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Rachel Perlow

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Everything posted by Rachel Perlow

  1. Jason, have you ever actually sampled the stuff? (maybe he's been there without me) I know a few times, we've stopped at that rest stop (hint: they are usually a few days behind in raising gas prices) specifically to try Dickey's BBQ, they have been closed every time. So, are they permanently closed, or do they just have shorter hours than the Burger King? Anyway, if you are really craving BBQ, Cubby's in Hackensack isn't that far from there. I would have sent you to Fink's or Stickey's but :sniff: you know the story.
  2. It's ketchup dispenser that has a nozzle like a water cooler, and it is CO2 powered and disponses just the right amount into the little paper cups. This is as opposed to the pump which could spatter or pump too much ketchup. We stopped by today for a Pheonix and a Melt with onions and swiss cheese. Fries as good as ever.
  3. Remember, Mike's Deli is also vending at Yankee Stadium itself now, a great alternative to a hot dog at the game.
  4. There were two of these sugar cane threads, I've merged them.
  5. I agree, the time for this thread has come and gone. Congratulations on getting reopened so quickly, Eric et al.
  6. Hmm, I don't recall using a recipe. I probably browned floured pork cubes. Deglazed the pan with wine, broth, braised the pork for a while, then added clams & shrimp, some olives. Lid on for 5-10 minutes, until clams & shrimp (? definitely clams, not sure about the shrimp) are done. Serve with rice. Sorry, not more of an exact recipe, but the main thing is to have a nice dark brown sauce by well browning the meat for the gravy.
  7. Perhaps PF Chang's could be discussed on its own thread, rather than within one about Legal Seafood?
  8. I found myself staring at the gigantic cross sections of green beans, then remembered, that's a quail egg on top. I highly recommend the Tomato Bisque, it was fabulous.
  9. Time to go back to Casa Vasca, the wait will probably still be long, but it shouldn't be smokey now.
  10. Hmm, I should add Casa Vasca to the list of places to check out again, now that the smoking ban is in effect.
  11. Rachel Perlow

    Dinner for 40

    Congratulations, Tammy! I'm sure you'll do a great job, and let us know all about the menu and post pics!
  12. Rachel Perlow


    Wow, some fabulous ideas here. Thanks everyone! Keep them coming, and post some pictures of your carrot dishes!
  13. Pineapples are $1.99 each at Han Ah Reum (H-Mart), this weekend only. That's the best price I've seen them at for a long time.
  14. Today is the 16th, has anyone gone to a formerly smokey place yet? It's Passover, so I can't go to Kinchley's Tavern for a few days yet.
  15. Fornos is worse than nothing special. I'll admit to only being there as an adult once (I'm pretty sure I'd been with my family as a kid), and it was just horrible. With no equivocations. Even the touristy Spanish Tavern is a better bet than Fornos. I'm sorry you didn't like Casa Vasca. I've never had a problem with their food, but the long waits and smokiness of the bar/waiting area makes us only go there on weeknights -- with backups in mind in case it is crowded. Spanish Sangria is good, although we have found many dishes to be way over salted, we should probably go back at some point and give it another chance. We recently tried Solar Do Minho in Belleville and it was fabulous. We had the rodizio, but many other dishes were coming out of the kitchen (as opposed to a dedicated rodizio place) and they all looked good. Get there early, the restaurant gets packed quickly.
  16. Rachel Perlow


    I usually eat carrots raw. Occasionally, however, I like them cooked. Frequently, that's in a stew or soup. But if they are going to be the star of a side dish, how do you like to cook them? Most of the time I make glazed carrots, a sweet dish with brown sugar, orange juice, sometimes some ginger. Jason doesn't like them sweet, he says the carrots are already sweet and last time I made them, he requested them made with garlic and olive oil. So, I cooked them just like I would any other veg I would saute with garlic and oo. And they were great! I julienned them as opposed to cutting into coins for this preparation. For a stir fry, I will make uneven bias cuts by rotating the carrots in between angled cuts. I searched and there's no other topic dedicated to cooking this jewel of a vegetable, except for carrot cake. There's plenty of carrot cake threads! Tell us how you like them...
  17. source for this informationSorbet, if it has an OU on the label, is normally kosher .. depends on the religious observances of your hosts when it comes to Passover ... ← Just keep in mind that many commercial sorbets contain corn syrup. Did you end up serving a lime sorbet? Was it homemade?
  18. For those not experiencing NJ at the moment... yesterday was a beautiful day, in the mid to high 70's and sunny. Today is cold and rainy.
  19. Rachel Perlow

    Matzo Brei

    So the seders are over, anyone make matzo brei yet? I did this morning, savory with mushrooms and onions. Mmm.
  20. I am officially asking you all to please refrain from posting off topic, attacking posts of other members, or discussing other posts on other website (go to the other website to post about posts there). Please stick to discussing the food and restaurant in a civilized manner. I haven't deleted posts from this thread yet, but I may do so and/or lock this discussion if the bickering and baiting continues. Thank you.
  21. Our last day in New Orleans started with the packing. As you can imagine, Jason's shirts (OK, mine too) can get lots of spots on them. I highly recommend packing some Shout® Gel with the scrubby top, and rubbing it on all stains as you pack. In fact, I put the dirty clothes in plastic bags, separated for my laundry back home. It keeps the suitcase cleaner and makes the job go quicker. SC Johnson should pay me, I recommend it to so many people... It works way better than regular Shout spray or Spray N Wash. Once again, we had a car for the day (yay!), so we took advantage of some of the recommendations we had heard from more than one person. Actually, the first of that was on Thursday. After touring the 9th ward, etc., we stopped at McHardy's Chicken & Fixins, to sample the fried chicken recommended to us by a visiting relocated local we met at Cafe Du Monde earlier in the week. That was some GOOD fried chicken. Although the article says the line is always long, I didn't have to wait. A half chicken is five pieces (we got an extra drumstick) from a small bird. It was crispy and peppery, and the breast meat was very moist. I highly recommend you try it, even though it is deep fried and not pan fried. Oh, and the "fixins" consist of french fries, bread, and hot pickled peppers; no cole slaw or potato salad, we didn't try anything but the chicken. It is also very affordable, our chicken and one fountain soda totaled $4.50. On Friday, we hit Two Sisters Kitchen based on the recommendations of both the hotel desk clerk and Mayor Ray Nagin. It opens for lunch at 11 AM, we arrived by 11:30, and it was already 3/4 full. By the time we left, most of the tables were occupied and there was a line for take-out. The menu changes daily and I wanted some Shrimp and Okra, unfortunately it wasn't ready yet. So, we got a fried chicken dinner plate and a side of smothered pork chop. The chicken was pretty good, a little over cooked (the breast wasn't too juicy), I thought the smothered pork chop was good, but most items seem underseasoned (and that's coming from me, the salt-phobe). The first bite of the corn bread was positive, the crunchy grit of good corn meal, a nice crust, etc., but an interior bite had an overwhelming taste of baking soda. Oh, and the iced tea was sickeningly sweet and the (asked for) extra lemon never arrived. While the mac & cheese wasn't cheesey enough, it was a good with the pork's gravy. Actually, the best thing on the plate was the potato salad - semi-mashed, yellow with mustard. I want to call and hit them up for a recipe. I hate to be down on an apparent soul food institution, and maybe if I had been able to sample that Shrimp and Okra (recommended in many of the online reviews of the place), it would be a slightly different story. I really missed Willie Mays, sniff. So, it wasn't too hard to not eat everything on our plates at Two Sisters, which was good, because I was determined to go to Crabby Jacks before we left. Once again, the best fried oysters of our entire trip. As I mentioned in some of my posts above, almost all the fried oysters we'd been having had been hard fried, some with a flour rather than cornmeal crust, too chewy, etc. An oyster platter ($15) at Crabby Jacks is overflowing with oysters. And they were perfect. Some large, most not too big, lightly crispy exterior, creamy interior. I'm cheating here, but I don't have Jason's current picture yet, and we even ordered with a side of jambalaya this time too, so here's the shot from 2005: We also got a shrimp po-boy, because Jason insisted, not that it wasn't great. And, there was Shrimp and Okra on the menu. After missing out on it at Two Sisters, how could I resist? It tasted very similar to the sweet tomato sauce accompanying the jambalaya at Jacques-Imo's. I'm wondering if he adds a lot of sugar to his sauce or he's found some really sweet canned tomatoes? Really, I could eat at Crabby Jacks every day and order something different each time. But get there early! We arrived around 12:15, the place was mostly full, Jason scoped out table space while I waited on line to order. I only had to wait for about 5 people. By the time we got our food, the line was out the door. Get there early or at on off hour. Oh, and no, I couldn't finish all those oysters (if anything our plate was more generously filled than last year's pic shows) and only had a few bites of the jambalaya, but the security guard at the business across Knox Rd was more than happy to have our leftovers for his lunch! We did a little shopping at Dorignac's, a gourmet supermarket on Veterans Memorial Highway in Metairie (Jason was looking for Community Coffee in pod form); swung back to the French Quarter for a couple muffalettas to bring home (should have kept one on top of the bag for dinner on the plane, JetBlue only offers snacks and our flight left at 6 PM, we ended up hitting a diner around 11:30); and picked up some pralines at Southern Candymakers and headed out to the airport. We had a great vacation in New Orleans. Sure, they still have a lot of problems to work out, but the hospitality industry is well on its way. Why don't you go down and see for yourself?
  22. Jason had wanted to go to Drago's all week, and we were finally in Metairie with a car. We had also wanted to get some boiled seafood, and we were right near Deanie's. So, so had appetizers of some boiled crawfish and shrimp, and an appetizer portion of BBQ Shrimp at Deanie's, then moved on to the charbroiled oysters at Drago's. We made it back to New Orleans in time to get dessert at Sophie's on Magazine. Once again, I highly recommend ordering a scoop of Strawberry and a scoop of Peanut Butter gelato. Sophie's is under new management since our last visit, but it is still a cute 1950's style ice cream parlor (serving Italian style gelato). We had a wonderful conversation with the new owner, a former actress, the podcast will be on Jason's blog. Wait! Did I tell you about the pickup truck BBQ? While driving through St. Bernard Parish, I noticed a pickup truck with a drum BBQ set up on the flat bed, a handwritten sign on the street pointed the way as well. I had Jason make a U-turn and we checked it out. The guy didn't want to take any money for the rib plate we ordered, but Jason gave him $10 anyway, to feed others. It wasn't the best BBQ ever, but that closed Po-Boy shop's parking lot seems to have become a gathering place, we weren't the only ones there checking out the 'cue. OK, so that's Thursday. I'm going to start on Friday now.
  23. So, where was I? Oh, yeah, the disaster tour. After driving around the disaster area to the east-north-east of the French Quarter, there's a clear difference in the recovery efforts between the 9th Ward area west of the canal (not Canal St) and after you drive over the drawbridge to Chaumette to the east of the canal. (Here's the best map I could find online (if you have a link to a better one, please send it to me), the canal with the drawbridges is the one adjacent to the letter V in the word River on the map.) Like I said above, in St. Bernard Parish, there's still many, many piles of debris everywhere, and houses where either no one has returned, or at least no work has begun (still piles of furniture visible through windows and garage doors). It feels more desolate in this area, although there are signs of life (on the main roads, and the fact that many FEMA trailers are parked in front of wrecked houses). To the west of the canal, however, in the Treme for example, we saw far fewer piles of debris and untouched houses. Many more have been ripped to the studs on the interior and there are more people living in the neighborhoods. Not to say that it's in any way in good shape, there's just a clear difference in the amount of progress being made. We then proceded to the Lakeview area of Metairie, where Jason showed me what he had seen on Sunday. Here, the homes seemed completely deserted. Very few FEMA trailers to show that someone had returned to work on the homes. Actually, there were a lot of "For Sale" signs. We took a lot of pictures, Jason has them on his blog, but after you go through a few blocks, they just get really repetitive and depressing. Some houses have "please tear down" painted on them, others have "no bulldozing" but no one's living at either place. I just don't know what else to say. On a more positive note, I watched an episode of The Dog Whisperer on my flight home on JetBlue, which showed the story of three dogs separated from their owners because of Katrina. At the end of the episode one of them gets reunited with her family. So, sometimes there's good news.
  24. Thursday morning, we had arranged for a tour of the Simon Hubig factory. We got the Willy Wonka tour of the bakery with the Drew, the current owner. He's the third generation of his family to run the place. He told us all about their PK adventures dealing with insurance company catch-22s and trying to help their displaced workers get their pay, and to come home. They are currently at about half BK staff and have cut back their product line to just the hand held pies (they used to do regular round baked pies and larger ones for institutions). We saw some lemon pies being filled and ate apple pies fresh off the line! A photo tour and interview with Drew will be on Jason's blog. At the end of the visit, he said, "let me get you a couple pies to take with you." He came back with an armful! They earned us some good will points throughout the day... you'll see. We decided to walk to Elizabeth's for lunch. Drew said it was only a few blocks away, but as we arrived where he said, two blocks over and one up, it wasn't there and we asked some people on the street. "It's on Gallier and Chartres, about 15 blocks from here." We were at Frankin and Royal. Look it up. We consulted our map, it was actually about 10 blocks from where we were, and we'll already walked several. But onwards we went. We stopped in a small grocery store and bought a drink, noticing their display of Hubig pies was sorely missing Apple (we had about 10 pies, all apple), we traded with her for a Peach and Strawberry! After about another 5 blocks, we were more than halfway there, but the sun was blazing and it was also getting late (we had an appointment to keep back on Canal Street at 2 PM). I spied a young woman leaving her house, heading to a car. I straight out asked her if she would mind giving us a ride the rest of the way. She graciously did, and we rewarded her with a couple of Hubig pies (for her and her cousin, whom she was on her way to pick up) as thanks. We had a lovely lunch at Elizabeth's, which included a great seafood vegetable soup (no matter how hot it is outside, when you step into an air conditioned restaurant, the desire for soup returns ). I had a salad topped with shrimp salad, Jason had a burger and fries, some of the best fries of the trip. Lot's of iced tea, of course. Elizabeth's is known for their desserts, and they sure looked good, but we had to get to Palace Cafe for our appointment with Dickie Brennen, and knew we wanted to get some Bananas Foster and White Chocolate Bread Pudding while there. We called a cab for the ride back. Pastor Jesse the cabbie got an extra tip, guess what... A Hubig Pie! We arrived at Palace Cafe and headed upstairs with Mr. Brennen and his Marketing VP, LeAnn. He asked if we had had lunch, which of course we had, but did say we'd love to sample some dessert. Before we got started, we told him about our tour of the Hubig factory and he got a little dreamy with rememberances. While LeAnn, Jason and I shared some desserts, the above, plus a delectible Strawberry Shortcake (even though I was the one who really wanted the bread pudding (hadn't had any all trip) that Strawberry Shortcake was my favorite of the three), Dickie Brennen ate that Hubig Pie! So, by this time, we knew that Brooks wasn't going to meet us, again. (He was supposed to take us on a "disaster tour" on Tuesday, but work interfered, as it did on Wednesday and then Thursday. Look, I don't want you to lose your job either, but don't make plans you can't keep, buddy! ) So, after consulting with the concierge at the Marriott, learning that all the commercial disaster tours only visited Lakeview (which Jason had already seen), we decided to rent a car. Picked it up at Avis' Canal St location, and we're going to return it at the airport location later today. We payed to park overnight at a local garage, even though you can apparently park on the street without getting towed or ticketed these days. I'd rather not risk it. Now that we had a car, we headed out to the hardest hit areas, including Chaumette and St. Bernard's Parish. There's a ton of pictures on Jason's blog. It was very disheartening to see the piles of debris that are still on the street. Some houses show evidence of work being done to them, that being that they had the debris cleared and you could see though the windows the place had been gutted to the studs. Other still had garage doors askew from the water knocking them out of their tracks and you could see a shambles of furniture in the interior. I tried to imagine all of our belongings just piled on the street as garbage. Picture it in you mind, your antique bedroom furniture, just sticks in a heap under your broken Ikea bookshelves and piles of mouldy carpet. That's when it really hit home to me, really trying to imagine it happening to me. I think this is a good place to stop for now. I have to pack us up for our return home. More Thursday later.
  25. No guilt, it's perfectly understandable. Blame Brooks. Seriously, it'll have to wait for next time.Comparison of taxi usage vs renting a car: Background, the place we stayed at last time (May/June 200) had excellent valet in/out parking for only $8/day, so we took full advantage of it. That place is still closed and not to be open until the fall of 2006 according to their website. We only had a couple of options when it came to timeshare exchanges this year, neither of which offered parking. Figuring out the costs, we probably spent less on taxis than we would have renting a car for the week, plus gas and parking. However, there are definitely some convenience benefits to having access to your own car (like being able to drive to Longbranch). You have to have plenty of cash on hand for taxis. You have to plan to call ahead, sometimes the cab is there in jiffy, sometimes it takes 20 or more minutes. You hear about an interesting store or something and you can't just jump in your car in go there. On the other hand, we made use of the free streetcar and bus service and did a lot more walking -- which definitely has its benefits after a big meal.
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