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Everything posted by boagman

  1. I asked this same question last year, though I really, *really* appreciate your attitude. Myself? I'm unapologetically anti-kid. Don't want 'em, don't need 'em, *certainly* don't want to hear them or be around them when they're bored/tired/misbehaving/squealing/yelling/crying/existing. That being said, my impression of The Gathering was that it's an Adults Only thing, but I was told that my impression was incorrect, that kids were welcome. This caused me to withdraw from The Gathering, as the risk is just not worth it to me...I'm there, I've booked the hotel, I've paid for the events scheduled, and someone brings along their kids, who inevitably get bored (justifiably!) or misbehave in some way, making life generally lousy for everyone, and migrane-inducing for people like me. I greatly appreciate your willingness to (GASP! Such a novel idea!) get a babysitter. It's practically unheard of in this area, apparently. So do as you like. It's nice to see, even just the idea of it, the idea that kids are not, and should not, be included in everything.
  2. Akin to Lou Malnati's would be Gino's East, my personal favorite of the city, but only by a *slight* margin over Lou's. Lou's would win for overall experience (atmosphere, fuller menu, etc.), but Gino's East would have the *slightest* edge over Lou's pizza, methinks. This, however, is based on the original location on Superior, and not the "new" location which took over the old Planet Hollywood, which I haven't experienced yet. It's strange...you wouldn't think that a simple venue change would affect the end product, but sometimes it can, and I don't want to espouse the ex-PH location product before I've had it. Even so, there's still no besting Loui's Pizza in Hazel Park, MI. It's still the best pizza I've ever eaten, but it's most definitely not Chicago-style, but rather Detroit style.
  3. I *love* visiting ballparks in other cities, and even I think that, in the context of The Gathering, this wouldn't be a good fit.
  4. Wow...Israeli cuisine? That's certainly intriguing to me. I live in the most densely populated Arabic area outside of the Middle East itself, but there's no Israeli restaurant here, even if there are plenty of kosher joints. I wonder if they make a good fig pie...I haven't had it since I was in Australia in '99. Sounds neat!
  5. Thank you. I ask because that recipe sounds wonderful, and perhaps should be made around these parts.
  6. Kerry, how many will that recipe feed (a.k.a. "What's the yield?")?
  7. I'm totally there! But please let them know to take root beer floats off the menu before I arrive, or I may have to arrange a boycott. "Thou shalt not taint root beer with foreign objects (other than ice and straws)" is in the eG code of ethics, and we all know how rule-governed I am! Coke floats are a-ok, as are cherry coke floats, so they can still do the float thing, just not with my beloved root beer. Do they make their own root beer, by the way? And are there any locally brewed root beers that I'll need to seek out? So, ice cream is verboten, but somehow diluting a root beer with *ice* makes the cut? Color me confused. I, too, prefer my root beer unadorned (but *cold*), but ice tends to dilute the flavor, no?
  8. So, you'd loathe something before you've even tried it? I wouldn't give it such short shrift. Philadelphia, in addition to its sandwich, cheese steak, water ice, gelato, coffee, soft-pretzel and annoying baseball team reputation, also hosts some excellent Spanish food from a highly acclaimed chef, if I've heard right...Amanda Restaurant. It's the cheese, man. I...I hate most cultured dairy products. I love, love, love ice cream and milk, but once you start culturing the stuff, my stomach turns. It's an almost universal, across-the-board thing with me, but pizza is the exception. And yes: I know that it's a psychosomatic thing. I'm perfectly okay with that. It's not like I don't try things from time to time, either: not too long ago my g/f's mom made some dip infused with some of her oh-so-wonderful caramelized onions, which I just can't resist. I tried it...and barely got it down. Love those onions like I do, it just wasn't worth it. I'm not denying anyone the right to call me crazy. I cop to it...but putting cheese on beef is tantamount to criminal to me. Don't even get me *started* on what I think of cheese being a crutch in American food culture.
  9. Well, actually, you're kind of making my point for me. No insult intended to any of the above metropolises, but you say to-may-to... Come on...you mean to tell me *in all honesty* that you're not a bit intrigued by them? Shoot, I'm intrigued by Des Moines and I stinking *hate* Iowa.
  10. Philly would be cool, and IIRC, I can get some relatively cheap (at least currently) airfare from Detroit or Lansing to Philly. I couldn't care less about cheesesteaks (again, it's the complete ruining of perfectly good steak...what'd that poor steak ever do to you to deserve such foul treatment? ), and I, too, am in the "meh" category about the Amish thing. That being said, several of Katie's "off the top of her head" ideas were pretty compelling. I cherish truly good sandwiches, and would love to give the Philadelphians a crack at the trophy. The cocktail crawl, the Franklin Fountain, and even the distillery tour (I'm not a straight hard liquor guy) all sound quite cool! The other compelling thing about Philly is that, to me, it's kind of a mystery town in terms of culinary destinations. I mean, seriously: the most I know of the place's food is that they're crazy about those silly cheesesteaks, which I'd loathe. I wonder about mid-to-major cities which kind of "miss" the waves of culinary accolades. Places like Philly, or Des Moines, or Indianapolis...who knows what gems they might hide within their wings? Philadelphia intrigues.
  11. First place that comes to mind would be Forest Grill in Birmingham, which seems like it would meet your requirements handily (though I can't vouch for how "east" it is...everything's relative). If there's a time crunch, I'd call them sooner rather than later, especially if it's going to be for a weekend night.
  12. I appreciate the kick in the pants, Nancy, as I'd forgotten to get back to you. You can remove me and my +1 from all the lists, thanks. Donna and I will not be in attendance. Hope you folks enjoy it, though!
  13. I'll talk to Donna about it this week, and I'll get back to you. Thanks.
  14. Okay...I'll try to let this allay my fears somewhat, but seriously folks: does *every stinking thing in life* need to be something that young kids get to do? I'm honestly aghast at the very idea of subjecting a kid to the events, activities, and fare we'll be making/eating/exploring and actually believing that there are kids out there who *wouldn't* misbehave. I know I would have at that age! I'd be bored at best, and angry at worst! Then again, my parents wouldn't have subjected me to it in the first place. I fully admit to the fact that I'm probably a bit oversensitive about the issue to begin with, but that's only because I'm subjected to it at almost every conceivable turn in life, much to my chagrin. It's not like I go to McDonald's with any expectation of quiet, but when I go to a high-end restaurant with entrees in the $30 range, and there's a crying baby at the very next table...people, hire a stinking babysitter. And this happens *all the time*. That was certainly one of the biggest draws of The Feast last year, at least for me. Grown-up Time. With Grown-ups. Eating Grown-up food and beverages (*very* grown-up, the way those drinks were being mixed...YOWZA! ) Wonderful conversation with wonderful people about food, restaurants, recipes, techniques, etc. Not *one* squeal. Not *one* brat running into other people because they can't be bothered to look where they're going. Not *one* "darling" getting (understandably) bored or disliking the food ("I WANT CHICKEN TENDERS!!!!"), or what-the-heck-ever. Not once. Why, oh why, can't this be a safe haven of sorts? You have no idea (ZERO!) the number of times that I've heard people *in-freaking-sist* that their child would *never* be that way. Invariably, the child *does* get nuts, and one of two things happen: 1. Said child gets free reign to do whatever the heck it wants, because said idiot parent doesn't have any notion whatsoever what "proper behavior" is. When *you* bring up that little Sammy is getting a bit (oh, how shall I put this...) "overly dramatic", you're looked at like some out-of-line person and given the always-dismissive-yet-completely-absolving-the-sayer-of-all-responsibility-in-the-matter line: "They're just being kids!" Obviously. And you're just being a moron. 2. Things get *really* uncomfortable for everyone involved. The kid, responding to corrective instructions from the parent, sulks, things get quiet, conversation is killed, and, like it or not, the kid *remains* the center of attention, much to the chagrin of everyone. And it's *not* the kid's fault! They just shouldn't have been there in the first place! What's the parent going to do then? Leave? By heavens, no...they *NEVER* leave! I know, I know...I'm pretty seriously nuts on the subject, and I cop to it. That being said, dear sweet merciful heavens...can't we have the age barrier be 10-and-up, with anyone below the age of say, 13, given serious consideration for "Maybe when you're older, honey..." territory? I mean, man alive: do you really, truly believe that a 5-year-old kid should have to put up with what I would have considered at that age a Borefest Supreme with cheese? It's not my call, like I said, and I'm absolutely willing to bow out now, lest there be problems in the future with said issue. Last year's event, however, led me to believe that it was (even if only unspoken) basically an adults-only event. Do I honestly need to pack Vicodin for the obviously-coming-due-to-misbehaving-kids headache?
  15. Smitty, those look quite good! It'd be helpful to know prices, though. Quite surprised the chalkboard menu didn't have the amounts listed on there. It seems that Michigan municipalities as a whole are having a rough time coming to terms with (much less embracing) the food truck movement. There's a somewhat new (6 months now?) taco truck in the Detroit suburbs who's been having a rough time location-wise, too. I can imagine that in his case, though, he sort of makes his own bed: he's a Michelin-starred chef who charges way, way too much for tiny, tiny portions, and doesn't respond to criticism of any sort. I can't imagine that he gets along with too many cities, either...
  16. ::winces:: I have no idea if it's appropriate for me to say so, but if it's a kiddie event, Donna and I aren't going to make the trip. That's like driving 4-5 hours for anesthetic-free, unnecessary root canal surgery. I *despise* screamy little children (and please, for the love of all things holy...if you *have kids*, you have screamy little children, no matter how well-behaved you believe them to be), and I'm perfectly willing to forego the Gathering to avoid the problem. And no: I will never, *ever* have children of my own. So, I sort of need an executive decision on this topic: are children under 10 going to be part of the thing? It's an important factor for me.
  17. I'll have to check. That's right: that sound you hear is me ripping off one of the corners of my Man Card.
  18. I want in on this. That bread that you brought to the Feast in A2 was just unfair...I haven't had its equal since. You don't do French pastries as well, do you?
  19. My birthday is on July 30, so I don't know if that makes that weekend busier or less busy for Donna and myself than the following weekend. I suppose I'm fine with either. Having never been to Cleveland, it's actually one of the few places in Ohio ("The Armpit of America!" ) that I'm actually partially intrigued by. With regard to restaurant choices, I'm categorically uninformed on the Cleveland restaurant scene with the exception of the Symon restaurants, as we've got Symon's Roast here in Detroit. I quite enjoy it, too, but that just sort of makes me want to try something altogether different if I'm coming to a different city. It's been quite a while since I did an exceptional Chinese place (which can really be a lot of fun if it's done in pass-the-dish style), and our Middle Eastern choices and quality up here are probably far better than anything Cleveland has to offer, just because of the local populace. So yeah: good Chinese or Asian would be fantastic, and other than that, I just don't want to go to "Bob's Cheese Wheel" or something like that. I still almost universally hate cheese. Being that Cleveland is basically directly on Lake Erie, what's the local fresh seafood selection like? It's probably akin to Detroit's, but to me, that ain't half bad!
  20. Well, while I can't speak from personal experience on Publican, a local foodie buddy says that Publican was the best breakfast he'd ever had, and based on my track record with his suggestions, it's *got* to be great. It really has been too long since I've graced Chitown with my presence...
  21. But that's basically my entire point: in presenting the voucher, anonymity is then lost. Sure, you may have had anonymity during the actual meal, but then it's gone in a flash. Sounds pretty backwards to me.
  22. Wait, I missed something. How could a potential dining critic/journalist both have their bill taken care of *and* remain anonymous? Somewhere there's a disconnect, methinks, not to mention that it's hardly necessary. To paraphrase the mischievious chef from "Ratatouille": "I find this whole thing highly suspect!"
  23. I've been waiting until I could get onto an actual computer with keyboard (rather than just my smartphone) to post here. Donna and I both had a *fantastic* time with our fellow eGulleteers on Saturday. The food was fantastic, yes, but even more enjoyable was the camaraderie we enjoyed from all the folks there who are just food junkies like we are. There wasn't anything (nor anyone) there that we didn't feel comfortable sitting down to, or with. Tammy: thank you *so much* for your work in organizing. The Feast made both Donna and me wish that we'd been able to come to more of the stuff that had been planned for the weekend, but logistically-speaking, it just couldn't work. Donna was barely able to get those wonderful cupcakes of hers ready on Saturday, due to her traveling on Friday, and we really would have liked to participate more. Please know that you make one *heck* of a potent potable, and I'm not exactly a lightweight. You're an even better host/organizer, though, so thank you so much for the work you put in. Enjoy the Blenheim! Tom: there are few things that are more enjoyable than really great bread. It's simple, it's tasty, it's satisfying. Your two types of bread could have been all I ate, and I would have been completely okay with that. And you are absol-stinking-lutely right: caramelized onions just make *everything* better. Thank you. Kerry: we need more physicians like you. Your truffles rule with an iron scepter, and that's coming from a confessed chocoholic. Meeting you, speaking with you, enjoying your smile...lots of fun. Rochelle: I sincerely hope that many, many more bunnies expire for your culinary purposes. I'm with Sam: the rabbit confit with homemade noodles were an exceptional highlight of the meal to me, and I hope that those in the DC area learn what an asset they have in your catering abilities. Let me just say that *I'd* hire you...and I'm picky. Those sorority girls that you cooked for? I'm just absolutely jealous of them, based on that dead, delicious bunny. Richard: it was really great to see you again, and your salsa with basil oil was exquisite. I'm of the opinion that the shrimp didn't even need to be there...that salsa, and *especially* the basil oil were just amazing. I saw many, many folks there who were using Tom's bread to sop up every last drop, and rightfully so. Steve: you, sir, fry up bunny with the best of them, and the fish-in-parchment was a nice, clean taste, owing to the freshness of everything there. So much to enjoy in that little pocket of goodness. Crash: fatoosh salad, baklava, and more? I'll bet you could juggle five balls at once, as well! As well as being delicious, the fatoosh was one of the prettiest I've seen. There were many, many others there who I met and enjoyed talking to, eating with, laughing with, drinking with. I'd be typing all day if I were to name and thank everyone, but suffice it to say that it was an absolute joy to spend the evening there, and to contribute in whatever small way I could. It's got me thinking about traveling for next year...I'm no longer a Heartland Gathering virgin! Thank you again, everyone, for welcoming Donna and me into the fold. We came, we ate, we laughed, we waddled out. What more could one ask for?
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