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himbeer's Profile

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Should we rethink tipping?

I think the starbucks case was reversed because the "managers" main duties were the same as the barristas.

I have always hated tipping [although i always check the bill when my mom is paying to tell her what to leave]. it seems unfair to me that a waitress in a diner works just as hard as a waiter at a pricier resto, but her tips are usually limited by the cheapness of the dishes, while the waiter benefits from the higher meal price.

In san fran, they make the high minimum wage, so I'm thinking of lowering my tip.

If insufficient tipping leads to shoddy service, find another job.

Jun 17, 2009
himbeer in Not About Food

What should I teach middle schoolers to do in the kitchen?

remember that episode of roseanne barr when she took the schoolkids to the grocery store and then had them make dinner?

a quick meal that they could make for the whole family, like spaghetti carbonara. cheese quesadillas. gazpacho.

Jun 06, 2009
himbeer in General Topics

Good eats in and around the Portola District of SF?

I haven't been in a few years, but Bravo Pizza at geneva/mission has pizza and huge italian dishes.

San Francisco fish suggestions, moderately priced?

yes, swan oyster depot is just counter seating. and I thought they were mostly cold salads?

there is also hyde street seafood house and raw bar. their specialty is en papillote.

Pacific Cafe is way out there and isn't stellar and doesn't take reservations, but they serve you free wine whilst you wait.

Sunday dinner tonight w/ kids

too late, but does luella at hyde and green still do a special sunday dinner for kids? take a cab, it will be cheaper. otherwise an italian restaurant isn't decent unless they welcome the kids.

Joong/Zongzi - East Bay?

My Chinese landlady called me once to see if I was at home. She wanted to bring me some tomalley?! She was saying tamale.

I had never had one before. It was a mysterious new treat and I loved it so much I ate a second one right after the first. She used smoked pork [actually the only smoked meat I like] and no peanuts. Last year a friend gave me some of his mom's: peanuts, okay, sausage good.

I haven't bought any in a store because of the varieties/language barrier. but to me it is an international soul food.

Any rustic "caveman tech" gadgets in your kitchen?

Off the top of my head, I know I've used one of those old vise apple peelers. Does anybody still use those old egg poaching pans?

I use a beer bottle to pound chicken breasts. Which I empty first by taking off the bottle cap with a key.

May 23, 2009
himbeer in Cookware

Help me win a "best burger" cookoff!

So you don't want to be the first to try a slice of watermelon on the burger? I use a bbq sauce with beer, hoisin sauce, green onions, etc.that I imagine would be tasty on a burger. Or introduce them to Pittsburgh style and put fries on top. Or you could go out on a limb and try some Indian or Pakistani hamburger variations. An Indian friend once hosted a dinner for a group of friends and we kept saying are there any more of those patties?

Glad to know that it is not just me who dislikes meatloaf even though I love burgers and meatballs. And Joe's specials and sloppy joes.

May 23, 2009
himbeer in Home Cooking

Worms in my cod

We indeed use worms to catch fish, but I admit I stopped eating swordfish after hearing how prevalent worms were in them.

Was wary of pork after learning about trichinosis. Then pork was the safe meat after the mad cow scare. I did read years ago about a young boy raised kosher getting infected with a pork parasite because his nanny was a pork eater.

I don't eat raw fish, raw meat or undercooked either. If that duck breast is dripping blood, cook it for longer please. Although I find myself liking my steaks juicier these days.

Raw oysters can harbor the vibrio bacterium, which is uncomfortable and sometimes fatal.

If your state still allows you to use leaded bullets, please remove them before serving the venison or pheasant to your guests.

May 23, 2009
himbeer in General Topics

Salted Butter Confession

Margarine upbringing also. As I got older, I bought whipped butter for my dinner rolls.

I am a salt fiend, but I did switch to unsalted butter to allow for others' personal preferences. cuz the salt shaker is right there.

Unless I am following a specific recipe, I usually don't add salt in the cooking process. So yes, I salt before tasting because if it is my own cooking there is no salt added yet. And steaks and fries just soak in the salt and can take another shake.

I could go off on the tangent of my weird likes/dislikes of butter + food combos. Not on toast or seafood or my steak. Yes on corn, popcorn, rice and pasta and untoasted bread. Lol and it is either butter or jam on the bread, not both.

May 18, 2009
himbeer in General Topics

What are your cooking "shortcuts"?

I have to say that trader joe's pizza dough is good enough for me to stop making it from scratch.

I must confess that I now use microwavable boil in a bag rice packets. Just before my oven conked out, I seemed to have lost my timing touch with rice. then the oven conked out, so it was my microwave and my toaster oven for meals. I can zap the rice, then my veggies. Rice usually retains heat or maybe pop in for another minute. I love not having to hover in the kitchen.

May 17, 2009
himbeer in Home Cooking

Does food taste better when someone else pays?

If it is my parents picking up the tab, I will be even pickier. I know they did like a mediocre italian restaurant, but I went once and never again.

I dreamed last night that I was going to a fancy brunch on somebody else's tab and I was happy.

What does bother me is somebody offering to treat me to dinner for say my birthday or because I helped them land a job. And then they take you to some place like Pasta Pomodoro or ignore your request I'd just like a place where I can order mussels.

May 17, 2009
himbeer in Not About Food

Do you travel over 10 miles to shop at Berkeley Bowl?

The last time I went to the Berkeley Bowl was back when a Spare the Air Day meant free public transit. I like the variety. Going to a grocery store is more exciting for me than a Rolling Stones concert.

Too crowded inside and too high a percentage of self-centered patrons. But although I preferred the old funky BB and still funky Monterey Market, I'd love BB to open a store in San Fran. Or Ranch 99.

The Dark side of the California Wine Biz

My local library lets me access New Yorker articles online.

I've heard one other story about Bronco. Apparently Barbera grapes became the "it" grape. So they would sell other wineries a truckload of barbera grapes, but only the top layer was the premium grape.

May 16, 2009
himbeer in Food Media & News

The Mighty Potato

And I am ridiculously more likely to choose an entree if it has fries with that. I will ask can you substitute?

My mom actually did nice twice fried in a frying pan. I usually do a James Beard recipe of German fried potatoes in butter. I'm not a chef though, so the trying to flip those tater sticks frustrates me.

Nothing but salt on my fries. Well, parsley is okay. or chives in mashed is yum. but it is all about the salt craving. Oh, there is a new Star Trek movie coming out?

May 06, 2009
himbeer in General Topics

Special Birthday

Okay I've only been to one of my suggestions. The Empire Grill has a nice patio. 231 Ellsworth, you could splurge on the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay.

Or, if the weather is nice, pack up a picnic basket and take him to one of the many green park options in the area.

Looking for cool kitchen stores - Bay area

Lol, I was trying to see if that place in Laurel Village was still there. ets hokins? And discovered that you can buy a logoed $500 countertop fridge from shop49ers. Oh, not what you meant?

Don't forget hardware stores like Cliff's, Fredericksen's, Cole.

Need PA-centric foods for my new book

Shad, shad roe. Other fresh water fish.

Wise potato chips are the best.

Funnel cakes.

May 02, 2009
himbeer in Pennsylvania

Regional favorite that you just didn't get once you finally had a chance to try it

Louisiana breaded soft shell crab.

Apr 29, 2009
himbeer in General Topics

Radishes... what to do w/ them?

I like them sliced and salted as a snack. Very low calorie.

They also make a nice soup garnish. with lemongrass, yum.

Apr 28, 2009
himbeer in Home Cooking

What are you a stubborn purist about?

I have never tried raspberries. I'm a keep the sweet and savory tastes separate please kind of gal. And I just use beaten egg plus parmesan. Lol I love going into my local frou-frou organic store and just buying 2 strips of bacon.

I was living in a professor's home for the summer with other students. We took turns cooking. They teased me for making mashed potatoes [different meal] from scratch. Apparently several had grown up on instant.

Apr 22, 2009
himbeer in General Topics

What are you a stubborn purist about?

And peas?? I have to admit I add browned onions. I, umm, first learned how to make spaghetti carbonara from a vegetarian epicure cookbook. And I may substitute some leftover pork chop for the meat.

Apr 22, 2009
himbeer in General Topics

Best non-Acme Bay Area bread?

I like the Boulangeries in San Fran. There are several in the city, one on Polk, one on Union, and? Baguettes, ficelles, epis.

Restaurants with fresh Kefir?

Kefir used to be a basic stock item in health food stores, but then kinda disappeared. A few years ago only Whole Foods seemed to still carry it. Now Real Foods also carries it. Probably other places now also.

So pick it up at a local grocery and see if you like it.

What is your favorite hard to find candy?

I used to eat a German candy called Softi. Soft chewy fruit-flavored sticks. I once asked a friend going to Germany to bring me back some, but she couldn't find it. Ironically I found it in a local five and dime.

Apr 14, 2009
himbeer in General Topics

Sunday evening North Beach

And their sand dabs are delicious!

Cheez Whiz Cheesesteaks?

I think in Philly I've eaten most often at Jim's on South St. because they have beer.

Always provolone.

I like the divis store. It can really hit the spot.

Jake's is decent and they deliver to a limited area. I'd get dinner from there more often if they offered decent fries.

Gender Clue

I joined an online gaming community with a gender-neutral nom de dactylographie. Most assumed I was male. It took me a few weeks to realize that; I had had fun little private chats with both males and females. I assumed one of my buddies was a grandmother in England from her nic. Nope, she was a 27 year old in Manila. The downside of coming out as female was the occasional drunken "hey, want to cyber?" private message.

Dec 28, 2008
himbeer in Site Talk

What fast food do you eat rarely, but that first bite think "Wow, this is so good!"

My first thought was an Arby's roast beef.

Arthur Treacher's.

I used to like a Mcd's cheeseburger decades ago, but last time I tried one, about 5 years ago, it left an ugly aftertaste.

Dec 27, 2008
himbeer in Chains

How much do sides influence your decision?

My response to the OP query: I shamefully admit the entree with french fries woos me and I look for the option in the dark corners of the menu. If the entree that I'd prefer is listed with a squash puree, but I see that another entree includes fries, yes I will ask to substitute fries. And it gives me a happy mood before any food has arrived.

Hey, I'm paying. The chef creates and it is great when you get served a side of veggies you thought you'd never like like kale wow!, but, did I mention I'm paying?, So I'm going to ask you to cook that duck leg a little more, because I've had more biology classes than you, plus it is my personal preference.

I wouldn't let an interior designer remodel the master bedroom for bunkbeds. It's new! it's young!

We are all in search of good food. SNLs snagglepuss this weekend reminded me of quick draw McGraw's snuffles. dog biscuit heaven.

Nov 17, 2008
himbeer in General Topics