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The Food Buster

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  1. The Manliest Restaurant in America?

    How about Boston's Speed Dog? Basically, it's Boston's best food truck (literally wins every year in Boston Magazine), serving up Boston's best hot dog, an $8 behemoth with an 8 oz. slowly smoked beef sausage, charred hot dog bun, blended mustard (brown, honey, and spicy I think), chili sauce without beans (but I think it might have raisins oddly enough), special BBQ sauce (combo of BBQ and sweet & savory sauce), and sweet raw onions (Vidalia and California. It's so messy that you can't eat it without getting it everywhere, and it's so big that only a real man could finish it. And it's located in the middle of what seemed to me to be a near endless parking lot, filled with odd businesses, in one of the more rundown areas of Boston (not quite the ghetto, but you get the picture). Just locating the truck was a challenge in itself, as it was nestled away literally in the middle of nowhere, off to the side of this parking lot. And yet, it's somehow Boston's most famous hot dog. That's pretty manly if you ask me. Hope that helps.
  2. Regional Variations?

    Again, thanks for all the suggestions! I'll definitely have to check out "A Taste of India" sometime.
  3. Regional Variations?

    Wow, that was an incredible post! Thank you so much for taking out the time to be so thorough. Really, for a true novice like myself, this is more than enough - you gotta start somewhere, after all. If and when I do go and dabble in the cuisine, I'll be sure to report back. And yes, I agree - we need a more active India board (that applies to most all the international boards in general). Thanks again for the amazing work.
  4. Regional Variations?

    Hey everyone, I might finally travel to India, and I'd like to plan my trip partially around the food. I'm a big fan of the cuisine, but I can never really keep track of the different styles and regional specialties. I've heard every state in India has its own take and that the North/South difference is especially marked. Can someone give me a brief run-through of the variations, please? Thanks for the help.
  5. Sweeter Beers

    I have three you might be interested in: 1) Okocim Porter: Very cheap Polish beer that a lot of people hate, but that I love. So rich, sweet, chocolaty, and caramel-y that anyone with a sweet tooth should enjoy it. Very heavy, though. 2) Delirium Noel: Don't remember much about this beer other than the fact that I had it in Belgium (it's huge there) and it basically tasted like Christmas in my mouth - spiced gingerbread, etc. 3) Bourbon County: Actually infused with Bourbon, and it shows - this is quite possibly the richest, most decadent beer I've ever had. Very smoky and chocolaty, this sucker tastes more like bourbon than beer. Hope that helps. Oh, and good choice on the Ommegang. I'm assuming you mean the Chocolate Indulgence - simply delicious.
  6. Hey Everyone, I'm probably going to be working in Abu Dhabi over the summer, and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for top-notch dining, either there or in neighboring Dubai. I'd like to keep it somewhat affordable (I've heard of meals running $300-$400/person - that's just not happening), but I'm definitely open to experimenting with some of the big names. Also, any suggestions on bakeries / chocolates would be appreciated. Thanks for the help!
  7. Clio, Boston

    I can't really speak about the whole Clio experience, but I did have a chance to try out Uni Sashimi Bar next door, and I'd have to agree with everything said. I thought the food, especially the signature Uni Spoon, was in general top-notch, but I paid $100 to split 2 dishes, get an extra dish for myself, drink half a small flask of sake, and get one small dessert. Still, for people who can afford it, it is probably the city's most inventive Japanese restaurant. And the dessert (which Clio and Uni share) is some of the best I've had in a Boston restaurant (not a high bar, though). Some of the highlights: 1) Uni Spoon (caviar, chives, quail egg, sea urchin): Very high-quality sea urchin, with a refreshingly gelatinous quality to it. The quail egg helps to bring everything together, integrating the jelly-like uni and the fine caviar with its creaminess, as well as balancing out the oceanic flavors of the uni and caviar with its richness. 2) Hamachi (yellowtail with grapefruit vinaigrette): Combines yellowtail with just the right amount of fruity sweetness - i.e. the grapefruit isn't overpoweringly bitter as I expect. Very nice play on savory/fruity, with a bit of a pepper kick at the end. 3) Miso Dark Chocolate Cremeux with Banana Ice Cream: Decadent, rich dark chocolate that hits just the right amount of bittersweetness. The banana helps bolster the flavor with a very natural-tasting sweetness. Really, the meal is extraordinary, but I left starving, to the point that I had to go to Chez Henri to get a Cuban right afterward. So, despite how good it is, probably not the place I'm going back to.
  8. RuthBourdain

    Honestly, I never understood the Ruth Bourdain thing. Ya, it's kind of good, but I'll stick to the real Bourdain any day of the week. He's a weird guy, but whenever he talks it somehow sounds cool instead of just plain gibberish.
  9. Favorite Food Blogs and Recipe Sites

    I'm a big fan of Food Addicts (http://thefoodaddicts.com/) and Food Renegade (http://www.foodrenegade.com/), and generally other blogs devoted to healthy eating and nutrition.
  10. World's best modern/molecular restaurants

    I would petition to take off minibar. It's a unique experience, but it is nowhere near that of the top restaurants in the country. Cramped bar stools, bad service with waiters bumping into you, and a rushed meal in general. Other than that, I think the list looks pretty comprehensive. Now I just need to get out to all of them.
  11. Best Armenian Bakery in Boston?

    Thanks for all the fantastic tips!
  12. Best Armenian Bakery in Boston?

    Hello everyone, I just recently moved to Boston, and I'm looking for some really great Armenian baked goods in the local area. Having lived in LA my whole life and growing up in an Armenian household, I've always loved eating fresh bread and savory pastries. Does anybody know where I can get the best in the local Armenian district, Watertown? I'm specifically looking for gata, nazook, and Lahmejun, if anyone's heard of those. Thanks for any help you can offer.
  13. I had about a 6-day trip to Chicago back a few months ago, so I really relate to what you're doing. I was traveling around, literally eating constantly as I did reviews of the whole food scene, especially the burgers, hot dogs, and pizza. The results of my adventure: 1) Alinea is as good as they say. I'm sorry you couldn't get a reservation. 2) Hot Doug's serves the most unique and flavorful hot dogs I've ever seen in my life. About $2 for a phenomenal Chicago dog, and some of the odder creations include everything from a foie gras and duck sausage dog to antelope sausage with sweet mustard. 3) Hot Chocolate for the burger (with a fried egg) and desserts, especially the actual hot chocolate and the chocolate souffle. The dark hot chocolate is, in fact, one of the best I've had anywhere in the world (including Belgium, Spain, and several cities here). 4) Great Lake Pizza for the pizza. It's not deep dish, which is surprising for Chicago. Yet, it's the most technically excellent pizza I've ever had. Herbs are crushed straight into the fresh-made crust so that you exude a refreshing blast of herbs in every bite. Just get there early: there are only 4 tables in the whole place. 5) For a bakery, try Bleeding Heart. Its motto, "Sustainable Punk Rock Pastry," is a bit odd, but somehow they manage to deliver, elevating sustainable baking beyond what I thought it could be. 6) Frontera Grill for some of the best Mexican you'll ever have--and this is coming from an LA guy who's grown up eating Mexican. The Carne Asada is to die for. The ambience is amazing, too. Hope that helps!
  14. Who Skips Breakfast?

    I don't skip breakfast per se, but I eat untraditional foods. For me, it's all about balance and nutrition, so I may very well eat some roast turkey and bread, or rice and beef for breakfast. At the end of the day, it's the meal that gets the metabolism started. I just can't imagine skipping it.
  15. Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia

    I'm going to cast another vote for DC. I've visited Philly before, and while I do enjoy the cheaper (in general) prices, you just can't beat the upper-end dining of DC, especially given all the corporate clients and politicos that DC has to serve. With so much money floating around, you get a lot of high-quality steakhouses and fine dining, with generally very good (and very formal) service even at reasonably priced places, and grandiose ambience. At the same time, I do think it's typically overpriced. On the lower end, though, I would definitely give the thumbs up to Philly. I don't think anybody in DC's ever eaten a real pizza or an amazing sandwich (except maybe the foodies at Ray's Hell Burger, one of my favorites).
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