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PF Chang's- could it actually be any good?

as is clearly demonstrated in this thread, taste is subjective. try it and judge for yourself. you already know it's a chain and that it's not "authentic" chinese food. taking all that into consideration, it's not at the top of my restaurant list (or anywhere near it) but i wouldn't count it out, either. i accept it for what it is: a chain restaurant attempting to appeal to the masses.

Jul 04, 2007
will_forfood in Chains

The Debate Over Subsidizing Snacks

thanks for sharing.

Grille Zone - Interesting New Joint for Burger Connoisseurs

i applaud their efforts to be a more eco-friendly establishment--and the food isn't half bad, either. i believe moglia and bob are correct. they make no claims to the ingredients being organic--only that they use fresh ingredients.

with regards to the beef, they state that they use "certified hereford beef" (not sure what hereford beef is all about). my s.o. ordered the burger medium-rare but it was cooked medium. it was still juicy and will fit the bill anytime the burger craving hits.

overall, i enjoyed the chicken breast sandwich. the chicken had a nice marinade. the first time, i found the roll it was served on had a nice taste and texture. the second time, it tasted and felt like cardboard. (my guess is that the second time, there wasn't as much juice from the chicken for the roll to absorb.) but i'd go there again.

Golden Temple ripoff

thanks for sharing. based on your experience, it does sound awful and i wouldn't return, either. i'm intrigued by the restaurant even more now because my food experience is so completely the opposite.

Recommendations for Carthage & Raeford, NC Restaurants?

sorry for not replying sooner. thank you for the tips! per your suggestion, i did make the pinehurst area the base of my trip and dined there--it definitely has more restaurant selections than carthage or raeford. thank you, blewgo.

Golden Temple ripoff

taste is definitely subjective so i respect differing opinions. i definitely have a different opinion of the place than you and many others--and explained why i like it. i hear a lot about how it's "awful" or "average" but no one elaborates so i have no clear picture. would you mind sharing what about the food you remember being awful?

Golden Temple ripoff

i ate there for the first time tonight....and was weary based on the negative reviews. it's not my parents' cooking and it's not "authentic" chinese but i argue against it being "average."

i also argue about price. yep, our bill was high--i can't deny that. it's, in part, because of the drinks. but those suckers are lethal and worth their weight in gold. ;-p but on another note, i get frusterated at the general notion that chinese restaurants have to be good, high quality and fit the budget of a high school student. i think we have different standards for chinese restaurants than other ethnic restaurants, say, italian or french. the cost of ingredients for chinese food is no less than the ingredients for any other food-type (not including mcdonald's), so why do we raise our eyebrows if a chinese entree is more than $12?

the service i had was excellent--attentive and friendly without being overbearing. the dishes arrived piping hot--one of the trademarks of any "authentic" chinese restaurant. it's usually one or the other--but they got both right.

and the quality of the ingredients is evident. they pride themselves on chicken raised humanely, hormone and drug free (i prefer that). and they try to support the local growers with the produce they purchase! (this is alice waters-thinking, people!) and no msg!

i love chinese restaurants that don't use msg. my parents never used it but sooooo many chinese restaurants do. my noodles were prepared perfectly and weren't greasy! the hong kong-style noodles weren't "authentic" but it wasn't a bad thing in this case. it almost rivals the noodles i grew up eating--in a different way. the spinach in my husband's dish was fresh, not frozen, and was cooked perfectly (it's easy to overcook spinach, as is evident in myriads of restaurants all over the country). and the portions of large pieces of white chicken meat is worth mentioning. i love my dark meat but was amazed at how tender and large the chunks of white meat in our dishes were.

all of this is in my humble opinon. it won't be my go-to chinese take-out but i'll definitely eat there again--and recommend it to others, even.


i second la paella. without question, it's the go-to restaurant for la paella (for me).

Jun 27, 2007
will_forfood in Los Angeles Area

What kind of cheese is best for my Mac?

mac & cheese is the only thing my husband will allow me to cook--or that i'm confident enough to cook for dinner guests. ok. are you ready? you've gotta keep an open mind here. my two main staples when not making a bechamel-based mac and cheese: good quality sharp cheddar (like old quebec 3 year) and velveeta. these two go along with two or three other quality cheeses. gruyere is a good choice as is emmentaler, muenster, colby, camembert or another (milder) cheddar like dubliner.

don't let the people working behind the cheese counter make you believe that firm cheeses don't melt well for mac & cheese. as long as you grate it fine-medium and mix it well with the freshly cooked (and hot) pasta prior to baking, the cheese will melt beautifully.

i've experimented many times and found that a little bit of velveeta binds the pasta. without it (and not in a bechamel sauce), the mac & cheese falls apart. none of my guests can ever detect the velveeta because of all the other cheeses.

to make a nice crunchy top (without cheating--i.e. breadcrumbs, panko, etc.), i set aside 1/3 of a cup of the cheeses and sprinkle it on top in combination with a little bit of freshly grated parmesan. (not sure why but parmesan lends to a great crunchy top.)

Jun 27, 2007
will_forfood in Home Cooking

What Oaxacan restaurants have I missed?

have you tried el texate in santa monica? on pico at 4th. it's been years since i ate there last, but i remember enjoying it more than some of the other oaxacan restaurants i've been to.

Jun 26, 2007
will_forfood in Los Angeles Area

Any good Charlotte restaurants for solo diners?

you don't know how happy this makes me! having moved from l.a. to a city that doesn't offer authentic mexican food (the way you describe, which is the way i like), i'm definitely there! do they serve alcohol?

Any good Charlotte restaurants for solo diners?

why didn't i think of it sooner? bars are a good bet (for the obvious reasons). i'be been to nikko the last time i was in town and enjoyed it (i'm not from the nc area; is that area considered uptown?). now i want to see all the other great restaurants that charlotte has to offer. what type of cuisine does cosmos cafe offer?

Any good Charlotte restaurants for solo diners?

thanks for the suggestions! i'll be staying near the airport but don't mind driving for good food.

Any good Charlotte restaurants for solo diners?

I'll be in Charlotte for a few days for business this July and want to know good places for eating dinner solo. My company is cheap so the entrees should average under $20. I eat almost everything except red meat--love Mexican, American, Italian, French, Malaysian, etc. As long as the food is good and the place is friendly to solo diners, I'd love to hear your recommenations.

Thanks in advance.

Your Best Dinner Rec for Food/Value

i always enjoyed la vecchia on main street in santa monica and hal's on abbot kinney in venice every time i ate at either place. i also enjoyed wabi-sabi when it first opened. admittedly, i haven't been to any of the three places in several years and don't know what they're like at this point.

Jun 25, 2007
will_forfood in Los Angeles Area

praise for el taqueria carrizal in allston

i encourage you to check out taqueria carrizal if you're ever in allston and are craving good, inexpensive and authentic mexican/central american fare.

my husband drove by el taqueria carrizal and suggested it for dinner last night. we're originally from california and have found it difficult to find mexican food here that's similar to what we're used to. so we've been in search of a restaurant that would fill our craving.

we were hopeful when we walked in. the manager greeted us in limited english with a thick spanish accent; at the front, was a jukebox with spanish songs; in the back, hoisted on the wall was a flat screen tv with a german (and later a mexican) soccer match going on. the restaurant was clean, modest and casual.

while we looked over the menu (first line in spanish, with translation in english on the second line), the chips and salsa came out. both were homemade. no canned salsa from this establishment--it was a cause for celebration.

hubby got the carrizal plate (marinated grilled beef, marinated chicken, rice and refried beans) and i got the chile relleno. he found the beef and chicken to be absolutely delicious, though the rice and beans were just decent. the chile relleno was massive. unfortunately, it was stuffed with beef (i'm used to it stuffed with cheese unless noted otherwise). with the language difference, it took a few tries before we were able to communicate that i don't eat beef and it's standard for their chile rellenos to be stuffed with beef. they were super friendly and accomodating, even though we couldn't communicate so well. the manager suggested alternatives and i settled on the chicken a la plancha (grilled chicken), which was excellent. the marinated chicken was incredibly moist and grilled to perfection. the salad was ok (iceburg lettuce, avocado and tomato slices, radishes).

i poured some bottle habanero sauce on the chicken when the manager passed by. he noticed that i really enjoy hot sauce so he brought out some of their salsa picante, secret recipe that they wouldn't divulge. there was a slight smokiness which makes us think they used chipotles. it was great salsa that rivals what i'm used to eating in la.

overall, we enjoyed the food (main entree was the highlight; the salad, rice and beans were ok). it was authentic stuff--too bad they don't serve alcohol. the staff was super friendly and helpful depsite the language difference. oh! another thing, it's not just mexican food--they also do guatemalan and salvadorean food. check it out if you're in allston, wanting casual, inexpensive but good food.

Lunch in Savannah, GA

i second you lady and sons.

may also want to try mrs. wilke's boardinghouse. it's southern cooking, too, in a really charming atmosphere (everything is served family-style). it's supposed to be a savannah institution. i travelled to savannah for work a few years back and five different people told me to go there. i enjoyed the homey atmosphere and the food was good, too (not great but good). cash only and you may want to get there early to avoid the line that usually goes out the door.

Recommendations for Carthage & Raeford, NC Restaurants?

I'll be travelling for work to Carthage and then to Raeford, NC at the end of the month--and need some recommendations for restaurants in the two towns. I travel a lot for work and am tired of eating fast food as well as eating at the chain restaurants.

Please let me know if you have any recommendations in the Carthage area as well as in the Raeford area. I eat all types of food (but I don't eat beef). At lunch, I'll need a place to grab a quick bite in the downtown areas. At dinner, there's more flexibility and my only criteria is that solo diners are welcome and it's not too expensive (i.e. more than $25 for an entree).

Thanks in advance, if you can recommend any good places!

Shipping frozen food: need advice

i agree. dry ice with overnight delivery is the way to go. i've ordered from restaurants in other states (joe's stone crab in miami; lou malnati's in chicago) and they've always shipped the food overnight with dry ice. the pizzas remained frozen and joe's stone crabs and key lime pies remained refrigerator-cold.

Mar 31, 2007
will_forfood in Not About Food

Which LA Restaurants are UNDERrated?

i don't know if these are underrated--maybe it's more like they're not on the radar:
-hal's bar and grill in venice (great atmoshere and bar scene; amazing fries)
-la paella on san vicente (amazing tapas and paella)
-michelangelo's in silver lake (great neighborhood restaurant)
-bossa nova in weho (overall yummy!)
-classic thai in eagle rock (solid, good food across the board)
-stoney point in eagle rock
-camilo's in eagle rock (good, casual atmosphere, good food)
-mexico city in los feliz/silver lake
-la vecchia in santa monica (pasta that's good and is actually al dente!)
-harold and belle's (great southern food in a slightly upscale setting)

Mar 17, 2007
will_forfood in Los Angeles Area

What places should ever person dine at in Southern California ?

i suggest the restaurants that helped put l.a. on the map. for example, spago and in 'n out.

spago helped launch wolfgang puck's career as a celebrity chef but it also helped put, not just la but, california cuisine on the map. spago is no longer at its original location where its interior design was also innovative (putting its kitchen on display and in plain view of the dining area), but it's still an important restaurant, culinarily speaking.

in 'n out also put la on the map for being a fast food restaurant that provides high quality, fresh ingredients.

Mar 17, 2007
will_forfood in Los Angeles Area

Hosts cleaning up/doing dishes while guests still around?

i think it depends on how formal or informal the gatherings are. in a more formal situation, i believe it is rude. but in your situation, it sounds like it's a regular, casual event so i don't think there's anything wrong with the host cleaning up after dinner.

to each his own, right?

Mar 17, 2007
will_forfood in Not About Food

Authentic Cantonese in Chinatown?

i completely agree with gini and science chick.

if they're open to trying different types of food, you're better off taking them to a boston institution and showing them how great the cuisine in this region can be. when i've traveled to asia and europe, the last thing i wanted was "american food" because i wanted to try the flavors of the regions i was visiting. i only wanted "american food" when i started getting homesick.

unless they're staying here for a few months, become homesick and want something that reminds them of home, you might want to re-consider showing them "that it's possible to get it here." (yes, it's possible to get it here, but it's just not the same.) just remember what most of the posts here have stated: cantonese-style food in boston doesn't come close to what they have in hong kong.

what foods do you miss most when you leave LA?

this topic is making me homesick. i agree with alsmot ALL of the above but hands-down it has to be mexican food. there's nothing like the mexican food in la (and the bay area). everytime i go back to ca, i have to make a pit-stop at mexico city, loteria, la estrella, la cabanita or el arco iris.

Mar 17, 2007
will_forfood in Los Angeles Area

l.a. expat seeking "l.a."-type authentic mexican food

can anyone familiar with la's version of authentic mexican food (think loteria!, la cabanita, king taco, or la estrella) recommend a similar restaurant in the boston area...i'm even willing to drive an hour from boston if it's really good.

i've been disappointed by all of the authentic mexican restaurants in boston (i was sad after eating at casa romero, el pelon, sol azteca, etc.). i'm looking for: salsa made with fresh tomatoes instead of canned; freshly fried tortilla chips that are light and thin with a fresh coat of grease and a dusting of salt; food that actually has heat; and even food cooked with lard.

thanks if you can help.