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Best Choice for group business lunch in Lawrenceville/Princeton area?

Forgive me if this topic has been covered, but I haven't found anything recent.
Out of town vendors (Toronto) are visiting our Lawrenceville office and treating 13-15 of us to lunch.
I'd like to point them to somewhere that serves good food at a reasonable price, is not too loud, and can accommodate a group this size with last minute reservations (they will be here Thursday).
I'm the worst person to have in charge of this, because I am so indecisive. In the running are:
Leonardo's on Rt. 1
Chamber's Walk
Mediterra (downtown Princeton parking etc. may be a mistake)
Salt Creek Grill (thinking this may be too pricey)
Tre Piani
Main Street

Any opinions on these, or any others to suggest? Also don't want to stray too far from the office, since we'll have to be back within 2 hours and back to work...

Aug 11, 2009
choco_lab38 in New Jersey

Magimix Service Center in US?

LOL! I should have elaborated...
I knew about Gourmet Depot--already found that. But since they are in CA and I am 3000 miles away, I was just wondering if there wasn't another service center this side of the Mississippi (UPS charges more shipping the farther away the destination..and no one can dispute the fact that a Magimix is a heavy, costly item to ship...)
But I guess there is only one authorized service center in all of the US. You're a better googler than I if you find anything else.

Good thing is, just found out that Chefs will still take it back for an exchange or refund, so I'll just do that.
Sorry for the trouble.

Jun 29, 2009
choco_lab38 in Cookware

Magimix Service Center in US?

After only 10 months of ownership, my Magimix 5150 food processor has a big problem. It turns on automatically when I click the lid closed, and the Off and Pulse buttons do not work--the only way I can then stop the machine is to unclick the lid--or unplug it!
I think the switch mechanism is shot.
I never felt that this machine was really worth the high price, but now I'm completely convinced that it isn't! Can't seem to find an authorized service center in the US, either.
I no longer have the original box or packaging, and I doubt that Chefs will accept a return at this point.
Not looking forward to packing up this heavy thing and $hipping it out for repair, but I already invested over $500 and haven't re-couped the cost in use yet...
Thankfully, I still have my trustly old Cuisinart which I'll be using in the meantime.

Jun 28, 2009
choco_lab38 in Cookware

Mariage freres tea

Thank you for that info.! So glad I checked this thread again!
I've been spending a lot extra $ ordering from the MF website, what with the exchange rates and shipping costs(although their packing is great and the order arrives in just a few days!)
I love the French Breakfast tea and can't find it locally. Now, if only I knew where I might find their Easter Tea (The de Paques) and Iced Tea products...

Jun 20, 2009
choco_lab38 in General Topics

Lemon tree, very pretty...

Beautiful! Looks very healthy.
I'm having real problems with my citrus this spring :(
I've been bringing them inside to avoid all of this rain and cool night temps and nearly ALL of the little fruits on my blood oranges and key limes have dropped off. And even though I had a zillion buds on my meyer lemon, almost nothing set! (Even though I saw plenty of bees on it on sunny days, and I tried helping the pollination along myself, nothing! )
I'm blaming the fluctuating temps--I don't know what else I'm doing wrong...Just wish this blasted rain and cool weather would end already--it's so frustrating!
Good for my lettuce, not too great for anything else...

Jun 18, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

New Trader Joe's items [old]

FWIW, there are issues other than safety regarding Brazilian beef. There are reports that the Brazilian beef industry is one of the leading causes of Amazon deforestation.

Jun 08, 2009
choco_lab38 in Chains

Flea Beetles!

What a timely post! I'm in central NJ and I don't think I've ever encountered these pests before, but I believe that they are the very things I've been seeing on some of my plants recently!
They are tiny, round beetles that look like black specks and kind of jump like fleas if disturbed?

Jun 08, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Please help me figure out what this is!

Those Carlsbad Oblaten are delish! I'll have to check my TJ Maxx to see if they have them.
But I wouldn't describe the filling as Dulce de leche, as the OP did.
The Oblaten filling is just a very thin layer of vanilla creme, whereas true dulce de leche would be more caramel-flavored.

Jun 02, 2009
choco_lab38 in General Topics

Easy veggies to grow in a shady spot

Raspberries prefer full sun and produce best with it, but I have raspberries in a partly shaded site (definitely less than 6 hours of sun, mostly morning sun) and they are quite productive.

Jun 02, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Lemon tree, very pretty...

Our low yesterday was a relatively balmy 51. I kept the citrus trees out, but I may bring them in later this week if it looks like we're going to get another rainy spell.
It's been my dream to have a greenhouse or conservatory...perhaps in another life!

Jun 01, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Easy veggies to grow in a shady spot

Raspberry is a good bet. Lettuce and other leaf vegetables can tolerate some shade. Wintergreen also, and, of course, mint will grow anywhere! Also lemon balm...

May 29, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Getting rid of roly-poly's(or pill bugs)?

I'm having the same problem with some of my strawberries--I had always blamed slugs, until a few days ago, when I found a pill bug nestled into a cavity it was eating into a ripe berry! It was probably them, also, who chewed chunks out of my radishes last year.

I've noticed many more pill bugs than usual this year--even crawling in my raised beds during the day! So far they haven't done too much damage other than my strawberries, and so far my radishes are fine...but I certainly don't want to share my harvest with them!

May 29, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Miniature squash-container gardening

Oh no! You poor thing!

I despise starlings! I curse the Shakespeare-loving maniac who released them into this country every time they damage my garden!
If you are not familiar with the story of how they came to inhabit the US:

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/09/01/opi...

I do like the Multipiks, though--nice little plant! I hope you have luck with your next batch!

May 29, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Lemon tree, very pretty...

"Spoiled, but not rotten" is an excellent descriptor! I'll be borrowing that one! Lulu is a 4 year- old shih tzu. My "choco_lab" moniker is in memory of my Lab of 13 years who passed away just before Lulu came into our lives. Quite a transition, let me tell you! (But saving money on dog food big-time!)

Lulu does a much better job than the Lab did in keeping squirrels out of the garden--she's ULTRA vigilant, whereas he was very laissez-faire! LOL

I'm no expert, but I think you're on the right track as far as leaving the cluster alone until they are more established. And for pollinating, I just use a little paintbrush to help things along by picking up some pollen and lightly brushing the stamen. But don't worry about it--it's not at all necessary, since the scented blooms attract numerous insects outside.

I have a larger than average amount of blooms this year, and a key lime tree that never bloomed much before is also blooming like crazy. It may finally bear fruit, I hope!

My Meyer's shape is more sideways growing than yours, with some low branches, and was like that when I got it--must have been pruned or trained differently. It doesn't have a long trunk.

Last weekend I was in my local nursery and saw that they had several citrus trees grown as standards, with a long trunk 3 feet high. I was tempted to get a Dancy tangerine or pink grapefruit, but enough is enough...Maybe they'll go on sale eventually...

I'll now say a little prayer before hitting the "Post my reply" button...this site conks out on me so many times...

May 29, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Miniature squash-container gardening

I was wondering how your Multipik is doing? So far, I'm very happy with this variety!
I ordered a plant from WFF and they sent me a beautiful, healthy specimen that is doing really well in its container. I've counted over 8 little squash sprouting, and the plant, so far, is really nice and quite compact.
I saw that one of my local nurseries was selling Multipik plants as well, and I may buy another.
Seems like it may be more resistant to mildew, too, since it is remaining the picture of health through the rainy days and cool nights we've had this May.

May 28, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Lemon tree, very pretty...

Love it!! Well done!
Thank you, that really brightened my morning! Give April Katt a belly scratch for me! She's been working so hard on her garden! :)
Look at all of those little lemons! Love the pot, too -- Perfetto!
One can imagine Limona transported to a sunny mediterranean balcony!
(With another week of cool drizzle in store, I'd like to be there myself!)

My tree is loaded with blossoms and I believe a number have set fruit (I've been trying my best to pollinate them all) but I won't count my lemons before they're picked!
I'm impressed with your ability to make such a good video collage! Was it difficult? Love the music, too!

Here's a current picture of my tree, and April's canine counterpart, Lulu!

May 27, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Just found some very old Miracle Gro. Any good?

About using weeds in compost...I was once given some compost for my garden from a co-worker. While I really appreciated the gift, the compost sprouted so many weeds (and even some volunteer tomatoes) that it was ridiculous! Is this typical, or was the compost prepared incorrectly or not allowed to "cook" enough? To be honest, it kind of turned me off to the idea of composting.

May 20, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Just found some very old Miracle Gro. Any good?

"With Miracle Gro you feed the plant, but with compost you feed the soil."

Excellent point! Agreed, and I'll admit to harboring some guilt about not making my own compost and relying solely on that.
But it's some consolation that I do not use chemical pesticides or herbicides. My neighbors spread around enough of those toxins to make up the difference. While my yard has the look of a cottage garden/potager, they take great pride in their perfectly edged, dandelion-free lawns and mulched shrubbery. I'm certain they're shooting death-stares at me everytime a dandelion manages to sprout on their manicured lawns.

May 19, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Can you use a lavender bush for cooking?

Or, perhaps the fertilizers or pesticides used on the other nine varieties rendered them unsafe for eating. If a plant is to be grown for ornamental use only, it's possible that the nursery used a stronger, systemic pesticide or fertilizer on them to maximize appearance and bloom.
Probably not too likely, but it could be a reason why Apple was told only one variety was "safe" for culinary use.

May 19, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Just found some very old Miracle Gro. Any good?

I think jen kalb was referring to me and my "nuclear waste" comment. That was totally in jest, and, as a matter of fact, I use Miracle Gro myself (have been for years) and also use Miracid on my citrus trees.
Given the current craze over organic gardening, I know that there are those who do critique the product--who prefer to use compost teas and earthworm castings, or what have you (and some are borderline militant about it). I personally find Miracle Gro to be much more efficient and time-saving for myself, without the worry of e coli contamination (a possible hazard of improper use of organic materials)

May 19, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Magnetic Knife Rack

I use a magnetic knife block and it's very easy to carefully place the knives without nicking them or the rack--I just hold the knife at an angle so that the knife attaches spine first.

May 18, 2009
choco_lab38 in Cookware

Lemon tree, very pretty...

They do take awhile to fully ripen--months, in fact. The lemons that I photographed there were ripe in early February, and they had blossomed back in the previous spring.
Because it's "everbearing" it's also usual to have fruit on the tree while another flush of blooms appear.
You should expect to lose some of the tiny fruits--fruit drop is normal. Also, if the fruit sets in a cluster, I've heard that it's best to limit the cluster to one fruit, to maximize the size of the fruit. If you don't, you'll have 2-3 little lemons, instead of one bigger lemon. I've never had the heart to do this, though.
I hope you get a good crop! Post a picture soon!

May 18, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Lemon tree, very pretty...

Here's a picture of my sunroom 3 years ago, Feb. '06--already crammed. I had 5 nice lemons at that time.
The olive tree behind it is twice as large now :)

May 18, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

What is your favorite rhubarb recipe?

My favorite use for rhubarb is this strawberry-rhubarb and red banana crostata (crisp) from the Napa Style website:
http://www.napastyle.com/catalog/sear...

What makes it so uniquely delicious is the crisp part--it's made from a blend of polenta (cornmeal) and pastry flour, with toasted anise seeds. The crunch and flavor of the anise seeds is a delicious touch.
I can't always find red bananas so I just use regular. They add a nice sweetness to contrast the tartness of the rhubarb and strawberries.
I love rhubarb very much--I begin every spring craving it, and by the end of the season I've definitely had my fill because I have made rhubarb everything LOL!

May 18, 2009
choco_lab38 in Home Cooking

Lemon tree, very pretty...

How exciting! I'm glad Limona is doing so well for you!
I've moved mine back inside, too--this weather is making me crazy! I want my garden planted already!! I hope it's not a shorter-than-usual growing season this year :(

I have tons of flower buds on my Meyer at this point, and some are just on the verge of opening...I'll see if i can figure out how to post a picture.
I have two blood orange trees and a key lime tree that are blooming and the oranges have tiny fruits developing...fingers crossed!
I also just purchased a young variegated pink lemon tree, but am not expecting anything from that this year.
Hope this see-saw weather ends this week!

May 18, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Is this yellow bug harmful?

If it indeed looks like a ladybug except for the color, it IS a ladybug. They aren't limited to red. She's helping you out, so don't hurt her :)

The discoloration could be a result of many things. Check out this website and click on Leaves. You'll see a number of pictures of different leaf problems and if you click on one that looks like what you're experiencing, it tells you possible causes.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/pu...

May 14, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Just found some very old Miracle Gro. Any good?

I had the same question, as I found an old box, myself. According to the Scott's website, its shelf life is indefinite--like nuclear waste, I suppose! LOL

May 14, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening

Meat Loaf Monmouth Co.

I've received an "Edible Arrangement" when my family went through a loss, and it really was perfect. Something to pick on when we had little appetite but knew we should eat something--and it's bright and cheery at a time when not much else is...

May 14, 2009
choco_lab38 in New Jersey

Meat Loaf Monmouth Co.

Dearborn Market on Route 35 in Holmdel has a good variety of prepared foods.
I especially love their roasted root veggies and Grilled Turkey and Wild Rice Salad (with pecans and cranberries). Haven't tried their meatloaf, but given the very high quality of their meats, I'd bet that it's good.
They also have a great stuffed breads--a good heat and eat thing to have on hand.

May 14, 2009
choco_lab38 in New Jersey

Things you'd love to plant but won't because they're monsters?

In another thread regarding meyer lemons (a great dwarf citrus good for beginners--mine has no threatening thorns), Four Winds came up as a purveyor of quality specimens. You might check out their site for information and to see the list of interesting dwarf citrus varieties they offer.

http://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/

May 14, 2009
choco_lab38 in Gardening