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Carolyn Tillie

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Everything posted by Carolyn Tillie

  1. I've bought the orange blossom water that is sold in most grocery stores and that is the classic addition to a Ramos Gin Fizz. I prefer the orange blossom water from Middle Eastern stores which is used in a variety of ways. I make some kick-ass orange and cardamom cupcakes that always go over well and there is a fabulous Paula Wolfert recipe from Saveur about a dozen years ago which involved a salad of grated radish, orange segments, a splash of orange blossom water with orange juice, and a julienne of fresh mint. The combination of slightly macerated radishes with the orange and mint makes fo
  2. Chez Panisse is the obvious selection. Is there a type of food you are partial to? If you aren't tied to Berkeley, I would suggest some Oakland restaurants; Commis, Wood Tavern, Rivoli...
  3. I haunt most of the markets, including Chinatown, and those are the only two varieties I've seen as well.
  4. Thanks, Jaymes. You are absolutely right. I went back to the menu online and thought it read baked beans, but it does not. And you correct that we Yanks have a different concept of what beans are supposed to be. But it was still fun and I definitely hope to come back (but to explore those amazing Trailers!)
  5. I was incredibly lucky to attend the final Mission Street Food before Danny Bowien and Youngmi Mayer take time off more marriage and to consider their next project. The meal was, in fact, entitled “Wedding Extravaganza” and indeed, the chef did not fail to impress everyone in attendance. Here’s a recap of the final meal and a special farewell and bon voyage to the happy couple. We can’t wait for your return! Aperitif – Prickly pear soda with sake granité and red shiso. Slightly on the sweet side, three of us fought a little over the glistening red liquid with its floating, icy wonder of sake.
  6. My last doughnut stop in Austin was truly a special one. It was recommended to us by the lady selling us macarons at La Boite and is called Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery. What makes it special is a variety of things, mostly that fresh, warm doughnuts are available after 9:00 p.m. in the evening. And so we waited until after the sun had set for my epic journey towards Fried Dough Ho’dom. Driving through the streets of Austin, there was a PBS radio station on the car radio playing tunes of the 1950s and I felt as though I were in the George Lucas movie, American Graffiti; this was as much about the jour
  7. When I decided to head to Austin for a little vacation, my hostess, Jane, asked what I wanted to eat. “Barbecue?” I responded back, questioningly. Isn’t that what one eats when one comes to Texas? And although the bulk of my trip has been experiencing the joys of the Trailer Food culture, I was granted my day of ‘cue. Salt Lick to be exact. Now you can’t throw a dead cat in this town and NOT hit a barbecue joint, but the Salt Lick is something special. For starters, it is quite a drive outside town. Practically in the middle of no where. Driving as far as we did, I was beginning to wonder wher
  8. Jeff, by all accounts the thing to do is to look beyond the taco trucks; there is a Oaxacan truck that is getting great reviews, the Odd Duck Farm to Trailer is *outstanding*, that Cuban sandwich is the best I've ever had, and it saddens me that I may not get to hit any more before my departure! Oh, and the macarons at La Boite are better than any I have eaten in San Francisco.
  9. Richard, we were going to go to Ileana's restaurant yesterday and just plain ran out of time (that, and the fact that her trailer is across the town from all the ones we were visiting). There is a *chance* that we might be able to hit it on Sunday, if it is open. Today was relegated to a pot-luck and Saturday has been scheduled with my one visit to a barbecue. I'm still hitting a bunch of Fried Dough establishments and Sunday is my last day here with nothing yet planned, so we'll see. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
  10. When I first thought of coming to Austin, it was for a mere vacation getaway and nothing more. It was not intended to be a grand culinary getaway and there was no particular destination eatery that I had intended upon delving into (well, except *some* form of barbecue). But then I learned about Gourdoughs. This was going to be THE fried dough destination for the Ho and it was a slight disappointment to discover they were not open in the afternoon, during my first attempted visit. Apparently Gourdoughs is becoming so famous that even Tony Bordain stopped by a week or so before me. No matter. Go
  11. I am beginning to learn that a die-hard foodie visiting Austin should probably ignore most of the restaurant and set about hitting the food trailers. While San Francisco has a handful of specialty taco trucks — we boast a crème brûlée truck and one that serves frogs legs — but nothing as expansive and diverse as Austin’s food trailers. Even my hostess has been surprised at the shear number that has popped up in such a short time. Our first round of visiting trailers occurred during lunch time. It was an attempt to hit Gourdoughs that we learned that not all of the trailers are open during the
  12. The one thing I did not know about Austin is that it is famous for its food trailer culture. Strewn about town are hundreds of converted trailers, Airstream campers, and shipping crates, all serving specialty food. Not necessarily located in any one particular spot, there are trailers parked on corners devoted to Banh-Mi, BBQ (no surprise there), cucpcakes, and doughnuts. In some cases, two trailers share a small spot adjacent to a strip mall and in other cases, there are rows and rows of trailers, stacked up against one another on main streets. Driving along Lamar Boulevard we passed one unde
  13. I am visiting Austin for the first time. And I am visiting one of the Grand Dames of Austin food society, Ms. Jane King. Meeting me at the airport with her adopted daughter, Nataly, Jane suggested we stop at Central Market for dinner supplies. Jane started the Foodie Program at Central Market and is one of the more knowledgeable people I know when it comes to all things yummy. Antonelli’s Cheese Shop was a stop that Jane mentioned she wanted to hit before heading to Central Market. It is a new cheese shop that she had not yet been to and was curious about. We arrived in a little neighborhood b
  14. This Friday is National Doughnut Day. And here is some of the history (with pictures and song, if you like):
  15. One of the top destination restaurants in the city for the last six months has been Melissa Perillo's Frances. I had the distinct pleasure to dine at the Fifth Floor under Perillo's command and was looking forward to experiencing her new endeavor. The reservations at Frances are booked up weeks in advance and it is only the fact that a handful of bar seats are left open for first-come diners that enabled me to plan my birthday celebration. Lisa and I arrived a few minutes before they opened and a line had already been established for a few of those choice non-reservation seats. We were lucky,
  16. Carolyn Tillie


    You could also go the Morrocan route; charmoula is a prevalent way to prepare vegetables and fish and calls for a LOT of cilantro. There are a ton of other Middle Eastern recipes that call for cilantro (although they call it coriander). And, all these years later (since I first posted in this thread), I have learned to cook with it for friends, but I still can't abide the stuff. I have learned to "eat through it" when reviewing professionally, but only because I believe I know what it is *supposed* to taste like to others...
  17. In 2004, my mother passed away and I wrote a rather long and heartfelt post here about her passing (seems to be gone now). In it, I talked about inheriting her mother's knife which is stamp dated 1848 on the blade.
  18. I stumbled across the newly-opened Yemeni's Restaurant on Sutter during a jaunt home this afternoon. Most restaurants are not open between 2:00 and 5:30, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the doors wide open. I stuck my head inside and asked if they were serving. Amber, the hostess, confirmed they were open all day and I took a seat, anticipating only a quick appetizer to curb some minor hunger pangs. The appetizer platter came with a classic raita dipping sauce, baba ghanouj, hummus, and a third eggplant-based spread that was entirely different than the baba ghanouj and just as enticing. S
  19. I researched the kettle route and went for a simple hot water dispenser like one of these. I love having hot water exactly when I want it -- not when I wait for it to heat up.
  20. It would help to know where you are traveling from as it makes no sense to recommend certain styles of cuisine that are germane to your home; i.e., I'm not about to suggest a Mexican restaurant... Do you want sushi/Japanese, dim sum/Chinese, Cal-Italian, California cuisine, haute cuisine, small plates, vegetarian, wine pairings etc? I saw Chris Cosentino at his shop (Boccalone) in the Ferry Plaza over the weekend and I'm afraid the Fergus meal at Incanto (one word) is already sold out. Honestly, if you want offal, you could try and book Incanto for another evening, but I have found it slippin
  21. No, I don't think kielbasa would be appropriate at all; that is a sausage that is highly spiced AND heavily smoked, with flavors that would be the opposite of what you are striving for. Kielbasa is also a bit chewy. I'm not sure where you are located, but Toulouse sausages are very mild -- almost like Bangers -- so the most mild, soft pork sausage is best. While Toulouse sausage contains a small amount of smoked bacon, it is mostly raw pork and garlic. Sausages like Kielbasa are heavily smoked and aged. I hope that helps.
  22. 1. I have to disagree therippa on the Le Creuset. I have been cooking Ms. Wolfert's cassoulet every year for almost a decade (and before that, every one else's recipe for another decade). While cast iron *will* work, if you have anything CLOSE to a clay pot (a cazuella?) it makes a huge difference in the creaminess of the beans and whole "chi" of the dish. If metal is all you have, then by all means use it, but if there is any reasonable substitute that is not metal, I would go that route. 2. It is a slight age to the pork that is hard to describe. It is a more enhanced flavor. Fresh is fine
  23. I like to delude myself that I have a pretty decent palate. And for some things, I think I do. But when it comes to sushi, I can’t hold a candle to my buddy, Lisa. This is a woman who — if money were no object — could eat at the likes of Urasawa six days a week and not grow tired of it. So it was sort of ironic when we went out to dinner one evening at a favorite noodle joint, Tampopo, that after we left (with full bellies, mind you!), we saw the newly-opened Sushi Aka Tombo with only a few people inside. Well Lisa rates every sushi restaurant on their Uni so I suggested we go in just for a si
  24. Short Ribs Pot Roast any Moroccan tagine Cassoulet Lasagne
  25. I am extremely grateful to BFF (Best Foodie Friend) Lisa for rescuing me today for lunch. Working from home, I tend to get lazy about my daytime meals and have exhausted every local Fillmore and Japantown eatery several dozen times over. I am ashamed to say that I don't think enough outside my local neighborhood and while debating between the $10 Bento Box and the La Boulange Niçoise salad, Lisa called and suggested a jaunt to North Beach to try the much-lauded Naked Lunch. With a menu that changes on a daily basis, Naked Lunch is the brainstorm of chef Ian Begg (SF Chron Rising Chef 2008), fo
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