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Basting ham in Coca Cola is an old-time southern practice. It’s still popular because it tastes great. Coke’s not the only soda you can use–7-Up and Dr Pepper are also popular, and Isabella prefers Barq’s root beer. acme took a risk with orange soda, and says it was wonderful.
wyf4lyf recently made a Coke-basted ham that she raves is “out of this world!”: Score the fat, rub allspice all over the ham, cook in 2 liters of Coke, basting every 15 minutes for the first 90 minutes. Then glaze with apricot preserves mixed with orange juice. Glaze and baste every 15 minutes until done.
chezlamere is crazy about Nigella Lawson’s version, and says it’s even better when made with pomegranate molasses.
You might not expect it from the silly name, but Chili Lemon Garlic does great Thai food. Dave MP likes the boat noodle soup, #37 on the menu ($6.95). The broth is dark and has a nice beef flavor, though this is somewhat overpowered by the flakes of fried garlic that are generously sprinkles over the soup. If you like fried garlic, though, that won’t be a problem. Meatballs are good and very beefy; the rare steak isn’t really rare, but it’s good nonetheless.
They claim to be able to make any dish vegetarian using fake meat, but this claim is as yet untested by ‘hounds.
Chili Lemon Garlic Thai Cafe [Mission]
3166 24th Street, San Francisco
Mama Lucy’s has amazing fried catfish, says Benny Choi. It has a thin, crunchy crust covering the hot, moist, tender fish–and it’s not at all greasy. Fried chicken wings are also admirably fried, with a nice crust and tasty flesh. Also try the tender collard greens, with a subtle balance of sweet and tangy. Lunch is around $16, including an entrée, two sides, and a drink. Sweet corn and red beans are just OK.
Mama Lucy’s Soulful Comfort Cuisine [SoMa]
1 Gilbert Street, San Francisco
At Pardo’s, a Peruvian chicken chain, the secret is in the marinade. Brewed from a recipe developed at the source in Lima, it works its way deep into the bird, resulting in exceptionally flavorful meat. The chicken comes off the rotisserie moist and tender, with crisp, delicious skin. “Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good roast chicken,” notes jdmetz, “and this place came through big time.” Alongside the chicken come a couple of house-made sauces, of which the green peppercorn is the winner, says Benjamin68.
There’s more than roast chicken here. Hounds recommend yuquitas (yucca fries), chicharron (fried chicken with an unusually light cornmeal crust), garlicky, bacony stewed canario beans, and dense but refreshing flan for dessert. Parrillero (grilled chicken fillet), anticuchos (grilled beef heart), fried rice, and a handful of other sides round out the short menu.
Pardo’s [West Village]
92 7th Ave. S., near Grove St., Manhattan
Bar Minnow, a once-promising Park Slope seafood house, has finally gone under after months of decline. In its place is Brooklyn Burger Bar, which appears to be struggling in its opening weeks. Assessments of the food range from tasty to just awful, and service sounds like amateur hour. One bright spot: the black and white shake, tasty and enormous, with just the right ratio of chocolate syrup to vanilla ice cream, reports redgirl.
In Astoria, Le Sans Souci has closed, ending a two-year run of solid bistro fare, friendly service, and live jazz. Kitchen turnover did the place in, according to the owner. “It is sad to see this happen,” laments bebe.
Down on the Jersey Shore, Pearl of the Sea is no longer by the sea. Displaced by redevelopment from its oceanfront space, this hound-endorsed Portuguese restaurant has moved inland and rechristened itself Pearl of Lisbon. Still good, says jsfein: sangria, garlic shrimp, filet mignon, and bony but delicious whole snapper are as satisfying as ever.
Brooklyn Burger Bar [Park Slope]
formerly Bar Minnow
444 9th St., at 7th Ave., Brooklyn
Le Sans Souci [Astoria]
44-09 Broadway, Astoria, Queens
Pearl of Lisbon [Monmouth County]
formerly Pearl of the Sea
609 Broadway, near Grand Ave., Long Branch, NJ
Shopsin’s, the quirky grab-bag eatery in the Village, has closed its doors. After months of rumors and feints, it has sold its lease on Carmine Street. Chef-owner Kenny Shopsin plans to reopen in much smaller quarters in the Lower East Side’s Essex Street Market, probably a sandwich stand with a drastically reduced version of the menu that once offered mac-and-cheese pancakes, Nigerian beef soup, and Georgia barbecued pork oatmeal, among several hundred other things. “Whatever Kenny does,” promises G4Gluttony, “I will follow him there for his prolific and mad scientist-like culinary chops.”
March, the elegant town house restaurant off Sutton Place, has also shut down, temporarily. Wayne Nish, co-owner and founding chef, is downscaling the menu, recasting the kitchen staff, and aiming to reopen sometime in January.
Inside, the cozy hideout on Jones Street, closed on New Year’s Eve. “We, along with many others in the neighborhood, loved their consistent food and generosity, and always felt at home there,” eulogizes erin07nyc.
Inside [Greenwich Village]
9 Jones St., between Bleecker and W 4th, Manhattan
Pleasurepalate went ramen tasting recently, checking out Koraku, Shinsengumi Hakata Ramen, Santouka ,and Daikokuya.
Shinsengumi is a favorite, with its incredibly rich, porky broth (tonkotsu). Being able to customize the soup is also a plus: “Firm noodles? Check. Normal soup oil? Yes. Strong soup base? Definitely.” This soup is really a meal. Side dishes (spam musubi, gyoza, ground chicken bowl), though, are nothing special.
Daikokuya’s tonkotsu is less refined, more intensely meaty, and still mind-bogglingly delicious. “To my palate, the Hakata ramen was more refined. It’s the part of James Bond that is sophisticated, cool under pressure, elegant,” he says. “You can taste the porkiness of the broth but it wasn’t completely in your face. Daikokuya, on the other hand, was that part of James Bond that was rough and tumble, aggressive and took no prisoners.” In other words, Goldfinger vs. Casino Royale.
Santouka’s shio ramen is a hybrid of tonkotsu and clear shio soup. So it’s cleaner and smoother than Shinsengumi, but still packs a hit of porkiness–the best of both worlds. The noodles aren’t that firm, although rameniac says this is a style called asahikawa ramen. Leek rice and egg are nice on the side.
Koraku, while not strictly a ramen place (a Koraku Ramen opened recently in Sherman Oaks), offers a huge variety of ramen soups, including daily specials. Sutamina ramen, with a light, possibly shoyu broth, garlic sprouts, ground pork, green onions, and mushrooms, is decent but not spectacular. The garlic sprouts and scallions add good flavor, but broth is a little too thin and the noodles too mushy. Note that ground meat isn’t a good choice for ramen–it all escapes to the bottom. Still, there are plenty of other options.
Santoka Ramen [South Bay]
in Mitsuwa Marketplace
21515 Western Avenue, Torrance
Santoka Ramen [South OC]
Mitsuwa food court
665 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa
Koraku Restaurant [Little Tokyo]
314 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles
Koraku Japanese Ramen [East San Fernando Valley]
14425 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks
If you’re looking for a new burrito joint in the Pasadena area, the chile verde at Tonny’s has been getting raves lately. Chile verde burrito has huge chunks of tender, luscious pork (you can’t go wrong with pork here, says yoyomama). Birria is great too, the red sauce complex and not just spicy. Carnitas and chile relleno are also excellent–the only thing that’s consistently subpar here is the al pastor, says Oro3030.
For bean and cheese burritos, J&S (home of the pastrami quesadilla) has the best, says SoCal Foodie–the beans and cheese are blended together for a silky texture. Chorizo burrito is also big and cheap.
Get a bean and cheese burrito at La Bodeguita; the beans aren’t refried, but whole boiled beans in broth, says WildSwede. It’s a very good burrito. Al pastor is just about irresistible, and they make a damn good carnitas burrito too.
ipsedixit recommends Rosarito for carnitas, but the best in Pasadena, says condiment, is the modest Mi Casa. These are Michoacan-style–not very crisp, but intensely porky, with enough crunchy edges to keep you going. They have birria on the weekends, too.
Birrieria La Barca does great birria, of course–probably excellent in a burrito, says Clare K.
Rick’s has an awesome vegetarian burrito, says ciaobella.
Tonny’s Restaurant [Pasadena-ish]
843 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena
887 N. Garfield Ave, Montebello
La Bodeguita Mini Market [Pasadena-ish]
1135 N. Summit Ave., Pasadena
2120 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
Mi Casa Mexican Fast Food [Pasadena-ish]
812 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
Birrieria La Barca Jalisco [Pasadena-ish]
10817 Valley Mall, El Monte
To “supreme” a citrus fruit is to cut away its peel and pith, then remove its segments from between the membranes. It’s a nice technique for fruit salads and sauces; while you lose a bit of the fruit, you don’t get any white pith or fibrous membrane in your dish as you would by simply peeling and sectioning it.
Here’s how: Using a sharp knife, slice the rind off the top and bottom of your fruit, exposing the flesh. Stand the fruit on one end (it’ll now sit flat, for easy paring) and cut the peel and white pith away, going from top to bottom and following the curve of the fruit. Trim away any pith still attached. Hold the fruit in your non-dominant hand, and use a paring knife to cut down one side of a segment, separating it from the membrane. When you get to the bottom, twist the knife up and around the other side of the segment, flipping it out. When you’ve taken all the segments out, squeeze the juice out of the membranes. If you don’t use it in what you’re preparing, you can drink it or save it to use in something else.