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53latour's Profile

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Reid's Fine Foods re-opening in Charlotte

I moved to Charlotte just before Reid's closed. I see it is re-opening shortly. What were they known for? What do you expect from the new store?

Oct 13, 2010
53latour in Southeast

Seafood & local restaurants near Topsail Island, NC

The week of Labor Day we will be renting a house on Topsail island. It's our first time in this area. I'm looking for suggestions for good seafood/local/pub fare restaurants. We'll have a lot of kids so not looking for fine dining. As an example, when we stayed on Oak Island, we liked The Provision Co. (or just Provision) in Southport. Thanks in advance for suggestions.

Aug 27, 2010
53latour in Southeast

Private Preserve and other solutions for preserving wine in an opened bottle

With regard to pouring the leftover wine into half-bottles and refrigerating, I've heard several winemakers mention this. They also said to put the wine in the freezer if you aren't going to get back to it in the next few days. Allow extra ullage for expansion.

I've been a fan of PP for years. Forget Vacu-vin. Despite the claims of two weeks, I think 3-4 days is the most you can expect for good preservation. I just use a small amount of PP and those stoppers with the lever that snaps to the side and a rubber thingy expands to seal the bottle (don't know the exact name).

Jun 21, 2010
53latour in Wine

Do you pronounce the "t" in moet?

According to the explanation I heard regarding the pronunciation of Moët...it's both. The sticking point is the conjunction 'et' in the full name, Moët et Chandon. Apparently, you cannot have 'ët' 'et' (both with hard Ts) together. So, when you say the entire name it's Moe-ay et Chandon, but if you are just saying Moët, it's Moe-ette.

I know Laurent Gruet, co-owner and winemaker at Gruet. It's pronounced Groo-AY. And yes, it is very good sparkling wine!!

Jun 21, 2010
53latour in Wine

Austrian Wine Tasting event: Who shouldn't I miss?

Alois Kracher is a must. His sweet wines are outstanding. I've also had very good wines from Knoll (Wachau), especially the Smaragds. Make a point to see Brundelmayer. Also have had interesting wines from Pockl (Neusiedlersee). Had a wonderful Pinot Noir TBA there.

Apr 03, 2010
53latour in Wine

How to Talk About Wine

Agreed.

Mar 27, 2010
53latour in Wine

How to Talk About Wine

First of all, I agree with other posters that the waiter/sommelier (w/s) should have been reprimanded at the least. The w/s was the poster child for rude, intimidating, pretentious snobs who scare curious people from exploring the world of wine. I hate to see that!

I also agree with Chinon00, Zin1953, and others that what probably set off the "lecture" was the combination of "red", "dry", and "sweet." I have spent many years working in retail and restaurants. When a customer asks for a dry red wine and specifically notes that the wine not be sweet the parameters are set. To me this says(rightly or wrongly) that the customer does not have a deep tasting background and has not yet learned to trust their palette enough to be able to describe accurately what they like and dislike. That's perfectly fine. We all have gone through this phase of learning. It just means the w/s needed to slow down and get some more information. I would start by asking what specific wines have you had in the past that you liked and would be examples of the style/taste you are looking for. Saying you wanted a dry red, but not a sweet red, tells me that you do want a dry wine but also it tells me your definition of dry is probably a wine that is softer in tannin, and has riper, fruitier flavors than, say, a winemaker's definition would be. Based on what you said to the w/s, if I was your w/s, I would have stayed away from Cabs and tannic Merlots and steered you towards softer, rounder, riper reds.

To answer your question as to what can you say to not get that treatment in the future, I suggest mentioning specific types of wine as a guide to the w/s, "I'm looking for a cab or merlot that's soft and round". Or, " I like lighter reds like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais". Or, "I'm thinking about a Bordeaux or Cabernet." Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir are essentially dry by definition and the extra descriptor of "dry" sends up flags to the w/s. Additionally, I don't see the need to express what you don't want, unless the w/s veers off course with suggestions. That also sends up flags. I would guess specifying a non-sweet red was the straw that broke the camel's back for the w/s and triggered the lecture

Regardless, you were badly treated. The job of a w/s is to help you make decisions that make for the most enjoyable dining experience you can have. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask questions. Don't let the w/s intimidate you into accepting a suggestion that is not what you want. If I was getting heavy-handed treatment, or confusing information, I'd have no problem bailing on a (expensive) bottle and going the by-the-glass route.

Mar 03, 2010
53latour in Wine

Looking for Pepsi "Throwback" in Charlotte

Found it at H-T! It was not merchandised in the soda isle. It was in individual 20-oz. bottles in a case near the front of the store (only $0.99) and cans were in another location in the store. Thanks again for your help!

Feb 10, 2010
53latour in Southeast

Looking for Pepsi "Throwback" in Charlotte

Thanks, everyone. I will inquire with the manager at H-T. I was at the Super-Target at Afton Ridge (off ex. 55 & I-85) and they didn't have it either. I guess I'm snake bit when it comes to Coke and Pepsi made with cane sugar. I posted a query regarding Mexican coca-cola last July. Many of you had sources, but, once again, no luck in north Charlotte. I'm beginning to think anything interesting in Charlotte is only on the south side of town. I will continue my intrepid quest.

Feb 10, 2010
53latour in Southeast

Looking for Pepsi "Throwback" in Charlotte

I've read about Pepsi doing a throwback version of both Pepsi and Mountain Dew. I've been searching, but have yet to find it. I live in the Highland Creek area and have checked Wal-mart, Harris-Teeter, and Lowe's. I haven't run into a Pepsi delivery person to ask so I'm hoping others have found it.
Thanks

Feb 09, 2010
53latour in Southeast

Cooking Classes in Houston Texas?

Chickstein, I think I might know you. Does the New Mexico Wine Patrol mean anything to you?

Jan 20, 2010
53latour in Houston

Sparkling for a Crowd?

Try Gruet Brut from New Mexico. I know it's available in NYC around $15. I worked in the wine business in NM and know the wines and the winemaker very well. Laurent Gruet is the son of French champagne producer G. Gruet et Fils. He and his business partner came to the US fully expecting to be making wine in California, but found southern NM to have the right weather and climate for champagne grapes so they set up shop there.

I think Gruet brut is the best US sparkler until you get to Roederer Estate range. The Blanc de Noirs is fruitier and seems less assertive than the brut. The brut is the one to buy. Gruet also makes a delicious sparkling rose in the same price range. Their vintage blanc de blancs is also outstanding and worth a try at about $27.

Dec 28, 2009
53latour in Wine

Classic Sarcastic descriptors

A winemaker once described brettanomyces to me as: standing in a barnyard smelling a sweaty saddle.

A co-worker once described a way over-oaked chardonnay as, "yeah, it's a nice if you like to drink your wine by sucking it out of a two-by-four"

I've described many wines I've tasted in the $4.99 range as one-note symphonies.

Anthony Hanson, in the first edition of his book "Burgundy" started a paragraph with the sentence, "Great red Burgundy smells of shit." (around page 142, or so). Subsequent editions modified it to barnyardy or earthy--something less blunt.

And then there is the famous "canoe wine" descriptor, I think of Monthy Python fame. Posting etiquette probably does not allow me to go into detail

Dec 12, 2009
53latour in Wine

General Purpose Red Wine Glasses?

Yes, the Chianti/Zin glass would be fine for whites. The Chianti/Zin glass was recommended as the best all-round (red and white) bowl shape if you could only buy one kind of glass. The Riedel chardonnay glass is actually the Chianti/Zin glass with about 3/8" cut off of the top of the bowl.

If you drink a lot of pinot noir, do seek out a balloon-type bowl glass. This shape shows the wine at its best. If you ever have the opportunity to taste cabernet and pinot noir at the same time in the correct Riedel glasses, try tasting the cab out the the pinot glass and the pinot out of the cab glass. The difference versus the correct glass is dramatic. A cab in the pinot glass has its nose completely shut down. From what little you can get out of the nose, it's hard to tell what you are drinking. The pinot has an astringency to its nose and loses its sweet cheery notes in the cab glass.

Dec 08, 2009
53latour in Wine

Help with post re wine aficionado take on bringing wine to someone's home

I think JAB is spot on. I also like what Scott M says, but I would still find out ahead of time if the host was planning to open the wine I was bringing, even at a wine-centric gathering. When going to a wine tasting party where all wines brought will be opened, and you don't know the knowledge/appreciation level of the other guests, I always say bring a wine you like. Then you know at least one person at the party will like the wine. :-)

Dec 02, 2009
53latour in Wine

General Purpose Red Wine Glasses?

I used to be a Riedel brand manager for a large wholesale wine distributor. I repeatedly asked the Riedel people if I could only afford one type of glass, which would be the most versatile, all-round glass. They finally gave in and said the Vinum Chianti/Zinfandel SHAPE/STYLE was the one to buy. Many posters have mentioned this glass. That said, since you drink a lot of cab, if you can find the Riedel Magnum Bordeaux glass (unleaded v. leaded for Vinum) that might be your best bet. The magnum bowl is identical to the Vinum bowl but on a shorter stem. The Magnum line used to be sold only to restaurants in boxes of 12. I haven't seen them much lately. They may not be around any more. For ports I have used 4 or 5oz. liqueur glasses.

Dec 02, 2009
53latour in Wine

Pastrami in Charlotte

I'll give Katz a try next week. When I lived in Houston, TX, I had a corned beef rueben at a Katz. It didn't blow me away. One thing I didn't like was way too much rather bland sauerkraut. I grew up on the east side of Cleveland, OH were we had numerous great Jewish delis and later I lived in the metro NYC-area for 17-years. I also saw on a related post a reference to Boar's Head "Navel" pastrami which is a special order item in the grocery stores. I'll investigate that more as well.

Oct 30, 2009
53latour in Southeast

Pastrami in Charlotte

I am searching in the Charlotte area for real pastrami, not the flavorless pastrami round sold in every grocery store and many delis. This would be pastrami I would buy sliced to take home, not necessarily a place for eat-in. I have seen many mentions of Gleibermann's on Chowhound. I've looked on their website and all of their products are Glatt kosher making their pastrami $19.99/lb. That's more than I want to pay. I do not need Glatt, or even kosher for that matter . When I lived in Texas, I could buy tasty, real pastrami at Central Market for $9.99/lb. Yes, it had a lot of fat to trim off, but that's how I've always seen it. I'm hoping there is a source in Charlotte closer to the Central Market price.

Oct 28, 2009
53latour in Southeast

Good fish mongers/sources in Charlotte, Concord and north

My doctor wants me to make seafood a part of my diet. I am looking for recommendations for quality seafood sources. I am allergic to clams, oysters and mussels, so I am looking for shrimp and fish. I have worked in restaurant kitchens and cook at home, and have worked a lot with fish and shrimp, I just haven't used it since I moved to Charlotte last year. I'd be grateful for your help.

Coca-Cola "Hecho en Mexico" in Charlotte or Durham?

I am trying to find a source for coca-cola made in Mexico. I moved the Charlotte recently from Houston, where it was available. It comes in 500ml glass bottles and will say "Hecho en Mexico" (made in Mexico) on the bottle. The Mexican coca-cola is made with cane sugar while the U.S.-made coca-cola uses high fructose corn syrup. The Mexican version has a slightly sweeter taste than US version and tastes like the coca-cola I remember having as a kid back in the 60s. In Houston, a 500ml bottle sold for $1.49, but it was worth it to me.

I contacted the Charlotte Coca-Cola distributor and they said they did not bring the Mexican into the market. At a Compare market at N. Tryon and Sugar Creek, I found coca-cola made in Costa Rica and Pepsi made in some other country whose name I forget. I gave them a try and they were not the same. I'm hoping there is a a supply coming into the market from another source for Mexican stores and markets that someone might know about. I will be going to Durham several times in the next few weeks. Maybe there is a source there.

Cheeseburger in Charlotte

My brother-in-law and I have conducted considerable research into this matter. We both strongly agree the Penguin "double-block" is one of the best cheeseburgers we've had anywhere. Five Guys does a good job and has multiple locations. Five Guys has the best fries. Though the Penguin's fries are standard commercial, they are still quite good. And of course, the Penguin gets the nod for best fried pickles.

Best Wings in Charlotte

As for my criteria, I agree with all of your points, but I would add that the skin must be crispy (though the wing must not be overcooked) and have some crunch for the first couple of chews. I will be near Moosehead tomorrow and will give them a try.

10 Best Southern Hotdogs?

I must recommend the best mustard ever for hot dogs--Stadium Mustard. Anyone who has lived in Cleveland, OH, or gone to a professional sports event there will agree.

A testimonial from their web site: In a pictorial story about Cleveland, FORTUNE MAGAZINE writes about the Cleveland Stadium: "Where Browns and Indians play, but never together. Dawgs howl, the crowd roars, and Stadium Mustard is the world's best."

http://www.stadiummustard.com/

May 29, 2009
53latour in Southeast

Road Trip Sarasota, FL to Detroit, MI: Any can't miss spots along I-75?

I strongly suggest a stop at a Skyline Chili in Cincinnati, as other posters have mentioned. You'll be glad you did. Also, in the Atlanta area is a Dreamland BBQ. They have terrific ribs and a great sauce. The Peachtree Corners location might be close enough. My in-laws plan the time they depart on their trips to be able to stop at a Dreamland if one is near their route of travel.

http://www.dreamlandbbq.com/default.a...

Oops, you are already back. As Emily Letella said, "Never mind........"

Charlotte area restaurant supply stores selling to public

I've looked at the web sites for Fadels and G-B. They are exactly what I am looking for. I will also check out Cyprus RS. Thanks to everyone for your help!!

Charlotte area restaurant supply stores selling to public

I'm looking for commercial-grade items and utensils. Things like storage bins, sheet pans, cutting boards, and other utensils and items that are sturdier and available in more variety of sizes than what you find in BB&B-type stores. I worked in the restaurant industry so I am familiar with the equipment. I am not associated with a business, so a place like Restaurant Depot would not work for me.

Charlotte area restaurant supply stores selling to public

Has anyone found a restaurant supply store that sells to the public in the Charlotte, NC area? Ideally, a store with a big show room so nothing has to be special ordered, that allows walk-in traffic. I've used them in other cities. There has to be one around. Local listings searches don't offer enough info, or are mixed with wholesale-only supply houses such as Sysco. Thanks!

Road Trip from Austin TX to Hilton Head

Try to plan a stop at Dreamland BBQ. They have eight locations in Alabama. Google: dreamland bbq. They have terrific sauce and great ribs. I made a special stop in Tuscaloosa when I moved from Houston to Charlotte. The next time I am in Alabama, a stop at a dreamland will definitely be part of the itinerary.

Places to eat in Blowing Rock, NC

I will be going to the wine festival in Blowing Rock on April 18. I've never been there. Can someone recommend good places for a casual lunch or dinner; ideally diner-type places. Thanks.

Someone explain Charlotte grocery store pricing?

Since I started this thread, I think I should clarify my reason for the post as replies have started to get off the track. The reason for my post was that there seems a disconnect between prices in the Charlotte area and other parts of the country in which I have lived, most recently Houston, TX. I don't like to use big-box grocery stores, but you have to for staples. By the way, if any of you get to the major markets in Texas, go see a Central Market. They are far better than Whole Foods and cheaper. The items I singled out for price comparison are basic items that every market has. The items are manufactured in central locations around the country and shipped to the various markets. For these items, the cost of manufacture is no different regardless where the product goes. So, what explains the vast differences in prices? I worked in purchasing and shipping, so I know that trucking costs are of little difference. Even when fuel surcharges are factored in, they are done so across the board. There is no state excise tax (which differs greatly from state to state) on food products as there are on wine and spirits. The cost of living is actually lower in Charlotte than Houston. A $200K house in Charlotte would be $275K in Houston. Prices of products other than food are in line with national pricing (home improvement, drug stores, etc.). The observation that led me to the post was that the free market doesn't seem to be working here in the major grocery stores (H-T and the like). I was just asking if someone could explain why prices differed by as much as 30%. If it was 10%, or maybe 15%, I would assume it was just how things worked in this market and I never would have bothered to inquire further. I was hoping someone would say something like a big labor union adds to the pricing, or building rents are exorbitant, or some kind of state food-handling fees are factored in. The conclusion I'm drawing is that a few major stores feel they can survive with high pricing and no one wants to buck the trend and reduce prices. Not collusion or price fixing, but a kind of "gentlemen's agreement". They will use the buy-one get-one specials to get people in the stores and they seem to do well enough to maintain the status quo. There are not enough W-Ms, Targets, and B-Js to force them to change their strategy, for now. I do plan to use the farmer's markets and support local producers as i find them. Thanks to those who have provided links and store names!