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Willamette Valley eats!

Re: B&B, Just posted about Third Street Flats in McMinnville on another chain...
http://thirdstreetflats.com/

Jul 23, 2010
brooklyndigest in Pacific Northwest

Wine plus beach in Oregon?

Oh fun! Two of my favorite things to do in Oregon. It's a lot of travel, but you'd be driving through some really lovely stretches of Oregon.

You can head from Portland on 99W - which will take you through the main cut of the Willamette Valley (Dundee/McMinnville) and then on to 18 which will take you out to Lincoln City and Newport. Lincoln City and Newport are a bit more crowded than the northern coast towns, but this might be the easiest way to incorporate both your agendas.

You could certainly drive out from Portland to the Manzanita/Cannon Beach area on 26 for a day or two and then hook back in land (heading south on 101 and then inland to the Willamette Valley for another night or two in the wine country.

There are several hotels in McMinnville and Dundee, including furnished apartments in downtown McMinnville (Third Street Flats http://thirdstreetflats.com/). I'll be staying there in August and I'm very much looking forward to it.

Restaurants to check out:
Painted Lady (Newberg, fine dining, dinner only I think
)Black Fish Cafe (Lincoln City, casual but fine dining)
Cafe Otis (Otis, great breakfast)
Nick's Italian Cafe (McMinnville, an institution. Awesome wood-fired pizzas, lunch & dinner)
Dundee Bistro (Dundee, solid lunch option)
Crescent Cafe (McMinnville, great breakfast, but they get BUSY)

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Nick's Italian Cafe
521 NE 3rd St, McMinnville, OR 97128

Dundee Bistro
100A SW 7th St, Dundee, OR 97115

Painted Lady
201 S College St, Newberg, OR 97132

Jul 23, 2010
brooklyndigest in Pacific Northwest

ISO - Private room/Tatami room for 10ppl. bridal luncheon

Trying to put together a last minute bridal shower for a friend for August 7th. Would love to have a private room for 10ppl for three hours on a Saturday afternoon w/out costing an arm and a leg. Thinking maybe $50 a head for food and drink. A tatami room would be great since one guest is strictly gluten-free and Japanese cuisine will help us mostly sidestep that. Any suggestions? Park Slope or Carrol Gardens are best for guest list... but obviously will travel for great place.

Jul 19, 2010
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Authentic Mexican in Brooklyn or Queens

Sunset Park in Brooklyn... home to several, ridiculously good Mexican restaurants. There are several existing threads on the OB board about specific spots in SPark if you want to do some reading, but I'm a fan of the chorizo taco grande at Tacos Matamoros (5th ave/46th street)

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Tacos Matamoros
4508 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

May 17, 2010
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Abundance of Shiso - ideas?

I love love love shiso... my family and I traditionally use it in Japanese handrolls (temaki) when we do 'roll your own sushi' for special dinners - it's especially delicious paired with ume (sour plum) paste. It is also excellent in Vietnamese-style salad rolls or just torn into regular green salads for extra kick. It's excellent as a mint sub as well - obviously producing a different, but no less delicious, flavor. Try it muddled with lemon or yuzu juice in a sake cocktail, or mixed with freshly grated ginger and lemon juice to top broiled/grilled chicken or fish.

Apr 29, 2010
brooklyndigest in Home Cooking

PDX - slider buns?

If you can't find the buns in a store, I have used hot dog buns cut into fourths.

Worked like a charm.

Nov 17, 2009
brooklyndigest in Metro Portland

The Basics: How to Make Seven-Layer Bars

The Magic Bar was the first 'cookie' I ever learned to bake and I still make them for parties, bake sales, potlucks, etc. The mix of decadence and familiarity is contagious. I have mixed it up in recent years and started making Chocolate-Ginger bars: using Ginger Snaps instead of Grahams and adding slivered crystallized ginger to mix. I usually top that with slivered almonds that brown on top during the baking. The end result is spicy, sweet, and so, so good.

Aug 27, 2009
brooklyndigest in Features

do they slice lox by hand any more in Brooklyn??

Two spots in Park Slope: Blue Apron Foods on Union St between 7th and 8th Ave and Grab on 7th Ave between 14th and 15th streets. Expert slicers at both establishments (Jay or Ted at BA or Laura at Grab) and about 3-4 different kinds of smoked salmon to choose from.

Aug 17, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Portland Adventures

Well, to each their own. I've eaten at several Szechuan establishments in NY and felt Lucky Strike's food brought a fresh take on many standard/"classic" dishes. I don't, however, consider myself to be an expert. Just an enthusiastic lover of all cuisines with roots in both Portland and New York.

Aug 10, 2009
brooklyndigest in Metro Portland

PNW Roadtrip -- Hwy 101 and I 5

One more:
Otis Cafe is about 3 miles north of Lincoln City. A casual spot for a fantastic breakfast. Lunches are solid, but maybe not amazing.

Aug 10, 2009
brooklyndigest in Pacific Northwest

PNW Roadtrip -- Hwy 101 and I 5

Check out Alloro in Bandon. Haven't been there personally, but I've eaten Chef Jeremy Buck's food elsewhere and it was truly great. He recently received a nice mention in the NYTimes. http://www.allorowinebar.com/index.html

Black Fish Cafe in Lincoln City is very solid. Definitely skews towards finer dining, but it's the coast, so it's still pretty laid back. http://www.blackfishcafe.com/index.html

Aug 10, 2009
brooklyndigest in Pacific Northwest

Portland Adventures

It sounds like you'll have a car, so I have two, far-flung Asian rec's for you.

Lucky Strike - Way out in SE P-town (SE Powell Blvd @ 122nd St). Amazing Szechuan food! Cold Sesame Noodles, Kung Pao Chicken, Beans on Beans, Guinness Braised Short Ribs - I think it's safe to say everything is delicious.

Yuzu - Beaverton (SW Canyon Road @ 117th St in strip mall). Japanese izakaya. Phenomenal. Simply phenomenal small plates. Anything you order is going to be wonderful. I think it blows Kasadella (in E Vill) out of the water. Try the shrimp paste-stuffed lotus root. Try everything. This is the kind of food you find mom 'n pop places in Japan.

Both of these places are tiny and in somewhat unassuming locales, but the food is spectacular and the service is very personable.

Aug 07, 2009
brooklyndigest in Metro Portland

Tailor?

The dining room is closed right now to fine tune the menu: http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2009/07...
Hope this helps!

Aug 06, 2009
brooklyndigest in Manhattan

Date Night tonight - Car Gdn/Cobble/Park Slope need recs!

I had a very nice meal at Bocca Lupo http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/... the meatballs are phenomenal, they have a solid wine list and the waitstaff is very helpful. It has casual/industrial vibe so it might not be romantic enough, but the food is great.

Jul 22, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Kensington recommendations?

OH! Smack down... dang :)

Anyway, I used to live in Kensington and I always really enjoyed the Russian meat Market/Deli counter called Select Meats (Church between 4th and 5th? - it has a dark blue awning with white font). Granted, the meat case isn't aiming for the Organic, Local, Slo-Fo movement, but it's pricing blows Foodtown on McD out of the water and it's GOOD... it was my go-to for fresh meat in the nabe when I didn't have time to get FD delivered or stop at a butcher. There is also a small but very affordable deli counter. Steamed ham for $4/lb, feta for $4/lb, and all sorts of other slicing cheeses and cold-cuts that are VERY reasonably priced. The dry goods are limited... but the best part is the woman (who I believe) owns it is so sweet. It's a small operation and one I was always happy to support. Agree w/ you on Golden Farm - I miss it so since I moved away...

Jul 10, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Cheap, healthy dinner rec's for Chelsea/Midtown West

Ate at Mooncake last night. Thanks for the great recommendation. It was spot on and so cheap!

Jul 10, 2009
brooklyndigest in Manhattan

Need recession reco's for East Village!

It might be too far south, but Congee Village on Allen (below Delancey) has been a solid, affordable stand-by for my friends and me for years. It's maybe not the best Chinese food in the city, but the menu and space is huge so you can easily fit a large group and please everyone's palates. We usually go in groups of 10 or more... with lychee martinis... maybe $20-25/head.

http://www.congeevillagerestaurants.com/

Jul 08, 2009
brooklyndigest in Manhattan

Cheap, healthy dinner rec's for Chelsea/Midtown West

Thanks! Mooncake might be the ticket... I think it will perfectly side-step her dislike of greasy and over-sauced (pedestrian) Chinese food. I know she likes the general flavors, she cooks plenty of Asian-style dishes at home.

Jul 08, 2009
brooklyndigest in Manhattan

Cheap, healthy dinner rec's for Chelsea/Midtown West

Meeting a friend for an early, easy dinner Thursday night. She needs to eat close to Penn Station to grab a train home and we are both pretty unfamiliar with the neighborhood. We want cheap, but healthy food. Parameters: it doesn't have to be fancy, though I'd prefer something nicer than glorified take-out, and she's not a huge fan of Chinese food. Any suggestions? The only place I've found with a slapdash search is Simple Kitchen (at 19th & 5th Ave), which seems fine, but might be more a market than cafe. Does anyone have any other suggestions for something farther north? Any insight to Simple Kitchen?

Jul 08, 2009
brooklyndigest in Manhattan

Patel Grocery in Sunset Park

This is very exciting... thanks for the rec!

Jun 23, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Sunset Park Groceries

I just moved back to the nabe after living in Kensington for 2+ years and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do my grocery shopping. When I lived there before I worked retail (non-traditional hours), so wandering over to 8th Avenue on a Tuesday to grab my produce and meat was never a huge drag. Now, with a 9-5 tucked in my back pocket, I find my only chance to head over there is on the weekend when everyone else is shopping = more folks, less lovely product... The Key Food on 5th across from the park is a little too far away from me to make it my mid-week, grab this-n-that spot and the Bravo on 4th and 49th (much closer to my house) charges decent prices on some things but is exorbitantly overpriced on other items.

My question, then, is what's your MO for getting fresh, decent quality, affordable produce/meat/seafood into your fridge? There's a butcher at 51st and 5th that closes before I get home from work... has anyone tried it? Has the produce at the 24 hour spot @ 50th and 5th improved from over 3 years ago? Obviously I'm capable of wandering around on my own two feet to figure this all out, but I thought I well-placed plea to fellow denizens would unlock some tasty secrets. Thanks in advance!

Jun 22, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Help with Portland and Willamette Valley stops.

Nick's Italian Cafe for lunch or dinner in McMinnville. New kitchen with wood-fired oven (phenomenal pizza - try potato & sage or speck & arugula), hand-cut pastas, killer wine list...

May 26, 2009
brooklyndigest in Pacific Northwest

salt & pepper squid in PDX?

I *just* went to Thien Hong during a quick visit home a couple of weeks ago. The squid was just as delicious (crispy outside, tender inside, perfectly cooked onions scattered around the top - and the salt! SO GOOD) as I remembered from years ago. Granted, the other dishes at Thien Hong are not quite as noteworthy, though I also love their garlic-sauteed pea tip shoots.

May 26, 2009
brooklyndigest in Pacific Northwest

Recession Eats!

ooh, that's both an obvious way to answer my question (i.e. I shoulda figured that out myself) and embarrassingly close to my house... thanks!!

Mar 11, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Fresh pecorino

'Pecorino' doesn't solely refer to one cheese (I imagine you're thinking of Pecorino Romano). It basically means 'sheep's milk cheese.' 'Pecora' means sheep in Italian... so... Pecorino! You can find pecorinos that are fresh, soft and runny to aged and crumbly.

Mar 10, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Fresh pecorino

How fresh? 3-6 months aged (think consistency of young Asiago) or younger? I used to help run the cheese counter at Park Slope's Blue Apron Foods (Union between 7th and 8th Aves) about three years ago and we carried Pecorino Fresco, with a blue daisy label. It was semi-soft, creamy and had just a little barny twang to it. A great breakfast cheese melted over hearty multi-grain bread... good luck!

Mar 10, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Good Russian Food in Brighton Beach

My roommate plans a yearly dinner at Tatiana's. She said it is something to experience, I've not been yet.

Though it's not for a sit-down dinner, I've always been a fan of the M & I Internat'l Foods upstairs cafe. Great for a cheap, simple lunch after a walk on the beach. Downstairs is a jam-packed emporium of counters that are good for take-out (great stuffed cabbage, white bean/tomato salad,carrot salad, etc), but be prepared to fight for your right to order.

Mar 10, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs

Recession Eats!

Where exactly on CIA can I find Madina? I've heard tell of it and I'm right by CIA on Church...

Mar 10, 2009
brooklyndigest in Outer Boroughs