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amycakes's Profile

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Help narrow my picks!

Yay, I'm moving back to Philly after 2 years in DC! I need to celebrate this and an anniversary so please help me narrow down the choices. We eat seafood but no other meat. I've looked over all the menus and am good with the limited seafood/veggie options at Fond, but not sure about Zahav as the menu was a little harder to get a feel for.

- Fond
- Zahav
- Fish
- Horizons

Thanks!

Aug 17, 2010
amycakes in Philadelphia

Desserts - NO fruit, chocolate, or pie

My brother-in-law is a very picky eater and doesn't like fruit, chocolate, or pies. My sister doesn't want to leave him out when it comes to holiday desserts. Any ideas other than peanut butter fudge?

Nov 16, 2009
amycakes in Home Cooking

Home Coffee Roaster?

Does anybody have a favorite coffee roaster? I am looking for one for my BF's birthday, without spending 300 bucks. He loves a dark brew, and the review of the Nesco Home Coffee Roaster ($150) on sweetmarias.com indicated this was best for lighter roasts. Is the cheaper FreshRoast Plus8 ($75) any good? The pricier Hearthware i-Roast 2 ($180) worth it? I'd love to hear what you coffee afficianados think.

Feb 17, 2009
amycakes in Cookware

Casual lunch between Philly and Kennett Square?

Weekday. Yeah, that's what I was afraid of.

Aug 25, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Casual lunch between Philly and Kennett Square?

I'm supposed to meet a friend in Kennett Square at Taqueria Moroleon for lunch, but I'm coming from Philly and hoping there's something a little closer that's just as good. Suggestions? Anything in Chadds Ford area, perhaps?

Aug 25, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

It ( RW) has begun....

Am I the only one that spotted Lacroix on the list?

Jul 23, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Vegetarian at Talula's Table?

I've been wondering about this as well. Thanks for putting the question out there.

Jul 03, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Dinner in Philly for a visiting chef

I finally tried Matyson this weekend and loved it! We split the gnocchi/crab/caviar appetizer special, and had the halibut and swordfish entrees. I have never had such good crab, and the sauce was amazing - save some bread to sop up the rest. The halibut was perfectly cooked and divine. The swordfish preparation was less traditional but great. I can't remember having a better meal in the last couple of years (Osteria, for example, I didn't enjoy as much).
That said, we went there b/c couldn't get a last-minute reservation at Horizons.

Jun 30, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Stephen Starr Gift Card

Buddakan is my favorite (agree with rabidog on the edamame ravioli) with Alma de Cuba as 2nd choice (I like the dijon salmon). Continental is good but not great (I do like brunch there), did not like El Vez at all (photo booth is cute, though), and was underwhelmed at Tangerine. I did eat at Jones once, but can't remember what I ate so I guess it was not so memorable. The tasting menu at Morimoto is great but that involves fish. Never been to Barclay Prime. I'll jump on the bandwagon encouraging you to try Parc...you know, we're all just waiting for your review :)

Jun 30, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Termini Brothers cakes?

The hazelnut chocolate cake is to die for! It's on the dense side, so don't let it's slightly smaller size fool you - it will serve a lot of people. Add a little scoop of vanilla ice cream...yummm

Jun 29, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Any thoughts on L2?

I walk past L2 all the time (22nd and South) but have never tried it. Any reviews?

Jun 27, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Philly Beer Week

Any recommendations for Philly Beer Week? http://www.phillybeerweek.org/
Also, does anybody know if the new gastropub Devil's Den has opened yet (at 11th and Ellsworth)?

Mar 07, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Dessert help

Termini Brothers! I got a hazelnut chocolate cake there last weekend. It was aMAZing! Very rich, so small slices with some vanilla ice cream were perfect. www.termini.com

Mar 07, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

What to serve w/ mushroom risotto?

I want to try a wild mushroom risotto for my sweetie on Valentine's Day. What do I serve with it for the main course? He doesn't eat meat or shellfish, but does eat fish. Any ideas? Thank you!!!

Feb 09, 2008
amycakes in Home Cooking

Big grp, South St/QV, Sat night - ideas?

Any recs for a group of 15 or so around 4th and South for a Saturday evening? Obviously needs to take reservations and nothing expensive (ave entree 15 maybe?). Anyone been to Fez Moroccan?

Feb 06, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Restaurant Week Reviews, lets hear 'em

Went to Bistro 7 this year for RW. Really wanted to try Le Bar Lyonnais but entrusted the reservation-making to the BF. Sadly, Bistro 7 didn't really impress. We had the lentil/goat cheese soup and gnocchi appys, salmon, and jasmine rice pudding and chocolate pot de creme for dessert. The gnocchi was very good, lentil soup blah, salmon was way too sweet with the sauce which was a shame b/c the mushrooms were great in it, choco creme decent, and jasmine rice pudding delicious. Not bad, all in all, but too many other places to try to warrant a special trip back.
I did RW at BP maybe 3 yrs ago and hated it. They were out of several items, brought us the wrong items twice, service sucked, and food was only decent. Yeah, I know it's RW but c'mon, other restaurants manage, and one that's supposed to be as good as BP should step it up.
Best RW meal ever was at LaCroix, but sadly they no longer participate.

Feb 03, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

CC Philly Bar w/ Food

I like the Jose Pistola's idea. But you can't go wrong with Royal Tavern or Standard Tap. Maybe Cantina Los Caballitos in South Philly?

Jan 24, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

brunch/lunch for visiting nyc hounds

You can't miss Carman's Country Kitchen, not too far from the Italian market, for a unique and delicious experience not to be had anywhere else. It's tiny, though, so if your party is >4 people, I'd head to Sabrina's but be prepared to wait. Though I do hear brunch at Lacroix is amazing?

Jan 08, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Best salads?

I occasionally crave a great salad (that's reasonably priced but not from a deli) when going out to eat in the Rittenhouse area but always come up short. Suggestions?

Jan 06, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

another Restaurant Week post :)

Fair enough - any recommendations for best RW value then? Steakhouses are out (BF will eat fish but no land rovers), have been to Amada and Estia several times, and get a little tired of Italian.

Jan 03, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

another Restaurant Week post :)

I'm considering the following for RW/my birthday...
Bindi, Bistro 7, Bistro St. Tropez, Django, Farmicia, Gioia Mia, Mercato, Meritage, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Ristorante Panorama, Valanni, and Twenty 21, and XIX.
Thoughts???

Jan 03, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Restaurant Week - need help deciding

I'm considering the following for RW/my birthday...
Bindi, Bistro 7, Bistro St. Tropez, Django, Farmicia, Gioia Mia, Mercato, Meritage, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Ristorante Panorama, Valanni, and Twenty 21, and XIX.
Thoughts???

Jan 02, 2008
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Homemade holiday gifts

I typically do jams/jellies but haven't had time yet this year! With almost every fruit out of season, is there anything I can do now? I will probably do a pumpkin butter but am looking for a fruit or chutney as well - any ideas?

Nov 14, 2007
amycakes in Home Cooking

Apamate: Eat Here!

Brunch here is good. The Tortilla Espanola is so unexpectedly light and tasty, and I'm not even a big potato fan. I've also had the pancake, which was not very traditional, but SO good - it was super-sweet so beware if you don't enjoy dessert for breakfast. I'll second the coffee as the best around town. I've also been to Apamate for lunch and can't remember what I had but wasn't impressed and neither was my friend. I'd give it another try though.

Nov 14, 2007
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Mexican Restaurant

Senora's in West Chester. Very casual, but very fresh food.

Nov 14, 2007
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Restaurants That Never Get Mentioned

How expensive is Little Fish?

Nov 14, 2007
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Pancakes in Philly

Winnie's Le Bus in Manayunk has great whole grain pancakes.

Nov 12, 2007
amycakes in Pennsylvania

Caffe Casta Diva, Philly

I went to Caffe Casta Diva a couple of weeks ago based on recommendations given here (thanks guys!). I had the branzino - it was amazing! Wasn't terribly hungry but I stuffed myself b/c it was just that good. The flavors were very traditional and perfectly executed, but I do prefer a little twist when I dine out so I might choose Melograno over CCD based on the creativity of their menu. It was noisy and crowded, but no worse than any other BYO in the city.

Nov 07, 2007
amycakes in Pennsylvania

First Thanksgiving Dinner

Consider deep-frying your turkey! It is SO fast and way more moist than you'll get with an oven roasted turkey. You can also give the guys some beer and have them oversee the turkey frying, getting them out of your way and leaving the oven available for dressing and casseroles. I recommend injecting the turkey with either a garlicky or cajun marinade and frying in peanut oil. You won't regret it!

May be obvious, but desserts should be made at least 1 day in advance.
And definitely have more than 1 vegetable peeler on hand for the potatoes. These can be peeled and chopped a couple hours ahead of cooking them if you keep them submerged in water (also hold well in a crock pot over low after cooking).
Try to assign someone with a little kitchen experience to the gravy - this is the biggest pain in my opinion and always done at the last minute when there are a million other things to do.
If you are not adventurous enough for the deep frying, I would absolutely brine the turkey - doesn't make it too salty at all, just very juicy.

Nov 06, 2007
amycakes in Home Cooking

How is Amada in Philadelphia?

I'm going to have to be the odd man out here and say that I think Amada is overrated. I've been twice and haven't been impressed either time. The first time was for restaurant week and I was pleased with how much food we got for the price and absolutely thrilled with the flamenco show (it was a Wednesday night). The second time I had the chef's tasting menu which wasn't a bad deal for the amount of food - we didn't come close to finishing. But I was underwhelmed by the food. I really preferred Bar Ferdinand (haven't tried Ansill or Tinto yet). Just sayin. I would only consider going back to try the whole roast pig.

Nov 06, 2007
amycakes in Pennsylvania