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Everything posted by therese

  1. One of the nice servers (there were three, with two of them being nice and one of them just barely tolerant of the fact that there guests in the restaurant at all) actually comped this dessert. Given that we hadn't actually eaten much of it and did point out (when asked) that it was sort of, um, bleah, this wasn't a surprise but it was still pleasant. In their defense I'll say that they were also suffering from the heat, and the restaurant was busy.
  2. Heh heh. On the one hand I can definitely say that the heat affected our appetites. On the other hand I can assure you that we definitely did our best to combat the effect.
  3. After a week on the road for work for me (D.C. and then San Jose) I was very much looking forward to a weekend of fun and restaurants and shopping in San Francisco with fellow eG member Jen last weekend. Jen's from Vancouver by way of Sacramento, and she'd spent the last week moving house in the desert heat, and she was similarly looking forward to San Francisco: not only would we get to do girl stuff, but we'd get to do it in the positively chilly climate that San Francisco usually enjoys. Or not. It wasn't just warm in SF, it was sweltering, and unlike those parts of the U.S. where sweltering is more common, SF is very poorly equipped to deal with the heat: no AC or even ceiling fan in our boutique hotel (The Commodore), and restaurants and shops were similarly lacking. We made the best of it, opening the room windows as much as possible (which actually involved removing the windows from their frames), setting up a room fan, and drinking lots of water. We arrived Friday afternoon, and spent the afternoon shopping (in stores with AC) before heading to dinner near our hotel at Saha. Jen had booked this on the strength of proximity and reviews, and it was overall very good. We both chose the prix fixe option, which includes a soup or salad, a small plate, and a main. The menu says the portion sizes are scaled back, but they seemed pretty large to us. Or maybe the 90+ F temp in the dining room affected our appetites... I started with an avocado salad (which included tofu, tasty but odd for middle eastern food), followed by stewed baby okra, followed by (I think) a lamb dish that I don't see on the menu at the moment. I'll let Jen describe her meal, as well as the dessert. Oh, and the service.
  4. Dinner last PM at Teske's Germania. I like German food and can't get it easily back home in Atlanta, so this option was fine with me, despite the heat this week in San Jose. We ate outside in the garden, right next to the fountain, where I found the occasional splash distracting but cooling. Dinner is pretty much a set menu: soup (vichyssoise on this hot evening was nice, but was too salty and tastes a lot like the instant Knorr version), salad (very nice, with various sorts of cabbage, etc. dressed with a very light dill dressing), main, and apple strudel for dessert (entirely forgettable). My main was sauerbraten, served with red cabbage and either spatzle or potato dumpling. I chose the latter. It was all fine, though not spectacular. My dining partner chose the special of stuffed pork chop, served with scalloped potatoes and, um, chili. Chili with ground meat and beans. The server had originally described the side as asparagus, so did manage to scrounge some up for him after he'd ordered it and was unwilling to take the chili instead. He said it was fine. My last dinner in San Jose will be this evening, with family.
  5. Serenbe is a long way from the north side of Atlanta. It is lovely, but I'd only consider for the event in question if the guests were staying overnight (it's a B&B as well) as the drive back would be hideous. I've never stayed overnight, but the lodging does look very nice if you want to consider that option. Note also that Atlanta will likely still be very warm on Sept 1, and since Serenbe is south of town likely warmer still, so outside sorts of activities not as appealing as they might otherwise be.
  6. Heh heh. Info stored for future reference. I was supposed to have dined with my brother and his family last PM, but they ended up with some extra family obligations last PM, so that's been switched to Thursday. So last night ended up going out with some people from my meeting here, all of them on fairly tight budgets and widely varying tastes (all meat vs no meat vs delicate tummy). We ended up at a north Indian place in (I think) Rivermark Village called Mezbaan. Better than I'd expected, though they were out of ras malai, so no dessert. And the tandoori chicken tikka was entirely forgettable. Very good mutter paneer and bhangan bharta. Tonight will be somewhere in downtown San Jose with somebody whose taste I trust. I'll report back.
  7. The picky VIP was in the mood for something great. I've been on the road now since Thursday night (in Bethesda the first few days) and am growing tired of less than great food. Since Manresa was closed Monday night and I didn't have time to do any research I just went with the flow, and we ended up at Lion and Compass. Food better than I expected (watermelon gazpacho, salmon with potstickers, very good berries), service painfully slow, decor old school and not necessarily in a good way. Better than most of the meals I've had in the San Jose area over the years.
  8. What I'm looking for here is not food that will be acceptable to a group of people with differing tastes, but to me, the picky VIP they're entertaining. The other guests either are or considerable themselves to be very food-savvy, but the fact that the local guy (who lives near Los Gatos) hadn't heard of Manresa is of concern. And my past experiences dining with him have done nothing to allay that concern.
  9. Okay, possibly desperate situation here. Work dinner this PM in San Jose or area, and though I'd suggested Manresa it looks like they're closed on Monday. So, lest I end up at Maccaroni Grill (which has happened), where else might I suggest to my hosts?
  10. In this instance I actually meant anywhere in the gi-normous metro Atlanta area. But when Atlantans use the term "in-town" as an adjective they're usually referring to an area "inside the perimeter" (the perimeter being I-285), aka ITP. You live (and, I fervently hope, work) OTP. Waaay OTP. And thanks to Gifted Gourmet's link to earlier info re the northern 'burbs. I've blogged twice here at eG and discuss local shopping there as well.
  11. Hey, Mike. Welcome to Tennessee! Oops, meant to say "Welcome to Atlanta." We have friends in Alpharetta and joke that we're halfway to Tennessee when we get there. Since I don't live in Alpharetta I can't give you any local specifics, but will point out that you should make every effort to visit the many and varied ethnic markets in town. Many are located in the northeast quadrant of town, including Buford Highway. Many are mentioned in threads here at eG. Your single "go to" market will likely be Harry's. This is now owned by Whole Foods, but they've reportedly kept some of the original qualities that made Harry's so popular.
  12. Here's a link to the JACN article. Interestingly enough, the study was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. Here's the specific info about caffeine consumption in the study:
  13. They're not. The water is in no way altered by the Crystal Light (or any other solute) being dissolved in it (well, okay, it might change the colligative properties, but that's not going to mean much in this instance). You can consume the two items together, or you can eat a biteful of Crystal Light (or jam or peanut butter or jello or whatever you feel like consuming) and then consume a glass of water later.
  14. What about hair of the dog??? ← I was referring to my consumption of champagne during the party, when I was thirsty and perspiring from dancing, and also had higher "insensible" loss (insensible loss being water lost by evaporation from your skin and lungs). Had champagne been available for breakfast the next AM I might well have partaken.
  15. As I once remarked to my husband the morning after a long night of dancing on New Year's Eve, "Champagne is not an effective means of hydration."
  16. What I've never quite been able to figure out (and I think it's because it doesn't quite add up) is how big agriculture manages to provide food so cheaply. Lots of it's to do with economy of scale and automation, of course, but I also think that we're all somehow subsidizing the production. Grocery store produce consistently strikes me as too cheap.
  17. Freezing's great (but takes a lot of space, as you note), and you might want to consider pickling and jams as relatively easy and low risk (from a food safety point) introductions to preserving food. As Busboy points out, most local produce available at markets is pretty expensive, particularly if it's organic, though you can likely negotiate a deal to buy several bushels at a time from a particular farm and get a better deal. Of course, you'll have to take a couple of days off your job/usual life to process it all. I live in Atlanta, so at least one of our CSAs here actually goes year 'round. Of course, one can get mighty tired of kale, mighty tired.
  18. Yep. Waaay worse than Olestra, though it is an excellent means of teaching portion control.
  19. It counts no matter what you've mixed in: sugar, salt, caffeine, whatever. Count the sugar, etc. separately as part of your calorie/sodium/caffeine intake, but you've still taken in a lot of water. Caffeine is a diuretic, true, but then so is water.
  20. So, we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one, because I've never tasted a store bought vanilla (or any other flavor) ice cream-like product that was worth putting in my mouth a second time. If I can afford the calories I eat the ice cream. If I can't I eat vanilla non-fat yogurt (which I flavor at home, as the commercial stuff, even the non-diet, isn't as good). Though I have to admit to now wanting to make home-made low cal ice cream (or something akin to it) just to say I can do better than the commercial enterprises.
  21. I don't live locallly, and am not presently trying to be any more of a locavore than I can manage easily, but I wanted to ask whether or not you plan on doing this over the winter? Because you either need to get busy preserving food yourself, or find a local source that's willing to do it for you.
  22. 1. and 2. are intersecting sets, and 2. is something I've lamented before on other threads here. I know that many argue that the real cost of our current food system is much higher than the cost of a more localized system, and we won't even attempt to disentangle the various subsidies to folks like ADM that help contribute to corn products in absolutely everything, but I think that for most of us, the ultimate deal-maker or deal-breaker is what we end up paying for directly, and as long as that figure is two to three times as much for good local food as it is for the stuff shipped all the way from California, it's going to be hard--or at least harder--for most people to buy local. Pity we seem disinclined to send the subsidies where they'd do more good, like to the pockets of local consumers and farmers. That said, you seem to have done quite well at living locally this week. Just curious: how much more did it cost you monetarily? (The time cost will go down as you figure out how to work the local sources into your shopping routine.) Congratulations on pulling it off and sharing the results with us this week. I'm impressed! ← You could think about the expense by comparing it to what it would have cost you in time and effort to grow (and preserve, as this blog luckily coincided with summer harvest and eating like this in the winter requires lots of advance prep) this food yourself. My grandparents grew or produced (including dairy and meat) just about everything they ate, at every meal, every day, all year long, and it required full-time, hard work to do it. Never mind a 100 mile radius---more like a 100 acre radius. Weirdly enough, my grandparents weren't poor, or at least they were pretty well off by the time I came along. This way of life was simply all they knew, and they couldn't imagine a better way.
  23. A fun and inspiring blog, Phlawless. And it looks like we might need to add "picture of really cool shoes worn during food prep" to the obligatory foodblog list of fridge and pet shots.
  24. Commercial diet foods use high tech stuff because they have to be shelf stable in addition to low fat or whatever. If you're making things at home you can take advantage of much more conventional gums and/or protein matrices (like gelatin and agar and egg whites) that are widely available to home cooks and give nicer results. Tinker away.
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