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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Hest88

  1. When I was in college I often bought McDonald's burgers and just ate the hamburger. Obviously not an Atkins thing; I just wanted meat and thought the bun was icky.
  2. Hest88

    More stirfrys

    I concur with most of the posts. Get a carbon steel wok from Chinatown. It's light enough to fling from sink to stove and back again. It's easy to clean (once properly seasoned) and it's cheap enough so it won't matter if you bang it up. I've had mine over ten years. It's black. It's ugly. It's irreplacable to me. My only other advice is to get the biggest one you can handle. Makes it harder for food to fly out.
  3. I can't believe I read through the 3rd page. Now I know why I could never be a lawyer. Anyway, painting this as a legal matter is missing the point, and also missing the more practical solution. This is actually a PR issue--as are indeed many of these issues. A miffed customer, having exhausted the polite venues, should go to the press before going to a lawyer. That's a threat that can really make an impact!
  4. Neither my husband nor I drink, so I can't really tell you if service has been different. Of course, if I do sense that I'm treated differently because I'm not buying alcohol then that will definitely come out of the waiter's tip! I usually just drink tap water. If a place serves Navarro grape juice (my favorite drink in the entire world) we'll often order a bottle of that. If they have a full bar my husband will always order a virgin bloody mary. Sometimes he'll be in the mood for sparkling water or a non-alcoholic beer (his drink of choice at home). If I'm coming down with or off of a cold I'll usually crave something sweet and ask for a Sprite. Is that detailed enough? ;) I guess since I've never had alcohol I don't think of wine as part of my meal experience and just order what I feel like drinking at the time!
  5. Hm. That is rather a hefty fine. Obviously it's the type of fine that only a restaurant popular enough to operate on that level of arrogance could levy. It's legal, yes, but is it smart? I really don't mind being asked for my CC when I book a restaurant. However, I *do* mind when it becomes yet another way to gouge the consumer--like all those excessive hotel fees. I've booked a number of high-end inns and B&Bs that have strict cancellation policies, but they usually state that, minus a small cancellation fee, they won't charge if the room can be re-booked. In the case of this restaurant, I don't see how they can justify charging a per person fee other than to hide behind a facade of snootiness.
  6. Hest88

    Kitchen Style

    Hm. When I'm cooking (not baking) I use recipes only when it's a new dish, and I never follow it exactly. In fact, I usually combine 3 or more recipes, adjusting various factors according to my tastes or the tastes of my guests. I guess that means that I cook with recipes maybe 10% of the time. When I bake I tend to use recipes, but those are usually tweaked as well--only much less so. So I guess when I bake I use recipes 99% of the time, slightly tweaked 100% of the time.
  7. I still wanna know how much was actually charged. $10 I can stomach. $20 I can understand. Anything else would be egregious.
  8. Could you explain what it is? I'm unfamiliar with the term "Lobster Cantonese"---I guess because I'm from California.
  9. Nope. I love beef too much. When I buy steaks, though, I buy grass-fed, but that pre-dates the latest scare.
  10. Hest88

    Roasting a Chicken

    I've stopped basting my chickens and they seem to be fine. I do slather butter all over, inside the bird, and under the skin, though. But I think the key to a moist bird is the brining.
  11. Well, since fortune cookies are hardly a venerable old dessert passed down through generations of Chinese people and smuggled through Angel Island under the coat of some immigrant, I personally can't get all that miffy about it. I'm not up on this particular stereotype, but upon some thought I can guess the meaning.
  12. Mmmm. Great pictures. Is Kasper's still open? Last I heard it was closed and no one knew if it would open again.
  13. Hest88

    East vs West

    I don't know the proper technique, but I use a rectangular stone inherited from my mother and sharpen my cleaver the same way she does: put the stone on the counter and drag the cleaver back and forth across it, alternating sides.
  14. Hest88

    Roasting a Chicken

    For Xmas I brined my chicken as I usually do (okay, technically I made guinea hen, but I roasted it like roast chicken), but cooked it using the Zuni Cafe method instead of my usual rack method. I heated up a cast iron pan really high and dumped the bird in, breast up, and stuck it in the oven. Partway though I flipped it over, and then near the end I flipped it again to re-crisp the breast skin. Worked really well and clean-up was much easier than when I use the rack.
  15. Count me as a Sausage McMuffin fan. It's the only fast food item I will crave and really hits the spot on cold days. I don't go for the biscuit or BK croissanwich type; the McMuffin is already perfectly greasy so if I added another element of fat into it it would just be too gross.
  16. I was surprised as well. It's been a long time since I've been there and wonder if it's really changed that much. I remember it as a dark, old-fashioned place where grandfathers went to read the paper and hang out all morning. I remember good, authentic, basic dim sum, but nothing that would wow a critic.
  17. Melkor, could you give more details? I've been curious about it and am planning a visit next month. Would love some more details on the food and also the reservation process.
  18. You know, when my Cantonese mom makes ginger and scallion crab or lobster she only adds egg when there's too much liquid from the shellfish. A good Chinese chef doesn't overcook seafood, though there are many mediocre chefs who do!
  19. Okay, after a disastrous incident this weekend which resulted in the ignominious disposal of some promising grilled cheese sandwiches (complete with Acme sourdough and Niman Ranch bacon!), I just placed an order for these bags. I'll let you know how it goes.
  20. Strangely enough, I don't remember ever celebrating this when I was growing up, and my parents are Cantonese. Other holidays were a big deal, including the Moon Festival, but I wonder if my parents just decided that it was more important for us to have an American Christmas?
  21. Definitely start slowly, with perhaps fish and bits of chicken. Of course, my sister, who was a vegetarian for years, fell off the wagon with a pepperoni stick and a pastrami sandwich.
  22. Can't comment, 'cause I never made it myself, but this was by far my favorite Chinese "pastry" when I was growing up. Mmmmm!
  23. Noah's hasn't been privately owned in a long time. However, I remember that Noah's bagels were steamed even way back when, so I suspect some of what you may be remembering is pure nostalgia. Your tastes have probably improved considerably since then!
  24. Agreed. We always go to Kirala because 1) It's close to our house 2) The is consistently seasoned well, and the fish fresh and 3) They always seem to have ankimo. What I'd love to find, though, is a great place for omakase, on the level of the stuff we had in NYC. I just don't know if there's anyplace, other than Kyo-ya, that can offer that kind of experience.
  25. It actually amazes me how cheaply many non-bookclub hardcovers are nowadays. Few are sewn anymore. I've picked up hardcovers in bookstores that I swear felt as light as a bookclub. My husband has a really nice art book that he can't even read because the Amazon reviews have warned people how easily the pages separate from the binding!
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