Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by detlefchef

  1. detlefchef


    98 and 01 are the only vintages that I could imagine commanding a higher than normal price. Still, I can't see how any vintage could be priced 3 times higher than the rest. If anything, I'd imagine that retailers would have been blowing out the 00 to make room for the 01 vintage. At least that's how it was at the retailer that I used to work for.
  2. detlefchef


    It's confirmed, Hardy's Tintara Shz costs 14.99 wholesale. At least in NC, but then everyone charges more than average around here.
  3. I'm glad this was brought up. As a chef, I jump through all the hoops the Health Dept. asks me to. While I feel some are a bit excessive (mostly when it comes to build out, less so for daily procedures), I feel that they're pretty much just good practice. It always irritates me that the public at large tends to associate food poisoning with restaurants. if they come down with something, it's always, "Could it be the curry I had the other night at ..." Perish the thought that they could have gotten it by eating leftovers from a picnic that sat out 6 hours, got put away in the overcrowded fridge, on the same shelf that had thawing chicken the day before, then got snacked on the next day. That said, I'm not enormously anal about pot lucks. Knowing that the health dept allows 4 hours for food to be out of safe temp, I assume that they're certainly playing it safe. Mind you, that time does include prep, but I figure it's not like the germs are sitting there with a timer and pounce the minute it hits 4:00. I also think that most things don't taste good cold, so I'd rather allow these things to sit at room temp even it means throwing out the leftovers. Finally, each and every time Ive gotten sick from eating something, I could pretty much tell as I was eating it. I think it's a reasonably safe barometer. If it tastes like wine and it looks like hummus, you may want to move on to something else.
  4. I own a small restaurant, which is the single most illogical kitchen habit anyone can have.
  5. detlefchef


    That seems kind of steep, if I recall. I used to sell that wine as a rep and recall it being about $17 wholesale. I could be wrong. I do remember enjoying it and finding it to be uncommonly balanced for an Aussie Shz.
  6. Cheese is good. Wine is good. One would then conclude that if you pair the two, the results will not be horrible. In fact, many of us likely have fond memories surrounding eating cheese while drinking wine. That, in itself, is not enough to say the two are made for each other. I, for one, subscribe to that camp. While there are certainly examples of great pairings, many involve specific, fringe wines. Sure port and stilton, but how much port do you really drink? I'm a huge fan of fresh goat cheese with Sancerre or champagne. However, fresh goat cheese is totally unlike most cheeses. It is super clean on the palate and doesn't have a pronounced, lingering finish. It's a tasty bite, and then it's gone. Not unlike the wines that work well with it. Once again, the fact that these two manage to work is not enough for me to say, "Wine and cheese are great together." When I think about it, the vast majority of the time that I've had wine and cheese at once have been at things like art openings or other such events. In that case, you've got rather non-descript wines and rather non-descript cheese. The focus is on whatever else you're there for plus catching a free buzz and soaking it up with some free vittles. Once again, hardly a stirring testimony for pairing the two.
  7. The irony for me is that while all the mom and pops are serving jug Chard and Merlot, the hipsters have the blinders on for Riesling and Gewurtz. As if nothing else goes. It always comes back to the spice. Thing is, not every single Asian dish is spicy. When I put the wine list together of Jujube out here in NC, I built it on well balanced wines that simply go well with food in general. Certainly people want to stick to Riesling when it comes to the spicy stuff, but the rest...
  8. detlefchef

    Bin 54

    Mike is absolutely correct. The last significant thing I did to help Bin was fix the walk-in cooler on opening night. Since then, I can really only take credit for keeping the staff well stocked with sugar-free red bull. Something, mind you, that should not be taken lightly. As for the food (something that oddly has yet to actually be discussed in this thread yet)... While I've enjoyed essentially everything I've eaten there, I can't say enough about the hanger steak. That is one delicious piece of meat! If it's flavor you're looking for...
  9. I highly suggest/insist that you take a look at some of the places named by others in this thread. There's actually plenty of good Mex in the area and none of it is served at the places you mention (with the possible exception of the "roach coach" that parks near your building). I don't mean to be elitist about it, thems is just the facts.
  10. Perhaps we can start a new thread about who's got a better hoops team? Or at least, who's the last team between the two to cut down the nets at the end of the season.
  11. I've got a regular who assured me that he'd single handedly drink enough of it to make it worth my while to add it to my bar. Good enough reason for me. I'll try it with the Orange Bitters No. 6 that I just bought on rec. from here in the drink forum.
  12. I don't believe that savory has to be entirely absent of sweetness. BBQ is certainly on the savory side, but it's typically rather sweet. There are plenty of others. It's also been mentioned by some contrarian above that even sweet things have a touch of salt. None the less, there are certainly dishes that are primarily driven by sweet elements as well as dishes that are driven by the opposite (or savory elemtents). If one is to speak in complete absolutes, we're going to narrow things down to a miniscule level. Frankly the boozy broth suggestions are quite strong. Given the number of restaurants serving small soup portions in shot glasses, it seems like a natural evolution. In fact, a great way to work these types of drinks in would be as a specific pairing to a dish. Say serving a small bowl of butternut squash and pumpkin seed oil soup with a shot of cumin , paprika aquavit on the side. I don't know, something like that. I've also thought of working in Indian pickles and curry pastes into dry cocktails. We shook some tandori paste with some gin once and it was kind of cool.
  13. I'd have to say that, in general, wine lies squarely in the non-savory drink category. Certainly there are those with meaty qualities, but they are ultimately a fruit based beverage. I've been thinking of a drink I'd call The Green Mary. Many of the same ingredients that one might find in a Bloody, but without the tomato. Perhaps celery juice with jalapeno, cilantro, parsley, lime, wasabi, scallion, a touch of anchovy, and vodka. The first major problem I can think of is that your teeth will be completely full of green stuff which may not go over with the bar crowd.
  14. Well, salt is certainly an important element. In fact, I think one could go so far as to say that every savory dish has salt in it. When my wife asks if we should have pancakes for breakfast, I might answer, "No, I'd prefer something savory like eggs and sausage." Herbacious tones, vegetable flavors, seafood, meats, and, of course, salt are flavors that I would associate with savory. I'd also throw vinegar based acidity but not fruit based acidity in there as well.
  15. I wouldn't qualify <blank> and tonic as savory. Tonic, while not being as sweet a juice, is certainly more on that side of the scale than it is on the savory side. Beyond that, the lime is a rather significant element of the drink. Also, having had more than one vanilla saffron based desserts, that martini doesn't strike me as all-together savory either. Picture spring water in the middle. To far left, we have, say a Meyers and Pineapple, to the far right, a bloody mary. The tonics and vanilla/saffron marti may be rather close to the middle, but I still think they're on the left side of scale. As are, for that matter, both beer, wine, and nearly every other beverage we drink. Outside of brothy soups, there just aren't a whole lot of salty things people enjoy drinking. But those that they do enjoy, they tend to enjoy a lot. Which begs the question why there aren't more. Is it simply a matter that salty beverages are, for the most part, unappealing and that the few that we enjoy just happen to be good enough to rise above? On the other hand, who doesn't enjoy drinking the last of their bowl of Pho? Couldn't you spike that and make a cocktail of it?
  16. I was thinking the other day about how nearly every cocktail was either sweet or at least fruit based. Of course the Bloody Mary is an obvious exception as is (to a lesser degree) the dry Martini and (to the same degree) its hideously foetid cousin the dirty martini. Aside from that, there just aren't many. I posed this to some serious cocktail drinkers I knew and nobody could come up with much. Certainly they were able to name plenty that aren't tooty fruity, but I wouldn't qualify them as savory. The interesting thing is, the two I mentioned above aren't by any means odd-ball drinks. I mean, they're pretty much major players Thoughts? I suppose what I'm actually looking for here is discussion on why there are so few as much as I am curious to hear other savory drinks.
  17. FWIW, we (Jujube) do have a semi private room with a large table that seats up to 18 for one group. We could easily do a party of 12 there.
  18. 1. It is a sichuan tofu dish called flower bean curd. Basically, very soft warm tofu with scallions, cilantro, vinegar, and chili sauce. Of course each recipe varies slightly. I've had it before with toased soy nuts on top, but they don't offer that. It's really quite satisfying. 2. I've purchased both meat and seafood from them and had about as good luck as anywhere else. Certainly the prices are right. The Chinese sausage they sell there is top notch. 3. I, too, was tempted by the scallion chicken but also didn't bite.
  19. A quick list: My favorite standby is absolutely Super Taqueria in Durham on Roxboro Rd. I've always liked the place but have found it to be getting better and better each of the last times I've gone and now is basically outstanding. One could make a meal of the garnish bar alone. All the different pickles... The sopes are freaking great as well. That same neighborhood has two others worth mentioning. Closer to 85 on Club @ Roxboro is a small place that I like to think of the Burgundy of the Taco scene, aboslutely inspired when it's on but very forgetable when it's not. Certainly worth the few bucks one has to lay out for the chance at a truly remarkable taco. That said, the chicarones con nopales is a bit odd even for this lover of pork fat. Up the road from Super is a Mercado in the shopping center with the Post Office. Old Oxford Hwy dead ends into it. Nice mole, nopales salad and well crafted tacos made by very nice old ladies. Now for perhaps the coolest Mexican find of the last year for me. Miss Tortilla on Hwy 98 @ Mineral Springs Rd. For starters, they have a really cool, enormous tortilla machine that cranks out very good tortillas. They also have several large chicken rotisseries and serve a ton of great prepared meats by the pound (Carnitas, lengua, beef cheeks, among others). They don't actually sell tacos but do offer homemade salsas and all the fixins you need to make your own. Hit them on a nice spring day and make a picnic at Falls Lake. The orange pureed salsa is an interestingly pickled variety that I've never had outside of Durham. The green reminds me of the thin tomatillo/guacamole that I used to find in the SF Mission District. If I have one complaint, it's that I found a bone in all 3 of the tamales that I tried from there. I usually don't mind coming across the occasional foreign particle, but 3 for 3 was a bit much. While I'm on Hwy 98, the little place on the left as you're heading out from 70 makes a good breakfast burrito. Tienda Don Jose in Chapel Hill, while serving nice homemade tortillas didn't impress me as much. I thought the meats were a bit brutish and the garnishes were a bit piqued. Perhaps I caught them on a bad day. Then again, I live in Durham so I just tend to head back to the stand-bys.
  20. detlefchef

    German Pinot Noir

    I've tried a few. Frankly, I've typically found the good ones to cost substantially more than I would have hoped. They make Burgundy taste like CA Pinot.
  21. Have you ever tryed infusing the gin with tea ala Audrey Sander's Earl Grey MarTEAni scan down a little ways for the recipe and infusing instructions. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...WIGI2FAHI81.DTL ← Sounds interesting. We have done a Green Teani using Matcha powder and a citrus-pickled cucumber garnish.
  22. A few I've come up with lately: Warm Sound- Oolong Tea, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Hendricks Ging Hot Smokey Plum- Lapsang Souchang Tea (black tea smoked over pine needles), Plum Syrup (asian markets), Dewers White Label They're pretty fun.
  23. Grasshopper has been, honestly, a struggle. I'd like to say that it's been great from the outset, but... A few weeks ago, I went in and made a major personnel change in the kitchen and focused all my efforts there in order to right the ship. I'm pleased with the results now and think that we're finally headed in the right direction. Certainly there have been a mistep here and there since then, but I can honestly say that we're doing a good job now. Dishes we were doing poorly have either been fixed or eliminated and the good comments are starting to vastly outnumber the bad. We added a fryer to the line, so we can finally serve Cha Gio which are really tasty Vietnamese spring rolls that you wrap with lettuce and herbs before dipping in a sweet, tangy, fish sauce. The fact that I've been able to babysit Grasshopper so much of late speaks volumes about the crew at Bin 54 and specifically the chef Dale. He's an absolute professional and has built a strong and exacting crew around him. Honestly, my chest puffs up when I talk about it because we built the place with our hands and I think it is a beautiful space. I also think the food is stellar. Certainly it's no place to go if you're not in the mood to loosen the purse strings, but you'd be surprised to find out that our food cost is (as percentage of what we charge) significantly higher than the industry norm. The attitude that we had was that we didn't want to cut any corners on the food. That people would rather spend an extra $20 on an already expensive night out if it meant that nothing would be overlooked. Our GM, Brett has also built a really great beverage program that's way cooler than any I've seen at other steakhouses. As for Jujube, it's finally near. We've finally gotten to a stage where we can put the needed energy towards the project and hope to open it within a few weeks. I hope this didn't sound like an advertisement, but you did ask for an update.
  24. At the risk of highjacking the thread, I wanted to comment on something Brian mentioned regarding the Apps being better than the entrees. I tend to find that is pretty often the case with places that serve particularly inventive cuisine. That is, in fact, why those who take things to the next level like T Keller of French Laundry, and D Kinch of Manresa like tasting menus. Truly avant garde cuisine simply doesn't lend itself well to large portions because the novelty wears off after a few bites. Honestly, that is my fundamental issue with that type of cuisine. Long on whimsy and short on true satisfaction. Like a drug, the first taste is extraordinary, but you find yourself longing for that feeling again, needing an entirely new dish to find it. A well made cassoulet, on the other hand, like a good bottle of wine is tasty all the way until you scrape the last bits of duck fat soaked bread crumbs off the edge of your bowl. Last summer I was lucky enough to experience a 30 some-odd course meal at Manresa and found the experience to be remarkable indeed. That said, I found myself eating roasted chicken and mayo about a week later wondering which, if any, of the dishes I ate there were any better than the chicken and mayo I was currently enjoying.
  25. I'm a big fan. Besides the food being very satisfying, it's just a really fun place to go. The wine list is interesting and affordable and it's just so damned festive. On top of that, every time we go there we end up leaving full and happy and spending less than we expected. It's not super cheap or anything, but it is much less than other "dining out" options. I got into an argument once with someone who claimed it was a rip-off because you could get the same kebab down the street at University Deli for $5. Of course, you've got to order from a counter, eat off a paper plate on a linoleum table under flourescent lights with plastic utensils. I'd prefer the vibe at Tallulah.
  • Create New...