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john b

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  1. Anyone been to Todd English's bluezoo? I confess that Disney restaurants give me the willies, but perhaps I'm being unfairly judgmental.

    We ate at bluezoo last year and we're going back again in a few months. It's definitely not a Disney-fied restaurant. The Swan and Dolphin seem to cater to the convention crowd, and not families on vacation. The restaurant has a modern, hip vibe. Cocktail waitresses in very short skirts. I remember the food, too. :biggrin: We did a 5-6 course tasting menu. I have the tasting menu around here somewhere, I'll post a few of the courses if I can find it.

    Here's the menu, in case you haven't seen it:


  2. I wonder how the restaurant would have handled the situation if you, recognizing that you were intentionally being rushed, "fought back"?? Take the wine bottle away from the waitress. Brush off the runner when he comes for your app plates. Send the main courses back when they're served on top of the apps, and take your sweet time eating each course, etc. I'm not one for confrontation in public places, but I'd be very tempted to drag my meal to two plus hours if someone tried to pull bs like this on me.

  3. But for Mike, this season's group of chefs don't have much in the way of personality. They're serious about their food, and that doesn't always make for interesting TV. So although he often comes across as an ass (wonder how much he is egged on by the producers to run his mouth??), Mike is good for the show.

    I'm having hard time picking a winner at this point. In prior seasons, one or two were head and shoulders above the rest. With this group, it's still a toss up between the V brothers, Jennifer and Kevin.

  4. Is the Ravenous Pig kid friendly?  I don't mean "chicken fingers and mac and cheese on the menu", but would it be out of place to go with kids?

    Answering my own question...The RP is fine with kids. We ate there last week, and it was a great meal. The kids had shrimp and grits, linguini with clams and sausage and lobster tacos. My wife and I both had the red snapper. Service was great. Nice beer and wine list. A bit of a hike from the Disney resorts (probably 35 minutes), but worth the drive.

  5. The 2008 version of Sierra Nevada Celebration, my very favorite beer.  I don't know for sure if Sierra Nevada tweaks the recipe from year to year, as Anchor does with "Our Special Ale", but I think SN has dialed back the hops a bit in this year's version of Celebration.  Fine by me, I like the balance of hops and malt, even in this year's bottlings, which , to me, taste a bit sweeter tyhan previous years of the beer.

    Anyone else taste a difference?

    I'm sipping on the '08 right now. It does seem a bit less hoppy. I think I have a few '07's leftover. I'll have to do a side by side tasting.

  6. Sorry, we've been too busy grinding coffee.  :raz:   We got the Capresso Infinity.  So far so good.  Now if I can find some good whole beans close to home...

    If you're near Philly, you might want to give Chestnut Hill Coffee a try. They are serious about good coffee.

    Thanks! Philly is not far at all.

    What's the general consensus on La Colombe? I think I can get their stuff on my side of the river.

  7. We're not serious coffee drinkers, but occasionally we buy whole beans.  We're currently using a small blade grinder.  Will a burr grinder make a difference or should we stick with the blade?  Is it possible to find a decent burr grinder on a budget in the $50 range?

    We're on the edge of our seats (laptops, whatever) -- what did you end up getting, or have you decided?

    Sorry, we've been too busy grinding coffee. :raz: We got the Capresso Infinity. So far so good. Now if I can find some good whole beans close to home...

  8. I don't know of a worthwhile burr grinder in the $50 range, but it may not be important anyway. If you are brewing in a drip coffee maker, you are about as well off using your blade grinder. If you are using a French Press, then a good quality burr grinder makes sense.

    Anyone else know of a good burr grinder at that price point?

    We have a drip and a French press.

  9. We're not serious coffee drinkers, but occasionally we buy whole beans. We're currently using a small blade grinder. Will a burr grinder make a difference or should we stick with the blade? Is it possible to find a decent burr grinder on a budget in the $50 range?

  10. If I use 73 to go to or from work, I always pass Olga's. Yesterday I could not help but notice HUGE signs almost all the way out in the road, screaming, "WE ARE OPEN!" Yes, it's a shame, but even last time I went inside, which was a few years ago, it just wasn't any good. Such a location, and I think that the Marlton Diner must've taken all their customers when they started to go downhill. I wish something good and profitable would happen for Olga's before there's nothing left but the sign.

    The Sage, too. It seems to be packed all the time.

  11. I made a summer beer run this week:

    Victory Whirlwind Wit--always a favorite, it's my "lawnmower beer." There seems to be a lot more "bubble gum" flavor than in previous years. I don't know if it's a new yeast or just my palate.

    Southern Tier Hop Sun--good stuff, just enough hops to remind you that they're there. Southern Tier is my new found fave. I really like their Phin & Matt's Ale.

    Anderson Valley Summer Solstice--a lighter version of their Winter Solstice. It's a bit too sweet for me.

  12. Chink's uses American cheese and only American cheese.

    I don't get that. Why not offer provolone? It seems like some weird line drawn in the sand. My preference is a pizza steak - do they pass on that as well?

    My buddy, who grew up down the street from Chink's, told me this: Chink's makes steaks like this--sliced beef, with onions and/or cheese. Nothing else. Back in the day, if someone came in and asked for a steak with sauce, or peppers, or 'shrooms, etc., Chink would stop cooking, pull the cigar out of his mouth, look at them and tell them if they wanted that sh*t on their steak they could go somewhere else. And he was dead serious. My guess is that the current owner is carrying on the tradition. :biggrin:

  13. No photos, but I had my first Chink's experience on Saturday (what a good weekend--DeLorenzo's on Friday and Chink's on Saturday).  I now have a new favorite cheesesteak.  It pretty much perfect--warm roll, crisp on the outisde and soft on the inside, really good (sliced, not chopped) meat, the perfect meat/cheese ratio (most places use too much cheese for my liking, since you can barely taste the meat).  I don't do onions (it's a texture thing), but they looked and smelled really good on my buddy's steak--a nice mixture of the really brown and crispy, carmelized onions with the lesser cooked white onions. 

    They use syrups to make cherry, vanilla and chocolate sodas (no prefab cherry Coke).  Yum.

    I'm guessing by the looks of the place that things haven't changed much since it opened in 1949, which is a very cool thing.

    Is it true they only use American cheese? That makes me not want to go.

    It was definitely American on my steak. I don't know if they have any options.

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