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umbabaru

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    Durham, NC
  1. Sorry to see you go BryanZ. Hope Durham treated you well.
  2. I just returned from Atlanta for a trip; some friends took me to Top Flr in Midtown, I believe, a small place that seems to cater to a late-night crowd, a huge bonus for me. It was out of sight, with a very simple a la carte menu. I had a terrific skirt steak. Excellent sides. It is a very hip, very casual, very relaxed spot. I also ate at FAB downtown, and that was good -- very much a French Brasserie, so the name fits (French American Brasserie). Top Flr was the special place of the trip, though.
  3. Just found this thread:Dining In Downtown Atlanta
  4. I'm in Atlanta for the week, without a car and staying at the Hyatt Regency at the Peachtree center. Any places within striking distrance that I shouldn't miss?
  5. My wife read my post and had exactly the same response as Varmint, BryanZ, and detlechef. Well, actually, she was pissed at ME. And I think detlechef's response speaks for itself. Clearly he brings an honesty and integrity to his work, and I erred in creating this post based on one meal. I can't take it back, but I suppose I'll eat a little crow here in public to minimize the damage. I edited my initial post -- I will be back. Regarding the service: our server was extremely nice and accommodating, and I have super-high expectations that I agree need to be lowered. The food was a problem, but I suppose as Varmint insinuated, this can happen with any restaurant. It wasn't bad, just a little sloppy, which suggests it was an anomaly (especially given detlechef's response). The soup with rice would have been much better; I just couldn't handle it by itself. To take that singular experience and open up a new post was wrong. I have this very informal mindset regarding eG Forums, and I forgot that the post gets splayed up there with "poor" in the title for all to see. My sincere apologies.
  6. Since Chef Deal is one of the folks I most respect in the triangle food industry, I thought I'd try to find out what's up. It's been a while since I've been to Jujube, but I was surprised at how mediocre it was last night. Granted, it was Monday, but the meal reminded me so much of The Grasshopper near it's end. The ingredients in the noodles I had were way out of proportion, with heaps of scallions overpowering everything, and little sign of balance. A soup I had was so incredibly hot (and I like hot food) that it was impossible to enjoy. And poor service (which, I guess, the place has always had in my opinion). It was a totally mediocre meal. So has Chef Deal busy with new ventures? I remember hearing something about a high-end Mexican place, but perhaps Super Taco and the other outstanding Mexican eateries in town put an end to that venture.
  7. What about Pop's in Durham? That's the best pizza I can think of around here. I agree with the others that Cinelli's New York Pizza and Grandma are great, as long as you don't get any toppings. The staff there is kind of freaky, though. If Randy's served booze, that's probably where I'd go most nights. Some folks like Satisfaction in Brightleaf, but I think it pretty much is on par with Mellow Mushroom. And <hack> the smoke is not so great in there either.
  8. Thanks for the info. Had a nice time in Omaha. I did not make it out of downtown, but I had a great meal at M's, where everything was done very well. Basic hearty american fare, but executed perfectly. I also ate at Upstream, where I had a very mediocre steak. But the beer there was great. We had dinner one night at La Buvette -- the wine was great, but the salad I ordered was a disaster. "House-made" gravlax with dried dill, for gods sake. Yuk. But it was fun, despite the food. So thanks again for the tips.
  9. I am heading into town, staying at the Embassy Suites in the downtown/Old Market area. Any good restaurants within walking distance? M's sounds good .... what else? And while Omaha may be the wrong place to ask, one of my traveling companions is vegetarian -- anything recommended on that front?
  10. Amy has opened her new place on Broad in Durham. What's the egullet word on the food?
  11. Capital Seafood is okay -- I've had terrible luck with their oysters, but if you'd like something that they don't normally carry (like mahi mahi), you can give them a call and they'll have it for you the next day. They are really nice, even if they don't carry the best product. However, I just down university, I've gotten very good oysters, for a very good price from the red and white. They are pretty good butchers, and while they don't get any small-operation meats, you can find some really fine prime cuts there from feed-lot stock, which some might enjoy. And originally, I thought you might be referring to the restaurant Fishmongers, which supposedly sells retail as well. See this thread: Food Lover's Guide to the Triangle
  12. What are the greatest finds in and around Southport? Fresh seafood retail Kid friendly porch-and-beer spots Upscale seafood and anything else!
  13. Actually, the new Fresh Market carries it. They carry (their labels) Market Style Bacon and Applewood Smoked Bacon. The label the meat dept prints out for the Applewood Smoked Bacon says "Neuskes Bacon". Also, it must be Neuske's, because it is $7.49/lb, while the market style is $4.99/lb! Fresh Market is now at the corner of Cary Parkway and Waldo Rood Blvd. It is huge now, the size of a Taj MaTeeter. ← I've been buying Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bacon for a couple of years at the good ol Fresh Market in Cameron Village. ← There's also Benton's if you're really up for a full smoked bacon. It's not local, but it comes from East Tenn where I hail from. BryanZ I have a pound for you when you get back to town.
  14. umbabaru

    Z Kitchen

    I only now have a chance to comment on the wonderful dining experience we had at Z Kitchen. The food was delicious, the menu was extremely well conceived, and the individual dishes and ordering were very well balanced. The artichoke soup was about as close to perfect as you can get. I hadn't realized how important a role the acidity of the artichoke can play; it is like a sherry-infused vegetable. The mushrooms and the chestnuts mellowed the soup and gave the dish its perfect balance. I suppose soft-boiled eggs are something not everyone loves (but I certainly do), and I think you have to appreciate a soft boiled egg, or at least appreciate what happens to the proteins in the yolk, to enjoy a slow-cooked egg. But to have this hollandaise like consistency in a soft-boiled egg provided a beautiful interlude between the scallops and the pork. The cheek was a perfect braise. Bryan clearly understands what a braise is. I was surprised he didn't do it sous vide, given that he has such a fancy water bath, but thank goodness he did it however he did (in fact, I think he had to cook the pork in his neighbors oven, since his broke before the meal). The cheese course was well chosen. In terms of wine -- on Bryan's suggestion, we opened with a Spanish sparkling wine, cava avinyo, which could not have paired better with the soup. I brought a white Burgundy (A Blaune), which got killed by the pork course, but luckily we had a spare Grenache that fit quite well. We also brought along a Sauternes to finish off with, and it paired as well as it could, out of its environment, with the cheeses.
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