Cheflambo's Profile

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Date.... ordering seafood?

Yes, first dates are a distant memory here, too. However, I think if you like something, you should order it. If you start making choices based on someone else's preferences, they'll expect you to continue doing so. Be yourself from the beginning, and the path to culinary compatibility will be a smooth (or divergent) one.

2 days ago
Cheflambo in General Topics
2

You eat too fast! ... No, you eat too slow!

Notoriously slow eater here - I was always the last one at the table, after my siblings had inhaled their food and moved on to their homework. I live with a man who eats at a normal pace, but if we're in a restaurant and served at the same time, and he's really hungry, he wolfs down his food, never once putting down the fork or pausing between bites. In these cases I am only halfway through my meal when he's finished and asking for the check. After years of this, I just continue at my own comfortable pace. If I can see from the get-go that this is going to happen, I will just order an appetizer as my meal, a smaller portion, and we can finish "together". If it bothers him, he's never said so.

The only time I really even pay attention to this type of situation is when I am eating with clients, and then when they are finished (and these are usually hungry men who eat fast) so am I. I'll take the rest to go. The polite ones apologize for rushing me (sometimes we just cant spend 90+ minutes at lunch); the rest just don't care.

2 days ago
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Good Pizza Place That Delivers Near Town & Country/ Memorial Area

Don't wait until the day of the event to call in this order. Check with your pizzeria of choice to see if they can accommodate such a large order all at once.

Apr 13, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

Smacking and Slurping: Loud Eater Stories

Whenever I have to eat WITH someone like this, I try not to look as horrified as I feel. At some point I will say "Wow - you sure sound like you are enjoying that" ...

Apr 05, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

kitchen OWIES!?!

Knifeskills #101: A falling knife has no handle. You can do more damage with a dull knife than with a sharp one.

Mar 29, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Need to narrow a steak choice

Hands down -- Vic & Anthony's. Their crab cake is in a class by itself. Steaks are always perfect. Request "Fulmer" as your server, and you'll have an amazing experience to commemorate your anniversary.

Mar 22, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

Another splitting the bill question

Thanks, fourunder - feeling the love. Im always glad to read here that Im not the only one who really dislikes the end-of-the-meal quibble over "your food was more expensive than mine... yadda x 3". I grew up with a father who always reached for the check as soon as it arrived and wouldn't hear of anyone else paying unless they really insisted. I was taught that this was the most gracious way to be. I have inlaws who will calculate to the penny what they owe; on the rare occasions I dine with them I know it will happen. One night with them at a fast/casual place, I excused myself during dinner, found our server, and slipped him my credit card to cover all our (6) meals. You should have heard them howl! I just said "the bill is paid; you guys can fight over the tip"

Mar 17, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Another splitting the bill question

To clarify (for fourunder) - I had been dining with this person for several years in many different group configurations. Every. Single. Time. she would act this way. She complains about anything and everything; I've never had a meal with her that she didn't send SOMETHING back. Several other members of our social circle have also begun to avoid her company for this reason.

Mar 16, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

"Sundays are the Worst"

They are simply using the term "bipolar" incorrectly and do not have a clue what it means.

Mar 16, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food
5

Another splitting the bill question

Separate checks are a great concept and does resolve the OP's situation. It does require the server to spend extra time at the POS screen and IMHO their tip should be at least 20% for this time and effort. Timing the input, however, DOES impact how the food comes out. My cheapskate BIL will announce "separate checks!" as we are seated. He always orders first, and get his food first, and inhales it while some of us are still waiting for ours.

Here at home, my regular dining companions are a diverse lot - usually dividing the check by the number at the table works out fine, and the alcohol comes on a separate check for the drinkers to divide. But there's a woman in the group who is very specific about what she does NOT owe on these meals. Once at a group dinner she ordered a bottle of wine and offered me a glass, which I accepted and enjoyed. A month later we had lunch together alone and the differences in our entrees was $5 (hers was more). She actually looked at me and said "well you still owe me $5 for that glass of my wine you drank at _____" I just said "Let me get this ..." paid the entire bill, and decided that would be our last meal together.

Mar 16, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food
3

6-hour layover at IAH George Bush Houston airport... lunch?

I highly recommend Jimmy G's -- its not far, and well worth the cab fare. Its oyster season, and they do them several different and amazing ways. They open at noon on Saturdays. Their gumbo is some of the best.

Mar 13, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

What would you have done?

Hmm ... Des Moines ... an old commercial kitchen ... elementary school-level cuisine. Sorry, no surprise here. You took one for the team, folks,

Feb 23, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Recs for a few days?

You'll be very close to Rice Village -- check out Prego or Coppa Osteria for Italian; Shiva for Indian. Dolce Vita has legendary pizza. Hugos is THE go-to place for authentic Mexican. El Real Tex Mex is ... Tex Mex and some of the best. For national recognition, don't miss Underbelly. All of these are within 5 miles of Zaza.

Feb 23, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

Osso Buco

Up restaurant does it on Thursday nights. (3995 Westheimer @ Drexel)

Feb 15, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

Food names for pets

My first cat as a child was "Pepsi"

Feb 05, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Clean/wash up while cooking ?

Clean as you go is a great concept; my teeny tiny kitchen and microscopic counter space almost demands it. However, to take my attention away from the stove to deal with something in the sink is a recipe for disaster. I need to focus on the task at hand so I try to at least start with an empty dishwasher and toss dirty stuff in that general direction. I also live with Mr. Cleanup, who wants to follow along behind me to wipe down the stove before he even serves himself dinner. At first I found this annoying, then realized that if I don't let him do it, this compulsion will manifest itself in other ways.

Feb 01, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

What, if any, scraps do you put outside for the local wildlife?

My backyard is a wildlife buffet. There is a pool,. where anyone can drink. Compost bin with overripe fruit. veg trimmings and mature produce of all kinds. Stale bread, bagels and carbs are tossed out for the squirrels. And in the winter we fill the bird feeder. Nothing goes to waste. And comedy ensues when the local squirrels try to run up the tree with half a waffle in their greedy little jaws.

Jan 28, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food
2

Lock your toaster ovens

A beagle is just a nose with a dog attached. They are stubborn and smart, but this is really impressive. He got the chair moved to the right spot, tried everything several times, and got what he wanted. Puts my cat to shame -- all he can do is get the pantry door open and tear up any bag of cat food within reach.

Jan 19, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Etiquette for your birthday

Yeah, it sounds like you hurt her feelings. She was probably thinking that birthday dinner at her house was going to be something of a tradition, and she now thinks you don't feel that way, or you don't think it is as important as she does. It might have taken some of the sting out if you had invited her to join the family at dinner out that day. But you are absolutely within your rights to want to celebrate in a stress-free situation. Perhaps you can heal this over by doing something special for her on HER birthday? And just wondering, how does you son feel about eating at the same table with grandma?

Jan 19, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Gloves on food preppers now extends to bartenders in CA

seriously ... this is SO not going to work.

Jan 18, 2014
Cheflambo in Food Media & News

Takeout tipping

You have NO IDEA how much work goes into preparing food for takeout. Tip big, tip often.

Jan 18, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

High end dinner for 1 near downtown

Beyond your travel range, but worth the cabfare, is the tasting menu at Sorrel (2202 W, Alabama). You can sit comfortably alone, service is attentive without being obsequious, and everything is delicious. Cameras on "the line" transmit to large screens, so you can even watch the activity in the kitchen between courses.

Jan 18, 2014
Cheflambo in Houston

Do you think that a guy should always pay for Dinner on the 1st date?

Generosity is not gender-based. ALL my siblings (male and female) were taught that it is just good manners to offer to pay. But the dating scenario is fraught with checks and balances (so to speak) that brings the whole original topic up in the first place.

Jan 02, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Do you think that a guy should always pay for Dinner on the 1st date?

Yes, financialdistrictresident, I sure did. Im a lucky girl. My brother is just like my dad this way, and HIS son, at 12, shows the same kind of generosity. You reap what you sow, IMHO

Jan 02, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food

Do you think that a guy should always pay for Dinner on the 1st date?

If there is quibbling over money on a first date, that's usually the LAST date for me. My father was always the first to reach for every restaurant check, and that set the bar pretty high for me. A sense of generosity is something I always look for in men (not because I am a mooch - I would never eat a meal I was not able to comfortably pay for myself) but because it says a lot about someone if he doesn't put a price on the value of time and effort spent on meeting and getting to know a new person.

My dear (now late) husband took me to a very nice restaurant on our first date, and was not sure he would be able to pay for it (close to the credit limit on his card, a few days before payday). He never let on that there might be a problem, and the transaction went through without a hitch. But by the end of that meal if there HAD been a problem, I was already so enamored with him that I would have cheerfully used MY card, and we would still have continued down our path towards a wonderful (but brief) marriage.

After he was gone, there was a brief string of dates where the guy paid in full and expected **ahem** a little more later in the evening. One fellow was very surprised when, after commenting that he had really made an investment in the evening's activities, I handed him $40 and said goodnight, with my clothes and my dignity intact.

Jan 02, 2014
Cheflambo in Not About Food
6

Pierson's

They reopened some time in November, I think. Abbreviated hours (11am until its all gone) and only on certain days, so call before you go 713-683-6997.

Dec 26, 2013
Cheflambo in Houston

She didn't see anything wrong with this, but I did

Well, she handled it (so to speak) badly, but she was clearly having a bad day. Not defending her, just pointing out that in a place where you were somewhat of a regular, and previously always received good service, this was obviously an exception. Im sure she knew it was wrong as soon as she did it. Leaving NO tip (instead of a lowered one) sent a message too.

That said, please don't think that robots prepare your food - no matter where you eat, or what you order, someone, at some point, has touched it. Even if it is only to see if its hot enough (didn't someone complain about cold food?) or if the steak is done as ordered (chefs have a poke method that they use to determine "doneness") your food has been handled.

If this is still bothering you, please discuss it with management and get it off your chest. If the server is lucky, she will only be re-trained.

Dec 26, 2013
Cheflambo in Not About Food
1

Tips: What determines your tip %?

Yeah. Really, Biting my tongue here, but I wonder if some people here have EVER been served fast enough? EVER had a good experience in a restaurant? Rants, err, discourse like this makes me really glad Im not a server any more.

When I WAS a server, I always asked (and appreciated knowing) if the customer had timing issues with their food. Are you on your way to the theater? I can suggest dishes that are quicker to prepare than others. Would you like your soup when I bring his salad? Allergies/intolerances etc? I can help you work around those too. Do you want extra lemon with your iced tea? What kind of sauces do you like? On top or on the side? Please don't make me read your mind. But docking some frazzled server's tip because they brought 2 mayos instead of 1 mayo and 1 mustard, or it didn't come out fast enough, is just petty. The scorecard above is just plain scary.

A LOT of things happen in BOH that customers don't ever see or know about. Not every delay, every mistake and every miscommunication is the server's fault.

This reminds me of a line from a skit we wrote in college. Server is working the Borscht Belt in upstate New York where the regular customers are known to be notoriously critical. He's made several trips back and forth to correct orders, add items the customer found lacking (but hadn't actually ordered) and finally returns for the check back "Well, ladies" he says "Is ANYTHING alright?"

Dec 25, 2013
Cheflambo in Not About Food
5

servers taking away my plate too soon...

I, too, was taught to place my cutlery together on the side of the plate when officially finished, but few servers or bussers these days know about this silent signal. I just wish these folks would realize that if the fork is still in my hand, I AM STILL EATING.

I used to eat in a greek restaurant in NYC that served lovely fresh pita bread, and we'd have the little bread plates on the side for this. Each time I would pick up my piece of bread to take a bite, a busser would appear out of nowhere and sweep the empty plate away. One evening this just got ridiculous - the first time I never saw him coming; I got up, walked to the waiter's station to get another plate - again, when I took a bite of bread, the guy came by and reached for my plate - I put the bread down, and he tried to take that too, but I stopped him. When I went to take my last bite, I picked up the bread with one hand and the plate with the other, and actually held it away from the busser when he tried to take it.

Dec 21, 2013
Cheflambo in Not About Food
1

Greenberg Smoked Turkey, Tyler Texas

I received one of these a few years ago, and was, at first, happy at the thought of smoked turkey (which I enjoy). After turkey dinner, turkey sandwiches, turkey hash, turkey salad and turkey tetrazzini, I couldn't look at it any more (there are just the two of us) and the smell permeated my refrigerator and freezer for two weeks. As others have noted, it was pretty dry, too. This Tuesday I got the dreaded postcard from Greenberg (they warn you its coming) and groaned. I called the company the next day, but it was too late - it had already shipped. Im sure I will smell it when it arrives some time today. The nice customer service lady said that they suggest serving it at room temp rather than heating it (which will dry it out). I will give it another try, but oy .... this derails my plan to have a nice brined breast for Christmas dinner.

Dec 20, 2013
Cheflambo in General Topics