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Real BBQ-San Diego

Try Croom's Catering and Barbecue on H Street near Broadway in Chula vista. Big guy out front smoking meat in a huge barrel drum smoker. It's a hole, service is hit or miss...but he's got tri tip, ribs, chicken, homemade sides like mac and cheese, collard greens, etc. SD is lacking in decent BBQ no doubt...but this one is worth a try.

May 03, 2008
halfstaff in San Diego

Looking for good italian in San Diego

Agreed on Trattoria's terrific. You're also right DD about the 'hood...I really hope they do well in spite of the lousy location. It's worth the drive...maybe not from North County...but from the city yes!

Mar 01, 2007
halfstaff in San Diego

Lunch at Vine Ripe in San Diego

We had lunch at the cafe inside the Vine Ripe store on Fletcher. We love the store for middle eastern/Greek staples and produce (the owners are Lebanese), but were really impressed with the simple preparations served for lunch at the cafe. Beef shwerma, hummus, grilled sea bass, kabobs, etc.

Has anyone else tried it and liked it? Are there other recommendations for similar or better in San Diego?

Mar 01, 2007
halfstaff in California

Must Eat In Astoria/Queens?

My wife actually had her bridal shower at Zenon back in 2001...she grew up in Astoria, and it was really quite good. (She's Greek-American and we moved to San Diego five years ago...there are so many things we sorely miss from the old 'hood! Not to mention the City...SD is beautiful, but rather boring. And it's full of toasty conservative types. But I digress...)

Try Zenon, it's good!

Feb 27, 2007
halfstaff in Outer Boroughs

looking for gas grill recs?

I totally agree...I have cast iron grates on my Weber Silver Genesis grill and they make all the difference.

Feb 26, 2007
halfstaff in Cookware

newlywed would love some of your tried and trues

Great advice...good basic technique will go a lot further than a few good recipes. And Julia, of course...but Jacques Pepin also has wonderful resources for technique to check out.

Feb 26, 2007
halfstaff in Home Cooking

Must Eat In Astoria/Queens?

I know it's not the best Greek...not by far. But you must visit Uncle George's, 34th and B'way, it's an Astoria institution. And much of it is quite good, authentic homestyle taverna fare, served with an attitude. Good people watching to boot.

Feb 26, 2007
halfstaff in Outer Boroughs

Pre-Pantages -Hollywood & Vine Bistro?

Off Vine--very homey, does a big Pantages pre-theatre, but gets mixed reviews. I've liked it the few times I've been, but it's been over a year.

Feb 26, 2007
halfstaff in Los Angeles Area

Do you have never-fail last-minute pantry dinners? Here are mine...

My favorite easy pasta dish: linguine w/ garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest, softened in olive oil. Add a little of the starchy/salty pasta water, add black pepper, toss in the linguine, maybe some parsley, top with olive oil and parm reggiano...late night treat!

Feb 25, 2007
halfstaff in Home Cooking

Rib slow roast or not?

From what I gather, doing a 200 degree slow roast on a standing rib-eye roast will result in a more uniform doneness, and doing 500 degree to 350 degree standard technique will be better for more varied levels of doneness.

Any suggestions or opinions on the best way to go? I'm leaning towards the slow roast...but should I cover it with foil? Is 1/2 hour per pound good for medium rare? Should I put it back in at 500 degrees to get a crust?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Feb 25, 2007
halfstaff in Home Cooking

How Do You Eat Your Dogs?

Fairly simple, as well. Grilled Hebrew Nat'l beef, well done so the skin has that 'snap' when bitten into, toasted bun...spicy mustard and kraut.

Feb 20, 2007
halfstaff in General Topics


I love that book, "Classic Home Desserts"--I've only tried six or seven of the recipes...pies and custards most recently...but it really is terrific.

Other than that..."New York Cookbook" compiled by Molly O'Neill, "Classic Italian" by Marcella Hazan, "Modern Greek" compiled by Andy Harris...and anything by Jacques or Julia.

Feb 16, 2007
halfstaff in Home Cooking

How did your Red Velvet Cake turn out?

The New York Times recipe worked out very well for me--it was the first time we've tried this cake. The cream cheese/marscapone frosting isn't so sweet-sweet, which is nice, and the cake was moist and yummy. My wife loved it! A Valentine's Day success!

Anyone else give it a whirl??

Feb 14, 2007
halfstaff in Home Cooking

any secrets to a great tuna fish sandwich?

I like it the way I learned from my Greek mother-in-law: fairly's about the tuna!

Good quality (Italian/Spanish) light tuna packed in olive oil...albacore in water is tasteless.
Shredded carrot...not too much
Chopped scallion
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

On the bread of your choice...with some feta, kalamata olives, and roasted peppers on the side. Yiasou!

Feb 11, 2007
halfstaff in Home Cooking

Andy Harris' Rice Pudding

Andy--we LOVE your book, have tried many of the dishes. But, we have had problems with the rice pudding recipe. You have only 1/3c rice with 4 1/2c milk, 2tsp corn starch...and it never thickened, even after an hour. Diana Kochilas' recipe seems more like my mother-in-law's...with more rice to milk ratio, no corn starch, and it came out much better.

Anyway--have you heard any other comments/problems on the recipe? What are we doing wrong?

TIA...once again, we love your compilations.


Feb 10, 2007
halfstaff in Home Cooking

Cold Sesame Noodles in San Diego?

Thanks, Ed...that was helpful.

Feb 09, 2007
halfstaff in California

Cold Sesame Noodles in San Diego?

It may sound random, but I can never find the kind of cold sesame noodles in California that are on EVERY New York City Chinese take-out menu. Except for Genghis Cohen in LA...has anyone found them in San Diego? Or any other NY-style Chinese in SoCal?

Feb 08, 2007
halfstaff in California

San Diego restaurants are bad

Yes, San Diego is lacking in great restaurants, but there are some terrific choices and it's unfair to compare anywhere with SF, NYC, France, et al. There's too much beautiful weather distracts people with outdoor activities, making it difficult to develop a vibrant dining scene IMHO.

But there is:

Chive/Kensington Grill/Laurel...all owned by Tracy Borkum
Cafe Cerise
Cafe Pacifica
Sushi Ota

Just a few to try...

Feb 08, 2007
halfstaff in San Diego