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Posts posted by bethala

  1. Don't expect much from the "underground city".  It's really not that big a deal.

    thanks, riboflavinjoe. i had my suspicions about the underground city but wanted to double check. i'll brave the cold and use taxis and public transportation as needed in order to get to the best grub.

  2. has anyone been to l'original?  i read that it is a new spot opened by monika terlecki and travis champion of garde manger and that the food is québécois.

    Just felt the need to chime in and say that Travis and Monika's new place is called L'Orignal (as in "The Moose"), not L'Original! :laugh: Have not had dinner, but it's a great spot for late night drinks.

    mlle tatin, thanks for the correction! don't know if i would have ever picked up on that. i tried just now to correct the title of the thread, but it seems it's too late. here's the location, for anyone who's curious. it's in old montreal, by the way: 479 Saint-Alexis, Phone: 514 303 0479. also, haven't confirmed it, but it seems to be open til 3am on several nights, making it, as you say, a great spot for late night drinks. might just try to check it out...

  3. By mext weekend do you mean this coming weekend on St-Patrick's weekend? If the former, be aware that we're expecting about 8-9 inches of snow sat. Weatherwise, it's not as warm as NYC but not that cold at this time of the year and by no means warrant wasting your time in the mall inferno that is the underground city. You should go to Jean-Talon market where you'll fin plenty of specialty shops, cheesemongers and the likes.

    hi, campofiorin. we will be visiting the 13th through the 16th, right before st. patrick's day. i went to marché jean talon last time and loved it. should i try it again, or should i try one of the other markets?

  4. walnuts and alexthecook, thanks for your replies.

    alexthecook, are you saying that no one at l'original spoke french?

    my sister and i are planning a visit to montréal next weekend. i think we've decided on leméac (both dinner and brunch), joe beef, jun I, and maybe BU wine bar, but will pass on l'original this time.

    weatherwise, is it too cold for a wimpy new yorker to be walking around? is a visit to the underground city in order? and if so, any nice cafés underground?



  5. thanks for all your replies! i’m really looking forward to this trip. the last several years when i’ve visited texas, it’s been for holidays or funerals, so there wasn’t a lot of eating out. my family is chock full of great cooks, but getting out should be fun.

    kent wang, i won’t be able to compare uchi to nobu or its ilk because i’ve never been to nobu, so i’ll just take it on its own merits. i will, however, enjoy seeing how peacock compares to pegu club and milk and honey, whose cocktails are rightly renowned. pappadeaux is a bit non-negotiable, as it’s my dad’s choice. i’m not too worried about having a stellar gumbo experience, as i am my own best seafood gumbo cook (i've got louisiana roots on both sides). i'm assuming fried items will be safe bets. i had also really wanted to try quality seafood, based on reading your posts, but just don't think there's time.

    kevin 72, i’d read about babe’s on someone’s blog and had intended to ask about it here. is there supposed to be a new one opening in frisco? that would be great road food for the trip back to austin.

    planojim and kent, thanks for the bbq recs. i will try to squeeze in some sort of bbq from in or around austin. missing it would be a shame indeed. i also hope to try to stop by one of the taquerias listed in this austin chronicle article.

    slo_ted, i think joe t garcia's is already in the bag with our dfw hosts, but what alternatives would you recommend? i agree, the outside area is very pleasant – that’s where i sat a few years ago - but i also enjoyed the food a lot. like i said, perhaps i was suffering from tex mex withdrawal at the time. as i am now...

    thanks again,


  6. hi, i'm bethala, a texan who has become a new yorker. i believe this is my first texas post. my boyfriend, jared, and i will be visiting austin (my hometown) and dallas this weekend. we will be in austin from thursday through saturday, in dallas from saturday through monday, then back in austin on monday. as a new york texan, i'm very excited about the eating that lies ahead, particularly the tex mex food. like many texan egulleters, i love and respect tex mex food, and i miss it madly. here in new york, i scarcely try it, as it almost always disappoints. back in my UT days in the 80's, i went to spots like trudy's, chuy's, taco cabana, gm steakhouse (closed), the filling station (closed?), matt's el rancho, the UT student union (cheap breakfast tacos!), banh's (closed?) and the like, and yes, even to hole in the wall (closed) for the occasional chili dog. i could be nostalgic and go back to some of the old spots, but after lurking around the threads here, i think it will be better to forego nostalgia and sample what the "new" austin has to offer, rather than be disappointed with the old ones. below is our tentative schedule. i welcome any comments.


    thursday lunch:

    el chile cafe & cantina: for a tex mex feast, with margaritas, OR

    hoover's: for chicken fried steak, with sweet tea and maybe a slice of chocolate or coconut cream pie. i'm hoping jared will order the catfish sandwich so i can have a bite.

    thursday dinner:

    uchi: we love sushi, and i am intrigued by chef tyson cole's use of local texas ingredients in traditional sushi and japanese dishes. i'm also excited about uchi's wine list, which has the rare domaine du viking 2002 vouvray as well as an impressive selection of sakes.

    friday breakfast

    hoover's for a breakfast big enough to tide us over to an early (4:15) dinner with my father. the decision: a sweet breakfast of pancakes and sausage, or savory sausage, eggs, and cheese grits with a biscuit?

    friday dinner:

    pappadeaux. i've never been. the louisiana part of me is very curious.

    friday cocktails:

    the peacock: this seems to be the spot for well-made classic cocktails.

    saturday breakfast: migas

    magnolia? trudy's? polvo's?

    saturday lunch:

    we'll be driving up I-35 to dallas. any tamale or bbq shacks we should check out along the way? is the chech stop along this route?


    saturday dinner (with lola, my best friend from college):

    lola: i've heard many good things about the food and wine here.

    sunday lunch:

    joe t. garcia's (fort worth). i had lunch here in 2002 (mini chimichangas, chicken flautas) and thought it was some of the best tex mex around. is that the case, or was i just in a state of new york deprivation?

    sunday dinner:

    open. we will be visiting a cousin who lives in frisco, so plano or frisco suggestions are welcome. my cousin has also mentioned javier's. we may well be too full from joe t's.

    AUSTIN Part 2

    monday lunch:

    hoover's or el chile, depending on what we did thursday.

    monday shopping:

    rosie's tamale house: for tamales to take home.

    central market: for austin grand prize hot sauces, recently featured on the Saveur 100 list, and for anything else that might tempt us.

    texas french bread: for pecan scones, if they still make them.

    tuesday breakfast:

    austin bergstrom international airport: i hear you can actually get good migas here. if we can't do a final hoover's stop, this will be our last taste of texas before heading back to brooklyn.

    some of you might be wondering where bbq enters in. well, much as i love bbq, i don't think we'll be able to cover that texas food group on this visit because it's so short. believe me, an actual tear came to my eye when i was looking at the hoover's menu and realized i wouldn't be able to try everything. if we don't get a chance to go to elgin or lockhart and get some to take back, my dad can get some later, freeze it, and fedex it, as he's done before.

    i feel a bit guilty asking for your help, as i've been so inactive on egullet over the last few months, but i will do my best to provide a full report when we get back.



  7. Funny story.

    Friday night, having dinner at Porter House.  I order the three-pudding combo for dessert.  I'm very obviously enjoying the Indian Pudding very much.

    DATE:  What's that?

    ME:  Indian Pudding.

    DATE:  Does it have cardamom in it?

    ME:  No.

    DATE:  I don't get it.  What makes it Indian?

    was this a first date? if so, will there be a second?

  8. I'm on a huge Nigella Lawson kick right now. For home cooking she's hard to beat -- and certainly fun to read.

    nigella's not big on complicated desserts, but she likes her desserts to be delicious and comforting. so i particularly enjoy her dessert recipes, which while being incredibly easy to make, always turn out scrumptious.

  9. wow, eric, thanks for another great montréal (and québec) report and first post! you and daniel have sparked in me a need to visit montréal bientôt. and you've made it nearly impossible to attempt any more four-day weekends in the city; a minimun of ten is now required! i understand the temptation to go "heavy on the french" on a visit to montréal and am glad that you and chris ventured out and showed us other options. love your and chris' love of cauliflower, scallops, and panna cotta. and keep up your newfound fondness for chablis - next time you visit joe beef, dave macmillan will not disappoint you with his spot-on chablis choices. hope we can all bug you for san francisco recommendations in the future.

  10. i enjoy the quality of ceci cela's pastries. but is it just my imagination, or do the ones at the spring street location taste better than those at the chambers street shop? i particulary enjoy ceci cela's paris brest - great custardy coffee filling with the perfect texture. also, second la bergamote, although i've gotten an occasional dry piece of cake there. and financier for fancy individual cakes and eclairs. i particulary like anything financier does with pistachios, as well as their macarons (especially the pistachio). and i simply cannot let fauchon 's "big boy" status get between me and their macarons, butter cookies, or breakfast pastries.

    ps, if you find yourself stuck in midtown east, ceci cela's pastries are also sold at a great little coffee shop called manhattan espresso cafe, on 49th street btwn lexington and 3rd aves.

    ceci cela

    55 Spring Street (just east of Bowery)

    166 Chambers Street (just east of Greenwich St.)

    la bergamote

    169 9th Ave. at 20th St.

    financier patisserie

    62 Stone St., at Mill Lane

    3-4 World Financial Center (Battery Park City)

    35 Cedar Street @ 10 Liberty Plaza (btwn Pearl and William)


    442 Park Avenue, northwest corner of 56th St.

  11. I kid you not.....just last week I am cooking for a client in an apartment on the west side above JG's Perry street restaurant and a guest walks into the kitchen and tell's my assistant how fabulous the food is and asked where he trained..............my assistant is a supertalented young white kid who wants to go to CIA.............and then after he points to me she was like.....Ohhh....where are you from....I said  Africa....... :laugh:

    But seriously this happens all the time.

    this reminds me of an incident that occurred in 2000. i was at pipa, which i believe was relatively new and "hot" at the time, with a coworker. we were at the bar, when we saw mr. samuelsson come in. he actually said hi to us, recognizing us (or at least pretending to) from the wine shop where we worked and where he had done a tasting. my coworker, a CIA grad, and i watched intently as he went up to the bar to order drinks. well, it was clear that the bartender had no idea who samuelsson was, because she treated him almost dismissively. after samuelsson moved back into the crowd, we went up to the bar and discreetly explained to the bartender who he was. she looked embarassed and said, "thank you" and then thanked us again by not charging us for a single drink for the rest of the evening. i'm sure chef samuelsson was treated a bit more courteously for the rest of the night, too.

    vadouvan, as you've said, this is mostly laughable, and probably can be accounted for more by ignorance, the bartender's disinterest in the restaurant world, or any number of factors. also, while the bartender was white, the same thing might have very well happened with a black bartender. but, fact is, it probably happens more for samuelsson than with white chefs of the same caliber. this goes to the question of perception and expectations by everyone about who gets recognition as a chef.

  12. According to Grub Street, the woman who ran D'ohr An has opened up an izakaya in that space.

    It's one of those credentialed-chefs-do-vernacular-cookery type places, which always makes me suspicious (it usually seems to translate into higher-prices-for-blander-food), but when you're shut out of Tia Pol next door . . . .

    going to tia pol in an hour. i'll keep that in mind. thanks!

  13. Also, does anyone know what the ratio is between Black Chefs and Black Americans.. Is it that far out of whack.. What percentage of America's Population is Black Compared to the Percentage in the Kitchens?

    Please dot take this post as argumentative, I would really like to know if we have established the numbers.

    i can give you the general population part: 12%, with the percentages being higher in major cities, for the most part.

  14. It's the "traditions" that are precisely the most nefarious form of racism and sexism.

    It's easy to deal with the truly evil people operating on the basis of irrational hatred.  What's harder to deal with are the perfectly nice people operating on the basis of unexamined assumptions -- which are just as harmful as the unmitigated evil.

    very well put.

  15. I had the mac and cheese and stewed okra as sides.  The mac and cheese also suffered from obviously having been sitting around for an extended period.  The okra was, well, interesting.  It was a stew of okra, tomato, and corn.  It was very highly seasoned in a way that seemed almost African.  This was of more historical/sociological than culinary interest to me, because I wanted to taste the okra but couldn't.  I'd have used less pepper (and whatever) myself.

    when i was in junior high school in houston, i had a friend whose mom was a creole from louisiana, and boy, could she cook. she sometimes made something she called okra "goulash", which sounds similar to what you had at rack & soul. clearly, my friend's mom was not hungarian, but it seemed as if she'd somehow put together a dish that merged creole elements (the okra) with hungarian ones (the addition of corn, making it goulash). but unlike what you had, this dish was fresh-tasting, and, although somewhat spicy, pretty delicately seasoned.

    i think the mistake a lot of people make when making cajun/creole/"soul" food is over-seasoning. there's a pre-conceived notion that the food is highly seasoned, and it sometimes is, but this is different from over-seasoned. also, as with all cuisines, there are always certain dishes that are only mildly seasoned and let the flavor of the food shine through. just as thorough fans of indian cuisine know that not every dish is "spicy", those with a thorough knowledge of southern and soul cuisine know that it's not all Lowry’s seasoning salt and Tabasco sauce. Edna Lewis did a good job of putting that out there. some of the best home "soul" cooking i’ve had has been food that i appreciated more for the cooking method -- e.g., vegetables "cooked down" with seasonings that might include salt, pepper, onion, garlic, cayenne, and pork fatback, all used very judiciously -- than the use of heavy seasoning. just as with the cajun craze where people thought if they just "blackened" something, it would be ok, i think some think that if they just use a lot of seasoning salt, it's "soul". well, it ain't so, and it’s really unfortunate that your okra was not soulful in a good way.

  16. I am not sure if you are referring to anyone in particular. Personally, I think that this very complex issue is certainly worthy of discussion. While I do not think that racism is necessarily a major part of the answer, it certainly can not be excluded at least to some degree as a contributing factor either directly or indirectly.

    i was actually referring to JohnL's statement, "Things are getting better all the time!", which, to his defense, i must say he posted as a statement - a true statement at that - rather than as a question.

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