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You're leaving Austin for good, take one taco with you and tell us why.

I had the best al pastor taco I ever had at Fruta Feliz, but the second was not transcendent - ready for the third try, though, and this time, with the green salsa! I love how they have their salsas in squeeze bottles that travel from table to table...

Sep 04, 2014
saticoy in Austin

You're leaving Austin for good, take one taco with you and tell us why.

Barbacoa de chivo on flour from La Fruta Feliz, with a bacon/egg on flour from Marcelino Pan y Vino in close second.

Can we make this a top 5? Deshebrada or carnitas on corn from Mi Ranchito, machacado and egg from Mi Madres (gotta try the carne guisada next time).

ps-taco de birria from El Borrego de Oro.

Sep 03, 2014
saticoy in Austin

you go away for a week, and the food you miss most is....

Ohhhhhhh noooooo....yes, it was overpriced, but there was something about that meat - and the cantelope and pepperonccini. When I lived on Silliman, I used to save receipts to get their merch. This is the spot we always made time for when we came home, for the burger, and the hang. I'm SO BUMMED.

It is kind of a beautiful thing that the business retires with Joe, but I was headed there tomorrow with my fellas. Don't quite know what to do now. I know there are many other great burgers out there....but that isn't the point. Sigh.

Joe no longer grinds his fresh chuck daily.

Sigh.

Ippuku Teuchi on Monday and Tuesday evenings with limited yakitori menu available - how limited? [Berkeley]

I have the mochibacon to eat at Ippuku again whenever possible!

Ippuku Teuchi on Monday and Tuesday evenings with limited yakitori menu available - how limited? [Berkeley]

Just in case anyone searches for this - we went tonight and they basically had the whole yakitori menu available. The hostess said "we might run out of certain things..." but handed over the whole menu. We had an amazing meal, and the place was hopping on a Monday night 7:30. We never got to try the noodles, because we couldn't stop eating everything else.

We had:

minced chicken skewer with egg yolk - a beautiful combination of crumbled and unctuous, of grilled and raw, of savory and sweet.

ume shiso maki - this was surprising and great - chicken breast wrapped around shiso, topped with pulverized salty/sweet plum....

bekon mochi - I wanted not to like this, but I loved. LOVED - what a great contrast of mushy and crisp, of salty/fat/smokey with sweet and bland (in a good way)...

beef tongue - great, especially with togarashi...

chicken skin, gizzard - perfect...reminded me perfectly of the yakitori-ya in Japan...perfect with the draft Asahi - did I say perfect...

mackerel - this was incredible...served with grated daikon like saba shio, but the freshest, moistest, and most un-fishy/fishy fish under salty crispy skin...with the head and jaw for extra yum...

dashimaki - my kiddo loves tamago sushi, so we got this, and what a lovely surprise...delicately seasoned egg omelette...came with grated daikon, but we found the tamago wonderful on its own....

gyoza - this was another concession to the kiddo, who loves him some dumplings, but MAN - these were a cut above. The noodle was thin, flavorful, and crackling crisp on the pan fried end...supple and savory throughout...and the interior actually tasted like flavorful meat, rather than a ball of flavor reminiscent of meat...

The.

Squid.

Get. The. Squid.

We were all full, and thought we would slurp some cold noodles for the last dish of the night (handmade soba on M & T) but even though we were full, the hokkaido squid was beckoning...and are we ever glad it did. Even though we thought we would taste a piece or two ... it was soooooo good that we inhaled the whole thing. I don't even know how to do it justice in words. When you are full to bursting, and you taste something that tastes as good as if you were STARVING...that's good food.

Loved Ippudo - thanks to all the Chowhounds who led us there - and to all who are headed there - enjoy!

you go away for a week, and the food you miss most is....

Can I play, as an ex-pat? Born and raised in SF (5th and Balboa), in Austin, TX since 1999? So, I go away for 15 years, and the food I miss most and seek on my beautiful vacations home....

Mission Burrito
Farmers Markets (Alemany was always my fave, now I am happy for the littlest fresh market, especially if they have fruit!)
Wing Lee chicken bao & char siu bao (actually, csb from city bakery)
Cinderella Piroshki
Bread. Acme #1, with every other great local bakery close behind
Little gem lettuces
Izakaya
A proper sandwich on a Dutch Crunch roll
Dungeness, if I am coming in season
Joe's Cable Car Burger
Giorgio's
One of the wonderful, amazing, beautiful Italian restaurants: Bacco, La Ciccia, Incanto (RIP), Perbacco...
Coffee - Philz, Ritual, Peet's, Blue Bottle...

I had a longer list going, until I realized that most of it was stuff I have learned from you all that arrived after I had left.

fun - great thread - thanks for the memories and summer realizations!

Ippuku Teuchi on Monday and Tuesday evenings with limited yakitori menu available - how limited? [Berkeley]

Hello all,

Making plans for our annual pilgrimage to my homeland. Ippuku is calling my name this time, and I have read the threads. Their website says they do the special soba on M/T evenings now, with limited yakitori menu.

So, my questions for you all is - has anyone been during these hours? Any ideas as to how limited is the yakitori menu? Would love to kill two birds with one early-week early-evening meal, but I am so enthralled with the yakitori possibilities, I may opt to do it on a full yakitori menu evening.

Thanks in advance for any advice/guidance...

Countryside Farms sausages, et al

Never been out to the farm, but have been delighted three times now with purchases from CF at the Hope Farmer's Market. Country pate was delicious - inspired me to try and make it myself, and, uh, I will be returning to CF's stands! I found the Italian sausage quite good, with a lovely balance of the savory (garlic, pork) with the aromatic (fennel, oregano) that can be tricky.

I tasted duck rillettes that scared me - so amazingly, meltingly, meatingly good...the taste was enough to let me know that if I bought....well - you know.

The thing is, in this frontier, saying you do meat, sausage, and charcuterie is enough to get a lot of people foaming at the mouth. Was not impressed with Kocurek, Salt & Time, and shied away from others, after those experiences.

But CF enticed me, and CF delivered, and CF is what I crave for properly delicious (to me) pate, rillettes, sausage, and confit.

Aug 08, 2014
saticoy in Austin
1

Trip report-family with 9 year old, cheap to spendy, near museums - LONG!

I also need to return to Casa Mono! When, oh when...?!?! I went back to Essex Street Market and got some smoked fish from Nordic preserves. Trout was good, but peppered mackerel, oh MY!

Jul 04, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Trip report-family with 9 year old, cheap to spendy, near museums - LONG!

Hi Pan -

Don't know if I can speak to an "average" slice - don't really get slices in Austin, or SF, much. It was saltier than Patsy's, but I didn't find it overly salty. Really rang bells for the slices I had in the 80s in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens when I just grabbed random slices on the go.

The uptown Gazala's was to fill a need after visiting the American Museum of Natural History - close-by, sit-down, interesting. Not sure I would make a special trip during a week-long vacation just to try the Hell's Kitchen branch, but like you, I won't go back to the uptown one.

I didn't try the whitefish at BG, but mentioned that it looked good. How does it compare to Russ and Daughters? I just had some on an Absolute Bagel and heard the angels sing - one of my favorite things ever, anywhere. Funny, but eating in the BG restaurant, with its vintage wallpaper and dishes, and the great people-watching, was one of the high points. The sturgeon, for which they claim to be royalty, was weird, and I did not enjoy it.

Jul 04, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Okonomiyaki Flour

I've gotten okonomiyaki mix at MT and at Asahi. IIRC, it was in a box - it came with the flavored flour, plus the nori julienne. I tried it with flour once, and was disappointed. Until I figure out the seasonings, I deal with the mix. Don't forget the sauce and kewpie!

Jul 03, 2014
saticoy in Austin

Trip report-family with 9 year old, cheap to spendy, near museums - LONG!

Ooh - thanks for the freezing tip, c oliver! I will dole these out to myself (oh, I guess to my guys too...if they insist) and ration my whitefish salad and lox and sable. Gotta go get some good cream cheese - although I suspect a toasted everything Absolute bagel with plugra might bring tears to my eyes.

Jul 03, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan
1

Trip report-family with 9 year old, cheap to spendy, near museums - LONG!

Yes, it did, villainx - thank you for steering me to one of our favorite experiences!

Jul 03, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Trip report-family with 9 year old, cheap to spendy, near museums - LONG!

Hello –

So, I just spent a week in Manhattan – all my research was done using Chowhound. You guys rule – thanks so much for all the recs! Paying it forward with a report targeted at tourists with kids – not aiming for the hottest/newest, just aiming to eat well while enjoying a beautiful sojourn in your amazing city.

We stayed in an apartment in Hamilton Heights. I hyper-planned, after checking in, to take the bus to Patsy’s, swinging by Cuchifritos 116. Our delayed flight nixed that plan, so I reverted to plan B – order from Uptown Veg for delivery. I thought I had confirmed that we were in the delivery zone, but got an error message from GrubHub saying otherwise. So, I plugged the address into GrubHub, and from the “available” restaurants, chose Harlem’s Floridita. Same error message. My 9 year old and I were losing it – my husband was out getting some staples for the apartment, so I called him and asked him to pick up food from Harlem Public – right across the street. I was skeptic – they seem famous for fried avocado and a peanut butter burger…but the Public burger, medium rare, delivered in spades! Perhaps because we were starving and exhausted, but also because the meat was flavorful with a great seared crust, the bun a perfect consistency, nicely dressed, with a lovely salad on the side. The scene is hipster - the burger is solid.

More about Hamilton Heights – Jumbo Pizza for egg on a roll - bacon egg and cheese in my case. If you are visiting, and you like bacon, eggs, cheese, and bread products, and you need a quick hand held breakfast – this was great. Breakfast tacos are the breakfast sandwich of Texas – cheap, hard to mess up, easy to elevate. Also, the Chipped Cup is a sweet little coffee shop with pastries from Ceci Cela. Great croissant – huge, nice balance of flaky crispy to moist and buttery. But, I have read about CCs almond croissants and I am here to say that if what I had is truly representative, then I don’t know what to think. Flat, oversweet, with a weird, wet, almost custardy interior. My son, who has never, ever, turned down a sweet treat, gave me most of his. I didn’t eat it.

Pizza: We were interested in old school pizza slices, the kind I subsisted on as a student in the ‘80s. First up was Sal & Carmines – I loved the whole experience. The ancient guy and the ancient cash register and the proper, proper slice. Slices taken from pizza on the counter – warm, not hot. Walked back to tables to consume. Crust was foldable but sturdy – great flavor and crunch with just enough pillow-y yeasty softness. Perfect balance of cheese and sauce. My boys were floored…and it did the trick for me. Just can’t get this kind of pizza many other places.

The other slice was at Patsy’s East Harlem. Totally different animal. They seem to sell these slices as fast as they can make them – and with good reason. Everything tasted so fresh – fresh tomato sauce, excellent cheese, and the crust was very thin – and absolutely delicious. Ate in the window, chatting with other slice eaters – one told us he had been getting pizza there for 22 years. Great hang, great pizza – although I would recommend letting the slice cool a bit before tearing into it. Yeah, right.

Jewish deli/appetizing: We went to Barney Greengrass, and were extremely underwhelmed. Got the sturgeon appetizer with a bialy and cream cheese, plus an extra everything bagel. The breads were fine, the cream cheese was industrial, and the sturgeon was bland, with a bizarre wet texture. Is this what they are famous for? Yuck. I saw some people eating a sturgeon-egg scramble, and it looked good, but if it is the same fish I had, I would pass. Also saw a couple sharing bagels and huge mounds of chopped liver and whitefish salad…looked good, but my own chopped liver is my bar, and I knew I was going to Russ and Daughters soon after – they never have disappointed. The belly lox is salty and unctuous, the sable is silky and savory. The salmon/whitefish salad is sooooooooooo good. The best part, this time, is since I got a quart of pickles, the beautiful blond woman who sliced my fish gave me her recipe & technique for half-sours.

Bagels: Tried Absolute Bagel and Kossars. Both good, but we all thought Absolute Bagels were pretty special. We got one with a garlic/scallion shmear, and found it a little soft. Went back and asked for a well-done bagel, and found nirvana. The little bubbles on the crunchy, crunchy crust – the yeasty flavor of the soft interior – just great. Kossars bagels and bialies to me are kind of the standard – the kind of stuff you eat and take for granted until you find yourself somewhere you are unable to get anything close. I’m taking a bunch home.

Proper sit-down meals: I have been obsessing over Casa Mono for years, and this was one of the most magical, delicious, amazing meals I have ever had. We went early, with the kiddo, and they were as welcoming as can be. He had his first taste of foie gras (what was I thinking? Should have waited until he was a LOT older!) and we all swooned. Not just ‘cause it is perfectly seared foie, but because the “cinco cebollas” accompanying it were an inspired accompaniment. Charred green onion, an onion reduction, marinated red onions…I mean, the sweetness of the onion is a perfect match for foie, and the different onion preparations ensured a riot of textures. My favorite dish of the night was the skirt steak – the romesco was good, the onion mermelada was good, but that meat. Sweet fancy moses – I live in Texas, and I have never had beef as good as I had this week. The chorizo meatballs were also amazing. I found the flavors in the duck egg dish a bit odd – I mean, it was like seeing Chaim Soutine painting where you understand that the vision is perfect, but you just don’t quite get it. All told, the service was awesome, the food was mind-blowing, and I will be thinking of that skirt steak for years to come.

The other sit-down meal was after the AMNH – I chose Gazala’s as a place to hopefully encounter soulful, interesting food after an exhausting day. The thin pita, which was one of the big draws for me, was basically flavorless. The platter was plebian – boring dolmas, bland hummus, decent labne, over-fried falafel and kibbe, and the spinach boureka was downright bad – stinky spinach, unbalanced. The “tahini” looked like watery ranch dressing and had no sesame taste whatsoever – when I asked what it was and she said “tahini” I said “really?” I saw her mention it to another server. Then, the table next to us questioned the beans on their plate – they didn’t recognize them as fava beans. The server assured them they were, but offered to take the plate back. Something hinky there. Would have been better off standing in line for Shake Shack, I reckon.

Random notes:

Fraunces Tavern: Great atmosphere, great beer! Mediocre fish and chips, but here’s the excellent deal – a pint of outstanding oyster stout with 3 oysters on the half shell for $12. PERFECT! A short walk from the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island boats, and a worthy historical/museum destination in and of itself.

Red Rooster: kind of a let-down, but I only had snacks. Lovely white sangaree (white sangria with st. germain and sage – perfect on a hot day). Deviled eggs were good, and the chicken skin mayonnaise was incredible, due to the berbere seasonings. SO good. But, “smoked” ceviche was dull and not smoky, and the plantain chips were either store bought or stale, cornbread was ok, tomato jam was great.

Vanessa’s dumplings: I would eat here every day if I could. CHEAP, delicious. The chive and pork pan fried dumplings were great, with thick (but not too thick!) skins, great crunch, and fresh, meaty, juicy filling. The spicy wontons were wonderful, with big chunks of fresh shrimp in delicate wrappings, topped with smoky chili oil and fresh cilantro. The duck pancake was amazing both as a value and as a taste treat. Very close to the LES Tenement Museum.

Uptown Veg: The first time I went here, I was blown away. This time, I was happy and satisfied. I think maybe expectations played with my mind and taste buds….? Perhaps the first time, I wasn’t expecting much from vegan soul food, and I was blown away. Perhaps this time I was ready to be blown away, but it didn’t feel like the first time. Still - very good! Curry chicken drumstick, collards, sweet potatoes…all yummy, and leftovers were even better. Close to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Pok Pok Phat Thai: There is no more perfect drink on a hot walk through the LES than the pomegranate drinking vinegar. The food was excellent – my boys don’t like Thai food that much, and so maybe it was because it had been quite a while since I had it, but I found the fresh cold and crunchy lettuce and scallions were delightful against the warm, savory, soft and crispy noodles and proteins in the kuaytiaw Khua Thaleh. Love that they serve on banana leaves. That toasty rice water was awesome too.

Essex Market: NORDIC SANDWICH from Nordic preserves is fantastic. Lovely Norwegian smoked salmon, crème fraiche, red onions, capers, fresh dill, and black caviar perfectly balanced on a crusty hero roll. $10. One of the best sandwiches I have ever had. This is one of those things I will try to recreate, but I suspect I will fail miserably. Formaggio was a disappointment – I got some Creminelli, Fra Mani, and Biellese salumi, but between the super thin slices and the fact that they were kept in a pretty cold fridge, everything was kind of crumbly and weird texture for salumi. Saxelby cheese was great – the knowledgeable and fun attendant steered me toward Nancy’s camembert (luscious) and The Lady in Blue – the perfect mild bleu. Jessica at Pain D’Avignon was a kick, but I wasn’t wowed by the baguette (a little chewy for me), picholine mini-baguette (only one bite with discernable olive flavor), cheese bread (fine) or croissant (bready and heavy).

The best part of Essex came at the Brazilian meat stand. The stall owner had the World Cup on – the Brazil and Chile game, and he was selling feijoada for $5.00 a bowl. About 20 people gravitated to the little screen, and such an impromptu little community of futbol lovers emerged. Brazil won, and everyone was high-fiving and smiling…it was neat. What was even NEATER was that they had Armandino Batali’s amazing salumi there, and they knew how to store and slice it. That mole sausage is an absolute wonder. The smoked paprika was also delish.

So, for anyone who actually reads this and sees something they recommended or reported on – thank you very, very much. I read y’all just for fun, and you helped us have a great week in a great city.

Jul 03, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan
1

Houston Asian Markets - Tarako?

90% is just about enough to head me down I 10, mogster11, thanks! Glad also for the Korean name, I will prowl some Korean groceries here in town too!

Jun 16, 2014
saticoy in Houston

Houston Asian Markets - Tarako?

I'm OK with not spicy, but am interested in the whole roe sac, not jarred and brined. THANKS!

Jun 16, 2014
saticoy in Houston

RIP VIII

I may be wrong, but think that space gave way to Kin and Comfort.

To me, Kin and Comfort was a qui-esque stall with good, if derivative food -and since I'm not a huge fan of uchiko or most things qui, I chalked it up to a fine experience - no need to return.

Jun 15, 2014
saticoy in Austin

Houston Asian Markets - Tarako?

Sorriest for my delayed reply!

So, absurdnerdbird - I will put Nippon Daido on my list for my next trip! Thanks a million!

Houcasey - I did a little more digging and found out that it is also called karashi mentaiko. Here is a link to a blog with a picture of the package:

http://shichimi.wordpress.com/2013/03...

Scroll down to the second picture, and thank you SO much for keeping my quixotic desire in mind! I found places to order fresh frozen, but with exorbitant shipping charges...rather spend that money on gas to Houston!

Thanks again!

Jun 11, 2014
saticoy in Houston

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

EL7 - our first slices will be eaten as a toast to you, your family, and George. Salud! Did the picture that BluPlateSpec posted kindle any taste memories? It made me wish and plan for some of my own!

May 15, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

Will follow replies to this query with great interest! My Papi had a bar on 110 and Lex back in the day....

May 15, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

My paternal grandfather immigrated from Italy, my maternal grandparents immigrated from Puerto Rico. My father and mother grew up, working class, in NY. Sounds like my kind of stroll...

May 15, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

Thanks stuartlafonda! Some others seems to have experienced the reheated slice at Patsy's, and other places. Check the comments section of the linked blog (a well-respected blog, I believe) for the impetus behind my request.

The Museum of the City of New York is on my second tier list, along with others, including the Hamilton Grange, the Morris- Jumel, the Merchants House, the NY Historical society, El Museo del Barrio, and the National Jazz Museum of Harlem - some would be second visits. Sure, I could do worse, but I plan to do the best I can. First tier in a 3 day trip with a 9 year old, includes Ellis Island, LES, AMNH, and an ambitious food itinerary that I hope to get some feedback on soon! The remaining 3 days (for me, glorious me) include research at the Centro Puertoriqueno - Hunter College, the jazz archives at Rutgers, and the Met.

Will report back on the state of Patsy's slices!

May 15, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

Thanks for the input, everyone. I'm afraid Patsy's is eluding a clear empirical choice. Ideally, I would go twice, but that is not in the cards.

So, slices it is. I will ask what is just coming out of the oven, but I'm all about a plain slice, and I have been known to enjoyed reheated pizza in the past.....gonna let go, and let it happen....will report back, for sure!

May 13, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

Slice vote, noted! Thanks for the input!

May 10, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

Sounds like the restaurant and slice nook are both cool scenes - thanks for the input! Can't tell if you are elevating one over the other. So far slices are winning....

May 10, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Houston Asian Markets - Tarako?

Hello Houston 'hounds! I am looking to purchase some tarako - salted cod/pollock roe. I haven't found it in Austin, so was hoping some of you intrepid folks might have come across this in Houston's vastly superior Asian market offerings. If not, can I humbly request that when in an Asian market, you take a peek or ask around, and let me know here? Thanks for any help you can offer!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarako_%...

https://thejapans.wordpress.com/tag/c...

May 10, 2014
saticoy in Houston

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

OK - so your vote is go twice - once for the whole pie in the restaurant, and once for the slices? I have a week, and an eating itinerary that is nigh-onto impossible...not to mention the other (admittedly secondary but still important) stuff we want to do in terms of museums, monuments, shopping, music, theater, and historical sites. Sadly, none of those are around Patsy's, so I'm thinking we will only make it there once, and that we will hit Cuchifritos in the same trip (either as half a dinner, or to go and reheat later at the apartment).

So, if you had to choose one, which would it be?

May 10, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

Hi - thanks for your response! I have enjoyed the NY slice experience, but not since the '80s - looking forward to it! I think the difference is that they sometimes (usually?) reheat the slices, so you wind up with some crispy cheesy bits, and twice-melted cheese. Also, I think some people find certain places make a structurally sound slice (foldable, but not limp), and others don't, although their whole pies (to sit and eat at a table) are worth seeking. In the comments section on this blog, some people whose opinions I trust debate this issue, with the blog author coming down firmly on the pie side: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

We have lots of Mexican coke here in Austin, which used to be Mexico - sounds like a perfect accompaniment to a Patsy's slice. So far, the slices have it.

May 10, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

Sweet fancy moses. I better go to Cuchifritos first, so I don't spoil my PR food craving with that third slice. Mille grazie for the pic - I'm counting the hours. And I will absolutely report back.

May 09, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan

Patsy's East Harlem - slices or whole pie?

I am planning an itinerary for a week long trip next month - will share and ask for fine tuning soon. Right now, I am hoping to get some empirical data about Patsy's East Harlem. This is a non-negotiable place on the list - we are going there the first night. There seems to be some passionate dissent about which is better - Patsy's slices, or the whole pie. It is kind of important because I want the best Patsy's experience, but was hoping for slices so we could do half dinner at Patsy's, and half at Cuchifritos. We don't have much else going on in that part of town, so hoping to kill two birds with one meal.

So, would you guys mind weighing in on whether you prefer slices or a whole pie at Patsy's East Harlem? Hyperbolic descriptions encouraged. Thanks in advance!

May 09, 2014
saticoy in Manhattan