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Hampton Roads Casual Seafood

There is an article in today's Virginian Pilot (Beacon: Princess Anne edition) about the closing of D&M but they are planning to re-open somewhere else in the future. Seems they got a good offer for the property.

Sep 21, 2008
njtransplant in Mid-Atlantic

Hampton Roads Casual Seafood

I haven't tried it in a while but Ocean Seafood on Laskin Rd, next to the Greyhound bus station, cooks up some stuff. All I've ever gotten was fried shrimp or calamari - came with fries and a roll - but I recall there being a more extensive menu. Definitely a hole in the wall. I don't even think there's a spot to eat in there. It's a seafood market (very small) and I think they used to sell some wines. It near Birdneck and Laskin but closer to the beach side.

Sep 18, 2008
njtransplant in Mid-Atlantic

Fage Yogurt Now Made in the USA

Wow. My local Farm Fresh sell it for $2.49. The cheapest I've seen it is $1.89 at Target.

Sep 10, 2008
njtransplant in General Topics


I've found Prosciutto di Parma to be less salty than most of the "supermarket" brands. When I lived in NJ, the local Italian deli's had decent prosciutto but, here in Virginia, it's not so easy to find. I've tried some supermarket brands like Boars Head in a pinch but find it impossible to eat in a sandwich. I don't have details regarding why the Parma tastes sweeter and I don't think its a brand exactly.

Aug 03, 2008
njtransplant in General Topics

La Bella in Ghent - Norfolk VA

With all due respect to the DiCarlo family, we have patronized La Bella Italia for 10 years. It is still my favorite Italian restaurant in Virginia Beach but...the complaints alsky mentions are all valid. The service in the other two locations is usually spotty also, sometimes good...sometimes the point of being unacceptable. We usually tell the kids to eat a little something before we go because dinner meals usually take a long time to come to the table. I say dinner because lunch time is better. They do cook to order and that adds to the wait. We never order off the blackboard because we've noticed the enormous difference in prices from the regular menu items. Prices are never mentioned but then again its not a comfortable question for me so I don't ask either so that's my problem. Some bread servers are more generous and give the kids 2 pieces but I can't imagine that is encouraged. We avoid going on week-ends and holidays when even a reservation doesn't guarantee prompt service. We stay away from Mom Anna's location during the summer because its near the oceanfront and filled with vacationers. We work around issues because the food is great 99% of the time. We even held both our children's First Communion dinners there. My "off-the-boat" family loves going there when they visit us.

After saying all that, we're lucky that daughter Victoria opened a place near my home so we get the benefit of their great food but we usually get take-out now just because its easier than dealing with the crowds and the service. I think the family excels in the usual Italian fare and some of the so-so food problems come with trying out some of the more a-typical dishes. Their eggplant parmiggiano is my favorite ever...I can't order it anywhere else because its never as good and I am not a big eggplant fan.

I suggest you give the Norforlk La Bella another try. People who have a bad experience the first time tend to write this place off from the beginning but people who generally have a good experience keep going back. I read that the Norfolk location is being run by Anna's son. He has been working with Mom for a long time. I'm sure there is a great incentive to make his location successful.

Apr 25, 2008
njtransplant in Mid-Atlantic

Red Robin Burgers

Mushroom swiss burger, a little pink, with a side of salad instead of their fries, which I don't like at all. I've tried some of the other burgers but they don't seem to be as juicy as the mushroom swiss.

Apr 17, 2008
njtransplant in Chains

What is pork butt?

Meat thermoteters are essential to properly cooking meat. You can't rely just on how much time is needed to do the job since there are so many variables involved. Personally, I have a meat thermometer that I use to register the internal temperature of the meat while it cooks in the oven and I have an instant read digital thermometer that I use when we grill. Both types are easily available in stores here.

Mar 22, 2008
njtransplant in General Topics

Pasta experiment

My Mom used to toast breadcrumbs and toss with spaghetti all the time when I was growing up. Of course, back then, it was supposed to be a simple dish. She would use regular italian bread crumbs (she always grated her own...never bought them) and toast them in a skillet with olive oil.

Since you'll already have the rendered fat from the pancetta, I would absolutely use that. If you have to, you could drizzle olive oil over the pasta if it turns out too dry. But adding the pasta water sounds right also. I'd probably add garlic to the pancetta while its cooking though.

Mar 20, 2008
njtransplant in Home Cooking

Bloom Grocery Store

There's a BLOOM at Corner of Sandbridge Rd. and Princess Anne Rd. Again, they converted their Food Lion. They are on my way home but I'm in there more often than when they were Food Lion. Absolutely no comparison to Harris Teeter but even amoung the Harris Teeter's there is a difference and I'm sure the Blooms differ too. This particular Bloom draws from the residents in Pungo and will have customers who rent in Sandbridge Beach in the summer so I think they will try to be the "convenient market" since its the first supermarket both groups of shoppers will pass.

Hamburger press - who uses these?

Many supermarkets have plastic ones hanging at different places in the store. Just a few bucks and works just fine. My husband likes to use it so all the burgers are the same size.

May 07, 2007
njtransplant in Cookware

Diet Coke Plus

First bought it because I was curious. Bought it again because it does taste slightly different than Diet Coke. At first I thought it was me but my 12 year old noticed the almost "sweeter" flavor without any suggestion from me. I was raised on regular Coke and, although I drink Diet exclusively, I still missed my regular sweet taste. This one tastes closer to regular than any of the Diet Coke versions on the market

May 06, 2007
njtransplant in General Topics

Cheeseburger in Paradise- Good?

I enjoyed their cuban sandwich. They have a nice house salad dressing and my daughter loves their mini cheeseburgers. But my most favorite thing on their menu is the chocolate nachos!

Apr 15, 2007
njtransplant in Chains

Interesting ways to use smoked mozzerela?

One of the best apps. I've had at a local Italian rest. uses smoked mozzarella...grilled portabella mushroom, grilled red and yellow peppers, red onions and some other kind of veggie then they grill the mozz. Toss with evoo and balsamic. Really good!

Apr 10, 2007
njtransplant in Home Cooking

Hoboken Bakery

There's also Giorgio on 10th and Washington Street. My mom sends me there for pastries and spumoni whenever we get a chance to get back home in Union City. But I think Marie's is no longer there.

Virginia Beach restauants

I am assuming you're staying at the oceanfront. If you want seafood restaurants, there is Mahi Mah's, Taug Taugs (sp?) Rockerfellas at Rudee Inlet (my personal favorite but there are about 3 or 4 others at Rudee Inlet). My favorite Italian place is La Bella Italia on Laskin Road but for a week-end dinner you may need reservations and the service can be spotty but the food is great. Virginia Beach is huge and there are good places scattered all over: Margie and Ray's at Sandbrige, Boardwok for fusion, Sushi and West at Red Mill Commons and then there is a glut of places at Town Center.. What are you looking for and how much of your weekend do you want to spend getting there. There are some great places in Norfolk which is one town over but you still need to drive there.

Check out for a listing of current restaurants since most of the ones in this thread are closed. Just stay away from anything "buffet".

Bar Keeper's Friend - Thank You, Chowhound!

Before you place that order, I saw the 21 oz. sized can at Walmart today for less than $2.00 a can. I must admit, I never noticed this product before reading this site; I now see it at many local stores. My question is, are all of you using the original or the one specifically for cookware? I've only seen the "general" can in the stores, never the cookware one.

Mar 26, 2007
njtransplant in Cookware

Yum Gum: Orbit Mint Mojito

The texture seems kind of soft. For extended chewability, I still vote for the sweet-mint and the other original Orbit flavors (can't remember the names since I only chew the sweet-mint lately.) They can definitly stand up to a good half hour to 45 minute chew when I am at the gym. Although this Mint Mojito tastes fine, I won't be buying in in bulk like I do the Sweet Mint.

Mar 26, 2007
njtransplant in General Topics

Coffee Substitutes?

I have not been to Italy for at least 15 years but I remember a beverage that I think was called Orzo (not the pasta or the orzata syrup) that was a coffee substitute. It was sold in an instant form and also as brewed like regular coffee in a Moka pot on the stove. I think it was a derivative of barley as opposed to Postum which is wheat based. Does anyone know what I'm talking about or know of a source. I've tried to find information on the internet but have not had any luck. I remember it being quite tasty, caffine free, and a great coffee substitute. We do buy Postum as my husband drinks it but I am an espresso fiend and can't stomach the taste of Postum.

Mar 22, 2007
njtransplant in General Topics

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Red Pepper Flakes, and Anchovies

My Mom cooks a very similar dish using spaghetti instead. She cooks the pasta and vegetable together in the same pot, at the same time. She throws in the anchovy and oil, minus the red pepper flakes, after she drains the pot. I never knew broccoli rabe had a bitter taste until I started cooking on my own. Veggie overcooked?...maybe. But, this is the way she's done it all her life, and my grandmother before her. Even though this might seem like a new vegetable to most Americans, it's been a staple in Italy "forever".

By the way, if the bitterness is too much for anyone, you could try using broccolini instead, if you can find it.

Mar 21, 2007
njtransplant in Recipes

Can you taste dish soap on your dishes?

Absolutely. I can't say that I keep visual track on the dispenser of when it needs to be filled but I can always tell that the cultery items begin to spot when the rinse agent is low. That's my cue to refill, even though my dispenser has a visual cue.

Feb 23, 2007
njtransplant in Not About Food

Can you taste dish soap on your dishes?

Never, ever, put dishwashing liquid in a dishwasher. You will have an incredible mess to clean up, let alone the possibility of harming your machine. These soaps sud up too much and will ooze out of your machine. (I speak from experience.) We use Cascade Complete with the silver cap. I think the fact that these detergents are made for a machine has removed the manufacturer's need to assalt your senses the way they do for hand washing liquids.

Feb 23, 2007
njtransplant in Not About Food

Nice waterfront dinner in Virginia Beach area?

I have always enjoyed Rockefellers at Rudee Inlet. They have a varied menu and run some pretty good specials during the week. We also had a good dinner at La Marinella off of West Great Neck Road. We ate there on a Sunday night and enjoyed the view of the local fishermen unloading and packing freshly caught rockfish, which I had for dinner that night. It was good. The Italian food there was so-so but the fish entrees were very tasty. There are lots of places to eat right on the boardwalk at the oceanfront. Check out for some reviews.

Homemade Chicken Soup - looking for key ingredients

Well, we all seem to agree that making a good soup requires time, patience, and a lot of love, both for the people eating the soup and for the cooking process.

My secret ingredient to adding more flavor to the broth is adding a package of turkey neck bones, discarded after cooking. They are cheap and, although not always available in the local supermarket, much more available here than feet and chicken necks.

Feb 12, 2007
njtransplant in Home Cooking

Bagels vs Bialys

Gee, I have not had a bialy since I stopped working in Manhattan about 14 years ago. Bialy always toasted, with plenty of drippy butter. Untoasted tastes uncooked to me and the butter mixing with the little bits of onions are sooo good. Bagels you can do just about anything to.

Feb 11, 2007
njtransplant in General Topics

Help, I am afraid to make shrimp cocktail.

This really shouldn't be as difficult as you are making it out to be. Most supermarkets carry these "shrimp rings"...already prepared shrimp cocktail with a well in the middle for the sauce. You should be able to find this in the seafood section of the market.

Now, if you want to make some, the easiest thing to do is buy deveined tiger shrimp. Some markets sell them already defrosted (most shrimp is frozen anyway) and you can buy them by the pound or sometimes they sell 2 pound bags still frozen. Just take it home, boil up a pot of water, put in the shrimp, shell and all, then remove from heat when the shrimp turn pink and either run cold water in the pot to stop the boil or have a cold water bath ready to put the shrimp in to stop the cooking process. Once the shrimp are cooled off enough, peel off most of the shell, just leaving the tail end on to use as a handle.

If some of the shrimp still have that black vein running in the back, (they shouldn't but you never know), just run the shrimp under running cold water. You can drain all the water, place shrimp in a baggie and refrigerate until you need them. This whole process is done in no time and can be done a day ahead.

Now the best part of the cocktail is the sauce. Rather than buying the premade stuff, get a jar of prepared horseradish and a bottle of catsup and mix some of each together to make your own. Tastes much fresher and you can control the spice of the horseradish by adding more or less.

Feb 02, 2007
njtransplant in Home Cooking

best superautomatic espresso maker?

Gaggia Titanium. Love it. Love it. Love it. Purchased in April of this year so I can't give you long-term results. Paid about $1300. from but has some kind of hotline you can call to see you through any questions you may have. Since they run about the same price, I would suggest you go with that web site. These sites can also sell you the cleaning solution you will need with any of the machines.

Nov 29, 2006
njtransplant in Cookware

dinner tonight virginia beach

FYI: The Duck Inn has closed to make way for condos.

Nov 24, 2006
njtransplant in Mid-Atlantic

Christmas Dinner - What did I get myself into?

I have to second the crown roast idea. It is sooo easy to make and looks very impressive. Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Oct 19, 2006
njtransplant in Home Cooking

Double-dipping at Tapas Bar

I have the same feeling with fondue. Those forks are for dipping. Drives me nuts when I see people eating with them. You're served a dish and regular forks. Use them. Maybe the heat of the fondue "disinfects" but I don't like to see my companions eat with the fondue fork and then put them back in the communal pot. Besides being gross, doesn't it burn?

Oct 18, 2006
njtransplant in Not About Food

How do you like your prosciutto sliced?

The old-fashioned deli men are hard to come by, at least down south. Although I can get prosciutto di parma, the deli people don't really know how to slice it. Some places don't even put paper between the layers. Try prying that apart, regardless of the thickness.

I remember when I was little, a favorite during the holidays was julienned prosciutto pieces. It would come in a red and white checkered container and we would only have it for the holidays; Chistmas Day, New Years Day and Easter Sunday. It was fun to pull it apart as it would separate at the fatty part. It was a real treat.

Oct 12, 2006
njtransplant in General Topics