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The Great Limoncello Filter Debate

I've been interested in making some of my own limoncello for a while now, and have been combing Chowhound for info for the past few days. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what I'll be doing for everything except for the initial filtering of the 151-proof Everclear (prior to infusing the lemon zest).

Filtering seems to be somewhat contentious around here; some users (most notably the proprietor of limoncelloquest.com) swear forwards and backwards that filtering the liquor in advance leads to noticeably smoother / mellower results. Others insist that filtering is redundant because the liquor is a neutral grain spirit in the first place.

Assuming I go with the first camp, there's also the matter of HOW to filter the alcohol safely. Brita is often mentioned, but the concerns I've seen raised about using Brita's plastic containers and filters with such high-proof liquor appear sound. I assume the most reasonable alternative would be food-grade activated charcoal, but there doesn't appear to be much discussion of the stuff on this board, and I have no idea where I'd begin looking for it (much less the valid way to use it).

Does anyone have any concrete information as to whether or not filtering is worthwhile? And if it is, do you have any recommendations for the filtering process?

Dec 07, 2012
aal00 in Spirits

Typing on CH on my phone is insufferable!!!!!

I don't use Chowhound from my phone, but I've seen this happen while posting to other forums I visit on both my Droid X and Droid Razr Maxx. I think it's the browser, not the sites.

Aug 17, 2012
aal00 in Site Talk

The Testing Thread

Bump my profile

Aug 06, 2012
aal00 in Site Talk

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

Extremely belated, but we finally gave Jack's a try maybe a month and a half back. The selection was good, and as best I can recall everyone came away happy with their meals. This is another keeper- thanks for the tip!

May 09, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

We finally got around to trying Sideboard the other day and I'm glad we did. Among the eight that showed up, most ended up getting the seared ahi or strip steak sandwiches, and none were disappointed. The wasabi sauce on my ahi sandwich was much better balanced than I was expecting- good kick, but not overpowering. The macaroni and cheese was fairly standard comfort-food fair, but well done regardless- most of the table took a nibble when the one that ordered it was finished. I must say, the tea service they offer was also nice touch. We'll definitely be back again. Thanks for the suggestion!

Mar 26, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

Odd, I kind of figured they had the lion's share of that building they're in. That's fine though, the way the weather's been we should be able to snag the patio before too much longer.

Feb 16, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

I'd forgotten about Esin, we've still not given them a try. That definitely goes on the list.

Feb 16, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

We've been down to Eddie Papa's once- it's one of the few spots in Pleasanton we've tried, and the variety was definitely worth the extra distance. Nothing mind-blowing, but definitely head and shoulders above a lot of American food in the east bay.

Feb 16, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

Oh, that little spot on the corner of the old hotel building... interesting. Can they accommodate a group of our size? I've never been inside, but they've always looked a little cozy.

Feb 13, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

Did I mention that one of the crippling allergies was dairy? =D

That notwithstanding, where is Sideboard? I'm not sure I've heard of them.

Feb 10, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

Hopyard is one of the few options we knew of that we haven't done to death, and we'll definitely be going again. I do seem to remember a new menu on our last visit; interesting to know who's behind it.

Feb 07, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

We did try Chow on one occasion, but none of us were terribly impressed for the price. Given how popular the place is I'm starting to wonder if that evening was just a fluke.

As for Jack's, this is the first I've heard of it; might be worth a shot, thanks.

Feb 07, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

East Bay - Big group with a side of fries

So here's an odd one for you. Once a week, I organize dinner for a large group of friends scattered about the East Bay. On average, about nine of us turn up, though in theory we can hit as high as 15. We're moderately flexible on location, but are pretty well tied to 680; anything from Pleasant Hill to Pleasanton or so is fair game, though we'll stretch a bit on special occasions.

The kicker: one of our regulars has several crippling food allergies, along with Adult Selective Eating Disorder: for all practical purposes, if there are not french fries on the menu, he'll be nursing a drink all night.

Since we've been doing this for quite nearly a year now, you can imagine that the fries-friendly options we know about are getting pretty stale, especially around the Danville / San Ramon area. Breaking up the samey Diner type fare without leaving said friend out in the cold would be wonderful, but we're coming up short on ideas. Does anyone have some appropriate recommendations, particularly for a group of this size?

Feb 07, 2012
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

KFC Double Down Threatens Tokyo!

Given the KFC-for-Christmas hype over there, I'm a little surprised this didn't happen a few months ago...

Jan 25, 2012
aal00 in Features

The Testing Thread

test test.

Jan 18, 2012
aal00 in Site Talk

Punch à la Romaine

A bit on the sweet side, but definitely worth trying. It was a big hit on new year's eve.

Jan 03, 2012
aal00 in Recipes

Pumpkin-Flavored White Russian—Why Not?

I may also note that it fares quite well blended with French Vanilla ice cream.

Nov 17, 2011
aal00 in Features

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

...actually, given my abysmal hearing, that IS probably what she said, and that does sound like what we were served. Now I feel silly.

Sep 06, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

Only about 50 or so for 3 people after tax and tip for just enough food to sate us. Certainly not cheap, but it didn't break the bank either.

As for the "ginger balls", I've consulted some of my more knowledgeable friends and they were baffled as well. The world may never know...

Sep 05, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

Aha, NOT potato then. Not half bad, either.

Sep 04, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

The pork sticky buns and the shrimp and cilantro dumplings were my favorites. I'd also never had the red bean paste sesame balls fresh before, which was delightful. There were a number of other dumplings we tried that I can't identify out of hand, though the only really memorable one had a spiky fried coating and a potato / vegetable filling of some kind. I do recall an odd dumpling that I believe they called something like "Ginger balls", which were served with a red sauce and came in (read: stuck to) little aluminum tins. That and the sticky rice in lotus leaves were the only disappointments, though I certainly wouldn't call either bad. A lovely experience, over all.

Sep 04, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

Well, after consulting with the others we ended up at City View with a much smaller group than anticipated. The smaller party turned out to be perfect, since it gave all of us the chance to try everything that we picked up. Thank you all for your advice on etiquette, what to look for, what to try etc., we were much more at ease given some idea of what we were doing. I'll definitely have to try some of the other restaurants you've recommended in the near future!

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City View Restaurant
662 Commercial St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Sep 04, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

Oh lord, I look away for half a day and I've gone and started the Holy Wars again...

HKEO looks like it's in an interesting spot, but we wouldn't be able to get there readily via BART and the bay-side location can't help with the already mentioned pricing.

Since SF is the goal of the day, I'm on the fence about the Oakland options, especially if we're going that far from the stations.

At this point I'm most curious about Dol Ho / Y Ben / City View since I also have business elsewhere in Chinatown that day.

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Dol Ho
808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

City View Restaurant
662 Commercial St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Sep 03, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

Interesting... a family friend used to rave about a dim sum spot in Alameda, I wonder if that could be the one...

Sep 02, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

Wow, huge list. Thanks for the article!

Sep 02, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

Droid user, sorry.

Sep 02, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

Yeah, East Bay unfortunately. I'd seen a number of fantastic suggestions for South SF, Daly City, etc., but that's a bit more of a trek than we're prepared for given our other plans.

Thanks for the tip on S&T, and on the smartphone app- wouldn't have even occurred to me.

Sep 02, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

I might also add that there will be at least six of us, possibly more, so seating is a concern as well.

I'm not sure how dated some of the threads I've been browsing through are, but thus far City View Restaurant and Tian Sing Chinese Restaurant sound like they may be close to what I'm looking for. Is that an accurate assessment? And are there any gotchas in terms of time to arrive, menu, etc. for those restaurants?

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Tian Sing Chinese Restaurant
138 Cyril Magnin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

City View Restaurant
662 Commercial St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Sep 02, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area

Suggestions for a Dim Sum first timer?

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I and a number of my friends have never had Dim Sum. Naturally the rest of our friends think that we're insane, so we plan to rectify the situation over the long weekend. Unfortunately, most of us are recent college grads, and therefore broke. Most of the suggestions I've seen for Dim Sum are along the lines of, "X is fantastic but expensive", which sadly won't cut it.

We're also hoping to make this the first stop on a day trip into the city, so proximity to public transit- especially BART- is a plus.

Lastly, if it makes any difference, we'll have along at least one friend fluent in Mandarin, though given the way I understand Dim Sum to be served I'm not sure if it that's relevant.

Is there any chance that SF has a restaurant that would be a good fit?

Sep 01, 2011
aal00 in San Francisco Bay Area