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mclaugh's Profile

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Lasagne Fundraiser

Um ... hate to break it to you, sister, but ain't no law says the OP can't donate the cost of ingredients on top of the $13. In that case, the charity's getting twice as much as they would have if the OP simply donated the cost of ingredients straight up.

Aug 16, 2008
mclaugh in Not About Food

Is it worth buying Virginia or other "gourmet" peanuts?

My company gave a selection of Peanut Roaster nuts to clients at Christmas for years. The one year we gave something else, a LOT of them said, "I was really looking forward to those peanuts."

Needless to say, we switched back the next year and have been giving them ever since.

Jun 03, 2008
mclaugh in General Topics

3 Cups - Chapel Hill, NC

While I understand SandWhich's and 3Cups' frustration over the parking situation, I think they're being unreasonable—or at the very least, unrealistic—about what the landlord can and cannot do to address the situation.

Fact is, Chapel Hill's Land Use Management Ordinance mandates a MAXIMUM of one off-street parking space per 300 sq. ft. of floor area for general retail spaces. Furthermore, the maximum number of permissible spaces may be reduced by stormwater management and greenspace requirements, mandatory setbacks, public right-of-ways, etc. So even if the landlord and property owner wanted to increase the amount of available parking, they're options for doing so are extremely limited.

So in this architect's opinion, if the parking situation was the main issue, SandWhich's and 3Cups beef isn't with the landlord, it's with the city's LUMO.

Jun 03, 2008
mclaugh in General South Archive

Best Burgers in the Triangle?

Nothing wrong with 5 Guys ... except the quality, taste, and price.

Feb 12, 2008
mclaugh in General South Archive

Do I want to say "Yes" to a wild turkey offer?

Let's see: extremely lean bird + dry heat source + long cooking time = bad bird.

Gee, who'da thunk it?

Nov 17, 2007
mclaugh in General Topics

Bread or No Bread @ a Restaurant?

And don't give a rip that the otherwise perfectly good bread will go straight from your table into the garbage.

Nov 11, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

Restaurant portion sizes ... and what to do about server's snide remark?

Sorry, Nosh, but I'm going to say it anyway.

Bottom line: it is none of the server's damn business why ANY patron orders more than one of ANYTHING. And, it is NEVER appropriate for a server to make a derogatory comment about a customer.

Oct 11, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

Restaurant portion sizes ... and what to do about server's snide remark?

If it's a familiar haunt and the waiter knows you by sight, or it's a comedy club, chalk it up to friendly banter; otherwise, the correct response to the waiter would have been, "Excuse me, Would you call the manager? I would like to have a word with him or her about your attitude."

Oct 10, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

Half price special at Georges Garage? Not necessarily.

Dispute it with your cc company.

If Georges ran the charge, they're the merchant, not the sushi guy. Sushi guy is just the supplier. So if Georges said half price, it's half price, regardless of what their supplier charges them. How they pay their supplier ain't your problem.

Oct 03, 2007
mclaugh in General South Archive

Does Your Stomach Really Expand if You Eat More?

Oh my! Whom to believe? A gastroenterologist who has spent years studying, treating, and researching the digestive system and digestive disorders or two people with no apparent credentials except their psychosomatic perceptions>

Sep 20, 2007
mclaugh in Features

"Chicago Style Pizza"

Horsefeathers.

The corn meal myth appears to have originated with Jeff Smith, aka "the Frugal Gourmet," who was trying to guess the origin of the golden color of the crust. Sewell himself denied—repeatedly—that the dough ever contained cornmeal.

Sep 19, 2007
mclaugh in General Topics

"Chicago Style Pizza"

You're only missing half a dozen or so other styles, e.g., Neapolitan, Roman, American (medium crust), Greek, Cracker, California, Foccacia, to name a few.

Also, Sicilian style is not buttery: at least authentic Sicilian isn't.

Sep 19, 2007
mclaugh in General Topics

Today Only: Reservations

Sep 10, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

Won't take a reservation for two?

[quote]
the bartender may have gotten a call from regulars who sit there every friday night. folks who know him, and help pay his mortgage. not unheard of by any means.
[/quote]

Sorry, but I'm calling bull nuggets.

If the resto takes reservations for two at the bar, they should have offered to seat the OP at the bar at the time the OP called. If they don't, the bartender has no right to reserve seats for ANYONE under ANY circumstances without MGT's prior approval.

Bartender's job is to serve ALL the resto's patrons, not just those who grease his palm at the expense of other patrons.

If the bartender WAS making reservations at the bar without management's knowledge or approval, management should can his azz.

Sep 01, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

Taqueria Lopez (Durham) - Offensively bad experience

As I mentioned above, I had eaten at TaqLopez 8-10 times prior to the OP's post in April, and have eaten there once or twice a week since then.

Unfortunately, TaqLo's health dept. rating has been trending downward for some time now: in April (Q4), it was 95, down from 96 in March (Q3), and that was down from 98 in Dec '06 (Q2). As of July (Q1), it's down to 90. An occasional rating dip could be written off as an anomaly, but 4 consecutive quarters of declining ratings looks to me more like a trend.

Aug 29, 2007
mclaugh in General South Archive

Taqueria Lopez (Durham) - Offensively bad experience

Well, unfortunately, TaqLopez may be circling the drain. The health dept. score is now down to 90, and if the momentum of the past 6 months is any indication, is headed further south.

It's a shame, really: the food is VERY tasty and the proprieters are gracious and friendly. Wouldn't have given a tinker's dam about the health dept. score back when I was in college, but these days, I don't see the sense in playing gastronomic russian roulette.

Aug 27, 2007
mclaugh in General South Archive

Italian Menus in the U.S. - Why Not Just Use English?

Every country in the world that has non-native, ethnic restaurants that cater primarily to native language speakers.

Aug 16, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

Fly in wine norms? [moved from Ontario board]

You've obviously never lived or dined in TO in the summer if you think that the Health Department interprets the law as you assume they interpret it.

Have you walked by Baton Rouge in the Eaton Centre, for example? "Garage door" windows that open right onto the street, where passers-by can reach in and take food off your table. I've done it to friends all the time when I run into them, and they do it right back to me. And, no, this IS NOT a patio.

How about the Greek restos on Danforth or any of the three Chinatowns? Lots of open, unscreened doors. Same in Little India.

Jul 12, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

What I love about good service

Um ... just curious, but do you know for a fact they're using Open Table?

Yes, Open Table does allow you to track patrons' orders, preferences, special occasions, etc., but how do you know they're not using ProHost Reservations, for example, or aren't using a custom database template?

Jun 13, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

A Sweet Deal for the Corn Industry?

Hate to bust your bubble, but a sizeable percentage of Mexican soft drinks have been made with HFCS for years, and the percentage is growing.

Jun 06, 2007
mclaugh in Features

Utz' Chips [Split from New Ortleans board]

Utz will *SHIP* anywhere in the US, including AK and HI.

May 14, 2007
mclaugh in General Topics

The Bread Rule

Come to think of it, most BBQ places that serve bread rather than hushpuppies or cornbread serve white bread. In fact, I can't think of a BBQ restaurant that DOESN'T serve white bread.

May 01, 2007
mclaugh in General Topics

The Bread Rule

If'n y'all think you caint have bead bread with a good meal, y'all obviously ain't never been to Dreamland, 'cuz they make some of the tastiest damn ribs in the country, and they serve it with slices of white sandwich bread, straight from the grocery store.

May 01, 2007
mclaugh in General Topics

Happy Hour Rules

"I'm the designated driver tonight. I'll have a Coke/iced tea/sparkling water/etc."

Apr 27, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

Hog Heaven BBQ in Durham

Hog Heaven's 'cue ain't half bad, but ain't nobody gonna mistake it for Allen & Son's.

That said, I'll take HH over Bullocks', Dillard's, or Q-Shack's (although I'll take Q-Shack's brisket over HH's 'cue). Sides, puppies, and desserts are pretty average, though.

Apr 27, 2007
mclaugh in General South Archive

Is unit pricing a thing of the past?

Depends on what jurisdiction you're in.

In Metro Toronto the unit of an item and the per-unit quantity price are rarely the same, and the quantity price almost always applies ONLY to whole number multiples of the specified quantity. For example, if an item that has a unit price of 25¢ is on sale at 5 for $1 and you buy 4 of that item, you'll pay $1.00 rather than 80¢.

Apr 26, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

What Constitutes a Split or Shared Order?

I don''t know about that ... back in my frat days, I used to put away 22" sausage, anchovy, and onion pizzas all by myself at a single sitting. :-)

Apr 23, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

tipping/billing issue...hard to explain in title

Actually, jfood, if they put through the charge and had the signed cc receipt showing the tip, what ground would OP have for being all hot and bothered?

The bigger problem, IMO, is that OP didn't notice the $40 discrepancy when he received the CC bill. Kind of begs the question of whether or not he'd have noticed if the resto had accidentally billed someone else's tip to his CC.

Apr 15, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

Deciphering restaurant menus: what to avoid?

So you won't order murgh makhani (indian butter chicken), chicken cordon bleu, or Jerk Chicken because "chicken is chicken is chicken"? :-o

Apr 15, 2007
mclaugh in Not About Food

Taqueria Lopez (Durham) - Offensively bad experience

Hmm ... I've eaten at Taqueria Lopez 8-10 times (most recently, 4/10) and never had a less than satisfying experience. Yes, service is a little slow, but the place has always been clean, and the food has always been tasty. I did notice that the Health Dept. rating recently dropped from 96 to 95, but that hardly suggests a major falloff in cleanliness.

Detlefchef, I hope they can pull it off, too, though, I have my doubts because, as you noted, the location is horrible. (That whole plaza is a commercial graveyard, IMO) Last week, I noticed that the prices for plates have been crossed out on the menus and no new prices listed, which can't be a good thing. I also noticed they've added pizza to the menu (not necessarily a bad sign, but not an encouraging one) and last time I was at Duke, I saw a bunch of flyers with half price and $2 off coupons (again, not encouraging).

Apr 15, 2007
mclaugh in General South Archive