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Everything posted by dougw

  1. I haven't eaten at McDonald's in four years. I read Fast Food Nation around the time I saw Super Size Me. I can't go back. But I did love me some McRibs. One time, they had some sale on them in college and we gorged on them. We had a couple left after our binge and we rinsed the sauce off under the faucet. It looked like cigarette ashes in aspic. I also secretly love those 7-11 microwave burgers. They make your car smell like a giant fart, and that's their upside. But I love them still. Totally inconsistent with someone who won't go to McDonalds, but I yam what I yam.
  2. I'm reading the Julia Child autobiography about her time in Paris, Marseille, and Germany etc. It's a lovely read.
  3. I got my wife a Japanese kettle for Christmas and she's deeply in love with it. I may have to file a restraining order against it.
  4. 2-3 month old coffee doesn't do it for me. It's barely passable for drip or french roast, but espresso? Nope. It just won't taste good.
  5. Looking forward to this show, but I am ticked that FN America never aired his school lunch show. That looked amazing.
  6. dougw

    Tim Hortons

    The ones in Canada use real cream. I like Tim's just fine. In the summer, they make an Iced Cappucino drink that's totally a fabricated beverage, but I love them none the less. I still laugh, though, everytime I see them advertise "TimBits"...
  7. Ah yes....Automatic Slim's. Back in the day when I was still living there I used to play in a band that worked at Slim's every now and again. Fun place, although I never ate there once. Unless of course, you consider beer consumption tantamount to eating. Which I did.
  8. Being a New Yorker, I rarely venture outside the realm of soul food and barbecue when I come back to my hometown of Memphis. Even with fine places like Blue Smoke and Dinosaur, there's nothing like eating some smoky pork sandwiches with the mustardy slaw at Topps, or the Best Sandwich Ever, Spicy Brisket at the Mecca of all that is good, Cozy Corner. But tonight, my darling mother sat with our boy and I got a date with the wife. We had been hearing about a place in the revitalized Cooper-Young area of town. When I was a kid, this place was run down and dilapidated, but it's become the new place for good fun and artistic personalities to convene. One of the more popular places in this area is called The Beauty Shop. Like The French Laundry, the name of the place says it all. Right down to the old-school hairdryer seats, this place was an old beauty parlor. A lot of bouffants came out of this joint back in the day, I'm sure. Anyway, we decided on an early supper and came in hungry. The menu was a bit confusing, separating the starters from the "small plates", when they all seemed to be about the same. We settled on a beet salad and the serrano-gruyere croquets to start. The croquettes were luscious. Molten gruyere and thinly sliced serrano ham were crusted with panko and fried golden brown. The beet salad was pretty standard fare, but perfectly executed. Identical cubes of beets and calamata olives dressed in a citrusy vinagrette were sitting below some sharp watercress. Leaning in on the beet pile were three perfect quenelles of goat cheese with fines herbes. A lovely start. For entrees, my wife got the lamb chops with smashed goat cheese fingerlings and chopped olives. Sadly, they left a pit in there and it hurt sweetie's tooth. But the flavor was outstanding. The sharpness of the olives and goat cheese was balanced by the cream in the potatoes and the buttery texture of the rare lamb. I chose the pork chop with a green apple and creole mustard relish atop a cauliflower soubise. My server asked if it was OK to have my chop medium rare, and I said OK. It was a little more like medium, which was fine because it was juicy and full of flavor. The only thing out of place in this dish was a sort of fancy jalapeno popper. It was actually a pepperoncino stuffed, again, with goat cheese, and fried in tempura batter. I would have loved this as a starter, but it didn't seem to fit in with the autumnal feel of the rest of the dish. In the poorest of manners, I used my finger to mop up the soubise. They didn't serve any bread at all, which I really like sometimes. I love bread, far too much in fact. But it's nice to have a meal without it even when it isn't sushi. We each had a glass of Kim Krawford Sauvingnon Blanc, which is a favorite of mine, but paired far better with my pork than her lamb. Desserts came from Sugaree's in New Albany, MS. My wife had the coconut cake, and I had the caramel cake. Both were outstanding. My wife's strawberry coulis was far too sweet for her, but that was a minor complaint. My caramel sauce was great. I had never had strawberries and caramel. I like it a lot. A nice fresh vanilla gelato accompanied both cakes and it was fine. I wish more restaurants put more time into making great coffee. It is a detail that goes overlooked far too often. Having recently read a lot about Michael Symon, this place seems to be shooting for a Lola type of thing. Now, I haven't eaten Symon's food, and I'm sure The Beauty Shop isn't quite on his level yet. But I must say I enjoyed my meal very much and am eager to return next time I'm visiting my people.
  9. So they aren't going to continue with the reruns?
  10. I buy veal bones at Fairway in Harlem. The butchers are great. I've gotten chicken carcasses. veal bones, beef bones. They're cheap too.
  11. dougw


    I've loved every meal I've eaten at Babbo. But I was shocked when I was served a watery, bitter espresso. I'm probably one of nine people in the world who cares, but still. You go to a place where no detail is overlooked, you expect the espresso to be on the level.
  12. I just love my fishmongers and butchers at the Harlem Fairway. Plus, I'm affectionate towards that place. In the summer of 99 when we had an awful heatwave, I couldn't afford an AC in my Bronx apartment. Me and my roommate went there and hung out in the cold room all day. This guy at the fish stand would give us slices of raw tuna and he'd buy us cold seltzers. Good times...
  13. Man, this warmed my soul today. I can't wait to make my first trip to Alinea and I know Grant will be pushing the boundaries and cooking great food for a long time to come. Most importantly, though, his family gets to have a lighter burden and a little peace in their hearts as they head into a new year.
  14. Yeah, I didn't care for the chorizo, but the mortadella is quite good, albeit a bit mild. I like it with a little more peppercorns. The Harlem Fairway is my favorite store to shop at. I find the staff far friendlier than the UWS location. Besides, I'd rather hang out at Citarella or Zabar's if I'm on the UWS. As for the olive oils, I enjoy the Umbria and the Pugliese.
  15. I was kind of shocked to read what Ruhlman reported about Cora in one of his books. She seems to be all about the fame, which always makes me uncomfortable. This is not to say she's a bad cook...I've not eaten her food but it's clear she's a badass at what she does. I just feel queasy when people are that concerned about fame.
  16. I'm really shocked at the quality of the coffee they serve here. It reminded me of reading Ruhlman's account of his French Laundry meal. He commented on everything but the espresso. I've eaten at a few top level dining rooms and have yet to have an espresso that rivals someplace like Espresso Vivace in Seattle, or Stumptown in Portland, or Intelligentsia in Chicago. It isn't hard to make great espresso, and I'm just shocked that so many foodies are missing out on what it can be.
  17. Yes, sadly, she's getting her just desserts-wads of cash and scandalous tabloid headlines about the antics of her husband. And no, sorry, that doesn't count for anything in my book. She's aggravating. 30 Minute Meals and $40 a Day are good concepts-she dumbs it way, way down. Another host, I might watch. ← I hear you. I'm not a fan. But she does do some nice things with kids.
  18. She's just getting hers. Hard to begrudge her that. At the end of the day, she is getting people to make food at home instead of buying nasty Big Macs. That's gotta count for something.
  19. Peet's is fine, I guess. But there's stuff out there that is really over the top outrageous in terms of flavor, freshness and variety. Peet's is a big company, and I love them. But my favorites are... Espresso Vivace in Seattle. This is for espresso only, but it is amazing. Stumptown Roasters in Portland. Intelligentsia and Metropolis in Chicago Gimme Coffee in Ithaca, NY Can't recommend any of these enough.
  20. I enjoyed watching him cook. I'd like to see a stand and stir with Tony.
  21. Gabe is actually a 47 year old veteren of the Canadian stage. You should have seen his Richard III back in 1987 opposite Anne Murray.
  22. I'm still waiting for Ruhlman to write "The Body Of A CheF" that discusses the scenes from Kitchen Nightmares where Gordie puts his chef coat on.
  23. I totally agree. In fact, when we moved recently, I went to jars because of him. The ponytail is not missed at all. But we have a son and it's cool to see how Smith feeds his kid. It doesn't have to be chicken nuggets and kraft mac and cheese and hot dogs every day.
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