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Pat

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  1. I got takeout from the fairly new Brgz hamburger place across from Eastern Market last night. The fries were thin, crispy, and good. The burger I got was okay. The dipping sauce ("spicy ranch") that came along with what I ordered was not good. It was watery thin and tasted more of sour than spicy or ranch. The concept behind the restaurant is that the "toppings" are mixed into the meat, so they are not actually toppings. It put me in mind of the mix-in ice cream places that used to be popular (or maybe still are?). Before embarking on my visit, my tiny poll of two people I know who had eaten there resulted in one person who thought the food was fine but too expensive for what it is and the other absolutely HATED the concept. This is not the place for someone who wants bacon and cheese on top of the burger. I got the signature Buffalo Burger, which included the following: Celery, Carrots, Scallions, Blue Cheese, and Buffalo Seasoning. I swear there were small bits of pickle in this burger. Either than or something in the seasoning quick pickles the celery bits or scallions. I couldn't figure it out because I knew it didn't have pickles listed, but something sure tasted like tiny pieces of pickle. In addition to the 8 signature burgers, they also have a build your own option. All the burgers are $9. I can see this being a good place to go to if some people want vegetarian or non-red meat options. In addition to beef (which I got), they have chicken and impossible burgers. So if you want bacon mixed into your vegetarian burger, it appears you can do that. The concept worked okay for me. I didn't love it and didn't hate it. The only outright bad thing was the dipping sauce. The price could have been lower, but it wasn't obscenely expensive. I'd stop by for the $4 fries again.
  2. Last night was leftover pot roast and mashed potatoes plus roasted tomatoes and cauliflower and creamed spinach.
  3. Sunday I made a pot roast with button and oyster mushrooms, plus mashed potatoes. I think there was also salad and bread, but I don't recall now. I made my own onion soup mix and did a foil-wrapped pot roast in the oven. I used to make pot roast this way a lot. It's real simple and comes out great, but the soup mix has a ton of sodium in it, so I stopped making it. I crushed one small beef bouillon cubs into my mixture, but that was it for added sodium. In and of itself, the bouillon cube has a fairly high amount but a fraction of the amount in commercial onion soup mix. The mixture made enough for at least one more roast and possibly two. After two nights out, last night was leftover lamb and kale as well as curry-roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts.
  4. Yeah, I know. I'm torn between I don't want to deal with the Astros rotation and I don't want to deal with Yankees fans. MLB controls the tickets for these games, and you know that means a lot of them are going to go to NY fans. The ticket guy I've been dealing with said that MLB releases blocks back to the teams to sell.
  5. That was nuts again last night. I was a couple sections over from where I was for the wild card. Monday night I was in the seats behind Soto, where I prefer to sit. The thing that struck me last night is that the concrete was rocking the way it did at RFK. That was an interesting kind of nostalgia (except I didn't have concern that parts of the stadium would fall apart, the way I did at RFK.) It was just stunning to be there, like did this actually happen? I was texting friends at various points, including one I used to go to games with who moved back to the PNW a couple years ago and another who was going to use my extra ticket if there was a Wednesday game. The whole thing was surreal. It was also great for Ted Lerner to get this on his 94th birthday, and their longest serving usher (from day 1) turned 82 at midnight.
  6. Since I'm paying for the NYT Cooking subscription, I've been making a lot of those recipes (in case anyone was wondering why I've been making so many of those). Last night was Spicy Rice Noodles with Crispy Tofu and Spinach. It was pretty good, but I think my husband liked it more than I did. I'd make it again just because he liked it so much. It took longer to make than indicated, but I'm kind of slow getting things done. Wilting the spinach before adding would be a good idea instead of putting it in completely raw. This would also be good with some peanuts added. I had some honey roasted ones I thought about putting in at the end, but then I forgot...
  7. Last night I made lamb adapted from this NY Times recipe for leg of lamb with lemon salsa verde. The piece of butterflied leg of lamb I bought on sale at Whole Foods was 1 1/2 lbs, so I scaled the rest of the recipe back. I couldn't find preserved lemons at Harris Teeter so followed a Bittman recipe I'd used before to make my own quick preserved lemon. Not quite the same thing but works in a pinch. I made a half batch because there's no way I'm using all of it in a week. The lamb and salsa came out pretty well. I also put out some leftover tahini sauce I'd made previously to go with roasted vegetables. That was good with the meat as well. I served this with braised kale that I tossed with some fig chutney I'd picked up for $3 off. I came across it while scouring the store for preserved lemons and figured it would work somehow with the meal. It was great mixed in with the kale. We also had more Paesano bread with a variety of cheeses and some olives.
  8. Their vanilla is deeply vanilla. I love(d) it. I have a pint I picked up (along with a pint of salted caramel) at a local store that still has some. I'd have bought more but am out of freezer space...
  9. Sunday was beef stew, romaine and tomato salad with vinaigrette, and more zucchini corn muffins. Tuesday we had roasted delicata squash halves stuffed with leftover farro and roasted vegetables, topped with toasted bread crumbs and Parmesan, plus chicken salad rolls in the style of lobster rolls. Last night was turkey meatballs in gravy over wide egg noodles, topped with parsley. We also had Paesano bread I found on sale at Whole Foods, with butter. Real comfort food before watching October baseball.
  10. We've gotten wraps from the Roti by the ballpark to take into the two postseason games we've gone to. I hadn't been there before this month. It worked fine for our purposes. (We used to pick up sandwiches at Taylor Gourmet in the same row of stores.) Last night I got a steak roti wrap with romaine, red cabbage slaw, cilantro, and garlic sauce. It hit the spot. All I'd eaten to that point yesterday was a few pretzels, so that could be a factor in the deliciousness of the wrap. I'm not partial to wraps generally, but it seemed the most portable and non-messy way to eat their food at our seats. I was a little apprehensive checking the online nutrition calculator. I notice it doesn't have the lettuces you can add listed there, but they've got to be pretty negligible, calorie-wise at least. That wrap was 650 calories (not bad), but -- yikes -- 34g fat and 1142 mg sodium.
  11. My most successful efforts with gnocchi have been sweet potato gnocchi. I'm not sure why, but they just turn out better for me than white potato gnocchi. I have no idea how the sweet potato element works with your Italian concept, but thinking about them makes me think I'll make some (maybe with sage butter?) for Thanksgiving, if we're home. (That part's still undecided.) I look forward to reading your updates.
  12. Last night was a carrot - ginger soup, hot dogs and baked beans.
  13. Last night was a pork tenderloin, done on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet. I used the leftover dry rub on it from when I made porchetta-spiced pork shoulder. That also got some hard cider splashed into the skillet during its browning. I roasted a lot of vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, and multi-colored carrots) to go with it. I made the tahini glaze from this NYT recipe and used it over an assortment of the vegetables. We had more zucchini-corn muffins.
  14. I hadn't seen the review of Cherry yet. I'd only read Reiley's business of food articles, which I've liked. Her writing is really extraordinary here. Wow. She has quite a history as a restaurant reviewer, it seems. This is the lobby restaurant in the W Hotel that's open for 3 meals a day. It's a show piece of the hotel redesign. That makes it fair game, whether the chef is there or not. I think the case for publishing is bolstered by fact that the review has criticisms of the vision behind some of the dishes and drinks (which is the same, regardless of who is executing) and the service. The vision is tied to the underlying concept of the restaurant. She also points out things that seem anomalous, such as the fancy grill set up being promoted for what it will do for their dry-aged steaks, yet there's only one steak on the menu and one burger. There are also dishes she likes, the vegetarian option, for instance. I look forward to reading more of her reviews.
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