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Red Oakley's Profile

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What happened to Eberly Poultry, closed ?

This is very sad. My husband used to visit Eberly once in a while with a friend who was a serious amateur chef. We always enjoyed whatever the guys brought back for the freezer. Hard to imagine they'd just close with no explanation, but that's what it looks like. I wonder if the local paper would have any more info if you called them.

Jul 12, 2014
Red Oakley in Pennsylvania

Need to feed a hungry lacrosse team in north OC.

Grotto Pizza at 124th St. if you don't care about seafood. http://www.grottopizza.com/locations/...

Phillips Seafood at 141st St. if you'd like crabs or other seafood. (But plenty of choices for those who don't like seafood.) http://www.phillipsseafood.com/locati...

Jul 07, 2014
Red Oakley in Mid-Atlantic

Philadelphia area coffee roasters who sell their beans retail?

We've been ordering from Pike Creek Roasterie for many years, both espresso and a mild morning blend, and we've been very happy. They roast when you order and the beans, or custom grind, arrive within a few days. Shipping charge is reasonable.

Jul 04, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Monte Cristo?

Are you willing to DIY? Here's the Bennigan's recipe.
http://deep-fried.food.com/recipe/ben...

Most other recipes have a simpler, egg-and-milk batter. So maybe Bennigan's is really on to something. (Never have eaten at one, so never had the Monte Cristo experience.)

Jun 29, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Rehoboth-Lewes Best Independent Markets

For seafood, Big Fish Market, next door to Big Fish Grill on Route 1 just south of the Rehoboth Ave turnoff. GREAT takeout, too!

For meat, Hickman's on Route 1 a little north of Rehoboth.

Lewes and Rehoboth both have a one-day/week Farmers Market; here's the schedule for all of Sussex County: http://dda.delaware.gov/marketing/Far...

Every day but Sunday -- pretty good produce, plus a lot of other goodies, at Fifer's Market, at Cullen St. and Route 1 on the Forgotten Mile between Dewey and Rehoboth. My sister loves the produce at Tomato Sunshine on the northbound side of Route 1 north of Rehoboth.

Hope you have a great time!

Jun 25, 2014
Red Oakley in Mid-Atlantic

Fourth of July cocktails

For dessert. I was thinking a Key Lime Pie Martini. But the recipes I looked at seem to require key lime liqueur, which I'm guessing might be hard to find . . .

Jun 24, 2014
Red Oakley in Spirits

Tipping at a BYOB

fourunder . . . Acknowledged. We routinely have meals in the $75-100/person range (including cocktails and wine). If the service has been very good, we tip accordingly -- say $40-$50 for a $200 bill.

So what would you tip on a $66 brunch bill if there was an additional $100 worth of alcohol that was BYOB?

I'm not challenging, I'm really curious. It's the first time this disparity between the cost of the meal and the imputed cost of the alcohol has arisen as an issue. Because usually the wine we bring to dinner would be, on a wine list, maybe 25% of the cost of our meal. In the case of our brunch, the drinks would have been quite a bit more than the meal.

When we pay a corkage fee we assume the wait staff gets some of that. And usually a BYOB's menu prices kindof make up for the absence of a liquor license; a few bucks higher here and there on the entrees and the server makes out OK.

But that's not how this restaurant operates, at least at brunch. (Dinner prices are much higher.) So we're still struggling -- how DO you tip on a lower priced meal, IF you BYOB? Why would it be any different than if you just came and ordered food and didn't drink at all?

Jun 22, 2014
Red Oakley in Not About Food

Restaurant Pet Peeves

We occasionally eat out with a friend of a friend who, if the wait person doesn't introduce him/herself, will ask for their name. Sometimes he uses it later in the meal, but often not. He's a stock broker and I think this must be part of their sales training. But it is so annoying! We really don't need to know the waiter's or waitress' name.

Jun 22, 2014
Red Oakley in Not About Food

Tipping at a BYOB

OK, fair enough. But -- playing devil's advocate here -- what if we were NOT drinkers? If we just came and ordered the meals?

Should we be leaving a bigger tip because the food is quite good? We're not responsible for the prices on the menu.

Jun 22, 2014
Red Oakley in Not About Food

Best places for adventurous eaters in Philidelphia?

If your road trip will take you near Chadds Ford, PA, there's a new restaurant owned by a chef who used to work for Garces: Junto, in the Old Ridge Village on Route 202 south of Route 1.

Rabbit is one of the five or six entree items. Beef and skate cheeks are on the appetizer menu. We've only had brunch there -- outstanding -- but we definitely are going back for dinner.

If you're not from around here, and scrapple would be "adventurous," Junto has a very nice brunch with scrapple and excellent bacon.

Jun 22, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Tipping at a BYOB

Normally when we have a meal (usually dinner) at a BYOB, we are paying enough for the meal that a 20% tip on the check seems right (and that's on the meal + 6% sales tax, so pretty adequate).

But we've found a great BYOB brunch place where the total tab is extremely low. After we left most recently, I wondered if we should be tipping more than 20% on the food + tax. As one of our party said, "If we had paid for the drinks, this bill would be at least $100 more." Probably true -- 9 Bloody Mary's, a bottle of Prosecco.

The total bill was $66; there were six of us. Service was outstanding. We left $15 -- about 23%. I think we need to really up the tip next time. What do you think? Thanks!

Jun 22, 2014
Red Oakley in Not About Food

Quinoa rinse water as a bug repellant?

Oh, rats. When I saw the title, I thought maybe I'd be able to sit on my deck without the mosquitos attacking me.

Jun 17, 2014
Red Oakley in Gardening

I let my yard go wild, and now the Township is after me

Oh, goodness. What a mess. But you need to think long-term. That definitely means moving to a place where you can enjoy the environment and surroundings you want. Somewhere out in the country where you'll be on a multi-acre lot with trees and a small yard that you can allow to grow however you please.

Short-term, you must sell your place. (I assume you own it -- no mention of landlord.) Unfortunately that means you must groom the yard to within an inch of its life. Landscaping can add or subtract a ridiculous percentage of the final sale price of a house. Get it into pristine shape and get outta there!

Jun 17, 2014
Red Oakley in Gardening

Anything new in Chester / Delaware Counties

We've had Sunday brunch there twice now. First time was better than the second. First time we split a "We Are," which was dry and not particularly good. The other day we shared an apple dumpling and it, too, was just OK.

I've had the eggs + meat twice now, and the scrapple was to die for the first time -- perfectly crisped on the outside. This time it wasn't cooked as well. The over-easy eggs have been fine, and the toast is very good. A companion ordered scrambled eggs "hard," and although they sure looked well-cooked to me, she didn't think they were "hard" enough. The sausage was delicious, though.

We do like the BYOB aspect. DH makes an unbeatable Bloody Mary mix, and it's nice we can take that along with a bottle of vodka.

We plan to visit for dinner, but the dinner menu does seem a little scattered -- I didn't realize there are two different menus?

Jun 03, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Blue pear....Dilworthtown......the Maine Event (??)

It was a special promotion at both restaurants for Memorial Day weekend only. As far as I can tell, it's over.

We haven't eaten at Dilworthtown in a while. We've been to Blue Pear a couple times this year and it was excellent, as always.

From the promo email, here's what you missed:
Memorial Day Weekend Fun
Start the summer in our village!

At The Dilworthtown Inn

Salad of Lobster & Mussels
Red Bliss Potatoes, String Beans, Mix Greens, Kalamata Olives, Celery, Parsley, Capers 15

Lobster Bisque
Buttered Poached Lobster and Tarragon 8

Maine Lobster & Sugar Snap Peas
Shaved Asparagus, Pickled Rhubarb, Sweet Pea-Scallion Vinaigrette 10

Lobster Crepe
Roasted Garlic Cream, Baby Spinach, Asparagus, Asiago Cheese, Balsamic Reduction 15

Broiled Lobster with Lime & Chili Butter
½ Lobster, Mix Greens, Toasted Baguette, Maple Vinaigrette 30

Butter Poached Maine Lobster Risotto
Diced Lobster with Jumbo Lump Crab, English Peas, Mustard Greens, Blood Orange Gastrique 32

Duet of Filet Mignon and South African Lobster Tail
Classic Béarnaise or Sauce Au Poivre 49.75

We have a few Soft Shell Crab for this weekend
in addition to our traditional dinner menu. This is the last week for our Colors of Springtime specials. Coming up next - Mediterranean influenced specials begins in early June.

At The Blue Pear Bistro

Crispy Braised Berkshire Pork Belly
Baby Mache Salad and Cider Glaze 13

"Classic" Pulled Pork Sandwich
Aged Provolone, Roasted Pepper, Pork Jus,
Broccoli Rabe, Cheddar Horseradish Chips 12.5

Lobster Cobb Salad
Poached Lobster, Avocado, Heirloom Tomato, Cured Pork Belly, Hard Cooked Egg, Local Greens, Home-made Buttermilk Dressing 24.5

Lobster Roll
Classic, Steamed Lobster Meat, Spiced Mayo, Butter Toasted Split Bun,House-made Rosemary and Sea Salt Chips 18.75

Chef's Plat du Jour
Whole Slow-Roasted Berkshire Pig Carved to Order, Broccoli Rabe, Potato Salad 24

Wiener Schnitzel von Schwein
Austrian Classic Sautéed Thinly Sliced Pork,
Lightly Crusted, Arugula, Lemon Beurre Blanc Sauce, Potato Salad 23.5

May 27, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Anybody Have experience using Fresh Direct?

Hmendenh, since I last posted we've had four or five orders. We have been extremely pleased with everything.

They don't have everything we regularly consume, but they have some "new to us" stuff that's fun to try. Saturday I fixed skate cheeks -- first we've ever had them and they were yummy! I know I'd never find them at our local grocery store and not even sure about the seafood place that's 20 minutes down the road.

I've been using free delivery offers so haven't yet paid for a delivery. But they're working on me quite effectively, so that at some point I will think the delivery charge is worth it.

May 12, 2014
Red Oakley in General Topics

Ramps

http://nenewsroom.com/a-little-story-...

Classic West Virginia ramp story. We lived there in the '70s and Comstock was already in the state pantheon for that prank.

May 07, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Garces alum opening restaurant in Chadds Ford

Would love to have a recommendation for any place in SoChesCo that matches the variety and quality of Harry's for seafood! We love Big Fish in Concordville, but it's just not the same. Maybe we've just overlooked a great upscale seafood place closer to home. Do share!

May 06, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Garces alum opening restaurant in Chadds Ford

Had a very good meal at Harry's Seafood. For a Saturday night, it was a lot less busy than we remembered. Service was almost too prompt. No time at all between appetizers and entrees. By the time we left at 9, the place was half empty -- I thought it stayed busy much later on a Saturday but I guess that crowd has moved on.

May 03, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Any soft shell sightings in Philly?

$10 each for whales at Hills Seafood in Concordville.

One of our party had them tonight at Harry's Seafood at the Wilmington Riverfront. Two, definitely smaller than whale, can't remember the price. But he said they were prepared perfectly.

May 03, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Garces alum opening restaurant in Chadds Ford

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/th...

If it's the Big Fork location, that's a tough spot for whatever reason. We thought about making a Saturday reservation but have an out-of-town guest so decided to stick with tried and true.

Will be interested to hear if any of you visit in the next couple weeks.

Apr 29, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Fine Dining in or near Lancaster- Dinner Recs?

It has been a few years since we visited, but we loved the Olde Greenfield Inn. Not the most adventurous menu (which seems to fit the bill for your party), but the food was delicious. Service was excellent and it was a lovely, relaxing place for a special lunch. Still seems to get pretty good reviews.

Apr 08, 2014
Red Oakley in Pennsylvania

Muddy-tasting mussels

We have mussels probably once a month. Very simple prep -- steamed just until opened in a covered pan with onions, garlic, white wine.

Last night we did everything the same as usual, with mussels from our usual seafood store. They were awful! They tasted muddy, and most were stringy instead of plump and juicy.

I'm not positive where the mussels were from -- PEI, Canada?

Is there a chance it was something I did? Or just a bad batch? If it were you, would you call the seafood market and complain or just let it go?

Thanks for insights. We love mussels, but this literally left such a bad taste in our mouths, it'll take a while to have them again.

Apr 06, 2014
Red Oakley in Home Cooking

Rehoboth nightlife for 3/22

Presumably you already know about Starboard in Dewey Beach and aren't interested?

Mar 21, 2014
Red Oakley in Mid-Atlantic

Thousand Island v Russian dressing??

Both are closely related (in my experience anyway) to Crab Louie dressing. I have a couple different recipes for that. Both have chili sauce. One has heavy cream!

Mar 21, 2014
Red Oakley in Home Cooking

West Chester / Brandywine Recommendation?

Disappointed to hear this. We were about to sign up for an April wine dinner at the InnKeepers Kitchen. It would be our first experience there. Is the new chef also responsible for those tasting dinners, do you know?

Mar 17, 2014
Red Oakley in Philadelphia

Jersey style crab cakes?

Thanks, all. This has been informative.

The crabcake I had was at Wolfgang Puck's in Atlantic City. It was shredded crabmeat. Not much filler, but totally shredded. Appetizer menu, probably no more than 3 oz., if that, for $21.

I was shocked, because I assumed a crabcake in Jersey would be made of jumbo lump crabmeat, like the ones I'm used to in DE/MD. It wasn't about the seasoning, it was about the quality and texture of the crabmeat . . . which was not very good.

Since I first posted, I went back and looked at the menu. Here's the description:
SAUTÉED MARYLAND CRAB CAKES basil pesto aioli, tomato relish, micro basil

So! I didn't remember that it was advertised as a Maryland crabcake or I would never have impugned the reputation of New Jersey crabcakes! I just thought maybe NJ style crabcakes were different. Sorry!!

But that means the crabcake served at Wolfgang Puck's was even more inexcusable than I realized. Not even CLOSE to a good MD crabcake!

I had two appetizers for my meal -- tuna tartare, which was fabulous, and the crabcake. They also served a basket of bread, which had some kind of caramelized onions baked into the top.

I mention this because I was getting full by the time I had eaten all of the tuna and then half the crabcake. I had just a little room left. I opted to eat another slice of the bread rather than the rest of the crabcake. That's how NOT GOOD it was!

If you're eating at Wolfgang Puck's, I highly recommend the tuna tartare.

Mar 05, 2014
Red Oakley in New Jersey

Is this a legit gripe - asking for seating

WW Diner,
I'm with you. I think if you make a specific request and you are not notified that it can't be honored, it's reasonable to expect you'll get the table you want at the time you reserved -- parTICularly when you made the reservation a month ahead of time.

This assumes, of course, that your parents left a phone number where they could be reached. Did they actually talk to someone when making the reservation, or did they leave a message? Either way, though, really, someone should have notified them well in advance if their special request couldn't be met. OTOH, a call the day of couldn't have hurt!

I know I have favorite restaurants where the table location can make a huge difference in the overall experience. Glad your server saved the day.

Mar 05, 2014
Red Oakley in Not About Food
1

50th Anniversary Bethany Beach, DE

The Parkway Restaurant, which is right in Bethany, may be what you're looking for. Private room, varied menu.

Mar 03, 2014
Red Oakley in Mid-Atlantic

Best Pittsburgh Restaurant with a view of the city

We're just occasional visitors to Pittsburgh, but we really enjoy all the city has to offer.

On our first trip, about six years ago, we had dinner at Monterey Bay. The view is very nice, but we thought it was definitely a "corporate expense account type" of place. On a weeknight, it was filled with business people who didn't mind overpaying (by quite a bit) for the quality of the food and for mediocre service.

We have not tried a restaurant with a view on subsequent trips. There's a "whole foods" kind of place near the terminus of the other incline that gets good reviews.

Feb 28, 2014
Red Oakley in Pennsylvania