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What I don't enjoy about going

Again, the North End of Boston on a Saturday night in October is always a zoo. You can't really compare it with most other restaurant scenarios.

Oct 19, 2014
taos in Not About Food

What I don't enjoy about going

What's the problem?

Restaurants sometimes can't honor a reservation on time because the previous diners stayed longer than expected, lingering over their meal. This happens. In a popular area like Boston's North End at a popular time of year, like October, the odds of this happening are higher.

So the restaurant has to postpone your reservation. Again, it happens.

You went to another place and it sounds like the owner first thinks he wouldn't have an open table for six until 9. Then it sounds like a table just unexpectedly opened up. Either the reservation for that table canceled, the group showed up with fewer than 6 people and were seated elsewhere in the restaurant or not at all, or a party occupying a table for 6 ate and left earlier than he expected. He knows an open six will be in great demand, so he says, "Here's your chance, take it rignt now or leave it." Nice of him to try to accommodate you, really.

What's so unusual or problematic about this scenario?

Oct 19, 2014
taos in Not About Food

Cast iron - large spot won't season properly

Here's what?

Oct 19, 2014
taos in Cookware

Really bad food from a restaurant.... What would you do?

The two other reviews for this place on Urban Spoon look like inside jobs begging for people to eat there. If it's that bad, the marketplace will take care of it.

Oct 19, 2014
taos in Not About Food

Possible to do a foodie-level lunch in UES with 2 toddlers?

1. The OP is not just asking for lunch, but for a "foodie-level" lunch. If the OP just wanted a place to eat on the UES, he/she wouldn't post the request to a food discussion site and reference "foodie-level."

2. Lots of places may "accommodate" children. This does not mean that bringing the toddlers is a good idea or respectful to the other diners. Restaurants also accommodate smelly people with poor hygiene, inappropriately dressed diners, and loud drunk boors. Doesn't mean it's a good idea to show up at a nice restaurant looking and smelling like you just left the gym and then proceed to get rip-roaring drunk.

3. If I'm "grumpy" because I don't want my $100+ meal disturbed by toddlers, then so be it.

Oct 19, 2014
taos in Manhattan

Possible to do a foodie-level lunch in UES with 2 toddlers?

I have no doubt that the restaurant staff is "accepting" of young children. They are running a business. They'd be crazy to turn away paying customers just because they made the ill-advised decision to drag toddlers to a fine dining establishment.

This DOES NOT mean it's a good idea. If I'm paying $100+ for a meal at a good restaurant, the last thing I want is some selfish parent with their 3-year old at the next table.

Oct 19, 2014
taos in Manhattan

Possible to do a foodie-level lunch in UES with 2 toddlers?

Toddlers and restaurants, other than kiddie places, are rarely a good mix. Parents seem to think THEIR kids are the exception. They are so used to their kids that they don't realize the noise, mess, whining, kicking of tables, etc. that toddlers routinely do. This is not a slam against the tykes. It's what kids do.

If you are staying in a hotel, get takeout and eat in your room or find a place that markets primarily to young children. This list:

http://www.timeout.com/new-york-kids/...

might be a good start.

Oct 19, 2014
taos in Manhattan

plastic handles of my wine bottle opener are very sticky

What are the sticky handles made of?

Oct 19, 2014
taos in Cookware

Top Chef Boston - Ep. #1 - 10/15/14 (spoilers)

Why? Sweet Cheeks is famous for its biscuits. It makes sense for her to bring the item for which she's famous when appearing at a food festival. Tiffani was not competing or having her food judged. She was showcasing her restaurant.

Oct 18, 2014
taos in Food Media & News
1

Cast iron - large spot won't season properly

You're not going to remove seasoning by scrubbing with vinegar and water. True seasoning is cooked on and requires either a very high temperature or a strong solvent like lye or oven cleaner to remove.

I don't know exactly what the "flax seed oil" method of seasoning is exactly and how you measured its effectiveness. Is your assessment of its effectiveness just based on appearance or is the pan now sticking to food less?

Oct 18, 2014
taos in Cookware

Removing label stickers

If you are just trying to remove the sticky residue from the wooden spoons, try sanding the sticky spot with a fine grit sandpaper.

Oct 17, 2014
taos in Cookware

How to season a stainless steel, uncoated Calphalon pan?

Stainless steel cannot be seasoned. None of the videos or links higher up in this thread show seasoning of stainless steel. All they show are heating fat in a pan before use and wiping off the excess.

This is not seasoning. This is just oiling a pan.

Seasoning is a process in which the fat is actually cooked onto the metal surface not just applied as a temporary coating before cooking. Stainless steel cannot be treated seasoned in this way.

Oct 17, 2014
taos in Cookware

How to remove Beef Bourguinon stain from dress?

Get the powder version of Oxi-Clean. Mix it with water, following the ratio on the package instructions. Apply it right away to the stain. Let sit for a day. Rinse it out and wash as usual.

Oct 16, 2014
taos in Not About Food

Retire where?

Asheville, NC

Oct 16, 2014
taos in Not About Food

Tipping delivery or take out. Do you? How much?

DELIVERY: I tip $5-$10 or more depending on how far the delivery driver had to go, the weather conditions, how much he's carrying, how nice he is, etc.

TAKE OUT: Generally no tip unless it's a place where getting take out is not what they normally do. If they go out of their way to prepare my meal to go then I'll give them 15-20%. If it's place like Chipotle that is designed for take out, then nothing.

TIP JARS: If it's a place that I frequent regularly and where they remember me, I'll drop in extra change, up to $1. Anywhere else, nothing.

Oct 15, 2014
taos in Not About Food

How The Coffee Shop Has Ruined Customer Service

I don't miss the old days. At least not the coffee drinking part of old days. Good modern coffee shops serve fresh coffee, sometimes locally roasted, prepared well and that I can customize to my exact taste.

Old time coffee shops too often served up burned or weak or stale coffee. And if you wanted cream or sugar, you were at the mercy of the server to guess exactly how much cream and sugar you wanted when you asked for it light and sweet.

Oct 15, 2014
taos in Not About Food

SNAP POLL—WOULD YOU USE A COOKWARE “LENDING LIBRARY”?

1. no

2. no

3. no

Seems like a big hassle and most expensive cookware items are large, heavy, and/or fragile. Packing and shipping would be time-consuming and expensive.

Also, trying out a pan is not something that interests me. It's not like test-driving a car. I can get a pretty good sense of how a pan would work by examining it at the store before I purchase it and reading reviews online.

Jul 26, 2014
taos in Cookware
2

Mold in lid of pump-style salad spinner?

The black specks on the lid of your Brita water pitcher are probably specks of charcoal from the filter, not mold.

Read your owner's manual. The black speck issue is addressed there.

Jun 14, 2014
taos in Cookware

CHOW Reviews: Vitamix 5200 Standard

Your review says nothing about starting with an assumption that the Vitamix is amazing for making juices or smoothies. Nor does it state that your question was to see if it could perform the tasks of a regular blender.

It seems that faced with a barrage of comments questioning the methodology and conclusions reached in your review, you are backpedaling and revising the review after the fact.

Jun 14, 2014
taos in Cookware

CHOW Reviews: Vitamix 5200 Standard

Update ... just watched the video review. Previously I just read the text. The reviewer says that, "it was an extremely loud six minutes just to heat up some soup" and says that she could have blended the same ingredients into a soup in a quieter blender and then heated it on the stove.

First of all, you're not "just heating some soup" in the Vitamix. You're pureeing and heating simultaneously. Second, a regular, cheaper (perhaps quieter) blender will not create the smooth puree that the Vitamix does. I've tried it.

Also, my earlier guess was confirmed. The frozen strawberry and banana smoothie was troublesome for the reviewer because the frozen strawberries were dumped into the Vitamix first, then the bananas and then the liquid was added. This is the same problem the reviewer encountered with crushed ice. Liquid must always be added first before adding frozen material. If the VitaMix instructions do not make this clear, they should.

Finally, do you really think VitamIx would include a standard 7-year warranty, which you praise, if the jar and the jar-base connection were as flimsy as you claim they are?

Jun 14, 2014
taos in Cookware
1

CHOW Reviews: Vitamix 5200 Standard

I have the model 5200 that I bought online for $380 (new, not refurbished), with free shipping.

Friends raved about their Vitamixes, but I was skeptical and ready to return it if it did not meet my expectations.

It is far better than I ever imagined.

I use it almost daily for smoothies, purees, soups, deserts, etc.

The reviewer's problems with the strawberry-banana smoothie probably stem from not adding enough liquid or not adding the liquid first. When making smoothies, it's important to put the liquid in first or the fruit/veggies, especially if frozen, will just glob up at the bottom. This is true of any blender. Most other blenders won't make a creamy smoothie of out frozen strawberries and bananas under any circumstances. The Vita-Mix will, if you follow instructions.

Jun 14, 2014
taos in Cookware
2

stainless appliances that don't show fingerprints

Do the handles get fingerprints on them or are they made of plastic?

Jun 14, 2014
taos in Cookware

stainless appliances that don't show fingerprints

I cannot imagine why you would want a built-up "patina" on stainless steel appliances.

Jun 14, 2014
taos in Cookware

Cleaning a gas stovetop. Any suggestions?

Baking soda is not a solvent from grease. Mixing it with vinegar will work a little better but just because of the vinegar.

For cleaning my gas stove and vent hood, I mix up a spray bottle with 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water. Spray it on and wipe clean with a microfiber rag or a nylon scouring pad.

This may not be sufficient for your burned on gunk.

In this case, try:

1. Magic Eraser.

2. A citrus cleaner like De-Solv-It (http://www.de-solv-it.com/all-product...) but test in a small area first to make sure it does not dull or mar the surface. This should work well on the inside of the hood also. Spray on and then clean with a nylon scrub pad.

Jun 14, 2014
taos in Cookware

GREEN BAGS TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS : DO THEY REALLY WORK?

3 1/2 years late with the reply, but here's what I've used in them:

greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc.)
celery
carrots
peppers
peas in pods

Other stuff might work, but I have not tried it. As I said earlier, it's essential that everything be super dry before putting it in the bag. Adding a folded up paper towel (unbleached or all white) to the bag might help with moisture.

I use them a lot for keeping my CSA farm share greens from wilting or rotting before they can be consumed.

Jun 14, 2014
taos in Cookware

Flying with Knives

You can, and are required to, check knives. That's not the problem.

Your knives were not confiscated. They were stolen, either by airport baggage handlers or by TSA clerks. And, yes, despite claims here to the contrary, TSA does steal things from checked baggage:

See
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/convict...

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/31/travel/...

Apr 21, 2014
taos in Cookware

buying kitchen appliances!

I just bought a new house (new house) and it came with a newly-remodeled kitchen. All of the appliances (oven, microwave, dishwasher, frig) are Frigidaire and they are uniformly terrible. Stay away. In particular the Frigidaire dishwasher is POS.

Feb 25, 2014
taos in Cookware

Bought a Sharpening Stone. How Do I Use It?

Dumb questions ... I don't have Japanese knives (see my original post). Is the technique the same as shown in the video which is with Japanese knives?

Feb 25, 2014
taos in Cookware

Bought a Sharpening Stone. How Do I Use It?

The instructions that came with the stone do say to soak it in water for five minutes.

Feb 25, 2014
taos in Cookware

Bought a Sharpening Stone. How Do I Use It?

Just purchased a sharpening stone. I'm tired of paying to have someone sharpen my knives and I don't want an electric device to do it. Sharpening on a stone is also a skill I want to acquire.

Now I need instructions on how to use it. The person at the store said to watch YouTube videos. There are about a billion of these. Can any of the knife experts here recommend or provide some good instruction, video or otherwise?

The stone is:
Shun 300/1000
http://www.amazon.com/Shun-300-1000-C...

My main knives are:

Henckels Twin Four Star 8-inch Chef's Knife (my baby
) http://www.amazon.com/Zwillilng-J-A-H...

Generic Version of Victorinox Utility Knife
http://www.victorinox.com/us/product/...

Kuhn Rikon Non-Stick Paring Knife
http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-4-In...

Plus a serrated utility knife and a cleaver that I inherited and is as dull as a baseball bat right now.

I'd also like to use the stone to sharpen my Swiss Army Knife (http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swis...) and Multi Tool (http://www.leatherman.com/10.html

)

Thank you in advance for your help.

Feb 25, 2014
taos in Cookware