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Nutraxfornerves's Profile

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Fine dining in Sacramento (Tasting menu a plus)

Biba does prix fixe: However, if they aren't familiar with Italian food, this might not be the best choice.

Firehouse has a tasting menu

Warboy, on a weekday, and early ion the evening might be good--if the waitstaff have time to talk with you. It is less heavy-duty than Biba or the Firehouse, if you get my meaning.

For any of the places on your list, you could call ahead and chat and ask about picking a menu, based on what your parents like. My guess is that this would be interesting enough that you'd find someone who would love to work with you.

Jul 07, 2015
Nutraxfornerves in California

Favorite things to buy at Nugget Market

I had an interesting experience the other day in one of the Davis Nuggets, where I'd never shopped before. The meat department had relatively little meat, and was rather devoid of the sausages & marinated chicken as well. I didn't ask about it, but my guess is that, Davis being Davis, meat doesn't sell well. So much for my plan to get a marinated chicken to barbecue.

On the other hand, I got fabulous service. I specifically wanted to get a bag of their croutons. These are unseasoned, made from odds & ends of unsold bread, so they are a mixture of white, wheat, rye, whatever. I love them.

Anyway, I didn't see them, so I asked someone working in the area. She offered to go in the back & see what the deal was. That's day's batch was still being made and would be out in about 10 minutes. She offered to score a couple of bags for me as soon as they came out, while I finished shopping. Sure 'nuff, the bags were there when I returned, right on the counter where she said she'd put them. Not only that, but the store had just made an announcement about a new cheese they were carrying. I asked about it, she took me right to it and suggested some ways to use it. (This stuff: https://franklinscheesedotcom.wordpre...)

May 24, 2015
Nutraxfornerves in California

Brining rant...

I've had good luck with brining, but it seems to work best with whole chickens or large pieces. Breasts have sometimes come out too salty; legs & thighs are better. I find that I do have to balance brine strength with length of time. Longer soak, weaker brine. CI has recipes for quick brining with strong brines. I've had occasional problems with that.

One possibility--with Kosher salt, which brand are you using? I don't know where you live, but the two major US brands, Morton & Diamond measure differently. A cup of Diamond equals ⅔ cup of Morton.

I also make sure to rinse the chicken thoroughly after brining. And rinse again.

May 24, 2015
Nutraxfornerves in Home Cooking

What to do wit beef broth?

Thanks. A lot of good stuff here that I will keep, especially since most of it went into the freezer.

I actually am doing a short rib braise. I was also starting the onion soup, so I cooked more onion than I wanted. The excess joined the short ribs in the braise, along with some of the broth. The ribs are now in the fridge, so the fat can solidify & I can remove it.

When I do onion soup, I make it brothier than I want. I remove the excess broth & use it for French dip. Gotta hit the right place for sourdough rolls and thin sliced roast beef

Stroganoff. Hand't thought of that, but it's obvious now. Mushroom risotto. Me crave now.

May 23, 2015
Nutraxfornerves in Home Cooking

What to do wit beef broth?

Whenever I'm in a supermarket, I cruise the meat department looking for those deeply discounted "OMG we gotta sell this today before it expires" packages. I specifically look for things that can be used to make broth, and throw them into the freezer. The other day, I decided that my collection of beef necks, shanks and oxtails ad gotten too large and proceeded to make a vat of broth.

You know how, every so often, an endeavor like this turns out perfect? This was one of those times. It's one of the best beef broths I've ever made. Rich and beefy, just the right amount of seasoning and gelatin. So, I'm looking for idea of what to do with it. Yes, I know all sorts of recipes that use beef broth, but I'd like to showcase the really beefy taste of this one. I can always freeze it, and I will freeze some, but, what else?.

French onion soup, obviously. I have this one mastered. Other soups, except for pho, don't really put the broth up front. I looked at Julia Child's recipes for master French sauces. Most of them seem to be based on a broth that is more veal & less beef than this, although there is an intriguing sauce with port for a roast.

Anyone got a killer beef noodle soup? Rice noodle soup? A pot roast or braise where the sauce is a star? A risotto?

May 22, 2015
Nutraxfornerves in Home Cooking

Favorite things to buy at Nugget Market

I shop at the West Sacramento store a lot.

I like the house-made sausages and the marinated chicken. They have a lot of organic products and vegan alternatives to staples, such as mayonnaise. All sorts of brands of eggs, ranging from supermarket standard to free range organic. . Clover dairy products. Great cheese selection. Last fall they were selling a Brussels sprout salad that I fell in love with.

They make some great whole grain breads. Terrific wine selection, with in-store tastings on occasion.

They like to go local when they can--last summer they sold tomatoes form a local community garden.

They have a "secret special" each week, usually available on only one day. If you sign up for their email weekly specials, it includes a bar code for the special, that is read at checkout. I've seen half off organic chicken, 30% off all bourbon, and similar discounts on everything from San Marzano tomatoes to pet food.

Stores do vary on what they carry, depending on the store size & location. Larger stores have soup & salad bars. The West Sac. store has a breakfast bar that converts to Chinese food at lunchtime.

May 02, 2015
Nutraxfornerves in California

Arguello, Presidio [San Francisco]

Service at Commissary was great. There was a pork paté on the menu that interested me, but I absolutely despise liver. The server went back to the kitchen and asked about ingredients. There was indeed liver and she worked with me to find something else.

Teetotaler Auntie said that water was fine, thank you, and no attempt was made to upsell her.

The balance between attentiveness and let-the-customers-alone was about right. We were neither ignored nor pestered.

Arguello, Presidio [San Francisco]

A report:
If you want to dine at a restaurant, it is a good idea to verify that the place is actually open on the day you plan to eat there. So, we wound up at the Commissary instead. Limited lunch menu, but very good. The mushroom soup was wonderful. Very mushroom-y without being overwhelmingly so. Garnished with great croutons and flavorful chewy bites of I-wish-I-knew-what-kind-of-mushrooms-these-are.

Arguello, Presidio [San Francisco]

I'm heading to SF next week to have lunch with my aunt. Auntie wants to try Arguello in the Presidio, because she's heard a lot about it. Auntie is pushing 90, so if Arguello she wants, Arguello she gets. Auntie also has the energy of someone 20 years younger and is not a picky eater. She does, however, have a small appetite. Me, I'll try anything. I'm buying so Auntie can order whatever she wants, and leave half on her plate if she gets full. I don't care.
I'd like to get a feel for the place, from those who have been there, so I can steer Auntie to the good stuff. What would you recommend? Or recommend against? Auntie is a teetotaler. Is there some concoction that I could urge her to try? Is there some concoction that I, a non-teetotaler who will not be driving, should check out? What are the portions like? (Yelpers are complaining about the size, I see.)

Delivery service options in Sacramento for a housebound relative

I can't vouch for them, but Edible Pedal is a relatively new service. Delivery by bicycle. Not a lot of clients, but some good ones. They even have a couple of CSAs and a pet store on the list. The web site is not very useful about how to place an order, but you could contact them.

Dec 29, 2014
Nutraxfornerves in California

Breakfast more or less near the Ferry Building [San Francisco]

Egad! I am sorry: I forgot to come back and reply.

For assorted reasons, I cannot stray too far from the Ferry Building--I need to be within walking distance--but the 15-20 minute walk is not an issue. When I'm by myself, I do like to sit with the paper and smile at servers as they pour more coffee. A hotel is an idea--they are used to people settling down for breakfast.

Thanks for the suggestions. I shall explore them.

Breakfast more or less near the Ferry Building [San Francisco]

I'm taking AMTRAK's Capitol Corridor to SF, which deposits me at the Ferry Building. I will arrive at some horrible hour in the AM on a Tuesday and have time to kill before I meet friends. So my plan is to turn up only minimally caffeinated and have breakfast. Somewhere.

Last time I tried this, I had breakfast at the MarketBar. Acceptable, but how about another alternative? I'm willing to walk, oh, 15 or 20 minutes for a great meal. I want a sit down place. Don't mind a short wait or even having to make a reservation, but don't want to stand in line forever.

No allergy or dietary restrictions. Just a place that will accommodate me, the Chron, a large-ish breakfast, and endless coffee.


Moving to Sacramento

Yes, Corti. Butcher. Deli. Owner who is internationally recognized for his expertise in food & wine.

Sunh Fish

Fruits & veggies? Farmers markets.

The biggest & best is the Sunday market under the freeway.
Besides fruits & veggies, there are some great meat and seafood vendors.

Iranian? Not much of an Iranian community.

Jul 26, 2013
Nutraxfornerves in California

Refugees from Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Get Stuffed site

I stumbled across this post while doing a search to see if anyone has reported on what happened to Thorntree. I've been registered here for years, but rarely use the site.

Dec 25, 2012
Nutraxfornerves in Site Talk

Sunday lunch--Berkeley, near campus

Thank you for the suggestions. e wound up at Henry's and it was perfect for us. A handicapped spot right behind the building and great food. As a bonus, we had a window seat & watched the Berkeley Streets Criterium Bicycle Race go by--it's a loop so the cyclists kept passing by.

I am under orders to "tell those Chowhound people that the fish tacos were the best I have ever tasted." I liked the garlic fries.

The Cal alum was delighted to discover that the bright red urinal in the men's room is the "Stanford Memorial Urinal."

Sunday lunch--Berkeley, near campus

Five people, one of whom uses a wheelchair, will be touring the Cal campus on Sunday. One person is an alumnus who will be revisiting old haunts, but none of us have any recent knowledge of the area. Because of the wheelchair, we don't want to venture too far afield. The youngest person is 55, so we are more interested in the food than the beer.

It's always possible that the alum will want to go to the Bear's LAir, but I'd love some other options. It will probably be a late lunch--2 PM or so.

Meat 'n' potatoes Sacramento?

Thought I'd come back & report. Serves me right for being euphemistic. What I really meant was that one of our party is disabled and tires easily. The slower pace of a more formal place like Morton's wouldn't work. I just used the necktie as a way of describing such a place.

Anyway, we wound up at the Broiler. We pretty much stayed with the tried & true. Steak, lamb chops ,etc. The red meats were cooked as ordered and nicely tender. I really liked the polenta with red pepper. The relative with the meat craving said his steak did indeed hit the spot.

Had an excellent server who understood how to work with disabled customers. Nothing worse than servers who act as if someone in a wheelchair is deaf, blind and imbecile, and won't speak to them directly. Second worse is not realizing that a wheelchair takes up more room than a regular chair and you need to seat the person where there is a lot of space for others to get around.

Jan 20, 2011
Nutraxfornerves in California

Meat 'n' potatoes Sacramento?

Relative is coming for a business meeting near Arden Fair. Wants to meet for dinner and says he is craving a meat 'n' potatoes place, but not a place where he has to wear a necktie. So Ruth's Chris & Mortons aren't going to work.

We are thinking perhaps the Broiler, but would love any other ideas that aren't *too* far from Arden Fair.

Jan 18, 2011
Nutraxfornerves in California

Emeryville dining: A report on Trader Vics

I posted a request for ideas for dining near that Emeryville peninsula near the Bay Bridge. I got a lot of good ideas, but Mr. Nutrax wanted to go to Trader Vic's for nostalgic reasons. Summary: great view, great service, and, uh, they also have food.

They get full marks for service, especially for service to someone in a wheelchair. One of the valets knew exactly how to assist someone to go from car to wheelchair & wheeled Mr. N right in. The hostess did something very courteous & very unusual--she asked if he would use his wheelchair or transfer to one of theirs. She gave us a choice of two tables. At the end of the evening, she moved chairs out of our way & held doors open.

Dinner service was generally very good if a bit leisurely. But it looked like most customers wanted leisurely. The thing to do seems to be to order a big, fruity drink and a combo appetizer plate to enjoy while perusing the menu. The head waiter took one look at us, correctly figured out we were wine-by-the-glass folks and steered us to that part of the drink menu. Not too bad a list.

We had the egg roll appetizer, which turned out to be the best thing we ordered. One giant egg roll, cut in pieces. Very crispy, not greasy, tasty filling. It came with two pedestrian sauces, which seemed to be served with every appetizer--Ye Olde Chinese Restaurant Hot Mustard and something that tasted like a mixture of ketchup & hoisin sauce.

I wanted to try the Bongo Bongo soup, which I had long heard of. It was described as "Veloute of fresh oysters and spinach glazed with cream." It was pretty awful. An unnatural green with little oyster flavor, served in a cute ceramic clam shell. Cream had been poured on top & "glazed" meant "burnt black under a broiler." Mr. N. had the soup du jour, clam chowder. It was very good, thick & creamy with lots of clams.

His "Prawns San Francisco" were OK, if a bit overcooked, but nothing special. I had one of the specials, smoked mong chong. The fish was pretty good, but the accompanying roasted kabocha hadn't spend enough time being roasted. The eggplant with yuzu sauce was dreadful--all you could taste was seriously strong citrus.

We split a cheesecake for dessert. After what we had eaten, we figured we'd avoid any dessert that had a tropical theme. It was a not bad NY style cheesecake with a few fresh raspberries.

But we had a good time anyway. Surroundings were nice, view was great, service attentive, and overall a generally good vibe.

We ate early. By the time we left, the bar was full of folks having those foofy drinks and generally winding down on a Friday night. They looked like they were having a good, but not rowdy, time.

Staying in Emeryville--where to have dinner?

A last minute decision to go to the Cal-Arizona game on Saturday mean that the only lodging we could find was in Emeryville--that cluster of hotels on the spit near the Bay Bridge entrance. Looking for a place for a not-too-fancy dinner (as in don 't dress up & entrees no more than about $25 per person). Mr. Nutrax uses a wheelchair & tires easily, so holes-in-the-wall and places with long lines aren't going to work. He's also a pretty unadventurous eater. but does like Chinese & non-sushi Japanese.

Preferably not more than a 15 minute or so drive from the hotel. Parking is an issue ion that he can't handle a gravel parking lot or a really bad sidewalk, but on the other hand, we can park at a meter without paying as long as we remember the placard.

A bit of Googling gets me Trader Vics and the Hong Kong East Ocean Restaurant‎. I looked at both menus & they would work. Comments on them? How essential are reservations?

San Diego--dining for special needs person

Thank you--guess where we are staying?

May 04, 2008
Nutraxfornerves in California

San Diego--dining for special needs person

My husband & I will be spending several days in SD next week. Due to a medical problem, he uses a wheelchair and tires very easily. I hope you can help with some rather specific issues. Restaurants that would be good, as well as places to avoid would be wonderful. We are staying downtown, but will have a car. I don't think we'll get as far afield as La Jolla.

Because he tires easily, we need to be able to finish a meal in an hour or so. Alas, we can no longer do the leisurely 3 hour romantic dinner. We also can't go to a place where there will be along wait for a table, either because they don't take reservations or because they aren't good about honoring reservations. Prompt service is important. On the other hand, price is not a big issue.

Ideas for places that are better at lunch than at dinner are also welcome.

May 02, 2008
Nutraxfornerves in California

B'fast in Sacto nr. Y and Stockton midtown

Easiest to find: Pancake Circus at 21st & Broadway. (Broadway is the equivalent of Y street.) Old time-y eggs & pancake place with old time-y waitresses. Basic and tasty. Easy freeway access at 15th & X streets. The I-5 south person should take 50 west, connect to t5 south. The Chico person will take 50 west, connect to 5 north, then, a few miles out of town, take 99/70 north.

May 02, 2008
Nutraxfornerves in California

Sunday breakfast/brunch in Sac

Friends are coming through town on Sunday and would like to meet me sometime around noon for lunch or brunch. They are driving from Truckee to SF and don't know Sacramento, so I'd like to find some place that isn't far off highway 80, the 29-30, the W-X, or I-5 (Old Sac, maybe?) Even West Sac will do. Since they cannot predict exactly when they will arrive, I can't make reservations. I'm looking for a place for brunch or lunch that is easy to find and easy to get in without a reservation.

I have some ideas, but I'd love to hear what other folks would do if you had my dilemma.

Apr 13, 2007
Nutraxfornerves in California

Mystic, CT-Westerly, RI and vicinity--lunch & dinner

I've done a search, but I have some more questions.

My SO and I will be staying in Mystic for a week for a family reunion which is being held in Westerly, RI. We will want to have some lunches & dinners on our own while there. He is disabled, uses a wheelchair, and tires easily. We can't do leisurely two hour meals. He loves seafood, but is otherwise pretty unadventurous. So, forget the Thai place everyone seems to rave about. We'll be doing a clambake as part of the reunion, so clambake foods aren't important. I love oysters and will gorge myself whenever I can. We are staying in a place with a kitchen & will cook our own breakfasts.

Based on a search here and other Internet rummaging, S&P Oysters, Go Fish, and Daniel Packer look promising. So does Anthony J's. Anyone who has been to those, can you mentally wander around in a wheelchair? What are the restrooms like? Is service relatively prompt?

What else would you recommend that is within a 20 minute drive or so of Mystic, or is in Westerly? Little Kitchen won't work for us, alas; it sounds wonderful