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Ellen Shapiro

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Ellen Shapiro

  1. I am a major library consumer. We have a decent branch four blocks from our apartment and I go several times a month. They can get just about any book in the world through interlibrary loan and the computer system works well for holds so you never have to worry that someone else will get the new Janet Evanovich before you. Although I like to own books that I might potentially keep for life, I use the library for most "perishable" books, like novels and travel guide books. For browsing magazines, however, I prefer Barnes & Noble.
  2. This is something I wrote in 2001, so it's dated especially with regard to the MoMa paragraph. But it could be a good starting point for anybody who wants to investigate the possibilities in NYC.
  3. Steve, as a working travel journalist who has been on staff at Frommer's, a columnist for Conde Nast, and a freelancer for many years, I'd be happy to share my impressions of how and which governments promote tourism and specifically gastronomic tourism . . . on a new thread.
  4. Why, oh why, don't I ever get to be present for dinner theater like that!
  5. I'm reluctant to post photos that are merely for the purpose of admiring the Mo', because those would be more appropriate to a pet message board (hint: you can find a lot of photos of Momo if you join greatpets.com). However, here are a few that are food-related: Steven and Momo were the center of attention at the Regina farmer's market. What you can't see in that photo is that there was a film crew following them around, making them appear even more unusual. The following image graces the wall of the local TV station. In Vancouver, the Mo' was the recipient of VIP (Very Important Pet) treat
  6. Music, especially live music. When a restaurant advertises "live piano music nightly" or anything like that, I run the other way.
  7. Joe, you are correct that the anthracite coal burns in the oven cavity. It sits to the front right of the oven and the pies are baked at the back left. In watching pies being baked at Pepe's today I estimate 4 feet from the coal to the pies (this is an informal measure I took with the camera lens's focus ring and could be +/- a foot).
  8. I recently posted some photos of the pizza-making process in action at Sally's Apizza, in New Haven, CT. Today I stopped by Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in order to provide equal time (actually, Steven/Fat Guy is working on a newspaper story and I was shooting the family but took advantage of the opportunity to grab a technical snapshot sequence for the eGullet crowd). Here's how it works at Pepe's: Coals get added to the oven prior to and throughout service (the oven never goes out but burns cooler overnight and on Tuesdays when the restaurant closes). When service begins, as Gary Bimonte,
  9. It has been my experience that it's always a good plan to go backpacking with someone who likes good food, enjoys cooking, has kids to feed—and is controlling. In this case it’s one of my best backpacking buddies. At the beginning, everyone in the group would be responsible for one day of meals but as the years have worn on this friend has taken over organizing meal duties—and he’s damn good at it. I know we had a thread about trail food at some point previously but because I can’t find it and I seem to have no memory cells, bear with me if you’ve heard this one before. The first day on the tr
  10. Oh, sure, sure. I knew I'd find embellishment in there somewhere (doesn't it always make for better stories?). FG didn't take two sets of six glasses--he took a set of six and a set of four.
  11. For my money (or in this case, weight), it's always critical to have one splurge in your backpack. Obviously, day hiking and car camping are a totally different animal (or animals as the case may be) but with backpacking--as with climbing--when you're thinking carefully about every extra ounce, I always choose my splurge carefully. Usually I'll fill an extra water bottle with red wine and break it out part way through the trip to share with my companions. Whiskey and other hard liquors are better in the weight ratio because the same weight in whiskey will (or could) last the duration of the tr
  12. I was first made aware of Arrows when I was a teenager. My mother and I were on a “mother-daughter" weekend away and my mother wanted to eat at Arrows. We looked at the menu and, yes, I declined. I was, at the time, still a pseudo fish-eating vegetarian that didn’t eat shellfish and after perusing the menu determined that it was too limiting (and way too expensive) for what I’d be able to eat. In the past year my mother has been going on about how she wants to go back to Maine so she can eat at Arrows—hint, hint, I’d be the chauffer. She’s sure to remind me each time that I declined the opport
  13. I've only had the fresh salmon. I've never tried the smoked. But maybe someone else around here can weigh in on the matter.
  14. I've never been to a Costco that didn't sell soda (though I'd be lying if I said I went looking for it every time). It's always in some far away back corner so you might have to walk around a bit to find it.
  15. I am all about the double stuf. It's the stuff not the cookie, that I like to eat (sort of like the frosting instead of the cake). And yes, those fudge covered Oreos should be illegal. The white chocolate covered Oreos could send any self respecting sugar addict into sugar shock--they're too much even for me.
  16. Diane, welcome. A good laugh is worth a great deal--dare I say I might even trade it for a piece of . . . Costco salmon. Wishing you a good and speedy recovery.
  17. Oh no! I had such high hopes for the coffee n' creme--though I know it would have taken me years to try it--I'm disappointed just the same.
  18. Kind of an Oreo version of a black-and-white cookie, in stores now.
  19. Welcome KFO and thanks for the Burlington news. I LOVE Penny Cluse*. It's by far the best breakfast in Burlington (and surrounding areas) displacing Sneakers in Winooski. In January I returned to Burlington (I'm a UVM grad) to visit a friend and we had brunch at Penny Cluse one Saturday (easier to get in than Sundays apparently). The food was excellent. I had an omelet with fresh spinach and mush, excellent homefries (cooked long enough so they got crispy) and biscuits with home made jam. It isn't that they're creating something new--it's that they're doing what they're doing really well and c
  20. I grew up in a house full of cookbooks and I had access to all of them. At some point I do remember making something from a hokey cookbook with pictures of kids in horizontally striped shirts with their hands in flour or some such but I couldn't say what it was. As a girl scout (short-lived) I had to cook a full meal--from soup to nuts--to earn one of my badges but I couldn't say how I did that either. I think off the top of my head, probably from watching mom. But the first cookbook I really remember using was in high school. I'm not sure I should share this information--but well, okay . . .
  21. I'm trying to imagine this "conversation piece." As far as I can tell, the majority of restaurants in NYC that serve Sunday brunch could care less if you're having conversation--they just want you in . . . and out--so they can turn the table. Oh no, don't get me started on Sunday brunch. It could be dangerous.
  22. While I don't relate to the cluttered table, the whole idea is for the diners to be comfortable and to enjoy the meal. It all comes down to service. If the table is cluttered and food is arriving--with no place to go--the staff should be pulling the unnecessary stuff off the table so the food, the theoretical purpose of the restaurant's existence, can fit on the table. Certainly Wilfred, flowers on the table when the diners arrive (if they're nice flowers) and whisking them away when the table gets crowded is optimal and I've employed the same tactic myself.
  23. Since I don't wish to contribute to derailing this thread into a discussion of Yiddish definitions, I won't, except to say if you want to know what Yiddish words mean you should check the print sources and not rely on what people tell you in an online chat. That will be all on Yiddish definitions for now thanks. As to the point of the discussion, I most recently saw this happen tonight at One Fish, Two Fish, near my house. Before any ordered food came the table was laden with so many items that there was noplace left to put even the appetizers when they arrived. I see this all the time and wil
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