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two women in mexico city in august

Despite the fact that I end up at Costco Polanco during trips to the DF, I always feel like Polanco is far from everything (probably because I stay in La Condesa).

Lots of great suggestions already offered, though I have to disagree with the assertion that you must only visit the original El Bajio in Azcapotzalco. I've eaten at several of the locations (Parque Delta, Insurgentes, Polanco) and all have been great places to eat.

One of the great things about Mexico City Colonias (neighborhoods) are their weekly markets (tianguis). Each neighborhood has an open air market one day of the week - and there's always plenty to see, buy and eat. Many of the small vendors there produce fantastic eats and I highly recommend them.

In the colonia Escandon, on Calle Progreso is a little tiny joint called Benjamin Franklin. This is the home of pambacitos, little balls of fried dough stuffed with meats, cheese or whatever you desire. Amazing.

And my favorite tacos al pastor place is open only at night: El Vilsito on Universidad. You'll need a car or taxi to take you there but it is worth the trip. The tacos al pastor and the volcan are incredible. I usually take an order of pastor to go with me on the plane home.

Jul 16, 2012
onocoffee in Mexico

Liquid Nitrogen

hotel- you're probably right. The reports that I was reading a couple of years ago were discussing containment issues of larger liquid nitrogen tanks and the use of nitrogen sensors, along with the warning that if nitrogen were released in the workspace and a co-worker was unconscious on the floor to leave them because they would already be dead.

But I agree, a small dewar of liquid nitrogen probably doesn't pose the same threat.

Good Tomatoes at Baltimore Farmers Market

Different varietals and different farmers tomatoes come into their own at different times. If you're truly looking for "the best", you should have a look at the offerings and discuss the tomatoes with the farmer (who presumably knows their produce best). There really is a wide selection and character of tomatoes available that can be dramatically different than the others. Talk to some of the farmers, sample a few different varietals and find the one that suits your tastes best.

Liquid Nitrogen

As Shake said, dry ice is a good alternative to liquid nitrogen. It's readily available and easier to handle.

Proper storage and transportation of liquid nitrogen requires specialized tanks or smaller dewars. Don't know if places like Robert's Oxygen will rent you one and they're not cheap to buy - though some deals can be found on eBay.

A possible alternative is that you might find a supply house or individual who will allow you to port away the liquid nitrogen in a styrofoam cooler (think of those cheap 7-11 breakable foam jobs). Unlikely, but if you can find someone who will sell it to you that way, you might be able to get it done cheaply.

Caution should be heeded when working with liquid nitrogen. First off, it's extremely cold and can cause bodily damage. Be careful when working around it and be sure to wear pants and closed toe leather shoes. Why? because if you're wearing canvas/fabric shoes and you spill the liquid nitrogen on your feet, you might lose your toes.

Also, be sure to work with the nitrogen in a well-ventilated area. Unlike CO2 gas that is hard to breathe and you have a definite sense of shortness of breath to alert you that your suffocating, nitrogen gas does not work the same way. It does not react with the lungs in the way CO2 does - meaning that you'll keep breathing nitrogen in the manner that you normally breathe until you asphyxiate yourself and drop dead.

Baltimore: Looking for the Grit and Soul of the City

Yes, Royal Farms. Really. On Chowhound.

Or are you suggesting that Chowhound is more about pretense than actual places to eat?

And I'm surprised that so many of you seem to have failed on the fact that Royals Farms is a local company based on The Avenue in Hampden.

Baltimore: Looking for the Grit and Soul of the City

At the northeast corner of St. Paul Street and 25th is a place called M&J's Soul Food. I stop there from time to time and the food is very soul, downhome, rustic, plentiful and affordable. The meatloaf, fried chicken and pork chops are my faves.

There's also a place run by middle easterners serving the black communities running locations callee Hip Hop Fish & Chicken. The service is efficient and quick and the chicken is pretty tasty. You literally can get piles of chicken for cheap.

Baltimore is known for its crabs and Faidley's is famous for its crabcakes. So too is G&M Restaurant - but if you want something approximating the soul and blue collar old days of Baltimore's history, Bill's Terrace Inn is a spot to check out.

Despite the fancy places that now operate in Baltimore, it's history is strictly working-class blue collar. As such the food is simple and filling. Places like cheesesteaks from Captain Harvey's in Dundalk aren't necessarily the same as Philly but they're massive for dock or assembly line workers who need filling meals that they'll burn off through their labors.

Another place that I've liked over the years is The Chicken Box inside the Cross Street Market in Federal Hill. Again, simple fare, bountiful and at cheap prices. The raw bar usually has good deals on oysters and beer for an afternoon happy hour of slurping and chugging.

Somehow my direction here has focused in on fried chicken places, but maybe that's the simplest of fares and the most accessible for most people. While all of the above give a glimpse of what Baltimore food was like in times past, a lot of modern day working class people get their fried chicken from Royal Farms convenience stores. They're all over the place and while I don't know if I would make a date out of a visit to one, it certainly is my "go to" place for fried chicken.

DF Restaurants like Casa de Toño?

Haven't been there in awhile but La Buena Tierra sounds like it could be a good fit for you.

Sep 26, 2011
onocoffee in Mexico

Frozen Custard

Don't want to step on anyone's toes but...

Overrun really has nothing to do with the classification of Ice Cream. Technically speaking, Ice Cream is anything over ten percent butterfat. Ice Milk is anything under ten percent butterfat.

The main differentiation between Ice Cream and Frozen Custard (besides the use of eggs) is the standard practice of Frozen Custard having a minimum 20% butterfat, as demonstrated by those stalwarts of Frozen Custard such as Kopp's, Ted Drewes, Leon's, Culver's and many others.

Overrun comes into play with the manufacture of the product. Batch freezers can churn product with over 100% overrun - meaning that if you place one gallon of product in the batch freezer (by volume), it will produce two gallons (or more) of finished product (by volume). Overrun is the incorporation of air into the mixture for greater yield, lightness and mouthfeel. An easy comparison is to take a pint of Edy's and compare it to Haagen Dazs.

Even if you took a premium ice cream, like Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry's, then compared it to something like Kopp's, the difference is also quite dramatic. The Kopp's is thicker and creamier because of the product contents.

Also, because of the higher butterfat content, specialized Frozen Custard batch freezers have been developed. One of the more famous brands is the Ross line - which was acquired not too long ago by Stoelting, a company considered amongst many operators to make the "Rolls Royce" of the soft serve ice cream freezers.

Good Corn Baltimore

Just had some really nice white corn from One Straw Farm this past week that I picked up at the Tuesday market at Kenilworth in Towson.

Where can I find Orange Crush with Sugar Cane (Mexican Orange Crush) in the DC area?

I don't recall if they even sell Orange Crush in Mexico. But their own brand is called Jarritos and there's a Mandarin flavor that's quite popular and available in the US at the local Latino Market.

One night in Baltimore - Cinghiale Osteria, Bluegrass Tavern, Jack's Bistro, Pazo or Woodberry Kitchen?

Cinghiale - haven't been there personally since they first opened but have recently heard good things.

Bluegrass - good joint serving nicely done southern specialties in a warm environment.

Jacks - the city's "sous vide" restaurant with interesting takes on steak, mac n cheese and guiness marinated burgers.

Pazo - went there a couple of months ago and found the food to be "meh". If tapas are your interest, Centro in Fed Hill is the better choice.

Woodberry - I go there all the time. Good food, rustic cuisine, nice setting.

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Cinghiale
822 Lancaster Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Centro
4838 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

Pazo Restaurant
1425 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21201

Three coffee places, London

Surprisingly, since my last visit to London two and a half years ago, things have greatly improved with coffee there. Many in the coffee industry will be in London this week for the Caffe Culture trade show and World Barista Championship - of which, the owner of Profrock Coffee, Gwilym Davies, is the current World Barista Champion.

Here's a link to some of the finest London coffee places:

http://www.worldbaristachampionship.c...

Jun 20, 2010
onocoffee in U.K./Ireland

Good breakfast, coffee spots, wine bars near St. Dominique in the 7th

I stay on Rue Amelie and enjoy the almond croissants from the purple patisserie on Rue Grenelle, just around the corner from Rue Cler. Really quite good, as are the baguettes from the aforementioned Stephane Secco. Coffee is a little more difficult as I think the only place worth visiting is Solunas Cafe in le Marais, but the locally owned chain Columbus Cafe has a location on Rue St. Dominique in the neighborhood.

Jun 20, 2010
onocoffee in France

Brussels Frites near Train?

Heading to Amsterdam next weekend from London via EuroStar then Thalys. Will have an hour or so in Brussels between trains - any great frites places within walking distance of the train station (Bruxelles Midi)? Can also consider taxi ride if it's not too far and does not jeopardize our trip.

Thanks!

Jun 17, 2010
onocoffee in Europe

where should i go on sunday night in paris

Sunday night? Robert et Louise - Marais

May 21, 2010
onocoffee in France

Honey Pig in Ellicott City, any early reports?

Went to Honey Pig last night and it was jammed. The line was out the door and the wait about 30 minutes. HP will be open 24 hours.

We had the spicy pork belly, bulgogi, galbi and brisket. Not bad but the flavors were on the lighter side and the side dishes were a bit wanting and not very plentiful. Comparing the food to Shin Chon, it falls a bit short. I think the food is tastier and more plentiful at Shin Chon.

But how many Korean places play modern American pop in a funky setting? Only Honey Pig. A great place for late night dining but not really the definition of Korean cuisine.

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Shin Chon
8801 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD

Sam's Kid

We went there the week the Baltimore Sun review came out and ended up there on a night that caught the restaurant off-guard. The food was pretty decent, but nothing outstanding and we haven't had the yearning to return since.

The really odd thing about the evening wasn't just the sloooow service but the fact that the owner was too busy canoodling with regulars hanging out at the bar, allegedly cooking in the kitchen and/or hanging out to be bothered to either run the food, greet us at the table or bus the tables.

We arrived around 8pm and there were only a couple of tables besides ourselves, however, about 80% of the remaining tables still had the serviceware remnants of the diners before us. Meaning the tables were stacked with dirty plates, glasses and silverware that no one bothered to bus and clean.

Admittedly, they were caught off-guard by the review and the resulting business, and while the only bartender/waitress on staff that night was busy running around like a chicken with her head cut off, the owner couldn't be bothered. The owner would bring the food to the bar and have the bartender/waitress run the plates to the tables. Never mind that the girl was already in the weeds, the owner was above actually serving food or clearing tables.

Which Burr Coffee Grinder Would You Recommend?

For home use, the Baratza really is the best deal. Bodum makes a burr grinder that's also pretty good for about $60. And Cuisinart has a grinder for $50 at most outlets (or $30 at my local Costco).

I've used pretty much all of them and used to have the Cuisinart as my home grinder, then I brought home a Bunn G1 commercial grinder, then when that went off to work, I started using the Baratza Virtuoso. Truly the Baratza is worth the money. The Cuisinart is very afforable but those burrs tend to crush the beans rather than slice them. The Baratza has conical burrs which give a more consistent (and therefore better brewed coffee) grind and is worth the stretch of your funds. You can expect the Baratza to last you the rest of your adult life.

Feb 19, 2010
onocoffee in Cookware

inexpensive 240V induction cooktop?

The Cooktek is by no means "inexpensive" but if you check with a restaurant supply distributor, you might find that the cooktek's price drops a bit. If you buy from the manufacturer, they will charge you MSRP, but the distributor typically gives a sizable discount.

If you do go with CookTek, I doubt you will regret it. They are tops in quality and performance.

Feb 12, 2010
onocoffee in Cookware

Induction stove, need griddle

I haven't used that particular pan, but I use cast iron (lodge, creuset and staub) on my induction burners (CookTek, Vollrath and Waring) all the time.

Feb 07, 2010
onocoffee in Cookware

seek espresso repair for industrial machine at home in Balitmore

Call Bruce White of Perfect Brew Services in Baltimore: 845-656-8552

Anyone been to Dogwood since it reopened?

zebcook-
Saw your group cavorting in the window last night. Looked like you were having a good time.

Because of Zebcook's group, we ended up downstairs and had a nice time. Some of the aforementioned house made chips, the Winter Salad, the bleu cheese burger, maryland crab soup and the house made irish brown bread with sweet butter. Really enjoyable evening.

Help: What's the Right Countertop?

Over the years, I've used the gamut from formica to corian to concrete to stainless to wood and granite, but if you're looking for an authentic country feel, I think wood is the way to go. Wood looks great, though it can mar due to use - but that's part of the authentic look, isn't it?

Jan 04, 2010
onocoffee in Cookware

Strange Rice Cooker Question

You've already been told that a bowl is not the best idea for your cereal, and since you want to minimize cleanup - have you given any thought to those plastic liners that are used in hotel pans? I think they make a consumer version but you should be able to source these hotel pan liners at any restaurant supply house.

It will take the boiling temperature of the rice cooker (or at least I surmise that it would) since the food is usually cooked and held in hotel pans. I've seen them touted that you can bake mac-n-cheese in them with lickety-split cleanup.

Of course, that brings the additional expense of the liners and the additional waste generation per day.

But really, if you're getting a new Zoji, most of them now have contoured baskets with a non-stick coating. I use my 12cup Zoji quite frequently and clean up is super easy because of the non-stick interior.

Dec 27, 2009
onocoffee in Cookware

Volt, Table 21: A Return Visit

I would say that a comparison between Table 21 and Trotter's is a bit off since the approaches of both are quite different. Perhaps a more apt comparison would be between Alinea and Table 21 with similar approaches and similar number of courses. Or even Minibar in DC. Though I think T21 is quite dissimilar to all of them.

Immersion soup-cooler thing

Yes, really you can use anything. Those San Jamars are nice but even the smallest ones are pretty large for the home kitchen.

I presume you buy bottled water or soda in plastic bottles - just clean and rinse them thoroughly, fill 3/4 with water and freeze. When needed, just plunge them into your stockpot!

Nov 03, 2009
onocoffee in Cookware

Chocolate tempering machines for home use...

Have you asked the folks at Quincaillerie Dante, or similar foodservice suppliers? They should be able to direct you.

Oct 31, 2009
onocoffee in Cookware

The Basics: How to Make a Philly Cheesesteak

Hard to imagine a "Philly" steak without Cheez Whiz...

I disagree that it's impossible to make a steak at home. The hard part isn't the meat (because it's all commercial cornfed beef crap anyway), it's the BREAD!!!!

The bread is the key.

Oct 30, 2009
onocoffee in Features

where to get inexpensive frozen lobster

I'm guessing that any supermarket should have some kind of lobster in their frozen aisles. Or try an Asian market.

Volt, Table 21: A Return Visit

Maybe I'm not as sensitive as you but I agree that the partition between the two separate bathrooms isn't floor-to-ceiling. But does that put me off? Or does that lessen my privacy while using the facilities? I did not think so. Nor did I feel somehow invaded because of it.

While I didn't think the setup was meant to be "jolting," I did think that the interior design of the bathroom was incongruent with the rest of the space. The dining rooms tended towards a richer, luxurious environment and the bathrooms went towards ultra-modern.