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Ellen Shapiro

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Ellen Shapiro

  1. Oh it sizzles alright. If you've ever dripped water or coffee on that plate when it's going full tilt you know it's powerful enough to do some damage.
  2. Jin: Only the condiments come from Taco Bell and the chains. They're great sources of individual packets of hot sauce, little plastic specimen cups of salsa, and such. But we're talking real meat, as in purchased raw from the grocery store, sliced with the Spyderco or Laguiole, and cooked up right there on the coffee maker hot plate. Tortiallas are a dime a dozen even in the Midwest at grocery stores these days and they keep without refrigeration so those will hold 'til the next day when they can be made again but in a veggie version (unless the hotel has a minibar fridge, in which case you ca
  3. Jin: I have only been a witness to the procedure, never engaged in it myself. My friend who is quite the aficionado of coffee-maker cooking, however, is a master of fajitas. The hot plate is just the right size to warm a small tortilla from the grocery store, into which is placed grilled strips of flank steak, peppers, onions, and assorted condiments gathered from Taco Bell et al. I hasten to add that he is quite conscientious about cleaning the "kitchen" after use.
  4. Could you guess that I was one of the people who "got the heck scared out of her" by the live, still-moving shrimp?
  5. Back in the day, I was a marketing person for a couple of big publishing companies. That means I spent a lot of time on the road and stayed in a lot of hotels. Though one goes into such an endeavor with a pretty much unlimited dining budget there are plenty of situations where dining out is undesirable or, in the case of smaller cities where nobody lives and where restaurants close at sundown, impossible. The most creative approach I've ever witnessed is: Cooking with the coffee pot. You know that cheap coffee maker you find in most middle market hotel rooms across North America? Well have you
  6. And it's like I've told Fat Guy a number of times--the majority of people who are sending these gifts are probably sending them on expense account so the contributing factors of 1) ease of ordering; 2) pretty packaging; 3) "gourmet" foods that can ship anywhere in the country; 4) an impressive order department that reminds you of the gifts you sent--and to whom--the previous year; and 5) an overall appeal to the general population, make for perfect corporate gift giving. Perhaps if people had to pay out of their own pockets, they'd be more discriminating but I have heard of people who send the
  7. Jinmyo don't thank me thank Canon. Nina I'm no authority on Pepe's but as I learned it The Spot is the original Pepe's store and the current Pepe's is the expanded newer store (The Spot for those who have never seen the layout sits in the lot behind Pepe's). They are in theory supposed to be serving the exact same thing controlled by the same family. If there's a quality difference I'm not aware of it. I'm not permitted as a loyalist to actually admit I've been to Pepe's but were I to discuss the theoretical differences between the pies it's the Sally's crust that makes the most lasting impres
  8. Marcus I agree the sauce is understated but that's the pizza-making theory over there. They don't want every ingredient screaming for attention "me me me!" But I'm with you and I like the sauce to be a big thing. That's why I order . . . . . . extra sauce. It's the easiest way to turn up the volume on the sauce -- you just get more of it. In fact my favorite pie at Sally's is a "red" with no mozz. It's just crust, a lot of sauce (like as much as sauce and cheese put together on a regular pie), olive oil, and a sprinkling of parm. My second most favorite pies there are the "white" with just m
  9. I'm simply the photographer, so I'll leave it to others to explain why Sally's Apizza ("apizza" is a regional Italian spelling and pronunciation of pizza, pronounced "uh-beets") in New Haven, CT, makes the best pizza in North America. These are just some photographs taken last night on Wooster Street on the occasion of my birthday: Bobby Consiglio, second generation Sally's stick-man (the original, now departed owner was Sal Consiglio; the restaurant is run by Sal's wife Flo and several of her children), prepares the coals for optimum performance in the ancient, massive oven: Pizza creation i
  10. To get back to the original point--I certainly think you can have a great meal without wine--and not be punished for it. It will depend on the restaurant and the server you end up with but any top notch restaurant worth its salt should be accustomed to diners who drink and diners who don’t. If you don’t like wine—and you’ve tried it—don’t punish yourself. But as I’ve done on many occasions, I will often ask for “just a taste” of FG’s wine or order a tasting portion. Obviously not a whopping tab for two ($135 with the tip and tax)—with wine—the Schonfelds (Robert) ordered a single glass of wine
  11. Score! At the Fairway in Harlem they are selling a selection of candy bars imported from the UK--Cadbury and similar quality (can you believe it?). There at the checkout line I found the KitKat chunky. In my haste, I ignored the other varieties but I have noticed this trend around the city because when I recently visited Economy Candy downtown, they had a selection too (no KitKat), though not as good.
  12. I think you should bring your own bread next time. Not that they would change anything because of it but you'd certainly establish yourself as a serious eater--and I'd bet the counterman would nod knowingly and give you a better sandwich--or just think you're crazy and throw you out. I'd give it a 50-50 split on odds. I have to admit that I never eat the bread. Takes up too much room I'd rather utilize for the other stuff.
  13. Steven and I, along with a friend (yes, we have one but we sometimes have to pay for his dinner to keep him around), had dinner at Katz's last night. With three of us, we were able to order--and eat--a good selection from the critical offerings. Granted, each of us stuck with our favorites (all the better to test quality control), but we covered a lot of ground. Our menu included: Two pastrami sandwiches Turkey sandwich (my favorite) French fries One knockwurst Two hot dogs A baked potato knish (round) Sour and half sour pickles Sauerkraut Various Dr. Brown's sodas My turkey, by all accounts,
  14. If I remember correctly (and how could I forget), my first coffee with sweetened condensed milk was in Thailand. After university, I lived for a brief while with a Thai family in Chiang Mai and with breakfast I was served a delicious cup of coffee. When I expressed my enthusiasm the secret ingredient—the can of sweetened condensed milk—emerged. I was astonished, dumbfounded, incredulous. And it was oh, so very good.
  15. Oh! Those poor Western tourists. Missing out on another great opportunity. That's more sweetened condensed milk for us!
  16. Your Cambodian/Vietnamese coffee sounds very similar to the Singaporean coffee I am addicted too—but have only had the opportunity to drink while in Singapore (probably better for me—and those within flailing distance). It's one of those coffees where, like Suvir, I found myself drinking multiple cups in one sitting. I felt like I had a dependency. The sweetened condensed milk doesn’t hurt any either. Why don’t we use more sweetened condensed milk? I’m outraged.
  17. Many of the dishes that are considered traditional Jewish fare are foods that were common in the region where those Jews were living (which explains why you get kishke served in Jewish homes and Polish restaurants). This is why the Ashkenazi Jews have different traditional foods than Sephardic Jews—they had different regional influences and a different selection of readily available ingredients (amongst other things).
  18. Perhaps one of the most obvious mistakes (to my taste buds) is the relentless attempt to cut the calories and fat out of each recipe as an end in itself. I know one such cook and I will be subjected to a feast of her low-fat dishes and desserts (try, just try to do this with potato latkes) very shortly.
  19. To elaborate: The best napkins come from Wendy's. They're yellow but they don't run. Wendy's is also the best source for plastic utensils because they're heavy-duty and individually wrapped. Wipes are worth purchasing. No chain establishment has good ones that won't wreck your skin and make you smell like a bus-station bathroom. McDonald's is the leader in straws, with nice durable thick ones. It's amazing the condiments you can acquire. In addition to ketchup (even if a place uses pump dispensers, they'll give you packets if you ask), don't overlook things like hot sauces (from Taco Bell, for
  20. I can not attest to the milk chocolate or dark chocolate KitKats but I did, on my flight over to Nepal (I can't remember if it was the AA flight or the BA flight--I actually think it was on AA from JFK to London), have the opportunity to sample a mini chunky KitKat. SO superior to our American skinny! So much so that after my trek while I was wandering around KTM I tried to re-live the experience and ended up with a sad imitation--an Indian KitKat (same skinny bar different chocolate ratios and components). Could it be that I actually had a dark chocolate KitKat chunky? It really was so superi
  21. I like it when the guy puts the egg on his hat.
  22. Not to beat a dead horse--or yak, as the case may be.
  23. I could use one of those right now--but then I'd sink in the pool (going swimming) and then they'd have to rescue me--it would be a terrible mess so I guess it'll have to wait. Anyway, if I had it now, I'd suppose it would qualify for breakfast, not a snack. Of course, I don't eat bacon (I know, I know) and I'd probably get kicked out of the Y (it's the YM/WHA)--but that has nothing to do with snacking anyway.
  24. Hey! Carrot Top IS funny! I've taken Larium before and never had "Larium" dreams. I'm off to India in a couple of weeks and have my scrip for Larium (filled). Now I'm starting to wonder. It's two weeks in India and then off to Nepal where I don't need to continue to worry about malaria but will have to continue the medication for four weeks--my entire stay in Nepal. I suppose I could always quit the meds if they're making me ill. Have any of you actually had "Larium dreams" or just your travel companions? The Larium lore is incredible.
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