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Where can i find almond flour?

Quite easy to grind yourself in a food processor. Use sliced or whole and pulse until ground fine. Adding a tablespoon or so of wheat flour helps. Pulsing avoids overheating the flour.

Dec 20, 2011
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where can I buy liquid levain in the DC area?

Happy to give you what you need. I'm just over the county line in Arbutus and can meet you most anywhere (within reason).

Tonight and tomorrow aren't good for me, but beyond that, any other time, including the weekend is okay.

Not sure how to exchange any contact info without exposing it to the world.

Jun 15, 2010
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

My wife finally gets a wedding ring...

Thanks for this suggestion! A rooftop view is perfect and your nightlife link is appreciated.

Jun 10, 2010
tbw in Manhattan

My wife finally gets a wedding ring...

Thanks for the tip on late night seating, GOS. I was concerned about the late hour.

Perhaps I'll go to plan "B" and find a quiet lounge or something similar. In the end, it doesn't matter what we eat or do. I'm mostly interested in making her smile.

Jun 07, 2010
tbw in Manhattan

My wife finally gets a wedding ring...

Neither of us mind wearing shoes so I'd guess formal is okay, but something a bit more casual is more our style.

Open to absolutely any type of cuisine, however Ethiopian is my least favorite. Fish is good. Veal is bad.

There is no budget!

Jun 06, 2010
tbw in Manhattan

My wife finally gets a wedding ring...

Thanks. For one weekend at least, money is not an issue.
I know the city never sleeps, but if it matters, our train doesn't get in until 9-ish so it'd be 10 -10:30 PM before we could be anywhere.

Jun 06, 2010
tbw in Manhattan

My wife finally gets a wedding ring...

After waiting decades, and I'm hoping to find the perfect place to create a lasting memory. We're visiting for a weekend and are meeting friends on the Saturday evening so I'd like to surprise her at our Friday night meal. Open to anything but especially to any place where her eyes might shine in candlelight.

She's most adventuresome and I'm willing to be for the occasion. We're staying around the theater district.

I'd really like to take her breath away.


Jun 06, 2010
tbw in Manhattan

If I go to Baltimore, MD what kind of foods are the known for other than crabs and crab cakes? Thanks.

I'm going to have to disagree with you re the photo identifications:

Whiting on the left, red hake on the right.

Apr 16, 2010
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Teppanyaki Grill & Supreme Buffet, Halethorpe, MD

We went last Friday evening, before 6 PM and there was no wait. Service was friendly and fast. As posted by another, this isn't an asian style buffet with dumplings, shu mai etc. You'll find various battered/fried/sauced items with veggies, greasy spring rolls, baked chicken (boneless thighs and quite good), a deli ham and a beef roast to slice and many fried options. There were at least 4 shrimp-based choices along with the steam shrimp. The water, honeydew and cantalope melons were all ripe and sweet. Didn't try the grill as the salad selection and chicken was enough. I did not notice or ask if beer and wine were available.

We live in the area and while this wouldn't be our "go to" spot, we'd go again and think it'll be popular for families due to price and variety. $8.99 plus $1.39 for a soft drink plus tip and it's a pretty cheap outing, plus you can eat healthy if desired.

Where else can you impress your spouse by building an edible version of the Great Wall of China out of jello squares?

Apr 14, 2010
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where can I buy liquid levain in the DC area?

I don't know what sort of bread you're baking but a poolish will accomplish the same thing as the levain. You might need a tad more flour as the levain would have had more water than a poolish (125% water in levain, relative to flour weight VS 100% in the poolish).

Use equal parts (by weight) flour and water with a tiny bit of yeast. I assume you'd use dry vs fresh yeast so if you're using say, a cup of flour, you'd only use 10-15 grains of dry yeast. Mix it up, cover, and let it sit for 12-16 hours at room temp. It'll double overnight and have a nice smell to it. If it has collapsed, it ripened too long. Substitute the poolish for the levain in your formula.

Apr 02, 2010
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Split Top (New England) Hot Dog Buns

Giant sometimes carries the Pepperidge Farms variety. They're split top but a bit heavier & sweeter than what you'd find in NE.

Apr 01, 2010
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where can I buy liquid levain in the DC area?

It isn't something you can buy. You'll either have to make it yourself (easy, but is a 4-5 day process to start it), or find a bakery/baker that uses it and ask for a bit.

I'm in Baltimore and keep some going if you're interested.

Mar 31, 2010
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Really, does a great latte exist in Baltimore?

My coffee companion likes Koffee Therapy on E. Franklin, just down the hill a 1/2 block or so from Charles.

I've never been but she says they serve "great foam." If it matters, I'm not certain they keep evening hours.

Feb 03, 2010
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Really, does a great latte exist in Baltimore?

Sadly, I'm afraid your Baltimore Valentine's wish will be just that.

"Foam" is usually nothing but large bubbles here and 12 years after leaving Ballard, found it easier to buy a quality machine and DIY.

There are no Diva or Vivace-esq coffee houses around.

Good luck in your search!

Feb 02, 2010
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Looking for Chinese scallion cake in Baltimore County

You can buy the mix at almost any Korean market. Just add water and scallions and fry.

Jan 02, 2010
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Live lobsters in D.C. - where to buy?

Lobsters eat just fine without claws. Claws are for defense and crushing/ripping food, but aren't used to feed themselves. Feeding is done via the small front legs that have pinchers on them. And no, lobsters don't don bibs before dinner.

A large amount of the "fresh" lobster everyone loves is a product of the Canadian pound system, where lobsters are held in huge pounds, typically during summer months when prices are lowest, then released onto the market when prices rise, usually going into the fall and winter.

In New England, tanks are used for storage, vs pounds. In either event, it'd be fairly rare for anyone in this area to find a lobster that at most, is a day old.

Aug 20, 2009
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore Seafood Restaurants

Much of the rockfish served in restaurants is farmed.

Sustainable? Of course. Great for portion control? Absolutely! Tasty? Yup.

But the whole concept of eating something raised on pellets doesn't always sit right with me. I know, what about salmon, most poultry and the rest. I'm just saying...

Aug 15, 2009
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore Seafood Restaurants

In years past cod, haddock and pollack (atlantic) were sold as either steak (7 lbs or greater with head off), market ( 4-7 lbs, head on), and scrod (under 3 lbs). Size restrictions have since made the "scrod" size illegal.

The whole "seafood culture" thing is pretty hard to quantify and we all run things through our own set of filters so no surprise of the disagreements on this issue.

I'm from New England so naturally think the seafood there is the best. Plus, unlike Baltimore, no one has an accent.

Aug 14, 2009
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Baltimore Seafood Restaurants

What Boston has that qualifies it as a seafood town is an active commercial fishing fleet and an active fresh fish auction.

NYC is the largest seafood market on the east coast. Portland, Gloucester, New Bedford, Fairhaven, Newport, Point Judith, Shinnicock, Montauk, Pt Pleasant and virtually every other port on the eastern seafood ship product into the city.

Does that indicate a robust seafood culture? I think so. With few exceptions, most fresh fish finding it's way to Jessup comes via NYC.

And not to nitpick, but scrod is a size of fish, not a species.

Aug 13, 2009
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Buying premade fondant in the Baltimore area

Cake Connection in Dundalk might have it. (700 Merritt Blvd # A2, Baltimore, MD‎ - (410) 285-2064‎)

Jul 29, 2009
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Dry Sea Scallops in DC?

As a former commercial fisherman from Pt Judith, RI, here's my take on the scallop discussion:

Excepting those vessels that freeze their product at sea, all sea scallops are packed "dry" on the boat. Scallops are brought aboard via dredge or net, shucked by hand, then packed in cotton bags holding about 40 lbs each. The bags are then placed in the fish hold, stacked along side and atop of another in pens holding 1-3000 lbs each and iced down. Bags from the top of the pen are always in the best condition and are sometimes sold as the "top of the trip", and on occasion, sold as "day boat". This isn't to say that real "day boat" scallops don't exist.

After 6-10 days, boats head back to port and unload. Each bag is weighed and usually sold to a processors. Some buyers soak them in TSP to increase the weight and profits, some don't. As noted by another poster, unsoaked scallops (dry) will be sticky to the touch.

Both previously frozen scallops and soaked scallops will exude the milky liquid sometimes seen at a market.

Sea (and bay) scallops range in color from orange to milky white and color isn't always a good indicator of freshness. A fresh scallop eye should be shiny, fairly perky and have a nice sea-like smell to it.

Apr 17, 2009
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Why are there so few good bakeries

As a baking professional (bread), I don't feel any more qualified than others to answer the question, but here's my take:

Paris (Europe as well) has a culture and history that has always supported neighborhood bakeries. In the past, people shopped on a daily basis for staples. Pick up your produce, meat and your bread, greet your friends and neighbors, and while daily shopping was still a chore, as habit, it became ingrained into your everyday life.

State and local governments provided price protections, the apprentice system was strong and vibrant, and people simply didn't have the time or inclination to travel across town to look for a different type product.

Whole Foods were what you found at the corner produce cart or shop, Giant was the boule from Poliane and Super Fresh was the bread from your neighborhood boulanger. Trader Joe was the guy with the cart, selling housewares each Saturday across from the local tavern.

I don't find the lack of bakeries to be any great mystery. Time marches on and habits change. Too, so many have no idea what a good loaf of bread, or a baguette tastes like. Thankfully in some places, there is something of a resurgence regarding breads at least, and more people are discovering how wonderful a "real"loaf of bread can taste

Aug 12, 2008
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ranch Style (canned) Beans from Texas?

My Texan neighbors are looking for Ranch Style Beans in a can with a black label. Has anyone seen these in Baltimore?

Jul 19, 2008
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore

Woodberry Kitchen

This is a long post. We went on July 5th. This was a first visit and I hadn't read any reviews so as to keep an open mind.

Service, with a couple of small exceptions, was perfect. We were seated upstairs. Very loud on a Saturday night. If you're seeking a romantic place for a quiet dinner and intimate conversation, this might not be the place for you.

The two-top table was quite small and when the server delivered bread, drinks, a bottle of water, a salad and two appetizers at the same time, there simply wasn't room enough for everything.

The salad looked very nice. I think it had nuts and blue cheese, but I've forgotten by now. The pork buns were a surprise as being a Seattle transplant, I was thinking of a hum bow and when the buns arrived was pleasantly surprised to find them to be pulled pork, served on a choux paste bun. They were good. The steamed clams (a special) however, were a disaster. Served with eight or nine in the bowl, six of them were HUGE, and clearly not a steaming clam, but meant to be fried. Chewy and rubbery and to make a bad situation worse, it was clear that the kitchen soaked them in fresh water to make them spit their sand. Cooking in fresh, unsalted water, serving with unsalted butter and the unsalted cooking "broth" rendered them completely devoid of any flavor. Shame on the vendor for providing frying-sized clams as steamers, but I'd think that the kitchen staff might have known better. That made me wonder if the kitchen knew, or if they didn't care. Either way, I'd suggest passing on the clams if the are available.

Gretchen ordered the shortribs and I tried the strip steak. I know, who orders steak when they go out? My theory is if a restaurant can do something simple, well, then odds are they're able to execute a more complicated dish well also. Besides, the menu didn't do much to excite me.

I'm not sure I needed the server's blessing on my entree choice, but he felt compelled to tell me that ordinarily, he'd suggest the ribeye, but tonight he felt the strip was a good choice. I suspect the $35 price tag had something to do with his enthusiasm.

Shortribs were great, served with a polenta that had been fried and was quite greasy. Green beans (or peas, I can't recall) were fine as well. The strip steak, ordered medium rare, which to me means a warm, pink center,arrived what I'd call "black and blue", seared on the outsides and a cold, purple inside. I wasn't bothered by it, but Gretchen was a little grossed out. Good flavor, but pretty chewy. It was bone in so good news for the dog. The mashed potatoes were leaden and seemed more like mortar than a starch. The vegetable was rocket which appeared to be similar in look and taste to baby spinach leaves. They were served raw with a spritz of oil.

We passed on dessert as this was a b-day celebration and cake was waiting at home. Cappacinno, although served as a latte, was easily the best coffee I've found in Baltimore. The "special" coffee, billed as a Kenyan blend with floral and chocolate tones, was, for $5.50, not much more than coffee-colored liquid. Gretchen liked it but I thought it VERY weak.

I was slightly disappointed in the vegetable offerings and wished that a choice was offered to diners. This was my first time eating rocket and I guess I wouldn't ever request it if offered. No offense meant to the rocket growers.

We'll try here again in the fall to see if the kitchen staff adds a bigger veggie selection. It wasn't outstanding, but then again, wasn't terrible. An average resturant meal, I guess. Gretchen rated our dining experience a 7, I gave it a 6, the dog gave the bone a 10. Parking was not an issue and we didn't use the valet service.

I'd say give this place a try and form your own opinion.

Jul 17, 2008
tbw in Washington DC & Baltimore