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zita's Profile

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Starbucks Iced Tea

You all may have moved on, but summer is my time for Starbuck's black iced tea, unsweetened. I came here via a search for "Starbucks black iced tea changed." Now, having read your confirming remarks, I'm going to hit Twitter. This has been a disappointing summer without that wonderful tea with a hint (a just right hint) of bergamot.

When I haven't thought ahead, I buy Lipton's "pure leaf" by the bottle, and use the bottles to make my own tea, add a little fruit juice, and save my Starbucks money.

Aug 16, 2012
zita in Chains

Blue Lagoon (St. Paul, Rice Street/Capitol)

Well, I'm going to give it a few more tries. My take-out bun were fully and nicely assembled; all was very fresh and flavorful. BTW, I had a Vietnamese friend who once told me that urban Vietnamese eat with forks, not chopsticks--unless they're eating Chinese food. Maybe Blue Lagoon, with its Hue cuisine (which they describe as Royal Vietnamese and French) favors forks for similar reasons.

Jun 29, 2012
zita in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Blue Lagoon (St. Paul, Rice Street/Capitol)

I'm right now eating the best bun I've ever had in the Twin Cities. It's a bun chay (mock duck noodle salad) from Blue Lagoon on Rice Street.

An unlikely place (small, stand-alone building), just north of the disaster zone that is University right now, this little restaurant shows real promise.

Take a look at their menu tempting offerings across the spectrum of what they call, "various royal cuisines from the Nguyen Dynasty, a fusion of royal Vietnamese and French cuisines."

I drive by every day, noticed the name change when the place was transformed from the former (and unrelated) Lagoon Restaurant, and finally ordered to-go today the bun chay and a bun thit nuong cha gio (eggroll and grilled pork noodle salad). Really exemplary. At an unbelievable $6.95 each.

Help to keep this little charmer in business!

Jun 27, 2012
zita in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Mineral Wines: Are You Actually Tasting the Dirt?

On my first visit to Paris in the 1980s, I thought that the odor of Parisians in the Metro was their minerality. I mean I was quite sure I was smelling the difference between French earth and Berkeley earth. It might have been the under-groundness of the subway, but I was sure it was the less-washed bodies of people who ate foods and drank wines from the French soil.

Nov 27, 2011
zita in Features

Christmas Eve Tamales: Where to get 'em fresh and good?

I like the Burrito Mercado experience on Christmas Eve, but don't think too highly of their tamales. Anybody know where we can get (if we actually go out and drive) some excellent fresh tamales for Christmas Eve dinner?


Dec 24, 2010
zita in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Frozen cod fillets from Costco...any suggestions?

I've used it to make "Three-Fish Trawler Chowder," which is hands-down the best fish chowder I've ever had. I make it at least once a year. Made it yesterday, using the 2-pound bag of cod fillets in place of the fresh cod and fresh snapper called for in the recipe. Did not thaw the fish in advance, just cooked it as directed. Also used Costco frozen jumbo shrimp. Oh, and for the third fish, I added a large can of clams. WONderful.

Dec 10, 2010
zita in Home Cooking

Soft Flour in No-Knead Bread Recipe

Ah, well. Lesson learned. It sounded right that it wouldn't be gluteny enough, but I thought there might be something interesting to discover re the texture. Thanks for the report...and the warning, and better luck next time.

By the way, 1/2 wheat 1/2 white works beautifully.

Sep 27, 2007
zita in General Topics

Soft Flour in No-Knead Bread Recipe

I'm wondering: since no one told you how it would turn out, how DID it turn out?

Sep 27, 2007
zita in General Topics

Decent food near Rosedale (MSP)?

Cheung's looks risky. For one thing, its name is Chung's Chowmein. BUT the extensive menu includes Chinese and Vietnamese, and the vegetarian entrees I've tried are quite good: a variety of fresh vegetables, properly and not overcooked, and seasoned for excellent flavor. Favorites are Ginger Mock Duck and Shrimp and Hot Garlic Sauce. The latter is definitely superior to the slop I've gotten at a lot of local restaurants. My husband, who actually eats chow mein, isn't crazy about Chung's, but that's what he gets for ordering chow mein, I say.

Prices are VERY reasonable ($5.00ish for pints, $8.00ish for quarts).

I wouldn't eat in, but that's because my sensitive nose has always picked up something unpleasant in the cooled air. Maybe it's better in winter.

Sep 27, 2007
zita in Minneapolis-St. Paul