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Pay by Check no more!

I was mostly teasing. I don't think you're in any way like that. I don't think anyone is like that, not even the psycho woman at Trader Joe's. I get ticked off at these ridiculous threads: someone posted that he/she is glad a place isn't taking checks, some people point out that various people need to use checks and it degenerates into something out of a bad junior high school english debate and all because someone posted something about a payment method without thinking first and then people respond as though waiting in a checkout line for a few minutes is the worst thing in the world. It would be humorous if it weren't sad.

Not long age, checkers had to type in each transaction and credit cards were uncommon and many stores only had a few checkout lines so you'd wait for 20 minutes or more in a long line and now it's about those extra few seconds a person could be looking at his/her phone.

Pay by Check no more!

Writing bad checks is illegal. Writing a check and covering it, as in you shop at night and get the money in the account the next day, is common when people don't have much money.

Maybe you should police the line. You know, walk around the registers and tell everyone to get their money or cards out so no one is kept waiting.

Or tell the people who don't empty their carts out quickly they should move it, move it, move it. Or follow them around the store and make sure they load the cart so they can unload it without inconveniencing anyone.

I believe the word was "jeebus".

Aug 19, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Pay by Check no more!

Card skimmers have been found attached in grocery stores. There is no "safe" way to use cards, particularly debit cards. The new generation of card skimmers are much better looking. I've seen examples that were discovered attached to bank ATMs in actual bank lobbies. You really had to know what the card reader should look like to know something was wrong.

Aug 19, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Pay by Check no more!

I don't think it takes longer than when someone bags his/her stuff instead of using the card machine. Or when some person decides to use the self-pay machine for the first time and takes a minute per item. You learn to wait a few seconds.

Most people who use checks are on tight budgets, not trying to stay off the payment grid. They may be floating checks against what they can put in to cover. The last thing I want is to make their lives more difficult.

Just ate lobster for the first time

If lobster is stringy or dry and chewy, odds are it's over-cooked. Most recipes lead to massive over-cooking. The meat is delicate.

Steam, don't boil those hard cooked eggs.

I have steamed eggs for years. The method doesn't require exact timing, which is nice.

To peel, I use an open-mouthed water bottle. Put in egg with some water. Shake. Shell comes off. When eggs are warm, the shell just about slides off. If the eggs sit in the fridge, it takes more shaking. Only possible downside is that with cold eggs a few bits of shell may get stuck in the outer surface - because you shake more. Just pull them out. It's like magic. You don't need to crack the egg first with warm eggs: just put in with some water - you'll quickly figure out how much water is needed - and shake for a few seconds.

Aug 13, 2014
lergnom in Home Cooking

Family-Friendly Rochester Recommendations?

I'd add to the Dinosaur recs; it's an appealing place which the boys will like. The view is over the waterfall but the inside is genuinely a cool vibe.

I have to mention that inside the Boulder Coffee at the Public Market is a meat counter that sells extremely delicious pastrami sandwiches. (Should underline delicious.) And the cheese store in that row has a little counter all the way in the back where 2 or 3 young girls - almost young women now but they've been doing this for years - make simple but delicious bagel sandwiches. Little bits of local color. Rochester is full of stuff like this.

There's an Abbott's on Park Avenue, which is a beautiful street. Plenty of restaurants around.

Brown Sugar - Allston (and one very spicy dish for those who ...)

Ate last night at Brown Sugar on Comm Ave near Babcock. We eat there every month or so. It's a genuinely well-decorated place - they have a beautiful little garden seating area on the sidewalk now - and a huge menu and good service. They really seem to care about details.

My wife is not an adventurous diner so she eats mostly Pad Thai, Pad See Ew and some duck dishes. I go for things in the Thai sections, particularly from the page that has English descriptions for dishes under their Thai names. (Better that than the other way round.) Their Pad See Ew is very well made and you can taste the individual components of the sauce.

Last night I had Tom Zap, which is beef stew in a very highly seasoned and super spicy hot soup. Waitress asked if I realized it was very hot and I told to make it the way they'd eat it. One of the spicy hottest dishes I've had in a few years. Not right in your face from the first bite spicy but that kind of growing heat that lets you taste each part of the dish and then lasts. Really good. I'm finishing it now.

Prices are a bit higher, like $11 or $12 for Pad See Ew, though a large portion. The Tom Zap is big enough for 2 at $15, served in a clay pot with individual bowls to eat out of. You can easily make a meal for 2 of apps and that.

Oh please Arby's...

I didn't realize there were none. Growing up in Detroit, you couldn't avoid them. Now I want one.

Aug 10, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Openings and Closings

The family had kids at our elementary school. Their parents retired. Nice people. Sisters were maybe still are involved in other restaurants.

Aug 07, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Alternative to Market Basket for cheap lobsters

I had 10 double yolk eggs out of a carton earlier this year. I figured they must have sorted and then mistakenly stuffed them in the same box(es). It was weird because I've only had one other in decades.

Jul 31, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Lasagna... a bit fancy but not too pricey?

Stellina in Watertown makes eggplant lasagna. It's on the menu now for $20, per the website.

Jul 31, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Pepes Pizza coming to Boston

How is this something to make small points about? This is silliness.

To do this in "chowhound style", I'd have to point out I never said "ticket". The usual enforcement mechanism is to make people move. But I'm done with silliness.

Jul 30, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Pepes Pizza coming to Boston

Yep. I've been part of that process. They require valet parking arrangements for some places and have set aside certain (rented) spaces for valet use. You have to present a contract that shows where your valet will park if it's not with the town itself. I doubt carryout people will valet, but you never know. The Town enforces against double parking, parking at hydrants and parking on some neighborhood streets, etc. Just the way it is.

Jul 29, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Pepes Pizza coming to Boston

My point was not that people won't try to pick up orders but that Pepe's is likely not basing its business model on carryout because that won't work very well for much of the week. The Town will not grant special dispensation to double parkers, etc. and they are responsive to local complaints about that kind of thing. Those people will need to cope or go elsewhere. It's the way things work.

Jul 29, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Pepes Pizza coming to Boston

It's an extremely walkable area and the T stop is at the door.

Jul 29, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Is anyone going to boycott Market Basket?

People talk and organize. It doesn't require a conspiracy or outside money, just some motivated people to push and pull others in their group into participation.

My reading is the firing of some stirred up more employees who might otherwise have stayed neutral. Made them fear for the future.

Jul 25, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Is anyone going to boycott Market Basket?

When workers care so much about their company that they risk being fired to help their former bosses, I support that.

This isn't a union striking but workers striking for their bosses. I've only seen that a few times.

The Meat House, Arlington

I'm not surprised the chain is suffering. They have nice people and some nice product but I thought the implementation of their concept was not well done. One example is they rely on talking over a traditional tall refrigerator case instead of re-thinking how to make customers used to picking out shrink-wrapped meat comfortable. They sell a mix of goods that, to my eye, made little sense, along with a weird selection of cheese. And my wife noted she wouldn't buy chicken from them because they didn't have plain whole chicken, just chicken that was marinated in some way. That sent a classic mixed message: are they a butcher or a packager of pre-made stuff? And once I asked about calves' liver and they - very nicely - said they could get one in and sell me as much as I wanted. Like most customers, I want stuff now and to be told that they'd be bringing in and perhaps even wasting an entire liver sat wrong.

That said, they carry good meat.

My imagination, or is Stop&Shop getting good again?

My take is they're responding to market competition, notably the impression Wegmans makes on its customers. It isn't that Wegmans markets are in actual competition with many actual locations of S&S or Shaw's (except that yucky, poorly designed and lit new Star at Chestnut Hill) but that you walk into a Wegmans and the others feel dowdy and out of touch. And with the exception of Market Basket, providing little to no service whatsoever.

So the S&S (#1!) in Brookline puts out produce now in market looking boxes and has set up a series of carts with highlighted, fresher looking stuff. To me, it's more Walmart looking than Wegmans but it is a response.

Jul 21, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Is it okay to graze off your plate while in the buffet line?

IMHO, grazing within reasonable limits is fine.

Jul 03, 2014
lergnom in Not About Food
1

Suggestions for cold, asian style, noodles?

The cold sesame noodles (dan dan) at Sichuan Gourmet can be very good.

My favorite cold noodle is actually a take-out container of Gene's Flatbread Company's hand pulled noodles, brought home in my car and snarfed while cool. But in terms of chilled, they have Xian cold noodle salad - very good - and on weekends another cold noodle dish.

Jun 28, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

I've walked into Chinese take-out places in the South and asked where they're from and then whether they have any dishes from there. The standard response is that people here don't like that food. And no, they didn't try selling "real" food. So it's largely 1) a racist stereotype about westerners and 2) a sense that some things are "Chinese" meaning for their culture only.

Worse, far worse, IMHO, is when you order the exact thing you want but they serve you a highly Americanized version because you're white. I've sat at a table a few times where the dishes were made for white people while a few tables away the dishes were made differently, which I know because I have a tendency to ask about these things and that leads to trying their food.

Jun 25, 2014
lergnom in General Topics

Miracle Whisk feedback?

I love old threads that revive.

We bought 2 for like $20 at a home show because I make protein shakes by mixing protein powder and coffee each morning. I was surprised it took a few weeks to learn how to use it properly, considering it's just push, push, push and the thing spins. Works fine. Cleans easily though I can't imagine why it would need to go in the dishwasher considering. One of the few gadgets I respect. Would not expect it to do heavy work, like the kind you might use a stick or hand mixer for, but it's great for light duty.

Jun 24, 2014
lergnom in Cookware

Anybody use a dinner bell ?

We have a hotel front desk bell. I used to ring it and yell out "Front!". The kids didn't listen much but the animals all came.

Jun 23, 2014
lergnom in Not About Food

What food items have you only had canned but never fresh?

Spam. Always in a can, never fresh from the Spam tree.

Jun 22, 2014
lergnom in General Topics

Jewish Rye in Boston

Clear Flour's (with seeds) is the closest I've found in NE. It isn't exactly right but it's pretty good.

Jun 21, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Top Chef Restaurant Wars

It's not much better working on the production side in network TV.

Jun 10, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area

Top Chef Restaurant Wars

To put this in context, this work is done by over-stressed PA's who are paid pennies (if paid, because on reality TV they sometimes are interns). They get no thanks. They get dumped on all the time. They work absurd hours trying to fulfill requirements made up by people who don't imagine how much effort is required to get this done.

Does anyone remember the name of a restaurant/bar that had live music , on Beacon St westbound just after Coolidge corner?

It's Panera, not that it matters.

Jun 09, 2014
lergnom in Greater Boston Area