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Everything posted by CMN

  1. I also live in the Philly burbs, and I find it's a toss-up as to whether more "exotic fare" will be consumed or not. I have gone to pot-lucks where the first things to go are items such as those you brought, and other times where those items are avoided like the plague. I typically try to bring something that I would like to eat that I also know won't go bad by sitting outside for a few hours. I'm a transplant to the area, and I can't seem to figure this area out... What a bummer. Your food looked delicious.
  2. It would depend what my mood was. If I was in the mood for "sushi", I would probably want to go somewhere more authentic. However, I also appreciate the sort of sushi listed on your menu. I have had some really creative, nontraditional, and tasty rolls before. I would say that if you are getting a lot of business with your current menu, you should keep it since it suits your demographic. I would liken the more creative sushi to the less traditional pizza options. If I am in the mood for pizza, I want a simple thin crust pizza. Tomato sauce, mozarella, and some basil. I don't want a ton of toppings, a white pizza, bbq sauce, etc. If I am going out not expecting or craving "pizza", I can certainly have an enjoyable meal with the more eclectic pizza options. Same thing with other cuisines, like sushi.
  3. How about something like a caprese salad. Something about thick slices that seem a bit hardier than a regular salad. Or you could layer roasted vegetables (portabello, squash, eggplant. peppers) with cheese and tomatoes also. Steakhouses seem to serve a lot of iceberg wedge-type salads with bacon also, so maybe there's something about it that seems more "manly".
  4. I remember the Belair market at the gas station had pretty good sandwiches, but I haven't been there in years. It's good to hear that the C&O and Ivy Inn are still doing well b/c they were among my favorites when I was in school nearly 10 years ago. On a recent visit this month, it looked like the Hardware Store is now closed. I went to Mas(?) which is a Tapas place near the downtown mall area which I loved. Also check out Gearharts chocolates!
  5. For a chocolate dipped waffle, I picture something more cookie-like than a belgian waffle. More like a pizelle or waffle cone. You might ask her to clarify what she's looking for.
  6. Thinking about going this weekend. Anyone been recently? Any news on the new chef? Thanks in advance!
  7. So far this season: 1) "stir fried" with a) tomatoes, peppers, corn, onions, italian seasonings and a squeeze of lime. b) peppers, onions, spanish seasonings 2) stuffed with garlic, onion, tomatoes, zucchini (what I scooped out), herbs, bread crumbs, and parm. 3) curried soup: onions, garlic, curry powder, broth, milk, butter blended together. 4) simply grilled I'm thinking about a batc of zucchini bread next...
  8. CMN


    We had a wonderful dinner at Gayle last night. The weather was nice, so we dined out on the patio. It was a very nice, intimate atmosphere with excellent service. I started out with the #5 scallop and pork cheek combination, which consisted of a beautiful seared scallop and a pork cheek ravioli seated upon a tender and flavorful piece of pork. Very well presented and incredibly tasty. He had the crispy risotto, which looked like tater tots, but tasted much better. The crispy exterior yielded to a meltingly creamy risotto which paired well with the dipping sauce. I chose the monkfish entree, which was accompanied by artichokes and potatoes. A solidly executed dish. He had the tuna with basmati rice. The tuna was a perfect rare, and was accompanied by a smidgen of curry ice cream which provided a nice contrast not only in flavor, but in texture as well. We finished off with the endive parfait, which was very subtle, but quite refreshing. As an added note, the waitress brought over a complimentary endive parfait to the next table who were debating what to order for dessert, but not sure that they were adventurous enough to change the endive parfait. In addition, after we had already paid our bill and were walking back to our car, the waitress chased us down (literally running) to present us with a bottle of champagne in honor of my birthday. We had already decided that this was a place we would definitely go back to, but it was really the icing on the cake. It seemed like a place where the staff cared not only about the food, but the customers as well (or at least it felt that way to us). I was surprised that there hasn't been much written up on this thread recently, but we would highly recommend a visit!
  9. CMN


    They're only allowing reservations for up to 50 people, and they're trying to spread it out over the course of the night to make the service more manageable. Their hours are 5-9pm, and they're BYO and cash only. I didn't ask about any regular menu options. I already booked my husband and I for 8:15 pm
  10. A lot of Asians are lactose intolerant, so maybe it has to do with the cheese. You can avoid it to a certain extent with Italian cuisine...
  11. Moon cakes, almond cookies, or egg custard tarts?
  12. We were in the Portland area for a mini-getaway from Philly. We stopped by the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth and had the Lobster Roll Basket. We were surprisingly disappointed. The fries were soggy, the coleslaw a tad watery, and fountain refills cost 25cents for a small cup. The lobster roll itself was quite tasty. The roll nicely buttered and toasty, and the lobster simply prepared with a dollop of mayo. We were surprised at how small they were, though. Perhaps we're spoiled by the size of the cheesesteaks at home... For dinner, we stopped by 555, based on some comments we read on this thread, and had a fabulous meal. The ambience and service were warm and inviting. We didn't have a reservation, but were fortunate to be seated almost immediately due to a last minute cancellation (we witnessed a mini-fight b/t a couple prior to their sudden cancellation. bad luck for them, good luck for us ). He had a local amber ale to go with dinner, and I had the Unibroue Ephemere--an apple ale. I would highly recommend it as a nice summer beer--light, refreshing, and not at all cloyingly sweet. I started with the Maine blueberry salad which was a wonderful mix of textures and flavors--the creaminess of the blue cheese, the crunch of the walnuts, and the addition of large and small blueberries. Not overly dressed, and again, not overly sweet as a number of fruit-accented salads I've had have been. He had the maine market salad which had goat cheese and balsamic marinated squash. It was also garnished with cripsy shreds of red onion which added an interesting texture and flavor, and was likewise pleased. For the entrees, I had the crab risotto, which was cooked to a perfect consistency. It was flavored with marscapone cheese, and had mushrooms and a surprise addition of fresh cut corn--a nice burst of sweetness in each bite. He had the chipotle marinated hangar steak--again prepared a perfect, tender medium rare as requested. Yummy! For dessert, we split the cake and ice cream--green tea ice cream with an asian style sponge cake, sesame tuile, and candied ginger. A nice light dessert with an interesting play of flavors. All in all, a great experience and a place we would highly recommend.
  13. I believe Maya Bella, which is across the street from Fayette Street Grille, is open on Mondays.
  14. I don't know what's wrong with my husband's phone--he said he tried three times and got an insurance company, whereas I hit Ansill on my first try! Anyways, they said that they are currently open from ~6:30-11pm 7 days a week except for Friday and Saturday when they're open till midnite. I'm hoping to check them out sometime in the next week or two. Thanks for your help. The number is correct. I used it and got Ansill. They will not be taking reservations. For last weekend, they were only open Friday and Saturday nights. They eventually plan to be open from 11:00am, seven days a week. I don't know when that will start however. ← I was there again last night and I asked about this, they said they intend to start opening at 11 am in the summer. Right now they open at 5:30. I believe they said they would start opening on Sundays sooner than that though, maybe in the next couple of months? The phone number Dish gave works. In fact, I wasn't able to find the phone number anywhere on the net apart from this thread. ←
  15. I tried the number Dish listed above but didn't get Ansill. Anybody know what their current hours are and if they will be taking reservations?
  16. How about some melon/prosciutto or smoked salmon/asparagus spears. You can also stuff some cherry tomatoes or mushrooms to get in some more veggie options. Mushroom caps and cucumber slices are also nice "platforms" for some finger foods.
  17. I went camping with some friends over the 4th of July weekend. We actually used tents, but it was more "car camping" than roughing it. Inflatable mattresses, flood light, canopy, variety of "camping" chairs, hammock, tons of coolers, etc. We were also not-so-far from civilization (~15-20 minutes from Sea Isle City). Someone brought portable stovetop--it ran on propane and had a couple of burners and an adapter for a griddle. For breakfast, we used it to boil water to make coffee using a French-press coffee pot. We made scrambled eggs with and without cheese, bacon, and a variety of pancakes--plain, blueberry (from the farmer's stand on the way there), and chocolate chip (from leftover hershey's bars from the s'mores the night before). Our friend who makes the captain morgans-strawberry topping on our camping trips couldn't make it this time. We also had an assortment of juices, cereals, fresh fruit, donuts/cookies, and bloody mary’s. Dinner one night was baked beans (canned), potato salad, corn cooked over the fire, squash (cooked in foil), and steak marinated two ways (one dry rub, one wet). Dessert was s’mores, cupcakes, and pudgie pies. I’d never had pudgie pies before, but you put two pieces of bread filled with whatever you want (we used chocolate/marshmallows and apple pie filling) on this metal contraption, clamp it shut, and toast it over the fire for your own personal campfire pie. The next night we had chicken marinated overnight in a campmade tequila-lime marinade along with more grilled veggies, a salad, and bratwurst. Oh, and a lot of beer and alcohol… We also subsisted on sandwiches with a variety of cold cuts/topping, and the usual snack foods--chips, cookies, candy, fruit, etc.
  18. Finally ate at Buddakan last night (we had a gift certificate and of the Starr restaurants we haven't gone to, this is the one the S.O. chose). It was "OK", but I left rather disappointed. First, the ambience was sub-par. I have a problem with paper-wrapped chopsticks in a place that charges what they do. It's like putting out plastic forks, IMHO. The service, while attentive, was a bit rushed. We were out of there in about an hour (drinks, appetizers, entrees, dessert/coffee). The waitress we had was also not-so-well versed. She had trouble remembering the specials (despite checking her notepad), and failed to remember what was no longer available. We had the shrimp spring rolls and edamame ravioli for the appetizers. The shrimp spring roll came with two sauces for dipping, and pickled cucumbers as a garnish/accent. They were acceptable (though not memorable), but as others have mentioned, you could get a better (and cheaper) version in Chinatown. The edamame ravioli were garnished with onions and more edamame. The pasta seemed a touch thick, and the filling rather bland. The onions didn't match the dish at all. We had the miso-glazed black cod and the aged beef for the entrees. The cod came with wasabi mashed potatoes (wasabi overload--I think there was wasabi in some form or another on all our dishes...except for dessert) and the same shredded carrots/daikon blend that came with the spring rolls. I really enjoyed the first bite of fish--moist and flavorful, but unfortunately, the rest of the fish was swimming in an overly salty sauce. I enjoyed the beef dish--very flavorful. It came with fried mound of potatoes with a sauce drizzled over it, sitting over plain watercress (which absorbed the sauce from the beef nicely). For dessert, we split the chocolate pagoda (?). Basically a chocolate-hazelnut ice cream sandwich topped with a triangle of chocolate mousse, chocolate sauce, and crushed toasted hazelnuts. Generous portion and more than enough for two. I would say it was the best part of the meal (but I have a severe sweet tooth!). Overall, I wouldn't "not" go back to Buddakan if someone else chose it, but it certainly wouldn't be on my list of places to go.
  19. Had the Mirtillo (blueberry) and Thyme, and Thai Coconut Milk last week. First was very yummy, with a not-overwhelming herbal note, and the second is a favorite. Also sampled Mamey Sapote (a fruit) and Black Fig. Thought both were a bit mild/not intense enough for my taste. Also tried avocado, which I liked more than I expected. Sweet, creamy, and avocado-y. Definitely worth a try.
  20. I had a dish at an Afghan restaurant once that had pumpkin, a yogurt sauce, and a sort of meat based spaghetti sauce. Wound up being my favorite dish of the night.
  21. Back in college, my then-boyfriend had made us some fried sausage and peppers for dinner one night--yum!yum!yum! The next night, we were both pretty tired and scrounging around the fridge for something to eat, and I told him to relax, and that I would take care of it. I wound up tossing together some ramen noodles, the leftover sausage and peppers, and some leftover salad (tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers) from the night before. Absolutely horrible! Even on a student budget, we tossed it out. He still teases me about the "CMN-surprise"...
  22. So...my non-drinking parents just brought me a bottle of Amarula back from their cruise. It looks sort of like Irish Cream, from what I can tell (I haven't tasted it yet). Is that what it's like? Any one have any experience/thoughts of it?
  23. CMN

    Winter Squash Gnocchi

    We've made buttersquash gnocchi before, same method as using potatoes. If you bake them, you shouldn't have too much problem with moisture, but we've found that a bit of extra flour does the trick with boiled potatoes/squash. We don't use a ricer--just mashed and mixed. You just need to develop a "feel" of the texture you're looking for. They're especially good with a brown butter-sage sauce. If you have extra squash, I say go for it. I don't find either (potatoes or squash) necessarily easier than the other.
  24. I don't think Hershey is much of a dining destination, which is probably why you haven't received any suggestions. The main reason people go there is for "Hershey". Does she have a car? Maybe you could look at a map and see how far she's willing to drive and ask about some of the other areas. I think the next "big" city is Harrisburg. If she's up for more a more substantial drive on the weekend, there are a ton of places in Philly and the surrounding suburbs...
  25. Bittersweet chocolate Burnt caramel Creme fraiche Mmmmm.....
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