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Great Food Truck Race 2014 - one week left (spoilers)

Yeah - I think that on one episode Tyler tried to address that the quality of food wasn't super high, which was a first. Not to mention that there was the early military mom's truck that was charging $8-10 (?) for a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich.....

Given that the nature of the show truly is a case of 'one and done', there's no need to develop a fan base or provide a product of value. Which has kind of deflated the show for me. I don't believe the food is amazing, and the "challenge" of showing up with some FN cameras and then overcharging for a dish I've made drunk at 3am (quesadilla, I'm looking at you), meh.

I think going forward, the show would be more interesting taking existing food trucks from one city and setting the competition just in that city. (i.e. Food Truck Race, Portland) The challenges could be more neighborhood and cooking oriented. Or, select a number of existing food trucks from around the country, and have them face challenges in their own city. Either way, this current set up has gassed out, imho.

about 13 hours ago
cresyd in Food Media & News

Great Food Truck Race 2014 - one week left (spoilers)

The price gauging on this season of the show has been unreal. At one point the Tex-Mex truck was charging $25 for a quesadilla.....

It's a theory I've always thought with this show, especially when they're in smaller towns where people show up in large numbers because it's an "event". Slap a huge price tag on the food, cause clearly people are paying for the experience/being on tv more so than the food. But it's not helping the intrigue with the show.

about 14 hours ago
cresyd in Food Media & News

Sukkot and shabbat meals tel aviv

Don't have a specific answer (though my guess would be that it would be open) - but given the lack of activity on the Middle East board, you'd probably see quicker responses if you double post your question on the Kosher board.

about 17 hours ago
cresyd in Middle East & Africa

(Silly) question about ingesting soap.

Oh, you're 100% correct.

To be completely frank - I totally ate the rest of the rice the next day, and whatever stomach issues I had didn't return. So yeah, there was totally that case of "what have I done to myself??" in the middle of the night.

Sep 18, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food
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(Silly) question about ingesting soap.

Thank you - that was the basic response I was looking for.

This was a case of a quick wash/rinse/dry/use - and clearly I was a bit careless. Fair enough, it didn't make for amazing eating - but it was late, I was hungry, and it wasn't 'that' bad.

I've also been traveling a lot recently, so whatever bellyaching my stomach is doing is probably more related to that. But I can't imagine that eating dish liquid helped.

Sep 17, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

(Silly) question about ingesting soap.

Last night I made some rice, and clearly hadn't rinsed all the dish soap out of the pot. While it wasn't like there was foaming soap, there was definitely a bit of an after taste. Then last night/this morning I had a truly awful stomach ache that so far Pepto has appeared to mollify.

So the question is this - aside from the obvious of not serving this to anyone - is there a level of how much incidental digested soap before it becomes a problem? I've also been traveling a lot recently, so I'm totally open to this having no connection to eating soap. But for future reference, should something like this happen again - should I have just tossed the rice as being totally inedible/bad for me?

Sep 17, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

True - but I think this automatic assumption that 'typical American food' is limited to fried meat and starch isn't true. Sure, it's a huge part of American comfort food, but isn't the whole story of great American food.

I mean, you could serve a bean chili that has some meat in it with corn bread and a variety of vegetable sides and it'd still read to me as a very American meal without it being fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes.

Why is that Kids Competition with Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri on Food Network and not Nickelodeon?

Fair enough - that's a fairly (very) nebulous term.

For me the original Iron Chef served to amaze me, encouraged me to try new things, and gave me a few pointers (some that I still use today). For whatever reason ICA doesn't hold my attention in quite the same way - but that doesn't necessarily diminish the quality of the show.

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

I just spent the past week with a group of Israelis, English, Germans, and Canadians (who currently live abroad) and were in the US for a Cape Cod wedding and traveling. Based on this experience - many fruit/vegetable side dishes and something without meat as a main feature of the main course. And nothing fried.

I think it may be that for many travelers, getting "restauranted out" is fairly common. It's not as though any of these countries don't have plenty of deep fried and starchy foods (especially in restaurants), but after a few days the "why can't I just get a good salad" whining got pretty loud.

Because we were on the Cape, and had a limited number of cars/drivers and lots of wedding events to be available for - taking the time to prepare more normal home cooked meals didn't work out very often. But to speak on behalf on that crowd - lots of salads, lots of veggies, lots of fruit, minimal meat and frying.

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in General Topics

Which would rather have? Great Food or Great Service in a Restaurant?

It depends on the price/food - but I've regularly gone back to some places that consistently have dreadful service. Sometimes it becomes part of the joke/experience of going there. But it's hardly a business model that I'd recommend.

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Why is that Kids Competition with Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri on Food Network and not Nickelodeon?

Compared to a show like Worst Cooks in America or Rachael and Guy's Celebrity Cook Off - by FN's standards, this is a pretty respectable offering.

Also, because none of the kids are ever sent home (and rather the winner is determined by a cumulative score), the show doesn't have nearly the same volume of the agony/ecstasy of going home week to week that just about every other competition show has. I don't think this show is a center for cooking brilliance, but of all the shows FN should be embarrassed by, this isn't one of them.

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

I figured kosher-keepers would have a variety of responses on how to deal.

The most recent wedding I attended definitely had GF/DF options - perhaps not necessarily enough for a perfect meal - but definitely enough to ward off hunger (esp if accompanied by a snack).

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

What types of restaurants does DC need now?

RusUz in Ballston is an Uzbekistani restaurant and there are a lot of food similarities between that and Georgian cuisines. Some of the same stuff, some slight variations on a theme.

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

As a thought - another audience that might have some advice/experience on how to bring up this point would be people on the kosher board. Though I've never had to ask or been asked about this, I have been to weddings where guests had double wrapped kosher meals or stayed for part of the reception, didn't eat, and left early. And I've never heard any of those people being called rude.

I was recently invited to a wedding, and the RSVP card had no place for mentioning something like a peanut allergy - so I'm not sure that opening the door to dietary restrictions on invites has become de rigueur yet.

Sep 04, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

tipping with limited service

A lot of tipping threads often function under this notion that a "few bucks" won't really hurt someone. However, if someone does have a very tight budget, does that free them from the obligation to tip? And while a few bucks one time may make no difference, if someone purchases food (at counters/restaurants/delivery) even just a few times a week - that few bucks can add up fairly quickly if we're expanding this to all food service.

Not all servers make less than all customer. I've always found it a bizarre point to bring up regarding tipping. Because then that essentially tells someone living on student loans or any fixed/tight income that they're immune from tipping.

Sep 04, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Next Food Network Star -finale (spoilers)

I think that comment may have been in response to your line "It was stupid and gross, and what woman amongst us has not gone on working with stupid and gross guys?" - and a point that women should not have to go on working with such men.

I would also add that I think someone blowing a snot rocket with the intention of hitting someone 'stupid and gross'. Actions I would describe as 'stupid and gross' I would shrug off in the workplace. And I don't shrug off sexual harassment.

Personally, I would choose different words to describe sexual harassment. So the disagreement may be more vocabulary based than true sentiment based.

Next Food Network Star -finale (spoilers)

In the grand scheme yes - the stuff said about women who are public figures on the internet really does drop to horrific depths. But I do think that the public nature about what he said about Ree does cross current lines about what is accepted.

I'm not saying Lenny has no career. But I would be shocked if he has any career on the Food Network.

Irrationally far-in-advance bookings: an increasingly general trend

This is the worst with event tickets - specifically for concerts. No more the days when a committed fan could wait in line for hours to be first in line - those companies buy up the tickets in bulk and then resell them.

Sep 01, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food
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The Feed

Max Silvestri also used to do very funny recaps of Worst Cooks in America for Grantland (http://grantland.com/contributors/max...). It's a shame it's such a mess.

Aug 29, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

I really like <fill in chain> and I look forward to returning

I can't imagine investing in the whole box's worth - I more like to think of it potentially happening as a fantastic accident.

Aug 29, 2014
cresyd in Chains

Are you a herb, spice and seasoning junkie?

I'm with you on this - it also helps in terms of working through different cuisines/recipes at a time. I have a fairly standard Middle Eastern selection of spices around - but I recently bought nutmeg for a recipe, and now I'm trying to find other recipes that use nutmeg (and other spices I already have) so I make the most of it. I would much rather buy spices in as small a quantity as possible.

Aug 29, 2014
cresyd in General Topics

Top Chef Duels, 8/27, Stefan vs CJ, SPOILERS, an ever more profane and surly recap

I'm with you. Cowboyardee's knife interlude is the most interesting and educational thing to come out of this show so far.

I really like <fill in chain> and I look forward to returning

I had a friend that used to be a server at Red Lobster - and she said that the biscuits were amazing with some kind of raspberry jam/sauce that was used in one of their desserts. Never tempted me to actually go to Red Lobster to order biscuits and a dessert with raspberry sauce....but I've always been curious.

Aug 28, 2014
cresyd in Chains

Why oh why did you not use my host(ess) gift at your dinner party?

Exactly. I think the only alternative to this, is if the event is a potluck and someone is asked to bring napkins/plastic wear which ultimately aren't used. Then being irritated would make sense, though not justify being rude as a guest.

Aug 28, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Sukkot in Argentina

You might benefit from posting this on the Kosher board. And perhaps separately on the South America board.

Aug 28, 2014
cresyd in Kosher

Leave Guy Fieri alone: Why he has nothing to do with the Food Network’s decline

I don't know how many I speak for - but I'll raise my hand and say that on some level, that does describe me. Perhaps not that I fell in love with him and that I lost faith in the network - but more so it was a case of a very heavy hint that the FN was not interested in courting me as a viewer.

I was someone who was raised in a home where my mom cooked a lot and was a total "get out of my kitchen" parent. So I really learned everything I know about cooking from cookbooks, the internet, and Food Network. Rachel Ray using anchovies was revolutionary for me at first. However, by the time Justin Warner came around - I wasn't looking for another Rachel Ray - I wanted something different. I wasn't interested in someone telling me how to make 101 different sandwiches. But something creative, and pushing lightly on the boundaries - that excited me. So when Justin never got a show, it was just that firm indication that this network wasn't interesting in making shows for someone like me.

I'm sure my age factors into how all of this played out for me. And I don't know if I just represent a really small minority of people born in the early 80's who watch FN - but I can say that that line resonated with me. Perhaps a bit hyperbolic, but I got the overall sentiment.

What types of restaurants does DC need now?

Very true - getting the mix of Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern food in one place helps under the Israeli umbrella. And you are very correct abut lemonade with mint being a standard Israeli beverage - however served as a frozen beverage is less common. I prefer the drink when it just has basically a whole stalk of mint in the glass verses the mint cut up very finely.

Wanting Israeli food though is a bit like saying "I want an American restaurant" - there are definitely some melting pot combos (carp caviar salad on top of labne....oh memories.....), but most of the food has origins within other more readily available cuisines. Regarding starting the meals with different appetizers - look for Middle Eastern/Turkish restaurants that have diverse mezzes appetizer places. Lots of places in the US will just do the standard babaganoush, hummus, and fried items - but it is more traditional to also have pickled/marinated veggies, slaws, and salads as well.

Zaytinya actually is pretty close in options to what I'd consider to be an Israeli umbrella (minus some Ashkenazi food and plus some more Greek options). May not be the cheapest way to get that experience - but their Bamya (okra) is really spot on what I'd expect to get in Israel (if not better). Not to mention it is a place where you can get caviar salad and labne in the same place....

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

That being said - I guess thinking about this if I was hosting a meal where there would be guests from abroad attending who I knew very little about other than their country of origin and perhaps a sweeping generalization ('they eat everything!', 'they like American food!')- I would err on the side of preparing a meal to serve either buffet or family style so that individual diners would have more control over portion control. And in case any dish ended up being the proverbial pumpkin pie-peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it would be easier for a guest to avoid or take a very tiny serving.

Aug 27, 2014
cresyd in General Topics
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What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

I think that restaurant portions aren't exactly the best way to surmise what works as a standard portion. I lived for a summer in Germany with a family, and on days when we'd eat lunch or dinner in a restaurant (where servings were large), the mother wouldn't eat for the rest of the day and would serve the rest of us small snacks for other meals. I was 13 at the time, and never put together if this was standard or just this family.

Similarly, portion sizes in sit down Israeli restaurants can be huge - truly Cheesecake Factory large. But there's an implication that dishes will be shared.

So just because in a restaurant a salad is served on a platter fit for a Thanksgiving turkey doesn't necessarily reflect consumption patterns.

Aug 27, 2014
cresyd in General Topics
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I have an okra question too -

Personally - I try to get the smallest okra pods available as I've found them easiest to work with/least slimy. I've used okra the most when in the Middle East where the pods are rarely longer than 2 inches. But in the US, I just aim for getting the smallest pods possible.

Aug 27, 2014
cresyd in Home Cooking
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