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Chinese take out

Restaurants differ according to the owner/manager. Period. Some do things by the book and are just running the restaurant because that is all they know how to do to make a living. Some take lots of pride in their food. Some do things exactly like the other Chinese restaurant they probably worked at before opening their own. Some deviate. All McDonald's might be run the same, but I'm pretty sure all Chinese restaurants aren't. Even growing up, the Chinese restaurant down the block from my parents' ordered different ingredients from even the same supplier, different brands of fortune cookies, pancakes, etc.

This thread just seems sort of all-encompassing when it's obvious no one can tell exactly how every single Chinese restaurant can work in the entire country, much less an entire town. And some questions are bordering on downright offensive or can be asked of any sort of restaurant.

Sep 26, 2011
yfunk3 in General Topics

Plate Lunch on O'ahu: Recommendations and Warnings

I have one question, since I'll be visiting in less than a month: Best loco moco near Waikiki/Ala Moana? That's where I'll be having most of my dinners. Is Rainbow Drive-In's better than Da Kitchen's on Maui? I've had L&L's Loco Moco and it was horrible compared to Da Kitchen's on Maui. Is Rainbow's more like L&L's or DK's?

TIA!

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Da Kitchen
2439 S Kihei Rd Ste 107A, Kihei, HI 96753

Rainbow Drive-In
3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Apr 22, 2011
yfunk3 in Hawaii

Should a waiter tell you how much a special costs?

I sincerely hope no one has ever done this to a server who is only doing his/her job.

Feb 03, 2011
yfunk3 in Not About Food

Need a date place that's not a date place. In D.C.

Forget trying too hard, go to any of the Teaism branches, do not order noodles.

If you just want to have drinks or just a snack, you can do that. If you want a meal, you can do that there, too. Good atmosphere to just talk, too. You can both pay separately or one of you can pay for the other when ordering your food. Not too much pressure either way.

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Teaism
2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Feb 03, 2011
yfunk3 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Whole Foods and expiration dates

Yeah, I've never noticed the expiration date issue. Never bought something that was even on the expiration date. It might have something to do with turnover rates and how busy one's local WF is. Mine is pretty busy at all hours of the day, so there's probably good product turnover for most things.

I don't really buy the prepared foods, but on the rare occasion that I do, I haven't noticed anything past expiration. Maybe one day away from expiration. I do find some things are cutting it close, but in the case of yogurts or dairy stuff, I never see it less than two weeks before the expiration date.

FWIW, I shop at my local WF weekly due to it being the only grocery store accessible to me without having to take public transportation, so most of my perishable food comes from there. I think it really just depends on management and how busy one location is.

On the other hand, four out of the five TJ's I've been to in my area have had expired stuff on the shelves despite all of them being super crowded most of the time. I think it's really just different conditions throughout different parts of the country.

Feb 03, 2011
yfunk3 in Chains

What do you take for lunch to work?

I've been doing fajitas again this week. Just marinated chicken breast cut into strips with fajita seasoning and olive oil, cooked it all up, cooked some onions (caramelized) and peppers, pack up enough for one fajita in tupperware along with small containers of low-fat sour cream and sauce/salsa, some pepper jack cheese in another small container, and a tortilla in plastic wrap. Then I put everything together after I heat up the chicken and peppers. If you wrap the plastic wrap around the finished fajita, the filling won't get all over the place while you're eating it.

It's a lot of containers to clean at the office sink, but it's an easy thing to do on a Sunday night and have last all week.

Feb 03, 2011
yfunk3 in Home Cooking

Penang

From what I heard from friends and family, the food and drinks were horrible, and the drinks were really the only reason to go...that is, if you could afford the outrageous prices for the drinks.

I think it was just a bad location, what with Malaysia Kopitiam and much cheaper places to grab a drink surrounding it. It might have had a chance in Penn Quarter, maybe.

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Malaysia Kopitiam
1827 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Feb 03, 2011
yfunk3 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Questions about Ray's Hell-Burger

Yes, it's open for lunch weekdays.

Yes, it has tables you can sit at.

Lots of public parking lots (underground, attached to office buildings) along that stretch of Wilson Blvd. There are also side streets with on-street parking, but your chance of finding a spot on a weekday is pretty slim...

Try to get there before noon to avoid the biggest crowds.

Oh, and try the Ted's Montana ketchup. Delicious.

Feb 02, 2011
yfunk3 in Washington DC & Baltimore

I Bet you Thought that was Honey: Honey the Third Ingredient in KFC's "Honey Sauce"

Also the same at Popeye's, so I'm guessing it's a fast-food-wide thing (maybe even some diners and other places). You can always tell by the flavor. If it's all sweetness and no flavor, then it's the "honey sauce".

Still tastes great on biscuits and with fried chicken, though. Heh.

Feb 02, 2011
yfunk3 in Chains

Name this Chinese bakery item?

Mmm...nian gao, sliced, battered and pan-fried. Cold or hot, its greasy goodness tastes much better with a red envelope in your hand and your family around. :o)

Feb 02, 2011
yfunk3 in General Topics

LA CHer coming to DC, critique my list please

I enjoy Delhi Club right by the Clarendon metro. Their daily lunch buffet is such a great value. Much less crowded on the weekend, so I like to go then. The offerings change slightly daily, but there's always some standards like butter chicken and tandoori chicken. Also always a lamb dish, at least three veggie options, and one dessert. Never had anything à la carte because I am so stuck on the value and quality of the buffet!

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Delhi Club
1135 N Highland St, Arlington, VA 22201

Jan 28, 2011
yfunk3 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Anyone else love the Starbucks Eggs Florentine breakfast sandwich?

I recently (within the past two weeks) got an egg white and spinach wrap thing at SB that was fairly good, having went in with low expectations. Hit the spot and didn't feel too decadent, but had decent flavor. Some sort of red pepper spread in it, as well (which gave it the most flavor).

It was a good breakfast with a smell piece of fruit. Wouldn't have it everyday, but I personally liked the new egg white wrap better than the Florentine.

Jan 28, 2011
yfunk3 in Chains

Favorite Seinfeld food moments

Seinfeld was always taped in front of a live studio audience, so it wasn't a cued laugh track. Just FYI. It's usually pretty noticeable when a recorded laugh track is used, which is extremely rare nowadays.

Your complaint about Jerry's eating reminds me of how they depicted George's eating habits, re: the spaghetti on a date and the sundae at the U.S. Open when he was shown live on TV. :o)

Jan 28, 2011
yfunk3 in Not About Food

Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the US - ??

the "xi" refers to Western China, specifically the Xinjiang province area. Watermelon has been a popular fruit grown there for centuries, probably longer. Its location along the Silk Road means that watermelon was fairly common in the more eastern parts of China ever since...well, the Silk Road was started, at least.

Jan 28, 2011
yfunk3 in Food Media & News

Favorite Seinfeld food moments

Not that the same thought didn't cross my mind, but Elaine is SUPPOSED to come off as horrible in that situation. Seinfeld, in my mind, has always been hardest on its main characters when it comes to depicting the inadequacies of human nature. I mean, look at George Costanza...you can't tell me they're trying to make him out to be a good, upstanding member of society! I think that's the point of the show, to show the social deviancy in a lot of seemingly everyday people and everyday life...and to laugh at it, not to practice or advocate it at all.

At the end of that episode, Elaine says that the older boyfriend/stroke victim dumped her, anyway. So she got her comeuppance, no?

Jan 28, 2011
yfunk3 in Not About Food

Single... still eat dinner out? Tips?

Ha, totally remembered e-readers after I hit "post". But then I'd be worried about getting grease, food and/or drink on my e-reader! There's always a catch, isn't there? :o)

Jan 28, 2011
yfunk3 in Not About Food

Single... still eat dinner out? Tips?

I don't like bringing books because they're hard as heck to keep open while eating! :o) But I do like those free daily newspapers they hand out in metropolitan regions and magazines.

I tried doing the journal thing on vacation, but it was too much juggling for this clumsy oaf...

I also prefer to sit at a nice, secluded table, even in the noisiest of restaurants. Went to a very busy and very noisy restaurant by myself last week to enjoy restaurant week and catch up on some of the magazines I have piling up. They gave me a great table in a corner somewhere, and I tipped 30% for that type of consideration. I hate eating at a bar. Seats are too high (bad for the back) and those are the only times I feel self-conscious of someone looking at me (namely, the bartender, especially when it's not busy). I don't like to talk too much when dining out by myself unless I forget to bring something with me to read or do!

Jan 28, 2011
yfunk3 in Not About Food

Favorite Seinfeld food moments

It was a gyro, and he had three minutes! LOL Elaine also got a gyro at the same subway stop, and ruined her copy of the TV Guide with Al Roker on the cover with the juices.

Jan 28, 2011
yfunk3 in Not About Food

Alex Guarnaschelli poster girl for I Can't Believe It's not Butter

I can't be the only one who finds her annoying...

Jan 27, 2011
yfunk3 in Food Media & News

LA CHer coming to DC, critique my list please

Places I would cross off immediate, since you're from LA:

-All Chinese and Thai places, though Full Kee and Chinatown Express are great if you want adequate and filling food for under or around $10/person.
-Zaytinya (not worth the money at all, imo)
-Cafe Atlantico
-Tacqueria Nacionale and other taco places

If you can't get to Rasika and want to try the Bombay Club, they have a pretty nice $20/person Sunday brunch buffet. It's standard Indian fare, but they also have a fried spinach chaat (not called the same as it is at Rasika, though?) on the menu that you can probably order separately.

The Penn Quarter Teaism is the best branch location, and great for breakfast, salted oat cookies (regular or chocolate), or other cheap lunches/dinners. Pan-Asian theme, great selection of teas and some wines/liquors.

One thing DC does do well is "New/Modern American" cuisine. Since you're already in the Penn Quarter area, I'd try out Cedar. They have a pre-theatre dinner menu for around $35/person (3 courses). Good food. No, I don't work for them, but I do want them to stick around for a long time, so I suggest the place to others as often as I can because it seems to fall under the radar for some reason...

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Rasika Restaurant
633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Full Kee Restaurant
509 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Teaism
2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Bombay Club
815 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006

Jan 27, 2011
yfunk3 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Taking pictures at a restaurant

Well, maybe they're celebrating something and just want to remember the night. I say, more power to them that they're having a great time, and then I get back to my food.

I would say the bigger problem is the horrible, dim lighting in most restaurants nowadays! :o)

Jan 27, 2011
yfunk3 in Not About Food

Stir Frying Dilemmas

Agreed with everyone. Just cook everything separately, including the sauce (doing that last, of course). Then just put everything together at the end to bring up to temperature and serve immediately. This is how most stir fries with sauces are made, wok or no wok.

Jan 27, 2011
yfunk3 in Home Cooking

new Hmart in Edison?

Also tried the soon dae from the fried chicken place in the food court, and I'm not a fan of it (in general, not just the version). If you don't like the lack of seasoning or "gummy" rice texture, I wouldn't bother buying it. Maybe ask for a sample to confirm? I found it flavorless, even with the salt seasoning that came with it. Mostly rice, could hardly taste any blood.

Jan 26, 2011
yfunk3 in New Jersey

How safe is your kitchen?

I remember a Dateline or some other TV report show covering this story, and after all the requisite fear-mongering, they added this short disclaimer at the end that it really only killed birds if you heated up a completely empty teflon pan over 500 degrees, which would basically mean leaving a teflon pan on the stove on high heat with nothing in it for at least ten minutes. That was when I basically decided to stop listening to shock news crap. Heh.

Jan 26, 2011
yfunk3 in Not About Food

Anyone notice a quality in rice cookers COO......

A Zojirushi made in China? I honestly have never heard of such a thing. Maybe you got a knock-off?

Jan 25, 2011
yfunk3 in Cookware

DC Restaurant Week-January 2011

Went to Zengo for their RW dinner menu over the weekend, which was pretty much most of the regular menu. I admit that I definitely ignored Zengo before due to the crowds, location and pretentious interior, but the food was really good. Everything was great for sharing, so we were able to try more things. Lobster tacos are so incredibly good. GREAT lobster flavor, and the black bean and mango salsa on top was the perfect balance of flavor (not overwhelming). Their peking duck daikon tacos were good, not great. The "tortilla" is a slice of thinly-sliced daikon, which was a nice touch, but I found the duck to be too tough (supposed to be confit) and the orange sauce not sweet or strong enough to be noticed with the duck. Also ordered a Tiradito tasting starter, which is basically two different types of sashimi. Good, but nothing too impressive, imo.

Lambchops were great, not gamey at all. Fatty, but that gave it great flavor and my dining partner likened it to rib meat. Came with mashed potatoes that were flavored perfectly with Chinese mustard. Not overhelming, but surprisingly pleasant and smooth, not too rich. The scallops were okay, nothing impressive. The sweet potato puree the scallops were on was good, with a spice I couldn't pinpoint. You could barely taste the scallops, though. There were only two dessert choices: churros and yogurt pannecotta. Both were delicious, but the creamy smoothness and slight tartness (not quite as strong as in full-fat yogurt) was just the right ending to all the complex flavors of the starters and mains.

I'm glad I tried Zengo during RW, since paying regular price for their small-ish portions would've triggered the "frugal" part of my brain into walking right out. But it definitely made me want to go back.

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Zengo Restaurant
781 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Jan 24, 2011
yfunk3 in Washington DC & Baltimore

ISO frosting that's not too sweet and doesn't call for 4 cups of butter

I have one question when whipping the frosting: in a kitchenaid blender, do you use the paddle to whip the frosting, or would the whisk attachment work better?

Jan 24, 2011
yfunk3 in Home Cooking

What to do with a teeny "slow cooker"

Roasting one or two garlic bulbs?

Jan 24, 2011
yfunk3 in Home Cooking

Chinese New Year -- any updates on foods to bring?

One of those candy samplers from a Chinese grocery store, or a basket of oranges? Floral arrangement of budding branches? I'm sure they'll appreciate most fruit and flowers, though no white flowers. Red and yellow/gold flowers would be a nice choice.

Jan 24, 2011
yfunk3 in General Topics

What's the "it" cuisine of 2011?

Yeah, I wouldn't exactly call one Malaysian food truck a "push" of Malay cuisine in the NY/NJ area since there have been Malaysian restaurants in the area for at least around 15 years (namely, the Asian concentrations of NJ around Edison and NYC, of course).

Jan 24, 2011
yfunk3 in General Topics