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Recipe inspiration, tips, and kitchen hacks from the Chowhound editors.

Nerds, Take Note: The Periodic Table of Baked Goods

Ever had to work your way backwards from a set of ingredients and figure out what it's supposed to make?

No, us neither. That's an idiotic way to spend an afternoon.

Nonetheless, Michael Ohene, electrical engineer, guest-blogging on the fascinating Cooking for Engineers, has spent what seems to be an exorbitant amount of time coming up with what he calls "The Periodicity of Baked Goods in the USA," a table that, for all its geekiness, is quite fascinating. Maybe not for its alleged purpose. But for its modeling. READ MORE

Fine French Food and a Take-Home Baguette

CookieLee says that Chez Jacky, brought to you by the folks behind Petit Robert Bistro, is "good. It's very good."

A recent dinner started on a high note with a warm, crisp baguette with butter. (Why don't more restaurants warm their bread or, failing that, at least serve room-temperature butter? But I digress.) Said bread is apparently flown in from Montreal, an interesting choice when Clear Flour is right up the street, but hey. "The bread from Montreal is more akin to French baguettes I've had in France than the Clear Flour," says CookieLee.

CookieLee's lovely experience continued through the green salad with tomatoes, beef cheeks Bourguignon, mussels in cream and shallot broth, and profiteroles, "as good as I've ever had them." The final touch: a half-baked baguette to pop in the oven at home. "I'm very excited to have this place as an addition to the hood."

Chez Jacky [Brighton]
1414 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Discuss: Chez Jacky

Subs Meet Indian Curries at Chutneys

Chutneys sounds like some kind of unholy marriage between a sub shop and an Indian restaurant. It has samosas, lassies, tikka, and kheema. And it also has curries piled onto a roll.

"It's kinda like Subway," says deus_ex, "i.e., you select the roll and the main thing which goes in it (like aloo masala or chutney paneer) and select a combination of chutneys and accompaniments like onions, tomatoes, cilantro."

mizzduke says the masala flatbread is "particularly yummy" and for $5, the lunch sandwich was "perfectly lunch-sized." Early picks: chile chicken, chutney paneer, and the mango lassi.

Chutneys [Cambridge]
36 JFK Street, Cambridge
No phone available

Discuss: CHUTNEY'S – Harvard Sq – Quick service Indian is now open ( old Flat Patty's location) YUMMY!!

Salad Days

Bad salads abound out there. Flabby lettuce, grim vegetables, viscous dressings. Where can one go in Boston to find a decent selection of DIY fixings, or made-to-order salads?

• Boston Kebab House has a salad and meze bar that StevieC deems flawless: "The line for this every day is huge and reminiscent of what you would see at Chacarero's old Filene's location. (And the kebabs are very good as well.)"

Kinopio likes the salads on the buffet at Rangzen.

• Souper Salad is another good option: "It's a decent deal if you really load up the container as they don't charge by the pound," says Kinopio.

• And finally, MichaelB likes Whole Foods, but has a few caveats: Watch out for the weighty items, like strawberry shortcake, placed by the salad bar and pricey at 8 bucks a pound. And the dressings "kind of suck. They're loaded with thickeners and stabilizers and taste like it. My usual trick is to half-fill the little plastic container with their strangely gelatinous "balsamic vinaigrette," and then top it off with the actual balsamic vinegar and olive oil that they provide, for a reasonable facsimile of a decent dressing."

Boston Kebab House [Downtown]
7 Liberty Square, Boston

Rangzen Tibet Restaurant [Cambridge]
24 Pearl Street, Cambridge

Souper Salad [Back Bay]
209 Berkeley Street, Boston

Discuss: Great Salad Bar

Overheard on the Boston Board

"I recently discovered a brand of locally made ice cream (from JP) called Batch. The salted caramel ice cream is amazing." – cassoulady

"The Shawarma King in Coolidge Corner Brookline has the best hummus I've ever had. It's really creamy and rich tasting. Hard to explain in words why it's so darn good." – kdl

"It is not a traditional barbecue restaurant but the sandwich was really good—piled high and very tasty." – neil on Po's BBQ

Happy Bastille Day, Paris! I Hate Your Yogurt Joints!

Oh Paris, you are so dreamy. Here I am, walking through the quaint streets of Île Saint-Louis, peeking into restaurants and storefronts that look like they have been there forever. Cute café here, neighborhood bakery there; so Parisian, so stuck in time. Then, bam! Bright, white storefront glaring at me. Bland walls, gleaming tiles. Is this a public bathroom? No, it's a frozen yogurt store. READ MORE

Hey Fatty, Drop That Dish and Move Away from the Restaurant

A new study found that the number of restaurants within a five-minute walk of your house directly correlates to your body mass index, reports the Wall Street Journal. In other words, if you're within walking distance of a ton of restaurants, you'll be chunkier than those who aren't. It also found that "the proximity of women's homes to a supermarket relative to a convenience store is associated with lower BMI," according to the study's abstract.


Shook and Dotolo, Playing with Balls at Animal

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Los Angeles as a city of indulgence. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

Riding the Gravy Train at Animal

The night we visited Animal, the meat-centric Los Angeles restaurant from chef-owners Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, there were about nine different creatures represented on the menu. But we started with a salad, just to see how vegetables were prepared here. We weren't disappointed. A big old pile of lettuce tossed with creamy sumac dressing, chunks of feta, and beets showed up, and we demolished it. READ MORE

Crispy Pig Ears at Lazy Ox Canteen

Everybody says you should order off the chalkboard specials at Lazy Ox Canteen, a small-plates restaurant with a decidedly meaty bent in downtown LA. But if you did that, you wouldn't get to try their best dish: pig ears with a mayonnaise-y dippin' sauce. The pig ears are deep-fried, salty, and lime-y, like chicharrones, and have a gristly, fatty texture you either love or hate: crisp, buttery, and chewy, all at the same time. Cut into strips, they were perfect for sharing, with a glass of crisp Scrimshaw pilsner. READ MORE