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The Ten Most Annoying Habits of Fellow Diners.

Just saw these comments. Nope- he can definitely read! He's a HS teacher! Just totally oblivious to his surroundings in general.

Jun 02, 2013
iambecky in Not About Food

The Ten Most Annoying Habits of Fellow Diners.

People who stand with the door to the restaurant open and have a 10 minute conversation. Especially in the winter.

I have a relative who refuses to read the menu. He waits for the waiter to come to the table and then just starts naming dishes until he gets to one that is actually on the menu. Then he has to customize it. Makes me nuts.

May 17, 2013
iambecky in Not About Food

How to handle in-laws using my home instead of theirs for their party

"No." It's a complete sentence.

Seriously. Stop arguing with them. You already made plans, you aren't going to be home, they are going to have to deal with it. It sounds like there is no real reason they can't move the party to their house if they have already invited people. Obviously the guest of honor won't be there, but that's not really your problem.

Should ugly people stay away from upscale restaurants?

That is ridiculous that anyone would feel entitled to make you feel that way. If you ever find yourself in DC please message me. I will be proud to have you as my dining companion.

Dec 20, 2012
iambecky in Not About Food

Thanksgiving invitees who won't commit

I think there is room here between "rude and contemptuous" and "spirit of the season" to give people the benefit of the doubt. I mean, Thanksgiving is traditionally a family holiday. I have no idea yet what my plans for thanksgiving are either, and if somebody invited me to their thanksgiving party today I would probably say that I would want to see first if my parents or in- laws expected my presence first. I don't think you can call dibs in thanksgiving the way you can for, say, Labor Day.

What you are describing sounds like an open house where people can feel free to stop by, or not, for as long as they'd like. If so, then treat it that way. Have plenty of appetizers and cocktails for people to stop by and enjoy, but don't plan it as the centerpiece of everyone's day. FWIW I think an open house sounds lovely and I would certainly stop by if invited. Bit probably on the way to my on- laws.p

Nov 01, 2012
iambecky in Not About Food

Best Week Day Breakfast

Ted's Bulletin in Eastern Market has a great breakfast and serves all day.

Below-the-Radar Local and Small Regional Chains That Are Worth Knowing About

Tudors Biscuit World (yes, really) out of WV is my favorite part of going home. They have an extensive menu of biscuit sandwiches, and make the biscuits from scratch in house every day. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in one, I recommend the Mountaneer.

Sep 04, 2012
iambecky in Chains

Worse McDonald's Item (No McD bashing, please)

You bite your tongue! I loved that thing! McD's breakfast burrito is the reigning champion of bad food. Those hard shriveled sausage bites in it give me the shivers

Aug 28, 2012
iambecky in Chains

What was your favourite childhood concoction, which you now think is disgusting?

Hahahha! Not offendd at all! In fact you just reminded me that I also had a "special cocktail" in college too! Mountain Dew, apple juice and tequila. Funny, I never made the connection until just now.

Aug 14, 2012
iambecky in General Topics

The cheapest possible wedding reception in DC... Help please :)

Does it need to be American food? You may have better luck at a Chinese, Indian or Thai restaurant where you can order family-style dishes. One or two meat dishes with the rest veg, noodle and rice could be filling, festive and within your budget. Another thought is La Tosca. Mezze style dishes may seem fancier than bar food.

This might be *too* casual but Lucky Strike rents small party rooms with catering options. No idea on the cost but we did that for a work function recently so it can't be too pricey :)

What was your favourite childhood concoction, which you now think is disgusting?

My special fruit punch! It really was quite special. Orange juice, Sprite, powdered lemonade, and a great big spoonful of sugar. Anytime I had friends over I would make them my special punch. Come to think of it, I'm not sure why I had friends! :p

Aug 05, 2012
iambecky in General Topics

Mai Thai, Rosa Mexicano or take out a 2nd mortgage and go to Melting Pot?

Good call on Oyamel, Elyssa. I was going to suggest Zaytinya. Either way the small plates will make it easier to stay in your budget. Hank's Oyster Bar also came to mind. Might I also suggest you consider an anniversary brunch instead? Tabard Inn, CoCo Sala, and Acadiana all go on my list of romantic brunch places. Plus then you get the rest of the day to celebrate!

Are You Snacking on Anything Right Now?

Full-fat Greek yogurt, fresh raspberries and chocolate chips. I, ahem, may have had the same thing for breakfast.

May 16, 2012
iambecky in General Topics

Chains that Cold-Brew their Iced Coffee?

You are correct on that one. I dont mind it but i wouldnt put it at the top of my list. I can add Caribou to the list of chains that cold-brew.

May 05, 2012
iambecky in Chains

Chains that Cold-Brew their Iced Coffee?

I ordered an iced coffee this morning from my local Panera and was extremely surprised when the barista simply took a cup, filled it with ice and then poured hot coffee in it. Thinking she must be new, I asked the manager if this is really how they make iced coffee. It turns out it is. I asked if I could just have a hot coffee instead.

I was pretty surprised. I know Panera doesn't explicitly bill themselves as a coffee shop, but they do have an extensive coffee drink menu. I would think cold-brewing coffee would be standard practice. Now, I don't expect, say, Potbelly to offer cold-brewed but I just assumed that any chain with a full selection of coffee drinks would make a proper iced coffee. Otherwise, why bother putting it on the menu.

So, which chains do cold-brew their iced coffee? I know Seattle's Best does, anyplace else? (And, yes, I know my local cafe that roasts its own organic fair-trade beans does, too.)

May 04, 2012
iambecky in Chains

Bake sale? What should i bake?

What about a savory option? Mini pizza pockets or ham and cheese muffins are simple and would appeal to us weird-os who don't like sugary snacks :)

Apr 30, 2012
iambecky in Home Cooking

When do you tip low (10% or less)

Pick up your plate and move :)

Apr 28, 2012
iambecky in Not About Food

When do you tip low (10% or less)

On occasions where the service is abysmal enough to warrant stiffing the waiter, I solve the problem by discretely approaching the host and requesting a new waiter. This has happened twice. Once when taking the in-laws out to a neighborhood steakhouse. Our waiter was so condescending my mil was totally flustered. We never saw him at that restaurant again. The second time was in a tourist trap restaurant in NYC. Our waiter was so slow we watched an entire table get seated, served, finish and pay the tab in the time it took our waiter to take our drink order and deliver our drinks.
We ended up being waited on by the manager that night.

Apr 26, 2012
iambecky in Not About Food

Silver Spring

Nando's Per Peri is my go-to for picky eaters. Paccis is also good, if they eat pizza. I haven't been a fan of my last two visits to Jackie's and have quit going altogether.

Everyday Eating: Restaurants you frequent

In Silver Spring.

Oriental East-i go for dim sum at least once a month
Moby Dicks-not so much for me, but it's my husband's favorite takeout
Kao Thai-for when we don't feel like getting in the car
Ruan Thai-all the times we don't eat kao thai
Ren's Ramen-i would eat here every day if i could. Unfortunately, no one else I know likes Ramen so I only go when I eat by myself :(
Marchone's-amazing subs and the frozen food options have a special shelf in my freezer
Paccis-i will ask for pizza and wine on my deathbed :)

In DC:
Taqueria Nacional-they know my name there
Hank's Oyster Bar-i have a special dance I do when my husband says "let's go to Hank's for dinner"
Sichuan Pavillion-i only go with Chinese people
Spices-i just love this place. everything about it is my favorite friday night dinner out.

Chicken Fried Steak

I'll have to give it a try. I don't even know where the Chillis in DC is. (And I don't mean that in the snobby "not a chain!!" way!)

Chicken Fried Steak

I was going to suggest Cracker Barrel. The two attempts at CFS I've made here in DC ( Art & Soul and Tastee) made me sad. Olazzo in Bethesda and Silver Spring has a fried steak with pasta dish that is pretty good as long as you don't expect it to taste like CFS. If you find anything, please report back!

What is the most ridiculous recipe suggestion you have ever read on the "back of the box"?

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

What is your "go to" meal when there is too much month left at the end of the paycheque - past or present

I have been more fortunate than many people on this thread in that I have never been truly poor, but my first job paid me just a little over $15K. Mind you, this was in DC in 2003, so I definitely learned to stretch a buck! I actually owe much of my Chowhounding to this, as it is the reason I learned how to cook. I couldn't afford Taco Bell like my ritzy friends! Breakfast was always oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter, or a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Lunch was usually either pasta with whatever veggies were on sale at the store mixed with chickpeas, or a ham sandwich on whole wheat with an apple and a can of V8. Now, dinner got fancy. In addition to every conceivable variation of beans and rice known to man, I also perfected stewed tomatoes over grits topped with a poached egg, French Toast Sandwhich (a specialty of the house!)- basically French toast grilled cheese, endless salads with eggs and beans combinations, fried rice- made with the leftovers from my veggie pasta lunch, and all kinds of homemade soup.

Sep 01, 2011
iambecky in General Topics

What's the meal made 'specially for you' ...and you have to choke it down?

Hmmmm...I DO like those Lindt chocolates with peanut butter creme filling. Maybe I just have to "discover" a new recipe for Buckeyes!

Sep 01, 2011
iambecky in Not About Food

What's the meal made 'specially for you' ...and you have to choke it down?

Yes, how could I forget the box of powdered sugar and-if you are being fancy, edible wax. That is much less disgusting :)

Aug 31, 2011
iambecky in Not About Food

Vegans and Restaurant Reviews

Honestly-is Yelp really influential? To whom? The few times I have trusted Yelp I have been wildly disappointed. Once, I went to a sushi restaurant that had a 4 star Yelp rating. It was awful. Only after I went back and read a few reviews did I realize the 4 stars was for their dirt-cheap happy hour. Other than that it seems to be a bunch of whiny hipsters complaining about, say, a bakery that doesn't offer vegan choices. That review you described is exactly what I expect on that site. Which is why when I need an opinion on a restaurant, I talk to people I actually know, read legitimate food critic reviews, and occasionally ask CHers. Complaining that Yelp is full of idiots who don't know anything about food is like a vegan complaining that a bakery uses butter.

Jul 17, 2011
iambecky in Food Media & News

Top 10 (20?) American-Chinese dishes

I grew up in Appalachia, so you can imagine how sophisticated our Chinese food was!

Won Ton Soup
Egg Drop Soup
Sweet and Sour chicken
Egg Rolls
Fried Rice
Crab Rangoon
Jello (Did anyone else's Chinese restaurants always include a Jello buffet for dessert?)

Jul 13, 2011
iambecky in General Topics

True hang over (hangover) remedy

A big chocolate milkshake is my secret weapon. The sugar, the caffeine and the protein all help with the hangover. Add a few glasses of water and a nice long walk (if you can handle it) and that usually does the trick!

Jun 22, 2011
iambecky in General Topics

What's for Dinner? Part 88 [OLD]

We're in the middle of a kitchen remodel, so sandwiches. Check back again tomorrow when it will be...sandwiches. Maybe on Weds we will mix it up by having wraps.

May 15, 2011
iambecky in Home Cooking