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Jul 21, 2002 07:24 PM

Chowhound social ---aka God's Tapas Bar

  • c

Hello all!

What a great afternoon!!!!

Okay so maybe the tapas bar analogy is a little off because we didn't have sherry or manchego cheese, but if the Korean items (litte salted fish with and with oput hot pepper, sugared and salted crispy seaweed) aren't Asian tapas then I don't know what is. Wish I had the mental energy to do a recap of all the goodies but, sticking to the letter B alone we had banh mi, borscht and of course beer from the wonderful Bohemian Hall. Looking forward to seeing yall at the cue off later this summer.

Eat on,

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  1. about the only thing missing was a notepad and pen so that i could note what i was eating.

    (that and feijoada. and anything from sriphaphai -- could you believe it?)

    would it be reasonable to ask people to respond and list what they brought -- i'm sure others would like to know.

    i brought potato roti from the roti ladies aka Shahi Snack and Food Distribution & Corporation (3738
    72nd St, right off Broadway, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY; 718-457-7766.

    31 Replies
    1. re: babar ganesh

      I brought six lbs of Lychee fruit...

      1. re: The Rogue

        I brought a box of chocolates from
        Krause's (Aigner) Homemade chocolates (since 1930)
        Metropolitan Ave, Forest Hills

        (It was in a bright pink box).

        Everything was great

      2. re: babar ganesh

        Just as we were leaving, the broscht was arriving. I'm so glad I got a cup. It was absolutely delicious. I loved the fresh lychee fruit too. And the torta, and the tiny fish, and the kim chee, and and and! Oh, Dennison's beautiful musician's tart! I always intend to take notes, but then I talk too much and eat too much.

        The venue was perfect and so was the company. It's always fun to put faces with names. I brought my daughter, grandson, and my son from London, with his wife. They had a great time.

        The band was coming in as I was going out. Did anyone stay to hear the music?

        I brought some homemade brittle, sweet and spicy, some with almonds and another batch with cashews.

        Applause, applause for Abby, Eric, Dennison and Katerina, and everyone who gave their time and talent. Thanks so much! Pat

        1. re: Pat Hammond

          Here here!

          I was wondering about the borscht - guess we had to leave b4 it arrived.

          Pat - you were there??? thought you lived in the hinterlands and had mailed in the brittle. Nina was freaking out about how good it was - cumin and all.

          My absolute favorite and the caveat is that I loved most of the offerings - was Katerina's mini cheese pastry domes (I think they were hers)

          I am going to post a seperate request for recipes now. It was great to see people who you have only read before!! and not have to type the conversation.

          1. re: tigerwoman

            Hi Tigerwoman, I'm so sorry we missed each other. I did spy your name tag at one point over by the tables, but you were involved, and then I somehow lost track of you later on. Glad you enjoyed the brittle. I was concerned that the humidity would render it a solid block, but it held up pretty well.

            I *used* to live in the hinterlands of Maine, but moved to lower Westchester about five months ago.

            We'll meet, for sure, one of these days. Looking forward to it! I'm glad you met Florence Leff, a really lovely lady. After stopping to chat with her I tried the empanadas . They were WONDERFUL. Pat

          2. re: Pat Hammond

            "The band was coming in as I was going out. Did anyone stay to hear the music?"

            Abby, Eric, Peter and I stayed until 10pm, listening to the highly enjoyable music and shmoozing. Believe it or not, we actually got hungry again and ate some good grilled sausage.

            What a terrific event, and such a pleasant afternoon! Thanks so much.

          3. re: babar ganesh
            Hungry Hungry Hippo (J. & J.)

            First: thanks to all those who were responsible for organizing this great event! We (J. & J.) have used the site for ~1 year, and recently discovered that our good friends also are fans. Over great homemade gazpacho last night, S. and M. mentioned that they were going to a Chowhound event on Sunday, and before we knew it, we'd moved beyond "lurker" status.

            We brought rice pudding from Russo's (363 7th Avenue, between 10th and 11th St., in Brooklyn, 718-369-2874).

            Our favorite tapas were:
            - those Chicken Kebabs from Little Bangladesh,
            - the Torta de Papas,
            - Dennison's Musician's Pie,
            - the pad thai,
            - both cheeses from Titan,
            - the cashew brittle,
            - the pork buns,
            - the lychee nuts,
            - the chocolate raspberry flourless cake, ...

            well, obviously, we have a problem narrowing this down, since there was just a lot of great food. Thanks again, everyone.

            1. re: Hungry Hungry Hippo (J. & J.)

              I brought the two flour-less truffle cakes, one chocolate and the other chocolate raspberry. Glad you enjoyed them.

              As others have said, it was a great afternoon. Lots of fun meeting people and putting faces to names, and the food was wonderful. My favorites were the fried seaweed, Dennison's musician's tart, the Manchurian goat from Tangra Masala, and muhumarra - the Turkish red pepper and walnut paste. I also enjoy Pat Hammond's nut brittle and the babaganoush from Waterfalls in Brooklyn.

            2. re: babar ganesh

              I want to echo the thanks, Abby, Eric, Dennison, Nina, Leslie, everyone who helped set the event up and keep it running, it was so much fun and the food was great.

              I'm only sorry that I met you right before we were leaving and didn't get a chance to chat with you Abby!

              I brought the jerky from the malaysian jerky place on Elizabeth between Grand and Hester and Japanese "okashi" (candy and chip type things) from the okashi-land on Hester between Mott and Elizabeth.

              My guests from Chicago thought the whole thing was amazing. Rogue, your six pounds of lychees disappeared so fast we couldn't get to them and we were lamenting the fact that we didn't grab some on our first trip to the tables.

              My husband loved the potato tart and the red pepper spread.

              If someone turned the tv on and set dennison's musician's tart and Pat's almond brittle down in front of me, I have to admit I could consume both entirely myself if you gave me a few hours. I love that combination of sweet and savory.

              Pat, I'd love to see the recipe!

              On the way back to Manhattan on the N train we sat with other chowhounds and talked about the auction winnings... We haven't broken into the bottle of Plum "brandy" yet but I was warned that it is very potent... I wonder if I could mix it with something to cut the alcohol content...

              thanks again,


              1. re: Akiko

                Just wanted to say, I had nothing to do with the planning or running of the event. All credit to Abby, Eric, Dennison, and Katerina.

                And thanks again!

                1. re: Akiko

                  Spicy and Sweet Nut Brittle

                  1 pound blanched almonds or whatever nuts you prefer (cashews are a favorite too). Use raw nuts. You'll toast them in the oven.

                  1/4 C cider vinegar
                  2 C sugar plus 1 tablespoon
                  2 t salt *
                  2 t ground cumin
                  1 t ground coriander
                  1/2 t to 3/4 t cayenne

                  (You can play around with the spices)
                  *A note about salt. Truthfully, I thought the batch I brought to the social was a tad too salty. But I've been experimentng with cutting back on salt, so that may have been the reason. I have always used 2t, so it must have been my palate.

                  Preheat oven to 375. place nuts in jelly roll pan and toast until golden, shaking pan occasionally. Cool in pan on wire rack.

                  While the nuts are cooling, in a heavy 3 quart sauce pan, heat vinegar and 2
                  cups sugar to boiling over medium heat. Continue cooking until mixture turns dark amber in color, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If using a candy thermometer, it should reach about 360 degrees. Once in a while, and I have no explanation, the sugar and vinegar will go from syrupy to a thick mass, but by the time it reaches 360, it will return to syrup again. Don't panic, as I did once, and start over.

                  Meanwhile (I do this usually before I start anything) in a small bowl mix salt, cumin, coriander, red pepper and remaining 1 T of sugar. *Lightly* grease large cookie sheet.

                  When it reaches 360 degrees or the desired color, remove saucepan from heat and stir spice mixture into hot syrup, add nuts, and stir evenly until coated. immediately pour mixture onto cookie sheet. (You have to work fast here). With two forks, work quickly to spread mixture to form a single layer. (You can push it around with the forks even after it's pretty solid. It looks much nicer when you can achieve the single layer of nuts.)

                  Cool brittle completely on cookie sheet on wire rack. With hands**, break into small pieces. Store in a tightly covered jar or tin for up to a month, if it lasts that long.

                  **It can be very sharp. I've been cut by a shard of brittle. It hurts and is embarrassing to explain!

                  I'm glad you liked it. Pat

                  1. re: Pat Hammond

                    mmmm, I loved it too, thanks! This opens up whole, new cumin vistas in cooking!

                    1. re: Pat Hammond

                      This sounds delicious!

                      FWIW, when I make Macadamia Toffee, which is in truth a nut brittle of sorts, I dump the mass onto an oiled pastry marble, place a sheet of parchment over the top and use a rolling pin to flatten it out. I bet this would work here, in lieu of the fork method, and could easily be done with the cookie sheet instead of a marble slab.

                  2. re: babar ganesh

                    I brought home baked Moravian kolaches (pastries with cheese and plum filling). The recipe is on the General board.


                    1. re: babar ganesh

                      I brought the pork buns and the coconut buns,
                      both from Hop Shing, at 9 Chatham Square.
                      I've been going there for years, and was open
                      minded about trying other places mentioned on
                      the board, but still hold that Hop Shing is the
                      best around for these.

                      By the way, we had a terrific time as well, and
                      thanks to everyone who organized it. The Banh
                      Mi were great - prior to this I had only had
                      them from Vietnam Banh Mi So on Broome, and the
                      place by the Manhattan Bridge. The ones from
                      An Dong were really great.

                      Also loved the Pad Thai, the cheeses from Titon,
                      the empanadas, and the turkish bread/lebny.

                      Can't wait for the next one - maybe I'll be
                      inspired to cook a lasagna for that.

                      1. re: Dave

                        i heard no complaining about the Hop Shing buns. My only problem with the An Dong banh mi is that i liked it so much I ate nearly a whole one and thus did not have room to try as many other items as I wanted later in the day.


                        1. re: wrayb

                          Okay, guys, I'm throwing down the guantlet here...Altho Peter fulfilled my heart's desire and brought the Sardine Banh Mi(grazie mille!), Boston's Banh Mi can beat the pants off you guys!!!! You'll all just have to come and let me back up them fightin' words!!!!

                          1. re: galleygirl

                            Watch out, challenges like that have a way of
                            being taken seriously. And if we followed through
                            with it, we'd have to bring up some of the NY
                            varieties for a side-by side comparison. You
                            would have the home-court advantage, of course,
                            unless we synchronized the purchase of the banh

                            1. re: Dave

                              That would be great! (I can't think of a better way to get that much banh mi delivered from such a distance and from such diverse sources.) I really enjoyed meeting many of you NY hounds yesterday and this would afford another wonderful opportunity to hang out over chow.

                              1. re: Limster

                                I've been talking to Galley Girl about heading up there to Bahston to try the banh mi she talks about so much. Now she's thrown out the gauntlet.

                                Are we New Yawkers up for the challenge?

                                Maybe around the weekend after Labor day we do a Great East Coast Banh Mi Chowdown... NYC against Bahston... The top four NYC places against the top four Boston places. Two styles that are definitive from each place. Several banh mi of each chosen style for consistency of product.

                                For NYC I nominate-
                                An Dong (sardine, special),
                                Ba Xuyen (special, chicken or meatball),
                                Saigon Bánh Mì (Their classic special is the only style they make),
                                Vietnam Bánh Mì So 1 (Special, Vietnamese fish)

                                1. re: The Rogue

                                  Upon arrival, I tried the "Sardine" at Nina's urging...GOOD!

                                  What is the origin of the fish - fresh, canned (brand)?

                                  Anybody know?

                                  1. re: Mike R.

                                    I'd say just stop by An Dong in Brooklyn and ask. The daughter of the owner is very helpful.

                          2. re: wrayb

                            Yeah, it was tempting to have a whole one, for sure.
                            But what I decided, on the spot, was that I would
                            hop on the N train during lunch today and go right
                            to the source.

                            Turned out to be a pretty quick ride from my office.
                            Rogue's write-up mentioned the excellent iced coffee
                            at An Dong, and sure enough, it was the best I've
                            had anywhere.

                        2. re: babar ganesh

                          Things I brought;

                          Marinated White Anchovies from Titan Foods, (they're $9.99 a pound!!! Such a deal!!!) Do you guys realize how many marinated and packed in olive-oil Mediterranean fish these guys have? I love this place!)

                          Tahini Bread, same source...Not as outstanding as the places in Watertown, Sevan Bakery sets the bar pretty high...Might have to send you guys some!...Its a spirally-looking flat bread, sweet instead of savory, heavy(tho not heavy enough in this version) with tahini...

                          What I loved; Everything!!!!!!

                          The spicy,fried fish thing that Eric Eto brought from the Indian place, swoon, swoon, and the hot sauce that rocked my world...

                          Basil's Goi Cuon; however she grilled or cooked the shrimp really brought these many notches above the norm!

                          Tortilla de papas, (chowhounds follow our leader in our love of primo potatoes!)

                          Honey Cake and the Sweet of Honey-Soaked Shredded wheat filled with Pistachios from Lazzizza

                          Indian Milk Sweets, forget the source, they came late...

                          Yogurt with pistachios and Dill

                          Taramosalata that the woman in the teal shirt(names, names.....) brought....

                          All of the baba ganoush; couldn't pick my favorite, they epitomized both styles....

                          Sardine Banh Mi; even tho I dissed NY banh mi!

                          And the awful thing was, I missed so much! Never got the empanada's, never got one of Katerina's Kolatches, (and there were a ton! I heard she was in the kitchen au naturel to beat the heat...The things chowhounds will do for the cause!)

                          Thanks to David Sprague for introducing me to the pleasures of orange Vodka and Club Soda...

                          Thanks to those who have already been thanked in excelsis, and thank you ALL for making this such a fun day!

                          1. re: galleygirl

                            Oh right, the fish from Masala Tangra!

                            1. re: galleygirl

                              Pretty great stuff though having arrived late I seem to have missed some major delights. But the spring rolls, the korean treats (especially the seaweed!), the fish from tangra masala - all quite excellent.

                              I brought the taramamousalata from the Int'l Grocery at 543 ninth av (40th street) and the roman dolci olives from Mike's Deli in the indoor market at 2344 arthur av/ bronx. As I said to a few people on sunday, I swear that these are as close to having an olive in rome as it gets without being there. I've never found these anywhere else in the city.

                              Thanks so much to all who organized and came, ate and conquered.

                              1. re: djk

                                Those olives were tremendous, very firm and tasty. I had a few later in the day with some cheese and the bread from Mazzola Bakery.

                                1. re: Peter Cuce

                                  That sounds about perfect. I'm so glad you liked them, they're a favorite. Just brought some to the guy who cuts my hair - he used to live in rome as well and he was pretty happy.

                                  1. re: djk

                                    the olives were my favorite. oh my god.

                                2. re: djk

                                  the color of those olives are amazing

                            2. Thanks to Abby, Katerina, Eric and Dennison for making today possible - it was much fun. It was a treat to see the 'hounds from the No Idea get-together and get to meet so many new ones. The selection of food was amazing - my favorite was the Torta de Papas (am I spelling it right, Helen?) from La Nueva Bakery in Jackson Heights, and I finally understand why all the fuss over that yogurt - it's terrific - and I don't really like yogurt.

                              Rogue, thanks for those excellent nametags. Galleygirl and Limster, thanks for my Baba Ganoush tutorial.

                              1. Actually, there WAS manchego cheese--2 varieties actually--from the D'Espana place, along with olives and chorizo.

                                Let me see if I can rack my brain to remember what was brought, other than what was already mentioned. Sorry if I don't remember who brought/made them or where they came from:

                                --Pork pies from Myers of Keswick
                                --Homemade pad thai
                                --Several varieties of banh mi from Anh Dhong (sp?)
                                --Roast pork buns and coconut buns from Hop Sing bakery
                                --Dennison's Musician's Pie
                                --Ruth's blueberry coffee cake
                                --Some sinfully rich chocolate and chocolate raspberry cakes from a bakery in North Jersey
                                --Middle Eastern sweets from Laziza of New York bakery in Astoria
                                --Spring rolls
                                --A "bagel eat-off" featuring bagels from Ess-A-Bagel and Kossar's
                                --Pine nut custard tart from Sullivan Street Bakery
                                --Homemade pulled pork with barbecue sauce on the side
                                --Homemade Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls
                                --Vegan West Indian patties from Crown Heights

                                And so many others that I just can't remember. Thank you everyone--it was a great afternoon! My non-Chowhound friend was very impressed & enjoyed herself tremendously.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Stephanie L.

                                  And what could be more tapa-ish than Tortilla de Papas? (Folks, note it's "Tortilla", not "Torta".)

                                  What a great event. It was wonderful to meet so many of the people I've felt a kinship with for lo these many months and years. And the weather! - a perfect day to sit outside in the shade and eat, drink, and schmooze.

                                  I can't single out a favorite food (it's kind of a blur right now as I try to forget how much I ate yesterday,) but I have this great image in my head of those over-laden tables, and how new waves of food kept arriving. Thanks again to the organizers and helpers.


                                  1. re: Stephanie L.

                                    i hit the chorizo and olive/pickle mix from D'Espana several times and didn't see the cheese. Comments anyone?

                                  2. what a great day we had. it was so nice to meet everyone in person. i almost thought these posts were being written by robots, but no, you're real people-ha! thanks very much abby et al for putting this all together.

                                    i think my favorite item was the sweet/salty melt in your mouth korean seaweed appetizer. so now many of us wanna know: what is it called and where can we get some more?

                                    other favorites were the torta de papas, the spicy roti, and dennison's musician's pie.

                                    i brought dumplings and pancakes from TASTY DUMPLING on mulberry street.

                                    finally, i would have liked to have met hling and iron frank, were you two there and i missed you? oh well, i hope to see you all again at the august bbq gig. watch out, i'm comin with my posse to round up some texas-style 'cue.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: mrnyc

                                      p.s. i also brought a packet of after meal licorice mints from the italian grocery at the chelsea market. the brand name is LUNIK and it is made by menozzi de rosa. they have several other styles you can try for $1.75ea. or by the case. unfortunately, LUNIK comes in a tiny and groovy little tin and i noticed someone boosted it before too many people could try them.

                                      1. re: mrnyc

                                        No, I think it just got buried because I had one from the tin around 4pm. Huge intense flavor from one little pellet.

                                    2. I brought the Greek and Cyprian cheeses from Titan.

                                      My favorite bites included the tortilla de papas, the yogurt with dill (and I don't usually like dill!), the pakoras, the Spanish wine cheese, and the Korean "tapas" (especially that fish cake!) -- the latter so much that I browbeat wrayb into leading us to the grocery where he got them so that we could take some home (thanks again, wrayb!).

                                      I was one of a carful of hounds who drove down from Boston to be at this event. I had a great time meeting all the NY hounds and communing over our mutual favorite obsession (and hanging out with my fellow Boston hounds on the looooong drives). Thanks to Nina and Peter for introducing us to that dazzling magician, Ali, to Eric and Jim for plucking us out of the jaws of Queens, and especially to Abby for hospitality WAY above and beyond the call.