junescook's Profile

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What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

Oh Man, now I've got a craving for a bucket of KFC dark with mashed + gravy and cole slaw.

Sep 11, 2014
junescook in Features

5th Annual CT Cheese & Wine Festival: A Perfect Fall Feast at Hopkins Vineyard

Joan, Are the food and wine samplings included in the price of admission, or like Haight, do you charge for each of those separately?

Water spots on my grill please help

For me it's the Big Fat Greek Wedding solution. After I'm done cooking outside, I grab that big spray bottle of Windex I keep next to my glass top range and carry it out to my cooking area and spray it on and wipe down whatever is exposed: grill, smoker cabinet, steel work table whatever. The grills get whatever cleaning is appropriate (a couple of times a year I throw the weber grates into the oven when I do the cleaning cycle). Then, when the smokers are all cleaned up I line them with aluminum foil so they're ready to go with not too much prepping for their next use. I also have covers for all of them so that avoids having to wipe anything down when I need to use it.

Do you grill with aluminum foil (and no, it's not what you're thinking of)

I got these plates called Grill Grates that sit on top of the regular grates of my weber and make it a lot easier to grill meat, fish and veggies. It gets quite hot, doesn't flare up, and stuff releases easily, especially because the spatula tines go below the ridges of the grate.

https://www.mygrillgrate.com/?ibp-adg...

Woodbury, CT's Hotel Hell

Curtis House was a destination spot for older folks well before Heritage Village was built, and I think probably the celebration spot for many of the area people since back then as well when there were fewer choices available (Philip's Diner, Charcoal Chef and a coffee shop of various names).

CT Magazine reported on the Ramsay visit:

http://www.connecticutmag.com/Blog/Co...

Texas Roadhouse

We had one open up here in Waterbury, CT a few weeks ago. They are very busy. We went for a Saturday lunch at maybe 12:30 and had a 20-minute wait (they're great big places so when you put our name in they give you a buzzer thing). There are peanuts everywhere to munch on. Now I had checked out their web site ahead of time and they had emailed me a coupon for a free appetizer.

Country music is being played loudly all the time.

The servers we had were very nice and very quick. There was a bucket of peanuts on the table. Then came a basket of hot rolls with a sweet glaze on them. We ordered iced tea and potato skins skins and they came quickly. There were 8 large pieces so we only ate half of those. With any entrée you get two sides. I got an 8-oz sirloin with a Caesar salad and mashed potato. DW had a beef shish kabob, a bowl of chili and a house salad. My steak was cooked perfectly and was excellent. The mashed potatoes had pieces of skins in them and were drop-dead delicious. I would go back for them. The Caesar salad was blah, the house salad was better. Wife liked her food and we brought some leftovers home.

Final tally: This is a very casual place that happens to serve good meat cheap. Our check including our drinks and tax but not tip came to about $31.

http://ww7.texasroadhouse.com/NMotion...

Sep 02, 2014
junescook in Chains

Woodbury, CT's Hotel Hell

Just a reminder that one of CT's oldest inns, Woodbury's Curtis House, will be the subject of Gordon Ramsay's "Hotel Hell" episode which will be aired this coming Monday night on Fox at 9 pm. The inn has been operated by the Hardisty family for several generations, but now siblings Chris and TJ just can't seem to get along much less work together and the place shows it. I think even Ramsay may have been embarrassed by the language used by these small town folks.

Following Ramsay's visit they followed his menu for a couple of months, apparently according to a contract, and then added other old things back. Some of the new menu items are very good, but over all, the food is fairly overpriced compared with better restaurants in the neighborhood.

The Clam Castle?

We've really gotten to like their place in New Haven, even compared to our old standby Lenny's. It's pretty, it's comfortable, you always have a great view, they have those great lunch combos cheap (can't beat fried oysters and whole bellies on one plate for around $15), and everything we've had there has been good.

http://ljfishtale.com/page/19694-New-...

Corn on the cob TOO sweet!

Dent corn v. sweet corn.

Aug 24, 2014
junescook in General Topics

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton

Thanks, JayJay. Both DW and her sister have advised me that Beacon is way too far so I'll be checking out your recommendations.

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton

Thanks. They're above Albany and we're in SE Litchfld Cnty. Original family in P'k is now all gone, and while we've often met in Lee, MA, we're getting a little tired of that, so we're looking for a location that would be within an hour and a half for each of us and would be a pleasant day trip. We have done Rhinebeck recently and that is nice -- and fairly convenient, so any other recommendations?

Service Dogs Get Couple Kicked Out of Restaurant

I wonder if the good doctor keeps the dog with him at all times while conducting his practice, whatever that might be. The thought conjures up all sorts of odd scenarios whether he be, e.g., a surgeon, a psychiatrist, or maybe a proctologist.

Aug 20, 2014
junescook in Food Media & News

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton

You know, Kat, we used to occasionally go to Harney's when it was up in Salisbury or thereabouts. And we've talked about meeting in Millerton (Frommer recommends it as a travel destination) but when we've driven through on the way home from the garlic festival or the sheep and wool, it seems we don't seem to spot anything that looks particularly interesting. Harney's would definitely be a stop for us there, but can anyone recommend other nice places to spend the day visiting and eating lunch (mid $ please).

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton

So Sue, How far is Beacon from that area? In our case we're always looking for places to meet S&BinL from Clifton Park and Gerardo's in Beacon is getting rave reviews:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gerard...

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton

Can't say you sold me on that one. Any other recommendations in Millerton?

Leave Guy Fieri alone: Why he has nothing to do with the Food Network’s decline

Aug 16, 2014
junescook in Food Media & News

Julia Child's 100!

In honor of Julia Child's 100th birthday:

http://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/06/0...

Aug 16, 2014
junescook in Food Media & News

Best Burger in CT

Since last time I've had three really good burgers: 1) at the Carmine Anthony Fishhouse. You have to ask them for their bar menu, and it's their Premium Steak Burger. I have had it twice now and it was excellent both times, cooked medium rare, very juicy with a good crust. I have mine with gorgonzola. This is not the Carmine burger which has hot peppers.

http://www.carmenanthony.com/menus/CA...

2) The Market Place in Danbury (I may have mentioned this before). Tender, juicy, grass fed. Everything there excellent.

http://www.marketplacedanbury.com/menu/

And I just forgot the third one I was going to add.

Fish store/truck in driving distance of Sherman CT

Btw, a few years back I printed out a restaurant . com coupon for a place called Joey's Seafood in New Milford and haven't used it. Have you tried that place and if so, how was it?

Fish store/truck in driving distance of Sherman CT

Sue, I'm not sure where you're coming from or how far you feel like driving, but when we feel like having seafood and don't feel like driving down to the shore, we'll often go up to Crabby Al's in Thomaston. The food is good, the portions are generous, we've always had very good service (we go in for lunch and Tina has our drinks to us by the time we sit down), and the prices are reasonable. It's more fun to sit in the bar if you can, it has a blue-collar Cheers kind of atmosphere. Thursday evenings they have a raw bar where you pay by the piece. Weekend evenings it can be really busy. It's just about one block west of Rt 8, of the exit for rt 6 east.

They have daily specials too.

http://www.menupix.com/menudirectory/...

NY Times Review of Giada's Las Vegas restaurant. Ouch

I thought it was nice that they had a pasta pronunciation guide for her. Maybe now she'll be able to say spaghetti.

Mamie's, Roxbury

Mamie's is a cute little roadside place with rustic décor and mismatched chairs along a very pretty road in Roxbury. It was started as a bakery, and although the sandwiches come on thick slabs of multigrain bread, I don't believe it is made in-house. Ingredients are fresh, the menu can be creative, but the outcomes can be disappointing. Service is variable. On one occasion we were greeted immediately, on another ignored and left to wait glumly while the gentleman chatted with his friends at another table. Nonetheless Mamie's attracts Roxbury's toniest residents (after all, where else to dine in Roxbury), along with some of their trendy pals as well.

Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

And it has to tell me where to eat near where I am at that moment, not near where my home is.

Looking for wood *chunks* appropriate for smoking fish

I buy my wood chunks from Vaughn's Wood Products online. They carry nice, clean 1 1/2" cubes of wood in a variety of flavors and their prices include shipping.

http://www.vaughnwoodproducts.com/

click on their gourmet wood chunks line for the 1.5" size.

Aug 05, 2014
junescook in Greater Boston Area

GE Glass Stove Top Help?

I guess maybe you should have let it cool off before you tried removing the metal from the glass. I would call GE service. They have a flat service charge (around $89) plus parts. I once dropped something on my glass cooktop and it cracked; but it was still under warranty and they replaced it so I don't know how much it cost. I have always been very happy with their service though, often next day here in CT.

Aug 01, 2014
junescook in Cookware

Your best big gadget\tool?

1) Cuisinart Griddler. It's like a better Foreman grill thing that actually does a god job of searing and cooking steaks and pork chops as long as they're at least 1 1/4" thick and boneless. For the two of us it is perfect -- get a nice Char on the outside and then put a thermometer in and finish to temp. Also it does sandwiches, veggies. You can use it open as a grill too though I never have.

2) Fasta Pasta. Interestingly this just got reviewed in ATK magazine. It's basically a plastic box that you put water and salt and your pasta into, and according to their chart, cook your pasta in the microwave for a total time (from cold water) of from about 10 to 15 minutes. I've had mine for several years, paid ca. $8 for it at Amazon, and have never made pasta another way since the first time I used it. I've given them as gifts and the recipients have loved them as well. This is another time, energy and heat saver, especially in the summer.

3) My old metal steamer basket thing, the thing that looks like a flower that you put in the bottom of a pan. First I caught on to the recipe that I guess I saw on Chow Tips on cooking the perfect boiled eggs by steaming them -- since I use jumbo 7 minutes or soft, 12 for hard. Then I found it perfect for steaming corn on the cob -- 4 minutes for local just picked, 6 minutes for the Florida stuff you get in February that's bred to carry over for a long period of time.

4) My smoker. Maybe this should have gone up higher on the list. I have a $800 Weber grill, but my $200 propane smoker gets used four times as often. And each time I use it I stuff it with enough meat for at least six meals. This past weekend I did a large roasting chicken, beef ribs, two bns chicken breasts, and sill had enough room on top to put a little foil pan with chicken liver for smoked liver pate. It is something that has to be monitored for a few hours so I might as well make it worth it each time.

Jul 31, 2014
junescook in Cookware

Anywhere in CT to buy local chicken or grass fed beef

Percy Thomson Meadows in Bethlehem. Very nice people and I don't think it's that far from you.

http://www.agrilicious.org/Percy-Thom...

Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

Otoh, the rest of us who might have grown up in CT, lived in cities along Long Island Sound, worked in her cities, and farmed here, feel no connection to NYC and the metro area. The board keeps us informed about what's good within driving distance. It takes another click to check on Manhattan and the outer boroughs and upstate NY, and I keep them in my list. It's not a big deal. Seriously, is it too many to wade through or too few about lower F'fld County being part of Westchester?

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

Wow, that saves money and energy!

I hate it when I don't know how to pronounce a food's name in a restaurant

I'd rather have it tell me what the dish is. Can you include a brief description?

Jul 29, 2014
junescook in General Topics