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Everything posted by violetfox

  1. That sounds delicious! Please let me know when you try it again - I'd love the recipe!
  2. What exactly is "Pimms Cup"? I had one last week when I was in Williamsburg, VA, and it was 90 degrees outside. It was really pleasant and refreshing. Where can you find the Pimms Cup itself? Better liquor stores?
  3. I think it really depends on the restaurant, but I am almost always delighted to see children in a "fine dining" restaurant - tablecloths, china, silver, crystal, napkins. I remember being taken to such places as a young child and it was hugely formative in my appreciation for food and the whole experience. I remember feeling very special. I think it needs to be in context of decent table manners at home, but it's a great thing for kids and as I recall, has helped to produce a generation of food-loving people.
  4. While I'm on the subject, I completely understand and respect the complexity of curry as used in Indian cuisine. I understand curry powder as something entirely different and perfectly useful in its own right. I'm a little tired of some folks decrying the use of spice mixtures. If they're of good quality and taste good, what's the problem? When I come home after work and want to get dinner on the table as quickly as possible, I use spice mixes, unapologetically. When I have more time, I usually make my own.
  5. I don't use curry powder in classic Indian dishes. I use curry powder in lots of other things - devilled eggs, tuna salad, chicken salad, curry-mustard-honey dip for veggies to name a few. There would be unpleasant ramifications if I didn't make my famed creamed onions for Thanksgiving, which have a bit of curry powder, not enough to be obvious. I use Penzeys Sweet Curry almost exclusively. I do make my own mixes for Indian dishes, and the recipe varies greatly.
  6. I absolutely liked the "locals," and Zack and his family.
  7. Is this like Camp Coffee, where an egg white and/or egg shell is added to supposedly settle the grounds?
  8. When I say "disingenuous" I am specifically referring to your claiming to not understand what I mean by uncomfortable chairs. Implying that you don't know what constitutes a comfortable chair is ridiculous. If you can sit in a chair without being uncomfortable, without being in pain, and able to focus on your meal, not the chair - the chair is comfortable. I think that's pretty obvious to anyone. I'm merely saying that it seems like not too much to ask that restaurant owners spend the amount of time in a chair in their own restaurant as the average diner will spend. I have indeed been in "fine dining" restaurants - and not a few, either - where I was actively uncomfortable and was more aware of the discomfort of the chair than I was of the quality of the food. Teetering chairs balanced precariously over a heating duct. Narrow, hard wooden chairs which are uncomfortable from the first moment you sit down. Chairs which give you no place for your elbows, no place to lift a glass or cut your food. When paying top dollar - or not, for that matter - this is just unacceptable. It screams to me that the owner can't be bothered with the comfort of the GUEST. Conversely, I have been in plenty of reasonably-priced restaurants where the seating is perfectly comfortable. Neither am I saying that this is a widespread problem - just something that I've encountered and feel that I shouldn't. If this is an unreasonable attitude for a customer to have, that's a restaurant which doesn't interest me in the slightest. The restaurant business is, last I checked, part of the HOSPITALITY industry.
  9. I'm pretty thoroughly disgusted with his dismissive attitude toward Maine. I guess the powers that be decided it was time for a "Bad Tony" episode. I mean, seriously - J's Oyster Bar? I've had good luck at Street and Co. but he made short work of that. Yes, Primo has wonderful food. Yes, Melissa Kelly is a great chef. The idiots at the sailing lunch, however, who acted as if everyone outside of the "civilized" south and mid-coast are godless heathens about food is stupid, wrong, and unfortunate. Very, very disappointing, and a long way from Andrew Zimmern's wonderful episode in Maine.
  10. Good old baked cup custards from the Betty Crocker cookbook. I'd forgotten how good and simple these are!
  11. Republic of Tea, Ginger Peach green tea with honey.
  12. I have friends who have been making it, but it's nearing the end of the season in Maine. Two 65 degree days didn't help! And yes, I always enjoy maple syrup!
  13. The economy must be doing a lot better in Maine, then. Here in Atlanta we're losing about 2 or 3 good restaurants per week. And I'm not talking about the total number of restaurants closing, either. Those are just the independently owned places that are good enough that I'd care. I think I may be misunderstanding you here. I think the problem is the lack of specifics and abundance of generalizations on either side of this. When talking about "decent" restaurants, what price point are we talking about here? I can only think of a few places here that I would be willing to sit and dine in for 2 hours, and I'd say Restaurant Eugene is firmly in that category. However, it's also expensive enough that I can only eat there once or twice a year, so I'd expect to stay longer in that case. And they already have nice, comfortable seating. The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead would be another good example, but while they do have very nice seating, they are now closed. Ironically enough, Restaurant Eugene had to change their menu and style of dining toward a more casual, small plate sort of format, just to keep business coming in the doors. And then there is the fact that "comfortable" is a very subjective term. What makes you feel comfy might not be amenable to others. The last restaurant I worked in had some pretty amazing leather chairs that were custom designed and cost about $600 each. I thought they were cozy as all get out, but wouldn't you know it, some customers complained about them. I think we can all agree that cold, metal chairs are uncomfortable, but I haven't run into them outside of little noodle joints and lunch counters. Certainly not at any place I'd spend 2 hours in. It would really help me to visualize what your problem is if you gave me some specific examples. What kind of seating and what kind of restaurant are we talking about here? Because we're definitely not reading the same page. My problem is restaurant chairs that are uncomfortable, which is really perfectly clear from all of my posts here. I am certainly not questioning that the economy is a mess and that restaurants are closing. I stated a fact that I had been out to eat at nice retsaurants numerous times throughout New England and Quebec recently, and that many times, those restaurants were full and actually turning people away, even on midweek nights. The fact that some restaurants are closing hardly means that "no one" is going out to eat lately. I'm talking about decent restaurants where I'm likely to have three courses and spend some time. Considering that I routinely find perfectly comfortable chairs and seating in diners and coffeeshops, it seems not really too much to ask for the same consideration at a restaurant where I'll probably spend at least 3X as much. "Comfortable" is absolutely not subjective. Comfortable means not painful, not awkward and not poorly constructed and flimsy. Perhaps I need to repeat, though I'm not sure why, the fact that I have dined at a number of "fine dining" restaurants (and not just recently) where the chairs were indeed painful, awkward and poorly made, though not necessarily of metal. To suggest that you don't understand what I mean by uncomfortable seems more than a little disingenuous.
  14. I really disagree. Almost every time I've been to a decent restaurant in the past two years, even - as bad as the economy is now - there have been plenty of diners quite eager to have the relatively inexpensive pleasure of sitting for a couple of hours, enjoying a nice dinner, quiet conversation, some good wine. I hardly think this experience is "dead" or will be within my lifetime, thank God. If your hypothesis were correct, the Slow Food movement would be long gone rather than expanding. There would be far fewer people here on eGullet, who clearly enjoy the experience you categorize as passe. Beyond that, those interested in a pleasant evening at a nice restaurant extend far beyond those of us who consdier ourselves "food nerds" or whatever. Regardless, there remain those of us who enjoy "fine dining" and who want and frankly deserve comfortable seating, and I have no interest in a restaurant with a lack of concern for my comfort. The food business remains, last time I checked, part of the hospitality industry, and thus being hospitable comes with the territory. Honestly, I've eaten in enough diners and roadside joints with perfectly comfortable booths and chairs. I expect - OK, demand - that a fancier and more expensive restaurant provide me with comfortable seating, for crying out loud.
  15. violetfox

    Fish Sticks

    I like Gorton's, too, but I usually get the "portions" rather than fish sticks. Yes, they make dandy fish tacos!
  16. Interesting. I hope it's not true. I know several people, including myself, who have tried unsuccessfully to get reservations at the Cabane this spring, which seemed weird to me.
  17. No doubt California will hire multiple inspectors to enforce this brilliant law. I wonder how much they'll be paid...
  18. My butt and I, and I'm sure many diners, thank you for your consideration!
  19. Dear Chefs and Restaurateurs; Have you considered sitting in the chairs in your fine establishment? If not, I encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience. You'll need to spend at least an hour in said chair. I do not make this request randomly. I really should start to make a list of otherwise fine restaurants which need to reconsider seating. The cuisine can be perfect, the service flawless, the ambience charming, but if your butt hurts from the chair, you will not have a pleasant evening. (Yes, I am a pretty average-sized person, although I'm not sure that that means much. ) Conversely, a restaurant where the seating is truly comfortable makes me feel cared for in a good way, and is one to which I'm anxious to return. I doubt that it's much an issue of cost, it appears to be an issue of design. Perhaps I'm the only one who's had this experience, but perhaps not. Thank you!
  20. I think you can use neem oil as a drench or spray, thus "systemic" and I believe that it's quite safe for people and pets.
  21. OMG! I just ot a jar of it at the Baker's Store in Norwich VT and am now using it where the flavor of vanilla really matters (almost everywhere) - you can use it in place of vanilla extract, in equal quantity, or combine with extract half-and-half. It's just exquisite!
  22. I was just going to recommend this. Gesine's recipes are wonderful and her memoir is charming and well-written. The apfelkuchen is the most perfect treat for a chilly afternoon. There are also a lot more recpies on her blog.
  23. violetfox

    Dinner! 2010

    Wow, hot marmalade pudding sounds and looks incredible! Anyway, dinner is good old ratatouille from Mastering the Art of French cooking, Vol I with brown rice pilaf. I hadn't made ratatouille in quite a while and had forgotten how much I love it - warm, lukewarm, cold, by itself, in an omelet, etc etc etc. Very comforting.
  24. Gorgeous book. I haven't cooked anything from it yet, but reading it and looking it it is a joy.
  25. violetfox


    I haven't made this in decades, but some Middle Eastern cookbook has a wonderful, simple recipe for lentils with sauteed onions, rice, and spinach. I mostly lived on this during college, and it was delicious.
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