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Refridgerator woes

Thank you for this very helpful advice. We have a 30 day guarantee from Lowe's and we're told we can return it for any reason if it doesn't work for us. We'll try to resolve the problem--get it leveled and explore the compressor issue, as you point out. We have a little time. As I sit here typing this note, the compressor is humming away! But as I have explored other fridge options--even those more expensive than the Samsung--reviews are all over the map. I've come to the conclusion that all refrigerator brands have problems.

Aug 18, 2013
liveforfood in Cookware

Refridgerator woes

It wasn't properly installed. It leans back--front is higher by about 3/4 inch. We are having them back on Monday to deal with that and shim the rear feet (the front cannot come down any more than it is and the rear feet have no adjustment). Maybe once its level, the compressor sound will soften? I don't know.

Aug 18, 2013
liveforfood in Cookware

Refridgerator woes

Do you know of a more expensive brand that might have a more refined compressor? We might have to upgrade, if there is no other option.

Aug 18, 2013
liveforfood in Cookware

Refridgerator woes

That's discouraging. So, the energy star regs make for noisy fridges. What a flaw! Thanks for your response.

Aug 18, 2013
liveforfood in Cookware

Refridgerator woes

Such a thoughtful reply--thank you. Yes, the GE was a disaster from the beginning--and then it started this freeze-partial thaw-refreeze pattern. We changed everything, including the thermostat and the circuit board that runs the thing and it still wouldn't work. Couldn't even keep ice cream in the freezer anymore. Tossed it for the Samsung. My research on fridges yielded similar findings re: Samsung--and I have a friend who bought one a year ago and loves it. So we went with it. It has a nice clean design without a lot of extra "stuff" that doesn't matter to me. Good space inside, too. Its a shame if it doesn't work because I like it in all other ways. One thing I didn't mention--it was not properly installed and they are coming back on Monday to deal with that. Its not level--the front it propped up higher than the rear and the rear feet need to be shimmed to bring it level. Maybe that will help, I don't know. I have checked out sites about sound a fridges and learned a lot--esp that this is a common isue. Actually, the GE had no sound issues even if it had so many others. Reliability is important to us, too. I realize that appliances are build with obsolescence in mind and will last maybe 10 years, but I want it to do its job for at least that time.

Aug 18, 2013
liveforfood in Cookware

Complaints about my viking range

Don't you hate that? Whe people assume you bought a Viking because of status or something? We wanted something that would perform and last because we cook a lot. Thught this was it too. I am resgned to replacing oven ignitors every six months now--we just had to replace the oven burners, too. Again. What a piece of junk! Why don't the parts last? And we don't cook "too much", we just cook. I am sorry to hear of your troubles with it, too.

Aug 17, 2013
liveforfood in Cookware

Refridgerator woes

Had a GE Profile side by side that was a piece of junk and we kept it as long as we could, about 10 years, with many repairs--finally died completely. We need a side by side style (keep glasses on a dedicated shelf in the freezer for drinks and a freezer drawer won't work)and it needs to fit in cabinetry, so we're somewhat limited. Just had a brand new Samsung installed yesterday and all seemed well until we realized today how LOUD it is! Its so disappointing because I do love the design of this fridge--simple interior with glass shelves (vs. the coated wire variety), ice maker in the freezer door instead of in the freezer, leaving more freezer space, crushed ice option, nice lighting, good space with 26.5 cf, etc. We have an open kitchen/living/dining area and we listen to music daily on a phenomenal sound system, so the fridge hum is more than just a small annoyance. We're thinking we need to return the Samsung but any suggestions about what to consider next for a side by side? I have heard that LG has a quiet feature. We don't want to pay more than $2000 and preferably less (got the Samsung for $1600), though if we must pay a little more, we're open to that. Your feedback will be much appreciated!

Aug 17, 2013
liveforfood in Cookware
1

Carmen at The Danforth in Portland, Maine

I am a Portlandian (Maine, not Oregon!), but have not eaten at the relatively new Carmen at The Danforth. Looking for a nice new place to have a birthday dinner--usually we'd go to Fore St., Petit Jacqueline, Bresca or Bar Lola for such occasions. Carmen sounds interesting so I thought I'd solicit opinions. Anyone have any? We're pretty open for innovative dining experiences and we expect quality.

Mar 03, 2013
liveforfood in Northern New England

Need new fridge

We currently have a 10 year old GE Profile side by side (counter depth). I have never really liked it and now it is just malfunctioning all the time, including making an annoying loud motor humming sound almost constantly now, and we are thinking that it is time to move on and get a better fridge vs. spend $$ getting this thing repaired. We're needing it to fit into our cabinetry (36wx70hx27d). I'm looking for something better than what we have without spending $6-10k. Any ideas for a moderately priced fridge? Can be side by side, traditional top freezer, or "french door" style. We're open to suggestion. We're not a big family but we entertain a lot and need some room. Thanks!

Dec 03, 2012
liveforfood in Cookware

Crock pot cooking--best ideas???

You all have been SO helpful! Thanks so much for the recipes, tips, cookbook suggestions, links, etc. And I had not thought of a pressure cooker as an option before. I did do pot roast in the slow cooker this week, but actually, I could have done almost the same thing using my large oven-proof pot set in the oven on low all day. I guess the SC is more energy efficient than that, but I didn't find it saved me time. Its a mad rush in the morning getting everyone out the door and prepping then is a bit of a pain with breakfast and making lunches going on at the same time. And on the other end of the day, I am too tired to do too much prep for anything yet want good food for me and my family. I so relate to Miss Priss' "what's in the pantry approach to dinner", so maybe I'll get a PC too. And I like Candy's idea of coming home at 6, getting PC dinner prepped in a snap, and enjoying a cocktail while food cooking! I'll still work with the slow cooker trying some of what's posted here, but you have inspired me to consider a PC now. Thanks again!

Sep 10, 2011
liveforfood in Home Cooking

Crock pot cooking--best ideas???

I am returning to work full time after a sabbatical and I bought a crock pot to slow cook meals to be ready for my family when we get home at night. I am new to crock pot cooking and I have done a couple of things already, but I am looking for good ideas. I have done chili and pulled pork so far with pretty good success. I am looking for things to cook that won't take a lot of time to prep in the morning before I leave since I am preparing breakfast and lunches for the kids to get everyone out the door. Any thoughts on what to put in my pot that will be relatively yummy (and healthy) by the end of the day?

Sep 05, 2011
liveforfood in Home Cooking

Cooking From The Farmer's Markets . . . what's on your table these days?

Ok, at the farmer's market here in Portland Maine, I got the most luscious Heirloom tomatoes yesterday. Its a unique type that has been named "Immigrant's Daughter" by Freedom Farm where they are grown here (a long story about how they got the seeds, but in short, from the elderly daughter of an Italian immigrant who passed the seeds on to this farm to ensure this particular tomato would be propagated after she passed on). They were so good that I just sliced them and served them as a side dish for grilled salmon, on a bed of baby arugula (also from the farmer's market), drizzled with my best olive oil a bit of coarse salt. I have also been getting golden beets which I roast and then toss with goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. Another farmer's market treat--baby artichokes. Yes, here in Maine people have learned how to grow them and they are are delicious.

Aug 07, 2011
liveforfood in Home Cooking

Viking Range Hood Cleaning Nightmare

Now that I have seen the other responses, I might advise you not to rule out this hood completely since it seems the two others participating in this thread are not as daunted as I am with cleaning the viking. BUT before you decide on which hood to get, you might want to find out about cleaning ease as another consideration. I can say that the hood functions well--draws as it should. There is a good bit of air noise (vs. motor) when it is on the high setting and a slight buzz when set on low. My husband is very sound sensitive and our downstairs area housing our kitchen is a wide open space, with three rooms that all meld together--he was worried about how it would be in there other rooms when we run the vent. While there is definitely, noise, even he got used to it. And truthfully, the vent is usually not running for extensive periods of time. But I seem to be the only one here who is bothered by the cleaning issue. Just thought I should add this since you are in the throws of making a decision.

May 15, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

Viking Range Hood Cleaning Nightmare

Its interesting to hear others' experiences with range hood cleaning. I too have used Greased Lightening to clean the interior of the hood, and in between the major cleanings, I wipe the baffles, trying to get in between them to soften and sop up grease accumulation with a sponge and then a dry cloth. It sounds like others have not had such problems, except for the finger cutting (so sorry Sydneyeats needed stitches!), so maybe its just me. And you all seem to spend less time than I do on the cleaning project (wanna come over and do mine?). I don't know why we have had such grease build up on ours in unreachable places when I clean it regularly. Maybe I should do it every two weeks, esp. in the winter when we do more indoor cooking/pan frying. I'll give that a try.

May 15, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

Viking Range Hood Cleaning Nightmare

Has anyone had the following similar experience with their Viking Range Hood? We have a VCWH 3048/SS model over our 30" Viking Range. I clean it often, about every two months, and find it to be such a painful, labor/time intensive project. I truly dread this task. First, one must be a contortionist to remove the filter baffles and reinstall them once cleaned, and to clean well inside of the hood, too (also, it is important to wear gloves when doing this so that hands do not get cut on the sharp metal edges of the pieces). Once the baffles, grease tray and all removable parts are taken out, I usually run them through the dishwasher on the heavy duty setting (recommended in the manual) and then clean them further with a cotton cloth once they have run through to make sure there is not residual grease. But then, I've found that there is grease coating areas of the hood that is not easily accessible or not accessible at all. I know there is grease build up in places I cannot access or even see because even after I have cleaned everything I can possibly clean until there are no traces of any grease residue at all, when I am cooking and the heat rises, nasty grease melts from somewhere and trickles down the inside of the hood and drips onto my counter and range top. I suppose if I was tiny like George from George Shrinks, I'd be able to get into those places. It really makes me angry, needless to say, after I've spent an entire afternoon cleaning the thing obsessively. Granted we cook a lot and fully utilize our equipment, but isn't that why one buys a "professional" level range and hood? It seems this hood should be easier to clean and that the design should ensure that grease does not get trapped in places one can't ever reach. I am again disappointed in Viking (I've complained about my range here before, too). Seems Viking products might be more about form & style than high quality and performance.

May 12, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

Seeking good basic rice cooker with no warmer

Usually, when we make rice, we either eat it right away or we're are making sushi and we want it to cool. I guess we could just unplug it.

Apr 25, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

What about the potato ricer? Yes, I supposed pressing potatoes through a ricer makes for a nice fluffy mash, but is it really necessary? Plus, I hate cleaning the thing, and I find that any gadget I dread cleaning I tend to avoid using. I also have a hand powered egg beater that I never use--I feel nostalgic about the thing but I am more likely to use a wire whisk or my kitchenaid mixer for heavier beating. On second thought, maybe I should revisit the hand powered beater and discard the Kitchenaid?

Apr 17, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

Different strokes, for sure. My garlic press is fantastic and I use it multiple times a week. I have one with a large holder for the garlic (holds several cloves) and pressed garlic is great in vinaigrettes, which I make often.

Apr 17, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

I passed on my Zojourushi bread machine to a friend, who uses it almost daily. It was a gift to me and I kept it on the top of my cabinet, since I never used it. I had almost forgotten about it until cleaning one day when I noticed it there, covered with a half inch of dust! I cleaned it off and my friend said she wanted it!

Apr 17, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

I agree--the electric can opener is one of the stupidest gadgets. I never understood why people (including my mother) would take up precious counter top space with something that never works well. I like my manual, fail-proof opener just fine!

Apr 17, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

The microplane is the only thing one needs for fine grating--ginger, lemon peel, hard cheeses, etc. It works so well! But, for heavier cheeses, one needs a box grater or some kind of grater with larger holes. I guess you can always use the food processor for that, though.

Apr 17, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

Cape Cod or Maine?

I haven't been to the Cape in a long time but have never had great meals there. Pricey and geared toward tourists so there is a lot of junk. Maine is another story. So many fine places to dine from Ogunquit area to Portland on up the southern coast. Too many to list here,but there is a hub of truly fine dining establishments in Portland, many of them on the national map, too. Rockland has some top league places, too, as does Camden. if I were choosing between the Cape and Maine, and good food was a priority, I'd definitely come to Maine.

Apr 17, 2011
liveforfood in Northern New England

Has Anyone Tried Figa in Portland?

This is a little late but I wanted to just say that Figa is lovely all around. The space is tiny, yes, and I think the best seats are along the wall to the right as you walk in, but the space is very pleasant, inviting, and warm. The food was delicious--great flavors, variety, attention to detail, lots of local ingredients. Had my birthday dinner there with my 2 sons and husband (all appreciate good food), and we all loved it. Figa is a very fine addition to the Portland restaurant scene, very much in line with the high quality we've all now come to expect in our sophisticated culinary city. Hope you ended up giving it a try.

Apr 17, 2011
liveforfood in Northern New England

Seeking good basic rice cooker with no warmer

Well, our 25 year old rice cooker has seen its last day and we need a new one. Its a brand I never heard of before (National?) and my husband acquired it many years ago, long before I was in the picture. What we like about this cooker is its simplicity--medium capacity (cooks 4 cups dry rice to make 8), no frills, one non-digitally programmed button and no warming feature (we usually want the rice to cool for making sushi). Does such an item exist anymore? I've been looking and I am getting overwhelmed by hundreds of options out there on the net. Panasonic looks like it might have some simple cookers but I have not yet seen one without the warming function. Zojuroushi has an impressive line but far more rice cooker than we need. We want one that can handle cooking up to 5 cups of dry rice to make 10 and one that would work well if we wanted to use just 2-3 cups of dry rice. Definitely no digital features. We don't need one that multitasks--just want it to cook rice. Thought I'd pose the question to you all, thinking someone out there probably has an idea or two. Thanks!

Apr 17, 2011
liveforfood in Cookware

Final Decisions about a dishwasher

I posted last week about my dishwasher search and thanks to all of your informed advice, I went out shopping and I think I narrowed it down. As for the Meile, we are ruling that out--really too pricey even though I am sure it is a wonderful machine, as many people said. Consumer Reports rates Bosch highly, but when I examined them in the showroom, I was concerned about the space (seems small) and the plate racks seem narrow (perhaps to hold more delicate plates vs. heavier earthenware). On a day to day basis, I realized that the ease of loading and space is important to me. So, I examined the Kitchenaids, which many people here on CH told me in my earlier post was a decent machine. I like the interior set up better--much more flexible for holding various kinds of items. We need a simple stainless steel front to match other appliances in our kitchen, so I am thinking about the KUDC03FVS. Does anyone have any knowledge about this model in particular before I head out to buy it? Might there be reasons to run in the other direction? Thanks again!

Nov 28, 2010
liveforfood in Cookware

Needing new dishwasher

This isn't exactly "cookware" but certainly an important part of the kitchen so I thought I'd post my query here. We are in the market for a new dishwasher. We've had a Maytag and it is 9 years old and quite worn out (the plastic coating on the racks has come off in spots and it is rusted--this stains our white dishware--it is also getting really, really loud, which makes me think the motor is waning). We want a stainless exterior and interior, racks included, we'd like it to be relatively quiet, and we don't need fancy options--in fact, the fewer, the better. The one feature that I think is probably pretty standard in all at this point is the delayed start, which we would definitely want. We don't care about hidden controls. I'd also like a quick wash option--our dishwasher takes about 1-1/2 hours to get through cycle completely and sometimes I want it to move a little faster. Also, while we are willing to pay for a decent machine, we don't want to pay a fortune (mid-high hundreds would be ok--over $1000 not). Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Nov 19, 2010
liveforfood in Cookware

Think twice before eating at L'Echaude

I always feel badly providing negative feedback, but I do think it is important for others to know before they spend $$. I am sure this restaurant works very hard to maintain standards, but it just fell short. It was not a disaster, but it was not a great dining experience either, plus is was expensive. I don't mind paying the $$ for a fine meal, but it needs to live up to the price. The following night we ended up giving Cafe de la Paix on rue des Jardins a try--my husband wanted sweetbreads and they had this on the menu. It looked like a cozy little place with a nice menu. First, the waiter seemed annoyed with us for reasons we didn't understand. Very curt from the moment we walked in (I wondered if he didn't like that we brought our 12 year old son, or if we weren't dressed well enough or something--we were certainly dressed appropriately for a nice restaurant). It was a nice interior, but again, the food was pretty disappointing. The sweetbreads were served in a sauce that was rather gloppy and more like a thick stew. Everything was pretty mediocre, including the onion soup. Plus, I felt stressed out because the waiter seemed like he really didn't want us there.

We loved Quebec City--it is a beautiful place.. There seem to be many restaurants but it is hard to know which ones are really good and which are just trying to be really good and charging a lot of $$ and embellishing the atmosphere to create that persona.

Oct 26, 2010
liveforfood in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Think twice before eating at L'Echaude

We went to L'echaude last evening in Quebec City after reading such positive reviews overall--my husband, my son and myself. Of course, when you don't know a city, you take risks with restaurants. This is a recap of our experience. I ordered the tomato-goat cheese tart as my first course, and this was good but not spectacular. For my entree, I had the fish-muscles-lobster court boullion, which was fresh but the stock truly lacked flavor (I ended up adding a air bit of salt to help it). My husband liked his steak tartar appetizer, but the steak frites came with the smallest steak we'd ever seen--my pre-teen son ordered this too and was still hungry after he finished and wanted what my husband had not yet eaten of his. The frites were tasty but rather greasy and soggy. The music was more problematic than the food, and from my husband, I quote: "At the end of the dinner, a pseudo hip, pseudo slow jazz version of the Violent Femmes Blister in the Sun almost caused me to lose my entire meal." Fortunately, we left before this occurred. Overall, this meal was not worth the $200+ we spent on it. I think we'll cut our losses and try and inexpensive creperie this evening.

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L'echaude Restaurant
73 Rue Du Sault-Au-Matelot, Quebec, QC G1K3Y9, CA

Oct 11, 2010
liveforfood in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Pai Men Miyake - Noodle Bar In Portland

I think that people should refrain from long, critical posts about new restaurants and certainly not use the words "epic fail" as the opening line. Not very nice. I've certainly done my share of complaining here on chowhound about this or that, but for a new place like this, I think it is important to take a deep breath and give 'em a chance! I want to say that we went to Pei Men Miyake today for lunch with an open mind, knowing that it is very early in their game. We had a lovely lunch--the pork rolls were delicious as was the crunchy-spicy tuna roll. And the noodles--oh, I am so happy that we have a real Japanese noodle restaurant in our small, lovely city--they were SO good. Rich broths (three different types right now to choose) with pork belly, egg, etc. The noodles themselves were excellent and when we asked about them, we were told that while they are certainly good quality noodles, they will soon be even better because they are working toward setting up a homemade noodle making operation there. They said the menu will develop over time as well (and soon will include green tea, which they did not have today). The space itself is very cool and aesthetically pleasing (simple but very interesting decor), and you can sit at the bar (which we did) or eat at a table. Also, I thought everything was very reasonably priced (including the $9 for two yummy pork rolls). Anyway, we had a terrific, satisfying meal in a very pleasant environment, even at this early stage when things are not as smooth as they will be when they are settled in. It was the highlight of our afternoon, in fact. I foresee spending many upcoming cold winter nights there with a steamy bowls of noodle soup for supper...can't wait. Thanks for opening your doors to our community even if things are not all perfectly figured out and lined up!! We'll be back--and we'll bring others.

Sep 27, 2010
liveforfood in Northern New England

Quebec City Trip Report

I just want to thank you for such an informative post! I will print this and carry it with me. We are heading to QC in October with our 12 year old son (who also loves to eat good food). I've been researching here on Chowhound and elsewhere and this is very useful to me. Thanks so much! I am wondering, though, if you might identify any places you went that you think we should avoid with a child? I read reviews about some places that are pretty snotty about the presence of children (e.g., Cafe Bistro du Cap). Our child is not unruly in any way, but I don't want him or us to feel uncomfortable in a place that generally does not welcome children. Any thoughts?

Sep 05, 2010
liveforfood in Quebec (inc. Montreal)