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Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

I liked the chef who cooked the chicken skin and greens. Though it was smart to keep it simple for the first challenge. Especially since it always seems that at these food festival like challenges the more complicated (recipe or plating) dishes are risky. And since she was the one who mentioned feeling intimidated during the quick fire, it seemed smart to try to hide in the pack during the challenge.

I had a great corn soup with clams a couple weeks ago. Wasn't fishy or clamy, great corn flavor. Couldn't imagine salmon roe improving it.

Brockton breakfast find! (lunch too!)

Stopped in today after a visit to the Fuller. Wanted lunch, but they only serve breakfast on Sunday. There was a line for tables so we just sat at the counter. I watched pancakes and french toast being made and the both looked and smelled good. Not the Texas toast thick french toast or plate sized pancakes that I'm use to seeing. The bacon looked crispy. My breakfast sandwich would have been better if it hasn't been sitting under the warmer for about 5 min. Bread got soggy and the eggs cold. And the spinach, roasted red peppers and turkey would have been ok if I hasn't seen them construct the sandwich. Ungloved hands touching raw meat before placing turkey on sandwich. Red pepper strips dropped on the counter then sweeped into hand and dumped on sandwich. But my mom's hash was crispy and her egg hot. Don't know what my dad got because his plate was empty when I glanced down. And the bf's burrito didn't look too bad. I thought it was weird that the cooked breakfast potatoes were stored ,partly covered, on the shelf under the griddle (about 3 inches from the floor). They dumped them on the griddle as needed.

So overall the food was okay, coffee hot, service hectic, and cooks sloppy. Next time we visit the museum we will probably just bring sandwiches.

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - October 2014

I'd also avoid the butternut squash ravioli. It was also very sweet when I tried it this year.

Oct 14, 2014
viperlush in Chains

Trader Joe's "pumpkinundation" 2014

It's pumpkin. I'm sure that those who like pumpkin enjoy it, but apparently I'm not a pumpkin fan. I assumed that since I liked the frozen pumpkin croissants last year, that I would like the other pumpkin offerings this year. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.

Oct 14, 2014
viperlush in Chains

Trader Joe's "pumpkinundation" 2014

It's growing apparent that I'm not a pumpkin fan. For me the mini frozen pies, pumpkin O's, canned pumpkin (used in a gingerbread pumpkin bread), and pumpkin rolls were all nays. The pies didn't have much filling and crumbled when I removed them from the oven. The cereal had a weird taste and texture. And the icing for the pumpkin rolls was too pumpkiny. I ended up making an icing to put on them. As someone else mentioned, rerolling with nuts would be an improvement. I do have a box of the croissants in the freezer that I hope are a yay. I enjoyed them last year. So as everyone else loads their carts with these goodies, I'll be at the customer service desk returning them.

Oct 14, 2014
viperlush in Chains

A Tale of Two Donut Shops (long)

I think the worst cider donut I've had was from Ohlins. Oily with no discernable apple flavor. More like a apple spiced donut (or cinnamon and nutmeg). Both times I've been to Ohlin (8amish on a weekend?) I've been disappointed with how oily the donuts are. Cider Hill and that farm stand outside Amherst (I keep forgetting the name) are my favors in the area.

Oct 14, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

Sweet Cheeks Q... worth the trip to try it?

And possibly ramen. When we went for dinner this summer people started lining up for ramen over an hour before it was to be served.

Oct 12, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

Anniversary spot?

Oct 12, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

Anywhere Similar to Rendezvous?

Update: Bergamot was a partial success. I think it's been noted on a different thread, but the portion sizes were so inconsistent. BF's charcuterie and veal main were enough for two. While my corn soup and grilled swordfish were barely enough for me. I also like desserts that are more than a couple bites. It was also difficult to find dishes with out garlic. Also quite loud and cramped tables. Wine didn't arrive until midway through the entrees. But everyone enjoyed their meals (we thankfully had a large lunch that day) and drinks. Not somewhere I bring either set of parents. It is probably better as a date night restaurant for bf and I.

Unfortunately Strip T's is off the list since they don't do reservations.

At least I have until next April or Oct to find somewhere else for their next visit.

Oct 10, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

If someone was able to acurrately divide a bill down to ounces consumed by each diner I would be so impressed by their math skills that I wouldn't think to be mortified. But I might be tempted to argue the value of each ounce just to see if their head explodes. Is the value of the first bite/sip more or less than the last? Is a ring of calamari= to a clump of the tentacles? Does Billy Sue have to pay for knocking over Bobby's wine or should Bobby?

Oct 10, 2014
viperlush in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

I assume that since he was invited on the family vacation that the relationship isn't casual. My "just a BF" was intended to give a reason why he could have declined. "You go enjoy a family vacation, I'd rather plan a vacation for just the two of us".

Since the OP hasn't given us much detail I can only relate to my experiences. Even after a 15 yr relationship (10yr living together), bf and I aren't expected to go to every family event together. But bf's sister and her husband are expected to make joint decisions and attend things together.

And I do feel that anytime your money is being spent that you shouldn't be afraid to speak up. And I do kind of fault the gf for agreeing to the dining plans with out consulting with the OP.

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

Not to disagree with you, but if an extra couple hundred dollars is a big deal maybe the OP should have been more vocal at the planning stage or declined the invitation. As just a BF and not spouse he should have more leeway in accepting invitations from GF's family.

I do feel bad the the OP has gotten in this situation and I hope things turn out ok.

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

The OP did mention that he spoke to the gf about his concerns and it created some tension. Since the OP hasn't rejoined the conversation, one can assume (hope) that they have addressed his concerns.

Oct 10, 2014
viperlush in Not About Food

Top Chef Duels Finale (spoilers)

I don't really mind CJ winning. Not my favorite chef, probably wouldn't eat his food, but he did have a difficult duel theme. Foraging with Stephan then having to cook for an annoying starlet? The only more annoying guest was the aged vegan rocker that Dale had to cook for.

Oct 09, 2014
viperlush in Food Media & News

Winter Emergency Stock-Up

I don't see any city dwellers making jokes, just expressing a different way of life.

Winter Emergency Stock-Up

If your concern is being snowed in and not loss of power, I'd fill my freezer with prepared meals. Stews, soups, sauces, pulled pork, etc. I'd also have stuff on hand to bake since that's what I like to do when bored.

With limited freezer space I would be more careful with what I put in it. Why frozen fruit? Apples, pears,oranges all keep pretty well in the winter. Onions as well. Jarred roasted peppers instead of frozen.

Since my concern is mainly losing power I just keep my pantry stocked meals we can cook outside on our camp stove or just eat cold. Nut butters, sardines, bread, canned soup, beans, etc.

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

Suck it up. You are getting free lodging and are being included in a family vacation.

Be the one to go food shopping.

Maybe try doing some meals seperate.

Isn't alcohol not really found in Disney? And if the bills are split by person (not per adult/couple) it's really the parents of the kids who are subsidizing any alcohol consumed.

Just be happy that at the end of the day you are not the one having to wrangle over excited kids at Disney.

And for the next family vacation suggest a cruise or all inclusive resort.

Oct 09, 2014
viperlush in Not About Food

New Strip T's Thread for 2013:Excellence and Innovation Continue

Looks like you nailed it:

http://boston.eater.com/2014/10/6/692...

Oct 07, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

Trader Joe's "pumpkinundation" 2014

Have you had the cinnamon rolls? I'm curious how they compare.

Oct 02, 2014
viperlush in Chains

Central Square Dumpling Festival

Never heard of it before.

Sep 28, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

"I Don't Cook"

I wish I could say that.

Sep 27, 2014
viperlush in General Topics

What did I eat at Russo's

Was it the cream brioche? Sprinkled with powdered sugar and boston cream like blob in the center? Looks kind of like a sweet fried egg?

Sep 27, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

Cha Yen Thai, Watertown

I have now ordered take out twice. The first time was pineapples fried rice and pad see ew. Enjoyed both. Good amount of Chinese broccoli and the noodles weren't clumpy in the see ew.
The second time I orders the corn cakes and the tofu pad thai. Good portion of corn cakes (6ish?) And still hot and crispy when I got home. Main problem was that the corn kernels were very sticky. It was hard to get them off my teeth. The pad thai was really bland. Assorted under cooked veggies (zucchini, carrot, string bean, mushroom, broccoli), the noodles were one big clump, no lime, etc.

Sep 24, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

How do I replace Hamersley's as my "go to" special occasion restaurant? (Very detailed list of criteria inside!)

Maybe you need to change your "City". NYC, Portland, Providence, etc are all doable if you are willing to spend the night. It might be worth the extra time/distance to get what you want.

Sep 19, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

New Strip T's Thread for 2013:Excellence and Innovation Continue

Interesting. When we called to make reservations it was "I'm sorry, but we stopped taking reservations. But we do now have an all day menu and have our sandwiches for dinner".

Last night at 7 pm we tried going to Cafe Sushi and it was a 45 min wait without a reservation. Maybe we should have tried Strip T's instead.

Sep 19, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

September 2014 Openings and Closings

Dolphin Seafood on Mass Ave is closed.

The Star on Mt Auburn now had a Starbucks inside.

And don't know when they changed, but Strip T's no longer takes reservations.

Sep 18, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

New Strip T's Thread for 2013:Excellence and Innovation Continue

It is a PITA. We called yesterday to make two reservations for Oct and couldn't. It's frustrating because both Highland Kitchen and Strip T's are places I know my guests would enjoy, but I can't risk a long wait.

Sep 17, 2014
viperlush in Greater Boston Area

Table salt free diet and eating out

But to answer your OP it's hard to eat salt free in restaurants. Salads with the dressing on the side and other raw veggie based dishes veggie based sushi, summer rolls, etc). Avoid pickled veggies and anything that is cooked in bulk (stews, soup, pasta/grain based salads, etc) because they will have salt in them. Instead of fried rice, nicely ask if they can prepare you stir fried veggies with tofu (check to make sure salt free). Just remember not to use soy sauce. Maybe find some vegan restaurants in your area. At a bakery or coffee shop stick to black coffee (unless non dairy substitutes are ok) or flavored iced tea. Most baked goods have dairy and/or salt added. Instead of meeting friends out, host them so you have more control over the menu. Ask the doctor or nutritionist who recommended this diet for any recipe suggestions or websites. And remember that there are some fellow Chowhounds dealing with doctor ordered restrictive diets.

Sep 17, 2014
viperlush in Special Diets

Table salt free diet and eating out

I just want to know if a strawberry pop tart equals one or two servings of fruit.

Table salt free diet and eating out

Sliders from White Castle= fast food

White Castle sliders from the freezer section at the grocery store heated up in toaster oven= home cooking?