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So. Chester County -- Moving

We're working with a firm called Spring Creek Designs. It's more than just the kitchen, the public part of the house is just one big open space, like a loft. The present kitchen is kind of walled off in a corner, killing the view, with walls that don't go quite to the ceiling and it's older and kind of colonial cabinetry in a modern house. So they're reconfiguring the whole space, we'll swap the electric range for a gas (propane) cooktop and wall ovens. After that, I have no idea what's going to happen -- we see preliminary designs right after settlement. We bought the house for the views from it, thinking we can renovate the inside, but you can't renovate the outside.

Mar 24, 2015
lsmutko in Philadelphia
1

So. Chester County -- Moving

Thanks everyone! I feel welcomed to the neighborhood.

Any decent Chinese or other Asian take-out nearby?

Like I said, kitchen renovations will begin almost immediately (which is exciting, but I know will also be a huge pain in the arse sometimes).

Mar 24, 2015
lsmutko in Philadelphia
1

So. Chester County -- Moving

Hi 'Hounds,

W're set to move at the end of the week to Birmingham Twp., West Chester mailing address, Unionville/Chadds Ford School District.

What's the best:
Grocery shopping?
Meat market/butcher?
Farmer's market or Farm market in season (used to live in Malvern 10 years ago and did some shopping at Pete's on 926).

Take-out (moving and then kitchen renovations, so will probably be leaning on this. We will have a makeshift kitchen and grilling, but there may be days where that's just going to be. Too. Much.

From seeing threads, I know there's a small but discerning faction from this area. What do I need to know?

Thanks in advance and now back to packing boxes ....

Mar 22, 2015
lsmutko in Philadelphia

Juniper Commons

I have to quibble a bit on the 80s being a food wasteland as LeBan states. The food Juniper Commons is celebrating isn't necessarily representative of that decade or what was happening then.

There was some good food going on in the late 80s, especially in Chicago with Charlie Trotter and San Francisco and the Bay Area. Chez Panisse started in 71, I think, and was still revelatory in the mid-80s. I was a teenager and young adult in the 80s, and though we weren't rich, my dad traveled a lot for business and became quite food-conscious in 70s and 80s and I could tag along on trips when school schedules allowed because of his frequent flier status. I remember a trip to SF in 87, where we ate at Fornou's Ovens, which was pretty with-it at the time and had my first ever soft-shell crabs. Jeremiah Tower had Stars, which was amazing. New York had Alfred Portale at Gotham Bar & Grill, Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe, David Bouley at Montrechat. In LA, there was Spago. So maybe there wasn't the dining revolution and cachet that's spread around the country now -- I had a seriously good farm-to-table dinner in Akron, OH, last year -- but the new restaurant approaches of the 70s and 80s really became the foundation for what's happening now.

I know this doesn't have anything to do with Juniper Commons, but it just seemed a facile dismissal of food history from a food writer.

Mar 14, 2015
lsmutko in Philadelphia
2

Re "Cooked" by Michael Pollan

I'm lucky in one way, I work from home. In between conference calls and actually doing the work (writing/editing/web work), I can often prep and put something on to braise in the oven or simmer on the stovetop for the afternoon. Even if I have to do something quick at the end of the day because the day didn't work out for slow cooking, I usually enjoy it. Mostly because my work projects are long-term with many revisions, and actually starting and finishing dinner feels like I completed something that day. Husband is out of the house for 12 hours, between workday and driving time, so cooking's my part of the deal.

It would certainly be different, though, if I had a long commute to and from an office again. It felt more like a chore then.

Jan 22, 2015
lsmutko in Food Media & News
1

How do you like your tacos...crunchy or soft?

I'm starting a band and calling it Tortilla Boner.

People who bring their own food

GOTW, you've got exactly the right idea. And as you try to find that common ground, be empathetic. Your posts and interests show you to be older than your age. Consider that this younger girl might also be a bit intimidated or even jealous of someone so close to her own age who is much more together and mature. You can't change her, but you could offer a really good example. Just be you, don't worry about the rest.

Jan 14, 2015
lsmutko in Not About Food
1

Being "put to work" at a Christmas Party

There's still New Year's Eve, though. We can hope for something more creative.

Dec 18, 2014
lsmutko in Not About Food

Mustard Greens in West Chester?

There's now a restaurant in West Chester called Mustard Greens where Kooma was. Anyone know if it's related to the Mustard Greens on 2nd in Philly?

Sep 23, 2014
lsmutko in Philadelphia

Red wine with America beef stew .

I'd add to you very good list: a couple shakes of soy sauce or worcestershire sauce can add depth, as can a little bit of olive paste.

Sep 11, 2014
lsmutko in Home Cooking

Top Chef Duels 8/20, spoilers, Antonia vs Mike - a profane and foggy recap

I haven't even watched TC Duels but this made me laugh and laugh and after watching TC, TC Masters I feel like I don't have to. All I need to know was here.

Thank you, cowboyardee, thank you.

Aug 21, 2014
lsmutko in Food Media & News

Searching for good or decent Chinese food in Bucks/Hunterdon County

An outpost of Wild Ginger -- Wild Ginger 3 -- just opened in the Logan Square plaza, the one with the Giant in New Hope.

Has anyone tried it? I've had a long week (and it's not done yet) and just don't feel like cooking tonight, nor do I feel like cheesesteaks or pizza or the usual suspects.

Aug 07, 2014
lsmutko in Philadelphia

Pot-sized spaghetti?

And there's a product for you too! I saw "broken spaghetti - perfect for soup" packaged on the pasta shelves. I don't remember the brand, but it's probably a great way for them to use broken scraps.

Aug 06, 2014
lsmutko in General Topics

Niagara Falls for Foodies

Even though it's too late for the OP, I'm adding info from a trip this weekend for anyone else who might be interested in eating well without crossing the bridges.

If you're in Niagara Falls, head north to Lewiston for Carmelo's, on Center Street. Really great food in a historic building. Part of it used to be the town jail.
http://www.carmelos-restaurant.com/in...

And further down the Niagara River, Jaguar at the Bistro is also great. Went there on Saturday night with family we were visiting and it was a total surprise. It's in a spot that used to be the Old Fort Inn, which was a pretty old-fashioned steak/chop/70s "continental" type of place forever with lots of pewter, Wedgewood blue, old American decor. It's been redecorated in a nicely understated way and the food is notches above anything that's been in Youngstown before. It's a mix of high-end Mexican with a few well-rendered classic French and Italian preparations for those who aren't sure about veering too far into a Latin flavors.

The amuse was a small handmade tortilla with chorizo and potato and a bit of crema. The Huerto salad brought mutli-colored beets and heirloom carrots and fresh flavors. The scallop dish was very good and the two people who had the Tilapia with creamy almond sauce raved about it. The carne asada and the carnitas were dressed up and also great.

http://www.jaguaratthebistro.com/menu/

I grew up in Lewiston and am happy to see Carmelo's is still going strong (the chef/owner's father, also Carmelo, started the restaurant back in the 80s and it was great then, if a little more traditional Italian). Lewiston and Youngstown are really enjoyable river towns, and I'd encourage anyone interested in food to take a detour from the Falls and check them out. It's not just local boosterism -- I didn't realize how really special that corner of the world was until I moved away.

Also try Hibbard's for old-fashioned custard. It's great.

Finally, a realistic review of a restaurant by a real person.

Clickhole is by The Onion; it's a parody of sites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy and others that just churn out content in hopes it will be shared. And in this case, Yelp.

Jul 29, 2014
lsmutko in Food Media & News

How big of a Foodie are you? Take the quiz to find out!

I thought it was mass of croutons, photographed from the ceiling or a drone.

Famous foods from your region you find tasty and delicious.

Since no one else from the Buffalo/WNY area has chimed in yet:

Wings. Not "Buffalo," just wings. Not battered, with no other sauce than differing ratios of Frank's Red Hot and butter, and split into drummies and flats. MAYBE a shake of garlic powder. But not BBQ, not teriyaki or honey mustard or whatever else might be truly great. Just plain old wings.

Beef on Weck. There are other beef sandwiches native to other regions, and I love a dripping po' boy or a Chicago Beef, but I'll put up a well-made beef on weck, with thinly sliced and moist rare to medium rare beef, a little bit of juice on a fresh kummelweck roll with fresh horseradish to garnish up against any of them.

Ted's Hot Dogs. It's not just the Sahlen's dog, but it's how they freely and blatantly abuse it over an open flame.

Less known, but worthy of a mention -- Friday night fish fry. Not just for Lent, all year 'round.

These are the things I crave when I visit home.

Jul 16, 2014
lsmutko in General Topics

Famous foods from your region you find tasty and delicious.

Maybe some but not all. I know their Ontario winery does a lot of ice wine.

Jul 16, 2014
lsmutko in General Topics

Famous foods from your region you find tasty and delicious.

I just made Lion's Head meatballs over bok choy the other night, and swap the ginger for some home-canned tomatoes and I essentially made my grandmother's golabki. I didn't totally wrap the meat, but did cup in the leaves it to keep it formed as it steamed away. Pork and cabbage.

Jul 16, 2014
lsmutko in General Topics

Potential Move to PHI Area

Rochester NY is far away from the NJ/NY corridor and is pretty far west and north -- it sits on the shore of Lake Ontario.

Edited to add that if you're driving to Rochester and WNY, try to get AWD on the company car. And avoid Rt 17 to get there from Nov.to April (maybe May).

Jul 11, 2014
lsmutko in Philadelphia

New or interesting near Ardmore?

How is St. James? I remember it being drubbed when it opened. Has it gotten better?

Jun 24, 2014
lsmutko in Philadelphia

New or interesting near Ardmore?

Some friends are playing the Ardmore Music Hall this Friday -- anywhere good for dinner nearby? I haven't been around that part of the main line for a while (used to live in Havertown 15+ years ago) and am hoping for some recommendations. I think the last time someone had a gig in the area we ate a French place on Lancaster Ave. It was quite good, but wondering what else there is. No food restrictions, and we're pretty open to anything.

Jun 23, 2014
lsmutko in Philadelphia

Anyone else disgusted with dogs in restaurants?

Part of it's liability, part of it is shepherds really bond to their individual trainers, more than the retrievers that are quickly becoming the norm. It's tough, not impossible, to get a shepherd to transfer its loyalty from its puppy raiser to the formal trainer and then to the person its assigned to. At least that's what I've been told by people who are involved in the guide dog world.

May 22, 2014
lsmutko in Not About Food

New Hope Pubs/Bars for Wedding After Party

Absolutely! It's a fantastic bar.

May 20, 2014
lsmutko in Philadelphia

AB in Mexico

I'll have to see if I can find my legwarmers and Betamax workout tape ...

May 20, 2014
lsmutko in Food Media & News

AB in Mexico

My guess is the reference is to Jane Fonda (surprised it wasn't "Hanoi Jane") who I think has been divorced from Ted Turner (who really doesn't program CNN) since 2000, maybe?

May 19, 2014
lsmutko in Food Media & News

Searching for good or decent Chinese food in Bucks/Hunterdon County

I feel your pain. Live just outside New Hope and haven't found anything good -- tried Hong Kong Sunny when we first moved 7 years ago and that was the last time. Just bad. It's really puzzling. There's obviously a market for it.

May 19, 2014
lsmutko in Philadelphia

What do you call recipes that aren't recipes?

When friends ask for something and I don't really have a recipe, I refer to them as "loose guidelines and strong suggestions."

May 09, 2014
lsmutko in Home Cooking

Rudest grocery checker remark

It was a small privately owned pharmacy/little bit of everything store in a small town. I knew the owner/pharmacist, and I'm pretty sure that if she'd been asked about the difference (I kinda doubt that they were that exact about their inventory in the late 80s) she would have ID'd me and it would've been fine. The owner once lent us a wheelchair for no rental fee when a family member had an injury that limited mobility. He was a good egg.

And alwayshungry -- yeah, I was kidding when I said it. I found it pretty hilarious that that load of purchases could, in any way, be followed by a good day. But the candy helped.

May 09, 2014
lsmutko in Not About Food

House Hunters & Kitchens

True. If you're talking strictly price. But desirability, time on market and other factors apply. Districts that are better rated tend to have other desirable amenities.

It all depends on what one person is looking for in a house. But generally, a house in a good school district is more desirable and will move faster on market than one that isn't, even if the house in the worse district is cheaper for the same basic construction. If it works for you, great! We've had to relocate several times for work, and value the easier selling in a good district.

May 09, 2014
lsmutko in Food Media & News