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Everything posted by fredbram

  1. Your link doesn't work for me, Tanabutler--this one seems to: Outstanding .The Colorado dinner is in Paonia, about a 4-5 hour drive from Denver/Boulder. It sounds intriguing, though.
  2. The leaves that you refer to rolling the "10 strong flavors" in sound like chiso leaves--the ones that are used in scallop and other sushi rolls. They are also called green perilla, and I love their flavor (although my wife does not love it nearly as much). We had them in the Mi Quang Noodle bowl that we ate at Da Lat Saturday night, which is the only place I've run into them outside of a sushi bar.
  3. In part, sadly, I think many independent bakeries reacted to the threat of cheaper, lower quality competition by....becoming cheaper and lower quality. Which, of course back fires usually because they can't be as cheap as Sam's Club and survive. There are newer artisan bakeries replacing them in places with enough population density to support them, but, as is mentioned on another thread in the pastry forum right now, they often do not specialize in pastries and desserts, but mostly in breads. Which is fine for some, but misses the spot for others.
  4. Yes, we have a reservation. for 14 at 7:30, and I told them that I would call to amend the number later in the week if need be. Should we all confirm ourselves to double check the count? we are at 15 by your count, plus mtdew, I think. On seating configuration, I haven't made much progress. Steve, the manager, says Saturday nights are busy--he is afraid that a large square (like 4 or 6 4-tops all pushed together with 3 or 4 people on each of the 4 sides) will take up too much room and too many tables. The traditional long rectangle, like we had at clay Oven is an option, as is 2 tables, 7 or 8 people at each. I convinced him to say he would keep an open mind towards a square table, but I don't think he meant it.
  5. Bonnie Brae and Soda Rocks are my local ice creameries--both within walking distance of my house on a hot summer night (and on a cold winter evening, for that matter). Soda Rocks does have stools and a counter you can belly up to. It isn't exactly the soda fountain in the front (or back) of the drugstore, but it's the closest that I know of in Denver. Our policy is that because Bonnie Brae is further away than Soda Rocks, we go to BB, because the walk helps with the guilt, if not the calories, of the ice cream cone. BB is a great scene in the summer--always a line out the door, almost everyone walks to it, tons of dogs and kids running around outside. All that being said, IMHO the ice cream is just OK, they concentrate more on lots of flavor combos rather than a really great base product. Which doesn't keep me away. There is a Gelateria in Cherry Creek (Gelato D'Italia?) on Detroit between 2nd and 3rd that has some pretty yummy gelato. Pistachio-yeah!
  6. Welcome to egullet, bhavenst, nice to hear from you. Are you a Boulder/Longmont resident?
  7. We have a somewhat similar situation here in Denver this year much rainier and a little cooler than usual. It was great for lettuces and for some reason my tomatoes are enjoying it--tons of blossoms and quite a bit of fruit setting already. But the peppers are still about the same size they were when we planted them a month ago. They are putting out blossoms, but on these pitifully small plants--it's not a good thing. Totally unrelated to vegetables, I am so excited about these opium poppies (papaver somniferum) that I grew from seed this year. I've never grown them before and wasn't at all sure that they would take the heat and bloom in Denver, but the first of many buds popped open today into this gorgeous, delicate white poppy, about 2 feet high. It's so cool and exotic to me. I also planted some red ones (chedglow) that aren't budding yet, but I have high hopes. Edited to add some latin names so that I seemed a mo' betta gardener than I did before.
  8. Amy, are you back in town? I didn't mean to usurp your authority as official head counter for this gig. Jump in and start bugging people--it's all yours. I am hoping to go out to Dalat this week some time to look at and talk to them about table arrangement. Are we thinking about planning a menu ahead, or should I check to see if they would prefer that we do that? Any thoughts from any one on this?
  9. I used to love the food at Las Palmas II, but I think I was taking my life in my hands due to lack of good sanitary practices--I believe they were closed down for good a couple of years ago by the health dept.
  10. Las Delicias is the only one of that list that I have ever been to. There are numerous places just like the few that you mentioned scattered throughout Denver, especially the west side, and I just drove in on Colfax from Peoria the other day and passed about a dozen similar spots on east colfax that I've never been to. I do stop into one of these low-profile taquerias occasionally, and they usually have pretty good food, sometimes much better than that. There is one on the southwest corner of Evans and Broadway that we frequent, I can't remember the name, but their food is very good, tacos and soup/stews, they have a goat stew on weekends that is really good. Las Delicias has a special place in my heart, because years ago, maybe 1982, '83, '84 it was the place that I first had relatively authentic mexican food as opposed to tex-mex topped with tons of cheese mexican food. At that time it was a tiny hole in the wall with about 6 tables and we ordered tacos al carbon-the first soft tacos I had eaten, and carnitas estilo michuocan, which was wonderful tender stewed pork with pico de gallo (also new to me at the time) delicious runny refritos (probably half lard) and green chile. They are both still on the menu, but over the years we've grown apart, alas. I don't think their food is quite as good as it used to be, and there are many competitors now with even better food. The other place I remember fondly from that ewra is Mama Elenas, which was on east colfax at about Cherry or so. Anyone else here been around Denver long enough to remember Mamas?
  11. We went back and it wasn't quite as good as last time, although the joint was jumping on a Wednesday night. Had the Arepas, I agree with Robin--great flavor combination, but the corn thingies were a little tough, I think they deep fry them which might not be the best approach. Also had a combo of 2 ceviches, I liked the Bangkok one better, Mahi with coconut milk, mint and lime. The Anticuchos were my least favorite--fairly generic skewers of beef, chicken and shrimp with an OK, but no more, peanut sauce.
  12. fredbram

    Green Tomato Season

    I would love a good recipe for nice, crisp pickled green tomatoes. Although, for me, green tomato season doesn't start until the first frost this fall--they all are allowed to ripen and eaten red until then.
  13. Of course we would welcome Mongo, the formerly evil Mrs. Jones and their colleagues. The cookie accolade was nice--except that they gave our address, which means the occasional poor soul turns up at the door of our wholesale bakery looking for cookies--which we don't usually have available and aren't set up to sell.
  14. Sooo... it is maybe time to get a head count going for Dalat on the 24th of July. We will be 2 people. Stand up and be counted please.
  15. In Lecce we ate at Alleduecorti and enjoyed it a great deal. Very much a family run operation with local cuisine. We visited in early 2002, and after having lunch there one day, we went back for dinner the next night. I am afraid that I didn't keep good notes, so I can't give you specifics, but it was the highlight of our meals in Puglia.
  16. When we are in Italy we often drink a cocktail made with Aperol--which is a somewhat Campari-like beverage with a lovely canteloupe orange color. Mix one part Aperol, one part sparkling water and one part white wine, pour over ice, wedge of lemon or lime squeezed in. Our friend that introduced it to us called it a Bicicletta, although I don't know if that is an accepted name for it. Wonderfully refreshing summer cocktail.
  17. One thing that I remember wanting to say during your blog--I like your wife's art, at least from the one or two that we saw in the blog. Maybe you can post more at some point? Impressive work getting the photo idea across to the glider. Edited for spelling.
  18. I agree with you and Robin, afoodnut. It has been several years since I've been to Ajuaa, but I didn't find any reason to think about going back. Have fun out in the plains Robin--have a chicken fried steak for me. Which I hate, so have one for yourself.
  19. I would guess that the fact that ice cream is eaten frozen could also increase the amounts of flavor needed--cold temperature deadens the flavors some.
  20. By the way, I will be out of town in a couple of days--back June 21, so I won't be communicating much, if any.
  21. I don't know whether she is the right person for the job or not, but I do think your expectations are somewhat unrealistic. As a business owner your life will be easier if you learn more about hiring, supervising and training. I say this as someone who learned these things the hard way at first also, so hopefully it will come off constructively. Even if you have a good person for the job, you will get better results by trying to take a methodical approach to training, and trying to develop an open, clear line of communication with your employees. Show someone how you want the muffins done, even if you think it should be self explanatory. That way they will have a clear understanding of your expectations. Show them your method at least once, do it with them once and then watch them do it once. At that point, if they are not able to consisitently reproduce your method, you need to try to figure out why, perhaps by directly discussing it with the employee. You may realize that this person isn't cutting it, but at the same time you may realize that you need to make changes--maybe the chocolate isn't labeled clearly, maybe you need to get butter delivered further ahead so that it is not frozen in the center when she makes the buttercream or who knows what. I'm just trying to say, try to use it as alearning experience for yourself so that when you do find the right person you are confident that you are offering a work experience that will keep someone there as long as possible. Training is expensive in many ways, and it is to your advantage to make it a mutually satisfying situation. Without lowering your satandards.
  22. My 2 cents on caramel. First, I love the bitter undertone in caramel--it's that contrast to the sweetness that makes it so appealing, IMHO. I also never use a thermometer for caramel, although I do for most other sugar cooking endeavors. The visual works best for me. And, I don't wait a minute before adding the cream. Your caramel continues to cook in that minute, and you need to take that into account when timing the pull off of the heat. I'm sure that is recommended because of the danger of boiling over, but just use a big enough pan and watch what your doing. That way you can stop the caramel's cooking at the exact moment when it looks and smells right to you.
  23. Hope he lives on a farm. Nope, less than an acre in suburbia. I guess he likes to pretend it's a farm, though. Actually he informed me it's 140 tomato plants. And what does he plan to do with the 1,000's of tomatoes? Do you have a really big freezer? Jeez, we just worked our way up to 16 plants, and I haven't quite used up the puree that I froze last year. You're scaring me.
  24. Actually, they have a liquor license, and Colorado is one of those stupid states where you cannot (legally, anyway) bring your own libations into a restaurant. They have some godawful wine that they've been trying to use up for years also. And I know that I should be probably be drinking beer with their food not wine, but I'm just not a beer drinker, so sue me. Oh, that's right, a couple of you are lawyers so you could sue me. I would be happy to work on table arrangement with them, and see if there is something that we can do other than one long rectangle. Thank you for making the effort to include me--that's really nice. Have you been to Philly already Amy, or are you just gathering rec's?
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