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More from My Ohio Road Trip

Actually, we ate in three of them on this road trip! Olive Garden turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Living in a
large city loaded with all sorts of individually owned places
one can choose easily: no need to eat in chains. On a road trip
through small town mid America, tired after driving all day,
the choices tend to be limited to chains. I thought Olive
Garden deserved a positive shout out on my local board, but
the moderators would have simply yanked it and posted it here.

Aug 27, 2014
Bashful3 in Chains

What's the best way to introduce Lamb to someone who's never had it?

A different take on the original question: the psychological
approach. You are more likely to avoid disappointment if
you don't make your friends feel pressured to 'like' this new food. Making a big deal out of a presentation, like say, a garlic infused luscious leg of lamb as an impressive main could
put your friends in the awkward position of not wanting to disappoint you.

Better psychologically might be simple lamb patties, perhaps
accompanied with a similar main, tasty hamburgers. The appearance of less effort, less expense and even a choice might
make the whole experience more fun, less pressured, and more likely to be a 'wow' experience for your friends.

What's the best way to introduce Lamb to someone who's never had it?

2nd on Lamb Burger for sure. Add egg, bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, chop gently, don't overcook. Texture is familiar,
no fatty edge, a cut above the best beef burgers.

Aug 09, 2014
Bashful3 in Home Cooking

Question(s) about Fuji of Haddonfield

Wow, you are knowledgeable, dndicco. Appreciated your feedback,
and am delighted Jesse san and Fuji did not disappoint.

I forgot to mention the unique plates and pottery that add another level of charm to the food.

Aug 08, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Han Dynasty, University City

I'm pretty much a neophyte myself. Given the relatively large price difference between lunch and dinner, maybe good
to experiment a bit at lunch? Also, why not call them and ask your question about fried fish?

Next time I go, I will venture further afield. Waitress was very accommodating about my need to keep the spice quotient down.

All I can report is that the dish I ordered: lamb with scallions and onions in oyster sauce was not greasy, meat not tough, several cuts above in quality and flavor from other times I have
ordered this dish elsewhere.

Aug 07, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Han Dynasty, University City

I can't do very spicy, but finally got to have lunch at 3711 Market St. Lamb with scallions and onions in oyster sauce
was excellent. Something like $10.50 on the lunch menu.
It was very tasty, but not spicy at all, so I added Chinese mustard. Next time I'll try a 'mild' rating of 3 on a dish, but ask them to tone it down a bit.

Tip for others: for dinner, after 4pm on weekdays, they offer
free parking in the garage that can be reached from Filbert St
in the back. But, don't park there without getting the free parking offer, as it would be an expensive $21 for a short visit.
(I got discounted parking due to a physical therapy appointment
in the building next door)

Hubby and I will try this for dinner some weeknight. He really
likes spicy. Interesting soups and apps on the menu.

Aug 06, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia
1

Olive Garden, Zanesville Ohio

A very good observation, genoO. By the time we left, maybe 6:30ish, there were long lines. I never thought OG was bad, it's just that I was surprised how good it was for a chain at that price point. When traveling in small towns, and even off
a highway, it's good to know about the quality control at OG.
I thought it was far better than middle of the road. Eat early
would be a good tactic at OG. The noise from lots of families
with small children was hard to take toward the end of our meal.

Aug 04, 2014
Bashful3 in Chains

More from My Ohio Road Trip

Wendys for lunch: meh. Sad salad in plastic bowl, nothing else I felt like trying. Reinforced why I don't like chains
on general principles.

Steak N Shake ( or something like that) Clean retro look,
clean restrooms, brightly lit, nice service. Nice breakfast,
interesting menu choices: would go back readily another location.
Very reasonable; how do they make a profit?

Aug 04, 2014
Bashful3 in Chains

Olive Garden, Zanesville Ohio

Confessions of a food snob with little comfort with chains,
other than Popeyes. ON a road trip, passing through small towns
in Ohio, an Olive Garden appeared to be the best choice near our
motel. What a pleasant surprise!

We came in early--before 5:30pm. All you can eat soup and salad
was a nice feature, but the soup itself was the best minestrone
I have had in a restaurant to my memory. Wish I could make that
myself! Hubby's soup with kale/sausage was also good. Salad
came in a big bowl, and was fresh, varied in ingredients, most pleasing. My main, seafood over papperadelle with a blush sauce was simply yummy:al dente pasta, very flavorful sauce, 5 tasty clams, 5 large non-overcooked shrimp, some small scallops,
some squid: oh yeah that was good. No room for seconds on soup, salad, or dessert. And, so reasonable, even though I don't remember price exactly. Maybe $16.99.

My question: Has their soup/salad always been this good?
Was there something unusual about this Zanesville location--service was noticeably excellent and friendly also. Would I find this consistency in my Philly area?

Aug 04, 2014
Bashful3 in Chains

Question(s) about Fuji of Haddonfield

it's both a neighborhood gem and a destination, dniccio. And, it's great for solo diners. They do have a lot of regulars, but almost every time I am there I do see solo diners at the sushi bar.

Yes, fresh wasabi is served with the reconstituted type all the time: your choice. I find the fish, salad, soups to be of the highest quality at fair pricing for the quality. Be family:
go, and mention to Matt or Jesse that CArol, from Carol and Lee
gave you tips.

Best tip is to tell Matt what you don't like/can't eat, and place
yourself in his capable hands. My friend Lee and I never order;
we don't have to. Matt remembers what she is allergic to, and that I can't handle much spicing.
(I far prefer Fuji to Morimoto, even though it is quite a bit further to drive) Enjoy.

Aug 02, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia
1

Desperate for Canned Tomato Aspic...

Still desperate! That America Grocerwebsite did not work, and chilled beef broth is a neat soup,
but it wouldn't do well sliced (!) on a salad plate.
I'd even buy outdated aspic. I don't think they make
it anymore. Thanks guys.

Aug 02, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Desperate for Canned Tomato Aspic...

When I posted on the General Topics Board I learned a
brand that make it: Reese, in addition to the Cento Brand
that I knew about. But, have not been able to locate either
brand on the internet or in stores I frequent.

If anyone knows of a store that still has some cans left,
please let me know: have car, will travel for aspic.

And, no, I'm not interested in making it from a recipe. Tried
that twice, and for the purpose I use it: on a salad plate in the
summer, the chilled canned aspic is perfect.

Jul 28, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Erini: Quiet, Open on Mondays, Scenic

A friend found Erini's for our lunch date today. She's a vegan,
and there were many entrees to her liking as well as fish-lover
me, and meat-lover hubby.

At 1140 River Road, Ewing NJ maybe it's a tad far (33 miles)
from CC Philly, but for a place to meet with friends from somewhere in North or Central Jersey it was perfect.

Ample parking pleasant service, place is very comfortable, reasonable prices,and high quality food. My clams on the half shell were pristine, and the mussels in white wine sauce much to my taste. Desserts we chose of flour-less chocolate cake and an in-house filled cannoli hit the spot. All sorts of wraps and sandwiches; we found it hard to choose, but all four in our party were pleased, and plan to come again.

Place was a winner, and a nice drive besides (came back on River
Road on PA side)

Jul 28, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia
1

Tomato Aspic?

Drat! Amazon had a listing for it, no longer has it in stock. Reese website also shows they do not have it in stock! Possible they aren't making it anymore either.

Jul 26, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics

Tomato Aspic?

Is Reese a brand? I never heard of it, but will check it
out on the net.

The reason I"m not interested in making it is that I did, a
couple of times: much work, assembling of various ingredients,
and the result was not at all as satisfactory as the stuff that
comes in a can. That's the beauty of the can: you assemble a salad with all sorts of good ingredients, just open the can and
slice: voila:packs a great deal of visual punch in addition
to the intriguing flavor.

Thank you both for the responses.

Jul 26, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics

Tomato Aspic?

I live in Philadelphia, PA. Would order online if I had to... CH Board moved this to General Topics;
hope someone will answer. Thanks.

Jul 26, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics

Tomato Aspic?

Really crave canned tomato aspic in warm weather.
Any brand will do; not interested in making it.
Anything you can suggest?

Jul 25, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics

Hellmans Deconstructed

We have definitely nailed the sugar issue in both Hellmans. It's just not an issue of any sort, at less than 1/2 mg/Tbs.

What is a matter of personal opinion however is 'mouth feel', which differs from 'taste'. Out of curiosity, I'm going to look for the canola oil version. The combo of potato starch, sorbic acid and paprika oleoresin present in the olive oil version doesn't taste very different, but they sure do affect the texture. I like the taste of olive oil, but
can't even taste it in the new version. It's probable that what Hellmans uses in the way of olive oil is an inexpensive, blander version of olive oil than the 'extra virgin' that I buy for salads and cooking.

Jul 14, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics

Hellmans Deconstructed

Yes. I went back, and checked the Original Hellmans again. Just as I had typed, the label says there IS sugar
in it. And, none in the Olive Oil version.

But, here's what's truly bizarre: when food has sugar in it, the labels always say how many grams of sugar the food contains, per serving. And, there is no listing of
sugar on the main part of the label, as opposed to the fine print of all ingredients.

So, while the sugar content is very low probably, Hellmans does have a problem in that they are not showing the content on the label, as they are required to do. Unless it is so negligible that it doesn't even amount to 1 mg of sugar/Tablespoon?

Jul 13, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics

Hellmans Deconstructed

Thanks for the correction, GH: grams of fat it is, not mg.

Here's the thing: soy bean oil and olive oil have the same amount of calories by volume; the only explanation of why the Olive oil version has a lower calorie count per tablespoon is the amount of water they used to thin it down. A third of the volume of the stuff was water, so
the calorie count went down by a third!

Oddly enough, there wasn't sugar in either version.
Really sorry it didn't print out the way I typed it. The major difference between the two was the water, which was the largest ingredient in the olive oil version, which
also had more emulsifiers and artificial stuff to keep the oil/water/egg mix together in the jar. It sure separated
in my egg salad...

My message to Hellmans would be: don't mess with what
isn't broken.

Jul 13, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics

Hellmans Deconstructed

Let me see if I can write this side by side:
Hellmans Original Hellmans Olive Oil
Cal/Tb 90 60
Salt, 90mg 120 mg
Total Fat 10 mg 6 mg
Ingredients as listed
Soybean oil Water
Water Soybean oil
whole eggs&egg yolk Olive oil
vinegar whole eggs& egg yolk
salt, sugar modified potato starch
lemon juice vinegar
calcium Di Sodium EDTA salt, pepper
lemon juice
sorbic acid
calcium di sodium EDTA
natural flavor
paprika oleoresin

Taste test, plain, on a spoon: better mouth feel with Original
More natural lemony taste with original

The mystery is solved. The way it got significantly fewer calories
was because water was the main ingredient in the olive oil version!

While it tasted ok direct from the jar, the new olive oil version does have a lot of minor ingredients that go to stabilizing that water to a reasonable texture. When mixed in something that stands around
a bit, like my egg salad, the water kinda oozes out, and the texture, aside from the flavor of the Original being the gold standard becomes
more noticeable in a not good way. Spread on bread, like a meat sandwich, the olive oil version was fine.

I suspect I paid more per ounce for a Hellmans 'dressing' in which
water was the main ingredient than for the Original Hellmans.

Bah, humbug. A case of messing with something that wasn't broken.
The new version wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Original remains
the gold standard in my book, even though I truly wanted to love the new version.

(Really sorry about this: won't print out the way I typed it.
The main ingredient in the olive oil version is water)

Jul 13, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics

Hellmans Original vs Hellmans Olive Oil Version

I really wanted to love the new mayo in town. Bought a jar; tried it
out spread on a meat sandwich--very nice. I am known for my egg
salad and chicken salad. Knew I would taste the difference in egg salad.

Sure did: the first time I ever made egg salad that tasted blah!
Same opinion the next two times I tried that egg salad. Decided that
Hellmans original was adding something that made my usual egg salad
taste wonderful.

Reconfirmed by eating homemade chicken salad with nothing more
than a bit of celery, scallion and dill, and original Hellmans. Wonderful. And, I have no doubt that the same ingredients, but using
Hellmans Olive Oil would also taste blah.

All my life I have not given Hellmans original enough credit for making
everything you put it in delish.

Anyone else experimenting with the new olive oil version? Please
chime in; I really do want to like it--it is definitely healthier.
(Disclaimer: label describes the olive oil version as 'dressing',
not mayonnaise)

Jul 12, 2014
Bashful3 in General Topics

Open for LUnch and Dinner on July 4: Fuji

Tee Hee, Ritter. No, not a review, just a case of wishful
thinking on my part that I could be in two places at once.
I guess lots of places are open for lunch and dinner on
July 4, but I was still surprised. I'm not a shill, but
I do get enthusiastic about some very special places, and like to share that enthusiasm.

Jul 04, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Open for LUnch and Dinner on July 4: Fuji

This surprised me. We're on their mailing list. The specials looked
yummy. If I had known they were open for lunch and dinner on the holiday, we might have gone there instead of meeting at 5pm on July 8 for supper at Moonstruck. The email flier did suggest reservations though for the holiday: 856-751-1175.

Jul 03, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Good restos near St. Joseph's university

SAn Kee in the Wynwood Shopping Center is good for
another stop: Whole Foods for dorm snacks for your
Grandson. The lunch Bento boxes can't be beat.

Jul 03, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Good restos near St. Joseph's university

Wherever you take him will be a treat for your Grandson.
Tango, Pescatore and the Tavern are all good choices.
If your Grandson loves Chinese food, there isn't much
close by, but Yang Ming feels very upscale, although
not that expensive considering the quality.

Happy times are ahead for all of you!

Jul 02, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Me Again: Odd priorities: Tuesday Night, early

Lots of good suggestions, thank you. Loved the menu at
Vernick and Avance for another time.

But, because convenience and quiet were such high priority
Moonstruck is going to be perfect: it is half way between
where my friend and I live, and has great parking. I'll report, but suspect my reaction will be equally as positive
as Sylvia G. Besides, Moonstruck brings back memories: I catered a special event there 16 years ago
that was wonderful. $35 anniversary special with unlimited choices from their menu sounds like a good deal to me.

Jul 02, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Me Again: Odd priorities: Tuesday Night, early

Quiet, and easy parking are the musts. Zeppolis is closed on Tuesday(it was fabulous, CH's); Matt is off on Tuesday night for dinner at Fuji, so
we are back to square one.

Looking for extraordinary food, no restrictions other than not Mexican or Indian, but prefer someplace new, which eliminates Zahav. Friend is coming from Elkins Park, me from Center City. Moonstruck is a possibility, but can you come up with something else? Not a special
occasion, but quiet is truly a high priority.

Jun 29, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Good restos near St. Joseph's university

Citron and Rose: Expensive, in Merion Station,
Kosher, so forget shellfish, but excellent. They also
have interesting at the bar specials: fab or'doevres,
neat pricing on drinks from 5:30-6:30pm that are a great
bargain for interesting food. Could be a real treat for him.

Jun 29, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia

Seemed like Old Times...

That';s the place, Faye. Last time I had it, I sort of remember a price like $27. A Bit of inflation there,
but it's still worth it. Less work than whole Maine lobster, and more satisfying at the same time.

One of my other faves here is the shrimp with watercress (or other veggie) Shing Tau style. Oh, fab--huge shrimp,
and very tasty sauce. Their fried dumplings are better
than anywhere in Chinatown, so I never order them anywhere else. And, I don't see that pickled turnip/pork/string bean soup anywhere else--love it.

Enjoy!

Jun 25, 2014
Bashful3 in Philadelphia