j

Jaymes's Profile

Title Last Reply

Please Bring an Elaborate Dessert

As far as I'm concerned, most of how I feel about this has to do with what sort of relationship I have with the host. If we're family or close friends, and hauling stuff to parties is our "norm," I definitely don't mind. And when I'm invited for dinner at the home of someone I don't know that well, I do always say, "Can I bring something?" Honestly, if I didn't want to bring something, I wouldn't ask. I do usually take a hostess gift of some sort (cute cocktail napkins are a favorite gift), but I know what a hassle throwing a dinner party can be, and if somebody wanted me to stop and pick up something so easy to find as ice or tonic water, I really wouldn't mind.

Jul 23, 2014
Jaymes in Features

Anchorage downtown recc?

"Fairbanks to Dawson City by air." Whew!

'Cause that's a long arduous haul. Congratulations to adventuresome Mom for wanting to undertake this trip.

And to you, for seeing to it that she does.

Hope you do remember to get back with us.

One more tip - the interior of Alaska during this time of year may be pleasantly cool, in the 60's & 70's; but also, it can get quite warm - up into the 80's and even higher. And if you're going to be taking the train between Anchorage & Fairbanks - the train with the observation deck/restaurant on top - that's basically a traveling glass greenhouse up there. One amusing thing during summers in interior Alaska is seeing the tourists that think it's below freezing year around all over the state "glowing" in their arctic sweaters.

Sweaters, jackets, heavy clothing, sure, for Southeast, and for the cruise/water portions. It is definitely cold, wet, windy, blustery out on the water. But take some warmer weather clothing for the interior.

Jul 23, 2014
Jaymes in Pacific Northwest

Anchorage downtown recc?

Thought about this a little more. Can't imagine you're on a bus tour all the way down the AlCan, so you must be on a bus from Fairbanks to Skagway, where you're going to catch your cruise south. Even just that far, through Delta Junction, Tok, Chicken, etc., it's going to be long and arduous. And, um, well, kinda boring. Also, because the winters are so long and hard, the only time that the state has to work on the highways is obviously summer, so there's always a lot of construction, which makes for even slower and bumpier rocky going. The only reason I'm telling you this is because you say you're traveling with a 90-year old. I hope he/she is a really good sport, as must you all be because this ain't exactly a carriage ride through Central Park. Perhaps this is obvious, but I'm just not sure you know what you're in for, so be sure to take something to do to pass the time - books, electronic games, that sort of thing. And snacks. Don't count on cell service, to say the least. And be absolutely positive that your 90-year-old has plenty of whatever medication he/she requires. It's not like there's a drugstore on every corner. Or anything at all on every corner. Or even very many corners, for that matter.

You know?

Also, regarding my recommendation above for "shore excursions" in Skagway, and the train being the best one - I don't think you'll want to do that at all. After sitting on that bus, when you pull into Skagway, I think that the last thing you're probably going to want to do is to get on a train and head right back north the way you came.

However, that train trip is spectacular. And thinking about the miners working their cold, dangerous way up the White Pass to the gold fields of the Yukon is awe-inspiring.

Jul 23, 2014
Jaymes in Pacific Northwest

Anchorage downtown recc?

Wow, Dawson City and Whitehorse? That's no ordinary Alaska Cruise/Tour.

You won't have to worry about getting to Cabin Nite at Denali. It's right in the middle of everything and will undoubtedly be an option offered through your tour company. In fact, it might be included.

Regardless as to where you are in Fairbanks, I think you'd find a cab to Chena Pump House worth it either for lunch or dinner. Look over their website (linked above) and decide. You're not going to have a lot of "nice restaurant" options on this trip. I'd suggest you take this one, even though it does require a cab ride.

The Riverboat Discovery in Fairbanks might also be included with your tour. I think that's really worth it, as well, so if it's offered as an option, take it.

Dawson City and Whitehorse are very small and isolated. I think you should just look at your meals there as "refueling" if you know what I mean.

PS - in Anchorage, I like Simon & Seafort's pretty well. Remember that even though Anchorage is the largest city in the state by far, it's still a small town by "outside" standards. Fewer than 300,000. And probably only half that in winter, because many Alaskans pack up and head south right after they get their "permanent fund" dividend checks. So there are not as many options anywhere in Alaska as there are in larger cities.

One more PS - best tour option in Skagway, in my view, is train up the White Pass.

Jul 23, 2014
Jaymes in Pacific Northwest

Anchorage downtown recc?

If you want to hang with the locals in Anchorage, get yourself to the New Sagaya Market. It's kind of a Whole Foods, Alaskan style. There's a small café right by the front door and that's where folks stop in before work and have a coffee, blueberry muffin, and read the paper. Then at lunchtime, a quick sandwich. It's a great place for you to grab some snacks for the hotel room or trip north. You don't need a car to get there from downtown; it's only a few blocks' walk. If your 90-year-old has a hard time walking, you can grab a cab.

http://www.newsagaya.com/

As far as what to eat while in Alaska, one thing to remember is that it's pretty isolated and many footstuffs have to be flown in, or make the long trek north via ship, or a very long haul overland. So don't expect much of the food you consider to be your favorites in the Lower 48 to be comparable. Stick with things Alaskans have there, and do well. Be sure to have at least one breakfast with sourdough pancakes. And Alaskan blueberries are so good. As far as fish goes, many Alaskans prefer the halibut to the salmon, so be sure to try some. There are several "Salmon Bakes" around the state, and you'll probably have an opportunity to attend at least one. The "sides" at these fish dinners are usually pretty bad, but you didn't come to Alaska to eat canned baked beans and soggy coleslaw. Stick to the fish. The salmon isn't usually "baked," so that's a bit of a misnomer. It's barbecued. And it's really good, of course, but best of all (and in my view the best thing anywhere in the state) is the fried halibut you can get just about everywhere. Soft tender pillows of snow white halibut. Food doesn't get any better than that.

A don't miss in Anchorage is the Alaska Native Heritage Center.

At Denali, there isn't much at the entrance to the park that isn't "touristy," but, hey, you're a tourist, right? So relax and enjoy it. I've been to "Cabin Nite" many times while escorting friends and family and I always have a good time. The show is fun, and the food is not bad. You don't have a lot of choices there, you know. It's not like you're in downtown Manhattan, so what you have to choose from at Denali is all pretty pricy and mediocre. Might as well have a show.

Fairbanks - your first glimpse of Fairbanks is likely to be disillusioning. You're expecting "beautiful mountain village." What you get looks more like "small town on the Nebraska prairie." It's startling for first time visitors. The best place for you to eat in Fairbanks, hands down, is the Chena Pump House. You'll love it. You will need transportation to get there, but it's worth it. So grab a cab. Seriously. Do it. Sit out on the deck overlooking the Chena river. Watch the Riverboard Discovery paddling its way along, and the floatplanes taking off and landing.

http://www.pumphouse.com/

The Salmon Bake in Fairbanks is wonderful, especially if you remember what I said about the "sides," vs the salmon and, especially, the halibut. It's at "Alaskaland Pioneer Park" which is also the location for the Palace Saloon show. There are two of these sorts of "shows" in Fairbanks - the Palace, and the Malemute Saloon. Both terrific. Couldn't choose a favorite, but you definitely need transportation to get out to the Malemute so The Palace should probably be your first choice.

I suspect you've only got one day in Fairbanks, so won't mention the other things worth doing and eating. If you've got more time there, let me know, and I'll continue....

Jul 23, 2014
Jaymes in Pacific Northwest

Rockaway Beach, Oregon

In mid-August, going to spend a week at Rockaway Beach. If it were you, where would you be going to keep your tummy-time happy?

Jul 22, 2014
Jaymes in Pacific Northwest

Alaskan Cruise Stopping in Juneau & Skagway

In Juneau, I love the bar at the Alaskan Hotel. For many years, it was my dream to move there and work at that bar. Unfortunately, too old now. Guess that will have to be for my next life.

Funky and authentic. A long-time gathering place for locals.

http://www.thealaskanhotel.com/

Jul 22, 2014
Jaymes in Pacific Northwest

What's your Blue Bell flavor?

Peppermint stick. Love love love that stuff. Cool and minty, red, white, and pinkish, with crunchy chunks of peppermint.

Unfortunately, it's seasonal.

And that wouldn't be so bad, except that my idea of the perfect season for peppermint stick ice cream is summertime - reminiscent of the hot July picnics of my youth, when it was always the kids' job to sit on top of the ice cream maker while a grownup turned the crank. And as a reward, you got to lick the dasher when it was pulled up out of that frosty silver canister. Peppermint stick ice cream was such a huge favorite that it was ubiquitous. You simply could not have a summertime picnic without homemade peppermint ice cream.

Inexplicably to me, Blue Bell's idea of the perfect season for peppermint stick ice cream is Christmastime. Don't they know that all peppermint sticks are NOT peppermint Christmas candy canes?

Now, I wouldn't argue with them about the Christmastime thing if they wouldn't argue with me about the summertime picnic thing.

Seriously, Blue Bell...is twice a year really too often?

Jul 22, 2014
Jaymes in Texas

Sunday Brunch, downtown Austin, please!

I'll bet that's exactly why there are millions and millions of restaurants around the world offering a variety of choices. Some of us just absolutely love a luxurious high-end upscale Sunday Brunch presented with attentive service in an elegant setting.

And I happily happen to be one.

But far be it from me to criticize your personal choice.

Jul 18, 2014
Jaymes in Austin

What Is the National Dish of New Mexico?

Well, Farmington is pretty far north. Having lived there, I can tell you that there can be some considerable Colorado influence up there.

Jul 18, 2014
Jaymes in Southwest

What Is the National Dish of New Mexico?

Do you remember where it was that you had the one that looked like the one in the photo?

It definitely looks fatter than many of the chiles rellenos served at assorted New Mexico restaurants. Like, oh say, Chope's, for starters.

Jul 18, 2014
Jaymes in Southwest

Sunday Brunch, downtown Austin, please!

Trio is fairly costly at $54 per person, but that does include champagne and mimosas, and I think the quality is excellent. It's not an "every Sunday thing" for us, but it's where we go for special occasions.

And, the OP didn't say anything about the reason for going, or price.

So I definitely thought it was worth a mention.

Jul 18, 2014
Jaymes in Austin
1

Sunday Brunch, downtown Austin, please!

Not right downtown but my personal favorite Sunday Brunch is at Fonda San Miguel: http://www.fondasanmiguel.com/menu/su...

Also very fond of Trio at the Four Seasons: http://www.triorestaurantaustin.com/m...

And Austin 360 has a pretty comprehensive list: http://www.austin360.com/news/enterta...

Jul 17, 2014
Jaymes in Austin

Seeking Ingredient: Gochujang

And while you're in Koreatown, you should try a meal at Bon Ga. Sure would like to do a meetup with all y'all fine folks.

Jul 17, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Sprouts Markets, Lenexa, KS

I'd say a cross between Trader Joe's and Whole Foods pretty much nails it. And don't think it has anything much in common with Aldi. As I said, I don't think they're targeting the same market at all. For example, I very much like Sprouts and go there frequently, but am not much of a fan of Aldi and avoid it when I can. This isn't meant as a criticism - it's just that Aldi's "style" doesn't appeal to me personally.

A note about Sprouts - they have one item that my dad absolutely loves - Aussie Bites. They're a very small whole-oats kind of muffin-like thing. He's in a retirement home and is on a restricted diet, so there are lots of things he can't (or at least shouldn't) eat. There isn't a Sprouts in the town where he lives so I send him a couple of packages of those Aussie Bites every month.

If that sounds like something you'd like, then when your Sprouts opens, I'd suggest you give them a try. They're in the prepackaged baked goods section - at least they are in my local store.

Jul 17, 2014
Jaymes in Great Plains
1

Seeking Ingredient: Gochujang

Ah, 99 Ranch. The gateway to Korea Town. :)

http://www.khou.com/great-day/gdh_1-3...

Jul 17, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Seeking Ingredient: Gochujang

Feel a little foolish pointing out the obvious, but have you tried H-Mart, the Korean store in "Korea town"?

Jul 17, 2014
Jaymes in Houston
1

Sprouts Markets, Lenexa, KS

In my experience they cater to completely different market shares. Sprouts offers fresh produce and what used to be described as "gourmet" specialty items. Aldi, it seems to me, is far more price-oriented, with much less emphasis on quality.

Jul 16, 2014
Jaymes in Great Plains

What Is the National Dish of New Mexico?

Weighing in on the original question - I'd have to say that, in my view anyway, whatever is the "State Dish of New Mexico," should have something to do with green chile sauce.

I've had lots of "green enchiladas," and "green chilaquiles" and other Mexican dishes with green sauces. But they invariably are green because of tomatillos.

If it's a Southwestern chile sauce of some sort, and it's green, and no tomatillos, it's most likely New Mexican in origin.

Jul 16, 2014
Jaymes in Southwest

What Is the National Dish of New Mexico?

Which, of course, is just fine. Especially since you point out that, although you consider bratwurst to be a "Milwaukee thing," you wouldn't decide to argue with a German about where it was invented.

Jul 15, 2014
Jaymes in Southwest

What Is the National Dish of New Mexico?

And I'll bet that settles it. Don't you reckon? :)

Jul 15, 2014
Jaymes in Southwest
1

What Is the National Dish of New Mexico?

I'm sorry, but no. I remember very well eating Frito Pies IN the small bags in Texas back in the 50's. I was a kid of about twelve and remember how fun that was.

Look, I lived in New Mexico for years. Have friends, family, relatives literally in every corner of the state. Love it and love the food. Love New Mex/Mex far more than TexMex. It's my very favorite, as I've said often on Chowhound. There is so much for New Mexico to be proud of.

And, although something so obvious as ladling chili over Fritos in that handy small bag, was undoubtedly "invented" many times over, I just don't see how anyone can imagine that, when Fritos were first sold in the early 1930's in the smack-dab middle of Texas, nobody there thought of doing that for thirty years. Like I said, that simply defies logic. It doesn't make sense.

New Mexico has more than enough stuff to be proud of - stacked green chile enchiladas come immediately to my mind.

But Frito Pies ain't one of them.

Jul 15, 2014
Jaymes in Southwest

What Is the National Dish of New Mexico?

Hard for me to believe that anybody still believes that Frito Pie was invented at the Woolworth's in Santa Fe in the 1960's.

Seriously?

You do know that it is an UNDISPUTED FACT that Fritos were first sold in San Antonio in the 1930's. In SAN ANTONIO. A city already world-famous for chili - as in "The San Antonio Chili Queens." How could anyone believe that nobody in San Antonio thought about ladling a spoonful of said chili over some Fritos for THIRTY YEARS??!! That absolutely defies logic.

I certainly could never believe such a ridiculously improbable thing, even if I had not been eating Frito Pies, topped with cheese and onions, at the drive-in across from my junior high school in San Angelo, Texas in 1950 - which I was - TEN YEARS before Miss Santa Fe Woolworth supposedly "invented" it.

Seriously, some people will believe anything.

But believing this stretches credulity.

Jul 15, 2014
Jaymes in Southwest

Suggestions for Thursday, July 3rd w/79 yr. old mother

I did not know that the Pelican Club has gone public. Guess so many of the Old Guard BOI's have died that those remaining are forced to dine with the riffraff.

Horrors.

(Just as a side note - I had a cousin that lived for many years in Galveston. When she was asked, as one always is upon an initial meeting with a long-time Galvestonian, "Are you BOI?" my cousin answered, "No, I'm TOI - Trapped on the Island.")

Jul 09, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Suggestions for Thursday, July 3rd w/79 yr. old mother

Yes, yes, I agree. Thanks so much for getting back with us. In fact, based on your report, I'm going to plan a trip there again sometime soon. Our family has a long history with Gaido's. Former husband is from Galveston, I remember many wonderful meals both at Gaido's and at the Pelican Club, and all three of my children waited tables at Gaido's at one time or another, primarily over the summers when they were on break from university. That was back when they were supposed to remember all the orders and write nothing down. Do they still do that?

Jul 09, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Twelve hours in Springfield, MO- tees, gifts, and delicious eats!

Soo's Korean Restaurant: https://plus.google.com/1065198794979...

Everything here is great, but I particularly love the bulgogi. Know it's not terribly adventuresome, but can't help myself. Even when I order something else, have to get at least a side of bulgogi. Like most Westerners, love the stuff.

And I like The Tamale King. This is no full-service Americanized "Mexican" restaurant chain with frozen margaritas, etc. It's a small, family-run taqueria that caters primarily to Mexican workers in Springfield. I travel a lot throughout Mexico, and the food here is similar to what you get standing at a taco cart on a plaza somewhere south of the border. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRe...

Jul 04, 2014
Jaymes in Great Plains

Blue Bell Cranks Back Time

I wish they had peppermint stick available year 'round. Course, on the other hand, if they did, I'd likely gain 20 pounds just from that alone.

So it's probably just as well...

Jul 02, 2014
Jaymes in Texas

Suggestions for Thursday, July 3rd w/79 yr. old mother

That is great info. As I said, I used to really hate that mob scene at the entrance.

Jul 01, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Suggestions for Thursday, July 3rd w/79 yr. old mother

And let me add that, while Gaido's is a fun throwback and I'm sure you'd enjoy it, because they don't take reservations (or at least never have) it can be a looooooonnnng wait. I hate standing there and I've got my original hips. If you decide to go, be sure that you plan to visit during off-peak hours.

Jul 01, 2014
Jaymes in Houston

Stupid Question

I've found old-fashioned stuff like that at Cracker Barrel.

Jun 18, 2014
Jaymes in Austin