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IR Chef Salad

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  1. Not sure about what we can get done tomorrow. We got a late start and it is 230 AM and still not settled down before a long day tomorrow. The forecast is not looking good for walking all day, and we haven't had much luck securing a reservation for anywhere. But, we are in NJ and tomorrow we'll try as much a possible. I'll update when we get back to NJ. Thanks for all of the great suggestions. Aloha chef salad
  2. I have eaten at the Grand Sichuan on 23rd and 9th. Both meals were great, but how late are they open? I had a hell of a wait last time, so we might consider a later meal there, as our friends live on 36th and 9th. Thanks for the great suggestions. I felt a little squeamish asking where to go when I do a decent job on my own, but I really wanted some fresh ideas. Nice to know that some of my own faves are mentioned here. Aloha Chef Salad
  3. Email from daughter: Dad, we certainly can eat SUSHI in New York. You don't mind forking over the cash for that, do you?? So, at 2:45 AM, let me suggest that we'd LOVE to eat a wonderful Japanese/Sushi meal Saturday night. But again, WHERE???
  4. Thanks for your excellent attention to the important details. I am frequently disturbed by those, "the pasta was okay, but the service was slow" type of posts. I think one of the reasons I have good luck with dining experiences is because my expectations are based mostly (not all) on the kitchen. Your experiences (so far) add up to an amazing tour of the city's tastes. Now I am already lamenting that we can only be there for one day this weekend. One question about Per Se? How do they set the pace of service? I hate food coming before we can complete (or nearly complete) a wonderful course--granted it is my own pet peeve. Did they take their cues from your pace, or did you have to keep up, until the lobster? Just wondering. And thanks again.
  5. Greetings, My family will be spending an unexpected day in NYC THIS SATURDAY. As I directly replied to Kim Shook re: her excellent description of a recent New York trip, we are from Richmond, VA. However, I am originally from Queens, and spent most of my adolescence in Princeton, NJ, with stops in Philadelphia and overseas. But I have been in Richmond for 26 years, so I am not as in the loop as I would like to be. As the years have passed and my family has taken root in Richmond, I get back to the Northeast less and less. I am no stranger to food. I was a relatively successful executive chef (The Track, Richmond, VA) for 15 years before leaving the restaurant biz after 20 years. But, I need help navigating all the changes and ups and downs in the city. Here is what we want, like, need. Here is our itenerary for the weekend: My kids (both) want to stop on the way up and eat Pat's and Geno's cheesesteaks in Philly. They aren't the best (actually Hoagie Haven, in Princeton is the best!) but they are a tradition for us. That will be dinner Friday night...I have to teach a class friday morning. Saturday morning we will drive into the city early. Our breakfast: H&H Bagels and various spreads, cheeses, and smoked fish from Zabars. My son will manage to eat at least 3 Gray's Papaya hot dogs before 11:00 AM. We park in a gem of a cheap lot between 10th and 11th off of Times Square. Shopping (including Zabars) will occupy a lot of the day. I used to play in bands and loved to buy records downtown (is Bleecker Bob's still in business?), but I think my wife and kids (15 and 16) will take over that role. Any good ideas on where to find teenage girl shopping, rock and roll high school boy shopping, and my better half shopping all in one district?? And how about those "knockoff" handbags? Anybody want to divulge their secrets on getting the best deals? Is Union Square a good all around location for a lot of this? I want to hit the market vendors there anyway. Cheese? Where do I buy cheese? I can get italian stuff in Trenton (where I will be on Sunday) but I need CHEESE! Late lunch: We go to Katz's. Period. I'll eat one pastrami and carry another around. Where is the good smoked fish place very nearby Katz's? My memory is so not good. And does anyone recall a pickle market nearby?? I need to bring home bags of fresh half sours. Dinner: This is the challenge. We all love to walk around and eat in Chinatown, but many of our old standbys are gone. It will be the Saturday night before easter so many of the more trendy and/or popular joints will be rocking. So...where to go? We are adventurous eaters, but my daughter is dumpling person. I am a spicy sichuan noodles with meat sauce guy (Jia Jiang Mien) and my son eats whatever isn't nailed down--especially duck. Our other choice is to find someplace more upscale but still fun. We did Babbo a couple of years ago and it was a good night, but we got a lucky reservation and great service. We WONT be dressed for dinner and it promises to be a COLD NIGHT in the city. Still, someplace with great food and good people watching that we still might be able to get into on this late notice is a hard thing to find. ANY SUGGESTIONS? My daughter is a celebrity HOUND--she wants to see someone famous at dinner...but there is NO PINKS in NYC. She has been in the hospital for 2 weeks and I really want her to have a great time. She LOVES New York, but loves celebrity watching even better! I just want a great meal...great food plus great memories with my family. Maybe some in town family or friends may join us. Generally, we'd prefer great Italian, Latin, or Japanese if we aren't eating Chinese. No offense, but I can get great Thai and Vietnamese down here. On occasion we will do Carmines. I know the food is not so great, but it is totally an atmospheric thing. Since we aren't staying in a big shmancy Times Square Hotel, that is probably not our best option. HELP? Late night...we'll stay in town until 2-3 AM. Where to go after midnight for snacks, desserts, deli, pizza??? Okay that is HUGE task...help me out EG people. Thanks much, The Chef Salad
  6. Hi from beautiful downtown VCU!! We are going to NYC unexpectedly for about 24 hours this weekend. I am a yankee transplant--originally from Queens and Princeton NJ, but down here for over 26 years. I loved your honest appreciation of the city. I am so torn by not living there, but having lived there...it is a strange thing. I am going to start another thread for our itenerary and for suggestions for dinner, but I so motivated by your descriptions. I hope we have as full an experience as you did. If you ever hear Chef Salad at Edo's (eating, not working!) that's me!! Aloha, cjs
  7. It happens everywhere - go into any respectable town in Texas and ask where the best barbecue is. ←
  8. MZ is still what it always has been: garlicky good italian food with a bad attitude. If you take the place for what it is, the food will bail you out most times. I have had a couple of bad meals and I think the kitchen dudes are not as hot as they once were. Try Edo's Squid if you need a bit more service and credit cards...the food is pretty close, although MZ still makes me hungry when I think about it. And try some of the Vietnamese food off Horsepen Road...and the Full Kee!!
  9. The best food in all of the OBX is John's Drive-In: Inshore Special (that's a fried dolphin sandwich) with a chocolate banana milkshake After that, go catch a yellowfin or a wahoo and fire up the grill yourself. And go to the Thai Room during soft shell season!
  10. My recent experience was less fortunate. My mussels were unbearded and old. If you have cooked mussels you know that older dead (nasty) ones will tend to split onto the two shell halves when steamed. My entire order was this way--and smelled unappetizing. I couldn't even dip my bread. The server was not too terribly impressed with my complaint--which I find hard to take because any establishment that serves a lot of mussels will eventually run into this situation from time to time. The fries were nice...
  11. In the last 3 weeks I have eaten at both Mamma zu's and Edo's Squid. To be honest, I work at VCU and my office is literally a block from Edos. But I have always felt the food at MZ was better. Until now...I have to totally agree on the aggressive saltiness in the food. The pasta allamatricianna was a salt lick...honestly it was TERRIBLE. The broccoletti was really salty--even overwhelming the garlic. We had a piece of rockfish, which I have been eating there since they opened the place--and it was horribly overseasoned. What is going on?? I used to know a few of the cooks and they were just guys who Ed taught to make the dishes...but all of them evolved into reasonably (for THIS PLACE) thoughtful cooks. But now it's really not good. Edo's is better, but can be salty too. So...FELLAS, CHILL OUT ON THE SALT. Let the food work...
  12. Miu Kee is good--we actually went the first time when Mark's was full with a long line. The selection is not as extensive as some other places. There was an excellent Chinese restaurant (name escapes me) in the Eden Center that rivalled all of these mentioned, but it closed pretty quickly. Fortune is quite good, but not on everything...and it is expensive by most any Chinese restaurant standards. Full Kee in the district is good--their noodle soups are great, the duck and the roast pork are always good, and their selection of green vegetables is fantastic. I agree that MDH has its problems, but the Roast Pig is worth the blockage. Their dim sum was pretty good early this summer--last time we were there. And, the make excellent hot and sour soup--even though they are not a Sichuan restaurant. DC area NEEDS sichuan food!! Has anyone ever eaten at Lin's Dumpling house in NYC? It just closed but was a favorite for their Jia Jiang Mein (noodles with spicy meat sauce) Any other chinese establishments farther south of falls church--please let me know--we drive up twice a month from Richmond for dinner.
  13. The service still stinks! I ate there recently and nothing has changed. I still prefer their version of a'llamatriciana over what you get at Edo's Squid. But, since you are now north, the BEST cannoli you'll ever eat comes from the Little Italy Pastry Shop and Deli off of Olden Avenue in the Chambersburg section of Trenton, NJ. I have eaten them everywhere--they are GREAT. Try on dipped in dark chocolate glaze... But back to Richmond...the dining scene is riddled with the usual suspects. Part of the problem is that where most of the people live (out in the counties) there are very few independent restaurants. We get PF Changs, Flemings, Copper Grill, etc. and the masses think it's great. Thank god for Full Kee and the Pho joints who can manage to serve authentic food and not be driven out of business. On a happier note, Carytown seafood has opened a restaurant in the West End near Innsbrook. Chef John Maxwell is handling the kitchen and I have heard some really good things. John has the capacity to do some very creative and interesting things...let's hope Richmonders order enough dishes to keep the kitchen cranking out some challenging and tasty treats.
  14. Yikes I miss C'ville like crazy! The chicken shack behind Durty Nellies is the Wayside. If the grease is right, it is some of the best chicken you'll eat. As for Guad's, I ate there enough to know that they cater to all of Charlottesville--food experienced and not at all. So I think the place is like many "mexican" restaurants in the US: it HAS to sell standard stuff to exist. Last time I went it was not crowded at all and it was 730 on a Friday. It made me concerned...I need these places to persist so I can eat when I visit. By the way, Bodo's Bagels are the closest thing to a real bagel in the entire southeast.
  15. mamma zu still has the same rotten service. There is a difference between attitude and bad service and they cross the line too many times: forgotten meals, entrees before appetizers, never refilling water or beverages. BUT, the food is great. Edo's does as good a job and they serve broccoli rabe while mamma zu tends to have escarole. Either way, they are garlicky and delicious. Nobody gives the Jamaica House on Broad St. near VCU much credit. Fantastic and authentic Jamaican food, and the line out the door at lunch proves it. Also we are blessed with a number of great Vietnamese Noodle joints: I prefer the Pho So #1 on Horespen Rd behind Full Kee, but all of the restaurants in that block are good.
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