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Posts posted by JohnnyH

  1. Of course you are right Curlz but in this instance (like Melt) AHD used the board to pretty much vet everything about building, sustaining and expanding their business model.

    One reason internet dialogue is so infuriating is that is often one way - take.  People generous give ideas in the hope of some feedback (well, some people).  The community is usually trying to learn something through the discourse.

    "Melt" was a great example; a complete cycle, the proprietor left little doubt about why he was moving on...

    Gonna miss the dogs - but really - the fries.

    This is essentially my point as well. Let me be clear, though, as someone who has in the past been in the unfortunate position of having had a business be less successful than I hoped, that I'm not looking for Eric to come on here and bare his soul. It can be a shattering experience, and he has every right to his privacy -- both for legal and emotional reasons. I don't, though, think it's asking too much for him to let us know that the place has closed.

  2. Your best bet is to contact the tree services and firewood suppliers in your area. I have a double-barrel 55-gallon drum smoker that I built myself a few years ago, and that's the route I went after spending way too much time trying to search out a source in other ways.

    Speaking of which, we're having our annual bbq party this year on June 21. Should be about 75 people; the menu will include 15 racks of St. Louis-style ribs, 3 12-15 lb. pork butts and about five chickens. Oh, and a keg. Can't forget the keg...

    ETA: If you want to do wood through the mail, you can try these guys. It may get expensive though; wood's heavy stuff: Barbecue Wood

  3. My response was to Johnny H's post.

    Thanks. You'd think that someone in the know might, at the least, be interested in clearing things up.

    Drove over there a couple minutes ago and the place is indeed dark. More ominous is the fact that the hot dog paraphernalia's all been removed from the front windows. Looks as though they're done for good.

  4. I don't know why the Verona location closed. It could be for a number of reasons. While I'm not a regular at Amazing or any other hot dog joint, I know of people who went once a week. When it was mentioned to me that the Verona restaurant was closed, I just thought maybe one or both of the guys were on vacation. When I was in Bound Brook last Saturday I asked about Verona. All I was told was that it was closed and it wasn't clear if or when it would open.

    As far as what's going on, it might not be anyone's business, but I would think that at least Eric would put up a sign saying that they were closed until further notice. Someone I know made the trip twice only to be disappointed. Matt, the other owner was at Bound Brook and assured me that they would remain open. I wish both guys luck and hope everything gets sorted out.

    So is it not a sure thing then that it's gone for good?

  5. Hi all. Looking for advice from those in the know about the best way to barbecue a chicken (or two) -- whether whole or broken down. Brine? Rub? Sauce/no sauce? Temperature? Time?

    I'll be using a Weber kettle, most likely, and cooking with indirect heat over hardwood coals and hickory chunks, since my smoker will be dedicated to ribs and pulled pork on the day in question.

    All thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

  6. Current worst food commercials ever:

    That dumbass Pizza Hut switches its pasta for that in the fancy Italian restaurant -- where everyone is waxing rhapsodic on hidden camera about their pasta saying things no real person would ever say about Pizza Hut pasta.

    That dumbass Soy milk commercial where all the women are in the kitchen having a soy milk party, also saying things no real person would say when faced with 29 different flavors of flippin' soy milk.  If you substituted heroin for the soy milk, the dialogue might make more sense.

    The Burger King twofer: the asses  in the foam rubber burger costumes and the "we got rid of the whopper" bullshit.

    I have no comment on your post, but I'm a huge fan of your avatar.

  7. I think obvious (too obvious?) answer is Robert's.  Not sure if it's fallen off since Adam Perry Lang left, but I feel like it's an only in NYC experience.

    You could go pretty wild at Ssam bar for $120/person.  Definitely do the bo ssam and order pretty much the entire menu.  They can fit you in the back.

    A bit classier would be like Craftsteak or something.  Doesn't look like you're looking for fine-dining, so that knocks out a lot of contenders and otherwise board favorites.

    With that budget you should be able to have a pretty solid time.

    Don't eat at Craftsteak unless you like paying through the nose for a salt infusion.

  8. Yeah, I watched this show last night also. The chocolate cake challenge.

    I find the concept where Guy and Mark are commenting on the challenge a la sportscasters really stupid. And yeah, I can't say I like Guy a whole lot either. He's downright annoying.

    What really bugs me? The fact that TGI Fridays is sponsoring it, and they can afford to pay out a great prize. $25,000 to an amateur.

    Compare this to professionals who appear on the Food Network Challenge and their prize is $10,000. Their competitions are tougher and far more challenging. They also have to pay out of their own pockets to ship EVERYTHING they need to complete the competition....this includes not only buckets of buttercream (ie. HEAVY stuff=big shipping charges), but soap, bleach and towels.

    Other than work surfaces and equipment like ovens and fridges, they provide NOTHING for you. Not even bowls or small utensils. You have to ship it ALL. Add in a few days of lost work time, and the fact that if you're a decent person, you split the prize with your assistant, and that $10,000 prize is whittled down to almost just not being worth participating.

    For $25,000 though......now you're talkin'. But not on Guy's show. Meh.

    Gotta pay the tax man too, unless FN grosses the winnings up (which I seriously doubt). Might as well cut your $10K in half right there, before giving anything to the assistant.

  9. As far as I'm concerned, advertising and editorial are and should always be church and state (or is that state and church?). Readers are owed an honest opinion on the restaurant, as well as an honest reporting of all the news, regardless of its impact on advertisers, and regardless of how much money the subject of a particular story may have spent.

  10. . . . .

    That said, and in the interest of giving Steven the full benefit of the doubt, I wonder if he would mind pointing out what evidence he relies on for his statement.

    I can't speak for Steven, of course, but I can point to several studies to support his contentions.

    See this 2007 article in the New York Times. It concerns, among other things, the results of a 1986 study of identical twins separated at birth -- the gold standard for genetic studies (the study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine):

    The adoptees were as fat as their biological parents, and how fat they were had no relation to how fat their adoptive parents were.

    The scientists summarized it in their paper: “The two major findings of this study were that there was a clear relation between the body-mass index of biologic parents and the weight class of adoptees, suggesting that genetic influences are important determinants of body fatness; and that there was no relation between the body-mass index of adoptive parents and the weight class of adoptees, suggesting that childhood family environment alone has little or no effect.”

    In other words, being fat was an inherited condition.

    Another piece in the Times (this and the preceding column are both by Gina Kolata; article here) talks about Rockefeller University obesity researcher Dr. Jeffrey Friedman:

    Dr. Friedman points to careful statistical analyses of the changes in Americans' body weights from 1991 to today by Dr. Katherine Flegal of the National Center for Health Statistics. At the lower end of the weight distribution, nothing has changed, not even by a few pounds. As you move up the scale, a few additional pounds start to show up, but even at midrange, people today are just 6 or 7 pounds heavier than they were in 1991. Only with the massively obese, the very top of the distribution, is there a substantial increase in weight, about 25 to 30 pounds . . .

    . . . .

    Dr. Friedman gave an analogy: ''Imagine the average I.Q. was 100 and that 5 percent of the population had an I.Q. of 140 or greater and were considered to be geniuses. Now let's say that education improves and the average I.Q. increases to 107 and 10 percent of the population has an I.Q. of above 140.

    ''You could present the data in two ways,'' he said. ''You could say that the average I.Q. is up seven points or you could say that because of improved education the number of geniuses has doubled.''

    He added, ''The whole obesity debate is equivalent to drawing conclusions about national education programs by saying that the number of geniuses has doubled.''

    . . . .

    Obesity, Dr. Friedman says, is a problem; fat people are derided and they have health risks like diabetes and heart disease. But it does no one any good to exaggerate the extent of obesity or to blame the obese for being fat.

    ''Before calling it an epidemic, people really need to understand what the numbers do and don't say,'' he said.

    One more from Kolata:

    Scientists now believe that each individual has a genetically determined weight range spanning perhaps 30 pounds. Those who force their weight below nature’s preassigned levels become hungrier and eat more; several studies also show that their metabolisms slow in a variety of ways as the body tries to conserve energy and regain weight. People trying to exceed their weight range face the opposite situation: eating becomes unappealing, and their metabolisms shift into high gear.

    Point taken, but Steven's quote had to do with diabetes -- "I think the whole diabetes thing is a major hoax," he said. "They are overdiagnosing it." -- not obesity.

  11. I, too, found the article interesting, and I'd like to take a second to congratulate Jason -- his is quite an achievement.

    FG's claim that diabetes is overdiagnosed seemed defensive. As a former journalist, though, I'm perfectly willing to concede that the comment may have been part of a larger thought/comment of his that the author cherrypicked for exactly that reason. That said, and in the interest of giving Steven the full benefit of the doubt, I wonder if he would mind pointing out what evidence he relies on for his statement.

  12. Because the regulars haven't participated in the system. They've been invited to previews. It will be interesting to see how those same regulars feel later on.

    I don't get this.

    Why will I ever feel badly about not being able to get into Ko, if I get treated well at Ssam Bar? Is my sense of entitlement as a New Yorker supposed to be so great that I'm supposed to abandon a place if it doesn't do me every single favor it conceivably could, but rather only a lot of them?

    I think that people who EXPECT special treatment should go fuck themselves.



  13. What ever it's called it makes for delicious chicken. I think cooking chicken this way offers a couple of advantages over roasting whole, rotisserie or cut pieces of chicken.

    1. You get browning on the inside of the bird as well as the outside.

    2. You get more of the crispy skin. While this can be done on a rotisserie bird, it's hard to do with a whole roasted bird, and on cut pieces the skin either falls off or shrinks too much.

    I spatchcocked this chicken


    This one was frogged. :biggrin:


    I think spatchcoking is more attractive than frogging. The later looks like conjoined chickens. The back bone is not removed (that's a crime oround here).

    I placed the bird skin side down in an inch of white vinegar. I seasoned the exposed side with liberal amounts of salt, garlic powder and cumin. A little rosemary and I started to add oregano and quickly stopped, so there was a dash of that. Turned the chicken skin side up and seasoned as before. The chicken marinated for about 2 hours.



    It went into a preheated 450* convection oven for 1.5 hours. Half way through I flipped the chicken skin side down.


    This chicken was so good I'm making it again tomorrow.

    Whoa! A split bird at 450 for 90 minutes? How did you not end up with charcoal? I cook chix this way as well, and they take less than one hour at 375 after searing. Am I missing something?

  14. In my experience scary sharpening was more suited to chisels than knives.  With the knives the sandpaper on the edge of the block wore away quickly, leaving the middle still rough.  Then the top of the blade would sharpen much more quickly than the bottom, giving it a weird shape.  I did it on a marble block, maybe the mouspad's flexibility alleviates this?  I still say go for a real stone or a sharpening system.

    I think I've come around.

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