annagranfors's Profile

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What items do you wish Trader Joe's would make/stock?

There was a similar thread a while back, and I'll repeat what I said there...I wish they'd do their own take on "TV Dinners". A three or four course meal, any nationality's cuisine from the US to the farthest-flung corner of the earth. And maybe a little bit bigger than ye olde Swanson's...14-16 oz. or so.

I'll grant that since they outsource their frozen stuff, this would probably be hard to make happen. But I'd love to see what they could do with the idea. It'd make microwaved lunch (or dinners) a lot nicer, if done right.

L.A. Taco's Taco Madness 2015 (A Photo Story)

[Emily Litella]...oh. That's very different. Never mind. [/Emily Litella]

Apr 20, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Taco's Taco Madness 2015 (A Photo Story)

...um...I don't think you mean what you think you mean. Most of the best tacos in Greater Los Angeles all come from trucks or stands, and paying money for the aforementioned wonders is hardly ridiculous.

Have you *really* never had a taco that didn't come from a brick and mortar restaurant? Why not? "Food trucks" don't automatically mean subpar or unclean...and most of the ones I frequent have "A" ratings from the city.

New Cheese Shop opening in Sherman Oaks on Ventura

Milkfarm in Eagle Rock, on Colorado close to Eagle Rock Blvd., seems to have escaped most people's notice (they're celebrating their first anniversary), and if you're in this neck of the woods, you should stop by...good cheese, nice looking sandwich menu (haven't had the chance to have one yet) and super-friendly (and helpful) staff.

www.milkfarmla.com

Apr 08, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Hey, expat Canadians (or Wisconsinoids)...where do YOU buy cheese curds online for delivery in, say, California (or other equidistant locations)?

Thanks for the offer, smaki, but I've got relatives in PDX and will probably be paying them a visit soon. Since I usually cut across to Highway 1 from the 5 when I get past SF (it's a beautiful drive-whales cresting all along the coast), I can go visit Tillamook on the way back to the 5 and get some myself.

I appreciate your idea of buying curds from them to resell to those looking for them, but seriously doubt that Tillamook would sell you enough to make it a serious business proposition. They seem to be pretty insistent that they can only be bought on premises, and wouldn't want to have their brand possibly sullied by a second-party reseller.
As I said, they used to sell them online, but I think that the problems in getting FedEx/UPS overnight delivery to work forced them to stop. It'd be nice if they could work it out, but I'm tending to doubt it.

But by all means, take the trip and try some for yourself–I agree about their other cheeses, have had the smoked cheddar and agree that it's wonderful stuff, and expect that their curds will be of the same high standards. I look forward to visiting them soon.

Apr 03, 2015
annagranfors in General Topics

Hey, expat Canadians (or Wisconsinoids)...where do YOU buy cheese curds online for delivery in, say, California (or other equidistant locations)?

Thanks for the recs/info so far, everybody!

I'll try writing James Norton to see what he says on the matter.

smaki–I thought about posting this on the cheese boards, but cheese curds are used (basically) for one of two things:

1) an essential ingredient for the Quebecois dish called "poutine", which literally means "mess". It's a bed of french fries with curds put on top of them, and then a gravy. (That's the basic poutine; there are many variations that add anything from Montreal smoked meats to, well, you name it.) It is NOT a gourmet dish by any means, more something one has after a night out at the bar. *Hic.*

2) a snack food–kids (and adults) in the upper Midwest nosh on them as a treat. And truth be told, that's how I prefer them, too.

But make no mistake–good curds (and the best curds are no more than a day old) are a delight. They're cheddar at its very freshest, before the aging process. Oregon's own Tillamook makes acclaimed curds, but although they used to sell them online, you can only get them by going to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. (Bit of a trip for me.)

In answer to your question about cost, it seems that (if you buy them at the source) you can get them for $5–10 for bags ranging from 8 to 16 oz.

They are definitely NOT, then, an artisanal cheese eater's delight...no aging, no blue veins...just fresh, squeaky goodness. And from what I've seen on the cheese boards, not the type of cheese that folks there discuss, so I posted it here instead.

Anyway, thanks again for the responses...I have a few expat friends who are curd fiends and will probably be trying most if not all of the links you've kindly posted. But please...keep 'em coming! :)

Apr 02, 2015
annagranfors in General Topics

Hey, expat Canadians (or Wisconsinoids)...where do YOU buy cheese curds online for delivery in, say, California (or other equidistant locations)?

That's really the nut of the question in the topic header...there are quite a few choices online (albeit with the dread shipping charges), but unfortunately, I don't know who makes THE best. I've gotten Beehive curds from Utah that are pretty good (and have the advantage of being sold locally here in Los Angeles, but only every other month), and Beecher's, who took first place for their curds in the American Cheese Society competition–both are good, but I can't help feeling that some Hound somewhere knows where to buy the PERFECT curds...oh, and please, white, not yellow...

And it seems that there are no Canadian cheesemakers who will ship to the US...or are there? I haven't found one yet, but maybe you know...?

Thanks in advance!

Mar 31, 2015
annagranfors in General Topics

McDonald’s to Test Expanded Breakfast Hours

Yeah, but dimes to dollars sez they won't be doing the "two Sausage McMuffins with Egg" at the AM reduced price ($3.50, I think...?) but at their "normal" price, so no sale.

They're okay at the nice price, but if I gotta pay the $5 to $6 for two that I'm guessing they'll be, I can get an Applewood smoked bacon omelette down the street with far better hash browns and fresh buttermilk biscuit for $2 more.

And if I'm honest, I usually feel a little sick after eating them, anyway...and that's the only thing on the breakfast menu I like. Except for the mild nausea, that is.

Mar 31, 2015
annagranfors in Chains

Grass fed meats, pastured eggs * PLACES TO EAT*

Square One is a good bet, though they're only open till 3 pm–breakfast/brunch only. But probably the best breakfast you'll find in LA. They're on Fountain, right across from the big blue Scientology building, a few blocks west of Vermont.

Mar 26, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Anyone try Buttery Jack from jack n the crack

Yep, I took one for the team...one of the Buttery Jacks is "Buttery Garlic"; I had a coupon, and said to myself "how bad could it be? Plus, garlic!"

Alas, it's just another JitB trashburger. Edible, but just barely, and supergreasy to boot.

Avoid.

Mar 26, 2015
annagranfors in Chains

Good bar/pub grilled cheese?

Were I you, I'd put in a request to The Grilled Cheese Truck to park outside of your favorite pub. They make superlative grilled cheese sandwiches in all shapes and forms, including the basic one you mention. And this Tuesday, they'll be outside of the Brickyard Pub in North Hollywood from 10 pm–1 am. (Their schedule's on their main page.)

http://www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com/

Need help recalling restaurant (1978 photo).

Actually, it's in a Matlock episode, too...I ran it through Google image search, and found a car collector's page that even gave the series/episode/approximate time it was seen. (Sorry to not have that info, but I did it yesterday and am running too late to look it up again.)

But it's the same angle, so no hint of the name of the place.

Mar 13, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

PIZZA DELIVERY CHARGES

Yep...I'm lucky (in at least one regard) insofar as I live less than a mile away from Casa Bianca in Eagle Rock, so I call in my order, shave five minutes or so off the estimated pickup time, and park in the alley across the street, walk over, and it's usually just about ready, so I get it (sausage and garlic) piping hot, and can make it back home in 3–4 minutes and eat the whole (small) pizza and lapse into a happy food coma.

It's about as good as you can ask for in a world falling apart at the seams (corporatocracy, not democracy, global warming et al)...eating well is the best revenge.

Mar 09, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

YAY (re: construction, not working till 4 am)!

See ya soon!

Mar 05, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

moreplease–I *will* be coming to Smoke's for poutine and curds, in addition to the place my friend MaladyNelson mentioned. I spoke with them, and they only get curds in every few weeks. Not to mention, I'm dying for some of your poutine *and* you're closer to me geographically.

Please post when the grand opening's imminent! Me and a few friends at work will be coming by for lunch...as soon as the crowds die down, anyway. (I saw the video of the Berkeley opening...seems they got quite the reception!)

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

Thanks for all the replies, folks. I suppose I'd just like to see a local dairy make them. From all of the recipes I've seen, it's insanely easy...and the curds would be super-fresh, the way our Quebec friends get them.

And if anyone else has more info/locations, please feel free to pass them on! :)

Mar 04, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

Yeah, I thought that kind of strange, too–it shipped from DeForest, WI, and the major cheesemaker there is Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet–who do make curds.

I think that they make curds at both Beecher's stores–though I've not been, so don't know–but either packaging their curds and shipping them is too troublesome or they've just cut a deal with someone to make "Beecher's" curds at Ehlenbach's.

Mar 04, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

HA! I recognized your nickname when I was on the main page! Leave it to a Whovian friend to know where in all of time and space you can find cheese curds!

I just called them, and they said they'd be getting a new batch in two weeks from now...I'll be there! Thanks, Yoshiko! :)

Mar 03, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

Thanks, Novelli...if I'm down that way, I'll have a look!

Mar 03, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

...about what? ;)

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

I've been excited about Smoke's opening in LA since I heard about it...but if I can get a bag of curds to go post-poutine, I'll be one happy Hound (and "addiction" would *not* be a misuse of the term)! :)

Wisconsin curds can be really good–I just paid through the nose (shipping-wise) to get some for me and a Canadian friend from Beecher's in Wisconsin.

But c'mon, local cheesemakers/farms...step up and make your own. I think you'll find plenty of customers...!

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

Cool! That wouldn't be the LA branch of Smoke's Poutinerie on Cahuenga, would it...?

And regardless, could you do a fellow 'Hound a square and sell a few bags of curds after I eat at your place? (Much as I like poutine, I love curds straight up as a snack.)

Best of luck with your restaurant! :)

Mar 02, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

I'll have to go there sometime, when I've got that much time to travel from Highland Park. (Stupid entertainment industry; tight schedule.) Thanks for the tip, though.

But–ahem–CURDS...? Please...?

Mar 01, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

ipsedixit...although Angelenos might prefer carne asada fries (or whatever), I'm just talking about the curds themselves. A 6 oz. bag is as good as any treat under the sun.

LA prides itself on being a city for all cuisines (although Sri Lanka is sorely underrepresented, by which I mean zero...dammit, and RIP the Sri Lanka Curry House)...one would think that something so easy to make, and so enjoyed by millions of our northern neighbors, would do well here.

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

If the curds were anything like the ones they put in their frozen poutine, then I can see why they didn't sell...they were subpar.

Seriously–there's a big difference between fresh, locally-sourced curds and something that's been frozen, unfrozen, and put on a hook at Trader Joe's.

I haven't been to Westwood's P'tit Soleil yet, but suspect that they've found a local dairy to make fresh curds for them, from the reviews I've seen...I'll have to go and see/taste. But what I'm looking for is just a 6-10 oz. bag of curds to snack on, and I doubt they'd sell them to me.

Bristol Farms is the only place I've seen that stocks curds regularly, but they're miles away from what one can find in most convenience stores in Quebec, or even Wisconsin...too salty, no squeak.

It may be hopeless (save the ones that Milkfarm brings in bi-monthly), and maybe there isn't enough interest. But I think there might be, if the curds are the real thing.

Mar 01, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Why can't LA get real, squeaky, Quebec-style cheese curds?

With one exception, Eagle Rock's Milkfarm, they simply can NOT be found, and even there, they order them from Utah...they're good, but not Quebec-good. There are plenty of recipes online, but I don't have the time to make them–but would pay/buy them constantly if they were available locally...as would quite a few other Canadian/upper Midwest expats, I'm sure.

I suppose their shelf-life has something to do with it...they *need* to be really fresh...so, no–they probably wouldn't be in every supermarket. But if you could spread their distribution across about a dozen artisanal cheese stores (and a Whole Foods or five), I suspect you'd have customers waving money to buy them, for poutine or just to snack on.

Any other curd fans out there with me...? Make them, and they will come! :)

Mar 01, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Frozen Dinners aka TV Dinners: Why are they so Popular?

Yeah, if Stouffer's or Kraft is your go-to M&C, TJ's definitely won't deliver the creaminess you want. But taste-wise, it's got it over the other two in spades. (I've never been a big fan of creamy M&C, so it's not an issue for me.)

Feb 16, 2015
annagranfors in General Topics

Best Bagels in SFV or Conejo Valley?

I think that's about what you'd pay at Noah's "Bagels", which are pathetic in the extreme.

I've not been to Belle's, and so can't testify...but just from the pictures (and write-ups) appear to be something closer to a real bagel. At least I'm hoping so, since they're less than a half a mile from where I live. :)

No idea re: lox/nova; I'd give them a call and ask.

Feb 14, 2015
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Frozen Dinners aka TV Dinners: Why are they so Popular?

Trader Joe's Mac and Cheese beats Stouffer's hands down, IMHO. They use a three cheese blend, and the macaroni comes out a little more al dente. (Or you can cook it a little longer for the nice crusty bits.)

Feb 11, 2015
annagranfors in General Topics

Frozen Dinners aka TV Dinners: Why are they so Popular?

Actually, Bertolli's single frozen microwavable dinners aren't bad, either, as these things go. Michael Angelo's are worth a try, too.

Feb 11, 2015
annagranfors in General Topics