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melissa511's Profile

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Blend in Ridgewood is closed.

Spoken like a true Ridgewoodian! Why wouldn't you miss the housewife riots on male-stripper nights? And catering to "out of towners"? You're talking about maybe a 10-mile radius, if that. How provincial can you get. Blend at least gave Ridgewood something to talk about besides SAT scores and college acceptance rates.

Oct 15, 2012
melissa511 in New Jersey

Your secrets to crispy chicken skin

I've heard Christopher Kimball suggest the salt-in-the-pan thing when you're broiling meat, only with kosher salt in the bottom of the broiler pan. I'm going to try it today when I'm broiling pork slices for a Vietnamese salad ... we'll see how it goes. I think I'll also put a fan near the smoke alarm, because I live in a fairly new apartment with an industrial-style smoke alarm that could wake the dead.

Aug 19, 2012
melissa511 in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #151 [OLD]

Sunset Magazine's Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas. Typical of my leftover management style: I buy a half-pound of pasilla and anaheim chiles to use up a roasted chicken breast and some near-expiration corn tortillas for this recipe ... my son turns the chicken breast into a sandwich ... I have to go out and buy, then roast, another chicken breast to make the enchiladas. But it will be done, oh yes!

Jun 28, 2012
melissa511 in Home Cooking

need recommendation for dinner group meeting location

I'd be surprised (and impressed) if Wildwood could meet the $300 limit. But who knows ... it might be worth a try and it certainly meets all the other criteria.

May 29, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

High-gluten flour

King Arthur makes a flour that is specifically labeled "high gluten," which is what I used, and it indeed makes a very stiff dough. Flour for bread machines would probably work ... maybe just not as well. I'll check out your suggestions for places to find it -- thanks!

May 20, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

High-gluten flour

Anyone know where to buy high-gluten flour in Portland? My son and I are transplanted East Coasters, and boiled NY-style bagels are so rare in these parts we decided to make our own. On the recommendation of a Cooks Illustrated recipe, I ordered the necessary high-gluten flour and barley malt syrup online, and the resulting bagels turned out great.

So no problem, except we like our bagels so much we'd like to make them ... oh, say, every weekend, and ordering online is a delayed-gratification drag .... plus there's shipping costs.

In a great foodie town like Portland, there must be a place for civilians to buy high-gluten flour, right? Help us out!

May 19, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

YYC Hound comming for a visit, where should I try?

JillO, do you have these on a save string? if not, you should! Or the Portland board should. I'm a Portland newbie but I've noticed the constant and repetitive inquiries about places to go here ... and I'm a big fan of Chiang Mai as well. In fact, I probably went there on your recommendation, and their khao soi is my dream dish.

Apr 18, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

Most garlicky food ever

Love it, mojoeater! Very funny.

Mar 26, 2012
melissa511 in General Topics

Most garlicky food ever

Has anyone else ever had this experience? I recently had a wonderful meal of ninniku itame at a Japanese restaurant in a Portland (Ore.) suburb. The dish had been referenced in an alternative weekly guide as a "best deal" for lunch at this particular highly regarded restaurant.

Ninniku itame is beef strips sauteed with garlic sprouts in a tasty sauce of some kind; somehow I fast-forwarded right past the "garlic" when I read the description, ordered the dish and plowed in at the restaurant. It was great; I thought the sprouts were maybe some kind of scallion variety I hadn't encountered before. They had a subtle oniony taste, after all, and I slurped the dish up, sprouts and all. But at home I soon noticed a lingering garlic smell -- and it was me. The smell, which was quite distinct, lasted for 24 hours! (Fortunately, at the time I was living alone.)

Has anyone else encountered a dish that made them smell like garlic, for more than a few hours? Or something else? No need to be graphic, but I'm curious....

Mar 26, 2012
melissa511 in General Topics

KettlePizza!

Except that cooking at high temperatures in most home kitchens is a pain in the ass -- if you don't have an expensive (and noisy) vent, there's smoke, alarms going off, etc. Making pizza on a Weber grill (I can't speak about other types) works just fine without the fancy gadget. Or even pizza stones.

Mar 20, 2012
melissa511 in Cookware

Downtown food carts

I've seen your Schnitzelwich posts before, JillO. Awright! I'll try it.

Mar 01, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

Downtown food carts

I've landed in NW Portland, for good -- FAR northwest portland, up in Forest Heights. Nothing to write about here, but I go past the downtown (southwest) food carts fairly often on my way to the east side of town. What's good there? I've heard about Khao Man Gai, which I intend to try, and I like Francisco Taqueria. What else is good?

Mar 01, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

Vancouver Hound's first trip to Portland -- help a hungry elf out?

You can get reservations at Pok Pok if your group is five or more! Go to the website for the phone number. They're very helpful.

My family and I did this recently and had a great time. Make sure someone order Ike's wings and khao soi.

Feb 17, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

Hollywood district recommendations?

My time in Hollywood is over -- I've moved to Forest Heights of all places. But my impressions of my 3 and a half months there is that, yes, Shandong is the best overall restaurant. Killer Burger is very good -- I'm just not that into burgers. I like Hama a lot, My Canh is just OK. Du's Teriyaki (maybe we're leaving Hollywood here) is very good, as is Pho An for pho. I still want to try Pal's Shanty for fried seafood and Moon and Sixpence for fish and chips -- my small circle of Portland friends and relatives are not into such things, so I will have to try them another time. As with Gustav's!

Among the things I will miss about Hollywood is the proximity of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. On Friday evenings in November and December, Whole Foods had a happy hour with $3 white wine and $1 oysters! Heaven ...

Feb 03, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

I will be laughed off this board!

I see ... well, I was intrigued so I dropped by the local QFC to check out the Sammamish. You're right, it's huge ... in fact, I asked for half a sandwich ($3.49, I think) and the deli person forgot and gave me a whole one -- and charged me for the half! It was tasty indeed. Good call.

Feb 03, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

I will be laughed off this board!

what's with the name of the sandwich?

Jan 31, 2012
melissa511 in Metro Portland

Hollywood district recommendations?

Those are great tips, Jeff, thanks. I just picked up Willamette Week's restaurant guide, which also gives Shandong a good review. I had a nice bowl of soup at My Canh the other day and relatives speak well of Moon and Sixpence and Chameleon -- though they say Chameleon is a tad expensive for what it is. Give me a few months to try the options and I'll get back to you!

-----
My Canh
1801 NE 39th Ave, Portland, OR 97212

Oct 21, 2011
melissa511 in Metro Portland

Hollywood district recommendations?

Thanks, Leonardo. I've already ventured to Pok Pok Noi and it was great.

Oct 17, 2011
melissa511 in Metro Portland

Hollywood district recommendations?

I've just moved to northeast Portland, the Hollywood district specifically. I'll certainly explore the city's other neighborhoods, but does anyone have any recommended places to eat and/or drink right here in Hollywood? I like all types of food, especially authentic Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese. I also have a soft spot for Hawaiian food because I lived there as a kid.

Oct 17, 2011
melissa511 in Metro Portland

Best Thai in Bergen?

The duck salad at Bangkok Garden is excellent -- fiery and flavorful.
Not sure what you mean, Tommy, about why you never really "warmed up to the place" .. . because it's not a BYO?

Sep 15, 2011
melissa511 in New Jersey

Visiting Mendocino this week

I'm an ex-Northern Californian, revisiting the Bay Area and parts northward on a road trip this week with my college-student daughter. We're staying in Little River, near Mendocino, on a budget, and seeking recommendations for breakfast-to-dinner. We'll eat anything, but I especially love raw oysters and have great memories of oyster shacks along Highway 1. What's good these days in the area that won't cost an arm and a leg?

Aug 07, 2011
melissa511 in California

Former Taco Bell Employees, Please Help!!!

The first Taco Bell I ever patronized was as a college student in East Lansing, Mich., in the mid-70s. What I remember most about it (in addition to the fact that it was wildly popular with my colleagues at the college newspaper) was that the flour tortillas were dyed orange -- why, I have no idea. It's hard to believe that the food was better back then.

I do think there is some variation today in the food served at different Taco Bells. When I worked in downtown Los Angeles in the late 1990s, the Figueroa Boulevard Taco Bell served what I considered the top-of-the-line bean burrito; the refried beans at other Taco Bells were dry and tasteless in comparison. Now that I live in the northeast, there's a Taco Bell in Nanuet, N.Y., that my kids and I have deemed "the worst Taco Bell ever," with horrible service and iffy ingredients. (But the ones in Paramus and Hackensack, N.J., are OK.) Go figure.

Aug 02, 2011
melissa511 in Home Cooking

Best Nyack restaurant for thirty-something's birthday??

Menton1, you have been vindicated by the Record's Elisa Ung in yesterday's review. Well done, sir.

Breakfast that knocks your socks off

Polenta sauteed in butter is also good with maple syrup. When I was a kid my dad used to make a batch of "cornmeal mush" (polenta, essentially, before polenta was mainstream) the night before in a loaf pan, then slice it the next morning, saute it and serve with butter and syrup.

Jul 25, 2011
melissa511 in Home Cooking

Wineries in New Jersey/Wines from NJ

Yep, from what I hear, a local craft beer would be a better gift. Here's wine expert Anthony Giglio (who once called Jersey wines "dreadful plonk") in an interview with The Daily Meal earlier this year:

"New Jersey makes tons of wine, but the problem is they’re using vitis lambrusco grapes, the native grapes, because you can’t use vinifera grapes.

"Now this is getting geeky, but all the European grapes are vitis vinifera and in the U.S., all the native grapes are vitis lambrusca and those are the ones, that you know, you get Concord grape jelly from. So you go to state fairs or even farmers’ markets where you see the local wines; they’re always going to be sweet. They have to disguise these wines in sugar and fruit wines; even if they have Chardonnay, it’s probably blended with something local."

Read more: http://www.thedailymeal.com/anthony-g...

Jul 20, 2011
melissa511 in New Jersey

Need Route 17 Recommendation

I second Bucu Burger. It is right on Route 4 near 17, but it's in a strip mall and doesn't have a storefront that screams "burgers" like Bobby's Burger Palace. Get your GPS going or do a Google maps search. While you'll have a wait at Bobby's most of the time, Bucu is easy to navigate, both inside and out.

Jul 12, 2011
melissa511 in New Jersey

NYT story on outdoor cooking

Was anyone else bothered by the lead story in today's NYT Dining & Wine section? Here's the letter I sent the Times:

In pictures and words, “On the Road Again, and Cooking Outdoors, Too” (Dining & Wine, June 29, 2011) contains a couple of shocking violations of outdoors etiquette and common sense. The article’s penultimate paragraph, urging that outdoor cooks “please be kind to the environment,” violates that spirit a few words later when it helpfully adds, “replace any turf divots you created while building your fire pit.” Responsible campers and picnickers do not build their own fire pits: they use an established fire ring to do the least possible harm to the environment. And they don’t stand inches from the fire in their bare feet!

Jun 29, 2011
melissa511 in Food Media & News

Anyone tried St. Eve's in Ho-ho-kus yet?

Thanks, scholar -- I think I'll wait and see if they work out the kinks over time. Meanwhile, a local food blogger who is known for accepting freebies has given it a rave on his blog. No surprise there ...

Jun 20, 2011
melissa511 in New Jersey

what's missing from my list of must-try pizzas in nyc?

Jon Stewart mentioned several of those places (see original post) in a hilarious bit last night about Donald Trump's choice of a mediocre pizza chain restaurant when he dined with Sarah Palin.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed...

Jun 02, 2011
melissa511 in Manhattan

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

McDonald's no longer owns any part of Chipotle.

I think Sonic is way over-rated. Yet when one opened up in northern New Jersey a couple of years ago, traffic was insane. In fact, one crazed fan trying to get into the lot seriously injured a cop directing traffic.

May 25, 2011
melissa511 in Features