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How to Eat Larb Gai?

Laab kai(excuse the transliteration) doesn't, traditionally, come with sticky rice, "soup," and chopped vegetables; this sounds more like a permutation of a miang. Larp Gai is typically minced chicken, ground, roasted rice, thai bird chiles, cabbage, cilantro dressed with a sauce containing at least lime juice, nam pla, sugar. You eat it with a fork.

Sep 30, 2009
aelph in General Midwest Archive

Does it bother you if the Chef comes into the dining room without a hairnet?

I work in the industry and my board of health requires hair restraints a la ball-caps or visors even for one such as myself who shaves his head. Over-zealous imo, c'est la vie.

Mar 05, 2009
aelph in Not About Food

Best Thai food in Indianapolis?

Thai Cafe' is horrendous. Thai Spice, however offers the best Thai food in the Indianapolis area. After lamenting the crap I've encountered at Thai Cafe and Taste of Thai to a Hmong-American friend, she and her husband introduced my partner and I to Thai Spice in Greenwood. Um...we didn't try their pad thai; frankly, pad thai...as good as it can be is not the yardstick by which I measure a new(to me) Thai place. I'm a Chicago transplant and having enjoyed the plethora of authentic Thai cuisines that city offers, Thai Spice easily ranks with the better Chicago Ameri-Thai joints: Opart, Roong(RIP), Rosded,
Amarit. It's no TAC, Spoon, or Sticky Rice, but it excels midrange.

Feb 10, 2009
aelph in General Midwest Archive

Do bulk bins every get cleaned?

as mentioned earlier...a customer won't necessarily see the bins being cleaned: core-staff typically arrives hours before a store opens...all major cleaning is done after closing or pre-opening

and, second the observation, customers and their children can be pigs

Feb 10, 2009
aelph in Not About Food

(IN) L'Explorateur - ohmygosh

I've been a longtime champion of L'Explorateur as exemplar of possible Indianapolis cultures and great, playful cuisine. I already knew Chef Brown was looking for
a spot downtown, but awakening early morning for my TFM shift last week, I switched on the news, and heard of the imminent close. The hearts of Indianapolis are workers like Brown...everything else is wings, and wraps, and bibles. Someone has to combat the banal.

Feb 08, 2009
aelph in Great Lakes

Is "waitron" intended to be demeaning?

Absolutely! Excellent reply. More genders, less sexes. And, I find "waitron" demeaning intellectually and socially. Such an idiotic term.

Aug 06, 2008
aelph in Not About Food

Ruby Tuesday's: So Very So-So

A miffed fan of Ruby Tuesday? I don't quite get the irritation in your post. We ordered margaritas because we felt like it and certainly didn't expect great ones...just drinks that tasted as if they had alcohol in them. BTW you are assuming the orderer of, yes indeed, coconut shrimp, is my mother-in-law when in fact she isn't...gay marriage being illegal in most of the country.

Jul 28, 2008
aelph in Chains

Molecular Gastronomy hits Columbus Ohio

Actually as per Midwest molecular gastronomy, Chef Neal Brown has been incorporating foams and anti-griddle work at L'Explorateur in Indianapolis for several years now. And I loved his sweetbreads with bone marrow ice cream a couple of Winters ago.

Jul 28, 2008
aelph in Food Media & News

Do you like chow chow?

I love that you mention Antone's!

They're not as good as they used to be, but then what is?

The secret ingredient in an Antone's Original is chow-chow which is why I keep a bottle on hand(I'm a Texan at heart, but live in the North) for whenever the mood strikes.

Long live Antone's!

Jul 01, 2008
aelph in General Topics

Thai or Pizza takeout near Palmer House

As long as you're fully aware that none of the Thai places mentioned represent the truly good stuff in Chicago...I'd go with Amarit for typical Thai fare done with competency.

Jun 12, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Returning to Chicago this month--all my favorites are out of business

Aru(i)n's? Are you kidding? Ol' Mang; for Thai try(mentioned in other threads you participate in): TAC, Sticky Rice, Spoon Thai, Opart, Rosded, Elephant Thai...

Jun 06, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Looking for an easy Thai style stir fry....

my experience, exactly

Jun 04, 2008
aelph in Home Cooking

Steak "resting" done correctly??

I don't need my steak to be sizzling hot...room temp. or slightly above is fine. As opined upthread...warm some plates and reserve your steaks on those.

Jun 04, 2008
aelph in Home Cooking

Looking for an easy Thai style stir fry....

:)

Since "discovering" curry pastes lo' these many years ago I came to the conclusion that many mediocre Thai restaurants do exactly that; pop open a tub of Mae Ploy(etc) and there you have it...

Well, I can open a can with the best of them...

for a quick curry I do pretty much as I've posted above excepting certain Thai curries that are either coconut milk-less or the ones where you don't break the cream

I like my veggies crunchy, too...so put the fragile ones in right near the end

my biggest hurdle was getting the taters(and meat) just right(if using) and...duh...I struck upon parboiling the spuds

you are correct...in that you don't want to boil a Thai curry anyway...that goes doubly for white meat chicken...

Jun 04, 2008
aelph in Home Cooking

Looking for an easy Thai style stir fry....

...not necessarily a "stirfry," but with the ingredients listed: slice chicken(I'm assuming breast) on the bias and further chop to uniform size, chop vegetables to uniform size(parboil potatoes if using and set aside), fry curry paste in coconut cream(scooped from top of coconut milk can) until broken(this is only good for some curries), add coconut milk and water to desired consistency, add vegetables and chicken, cook through, season with nam pla, salt, fresh lime juice etc. An even better bet is to "adulterate" the canned curry paste mirroring it with the *fresh* aromatics already included in the paste(kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal...)

I think TJ's simmer sauces are total crap, btw. You are better going with Maesri, Mae Ploy, or Taste of Thai curry pastes in that order.

Jun 04, 2008
aelph in Home Cooking

"Preserving the Organic Integrity of Food" - Tell me why I shouldn't snicker.

Hah! I was fixin' to mention just that: Todd Hayne's Safe is an amazing film made even moreso for it's presience vis a vis "orthorexia" psychosis. And, I too, have seen people with major illness sadly compound their suffering with magical thinking and snake oil.

Jun 03, 2008
aelph in Not About Food

Mexican?

Not all Mexican food in Texas is Tex-Mex. You appear to be confusing the fresh, contemporary Mexican food of Central Texas with Tex-Mex.

To the OP: there is a wider variety of Mexican cuisines to be found in Chicago in neighborhoods such as Pilsen and Little Village than that seen in Austin environs.

As for Tex-Mex: Chicago basically has one "specialized" restaurant and that's part of the Uncle Julio's chain.

Jun 03, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Thai around Clark and Fullerton?

I think jseteifn and I are on the same page re: if Sura's truly great then there's always room for more at the table.

Jun 02, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Thai around Clark and Fullerton?

Instead of couching your reply in the context above you simply say Sura "has the best and most authentic Thai..."

You then go on to criticize it's IMO idiotically clubby ambience(always a good sign when a Thai restaurant relies on Mod design and fusion dishes to attract that oh so discerning clientele).

You also offer that Seattle is a "Thai mecca."

Not to my knowledge. Portland has the anomaly Pok-Pok, aside from that the Pacific Northwest is not a haven for great Thai. LA, some Bay Area, a scattering of restos in the boroughs, and of course Chicago.

So...maybe Sura is the best bet for Thai in the OP's area request; there's plenty of awful Ameri-(pad)Thai in Chicago outside the number of truly great places. When I look at their menu and I read "fusion" and I see that execrable early-00's bandwagonesque interior I cringe.

TAC...within the OP's reach has a contemporary feel without bludgeoning the diner over the head AND an exemplary, cheap menu.

I stand by my original question, though; have you eaten at any of the restaurants I list while still declaring Sura tops?

I'd love to add another great Thai joint to Chicago's plethora(I can overlook the furniture if the food's worthwhile).

Jun 02, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Thai around Clark and Fullerton?

Sura, really? (clubby Thai-fusion equals "authentic" to you?)

Have you eaten at Spoon, TAC, Sticky Rice, Opart, Rosded, or Elephant Thai?

Jun 02, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Short girls visit to chicago

Taking a look at the online dinner menu I see ten dishes designated with a chile pepper symbol out of a pretty extensive listing. Steer away from those and you'd still have a ton of things to choose from.

May 31, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Short girls visit to chicago

Take this as you may, but you're the first person I've ever read describe H7's food as spicy hot. Most think it's relatively bland. Further it's a misnomer that cajun/creole cuisine, in general, should be spicy hot. H7 tends to gear their food for a common Midwestern palate and leave the chile heat up to the patron by providing tables laden with chile sauces. I'm sure there's something lurking on the menu somewhere that's a mouth-scorcher, but I've never found it. It's not the po-boys, the orzofee', or the andouilles, that's for sure.

May 31, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Short girls visit to chicago

I prefer "vertically-challenged."

May 29, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Chicago food review (including deep dish pizza)

Wow. You've been getting some kneejerk replies(not that I necessarily disagree with many of them). You stated on your earlier thread that you were in the market for easily-accessible, "affordable," mainstream eats. Kudos for trying a plethora of Chicago deep dish pizzas. As others opine, any "lunch-size" pie isn't the way to go at any of these places. I'm sorry you got suckered in by Chipotle and Burrito Beach(I've never patronized a BB, but with a name like that...feh). Honey 1 has a huge following and you are correct that it is the antithesis of Chicago-esque and corporate-style meat jello.

Well...there's always a future visit, right?

May 28, 2008
aelph in Chicago Area

Whole Foods made me go ick!

Though hope springs eternal, I have never genuinely liked Whole Foods. This apprehension dates back to shopping an early-80's incarnation in Houston on Alabama...the essential vitamin-reeking, "healthy," zealot-friendly warren. Depending on the store they might have good cheeses(I was once acquainted with the Chicago fromager for WF). Just this weekend I picked up some beautiful whole trout from an Indianapolis location. These pleasant experiences are far outweighed by the negative: assy, clique-ish employees, bland(to put it mildly) prepared foods, meat counters overpriced and reeking of rot, moldy, desultorily inventoried and packaged cheeses, poorly designed stores. Even the former Wild Oats now WF where I purchased my pristine fish has a plebian cheese counter(and a noted disinterest among it's staff) AND upon conversion swapped out Sahara, a decent hummus/baba ghanoush purveyor, for their crappy house brand. They've also ditched locally-produced, better breads for those WF(ugh...that pisstake of a baguette!). More reasons not to shop there.

May 26, 2008
aelph in Chains

Eggs for breakfast?

very interesting, thank you :)

May 22, 2008
aelph in General Topics

Oprah's Show on Past Life Regression and Phobias with Food..

I've always had this irrational love of kool-aid. Good stuff. I often dream of a paradise in Guyana.

May 21, 2008
aelph in Food Media & News

dr. pepper

Are you saying that Dr. Pepper is a super-caffeinated soda like Jolt or Mountain Dew? I've been drinking Dr. Pepper for decades and have never seen that comparison made; as far as I know it's similar in caffeine content to Coke or Pepsi.

May 20, 2008
aelph in General Topics

Will he die?

...was anyone questioning the spelling?(I realized I cocked-up the name earlier, but really didn't think it mattered---and no one else did either, apparently---...so I didn't bother editing it)...

May 14, 2008
aelph in General Topics

Will he die?

I agree with you about the lack of food waste(tho' it was Bucco...)...however...regardless of rigid guidelines, possible over-stringency when it comes to food contamination...regardless, how can someone be so clueless about basic food safety? Not to mention why someone(who apparently makes a decent salary and can afford fresh food, etc.) would eat old, old remnants. It must crossover into other neuroses? Be THAT as it may, I think the "fratboy" argument offered above is bunk...it's not cute or endearing that someone, irrespective of gender, reaches a certain age and treats food and his or her body the way this guy does...

off-putting to say the least

May 13, 2008
aelph in General Topics