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babka

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About babka

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  1. So I took my brother to Passenger on Sunday and he introduced me to Port Charlotte 7 Scotch and, um, yeah. On Monday, I went to my favorite liquor store so we could properly toast his departure that night and not only did they not have it, the man working Scotches had never heard of it and, when I said I thought a California distributor/marketer might possibly be involved as my brother often had it there, tried to tell me I didn't know what I was talking about and that Port Charlotte couldn't possibly be a Scotch because he'd never heard of it and I was describing a California involvement which meant it wasn't Scotch. (Side note: This is not an uncommon occurrence in the Scotch section of local liquor stores. This salesman was more offensive than most, but I have no problem asking for--and receiving--generous, friendly assistance with any other alcoholic beverage, but the Scotch aisle, should I be so foolish as to respond to an offer of assistance with a description of what I'm looking for, often leaves me, well, in need of a double. Does anyone else run into this? And without spilling a gigantic barrel of worms, do men run into this? 'Cuz apparently I'm still feeling a little raw. I'm no expert, but I spent six months in Scotland drinking my way through a good number of distilleries--I ain't raiding Daddy's Glenlivet no more. Unless it's Christmas and way too much family is under the roof. But I digress.) So--does anybody in town carry it? If not, can anybody suggest somebody that would order it without the ego trip?
  2. I've clearly not given the brain cells sufficient lubrication this evening to usefully contribute to this conversation. Allow me, then, to simply say that my maiden voyage to RHB was today, and it done good. Food, yes, but more--asked a gent at an outdoor 3-seater if I could share his table, as the place was predictably packed, and he looked surprised (a stranger? asking to sit with me? well, yes, there aren't any other seats here for us as despise A/C), then said yes, of course. We had a lovely chat, and then we started talking with the 3-seater beside us, and it's a good, good place.
  3. "Thai Sweet Chicken" potato chips. the marmite ones were better.
  4. New-to-me NW options: Yazuzu Siam House, which I haven't tried yet but, unlike Thai X-ing, delivers during the week.
  5. With three mouths to feed last night and a fridge holding only week-old mashed potatoes, I made the happy discovery that Yazuzu delivers. Thirty minutes and $27 later, the delivery containers were stashed in the recycling bin and the table had a beautiful, perfectly tasty platter with two sliced sandwiches and nine salads. If you're in the neighborhood and in sudden need of a reasonably healthy middle-eastern spread, this stuff's good and fast. Portions are small and nothing is drenched in oil: Two sandwich combos & one side combo was just about right for dinner for three not-particularly-hungry women, so plan accordingly. In rough order of preference (but really, it doesn't much matter), we had these sides: Muhammara (hot and sweet red peppers ground with walnuts) Mujadara (ground lentils and rice) Hummus Hindeeh (braised dandelion with onion) Salatat Schmander (beets) Mechoui (spiced roasted strips of peppers and zucchini) Salatat malouf (minted cabbage, according to the menu; cumin cabbage according to our taste buds) Laban (cucumber yogurt; went well with the garlicky chicken schwarma) Persian Cutting Board Salad (eh. cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. eh.) and these sandwiches, neither with much filling but both lovely when sliced and added to the platter: Merguez sausage (made in-house) Chicken schwarma (garlic!)
  6. We're going to the Tasting Room tonight for my birthday dinner, but our reservation is on the late side--8:30--and we both have work tomorrow. Any ideas on what time we might find ourselves stumbling out the door? And is it possible to find a cab in the neighborhood so that we don't have to worry about driving?
  7. Thanks everyone!! At the last minute, a neighbor offered me her oven, so I wound up cooking the birds separately. The overcooked bird went into the trash; the perfectly-cooked bird was carved into tiny bits and tasted fantastic, like a free-range chicken only with more flavor, oddly enough. Hope everyone had a good thanksgiving, and that everyone is fully recovered.
  8. thanks! if I go with option (a), any guesses on how much extra cooking time I should build in?
  9. I've got the day's first 911!! I have two 10 pound heritage birds sitting in the fridge. I dry-brined them Tuesday evening with salt, pepper, and sage--basically following what I do with Zuni chicken--and they've been air-drying since last night. At 6 this morning, I woke up to the realization that I'd forgotten about cooking the damn things. I have one oven. I don't need to cook anything else in the oven. I think my options are: a) side by side in one roasting pan (they fit, though there isn't much space between them), or butterflied and roasted on two shelves. Side by side is the easier option, because I've got 26 people coming to dinner at 7:30 tonight, but would that work? I think I'd bring them up to room temperature with an icepack on the breasts, then plop them into a heated cast iron, one by one, for 5-8 minutes, to give the bottoms a head start, and then put them in the heated roasting pan (or use the flat roasting rack?) and roast at some oven temperature that I haven't figured out, rotating them a couple of times to even out exposure. Butterflying the birds would allow more air circulation, but I have unpleasant memories of cutting through a turkey's backbone from an unfortunate deboning experience last year...should I suck it up, gulp the wine, and go for that instead? (happy thanksgiving madness everyone!)
  10. New York is easier for me to navigate than Tyson's Corner, and so I had my first taste of Fabio Trabocchi's cooking a week and a half ago at Fiamma. They were still in soft opening, I believe, full prices but only one floor open for dining, but given this thread, I wanted y'all to know that he seems to be doing damn fine. We ordered the tomato salad with a triple cream mozzarella, a risotto, and the lobster ravioli between the two of us. Everything tasted as it should, only better: The sweet/acidic tomatoes perfectly cut the creamy cheese; the risotto was both brothy and chewy at once; and the lobster ravioli was just plain _good_. There was an amuse of tomato water to begin the meal, and a small assortment of petit fours to end it. (I'm sorry for the lack of details: Notwithstanding the light food, there was a full bottle of wine involved.) The front of the house was mostly marvelous. They've invested money in good people, and it shows, notwithstanding soft opening hiccups. There was a wonderful sommelier they'd hired from L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon and a beloved server from Picholine, and if the above-thread mention of Jared is true--and it's coming from Don, so I guess it has to be--then I think BR Guest is pulling out all the stops to present a showcase worthy of Fabio's food.
  11. meh. even at $22 for one, Agraria isn't good. Last summer, when it opened, I recalled a hamburger worthy of Palena and an aviator cocktail, courtesy of Derek, that left me eager to return. Then prices went up and reviews went down and I didn't bother returning until yesterday, when I used a RW lunch to test the current waters. meh. The beets in my beet salad were beautiful but the whole was painfully salty; my medium-rare hamburger was medium; my fries were hot but not crisp; my chocolate cake had no taste.* I asked my waiter, as he removed the uneaten half of my salad, to let the kitchen know that the dish needed a lighter hand in the salt cellar--the beets and baby arugula were too gorgeous to suffer such humiliation--but I gave up with the burger, eating half (over-cooked and strangely bland, it was still better than the lean cuisine alternative at the office), nibbled on the cake, and asked for my check. The service was good and kind. My waiter even removed the salad and the cake, about which I said nothing, from my bill, charging me just $16 for the burger instead of $20 for the full RW menu. meh. meh. meh. Agraria, I want to like you, but your food is worthy only of your location. *Note: ShoeBoxOven was not responsible for the cake. I asked: None of her delicacies were available for dessert.
  12. If you catch the 8:15 showing at Georgetown, you can have cheese & dessert at Citronelle afterwards and very happily imagine the preparation of your plates.
  13. Idle Time, on 18th street, has several of the Time-Life Foods of the World sets. $9.50 for each boxed set of two. I snatched MFK Fisher's Provincial France, but Italy, China, and Latin America are still begging for homes....
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