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current restaurant pet peeve

Having the word "turkey" on the menu (like in a sandwich,) and serving me what people are referring to as "deli turkey" for some reason. I think I always mention this in these types of threads. I do not believe that the word, "turkey" is as open to interpretation as most people are. Turkey comes from a bird, not a laboratory.

Offering mayonnaise on the menu, but serving something like Miracle Whip instead. That's just gross negligence. Mayonnaise is not sweet. Stop it. Charge more for real food. Your customers will thank you.

If you do not know the difference between medium rare, and well, please get off the grill.

If I order for take-out, and you forget to put something from the list into the bag, and then charge me for it, I do not want a credit, and I do not want to come back and pick it up. I want you to hire people that can read a list, place the contents of the list into a bag, and then take my money and gratuity. I will easily find another restaurant that can complete that task successfully. Trust me, I will.

7 maps and charts that explain the looming egg crisis everyone will soon be talking about

Just a datapoint -
My Costco just west of Chicago recently went up drastically. I noticed my round the corner standard Mexican fruit mkt went up threefold two weeks ago, but my local Aldi is sitting around a buck fifty, which is only up a little bit. I sneakily have a private farmer I buy from. He has already promised me his prices will not go up, so I'm getting farm fresh, organic eggs for less than store price of conventional eggs.

Jun 16, 2015
gordeaux in General Topics

Bingo Bar with Restaurant?

SCRATCH KITCHEN IN FOREST PARK. Thursdays, I think. Gotta get there early.
I'd get a Greek Burger, and tex mex fries with a side of giardiniera.
http://scratchfp.com/

May 31, 2015
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Bitter enchilada sauce from scratch

My first thought is that you prefer a tomato based (or tomato included) sauce rather than the bitter, earthy, straight chile sauce that I absolutely love and seek. Your recipe sounds like something I would love because it is all chile. I'm always disappointed when I run into a tomato based enchilada roja sauce at Mexican places. I WANT that bitter sauce instead. Web up some more recipes. You'll see some that include tomatoes, and might be more to your liking.

May 22, 2015
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Acme to phase out self checkout

Paying more workers means fewer boats for the execs, so yes, when pigs fly.

May 19, 2015
gordeaux in Chains

Have you ordered spicy hot food and then complained about it being too hot?

Double edged sword. I've never complained about something being "too hot," but I have mentioned to chefs that they are not supporting their heat with flavor. Too hot is not in my vocabulary, but it irks me when the chef is not balancing - it means they are not taking pride in their food.

On the other side of the sword, it's the people that complain about spicy food after they've ordered it that makes it difficult for me to convey to the restaurant that I would really enjoy the food they would normally prepare in their true style - especially Thai, Korean, and Indian/Pakistani. They usually "dumb it down" since they are tired of customers sending food back after they've ordered a spicy dish and can't handle it. If you have to ask "how spicy is it?" then it's not for you, OR you need to specify that you do not want it to be spicy. Please do not assume that other people can judge in any way how much heat your tongue can tolerate. It simply doesn't make any sort of logical sense, and also seems a tad imperialistic, imo.

And Ipse - when I use the term "you," I do not mean you specifically at ALL. I'm just replying to your comment because I think the reply fits for the thread.

May 17, 2015
gordeaux in General Topics

Food recommendations for a solo foodie in Chicago

Al's on TAYLOR STREET is better by a MILE, in my opinion, however, Portillo's does a very respectable beef, and combo, and Chicago Style hot dog.

Al's has some other franchises throughout Chicagoland which I've never been to, but I have heard time and time again, that they pale in comparison to the TAYLOR STREET location. I can vouch for the TAYLOR STREET location being fantastic, if a little pricier than most. I'd be happy with a beef or a combo, or a hot dog at Portillo's or Al's (ON TAYLOR STREET,) but my preference is definitely Al's. On the plus side of Al's, there is another specialty joint right across the street from Al's on Taylor street - Marios Italian Lemonade Stand. If you do happen to try Al's, definitely hit Mario's as well.

Mario's and Al's are pretty close to Chicago's "Little Italy" neighborhood - lots of Italian restaurants - if that interests you.

If Portillo's will be closer to your plans, you'll be happy with their food - (just don't waste tummy real estate on their fries which are probably the weakest offering on their menu which is surprising since they have premium prices, and generally very decent quality.) Al's is better, imo, but Portillo's is just fine.

You'll be happy with either, but again, I really encourage you to look into other options for Mexican than Chipotle while you are here - especially if where you are from does not have a lot of options for Mexican food. Chicago has sooo many options. And plenty of them are absolutely fantastic - from dirt cheap to very expensive, and plenty in between.

A lot of times, it's easier to make recommendations here depending on where the requestor is from. So if where you are from has less options or no options of a style of food that Chicago is strong in, maybe we can point you in some direction that way? And that is not to say that Chicago has everything - in general we all know there are weaknesses or similarities here just like in almost every city, but that's just how it goes. So, for example, if someone from the west coast asked "what they should try," I probably wouldn't point them in the direction of sushi, tho we have some really good joints. I'd probably suggest pizza, and also Mexican food (which may be a surprise, but all my left coast friends concur that Chicago's Mexican scene is different, and many of them prefer what we have in Chicago.)

May 17, 2015
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Food recommendations for a solo foodie in Chicago

An Italian beef will definitely be a "winner." If you like spicy peppery concoctions, get it with "hot giardiniera," which is a brined, oily, mix of chopped hot peppers and veggies that any Italian Beef place you go to will have. Also, if you add an italian sausage to your beef sandwich, it's called a "combo." You'll see it on the menu. If you ask for for beef sandwich with "sweet" peppers, you'll get some steamed green bell peppers on it.

If you like Chipotle, that's one thing, but if you go to Chipotle for Mexican food in this city, that's another thing. I'd encourage you to skip Chipotle, and seek better (way, way, WAY, better) for Mexican food if you can.

May 16, 2015
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Acme to phase out self checkout

I hope my shops do not remove them. Even the produce is snap - just read the screen. It guides you through everything. Plus, since I'm just a dumb customer, sometimes chicken wings and onions are the same price - weird how that works, but it happens.

May 15, 2015
gordeaux in Chains

Looking for the city's best egg rolls.

RaeRenee. SWEET. I love good egg rolls, and finding good ones is hard to do these days. I don't even really have a place for a favorite myself, but I love this thread on lthforum, and will try the ones noted when in their area if possible. I believe Kow-Kow is a board favorite if it's still open, but I've never been.

http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic....

Apr 15, 2015
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Off the beaten pah Chicago eats for a first timer

If it's your first time, I'd really suggest an Italian Beef sandwich with giardiniera and sweet peppers. More than likey, you'll be able to score one at the hot dog place you visit. Without knowing where you'll be going/staying, Nsxtasy is right on with Portillos for that. It's totally casual order at a register, and they'll call your number for you to come get it type place. Fries are totally forgettable (get the onion rings instead) but they do a solid rendition of a classic Chicago dog, AND an Italian Beef with giardiniera (salty, oily, hot pepper mix.)

Which cuisines are you into and not into *right* now?

Into:
Thai
Szechwan
Japanese
Indian
Pakistani
Texas BBQ
Korean
Middle Eastern

Not Into:
Italian
Greek

Mar 15, 2015
gordeaux in General Topics

Salsa recipe?

an avocado
Juice of a good lime
decent amount of cilantro
few tbs of olive oil
garlic
serranos and jalapenos (adjust to YOUR heat preference, not someone else's)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Water for blending to viscosity that will coat a spoon (or tortilla chip)

The fresh chile bite will smooth out as the flavors meld. It'll need half a day in the fridge.

That's my new second favorite to standard salsa roja in the blender, which, for me is just fresh pico de gallo, blended.

Mar 14, 2015
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Asian Birthday Dinner for 6? Chicago or suburbs

San Soo Gab San
or
Cho Sun Ok http://chosunokrestaurant.com/

Both for Korean bbq, but they also have the Korean standards, as well. Great for groups celebrating with drinks, imo. Neither are "upscale," like Arun's, however.

Mar 03, 2015
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Source for Patak products in or near Oak Park

Well, Tony's had a sign with a sale price on it for the hot curry paste, but the shelf was bare. Looks like they were sold out. Neither Tony's nor Meijer had the vindaloo, however. I saw no shelf signs for it. Both had other Pataks jars, just not the vindaloo. If I see Tony's has restocked, I'll post something.

Jan 07, 2015
gordeaux in Chicago Area

North American destination city for culinary vacation with young kids?

I tend to agree with bada bing on Chicago and Philly. Once you delve into the Chicago neighborhoods outside of the tourist areas, you'll be blown away by all the little ethnic joints with truly marvelous stuff. I'd guess that I'd check on what types of food you wanna get into, and cross reference with what the area has to offer. Seeing as you're in SF, however, I can definitely see the need for visiting the SE for the southern style eats experiences.

Jan 04, 2015
gordeaux in General Topics
1

Source for Patak products in or near Oak Park

I bet you were as disappointed as I was when the Grand Mart on North Avenue shut down almost seemingly before the shelves were fully stocked (if you were around back then.)

I haven't been there in years, but maybe that Food 4 Less on North and 25th might have it? No idea.

I'll still check on Tony's and Meijer within a few days, probably tomorrow.

Jan 04, 2015
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Source for Patak products in or near Oak Park

Hi Masha -
Tony's North Riverside, and also Meijer on Harlem and Cermak.

I'm not sure if they have those exact flavors anymore today, as they scale back and change stock as well, but I guarantee I've seen both at each place in the past. I go to that Tony's at least once a week, so I'll check and post if they have them on the shelf. If you've never been to Tony's, you are about to be a fan. It's not fully comprehensive for ethnic by any means, but they do have a decent amount of some of the more standard items to get in between stock up trips to true ethnic marts. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find both Patak's Vindaloo and Hot Curry if you visited both places in one trip - they are only a few blocks apart. What sucks is that neither carries curry leaf. If you do visit Tony's you'll definitely see the Indian section on the shelf, but do not miss the frozen Indian section as well. Some interesting stuff there, indeed. Again, not comprehensive by any means, but there's some stuff there you might not expect from a standard grocery store. I'm a big fan of Tony's if you haven't caught the drift, lol.

P.s. - I think Priya in FP is no more.

Jan 03, 2015
gordeaux in Chicago Area

Costco party fare?

The hummus tray with the three or four different flavors is totally edible.

Chicken salad placed in mini rolls or halved croissants would be easy. They normally have tubs of tortellini salad at my Costco as well- right next to the chicken salad. Never tried it tho.

Dec 11, 2014
gordeaux in Chains

Why would anyone go to Denny’s these days?

I stopped going to Denny's for political reasons a long time ago. I don't have many limits when it comes to that type of stuff, but Denny's and Wal-Mart aren't even options for me any more. I used to be a Denny's fan - not many places that serve discount pancakes are on my bad list.

Dec 06, 2014
gordeaux in Chains
1

Tito's Tacos Red Salsa Recipe

If Tito's is average, then Taco Bell is fine dining.

Nov 08, 2014
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Turkey in Mexican cuisine

If you find anything really interesting, please report back.

Nov 08, 2014
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Turkey in Mexican cuisine

Pavo En Mole.

Web that up for as many recipes you can shake a turkey breast at.

Nov 08, 2014
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Deep freezer essentials

Vaccuum sealer.

Now's the time of year I start smoking up meats for the winter. BBQ in December is always welcome.

I do a lot of big batches of pancakes and waffles, banana bread, and bbq. Soups too - especially after I get the T-day turkey carcasses.

Also, get ready to really be able to enjoy those grocery store sales you come across once in a while when you wished you had room for the items. One of my favorite stores had choice lamb chops priced as the lamb shoulder roasts they were sitting next to in their cooler. After doing a double and triple take on the pricing, I would up with 40 or so pounds of the best lamb chops I've ever had. You might also wanna look into buying a whole or partial animal - cow, pig, lamb, etc..

Nov 02, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

'Upscale" Sauce for Seared Scallops

butter, cream, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of gin.

Oct 29, 2014
gordeaux in Home Cooking

Things You Eat Frozen (or Thawed and Uncooked)

Any kind of snack cake frozen- Twinkies, Ding Dongs, etc.

Oct 26, 2014
gordeaux in General Topics

French door refrigerators...

I should clarify that my wide, bottom drawer, I really have no complaints with. It's the two smaller drawers above it that are my complaint.There are days when I feel like taking a sledge hammer to the fridge to exact my revenge on those two drawers. The fridge looks nice, and it keeps things at 38 degrees just as it should, but the two drawers on the model I have are garbage.

Oct 19, 2014
gordeaux in Cookware

French door refrigerators...

Please consider:

Test the construction of the gliding components (drawers/shelves.)
If I could do it over, I wouldn't have bought my KA model for this reason. It's VERY obvious that's where they saved $ in production on this model. I noted it when comparing in-store, but a few ppl told me that when the drawers were filled, they would be smoother. Not so at ALL, and I should have listened to my gut. Still,even when filled and weighted, the drawers are flimsy, and have to be twisted and fiddled with to close properly 4 or 5 times out of ten. Another thing that happened is the lever to adjust "humidity" on one of the drawers broke within a month. Both are definitely "first-world problems," but I could have bought 6 other models that would not have these problems. (I think I would have gone with GE or the big ol' Samsung, OR found a different KA model.)

Other than that, unless you're paying for one of those fancy multi- zone, let-you-know-when-your-jam-jar-is-low, or milk-is-near-expiration, $7k+ fridges, my biggest concern was ice/water in door (took up too much fridge space for me, so that was a no.)

Don't overthink it. A fridge keeps food at 38 degrees. 38 degrees is 38 degrees no matter how many gadgets are involved.

Oct 19, 2014
gordeaux in Cookware

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2014

LOL-
I friggin' LOVE the White Linen, so I was ecstatic to see the ad showing both, hoping my store would have it again. They didn't. I bought the Victoria, hoping for the best, but I don't like it nearly as much as the WL. The Victoria is ok, but the WL totally "did it" for me. If I had only known back then. I bought the two pack of White Linen clearanced for 1.97. I opened it when I got home, tasted it cold, and decided I was going back the next day to buy at least 5 more two packs. It was all gone, however.

Oct 19, 2014
gordeaux in Chains

Chef Friend Visiting . . .

Zaragoza fits your bill.
Divey, but the food is soooo serious. It's not for vegetarians, either. Roasted goat, done sooo right.

La Chapparita on 25th and Whipple is another dive with a taquero, Caesar, who pays much attention to detail even tho the place might not have white linen.

Both of those places are absolute gems for fantastic food, even tho they have no ambience to speak of, imo.

I'm not sure on the state of Leesiana/Gulf coast taquerias, but if your chef friend likes dives with great food, those are two of my favorites.

You might wanna ask them if there's anything special they'd LIKE to try?

Oct 02, 2014
gordeaux in Chicago Area