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Applause for Authentic Mexican in Akron -- La Taqueria Rancheros

I just stumbled across this post. Can anyone tell me if La Taqueria Rancheros is still open and still at the listed address?

Thanks!

Mar 18, 2011
luckygirl in Great Lakes

Good BBQ around Columbia, SC?

act417, would you please email me? luckygirl1333@yahoo.com

I used to manage the hotel next store to Millender's and I spent a lot of time with Mrs. Millender, her daughter in law and the rest of the staff. I would love to be able to get in touch with Mrs. Millender's D-I-L Betty.

TIA

Diane

Jan 14, 2011
luckygirl in Southeast

Sripraphai overrated

I don't think that the time of the evening had much to do with it as I made the same observations an hour earlier when I was at SPP waiting for my friend. In fact, it was those observations that prompted me to leave and give TCP a try.

You and I had the exact opposite experiences with the soft shell crab at TCP. I loved the perfectly balanced mango salad. I didn't find it sweet and it was made with fresh lime juice. I am sorry to think that TCP can be that inconsistent.

As to the question from another poster about my standards for Thai cuisine, it is true, they are high. I was hoping that SPP was going to be as good and the same type of Thai cooking I do, have been served by Thai home cooks and along the lines of LOS- LV. It wasn't even close.

Jan 14, 2011
luckygirl in Outer Boroughs

Sripraphai overrated

What I mean by restaurantized is that it is not fine cooking with an emphasis on being authentic but rather cooking for a large number of people with not much regard for the product (my opinion). Also, Americanized i.e. overly sweet instead of balanced, gloppy, thick sauces. While LOS cooks for a large number of patrons every day there is still a focus on making each dish the best it can be and there dishes are well done not typical Thai restaurant quality. Based on the few dishes I tried and on the many dishes I saw I have no interest in returning to Sripraphai but great interest in exploring more at TCP. I can tell you that whenever I'm at LOS and I see dishes go by that I've not yet had I always want to know what they are and can't wait to try them. I didn't see a single dish on another patrons table or being served at Sriraphai that left me interested in trying it.

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SriPraPhai
64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

Jan 13, 2011
luckygirl in Outer Boroughs

Old-fashioned Italian bread in Manhattan

Do you know the place for sandwhiched in SOHO, Alidoro? I think their semolina bread may be what your looking for. I love this bread, to me it is exactly the type of Italian bread that everyone used to make but that you can't find anymore. Maybe call them and ask what bakery they get their bread from. They have a note up in the shop that says but I can't recall of the top of my head.

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Alidoro
105 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

Jan 13, 2011
luckygirl in Manhattan

Sripraphai overrated

I couldn't agree more with the OP's premise that Sripraphai is overrated. After hearing and reading so much positive about the place I was greatly looking forward to trying it on a recent trip to NYC.

I was meeting a friend there and shortly after I arrived he texted me to say he wouldn't be able to join me for an hour or so. In my short time waiting for my friend at Sripraphai my expectations were already lowered when I saw a handful of dishes go by that looked to me like restaurantized Thai food- over sauced noodles, limp looking (over cooked) veggies and nothing smelled compelling.

I decided to pass the hour I had to wait for my friend by heading to Thailand's Center Point, the Thai restaurant a block away from Sripraphai that caught my attention when I walked by it.

I ordered the soft shell crab with mango salad and pork larb starters. The soft shell crab and mango salad were perfect. The mango salad had a nice amount of heat but most importantly it was in perfect balance. In fact, this soft shell crab was even better than that from my gold standard place for Thai, Lotus of Siam, LV.

The larb was equally impressive and again perfectly balanced, just the right heat, acid, and fish sauce. I especially lied that it was served with leaves of cabbage as I prefer to have it.

My friend joined me shortly after I had been served and got to enjoy both dishes with me.

A dish that was served at the table next to me piqued my interest and after inquiring I found out that it was a dessert dish of warm coconut milk with sliced bananas and toasted sesame seeds. The idea of warmed coconut milk with bananas so appealed to me on what was a cold night that my friend and I agreed to return to Thailand Center Point for dessert after having dinner at Sripraphai.

So we headed to Sripraphai for our meal. We were seated at maybe ten after nine and were abruptly (bordering on rudely) told that we had to get our order in right away because the kitchen closed at 9:30.

I decided on one of my favorite Thai dishes, khao soi. We decided that instead of ordering a second entree we would order the pork larb and do a comparison to the one we had just enjoyed at TCP. We also ordered a fish cake app.

Neither the larb nor fish cake was that great. The fish cake was average, not better or worse than most restaurants although the sauce served with it was the gloppy sweet jarred type vs. a nicely balanced sweet vinegar sauce as I prefer. The larb lacked spice, wasn't well balanced and the pork itself had a soft almost mushy texture that I didn't care for at all. There was no contest between this larb at what we had enjoyed at TCP. Sripraphai's version was a thoughtlessly made bed of mushy pork that had not enough lime juice, heat or toasted rice to make the dish what it is supposed to be.

On to the khoa soi, like the fish cakes themselves (minus the sauce) this was an average version of the dish. It was flat, lacking in profundity. When prepared well this dish has an incredible depth of flavor and a nice burn to it. Neither was present in this version.

While we were at Sripriphai I saw several other dishes being served that made me shake my head. A whole fish with a thick, gloppy sauce was one that just re-enforced what I was feeling- that this place is totally restaurantized Thai.

So, after we paid for dinner we went back to TCP for the warm coconut milk and banana dessert. It was wonderful, like the other two dishes we had enjoyed earlier it was perfectly balance. Not too sweet, the right amount of coconut milk vs. water to thin and a pinch of salt, not enough to discern but enough to balance the light sweetness and to make it pop.

As I mentioned earlier, Lotus of Siam, LV is my gold standard for Thai but beyond that I am an accomplished Thai cook. If I go out for Thai I don't want restaurant/Americanized Thai; I want home cooking Thai which is what I got at TCP but not from Sripraphai.

I enjoyed talking to the woman who is the chef at TCP and comparing noted on various ingredients we each are partial to (types of fish sauce, coconut milk etc) and how we feel about the use of other specific ingredients in our respective cooking. The place is owned by this woman and her husband. Their two daughters take care of the tables.

As I left TCP I was torn between feeling like I wanted to shout from the roof tops that this was the place for proper Thai vs. feeling that I don't want the place to become overrun as Sripraphai was and risk it loosing its genuine cuisine. It's a chance I'm taking because no one who cooks this well should play second fiddle to a lesser place.

I know that a few dishes does not an indepth comparision make but the dishes I had at each place plus those that I saw served to other tables was enough to tell me where I want to dine on return visits.

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SriPraPhai
64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

Thailand's Center Point
63-19 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

Jan 13, 2011
luckygirl in Outer Boroughs

Little Pepper update

Such a bummer. We went to Spicy Tasty since we couldn't go to Little Pepper. Not even close although their cumin lamb was worthwhile.

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Little Pepper
133-43 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354

Jan 13, 2011
luckygirl in Outer Boroughs

Little Pepper update

Any news?

Jan 05, 2011
luckygirl in Outer Boroughs

Little Pepper update

Thanks, rschwim. All updates are appreciated. I'll be there in two weeks and have my fingers crossed.

Dec 23, 2010
luckygirl in Outer Boroughs

Little Pepper update

Any news yet on the new location being open? I'm eager for a Little Pepper fix when I visit in a few weeks.

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Little Pepper
133-43 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354

Dec 22, 2010
luckygirl in Outer Boroughs

The great Bronx sfogliatelle showdown (with photos)

In light of an upcoming trip I will be making to the city I am bumping up this topic.

Any new ideas for notable places for sfogliatelle?

Any Manhattan dicoveries for good sfogliatelle?

Dec 21, 2010
luckygirl in Outer Boroughs

Soup dumplings/Shanghai-style Chinese in Detroit?

I suggest calling Shangri la in West Bloomfield. They serve very good dim sum and while I've never seen soup dumplings there I have a feeling that if you call ahead and request them they might make them for you.

Aug 28, 2009
luckygirl in General Midwest Archive

Campbell Apt.: Should I be Angry?

In a word, DISGUSTING.

I think you should start a campaign. Enlist as many folks as you can to go into the restaurant dressed in what would likely be considered "acceptable attire". These folks should order a soda, glass of wine, appetizer etc. (nothing more than that so as not to commit to shelling out anything more than an inconsequential amount of money) and once they have been served remove themselves to the restroom to change into the most obnoxious outfits they can come up with (horrid shoes and all) and then return to the table and continue on.

Can you imagine if a person or two a day did this for a few weeks. Better yet, how about a four top or party of eight on a busy night. The key to this is to start a movement, enlist the help of others so that it happens often and for a while. Give them a taste of their own medicine.

Oct 15, 2008
luckygirl in Not About Food

Recommendations for Northern MI: Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Good Hart, etc.

City Park Grill is a great casual spot with more than decent eats. They serve freshly made biscuts that are wonderful.

Tapawingo is open and there has been a change in chefs. Dinner at Tapawingo is really, really worth the drive from Good Hart and the setting is incredible.

Oct 15, 2008
luckygirl in General Midwest Archive

Great food in Cleveland

Anatolia is not as good as it was in the old location but it is still absolutely wonderful. I would say that they are running at 85% off what they used to. The salads on the app platter were all the same at the new place as they were at the old place and while they were so, so good, they were not all of what they used to be. The flavors didn't pop as much, almost as if some things were under seasoned relative to how they used to be. They have stopped making their own bread and yogurt. The yogurt that they're using is really good but the bread is not. Back when they made their own pita it was so wonderful and when they stopped making their own and moved to pita from Alladin ( I think that's where they were getting it from) I could still enjoy it but now they are using some sort of commercial- Sysco pita style bread and I think it's awful. Oh well, I can enjoy everything at Anatolia without bread anyway!

Oct 08, 2008
luckygirl in General Midwest Archive

Do you bring your own containers to restaurants?

Who wastes zip-lock bags? I re-use them until they fall apart :). I also re-use foil bit cling wrap is a waste. I never use cling wrap for food.

Oct 08, 2008
luckygirl in Not About Food

Is it fair to be dismissive of a place that doesn't offer no-charge water?

There is a locally owned place near where I live that serves very good Mexican food with a nice mix of other South American dishes but, no tap water. I put up with the the no water policy a few times but after my last visit when I went into the restroom to refill the water bottle that I had purchased I said no more. It's to ridiculous of a notion not to give your patrons water for me to go back to this place.

Oct 06, 2008
luckygirl in Not About Food

Do you bring your own containers to restaurants?

How is it tacky to use one's own container that can be re-used vs. one that is not re-usable but provided by the restaurant. Also, do you really think that folks are taking in nasty, dirty old containers or are you just being crumudgeny? I think the idea of leaving uneaten food is as offensive as using styro or cardboard single use containers recycled or not). Waste is waste and I find waste poor etiquette not taking home left overs. I guess we can agree to disagree.

Oct 05, 2008
luckygirl in Not About Food

Do you bring your own containers to restaurants?

That was a neat story until you got to the part about being critical of your dining partner in such a way on a public forum. It could be argued that that is tackier than taking home food from a restaurant in one's own containers :)

I was never wild about the act of a server bringing a container out to the table to pack up a customer's left overs or worse, to leave the container on the container for the customer to pack however, since this is the way many places do it now days I fail to see how using one's own container vs. a non-reusable one provided by the restaurant is tacky. I guess it depends on one's perspective; being wasteful and excessive packaging is tacky to me.

Oct 05, 2008
luckygirl in Not About Food

Do you bring your own containers to restaurants?

Oh, I see im_nomad. As far as taking a whole pizza home I would take a pizza box and then save the pizza box to re-use. I don't order take out pizza but I do order baked items from a few local places and I always save and re-use the boxes from those places.

I hear you about plastic. I prefer to stay away from plastic but I would rather use plastic containers the can be reused for some things than use throw away containers. At home I use mostly glass containers for left overs that go into the fridge but use plastic containers for freezing. I always re-heat on the stove top though my husband will re-heat in the microwave but he takes the food out of plastic containers before he does so.

Oct 05, 2008
luckygirl in Not About Food

Do you bring your own containers to restaurants?

I use those square plastic containers from Ziploc. You can take the lids off and nest more than one container inside itself and put the lids on the top one.

Re. pizza, slice or two usually fits in those short, square Ziploc boxes (we're talking smaller round, thin crust brick oven style pizza not large pizzeria style slices. By the time we're done eating the pizza is cool enough that I can put a few pieces one on top of the other without worrying about the toppings sticking to other slices.

If I were going to a pizzeria type place I suppose I would pack a pice of foil in my bag. In fact, now that I think of it I think I will keep foil in my bag in the car where I keep my plastic containers.

Funny thing- When I go to the farmer's market or my usually grocery I always remember to bring my bags in to the store with me but when I stop at a grocery that's not my normal store or when I'm at a non-grocery store I almost always forget to bring my bag in with me. I'm working on that.

Oct 05, 2008
luckygirl in Not About Food

Great food in Cleveland

I second the recommendations for Moxie and Fire (if you have a car). They are two of our city's best, Fire especially for locally grown and produced meats and vegies.

I'm not a fan of Table 45. After a few experiences there (including a recent visit) I just wouldn't suggest it. It's just not that great and certainly not the best our great city has to offer.

I also second the rec for Anatolia, very good Turkish food.

One of my faves that hasn't been mentioned is Cedarlands on Euclid. It is a pain to get to by car right now because of construction but you can hop on the Euclid Ave bus for a few stops and not have to worry about driving. Cedarlands is directly across from the Clinic in a small strip mall. They serve wonderful Lebanese fare, the best baba ganoosh ever.

Oct 05, 2008
luckygirl in General Midwest Archive

Do you bring your own containers to restaurants?

My husband and I dine out often and we almost always have significant amounts of dinner left even when we share a meal. The amount of packaging involved with taking home left overs has always troubled me so I started taking a small container or two (something I can throw in my purse) with me for left overs when dining out. Usually when we have leftovers its something relatively small, let's say two pieces of pizza and I loathe the thought of a big box being wasted. We hardly ever do carry out but if I did I would ask if I could bring my own containers to pack up the order. I do carry out soup from time to time and bring my own containers for that. My biggest issue is that I often forget to bring a container in from the car.

As far as carryout containers go, I have a friend who does a lot of carry out and he keeps a stack of the plastic boxes and lids from the carryout. When I think of it I take some of those off his hands to use at our house for leftovers for friends. We have family and friends over regularly and I'm happy to put his containers to use for our leftovers that we send home with folks.

Oct 05, 2008
luckygirl in Not About Food

1 Dinner in D.C. - What's Your Favorite?

I encourage you to dine at Vidalia. I don't think their kitchen has ever been better!

Feb 04, 2008
luckygirl in Washington DC & Baltimore

Columbus vs Cleveland, a stomach's point of view

I was born in Columbus, raised in Cleveland and spent most of my adult life moving around the country living in various cities large and small. I LOVE Cleveland and am very pleased to be calling it "home" again.

I travel a lot and check out the food scene where ever I go both in terms of dining and markets. I have always maintained that Cleveland is a great food city both for its quality ethnic options and for its independent scene.

In addition to the indie and ethnic dining options, we in Cleveland are very lucky to have GREAT produce markets that focus on organic and locally grown produce and locally raised meats. Most notable are the two North Union Farmer's Markets: one at Crocker Park on the west side of town and the second at Shaker Square on Cleveland's east side. The Shaker square market is open almost year round. You can get beautiful locally grown lettuces in the middle of winter! In addition to the two NUFMs there are many other smaller markets throught greater Cleveland in the summer months. We are VERY fortunate in Cleveland when it comes to options for locally grown/raised meats and produce.

It seems to me that there is more of a food community in Cleveland vs. Columbus. I participate in many dining and cooking groups in Cleveland and have never felt that there is such a rich food community in other cities where I've lived except for San Francisco.

Living on the lake is another selling point to Cleveland. In addition to offering us local fish, Lake Erie gives our city a greatly different feel from the land locked Columbus.

I don't dislike Columbus but Cleveland and Columbus it definatley have very different vibes. Cleveland is also an older city with more to offer culturaly (IMO).

Oh, and Cleveland has The Velvet Tango Room. Hand crafted cocktails in a cocktail lounge, not bar, setting, oh my.

Feb 02, 2008
luckygirl in General Midwest Archive

Clevelanders East AND West: Fave Ethinic place?

There isn't really great Indian food in Cleveland restaurants IMO. For my money, Jaipur is about the best of what there is to be had. I do like the masala dosa on the menu at Saffron Patch (same owners as Jaipur I think).

Jan 07, 2008
luckygirl in General Midwest Archive

Locating spices in Akron-Cleveland Ohio

I just got home from Nature's Bin in Lakewood. I happen to notice that they have gumbo file while I was looking for another spice.

You can find fenugreek in any Indian or Middle East import store. Are there any in Wooster?

Jan 07, 2008
luckygirl in General Midwest Archive

Best Corned Beef Sandwich in Michigan...

I've also got to direct you to Zingerman's. They make with no doubt the best reuben I've ever had, anywhere, ever. First of all the CB is exceptional; wonderful flavor and texture, just the right amount of fat. The CB is not too salty nor is the sour kraut. The bread is out of this world and is an integral part of the flavor of the sandwich. The nutty cheese (emmenthaler?) also adds to the sandwich. Finally, the house made Russian dressing is SO good! This sandwich is definitely the sum of many fine parts.

For the best pastrami likely to ever have call Mr. Brisket and ask him to ship some to you. http://misterbrisket.com/

Dec 16, 2007
luckygirl in Great Lakes

Sushi/Japanese recs in NE Ohio?

Howdy Stuart,

Do you know who is opening Ariyoshi?

Dec 16, 2007
luckygirl in General Midwest Archive

San Jose: Underground Eats

katya,

Thanks for posting this link. As a result of reading about Zeni from the link, my hubby and I had our first Ethiopian meal there on our recent visit to the area. We are well versed in many world cuisines but have never exposed ourselves to Ethiopian until now. We are thrilled at this wonderful cuisine that has been opened up to us!

Dec 16, 2007
luckygirl in San Francisco Bay Area