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Joe McConnell

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    http://www.culinaryintelligence.com

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    US Midwest
  1. Thanks -- good ideas. And yes, please, let's not kick off a smoked meat vs pastrami debate -- there's enough doctrinal dispute in the world as it is.
  2. So I bring home a third of a pound of good deli pastrami. It's not warm. How would you warm it, quickly but gently, to achieve a hot pastrami sandwich in the comfort of your own kitchen?
  3. I've had this experience frequently, since I travel and rely on reviews and Zagat and so on to decide where I'm going to eat. I'd walk in, anyway, since I need dinner, and judge you on your food and service, not on your critical mass. One of my standard Japanese places in Dulles-land never has more than 5 or 10 people dining on a week night, seems like, but it survives and I keep coming back.
  4. So why is that funny? It shows a lack of knowledge sure, but ignorance is not of itself amusing. ← That assertion is the funniest thing I've seen in this thread so far.
  5. The guest who took a one-hour lunch-n-learn with a local sous-chef on knife skills. Picked up my knife and said, "hmmm -- pretty dull, guess I'll have to come over and sharpen it for you." Homicide was narrowly avoided. (It was NOT dull, BTW, I later found out that the instructor in this "class" was as clueless about knife edge geometries as most chefs are, and just handed out a bunch of incorrect information.)
  6. With the exception of Yotsuba, I agree with the snore, completely. Try Paesano's for Italian -- Veneto-born chef Isabella, and a truly personable Wine Director, Chaad. Ask for him.
  7. In this case, Pam did specify "I'd love a non-chain, non-burger choice. Please." ← True - sorry. But then she got a series of chain suggestions. Specifically Daves' which we first encountered at Taste of Madison, where it's chain-ness was not obvious. Somewhat disappointed later on, when we went to one in ND and experienced the usual chain service, beverage list, and other chain attributes. Oh, well. On an unrelated ND note, I was flying over the state once, seated next to a woman who had the whole place as her territory, selling cosmetics. She characterized it as the "giant concrete cow state." Most cement cows per capital she'd ever seen. Can any one confirm or deny?
  8. We had a neighborhood bar when I was a student, back in the '70s -- just burgers n' beer, been there since my parents were students at the same college. I'd been there a few times with my cousin, who was not a fan of the grilled onions ... the last time I went there with him, he ordered a burger and said, loudly, "And if you put onions on it, I'm going to go home and get an axe and kill you." Nobody, including the cops sitting in the corner, paid the least attention. But no onions, I admit.
  9. Yeah, there are SE Michigan people, although few actual "metro Detroiters" really seem to post. As I noted over on another thread, http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=99068&st=60#, there are some good options in Ann Arbor and Dearborn. I may be out of the loop, but Royal Oak hasn't really shown me anything yet, and downtown spots seem to come and go with some frequency. Of course, the famous La Shish mini-chain is changing its name and breaking franchise deals, due to the original owner's political and legal problems. Are you aware of the Michigan paradox? Two of the three best restaurants in the state are hundreds of miles up-north (pronounced as one word), in a town the size of my living room. Tapawingo and the Rowe Inn are in a hamlet called Ellsworth, and making a trio with Tribute (which is down here, in Farmington Hills) are the three top venues.
  10. It might help hone the responses to this form of question: "where's a good place to eat in (name of location here)" if posters ruled in or ruled out chains. Dave's BBQ, for example, is a chain, as is the Outback. Wouldn't occur to me to name 'em, since I'd assume the poster was able to find 'em in the phone book.
  11. I believe somewhere in his books, Bourdain expresses a fondness for Globals. I forget what Batali uses. Many of these folks' actual preferences will have been submerged in branding deals, though. Just for interest's sake, why do you care?
  12. As I've noted elsewhere, I default to http://www.cutleryandmore.com/, although it must be said, they don't have EVERYTHING. (Good grips stuff, for example.)
  13. Ann Arbor: - Kerrytown market inside, esp Sparrow Meats and Monahan's Seafood; Everyday Wines - Saturday and Wednesday AMs, there's a reasonable farmer's market at Kerrytown Market, outside - Morgan and York, cheese, deli, high end wines - Produce Station, fresh produce - Tsai Grocery. asian groceries Ann Arbor is crawling with small, strip-mall located Asian and South Asian markets, of wildly varying quality. Needless to say, avoid all supermarkets. Village Corner used to be the go-to spot for wine, but they're getting on toward retirement, and it's in the dead center of campus parking hell -- Morgan and York and Every Day Wines are my current recommendations unless you're looking for something very specific that VC alone carries. FYI, I keep a search engine of some of these recommendations at www.culinaryintelligence.com. It's free.
  14. Hot - physically hot - pastrami, tomato, easy on the mayo, and meunster cheese, on a kaiser roll. Drives deli types nuts, but it's my personal test case when trying out a new deli. If they can't do that to order, they're in the wrong business. But nobody else agrees with me, especially about the cheese.
  15. I wouldn't go so far as to ban them -- they're a great genetic marker. If this place has wraps, I don't need to eat here. They do show up at office lunches with distressing frequency, though, meaning that you need to make the ethical choice between eating crap because it's free or not eating it ...
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