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About smokey

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    Battle of Cape Bon

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  1. It's like I'm on the DR.com reunion tour. I posted a comment about Zora a month or two back. I finally made the Green Apple salad with grilled beef that bilrus posted, oh, 9 years ago (yes, it's been lurking in my to-be-cooked file that long). Wow, I really liked it (and so don't the +1 and the big little one (not the little little one). Thanks, bilrus!
  2. I used to joke that I'm like a 90yo because I'm not on FB. Now that all the 90yo are on FB, the teenagers aren't. So, now I'm like a teenager. I don't do the FB. Thanks, though!
  3. It's been many (MANY) a moon since I've logged on and posted here. I moved to SLC, UT (an absolutely wonderful place with a so-so food scene, sigh) and just don't get back to DC often enough to make checking in frequently worthwhile. BUT, I was just reading the comments on an article in NYT cooking about 'the best brownie' and I read a thoughtful, interesting comment. This is something of a rarity in the comment section, even of the esteemed NYT. So, I look to see who wrote and whose name should appear but Zora Margolis! But, the location is somewhere in ME. No, I think, no way. The tone of this comment can ONLY be the Zora I know from the DC foodie scene. But there's no way she moved to ME. I always envisioned her returning someday to LA or something. But, I know I will find the answer to whether it really is Zora or not here on DonRockwell. Thanks for giving me the 411, DR.com. Zora, if you ever check back in here, just another fond statement about how much I enjoyed reading your posts. We met at a few DR.com events over the years and I've always enjoyed breaking bread with you as well. I went to ME for the first time last year and really liked it. Very different from my current desert digs, but lots to recommend it. I hope you're enjoying it.
  4. Just returning from a great meal at the chef's table. The 'chef's table' at the Inn at Little Washington is really just a table in the kitchen--you can't see anything happening or feel as though you get a sense for how decisions are made or food is prepared. You pay extra for, what was for me, a disappointment. At Grapeseed it was a lot of fun--you sit at a bar overlooking the stove and see it all happen (and all for no greater price than somebody sitting at a table!). We didn't bother the chef too much, but it was fun to ask him intermittently about a piece of meat that he had chosen not to serve or something else. As an appetizer, we shared the mushroom fricasee on polenta--very rich, very good. I ordered it with the recommended wine (whose name totally escapes me, I'll admit), which I was only so so on and wouldn't order again. For drinks, I also ordered the Toeg's Nugget Nectar which was fantastic. Tasted very much as described and just delicious. For dinner I had both the grilled asparagus/goat cheese and the grilled portobello mushrooms on aragula. They were great. The +1 had the filet mignon and subbed in the potatoes with Pecorino instead of the mashed potatpoes with horseradish, because the waitress said that the taters with horseradish were generally fairly mild, which isn't his preference. The filet mignon came out, to my mind, a perfect medium rare. I know previous descriptions have not jibed with this. I think the +1 might have preferred *slightly* more cooked, but it certainly wasn't blue. No complaints on that front. The pecorino taters were delicious. For dessert we shared an order of the butterscotch pudding, which was the only disappointment of the evening. It tasted as though the flour (or cornstarch, not sure what it came from exactly) hadn't been cooked enough. I had that 'raw' flavor that a grain-based dessert like that can have. I had mint tea, which was fine. The +1 had a latte that he said was reasonable, if a bit too milky. Total cost was ~$134, including liquor, tax, tip, but not valet parking. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would return without hesitation.
  5. smokey


    I heart dr.com. I came here ready to query my wise internet friends about how one managed to both rinse and toast a grain. I've often read that these two steps are indispensable, but no one source ever describes BOTH as indispensable. So, which is it, toasting or rinsing? I can't really do both, can I? Vive dr.com, in which I learn that I *can* both rinse and toast (in that order). Look out, quinoa, I'm coming for you.
  6. liked Copper Onion but didn't love it; the +1 really liked it. The service was excellent, and the food was good, but I thought too salty all around. I'm bummed we ventured tried Sushi Groove instead of Takashi; SG was disappointing. The fish didn't taste very fresh and was still frozen in parts. Great music, though. Had a strikingly mediocre meal at Wild Grape. Went to the mole place that everybody talks about (whose name totally escapes me). The moles were fantastic, the maragaritas too watery and they definitely try to upsell (or, at least our waiter did an awful lot of that). Had some good gelato at a place at 9th and 9th (again, memory fails me). Tried hand dipped chocolates from one of those places "serving SLC since 1859" or whatever. Good, but not great (Andelman's in NoVa better, hands down). Tried to go to a bakery that has gotten some good press, les madeleines, to try its Kouing Aman. Sadly we missed their closing time by all of 10 minutes and there were no opportunities to go back. What would I rave about on this trip--COFFEE! My God ,these folks know coffee. Jack Mormon's in the avenues was fantastic, but isn't at all a place to hang out. Nobrow also had great coffee, good music and was a good place to watch the world go by for a while. There are tons of independent coffee shops and the city has a really great coffee culture.
  7. I'm headed to SLC for 5 days at the beginning of February. I've read the thread--any other recs? Are Red Iguana's moles still considered good? no limits in location or price, but I'm a pescetarian, so BBQ places off the table. Thanks!
  8. Thanks for the kind words as well as the suggestions. I don't know why the personal chef thing hadn't occurred to me--great idea. And I may use Soupergirl for myself, never mind my friend!
  9. Agreed. Also, many of the initial stores in the development were the kind of places you might buy something 1-2x/year, MAX (at least, that's as often as *I* would). If all of the condos and apartments were filled up, there might be enough sales from those folks, people in the community, etc. to make the one-off purchase type of business succeed. But those condos and apartments aren't moving. And, I agree with what Chef Sudhir said--the lack of a grocery store anchoring Gibb St. has hurt both Gibb St. and RTC. I don't think a grocery store is going to go in there. To the extent that it gets covered in the Gazette, I don't feel as though there is much effort to bring a different grocery store or other, similar business into that site. And as long as the site formerly meant for Superfresh sits vacant, it continues to depress foot traffic on Gibb St.
  10. Agreed. In IA parlance, Cedar Rapids isn't a far drive from IA city. It takes less time to get between the two than it did for me drive between my home in Mt. Pleasant and my job at Shady Grove and 270 every day. It's been a long time since I've lived in IA, but CR wasn't known as a culinary destination when I was there and my guess is that the economic downturn hasn't been good to CR. I would definitely suggest taking a trip down the interstate and checking out Iowa City.
  11. Have you been recently, Daniel? Pita Hut received quite a glowing review in the Gazette recently. Ever since they brought in Brian Patterson (who I think did the Pita Hut review, though I couldn't say for sure), Bernice August has actually gotten a bit of a critical eye (tongue?) and no longer raves about every Gazette advertiser whose restaurant she reviews. I would be most likely to eat there for Saturday lunch because of my schedule, so this kosher thing really makes it hard for me to stop in.
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