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Is there anything you just can't make, no matter how hard you try? [Moved from General Topics board]

Any time I've tried making fried rice, chicken fried rice, etc., it's never as good as Chinese restaurant versions. In fact, it's pretty bad-- the flavor's just not there. I'm not sure why. I use a decent wok, stir-fry oil, quality soy sauce, etc., and follow the recipes, but invariably it looks like fried rice and taste like... Well, you get the idea.

Oct 20, 2007
agentoffortune in Home Cooking

What Food Products Have Changed?

I've noticed that a lot of the snack foods have changed considerably over the past 20+ years. As someone else mentioned, the Twinkie just doesn't taste the same these days. Tastycake products have made a change for the worse too. Their cakes/cupcakes used to be more moist. Even the icing tastes dry in way. One of my favorites, their blueberry pie, now contains very few blueberries and a lot more thick, disgustingly sweet blueberry-flavored filling.

Oct 20, 2007
agentoffortune in General Topics

What are the foods you grew up with?

"Grandmom" did all the cooking in my family... My favorites were her homemade macaroni & cheese, pot roast, hamburger stew over mashed potatoes and crab cakes. For dessert, her homestyle pumpkin pies, ginger cakes and huckleberry pies are the stuff of great memories. I'm also a big fan of chicken and dumplings.

Oct 19, 2007
agentoffortune in General Topics

Thanksgiving in Rehoboth

I'm not 100% certain, but I believe Victoria's on the Boardwalk serves Thanksgiving dinner. If so, you'll get great food and a fantastic view of the ocean.

If you're willing to take a thirty minute drive down Coastal Highway, Harpoon Hannah's (right on the Fenwick Island/Ocean City border) does a Thanksgiving dinner package each year. Make reservations early and request a table by the window overlooking the water.

I'm a long-time fan of both restaurants, although Hannah's has taken on something of a college-hangout type feel during the summer months with the Tiki bar on the outdoor deck. Nevertheless, the restaurant inside appeals to the over-30 crowd and consistently serves quality food.

Oct 18, 2007
agentoffortune in Mid-Atlantic


I'll back you up on the Hank's recommendation. They have very good home-style food at a fair price. They do a roasted chicken with mashed potatoes dinner for around $8.00. You're not going to get fancy food, but there's plenty on your plate and it tastes like mom or grandma' cooked it up.

If you're willing to travel a few extra miles, head up the Blue Route and get off at the Newtown Square exit. Make a left and a few miles down the road you'll hit their diner on the other side of the road. Been a while since I've eaten there, but I remember the food being excellent. Try the Monte Cristo.

You could also check out the Marcus Hook Diner which sits right next to the library. If you go during the holidays, you can go right around the corner and see the Marcus Hook Christmas Lights display down along the Delaware River.

Oct 16, 2007
agentoffortune in Philadelphia

Big Fork in Chadds Ford

I ate at this location countless times for nearly a decade when it was in its previous incarnation as the Brass Ladle. A couple years ago, we went to stop in for lunch and found it had closed and a new restaurant was opening in its place-- the New Orleans Cafe. We never got a chance to eat there... Before we knew it, the place closed down.

Unfortunately, I recently had a bad experience with the place that took over; Big Fork. I had dinner there a couple weeks ago. I had crab cakes and my wife had a breaded chicken dish. (I forget what it was called) We were disappointed to see that both of our dishes arrived over-done, almost to the point of being burned. I actually like a little crusty texture on the outside of my crab cakes, but when they're so dark brown that there's a lingering "burnt taste", that's a bit too much. Similarly, my wife said her chicken's coating was hard and had a burnt flavor.

I understand mistakes happen and no one likes to throw away food, but in my opinion, professionals should know better and food that over-cooked should never have left the kitchen. I should have said something, but I didn't. We skipped having dessert and hit Brewsters right down the street for some palate-cleansing milkshakes. Sad to say, the ice cream was the culinary highlight of the evening.

Oct 16, 2007
agentoffortune in Pennsylvania