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Everything posted by SparrowsFall

  1. I've always had great meals in the dining room--some of the best ever. But the bar 5-7 is the total deal. You can get a small steak (or seared fish), small salad, and incredibly great crispy onions (ask for them instead of frites) on a single plate for like $6. Other interesting choices as well.
  2. If money is no object, Rover's is the top choice IMHO. Don't miss Cafe Campagne for the Oeufs en Meurette for breakfast. Pink Door is very worth a look for the terrace and view if the weather's good. Harvest Vine for sure for sure. In general, what everyone else said is right. <g> Steve
  3. Just was there last night. The frites weren't up to their usual crunchiness. Didn't ask for another batch... A while back I asked them what oil they use, btw--peanut. If you do the croque and frites, and either drink beer or order the guigal CDR by the bottle, Sambar's not too pricey. I splurged for a cocktail... Steve
  4. Hey All: Posting to the 14% thread reminded me to ask: does anyone know of Bordeauxs that taste like Gruaud Larose? The old kind, pre-1993ish. My favorite wine, and historically a bargain. It's a new-world wine now, not what it used to be. Any suggestions on what to buy instead? Pointers to unknown bargains, of course, are especially welcome. Thanks, Steve
  5. Great that Asimov tackled this. The winemaker's point is well-taken: if they want to make this kind of wine, and it's what the terroir seems to want, more power to them. (Though the Languedoc and Spain don't seem to require this style of winemaking.) I only object because that style of winemaking is devouring the old-world style in the old world, because Robert Parker likes that kind of wine. I hate that kind of wine--blockbuster, hedonistic, overextracted, heavilly oaked, outré American monster-truck experience. I find much of it undrinkable. And it really bugs me that my favorite vineyard, Gruaud Larose, now makes that kind of wine, not the kind they've made for decades or centuries, a wine I adore. Because of Parker. Flame off. Steve
  6. I'm spending ten days in Cambridge this summer, eating mostly in college at Clare. (Be afraid?) Can anyone recommend decent restaurants, even if they're not big-league? I want to check out Midsummer House, but how about things like curry? Etc. Suggestions much appreciated. Thanks, Steve
  7. Those two couples should have been exposed at birth.
  8. Cafe Campagne could do a table that size nicely.
  9. "Nous voudrions remplir nos verres nous memes." The worst response I've received to this, ever, was at Charlie Trotter's. I won't bother to describe in detail--just incredibly snooty attitude. Some wait staff get into a real snit because they feel that you're not allowing them to provide "proper service." Proper service would seem to me to involve acceding to customers' reasonable requests. Steve
  10. Hey All: Sorry to start a topic then disappear; I had eG set up to track this topic, but haven't gotten emails. Glad I stopped by. Thanks for all the replies. Patrick, thanks for digging up more research. NEJM registration is free ('s enuf to get at this article anyway), but thanks for the open link. The conclusion from the Mozaffarian study, that "a greater saturated fat intake is associated with less progression of coronary atherosclerosis, whereas carbohydrate intake is associated with a greater progression" (in women) is great to hear in such unqualified terms. Is there a Dr. Atkins in the house? <g> The key message, of course, is to stay the hell away from hydrogenated margarine. Talk about decades of really bad advice floating around! Butter *is* better! Here's a whole string of items and related questions. Does anyone know of other data/info on the temperatures and durations at which vegetable oils convert to free radicals? To trans fats? Is this really not a problem at all at the relatively low temperatures of deep frying? (At least for home cooks, who generally don't keep using the fat for hours or days at a time--we use it then lose it.) Is there a correlation between an oil's smoke point and the temperature where it starts generating lots of free radicals? How about the really important part: taste and texture? See this excellent NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/13/business...print&position= (still free to view when I posted this). They hydrogenate oils for two reasons: 1) to make them solid at room temperature, so the oreo filling doesn't go soft, and 2) to make them more "stable" when frying--so smoke and bad flavors develop more slowly and the oil can be used longer. Do we, as home cooks, care? My ex used to use crisco for making icing, and it was good--less greasy than butter. Is lard as good as crisco? For frying, the only advantage of crisco is using it for a long time. So I don't think we care. What's the best frying fat right out of the container? Please, firsthand reports on crispiness, greasiness, etc. with different oils? Is this (liquid canola) why my fritters aren't as crispy as I'd like them to be? vinelady: >You might want to think about using coconut oil which is not hydrogenated and has not >colesterol but does have saturated fats in it. The "tropical" oil hysteria in the 80s, by the way, was just that, instigated quite intentionally through an intensive advertising/PR campaign by the domestic oil producing organizations. It worked. I read somewhere that palm oil was one of top few oils used in the world, so it shouldn't be so expensive. There are cheap sources on Froogle, but all targeted to soapmakers. ?? Here's a source of coconut oil at $13.30/gallon: http://www.vittitow.com/product_info.php?r...roducts_id=1322. Does anyone have any experience cooking with coconut oil (except for popcorn)? Taste? Texture? Shirley Corriher (Cookwise p. 177) says that the oils with most saturated fat are coconut (87%), butter oil (62), palm and beef tallow (50). Lard's actually down at 40%. Unsaturated fats, which are usually good for your heart (see the nurse's report), are bad when they get *too* hot (free radicals and trans fats) or are hydrogenated (trans fats). Lard is 58% unsaturated. Peanut's 78%. Coconut is only 8%. (This is why even lard, when hydrogenated, contains trans fats.) Cholesterol levels: lard (12%), chicken fat (11), beef tallow (14), and butter (33). Not that I care; limiting dietary cholesterol is a *very* weak lever for controlling serum cholesterol, especially if you're trying to increase HDL while reducing LDL. This helps explain why the the nurse's study also shows that *animal* fat is not bad for your heart. More decades of bad advice. For sensible cholesterol control, see http://health-heart.com. On that note, I have to share that I just had a delicious serving of homemade lobster bisque--made with cream, of course. Following my daughter's birthday dinner, I pulverized the shells in the cuisinart, then subjected them to extortionate levels of heat in the pressure cooker (thanks, Abra!) for forty-five minutes--best extraction I've ever gotten. The damn kids ate all the lobster meat, so I had to add in frozen tails from Trader Joe's at $20/pound--not so bad cause you don't need much. Patrick s: Exactly. (The "international comparisons," BTW, refers to the [in]famous seven-country study that failed so miserably to control for so many factors.) Sez Hu: "higher dietary intake of saturated fat and trans unsaturated fat is associated with an increased risk of coronary disease" But they confute two variables here. The risk is all from the *trans* fat. They just can't bear to admit that they've been giving bad advice for so long. This, by the way, goes a long way to explaining the French conundrum. fifi: >I just figured that molecularly manipulated fats, i.e. trans fats, just had to be wrong. >We didn't evolve with them. Yeah. We evolved on the African savanna, glutting on animal fat whenever we could lay our hands on it (without getting eaten), and devouring fruits and vegetable when possible, in season. The thing we didn't evolve with was plentiful grains from agriculture. Those who could survive on the former diet were more likely to pass on their genes. There hasn't been time for natural selection to evolve a human that thrives on heavy carb diets. OTOH: we didn't evolve eating lots of plant oils, either, but they're definitely good for us. Go figger. Phew. I'm done. Steve
  11. Hi All: I've been researching fats in diet, and am having trouble finding good information on frying oils. Lots of advice, but mostly vague and missing (and often just incorrect) information. Short story: Canola and other vegetable oils oxidize and produce free radicals (bad for you), even when they're just sitting there. As temperature increases, so does the oxidation. These unsaturated fats also convert to trans fats (BAD!) with heat. But I'm having trouble finding any information on the temperatures and durations at which these changes become significant. Everything I find is quite vauge, except for Figure 6 at http://www.canola-council.org/pubs/physprop.html, which suggests that the conversion to trans fats in canola oil is very minor and slow at 190 degrees centigrade--375 farenheit. And it's even quite slow at 425. Larousse Gastronomique tells me that deep-fry temperatures are between 275 and 360 F--way below most oils' smoke point (though I don't know whether smoke point matters at all to this discussion, though it's what most web sites talke about). Does anybody know whether significant free radicals are developed at these temperatures? According to the link above (which IS from the canola council, but looks pretty reliable nevertheless, if you read through it), creation of trans fats is not a problem at these temperatures. Another alternative is lard, because saturated fats don't convert to free radicals at heat. (Contrary to what people are forever spouting, increasing saturated fat intake has no correlation to likelihood of coronary heart disease--at least in women; see table 3 in http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/337/21/1491.pdf, which is the gold-standard Harvard study of 80,000 nurses over 14 years. Look at the data before believing this paper's weasely written conclusion, which conflates the effects of trans fats with saturated fats.) But I've heard that most lard you buy is hydrogenated--like crisco or margarine--so it has to nasty trans fats. Is this true (the hydrogenation, and the trans fats?) Anybody know sources for non-hydrogenated lard? Love to hear thoughts from people who love to live well--and long. Thanks, Steve
  12. I often put some (homemade!) pesto on top, and bake it at 350 till it's done. Easy and comes out yummy. When I did it with pesto made that day and salmon caught that day, it was the best salmon I've ever eaten. Too bad you can't buy fresh salmon in seattle. Steve
  13. The sad news: no live shrimp at mutual fish. Wrong time of year, I guess. Have to make do.... Steve
  14. We haven't discussed timing. I'm thinking full steam at six, but anyone who likes and lets me know in advance is welcome to come earlier to cook, drink, etc., say anytime after 4:30? Yes, Vince, I'm talking pm.
  15. I can't make thursday, so I made up for it in advance last night. Nothing new to report; I ordered what Matthew did (rule of life: *Always* order what Matthew orders): won ton in red chili oil (stunningly good), thousand-layer bread (so NOT Atkins, and so worth it), and crispy duck (good, but a bit disappointing--no sauce or anything so sort of dry; the remainder is at this moment becoming duck stock). I will be going back regularly; lots of stuff I wanted to order. They're open Sundays at 11 am... Steve
  16. I count fifteen at this point, which exceeds my dining chair population (and dining table perimeter capacity) by 5. But if people don't mind eating in the living room, there's seating there.
  17. Oh if you insist. (thanks Rocky). I did find a ref from msramsey to getting fresh shrimp at mutual seafood, though I didn't turn up the lengthier discussion, which was rhapsodic. And, speaking of rhapsodic, MsRamsey her very own self is going to be in town, and promises to grace us with her presence (and, I hope, her appetite)! Anyone else needs to go shopping (especially for seafood) on the 22nd, let me know and we can carpal. Steve
  18. Well, it seems that Abra and Rocky have *stolen* the things I wanted to make. So I'm going to do something that's not in that issue. Horrors. Hey, but it's my party.... Inspired by something I had at Harvest Vine, like most things there an incredibly simple dish, but tarted up (par moi) with other delicious yuppie add-ons. It ain't got a name, but here are the ingredients: Garbanzo beans Ham Garlic Sun-dried tomatoes Red pepper flakes Olive oil A hot, heavy steel skillet Coarse sea salt Okay now use your imagination. Just threw this together tonight, and what with the red pepper and the salt and the ham, it absolutely screamed for beer. Who was I to say no? I didn't eat the skillet, by the way. But I was eyeing it... Steve
  19. Well the garlicky shrimp did catch my eye (what a surpise). But I'm sure I'll turn up something else and still get to benefit from Rocky doing it. Hey there was a thread a while back on where to get fresh (live?) shrimp in seattle, with people absolutely raving about how much better it is. I could look it up, but being lazy, I'm wondering if anyone remembers off the top of their pointy little heads? Steve
  20. Jan 22nd would work at my place. I can't do the 15 or 29. Sounding delicious.... Do you think there will be garlic involved? Steve
  21. Ain't it so! It's just stunning how good the food is in French truck stops. I still find Cafe Campagne to be better food. And always great wine choices, with reasonable markups. Steve
  22. Mentioned a while back, but worth noting: Mandalay Cafe on 45th near Stone. Aromatic elegance with complex blends of flavors ranging from South Africa to India to Java. I'm always amazed how good it is. The spiced lamb appetizer by itself is reason enough to go there. Steve
  23. What you said. I have never, ever had such incredible hot chocolate as the batch that Matthew managed to spray all over my counter some months back. (And which I've vaguely duplicated some times since.) Why look any further? OTOH, it makes me feel like Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, when Don Pedro proposes to her: DON PEDRO: Will you have me, lady? BEATRICE: No, my lord, unless I might have another for working-days: your grace is too costly to wear every day. Not the cost, actually--it's just so bloody rich, I can't quite manage it sometimes. But yum. Steve
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