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How to cure a Diet Coke addict?

I have a co-worker who does the opposite of what you mention in your posting. She puts 10-12 packets of real sugar in a cup of coffee, but eats the 100 calorie pack of cookies. If you’re going to eat a cookie, it might as well be worthwhile and if you can save the calories on the beverage, so much the better.

Pure and simple, the addiction is about taste. While the crux of the addiction is the caffeine, in the end it comes down to a familiarity and simple comfort of the taste. This is why there is such passionate loyalty to any soft drink brand diet or not. I readily admit I'm addicted to DC and go through serious withdrawals when I travel abroad - as much as I hate to admit it, I've actually found that Pepsi Max comes closest to the DC experience in Western Europe. Forget about DC in Europe. For some strange reason, DC in Europe tastes like Coke Zero here - sweeter than the USA version and the European Coke Zero is actually closer to the American stuff. Go figure those wacky Euros.

Most of us who are addicts have been so for a lifetime, so we can blame our parents. I know my kids can blame me. The other culprit is the restaurant industry. How often do you find a restaurant that offers any diet soda option other than cola? Almost never. If given a choice at a restaurant, I would welcome the opportunity to have a diet root beer, lemon-lime, orange or ginger ale. Yeah, I know, I could simply drink the non-diet version of those drinks, but that's a terrible waste of calories.

Aug 18, 2011
srcusa in General Topics

Deviled Eggs in Tampa Bay

I'm not a huge deviled egg fan and typically wouldn't order them out, but I was at "The Pub" at International Plaza (it's the British themed restaurant/pub) and the name of the dish got my attention, "Egg & Bacon." I'm a sucker for bacon, so that was enough of an enticement for me. they do a pretty simple deviled egg, with a bit of crisp bacon and a Sirachi chile sauce. I very nice accompanyment to their extensive beer menu.

Aug 18, 2011
srcusa in Florida

Al Gusto (Tampa)?

The owner/manager got arrested in early June - something to do with passing bad checks. A terrible shame, as the place had a unique menu and the best salpicon.

Aug 18, 2011
srcusa in Florida

Anyone know where I can find whole smoked wild turkeys for the holidays?

Thanks.

Nov 04, 2009
srcusa in General Topics

Anyone know where I can find whole smoked wild turkeys for the holidays?

Thanks, MGZ. Actually I've found a few sites offering fresh wild turkeys including the following links:

http://www.specialtymeatsandgourmet.c...

http://www.dartagnan.com/

http://www.fossilfarms.com/?gclid=CKb...

http://www.cowboyfreerangemeat.com/

Nov 04, 2009
srcusa in General Topics

Anyone know where I can find whole smoked wild turkeys for the holidays?

I have an important client visiting us over the holidays and he has previously mentioned a love for smoked wild turkey. I've been scouring the web, but have been unable to find anyone selling whole smoked WILD turkeys. Any suggestions out there?

Nov 04, 2009
srcusa in General Topics

Looking for Antwerp suggestions

The frites I've had my fill, but the mussels I don't think I can ever have enough. Excellent recommendation on Lamalo. Was there yesterday and indeed a very unique place. Thanks for the suggestions.

Sep 06, 2007
srcusa in International Archive

Are dinosaur egg plums and pluots one and the same?

You forgot the grapple.

http://www.grapplefruits.com/

Aug 31, 2007
srcusa in General Topics

Soda in high end restaurant?

There are, of course, also dietary considerations. A diebetic may have to avoid sugars in alcohol and and juices. Delta Airlines used to have what they called something like a "quick service" beverage service on short flights between Atlanta and Florida. The flight attendants would come through the cabin with a choice of Coke, cranapple juice or lemonade - no water or no diet soda. After a few complaints from those on restrictive diets, they changed this policy. Any high-end restaurant should be well aware that there are many people on restrictive diets and should bend over backwards to accommodate.

Aug 31, 2007
srcusa in Not About Food

Are dinosaur egg plums and pluots one and the same?

Pluot® and Aprium® Fruit Facts Page Information
Availability by variety


Pluots® and Apriums® are "interspecifics" - complex hybrids of plum and apricot. Pluots (sometimes called Dinosaur Eggs) have predominantly plum parentage and smooth skins like plums. With their scant fuzz, Apriums resemble apricots in the expression of their 'cot parentage.

The complex, intense flavor of Pluots and Apriums is unique to interspecifics, much like a blend of fruit juices where the mixture is an improvement over any of the separate ingredients. Additionally, the sugar content of our interspecifics is much higher than in standard plums or apricots, yielding fruit of incomparable sweetness. (Pluot and Aprium are registered trademarks of Zaiger Genetics, Modesto, California.)

Quality:
Should be plump with consistent skin color and firm texture. Avoid soft spots or that are green in color. How to Enjoy:
Wash fruit carefully in cool water before using. Use in sauces or as a sweetener. Bake them into breads or use them sliced in salads.

Special Tip:
Pluots and Apriums are one of the best natural sources of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin and mucous membranes.

How to Store:
To ripen, place them in a closed paper bag at room temperature. Store ripe fruit in the crisper bin of the refrigerator for one to two days.

Nutritional Facts:
· Low fat
· Saturated fat-free
· Sodium-free
· Cholesterol-free
· High in vitamin A
· High in vitamin C
· A good source of potassium

Aug 31, 2007
srcusa in General Topics

Suggestions Needed for Road Trip FL

Not really, What strikes me as odd is the places in the Los Angeles area that serve fried rice, burgers and pastrami.

Aug 30, 2007
srcusa in Florida

Suggestions Needed for Road Trip FL

dmf, never tried Arco Iris, but have always been curious about the Cuban/Chinese combo. Is there really that much Chinese influence on the menu? I've always had a soft spot for Pipo's roast pork and kind of remained loyal to it - also, for me the place has to have moros y cristianos. That and the yucca are the perfect combo for the roast pork - with lots of Texas Pete hot sauce.

Aug 30, 2007
srcusa in Florida

Looking for Antwerp suggestions

I'll be spending the next two weeks (1-15 Sept) in Antwerp on biz. Have been there a number of times, but always at the mercy of others for restaurant options and since I'll have a couple of weekends to myself, would like to do some exploring. Unfortunately, I'm not staying downtown, but no trouble finding a taxi (or a bike). Will likely be by myself for most meals, so also looking for places that are friendly to a loner American - casual, etc.

Aug 29, 2007
srcusa in International Archive

Suggestions Needed for Road Trip FL

Tampa is always tough for indie options and most are in South Tampa. Here are few worth the trouble:

Mexican - Algusto's (Kennedy Blvd.,, just west of downtown)
Contemporary -
Mise en Place (also Kennedy west of downtown - one of the old timers on the indie scene locally. Less fussy for lunch and still just as quirkly on the menu choices
SideBerns - (South Howard Avenue) - kid sister to the venerable steak house that does it's own thing in a very hip way.
Pizza - Gourmet Pizza Co. (610 S. Armenia - corner of Swann & Armenia) Nice variety of unusual pies. A bit under-appreciated, but always good.
Steak - Bern's Steakhouse - Yes, I know a lot of the local houndies will let out a hugh sigh, but it's one of those places you have to do at least once. Make sure you get a tour of the kitchen and wine cellar (claims to have the biggest wine list in the world) and reserve space in the dessert room.
Middle Eastern - Byblos Cafe ( S. Macdill Ave) - excellent food and nice atmosphere.
BBQ - Two schools of thought here - there is the old timer, Jimbo's on W. Kennedy and Kojak's House of Ribs on W. Gandy. Only complaint I have with Kojak's is no fries - which means nothing to sop up all the bbq sauce.
Latin - Again I can hear a lot of uproar from the peanut gallery, but if you're going to Tampa only once, then you need to go to the original Columbia Restaurant. in Ybor City. Go when they have the Flamenco show. The food can be hit or miss, but there's a heck of a lot of history there and yes there are multiple locations, but it is a Tampa tradition.

Aug 29, 2007
srcusa in Florida

Soda in high end restaurant?

As a perk or penance of my job, I'm often eating out at high-end restaturants throughout the USA, Europe and Latin America. Personally, I don't enjoy the taste of most alcoholic beverages. I'll have an occassional beer or glass or wine, to be "sociable", but otherwise prefer the Diet Coke. In all of these restaurants over many years, I can never recall getting a strange or scornful look from a waiter. The other diners, now that's another story.

Aug 28, 2007
srcusa in Not About Food

the best vegetarian food "products"

Was at an Asian veg restaurant in NYC a few months back and they had several vegeterian seafood dishes - mainly "shrimp" - which had very authentic mouth feel and texture (small disclaimer, I'm the only meat eater in a family of vegeterians, so have a slightly different take on taste) and with all the seasoning really couldn't tell the difference. I've never found these products in any of the health food or natural stores down here in Fla.

Otherwise, would have to go with the Quorn products for chicken replacement and really like the Morningstar Farms spicy black bean burgers. The black bean burgers are great broken up into a simple salad with salsa as the dressing. Their bacon doesn't do it for me, though and it takes forever to get them smell out of the microwave.

Aug 27, 2007
srcusa in General Topics

souvenir fr Orlando?

Unfortunately, you're about 2 months too early. If you were going to bring back citrus, then the best would be honeybell tangelos. Unfortunately, they're not in season until January. In November, you should find pretty good supply of navels, grapefruit and tangerines - assuming the hurricanes stay away this year. If you can't bring back the fresh stuff, you could always go for the jams and marmalades. There are some very good ones still made in Florida. Any of the kitchy "grove" souvenier shops should carry a good selection. There are also the jelly candies and - of course - orange blossom wines. Actually, there are a number of wineries in the area just west of Orlando (Cleremont) is the Lakeridge Winery - http://www.lakeridgewinery.com/ - yup, we actually grow grapes down here.

There's also the miniature citrus trees that you can grow in your own home. Don't know if they actually survive, but you find them in the same shops. If citrus isn't your thing, would have to agree with gator jerky or something along those lines. There's also a place in Davenport (not far from Orlando) that advertises goat's milk fudge. Again, can't vouch for it and don't really no how "Floridian" that would be considered, but is somewhat unique in these parts.

If you're friend ventures west of Orlando and you're so inclined, Tampa isn't called "Cigar City" for nothing.

Aug 27, 2007
srcusa in Florida

What happened to the Buca di Beppo in Tampa?

Only other one I knew of in the area is (was?) is Brandon. I haven't been out that way in a few weeks, but it's still listed on the company's web site.

Aug 27, 2007
srcusa in Florida

Things you like slightly burned or burnt?

As a kid, one of my favorites was an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich using muenster on a hearty Jewish rye. The flavor of the cheese changes completely went toasted - or in this case, broiled - and the entire surface turns into a big black bubble. That's how I knew it was done. Probably my first introduction to cooking and I still prefer any cheese dish to be a bit on the crispy side. Same goes for nachos.

Aug 24, 2007
srcusa in General Topics

What happened to the Buca di Beppo in Tampa?

I'm not a huge fan of the chain, but was a fun place to go with a large group and the found was pretty reliable. They seem to shut down the location on North Dale Mabry with little notice. Haven't seen anything in the papers.

Aug 24, 2007
srcusa in Florida

New Yorker coming to Philly-- need recommendations

I spend a lot of time in Philly on business and it's a great restaurant city. For breakfast, would recommend Farmicia (15 S. 3rd St). In fact, that neighborhood has a lot of good, independent restaurants. Cebu is quite good and there is no shortage of great Italian restaurants in the city.

Aug 24, 2007
srcusa in Mid-Atlantic

Newbie Mexican Restos in Lutz and St. Pete--Anyone have the scoop?

Algusto's (Kennedy Blvd just west of downtown Tampa) is flat out the best Mexican restaurant in the area. www.algustomexicanrestaurant.com For me, it's the salpicon and pozole.

Aug 24, 2007
srcusa in Florida

BEST PIZZA IN TAMPA BAY AREA?

Can certainly agree that Gourmet Pizza Company is great at what they do - which is living up to their name. That said, it's not pizza to a purest. A simple cheese pizza is the best test of a pizzeria and here in the Bay area there is a dirth of the pure neapolitan pizzerias.

Aug 23, 2007
srcusa in Florida

Any Good Snack/Energy Bars Out There? [moved from Manhattan board]

I was kinda of leaning more towards the "Soulful 'N' Smooth" Grits or the "Personality Pizza". This guy actually thinks of himself as the next Walt Disney. This has got to be one of the best food websites I've ever come across.

Aug 15, 2007
srcusa in General Topics

Any Good Snack/Energy Bars Out There? [moved from Manhattan board]

I did a bit of further digging into this product and it seems he's got an entire line of food products:

www.lawdymissclawdy.com/energy.htm

Aug 15, 2007
srcusa in General Topics

Tampa- near John Knox Village on Fletcher Ave.?

A good steak in that neighborhood is a real stretch. If you want some good Florida, food though, take Fletcher west to Bruce B. Downs and then a quick left on to Bearrs Ave. Follow that down about 2 miles - you'll come to a fork in the road with Skipper Road to the left. Take that to the end and you find Skipper's Smokehouse on your right (www.skipperssmokehouse.com). You'll find local seafood, gator tail and conch chowder and some pretty good entertainment. You can think of it as a poor man's House of Blues..

Aug 13, 2007
srcusa in Florida

Your favorite sandwich. Ones you make at home.

Start with a good, crusty bread, a healthy smeer of kalamata spread on both sides. Place it directly on the oven rack, with the oven pre-heated to about 400. Meantime, fry up a couple of eggs. Once the eggs are cooked to your liking, place on top of the kalamata spread on the toasted bread and then sprinkle feta cheese on top. Turn on the broiler and let the cheese get a bit browned.

Aug 13, 2007
srcusa in General Topics

Jimmy Mac's (Tampa ) Status.

Thanks for the suggestion. I've been to Selmon's a few times, but hadn't tried the burger yet. It seems I can never get past the bbq nachos and ribs.

Aug 13, 2007
srcusa in Florida

Any Good Snack/Energy Bars Out There? [moved from Manhattan board]

Have to agree. To my taste, the Odwalla bars are too bitter and almost chemically (is that a word?) tasting. You can really taste the whey protein in the protein enhanced bars. Recently, I found the local 7-11 carrying Lloyd Price "Energy-2-Eat" bars. The have two flavors - banana and strawberry. The bars are sweet, but fairly low in fat and not bad on calories. Makes a good breakfast substitute. I think that Lloyd Price was a popular R&B singer years ago.

Aug 13, 2007
srcusa in General Topics

Jimmy Mac's (Tampa ) Status.

When the last Jimmy Mac's closed, word was the owners would take some time off and then eventually find a new home in town. Best I can recollect it's been a few years. Anyone hearing any whispers about a return? Can't find a decent blue cheese and bacon burger to match the Blue Max.

Aug 07, 2007
srcusa in Florida