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What types of restaurants does DC need now?

Good to know, moloukhia is one of my favorite dishes ever when it's made well.

What types of restaurants does DC need now?

I can't comment on the quality of Water Park's koshari - but my experience, even in non-Egyptian parts of the Middle East - is that koshari gets a bit of a 1970's health kick treatment and doesn't end up with the right textures.

9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All

Also - food establishments that don't pay staff via tips (i.e. Starbucks type places) figure this out as well. So even within the US system, other similar businesses that function on a different way of paying workers, have figured out a way.

Oct 20, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

What types of restaurants does DC need now?

If you're seeking koshari specifically, I believe the Water Park Café in Crystal City serves it. Though I do believe it's mostly a lunch place.

That being said, I've never really had good koshari out of Egypt, so I'm always a bit suspicious. However, if there was any kind of place that had a good moloukhia, I'd be thrilled.

9 Reasons We Should Abolish Tipping, Once And For All

I'm an American who's also very anti-tipping, and it does remain surprising to me how cultural the attitude is. I have a few friends who know it's my opinion, and sometimes like bringing up socially to see whatever debate follows - and even if the subject is framed "yes, I do tip my servers as this is what the system is", the discussion usually falls along the lines of 'I like it'.

At least it's be talked about though in a more sensible manner though than the Reservoir Dogs speech. It's one thing to say "I'm anti-tipping, this is a better approach" and quite another to say "I'm anti-tipping and therefore not tipping".

Oct 17, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

Makloubeh question

And mixing in parts of this recipe.....we shall see how it all goes. http://www.legalnomads.com/2012/01/ma...

Oct 15, 2014
cresyd in Home Cooking

Makloubeh question

And hummus is only hummus if it's made with chickpeas - but as I'm just making this for myself (and to have leftovers), the presentation factor isn't so much of a concern.

Oct 15, 2014
cresyd in Home Cooking

Makloubeh question

This is the recipe I've decided to go with - how good/bad it is, I'm happy to report later.

http://dedemed.com/mediterranean/makl...

Oct 15, 2014
cresyd in Home Cooking

Makloubeh question

I plan on making makloubeh this weekend for the first time, and I'm trying to decide what kind of pot to make this in. I feel like my Dutch oven would make the most sense, but then I'm a bit concerned regarding about the point of flipping the plate regarding the "upside down" presentation. I have another large pot I could use that isn't as heavy - but I don't love it for making rice.

I'm leaning towards the Dutch oven and sacrificing the upside down serving presentation, but am open to other thoughts.

Oct 15, 2014
cresyd in Home Cooking

Copperwood Tavern -- Shirlington (Arlington, VA). Anyone been?

If they had their fried okra, I'd also make it back. It was nice and definitely worth a try - but I didn't really try enough food to give a more well rounded review.

Kickstarter backlash?

I'm not going to comment on the specific restaurant in question - but regarding the doll I mentioned up-thread - it was initially designed by an artist in Pittsburgh and got initial media attention in the summer of 2013 more so as an art project as opposed to an actual product.

Was it possible that the idea could have been sold to a doll manufacturing company or he could have gotten a bank loan? Possibly, but it's hard to see an artist going to a bank and saying "I want to start a line of dolls". Perhaps he could have sold the idea to a larger toy company, but that would have meant giving up a lot of control.

I don't think it works for everything - but for some ideas I do think it works really well. Not to even touch on the people that use the sites to set up pages to help support ill family members or school teachers trying to get money for classroom supplies, etc.

Oct 15, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Kickstarter backlash?

I listen to a number of podcasts, and a number of them have relied on crowd sourcing for additional ventures (i.e. one podcast wanted to create a documentary about podcasts). In these cases, I do think that a lot of the backers do contribute partially out of interest in the product being made, but also definitely as a part of "being apart of" that specific podcasting community.

Doesn't always link up that way, but I do think that is definitely part of the conversation. I contributed to the Lammily doll crowdsourcing campaign (the doll with non-Barbie proportions). While I am technically getting a doll, I was more interested in contributing money because I liked the idea rather than actually wanting a doll.

Different strokes though.

Oct 14, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Kickstarter backlash?

I do agree that it'd be trickier for Zach Braff or someone of similar fame/wealth to go down such a path, but I don't yet think that it's an entirely failed venture. While the Braff project didn't leave people with the best feeling, the Veronica Mars project did appear to be more lovingly received.

Oct 14, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Copperwood Tavern -- Shirlington (Arlington, VA). Anyone been?

I've been once, but just went to the bar for oysters and fries. It was nice, but I'd compare the vibe more so to an upscale Cracker Barrel (I don't mean that in a nasty way).

Kickstarter backlash?

I agree with this. I fund what tickles me and I want to see created/benefit from the reward. So far I've only participated in two kickstarter campaigns, and so far both have been innovations.

I think the main point of kickstarter as a funder though from my perspective is wanting to feel "part" of something. While this specific burger place wouldn't necessarily do it for me - it's also not in my neighborhood. However if a certain smaller chain grocery stores were to start a crowd sourcing page to open in my neighborhood and say $25 would get me a Blah Blah Market tote bag....I could see myself contributing depending on the market. Would it be cynical for Trader Joe's to do such a campaign? Yes. But I could also easily see that working in some neighborhoods given the TJ's love.

Oct 14, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Kickstarter backlash?

How so? He raised he money he needed, made the film he wanted, and sold the film (and yes, did get some heat for that). The main review of the film that I heard was that it was similar to Garden State (his first film). Therefore the people who most likely gave the money wanted him to make another film - and that's what happened.

Oct 14, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

People just spend time with their in-laws, nuclear/extended family because it's what makes them the most happy?

When my grandmother died, my BF at the time went with me to the funeral - I highly doubt it was because he expected it to be a good time.

Sure, the OP will definitely ruin his time if he's bitter about the experience while on the trip. But there are loads of things that we choose to do with a partner and with family that is a mix of 'what I'm doing for my partner/family' and 'what I'm doing for myself'. Being bitter and grumpy is obviously NOT the way to go, but it doesn't mean that someone has to be giving three cheers.

Oct 14, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

If I was dating someone I was serious about, and was invited on a family vacation - my decision to go would initially be swayed by just wanting to please and be with my partner. So the initial interest in the vacation may have very very little to do with an interest of spending time with kids at Disney.

Regardless, I feel bad for the OP. To me, this sounds like a pretty raw deal.

Oct 13, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

I think so much of my defense of the OP is because as a vacation this sounds dreadful.

Unless this is a surprisingly large timeshare - most likely the GF/OP will have next to no privacy. It's Disney, so that means that everything will be expensive. And as there are 3 kids there, it'll likely be a very kid focused experience.

If I was dating someone who seriously invited me on such a vacation and then also expected to basically pay my entire way….we'd be in a situation of having a far more serious conversation than about just splitting a restaurant bill.

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

I was recently allowed to stay at a friend's parents summer home during her recent wedding celebrations. All of the various ins and outs of that situation and what worked as an appropriate thank you were very situation specific.

This is a family vacation involving a timeshare. After that, the 'what ifs' in terms of how this works can run the gamut. My mother used to have a boss who would 'gift' use of his timeshare to employees throughout the year. Free or not, there are many appropriate ways to say thank you. Some involve more money (paying for a meal) and some are free (doing more cleaning/cooking/childcare) and some involve more moderate sums of money (thank you card/flowers).

Oct 12, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food
1

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

First - I think that the cost of the timeshare is a complete red herring in that we have no clue who owns it/how its paid for. For all we know it is owned/paid for someone not on this trip or that the GF/OP agreed to stay in the timeshare in less than ideal/private circumstances or provide babysitting or whatever. The notion that the OP is being gifted or hosted by the GF/her family in this timeshare could be true and could also not be true. So I personally continue to refuse to get involved in how gracious the OP needs to be in regards to this timeshare.

Second - my initial thought to this circumstance, honestly, was that the GF is largely in the wrong. That to invite a BF along to a family vacation and then expect him to cover this much of his way is not how I'd invite a BF. I once dated a guy who's culinary tastes were far more frugal, and had he been faced with such a food split, I can just imagine all the color draining from his face. Food just wasn't his thing, and if I were to add not drinking to that - it wouldn't be right or set him up for a good encounter with my family. However, if this were the situation, instead of raising a fuss with my family I would rather cover a meal for his/part of the grocery bill rather than make waves.

Anyways, I will entirely admit that those thoughts were based on loads of personal readings into the situation and that I've made a better presentation below in how the OP/GF should just open discussion and come to a mutual decision.

Oct 11, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

Depends on what kind of relationship someone wants to be in.

If you want to be with my brother, you better get along really well with my mother and father. If you want to be with me, you better support me in how I get along with my mother and father. Different strokes for different folks.

But I do agree that your advice applies to most situations/variables if the end goal is "have my GF like and have her family like me and have no arguments/discussions".

Oct 10, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

I don't know - meeting the family of our partners is often difficult. A good chunk of the Not About Food questions fall under the heading "Our Partners Families". People have figured out, adjusted to, and rebounded from far more difficult scenarios.

And who knows - if the GF's family drinks enough then the OP can be as passive aggressive as he likes without any notice!

Oct 10, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food
1

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

In fairness to this couple and their private life, they may be waiting until marriage for all we know.

Without knowing or caring to know any of that - my points are that I do think that the OP shouldn't be tsk tsk'ed for saying to the GF, "hey the current financial structure of this vacation is making me feel uncomfortable - can we talk about it".

I think a lot of questions like this want some kind of easy sentence to say and get out of an uncomfortable situation/conversation. Or have the anonymous masses say "You're right and your GF/MIL/DH is totally wrong!" In that case I think the OP is out of luck. There's no quick and easy way to say "hey let's talk about money!" And someone on CH will always be happy to respond to the question "am I being cheap" with "yes, yes you are".

Oct 10, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

Yup. I recently had a group trip/vacation/wedding experience with people coming from three different continents. Budgeting for "go with the flow" costs made a huge difference for me in terms of not being surprised or bothered about costs.

That being said, it helped that these are friends I know and know that planning ahead of time in not their strong suit.

Oct 10, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

To be fair in regards to the information we do/don't know - the timeshare could belong to the sister and her husband/family. The timeshare might even belong to the sister's husband's parents or someone's friend(who won't be there) - and technically not directly belong to anyone using it on this vacation. In terms of what we don't know - there's loads.

If the OP wants a way to not be included in all of these 'down the middle' food splits and wants to not create waves, there is no avoiding that.

Oct 10, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

I agree about the GF on this a lot.

This vacation appears to have been explained to the OP by the GF under an assumption where this is something "normal". If they've not gone on this kind of vacation before with her family, having a more detailed conversation really should have happened.

That being said, this topic has kept me very amused this afternoon imaging the screaming, shouting, and various passive aggressive behaviors that would have happened had this vacation option been presented to either of my extended families. This just wouldn't work for my family (wide range of incomes), ergo it's not been an experience I've ever had with family. So if I were the OP, I would need my partner to explain how this would work because it wouldn't be normal to me.

Oct 10, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

Very happy to agree to disagree.

And as I've mentioned below, I do think this says more about the OP and GF as a couple than anything else. Couples need to be able to discuss money and family, because as much as we may believe "this way is right" - it rarely translates to "only this way is right" or "this is the only way people do things". And when it comes to families and money, that can get pretty emotional.

It doesn't mean it can't get emotional, but couples do need to figure out how to talk about these issues.

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

For me when being given a free ride lodging wise, I step up to do more cleaning, laundry, and pitch in with baby sitting if there are young kids. And send a thank you card.

In different situations, I'm sure the gestures are valued differently. But I don't think that either one of us is wrong.

Oct 10, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Am I being too cheap? Splitting restaurant bill on family vacation

Accepting an invitation to stay in someone's home, timeshare, apartment, mansion, yacht, or tent is not consenting to participate in its upkeep. It's accepting an invitation. Bring a host gift and/or find another way to say thank you to the host.

I mentioned the babysitting or pull out couch options because of the comment that as the OP 'budgeted' for lodging. I bring up less than luxurious or private accommodation elements to sharing a condo because whatever the monetary cost of a hotel room - the lived reality of staying all together with the family may simply not be as spacious or private than even the cheapest hotel room. And not of comparable budgeting. The OP may be well aware of helping out with the kids and in a way is seeing that as "payment" or "gift" in regards to the timeshare. Families work in many different ways in how to make things equitable.

My point about not regarding the cost (or lack there of) lodging was that the initial decision to join the vacation and accompanying cost may well have been made knowing that lodging was free. There are many very appropriate budget conscious ways to say thank you for a free place in a timeshare (i.e. doing all the dishes) that don't include any expense.

Oct 10, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food