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About Anónimo

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/28/1942

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán, México
  • Interests
    Cooking and baking; blogging; digital photography; improving my Spanish speaking; Internet travel and food fora; cigars, but not too often.
  1. The zucchini blossoms are known as "flores de calabaza" here in Mexico, and are quite commonly used in soups, quesadillas, omelettes and more. I recently had an "empanada" (really more like an overstuffed quesadilla), at a counter in the Mercado de La Merced, in Oaxaca. It was enriched with gooey, melted quesillo de Oaxaca. Inside empanada de flor de calabaza. This was eaten at La Güerita Antojitos Regionales. They offer many other empanada fillings.
  2. My sister, my wife and I had dinner Sunday afternoon at Rezza. We have had several excellent meals there before, and today was no exception. What was different was the presence of a huge, very lively bridal shower part. In spite of the increased workload, the chefs and the waitstaff performed admirably. We were brought a small plate of an excellent sourdough bread, from Manhattan's Sullivan Street Bakery. We enthusiastically consumed three plates of the bread and the olive oil for dipping in the course of our meal. For starters, my wife had grilled octopus again. It was tender and savory. I chose the Brussels sprouts with garlic and guanciale. They were a Brussels sprouts lovers' dream fulfilled, well browned and still al dente. Brussels Sprouts As a main course, my sister had a delicate chicken piccata; my wife a Health Salad, and I had already chosen the Lamb "Osso Bucco". It's really a braised lamb shank, but I was very happy with my selection. Chicken Piccata Grilled Octopus Health Salad Braised Lamb Shank "Osso Bucco" Punched Potatoes Rezza is known for a very limited dessert menu, but the desserts—all gelati or sorbetti— are of first quality. We got a trio of scoops: salted caramel, a little less emphatic flavor than before, a pleasant espresso gelato, and a wonderfully intense dark chocolate with a velvety texture. Rezza is BYOB, and I'd brought partial bottles of a California Pinot Noir and of "Uxmal" Merlot which just met our needs. Our after dinner coffees and espresso were good. We three agree that of all the many meals we've enjoyed in New Jersey over the past two weeks, Rezza was by far the most satisfying. EDIT: My sister tells me that Rezza is actually in Roseland, not Rosedale.
  3. Happy return today to Shan Shan noodle. Gary, the co-owner, remembered us from our last visit two years ago. The refreshing cucumber salad was as welcome as before. That and endless pots of tea are gratis We started with won ton soup, which was a bit light on the small wontons, but the broth was complexly herbal. Star anise was one of the flavors. Then, a reprise of the fried pork buns, plump, sightly chewy, and with a fairly juicy pork filling. Only recently had i found out that they offered mapo tofu, a must have dish, and we ordered that, extra spicy, over cut noodles. It was plenty zesty and the use of Sichuan Pepper was obvious. But there were also brown bean paste and broad bean chili to heighten the heat. We were astounded when we got the check, for only $25.15 We love Shan Shan Noodles, and may it reign for a thousand years.
  4. My wife, my sister and I ate at Fin yesterday evening. It was my birthday dinner. Here are some notes and observations. The entrance is via a long, strange, “gangplank” corridor, with a creaking wooden floor, which leads up into a fairly attractive dining room decorated with eclectic fisherman motifs. I felt that our welcome was cold and indifferent. My companions didn't sense that. When we were led to our table, I asked for another nearby as it was open on all four sides and the first abutted a pillar. The change was done without difficulty.. At our table was a bread “basket” in a galvanized pail. The selection was a tough but tasty baguette style bread and seeded Rye Krisp type crackers. There was no butter but instead a little dish of a mystery spread. It was not only unattractive but fishy tasting. We asked our waiter and he told us that it was white bean hummus. He named all the many herbs and ended with “anchovy”. We then requested butter and after a considerable wait, he brought a slice from a block. I started with 9 mixed oysters on the half shell, very nicely presented on an iced tray pedestal. Freshly grated horseradish was offered and I accepted. Very picante house made cocktail sauce, mignonette and a cute mini bottle of Tabasco sauce. I tasted but didn’t use the condiments, other than lemon and horseradish. The oysters were good to very good except for one unfortunate exception, definitely spoiled. I was able to spit it out into the shell and our waiter took it and returned shortly with another, fresh one. I was quite concerned about ingesting spoiled oyster, having had an awful illness from oysters in Veracruz Mexico in 1980. But this time, no ill effects so far. But the experience was unpleasant and frightening. My sister enjoyed a Summer Salad with "Baby Arugula, berries, oranges, tomato, red onion, blue cheese, raspberry vinaigrette"; my wife had very tasty grilled octopus sided with a uninteresting salad of cubed tomatoes, small croutons and mozzarella cheese balls. We’d ordered our main dishes at the onset. Sister got a light and delicious crab cake accompanied by roasted yellow corn salsa, chipotle aioli, and petite baby arugula salad. At my suggestion, my wife had wood fired filleted Branzino. This turned out to be a simple, pure treatment with no elaborate additions. It was accompanied by a large dish of tasty but heavy beans and escarole, which we tasted but ended up taking home. I had barramundi, with cilantro-lime shimp. It was supposed to have applewood bacon brussel sprouts, but I don’t recall seeing or eating any. In lieu of the bacon brussels sprouts, there was an assortment of beautifully cooked “long” vegetables: perfect green beans, longitudinally shaved carrots, zucchini and also baby onions. The barramundi and vegs were the highlight of my meal. Both the barramundi and the shrimp were delicious. The portion was large and we took some home. We drank a Chardonnay brought from home, but the restaurant does offer wine service as well as a nifty menu of craft beers and cider. My wife and I both had dessert. She, a perfect Creme Brûlée and I, Espresso Creme Caramel, with both whipped cream and ice cream to the sides. Both desserts were very good, but the Creme Brûlée had the most votes. It was perfect, in spite of lacking the anticipated fresh berries. Coffees, just straight Americanos, was above average. My conclusion is that the food we had was good to outstanding, but there are some exceptions that lower my rating of the restaurant. - strange and ominous gangplank entrance - fishy hummus - mediocre bread assortment - one spoiled oyster + mostly good oysters, plus attractive presentation + good bus boys Conclusions: + Mostly high quality food, attractively presented - unpolished service A side note: this is not the first New Jersey restaurant in which we've dined where there are no salt shakers on the table. But a busboy brought me one when I asked. (I wanted it to sprinkle it on my now buttered bread. Is there a low salt/no salt health campaign or what?)
  5. I'm able to post images now, but captioning is proving to be challenging. MOUSSAKA EKMEK
  6. I will finally get around to posting some photos of last Saturday's meal at Taverna Mykonos. SILOGI
  7. We met yesterday at Taverna Mykonos. I was happy that we found free parking very close by. The interior of the restaurant is cool and white. Classy but not excessive, all in good taste. The background music was a standard Flamenco inflected style. Why Flamenco, I don't know, but as we got into our dining and family experience, I was able to ignore the music. Yes, there were some Zorba-esque tracks as well. We had a large round table in a semi-private nook. We started off with some spreads, a threesome under the heading of "silogi" We chose Taramosalata, Melitzanosalata and Tzatziki. All three were mild and understated but pleasant versions, accompanied by a basket of crusty, rustic bread and wedges of pita. We also shared a plate of Octopus: "sushi-quality Mediterranean grilled octopus, capers, red onions, red wine vinegar extra virgin olive oil" This dish outshone the spreads and I craved more. I'd gone in thinking I that for my main course, I'd have either the beef stifado or lamb shank, but when we were presented with a Specials Menu, I immediately saw that Soft Shelled Crabs were offered. That was irresistible, and I ordered it. I had no regrets. My wife had a simple, very large salmon filet, my sister a Chicken Souvlaki (she said it was all right, but she was disappointed that there were no vegetables, and furthermore, the accompanying pilaf was not very good.) Niece had a neat and compact Moussaka, and her husband enjoyed a dramatic Lamb Shank on the bone. To drink, we selected a delightful and crisp Sauvignon Blanc, I think from California. It was so good, we ordered a second bottle. I think I was the only one to want dessert. I chose Ekmek, a light custard atop a base of shredded filo. That was one of the best desserts I've had in a restaurant. I also had a decent espresso. Service was very competent and unobtrusive. The dinner menu offers more meat dishes. The food was generally excellent. If we lived in the area, I would definitely return. (Water service: Being recently enlightened at another New Jersey restaurant, when we were offered still or sparkling water, we chose tap water. The tap water was, IMO, perfectly pure and potable. I haven't uploaded nor edited my photos yet. I hope to do that soon.
  8. I'm reconsidering my earlier statement. Still, it was a pleasurable experience but with a few clunkers.
  9. Anónimo


    We live in Michoacán México, in a world of nopales. In fact, we have the plant in our back yard. But I usually buy a small bag for $5 or $10 pesos, which is a lot of nopales. I use one or two smaller pads in a blended smoothie, called "Jugo Verde" It's made of orange or grapefruit juice, celery, parsley, nopal and some fresh pineapple. Other additions are optional: flaxseed, nutritional yeast, fresh ginger root, etc. It's best drunk soon, as its refrigerated life is maybe 1-2 days. It's healthful and reputed to help in a weight loss diet. It's also beneficial for the alimentary tract. Another excellent use for nopales is the refreshing Ensalada de Nopales, made by cutting the pads into thin strips and blanching them briefly in boiling salted water. A pinch of baking soda tends to reduce the baba or slime. The rinsed, cooled strips are then seasoned with fresh lime juice, finely diced onion, diced tomato, fresh chiles (I use chile perón or serrano), cilantro, and salt to taste.
  10. My wife, my sister and I went to South+Pine for a late lunch. Overall, it was a delightful experience, yet there were some flaws. The good: the crusty levain bread, with good, sweet butter, is sublime. We got several free refills from our genial waiter. My sister ordered a pumpkin soup with Medjoul Dates and chickpea crisps, a concept which initially revulsed me, but I was converted into a fan with a single spoonful. (Image was here) I had a starter of Heirloom Tomatoes, Stone Fruits, Whipped Goat cheese that was good, despite the underripe stone fruits. The Bad: my wife ordered the soup of the day, nominally Lentil, which arrived essentially devoid of lentils or other solids. We sent it back to the kitchen, and when it returned a few minutes later, it was acceptable although still on the thin side. (Image was here) Good: sister ordered Burrata, fried green tomatoes, cherry pepper vin and it was nicely done but deemed "ok." (Image was here) My wife had Grilled Salmon on coconut quinoa, beet + carrot salad and it was very generous and good. (Image was here) Undecided: I was quickly attracted to a Hanger Steak, hand-cut fries, horseradish hollandaise. (I have fond memories of hanger steaks at Avenue Bistro and Pub, in Verona.) What came at South+Pine was very attractive, but there was no escaping the fact that the meat tended toward toughness. I suspect that it had been sliced with the grain and not across. I don't recall having any horseradish hollandaise, but I may have just overlooked it. So, the hanger steak was somewhat of a disappointment. (Image was here) But a generous dish of sautéed wild mushrooms was shared, and went a long way in improving the meat. (Image was here) I went on to dessert, selecting Olive Oil Cake, honey mascarpone, fig compote. This was pretty good, but not outstanding. The fresh fig compote was great but the cake somewhat boring. Coffee (Americano) was decent. Advisory to other diners: when requesting water, be very exact in ordering or you may be sold outrageously expensive "designer water". We innocents had two carafes of still water at $7.00 USD each. Tap water is available on request. Despite a few defects, we enjoyed dining at South+Pine. I would be inclined to have diner there, if an opportunity arises. Full, illustrated post here.
  11. Going to lunch there today. Will report back.
  12. I booked Taverna Mykonos through OpenTable. Thanks to all who answered.
  13. Thanks! We'll look into those possibilities.
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