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Chowsmurf's Profile

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50 Years of Packages That Fool Stupid People

I really want one of those Carnation Breakfast Bars now. I'd totally forgotten about those things, so synthetically tasty!

Jul 08, 2011
Chowsmurf in Features

Thanksgiving Turkey Cake

LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm all over this! I was going to sit out Thanksgiving this year, but this is too cute to pass up. (Though, the healthnut in me is trying to find a way to work some veggies in.)

Nov 09, 2010
Chowsmurf in Recipes

Horrible taste from Lodge individual cast Iron casseroles

I bought a set of Lodge individual casseroles a while back. They come "seasoned" from the company, but I also baked and oiled them prior to use. I have made a bread pudding, a macaroni and cheese, and a fruit crumble in them and everything I make tastes HORRIBLE like mix of irony-chemical and almost burnt-plastic. If I wipe down the inside with a paper towel after rinsing, the paper towel turns grey/black. I hadn't used them in a while and made the fruit dish last night and thought "My bad, I shouldn't have put fruit in there- too acidic!" But then I realized people make pineapple upside-down cake in cast iron skillets all the time.

What do you think? Toss 'em? I think I got them on sale, but they are darned cute, so if it's just a matter of doing something to reseason them it might be worth the effort.

May 27, 2010
Chowsmurf in Cookware

Using Flesh to Sell Flesh

@Barry- In college, I was working as a waitress at a Baker's Square restaurant in Northridge when who should sit in my section but Peter North. I go back to the salad station and excitedly tell the other servers... "Peter North is sitting in my section!!" To which they all ask, "Who is Peter North?" Yeah, slunk my way out of that one. :)

That being said, the thing I *HATE* about these ads are the amplified mouth noises. I can hardly enjoy a meal seated near a noisy eater, much less do I need to hear the lettuce-crunching and mayo-slurping and finger-sucking in full Dolby surround-sound. Oh, and that Healthy Choice ad with Julia Louise Dreyfus eating the Orange Chicken and talking with her mouth full? I've never NOT wanted a product so much in my life.

Dec 27, 2009
Chowsmurf in Features

Pancakes from a Can

I respectfully disagree a whole hell of a lot with the assessment of the Batter Blaster Pancakes. I find them very tasty- way better than the Bisquick shake-in-the-jug kind and a million times more convenient. Sure, not as good as made-from-scratch and a Buttermilk version would be delightful, but these are the most convenient and tastiest "easy pancake" solution to date.

If you'd like to sample the true glory of the Batter Blaster pancake, swing by The Argus in San Francisco some Sunday and get a free pancake with every drink! It's how I got introduced to them.

Sep 04, 2008
Chowsmurf in Features

Strip Club Eats

Great article! And, I guess answers the questions as to the quality of the All You Can Eat Buffet at San Francisco's Gold Club!

Jul 17, 2008
Chowsmurf in Features

Premium Margarita Mix Taste Test

I'm surprised that Stirrings had the best. I guess it just goes to show you can't judge these things based on past experience alone. I was so excited to see the Tommy's mix in the store. Sadly, after a painfully acidic/syrupy first gulp, it's still sitting in the way-back of our fridge.

Jul 11, 2008
Chowsmurf in Features

Salade Lyonnaisey

I have been craving this like crazy for the past 4 weeks, but my local produce store hasn't had any frisee in that time. So, finally Sunday I went to my local (big) Safeway, remembering that they used to have loads of it in bags back when it was all the rage. None.

Is frisee seasonal? Or has it simply gone out of vogue?

I had to use romaine and it wasn't nearly as good.

May 21, 2008
Chowsmurf in Recipes

How Green Is Your Takeaway Container?

Here in San Francisco, restaurants are required to use biodegradable take-out containers. Which sounds like a super-awesome idea until you try to transport a container of scalding hot take-out enchiladas or nachos on your lap on the 10 minute bus ride home and get home to a thoroughly disintegrated pulpy, saucy mess (and, several times, ruined jeans.) While I'm all for greening things up, forcing restaurateurs to adopt this, thus causing the most cash-poor of the bunch to use the cheapest possible iteration, is NOT good eats.

May 06, 2008
Chowsmurf in Features

Bar Tartine's Artichoke Soup- Question

In the Jerusalem Artichoke Soup at BT, what is the oil they drizzle over? It is green in color and I didn't taste any overwhelming flavor from it, but I am trying to recreate and wondering what it might be. This is the soup that also has the pancetta "chip" in it. Totally forgot to grab a menu and write it down and it's not on the MenuPages version of the menu.

Thanks in advance!

Home-curing Corned Beef- ? and Nitrates/Saltpeter

My local buter shop, Avedano's in San Francisco, does not have. They are also the ones who suggested I make it without.

235 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

Mar 20, 2008
Chowsmurf in Home Cooking

Home-curing Corned Beef- ? and Nitrates/Saltpeter

Thanks all- I am leaning 90% towards not using it. I spoke with the folks at my neighborhood meat shop and they suggested I try it without. Does anyone know where to get it non-mailorder? And I'd rather not go to the hardware store and buy a box of "Stump Remover" to put in my meal, because that just feels filthy.

Mar 20, 2008
Chowsmurf in Home Cooking

Home-curing Corned Beef- ? and Nitrates/Saltpeter

I am going to try my hand at home-curing some corned beef for my boyfriend's birthday celebration. I am seeing a whole lot of back-and-forth on the situation with including sodium nitrate. I understand it will keep the pink color, but, my question is this: Some "natural" producers that I have seen around the web have pink corned beef. Is there another way to keep it pink? I know that sodium nitrate is pretty much naturally-occurring, so I assume you can be BOTH organic and have nitrates? Anyone have experience with using it or curing your own corned beef at home?

Mar 17, 2008
Chowsmurf in Home Cooking

Cheap but Good

Another OO fan here, much worthy of the "Pick!" Here's hoping this doesn't compel a run on the stuff, or I will be very sad, indeed.

Mar 17, 2008
Chowsmurf in Features

Joined at the Hip

I'm neither here nor there with the topic or the advice in general, but the masthead reading "food, drink, fun" indicates that this topic overlaps into at least one, if not two or more of them. (I read this as being a dinner or cocktail situation.) But, I am pretty well aghast at how many commenters have been so horrified by the suggestion that innocent flirtations are perfectly appropriate and, in fact, beneficial and called for in social situations. Mountains of relationship advice suggests such behaviors is pretty much essential to any healthy and sexually-charged long-term relationship. Woe to anyone who hosts a dinner party with such violently jealous tempers and garden-variety sticks-in-the-mud as some posters here. Talk about a faux pas.

Feb 21, 2008
Chowsmurf in Features

From the Alps to Your Apéritif

I'm all about the Elderflower lately, thanks so much for this helpful list!

Feb 06, 2008
Chowsmurf in Features

Do Vegetarians Lose the Ability to Digest Meat?

I was veggie/vegan for more than 10 years. One night, I woke up ready to gnaw my own arm off I didn't get something meaty. Fried chicken, specifically. I tossed and turned until 10:30 AM, at which point I sprinted to KFC, ordered by body part, and ripped the flesh clean off the bone.

And I was fine as a fiddle.

Maybe it's different for everyone, but this has lead me to seriously question the "I found a bit of chicken in super burrito and I must have had a piece because I got violently ill" claims.

Dec 06, 2007
Chowsmurf in Features

Singled Out

Braniff's post gave me a whole lot to laugh about. In that if you swap out "single" for "colored" and "married" for "white" and it read a whole lot like a well-intentioned, but in hindsight horribly offensive (word choice included), column on how to be a gracious and progressive hostess/guest in the early 60's.

I hope that is what you were going for. :)

Oct 22, 2007
Chowsmurf in Features

Outdoor Afternoon Cocktails- Awesome View of Blue Angels- Recs needed

We ruled out Medjool because my boyfriend had been there once on a weekend night and didn't like the crowd and felt the roofdeck was unsafe. (I guess there was music and people were jumping up and down and he could feel the whole roofdeck move with the weight of the people- in addition he saw the "capacity" sign and they were WAY over.) I assumed it would be a mess for the Blue Angles, since I remember some people saying they watched from there last year. When we weren't able to find anywhere else to go, I said, "Look, let's swing by at about 3; I'll hop out of the car and have a look; Worst comes to worse, we can drive up Bernal Hill." I ran up to the deck, and it was gloriously empty!

Outdoor Afternoon Cocktails- Awesome View of Blue Angels- Recs needed

We ended up at Medjool's Sky Terrace, and it it was pretty awesome. Not crowded at all, several nice flybys, tasty drinks... but I have to say, the marinated olives were WAY oversalted!

Best Cozmodeck Restaurant for Dinner with Mom

My mom is coming to town to meet ye olde relatively-new boyfriend this weekend. We were thinking of picking a new place out of this Cozmodeck thing that we have (a deck of cards that are worth $15 off, but really we bought it as something to force us out of our rut.)

Obviously, want something fun and adventurous, but where we can still carry on a conversation, and wouldn't feel bummed that mom was tagging along vs. enjoying it just the two of us. Despite being guided by what is essentially a coupon, we're not concerned too much about price. Would love your recs!

Here are a few that looked interesting to me:

Iluna Basque
El Raigon

Here's the full list:

415 (closed, I think)
Ace Wasabi
Bambuddha Lounge
Bistro 1689
Bistro Boudin
Brick (Went here with mom last time she was in town)
Cha Cha Cha (No, thanks)
Deep Sushi
E and O
El Raigon
First Crush
Hana Zen
Home (Mom's been here)
Iluna Basque
Levende Lounge
Luna Park (Used this one)
Medjool (No, thanks)
Paul K (We go often, mom's never been)
Sky Terrace (Used this one)
Spanish Fly (closed, I think)
Tokyo Go Go (We go often)
Tres Agaves
Velvet Cantina (Used this one)

Outdoor Afternoon Cocktails- Awesome View of Blue Angels- Recs needed

Hmm... maybe Presidio Social Club might have some sort of outdoor space, but that might be walking a fine line of getting way too close into the traffic and folks headed to watch from the Bridge, Wharf, etc.

Outdoor Afternoon Cocktails- Awesome View of Blue Angels- Recs needed

Thanks for the recs, gang- we've got loads of friend's houses and such that we could beg borrow or sneak our way onto, but really wanted to find a restaurant with outdoor seating and cocktails (a la the roof terrace of Medjool in the Mission, which doesn't take reservations for the deck and is likely to be a madhouse this weekend.)

Outdoor Afternoon Cocktails- Awesome View of Blue Angels- Recs needed

Hey Chowhounds,

Have any of you either intentionally sought out or accidentally happened upon an outdoor restaurant/bar for snacks and cocktails with great fly-bys of the Blue Angels during Fleet Week? Prefer someplace that's not down by the wharf. And Medjool is not an option. Thanks in advance for any ideas... this is for Saturday, if the date makes a difference.

Dark Dining at Fort Mason- Any Reviews?

Tried doing a search, but turned up no results. Has anyone been? Reviews? We're getting some mixed reviews and trying to decide if it's worth the $95.

Cape May- Would love some more detailed recos

Thanks, everyone, for your input! I am leaning towards the Black Duck (my hotel is technically West Cape May....) or the Chalfonte. I love "hasn't changed in 50 years." The Tadich Grill and Original Joe's remain some of my favorites in SF for ambiance and food, and I am looking for the Cape May equivalent of those experiences, I suppose. Crusty waiters and all :) Then, I think I may hit up Coconuts.

Jun 20, 2007
Chowsmurf in Mid-Atlantic

Cape May- Would love some more detailed recos

I have never been to Cape May, so looking over the posts that a search comes up with gives me a bit of vertigo. I am heading to Cape May (Near the Willbraham Mansion) for a wedding this weekend. I have Thursday night to explore the town solo, including dinner and hopefully some after-dinner cocktails. Here in San Francisco I eat out alone not entirely un-often. I generally eat at the bar or outdoors. I can do a higher end place or a more casual, no matter to me if the food is remarkable. I would love to try out some local seafood, but if something is stellar and not from the sea, I'm a very adventurous eater, so I won't set "seafood" as a requirement.

So, solo, adventurous, omnivorous San Franciscan in Cape May who prefers to walk to dinner... where would you send me? Will I need resos? Anyplace I should avoid despite well-wishing B&B hosts telling me otherwise?

Jun 19, 2007
Chowsmurf in Mid-Atlantic

Random SF DAT Review Trivia Question!

Yes! It was the dining room at the Ritz with the quail egg. Thanks so much!

Random SF DAT Review Trivia Question!

I have searched every which way till' Sunday for the answer, but it has proved illusive.

A restaurant this year served a course of something pretty minuscule with a cup of smoke trapped in a shot glass on the side. What restaurant was it?

Worth a trip to Alameda?

Not really food, but I have on good authority that Forbidden Island is a great place to get your buzz on some Sunday afternoon. I have friends to head over from San Francisco specifically for it.