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anvali's Profile

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Looking for everyday tableware

I"m still a fan of the classic Corning ware you can find at the outlets. But if you want to spiff up your existing stoneware, I hear that Barkeepers Friend can get the scratches out.

Jun 01, 2015
anvali in Cookware

Quick question about signing up for Costco.

You can go in alone to the Membership counter. They take cash, debit, check, and American Express (at least for now).

Jun 01, 2015
anvali in Chains

Philly to Gettysburg

Making a day trip from Philly to the battlefield this weekend. Anything notable along the way? We are taking the route through Harrisburg. I'm keeping it casual this time, so no fine dining recs necessary this time. So looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

May 21, 2015
anvali in Pennsylvania

Two days in Savannah

A quick tip for Mrs. Wilkes: either line up really early or be prepared to wait at least 2 hrs. I got in line at 10:15 am (doors open at 11 am) There was already a line to the corner and starting to wrap around the storefront. From there it was a 2.5 hr wait to be seated (we were a party of 2 in a sea of parties of 4+). I heard that as long as you're in line by 2 pm (their official close time), you will still be served.
Oh and Cash Only.

Apr 23, 2015
anvali in Southeast

Two days in Savannah

Mrs. Wilkes is a must-do! I just got back from Savannah and The Olde Pink House was amazing. The food was very good, but the service put it over the top. I highly recommend reservations. The bar downstairs has a great ambiance and I believe also serves a full menu if you don't want the formal dining experience.

We also went to the Crystal Beer Parlor. Contrary to what the name implies, not a typical bar. They still have a great beer selection but is still very family friendly. I had a very tasty shrimp sandwich there and a delicious peach cobbler.

For some local Gullah flavor, go to Zunzi's and share a plate or sandwich. The Godfather sandwich with smoked sausage is very good and filling.

Olde Pink House
Crystal Beer Parlor

Apr 20, 2015
anvali in Southeast

Savannah three day getaway recs needed for first weekend in June

I'm planning a visit there in April and according to their website, they are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps a local or someone who knows better will correct me if online sources are incorrect?

Mar 16, 2015
anvali in Southeast

Seeking Easter Brunch Buffet recommendations

Interesting! The longer I am here the more I realize how spoiled I was by the relatively liberal CA liquor laws. Alright then, so if I drop that request do you all have any recommendations? BYOB is on the table as well.

Mar 02, 2015
anvali in Philadelphia

Seeking Easter Brunch Buffet recommendations

So originally I was thinking of going to Lacroix, but then I saw that it's just a bit out of my price range. Does anyone know of a good back up that's maybe not as amazing, but still solidly good. And with a more reasonable price tag? (I'm thinking up to $60-75/pp) Bottomless mimosas don't hurt either.

If anyone out there has experienced the Easter brunch buffet at the Prado at Balboa Park in San Diego, something comparable to that is what I'm looking for.

Feb 24, 2015
anvali in Philadelphia

New to Philly and I need awesome food in my life and belly!!

7600 Kaighn Avenue
Pennsauken, NJ 08110

Enjoy!! Get the Bahama Mama and the prime rib. And do not miss the big block of cheese, pink apple sauce and banana bread on the salad bar!

New to Philly and I need awesome food in my life and belly!!

Well if you do find anything else like it, please let us know!

Feb 06, 2015
anvali in Philadelphia

New to Philly and I need awesome food in my life and belly!!

I met Chef Ludo a few years ago while he was doing the rounds at his 4th pop-up. And we chatted about his experience on Top Chef Masters. He was very cordial and laughed when I told him that he made the show more interesting to watch. And when I was at Petit Trois last Friday for lunch and lo and behold who should walk in right behind me? Chef Ludo, himself. It's nice to see that with his level of success that he shows up ready to work. I saw him again as we were leaving sitting outside on a crate next to the building. We made eye contact and he thanked us for coming out.
I will have a soft spot for him and his diva fits for a long time to come.

Feb 06, 2015
anvali in Philadelphia

New to Philly and I need awesome food in my life and belly!!

Yes, I'd be happy to follow up. I have not been able to do as many of the special occasions places yet. And getting into the city has proven more difficult than originally thought. But I have crossed Paris Bistro, Mica, Tavern on the Hill, and the Pub off the list.

Paris - It is a solid standby (if it isn't too busy). I have heard that quality can be a bit spotty, but my experiences there have been great so far. Now after having eaten recently at Petit Trois (Chef Ludo's no ticket/no reservation bistro) it is hard to say that Paris' level of sophistication is quite up there.

Mica - I went to their foie gras tasting menu experience. Of the 5 courses not everything was quite a hit. The high point was the squab and seared foie. The low was the overly rich foie creme caramel. The flavor was fine, but definitely too rich at the end of that meal. I look forward to trying out other offerings though.

Tavern on the Hill - It was a welcome surprise. Salad was a touch overdressed, but the fish and chips were spot on.

But much thanks to you Sockii, for your recommendation of The Pub. I have actually been there twice since living here and have started taking family there. I absolutely love it! It is a slightly but wonderfully ridiculous experience. The prime rib has been great both times. (The grilled steaks a little less so) The drinks are fun and a generous pour is always appreciated. The kitsch is one of a kind and at this point, so dated it's classic.

I have become quite a fan of Chubby's steaks (across the street from Dalessandro's) I find that their offerings of a full bar and fries edge them up over a number of other local places.

I am looking forward to restarting to tackling the list. But please, keep the recommendations coming!

Feb 06, 2015
anvali in Philadelphia

El Yucateco - Kutbil-Ik Habanero sauce

I believe they carry this at the Assi Plaza market in North Wales. It's a bit far out but they have a good Mex/Latin section. There are also random Mexican Restaurant/Grocery stores in the Blue Bell/Ambler/Norristown area that carry it. Maybe make a trip out and stock up?

Jan 23, 2015
anvali in Philadelphia

Center City Restaurant Week - Jan 18-30 - What's the best option?

I know that the Restaurant Week concept can be very polarizing. Some love it and use it as an opportunity to try new places that they would not have otherwise. And others see it as a cheap gimmick used by restaurants to drum up business with a watered down menu and the illusion of savings.

Based on your collective experiences, out of the options listed, which are good deals and which are total rip offs?


Dec 31, 2014
anvali in Philadelphia

New to Philly and I need awesome food in my life and belly!!

I recently moved here from LA and am looking to embark on my gastronomic adventure in and around the Philly area. This is going to be a hit list for both special occasions and for main staples.

I live in the Chestnut Hill area but am willing to drive a reasonable distance for something amazing. I am pretty adventurous, so am open to all types of ethnic foods. but don't want to live in an episode of Bizarre Foods. And for special occasions I am willing to spend some $$ but a good bang for buck is appreciated.

So far the things that I miss most from LA are the Thai noodle soup, mexican, and the fun historic haunts that are still great after 50 years. (Although I heard it wasn't as good anymore, I was disappointed to hear that the Original Bookbinder's is closed). I am also open to suggestions for great bakeries or specialty grocery stores.

So far on the list (in no particular order):
Lacroix Brunch
Johns Roast Pork

Please add to this!! Thank you!!

Oct 23, 2014
anvali in Philadelphia

New Year's Day Layover

I have people coming in the early afternoon on New Year's Day for a 6 hr layover after a 13 hr flight. What's good that isn't too far from LAX? Food and drink recommendations are welcome. Nothing fancy given these folks will be in travel attire. Any food style is ok (ethnic included).


Dec 29, 2013
anvali in Los Angeles Area

New Anaheim recs needed!!

I'm meeting up with a friend who I have not seen in over a decade and I'm looking for a reasonably priced chow-y restaurant that is:
A) Open on Mondays
B) Would allow lingering so to be able to catch up thoroughly

I have seen positive reviews of The Ranch, but I would like to offer more than one suggestion. Other than that most threads I've seen are either old or for larger groups.

I am open to ethnic recommendations and generally any place that wouldn't be considered a waste of time or money.


Oct 28, 2013
anvali in Los Angeles Area

What's good in El Monte (or surrounding)?

Meeting friends in El Monte for dinner. Is there anywhere notably good? Need family friendly and vegetarian friendly. No preferred cuisine, just something good.


Jun 07, 2013
anvali in Los Angeles Area

California Burritos in LA?

There is an Alberto's in Van Nuys now. They have both the California Burritos with the fries as well as the legit carne asada fries that are popular in SD. They're located off Vanowen just east of the 405.

Alberto's Mexican Food
14525 Vanowen St, Los Angeles, CA 91405

Apr 21, 2011
anvali in Los Angeles Area

Madame Chou Chou

I went with 2 friends a few months back and we all loved it. Not the foodiest of places, but good solid french bistro fare. The portions were very generous but still well proportioned. We split a few of the salads which were fresh and lightly dressed. The entrees were just a touch salty (for my taste). The duck was a real standout and my friend was very impressed by the beef cheeks. The dessert was not overly sweet and made a nice end to the meal. It was surprisingly empty when we went (a bit early on a Friday night) but maybe patronage has picked up since then.

Apr 10, 2011
anvali in Los Angeles Area

What's good in Baltimore now?

I used to be from the Del/Mar/Va area but have been away for a few years now. I'm going to be in town for a work conference with a co-worker and would like to be able to show off the city. We will be on the waterfront for most of the 3 day conference so I'm guessing 1 breakfast and 3 dinner recommendations. I'm looking for a great crab cake (maybe something other than Phillips), something near Camden Yards, and confirmation that Amicci's is still good.


231 S High St, Baltimore, MD 21202

Somewhere like Crustacean

I'm taking my friend out for her b-day and I know that she'd really like the idea of Crustacean, but would probably think that it was over hyped for what it costs (as I think most of us do). I have hear of places in SGV that serves the similar roasted crab and garlic noodles. Is there anywhere closer?
I'm willing to drive as far as downtown (from the westside).

May 06, 2010
anvali in Los Angeles Area

First Trip To Miami - Help!!

I'm going to be in Miami from Los Angeles at the end of March for 3 days. I'm looking for places that are great and won't break the bank. I'm preparing to dine alone for most of my outings so solo friendly places are preferred. I'm hoping to try the stone crabs and would like to have some great cuban food. I'll need places for mostly lunch and breakfast. I'll probably be car-less but I'm staying at the Carlton Hotel on Collins Ave. So anything withing walking distance would be great.


Moving to the Valley, what's good?- Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys

After 3 years on the Westside, I've decided to take the plunge and move over the hill. My new place is just off the 405 on Burbank Blvd. I've heard of a few places that seem interesting, but nothing has really stood out. I'm going to need new go-to's like: Pizza, breakfast, sandwich, take-out (all the asian styles), burgers and something that's reliably good to take visitors. Nightlife recommendations like a good neighborhood bar are also welcome.

I like to stay away from the chains but I'm not too proud to hit up the Zankou that I spotted when I decided on my new place.


Mar 03, 2010
anvali in Los Angeles Area

Two days in LA - Where to take out-of-towners (non-tourist trap)

My sister is coming in town for 2 days (separated by a week of work). She likes quality and is willing to spend the $$ if it's worth it. She's not the most adventurous, but we're asian so we eat more than chicken and veggies. I want to give her a taste of LA but not get stuck in a total tourist trap. I'm thinking one day will be doing the hollywood thing with stops at Roscoe's and Skooby's. And then I'd like to end the day at some place cool/nice/quality for dinner. Originally thinking somewhere in Malibu, but am open to suggestions.

I'm also open to suggestions on a possible itinerary for day 2.

Oh and though it's not required, a celeb-sighting or two could make the night interesting.

Feb 12, 2010
anvali in Los Angeles Area

URGENT help needed -- Monday night - "Interesting" in the Valley

You could try Daichan in Studio City. I believe they are open on Mondays. Otherwise Tampa Gardens has been getting good buzz lately for good chinese.

Jan 25, 2010
anvali in Los Angeles Area

Dine LA Restaurant Week 2010

I was definitely full after the meal. I would recommend going with a small group instead of a date to take advantage of the variety and the additional quantity.
We ended up ordering a few things off the a la carte menu but that really didn't add too much more for cost.

Jan 12, 2010
anvali in Los Angeles Area

Dine LA Restaurant Week 2010

Here is the list. I'm slightly confused by The Bazaar's menu. Last time we could pick a few from a fairly extensive list. Any word on how this one is supposed to work?

Jan 07, 2010
anvali in Los Angeles Area

Christmas Eve in Rancho Palos Verdes with Vegetarian options

Well what I'm looking for is all pretty much in the title. I'm look for something fairly inexpensive with good vegetarian options. The Veg in question will eat fish and shellfish so that should open up a lot more possibilities. But I'm guessing that open on Christmas Eve will be more of the challenge. We are planning on going to service in RPV so we're open to a place there or in the surrounding area.

None of us are picky (except for quality) so feel free to throw some ethnic suggestions in there...

Thanks for the suggestions!!

Dec 22, 2009
anvali in Los Angeles Area

Any Ludobites Reports?

Well you might have been there when I was there, but here's a brief report for those who have yet to go. First off, I've got to say that I wasn't quite as wowed as I was when I went this past summer. But I still feel that the creativity and the sheer quality of the food that was presented is still something that needs to be experienced. Going off of the menu posted on, my friends and I ordered everything off the menu except for the peanuts in curry sauce. Each dish is really enjoyable in their own right. Most notably...The scallop had some great citrusy flavors with the bits of pineapple. The squid was incredibly fresh and was complimented by the salty/brininess of the kimchee puree. The pork belly was fatty and decadent paired with the bits of onion flaked apple. The udon broth was wonderfully rich with flavor and light at the same time. The best was the tourte with the buttery flaky pastry crust.
Overall it's a solid experience, and perhaps they're experiencing some early opening day jitters and they'll pull it together tighter soon.

Dec 03, 2009
anvali in Los Angeles Area