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The sprout in the garlic clove

Expert opinion, including his taste-test:

Oct 09, 2014
winegirl1973 in Home Cooking

Cook's Illustrated membership? [Moved from Home Cooking]

I'm a member (if anyone is thinking about joining, look elsewhere on this site for a discount member code... - $12.95/yr), and I've always thought that the main advantages of joining were:

- Searchable database (vs. searching through years of back issues and cookbooks)
- Updated information (some recipes do get updated/changed over time)
- Complete resources (even the most dedicated fan is not likely to have the COMPLETE collection)

But now I'm confused - right after I hit "send" on my online membership, they offered me an "upgrade" - for another $14.95 - that includes the "Editor's Choice Cookbook Collection" - all the Cook's Illustrated cookbook recipes. I thought that was what I was getting!

I love CI - despite all the insane stuff, I still find it to be one of the best recipe resources out there. But if they want to be the go-to site, they need to figure out a way to a) be more transparent in their pricing and b) link all of their information (CI, Cook's Country, America's Test Kitchen, etc.). It's not even just price - I just don't want to search all three sites for the same darn thing!

Sorry to vent!

Does anyone have any experience with said "Cookbook Membership" or feedback on it?

Oliver's Bistro

Ouzo's former owner's have found a new location and just reopened last week:

Anise Waterfront Taverna
620 NE 78th Street
Upper East Side

Went to the grand opening party last week; didn't get to try much of the food, but the mezze/tapas that I tried were great and I love that they're featuring a "choose your fish" option on the menu -- you pick the fish fresh from their case and they cook it for you.

Email poster when reply is added

Any updates on this? I'm still very interested in bringing it back. How do we make it happen?

Nov 23, 2008
winegirl1973 in Site Talk

Thanksgiving in Charleston


- Mills House is $50/pp, and their dining room is fully booked. They are still taking walk-ins only in their Middleton Room, across the hall from the dining room.

Apparently Charleston, unlike many cities is somewhat of a "destination" for Thankgsiving - so many places do appear to already be booked, but hopefully you can get in to Saffron's or the other place of your choice.

David A, not being familiar with Charleston, do you have any other suggestions for restaurants that are not "the very top restaurants in town" if we get away from the traditional turkey dinner? We LOVE diner food and ethnic of all kinds -- we had even thought maybe a Chinese restaurant in town would be open? We've had success doing that in the past, even on Christmas.

10 day road trip: Chi, Mem, Oxford, NO, Savanna, Charleston, Atlanta, Chattanooga/Nashville, Louisville, Chi

Agreed! My boyfriend and I are going to be in Charleston for Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving day anywhere presents a challenge though. Any suggestions other than the typical hotel options? It doesn't have to be a traditional Thanksgiving day dinner -- seafood or fried chicken will do us just fine!!!

Thanksgiving in Charleston

I've been researching for similar reasons - we planned our trip thinking we had a place to go for dinner, only to find our friends would be out of town.

So far, Blossom Cafe seems like one of the better options - they're serving an a la carte menu including a turkey dinner for $25. Other places that I've seen recommended for Thanksgiving (and that appear to be open) are Poogan's Porch and Tristan. Other options that I saw recommendations for and researched the pricing on:

Anson's $38/3 courses
High Cotton $55/prix fixe
Grill 225 $69/pp
Carolina's $39/pp
SNOB $38-44/pp (2-3 courses)

One of the better links I've seen listing restaurants in Charleston that are open on Thanksgiving is at They're not all budget options, but it gives you a head start. And our fall back option (if we don't come up with a better idea!) is the Whole Foods in Mt. Pleasant. They always have traditional Thanksgiving options on the hot bar!

I've also asked a few other friends -- if I come up with a brilliant idea (besides going to the Salvation Army or a local church, which one friend did suggest!) I will post it here!

Théine Coral Gables, any info?

I had lunch there just a couple weeks ago. The food was pricey -- but honestly, not that much more so than anywhere else in Florida. The soups were a little underseasoned -- my friend and I had the carrot and a bean soup and both desperately needed salt. Our entrees were very simple -- she had a salad and I had a vegetable stir fry with tofu. The stir fry was good, but again, underseasoned for my taste, and I thought for the price they could have included a little more tofu. The vegetables were very fresh and simply prepared, which I liked -- the flavors really came through. The dessert -- we shared an apple tart -- was OUTSTANDING -- the whole wheat crust added a great nutty dimension to the filling, and it was overall one of the best I'd had anywhere. Oh, and the tea selection is incredible -- and they are happy to help you select one if you're overwhelmed.

I would definitely go back, but I would probably stick to the sandwiches, salads, desserts and tea -- although I might change my mind if they had a mexican dish on the menu -- the chef's husband is from Mexico and they've spent considerable time living and traveling there. The atmosphere is charming. One note -- I don't think I would recommend this for a quick lunch if you have to head back to the office -- everything is made to order (the menu changes daily), and it does take a few minutes.

Oct 10, 2008
winegirl1973 in Florida

Chowhound email?

Same question - is there a way for me to contact a poster other than the board?

Sep 14, 2008
winegirl1973 in Site Talk

Email poster when reply is added

I really, really want it back. I used to use it and I couldn't figure out how to do it again. I just don't have time to check the boards every day, but don't want to miss any responses to my posts.

Sep 14, 2008
winegirl1973 in Site Talk

Brunch Ideas (Miami) - Help me get out of a rut

I don't hate you - I appreciate you potentially saving me from wasting my time and money. I've heard only great things about it, so now I know that it's probably just the same as most other better quality all-you-can-eat brunches -- more about the hype than the quality. Are the oysters on the half shell good and fresh, or are they mediocre too?

Best weekend breakfast/brunch in Miami?

I'm looking for great, reasonably priced breakfast/brunch spots in Miami beyond the typical beautiful hotel brunch buffets (the Biltmore is wonderful for a special occasion, and so is Bizcaya, but I'm looking for a place to go on the average Sunday). I just did a quick search and don't see much, so I'm hoping to get some recommendations.

Best authentic Mexican food in LA?

Hi! I'm visiting my sister in LA in two weeks and after living in Miami for the last five months I am DYING for some real Mexican food. I know about El Chollo, and have been there many time. I love the green corn tamales, but this trip, I'm looking for basics: I want luscious carnitas, carne asada with chopped onions, fresh cilantro and a squirt of lime juice, refried beans and homemade chips (bring on the lard!), and hopefully fresh made tortillas. Now that the recent "taco cart ban" appears to have been overturned, I'd like to help support some of the best that LA has to offer - or smaller, "mom & pop" type restaurants where I will be happy to struggle with my meager Spanish if no one speaks English.

Suggestions? I have a week and will be perfectly happy if I eat Mexican food every day.

Sep 11, 2008
winegirl1973 in Los Angeles Area

Coffee in Miami

Where is Kaffa? I'm having a hard time pulling it up online.

Coffee in Miami

Just FYI: Went to Out of the Blue this AM and found out that they have new summer hours and don't open until 10:30 AM. And yes, they're still serving Segafredo, but the soup is from scratch...

Also note that if you eat in before 11AM (so for the summer, from 10:30 - 11AM) and order a pastry, regular coffee is FREE according to their takeout menu and I confirmed it with my server.

montesquieu wine exchange

Thanks for taking the time to post this -- I'm in the middle of a job search and thought it sounded off when I saw the job posting -- now I know it is!

Jul 31, 2008
winegirl1973 in Wine

North Miami Rumblings...

As mentioned below, Bulldog Barbecue is from Chef Howie Kleinberg (Cheif Bulldog on his business cards). They had a table at the Share our Strength benefit "Taste the Nation" in Ft. Lauderdale last month, and if the BBQ served there was any indicator, the BBQ at the restaurant will be worth checking out. I couldn't pin them down on an opening date, but here are the other details (note: website is not up yet, apparently)

Bulldog Barbecue
15400 Biscayne Boulevard
North Miami, FL 33160
305.940.7972 fax

(Note: The website doesn't appear to be up yet, the phone message still has another restaurant name on it, but I sent an e-mail to Chef Howie at the address above and will update as soon as I hear anything)

"Florida" cuisine

I just moved to South Beach from Chicago and I'm searching for some really authentic Florida food experiences. Example: I've heard a lot about conch fritters. Any recommendations for good ones in the Miami-ish area, or are these really something just for the tourists? Please know that ttravelling for food is not a problem -- I'm planning to visit Naples over the weekend for example.

One **teeny** problem -- although I LOVE them, I'm painfully allergic to shrimp, crab and lobster (all other fish and seafood is OK, though), so while I would love to be eating blue crab, etc., I just can't do it. Suggestions?

If anyone is ever visiting Chicago and needs suggestions, let me know -- at your service!

Thanks so much!

May 24, 2008
winegirl1973 in Florida

Dim Sum in Miami?

Thanks so much for all the recommendations! I had a great lunch today at East Ocean in North Beach and got some of these same recommendations, although nowhere near as many. I'm sorry to hear about Mr. Chu's, since that was a name that came up. I'm also looking for a fish market -- or any market -- to buy fresh fish. I know about Fresh Market and Whole Foods in Coral Gables -- any other suggestions? I might be naive, but being in Florida, it just seems to me like there should be something truly local, somewhere other than a chain grocery store, even a good one.

Dim Sum in Miami?

I just moved to Miami from Chicago two weeks ago and I'm craving Dim Sum. The reports I'm hearing so far aren't very hopeful. I've heard that the better (i.e. more authentic) Chinese is in Aventura or the suburbs (which I'm happy to drive to on the weekends), but the places my boyfriend has tried (such as Miss Yip) he found pretty disappointing.

So in a town without a real Chinatown, where do you get Dim Sum?

Best Organic Produce - Farmers Market in Miami area

I believe that this coming weekend is the last for the Delray Beach market; I went two weeks ago. A couple of truly organic vendors, one bakery, a pasta company, an olive oil company, a crepe vendor, and a few selling soap, jewelry etc. It's small and still needs work, but they're excited about continuing it next fall, so hopefully it will grow.

In the meantime, I spoke to someone on the phone today and they've decided to continue the Upper Eastside Market (at Legion Park, 6447 NE 7th Ave. 305.775.2166) through the summer. Saturdays, 9AM - 3PM. I haven't been yet, but will report as soon as I go.

Best Organic Produce - Farmers Market in Miami area

Hi -- I'm new to the area (moved here yesterday from Chicago), and checking out the Farmer's Market possibilities. It looks like the Upper Eastside Green Market was a 10-week experiment that started in January -- have they continued it or is it done?

Turkey: Minimum Brine Time

My friend and I both used the same recipe (which is actually 2 cups sugar, not four) with the same result -- moist turkey, but too salty. I'm making another one in a couple weeks and this time I'll either try the Alton Brown recipe or cut the salt and sugar in half. It's also good to keep the brine in mind when you're prepping the stuffing and the gravy, as it makes both of them saltier as well.

Nov 26, 2007
winegirl1973 in Home Cooking

Turkey: Minimum Brine Time

I'm making my first turkey this year, and I'm convinced about the brine, but I'm confused about the ingredients. CI Best Recipe is 4 cups kosher sale, 4 cups sugar (this seems like a LOT?) and 2 gallons of cold water. I just watched a Martha Stewart clip where she puts butter and white wine in her brine, the Alton Brown recipe uses vegetable stock, and many of them use apple cider (not sure if I want my turkey to taste like apples?). Has anyone tried these?
Martha also used cheesecloth on top, which seems wierd, but is definitely easier than flipping the turkey (starts out baking breast side down, then on each side, then finally breast side up) -- any experience with either?

Also, any preference between Hoka and Bell & Evans turkeys?

Nov 20, 2007
winegirl1973 in Home Cooking