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SpareRib's Profile

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Wegman's, Germantown, has Ramps!

To preserve the ramp-y goodness I made ramp butter with some of them that I can keep it in the freezer and extend the season a little. I'm going to make ramp chimichurri with the rest of them tomorrow night to serve over tri-tip beef. Here was tonight's ramp-fest. Cod, with herbed fresh corn, pea shoots, and ramp butter.

Private party dining Rockville / Gaithersburg / Potomac

Don't know about pricing, but I have been to the private rooms of both Brio and Seasons 52 by White Flint Mall. Good meals in both.

Skin On Pork Shoulder

Wagner's Meats in Mt. Airy will get you whatever you want with a day or two notice. You can even order on-line.


Made a fresh herb/garlic puree. The skin turned out perfectly. I've made a lot of skin-on pork before but this made the best "cracking" I've ever had on a pork skin. Not sure what made it better - the use of baking soda or the temperature changes during cooking. Whatever it was, it worked like magic.

Dec 31, 2014
SpareRib in Recipes


This recipe inspired me to try a porchetta at home for Christmas this year. While I did adapt the recipe filling, I used the cooking method described here and the results speak for themselves.

Dec 26, 2014
SpareRib in Recipes

Christmas Dinner - What did You Cook?

Tried porchetta for the first time. It was amazing! Served it with polenta and fig/red wine sauce. Every scrap was gobbled up.

What is your "Signature Dish"

I actually had a "friend" stop speaking to me (and unfriend me on facebook) because I wouldn't give her my recipe for lamb chops with olive tapenade.

Jul 14, 2013
SpareRib in Home Cooking

Best eats in Gaithersburg and Rockville??

I'll second on Cava in Traville Gateway, but add Sushi Oishii across the street from Cava. This place has some really nice suchi. A little on the expensive side, but they have some really good lunch deals.

Bethesda lunch recommendations?

Mon Ami Gabi is one of my go-to places in Bethesda. Really nice vibe, and the food is always good.

Making Mozzarella at home... what went wrong?

Nope, never did. I believe acgold7 above hit the nail on the head when they said it's virtually impossible without the correct milk product (at least where I am). In order to get the right milk I would have had to drive 50 miles each way after having ordered in advance. Life is too short to go to that much trouble, even for good cheese! (I can't believe I said that, lol.)

Dec 18, 2012
SpareRib in Home Cooking

Range - new Bryan Voltaggio place in Chevy Chase

I was there for their soft opening on Wednesday, and I have to say that this place is definitely meat-centric. The place even smells intoxicatingly like roasting pork! Everything we ate was very good, although the rabbit was a triumph. Even though this place is massive, the designers have worked hard to make it feel intimate and they did a good job. The tables are nicely spaced (not too close) and the whole place just feels comfortable. Definitely a place to hang out in and eat. Although the wait staff describe the menu as small plate, the individual plates are generous. I couldn't help wishing we had brought along a friend or two then we could have sampled more. We will definitely be returning although not as soon as I would like - it looks as if they are filling seats well into the new year.

Come on Man... or, I Don't Get It...

Grapeseed in Bethesda is my biggest "come on" restaurant. I just don't get why its fans are so rabid about how great it is. For me, not so much.

My Butcher and More-Annapolis

Just yesterday I got into it with a Whole Foods "butcher". He couldn't understand why I wouldn't pay $30 for a rack of lamb that looked as if a rottweiller had frenched it. Honestly, it looked as if it had been chewed, and he had a problem with having to go out back to see if they had one that I could take home and french myself (as nobody there appeared to have a clue how to do that). Ended up walking out without buying anything. In a world where everything comes shrink wrapped it really is no surprise that people don't value good butchering.

Would love some recommendations for downtown/Penn Quarter

Fiola has one of the best bars in DC if you are looking for a good cocktail. They have a bar menu, early-bird special and one of the best restaurants (for my money) in DC.

Joe's Crab Shack

Honestly, I would go to a Red Lobster before I would ever go to Joe's Crab Shack again.

Looking for recipes for British desserts

Breadcrumbs, I learned to bake from Be-Ro books and I still have my mother's old copy that I still bake from today. They really are fail-safe recipes for the most part and are quintessentially British.

Mar 18, 2012
SpareRib in Home Cooking

Three dinners in Bethesda

I like the suggestions for Black's and Jaleo, but I don't really think "fun when it comes to Grapeseed. If you looking for a livelier scene I would think about Redwood instead. It's in a very busy part of Bethesda, lots of shopping, and is a very beautiful restaurant. I've always had consistently good food there.

Paella in DC?

So to use your own analogy, if someone was looking for an exceptionally good Phad Thai, and a local French restaurant happened to sell a very good Phad Thai you would object to our saying it was a good Phad Thai just because it was being served in the wrong kind of restaurant?!

The OP was looking for a good paella, and Taviera happens to have what at least one reader believes it a tasty dish that for all intent and purpose fits the description of paella. Does it really matter what kind of restaurant it is? Are we really that hung up on semantics now that we can't make an honest recommendation about the food without legitimizing our recommendation and validating its authenticity?

Paella in DC?

Let what stand exactly? Nobody was debating the differences between "PORTUGUESE" and Spanish cuisine, merely asking where one could get a decent paella 8 YEARS AGO!!!

Foulest flavours...

Yup, thems the ones! Funny thing is that I love licorice, fennel, etc. It's just those seeds - too intense.

Mar 06, 2012
SpareRib in General Topics

Jose Andres has a new food truck - Pepe

If I told you how excited this makes me it would reveal the true depth of my problem!

Foulest flavours...

Rye! Just can't handle the smell or the taste. Won't even eat food that has been near rye just in case a seed has "contaminated" my stuff.

Mar 04, 2012
SpareRib in General Topics

Steakhouses - Stop asking me to cut into my steak as soon as it arrives!

In my kitchen I won't touch a steak before 10 minutes off-the-grill - longer if it's extra-thick. I don't really order steak when I go out to eat, so I'm probably naive to think that the kitchen would factor this in when firing the food for a particular table. Frankly, I'm a little horrified that you would take a steak off the grill and put it onto a serving plate with the sides before it's rested.

Mar 02, 2012
SpareRib in Not About Food

Steakhouses - Stop asking me to cut into my steak as soon as it arrives!

Just my humble, but I would expect a steak to have been properly rested before it leaves the kitchen. I don't want to sit and wait to rest a steak at the table and have the rest of my meal go cold.

Mar 02, 2012
SpareRib in Not About Food


They had what looked to be a really nice recipe for this in the Wall Street Journal today.

Anywhere I can find British style bacon and sausage?

The British Pantry is a reliable supplier for REAL imported English bacon and sausages. Their prices are staggering, but when you need a fix of the real thing you gotta do what you gotta do.

Pork Cheeks near gaithersburg

I was out there yesterday excited by the news that someone might be able to get me cheeks. However, my request was met with a very blank stare. I did partake of a few other goodies there though, so the trip was not entirely for nothing. However, the search for cheeks continues....

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

Well, I decided to do the math to see if my fancy-sounding dish was actually more or less expensive than a less-than-fancy -sounding pasta dish.

1/2 lb Pasta (I buy mine at Giant when they are on sale for $1 each): $0.50
Kerrygold Butter at $3.99 per pack - I use about 1oz per 1/2lb pasta: $0.49
Fresh Parmigiano cheese (1/2lb for $8.99 from Giant) - 1/2 cup grated : $0.56
Truffle salt (averages $25.00 for 3.5 oz on Amazon. I purchased mine
over 2 years ago and have only used about 2/3 of it. Generously served
you would get about 150 servings per 3.5 oz). $0.16

= $1.71 for 2-3 servings.

1/2 lb pasta $0.50
1/2 jar of Prego Ragu from a jar $1.25
No cheese - you can't afford it, you're over budget!
= $1.75 for 2-3 servings.

So, I guess you can take your pick, truffle pasta or Prego! I know what I would rather eat for under a dollar per serving. (All prices based on Giant prices available on-line in DC metro area.)

Jan 15, 2012
SpareRib in General Topics

Bourdain in San Francisco for Layovers

Couldn't agree with a post more. Tony seemed to be bored and more than a little jaded in Amsterdam and Montreal and I was beginning to think that maybe he had hit the wall with this kind of show.

Good to see him with a spring in his step again - even if it is ETOH fueled.

Jan 14, 2012
SpareRib in Food Media & News

In defense of Gordon Ramsey

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Chef Ramsey and I have to say that I was surprisingly impressed by just how charming, disarming and gracious he was. Not what I expected at all.

I had always suspected that the crazy man persona was just that, a character make for TV, and I am now even more convinced of this. "Nice" just doesn't make good TV and I think he is a very shrewd businessman who feeds his public what they want.

Jan 14, 2012
SpareRib in Food Media & News