Nichele's Profile

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Nawlins Trip Advice

Thanks for the prix fixe info, fiorbhlasta. Do you know of a central place or a website that lists all of the cheap deals at fancy joints? I'd love to make plans using a fairly comprehensive list.

Jun 07, 2012
Nichele in New Orleans

Nawlins Trip Advice

I really enjoyed Herbsaint. I recommend the duck confit, but I don't recall disliking anything I had that night. Herbsaint's sister restaurant, Cochon, was also very, very good, and cheaper. Consider it for lunch.

Jun 02, 2012
Nichele in New Orleans

Saws in Avondale

I haven't had the fries, but they don't look fresh cut to me, either. The onion rings, however, are really fresh. And one order is enough for 2-3 people. Lightly battered, well seasoned...the rings are not crispy and could use a little more drainage, but the onions therein are crunchy and sweet. I wouldn't touch the fries.

I'm a big fan of the Pork and Greens. I had the burger, which was quite good, and the pork sandwich, which was also good. The sauce is thin, vinegary and spicy, but a little sweeter than I like. The pork isn't so much pulled as it is allowed to fall into tender, juicy chunks.

I'm trying to make my way through the menu; one of these days I plan to just get sides. I mean, how often do you see deviled eggs on a menu?

There has been some concern about the neighborhood, but it is pretty thoroughly gentrified. If one is frightened by that then Hwy. 280 is always there for you.

Jun 02, 2012
Nichele in Central South

Paleo diet - any experience?

Yep, salt's considered fine, within reason, and the most paleo folks I know use pink Himalayan salt because of the additional minerals they are thought to contain. I stick to conventional sea salts and kosher salts, sans iodine. The use of salt makes sense to me since it is use to preserve meats. It's always the sugar they slip in that gets me.

Apr 26, 2012
Nichele in Special Diets

Paleo diet - any experience?

Exactly right, sedimental. Closer to the ground, as some say. Paleo has as many definitions as there are authors of paleo and primal lifestyle books. As I said, I was partly primal for a while and when I lapsed I retained the lower-to-the-ground approach. And as I said above, I never achieved paleo status. paulj, I disagree with you. It is certainly about eating fewer grains and other fruits of agriculture. But the lifestyle also discourages Spam and powdered eggs -- processed versions of once paleo-friendly foods. Playing the paleo playground caused a small but significant shift to eating fewer processed foods in general, is what I'm saying.

Apr 26, 2012
Nichele in Special Diets

Paleo diet - any experience?

I did a highly modified primal approach a couple years ago. Yes, I am a lapsed primal person. My rule was no pizza, no pasta and no bread for a month. I love all of the above. I still ate the occasional french fry. I did drink a few ounces of milk with espresso on most days, I had a small bowl of ice cream most nights and ate cheese, but for me the low-bar approach worked. My appetite and energy levels were much more even. I lost weight. My body responded very favorably to the Crossfitting I did at least two times a week back then. But then I slacked off, went back to indulging in my beloved pasta and pizza too often.

Later, after regaining some of the weight, I tried a much more complete primal/paleo approach and failed. My example is nowhere near perfect, but my experience was good, and my aim is to my 3Ps policy. My body felt and looked better. And as a result of my primal experience I eat more of that stuff our grandparents called food; organic when I can and it's a superior product, but not always.

Check out blogs like http://paleoonabudget.com/. It and others like it give us permission not to worry if not every meat we eat is not grass fed.

I'd be interested to hear what go-to foods primal and paleo folks eat. For me fast hearty salads like Salade Nicoise with oil packed tuna (Starfish has an inexpensive brand; some versions are seasoned with lemon and other stuff, but I prefer the plain) and Thai Beef Salad -- lean, spicy strips of beef over salad greens served with tomato, cucumber and red onion with an oil-less dressing containing fish sauce, lime, chillies and other yummy stuff -- helped me through, especially since I could whip up the first salad quickly and the last was a carry-out call away. What do you folks eat? I'm looking for recipes!

Apr 23, 2012
Nichele in Special Diets

Low Carb Ideas???

I'm beginning to like spaghetti squash too! I use it under my normal meat sauce with Romano and a dollop of pesto. Oh, and if you save the seeds, sprinkle them with a little salt or some seasoning mixture and bake them until golden brown they make a yummy snack!

Jul 17, 2011
Nichele in Home Cooking

Low Carb Ideas???

HI there. I did the caveman or paleo diet and winter squashes were encouraged but beans were not. Leafy greens and fruit are carbo-licious, too. The idea is to reduce the highly refined carbs and minimize spikes in blood sugar. Paleo eating also frowns upon eating stuff of the agricultural revolution, such as dairy, grains, legumes and sugars. It worked for me, but I eventually returned to my wicked pasta-loving ways!

Jul 17, 2011
Nichele in Home Cooking

Margarita Mix from Scratch recipes

Agave nectar's great, but I kept mine sugar free and used triple sec, since that's what's handy. Mine doesn't need the sugar because of the added sparkling water, but on the rocks the sweetener would be perfect.

Jul 17, 2011
Nichele in Spirits

Margarita Mix from Scratch recipes

Yum! I just made my own mix and made a delicious 2-1-1 margarita with two parts lime-flavored sparkling water. A pleasant buzz, but I remain sort of productive in my Sunday morning chores. Thanks, y'all!

Jul 17, 2011
Nichele in Spirits

Birmingham & Montgomery Good Eats - help!

I like Niki's I order the Greek chicken served with a lemony broth -- I always as for extra. The vegetables are the stars. I suggest taking a peek at the offerings before getting in line. The line moves fast, so there's little time for dallying. You may find yourself at the cash register with no food or with enough to feed a small family.

Ditto on the Dreamland banana pudding, and I'm not a huge nanner puddin' fan. Avoid the macaroni and cheese. I think it comes ready-made in a bag. Blech.

Apr 19, 2011
Nichele in Central South

Soul Food options in Savannah?

Reasonable people can disagree on The Breakfast Club and other spots. Sarge, you're right about the coffee. However, I've never had a bad meal there and everyone I've taken there has enjoyed it. I like Clary's, both locations, but it's nothing special. It's a couple steps up from the two tasty, straightforward breakfast places run by the same Asian family: Sunny Side Up on Derenne and The Breakfast Place on Victory near Skidaway. Sarge, what places on Tybee do you recommend?

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Breakfast Club
225 N Caldwell St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Sunny Side Up
2917 Zebulon Rd, Rocky Mount, NC 27804

The Breakfast Place
2130 E Victory Dr, Savannah, GA 31404

Feb 27, 2011
Nichele in Southeast

Soul Food options in Savannah?

Get some pecan pralines from Savannah Sweets on Riverstreet, in Oglethorpe Mall or on Skidaway Blvd. They kick New Orleans' pralines' butt. Take a box home. Delicious.

OH! You MUST go to The Breakfast Club on Tybee Island. You'll need a car. My sister loves the Blackhawk Burrito, which is filled with black beans, chicken, cheese and fried. They make the most of local produce and seafood (the restaurant is close to the beach); they were one of the caterers at John Kennedy Jr.'s wedding down on nearby Cumberland Island.
Go early or late (I think they close at 2 p.m., but check) or be prepared to stand in line for a bit.

Definitely go to the Planter's Tavern. And enjoy! The azaleas will be in bloom, and 'zaleas are to Savannah what cherry blossoms are to DC!

Safe travels,
Nichele

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Breakfast Club
1500 Butler Ave, Tybee Island, GA 31328

Feb 24, 2011
Nichele in Southeast

Soul Food options in Savannah?

I grew up in Savannah and visit often, but I've never visited any of the places you've listed. They could be perfectly fine. And I suppose it depends on how you define soul food. When I want soul food I want standards like collards, fried chicken, meat loaf, beef tips and gravy over rice, mac and cheese, corn bread and yeast rolls, bread pudding and other comfort foods. I'm not looking for modern interpretations, nor to I look for over-the-top over fatted soul food. I want it flavorful and rich, but not laden in butter and salt and sugar for no reason.

My go-to spot is United House of Prayer. Delicious fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collards and something with gravy are usually on the steam tables. A massive and tasty fried seafood plate are available on Friday, and ox tails appear on the menu at least once a week.

Sisters of the New South is quite good. I've only gone once, but I enjoyed it. My Mom, who is pretty picky about what she eats and would usually prefer to eat her own cooking, goes there fairly regularly.

This may sound strange, but the Magnolia Cafe in the Desoto Hilton is very good. I go there almost every time I visit. The chicken rivals my Mom's, the greens are good and they know when they see me coming that I'm angling for the bread pudding.

To me, Savannah soul food is seafood. Nancy's and Seafoodelicious rock. They'll sell you blue crabs and shrimp fresh, or get seasoned crabs or conch. Get. The. Garlic. Crabs. Extra sauce. It is not healthy, but it is delicious.

I never had shrimp and grits while growing up, but the Planter's Tavern does the dish very well. It's not soul food, but it's one of my favorite spots. It's in the basement of the Old Pink House. The prices are the same as above ground, but the vibe is more relaxed. There are two huge fireplaces on either end of the room and usually someone playing piano. They take requests. I order the shrimp and grits appetizer as an entree. It's not cheap, but it's worth it.

Enjoy your visit!

United House Of Prayer
(912) 236-8877
1805 Ogeechee Rd
Savannah, GA 31415

United House Of Prayer
(912) 236-8877
1805 Ogeechee Rd
Savannah, GA 31415

Sisters of the New South
Place page
2607 Skidaway Road
Savannah, GA 31404-3827
(912) 335-2761

Nancy's Seafood
(912) 236-3688
1302 W Bay St, Savannah, GA 31415

Seafoodlicious
(912) 356-9988
4435 Skidaway Rd
Savannah, GA 31404

Planters Tavern
http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guid...

Feb 22, 2011
Nichele in Southeast

Birmingham & Montgomery Good Eats - help!

I agree on the greasiness of the fried green tomatoes. Cornmeal breaded green tomatoes fare a bit better, but I'm thinking that the best ones are those prepared by your grandma in fresh, hot oil and carefully drained.

Jun 28, 2010
Nichele in Central South

Foodie Souvenirs from Italy

Rio Mare Extra Tonno with extra virgin olive oil. Delicious. And a word of warning: Fresh fruit and veg and all meat will be confiscated at customs. Cheeses and sweets are fine. Olive oil is a great souvenir, especially if you get a chance to visit the place where it's pressed. Olives too.
Food adjacent things to get are coffee and espresso cups and coffee cups, espresso spoons.

Mar 20, 2010
Nichele in General Topics

RIO MARE TUNA FROM ITALY

Hey andyman. Did you find a reliable U.S. sourceof Rio Mare tuna? I grabbed a four pack of Rio Mare Extra at a grocery store in Ventimiglia and I'm so sad that I only have one of my four cans left. I visited the recommended Web site, but didn't see Rio Mare.

Mar 20, 2010
Nichele in General Topics

Traveling to Nice in mid January with Mom and Sister

As a copy editor I should know better than to be casual with my sentence construction. "Great" was only meant to modify espresso. I'm not interested enough in roses to pursue "good" or "great" ones. Please see PhilD's comments about roses and "fun wine".
Thanks again, Menton1.

Jan 08, 2010
Nichele in France

Traveling to Nice in mid January with Mom and Sister

Probably not staying overnight anywhere but the apt in Nice. We're scaling back our ambitions for our weeklong stay. Thanks for your recommendation, Menton1.

Jan 08, 2010
Nichele in France

Traveling to Nice in mid January with Mom and Sister

All wine IS fun! Thanks for weighing in.

Jan 08, 2010
Nichele in France

Traveling to Nice in mid January with Mom and Sister

Thanks, Juliadevi. I tried to go to Fenoccio last January but they were closed for renovations. I'd try black olive gelato in a heartbeat. And I'll look for Acchiardo.

Jan 08, 2010
Nichele in France

Traveling to Nice in mid January with Mom and Sister

Our apartment is on Rue Massena. "Great" was meant to modify "espresso" only; I agree with PhilD that rose can be a time-and-place wine. White zinfandel was my gateway wine many, many years ago. Later I scoffed at the Pink Kool-Aid wines, then came to appreciate a tasty rose.

I trust no offense was meant by the Mom and Sis comment, so none was taken.

Thanks for the two recommendations, beaulieu.

Jan 08, 2010
Nichele in France

Traveling to Nice in mid January with Mom and Sister

Hello all. My sister and I spent a couple weeks in Nice in January and have decided to take out Mom. It will be her first trip abroad. Sis and I stumbled across a few pretty good places, but ate at some mediocre places.

My Mom and Sis are meat-and-potatoes people. Mom considers pizza in the U.S. as snack food, not a meal, and rarely eats the crust. She may change her mind when she tries the yummy, crispy crusts in Nice.

Would you recommend down-to-earth food in a lively, friendly atmosphere. They will bristle at what they consider sparse, frou-frou, expensive food. I'll have to go do that on my own! They'd be willing to spend 35 euro per person with wine once during the trip, maybe. We'll need to take periodic breaks from walking, as Mom has some back problems, so I'm looking for recommendations for great bakeries, soca stands and places to get a great cup of espresso or a glass of rose.

Should I go to La Zucca Magica? I tried to dine there in January. It was closed when I first visited and about to close on my second. No sign on the door and no hours posted online. Should I take my taste buds elsewhere?

Our apartment will have a small kitchen, and we'll eat in regularly. Please recommend bakeries, groceries, etc.

We will also travel to Monte Carlo, Ventimiglia, Villefranche-sur-Mer and perhaps San Remo. I'd like to explore points west too, so I'm interested in restaurants and sights as far as Aix-en-Provence.

Thanks!
Nichele

Dec 08, 2009
Nichele in France

Macon to Savannah: Good Chow?

That's a tough one. It was until only a few years ago that you could get gas and go to the bathroom between Macon and Savannah.

I make that trip several times a year since I grew up in Savannah and live in Birmingham.

My only recommendations are IN Macon and Savannah:

Papouli's is at exit 171, I think. It's the very first Macon exit. Be careful. I still miss it all the time. If you do, take 169 and just backtrack. Papouli's does a pretty good lamb and beef gyro. The extra $.85 they charge for feta is worth it. I don't care for the fries too much, so I get my gyro and walk over to Five Guys Burgers and Fries for their fries, freshly cut and almost as good cold as they are when piping hot. Their burgers are very good too, if you aren't in a gyro mood.

There's also a Starbucks, Subway and others. What I just noticed a few weeks ago on my way down was a Publix. There's no highway signage. Another option: their fried chicken is remarkably good. Birmingham voted the Publix chicken the best in the city for several years. That kind of saddens me, because I was hoping somebody in a hair net at a meat and three would win the honor. Anyway, that's fine for a little roadtrip picnic.

Once in Savannah, the town is your oyster.

Lady and Sons: I list it first because it is the 800 gorilla in the room. The food is good and I went before she bought the behemoth property. But waiting for two hours is not my idea of an appetizer. I've seen tourists sweltering in the morning humidity as early as 9:45. If you must go, eat at the bar, as the locals do. Or go at an odd hour. A group of 7 friends and I went on a Sunday at 3, long after the church crowd had gone home for a nap.

Barbara Jean's: Located on Wilmington Island. Very good food. Try their cheddar grits. There's outdoor seating overlooking the marsh, which is a big plus in my book.

Uncle Bubba's: Paula's brother's seafood joint. I've found the food quite fresh but lacking character. Good, though. However, his is my favorite outdoor dining joint in the area. And once when he had live music the performer was so good I hummed along and put bread in his jar. Again, a lovely view of the vast marsh.

Breakfast Club: On Tybee Island. The chef was one of the caterers at John F. Kennedy Jr.'s wedding. My sister only gets the Blackhawk Burrito, a house-made ancho chile tortilla filled with black beans, chicken, cheese and other delicious stuff. It could easily serve two, maybe three. The French toast is yummy too. The waitress said something about how difficult it is to make and that the cook "discourages" orders. I'm a French bread French toast fan, but this whole wheat version was quite tasty, well worth incurring the wrath of the cook!

Johnny Harris Restaurant: I used to go to lunch there sometimes as a student at nearby Savannah State University. Service is terrible, but the Brunswick stew is my favorite. It's billed as the city's oldest restaurant, est. 1924. The place has a round dance floor that I don't think s used anymore and polished cherrywood booths all around. Over the dance floor is a dome with pinholes that suggest starlight. Kinda fun. It's casual.

International House of Prayer: I go to the spot on Ogeechee Road, but there are others. When folks say Paula Deen, I say IHOP. Soul food at its finest, from fried chicken to collards to ox tails to a heaping plate of fried seafood on Fridays.

Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House: Another tourist draw. I went years before Mrs. Wilkes died and thought the food was fine. It's a good little Savannah experience; food is served family style on picnic-styled tables, I believe. It's been years since I've gone.

The Planter's Tavern: It's the basement/bar of the Pink House. Prices are the same, but I love the more intimate atmosphere and the two gigantic fireplaces on either end of the tavern. DO NOT leave Savannah without getting the shrimp and grits appetizer. I often upgrade it to an entree portion. I didn't like grits before trying this dish. Now, I'm a believer.

The Shrimp Factory: First, let me say that I have never been, to my knowledge. However, a friend and native who has lived in New York for years but owns a home in Savannah goes several times whenever she's in town. It is a big tourist draw, but locals go in droves. The place seems to have many local favorites, like some of the blue crab dishes. I'm going to give it a try next time I'm there.

Riverstreet Sweets: The pecan-half pralines beat the ones from New Orleans hands down. I've been a praline lover for years. They give free samples! The dark chocolate jumbo peanut butter cups will put you into a bliss coma.

I hope this helps. Now I'm hungry.

N

Feb 09, 2009
Nichele in General South Archive

Further Birmingham discussion - what about these places?

I must concur about Five Guys. Since the departure of Cheeburger, Cheeburger, I was at a loss for a "regular" burger joint that served freshly cut fries. And the fries at Five Guys are making my mouth water as we speak. These suckers are delicious COLD! And I don't DO cold fries.

I love Chez Fon Fon's fries, too, but 5 Guys are meatier, less refined, and you get a whole bunch of them!

Jan 16, 2008
Nichele in General South Archive

Further Birmingham discussion - what about these places?

They've closed down what eventually became the Restaurant at the Culinard. It's only available for special events. But before it closed I had one of THE best meals of my life there. It was prepared not by students but by Chef Meriday, who left, opened a place on St. Croix, and now runs a spot in one of the Carolinas. He's from NC, but a former student of his says he's in SC. Any info? He's worth tracking down. Seriously.

The Bakery is worth trying for lunch or tea. The sandwiches and salads are good, and the space, though close to I-65, is pleasant and airy. It's only open M-F.

http://www.therestaurantatculinard.com/

Jan 16, 2008
Nichele in General South Archive

Further Birmingham discussion - what about these places?

I like Cosmos, but the one and only time I went the service was offensively rude, so I haven't been back. I probably will eventually. New York Pizza in Edgewood is also quite good. Service was friendly too. The debate about whether it's true New York pizza is beyond my skill set: I've had pizza in New York, but it was just food. I'll leave that argument to the connoisseurs.

I'm not a big veg pizza fan, but this was the best I've had in a while. Get it on the wheat crust. Delicious.

Jan 16, 2008
Nichele in General South Archive

Moving to Birmingham, AL and need lots of advice (long)

Dax,

I'm also a wino of the cheap persuasion and I recommend Classic Wines. I don't go much anymore since I no longer work in Homewood and since i started making wine, but they have plenty of good wines for $15 or less. They'd be crazy not to. A few other good wine spots are Mountain Brook Western Grocery Store, the Homewood Piggly Wiggly (honest!) and, my favorite, World Market, especially the one near Target on 280.

The Western and the Pig have weekly tastings that are casual and informative. The latter has rows and rows of good wines for around $10. Check out Three Thieves. Their Pinot Noir is overpriced per the trend, but the rest are about $10 for a liter juglette. I love their unoaked Chard and the Shiraz so much I got a couple cases while they were on sale--6 bottles for $36. I'm not as sold on the Cab and the Zin, but they're still perfectly fine wines for quaffing. I also dig the Three Thieves "Bandit" in a 1 liter box. The Pinot Grigio was my summer sip--great for picnics.

Cheers!

Jan 16, 2008
Nichele in Central South

Moving to Birmingham, AL and need lots of advice (long)

You're welcome. I love the scallion pancakes, which are not as light and airy as the ones off the street in Beijing, but whatcha gonna do? I'm pretty sure they just fry the ones they sell frozen, but I still like them with sweet chili sauce.

I really like the beef with Chinese broccoli and oyster sauce. I'm mad for Chinese broccoli, and they prepare it perfectly. They'll go easy on the oil if you ask. The beef is tender and thinly sliced, and is much more of a condiment than anything else. The broccoli is the star.

I also asked for a yummy egg and tomato dish and they served it up properly, with almost ripe tomatoes firm and intact. Many other dishes are typical fried meat with brown sauce affairs. Yuck. I don't know who suggested it, but a Chowhound trip there would be great, especially since it's so cheap. Two friends and I did the same a few years ago and loved it! Now, if we could only get our hands on the Chinese menu.

Jan 16, 2008
Nichele in Central South

Is there still dim sum in Birmingham?

Not that off-the-menu stuff but the real deal with carts and everything. Any recommendations?

Nov 01, 2007
Nichele in General South Archive