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jlawrence01's Profile

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Mexican Markets -Tubac to Nogales, AZ and/or Tucson

The nearest grocery to Tubac is Garrett's IGA in Rio Rico, AZ. In my opinion, they have better meat than most of the markets in Tucson. I do not care for Food City; El Super can be hit and miss, especially in the produce department.

Apr 30, 2015
jlawrence01 in Southwest

Artisnal Cheese in Wisc.

Tres Leches Cake in Cincinnati

Does anyone know of a source of a Tres Leche cake in Cincinnati?

Apr 10, 2009
jlawrence01 in Great Lakes

Loblaws- Galen Weston Jr.

>>My understanding of the US grocery market is that brands such as St Michael and President's Choice don't exist on any major scale.<<

At one point, PC items were sold at a number of US supermarkets, one being Schnuck's in St. Louis. However, at the current time, they don't seem to have a presence in the US.

Feb 15, 2009
jlawrence01 in Food Media & News

Loblaws- Galen Weston Jr.

Proctor and Gamble has outsourced much of their manufacturing to third parties over the past twenty years. And in a number of categories, the companies that produce the more expensive P&G brands also produce the WalMart brand, the Kroger brand, etc. What P&G is these days is a marketing company.

In my young days, being from a P&G family, we only used P&G brands. These days, we evaluate ALL brands to determine which brand is the best available and the best value. And Crest is probably the ONLY P&G brand you'll find in my house.

Feb 15, 2009
jlawrence01 in Food Media & News

Visiting St. Louis after an 8 year absence

I stumbled into Pho Grand back when it opened nearly twenty years ago. At the time, there were six tables, all family members, and very little English. With a tip, I think that the cost of the meal was close to $5. When the owner asked me "You like meal?", I told him to double his prices.

Some of my Mizzou professors doubted my story. They came from Columbia. The bill for four was a whopping $22 and the reaction was very complimentary.

Sure, they have "jacked up" their prices so that entrees are $7-9. I hit twenty cities a year and cannot think of a Vietnamese or Thai place that is any cheaper and the ones in Chicago are substantially more.

My only objection to Pho Grand is that the place is always packed at meal times.

Jan 18, 2009
jlawrence01 in Great Plains

Cincinnati Restaurants And Markets

Two things:

Head down to Cleveland's West Side Market at W25th and Lorain and you'll find that the market offers a lot more option than Findlay Market.

While I went to Findlay Market nearly weekly for twenty plus years, I would not recommend walking to Findlay Market from the downtown area. I have worked, shopped, went to school and to church in the area, long before the days of gentrification gave people the illusion of safety.

College Dorm Cooking Facilities

Having been responsible for managing a dorm or two during my graduate school years, university risk managers cringe when you talk about kitchen facilities in dormitories. Fire is one of the leading causes of death among college students and many are caused when student attempt to cook whether in their room or in a kitchen. Personally, I would like to see each dorm have a seperate kitchen located in an area away from sleeping rooms and a complete ban on cooking within the room.

Jan 13, 2009
jlawrence01 in Not About Food

The Rise and Fall of Chinese Buffets?

Are you referring to China Buffet King on Yonge St.?

Dec 31, 2008
jlawrence01 in General Topics

Skyline chili lover-Raleigh, NC

You will pay through the nose whether you purchase any of the canned product. My parents used to ship me the best canned Cincinnati chili - Stegner's; however, they went out of business in 2003.

What I now do is to purchase the Cincinnati Recipe Chili Mix, which is available at many Kroger's stores ($1.09) or call 1-800-443-4371 and on line at

One package makes two quarts.


On New Year's Eve last year, we found ourselves in Birmingham. We found a Greek seafood restaurant in downtown Birmingham.

Fresh and ample supply of seafood, moderately priced, casual restaurant.. I really cannot wait to get back to Birmingham to eat there again.

The Fish Market
612 22nd St. S
Birmingham, AL
(205) 322-3330


>>My grandfather used to get it years ago before he died so im looking for the original taste, not the try to make <<

Where did your grandfather get it? From what city in the midwest?

Dec 20, 2008
jlawrence01 in Chicago Area

VA I-81 road trip, lunch suggestions?

There is a good German place about 10 minutes from Straunton, VA.

Edelweiss Restaurant
19 Edelweiss Ln
Staunton, VA 24401
(540) 337-1203

Dec 19, 2008
jlawrence01 in Mid-Atlantic

Five Guys Fries

You get a ton of fries but most of the fries I received at the Madison, WI store were overcooked. The burger was very good, though.

Dec 19, 2008
jlawrence01 in Chains

Schaumburg recs?

Todai is really different than most other buffets. From my experience, the place is great on slow nights like Monday - Wednesday when they are NOT busy. The food is fresh and the food is well prepared.

Head there on the weekend, the food quality suffers as the staff is rushed and they cannot keep up with the crowds.

Dec 19, 2008
jlawrence01 in Chicago Area

The Missing Online Menu Prices

In some locales, restaurants are REQUIRED to POST menus outside the building so there are none of those "little surprises" when you get inside.

I want to know what I am getting into before I get to the restaurant, I generally avoid places without thej prices.

Dec 08, 2008
jlawrence01 in Not About Food

Searching for beefalo in southern Ohio

Most sources of Beefalo are found in the upper Midwest (ND, SD, Neb) and are small ranch operations that sell over the internet.

Have you cut back on restaurant meals with this economy?

If you are serious about reducing your food costs, you take advantage of the marketplace. You take advantage of the promotional prices at retailers who price that way. You take advantage of the EDLP retailers for the rest of your spend.

Another reason for the low price on the milk is that the dairies the retailers use are local. I am sure that if I went to Costco or TJs, I could spend more on milk that has been trucked across the country.

Nov 25, 2008
jlawrence01 in Not About Food

Have you cut back on restaurant meals with this economy?

Personally, I never saw milk go over $2.39 at Aldi's and many of the local markets now have milk under $2/ gallon.

Nov 24, 2008
jlawrence01 in Not About Food

WalMart - Yays and Nays

I have tried using the WalMart fresh fish a couple of times and have been disappointed.

OTOH, some of the in-store bakery produced breads are better than you'll get at many bakeries.

Actually the manager of the bakery was hired from a local bakery. She moved to WalMart as the company paid her $3/ hour more than the local place and provided her with medical insurance which she did not get after 15 years with her prior employer.

Nov 24, 2008
jlawrence01 in Chains

Costco vs. Sam's Club Snack bar Pizza

Sam's pizza is pretty decent ... if it does not sit for too long. Costco pizza has almost always been terrible.

Sam's serves a pretty decent Nathan's hot dog. Costco serves a MISERABLE Sinai Kosher dog that is the worst hot dog I have ever had.

The only thing worth a stop at Costco is either the churros (if fresh) and the ice cream bars which are without match.

Nov 21, 2008
jlawrence01 in Chains

Reasonable Meals with Kids Near Hyatt on Wacker.

Millers Pub, Exchequer, and Thai Spoons, all on South Wabash, are child friendly and reasonably priced.

Nov 21, 2008
jlawrence01 in Chicago Area

Mouse in the oven!

Agreed. I would bet that it is the indulation ... but you should be able to see that when the oven has been pulled out.

Nov 20, 2008
jlawrence01 in Not About Food

TJ's: be careful when you purchase dairy there

>>I'd have to say that the turnover of dairy at the TJ's closest to me is about 100% every two days, so I'm confident it's fresh.

At TJs, it is a real crap shoot. In SoCal, the fresh food flies off the shelf quickly and the stuff is really fresh.

In some of the Chicagoland stores, you really need to check the dates on most of the refrigerated stock (not frozen). I would attribute this to the unfamiliarity with certain products and that they do not source much of the product locally. Also, their fresh items seem to be a lot more expensive than many of the local independent markets like Caputo's and Eurofresh.

Nov 19, 2008
jlawrence01 in Chains

WI Butchers btwn MSP and CHI

Sorg's in Darien, WI on US 14 offers a wide selection of meats and sausages.

There are also a million cheese joints along that route.

Oops, won't do that again

>>There's always the "I forgot to put the lid on the top of the blender" trick.<<

Imagine when the blender has a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce and tomatillos. Makes a pretty (good) mess.

Did it with pureed peas, also.

Nov 17, 2008
jlawrence01 in Not About Food

Chef Jeff Project on FN

To his credit, Chef Jeff selected six young people from troubled backgrounds, invited them into the kitchen, and gave them all scholarships to a good culinary program. What he did was incredible.

If three or four of his students turn out to be productive workers and citizens, he has done quite well. There are going to be some that just don't make it. And they are going to miss out on a lot.

Personally, if I was still running a kitchen, there would be three people that I would probably hire. I would hope that the folks that hire these six know their story and would dog them to strive to be their best.

Nov 17, 2008
jlawrence01 in Food Media & News

Oops, won't do that again

NEVER shuck oysters without one of those steel mesh gloves that you see the chefs use. You will not believe how deep you can bury an oyster knife in the palm of your hands.

Nov 17, 2008
jlawrence01 in Not About Food

Oops, won't do that again

>>All I can say is do not put canned tuna in the microwave (yes, i took it out of the can, I wasn't that clueless).

Had a roommate that insisted on sauteing CANNED tuna in a skillet ... several of the neighborhood cats would congregate around the backdoor. And the smell would just never leave.

Nov 16, 2008
jlawrence01 in Not About Food


One of the advantage of Sam's and BJ's is taht periodically throughout the year they will offer a trial or guest membership.

Nov 12, 2008
jlawrence01 in Chains