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Posts posted by ghostrider

  1. Since we're into the dog days & I've nothing better to do, thought I'd kick this thread back up top while dreaming of shrimp.

    Seriously, I've been wondering what happens to all that frozen Maine shrimp & why I can't find any of it here in Jersey. I guess most of it goes to the local Maine restaurant trade so that I can enjoy a fine plate of fried Maine shrimp at the Kennebec Tavern in Bath in July.

    While up there last week I noticed that Gilmore's Seafood, a fine fishmonger if ever there was one, was selling little containers of Maine shrimp (at $5.00 / lb, I think it was). Apparently they have a pretty good handle on how much they can sell & they defrost a certain amount every day.

    Gilmore's will air-express the stuff to me but the cost of shipping makes this a ridiculous option economically.

    Ah well, if it were always available, would we appreciate it as much? YOU BET! :raz:

  2. #1 Union Wharf is smack-dab in the middle of Commercial St, right at the beginning of Union Wharf, in the Old Port district.  For years it was home to the Union Wharf Market and a real estate office upstairs.  The market finally closed and Black Tie Market & Bistro has moved in. 

    Famous for their little Middle Street location (#188), they now have twice the space, lots more reach-in cooler space and a few tables to hang out at.  The space has been transformed from an aluminum & chrome, vinyl VCT flooring style, to lots of wood.

    Regular fare includes 7 Panini (one is Black Forest Ham w/Provelone, Plum toms and Cilantro Pesto) and 7 wraps (Nicoise has Tuna w/choke hearts, capers, mesclun and red pepper mayo).  Take-out salad options are numerous and cost about $2/lb. Apricot, almond, rosemary chicken salad sounds good to me.  Gazpacho is among soups. Entrees and desserts available. There is a small produce section and plenty of good wine and beers. 

    The point of all this is that I believe Black Tie Bistro has successfully filled the void that Portland Greengrocer left when they moved off of Commercial Street a year or so ago (and became Rosemont Grocery on Brighton Ave).  They may not have so vast a selection of oils, vinegars, legumes and herbs, but we were all imagining a while back what to do about the Greengrocers' absence and it's implications and I think it was Ellie that mentioned this location as a perfect solution.

    Check it out when your in the Old Port.  Parking is right on the side.

    This proved to be a great tip. Incredibly easy to pick up our rental car at the Jetport, zip down to the waterfront & slide into a parking slot by Black Tie just in time for lunch. Great food, tho those panini are gigantic! We could have shared one easily. I can also recommend the Rustico Lentil Salad if you like lentils. Excellent pecan squares too, pleasantly not over-sweet. They seem to have a fine touch with everything there.

    That was the only time we had in Portland last week, but it was a great way to enter Maine.

    We got together with an old friend of mine later in the week, his wife is co-owner of Edith & Edna on Exchange Street, they've all become fond of Black Tie too.

  3. First up: in "Catfish With a Side of Scombroid," Taras Grescoe tells us why our entire supply is seething with imported, disease-riddled seafood:

    Every year about 6.6 million tons of seafood are imported into the United States from 160 different countries. That’s a lot of fish: the frozen shrimp alone would make a shrimp cocktail the size of the Sears Tower. Yet the Food and Drug Administration has only 85 inspectors working primarily with seafood.

    If you want to spend a sobering half hour, go to the import alerts section of the administration’s Web site. There you will find claw crab meat from Indonesia rejected because of filth (meaning it may have carried rodent hairs or parts of disease-carrying insects), shrimp from Thailand rejected because of salmonella (in fact, 40 percent of rejections for salmonella were for shrimp) and tuna from Vietnam turned back for histamines (responsible for scombroid poisoning). Most troubling is the number of rejections because of banned veterinary drugs and antibiotics like chloramphenicol, a cause of aplastic anemia, and nitrofurans, which are suspected carcinogens.

    I haven't changed my seafood habits for 35 years, other than reading the signs indicating origin that have proliferated in recent years, so no real issues here.

    Isn't that Times headline a bit inappropriate, given that the article is concerned mostly with problems in imported fish & suggests that we consume more domestic product? I think of catfish as a specifically American fish, although I know that much of the farmed stuff is now imported, as the article mentions toward the end. Still seems out of line with the thrust of the piece.

  4. Yes, Breyers is here.  I've tried their sugarf ree ice cream and found it - at least in the flavor(s) I tried - to be only so-so.  I didn't see any full-fat sugar free versions from Bryers, but I'll look again.  The ice cream companies are frequently coming up with new products.

    BTW, I remember Breyers from when I was a kid.  In those days it was an east coast ice cream, and pretty well regarded IIRC.  Now, like Ben & Jerry's, it's just another one of British-based Unilever's products, and the quality has fallen somewhat even over the past couple of years. 

    Agree with you there.

    My only use for ice cream at home these days is as something to eat with strawberries, blueberries & such. The Breyers vanilla being relatively neutral in flavor, it at least serves that purpose much better than the Edy's. I haven't tried any of the other flavors.

    You're also correct that it's labeled as a "Light Ice Cream" & has about half the fat of the regular stuff. I haven't seen any full-fat sugar-free versions either.

  5. Do you get Breyer's (not Dreyer's) out there? They have a sugar-free version which I find more tolerable than the Edy's, which to me always seems to have a weird fake-chemical-cherry aftertaste (even the plain vanilla).

    Well it's probably not on the west coast or you'd have found it already.

  6. Saw that segment too. Friend who was watching said that she'd just been profiled in the Bergen Record last week. Apparently she's got a good press agent!

    I was intrigued by the wall of waters in the background & plan to visit the establishment for that reason. (I don't need cupcakes in my diet right now!)

  7. A couple more changes in town (in addition to Sabor Peru) -

    Trattoria Corrado is now "Volare's Restaurant." There may be new owners, their weekly newspaper ads seem to imply that. Haven't tried them since the change.

    Spring Grill has expanded its menu a bit to include a few more Thai staples such as Pad Prig Khing. Wish I could have seen the new menu before we ordered takeout last night! (It's not on line yet.) Anyway I'm sure I'll be reporting on this soon.

  8. Anecdotal report from New Jersey:

    Georgia peaches have been in the local markets here for about a month now. (I have no idea what part of Georgia they've been from.) They started out very tiny & have grown to a decent size.

    Whole Foods seems to have a lock on a portion of the crop. Seems funny that some of you Georgia folk are buying Carolina peaches while I'm getting Georgia.

    Anyway our Jersey peaches hit the stands this week so that's it for me.

  9. Thanks to the Host with the most for a timely post!   :biggrin:

    That may be just what we need for lunch when we blow through Porrtland in a few weeks.

    Is it insane to try to drive in that area on a July Saturday afternoon though?

    Actually, Commercial Street moves along fine in spite of tourist traffic. That middle lane takes care of turns, parking-spot hounds and delivery vehicles. The fare at Black Tie is worth any inconvenience. The fact they actually have parking beats out Portland Greengrocer in my book.

    Thanks again!

    Are you saying that they have their own lot? If so, yes, big plus. I was thinking you meant that there was one of those big tourist-oriented lots next door or something.

  10. There's a good Peruvian place on the corner of Christopher & Bedford - has Lima in the name.

    Surya, on Bleecker somewhere around Barrow or Grove, is nice if you feel like having Indian food in a garden.

    Forget acronyms (I don't think anyone uses those mentioned in speech anyway), you are staying & dining in the West Village, not the Village. Embrace it! Say it loud & say it proud! :biggrin:

  11. We ordered some H&D fruit - pears & then plums - in late winter only because my SO had gotten a gift card, which made it very cheap.

    It didn't seem any better than what I was getting from my local fruit market at that point, though it was all coming from South America then.

    I remember the actual H&D Oregon pears as being stellar, considerably better than the late winter stuff. Hopefully they still are.

    I can't imagine their peaches being better than local stuff though. Don't you guys in Philly have better available?

  12. Rosti.

    That's the name of the place & its reason for being.

    Go to Switzerland, learn how to make the stuff properly, import some sausages....

    I've had attempts to duplicate the stuff at allegedly Swiss places in NYC & they are sad sad sad.

    America loves fried taters - the world does! - & I bet that, given a taste of the real deal, this would take off. It's a nationwide franchise concept just waiting to happen.

    Actually I would just love to be able to go somewhere nearby & get a good sausage-&-rosti platter.

    (Blame FatGuy's potato dish thread for this.)

  13. Related thought: I've noticed that at a lot of markets in Europe they don't let you pick your own produce. The person selling it picks for you. That seems like an awful lot of trust to place in the seller.

    I will never forget the Venetian fruiterer from whom I bought three peaches one summer's morning. He carefully selected one peach that was perfectly ripe for eating that day, another a bit harder that needed one more day's ripening, and a third that was ready two days later.

    Trust well deserved.

  14. Oh man, now you're talking my language! :biggrin:

    1) A rosti in Wengen, Switzerland, at a little restaurant near the train station. (I've forgotten its name but can walk you back there any time.) Their rosti was prepared with a chopped smoky Swiss bacon, onions and cheese. Just divine. The excellent sausage that came with it was almost superfluous.

    2) A different sort of rosti in Davos, at a place called Cafe Weber. Nothing but potatoes & really great Swiss butter. Perfectly browned. Pure & simple. A huge portion & I couldn't stop eating it.

    3) There was another rosti in Zurich at a place on the river, similar to the Cafe Weber version, almost as good....

    When there's rosti in this world, why mess around with anything else? :raz:

  15. I suspect that I am some kind of supertaster when it comes to the sour element. I would find a 1:1 dresssing inedible. At many restaurants I have to shake as much dressing off the salad as possible to get the stuff down.

    I'd go into my loathing of capers & pickles but that would be off topic. Judging from the responses on dressings here, I think I really do have an extreme sensitivity to sour flavors.

  16. I use plastic bags with perforations in them. You can purchase these.  Most stores have them.

    When I don' t have any, I make some holes in solid bags to tide me over until I can buy veggie bags.

    In the crisper you may find you don't need bags at all.  This will depend on the fridge quality.

    My local farmers' mkt sells its lettuce in perforated bags. I rinse them out & re-use them for other produce. Works very well.

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