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The Taste 1/16/14 (spoilers)

Yeah, she came off as really unpleasant on the show, but I just read one of her blog entries about her elimination, and I'm slightly won over. It sounds like she suffers pretty badly. I can't call myself one of her "fans," but she seems okay.

Jan 19, 2014
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

PBS show "A Chef's Life"

I just started watching this show, and I love it. I know it's television, but it seems a more low-key and honest than your average reality show. The food looks great.

The problem she has with staffing makes me fantasize about moving to North Carolina and working my way up in her kitchen as a dishwasher all the way to sous, even though I've never been to culinary school or worked a day in a kitchen in my life. I figure that would be an amazing opportunity for someone who would show up 100% of the time and work hard.

Nov 25, 2013
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Sherman's Deli (St. Louis) Cabbage Soup Recipe

Does anyone have, or know where to get, the recipe for the cabbage soup at Sherman's Deli in St. Louis?

Jul 31, 2013
JayEsBee in Great Plains

Anyone Seen the Hershey Chocolate Cake?

About a year or so go, my girlfriend and I ran across this small chocolate cake at Wal-Mart. It was a rectangular, single layer with a frosting that was kind of stiffer than a butter cream type frosting. It was about maybe 6" x 4" or something like that. A small cake that could serve 4-6.

I hate Wal-Mart's baked goods, but for some reason we took a flyer and were both HOOKED! We bought these pretty consistently for a couple months until they just as suddenly vanished, never to be seen again. I've looked them up online, talked to people at the store, but can't find them and don't know what happened.

Anyone eles tried these? Anyone seen these? Anyone know how to get them? I should mention that this was a Hershey brand product.

Jun 29, 2013
JayEsBee in General Topics

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #12 - 09/01/10 (Spoilers)

My take was that Kevin's use of "comfort food" was somewhat of a misnomer. I think he was trying to present a well made, tasty, simple presentation of straightforward flavors and calling it "comfort food." He was trying to contrast his dish with the more "elevated" preparations of his competitors (the Moroccan flavors of Ed or the blue cheese foam of Kelly).

Sep 04, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Restaurant etiquette - to say - or not to say how it was after a bad meal

I agree that going back later to complain is a bad idea. I used to work as a manager in a movie theater, (not exactly the same thing, but...) and I always felt 1) frustrated that the time had passed and I was unable to do anything about the complaint, and 2) that the person complaining was just trying to get a free movie pass.

Sep 01, 2010
JayEsBee in Not About Food

St. Louis: Chesterfield Area

A fun, casual lunch spot is Surf Dog off of Long Road. Also, I love Thai Sawadee on Olive in the Schnucks (a local grocery store) plaza, west of 40. Their curries are very good, and they have a beef dish (Nam Tok Beef) that is tart and spicy and just plain delicious.

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Surf Dogs
137 Chesterfield Towne Ctr, Chesterfield, MO 63005

Thai Sawadee
171 Hilltown Village Ctr, Chesterfield, MO 63017

Sep 01, 2010
JayEsBee in Great Plains

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #12 - 09/01/10 (Spoilers)

Completely disappointing, but I figured it was her or Kevin. I was hoping Kevin. Tiffany made out pretty well, though with some high stakes wins and a trip. I predict that she will be voted fan favorite, so hopefully that will be some consolation to her.

I thought the freeze dried challenge seemed kind of lame, but it didn't really have much of an effect. I thought maybe they'd actually freeze dry it, or do a freeze dried version and a regular version, but that would have been pretty stupid.

Sep 01, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Basic Scrambled Eggs

I can't remember where I picked this up, but a trick I use is to use an "extra" yoke. So, if I'm cooking 4 eggs, separate a fifth egg and only use the yoke. You get the idea.

Sep 01, 2010
JayEsBee in Recipes

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #9 - 08/11/10 (Spoilers)

"8 Balls and Hookers" (Alex) and "The Preppin' Weapon" (Kenny) both spring to mind. "I Made Love to That [Protein]," (Angelo) might qualify, though I don't remember what the protein was. Was it duck?

Aug 14, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Lunch on the Hill in St. Louis

I know this thread is kind of past it's sell by date, but I wanted to get a plug in for a great Hill sandwich shop, Southwest Market, across from Favazza's. I love this place. The guy who mans the register is the owner's son (or maybe the current owner, now, I'm not sure), and he's always so friendly and eager to please and just one of those people who makes me wish I were a better person. And the sandwiches are great. I love their house made salami and their house made spicy mustard. Plus, they give you a free cookie if you eat in. This place makes me happy.

Aug 14, 2010
JayEsBee in Great Plains

Sushi in St. Louis?

I'm a casual and infrequent, but enthusiastic, sushi eater and no authority on the subject.

I've tried two of the local AYCE sushi places: Blue Ocean in U-City and Blue Sea at 141 and Olive. I wasn't impressed by either, though if I had to choose one, I would go to Blue Ocean as it seemed to have the slight edge in quality and a larger edge in refinement and construction of the rolls. The fish at both places seemed "tired." I won't go so far as to say "not fresh," because it didn't smell bad or taste bad, but it seemed less lovingly cared for somehow. I can't quite quantify it. It just didn't have that moist, cool, vibrant quality that I've experienced in the few outstanding sushi experiences I've had.

I enjoyed my trip to Miso on Meramec. There were a couple unique and tasty rolls there, and generally the quality of the fish seemed good to me. "Elegant" and "Sophisticated" were adjectives I'd use to describe their sushi. It didn't come off gimmicky, like some places seem. Of course, it seemed expensive even for sushi, but I'm usually dining on a budget. The nigiri was fine, but I don't remember any stand outs.

Momoyama in Chesterfield has some hit and miss rolls. They seem a little liberal with the mayo (a sushi ingredient of which I am not generally a fan) in certain rolls, but the fish seemed of sufficiently high quality that I would be comfortable recommending it. I enjoy a salad they have (I think it may be called the Tsunami Salad). It has crab, shrimp, and octopus on mixed greens with a spicy dressing (I think it's mainly a drizzle of siracha) and crispy onions. I also like their octopus sunomono.

I go to Oishi in Chesterfield Valley for the teppanyaki lunch, and occasionally order a spider roll, which is my favorite roll. They do a good version of it, IMO. Speaking of soft shell crab, I also had lunch at another Chesterfield Valley restaurant, Yagu. They had a nice soft shell crab app with two very tasty dipping sauces. One was kind of a spicy, mustardy and the other was a sweetish, soyish kind of sauce, I think. I don't really remember the rest of my lunch, so I assume it wasn't remarkable, but I think about that app from time to time and will probably head back again at some point. Not exactly sushi, but....

Those are the sushi places I've been to since 2009. Not a very exhaustive list, but I'm sure others will chime in.

Aug 14, 2010
JayEsBee in Great Plains

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #9 - 08/11/10 (Spoilers)

These kinds of conspiracy theories abound, but they just don't make sense. How would eliminating a popular and telegenic contestant boost ratings going forward? Especially if it could be seen to cast doubt on the credibility of the show?

Is it that Amanda is an attractive, young female that makes keeping her on the show more valuable in terms of viewership? If they were always showing her in a bikini, maybe this would be a valid point? If she were having a romance a la Leah/Hosea, then maybe I could see it. But she's not particularly popular or respected.

Eliminating Kenny is a net loss to the show. He's a strong personality with a great back story. He's got an ongoing rivalry with the other season "stand out" (for better or for worse). I suppose you could say all this controversy will increase viewership, but it's only a controversy to food geeks like us. They're not covering this on the Today show. Perez Hilton isn't blogging about it. Kenny and John McCain haven't started any Twitter wars. I'm confident that this "controversy" will not draw one more viewer to the show, and if Tom's blog is any indication, will cost them the viewership of some who have "lost faith" in the the show.

Aug 13, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #9 - 08/11/10 (Spoilers)

Blue Team's behavior at JT and in the stew room afterwards was really shameful. They didn't just try to throw Alex under the bus, but the whole Red Team. I think the judges saw it for what it was, sour grapes, and gave it the consideration it deserved, namely none. They could have brought the other team back in and grilled them, and it wouldn't have necessitated stripping Ed of his win.

People accuse TC of manufacturing drama, but what could have been more dramatic than calling Alex in along with the Blue Team. That would have been a first and very dramatic. They chose not to do the sensational thing, and still people complain.

The Blue Team's behavior is in stark contrast to Ed's during "Pea-gate." I admired that, absent certain knowledge that Alex took his puree, he maintained his dignity and remained silent.

Aug 12, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #9 - 08/11/10 (Spoilers)

Kenny deserved to go, there's no doubt in my mind. The team leader paints a target on his or her back in RW, so the bar was set higher for Kenny, and he set it that way.

He may have run a smooth and organized kitchen, but as the judges said, it doesn't matter what's going on behind the scenes if the food is bad. Executive Chef Kenny sent two dishes that were unanimously panned by the judges. According to the criticism, they were ill conceived as well as poorly executed. Bruni called the goat cheese dish a "horror" or something like that. They at least praised an aspect of Amanda's dish, even if it was a small one.

As far as Alex goes, maybe he "deserved" to go home, but he had the luxury of being on the winning team. Simple as that. He gets to ride their coat tails another week.

As far as Blue vs Red, I was a little surprised that Red won; I thought Kelly's superior service might have allowed them to squeak out the win. I feel the judges have over valued the FOH in the past. It always seemed like penalizing a foot ball team for having a messy locker room. To borrow a cliche, it's "Top Chef" not "Top Waiter."

Aug 11, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Bobby Flay haters (Flayters?)...this one's for you

I definitely agree that G&C, which was my intro to Bobby Flay, cast him as the arrogant jerk. I loved that show, mainly for good ol' boy Jack. Looking back, I agree that was part of the schtick of the show, but it kind of stuck with me until recently. "Throwdown" turned it around, as well as his ICA performances.

As for the Morimoto incident, I agree it was kind of obnoxious, but it's kind of nuts for Morimoto to appear on that ridiculous, over the top, "World Wrestling Federation" in the kitchen, kooky/creepy Chairman Kaga hosted kitchfest and get all high and mighty about the "integrity" of the chopping block or whatever he said. I love IC and I like ICA, but c'mon, the whole thing is pretty silly. I think BF was just getting into the spirit.

Aug 10, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Hells Kitchen Season finale tonight - Who is your pick? Spoilers I'm sure. :)

My recollection is that the Attractive Female Contestants seem to get surprisingly far on this show*, though I do think Holli has more chops than past AFCs. I do think Jay is a little more skilled and seasoned, as demonstrated by his turn at the pass last week. I think Jay "deserves" it a tiny bit more, but I guess I'm rooting for Holli.

*it's possible I'm generalizing from the season where the personal chef/nanny, Bonnie, who was very cute, inexplicably made it to the final two. Was that the year Rock won? All the HK seasons tend to swirl together for me.

Aug 10, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #8 - 08/04/10 (Spoilers)

Andres took it well, but I thought it was kind of rude, especially after his condescending "You thought that meat was fine?" I like Tom, but sometimes he comes off as a bit of an intellectual bully. I enjoy it when he's bullying the cheftestants, but not when he's doing it to his fellow judges.

Aug 05, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #8 - 08/04/10 (Spoilers)

I've been to three Brazilian Steakhouse places (not many, I know), and there has been a chimicchurri sauce at all three. I think if his dish had been well done it wouldn't have mattered, but given the uninspired dish and poor execution, the judges were in no mood to give him the benefit of the doubt on that point.

Aug 05, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #8 - 08/04/10 (Spoilers)

Tiffany's wins really delighted me, too. I started out not liking her. I found her abrasive and dull at first, but she's really grown on me. I think part of it is her relationship with Ed. As their friendship developed, I saw a side of her that wasn't coming through in the interviews. I would have to say she's my sentimental favorite right now.

If I were to bet money on the outcome, I guess the "money favorite" would have to be Angelo. He doesn't bother me as much as he bothers many, but I'm not really pulling for him, either.

I think Kenny comes off stronger than his actual ability. Yes, he dominated the mise en place QF in episode 1 and had some close seconds, but I'm beginning to see through his self-promotion. For a while it looked like it was going to be Angelo and Kenny dominating the field, but that hasn't been the case. Again, if I had to bet money on the final four, Kenny would be in there, but it's not looking like the foregone conclusion that it appeared to be earlier in the season.

If next week weren't Restaurant Wars, I'd predict Alex or Amanda as the next to go. However, Angelo could be in real trouble. We've seen that the team leader is often in a vulnerable position, so it wouldn't shock me if he's sent packing (his knives) next week.

Stephen seemed over his head from the beginning. As soon as they called him and did not call Amanda, I was almost certain it was his time to leave. I like Ed, and if I had to lock in a final four right now, it would probably be Angelo, Kenny, Ed, and Tiffany, with Kelly as a close fifth. I think the only "lock" at this point (if he can survive RW) is Angelo. The others seem considerably less consistent, and I agree with Amanda (I think) who said that consistency is the key to TC.

Aug 05, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef DC Contestant interviews

He comes off better in that Q & A than he does on the show. Thanks for sharing the article!

Aug 02, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #7 - 07/28/10 (Spoilers)

And that's why I didn't watch the second season of TCM. I find it boring. There are no stakes, or at least they are not as high for the chefs. They have the luxury of being nice; they've already made it. For some, this makes the show more interesting. I understand that.

Please understand, the only reality shows I watch are TC, HK, and Kitchen Nightmares. I'm attracted to the food and cooking as the subject, but it's the human drama that makes these shows compelling. I agree that the various shows sometimes overdo it, but mostly the shows are entertaining and I sometimes learn a thing or two.

This all comes down to taste and personal preference. But the reason why I'm bothering to engage on this point is that so many posters are claiming the show has changed, and I just don't think that's the case. The only thing that changes (significantly) from season to season is the cast. This season's cast is lackluster. This is what people are responding to, but they blame it on editing (which people have been complaining about every season since I started reading this forum), romance, generated drama, etc.

Aug 02, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

STL Help me narrow my choices...

I visited Smoking Joe's a few months back based on recommendations from this forum and was very disappointed. I split the Taste of Smoking Joe's platter and everything was mediocre at best. Perhaps I got them on an off day, but Pappy's had a line that snaked through the restaurant, up and down the hall way of the little shopping center where it was located and out the door. Smoking Joes? No wait. Come right in and have a seat.

Aug 02, 2010
JayEsBee in Great Plains

Strategy for Pappy's and/or Crown to avoid a long line?

Go to Troy, MO for Big Stickey's BBQ. He's a guy in a parking lot and his BBQ (and homemade sides) are excellent. Troy currently has 4 guys in parking lots. Monte's BBQ, Roundman's BBQ, Big Stickey's, and a new one, Hot Rod's or something like that. I haven't tired Roundman's or Hot Rod's. They are the newest.

Aug 01, 2010
JayEsBee in Great Plains

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #7 - 07/28/10 (Spoilers)

Obviously, this is all subjective and if you don't enjoy the show as much as you used to, there's nothing anyone can say to change your mind. Nor would I want to. But I'm puzzled by these types of complaints.

I've seen every season as have most others here. I just don't see that the show has changed as radically as many here think. There have always been strong personalities, egos, clashes, gamesmanship, bad behavior, etc.

The show is not presented in real time. It has to be edited. Some here seem offended by the temerity of the producers and editors to *gasp* entertain the viewer. It's not an educational show. It never has been, as far as I can tell. That doesn't mean you can't learn from it. But it's always been a competition first and foremost.

People speak of the "integrity" of the show as if it's a sporting event. As viewers, how could we even begin to discuss the rightness or wrongness of the judges? We're watching people taste dishes and give their opinions on which is best. How can claim to have any kind of insight into what the dish tastes like and whether or not their judgements are correct, well intentioned, biased, or whatever?

Of course the editors are going to create narratives. How can they not? That's what editors do. It's almost the definition of film editing. It's not just splicing together a bunch of images in chronological order. It's to create a story and hold the viewer's interest.

And as for everyone's squeamishness with the few romances that have developed, I suspect the same people who complain about Josea/Leah & Angelo/Tamesha, would complain just as bitterly if it had been discovered that these relationships had taken place but the editors and producers had kept them out of the shows.

Here's the last thing I'll say about this, and then the flaming may commence: If personality clashes, alliances, romances, rivalries, etc. had not been intended as an integral part of the show from the first episode of the first season, why do the cheftestants all live together in a big house? They put them in a pressure cooker even when "off the clock" to heighten the "human drama" for entertainment value. This is not a degeneration of the producers' values. This has been there from day one.

I think it's the viewers who have changed, not the show.

Aug 01, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #7 - 07/28/10 (Spoilers)

Yeah, but I kind of got the feeling she hadn't lost all the baby weight at the time of the taping.

Jul 31, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #7 - 07/28/10 (Spoilers)

I noticed. It might be unfortunate on most, but not on Padma. She certainly has the legs to pull it off.

Jul 31, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #7 - 07/28/10 (Spoilers)

You know, I rewatched the episode last night, and I could have sworn I heard Alex say to Ed, "I didn't use any peas" when Ed asked him if he saw the pea puree. I listened to it several times. It was kind of hard to understand, so maybe I misheard, but did any one else hear that?

Jul 31, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News

Seeking Burger with Cheddar "Cheese Spread" Topping - St. Louis

Michael's is very good. I love that cheese spread, too. There's a sports bar called Rookies (the two I know of are in St. Charles, by New Town and in Wentzville) that also serves this.

Jul 31, 2010
JayEsBee in Great Plains

Top Chef - D.C. - Ep. #7 - 07/28/10 (Spoilers)

It appeared to me that Tom was in a position to see and hear Ed searching for his pea puree. Maybe not enough to cause suspicion in and of itself, but then when Alex's dish shows up with pea puree and Ed's does not, I can't believe an alarm doesn't go off.

But even if he was oblivious, I can't believe that there's no one from the TC crew who knows what happened. I guess it doesn't matter now, except to us obsessives who will be talking about this on the boards for years to come.

Oh well. As for the rest of the episode and the season in general, I haven't fallen in love with any of the contestants, but one advantage this season has over last season is suspense. Did anyone NOT predict the final four last year after two episodes? While Angelo seems to be the strongest chef, he's not bulletproof. The cheftestants are much more evenly matched this year. Ed & Tiffany are growing on me. I don't mind Angelo as much as most people seem to.

Jul 28, 2010
JayEsBee in Food Media & News