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ekt_now's Profile

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Trying to find good wine/beer store in Longmont (or nearby)

Thank you LurkerDan and Juliejulez. No, I did not know the alcohol laws for Colorado - and it explains why I kept wandering through looking for good beer to no avail! The reviews on Yelp were pretty uneven so I will try DaveCo - thanks for the recommendation. We visit Denver 1-2/month so maybe I can find a big wine market there - and my last option is to load up the truck next time we are visiting California.

Sep 13, 2014
ekt_now in Mountain States

Trying to find good wine/beer store in Longmont (or nearby)

Living in beautiful Longmont for the year and found a great place to buy bread/cheese/pastries (Cheese Importers) but are not having much luck in the alcohol department. Many of the grocery stores here do not sell wine or good beer and the two smaller liquor stores that we visited had unfriendly staff. Any suggestions? We liked Hazels in Boulder but would rather find something nearby. The best would be something like a BevMo since we don't need wine recommendations, just a wide selection (foreign and domestic wine) and good prices.

Also, I commute down to Northglenn once a week in case there is something along the way

Thanks for your help!

Aug 27, 2014
ekt_now in Mountain States

Great Mexican (Indian, Ethiopian) anywhere close to I-15?

Thank you VegasGourmet and QAW - you are great! Really appreciate the recommendations since this is probably the last good meal we will get until Glenwood Springs, Colorado! Thanks, again.

Jun 29, 2014
ekt_now in Las Vegas

Great Mexican (Indian, Ethiopian) anywhere close to I-15?

We are towing a trailer from SoCal to Boulder and would like to stop by Las Vegas (briefly since we will have kitties in the car) to pick up some delicious food. Any recommendations for an easy on-and-off the freeway?

Thanks!

Jun 28, 2014
ekt_now in Las Vegas

Bloomington Indiana Trip Report – Vegetarian

Yes, wanted to try Finch's but they were closed when I drove by - sounds like a great place.

Mar 21, 2014
ekt_now in Great Lakes

Bloomington Indiana Trip Report – Vegetarian

Note: Website hours were not always correct, so call ahead. For example, some of the restaurants were closed or had abbreviated hours during Spring Break.

1) Farm Bloomington: low-key restaurant, nice decor, not many vegetarian choices but the food I ate was lovely. Enjoyed a spicy butternut squash curry and a mix plate of vegetable chips (plantain, okra, and something else) with a delicious ztatziki-like mint dipping sauce. Everything was great except for the okra which was too crunchy. The order was for two 'small plates’ (which I am guessing is a midwest term for appetizers?), the servings were generous and there was plenty of food to take home.

Staff was extremely helpful. The menu appears to change weekly so you may want to call ahead and see what they have scheduled. Closed on Monday.

2) Laughing Planet: located a couple blocks west of Farm Bloomington, off Kirkwood on Grant (address says Kirkwood) and above the Soma coffeehouse. Relaxed café atmosphere serving healthy burritos and salads. First visit, I had brown rice, spinach, black beans, green chilis and salsa. The staff completely messed up my order (nice but ditzy server) but the burrito was good so I did not mind. Also tried the Cuban burrito with plantains and fruit salsa. Very filling burritos. Soma’s Coffeehouse, located downstairs, had fresh juices, smoothies, caffeinated drinks, etc…

3) Palace of India – nice staff, pretty mediocre, bland food.

4) Mama Bear’s Pizza: pretty standard good/greasy pizza. Crust has a lot of fat in it – you can see the staining on the cardboard box. The single size is pretty small, they call it a 6” pizza but it looked more like a scant 5”; fine for a light super but not enough for most people.

Staff was friendly (is anyone in Indiana not friendly?) but if I lived in Bloomington, I would not return to this restaurant.

5) BloomingFoods grocery stores: good selection of organic produce, small deli area and nice staff. There are multiple locations in Bloomington – one near downtown on 6th St.

6) Scholar’s Bakeshop: after all of the glowing reviews, this was surprising let-down. The coffee cake was stale and without much flavor. The sourdough bread was fine but not really any better than store bought sourdough. As usual, the counter staff was a friendly bunch.

Most of the good restaurants are located on Kirkwood or one block south on 4th St., so it makes it easy to walk around and see view the options. Bloomington is a great little town and I look forward to returning and trying more of the offerings.

Mar 21, 2014
ekt_now in Great Lakes

Ventura/Camarillo Trip Report

Just wanted to update our review on eating in Camarilo. We found a GREAT gourmet pizza place, Bianco Rosso; take the 'Lewis' exit to Arneil, turn left into the first shopping mall (Ponderosa Shopping Mall) and it is on the right side of the center.

Light, delicious, and very fresh - like real Italian pizza. Favorite is the Corsica - a white pizza with a different types of mushrooms - really wonderful.

Mar 13, 2014
ekt_now in Los Angeles Area

Transplanting to Bloomington, IN from California - question about Bloomingfoods grocery

Great - thanks for the reassurance, it makes my life much easier if I don't have to stock up ahead of time! Thanks, again.

Mar 12, 2014
ekt_now in Great Lakes

Transplanting to Bloomington, IN from California - question about Bloomingfoods grocery

We are moving from California and I am wondering if we can find Mexican cooking supplies, such as dried corn husks, at Bloomingfoods (or any other local grocery stores)? Or should I buy them here?

For former Californians, are there any other pantry staples you would suggest we bring? We are vegetarians and cook mainly Mexican, Ethiopian, and Indian food.

The Bloomington farmer's market looks great and we are looking forward to starting a new garden this spring.

Thank you!

Mar 12, 2014
ekt_now in Great Lakes

Incredible Ethiopian Food near I-10! Tuscon

We stumbled upon this jewel of a restaurant and were so grateful. Meal was delicious and atmosphere was calm and relaxed (good thing since we were road-weary and grubby). If we lived nearby, I would eat here every week - just amazing food.

Zeman's Too
119 E. Speedway Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 882-4955

-from the east, it was exit 257 off I-10 (I think the sign said 'Historical Tuscon') - turn right onto Speedway, drive 3/4 of a mile and it is on the left side of the street, in a small white house.

http://www.zemams.com/

We had the spicy red lentil dish, a milder yellow split pea dish with vegies, a mixed vegetable dish (yetakelt wat), and spinach dish - all were fantastic. I am definitely inspired to try to learn to make at least one of these dishes. From one sampler and one entree, we had enough food for two hungry travelers in addition to another meal at home. Great place - hope you get a chance to enjoy it!

Feb 22, 2014
ekt_now in Southwest
1

What to do with Lots of bread?

2x the panzanella, delicious. Maybe fondue or bruschetta?

Anything with a strong flavor that will cover the blandness of the bread will work.

One tip for freezing, try to double wrap the bread or use freezer zip-bags, otherwise the bread gets freezer burn.

Feb 08, 2014
ekt_now in Home Cooking

Good Mexican food? Big Bend to Southern California on I-10.

Doesn't matter if it is Tex-Mex, New Mexico style or American Mexican food - as long it is good, we would appreciate any recommendations.

We will be backpacking in Big Bend and then driving home on I-10 stopping in Deming for one night and maybe in Lake Havasu (detour to see the aqueducts diverting the Colorado - my son is studying water use in the Southwest). We are willing to eat anywhere, just not too far from the interstate.

Thank you!

Feb 07, 2014
ekt_now in Southwest

Great baguettes, croissant in the Loop?

Trip report: we found we needed heartier breakfasts and ended up at Yolk on both days. One of my meals, a delicious egg white scramble with potatoes and fruit, was great, while the next day's meal, challah French toast, was so-so (I like a firmer, more favorable French toast). My son enjoyed his pancakes and eggs on both days, although he did not care for the imitation maple syrup. Yolk is a bustling restaurant with plentiful, good-enough food and attentive servers - a good choice in the Loop given the paucity of breakfast places.

Oct 22, 2013
ekt_now in Chicago Area

New even more annoying ads?

Have you tried installing something like AdBlock? It is free software to block ads.

Sep 24, 2013
ekt_now in Site Talk

Great baguettes, croissant in the Loop?

P.S. I should have mentioned that good to us does not mean 'La Petite Boulangerie' or similar chains.

Sep 24, 2013
ekt_now in Chicago Area

Great baguettes, croissant in the Loop?

Very fast trip to Chicago (~40 hours) and we usually need good pastries and bread in the morning. Our hotel is located at 10 S. Wabash - any recommendations within 1/2 mile walk?

If not, perhaps a good pancake place?

Thanks!

Sep 24, 2013
ekt_now in Chicago Area

Two days with two vegetarians in Portland - one of them 11 years old.

Good tip - thanks!

Jun 28, 2013
ekt_now in Northern New England

Two days with two vegetarians in Portland - one of them 11 years old.

The camp is in Freedom, about 20 miles east of Waterville, not much food there as far as I know - Freedom is a tiny town. We have eaten breakfast in Belfast where my son enjoyed chocolate chip pancakes (I do not remember much of note). Maine is a beautiful setting for summer camp and we are lucky Portland has so much good food.

Jun 27, 2013
ekt_now in Northern New England

Two days with two vegetarians in Portland - one of them 11 years old.

THanks, Bobbert - I will remember those two for our next visit! My son attends camp in Maine so I am looking forward to returning every summer to Portland and trying some more delicious food - hopefully my son will become more adventuresome and we will expand our options (beyond pizza and grilled cheese).

Jun 26, 2013
ekt_now in Northern New England

Two days with two vegetarians in Portland - one of them 11 years old.

[A Big Thank You to everyone who left earlier reviews of the Portland food – we used your information thoroughly to choose where to eat and really appreciate all of the help!!! Below is our take on the area – currently my son eats mainly bland food so we did not venture into any of the more exotic places.]

We stayed in the Old Port where there is an amazing abundance of interesting places to eat - you are tempted on many levels. We only had time for a few meals and look forward to returning and trying more. The Old Port is incredibly walking-friendly: everything is within an easy reach, the Maine drivers are courteous and used to stopping for peds. No need for a car, you can spend the day walking from historic sites to good food quite easily.

The Standard Bakery was spectacular– the bread was as good as any we have ever had (our U.S. favorite is Acme in Berkeley). The baguettes, crossiant, and pain au chocolat were comparable to any you would find in a boulangerie in France, with a crunchy crust and tender inside – just delicious! The raspberry galette was rich and filling; the gingerbread was wonderful. You could spend weeks here trying the different breads (the olive looked great) and pastries. The employees were friendly and helpful and the wait in line only took 1-2 mins.

By walking a few minutes up and down Commercial St., we could create a wonderful picnic lunch. Starting from the top of the street, there are fruits and vegies at Rosemont Produce, then a demi-baguette from Standard Bakery and great cheddar at Cabot Creamery (they sell single servings of the Seriously Sharp cheddar). Locally brewed sodas and beers were everywhere.

Another favorite was the Two Fat Cats bakery – my son loved the fresh Whoopie Pie (somewhat like an inside-out piece of chocolate cake with the frosting in the middle) and next time I will try the temptingly flaky blueberry pie.

Two very different pizza restaurants: Amato’s and Otto’s (225 Congress location). Amato’s is a funny experience – you wait in one line to order and then move into a parallel line to pay; food pick-up is at the end of the counter. The staff was brisk but not rude. We ate out on the patio and enjoyed the mild June weather. My spinach and cheese calzone was good but much less hearty than expected – the cheese was good but there was only a scant ~2 tablespoons of spinach. Only ate the top crusty (yumm) since the bottom was slightly soggy. My son’s generous slice of cheese pizza was a little greasy but he enjoyed it. Would we eat here again? Yes, but without high expectations. Keep in mind this is definitely not a ‘dining’ environment, more of a deli/grocery store feeling.

Loved Otto’s comfortable dining area – very relaxed, quiet, and unpretentious. The server was kind but forgot various items (and did not seem too concerned about it). The fennel, apple, and romaine salad was delicious and the buttermilk dressing was a perfect compliment. Too much butternut squash (big dollops) on my ricotta, cranberry pizza but worth trying. The single cheese slice my son had was overcooked: oil separating on top, a dark brown and teeth-breaking crust. Uneven meal but we would return – but next time first viewing the pizzas in the take-out area before ordering.

Starving the first night we ate a RiRa’s – an Irish pub across from the Standard Bakery. The seafood-eating diners looked happy but our meal was so-so. The positive: great Guinness (!) on draught, yummy complimentary soda bread, and the fries were crunchy and good. Everything else was too salty (to offset the beer?). Nice and attentive server subtracted the untouched mashed potatoes (overly salty) from the bill without being asked. We were upstairs with a view of the harbor; downstairs is the bar with a band, etc…

Lastly, for a light breakfast, we enjoyed the Port Bean on Commercial – nothing fancy but good scrambled eggs, bagels, etc… Service was friendly and quick.

Jun 23, 2013
ekt_now in Northern New England

Does Zapoteca make simple food for children?

Awesome - thanks!

I can give them a call also - just wasn't sure how adult a restaurant it was (some places definitely do _not_ want to cater to kids).

Jun 14, 2013
ekt_now in Northern New England

Does Zapoteca make simple food for children?

The menu looks great for adults but I did not see anything for kids (e.g. a quesadilla or bean burrito). Will they make kid-friendly food? Thanks.

Jun 14, 2013
ekt_now in Northern New England

Pasadena to Northern California via the 395 - any good bakeries/natural food stores/fruit stands?

This is many years later but we just made the same trip so I wanted to update the information. The Great Basin Bakery in Bishop still has yummy crossiants (the scones were so-so) but get there early - we arrived at 10:30am and lots of items were sold out.

In Bridgeport, 6 miles north of the Bodi turn-off, there is a nice grocery store - not cheap but that is common in small towns- where we could buy supplies. Across the street we had great vegie burgers and delicious, crunchy fries at Rubio's, it looks like a biker bar but the food and service are great.

Jun 12, 2013
ekt_now in California

Ventura/Camarillo Trip Report

Slim pickings in the restaurant department - SoupPlantation was the best we could find one day.

Tried Safire, a Zagat rated bistro in eastern Camarillo. The place was deserted on a Sunday night but our waiter still had a hard time finding our table (water glasses went dry) and I am pretty sure my gnocchi sat under a hot lamp (oil was separating from the sauce) because he forgot to bring us the food. The side dish was fried spinach which was interesting for a couple of bites but too greasy and salty to eat much more - I would have rather had had steamed or sauted spinach.
My son enjoyed the children's grilled cheese and fries.

We were seated next to the front desk and watched (and heard) the staff spending much of their time gossiping.

Given how few good restaurants there are here, I would probably give Safire another chance - or drive to Santa Barbara for good food.

Allison's is a basic all-American diner (margarine not butter, big portions) in Ventura that was fine for breakfast. The staff was very nice - actually most of the restaurants we visited had helpful and friendly staff.

Hope this helps anyone visiting the area!

Jan 20, 2013
ekt_now in Los Angeles Area

Casual eating in Ojai - trip review

We spent five days in Ojai at the wonderful Storytelling Festival and I wanted to pass-on what we learned food-wise - just to help our fellow travelers. Overall it was pretty disappointing but luckily we travel in our RV so we could cook good food at home.

The bakery at the Ojai Cafe is under new ownership - they used to have scrumptious goodies that we bought every visit but this time everything in the display case looked heavy and doughy. We tried a cinnamon roll (pretty terrible, much of it was tossed) and my son had a sugar cookie (kids are not too picky) - too bad the bakery went downhill.

We tried Suzanne's years ago and found it pretty mediocre so we skipped it this time.

Stopped into Antonio's Mexican food on Montgomery St. just for a quick quesadilla to go - the flour tortilla was tough (did they microwave it?) and the cheese was pretty tasteless. Chips were unsalted and not remarkable (we tossed these also). Quesadillas are pretty simple - how can you go wrong?

There is a coffee shop on the corner of Ojai Ave. and Montgomery - nice servers but again, pretty tasteless food. We bought a bagel and a brownie (again, simple food that should be easy to make delicious - yes?) - the bagel was better than Noah's (not saying much) but the brownie was under-cooked and did not have much flavor (no butter? no vanilla?).

The Sunday Farmer's Market had lots of good fruits, some baked goods, plenty of organic produce.. - this was the best place we ate in Ojai.

Tomorrow we are going to La Super Rica in Santa B. - at least we will have one good meal on this trip!

May 06, 2012
ekt_now in Los Angeles Area

Best Rajas in New Mexico?

Thanks to both of you! I will check out Old Mexican Grill (see if it is still around) and Antonio's - the Groupon is a bonus - thank you!

May 10, 2011
ekt_now in Southwest

Best Rajas in New Mexico?

I am totally addicted to rajas and looking for recommendations in eastern/northern NM (anywhere near the 285 or 64 - we are in Carlsbad and will be traveling north to Santa Fe and Taos, and then west along the 64 to Farmington).

We are vegetarians (my 9 year old son and I are on a two year tour through the US) and prefer casual, local restaurants.

Thanks in advance for your help!

(P.S. My favorite rajas are from La Super-Rica in Santa Barbara - in case you have ever been there.)

May 08, 2011
ekt_now in Southwest

Do we need to Dress-up? Casual visitors in search of good food.

That's great - thanks! The only other part of Texas I have visited in Dallas - and everyone there seemed dressed to the nines just to go to the supermarket (but I know Austin is different than Dallas)....

Aug 08, 2010
ekt_now in Austin

Do we need to Dress-up? Casual visitors in search of good food.

Thanks, All - I appreciate the advice!!! Sounds like we will be fine.

Aug 06, 2010
ekt_now in Austin

Do we need to Dress-up? Casual visitors in search of good food.

I've enjoyed reading all of the great posts for Austin (thank you for the information!) and just wondering if two Californians (mom and 9 year old) will be okay visiting the following restaurants in shorts/T-shirt (my son manages to acquire the 'rumpled' look within minutes of getting dressed)? We are just visiting for a weekend in August and trying to pack light and dress for the heat.

Eastside Cafe
Fonda San Miguel
Las Palomos

If you think these places are expecting their patrons to be in their sparkling best Sunday clothes - please let me know.

Thanks for your guidance!

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Fonda San Miguel Restaurant
2330 W North Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

Aug 06, 2010
ekt_now in Austin