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Everything posted by picaman

  1. Mike’s Deli 2344 Arthur Avenue, Bronx 10458 (Inside Arthur Ave. Market) (718) 295-5033 Here is a link to addresses of most of the places mentioned in the thread above, along with other restaurants on Arthur Avenue and throughout the Bronx. To get to Arthur Avenue, it's the BX12 bus east from the 207th St. 1 or A, or from some D train stop (Fordham Rd.?). Jamie
  2. As LJC etc. reported, the two establishments in Inwood: first is the discount beverage warehouse opposite Pathmark on the Manhattan side of the 207th St. bridge at the corner of 207th St. and 9th Ave., one block east of the 1 @ 207th St. (it's a whole different 9th Ave. up here! ); second is Exito, the large grocery store one block south on 9th Ave. The discount beverage warehouse (no name for it on the outside, but the receipt says Flair Beverage) is indeed enormous and inexpensive and seems to cater to people purchasing large quantities, although they also have excellent pricing for smaller-than-case quantities of everything, both 4-and-6 packs and individual bottles. The front of the warehouse is devoted to a large range of non-alcoholic beverages, malt liquors, etc., with the back containing beer of various provenance. Most people were wheeling out huge carts with many cases of whatever, but employees and management were all very friendly and helpful and had no issue whatsoever with our one-bottle-of-this-and-two-bottles-of-that purchase. We bought two bottles of D&G non-alcoholic ginger beer (.60 each; all prices including deposit), one 28-oz. bottle of Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda (.45, although we may have been charged the small-bottle price), one bottle of Ting Jamaican Grapefruit Soda (.85), one 12 oz. bottle of Lambic Framboise ($4.34; they also had the larger bottles and all the various flavors), and one six-pack of Shandy Carib (alcoholic ginger beer from Trinidad; $6.09). Total with tax was $14.00, and the entertainment value alone was at least that. I'm not very beer-knowledgable, but it seemed that nearly every Central and South American country was represented by at least one beer, most of which I'd never heard of. And, as an aside, I now have four varieties of ginger beer in the fridge. It's my favorite beverage; I may have to post a taste-off Exito is a large basic grocery store that caters to the Latin American community that surrounds it. Outside, a good selection of produce; inside a decent selection of American name-brand, store brand (Krasdale) and a wide variety of Latin American brands (Goya and many, many more.) In addition, as mentioned, a wide variety of beef, pork, chicken, and offal. A partial offal list: tripe, pig ears, tongue, hoofs, intestines, liver, gizzards, chicken feet, gargantuan pig legs, and hearts. Of note is that everything was fresh and not frozen; they seemed to have a good turnover. Prices here are cheap, even cheaper than the other neighborhood grocery stores which themselves are cheaper-than-average. I'm going to be dragging my cart over here on a regular basis. Jamie
  3. Mike's Deli, Arthur Ave. in the Bronx Jamie
  4. I was a vegetarian for eleven years, five of which were spent completely vegan. And to be perfectly clear, vegetarian means that I did not eat meat, which includes chicken and fish. You'd be surprised how many people think that meat=red meat. But I digress. I have to ashamedly admit that I proselytized to a minor degree. Sorry, Soba Mostly though, in public, it was me and whatever vegetarian friends I was eating with having the same eternal self-assuring conversation about how all the meat-eaters were clueless in various ways. And when dining with my ex-partner, lots of conversations about the health, ethical, and environmental benefits of our dinner. For me, and for most of my like-minded friends, it was a monomaniacal pursuit. I eventually felt that it ruled my life too much, and pulled back to obtain balance. Sometimes I eat a vegetarian meal, and sometimes I don't. Ironically, I consider myself much healthier overall now that I've stopped obsessing so much about what and why to eat and not eat. And I'm probably a lot nicer to be around at mealtime. Understand that all this is my personal experience, and is not meant to be a judgment on individual choices or preferences. Jamie
  5. Here's the link to JT's review of Mon Vieil Ami, with my impressions and pictures posted later in the thread. Jamie
  6. Shoregirl: My partner and I ate there as well (lunch at the end of March) and I can enthusiastically second this recommendation. Excellent food and impeccable service with good relative value. And for purely romantic atmosphere you can't beat Le Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon, although food-wise it's merely OK and not comparable to the places you mention. Jamie
  7. Depends on your perspective. I'd prefer to pay cash at a restaurant that accepts only cash, rather than paying cash at a restaurant that accepts credit cards and has inflated their prices accordingly to cover the service fees. To me, universal deferment to a "credit cards everywhere" standard is behind the times. Many cash-only restaurants have a less expensive menu or higher-quality ingredients for the price you pay. I consider that smart business if the restaurant can pull that trick off, and it provides a good value for one's money. Jamie
  8. Ugh. I love the Mets and go to Shea all the time, but I can unequivocally state that, in addition to the outrageous expense, Shea has the worst quality food in any of the dozen-plus major league parks I've visited. Which is curious to me, since Aramark has the contract for most of those parks in addition to servicing Shea. Why does this arm of Aramark do so poorly, especially with the range of suppliers that must be available to them here? I always bring food in and just buy drinks. Including peanuts to shell. Why in the world can't I get a real bag of warm peanuts in a paper bag, instead of a miniscule amount of cold peanuts in a plastic bag? Of course, according to the between-innings advertising, I can get sushi on field level. Sushi? At a baseball game? Good God. I'd settle for properly grilled peppers and onions for the occasional sausage I deign to buy. Apologies for sounding like the Queens version of Andy Rooney Jamie
  9. Add Tom Seaver to the list of Mets oenophiles. Jamie
  10. Never had one, not even after eating a steak to end 10 years of vegetarian/vegan-ism. Sometimes I want a nap, but that's after any heavy meal, not just one involving large amounts of meat. Such as my Sunday BABBP meal. Jamie
  11. The difference is that we had a relatively wide geographic variety of all of that excellent food in one place, priced not-too-badly considering that proceeds went to charity. To paraphrase what [Varmint?] said earlier in this thread, comparable experiences are not commonly available even in regions where barbecue is practically a religion. Not even at the large barbecue contests, which are geared toward judging rather than feeding crowds. I feel rather lucky to have had this experience. Jamie
  12. I've experienced this as a waiter (albeit many many years ago.) It's much easier to speak up in a restaurant when you are a customer, which I've had to do on a few occasions. When you are an employee, it's difficult or impossible to say anything in the face of a nonsupportive work environment. If there isn't an organization extant in NYC, there oughta be--though I'm thinking that Soba's original suggestion might be good. There must be at least some resources dealing with workplace homophobia as a general topic. Jamie
  13. More and more common ground being found Jamie
  14. That assumes that a gay or lesbian chef/cook would join that specialized group only, to the exclusion of other groups. I'm sure this wouldn't be the case; rather, I'd guess it would tend to be in addition to other memberships. Jamie
  15. I'm gay and so style-challenged that I need a Queer Eye visit, but even I can see that those pants are a fashion emergency. Jamie
  16. That's how I took his remarks as well--humor, parody, and a bit of potential audience-baiting to get things stirred up. I can vouch for one thing--his being right on-target about white people crossing the tracks to get their barbecue from black people. When I was a kid in the late '60s-early '70s in Floral City, Florida, the railroad track ran parallel to U.S. 41, and white families, including mine, crossed to the west side of the tracks after Sunday church to go get barbecue from a woman named (appropriately enough) Ollie Spicer. If there were any white people selling barbecue around there, I don't remember them. Ollie's ribs, as I remember them, were dry-rubbed smoked pork ribs with the sauce on the side, and are probably my barbecue taste touchstone. As she got the raw product from my grandparents' grocery store, I'm imagining there was some barter going on. All this, as I realized later, is fraught with social significance. I'm going to have to get Elie's book--it sounds interesting. Jamie
  17. I think this is one of the Blue Smoke weekly specials (Saturday?) if one wanted to give it a dry run, although I've never had it there. Jamie
  18. You're welcome From yesterday's posts, I expected a nightmare and had the opposite experience. The organizers reacted very well--it all seemed very streamlined despite the large crowds. Jamie
  19. Great seeing so many old eG friends and meeting new ones today. It was a bit of a whirlwind for Kirk and I as we had tix for Cookin' at 5:30, but we did get to try a few things before leaving, thanks to some help from HWOE and Mister Cutlets (thanks, guys!) I much preferred the K.C. Baron brisket to the Salt Lick brisket. R.U.B. had a depth in its smoky flavor that I really liked. The Salt Lick brisket had a very mono-smoky flavor. Salt Lick's sausage, though, may have been the best thing I ate overall. Completely flavorful, and as an added bonus I got to taste it again and again all the way through Cookin', all the way home, and as I write this I wasn't able to sweet-talk the very nice Smoki O's woman (she asked about Native American influences at the 3:00 panel) out of a taste of snoot (I know she had a little stash 'cuz I saw it!) but we had a good chat and she did give me a generous cup of sauce which made for good sipping when I caught up to Kirk in the Big Bob Gibson line--nice balance of sweetness and tartness, and it coated my finger perfectly I prefer the vinegary sauces, but this was damn good. The Big Bob Gibson pork shoulder was just average to me--nothing special. For me, there's a certain greasy smoky smell that good pork shoulder has. To paraphrase Potter Stewart, I can't define it, but I know it when I smell it on my fingers. And this didn't have it. And, to top it off, they were out of their spicy sauce, which I had heard was good. Made me wish I hadn't drunk the Smoki O's sauce. Finally, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Blue Smoke rib stood up to the competition. That's all I got to taste, but given the time I had available, not bad. I'm making a resolution now to plan a bit better for BABBP III. And I didn't use Wet-Nap #1--that's why your fingers fit in your mouth. Jamie
  20. Still haven't gotten there, but if it's the place I'm thinking of, it's a block from the 207th street 1 train stop, at the base of the bridge across from Pathmark. A few blocks farther down 207th from the A. Jamie
  21. Of course, since the interior of Bern's is somewhat bordello-ish (lots of red velvet, paintings, and dark wood) you could justify a visit by saying you were killing two birds with one stone. No puns intended. Really. Jamie
  22. Hi Stone, I may get flamed around here for this, but I love Bern's and go there every time I get back to Florida (I used to live there and my mom still lives south of Tampa). It's no Grand Sichuan ( inside joke, people ) but I've never been disappointed. Lots of best-of-class food in addition to their excellent signature steaks. Of course, having a steak (is that the strip you meant?) will leave you well-armed for the New York Peter Luger Opinion Wars . There's a variety of steak types that you order to your specified thickness, priced per pound. Other personal favorites are the oyster sampler (one each of a variety of types), the carpaccio, the vanilla bean salad dressing, and perusing the legendary wine list. I'm sure there are newer and trendier alternatives, but to me Bern's is a consistent classic. Jamie
  23. You all may have seen this, but... For the Pizza Makers of Naples, a Tempest in a Pie Dish NY Times article; free registration required to view link. Here's my favorite bit: "Under [the details of the new national standards], the pizza must be round, no more than 35 centimeters (13.8 inches) in diameter. The crust cannot be too high. The dough must be kneaded by hand. Only certain flour, salt and yeast can be used. Extra virgin olive oil is a must, as are tomatoes from the Mount Vesuvius region and bufala mozzarella. For cooking the classic pizza Margherita, only mozzarella from the southern Apennine Mountains is allowed." Now here are some rules to respect! Jamie EDIT: grammar
  24. Here's a few off the top of my head. I reserve the right to add to the list when I'm less busy at work. Hallo Berlin cart @ 54th/5th Pommes Frites at the bar at Le Madeleine (43rd/9th & 10th) Feijoada and a caipirinha at Via Brasil (46th/5th & 6th) Jamie
  25. Now there's someone I can respect! Jamie
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