edenman

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About edenman

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  1. Dumpling Kitchen is very meh. Kingdom of Dumpling has my favorite XLB in town. Shanghai House does good ones too, and the chicken wings are insanely good. If you're down in Mountain View, go to Bamboo Garden. Best XLB in the bay area imo.
  2. After trying a few other places and striking out, just found some at the Balducci's in Bethesda. $29.99/lb. My new favorite treatment: toss in oil, salt, then grill over very hot coals. Heaven.
  3. Lately I've been brewing mostly sour beers...when real breweries make them, they have to increase their prices to account for all the aging time (most sours require at least 6-12mo to mature). At the homebrew scale, it's easier to just fill a carboy and forget about it and then have delicious sour beer, plus it's easier to experiment with fruit that might be cost-prohibitive at a real brewery's scale. On top of that, Cellarmaker Brewing opened last year and they're producing the best hoppy beers I've ever tasted, in a location that's easy for me to get to/from on transit. This basically means that it doesn't make sense for me to make clean beers anymore, especially when the excellent American Sour Beers book (written by DC's own Mad Fermentationist) has given me a bunch of inspiration and techniques to try. I'm still using my same brewing setup: 14gal kettle, 12gal conical, and 10gal mash/sparge coolers. The mash tun is due for a replacement but the rest of it is still performing excellently. A few new additions, though: Keg/Carboy Washer - The extended maturation times on sour beers means carboys are a must, and this washer has made my life so much easier: put the carboy/keg on top, turn it on, and come back 20 minutes later to a totally clean carboy. One more round with sanitizer and you're done. Whirlpool Arm and Pump - Haven't fully installed this yet, but the idea is to get a real whirlpool in the kettle after the boil is done. This should consolidate the sediment in a pile on the bottom, which means I can more easily keep it from coming over to the fermenter. But more importantly, it'll mean quicker cooling times (the wort will be flowing past the immersion chiller coils more quickly) which should save me a ton of water in draught-stricken CA. BrewJacket - Mine is supposed to arrive in the next few weeks. Very excited about having fermentation temperature control in my conical.
  4. In happier news, Prubechu has been exceptional on all three of our recent visits. Guamanian cuisine is not one I was familiar with: it's a crazy mashup of various external influences (Spanish, Japanese) with some tropical pacific as the base (think coconut milk, banana leaves, lots of excellent fish, pork). Crazy good, and the tasting menu has recently gone from $45 to $50. Great bottled beer list as well.
  5. Local's Corner has closed. Tim has been cooking at 398 (which just opened and is pretty tasty classic French) before he moves to Seattle. Super bummed.
  6. Dungeness season is a big deal out here in SF. I've become a big believer in steaming them in two stages (first, whole, then removing the legs and finishing the bodies separately). Details here.
  7. The missus and I spent a week in New Orleans last month. Ended up not getting a rental car so our radius from the quarter was pretty small. Definitely getting a car and staying in the Marigny next time around. Regardless, our favorites are listed here, mostly inspired by @jparrott. The TL;DR? Go to Cane and Table. Go to Peche. And yeah, cabs are easy to come by when you're in/near the quarter, and damn unreliable anywhere else. You have to call them and just hope they show up...we had decent luck with asking places to call one for us, but we also didn't venture too far out so as to not risk getting stranded somewhere. Still no Uber or Lyft. No Zipcar or Getaround either. Parking at hotels in the CBD/Quarter is outrageously expensive.
  8. Additional reading: http://www.classetouriste.be/faviken-magasinet-restaurant/ http://fergusmiller.com/2013/07/15/faviken-magasinet-2/ http://foodstudio.no/column/a-walk-on-the-wild-side-at-faviken/ http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/06/faviken-restaurant-sweden/
  9. Fäviken is a 7 hour drive north from Stockholm. We split the drive in half and spent the night in Mora, which is a cute little lake-side town with not a whole lot going on. Spending the night somewhere halfway interesting means increasing it to at least 9 hours of driving. If you decide to drive up from Stockholm, I highly recommend doing a one-way car rental and flying back from í–stersund. If you fly both ways, you'll either need to arrange a taxi or rent a car. Fäviken is unlike any restaurant I've ever visited. It's absolutely the most remote location of a should-be-Michelin-starred restaurant that I know of. Because it's in the middle of nowhere, they have lodging on-site for diners and breakfast is served the next morning. On the night we went, they sat 14 guests. It was an incredible experience. After checking in, we came down to the porch and I started with an incredible rhubarb-rose negroni. We then moved inside and had the following: Flaxseed and vinegar crips, mussel dip Excellent way to start the meal. Mussel dip = mussel aoili and it was brilliant. Jamtlandian broth Maybe my favorite dish of the night. Mixed berries from the local province (Jämtland) with a reindeer broth. Mind-blowing. Wild trout's roe servied in a crust of pig's blood It's at this point that I start losing my mind. I've never tasted anything like this before and am unlikely to ever do so again. Pig's head, dipped in sourdough and deep-fried, a slice of rhubarb, tarragon salt Phenomenal. Deep-fried creamy fatty pork nugget with perfect balance in the toppings. Served on a toasted branch of some sort. Salted herring aged for three years, sour cream and rusks The depth of flavor in the herring. Unreal. Slices of cured pork Ungarnished lardo. Legit. Scallop "i skalet ur elden" cooked over burning juniper berries One of their signature dishes, incredible depth of flavor. King crab and almost burnt cream I'm a sucker for crab and dairy. Texture on the crab was fantastic, and the flavors melded perfectly. Carefully boiled trout, bog butter and porrige of lichens prepared in lye This was where the spell started to break for me. The trout was perfectly cooked but the accompanying flavors missed the mark for me. Cockles injected with beer Yes. Barley pancake filled with sour onions Little adorable rolled crepes, the tart flavor of the onions perfectly balancing the dough. A small egg coated in ash, sauce made from dried trout and pickled marigold Awesome preparation: you pick the sheep-shit ash off the egg and then dip it in the sauce. Very fresh potatoes boiled with semi decomposed autumn leaves, the good butter The leaves are left on the ground all winter and then "harvested" in spring and dried. We're instructed to squeeze the potatoes and put butter on them. Delicious, but surprising they didn't try to impart any more flavor into them. It's just potatoes and butter and the slightest hint of the leaves. Cottage cheese pie, plantain leaf and meadow flowers Mom's pie crust does not suck. The flowers and plantain leaf add an herbal and grassy flavor that is a perfect balance. Mushrooms, raw peas picked 20 minutes ago, stone brambles It's an interesting idea and most of the flavors are awesome, but raw peas aren't really my thing so that throws off the balance. Blood bread, moose broth, backfat and onions Really interesting. The bread and broth are great. The onions are perfect. The backfat was a little boring, maybe just needed some crisping. Still a great dish. Pork chop, mushroom and tasty paste Tasty paste is a 10x reduction of beef broth with vegetables and mushrooms. It's a perfectly cooked dish but surprisingly minimal for this restaurant, and one of the more disappointing dishes of the night. Colostrum and blueberries Holy fuck. "An edible crisp milk shell filled with creamy colostrum (the first milk produced after an animal has given birth) and blueberry jam" (described better than I can, by this post that looks like a v similar menu to what we had) Fermented lingonberries, thick cream, sugar, blueberry ice An amazing pair of bites, refreshing and interesting. Curdled woodruff milk Woodruff syrup, curdled milk, ice cream. Incredible temperature contrast and flavor balance. Fully back under the spell at this point. An egg yolk preserved in sugar syrup served on a pile of crumbs made from pine tree bark Ice cream seasoned with spruce At this point, I'm just in heaven. Unfamiliar flavors, interesting texture, brilliant balanced flavors. Sour milk sorbet, raspberry jam and whisked duck eggs. The sorbet is churned in the dining room to much attention. It's a bit gimmicky but who cares: it's delicious. A wooden box filled with meat pies, raspberries ice, tar pastilles, meadowsweet candy, dried berries, anise seeds coated in crystallized honey and bees wax, smoked toffee, pine resin, cake Sun kissed berries I tend to hate these sorts of "hey your dinner is over here's a shit-ton of different one-bite flavors" things, but this was pretty great. Snus A relative of chewing tobacco, placed under the upper lip for a while. Drinks: Rose-Rhubarb Negroni Champagne Fävikens Light Mead, Bengt-Johnny & Jan-Anders, í–ster-í–vsjö 2011 Meursault "En la Barre", Antoine Jobard, Bourgogne 2012 Monzinger Riesling Kabinett, Emrich Schönleber, Nahe 2009 Saumur Champigny, Clos Rougeard, Loire 2011 Eiswein Cuvée, Weinlaubenhof Kracher, Burgenland Sour Milk Liqueur Duck Egg Liqueur Pappy 15yr It wasn't a perfect meal, but it was damn close.
  10. Food: Smörgí¥stí¥rteriet: Great fancy Swedish cuisine in a rustic/casual atmosphere. We had a late reservation and (I think because we were the last table) they refused to do the full tasting menu. Why even offer the late reservation? Ugh. That said, a great meal. And they definitely win the coveted "most diacritical marks in a restaurant name" award. Kryp In: Twists on classic Swedish fare, very well-prepared. In the touristy part of town: be prepared to hear English spoken at all of the tables around you. Tranan Odenplan: This is the Swedish equivalent of a French bistro. Come here if you are in need of comfort: toast skagen, oysters, herring. And incredible octopus. Oaxen Slip: We found out about Oaxen late and thus were unable to get a reservation at Oaxen Krog (the fancier tasting menu version). Our lunch at Slip was still really phenomenal. Sturehof: Lots of business lunches and dinners happen here. They have crawfish by weight. A half-kilo is a totally normal amount for one person to consume, said nobody except me. Frantzén: Best meal of our trip. Better than Fäviken, better than Noma. Fucking incredible. And they have a beer bar across the street so the beer pairings are fanstastic. Beer: Mikkeller Bar: Really great. Fjäderholmarnas Bryggeri: Fun little brewpub on an island in the Stockholm archipelago (the closest and thus easiest island to get to). Well worth spending a couple of hours on this island: the smokehouse has very good smoked shrimp. Coffee: Johan & Nystrom Kafé Esaias
  11. Coffee: Coffee Collective was the best espresso I had in town. Nothing else really stood out. Food: Manfeds & Vin: Great little wine bar and restaurant. We had a fantastic lunch. Close to Coffee Collective and the Mikkeller bar. Kí¸dbyens Fiskebar: We didn't try any entrees but the apps were fantastic. Razor clams, oysters, shrimp, all lovely. Noma: At this point, it needs no introduction. Ridiculously difficult to get a reservation (we scheduled our entire trip only after I managed to get a 2-top for lunch). Unfortunately, it ended up being a little disappointing. Maybe our expectation were too high, or maybe the style of food just wasn't our style (the meal was very veg-heavy). Several dishes were mind-blowing but there were too many misses for something that is supposedly the #1 restaurant in the world. We got to chat with René after the meal, though, and that was a treat. I'd still recommend going, just temper your expecations (and go eat in Sweden afterwards). Beer: Mikkeller: Seriously Great. Fermentoren: Another good option for beer: 15-ish taps. Near Fiskebar.
  12. My ladyfriend had a conference in London so I tagged along and ate/drank while sort-of-working. First off, here's where I drank espresso: https://foursquare.com/beerandpork/list/espresso-in-london Beer: Craft Beer Co: I only went to one of the locations but it was easily the best beer bar I went to on the trip. 14 beers on cask, another 20 on tap. The Rake: Jake was not messing about when he recommended Borough Market. This is a fantastic beer bar in the middle of it. The Harp: CAMRA's pub of the year, 2011. Great beer list, but it can get super-crowded so go during off-hours. Bree Louise: An outstanding provider of real ale. Lots of real ciders too, if you're into that. Euston Tap: Close to the Bree Louise. Tiny beer bar in an arch over the road. Lots of good american craft beer in bottles, if you're homesick. BottleDog: The place to go for bottles to take home. The Saturday-Only Brewery Walk: Kernel, Brew By Numbers, Partizan Food: Foxlow: The 10hr shortrib with kimchi was fantastic. Tramshed: STEAK. CHICKEN. BOTH PREPARED SURPRISINGLY WELL. St John: Being a big fan of Fergus Henderson, this was a meal I looked forward to for a while. Nothing mind-blowing, just a lovely set of offal dishes for lunch. Burger & Lobster: The burger is ok. The lobster roll is actually pretty great. Sushi Samba: Crazy roof-top restaurant on a skyscraper. Surprisingly good fushion-y sushi-type stuff. Excellent views.
  13. I had a really disappointing meal at Benu in '12. Possibly the worst ratio of cost/quality of any meal I've ever eaten. State Bird always impresses me, but you'll either have to get lucky with a reservation or wait in line (gross). I haven't been to Saison in several years and it was at their old location, but I didn't love that meal. Definitely preferred Coi. But sample size is 1 for both.
  14. Resurrecting an old thread: anybody have recent recommendations for a knife skills class in DC, preferably something near Metro?
  15. Local's Corner is quickly becoming one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants. Great local seafood, both cooked and raw. A solid CA-centric wine list and a few good beers on tap. Tonight I had a couple of small bites: smoked sturgeon, trout roe. Followed up with a raw brussels sprouts salad with almond breadcrumbs and Capricious cheese. Finished with a stellar smoked trout terrine that I plan on trying to duplicate at home, having just smoked some trout a few days ago. It's small, just a handful of tables and five barstools, which makes it perfect for a solo dinner at the bar since the other four seats are invariably occupied by couples.