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ulterior epicure

Lauren Chapin - Kansas City Star Restaurant Critic

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Schnitzel sandwich... of course!!  :raz:

Yes, Alpine :wink: is the operative word in the name of the dish.


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I've noticed in the last couple of reviews, specific mention of red pepper flakes appearing in a dish but not enumerated on the menu.

Hungry carnivores should order the veal chop, an outrageously tender, juicy double-cut chop. Served with caramelized autumn vegetables (onions, mushrooms and carrots) and Grand St. herbed whipped potatoes, it was a great menu addition. The only fault I could find with the dish was the sneaky chili pepper flake spiciness in the sauce, which was not disclosed in the menu.
From the Grand Street Cafe review
The Basque chicken had the most potential: The chicken was moist and tender and the flavors of the sauce — made of prosciutto (a close cousin to bacon), roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomato — was muted by melted cheese and spicy from red chili pepper flakes, which wasn’t listed on the menu.
From the Avenues review

Since it is clearly mentioned as a fault, I started wondering if there is an unwritten rule that certain ingredients must/should be named specifically in describing a dish? I am fairly certain this is true of things that are common allergens (nuts, wheat come to mind). And I can understand that some people are sensitive to spicy foods but at what point is it incumbent on the chef to "warn" diners of the inclusion of certain ingredients? And does the naming of the dish imply certain things will be included and therefore relieve the chef of listing them? I googled "Basque Chicken" and looked at the first 7 or 8 recipes that were returned in the search. All but one had either red pepper, cayenne, hot pepper sauce or a type of fresh chili pepper. The veal chop was apparently a special and isn't on the Grand Street online menu so I have no way of knowing if there was an implied hint of heat in that case.

Thoughts?


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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UE, I'm willing to bet the pork tenderloin is sliced, pounded thin, breaded, and sauteed.  Hence the panko.  At which point, forget the bread for the sandwich, just gimme a plateful of pork schnitzl, which is kinda what it is.

I think it's just a pork Tenderloin breaded like local onion rings, to even come close to making it a schnitzel using those types of bread crumbs you would have to grind them down bit. You should also use a slice of veal from the saddle or strip loin then pound it thin, lightly bread it in a classical way using the fine crumbs then quickly saute it and place a rolled up anchovy with a caper in it and a slice of lemon on top. To used pork in-place of veal is an insult to Germans and Austrians

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UE, I'm willing to bet the pork tenderloin is sliced, pounded thin, breaded, and sauteed.  Hence the panko.  At which point, forget the bread for the sandwich, just gimme a plateful of pork schnitzl, which is kinda what it is.

I think it's just a pork Tenderloin breaded like local onion rings, to even come close to making it a schnitzel using those types of bread crumbs you would have to grind them down bit. You should also use a slice of veal from the saddle or strip loin then pound it thin, lightly bread it in a classical way using the fine crumbs then quickly saute it and place a rolled up anchovy with a caper in it and a slice of lemon on top. To used pork in-place of veal is an insult to Germans and Austrians

Which would be why I refrained from calling it Wiener schnitzl, which correctly must be veal. However, schnitzl vom Schwein (schnitzl from pig) or Schweinsschnitzel Wiener Art are both recognized as being dandy ways to prepare the dish using pork. To use pork in place of veal and not specify is the insult and the problem.

UE, if you go and eat the pork sandwich- whatever and however it's made- I'd love to know how it stacks up on the 'thinly pounded, breaded, and cooked' food spectrum. More of a schnitzl or more of a tonkatsu? Or a milanese? Oh the opportunities are endless.

I've noticed in the last couple of reviews, specific mention of red pepper flakes appearing in a dish but not enumerated on the menu.

moosnsqrl, maybe she has mad, mad hate for red pepper flakes? I always make it a rule to ask, but it does seem weird to enumerate so much about a dish on the menu but then not note a very bright, assertive flavor note like pepper flakes unless the dish is of a type which naturally encompasses such an ingredient (I would scarcely expect to encounter a chili, for example, that had none of those zesty spices- even if they weren't listed on the menu)


What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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Which would be why I refrained from calling it Wiener schnitzl, which correctly must be veal.  However, schnitzl vom Schwein (schnitzl from pig) or Schweinsschnitzel Wiener Art are both recognized as being dandy ways to prepare the dish using pork.  To use pork in place of veal and not specify is the insult and the problem.

But, we really can't say that they're misleading, 'cause the name of this lunch dish is "Alpine Pork Tenderloin Sandwich."


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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Absolutely, they're straight up about it, u.e.

OK, having now poured over Chapin's review of Avenues, I am confused once again as to why, after she criticizes every single set of courses, a place gets 2 stars for food.


What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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"The Basque chicken had the most potential: The chicken was moist and tender and the flavors of the sauce — made of prosciutto (a close cousin to bacon)"

Huh? did she mean pancetta?


Edited by chileheadmike (log)

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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OK, having now poured over Chapin's review of Avenues, I am confused once again as to why, after she criticizes every single set of courses, a place gets 2 stars for food.

My thoughts exactly. There just isn't much range with this reviewer, it seems.


Come visit my virtual kitchen.

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"The Basque chicken had the most potential: The chicken was moist and tender and the flavors of the sauce — made of prosciutto (a close cousin to bacon)"

Huh? did she mean pancetta?

That threw me off as well, Mike. I would consider pancetta a close cousin, prosciutto a distant cousin (maybe once or twice removed :wink:).


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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From Lauren Chapin's review of la cucina di mamma:

During my second lunch, I tried the Pugliese pizza, and it redefined pizza for me. The 10-inch pizza was about as thick as a saltine and almost as crispy. The topping was a subtle but potent combination of tomato sauce, caramelized onions and fresh mozzarella drizzled with hot pepper oil. The crust, which was dusty with flour, was slightly chewy but soft. Fabulous!

So, does she mean that the crust was as thin as a saltine? And, was that crust crispy, or soft? :huh:

Edited to enable color.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Well, UE beat me to it. I was going to pose the question as to how a pizza can be fabulously crispy, chewy and soft all at once. It's sort of like her use of the word "twang" which is a SOUND, not a FLAVOR. She should be using the word "tang or tangy" perhaps?

That said, I will give La Cucina di Mamma another try. We had seriously bad service there, only regulars were recognized and treated well, but the food was very good.


Edited by maftoul (log)

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Well, UE beat me too it. I was going to pose the question as to how a pizza can be fabulously crispy, chewy and soft all at once. It's sort of like her use of the word "twang" which is a SOUND, not a FLAVOR. She should be using the word "tang or tangy" perhaps?

... and "dusty with flour."

Does "camouflage-green" sound like an appetizing way to describe anything edible - regardless if it's a "chunky" insalata of favas and roasted peppers?

And, while I'm at it, I love how cheese, beef and peas "trickle" out of a fried ball of rice.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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What kind of credentials do you think one must have to be a critic?


Graham Elliot

@grahamelliot

www.grahamelliot.com

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Well, UE beat me to it. I was going to pose the question as to how a pizza can be fabulously crispy, chewy and soft all at once. It's sort of like her use of the word "twang" which is a SOUND, not a FLAVOR. She should be using the word "tang or tangy" perhaps?

That said, I will give La Cucina di Mamma another try. We had seriously bad service there, only regulars were recognized and treated well, but the food was very good.

Yes, it sounds funny the way she had described the pizza; but it seems plausible. Correct me if I'm wrong but can't the bottom crust of the pizza be crispy and the outside pillowy crust be soft and chewy? Although, she should have described the sensation of having the two different textures but being in different parts of the actual pizza.


"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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JWest,

You're right! My husband pointed that out to me :biggrin:


Edited by maftoul (log)

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Well, UE beat me to it. I was going to pose the question as to how a pizza can be fabulously crispy, chewy and soft all at once. It's sort of like her use of the word "twang" which is a SOUND, not a FLAVOR. She should be using the word "tang or tangy" perhaps?

That said, I will give La Cucina di Mamma another try. We had seriously bad service there, only regulars were recognized and treated well, but the food was very good.

Yes, it sounds funny the way she had described the pizza; but it seems plausible. Correct me if I'm wrong but can't the bottom crust of the pizza be crispy and the outside pillowy crust be soft and chewy? Although, she should have described the sensation of having the two different textures but being in different parts of the actual pizza.

Even when it's as thin as a saltine?


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I, too, was a bit surprised by Chapin's review of Cucina. Could it be that she was swooning from the effect of Jake's considerable charm?

We are big Bella Napoli fans (nothing like their fresh mozarella, tomato and basil sandwich on a hot summer day) BUT our visits to the new pizzaria left much to be desired. The service was nothing... you ordered and picked up at the counter. The atmosphere wasn't much... uncomfortable chairs, bare tables. The pizza was OK, but certainly nothing to write home about. The prices were high for food that was not very filling. Really, the only reason to support the place is because it's locally owned (and, of course, the frission of pleasure of having a handsome Italian fellow boom out a greeting to you).

We planned to eventually stop in again for a snack sometime when wandering Brookside, but now that Jake has made Laura see God, we might try dinner again... maybe we caught them on bad days, and they've invested in some furniture.


Come visit my virtual kitchen.

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I, too, was a bit surprised by Chapin's review of Cucina. Could it be that she was swooning from the effect of Jake's considerable charm?

We are big Bella Napoli fans (nothing like their fresh mozarella, tomato and basil sandwich on a hot summer day) BUT our visits to the new pizzaria left much to be desired. The service was nothing... you ordered and picked up at the counter. The atmosphere wasn't much... uncomfortable chairs, bare tables. The pizza was OK, but certainly nothing to write home about. The prices were high for food that was not very filling. Really, the only reason to support the place is because it's locally owned (and, of course, the frission of pleasure of having a handsome Italian fellow boom out a greeting to you).

We planned to eventually stop in again for a snack sometime when wandering Brookside, but now that Jake has made Laura see God, we might try dinner again... maybe we caught them on bad days, and they've invested in some furniture.

I'll support it because Jakes is a Hottie :wub:

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What kind of credentials do you think one must have to be a critic?

Credentials or attributes? I'm not trying to be snide, but in my mind I've got two different answers in mind- credentials running more towards background and experience and attributes running along the lines of...say. Competence, consistency, an ability to write a cogent article which actually makes sense start to finish....


What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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JWest,

You're right! My husband pointed that out to me :biggrin:

The picture on the online article was the big hint for me :biggrin:


"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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Well, UE beat me to it. I was going to pose the question as to how a pizza can be fabulously crispy, chewy and soft all at once. It's sort of like her use of the word "twang" which is a SOUND, not a FLAVOR. She should be using the word "tang or tangy" perhaps?

That said, I will give La Cucina di Mamma another try. We had seriously bad service there, only regulars were recognized and treated well, but the food was very good.

Yes, it sounds funny the way she had described the pizza; but it seems plausible. Correct me if I'm wrong but can't the bottom crust of the pizza be crispy and the outside pillowy crust be soft and chewy? Although, she should have described the sensation of having the two different textures but being in different parts of the actual pizza.

Ah yes, I failed to look at the picture... I see what you mean now. The bottom of the pizza crust can be thin and crispy. The outside rim crust can be rolled up to hold in the spread - that crust can be soft and pillowy.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Ah yes, I failed to look at the picture...  I see what you mean now.  The bottom of the pizza crust can be thin and crispy.  The outside rim crust can be rolled up to hold in the spread - that crust can be soft and pillowy.

They are worth a thousand words. :wink:


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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This morning's review of Choga Korean Restaurant brings up what is, in my mind, a different sort of question about how stars are doled-out. To her credit, Lauren Chapin states at the onset that she has not eaten Korean food before. I guess that caveat lets the reader know to proceed at his or her own risk. I can almost overlook the description of some of the menu items as "funky" and she also was up-front in admitting that she stuck to a relatively safe path.

My concern is that she somehow, with nothing to compare this restaurant to, assigned a 2-1/2 star rating, meaning that it will not appear in the "Star Recommends" listing. As there are lots of restaurants and only one reviewer, it's unlikely the restaurant will be revisited in the next year or two, so they've now lost the exposure of having people pick up the Preview section for the next 100 weeks or so and see them as a dining option. As far as I know, they are the only Korean restaurant in town so a visitor seeking that cuisine here would either assume we have no Korean food or be forced to look elsewhere.

Once again, the text description of the meal sounds fine. I don't recall seeing any major flaws in quality, quantity, preparation. So why the relatively rough star treatment that banishes them from "the list" for the forseeable future?


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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This morning's review of Choga Korean Restaurant brings up what is, in my mind, a different sort of question about how stars are doled-out.  To her credit, Lauren Chapin states at the onset that she has not eaten Korean food before.  I guess that caveat lets the reader know to proceed at his or her own risk.  I can almost overlook the description of some of the menu items as "funky" and she also was up-front in admitting that she stuck to a relatively safe path.

My concern is that she somehow, with nothing to compare this restaurant to, assigned a 2-1/2 star rating, meaning that it will not appear in the "Star Recommends" listing.  As there are lots of restaurants and only one reviewer, it's unlikely the restaurant will be revisited in the next year or two, so they've now lost the exposure of having people pick up the Preview section for the next 100 weeks or so and see them as a dining option.  As far as I know, they are the only Korean restaurant in town so a visitor seeking that cuisine here would either assume we have no Korean food or be forced to look elsewhere.

Once again, the text description of the meal sounds fine.  I don't recall seeing any major flaws in quality, quantity, preparation.  So why the relatively rough star treatment that banishes them from "the list" for the forseeable future?

I have been to Choga once, and I wasn't thoroughly impressed. Nor was I terribly disappointed. Having had lots of Korean food in Ann Arbor, none of which was particularly ground-breaking in terms of authenticity or creativity, I would have to say that Choga's pretty mainstream. Without knowing much about the cuisine, the food or anything else, perhaps Chapin is just taking the middle of the road approach - giving it half of the full award (2 out of 4 stars) with an extra 1/2 star thrown in for good measure.

I will agree, the atmosphere leaves a bit to be desired. Also, I didn't notice any buzzers when I was there last - but it's been a couple of years.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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