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Where Did I Dine? A Photograph-Based Guessing Game


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After posting a picture on facebook along with the title question, Rocks asked me to start a thread. Rules are simple: post a clear picture and ask the question. Here's the first one. People who know the answer from my fb post, keep mum, okay? thx

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After posting a picture on facebook along with the title question, Rocks asked me to start a thread. Rules are simple: post a clear picture and ask the question. Here's the first one. People who know the answer from my fb post, keep mum, okay? thx

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Thanks for starting this, and mum's the word! This is similar to leleboo's "Name The Ingredients" thread that petered out when she moved to Colorado. :(

I'm going to like this challenge, actually (I know the answer to this one - which is pretty tough).

Palena?

Hey can I chime in as an expert commentator from time to time?

(Palena's presentation wouldn't be this slapdash, not that there's anything wrong with slapdash; it's just not Palena.)

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Thanks for starting this, and mum's the word! This is similar to leleboo's "Name The Ingredients" thread that petered out when she moved to Colorado. :(

I'm going to like this challenge, actually (I know the answer to this one - which is pretty tough).

Hey can I chime in as an expert commentator from time to time?

Sure!

Rocks is right, it's a tough one. Hint: it's a good place for a quick nosh mid-afternoon, especially if you like a good cup of coffee.

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Great idea for a topic!

Would have beaten Rocks to the same Palena response...had I gotten here before him. Which I didn't. Not the point. Not Palena not just because the presentation isn't as refined. Also not Palena because the ingredients, while appearing very tasty, aren't ones typically used at Palena. The pickles (and pepper, if that's a jalapeno or something under the pickles) look commercially procured. Like the meat, not brined or cured in house as Frank Ruta does even for the lower priced cafe part of Palena's business.

Now that I've just piled on supporting why the only courageous guesser above didn't likely nail it, can I contribute my own guess?

Sadly, I think not.

And this is especially gnawing at me with Porcupine's coffee reference! A "good cup of coffee." Hmmm, how high is Porcupine's bar for coffee, he wonders? As Porcupine thinks about it, is good typical of lots of coffee places or more of the better independents about which we've picked up posting activity in recent months?

Okay, okay, I'll venture a guess even though I'm 78% sure it'll be wrong.

Kafe Bohem. One can get a "good" (not great) cup of coffee there and they are attached to their Bistro Bohem restaurant so might be doing something like this even last time I was in a couple of weeks ago, it wasn't an option.

Sorry, thanks for playing... try again?

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And this is especially gnawing at me with Porcupine's coffee reference! A "good cup of coffee." Hmmm, how high is Porcupine's bar for coffee, he wonders?

Pretty damn high. OK, this is a place for a great cup of coffee. And here's another hint: they do very well with another type of beverage.

Kafe Bohem. One can get a "good" (not great) cup of coffee there and they are attached to their Bistro Bohem restaurant so might be doing something like this even last time I was in a couple of weeks ago, it wasn't an option.

Sorry, thanks for playing... try again?

Try again!

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Pretty damn high. OK, this is a place for a great cup of coffee. And here's another hint: they do very well with another type of beverage.

Try again!

Hmmm. that helps. Two spots come to mind:

- Society Fair

or

- Artifact in North Baltimore

Both of those places have top shelf coffee and some decent grub including sandwiches hot and cold.

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Society Fair and Northside Social are both good guesses.

One more clue, then I'm logging off for the evening. You can get a great cup of coffee there, but not an espresso.

(Rocks, if anyone gets the answer before I log in in the morning, ring the bell, okay?)

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Thanks for starting this, and mum's the word! This is similar to leleboo's "Name The Ingredients" thread that petered out when she moved to Colorado. :(

I'm going to like this challenge, actually (I know the answer to this one - which is pretty tough).

Hey can I chime in as an expert commentator from time to time?

(Palena's presentation wouldn't be this slapdash, not that there's anything wrong with slapdash; it's just not Palena.)

I only took that stab because I believe Porcupine has posted about Palena before :ph34r:

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Whoa! Kudos, Pat.

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Hmmm. That was tough. Was about to say that the truly best spots around town for coffee don't do hot food like that. While I wouldn't put G&B in the topmost tier for coffee, they do serve some good joe. No bad sport here. Great challenge! And congrats to the ideator, implementor and winner!!

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I only took that stab because I believe Porcupine has posted about Palena before :ph34r:

This is *exactly* what the vast majority of wine tasting friends are guilty of: they know each other's cellars, and their guesses are prejudiced towards what they think the server might own. There really *is* a parallel here, if you think about it for a moment.

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Pardon me, but I have to post this.

Tougher still: Whose wine? What Wine?

Let's keep this thread going - it's fun! Elizabeth, that picture has 120 downloads, so people are interested in playing the game, I hope. I love it because it's going to really challenge me.

Okay, I put this on Twitter awhile back, and nobody answered: Where Did I Dine? (If you can't see the picture, follow @dcdining on Twitter below.) It's a tough one, but doable.

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Mitsam

Yes sir! Mitsitam Cafe. This is one of numerous outstanding (and often hilarious) head masks right outside of the main entrance to the restaurant. I guess your clue here was the nature of the item, and the obviously outstanding craftsmanship that went into it. Great guess, Josh!

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I can see this game isn't going to be easy. This very clearly looks like a dessert, but it also looks like straight cornbread - or could it be apple cake? With homemade vanilla ice cream, apple sorbet, mint, apple crumble, and caramel sauce?

Trummer's on Main?

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No, not Trummer's. It is a desert, and it is almond cake.

Shoot, I had actually typed "almond" but erased it and typed "apple" because of the condiments - it also just didn't look quite "wet" enough to be made with almond paste.

This is going to need to be a group project if we're to have a prayer. I'm actually going by the china as much as the dessert - many places are doing an almond cake right now. This is homemade vanilla ice cream, and mint, right? The other three things could be apple sorbet, apple crumble, and apple-caramel sauce ... or not. In terms of the sorbet, pear would make more sense with an almond cake.

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I love this game! Although I have no freaking clue so far. :P

One question, presuming the photos need to be current, is that correct?

I'll just take a stab in the dark and go with Volt for the dessert. Although maybe it needs one or 2 more components to be from there. :P

This is a fairly simple dessert, although there is definitely some care that went into making it - I'm still not sure what that sauce is.

I think we might need more obvious clues; otherwise, it's going to be impossible. I still don't know how anyone guessed Grape + Bean for porcupine's. Geographical region would be helpful, and so would little blurbs of the restaurant itself (the corner of a menu, perhaps, or the table setting).

Still, this is really good practice for me - it's keeping me on my toes and making me think.

I also think chiming in as to why guesses might be wrong is very instructive. For example, I'd like to know why people think Birch and Barley might not be correct (I haven't had a dessert at B&B since Tiffany left, and the desserts before were *way* more sophisticated than this; now, I'm not so sure). I don't think this is Volt for the reasons you mention, and I also think Volt would have a little more refinement (and I don't mean refinement in a snobby way).

This is somewhere casual that cares about their product.

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Choirgirl21, you've got it. Mrs. G and I had the three course fixed price brunch at Volt today, and that was my desert.

This is extremely educational for me. Well done, Choirgirl21.

Is this it? If so, I really thought that was apple sorbet; not (scooped) apples proper. Apple butter! That's why it didn't look like pure caramel. So, at least I was on track with the apple motif. Very interesting, including that the ice cream was basil, not vanilla. Was the microgreen basil as well?

One thing I love about this is that I don't think I'll ever forget these items again - I could be shown these twenty years from now, and I'll remember what they are and where they came from. And, I'm learning a great deal about the restaurants simply by taking the requisite time to think.

BTW, one rule I'm hereby instituting: the photographer has an obligation to give a full explanation and description of the dish (porcupine, I still want to know what that dish is - was it the Melted Italian Fontina Cheese + Mortadella (Warm Fra' Mani Mortadella from Berkeley, California on top of melted authentic Italian Fontina cheese), and was that plum sauce on top?), and maybe add a thing or two about why we should have guessed the restaurant. If people struggle for a day or longer, progressive hints are good also.

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One question, presuming the photos need to be current, is that correct?

I'd say reasonably current. No fair posting a pic of a dish that hasn't been offered in 8 months, unless there's something truly unique about it, or it's a signature dish (like a consomme from Palena).

BTW, one rule I'm hereby instituting: the photographer has an obligation to give a full explanation and description of the dish (porcupine, I still want to know what that dish is - was it the Melted Italian Fontina Cheese + Mortadella (Warm Fra' Mani Mortadella from Berkeley, California on top of melted authentic Italian Fontina cheese), and was that plum sauce on top?), and maybe add a thing or two about why we should have guessed the restaurant. If people struggle for a day or longer, progressive hints are good also.

Yes, that's right. I'm not sure what the sauce on top was; something in the balsamic vinegar/saba/vin cotto family.

I was thinking about this as I took a few more pics. One could always take the photo with some clues in the background, including something like distinctive silverware or a view out a window. And progressive hints. I thought if I'd said "glass of wine" rather than "cup of coffee" it would've been too easy, but maybe not. That was going to be my next clue, anyway.

I'd also say that the photographer has to give the answer (with explanation) after some time limit. 24 hours maybe?

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Seasons 52 it is.

Wow, tough crowd! I sure as heck couldn't have guessed this. May I ask what this is? I see nothing resembling it on their dessert menu. I'd guess this was some type of trifle, or even a strawberry shortcake were it not for the raspberry on top - what is it?

I do think the dishes pictured should be current; that way, it's a photographic history of the restaurant; plus, I don't want to be guessing about a fresh tomato salad in December.

I cannot over-emphasize the educational aspect of this seemingly trivial game for me - this is why I want some explanations after the revelation. I really am committing these to memory, and trying to learn something about the restaurants. Plum sauce. What a *dork* I am - of *course* it's balsamico.

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Wow, tough crowd! I sure as heck couldn't have guessed this. May I ask what this is? I see nothing resembling it on their dessert menu. I'd guess this was some type of trifle, or even a strawberry shortcake were it not for the raspberry on top - what is it?

Ooops, I forgot to post about that. Yes, it was some sort of trifle, I don't recall which one (this was my BIL's dessert, not mine). Seasons 52 brings out a tray with a dozen or so of these little glasses, each with a different dessert (mine was Key lime "pie"), for you to choose from. I think the idea is that each one will not exceed 250 calories.

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Choirgirl21, you've got it. Mrs. G and I had the three course fixed price brunch at Volt today, and that was my desert.

Oh my god, I'm unreasonably ecstatic! :lol:

I may print this and Don's comment above of why it couldn't be Volt and frame them. :P

I don't think clues should be included (photo or text) unless/until there have been a number of guesses and no one's on track.

Oh, my other presumption would be that the restaurants are local (anything not in an Intrepid Traveler thread essentially) unless stated otherwise, yes?

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Where did I dine?

This is a good-quality ravioli without too much care in the plating. It would have been easier had you shown us the stuffing (which may be ricotta, possibly potato). The sauce could be some alfredo variant because amaretto cream might have too much sweetness with the golden raisins - the one dark raisin is odd, and I don't see any pine nuts. Are all the greens sage? My guess would be a place like Siroc, Lia's, or possibly Brabo, but I don't see this dish on their online menus so I'm not comfortable with any of these.

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I'm going to ask porcupine and goodeats *not* to give any more clues until more people guess. This is impossibly difficult, and we really do need more hints and leads, but we also need more people replying (not just viewing). Lots of people are watching along, but we need active participants putting their reps on the line (like I did with porcupine's ravioli post) and guessing. Yeah, it's humbling, and we may all sound stupid, but so what? It's the only way you learn, and nobody has more of a rep to lose than I do, and I'm all in.

So hold off on the clues, please. Let *us* figure out what about my post is most likely wrong - I have enough self-confidence to believe that even if I'm wildly wrong, it still won't sound completely ignorant, and I know from experience that being wrong is how you become a great blind taster in wine ("Often wrong, never in doubt."). porcupine, you *could* tell me what about my post is way off-base, but so could other people. I want this to be a participant event where people learn things by trial and error; not a spectator sport where they become armchair quarterbacks. And practice - active participation and practice - will make perfect. Make us suffer a bit.

Mary's fried calabash squash is obviously an attempt at tempura from an Asian restaurant - that was a good hint because the fried pickles guess could have thrown the entire group off, and we all needed to be set back on course. And right there was an education in and of itself (how many of us have ever seen, heard of, or tried "fried calabash squash?" Most likely a vegan plate, btw. Thank you both for playing, and don't be so quick to give up clues unless we, as a group, are leaning the wrong way.

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This is a good-quality ravioli without too much care in the plating. It would have been easier had you shown us the stuffing (which may be ricotta, possibly potato). The sauce could be some alfredo variant because amaretto cream might have too much sweetness with the golden raisins - the one dark raisin is odd, and I don't see any pine nuts. Are all the greens sage? My guess would be a place like Siroc, Lia's, or possibly Brabo, but I don't see this dish on their online menus so I'm not comfortable with any of these.

See, from my POV, that's half a plate-- the other half being already eaten before the picture was taken -- so the sloppy plating theory goes out the window. And one of those ravioli is half-eaten (the one center on top of the other three) showing a creamy white stuffing. It's a restaurant that doesn't have tablecloths. So a plate of 5-7 ravioli total when served. Argia's? Dino?

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