ballulah's Profile

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Best kielbasa in Greenpoint

Wow! I had no idea people were still visiting this post.

Aug 18, 2010
ballulah in Outer Boroughs

Borscht

I'd like to point out that none of the above recipes, including the original posted by Chow, have any fermentation process in them (with the exception of mine), and therefore they will not have the sour flavor that characterizes borscht. Is it borscht if it's not sour? Or is it just beet soup?

Dec 28, 2009
ballulah in Recipes

i'm pretty much done with this site

Today I went searching for a recipe I'd saved to My Chow and liked, and not only am I greeted by an ad for WENDY'S, but the link to the recipe in question doesn't work. None of the links to any of the recipes I tried to click on worked. This sucks. I'm off to the kitchen to make something based on a hazy memory, and am pretty close to deleting my account here. This is not the community it once was.

Dec 07, 2008
ballulah in Site Talk

Toronto CH looking for a good lunch near the Met

You've all sold me too. Now I want goulash! And sachertorte!!

Nov 26, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Toronto CH looking for a good lunch near the Met

Hmmm... the earlier posts that suggested dropping in to Maison du Chocolat seem to have disappeared. If you're wondering where it is, it's between 78th and 79th on Madison. The "Habanera" chocolates (nothing to do with chiles) are outstanding, it's a candy puree of apricots and plums covered in bitter chocolate. Oh my. One of their signatures.

If you decide on E.A.T. I hope you enjoy. It doesn't get much more quintessentially New York than anything to do with Eli Zabar. Pick up some bread or rolls to take back to your hotel, and have for breakfast the next day. I'm a person who goes out of my way for good bread, and the bread there is worth a special trip! The crusty sourdough rolls! And they obviously make their sandwiches on that amazing bread...

Nov 24, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

anyone seen concord grapes lately?

I think I saw some in Chinatown last week. On Mulberry and Bayard.

Nov 23, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Toronto CH looking for a good lunch near the Met

Depending on budget I would go to either Sant Ambroeus on 77th and Madison (if money is no object) or to E.A.T. (an Eli Zabar outpost). Sant Ambroeus is quite an old fashioned, ladies-who-lunch spot, the menu is upscale Milanese Italian...and as an aside, I think they won a James Beard award fairly recently for their re-designed space on the UES. E.A.T. is more casual and bustling, it has a little bit of a diner feel to it, but it isn't diner fare. The soups, salads and sandwiches are out of this world, the pasta less so.

Here is the Sant Ambroeus lunch menu: http://www.santambroeus.com/new/menup...

Here is info about E.A.T.: http://static.elizabar.com/stores-loc...

I would agree with the Maison du Chocolat suggestion for something sweet afterward. Everything there is spectacular. Failing that, a croissant with housemade E.A.T. raspberry jam is the stuff that dreams are made of... I used to work across the street and that remains one of the best "breakfasts" in the city for me.

Nov 23, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Best non-Italian, non-pizza lunch in East Village?

Rice on Elizabeth between Houston and Bleecker. You pick the kind of rice from about 8 variations, then you pick what you want with your rice. I've been eating here for 10 years and it's very very difficult for me to order anything but the vegetarian "meatballs" in spicy sauce with cilantro rice. The "meatballs" are little, delicate cushions of soft tofu, mixed with red peppers (think flecks, not minced), coated in rice flour and flash fried, they are like savory donuts with crispy onions on top. Oh my. Seriously, I have dreams about these little guys. Cheap too.

Nov 18, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

In search of perfect home-made hash browns

I grate potatoes using the grating blade on my food processor all the time. I toss the shredded potatoes (I don't drain or squeeze or rinse anything) with chopped scallions, minced jalapeno, salt, pepper and some cayenne pepper. Heat up some olive oil (not too much, not too little... a scant coating that covers the bottom of the pan) in a cast iron skillet and fry in a shallow layer... I let them sit for quite some time before I think about stirring/tossing them to let them get some nice color. If it looks like I need more oil, I add more oil, but sometimes I don't.

As a variation I've used sweet potatoes in exactly the same way. Mmmmm.

Nov 18, 2008
ballulah in Home Cooking

Bagels and Lox

The lox may not be the best, but if you're staying in Midtown (west or east?) I highly highly HIGHLY recommend Times Sq Bagels on 44th and Broadway; right next to Ollie's and Carmine's. This is the last surviving outpost of Columbia Bagels, which used to consistently top NYC's best of bagels list in the '90's...they used to be the bagel suppliers for Zabar's and Murray's Sturgeon Shop (not to be confused with Murray's Bagels, also excellent bagels BTW). Nothing's changed about the bagels, they are just overlooked because of the new and horrid location and a poor PR machine. They used to be on 110th and Broadway, but there's a dorm or an apartment building in its old spot.

Nov 18, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Bagels and Lox

Hear hear. If I find out a place is serving H&H bagels, I pass. Spot on on the too too too.

Nov 18, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

I need RAW HONEY asap.

OH! It's not local (which may be the point) but I picked up some delicious raw rosemary honey from Italy at the Italian shop in Chelsea Market. Forget what it's called.

Nov 18, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

I need RAW HONEY asap.

Tremblay Apiaries is definitely only at Union Square on Fridays, they're in Inwood on Saturdays.

Nov 17, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Inexpensive, Romantic Dinner in Times Square/Theater District

Every time this question comes up I have the same recommendation: Basilica, on 9th Ave between 46th and 47th. It's very reasonable, it's Italian (not red-sauce Italian American, but with enough basic options that your BF will be fine), it's welcoming and homey, and I think it's quite romantic. One of my favorite spots in the area.

The portions are on the large/family-sized side, if budget is an issue, I'd get a couple of appetizers and share a pasta dish and salad.

http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

Nov 10, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Tuna Salad Sandwiches

It's funny, I just had the worst craving for a tuna sandwich last night and made an impromptu tuna salad that I loved. I have a few variations:

1. From last night. One can of olive oil packed tuna (I used Cento), drained. A teaspoon of mayo (mixed with some of my favorite Mexican hot sauce, just a few drips). Two chopped scallions. A teaspoon and a half of fancy tiny capers in sherry vinegar. Juice of half a lemon. Some chopped jalapeno. Fresh ground black pepper. I toasted two slices of my favorite nutty multigrain bread (the toasting is key for me) and used about half of the salad for one sandwich. It was really good.

2. Sort of a tuna "mousse"... 2 cans of olive oil packed tuna (preferably Italian) into the food processor. Add a package of cream cheese and a little whipping cream to loosen the mixture. Add the juice of a whole lemon, a handful of freshparsley and lots of fresh black pepper. Process it all into a paste in the food processor. I made this as a spread for tea sandwiches at a party, and it was so easy and delicious I make it all the time just for me.

3. I never got the recipe, but there is an AMAZING cajun tuna salad sandwich available at an upscale little grocery store called Gentiles on Madison Ave (and 79th St) in NYC. Honestly, I have never gotten close to reproducing anything like it in my own kitchen, but if you find yourself in the area drop in for one. I believe that they use grilled tuna steaks.

Nov 10, 2008
ballulah in Home Cooking

Saturday lunch near Museum of Natural History

I haven't tried the weekend buffet, but I'm usually game. I'll report back if I find myself around there at the right time with an appetite. I actually love buffets in Indian restaurants, it gives me the chance to try lots of things I wouldn't ordinarily order and get out of my comfort zone. I haven't been to EO in some time, I'm due for a visit.

Nov 08, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Saturday lunch near Museum of Natural History

If Indian is a favorite then I highly recommend Earthen Oven on the corner of 72nd and Columbus. arguably some of the best Indian in Manhattan. If you're looking for a quick and cheap Indian influenced lunch, I rather like the Hampton Chutney Company on Amsterdam and 82nd. Be warned, some people hate the fusion-y quality of the food, but I really enjoy their dosas, particularly the tuna dosa with cilantro chutney, tomato and arugula.

Also, the Shake Shack just opened their storefront Upper West Side outpost across the street from AMNH.

Nov 06, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Vegetarian Lunch in Midtown?

I second the non-recommendation for Zen Palate. My friends and I had dinner there one night and it was dreadful. One friend kept saying over and over (between bouts of gagging) that her "mock chicken" had the texture of chicken gristle. Ugh.

Nov 04, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

pre- or post-Cloisters recommendation

It all depends on which side of Ft Tryon you enter to go to the Cloisters. The north end of the park has more options in terms of dining, but I think the south end might have some of the better and more varied options.

As well as the immigrant groups already mentioned, historically the area is also very Greek and Irish. One of NYC's best burgers in an Irish pub is at Piper's Kilt on 207th and Broadway. But I've never seen any Greek food in the area.

Recently there's been an influx of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador to the neighborhood. Mexican food is more readily available around 181st and St Nicholas, Salvadorean food is available along a wide north to south swath of Broadway just below the park. La Cabaña Salvadoreña on 187 & Broadway (total hole in the wall, on the slightly grimy side) has some amazing Salvadorean tamales.

New Leaf Cafe inside Ft Tryon is very very nice for brunch, I find that dinner there is NOT worth the price tag. The service is well meaning but completely inattentive and slow. The food is ambitious in intent, and doesn't deliver on taste or execution. BUT I'll say again, that brunch there is excellent, some of the most delicious and inventive omelets I've had anywhere.

Oct 19, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Burger recos please (NOT shake shack)

I think you might be right, Bob. I know exactly what you mean.

Sep 23, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

(Quick) Food Dinner Around Broadway at 175th Street

Hope you enjoy Sigur Ros tonight.

Sep 18, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Burger recos please (NOT shake shack)

Not so, no one has mentioned Island Burger on 9th Ave and 52nd. That's also an amazing burger...but no fries, apparently the kitchen is too small for a deep fryer.

Sep 16, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Burger recos please (NOT shake shack)

I'd like to add, that before Stand my favorite burger in the Flatiron to Union Square to Gramercy area was the one from Angelo & Maxie's on Park and 19th. Not a restaurant I'd really want to seek out, but the burger was better than decent, very respectable. The fries, eh, not so much.

I'm not sure why everyone goes so nuts over the sadness on a soggy plate that is the Corner Bistro burger. It's a pretty piss poor burger, and the fries are even worse. I mean, it really hits the spot when it's late and you're drunk and hungry, but a burger that you must experience? Not really. Maybe for the atmosphere/experience of it, but not for the burger itself.

Sep 16, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Meal ideas for visiting family

Mmmmm... that sounds great. And so simple. Do you pan sear the meat first?

Sep 16, 2008
ballulah in Home Cooking

Burger recos please (NOT shake shack)

Lately I've been really really really LOVING the burgers from Stand on 13th and University. The meat is juicy and tasty, the buns are good, and even the cheese on the cheese burgers seems to taste better than at other places. I always have it delivered, and my fries are usually a little soggy when they get to me, but I'd bet good money that at the resto they're fantastic. I want one now, I've made myself hungry!

Sep 15, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Meal ideas for visiting family

One of the simplest things I have in my arsenal of quick to make, impressive at the table recipes is an omlette/strata/frittata hybrid. I made this up at a weekend retreat at my friend's lake house with 15 people to feed and a very ill equipped kitchen.

Whisk however many eggs you need for the number of people you're serving with a little milk, salt and pepper - I've done with a dozen eggs or more eggs, and I've done this with 4 eggs (just change the size of the pan). Mix in whatever fillings are handy/you like. Ham? Chorizo? Any kind of cheese - grated, crumbled, cubed, whatever? Sauteed mushrooms and onions? Any combo of fresh or dry herbs that floats your boat? Sauteed potatoes with crispy shallots and goat cheese is one of my faves. It's a great way to use leftovers. Butter or oil the baking dish and evenly distribute your chosen filling on the bottom, and then pour the egg mixture over the whole thing. Bake at 350 until the center is no longer jiggly...more eggs, longer cooking time, start checking at 20 minutes.

The preparation usually takes me 10 minutes, and then it cooks itself. The leftovers are good at room temperature as well. Nice for breakfast and for lunch/brunch with a simple green salad. You'll be amazed how the eggs fluff up.

Just be careful not to take the browning on top too far.

And I LOVE the ham suggestion! So easy, so delicious and make for the best leftovers! (I think I've even used ham leftover from an Easter brunch to make the egg recipe one year.)

Sep 15, 2008
ballulah in Home Cooking

Interesting Street Tamales in Upper Manhattan

rdc - I would love to hear more detail about what you like at La Cabaña Salvadoreña.

Sep 15, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

(Quick) Food Dinner Around Broadway at 175th Street

People always mention El Malecon, Conde, El Presidente and Mambi in these threads (all good, but nothing really great... except the pollo a la brasa at El Malecon and the $3 Cuban from Mambi) when people ask where to eat near United Palace. If you're willing to ride the 1 train up to 181st (rather than the closer 168th), there are several hole in the wall Mexican places that have cropped up in the last year or so. I don't remember names, unfortunately, I live in the area and just go where the lines are longest (the taqueria on St Nicholas between 181st and 182nd comes to mind - it's right opposite the exit from subway).

And if you're feeling adventurous I've heard that La Cabaña Salvadoreña on 187 & Broadway (total hole in the wall, on the slightly grimy side) has some amazing Salvadorean tamales. For that one take the A to 181st and get off at the extreme north end of the train and DON'T take the elevator, it will drop you off at 183rd and Bennett/Overlook.

And there's a really great Dominican bakery on St. Nicholas and 179th (northeast corner). They're open LATE. Get a cafe con leche and a guava and cheese pastry for the road on the way home.

Sep 15, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Need restaurant where we can eat well, stay a while and talk. Reunion of four couples.

OH!! And lately my friends and I with a similar agenda (group of college friends who gather for dinner every few months), the House is one spot we like, but most recently we all made the unanimous decision to go back to Sip Sak for the third time. It's a Turkish restaurant on 2nd between 49th and 50th. The food is excellent. The service is friendly. I was there last week for close to 3 hours, not a blink from the staff and we never felt pressure to rush out the door. It's cheap too.

www.sip-sak.com

Sep 15, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan

Need restaurant where we can eat well, stay a while and talk. Reunion of four couples.

I've had several very lovely and relaxed meals at the House on 17th and Irving. The food is seasonal (obviously sourced from Union Sq farmer's market) and well prepared, nothing is really wow knock your socks off, but it's very very good. The setting, however, (a renovated carriage house near Gramercy Park) is ideal for the atmosphere you're looking for, especially if you can get the large table on the second floor in front of the big circular windows. The service is so attentive, relaxed and welcoming... and best of all not rushed. I think because they are a little off the beaten path of the best of the best and most fashionable of the fashionable, they don't have the same sense of urgency and turnover I've experienced at places where the food is ever so slightly better. It's actually one of my favorite restaurants in that area when I want to actually sit down and talk with friends.

http://www.thehousenyc.com/

Sep 15, 2008
ballulah in Manhattan