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Posts posted by Claire

  1. I love watching Mario and that's saying a lot because I don't particularly care for Italian food. He show casts hypnotic trance on me. After watching an episode I feel as full and sated as if I've eaten a comforting and satisfying meal. As well as learning a little bit about Italian cuisine. :raz: Maybe it's just the clogs.

    Another fave--ATC. The jungle, the cobra hearts, the AK-47s, the really, really cute Brazilian waiters-who the hell knew what would happen next? I had to pop a couple pepcid just to watch it. Even though the show ended, I'm glad AB went the literary route. TFN has a way of sucking the life out of their hosts until they look like plastic, hollow-eyed plastic versions of their former selves.

    However, I'm pretty sure Sandra Lee came that way already. :angry: And why does she always dress like she's come straight out of a JC Penny catalog? Hello Sandra? The '80's called and it wants the red polo shirt back.

  2. Can Diet Dr. Pepper

    Can Diet A&W

    Can Diet Vanilla Pepsi

    I don't like Coke because it's too sweet for me but once in a while I crave a McDonald's coke and french fries.

    I love fountain Pepsi as long as the mix is right but I can't drink fountain Diet Dr. Pepper. Go figure. :rolleyes: In Texas you can go to the Dr. Pepper bottling plant and get old fahioned Dr. Pepper made with sugar cane. Haven't tried it yet. Has anyone ever warmed their Dr. Pepper and drank it? I think it's a southern thing.

  3. I didn't know what it was either until I found this site. Imagine a wild, wonderful food science Mecca. The concepts are amazing.

    In a sense, El Bulli is to cuisine what Willy Wonka was to candy. Reservations are the golden tickets and the snozzberries are made of air. :smile:

    If you do a search, there are a few threads on the subject.

  4. Any place where the waitstaff sits down in your booth while taking your order.

    Any place (this may be a given) that smells like urine, inside or out.

    Any place with "Olde" or "Shoppe" in the name. Or, for that matter, "Ye."

    Personally, I also avoid places that are adjacent to dry cleaners. Or near crematoriums.

    I also avoid places that keep their fly strips or bug zappers in public view.

    I never eat at places that employ "sandwich artists."

    Automatically on the list: any restaurant adjacent to or within walking distance from Wal-Mart. Hell, let's make that within sight of Wal-mart.

    :laugh::laugh::laugh: Best list yet!

  5. From the tone of your post Therdogg, it sounds as if this woman thinks her cooking is comparable or superior to yours and that she actually has the audacity to give you unasked for cooking advice and information. If she is really that insulting then I wouldn't know what to say.

    However I do have a few coping strategies:

    1. Eat before the meal. A big one.

    2. Bring the drinks and/or dessert. (Some friends don't drink. Which brings me to step three.)

    3. Amp yourself up with music or whatever makes you happy. Have a little drink while you dress or get ready.(Unless you're driving or it's breakfast :biggrin: )

    4. Always be gracious even if you don't like the meal because the love and care that went into it was sincere.

    5. Shift your focus from the food (however hard it may be) to the friendship.

    6. On the way home it's okay to talk about the meal. Not to be mean but sometimes you just gotta. :laugh: Heaven knows I've made quite a few jokes about my own attempts.

  6. When I was a young server back in the dark ages, I NEVER told the guests my name.

    Why? Because usually the ones who saw it on my name tag used it in a very belittling manner, like a master ordering around a dog. They were the always most obnoxious people I would encounter during my shift and never a good tip to boot.

    When I am the guest, I don't care either way. I never use the server's name because I don't want to sound like the people in the paragraph above. However I always smile big and let them know I appreciate their hard work. My father is famous for flirting with the no-nonsense waitress and good natured teasing (they always talk like Flo, the wise cracking waitress on Alice).

    OTOH, some of my friends will not tolerate any conversation attempts by the server. This automatically results in no tip. :angry:

  7. Amazing. I can't imagine how relieved you were when you stumbled across the doctor. I wouldn't have been able to restrain myself from throwing the damn pickles out the window. I wonder if those old motorcycles have any value to collectors in the U.S. Curiously, the event that really gives me the skeevies is sleeping on the gas station floor. Fantastic report. Can't wait to read part three.

  8. Marc Summers is a show killer. When he walks on set, Fonzi breaks out his lifejacket and skis.

    I usually have the FTV playing in the background while I'm working. Unwrapped works purely on a subliminal level. I think to myself, hmmm, vending machines...what's so mysterious about a freaking vending machine? Then five minutes later, I'm asking myself, why am I watching clips of a vending machine convention? Hang on, they sell BEER in those things. Why can't we have those? It all goes downhill from there, my friend.

    Unwrapped is like Muzak. Everyone hates it, yet sooner or later when you're listening to it in an elevator, you find yourself humming the lyrics of the instrumental for "In-a-Godda-de-Vida".

  9. When I was a kid the most common meal was hamburger patties and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Spaghetti is still regularly boiled for a good 20 minutes. Mom used canned tomato sauce but once, feeling inspired, she put threw in left over bacon. If the bread was moldy, I was told to cut out the green bits and eat it anyway. Vegetables are always limp and brown at the edges. Her refrigerator is full of mysterious tinfoil packages and foggy recycled plastic baggies. Five years ago, I had to explain how a vegetable steamer worked. Three years ago, my father accidentally tried calamari for the first time in his life when he grabbed it from my plate, thinking it was an onion ring.

    Whenever I make a “exotic” meal for them like roasted chicken or pork ribs, my mom irritates me with passive aggressive compliments to the point she makes me feel like shit for actually cooking something different for them.

    So yes, ma mere is the inspiration for learning how to cook.

  10. The fact that several posters are posting negative comments isn't  bandwagon-ing - it's called consensus.

    it sure does resemble a bandwagon in the sense that a bunch of people are doing the ol' i'll-pick-out-one-soundbite-and-proprose-that-it-makes-some-sort-of-grand-statement-about-rocco-the-person.

    ITA. The forum doth protest too much, me thinks.

  11. Ok-we haven't made hotel reservations yet and now I am thinking that we should stay in Santa Barbara and make that our home base. The other alternative is to go to Ojai for 2 nights and then to Santa Barbara for 3 nights. Any suggestions on how to break up this trip?

    Since I'm was a local myself (moved away two years ago), I have a few suggestions and insights:

    Ojai - Very hot in the summer, as the town is in a valley and can not catch the ocean breeze. Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is the best hotel. The town has a feel of new age, aging rich ex-hippies and celebrites. Interesting bookstores. Long, windy roads. Lots of trees and trails for long walks and comtemplation. To be honest, I felt claustrophic.

    If you only have a few days, Cambria is not worth your time. Solvang is a fun place to send the afternoon but only the afternoon. My personal favorite is the upscale antique store under the town clock. Santa Ynez was comprised of horse ranches but now it more like Napa South with an urban cowboy edge. Wine tasting tours are very popular. If you get bored you can visit the indian casino, lol.

    Santa Barbara - State Street is the main drag with upscale boutiques, cafes, and funky college stores. The spanish architecture is outstanding. Great place for rollerblading or walking the dog. Montecito is charming and low key. The mansions in the hills are incredible. Skip Santa Claus lane and Andersen's, not matter how many road signs you see, lol. The Yellow Pancake House is popular. If you dig over-hyped tourist attractions with a red velvet porno set feel, then the Madonna Inn is manna from heaven. Don't forget to visit the men's restroom.

    There are a couple campgrounds a few miles north of Santa Barbara El Capitan and Refugio (personal favorite). I used to bring a picnic basket (with Santa Maria style bbq and crusty french bread) and a couple juicy novels and hit the beach for the day. Surrounded by rolling hills and amazing views, it's the locals hangout. Don't be surprised if the water is a little chilly. There's nothing like watching a California sunset with a little buzz and the slightest tinge of a sunburn on your shoulders. And don't forget to bring a sweater. Have a great time!

  12. Not to add fuel to the fire but I made reservations at Emeril's NOLA in New Orleans a couple years ago. Our ferry was 20 minutes late and then we got lost in the French Quarter. We arrived forty-five minutes late to a PACKED restaurant. By this time I had lost all hope of dining at the restaurant.

    Both hosts were very polite, friendly and they understood our situation. Lo and behold, they honored our reservation and sat us at a great table within ten minutes. You could have knocked me over with a feather. The food and service were terrific.

    I also don't understand all the knocks about the tourists/Midwestern. Being a tourist means you are excited about dining at a new restaurant. It's not just food for them. It's an experience. Think about the last time you visited a foreign country. How did you act? They've been thinking and planning the visit.They should be treated well because they made a special effort. As a tourist, I'm not going to go out of my way to shoot the experience down because it puts a damper on my whole visit/vacation. Being treated disrespectfully will put anyone's back up. Personally I'm much more observant and respectful when I'm on new turf because I have something to learn. I also know I will savor the moment and appreciate good service more than any jaded celebrity ever would. And if that's so wrong, I don't wanna be right. :smile:

  13. Starbuckseverywhere.net

    A computer programmer in Houston, who goes by the name Winter, has a goal of visiting all the Starbucks in the world. He actually accepts donations for this.

    Personally, I can't patronize Starbucks. I can't buy into the concept, the marketing, the size labels, the ridiculous pricing, and the chain itself. I crossed the threshold twice and it made me feel like a complete sell out (not that I really have anything to sell). Like a caffeine fugitive, I didn't want to run into anyone I knew there. I know it's just one chain of many but I'm trying to wean myself from the corporate teat.

    And no, I'm not a hippie. :biggrin:

  14. *sensing a dark force at work*

    Hmmm, I sense a Twinkie conspiracy. Maybe the restuarant PURPOSELY took one of the most popular snack foods ever and used it as bait to lure foodies such as yourself with the promise of deep fried etheral heaven. Then they pull the old switcheroo and make it taste disgusting enough for you in a moment of conspiracy designed weakness to abstain from normal food and convert to the cult of vegans. The fact this occured in Northampton arrouses suspicion in itself.

    Mabye you should try it again in a more deep fried friendly enviroment like Scotland or a County Fair.

  15. It’s too soon for final judgment. “Opening Night” is just that--opening night. Anyone expecting a flawless execution or anything remotely close to it is simply delusional. The customers seemed were a mix of complete twits who thought it would be a good night to get on camera and spout like they were the personal godfathers of Italian cuisine.

    A couple of customers really grated my nerves; the fat guy who complained about the meatballs and said,”Anyone who gets up at 6:30 in the morning to make meatballs and have it come out like this should pack it in.” Then he turns around and showers Mama with compliments and attention and gushes about how much he loves the meatballs. Sheesh! What a two-faced ham!

    Then the customer who made the waiter go out and purchase red wine for his table. Unbelievable! I'd straighten that guy out in a hurry. That kid should have gone straight to his boss. The servers profiled seemed like they’ve never worked a day of service in their life. I have to believe the others were just too competent and professional (low-key) to show. All in all, I think they will pull it together eventually.

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