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Everything posted by fredbram

  1. Is Ocean City on Alameda? I don't think that I have eaten there, although I seem to recall people recommending it as Dim Sum place. Denver has some great asian food, vietnamese, thai, pho, indian. I just haven't found good chinese.
  2. I have been trying to upgrade the wines that I drink at home on a regular basis. Lately, I have been buying some wines from a group called Wine Spectrum--because my knowledge is limited and I seem to not have a large capacity for fitting new wine knowledge into the memory part of my brain. So... the guy that I work with there emails me every once and a while with info about a wine or wines that he thinks I would like, and that fit in my price range ($20-30 a bottle), and I buy 3 or 6 or so bottles and I've liked most of his rec's. Right now he has a couple of 2002 red burgundies that he recommends, they would not be in until the late spring. These are them: 2002 Burgundy, Michele Magnien, Corvee de l"Eglise Passetoutgrains $19btl 2002 Burgundy, Michele Magnien, Borgougne Rouge, Village Wine $35btl 2002 Burgundy, Jean Raphet, Chambole Musigny "Les Bussieres" Cuvee Unique $50btl I guess my questions are several. Is this a good way to buy wine in general, both in terms of getting good advice on wines (because I need it) and in terms of price (I pay shipping on top as well)? There are some local wine stores, both boutique and large mart types, but I often wonder whether I am getting good selection in these, and I tend to wander around and get confused, so I guess I like having someone say I have tasted this, its great, buy some. I also am never quite sure how to locate a specific wine--for instance, I might read tasting notes on a wine here in egullet, but not have much luck locating it in Denver. Is 2002 a good year in Burgundy (my guy says it is going to be very good)? Any one familiar with these wines?
  3. There are a couple of really smart things that he has done at Little Ollie's that I think account for it's popularity. In chinese restaurants many americans are always looking for dishes that have lots of veggies in them. In more traditional chinese restaurants, at least in Denver, this is sometimes hard to find, and ends up being water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and cabbage. Little Ollies uses lots of fresh snow peas, asparagus, green beans etc., and they use them in a lot of their dishes. I think people really appreciate that, even if the food is unexciting in other ways. They also have a fairly well trained staff of servers who speak english well, and therefore the customers don't have to deal with language barriers or cultural barriers as much. That being said, I agree that it is not a very good restaurant, but this is why I think it is popular. Are there any good chinese restaurants in Denver?, I am so disappointed in the chinese food options.
  4. Childhood food memories....although I am a very adventurous eater now, not so when I was a kid. My sisters and I each had our list of gag foods (to my parents complete joy I am sure), asparagus and stuffed grape leaves were on all our lists. We lived in Pittsburgh which had (still has?) a large number of middle eastern restaurants, I loved Hummus (not completely unadventurous), but to this day I am still not fond of stuffed grape leaves. I hated tomatoes in all forms except spaghetti sauce when I was 10 or so, as I got into my teens I started to appreciate fresh tomatoes, but only the end slices, so as to avoid the seeds and juice. Now I love tomatoes in all forms, the juicier the better. I still remember the time when I was about 14 when I first had fresh green beans (from the farmers market, which our neighbor had just introduced us to) that were not horribly overcooked, and were tossed with butter, lemon juice and tarragon after a quick steaming. This was a revelation to me--until then I was sure that I hated green beans. My 2 younger sisters and I also used to play a game where we competed in trying to make up the grossest blend from what was available in our pantry. This was an old fashioned pantry in what was once a farm house, so we could all three of us pile into the pantry, close the door behind us and then the laboratory work would begin. We would blend up, for instance, worcestorshire, kitchen bouquet, capers, bitters, with assorted dried herbsa nd spices and do taste tests to establish the level of grossness that we had acheived. On a more culinary note, in my teens, when my father had taken over most of the cooking (my mother had gone back to school and admitted that she never enjoyed cooking much anyway) I became the salad dressing specialist. Probably drawing on my earlier pantry experience, I blended olive oil (it was most certainly not virgin at that point in time or on our budget) red wine vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper (was it fresh ground--I can't remember, but I think so) and usually a little sugar, which was my special, secret ingredient.
  5. fredbram

    Fair Trade

    Thanks for the link Java-Joe. I think what I get from that discussion is that I want to, as much as possible, buy from a roaster that takes the time and effort to know something about the growers that he does business with. I would like to buy a delicious coffee bean for my espresso, but ideally I would like it to be grown by someone who treats the planet well and receives a fair amount of money for doing so. Do I care if it is "fair trade"? No, I just care that the spirit of fairness to the land and the workers is part of the process. A little more energy on my part in asking questions may be necessary, but I'm up for that. Does this small effort change the world? No, but I do believe that it is my role to do every small part that I can to help solve the problems inherent in our unbalanced world today. In just the way that Chipotles and Mcdonalds are starting to demand better raised pork, beef and chickens, perhaps, at some point in the future, there will slowly be some more powerful players (Starbucks--are you listening?) that decide to do the right thing.
  6. Well-made cappucinos and lattes (which usually means made at home or in Europe) is the biggest--I just can't enjoy Starbucks etc. any more. Fresh water chestnuts--they actually have wonderful sweet flavor, not just crisp texture. Good Satsuma mandarins in season, I have trouble eating any other tangerines. Maple syrup, I prefer Grade B with it's dark flavor, when younger I was perfectly happy with Log Cabin--no more.
  7. You need to fight this trend--don't just sit still and accept creeping middle age and over-practicality. Force yourself to go to the best butcher in the neighborhood and buy Wagyu (sp?) beef for dinner. Try the ridiculously high priced jar of Pistachio Cream in Saveur's Best 100 issue that just came out. Have you tried the American Sturgeon Caviar yet? Get on it. This is no time for complacency and resignation.
  8. I just discovered this thread. I have another 312 or so to add to the total.
  9. I don't have any further menu suggestions, but I would love to hear from you after your meal to see what you thought.
  10. fredbram

    Fair Trade

    I am not nearly as familiar with this issue as the previous two posters, but, as a coffee drinker with a somewhat socialist bent, I am very interested. My first thought is, is there room for some other designation alongside the Fair Trade option? Some way that boutique growers and buyers that are getting a fair price to the grower can show that, without the downside of Fair Trade membership. Now, I don't know what the downside is, if any, but I do know that I run across coffees being sold that profess to be treating the growers fairly. Perhaps there could be some organization that certifies a certain level of fairness without the requirements of Fair Trade.
  11. I think I might try to make it a pan-roasted kind of thing--saute the chicken to brown, add the tomato, cook for a minute, toss in the oven to finish, and then see if the tomato mixture needs finishing with either wine or a little butter or lemon juice or??? And, IMHO, leave the skin on the poor bird.
  12. I think the owners are nice people also, but I often feel somewhat ignored by staff, and there always seems to be 1 of the 3 items that I went in for that they don't carry, or doesn't look good that day or something. As far as cheeses, the Truffle on 6th Ave. has a good selection as well. The owners can come off as arrogant, but they are true cheese fanatics and it shows in the cheese. I agree completely on Oliver's--the best around. The bakery across the street is now (as of about 2 weeks ago) called Two Boys Bakery. Before that Nonna's, before that Bluepoint. I have the same feeling about Clair de Lune--I actually liked the food Sean served at Aubergine better, not to mention it was less expensive and more accessible (more seats, more casual, a little more selection). It is called Denver Bread Company and they make a great levain loaf. United Restaurant Source on Washington St. at about 52nd would be one of them, I'm guessing.
  13. Just to add a bit of ethnic controversy, has anyone ever had decent toast in England? Think croutons with cold butter.
  14. fredbram

    Cuban coffee

    One of the few good coffees available in Denver coffee bars is the cuban cafe con leche at Sweet Rockin' Coffee. I am not sure what coffee they use, but they use an espresso machine and, if you want, put a little sugar on top of the coffee before it goes into the machine. The sugar gets a bit caramelized by the heat of the espresso machine and gives it a uniqueness that I like.
  15. I go to the grocery on the south side of the Far East Center (Federal & Alameda) quite a bit, especially for mangos in season, other produce like asian greens, fresh water chestnuts, papayas etc. They have crab tanks also for live crab, as well as dry goods. There is a middle eastern grocery (I don't seem to know the names of any of the places that I go to??) on the east side of Colorado about 2 blocks south of Evans, that has good prices on things like bulgar, lentils, spices etc. There are several carnecerias and seasonal Mexican corner produce stands that have a good supply of dried chiles, tortillas, crema, fresh limes, mangos, papayas etc., especially in the north and west sides of town. Parisi's, about to reopen at 44th and Tennyson, is good for Italian ingredients--pastas, cheese, rices, salamis, prosciutto. Aurora does have good Indian grocers, it's helpful for when I want to browse, which doesn't always work so well on line, depending on the site. I find Marzyks, and most of Denver actually, to be lacking as far as gourmet items goes. There aren't many options, and often no one seems to have what I'm looking for. This is with the caveat that I have trouble forcing myself to go to the southern suburbs, so I don't know if Tony's or Cooks Fine Foods (something like that) in the tech center has a better variety of high end ingredients.
  16. I read Westword's reviews--mostly I can't stand the reviewer, whose name escapes me right now. It's not just that he doesn't talk about the restaurants enough, it's his whole style of acting the part of the hip kitchen insider who knows all about what goes on behind those closed doors and is kind enough to regale us with his insight. I guess that would not be so bad if he could back it up, but I don't think that he does. He also creates a theme or storyline for each review that overshadows the actual reviewing of the restaurant. I like Kyle Wagner's reviews, although I liked them more when she was with Westword than now that she is with the Denver Post.
  17. The magazine is called 5280 (as in 5280 feet, one mile high). Mckayinutah, you live in utah I imagine, so we'll forgive you for not getting the cute title of the Mag. Bryan is trying to open a second place here, but has run into a snag with liquor licensing--it is billed as upscale comfort food or something along those lines.
  18. So, a ristretto is a shot that is restricted. It seems like different people have different ways of causing the restriction. Ideally, should the grind be finer or the tamping firmer or both or something else? And, while we're at it, what is the desired result? Should it be sweeter, less bitter, more concentrated?
  19. What about Cafe Spice Namaste--is it still there a few blocks away?
  20. I sent in a request for anytime in September last week; today heard back, unable to fill your request, call a month ahead and we might be able to help you.
  21. As both a tea drinker and an espresso drinker I have to concur that it is just too much trouble at 99% of restaurants in the US to get a decent cup of tea. The water isn't hot enough, there isn't enough of it, it isn't in a closed container and, to be honest, the milk should be hot also. And yes, sometimes it is possible to special order all of this, but, it just is not enough return for the hassle. I end up in a bad mood and/or feeling like they think I'm some kind of freak, and, half the time, don't end up getting a good enough cup of tea to make it worth the trouble anyway. In many ways the same is true of getting a good espresso, but that is another story.
  22. I think the Stop do Bairro rec came from elsewhere, but trekking out there and back a few times allowed us the full experience of the tram drivers having to deal with cars parked in their paths. It's quite a scene as everyone in the neighborhood and on the tram gather around to offer their opinion as to whether the tram can make it by the car's bumper or not. The fact that they were never there began to intrigue me more and more.....as in feeling like it would be THE meal that I didn't want to miss and it became a personal challenge. And they were in the neighborhood, so it was not that hard to keep passing by and peering at the door hopefully. Victor--If I humbly apologize and promise to renew my efforts to see the wonders of bacalhau will you accept that I am not an unadventurous sole and veal eating ugly american? Does it help at all that I love kidneys, blood sausage, pigeon, snails, bottarga and all manners of old smelly cheeses?
  23. Don't rub it in Craig, just one more reason that we should be living in Europe instead of USA. In Denver, there are about two baristas in the entire city that can make a good espresso/latte. It would be wonderful if this forum could contribute to increasing the quality of espresso brewed in the espresso bars of the US. Meanwhile, I will continue to brew at home--Owen I found your website about 8 months ago, and you have helped me improve my home lattes immensely--thank you! Unfortunately, you've also made it much more difficult for me to settle for what is commonly available on the street in Denver. Oh well. Welcome to egullet.
  24. fredbram


    I would agree that the best way to cook a squab is sauteing the breasts and cooking the legs separately. One approach that is nice is to roast the legs (or confit them if you have the time) and serve them on top of a salad of frisee or arugula or whatever you like (croutons, garlic, put the little squab liver on there too, if you get one), and then serve the MR sauteed breasts as a separate course with whatever pan sauce strikes your fancy.
  25. The oatmeal pancake recipe from the quick irish oats box (I can't remember the brand name, I will have to look it up). It's tasty, lowfat and therefore, lowguilt. That is, until the butter and maple syrup hit the plate. edited to add: It is McCann's brand.
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