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Everything posted by Behemoth

  1. Thanks! I think I will have to buy some of the Spanish stuff and experiment a bit this weekend. I am brilliant at coming up with ways to procrastinate...
  2. I admit I buy my olive oil by the can, but it never lasts more than a year, and lives in a cold basement. (I refill my kitchen bottle when I run low). I know what he was trying to say but I wish he gave his audience a little more credit -- declairing a six-month cutoff seems like it would just scare away a beginner. Good olive oil at $15+ per liter can expensive and rather than tell people to toss the leftovers outright you could talk about how to keep it good for as long as possible. Anyway, here is my real ignorance-based question: What is the difference between spanish paprika and the stuff you get in an indian grocery store? I realize buying an ancient jar of hungarian from the supermarket would be not so great, but at a high-turnover indian place freshness isn't as much of an issue. Is there really a big flavor difference all other things being equal?
  3. Damn it. I just wrote this giant thing and my computer froze and lost it. Ugh. So here the short(ish) version. Until recently my husband and I were both broke grad students (I still am), so most of the places we frequent are mid-range...none of the places you listed though now I am curious. Anyway, when we were dating, he lived in Eimsbüttel. In that neighborhood I would recommend Eiszeit, best homemade ice cream in the city. This is on Müggenkampstrasse. Schlüter on Stellinger Weg for fish, of course. There was also an excellent greek place (none of that German-style "Metaxa-Sauce" business, these guys do great seafood) right near there. Drinking: On the Reeperbahn Sibersack for tradition's sake, but then we always ended up at Irmgard Kneuse (sp?) on Davidstrasse (I think) which kind of distills the whole lurid Reeperbahn scene perfectly for me, personally. I am really sorry Mojo Club closed, that was a great place to see music & go dancing. Have you looked around Schanzenviertel bars? 1) Bar Rossi -- Shulterblatt & Max Brauer Allee, stylish crowd 2)Another good one at the corner of Schulterblatt & Schanzenstrasse, across from Rote Flora. Don't know name, big nice space. 3)Personal favorite -- also don't know name, also on Schulterblatt a couple of doors down from 2, right next to a neat little record store. If you are in a tiny, modern looking place with a big glowing frog near the taps, you're there. There are a bunch more all around there, that whole neighborhood is worth spending time in. Also, good restaurants, basicaly I just walk in to whatever looks promising. Good sushi place on Susanenstrasse, forget name. This neighborhood is also fun during the day. Lokma is the only Turkish place in Hamburg I can happily be dragged into. Great Lahmajun, and I am an expert, just so you know. This might not be your bag, but a nice off the beaten path neighborhood is Karolinenviertel. This is like the northern liberties of Hamburg right now (I saw you on the Philly boards ) There are a couple of nice cafes worth lingering in, plus lots of cool clothing stores with clothes made by the owners. By no means amatuer efforts, however. Some funkier stuff, but also a few very slick places. Most of the action is on Marktstrasse. In Eppendorf, we went to a Lebanese place called Layali. Great mezze. I would just go for that & a glass of Arak and not bother with the main dishes, frankly. There was a decent Afghani place (Hindukusch) near the university, and a good Italian place (La Fattoria) somewhere in there. May you never have to eat at the Mensa (shudder). As far as traditional food, I had a great Aalsuppe at Alt Hamburger Aalspeicher and I always have to get my smoked eel fix at that big place on Spitalerstrasse. (I'm told its pretty famous, but I can't remember the name.) I love just walking around between Gänsemarkt and Rathaus. There is a new art exhibition space right nest to the latter that puts on great shows. Great art bookstore on Grosse Bleichen, and also a funny little CD shop in the adjoining arcade that only sells the owner's favorite 12 records of the moment. Great quirky stuff like that, fun fun city to spend time in. I will be there again in July, and want to explore Altona a little more. Apparently there is a branch of the gummi bear place I love so much in Flensburg, I need a bag of those creamsicle ones... And while I have never gotten the hang of currywurst, that butcher breakfast sounds like a must. Thanks! edited for duh.
  4. My lebanese grandmother would give me boiled rice with plain yoghurt. I still crave it when I am sick. It's easy to digest, and great for an upset stomach. You know that slightly scratchy throat you get right before a cold? My husband taught me a great one for that: mix juice of a lemon, 1 tsp sugar, and a cup of boiling water, and try to drink it as fast as possible. Last time I am pretty sure I stopped myself from getting a cold even though half my department was a mess.
  5. I can't say I am sad in general, but I really love Philly. Mainly (apart from family & friends of course) I miss having access to great food and being able to walk everywhere. And the Barnes foundation. Here in my new rural midwestern home I get to meet the person who raised my hamburger. There is limited access to stinky cheese, but I can afford better wine without breaking the law to get it. My parents still live in Philly BTW so I might actually take you up on that offer!
  6. AMEN. Nice weather = food truck, bad weather = Le Bus. You can still get the food at the Le Buses (Les Buses?) downtown but only to go. Last time I checked the Manayunk Le Bus had all that stuff, and is a restaurant. But then again, it is in Manayunk. It's a shame the bar on locust walk closed. I hear they are opening farther west, but for me the whole point of the place was location, and the fireplace. And the patio. I have to admit I sometimes missed Vietnam restaurant's old pink cafeteria format, since it was usually less crowded back then. (BTW, I am a recently displaced Philly person, and feeling VERY homesick.)
  7. I heard of a third reason, that the salt makes tiny scratches on the surface of the pasta (like sandpaper) that helps the sauce adhere better. But this doesn't seem to make sense if the salt is dissolved. I usually add the salt at the last minute, just in case this is true. Here is my stupid question. I was watching that "Tuscan Style" show the other day and Ciarello (sp?) said that you shouldn't use olive oil that is older than six months. Now, if olive season is once a year, wouldn't that mean we should go without for the rest of the time? Also, I come from a family that makes its own olive oil, and as far as I know, the area olive season was always great one year, not so great (much less production) the second year so by that logic we'd really be screwed. More likely he meant, if you have a five year old bottle of olive oil and you live in a damp humid climate and think it is a really good idea to store that thing near the window or over the stove.... but why didn't he say that? His whole thing with grey salt annoys me too. But he is on when I am getting ready for work. Eh. On the other hand, I once saw a show where one guy said you should grind salt right when you use it so it is fresh. As far as I know, salt is a mineral with no oils to go stale. Would somebody please send these people to a science class?
  8. My husband is obsessed with Nutella. He is German and grew up on the stuff. Some friends of his gave him the kilo millenium jar for christmas 1999 as a joke and I think he finished the entire thing in less than a month. But what's funny is when he moved to the US he swore that the nutella tasted different here. I thought he was nuts but we brought a jar back with us from Deutschland and I have to say, he was absolutely right. Blind taste test. The German stuff was a less sweet, more bitter choco-hazelnut flavored and more buttery. So now we have to schlep jars back with us whenever we travel, and save the american stuff for emergencies. Actually he dislikes the american stuff so much he eats peanut butter instead. I wonder if anyone else has ever noticed a difference? BTW, given how much he loves Krispy Kreme, I think I have to either never tell him that restaurant in DC exists, or else bring him there as a surprise next time we are in town. Thanks for the tip!
  9. Hello, this is my third post on eGullet. I got my access yesterday (yay). Last summer my husband and I moved from our respective fairly large cities with great restaurants to the middle of nowhere in the midwest. Him for a teaching job, me for grad school. It has been an adjustment, to say the least. (eGullet may yet be my salvation...) So people aren't into food around here, at least not in the way I am used to. We have been invited and gone out for mostly mediocre to occasionaly bad meals here without much exception. But the one that took the cake...I feel kind of guilty writing about this but I really think it illustrates the culture shock for me... Okay, our new neighbors. Young couple, really sweet. Shoulda known when they came over for dinner and the female neighbor (henceforth will be known as FN) had never had lamb. (Rogan Josh and it was glorious!) But anyway, they invited us over to dinner, and we happily accepted. They had clearly gone through a lot of effort and their place looked beautiful but it was fairly clear from the timing of the food that they had never really cooked a full sit-down meal before. Anyway, starter was this cheesy appretizer casserol thing with artichokes. But FN had never eaten artichokes before, and had substituted pickled for fresh or frozen, which made the dish really salty. We had brought some prosecco with us, and I drank a little fast. But no matter. Next up was a chunky potato cream soup with crab meat. I don't think the recipe was great to begin with, but FN apparently didn't realize that those pink crab sticks are well -- you know. Soup was pretty heavy and sweetish. Also. we each got giant bowls of the stuff so I was already slowing down. Then the couple heads to the kitchen to put the finishing touches on main course, a lasagne. We are hanging out and talking to them through the cutaway to the dining room and it takes me a few minutes to realize what is going on but they are peeling little -- oh. Kraft american singles (the orange kind) on the lasagne. Yep. I think my jaw may have dropped but I recovered soon enough. Actually, at this point I was so full from the soup it didn't matter. I managed a few bites of the lasagne, and asked if I could take the rest home. The thing is, nothing was really bad, it was just that there was so much effort and expense put into it that I felt kind of guilty, like I had at some point become a mean picky eater. But to tell the truth, if they had made hotdogs I would have been totally fine. Apart from the culture shock it was a really nice evening, very gracious so I can't say the food mattered apart from being funny. Actually what I mind more around here is when we get invited to the home of facutly members who claim they like to cook, have traveled around enough to know better, and end up getting served angel hair spaghetti with canned meat sauce and salad with a bottle of orange dressing. I dunno, I realize I like to cook and other people don't but it seems one should at least try a little. With the younger couple it was just a question of sophistication, but in the latter case I had a hard time mustering up anything nice to say at all. (edited for typos)
  10. As far as the Reeperbahn goes, you skipped the part where you eat a tuna mini-pizza at 4am from the rather gross stand at the Hanz Albert's Platz, unwisely decide to go for one last beer before stumbling down to the fischmarkt for a smoked eel (or crabbensalat, pick your poison -- they are both excellent here) sandwich as you watch the sunrise, fall asleep on the first subway of the day back home where for some reason you think the best way to end such an evening is with a shot of aquavit out of the freezer. I love Hamburg. As far as the "cold northerner" stereotype, it doesn't seem to apply on the Reeperbahn after about 1am, several Astras and Udo Jurgens on the jukebox for the fifth or sixth time in the last half hour. If anyone is interested I can try to remember the actual names of the places I like to go in Hamburg, not all of them are dives.
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