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Zeb A

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Posts posted by Zeb A

  1. I keep hearing about this place, so on an upcoming trip to see family in DC, we are going. There will be 4 of us. We plan to go to dinner on a Saturday night. Evidently, you can't make reservations after 6:30. If you go there at 8:30 on a Saturday night, how long will you have to wait for a table for 4?

  2. Commander's Palace is not the best restaurant in New Orleans, but it does give a great N.O. experience and authentic food, so your logic of going there is good.

    So, what is the "best restaurant in New Orleans"?

    My wife and I may be going there in a few months, and I sense that there is not much of a consensus on good restaurants in the city.

    Let me ask the question in two ways:

    1. If you lived in NO and wanted to go to a special occassion dinner at the best restaurant, where would you go (i.e. best fancy joint)?

    2. If you lived in NO and simply wanted to go to your favorite restaurant, where would you go (i.e. best food)?

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thx

  3. I would guess that I have eaten at Nana's about 5-6 times over the past 8 years. I think it has been around that long when I think of the occassions I dined there.

    Until the last time or two I went, about 3-6 months ago, I had always sort of felt like I preferred it to Magnolia Grill, mostly just because I like the atmosphere better--more intimate. However, our latest meals there were, while quite good, simply not on the level of Magnolia Grill in my opinion.

    Based on my most recent few meals at both restaurants over the past year or so, I would definitely go to Magnolia Grill if I had to choose one over the other.

    But, that being said, it is still a very good restaurant that I would highly recommend. It is just that, given finite resources, sometime decisions must be made--and neither restaurant is cheap.

    I think there are other threads that discuss this restaurant.

  4. My family and I ate there this past summer. We had an excellent meal. We had the tasting menu (plus a side of excellent foie gras if my memory is right). I can't recall the food details, but the web-site menu tells the story.

    I would have to say that dinner was overpriced. Again, I can't recall the specific amount, but it was very high--much higher than you would expect in Ogunquit.

    I thought the atmosphere was nice, but some of the people with me felt that it was a bit formal. The setting was beautiful, and, if you go, do get there early in the light and walk around their gardens. The dining room was not overly formal at all in my opinion, but the waitstaff was quite stiff. Certainly, it was very formal for a beach location. (Not at all like Flo's in nearby Cape Neddick--that's sort of an inside joke--Flo's in an awesome hot dog hut.)

    I would go back again, but not annually--too pricey for what it offers.

    Last summer we also went to Fore Street in Portland (not that much further up the coast), and I much preferred that restaurant. Of course, the two are dramatically different, so that is sort of an apples and oranges comparison.

    Bottom line for me. I thought it was a very good restaurant, just not good enough to go back often, given the cost. But, I would recommend it. (And I wouldn't drive 5 hours in the car to get there.)

  5. She wanted to complain then. I was opposed.

    My view is:

    They didn't screw up. The food wasn't cold. They served what we asked for. It wasn't spoiled meat. It just wasn't good. So, tough luck for me. I bought something that was disappointing. I don't wan't my money back. I just won't ever go again. No big deal. No need to tell them because I don't think it can be fixed. It isn't like some minor flaw. It was bad food.

    Her view is:

    It was bad food, and they should have been told on the spot. I asked her why she was sending the letter, and I am still not sure I know why. I think it is because it was so bad, and she had such high hopes (downtown and Asian) that she wants them to know how disappointed she was. It isn't for the money, and I doubt she'd go back with a gift certificate.

    Different strokes for different folks. I doubt the letter will accomplish anything.

  6. my wife was so bent out of shape over the dinner (don't mess with her beloved chinese food) that she is sending the below letter to Cody's:

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I am writing to express my extreme disappointment with the meal we had last night at your restaurant.

    My husband and I live and work in Raleigh and go out to eat several times a week. I love Chinese food and was excited to hear about your restaurant. Last night, we decided to try Cody’s for the first time.

    Our meal started with the chicken dumplings, which were actually good. However, we also ordered hot and sour soup (which ended up coming with our meals), Chicken Mala and Sesame Beef. The soup had no flavor and the chicken dish was undercooked and had a strange taste to it. The Sesame Beef, however, was truly horrible. The thick, mealy, breading on the beef, sopped in the sweet sauce, all of which were mounded on top of the tempura vegetables, was about the worse dish I have ever received in a restaurant.

    While we ate very little of our soup or meals, our waiter (who was otherwise nice) did not bother to inquire why or if there was a problem. Just when things could not get worse, the bill came and we had to pay $50.00 for this unacceptable meal.

    In closing, I had heard unflattering comments about your restaurant from two, different sources, prior to my visit, but wanted to try your food for myself. I wish that I had not. Surely, you will have to do something about the quality of your food if you are going to remain open for business.

  7. Well, unfortunately I now know all about Cody's. We went there for dinner tonight, and we won't be going back. The atmosphere is ok; although the place was pretty quiet. We had some fried dumplings for an appetizer--they were pretty good. Everything else was truly bad. The hot and sour soup had the right texture, but no flavor--no sweet and no sour. So, the overall effect was warm flavorless goop. Then I had a beef dish. It was breaded as if it was going to be fried, but it wasn't fried. so, it was sort of a mealey covered beef in a heavy sauce. The chicken dish was worse. Strange gingerish spice and undercooked chicken. We didn't really get anything to drink--mistake, maybe alcohol would have dulled my senses--and the bill was over $50. The menu was nothing interesting--basic Chinese food. It was not good. I predict the restaurant will close in less than 6 months.

  8. I have eaten at both places. varmint gives a good description.

    I think Shabu is pretty darn good. When i heard the concept, I thought everything would be half-assed. It's not. I have eaten both sides and had excellent meals. I haven't had the fondu-ish looking deal on the Japanese side. I liked their Thai better than just about anywhere else in Triangle.

    I think Duck and Dumpling is a disappointment. Good location, but food was underwhelming to me. Not bad--just nothing to make me want to go back. (Despite the fact that i consciously try to frequent downtown restaurants.)

    My wife eats more asian food in raleigh than anyone i know. i'll see if i can elicit a comment or two from her.

    don't know about cody's. never heard of it.

  9. We stayed in several paradors about 2 years ago. The rooms were all excellent, and I would be happy to stay in paradors on a return visit. The dinners were edible, but they were undoubtedly the most disappointing meals of our trip. There was one exception. The parador in Granada at the Alhambra is simply an amazing place to stay, and the meals there were very good (but certainly not excellent). Of course, the Granada parador is twice as expensive as every other parador.

  10. I am looking for a recipe for a pasta dish from Bergamo called casoncelli. My wife and I had the dish when visiting Italy a year ago, and I want to try to recreate it at home.

    Do you have a recipe in English?

    Or, do you know how I can easily translate this?


    Casoncelli alla Bergamasca

    Da preparare in circa 50 minuti

    Ingredienti per 6/8 persone

    Pasta: 400 gr di farina, 100 gr di semola di grano duro, 2 uova.

    Ripieno: 125 gr di pane grattugiato, 1 uovo, 70 gr di grana grattugiato, 150 gr di macinato per salame, 100 gr di carne bovina arrostita, 5 gr di amaretti, 10 gr di uva sultanina, 1/2 pera spadona o abate, uno spicchio di aglio tritato, un cucchiaio di prezzemolo tritato, sale, pepe.

    Condimento: 80 gr di burro, 100 gr di pancetta tagliata a bastoncini, 100 gr di grana grattugiato, alcune foglie di salvia.

    Amalgamate sulla spianatoia la farina, la semola, le uova, un pizzico di sale e aggiungete acqua quanto basta ad ottenere un composto omogeneo, quindi lasciatelo riposare per almeno mezzora. Nel frattempo preparate il ripieno, fate rosolare con una noce di burro il macinato per salame, la pera sbucciata e tritata, quindi unitevi la carne arrostita, l'aglio il prezzemolo e fate insaporire alcuni istanti. Versate il tutto in una terrina, unitevi il grana, il pangrattato, le uova, gli amaretti sbriciolati, l’uvetta tritata, una macinata di pepe e un pizzico di sale. Amalgamate l’impasto: se risultasse troppo asciutto aggiungete un goccio di brodo o acqua. Stendete la sfoglia, ritagliate dei dischi di 6/8 cm distribuitevi al centro un cucchiaio di ripieno, quindi piegate il disco di pasta sul ripieno, chiudete il bordo, ripiegate la parte ripiena sul bordo e pressate leggermente al centro. Lessate i casoncelli in acqua bollente salata, scolateli e disponeteli su di un piatto da portata, cospargeteli con il grana grattugiato e conditeli con il burro cotto a color nocciola insieme alla salvia e alla pancetta. Servite subito.

    Il tutto accompagnato da un buon vino Barolo

  11. zeb, i'm not sure what kind of friends you have, but my friends (the males) do that sort of thing with ladies.  i mean, it's only right.

    first off, these guys were the high school friends of a college friend who was not participating (and i am sure his bride and her family appreciated the restraint).

    second, as surprising as this may sound, the ladies at the reception did not appear to be very impressed with this behavior and did not rush to join the festivities

    of course, they probably just disapproved of the forum

  12. The beer (or other beverage) is poured over the small of the back so that it drips through the butt crack and pours into the waiting man's mouth.

    I and my friends were absolute derelicts in college, but this . . . this is so so wrong on so so many levels. :unsure:


    And, I need to be crystal clear on this--I was a member of the dipping posse, not the anal chug group.

    Of course, I have a million more gross and humerous drinking stories: guys accidentally lighting themselves on fire, the annual public school v private school boot-off, Santa and Gincky the Angry Elf . . .

    But, that's enough reminiscing for one afternoon

  13. If Zeb A were checking this thread, he may be willing to post about his fraternity's "Anal Chugs."  I'll stop there.

    Well, first off, this wasn't done by my fraternity.

    I first witnessed the anal chug at the wedding of a fraternity brother who had also invited high school friends. We were drinking too much at a very nice NJ country club. The college friends were standing on the deck, dipping Copenhagen, and spitting onto the green below. The high school friends were engaged in the anal chug.

    Basically, one guy lies on the ground on his back with mouth open.

    Another guy opens a cold beverage.

    The third guy drops his pants and pulls up shirt slightly.

    The beer (or other beverage) is poured over the small of the back so that it drips through the butt crack and pours into the waiting man's mouth.

    As gross as this may sound, a year after my first encounter with this phenomenon, I saw something even more foul . . .

    Anal chug with egg nog.

  14. Thanks! The download site has so many options it is almost overwhelming.

    Marlene: The cookin software was one that I saw on Amazon, but the reviews were poor. I am always dubious of such reports, and it sounds like you have had success. Thanks.

  15. Does anyone know of any quality recipe software? I'm looking for something pretty simple in which we could input recipes, thereby eliminating our mounting pile of recipe scraps. I tried to find something on Amazon, and everything I could find looked kind of crappy. Thanks

  16. This will not exactly be a very illuminating post, but I thought it couldn't hurt to start a thread for this place. I couldn't find another appropriate place to make the post.

    We went to dinner at Taberna Del Alabardero over the holidays while up in DC visiting my folks. Having been to Spain not too long ago, we had been waiting for a good opportunity to go to this restaurant. We didn't really make any notes, and I can only generally describe some of what we ate, but, at the least, I thought it would be worth saying that we had a very nice dinner.

    The restaurant felt more formal than most places I have eaten in DC. There is a very small tapas bar where you enter. We didn't spend any time at the bar, but the food looked tasty. The bar food food was not on the menu in the dining room, but we saw people in the restaurant eating it .

    The wait staff was not overly friendly. Part of that could be the language, but that's not a great excuse. However, they were very attentive.

    Four of us had dinner, and we shared most things. I really can't remember everything that we ate, but, it was along the lines of duck, sweat breads (not my choice), steak (with an odd cheese sauce), seared foe gras, a not so tasty fish soup, and some other things. The desserts were outstanding! We had a souffle of some sort that was incredible, a rich chocolate something or other, etc.

    There was a sizable wine list with many Spanish options, and a wide price-range.

    I know that's not too helpful, but the bottom line is that we had an excellent time (even though the restaurant was more formal than we had expected) and the food was very good. We would definitely go back.

    Cost was about 100 bucks a person (appetizer, entree, before dinner drink, moderate wine, dessert, and after dinner drink for each).

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