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Everything posted by MikeHartnett

  1. I think this is a mistake. A lot of what makes Starbucks as popular as it is comes from the idea that you're getting a high-class product. Whether you are or not is debatable but irrelevant. Instant coffee is not a high-class product, and will probably alienate the customer base Starbucks already has. When Starbucks becomes the Folgers of coffee shops, it can say goodbye to those who frequent it for the prestige for sure.
  2. Many people have complained about the lack of NYC this season. I think you're misunderstanding my point: it seems as though you read these gossip columns and blogs that contain spoilers. Not everyone does. I don't. They only "spoil" if you read them. My point is that if your viewers are complaining that the show isn't showcasing the locations properly, isn't it important to showcase them more appropriately? Or at least stop pretending to showcase them. A choice needs to be made between pretending to showcase a location and failing to do so, or stopping the pretense altogether. Personally, I'd prefer them to highlight the locations they film in. However, I'd be ok with it if they didn't, as long as they stopped emphasizing where the seasons are filmed.
  3. That's fine, but is it better to avoid allowing those who deliberately seek out spoilers to find them, or to make the show enjoyable to watch?
  4. Boy this town really is dead on Sunday. Can't blame people for taking a day off though. ch ← If only it were just one day... Casamento's is closed like half the week!
  5. Casamento's isn't open Sundays, and Stein's is only open until 5, FYI.
  6. Thanks! I assume the bell pepper is what makes the pickling liquid spicy?
  7. Interestingly, I have a jar of bread and butters from Cochon Butcher, and it contains mustard seeds. I was wondering what they used to pickle these specific pickles. To answer your question though, it appears as if the standard methods would suffice, i.e. heated vinegar, sugar and salt based on preference, then cover the seeds and store. And... never pickled ANYTHING?!?!? HOW???
  8. Did you use Morton's or Diamond Crystal, and did you measure or weigh the ingredients? There's a note somewhere near the front of the book that says there's a noticeable difference in volume between the two. I believe Ruhlman says the book's recipes are tested with Morton's, so if you happened to use DC, that may be your problem. ETA: Oh, and to answer your question, I'm not particularly precise. I just put together the specified ratio and make sure the whole slab is well covered.
  9. http://www.chezpim.com/blogs/2008/12/the-thai-parado.html Thai Fried Bananas!
  10. Made gumbo today. This was shortly before the trinity was added, so the roux is a bit lighter than its final color: And this was the final delicious product:
  11. Haven't seen a vending machine, but that little grocery next Cochon Butcher on Andrew Higgins has a Big Shot sign...
  12. I completely agree. I came to this thread to say virtually the same thing about Scott Conant. What an arrogant prick! And it wasn't editing to make him look that way, either. You don't act that way without watching a little too much American Idol.
  13. MikeHartnett

    Dinner! 2009

    Looks pretty appetizing to me! No pic, but last night I made a similarly ugly-but-tasty meal: bratwurst with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. The sauerkraut was from the newly opened Cochon Butcher, and was superb.
  14. I tried the Cuban also, and got a bite of the Muffaletta. All very good, and fairly priced, considering the location and quality. My only problem so far is that a glass of wine doubles the price, and makes what was a good-value lunch into one that isn't. Those pickles though-- man. Does anyone know if the pickles they serve are the same as the bread and butters they sell packaged? I meant to ask, but forgot.
  15. Oddly enough, I found the pork belly to be well within my richness limits. Delicious. Also, the pickles were fantastic, and overall, I'm very excited about this place.
  16. Cochon Butcher is open! Headed in for lunch today-- I'll report back.
  17. I'd love to hear about these too.
  18. Agreed. Plus he's really freaking annoying.
  19. SnoBALL. It's not a dialect thing, they're different.
  20. MikeHartnett

    Dinner! 2009

    No girlfriend or dog around today, and nothing in particular to do, so what better way to spend my time than making what turned out to be an excessively complex and minute dish? Made shrimp with sambal, pear and mirliton (chayote). This was based on a dish in Eric Ripert's new book, but I substituted some nice gulf shrimp for langoustines. Tasted good-- especially the sambal, which I ended up soaking bread in afterward-- but I couldn't help but feel the amount of effort that went in was extremely disproportionate to the tiny, tiny outcome. Oh well. Portion control, I guess.
  21. Yeah- in my experience, 8 hours is wishful thinking.
  22. MikeHartnett

    About roux

    Not exactly an accurate analogy, considering that flour and oil are not limited to regional availability. Though I don't think "why buy roux" is a fair question, either. Like Celeste says, when most of your traditional dishes are based off of something that takes a significant amount of time, it might make a lot more sense to you. For instance, I prefer making tagliatelle, etc., to buying it. But when I just don't feel like going through the process, and I really want some pasta, I'll buy it. To South Louisianans, gumbo isn't something you turn into a project because you want to try a cuisine that's foreign to you. It's comfort food, and sometimes you just want comfort food to be easy.
  23. Nathanial Zimet, the owner of the Que Crawl truck.
  24. I know eGullet tends to shy away from pure single-restaurant topics, but Boucherie deserves its own. The immobile incarnation of the famed big purple truck outside of Tipitina's, Boucherie takes the food a bit more upscale, with fantastic results. They're currently open only for lunch, from 11-3 (not sure which days, but they are open on Saturdays) in the old Iris space, and I overheard that they plan to start serving dinner after New Year's. The space is comfortable, but still fairly sparse, which I assume is the result of being open only a few days. I was initially surprised because I expected more of a lunch counter aesthetic, and instead received a sit-down, full service experience. The menu is fairly compact, with maybe six small plates, the same number of entrees, about three sandwiches, and a single dessert. A menu can only afford to be compact when it hits home runs on most everything, and as far as I've seen, this one does just that. The prices and portions are fantastic, with the small plates running in the mid single digits, and the entrees in the low to mid teens. Grit fries and collard greens, served with spicy vinegar, were an unbelievable combination of textures and flavors, worthy of a more haute establishment. A Caesar salad was classically done, but with the twist of grilled lettuce. BBQ ribs with pickled vegetables and brisket with garlic parmesan fries gave me hope for New Orleans BBQ-- literally, the first good BBQ I've eaten in this city that wasn't my own doing. The single dessert made it clear why there weren't any others: a Thai chili and dark chocolate chess pie with vanilla whipped cream. The crust was light and flaky, the spiciness hit the back of my throat following the creaminess of the dark chocolate. Amazing. This was a lunch that could have easily been a heartily satisfying dinner, and yet it cost less than half the amount I spent the previous night at the immensely disappointing Herbsaint (a topic for another discussion, I suppose). A lot of restaurants seem to lose sight of the fact that while creativity is nice, tasting good is still what food is primarily about. Boucherie delivers on both counts, being creative for the sake of good taste, rather than in spite of it.
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