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No reservations - Philly BYOB recommendation for Saturday?

Much better said than my original post, PhillyA! Thank you. That's exactly what I was getting at. I appreciate all of the suggestions.

Sep 25, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

No reservations - Philly BYOB recommendation for Saturday?

My husband and I will be leaving a meeting in the city this Saturday by 5:45pm, early enough to get into one of the many BYOBs that do not take reservations. If you had your choice, which would you choose? We love Italian but are not into cramped, noisy spaces (which we've found at some). We'd love to try something a little different: Greek, Indian, etc. Thanks!

Sep 25, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

Boston Hounds need Philly rec near South 2nd

I second the Zahav recommendation but just wanted to add that we stayed at the Thomas Bond House (or at least had reservations there) about a year ago and had a very bad experience. So bad, in fact, that we left and stayed at the Four Seasons. The rooms were not clean, and the inn keeper was rude. The website had promised that our room would have a whirlpool tub (i.e. jacuzzi), and in fact it only had a stand-up shower. It was cold and damp. I would strongly suggest your looking into alternate lodging!

Sep 16, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

Rome - Is this a good mix?

I must disagree. We loved San Crispino and had a bad experience at Giolitti. They were rude, and the gelato itself was not as creamy as at San Crispino.

Aug 23, 2009
foodie4444 in Italy

Two New Restaurants in Bryn Mawr

I stand corrected. You both are correct that it is Persian. I was there once some years ago, and I must have remembered incorrectly,

Aug 10, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

Two New Restaurants in Bryn Mawr

Mediterranean has been in Bryn Mawr for quite some time. Good food, reasonable prices, but very little menu variety. If you're looking for good Greek food, it is a solid bet. It's better and more appropriately priced than Lourdas (near the train station).

Aug 08, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

Any info about Taquet (in the Wayne Hotel) closing?

I hear that Taquet, which closed for renovations earlier this summer. isn't ever moving back into the Wayne Hotel after all! Does anyone know for sure? My only source is a brief article in the online Inquirer from July 23rd. It would be a sad place to lose.

Aug 04, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

Interesting homemade popsicle ideas

I made a watermelon mint version for the 4th, and it was excellent! Use mostly watermelon, a few strawberries for texture, and cassis for color. Then add as much mint as you'd like, tasting to judge pungency. The speckles of mint are pretty.

Jul 27, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

Box of peaches

Use them in place of tomatoes in a caprese salad. Slice them thickly and layer with mozzarella, basil, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper.

Jul 13, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

E-A-S-Y, no brainer, Party Food for 100 ?

-Prosciutto wrapped melon
-Skewers of little mozz. balls, cherry tomatoes, basil (drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt/pepper)
-toasts with fig jam and crumbled mild gorgonzola
-steamed asparagus, chilled, with a big bowl of sesame mayo (mayo with sesame oil and toasted seeds on top)
-a big baked brie en croute
For dessert:
-mini brownies and blondies
-choc. covered strawberries
-big bowl of berries with big bowl of fresh whipped cream

Jul 09, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

What's your 4th of July menu look like?

Pineapple margaritas, guava molasses glazed grilled shrimp, and chips & salsa to start

Cumin rubbed grilled flank steak w/ guac, black bean & red pepper salad, grilled corn with chipotle butter, arugula salad w/ cotija cheese, tomatoes, & lime vinagrette, and warm tortillas to sop up all the goodness

Watermelon mint popsicles for dessert

Jul 04, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

Bakery House in Bryn Mawr, Yes or No?

Yes! Aux Petits Delices! Best chocolate croissants in the area by far! They're warm in the morning. The apricot croissants are also spectacular. They do a raspberry and chocolate mousse layer cake that is light and divine. The owner/baker was the pastry chef at Le Bec fin in its best early days. I have never loved the Bakery House, but it certainly has its devotees. The line goes around the block before Thanksgiving. There are better options in the area. If you want a good cupcake, Deluca..., try Clay's Creative Bakery in Berwyn.

Jul 02, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

Company's coming - meal sugggestions anyone?

Suggestions for dinner have been so good that I thought I would suggest a few easy fixes for the other times of day. For breakfasts you could make a few different types of muffins and freeze, then defrost the morning of. Serve with berries and good greek yogurt with honey. Or try making a make-ahead stuffed french toast by spreading cream cheese on slices of day-old french bread, sandwiching them together, and dousing in an egg, cream, orange zest, nutmeg, vanilla, melted butter mixture. Then refrigerate overnight and bake off the next morning. For lunches, buy a rotisserie chicken and pull it into a salad with grilled veggies and couscous. Buy really nice rare roast beef and make sandwiches with a sour cream/horseradish mixture, arugula, roasted peppers on ciabatta. Do an easy lunch of baguette, cheese, fruit, good sliced french ham, and a purchased dessert from a credible bakery. Hope this helps!

Jun 30, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

Saturday Breakfast Wayne & West Chester?

If you're up for something different, go to the Strafford Farmers Market - just West of Wayne. Get the cinnamon swirl french toast or an Egg McMarket (fried egg sandwich) with sweet peppers at the lunch counter and some fresh squeezed orange juice. Then get some coffee from the place just across the aisle. You can also pick up some yummy produce and pies to take home. I really cannot recommend Minella's. It's a greasy spoon, and they rush you in and out. Nudy's has amazing cinnamon bun french toast (can you tell what I order for breakfast?) and excellent egg dishes as well. The atmosphere is nice as well - particularly at this time of year when you can sit outside.

Jun 30, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

supermarkets near Bryn Mawr?

I shop at Whole Foods in Devon weekly and buy a week's work of groceries to feed two of us: all organic, heavy on produce, for around $100. Very difficult to spend $120 on a few bags of produce at Whole Foods!! You simply have to be willing to buy in season, though, because something like buying blueberries in January will cost you a pretty penny, while buying the big packs they have right now is half as expensive.

Jun 30, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

Help with July 4 dinner

Where are your friends from? My favorite menu concept for the 4th is to honor a particular region of the USA. We're doing the Southwest this year - cumin rubbed flank steak, grilled corn with chipotle butter, black bean salad. Last year my friend hosted and did New England - clam bake, blueberry pie, etc. It will really make your friends feel like home if you add some (tacky but fun!) touches like little flags in the garden, sparklers, etc. 4th of July brings out the kid in Americans. I always like to add a fun kiddie touch or two. This year, for example, we're having homemade popsicles for dessert and playing board games from our childhood after dinner. Last year we set up a sprinkler. It's a good excuse to let your hair down.

Jun 30, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

supermarkets near Bryn Mawr?

From Bryn Mawr the drive to Devon is only about 20 minutes at the most if you use back roads. Take Conestoga back to the Willows, then onto Church to Waterloo. It's really worth it to go to the Devon Whole Foods, which is twice the size of the Wynnewood one. It's also right across the street from a renovated ACME, where you can get your cleaning basics. I hear that the Devon Whole Foods is expanding into the old Honeybaked Ham store soon as well.

Jun 30, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

Summer veggies - what r u making?

I just did a spring onion and pea soup with mint. Simple and delicious. I added some greek yogurt to thicken. I am doing yellow squash with lots of basil from the garden tonight.

Jun 27, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

What's wrong with my risotto?

Everyone who is blaming the cooking method (slow cooker) is right on. Thinking about it more, heating the broth before adding and adding bit-by-bit is crucial to achieving the right consistency AND flavor. In a slow cooker, the broth is added cold (I'm sure) and all at once. This is a mistake where consistency is concerned. It probably causes the flavors to become muddled as well.

Jun 26, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

What's wrong with my risotto?

Take every opportunity to add flavor even when the recipe does not indicate to do so: for the risotto, brown it in bacon fat first, use a little bit of wine before you add the broth, squeeze some lemon into it before serving and grate some zest as well....

Jun 24, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

cooking for a new beau for the first time! help!

I couldn't agree LESS with mollygirl! If you care about this man (and why would you be asking us to help with the menu if you weren't?!), cooking him dinner is an excellent way to show it. It's also an excellent way to show how capable you are. Cooking isn't easy, and pulling off a successful meal is impressive. If he's a good catch, he'll both respect your ability and will be touched by the effort you went to for him. Plus, I'm not into playing games. "Learning" how to cook on the sly is dishonest and isn't the best foundation for a relationship!

But back to the question at hand. I think Channa's suggestion is excellent because it would let the two of you work together to make the main course. Could you make the pizza dough and/or pizza sauce? Both can be done ahead and are fairly simple. You could make a summery salad to go alongside, invest in a good bottle of wine (or ask him to bring his favorite), prep some great toppings (fresh basil, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella, artichoke hearts, peppers, a nice italian sausage), and then pull out all the stops for dessert. He'll be so impressed if you make a beautiful pie, tart, or cake for him. And that can be done ahead (no trouble with the AC or timing). My new favorite pie is the mixed berry with ginger, orange, and almond streusel from the June Bon Appetit (link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...).

My husband and I can't remember the first meal I made for him, but we CAN remember the first dessert. Peach cobbler. And he still asks for it all the time! :)

Jun 23, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

Make me a muffin -- a Chowhound Challenge

Check out the Zucchini Raisin Bran Muffins at the link below. I use golden raisins and replace 1/2 of the butter with 1/4 cup mashed banana to cut down on fat content.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Jun 18, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

Philadelphia restaurant itinerary help

I'm not a fan of Osteria. We regretted half of the choices we made when we went here for dinner last year - the braised rabbit, a "signature" dish, was full of bones. The desserts were unremarkable. Not my favorite. Tinto, on the other hand, is spectacular, particularly if you get the tasting menu with the wine pairing. That will be a memorable evening - it will set you back >$200, but then again so will Osteria, for much less bang for your buck! At the market, don't miss the Fair Food Farm Stand, where PA organic farmers sell their produce. It's the superior produce stand in the market. Grab some berries or peaches, if you're there in July, and eat them on the run. They also have some excellent cheeses. Try Bassett's cinnamon ice cream. Also see if Metropolitan Bakery has any sour cream strawberry or any millet muffins. Yum! :)

Jun 12, 2009
foodie4444 in Pennsylvania

Ideas for using up CSA veggies: snow peas, zucchini, bok choy

We JUST finished downing this as a quick appetizer before dinner, and it was fantastic! We were going to eat it with dinner, but it looked too good to wait. The pine nuts were perfect for it! Thanks so much. Have you ever squeezed any lemon over it? I was thinking that could be nice - just a touch. Thanks again.

Jun 12, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

Pantheon

If you get ready by 6 and walk to Campo, Navona, or Popolo, you will get there by 6:20 at the latest, even at a slow pace. We stayed at the Minerve in March; it is very centrally located and not far from any of those places. The Spanish Steps are perhaps 25-30 minutes away, but we found no compelling restaurants in that area. My best advice to you would be to try to avoid dining in Rome much before 8pm. You'll find deserted restaurants. Most places don't even open for dinner before 7. To be honest, I think the area around the hotel is some of the best dining - Armando, Da Fortunato, Enoteca Corsi (lunch). If you'd still like to take a walk, check out Colline Emiliane - 20-25 minutes walk away. You can get there by way of the Trevi Fountain, which is particularly beautiful at night. Or plan to visit a wine bar at Navona "on your way" to dinner anywhere, then after dinner sit outside and admire the Pantheon at night, drinking limoncello at any of the cafes in the square. I am getting jealous just thinking of what a time you'll have!

Jun 12, 2009
foodie4444 in Italy

Ideas for using up CSA veggies: snow peas, zucchini, bok choy

What a great idea!! We are doing burgers on the grill tonight, and it sounds like this would be perfect alongside. Do you think asiago would work, or would it overpower the zucchini?

Jun 12, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

Ideas for using up CSA veggies: snow peas, zucchini, bok choy

My CSA has been sending an awful lot of snow peas, zucchini, and bok choy. All I can think of to do with the snow peas is to blanch them and make a cold salad or stir fry them. I've done various pastas with the zucchini, roasted it, and used it in sweet breads. The bok choy has entirely thrown me for a loop! I'm feeling bored with these preparations already, and it looks like I have a few weeks of these veggies yet to come. Any suggestions for more inventive uses? Thanks!

Jun 11, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

ideas to use up frozen, shredded zucchini?

Make a meatloaf and add the zucchini to the meat mixture. Turkey meatloaves are particularly good this way because they need the moisture.

May 29, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking

Rome - first day late lunch?

Best place in the vacinity of Navona for a late lunch is Enoteca Corsi on Via del Gesu. Inexpensive, authentic menu that changes daily. You could do pizza at Da Baffetto that night - they say it's the best in Rome. Get there early to get in line (obviously early by Roman standards is 7pm or thereabouts!) Special place for the last night could be Da Fortunato, though it will break your budget by about 10 euro. Right in range is Armando al Pantheon. I do not know Northern Rome, and so I cannot be of help for the Borghese spot.

May 26, 2009
foodie4444 in Italy

Anyone have a maple oat scone recipe?

Paulj: Thanks! I have a copy and will check it out.
todao: I am going to try your recipe tomorrow night - I need to pick up some buttermilk and otherwise have the other ingredients on hand. Can't wait.
greygarious: The muffins sound fantastic, and my husband is much more of a muffin-lover than a scone-lover, so I will be sure to try. You're probably right about the glaze. It was not fluffy or creamy like frosting.

May 20, 2009
foodie4444 in Home Cooking