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Everything posted by KNorthrup

  1. I would select the dinner over the wine for two reasons. First, I don't have a very well-developed palate (ie, appreciation) for wine and I would just feel such a bottle was wasted on me no matter how much I enjoyed it. So that guilt would detract from the pleasure. Second, and more importantly, I consistently prefer variety, and a meal would be a wide range of flavours and new experiences rather than just the one.
  2. My brother and I loved loved loved Beenie Weenies. Probably in part because it was the closest thing to junk food we ever got. Didn't like normal hot dogs, just those. By high school, we made our own lunches. The school didn't have a cafeteria so buying was a non-issue. I've frankly always regretted missing out on those 'typical American' mystery meat cliches and such. Everyone has made everything I would think of and more suggestion-wise so I'll just add the one thing that I've never forgotten. Variety is very important. Which you clearly know so this really isn't directed at anyone here. When we were rather small and my father was trying to raise us alone, I mentioned once (again, I was quite small, that's my excuse) that I really liked canned corned beef hash. I had it every day in my lunch for at least six weeks. I didn't have the heart to say I didn't want it any more. I think it eventually stopped just because the store ran out.
  3. I say building a tolerance sucks. I tend to hit my budget capacity before anything else. Would far rather acquire a buzz quicky and cheaply. Had a friend in college whose theory was that a lot of people got sick not from the alcohol but just from excess amounts of liquid in their system. Devils. Pah. Pegged the Smythe again.
  4. Bless you, Monica. This is why I never contribute to the 'what did you cook for dinner tonight' thread. And they do say frozen veg are more nutritious than fresh. I do personally draw the line at Jello trifle. Just because I've tried it (at a British tea room, no less) and it just wasn't the right textures or something.
  5. This is exactly why my mother taught me to cook. In the 5th grade. So that for most of the next seven years, when she and my stepfather got home, dinner was ready. Not everyone has that option, but I'm glad she used it. And published recipes were a very important aspect of that, since she wasn't there to coach me through it each night. We had an active subscription to the Time-Life Great Meals in Minutes series and that worked very well for both a beginner-level cook and a few diners with fairly conservative, traditional, middle-America palates. Bon Appetit was equally reliable.
  6. We still had a Farrell's in Portland when I moved here (1993) but it's gone now. Good green rivers and grilled cheese. Tried CSC today for the first time. In the interest of research. Good 45 minute drive away into deepest suburbia. There was no singing. Rather surly trio in general. Tried some sort of birthday cake thing because it was about the most original. In a dish, and not the waffle cone shaped like a dish. The second smallest, which looked pretty small, but I still only got through half. And that was without having had lunch already. And with usually having a prodigous capacity. It was very rich. My companion, who had another pre-designed speciality, of a peanut butter and chocolate theme, finished his with some difficulty. We agreed it was clearly better than BR or anything that comes in a block, but not super premium. Bit of a sweet chemical aftertaste. The rainbow sprinkles were surprisingly crunchy. That was nice. Once the one downtown near my office opens, I will try it again. Still curious about 'Boston Cream Pie.' But definitely the smallest portion.
  7. Very very few of the 'fine dining' restaurants in Portand have parking lots.
  8. Sorry, but I really don't know this. What is/was the Domestic Science movement?
  9. That's odd. The west coast still has all sorts of vending machines. Cigarettes. Sandwiches/salads/yogurt. Condom machines are common in bar and club bathrooms, along with breath mints and aspirin. In a pub in Ireland last year, I saw a complete overnight kit for about $6 (toothbrush, paste, comb, deodorant, change of underpants, etc). Were the Japanese used underpant vending machines just an urban legend?
  10. the Jamison breakfast book Elephant Walk (Cambodian) Nina Simond's Asian Noodles Seductions of Rice Flatbreads & Flavours Rosengarten's Taste the other AB maybe Simple to Spectacular Um, anyway, my mother taught me WITH a cookbook. Frequently a recipe that was new to her as well. So we'd cover both how to follow the recipe and what things are left out. When she was 'just' cooking, on the other hand, she rarely used a recipe.
  11. Normal food, but it's own kind of strange. Kings in The Kitchen. From the not-tongue-in-cheek-intro: The author accumulated recipes from 'men of distinction,' including the president at the time, JFK. He contributed waffles. J Edgar Hoover contributed popovers. Many captains of industry, governors, nuclear scientists, supreme court justices, arctic explorers... a bit surreal. Totally stereotypical Leave It to Beaver type cuisine.
  12. Holly, you're fortunate. I was there in 1991 and keep reading how much the food has improved since then. (Heck, I started reading that in 1993, special Bon Appetit edition. Good cheddar/cumin/scallion bread in that one.) My experience was the typical everything boiled to a uniform shade of grey. And although I had heard of baked beans with breakfast, I wasn't expecting them to be cold. Being educated on the language definitely helps -- my travelling companion learned the hard way that steak and kidney pie didn't mean kidney beans and couldn't afford to go back and get something else. I still eat mushy peas (Canadian mother) but was a bit horrified when I ordered a side of them at a fish & chips place (thinking I should get a veg) and they scooped a ladel-full right atop my already-filled newspaper cone. Not so much as a fork. Finally, the sight I will never forget is the can of beef stew with the proud, prominent banner "New! Improved! No large chunks of fat or gristle!'
  13. Hey, we had one of those. Different name, but same theme and also a chain -- Clinkerdagger, Bickerstaff & Petts or thereabouts. Anyone else remember them? Definitely wenches. And soup was a thick steak potage in pewter bowls. Four foot pepper grinders before anyone was doing that. Two specific negatives I can give on Olive Garden from personal experience are that it all tends to be saltier than I like (esp those breadsticks) and often the meals aren't microwaved long enough -- still cold/frozen bits in the middle of the plate. The four or five times I was in the South, I loved having breakfast at Cracker Barrel. It was downright foreign.
  14. Ooo. The one time I went to KC, it was on business and after extensive research, I went there of all places. Not sure what the heck that says since it was a free anywhere-I-wanted meal. But definitely the right choice. I had the pan-fried pork chops instead of the chicken but 'prime example' still applies. The starter salad was probably less healthy than the ones on that other thread. My mother's mother would start fried chicken by pouring the oil into the pan, adding the floured chicken, then turning on the stove.
  15. Enjoyed the article, as always, but have to confess I'm even more taken with the illustration and trying to identify as many as possible.
  16. Back when we still had a budget for business trips, I had great luck with that technique in Kansas City and Chicago via browsing... um, some other site. But generic rules of thumb would be handy for more impulsive situations.
  17. Okay, THAT would get me to move back home.
  18. Has anyone ever tested the cliches about eat where the cops and/or truckers eat? Realizing that that wouldn't be about fine dining per se.
  19. That leads to a thought. I wonder whether one concern the chefs in this camp have is that the customer will place an order for an "unqualified" variation and then not like it and then spread the word about their dinner being disappointing and in that case it wasn't something the chef was really responsible for.
  20. Well Cannon Beach is my favourite for scenery, but unfortunately I've never had a noteworthy meal anywhere on the coast.
  21. Please provide more detail on mushroom sandwiches.
  22. ppffftttt. anaheim. but it's over now and the devils -- devil food cakes, yeah, that's it -- won.
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