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MonMauler's Profile

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If a recipe calls for, simply, a "fresh red chile" would a fresno pepper work?

Not sure of anyone else, but I follow recipes loosely, and when a recipe calls for chile(s), I just roll with whatever I have available that will add close to the desired heat and flavor. Peppers are so versatile.

May 06, 2014
MonMauler in Home Cooking

Natural Cut Fries - Cost-Cutting Measure, or Do Some People Like Them?

Agree with all you say, sunshine.

Pizza toppings - over or under the cheese?

I'm on board with just about all you say, itsmejessica.

I prefer a little browning on both my toppings and the cheese, two toppings is usually ideal for the type of pizza I'm making or eating, and pepperoni + banana pepper is possibly my favorite two-topping combo.

Natural Cut Fries - Cost-Cutting Measure, or Do Some People Like Them?

When I'm making fries for myself, I leave the skin on because I prefer the texture. Similarly, I prefer a well-fried, skin-on tater to a skinless one. All that said, I usually just hope for properly fried potatoes...that's the key.

May 06, 2014
MonMauler in General Topics

Tipping delivery or take out. Do you? How much?

For years I've tipped 20-25% on delivery and take-out, largely as an artifact of my extensive dining-out experiences, where a generous tip is almost always well-earned or, at least, an entree to better service. Neither is ever true of delivery or take-out in my experience, and I mostly eschew either, but when I do, the most I've been tipping on delivery or take out has been about 10%.

It all relates to food quality. Virtually no food I will order from take-out or delivery can survive even 5 minutes transport from where it was assembled without severe decline in quality, outside of some Americanized-Chinese stuff. So, when I get a lukewarm pizza I need to throw on my pizza stone, or the wetter ingredients turn the whole dish soggy, or the packaging steams food that shouldn't be steamed, which is every-single-time, I'm only gonna throw some change at the delivery man...maybe a couple bucks...10%, tops. More is almost never warranted.

May 06, 2014
MonMauler in Not About Food
1

my friends have no social sense at all

I understand the frustration. I'm always trying to stop people from bringing fresh roasted turkey to my joint.

May 06, 2014
MonMauler in Not About Food
1

A Serious Sociological Red Lobster Query

This is far from a Red Lobster or other chain phenomena in the mid-sized, kind-of Midwest, super-backwards town where I live (Pittsburgh). On Sunday morning/afternoon every mediocre chain, from RL to OG, the Original Pancake House, and all the regional non-alcoholic diner-type places will be packed to the gills with surly people in their rumpled "Sunday best," while the slightly more fortunate patronize the joints that will attempt a real Bloody Mary and linger over it for a few hours. Going out Sunday morning/afternoon is a PITA. Fortunately, god made golf courses, so there is absolutely no reason to wade into the post-church feeding frenzy unless absolutely necessary.

May 06, 2014
MonMauler in Chains

My First Tin of Old Bay: What should I make??

Ha, I did the same thing, used the same recipe. Everybody raved.

Feb 26, 2014
MonMauler in Home Cooking

How do you brew your morning cup of coffee?

I have a Keurig machine and have a local coffee shop grind the beans appropriately. I usually buy some fancy-pants beans that cost way too much...I like my coffee dark and strong...but, after you dump a couple shots of whiskey in there, it doesn't really matter if you're drinking Folgers instant or Kona airmailed from Hawaii.

We were kicked out of a restaurant because.....

I apologize for not responding sooner to you, lala, roostermom and dirtywextraolives, but that is my point: anybody that can more or less blend in with other people should be welcomed in any restaurant. If that is not the case, however, then they or those responsible for them should have the common decency not to impose their dysfunction on the general public.

Feb 13, 2014
MonMauler in Not About Food

We were kicked out of a restaurant because.....

Kids that require bottles, food, juices and a veritable "picnic" do not belong in restaurants.

Feb 11, 2014
MonMauler in Not About Food
1

What Makes Customers Think its Okay to Stay Past Store Hours?

It happens. Deal or get a new job.

Feb 11, 2014
MonMauler in Not About Food

Are dinner parties passé?

I'm in my 30's, and I try to have a "dinner party" every week, usually on Sunday. It is tough. Most of my friends aren't nearly as into it as I am, and the group of attendees varies greatly depending on a variety of variables. But it's always fun, and I enjoy doing it. Still, these events are much less "dinner parties" than they are bbq's or otherwise just a chance for everyone to get drunk.

To answer your original question, though, yes, I do think dinner parties are passe. My friends and I don't do "dinners," we party. Sometimes that makes me sad.

Feb 11, 2014
MonMauler in General Topics

Pancakes vs. French Toast: Who Reigns Supreme?

My one girlfriend makes perfect French Toast. Whenever she offers, I oblige.

I make exceptional pancakes. Everybody loves them.

It sometimes happens when we have to choose between her French Toast or my pancakes. Her French Toast wins every time.

Feb 11, 2014
MonMauler in General Topics

Thomas's English Muffins

Two weeks ago I bought a package of TEM that were dense, heavy and required a sharp knife to split properly. This past week I bought a package of TEM that were light, filled with nooks and crannies, and split easily in my hands. Week-to-week this is common. I rarely know what I'll get. My regular grocer has no other type of English muffins, so I'm stuck with Thomas'. I like them plenty enough when they're good. When they're not, I end up tossing them and using regular wheat bread instead. It is a sad substitute.

Feb 11, 2014
MonMauler in General Topics

So what is on your Super Bowl Sunday menu?

Damn, and I went with oban and Marlboro lights.

Feb 02, 2014
MonMauler in Home Cooking
1

We were kicked out of a restaurant because.....

I agree with your first sentiment.

But I only take payment to a restaurant for the shit they give me. I don't take condiments, utensils, cloth ware or any of that garbage, I doubt I could regularly dine with anyone that would, and I will never understand it, but to each his own.

Feb 02, 2014
MonMauler in Not About Food

Unusual request-Bar/Pub in Pittsburgh

I would consider Sharp Edge Bistro on Penn. It is a couple hundred yards from the Convention Center and just across the street from the Courtyard, where I imagine many will be staying. They have a private area that can be reserved and a number of different service options to consider. I have held a few smallish events there, and we have always had a good time. The food is pretty good, and they have a great beer selection.

Six Penn, which is a little further away but still within walking distance if the September weather cooperates, also handles private events well.

I think both of these places would reasonably fit your request of being close to the Convention Center, can accommodate a smallish group in a private room, and are lively without being loud or rowdy.

Jan 30, 2014
MonMauler in Pennsylvania
1

Depressed and Lost Appetite

Oh, yeah, it happens. There's no magic cure. It just takes time.

My personal method, which is not for everyone, involves a steady regimen of drinks and drugs. The munchies can be a powerful motive for me to eat.

The longest I've lost my appetite due to my emotional state was a couple weeks, during which the most I would cook would be to make some eggs or assemble a sandwich, and even that was too much effort for the payoff most days. So I'd order a pizza and have two or three slices over the course of a day, or is get a sandwich from subway and eat a bit whenever I got ravenous. Didn't really matter what it tasted like, it was fuel.

Everything returns to equilibrium, eventually. I know you like to cook and eat well, as I have encountered your many thoughtful posts over my time here. That doesn't disappear forever. So simplify for the time being and get your enjoyment how you can. That's what it is really about. Life is short. Enjoy it. And always remember, the only reason you aren't partying is because you aren't having a party.

Jan 04, 2014
MonMauler in Not About Food
1

Foods/drinks/snacks you sneak into a movie theater...

A flask of whisky. I probably haven't watched a movie, in the theatre or at home, without liquor in over a decade.

Jan 01, 2014
MonMauler in General Topics

Do you think that a guy should always pay for Dinner on the 1st date?

I am male, and I have always paid for the first date, be it lunch, dinner, drinks, whatever. I would also venture to say that I pay 90% of the time, probably more often, on subsequent get-togethers. Generally, I pay unless my date insists on covering or contributing to the tab. I guess I do this because I think it chivalrous, it is a cultural more I grew up with, my disposable income allows me to, and money is a triviality when all I'm trying to do is get some drinks in my system, eat some good food, hang out and get laid.

What is proper if Im paying for drinks and invites are paying for their own dinner?

A good reception includes free booze for the attendees. If you cannot afford a good reception, it is your choice whether or not you want to have a bad reception.

Personally, I can't think of a reason to throw a bad reception. Also, I'm not sure people that can't afford a good reception should be wedding, but kids are young and crazy and in love or something-something...

Do you moderate your drinking around your family?

Nah, I rarely, if ever, moderate my drinking. If anything, I drink more around my family, but I especially drink more on holidays - gotta take advantage of the opportunity for themed drinking.

Is alcohol almost always a part of your meals/get togethers?

All get togethers include alcohol. 100%. Somewhere well north of 90% of my meals, whether alone or with others, include alcohol.

the last sandwich in the world!

Any one of the following would probably be acceptable:

Turkey & Swiss, with mayo, on wheat.

Pastrami and spicy brown mustard on rye.

Cheeseburger.

Egg & Cheese.

Nov 19, 2013
MonMauler in General Topics

Wine with dinner when non-drinkers are present?

I visit people's homes, as well as various events, at which alcohol is not served. Now, even though I prefer to drink before, during and after most meals, I am not offended by their choice. I am polite and respectful of their decision not to imbibe. Also, I pack a flask.

Nov 15, 2013
MonMauler in Not About Food
1

Favorite Drunk Munchies

Nah, I'm drunk and high most of the time, and I eat what I like. Tonight I'm making chicken fajitas. I haven't decided if I'm gonna make these fries, too, or if I should throw them back in the bath until morning. Another beer and a bowl will help me decide, I'm sure.

Your Favorite McDonald item(s)

I've only been to McD's once since they introduced the new menu. At the one I went to, the McDouble was still $1. I ordered one. None of the new additions intrigue me.

Nov 09, 2013
MonMauler in Chains

What's with the brined french fries?

I don't know, but I have experimented with many methods of making fries at home. The method I prefer, taste-wise, includes dumping the fresh cut fries into a cold water, salt and vinegar solution, which is changed several times over the course of a day. They are then thoroughly dried on clean towels. The fries are then fried twice in duck fat. The frying time will differ depending on the thickness of the fries, but I like the first fry to be relatively brief at a relatively lower temperature, usually around 325F. After the fries have been dried and brought to room temperature they can then be fried again, in the same fat, at around 400F.

For expedience, convenience and cost, I usually simplify the process by soaking the fries in the cold water-vinegar-salt solution for 20 minutes or more, not changing the solution, but still drying the fries and frying twice. When I don't have duck fat, peanut oil or vegetable oil, both of which I usually have around, work well.

Nov 09, 2013
MonMauler in General Topics

The Capital Grille

In Pittsburgh, where I live, they are one of the better steakhouses, and are, sadly, probably in the top 5.

They serve better steak than one can usually make at home. But you pay for far more than you get. If you drink, it will easily cost you $100 pp or more. That said, I have enjoyed my fair share of oyster-scotch lunches, which have always been more than satisfying. Cap Grille's I've been to have uniformly presented good food and competent service for an exorbitant price. The ambience at most is wood-paneled, the lighting dim, and to my liking.

I do not go to cap grille often, as it is generally possible to find better food at a more reasonable price elsewhere, but I don't turn down invitations to cap grille and will occasionally patronize them alone at lunch.

Nov 02, 2013
MonMauler in Chains