Mr Taster's Profile

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Where are our T-shirts?

Got mine today. Red American Apparel with several types of knives and a band aid.

Mr Taster

about 7 hours ago
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Where are our T-shirts?

I want that one!

Mr Taster

about 7 hours ago
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Help me build a great cookware set!

>> All-Clad sprang d5 on us to make money.

*Ding!*

Give that man a prize!

Mr Taster

about 7 hours ago
Mr Taster in Cookware

Help me build a great cookware set!

Chris Kimball spoke on the CI radio show of being the guinea pig on an abuse test of nonstick cookware. They overheated a dry nonstick pan over extremely high heat and let it bake for a while. He then he put his head over it and inhaled deeply. He had a screaming headache for several hours afterward (something known as "polymer fume fever".) Though there is no compelling research (yet) to indicate the fumes have long term harmful effects on humans (though they have been shown to kill certain birds), common sense would dictate otherwise.

Mr Taster

about 10 hours ago
Mr Taster in Cookware

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

>> It's not that hard to figure out where I'm coming from…

My guess:

Wealthy, fiscally conservative, anti-Obamacare, Tea Party Republican?

Am I right? :)

Mr Taster

Calling chemicalkinetics!

Please respond here:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9832...

Thanks :)

Mr Taster

about 12 hours ago
Mr Taster in Cookware

Help me build a great cookware set!

With regard to the non-stick All Clad, it's important to know that no matter how gently you treat the pan, the non-stick coating will eventually lose effectiveness. Heat makes the coating vaporize into the air and into the food, and with it goes the non-stick properties. It's inevitable- and very different from a quality clad pan whose stainless steel surface will last a lifetime. I don't mind paying $130 one time, but to pay $130 every 3-5 years as the coating burns off? That's not an investment I'm personally willing to make. That's why the $30 T-Fal pro pan is great-- it's solid construction with even heat distribution and the cost to replace them every 2-3 years is minimal.

Mr Taster

about 12 hours ago
Mr Taster in Cookware

Help me build a great cookware set!

I'm curious, how exactly does the d5 work more efficiently on an induction cooktop? This would be a good time for chemicalkinetics to chime in, if he's reading. What's the science behind the theory? Why are two sandwiched layers of aluminum with a stainless core better conductors than one aluminum core?

I have 2 qt and 4 qt saucepans (All-Clad tri-ply). I use the 4 qt far more than the 2 qt. I also have an incredibly cheap tiny saucepan which my wife bought at a thrift store (she's not the cook in the family), and is used exclusively for melting butter. Since I can melt butter in the microwave, I really don't see the use for it. But she likes it, so it stays.

I make crepes in my 12" T-Fal Pro nonstick. Really nice even browning on one side (though not as perfect as a dedicated crepe maker would yield), and the other side properly spotty. Crepes release perfectly, though the edges admittedly are rarely even due to the sloping sides of the fry pan. Nobody seems to care, though :) We don't eat crepes enough to warrant a dedicated pan just for that.

Why do you have two 10" fry pans (as opposed to a 12" and at 10")?

Mr Taster

about 13 hours ago
Mr Taster in Cookware

site forgetting "read" posts

This is the first time this has happened to me in a modern post (dated Jul 22, 2014):

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/983277

I contributed this post last night on my Windows 7 PC/Firefox:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9832...

This morning I checked the thread with my Android Firefox browser on my Nexus 5, and all previously read posts were expanded except for mine, which was collapsed.

Engineering, HELP!

Mr Taster

about 14 hours ago
Mr Taster in Site Talk

Help me build a great cookware set!

I heard then talk about it on their radio show. A caller had the question, if I recall correctly.

Mr Taster

about 14 hours ago
Mr Taster in Cookware

Help me build a great cookware set!

I subscribe to the Cooks Illustrated philosophy of:

1. Maximizing versatility with the fewest number of pots that can do the widest range of cooking applications
2. Not being afraid to pay higher prices for pans that will last a lifetime (or two)
3. Paying as little as possible for quality cookware with a limited lifespan (like all non-stick skillets)
4. Pre-fab sets often include pans of awkward sizes or shapes that you don't really need, so stick with assembling your own a la carte set.

CI has done evaluations of the d5 line and have determined that there is no significant benefit to paying the higher price for 5-ply. Stick with the All-Clad tri-ply, and save yourself some money in the process.

In addition to these, I have supplemented my set with a 10" skillet (Instad of All-Clad, I went with Tramontina's Chinese-made, and therefore less expensive tri-ply, because I use the 10" skillet a lot less. But CI's quality tests have shown Tramontina to be on par with All-Clad in terms of durability and quality). I also have a 10" version of the T-Fal nonstick. Lastly, I splurged on a total monotasker-- the Pot Shop of Boston/Julia Child 8" omelet pan. Got an older one on Ebay for about $60.

Also, note that all of these pots can be bought for significantly less. You can buy All-Clad seconds for significant discounts at their online outlet store. They usually run an additional 30% off sale around October, so I'd get on their mailing list. http://www.cookwarenmore.com/

I got my 7.25 qt Le Creuset at an outlet store, during a seconds sale and got it for an out-the-door price of about $135.

Lastly, notice the lack of a saute pan or saucier (like a fry pan but with tall, straight sides instead of low, flared edges). I find that pan unnecessary, as it is a bit too specialized. I have yet to encounter something that I actually needed a saute pan for-- it seems I can accomplish anything I'd do in a saute pan with either my 12" skillet or with my 4 qt saucepan.

Without further ado, here is CI's thoroughly vetted and incredibly wonderful, versatile, a la carte cookware set:

1. All-Clad Stainless Steel 12-Inch Fry Pan
Price:$134.95 This roomy skillet can cook a family-sized meal. The traditional finish allows food to stick, developing the crusty brown bits of fond that contribute flavor.

2. All-Clad Stainless Steel 4-Quart Saucepan (with lid
)Price: $184.95 For even cooking, we prefer saucepans made of stainless steel sandwiching an aluminum core in a style of construction known as "tri-ply." A 4-quart saucepan is just the right size for making rice or blanching vegetables.

3. All-Clad Stainless Steel 2-Quart Saucepan (with lid)
Price:$139.95 For even cooking, we prefer saucepans made of stainless steel sandwiching an aluminum core in a style of construction known as "tri-ply." A 2-quart saucepan is good for smaller jobs like heating milk or melting butter. For a cheaper alternative, consider nonstick. Best Buy Alternative: Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 2 1/2-Quart Shallow Saucepan ($39.95)

4. T-Fal Professional Total Nonstick Fry Pan, 12.5 inches
Price:$34.99 This pan had the slickest, most durable nonstick coating, releasing perfectly throughout testing. It is well proportioned, with a comfy handle and generous cooking surface.

5. Lodge 12" Cast Iron Skillet
Price:$33.95 Nothing tops cast iron when it comes to creating a flavorful, deeply browned crust on steaks and other foods.

6. Le Creuset 7 1/4-Quart Round French Oven (with lid)
Price:$269.95 This incredibly versatile Dutch oven made of enameled cast iron is ideal for soups, stews, stocks, braises-even frying and baking. Best Buy Alternative: Tramontina 6 1/2-Quart Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven ($44.97)

7. Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Steel 12-Quart Stockpot (with lid)
Price:$69.95 Lighter than a Dutch oven, a 12-quart stockpot is used mainly for boiling water for pasta, corn, and lobster. This brand's inexpensive price tag is just right for a pot with limited use.

8. Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Roasting Pan with Rack
Price:$119.95 Don't buy nonstick; the dark finish camouflages the crusty brown bits you need to make gravy for roasted meats. This pan's gently flared shape makes stirring and deglazing easy.

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Cookware

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I know. And usually, full disclosure is such a good thing. But there is something to be said for too much information-- we truly don't need to know (and can't know) everything.

Mr Taster

Sep 12, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I picked up on something you said, but was not replying to you directly.

Mr Taster

Sep 12, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

>> Actually, you did say would give the server a choice between 22% and 25%.

To my mind, adding a line-item "3% health surcharge" is akin to adding a line-item "5% rent increase surcharge".

Stop making me responsible for directly paying your bills! Raise your prices, if need be, and be done with it.

The 3% health surcharge is none of the customer's business! It is the OWNER'S responsibility to pay this bill, just as he pays his rent. It's neither the customer's nor the server's business.

Mr Taster

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

latindancer,

Fees (of all types, in all industries) are a scourge. They're a way of making the price seem lower than what they actually are, and I think these kind of line-items should be eliminated.

Consider the way the airline industry has been forced by the government to roll the ridiculous "fuel fees", 9/11 security fees, taxes and such into the final price. Now when you book a ticket online, the price you see is actually what you pay. It's common sense. I have European friends who are frustrated and confused by our system of adding taxes and fees. Consumer protections are a lot stronger over there (our bias in the US is towards companies, not individuals). They're used to paying the advertised price (which includes the VAT), not mentally adding on 30% additional in taxes, tips, subsidies) when they get to the cash register. The practice is absurd to them (and to me.)

Getting back to the airline industry's government-imposed "truth in advertising", what you now see are myriad "optional upgrades" (bag fees, priority boarding fees, etc.) that are an attempt by the airline industry to continue to try and make the ticket prices higher than what they are, still following the letter of the law.

In any case, the advertised price (be it on a menu, at a grocery store, or on your plumber's website) should be the price, with all taxes, fees, gratuities included in the advertised price, full stop.

I think the part of your scenario that you're missing is that tipping is already a de facto salary subsidy. Your tips make it so that the owner doesn't have to pay his staff more. Especially in states where owners can legally pay their staff $2.30/hr, there's no denying that the customer is directly subsidizing the owner's responsibility to pay his employees! That's completely ridiculous. In what other industry does the customer *directly* subsidize operating costs?

I think owners should be responsible for paying a full and fair salary to their servers, and we should stop burdening the customers with surprise charges and monetary value judgments entirely. I'd be very happy seeing higher prices offsetting tip elimination.

Mr Taster

Sep 12, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

What is with the smell at Subway??

I experienced the same thing in Taiwan. Walked past a subway stall at a food court in a fancy Xinyi district shopping mall, and the stall was sparkling clean with not a hint of the yeast dumpster.

Mr Taster

Sep 11, 2014
Mr Taster in Chains
1

Best dumpling dive in Phl Chinatown?

It should be. I've eaten my way across China, Taiwan and HK (as well as Flushing and LA's San Gabriel Valley) and have never experienced bone in any dumpling or bun fillings.

Mr Taster

Sep 10, 2014
Mr Taster in Philadelphia

site forgetting "read" posts

That sounds like a viable hypothesis. It's certainly not intermittent or inconsistent from where I'm standing.

Mr Taster
Chowhound poster since ~2002

Sep 09, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

Biscuits are dead easy. Try the Cooks Illustrated recipe for bacon black pepper drop biscuits, or their recipe for buttermilk (cut) biscuits.

Mr Taster

Sep 08, 2014
Mr Taster in General Topics

Gentrification of Los Angeles Chinatown Continues--Little Jewel

Not enough homeless people in the area to make artistic "edgy" types want to overpay to live there ;-)

Mr Taster

Sep 08, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Stand mixer - worth having?

Are you talking about the pasta roller or the pasta extruder? Two very different attachments.

Mr Taster

Sep 05, 2014
Mr Taster in Cookware

Stand mixer - worth having?

That's a whisk-replacement task. See my post.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9878...

Mr Taster

Sep 05, 2014
Mr Taster in Cookware

Stand mixer - worth having?

I can state with 100% certainty that my repertoire has expanded exponentially with the purchase of my KitchenAid KP26M1XPM 6-Quart Professional 600 Series Mixer.

Think about it this way. A hand mixer is, essentially, a convenient alternative to a whisk. That's why people don't understand the value. A high power stand mixer is so much more than a whisk-replacer. It's a true workhorse-- of course it does the "whisk-replacement" tasks magnificently (whipped cream, creaming sugar into dough, mixing cake batter etc.), but the motor is so much stronger that it also can knead bread or pizza dough, thick cookie dough that would sieze up a hand mixer or clog a whisk, and with inexpensive attachments you can grind meat or make sausages. With an expensive attachment, you can extrude pasta or make ice cream.

I have a small 1 bedroom apartment kitchen, so the beast lives on top of my fridge (next to my KitchenAid 12-cup food processor). Just a lift and pivot and it's on my counter, ready to go.

Mr Taster

Sep 05, 2014
Mr Taster in Cookware
1

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

The uncontrolled, unregulated and complete lack of oversight of hospital chargemaster pricing is what's really unbelievable.

If the government had actually done something to rein in the costs, the 3% restaurant charge would have been superfluous, because the insurance companies could have afforded to slash their premiums.

http://content.time.com/time/video/pl...

Mr Taster

Sep 04, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

"Put simply, with Obamacare we’ve changed the rules related to who pays for what, but we haven’t done much to change the prices we pay."

http://livingwithmcl.com/BitterPill.pdf

To summarize, at first glance the health insurance industry seems like the bad guy. After all, they're the ones charging us high premiums, and they're the ones approving or denying services.

In fact, the article declares the real criminals to be the so-called "non-profit" hospitals themselves, which each have a list of outrageous, inflated, secret prices (the "chargemaster"), whose prices are entirely unrelated to any sort of grounded, modern economic reality. There is no free market competition at work here, because it's impossible to compare prices- the chargemaster prices are confidential.

The "good guy" in all of this is Medicare, which is the only system in place that is actually doing something to help keep crazy hospital prices in check by negotiating up from the hospitals's actual cost for a procedure. Private insurers always negotiate a discount down from the chargemaster price, which is always hugely more expensive than the Medicare method of paying.

In short, if we had developed a "Medicare for all" public option, hospitals would have been forced to rein in their prices, and healthcare would finally have become affordable and accessible for all. Then perhaps these restaurants wouldn't have even needed to charge the 3%.

Mr Taster

site forgetting "read" posts

Someone just posted another reply and now the same thread is displaying properly. (all posts collapsed except for the one just made by "bringiton")

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/797509

Mr Taster

Sep 04, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk

site forgetting "read" posts

Happened to me viewing the Hollywood Pies thread on the LA board. Jessejames just made a new post and all old, previously viewed threads were open, except for mine which were collapsed. Viewing on my Android nexus 5 using Firefox.

Mr Taster

Sep 04, 2014
Mr Taster in Site Talk
1

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

That's true, Dommy!

Tips are irrelevant when someone is making a living wage with health insurance and retirement benefits.

I know that dining out in Scandinavia is prohibitively expensive- think $30 for something as simple as a pizza, for example. If this reflects the cost of doing business ethically, guaranteeing living wages, health insurance and persion for workers (and, by proxy, to me), I'm all for it. I just don't want to see some bogus line-item "health and pension" fee on the bill.

Mr Taster

3% healthcare charge: coming to more receipts near you

I totally agree, but for different reasons. The price of any item (restaurant or otherwise) should be all inclusive, and that means sales tax, too. Anyone who has shopped or dined abroad in countries where sales tax and tips are included in the cost of an item can attest to how much easier that system is.

I say we collectively call for an end to all line item fees and taxes. Just wrap them up in the price, because that's what matters to the customer in the end.

Mr Taster

Sep 04, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Great Lunch at Sushi Kiyono

Thanks for verifying. It's been 6 years since the original post, so I'm glad to hear the update.

Mr Taster

Sep 03, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area