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Everything posted by MHesse

  1. There's a relatively new Indian food take-out place on the same block as Plum Pomidor that is surprisingly good. On the east side of Bway at about 171 is a place called something like AquaMere (not the right name but close - on the northeast corner). They have an early bird dinner special for $10/person with a glass of wine. Good food. Coogans I found to be overly expensive pub food. The clientele and staff speak more English than is the norm for the Heights. Malecon is the other good place in the hood. Some nice places on 181st west of Broadway, but they're too far from the hospital.
  2. MHesse

    Latkes - the Topic!

    We started out asking the raw latke forming teams to make 3" diameter latkes. Actually let me describe the setup: We had 3 cookers in the kitchen, with a backup person to hand them trays of raw latkes and collect the cooked ones onto other trays covered with papaer towels. Outside the kitchen were four workstations that each had 2-3 graters, several bowls, cheesecloth, and the fixings for 5 pound batches (10 potatoes, 2 onions, plus salt, pepper and matzoh meal, plus intructions. About 8 volunteers worked each table in 2 hour shifts, producting a trays of 36 raw latkes every 10 minutes. The preparers would get ahead of the cookers, but as their wrists tired from grating or their eyes failed from onion fumes, the cookers would catch up. We had 4 16" skillets on the gas stove and 2 electric skillets next to them. Each skillet held about a dozen latkes, and at peak performance, the cookers were turning over batches every 6-7 minutes. The kitchen and workstation setup began at 12:30. Grating at 2pm, first cooking at 2:15. By 7pm, 1,669 net latkes had been produced, cooled, packed in parchment paper into plastic bags of 24-30 each for freezing for events over the next two weeks. Things worked out pretty well. We asked for smaller latkes to hasten cooking time as the day wore on. Some of the people used the wrong side of the graters and made mush latkes instead of shreds; one team had no concept of the volume of a tablespoon and used 4x too much pepper in a batch. In my position as a backup in the kitchen, onion slicer, team coordinator, tray washer, grease dabber, potato grater, cheesecloth strainer, and quality control taster, things went pretty well. Especially considering we were a 52 person mostly male group with varying levels of food prep from good to "do we need to peel the onions first?" I am still smelling cooked potatoes and onions where ever I go. Hey Mark, A miracle is right! How big are the latkes? I can do 8 at a time in each of my electric frying pans - and work 3 of them at a time. 300 lbs. of potatoes took a lot longer than 6 hours . . . ←
  3. MHesse

    Latkes - the Topic!

    About 8 reasonably unknowledgeable men just named as the "Latke Guys" have the assignment to cook 1500 latkes for our congregation members. We have shifts of volunteers coming in to peel and grate and drain and mix. Cooking to be done in 3 skillets on the gas stove and 3 electric skillets. We did a test run last week with 10 pounds of taters and 4 large onions, 6 eggs, some matzoh meal, cooking half in olive oil and half in plain veggie oil. I tried to save the potato starch to mix in, but this was too far out a concept for most of the crew who tossed the drained liquid into the sink. Oh well. They came out reasonably good, but a little on the greasy side. For the main event, we'll go with the veggie oil, though after reading this I may bring in a tub of shortening for one of the skillets. Then we have to let them cool, then pack and freeze them until the eating event, which is another day. 1500 latkes: about 250 lps of potatoes! In 6 skillets. We hope to accomplish this between 12 and 6 pm. We may need another hanukah miracle to make this happen. --Mark
  4. I've been looking for a shop that sells Cherry Heering since I got into a discussion about it with a friend of similar age and background. Our parents both had the stuff in their cabinets. One can make a nice cocktail out of it with vodka. Several large liqour stores do not have it; it's in their catalog, but out of stock. Is it still made? Where can it be found? thanks, --Mark
  5. Miss Ellies (on W 79th - if it's still there) serves meatloaf. @SQC is near the Beacon on Columbus and 73rd.
  6. Bruni reviewed Barbes (Morrocan / French) on E 26th Street in the Times today. Gave it one star.
  7. As in Yummo, it smells good already!
  8. L'Express on Park Ave South (about 19th-20th). Open 24 hours too.
  9. Fairway sells a decent veggie chopped liver. The ingredients are on the label. I miss Bagel Nosh (there was one around the corner from me). They had good (if it was fresh) C L which was great on a salt bagel.
  10. Encouraged by government subsidies, the Hydrogen diet sweeps the nation. Weight loss is instantaneous, but air travel is adversely affected.
  11. MHesse


    I finally made it to Devi tonight, accompanied by the wife. We were seated downstairs, which was ok, but not the best place to sit. The Mrs. asked for a table at the end, but it was saved for a party of three. 45 minutes into our meal a party of 2 sat there. Still, nothing really wrong with our seats. It was 5:45pm so the place wasn't crowded at all. We were given our cocktail menus, followed quickly by the food menus. The place was so dimly lit that neither of us could read the drink menus. They turned up the lights a little, and we were eventually able to decipher the 8 point font and had a very nice Khabila and Winter Lemonade. For apps we had the 3 samosas and I asked if I could have the okra as an app also. I could, but when the check came it was a full price item. For mains, we had the halibut and the basil chicken. The dishes were good and nicely seasoned, but everything was much too heavily salted, including the okra. For desert I had the kulfi and Mrs H the mango cheesecake. Those were both delicious. I had a regular coffee, which was decent enough to drink with just a little cream. Bill with tip was $150. I had eaten at Diwan a couple of years ago. That meal, plus all the Suvir/Hemant raves had me expecting a sublime culinary experience. I was underwhelmed. --mh
  12. Go ahead, laugh at the engineers. It's like the lazy ant laughing at the busy ant, who works hard making sure it's prepared for the challenges of the future. Then who gets to laugh last? I used to be an engineer (if you couldn't tell). Now I'm a teacher, but I still like my stuff organized. What's so scary or amusing about the flowchart? There were verbose descriptions of technique to go with them.
  13. This May makes 21 yeas for us. My entire wedding party fit in one limo (6 of us). Ceremony at rabbi's study in Washington Heights, then back downtown for dinner at Cafe des Artistes. They had a special on DP champagne which is still the best I've ever had. Archie Bunker (err Carol O'Conner) was sitting at a nearby table. My step-daughter got his autograph. Couple weeks later we had the party in our apartment. About 50 people consisting of friends of bride and groom. Quite an interesting mixture. Cake from Dumas! Food from Zabars, Williams, and a Mangeneros Hero. The cat sneaked out with a chicken breast and ate it while sitting on the guests' coats.
  14. Is the Stella Doro bakery plant still open in the Bronx. Good Burgers at the Piper's Kilt on 231st St. Still an IHOP open in Riverdale, I believe.
  15. Surprisingly, pigs in a blanket are not on the menu.
  16. I tasted some 'nog' this year that had Frangelico in it. It was nice.
  17. one part vodka one part guavaberry liquer from St Martin (guava berries are not from guava fruit, but some kind of tropical berry) two parts plum juice drink ice in a tall glass sweet enough that it slips right down, and then kicks you in the head if I waited 10 minutes more, I won't be able to spell
  18. Not to mention $thousands / month on rent, or millions for an apartment. What's a donut compared to that insanity? And the donut at least is high quality.
  19. MHesse

    Mud Truck NYC

    When I was in college at Cooper Union's engineering school, the site of that S***bucks was a little outside plaza for the students' use. It was a safe haven for a smoke, and I remember a group of us practicing our bullwhip technique out there. They even had one of the eagle statues from the old Penn Station. Just not the same anymore. Of course then one could rent an apartment on Ave A for $100 a month; you just couldn't keep anything valuable there because it would be stolen. And McSorleys hadn't been discovered by Jersey kids and the Fillmore East was still open. Ok, I return you to the present.
  20. With the mini crustaceans swimming around in the tap water, one can't even wash the plates anymore and keep them kosher.
  21. I suppose frenc fries are good by themselves, but though I enjoy their potatoey goodness, I (and I assume a good portion of America) regard them somewhat as a substrate upon which to apply a dressing. Ketchup is number 1 on my list, bringing that combo of salt and sugar we have been trained since birth to desire. I have had them in their 'frites' connotation annointed with various aeolies (sp) and still found them good.
  22. That is a fine demo. Here is a realone video clip of it for all to see. Getting back to the topic, now that I am bright eyed again, The Sazerac: I've always enjoyed the taste of rye, but didn't have it often because my imagination didn't take me much past rye and ginger ale. The Sazerac, with the Peychaud bitters, Herbsaint, and lemon twist brought the rye to another level. The Champico: Campari and sweet vermouth, given volume and dilution by champagne. Very nice. We had an Old Cuban to continue the champagne theme. This is a mojito with a champagne dilution. Still lots of mint and lime flavor. Turns out Carol is not a big fan of either lime or mint (funny what you learn after 20 years). No problem, because she enjoyed the taste of The Tantris Sidecar: Cognac, Calvados, Cointreau, Chartreuse, Lemon juice and Pineapple juice in a sugar rimmed glass. Now this was a masterful combination of things with many levels of flavor. The room itself is very comfortable, at least our little nook where not only was there plenty of tushy cushioning, but back cushioning as well to above head level. The room is dimly lit, maybe too dim for a first date, but fine for us. Piano music in the background. It got quite busy as late Friday afternoon moved into evening. Audrey's skill was needed behind the bar, so were not able to chat as much as I would have liked, but her presence made the outing very enjoyable. I'll be back soon to chat more and work through other selections on the drink menu. And so we stumbled out into the cold evening rain, hardly noticing the inclemency of the evening. --mh
  23. 9:30 pm. Back home after 2 rounds at Bemelman's then a quick dinner at Arte Paste. Still too smashed for a report. We had a Sazerac, a Champiro, a Tantris Sidecar and an Old Cuban. Audrey is truly a goddess. More details tomorrow. Definitely need to return for more research. If you haven't been yet, go. I did not think about the chemistry occuring inside me. But I did show my patient spouse how the dorm arrangements are set up in Electron College. Plus I put Potassium in water today for my students. I got a standing O. -mh
  24. Thank you Audrey. ETA is 5:30. Look for the frazzled chemistry teacher carrying two bags of books and papers and charming wife arriving separately. In our 50's but feeling young. Looking forward to organic chemistry at Bemelmans. --mark
  25. So what is the buzz one gets from drinking absinthe? As a chemistry teacher, I worry about the effects of the thujol (what a difference 30 years makes - when I didn't worry about anything). Four of us recently tried a bottle of czech absinthe a friend brought back from Kos, Greece. It was pleasant, but I think most of the effect was from 120 proof alcohol, not thujol. We noticed tight foreheads and a tendency to smile a lot. Nice chilled with ice, but had a good burn neat. Pretty blue color.
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