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NorCal Hounds with kids heading to NOLA: Feedback on my proposed plan, please!


A few thoughts...

Your plan does not mention specific days of the week that any of these plans happen. It can make a difference.

Linen is perfect for hot and humid weather. It has a natural crinkle to the look/that is different from fabrics that are supposed to look pressed and then get wrinkled. You never look "disheveled" in linen. Linen or seersucker are a great way to go for a man in the hot days of the year. A nice Panama straw hat makes huge sense too.

Dookie Chase and Willie Mae's are both highly successful businesses that will be air conditioned. An added advantage of Dookie Chase is that it offers so much more than fried chicken.

Beignets at CDM are delightful late at night when the air is cool and the crowds have evaporated.

Your instinct that you can't have 3 meals a day in NOLA restaurants is right on. Even a nominal pass at breakfast with an early lunch and late dinner will have you wanting a break in the action after two or three days. There are certainly worse problems in life than an abundance of wonderful food.

Your research and basic plan are very solid. Have a wonderful visit (although in NOLA it is nearly impossible to have otherwise)!

Jun 07, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Fresh Herring In Seattle

Interesting info on Pacific herring, and the movement trying to bring it back to our food culture:

Jun 07, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Downtown Seattle Restaurants

Blueacre Seafood has a focus on fresh and sustainable Northwest fish and shellfish, and they have tasty alternatives to seafood on the menu for any in the group that aren't fish fans.

It is a big and comfortable space, everything is reasonably priced, and it is a short stroll from your hotel.

Jun 03, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Anacortes,Wa. restaurants ?

I second Adrift. Not a 100% seafood menu, but very good seafood and other options, and a fun, lively and casual Anacortes vibe.

Jun 02, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Thoughts on R'evolution?

A great deal of money was invested into the space, which has various rooms with various themes. Depending upon your reaction to the concept, you might feel like "R'evolution" is sort of the restaurant equivalent of a NOLA theme park.

The food is good. Gumbo and steaks especially good. Their wine cellar is one of the best in the city. Service here has always felt somewhat tense to me.

It is a good place to "take the wife." Enjoy the desserts and the excellent "death by gumbo."

May 29, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

A & J Meats Closed--Who's Picking Up the Slack?

Cool (sort of) about the nostalgia aspects, but truly I don't want the experience of buying (any) food to be as male-centric as "shot the shit" before buying auto parts in some much beloved past "Sopranos" looking time.


May 28, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Commander's Palace Oyster dome soup

The Oyster Absinthe Dome (which I don't think is technically a soup) currently does not appear on any of CP's menus, which you can see at:

They offer turtle soup, gumbo, and a soup du jour.

I concur with TaTee that there might be some hope if you phone ahead and make an inquiry.

If all else fails, make it at home:

May 27, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Commander's palace. Vs. arnaud's

Yes, lunch at CP is a great idea. When you reserve, express a preference for the Garden Room. Yes, they serve 25 cent martinis at lunch (maximum of three) on weekdays. Don't miss the turtle soup and the shrimp hennican appetizer. See the lunch menu on their website ( ).

At the end of the meal, ask your server if you can visit the kitchen (the answer will be yes). Ride the streetcar at least one way.

It is an ideal lunch destination, with the countless other delights of the Garden District nearby for the taking, before, after (or both).

May 24, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Attn Pine Box Owner - Keep your cook, Fire your Sunday afternoon staff

IMO, when the staff is failing at this level, there is a management problem.

The first person who should be held accountable is the person who is supposed to be supervising.

help with a gift

Le Pichet. It is a fun, casual, excellent French Bistro style restaurant, and nothing (including their wines) is very expensive, so your gift certificate will go a long way for a multi-course meal.

The other advantage of Le Bistro is the location, which is atop the Pike Place Market, so the couple can easily combine dinner with a stroll through the market.

May 12, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Have Seattle's Craft Brew Tasting Rooms Become Beer Raves?

I haven't been to Pine Box. But this comment resonates with me.

In the past year or two, it seems to me that the service failure experience JayDK describes here is becoming alarmingly routine in the Seattle area. Patrons feel like they are an afterthought. One is left to question whether management puts any effort into trying to instill within their staff even the most minimal sense of urgency about making the patrons feel welcome, and/or toward servers staying attentive to their tables.

I don't blame the servers as much as I blame their leadership. Are you opening a new restaurant (or even a brewpub)? Hint: care at least as much about the customers' pleasantly successful interactions with your people as you care about the food, "branding," and the marketing of your f-ing concept.

Rant over.

Suggestions Welcome: Meeting Locale in Queen Anne Area

Yeah, same thoughts here as Kaleo,...with "a few hours" and the need for wifi, this doesn't really seem like a restaurant-oriented request, but more like a search for a coffee shop with wifi that won't mind you + boss camping at a table for a full morning or afternoon?

If so, Google will lead you to wifi hotspots and what used to be called Internet "cafes," and that whole landscape is a bit different from Chow's reason to be. Frankly, when I turn to Chow, the last thing I want is to end up at some place where people will connect their laptops and gadgets, and I hope that won't ever become an area of special expertise and discussion here.

Also wonder if the boss's hotel doesn't have a good spot for a wifi work meeting?

Best to you, however it plays out. Always love to hear when a person can work from home and report to someone that far away. Progress!

May 06, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Romantic downtown

I like the Pink Door but don't get why anyone would consider it romantic. Le Pichet is a big favorite of mine, but the elbow-to-elbow seating is more my idea of meeting new friends than romancing a cherished loved one.

At the Market, I'd suggest Il Bistro. It is dark, the tables have space between them, and they have offers for rose petals on the table, etc. Also a wonderfully snug lounge where you can extend the evening before and/or after, with walks in the market a possibility, before or after.

At the south end of Pioneer Square, Il Terrazzo Carmine is a Seattle classic, with an old school sense of formality in the service and reliably fine Italian fare.

Romance can be had all over town, it kind of depends on your own definition of what causes the wow factor in your relationship.

Apr 28, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

SEA foodie visit

Agree with sweetpotater on location. Comfy lodging such as Hotel Andra ( ) will place you within easy walking distance to the Market, Belltown, downtown, the monorail to lower Queen Anne, and bus lines to Capitol Hill and beyond.

Read existing threads to research the many great places to eat in our city and then we can help narrow your choices.

Apr 05, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

La Carta de Oaxaca - good?

Mains at Senor Moose range from $9 to around $16. That is slightly more than the dreadful generic Americanized "Mexican" throughout the region, but not so much higher that it makes me do a double take, and I think the superior quality on the plate justifies the extra couple of bucks.

I also love the fact that they serve really good Mexican breakfast items, every day of the week until 3 pm. Breakfast is a really unique niche that they occupy.

I regret my role in starting the dynamic here of Moose vs. La Carta. Despite my recent disappointment at La Carta, I very much appreciate and value both establishments, and they both tower over most local ~purported~ Mexican dining options. Viva Senor Moose y La Carta!

Apr 04, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Dinner: Antoine's, 3/26


Mar 30, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Help with restaurant choices.

The three Sunday meals are (to an ordinary human) impossible. If you want a true "Breakfast at Brennan's," skip lunch, and plan on a late-ish dinner, with a moderate food coma taking place in-between.

Mar 30, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Poutine in Seattle

I bother commenting because I had an honest question, and because I wanted to helpful and mention a domestic source for the gravy powder, and because my own subjective opinion is no more or less valid than anyone else's here on Chow.

"If you can up the quality of the ingredients, why not do so?" Beecher's is fine, but I don't consider them particularly "up;" they are found on the cheese counters of most grocery stores in the city. I think that if I were trying to present a real effort at authentic poutine, I'd be serving the dish with hand cut fries, curds imported from the province of Quebec or made in-house, and certainly gravy that is made from scratch and not reconstituted from a dry mix.

"...there's not much better after a long night of drinking than a bunch of poutine." Yes, perhaps if I was wearing a steamy pair of beer goggles, I would enjoy poutine more than I normally do. But like drunk dialing an "ex," or sending an email telling a superior at work what you really think, not all decisions that seem best after a long night of drinking likewise feel that way in the cold light of the morning. I get that poutine is probably a comfort food for people that grew up with it, but I just can't acquire a taste for that combination.

You have every right to like your poutine. Please enjoy.

Mar 11, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Galatoire's or Arnaud's

Agree that past threads will give you needed detail, along with the usual Chowhound controversies.

After you arm yourself with that depth of information, know that my choice would be Galatoire's for that special occasion. The food is wonderful, the atmosphere is celebratory, and the restaurant is ideal for burrowing in and having a slow and carefully thought out meal for two, under the guidance of a professional and very well-intentioned customer-oriented waiter. Classic Creole menu, certainly "old school and classy" but still with a sense of high manages to be old school yet eternally fun. As close to genuinely timeless as any place in New Orleans circa 2015.

If you haven't been to Galatoire's before, I think the choice is a "no brainer."

Arnaud's is fine too. But for me Galatoire's (downstairs, no reservations) is the grand slam of the two for the most special New Orleans experience. Check past threads for how to best plan and enjoy your meal there (hazelhurst has dropped many priceless descriptions, observations, and suggestions).

Happy anniversary, congratulations, and let us know your impressions of the place you eventually choose!

Mar 10, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Poutine in Seattle

I don't mean to pile on, but I don't get how "the key" to success with a French Canadian dish is to use to any particular USA produced set of cheese curds.

The St. Hubert packs are available here via Amazon, and there are alternative sources of "squeaky" cheese curds, as well as making for making the poutine "gravy" from scratch.

Frankly, after trying poutine in Canada, and briefly trying to make and elevate the concept myself, I decided I don't think it is a very good thing, even at its best. Respect to the Angry Beavers of Greenwood, and fellow ex-pat Canadian poutine lovers allover Seattle, but I will be happy to see this 2008 thread go back to sleep...I don't think a poutine craze is an either likely or desirable next big thing in the Puget Sound area. But who knows...whatever floats your culinary boat.

Mar 10, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Indian Food Suggestions

Manraj Palace on the east hill in Kent, on Hwy 516.

Mar 04, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

La Carta de Oaxaca - good?

With the possible exception of salmon roasted on an alder plank, and our local fresh oysters and crab, Seattle really does not have a specific "signature dish" or even a well-defined regional cuisine. But we do have a vibrant restaurant scene, which makes your question really broad.

By reading other threads on the Seattle board and the ubiquitous "best of" lists elsewhere on the web, you can see the galaxy of well-received restaurants in town. After doing some initial homework, we can help narrow potential choices based on the type of food you are drawn to, location, breakfast/lunch/dinner, etc.

Here are just a few:

Upscale, with a view: Canlis
Cozy French Bistro at the Pike Place Market: Le Pichet
Superb shellfish in Ballard: Walrus & The Carpenter
Cozy Italian on Capitol Hill: Cascina Spinasse
Gastropub, also on Capitol Hill: Quinn's
Great Happy Hour with Louisiana-inspired small plates (good breakfast spot too) near Seattle Center: Toulouse Petit
Fun hipster cocktail bar in Belltown: Rob Roy
Great Lunch in Pioneer Square: Salumi
Great seafood downtown: Blueacre
Great seafood in the north end: Rock Creek

...and I will gladly stand by Senor Moose and Barrio as places where you would not "waste" a meal.

Like Bax, I have had plenty of Mexican food in southwestern states (and in Mexico) and ~overall~ the ~average~ fare closer to Mexico itself is unquestionably better than in Seattle. But (unlike Bax), I've eaten at all of the places mentioned here, and a number hold their own, and will also give you a different spin from what you might see on the plate in San Antonio, Los Angeles, etc. Seattle is not the wasteland for Mexican food it was 20 or 30 years ago, when Mama's Mexican Kitchen was as good as it got.

Enjoy planning your visit, and narrowing down your many choices.

Feb 27, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

La Carta de Oaxaca - good?

Sadly, my experience over time is similar. I really liked the place as recently as a couple of years ago. Great complex mole sauces, the Oaxacan focus leads to dishes that are a little different from the usual suspects in Mexican restaurants, and there was attention to detail in everything they put on the plate.

But the last time I was there, the flavors seemed washed out, the portions were smaller, and I was a little embarrassed because I had brought along some first-timers to whom I had trumpeted the virtues La Carta, AND we had to line up for a fairly long while before we were seated, only to be disappointed in our meals.

In addition to the alternatives already mentioned, I will add Senor Moose, just a short distance away in Ballard. Silly name but consistently wonderful food.

If the OP can stand a trek to Capitol Hill and is interested in sampling Mezcals, Barrio is a good choice.

Feb 24, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Food Fight!

My own RR2 (29th Printing, 2011) shows the first printing of that volume was in September 1976.

In my own (very modest) collection of Louisiana cookbooks, that RR2 one was the only recipe I could locate in any book older than 1990. The relatively recent advent of the dish was a surprise to me.

Once the 2015 crawfish figure out what to do, and when to appear, after this very odd winter weather pattern, I hope to lay hands on a batch of live crawfish and attempt a proper (non-roux) original etouffee.

HH (or anyone), if you can point me to decent pre-roux style method in a recipe that might be found in any book, or at an online site, I'd be most grateful.

Whether or not that happens (I'll wing it if need be), thank you HH and other NOLA hounds for an enlightening thread.

Feb 21, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Bee Pollen

Feb 16, 2015
Gizmo56 in Greater Seattle

Midnight snack?

I don't know... but to me, if you are headed out the hotel door to make it to a 7:30 am restaurant breakfast, I would not be looking at Verti Marte meal past midnight the night before.

Their fare is great for soaking up alcohol before you can crash and sleep in, but I don't think it makes that good a venue for a quick light snack before getting up early for a real breakfast followed by a full work day.

These midnight meal and early breakfast ideas seem like an either/or situation to me.

Feb 13, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

4th NOLA trip End of March

Yes. And Numbers 1, 2 & 4 comprise essential parts of Number 3.

Feb 12, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

4th NOLA trip End of March

My experience is that most of the clubs in New Orleans don't book the acts that many weeks ahead, so I would start checking the calendar at Gambit and WWOZ when you have about two weeks to go, and you should see all of your choices beginning to appear.

The list of "good bands" regularly appearing in NOLA is nothing short of mind-boggling, but folks here can help narrow your options when you/we know who will be playing on the exact nights that you can go out and soak up the music.

You can (and should) stream WWOZ's broadcasts on your computer at home. That will put you in the musical mood for your visit, and also allow to sample the current wide array of music styles on tap by local artists. Heading into Mardi Gras weekend, it will be an especially festive time on that spectacular radio station.

Enjoy the visit.

Feb 12, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

4th NOLA trip End of March

You can also see complete Gambit listings and features online:

Feb 12, 2015
Gizmo56 in New Orleans

Adieu, Elysian. Thanks for the Sellout

I think you missed the point. The point was this is happening with a company that happily marketed its own products in this way:

Now when you drink a bottle of Elysian, the profits from the sale of that bottle go to a giant foreign corporation called InBev that acquired Anheuser-Busch in 2008, and which has made many controversial cost-cutting moves in the countless brands that it owns worldwide ever since.

You should enjoy your Kraft macaroni and your can of Busch if you wish. You should celebrate "capitalism at its best" in the form of building a strong local brand, and then selling it out to foreign ownership, so that all of the profit will now flow overseas, if that's your definition of a "best" outcome. But ("puh-leeze!") also allow others to note the irony when this is done by a group of owners who marketed a Sub Pop branded beer with the "Corporate Beer Still Sucks" motto.