RickTheClamBellyFan's Profile

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In search of good fried clams in the NYC/Long Island area

Just returned from Kennebunkport. Went to the Clam Shack a few times while there (Hey, it may not be the "best" but it ain't bad), and I have to say, Woodman's in Essex, MA is the best. Clam Shack is more than tolerable. Wait, that's not fair. it's good. Especially when you compare it to Bigelow's or some place like that, but Woodman's and Essex are better by a damned sight. That said, I'd rather be in Kennebunkport, eating whole bellies from the Clam Shack than to be stuck in Essex and eating a superior whole belly from Woodman's. Hahahahaha. Kennebunkport, and the whole coast going north from there, is just wonderful. To be fair, I think it makes the Clam Shack's food taste better just being in that wonderful place.

In search of good fried clams in the NYC/Long Island area

Nope. Just came back from Woodman's. Bigelow's is crap. Crap, crap, crap. And the coleslaw is supercrap. The French fries don't even deserve a mention, since they're mega-crap.

Favorite Long Island Restaurants

I hate to give it away for fear it will get crowded when I want to go, but Kiraku on Glen Head Road in Glen Head blows Kotobuki away. Been to Kotobuki, and frankly I couldn't figure out what all the crowds and fuss were all about. Not bad, certainly, but not up to the Kiraku standards either, and Kiraku is charming, where Kotobuki feels like a warehouse--a CROWDED warehouse.

Whole Belly (Ipswich) Fried Clams

So Chubby says anyway.

WESTBURY MUSIC FAIR

Robin, I like your idea of housekeeping in principle, but I sort of disagree in practical terms. Here's why: although it may be an old posting, any new reply is listed and therefore updates the old posting--voila! Not always, I understand, but often. Frankly, I appreciate an older posting with newer responses. It tells me that the restaurant is still around and updates us for quality, pricing and atmosphere. In the case of Nagashima, I notice on other boards that it still gets a decent to good review, and I had such a horrifyingly bad "sushi for 2" just 2 weeks ago that I feel it deserves another updated posting to indelibly state that it is absolutely L-O-U-S-Y. The fish is not fresh and it's not sashimi grade, so why bother? There are no deals there. Better to slide over one door to Frank's Steaks.

New to Glen Cove and looking for food!

The place in the Harborview shopping center is called Kotobuki. It's fair. It definitely does not deserve its reputation or the crowds it sports on Friday and Saturday nights. Better sushi, FARRRRRR better atmosphere: Kiraku on Glen Head Road in Glen Head. Try it once and I promise you won't brave the crowd again at Kotobuki.

Roadfood Winner

Just returned from a Maine (and other points in New England) vacation. I won't bore you with the superlatives concerning what we saw, but if you're ever in the Kennebunkport area, specifically in Arundel, there's a great outdoor roadside called Hoss and Mary's Tradewinds Cafe. Didn't have a chance to sample many things on the menu, though some of them sounded like wonderful roadfood options, but I did happen to woof down the freshest fried haddock sandwich I've ever had---it's just the best fish sandwich I've had in a long, long time. It's served on a roll with home made tartar sauce and really fresh farmstand sliced tomato and crisp iceberg lettuce and it was molto bene!!!! Gonna stop there every time I'm in the area, and we had such a relaxing time there that I'm sure I'll be back there for many summers to come as long as I'm on the planet. Definitely....when you need to take a break from the fried Ipswich whole belly clams at the Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, and from your insatiable quest for cheaper and cheaper lobster, do try Hoss and Mary's Tradewinds Cafe. on Rte. 1 and Log Cabin Rd. in Arundel, ME. Mary's a pisser anyway, even if you don't particularly like the food (which isn't possible)

Whole Belly (Ipswich) Fried Clams

Just returned from a Maine vacation. Had Clam Shack clams--good. On the way back to Long Island, however, I had to detour to Essex and try Woodman's. Fugedabbouddit. Woodman's beats everything I've had in years. I'm sure there are places as good on the Cape, but seriously doubt there are any better. I just have to find something within reasonable distance to the North Shore of Long Island. I can't be driving to Essex. Probably a good thing, I guess, that these things are rather expensive, fattening and most of all--far away. Or else I'd be eating them like M&M's. Now that my search for the best fried whole bellies is over, I can relax. They're not on Long Island. Bigelow's blows and Legal is a joke. They're not in Westchester County or southern Connecticut. There's a place in Westport that was passable, but really only a few degrees above Bigelow's, and certainly not worth the drive from Long Island. So........I can live with the notion that if I really want 'em, I'll have to order shucked piss clams online and shipped and either buy the kit or learn Woodman's ratio of cornmeal to flour and spice selection. Or...drive to the cape. Maybe I'll save that trip for when I'm super rich and have a seaplane that I can fly from here to Woods Hole. Then I woke up.

What's the skinny on Walter's Hot Dogs?

Yeah, I hear ya but so what? Hot dogs are still hot dogs and are still a hot topic on here. I figure someone will read it and respond. In fact...you did.

What's the skinny on Walter's Hot Dogs?

Oh, yeah! BlueSoup...I'm glad someone other than me remembers Cook's. SOOOOOO far superior to everything else of its ilk. Shame it's gone, 'eh?

What's the skinny on Walter's Hot Dogs?

Sorry....after hearing you guys talk about Walter's I figured it had to at least be a normal, decent dog even if it wasn't the "institution" it was being cracked up to be. Sorry again. What a waste of gas...and gas. Walter's is utterly underwhelming on every level, though I didn't have a shake. The curly fries and regular fries are just fries...nothing at all special. The hot dog is a total joke. A double, single or a puppy dog, which is half a friggin' hot dog. Gimme a break. Anything you want on these nearly tasteless, flat, split open drab tubes as long as it's mustard or ketchup. Wow...what a signature! The splitting open of the dog just lets whatever juices there were in these puppies at one time flow out to the cosmos. It's as bad as when a grill jockey takes a perfectly good hamburger that is charring away and leans on the spatula 10 times, squeezing all the juice out of it. The wait for this absolute joke of a hot dog can be interminable. Here's the flat truth: EVERY hot dog place I've ever been to is Walter's superior. From the fancy "Umbrella Room" on every corner in Manhattan to the best Katz's has to offer. But forget that. I can take a kosher hot dog or a Nathan's out of the freezer, wrap it in a paper towel and nuke it for 1:38, which is where I like it on my lousy nuke, and it will be so FAR better than what I had at Walter's it's not funny...oh, and I have stuff to put ON it if I want to. Sheesh...I've never seen branding without substance in greater display in my life. The skinny is that Walter's finds itself in a landmark building--a pagoda-shaped, copper clad structure that looks as if it belongs in the Forbidden City or at the Citadel in Hue, Vietnam. The building is the star. The food and service should be in the Forbidden City or at least just forbidden.

Favorite Sushi on LI (Nagashima, Jericho)

I sometimes buy tuna salmon and yellowtail from Tsubo to make at home. They're nice people too. What kills me about restaurants that sell bad sushi is it takes no special handling. Nearly all the tuna and yellow tail that is sold in the tristate area is frozen. It arrives in ultra-frozen blocks. All you need to do with it is thaw it properly and slice. I mean, come on. It's what else you do with it behind the bar that adds the artisan quality. I love to watch a good sushi chef at work.

Favorite Sushi on LI (Nagashima, Jericho)

Sorry, Doc....been to Kotobuki in Rosly. Suffered the crowd, finally was seated and finally ate. Finally got up and said, "Big friggin' deal." The officer in my local bank recommended it to me too. Sorry. It doesn't come close to Kiraku in Glen Head. However Kotobuki had a terrific fried oyster appetizer that was killer. I just don't get what the crowds are all about. I'd never go back there as long as Kiraku lives.

WESTBURY MUSIC FAIR

Just don't bother with Nagashima in Jericho on Jericho Tpke. We went there tonight and the maguro tuna was absolutely old, rotten, stinky ass crap. I'll never go back. Go to Kiraku in Glen Head on Glen Head Road, or Hinata on Bond Street in Great Neck.

Favorite Sushi on LI (Nagashima, Jericho)

Just got home from Nagashima. I'd eaten there a couple of years ago and thought it was fairly good. Well, I couldn't wait to get home tonight and post this because they deserve to be raked over the coals. I will NEVER...I repeat NEVER go back to this shit hole. What's the cardinal sin at a sushi bar? The rice ball can be too fat, the fish can be sliced indelicately and too thick, but the absolute deal-breaker has GOT to be lack of freshness. I've NEVER lifted a piece of Maguro tuna to my face and smelled FISH!!!!! This shit was absolutely old, and furthermore, I don't believe it was sushi grade. I swear I think it was tuna steak from the supermarket fish counter. This place is utter crap and I hope everyone finds out. In fact, I hope they go out of business, and I promise I'll spread the word as best I can to help them go out of business. So disappointed. OK...so here it is...so far, the two best sushi restaurants I've seen in Nassau County are: #1--Kiraku in Glen Head on Glen Head Road, and, 2) Hinata, on Bond St. in Great Neck. In that order..

Katz gets stingy

I agree with spends rent on food. Those guys will treat you the same. I mean, maybe if you stuck a 20 in the cup they wouldn't, but normally whether you tip reasonably or totally stiff the guy he's going to give you a sample at random (not each and every single orderer gets a sample) and the sandwich will be about the same, unless you ask for fatty. He'll stab you if you ask for lean LOL.

But I do happen to agree with jf mirabella, who said that the sandwich has gotten smaller. IT ABSOLUTELY HAS. Not a third the size as you say, but we all love hyperbole so we knew what you meant. It is definitely smaller than it once was. Big mistake?

Look, they never had to be as huge as Carnegie to beat them because they were a superior product, and they're all the way downtown, making them a tad more iconic because you have to go out of your way to get there (assuming that Carnegie caters more to tourists who have heard for eons about Carnegie Deli, but never really know quality). But Katz's product had heft nonetheless--just under 3/4 lb I believe. So, Katz's did it because they could. But they shouldn't have. Problem for us locals and suburbanites is that we're going to keep eating there, and we're going to get the new and definitely un-improved Katz's pastrami sandwich. Same cutters, same waitstaff, same stupid ass ticket, same quality....less meat.

Is it a tragedy? The loss of some things in NY is felt like miniscule versions of 9-11 because we so overly romanticize Manhattan, and why shouldn't we? Every great film director has done it and done it in precisely the way we do it--in a sensory way, but also visually. The reduction in size of Katz's world famous commodity is not only felt by our bellies (probably an overall good thing), but by our eyes. There was something about being eye-level with that sandwich's profile once it was slapped onto a plate in front of you that hit you right there. That doesn't happen anymore. It's just a deli sandwich to your eye now. Your taste buds still jump into action like Airborne Rangers, but there is a slight disappointment visually when you take the plate and begin to look for a seat. When you take another thing off the landscape it stings because each little change dissolves some of the color, texture and fabric of the past. Kat's....be smart. Don't mess around with institutions. Like it or not you ARE one. You may do it slowly so we don't notice that you're returning to status quo, but please...give us back that quarter pound, dudes!

Aug 07, 2009
RickTheClamBellyFan in Manhattan

best eats within 10 minute walk of penn station?

Tracks in Penn Station is probably better than anything around other than Keene's. Tracks has an incredible oyster bar too. Try the Rocky Points and die. Fantastic.

Jul 04, 2009
RickTheClamBellyFan in Manhattan

Salvaging tinny tomato sauce?

Don't know whether it's too late for YOUR sauce this time, but next time, if you find `tinniness' has been your problem the reason is probably that you used tomato puree, which seems to have a knack for making sauces tinny. Here's a remedy: after about 30 minutes of simmering, sprinkle about a teaspoon of baking soda over the top, let it sit for about 10 seconds, then stir through. Sauce will bubble up, but a lot of the acid and therefore "gas" will be relieved. Don't stir too hard or over-stir or you'll "break" your sauce. After the bubbling has stopped, stir through again, lower the temperature a bit and cover the pot for about 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes of further cooking, you may again remove the lid.

GODFATHER style Italian restaurant

Funny you should mention the McCloskey/Solozzo murder scene in the Godfather. You're looking for a restaurant like that? How about that exact restaurant? I can put you there. It's called John's Italian Restaurant and it's on 12th Street just east of 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. Very good, very southern Italian. Try it. You'll love it. Oh, and by the way, remember when McCloskey says, "Try the veal, it's the best in the city"? Well, the veal there is ONE of the best in the city anyway. My best friend has been a friend of John's for eons, and I have grown fond of this restaurant. Nothing fancy, but just as you described in your request. It's set up a little bit differently from the way it appeared in the movie, but not very differently. Same tablecloths though. Hey, I'll probably see you there!

Favorite Long Island Restaurants

Couple of good ones: Best Pizza: Fanatico in the Super Stop and Shop shopping center on North Broadway (Route 106) in the northern end of Hicksville (look for the Goodyear service center and drive to the absolute rear of the parking lot. Best pizza around.

Best Sushi: Kiraku on Glen Head Road in Glen Head (between Roslyn, Sea Cliff and Glen Cove)

New World Home Cooking, Woodstock, NY

I find the blackened green beans to be a whole lotta nothin. Big deal.

Katz's

You know, Blumie, I can't disagree with you, but I have to say (because I always seem to have to say) that I just don't like the thick slicing. Their flavor is unparalleled, their fries are great...no, they're fantastic. The dogs are, to me, the best in the city, even though I know they use the same dogs as many other places. It doesn't matter. Maybe it's the griddle guy, but whatever it is, I like their dogs best. The pastrami is unmatched, but again, if only they'd get a slicing machine and set it on a thinner setting than the human slicers seem to be able to effect. But, again, if all I have to complain about there is their silly ticket system and the thickness of the slicing, since I was there again just recently, I guess I'll have to admit that Katz's is pretty darned good, huh?

Feb 28, 2009
RickTheClamBellyFan in Manhattan

Best diner on Long Island??

If, with your breakfast, you like sausage, the Landmark Diner at Port Washington Blvd and Northern Blvd. has the best. It's similar to the sausage they use at Taby's, but it's not as greasy. It's obvious that they both deep fry them in the Fry-o-lator basket, but for some reason Taby's doesn't bother to shake off the excess oil. Neither will pass as health food LOL. For other food, don't bother with the Landmark, by the way. I'm just speaking about the breakfast sausage.

In search of good fried clams in the NYC/Long Island area

Sorry....I have no recollection whatsoever of the name of the place. I believe it was nearer to Bethel or possibly on the way to Newtown, somewhere along route 58 (57?). It's been so many years, I just can't conjure it up. Sorry. Believe me, if I could I would because it would be an almost tolerable trip for me to make for authentic clambellies, since there's nothing on Long Island except Bigelow's and Legal, and neither does it for me. Bigelow's at least LOOKS like the real deal. They are, as someone posted, greaseless and for the most part just crispy enough, but alas they lack flavor.

New to Glen Cove and looking for food!

Just remembered...great bagel place opened on Forest Ave. in the King Kullen shopping center. It's outrageously expensive (as an example, egg salad is about 14 bucks a pound!!!), but it's very good. It's right next door to the world's most expensive dry cleaners. They claim to be a "green" cleaner, but man, you can BUY a new version of the garment you're having cleaned cheaper than paying them to clean the old one. Best burger around is the Stabilizer at Buckram Stables in Locust Valley. Apart from that, you'll have to search. No good diners around, but we locals are grateful that they just tore down one of the worst: Old Brookville diner, affectionately known as OBD, was horrendous, and now it's gone. YAY!

New to Glen Cove and looking for food!

Matty...I can make this easy for you--but only for a few restaurants. Pizza: Abeetza, on the east side of Glen Cove Road in Greenvale, just north of Northern Blvd. Sushi: far and away the best sushi in the area...maybe in ANY area this side of Nobu...is a new place in Glen Head on Glen Head Ave. called Kiraku. Our favorite before this opened was Hinata in Great Neck, but the opening of this place makes traveling to Great Neck unnecessary. Our friends drive out here from Douglaston because they prefer Kiraku to Hinata. Unfortunately, there's not much good Italian food in the area, which is really strange considering the overwhelming Italian population. Marra's on School Street is pretty fair for some dishes. La Pace used to be world class--it stinks now. Same for La Bussola--lousy and way overpriced. Every Italian neighborhood has a cheap Italian place that's good. Stango's has that reputation, but is ill-deserved. It's pretty lousy. By the way, Abeetza has good pizza but not good sauces for its pasta. Even more ironic is the fact that they make home made pasta to sell. We ate pasta dishes there last week and they were horrid. Stick with the pizza. Best Chinese is also in Greenvale, on Northern Blvd., just west of Glen Cove Rd. It used to be a diner many years ago, and looks like it, but it's quite good and called Hunan Taste. In the neighborhood, especially for takeout, though, is China Palace in the Stop and Shop shopping center. Not great, but decent neighborhood Chinese. At least the Shanghainese chefs can make all three sauces: Cantonese, Szechuan and Hunan. Again, not great, but decent. Razzano's on Glen Street is decent for Italian specialties and provisions, especially meat and grocery, but their prepared foods, especially at the steam table in the back of the store, are dreadful. Oh, there's also a Karl Ehmer pork store on Glen Cove Rd. at the Greenvale/Brookville border. There's no seafood and no decent Greek/Turkish. For Greek/Turkish, definitely go to Chicken Kabob on Mineola Ave. (same as Willis Ave.) in Roslyn Heights, just north of the expressway. It blows Wild Fig (in Glen Cove) and anything else in its ethnic class away. Unfortunately, the best seafood in the general area are Riverbay in Williston Park (Willis Ave.) and Legal Seafoods (Walt Whitman shopping center in Huntington). Also unfortunate is the fact that BOTH are subpar--gives you some indication of how bereft the north shore of Long Island has become in the area of seafood. For something different, though, there's Cool Fish in Syosset, in an office park off Jericho Tpke.--quite good, though not a traditional fish house. If you find anything else that's good around here, please post. One thing that happens when you live in an area for a long time (I'm here since 1983) is that you stay away from places that used to be lousy but may have become good with new management over the years. It's possible that some of the bad ones have become good, so I'd love to hear about anything good you've discovered.

anyone out there with the le creuset risotto pot?

I don't like the risotto pot. Looks very nice, but a good risotto must flow, and you have much better control when using a pan/skillet than a pot, since risotto requires a lot of stirring, and when it's just right, you want to pour it out of the pan immediately. I find most people make risotto too gummy, letting it set up to thick. Pan better than pot, IMHO.

Sep 08, 2008
RickTheClamBellyFan in Cookware

The best Churrascaria in NYC and Long Island

Bairrada isn't as good as it was...at least it wasn't for me the last two times I went. The meat they slid down the skewer onto my plate definitely paled in comparison to previous visits. I'm gonna give it another shot, though. Perhaps I had two off nights in a row?

Aug 30, 2008
RickTheClamBellyFan in Manhattan

Best Pastrami Sandwich

Hey, cookies...that's IT! You've hit it on the head. I agree about Katz's Russian dressing being horrid, and I am a russian fan too for pastrami. I haven't been to Carnegie in years and haven't been to 2nd ave. Deli since the move, so I can't say, but I think I may have to try them. Forget Ben's, however. I know no one asked, but I'm just sayin'.

Aug 30, 2008
RickTheClamBellyFan in Manhattan

Best Pastrami Sandwich

Well, the quality I can't dispute, nor do I wish to dispute it, since nostalgically at least, I WANT to say that Katz's is the best. It helps to set us (NYC) apart from the rest of the free and not-so-free world. However, all that said, for me the fact that the slicing is so thick due to hand-carving, kind of brings it down a notch. In truth, it's always been true for me. I wish they could keep the quality that sets them apart from, as you say, the "uptown tourist" delis, but use the slicing machine. Either that, or somehow hone your skills so that you can slice it even thinner than you now do. But...it's still Katz's, and I'll always recommend it as the best--thickness of slice aside.

Aug 30, 2008
RickTheClamBellyFan in Manhattan