chicgail's Profile

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Remember Katie Joel on Top Chef?

What an awful line.

Although the walk down Memory Lane was interesting, for both the memorable chefs and the ones I can't remember AT ALL.

Top Chef Duels 8/20, spoilers, Antonia vs Mike - a profane and foggy recap

Cowboyaree, your recap was the best thing about the show.

I don't like that they have to do the fake trash talk with each other. I don't like that the judges know who made what. I don't like that the families had to say what they thought about the food that their family members and their opponents cooked. don't like the product placement stuff. I don't like Curtis Stone.

And I don't like that I have retrain myself to not put two spaces after each period.

This ain't Top Chef and I wish it was. I love Antonia and don't dislike Mike I as much as I used to. He was charming with his wife. And I want him to go on a diet to get back to his TC weight.

Master Chef 8/18 spoilers

Exactly what I was wondering. I would even have used the same words: boring & bland & dry.

Aug 20, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Restaurant Review - Japonais Morimoto

We had such high hopes. Japonais was always good and Morimoto's influence had to have made it even more interesting. And we had had an extraordinary omakase tasting by a chef who had worked with Morimoto at an obscure Japanese restaurant way off the strip in Vegas.

The place is still totally hip and WAAAY too noisy. Our waiter decided to ingratiate himself by telling us -repeatedly - that he had lived in Japan for 10 years. And how Morimoto sources his own fish and saki. Also repeatedly. And to tell us how he hoped we were having a good time. Ad nauseum.

Our intention was to try a few small plates, some sushi and call it a night. Instead we wound up ordering the omakae (Mr. CG said he did it just to get rid of the waiter who wouldn't shut up).

For the price ($120pp) and the time and the amount of food, I really hoped this meal would top our experience in Vegas. Nope.

A toro tartar was really a tuna paste stuck to a square glass serving piece inserted into a larger bowl of crushed ice. Tiny thin strips of sour cream, avocado, wasabe, something like fried Israeli couscous and something else were also on the serving piece. There was also a small bowl of soy sauce in the ice and we were given a tiny paddle or trowel with which to eat the thing. Scrape some tartar onto the paddle, dip it in the soy sauce and the tuna falls into the soy sauce.

It continued with a rather greasy octopus "bagna cauda," some very good sushi, an incredibly tender and well cooked lobster "marsala," and a grey piece of wagu NY strip steak.

We left with significantly less money, uncomfortably stuffed, our ears ringing from the noise and having to shout across the table at each other, and totally irritated by our unctuous waiter.

All and all, I cannot recommend this place and I am sorry to have to do that.

Aug 19, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Master Chef 8/18 spoilers

I had thought that a ring of ricotta kept the egg yolk in place. It didn't look like the contestants had that to use. What keep it from sliding off the pasta square?

Aug 19, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

"off hours" at The Purple Pig

I was there on a week night about 5:15 before an "alumni Wendella cruise" just up the block. We called first to be sure, but our wait was only about 15 minutes and dinner was perfectly wonderful. Glad you reminded me. I want to go back!

Aug 16, 2014
chicgail in Chicago Area

Penn Jillette’s secrets of “Celebrity Apprentice”: Donald Trump is a whackjob!

Great businessman
Brilliant political mind.
Role model for us all.

Penn Jillette’s secrets of “Celebrity Apprentice”: Donald Trump is a whackjob!

That really is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Nothing to see here, folks. Just move along.

Aug 15, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Top Chef Duel 8/13 spoilers Chung vs. Williamson

It sounded to me like the "trash talking" was prompted by the producers and not what either chef was thinking or would have said spontaneously. Somehow the producers have decided that that's what viewers want to see/hear. Apparently it's not.

Aug 15, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Master Chef US 8/12 discussion - spoiler

LOL, Linda. As if other seasons were more believable, authentic, intriguing or engaging. Same silly show with "AMAZING" food and "dignified" judges with nothing whatsoever at stake except the simple and straight-forward production of "ASTOUNDING" dishes.

New faces. New shoes. Same basic suckiness.

The only thing worse than than this show is that people like you and I are watching it!

Aug 13, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Master Chef US 8/12 discussion - spoiler

I was surprised at the judges' ongoing disparagement of the turkey burgers. Turkey burgers get very dry. He managed to both find a way to keep them moist, and to cook them properly.

Next Food Network Star -finale (spoilers)

What an incredibly interesting website. The best thing to come out of this fiasco. After watching - er fast-forwarding - through the finale that was a total waste of airspace, at least there's this.

But why is most of article blanked out like the CIA got ahold of it and it's some security risk?

Aug 11, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

Seattle Trip Report by Chicago CHs - longish

$17 for a half-dozen. Not horrible, but three oysters each for that price was disappointing. I would have been happier (and eaten more!) had they been $2/ or less.

Aug 07, 2014
chicgail in Greater Seattle

Seattle Trip Report by Chicago CHs - longish

The hardest part about our visit to Seattle was how many places we wanted to try and, how little time we had to try them. Mr. CG and I were in town for a family wedding. That meant that a lot of our meals were planned and/or catered meals at homes. We were also traveling largely with vegetarian relatives who are relatively disinterested in food as a possibility.

So here are the highlights:
London Plane in Pioneer Square (with the vegetarians) for lunch.
It was perfect. No worries for them about staying inside of their comfort zone and we got to go outside of ours.

Bread was great. We shared an assortment of dips and an assortment of salads, both perfect for them and for us. Far and away our favorites were the red pepper and cashew spread. We loved the red beet hummus, if only for its bright, appealing color. Of less interest was a pine nut, olive and bread dip, which was surprising given that it sounded the most appealing.

Our favorite salad was a kohlrabi and fennel slaw. We also enjoyed a wheatberry (farro?) salad. The roasted and marinated zucchini was least interesting to all of us.

Mamnoon in Capital Hill (with the vegetarians) for dinner.
Also a good choice for the four of us. The grilled octopus was our favorite appetizer. We also had fried cauliflower. The vegetarian relatives most enjoyed the muhammara pepper paste with walnuts. We had a chicken meatball entree that was not particularly memorable.

Gourmet Dog Japon near Pikes Market for just us.
Sheer luck brought us to this food truck/stand - that we almost walked right by -for a late afternoon lunch. I had a samurai: chicken sausage topped with grated radish, Japanese onion and wasabi mayo. Mr. CG's choice was even more interesting: a kilbasa garnished with Japanese seaweed nori, carrots, Japanese mayo, and teriyaki glazed onion. It's called a Matsuri and it is killer good. What a great idea to take local sausages and add lots of nifty Asian toppings.

Macrina Bakery in Belltown for brunch - just Mr. CG and me.
Highly recommended to us, but not all that memorable we thought. I had an egg dish that included artichoke hearts, dried tomatoes and green olives. Way too many intense flavors in one dish. Mr. CG ordered a smoked salmon bialy. Neither of us were thrilled. Note to self: when dining at bakery, order more baked goods. Just saying.

Seatown Seabar at Pikes Market with local friends.
We got some (overpriced we thought) local oysters that were good: sweet and briny. We also shared a bowl of steamed clams and mussels and a lovely dungeness crab BLT. The best thing about this place was our discovery of shrubs: fruit macerated in sugar and vinegar and mixed - in this case - with vodka. It's on my "must-make" list. Totally refreshing, not too sweet.

Oddfellows Cafe
We were starved when we arrived after our 4-hour flight from Chicago, but when we got there, they only had their "happy hour" menu available. We had some decent creamy deviled eggs and an ok salumi plate. Disappointing by-in-large, but we were very hungry and didn't care all that much. Would love to try again at a better time.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Can't wait to go back and try new restaurants, but that was all we could do in a few days.

Aug 06, 2014
chicgail in Greater Seattle

Food Network Star - 8/4

I didn't see a thread on this so I'm starting one.

Down to three finalists.

Luca may be fairly nice to look at, but his formula is now to say - for every challenge - "it reminds me of what my grandmother used to make when I was a boy in Torino." I don't buy it. I think it's a schtick and it is getting tiresome.

I agree with others' view on Lenny and the terror in his eyes when he faces the camera. Plus I don't care about cooking like a cowboy. Sorry.

The other contestant - the coastal girl - at least doesn't annoy me. Her food looks pretty good, but she's not all that interesting.

I think we can sum this whole season up with one word. "Meh."

I couldn't care less who "wins".

Food Network Star July 27 - Spoilers

I can get that about Penzey's. I use Spice House blends (albeit not taco) all the time.

Jul 29, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News

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.

Jul 28, 2014
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?

Jul 28, 2014
chicgail in Food Media & News
1

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.

Jul 28, 2014
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.

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