chicgail's Profile

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Hot Dogs & Pizza in Chicago

I'm a big fan of good Chicago deep dish, but I have totally fallen in love with Pizzaria da Nella on Fullerton. They serve a wonderful Neapolitan pizza - thin crust, simple toppings. It's darn close to what you get in real Naples. I recommend that you give it a shot.

about 12 hours ago
chicgail in Chicago Area

Food Network Star July 27 - Spoilers

Was I the only one who rolled their eyes when she said "taco seasoning"? Taco Seasoning? Really? You best advice is that we buy a little packet of taco seasoning to put in the soup? And she's supposed to show the rest of us how to cook?

about 12 hours ago
chicgail in Food Media & News

Master Chef 7/21 (SPOILERS)

<< napkin tucked under his chin like he's eating lobster at a shack in Maine? What's with that?>>

That's called television.

about 19 hours ago
chicgail in Food Media & News

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Heaven. I used to grow zucchini plants - just so I could have an almost unlimited access to zucchini blossoms.

Jul 26, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

Chicago Hounds Headed to Seattle

Thank you, RichinMV (and everyone else). That was exactly what I needed. I'm researching, taking notes and looking forward to a new eating adventure. I will post a follow-up when we get back home.

Jul 25, 2014
chicgail in Greater Seattle

Gene and Georgetti vs Erie Cafe for steak

But Gonzo, the OP has a nostalgic relationship with G&G and he's found a way to fulfill that without having a mediocre meal. I say good for him.

Jul 25, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Master Chef 7/21 (SPOILERS)

Something about the lighting they used with Courtney made her teeth look like crooked fangs - on virtually every close-up or medium shot of her. She is clearly this season's antagonist.

Jul 25, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Chicago Hounds Headed to Seattle

We will be in Seattle next week for a family wedding. We will be staying at the Hotel Five, which I gather is downtown. We are pretty adventurous but we will be traveling with non-foodie vegetarians and are looking for lunch and dinner places for the few days that are not already booked with events.

Looking for suggestions in the area. We've already been warned off the Tom Douglas restaurants.

Some of those meals would be just us (so really no limitations) and others with our veggie relatives (they do eat cooked fish, but not sushi or seafood) so someplace we would all enjoy and are looking for suggestions for those of you who know.

On our last visit we had a wonderful dinner at The Flying Fish and also lunched at Salumi where we would love to try again- without the vegetarians - if it is still good.

We will probably have a car. Thanks in advance.

Jul 24, 2014
chicgail in Greater Seattle

Is this tacky?

Go for it. I can tell you it's not nearly as interesting as Spam.

Jul 22, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

Is this tacky?

First of all, as much as I love good food, when I go to a friend's house I am more interested in the company and the conversation than what is served. Unless I am served something like raw chicken, I tend to be very forgiving about food in that setting.

I have had a few all-homemade meals at friends' houses recently that included tough overcooked scallops, soggy slimy roasted chicken, and cheddar and swiss cheese squares on toothpicks.

Not great food, but great people and nice evenings. I am perfectly happy if the host considers what I might enjoy (i.e. most of my friends know that cilantro tastes like soap to me) and made sure I had it.

More power to you that you can find well-made entrees that you can take home. You could invite me over any time.

Jul 21, 2014
chicgail in General Topics
12

Looking for a great ice cream place in Chicago -- not a chain.

Margie's in Bucktown or Black Dog (to die for!!) in nearby Wicker Park. Andy's frozen custard in Evanston is pretty darn good also.

Jul 21, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Gene and Georgetti vs Erie Cafe for steak

You asked for people's opinions and they gave them to you. Then you questioned whether those opinions were valid.

Many of us who have been to G&G in the last 10 years (once and I wouldn't go back) agree that it is not worth the time, the money or the meal. If you really want to take someone there, you should do that and see what you think. Let us know.

Jul 21, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

NYT Cooking Digest

Thanks. I just subscribed.

Jul 21, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News
1

Onions. Do you "count" them as a vegetable when planning a meal?

What are you counting? If you use and consume a variety of unprocessed foods - things especially that grow in the ground - you don't have to keep track of anything. Every meal doesn't have to be "nutritionally balanced" if your diet is diverse and basically made up of healthy foods.

Jul 07, 2014
chicgail in General Topics

WashPost declares end of gluten-free fad

The real Unos restaurant here in Chicago (which uses a very different recipe than the chain) would close its doors before it offered a gluten-free menu. And I would support it.

Jul 07, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News
1

Pizza

Totally agree on deep dish, weinstein.

For thin crust, Pizzaria di Nella on Fullerton makes a great Neapolitan style pizza that meals all your criteria.

No a fan of stuffed pizza so I won't weigh in on that.

Jul 05, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

What are you cooking for the 4th of July weekend?

Our contribution to a friend's barbecue is a variation on a caprese salad: heirloom tomatoes, cukes, mozzarella cheese, all cut up into 1/2-inch cubes, with pitted Kalamata olives and garbanzo beans tossed with chiffonade basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And I'll probably serve it on a bed of arugula.

Jul 04, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

Have you used this most unconventional of Kitchen Timers?

I think that falls into the world of "ok, whatever works."

Jul 03, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking
1

Have you used this most unconventional of Kitchen Timers?

Must be me, but I have no idea what you are even talking about.

Jul 03, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking
2

Duck Skin in Hamburger?

I use abouit 3 oz Spam to 1 lb beef, but really that's entirely up to your taste. I wouldn't want a Spam burger and I'm always conscious about keeping fat relatively low.

Jun 28, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

Butter versus Margarine

As other people have noted, that butter is better for you than margarine is not new news. Butter comes from cows. Margarine is a chemical sh*t-storm. Besides, it tastes waaay better.

Jun 28, 2014
chicgail in General Topics
2

Duck Skin in Hamburger?

Never tried duck, but I have discovered that mixing 85% lean beef with finely chopped Spam (yes, Spam!) makes the best hamburgers I've ever tasted. When I can, I top it with provolone cheese and onion jam. I don't tell anyone what's in it (unless they beg), but I promise you it's awesome.

Jun 28, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

Trip report: June 2014

We've been talking about L&E also. It's been a while and it's always pretty darn amazing.

Jun 28, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Eating out healthy: does this app exist?

You need an app for that? Really?

I apologize for my impatience with this, but we rely way too much on machines to make our decisions for us. Like how much change we should get at the cash register.

If you know what is basically healthy and what is not, you can make the right choices. Fried vs. grilled calamari. Olive oil and vinegar v. creamy salad dressing? Cake vs. berries? Cheese fries or brown rice? Stuffed baked potato or steamed veggies?

Its not the description on the menu that makes any difference anyway. It's the portion size, the amount of fat and other ingredients that make up the nutritional information.

And you might get some of that for chain restaurants (Weight Watchers app lists tons of chain meals), but many of us are lucky enough to have access to and preference for independent local restaurants which makes the whole exercise moot.

Jun 27, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News
2

Kitchen Nightmare Over- Not so successful

Given the disfunctionality of so many of the owners, their staffs and families, I find it hard to believe that all it took to straighten them up was RI or GR coming in for two or three days and saying "stop it!"

Jun 27, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News
2

Recipes using pretzel sticks

Oooo. yes.

Jun 25, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

Recipes using pretzel sticks

Sounds like a Chopped challenge. I would grind them in the food processor or blender and use them in place of breadcrumbs for breading.

Jun 25, 2014
chicgail in Home Cooking

Masterchef U.S. season 2014 spoilers

Ben Starr is " biting the hand that opened so many doors to him. And thousands of websitse hits."

You could make the case that turnabout is fair play. Fox used him - and others - for its own commercial gain on the show. He obviously had little recourse for how he was used at the time. I say good for him.

He says more about it here. He is pretty disillusioned with "reality" TV and is no longer watching or blogging about Masterchef.
http://benstarr.com/blog/masterchef-a...

Jun 25, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News
1

Longman & Eagle or Dusek's?

I haven't tried Dusek's, but L&E is consistently very, very good. I don't know that I would call it a classic. It's pretty high concept and innovative. No reservations so either go at an off time (like early or late dinner) or try them for lunch/brunch which they serve every day.

Jun 25, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Masterchef U.S. season 2014 spoilers

Malibu Ken was, IMO, totally obnoxious. He didn't lead. He took no responsibility for the menu, the process or his team's failure. He was an excuse machine.

It is highly unlikely that Tyler or anyone else ate TWO WHOLE PIECES OF FISH. The attempt to make it look like he did was a pretty apparent piece of editing.

On the whole, silly, silly show.

Jun 24, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News
1