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San Vivaldo Trattoria, Warwick review

Right, this restaurant is located in the traditionally Italian enclave of Natick in West Warwick - not on the nightmare that is Rt 2.

Hell's Kitchen Week 3: Ramsay makes women barf

I tried to watch it. I started about 8 minutes in and saw a competition where they had to identify where different cuts of beef come from on a diagram of a cow. Out of the 8 answers, the group got 6 wrong - I turned it off. How on earth do you get on a cooking show and not know these things? I mean I can barely boil water and I could have done better (thanks Alton Brown!).

Redesigning Top Chef Season 5

I feel like many of the contestants this season haven't been up to par with contestants in earlier seasons - especially the first few seasons. The mind boggles on how someone like Melissa or Leah would make it to a show titled "Top Chef." To me this is the main problem with the show this season. Imaginative, skilled chefs would have been able to do something, even during a Cheez Whiz Quickfire Challenge. Most of these guys can hardly keep it together when given fresh products and a mere request to "make something that wows the judges."

Please, for the love of foie gras, please, please, please do not bring back that insufferable Toby Young next season. His labored attempts at being witty are beyond inane. Everything about him screams "I'm trying too hard!" - from the studied look of surliness he always maintains to the constipated delivery of his stupid remarks. Has he said anything useful so far this season? Fennel tastes like anise? Truly? The mind boggles...

Tribeca Cafe, Glastonbury, CT

Le sigh, I guess I will never know what "something cool" is. In my dreams it would be transforming back into The Doughnut Shoppe.

San Marino Ristorante, Waterbury, CT

Thank you for this detailed review!

Tribeca Cafe, Glastonbury, CT

What's happening at Cafe on Main?

(I would gladly look for myself but I'm 70 miles away at the moment.)

TNFNS recipe upsell at Red Lobster

Yeah, they hate it. I've had to do the same sort of thing in the past in retail jobs (e.g. "Would you like to sign up for our mailing list?" at checkout) and trust me, I only did it because it was very strictly enforced. Smug customers cutting me off with some smarmy remark was never appreciated.

Even though it's been years since I've had a job where I've had to upsell like that I'm still sympathetic to people who have to do it - I let them complete the spiel then politely say "no thank you."

Jul 12, 2008
Bad Sneakers in Chains

Help me order a Cuban sandwich

Honestly I'm utterly baffled reading many of the replies in this thread.


Peppers? PEPPERS?!? Ay dios mio.

You've got something there, but a Cuban it ain't, my friend. And as far as having some flexibility in sandwiches, sure that's fine, but this is all sounding like calling something a Reuben then making it with roast beef and ranch dressing.

Jul 09, 2008
Bad Sneakers in General Topics

Help me order a Cuban sandwich

There should never, ever, ever never be mayo on a Cuban sandwich.

Jul 09, 2008
Bad Sneakers in General Topics

Waffle House! Are they any good?

I love WH because it is one of the few chains where you can get a non-Belgian waffle. I can't stand Belgian waffles, but I love the thin style and no one ever has them anymore. Unfortunately I live nowhere near any Waffle Houses - so I must go waffleless (and my ego doesn't allow Eggo).

Jun 25, 2008
Bad Sneakers in Chains

Boston chefs bitter about those jerks on Chowhound

Chef's having no control? Well, perhaps their owners do have some control over places like Citysearch. It was a 'well regarded' now-defunct Boston establishment which several years ago gave me what was to this day the worst dining experience of my 34 years on this planet. I wrote a conservatively-worded review on Citysearch and it was removed within 48 hours. Similar reviews addressing issues similar to mine disappeared as well.

This was just before I discovered Chowhoud. Fortunately honest, evenly-expressed criticism of dining establishments is welcomed here and we the consumers at last have some control. Hooray!

How do you handle "The Cockroach Thing"?

Yeah, I was going to say - if only the "not allowed in New England" thing were true. And not just in the cities, either, trust me. I've heard some delightful stories (which I won't repeat) from suburban strip malls and smallish towns in RI.

I grew up in Miami and was frequently exposed to roaches. I never got used to the things - in fact I'm still absolutely terrified of them. Earlier this year I was down there visiting and went to the local mall, which I can't stand - but the food court has a generally respectable chain that does not exist in New England, so I was compelled by my craving for their specialty. Anyhow, I get in line to order and notice that there are several of the little bastids running around the cashier area and in and out under the door to the kitchen. I felt like someone slugged me in the gut - I discreetly turned and walked in a very determined manner to the exit. It's definitely a major weakness of mine.

So put me in the "discreet 'check please'" group if I see one at my table - though I'm certainly enough of a realist to accept they are in many kitchens.

Jun 21, 2008
Bad Sneakers in Not About Food

ISO: Rhode Island Cuban

Looking for recommendations on Cuban food in Rhode Island, if there is any to be found. For various reasons I would rather not go into, let's please leave Cuban Revolution out of this discussion.
I'm looking for a basic Cuban restaurant that serves the downhome dishes like boliche, palomilla, good moros, good maduros, etc.

I realize this is probably a longshot (time for me to stop shaming my ancestors and learn to cook this stuff myself) but I figured what the heck. Thanks for any help!

Cheeseburger in Paradise- Good?

I have to dock them some points for saying it's a "true Cuban sandwich" then including mayo in the ingredients. Mayo on a traditional Cuban? Ay Dios mio!

Apr 23, 2007
Bad Sneakers in Chains

Why the Chow Is So Good on Dexter St. in Central Falls

Does anyone happen to know if there are any Cuban restaurants in CF?

Thanks in advance.

good lunch between hartford and storrs

Agreeing with everything Science Chick said.

Yumfood: If you decide you are in the mood for ice cream it's definitely worth it to wait and go to the UConn Dairy Bar. The ice cream is excellent.

UC Dairy Bar Website:

good lunch between hartford and storrs

If you're willing to take a small detour, the Willimantic Brewing Company (aka the Main Street Cafe) in Willimantic is nice for a casual lunch.

967 Main Street

South Eastern Connecticut?? [moved from Tristate board]

It's all good, Johnny. By the way, I really appreciate your reviews of Latin restaurants in CT. :)

Mar 10, 2007
Bad Sneakers in Site Talk

South Eastern Connecticut?? [moved from Tristate board]

"All of CT belongs on the tristate board"

No thank you. I don't feel like I'm (Hartford area) in the NYC Metro area in any sense, but I'm quite sure I live in New England.

Mar 08, 2007
Bad Sneakers in Site Talk

Best Breakfast Bars

Believe me, I feel your pain.

Feb 12, 2007
Bad Sneakers in General Topics

Best Breakfast Bars

Sadly a only a week or so after I posted about the HBoO bars they disappeared from all the store shelves around here. I haven't seen them since. Looks like they have been sent to the Breakfast Graveyard.

Feb 12, 2007
Bad Sneakers in General Topics

What foods do restaurants most frequently mess up?

Sides. Overcooked/undercooked rice. Limp steamed vegetables. Flavorless potatoes. Mystery stuff swimming in oil. Sides can be one of the most enjoyable parts of the meal - small servings of tasty treats that compliment the main dish - but too often they are treated as little more than an afterthought.

Feb 05, 2007
Bad Sneakers in General Topics

(West Hartford) Cosmos International

Sorry, I should have included that in my post.
770 Farmington Ave
West Hartford
(860) 232-6600

(West Hartford) Cosmos International

Cosmos International on Farmington Ave (inWest Hartford, just over the border from Hartford) is a wonderful source for a wide variety of Subcontinental and (to a lesser extent) Middle Eastern food items. In the back there's a small selection of prepared foods. I like to pick up a few vegetable samosas from there once a week or so. They have several sources and the ones I've tried vary quite a bit. Prices range from about 75-85c per samosa. Samosa mini-review:

Shaheen's: These are by far my favorite. Large, with good heat and a complex flavor (not just heat+salt like some samosas). These guys crisp up nicely when heated up in the oven. Fairly salty and a bit oily.

Rajbhog: Not bad at all, though the flavor isn't as complex as Shaheen's and the shell isn't as crispy. Slightly lower heat level. I believe these are their biggest sellers.

Kabab King: I was very disappointed in these. They looked promising from the outside - large, nice crispy shell, smelled great. My problem with these samosas was the inclusion of very large chunks of onion and pepper. Even though I fished them out they completely overwhelmed the other flavors. My declaration that "I've never met a samosa I didn't like" had finally been challenged.

Anyone have any favorites from Cosmos? Must try prepared or packaged foods?

Cape Verdean in RI

I know there are several Cape Verdean restaurants in Pawtucket and I would imagine perhaps Providence and E. Providence as well. I just don't know the area* or the food well enough to know which places are a good choice for a newbie. I've never had Cape Verdean food, but the things I've read sound appealing and I would love to explore it. Any recs on restaurants would be greatly appreciated. I'm not concerned with hipness or decor, just deliciousness, though friendly service is always a great plus. Thanks!

*I live in CT but I love RI and I'm working on moving there, so I visit often.

Rhode Island specialities [moved from a discussion on the Boston board]

Mc Slim,

Just my personal experience, but it seems to me 95% of the time I hear kwa-hog. However I spend most of my time in the West Bay and I've been told the ko-hog pronunciation is more of an East Bay thing, so that might be it. Ko-hog is the pronunciation used on the show Family Guy, so it might be growing in popularity for that reason, as well.

Best Breakfast Bars

Right now I'm into the Honey Bunches of Oats cranberry almond bars. Though I liked them better before they added frosting - it made them just a little too sweet. The banana nut variety isn't bad, either.

I would do anything to have the Carnation Instant Breakfast Bars reappear on the market. They had an odd taste that I found irresistible and just thinking about them brings back so many great memories.

Jan 17, 2007
Bad Sneakers in General Topics

Best Breakfast Bars

Oh yeah. I remember trying one and thinking it was like biting into a lemon scented bathroom deodorizer (not that I would know what that is like :)). The Luna Bars I've tried all seem too cloyingly sweet to me.

Jan 17, 2007
Bad Sneakers in General Topics

Best hot chocolate to order online

L.A. Burdick. Really great stuff.

Jan 17, 2007
Bad Sneakers in General Topics

Looking for a delicious Garbonzo Bean Soup Recipe

Yes, the original Columbia Restaurant is in Ybor City. You're welcome and I hope the recipe works out well for you. :)

Jan 16, 2007
Bad Sneakers in Home Cooking