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Specialties from the Vaucluse (Avignon) part of Provence?

Is L'Oustalet the kind of place where you can count on them offering bouillabaisse? I know they have a tiny, seasonal menu... more like a table d'hôte with only a couple of choices.

about 5 hours ago
Steve in France

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

The French put the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf and call it hachis parmentier.

about 14 hours ago
Steve in General Topics

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

Blueberries are really big in Poland. Oh, they are the same size, but I mean ubiquitous and popular, with blueberry pierogies being very common.

about 20 hours ago
Steve in General Topics

Gourmet Grocery Stores and Best Macarons in DC

Macarons (only one 'o') are the delicate French sandwich cookies. Macaroons are the heavy coconut drop cookies.

If you are looking for macarons, then Olivia is the best bakery version. My favorite flavors are cassis, lemon, rose, coffee, and chocolate.

Central Michel Richard is a restaurant that will sell you macarons by the piece. You don't have to eat there or make a reservation, just show up, order and pay at the bar, and they will bag them up for you. I think these are the 'ultimate' macarons in the area, but they only make a few different flavors each day, so you don't have the extensive variety or selection as Olivia.

I can't help you with macaroons.

about 20 hours ago
Steve in Washington DC & Baltimore

Are You Still Licking the Spoon and Egg Beaters

Oh yes, in some cases the 'bottom of the pot' treat has become a reknowned dish of its own, like 'pot likker,' which is the bottom the greens pot or tahdig, which is the crusty bottom layer of rice, oil and spices of a Persian rice pot.

Don't throw away those burnt ends!

1 day ago
Steve in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

"And Now for the Rest of the Story..."

Paul Harvey intones, "That child would grow up to become one of the most popular Food Network hosts..."

1 day ago
Steve in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

The intent of the thread is not hidden in the OP. It is as plain as day. Yes, it's about crappy food that you would not fix yourself. The late-nite proviso implies it is food that the 'chef' would not even fix for others, kind of like 'when nobody is looking.'

I thought it would be an interesting subject for a thread, but if you do not then I have no idea why you feel the compulsion to post.

1 day ago
Steve in General Topics

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

Potato skins. I *think* they are the most purely American food out there. If somebody knows of a different or shared origin, I'd like to hear about it.

1 day ago
Steve in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

You ae talking about a 'guilty pleasure' thread, which is fine for those who have guilty pleasures.

1 day ago
Steve in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

It is not thinly veiled, it is finding something awful smelling and disgusting. What is thinly veiled about that? And what is wrong with finding it so? You are welcome to disagree, but you are simply saying that this opinion shouldn't even exist on Chowhound. I find that bizarre.

I think there is value in talking about desperate food combos that those same people would not serve to others.....

Who knows, maybe you will pick up an idea or two.

2 days ago
Steve in General Topics

Gyoza

Ooh, those do sound good. I'll have to look for a photo and eat vicariously.

2 days ago
Steve in Japan

DIrty Family Secrets

The point of the thread is to find out what people are cooking when all standards have been thrown out the window. Food that EVEN THE PEOPLE MAKING IT would not serve to others. I wanted to get reactions, and I did. I suspeted some CHowhounds would disagree with me, and I wanted those reactions too. Yes, I do want to know which Chowhounds find melted American cheese over canned chicken an ok idea.

Personally, I can't imagine the situation where I would be that desperate aside from being trapped in a canyon for days with a complete stranger who just happened to have that as their only sustenance.

If you don't like it, well I don't see the merit in ragging on other people's ideas for threads. Ignore the thread and move on....

2 days ago
Steve in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

"Vienna sausage mashed up and mixed with mayo, relish and mustard eaten between bread"

I think we have a winner!

2 days ago
Steve in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

"What's the problem with that quesadilla?"

What's the problem with sitting in a dark closet naked?

Hey, if you like it, then that's the sort of thing you like.

But perhaps you could ask yourself, why do you not find that quesadilla in a 7-11 or at a Gas n Go? Because even people desperate for any kind of food in a hurry with the lowest standards possible looking for a very cheap meal would not buy it, and I would rather not eat it or smell it being made.

"f I walked into a kitchen and that's all there was" The fact that the canned chicken and American cheese is there is a choice. These products don't stock themselves in your kitchen cabinet. You have to go out and buy them and plan on eating them. Sure, sometimes we run low on food, but I still wouldn't eat that.

At this point, I have to seriously question why you feel you have to have meat and dairy in the first place. A vegan diet is starting to look pretty good.

2 days ago
Steve in General Topics
1

DIrty Family Secrets

Or skip the microwave entirely. Lay the toaster down on the counter so the slots are horizontal instead of vertical, and put the bread and cheese in the toaster. Voila, a makeshift toaster oven. (you need large slots to do this, but nowadays almost all toasters do.

Aug 19, 2014
Steve in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

Oh how I hope that was Wonder bread.......

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in General Topics

Latest NW eats: hitting some of the new spots

Nothing better than a mamey shake! I will try to drop by there and see what's cookin'.

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in Washington DC & Baltimore

Specialties from the Vaucluse (Avignon) part of Provence?

No muddying at all. These are great experiences. The OP could ask locals and seek out info on "table d'hôte" or guest table, often a bed and breakfast lodging that also makes dinner regularly or on request, not always limited to people staying there. No menu, just a great communal experience.

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in France

DIrty Family Secrets

Ok, so let's dish. I am sure some of us have seen a family member cook something just for themselves, maybe a late-nite snack or quickie dinner, that is so anti-Chowhound that you just want to scream. It looks awful, smells bad, and you refuse to taste it for a second time.

I'll go first. A certain family member of mine will make a chicken quesadilla. It's bad enough to use american cheese, a flour tortilla, and some jarred salsa, but the canned Swanson's chicken makes it a foul smelling mess. Quite frankly, I have no desire to eat it before the chicken is added, but the chicken takes it to another level of disgusting.

Do you dare tell on a family member?

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in General Topics

Specialties from the Vaucluse (Avignon) part of Provence?

"ticking off a bucket list of local foods is a guaranteed way of not enjoying it"

Hey, I didn't create the thread, but I think the OP has good instincts to ask. I don't mind gathering info before I go, creating a list, and investigating what I can find. I am absolutely guaranteed of liking the exploration. And the food has been definitely worth it. The Vaucluse is manageable in four days, and I am encouraging the OP to go with their instinct. The local specialties are worth seeking out, and I believe the OP will be well rewarded.

Or to put it another way, if you don't seek it out, you'll never know....

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in France

Specialties from the Vaucluse (Avignon) part of Provence?

Oh my, that sounds so good.... you win!

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in France

Just ate lobster for the first time

Lobster rolls are a fairly easy low-commitment way to enjoy lobster.

I agree with anyone who says "I'd rather be eating crab," but for $15, a good lobster roll can be swoon-inducing. In Washington DC, NYC, and Philly, a franchise called Luke's Lobsters is a good place to know about.

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in General Topics
2

Specialties from the Vaucluse (Avignon) part of Provence?

I would say a dish cannot be appreciated at all if you don't try it. If this is your opportunity, then I think there is something to say for 'pride of place.'

I do not confuse this with trying a tourist trap because 'that's where everyone goes.' Certainly do some detective work and go for a recommended version if you can find it. Traiteurs are sometimes a good source for specialties, and they provide an easy opportunity to investigate a local dish.

So, for example, when I found a farcement savoyard in Le Grand Bornand, of course I wanted to try it. Same thing with a flamiche in Parfondeval, or farci maraichine in Arcais. And in Le Teil, Provence (the subject of this thread) slices of pork snout (museau) swimming in white vinegar and cornichons. All wonderful on their own terms, and none of them had to be the best thing I've ever eaten.

Sorry, but eating a nice duck confit under those circumstances would not be as thrilling, and I would not learn a thing.

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in France
1

Specialties from the Vaucluse (Avignon) part of Provence?

"don't get too hung up on local specialities of a region"

Probably the worst advice I've heard for a traveling Chowhound. Anywhere you go, always try the local specialties. It's the reason why you travel, to experience something different. I suppose we could argue all day what tastes best, but you will miss out if you don't go seek out regional and micro-regional cuisine.

There are about a dozen officially designated ferme-auberge surrounding Avignon where meals are served on farms focusing exclusively on local cuisine and ingredients.

See link:

http://www.bienvenue-a-la-ferme.com/f...

Through this site, you could also look up products available from the farm plus other gastronomic opportunities.

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in France
2

Red Hen in DC- Report

Red Hen, in a revitalized area near Rhode Isand Ave and 1st St,, NW, has gained a strong foodie following for its sophisticated and modern Italian food in a casual environment. It's clear to see why, just looking at the menu and feeling the vibe inside. People are really enjoying themselves.

I ordered four small items, lured by the summer season of corn and sugar snap peas. For the most part, the food justifies the popularity. One of the dishes was perfect, two others far from perfect but still wonderful, and the last was abysmal.

The chicken liver crostini (two large pieces) were perfect with a gentle swab af fig jam and planting of fresh thyme on top.

A chilled corn soup was very delicious, though not strong in corn flavor. A salad of sugar snap peas, crushed hazelnuts, and lettuce had a light, gorgeous parmesan dressing. The peas, though, were sliced in half lengthwise, deconstructing their essential snap and separating the peas from their pod. Kind of like sugar snap peas for people who don't like sugar snap peas. The showering of crushed hazelnuts was impressively generous, but lacked in flavor.

The failure was a polenta with no flavor of polenta. Again, perfect for people who do not like polenta. Pretty much overwhelmed by heavyhanded use of mascarpone and parmesan. This should be banished from the restaurant.

Aug 18, 2014
Steve in Washington DC & Baltimore

Gyoza

Gyoza Stadium is located within Namjatown, an indoor theme park in Sunshine City Ikebukuro. You pay a basic admission to Namjatown, which is not expensive. About a dozen reknowned gyoza vendors from throughout Japan. They have really good stuff, and I particularly liked the shredded garlic gyoza. Make sure to really take your time and peruse all the offerings as the signage can be confusing. This is definitely worth a trip.

http://www.namco.co.jp/tp/namja/food/...

Aug 17, 2014
Steve in Japan

Whipped

If he would like a tres leches, then Guapo's makes a great one. Has a thick whipped cream topping, cake is loaded with milk.

Aug 17, 2014
Steve in Washington DC & Baltimore

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

Local 'participating' chefs that start off in the good graces of their fellow foodies rarely receive the kind of 'downhill alerts' that they might get otherwise. Fellow posters become inhibited in the face of direct criticism, which is completely understandable.

Aug 17, 2014
Steve in Site Talk

Namaste, Nepalese in Springfield - Report

There are only a few places in the DC area to sample Nepaese cusine, and even those places survive serving mostly a greatest hits list of easily identifiable Indian-Amerian classics.

Namaste has a tiny Nepalese section to the menu. I came here for the momo and also ordered the badam sadeko and a kasmiri (not nepalese) naan with fruits and nuts.

While waiting about 25 minutes for the mono, I munched on the badam sadeko, a dish of mostly peanuts with cilantro, tomato, marinated onion, and spices. The spices were a bit tame, so this dish was mostly eating a bunch of wet peanuts and was only somewhat satisfying. The kasmiri naan, was sweet enough to be a dessert, with its layer of nuts, dried fruit, and sugary spread in the middle. Hard to imagine this being a satisfying pair with much of the menu.

Then came the chicken mono. The filling is very dense, like little chicken golfballs wrapped in dough. Pleasant enough, but I've had better.

I talked to a young Nepalese couple who are used to making their own momo, but didn't feel like cooking that night. They enjoyed the momo, though it wasn't as good as their own. It was their third time here but first attempt at the dumplings. They like this place better than the nearby Momo's where we had a Chowhound dinner a few months back, but I disagree. This is a 'nicer' place but with a more limited Nepalese profile.

Aug 16, 2014
Steve in Washington DC & Baltimore

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

Industry participation leads to less honesty.

Aug 16, 2014
Steve in Site Talk