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Lunch on the drive from Buffalo to Ithaca?

Thank you for the suggestions thus far! It is a little daunting, not knowing anything about the area, but we will look into these spots further.

We don't leave till tomorrow morning, so further suggestions are still welcome :)

Jul 31, 2008
mtyf in General Tristate Archive

Lunch on the drive from Buffalo to Ithaca?

We're flying in to BUF on our way to a wedding in Ithaca this Friday, looking for somewhere to stop and get grub on the way.

Any cuisine is fine, something regional or unique-ish would be great. Not in a huge rush, so we could venture a few miles off the highway if there's something worth searching for (mapquest has us taking the 90 most of the way, and then the 96).

Thanks in advance!

Jul 30, 2008
mtyf in General Tristate Archive

Bachelor party dinner in Canmore

Just wanted to give a late update - the boys had a great time at Murietta's... When the groom's father was invited to the party, he declined to go caving but offered to pay for dinner afterward, so money was not really a consideration. As I wasn't there i can't really report on the food quality, but the hubs says everyone enjoyed their meal well enough. Unfortunately, he ordered a ribeye and got a strip steak. They offered to remake it but said it would take quite a while, so he just ate the strip, and they comped dessert (not the best solution, I would think).

Oh, and they ended up not being able to get very far on the caving tour - too much snow melt - so they weren't all that dirty, either!

Jul 29, 2008
mtyf in Western Canada Archives

Bachelor party dinner in Canmore

Thank you so much everyone! I will look into all of your suggestions more. They sound like great, totally workable options.

Jan 25, 2008
mtyf in Western Canada Archives

Bachelor party dinner in Canmore

Haha, I thought I was being a bit facetious with the mud comments. The caving company does supply coveralls! I have been several times and I get sweaty, but not super gross. They might just need to wash their faces...

So, yen, could you go ahead and list those places where the $30 budget would be manageable, ignoring the possible muddiness? Thanks :)

Jan 23, 2008
mtyf in Western Canada Archives

Bachelor party dinner in Canmore

Thanks CDN! I had thought about Murrietta's but it is on the higher end as far as price goes - and yeah, they may be a bit too dirty for it!

I'll check out the Drake more.

Looking forward to hearing more suggestions :)

Jan 23, 2008
mtyf in Western Canada Archives

Bachelor party dinner in Canmore

Can anyone recommend a good place to have a late bachelor party dinner in Canmore in May (Banff is a possibility too, but Canmore would be much better)?. The boys are going caving right before and will be quite hungry, but the caving tour ends late so the restaurant would need to be open for a 9pm reservation. There will probably be about 10 in the party.

It should be somewhat affordable ($30 or less per person, including a drink if possible) and casual (might not have time to wash off all the mud before dinner!) Crazyweed looks great but a little too pricey. Any type of cuisine would work, bonus points for good Mexican. The groom doesn't drink so it doesn't need to be particularly alcohol-oriented, but good beer would be appreciated by the others in the party.

Thanks in advance!

Jan 23, 2008
mtyf in Western Canada Archives

Fuze Finer Dining in Banff

For a while, we were strongly considering Fuze for the site of our wedding reception next year. In the end we picked another venue, but I wanted to sing their praises anyway. I'll talk about the delicious food we got to taste, but I wanted to note the terrific service as well.

From the time we contacted GM/partner Anthony Chalmers in March via email to our site inspection and menu tasting in June, he was super responsive and flexible. The group menus looked interesting (starting at $50pp) and it is no problem to swap items between menus (of course, price would change accordingly).

During our menu tasting (basically a dinner), and we were able taste two of each course. For starters, we tried the Roasted Tomato Soup, which had ample pieces of smoky bacon and a really smooth, rich texture. This is rightfully one of their signatures, and would definitely have made it to our menu. We then also tasted their Crisp Salmon Spring rolls, which came in a shallow bowl of lemongrass fish soup. These were quite tasty, and we figured they would be good as reception food without the soup (which we preferred, since the rolls themselves were tasty enough, and got a bit soggy, as expected, in the soup).

For mains, we tried the Indian Spiced AAA New York Strip Steak, which was a refreshing and very tasty presentation for beef - we are leery of the usual filet/prime rib banquet fare, so this was great. A little spicy, with nice curry/cumin flavor, and cooked perfectly. Though we were happy with the amount of heat, they said that the chili oil that was lightly drizzled on top could be left off upon request. The other main was the Pan Seared BC Sablefish, which was moist and well-seasoned, and dressed with a rich beurre blanc. It came on a bed of cabbage and mashed potato with some of the same smoky bacon from the soup. The fish was well cooked and its delicate flavor was not overpowered by its accompaniments.

For desserts we tried the English Sticky Toffee Pudding, which was not too dense with a a lovely toffee sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. We also had the flourless chocolate cake with a really yummy roasted almond ice cream. Both were good choices to end a meal.

We also looked at their reception menu, which has many hot and cold options, their vegetarian menu, and their kids menu. We liked that, unlike many banquet situations, since they are a restaurant, our guests would have been able to make their choices at the table, rather than 4 months in advance on our rsvp cards. Vegetarians would have been able to order from their own complete menu. We picked the dishes we tasted from the group menus, but they are basically available on the regular dinner menu (in some cases, the accompaniments are a bit different).

The space of the 2nd floor restaurant is quite neat, with a 'presentation kitchen' to one side, where you could hold a standing reception with the chef making hors d'oeuvres to order in front of you. The dining room is stylish with dark wood and warm orange lighting.

In addition to the regular dinner menu, there is a 5-course tasting menu, lounge menu, and Sunday brunch.

This is a great place to have a 'finer' meal. The service is attentive and helpful, the restaurateurs are the kind you are excited to support, and the food is skillfully and deliciously prepared.

Fuze Finer Dining
Clock Tower Village Mall
110 Banff Avenue.
Phone: (403) 760-0853

Jul 26, 2007
mtyf in Western Canada Archives

Banff Springs hotel reception food?

Thanks! Hopefully others can chime in as well.

Jul 09, 2007
mtyf in Western Canada Archives

Banff Springs hotel reception food?

Thanks, Sharonanne. If you don't mind, could you elaborate a bit on what you mean about the innovative twist? Part of what we like about the Fuze menu is that it has some unique offerings that aren't just the usual, safe filet mignon, whereas the group menus at the Banff Springs look fairly standard, not much in the way of fusion or experimental flavorings. If you could give an example or two of interesting pairings or techniques that you remember (only regarding food, not wine), that would be great.

Jul 08, 2007
mtyf in Western Canada Archives

Banff Springs hotel reception food?

We are planning a wedding reception for about 100 guests in Banff for May, 2008. We have pretty much narrowed it down to two places, the Banff Springs Hotel and Fuze. If you are familiar with both, you can see how different they are. The Banff Springs is of course beautiful and grand inside and out, and Fuze is fairly minimalist but stylish inside, not so inspiring outside. Foodwise, we have had full meals at Fuze which showcased the food that we would likely be choosing (really quite delicious, varied flavors, good waitstaff, terrific management), but we are not able to have a menu tasting at Banff Springs until/unless we make a booking and confirm with a deposit.

So, any thoughts on the reception food at Banff Springs would be really appreciated. If you have been to a conference or wedding there, please let us know what you thought about the food. Was it standard large-scale catering fare? Dry, overwarmed, overdone, unimaginative? Better than that? What did you like about it or dislike?

Any insider information (if you worked there or know someone who does) would be GREAT - do they cook the food ahead of time and keep it warm for hours? Are certain things done better than others?

Please note, we are asking about the catered reception food, not any of the individual restaurants at the hotel. Thanks!

Jul 08, 2007
mtyf in Western Canada Archives

Beef shank vs. oxtail?

Hm, maybe I'll have to experiment and do a taste test of sorts.

For braising, I usually do a red wine + beef stock combination, and definitely some star anise. I haven't tried cinnamon yet but I have heard that suggestion before.

Dec 09, 2006
mtyf in Home Cooking

Beef shank vs. oxtail?

I love oxtail for the gelatinous goodness and little bits of tasty meat when it's been properly cooked, but it is always a little disappointing that there isn't very much meat in general.

I noticed beef shank slices (bone-in) at the meat counter for the first time the other day, and was surprised at how much they looked like oxtail, but with a lot more meat on them. I know nothing about beef cuts, so can anyone tell me the difference? Less so about the anatomy of a cow but moreso about whether they are pretty much interchangeable in a basic (e.g. red wine) braising recipe? Is there a real, qualitative difference in taste or texture, or could beef shanks serve as a meatier stand-in for oxtail?

Dec 07, 2006
mtyf in Home Cooking

Swedish fish (candy): where?

Rite Aid (or is it Walgreens?) Also, Blockbuster Video stores.

Dec 07, 2006
mtyf in Los Angeles Area

Help with Thanksgiving palate cleanser

Thanks to all for the posts. Unfortunately, the house I was staying at did not have internet (can you imagine?) so I wasn't able to check back after the first few replies.

However, made the sorbet with lemon and all worked out wonderfully. Sorbet was so simple - 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar warmed to make a simple syrup, added a bunch of lemon juice, probably the equivalent of a cup and a half, and then added about a cup of packed mint leaves off heat. Let that steep for a while, until it tasted minty enough, and then strained everything. I poured that into two shallow baking pans, and put it in the freezer over night, figuring that I would just get up and break it up (maybe use a vegetable peeler?) in the morning. However, when I took it out of the freezer the next day, i used a rice cooker spatula to scrape at it, and it was the perfect texture - icy but soft at the same time. I was able to scrape it all up and fill up the frozen lemon shells, and leave it until serving time, no thawing or further mussing about necessary. It was perfect! So refreshing and light, sweet and tart, and the lemon shells made for the perfect portion and presentation. Definitely a repeat recipe!

Nov 25, 2006
mtyf in Home Cooking

Help with Thanksgiving palate cleanser

So freeze it in the lemons (I was thinking of doing that, it's so cute), and then letting them thaw during dinner?

Clementines are a good idea, but yes, maybe too fragile and thin.. . Like the teeny portion though, perfect for a palate cleanser.

Nov 20, 2006
mtyf in Home Cooking

Help with Thanksgiving palate cleanser

Oops, here's the complete second sorbet link: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/lemon-so...

Nov 20, 2006
mtyf in Home Cooking

Help with Thanksgiving palate cleanser

Will be making the Pumpkin Custard Profiteroles with Maple Caramel from Epicurious (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...) for Thanksgiving dessert this year, but wanted to have a palate cleanser inbetween all the rich food from the meal and dessert.

I was thinking of making either of these lemon sorbets:
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Sorbet... or http://allrecipes.com/recipe/lemon-so.... I don't have an icecream maker, and don't foresee having the time to mush it up every half hour on the big day, but I also do not have a food processor or blender to mush it up from frozen if I make it ahead of time.

So I figure my options are: 1) make popsicles - do you think this would work? I kind of like the kitsch of it but I don't know if there is something to sorbets that doesn't lend themselves to popsicle form? 2) to just make it ahead of time, let it freeze up solid, and then start thawing it during dinner and trying to mush it up then.

Any thoughts, suggestions, alternatives? Thanks in advance!

Nov 20, 2006
mtyf in Home Cooking

A different stuffing for Thanksgiving?

Thanks!

Nov 05, 2006
mtyf in Home Cooking

A different stuffing for Thanksgiving?

Please post! Thanks.

Nov 02, 2006
mtyf in Home Cooking