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

If You Loved New Coke, You’ll Tolerate New 7UP

Eric Steinman, writing at MSN's Delish, chronicles the upcoming plan to reformulate 7UP. The end goal? The company will be "using 'technology' to give 7UP a 'crisper' lemon and lime taste, and the soft drink will come with new graphics on its packaging, all in an effort to compete with Coke and Pepsi."


6 Best Places to Drink Beer in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is arguably the biggest beer geek haven in America outside, maybe, Portland, Oregon. Belgian beer bars are so common here as to become yawn-worthy, and even blue-collar neighborhood pubs have cask ale. "We’re not a trendsetting city," says Philadelphia Inquirer restaurant critic Craig LaBan; "however, we were on the cutting edge of the beer trend." As Philadelphia stands poised to hurdle into its craft beer week celebration (June 4 through 13) with a mind-blowing number of great events, we took a look at a handful of good places to drink. This is by no means even a fraction of all the best spots: Each neighborhood has a gem or three at which to knock one back. READ MORE

Monumental Mayan

The ambitious new Haltun Mayan Cuisine "offers an array of flavors in the most comprehensive Mayan menu in the neighborhood," says Cynsa, who was among a group of hounds who headed over to check it out.

"I would definitely go back just for the cochinita pibil," says sfbing. "I wish the meat had been a touch more tender, but the sauce was brothy and complex."

But first, check out appetizers like dzoto-bi-chay, a steamed corn dough dumpling stuffed with crushed pumpkin seeds wrapped with chard; or pol-can (fried corn dumpling stuffed with lima beans and crushed pumpkin seeds). And brazo de reina ("queen's arm") is an elaborate variation on the tamal: steamed spinach-corn dough stuffed with hard-boiled egg, crushed pumpkin seed, and tomato with a tomato-onion sauce. "The spinach combined well with the nuttiness of the pumpkin seeds," notes Melanie Wong.

The piquant, tangy sopa de lima is also excellent.

Haltun Mayan Cuisine
2948 21st Street, San Francisco

Discuss: Haltun — traditional Mayan cuisine [SF]

Fresh Chinese Choices in Flushing

The Chairman himself might approve of the "Mao's style" braised pork at Flushing's Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan. scoopG describes juicy, well-cooked belly meat in gravy, the best dish of a promising meal that also included flavorful smoked beef in a shower of dried white peppers. Chicken with hot red pepper, chunks of meat on the bone, comes in a mountain of dried chiles with bits of garlic, ginger, and scallion. For a textural change of pace, try pickled cabbage, light and crunchy with a mild kick, or mashed, sesame-scented Hunan eggplant, billed as spicy though it really isn't.

As the restaurant's name might suggest, it's connected with the Manhattan-based Grand Sichuan chain, scoop was told. So he tried the Sichuan classic dan dan noodles, which sadly turned out to be overcooked and short on meat. Still, he'd readily return to this place, the second credible Hunanese option in a neighborhood that already has a huge hound favorite in Hunan House on Northern Boulevard.

Flushing's Chinese banquet is so bounteous these days that Chowhounds also have a second option for Shandong food from the northern coast: Lu Xiang Yuan, not far from Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan. Lamb soup is one highlight here, scoop reports, deeply lamb-y with touches of vinegar, scallion, and white pepper. Others include earthy and refreshing Tiger Salad, made with chrysanthemum greens; tasty pan-fried guo tie pork-and-chive dumplings, open at both ends; and eggs scrambled with mild green chiles. And an eye-catching specialty is rose fragrant fish, topped with mayonnaise, crushed peanuts, and a scattering of rose petals. "Probably only a dish to be ordered once," scoop reckons. Over all he finds Lu Xiang Yuan a notch below M&T, the hound-recommended Shandong restaurant on Kissena Boulevard, but still worth checking out.

Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan [Flushing]
42-47 Main Street (near Franklin Avenue), Flushing, Queens

Lu Xiang Yuan [Flushing]
42-87 Main Street (between Blossom and Cherry avenues), Flushing, Queens

Discuss: Flushing Review: Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
Flushing's Fragrant Shandong Garden

A Bright Spot for Uptown Coffee Lovers

Luna Espresso recently replaced a Dunkin' Donuts, instantly improving the Yorkville coffee scene. Uptown java hounds report expertly made lattes, high-end Clover hardware, and the best iced coffee on the Upper East Side. "This is a real plus for the neighborhood!" says Brian W.

Luna Espresso [Upper East Side]
1593 First Avenue (at E. 83rd Street), Manhattan

Discuss: Luna Espresso - UES
Cold-brewed iced coffee, anywhere between 42nd-100th?

Flavors of Ghana in the Bronx

West Africans like their meat chewy, and fredid is coming around to their way of thinking. At Papaye in the Bronx, the stewed goat that comes with palaver sauce, the Ghanian stew of greens and egusi (ground squash seed), is "gamy and great!" This luncheonette, the older of two Papayes in a small Ghanian enclave, is a friendly joint, but the illustrated menu is short on explanation. fredid suggests that those new to the cuisine might want to read up a bit before dropping by.

Papaye [Bronx]
196 McClellan Street (near Sherman Avenue), Bronx

Discuss: Delicious Ghanaian food! In the Bronx, easily accessible

Foraged Nasturtium Pesto

By Iso Rabins

Iso Rabins of forageSF is guest blogging for us every once in a while. Read his last post on throwing a potluck for strangers. Follow him on Twitter @forageSF. Read his blog at at

People love to eat flowers. It’s a fact. I was talking to a vendor at a farmers market one time, and he told me that the $4 salad mixes he sold could sell for $8 if he put in a couple edible flowers. Nothing fancy, just nasturtiums or wild radish, things he found around the farm. There is something about eating something so beautiful that draws people in. Consuming beauty, rather than just observing it…maybe too deep, but maybe true.


Overheard on the New York Boards

"I was passing my favorite restaurant, Crispo, and noticed people sitting in the cafe eating what looked like some sort of vegetable frittata and my favorite, their spaghetti carbonara with a poached egg on top. I went inside and found out they just opened for brunch and didn't advertise because they're just testing the waters. Well, I'm ready to jump in the water, especially if I can get a seat in the garden." – faylow11

"We were delighted to find that they have started serving lunch from Tuesday on (closed Monday). This talented chef has created a few new dishes for lunch at great prices. I had a superb bowtie pasta with salmon, broccoli, and capers in a light tomato sauce ($7). My husband had the corvina (from the dinner menu) with yucca sauce ($8). Both were delicious and freshly prepared." – phylrose on Malagueta

"Mark Ladner loves lamb, and it shows—the lamb dishes are always fantastic, especially if you like lamb bold and gamey as I do—he doesn't hide from the gaminess, he embraces it. Lamb rack comes with an intensely reduced puttanesca, shot through with shreds of tail meat. Very rustic and seemingly simple, but one of the best lamb racks I've ever had." – sgordon on Del Posto

The Couple That Scoops Together

Thick 'n' creamy ice cream is the house scoop at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, a new ice creamery in Bayview, says hhc. "I'd compare it to Bi-Rite, but Mr. & Mrs Misc. is organic, so big thumbs-up!"

Flavors include classic vanilla bean, mint chocolate, choco-malted crunch, and candied ginger. "Grapefruit sorbet was liking eating a real grapefruit, wow," hhc says. Less impressive was the intriguing-sounding Ballpark (Anchor beer, peanuts, chocolate pretzels)—the pretzels weren't so great, hhc thinks.

Like the ice cream, the cones and toppings (including hot fudge, caramel, and butterscotch) are made in-house by owners Ian and Annabelle, a super-nice couple.

Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous [Dogpatch/Potrero]
699 22nd Street, San Francisco

Discuss: NEW: Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous ice cream shop, SF – Recommended!

Bay Area Ramen Watch

Now that Orson is serving weekend brunch, it's the place to go for the best ramen in San Francisco, says Melanie Wong.

The crown jewel is the cha su pork, "four generous slices of meaty heaven" that are tender and succulent, with the perfect hint of cured tanginess. They're paired with wide, hand-cut noodles that would be great if they weren't cooked in advance, but they're still nicely elastic. Unfortunately, the broth is "low on meaty intensity" and its spicing is harsh.

Elsewhere in the ramen world, Halu is doubling down on its spring specials with tan tan men, a spicy blend with miso and sesame seeds. It's rich, spicy, meaty, and slightly sweet. The broth is more like a sauce, too intense to really sip, Melanie says. The nutty, firm whole wheat noodles complete a great bowl.

Orson Restaurant [SOMA]
508 4th Street, San Francisco

Ramen Halu [South Bay]
375 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose

Discuss: Brunching on Ramen + Ramos Fizz @ Orson Restaurant Bar + Lounge in San Francisco
Spring Special Tantan Men at Ramen Halu in San Jose