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Everything posted by foodiehall

  1. I will reitirate, is it the style, or the execution of style? ← We were at BB last weekend and while I was pleased with my selections, hub had a problem with the "style execution" of his entree: Portuguese style slow-cooked pork roast (seemed more like a heavy winter meal to me) was tough, perhaps not slow-cooked long enough? And we both agreed that our server, a woman whom we'd never seen before, seemed to be rather "rough around the edges". All in all, not our best trip to BB.
  2. hey....is this where those lemons mentioned in your signature come into play?
  3. Maybe those cats are getting a kick-back from the birds? Hope those birds stay away from your property when it comes time to relieve themselves after feasting on your berries. We have holly bushes around our house and seems that after the birds have helped themselves to the berries, our cars and sidewalks are more "decorated" than usual.
  4. Ah, yes. SOS. I remember it well. Jim ← good ol SOS!!......hub used to eat a lot of that when he was single and cooking for himself. And that's what he called it: SOS. I'd never seen nor heard of the stuff before I met him (guess I'd lived a sheltered life) and when he offered me a serving, I said Uh....thanks, but no thanks. As far as I know, he hasn't eaten any more of it in the last 22+ years.
  5. I don't know why this struck me as so funny....but it did. Thanks for a good LOL
  6. Me? Go crazy?....whatchoo talkin about? What with the crowd you're expecting, I don't think two ice cream makers would be excessive---especially if the weather is anything like it is now and that's entirely possible early in September. As I said, mine is a standard size.
  7. I'm launching my maiden post as a new eGulleteer to put my name (along with my hub) in the hat to attend this eatathon........ Since I'm so close by, I can easily bring side dishes/salads/desserts, perhaps a freezer of homemade ice cream. Cheryl ← Hub and I are now registered. As indicated above, I can bring any number of (edible) things....whatever you need. Ice cream freezer mentioned above is a White Mountain, standard size, manual crank variety. Alas, my ice cream contains no magical imported ingredients; what I use comes from the local Teeter and the City or Farmers Market.
  8. Nana's.... what got me hooked in the beginning was that great bread they kept doling out; as soon as I finished one chunk, here came Breadperson with another one. I've mentioned on another thread that any restaurant will score mucho points with me as long as they serve plenty of great bread and generous portions of salads. In recent years, I've tried to cut back on my bread habit. At first, it seemed that most of the entrees featured some component that wasn't entirely to my liking; as this is no longer the case, maybe my palate has become more sophisticated over the years. And in general, I like the ambience there---some people don't care one way or another about that, but I do. BUT, we were there this past Sat. evening prior to going to an ADF performance and had a waitperson whom I found to be very annoying. It's one thing for a server to exchange pleasantries with the patrons, but going off on tangents, expressing personal opinions not related to the food, practically telling your life story, etc.....I can do without that, especially when it interferes with the service. This guy's voice level was such that he could be heard all over the room. Thanks to his spending so much time "entertaining" his other tables, there was no way we had time for dessert and then he disappeared when we needed the check so we could leave. Suffice it to say, if he's there the next time we go there, I'll see to it that he's not our waitperson. Slightly off topic....back when I was lurking as a visitor, I recall your laments/complaints, etc. about the quality/quantity of dining options in the Triangle. As a native of Raleigh, I can tell you that this area has come a loooong way since I was your age....and that's been a few(!) years ago. In her book Remembering Bill Neal, Moreton Neal speaks to this in detail.....if you haven't read it, it might be worth your while; you'd probably come away with a greater appreciation of where we are now in the Triangle, culinarily speaking. I'm impressed with your knowledge/appreciation of food, certainly far beyond the level of most people your age (of my acquaintance).
  9. (Sigh) OK, Mr. V......I've always had a "problem" with taking some things too literally and this is one of those times. By now, I think those of us who venture out have a pretty good idea as to the cream of the crop around here. I'm always glad to get a heads up on a new place....I can decide to either not waste my time or head on over there. Just for the record, I have previously participated in online food groups (certainly not of scope of this one) where posters would get unbelievably nasty whenever a "best of" debate came up....far be it from eG'ers to do this PS - I really do need to give MG another try; it's been a long time.
  10. Hate to be a nit-picker here, but I don't think any one place can be christened "official champion of the Triangle (or anywhere else, for that matter)". My opinion of "best" isn't going to necessarily coincide with yours/the next person's and vice versa, to state the obvious. There are too many variables at play, IMO---and since I don't have all day here, I'm not going to try to list them. When dining out, I'm going to give more weight to certain things which may not be as important to you and vice versa. I've found that when I go to a place that's been deemed the "best" this or that kind of eatery, I'm usually less than thrilled....probably because my expectations were too high. Case in point: this past weekend, we ate at one of our all-time faves in Durham....everything was great, up to par EXCEPT that our server was an extremely annoying individual. Have never seen him before in this place and I can't imagine he'll be there long. OK, if we'd never been there before and went because we'd been told the place was the "best", I'd surely disagree because of our experience with this particular server---but as I say, he seemed to be a glaring exception to the rule.
  11. I feel compelled to put in a good word for Mo's Diner....maybe not up to your standards of "fine dining" but certainly a fine place at which to have dinner. For those not familiar with downtown Raleigh, Mo's Diner isn't really a diner, rather a nice restaurant located in a (1920's?) bungalow across from one corner of Moore Square, consists of a central hall with several small dining rooms on each side plus porch dining in nice weather. "Mo" (short for his given name) is the chef/owner and his wife Holly manages the place and makes the luscious desserts. Mo's opened about 8 yrs. ago, menu hasn't undergone many changes nor has the well-trained waitstaff. The menu says something like "...simple food prepared with care"; you won't find cutting-edge cuisine here. It's comfort food. With a few exceptions (pasta dishes, seafood stew) entrees consist of meat/poultry/seafood with the same sides: a variety of several vegetables---usually grilled squash, green beans, mashed potatoes or rice, corn, sometimes sauteed spinach---and of course, you can always order just a vegetable plate. Many times, I've overheard satisfied patrons saying "That was the best duck breast/osso bucco/rack of lamb/etc. I've ever had". There are a variety of starters and salads, although not many changes over the years. The entire menu, minus desserts, fits on one page; there are usually one or two entree specials. Bread is not baked in-house; I think it comes from Whole Foods. As I said, Holly makes the desserts: again, nothing cutting-edge, but all scrumptious....cakes, tortes, cobblers, pies, cheesecake, etc, usually 6-7 choices. We eat there often during symphony season (a shuttle will pick up passengers at Mo's, drop-off at BTI Center and do the reverse at the end of the evening---for free, a darned good deal, IMO)---and have always been pleased. And if a guest isn't pleased for whatever reason, Holly and Mo want to know about it and make it right. We like Frazier's.....only problem is with parking when NCSU is in session. Nana's Chophouse: the ambience wasn't for us; one visit was enough. Bistro 607: I'm surprised this place is still in business; we stopped going there a few years back after too many "off" nights. Maybe they've changed chefs/managers since then? Glenwood Grill: OK, but can get pretty noisy. Maybe it's our age, but seems to us that a constant din in restaurants seems to appeal to younger people whereas we're put off by it. We've always been pleased with BB; on the other hand, Varmint's opinions re BB are similar to ours re Second Empire. Seems to me that SE has always had more style than substance.
  12. Please accept my condolences. If I could, I'd surely whip up some pimiento cheese and send it your way without delay. Best Wishes....Cheryl
  13. Thanks so much for this post. Shortly before this thread was started, hub informed me that he needed to go to Asheville for a couple days in July to attend some meetings and wondered if I'd like to come along...to get to a cooler place if for no other reason. I hemmed and hawed, then saw this thread and decided that Yes, indeed, I'd like to go to Asheville and check out some of these places. We were last there almost 2 years ago (also for meetings), stayed at the huge Grove Park Inn in a not-so-great room, had a not-so-great dinner in the dining room, then had dinner at the strange (to me, anyway) Flying Frog Cafe---French, German, and Indian: what a combination. Anyhow, this trip we had wonderful dinners at Gabrielle's, the Marketplace, and Rezaz; lunches at Early Girl Eatery and Chelsea's Tea Room. We stayed at Richmond Hill Inn (location of Gabrielle's) where breakfast is included, therefore no restaurant visits for breakfast. Just for the info: breakfast is not served at Gabrielle's nor does the Inn have room service; there is a beautiful breakfast room where Inn guests have a choice of 4-5 entrees plus various juices, sides, etc. At Rezaz (in the vicinity of Biltmore estate): best paella I've ever had, with shrimp, mussels, tasso, heavy on the duck and chorizo; shared app of pitas with various dips/spreads at Gabrielle's: ordered from prix fixe menu--"molded" vegetable salad incl. croutons, which were a little soggy; lamb chops with polenta and ragout of mushrooms, tomatoes, and sweet peppers; chocolate roulade with malted ice cream and bourbon fudge sauce at Marketplace (downtown Asheville): salad with local goat cheese, blueberries, focaccia croutons; wild sockeye salmon w/ assortment of local vegetables w/ avocado coulis (I like avocados, but this was a little too bland; another sauce with more oomph would have been better, IMO); peach cobbler w/ vanilla ice cream---hardly exciting but soo good A word about downtown Asheville: streets go every which way and traffic is congested so once you find a parking space, leave the car there and walk. Very lively downtown, always seems to be lots going on. If you're a "boomer", you'll feel like you're back in the 60's Many interesting little shops, cafes, art galleries, etc. Wear good walking shoes/sandals.
  14. Am late with these comments due to being out of town. Prompted by the positive posts on this thread, hub and I dined at Vin Rouge for the first time a week ago and were suitably impressed. My only regret is that I'd had a late lunch and so my appetite wasn't completely primed for an early dinner (we were going to a performance afterward)...but I managed to clean my plate anyway. Any restaurant that serves good bread and generous portions of beautiful salad scores lots of points with me right away and VR did that. I had a salad with beets, goat cheese, lardons and toasted walnuts (not finely chopped, but good-sized pieces); sole meuniere, haricots verts, and potato puree; and lemon tart, which I surely didn't need but it was sooo good. Hub had the poached pear salad and whole dorado (sp?) which he thought was excellent (and he's still talking about it), with a melange of sauteed vegetables which were difficult to see since they were under the fish. No dessert for him, but I kindly shared a little of my tart. Servings were generous but not overwhelming. An aside: I hate it when it seems that the kitchen staff has counted out an exact number of, for example, green beans or diced potatoes or pieces of (small) pasta per plate....just a tad pretentious, IMO. We sat outside under the covered patio, pleasant enough even on a hot day what with the overhead fans. Service left nothing to be desired and I especially appreciated that they had noted that we needed to be out by a certain time. We were in no way rushed but at the same time, there were no long lapses between courses, thus enabling us to leave on time for our destination. As with all Bakatsias restaurants, great attention is given to decor and VR is no exception. It does indeed resemble a French provincial eatery, both inside and out. We definitely plan to return to VR and urge other Triangle eGulleters to give it a try if you haven't already done so.
  15. That's too bad, although in all fairness, there have been times---back when we were getting dessert with our meals---that I wasn't entirely satisfied and it was the dessert that was the weak component. Now that I'm not getting dessert there....I'm always pleased. Odd, but seems that I generally don't care for the kind of desserts served in "fine dining" establishments....too contrived/gussied up or something?
  16. Gee....sounds kind of like damning the place with faint praise. As for me, I'm happy to be among Chef Toler's "impressive following". I guess service and ambience carry more weight with me than with you; that said, I'll take BB any day over your favorite restaurant in Durham. Oh, by the way, I really enjoy Toler's food. To each his own.
  17. We've visited Bermuda every year since 1993 and love being there. For the first few years, there was a direct flight from here (RDU) to BDA....Bermudians loved this too; they came here on shopping sprees....but no more. Altho the flight arrangements are a little convoluted now, we still keep coming. I know there have been debates (not on eGullet) about bringing more nightlife/"activities"/gambling to BDA....we are NOT in favor of this. If someone needs this stuff, they should go elsewhere to vacation. We've met plenty of other visitors over the years who were quite happy to go to a relatively quiet, serene place such as Bermuda. Here's a suggestion for trip souvenirs to take home: take photos of the breath-taking views in BDA, have the pics enlarged, framed or whatever; otherwise, I'd suggest any of the various Outterbridge's sauces which are Bermuda-made. Why get run-of-the-mill souvenirs in BDA when you can pay less for the same stuff in USA? Finally, as to food: since we stay at a place (Cambridge Beaches, a cottage colony) where breakfast, afternoon tea, and a 5-course dinner are included, we don't eat out much at local establishments so I'm not in a position to offer lots of suggestions. As others have done, I can recommend the Swizzle Inn ("swagger in, stagger out" or something like that) near the airport end of the island and the Village Squire in Somerset Village. This is merely an observation, not a complaint: if you go to a "sit-down" place for lunch, plan to be there a while since Bermudians move at a relaxed pace and apparently assume that you, the vacationer, are in no hurry either. If you need a quick snack/lunch, go to a sandwich shop and pick up something at a counter. Such places are scattered here and there, sometimes in shopping areas, sometimes at roadside stands. We're set to go back in August....looking forward to it as always.
  18. I'm in the pastry-cutter camp. That's what I had when I started out making pie crusts and it worked/works for me; maybe I've been too lazy/whatever to try the food processor. Probably don't want to wash the thing any more often than I have to. What makes pie crusts easier for me now is my use of parchment paper instead of wax paper....but that's straying from the original question.
  19. Give us a report.....any improvement over your experience last year?
  20. Loved those beautiful eyes on snaggle-toothed Benjamin. sigh... And in the beach photo, I thought Varmint and Mrs./Dr. looked kind of like big kids themselves!
  21. I join the other eGulleteers above in thanking you for this yummy culinary trip of the last week. We just returned from a few days at the beach yesterday and as soon as I sat down at the puter, I went straight to your blog to see what I'd missed. While many of your dishes are the same sort of things I fix here at home, I'm only doing it for myself and hub (most of the time) rather than a family of 6 plus an assortment of friends, other relatives, etc. AND of course, I'm not photographing/writing about it as I go along. As much as anything, I stand in awe of your management/coordination skills and your apparent good humor at going after this task and seeing it through the end of the week. I agree with the earlier poster who said that this vacation will always stand out in the memories of your young Varmints. I could go on with the praise, but I don't want to get too sappy here ; suffice it to say, I've been truly impressed.
  22. Am really enjoying all these great photos and captions. The weather at the coast must have been lots better than what we had in Raleigh today...ha, what an understatement! Y'all picked a good day to get out of town....
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