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Jen Keenan

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  1. Well, if you guys go on a Friday night, and on Friday night you have to go at opening, that means you'll be done by the time I can make it there! I work M-F from 11am-7pm. Seriously, they don't even take reservations for big groups? I just called my sister. She'll be in the outer banks for her b-day so I'm free the 11th for dinner - would that work for anyone? Oh, and hey DanaT - I posted because you PM'd!
  2. Franny's Franny's Franny's! Only because it's the elephant in the room Well, that, and I've really been dying to go. But I'd be up for good pizza and good company anywhere, I suppose. I am a pretty flexible girl. And my schedule is so open right now! At least for the times you mentioned. I was about to cry off Saturday lunches but my Improv 101 class this summer is from 3 to 6, right in the middle. The only actual date I may have the slightest problem with is the 11th, because it's my sister's birthday, but I suspect she'll want to stay in DE with her homies. I'll post as soon as I know. Whee! Thanks for kick-starting the thread, DanaT. This will be fun!
  3. So hey, not that anyone asked, but telling this tale prompted me to check in with my sister about my recommendation. Here's what she said: "So ive been meaning to write you because i brought a friend and her mom over to Chez Janou and it was absolutly incredible. I had this tortalini with some smoked dried ham and a cream pesto sauce.... SO GOOD! So thanks for the recomendation... not that i think you could ever steer me wrong in the restuarnt category." Um...if I haven't mentioned, I'm the writer in the family, and she's the artist But she's an awesome chick, even if she is young and full of spelling error! n.b. I always credit eGullet where credit is due, but shoot me, it's nice to be the one to get the props
  4. Ack! I was trying to show you being cool as compared with my giddy self. I failed. Well it's certainly not your fault you hadn't been - a crap almost-experience like that would've put me off for good. I think it's great you were finally able to go! Does this mean you'll be back? Dangit, talking about delicious Tayyabs is making me hungry and wistful stupid diet.
  5. Yes, but if the plan were Staten Island – Manhattan – Bronx then Patsy's would kind of be 'on the way', no? That would make Brooklyn a long way off, though...
  6. jrichman, I know Manhattan's going to be your pizza borough, but I can't help sharing two ideas: Gray's Papaya – there's one in Greenwich Village and one on the Upper East Side. Where else can you get two hot dogs and a papaya drink for $2.50? Who else would've thought of such a thing? the GelOTTO cart in Washington Square Park. One's palate needs cleansing, no? I don't know where to get good slices but if you can't make it to Di Fara, his kids at De Marco's on Houston Street aren't supposedly doing too badly. I'd love to hear a better idea...
  7. Oh, thank you Lucy! I kind of feel bad for my long posts but hey, I am a Society Donor, right? I will definitely be in Lyon the next time I'm in France. I want to see more! And your posts and blogs have definitely swayed me. Hopefully next time I'm over it won't be just me doing so. much. legwork. In my ideal world, I summer in the country, spend Winter in town and travel Spring and Fall. In reality, however, wherein I have yet to make my fortune, I'll just have to say I'll get back to you on that
  8. A much belated but very heartfelt thanks to all who helped me out regarding my trip last month. Double that, come to think of it, since now I get to talk about it again Friday's plan was to follow in Brooklyn Cook's footsteps and go for a chorizo sandwich at the Borough Market. Sadly, a transportation snafu left my sister in Paris for the day and by the time I had that sorted I said, "eh" and went down the street to E.A.T. for lunch, not a bad compromise. I can't remember what the sandwich was but the stilton soup was glorious. Friday night I was thinking of trying to find the Anchor & Hope after my trip to the Design Museum but I was slightly under-researched and under-mapped, and I tore enough hairs out trying to figure out where the bloody fucking hell "The Cut" was before I gave up and ate in the restaurant in my hotel. Saturday was stupendous. My sister, who now agrees with me that cell phones alone are not reliable forms of travel planning and communication, met me in front of St Paul's cathedral and we met my friends at the St James restaurant at Fortnum & Mason. Now, that was elegant, if a bit museumish-touristy. I started with some duck (which my sister said was best than any she'd had so far in Paris) and enjoyed a lovely Exotic Mushroom and Vegetable Pot Pie with Puff Pastry. It was somewhat deconstructed and quite delicious. Yay Spring. The dessert cart was fun. My favorite part was my 12-year-old friend telling her dad she wanted the "ultimate fish and chips" for a main. Made with Dover Sole, those lovely bits of fried flesh cost £24! Her dad said, "are you sure?" and she said "oh, yes" and that was it. London. After a bit of wandering around Marylebone High Street drooling in the kitchenware shops (thanks Gourmet magazine) we did the inevitable, or the ultimate: dinner at St John (cue heavenly choir). I won't preach to the converted, myself being a recent but enthusiastic one. The house wine is nice as is the bread. My excellent experiences were all framed through my sister, whose culinary experiences have been mainly influenced by her parents, whose tastes were never very exacting and whose habits have fallen to the quick-serve level. Just the idea that the bread was perfect and the salad was perfect and fresh and dressed just right is actually fairly new to her and exciting to me. After living in San Francisco for four years, eating that well in New York has been as often a disappointment as a challenge. Anyway...My starter was a daily special - a salad of halibut flakes with monk's beard and capers. Light, clean, delicious. My sister had skate for a main, and after a scary moment of figuring how to get the skate off its hull (she's very squeamish) she enjoyed it very well. My curiosity about the Lentils and Goat's Curd overtook me and it was not what I expected. I was kind of thinking it'd be like goaty cottage cheese but it ended up being a big glop of essentially soft goat cheese. As long as it was goaty Since most of the lentils I eat are in French restaurants, I was thinking these would be more highly seasoned. It was fun to eat them without so much dressing, thinking to myself "ah, this is what ___ should taste like". Tragically, we had to miss dessert! As it was we found ourselves running around the neighborhood trying to find the entrance to the Barbican, sliding into our seats as the first performers were wandering on stage. Ralph was an excellent Mark Antony, Simon Russell Beale's Cassius was interesting to watch, Anton Lesser's Brutus was revealing, and Fiona Shaw's ten minutes on stage was better than most people's full runs. Oh, about food? We were going to try the suggested Essence or Charterhouse afterwards but the three and a half hour running time just pooped us out. I dedicate Sunday to Suzi Edwards! My sister wanted to see the Portobello Road market so for brunch we followed Suzi's suggestion of Ottolenghi on Ledbury Rd. We had combinations of vegetable salads and I had some lovely beef that has now caused me to fall in love with parsley sauce. Where have you been all my life?? After some happy shopping and seeing my sister on her way back to Paris and school, I went to meet Suzi "tarka" Edwards at a pub off Brick Lane. From there we went on to, and it's all your faults, New Tayyab. Suzi had figured out what to order and we were just thrilled. Well, I was thrilled, Suzi was probably neither too excited nor underwhelmed. This is what makes eGullet great, bragging about restaurants you know are fantastic and no one's heard of. (All my father is capable of saying is "Wagamama??) The only way I could bring myself to leave the U.K. was knowing I'll be back next summer. The purpose of the trip is another Jane Austen pilgrimage (laugh if you dare) but I know one of the highlights, if I'm lucky, will be dining with eGulleteers Thanks!
  9. OMG, my T1 line was hanging at work while I was trying to preview my post...here's the full text! Thanks for your interest, and I look forward to discussing Paris whenever possible (fortunately I'm too busy to fly over again, otherwise I might pull a LindaK I wanted to share some highlights from my Paris trip last month, more or less in visiting order: Angelina What a lovely tearoom! This recommendation came from the Historic Restaurants of Paris book my family gave me. I wanted a gentle introduction to Paris restaurants (my jet-lag-arrival-day was all about the crap cafe down the street). And I wanted something near the Tuileries gardens and the English bookstores (Shakespeare & Co. IMHO was sadly lacking). There are certainly worse places to start! I had a nice kir and a very lovely salade composee and in what was to become one of my many boo-boos I unwittingly sat facing away from the main room I did have an amusing chat with the Americans next to me, content of which being unimportant as I hadn't spoken English for 24 hours and my French is not so good. Chez Janou Let's Go helped me out with this one - I wanted a place to eat between my visit to the Musee Carnavalet and my afternoon Marais walking tour. It was a bit hard to find but so very worth it! I kept yelling "super-bobo!" in my head as I admired the way the French manage to smoke around their families (parents, children) and not blow exhaust everywhere. This phenomenon amazes me to this day. The food was delightfully Provencal (I had scallops and a barley risotto, lovely, with a glass of what I hoped was regionally appropriate wine) and the waiters were supercool/gay/busy. I pounded this one into my sister's head as a place to visit on a later date and I can't wait to hear if she did. L'As du Falafel Wonderful street food after a walking tour and a very refreshing change from French fare. I was a little scared at first but some English turned my head, I watched a little and figured out how the line worked, and was duly rewarded for my sticktuitiveness. Who cares if it took me the entirety of my sandwich and then some to figure out where the heck the Metro station was? Smoke A bar, really, but as a New Yorker I can't really bitch about bar food that includes a salad of frisee aux lardons. Non-smokers would hate it, but I had a great time with my sister and her friend. We discussed the smoke non-dissipation phenomenon, which made both of us hypersensitive about our own clouds. (I ate a lot of smoke that week.) She even thought the guy next to me was offended, as he was waving his hand wildly. I was able to put her at ease, luckily, as my foodie-senses knew he was eating profiteroles and my remedial French recognized the word "froid". It's okay, Suzy, he's just got a cold headache! Le Sporting Having heard so much about the Canal St. Martin area of the 10th, we decided to go exploring. The places I read about in Let's Go were either closed or crowded and we knew we had to sneak in somewhere before the dinner crowd arrived. I was attracted to Le Sporting - painted grey walls, chandeliers, chalkboard menus, people in black. (Okay, honestly I'm surprised Parisians are still doing the black thing but whatever. They all seemed to be models and producers anyway; maybe it's industry uniform.) It seemed very Frenchy Gastropub to me. Is that what the modern wine bar is like? The food was very respectably fresh and delicious and I am only sorry I didn't get the cheese. Au Bon Accueil This was all because of you guys! Thank you so much!! My dad had given my sister some money to take us out, preferably to the bistrot he went to with her housemother. No, I said softly, I know exactly where we should go. The parental chastisement that awaited was worth it and more when Suzy's eyes widened and she said, "oh, this is better than any place I've been with my parents" So lovely and elegant, but modern; we had our first fish knives and some of the most delicious fish and vegetables and bread. The kind of meal where you don't do much talking because you're too happy. Let me know if you want more details; I'm prone these days to taking more mental notes and pictures than real ones. Oh, and to heck with the waiter who glared at me for taking too much cheese for a girl Mansouria I wanted to eat Moroccan and gleaned this off another thread. My American friend was astounded I didn't want French food every day but everything astounds him. And he is now forced to admit that there are good wines from outside of France. We all had a fun time, the food was good, the place very pretty. Only the fact that we were not seated on the cushions kept us from sinking into a sleep of dreamy content. That's everything worthy of remembering, food-wise, I think. eGullet upped my enjoyment of Paris very markedly and I am only sorry no one was around to have lunch! Oh – one more thing – that's right, you bet your sweet bippy I went crazy at L'Epicerie and the Maille store
  10. ...although sometimes it was just pure crap. What can you do? It's like New York - you can do all the research in the world, but every once in a while you just have to pick a place and you're tired and you might get lucky or not. I wanted to share some highlights from my Paris
  11. I just wanted to say a quick thanks very much to everyone who replied. We've managed to book at St. John (we're eating early) and I promise to report back. Origamicrane, thanks for the helpful ideas and for the links. Menupages is something we have in addition to our other dining guide sites, and could probably only be borne of New-York-style neuroticism. Restaurants aren't even listed on the site unless someone's obtained the full menu, by hook or by crook. It really does spoil a person. Izabel_blue; thanks especially for yours! I've noted all your suggestions, especially Essence for afterwards. I'm glad you're making such good use of your work neighborhood and am indeed a little bit envious – midtown Manhattan is full of crap, fake Irish pubs; scary tourist traps; and super-chi-chi expense-account type places. Nothing for us normal folk. If anyone feels a butterfly breeze on Friday it's me, waving in your general direction from the Borough Market
  12. Thank you all so much for your suggestions. Between all of you plus bleudavergne's lovely blogs, I was very close to buying a TGV ticket to Lyon. Yesterday was my last day of work for a couple of weeks, and I was taking advantage of my high-speed connection. I must've had nine different Internet Explorer windows open. I was reading about Paris, finalizing my last weekend in London with my sister (didn't mention that did I) and looking up information about Lyon. Before my head blew off I finally said to myself, "hey! this is supposed to be a vacation!" I am often guilty of trying to do too much on a city holiday. But I think I'm going to focus my foodie endeavors on Paris and just relax. Go to the movies. Maybe Versailles. Be realistic. Aside from my bistro research I am also interested in Moroccan food – my French friend in Washington DC tells me it's one of the things she misses most. Any ideas there? I'm so grateful eGullet's around. You guys are great!
  13. brooklyncook! I got my Branston's at Myers of Keswick on Hudson Street but you can get it in your own borough – The Key Food on 5th Avenue has an entire UK section. I'm so proud Thank you for starting this thread – I'll be taking full advantage of it in two weeks
  14. They've got two things going for them: 1) They're really well-done french fries – not too thick, not too thin, just crispy enough on the outside and soft inside; 2) The Italian Fries are then tossed with a mixture of garlic, parmesan and parsley. (Anyone who knows better feel free to correct me on the ingredients.) Tony Luke's Italian Fries, Tivo, heroin – hey, at $2.75, they're definitely one of the cheapest addictions you can have.
  15. Thanks to Tony Luke's Italian Fries, my co-workers have all become raving crackhead zombies. Just the mention of the place causes glazed looks. This weekend I got a call at HOME begging for the "name of the place with those fries". Does that make me a dealer or a pimp? Oh wait, I mean what does that make you guys? Thanks for the Roast Pork Italian suggestion! That was wonderful, I wasn't expecting the pork to be so tender and thinly sliced. Very nice with the sharp provolone and broccoli rape. I kinda sorta almost wish the bread had had more flavor or texture here but y'all should know I only bother to quibble with the nearly perfect It doesn't look like we'll get a chance to post any new results soon - someone else will have to pick up the gauntlet.
  16. Epicurious is still running, just on the Travel Channel. Does anyone watch it? I was amused by Michael's first co-host; some British woman who seemed to truly hate her job. The other co-hostess is too perky for me. Have things changed? I always wanted to like Sara's Secrets much more than I ever did. Cooking Live was great. It impressed the hell out of me that she would never flinch and always be helpful to people who would call up and say things like, "is it all right if I use Velveeta instead?"
  17. According to what I've been reading, Sutton Arms recently lost the chef who made their reputation, and the buzz isn't hopeful. Thanks for the ideas so far. Man, I wish you all in the U.K. had something like menupages.com – I had no idea how completely spoiled I am! Hmm...according to LondonTown.com, there's a Pizza Express not far away (Actually, that may be good enough for my sister :)
  18. Greetings! I couldn't pass up a trip to Europe without finding a way to squeeze in a weekend in London. My darling sister-in-college is accompanying me. And once I found out that Julius Caesar was premiering with not only Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw but Ralph Fiennes himself I had to book us tickets. Pre-theatre dinner needn't be a massive affair as we're being taken to lunch at the Fountain at F&M that day. St. John intrigues me but I'm not sure if my sister's too squeamish (or if I am to be honest). Would a gastropub do? Should we just do Searcy's pre-theater menu? As you can tell I've done a little research but it's the locals who know best. Any opinions? Thanks much
  19. It is true that I won't have a car. It's also true that this will be my third trip to Paris, and a whole week is more than I've had before. So I think one day out will still leave me plenty of time in the city. Oh, I knew this was the place to come! Thank you all for these great suggestions. In my naivete, I was thinking, "oh, maybe I should go to Dijon for the mustard" or some such thing. Lyon? Rouen? Hmm. They both sound delicious I will definitely keep the driving options in mind in case my crazy-let's-drive-anywhere-at-the-drop-of-a-hat acquaintance ends up staying in Paris instead of being in NYC that weekend. Bad timing it seems. Again, I am finding that eGullet is really the best place for restaurant recommendations for me right now. (Menton1, I agree that Rick Steves has major limitations, but he is at least budget-oriented.) I am poring over the threads as much as I can. But trying to absorb any one forum, whoo, is that a challenge in itself! One day in the future I look forward to lots of driving and Michelin star-gazing. This time I'm going to see the best things I can from an everyday-foodie perspective.
  20. Lucy, thank you! You are absolutely right about not torturing my sister with too much of my drooling and sugar-hunting. But she has class most afternoons so I'll have that time to seek out crafty confitures. (All for souvenirs, of course ) Would I really be comfortable eating in a fine restaurant alone? Or are you suggesting it's easy to find a companion in Lyon I will be ISO in Paris, I'm sure. Would you perhaps be so kind as to comment on dress codes? I think I can get away with my "business casual" attire most of the time but proper restaurants worry me. I only have one dress! Maybe I should dry clean some of those suits from the back of the closet?
  21. I've got my Time Out, Let's Go, Rick Steves, Lonely Planet's World Food France, and my head is totally spinning! Since I've learned just as much from reading eGullet, I thought you might not mind sharing a few stories. I will be in Paris for a week visiting my sister, who's doing a semester abroad there. Her school keeps her very busy; in fact, the first weekend I'm there she'll be away in Normandy. So I thought I might try hopping a train somewhere. Am I crazy? Is it possible to not have a car and still have a nice, food-oriented trip? Does anyone have a favorite day out they would recommend? Thanks very much
  22. Thank you R Washburn! To be perfectly honest, that was just CYA because I wasn't sure and some people are total fanatics about "authenticity". Grr, now I want another one! And I was so going to lose five pounds before vacation
  23. Last night we (ten of us at work that is!) ordered from Tony Luke's. We all agreed that that was a damn fine cheesesteak. Probably not 100% 'authentic', I doubt that bread was Amoroso's, but definitely good meat-cheese proportioning and overall flavor. Can't wait to try that roast pork Italian next time!
  24. Yeah, what everybody else said. Anyone see the smirkingly shameless shilling on Arrested Development last night? I hadn't even realized it at the time but someone's web site pointed out that that's when they had Henry Winkler's character literally jump a shark
  25. Oh my GOD! Leave it to eGullet to remind me where I used to get my alcohol-absorbing (and study-procrastinating) chicken cheesesteaks with hot sauce Oh, and lotsa high-fallutin' gourmet-type advice as well, natch
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