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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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    Astoria, NYC

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  1. Hey Sarah-- Zmorod is in the Armenian quarter, kind of on the northwest side (I think, if I have the whole area laid out right in my head). If you're in the main plaza in the Armenian quarter, walk off the corner with the antiques store on the second floor, and I think make the first turn to your right. The street leading off the plaza has shops selling almost nothing but ridiculous handbags. And if all that doesn't work, pretty much any hotel in the area will known how to get you there. Have a great trip! I'm so envious! Would love to hear more about your Zmorod meal (and anything else) wh
  2. Good to know--thanks! Atlanta is one of the places our publicists want to send us, but I know so little about the food scene there. Thanks again!
  3. I do speak Arabic, but kind of badly. When I first went to Syria in 1999, very few people spoke English, but now there has been a noticeable increase. And Syrians are incredibly helpful. I think you'd be able to get around pretty well, especially in restaurants, where you can always point! (And most restaurant menus I saw were translated.)
  4. Surprisingly enough......on the Left Coast here, we do, sort of. But here in SoCal, it's in the lower echelon, cost-cutter (read *upscale ethnic*) markets and only one chain. The large, mainstream chains do not. The first time I'd ever seen such an arrangement was at a Food-4-Less in southern Oregon when I was visiting a friend. Don't remember if it was in Medford or Central Point where she lives, but it was definately a Food-4-Less. At that time, Medford/Central Point (this was about 15 years ago......) was very rural, and very lower socio-economic scale. I remember watching in awe as J
  5. Just realized I've been a little delinquent in reporting on this tour (though I know melamed, who originally asked, has seen my blog posts already), which I took back in May, and now all the details are a little hazy. If someone has specific questions, please ask--it might help trigger my memory! In short, great time and great food. The only real drawback was my personal frame of mind--I'd been approaching this as a major vacation, but the travel (and eating) schedule was very busy. And I'd never really been on a group tour before, so had to wrap my brain around that (I have to be at the bus _
  6. I usually bag my own stuff, but my local supermarkets (in a rare grocery-centric neighborhood in NYC) have a handful of very attentive cashiers. Occasionally when I'm bagging, I'll get a little frantic because the stuff is piling up and everyone in the line is kind of glowering in that New Yorky way, and start packing a little haphazardly. One time this happened, and the cashier--one of the attentive ones--started tsking, and took the stuff out of my hands and repacked it for me, very carefully. Very nice! (This is the same woman who, years ago, complimented me on buying so much fresh produce
  7. I live in New York, and here in the city of hype, it's hard to tell what's really happening anywhere else. I'm curious what the rest of the US--mostly the non-coastal parts--has got in the way of underground restaurants / supper clubs / whatever you want to call them (by which I mean people cooking in their homes for friends and strangers, and charging money). To hear the media tell it, this trend is all over the place...or is it? A friend just forwarded me a newspaper article from St. Louis, about the first underground restaurant there. Do you have them where you live? Do you wish you did?
  8. Ooh, I loved that too! I didn't realize Eno was into food in any way. It all starts to make sense...
  9. Rogelio, just wanted to say huge thanks for the Casa Joaquin recommendation! I had the best teensy garlicky clams there, and fried monkfish liver. Still one of the standouts of my trip. Unfortunately didn't get to Alejandro or FM, but am going back to Granada next month, so can at least make sure I hit the latter.
  10. How fuddy-duddy of me...I've done all my research on Syrian food in books! Thanks for these sites. I'm hungry now!
  11. That Guardian story is how I found out about her tour in the first place! I feel like I'm wading into a swamp, talking about the difference between Syrian and Lebanese food. Not sure how to pinpoint it, but I definitely feel like I've eaten differently in each place. Maybe figuring out how to articulate that is my goal for this trip!
  12. I know her only through her cookbooks. I'll definitely post here after my trip. The Gaziantep trip sounds great too...
  13. And can I just add that I'm super-depressed to hear about the lack of butchers out there? I knew it was bad, but not quite so bad. This is really tragic... Wandering OT, but I wonder if the carnicerias will wind up filling the gap? Mexican butchering is sooo different, though. I could tell when they started hiring Mexican guys instead of Egyptians at my fresh-kill poultry place--my chicken came out in totally different pieces!
  14. Slightly OT, but one of our enterprising recipe testers made her own pomegranate molasses, by boiling down 4 cups pomegranate juice, 1 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup lemon juice until it was super-syrupy. I haven't tried this yet, but it's worth a shot! ← Which you should try and, if it works, add to your book. ← Oh, I definitely will! She just emailed me with her testing notes--so haven't had a chance yet to try...
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