Jump to content


legacy participant
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by phaelon56

  1. I actually grew up on Euclid Ave - on the hill between Westmoreland and Cumberland. And many of my school friends lived on the side streets off Euclid closer to campus - Dorset, Stratford, Ostrom, Berkeley Drive, Sumner, Ackerman etc.. Still a nice area but the remaining families on some of the streets close to campus are struggling to keep it from turning into a student ghetto. They don't seem to advertise much anymore but with a fairly large number of retail dairy outlets that also serve as neighborhood convenience stores they seem to do well. I drink about one quart of milk per week and it's not on my travel path thus i don't shop there. But it's worth noting that they were one of the first local dairies to offer non bgh (bovine growth hormone) milk when that became an issue of concern.
  2. I went to Ithaca yesterday for a rainy day visit to the Ithaca Farmers Market Very slow day due to heavy rain and we arrived late - just before the market closed. Neither of the cheesemakers I buy from were there (major bummer and I may try again next Saturday). Vendors are required to have grown, processed or packaged their goods within a 50 mile radius of Ithaca. And although there are a handful of exceptions most of the products sold are organic (and pricey but often worth it). Work constraints will have most of my posting done in the evening hours but for those of you with fond memories of late night beer swilling and greasy carb loading back when you were Cornell undergrads.... I give you.... Chapter House and "truck". Some things really never change.
  3. Hello All... Phaelon56 aka Owen O'Neill here. I'm presently based in Syracuse NY - also my hometown - at what most consider to be the geographic center or crossroads of the state. It's a classic Rust Belt city with declining and aging population (at about 150,000 with another 200,000 in the suburbs - down from our peak of nearly 200,000 back in the 1960's). Unless you're including my goldfish (who love me dearly and miss me when I'm gone) I live alone and cook far less, especially these days, than Melissa does. Before we proceed - just a word about salt potatoes. They're not exciting - they're tradition. They really are as simple as they sound and the original recipe calls for two quarts of water, five pounds of new potatoes and one pound of salt. The "low salt" version uses only 12 oz of salt but, unlike Melissa, I like 'em salty. Apart from corn on the cob it's one of the few foods that I enjoy with a liberal dose of salt. And, although my Irish ancestors did not work in the salt yards - it is a part of my cultural heritage. In the 1800's Syracuse produced 90% of all the salt consumed in the United States. Enormous brine reservoirs and limestone bedrock are underneath much or our area (or were back then). The brine, which had about a pound of salt per gallon of water, was pumped into large flat containers and through a combination of sunlight and heat from fires (mostly fires as the sun doesn't shine much in these parts from October through March. The Irish salt yard workers brought buckets of potatoes to work as their lunch and cooked them in the boiling briny water - which had probably been reduced by half at that point - thus the 1 pound to 2 quarts ratio. The leading "brand" is Hinerwadel's - marketed by a local family whose "grove" has been the site of large clambakes for generations. If I recall the numbers correctly they sell between 1 and 2 million five pound bags per year - just in this general area as the seemingly ubiquitous salt potato is little known once one gets more than fifty miles from Syracuse. By the way - the salt was transported to a variety of markets by way of the Erie Canal - and the building in Saturday's Teaser Photos is the Weighlock Building which now serves as the canal museum. It had a set of locks on both sides and was used to assess weights and collect tolls for goods transported on the canal. Fairly mundane stuff but it was a big deal back then and this is the only building of it's kind remaining int he world. I'll cook a few meals at home this week, head out for some good evening meals at, among others, a spectacularly good Polish restaurant and a conveyor style sushi restaurant, and perhaps throw in a trip to our newest local Italian import specialty grocer. And Melissa will join me for lunch later this week when we check out the first ever reasonably authentic taqueria this town has ever seen (run by gringos!).
  4. Although their retail shops can be inconsistent on espresso drink quality (mostly due to having so many, I think) they have very good coffee and Mr. Peet has had a profound influence on the specialty coffee industry in North America as it exists today. Peet's provides the positive proof that you can have dark roasted coffee that doesn't taste burnt. I wish that other even bigger chain would get a clue about that
  5. People (tourists or not) will never tire of "getting dressed up to go out for a nice dinner". But I agree that the number of people interested in doing this and the frequency with which they go to such trouble is already on the wane and will continue to decline. I'm in New York - the state not the city. And in this state, outside of Manhattan, any given small to medium metro area (Capitol District, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo et al) will typically have only one or two restaurants where people feel obligated to get dressed up to the coat and tie level. ten to twenty years ago there were 2x to 3x the number of places where people got "dressed up". But shorts, flip flops and untucked shirts? Not out here in the sticks. Even at the more upscale places where coat and tie is not the rule you may see jeans, a nice shirt and casual shoes but it's the rare exception where people dress down more than that. I, on the other hand, have standardized on black jeans, black T-shirt and black clogs no matter where I go but add a black jacket when necessary.
  6. Cornell is not a cooking school and does not pretend to be one. The public college division within the private university include the Colleges of Human Ecology, Agriculture and Industrial & Labor Relations. My position is that the dual degree program is a huge plus for someone who wants their options as open as possible. And you won't save money by looking at enrollment in one of the public colleges in their system. I agree that Cornell and CIA are different beats but if you can have some of both and have both Cornell and CIA on your degree / resume? Go for it. I worked for Cornell for four years and believe me - that name on my resume as a past employer opened some doors for me down the road. It almost made it worth the four years of long hours and crappy pay
  7. I've had both types - single bowl and double. I prefer the big single because although I have a dishwasher all of my pots and pans go in the single to be hand washed. There are items such as roasting pans and the grills for my bullet smoker that simply don't fit into the bowls of my double. But what I'd really really REALLY like is either as double with two big bowls (as big as or nearly as big as a single) and two separate faucets. I'd also like a separate water tap above the stove to fill pots for potatoes, pasta etc but might just do that if/when I put in a new range and add a range hood.
  8. If you can work out the requirements for having enough time, money and energy to do the dual program then go for it. One of my childhood friends wanted to be a chef from a relatively young age. She cooked at home, started doing part time work in the kitchen at a local country club at age 15 and entered CIA at 18 to become a pastry chef. Two years of working in her chosen field at relatively low pay with long demanding hours prompted her to rethink her long term future and options. She entered the Cornell program.... graduated and went straight to a job with Rich Foods in Buffalo.... and recently retired - before the age of 55. In short - if you want as many options as possible open to you in the future and want the possibility of a good "corporate job" (no for everyone to be certain) - the Cornell "brand" on your resume will make a huge difference.
  9. phaelon56


    Moderator's Note: This thread is specifically for discussion of Franny's and as such any commentary that relates to Bruni's review is fair game. But there's a bit of topic drift occurring. For commentary and general discussion about Bruni's reviewing style in the larger scheme of things please post your thoughts on the Bruni and Beyond Thread. Thanks!
  10. If even decaf is affecting you than I'll guess that caffeine is not the issue. You might consider trying a Toddy System. It's a cold brew system that yields a concentrate which can be added to iced drinks or reconstituted as a hot cup of coffee by adding about 3 parts hot water to 1 part Toddy concentrate. It stores well after brewing for about 7 - 10 days in the fridge. The appeal for many people - apparently due to the cold brewing system - is that the components of conventional hot brewed coffee that seem to affect many people are minimized if not eliminated. The trade-off is that some subtle but noticeable flavor components are also reduced. But at least it's still coffee and will be far better than the average cup you'll get in many places if you brew it with good quality beans.
  11. Good point. Find out what the pricing is at other shops in Seattle - e.g. bagel shops, coffee chains, independents etc. - for the "joe to go" boxes. I assume you'll be brewing coffee into airports - right? (if not please consider doing that). The disposable coffee carafe itself holds either 96 oz or 128 oz. The 96 oz size is a perfect match for 3 liter airpot brewers. Price it so the cost per cup is about the same as buying coffee by the cup. You'll be eating the $4 to $5 cost of the carafe but the add-on sales of baked goods, juice etc. will more than make up for that. Yes - as has already been aptly pointed out - pharmaceutical reps are your friends - a great market to cultivate.
  12. Have you checked Union Square Greenmarket? Up here in the sticks we usually have a couple folks selling baked goods at our local farmer's market and they tend to use seasonal ingredients for their fresh baked pies.
  13. How many square feet of customer space is there? (space where people can sit to eat and drink and also the space where they can queue up to order or wait for finished orders) Seating will be for how many? (If you have not already planned for it a counter across the front window with high stools or chairs will help) When are the shift changes at the hospital and what are your anticipated hours of business? Is the parking such that early in the day people will be able to park within a few hundred yards on the street, grab a few items and then head in to work or will they need to park in the designated lots or garages and then walk to your place? How many minutes on average does it take to walk from the nearest entrance or exit door of each hospital to your location? My gut instinct is that your estimates are too low but understanding the specifics of your locale will make it easier to offer a more educated answer.
  14. If you paid about $250 US or less it's best to just think of it as an item that gave you your money's worth and let it go. But if you're particularly attached to the unit I suggest contacting an authorized Saeco repair center as a place to start. The age of the unit and its likely provenance as a European market machine (230V) make it unlikely that parts will b readily available but you never know. Go to the web site of Saeco USA and click on the Consumer section. Go to Products / Service and there's a place to plug in the state to get a listing. Good luck.
  15. You know you're living in a small town when the big media event in late August every year is the unveiling of this year's NY State Fair Butter Sculpture. But next Tuesday is Dairy Day and sometimes butter just ain't enough. Enter Sarah The Cheese Lady - who will carve a 50 pound block of cheddar into.... something. Not sure what and I won't know until the pictures show up on the Web 'cause I'm headed there either tonight or tomorrow and she won't be finished with her carving until Monday. But the chainsaw log carver makes a new sculpture or two every day - I'll just have to stop by there. Pictures to follow on a separate New York Forum thread.
  16. Yeah.... Beto is like that... and so am I. Oh wait - you were talking about the Italians!
  17. I have not tried any of the three you mention. I used to eat at a Brazilian place on 46th Street in Manhattan that was good but they closed a year or two back. Are you up for a short but worthwhile subway ride? Take the PATH train to the Penn Station Newark stop (in NJ just across the river - it's about a 10 - 15 minute ride from Manhattan). Then walk or take a three minute (literally) cab ride a few blocks to the Ironbound section. It's loaded with Brazilian and Portuguese restaurants. I like Brasilia for rodizio and Seabra's Marisqueria for seafood but those are just a few of the many good ones. Check the NJ forum for Ironbound discussion and you'll get plenty of ideas.
  18. Because it's easy to make, it tastes good and it's a healthy dish. I also appreciate the fact that as an appetizer it's much lighter than many of the other choices long popular in the US market.
  19. phaelon56

    Bubble Tea

    This recipe Bubble Tea Mania has specific instructions on how to prepare the tapioca pearls. Perhaps it will help. Not sure where you purchased the tapioca pearls but I'd think that certain Asian food markets might have a faster turnover on that item as they are used in certain drinks such as the Vietnamese Three bean Dessert.
  20. I had dinner at Niles this past Saturday night (more like a snack but back to that in a moment). If you're coming from the village of Skaneatles it's relatively easy to find if you have Mapquest directions - and the owners have made some small signs posted at key intersections to provide additional directions. It's a rustic log building that they built themselves and in a fantastic setting - the highest point in Cayuga county with a beautiful view of rolling green fields, woodlands and a slice of the lake. It's also dog friendly - their two pooches - Mesa and Cucina - were wandering around making friends with all. Eric and Sandie are affable and engaging hosts with an obvious love for their business and a genuine appreciation for people. Now - on to the food. It's.... uhhhhhh.... okay but pricey. We had one ravioli each, shared a bowl of corn chowder and each had one non-alcoholic beverage (a bottle of Tazo Tea and a Ginger beer). The bill was about $30 not including tax. The individual ravioli's were about 4" square and not generously stuffed. The fillings - my date had asparagus and I had artichoke with ricotta - were deftly seasoned, perfectly cooked and delightful. The brown butter sauce they were served with was exceptionally good as well. But the pasta itself was tough and I don't mean just al dente. I don't know if it was the type of flour used to make them, the prep, the cooking method or exactly what.... but as fresh pasta goes I wasn't impressed. At $7 - $9 each I thought they were a bit pricey and $9 for a moderate sized bowl of corn chowder is at the very upper end of pricing for what any restaurant on the entire region charges for soup (actually most likely a $1 or $2 higher). I could easily have eaten two or three ravioli, some soup, a small entree of some sort and then dessert but with prices what they were, all the desserts at $9 each and me being on a tight budget this week - I restricted this visit to sort of a "check it out" meal. The hosts were endearing, warm, down to earth people and it would be a fantastic setting for sitting out on the covered deck on a warm weekend afternoon. But for what I'd spend at Niles Country Gourmet to have a complete meal.... I could stay in Skaneatles and get the $68 five course tasting menu at Mirbeau Inn. And - no offense to Niles... the food would be better. I know because I've eaten there. Eric and Sandie are really nice people and I have a real appreciation for what they're doing. And in the context of serving a Skaneatles are clientèle and being a small operation I can understand the need to price accordingly. But I feel obligated to be candid about my perception of value relative to quality.
  21. Heck of a deal at $99. Good entry level machine. Won't make stellar shots but with good coffee and a bit of practice you can make drinks at home better than any chain and better than many independent cafes offer.
  22. Spawn of Satan - 'nuff said about that. Tennessee Mountain? Maybe with a time machine you can check it out again. Someone upthread mentioned that they've been closed for awhile.
  23. I'm relieved (and I suspect Beto is as well!). Just as soon as I can write off a coffee research trip to Italy (which is at some point in 2008) I'll be headed that way and will add your place to my list for food and espresso stops.
  24. And loathe as some people might be to believe or accept it.... some of the independent soul food / 'cu joint mac 'n cheese gets its color and distinct cheese tang by using the cheese powder packets from commercial boxed mac 'n cheese products and mixing it right in with the milk. That powder along with pre-grated sharp cheddar - results in a mac 'n cheese that most people really like - even if they detest Kraft style boxed mac 'n cheese.
  25. I'll definitely try this place on my next visit. The approach of having both appetizer and entree size portions listed for the same items is one I wish more restaurants would adopt.
  • Create New...