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Posts posted by MissAmy

  1. That meal is exactly what I ate in culinary school, and the kind of food I enjoyed cooking when I got out. Traditional, very French, heavy. It's delicious, decadent stuff. I love it, and love that there are still restaurants that are cooking it.

    But you know, cooking is like any other creative persuit. Things are going to change, evolve. Whether or not you find molecular gastronomy to be enjoyable or to your taste is beside the point - it is more than doing its bit to keep high end cooking relevant.

  2. These posts are the reason I hate waiting tables. Jeeze, people. Cut the servers some slack. They're just doing their job. :blink: What one person hates, another person demands, sometimes managers are complete assholes and FORCE you to say idiotic stuff like, "Hey guys, my name is Amy and I'll be taking care of you this evening." Trust me, I hated saying it as much as you hate hearing it.

  3. What do you guys think of places like Vivo and El Chile? They call themselves Tex-Mex, El Chile in particular is a bit higher end than, say, Maudie's, and the prices reflect the largely upper class clientel. However, I have had very good experiences at both.

    Also, it's a bit easier to get my older relatives and less adventurous friends to eat at one of those places than at the more "authentic" old school east side venues.

  4. I'm wanting Richard and Stephanie in the final two. The rest can go jump in a lake as far as I'm concerned. Either they have horrible personalities and are insufferable to watch (hello, Dale) or they are uncreative and have horrible personalities. Antonia and her Polish sausage snub was ridiculous - COME ON it's sausage! There's about a million and one things you can go with it, even the cheap stuff.

    Richard and Stephanie are the only contestants I want to win. They are the only ones who seem to have decent personalities, are able to interact with other human beings without being terribly offensive or off-putting, and their food always, always looks great. If either of them get kicked off, I won't watch the show anymore. I just seriously can't stand the other people in the contest.

    Oh, also, I really am sick to death of the catering challenges. It's getting annoyingly redundant.

  5. China has changed SO MUCH in the past ten years, it's unreal! When I lived in China (Nanjing) we had to "import" in almost everything you've metioned being readily avaliable. Wine? Forget about it. My family always bought huge amounts at the duty free in Hong Kong and VERY CAREFULLY packed it into our suitcases. Cheese? Same story. We weren't eating pastry unless we made it ourselves. (My mom became quite the baker.) We eventually found a dairy that provided us with milk (non-hemogonized, the best milk I've ever tasted) and some yoghurt when they had it (unsweetened, forget about any sorts of flavors). Seeing all this stuff that is just at your finger tips now is amazing. At the same time, I'm glad I got to experience "old school" China.

    I miss Chinese food so much I can hardly stand it. That hot pot dinner really brought out some longings. I really hope you go out for dumplings at least once during this blog. I'd be happy just to look at pictures at this point. :wub:

    Can you still go to the open air market in Beijing and get all the cool (and WEIRD) snack foods?

  6. I don't know, I think it's pretty tempting.  I mean, $25,000 is $25K and if they want to pay me that kind of money for a recipe, I'm not sure I'd have the strength to say no.

    What say you?

    Abso-freaking-lutely! I understand all the righteous indignation over 90% of what FTV has to offer, but still. If they were to offer ME a spot hosting, or if I won $25K, it's not like I'd turn it down. I'd let my food friends and the eGullet community scoff while I laughed all the way to the bank.

  7. I think it's totally bad form to bring any outside food or beverage into a restaurant. It's just rude as hell. It is basically saying, "I want to come into your establishment and take advantage of your atmosphere and service, but I refuse to pay for the privilage."

    The only time I ever found it appropriate was when one of our regulars at a spa I worked in would bring her own bread. She was on a gluten-free diet (for health reasons, not vanity) and made her own gluten-free bread. Every time she came to the spa she would bring a few slices to have with her breakfast or lunch. She'd have the server bring it into the kitchen, and we'd add it to her plates. I always would throw it on the grill and toast it up with some pretty grill marks and she really liked that. She was also super sweet and tipped the servers really well. That didn't hurt our desire to accomodate her.

    Other than that, kids and cheerios. That's ok, too. But no adults with double whipped half calf half fat caramel macchiatos with a shot of hazlenut. No, no, no.

  8. Yay a new season to snark over! Woo hoo!

    The girl who won (Stephanie? Marie?) was my pick, and I hope she goes a long way, possibly to the win. I just loved her attitude, she's cute, and her food looked good. From what I saw, she's the kind of girl I'd want to be friends with.

    I agreed with the one who was sent home. What a stick in the mud. With crappy food to boot. Who doesn't taste their stuff? I taste things before I serve them to my roommates; I can't imagine sending out untasted food to other chefs or food professionals.

    Some of those guys, yeesh... tone the 'tude down a little. The foul mouths and unnecessary smack-talking are a real turn off. I hope the worst perpetrators are eliminated quickly.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think the dude who took two pans during the quick fire challenge should have been penalized for it?

    Why wasn't Tom in the kitchen? I've always like that element of the show and hope they aren't dropping it.

  9. gallery_1890_1967_255286.jpg

    "deconstructed" German potato salad from last night's dinner.

    View the recipe here.

    Beets benefit from a brief maceration in an acidic solution, in this case white wine vinegar with salt and pepper.  It helps to accentuate the intensified flavor brought out by roasting.

    That looks seriously good. I'll be getting some beets at the farmer's market this weekend, and have been wanting to try a new preparation. Thanks for the recipe! It'll hit the table Sunday.

  10. Now I'm starving! I love a good patty melt, but is it a travesty that I like mine with American cheese? No other cheese gets as gooey and melty and all down in the crevasses of onion like American.

  11. Doing what MizDucky suggested works really well for those who are at least willing to try. Saturday night, I roasted asparagus to have with a lot of other things. My roommate was trepidatious - she's never had asparagus before (how is that possible, I ask you?) and was afraid she wouldn't like it. She took three or four spears, making no promises. Everyone had tucked in to their food, and I look up to find roommie grabbing more asparagus! And more and more. She ate FAR more than her fair share, and last night asked, "So, when do you think you'll make that asparagus again?" :raz:

    Sometimes new things just need to be presented in a non-threatening, unintimidating manner, with other options present. It seems to be the best approach, in my opinion. The next thing we'll tackle will be beets.

  12. One of my closest friends claims to be "allergic" to onions. And yet, she consumes them with regularity in restaurants and at home (they're cooked into her food and she doesn't know they are there). She also claims to be allergic to tomatoes, yet just two nights ago ate double helpings of bolognese sauce - appearantly the addition of Italian sausage "balanced out" the tomato factor. -insert eye roll here-

    She's one of those people that can not be allowed into the kitchen while others are cooking because if she sees anying she thinks she doesn't like, she will not eat any of the food at all, and will end up bringing take out from somewhere. It's infuriating. She refuses to try anything unusual or outside her norm. One time, a whole large group of us were meeting for dinner at a Thai restaurant. This place is well known in the community, most people who eat there love it, and they have lots of things on the menu to appeal to American unadventurous eaters while also pleasing the more refined palates. And yet, on the car ride there, she would not stop with the pouting. When asked what was wrong, the conversation went like this:

    Picky McPickerson: "I know I'm not going to like the food there. I'm hungry and I want something I like!"

    Me: "But you've never been there."

    Picky: "But I won't like it!"

    Me: "Have you ever tried Thai food?"

    Picky: "No! Because I know I won't like it!"

    Me: "I bet they'll make you something fried with something sweet and corn starchy glopped all over it if you ask."

    Picky: "But it's not Jade Palace (local crap HORRIBLE Chinese American joint) and I know I won't like it!"

    Me: -irritated silence-

    She's a grown woman in her thirties with a career and a car and a stable living environment and yet she eats like a four-year-old. A four-year-old who is indulged and pampered by over-indulgent parents and allowed to eat nothing but macarroni and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. It's an extreme neurosis, and it makes me (and just about everyone else who knows her) absolutely butt-crazy insane. Otherwise, she is a perfectly lovely person for whom I would do just about anything but her food ticks really irk. To be fair, I will admit we have had some headway in recent years - she will now eat some vegetables but only mushrooms, canned green beans (ew!), and lettuce. The only acceptable salad dressing is Ranch.

  13. The most expensive meal I ever ate was in Kyoto, at this tiny and very, very old sushi place when I was 16-years-old. I didn't pay, of course, but someone told me later that the bill ended up being somewhere around US$200 per person, which included lots and lots of sake. It was the single most exciting and challenging meal I have ever eaten.

    The most I have ever spent was $75 per person at Musashino in Austin back in the Tyson Cole era before there was ever an Uchi.

    Interesting that both of mine were sushi. I am saving up for a trip to the wine country, though, so both of these may be eclipsed in a couple years' time!

    Honestly, I don't have a problem spending money on a really great meal one in a great while. To me, it's a great luxury and very enjoyable. I don't understand why no one takes issue with paying $80-$100 for concert tickets, yet when I mention that I have spent that much on a meal they flip their lids. I don't get it. Isn't it basically the same principle, ie, spending a lot of money for a few hours of entertainment?

  14. The McDonald's bacon, egg, and cheese buscuit is wonderfully greasy and perfect for bad hangover mornings.

    Whataburger's sausage biscuit will do the trick as well.

    Do taco trucks count? 'Cause if so, then they are my #1 favorite. The one that comes to our office every morning is a God-send. I seriously need to stop eating them, though. Breakfast tacos are one of the single most unhealthy things on the planet.

  15. Those kosher restrictions really made you miss out on what Hudson's is known for: the wild game.

    Eh, I didn't feel like I missed out on anything. Honestly, the tuna dish caught my eye pretty early during my menu persual, and most of the game dishes seemed very, very heavy, which I wasn't entirely in the mood for. Besides, those fish dishes were really, really good!

    Besides, it seemed like lots of people go there for steak as well as wild game, as there were no less than three steak offerings on the menu, and at almost every table I saw, at least one person was eating a steak. (Yes, they looked really good.) There was also a lot more shellfish on the menu than I would have imagined, which shocked me a little bit. I wonder if Hudson's is moving away a bit from the central Texas game concept?

    That said, when I get to go back I really want to try their rattle snake cake appetizer, which I would have ordered had it not been for the kosher restrictions.

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