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Fine Dining in Mystic, CT

JNice, did you go to Latitude 41, and if so, how was it?

We tried to go there for hubby's birthday, on May 8. Well, we were there, but I can't vouch for the food because we didn't get any.

We arrived and were seated right away. And then we waited over 30 minutes for someone to come over and take our drink orders. No one came by, so we decided to leave and eat elsewhere. Just as we were leaving, someone came by, but we were already disgusted with the poor service here, so we walked out the door.

Later, I sent an email to the manager of this place. I was thoroughly disgusted when he responded, and claimed that he was there, he saw us, and he spoke to the server, who claimed that she had already taken our drink order, before we decided to up and leave! This was absolutely not true. I responded by asking him to ask the server what we had ordered to drink, and he said he could not answer that question. Because IT NEVER HAPPENED, I told him!

This email exchange went back and forth for a while, and he did offer to let us come back for a free dinner. But the damage was already done. When a manager believes a server who is lying to save her job, over customers who were telling the truth, that's not a place I want to go to again, even if they paid me.

He also wanted me to take down the review I wrote on Yelp. Not only did I refuse to do so, but some guy wrote a similar review to my own.

Jun 24, 2010
catmommy9 in Southern New England

Dr Pepper's sausage stand in Fenway?

If you can't get to Fenway, I suggest trying to snag a copy of Chris' book, "Big Flavors of the Hot Sun". It is old and out of print, but you might be able to find it used on sites like Amazon or Half.com. It contains not only a recipe for *Home Style Inner Beauty Hot Sauce*, but one for the Fenway style sausages that use it, as well.

I have made this more than once. Awesome. If you can't make it to the playoffs, or Opening Day 2010, get a copy of this book and try making it at home!

Oh, and this sauce keeps almost forever. With all of those habaneros in it, nothing dangerous even THINKS about trying to live in it!

Oct 01, 2009
catmommy9 in Greater Boston Area

Phantom Gourmet's Food Festival - is it worth the $40?

Hubby and I went to the very first one, with big expectations. The place was jam-packed, and we were unable to get ANY food at all. We ended up leaving in disgust.

This was back when the tickets were only $15 each. The ticket prices have steadily gone up every year. No way were we ever going to spend the money for this thing again!

We drove up to Portsmouth, NH for the day instead. We went to a restaurant with an outside deck and enjoyed the gorgeous weather, and spent a LOT less than $80 for more food and no lines.

I like some of the places that are at the PGFF, such as Harrow's Chicken Pies and the Summer Shack. But I'd rather just go to these places and get food there, rather than dealing with this overcrowded, overpriced, over-hyped event.

Sep 28, 2009
catmommy9 in Greater Boston Area

Best and Worst Cooking Shows

I don't have cable, so I don't get to see the Food Network that much. When I do get to see it, I see that there is very little that I am missing. Good Eats, Tyler's Ultimate, and Barefoot Contessa are among the few shows on that channel that are worth watching.

There is much better stuff on PBS. For the poster above who said they hadn't seen Ming Tsai in a while, he is alive and well on PBS. His show is also running on the PBS digital channel "Create". I enjoy his show. I also like America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Country, Sara's Weeknight Meals, and Made in Spain.

In my opinion, all of the bad cooking shows are on Food Network. Sandra Lee and her over-prcessed food and "tablescapes" make me want to puke. I see now she has her own magazine now. What a waste of poor trees!

Jul 02, 2009
catmommy9 in Food Media & News

Phantom Gourmet

The Phantom Gourmet show being a big commercial? We've thought so for a while now. We used to enjoy watching it, and even went to some of the places they recommended/shilled, such as Finz in Salem and Jasper White's Summer Shack (which we'd actually heard of before the show) Don't know how Finz is now, but Summer Shack is still good, in my opinion..

But they would go on and on about this place called Bambino's in Malden, about how good it was and all. We live in Malden and have driven past the place thousands of times, but never went in. One night, we did, based solely on PG's recommendation.

The place completely sucked. It was the worst restaurant we'd been to in years. How anyone could say it was good was beyond us. That was when we woke up and realized that Bambino's was likely paying PG to gush on about the place. After that, we never went anywhere solely based on their recommendations, I look elsewhere for other opinions.

Bambino's ended up closing a couple of years later, and it's no great loss to us. I just wonder why it didn't close down sooner.

Anyhoo, we don't watch PG any more. We're sick of hearing them go on and on about the Kowloon, Halfway Cafe (which we also found to be mediocre when we tried it once), and other places who pay them the big bucks. We've never been to the Kowloon, and now have no desire to go.

The show used to not be as bad as it is now, and I imagine it's gotten even worse since we quit watching.

Jul 02, 2009
catmommy9 in Food Media & News

Best and Worst Recipes You Made From a Cooking Show

I'd say that the absolute best so far is Alton Brown's Roast Turkey (Romancing the Bird). The "turkey triangle" has now become an annual holiday tradition in our house!

Another fave, also from AB, is the duck from the episode "Mighty Duck" He dismantles a duck, steams it, and then finishes in a "NASA Hot" cast iron skillet in the oven...legs first, since they take longer to cook. That show is what made me give up on my cheap *poultry shears* and go to Home Depot to buy a paid of ten-buck metal snips, to use for dismantling poultry.

Jul 01, 2009
catmommy9 in Home Cooking

Should Some Restaurants Be Child-Free?

As for it being legal or not to ban children...I know of a few bed & breakfasts that do so, and no one has shut them down yet. In these cases, it's because the homes are furnished and decorated with antiques, and the owners don't want little kids running around, climbing on furniture or knocking over stuff.

So I see no reason why a restaurant owner can't do the same. It's a privately-owned establishment, and eating out is not a necessity. If the owner is looking to sell a particular kind of ambiance for his/her restaurant, which does not include children screaming and/or running around, that is their right to do so.

I don't want to ban kids from all restaurants, because that would not be fair. But I don't think it is unreasonable for restaurants that have separate bar areas to restrict those areas to 21+. I'm amazed at how many places not only let kids i the bar area, but even let them sit at the bar. Apparently, there is no law against this here in Massachusetts, as long as the kids are not served alcohol. However, preferences of restaurant owners and local ordinances can apply.

For places that don't have bar areas, how about child-free sections? Now that most states have smoking bans, maybe make the area that was formerly the smoking section the child-free section.

There's a restaurant up in Ogunquit, Maine, called Vinny's...is that still there? Anyhoo, they had a separate "family dining room" that was kid-friendly. It had TVs with cartoons on them and stuff like that. Families with kids were not required to use it, but were strongly encouraged to.

There are some places where kids do not belong at all. If a place is primarily a bar, and has just a few tables around it, it should be 21+. If a place is on the higher end, say, where the tab for two is over $100, it should be kid-free as well. If people are spending that kind of money (and often additional for a babysitter, as dagwood above mentioned), they most certainly should not have their special night out, one that they may have been saving up for, ruined.

So that's my opinion on this issue!

Jun 12, 2009
catmommy9 in Not About Food