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Pain de Mie/Pullman loaf pan hack?

So can I successfully pull off a Pain de Mie without buying the specific pan? Meandering around different forums/blogs I've read about placing a sheet pan on top of a regular loaf pan and weighing it down. Won't this create a trapezoid-al loaf? Debating on whether or not I want to invest in such a specialty piece of equipment.

Aug 09, 2011
meleyna in Home Cooking

Family Honolulu vacation

Thanks for all the help. My biggest problem now is narrowing down what I HAVE to have (ex: that poke musibi from Hoku's).

Any bar suggestions? Anything from hotel bars to divey stuff is fine.

Looks like we'll be sticking to plate lunches for noontime meals. After being gouged with tourist rates everywhere I'll have to save my pennies for dinner. Unless *looking* local qualifies for kamaaina...? ;)

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Hoku's
5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Mar 09, 2011
meleyna in Hawaii

Family Honolulu vacation

Great! Town and 12th Street look right up BF's alley. Did some more digging around--how are Hoku's and Bali? Pineapple Room's menu also looks fairly BF friendly...

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Hoku's
5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Mar 06, 2011
meleyna in Hawaii

Family Honolulu vacation

My family (including a three year old) will be staying in Honolulu for a week. We will be staying on Waikiki, but I do have family I will be visiting in St. Louis Heights, Kailua, and Pearl City areas (we will have a car). My cousin is in the industry, and suggested I hit up these places:

Cinnamon's
Boots & Kimo's
Blue Hawaii Lifestyle
Yotteko-Ya
Hanks Haute Dogs
Tonkatsu Gina Bairin
Olive Tree Cafe
Chef Mavro
Azure
Alan

I was told Chef Mavro is a can't miss, but I'm little concerned about my boyfriend, who is definitely not a CH. Azure will be convenient since we'll be able to walk back to our room after drinks rather than having to cab it. My boyfriend is happy to humor me go wherever I choose, but I want him to enjoy himself as well. (He doesn't eat fish and isn't crazy about Asian flavors, which I understand limits a LOT in Hawaii.)

I'm open to suggestions for everything, but I'd like more suggestions for casual "local" places for lunches with the family. I'd also like more options for nice dinner places that aren't necessarily "fine dining." Relatives will most likely be asking to keep my son, so while kid friendly is nice, it's not a requirement. (He is generally well behaved, and if we take him out we'll go on the earlier side of dinner service.)

Thanks for the help!

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Chef Mavro restaurant
1969 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96826

Olive Tree Cafe
4614 Kilauea Ave Ste 107, Honolulu, HI 96816

Yotteko-Ya
1960 Kapiolani Blvd Ste 214, Honolulu, HI 96826

Mar 06, 2011
meleyna in Hawaii

Santa Barbara lunch

All of these options sound great--I think it will ultimately come down to what we are feeling like at the moment. Thanks for the help--I'll follow up when we get back!

Jan 22, 2011
meleyna in California

Santa Barbara lunch

Stella Mare's looks lovely, and a beach picnic does not sound bad at all. I also just realized that cabs will be expensed, so I'm sure that that opens up a lot more. Briefly looking at Yelp, Opal looks interesting, and a short cab ride away. We'd like to enjoy a nice a lunch and spend some time walking around/people watch for a bit before dinner. Dinner will be at the Palace Grill, as there is some pork chop special there my boyfriend has been telling me about for years now haha.

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The Palace Grill
8 E Cota St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Stella Mare's
50 Los Patos Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93108

Jan 19, 2011
meleyna in California

Santa Barbara lunch

BF is extending a business trip an extra day so we can spend some time together. Dinner is already planned, but lunch is still open. We're staying at the Fess Parker, and will not have a car. He doesn't eat seafood or anything too "ethnic," however, so anything that steers clear of that (or has options other than fish) would be great.

Thanks in advance!

Jan 18, 2011
meleyna in California

Another French Quarter vacation...

Thanks, everyone, for the help--I've definitely changed plans a bit.

Wednesday I think we're going to stay closer to the hotel and do Mr. B's for dinner--I really want that BBQ shrimp. Thursday we'll do Emeril's for lunch, then depending on how hungry we are, either an appetizer dinner at Cochon or maybe just drink our dinner at Napoleon House. Friday I want to do either Parkway or Johnny's for lunch--it really depends on where we are for the day. Friday night we'll do dinner at August. Saturday's still debatable--thinking either Maspero's, Luke, or maybe Stanley for brunch/lunch. Dinner will be at the wedding we're attending. Sunday we plan on packing, checking out, leaving bags at the front, and doing brunch at Commander's Palace. We'll swing by the hotel to pick up our bags on the way to the airport.

I figure we'll fit Cafe du Monde and Croissant D'Or in somewhere for snacks/breakfast, and I plan on swinging by Central Grocery at some point and keeping the sandwich in the mini bar for late night snacks. Boyfriend also doesn't eat olives, so no sense making a meal out of that.

Anything I'm missing? I feel like I did a pretty good job balancing things so that we're not overeating everyday. Also, I think we'd prefer to keep things in the Quarter just to make things easier. Plus, I feel like everything I NEED to have is within those boundaries. Thanks for all the feed back! (Shout out to Bill Hunt from a fellow Phoenician!)

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Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Commander's Palace Restaurant
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

Emeril's Restaurant
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Maspero's
601 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jul 27, 2010
meleyna in New Orleans

Another French Quarter vacation...

I know this has been covered I don't even know how many times, but my boyfriend and I are visiting in October for about five days. I've done a good amount of research on the boards, yelp, trip advisor, etc, and I've got the must haves down--I'm just looking for a few more opinions. As kind of an overview, we're staying in the Quarter, no car, from Wednesday-Sunday. Saturday night dinner will be at a friend's wedding at the W, but other than that, we're open for everything else. Boyfriend is NOT a CH, and does not eat ANY seafood. He has no problem indulging me and will go wherever I'd like, but at the same time, it's not much fun for me if he's not enjoying himself either.

What I'd like to do are Cochon Wednesday night, Mr. B's/Galatoire's Thursday night, August Friday, and Commander's Palace for brunch Sunday (we don't fly out until six PM). I'm back and forth about doing August for lunch or dinner Friday. Do you get the full experience with the prix fixe lunch? You really can't resist the price tag... If we end up doing lunch there, then maybe Emeril's for dinner. Also, a friend from NOLA recommended Cochon + Butcher over Cochon. Any thoughts? Boyfriend loves small plates, so I think we might go in that direction... Is Galatoire's an absolute necessity? Not sure how excited the other half will be about that, with the jacket requirement and such. If I'm making him sit through a big meal, I feel like it's better spent at August than Galatoire's.

Lunches I'd like to hit up Parkway and Central Grocery. Other than that I'm open for suggestions. K-Pauls, Napoleon House, Bon Ton, Maspero's, Luke?

From what I've read, there's not much excitement about breakfast... Any reason not to eat beignets at Cafe du Monde everyday?

Mat and Naddie's was also recommended--worth the cab ride?

I'll make reservations for August and Commander's Palace--do I need to do so for anything else?

Thanks for all the help!

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Napoleon House Bar & Cafe
500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Commander's Palace Restaurant
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

Emeril's Restaurant
800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Galatoire's Restaurant
209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Bon Ton Cafe
401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Cochon Butcher
930 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

Maspero's
601 Decatur St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Jul 23, 2010
meleyna in New Orleans

Dining Alone in Scottsdale?

Third for Digestif! Hang out next door at Kaz afterward for a glass (or three). (You'll have to go around to the back to find the almost unmarked door.)

Blue Wasabi for sushi is a little farther north, but not a bad cab ride by any means. Italian Grotto has pretty decent food, and sitting at the bar there is always a show when the owner's around. Posh has gotten good talk around here, but I've yet to go myself.

You mention you're exploring Scottsdale and Phoenix, but are staying in Downtown Scottsdale. Are you looking for more recs outside where you're staying, or just walking distance?

Sep 30, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Best Mexican food in Old Town Scottsdale?

Los Sombreros also gets my vote, though crsin is right--probably not in walking distance of Old Town hotels, but not a bad cab ride by any means. There are a few other places that serve Mexican, but I'd definitely pick Los Sombreros over all of them. Los Olivos is okay, but not my favorite. Everything else is along the lines of Loco Patron and Salty Senorita, which are more like bars that happen to have food. Which, after a few margaritas, isn't necessarily a bad thing, just probably not what you're looking for. Oh, and of course, if you've had a LOT of tequila, Super Burrito's open after bar close. ;)

Sep 22, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Coming to Phoenix and need to know a fun, good place to eat alone at a bar!

Cibo Pizzeria is downtown. The food is fantastic, and I've eaten at the bar a couple of times by myself after work. The restaurant is in an old house, which I like a lot, and I feel creates a unique dining experience. Though if you're looking for an actual bar to go along with your meal, it's just beer and wine. Switch has some pretty decent food, and caters to the gay crowd, though is a little farther away, and I'm not sure if you have a car.

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Switch
2603 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Cibo
603 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 850103

Sep 12, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Near Thunderbird and Tatum

Pizza Picazzo on Cactus and Tatum is pretty solid. Yasu sushi is in the Target shopping center. Yes, it can get expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Kozy Kactus is next door. I've eaten here a few times--some things were pretty tasty, others didn't quite get there (the white bean dip, for one). Bombay Spice is on Tatum and Shea. I haven't been here, but have been meaning to stop by since it opened. My brother loves Saba's (Mediterranean) on Tatum and Bell, but I've never eaten here myself. Serrano's on Shea and 32nd (I think) has some pretty good Mexican seafood, though the standard stuff (burros, tostadas, etc.) is pretty lackluster. I actually totally forgot about Tutti Santi--I used to love that place, but haven't been in quite some time. If you're willing to go over to Scottsdale Road, there's a few things in Kierland on Greenway. If nothing else, there's always Olive Garden on Cactus and Paradise Village Parkway. ;)

Sep 10, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

PHX - Anyone tried Tutto yet?

We tried Tutto a couple of weeks ago, and while decent, I doubt I'll be back. I'm not sure if it was the server's fault, but I just felt like it was all very pretentious for no reason. I know not everyone is as knowledgeable about the food they're ordering, and I understand that a lot of people do appreciate an explanation, but to me, our server just seemed very know-it-all. Also, who doesn't have iced tea? I really didn't feel like a drink, and when I asked for an iced tea, and our server simply said they didn't have any. And then offered me the wine list. Um, I asked for an iced tea, but thank you... I had some sort of anglotti with shrimp, and I remember the flavors being okay, but the shrimp were on the smaller side and were over cooked. If you're going to crown my dish with three shrimp, they better be big and they better be worth making the star of the plate. My boyfriend had orecchiette with some sort of dark green and sausage, and it pretty much just tasted like fennel. I remember there were a few interesting looking larger entrees, but I honestly wasn't that hungry, so maybe I just ordered the wrong thing? Which honestly wasn't bad, just not anything great. I believe we went on a Thursday, and the dining room was pretty empty, but there were a few women at the bar being incredibly loud. That's all fine and dandy, but I feel like with all the choices for drinks in the area, why there? I know there have been complaints on how loud Digestif was, but I honestly never had a problem like I did that night.

So I'm not sure if it was was I ordered, my distaste for our server, or the loud dining room, but I personally won't be rushing back, especially with so many other things that I know I like in the area.

Sep 01, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

best pasta in scottsdale/phoenix area

My first thought was also Digestif. The linguine with clams is excellent, and the gnocchi with duck confit and foie butter is diviiiiine. Makes me wanna save one last delicious pillow to curl up and take a nap with afterward. Last time we were there, my boyfriend had the toasted gnocchi with snap peas and beef cheeks, which was delicious, just not your "traditional" boiled dumpling.

Aug 30, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Scottsdale - Over Easy

Hey, don't knock the Vig! ;)

I haven't been to the Ice Den in aaaages, and I don't remember seeing a Peter Piper, but it makes sense to me. Kids like pizza. Either way, now that I have a kid of my own, I'm more tempted to drag him up there once the project finishes to go skating. Or rather, to eat.

Aug 30, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Further to my previous post (thanks so much for all the recs!) - Going to Noca 1st night we are in Scottsdale, Need a rec near W Scottsdale. Also Bday Suggestions for Sedona?

I've eaten here once, and wasn't that impressed. It was okay for bar food. Then again, I was sober at the time. The Lodge is a fun place with a different atmosphere, but I personally didn't have the greatest dining experience. Watch the game or shoot some pool and have a few beers? Perfect.

Aug 22, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Further to my previous post (thanks so much for all the recs!) - Going to Noca 1st night we are in Scottsdale, Need a rec near W Scottsdale. Also Bday Suggestions for Sedona?

I love both Cowboy Ciao and Digestif. Kaz is also great to hang out and split a bottle after dinner--jazz nights are my personal favorite. I've had some pretty good breakfasts at the Daily Dose, though service can be pretty spotty. Italian Grotto is pretty decent, and if you're there when the owner is in the dining room (more than likely), you'll be sure to get some sort of show. A little farther south is Frasher's, which I don't see getting much play around here but I'm a fan. Chelsea's Kitchen is a little farther west, but the patio is great at night with the weather cooling down ever so slightly (not sure when your trip is). I've been meaning to try The Mission but haven't convinced my boyfriend yet. Carlsbad Tavern also isn't too too far from where you guys are staying.

Aug 22, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Mexican lunch in Scottsdale?

I believe that there is a higher end Mexican restaurant on the west side of the same shopping center (I assume you're going to the Frank Lloyd Wright location), but I can't vouch for how good it is. In the area I can think of Carlos O'Brian's, Salty Senorita (more of a bar with okay food), and Los Olivos. Of those three I'd probably go with Los Olivos, though I've only been to the south location. If you're looking for some good Mexican vegetarian options, I'd personally go to Via delosantos, but that's probably another 25 minute drive from TJ's. Service can be slow, but I've always had great food here.

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Los Olivos Norte
15544 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Salty Senorita
14950 N Northsight Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Via Delosantos
9120 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020

Aug 21, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

too much?

I really want to make a 12 layer cake a la the Smith family for my son's birthday, but I want to change the flavors up. Instead of just white cake and chocolate frosting, I really want to do alternating layers of banana custard, peanut butter frosting, and 7-minute frosting, with the final outer frost just basic chocolate butter cream. Am I being ridiculous, or does this sound good to anyone but me? Maybe possibly eliminate the banana? Also, anyone who's attempted this cake and has any helpful tips would forever be amazing.

Thanks!

Aug 13, 2009
meleyna in Home Cooking

Review: Cowboy Ciao - Scottsdale, AZ (w/ photos!)

Just google it. I don't think it's the exact recipe, but it's pretty close. Same for the bacon cookies. I've made them, but they aren't the same to me by any means.

Aug 05, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Phoenix Farmers' Markets

I'm brand new to the Phoenix Farmer's Market scene, and I was looking for a little bit of help. I was at Roadrunner yesterday morning, and ended up getting quite a bit of produce at the first stand I happened upon. The lines were long, and I figured lines meant a good thing. But after I made my purchases and continued walking, I noticed there were half a dozen other produce stands. I couldn't help but think that the only reason the orginal stand I was at was busy simply due to it's location. What I'm curious to find out is if any one farm is "known for" one thing or another. I hate to see the other stands get tossed to the side simply because they're not first in line. Of course whatever I buy is sure to be better than any supermarket produce, but I'm looking to make the most of my experience/time/money, and patronize those who really deserve it. Thanks!

Aug 02, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Should Pizzeria Bianco serve pizza by the slice?

Second or third dates? Where are you finding such dream dates? I can't even get my boyfriend to wait with me, let alone someone I don't know! Then again, I suppose that's the problem--he doesn't have to cater to my every whim anymore, he's already got me. :)

Aug 02, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Are there "tourist trap" restaurants in Phoenix?

I heard they were doing this. Barcelona is a HUGE space--what exactly are they planning on doing with all of it?

Aug 01, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Floyd's Kitchen - Phx

I refuse to go to this place simply because they replaced Sammy B's. Obviously I know this is no fault of theirs, and apparently my stubbornness is robbing me of a good meal, but I miss my childhood pizza!

Aug 01, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Let's go dippin' now, everybody's learnin' how: Favorite Dip Recipes

My favorite warm spinach dip:

* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 3/4 cups chopped onion
* 3 large garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
* 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
* 1/2 cup whipping cream
* 1 10-ounce package ready-to-use fresh spinach leaves, chopped
* 1 cup (packed) grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* Baguette slices, toasted

Saute onion and garlic in the oil and butter until the onion is translucent. Add the cayenne and flour and cook over low for a few minutes. Stir in the stock and cream and heat until simmering. Off the heat, stir in the spinach, cheese, and sour cream. You will have to add the spinach in batches. Sometimes I have to thin things out with some milk, but not always. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve with bread/chips/whatever.

Jul 26, 2009
meleyna in Home Cooking

Slice my Steak, I think Not!

Generally I do not like my steak presliced. However, I once order a steak sandwich, and it came as a grilled sirloin steak between two slices of bread. Probably one of the weirdest presentations I've ever come across. I ended up taking the meat off, slicing it myself, and arranging it back on the bread. I was supremely annoyed.

Jul 26, 2009
meleyna in General Topics

Superior Touch Better than Bouillon

The ham is great for split pea soup. Other than that all I've used are the basic three, but the mushroom sounds interesting. I'm sure it's great for risotto.

Jul 26, 2009
meleyna in General Topics

Yelp Eats! (PHX)

Good to hear such positive feedback. Things have been tight this month so we were only able to do one of the choices. It was between Digestif and Atas, and we went with the latter only because we knew it'd be good. My SO's not really into the "whole food thing," as he calls it, and I wanted to make sure he'd enjoy it since we haven't been going out as much. But with such a good response, we'll hopefully be able to try Atlas out soon.

Jul 25, 2009
meleyna in Phoenix

Sedona recommendations?

My fault, I am *just* now seeing this. We did end up eating at Elote, and it was great, though we got in there right after five. He had the chicken enchilada off of the kids menu, which was a good deal of food, and by the looks of the adult menu, I think it was just a kid sized portion of the adult entree. (The smoked chicken was fabulous.) Funny story, the beans were black, and my son loved them. His whole face was a black mess by the time he was done.

Jul 25, 2009
meleyna in Southwest