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Posts posted by pork

  1. Perhaps I'm not the epicure that some of you are, but...

    Jaleo is a great god damn restaurant.

    I'm talking about the DC location. I haven't been to any of the others.

    Every time I go there (every few months, it's always my vote for theatre-night, as it is right next door to the Shakespeare theatre) I always have a great experience. It's usually crowded and noisy and fun. The service is efficient and unobtrusive, the food is delicious and reasonably priced. With a table of four or six people that love to share everything and taste everything, you get to taste a lot.

    Sure, plenty of the food is simple fare, but it's good. I don't care that the garlic shrimp are easy to make (I make them myself at home sometimes.) I just care that they're delicious and come with plenty of extra garlic butter for dipping that delicious bread in.

    I don't care that the grilled chorizo and garlic mashed potatoes is easy for a busy chef and transient staff to deliver consistently. I just like to see that my friends and family are delighted and happy when they taste it.

    The duck confit is also standard, but delicious! The salt-cod salad is light and fluffy and ethereal. The bread with tomato and anchovy is balanced perfectly and unfussy. Fried calamari with aioli, again, not hard to do, but delicious when executed well, which they do. Delicious little plates of cheeses and sausages, the always-perfectly-grilled asparagus, the delicate ribbons of ham and melon (a presentation I have stolen for when I do proscutto with melon at home).

    I really haven't tried the full paella experience there because there is always so much to try on the tapas menu but I've tasted it and it is pretty good in my opinion. We usually get about three rounds of tapas. First round: try new things. Second round, a few more new things, a few old favorites, third round: a last dish or two of whatever we found to be perfectly delightful on that particular day. Sorry steve, I tend to have the last bit of sauce or olive oil or butter sopped up with a scrap of bread for dessert!

    I've eaten at the Inn at Little Washington, and it's good, but I never have as round, fun, tasty of an experience there as I do at Jaleo. And sure, maybe Jose doesn't have time to figure out that you can get away with making lentils sweet and weird and orangey if you put a perfectly grilled venison chop on top (Cafe Mono) but are you so jaded that you really need that?

    Just my $0.02 (plus tip!)

  2. I'm dying to get my hands on real tools again. I can't stand the crap they sell at kitchens etc., et al (they went chapter 11 last weekend!)

    Most supply houses don't deal with the general public, but I'm sure there is one or two that does in the northern Virginia area.

    So, anyone have one? Help an ex-line-dog out and find me a place that will sell me a few standard 1oz steel ladles, a few cast aluminum skillets, and a stack of half-sheets? PLEEEEEEASEE!!!



  3. I also use quality canned tomatoes to make my red gravy. Good fresh tomatoes are just not available year-round, and I make sauce twice a month usually.

    I vary my recipe a little every time, depending on my mood, but it is pretty similar to the recipes above. I use a little carrot and red wine in mine for the sugar.

    Last time I did it, I was reading the French Laundry cookbook while the sauce was simmering, so when it was cooked, I pureed it with a stick blender and strained it. That was fun because the resulting sauce was much smoother and thinner in texture, but missing none of the flavor. I served it with a simple rigatoni and loved it. Usually I leave it chunky but variety is the spice of ...well tomato sauce, in this case.

  4. ...blah service.

    Had the onglet again, which was god damned delicious. Service was iffy to poor. I don't expect a lot from a restaurant on a sunday afternoon, but at least offer to refill my drink, mmkay? Left less than 20% for the first time in years. (I'm an ex cook/waiter/bartender, so 15% from me is a "fuck you.")

  5. Hanger, skirt, and flank are my favorite cuts, in order, for making "tiger tears grilled beef."

    It's a thai dish. Marinate the steak in dark soy, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Grill over high heat. Rest. Serve over greens with a spicy/fishy dipping sauce of fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, and chiles. I use the recipe from Real Thai by Nancie McDermott but I shortcut the chile preperation with commercial chile-garlic sauce because I'm often short on time.

  6. Christ. I watched an early episode (the premiere?) of this show. As soon as Rocco said "make sure everyone gets a Coors Light" (the fifth product placement in as many minutes) I changed the channel and haven't watched since. HBO needs a cooking channel. I cannot stomach commercial television.

  7. I'm going to go against the grain and suggest a non-basic cookbook.

    I think a 'celebrity chef' type cookbook that has some really easy recipes would be perfect for this cook, as it sounds like a positive cooking experience would be absolutely key to helping her get the correct foot forward.

    I will even go as far as reccomending one of J. Oliver's from the Naked Chef days. Reason: Simple, quick tasty preparations. Once she has some postive experiences with Jamie's simple techniques, I suspect her view of cooking will change dramatically. There are few things as wonderful as the amazement on someone's face when you prepare a fantastically tasty dish for them.

    I have Escoffier on my night-table, but I have actually made cooked quite a bit more from Jamie's book than Escoffier's. There's a chickpea and leek soup in one of his that's so simple you'd laugh, but is absolutely delicious.

    After a few ooh's and aah's at the simple technique cooking, you may find her buying her own copy of "On Food and Cooking." :wink:

  8. You would think that with the relatively large Jewish population around here there would be better bagels available, but it's not the case. :sad:

    My fiancee is from NY, and after every time we go up, the car smells like bagels for a week due to our bagel-smuggling operation. :wink:

    Real NY bagels, even after freezing, are better then the best DC bagels. It's the water.

  9. One of my other favorite rants is zoning laws. I think it relates, but really only in suburbia. Zoning laws aren't popular in the country, and they're not too applicable in cities, where business and residential mix quite a bit.

    I think that the reason so many restaurants fail is the high rents they have to pay to even get a cubicle in the local stripmall. Many other local businesses would be created if people were allowed to hang a shingle in front of their house. I know it pisses me off that I have to get in my truck and drive if I even need so much as a crust of bread. Why can't the corner store come [back] to suburbia?

    Why: Because only rich people go to zoning board meetings, and only rich people sit on the boards. They're rich because they own the prime central real estate, and they don't want some shithead selling fresh batards out of their house and competing with the meglomart that's paying them exorbitant rents.

    I'm going to go to the next one in my neighborhood and see if there's an easy way to throw a wrench into the works.

  10. Thanks! I understand that the intent of this site is to focus on the food, I just thought that in this case, the food is one of many symptoms. I thought this community would be a good place for the discussion because many here have the prediliction toward not buying crap products and would see the similarity.

    I think ultimately the answer is no, corporate America can't be stopped -- nor should we wish to stop it. The train has left the station on that one. The issue is how to channel the incredible productive energy of corporate America towards producing good food.

    I agree, I am not an advocate of anarchy or anything. I would just like to see the ressurection of the local merchant selling a quality product, in the area of food, in home furnishings, everywhere.

    My belief is that it's a cultural issue. Corporate America will respond to and provide what consumers want. Unfortunately, consumers in America are not particularly demanding about what they eat. If that can be changed, corporate America will adapt.

    Agreed. My question is how can that be changed?

    If the corporations are "stopped," where will all of the people they currently employ work?

    At the same places. Just with different ownership structures, or diffent management techniques, or whatever it takes to make the experience of going to those places not suck?

    I pay extra for ...
    Because they can't afford to pay extra? 

    I can't either, really...I just choose to have fewer things of better quality. I don't have a LCD monitor. I don't have a PS2, I don't have truffle oil, I don't have a motorcyle. I don't have a lot of the things I would like to have because I choose to have fewer, higher-quality things.

    I'm not saying all of these things need to disappear, I just want the American consumer to look a little less like a schmuck.

    Claire, I'm trying....trust me. :cool:

  11. . . . try to catch a knife that's falling off the counter . . .

    didn't do it, but saw it:

    industrial size box of tinfoil falling off a high shelf, the broilerman caught it...briefly. That hacksaw blade on the side of the box really works.

    Oh, and I cleaned habeneros without gloves once. Had to make sure I didn't touch anything on me or the girlfriend for DAYS. My fingers were still burning two days later.

  12. I joined this board a few days ago, mostly to read the backstory behind the Washington post article on the Bayless/BK debacle. Particularly on reading bourdain's comments on the evil empire I found myself nodding my head, as I have similar feelings toward fast food, chain shitholes like Applebees, and warning labels.

    However, I wanted to expand on that a tad, because my frustration with this crap goes beyond food. I cannot stand to be inside a Best Buy for more than five minutes before I want to strangle someone. Ditto Home Depot. Ditto Lowes. Ditto Walmart.

    Just as BK slaps chunk of chicken devoid of individuality and a ton of salt on white bread and calls it 'santa fe cuisine' the rest of america is eating a collective shit sandwich in retail, in entertainment, in education, everywhere. People are knocking each other over for a $39 dvd player from walmart that will undoubtedly break within a year. Why? How has the american consumer become such a fucking braindead arsehole?

    I have to drive 40 minutes to get to a local hardware store in a small town still out of the crushing power of the american megachains. I just can't take it. Nobody at home depot knows anything about tools, construction, electrical work, plumbing, or supplies. They might as well be working at a post office, for all their knowledge of the contents of the boxes on the shelves.

    Beyond that, I cannot seem to buy products at those places that aren't the flimsiest pieces of imported chinese-slave-labor-made shit. Even the 'higher end' products there are hideously cheap shit, just with one more molecule of electroplated finish over the same piece of shit.

    Just as I have no intention of trying Applebees®Jack Daniels®Riblets©®(SM), I don't want to be forced to buy this crap either!

    My intent for this thread is to (I hope) discuss these two things:

    How did this start?

    How can we stop it?

    Question 1 may provide a little insight into the problem, and help us find the answer to number 2. I don't have a good answer for it though. Let's jump to #2.

    Tony said, with regard to question 2, in the area of food:

    "Real change" in this case, will--if it ever occurs--be the result of a general change in perception not of a change in policy.

    The outcome will be decided in the media, on the web, on a person by person basis across the world. If it's settled at all. In the end, it's about one individual after another deciding " You know? I just don't want to eat this shit again!"

    How do we educate our "Santa Fe Baguette" -eating brethren that this is not the way to live!

    Could this be attacked from the top down? I know the CEOs of these megacorps are paid exorbitant bonuses for shaving that last quarter-percent off the bottom line...could that be attacked somehow?

    The television is a whole separate topic..but it's related. God I cannot stand to watch commercial television. Every time a commercial comes on I find myself yelling at the television "I AM NOT FUCKING STUPID!" Why doesn't everyone? Why do these people do it? They are programmed by this gadget to buy all this crap, and to take another four hours of brainwashing the next day! "Programming" has never been a more apt description of the content of the idiot box.

    I pay extra for quality ingredients in my cooking. I pay extra for quality cookware. I pay extra for quality television (HBO). (Quick aside, god PLEASE let t. bourdain get a HBO contract for "Cook's tour." Uncensored, unfettered...it would be fucking fabulous..) I don't mind. The american public hated the 'yugo' because it was a cheap piece of shit. Why don't they know that about 90% of the stock on the shelves at wal-mart?

    Final thought:

    "Mickey D--friendly clown? Or destoyer of worlds?" IS a fairly serious issue--and one that's going to get more and more prominently discussed.

    Indeed. Let the discussion begin here.

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