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Everything posted by bigwino

  1. I heard back from Archambault. They're expecting a new shipment from their supplier in 2 - 3 weeks.
  2. FYI, it's backordered at Archambault. My order's been in since late November. I emailed them the other day asking about an expected date of restocking, but haven't yet heard back. If I hear from them, I'll post the reply here.
  3. I did a very simple rub this summer on a slow roasted pork butt - salt, pepper and LOTS of sweet pimenton. It was tremendous. If the quality of the pork is high, then this simple rub works well to highlight the porkiness while adding a nice hint of smoke from the pimenton. Have fun and please report back!
  4. I've had my Big Kahuna Burner for a little over a year and I absolutely love it. Is it the world's highest BTU burner? Nope. Does it need to be? Nope. It is FAR more powerful than what you can probably get for your house and is plenty hot enough for great stirfrying (IMHO). On full blast it gets the metal grate glowing red and the wok smoking hot very quickly. The extendable legs are a godsend after kneeling to stirfry for years in front of my old fryer burner. It won't last forever. Mine is already showing some rust on the burner itself, but it is purely cosmetic. I would expect the same of any of these units if left outside year round in New England. Highly recommended, especially given the price. Good luck and have fun with it.
  5. I think my criticism was quite light, really. I didn't say it sucked or no one should ever eat there. In fact, I said we're still thinking about going back! One underwhelming dining experience is enough to say it's not as great as it once was; especially if we've had plenty of experiences with the restaurant over the years.
  6. -Primo is relatively expensive, though you can get out of there without spending a ton of dough. It is relatively easy, though, to spend a decent chunk for a full bore meal of starters, entrees, wine, dessert. -It's not geared at children or family dining, but we've gone several times with our children, starting when Primo opened and our first son was a baby. Never a problem, but we're pretty careful to keep the kids quiet and happy when we're there. -They don't do lunch. Lots of other good options in the area for lunch, though. -They get booked up far in advance. Call now if you want to go. I have to say that our last Primo experience in August '05 was not up to snuff. We've gone many times since they opened and there was a definite decline from the early days. They now have two other restaurants and it's clearly taken some of their attention away from the mothership in Rockland. We're currently debating whether to make a rez for our vacation in August. There are other options, though nothing has yet been at the level of Primo when they started. In their first year, we made trips during each season from Boston just to eat at Primo. I wouldn't do that anymore.
  7. Bath has a farmer's market that started in early May. Take a look: http://www.bathfarmersmarket.com/ There are bound to be others within a short drive. I got into the habit of going to farmers markets four or so days out of the week when vacationing in Camden for the past several years. Not sure what other towns are close enough to Bath. Here is a search engine for Maine farmer's markets. Good luck!
  8. bigwino

    Oily beans

    Thanks for all the tips and online sources. Thus far, I've settled in on Intelligentsia's Black Cat blend. It makes a great shot and the shipping isn't too bad. I will try to find Terroir's espresso blend, but haven't been in the vicinity of one of their local purveyors yet.
  9. My favorite is Pho Hoa in Boston's Chinatown. Tons of choices for meat additions and very high quality ingredients. I think it's much better than Pho Pasteur a few doors down.
  10. I'd put Chris Schlessinger's "Thrill of the Grill" among the top books that I've read. woodburner ← I'd also add all of Schlesinger's other grilling books - Let the Flames Begin and License to Grill. He's a master. Personally, I would not recommend Steven Raichlen's books. I've not found them anywhere near as helpful or interesting. Just my $.02
  11. I'd think it has them, but I'm wondering where, how big, how many, etc. I had a grill that couldn't breathe well and it was totally aggravating.
  12. Perhaps a case of trying to do too many things and none of them well? It doesn't look like it would have very much surface area for the grilling applications. My experience with charcoal grilling has informed me that the breathing ability of the grill is vital. Where are the vents on this thing?
  13. Well, I never actually said that. I said the speed benefit to gas doesn't really exist. I don't think either have a significant benefit when it comes to speed, but I do think that everyone thinks there is with gas. Cleanup is a bit of an issue, for sure. Maybe that's a draw with filling the propane tank? (No, not really) Cleanup can also be a bigger issue depending upon where you live. I have tons of woods around our yard and can just dump (the 1-2 days past burned out) coals in the back 40 somewhere. Or I can put them in the compost. In an urban environment it's more of a pain.
  14. I was an inveterate propane grill user for many years. The ease with which you have a prepared, hot grill and the lack of cleanup necessity were the main drivers. A friend convinced me to get a charcoal grill and for a time I used both. I've come to realize that the apparent speed benefit of propane does not really exist. In the time it takes to get the gas grill to temp, a chimney starter has the coals ready to roll. I abandoned my gas grill about 18 months ago and have not missed it one bit.
  15. I have had good luck with Webers, but my current grill and the favorite of all the gas or charcoal ones that I've used over the years has to be the Chargriller Super Pro. It's inexpensive; you can adjust the height of the coals; and it has cast iron grates, which I prefer. I opted against the one with the side firebox simply because I already have a dedicated smoker. You can find them at Lowe's as well as the manufacturers online store.
  16. Michael Ruhlman's next book, The Reach of a Chef, is due out on 5/18 according to Amazon. I think eCookbooks.com is already selling it.
  17. I haven't had luck using the KA mixer (standard 5 qt model) for the bind. The meat mixture crawls right up the paddle and gets all over the rotating thingie. Very messy and a PITA to clean up. My last batch of breakfast sausage, I just put it in a big icy cold bowl and first beat the hell out of it with a wooden paddle... till that broke. Then I used my impeccably clean hands and beat the hell out of it a bunch more. (Hey, if the CIA butchery instructor shows me that way in a class, then I say it's OK!)
  18. I agree with IrishGirl. The KA attachment makes it so much easier to bang out a batch of pasta. Important for me is the fact that you can do it all by yourself. I always found I was looking for an extra set of hands whenever I used the hand crank pasta maker.
  19. bigwino


    To those that have purchased in the past: How bad are the shipping and handling charges? I was reminded of this problem in another thread where someone was going to buy $20 of fatback from Niman Ranch and would've had to pay $20 to ship it! I'm in the "trying different beans" stage, so don't want to buy a whole lot of anyone's stuff in case I'm not a fan. Am I SOL?
  20. Thanks for this thread! It's added significantly to my Portland To-Do list. My additions: -Oysters from Harbor Fish -Truffle ketchup and curry mayo on Duckfat fries (not at the same time) -Browne Trading caviar -Allagash White Ale w/lemon wedge - outside on a warm day
  21. bigwino

    Oily beans

    Phaelon56, Thanks for these possibilities. They're helpful on multiple dimensions. I got an improved drink this morning by lowering the size of the shots down to 1 oz. That made a significant difference. Unfortunately, I think the other problem is the beans and will have to abandon my local purveyor. I'm going to give the downtown Boston guys another chance today and pick up some more beans from them. After that, it's on to a search here for tips on mail order sources. Thanks again. -Paul
  22. bigwino

    Oily beans

    The beans are roasted, literally, down the street from where I'm buying them. I didn't ask how long they've been around but the place is pretty busy and I think runs through their stock quite fast. I just picked up their espresso roast and made a 4 oz. crema coffee and a 2 oz shot. Still seems kinda weak. The beans in question are from Plum Island Coffee Roasters in Newburyport, MA. I also tried Flat Black Coffee Company beans from Boston. They seemed better, but still lacked some depth. I think next step is a call to Capresso to see what they have to say. Of course, more input from here is also welcome!
  23. I'm the proud owner of a new, well, refurb, Capresso C1500. I got some beans for it from a local roaster and the oily beans aren't feeding into the burr grinder too well - hence, weak espresso. The manual suggests leaving the beans spread out to open air for five hours or so to let the oiliness dissipate. Does this make sense to anyone? My options for local beans are extremely limited and I like to support local vendors whenever I can. I'm going to go talk to them about a less oily option, but would like to use these beans if possible... TIA -Paul
  24. The lounge is definitely the place to be at No. 9. In fact, I think the bar seats are the best places to be in the house. Very knowledgeable bartenders and you can order from the lounge menu as well as the dining room menu. I go to the bar regularly, but my one dining room experience will not be repeated.
  25. Funny you should mention it. I've been looking for a slicer on Craigslist for several weeks now!
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