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    Columbus, Ohio

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  1. This weekend for football Saturday (Go Bucks! Number 4 baby) I went to The Winking Lizard Tavern (100 beers by the bottle from around the world). I had Houblon Chouffe (a personal favorite), Lion Stout (from Sri Lanka, a cheapie but gets the job done, plus the bottle is pretty cool), and a Thirsty Dog Siberian Night. I tend to go for a high ABV beer with the taste to back up the alcohol content. However, after all that I had to calm it down with one of the best Bloody Mary's I'd ever had. Yeah, so it was 11 at night and I just had a lot of beer, but it was sure refreshing.
  2. Love: Chocolat (okay, so mostly because it's Johnny Depp with an accent...an Irish accent) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Johnny Depp again. He's the creepy Willy Wonka that Dahl envisioned - not the drunk Willy Wonka) Dinner Rush (okay, so I think the squinty eyed guy who plays the chef - I think he also played a guy on a few episodes of the Sopranos - is really hot) Waiting - disgustinly hilarious if you've ever worked in the service industry Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal (certain scenes anyway) So, its completely obvious that I'm a little pedestrian in my tastes in popular culture. I had to watch Babette's Feast too many times in various French language classes and got really sick of it. I haven't watched it since college - I'll revisit it. Sideways is an odd movie for me. Sometimes I watch it and love it. Other times I watch it and hate it.
  3. I bartended at a smallish Cali-Mex? style and when we were slow or I was bored I would take tables. (Full disclosure. I'm a much better bartender than a server). But I would try and not do everything that pissed me off as a customer. Especially the "do you need change?". I just said "I'll be right back with your change." Most people, if they didn't need change would say "Oh, I don't need any. Thank you." I had to do the same script that everyone else did. Though if the manager was goofing off in the back office I didn't follow it. We were supposed to say "Hi! My name is Shannon and I'll be taking care of you today. Have you ever dined here before?" Take care? It's a restaurant, not a hospital. Okay, so I rarely introduced myself either. Honestly, I never really care what a server's name is (different if its the bartender as I am in much closer proximity to them for the period I am eating/mostly drinking) and I refuse to yell "Bartender!" I much prefer bartending to serving. I never worked as a server before bartending though. So I have a lot more pet peeves as a bartender to other bartenders than I do to servers. Mostly because when I go out, I sit at the bar if they serve food there. My pet peeves: Not washing hands in the bathroom Grabbing the glass by the rim Water/pop glass remaining empty for an EXTENDED period of time And I usually tip wayyyyy too much because I feel for them. Unless they were rude. There is no excuse for being rude or snotty.
  4. I very narrowly missed being the un-proud owner of a Sandra Lee cookbook. Several years ago (as I was making the braised short ribs from the French Laundry Cookbook) my grandma calls to tell me she was watching QVC and wanted to order me a cookbook (my first hint) and that it was by some woman from the food network (the second hint). So I asked who it was and she said, "I think her name is Sandra Lee. And I..." I had to cut her off with a big "NO!" don't waste your money. I then proceeded to go on a 15 minute rant on Sandra Lee (SL used to make me angry, now I just laugh at her). This was around the time that she wrote something for Gourmet (or Bon App, I'm not sure) and wrote that chefs in four star restaurants were not making their own stock or something. What an idiot. I do have to state that I am a proud owner of the Mickey Mouse Gourmet Cookbook. Got it on a childhood trip to Disney World. I've never cooked anything from it, but it reminds me of that trip. Shannon
  5. I worked as a bartender at Mad Mex in Columbus, Ohio and for a time we had four different Unibroues on tap (including the Ephemere). It was sad to see because for a lot of people, this was their first experience with this type of beer and most were not fans. Something about the taste of all four was just not right, hard to explain to someone, but it was just "off." I'm not a huge belgian fan to begin with, but I can appreciate them and their nuances, on tap did not do these justice. Shannon
  6. I used to bartend at a tequila-focused bar and have a few favorites to add to the mix: On the expensive side, I love Don Julio 1942. When it is poured into a brandy snifter the vanilla aroma is amazing (although if "training wheels" - limes and/or salt - come near it, it is not the same) Delicious on the blanco side is El Tesoro Platinum. I'm not a fan of the El Tesoro Anejo though. Let's see if I can help a little more. Personally, and I don't know if you were even thinking about this, but most Patron is overrated - although I have yet to try the Gran Patron. Cazadores Reposado (theres a deer or something on the bottle) is very good, as is the Anejo Corazon. Herradura is a lowland tequila and the earthy quality of this one in particular is not something I'm a big fan of. Hopefully you are getting a mix of blancos, reposados and anjeos. Personal preference here: No chilling of anjeos or reposados. For my palate it ruins the smooth quality. You might want to serve some palate cleansing sangrita (not sangria). Sangrita is a traditional mixture of tomato juice and citrus juices (there might be a little hot sauce in there too). Have fun!
  7. Thanks so much for all the quick replies. It has been store very well. I may be young, but I know not to store wines on top of the fridge (so no temp. changes). It also has only been moved once (when I moved into my new apartment). Now for a super-stupid question: What is the best way to chill it before New Years? I really only drink red wine at home (which I don't put in the fridge) and if it's not red wine, its a whiskey, so I'm not used to chilling a whole bottle of anything. Nuttier? That sounds great to me! And flatter is fine as well (i don't like too many bubbles). Shannon
  8. I got this bottle in the topic decription a few years ago as a gift. Don't ask me why I havn't drank it until now, its a long story. My question is, is it still good? I wanted to open it on New Year's Eve, but don't want to if it is going to be bad. Thanks! Shannon
  9. Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Yum!
  10. After the Terra Madre, Dominic is spending (I think) a couple of weeks exploring the part of Italy that Carrie Cerino herself is from, so I don't think he'll be back for a few weeks. What an awesome trip! Shannon
  11. Ever since I had pork belly for the first time in Cleveland at The Leopard, it's hard to top. I still dream about it. Wish more (or even one that I know of) restaurants in Columbus would serve pork belly. Lamb chops done correctly are pretty hard to beat as well. If it is me doing the cooking, I love braised short ribs or a bloody, rare organic, well-marbled steak. Oh, I almost forgot how much I love duck breast, still havn't had duck leg confit yet... Wait, favorite implies only one, so if I could only have one piece of meat for the rest of my life, his name would be...just kidding, it would be the pork belly. Shannon
  12. Because being a journalist pays like crap, I started bartending school (don't laugh) to suppliment my income). Just starting out, I would like to know when you do go out to a nice restaurant or lounge, what do bartenders do that annoys the crap out of you? What do most not know that you wish they did? What are little things a bartender can do that make you happy as a customer? Any information would be extremely helpful. (On a side note: I searched to see if this came up before and I could not find anything along this line). Thanks in advance. Shannon
  13. May I please have the 45 seconds it took to read that piece back? I could really use it to apply lip gloss or tie my shoe - both of which are activities I find more enjoyable than that. Does she really want to see the salt shaker, with its rice to keep it from clumping that looks like small bugs, on the table? And could she please insert the word Pellagrino in her piece one more time? I don't think the 50 times it was included was enough. In all seriousness though, she makes it clear that this happens at most of the places she goes out to and that certain courses and utensils always suck. Then why does she still go out to dine? Even the flow of the piece seemed jagged and uneven to me and left me with the worst question to have after reading an editorial or opinion piece: "What was the point?"
  14. I grew up on dipping my fries in a chocolate milkshake like Wendy's Frosty's. I also love a good mustard. If I'm having fried fish at the same time I like to sprinkle (ok, drench) the whole combo in malt vinegar. The only "fries" I eat with ketchup are the waffle fries at Chick-fil-A and then I use a whole lot of salt too.
  15. I had to go to the Ohio State Fair a few weeks ago to interview a local woman who enters over 40 things in the food contest; so I got to taste a little bit of fair food. Although I wasn't that hungry after looking at all the rotting, molded cookies and breads in the display cases. At the Ohio State Fair, if you can fry something, they will fry it. Fried oreos, baby ruths, mac and cheese, carnies . I saw a few people taking a picture of the booth that was frying everything and I immediately wondered if they were egulleters! I did not partake in the fried fest, I had my annual cheese sandwich with butter on whole wheat bread in the Butter Cow building. Usually they have German mustard to put on it, but this year there was only yellow. For lunch we went to the Ohio foods pavillion and had shredded lamb sandwiches - pretty good. Sadly the lamb booth was the least busy out of all the sections (dairy, poultry, pork). It was either that or a heinously pale chicken breast sandwich on really bad bread.
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