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B-ham disappointments

I think so. I don't think I have ever tried any of his food. I will have to change that :)

Dec 21, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

Bellingham: First (and last?) trip to Cliff House

Oh, that's too bad! The view is stellar. I think the trick to such an old (dated menu) restaurant with a beautiful view is to find a few simple things on the menu you like.

I still go there (and will continue to go) for happy hour. I always get the same things- the whiskey crab soup and a ceasar salad. I really like both those items. I don't think the soup (which is just a crab bisque) has a lot of crab in it, but mine always has enough. I really like it.

In my experience their drinks have always been really good (but I haven't tried their mojito) but we tend to order a bottle of wine for the deck in the summer. Oh, their mussels are good too, served with bread to soak up the liquid.... that is another thing I like and will order there. I used to order the Devils on horseback app but last time it was terrible (over cooked) so no more. I stick with those three things.

I think it has always had pretty average food. I have only been there a few times for dinner in 20 years and I do remember that I had a really good halibut dish years ago and my partner had a good steak. But I don't think it was really good enough to go back for a dinner.

Dec 20, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

B-ham disappointments

i have no problem with ugly. True Chowhound here, it doesn't have to be pretty ;)

Thanks for the rec, will definitely try it.

Dec 20, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

Puff pastry appetizers

For a heavy app, I like shredded or sliced beef with a melty white cheese (like a good provolone or fontina) completely encased in the pastry in a long rectangle shape, top and bottom crusts, slit the top crust with a knife. Bake. Serve by slicing like bread, from one end.

For lighter apps, I like a tart type thing. Single sheet of pastry in a rectangle, make a crust by pinching the edges up all around, prick the inside edges all around with a fork (important). sprinkle cheese on the bottom, then add roasted veg like peppers, eggplant, olives, then bake until puffy. Serve by cutting into larger squares.

Dec 20, 2014
sedimental in Home Cooking

Cheese Board

I don't think experts should refrain from contributing at all. I think they should refrain from attempting to steer the conversation toward an area of their expertise at every chance-or to change the dialog from conversation, tips and ideas- toward an "education" on something *they* think is important. It is a thread killer.

All experts here are self appointed experts in my opinion and they may very well be (official) experts in several topics. But, unless chow wants to sponsor someone to be the official "resident expert" on a particular topic,I evaluate the post, not the poster.I learn as much, if not more -from "non-experts". I don't participate here just to see if there are experts around....experienced chowhousnds give me most of what I need from the threads I am interested in.

I think it is great to have an expert around when really needing particular answers not easily found elsewhere. I really do value that. I also really see what is happening on both the cheese and wine boards and can't just attribute the lack of postings as lack of interest, IMO, there are other things at work that kill those boards.

Dec 19, 2014
sedimental in Site Talk

Cheese Board

Honestly, I think a few self appointed experts can kill boards. See wine board for details. Boards thrive on many different voices and they need balance. If one or two of these "experts" continue popping in on every thread to "educate" or correct the community when not asked to-it stops the threads natural direction.

Experts are great when posters specifically ask for help or when the expert starts a topic so others can join if interested. They are not so great when they inject themselves to direct the thread toward their own expertise.

I would regularly check a thread for "cheese spotting" where posters let others know what is new, good, bad, a good value,etc at different places like Costco, TJ's, etc. (similar in format to the yay/nay/meh at trader joes threads). No expert needed.

Threads where people describe what they "do with" or new ideas on how they use a particular cheese. No expert needed.

Pairing threads (wines, beer, spirits, fruits, cured meats). No expert needed.

Cheese making thread (especially harder cheeses). Expert needed.

How to spot a good quality xxxx or a good value on xxxxx. Expert needed.

Cheese Board

Same here, Nonnie. I thought a cheese board was a great idea. I love cheese and I am very interested in cheese making. Not so interested in other people's opinion about a certain cheese. Certainly not real interested in reading about cheeses that are only available in certain areas a few times per year, etc. It just isn't very useful or interesting to me so I quit lurking.
I suspect we are not alone and there are other CH's with similar experiences... because it can't be that CHowhounds don't like cheese :)

Dec 19, 2014
sedimental in Site Talk
1

Fort Lauderdale short visits

Thank you.

I was searching through old posts here, but some were from 2008.

Fort Lauderdale short visits

Anyone here?

What makes a Diner special?

Ha. It's just a hamburger patty with cheese grilled between slices of bread.

Like a hamburger and grilled cheese sandwich had a baby and called it Patty. :)

What makes a Diner special?

No, my definition is not broad, it is pretty specific (per my post) it just doesn't include being open 24 hours a day.

I am not familiar with Astoria.

Dec 17, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

B-ham disappointments

Well, I have a very, very wide range of food I like, I am sure not everyone does.

Hell, I even eat food being carried on someone's head, on dirt roads in parts of the Middle East......without a thought, so take my recs with that in mind :D

Dec 17, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

What makes a Diner special?

I have never been to a diner in Portland (and I eat there a lot). You will find diners in all our PNW towns, usually downtown, usually near a courthouse, police station or library (the old part of town). In logging towns, with no real downtown, you will find them near the hardware store and tavern.

Dec 17, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

What makes a Diner special?

I don't define a diner as needing to be open 24 hours to meet the definition. Other than that, there are diners all over the state. Booths, counter service, breakfast all day, plastic covered "wipe able" menus, flat tops, patty melts and grilled cheese, auto drip coffee, pies. etc. the same as what everyone is describing on this thread. They exist all over our state in small towns, usually downtown.

Dec 17, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

B-ham disappointments

Yes, they were good years ago. I have no idea what happened. I tried them twice since they went downhill...hoping... and both times failed. The last time my breakfast wasn't even hot and they didn't care. Done.

Dec 17, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

Pizza Hut's new menu, anyone give it a try?

Pan pizza is not the same as other types of flat pizzas, certainly not the same as a homemade concoction on a piece of store bought flatbread or a pita. That doesn't even qualify as pizza in my book.

Here is a pan pizza recipe:
http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

I have made it before and will make it tonight for dinner. The end result is extremely similar to a Pizza Hut pan pizza, with similar simple ingredients. Buttery pan crust, tomato sauce, mozz, parm, meat, etc. I can't imagine preferring heating up those same ingredients on a pita and pronouncing it "better" as you suggest. I also can't imagine comparing it to a flat crusted pizza of any kind. They are two different animals. You can like them both.

I believe food snobbery plays more of a role in liking or not liking chain pizza more than anything else. This especially comes to light in blind taste tests. Ingredients for a pizza couldn't be more simple. "Mom and pop" pizza uses the same simple ingredients as a chain, they can be fabulous or really screw it up. The dominos (new) pizza I had earlier this year was much better than the average mom and pop italian restaurant.

Dec 17, 2014
sedimental in Chains

Reluctance to buy online?

Luckily, the little stores I shop at are not crowded anytime. I avoid the big supermarkets most of the time! Ugh. Chain supermarkets give me no pleasure...any time of the week!

Dec 16, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

Reluctance to buy online?

I'm with you. I love a leisurely food shopping day! I try to do that once a month, hit all the specialty markets and see what's new and fascinating. See what is on sale and in season, it is fun and entertaining. My Asian market, Eastern European market and Mexican market are within a large block of each other. But going on a treasure hunt for a single item is not my idea of a good time.

I don't just order off of Amazon, but also off of several specialty sites. There is no way you can get some of my purchases locally or even in the US. I love the Internet :)

Reluctance to buy online?

Absolutely! Also, with my lifestyle, I just don't have the time to go from store to store looking for a single ingredient. I enjoy shopping at different local stores (on evening or weekend) for my base ingredients, but I won't do it for a single specialty ingredient........especially if the ingredient is a 5 dollar hot sauce or something! I can't imagine spending that much money in time and gas for a single item or two.

Amazon prime is the way to go for me, saves me a lot of time and money and I still shop local for everything else.

Dec 16, 2014
sedimental in General Topics
1

What makes a Diner special?

Maybe you define diner too narrowly. I am defining it as others do on this thread.

Dec 16, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

Fort Lauderdale short visits

Greetings! Two PNW hounds will be flying in and out of FL for cruising. Will be staying in a hotel by the port. We will have one evening dinner on arrival -and (upon return) one full day in FL. Don't know the area at all, but we will be limited to between the port and the airport. Will have taxi and GPS if needed :)

Looking for really local food experiences, not interested in commercialized chef restaurants available in every larger city. Preferably food or dishes unique to the area. One sit down casual dinner, street food, and a happy hour rec would be great.
Cuban, meat, some seafood if unique...maybe crab ( but will have eaten my fill in the Caribbean). Anything considered "classic" and where to try. Love high end to low end food but will be casually dressed ( but tastefully dressed -not sweatpants :) for travel.

Thanks so much!

What's for Dinner #339 -- The Advent Edition [through Dec. 21, 2014]

Your spaghetti dinner sounds much more complex than mine, but I sure appreciate a good spaghetti dinner on a cold night!

I made arrabiata sauce and used ground beef, lots of grated parm. Served in front of the big screen with a few favorite Netflix. Nice!

2014 in the kitchen: What were the best new things you made?

No tomatoes. This is pure chile and very dark....more authentic mexican and less Mexican American style. It is a good base for different seasoning additions too.

Equal amounts of the two chiles. Toast themreally well in a pan, smoking but not burned. Soak them in hot water until soft and take out the seeds. Blend them up in a blender with chicken stock. Push it through a strainer. Add a few splooshes of vinegar and salt to taste. Cut it with more chicken stock if too thick. Season it if you like. I like mine thin, with no thickening agent used -and plain chile flavor for beef enchiladas. It really soaks into the corn tortillas this way, making them a nice shade of mahogany and really striking with cojita cheese over the top.

What's for Dinner #339 -- The Advent Edition [through Dec. 21, 2014]

I have not been in the kitchen lately due to traveling. It felt good to cook tonight!

Butternut squash soup spiked with green curry paste and orange ginger seasonings. I made a Beijing meat pie filled with chicken apple sausage to go with it. Very warm spices all around tonight! Dry riesling was perfect with it.

I can cook in my own kitchen for the rest of the week, then I am off again...I want to make my kitchen time count, so will be reading this thread for inspiration as always!

B-ham disappointments

Oh, good to know about Bellweather for breakfast! I go for happy hour and an occasional lunch there. I like the vibe by the fireplace and the huge windows, and outside.

Dec 14, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

B-ham disappointments

Yes, it is technically a bar. It is dark in there all the time so probably looks closed. Not attractive for atmoshere. They are open for lunch on weekends but it doesn't get busy until happy hour and evening. They just happen to have great food!

Dec 14, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

B-ham disappointments

I don't think so.
For breakfast I like:

The Fork at Agate Bay for a more trendy "foodie" type breakfasts and atmosphere. Interesting menu. The grits are pretty good (and I am picky about them because they are not usually my favorite). Limited brunch cocktail menu because they don't have a liquor license so they make up weird drinks. Kinda funny, but it works. Good coffee.

Hilltop for 1970's diner breakfasts...chicken fried steak and eggs, etc everything you would expect on a diner menu. Full bar, good Bloody Mary there, but no salt on the rim, they overdo it. Big menu, big portions, line cooks are slamming it out well. Diner coffee. Happy people.

Chuckanut manor for Sunday champagne brunch straight out of 1982. It is buffet and expansive. Takes up a quarter of the main dining room. Complete with an "omelet guy" and a "pasta guy" making your custom order. A window seat on a sunny day and excellent service will have you feeling nostalgic and smiling all day.

The village inn for a dark, dumpy, dive bar old school breakfast that is weirdly inexpensive. I always end up cleaning my plate. Nothing remotely trendy on the menu, diner/ greasy spoon style. It looks like evening in there all day. Not for the delicate types.These places are dying out, but I like them for a variety of reasons. Quite a cast of characters...then there are the customers :)

La vie en Rose (downtown) for pastries, quiche, and really good coffee.

Little Cheerful Cafe and Old Town are average, usually decent breakfast food but nothing special except the quirky/ hippy atmosphere (which is quintessential Bellingham) and downtown location is nice if going shopping or to the market.

Hope that helps!

Dec 14, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

What makes a Diner special?

All my favorite diners in the PNW serve alcohol.

Dec 14, 2014
sedimental in General Topics

B-ham disappointments

Lotus, have you been to the rest of the places I listed for lunch? It seems like a lot of the regular posters only go to the same few places all the time. I am not sure why that is, when there are some really great chowish restaurants here. If you do actually get out to "chowhound" please post about it.

I didn't post The Geen Frog, which has amazing sandwiches ( a full grilled cheese menu) and is well known to CH's here, because they are only open on the weekends for lunch. I think it might also truly scare visiting Canadians with the hipster/grunge vibe :)

http://www.acoustictavern.com/menu_fo...

Kaleo, you would like The Green Frog. I can see you with some BBQ here, jalapeƱo cheese grits and ordering off the massive whiskey menu. The music is terrific :)

Dec 14, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest

B-ham disappointments

Brandywine kitchen
Old world deli
Ciao thyme
Leaf and ladle
The sandwich odyssey
Davinci's
Man pies

Food trucks abound, Google for their location. Delicious mischief rivals the best of Portlands sandwich trucks, IMO and I eat in Portland a lot.

Brew pubs for sandwiches, salads, burgers:
Boundary bay
Kushan
Alsand

Chain: gandolfos NY sandwiches on meridian- fast and inexpensive, they are huge and you can split them. Of course, the Pita Pit downtown for decent, healthier, fast food.

Dec 13, 2014
sedimental in Pacific Northwest