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  1. Today
  2. On September 3 and 4 - the Thali Llama, a New Orleans-based business that operates the Regional Indian Pop-Up Series will be showcasing chef Tyler Stuart's authentic Indian cooking - the featured region is Goa. This is my daughter and her boyfriend's business, they are visiting and are pretty excited to pop up in her hometown. We would love a big turnout to support not only these young kids just starting out, but to also thank host Bar Bullfrog with some bar income love. Please spread the word, and if you are at all interested in really delicious and unusual Indian cuisine, please come out. They are selling tickets on Eventbrite, but are also taking walk-ins. We would love suggestions on how to get the word out about this - any local journalists/bloggers on here? Facebook Page with Reviews Eventbrite Link Thank you!
  3. Last night was salad with kale, spinach and leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes and green peppers from the garden, corn that Hubby grilled with a lime, cayenne butter baste the other night, that I sliced off the cobb, shredded muenster cheese and sliced bratwurst. I made a salsa, balsamic vinagrette with a little hot sauce in it.
  4. I loved the Miami location when I went in 2015, it was the kind of experience that I"m always hoping to get when I go to Southern, fried chicken joints but rarely get. Hopefully they can bring some of that magic and this franchise doesn't overexpand itself into mediocrity like so many have.....
  5. Interesting article about House attempt to eliminate the concept of a tipped minimum wage - apologies as it's behind a paywall. While I was not (and am not) supportive of doing this at a local level, I do think the idea has merit at the national level. Could we move away from a tipping culture in the US and simply pay people for doing their jobs well?
  6. My husband and I had a pleasant meal at the chef's counter, sampling 5 of the plates (one a "snack," one a side, and the others small plates.) Far and away the best thing we ate was the Maryland Mushroom Tart, featuring hen of the wood, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, veal jus, and madeira. At $9, it was a dear few bites but absolutely worth it, bursting with umami. I could have eaten an entire bowl of this. It resembled a mushroom pot pie in a teacup, an extraordinary mushroom pot pie. I would go back just to get this dish. The biggest miss for me, also $9, was the Thick Cut Fries with garlic aioli, which I'd been looking forward to. I love potatoes in every form. These came arranged on a plate like Lincoln logs. There were maybe a dozen planks of potato. (I didn't count.) I had read about the technique behind them, which sounded fascinating, but it turns out fries can be over-engineered. The effect is to have the softness of mashed potatoes on the inside and crispness on the outside, which is a cool concept at least. (Side note: I've had fries with that effect at Joselita, but they somehow worked better. They may not have been this thick.) I also thought the aioli was a little too thin, but I'm not an aioli expert. My husband didn't have any complaints, though. He ate most of these. Everything else was enjoyable and well-presented: Vines & Nightshades ($13) with tomatoes, squash, peppers, and herbs; Crispy Blue Catfish ($18) with succotash, "gazpacho vinaigrette," tomatoes, and pickle relish; and, Gnudi ($16) with sun gold tomato and Tomae cheese fondue, baby summer squash, and basil. I sampled a bit of all of these. I thought the fish was especially well prepared. The "crispy" part was spot on. We didn't order dessert but, since we were celebrating, they brought us two chocolate sandwich cookies filled with a lot of delicious cream. I was wondering if they were perhaps a variation on a macaron but didn't ask. The ambiance of the restaurant has been carefully crafted. It's a beautiful place to have a meal, though sitting in the vicinity of a wood-burning oven on a day when temperatures were in the mid-90s was a bit surreal. It must have been brutal for the people working right there. While the overall design features are aesthetically pleasing, the stools at the counter are too high. (I didn't try sitting at the bar, but those appeared to be the same height.) We were offered table seats by the hostess when it became clear this was a problem -- I believe they were at a communal table -- but I had really wanted to sit at the counter, so I persisted. After having to be helped up onto the stool at the outset, I finally discovered later in the evening that the trick to climbing up on the stool was to start by placing one foot on the rung of an adjacent stool and then hoisting myself up from the counter like I was on a jungle gym. I'm short and not all that agile so I do encounter things like this sometimes, but these seats are very high. The service was accommodating and friendly. It took until after we left for me to have the lightbulb moment that the Reid who was checking on us and making small talk was Reid Shilling. D'oh! I'd like to head back in a few months and try this restaurant out in the winter. It somehow had more of a cold weather feel to it for me than a hot weather one. While fresh summer produce was certainly well-represented, none of the preparations particularly screamed "summer" to me. Maybe it's my hearing?
  7. Opening in 2011, Wild Wolf seems to have become the sort of neighborhood brewpub for this part of Nelson County - a 2.5 hour drive from DC that is stocked with wineries and breweries. They're open later, friendly staff, have a full bar program, happy hours, etc. Blonde Hunny is their flagship bottling - a belgian style blonde with honey and some mild spice make it popular, though I find the flavor a bit muddled. At any given time, there are about 13 beers on tap, split half-and-half between mainstays and seasonal. Currently between summer and fall seasons, they have a refreshing 'Apricots Anonymous' (6.75%, 30 IBU) - not overly sweet or too much apricot, but just enough to balance the bitterness. They also just rolled out their Howling Pumpkin (7%, 20 IBU) which doesn't taste like you just poured a shaker of pumpkin spice in your tongue. One of the better pumpkin offerings around. What they haven't tackled is the smell coming in from their brewing facility. A beer decor collection that makes me jealous and smiling faces behind the bar almost make up for it, but the smell really smacks you in the face when walking into the bar area. Food menu is solid with gluten free noted and a farm-to-table focus (try the collard greens). All-in-all, worth a visit.
  8. Loaf of no-knead bread (6-hr rise, still looks and tastes great, like magic!), chicken Katsu, jap chae, cucumbers, and lots of fruit. Last night we had pan-fried, walnut-encrusted White Sea bass. Actually a little heavy - the fish was amazing and didn't need that much help. Made red beans and rice earlier in the week and now I think we're done cooking for a few days.
  9. I hope you aren't taking your kids - IMO, Ireland was *the* worst vacation Matt and I ever took: There's nothing for a 13-year-old to do there.
  10. Yesterday
  11. here is another account of a meal in dc last week that we were steered to by the good people of donrockwell.com (full review with pictures on the blog). thanks to marty l. for the recommendation! --- My first report from our brief sojourn in DC last week was of our first meal: dinner at Baby Wale. I’d planned to go in order but instead here is a report of our last formal meal in DC: ramen at Bantam King. As with Baby Wale, Bantam King was a recommendation from the excellent community at DonRockwell.com. We’d originally planned to do our ramen eating at Daikaya but it turned out that they were participating in Restaurant Week and were only serving a Restaurant Week menu for dinner with a minimum spend of $35/head. We were only too happy to swap it out for Bantam King. And then we were quite happy with our meal. Like Baby Wale—and also Daikaya—Bantam King was a leisurely 15-20 minute walk from our hotel. They don’t take reservations but we were there a little after 7 on a weekday and there wasn’t too much of a wait. We were told 20 minutes but got seated earlier. There was a bit of an annoyance with getting our table but it was minor. We were offered 4 seats that opened up at their long, communal table; I said to the host that we would be happy to wait a little longer for a four-top that seemed to be winding up by a window, as with small kids that would be easier than the communal table. He said there was a group ahead of us who would get the table. I asked why if they were ahead of us he was offering us the seats that opened up first but he seemed confused by this. The stand-off was ended when another four-top in the inner part of the dining room also got up. He then gave the group ahead of us that table and gave us the window table. All controversy over, we sat down and quickly perused the menu. It is very brief: five types of ramen plus a limited list of smaller dishes/sides. There were also a few specials. In addition, the menu listed a seasonal special of tantanmen but, disappointingly, it was not available; instead, they had a cold, broth-less tantanmen—I passed. What did we get? The kids split an order of their chintan ramen; the missus got their spicy miso ramen; I got their shoyu ramen. In addition, we got an order of gyoza, an order of fried chicken wings, and an order of rice with onsen egg. It was all more than decent, with the spicy miso ramen probably the pick of the three. We also quite liked the fried chicken wings—a bargain at $6 for four large chicken wings. Oh yes, as their name indicates, Bantam King is a chicken-only restaurant. Their ramen broth is made from chicken and the only meat featured in any of their dishes is chicken. I prefer porky ramen in general but concede that this was pretty good. For a look at the space and the food, launch the slideshow below. Scroll down for thoughts on service and value and to see what’s coming next. [pictures on the blog] All of the above plus a small carafe of their house sake came to just short of $80 with tax and tip. Counting the kids as one adult that’s roughly $26/head. Which is pretty good for the quantity and quality. Service once we sat down was very good too. Our order was taken quickly, the food came out quickly and servers were always on hand when needed. All in all, I would recommend Bantam King to anyone else in our position: within easy reach and looking for a place for a quick, tasty dinner for kids and adults. I’m not sure, however, that I would travel across town to eat here. Next up from DC: barbecue at Hill Country. But I’ll probably have a New York report and my last North Shore report before that.
  12. Oh, yours are the ones sharing that honor with mine! I keep warning them how disappointed they're going to be when it isn't tomato season any more. They don't believe me. Mwahahaha, their loss. With back-to-school this week and hubby out of the country, we've been eating a lot of couch picnics consisting of random leftovers. Phoning it in, to the max.
  13. Selection Dates Announced for 2020 Michelin Guides Greenville, S.C., Aug. 20, 2019 — Michelin has announced the release dates for the newest editions of its annual restaurant selections in the United States. Full listings for the new restaurant selections will be published on www.michelinmedia.com according to the schedule included below. The 2020 U.S. editions of the MICHELIN® Guide will go on sale at local retailers following the announcements, as well as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. City Date On-Sale Date Chicago Bib Gourmands Thursday, Sept. 19 Monday, Sept. 30 Chicago Star selections Thursday, Sept. 26 Monday, Sept. 30 Washington, D.C., Bib Gourmands Tuesday, Sept. 24 Thursday, Oct. 3 Washington, D.C., Star selections Tuesday, Oct. 1 Thursday, Oct. 3 New York City Bib Gourmands Monday, Oct.14 Thursday, Oct. 24 New York City Star selections Monday, Oct. 21 Thursday, Oct. 2
  14. I'm sure my driver was glad for the chance to make some real money instead of the usual $8-$20 fare that's typical of most Uber rides in SF (based on personal experience with the service).
  15. I don't drive nor do I have a driver's license so this tip isn't terribly helpful to me, plus it doesn't get me to my residence directly I prefer Uber as much as I loathe them. I would take a yellow cab from the SV office if I could but I don't think those are nearly as convenient.
  16. Last night was chicken, okra and tomato enchiladas with mole sauce. I didn't reconstitute the paste enough, it was still decent, but could be better, lesson learned for next time.
  17. Just bumping this to say that if anything the food right now at Kith/Kin is the best it has ever been. We had an outstanding meal there on Saturday night. And the wine list is just as disgraceful. The "best" options are spending $50 for Kim Crawford or something similar.
  18. Spinach and cheese ravioli (Vace), corn, red onion, garlic, mint, red pepper flakes, bread crumbs, butter.
  19. I did take an opportunity to see The Farewell, and enjoyed it very much. The dialogue was not very difficult to follow , but I am certainly not at a level where I could have understood it without reading the subtitles. I may check into the Library to see if they might have Chinese original programming on DVD. This challenge may span over into next year, and frankly however long it takes, I am up to the challenge. I have always had a love for linguistics, and there are aspects of Mandarin I find fascinating. I hope to reward myself with a trip Zhengzhou once I have reached a comfortable level of both speech and understanding.
  20. Agree that this doesn't really matter. You can use the points for stuff, but they don't have any value to Hilton or Marriott or whomever until you transfer the points to their particular program. Even then, they care about your status (which transfers don't help with) as that indicates ongoing spend with them. Do ask about a day room rate though.
  21. I don't think your points matter. Chase Sapphire Reserve has Luxury Resort & Hotel program with benefits below. I'll be spending a night in Dublin next month - their hotels cost $400+ per night. I can book a luxury hotel on my own for much less on Expedia. Expedia Gold Members get benefits at their "VIP Access" hotels - basically luxury hotels but you can book them at competitive rates.
  22. I wouldn't read too much into it. We sometimes hear this even at places we frequent at least once a week, just because schedules vary. It is invariably followed by a conversation in which we catch each other up on what we've been up to since we last spoke. If they recognize your face and know your name you are a regular no matter how long it has been since you last stopped in.
  23. The highlight of last night's dinner was a cheese-blanketed Korean Fire Chicken recipe I found via the NY Times site. It was excellent (though the cheese element does seem a bit weird, all things considered). I might even want to look for a non-cheese version to try some time. We had this with white rice, an Indian-spiced roasted eggplant puree, and a pickle plate with cucumbers and red onions, plus (unpickled) cooked shrimp. I also heated up some more whole wheat naan. The eggplant recipe (which features cumin, ginger, chile, lime, and peanuts) is from One Spice, Two Spice: American Food, Indian Flavors (2006), by Floyd Cardoz. So, I guess the theme of the meal was hyphen American versions of cuisines I don't cook much 😉.
  24. I go to Crystal Thai almost every other Sunday. If I haven't been there in a while, when they see us, they give us an extra big smile and greeting. I appreciate that, plus they always know what drink I order.
  25. Thanks - I wasn't sure what the tolerance of the drivers in the area would be to the trip there and back. I'm out in SF speaking at a conference and tend to always err on the side of not driving if I don't need to so was debating the "driver" vs. "uber / lyft". Appreciate the perspective
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