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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.

about 1 hour ago
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! :)

about 3 hours ago
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

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2015 - June 2015

Yeah, my TJ's in Eagle Rock, CA had a bunch (on sale @ $1.99!), then next week they were gone. I think they were just clearing them out.

Jan 31, 2015
annagranfors in Chains

How do you like your tacos...crunchy or soft?

Interesting article that bears out what I suspected...although a couple of Texan restaurants could lay claim to inventing the crispy corn shell, it was popularized by Taco Bell:

http://www.thekitchn.com/100-american...

...and then all our moms found Schilling's Taco Seasoning, new ready-to-eat taco shells and basically aped that formula. I know mine did, and hasn't had an authentic Mexican taco to this day. I enthuse about the wonders I've found on every taco truck here in Los Angeles, but she turns her nose up at the thought of a "taco" not made of ground beef, seasoning, cheese, lettuce and tomatos.

See also the linked article at the first one, the SF Weekly's "Where Did Crispy Tacos Come From?":

http://www.sfweekly.com/foodie/2011/0...

Every mom's favorite cookbook, The Joy Of Cooking, seems to have had some influence, too, though their recipe varies from the lettuce/tomato/cheese/ground beef version. (A "can" of tortillas...? Weird!)

Jan 22, 2015
annagranfors in General Topics

Discontinued at Trader Joe's: January 2015 - June 2015

I'd be content if they could just manage to sell the cheese curds–for being frozen, they weren't bad–they *did* have the squeak that a good poutine requires, although they were a little on the salty side. I could do the gravy myself and buy far better fries at the burger joint down the street...et voila!

(I should add that I just let them defrost in the fridge, as opposed to boiling them.)

Jan 13, 2015
annagranfors in Chains
1

Progresso Chili...opinions?

Querencia, thanks for the comment, which makes perfect sense...if you OWN a slow cooker. I don't, at present.

I'm hoping to retire in three years or so, at which point, if $$$ allows, I may buy a few kitchen necessities (a slow cooker would probably be one) and explore at least a few of the culinary arts.

But thanks for the encouragement. :)

Jan 03, 2015
annagranfors in General Topics

Trader Joe's Frozen Poutine discontinued?

It's possible. I seem to recall other people mentioning it as costing $4.99, but the last few batches at my local (Eagle Rock, CA) TJ's were going for $1.99...clearing out the stock, maybe...?

Dec 31, 2014
annagranfors in Chains

Progresso Chili...opinions?

Thanks, all, for the comments!

Believe me, I *will* make homemade chili again–my work schedule currently prohibits anything that I can't throw in the microwave.

And I did buy a can of every Texan's fave, Wolf Brand (spicy with beans) yesterday...though sueatmo, you may want to stay away from it, since its sodium content is even higher than Progresso's. Hoping it's good...I've only ever been to Austin, TX, but the resto food was fairly amazing there.

Dec 31, 2014
annagranfors in General Topics

Progresso Chili...opinions?

I bit the bullet and gave the Smokehouse version a try...it's not half bad, but it's not great, either (ie., homemade). On the plus side, it's much better than any of the canned chilis available at my local Vons (Eagle Rock, CA), but that's not saying much...anything Hormel makes is inedible, likewise Dennison's, and my former go-to (though again, far from great), Stagg's, has really gone down the tubes. I think they had Bush's, and if I recall, yechh again.

I think I recall them having Wolf Brand, but passed on it thinking it'd be much the same–since then, I've seen quite a few posts here that rate it highly...might give that a try next time.

Basic review–as I said, not half bad–actual tomatoes, good beans, meats (beef and pork) fairly tasty, but a little soupy all in all...not surprising, given its provenance. (I'd added cheese and onions, as I normally would, but a bite from the side of the bowl sans additives wasn't bad.) Would I get it again? Um, maybe, if the price comes down, but even Wal-Mart has it listed at $3.88, so I'm going to guess that $4.50's about what most stores will be selling it for.

But if Vons has it, I'll try Wolf Brand first.

Thanks for the responses!

Dec 30, 2014
annagranfors in General Topics

Progresso Chili...opinions?

BouquiGarnet–I know it's easy to make, but believe me when I say I don't have the time.

Anyone actually tried the Progresso? Thanks in advance...

Dec 29, 2014
annagranfors in General Topics

Progresso Chili...opinions?

I like some (not all) of Progresso's soups, but looked at the top shelf above the soups in my local supermarket, and saw that Progresso's now making chili (two varieties; one "southwest-style" white chili with chicken and the other "smokehouse" beef and pork). Even on sale ($4.50 if memory serves), it's a bit pricy, even though it's 20 oz. and comes in a pouch "for added freshness".

Anybody here been there/eaten it (either variety)? What'd you think? (I can't find a canned chili that's edible any more, and don't have the time to make it from scratch.)

Dec 28, 2014
annagranfors in General Topics

McDonald's Burgers Ranked Worst in the U.S. - Cutting Menu Items

It was mentioned upstream, but just when I think I've finally had my last McAnything, they advertised the Jalapeno Double...and since there's a McD's two blocks away from my house, I decided to try it on the way home as a late night snack.

I've gone back for probably five more. I don't know if it's my love of jalapenos, or possibly the way they kind of disguise the basic McBurger taste, but I'm fond of 'em. Besides the basic jalapeno, they have "crispy" jalapenos (new one on me), a slice of white cheddar cheese product, and a ranch sauce.

Are they good for me? Undoubtedly not. Will I go back for more? Erm...yeah, probably.

Dec 17, 2014
annagranfors in Chains

Organix in Eagle Rock - Groceries, Vegan Sandiwiches, and Such

I guess I'm posting a response because I can't stand looking at the "0" responses any more...

I'm not a vegan by any stretch, but I get Chinese takeout at the Green Dragon next door on a regular basis, and I always feel sorry for this little store. It looks immaculate, well-stocked, and, well, deserted every time I look at it. Maybe I'm being hypersensitive, but every time I see the owner (or employees), they just seem disheartened beyond belief.

I think I'm going to have to pay the deli a visit, and hope that my fellow Eagle Rock residents do, too. I'm not ignoring the claim made by the OP that the grocery's painfully expensive, but it saddens me to see an obvious labor of love so undershopped. Eagle Rock needs exactly this kind of diversity.

The Wien Truck or The Wiener Factory, anyone happen to have any scoop on whether or not it might just possibly be returning ??????????????????

Kevin was a doll. I used to work at WB TV Animation (just down the road), and would go at least twice a week for the chili cheese dogs. After I'd gotten to know him, Sher, and the rest of the crew, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that he'd put *two* dogs in the same bun, and continued to do so–gratis–until they closed.

There's not a hot dog joint extant that comes remotely close to the glory that was the Wiener Factory. (Yeah, yeah, Fab's...for twice as much $$ and they *still* don't come close.)

Nov 03, 2014
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

The Wien Truck or The Wiener Factory, anyone happen to have any scoop on whether or not it might just possibly be returning ??????????????????

...pleasepleaseplease *someone* post something hopeful...!

Nov 03, 2014
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

vegetarian poutine

...so I went by my local Trader Joe's today, planning to buy some poutine and substitute the Oinkster fries, but *sob* they were out of stock. One of their guys checked on the computer for me, though, and said that they also have a vegetarian poutine–which they were out of stock on as well, dammit. (I was going to go buy some gravy at the local supermarket, and throw everything away except the cheese curds.)

So, Krjess...you might want to check your local Trader Joe's to see if they have it in stock!

vegetarian poutine

...oh, and btw–the man I spoke with at P'tit Soleil said that their "Poutine Christine" *does* have some beef stock in the gravy, so that's out.

vegetarian poutine

Spoke with P'tit Soleil, who said that they DO serve a vegetarian version–a tomato sauce with ratatouille. Again, I still have no idea as to the squeak factor.

TheOffalo's comment isn't the first I've seen to have testified for the Trader Joe's version...although the gravy would undoubtedly NOT be vegetarian, and I'd probably swap out the fries for some fresh ones of your choice. (Since I live in Eagle Rock, I should go get some of the Oinkster's wonderful fries.) But if the curds squeak, that's half the battle right there...you probably know of a good vegetarian "gravy", krjess.

vegetarian poutine

I haven't been and so can't testify, but P'tit Soleil in Westwood *supposedly* has Quebec-style squeaky cheese curds, and makes one called Poutine Christine that has a cognac peppercorn sauce, with no mention of meat.

You might call them and find out if there are other vegetarian options...and please please please–if you go, let us know if the curds squeak. (The downfall of every other SoCal poutine I've tried.)

From EaterLA: "Grand Central Market Makes Bon App's Best Resto List"......My question is "Who Made This Happen?"

And (not to be a Jonathan Gold sycophant or anything), but the carnitas at Roast To Go beats all of the newbies.

But I guess the well-paid corporate-types gotta have someplace to go eat exorbitantly priced food to match their exorbitantly priced condos in The All New Downtown LA, a place none of 'em woulda been caught dead in a few scant years back. (Remember "...east of La Brea...? EWWW!")

Aug 19, 2014
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

Hat's Pastrami Chili Cheese French Fries

(...keeping it a little "twisted", ie., OT...)

...and Littlefork was on my list of places to go to try and find a good poutine...but a recent internet scan of all of their menus shows that they've taken that relatively plain iteration off, and added more "artisanal" poutines instead. Grrr, arghh, as Joss Whedon would say. (Maybe they'll still make it for you if you ask nicely...?)

The only place–and I have yet to make it there, either–that has a basic poutine (albeit w/o smoked meat) is P'tit Soleil in Westwood. (I called and had a conversation with one of their staff, and when I was in the process of asking about whether their curds squeak–an essential for good poutine–she laughed and said that she was from Montreal, and the curds were the real thing.)

Apparently Redondo Beach Cafe has both smoked meat and poutine, but I haven't seen the best reviews for the place.

Aug 04, 2014
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

What food items have you only had canned but never fresh?

Of course she didn't *make* it, dear. She had one of her frequently-fired cooks make it. :)

Jul 26, 2014
annagranfors in General Topics

Liquid Cocaine

This is a drink that I wouldn't touch, given the ingredients (or even the alternate version that Homero mentions).

But whoever gave the drink its name has obviously never had cocaine.

Chik-Fil-A free food today if you dress up as a cow 7/11/14

...wonder what (would've) happened if you and a friend had dressed up as a pair or lesbian cows? :)

This is definitely a whacked out sushi list but I will post the link anyhow.

Thanks for the link, Servorg. You'll have to excuse me for not being too confident in US governmental reports these days. (Please see the recent NSA controversies.)

Also, please note the date at the bottom of the document linked to: 3/18/11.

Jun 19, 2014
annagranfors in Los Angeles Area

What food items have you only had canned but never fresh?

Actually, I think the Gilmore Girls got their mom/grandma to make artisinal Beef-A-Roni in one episode... :)

Jun 18, 2014
annagranfors in General Topics