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Everything posted by jsmeeker

  1. I had not heard of this place, but they have a couple of locations in the Dallas area. Not sure how I missed out on this. Of course, the locations aren't in an area I normally travel to. Steak burger makes me think of Steak n' Shake. I've found that the burgers there tend to bee too dry (meat too lean). But Chris H's description of his Freddy's burger makes it sound like something I should try out. Also intrigued by the custard component. Did you try that? I love a good frozen custard.
  2. I agree with David's assessment of Wolfgang Puck. One of the very first celebrity chefs in the USA. Hitting it big in Los Angeles ("Hollywood") really helped get his name out there. People who weren't food/chef people knew who he was. He does have a vast empire. And I've always had good meals at his places (Spago in L.A. and Las Vegas and Cut in Las Vegas)
  3. I should clarify that what closed was Cultured Cup's retail store front in Preston Center. This was pretty convenient for me as it was on a fairly regular path of travel. They still operate their mail order. And they still have some sort of tasting room or place you can visit. But it's kinda by "appointment only". You have to call in advance to make sure they will be there. It's not convenient like a store with set retail hours. Also, this othter location is not on a regular path of travel. Hence, Cultured Cup is less convenient. I suppose I could mail order from them, but getting stuff delivered from Amazon ads in some convenience. All that said, I do appreciate the suggestions on what to try from Amazon. I'm familair with the Harney and Sons brand. that is what they serve at the hotel I stay at in Cincinnati.
  4. Saw this film last weekend. Enjoyed it a lot. I guess the son takes over when Jiro passes away? It seems that he can take over just fine. The reports where that he was always the one running things when the Michelin inspectors were there.
  5. Now that my favorite local tea retailer has closed (RIP Cultured Cup in Preston Center), I need a new source for getting good tea. I know there are many good on-line sources, but I am wondering what the king of on-line retailers has available. Why Amazon? Well, I have Prime membership. And I am traveling every week. I can place my orders in such a way that ensures that they arrive on a specific day of the week when I'll be home (i.e. Friday). I may not be able to get that flexibility with other retailers. So, is Amazon selling any Prime eligible teas worth buying? I am looking for loose tea. Black. I pretty much drink it just in the mornings for breakfast.
  6. Southside Market in Elgin is OK.. Certainly better than most any place in Dallas, but compared to the top places in Lockhart, Luling and now even Austin proper? It doesn't measure up.. Any time I see a place outside of Texas saying they have "texas stye BBQ", I get suspicious. It would be hard for me to comment on BBQ from other established regions (North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas City) since I am not too familiar with them. If you can get decent representations of all the styles, then it could be a good event. But even as much as I like BBQ, it would be hard for me to get it in NYC.
  7. NYC has indigenous BBQ? I think I might kill myself if a joint in NYC had better BBQ than what I get at the top places in Central Texas.
  8. Too bad Texas isn't as well represented as it could be. Bakers Ribs from Dallas? Eh... While they are better than the larger local chain places, they aren't the best BBQ to find in Dallas. A city that really has pretty poor BBQ for a major BBQ state. Salt Lick? So many better choices in Central Texas, the Mecca of Texas BBQ. I just wonder how well this stuff translates when these places have to travel to cook in a place like NYC.
  9. In Lockhart, Texas, there is Smitty's/Kruez
  10. what about the smoke? Which had the best smoke flavor? That's where it's at!!
  11. Quick little update here... Still going to Cincinnati. Been going every single week since the first week of December, save the week between Christmas and New Years. I DID get to Skyline. That stuff is just, well, just wrong. Everyone that tells me that they shouldn't call it chili is right. They shouldn't. But even trying to look past that and treating it as a pasta dish with meat sauce, it's still crappy. Traveling on business is tough. Especially when there are several other people with you and you don't control the transportation directly. That said, I have found some decent places. A good Indian place (Ambar) not far from the hotel, on Ludlow near Clifton. Nice thing about that place is that there is a Graeter's a few doors down. Now THAT is something Cincinnati should be proud of. Also had a decent meal at Cactus Pear, in the same area. One night, a bunch of us had a really nice dinner at Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse in Downtown.. Of course, a place like that can't be a regular thing. Most dinners are at the hotel, but we try to get out at least once per week. But usually, that means a Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Chang's or Maggianos. Or back into Kentucky and some place at Newport on the Levee. So, still looking for good places. I know there are quite a few "hole in the wall" places Ludlow. I just don't know which are good. Some good Chinese would be nice. Doesn't even have to be truly authentic. Well done Americanized Chinese can still be satisfying. So would good pizza. Anyone know how Dewey's is? It's right behind Skyline. Seems like a local place.
  12. Franklin is better than all the places in Lockhart. Or Luling. Or Taylor. Or really, anywhere else in Texas. It's freaking fantastic. Seriously. You don't have to leave Austin and drive way down 183 to get superlative BBQ when visiting Austin anymore. And heed the suggestions about getting here early. If you aren't waiting on line, you aren't getting any. And even if you are, you still might not get any.
  13. I kinda figured the same thing about the sausage. It really i about the mix of meat(s), the amount of fat, the grind, and the seasoning. Less about cooking. Of course, even then, it still needs to have some smoke. Chicken is hard to smoke well and get smoke flavor in it. Still, I never buy it in Central Texas. I just go for the "big three". And no sides. Sides take up space in the stomach that could be filled with more meat.
  14. A BBQ episode while they were in Central Texas. Home to the best BBQ in the great state of Texas, and arguably the whole nation (or world). Central Texas BBQ is pretty specific. I'm a little surprised they picked chicken as one of the meats. The "Big Three" are brisket, pork ribs, and sausage, with brisket being the "king of meats". That's the one most identified with Texas BBQ and the one people in the know tend to judge a BBQ place by. Not chicken. Certainly not side dishes. Side dishes? Please... Give me really awesome brisket and you could feed me the worst cole slaw ever and I wouldn't give a crap and would not hold it against you in the slightest. I cringed when the team that lost Heather pre-sliced their brisket. Such a terrible, but very common thing to do in a big catering situation. Real BBQ places slice it all to order. Even when there is a line out the door. They don't slice until you actually get to the counter and place your order. Who was it that said "I love BBQ. I like to throw stuff on a grill". ? NOT BBQ!!! The Asian BBQ won? Yikes. That makes me sad. Maybe it was good.. But it's sad people couldn't try to do good Central Texas BBQ. THen again, few people can really do it really well. It was good to see Nathan M. I don't know his history of being a BBQ champ, but I know he did a lot of research on the matter for the book. Pretty sure e did a tour through Central Texas. His book has quite a bit to say about the subject, too. Would have been nice to see some other BBQ experts there too. Like maybe someone form Kreuz or Smitty or Blacks in Lockhart. Aaron Franklin from Austin. Daniel Vaughn from the blog Full Custom Gospel BBQ.
  15. I guess they didn't build a "Top Chef Kitchen" any place in Dallas. I'm glad we got a good local Dallas chef on the show, Dean Fearing is arguably the most well known Dallas chef. Overall, this season is very "meh" to me. It's seems like too much "Top Caterer" once again.
  16. jsmeeker

    Champagne-style beer

    I want to try and track down a bottle of this. But looking at the Sam Adams website, it doesn't seem to be available within 100 miles of my ZIP code.
  17. I find that I can get "killed" with a tasting menu that has 6-7 or more courses. I start strong, but then fade. Especially when I hit the heavier meat courses. I always TRY to eat it all. Leaving wine in the glass? Criminal!!
  18. They have to cover all the production costs somehow. And pay for those cash prizes. Looks like this year that they have Shiner beer as a sponsor. That's good. It's a solid Texas beer. Crazy popular here.
  19. Yay! They are in Dallas. And they shopped at the Whole Foods I shop at. Cool. Of course, I am not allowed to park my Honda Accord in the fire lane . Though I am a little surprised they didn't go to the newer and MUCH larger location a few miles south.
  20. Tell me more about inverting sugar..
  21. Wow? Really? I can't recall if you have a general, overall dislike of Tony or not. If not, how is this really bad? It's still Tony. He's just doing a travel show that doens't have lots of "obscure" stuff in it.
  22. Ahh.. OK.. I guess I just hang out in the flat parts not too far from the airport.
  23. Could altitude be an issue? McCarran sits at about 2100 feet above sea level. It's nice in flat in the valley, so everyhing there should all be at about the same altitude. Could you take a production reciepe and derive a ratio of sugars to water?
  24. humidity probably isn't much of a problem in Las Vegas. The temp sounds right. Have you made it before without issue? I too would suggest checking the thermometer.
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