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LeslieB's Profile

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Room Service Charges

What you may not know, but I do, being in the hotel industry, is that a portion of both the service charge and the automatic tip goes, not to your server, but back to the hotel., so while the gratuity already on your check may be 15 percent, the server might only be getting 10 percent of that.

Dec 19, 2009
LeslieB in Not About Food

what kind of snack at 11pm

Anything nutty or cheesy: Peanut butter and pretzels or crackers. Peanuts in the shell ( bit messy to eat in bed while watching TV, but I've done it), trail mix, granola bars, cheese and crackers, and yes, cold pizza for sure. Every now and then cold cereal and soy milk, popcorn or a bunch of dried figs.

Dec 19, 2009
LeslieB in General Topics

How or what do you start your day with? - moved from Home Cooking board

It varies dramatically based on whether I am working and at what time. I'm a restaurant manager, so on mornings that I work I usually just have some toast, sometimes with peanut butter and a glass of OJ when I come in.

If I am at home, anything goes; When boith the BF and I are home at breakfast time, he likes a big veggie and egg scramble, usually with diced potato, mushrooms, onion, bell and hot peppers and sometimes broccoli or spinach if we have some laying around. Cheese is sometimes in there, sometimes not. Frank's Rec Hot on top is a must, as is French press coffee on the side.

Sometimes we opt for "contintental breakfast," a good-sized chunk of baguette or some other good bread apiece plus fresh fruit - usually grapes, apples and banana, sometimes berries or peaches if they are in season, and come yummy cheese. We slice the fruit and cheese and put it on one big plate and just nibble away until it's gone.

When I am by myself in the morning I like to make fried egg sandwiches or "eggs in the hole" - a slice of bread with the center cut out, which you butter and grill with a fried egg in the center. If I am in a hurry, I warm up a whole wheat pita on the stovetop, smear it with peanut butter, sprinkle dried berries and sunflower kernels on it, then roll it up and eat it like burrito. Sometimes I put a banana in it. And on occasion, I eat cereal with soy milk.

Dec 19, 2009
LeslieB in General Topics

Most disgusting taste (of normal foodstuffs)

My short list:

Canned tuna (or any kind if tinned fish for that matter, yech)

Hard-Boilied Eggs - I love fried eggs and omelettes but hard boiled eggs turn my stomach, the smell alone is nauseating. My boyfriend makes these devilled eggs that are universally adored and coveted by friends and family, but I won't touch them.

Cold Chicken - There is just something nasty about the way chicken tastes when it's not hot. I'm getting grossed out just thinking about it. You pull that out of a picnic basket and I'm gone.

Clams - so obnoxiously fishy-tasting

Dec 19, 2009
LeslieB in Not About Food

Everything Seems To Be Shrinking

It's even happening with beer. Have you noticed that quite a few brands are now in 11.2 ounce bottles instead of 12?

Dec 19, 2009
LeslieB in General Topics

So Hounds, How many Beers?

After work at home, usually two or three, sometimes four or five if it's been a rough night. If I am out having a good time, it depands on how long the band is playing!

On Saturday, I had three Rogue Hazelnut Browns over dinner, then hit another bar for a bluegrass band where I had probably another four or five pints, also a brown, but this time Bell's. I was feeling pretty good at the end of the night, by no means wasted, but I was glad my boyfriend was driving.

Dec 15, 2009
LeslieB in Beer

Brand Loyalty?

Arnold/Brownberry Bread
Stadium Mustard (a Cleveland thing)
Earth Balance (buttery spread)
Aladdin Pita Bread (another Cleveland thing)
Amy's soups
Frank's Red Hot
Kitchen Basics stocks
Yogi Tea herbal teas
John Powers

Bolthouse Farm Vedge Juice (makes a great Bloody mary base)

Al's Gourmet Sauce (shrimp cocktail sauce - also local)

Dec 15, 2009
LeslieB in General Topics

Food packaging that drives you nuts?

Teeth are effective for nearly any difficult packaging, save for jar lids and bottle caps! I can't stand the little foil seal inside the mouth of any sort of tetrapak-ed item like soy milk or chicken stock, those things are freakin' impossible to peel off in one piece, but luckily, you can just stick a butter knife through them, fold in the edges and be done.

Dec 15, 2009
LeslieB in Not About Food

CLE: Great "Americanized" Chinese food?

Try Dragon Towers in Kamm's Plaza at Lorain Avenue and Rocky River Drive. I live in the neighborhood and it is my go-to spot for good, basic American Chinese food. Everything is always fresh, they'll make stuff spicy to my liking, and (this part is important), the chicken is always well-trimmed white meat, even in the breaded dishes like General Tso's - no nasty, gristly mystery meat. I haven't had the regular egg rolls, as I don't eat pork, but the veggie egg rolls are very good.

Dec 15, 2009
LeslieB in Great Lakes

Chicago sacrilege? Non-beef hot dogs?

Don't beat me up over this, please. I'm a Cleveland chowhound coming to Chi-Town for a few days, and I really,really want to sink my teeth into a good Chicago dog, but the problem is that I don't eat red meat. Does anyone out there do a comparably decent poultry-based dog? Veggie dogs just don't seem to cut it. I've checked out the menu at Hot Doug's and it all looks good, but it's not the classic frank that I am looking for. Any suggestions? Incidentally, I am staying at the Hyatt Regency on E Wacker, but I fully intent to roam a bit, especially to places easily accesible by public transit.

Sep 03, 2008
LeslieB in Chicago Area

Pittsburgh must-eats

Hey there Steel City. I am a Cleveland chowhound spending the weekend in Pittsburgh and I am looking for a few suggestions for can't-miss local fare. I am not necessarily looking for anything wildly expensive, trendy or chi-chi. I love ethnic food (Vietnamese, Thai, authentic Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, etc), fresh local ingredients, and places that are have a great menu but are casual and unpretentious. A great beer list is a bonus. And of course, I am looking for the regional specialties (except those Primanti sandwiches, we have a chain in Cleveland that does that too, and I just can't get behind the concept.).

I understand the area where I am staying (Hyatt Place on Campbell's Run) is pretty barren of non-chain edibles, but I am only sleeping there. During the day I plan to be in the center city doing all the typical tourist stuff, and along E. Carson, which I discovered when my boyfriend's band played the Rex. Where should we eat?

Jun 24, 2008
LeslieB in Pennsylvania

Your fave spicy snacks?

Totally gross, but I love Tabasco-flavored Cheez-Its. Unsupervised, I could eat a whole box without thinking about it.

Jan 30, 2008
LeslieB in General Topics

Leeks [Moved from Home Cooking board]

I've seen an episode of "Good Eats" devoted entirely to leeks. Alton, I believe, sliced the leeks into 3-inch long sections and halved those longwise, then let the "semi-cylinders" soak in cold water. The idea was for the layers to loosen up and any grit/sand/dirt hiding within to float out and sink to the bottom.

Jan 30, 2008
LeslieB in General Topics

Triscuits flavors...any good?

I love the cracked pepper Triscuits. As a matter of fact, when I first tried them I told my boyfriend that they might just supplant my bad salt and pepper potato chip habit!

Jan 30, 2008
LeslieB in General Topics

Just moved to Cleveland...where are the good eats?

If you head up Canal Road from Rockside until you hit Granger Riad (Route 17), at least during the day, you'll find a great little cafe in the valley called Gourmand's. They have huge, delicious sandwiches, yummy chips to go with, great coffee and tea and some interesting wines for sale. I used to work in Valley View and it was my go-to lunch stop. There's also a Yours Truly now in the Thornburg Station complex where Parkside Diner used to be. It's nothing wildly awesome, but it's non-chain (or at least local chain) comfort food.

Jan 26, 2008
LeslieB in General Midwest Archive

January 23 - National Pie Day. How are you going to Celebrate?

That's funny, I made a Shepherd's Pie the other day. I guess I'll have to eat the leftovers tonight. That counts, right?

Jan 23, 2008
LeslieB in General Topics

Cleveland - Anyone Else Been to the Monastery?

One of my co-workers had a similarly "off" experience at the Monastery. I think their order came out incorrect as well, and he found the staff strange. I don't know if they assaulted him with assorted teas, however.

Jan 23, 2008
LeslieB in General Midwest Archive

Best Pickles

For a classic kosher dill, I'm a Nathan's fan all the way, but I also lived in SE Ohio for a few years and developed a fierce love for Frog Ranch, a tiny local company out of teeny-tiny Glouster OH. Their spicy peppered pickle chunks are killer. Check it out.

http://frogranch.com/products/product...

Jan 22, 2008
LeslieB in General Topics

Just moved to Cleveland...where are the good eats?

There have been a lot of posts in here, and you'll forgive me (I hope) for mostly skimming them. I saw a bit about Asia Town, and did not notice anyone specifically mention Siam Cafe. I just ate there last week, for the first time in a couple years and was blown away by how good it was. Do not be put off by the former Red Barn exterior. Stop in, study the encyclopedic menu and pick something you've never had before. Ask the Vietnamese kids at the next table what they like. Just beware, the place is packed on weekend nights, but that seems to be for good reason.

Also, I'll add my voice to the growing chorus for Vincenza's for best pizza. The downer is that the place is only open weekdays, but it is the finest NY-style thin 'za in town, by a damn sight.

Jan 22, 2008
LeslieB in General Midwest Archive

Sushi/Japanese recs in NE Ohio?

If you're going to be on the west side of Cleveland, I'd recommend Ohashi in North Olmsted. The focus there is almost entirely sushi, and I've always had very high-quality fresh fish there. Downtown, I like Ginza. It gets neglected in favor of hipper, glitzier spots like Sushi Rock and Sunset Lounge, but I've never had a bad meal there, and it has a very comfortable atmosphere. I also agree with everyone who recommended Pacific East.

Dec 17, 2007
LeslieB in General Midwest Archive

Magnums, Jeroboams and other monster bottles

And just think, when you're finished with the beer, you can make a lamp from the bottle!

Dec 17, 2007
LeslieB in Beer

Name this candy: apricot paste with pistachios

Wow, those sound awesome. I might have to go hit up the neighborhood Lebanese markets and get some.

Dec 06, 2007
LeslieB in General Topics

Granola

I would think raisins or other small, hardish dried fruit like cranberries or blueberries would work.

As a side note, a friend of my BF has a hippie-ish daughter who makes huge batches of homemade granola for everyone as a Christmas present. The problem is, it's not very good and no one has the heart to tell her. Last winter we did find someone who liked it, though -- the squirrels in our backyard!

Dec 04, 2007
LeslieB in Home Cooking

Some Soup With Your Salt?

Too much salt in soup is always bad. Excessive black pepper, though: bring it on.

Dec 04, 2007
LeslieB in General Topics

Cooking classes in Cleveland?

I don't know where exactly you are in the metro area, but the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking offers some pretty professional classes. A more casual (and often healthy/vegetarian friendly) option can be had at the Mustard Seed Market and Cafe. Both Mustard Seed locations and the Paganini school are way out in the 'burbs. In the city, there are, of course, Michael Symon's classes at Lolita. Links below.

http://www.lpscinc.com/classes.asp

http://www.mustardseedmarket.com/600_...

http://www.lolabistro.com/

Dec 04, 2007
LeslieB in General Midwest Archive

I have four kaffir limes. What should I do?

If I had a handful of kaffir limes I would be making Tom Ka Gai. Yum.

Dec 03, 2007
LeslieB in Home Cooking

Food prank -- pulled on you or by you

I forgot to mention that he initially started this ritual because of a particularly boorish co-worker. He didn't much like this guy to begin with, and like many of the other victims mentioned in this thread, the dude was a famous hog. If he saw there were eggs, he'd scarf a whole plate of them. Naturally, something had to be done to deter him....

Nov 30, 2007
LeslieB in Not About Food

Music in the kitchen?

I usually listen to some variant on Americana/alt-country while cooking. It could be someone recent (Neko Case, Wilco/Son Volt, Blanche, The Sadies etc.), or it might be one of the godparents of the genre (I'm particularly fond of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris). I've also been known to bust out some Southern soul, or if I'm feeling particularly upbeat, some traditional ska. The BF is Irish, so the Pogues also join the rotation from time-to-time, and I'm just fine with that.

Nov 30, 2007
LeslieB in Not About Food

Food prank -- pulled on you or by you

My BF, a firefighter, is famous for his deviled eggs, and routinely plays a game of deviled egg roulette at the station, especially when a new cadet is around or someone who just switched houses. One or two or three yolks out of a a dozen are spiked with a bit of Dave's Insanity Sauce. You'd think the possibility of physical pain would deter eaters, but the eggs are apparently that good. The guys will gather round, stuff their faces and see who gets the trick egg. Sometimes the BF makes a batch with no hot eggs just to throw them off.

Nov 27, 2007
LeslieB in Not About Food

Kettle Chips - Which Brand is Best?

Kettle brand chips are quite good, I think. There's also a brand called Dirty Potato Chips that is delicious (usually find-able at natural foods stores). Solea Olive Oil chips are also lovely, and can almost always be found at World Market. I assume you have those in Chicago. Mmmm. Just writing about this topic is making me hungry.

Nov 27, 2007
LeslieB in General Topics