Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by sara

  1. I'm a newcomer to Penzey's but became hooked when I received their 'steak seasonings' gift box for graduation (a friend's response to another friend's gift of a vegetarian cookbook!). Love the spices, the packaging and prices so much that I've been usually that website for gifts constantly since then--sending the baking set, the grilling set, and the steak set. Does anyone have any other favorite gift boxes? Any favorite recipes using the steak seasonings, besides steak of course? I know this isn't DC specific. I'll still try to fill out my postcard if I can, tho I'm moving to Wisconsin soon, which is Penzey land, yes?
  2. I'm newly addicted to Common Grounds on Wilson Blvd in Arlington. Free wifi, good coffee, big enough place to spread out, with very sturdy tables. Plus couches in the back where high school kids hangout after school. Kids from MY old high school! Nice retro Dharma-Cafe (remember that place in Vienna??) feel to it...Minus the pot-smoking.
  3. Hmm.. this is a hard one for me. Liam and I debate service all the time. I think I'm a little less 'sensitive' to bad service; perhaps because of my extensive time waiting tables at crappy joints, I tend to cut servers a lot of slack. A lot. But at the same time, I'm not forgiving of complete rudeness, lying, or upselling, things that are unexcusably deliberate. One example--Liam and I had brunch at Lou Mitchell's in Chicago in February. Basic breakfast, pancakes and eggs. The servers there are mostly elderly women, many crotchety, and I love that. Ours served Liam his pancakes, and forgot to check that he had syrup. He was pissed and refused to eat til she came around and he could ask for syrup. Me, I was very chill (eating my eggs) and said 'she's old, she'll get to you when she gets to you' after all, breakfast only cost $5. In other words, I don't expect 4 star service from a low-cost or med-cost joint. But his take was that it was highly reasonable to expect syrup with the pancakes, and why should he be expected to do without? This seemed to me to ruin his meal for him, and I suspect it's what he remembers most about breakfast that day. Liam?? I know it's what I remember, now. But I'd eaten there a prior time, and the service was whatever, and what I remember and came back for was the delicious food. And I'll go back again. Because I think, for me at least, food is food, and it's the reason I eat out. Service is a bonus if it's great, and a slight damper if it's not. But I'd eat great sushi from an otherwise talented Nazi-like sushi chef if I had to--no complaints. Even if he forgot the soy sauce!
  4. Does anyone else recall the Dixie Pig from Rt 1 in Alexandria, from the early 80s?? Back when the Multiplex was a drive-in?
  5. sara

    Figs & Cheese

    Warm brown country bread, spread with goat cheese and a slightly mashed fresh or canned fig on top. I'm drooling...Where can I find figs in DC--have they arrived??
  6. Foodie friends recently went to Sidebern's, and loved it. Their menu is online, I believe.
  7. Hi I'll be spending one day in Dover this month, as Liam has a meeting there (I think we're staying at Dover Downs?). So, recommendations on good places to eat, to hangout (places with wifi? good coffee), any used bookstores or good wine shops, etc, would be much appreciated. Thanks
  8. sara


    Went to Lolita for a quiet Sunday dinner last night. The place was nearly empty when we arrived at 5:30, which was a relief because it was so loud last time. Had the wonderful margaritas, and the lamb loin-- which was great with the green mole, sweet plaintains...my friend had the seafood stew--very nice. I really like this place--it's the right price, the right vibe, good food, and I love stopping my Capogiro afterwards (last night it was for honeysuckle gelato that I swear has strands of honeysuckle in it!). ps. Lolita is now accepting reservations Sunday-Thursday.
  9. It's not just Arlington...the whole state of VA is posting restaurant inspections online now...
  10. I'm still looking forward to eating at Ray's, in spite of this: Arlington Health Dept I'm sure you could find a similar report on many good restaurants though. I found similar reports for Maestro, for example. Yeah, I got too much time on my hands...
  11. This place looks great--but it's only open til 10:30. I'm flying into Oakland at 9:30 on a Friday night and driving to Union Sq--where can I go for sushi at that hour?? A place with a similarly extensive list of sushi would be great!
  12. We found plenty of mediocrity during our recent visit to San Diego. Point Loma Seafoods will definitely make you happy.
  13. Sushi Ko. Sushi Ko. Sushi Ko. I am completely sold on this place.
  14. Thanks--I'll do this soon. I got a PhD in sociology-- thanks for the congrats.
  15. I agree on the BDC thing, that's a good idea. Yeah, I did Circle Bistro for hh and do not recommend it--especially for a date, it has no atmosphere. Instead if it's nice out, try the patio at Poste.
  16. Yes, I do, when I tried to upload them they were too big, so I used msn groups to resize them, as suggested in some imagegullet info i found, and I guess it didn't work...
  17. Ok boys and gals, I've got some piks to share. On Monday May 17 Carman-of-the-Huge-Heart opened her kitchen to my entire family to celebrate the completion of my PhD! She even let me have a hand in the menu, which was the same menu she used all that weekend. It included pancakes with lemon and apricots, french toast with french vanilla yogurt and cherries, an omlette of asparagus, beets, ramps and stilton, and a lovely pan-fried rabbit. I just got pictures from that event back, and am happy to share my joyous event with y'all. At the beginning: Here we are busting into some champagne: Next, here's Carman in her kitchen: Now some great shots of the food and people enjoying the Country Kitchen:
  18. So Don's posting got me so excited for some sushi, I gathered the forces (Mazman and Liam), booked us a table using open table for 6 pm on Wednesday (yesterday) (which, since it was a special timeslot for them, earned me 1000 open table points instead of 100), made a special note on the reservation about wanting to sit at the sushi bar, called ahead yesterday to make sure Koji would be there, went out and bought two bottles of burgundy (one red, one white--they charge $15 corkage), and finally arrived fully prepared and salivating at Sushi Ko. Whew. And the meal was simply brilliant. Koji is young, enthusiastic, and extremely talented. On Don's instructions, the three of us put ourselves in his hands and allowed him to order for us. He seemed quite pleased to do this, and smiled a great deal as we oohed and ahhhed over each incredibly fresh delicate piece of fish we downed. We started with the chef's sashimi plate (this normally has two pieces of each variety of fish, Koji did a plate with 3 of each for us). The standouts were definitely the Maine scallops (big and sweet and subtle, like none other I've had), the yellowtail belly, and the giant clam--which as Don described was certainly prepared in dramatic fashion--slammed against the cutting board then gently serrated a bit. ($35 with the fresh wasabi included) We also shared a very sophisticated seaweed salad, two kinds of seaweed and radish ($4.75). From there we moved on to three small dishes (all from the dinner specials list): 1. Eel Tatsutage--Marinated crispy-fried eel with balsamic reduction. Wonderfully sweet and crisp and hot, we popped them like corn. ($9.00) 2. Flounder Carpaccio with black truffle vinaigrette--this was a perfect dish. The fish was so thinly sliced, the truffle played off it intensely, we practically licked our plates. There was a pile of crisps (I'm not sure crisps of what tho) on top that were lovely. ($9.50) 3. Seared White Tuna Tataki with ponzu, yamaimo, avocado. This dish was beautifully presented, with the ponzu, yamaimo and avocado stacked on each slice of tuna. We especially loved the flavor of the yamaimo, which I think is some kind of mountain potato? ($9.50). Finally, we had some more sushi: Zuke (soy-sake marinated tuna)--AWESOME. $5 Yellowtail $6.00 Unatama Roll--eel, tamago, avocado--we all agreed this was among the best rolls we've ever had (even Chris, who's lived and eaten lotsa sushi in NYC and San Francisco). $6.00 Spot Prawn with caviar--as Don said, a rocking combination. $6.50 Throughout, Koji kept us entertained with his slicing and dicing, and we kept him supplied with wine. I was also greatly amused by the very young boy and his dad next to us at the sushi bar; Koji was feeding highly adventurous pieces to the boy, who finished his meal with a plate of tempura-battered prawn heads. I got one of those as a gift--YUM! This was a brilliant meal-- to make some comparisons it was better than Fuji in NJ, better than Nobu, better than Kaz, and at least on par with Morimoto. All of us agreed on this. We will be back many times this summer, before I'm off to the sushi-less land of Madison. At least I'll be well-fed! ps. I don't have the wines in my notes, hopefully the boys will add them. And might I add--total tab for 3 people, $102!!!
  19. Ok, taking this request seriously (and in case you can't cook)--here are some of my favorite less expensive DC/VA/MD food-related dates: 1. Cleveland Park: Dinner at Indique followed by pool at Atomic Billiards (Sunday night is free for ladies) 2. Penn Quarter: Visit the funky little art galleries around 7th St and follow that up with a late afternoon visit to Jaleo for sangria and tapas. 3. Georgetown: Visit the little art galleries in Georgetown (down the hill on Wisconsin I think) or shop, and then have tea at Ching Ching Cha. 4. Clarendon: Dinner at Cafe Dalat (Vietnamese) or Mexicali Blues, followed by ice cream at Lazy Sundae and then maybe a live music show at Iota, or drinks at the funkier Galaxy Hut. Or burgers on Monday nights at Whitlows on Wilson, or on the weekends when they have live music. 5. Bethesda: Oysters at Blackie's (Blacks? Name?), then small plates at Grapeseed. 6. Dupont Circle: Happy hour at Johnny's Half Shell where the apps and 1/2 off, followed by small plates at Firefly's bar. That should get your relationship off to a nice start!
  20. Lucky for me, that stuff IS my work! (asst professor of higher education policy and sociology)
  21. Busboy, if you're interested in it, there's lots of non-Catholic good academic social science data on this topic, particularly out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sociologists have been studying status attainment and social mobility--in other words, the probability that a son or daughter will achieve a higher social class (earnings, education, occupation) than their father--since the late 1960s. They've also studied mobility for the same people over time, using 30 yr+ longitudinal data (such as the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey, which followed men from high school on, see work by Robert Hauser). It looks like there's been far less mobility over time-- income is no longer stable at all, it doesn't move you up. And the returns to education are somewhat less influential, now that many people now get higher degrees. So the chances of moving from poor to rich over your lifetime--putting our IT revolution aside for a moment, although it's a nice case study in how things are reversible--yes, they are very slim.
  22. Another way to see it...If this is just Philly, then I'd put the salaries of top servers at top NY restaurants around $80K, or higher. Do remember we're only talking individual, not family/household earnings here (the chart is household earnings)-- and we don't know what % of servers are single parent, or otherwise. That would put those servers around the 80th percentile, sure, certainly making them wealthier than me, and the entirety of my Egullet friends (at least I think so!), but then again, maybe that's not much money for the NY Egulleteers! Jason--have stats on this demographic for us?
  23. Simply untrue. Unless you really mean that all students who can't afford college right off the bat should go military in order to afford it--and boy, if that ain't problemmatic. Check out the report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education called Losing Ground. Here: NCPPHE Some highlights: "From 1980 to 2000, the percentage of family income required to pay for tuition increased for all families, except for those in the top 20% as measured by family income. The largest percentage increase occurred for low- and middle-income families. In 1980, tuition at public four-year colleges and universities consumed 13% of family income for low-income families; by 2000, that figure had risen to 25%. At two-year colleges, tuition increased from 6% to 12% of family income during the same time period. From 1992 through 2001, tuition at four-year public colleges and universities rose faster than family income in 41 states. Tuition at two-year colleges rose faster than family income in 34 states. The federal government and the states have increased financial aid for those college-eligible students who have financial need, but these increases have not kept pace with tuition. The average federal Pell Grant award (aid to financially needy students) at a public four-year college or university covered 98% of tuition in 1986, but only 57% in 1999. State grant aid awards (need-based and non-need-based) paid 75% of tuition in 1986 and 64% in 1999." Higher education is, in my view, the clearest example of treating what should be a basic right in this country as a privilege instead. Look at those percentages! Keep in mind low-income families spend only about 10% of their income on food, and think about asking them to pay 25% of their income on college--at a public school no less, where 8 times out of 10 the returns to the degree aren't as high as if the student went to private school!!
  24. Ths is true. I did a study of restaurant hiring practices, wages, and sex discrimination in 2001, and reached an estimate for Le Bec Fin, our 'finest' Philly restaurant--their full-time servers earned about $55-65K /yr in 2001. And that's Philly, not NYC. Average check there at the time was about $350 for two.
  25. sara

    Nuts for Gnudi!

    Hi Well, I ended up using some fresh spinach--and I had regular flour, not semolina. But I'd say my gnudi came out pretty darn delicious!! I used 14 oz of fresh cow's milk ricotta (from the DC farmer's market), 3 egg yolks, 2 whites, 1.75 cups of flour, 3 T parmesean, about 1/2 lb chopped spinach....Rolled 'em with spoons then with hands, in flour, cooked--took a little longer than I'd expected to rise, but they floated up eventually. Served with fried sage leaves and brown butter sauce. And a tomato, asparagus, squash salad. Yum!
  • Create New...