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About KeithA

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    Cleveland Park, DC

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  1. Bumping this up to see if anyone has been? I'm going for a business lunch on Thursday and curious what are some good dishes to try.
  2. I love that the downtown/foggy bottom outpost of Bindaas is open for lunch. Back in December, we had a great meal of lots of dishes. Today, I used a delivery service and really enjoyed my masala popcorn and pao bhajii (buttery toasted buns that you spoon essentially veggie sloppy joe onto - very tasty despite the way that sounds). I also had the spinach paneer naan and it was ok. At both locations, the naan is the weakest link. Its not bad but none of the special flavors really add much flavor beyond the plain. I've been to the CP location numerous times and always enjoyed everything but skip the naan. Get the uttapams or rice dishes instead or the great popcorn for your starch.
  3. I gotcha. I like them cakey with a good amount but not too much frosting and the frosting shouldn't be solely hardened fondant - which is why Zaro's hit my sweet spot, pun intended. Apparently, they are supposed to originally have been more cake like then cookie and generally are made that way. Here is a interesting article on their history and a survey of various examples: https://ny.eater.com/2014/6/2/6214949/the-black-and-white-cookies-curious-history
  4. Thanks for the Go Go Curry rec. How do you like your black and whites?
  5. Thanks for these but I'm thinking of places within 1-3 blocks of Penn Station. I don't know about others, but I usually am busy till close to when I leave NYC. So I rush to the area of Penn Station and look for a quick bite before my train or to take with me on the train. I welcome any other suggestions. If I had time to kill in NYC, then I would simply go to one of the many good places farther from the train station.
  6. I travel every month or so to NY for work by train and here are my suggestions near Penn Station: 1. Pennsy Food Hall http://www.thepennsy.nyc/ located in the ground floor of MSG. It has lots of variety and most are a slight cut above the stuff in Penn Station. Good vegetarian fare at the Cinnamon Snail, bar with drinks, and sandwiches from Pat LaFrieda, etc. 2. NY Pizza Suprema a few blocks south is good for a big selection of NY style by the slice pizza. If you are in a time crunch though, the Pizza stand behind the train waiting area in the Penn Station concourse isn't half bad but smaller number of topping options. 3. Zaro's black and white cookies in the Penn Station train concourse are perfect. The other baked goods are ok (I thought the chocolate rugelach was only so so.) 4. There is also a Shake Shack in the main Penn Station long hall between the subways and LIRR/Amtrack trains. Unfortunately, except all of the above and many other mediocre food options close by, I haven't found anything really good that is actually walking distance from Penn Station (meaning not requiring a special trip). Also, I can't vouch for it because I've never been but there was supposed to be a really good doughnut shop within a block or so. Google it and it may come up. Something about originally being a car wash or similar business. Not sure if it is still open. Cinnamon Snail in the Pennsy Food Hall also has doughnuts.
  7. I highly recommend going to PR soon. They can use your money but I will say I was pleasantly surprised at how much was up and running as the island's infrastructure in tourist areas is fully functional. However when you talk to the people you get a sense of the personal toll the hurricane took on them and their livelihoods. As for food, I traveled with little kids so we didn't try any of the nicer, foodie places like Marmalade, 1919, or Jose Enrique but we did have some good and not so good food. I highly recommend Lote 23, a hip plan outdoor food court with about 8-10 different places to get a wide variety of foods (puerto rican pork, mexican, asian, italian, brick oven pizza, croquetas, and drinks). The best at Lote 23 was Red Hen's fried chicken cooked to order - so delicious - and Senor Paleta for fruit or creamy ice pops - I got the nutella twice. Also good was the croquetas, and pina coladas. Friends really liked the italian pasta place and the brick oven pizza seemed popular. It is a fun space outdoors with lots of shade coverings and music in the evenings (also a stage which wasn't used when we were there but I bet it is a happening happy hour and weekend spot). It is in Santurce which is a bit off the beaten tourist path but a 5-10 minute Uber drive from the hotels in Condado/Isla Verde and probably 15-20 from old San Juan - worth the trip for sample lots of stuff. In Old San Juan, we had mixed experiences. The good was Waffle-Era for great sweet and savory waffles and lots of tea options. We loved the special breakfast one with yogurt, honey, granola and fruit and the smoked salmon, poached egg, and machego cheese ones. You can also get half waffles to try more types. For the kids they will basically cover a waffle in ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup - a huge variety of options. Also good up near the biggest fort, El Morro, we had a good lunch at Patio de Sam where we really enjoyed the chicken trifongo. (regular mofongo but instead of only mashed green plaintains, also sweet plantains and cassava). We found that when we ate the dishes elsewhere with only green plantains (regular mofongo or tostones) they were a bit dry and bland and so getting the other mixed mash added more flavor. The spot looks like all of the tourist dives, but it is air-conditioned with a light filled skylight dining area in the back. The other dishes we had here were decent. Good fruit and dessert smoothies at Frappes on San Cristo Ave. Less enjoyable but still fun was piraguas which are sold from carts every few blocks - basically snowcones with your choice of syrupy but the guys work hard shaving the ice from huge blocks to order. Ajo de Pais is another tourist place recommended by a cab drive but the food was so so and I wouldn't recommend it- we had not great chicken mofongo, mahi stuffed tostones, but we did like the steak arepa. We also went for a real tourist experience with so so food to Tapas Triana near the cruise ship docks for a music and dance performance of lots of spanish guitar and a bit of salsa and flamenco dancing. It was fun especially for my girls who dance but food and drinks are meh. In Liquillo beach where they have about 50 restaurants next to the beach, we had a great dish of coconut rice mixed with fish and good drink at Terruno, #20, I think. Food took a long time as is common in PR but really good food. Our tour guide always goes here and says the waits are very long on weekends. Also there is a very nice Ben Jerry's scoop shop in Condado that we frequented many times since it was next to our hotel.
  8. Today was my 2nd time visiting here, and again I had a very nice torta sandwich. Today was the cemitas sans ham - chicken milanese, mexican cheese, small slather of beans, avocado, and spicy chipolte (whole ones, not really a sauce). We also started with the mushroom queso fundido which is basically a big pile of melted cheese with a few sauteed onions served with nicely warmed mini tortilla. Tasty but nothing special unless you are a sucker for melted cheese. The complimentary chips are good and so are the 3 salsas that come with it. Last time I had a fish taco that was decent. Overall, I think the food here is pretty good quality and it is a nice space if you are in this neck of the woods but I wouldn't make a special trip. I think I like the tacos better 2 doors down at Taqueria Habernero, but last time the service there was so slow. The comparison though is one of slight difference - not that noticeable overall. The inside of Mezcalero is nicer and less crowded and the menu is much larger.
  9. Nothing posted in this topic is a few years. Going soon for first time - will mostly be in San Juan for several days. Any recommendations - would especially love some non-tourist trap places? Thanks.
  10. KeithA


    After making it a couple of times, I can now attest that Solomonov's 5 minute hummus is great (still not as light and creamy as his 3+ hour hummus in his first Zahav cookbook but the time trade off is only worth it for people with too much time). Here is the recipe: https://forward.com/food/410601/michael-solomonovs-5-minute-hummus-with-quick-tehina-sauce/ Note that you basically make a quick tehina sauce and then add canned chickpeas, which means this is also a 4 minute quick tehina sauce recipe. His new cookbook, Israeli Soul, also has a whole bunch of great ideas for hummus toppings - similar to places like Little Sesame. I adapted the one for roasted carrots with dukkah spice using butternut squash instead of carrots and it turned out excellent.
  11. If you are in DC, compare to Chicken and Whiskey on 14th st. They are my current favorite Peruvian chicken. Not to say C&J isn't good too.
  12. Big bagel eater with limited bialys experience here but I will echo the praise for Goldberg's bialys above in the thread. I went to the North Bethesda/Rockville location hidden in the shopping center off Nicholson Road that has Moti's kosher grocery (used to be Katz's for decades). Bialy wa big, soft in center, chewy on outside with a nice bit of chopped spiced onions on top. I ate it plain and enjoyed. Also if you want to stop up on Israeli ingredients and of course kosher food - Moti's has a nice selection - so you can make all those great Zahav and Ottolenghi recipes that I'm working my way through.
  13. That sounds great. We had chinese food from Sichuan Pavillion.
  14. KeithA


    I like #11 and I forgot tip #12, do NOT peel the skins from the chickpeas. Normally with over cooked fresh chickpeas it is impossible and it is not too tough with canned but completely unnecessary. Some recipes say removal of the skins results in a silkier hummus but it is barely noticeable, if at all and gets very time consuming.
  15. I had a very nice large meal with friends a couple of weekends ago at Supra. I'd recommend going with a group as this is a great place to sample lots of different things and most are served in smaller portions that are good for sharing. We started with cocktails that were all riffs on classics but with Georgian spirits or wine - very nice. Then, we had the supra tasting board of cold mezze which is a really great way to get a broad selection: 3 kinds of cheeses (I liked the smoky gouda-like one and the creamier one, but watch out for the extra salty one), several vegetable spreads (highlights were the all vegetable one (possibly grilled original but consistency of baba ganouj, the beet-walnut), and I really liked the small eggplant rollups with walnut spread inside. If you are a fan of walnuts, apparently Georgian cuisine is the way to go they put them in 4 out of 5 dishes and use them for flavor, thickening, etc. The hot mezze were really good - the one bite cheese croquettes were delicious, the duck breast was cooked perfectly and you got a choice of a savory dip or chopped peaches, the grilled salmon was excellent and paired well with the creamy walnut tomato sauce. The only merely ok hot mezze was the potatos - they were good but basically just roasted potatoes. We then had the cheese and potato dumplings as described above - very rich and good but don't let the menu description fool you - they are not at all soup dumpllings - more like hearty perogis with a thicker dumpling skin. I was less impressed with the khachapuri with egg and butter. It may be that it was overly rich and somewhat one note in flavor compared to the preceding courses. I thought the boat bread underneath was very good and fresh but the filling was only so so. They have several varieties on the menu and I think I would have chosen a different one next time. We had a bottle of one of the amber wines (note the wine list is 100% georgian wines I believe) that was described as effervescent and it was fruity and a bit bubbly which I liked a lot and thought paired well with the food. We were stuffed but still indulged in their panna cotta (ok but nothing too special) and their walnut cake which is a huge slice of rich but light cake that we really liked. Overall a really nice experience with somewhat different flavors.
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