've never bothered to branch out into the boutique brands. For the Gin, I like the assertiveness of Gordon's, but I wouldn't use it in any other cocktail. No greater than three ice cubes. AND ALWAYS GARNISH WITH A LEMON, NOT A LIME.

Jun 20, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

Corned Beef after lunch.

Liebman's Kosher Deli in Riverdale is not bad.

Jun 20, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Outer Boroughs

Where to eat in NYC

Uh, Le Bernardin, obviously (for seafood).

Jun 06, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan

Is my vanilla vodka ruined?

If I had to guess, I'd say the red chunks are just the insides of the vanilla pod. Did you cut the pod before you put it in the vodka? If not, the pod probably bust open at the ends, thus creating the red chunks. It doesn't sound like your vodka is ruined, although I'd definitely strain it before drinking.

May 12, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

Drink... Diverticulosis?

I am not a physician, but my father has diverticulosis. He's very meticulous about avoiding celery and nuts and seeds, etc, but he doesn't seem to have any trouble with drink although he does tend to drink rather sparingly by habit. My own understanding is that with diverticulosis it's important to avoid foodstuffs which are not easily digestible and could be caught in the intestine, leading to infection. I don't see how alcohol would factor into this, but I reiterate--I'm not a physician.

May 05, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

Red wine suggestion

I guess I'd recommend a light-bodied pinot noir, but, yeah, I'd probably prefer a riesling also.

Mar 06, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Wine

Favorite NV Champagne?

I don't much like Mo√ęt's French NV offering, so I'm not particularly excited to try the domestic one. Maybe I'll give it a go, however. I've heard better things about Roederer's California sparkling. Any experience with that?

Feb 15, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Wine

Favorite NV Champagne?

What's your favorite best-bet nonvintage champagne, preferably under $40? I rather like Veuve-Clicquot, but it seems to get something of a bum rap this days. Thinking maybe I should branch out a bit.

Feb 15, 2012
Fozzie_Bear in Wine

ISO Black Bottle scotch whisky

Does anybody know where I can find Black Bottle brand scotch anywhere in or around DC? Many thanks in advance....

ISO Schmaltz

Hi--
Anybody know where I can buy rendered chicken fat (viz. schmaltz) in DC? Extra points if it's near Dupont Circle.
Cheers,
Fozzie_Bear

Rapture cocktail?

Whatever it is, it should be flaming.

May 20, 2011
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

What can I do with Kahlua, besides give it away?

I assure you that I didn't know, but now I'm very proud of myself for guessing correctly. :)

Jan 25, 2011
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

What can I do with Kahlua, besides give it away?

I don't have a clue, since to the best of my knowledge those are the only things worth doing with Kahlua. Maybe you just really don't like Kahlua?

Other than that, try substituting it for Triple Sec in your favorite cocktail. A Kahlua side-car? Sounds pretty nasty to me, but maybe it's worth a shot.

Jan 24, 2011
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

Negroni construction

The classic recipe is equal parts of the three liquid ingredients, and I've never thought about tweaking it. Although the classic is also supposed to be served over ice, I prefer it straight up. Orange peel is the traditional garnish, and I think this is the best as well.

I prefer them during the summer, however, rather than the winter. Campari is a pretty summery sort of ingredient.

Jan 13, 2011
Fozzie_Bear in Spirits

Best Cassoulet?

Cafe D'Alsace on the Upper East Side has a very serviceable cassoulet.

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Cafe d'Alsace
1695 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128

Jul 13, 2010
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan
1

Block Rooster Food

I've eaten here a couple of times as it's right near my office. I think it specialises mainly in fried chicken, but they fry other things as well. The chicken is pretty good, the white meat being a little dried out and not that tasty, but the dark meat is pretty good if greasy. The "Two Thighs and Fries" deal for $4.00 is a pretty good deal in my book. Not necessarily "recommended", but I wouldn't dissuade one from going here either.

May 12, 2008
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan

Beer Lover Recs?

I second Cafe d'Alsace -- their beer list is extensive, and the food is quite good as well.

Oct 02, 2007
Fozzie_Bear in Manhattan