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Do people really (and I mean "really") like Girl Scout Cookies?

I confess to being addicted to Thin Mints. Maybe they put something in them; I don't know...and yes, I've been known to freeze them. Could care less about the others. But Thin Mints are Girl Scout Crack as far as I'm concerned....

Feb 21, 2015
janetofreno in General Topics

Reno Chowdown: Spectacular meal at Crawfish Asian Cuisine

Hardly much winter this year, Andy, unfortunately. Actually, the night we went was the first night we had solid rain in, well, a long time. Which was good not only for the rain, but because it was good rainy day food. I especially enjoyed the soup. And although DH claims not to be a fan of Chinese food, I think its really that we don't get many great options here in town. He did mention on the way home that along with the shrimp he would love to go back for some more of those pea greens and another bowl of the crab/corn soup...:-)

Feb 11, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

Reno Chowdown: Spectacular meal at Crawfish Asian Cuisine

Agreed; it was a great meal! I have a confession: when I invited my husband I played down the fact that it is primarily a Chinese restaurant...as he is not a big fan of that cuisine. I instead told him about the boils; knowing that he always loved the New Orleans versions of crawfish and barbecue shrimp. Well, I'm happy to report that he was VERY happy: comparing the cajun-spiced shrimp to the barbecue shrimp at Pascale Manale's (a dish that he craves and MUST eat every time we go to NOLA:-). He said it was the best shrimp he'd had west of east Texas, and vowed to go back soon for more. Which is fine with me, because I can order those lamb chops and have them all to myself:-). Great meal; thanks for organizing!

Feb 11, 2015
janetofreno in Southwest

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

Not surprising to me. Soups and stews are often the stars of Mexican cooking (if we're talking "real" Mexican cuisine and not Tex-Mex). Mexican chefs excel at both, and they are very important in their cuisine.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

But towards the end of the cooking period Gregory commented that he thought his dish needed more heat, and was seem adding what seemed like ground dried chilis (and possibly cumin?) to his dish. And one of the chefs tasted it and said "This tastes like Mexico." So apparently he got it right.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

I too was a little surprised at how good Padma's Spanish was. My husband says he thought he read she lived in Spain for awhile as a child, but Wikipedia says that she split her time between New York and Chennai (her parents divorced when she was very young). She did apparently do some modeling in Madrid as a young woman, and was the hostess of an Italian TV show for awhile...so obviously she's spent time in Europe. She speaks at least four languages....

Oh, and Linda: not to nitpick, but its "Escamole" not "escamoly" You have it spelled both ways here. The last e in Spanish would be pronounced somewhat like a y would be in English, so I can see why you would be confused. Actually the word sounds kind of like if you combined the words "Eskimo" and "lei".

I'm rooting for Gregory.

Feb 05, 2015
janetofreno in Food Media & News

Chutney, a new Reno Indian restaurant

Sadly, the restaurant has been closed for some time now. Its now a Mexican/Salvadoran place. No good leads for Gopi yogurt, sorry....

Jan 26, 2015
janetofreno in California

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Actually, I interpreted that part to be that he just didn't have the TIME to go out and satisfy his cravings...that he was so wrapped up in his chef duties that he didn't think about much else (and when he did he got lonely/homesick/depressed and ended up trying to fill the emptiness with booze...)...but you might be right about just forgetting his roots.

FWIW, my resident Indian chef (aka DH) absolutely LOVED the movie. More than I did, I think. But of course he's the guy who always found classic French cuisine to be a little boring and a little bland...so the idea that the classics might be better with a little infusion of spice certainly was one he readily accepted:-)

Besides, there ARE NO decent Indian restaurants in Paris:-) Trust me, I've tried to find one....(even asked a security guard at Versailles who was from Pondicherry for his recommendation; went to the place he raved about and was very disappointed...)

Jan 22, 2015
janetofreno in Food Media & News

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

Why can't you say "I would rather not take it because of severe side effects. I'd rather you prescribe something else." There is a very common drug where that's the case for me. It won't kill me and won't even make me feel badly that day, but if I do take it (even a little) I know that my next blood test will alarm my docs and cause undue concern and further testing. So I choose not to take it. And I tell new doctors exactly why. Since its a common ingredient in pain medicines my husband knows as well. The doctor who says "just say you are allergic" is not giving people the credit they deserve. That kind of thinking is why people really don't understand how allergies work

Jan 02, 2015
janetofreno in Not About Food

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

Be grateful that having your child break out in hives was the worse moment of your life.

I know that sounds callous, and I'm sorry. But trust me, there are far worse things than that in this world. And yes, I can understand being protective after having your child break out in hives...but not because it is the worst thing that ever happens. The reason to be protective is that it is possible that the allergy could escalate to something far worse the next time the child eats the offending food. So hives should be something to deal with and treat, but in a rational manner that will keep the child safe the next time.

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

But if it was so important to her, why didn't she say something ahead of time? I would think something would be said upon receiving the invitation...something as simple as "I'm avoiding seafood; could you please make some rice without it?" If a family member said it to me, I would follow their request without question and without asking why they made the request...even though I happen to feel that the actual risk was very low. But to ask at the last minute in what was already a stressful situation may be unreasonable. If you feel you can't eat something, either let folks know ahead of time or come prepared not to eat should it be served.

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

I hesitate to answer this, as I got into an argument with folks about a similar post elsewhere, but here's my take: (and I'm not a physician either, but I do have medical training and have talked with several family members who ARE physicians and they happen to agree with me):

The risk of anaphalaxis in allergies IS greatly exaggerated by parents. That isn't to say it can't happen; it does. But not nearly as often as you might think (deaths from anaphalaxis are very rare). And in the case of food allergies, they are almost ALL from actual ingestion of the offending food and not from secondary contact. (ie being in a place where nuts are served is only of risk to a child with a nut allergy if he actually eats them....).

The problem is with the health care system. Doctors just don't have the time these days to explain to parents what they need to avoid and how. Managed care requires them to see too many patients in a day (payments are reduced and overhead is high). So to take the 30 or even 60 minutes it might take to clearly explain things to parents is impossible. If the parents are lucky, the physician will have some sort of nutritionist or similar well-trained staff person who CAN explain those things. But that isn't always the case. Many times all the doc can do is say: "Your kid is allergic to this food. You must avoid it". Now the allergy may mean death if they eat it, but more likely it means a rash. And maybe not even that severe of a rash. But all the parent hears is "avoid that food or the results will be dire for your child". And so the parent understandably becomes very anxious about any contact with such foods the kid may have. So you are right; the level of paranoia IS higher than it used to be. IMO.

Now some will argue that the incidence of allergy is higher than it used to be, and that a lot of that is due to additives, processed foods, etc. yes, there might be more reactions to that sort of thing than there used to be, but a lot of them are toxic reactions to over-exposure and not true allergies. But that is a difficult thing to explain to a parent. If the kid eats something and has a bad reaction, its an allergy as far as the parent is concerned, and nothing will convince them otherwise. (even though it might be as simple as a reaction to a food gone bad, etc).

Codeine, for example, causes unpleasant side effects in some people. This is NOT an allergy, its just an effect of the drug. Yet people come in all the time and when asked if they have an allergy to a drug, they say "yes, I'm allergic to codeine". When you ask them what happens when they take it, the answer is it causes stomach upset or constipation. I have news for these folks: some 50 percent of people who take codeine will get those symptoms to some degree (maybe more). It isn't an allergy. Yet people will insist to their dying day that they are allergic to codeine.

Again, most people don't understand the difference between allergies and adverse reactions and the difference between anaphylaxis and milder allergies. And physicians just don't have the time it might take to explain that. So people take the most cautious road. I think its natural to want to protect your child, but at some point parents should weigh a small risk to their child versus inconvenience to everyone else. (I'm not saying that's the case here necessarily, so don't jump all over me).

If you truly wanted to avoid all risk to your child, you would never take them in a car either. Or let them leave the house. Of course then they would never be exposed to common allergens and their immune system would not have a chance to develop properly. To say that a parent should protect their child from all risk is unreasonable.

Jan 01, 2015
janetofreno in Not About Food

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

He probably doesn't like any lettuce:-) But his doc recently told him he needed to improve his diet, and dark, leafy vegetables were part of the requirement. Iceberg lettuce is NOT a dark,leafy vegetable, and is probably the least nutritious of all lettuces. Its ok, I will eat it in my sandwiches, but DH knows that I always make salads with romaine or green-leaf lettuce. If he made the salads, he could use whatever he wants, but he never makes salad. Even when its his turn to cook he'll ask me to make a salad. And I willingly do...but with the lettuce I like. If he wants an iceberg lettuce salad, then he will have to make it himself:-)

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

lol....I had just about decided that most of you were right, and that I should accept that "bread is bread" and get over it. After all, at least I didn't get sliced stuff. But then today he went shopping with a very specific list that included only basics (cat litter; cold medicine, etc:-) He came home with iceberg lettuce. "I thought we could have a salad..." Sigh.

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

Actually, we do shop and cook together all the time. And we often have the sourdough. But I guess some folks are slow learners:-)

Dec 29, 2014
janetofreno in Not About Food

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

lol....actually I do have the clear river a few blocks away, and the rest of it. But given that it will be way below freezing tonight,probably not the most humane of ideas....

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

Well, first of all, I am really surprised to see how many responses I got! It was meant to be more of a rant than a search for advice...but I do agree with many of you. I definitely should have been specific that I wanted sourdough bread when I asked him to pick some up. (Although sometimes being so specific doesn't help; my DH is famous for coming home with something different than what was written on the list "because it was on sale, and I figured we would try it!") And no, I don't need a divorce attorney; I will have been married to this guy for 30 years come next week so I can put up with him for a few more:-) And to give more context: my husband is a good cook, but his best dishes are those that come from his native India. And since he isn't a native to our area, some might say that I am expecting too much to assume he would know that sourdough bread is in order. OTOH, he has a relative back east who loves sourdough bread so much that he asks us to bring him a loaf or two every time we go for a visit. So you would think he would be eager to share the taste. But clearly I have forgotten what happens when you assume things.

I will say this: I have decided to say something if he does change around my shopping lists. And I did ask him to get the bread I wanted. Fortunately, we were out and about all day and there are plenty of nearby grocery stores, so this did not represent a hardship. And my reason for insisting he make it right are simple: I think that sometimes he plays the "I didn't know" game in hope that the next time I will follow the "If you want it done right, do it yourself" rule. Not going to give him that out, sorry:-)

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

lol...I did say that I was just venting:-)

May I vent? (living with a reasonably Chowish person who isn't quite a Chowhound..)

So really, I am just venting. But I'm wondering if any other Chowhounds have this experience.

My husband is a reasonably adventurous eater (for a Pescetarian), and is certainly willing to put up with my attempts to explore the many food options of the many places we visit. But for some reason, he just doesn't seem capable of houndish tendencies when planning home meals or shopping. Its gotten to the point where I let him shop for basics, but if produce or specific ingredients are involved I will do it (to make sure the quality and variety is proper)...

For example: Our son lives in Tokyo and he and his new fiance (still getting used to that word:-) are in town visiting for the holidays. We are planning to make a nice dinner for them tonight at our house: seafood stew, salad, bread, a nice wine, etc. (Neither DH nor the new fiance eat meat, but both will eat fish). DH did a good job buying fish, but brought home a very generic soft white bread baguette. In my head, when I said "buy bread" I thought "San Francisco sourdough" After all, it is a regional treat not available in Japan or even in many parts of the US, and we all love it (son especially!!). But instead I got, well, generic bread. I guess I will have to specify in the future...but honestly: if he is making a form of cioppino (which is what he is cooking) you would think that sourdough would be the obvious choice. I know any SF or Nor Cal (Reno is Northern California; see my posts on this on the Site board!!) would know this. Sigh. OK, rant over. Thank you for listening.

But I am curious: how many chowhounds would make him go back? And how many would just sigh and settle for inferior bread??

lol...

Dec 28, 2014
janetofreno in Not About Food

San Mateo Christmas Eve?

lol...thanks. But we live in Reno, NV, where I am pretty sure there are no Burmese restaurants. Maybe if someone knows of one they could post it on the Reno board...if they can find the Reno board (but that's a whole different topic:-)

San Mateo Christmas Eve?

Update: On son's suggestion we went to Mingalaba Restaurant (Burmese, I guess technically its in Burlingame but it was only about a mile from his apartment). It was an excellent choice. We arrived early (around 6:30), and I'm glad we did, because by 7:30 there was a line out the door. Apparently my son is a regular; the hostess recognized him and gave us the best table by the window. (it is close to the door, but there was a space heater conveniently located right behind it so we were plenty toasty even with the opening and closing...and it feels private).

The restaurant has a nice feel, and a good number of vegetarian and fish options. Plus there are no Burmese restaurants where we live (at least that I know of...), so it was a nice treat for DH and I. We started with the parotha, (sp?), which is similar to its Indian namesake...a fried bread with two dipping sauces (curries). Next course was the catfish chowder. Tasty, reminds me of hot and sour soup but with the fish base. It comes with lemon slices and fresh coriander to use as condiments, as well as ground red chilis and chili oil to adjust the spice level. For mains we split the spicy basil eggplant and the Burmese-style noodles. Both were excellent; everything tasted fresh and had a nice spice level. Unfortunately there was no mango with sticky rice available (not mango season), and although son said that the coconut ice cream is excellent we decided to forgo it for the Christmas Cookies and some port he had at home. We didn't drink anything other than jasmine flower tea, but frankly I can't imagine anything nicer than that tea on a rainy night...lovely to watch the flower open.

Dinner for three including tax and tip was around 60 dollars. Hard to beat for the quality and the ambiance. I was just sorry that son's GF was unable to join us (she had another family obligation, and son didn't go because it was 50 miles away and he has to leave for work tomorrow at 6am...). Not that she won't have many chances to eat there, but rather because with another person we could have enjoyed another dish off the menu without overeating :-)

BTW there were a lot of restaurants in the area that were open Christmas Eve...for future reference.

San Mateo Christmas Eve?

We are planning a family get-together for Christmas Day in the Bay Area, but our hard-working son will be on call and probably will miss it, alas. So the plan is to have Christmas Eve dinner with him and his SO. We don't want anything fancy; casual and fun is good. Anywhere within an easy drive of San Mateo would be fine; ethnic ok. I've asked him for recommendations too, but since he's only lived there about six months (and works a lot so doesn't go out much). So I said I would ask around for suggestions as well. Last time we visited a few months ago we noticed a few nice looking places near his apartment in what I guess you would call "downtown" San Mateo. Can't remember any specific names, but the area had a nice vibe. Any ideas?

A Message from The Chowhound Team & Plans for 2015

You might be listening now, so I'm going to bring up a point that I mentioned on Site Talk and went basically unanswered by any moderators (although a few fellow hounds agreed with me...). That is that I think a little more geographic sensibility to how the boards are grouped is in order. I live in Reno, NV, a mid-sized city in the western United States that is admittedly IN Nevada but is close (very close, about 12 miles to be exact) to Northern California. Apparently many folks are geographically challenged, because I get invites all the time from non-western friends who tell me "I'm going to be in Las Vegas next week for a convention; do you want me to meet me for lunch?" (The assumption being that I am in Nevada and they will be in Nevada, so we must be close...). I always answer "I would love to; are you going to send a plane ticket?" These folks have NO IDEA that Las Vegas and Reno are approximately 450 miles apart. Folks in Reno really don't relate to Vegas all that much. Its as foreign to us as it is to you (well, not to me, because I've lived there...but to most Renoites). And no one, I repeat NO ONE, in Reno would think of ourselves as "Southwest." Its cold here, folks; it might snow tomorrow. If it doesn't snow, it will rain, and it will definitely snow in the mountains a 20 minute drive from my house. We have pine trees. Yes, we are high desert, but in the same way certain areas of Idaho and eastern Washington and Oregon are high desert. Would you call those places Southwest?? Of course not. Northwest, maybe. Or maybe Mountain West. But not Southwest.

Why is this such a big deal to me? Its simple. A few years back the Chowhound hierarchy decided that Reno should no longer be grouped with "Northern California" because well, we aren't in California. OK, but many of those who visit here COME from that area. In fact, Reno is the city of commerce for much of Northeastern California. Folks in places such as Lake Tahoe, Susanville, Alturas, Portola, Quincy, etc (all of those are in California) come to Reno to shop, eat, and catch airplanes. And people traveling to those areas in California by plane touch down in Reno, and might well stop in our city for a bite to eat before heading to their final destination. And of course tens of thousands of potential chowhounds pass through Reno every year in late August on their way to watch a Man burn.

After Reno was ruled to be part of the "Southwest" our participation in the board dropped dramatically. I see very few Reno posts these days. I miss my fellow Reno Chowhounds. This is particularly sad because Reno has seen a true culinary renaissance over the past five years or so (A story about this even made the New York Times!). Yet so many of these great new places aren't being talked about in Chowhound...and I believe it is because people can't find us! I've resorted to going to other websites to get info on Reno restaurants and stores...something I've never done in the past. Its sad. And you are losing eyes for your advertisers.

State lines are not always drawn for geographic reasons. And states are big out here in the West. I would like to ask once again that if you are revamping things you consider taking my fair city out of the "Southwest" Board. I would like visitors to come here to read about some of the great culinary changes happening here....but no one would even think to look in "Southwest" for Reno. At least if we were grouped with other Mountain West states we might have a chance, but frankly "Northern California and Reno/Tahoe Area" (as it used to be) makes the most sense. You are losing readership as a result of this short-sighted decision. Thank you for letting me rant.

Tell us about your Thanksgiving disaster

I'm not sure this qualifies as a true disaster, but here goes:

Since the family wasn't doing a big Thanksgiving this year, I invited a few friends who have no real family and were stuck in town working anyway. These folks had never been to my house for dinner before, and I was anxious to please.

The turkey was perfect (I use the Alton Brown Good Eats recipe; can't stand him, love the recipe...). The potatoes were good, stuffing was good, veggie side dish for my veggie husband (stuffed poblanos) was good albeit a bit on the spicy side. We started with a lovely salad and then served the main courses buffet style (table wasn't big enough for all the food!).

After dinner we were sitting around talking and watching the (disastrous) game, and DH asked me: "Why does the microwave keep beeping as if something was ready"? That was the moment I realized the brussel sprouts were still in there....I had roasted them beautifully with olive oil and a little maple syrup, but due to oven space had done it earlier in the day and stuck them in there to warm up prior to serving...

I was mortified, primarily because that was my only veggie other than the salad and roasted yams (do yams and mashed potatoes count as a veggie?;-) I was wondering if my guests were thinking that I am weird for not serving any veggies. As soon as I said, "Damn, I forgot to serve them" one of my guests blurted out "Too bad, brussel sprouts are David's favorite!" (David being her SO who was with her and probably thinking "I wish she hadn't said that...").

So I apologized about twenty times and made them a "to go" container of leftovers...including almost all the sprouts.

Sigh. The good news is that everything else came out great! And the sprouts I ate for breakfast were tasty ...

Nov 28, 2014
janetofreno in Home Cooking

Football Saturday, breakast/brunch...near Berkeley but out of heavy traffic? Must be Veggie Friendly

Curious about Le Bateau Ivre: Last time I ate there was probably when I was a student a million or so years ago...same ownership? Are they ok for dinner? For some reason I think of it as a brunch place...

Football during Thanksgiving dinner - am I a snob?

Yes, football, family, food, and friends. The four Fs: very important on Tday!

Nov 26, 2014
janetofreno in Not About Food
1

Football during Thanksgiving dinner - am I a snob?

Your home, your rules. If you want the TV off, it should be off. That being said, I also have a huge interest in watching the specific game you mentioned. That particular game will probably make or break the winning team's season (I myself will be rooting for the niners, who play Seattle). I am having friends over for Thanksgiving since various factors kept us from having a big family get-together this year. I have never had this couple over for dinner, and I have no idea if they are football fans or not (They are folks I know from work who are college-aged and have nowhere to go for the holiday, so I thought I would treat them...). So when I extended the invitation I was very clear: appetizers are at 3:30 and dinner will be served at approximately 4:00 pm. Kickoff for the game is 5:30 (Pacific time). We will eat dinner without tv and enjoy each other's company, and then enjoy pie with the game. I told them that if they are horribly bored by football they need not feel obligated to stay for the entire game, but they are of course welcome to do so (and continue to nibble as they watch). They were fine with that...

DH and I will watch the am game as his Bears are playing...so will watch while we cook. There is a game in between but its not one we're interested in...so might have it on but will turn it off as soon as our guests show...

Nov 26, 2014
janetofreno in Not About Food

Football Saturday, breakast/brunch...near Berkeley but out of heavy traffic? Must be Veggie Friendly

Update: plans changed again and we ended up doing an early dinner after the game instead of brunch. So I went with Juhu Beach Club, because I've been wanting to try it. Food was good (some dishes better than others), but I doubt we'll be going again anytime soon. Service was abysmal. We arrived right at 5:30 pm with a reservation, and the place was full in about five minutes (they open at 5:30). Now keep in mind that we were with my son, his girlfriend, and her parents, and we were treating in return for several very nice meals at their house.

I wish they had cocktails and not just beer and wine; the food called out for a good cocktail. Or maybe it was having just left that game that made me crave one. We all had various beers from the selection, and they were fine. The appetizers started out well enough: everyone really liked the Manchurian cauliflower in particular. There were a couple of others that we shared, but I don't remember what. I do remember ordering fries with three dips to share, and we all wanted to try them. Well, despite asking AT LEAST four times for the fries, and being assured that they were on their way, they never did appear. Fortunately they didn't appear on the bill either...

Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. Two of us received entrees, and the others didn't come out. We watched as every other table in the place, including many who were seated after us, received food...and still no entrees. The two who had them had ordered the tomato soup/grilled cheese combo...and they waited for us to eat (and that particular dish didn't seem nearly as appealing once cold...).

Finally after about twenty minutes had passed we flagged down our waitress (she had never come by to ask if everything was ok), and asked about our missing entrees. Her response: "Well, what did you order??" um...that's your job to know that, isn't it. She went off to the kitchen to inquire, and returned to tell us that the missing food would be right out. It finally showed up 15 minutes later after another inquiry. Well, most of it showed up...even though we asked again for those fries we never DID get them....

I had the shrimp, and it was just meh to me. Not very spicy and really not much flavor. The best part of my meal were the side dishes that come with the shrimp: a raita and two types of pickles. One was an apple/mustard/horseradish combo that I am definitely going to try and mimic at home some day. I could have eaten it as a salad. The spicy eggplant got mixed reviews: DH thought it was undercooked. But he likes his eggplant over-cooked:-) My son's girlfriend's father really enjoyed his, and I thought it was tasty as well. Someone had the two veggie pav "sliders" and really liked them both. Son and girlfriend were the ones with the tomato soup/cheese sandwich combos and so ate them cold...not the best way to do so.

I can only assume that the missing entrees were somehow lost in the shuffle and hence the lateness. The restaurant did bring out some complimentary chai at the end of the meal by way of apology...that was probably the single best part of the meal. Excellent chai! BTW, the chai was brought by the hostess...the waitress never DID apologize for either the lateness of the food OR the way that she rudely snapped "Well, what did you order"? and then went off to check on the missing food without so much as an "I'm sorry..."

But then there was an automatic 20 percent gratuity added to my husband's credit card payment because we were a party of six. He certainly did NOT intend to tip 20 percent; but was given no choice..nor did we notice anything on the menu about this policy.

OK, thank you for letting me vent. My son's potential future inlaws are some of the kindest people I know, and have treated him like their own during the stressful time of his medical residency (they live near him). We wanted to repay them for their kindness, but wanted a casual "fun" veggie-friendly place. Juhu Beach qualifies, and we enjoyed our time together, but I doubt we will return. DH is still mumbling about that tip....

Football Saturday, breakast/brunch...near Berkeley but out of heavy traffic? Must be Veggie Friendly

Trying to find a place to meet several folks for breakfast/brunch/whatever Saturday. It needs to be open early enough that we can make it to the 1pm kickoff of the Big Game...we do have a parking pass. But not all of us are going to the game, so we don't want to be anywhere where traffic or parking will be an issue. Must be veggie friendly.

I thought of Juhu Beach Club, but they don't open until 11:30 on Saturday. And there's always something like Vik's, but I'm looking for something a little more upscale where we can have more quiet conversation and maybe enjoy a mimosa.....

And all without being delayed by huge pregame crowds. Am I dreaming?

Vegetarian Thanksgiving ideas - for one...

ummm.....that sounds good!! And I also like the stuffed delicata squash idea below.

If nothing else, I am collecting some good ideas for household dinner entrees the rest of the winter! (This Thanksgiving dinner is an exception: usually our meals at home are all vegetarian and I save my meat eating for lunch or dinners out).