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Top Chef Texas - Ep. #15 - 02/15/12 (Spoilers)

Never thought of that...I wonder if the producers have! Hate hate hate this season. Had to re-watch season 1, just to remember how it used to, and was supposed to be!

I remember when LeeAnne was challenge coordinator, and she said she tested each challenge and if she could do it, it was fair game. Doubt the current dorks do that....someone said they thought the challenge dorks were on crack, personally, I think it must be (bad) acid.

I also think Tom is just calling it in, has favorites, and just does not care any more. That makes me really sad....

Last rant, TC is one long boring, stupid challenge and infomercial with a teeny bit of cooking thrown in.

Feb 23, 2012
debs20 in Food Media & News

Is anything ever as good as you remember it?

Crab and lobster as I remember it as a child. Also, my first In-n-Out burger after a year long diet.

Feb 09, 2012
debs20 in General Topics

Do you wear an apron when you cook?

When I don't I regret it later when doing laundry. I am even thinking about getting a chef's jacket. No matter how often you wash your hands, there can still be hairs or whatever stuck to your clothing that can end up in the food, and. aprons only cover so much. I am not a chef, just a home cook, so it's seems a bit pretentious, but if you change your clothes to do other dirty jobs around the house, why not for cooking too?

Aug 27, 2011
debs20 in Not About Food

When to complain in a restaurant

I order a $16. Caesar Salad. It came, no anchovies, no croutons, no garlic? It tasted like the cook mistook sugar for salt. I asked the waiter if he brought me the correct salad, and he assured me did, so I said it was the worst Caesar I've ever had, and I didn't want it. The manager storms out and rebuked me for my comment, but took it off the bill. None of the rest of my party of seven finished their meals, because it at best mediocre, but all asked for doggie bags, then when we got home, they tossed it my trash! The average price for an entree was $26! If you really don't like it, but take it home, you are sending the wrong message to the management! A chef sees an empty plate come back into the kitchen, he thinks everything was great!

Aug 27, 2011
debs20 in Not About Food

Have you ever sent back scrambled eggs?

My theory is, if your chefs can't cook eggs, don't offer them on them on the menu. I am picky about eggs, if they are wrong, I send them back, and I warn the server beforehand that I will do so.
A favorite restaurant of mine recently opened for Sunday Brunch, I was so excited! 50% of the menu were egg dishes, of those ordered by our party of six, not a single egg was cooked properly. All hard and dry and cold! Ugh! Oh, and don't put "lobster omelet" on the menu when it's just a few langoustines wrapped in egg cardboard.

Aug 23, 2011
debs20 in General Topics

Carded in our Mid 50s!

Unless everyone, at every table that was served alcohol was carded, I don't see how this policy works. My husband orders wine and I order coffee. He decides not to finish his wine, so I do, but was I carded? A mother and underage daughter go into a restaurant, Mom orders wine, is carded, and goes to the ladies room. Daughter takes a few sips of Mom's wine while she is gone. Someone leaves wine in a bottle and an underage busboy takes the bottle and finishes it off. Even if everyone, regardless of what they are drinking is carded, and something happens to an underage person who claims they got the alcohol from the restaurant anyway, that they slipped thru the cracks somehow, even if they are lying, the restaurant can still be liable, that's just the way the legal system works. So how is carding working? How far can liability go? If I am at business lunch with a client, and the restaurant allows her to drink herself silly, and she causes an accident, am I liable, because i couldn't ask a client (virtually a stranger to me) for her car keys? I may not even know she has a car!
It's all craziness!

Jul 20, 2011
debs20 in Not About Food

What are you a stubborn purist about?

Poached eggs, if the yolk is hard, or the whites runny, I will send them back until they get them right or give up. I go so far as to forewarn the server. If they can't cook a poached egg properly, they shouldn't be on the menu.

Jul 13, 2011
debs20 in General Topics

what do you prefer that most foodies would scoff at?

Velveeta on Triscuits,and boxed wine.

Jul 13, 2011
debs20 in General Topics

Foods that unreasonably gross you out...

Canned peas. My dad used to make me eat them, even if they made me vomit, and I'd have to sit at the table until I finished them. When he wasn't looking Mom would send in our dog, she saved me from many a late night at the dinner table. I didn't eat a fresh or frozen pea until I was 40. Also, sauerkraut, still can't eat the stuff.

Jul 13, 2011
debs20 in General Topics

Hello, I'm Your Annoying Server

I don't mind the names, esp. if it's a local place, and if I get good service I am likely to request that server again, however, don't like the crouching thing, too intimate.

Jan 28, 2011
debs20 in Features

Anything new in Cambria dining?

It's July now, so you probably have been in Cambria already...I would love to hear reviews of where you ate...

My opinions are:

Robins - the food is consistent in quality and flavor (which can range from good to excellent), but there is less on the menu than there used to be, at least at dinner. Haven't been there for lunch lately, because our favorite lunch place is:

Indigo Moon - absolutely the best soups, sandwiches, a burger I love, cooked anyway I want it, and if you are there on the right day, the best fish and chips in a 50 miles. They recently added a Sunday Brunch with live music, it was very cool, but their chef needs a lot of training on the most basic aspects of egg cookery.

I have lived here coming on to 4 years and still have not been to the Black Cat...the reviews from friends are so up and down, every time we plan on the Black Cat we end up at Robin's.

The Sow's Ear has heavy food...I was so looking forward to their chicken and dumplings, and it was chicken, heavy dumplings in GRAVY. Not what I am used to, nor did I enjoy it.

Linn's food has been up and down...they have changed their menu, it seems like they are still working on it. If you enjoy their frozen pot pies, do not order one in the restaurant! They serve it as a slice, like any pie, and it loses the pot pie thing that is so wonderful.

The Sea Chest - if you are a fan of oysters and clams they are superior. But, even when the fish is really good, they still have the same sides that are uninteresting and common, and way too much food... please somebody realize a little less food, for a little less money is a good thing (actually this applies to almost all of the restaurants mentioned)

The Moonstone Bar and Grill - Used to be fun, not great, but they did have the best crab legs in town...they had butcher paper on the tables. with crayons, for kids and adults...they decided to do away with all that, made it more "upscale" (read expensive) we've been back only a few times, and it's mediocre, potatoes with meat, rice with fish, I am so bored with that!

Madelines - lovely place, nice chef, often superior, other times not so much.

Main Street Grill - Their salmon sandwich, I love it, it's probably farmed salmon, but it's so good. My granddaughter loves their tri-tip sandwich, the best part is they are the cheapest place to eat in Cambria, and always busy. On that note,

JJ's Pizza Roundup is also a family favorite. Really good, fresh food.

Our newest restaurant is The Dragon Bistro, if you live here and a new restaurant opens it is such a thrill! Unfortunately, the food has been mediocre at best and disgusting at worst.

I try to keep in mind that Cambria is such a small town, and the economy has hit us hard. So many empty shops, these restaurateurs need to realize that their food needs to be consistently good, for the locals, because we keep them alive when all you guys are not here!

Definites are Indigo Moon and Robin's. Love to hear any one's reviews.

PS If you go to Indigo Moon , ask for DeDe or Sophia's station. Robin's ask for Matt (and, no I am not related to them, and every server at both restaurants are superior, but those 3 are my faves).

Black Cat Bar & Cafe
10056 Main St, Penngrove, CA

Main Street Grill
603 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

Sow's Ear
2248 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428

Jul 20, 2010
debs20 in California

Tipping Homeless "Helpers"

We had a fairly young homeless (?) couple who hung out in front of our favorite Italian restaurant, and instead of giving them money, we bought them a substantial meal. When we left the restaurant, they asked us for money for food. We reminded them that we bought them a meal, and not even a thank you was given in return. Next time we were there they had moved their operation to the Sports Chalet a few doors down. I get it though, what we spent on their meal might have given them a week at motel 6. They weren't hungry that night, but probably still homeless.

Jun 25, 2010
debs20 in Features

Ghrelin Doomed Your Diet

Perfect comment Sonia.

Jun 25, 2010
debs20 in Features

Looking for tasty cottage cheese recipes for a non cottage cheese lover

Fresh tomatoes (grape tomatoes really work, as they don't get mushy), shredded fresh basil, and a sprinkle of crunchy Maldon Sea Salt. Lovely!

Feb 05, 2010
debs20 in Home Cooking

Help me fall in love with scallops?

Thank you mecl215, I used your version of Ina's Scallops Provencal, to attempt scallops a second time (first attempt by pan searing was only so-so), and they came out moist and tender, and the wine , butter, shallots and garlic added the kick I was looking for. Wow!

However, some of the steps seemed incomplete, or odd (45 secs to saute garlic and shallots, and where was the S&P?), so, after enjoying the scallops, I checked Ina's recipe on the Food Network site, and the complete recipe does fill in the gaps in seasoning and cooking times.

I highly recommend this recipe. I love it when a recipe works!

Feb 03, 2010
debs20 in Home Cooking

some basic tips on how to cook salmon?

The first time I heard about the dishwasher method was from Vincent Price (please tell me most of you remember him!), on the Mike Douglas Show ! That was approx 40 years ago!

I'd give it a try, but what with water being at such a premium where I live, I would feel guilty.

I wonder if it would work on Half Load?

Jan 13, 2010
debs20 in Home Cooking

Fennel Pollen

Hi Rhee, I live in Cambria, CA and we also have a ton of wild fennel growing like weeds. I was so excited about collecting some, and then read somewhere that wild fennel should not be eaten, have you cooked with the fennel itself, or just the pollen?

Nov 06, 2009
debs20 in Home Cooking