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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Pan

  1. I would never choose on my own accord to go to Upper West Side Carmine's, but it was actually OK except for the eggplant parmigiana, and even that wasn't awful, like it had been the last time I was there. The ravioli were fairly good and so were the cannoli, the chicken scaloppine was perfectly OK, the stuffed mushrooms were OK - it wasn't awful like I had feared.
  2. Hi, everybody. I have friends who are getting married on a Friday in June. They want a Manhattan location with a separate room or area where they could have the ceremony and might hire a keyboard player. They might have around 30 people and might want the room for about 3 hrs. Bonus for a liquor license, though as long as they can have some bubbly poured, they’re cool with bringing it themselves. I should say they’re not definitely set on Cantonese, but they want a cuisine that’s not primarily spicy, so I think Cantonese (or Shanghainese, if there were any really good Shanghainese banquet places in Manhattan, but I don’t know of any) would work well. Italian would undoubtedly please them, too, but I know it’s more expensive. The groom doesn’t love seafood, but he’s not too particular, otherwise, and I believe the bride does like seafood. So I think anyplace that’s primarily non-spicy, serves good food (even if he’s not particular, some of his guests will be) and serves a good variety of items will do nicely, providing their other criteria are met. Unfortunately, they’re not very familiar with private room costs, and I don’t have a clear idea of what their budget is, but money might be somewhat of an object.
  3. Hi, everybody! I'm thinking of starting a business selling great condiments that are hard to find. Do you have any favorite condiments that you have trouble finding near where you live? I'm looking for hot sauces, chili pastes, or other ready-to-use condiments like non-perishable barbecue sauces, salsas and chutneys that aren't mass-produced or normally found in supermarkets, and have a fairly long shelf life until they're opened. Secondarily, I would also be interested in products that can be used in cooking, such as spice rubs or other seasonings. Any information you can give me about the names of products, what they are and what makes them special, the name of the manufacturer and their address or at least the name of the town where they're produced, and their website, if they have one (though if they have no web presence, that's great!) would be really helpful to me in researching more products that could meet my high standards. It doesn't matter what country the items are from; if they're great and don't require refrigeration before opening, I'm interested.
  4. Unfortunately, they decided they wanted Italian food and wouldn't listen to my suggestions or the suggestions some other folks gave, so I have to go to goddamned Upper West Side Carmine's, a place I had sworn never to return to after the time several years ago when a friend had a birthday party there. Unfortunately, some people just don't have discriminating taste in food.
  5. I will definitely keep these in mind. Thanks, Cronker.
  6. Pan

    Elmhurst eateries

    Hi, everyone. A couple of friends of mine want to have dinner in Elmhurst on Monday. One of them goes to Coco all the time but wants to go to another place, and the other one proposed Eim Khao Mun Kai, but they serve only Hainanese chicken rice and I'm on a low-carb diet, so though I could cheat a little, a specifically rice dinner is a little much for me right now. Do you have any favorite places in Elmhurst, with a preference for places that have some good vegetable dishes or sides, among other dishes?
  7. Pan

    Elmhurst eateries

    I'm familiar with the dish you're describing. I think I had it at Chao Thai at some point, or if not, somewhere else.
  8. Melissa, some products from that company are available on Amazon, but not all of them.
  9. Thanks, Cronker. Those products look very interesting. Do you have favorites from among them?
  10. I did some quick checking on Clemente Jacques. Clemente Jacques seems to be a pretty widely available brand, though the Chipotles Dulces are not for sale on either Walmart or Amazon, so the variety of products that are easy to obtain throughout the U.S. seems to be limited.
  11. Cronker, do you have any favorite makers for these items? I'd be quite interested.
  12. Thanks, and it's great to have someone in this thread who lives part of the time in Mexico! I'll look into it. kayb, we're eager to get this business started, too. We're still in the research and planning stage and will keep everyone abreast of our progress.
  13. Hi, everyone! I went to the 6th Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo in Greenpoint, Brooklyn today with my girlfriend. It was a way different experience from the Fancy Food Show I had attended in San Francisco in January. The Fancy Food Show is an industry event to which the general public are pretty much excluded and people are looking to do a lot of wholesale business. The Hot Sauce Expo, which will continue in my absence tomorrow (technically later today, Sunday), is a public event that requires only $12 and change for tickets (and I believe $10 if paid in cash at the venue). It's also specifically devoted to hot sauce (some alcoholic drinks, milk and bottled water are also available, as are barbecue, hot dogs and a couple of other food items, but they are sidelines), and loud though not ear-splitting heavy metal music plays from the "Stage of Doom" for most of the day. More importantly, for my purposes, there was one absolutely phenomenal vendor, at least one other terrific one and several very good ones, among the larger number of ordinary ones and a few downright bad ones (if you're going on the last day, please trust me and do not try the crab salsa!). The mix of vendors was quite interesting, with a good representation from New York and nearby states from Massachusetts to New Jersey, others from the South (one great one is from Florida and was in the far side of the room) and West and some international ones from Australia (who had a good gingery sauce) and England. My girlfriend also enjoyed the expo as a retail customer who tried most of the same sauces I tried and a few others and bought 3 sauces. I'm still writing up my notes about the vendors, but definitely plan to use some products from some of the best ones who exhibited today. At the end of the show, both of us had some beer from Lagunitas, one of the exhibitors, and a blessedly non-spicy Polish meal at a food store with tables called Polka Dot (my girlfriend also bought several items to go for her 2nd-generation Polish-American mother) and then walked down to Williamsburg to have some good hot chocolate and chamomile tea at Martha's Country Bakery. I plan to lay off the spice tomorrow, too, but it was certainly a good afternoon and a very worthwhile trip to the expo.
  14. Pan

    Elmhurst eateries

    I don't really like raw shrimp, but I know it's traditional.
  15. Pan

    Bali Kitchen

    Looks like a good value. I've passed by the place and picked up their takeout menu. It looks like they actually have several specifically Balinese dishes on their menu, which is unusual in New York. Too bad they have no babi guling, though. :-)
  16. Pan

    Elmhurst eateries

    I really have no idea. Boon Chu was totally unexceptional.
  17. Pan

    Elmhurst eateries

    Looks like we've settled on Boon Chu. One of my friends says he got raw food at Ayada. Probably a freak occurrence, but I can understand how that could be off-putting.
  18. Pan

    Elmhurst eateries

    I don't think I've ever been to Ayada before. Do you have some favorite dishes there?
  19. Pan

    Elmhurst eateries

    Good thought, thanks.
  20. My girlfriend and I love Cull & Pistol, the Lobster Place's restaurant in Chelsea Market: https://lobsterplace.com/pages/restaurant-welcome Wonderful fresh fish and seafood and delicious dishes. If you decide to go, I could give you some recommendations, though their menu changes. The way my girlfriend and I dine there is to share a small item (a "snack" or something like a single uni), an app, a main and a side. The restaurant is a bit at close quarters, but that's really the only down side. Going in a different direction, if you like yakitori, you can go to Yakitori Totto: http://www.tottonyc.com/ Get there just before opening time, so you won't have much of a wait, or show up when you like, give them your cellphone number and have some drinks at the Irish bar across the street while you're waiting. If you avoid sake at Yakitori Totto, you will be very easily under $75/person and might pay that amount or less for both of you. If you do go, I can give you recommendations - lots of them. Most items are excellent, but not everything, and some are particularly good.
  21. How many are in your party, and do you care what neighborhood or type of cuisine you'll have? What day, too?
  22. Unbalanced in what way?
  23. Pan

    The Haagen-Dazs Topic

    Yes, I know some of you are artisanal ice cream makers and wouldn't touch any mass-produced product in a million years. This thread is not for you. I am not ashamed to tell you that I am a long-time fan of Haagen-Dazs. Artisanal gelato it's not, but I can get it at any hour of the day or night at my corner store, and it puts a smile on my face. Back in my college years, the late, lamented Elberta Peach was my favorite for everyday (well, everynight) eating, Rum Raisin when getting a buzz (yes, I still get a slight buzz off the rum in it!) was OK, and Vanilla Swiss Almond to share with my roommate (still a friend after all these years). Nowadays, I have their frozen yogurt more often than ice cream. Less fat (fewer calories, too, but who's counting? ), easier on my stomach, but admittedly not as tasty. For frozen yogurt, I go for Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. But when I go for ice cream, the Dulce de Leche is lovely (much creamier and more satisfying than the yogurt!), and I still sometimes get Rum Raisin (though it's a little hard on my digestion). Today, I tried a new one: Mocha Almond Fudge. I looked at the ingredients to ascertain that there wasn't much coffee in it, because I didn't want an overpowering coffee taste. Verdict? It's very good. I could actually stand for there to be somewhat more coffee taste, but it's good stuff, and I'll no doubt get it again. So, what's your favorite flavor? You can look at the Haagen-Dazs website for reference and pure enjoyment. Their front page is featuring "Triple Chocolate" now. I don't think I've seen that one yet . . .
  24. Definitely. Shipping will cost more.