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NorthEncantoGirl's Profile

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Hash House A Go Go @ Mohegan Sun

I thought the San Diego Hash House was the only one. I'm glad you liked it!

Jun 01, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Chains

What is your absolute favorite dish from your cultural heritage?

I'm AA too; my people come from Arkansas, Tennessee, and S. Carolina. Fried catfish yes--but it has to be done really nicely. There's a NoI fish place sorta near me that nails it. Snapper too, but that was another thing that was reserved for grownups.

Oddly though, I could never get with gizzards and livers, probably because my dad (on purpose) made them seem disgusting so he could keep them to himself.

One other thing I remember: when we moved to San Diego, there was a retired preacher who lived upstairs from us. Every week he'd go to the butcher, and get a pigs head, and make two hog-head cheese: one mild and one spicy. I'm not sure who or what I loved more, the hog-head cheese, or the man--who was truly lovely. He filled in as a 'grandpa' of sorts. But every week, he'd come to our door with his offering of hog-head cheese.

Man, I miss him. Good memories.

What is your absolute favorite dish from your cultural heritage?

I'm from the South--what I can never pass up is really good banana pudding. Someone once gave me the idea of splashing it with a dash of Kaluha. Sublime.

As for savory--something I never had as a child, because they were always reserved for the grownups: rib tips. I love 'em. And fried chicken necks. Something that was just for the kids. I could spend forever on one.

Wow. I'm shocked that chicken necks came to me, but the memory is so strong. Amazing


I second European Cake Gallery. They did my wedding cakes 19 years ago. The union didn't last, alas, but the memory of those amazing cakes surely has...

May 09, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in San Diego

Grocery Outlet

Thanks for the great tips! You also answered a question I posed upthread, which was about the variability of products.

So the stores are more or less franchises, eh? That probably accounts for what seems to be variations in physical plant and customer service as well. Interesting.

Apr 29, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Chains

Grocery Outlet

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I do fancy myself a fairly savvy shopper, in that I have a pretty decent grasp of what a decent price sounds like and what overall good quality looks like.

So you trust the meat? It's funny that I'm asking this, as I've recently made a commitment to go meatless, but, over the years, even as a 'bad vegetarian' I've found the meat dept to be the canary in the coal mine--in that if the meat dept looks skanky, I don't trust the rest of the store...

Another question for you all who have been to more than one 'Groc Out' (thanks for that!)--do you find the offerings are more or less the same store to store, or there wide swings in product mix/quality of offerings? There is one that just opened in Downtown SD; I wonder if it's a fair guess that they might have more 'specialty' items than in a suburban store...

Apr 29, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Chains

Grocery Outlet

If I'm in the headspace for it, I don't mind hit or miss. There's a small chain in San Diego, GTM, that sells closeouts and the like. Even when I leave with an empty cart, it was fun hunting.

Downgrading your diet, you say? That's sorta worrisome. So would you say it tilts more towards a Sav-a-Lot than a Trader Joe's?

Apr 29, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Chains

Grocery Outlet

Where's the National City one? That's close to my parents, and semi-close to me. The one that I had heard that was opening near me (I'm close to Lemon Grove) is in Spring Valley/Casa de Oro, but I'll swing by whichever's closest.

Apr 29, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Chains

Grocery Outlet

Ok--I think (I hope) I've done my due diligence, and this subject hasn't already been done to death, but I was wondering about this chain, Grocery Outlet.

I've noticed that they've entered the San Diego market in a big way in the last year or so. Now there's one by me, and I'm planning a field trip.

So, is it worth the hype? I've heard they have good brands at good prices, and that the stores, while not fancy, are clean and well kept. I've also heard they have a good selection of toiletries and such as well.

Are there any folks out there who makes Grocery Outlet their main shopping venue? What do you like? What don't you like? Is it like a Big Lots (what used to be called Pic & Save) with more food?

Insights please...

Apr 29, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Chains

Excellent Dishes in Unexpected Places

I remember Shakey's from my 'tween years in the early-mid seventies. There's a Shakey's still standing? I'm surprised.

Apr 18, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in San Diego

Isn't it time we stopped permitting certain topics?

Well...actually I don't mind hearing other perspectives. There are regional and personal differences that can surprise.

Also--conventional wisdom re what is or is not acceptable or appropriate changes over time. For instance, in what seems a relatively short period of time, tipping 'norms' have gone from 15 to 20 to even 25 percent. Seeing how social mores/norms morph is interesting to me.

Apr 14, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Site Talk

Croce's to close

Went to their site, and there was a farewell message from Ingrid Croce:

So what do y'all think: are we losing something important, or does it rate a shrug?

Apr 14, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in San Diego

Thug Kitchen. .

I just 'discovered' TK yesterday, and found out that he is one of the finalists for 'Best New Blog' on Saveur.

I actually like its 'gimmick', if you will. The blog's new, so I was able to scroll through it pretty quickly. I'm not sure there's enough meat on the bone for an entire cookbook, which apparently is coming out, but what was there i appreciated.

Croce's to close

Just caught this on television: Ingrid Croce is saying she's closing her flagship downtown location. Didn't she just also announce that she's taking over Ave 5?

I heard this on a 30 second promo; apparently there will be more information at the 10:00 newscast.

Can't help but wonder why she's leaving the Gaslamp...

Apr 14, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in San Diego

Popeye's Red Beans and Rice

Really? There are regional differences, though; red beans are a Southern staple, not just a NOLA thing. My people come from Arkansas, Tennessee, and So. Carolina, and we do a hock, actually more than one in a pot, and sometimes neck bones, though I haven't had neck bones in years. It wasn't till I was an adult that I ever saw sausage in the pot. My relatives would do hot links, but they would do them separately.

See what you've done? You've made me crave red beans, with neck bones--and today is the day of my re-commitment to being meatless! The agony! :-)

Apr 08, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Home Cooking

If I owned a restaurant, I would/would not.....

Yes to napkins, and I'd also discreetly offer wetnaps. They're not just for barbecue anymore!

If I owned a restaurant, I would/would not.....

Yes. A sharp steak knife. I'm left handed, and regular knives are pointless save for buttering bread.

Café Plume: Since when it is OK to ask a customer to leave before they finish their food?

There is one way to 'solve' the problem, though some may think it a pretty blunt tool: monetize the wi-fi. Just like before smartphones with internet access were more or less common, and many cafes had desktop computers available for a fee, so could there be a fee for use of wi-fi. The fee could be enough to do two things: subtly discourage using the service for an extended period of time, and also it would contribute to the cafe's bottom line. The price could still be lower than using one's data allotment. So as not to drive more considerate people away entirely, they could provide complementary service for 10 to 15 minutes before instituting a charge.

Certainly not the only way to deal with the issue, but at least somewhat creative.

Just a thought...

Spending too much on groceries? ..and how to embrace the frugal lifestyle

My post here from yesterday got deleted, so I hesitate to post again; still, I do think that as much as the actual strategies or tactics one uses to save money, that the spirit behind the action is important. I do a lot to save money--it's why I moved out to a semi rural part of my city, why I buy in bulk as much as is feasible, and why I try to eat simply and sustainably. Where i shop matters to me too: I am less than comfortable shopping in a place where there's exploitation. I applaud anyone who puts thought and intention into their eating.

Let's see if this one sticks.

GUESTS: your job is to SHOW. UP. ON. TIME. Is that really so hard?

Don't want to overthink this , but is this really about show-up time? Your statement is a strong one.

Costco Food Finds- 1st quarter 2013

Actually, not always. I'm in San Diego, and bought a rotisserie chicken, ate a good deal of it, and then was going to make chicken salad out of the rest. I noticed when i was deboning that it was quite red, to the point of bloody, inside. I called the Market Street Costco, and they told me to come back for a refund; they didn't even want to see the chicken. I thought they were gonna refund my money, but they did more--I left with a chicken, as well as 4.99. Amazing service. I still can remember it, at least 18 months later.

Apr 01, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Chains

April 2013 San Diego Dish of the Month Voting


Mar 31, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in San Diego

Bistro 60 (nee SD Desserts)?

I'm fairly close by--I've had some very good desserts there. i'll check it out for lunch or dinner.

Feb 26, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in San Diego

What Would You Have Done?

Let me sleep on it. I'd PM you if I could, because it might mean using language (ie scripture or 'faith based' language) that some Hounds might not be comfortable with. Let me think about it...

What Would You Have Done?

They're members of your church? That the two of you lead? Then, in my view, they can be gently and appropriately corrected. That is part of being part of a community--and you and your husband are the perfect people to do it. As someone who has been in church leadership, I've had conversations with people--again, gently and with compassion! about particular behavior.

I'm not saying it will be easy. Creating and maintaining community rarely is. But if they're willing to do it to you, they're willing to do it to others--and, again my opinion, this is the sort of thing that can totally strangle community.

Just my two cents.

Dining on Amtrak

I had a sleeper on the Coast Starlight last year; I did take most of my meals in the Pacific Parlor Car, but the times I dined in the main Dining Car were fine. I had good to exceptional service, especially in the PPC. I'm sorry you had a bad experience. You can always go on Amtrak's site and post a complaint; they are read, and most always answered (and not in corporate-speak).

How much Coke is too much

As someone who just this past hour had her first full-sugar Coke in over a year, I'm backing slowly away from the can right now. What a sad story.

I don't care if I never set foot again in a...............

Nope--Bennigan's still breathes, at least in San Diego. I haven't been in, but I see it from the freeway...

Feb 13, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Chains

Target Brand Foods Yay/Nay- February 2013

Yeah, they do have a really good selection of snacks--my coworker brought in some really good mixed nuts; better than TJ's even.

Feb 02, 2013
NorthEncantoGirl in Chains

What non-food/non-traditional food items did you eat as a kid?

It's called 'pica', and, while I learned that it fell under the umbrella of the anxiety disorders, a quick search of Wikipedia shows that it can come under other mental issues as well. You'd be amazed what grown people will put in their mouths