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Posts posted by guzzirider

  1. I've had the gorditas a couple of times, and they seemed fine. My only real complaint is that they're a bit on the bland side. I'm no huitlacoche expert, but I was expecting a bit more of a truffle-y flavor perhaps.

    One entree I had there that I *really* enjoyed was the Barbacoa de Borrego (slow-cooked goat). It definitely reminded me of some of the food that we had during our honeymoon in Mexico - tender and delicious, with a stack of warm tortillas on the side.

    I've heard the complaints about the thyme leaves in the drink before, but for some reason they don't offend me. But then again, tequila is involved - which tends to alter my sensibilities a bit :laugh:

    After one fru-fru coctail, I like to move on to the straight tequila and sangrita chasers they serve up anyway. The sangrita is pretty much worth the price of admission for me...


  2. One of my favorite meals in town is the duck salad at Standard Tap followed by those mussels. Every once in a while they run out of chorizo and substitute Italian sausage... and when they do, it's like finding out your best friend just died.

    I'm interested in trying out the mussels at Zot. I know Andrew gave a pretty dismal review of the place over in the Belgian thread, but I'm hoping they can pull it together.


  3. They dont take reservations but empty tables in the window are always reserved, in more than a few cases empty during the entirety of my meal, its just BS.

    LOL! The *best* is when your waiting for a table to free up, but you can't wait at the bar either because Neil's dog is taking up 3 seats for it's nap... it made me understand why somebody tried to dog-nap the pooch a couple years back...


  4. My experiences there have been mixed. I was really not happy with the first visit. I thought some of the food was mediocre at best, and our bartender seemed to be just as interested in trying out his horrible pickup lines on the clientele as he was serving food and drinks. However, that wasn't too long after they opened, so it's quite possible they were working out the kinks in the kitchen (and hopefully looking for a new bartender).

    On a more recent visit, however, I really enjoyed it. There were 4 of us and we ordered a table full of food... way too much actually, but I was pretty happy with everything I sampled.

    I do agree with Matt's opinion that the pitchers of margaritas seem week. We were going through it like it was Kool-aid, and I don't recall any noticeable effect.


  5. My dough recipe makes enough for 3 pizzas. I let it rise at room temp for a couple hours, then punch it down and divide it. Then it goes in the fridge overnight. However, I like to let it sit even longer if possible. I think I've held it in the fridge for 3 or 4 days, and it seems to get better with the extra time.

    So, I wouldn't worry. I coat each dough ball with a few drops of olive oil and cover whatever is holding them with plastic wrap.


  6. Jason it's no big deal, nobody needs to "chill-out", these are passionate discussions about food and cookery and succinctly stated disagreements on the internet are not food fights.

    [snipped for brevity]

    Fair enough. I'm a relative "outsider" in this forum myself, however I may be a bit more vocal than some. I have spoken (offline) to some who have told me that although they lurk here frequently, they choose not to post here simply because it would feel like walking into a den of lions. So while I can appreciate the desire to keep EG more on the serious side of things, I just think it could be tempered a bit at times. Sometime passion gets mistaken for hostility, especially during faceless online discussions. Things get taken out of context here, which wouldn't happen if the same people where having the same discussion while sitting next to each other at a bar.

    But I digress.

    Back to our regularly scheduled programming...


  7. I'm on a personal crusade against sweet doughs.

    The perception of Sweetness and all the other parameters of taste are not evenly detected by human beings to the same degree of accuracy.

    I would put down the shield and coat of arms and chill with the crusade.

    All he did was state and opinion based on his observation (about the dough possibly being a bit sweet for his liking). Is this sort of thing not allowed here? After all, it's not like he's setting up a picket line outside Osteria to protest their use of sugar.

    I'll restate my previous opinion that the collective PA forum needs to chill out a bit. We're just here talking about food... not curing cancer after all.

    Just my 2¢.


  8. Do you want the dough to rely on natural, cold fermentation,... really I am intrigued.

    Sure - if you've got time and space to let the dough live a natural life, why not? Basically, it would be sort of like a sourdough... just keep feeding it flour and water to make up for what you use each day, and it might be fine. I don't see why sugar would be a necessity, although it would probably make things a bit easier to manage.

    BTW, have you ever stumbled accross this bit of madness from Jeff Varasano? http://jvpizza.sliceny.com/

    My guess is that this guy Varasano might just be obsessed enough to tell if a particular crust has sugar or not! :laugh:


  9. I can't wait to stop by.  For a little while I worked at Jake's Deli in Milwaukee.  I have never had a better sandwich in my life.  Hand-sliced corned beef that is cooked in-house on rye with mustard and a pickle.  It will honestly be hard to beat the memory of that sandwich but i'll give you a fair shake.

    Well, if it helps at all, Hershel's is also cooked in-house and served on rye with mustard and a pickle. :laugh:


  10. I was there on Saturday as well for the first time. Pastrami was remarkable. I've been cursed to a life of commercial, store-bought pastrami - and the stuff at Hershel's bore no resemblance to what I've known in the past... it was far more complex, and certainly worth going back for.

    The coleslaw was somewhat tasteless though. In hindsight, I think I would have enjoyed it better spread on top of my pastrami, rather than eaten on the side.

    I have to say, though, next time I stop by there, it will be to get one of their grilled reubens... they looked *so* good...

    Oh... tried a can of Cel-Ray, too... good stuff. :)


  11. I don't pretend to think that I'll ever make pasta of Vetri's quality at home. My point is that it's somewhat turned me off to store bought pasta. If I can manage to make something at home that is somehow a happy medium between store-bought crap, and Vetri's amazing stuff, I'd be thrilled. Hell, if it was just a half a notch above store-bought, I'd consider it job well done.

    Besides, it's just another excuse for me to futz around in the kitchen...


  12. We also had the bucatini with testa ragu. The texture of this pasta was just incredible; like the candele, it has a chewy, noodle-like quality that can only be achieved with hand-made pasta. But the dish was, overall, shockingly tasteless. One could tell that there was some butter and oil and cheese in the dish, but none of these elements (let alone the testa) registered particularly strongly on the palate. It's possible that some salt would have substantially improved things, though unfortunately I didn't have my jacket which contains my travel box of Maldon with me and I didn't think to ask for salt. But that the dish was enjoyable to eat is a testament to the quality of the pasta itself.

    Hmmm... Cherie and I had the bucatini when we were in a couple weeks ago, and it was really good that night... actually, it was a toss-up for me for favorite dish, between that and the Pizza Lombarda. The one we had definitely wasn't lacking in flavor... in fact, I was doing my best to soak up whatever sauce I could with bread afterwords... :raz:

    You are definitely right about the texture - it makes me want to start making my own pasta at home, because anything I buy at the store is crap in comparison...


  13. The impression I get is that this bar reservation thing may be temporary for the time being, and that they are simply trying to keep things under control at this stage of the game. Personally, I think it's a stupid policy, but if it's temporary... so be it. Knowing that's they're policy, I'm not going out of my way to try and get in there any time soon. At this point, I doubt they'll miss my business.

    In the meantime, I've got about 40 other places still on my list to visit, so whatever...


  14. Some of you may be interested in some of the work (!) that's been going on in the PA forum discussing steaks. There's a lot of info to digest (sorry) but if you've got the time, it's an interesting read:


    In the first test, they were simply comparing various brands of meat. More recently, there was a second test where they compared cooking methods... pan sear, sous vide, and grilled on a konro with bincho-tan charcoal. These guys take their meat very seriously! :-)


  15. Hi Priscilla,

    Let me first state that I've never been to Chicago. However, I used to be a regular at a pizza shop that was run by a guy who *used* to work for one of the big name places in Chicago (it's been years... don't remember which one). At any rate, the deep dish pizzas they made were fantastic, and since I moved to the Philly area, I haven't seen anything that resembles it.

    So, I decided to make it myself.

    Typically, they are a "heavier" sort of dough, which usually has cornmeal in it. I did some hunting around online, and eventually found a recipe that sounded like it might work well. It actually turned out *really* good:



    And this is the recipe I used for the dough:


    Good luck!


  16. "followers of Laban".

    Pfft! Some might call them Lemmings, as well.

    I respect Mr. Laban and his writings very much, but seriously. There's too much good (and bad) food out there to wait for something to hit his radar screen, get reviewed three times, and make it into the publication rotation. And once it does you can't get a seat anyway.

    LOL! I think I spotted some of these "Followers of LaBan" a number of years back at Standard Tap. Silver haired couple, *way* overdressed, sitting at the center of the bar, sipping wine and looking around nervously at the hipsters that surrounded them...


  17. So does anyone know if the nonsense reported in the Philly Weekly about Tinto being Reservations Only (even at the bar) is true??  Seems like an awfully difficult way to curry favor with new clientele if there's no possibility at all of simply walking in for a glass of wine and a bite.

    There was a report on Phillyblog that seemed to suggest that the bar was reservation-only.


  18. I've not been into Duff's, but I've been checking them out online. From what I gather, these may be the super-saucy type. Perhaps not my cup-o-tea, but I may have to check them out in person next time around.


    If you get medium or hotter at Duff's they tend to be pretty saucy, but not soggy. I know what you mean, I hate soggy mushy wings.

    When I go to Duffs I usually go with the Medium Light wings, extra crispy...perfect for me, not too saucy, and the heat level is good. I could stand a little more, but I never understood eating them so hot you don't enjoy them.....

    But be sure you go to the Sheridan Drive location, the one down in Orchard Park is not nearly as good.....

    Yeah... I don't get the super-hot wing thing either. I've had my share of paint-stripping wings, but looking back on it, it was when I was young and trying to impress someone. :raz:

    Some claim there's an endorphin rush, but I never really noticed it personally.

    At any rate, I hope to check out Duff's next time I'm back in town.


  19. My idea was directed at the economics of access: if the state can shave a few bucks off a $20 wine why can't they do the same for a $100 wine?

    As Katie mentioned upthread, the CS program tends to deal with higher volumes.

    I think another reason they tend not to include some of these hi-dollar wines in the program is simply because the state has no leverage to force a discount. For instance, if I'm a relatively small producer, who makes a limited quantity of outstanding $150 wine... odds are, I'm going to deplete my stock whether the PLCB buys from me or not. How would I benefit from selling off to them at a discount?

    As Katie also mentioned I believe *way* upthread, the benefit to wineries comes into play when the PLCB can take a very large allotment off their hands at one time. This sort of transaction can be quite beneficial to the winery for a variety of reasons. However, if you are only producing small-ish quantities, and plan on selling out anyway, this serves you no purpose. Hence, no discount available.

    I'm sure there are a variety of other factors at play, though.


  20. Where do I fid a good bagel recipe?

    I've been using the Cook's Illustrated recipe (and I know others do to). It was published in '97, but is available on their website (but there is a membership fee for their website).


  21. Sorry... I may be a bit late to contribute to the OP's request, but I wanted to put in my obligatory recommendation of the wings at the Buffalo Brew Pub - around Main & Transit in Williamsville. Every time I go back to WNY to visit family, we always make it a point to stop here.

    One of the things I like best about the Brew Pub wings is that they don't oversauce them. I despise soggy wings, and they put on just enough so that the one at the bottom of the pile is usually just as crispy as the first one.

    Plus... the beer bread ROCKS! Not to mention, the Beef on Weck. Oh, yeah... the beer's pretty good too. And any place that lets you toss peanut shells on the floor gets bonus points in my book... :)

    I've not been into Duff's, but I've been checking them out online. From what I gather, these may be the super-saucy type. Perhaps not my cup-o-tea, but I may have to check them out in person next time around.


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