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Posts posted by skyflyer3

  1. A stone or tiles in the oven is a good idea regardles of whether or not lack of one is the problem. Ask for the unglazed tiles. I don't think they will have a large one, but just get enough small ones to line the bottom rack of youir oven. I leave mine in the oven all the time to help even out and maintain heat levels.

    Ditto this. I have ones lining the bottom of my oven, and a pizze stone on the highest rack, and I only bake in the middle. Regulates my oven really well. I used to have them lining the sides, until one fell into a newly-set pecan pie. Ouch.

  2. I blew mine out about a year ago doing croissant dough, and instead of getting it fixed right away, I asked my mother if I could borrow hers for a while. Her puce green machine, 25 years old and still going strong, is fabulous in comparison to my "professional" machine that I bought five years ago. My only complaint is that her bowl is considerably smaller. Otherwise, the puce one is an absolute workhorse. They just don't make them like they used to.

  3. I'm making shortbread for the first time, and have seen recipes that mention rice flour or cornstarch as a texturizing ingredient. I'm just wondering, is there a difference if you use either?

  4. Every time we visit the Sen5es Bakery in Downtown Vancouver, I'm always intrigued, but disappointed with the Sparkle Cookies. Call me crazy, but they just don't do it for me. But the Valrhona Chocolate Cookies - oh my! They're deep, dark and unctous, partly because of the Valrhona, but mostly because the texture is incredible. Can I just do any chocolate chocolate chip cookie, sub with Valrhona and successfully replicate these puppies? I'm dying to, yet reluctant to waste good chocolate. Thoughts? Anyone else agree these beat out the Sparkle cookies??

  5. LainerX and I had lunch at Takohachi yesterday, and the saba shioyaki is to die for.  It comes with your choice of steamed rice, curry rice, or fried rice.  My husband recently couldn't stop talking about the fried rice, which I never usually order, so I got it.  OH MY GOD.  It's better than any fried rice I've ever had, mostly due to the very generous amount of BACON.  And the mackerel was stunning.

    We had a lot of fun reading the little posters on the wall that have descriptions of some of the dishes on their menu.  Our favorite quote was "You can make your own hotness," which we thought might be a good headline for the cover of Cosmo or Maxim.    :biggrin:

    I've been dying to try the bacon fried rice since you posted this, Ms. Ramsey, and I'm both thankful and rueful I actually got the chance to experience it yesterday. Thankful because it is damn good. Rueful because despite its richness, most assuredly, we shall return.

    We had the Tori-Kari (fried chicken nuggets, essentially) and I had the tori-kari and pork katsu combination dinner. Each came with tsukemono (kimchi, in our case), miso soup, salad and our choice of rice. The portions were huge, but somehow we managed to finish the majority of the items brought to us. The fried chicken and pork were both excellent - the chicken being very light and not at all greasy, and the pork was perfectly breaded, again very lightly fried. Both meat selections were extremely juicy and flavorful (and the small leftovers of both remain juicy and flavorful the next morning). And the rice - sublime. Words cannot describe how good that rice is. Maybe it's because I haven't eaten rice in so long. It was buttery, accented with onions and carrots and generous portions of bacon. I ate it all. And some of my husband's.

    The miso was okay, and the salad was a little strange. It was, essentially, shredded cabbage, a little lettuce, some creamy mayo dressing, and a criss-cross of two thinly sliced pieces of ham covering the entire dome of salad. Doesn't that sound strange? Well, it was. But I ate it anyway.

    Despite all the rich food, I didn't leave with a coating of oil inside my mouth. Gotta love that. Husband and I were the only non-Japanese customers there last night, and it was pretty full at 6:30. I love the pictures on the walls of the different menu selections - also noting, and chuckling over, the fact that I can "make my own hotness". Everything is super affordable (nothing over $9, it seems), portions are generous, food is great and the service is brisk and attentive. Definitely going back.

  6. We did the $25 tasting menu at Union last night , and had the following:

    Amuse Bouche: Little teaspoon filled with chopped tuna tartare, like toro, with chives and olive oil. Yummy. That olive oil was gooooood - smooth, rich and buttery.

    Salad: Frisee, pike and herbed creme fraiche. The pike was a little meaty, the creme fraiche was awesome and the bitterness of the frisee really complimented the creamy richness of this dish.

    Soup: Hm, I don't remember this one well, I'm guessing rabbit confit in pureed asparagus cream soup. It was bits of rabbit, dark meat that was shredded, a little gamy and salty, chewy in texture, and the soup was all pale prettiness.

    Meat: Muscovy Duck something, on slices of persimmon and little berries. This was *awesome*. There was about five slices of duck, cooked rare, and it was salty, and sweet, and meaty and fatty and crispy, and just perfect. This one was my favorite.

    First Dessert: A little dollop of goat yogurt sorbet with clove oil. I think this would been better with Clear Creek Brandy and some honey - the clove oil totally detracted from the refereshing flavor of this sorbet. There was something fruity in this, maybe it was quince? I'm only guessing that because I see it on the menu above. I didn't expect to like this, because it sounded weird, but if it had been honey on the bottom I think I would have been pleasantly surprised.

    Second Dessert: Panna cotta with cranberry/orange relish. The panna cotta was lovely and delicate as usual, not as creamy as I like but it was light and that was nice. I had made cranberry orange scones that day, so it was weird to see this as an accent here, but it added a bright flavor that made it a wonderful ending to a lovely meal.

    I totally thought we'd be hungry afterwards, but it was a very fulfilling meal and I was so happy we chose to do this again. We try so many new restaurants all the time, it's nice to find a gem of a restaurant that makes it a pleasure to return. Next time, I'm bringing friends.

  7. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Vivace's hot chocolate. Man, that stuff is addictive - especially with the whipped cream that is accented with vanilla, espresso and sugar. MMmmmmm.

    I've made it myself with the recipe distributed in an earlier Pacific Northwest magazine (hot cocoa by Greg Atkinson) but this one didn't do it for me. Sweet, but the brown sugar did not add a clean enough flavor. I haven't tried Jeffrey Steingarten's recipe - is this an amended Pierre Herme one?

  8. I first picked up a bottle in Atlanta last year, after it was featured in Shape magazine, and have since ordered a case when it ran out. I've used it for frying and for salad dressings, and it tastes very light both ways. I experienced no weird side effects. Only hit I take is the price - I'd buy it all the time if it were available here, and it were cheaper. (Supposedly they released Enova only in Southern and the midland states because of the higher instances of home frying).

    I think shipping was free if your ordered over a certain amount - it's been a while since I've ordered last. Costco should give them a call and cut a deal with them!

  9. We ate at Oceanaire for lunch today. I had the chowder, blackened salmon and the Valrhona chocolate mousse. My husband had the chowder, a bacon and tomato salad, and the chocolate chip cookie royale. My son had the Kobe Beef Burger.

    The chowder was fine, very velvety, full of potatoes and had few but toothsome clams that dotted the soup. The salmon was undercooked but very good and spicy. The bacon salad was in this huge, worn wooden bowl, drowned in bacon dressing but loaded with excellent bacon. The Kobe Beef burger was very good, and came with a ton of condiments and little shoestring fries. The cookie royale was ok - hard-cooked chocolate chip cookie in vanilla ice cream with chewy fudge sauce. The Valrhona mousse was exquisite and very rich.

    Overall, there was a ton of food and we left more than full. Service was beyond excellent, and we tipped accordingly. They were so efficient and attentive to everything. I wish they'd had more selections on the lunch menu that would show their expertise in fish preparation, but overall I think the meal was fine and the desserts were better than most 25 for 25 offerings.

    I find it interesting that the "tap water" comment has come up again, as it usually does when the 25/25 promotion rolls around, and it really gets my goat. My husband and I don't drink, and most of the time I don't like to drink anything but plain water. Many of the friends I eat out with don't drink, either. I don't like soda with my meal unless I'm eating pizza or hot dogs, and I really don't like the taste of any bottled water. My husband has similar tastes and cannot drink alcohol, and on those rare occasions when he does want soda, we get sneered at for pairing soda with a fine meal. So most often we only get tap water, and I hate, hate hate the way we get treated at most fine restaurants when that happens. I understand that restaurants survive on making money, and they make quite a bit on drinks, but I am there for the food and I wish I would be treated normally because of this. The last time we were sneered at for just drinking tap water was when I spent $175 for each of us at a nice restaurant, and it really makes me not want to go back, no matter how good the food. And truly, it seems most foodies laud a restaurant most of the time for the quality and uniqueness of food, and outstanding service - more than the selection of wines. But since I'm not a drinker, I wouldn't know. We don't get attitude about drinking tap water from Japanese, Chinese or Indian establishments - which also don't seem to rely too heavily on alcohol for their economics. But then again, I wouldn't know since I'm not a drinker. At any rate, please don't make assumptions that my friends and I, who might be filling a table next to you at one of these $25 for 25, are cheap - we just really like to try different food and don't like to drink.

    As far as the $25 for 25 promotion being classified for some as "an excuse to use it as a chance for cheap grub in a nice dining room", I'd hardly call it cheap when many places scale down the portion size significantly with their promotion offerings. Also, please be aware this is rare opportunity for those who don't have ample money to experience fine dining, when money is so hard to come by in this economy. I may be wrong, or stirring a pot, but it almost seems like you're saying that the only people who should go to these restaurants are those that can afford to drink and buy three courses without the promotion - and that seems a little elitist to me.

    Okay, I'm sorry, I'm getting off my soapbox now.

  10. I really like Damman Freres, another french import that you can find at The Teapot in Seattle - www.seattleteacup.com. Lovely blends, and very potent and smooth earl grey called La Russe Douchka is my current fave. In Pursuit of Teas has nice stuff, too. Oh, and I like the Perennial Tea Room's Rooibos blends - the Kimberly and Rainbow ones are quite good.

  11. I was in Seattle last year for this event and found it to be great. I had a couple of meals at Restaurant Zoe and found it to be great quality and value. Our concierge mentioned that some of the restaurants were not living up to their end of the bargain and provided less than satisfactory meals / size for the $$. He mentioned that a few of them were to be uninvited from this event the next year. Who regulates that ? Who would drop the hammer as it were.

    In Vancouver, this is an event started by Tourism Vancouver and I would imagine they would oversee that for us. Who does this for 25 for $25 ?

    We've always been more than pleased with Zoe's when we've gone. Great selection for this event, wonderful food and attentive staff. I have to say, though, doing 2-3 of these a week for four weeks got kind of tiresome and heavy, so we narrow it down to a choice three. This year, we'll do Oceanaire, as we have yet to visit them, Market Street Grill (we had such a good time last year, and you can choose any dessert you want!) and Union. I may add Etta's because of that Triple Coconut Cream Pie.

    What places are all y'all hitting? And which ones have been awesome for you in the past?

  12. I've only been to Nell's once, but my experience doesn't warrant a return. Service was so snooty. Food was fine, but when we were presented with dessert, it was different than what was requested. When asked what happened to our original request, our waiter claimed they had run out, and so presumed we'd want the selection they brought to us.

  13. Definitely Glo's.  Haven't been there in a while though. 

    It seems like most any restaurant in BC.  I've visited quite a few smaller holes in the wall in Vancouver/Victoria, and have had some of the best eggs benedict.  I think it's their national breakfast.

    Hey, which places in BC? My husband and I go fairly often, and were actually just there two weekends ago. I had eggs benedict at Feenie's, and it was awesome.

    Okay, I don't remember much about the eggs benedict, because the frites were just so darn good. But I'm sure it was great :rolleyes:.

  14. Just wanted to post my trip report for this past weekend. We tried to go to Guu for lunch, but found it was only open from 11:40 a.m. - 1:40 p.m. (odd hours), so we headed to Ichiban-kan instead. Dinner was at Chambar - a beautiful space, great frites, good steak, albeit chewy, and fine desserts. I had the house-made vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce, and my husband had the chocolate mousse. The ice cream was ok, the chocolate sauce was great and the mousse was divine. I'm not sure if I'd go again, with so many other wonderful places to try in Vancouver, but I'm glad I could cross this one off my list.

    The next morning we had brunch at Feenie's, and thank you for this recommendation! I had the ham eggs benedict with a side of frites and husband had the french toast. Everything was amazing - those frites blew Chambar's out of the water. The hollaindaise on the eggs benny was perfect, the potatoes on the side were perfect, the french toast was perfect - I think I'd eat there every day if I could. Service was impeccable - much better than when we had dinner at Lumiere, about a year ago. And even though the type of dining is different, I preferred the food here than at Lumiere's. Of course, those frites made the meal! They were incredible.

    Thanks again for all of your great recommendations, and I'm definitely going back to Feenie's, although Go Fish and Parkside are next on my list. Until then, I'll be thinking of those frites with a heavy heart....

  15. Thanks for the South End updates!! I didn't know anything about the Red House (is it in the old location that used to be the Whistle Stop.. or am I on the wrong street?)

    The joint on 3rd that is now Vino used to be Gene's Ristorante. Such a shame. The previous owner, Gene, sold it to a woman who was a newcomer to the restaurant biz. A nice lady (Alexa?) I wonder if she opened something else or decided to bag it?

    Also, have you and The Dude tried a new Russian?? place I think it's called Olga's? It's in Renton and someone mentioned it to me, but I just haven't had time to check it out.

    Olga's, the Russian place in Renton, is great. Great borscht, and really awesome pelmeni. I like the blinchiki there, too, but the soups are what really hit the spot - and my Russian friends love the place, which I think is telling.

  16. You rock! Thanks so much for helping me out, and I apologize for the short notice. I just figured I would do a simple search today to find out where to go, but with so many new and wonderful places to try, it seemed easier to just ask.

    I love breakfast, so anyplace with a kick-ass eggs benedict is awesome, although that corned beef sounds good too. I think Chambar and Parkside will be it - I just hope Chambar has the steak frites for lunch. Thanks again for the suggestions, and if there are more, keep them coming!

  17. Hello - We're going to Vancouver tomorrow and staying at the Westin Grand downtown. We already have dinner planned, but I need slots filled for breakfast Saturday, lunch on Saturday, dinner on Saturday, and breakfast/brunch on Sunday. I want to try the following restaurants:




    but I'm open to suggestions. We've eaten at Lumiere and West, Cioppino, GloBal, Vij's, Kirin, and Tojo's, and of all of these (acknowledging that food type varies greatly), Vij's was my favorite in terms of a consummate experience and knock-my-socks-off food. I'm desperately seeking the best of the above for dinner and lunch, and good brunch/breakfast places (Raincity Grill? Diva at the Met?) - or if my options are limited there, I'll just hit Kirin for dim sum on Sunday morning. Thanks so much for your help!!!

  18. He-he, I think this is the first time I've seen the words "Burien" and "cultural diversity" in the same sentence. Seriously, I think you'll have to go either south to Federal Way for good Thai and Korean Food, or east to Kent, also for good Thai, Indian and Mexican Food. Or Auburn - I love the Sunbreak Cafe for breakfast and lunches, they have a wonderful Eastern European bakery inside the restaurant.

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