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Dayton, Ohio ideas

Yup! Plenty of varieties of dried mushrooms, in several different sections (asian section, health foods section, etc). The selection in the japanese hectare (you think I'm kidding, but I'm not) is the best. Lots of interesting ethnic produce as well as all of the goodies JohnE_O mentioned above. When I drive down from Dayton, I usually spend a good couple of hours in the place!

I think ppl mention Skyline because it's absolutely everywhere (the Mickey-Dee's of chili, as it were), but you definitely know you're eating chain food when you have it. If you want to get the impression of what Cincy chili is, it's a place to start.

The Dayton area is also home to a rather large Mennonite farming community (not unique to you, being from Northeast Indiana) and there is a great restaurant serving family-style Mennonite/Amish food about 20 minutes South of Xenia. It's called Der Dutchman.

I'd stay away from Asian food in Dayton. You'd just be setting yourself up for disappointment. Thai 9 (downtown Dayton) is acceptable if you're dying for some Thai.

Ohio is also home to a chain of ice cream shops, Graeter's, which is worth a stop if you're eager for a sugar rush. Very good ice cream: get a flavor that has chocolate chips in it - the chips are more like chunks of delicious dark chocolate. The waffle cones are also sleeper hits. They're fresh and a teeny bit salty which complements every flavor I've had it with. The black raspberry with chips is my fave and is also the most popular.

Enjoy your trip!

Der Dutchman
230 N State Route 42, Waynesville, OH 45068

Thai 9
11 Brown St, Dayton, OH 45402

Nov 16, 2009
ohm86 in Great Lakes

Trip to San Diego from DC

It's in an odd location, being close to the airport and on a decidedly UN-scenic street, but the Starlite Lounge on India (just N of Sassafras) highlights local ingredients and I've never ever been disappointed. True american cocktails with an upadated twist (best sazerac I've ever had), great food, semi-casual atmosphere until around 8:30 (when the pretty ppl come out to play). Cool upstairs outdoor patio area that's tens of decibels below the noise indoors.

Just down the street from the Starlite is Blue Water: fresh seafood prepared simply. Lots of local catch (but plenty of flown-in stuff too - they specify so you can make an informed choice!). A definite change from DC seafood and worth a look. Very informal - order at the counter and they'll bring it to your table.

Both of those are easy access from the Washington Street trolley stop, or a cab ride from downtown.

Happy eats!

Apr 27, 2009
ohm86 in San Diego

Preserved Grapefruit

It's only been two weeks or so, but the cream of tartar trick seems to have been the key. The rinds are softening up beautifully and the pith has lost its bitterness. Couple more weeks to go!

Thanks for all of the hints/tricks and suggestions!

Feb 07, 2009
ohm86 in Home Cooking

Wineries in Temecula?

I had to go there in November to pick up a friend's wine club package and they encouraged me to "give it another go" while I was there. I hadn't tasted there in probably 2 years til that point and I had bad memories of their wine ... it's definitely better than it was. Some of the wine (I think it was the special reserve tasting list) was actually quite good but astronomically expensive ($65/btl WINE CLUB PRICE?!). The staff was great, friendlier than most even though it was crazy crowded, but I don't think I'm going to go back anytime soon. A lot of the wine in the valley is overpriced ... South Coast's was ridiculous.

Feb 04, 2009
ohm86 in California

Wineries in Temecula?

Yeah, well, I was a little taken aback too ... I think perhaps they were referencing the potential of the climate and the terroir and not necessarily the bulk of what comes out of the region now, although most winemakers I talked to knew a few Temecula names, like Thornton, Weins, and South Coast and thought well of those wines.

Feb 04, 2009
ohm86 in California

Wineries in Temecula?

My 2 cents ...
Temecula wineries are hit-or-miss, as should be expected with a wine region that has grown to cater to "white zin" wine tourists. But there are some very good wineries there, and I expect that most of the Temecula haters out there rarely have gotten past the few big stops on Rancho California Road.

Hart is great and has been around forever. The man knows how to grow grapes in this valley.
Most people go to Thornton for champagne, but the winemaker hails from Renwood (Amador county area) and knows how to make big juicy reds.

Baily is fine and is usually a good value but don't expect to be bowled over. I like Carol's Restaurant very much.

Weins moved down from Lodi a few years back and specializes in big reds. They have grapes all over the state and most this is usually the favorite place of my winesnob friends and visitors.

South Coast's wines were unimpressive for their first few years, but has seemed to come into its own in the last year or so. I heard that their first plantings finally fruitted and they have been able to crush their own grapes instead of buying and blending, so maybe that's the change. Anyway, the wine is terribly overpriced for Temecula, but I've had a change of heart about South Coast's wines.

Wilson Creek may have decent wine (do they? I don't know because I'm not willing to shove through the throngs to taste), but it's such a cluster to get in and out and actually taste anything, the experience is terrible. In my experience, it's not a whole lot better on weekdays.

The only thing good about Ponte is their restaurant.

It may still not be on the Temecula Valley Winegrowers maps, but Frangipani winery (out on De Portola Road) is the place to go if you want French-style instead of Cali-style red wines. Don't make this the last tasting stop, though ... the wines are delicate and a Zin-and-Syrah-covered tongue won't be able to taste much in them.

No one gives Temecula much respect, but on recent trips to Amador, Lodi, and Monterey, we've gotten "in the know" wink-winks from winemakers who predicted that Temecula could be the next big thing in California wine. Too bad it's so touristy that you pay out the nose just to taste and have to fight through the limos and Grapeline buses and the hordes that come with them on the weekends.

Feb 04, 2009
ohm86 in California

I need a hamburger so bad! [San Diego]

I second (or third, fourth, whatever) Burger Lounge ... I, for one, like their fries (gulp).

Mr. Peabody's (on Friars, West of Fashion Valley) is my go-to burger joint. I remember a long time ago they served the burgers on gross sweet Hawaiin rolls, but they have gone back to normal buns - thank goodness! I'm pretty sure fries and rings are of the bagged frozen variety, but the burgers are huge and delicious and I don't miss having fries.

Feb 03, 2009
ohm86 in San Diego

Ideas for canned salmon

I buy canned salmon just to make mini salmon quiches ... salmon and some sauteed leeks in the bottoms of a (lightly greased) muffin tin, topped with whipped eggs, tarragon, and parm-reg, and baked at 350 til set. Great with potatoes for brunch!

Jan 25, 2009
ohm86 in Home Cooking

Preserved Grapefruit

Thanks for the help, lcool! =) Much appreciation.

Jan 25, 2009
ohm86 in Home Cooking

Preserved Grapefruit

Thanks for the tip! I went through and tried to select the 4 thinnest-skinned ones of my bunch and used probably >1/2 cup of coarse kosher salt. Tasting the brine, it tastes just a bit less salty than pickle brine ... maybe more salt? I will also try a bit of cream of tartar (great tip!). I had been wondering if I should add a splash or two of white vinegar to get more acid but we'll see if the c of t works.

Jan 24, 2009
ohm86 in Home Cooking

Preserved Grapefruit

I received a bajillion beautiful organic grapefruit a week ago, and I just cannot get through these things! I've juiced some, made grapefruit salads, grapefruit granitas, even grapefruit-infused vodka (!) and I still have no fewer than 2 dozen sitting on my counter.
I love preserved lemons (though I have never made them myself, I know it's relatively easy to do at home) - has anyone had any experience making preserved grapefruits? My concern is that the pith is so much thicker than with lemons and I wonder if it would impart too much bitterness. I've found recipes online for grapefruit marmalade, but I'm much more interested in the salt-cured variety of preserves.

Thanks in advance!


Jan 23, 2009
ohm86 in Home Cooking

New, unique in San Diego

So glad you posted about this place! My husband works nearby and saw that it was opening, tried it out, and we've been back many times. What a great concept: locally grown produce, such care put into what they make, local beers, etc. Great music, great atmosphere. I love that in the time between ordering and paying, you get to walk by all of the wonderful (and beautifully displayed) veggies and meats and watch your salad being "built" by the staff who care about presentation and will greet you with a smile. It's about time "fast" food is healthy, too! =)

I wish the owners all the best. By the looks of the place at dinner last night, they're doing very well. It was packed (on a Thursday evening).

Jul 18, 2008
ohm86 in San Diego

San Diego (SD) brunch with vegan option(s)

I've been to Big Kitchen in South Park with vegan friends, and there are at least a few good options for them on the menu. The one that sticks out in my head is a tofu and veggie morning stir-fry with brown rice. The portion was HUGE - at least enough for two people or two meals. Oddly enough, I remember that they (at the time, at least) didn't have soy milk, which made the normal cereal/hot grain options out for the vegan diner.

Nov 16, 2007
ohm86 in San Diego

Crepes in San Diego

At the farmer's market at UCSD (Tuesdays, library walk), there are two crepe stations. One is run by the same people that have La Creperie on 30th by North Park Way. The other is run by Bibby's Crepe Cafe, a small place on Pearl in La Jolla. I vastly prefer Bibby's to the other. Bibby's has buckwheat savory crepes filled with cheeses, meats, and veggies, and topped with a verrrry nice bechamel sauce that really *makes* the crepe for me. I've not been to the actual Bibby's shop, just the stand at the Farmer's Market, but not out of lack of desire!!

Nov 14, 2007
ohm86 in California

Urban Solace in San Diego

Went there for brunch 2 weekends ago (just before the fires) and was so very very pleased! It's a Bluegrass brunch, and though we were sitting outside and *right* in front of the band, it wasn't too loud or obnoxious. My SO and I love bluegrass, though, so for those with an aversion to banjo, a table inside would be recommended.

The food was very good - some of the same items from the lunch menu, I noticed, but also a selection of breakfast food. I had the Monte San Diego (kind of a Monte Cristo), which was excellent and was served with a side of not-too-sweet preserves that tasted homemade. It had the sweet potato fries on the side (note: I asked for some of the Maytag blue cheese dressing to dip the fries into ... Yummy!!). SO and another friend had the biscuits and gravy, which was delish. The biscuts were sliced in half and griddled, so it almost looked like toasted baguette. Strange, I know, but they sure tasted good. The other friend at our table had some sort of flapjacks, but I can't remember exactly what the dish entailed. Positive reviews all around.

Now, in my world, brunch cocktails are essential to the experience ... so we definitely made sure to sample some! The Bloody Mary was good. A bit of a kick but not too much. No celery stalk - I kind of missed it, but overall the cocktail got a thumbs up. The mimosa was nice, but the mojito was below average. Not enough mint and too much soda water.

We just loved the place. Having lived for a short time in New Orleans, this is the closest thing I have found in San Diego to the NOLA Sunday Brunch, complete with the right kind of music! The ambiance is very French Quarter with the wraught iron balconies and all. We'll be back for lunch and dinner.

Nov 02, 2007
ohm86 in California

Healthy FroYo in SD?

Last time I spoke with the manager at Yogurt World, he said that all of their flavors (except anything with "custard" in the name) are low- or non-fat: the tart flavors are low-fat, and most of the other flavors are fat-free. Not to say that it's healthy ... all that sugar can't be good for you ...

I also like Paradise Yogurt for their selection of Wow Cow, Skinnie Minnie, and other low-lactose or low-calorie yogurts. I like to feel like I'm eating healthy yogurt when I have a bowl of Wow Cow (I just ignore all of the additives that must take the place of all the calories!). I saw that Paradise opened another location near SDSU that has later hours on the weekends.

Oct 17, 2007
ohm86 in California

Driving to Idyllwild..

Funny - I, too, was there last weekend and hit Aroma on Friday night and "saved" the Gnome for Saturday (as I had heard it was the "it" place in Idyllwild). Our dinner Saturday was so bad, we abandoned our half-eaten plates and went back to Aroma for dessert! The Gastrognome just looks old and tired, the service was downright bad, and the menu seemed like it hasn't been updated in a decade and a half. We even ordered off the nightly specials menu. My chicken and asparagus "rolls" had clearly been sitting under a heat lamp for a while: they were dry, chewy, and in dire need of seasoning. My SO's chicken diablo was a mess: it was basically half a cut-up chicken doused in a soupy sauce that was flavorful, but completely unattractive. On the plus side, my mashed potatoes were pretty good. shrug. Oh yeah, and the wine list was very sparse.
Can't wait to try Aroma for breakfast and/or lunch.

Oct 03, 2007
ohm86 in California

first anniversary dinner recs - San Diego

I had a wonderful experience at the WineSellar last year for my anniversary - the food was good (not amazing, but solid). The absolute best part was the waiter's knowledge of the vast stock of wine they have access to (from the shop on the ground floor). My husband and I kind of balked at the price of the bottles we were interested in ($70-80)that were on their basic wine list, but the waiter was able to select something in the $45 range that was exactly what we were looking for. Made the meal.

Sep 29, 2007
ohm86 in California

San Diego hounds-- What do you do better than LA? (cheap!)

Hey, good to know. Maybe those LA friends of mine should venture to the outskirts of their city now and again. =)
I have been taken to (but never ventured in solo) a Pho place on Linda Vista and Comstock, hidden back between the Vien Dong III and Le's. I can't for the life of me remember the name, and I don't even remember if there's an English menu ... a coworker takes me there occasionally and he (and the owners, the clientele, etc) speak Vietnamese exclusively. The first time I was there, I hesitated for about two seconds before trying to order, and the woman behind the counter got pretty annoyed, which makes me think they don't get too many food tourists in there. Now my coworker just orders for me =) But yup, $4 Pho. And I think it's pretty awesome. When I'm going on my own, I usually go to Pho Cali, which is cleaner, brighter, and the menus are in English, but it is pricier.

Sep 05, 2007
ohm86 in California

La Jolla, my review

I guess that explains my sudden and inexplicable urge to hum the Mexican national anthem ...

Sep 05, 2007
ohm86 in California

any cheap food/good deals in Gaslamp

Don't be surprised if you don't get a lot of responses on this board about the Gaslamp - as a neighborhood in general, the consensus seems to be that it's overpriced sub-par food. But as someone who enjoys hitting the clubs now and again, taking visitors around town, and going to ball games (and not wanting to do these activities on an empty stomach), there are a few places I've found that are worth a try and won't break the bank.

For breakfast/lunch:
The Cheese Shop (sandwiches, standard breakfast menu)
The Mission (good french toast, though the pancakes are kind of cakey for me ... awesome coffee)
Beach City Market (bottom level of Horton Plaza, take-away shop with sandwiches, salads, soups, etc)

For dinner:
Cafe Chloe (a bit $$, but the food's great!)
The Field (traditional Irish fare; the bar crowd gets going around 9)
Panda Inn (top level of Horton Plaza - NOT the same as Panda Express!)
Sammy's Woodfired Pizzas (thin, woodfired pizzas, plus salads and pasta dishes ... not exotic or gourmet, but it sure beats Domino's!)
Ghiradelli (what, an ice cream sundae isn't dinner?)
Tin Fish
Red Pearl Kitchen (all-asian fusion dishes, best done family-style with a large group, no need for appetizers as food comes in 15 min or less usually)

But hey, part of the fun of living downtown is really getting to know it like a resident - report back with your new food finds and favorites!

Sep 05, 2007
ohm86 in California

San Diego hounds-- What do you do better than LA? (cheap!)

How 'bout Pho? Most LA-LA land friends of mine don't know what Pho is, or if they do, they've never had it as good as you can get it here in San Diego. From the Convoy area up to Mira Mesa, there are Pho restaurants everywhere, and MAN ... $4.00 will get you dinner and lunch the next day. Ooooooooo-eeee!

Sep 04, 2007
ohm86 in California

Looking for great scone & almond crossiant

My favorite scones are at Con Pane in Point Loma (on Rosecrans just before Canon). Can't really help you on the Almond Croissant thing, though ... I've never had one in San Diego that comes close to what I get abroad.

Jun 13, 2007
ohm86 in California

Restaurants for Wedding Reception - W/NW burbs

Hey all,

I'm looking for a restaurant in the West/Northwest (or even Northern) burbs to have a wedding reception for 75-100 people next June. I'm not too familiar with that part of the city, so I seek your advice.

Most of the guests will be adventurous eaters, so any cuisine is fine; the real key is the CHARM of the place and the ability to be in a separate room or floor from the rest of the dining room. The ceremony isn't set in stone yet, either, so suggestions along those lines would be great as well. This also means that a lunch reception is also an option, in case there's a magnificent place that just wouldn't be available for dinner ...

I've looked at Mia Francesca and Galleria Marchetti in the city, but am trying to extend my options to the burbs.

Thanks in advance!!

May 23, 2007
ohm86 in Chicago Area

Lunch in Temecula? [moved from L.A. board]

I really like the Smokehouse restaurant at Ponte. The wine is blech, but the food is pretty good and the outdoor cafe atmosphere is lovely. (just beware of flying napkins on a windy day in the valley).

Apr 10, 2007
ohm86 in California

San Diego- Need recs for seafood and Mexican

Yup, I love this place, too. Very neighborhoody, friendly, casual. The fish tacos are a steal (calamari, too!). I've never had the seafood stew, but now I must try it the next time around.

Apr 10, 2007
ohm86 in California

Good bread in San Diego

Ahhhh ... of course. As soon as I wrote "Saturday" the little voice in my head said "are you SURE it's Saturday?!" I've never bought a loaf of this myself, but I've had a hunk from a friend's, and boy is it good!

Apr 05, 2007
ohm86 in San Diego

New Ice Cream Maker!

My trick is nonfat powdered milk and/or low-fat evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed). I usually start with whole or 2% milk and then add either or both of the above until it looks thick enough (I'm sorry this is so subjective, but I realized that I have absolutely no idea what quantities I use: I just try to get it as "thick" as the full-fat version) I also use fruit sugars (reduced no sugar added fruit juices, pureed fruit, or cane juice) as they have a lower glycemic value than straight glucose.

My husband just showed me a quick recipe I had jotted down for him one time for Banana-Maple ice cream:
1 c whole milk
2 egg yolks
-- combine over medium heat, whisking, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool.
Add: 1/4 c nonfat dry milk, splash of vanilla extract, 2 overripe bananas (mashed), 1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup (to taste).
Mix well and throw into your ice cream maker!

If it's too thick, add a bit more whole milk.
Chopped pecans or walnuts add nice taste and texture

The mashed banana helps thicken the mixture, and I usually make this when I haven't been diligent about getting through that bunch of bananas and I end up with nearly black ones ... =)

Apr 04, 2007
ohm86 in Home Cooking

Dissapointing Breakfast at the Mission

Oh, poop! That stinks. I can't say I've ever had an experience that bad at a Mission (regardless of location), though I've had some spotty service before.

Personally, I skip the pancakes at the Mission. I agree that they're kind of heavy and chewy, not to mention the fact that they give you twice the amount that a linebacker should eat ...

BUT ... OH ... the French Toast is gooey and cinnamony, and while the portion is also quite large, I'll stuff myself silly on that stuff any day, given the chance (and the metabolism of a 12-year-old). I also love the Mission Croissant - eggs, cream cheese, scallions, tomatoes on a pretty decent croissant (although I find it always seems to end up kind of soggy at the one in Mission Beach ... downtown and NP are better, for some reason)

The coffee is also good: strong and rich but not burned or bitter.

Apr 04, 2007
ohm86 in California

Good bread in San Diego

Also, keep in mind that they are closed on Wednesdays.

They have daily offerings of specialty breads (including Challah on Sat only), but sadly you cannot get the sammies made with these =( Oh well, the regular selection is large enough, I suppose.

Apr 04, 2007
ohm86 in San Diego