jmckee's Profile

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OMG, Williams Sonoma

Quite a few years ago, I met a lady at work who was a very serious cook. She worked in the company's sales analysis department, but she had trained at Cordon Bleu as a young woman.

One year, she decided to get a part-time job during the holidays at Williams Sonoma, which was only about a 15 minute drive from the office -- and about halfway home for her.

From October through December. She would leave work at 4:30, work 5-10 p.m. at WS, and go home. She would also usually work one or two weekend shifts.

The reason? She determined to buy everything she had ever wanted for the kitchen. She spent almost every cent she made during the three months and "retired" from WS a happy cook.

Oct 23, 2014
jmckee in Cookware

Cincinnati - Historic Restaurants

I was just about to add Scotti's! It's been there more than 100 years.

Oct 22, 2014
jmckee in Great Lakes

Bumping up old threads

Devil's advocate: I don't see this as much of a problem myself. But there is a tension between this idea ("don't let old threads be bumped up") and the simple fact that somebody starting a new thread about issue XYZ will more than likely be chastised by another poster for not using the search key to find the old threads on XYZ. And posting on those old threads will, de facto, bump them up.

We all know it happens, but we never like to think it actually does... [moved from New Jersey board]

All I know is that if I own a restaurant nearby that waitress gets a job interview from me. She showed integrity.

Oct 21, 2014
jmckee in Not About Food

I don't "get" Red Velvet Cake

Why does it matter if they're on Chowhound? Is membership on this site a prerequisite for taste?

Oct 21, 2014
jmckee in General Topics
1

Cincinnati - Historic Restaurants

Hathaway's, in the Carew Tower arcade, is still open and is still a great old-style diner. Outstanding burgers. Great breakfasts.

Oct 21, 2014
jmckee in Great Lakes
1

(Relatively Inexpensive) Mail Order Steaks

I have bought from Pfaelzer Brothers (http://www.pfaelzer-brothers.com/) and have found their quality to be good and their prices reasonable. $100 would get you four 8-oz. filet mignons or two 1-lb. porterhouse or four 12-oz NY strips. Their other products are fine as well. And they only charge $15 flat rate for shipping.

Oct 16, 2014
jmckee in General Topics

In 'Parts Unknown,' Anthony Bourdain is not a man on a mission

Oh for corn's sake. I am NOT a mind-number robot. Bourdain is not at all like the other items on your list.

Grow up. Not everybody likes what you like. And not everybody's a snob.

Oct 07, 2014
jmckee in Food Media & News

Fishmonger in Greater Cincinnati?

Jungle Jim's. Outstanding seafood counter.

Oct 07, 2014
jmckee in Great Lakes

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

Blue Ash and Camp Washington, no; one location only. Dixie has a few NKy locations.

Price Hill Chili is really good too.

Sep 25, 2014
jmckee in Chains

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

Of the major Cincinnati chains, Skyline is the way to go. I don't care for Gold Star. It's thinner, and has a spicy bite at the back of the throat that I don't find pleasant. (This may have something to do with the fact that for 12 years I lived less than 1/4 mile from the Gold Star commissary and smelled it whenever the wind was right. Or wrong.)

Blue Ash is a good place, although it's perhaps better known for its mammoth double-decker sandwiches than its chili. It serves a six-way, which in addition to beans, onions, and cheese is topped with breaded and deep-fried jalapeno slices.

Camp Washington is an institution. Winner of a James Beard Foundation award as an American regional classic, it's got a distinctive high-quality chili and lots of other good things -- sandwiches, breakfast, etc. Last year it was named one of the 20 most iconic food destinations by Smithsonian Magazine.

Dixie Chili, across the river in Northern Kentucky, is very good too. I think their beans are the best -- nice and plump and moist. They serve a six-way too, with chopped fresh garlic. They used to serve a seven-way -- sliced frankfurters and a fried egg on top.

Sep 24, 2014
jmckee in Chains
2

Best Mail Order Holiday Food Gifts?

Gethsemani Farms, the mail-order arm of the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani, near Bardstown, KY. Outstanding bourbon fruitcake and bourbon fudge. UNBELIEVABLE Trappist cheese.

https://www.gethsemanifarms.org/

Sep 23, 2014
jmckee in General Topics

Relatively new baker - looking for some inspiration

Well. I'm going contrarian here. I don't think weights and grams and such are necessary for the beginner.

I don't usually weigh. I use spoons and cups. And my baked goods turn out fine. What you need is a good "teacher". I recommend a couple of books -- Baking with Julia (which is actually written by Dorie Greenspan) and The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. They have outstanding instructions so that even a novice baker (which I once was) can turn out good quality stuff as he/she learns the ropes.

Also, if you've got a friend who bakes, ask to watch or work with them. You'll learn to get the feel of various doughs and batters.

Really confused about health of pan frying

"Forbidden food"?

Sep 22, 2014
jmckee in Home Cooking

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

Remember the commercial? "Show us your LARK pack!"

Sep 15, 2014
jmckee in Chains
1

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

Jersey Mike's is better than both of those.

My current workplace has a few guys at the top who are crazy for Jimmy John's. One says, every time it's brought in for an office lunch, "This is the best sandwich ever made." I hold my response, which would be, "No. It's not."

Sep 11, 2014
jmckee in Chains
1

Why You Should Never, Ever Go to a Food Festival

This is the second time the phrase "people who have never seen food" has been bandied about here. I don't see where that can even be true, much less understand what you're implying. The phrase seems to lump everybody together and say that if you go to such a festival you must not understand food at all. Which is patently untrue.

Sep 10, 2014
jmckee in Food Media & News

Why You Should Never, Ever Go to a Food Festival

I've been to a few, and they aren't worthless. Have even tried things I've never tried before and found restaurants I'd never been to, and visited them as a result of my experience. "I don't do crowds and I don't wait in lines for food" pretty much sums up the attitude here. Worthless for YOU because you don't "do" crowds (whatever that means) and you won't wait.

Sep 10, 2014
jmckee in Food Media & News

Why You Should Never, Ever Go to a Food Festival

Interesting "Haven't been to any others" but "they are worthless."

Opinion without experience?

Sep 09, 2014
jmckee in Food Media & News

Zucchini bread: why?

Or possibly because it's good in the 21st century as well.

Do you think wheat is "the root of all evil" or staff of life?

No. It's not. Absent a food "allergy" or other sensitivity, there is no food that is "to be avoided." Eat everything.

Do you think wheat is "the root of all evil" or staff of life?

Anecdotal evidence unbacked by science. You're "self-medicating" with food. Which isn't medicine.

Do you think wheat is "the root of all evil" or staff of life?

Nonsense. You shouldn't think of ANY individual food as "evil." That's ridiculous. And probably an eating disorder.

New US Chef Postage Stamps Available for Pre-Order Now

I have two Beard books. They sit on the shelf collecting dust. Julia's, Elizabeth David's, Jane Grigson's are all constantly re-read and thumbed.

It may be a blind spot, but especially after reading "The United States of Arugula", I continue to think of Beard as undisciplined and overrated -- and while we're at it, the other of the great "triumvirate" Claiborne as well.

Sep 05, 2014
jmckee in Food Media & News

New US Chef Postage Stamps Available for Pre-Order Now

Um. Why? Of all of them, Child had the greatest impact. And she never sold out to commercials the way Beard did.

Don't get me wrong -- I respect Beard's legacy and accomplishments for his time, but his writing doesn't hold up that well, and I find him to be somewhat overrated.

Sep 03, 2014
jmckee in Food Media & News

How do you like to dine...booth or table?

It depends on the kind of place we're visiting, but I take after my Mom and am mostly a booth person.

Aug 28, 2014
jmckee in Not About Food

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

A contrarian view:

First of all, I am APPALLED by the number of people in this thread who encourage the OP to jettison the guests in question. Wow. Just wow. Two words: Shal. Low.

Secondly -- would it have KILLED you to use the napkins? Would it have ruined your event? Would it have kept you from making the "best laid tables" list on some website?

We have so little real human contact in this world sometimes. It seems ridiculous to find a fly in the ointment for something so small and piddling.

Aug 28, 2014
jmckee in Not About Food

Motel / Buffet Scrambled eggs

It also depends on how often they swap them out. There are a couple of hotels at which we stay in Staunton, VA, that are VERY proactive at getting rid of the most slightly aged eggs.

I always think of Julia Child's line in a sidebar about egg safety: "Scrambled eggs on a buffet -- I'm wary of these."

Aug 28, 2014
jmckee in General Topics

Breakfast in Cinci

Let us know when you return. We'll set you up for Round 2. You need to try the Bloody Mary at The Eagle (and the fried chicken), and get some tacos at Bakersfield.

Aug 28, 2014
jmckee in Great Lakes

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron?

I have, over the years, tried a few times to season new cast iron. I have failed miserably.

So this pre-seasoned cast iron is of interest to me, as cast iron would be the only path to replicating my mother's and grandmother's cornbread.

How is this product? Does it really work the way it ought?

Aug 25, 2014
jmckee in Cookware