davis_sq_pro's Profile

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DYI coco lopez

Probably a better topic for the home cooking board? In any case, Alton Brown has a recipe for coconut cream:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

I believe that Coco Lopez is a heavily sweetened version of this.

about 4 hours ago
davis_sq_pro in Home Cooking

Donuts!

"How come nobody mentions, as a major point, that they are fried in , and taste distinctly of, beef tallow (or a blend of fats, containing tallow)???"

Perhaps because they're not? The donuts are fried, per Kane's, in "trans fat-free shortening." So yes, it's just you.

about 4 hours ago
davis_sq_pro in Greater Boston Area

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Sorry, I misspelled "assholes."

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Good riddance. That place was absolutely nasty and designed, as far as I could tell, to serve the whims of drunk club kids.

As for Strip by Strega, I think it's designed to serve the whims of more well-heeled drunk club kids. So it's probably a net loss.

dried natto

Where is your friend located?

This company in CA makes fresh natto, and they ship: http://www.meguminatto.com/order.html

This is my favorite brand of natto -- excellent flavor and texture, and not too funky. Far better than any frozen one I've tried to date. I've never even heard of dried before this thread. That doesn't sound promising!

Mar 24, 2015
davis_sq_pro in General Topics

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Fresh out of the deep fryer Krispy Kreme? No. Nothing can touch that.

Krispy Kreme 30 minutes later? Kane's absolutely destroys it :-)

Is this the worst restaurant in Boston?

Best quote ever.

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Kane's Donuts finally opened at 1 International Place.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2...

Despite working directly across the street I don't expect to actually sample the donuts myself for several days -- the line is ridiculous.

Is this the worst restaurant in Boston?

I don't usually read Yelp reviews but this is absolutely hilarious. (And kind of sad.) Thanks for sharing it!

Sous Vide Corned Beef - Original Packaging?

Bit of an older post but I just wanted to say thanks -- I just finished a meal of corned brisket cooked at 148F for ~42 hours (I pumped it up by 1 degree to compensate for the bit of missing time).

Scored the fat cap and put it under the broiler for a few minutes after removing it from the bag, which melted a lot of the fat and rendered the remainder nice and golden brown. Absolutely perfect moisture and tenderness levels and super easy to slice.

Regarding saltiness, as mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I rinsed the meat very well and dried it before putting it the vacuum bag. A lot of liquid released during the cooking process and, I assume, carried out any excess remaining salt. The meat was well seasoned but not at all "salty."

So good, in fact, that we're thinking of grabbing some more while it's still in the stores. (Maybe catch a sale on leftover stock tomorrow?)

On that note, anyone have thoughts regarding freezer storage? Would it be better to freeze it raw, or to cook it first?

Mar 17, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Home Cooking

Townsman

Thanks for the detailed review! Charcuterie and shellfish? I'm 100% sold.

Holy shnikies - great sandwich at Grassroots Cafe - Dtx - the Korean Banh Mi

But with some pickled veg, I hope? (Depending on the rain situation I might find out in about 45m :-))

Update:

I've now had the sandwich in question.

Overall, very tasty. The pork is well seasoned and very tender, the "pickled veg" mentioned above was there -- in the form of kimchi -- and the sandwich also contained shredded lettuce (which was a bit odd for a "banh mi") as well as some caramelized onion. (Perhaps that came along with the pork?) The bread, while good, was on the soft side for a banh mi, and I missed cilantro, cucumber, and other typical banh mi fillings. The overall impression of this sandwich is very wet/saucy, which might be a good thing depending on one's mood.

I guess I'm at once both pleased and disappointed. They called it a "banh mi" which set certain expectations, and what I received wasn't anything I'd readily identify as such. But it is certainly an interesting sandwich and an interesting place, for that matter.

Thanks again, Bob, for the tip! I'd never have even known that place existed had it not been for this thread. I will definitely return, probably to try a few other things before circling back for another shot with the KBM.

Powdered alcohol brand given green light

It'll just evaporate off. It's still liquid alcohol, just encapsulated in a powder (my money is on maltodextrin, though the web site doesn't say).

Mar 16, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Powdered alcohol brand given green light

Mar 16, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Holy shnikies - great sandwich at Grassroots Cafe - Dtx - the Korean Banh Mi

Thanks for the tip!

I only wish you'd posted a couple of hours earlier. I knew it was going to be a bad decision, but today I decided to sample the pork belly "banh mi" at Cosi. That's a path fraught with sadness and disappointment.

Tomorrow I will make up for my poor judgment with a KBM.

Powdered alcohol brand given green light

I agree. I only drink really good booze when I want to get messed up!

Mar 16, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Barrel-aged cocktails

What are your issues with the barrel-aged cocktails you've tried? And what is the target audience you mentioned?

The Negronis I've had have taken on a nice, smooth character, and have lost some of the rougher edges I usually associate with the drink. (Also some brightness.) It being my favorite cocktail, I tend to enjoy those edges, but the smoother version is a nice occasional change.

That said, the smoothness might, in part, be due to loss of some aromatic notes. ferret mentioned the Boulevardier upthread, and it just occurred to me that either that or an Old Pal might offer similar smoothness benefits, sans the price increase. And if the lost aromatics were those contributed by the gin, you're getting effectively the same thing.

Mar 13, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Barrel-Aged Peychaud's

The barrel-aged cocktails thread reminded me that I'd seen this product for sale a while ago. It was out of stock when I tried to get it before, but seems to be back now -- I just ordered a bottle. Unlike various cocktails, I do think bitters take quite well to some barrel aging (at least, the Fee Brothers product certainly does).

Anyone try this one yet?

Mar 12, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Barrel-aged cocktails

"A barrel-aged Old Fashioned sounds like a bad idea."

Agreed. The point of an Old Fashioned, in my humble opinion, is to highlight a spirit that's already been aged, or not. There is no reason to add further barrel as most spirits used in that drink have already spent their fair share of time in the wood. In a Negroni, on the other hand, nothing has been previously barrel aged (depending on the gin, usually), so it makes sense that adding a bit of barrel might be interesting... At least, to my taste buds.

Mar 12, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Powdered alcohol brand given green light

Is it just label approval, or did they actually get some samples of the product? I'm still wondering if this is even real. The web site is super sketchy:

"What's in it? It varies per version but basically, alcohol"

Basically alcohol? What the hell does that mean? No mention of maltodextrin or any other encapsulation agent?

I also still don't see the point. The supposed mass savings are overblown at best. He can't possibly do any better than the mass of the alcohol, plus whatever compound is used for encapsulation, plus packaging... You're better off buying and shipping grain alcohol.

Mar 12, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Barrel-aged cocktails

I'm on the fence here. I've had a couple of very decent barrel aged Negronis. Some just okay. And a couple of very bad other barrel aged drinks. (One with citrus, in particular. Might have been a Sidecar.)

Were the Negronis better than a standard issue Negroni? Maybe--depends on what you like. Certainly mellower. Were they more expensive? Definitely. Would I order them again? Perhaps.

Gimmick? No. Barrel aging definitely does SOMETHING perceptible to the cocktail. Is the added cost justified? Probably. There's the cost of the barrel, the time it takes to batch a cocktail for the barrel, the monetary outlay for the ingredients, and of course the space the barrel must consume during the aging period (rent's not free!).

Bottom line: barrel aging is a tool, just like anything else. It's hot right now for whatever reason, lots of places are just learning about it, and they have no clue what to do with it so they're putting out some less than ideal product. Perhaps you could mitigate risk going forward by asking how many batches they've done, and only try barrel aged drinks from places that have already been around the block a few times?

Mar 11, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

London Trip Report

Agreed, some of the hipster places in the US initially under roasted. Light roasts were supposed to allow you to taste the bean's terroir or something along those lines. Lemon juice also has terroir, I'm guessing! Luckily I think in the US that has now long passed and the third wavers have grasped basic concepts of roasting. It's a pretty good situation at this point, though a $5 cup of filter coffee is still a bit tough to swallow.

Regarding the F&C, or any fried food, I just don't think adding salt at the table works. The fish would taste so much nicer if it had a bit of salt sprinkled directly on the flesh prior to battering. And chips take salt much better directly out of the oil than they do even a few minutes later. But I understand, it's the tradition of British fare :-)

Mar 10, 2015
davis_sq_pro in U.K./Ireland

London Trip Report

Just wanted to thank everyone on this board who has posted info on London in the past six months or so. I read every single thread and mined information for a trip I took last week. I wanted to share a few highlights (and a few low-ish lights).

Breakfast, Roast at Borough Market
-----
By far the best breakfast I had during my time in London. (Admittedly due to my schedule I didn't have a lot of time for good breakfasts most days, but anyway...)

Set in a beautiful, bright and window-lined room on the second floor overlooking a really cool market, this is a very nice place to spend part of a morning. The actual breakfast I ordered was the "Full Borough" and it included eggs, streaky bacon (i.e. proper bacon to those of us from the US :-)), very nice sausage, black pudding (excellent), bubble and squeak (slightly bland, but I think that's how it's supposed to be), grilled mushroom, grilled tomato, and a slice of deep-fried bread. Wow--this kept me full, with the help of a few small snacks, from 10:00 a.m. until almost 7:00 p.m. that evening!

Dinner, The Square
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This started out a bit weird. Dinner was on Thursday evening, and when I booked -- almost a month in advance -- I was told that my options were 18:30 or after 21:00. I booked the earlier slot as we were going specifically for the tasting menu. Traffic held us up severely (London traffic, ugh) and we finally made it there at 19:00 -- only to discover a COMPLETELY empty dining room. I'm still not sure why we weren't granted a slightly later booking, as the room did not get more than half-full over the course of the evening.

None the less, it's a very nice space manned by excellent staff, as should be expected of a two star restaurant. Our 9-course tasting was mainly focused on seafood dishes, including courses of mackerel, langostine, and seabass. (The langostine, served on top of a gnocchi, was probably the best dish we had in my opinion.) Aside from one flow issue--a foie gras course served in-between two seafood courses, which kind of overwhelmed things--it was a very well thought out menu with beautiful presentation. All in all, a memorable dinner.

Coffee, TAP (No. 26)
-----
After reading this list I compiled quite a selection of coffee places, and in my first few days I managed to visit Monmouth, Kaffeine, Timberyard, and Prufrock. I was, unfortunately, rather underwhelmed by all of them. Monmouth had probably the best cup, followed by Prufrock, but I was disappointed by the espresso at both Kaffeine and Timberyard, both of which seemed slightly too acidic for my taste. (Too light a roast, perhaps.) Later as I was walking around I walked by TAP (the No. 26 branch) and although it was not on my list decided to give it a shot. Definitely the best cup of coffee I had in London, and one of the best places to hang out for a while as well; unlike Kaffeine and Monmouth there was actually a place to sit!

Dinner, Dishoom
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Almost zero atmosphere, service decent, but damn I had some really nice dishes. The calamari starter was recommended by my server; this is something I would never dream of trying at an Indian restaurant, but she convinced me and it was perhaps the best calamari I've ever sampled. Tender, crunchy, deliciously sauced. I also tried a dish called Haleem, which was sort of a thick lamb stew, served with naan. Very tasty.

Afternoon, Gordon's Wine Bar
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Not culled from this list but perhaps the best place I visited during my trip. This is a bar that's been in operation since the 18th century. No frills, very little service, atmosphere of a candlelit cave. Specializes in fortified wines (port, sherry, madiera), alongside huge servings of cheese, meat, or other accompaniments. I spent a jetlagged afternoon here drinking and reading a book while slowly putting a dent in a hunk of slightly runny blue cheese that they recommended and which perfectly matched the wine. Not exactly a culinary epicenter but just a great way to spend a day.

A few other places I visited that are worth a quick mention:
- Dinner, St John -- disappointing after all of the buildup. Weird atmosphere, kind of crap service, and decent food that felt almost like good home cooking. Meh.

- Lunch at The Golden Hind -- pretty nice piece of fish and tasty chips but if this is the best chip shop in London, I'll stick to US fish and chips :-) ... a little salt would be a wonderful thing!

- Dinner, Texture -- very cool room, good service. Had the tasting menu and while the dishes sounded interesting on paper they just weren't very exciting on the plate. Perhaps I'd feel differently had I eaten here before my experience at The Square.

- Tea and scones, Sketch -- this one I found mentioned here on the list as a potentially good place to have dinner, but I didn't have any remaining open dinners. Later I saw it mentioned on a blog as a place with good scones, so I decided to give it a shot. Kind of a strange space, with various themed rooms, but interesting and high quality tea selection and very tasty scones with clotted cream and preserves.

Thanks again to everyone who has been posting here. You were tremendously helpful.

Mar 09, 2015
davis_sq_pro in U.K./Ireland

Diageo embraces ‘internet of everything’ with new high tech bottles . . .

Ah--from that side angle it makes a lot more sense.

Feb 26, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Diageo embraces ‘internet of everything’ with new high tech bottles . . .

Yeah, but have you ever seen glass like that? It looks like the bottles are filled with some kind of nasty mint flavored drink for 20 year old club kids to shoot...

Feb 26, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

Diageo embraces ‘internet of everything’ with new high tech bottles . . .

And it makes the liquid look blue around the edges? WTF?

Feb 26, 2015
davis_sq_pro in Spirits

The Tao of Cookie Monster

Unsliced bread, natch.

The Food Babe Says There’s Beaver Butt in Your Ice Cream

Just made a batch of chemical-laden pudding. Although I feel my life slipping away, I thought I'd share the recipe. Careful, many words are tough to pronounce...

400g condensed lactation and short-chain carbohydrate product that has been subjected to caramelization reactions
450g liquid extract of bovine mammary gland
1 tsp crystalline sodium chloride
2 tbsp alkaline-treated powder of theobroma cacao
2 tsp ethanol-based extraction of fermented v. planifolia
2.4g eucheuma denticulatum extract (iota variety)
0.6g xanthomonas campestris polysaccharide extract
2 tbsp crystalline disachharide

Procedure:

Combine extracts of eucheuma denticulatum and xanthomonas campestris in a small container, using disaccharide as a dispersion agent. In a forged metallic vessel combine remaining ingredients, increasing relative heat by degrading oxygen with hydrocarbon gas until caramelized lactation product has reduced to a liquid state. (Application of a mechanical mixing device may be advised.) Introduce extracts and dispersant from the initial container, and ensure that solute has properly disintegrated. Pass entire resultant product through a wire mesh device prior to utilizing a freon-based apparatus to remove heat.

Finally: CONSUME AND DIE. (Garnish with whipped cream if desired.)

The Food Babe Says There’s Beaver Butt in Your Ice Cream

To be fair, carrageenan may in fact not be too great for you. Some of what I've read about it appears fairly damning. But as with most things nutrition related it's very tough to separate the valuable information from the noise and/or FUD. I still use it and feel comfortable feeding it to my family, for now.

I've seen significantly less criticism about gellan gum, although it's also much less commonly used. And I've seen virtually nothing about lecithin, which makes sense: soy lecithin in particular is very popular with people who consider themselves to be into "natural" foods, so they won't criticize it.

Grubhub.com

I use Foodler regularly, which I think is pretty much the same thing. I like it a lot.

- Browsing the menu and ordering is one step
- You instantly see the total amount you're spending
- There is no question about whether or not the person took down your address or credit card number properly
- You can get various discounts and rewards
- You can use it to discover new restaurants to order from
- Finally, yes, you don't have to talk to someone on the phone. I consider this to be a huge benefit, especially for takeout places that are super busy ("hold please!" every two seconds), super noisy ("repeat that please!"), or man their phones with people who have difficulty conversing in English

Total win-win and a great use of technology, in my opinion.