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maftoul

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Everything posted by maftoul

  1. I have cooked nearly 99% of the China Moon cookbook, by the late Barbara Tropp. It has taken me a number of years to do it. I plan to finish the final 1% in the next year or two. The Zuni Cafe Cookbook and Sunday Suppers at Lucques are next.
  2. There is a place just east of Prospect on Independence, maybe at Chestnut Trafficway? called Sabor Central Americano. Very good pupusas. And it's very close to my favorite Vietnamese place, Pho 97. Back to Tacos, my sister and I recently ate at El Taco Nazo at 4th and Kansas Ave. It was very good! I had barbacoa huaraches and my sister had chicken sopes. Both were great, but the chicken on the sopes was some of the best I've had. Just really good food and service.
  3. As much as we enjoyed the food, some people will have issues with the service. Our food was served in the bottom of a styrofoam to go clamshell, with the top ripped off. Disinterested teenage girls took our orders and delivered them to our table. But what the heck, they were very young, working very hard and were not rude. Everything was disposable as Zeemanb stated, but in a very odd sort of way. I've eaten at lots of small, independently owned places around the country (alas, not out of the country!) but I've never been served food in deconstructed to go boxes. It wasn't a big deal to me, but it will be to many potential customers. Maybe as time goes on they can upgrade the styrofoam to match the food. It was quite enjoyable. The owner was so generous with samples and explanations of their menu. The pork was great, simply roasted, but extremely flavorful. The atmosphere on Sunday could be described as lively and loud. We liked it. People should give it a try.
  4. We stopped at Cafe Cuba today for a quick lunch. We shared the pork sandwich, we was just that, pork on cuban bread, grilled and pressed, and a cuban. Both were very good, but large. We brought half home. After conversing with the owner about the food, he gave us a very generous sample of Imperial rice. It was a turmeric yellow casserole sort of thing with lots of different meats and cheese. It was wonderful. We're going back when we're more hungry or with more people so we can try a variety of things. There were 8 or 9 other people dining, all but 2 were Cuban. I like to try some of the fruit drinks. The pork was really, really good.
  5. I was given A New Way To Cook when it was first published as a gift. It's an enjoyable book. There are a few dishes we've adapted and made our own. There is a wonderful warm potato salad with a white wine shallot dressing that we change according to our on hand ingredients but use the recipe's method. We also love the 21 Club chopped salad. There is a great honey and seed cured pork loin roast that I've made again and again. I've used most of the rubs and seasonings on a regular basis. The most brilliant rub is nothing more than smoked lapsong suchong tea that is processed in a coffee grinder. We mix it with kosher salt and black pepper and rub it on a steak, then pan sear it. It tastes wood grilled! I never would have thought of using that tea as a rub. Actually, all the meat and poultry items we've done have been very good. I do like the author's philosophy of eating well prepared, intensely flavored food in more moderate portions.
  6. That is nice to know that the kolachy and strudel dough recipes are solid. Thanks, maftoul! I had a good kolachy family recipe from a friend but I'm not sure I still have it. Do you mind sharing which flours have been successful for the strudel dough? Rodgers only specifies "unbleached" but we've gravtiated towards and stayed with King Arthur's Unbleached Flour. Other regular flours did not work for us but maybe simple getting unbleached flour is sufficient. ← I use King Arthur unbleached flour as well as Gold Medal Organic Unbleached with equally good results. Both of those flours seem very similar. I would probably prefer King Arthur, but Gold Medal Organic is more cost effective for us. No one else in the kitchen I work in could tell the difference.
  7. I've made the Dalmatian Four Flavor Kolacky many times for catered breakfasts. I've multiplied the recipe X4 and made 72 smaller kolacky with one flavor per pastry. They are so good! The recipe for strudel dough is the best I've made. It was the easiest, flakiest strudel dough I've made. I could roll the dough to paper thinness in no time. It just a wonderful book. Everything I've made has turned out well.
  8. We tried Souperman again. Again, it is just way over the top in the sodium department. I simply do not understand what that is all about. Far, far too much salt. It cancels out most of the other flavors. Is it the fast food syndrome that enables diners to accept that much salt in food these days? We had to drink quarts of water after our lunch.
  9. Big Country is right on. The burnt ends at LC's are so good. I am partial to the pulled pork at Oklahoma Joe's, the one at 47th and Mission. I am also hearing good things about Big T's on 350 Highway, across the street from LC's. Haven't been there yet, but from what I'm hearing, I do want to try it. The brisket is getting good reports.
  10. I predict that tomorrow, March 8, the restaurant review in the Star Preview will have at least one paragraph devoted to the sauce of butter chicken. No Indian restaurant review by Lauren is without much prose about the joys of butter chicken sauce and how one can eat just the sauce because it is so fabulous. I do hope Lauren talks about other dishes. Every Indian restaurant review she does revolves around butter chicken. All of her Indian restaurant reviews are the same. Butter Chicken is the standard. Too bad, there is so much more to Indian food than that one dish.
  11. We shopped at the Trader Joe's in Richmond Heights, MO, right next to Clayton, this past October. In was in a strip mall with a World Market and directly across the street from a great Whole Foods. The TJ's was totally mobbed, with shoppers almost frantically whipping through the aisles. When I used to shop at the Trader Joe's in California some 28 years ago, it was a different experience. I was surprised to see 90% of the items now having the TJ's private label. We bought some very nice balsamic vinegar, organic beans, chocolate and lots of wine. I sure wish a TJ's would open here.
  12. I like the soups, sandwiches and salads at Room 39 at 39th and Bell in Midtown. Pangea, also on 39th at Clark, is good.
  13. I think it's more a case of the Souperman folks trying to be as fast and efficient as possible. Pre- assembled sandwiches of certain kinds, to be finished off at the time of ordering isn't uncommon at all, especially in very busy places. There didn't seem to be any attitude involved at all. The "you're out of luck" comment was entirely my own. I would imagine that if you called ahead, you could get an ingredient deleted. Because they are a very new operation, I would suspect that in time they'll work out ways to be fast, efficient and more accomodating to special orders.
  14. We were posting at the same time. Yes, the smoked tomato bisque was more like a pizza sauce! I detected some smoke in my serving, but it was overpowered by salt. I'm going to try the Moroccan Lamb Soup next time. And the Thai Chicken Curry. That one seemed to be what every 2 diners were ordering.
  15. Two of us ate at Souperman today. It's a great concept. Service was fast, efficient and friendly. We each had the small soup and sanditto combo, $6.99. With one soft drink and one bottled water the total was $20.30. It was hard to make a decision since all the soups and sandittos sounded wonderful. We ate at one of the counters with high stools and were very comfortable. One combo we chose was Curried Pumpkin Soup with a Portobella and Goat Cheese Sanditto. The sanditto is a large flour tortilla wrap, already filled, so if you don't like a particular ingredient, you're out of luck. All the sandwiches sounded great to me! The other combo we ordered included Smoked Tomato Soup and BBQ Brisket with Bleu Cheese and Caramelized Onions. We liked the paper boxes and cups very much. It makes it easy to transport. The sandittos were very tasty, but the fillings weren't hot at all. That didn't bother us, they were delicious! The Smoked Tomato Soup could have been less thick. It had the texture of thick canned tomato sauce. That's just a personal preference. The Curried Pumpkin Soup had an excellent silky feel, but both soups were extremely salty. I love salt and love to cook with salt, but these soups were way over the top in the sodium department. We heard 2 other diners voicing the same opinion. That won't stop is from going back. It was a charming place with a varied selection and great, fast service. We're hoping the soups we happened to choose were over salted just for today.
  16. I can't say how many times I've purchased vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, leeks and cauliflower only to have the young cashier ask me "what is it and what do you do with it" types of questions. Sometimes the cashier actually seems interested and says maybe they'd like to try eggplant, but most of the time they appear to be just perplexed. Very sad, indeed.
  17. We had a Sunday lunch at Choga just a couple of weeks ago. I agree with UE, it was good, fine and tasty, but I won't have the burn to go back. The bibimbap was better than what I had at Royal Korean, it was very good. As good as any I've had in Los Angeles. We liked the corn tea, as well. We also had a beef dumpling and rice cake soup whose name escapes me. It was very good. We didn't do any table top grilling. Our condiments were, how shall I say?...curiuous. We had: Kimchee, good, standard issue. Great garlic broccoli dish. Tofu was wonderful. Chile daikon was just too tough. A strange, oddly enjoyable potato and apple salad type of thing. Sesame soybean sprouts with chiles, carrots and zucchini, wonderful! A dish of Korean chile paste that Lauren Chapin described as "hoisin like." I think it tastes quite different and is addictive. We enjoyed the food, the service was odd and the dining room itself was non- descript. But, we were the only non Koreans there that day, the place was full and lots of little kids were having fun grilling their own bulbogi.
  18. We live very close to Circe and because we like to support our neighborhood businesses we've eaten several lunches and dinners at Circe. All of our dinners have been very good, as has the service. The food was straight forward, not especially over the top inventive, but just well prepared dishes using good ingredients. Lunches have been nice, as well. This summer we had a great cobb salad. Our daughter lives in Minneapolis, which is a great food town. We all agreed after our last dinner at Circe that the restaurant would fit the Twin Cities well. Give them a try!
  19. I think I've been there! It seemed totally Russian to me, not very Western European at all. They did have food products and hard goods. Many interesting things in jars.
  20. Kansas City has great ethnic markets.For Arabic, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean I like Al Habashi in the City Market. There is a wonderful Turkish market at 74th and Metcalf that has a nice cafe. Jerusalem Bakery on Westport Rd. and Terrace has a small grocery section that is very convenient to my house. My favorite store for Indian products is Indian Emporium at 105th and Metcalf. On the other side of that shopping area is Oriental Supermarket. I like to go there for Japanese and Korean items. Chinatown Market at 2nd and Grand is a good place to go if you need a variety of items, not just Asian. They also carry Hispanic, Indian and African products. Kim Long at 5th and Cherry is a very nice, well organized and clean store for Southeast Asian food. They make very good roast pork and duck. A whole roast duck is about $10. And they have freshly made banh mi for 2 bucks! I love La Posada on Southwest Boulevard and the Price Chopper at 47th and Roe for Hispanic food. There is a very good Persian market at 119th and Metcalf but I can't remember the name. I took a drive down Central Ave. in KCK recently and saw many little shops, bakeries and taquerias that I want to check out. If anyone has any KCK recommendations I'd love to hear about them.
  21. JWest, You're right! My husband pointed that out to me
  22. Well, UE beat me to it. I was going to pose the question as to how a pizza can be fabulously crispy, chewy and soft all at once. It's sort of like her use of the word "twang" which is a SOUND, not a FLAVOR. She should be using the word "tang or tangy" perhaps? That said, I will give La Cucina di Mamma another try. We had seriously bad service there, only regulars were recognized and treated well, but the food was very good.
  23. It's called Chinatown Market and is at 2nd and Grand where Garret's was. By the bridge. Not only do they have all different Asian stuff ( Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Filipino, Indonesian, etc,) they have Hispanic and Indian, too. It's a very good market. I buy stuff for the catering business I work for and save us a ton of money.
  24. Mid America Gourmet is great. One of the most accomadating businesses around. We buy lots of product from them. Those fruit purees are great! I also like chocolate pistoles, much easier than chopping 11lb. blocks. They have very fresh toasted and peeled hazelnuts. I had forgotten about their retail store. I does smell good. The retail shop has very high quaility, professional quality chocolate.
  25. Hopefully they'll still have it! Whole Foods is famous for suddenly not having something and then saying " I don't believe we've carried that." I used to buy white anchovies by the ounce and fleur del sel by the ounce, but this summer they no longer had them. The very nice young man behind the cheese counter said the above. And the chocolate may be somewhat seasonal. It was last Christmas when I got the El Rey. For more info: www.elreychocolate.com
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