sundeck sue's Profile

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simple, delicious, local Miami fare

Looking for wonderful meals in Miami (staying in Coral Gables, happy to drive for good food!)--criteria: simple, delicious, local.

While some of the more elaborate menus at places like the Dutch look lovely, we're after simpler preparations using local fish and produce.

Not a fan of small plate dining--prefer a meal of a starter and then main.

Also not into fusion.

Just looking for ingredient-driven food and for ingredients and styles of prep that are particular to Miami (eg. fish caught off that morning off the Florida coast, Farmer's Market produce picked the day before, Cuban or Latin American places).

We ate at Michael's the last time we were in Miami While it was clearly great for what it does and obviously makes creative use of what's local, we found it a bit "ungepatchked"--fussy-- for our tastes; and there was the business of small plates.

Sign me, "New England Milltown Girl now living in the Bay Area"!

about 22 hours ago
sundeck sue in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Bustelo Expresso----Where to buy in the SF Area

Rebeccakinney: Some seriously good shopping!

Clams or oysters for a big batch of chowda

Thanks for this. Called Costco; and none of the 6 Costco warehouses in the greater Bay Area stocks it (the closest that does, too far to make sense, Cal Expo in Sacramento). And no business or nonprofit ties, alas.

Clams or oysters for a big batch of chowda

Where in the East Bay (Berkeley/Oakland and environs) can you find large, reasonably priced cans of clams or jars of oysters to use in chowder for a crowd?

east bay search: cellophane bags and paper hand towels

Where in Berkeley/Oakland/Emeryville/El Cerrito might I find the following for a big party:

cellophane bags for cookies (for party favors)

colored disposable paper hand towels to put in the guest bathroom.

Trying to avoid Amazon and shop local--and/but looking for good deals!

What is the best restaurant where the waitstaff does the most obnoxious birthday celebration?

Chevy's gets pretty goofy--the whole staff dancing and singing and putting a sombrero on the birthday girl--at least how I remember it when our kids were little and loved it!

Ottolenghi in San Francisco Oct 2014

I believe I read that he'll be at both Book Passages and Omnivore, for his new book (Plenty More)--in a quick search I didn't find the particulars--contact both shops for details?

Pupusas : SFBA Dish of the Month September 2014

Had pupusas at the Kensington Farmer's Market (a sweet market for those looking for new ones to try) Sunday. Thumbs up. They were already out of meat (a sell-out makes me think I should go back to see what the fuss is about....). But I thought the cheese were well done. Not greasy, a lovely balance of flavors with a good curtido and salsa (they give you two tubs--I didn't love the red, which seemed a bit harsh [burned chiles?]--but the tomatillo salsa was perfect, a lovely topping for the creamy filled pouch and fresh, vinegar-y slaw.)

CT apples in late Aug/early Sept

Totally melting! But up til now (steamy Sept...) it's been a coolish summer--& read somewhere that that means early apples. Thanx 4 guide.

CT apples in late Aug/early Sept

I heart Macouns! Has anyone seen any yet (I gather it's an early season, given cool temps)? If yes, where?

CT apples in late Aug/early Sept

Although I still have some peaches in my fridge, feels like it's time to turn to local apples.

Best places to get them in Litchfield/Fairfield CT counties?

Would also be interested in some of your favorite varieties.

SFO T2 (Terminal 2) Grand Opening - Anyone get anything to eat there?

Writing three years and a month and a half later doesn't exactly constitute a reply to the posting above.

Went to Lark Creek Cafe because of a SF Weekly review that touted their fish sandwich as the best thing in the airport and because BART was speedy, and we got through security in about a minute--so lots of time before we had to board.

Fish sandwich, ordered by my husband, was, indeed, good (over-cooked to me, but not him--a perennial marital divide--a nice roll and tartar sauce and a good little salad as accompaniment). He also got clam chowder, which he deemed OK, albeit not very clammy.

But my $20+ shrimp louie arrived with tough, browning outside leaves of an old head of lettuce that even a beginner salad cook would know go directly to the compost bin or pet rabbit. I hailed the waiter. He took it back with no protest but no real apology either. After a while (not quickly--by now my husband was done) a new salad appeared, with beautiful butter lettuce and all the louie fixings. But overdressed. By a lot. I just ate it at that point (has anyone ever sent something back twice?), spearing and shaking dressing as best I could off baby shrimp. No waiter or manager stopped by to check in, given the earlier problem. And there was no adjustment on the bill or offer to comp a sweet.

Mexican in the Mission [San Francisco]

dinner. happy to walk a bit (though not all the way to 24th st--maybe to 20th).

Family gathering in Berkeley: restaurant and caterer ideas, please

Friends have used/loved local chef/cooking teacher/cookbook-author/caterer Linda Carucci 510-482-6462.

Mexican in the Mission [San Francisco]

Favorite Mexican for 8 people, near 18th & Valencia/Mission? And what's your favorite thing to order there?

Chinese Restaurants in SF Proper that have no or low corkage?

Would you pick The Garden over R&G for a banquet for 50?

Anyplace else in Chinatown/FiDi even better?

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton

p.s. I realize the diner does sound more mixed than positive, as I read what I wrote--at the same time, we enjoyed it (the goods were really good) and mean it about returning!

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton

Don't know other places in Millerton, other than Harney Tea, as described by others on this thread. I've only had their tea--no food.

My favorite area spot is Chaiwalla Tea Room in Salisbury, just two towns over, across the CT border. Amazing tomato pie, lovely sandwiches and salads, very good cakes--and of course, an excellent tea list!

Iconic CT foods

Re not being sure term grinder is used outside CT:

Grew up in MA. We had grinders!

Lobster Price Watch for SW CT

Along with the tented parking lot: over-cooked crustaceons (my beef [sic] with all these places that will cook for you--though they don't offer seating or a full meal, the Big Y, also happy to do the dubious honors of over-kill for too long in a steamer).

Should have said that the lobsters I've gotten @ the $4.99 price from Stew's this summer have all been soft-shells, so less to eat.

Lobster Price Watch for SW CT

Stew Leonard's has had them for $4.99 on and off this summer--and very good ones (lively, delicious--if you can put up with singing cows, the fish counter is better than the Big Y's, where at least at the New Milford store, the quality and freshness has been mixed this summer).

I see Stew doesn't have the $4.99 lobster special this week. They did last week; and I bet, given the holiday, they'll go down then. Pretty sure last summer Stew's had them for $3.99 over Labor Day.

CT Arethusa and Community Table report

LOL re affectionate cow. And thanks--will note those ice cream tips--and try that milk again for sure!

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton

Great-looking diner.

And some good food. Had a lovely kale + pesto + goat cheese sandwich on wonderful whole-grain bread, w/ a side of kimchee.

On another visit, my husband thought his burger was good, not great (a bit more done than he likes or asked for). And I thought my vegie omelet was similarly fine, but nothing to write home about (not sure vegie omelets have that write-home-about potential anyway).

Very good coffee. Blueberry pie plus-minus--filling lovely, but crust not butter-y (a little cardboard-y).

Service also plus-minus. Nice folks. A bit slow.

Yet and still, one of the better diners I've been to in these parts! Will for sure be back.

CT Arethusa and Community Table report

I've tried Arethusa's milk, but can't tell the difference from other milk! Clearly, not a discerning palate, at least in this department. Would love to know how you characterize what's special about theirs, as opposed to others, so I can see if I can taste the difference.

And I just tried Arethusa's butter pecan and didn't like it at all--too sweet, cloying almost. And I had a taste of their seasonal peach, which I thought was terrible--again, too sweet and not very peachy.

Fish store/truck in driving distance of Sherman CT

I worried a tad, reading Junescook's post re West Shore Seafood. And sure enough. We went back tonight. Not a happiness.

The fried clams were still great. Ditto shrimp cocktail.

But it took forever and a day to get our main courses.

We got clam chowder, which wasn't very hot (we asked them to heat it up, which they did, cheerfully, but not apologetically). The broth was thick/gummy and under-salted (better than over....); and it wasn't very clammy. The fries with the fried clams, which last time were first-rate, were soggy. And maybe worst of all, the lobster roll was awful--not much lobster, too much butter, the main taste sensation: greasy.

Go figure....

Doughnut Dolly, Berkeley

I'm a fan of the naughty (creme fraiche) doughnuts--worth $3 and better than those sold elsewhere!

THE BEST SW CT Farmer's Markets

Would that I knew my CT geography better, but will try to weigh in and hope it's relevant/helpful.

It's probably already past time for many of the Sat Farmer's Markets (usually AM til early afternoon). I've been to ones in Litchfield and New Milford and like both (expensive and only partly organic, speaking as someone used to lower California prices and ready access to organic produce!).

Some farm stands I like: Sullivan Farms on 202 just outside New Milford, en route to Litchfield--and a new one, Clatter Valley Farm, on Rte 7, in New Milford, just past the 202 intersection, if you're heading to Kent.

But if you're driving in the country, at this time of year, you should "bump into" other farm stands--and you probably can't go wrong. Have fun!

New Farm stand on Rte 7 in New Milford

Three days ago, Clatter Valley Farm got the go-ahead from local authorities to set up a farm stand on Rte 7--if you're driving from New Milford to Kent, it's just a little way past the 202 intersection, on the right, next to the apparently abandoned Sclafani's sandwich stand. The farm stand was tended today by one of the farmers, a nice woman, minding her chubby 19 month old daughter with fabulous red hair, while tending to customers. They had good corn, tomatoes, cukes, onion, lettuce, cauliflower--and good-looking peaches from a farm in Washington. The prices were quite reasonable. I didn't think to ask their hours, but I drove by around 5 pm and came screeching to a stop (not really--but I was surprised and happy). They had brochures for their CSA. www.clattervalleyfarm.com

Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

I think the fish truck guy went into real estate (a parable for our times...). But he evidently didn't sell the business, if he ever owned it. I liked him--Anton something--and loved his Captain's Cut scrod.

There is a fish stand on 202, between New Milford and Bantam, behind a gun shop--but the prices are way higher, the quality less terrific, the sellers a bit stand-off-ish, the provenance of the catch more variable (to be fair, Anton had some non-New England fish too, but we only got the stuff he drove up to Maine for each week, freshly caught; and you could taste that, boy).

There's also evidently a fish truck in Kent, which we've yet to get to. Ditto a fish store in Morris, off 202, on Bantam Lake Rd., West Shore Seafood (we just found this place and have had their fried clams and lobster rolls, which we loved, but not yet fish from the store).

As for farm on Rte 7--I can't remember the name (sigh). Maybe in Brookfield, not far from the flea market, on the opposite side of the road. Just remember that at a particular moment in the summer, they had amazing melons.

Mamie's, Roxbury

Stopped in for lunch today @ Mamie's in Roxbury. I love the location and building and decor. The place is so New England. The menu always sounds wonderful. I even love the name. I so want to love it.

But as has been the case in the past, it wasn't all I hoped for.

Service was fine.

Lobster roll special and gazpacho soup of the day were tempting.

But I was more intrigued by the Bacon, Lettuce, and Fried Green Tomato sandwich on whole-grain toast. I ordered it with salad, not fries (a modicum of restraint + fried veg in the sandwich, though it did occur to me I was maybe doing salad two ways as opposed to two things fried).

I am a BLT fan; and the concept of using fried green as opposed to fresh red tomatoes caught my fancy. The sandwich was clearly freshly made--the fried green tomatoes, hot off the grill--too hot to eat at first. And the sandwich was a tower, beautiful to behold, with stacks upon stacks of the tomatoes, some lettuce, and shards of bacon. And the individual parts were great--amazing bacon, perfectly fried (from a local farm?), perfectly fried tomatoes that were a beautiful shade of pale green,wonderfully fresh leaves of lettuce, good mayo, great bread (I didn't ask its provenance--I know they bake delicious old-fashioned sweets--don't know if they bake their own bread).

But my tower fell.

It was too tall to bite into--and the layers weren't melded, so they started to fall out, before I tried to bite it, when I tried to pick it up. It was also too tall to cut easily (and large pieces of crisp bacon don't cut).

And in terms of taste--compared to ripe, raw tomatoes, the sweetness of the green tomatoes were not strong enough, fried green tomatoes not juicy enough--and the fried coating of the tomatoes felt like gilding the lily of the fried bacon (by the end, I felt just a touch of the queasiness you can get when you eat a lot of fried stuff). And it was a little bland and dry. I added salt, which didn't do much. It didn't come together.

A serviceable diner-type BLT can definitely be improved upon. It becomes positively brilliant when you go out of your way to include terrific ingredients: heirloom tomatoes, just-picked lettuce, bacon from happy pigs, bread from a great bakery, home-made mayo.

But in terms of the concept, maybe the message is: don't mess with perfection--a classic is a classic for a reason.