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  1. Today
  2. Well your statement about duplicating success actually already is true: White Duck Taco is originally out of Asheville. They have a a few there (here for me since I live in Asheville) and another in Johnson City, TN.
  3. If you had plans to detour to Wilbur's, you might consider continuing on down the road to Grady's. But they have limited hours, so you'll need to plot your trip carefully. Grady's is true, shack on the side of the road eastern Carolina BBQ. The Raleigh Durham area has decent BBQ. Might be an easier sell to the family. Finally, if you think you can swing it with the family, consider hitting Rodney Scott's BBQ in Charleston and then continue on to Savannah.
  4. Watch season 2 ep 1 of the Wild Chef on Netflix. Martin Picard (Au Pied du Cochon fame) takes his team to do a crazy seafood plateau.
  5. Thank you so much for coming in! You are correct about the pimento cheese. Some people get geeked out about softies, so I added the cheese to familiarize guests. Whenever I have them in please feel free to ask about a sandwich the way you would like it. I’ve got no problem making that happen. Eric
  6. I'll be driving to Savannah at the end of the month, and while I have always made the drive in a day, I need to stop about half way (long story). Looking for recommendations for a place to spend the night. I originally planned to spend the night in Goldsboro in order to visit Wilber's BBQ and enjoy some whole hog bbq, but they are closed due to tax issues. "Department of Revenue Shuts Down Wilber's in Goldsboro" on wral.com NC BBQ trail spots would be a plus, and I don't want a massive detour, as I will be traveling with my wife and in-laws. (Pray for me. ;-)) Thanks!
  7. Braised baby turnips and greens with chicken broth and honey (turnips from a stand I don't remember seeing before at Eastern Market) Reheated pecan-crusted halibut (added at the end of the turnip cooking time)
  8. Yesterday
  9. Began my early dinner at home with these exquisite Flat Green Beans braised with Sweet Onion and Tomato from Green Almond Pantry
  10. That's an interesting take that I'd never before considered - the ones pictured above came with a pipe cleaner (which you can see in the right side of the box). "Clean Your Metal Straws, for All That Is Good and Holy" by Rebecca Firsker on myrecipes.com
  11. Happy 82nd Birthday, Brooks Robinson!
  12. "Starting in 2021, Americans Will Need To Register To Travel to EU" by Rafael Bernal on thehill.com Back in the 1980s, Americans needed a Visa to travel to France, so I guess this isn't that much different. Still, it reflects the "Nationalization of the World," which is going on in full-force.
  13. Clearly, Hanser Alberto thought he'd tag the runner going to second, and throw to first for the double-play - he was caught off-guard when the runner held up. That's not a very good excuse, but it induced panic and indecision.
  14. The culprit was the restaurant. They threw you under the bus because they did not manage their reservations well and valued this party more than yours.
  15. Alta Strada hasn't been cutting it for us lately and our one dinner at the recently opened Nicoletta Kitchen was expensive and disappointing, so we are venturing further away to sate our Italian food cravings. @MichaelBDC kept mentioning his desire to go to San Lorenzo so I booked his birthday dinner six weeks in advance so we could get a table at 7:45pm. We arrived at the restaurant and it was packed, including three big parties: one in the private dining room, one table included the owners of Cork, and a third table included a former Obama Administration official celebrating his wife's birthday. At first, the hostess couldn't "find" my reservation and asked me if I had the right date, which for some reason enraged me more than it should have. I pulled out my phone and showed her the numerous text messages from San Lorenzo (a reminder the day before and a reminder 30 minutes before the reservation) and the reservation magically appeared when she put in my phone number. A manager came over and after some chatting, we were lead to a bar and offered a round of drinks and said our table would be ready soon. Just glancing around the small dining room, I knew that was not going to be the case (after several tables were pushed together for the two large parties in the dining room, there were only one or two two-tops available and they were not even close to finishing their dinners and there was no way the restaurant was going to give us a four top on a Friday night). I quickly figured out that the party with that Obama Administration bigwig was the culprit. As we finished our first round of drinks, I pressed the manager for when our table would be ready and she admitted it would still be awhile so we offered to just eat at the bar. Not ideal for a celebratory birthday dinner but not the worst either. We had planned on ordering the squash blossoms anyway, but the manager ended up sending out one singular squash blossom for each of us to start. We then ordered the wild boar meatballs, which came with polenta, charred green onions, and marinated tomatoes. The dish was very good and the tomatoes added a very nice acidity to the gamey meatballs. We also received an order of the prosciutto with la tur cheese, balsamic glaze and strawberries on the house. We were surprised by how much we loved this dish. The balsamic, strawberries, and cheese were a great addition to the already delicious dry ham. We would definitely order this on our own again. For entrees I had the scallops with artichokes, fennel, and peas. The dish was a great representation of spring with for large perfectly cooked scallops but unless the artichoke were a part of the sauce, there wasn't any to be found on the dish. I used the bread which was otherwise mediocre to sop up the rest of the delicious sauce. @MichaelBDC ordered a special of veal bolognese. The pasta itself was fantastic, but @MichaelBDC said he likes the bolognese we make at home using Marcella Hazan's recipe better. I had a bite and I thought it was delicious as well and the pasta here is indeed amazing, inspiring us to take a cooking class during our trip to Italy this summer. The birthday boy doesn't like sweets so he stuck with an americano for dessert while I had an affogato. Nothing too special about this but that is how we rounded out dinner. We really enjoy the food here, but the service was a miss. Management did take care of us for the seating problems but food was still very slow to come out and we kept having to flag down the bartender to order more drinks. We also didn't enjoy sitting at the end of the bar where waiters were coming in and out to pick up drinks, deliver empty drinks, and put in their table's orders. The restaurant was in the weeds, which is to be expected on a Friday night, but I was not in the mood to be witness to the chaos. We will be back because we love Italian food and pasta, and hopefully we won't be displaced by VIPs next time.
  16. Last night: Leftover Garlic Bread Leftover Iceberg Salad Pecan-Crusted Halibut with Peach Salsa Leftover Sweet Potato Corn on the Cob
  17. We never got around to writing about dinner at Chloe months ago, but it was phenomenal. I forgot everything we ordered but we definitely had the crispy whole fish, the roasted mushroom hummus, and the cobia crudo. As we were settling up, we realized we did not eat meat at all during the meal, an anomaly for us and a pleasant surprise. As two devoted carnivores, it takes a lot to draw us away from ordering meat but Chloe did it and we didn't notice until the end. We left stuffed and had to cancel the brussels sprouts as we were filling up fast.
  18. When I asked for a straw at Masseria recently they brought me a bent -necked metal straw from the bar. I have to say it grossed me out. How do they clean them? What if something got stuck in the bent part? How are they sterilized and how does it get cleaned inside? What if it didn't get put into the cleaning cycle? At least with glassware and silverware you can see that it's not clean. I choose to just sip my drink straw-less. I would have preferred a paper straw.
  19. For me? Just at home - I'd never once thought of taking them into a restaurant, although now that I'm thinking about it, why not? (This is largely tokenism; we're already totally hosed when it comes to climate change, pollution, etc.)
  20. I thought sealing granite was a one-time thing. In 20+ years, we’ve never had to do anything more/other than wipe the counter down with a damp cloth. No chipping or staining either. And, yeah, the resin/burn issue concerns me more than staining (given my experience with granite). I put hot pans on the granite all the time with no issues and, at this point, no worries — that’s one of the things I value most about my current countertops. And, given our kitchen layout, it’s gonna keep happening. Uniqueness isn’t a voting issue for me in this context, but I do experience granite as live/interesting and Caesarstone as dead/sterile. Something about the ability to capture/reflect/refract light, I think. (Though today’s Caesarstone patterns look better to me than what was on the market maybe 5 years ago). At any rate, aesthetically, I prefer granite but I’d be willing to shift if there were a functional advantage. I’m looking at this kitchen more as a workspace than anything else. When I look at Poggenpohl and Henrybuilt kitchens I do see more counter cutouts (e.g. for things like pop-up outlets or knife holders), so maybe that’s more of a PITA with granite. Which might mean that the functional difference is at the design/fabrication stage.
  21. Wow, we were thisclose to hitting up Kimen Ramen tonight; we instead went to Boru Ramen, which remains a semi-reliable neighborhood ramen house, with decent tempura and gyoza (stick with the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen if you go, and don't expect anything more than "serviceable" - they have good Rice Lager in the $10 range, and the Chokara Junmai ($14) is a decent small bottle of sake). The music at Kimen can't possibly be any worse than the music at Boru (although to Boru's credit, it's something of an undercurrent - the worst of the evening was a J/K-Pop rendition of YMCA (yes, *that* YMCA)).
  22. I read this yesterday on Sports Illustrated. The article makes a great effort at building up what the 'all-time worst' of something - anything - means, and then goes on to say that, despite the build-up, it meets the definition. I cannot disagree - I've never, ever seen a worse defensive blunder than this. "The Orioles' Fielding Catastrophe May Well Be the Worst Play in MLB History" by Jon Tayler on si.com I guess the *only* excuse I can give it is that there was panic all around (which is true), but is that an excuse? I don't think so. The 1962 Mets should be feeling pretty good right about now. Incidentally, 2nd baseman Hanser Alberto is making $578,000 this year. His career batting average is .218.
  23. Natural stone(s) (granite, marble) have to be sealed. This takes about 20-25 minutes every 4-6 months, and is as simple as "wax-on, wax off." Stains, if they do occur, may possibly be removed, but it is the risk you run for having a unique stone. We went with hard marble in our kitchen and it looks fantastic; could not be happier, from picking the slab for our island to the patterns in the perimeter. Regular cleaning is a breeze. Manufactured products, we used in our bathrooms, are no maintenance, and easily cleaned with any normal cleaner. They have distinct looks, but whatever you select is not "unique" and anyone can order the same countertop as long as it is being produced. I believe the general rule is with manufactured products the composition is something like 93/7% stone to resin. Since it has some resin or polymer to bind it, if you set something hot on it, it is possible to scar the countertop. We do not care in the bathrooms and have never had any issues, but perhaps in a kitchen with hot pots/pans - albeit crazy hot pots/pans from the BlueStar range - I would not want to scar the countertops and have to replace. I am certain someone(s) will weigh in with their experience(s).
  24. Last week
  25. In an update, I went to Kimen Ramen this afternoon for dinner. I had their mazemen ramen (ETA: from the menu: soupless ramen, spicy hot minced pork / egg yolk / fish powder / minced garlic / green onion / chives / dried seaweed -- note, wasn't that spicy) and it was good! I'll be back. That said, I'm not sure the music they were playing was of this world. Or I'm getting old.
  26. Chinese sticky rice is a big hit! They kids are even asking for it. Now, they usually leave behind most if not all the good filling ingredients (mushrooms, chicken, sausage, veg, etc.), but it's a start, and then my portion has double fillings... They are also obsessed with the Costco cod fillets. No matter how many you make, they will eat their share and then stare/whine at yours until you fork it over. Finally, right now they will eat whichever yogurt is NOT currently open. Not the whole milk with jam, not the maple Greek (both of which they ordinarily love, which is why we have them and they are open!!); they must have the individually wrapped Chobanis, which come in particularly magical flavors such as strawberry and blueberry. If I say they have to have one of the open options, they'll pass altogether. WTF??
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