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Denver area info needed, please:

Oh, the only reason we spend so much is because the cellar is *that* good... I've dined (and loved) restaurants everywhere from the dirty back alleys of Liberty City in downtown Miami to the upscale dining in Hiltonhead resorts and everywhere in between. Good food is good food, I don't insist on seeing its pedigree, or being served on bone china with heirloom silver. When I was in the Navy, whenever I was overseas, I hunted out the restaurants off the beaten path and watched where the locals went. Usually it was down some alley and the only sign it was even a restaurant was the barrage of scents and the menu tucked into a corner of the window.

I appreciate the reply, and as soon as I get home from work, I'll start mapquesting them!

Hopefully Saigon Terrace is all you remember, because I'm ready to kill for some real Vietnamese food. Is Zaidy's a "we make it you take it" type deli, or can you actually purchase sliced meats, cheeses, etc there?

Jun 25, 2007
parkco in Southwest

Denver area info needed, please:

Thank you both very much for the replies! Hopefully there are more.

THenderson: Please, please lay out those hole-in-the-wall/ethnic rest recs! We very quickly found Vines here in Parker, and while I'd not call it a hole-in-the-wall, I'd gladly kidnap and hold hostage forever their sommalier if the wine cellar came with! We go there about once a week or so and easily drop 3 to 500 on wines alone between the ones with dinner and the additional flights.

Megiac: I did indeed forget to ask for a meat/fish market. Completely slipped my mind with all the other things I was asking about. Thank you for the reminder! We have Landelleys right here in Parker for beef/pork, Europa and Zaytoon for the lamb and goat, and while on drive-about (the technological, lazy-persons version of walkabout) we saw a place called Tony's that we plan on checking out soon (in Centenniel, on Dry Creek Rd), but will also very gladly explore Oliver's as well. You can't have too many to spend a relaxing day walking around in.

Jun 25, 2007
parkco in Southwest

Denver area info needed, please:

Greetings,
I'd like to get a handle on the area, having just moved here in March. All of the unpacking is finally done, the kids are no longer in need of running around as school is finished, and now we're (my lady fair and I) ready to get down to some serious information digging. Background: we're in the outskirts of Parker (north side, almost to Aurora) and aren't opposed to going into Denver proper for the things we want, if necessary.

What we need is: an Asian market (specialty markets are fine, doesn't necessarily have to be generic Asian... Japanese, Korean, etc will do).

A European market (we already found Europa, in Aurora, and are happy with that... staff is incredibly friendly and helpful, and product is good) but would like other options, just to cover all bases.

Middle Eastern market (we have found Zaytoon International Market, formerly Global Grocery under new ownership, only three doors down from Europa... also very friendly ownership and good product... the Halal Lamb fresh daily from the family's farm for only 4.99 a pound approaches decadent)

A Latin market. Any variety, really. Puerto Rican, Cuban and Mexican in order of primary preference, but a "catch-all" Latin market is fine.

Mediterranean, Carribean, Indian are all welcome if such exists in individual markets.

"Year round" farmer's markets, fish markets. These are unlikely, I know, but I had better ask, as I might be pleasantly surprised.

A gourmet cookware store. Please, no crate and barrel, etc chain stuff. We like buying local. We've got the money to pay the difference between what mom-and-pop charge and the mega-corps chain discount. I'd much rather support a local family than a CEO a few thousand miles away.

A goumet ingredient store. Exotics, if possible, please. Fleur de Sel, Kala Namak, white and black truffles (fresh when in season), boquerones, rocambole (carpathian, german red) and purple stripe (chesnok red, persian star, metechi) garlic... That should give you an idea.

Anything else you, our good Chowhounding neighbors, might like to point out to a newly arrived pair of 'hounders. Good hole-in-the-wall type restaurant recs are particularly welcome, but would *really* like the above info first. TYVMIA.

Jun 23, 2007
parkco in Southwest

cookbooks: hidden gems?

I'm going to step outside the box a little bit on this one. Since we have a dedicated kitchen computer, I've got to say MasterCook Deluxe 9.0 for us. We just import all the recipes that we like from cookbooks we buy or borrow, and then we've got them at our fingertips permanently rather than trying to remember which of the hundred or so books it's in. We can also "attach" variants to the original, as sub categories.

It also scales, converts, substitutes, computes nutritional value, prints (and emails, and palms, and webmails) ingredient lists, etc. It'll even print shopping lists and a price list, and where in which store you can find the items (once you've entered that data once). All in all, a great program which we are squeezing for all it's worth. The only thing it won't do is stop you from grabbing the confectioner's sugar instead of the flour if you're nose deep in an interesting post here at Chow.

Edit: Forgot to mention, for those with limited resources that can't justify purchasing a new computer for the kitchen, it *will* run on some very old systems. The box says down to pentium 200 with 32 mb of ram. So you can probably pick up an older model laptop *very* cheaply these days (ebay, local computer store that does consignment, tigerdirect, newegg, et al) that will do the trick quite nicely. I recommend a laptop over a desktop, because of space, mobility and storage issues. They're much better for a laptop than a desk model that will swiftly eat up your counterspace and outlet plugs.

Jun 23, 2007
parkco in Home Cooking

Best "T" for a G&T?

I would advise against this recipe in the strongest possible way if you do even moderate travel to areas of the world where malaria is endemic. The results have the potential to become deadly, as repeated over-time exposure to quinine can hypersensitize the body to the P. Falciparum infected red blood cells and may cause another disease entirely, called blackwater fever.

While rare, since quinine is no longer the primary treatment for malaria, why risk death when there are other T's just as good. Again, I'd only worry about it if you have, or plan on being in an area that has, malaria present.

Jun 20, 2007
parkco in Spirits

Ordering PB&J at restaurants ...

Actually, here in Colorado, in the city of Aurora, there is a place called P.B. Loco cafe... It's a very fun place, with thirteen different flavours of peanut butter to work with in making your PB&J masterpiece. Raspberry white chocolate, Sumatra cinnamon and raisin, curry spiced, mocha, and more. There are lots of other ingredients you can use, from honey and bacon to M&Ms and Granny Smith apples. They'll even toast them on a Panini grill if you like. The drink selection is simple, from milk to real fountain soda. They also have Jones soda, for those that are familiar with it (all natural cane sugar sodas, not a thing nature didn't make in them).

A great place to take the kids, or to just throw back time and be a kid yourself. The wife and I try to make it there once every other month at the least, just to have a little fun.

Jun 16, 2007
parkco in General Topics

Top Chef Season 3

Many advertisers these days insist on name-use, and camera time as well. It's slowly becoming a necessity. The advent of DVRs has made such tactics almost a required stipulation in advert contracts. Quite a few people record the programs and subsequently fast-forward through the commercials.

By paying for actual in-program "air time" the advertisers ensure that they have "live audience" exposure to off-set the commercials that are "lost" through DVR usage. One cannot really blame them. Name and brand recognition comprise a massive part of the general populace's purchase reasoning.

Jun 16, 2007
parkco in Food Media & News

Do any cultures eat owl?

In addition to social mores, religeous convictions, learned and self-imposed moral behaviours, you also have to consider perhaps the most important factor of all. Hunger. Many places that eat what are most commonly considered "bizarre" foods do not, or have not in the past had, the widest options (or commercial mass-production methods, or mass transit shipping, or any one of dozens of things that get food rapidly and cheaply from On-the-hoof point A to in the belly point X) and, anthropologically speaking, the hold-over of eating certain foods has often been found to stem from necessity/habit being retained as a cultural hallmark.

As has been said for a long, long time, hunger is the best sauce. Should I become hungry enough, I know for certis I will eat anything that wanders across my path. I already did during several months of survival training in varying climes...

Jun 16, 2007
parkco in General Topics

what is "American dining"

American dining in a nutshell...

1) Huge portions that would feed a family of four in most other countries (and, of which, you are expected not to eat approximately one-third).

2) Generic caloric intake (population at large) enough to rival that of an automobile's power output.

3) Cooked/prepared in ways that usually negate approximately three-quarters of the foods intial nutritional value.

Sad, but essentially true. Sometimes, a sense of affluence is a very dangerous and tragic thing.

Jun 14, 2007
parkco in General Topics

Need a tasty fish recipe to convert a non-fish eater!

I'd have to recommend tilapia also... However, for beginners, I like to keep the tastes as simple as possible. First time exposure with a more complexly flavoured dish may lead them to think it should *always* taste similar to that, particularly with someone who has (as you seem to imply) a relatively novice palate. That can make for hard to meet expectations. Keep it light is my recommendation. Lightly brush it with fresh lemon juice and apply a rub of equal parts freshly ground black and white peppercorns, onion and garlic powders. Broil it (the heat of broiling and speed of preparation will help eliminate some of the aromatics naturally released during cooking, etc and hence reduce the fishy aroma from the dish and your house...). Right before serving, perhaps a light sprinkle of fleur de sel if you have it on hand.

edit: forgot to mention, keep the rub light... more of a sprinkle/dusting than a true "rub"

Jun 14, 2007
parkco in Home Cooking

Looking for French Fry holders like at Bouchon

Not *quite* what you were looking for, I don't think, but hopefully I'm in the very near vicinity.

http://www.galasource.com/prodDetail....
http://www.galasource.com/prodDetail....

Those two (above) are more for ice cream cones, obviously, but they are the solid
style you mentioned.

http://www.galasource.com/prodDetail....
http://www.galasource.com/prodDetail....
http://www.galasource.com/prodDetail....

These three (above) are the wire style, but still nice.

http://www.galasource.com/prodDetail....
http://www.galasource.com/prodDetail.... (These are the ramekins

)

The two above are, personally, my favorite. I like the option of being able to
serve two sauces with my offering.

Enjoy!

Jun 13, 2007
parkco in Cookware

what is the best way to freeze basil?

I'll admit, I cheat outrageously. I take enough to make a small bunch (typically three to four fronds) and place them inside of a half-folded paper towel. Then I just use my Food Saver. The vacuumed bags are nice and flat, easy to label, and stack well in the chest freezer. We have those heavy cardstock accordian files (the ones with the letters at the top, for easy organizing) and just slip the herbs in by their first letter after they're labelled. Makes finding them a snap. Once a month I go through the files and look for anything getting more than two months old and pick that for use soonest. With the paper towel wrapping to absorb excess moisture and the vacuum seal to remove all the air, they last quite a long while.

Jun 13, 2007
parkco in Home Cooking

freezing cilantro

Since we have a (very) small greenhouse (you could almost call it a glass topped planter with delusions of grandeur), we commonly have extra herbs. I've found that wrapping them in a paper towel and using my Food Saver vacu-seal gadget works quite well. The paper towel will absorb extra moisture much the same as the paper bag tip from Nigella (supplied by JSchwo7), and the removal of air further extends it's "shelf" life. I have to admit, my Food Saver is one of my most treasured gadgets. Great for preserving, freezing, marinading, etc.

Jun 07, 2007
parkco in Home Cooking

Dinner Friday night in Miami Beach

I have a suggestion that I would find it hard to recommend more, but it will depend on how "casual" you would care to be. I used to live in Miami, and one of the finest restaurants, imho, is Joe's Stone Crab.

They do not accept reservations, and the wait is usually a minimum of two hours. The food is definitely on the pricier side, but not utterly exorbitant. However, if you can tolerate those two issues, the food is quite possibly some of the finest seafood in all of Florida. As far as proximity, I know it's right around that area somewhere, on Washington. Any halfway decent hotel concierge, guest services, or cab driver will be able to point you in the right direction to get there, I'm pretty certain it's not more than 10 miles.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I wish I were there... I'm thinking I'll have to order and have them ship something. It's been at least six months since the wife and I dug into one of thier pies... :D

Jun 06, 2007
parkco in Florida

Non-toxic cleaning tips

I used the search function and went back eight pages, so if there's a topic about this somewhere else (deeper than eight pages in), my apologies for the repost...

Personally, I hate cleaning chemicals with a passion that defies description, especially in/around food areas... So I'm offering up a few helpful tips to get away from those nasty things, and hoping to pick up some tips I hadn't thought of myself!

1) Pour salt on a halved citrus fruit (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit... whatever your preference) and use it like a scouring pad. Great fresh scent, and the salt crystals won't damage glass/stone/etc.

2) Olive oil and lemon juice (4 oz and 25 or 30 drops, respectively) in a spritzer and shake well. Use it as a polish for wood.

3) A tablespoon of corn flour in a standard spritzer of water makes a great glass cleaner.

4) Powdered chalk and water mixed into a thick paste makes a nice silver polish (just for rebuffing, light cleaning, not heavy tarnish).

5) Eucalyptus oil is nice for dissolving glue and other sticky stuff.

6) A non-gel toothpaste and a medium bristle toothbrush takes crayon off the walls very well.

7) Weakly brewed tea (just your standard orange pekoe) cleans glass and mirrors.

8) Regular old Borax laundry soap (the 20-mule team variety, for those that remember...) sprinkled behind stoves, refridgerators, backs of cabinets, etc is a great insecticide (also very nice for a combo carpet deodorizer/flea killer) because the fine fine powder gets drawn up into their breathing spicules and tears them apart.

9) Old pantyhose makes great scouring pads. (Don't take their new pantyhose, gentlemen, they get *very* angry for some reason... I learned the hard way that my wife's tongue can get sharper than my Messermeisters...)

10) Not exactly non-toxic, but beats the fumigation alternatives... Put a flea collar in the vacuum bag/chamber. It'll kill the fleas before they can escape back to the house-at-large. Yes, I have several dogs, and they're outdoor/indoor... :D

11) If something splatters all over the microwave or oven, put some water in a safe pan (I use my pyrex, personally) and add a goodly amount of sliced lemons or oranges and steam the heck out of the inside... Smells nice, and the vaporized aromatic oils break up the grease.

12) Coffee in cheesecloth or muslin makes a good fridge/freezer odor-absorber.

13) Crumbled up tinfoil works well to clean off baked or grilled on food from oven and grill racks, roasting pans, etc. Basically, if it's metal, you can scrub it clean in no time.

14) The old vinegar and baking soda trick still works wonders... Good for foamy cleaning (kitchen sink, pipes, garbage disposal, and other places like that).

There's my most commonly used ones... Hope you enjoy and get lots of those nasty chemicals out of the house!

Jun 06, 2007
parkco in Not About Food

Cookware every man should have?

I've been cooking for almost 27 years and my knife skills are quite well practiced. :D It was just a suggestion for him to use until he got his knife control down... From his question, I took it that he was a relative novice, so the mandoline would be a good choice for ease, speed and uniformity. It's cheaper than a food processor, considerably less space-consuming, and much less intimidating for a newcomer. I also stand by my opinion that a mandoline is a time-saver for mass amounts of grunt chopping/slicing/julienning...

Jun 06, 2007
parkco in Cookware

Cookware every man should have?

I didn't see it mentioned, but a great time-saver I've found (although I'm no longer a bachelor...) is a mandoline. Nice, uniform, even slices. You can get varying plates for different cutting techiniques til you get your knife control firmly in hand. It's great for quickly disposing of a lot of grunt-work cutting.

Jun 06, 2007
parkco in Cookware

let's share a cooking "trick"

Actually, NatureMill makes a *fantastic* indoor composter.... I swear by mine, and I've only owned it for three months now. Completely sealed, fully automatic. Runs between 4 and 500, depending on where you get it from. With the money I've saved on all that high-end all-natural fertilizer for the greenhouse, it'll pay for itself in just a few more months.

Jun 06, 2007
parkco in Home Cooking