Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by shacke

  1. Stumbled upon Koffmeyer's cookies which apparently reopened after many years on Headhouse Square (1978-2000). The owner reportedly retired, sold cookies in several ben and jerry's that he franchised and, then in May of this year, reopened a stand alone shop selling cookies and ice cream on Butler Pike. It's a stone's throw from his home so I guess that made it easy. It is exactly how I remember those chocolate chip cookies when I was a college student- little, tasty and perennially soft. If you never had them, you should. I hope it stays around .... 3024 Butler Pike Conshohocken, PA 484-368-3478
  2. Thanks and yes I was being vague although I have no recent specifics other than some recent drab but tender chicken breasts. As a point of experimentation, can you give me a suggestion for a newly purchased skirt steak? A chewy childhood favorite,I would think this could be really delicious SV. Any suggestion for time/temp and marinade would be appreciated.
  3. Very late in getting back to this thread. Thanks, Nathan for these recommendations.
  4. After more than dabbling in SV technique, I am facing a fairly consistent issue so I will chime in for some guidance. While the texture of all the proteins is terrific, I never really get the flavor to match the quality of the consistency. Even with topping a seared steak or chicken breast with a sauce, the interior is so often 'flat'. This is course is a new problem as it never really happens much for me with other cooking techniques. I would think the marinade becomes all the more important then. Assuming this to be correct, I would like to hear anyone's go-to marinades. In the beginning I was overly careful about using less with this technique - but for better or worse - I have yet to get overpowered by, say a rosemary branch overpowering a portion of the meat. Thanks. PS - Would also like a recommendation on a kitchen torch.
  5. Nathan Congratulations on a monumental and truly pioneering task. You have done an enormous service to so many people who appreciate bringing out the best in their cooking. What a journey you have taken since your first post on this thread many years ago. Thank you Evan
  6. Funny how different things are to different people. I was there because of the gracious generosity of some good friends last night and thought the meal could have been much much better with the billed players. I agree with dagordon's assessment although my meal was better than his by a fair margin. I thought the lobster was terrific and the bass cooked perfectly although the vanilla in the sauce was a bit strong for my personal tastes. The lack of good truffle sunk the soup for me. It's the skeleton of the dish and there was nothing 'truffly' about it. The guinea fowl was just flat out not good. I passed on the first 2 desserts in favor of cheese but liked the chocolate 'ball' very much. The chefs spent most of the time out with the diners so I am suspect of their actual hands participation during the dinner. The crowd was older and by and large appeared to be F.O.GP's. The restaurant is nothing like its former grand self. Sad really.
  7. ← Thanks alot - I feel confident in their storage now. Appreciate the reply.
  8. I always cook-hold or cook-serve. I have never cooked-chilled so I am floating this question. I cooked short ribs 56c-48hrs and rapid chilled them in ice (as per Doug's treatise) and then put the ice bath in the fridge (36F) overnight. They are in the freezer this morning. Our dinner party was cancelled so I am forced to save them for the rain date. The question is reheating. Is there a time issue reheating them in the bath from freezer to serving temperature - viz a viz length of time I should be concerned with their being reheated or held in the bag? I assume with the length of pasteurization and fast chilling that I am safe here but it is my first time trying so thus the post. Thank you. Evan
  9. I'll second Plate - we go there with some frequency as it gets major points for proximity. In truth ptions are a few for us who live on the eastern end of the main line. Aldar and Sola are downright gross - just my opinion of course. Just pick what is convenient for you - you are unlikely to strike gold in my hood.
  10. Yes, but I would have yelled "PLATE LICKER!" a la Donald Sutherland in Invasion of Body Snatchers had you attempted to put lingua al piatto. I also thought the dessert was terrific. That freeze dried sweetened yogurt was particularly cool. In lieu of the plate lick - we opted for lick index finger - dip - eat - repeat as necessary maneuver. Evan
  11. Finally got there and it's a but of a funny small world story. Before Katrina, we used to go down to New Orleans about every 2 years. Our good friend would always tell me to go visit his cousin who works at NOLA, Emeril's restaurant. From time to time they would mention him. Fast forward to last month when my wife made plans with them to visit his place in the area. This week I find out 'it's this place in a farmers market near Deleware'. Needless to say I was thrilled since I have been pining to try Cajun Kates. Turns out it was the way to eat there as a rookie. Both our families descended on the place and met up with Don's sister. Don, the chef owner, is such a nice guy and he just started sending out plate after plate after plate until we called off the dogs. It was very crowded but they really try their darnedest to move things along. I am pretty sure that we ultimately sampled everything they offer - and survived the drive home without falling asleep. The food was really terrific. This week was cochon lait, slow roasted pork gumbo which is as authentic as it gets. My favorite of the day. The oyster po boys and jambalaya were also highlights for me. The kids got a kick out of 'gator on a stick'. I had to take home a quart of the gumbo and plan on eating it as judiciously as I can since the drive is not 1-2-3 to get there. Having said that - since the gumbo and po boy proteins change weekly - it's a fitting lure to making the trip back sooner. Needless to say, I will be back. He mentioned that Philadining and Holly are regular seat warmers there and while we were there regular customers came by one after another. Don would greet them by name, know their 'usual' and just generally be a great host - not the easiest task given the crowded frenzied atmosphere in a cramped location. He is aided by his father in law, Mel, an equally nice guy. They are exceedlingly successful there - and deservedly so. Laissez les bons temps rouler dans Philadelphia!
  12. Since its Philly beer week, what beers would you match with the menu? ← No clue - I don't drink it!
  13. I am going there with 1 bottle - an aged burg of some sort. Coffee with dessert. Gonna be quirky with the fish but it's just me and the mrs ... so 1 bottle it is. It's hard to match wines to Shola's food from the descriptions - but it's fun to brainstorm. Traditionally a good rule of thumb for his sequential courses has been (at least for me): dry riesling/crisp acidic white, fuller bodied white , lighter-older pinot/burg/sangiovese, younger of those varietals or more robust reds. I have found the heavier reds rarely to be good matches FWIW and in this case I suspect I am correct. See you there perhaps! Evan
  14. Is this Chinese Cultural Center event BYOB? ← yes
  15. Not to quibble, because if you didn't like the food, you didn't like the food. But I'm not sure you can complain about it not being enough food if you weren't finishing what was served.... Christopher ← Fair enough question but quibbling it is, Christopher. If someone eats only 1 oz of their 2 oz food volume - let's say - it doesn't take much of a leap to extrapolate to that conclusion if you are having a short menu (last course is dessert BTW). I personally consumed all the protein and left some of the less pleasing accompaniments. Others more - others less. I am no stranger to the tasting menu nor do I consider myself needing lofty amounts of food. I would say the same of the folks we were with. We meet quarterly in NYC or philly specifically to eat somewhere "special". We all felt the same way. No one cancel their plans on my account. I would love to hear someone who had a grand old time. My suggestion remains to order a la carte .... for now.
  16. We were disappointed in Lacroix overall. Really - the service was terrific and friendly but the food we had was nowhere near where it should be for a place like Lacroix. I think our mistake might have been ordering the tasting menu. First off - and I have rarely found this to be an issue - it was not enough food. The portions were tiny and all 4 of us universally left hungry. What I will chalk up to the visions of the head chef is the overtly strange dishes on the tasting menu. eg - tourchon of foie gras, fried onions, grilled scallions and huckleberry. huh? No - it did not work. Similar issues with some of the other plates - although the beef tongue and john dory was pretty darn good. I can't get impressed enough with popcorn powder to forget that a dish just isn't thought through. So called moecular gastronomy is not the end - it is the means. At the end of the day - how does the food taste? Do the flavors really work together? Before dessert - we were invited to the kitchen chef's table for our dessert course. Not sure why - I thought either they needed our table or someone overheard our quiet and respectful grumblings during the meal. Or could it have been that the plates were going back half eaten? Anyway, we went back into the kitchen and that was a treat. It made an otherwise head scratching meal much more enjoyable. The kitchen table is a nice atmosphere and we saw that the a la carte offerings seemed more traditional and less contrived. If I returned it would be under 2 circumstances. 1 - I would absolutely order a la carte and 2 - someone whose palate I trust eats there and assures me it was good. Again - service was very very good. The maitre d was friendly and everyone was nothing but accommodating and professional. As we left - I did suggest something to the host since the chef (who was as nice as can be) did tell us in the kitchen that it is their preference for diners to order the tasting menu (it was 1/3 of orders for the saturday night). The size of the plates for the 5 course menu should be larger than the 8. 5 plates with an ounce of protein as the main ingredient in the dish means they are going to go through a lot of bread. As always - your mileage may vary and it hopefully will. Let me know if you go.
  17. I was at the Chinese Cultural Center last night for a 10 course banquet. They have visiting chefs from the Expo Garden Hotel in China - Yun Nan province - until the end of the dinners April 30th. The menu changes monthly. It was an interesting experience. We were the only table last night and the dinner was surprisingly bland. Perhaps they were afraid to experiment for what may be a largely expected americian clientele? The host said that next month the menu will be spicier so if you go - definitely wait until the menu changes. I am sure these 3 chefs can do some special things if unleashed in the kitchen. It was a bit surreal at times, the quiet of the meal being cut by the occasional showing of pro-china tourism videos. At one point one of the chefs came out playing what was the chinese homologue of the recorder. An attempt to introduce the non-chinese to China I guess - given where we were. Anyway - here is the menu for the month. The website is chinesecc.com for more information - $48 cash for dinner. Yunnan royal family cold platter (cold sliced pork,sweetened pork ribs, satay) Yunnan steam pot chicken soup. Shrimp with tiger claw mushroom and cashew. Roast Chicken ethnic minority specialty Beef slices with kumquat Yunnan Roast duck (really just plain fried duck) Orange flavor fish balls with onion rings Eggplant ethnic minority specialty. seasonal green with chinese wolf berry Chefs special sweet treasures (think yam tempura) These dishes were really tame both in terms of power and interest. The soup was terrific as were the fish balls. The 'ethnic minority' special is basically a sweet marinade with some chill pepper. It worked really well with the eggplant and less wwell with the ubersized drumsticks. Definitely an experience and not a bank breaker. Gulleteers should wait til the menu changes.
  18. I did too but Chip Roman is about the same age and is cooking up some good fare at Blackfish - in fact it gets better each time I go there.
  19. Matt Levin left the helm at Lacroix and 24 yr old Jason Cichonski is now in charge of the kitchen. He worked under Matt as sous chef. It just so happens that we are slated to dine there next Saturday (for now) and was curious if anyone knows anything about this new chef and - perhaps - even been there since the changeover? Thanks
  20. Interestingly - dovetailing on your post TarteTartin - I would state that Matyson since they left is a much better restaurant. Much. That includes food and service. Evan
  21. shacke

    Per Se

    I had been to Per Se once a few years back and was not bowled over. I went back yesterday for lunch and found it to be amongst the best meals I have had in a long long time. For me, I thought the fish courses were clear stand outs. The 2 meat dishes - 4 story poussin ballatine and lamb loin with olive mousse did not match the splendor of the first 9 courses we had. Oysters and pearls, fish and chips, langoustines a la plancha were favorites. While not getting points for creativity, the tagliatelle with truffles were outstanding. The kind of plate that made me long to head back to Italy. I would go back. At 5 hours for lunch, not too too often! Evan
  22. The dinners have been at the Four seasons for a long time (in 2 of the event rooms) and the first thing I did was check Lacroix and Osteria but they are not large enough in capacity. I like the idea of Davios or a steakhouse. Most of these folks are not that bold - I fear Garces fare would go over like a lead balloon.
  23. The holiday dinners for my group have always been in a hotel but over the years people are beginning to feel bored. I thought it might be a good idea to go into the city and have it at a restaurant. The big head scratcher is what place can hold that many people for an affair? It's always a saturday night which makes it hard for an owner to close down a place. Any guidance is appreciated. It has to be accessible to parking. Evan
  24. The Inky is reporting the whiplash rapid closing of Brasserie Perrier: http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/37034694.html Is this the beginning of the end of a tired empire? Lease issues reported. True or is spending more time with the family overused as a reason these days?
  • Create New...