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Latin American goodies outside church on 14th St betw/ 8th& 9th Aves?

Was wandering around on a Sunday afternoon around 1:30pm and stumbled on a treasure - a few food carts/vendors outside of a church on 14th St betw/ 8th & 9th Aves, selling awesome tacos, something that reminded me of a deep-fried pupusa (stuffed masa dough), a variety of tamales, tortas, tostadas, and other Latin yumminess. Does anyone know about these folks, or what the origin is? I squeezed in and got myself a lovely flat chicken tamale, never had them shaped like that before, but it was delicious! Reminds me of some of the goodies you can find in Red Hook. Oh, I can't wait for those guys to open for the season!

May 19, 2008
capricornpig in Manhattan

Dosa Man Still MIA

Did anyone every call and/or find out where he is? Now that the weather's nice, I am DYING to have lunch in the park, and there's nothing better than a dosa!

Apr 24, 2008
capricornpig in Manhattan

Destination Dinners - recipe kits for exotic home-cooked meals

The ingredients in the kit are meant for 1 meal only. The spices and oils are measured out for the recipe. Yes, it's beautifully packaged, which makes it a great gift. I am quite an adventurous home cook, but I had a lot of trouble finding really good Indian recipes, but the garam masala was great, so I felt it was worth it. Now I feel comfortable going to an exotic food market and finding the spices to make the recipe again. But your idea of selling subscriptions for recipes and a list of ingredients is a good idea!

Jan 29, 2008
capricornpig in Home Cooking

Destination Dinners - recipe kits for exotic home-cooked meals

That was weird! I fixed it!

Jan 29, 2008
capricornpig in Home Cooking

Destination Dinners - recipe kits for exotic home-cooked meals

This is a bit of a plug for a semi-new product, and it's a great one. I love exotic, ethnic food, but cooking it at home can be intimidating. Where can I find authentic recipes, and where can I buy the spices and ingredients? I know my way around a Chinatown market, since I grew up going to Oakland and SF Chinatowns with my grandma and mom, but how do I find what I need for a good Indian meal? Or Thai?

Then I found Destination Dinners (http://www.destinationdinners.com/), a recipe kit that provides you with all the spices, a recipe, a trivia card with information about the culture from which your meal originates, and tea. There's also a short shopping list of ingredients you need to buy, like the meat, for instance. And it's a recipe kit, not just premade food in a bag, so you actually get to make it yourself. I've made the Chicken Garam Masala, and it was excellent! Super easy directions to follow, and if you know a little about cooking, you could easily adapt the instructions and use different cuts of chicken. You could also measure out the spices, in hopes of finding these at a market near you, so that you could repeat the recipe on your own in the future. And the taste? Excellent. We really loved this, and all of the kits would make an excellent gift for coworkers, friends or family. Next one I'm going to try is the Green Chicken Curry With Puffy Cups - I have the kit at home, all I need to buy is a can of coconut milk and chicken!

Check it out and decide for yourself - http://www.destinationdinners.com/
It's a startup based in SF, and they're just starting to get some local attention. I, for one, am a fan, and am happy to tell you all about it!

Jan 29, 2008
capricornpig in Home Cooking

Manhattan Beach eats/drinks open late?

Flying into LAX on a Friday around 10pm. After picking up our rental car and checking into our hotel in Manhattan Beach, what would be a good place to get some food and drinks? Something not too far away, good food and atmosphere, open to any type of cuisine. Not sure how many options we'll have at that hour - any suggestions? Thanks everyone!

May 30, 2007
capricornpig in Los Angeles Area

Lunar New Year menus?

Thanks for the recco for Flushing. Unfortunately, that would pose a challenge, as everyone I'm gathering would be coming from Brooklyn and lower Manhattan, so I doubt they'd want to do the trek (it's actually quite a long journey from where I live). Also, an added challenge would be that I don't read (or speak) Chinese, so I would have no idea what was going on.

Are there really no good options in Manhattan Chinatown? Are there no 2nd/3rd generation Chinese folks here who know what I'm looking for and can recommend a place that won't look down on me for not speaking the language?

Feb 09, 2007
capricornpig in Manhattan

Lunar New Year menus?

I'm Chinese American, grew up in San Francisco going to these sort of banquets, but not sure where to go for the same here. I want to get a group of friends together to experience the foods that are meant to bring you wealth, health and prosperity for the new year. Anyone know which Chinatown restaurants are serving traditional, banquet-style menus for Lunar New Year? Looking for authentic menus, not the ones that just throw together a fixed price menu of their regular dishes. Thanks!

Feb 09, 2007
capricornpig in Manhattan

Ochazuke?

Kasadela in the East Village (11th St/Ave C) also serves ochazuke. Yum, comfort food!

Jan 11, 2007
capricornpig in Manhattan

Found: good eats in DC! (Ten Penh, Dino, Blue Duck Tavern)

Just back from a few days in DC and some good eats. I'm from SF and NY, and consider myself fairly knowledgable (and particular) about good dining. We stayed in Dupont Circle and wandered all over the city on foot, and chose our restaurants based on recommendations from Chowhound and from a girl we met in a shop in Georgetown.

Went to Ten Penh our first night. Interior is pretty, though looks a little worn. Started with an amuse bouche of a curried cream of mushroom soup, warm and delicous, though I couldn't say I could eat a whole bowl of it. We ordered the lumpia and the BBQ braised short ribs to start. The ribs were delicious - very tender from the braising, but the outside was crusty from a quick fry, and the sauce was sweet and tangy. It's served with a refreshing, lightly pickled cucumber salad on the side. The lumpia came with 3 dipping sauces, and were tasty, though on second thought we could have skipped another fried dish. The highlight was the smoked lobster, which was first smoked, then cut into managable pieces and quicky cooked in lime in a hot wok. It was served over sauteed vegatables and fried spinach. What a delicious way to prepare lobster! We enjoyed a great meal and excellent service at Ten Penh.

Our second night, we ventured up to Cleveland Park for dinner at Dino. The interior is comfortable and romantic. The wine list has everything categorized by flavors, handy if you aren't too familiar with a lot of wines, but you know what you typically like in terms of taste. We shared the burrata, which is shipped in from Campania every Sunday and Thursday, so lucky for us it had just been in Italy less than 24 hours before it hit our table. If you've never had burrata, it's the most delicious, freshest mozzarella you could ever taste. Absolutely amazing! We also shared the Antipasti della Casa, a lovely selection of cured meats, marinated veggies, cheese and olives. Everything was great, although the prosciutto was a little, um, "earthy" in flavor, not what we are used to with prosciutto. For our entree, we shared the Pappardelle ai Cinghiale - wide, fresh pasta with wild boar sauce. Delicious, rich comfort food. We topped off the meal with a wonderful, wintery pumpkin bread pudding. It was like a warm, moist, dense muffin topped with light sweet whipped cream, and was simple and tastey. Service was friendly and helpful, and not overbearing. Overall, another wonderful dining experience.

For our last night in DC, a girl we met in a Georgetown shop recommended Blue Duck Tavern. I'd read the reviews, and knew what to expect from the kitchen. She also made other recommendations, so we had some choices. On our walk that evening from Georgetown to Dupont Circle, we walked by a gorgeous restaurant and walked in to check it out, and low and behold, it was Blue Duck. We were immediately impressed by the amazingly beautiful space (I heard it was recently remodeled), and decided to come back for dinner. They were booked until 9:30, but we could dine in the lounge (they serve a reduced menu of some of their most popular dishes) . We lucked out when we came back at 7, and someone cancelled their reservation, so we sat in the dining room after all. We started with the cauliflower soup and the beet salad. The soup, poured over carmelized onions and a few slices of chorizo, was creamy and rich, very tasty. The beet salad was fresh and refreshing, with endive, tangy goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. For entrees, we ordered the bratwursts, which were the most tender, moist brats we'd ever tasted. We also had the roasted duck, which was extremely tender and perfectly salted. We had the arugula salad and the sunchokes for sides. The arugula salad was lightly dressed in lemon oil and salt, yummy, but difficult to eat (the leaves were awkward to pick up and get into your mouth with any grace). The sunchokes were roasted in olive oil, I think, and while delicious and sweet, were a little greasy. Overall, we the service to be attentive, and the food amazingly prepared and presented, and we walked home stuffed. The interior is beautiful - elegent, darkly lit and romantic, with a huge open kitchen. Some people don't like that all the food is served in separate dishes, but we enjoyed it, as it made it easy to share everything.

Overall, a wonderful trip to DC, and 3 amazing dinners. I would recommend these to any visitors and locals.

Pan-Roasted Halibut with Caper Vinaigrette

For the sauce - food processor or blender? I can't wait to try this!

Oct 12, 2006
capricornpig in Recipes