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  1. i'm not a huge fan, but if you want chocolates this is not the place and their frozen mix is available on line, but their sundaes are good, i must admit...
  2. kitchen arts and letters--its in the early 90's and lexington on the east side of the street... 1435 Lexington Ave New York, NY 10128-1625 (212) 876-5550
  3. I agree with the lack of excellent vietnamese food in NYC-- I've had much better on the west coast. I have never been to Vietnam but I have had stellar Vietnamese meals in Bangkok and the lack of inexpensive fresh herbs available to restaurants here is really key. Meals at my favorite restaurant there are served with baskets of herbs containing upwards of 15 items, some really strange and mouth numbing. My favorite place in town is Pho Bang on Mott and Grand. it is mentioned in the best vietnamese thread. It is nothing fancy, very simple-- really, its not amazing (actually on a recent trip it was pretty average, very one dimensional/sweet but maybe it was just off)-- but they have good pho, better than the other places I've tried (they serve it with basil whereas other dishes are merely served with mint), fresh chilies on the tables (so important), two kinds of hot sauce, I love the sweet and sour fish soup, and the pork on shrimp chips is my favorite food splurge of the summer...if you like, there is also alot written on their hanoi style pork chop (a bit sweet for me). but you won't find much soy (if any (?) I'm no authority here...) in vietnamese, and I don't recall seeing any cilantro at pho bang ever... as for thickening agents and the like, what you speak of is a bastardization of vietnamese food--there are definitely restaurants like that in NYC...they most likely exist in the chinatown area. Anh is/was very good I haven't been there for a year or so...but it is in the late twenties on third, lovely place... an americanized upscale-ish interpretation but very delicious and true to flavor (great inexpensive lunch menu!).
  4. i went at the beginning of the month had a phenomenal meal. the pulled lamb sandwich is fantastic, i can't say it enough. the sprouted bean chaat is wonderful and very different. the sour dough naan, the bhoondi raita with chickpea dumplings, the 3 chili chutney, onion rings, i can't remember unfortunately the name of most of what we ate-- everything was fantastic, i don't think you can go wrong with any item on that menu. my favorite items were usually the ones that sounded more typically indian, they were not of course-- though the saag paneer pizza is amazing it paled next to other more humble sounding dishes (particularly those that are bean based). if you drink, do not forget to order a cocktail-- some of the best i've had recently-- all were delicious but the cucumber cooler was by far the best we sampled.
  5. err...what is matcha? and I am BEYOND excited that you are doing a pocky blog! (my favorite for the record is pocky mousse royal milk tea)
  6. its a fantastic sweet/sour contrast when you drizzle a tiny bit on the bottom of a plate when you are using another sauce, really you don't have to (shock) use it with just italian food, but its fantastic with a simple fresh tomato sauce, just adds whole new levels to most things, just play around with it, if you treat it like gold you will never find out its true potential!
  7. if you are looking for some chicken downtown (tho everytime i'm uptown i too head for flor de mayo)... Musette: 3rd ave and 19th street...little french take out place with dynamite chicken (they sell it with yummy stuffing from day old baguettes, rasins and green olives, and fantastic potatos or grilled vegies) I guess its a bit of a neighborhood secret...
  8. oooh, kenka does have lousy service, and sometimes i hesitate to order odder menu items just because the menu is so large, but really the place is such a gas and so cheap... its really an atmosphere kinda place you can go with a crowd and be cheap. its my favorite late night spot, and you can't beat their cheap drinks, or cotton candy machine. the grilled eggplant is sublime everytime even if other dishes have been somewhat spotty
  9. this may seem a bit creepy, but i use my finished medication bottles. They are amber, have tight fitting lids (ask for the non-child proof kind on your meds at your pharmacy), and if you are like me and get the big momma bottles with big mouths-- they are the perfect size...oh and of course they are free and you are recycling. I think its funny, my friends think its a bit macabre...oh well
  10. I have been to the shake shack several times, and the custard is incredible. I bought it, made myself promise "just one taste" it was impossible not to finish it, I have never had anything like it (a frozen custard novice--) the wonderful eggy richness of good custard, and an absolutely silken(?) texture-not icy or really very cold at all as fat guy said. it has to be tasted, i still haven't had the chocolate. I couldn't believe how good the Chicago (gosh I hope its Chicago, some large city not on either coast... erm...) dog was. I only had a quick bite of my brother's but there were various kinds of pickles, celery salt, and tomato on a lousy spongy bun that's only redemption was that it had tasty onion and poppy-seeds, which does a lot to redeem a hot dog bun, don't get me wrong-- but couldn't they just go one step further and make it a bit sturdier (I don't know if this is for purposes of authenticity or what, but the rest of the ingredients were of such incredibly high quality, this doesn't seem like an accident, so I can only assume it's 1. for the fine folks of Chicago--which seems a bit silly or 2. its the preview week and they are struggling with the bun situation) which brings me to the mustard--only yellow was available, this made me sad, am I wrong here in expecting good hot-dog mustard to be brown? ooh the hot-dog, the hot dog was FANTASTIC! Big and juicy and flavorful, mild, which is how I like them. Really excellent. I have been missing my hometown hot-dog joint in Providence--Spike's and these are the only hot dogs I've had that even come close. I love that they are serving beer in the park, and madison square park has got to be right up there as one of the most lovely small parks in Manhattan (really beautiful landscaping, lots of benches, tables to eat at)-- a fantastic place to have a drink after work or on the weekends. This will be one of the big treats for those of us stuck in NYC in the summer. So poo poo all you Hamptons people... I predict that this will be a HUGE draw for the after work crowd, once people figure it out.
  11. Sahara's on second ave. and (27? 28? around there, i usually get take out, but its a nice place to eat as well) the food is turkish, they have a clay oven that makes the yummiest bread... if you get take out make sure you ask for extra. they have the best baba ganoush (actually has the charred smokey flavor so important to good eggplant!) and meze for that matter i've had in manhattan they have this marinated vegetable appetizer that is just UNBELIEVABLE i like to make meal mostly of the salads and the fantastic breads and maybe split a kabob with a friend... pretty much any of their appetizers are excellent including those turkish meat pizzas--lamuk???? the name escapes me...they have the tastiest spinach pie i've ever had too, and for take out cheap filling sandwiches.
  12. i have to step aside here and say, fan of tradition that i am-- sunflower seed bagels are really a "good thing". and curry? oy.
  13. oh wow, that place has the most delicious cocktails I have EVER had....I still talk about it a year later... I just discovered this thread so I'm a bit late to the party but I wanted to share my favorite summer cocktail, its perfect for a party--its a rip on a drink I had at Schiller's Liquor Bar in Manhattan. Mango Proseco Cocktail 1- 1 1/2 oz. mango juice (you can adjust the amount depending on the quality of your juice and how sweet/dry/tart you like it) splash of fresh lemon (or lime) juice approx. 1/2 lemon 1 oz vodka (I used absolut citron, but that was all i had, not necessary) add to ice filled cocktail shaker, shake with all your might, the concept is that shards of ice will break off of the cubes... hard! (a silver cocktail shaker helps I've heard) strain into martini glass and fill to top with chilled proseco if you've shaken hard enough to get those beautiful ice shards you will get almost a prosecco/mango sorbet feeling with those first beautiful sips... its a great drink regardless, not too sweet, and very refreshing, and potent! it also is quite elegant without costing a fortune because one bottle of proseco will make many cocktails, I make a pitcher of the first three ingredients to take outside with me, and put the proseco in lots of ice and water, and you can make them to order.
  14. I really haven't, but I've been reading the making yer own condiments thread, and if you grind mustard seed and don't heat it very much when preparing the mustard it seems that you can prepare an extraordinarily strong mustard and i was thinking of my vinaigrette hunt, its hilarious I have no less than six jars of dijon mustard in my fridge, i think its time to give some away...but I want to try this very badly and will soon.
  15. grilled vegetables particularly portabello mushrooms (which are STILL delicious though oft poo pooed, but i don't think you need me to tell you that...) that are DROWNED in balsamic vinegar and for that matter balsamic vinaigrette (tho' I had one today that was surprisingly delicious, but this is the first ever)
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