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

Whenever I read a Roz post I think about the character by the same name from the old Fraiser sitcom.

What 5 TJ's products...?

Tarte d'Alsace
Fresh chicken Italian sausage
Frozen cheese enchiladas
Marcona almonds
Frozen chocolate croissants

Aug 26, 2014
pamf in Chains

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

Try looking for the Winco store or the Grocery Outlet in Stockton.

Aug 26, 2014
pamf in Chains

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

Legal Seafood
Burgerville (Halibut fish sandwich, rogue river blue cheese salad)
Fat Burger (onion rings)

Aug 24, 2014
pamf in Chains

What is the back story of Laura Calder's "French Food at Home"?

Actually she did 3 seasons, about 70 episodes, for FN Canada, very few of which ever showed up on Cooking Channel. I agree that these days CC only shows the same few shows over and over again.

I am a big fan too and would love to see more shows, but I guess there are licensing and contractual issues that limit what CC shows. I was lucky enough to first see FFAH while I was in Canada. I was excited when CC started up and saw that Laura was going to in the line up, but ultimately disappointed with the constant re-runs.

FN did a "Chefography" in 2011 I think and that was an interesting look into her background. You might be able to find that on the web somewhere. The "French Alps" episode was great and I was hoping that would turn into a new series, but I guess it wasn't picked up. The "Recipe to Riches" show was a contest show on FN Canada only and Laura was a judge. (It seems the usual progression for FN hosts, cooking show, then travel, then relegated to host the endless competition shows, blah!)

IMHO, I like to think that LC considers herself more of a writer than a TV personality, so if you like her check out her books. Her most recent "Paris Express" is her take on contemporary cooking among her Paris friends and has many approachable recipes. Her second book "French Food at Home" is a good one too and includes lots of recipes from the series. The first book was written before she did any TV and is kind of quirky, but fun.

LC also has a website and Tweets a lot, so you can check there for any news.

Aug 23, 2014
pamf in Food Media & News

Service Dogs Get Couple Kicked Out of Restaurant

I believe I heard a brief mention in the video that they were "alert" dogs. A quick google shows that alert service dogs are trained to help diabetics and people who get seizures.

Aug 19, 2014
pamf in Food Media & News

Substitute for dried porcini.

Just a thought, you could roast the cremini to remove some of the liquid and intensify the flavor before adding to the ragout.

Aug 19, 2014
pamf in Home Cooking

What would you do to fix the Food Network

That columnist demonstrates that they have no idea what programming is actually on FN. I give a lot more credit to the author of the other salon article who wrote the book on FN, "From Scratch ...".

Ina has her own production company, same one as Nigella. So they produce their shows and sell to FN. Actually I think Nigella is only on Cooking Channel now, although that is also a Scripps channel.

When has Martha Stewart been on FN? Maybe as a guest on some shows but I don't recall her having a series there. Same with Lidia and Jacques Pepin. Sara Moulton was let go by FN and has found a place on PBS.

Ming Tsai was on FN for a while but he went back to PBS years ago. Mario Batali has cut ties with FN, presumably because the FN wanted a cut of his other income.

One thing he got right, Bobby, Rachael and Guy still going strong. Sandra Lee seems to have let go, she has not produced a new show since 2012, although her reruns still air almost daily.

Funny that the columnist does not mention Pioneer Woman, since she is now the highest rated day time show on FN.

Aug 16, 2014
pamf in Food Media & News

Best Buys on whole Lobsters on the SF Peninsula

Check out New England Lobster in Burlingame.

Aug 14, 2014
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

NY Times Review of Giada's Las Vegas restaurant. Ouch

I am not Guy's biggest fan, but he has a degree in Restaurant Management and he was an owner/partner in a few successful restaurants in Northern California (still ongoing and expanding) before FN. So he may not be a chef but he knows the food business.

Aug 14, 2014
pamf in Food Media & News

Suggestions for dinner in Healdsburg area

Great recommendations so far, if you don't mind driving a little, Geyserville is just a couple of exits north of Healdsburg on 101. Diavola pizza and salumeria is a must hit spot.

Almost next door to Diavola is Local's Tasting room. They offer wine from many Sonoma producers who are too small to have their own tasting rooms. Interesting wines at reasonable prices.

Also, Bravas Tapas has a great happy hour deal if you want a light snack or early dinner.

Wineries/Tasting Rooms that belong on another planet?

Check out some of the lesser known wine regions. One winery that comes to mind is Dobra Zemlja in Amador county. Their tasting room is in their cave.

Aug 09, 2014
pamf in Wine

Food Network Star - 8/4

Actually, IIRC from last year's book about the founding of Food Network, the outside production company presented a pilot to FN and FN said they would take the show but they wanted Guy to be the host instead of whoever was in the pilot. Guy was also the host of a network game show for a while, completely not food related.

RR made a fanstatic move by going to her network daytime talk show. Now she ties that back into FN (having the NFNS contestants on) and does cross-promotion. Whatever anyone may think of her personality or her cooking, she has been very smart at growing her career.

Aug 06, 2014
pamf in Food Media & News

Chipotle is going seatless...

I think I mentioned upthread that I have had many office lunches from Chipotle, in many different parts of the US. So I feel confident to comment on it without being accused of condemning something I haven't tried.

My original response was to c_oliver, who I know from her posts on the SFBA board does have access. I simply replied that she shouldn't go out of her way to try Chipotle because she would probably be disappointed.

Mexican immigrants, and Mexican-Americans, are moving into most areas of the US. I hate to see people passing up an opportunity to try a local mom & pop place in favor of the *safe* chain choice.

Aug 03, 2014
pamf in Chains

Chipotle is going seatless...

Who said anything about celebrity chefs? When you are eating good Mexican food you want it to taste like someone's Grandma is in the kitchen.

Chipotle is just standardized, institutional food. It's bland and it's not a good representation of the food you will find at small, local restaurants in the SF Mission district or various other parts of California.

Aug 03, 2014
pamf in Chains

Lucky's Market

Hi, pikawicca, what region are you located in?

Lucky is a chain in Northern California. They were bought out by Albertson's, but then sold off again and returned to the Lucky name.

Jul 31, 2014
pamf in Chains

Food related television commercial failures

They were the "sponge" monkeys. The artist also had had some great pieces with the Angry Kittens.

Not to everyone's taste, I know. But I always find them amusing. Glad to see that he got a paycheck from Quizno's.

Chipotle is going seatless...

Cilantro rice, black beans, corn in the salsa, the type of meats they use and, as I said before, the lack of flavor in most of their ingredients.

Jul 27, 2014
pamf in Chains

Chipotle is going seatless...

It's not a proper Mission style burrito, but that was the model. It has become chain food standardized and the flavors have been dumbed down for the mass market.

They do use good quality ingredients and it won't kill you to eat there, but it's not Chow-worthy food.

Jul 26, 2014
pamf in Chains

Afternoon tea places for a birthday?

The owner of Lovejoy's has a second location in Pacifica. It's located right on Highway 1 at Rockaway in a cute little cottage. I believe it is pretty much the same menu as Lovejoy's.

Lovey's Tea Shoppe

Could be nice if you wanted to combine your tea with a little beach walk.

Jul 26, 2014
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

Chipotle is going seatless...

c oliver, since you live in California where we have access to lots of very good Mexican food, you will likely not be impressed with Chipotle. Their food is not *bad*, but it is pretty bland.

I have eaten Chipotle many times, in different states. When I was traveling a lot for my job Chipotle was one of the usual choices when ordering in for lunch. I would usually get the salad option. You can get the same ingredients in either burrito, bowl or salad form.

So a lunch of some chopped lettuce topped with chopped grilled chicken, black beans and salsa, is not bad, maybe even healthy, just never had very much flavor.

Jul 25, 2014
pamf in Chains

Good non-toxic, grain-free things for a puppy who is teething to chew on?

Hi greygarious,

I think it was you that posted a link to a while back. It's a great site that offers premium treats (and other dog stuff) at a savings. Been very happy with everything I've got from them.

My little dog thanks you. :)

Jul 24, 2014
pamf in Not About Food

Santa Rosa to Mendocino

Lots of options in Healdsburg. Plenty of Healdsburg topics on this board.

If pizza or charcuterie appeals to you, Diavola in Geyerserville (just north of Healdsburg) is fantastic.

If you want to pick up some picnic supplies Big John's Market in Healdsburg is great. Deli, cheese selection, bread, salad bar, etc. It's north of the main Healdsburg square near the Dry Creek exit off Highway 101.

Jul 24, 2014
pamf in California

Not Dim Sum brunch after getting off plane

The food options in the airport are pretty good. Depends on which terminal you are arriving at (there are 4, if you tell us the airline you are flying we can probably tell which terminal). The International Terminal has some options that are outside security, so everyone can access them.

Jul 23, 2014
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area


I enjoyed watching the episodes when they showed on Cooking Channel. Amusing and educational at the same time, imagine that.

Jul 18, 2014
pamf in Food Media & News

AB's Tokyo Nights

Yes, it's Parts Unknown, but it is one of the earlier episodes. It was re-run this past weekend.

Jul 18, 2014
pamf in Food Media & News

Eating out in Healdsburg

Mateo's does have an interesting menu, a departure from what you might usually think of as Mexican food.

Tapas Bravas has the usual things you might expect on a tapas menu. They have a great outdoor patio and also great happy hour deals (if you want a light snack/early dinner).

Barndiva is a more upscale and refined experience, but completely representative of the local, seasonal Northern California.

If you don't mind driving a little bit north of downtown Healdsburg, in the tiny town of Geyerserville there is a pizza restaurant, they also make their own charcuterie and have other items on the menu. It is called Diavola.

There are very few places in Sonoma County that are formal or pretentious. But the service is friendly and professional and you will find great food. Most restaurants also have good wine lists (although not necessarily extensive) featuring local producers. Some are also very liberal about corkage, if you find something while you are out tasting that you would like to drink with dinner. Congratulations and Enjoy!

Jul 17, 2014
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

Fresh & Easy Hummus Shockingly Good

I really like their hummus, the spicy jalapeno variety, which really isn't that spicy, but has a little kick of flavor. Much better than most of the commercially available brands. F&E also has some pretty good pita chips in the snack aisle to go with the hummus.

There are some things that they do well and a lot of other stuff to just pass by.

Jul 13, 2014
pamf in Chains

Help picking Wine?

We where given tastes of a couple Pennyroyal cheeses last fall when we were at the Navarro tasting room in Anderson Valley. Quite good, the cheese is worth checking out too.

Jul 12, 2014
pamf in San Francisco Bay Area

What kind of restaurant has the highest profit margins?

I believe they originated in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Looks like they are expanding into Los Angeles.

Jul 11, 2014
pamf in Not About Food