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Confusing Pork Cut

Thanks everyone for all your responses!

Dec 05, 2010
empecot in Home Cooking

Confusing Pork Cut

So I sent my husband to get pork belly, but the butcher was out, so I told him to get a pork loin roast. He returned home with a package, about 1 pound, labeled "Pork Bone-in Center Cut Roast."
Inside the package are two pieces of pork that basically look like pork chops, but I'm confused by the label and can't say for sure what cut these are and how to prepare them.

Help!!!

Dec 04, 2010
empecot in Home Cooking

Sushi Mori Tonight--feeling intimidated...

Oh.my.god.
Our omakase tonight was AMAZING! We sat in front of Morisan and had some lovely conversation with him. He's a very relaxed and congenial, which made the experience much less intimidating.
The sushi was incredible. Two kinds of sea urchin (one local from Santa Barbara, the other from Japan) were so good I wanted to cry. Two kinds of toro, incredible. Barracuda, which I can now say I've eaten, was so yummy.
The cooked dishes in the beginning were also very good, but the sushi was definitely the highlight.
After a lot of food, he asked us what we would like to have last, which I thought was a nice touch. The meal ended with a plate of local melons that were wonderful (and a candle to celebrate our anniversary).
The total for two people, with a glass of wine, two beers and a cup of green tea was $400 without tip. A bit more than we thought it would be, but such a memorable experience for a special occasion that we felt it was worth it.
Anyway, thanks for your responses!

Oct 06, 2010
empecot in Los Angeles Area

Sushi Mori Tonight--feeling intimidated...

My husband and I are visiting L.A. this week and are going to Mori tonight for our anniversary.

Although we've done a decent amount of traveling and eaten at many great restaurants, we've only done high(ish) end sushi omakase once. It was delicious, but we certainly didn't feel like we knew enough about Japanese food to fully appreciate it.

We have reservations to sit at the bar, which I've read is a must, and we plan on getting the omakase.
So, my questions are:

1. Generally, how much is the omakase there? I've read around $125, but I also came across someone who said it was in the $200's.
I just don't want my husband to have a heart attack when the bill comes :-)

2. What do people generally wear there? I figured it was at least business casual, but I guess I'm trying to determine what the crowd is like. Young and Hip? Older and more "foodie-ish"?

3. I've read that the omakase includes a decent amount of cooked dishes as well as sushi, which is fine with me. I'm just trying to get a better sense of what to expect and if there's anything we should specify.

Anyway, thanks in advance for your help!

Oct 06, 2010
empecot in Los Angeles Area

Urgent: Jitlada or Sanamluang?

Thanks again everyone for all the quick replies!

We had a good, but not great meal at Jitlada. We ordered dishes that they're supposed to be known for--morning glory salad, Crying Tiger Beef, Whole Seabass with Turmeric.
The morning glory salad was delicious. The Crying Tiger Beef tasted good (way spicy!), but the meat was a bit tough for my taste. The fish, which looked amazing, was nice and crispy on the outside, but I think it may have been fried too long or at too high temperature because the flesh was quite dry. Also, "market price" ended up being $35, which I find unbelievable.

Overall, we're glad we tried it, but we're still partial to Sripraphai (or perhaps we just prefer Northern Thai to Southern Thai?).

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Jitlada
5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Oct 06, 2010
empecot in Los Angeles Area

Urgent: Jitlada or Sanamluang?

Thanks everyone for the quick response! Jitlada it is!

Oct 05, 2010
empecot in Los Angeles Area

Urgent: Jitlada or Sanamluang?

My husband and I are currently visiting LA from NYC and are thinking about going for Thai food tonight (already done Korean, doing Sushi Mori tomorrow night, Mexican, etc) and we're trying to figure out where to go.

I've heard good things about both Jitlada and Sanamluang, but I don't know which one we should try. We've had Thai food in Thailand, but we are by no means experts. The best we've had outside Thailand would be Sripraphai in Queens, so that's kind of our basis for comparison.

Maybe we shouldn't do Thai at all and do something else (Vietnamese?) instead?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

-----
Jitlada
5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Oct 05, 2010
empecot in Los Angeles Area

CLOSED: Cono & Sons O'Pescatore

No more calamari heroes?!!!!!! Noooo! Sadness!!!
Cono's is such a neighborhood mainstay--I never thought it would close! What's next? Fortunato's?!
And yeah, Motorino=overrated.

Sep 26, 2010
empecot in Outer Boroughs

Puerto Rico--South and West Recs. No San Juan, please.

Hi!

My husband and I are returning to Puerto Rico next week and will be staying in Guanica for most of our trip. We haven't really explored this part of the island, but we are looking for recs anywhere in the vicinity (Guanica, Ponce, La Parguera, Cabo Rojo, etc).
We already have our favorite places in San Juan and I have family in that area so we really don't need recs there.

Thanks in advance!

Restaurant recs for 40th bday trip to NOLA

In my experience Brigsten's was ok, but Cochon was mind-blowing. I would also highly recommend Dick and Jenny's. Even my Louisiana native in-laws were impressed by Dick and Jenny's.

May 28, 2009
empecot in New Orleans

Beer -- Best place to buy bottles and growlers in Manhattan?

Whole Foods on Bowery has a great beer market where they fill growlers.

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Whole Foods
95 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

May 28, 2009
empecot in Manhattan

Williamsburg/Greenpoint CSA: reviews?

Hi,

I know it's a bit late to respond to this post, but I felt that I should give my input since I've been a member of this CSA for the past Summer season and the last 2 winter seasons. Also, jamesl8n's answer didn't seem very helpful...
Full disclosure: I recently joined the Core Group, which is the volunteer group that organizes this CSA. Obviously I wouldn't have joined this group if I didn't support the CSA or feel that I could help improve the CSA.
So, my husband and I get a half share (every other week) of fruit/veg/eggs/flowers. We've been very pleased with the amount of food we've received and have found it to be plenty of food for the two of us although if you are vegetarian you may want a full share. Concerning variety, I think there was generally a good amount of variety, but there were also some reliable "staples" like mixed salad greens, green beans, tomatoes and then there would be something new and intriguing like kohlrabi or purslane. We were especially impressed with the fruit share which provided an abundance of berries, which tend to be very expensive at the green market and stone fruits like peaches and plums.
In my experience I've found that there are several things that Garden of Eve produces really well, like tomatoes, eggs and most greens. Then there are other things that I think they're still trying to improve like their Arugula, which can be stemmy and holey. However, those cherry tomatoes that are as edible as candy make up for the sometimes lackluster other products. Also, some people have complained that the Garden of Eve stand at the McCarren green market has more variety than the CSA shares, which is sometimes the case, but the CSA has been pretty good about explaining how the farm works and why the CSA gets some things and doesn't get others.
Also, as far as I'm concerned, the cost comparison between the CSA and the green market is hands down in favor of the CSA. I get so much more from my CSA than I could afford to buy at the market and I like knowing that paying the farmer in advance really helps them with the farm.
As far as the food itself is concerned I think that it's a good CSA and I've been happy with it. And as far as the organization itself is concerned, I know that there are many good, conscientious people involved who are working really hard to improve upon what is already a great CSA that has become so popular that we've begun to sell out of our shares.
Well, I don't know if this answer is helpful now, but I hope it's helpful to people for future reference.

Apr 19, 2009
empecot in Outer Boroughs

What to do with smoked scallops?

I just came back from Alaska and purchased some frozen smoked scallops at the wonderful 10th and M Seafoods in Anchorage. Smoked scallops sound so interesting, but now I have no idea what to do with them. An interesting salad maybe? With grits maybe? With mashed root veg maybe?
Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
Thanks!

Mar 18, 2009
empecot in Home Cooking

Alaska Trip Report

I can't believe they just had a huge fire! I ate there only a week ago! Well, hopefully they'll rebuild because those sour pancakes are great.

Mar 18, 2009
empecot in Pacific Northwest

Alaska Trip Report

Just came back from a wonderful trip to Alaska and thought I'd give an update on the food scene.

Anchorage:

We had a wonderful, but very rich meal at Simon and Seaforts, which has a great view of Cook Inlet. Their stuffed halibut is to die for! Good wine list as well. Our go-to spot in Anchorage.

The White Spot is a tiny greasy spoon in downtown Anchorage that has a wonderful fried halibut sandwich. It's everything a fish sandwich should be and their fries and coleslaw (surprisingly made with a squirt of Sriracha) were fantastic too. Great locals atmosphere.

10th and M Seafoods is the perfect place to pick up some jars of smoked salmon to bring home. They also have lots of varieties of frozen smoked fishes, including smoked scallops, which I can't wait to eat. They're really great about packaging things up with ice for the trip home. You can also mail order from them.

The Glacier Brewhouse is a very popular restaurant also downtown. It's a good place for a late night dinner. Their beers are good and their food is pretty good, but not great.

The Moose's Tooth is another brewery that is located somewhat near the airport. They specialize in pizzas and beer. Their brews are really good and the pizzas were pretty good (very unique) and I say that as a New Yorker :-)

Talkeetna (cutest little town on Earth!):

Since we were in Talkeetna in winter during the off-season most of the restaurants were not open. However, of the few that were open, Talkeetna Roadhouse was soooo good. Their baked goods, including sourdough pullmans, scones and their "famous" gooey cinnamon buns are so good and moist. They are great for brunch as well. Delicious biscuits and gravy made with venison, I believe, and their sourdough pancake specials are tasty.

West Rib Inn is sort of a tourist friendly locals bar with a decent Alaskan and Pacific Northwest microbrews. Their hamburgers are pretty good as well and they have some really great Denali climbing memorabilia.

Mountain High Pizza Pie was ok. We had pizza with reindeer sausage, which was tasty, but the pizza was a bit soggy and not too flavorful. Given the limited options in Talkeetna this time of year it was an inexpensive and filling meal.

Our flightseeing pilot said Wildflower Inn was a great place for dinner. However, we tried to go on a Sunday and they were closed, but it's supposed to be good.

Cubby's Grocery, which is located on Parks Hwy just before the Talkeetna Spur Rd. is a great place to pick up a few things for cooking in your cabin. I was amazed to find things like Hoisin Sauce and grapefruits in a tiny town in Alaska. We bought provisions for a nice Cassoulet with buffalo sausage.

Fairbanks:
Two Rivers Lodge is about 45min. outside Fairbanks on Chena Hot Springs Rd. It's a great place for an upscale dinner and the view is beautiful. We even saw the Northern Lights on the drive back to Fairbanks. Everything we ate at Two Rivers was delicious including the reasonably priced (for Alaska) King Crab Legs.

Silver Gulch Brewery in Fox just outside of Fairbanks was also good. The beers, especially the Epicenter Ale, are excellent and the food was good. The service was atrociously slow, but the great beer made up for it.

Sam's Sourdough Cafe near the University is a good locals brunch spot. Their sourdough pancakes were really sour and good. Also, the reindeer sausage was cooked up like kielbasa and it was really good.

College Coffeehouse also near the University has great espresso. In fact, all the espresso I had in Fairbanks, including the little drive-thru espresso huts all over town, were really good. No need for sugar in that latte!

Gambardella's Italian Restaurant downtown was a nice place for lunch. They are known for their lasagna, which was delicious. My friend in Fairbanks says it's better for lunch than for dinner.

Ichiban Noodles is a weird little Asian restaurant that is open til midnight. They have all sorts of Asian dishes including Bibimbop and lots of noodle bowls. The food was kind of meh, but if you're looking for late night food in Fairbanks this is probably your best bet. Apparently Fairbanks has some good Thai food, lots of Thai restaurants around town, but we didn't have time to go to any of them. I'm slightly skeptical about Thai in Alaska, but you never know.

Chena Hot Springs Resort was definitely worth visiting for the actual hot spring and for the ice museum, but the food and accommodations are a total rip off. Their mangy, old restaurant had king crab legs for $50 and the sandwiches that we ordered (knowing that the food would be awful and not wanting to pay too much) were $15 for a lousy sandwich with cold cuts on a spongy croissant. If you're going to stay overnight there (rooms are quite threadbare), just stay for one night and bring your own sandwiches and snacks. Or you can get some ramen noodles at the little cafe there. Since there are a lot of Japanese tourists there the cafe carries a few unexpected items, but it's still a major ripoff.

The Great Alaska Bowl Company in Fairbanks sells handmade wood bowls that are beautiful. Their big salad bowls are expensive, though. They also have things like Alaskan Fireweed Jelly (delicious!) and reindeer and salmon jerky.

Well, I think that covers everything.

We encountered some really great food in Alaska if you know where to look.
I will say though that every restaurant that served salmon and halibut served it with some type of cream sauce, which is fine, but I would've liked to have seen some simpler preparations of such great fish. I guess the whole great ingredients, simple preparation gourmet food thing hasn't made it to Alaska yet. I'd be much happier with a very precisely cooked piece of Alaskan salmon with hardly anything on it than a slightly overcooked piece with an albeit tasty, but much too rich sauce. Alaska certainly has the whole hearty food thing going. It was nice to be someplace with good local beers!

Mar 16, 2009
empecot in Pacific Northwest

What's the furthest North you have ever found grits?

I saw them on a menu in Talkeetna, Alaska.

Mar 16, 2009
empecot in General Topics

Top Chef-Last Meal (Spoiler)

Sheesh, such puritans on this board! Didn't anyone else read "Kitchen Confidential"? Top "kitty" is nothin'!

Feb 12, 2009
empecot in Food Media & News

One more knife question- What are your favorite knives?

I use my 8" chef's, a paring knife and my steak knives, which double as utility knives. Shun is my favorite brand, but brands are really a personal thing. A bread knife is a must even if you don't find yourself slicing bread frequently. I recommend the Victorinox 10" bread knife, which cost about $20.
I also own a cheap tomato knife thinking it would be useful, but it's really just a waste of money if you have other good knives.

Nov 15, 2008
empecot in Cookware

Eight O'Clock Ranch CSA

Hi,

A friend recently told me about Eight O'Clock Ranch and I'm interested in joining their CSA, but I wanted to find out if anyone else has had any experience with their CSA or their meats in general.
I'm trying to determine if I should get a full share or half share of the mixed meats and what cuts of meat I might get in a share.
Also, if anyone knows where I could buy their meats in NYC I would love to give their stuff a try before committing to the CSA.
Any other feedback anyone has would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!

Oct 15, 2008
empecot in Manhattan

Eight O'Clock Ranch CSA

Hi,

A friend recently told me about Eight O'Clock Ranch and I'm interested in joining their CSA, but I wanted to find out if anyone else has had any experience with their CSA or their meats in general.
I'm trying to determine if I should get a full share or half share of the mixed meats and what cuts of meat I might get in a share.
Any feedback anyone has would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!

Bad night at Persimmon (long...)

After reading the glowing reviews from practically every food critic in town my husband and I decided to give it a try last night. We haven't had much time for a nice meal lately, so we were really looking forward to this one. Alas, it was not a fun evening...
We started the evening with high expectations, yet, as the night continued, we kept lowering and lowering our expectations as each course came out (we had about 30-40 min. between courses to lower those expectations...).

First off, it is no longer a BYOB restaurant. The host explained to us when we entered with our bottle of wine that they are working to get their liquor license and that they could not have any alcoholic beverages on the premises. Our only choice for beverages were juices or water, not even a nice tea or anything. The tangerine juice did taste good, at least. So much for our romantic night out over a bottle of wine.

My husband and I generally consider ourselves very patient and willing to forgive many mistakes, but, honestly, the service was atrocious. The servers were aloof and avoided eye contact with us when, after waiting 30 minutes for our first course, we gave them the "what the f*#! is going on?!" stare. We watched as a trio of chatty young women next to us who had ordered right before us received course after course while ours came at a snails pace. We actually timed how long it took between the Mid and the Main: a whopping 40 minutes (with no alcohol to keep us happy!).
Slumped over the table with an empty juice glass I looked toward the kitchen and noticed the servers, the chef and the cooks all in a huddle, looking very stressed. Shortly after that the server brought me another juice and apologized haphazardly and said our meal was coming. No course on the house or anything that any other posters have mentioned. By this point (around 9:30 for a 7:30 res) we were starving! Even after we finally received our mains no one came by to check on us or even refill our waters.
Defeated, we consumed the final "course" of sesame candies and brown rice tea (more on the food in a minute) and watched the waitress very quickly drop the check without a word and scurry off. My husband promptly set out the credit card (our meal had stretched to 3.5 laborious hours by this point) and we waited some more for someone to ring up our check. Finally he just got up and took it to her. At $92 including tip, which granted, is "cheaper" than a meal at Ko, this kind of service is simply not acceptable.

The food: The menu has changed as of about 2 days ago. I'm not sure if this new menu has anything to do with how the kitchen was turning out food, but, unfortunately, there was not one single course that blew either of us away and, in fact, most of it was simply not good. Let me just say that we are not particularly picky people and I'm not one to write soliloquies about subtle flavors. Either it tastes good or it doesn't. Also, we don't know all that much about Korean food, so I can't say I know how each of these dishes should have tasted by traditional Korean standards. I just know that it wasn't good.
Course 1: Stuffed Squash Blossoms- Limp, soggy little specimens. Flavor-wise they were ok, but the sauce was a bit cloyingly sweet.
DH had Beef with Melon Sauce- Dull, flavorless pieces of tartare with a very boring relish.

Course 2: Bo Ssam (Pork Belly with Kim Chi)- The pork belly was dry and flavorless (how is this possible?!) and the "leaves" were nothing more than soggy pieces of cabbage.
Cuttlefish- I can't remember what it was supposed to be stuffed with, but it was bad. As my husband described it "flavorless pieces of nubby rubber." Enough said.

Course 3: Fluke Sashimi with scallions and Arrowroot Noodles- This consisted of a giant portion of very overcooked noodles (it was one big, sticky ball of noodles), a reasonable portion of fresh Fluke, which was pretty good, a lot of scallions and a slightly bitter, licorice-y shredded green. It was a strange dish, actually. It was like simple take-out sesame noodles topped with Sashimi and stuff. The dish didn't come together at all.
DH had Kimchi Stew with Pork Belly- Again, the pork belly was inexplicably flavorless and the broth was lacking depth. The best part of this course and arguably the whole meal was the pickled garlic cloves served with the banchan.

"Course" 4: The palate cleanser "course" was a water and rice porridge for me and a yam gazpacho for my husband. Nothing really to say about this "course."

Dessert was simply a cup of cold brown rice tea and some sesame candies (3 candies for 2 people to share).

This was one of the most disappointing meals I've had in a while. I really wanted to like this place and I feel slightly bad writing a negative review, but this really was unacceptable. Again, $92 doesn't break the bank, but I expect a lot more for that price. I think I'll save up my pennies for our next Ko visit...

Aug 26, 2008
empecot in Manhattan

Whole Wheat Pullman/Pain de Mie

Thank you so much! This is great.
I will probably experiment with buttermilk in lieu of 6 tbl. butter and 1 cup of milk (trying to avoid that much butter). I'm a novice bread baker, so the results could be disastrous, but I will report back if the results are good.

Thanks again!

Aug 07, 2008
empecot in Home Cooking

Whole Wheat Pullman/Pain de Mie

Hi,

I've become fed up with supermarket sandwich breads so I recently purchased a pullman pan to make my own.
I found this recipe on King Arthur's website for 100% Whole Wheat Pain de Mie
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/R...

However, I have two issues with the recipe:
1. It calls for a 13" pullman pan, but I have a 15.75" pan and, being a bit of a novice when it comes to bread baking, I don't really know how to appropriately adjust the recipe for my longer pan.
2. It calls for 6 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of milk, which seems like a lot to me. I'm wondering if there's anyway to sub in buttermilk for some or all of the fat/moisture in this recipe.

Do any of you bread experts out there have some suggestions for me?

Big thanks in advance!

Aug 06, 2008
empecot in Home Cooking

Best Cannoli????

Definitely Fortunatos! They are so good! However, I must clarify, it's in Williamsburg off the Lorimer St. stop, not Greenpoint.

Aug 02, 2008
empecot in Manhattan

Dick and Jenny's or La Petite Grocery

Hi,

My husband and I will be taking his parents to dinner this week, but I'm not sure which restaurant has better food and atmosphere.

Can anyone give me their thoughts about the merits or demerits of each restaurant?

Thanks!

Jun 01, 2008
empecot in New Orleans

Houma, Lafayette, Baton Rouge-Looking for Good Eats!

Thanks for your response and for the tip on Houmas House!
I'm a bit surprised to hear that you encountered such bad or mediocre meals in an area of the country that has such a rich culinary reputation.
I was sort of hoping for the quintessential greasy roadside bayou experience--maybe that's a romanticized version of Louisiana that us Yankees are led to believe in :-)
I guess we'll savor our meals in New Orleans!

May 30, 2008
empecot in General South Archive

Houma, Lafayette, Baton Rouge-Looking for Good Eats!

Anyone...?

May 29, 2008
empecot in General South Archive

Houma, Lafayette, Baton Rouge-Looking for Good Eats!

Hello,

My husband and I will be driving to the above places starting in NO (we already have plenty of recs for NO), and we're looking for the best local eats along the way. We love to eat anything, especially seafood and spicy foods. Mostly looking for casual restaurants and roadside greasy spoons with really good chow.
Also, we'll be visiting some plantation homes, including Oak Alley, and would like to find good recs for post-tour eating.

Big thanks in advance!

May 27, 2008
empecot in General South Archive

Food Network Blurb..EAT LESS MEAT

Frankly, if someone watching that is undereducated enough to be watching Food Network and not know about grass-fed/Organic/Humane meat then perhaps telling them to eat less meat is a good thing.
Many of the chefs and "chefs" on Food Network will say something like, "We're using a beautiful, free-range chicken..." when they are making something. People, especially people who proclaim to be "foodies," should know by now the importance of finding out where your food comes from. If they can't be bothered to educate themselves about that, then maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they consumed less commercially produced (ie environmentally hazardous) meat.

I too am finding this whole new "green" trend to bit a bit odd and disturbing. It's like the corporations are telling us, "Go ahead, consume. Just make sure you consume this new, more expensive product of ours so you can save the environment." I'm not sure it's really encouraging people to think critically about our lives and finding a way to compromise between middle class American life and true environmental preservation.
I do see food and environmentalism as becoming a bigger issue in the coming years given the shortages around the world and the increase in middle class societies in other countries.

Apr 30, 2008
empecot in Food Media & News

Best Food Memory From Long Ago

When I was a little girl my dad was stationed at an Air Force base in the English countryside. I have the most wonderful memories of picking blackberries from bushes next to the road and eating them with the cream skimmed off the top of our old-fashioned, glass milk bottles. It was so idyllic. Berries and cream will never taste like that again!
Also, another food memory in England. I was in college when I went there to stay with a friend's family and the first night I was there we ordered Indian takeout. I had never tasted Indian food before, but after that I've searched everywhere (even in India!) for the creamiest, perfectly spiced Chicken Tikka Masala.

Apr 29, 2008
empecot in General Topics