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KMango

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About KMango

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    KMang0
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    Dallas, TX

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  1. We were so thrilled and eager to serve the roast, we did not re-purpose anything. That would have been a great idea! Of course, we would have had to ward off two famished Marine officers to make it happen. So perhaps it's better that we deferred. #SemperRare
  2. “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” –Come on, ya’ll, every one of you knows who said this 🙂 “Tell me who you hire, and I will tell you who you are.” -KMango Just a quick shout out, and a bit of head shaking, to Amy Brandwein. Stuck in CityCenter for almost three months, I practically lived at Piccolina. I darted in for morning coffee, grabbed late afternoon snacks, and took out several evening dinners. You name it, I inhaled it. Which is where the head shaking comes in. I probably negated a lot of cold weather workouts via my jaunts into the blissfully aromatic, fire-warmed cafe. Without exception, the ingredient quality and immense satisfaction of each dish delivered. Of special note were command performances of eggplant Parmesan, lamb sausage scacce, and turmeric roasted carrots with yogurt. Deliciousness can be found at many DC haunts. However, the staff here appear to love what they do, enjoy each other, deeply care for their customers, and demonstrate immense pride in their products. I wound up chatting with several employees on random occasions, various mornings and evenings. They all spoke favorably of hard work, reflecting their ethic. Their eyes lit up when describing the day’s offerings. A few times while I awaited my order, Amy walked in to check on stock or pick up an item for Centrolina. Each time, the staff treated her with genuine warmth and admiration. She returned it, joking around or expressing gratitude. As I have observed elsewhere, once “the boss” leaves the room, that marks the arrival of rolled eyes or negative comments. But each time she left, deep smiles remained, everyone seemed elevated and boosted from the exchange. Amy has created an achievement beyond measure. She has connected great people with great food and is hiring for fit. Despite the stresses of a fast-paced, top-quality culinary production, she creates a respectful, meaningful and fun place to work. She demonstrates character, values, and integrity in action. Brava, Amy, Brava. And please, please keep me away from those chocolate crackle cookies.
  3. If chicken liver mousse is still on the winter menu, stop in to feed your benefit of a doubt. When served with steaming hot flatbread, as per two of my three visits in Nov/Dec, this dish is a warming and savory revelation. /why, yes, that is me dining solo //with three different tasty beverages ///what are you looking at?
  4. How did yours turn out? We braved an 8lb, bone-in, 131 degrees for just over 8 hours, finished at 450 convection for almost a half hour. Probably the best beef of our lifetime, mostly due to sourcing, with the cooking method honoring the exceptional roast. A cut this expensive is not for the faint of heart---hours on pins and needles praying for no pin/needle leaks!
  5. BLUF: Sheldman's review from 2016 still stands. I sought soup as antidote to our day-long rain. Walking into Reren, I realized a million other people had the same bright idea. I was lucky to get a seat at the communal high top in the back. (Which is my favorite way to dine solo, by the way. #Extrover-table) Honey Ginger Tea ($4) is a must-try, properly hot and offering remarkable complement to most menu flavors. Wait for the sliced shards to fully settle, lest you get a mouth full of astringency (been there, winced that). Reren Signature Lamen ($11) boasted remarkably fresh, mild baby bok choy. Pork belly and egg texture experienced as others have noted, almost too soft without a lot of strong anything. Subtle is the aim here, and based on the crowds, a winning formula. As the second course, the Buns Sandwich (2 for $7) was gone in 60 seconds. Definitely worth a return visit. Although the same pork belly mutes into the background in the lamen, the vegetables, pickles, and properly spiced mayo of the sandwich make this ingredient infinitely inhalable. See the clever little plastic bowl in the picture---visually indistinguishable from ceramic. Service had a few missteps, negated by the friendliness of the staff. An adjacent table received a duplicate order, unclear if it was a server or kitchen mistake. The standard practice of no bar napkins with iced water translates into leaky table syndrome. It's better for the environment, I get it, and perhaps I am just overly sensitive to preventable messes after years chasing a small child. Make sure you try the citrus candy arriving with your check, astonishingly refreshing. But do not taunt happy fun ball and do not sip the honey ginger tea while having the candy--it goes from brightly pleasing to please make it stop. I'll be dreaming about those bao bun sandwiches.
  6. Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Mixed Vegetables (Didn't plan to cook tonight but needed a desperate, last-minute, quick solution. Wow this worked.) The base was a Whole Foods Cauliflower Pizza Crust*. Brushed crust with olive oil, placed on cooking sheet, put in 425 oven for 7 minutes (per box directions). Chopped a bunch of fresh vegetables---baby zucchini, mushrooms, "Wild Wonders Gourmet Medley" cherry/cocktail tomatoes, purple onion. Mixed diced veg with olive oil, dried Italian herbs, Trader Joe's (TJ) umami seasoning, fresh lemon juice and a touch of TJ Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce. As cooked crust sat on a large plate to cool, dumped seasoned veg onto hot sheet pan. Cooked at 425 for 6 or 7 minutes. Topped hot crust with thinly sliced mozzarella cheese sticks. Desperate times call for desperate cheese measures. Added cooked veg to crust, which was hot enough to begin melting the cheese. Embarrassingly inhaled 3/4 of the deeply satisfying pizza. The lonely leftover slice perked up beautifully this morning under a sunny side egg, with freshly cracked pepper waking up the flavors to kick-start my rain-addled brain. *Anybody else find this product strangely awesome? I will be keeping one in my freezer, a super way to clean the fridge of any bits-o-this-and-that on a minute's notice.
  7. Pics enclosed. Note our mascot at the end. It turns out making Bao is a K9 spectator sport!
  8. Smokes of the holy variety this was a delightful event. THANK YOU ktmoomau for enabling the Invasion of the Bao Snatchers. I will post pics, but that is going to take some time. My tech skillz are no longer l33t. So for now, take this as a reminder/nudge/sign from the universe that you have fellowship waiting for you in this community. Come as you are. Get out there. Connect and learn. Especially if you are new, you will be welcomed with open arms and eager palates. And for all you veterans: it’s been a while! Yes, you are busy. Yes, schedules happen. You can set the date, choose the theme, and pull the plug at the last minute if you have to. Please consider hosting the next one. Don’t make me fly you all to Texas. :-)
  9. Howdy, have Google'd and Amazon'd, could not find. Link? (purty please) (and hi, everyone)
  10. One of the most awesome, local resources for this topic is the VA Cooperative Extension. Their classes/seminars, pamphlets, and blog posts are no-nonsense and informative. Unlike other organizations and resources, they are "less preachy" and "more teachy". Here is a sample: http://blogs.ext.vt.edu/arl-alexvce/2013/04/16/home-fermentation-add-a-kick-to-your-local-produce-this-summer/ The best practices document mentioned in that post gets to the heart of your question about submerging. Here is a more direct link to the info; the link in the blog post only points to the index: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/container_cover.html The folks in this organization are highly committed to sharing all their insights. Contact any of them and they will share the treasure trove of their knowledge.
  11. Lucky Peach features Martin Yan in a compelling, first-person format interspersed with narrative, capturing his worldview and the reader's attention. http://luckypeach.com/renaissance-yan/ Samples: "...You cannot fake it. Faking is very tiring..." "...If your restaurant is very successful, you think you are at the top. It's not really true. There's a Chinese saying: 寧還å”寧멕. You think a mountain is the highest, but when you climb to the top, you see a higher mountain..." "...I don't open restaurants because I want to make a lot of money. I want to fulfill my dreams..." "...My mother went through the Cultural Revolution....When we had nothing to eat, what we did was stir-fry marbles with fermented black beans. We just sucked the black beans off the marbles and we ate rice, so psychologically we felt like we were eating something more..."
  12. For the upcoming bundle of joy, my parents bought us a basic Bosch that includes a half-load setting (Silence Plus 44dDa). We adore it; completely silent, easy to fill, gorgeous complement to the kitchen interior. Cleans like a dream, no performance issues we have noted, although it's still less than three months old. It will get a ton of mileage in the near future; will keep you posted on how it holds up.
  13. ***bumping this thread, in the hopes will_5198 or others will chime in with suggestions for you and Mark*** In the meantime, regarding breakfast, and based on rave reviews of local food fans, this morning we tried Hypnotic Donuts and Biscuits. We ventured to Denton, but the original Dallas location is 15 minutes from the Crowne Plaza. Hands down, this was the best chicken biscuit of my life. I ordered the Amy (smoky bacon, cheddar, honey, pickles, spicy mustard, $7). Others enjoyed the Olivia (just honey, $6) and Maribeth (peppered gravy, tater tots, $6). Super casual, cheerfully friendly staff, and the option to finish your breakfast via a parade of excessively light and festively flavored donuts (between $1 and $4 each). We used plastic knife and fork to break into a half dozen different varieties (small bites, I swear). The blueberry cake donut ($1), evocative of Boo Berry riding a pillow cloud, would be worth the trip alone. The Dallas location is northeast of your hotel, and not on the way to Love Field, but it's near the Arboretum and other interesting sites if you have time to meander. Hypnotic Donuts and Biscuits, Two Locations 9007 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218 235 W Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201 http://www.hypnoticdonuts.com
  14. We've been hitting one in the 'burbs of Dallas, and it has become a regular haunt. The calzone is a favorite; a crispy/crackle top crust, with judicious application of high quality fillings---of special note are the artichoke hearts (water, not oil-marinated) and house-made sausage (fennel seed, rejoice!). This is a welcomed step above the the tough wall of thick dough and heaps of gloopy, oily fillings of other calzone venues. Another savory bite comes from the sweet Thai chili flavor of the oven roasted wings, more satisfying than they sound. Although perhaps not available everywhere, we dig the Abita root beer on tap. I peeked into the kitchen on my first visit and saw everything from the garlic to the mushrooms to the flour had Mellow Mushroom packaging. They must own the entire supply chain, which I interpreted as an admirable strive for consistency. Yes, that means locally sourced ingredients are out of the running, which is a flavor bummer. The upside is a reliable/repeatable experience from visit to visit. Since they opened two months ago, our local TX location features over 20 beers on tap. We overheard interesting franchise gossip---the bartender mentioned that for the first 90 days, every new Mellow is on probation. They are restricted from certain things, including establishment of a Beer Club. He said "rumor has it" the overall Beer Club may phase out over time, as it may not be clearly aligned with the company's other health/wellness/wholesomeness values. (pshaw) (everything in moderation) (including moderation)
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