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  1. Tex-Mex restaurateur Matt Martinez Jr. dies at 63 05:24 PM CDT on Saturday, March 14, 2009 By JOE SIMNACHER / The Dallas Morning News Matt Martinez Jr., who added his culinary flair to his family’s Tex-Mex legacy, while preserving the work of the four generations, died Friday night of complications from cancer. He was 63. Mr. Martinez was best known in Dallas for his Matt’s Rancho Martinez in the Lakewood area of Dallas and the YO Ranch in the West End. Mr. Martinez was born in Austin, where his grandparents started the family legacy by selling tamales, pralines and homemade tortillas on the steps of the Texas Capitol. Their initial venture led to the opening of El Original, one of Austin’s first Tex-Mex restaurants in 1925. Mr. Martinez’ parents, Matt and Janie Martinez, opened Matt’s El Rancho restaurant on East First Street in Austin in 1952. Matt Martinez Jr. started developing his signature culinary style as a boy, while working the kitchen of his father’s restaurant. The Martinez restaurants had always attracted a loyal following of political figures that included Texas governors and presidents. One day, former Texas Land Commissioner Bob Armstrong, asked the “Little Matt” to make an appetizer, “something not on the menu,” Mr. Martinez recalled in his 2006 cookbook, MexTex: Traditional Tex-Mex Taste. Matt Martinez Jr. — then a teenager assigned to make salads and appetizers -- threw together his first signature dish. “I grabbed whatever jumped into my hands,” he wrote. Taco meat, guacamole, sour cream, chile con queso. Then he took some time off and went fishing. Meanwhile, back at the El Rancho, customers were requesting “that Bob Armstrong dip that’s not on the menu.” Mr. Armstrong had spread the word about the appetizer, which became a staple of Mr. Martinez’ future menus. Mr. Martinez was inducted into the Texas Restaurant Hall of Honor in 2000. He and Matt Sr., a 1986 inductee, are the only father and son to receive the honor. Matt Martinez Sr. died in 2003. Mr. Martinez is survived by his wife, Estella of Dallas; three sons, Matt Martinez III, Joaquin Miguel, Marco Javier, all of Dallas; and daughter, Christine Nicole Lopez of Dallas.
  2. I've noticed that some of the newer batches do run hotter than the models even a couple of years old. As far as turning one back in before the warranty runs out, there are several retailers that offer lifetime guarantees with no questions asked. Even if your appliance (or whatever) is way past warranty, they'll still take it back.
  3. Actually, it's a Viking, not a Cuisinart. Look at the top housing. Essentially, the Cuisinart is a Kenwood Mixer (just like the DeLonghi and Viking) with a few add ons. IMHO, the attachments are ridiculous (seriously, a blender and food processor that makes the whole contraption almost three feet tall? That works well on a kitchen counter!) and it's a cop out. Cuisinart has been riding on their name for over the past decade (and their ever decreasing quality proves that) and instead of putting out something original, they copied an existing model and added a digital countdown timer...ooooooohhh. Oh yeah, I've already had three returned in the past month because of defects. Sold them a KA, which they should have bought to begin with.
  4. Adding to the chorus: Love this knife, one of my main "go to" knives.
  5. Blasphemy! I too have done a side by side test when McD introduced their total ripoff around here and the CFA beat it like a red-headed stepchild.
  6. Let's steer it back a little... Has anyone in the DFW area had the chance to make it over to Lavon and give Big Daddy's Roadhouse a try?
  7. I couldn't help but giggle when I read this.
  8. I have a package waiting in the front office, from Amazon I can't wait to jump into this book!
  9. Very nice video! I can't wait for your book to go on sale.
  10. I've had this one for about two years and I love it.
  11. Yup, the steel handles have a silicone wrap, so they are oven safe. I've never had a problem with mine at home nor in the last restaurant I worked in, which used the Vollrath exclusively. Plus, they're American made, right in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
  12. This thread peaked my interest last year and I decided to give making my own extract a go. It seems that using Vodka or Everclear is the way that most people were doing it so I decided to go the opposite direction: Maker's Mark. I ordered some beans from my usual folks on eBay, restocked my Bourbon supply and got to "vanilla-ing". Flash forward ten months and I have a Mason jar of dark, vanilla goodness hibernating in the back of my pantry. As odd as it sounds, I think I'm going to give Tequila a shot next.
  13. This is going to incur the wrath of a lot of folks here, but Sitram Profiserie is all hat, no cattle. I've had two pieces in the past and after having BOTH pieces loose their handles due to substandard welds, you couldn't pay me enough to use those pieces of garbage ever again. Snowangel's right, go to a WS, Sur La Table or whatever local joint you have and actually handle the cookware. Last bit of advice: Forget everything and do yourself a favor and get a Vollrath Tribute Saute pan.
  14. Glad you're comin' to town Paul. Check out this thread from a couple of weeks ago. A lot of great suggestions there.
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