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Chowhound Beta Site Part IV

The splintering of regions is what I'm concerned about. Mentioned it towards the end of the last, now-locked, beta thread. Hoping I misunderstand and regional boards will work the same way under new system (which I have yet to have the energy to spend any time on).

Chowhound Beta Site Open to Everyone (Continued Again)

Yes, agree. I keep trying to use the beta, but get so discombobulated by the home page or whatever it is, I can't bring myself to. Need to try it when I've got more energy, I guess.

But since I didn't think anyone else had, did want it on record here how much more eye-taxing it is to read a thread in the beta version. Don't know enough about design to know if it's simply a matter of the font or what.

Aug 12, 2015
mselectra in Site Talk

Chowhound Beta Site Open to Everyone (Continued Again)

I also want to say that, for me at least, the regional boards have been the most important part of Chowhound - and what I'm most worried are threatened by this new tag-based design.

When I moved, Chowhound was so important in helping me feel grounded in my new home - because food is so central to feeling at home and understanding a place. I really can't exaggerate how important it was in those first couple years, especially.
It's a fairly active regional board, that covers a pretty large area (DC/Baltimore), and so has been subject to complaints about posters not specifying exactly where in the area they're talking about (a real problem that I was hoping tags would help) - but at the same time, provides a wonderful far-ranging conversation among people who are willing to travel within their region to find good chow.

I still go to my home regional board and read every thread (eventually), even though many of them won't have direct or immediate relevance to me (and even though I don't participate actively much of the time). Being able to tap into that community and that larger conversation is what, to me, makes Chowhound unusual and special.

When I travel, I might do a targeted search within a regional board and often post a specific query, but I also like to just start lurking, to see what kinds of conversation is going on within that place/board, as a way to get a feel for where I'm going.

All of which is to say, as others have pointed out, I'm also concerned the large number of very specific tags will have a splintering effect.

Chowhound Beta Site Open to Everyone (Continued Again)

Have not spent enough time in beta to say much, but did skim the three long threads on it (was looking for procrastination this morning) and hearted several comments that reflect concerns I'd also have.

Read the first two threads in current version, last one in beta.

Since I was reading them side-by-side it was very obvious how much more difficult and taxing to my eyes to read through a thread in the beta. I think it's some combination of the font and white space, is the problem. I don't think anyone else has pointed this out, so wanted to mention it. (It might reflect the general call for more density on the page?)

I seem to remember a similar problem with a new design rollout a few years ago?

Trip Report; Short DC visit with a picky eater

They have the nitro at other Dolcezza locations (14th St and Dupont), but at least once I tried to order it and it wasn't available despite being on their sidewalk sign... so I haven't actually tried it yet.

Great report, thanks!

DC Eats?

Oh, thanks for fried green tomatoes rec!
I was also thinking about Horace & Dickies, but haven't been over that way in so long, wasn't sure it was even still there.
Must get to that side of town sometime soon....

DC Eats?

If nobody has mentioned Market Lunch at Eastern Market, they have crabcakes, too, and it's also an institution. But, I haven't been myself in a very long time, so I'm not the most trustworthy rec.

I still find the parking at the Fish Market pretty insane, and have been by there relatively recently, but I suppose that's part of the experience. It's also bus and metro accessible, though. Fried fish sandwiches are a DC thing (monkeyrotica can explain).

How do you feel about waiters clearing dirty dishes and then serving food without washing their hands in between?

Or you could start worrying about the health dangers of hand sanitizers, too, ha! (This just came across one of my feeds, as I happened to be reading this thread, I'm not making any claims about anything myself):

Jun 18, 2015
mselectra in Not About Food

If you were invited to a birthday party (for someone else) on the day of your birthday... what would be a nice touch for you?

Sounds perfect.

May 12, 2015
mselectra in Not About Food

Quintessential Chesapeake Bay-area Dishes

As I remember (my bad memory) you can no longer hunt the species that was so popular to eat in the 19th century, or perhaps just not in this area... or something like that. Unless I'm mixing up the duck and the terrapin? I don't have his book handy -- but he's good on this food history stuff.

Do you eat/serve salad on a plate or in a bowl?

I've gotten to the point where I eat/serve almost every meal, at home, in pasta bowls. Have been wondering how weird that is of me. I have the same issue with salads as OP, and the pasta bowl works.

Would like your opinion on what coffee supplies to provide for a nicer end vacation rental

OP is trying to provide a higher end experience, so, yes, first world.

Jan 30, 2015
mselectra in General Topics

Quintessential Chesapeake Bay-area Dishes

Well, somebody has to research and write it!

Quintessential Chesapeake Bay-area Dishes

Yes, would be a good idea for OP to contact John DeFerrari.

BTW, I have heard him speak on that species of duck, but my memory is not good on it, whether extinct, highly endangered, or what -- except that you certainly couldn't eat them any more now. But it was really interesting hearing about terrapin, duck, and oysters.

Would like your opinion on what coffee supplies to provide for a nicer end vacation rental

I meant freshly roasted. Good roasters will put a roast date on the bag.

I wonder if you asked on your local CH board for favorite coffee beans, roasters in the area, if you'd get some good suggestions? And if you could get them in smaller packages, all the better for the gift basket.

Where in NC is your place? Will you include little jars of bbq sauce or Texas Pete ;)

Cool about the toiletries.

Jan 30, 2015
mselectra in General Topics

Would like your opinion on what coffee supplies to provide for a nicer end vacation rental

But if you're going for higher end, don't expect people to heat water for tea in the coffee maker.

Jan 30, 2015
mselectra in General Topics

Would like your opinion on what coffee supplies to provide for a nicer end vacation rental

I don't think you can or should try to compete with the guy who roasts his own coffee -- that's his thing that he can use to make his rental special and unique to him. You're figuring out what you have to make yours special in a way appropriate for you and your space.

But yes, would certainly appreciate fresh beans. Personally, if there was a small selection of locally roasted beans and other local specialties as well in the basket, I'd love that. That would appeal to me a lot more than the pod type coffee.

But it sounds like the Keurig with a big selection of coffees also signals special and high end and just kind of fun when on vacation, perhaps -- so could be a talking point for your place. (And there are biodegradable pods, is that right? The waste would be a turnoff for me, personally.)

BTW, if in a basket, at least, I'd assume the coffee and treats were like a gift (ie gift basket) -- so, for example, if I didn't want to drink those locally roasted beans while there, I might take them home. I wouldn't think that with normal size bottles of shampoo or whatever, but you never know what people will assume, right?

Jan 30, 2015
mselectra in General Topics

Would like your opinion on what coffee supplies to provide for a nicer end vacation rental

I don't think our Cuisinart with gold filter was super expensive, but they don't last forever, so maybe too expensive for a rental. I love the thermal carafe, too.

I would agree with the starter packet of coffee only, and a decent, easy to use drip coffee maker. I don't think you need it to seem like you're supplying them for their whole stay, it's more a way of being warm, welcoming, and providing some convenience.

If you want to get fancy and more expensive, there are machines that have drip and espresso, which might signal higher end and give visitors a little more choice -- without forcing them to do something complicated to get a simple cup.

Make sure to clean it well between guests and don't leave an already opened bag of coffee for next guests, I'd say. (Probably obvious.)

Electric kettle is a nice idea. As are some tea bags -- but I'd replenish them for every guest, so they're fresh. And include something herbal/decaf. Maybe add some cocoa as someone above suggested.

Gift basket is great idea, perhaps highlighting special local stuff and what they could buy more of at that nice nearby store.

What I especially agree with is that coffee is not worth tying yourself up in knots about because Tastesgoodwhatisit's point about coffee snobs is exactly right -- and you don't want to complicate it for everybody else.

ETA: I suppose you could stick not just a french press, but also a grinder, chemex, and stovetop espresso thingy somewhere to make available....

Jan 29, 2015
mselectra in General Topics

Would like your opinion on what coffee supplies to provide for a nicer end vacation rental

You don't heat a French press directly on the stove, you heat the water and pour it in. It's pretty easy. If you stored it in its box, presumably the directions would be there, as well. They don't take up much room or require filters (so less mess and waste).

If people are staying for a while at the rental, would they have somewhere to go buy their own coffee beans. I mean, the ones you provide are a welcome, but if there's a kind they'd prefer, they could go get them? The Nespresso restricts you to their pods, doesn't it?

Jan 29, 2015
mselectra in General Topics

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #13 – 01/28/15 (spoilers)

I really loved the artist inspiration challenge. It felt genuine somehow -- like rather than setting the chefs up with some clever obstacle they had to overcome, like so many challenges, to actually offer them real inspiration. Artists inspiring other artists.

And it seemed to capture something genuine about the place, San Miguel, as you describe it, chicgail. Often location based challenges reference some superficial aspect of a place (lots of the Boston ones did, I think.) And having Doug's sous-chefs play up Mexican stereotypes as they were goofing around highlighted that even more, which I loved, too.

Not that those other kinds of challenges aren't fun to watch and they can separate out skilled and quick-thinking chefs. But I really appreciated this one at this stage.

Is my Kirkland olive oil real?

What brand is that Ga/Ca blend?

Jan 28, 2015
mselectra in General Topics

DC: Would welcome comments/suggestions on my tentative iten

Had a good experience with a group at Overwood a while back. Actually, I had asked about it on CH at the time so I just checked and it was almost five years ago! And it also looks like I didn't report back how it went, which I could have sworn I did.

If memory serves -- they seated us in a separate room with a large table, handled some food restrictions in the group well, there was something for everybody, and the service was very good.

(ETA: had a pretty bad experience at Restaurant Eve, even longer ago than that. But it might have been a one-off and was a long time ago, so probably not a useful data point.)

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

Could you (or anyone who wants) elaborate on what made Mei's more innovative than Melissa's? I didn't get that from the judges (especially considering Gail's comments on Melissa's) but I'm not really knowledgeable enough to be able to tell, myself.

Agree Mei seemed really smart and strategic in the Dufresne QF.

Jan 23, 2015
mselectra in Food Media & News

DC weekend - Italian + ?

I might at least consider Dino's Grotto.

Any genuinely good Tex-Mex in DC/Arlington?

Thanks for those links, Lydia -- I do know that he's active on Rockwell (I'm not as good as I mean to be about checking in there, though, I have trouble keeping track of threads there.)

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

Oh boy, now you've got to tell what she made! Just between this thread and the lamppost.

Isn't being an aunt wonderful.
Glad your dad got to spend the birthday with the little one.

Any genuinely good Tex-Mex in DC/Arlington?

I appreciate when these old threads with Joe H pop up, though. Wish he'd chime in again on this one (or any one!) even after twelve years.

Not Tex-Mex, but this thread reminded me that I was grateful to whomever suggested Taqueria Poblano for "L.A. style" crispy tacos. That's a comfort food for me, was glad to learn available in these parts.

New Profile Setting: Collapse Previously Read Comments (also defaults to "See All" page)

Thought I'd bump again. There's lots of discussion about this over on Site Talk, fwiw.


Dennis S -- The instructions about how to change back to the older, much better, setting was posted on the DC/Baltimore board, but only bumped up once or twice. It's incredibly irritating, but you can go back to the old way. The fact that you're just now getting to Site Talk to ask about it, and missed all the other discussions of it, is further evidence that it's a mess.

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads (Part 2)

The pagination isn't the problem -- there probably would have been complaints, but I'm guessing most would have just been mildly annoyed and then gotten used to it. And it does make sense as a helpful feature for those on mobile devices.

The problem is the read posts no longer being collapsed. That's just a crazy change that undermines the essence of what makes CH what it is, the type of discussion that happens here, often over long periods of time, where users can periodically drop in on an ongoing conversation.
And I imagine even more problematic on mobile devices, to have to scroll through all of that to find new posts.

And people do keep finding their way to Site Talk to ask about the read-posts-showing-as-unread, which shows that users assume it's a glitch or bug, and also aren't seeing the now many explanations about it. For each that asks, how many have not asked and are just confused and annoyed?

Dec 27, 2014
mselectra in Site Talk