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Kater's Profile

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Beef Stew - what are your secrets or tips for making a really good meal?

A couple of tips - use spare rib meat and be sure to dredge it in seasoned flour and brown well. Do not crowd the pan.

Make excellent beef stock, ideally ahead of time so that you can eat before midnight.

Use a nice light red wine and not tomatoes.

Add parsnips for sweetness, and use fresh bay leaf and thyme. Also lots of ground black pepper!

2 days ago
Kater in Home Cooking

Never have I been so baffled: Mama's House of Horrors

The online menu and the 'specially printed daily menu' were exact duplicates. They call the menu online a sample because I think they greatly overestimate the intelligence of the general public.

I think we definitely would have enjoyed it more if we had been able to see the view. The ambiance after dark leaves a lot to be desired.

Sep 19, 2014
Kater in Hawaii

Never have I been so baffled: Mama's House of Horrors

I was going to include the phrase "emperor's new clothes" in my initial remarks but they were getting too long!

I am not at all unwilling to pay Mama's prices. We do not spend that every day but treat ourselves to fine meals on vacation and at home. My problem is wasting my time on a poor or mediocre experience. That bothers me for more than paying too much for average food.

We could not get a reservation until 8pm so the view was not part of our experience. I think that is a significant factor. I had wanted a table earlier and I was very bothered when I overheard both the valets and hostesses talking about seating walk-ins earlier in the evening. I even called and asked to bump my online reservation to an earlier time if they had an opening but when the disinterested employee didn't even take down my name I knew that was not going to happen.

My primary motivation in broaching the topic is that Chowhound has never lead me astray.... until now. I wanted to be sure to get my view and experience out there because what I experienced was nothing like the restaurant described by so many normally reliable CH posters!

Sep 18, 2014
Kater in Hawaii

Seafood differentiation between grocery stores

typically previously frozen means that they got it frozen and thawed it to sell

Sep 15, 2014
Kater in Philadelphia

Never have I been so baffled: Mama's House of Horrors

Ok it is not a house of horrors but what the deal with Mama's Fish House. It was one of the worst meals we have eaten in a long time. Just a huge tourist trap with clunky service cranking out 700 factory meals per night.

What really threw me was their claim that the menu is printed daily to highlight the fresh catch.

That's funny because I always review the menu before I visit a restaurant and over the course of 4 months the menu remained the same. There was only one entree special the night we visited so it is not as if they are featuring the best local ingredients that way.

Our fish was so incredibly overcooked that it would be difficult to assess freshness. It was not rotten but based on their truthfulness about the daily menus I tend to think the story about eating fish that Johnny caught on his hook and line are complete bullshit.

Before I wrote this I actually checked to see if there was another Mama's Fish House on Maui because I see no connection between our experience and the praise for this restaurant online. I am flummoxed.

Sep 15, 2014
Kater in Hawaii

Lancaster corn at Merrymead

they don't grow corn

Jul 12, 2014
Kater in Philadelphia

Asian Legend in Lansdale

I think it has gone way downhill. Saigon on Main was floundering and a new name has not improved matters. Service is nervous and uptight and the food is mediocre at best.

Jul 08, 2014
Kater in Philadelphia
1

Fresh burrata in western suburbs?

Taluto's in Norristown has it.

Jul 08, 2014
Kater in Philadelphia
1

Adam Richman goes too far

I expect this is the end for him. He was a minor media figure without any particular talent beyond an approachable everyman persona. Without that to offer, and he made certain no one will view him that way again, there is absolutely no reason to put him on TV.

Jul 06, 2014
Kater in Food Media & News

Bamboo in East Norriton, modern szechuan cuisine

I can't believe that I missed out on this place for so long. That will teach me to wander away from Chowhound...

We just discovered Bamboo because I finally asked a Chinese friend how far I had to go to find decent food and she sent me there.

Bamboo shoots in chili oil are fantastic and so is the homestyle tofu!

Jul 05, 2014
Kater in Philadelphia

Smith Road Produce Stand

I found the new location last week and have already been there three times.

They had amazing English peas, but I am not sure if they will have more.

The corn is in and it is fantastic. So are the tomatoes. They have a nice selection of herbs, some amazing half green half yellow summer squash and fresh garlic.

Also if they still have blueberries, buy them! They are out of this world!

Jul 05, 2014
Kater in Philadelphia

Blue Bell Inn to open in April

Wonderful news! Thanks for the info!

Mar 09, 2014
Kater in Philadelphia

Best Sushi - Collegeville/Limerick/Phoenixville

If you're willing to drive to Blue Fin that is the best. Umai is also very good.

if you're going to stick to Collegeville then Bon Jung is the best.

Avoid Kumo - poor quality and bad service.

Feb 10, 2014
Kater in Philadelphia

Forest and Main --Ambler Brewpub

We finally made it in last weekend and love this place! Really good beer, which is a rare thing in area brewpubs. I like Belgians and my husband likes English so this is the perfect place for us.

The food is perfect but not inexpensive. We enjoyed the fried chicken, cauliflower (YUM), burger, carrot salad and pea ravioli. Everyone loved the food. It was artfully prepared and designed with care. My son is still talking about the pickles. Bear in mind that they have a very brief menu and did not offer any specials when we visited. You may want to check the website before you head in so that you know there is something you would like to eat.

Homespun Hipster is my take on the ambiance and decor. They create a welcome relaxing vibe in a very simple but beautiful environment. Service is warm but efficient. The employees seem to really embrace the mission of this restaurant and want to make every guest comfortable.

May 15, 2013
Kater in Philadelphia
1

Koko Korean BBQ in North Wales?

I was there again on Thursday night. Food was fantastic as always. They have a very comfortable, but not at all fancy atmosphere and better barbecue than the other local Korean restaurants. Great salad served with the bbq and the kimchi pancake is also great. Their banchan were better than ever and they already do a better job than a lot of other places!

Feb 16, 2013
Kater in Philadelphia

What is the secret to the firm dense shrimp for shrimp cocktail served in the best steakhouses and restaurants?

Wild caught, fresh never frozen. If you don't have a local source Randy's Paradise Shrimp will ship them to you.

Feb 07, 2013
Kater in Home Cooking

Mail Order Florida Pink Shrimp Fresh Never Frozen

I am envious! In the frigid Northeast we have to have them shipped in! I've heard that you can get amazing shrimp and great prices if you're near the coast. I paid about $80 for 3 pounds of shrimp delivered. Maybe it was 85.

Jan 29, 2013
Kater in General Topics

Mail Order Florida Pink Shrimp Fresh Never Frozen

OK I took the plunge and bought three pounds of Randy's Paradise Shrimp. I got the 10-15s they call them Jumbo. I chose 2nd day air which scared me but they said it was fine.

The shrimp arrived on time, though they forgot to send a confirming tracking number, and the quality was spectacular! I was astonished. They arrive in a well insulated box with a special cold bag and ice packs.

The texture was perfect. There is noting better than wild caught never frozen shrimp. I plan to order them again in a couple of months but I will probably get the Oh My God Shrimp - 6 per pound.

I definitely recommend and don't be afraid of the 2 Day shipping.

Jan 28, 2013
Kater in General Topics

Ilg's Disappointment - Crown Roast of Lamb

thanks - I checked out their website and I love that they buy product from Del Val students!

Dec 30, 2012
Kater in Philadelphia

Ilg's Disappointment - Crown Roast of Lamb

I have been thinking about it but it is something I seldom do and I would not be comfortable. Still, I really do think that they generally care about quality but it's not as if they didn't see what they gave me and I bought two. I ordered them ahead so it is not as if they were rushed. I will think it over but it would be difficult for me.

Dec 27, 2012
Kater in Philadelphia

Ilg's Disappointment - Crown Roast of Lamb

I have been a strong Ilg's evangelist for many years but I am really unhappy with my Christmas crown roasts of lamb. They were astonishingly fatty. It was like there was a huge piece of fat on the inside of the crown that should have been removed. Luckily I had also purchased a tenderloin because no one would touch it. I wound up wasting over $200 on something that none of my guests would eat.

Have you ever had a problem like this? Do you know of another butcher who does a proper crown roast of lamb?

Dec 26, 2012
Kater in Philadelphia

Mail Order Florida Pink Shrimp Fresh Never Frozen

Never frozen shrimp can definitely be had and I used to have a local source for them. I was able to talk to the fish guy at whole foods and they are going to have some for Christmas but they are much smaller than what I wanted. At this point I thinkI am going to go that route though because once I accepted the fact that I was going to have to pay $70 for shipping I discovered that they can't deliver on Mondays! UGH.

At any rate, thanks for the help.

Dec 12, 2012
Kater in General Topics

Mail Order Florida Pink Shrimp Fresh Never Frozen

I noticed that. Their prices are phenomenal and their shrimp is probably much better than the grocery store but I really want fresh never frozen this time.

Dec 12, 2012
Kater in General Topics

Mail Order Florida Pink Shrimp Fresh Never Frozen

Well that was my other question. The $40 is for second day air! That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Overnight was going to be more like $80 for five pounds of shrimp.

I am really disappointed that my local source for these went out of business. Too many people are lured in by low aquaculture shrimp prices at Costco and the supermarket.

Dec 12, 2012
Kater in General Topics

Mail Order Florida Pink Shrimp Fresh Never Frozen

does anyone have a source with reasonable shipping costs. I found Randy's Paradise and the product looks good but shipping is $40 from Fla to PA.

Dec 11, 2012
Kater in General Topics

Salt flakes

I have not but I have ordered Maldon flakes from Amazon. They are very reliable and the price is great. Now my Whole Foods has it more reliably though I think it is cheaper on Amazon!

Dec 06, 2012
Kater in Home Cooking

Creme de Violette in Philly/Central Jersey?

I know this may be a very stupid question but is there any reason that we cannot order liquor online and have it shipped to Pa? I want a bottle of Belle de Brillet. In order to buy it from the state store I would have to order 6 bottles at $56. It is available online for $59.95 with shipping from another state. Am I allowed to buy i this way? I certainly don't want to spent $336 and wouldn't trust myself with six bottles of the stuff!

Dec 03, 2012
Kater in Philadelphia

Christmas Dinner Menu Help

thank you - I looked it up before and was happy to see that she uses frozen spinach. I love fresh for many things but for this... well it would be pretty cumbersome!

Nov 30, 2012
Kater in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner Menu Help

Ham is a very logical choice but I really don't care for it. Still I am considering making it because I think I am the only person who doesn't like ham!

Nov 26, 2012
Kater in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner Menu Help

Now I am sort of thinking rack of lamb and a gratin would be great with that. I will look for the spinach one!

Nov 26, 2012
Kater in Home Cooking