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    West Chester, PA
  1. For the fans of affagado, you can get it in Sprazzo in West Chester. Their gelato is not nearly as good as Capogiro's, but people say the espresso is good, and if you're adding coffee or vanilla gelato the combination can't be that bad, right?? I had a bad experience at Capogiro's a few weeks ago....I prefer the fruit sorbettos, and get the watermelon whenever it's offered. This last time, the sugar in the watermelon flavor was overwhelming. It was actually so sweet that I couldn't eat it and ordered another cup with pumpkin and fior di latte (which was terrific). It was September, so I am wondering if the watermelon was on its way out of season, and so more sugar was added to the recipe. I adore Capogiro's, and their superior quality has been pretty consistent over the past few years, so this was a big disappointment to me.
  2. I haven't been there in a while, but I second Chabba Thai in Manayunk. They have the spiciest, most flavorful red curry I have had. It's actually TOO spicy for me, but is so delicious that I still order it almost every time. Very nice atmosphere too.
  3. Sorry, this was supposed to be posted in the St. Martin thread!
  4. I just returned from a week in St. Martin. Great food everywhere! Le Tastevin in Grand Case was amazing, everything was delicious, and the view can't be beat. With wine and dessert it worked out to about $75 pp. Layla's Beach Bar still delivers, we had great cajun fish. Layla's has this great atmosphere, directly on the shore yet nestled among the trees for this private, jungle-y feeling. We were there early for dinner, but they had a dance floor and a disco ball, so I'm sure its a great night spot too. Pineapple Pete's in Simpson bay was not stunning, but good enough when we felt too lazy to drive up to the French spots. I tried the wild salmon lasagna which was better than I had hoped, with very tender, large chunks of salmon filling the lasagna and not an overload of cheese. The only fault was the addition of dill. The dish was flavored with traditional italian spices, red sauce, mozzerella cheese which all worked well...and then there was this odd aftertaste of dill. I still ate the whole thing, it just would have been better minus the dill. One night when I wasn't feeling well, we went for takeout at Lee's Roadside Grill (Simpson Bay). We were there early so the place was fairly empty when we ordered. We waited 25 minutes and hadn't received our food (people sitting at the bar around us who arrived at the same time had been served and were well into their dishes). So we asked the barman how our order was coming and he said curtly, "the cook will bring it over when it's ready." He then re-shouted our order to the grill-man (who didn't respond). 20 minutes later there was still nothing, the other people had finished eating and one dining gentleman asked me if we had placed a "special order." My husband told the chef we had been waiting a long time for our take out and were only giving him two more minutes to see where our food was. The barman did not respond and walked over to the grill-man and started talking to him, then walked over to the pick up window and started sifting through the orders. We left at that point, deciding that our food had not even made it to the grill yet. I was very disappointed with the service....very rude, unprofessional and unconcerned that we were not being helped. The food is probably delicious, but I will not ever go back. We went across the road to Topper's, where we got terrific friendly service and fantastic mahi-mahi burgers delivered to us within 15 minutes. La Main a La Pate in Marigot served up good super-thin crust pizza. Top Carrot in Simpson Bay is good when you need a fresh veggie fix. Fresh fruit juices as well. The Lolos in Grand Case were our favorite. Tuesday in Grand Case is Harmony Night, where the street is closed down to traffic and vendors set up, and the lolo's set up tables in the street. After dinner, there were people selling home made coconut ice cream, crepes and pastries. We tried Talk of the Town and Sky's The Limit and both were good, although we preferred Talk of the Town. The saltfish cakes were awesome, and sadly Sky's the Limit didn't have them. I think any of the Lolos are a good bet, and you can eat for less than $10 a person. Amazing trip!!
  5. Where can a group of 8 have a light lunch in the few blocks surrounding the 13th & Sansom Capogiros (Capogiros is the reason for the outing)? I'm planning on taking my group to El Vez tomorrow, mainly because it's right there. I like El Vez, but really would be interested in exploring options. What else is around there?? We are looking for light lunch fare, not too $$. Any suggestions are welcome, even if its for next time. Thanks Michelle
  6. To add- we will be staying in Simpson Bay and are looking for good "cheap-ish eats" to fill in for breakfast/lunches and one or two dinners. We will have a car and so can travel.
  7. There's alot of great info on St. Martin here....but its all dated. Has anyone been recently? Or can I still rely on the posts from 2006? I'm sure restaurants have closed, new ones have opened, etc. I am going Feb 21-27. Thanks! Michelle
  8. Someone above mentioned that eating less meat may not be "win-win" because the meat farmers may go out of business, or lose money, etc. And they have a point. But I don't think that the support of these farmers is a good reason to keep eating meat...nor do I think that those of us who who eat meat now give any of our thought to the financial welfare of the farmer who raised and slaughtered our meal while eating it. I think we eat meat because it tastes good, and in U.S. culture it is the centerpiece of all meals. Meat eating is firmly entrenched in our culture, and moving away from eating meat would significantly impact other areas of our life. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Sunday Brunch? These events would change significantly for many people without including the turkey, ham and sausage omelettes. And whether you dine out at Wendy's or Craft, you don't leave raving about the potatoes. Well, maybe you do when you leave Craft, but you get the point. I would say that if the UN reports on the ill effects of the factory farming industry are true, and they seem to be a reliable source, then wouldn't cutting meat consumption be the right thing to do? Ok, so some farmers would lose their business if there was a mass migration away from meat eating. In the big picture of bettering the environment and protecting our long term investment in the planet... is that really the important issue to consider? Should we continue to support an industry that is allegedly a mega-contributor to global warming so that a very small percentage of the population can keep their current jobs? The point that I'm getting at here is that we are too connected to meat to let it go easily, but maybe it is a sacrifice that we need to make. It's really just selfish to eat meat with all of the knowledge that we have. It is possible (and healthier in many ways) to sustain ourselves on vegetable proteins. And it seems evident that reducing factory farming would have a hugely positive impact on the environment. But very few of us will take this simple step because eating bacon is such a pleasurable experience. Even the people who are huge advocates of stopping/slowing global warming don't bring up the issue, because they don't want to look like hypocrites: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...09/wgore109.xml
  9. UN research shows that livestock production creates more greenhouse gasses than all forms of transportation combined. That is really shocking to me. These facts about the meat industry's connection to global warming have been known for some time, but have not been widely disseminated by the media. People are willing to recycle and conserve electricity, but to drastically change their diet is out of the question for some reason. Here is more info: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...l_gam_mostemail
  10. They had cones at GROMs - a mom bought two cones for her kids while I was there. I don't remember if they're on the menu, but they did have them. Also, the clerk said that they will be opening up a second location in NYC "downtown" this summer.
  11. I went to both GROM and Il Lab in the Bowery Whole Foods yesterday. At Il Lab, I had Honeydew sorbet and Lavender Honey Gelato. Both were very flavorful, but the gelato was ROCK HARD. I asked for a sample and the guy could barely scrape the little spoon in the gelato without the spoon snapping. Once it melted and I stirred it around a little, it was much more enjoyable to consume. Is their actual storefront serving it a the same temp? The honeydew was fruity, fresh and not too sweet, and the Lavender Honey was smooth and sweet but somewhat savory, too...it reminded me of a cheese and truffled honey I had at Otto once. Very nice flavors, but the texture was disappointing. The selection of flavors was varied and exciting, which I like to see in a gelato shop. Why do they serve it so cold?? I am interested in the current comments about Italian gelato - scooping vs. paddling. I have never been to Italy and so wouldn't know, but I thought that gelato was supposed to be served at a certain temperature, and that this specified temperature/texture was part of the very nature of the dessert. GROM had a great texture. The Pear sorbet was flawless. I don't know if they use a base mix for the sorbets? I tasted the Crem de GROM, which was creamy and nice but not extraordinary and ordered the Italian Yogurt to complement the Pear. The Yogurt was tangy and creamy, but a had a very fine grit to it, which was a little strange. I ate the whole thing so it didn't turn me off, and I didn't experience that grit with the other dairy flavor I tried, so it must have just been the Yogurt. I need to go back and try a few more milk based flavors before I can make a final personal judgement on whether the base mix dulls the flavor. And I'm looking forward to going back, so it was a good experience overall. At this point, Capogiro's still comes out the winner for me, with intensity of flavors, texture, variety, presentation and amount of choices all being amazing. Even though GROM was good, they offered the "usual suspect" flavors, with only two or three that were a bit more adventurous, and there wasn't an abundant selection compared to Capogiro's. I also didn't like that they keep it in lidded bins....I suppose this helps the temperature control, but I like to see what's available. The metal bins made me think of soup. Price point should be a little lower, $5.25 for a small (and noticeably smaller than Capogiro's which comes in at $4.50) is pushing it. Otto's gelato has been the best for me in NYC so far, on par with Capogiro's... really amazing stuff!!!
  12. I love this gelato thread, and I love that New Yorkers bring up Capogiro's when talking gelato! I am originally from Philly, so Capogiro's is my reference point when I'm comparing gelato. Their sorbettos are probably the best thing that I have ever eaten, period. A clean, intense, not-overwhelmed-by sugar fruity goodness that instills a constant craving for more, and necessitates a three hour drive every once in a while to satisfy. Their gelatos are also outstanding too...Thai Coconut Milk...mmmm. I went to Cones this past weekend where I sampled the mango, blueberry, blackberry, corn, pumpkin, and ginger. The ginger was the best, very spicy and not too sweet, really embodying an intense freshly grated ginger flavor. The blueberry and corn were also good; the other flavors were just average...the pumpkin a bit too sugary for my tastes. I also visited Arte Del Gelato in the Chelsea Market awhile back, and had Dulce de Leche and Hazelnut, which were good, but lacking an intensity factor. I'm not sure if they use a base mix. Tomorrow I was planning on stopping by Il Laboratorio to see what they can offer. Based on this thread, it sounds like Il Lab has a shop in the Bowery Whole Foods, and that this may be the preferred location, even in terms of selection!? I wouldn't have guessed that. Please confirm or refute. To keep this post on topic, I wasn't aware of GROM, love gelato, and so will be visiting soon to throw it in to my comparison. Pessimistically, I don't have high hopes for GROM. I don't see how it's possible that a place that uses a base mix can come anywhere near a store who creates small batches of gelato that are individually infused with flavor. I also thought that REAL gelato was paddled, and not scooped, as it should be too soft for scooping. I'd be interested in feedback on that issue from those who have been to Italy. From what I have read, Il Lab is artisanal even if they do scoop , so I am hoping to at least come close to a Capogiro's experience. And maybe GROM's real italian base mix will add a certain something that is not attainable in the U.S.
  13. Thanks to everyone. You've definitely given me the options I was looking for. I think we're going to go with Alto at 6. We have people training up and back from Philly and babysitter issues, so the later RSVPs won't work well for our group. And eating before 7 isn't ideal, but I'm just happy to find a great place on such short notice. This thread will be a great list for every time I get back in to NYC...and next time I'll call three weeks in advance.
  14. You are amazing, Tupac, I feel like I should pay you for this service! Thanks for the help!
  15. I hope you'll cancel one of those. There are most likely other people looking for tables that night, and you holding two reservations when you know you can only use one does them a disservice. ← Yes, I know its rude to double book. ... I'm going to choose tonight/tomorrow and cancel what we won't use. I am on a few waiting lists, so hopefully some first choice restaurants will call!
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