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The Little Owl as a walk-in

My advice--don't bother. The staff is nice enough I suppose, but a 40-minute mid-week wait at 9:30pm turned into 90 minutes before we sat down. The sliders were pretty good (not transcendently flavorful, but tender). The pasta I ordered, however, was WAY too salty. My girlfriend's fish was overcooked (not inedible, but still--for the price and the wait, its should have been better). The service was irratic and slow, but friendly. The space is cramped and acoustically challenging. If you must go, I say reservation or risk frustration.

Aug 15, 2007
jamonito in Manhattan

Spiciest Food You've Ever Eaten?

In Monterrey, Mexico there's a little restaurant where nuns serve as the waitstaff (or at least the waitstaff are all dressed up like nuns...they insisted it was legit, but I have my suspicions). For breakfast, they serve a delicious version of chilaquiles (fried fresh corn tortillas with queso blanco) that arrives at your table drenched in a bright red chile oil. It tasted good enough that I fought through the pain of eating it. The pain lasted in my mouth for over an hour and only subsided after several cups of hot cafe con leche. But then the burn in my stomach started (and I'm talking chile burn--not heartburn or a stomach ache--but deep internal organ, inflamed liver, ulcer inducing burn). It lasted more than a day. I've never experienced anything like it before or since. And it was worth it--I'd order it again.

Stateside, there used to be a great place in Santa Fe called Tecolote. Their Sheepherder's Breakfast comes with your choice of red (chipotle) or green (Hatch chile) sauces. And depending on the chiles, that green sauce can be pretty lethal too. But delicious. My favorite dish/restaurant in all of New Mexico.

Mar 02, 2007
jamonito in General Topics

No knead bread

A good friend shared a loaf with me that she baked from the NY Times article and it was very, very good bread. You need a dutch oven. It was devised by the guy who runs the Sullivan Street Bakery in Manhattan--one of the finest bread bakeries in the city, in my experience. Heres the recipe my friend used...good luck.


Mar 02, 2007
jamonito in Home Cooking

Breakfast Tacos and Migas in Austin

For me, the best corn tortillas and breakfast tacos are at El Meson (on Burleson Rd, not far from the airport--weird location great, great, great interior Mexican food, not expensive). My personal morning favorite, chorizo and eggs with mushrooms. (I've been living in NY for two months after 11 years in Austin, and I dream about El Meson breakfast tacos regularly). They always have a rotating selection of 2 or 3 handmade salsas out in large bowls on the counter plus escabeche. And for lunch, their version of "pastor" is especially delicious--rich, smoky pork bits that are nicely caramelized with tasty bits of fresh pineapple soaking up all the delicious red-tinted pork fat. Carnivores will be especially happy here for lunch and dinner, though they do a decent calabacitas or cheese enchiladas. But go for the meat--good chilorio, great cochinita pibil, very good chicken tinga. It's a very special hole-in-the wall joint that's a bit out of the way, but well worth the trouble.

Mar 02, 2007
jamonito in Austin

Oysters at Home

I was wondering the same thing a few minutes ago (looking for Belon oysters, in particular)and a Google search led me here:

They deliver fresh live oysters and they're a NY company. They seem to have a wide selection and some interesting info about cultivation practices, but I have not tried them yet, so I cannot vouch for their quality or services. Just thought I'd share, in case you're brave enough to buy without seeing/smelling first.

Mar 02, 2007
jamonito in Manhattan

Birthday dinner on near Union Hall?

sorry for the repost--learning quickly not to hit the back button.

Feb 26, 2007
jamonito in Outer Boroughs

Neighborhood luncheon places in Portland

I dream about Fujiin's crispy fried eggplant on a regular basis (on Hawthorne). Incredibly fast, fresh, family-run Chinese--my favorite in PDX for over ten years (since I lived down the street in the early 90s).

Feb 26, 2007
jamonito in Pacific Northwest