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Everything posted by artemisanne

  1. I work at a restaurant that tries to serve sustainable food. For this reason, tuna fish is not on the menu. But a lot of customers ask for it. Does anybody know of a foodservice supplier who stocks sustainable caught canned fish? Gracias!
  2. My boyfriend gave me the movie Tampopo for my birthday. I had never seen it, and now I know he is perfect. Anyway- I want to take him for noodles. Without buying a trip to Japan, or anywhere else that is more than a 6 hour drive from Tampa. Is there a place in Florida that can possibly be in any way similar? This would be a really romantic gesture for me to find. Help!
  3. I'm usually a back of the house person, but,.... Being snapped at! for my attention. Just that gesture puts me down. Something my grandmother does I know on purpose and so I hate it when I see the behavior in customers- asking for my opinion on "what is your favorite?" and then loathing the dish and blaming my taste for it! Bringing children who don't behave. I am NOT your babysitter. On the other hand, it's not my fault a diner brings their bratty kids in. Being "followed" into the service station. Weird but it's happened. I'll be happy to talk to you at your table, why are you following me???
  4. My feelings exactly. Do not SIT DOWN at my table! Do NOT interrupt the story, conversation, argument! or lament. Do NOT ASK "How does it taste?"
  5. artemisanne


    The below are places I would want my parents to take me if I were at UT or places I would want to take them. A lot of these places he will discover on his own because with the exception of Sidebern's if he's the normal UT kid, they won't break his bank. Give him a heads up by suggesting First Watch- MUCH better than Einstein's!, Mema's Alaskan Fish Tacos and Bella's late night. You need to get to SideBern's now that you've done Bern's. Spain, downtown. Pane Rustica- definitely one of the best places in South Tampa or most of Florida. Wine Exchange- another best place. Laughing Cat. Genghiz Khan. Byblos Cafe. Cafe BT. Wright's Deli. Best sushi- Samurai Blue and JoTo's. Best seafood? Crab Shack, on Gandy. The chef at Mangroves told me he gets the best fish in town, but I haven't been there and he might have just been blowing his own horn. Unfortunately, Cafe Pepe's is no longer with us (how I miss their brown bread and special salad!). I don't know what the Mullet Inn is but Peters' Smoked Fish always has mullet and whitefish and other good stuff. Good luck and enjoy!
  6. If you're coming down to FL, and you're around Plant City, you can pick your own at millions of farms off I-4- about 45 minutes from either Orlando or Tampa- if you're in a hurry I'd advise stopping by Parkesdale Farms or any of the markets- try the strawberry cookies!!!! I buy whole flats of strawberries for 7$.
  7. Ohhh- I like this,... Summer by far is my favorite season - I wait all year for Silver Queen Corn, which I can pick myself off the stalk here in Tampa. Then cherries although I can't get them same day harvested. Tomatoes of course, but we actually grow pretty crappy tomatoes locally - it's the sandy soil and the heat. Peaches and pears and apricots!!! Pole beans, black eyed peas. Not to riff off TopChef but I grew up eating what they called Malaysian Cherries as a kid- we called them little pumpkins b/c that's what they're shaped like but they taste more like sweet tarts. The strangest and hardest thing for me to get, but it is my favorite food in the world is breadfruit, or jackfruit as some call it- it's only available in late July and August. Winter means strawberries and onions and citrus- specifically tangerines and clementines. Spring- peas!!!!! and this will seem strange- nasturtiums. Not that they have a taste that I crave, but because they are so pretty in salads and they die here when it gets too hot! And i forgot Brussels sprouts in Autumn.
  8. I'm in for this- online now shopping for beans- amazed the price variances - many go high end with a pound going for 100$ of dollars and others are 20$ a pound- I wonder not only how to trust their classification but what kind of difference they make, really. Isn't ALL vanilla organic?? duh! I am going to do this though- I'll use rum and whatever else I've got around when the beans come in. I love the idea of using the vanilla sugar in addition to vanilla extract. Can't wait to try this! I think the best part of it all is knowing how much money I am saving!!!!
  9. You know- I try every time to give Mise en Place the benefit of the doubt when I go there (the good chefs are off tonight, their supplier didn't come through, there's a new butcher. there isn't enough staff, etc)- but consistently I am disappointed by their performance. The menu is so perfect, holds so much promise and the reputation has carried it through for so long, but : my servers are always short handed, have NEVER gotten the orders correct and forget basic needs of diners- like silverware and water!, nothing ever is at the correct temperature (salads come obviously pre-made and chilled until service (cold croutons anyone?!), appetizers also rewarmed, fries not fresh, ice creams melting, cheeses not at room temp.) I always am wishing there was just a little bit more spice/flavor/taste in sauces and condiments, breads don't taste fresh or special- I swaer to god like GASP! par-bake Sysco!, dressings are like afterthoughts on top of the pre-made and therefore wilty greens, execution of plating is sloppy,...I've had grisly meat there repeatedly, and badly trimmed poultry. A plus note that the actual preparation of my meats has never gone wrong! I also abhore the newest decor- but that's a personal style issue and I am sure that many South Tampans think it's very 80's retro chic. Of course- it is also a very South Tampa place, i.e. snobby. Why pay attention to me when the seeming big-wigs are nearby? So maybe I am getting the last minute ditch salad, the leftover chocolate cake, the product of the assistant to the assistant, the bill without the substance of what makes a place great. I've eaten at catered events and small dinners by Mise en Place and I feel that this has become their strongest point- perhaps the menu is not as stellar, but the quality is consistant. So why do I even bother? Because Mise en Place was my first taste of steak tartare, it was my first foray into creative cuisine- that was more than 15 years ago when I didn't even have a driver's license- and I always go with the hope that my expectations are satisfied, but perhaps I've just grown up and away from this place? Maybe I normally go for lunch and dinners are that much more special and more carefully executed? Like I said, the menu is so perfect- even without execution of the promise, there is still hope that with these locals continuing to be in business still, that we can still be a culinary town.
  10. My advice is to stay away from Channelside, except for Thai Thani. The restaurants there are chain places with no distinction or true flavor. You'll have access to the tram which takes visitors east to Ybor, and east to Hyde Park. My recommendations below are casual and good value. Everyday food by local owners. Downtown- Spain (tapas- try the sangria!), Au Rendezvous (French bakery), First Watch (breakfast and lunch- it's a franchised chain but one of the best places to eat- fast, cheap and healthy). Jackson's on Harbour Island has a great happy hour sushi menu. I would advise Laughing Cat (comfortable Italian, great lunch buffet) , Carmines (longtime part of Ybor- cuban sandwiches and spaghetti pair together perfectly here) , Mema's Alaskan Tacos (latenight alcohol absorbtion hangout), Samurai Blue (sushi), La Tropicana (historical, try the Deviled Crab) in Ybor. In Hyde Park, The Food and Wine Exchange (best priced and sourced wine and beer list in town - besides the heavy hitters below)- also has a fantastic menu. Bella's for into the late-night great Italian. Pizza- Gourmet Pizza Company, the best in Tampa, also delivers salads and pasta, and the best cheese sticks ever created. You'll hear a great deal about Columbia, Berns and SideBerns, Cafe BT and Mise en Place. These are the "finest" establishments in Tampa. They are definitely special occasion dining, although Mise en Place has well priced lunches and Columbia is more about the wow/history/tourist factor. If I got to choose out of all of them- I go to SideBern's who has the most creative and cutting edge chef in town. Her prices also echo this and sometimes they try too hard- but how is that negative in the long run?
  11. It sounds as if you'd be surprised at the tastes of the young. They are atheletes, so I'd provide plenty of carbs and protein. I can't think of anything better to do to accomplish both relaxation and refortification than a good grill party. The most important thing for you to remember is to make more food than you would ever imagine being eaten. I bet they'll eat it all. I'm guessing you'll have 20 hungry guests? I don't know where you'll be serving them or what your resources are. I would end up borrowing others' grills and slow cookers for the below menu. Invite them to the party too. Starters: You will never go wrong with crudites (carrots, broccoli, red and green pepper strips, cauliflower, radish) with a good blue cheese dip- you might be amazed at how these will be inhaled. Good olives. Hummus or black bean dip with pita triangles. Prepare all the day before and lay out before they arrive. Grill a good variety of sausage. The day before, dice tomatoes, douse with olive oil. Chiffonade some basil. Store in fridge. Buy some dough from your local pizzaria (you can buy it the day before and let it sit in the fridge), roll it out on a olive oil greased and cornmeal dusted parchment lined sheet and let it rise in a warmer part of the kitchen. Brush the top with olive oil and liberally sprinkle with roughly chopped garlic. Bake until the top is a nice crisp brown. Pour a nice amount of tomatoes on top of the tray to be served at the moment and then strew with the basil. Season with some kosher salt and pepper. Display most of the tomatoes with basil for extra topping and dipping. Make about three trays of this- so three dough balls, two or three pounds of tomatoes. Sides Roast corn on the cob- in the husk. Soak fresh corn in the tub for 30 minutes beforehand and throw onto the grill- it takes about 30 minutes to cook. What, about 30 ears? I would think. Have lots of salt and pepper and butter on hand Roast potatoes the same way- quarter some new potatoes the day before and sprinkle with lemon juice and more basil, or parsley, or dill, and some crushed red pepper. The day of, lay on an oiled grill tray (I use a piece of fine meshed aluminum fencing I bought at the hardware store with the edges turned up to keep things from falling off!!! Just make sure that there's no coating on the metal) and brush with olive oil. Serve with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper. Do about ten pounds in batches- start these early and they sit nicely. You can always freeze leftovers for mashed potatoes or potato salad. I'd make a huge batch of cheese grits- you being from North Carolina and all! They'll love those! Protein: I don't know your resources at this point, but if I had access to a smoker, I'd make smoked brisket or maybe a turkey! Or borrow all of your neighbors' slow cookers and cook brisket in beer and BBQ sauce overnight and then serve with some good buns and more BBQ sauce. This is really easier. Reuse another oiled grill pan to quickly grill tilapia sprinkled with salt and pepper (Make a quick relish of canned corn, diced red onion, tomatoes, herbs and diced GOOD olives to continue the theme)-it's high protein, sits well and it's cheap. I know, not everyone approves of tilapia. Use some other kind of fish, then. This can also be eaten on the buns. Make peel and eat shrimp (boiled in beer and Old Bay of course!) if you're flush. For dessert, peach cobbler (made a few days before and reheated) over ice cream. I do believe you have shown these fine young men some good Southern Hospitality! And this isn't as much work as it is a lot of washing up to do. I have made this menu many many times for large parties.
  12. Hello- My sister just started FSU and we're going to visit her next month. I've never been to Tallahassee and am wary of what I hear of its ambiance. Anyone have suggestions? I am looking for fresh, interesting and not expensive food. Anne E.S. Vela Wandering fool,...
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