ElsieDee's Profile

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Civility

Went to a local, Americanized Japanese place for dinner a week or two ago. The place was packed with a group of large, intoxicated business men. We were seated and I made a comment to our waitress, who spoke only very broken English, about it being a good night for making money. She smiled, sighed, and said "Good night for boss man." I felt so badly for her.

We put in our order. Drinks arrived. Water was served in disposable cups, because (I'm guessing), the BOH was running ragged dealing with this large group. My dining partner is mildly hypoglycemic. He was actually talking about going out to the car to see if he had a protein bar stashed in the console, because his blood sugar was dropping.

Waitress kept coming by, looking at our table and - seeing that no food had arrived - saying she was sorry. Then she started delivering unordered, uncooked food (a seaweed salad, the pickled cucumbers, edamame, even a couple of California rolls) and each time, she'd say "No charge, on house, so sorry" and then dash off again.

She was being run ragged by this other group, but she kept an eye on us and the other tables in her section, and was delivering free dishes to them, and keeping their drinks refilled, as well.

By the time our food finally arrived (over an hour after we'd ordered it), we weren't even hungry! So we ate a bit, had everything boxed to go, and left her a humongous tip.

It could have been a bad night for us, but it wasn't, because she was delivering incredible customer service and doing one heck of a job. The food wasn't great, but we'll go back because of her.

Aug 19, 2014
ElsieDee in Not About Food

Jim Leff's Slog: Chowhound's Coup de Grace

Here's a background read for you, c oliver, which gives Jim's side of what happened when CH was sold:
http://jimleff.blogspot.com/2008/12/c...

Aug 08, 2014
ElsieDee in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

You're welcome. By the way, I really appreciate all you bring to these boards - your passion is wonderful. Thank you.

Aug 08, 2014
ElsieDee in Site Talk

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

Yes. The more people they have coming to the site, the more pages each person views on the site, and the amount of time the person spends on the site (as well as on each page - depends on how closely they're monitoring visitor behavior and what actions they take), are all factors used in bringing in advertising dollars.

Basically, if CH can say "We have 'X' number of unique visitors each day, and they view 'Y' number of pages, and spend 'Z' minutes / hours, on average," and those are good numbers, they can attract higher paying ads.

What I don't understand is why they're not monetizing the user data they have on each of us anyway. Even knowing our most frequented regional board and a few of our topical boards would allow a lot better targeting of ads (and the more highly targeted the ad, the more money CH can charge for it). For example, as someone who spends time on the L.A. board, and also the Vegetarian / Vegan board, why not show me ads for local vegetarian restaurants and such, or a Groupon ad for that?

I'm guessing CH has at least three touch-points on all of the regular users (our email addresses, regional boards, and general food interests at minimum), but they need to actually use that data and sell it to the marketers. The fact that the paid ad at the bottom of this page - the one that I'm seeing is for JCPenney bedding for dorm rooms - is far, far from my list of interests, is pathetic.

Give me an ad for a new vegetarian restaurant, or a sale on vegetarian cookbooks, and I'd likely click on it - and that's where the real money is made.

That Issue with AdBlock Plus, etc.

I understand you need to make money. Trust me, I get it. But my point is, if the intent of all these changes is to get more people here and staying here (ie. more page views and clicks), and yet the first thing a newcomer tries to do is start a new discussion and they can't do so, because they're running a very common piece of software, you're losing potential revenue AND you're creating ill will.

If you're not willing to make the code changes to allow someone to start a new discussion while they're running AdBlock Plus or Ghostery, then would you at least put up some kind of disclaimer saying "If you can't start a new discussion, it's because of the software you're running," so you're not losing new people? That'd be a rather thoughtful thing to do and actually engender good will.

I know other sites have a lovely little graphic that shows-up under the paid ads. Should the ads be blocked, then the site visitor sees a note that says something along the lines of "Hey, we appreciate that you don't like seeing ads, but we're a free site and we need to make money to keep the lights on. We'd sure appreciate it if you'd turn off your ad-blocking program while here, so we can continue to do great things." (You would just need to gussy-up that wording so it's appropriate to CH.)

Aug 08, 2014
ElsieDee in Site Talk

That Issue with AdBlock Plus, etc.

I had to disable it on CH in order to post a new discussion. Before it was disabled, I could mouseover the blue discussion link, but wasn't able to actually start a discussion, just post on one already going.

Aug 03, 2014
ElsieDee in Site Talk

That Issue with AdBlock Plus, etc.

Could the-powers-that-be advise on whether or not they will be fixing the issue with AdBlock Plus (and other programs, apparently), no longer working with the latest user interface; specifically, being unable to post a new discussion while running one of these programs?

I'd imagine, if your goal is more eyes on the page and growing the "Community," you're losing people - especially newcomers - if they get to the site through a websearch, discover they can't post, AND aren't familiar enough with the site to know to come to the Site Talk board and search for others having the same problem to find solutions. If I were them, I'd likely wander away.

Aug 03, 2014
ElsieDee in Site Talk

why hide the "sticky" topics?

I must add my voice to those above. The decision to effectively hide the sticky topics is a bad call. The "i" does not scream "Hey, there's important stuff hidden here, so come look!" and therefore is ineffective.

I've been working with website usability issues for many years: the key to effective websites (at least one of them) is making it possible for any site user to find the information they need, in the fewest number of clicks or mouseovers possible.

I understand that the "i" is a nifty little graphic signifying "information found here," but I'd certainly not think to look there for the stickies. In fact, I assumed you'd done away with the Cookbook of the Month and Dish of the Month projects, until coming to this thread.

Aug 03, 2014
ElsieDee in Site Talk

Best Donut, Los Angeles

I had the first strawberry donut one day. Went back a few days later with a friend and we got two more (plus a few other items, of course); the second one I had was just ... not as good, and on trying a bite of my friend's, her's was the same. Maybe we just ended-up with too much of the gloop and not enough of the strawberries.

I do want to try their peach donut at some point, though.

As for French Crullers, do you have a favorite place for 'em?

Aug 01, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area

Best Donut, Los Angeles

I've had hit-or-miss luck with Donut Man. The first strawberry donut I had from there was incredible; the next two were gloopy, overly sweet, and disappointing.

I have scored, though, on their French Crullers, when they're fresh from the oil - so light and lovely!

Aug 01, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area

Responsibility

You're allergic to aloe?! You're the only other person I've met with that allergy. (And I'm sorry you have it, 'cause it bites.)

On topic, though, I think that there are ways of saying "Hey, although it was suggested you try 'X,' some people have reported bad experiences / results and have chosen to go with 'Y' instead."

Jul 23, 2014
ElsieDee in Site Talk

Natural Cut Fries - Cost-Cutting Measure, or Do Some People Like Them?

(Odd to reply to my own OP, but here goes.)

First, thank you for all the responses. I have learned a lot and very much appreciate it.

I've also attempted to broaden my tastes and have tried these types of fries again, at several places, and at home (where I can fry them properly), and have come to the conclusion that, for me, french fries with skin on just don't work.

However, I do like stuffed baked potato skins. I do like the skin on a baked potato, too. I don't mind unpeeled (red-skin) potatoes in a mash. And I don't peel when I'm making a potato and onion concoction in the frying pan.

But not on french fries. Go figure.

Jul 20, 2014
ElsieDee in General Topics

Smoked Salmon Pasta - Help with Ingredient Amounts, Please?

I think so too, Ttrockwood; and we're getting such wonderful corn right now!

I did play around with this a bit this recipe Friday night and think I might be getting close, but I have a bit of a head cold, so I think I'd better wait for another run at it until I can better taste what's happening.

As for the origins of the recipe: it came from one of my sister's friends at college, some 20 years ago. He was a Greek Cypriot and his family was in the diplomatic corp in some manner, so he'd traveled and lived around the globe. I've no idea if this was a family recipe or something they'd picked-up from goodness-knows-where.

Jul 20, 2014
ElsieDee in Home Cooking

Strawberry It's Its in LA?

No idea on where they are, but growing up (30+ years ago, now) I seem to recall there being a strawberry Its It at some point, and I way always torn between it and my favorite mint flavor. This could, however, be simply a figment of my imagination.

Jul 17, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area

Smoked Salmon Pasta - Help with Ingredient Amounts, Please?

Excellent point about starting to work on this as a single serving and perfecting the ingredient amounts. I hate to waste food, and this is a logical approach I'd not considered.

Also, I really like the idea of browning the corn in a bit of olive oil to increase the flavor; that additional complexity sounds delicious. (I've wondered about using fresh corn, straight off the cob, but have hesitated because the original recipe specified the "frozen shoepeg white corn.")

Jul 17, 2014
ElsieDee in Home Cooking

Smoked Salmon Pasta - Help with Ingredient Amounts, Please?

Er, yes, that is important. I think it was for four, as a main dish (supporting are a green salad and some warm, fresh bread, I think).

Jul 17, 2014
ElsieDee in Home Cooking

Smoked Salmon Pasta - Help with Ingredient Amounts, Please?

I have an old recipe that came from a friend. Unfortunately, I cannot find my written copy, but do remember the ingredients and how to make the dish. I just can't figure out the amounts of the ingredients.

It's for a smoked salmon pasta. Here's what I remember:
Cook tomato paste in a deep skillet. Once it's melted, add in heavy cream (or half-and-half?). Reduce until thickened. Stir in one bag of cooked shoepeg white corn, and then some smoked salmon that has been cut into ribbons. Dump in cooked penne pasta (I think a pound?) and add a bit of reserved pasta water, as needed, to get the sauce to the right consistency. Serve with a bit of chipped fresh parsley on top, and freshly grated parm.

No idea on the amounts, though, other than the pasta and the corn. So ... any idea on how much:

Tomato paste?
Heavy cream or half-and-half?
Smoked salmon?

Thank you

Jul 17, 2014
ElsieDee in Home Cooking

How cell phones slow down restaurant service

I just popped on here to share this piece (though from another link - the original Craigslist post has been pulled, but apparently multiple sites snagged the text).

No idea if it's a legit piece or just someone venting, but it rings true to me, in my (somewhat limited) observations of customer behavior at restaurants.

Jul 13, 2014
ElsieDee in Food Media & News

Nancy's Greek Cafe, Altadena

Stumbled in here a week or two ago - it's in the same shopping center as Bulgarini (directly across the patio, in fact) and ordered a couple of Spanikopita. Quite tasty if a bit overly buttery (which may well be due to the fact that we got them to go). Am curious about their vegetarian Moussaka.

Anyone else been? The Yelp reviews are decidedly mixed (but they're for both Nancy's Greek Cafe and Pastries by Nancy, both businesses in the same space) and concentrate mostly on the pastries and service issues.

http://nancysgreekcafe.com/home.html

Jun 10, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area

101 noodle express

How was it and what did you have?

May 29, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area

Lunch between Pasadena & Riverside?

I've never been, but would the Dal Rae in Pico Rivera work? Large list of salads on their lunch menu.

I've no idea about the prettiness aspect, of course, and it might be along the lines of being too nostalgic, as well.

May 21, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area

Suggestions for SGV Chinese Restaurant, No Shellfish

Would your spouse be open to trying a vegetarian Chinese restaurant? Some of them offer mock meat and while a carnivore likely will notice the difference, they might enjoy the tastes just the same.

May 13, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area
1

2 days in LA for fish and tacos

Depending on when the OP is leaving, they could swing by Porto's and get a "snack box" to go ... some potato balls, the little meat pies, and guava pastries. All enjoyable to nosh on on a plane, and not too smelly as to bother other passengers.

Natural Cut Fries - Cost-Cutting Measure, or Do Some People Like Them?

I'm far from being a french fry snob, pretty much liking them all (though not a great fan of seasoned fries or those that are limp). But natural cut fries, the kind where there is still skin on them (and the eyes, too!), well, I really don't like 'em. I don't like the "fried skin" texture. I don't like the grit that seems to accompany it, either. And I don't like the appearance or texture of the black eyes in my mouth. (However, I do like the skin on baked potatoes, most of the time, so I'm not anti-potato skin.)

In short, natural cut fries are really not my thing.

Which set my mind to wondering: Are there people who like skin-on fries? If so, what do you like about them?

And then I was thinking about why restaurants would choose to serve them. I can't imagine that there are a lot of people clamoring for skin-on fries (though maybe there are and I'm just not aware of it), so what would be the motivation? All I can come up with is the idea that it's a time-saving and therefore cost-cutting measure, in that the potato (or a whole box of 'em) can pulled from the box and thrown in the cutter (if they're being made at the restaurant); the company is bypassing the person-standing-there-cutting-out-the-potato-eyes process, and the peeling, too, which saves them money, right?

So ... thoughts?

May 04, 2014
ElsieDee in General Topics

Los Angeles Dish of the Month, May 2014, Voting

SPRING PRODUCE

Apr 26, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area

Advice needed for heating up Spaghetti Carbonara.

Sounds delightfully easy enough. Thank you!

Apr 26, 2014
ElsieDee in Home Cooking
1

Advice needed for heating up Spaghetti Carbonara.

Paulj,how do you do that?

Apr 26, 2014
ElsieDee in Home Cooking

Need ideas for spring meatless entree for a crowd

I like vegetarian muffulettas - fun and easy to assemble and people seem to love them.

Apr 26, 2014
ElsieDee in Home Cooking
2

American breakfast

Since you're jn the San Gabriel area m, I would recommend Twohey's at Huntington and Atlantic. http://www.twoheys.com/

Apr 07, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area

Italian Buttercream Frosting Cakes near Pasadena?

I did. Hence the "can't find a real website" comment; no information about their offerings, hours, etc. Just the street address and phone number (better than nothing of course, but was hoping for some sort of menu) and some rotating photos.

Mar 31, 2014
ElsieDee in Los Angeles Area