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Rich Pawlak

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Rich Pawlak

  1. RIP Steven Shaw.. He was far beyond the trite term "foodie", he was a compelling writer, adventurer, mentor to so many, inspiration and friend to countless numbers of aspiring food journalists and culinary professionals. My personal memory of him was enjoying rodizio with him (he was decked out in loud, splashy chef's pants!) in Perth Amboy at a gathering of Philly's Dangerous Dining Club. A great meal made greater with his participation. Godspeed.
  2. I'm looking for a good Thai restaurant for a group of 6-8 near the Theater District, post-matinee on a Saturday. I've heard of PONGSRI on W.48th, but I've never been. Worth it, or are there better nearby? I know this is a narrow request, but that's the consesnus of the group, food-wise.
  3. Villa di Roma, rec #4. Classic on every level. Killer meatballs too.
  4. A little while back, I compiled this list of beer-food pairings on my blog: http://theomnivorenow.blogspot.com/2008/12/beer-and-food-pairings.html I hope it can be helpful, or better yet, inspirational.
  5. The Brewers Association has just produced a pretty comprehensive list of Beer and Food Pairings the kind of thing I always enjoy reading, but frustratingly, it's a tad incomplete. Hell, it's more than a tad incomplete. Now this list has a lot of the usual suspects (and an inordinate amount of barbecue pairings), and I would imagine that it serves a beer novice pretty well. It also has a nice column devoted to just cheese pairings. But it still seems incomplete somehow. Maybe I'm just expecting too much. It's missing a few beer styles (Saison, anyone? Or is it just classified in a way that I don't understand?), and some terrific, obvious food pairings, some of which I've written about previously here, and on my blog, The Omnivore. If you know me only slightly well, you know I live for beer and food pairings. It's an almost endless labor of love for me. Did they leave off any of your favorite beer-food pairings? Let 'em fly here.Don't hold back.
  6. Matt: Thats Stone stuff is some prized brew. I've had several of the Vertical Epics, but not 09/09/09 yet. Definitely sounds like a beer I could love. Whatcha doin in Rochester?
  7. Flying Fish Exit 16 WIld Rice IPA, a pretty impressive brew from the mighty Casey Hughes, brewmaster there. I got a burst of hops and citrus (citra hops, Hughes told me) with a steady tangerine note and some hints of melon. Nice, crisp pilsner-like finish. 8.3 % ABV. Had the very first tastes of this beer last night at its debut at McGillin's Olde Ale House in Philly. Hughes uses wild rice in this brew because its name, Exit 16, represents the area in NJ now popularly known as the Meadowlands,now home to football stadia (the old Giant Stadium and the brand new Meadowlands Complex), and an indoor arena (Izod Center), but previously home to endless fields of wild rice. Clever, that Casey. Get this beer. It's a keeper.
  8. Trader Joe's coffees are a ridiculous bargain, especially for the French Roast, Bay Blend and Volcano dark roasts, and their new whole bean "Joe" line, which makes a fabulous cup of coffee, $3.49 for 12 oz of the "Joe" beans. Ridiculous.
  9. HAN DYNASTY on Route 100 in Exton, for fabulous Sechuan and Taiwanese food ---lion's head meatballs, lamb with cumin, noodles with spicy pork sauce, chicken with hot pepper, extraordinary stuff, really. It's located across Route 100 from the DRAFTING ROOM restaurant ---another place you should definitely stop into for decent food and a huge selection of craft beers. Another great place, almost at the midpoint of your trips.
  10. I second Blue Point and Ferry House, and add Tiger Noodles, a few doors away from Blue Point, for very well executed Sechuan Chinese cooking.
  11. As in "starter"? I've never heard your term before. But thanks!
  12. What do you do with leftover pizza dough? Well, you make MORE PIZZA, of course! But this isn't your standard, sheet pan/Brooklyn/Old Forge/Sicilian style p;ie. No sireee! This is the result of careful Saturday afternoon scavenging in the refrigerator. The brief backstory: Had a bunch of folks over last Saturday evening for a homemade pizza party; dear friend John Hamada, the twins' Catholic godfather, and his 12 yr. old son Joseph (whom the kids positively idolize); and Scott & Nicole Hibberd, new parents of 3 mo. old daughter Paysen (whom I teasingly keep calling PayPal, Peyton, Pesach etc.)and almost 4 yr. old daughter Quinn (with whom the twins just LOVE to run around the house and scream!). I made a HUGE batch of pizza dough in the big Cuisinart stand mixer, and the kids and I had fun punching it down throughout the afternoon as it rose in its gigantic bowl. Just before the two families arrived, I stretched out dough to make 4 small (9-in.) pies on two big sheet pans, and set up the kitchen table so the kids could design their own pizzas. Scott and John each brought various toppings and we got them all into small bowls and lined the kids up to make their own pizzas. It was great fun, and each small child was intensely creative in their own way, a terrific thing to watch. Their pies went into the oven, and we set to making as many large round pies as we could. In total, we made the 4 kids' pies, and 9 other big pies, including a gluten-free dough pie for you-know-who (more on her later...). After it all shook down, there was lotsa leftover slices of pizza for taking home, and a small portion of dough left, which went into the fridge in an airtight container. Little bit of pepperoni left over, some mozz, and that was about it. So today, I discovered the dough, took it out and let it come to room temperature, whereupon it begain to rise again, almost fresh as a daisy, with no sign or smell of fermentatiuon (sourdough pizza, anyone?). It looked a bit to large to stretch over one of my ancient charred pizza pans, so I took out one of the baking sheets, sprinkled some cornmeal around it, and began to stretch the dough with some additional extra virgin olive oil. It was exactly enough to make a full sheet size pie. Around here they would call this size a "Brooklyn" pie, which means a thin crust, rectangular pie made with fresh mozz and sauce and basil. One problem: no red sauce. Anywhere. Not wanting to take the time to make even a small batch of sauce, I resorted to jar of salsa (Newman's Own, medium heat), pureed it a bit with the stick blender, and built the pizza with grated pecorino, salsa, some leftover sauteed peppers and onions (made for a weekday meal of Sicilian pork chops), mozz and thickly sliced pepperoni. 25 minutes later in a 450-degree oven, and we have the beauty pictured above. I think I have my pizza rhythm back. I reall missed it. Ever forward!
  13. Rich Pawlak

    If you like _____,

    If you like Sierra Nevada Celebration during this holiday season, you'll like Victory Hop Devil year-round!
  14. ERINI is a solid restaurant with a Greek/Mediterranean menu. Kitchen is above average to terrific. Appetizers are all great, most entrees are both generous and well done. A little pricey, yes, but, to my tastebuds, worth it.
  15. Barb, you posted pics of some of my favorite Han Dynasty dishes. I cant WAIT to get to the Center City outpost.
  16. I'd go the Fri Sat Sun route. As romantic as it gets in CC, and the food is still top notch, as is service, hich always helps the romantic vibe. Tank Bar apres dinner is also lovely and tres romatic. "Rekindle"? Please explain in a PM if you can.
  17. Good to know that you got to two of the prominent steak places in town, but how about some DETAILS?? To ust list the courses you had at each place , without telling us ANYTHING about the dishes at all, seems more than a bit disingenuous. I mean, complain if you want about these chain steakhouses, but at least have a STEAK and give some details about the food and drink you consumed.
  18. It was another great Friday The Firkinteenth at the Grey Lodge. Unfortunately I woke up with laryngitis and the best voice I could muster made me sound like Mickey Mouse. Great hilarity among the friends I encountered yesterday. Here's what we sampled: The Victory Yakima Twilight was teeth-rattling hoppy, but with a nice malt balance and a crisp finish, reminding me of one of my favorite beers on earth, Deschutes Twilight; Next up, Sly Fox Rte 113 IPA, another hopmonster, with a really bitey tart end. Nice, but the Victory blew it away in comparison; Arcadia London Porter was next, recommended by good friend Cary Smithson, and it was a lovely porter, deep, round, roasty, chocolatey; Kevin Romer who blogs as the Big Beer Guy raved about the Nodding Head Anomaly, but it was gone by my arrival, so I went with his other strong rec, the Manayunk Old Ebenezer Barleywine, a magnificent beer, deep and caramel and nutty and very rich. I wish I had a cigar to enjoy with that one; Weyerbacher Double Simcoe was my next buy, a big citrusy double IPA, all Simcoe hops, and it has a spicy finish that I kinda liked; it would be a great beer with hot wings or some spicy Asian food, like a Thai green curry; I took a break from all the hoppiness and tried a Sixpoint Vienna Lager, and it was light and refreshing and pleasantly nutty after all those ballsy bitter beers; But my favorite beer of the day was the Dogfish Head 75 min. IPA, a blend of their 60 min. and 90 min. IPAs. It had perfect balance, sweet and tart, grassy and citrusy, spice and honey. A brilliant beer. Blew away everything I had previously; My final beer of the day was a Yards ESA, dry-hopped with East Kent Goldings, in the true British fashion of cask ale, and it was a terrific farewell beer, big, round and full, the best beer with which I could toast the portrait of our friend Gary Bredbenner (RIP) that hangs on the 2nd floor of the Grey Lodge, and toast all my friends as I bid them goodnight, in my best Mickey voice: "See ya real sooooon!" And lest you think I was leaving the Grey Lodge in a state of absolute blotto, I drank only small 7-ounce cups of the beers I tried, seperated for the most part with equal cups of ice water, over the course of my almost 3 hours at FTF. Clean palate, barely a buzz, no hangover in the morning. When I left, there were only 7 firkins left to be tapped. The crowd had emptied 18 firkins in just 6 hours. I learned later from beer blogger Dan Berger that all the firking were kicked by 7:30PM. Amazing. There won't be another Friday The Firkinteenth until August of 2010. I can't wait.
  19. Aw what do dey know? It's the Bergen Record, after all.
  20. In beer aficionado circles, the "best" beer festival is always fodder for serious suds talk. I rank the Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland and the Great American Beer Festival in Denver among the finest examples of beer festing in America and I'm still waiting to go to my first Toronado Barleywine Festival in San Francisco someday. But for 12 years I've been attending the best beer festival in America, and only in the past few years did I come to realize it. I'm talking, of course, about Friday the Firkinteenth at the Grey Lodge Pub in Philly, the only beer celebration dictated by the calendar: it occurs only on Friday the 13th. 2009 has been a very good year for FTF; this Friday's FTF will be the THIRD one this year! They start tapping the firkins at NOON this Friday. Here are the details, excerpted from my blog The Omnivore (see link below in my signature) and the Grey Lodge's website: Kitchen will open at 11am serving our full menu. Number of firkins is still TBA. We expect 20+. With 20+ firkins, we should have cask ale going until at least 9pm. Time permitting Scoats will be updating the news page and tweeting throughout the day with cask status. 7 firkins will be pouring at any time (except when we get down to less than 7), tapping a new one as one kicks. The order of the casks will be random, but hey there should be no stinkers in the line-up. Current Cask List (likely to change, it always does): more to come! Arcadia London Porter, a robust London style porter 7.2% ABV Clipper City Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, a triple hopped IPA 7.25% ABV. Coronado Islander IPA, West coast IPA . 7% ABV Cricket Hill Col. Blide's Bitter, 5.5% ABV Dock Street Rye IPA, an aggressively hopped American Pale Ale 6.8% ABV Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA, a blend of its 60 and 90 Minute IPAs 7.5% ABV Duck Rabbit double-dry-hopped Brown, 5.6% ABV. Earth Tappist Pale Ale, ? ABV. Flying Fish Grand Cru, strong golden ale. 6.8% ABV. Iron Hill Totally Inappropriate. An Octoberfest primed with fermenting Quadruppel and dry hopped with American hops. 6% abv. Iron Hill Hopzilla IPA. Classic rendition of an English IPA. 5.8% ABV Lancaster Celtic Rose, traditional Irish Amber Ale. 5% ABV. Manayunk Old Ebenezer Barley Wine, traditional English barley wine 9% ABV. Nodding Head Anomaly, an unusual beer without any unusual ingredients… 5.25% ABV. Philadelphia Brewing Co. Joe, brewed with locally-roasted, fair trade coffee, 5% ABV. Sixpoint Otis, an accentuation of stout beer. 6% ABV. Sixpoint Vienna Pale. Sly Fox Chester County Bitter, dry -hopped, quaffable session ale. 4.5% ABV. Sly Fox Rte 113 IPA, big, strong IPA for all the hopheads. 6.6% ABV. Stoudts Winter Ale, a new version from Stoudts. 6.2% ABV. Troegs Hopback Amber 5.6% ABV. Victory Yakima Twilight, 8.7% ABV. Weyerbacher Double Simcoe, a double IPA using exclusively Simcoe hops! 9% ABV. Yards ESA dry hopped with East Kent Goldings True British cask conditioned flavor 6.3% ABV. I expect to get there at the midway point. Hope to see you there! HOST'S NOTE: This is an member-organized event, not an official eGullet Society event. Please see here for the terms under which this event is listed in eG Forums.
  21. Cant wait for you to get here, John; I'm sure several of us would be glad to give you the Grand Tour: Pat's for cheesesteaks and history, I think (you had a VERY good steak at Steve's BTW, so have a very good point of reference), Texas Weiners nearby for sure, as well as Johnny's Hots for that infamous surf n' turf with pepper hash. Then I agree with Bob, you should experience the reading terminal Market at all costs, with DiNic's (roast pork), Carmen's (hoagies) and Franks A Lot all under one roof; and APJ Texas Weiners just a block away. Anything after that should be a game-time decision.
  22. If I recall corectly, APJ Hot Dogs at 13th and Arch does the Philly combo, "surf and turf", also. Johnny's Hots, BTW, is a breakfast and lunch place that closes by 3PM. He properly serves the hot dog fish cake combo with pepper hash, which was the popular condiment at Old Original Levis back in the day for that sandwich. When I get a hot dog fish cake at Johnny's, I get it with mustard , ketchup and pepper hash. Pure heaven.
  23. I'm not too removed from a recent trip. There are a couple of decent places on St Croix, but not too many: Kim's in downtown Christiansted, my favorite place on the island, it's quirky, with slow service sometimes, very homey, but very real, and an extraordinary value for what you get. And get the jerk chicken, any Indian curry fish dish, any fresh conch dish, and any "stew". BYOB, cash only. The Pickled Greek, just east of downtown Christiansted, has really good Mediterranean food, mostly Greek, very generous portions, boisterous crowd, lotsa fun. The Cultured Pelican, at the base of a big pink condo complex toward the East End of the isalnd, it has damn fine Italian, decent, not great pizza, and great views of Buck Island and the nightime shoreline. Chicken Charlie's, just east of downtown, near the Pickled Greek, is an open air roadhouse with decent ribs and chicken, quesadillas, salds, beers. Some nights they show movies on a big bedsheet hung on a wall, some nights honky tonk music, sometimes both! Savant, barely just out of the downtown Christiansted heading east, it's a low-slung simple place with some of the hottest West Indian-Thai-French-fusion I have ever eaten. Habanero everywhere, but worth the danger. Very good sophisticated food. Kendricks, downtown Christiansted, on a quiet sidestreet, is romantic, a little dressy, expensive and also worth it. French-Dutch-Caribbean mix menu, the class of the island along with Savant. And dont forget to visit the Rain Forest, and the Mt Pelier Domino Club at its very center, for the beer-drinking pigs that have to be seen to be believed. Just down the road from Mt Pelier is an eco-friendly woodworker's shop that creates magnificent (and pretty inexpensive items from fallen rain forest trees. Quite an interesting place for a unique memento of your trip. Buy all the locally made hot sauces, they are terrific. There are a few roadside stands in the rainforest, as well as a few at the weekly farmers' market.
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