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The Food Buster

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  1. 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. Again, thanks for all the suggestions! I'll definitely have to check out "A Taste of India" sometime.
  3. 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. 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. The Food Buster

    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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. Hey everyone, I'm a huge fan of reds and ambers, but I just can't seem to find a really decent American variety. The best I've found is the Sam Adams Brick Red, which isn't saying much. I'd appreciate any suggestions you can offer.
  15. 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).
  16. I'm a huge fan of the DC dining scene, and after hitting all the fine dining big players (Komi, minibar, Citronelle, Cityzen), I have to say that Citronelle easily makes the best food. It's not the most refined experience, as the service can be a tad unprofessional at times (e.g. a waiter even dropped and broke wine glasses right behind me as he was walking by). The food, though, is excellent, and no dish that I had failed to impress me in any way, making Citronelle one of the most consistent fine dining experiences I've ever had. Plus, you get an amazing ambience. Everyone in town wants to be there, and it's always overloaded with slightly rambunctious suits, even though it's a gargantuan spot, for a fine dining establishment. I'd offer you some photos and a detailed run-down of the courses, but unfortunately I haven't gotten around to writing the review for my blog yet, so I don't have my notes in order. I'll try to put up some photos sometime, though. You really won't be disappointed--but, then again, it's also the most expensive meal in town, so you get what you pay for.
  17. I've tried a few myself, and I can definitely recommend Shake Shack and Standburger. Stand also has easily the best milkshake I've ever had in my life, the Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake. The diehards, though, seem to converge on J.G. Melon. I've never eaten there, but my NY friends swear by it (and so does Bobby Flay).
  18. I'm a huge fan of Palak Paneer, an Indian spinach curry with paneer cheese. I've never been a huge fan of spinach, but when you jazz it up with some spice and some cheese, it gets taken to a whole 'nother level. Plus, it's extremely nutritious.
  19. If you want breakfast in LA, you must head over to the Griddle Cafe. For less than $10, you get a stack of 3 flapjacks so huge that they fall off the gigantic plates. In fact, my waiter told me that only one person manages to finish the whole stack every couple months. And, even though the pancakes are so large, they're incredibly fluffy and flavorful, overloaded with tons of toppings. For Mexican in LA, I'd recommend Border Grill for something on the innovative side. It's not traditional Mexican, but it uses traditional ingredients to make some really unique dishes. For something dingier, but by far the most classic LA Mexican experience, try El Tepeyac, where they serve the burrito of Los Angeles, a monster that weighs in at 5 lbs and has to be served with a spatula.
  20. I'd say both sides have some pretty valid points about the topic. Still, I'm looking at it more from a business point of view. What Chef Achatz is doing is flipping everything on its head. Given that he already owns Chicago's hottest restaurant, which also just so happens to be ranked the best restaurant in the US according to the Top 50 Restaurant List, he can really afford to do whatever he wants, and it's still going to be popular. The fact that he went out of his way to create an innovative, never-before-seen experience (whether for better or worse) is only going to make the restaurant that much hotter, as everyone is going to be intrigued by Chef Achatz's ingenuity. Whether you agree with the principle behind the concept or not, you have to admit, Achatz is a smart chef, and he's probably going to make a ton of money off his new concept. I applaud him at least for his business savvy.
  21. I'm going to second a couple of recommendations. First, Margie's Candies is indeed incredible for an ice cream sundae. While the ice cream isn't the best I've had, the fudge is superb, and their ice cream sundaes are so gigantic that they'd easily feed 2 people (and for about $5 no less!). Also, I love the chocolates at Vosges Haut Chocolat. If you go into the actual store, though, you'll also be treated to some cafe style chocolate treats. The hot chocolate is great and the Red Fire ice cream, based on their very spicy Mexican and Ancho chile-infused chocolate bar, is even better. Plus, you can try the whole line of chocolates while you're there.
  22. That hot dog is just ridiculous. What's the point of wasting something like black truffles on a simple hot dog? Really, NYC is going overboard with all of these new food creations. Adding quality ingredients and a hefty price tag doesn't guarantee taste. To this day, I've never had a sandwich w/ foie gras and truffle oil that I actually liked, except for (quite ironically) Hot Doug's Foie Gras Duck Sausage Dog. But the price tag on that sucker was about $10, which is probably less than I'd have to pay just to get the foie gras from any normal eatery. The saddest part, though? This is probably a brilliant move from a business standpoint. People in New York are just going to keep dishing out for that stuff, and it's only going to get worse.
  23. Wow, I wasn't even aware Pulenta's Cab was so great. I'm going to have to give that one a shot. The Cab Sav-Malbec by Pulenta is a pretty good one too.
  24. First of all, I just want to say that I'm a big fan of Capogiro myself. While studying in DC, I had the chance to make a trip out to Philly for a night, and before I left I made sure to grab a cup at Capogiro. It was so good, in fact, that I had to go back for another, and I ended up eating about 8 flavors of ice cream that day. As for the cilantro & lime sorbet, I'd say experiment a little bit with different quantities of cilantro and lime. Both are pretty powerful ingredients, and I can imagine some people will like it stronger than others. Weinoo's suggestion sounds great, so I'd say give that a try and then shift the quantities of the cilantro syrup and lime juice to get what you want.
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