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marilyn9's Profile

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Mcallan or Oban?

Oban is fine. Macallan as well. Highland Park is in the same price neighborhood and a very special single malt.

Oct 03, 2007
marilyn9 in Spirits

Italian Village notes

Nostalgia is a good reason to eat at Italian Village...we went their for prom in junior year of high school...food would not be a reason to eat at Italian Village...the owners are a nice, River Forest family which is another reason to go...the food, not so much

Oct 03, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Help w/finding Little Italy restaurant

Believe that you are referring to Vernon Park Tap...which is on Vernon Park

Oct 03, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Thoughts on these choices for a group dinner?

Su Casa is not that far from your hotel...my Mexican friends like it very much. It's an old, established restaurant. Good tamales and overall good quality, but not too innovative. You're not that far from Bayless' restaurant.

Sayat Nova (Armenian) is close to you as well, as is Coco Pazzo, Bice and many others. Cafe Iberico on your list is a bit of a hike. It's loud but we love it. Be sure to get the potato salad.

Aug 14, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Alton Brown

Ruth brings up an important point about this show and the TV FoodNetwork when she writes about "statement of opinion." Alton Brown is a trained actor who does a tv show. There's a lot of good content and I, myself, very much enjoy the show. However, he's not a scientist and I'm not sure the food channel engages scientists (I just don't know). If you watch the show (and the channel) over time, they do tend to state opinion as fact.

Jul 08, 2007
marilyn9 in Food Media & News

Amber Waves of ... What?

Not clear to me why a farmer would choose not to fertilize a perennial crop. How will growers of perennial wheat control for weeds?

In regards to the comments...haven't GM crops reduced the amount of insecticides? Thought Roundup was environmentally benign and far preferable to other chemicals (read this on an eco trip with the family to Costa Rica). Is this not true?

Jul 03, 2007
marilyn9 in Features

Where is the sweet corn of yesteryear?

A lot of romantic notions on this thread. I wonder how many years its been since those of you commenting on hybrid crops and plant breeding worked on a farm. Never? You don't say.

Jul 02, 2007
marilyn9 in General Topics

A Sweet Deal for the Corn Industry?

7 UP is made with cane sugar...and Coke that is sold in kosher food stores is made with cane sugar

Jun 07, 2007
marilyn9 in Features

Things Are Different Over There

While I've read and enjoyed some of Michael Pollen's articles and books, he can't be classified as a food production expert, though he writes like he is one.

The question of industrial food production versus organic food production is a scientific question and unbiased conclusions indicate clearly that organic production cannot match mechanized and industrial yields. That is why with the growth of the organic market, organic producers have begun to mechanize.

The issues of less waste, less pollution and better for the local economy don't need to be theorized because sufficient data exists here as well. It's not a romantic story, but industrial production is more efficient, requires less labor and can be easily argued as environmentally cleaner than organic. While small organic farms may require more labor, those aren't the types of jobs or job growth that economists would argue are great for the local economy.

The environmental movement is critical, though, in keeping industrial agriculture honest. Large business and large government do not naturally self-police their performance and practices. In the 50's and 60's, in great part due to subisidies, farmers over-fertilzed and we're still paying the einvironmental bill.

It's the greens that pushed back and said enough is enough.

In the U.S., industrial production and warped retail resulted in beautiful looking but lousey tasting produce (think monoculture). Green markets are bringing back small, good-tasting varieties and the large producers are starting to learn from this and innovate.

Food is not a religion where one side is right and so the others must be wrong. We're learning as we go and need to be a bit more balanced in our "in the moment" assessment.

Jun 05, 2007
marilyn9 in Features

Corn Dumping

Let's overlook how souless UK journalism is, especially when it takes on anything U.S.

What three countries together have done more to alleviate AIDs in Africa than the U.S.?

What 10 countries together have done more to alleviate hunger in Africa and any other part of the world than the U.S.?

Your post and the reply are about as shallow and devoid of facts as it gets.

Jun 05, 2007
marilyn9 in Features

Not If by Air

The UK has taken food production and food
labeling to ridiculous extremes. Arguing whether or not organic beans that are airlifted from Africa are truly organic is the latest stretch of bad road that will need to be paved and oiled with someone else's money.

The term organic is being created as we go. Farming is not natural to and horribly disrupts the environment.

Europe is a joke. It has a dense population living in a mild to cold climate completely dependant on industrial food production. It has ridiculous farm subsidies that harm developing countries whose economies rely on agriculture.

And, to top it off, it has the incredible arrogance to attempt to dictate food policy to the rest of the world.

Is food flown in from thousands of miles organic? Yes, Prince Charles, if you say it is.

Jun 05, 2007
marilyn9 in Features

Anniversary tip?

sorry for the late post

we had a very dissapointing meal at cafe matou

went on a saturday night...started ok but slowly deteriortated...food was fine, not exceptional, service was terrible (indifferent, uneducated about the menu and horrible follow-up)

we were going to order dessert but after sitting around for too long, we all looked at each other and said, "let's go."

may have been just our experience but we won't return

Jun 01, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

CSAs in the area

wilson.edu/csacenter (a resource center at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA) lists CSA's throughout the country and was mentioned in Corby Kummer's recent Atlantic article about CSA's

Apr 06, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Sanibel Island Family Restaurants

What are best casual places on Sanibel for bfast, lunch and dinner. All cuisines are ok. Will have kids in tow. Any interesting grocery stores to check out or is it the piggly wiggly? Thanks for any input.

Mar 27, 2007
marilyn9 in Florida

Chocolate Comparison and Survey: Piron (Evanston) vs Chocolate Box (Winnetka) and Other Chocolatiers

I recognized pricing as one of major inaccuracies in the review. The reviewer seemingly chose the most expensive items in each store, presented that information without other facts (like full product mix) and then went into great detail about "value."

Knowing some (but not all) of the stores myself, the review just didn't make sense (on price or taste).

But I guess that's the world of blogging. Enough of this already. I have to find something more interesting to pursue.

Mar 12, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

What are the one-weekend in Chicago must-haves?

David Burke's is great. My friends from the east coast like to get ribs when they are in town...lots of options.

For the Sox game, suggest Puffers which is near to the park. Owned by a couple neighborhood guys with great beer and apps and good music on the weekend. If your hometown team is in the American league you might want to keep that quiet at Puffers.

Mar 12, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Chocolate Comparison and Survey: Piron (Evanston) vs Chocolate Box (Winnetka) and Other Chocolatiers

"its bland taste doesn't excite me at all"

A lot of people don't know that the cheaper chocolates have sugar added to mask the taste of inferior and filler ingredients. Fanny May, Russel Stover and even some of the less sophisticated artisanal chocolatiers do this. To get as much "real chocolate" in one piece of Cocoa Rouge you'd need to buy four times as much of another product.

Americans have developed a taste for the high sugar, less real chocolate, chocolate varieties. I used to have to stock up when we went to Europe and New York, but no longer. This discussion has looked to me like the intersection of old tastes and new tastes.

It's like the difference between the green can of parmesan cheese that is sold on the grocery shelf and parmigiana reggiano. Now, the parmigian from Argentina is certainly better than the green can, but it's not reggiano.

There are some raised on the dust flakes in the green can who can never be sold on the reggiano and don't see a difference.

I haven't bought one of those green cans in over 20 years. Haven't bought anything but the parmigiano reggiano.

For me the extra value that comes along with the extra price is more than worth it.

And, I'd love to see anyone else criticise the quality and taste of the Cocoa Rouge product. I don't think it's going to happen (but I've been wrong before).

Mar 11, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

1 nite downtown Chicago - fun, young, but delish client dinner

My apologies and thanks for the correction. Meant KiKi's bistro which is approx 1 mile west of the gold coast.

I've had too many lousy fish dinners in this town to count. If you're eating fish on Monday night and you're not sitting next to an ocean you do so at your own risk.

Mar 11, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Chocolate Comparison and Survey: Piron (Evanston) vs Chocolate Box (Winnetka) and Other Chocolatiers

Erika, Coco Rouge is out of this world with quality. As is Chocolate Box and a few others in the city. Vosges, I think, touches that quality. I've enjoyed Bon Bon in Andersonville (teh experience as much as the chocolate) and would like very much to try Vanille.

The review above, which has its fair share of inaccuracies, does I think push price and value for those it chose (and it seemed to choose the winner before any chocolate was purchased IMO and from spending too much time on this board). My bigger issue was that the review seemed to be passing judgement on not a lot of information.

You've given a lot of information about Coco Rouge's ingredients. I've looked at, held and tasted their product. It is art. People serious about chocolate should try it at least once. I can't describe how beautifully it is done. It's in a whole other league.

It's a better value at $80 or $100 a pound, than many of those at 1/2 or 1/4 the price.

It's like comparing a competent bistro or trattoria to a Trotters or Avec. If you're having the discussion, you're probably in the wrong place.

Chicago is getting more sophisticated, but we do everything at our own pace. Which is to say, not too quick.

Mar 11, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

My Chicagoan Vacation

Next time you come through look up Discount Wine Warehouse on Elston. Not far from Sam's and far better value. They don't sell a bad bottle.

Mar 11, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

1 nite downtown Chicago - fun, young, but delish client dinner

You might consider Jacky's Bistro (sp?)...or Tru. I enjoy Japonais.

I would not recommend fish to anyone on a Monday night. Odds are that in the Midwest it won't be fresh. Even the best restaurants.

Mar 11, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

What if we made Chicken Cacciatore with boneless/skinless chicken breast?

It's not bad when you do it with breasts that still have skin and bone. Go a bit heavy on the olive oil though.

Mar 06, 2007
marilyn9 in Home Cooking

Simple Jewish food

I'm spinnin' in my grave. I agree with the "better the second day" but the rest of it I'm spinning in my grave.

Mar 06, 2007
marilyn9 in Home Cooking

Good Chinese on North Side

There is. It's next door to the place with the best pepper and egg sandwich.

Mar 06, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Authentic Italian by MI Ave & Ontario

Had lunch at Coco Pazzo on Friday and it was very good. It's on St. Clair which is a block east of Michigan Ave.

Mar 05, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Top Notch Beefburger

Yesterday's Trib Magazine had a piece on the above burger emporium (it's one of two Illinois restaurants listed in a new book on the country's best burger joints -- Billy Goat is the other). We have eaten there many times and the burgers are outstanding. The fries are cooked old style --which is to say that they are fried in lard (no tran fat issue here!). Milkshakes are very good.

It's way out of the way -- 95th Street and Seeley -- in Beverly but for those of you lost on the Southside, well worth the trip.

Did I say that the burgers should be eaten with grilled onions? Did I say don't order burgers with lettuce and tomato? Did I say that the decore is world-class bad, inversely proportional to the food?

Get your food and eat in the car like a good American.

Mar 05, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Need a 'hound hang near O'Hare

Thanks SWSIDEJIM, agree it used to be a great place.

Mar 05, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Stay away from Ivy and the Oak Tree

Never at there, and thanks to Chicago Chowhounds, never will.

Mar 05, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Coco Rouge

Grouping industrial products (products made by machine versus a human being) with artisan products isn't a great idea. Grouping products that are fresh with those that have preservatives for longer shelf life also isn't a great idea. Bernard Callebaut isn't in the northern suburbs. He's Canadian. There are a couple of Bernard Callebaut franchises in the northern suburbs. There's a Leonida's franchise as well and it's very similar quality to that of Callebaut and style, similar to Piron, which is to say traditional Belgian versus the nouvelle prestige of a Coco Rouge.'

These are all steep upgrades from my Fanny May upbringing.

My mother taught me a long time ago that everyone thinks they have good taste and so people should eat what they like and can afford.

Mar 05, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area

Need a 'hound hang near O'Hare

Disappointed to hear that H on S has slipped so far down. SWSIDEJIM, any idea if Maple Tree in is still operating?

Mar 05, 2007
marilyn9 in Chicago Area