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About smithhemb

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    Washington, DC

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  1. 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.
  2. Which gray do you have on top of the dark (black) cabinets?
  3. We’ve had dark gray granite counter tops for 23 years with no problem. So, as I contemplate a gut rehab of our kitchen, I had put granite countertops in the category of “things that have worked well” rather than “things I want to change.” Kitchen planner is encouraging me to look at Caesarstone and Silestone instead. Is there any good reason I should prefer them to granite? Planner said less absorbent/won’t stain, but (perhaps because of the dark color of our granite) that’s been a non-issue for me. Is the choice here essentially aesthetic or are there functional reasons to prefer granite to quartz or vice versa?
  4. Mixed greens/potato/tomato hash from Savory Way. Preceded by a meat/cheese/baguette board. Trip to 99Ranch enabled me to add tatsoi to the mix (kale, chard, arugula). Still have mustard greens, baby boy choy, and pea greens to cook, but everything’s holding up well in the downstairs fridge. Will probably make a spicy beef and bok choy stir fry tomorrow. update: This (https://omnivorescookbook.com/sichuan-crispy-beef/) turned out to be a good starting point for beef and bok choy.
  5. Went this weekend (turned out to be very close to the Mini dealership where we were headed anyway). Bright, clean, well-stocked, easy to find things (which is what I’ve always liked about 99Ranch in CA). Our (planned) trip to an Indian market was necessary though (no mustard oil or fresh curry leaves at 99 AFAICT).
  6. What range hood did you get? The platinum 36” rangetop has been my default and two friends that have Blue Star ranges have been very happy with them. Hestan just entered the residential market, so I was wondering if I should reconsider, but I can’t find enough info, so I’ll probably stick with BS.
  7. Ah, ok, thanks! I want one really hot burner for the wok, but, yeah, I’m not going to be managing more than 1 or 2 pans at once (with the second most likely just simmering or steaming).
  8. Just to make sure I understand, is your point that the formula for the right cfm for a rangehood assumes the simultaneous use of all burners and that’s unrealistic in a home environment? And thanks, all, for reassurance re using stainless steel appliances from different manufacturers! One less thing to worry about.
  9. And an aesthetic question. I rarely seem to want appliances from the same manufacturer. But I’m kinda worried about ending up with 5 different variations on stainless steel in a fairly small kitchen. (Not to mention 5 different repair services.) How did you handle this? Or is it a non-issue?
  10. A jar of sesame paste lodged in the toebox of each shoe, lol! For once, my wide feet paid off. I resented having to check a bag at all, but was unwilling to risk confiscation.
  11. Anyone know anything about the Hestan rangetops? Can’t find any reviews online.
  12. Another 99Ranch fan! There’s one near my parents’ house in CA and I keep a mental list of things I can’t find here to pick up there when I visit. Glad to know there’s one within driving distance now.
  13. Opening a second one in The Collection @ Chevy Chase* — expected in December. *aka the same shopping center as Clyde’s
  14. Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake
  15. We went there last weekend and will probably stop by again this weekend! Really pleasant space. Looked slammed when we arrived, so we sat at the bar (which had surprisingly comfortable stools). Service was friendly and not too slow, given how busy they were (and the fact that it was fun to watch the bartender at work). We just had queso fundido (with chorizo) and tacos. Quite good (though Chaia and Oyamel do tastier potato tacos) — especially the carnitas. Looks like outdoor seating doubles the capacity. And the line to order included a fair number of people doing takeout. For us, too, it’s a bit out of the way, but worked well as dinner before a movie at AFI Silver. And I knew that if we liked it, we’d have another shot at going there this weekend since we have an errand to do at House of Musical Traditions. (Though I will admit that the combination of Cinco de Mayo and Sietsema’s favorable review in this Spring’s restaurant guide has me thinking our timing isn't great.)
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