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Hoc's Profile

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VitaMix Blender, is it worth it?

Well, you can make butter. Nothing quite as good as fresh bread and butter, or homemade pancakes with warm maple syrup and fresh butter on them.

Mar 19, 2014
Hoc in Cookware

Summer 2014: Valencia & Segovia

We have been to Spain -- all over -- many times. However, next summer we are taking our first visits to Valencia and Segovia. Clearly, we want to try some of the best paella in Valencia, and some of the best cochinillo in Segovia. Just looking for recommendations here as to the best places to try. I'm pretty sure we're going to try Jose Maria in Segovia for the cohinillo, but would like any other recommendations you might have.

In addition, we love Churros con Chocolate and tapas, so anything you can recommend in that vein is welcome. As well as anything else you think we shouldn't miss.

Dec 18, 2013
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Stella?

I have reservations for Stella on Wednesday. But the more I look at it, the more it seems to be pretentious and overpriced. I would like to know some impressions you guys have of it before I go and spend a mortgage payment on food that just looks unusual, but doesn't blow me away in flavor. Is Stella worth the price?

Oct 14, 2013
Hoc in New Orleans

Friday Lunch At Galatoire's: How Do You Hire Someone To Stand In Line?

We're thinking about doing Friday lunch at Galatoire's, but I doubt that many in my group will have the patience to stand in line. So, how do you hire someone to do it for you? Anywhere online I could find folks willing to do that?

Just wondering. Never eaten at Galatoir's before, but for this particular trip, I might be willing to pack a jacket. . .

Sep 16, 2013
Hoc in New Orleans

New Orleans: This or That? This Weekend.

My personal experience is that August is overdone and pretentious. Commander's Palace has been amazing at times, but disappointing at others. I like Herbsaint, particularly their deconstructed carbonara, and Cochon. Bayona was nothing special. For the price, I preferred K-Pauls or NOLA. Can't comment on the rest.

Sep 16, 2013
Hoc in New Orleans

Late night bites in Waikiki (flight arrives at 9:30pm!)

I'm pretty sure it was Canterbury. Up on the Second Floor of the Hotel. They served a decent artichoke. Isn't Wailana down on the first floor, with great big windows?

Aug 12, 2013
Hoc in Hawaii

Variety of meals in oahu.... Thoughts?

There's nothing particularly exciting at Duke's, but it is nice to listen to the live music and watch the ocean there. Get a cocktail and some mediocre bar food while you're doing it, but don't expect any memorable food. Their nachos and burgers are OK.

Aug 10, 2013
Hoc in Hawaii

Late night bites in Waikiki (flight arrives at 9:30pm!)

In the late 1970's, we used to go to Canterbury Coffee House (I think it was in what was called the Wailana Hotel back then) at about 3 in the morning, after the club would shut down. Good late night snacks.

Aug 09, 2013
Hoc in Hawaii

Late night bites in Waikiki (flight arrives at 9:30pm!)

I agree with Kman and killersmile, that neither million, nor sorabol, is terribly authentic nor particularly good.

In another vein, not open late at night but there is a decent Korean fast food place at the shopping center in Waikele. I think it is called Tasty Barbecue or something like that, but it is fast food. Another really good Korean fast food place is Young's Kal Bee in Aiea, but it's not open late, either.

Aug 08, 2013
Hoc in Hawaii

Late night bites in Waikiki (flight arrives at 9:30pm!)

Well, that sucks. They made a good slush float, OK plate lunch and they were always a reliable standby when I was late and going to or coming from the airport.

Aug 08, 2013
Hoc in Hawaii

Late night bites in Waikiki (flight arrives at 9:30pm!)

I wouldn't go all the way to Waikiki. Bob's Barbecue in Kalihi has some of the best plate lunches you would want. Definitely recommend the Teriyaki Beef, Teriyaki Chicken, Kalbi or mixed plates. The Chocolate malts are good, too. If you want something more in the vein of what you're used to, go with a burger -- they are barbecued, and very tasty.

Open until 11 pm. Though it's more dining at picnic tables in front of the restaurant, or in the car on the way over to Waikiki. Alternatively, if you want something more convenient, Byron's Drive-In is OK (if they are still open -- I've heard that they might have closed down). They are right there at the airport.

Aug 07, 2013
Hoc in Hawaii

Moving To San Juan Capistrano -- Great Restaurants?

We are in the process of moving down to San Juan Capistrano, after 23 years in Huntington Beach. We are going to be fish out of water down there. Now, we have to find all new "favorite" restaurants. I know that finding great Mexican is going to be easy down there. Las Golondrinas seems to be one of the favorites, and I've always liked El Molino de Oro for their tortas. We also found "Bad to the Bone BBQ" for really good burgers.

But we need to find other favorites. Preferably, places where we can get amazing food, and even better, for around $20 a person or less.

We're hoping to go no further north than Laguna Beach, and no further south than San Clemente.

Any recommendations as to the best reasonably priced restaurants down there?

Dec 14, 2012
Hoc in Los Angeles Area

Late Night Food Advice for those trapped near Tripler [Honolulu]

Depending again on how late you're talking, Bob's Bar Be Cue is open until about 11 pm, and, frankly, serves some of the best plate lunches on the island.

Also, Fook Yuen is open pretty late, though it's located near Kapiolani and Kalakaua.

Nov 13, 2012
Hoc in Hawaii

London best Fish & Chips Restaurants

I had no internet access -- had to rely on reception and a printout of this thread to find the stuff.. I DID add the information, when I posted.

Jul 17, 2012
Hoc in U.K./Ireland

London best Fish & Chips Restaurants

I was a little irritated at this post, since there are lots of names, but no useful information. Like, where are these restaurants located, or what are their hours? At least a link to a webpage giving info. We spent about two hours looking on the internet, then finding and going to Masters Super Fish (near Waterloo) for lunch yesterday, only to find out that it doesn't open until 5 pm.

We're going to try Seashell (near Marylebone) for lunch today, and hope it's open.

Jul 17, 2012
Hoc in U.K./Ireland

Any Bilbao Recommendations?

On our last night we had an OK, if rather uninspired, dinner at Aiaizn in the Melia Hotel. Because I didn't get any recommendations here, I went with those on Tripadvisor, and most were good. I definitely recommend Porrue and the cafe at the Guggenheim Museum. My wife loved Aizian, but I thought it was only OK.

Jul 17, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Any Bilbao Recommendations?

Had dinner last night at Porrue, in the Abondo area. Excllent food, excellent wine, excellent service. I had Cochinillo and she had Octopus. Strawberries with a Nata Volcano for dessert. All in, with wine, about 78 Euros.

Jul 12, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

San Sebastián, Pays Basque (Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, St Jean de Luz, Biarritz, Espelette, Hondarrabia) Suggestions

I would definitely say not to miss La Cuchara de San Telmo (great pintxos of Cochinillo, Veal Cheeks, Octopus, Foie Gras and goat cheese) and Zeruko (everything was great, but we particularly enjoyed the squid tempura and Bob Limon). La Cuchara has a lot of tourists, but I would not call it "tourist driven," and even if it was, who cares? The food was great!

Jul 12, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Any Bilbao Recommendations?

We just had a very nice lunch at the Guggenheim Cafeteria, of all places.

Jul 12, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Cuenca Recommendations?

We actually looked to go there for lunch. The guard at the Francisco Perez Modern Art Foundation told us it was below, in the new town. So, we went down the hill, only to be told that it was up the hill. So, we ate at Meson Jose instead.

Jul 11, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Monday Dinner in BIlbao? (May)

Yes

Jul 10, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Monday Dinner in BIlbao? (May)

In San Sebastian, we found some great tapas Monday night. In the Gros, we went to Bergara and had a prawn and mushroom tortilla that was amazing. Also, their Txhalupa, which is recommended, was good. We also went to Mil Catas and had risotto with mushrooms and foie. Did not like Bar Cepa in the parte vieja, but it was open. As is Bar Alejandro.

Can't find anything in Bilbao on any night.

Jul 09, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Any Bilbao Recommendations?

We are in San Sebastian, and going to Bilbao in 2 days. A search on this board has yielded lots of requests about Bilbao, but no recommendations at all. Is there noplace good to eat in Bilbao?

Also, FWIW, we went to Akelare for lunch here. It was good, but I just don't see the point of paying $500 for two for a single lunch. I just don't find the food to be worth that. We're hoping for places where we can get dinner for 2 for less than $100.

Jul 09, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Cuenca Recommendations?

For what it's worth, the Churros con chocolate in the Plaza Espana were about the worst I;ve had in 20 years of Spanish travel. First, the "Churros" were not churros, but tejeringos cut into strips. Also about the greasiest I've ever had. The chocolate had almost no flavor. THick, but watery tasting. The only churros meal I didn't finish in 20 years. Across from the Plaza Espana was another place titled, "Churreria." Chocolate was standard, Vaqlor out of the bag. Churros tasted like they had been fried in old oil, and slightly too greasy. Cuenca obviously is not a churros town.

Jul 06, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Cuenca Recommendations?

We went back for lunch and had the Cochinillo. I had the Gazpacho. Both were excellent.

Jul 06, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Cuenca Recommendations?

We just had dinner at Casas Colgadas. Excellent. I started with the Sopa Castilla (Garlic Soup), then had the solomillo (sirloin steak) and fried milk pudding for dessert. She had the Hake a la plancha and wound up eating a good part of my soup. Probably the best meal we've had in Spain so far this trip.

Jul 04, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal

Best Veal Parmigiana In SF?

I never really was impressed by Original Joe's Veal Parmigiana. The one in San Jose is OK, but nothing to compare to Little Joe's in SF.

Jul 03, 2012
Hoc in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Veal Parmigiana In SF?

I've eaten there. Very disappointing.

Jul 03, 2012
Hoc in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Veal Parmigiana In SF?

OK, so I tried Westlake Joe's on Sunday. It was pretty meh. Veal was soggy, sauce was OK, but nothing to write home about, and the ravioli were so-so. Original Joe's in San Jose serves a better Veal Parmigiana, but even that one doesn't come close to the one that used to be served by Little Joe's in SF.

Jun 27, 2012
Hoc in San Francisco Bay Area

Where to buy saffron in Madrid

I tend to buy my saffron and smoked paprika from San Miguel market. But, if you go in the evening, it's one of the best concentrated tapas places, as well.

Jun 14, 2012
Hoc in Spain/Portugal