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Posts posted by tommy

  1. Steven at times argued with me, at times confided in me, certainly challenged me, and always, looking back on it, for the better. All, I believe, for reasons he thought were right and just. I cannot not admire that.


    Public displays of condolence aren't necessarily my thing, and thankfully I haven't had much reason to express them. But I'm hoping that adding my voice to this positive and loving chorus has an impact in some small way. Heartfelt condolences to Steven's family, friends, associates, and everyone that he has touched. A legacy as great as Steven's is to be admired.

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  2. most people don't know about or care about the various authentic cuisines of China, and the people who go to PF Changs are a good representation of about 99.99% of the population. PF Changs is most likely better than the other 2000 "chinese" restaurants in any given state. i wouldn't qualify it as "sichuan" or "shanghainese" (and from what I understand that's not their goal), so i wouldn't compare it to those places. i'd sooner compare it to the various upscale chinese restaurants in NYC that have been wildly popular for years, and i'm guessing it competes quite well in that world, and would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys China Grill, for example. it offers a pleasant, family-friendly, somewhat upscale but perhaps vaguely "sophisticated" atmosphere with fruity drinks, which I think pretty much fits the bill for most people who are not interested in tripe and sichuan peppercorns.

    i see few reasons to not at least try PF Changs. the fact that it's not "authentic" certainly wouldn't be one.

  3. hmm...that's different. I'd imagine they're using a navigation system and that's why...

    I have the same problem with finding things on google maps on my iPhone.

    even pre-nav. i will say that in a cab i always give a cross street when i know it. any cabbie who knows all of the numbering systems in nyc and cross streets is either a freak or worked as a cabbie in london.

    on my iphone i can search on intersections or actual addresses without a problem. but this is way off-topic at this point.

  4. fwiw, no one uses addresses in NY....always give the cross-streets.

    edit for clarification:  you provide the cross streets to the cab driver (or to anyone you're guiding to a location) and then use the address only to find the specific building on the block)

    every car service i've ever called wants an address, not a cross street, which is bad for me because i rarely know what address i'm at, and there are fewer and fewer matchbooks on the bar these days to help you sort it out.

  5. Tommy, we were there with Jim the owner and John the world's leading authority on New Jersey hot dogs. We specifically asked them what was the correct way to have a Jimmy Buff's hot dog and ketchup was prescribed. The way Jim advised us to eat it, the ketchup barely operated as a hot-dog condiment. We started by eating, with a fork, a few of the potato slices from the top of the pile. Needless to say ketchup is the appropriate condiment there. Then, when the sandwich was more manageable and almost ketchup free, we picked it up and ate it like a sandwich. Ketchup seemed to be the standard order of the New Jersey-ites at the shop -- we were assuredly the only non-New Jersey people there.

    yes, the potatoes are usually eaten on their own before one ever gets to the hot dog, and ketchup is good on them. i just don't want outsiders to think that new jerseyites put ketchup on their hot dogs. ketchup on your rutt's hut dog, for example, is unthinkable.

  6. why go out on a friday or saturday night in the first place?

    amateur night

    i'm curious, and you seem to be plugged in to the industry so maybe you'd know: does the staff treat guests differently on Friday and Saturday nights because they're assumed to be "amateurs"? I'm certainly no "amateur", but I do tend to go out on Friday and Saturday nights for reasons already stated here. I would like to know if I should be expecting special treatment on a Friday or Saturday night at Felidia, since the staff considers it "amateur night". Different food? A different experience in general?

  7. slower and lower.  no searing.  a nice crust will form regardless of searing.

    ok, tommy. you come and cook it for me and i'll keep the champagne flowing - along with some unfiltered newton cabernet?!

    have a wonderful holiday

    Wow, I just had that Newton cab last night! As to the rib roast, I did sear mine before hand for 2 or 3 minutes high heat in a bit of oil and cooked just as you did without the garlic. Agree w/ Tommy however about slower and lower heat.

    I prepared a nice fresh horesradish sauce using some of the juices in the pan. It came out really great and I had plenty left for thinly sliced beef, aged provolone and onion hoagies the next few days!

    honestly i haven't made enough rib roasts to have enough data points for a "this way is the best method" type of statement. that said, i do think that it doesn't matter a whole lot (the meat itself probably matters more), so i just take the easiest way. and i'm a slow-and-low guy in general, so i lean toward that direction whenever there's a question. with my latest roast, i seared all sides but one in a cast iron pan, and the difference in the final product was not noticed at all.

  8. Funny you should mention a 2 rib roast. I just tried one last week and it was superb. Many cookbooks say not to bother roasting a 2 rib standing rib roast but mine came out perfectly rare and the store had them on special for $4.50 per lb!

    How will you prepare yours?

    i'm planning on doing a garlic/salt/pepper rub then 350 for 12 minutes per pound.

    any ideas how i could do it better?

    slower and lower. no searing. a nice crust will form regardless of searing.

  9. or like my family did at a recent meal in Palm Springs where two wahoos were dropping every name they had in their little black book to impress each other - we started talking opening about their conversation in a volume that they could hear.  It quieted them a bit without elevating hostilities.

    am i understanding this correctly? the topic of conversation between two strangers was annoying, so you behaved in a manner that made them think twice about what they were talking about?

  10. The last review sounds like this place is a disaster. Anyone brave enough to go recently? Zagat's likes it, but maybe the data is dated. Where else would you go in Ridgewood?

    i had a pleasant enough meal at The Village Green recently. I love the fact that they offer tasting menus, and I've never left hungry. Less-than-blown away maybe, but it's still a good option when compared to the others in Ridgewood. A SNAFU with a shrimp dish was handled efficiently apologetically, and properly from my perspective.

    Others? 28 Oak has simply failed to impress on my visits, and that's about the only other restaurant with the same aspirations. I just don't think LaTour is very good at all, and have always wondered why it gets such great reviews, not only from random people on the internet, but from local reviewers as well, whose taste, I suppose, is just about the same as that of anyone else, including random reviewers on the internet.

    The rest of Ridgewood is passable sushi, uninspired Italian, Dim Sum Dynasty, Silver Oak, Gazelle is OK and I like their "local and organic" approach, and that's about it, isn't it? Blend? I don't think so. Oh, La Cambusa does a nice job on some Italian-American dishes, but not a destination. Mediterraneo and Lisa's are good Middle Eestern options. Haven't been to Gen yet, but I'm guessing that falls into the "passable sushi" category, with some pan-asian thrown in. Speaking of pan-asian, with apologies to mention1, but Wild Ginger is best ignored, unless your tastes lean toward the sweet side of Asian. And speaking of sweet and overly busy dishes, Joel's Malibu kitchen is a really cool spot, but his dishes tend to be too sweet and busy for my taste.

    Oh yeah, A Mano is the most notable restaurant in town, but only if you appreciate Neapolitan style pizza. Otherwise you'll wonder why their crust is like bread and isn't crispy like Tony's Pizzeria and Italian Kitchen on Route 10 in Whippany.

  11. ... It is not fascinating to fellow diners to have to watch you trying to force-feed your adorable 5-year-old fois gras or caviar.  Get over yourself!

    Um....why is your own company and food so uninteresting that you are 'forced' to watch other tables? How was it accomplished ? I've been 'forced' to hear other tables, in that they were so loud that our conversation was difficult to sustain in comparison. But forced to watch others eat.... never once in 40+ years of eating out at restaurants of many different caliber has this been done to me. Its fascinating to contemplate.

    I doubt pikawicca was suggesting that there was physical or mental coercion involved. Rather, it is more likely that we turn to look at whatever is making a disturbance in a restaurant the same way we can't avoid looking at a wreck in the other lanes of the interstate when we should be paying attention to what is happening in ours.

    yeah, but i don't blame the poor sap who just got in the accident for "making" me look at him, any more than i blame him for causing a traffic jam. well, sometimes i do, but at least i know that's wrong.

  12. anyone been?



    thanks in advance...

    (heard that south city grille is opening a steak house too called PRIME where bellisimos is now)

    Another newcomer? Never heard of it.. Website.. I'll wait until I hear something exciting

    you'll be waiting for a long time (unless you count those who don't put much thought into steak).

  13. And it doesn't read like fluff to me at all. It's thoroughly researched and, to me, quite readable. I wouldn't have started this topic if I didn't think it was worth reading and discussing.

    i certainly never suggested otherwise (i would assume it goes unsaid), and discussing we are. what's the "good idea"? there were no ideas in this piece. only naysaying and criticism.

    it's not inconceivable to me that editors write stuff for all kinds of reasons, many of which i'm not privy to, even if they are business associates or friends (i have a few friends in both print and online).

    thankfully i know that leftovers from Thanksgiving have a place on my table beyond sandwiches. and i also know how to buy and cook turkeys that taste good, although I can appreciate that a portion of the intended audience doesn't. it's a good thing i'm confident or else i'd think i was a big dope feeding my family such laughable recipes.

    i should add that i had a wonderful turkey sandwich today. i find that aggressive salting of the white meat does wonders on a sandwich.

  14. To be clear, Jill Hunter Pellettieri is not a food writer desperate for ideas. She's the managing editor of Slate. She mostly edits other people's work (she handled my piece on the Jessica Seinfeld book), and she writes just a few articles a year on whatever she wants to write about: gay marriage, the Zamboni, poodle haircuts, etc., and food when she feels like it. So you can be sure that if she took on the issue of Thanksgiving leftovers it's because she wanted to, not because some editor was hovering over her demanding an idea.

    do you have first hand knowledge (if that's even possible) that this writer didn't need a fluff piece to meet a deadline or fill space? if it's not, it sure reads like it is, and, that, of course, is the point.

    it's a lame article. yeah, recipes on tv and in magazines are generally repetitive and won't make it into your recipe box to be passed down for generations, and that includes those that come out around thanksgiving, too. and?

    she's demonstrating the exact same lack of imagination that she's criticizing, unless there's some sort of irony going on here that went right over my head as i read the other part of her article which discussed the history of turkeys, or the extra "work" required to make anything with the leftovers beyond sandwiches. wait, what was the article about?

    it's pretty clear to me how interesting this article was. her motivations, personal or professional, well i won't make any guesses.

  15. It must be difficult to be a food writer and always under pressure to come up with something new and different to say.

    :biggrin: perfect.

    turkey casserole, and some other recipes, have been enjoyed and in my family long before the "food entertainment providers" were around, so, you know, i don't think the author is completely on base. but i do's loves me a good hyperbole and absurd hypothesis when i can't come up with anything better.

  16. One other transportation option worth noting is the GWBBS. That's the George Washington Bridge Bus Station. For people who live along the A subway line, the subway shoots up to the GWBBS with impressive alacrity. If you stand at the north end of the train, you can step right into the pedestrian passageway that connects the 175th subway station with the GWBBS. The travel time from the GWBBS to Fort Lee is 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes. That's right, folks. 5 minutes. The fare is $1.35. The buses run with great frequency, because there are several routes out of GWBBS which have Fort Lee as their first stop. So schedule-phobes don't have to worry -- they can just show up and there will be a bus soon enough. The GWBBS is a great resource for uptowners who don't want to do the New York Penn Station or PATH thing. My wife has cousins in Teaneck and when she has taken the bus there from the GWBBS the travel time has been 12 minutes.

    Fort Lee is a walkable town with sidewalks and most of the restaurants clustered in a relatively small area. what's the schedule of the GWBBS on the way back to NYC?  I'd say it's not as worthwhile as visiting Manhattan's Chinatown and more worthwhile than visiting Manhattan's Little Korea. But that's where the issue of going once comes in. Let's say you're someone who lives on the West Side of Manhattan, making your opportunity cost of travel to Fort Lee pretty damn low. Let's say you've been to Chinatown many times and Little Korea a few times, but have never been to Fort Lee. Well, I think instead of going to Chinatown or Little Korea another time, you should go to Fort Lee. I've had outstanding dim sum at Silver Pond, I think Mo' Pho is terrific for Vietnamese, I'm sure some New Jersey people can give a full rundown of the best Fort Lee places, and just walking around and seeing all the Korean signs and bakeries and such is great fun.

    i don't know that i'd run to mo' Pho given the options in chinatown, and other places in manhattan. it never struck me as best-in-class even in my radius of 20 miles from home-base (NNJ, for those who don't know). never been to dim sum at silver pond, though.

    are there a bunch of walkable korean places in fort lee? most are in pal park (1.5-2 miles away?) in my experience. now that i think about it, one could certainly walk 2 miles in just over 25 minutes, which is just about the time i've waited for subways at points, so. i worked in Fort Lee for a few years (at CA, and some other companies), and know a few more who do/did as well. Oh boy, when they lived in NYC, or even hoboken in the 2000's, wow, these were not happy commuters. i guess the commute is really dymanic, depending on the time you leave, go home, what time of the day, what day of the week, etc. i can walk across the GWB in 20 minutes, take a bike in 5. 12 minutes on a bus? i dunno. i can't wait to see if anyone who lives on the lower east side reports back!!!! that's what the "throw-down" is all about i guess.

    but damn, i don't even like driving around pal park/fort lee much less walking. maybe there's a bus that takes you down broad ave or something? regardless, my experiences there have been no better or worse than those i've had in the "little korea" area of manhattan.

    i certainly, as a NJ person, can't get behind the Mehndi place is Mo-town, which in my experience is simply a non-entity, but i'm excited about the Edison prospect. i hope it's, way, way better than the mo-town restaurant, which was barely worth the trip off of my front porch in bergen county, with car 10 feet way, popping down 287 for a coupla few minutes. just my opinion. not right, not wrong, of course.

    NJ is a great place to visit. fort lee has great sites, great culture, and if you have a car, great shopping within minutes. it's just crazy.

  17. I was trolling another food site, and the web site for this spot is really piquing my interest for Thanksgiving.  I don't have a sweet tooth, but this might work out well for everyone else!


    i've read about this place as well and my interest is piqued. what website has discussion?

  18. Would you say that the payoff for A Mano is big enough to warrant that kind of time and travel for a special trip?

    i only mention a mano because i know that you are someone who might appreciate it (and might not know about it). for the foodie who is interested in Neapolitan style pizza, and who has already been to UPN, Naples 45, and the others, and who would make a special trip to New Haven, I'd say it's worth consideration. but for the average foodie, who, granted, is above average, no, i wouldn't recommend the trip to Ridgewood.

  19. If there were an amazing categorically superior Italian culinary community/market in Jersey, I might try to get out there to stock up once a year (or more, if I had a car).  There is such a place, although not in New Jersey: Arthur Avenue.

    i would recommend that you consider integrating a trip to Ridgewood's A Amano into your calculus. not for shopping, but for Neapolitan-style pizza.

  20. It's amazing how many people are saying "the one place that's worth the trip is X. It's the exception to the rule." When you add those up . . .

    i'd like to see them added up, or listed, as well.

    as far as my "one", it not longer exists as it did in its heyday (hence my qualifier), which i would put back in the 90's somewhere. additionally, NYC fine dining (the category in which one would put the Ryland Inn) overall has, to my mind, ramped up in quality (and quantity) since then. in 1997 the Ryland Inn would have been the "one" place. in 2007, it's off the list.

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