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Blanche Davidian

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Everything posted by Blanche Davidian

  1. I would rather eat at the Saltwater Grill on Postoffice than Fisherman's Wharf or Gaido's. It's in roughly the same price range but I think the food is better and more consistent. Their portions are huge, too.
  2. Weikels' is awesome, but I am partial to Hruska's, just down the road on 71. I also like them better than the Czech Stop.
  3. Has anyone been to the Jackalope recently? We were showing some out of towners around 6th street a couple weekends ago, and EVERYBODY had these huge "Polynesian" drinks. I was DD or I would have ordered one. Is that a new development? P.S. I still find their burgers awesome and Casino's burgers dry.
  4. Hey, Kent! It sounds like you don't live too far from me. I assume you've been to Joe's Bakery and the Taqueria Arandas on 7th and Robert T. Martinez. Good stuff! Also, you should try Mr. Catfish out on Springdale. (I don't care for their sides, but their fish rulez.) Also, I hear there's a Peruvian restaurant on E 7th between Pleasant Valley and 183. A good lunch place is Bossa Nova on 6th and Robert T. Martinez. And Rio Rita is now serving cocktails!
  5. This thread made me laugh so hard! I worked the drive-thru ONE day at my veryvery first job at Fazoli's. I think I screwed up every. single. order. that day. It's harder than it looks, and I'm no dummy!
  6. Great review! I have a special occasion coming up at the end of the month and I always forget Hudson's is an option. Thanks!
  7. I go there all the time with work people since it's close, and it's definitely one of the better places for drinks and snacks in the warehouse district. We all love the seafood beignets, but the night we had the ceviche, it was BLAND. I've stumped the bartender with a Manhattan before ("What's in that, again?") but if you stick to the menu you'll have a good experience. Other suggestions for that area: The Lavaca Street Bar hosts ESPN Radio on Fridays during happy hour, with a free nacho bar that is rumored to be supplied by the Belmont. It's standard, but pretty high quality (and free!) The Six Taproom has a long happy hour like 219 but a smaller menu. They are a good place to go if 219 is too crowded. I happen to think the food is slightly better, but I haven't ordered everything on the menu yet. I still contend the best deal in town is Ruth's Chris' happy hour (5-6:50) with $5 anything-you-can-think-to-call martinis and 1/2 price appetizers in the bar. I *don't* like the happy hours at Saba, Cuba Libre or the Belmont.
  8. I've recently been turned on to Lean Cuisine pizzas and paninis. I think they taste better than Hot Pockets, which had been my freezer standby. I'm a little afraid to branch out to the other varieties, but I hear the spa cuisine meals are pretty good. Another thing you might enjoy is frozen indian food. I am particularly fond of the Deep Foods variety. They're a bit hard to find, but it's definitely worth seeking them out. Husband is a fan of frozen meat pies of the British, Austrailian or Jamaican variety, liberally doused in HP or Pickapeppa sauce. I'll ask him what kinds he's tried. Also, did you check out this thread?
  9. I have an uncle that dribbles syrup into every waffle depression and then seals it all off (like honeycomb) with a thick layer of peanut butter. Fascinating!
  10. Alton Brown used a clean pillowcase that zips closed and the spin cycle of his washing machine for his show on greens.
  11. Please, don't put words in my mouth! I didn't call Margy's MIL a bitch! She did, however, press the issue of ordering to the point of making Margy uncomfortable, which, to me, anyway, is rude. Whether Margy was rude or not, it was DEFINITELY rude to make her feel like she was BEING rude. Does that make sense?
  12. I've had success with chicken breast pounded to about 1/2", dipped in egg and rolled in breadcrumbs, placed on a greased baking sheet and baked until done (time depends on heat and the size of your chicken pieces.) The secret to getting the bread crumb coating to appear "fried" is to hose those puppies down with cooking spray about halfway through. I spray the tops, flip 'em, and spray the bottoms (which are now the tops.) When the bread crumb coating is hot, the oil bubbles and sizzles as the crust absorbs it. It's not gourmet, but it IS easy.
  13. I believe Casino el Camino currently holds the title of "Where to get the best burger in Austin," but frankly, it hasn't impressed me. Every burger I've had there has been mmmmmkay: the burger is overcooked, the bun is dry, even when the whole thing is dripping with buffalo sauce or cheese or whatnot. I appreciate that this might have been THE place a couple of years ago, but the 5 or 6 times I've eaten there over the past year really don't hold a candle to my Platonic ideal. Please allow me to nominate a new candidate for Best Burger in Austin: The Jackalope. Basically when I read old descriptions of how good Casino is, I feel like they're describing the Jackalope. The burgers are huge, thick and sloppy, and they aren't afraid to do a true medium rare. I could only get through half of mine, but it was pretty freakin' good. My group actually got a pretty wide variety of stuff--salad, quesadilla, cake, an assorted bucket o' fried crap with ranch, and a biiiiig basket of waffle cut fries--and it was all awesome. Still not the Platonic ideal, but color me impressed! So that's my two cents. I'd love to know what y'all think.
  14. I'm more interested in the behavior of the MIL. I think it was hella rude for her to make a big stink over what Margy was ordering or not ordering. What are you supposed to do after that?
  15. OMFG!!! And then what happened???? See, I have a MILzilla too and I'd still break bread with her. Because I belong the the cult...WWBD? ← You won't believe it: her husband snatched the toast out of his mother's hand and crammed it into his mouth, which made everyone laugh and defused the situation. He'd thrown his toast away, too, but in the garage where it wouldn't be found. We grew up with a criminally polite mother who would rather die than hurt someone else's feelings, so my sister and I are well aware of the importance of being gracious and enjoyable. However, after a long holiday weekend of suffering meal after meal of dreck in suffocatingly close quarters, I'd forgive anyone for passing over another narsty meal. ETA: Sexist?? My apologies! I was just riffing on the post to which I replied.
  16. Point taken, but one of my sister's favorite restaurants is Taco Bell, and she has been known to drink beer out of a can ON PURPOSE. One time, the MIL-zilla offered sis a slice of toast from her favorite kind of health bread. Sis tasted it, discovered it was awful to the point of inedible, discreetly wrapped it in a napkin and deposited it in the trash without being noticed. Only later, when MIL was digging around in the trash (why???) was the offending slice of toast discovered, paraded out in front of the group, and it was demanded of my sister why she didn't eat the toast. True story.
  17. My sister's MIL knows she likes to cook and eat and that she has an extremely discriminating palate. Thus, she is always trying to impress her with her terrible cooking and by taking my sister out to the (gross) local joints she likes. My sister HAS in the past choked it down with the most sincere smile she could muster, tactfully suggested a different restaurant, picked at her food and snuck out later for a snack, or flat out declined to order (with excuses). NOTHING will please this woman other than complete and total glowing approval that her choice of meal (be it home cooked or ordered) was the best and most satisfying choice, and she's pounced on my sister more than once for not showing enough appreciation for the meal. Some people you just can't please, and when you try to politely sidestep the issue, they call you out. All the manners in the world can't cure having to eat with a psycho hosebeast.
  18. I like Cook's Illustrated's meditations on pizza. Their recommendation to spike the pizza dough with cake flour to compensate for a cooler oven was a winner in my book. I hand stretch the crust to about 1/4", use minimal toppings, and bake at the highest temp my oven will go (approx. 550), as others have mentioned. I think the thickness of the crust and the oven temp are perhaps the most important variables, as I have made some pretty loaded-up pizzas in the past and they turned out okay.
  19. I don't think it's possible at this point to boil nutrition down to a few simple maxims. I grew up with food-conscious parents who kept me & my siblings away from a lot of junk food (just the occasional treat!) while my best friend who grew up down the street pretty much still doesn't have any idea what to do with a raw vegetable. My god, in college she lived on white rice soaked in soy sauce and Ruffles dipped in Heinz tomato ketchup. And Dr. Pepper. Guess who's fatter. Guess who has high cholesterol. My point is just to illustrate that there's no magic bullet. The best that one can hope for is finding the diet that keeps one's own body in the shape one finds aethetically acceptable and out of the doctor's office. I also think it's weird that nutritionism assigns a good/bad value to foods. The idea that one's diet could make one morally superior to another person based on the nutritional "value" of the food in question is actually quite strange. Edited for spelling.
  20. I have to disagree with the previous posters re: Mia's flameout. It had to be so frustrating to be steamrolled Cliff and Elia, especially in her area of expertise (catering) and ESPECIALLY since Cliff had nothing to lose by taking their unconventional approach. If it were me, I would have "pissed and moaned" as well. I actually high-fived my husband when she screamed at Cliff to "Put your dick away!" I don't see how, in any version of the universe, the failure of their plan could be pinned on Mia, and to call her out for failing to get with the program was stupid. I only wish Mia would have let Elia share the blame with Cliff--Elia totally deserved to go home because she was a bad leader with a bad plan. She ignored Mia just as much as Cliff, but she's sweet and pretty and young and talented and she didn't offer Mia up as a scapegoat when her plan went sideways. And the judges' "too much too late" comment was repulsive. What was Mia supposed to do, argue everybody down until there was no time left to work? Gripe at all the party guests about how she wasn't allowed to contribute? She cooperated with a grimace for the sake of getting the job done, and I don't blame her for flying off the handle when Cliff put her name forward as a contributing factor to their colossal failure. She should have let Elia go home, even if Elia IS more talented than Mia.
  21. What is it about that place that makes people weep with pleasure and dole out unsolicited hugs? I went last night and it was awesome. Among other things, I snapped up several cans of Heinz Microwaveable Chocolate Sponge Pudding with Cadbury's. I can't really recommend it as a delicious food, but I get unassuageable cravings for it several times a year and it is very hard to find. As an H-town girl, I prefer Spec's to CM and WF. Though solid, Grapevine did not impress. The new Austin store obviously doesn't measure up to the Mothership in Houston, but I look forward to Godzilla Spec's opening down on Brodie. BTW, I've always felt Spec's is a little weak on beer. Considering the real estate they devote to just about everything else, it's a little disappointing to visit the beer aisle. Nobody's perfect, but they come pretty darn close!
  22. I got my plates from a Mikasa outlet. They've got 'em all over the place.
  23. New brine! If you've played your cards right, the salt from the old brine will be IN the first turkey.
  24. I personally have had great success with the Cook's Illustrated recipe from their spin-off magazine.
  25. I'll second Spec's (the downtown one.) I could wander around in there for HOURS.
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