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  1. Definitely want to hit up Peached Tortilla, Chilantro, and Ramen Tatsuya!
  2. I have eaten a few meals at East Side King (different locations), I definitely enjoy it though wouldn't say I've been blown away just yet... I find the ramen to be a huge portion (for me). Always some really good & interesting food for less than $10, it's just that instead of thinking "f**k this is so delicious" I always think "hmm this is interesting" - just doesn't hit me immediately as delicious, which is the reaction I'm hoping for. And cheap-ass roach coaches unfailingly provide for $5. I have to think there's heaps of great food in Austin for less than $10. I mean, it's the land of food trailers and Mex and Tex-Mex! And I hear great things about Uchi and Uchiko and met someone who cooks at Uchiko... and while I'm not exactly sure about the menu, I can say that three of the few things I don't enjoy eating are sushi, wasabi, or fancy-pants plates with paint-brush stokes of condiments. Not into it one bit, am a real down-to-earth chick and like my food extremely "approachable" as Michael Simon would say, and don't care to spend a single dollar for any presentation that is strictly about looks and fashion rather than function. (Probably dipping my foot into a much bigger debate here, but that's my taste and I would love recommendations based on it.) So I am all about the $1.25 roach coach tacos at the least romantic locations, and also, I have a tiny stomach, so I can rarely actually eat $10 worth of (unfancy) food.
  3. Have just spent 2 years living in a tiny town where I couldn't even get a decent burger (very strange, considering it was blue-collar ranching country, and there were cattle grazing on my property), let alone kimchi ramen or poached quail eggs or smoked tea or whatever. Have just moved to Austin, which I think has a pretty hip food scene, compared to where I've been living, although I guess food people here reckon it's always a few years behind NY or whatever. Long story short: what are the food trends right now? What is quickly becoming passe? What do you predict will be the next trends? Edited to add: Related info, on the hot up-and-coming chefs, restaurants, cookbooks, etc are all gladly appreciated as well!
  4. Am spending some extended time in Austin. I don't call myself a foodie, but other people do. I have been living in the sticks the last couple years while reading all about food trends and drooling on my keyboard. I am also on a tight budget and am looking for food in the $5-10 range, of which there should be plenty in Austin. On a special occasion, I will consider spending more but I don't know that I've ever ordered something that costs more than $20, and hardly ever even $15. I would prefer to eat from a trailer than brick and mortar. Whatcha got?
  5. Well, have started serving FT after only doing some temp stints over the last few years. Most of my experience has been in a (busy) small restaurant where there was no computer (just hand-write a ticket for the one cook) so it's a bit of an adjustment getting used to being in a larger-capacity restaurant with only one computer to put in orders, often with a hostess on it most of the night, and making sure the printer is working and the pasta station got the order etc. So - what to do on the unfortunate occasion when you realize "oh sh*t I just told these people their food will be up in a few minutes (classic line) and I forgot to put in their order?" I apologized sincerely (without telling them it was my fault... for reference, they saw me running around, obviously busy, but also probably saw a table who came in a bit later get their food much quicker) and brought them a free round of wine, but needless to say they weren't happy. What else could I have done to smooth things over? Sigh - feel like a noob all over again! Gotta get back in the groove!
  6. I am hopefully going to be making a big move (aka halfway across the world) in the next couple months. I've got some sorta silly questions. I have an awesome mortar and pestle (the Cilio Goliath) which weighs 11 pounds. Can I carry this on the plane? It would be too heavy for checked baggage, and too heavy to mail, and I'm rather attached to it, though it seems like a silly thing to lug around. I also have my two babies, my enameled cast iron Lodge dutch ovens - 3 qt and 6.5 qt. Again, probably ridiculously expensive to mail, and they'd probably get all roughed up in checked baggage... How do I transport these?? Is there any hope? Now, my food processor I imagine I can bring - check the bottom part in my baggage, and maybe carry the plastic part in my carry on. Or mail it, since it's lightweight. Those are the main big things I would love to take with me. The other things (chef's knife, instant thermometer, cutting board, small utensil, mandoliner...) can easily fit into my checked bag or be mailed. I am going to have some weird luggage. Or is this more common than I think?
  7. How widely is tourneeing used, and what is the point? Is it just for visual appeal? For uniformity when cooking? I never do it at home, as to me it seems a bit wasteful, cutting off perfectly good pieces of ingredients...
  8. The english muffin seems to be a debate in the burger community. (But then, what isn't debated?) Lots of places use it -Prune comes to mind - but I've also heard at least one chef say "hey! A muffin is not a bun!" It definitely works though, and usually makes me want to add canadian bacon and a fried egg to my burger. Yum.
  9. Maybe I am hung-up the usual round burger shape. It makes sense to just get the best roll for the job and work around that, huh?
  10. I've looked for these at a few supermarkets but no luck! Is it more of an east coast thing? Or do I just live in the boonies?
  11. That's exactly what I do and what I've been telling others to do, and will keep doing it. (Apparently dough scrapers work well too) I have never read or seen anything by Jamie Oliver, but yesterday I was watching knife skills videos on YouTube, and he said to drag the knife across the board, as did some other random chef... I was extremely skeptical.
  12. More questions: 1- I shudder when someone drags my knife across the cutting board (say, to move ingredients over to the side), but just saw some knife skills videos where famous chefs recommend doing exactly this. Does it or does it not dull the knife? 2 - Really really stupid question - what size/shape should I be chopping my lettuce and veggies into for a salad? (Like carrots, bell peppers, snap peas, cucumbers...) Or should I be tearing lettuce by hand into bite-size pieces? Sometimes my salads are very ungraceful to eat because there's the pieces are too long or big, other times, it ends up more like a chopped salad because there's so many small pieces. Not that this bothers me at home, but I applied for a job involving making salads, so I need to know the more proper way to make them. 3 - In a country obsessed with burgers, why can't I find a decent hamburger bun that doesn't fall apart or get soggy? I don't live near any artisanal bakeries or anything, so I am limited to a small but good supermarket. The supermarket doesn't carry Arnold's, which I've seen recommended a lot. (I usually make double-double style burgers, but also lamb burgers and other types.) 4 - You know when businesses sell sandwiches that are like five inches tall, or burgers that are seven inches tall, or ridiculously wet, messy, dripping sandwiches? How is anyone supposed to eat one of these? Why would you sell a sandwich that has to be completely reconstructed to fit into the customer's mouth? Or a sandwich that is going to fall apart after two bites? 5 - Is there a difference between stuffing and "savory bread pudding"?
  13. What is the difference between all-meat Texas chili and Chili con carne? Is there any?
  14. If you're seeing a dramatic flame up, then water is not what's being used to douse the grilling food. I'm pretty sure it's water because it looks like it creates a lot of steam... could the flare up be from the water making contact with hot fat drippings? Edited cuz I put "flame" instead of "steam"
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