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Stop Bashing Paula Deen

So basically, this post is a bash on Bourdain's bash on Deen. Get a life. None of this matters.

Jan 22, 2012
bluishgnome in Features

Wine carrier cases?

Hey all,

Not sure if this is the right place to be asking such a question, but I'm gifting two bottles of really good wine to my friends for their wedding this weekend. I'd like to present them in a tasteful manner (not a brown paper bag...) and was wondering where I could find those fancy looking leather wine cases. Strapped or not, as long as it's quality made and looks good.

Thanks for your help!

Sep 06, 2011
bluishgnome in Manhattan

Where to find good slider buns?

Hey all,

Could someone please recommend a good bakery in the city or Queens that sells slider buns? You know, mini-burger buns.

Thanks!

Jul 30, 2011
bluishgnome in Manhattan

CHOW Root Beer

HaHa... funny indeed. I'm still finding traces of root beer in my bathroom from when half my first batch exploded... two years ago...

I'm looking to make this one again. I have a much better understanding about cleaning and sanitizing and controlling the yeast (I just started homebrewing beer.) The only problem is, I'm having a hard time tracking down sassafras (probably because it's illegal.) I've tried looking up recipes online, but most of them contain "root beer syrup" or the likes. I have no clue how to track down a sassafras tree as I'm a lifelong city dweller and couldn't tell oak from cedar. Does anyone know of a good substitute for sassafras? Or maybe even another recipe that they've tried successfully?

Mar 01, 2009
bluishgnome in Recipes

Beer Table, Park Slope

Looks like there's a beer festival next month! I will try Captain Lawrence and all of the other breweries strutting their stuff in September! Woohoo!

Aug 20, 2008
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Nouvelle Chef Andy Yang

100% with you on that. Bay Ridge is pretty hopeless when it comes to quality food for reasonable price. Take the R and head northbound.

Aug 13, 2008
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Beer Table, Park Slope

Agreed that Brooklyn Brewery is no longer a microbrewery (or really a good one, to my taste). I'm no expert in the beer matters... could you please point me to a big handful of some of the best local microbreweries? I know Six Points... but that's about it.

Aug 13, 2008
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Beer Table, Park Slope

Oooh, you know who has nice beer for great prices? It's further north of Park Slope, but Sheep Station has a nice selection of beers from all over the place and at $4/pint during happy hour, it's truly an undervalued gem. Might have heard of their poutine as well (featured in the Times quite a while back) but that's for another thread.

I have really been trying to find time to drop by Beer Table, but after seeing all these posts, I think I shall opt for a visit to good ol' Bierkraft.

Aug 13, 2008
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Absurdly small tortillas at Palo Santo

My idea is that smaller tortillas cook faster so they can get you more in a timely manner (or that's just the theory... it took 20 minutes for a plate of tortillas last time I was there.) Also, the size might be for dining reason as well. My wife is Mexican and when we eat with her family, there's always a pile of tortilla at the table. It's usually the store bought type, since everyone in her family works and there's little time to prepare fresh tortillas. I noticed at my first meal that they use tortillas as a utensil. They tear it into quarters, fold the pointed end (center piece) in, and grab the meat, rice and beans into the tortilla. I'm guessing this is easier done with a small 2-inch tortilla without all the tearing.

Those are just my two theories. At least Palo Santo's tortillas are homemade and pretty darn good, no matter what the size.

Aug 13, 2008
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Palo Santo: Any recent visitors?

Oof. Sorry to hear that. I've been to Palo Santo a handful of times and yea, I've noticed that their service is ridiculously slow. It's possible that the place is too big for the kitchen to handle. Perhaps the cold dish cook ran out of his prep? I don't know. I remember it took them 20 minutes to bring me tortillas, so I feel you. I'm going back there this Friday at 8:30... prime time! :) I hope things have been kicked into fast forward since the last time we've been there. I'll report back.

Aug 13, 2008
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Pie tins for mini pies?

Oh! Broadway Panhandlers! Good idea. I'll call them tomorrow morning.

Jun 18, 2008
bluishgnome in Manhattan

Pie tins for mini pies?

Yes. The one with the extremely rude and Nazi-esque staff and owner. If the store wasn't so great, I'd never shop there. Unfortunately, I don't know of any better pastry arts supply stores. And they don't have pie tins, unfortunately.

Jun 18, 2008
bluishgnome in Manhattan

Pie tins for mini pies?

Hey everyone,

My wife and I want to bake some mini pies for this weekend but we're having a hard time finding 5" pie tins... we tried NY Cake & Bake and Bowery @ Chelsea Market, but no luck at either locations. Does anyone know where we can buy 5" tins in the city (or Brooklyn, even)?

Thanks in advance!

Jun 18, 2008
bluishgnome in Manhattan

Standing Rib Roast...

I'm looking to cook a rib roast for the holiday and seeing as how I've never really made one before, I don't know where to get a decent rack of ribs and how much it'll cost me.

I'm not asking for the high end butchers because I won't be able to afford it. A good neighborhood butcher or even one of the chain markets (Fairway et al) is what I'm aiming for. Any suggestions and an idea of how much it goes for per pound?

Thanks in advance.

Dec 13, 2007
bluishgnome in Manhattan

Australian wine and beer

Try the Wine board... I know there's a few coveted Australian wineries out there... but it's been a long time since I've looked into it, so my knowledge is lacking.

Dec 12, 2007
bluishgnome in General Topics

A funny thing happened to my kielbasa on the way to the grill

Sit outside or in the fridge? This sounds very interesting and delicious (and easy to do...) Is there a specific type of smoked Polish sausage that I should look for?

Oct 27, 2007
bluishgnome in General Topics

Maria's Mexican Cafe

Whoa... $3/tamale? That is ridiculous. I don't remember it being that expensive, but maybe it was right before the closed. Ah well. If you want good authentic Mexican, try the little shop on Fort Hamilton Parkway and 70th. They have great tacos, cemitas, and aguas frescas.

Oct 23, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Maria's Mexican Cafe

Didn't this place change ownership a year or two ago? My wife and I went for late lunch a long while ago and it wasn't too bad. I'm still sad that Cafe Mexicano next door closed. That place trumped Maria's two-fold.

Oct 22, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

applewood with baby? or other nice restaurant in brooklyn?

A half teaspoon of whiskey for the baby and everyone will enjoy the night.

Oct 22, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Chance, Carroll Gardens

I tried the foie gras dumpling the last time I went and it wasn't like it used to be... maybe my expectations were too high, but the dumpling wrap was a little too thick and doughy and the foie gras wasn't really there... more shrimp than anything.

It's a nice place, but as with most other Chinese restaurants, you gotta watch out for some sanitation issues. My bokchoy still had dirt between the leaves (all 3 of them).

Oct 12, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Nice place for a sit-down lunch on 5th Ave in Park Slope?

I truly disliked Belleville and can't see why it's on so many people's lists... our service was horrid, food was average (even for a French bistro), and the place is reminiscent of a cheapen out Pastis.

I heard L'Aile ou la Cuisse opened a new branch out in Park Slope... has anyone been?

Oct 12, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

New York Michelin Results for 2008

Didn't Devi just close and reopen under new ownership? I wonder how that affects things and if they still deserve their star...

Some of the places under the Bib Gourmand are so out of date and looks like they were put in their by old timers who haven't been around NY for a long time. And some places seem like they're in there just because of spoken reputation. This entire guide is tacky and menial. What a waste of paper.

Oct 09, 2007
bluishgnome in Food Media & News

Fun, inexpensive restaurant in Park Slope

I second that. Prices are great and the food is even better (except the meat pie... which they can't seem to warm up correctly and has a taste of Heinz ketchup...) The burgers, Poutine, and happy hour is more than enough reason to sit back at this low-key place.

Oct 08, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

La Villa vs. Anthony's

How much is a pie at Anthony's? The people at La Villa seem to be smoking crack, asking for the amount they do for a pizza pie. I mean seriously... could the cost of flour, tomatoes, mozzarella and pepperoni have shot up that much that it'll cost me an arm and a leg to eat pizza? And the slices aren't even large enough to justify the price! It's another example of people with a bit too much money to spare getting ripped off through their behinds while smiling and raving about it like they were given the gift of God. There's only one place I'd pay that much money for pizza... and I'm sure everyone else on this board knows where that is.

Oct 06, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Palo Santo Brunch: Now Defunct

Ah darn it. Well, good thing you mentioned it... I was planning on visiting with a few friends from NJ who I've been coaxing to try restaurants in Brooklyn. They woulda given me hell if we arrived and found out Palo Santo nixed their brunch menu. It was my favorite brunch spot in Brooklyn. Maybe they'll bring it back?

Thanks for the heads up.

Oct 01, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Quiet quality restaurants in Park Slope?

Ugh. Lets not rate restaurants for their food or service during restaurant week. My first visit to Palo Santo was during RW as well and I completely agree with you on their service and food quality that week. But I went to two other great restaurants (Crave and Tempo) during RW and was completely underwhelmed at both (not surprisingly.)

Try Palo Santo at least one more time. It's become one of my favorite restaurants that rarely lets me down. The last thing that wasn't a favorite was the pork liver chorizo... but it was interesting. My main dish had a fried pig tail, which was a great garnish and tasted ... like pork, mostly.

I had the chicken heart on a regular visit and found it to be chewy and flavorful. I think that's how it should be, no? It wasn't greasy at all. Their little tacos are always on target. And the wine list is definitely affordable with a decent selection of wines by the glass.

And yea... the place is good for a large group. And those large groups do get loud sometimes... especially after a few bottles of wine. Sorry.

Sep 30, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Places I must eat in Brooklyn

Tempo is definitely a must try. Chef Fiore is extremely talented and quite underappreciated, in my opinion. The mussels with chorizo is my favorite appetizer. I can mop the jus through the bowl with enough bread!

Sep 26, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

Places I must eat in Brooklyn

I agree with you ardnaxela. I've been to Queen a few times and what I paid for was nothing special. To call it a "Must Eat" in Brooklyn is a bit of an overstatement.

I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Jack the Horse at the corner of Cranberry and Hicks. Great professional (yet casual) service, awesome bartender (one of the most talented and knowledgable bartenders I've ever met - try his specialty "Man of Leisure"), delicious food (short ribs I had were unforgettable), and the ambiance it so different from anything else in Brooklyn (busy but not noisy.)

Sep 26, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs

CHOW Root Beer

Hey jcb,

Thanks for that detailed response. It does explain what might have gone wrong. I followed the Chow bottling instructions by soaking the bottles in chlorine water for a bit then rinsing it clean... but I guess the rinsing water I used had contaminants in it... I think I'll sanitize my bottles kinda like I do my mason jars in the future, using a huge rondelle or stock pot with boiling water and a long tong.

I'll give it another go when I get the good ol' root beer craving. And I'll report back. :)

Thanks again.

Sep 19, 2007
bluishgnome in Recipes

Brooklyn--Where to dine near BAM? Help!

My wife and I went to Thomas Biesl last night before the show. Wow. I have a knack for picking bad restaurants.

Now, to be fair, the head server (maybe manager?) told us that they were short two servers, and he did kick butt - bartending, serving, clearing, and delegating new guests all at once. But his two companions were way out of their league for a matinee rush that big.

My wife and I got there at 5:45PM. It wasn't full at all, pretty quiet and calm. So we were taken aback when the "hostess"/server abruptly asked "Do you have reservations? No? Oh, then you can't eat here. We don't have any seats. We're all booked." with eyes pointing towards the door. Wooooowww. HaHa... only one word came to mind, and it pertains to a female dog. I was about to head out when my wife spotted two seats at the bar and asked if we could sit there. The server, looking a bit disappointed, shrugged and nodded. Just awful. I know that European bistros aren't the warmest places in terms of service, but this was just demeaning in sorts.

The food that we ordered was all over the scale.
- Their soup of the day, Viennese tomato soup, was perfect. So delicious that my wife and I were fighting over the spoon.
- My pork cheeks and dumplings looked like they'd been pre-cooked in the morning and nuked before plating.
- My wife's braised beef tasted spoiled. Not "sour/sauer" as the chef said it was supposed to be, but "spoiled/(I don't know how to say that in Austrian)". The manager/head server was kind enough to replace the dish with my wife's request of meatloaf special. Now that was worthwhile. Hint of caraway and an herb that I've tasted but couldn't recollect... moist but firm... a great meatloaf all around.

AND THEN! The best part, which wasn't the restaurant's fault, but which I thought just completed the whole experience... a beggar troddled in and started panhandling! HaHaHa... ahhh... now that's good ol' Flatbush.

The chef stepped behind the bar for a second to grab some soda and had a chat... he says it's usually better later at night when the mad matinee rush is done. But after that first experience ($70 for 1 app, 2 entree, 2 glasses of wine + tax & tip + headache, upset stomache & stress) I don't think I'll want to head back there anytime soon.

Sep 14, 2007
bluishgnome in Outer Boroughs