hohokam's Profile

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Long shot question: Where can I buy a Hario coffee grinder in Dallas?

At the time, the need was such that only a brick-and-mortar retailer on the west side of Dallas County would have worked.

Feb 20, 2014
hohokam in Dallas - Fort Worth

Long shot question: Where can I buy a Hario coffee grinder in Dallas?

Sorry about the late reply. Yeah, Davis Street (down in Oak Cliff, I think?) was the only lead I had, but they were going to be closed before I could get down there.

I popped into Ascension for a couple of drinks (with no expectation of finding a grinder), and both were excellent. This might be my go-to spot for a while, as it's closer to the west side of town, which is where I end up when I'm in the area.

Thanks for doing the legwork!

Feb 17, 2014
hohokam in Dallas - Fort Worth

Long shot question: Where can I buy a Hario coffee grinder in Dallas?

Coming into Dallas today and would like to bring my own coffee brewing rig. Problem is, I don't want to tote my electric grinder along with me. Anyone here know of a shop where I can pick up one of the Hario hand grinders?

Feb 08, 2014
hohokam in Dallas - Fort Worth

Long weekend in Phoenix/Scottsdale

Have you been to Atlas Bistro since the recent chef switch? I was lucky to have some of Chris McKinley's food before he left, but haven't been in since Michael Dei Maggi took over. Just curious about which version of Atlas you're referring to.

Feb 07, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

Long weekend in Phoenix/Scottsdale

Four-hour waits at Pizzeria Bianco tend to be the exception, not the rule, these days. With two locations serving dinner and lunch, the wait times are considerably shorter than they have been in the past.

Jan 31, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

Phoenix -- sunset cocktails and more

That area is not within my usual orbit, so my knowledge is somewhat sketchy.

Other than the Cafe at MIM (The Musical Instrument Museum) and LAMP Pizzeria, both of which are highly regarded, I don't know of anything worthy that's very close to that resort.

http://mim.cafebonappetit.com/hungry/cafe-allegro/
http://www.lamppizza.com/

My favorite place for traditional ingredient-focused Italian food is Andreoli Italian Grocer, which is about 15 minutes away. Some are put off by the no-nonsense service and the ambience, but the food is always made with care and isn't duplicated by anyone in town. I suggest ordering primarily from the whiteboard list of daily specials, not that the standard menu items (especially the arancini) aren't worth trying. I hear informed raves about Andreoli's pastries, which I've yet to find space for after lunch.

http://www.andreoli-grocer.com

Joe's Real Barbecue has its fans, but their sauce-heavy style isn't one that I am keen on. Not really worth the drive, as far as I'm concerned. People I trust about such things give the food at Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue very high marks. The restaurant is located in the town of Cave Creek, about 20 minutes north from where you will be staying.

http://www.bryansbarbecue.com/

Binkley's and Cafe Bink are two other very good local options in the Cave Creek/Carefree area, both are a bit east of Bryan's. Cafe Bink is a casual sister restaurant of the decidedly upscale (but not stuffy) flagship Binkley's.

http://binkleysrestaurant.com/
http://www.cafebink.com/sister-restau...

Can't speak to the beer festival--my personal expectations would be for long lines and limited food.

Jan 22, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

More Rice, Please!

Ah. OK.

Actually, Zam Zam is on the west side of 40th, not the east side. It's a little easier to spot if you're heading south on 40th, as their signage is more visible from the north and east sides of the building.

Jan 12, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

More Rice, Please!

While out running errands yesterday, I was reminded of Zam Zam World Foods--east side of 40th St, just north of McDowell. I don't recall how big their selection was on my last visit, but they might be worth checking out too.

Jan 12, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

More Rice, Please!

Baiz Market (20th St @ Fillmore-ish) might be worth checking out. They deal primarily in Middle Eastern goods, but they do have a good stock of ingredients specific to the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent.

http://baizmarket.com/

Jan 10, 2014
hohokam in Phoenix

No more late bargains at Petite Maison

FnB offers special late night dinner menus on Saturday nights starting at 10:00. The per-item price usually tops out at around $10 on these Late Night Love menus.

Citizen Public House serves their regular dinner menu until 11:00 all week and a late night menu until 1:30am Thur-Sat.

Dec 23, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Seen Matt's Big Breakfast lately?

I've eaten at the new location several times. I'm not sure how it could be considered *more* claustrophobic than the original spot, which had about 30 sq feet of unoccupied floor space.

The space has a different look, to be sure. It's not quite as bright inside (probably due to lack of the south-facing windows), but I've never felt it to be dark and uninviting.

Ernie and her crew still serve up warm hospitality and food made with care, so it's going to take a bit more than a shift from homey, vintage decor to a look incorporating corrugated metal to keep me from going.

Dec 06, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

happy hours in scottsdale

If oysters are your thing and truly anywhere in Scottsdale is option, then you might consider Casey Moore's in Tempe, which is closer to Old Town Scottsdale (6-7 miles) than is far north Scottsdale (20+ miles). Their happy hour runs from 3 to 7, with $1 off wine, drafts, and well drinks and $2 off apps.

You'll need to call to see what kinds of oysters they're offering on any given day.

Nov 22, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Any BYOB restaurants or places with corkage fees?

Atlas Bistro and Hana are the two that I'm most familiar with.

Most people would probably consider Atlas is to be more of a "special bottle" spot than Hana. I love the food at Hana, but I don't know that the casual atmosphere there corresponds to what most diners would think of when choosing a restaurant to enjoy a bottle that they've been saving for a special meal.

Nov 10, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

How about the quietest restaurants?

Now that the milder weather is back with us, restaurants with outdoor seating can be good bets for less loud dining. We not avid brunchers, so I can't offer too many suggestions on that front. Below are some general recommendations for quieter dining options in the areas you're considering.

FnB is great for lunch or dinner. The indoor dining areas can get a little loud, so I'd recommend you ask for/reserve an outdoor table.

Crudo (dinner Tue-Sun; brunch Sun) has some limited outdoor seating, but with its relatively dispersed seating arrangements, the main dining room tends to be fairly quiet too.

Pizzeria Bianco at Town and Country shopping center has outdoor seating too, but, as with Crudo, I've not found the indoor dining room to be too loud.

Bink's Midtown might also be a good bet for you. We were disappointed with about half of the dishes we ordered on our only visit there, but others have raved about it.

House of Tricks in downtown Tempe is a wonderful spot for outdoor dining. You'll probably need to reserve a table near the edge of the patio to get some quiet, though. The indoor dining rooms can be quite loud here.

Christopher's has never seemed particularly loud to me. I tend to sit at the counter so as to take in the kitchen action, so I can't speak to what it's like out in the main part of the dining area.

Nov 08, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Help for Phoenix Visit end of October 2013

Just to clarify for out-of-town visitors, The Royal Palms is in Phoenix proper, about a mile and a quarter west of Scottsdale.

Oct 24, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Help for Phoenix Visit end of October 2013

As far as I know, the timing of Noca's return to dinner service is still TBD, but my sense is that it will be after your visit. Crudo and Atlas Bistro are both worthy of consideration IMO.

Oct 24, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Places near I17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff_

Maybe examples will help:

People line up for Bianco's pizzas, which makes sense to me.

People line up for Cheesecake Factory, which makes no sense to me.

People do *not* line up for Crudo, which makes no sense to me.

The point being what other people do or do not line up for does not necessarily correlate well with my preferences. Likewise, what I would queue up for probably doesn't map onto what some other people like.

Obviously, some people like the pies at Rock Springs Cafe. And just as obviously, I am not one of those people. I'd like to be one of those people, but so far, I haven't had a piece of pie there that made me think, "Wow. I need to take time to stop here again." The fact is, I'm not crazy about pies made with canned fruit. The pies I've had there have been made with canned fruit; ergo, I haven't cared much for their pies.

If I'm going to be giving a visitor advice about where to go or not go, I really only have my experiences and opinions and information about their tastes to go on. How long the line is at one place or another doesn't enter into the judgment for me, unless the visitor expresses concern about something like having to stand for a long time, dealing with bored fussy kids, or time constraints.

Oct 24, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Places near I17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff_

When I think about all the things people line up for, I notice that queue length is not a reliable indicator of whether or not I will like a place or its product.

Oct 23, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Margaritas: alt orange liqueurs, anyone try these in a marg?

I like the Clement Creole Shrubb, but only in rum-based drinks. To my palate, its inherent rumminess stands out more than its orange-ness in a margarita.

I've tried swapping Pierre Ferrand dry curacao for Cointreau in my margaritas at home. Taken straight and in margaritas, the boldness of the orange components in the two liqueurs seem comparable to me. The curacao, however, has a bitter edge and a distinctly lower level of sweetness. When making margaritas, I count on the sugar in the liqueur to balance the sour and bitter elements of the lime, so for me, the curacao hasn't proven to be a viable alternative.

Oct 22, 2013
hohokam in Spirits

Places near I17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff_

I've found the pies at Rock Springs Cafe to be unremarkable on my visits, but you know, everyone has different expectations for such things.

Given the distance/time constraint (close to I-17) and the relatively short duration of the trip (2 hours from Central Phoenix), I'd say your best bet is to eat before you leave Phx metro or after you arrive in Flag.

If you're willing to loosen the constraints a bit, a stop at Page Springs Cellars for a creekside snack and glass or two of wine under the trees might be worth considering. This will add around 40 minutes of driving to your trip (15-20 minutes each way between I-17 and the winery), but it doesn't usually come with the traffic hassles of a Sedona or Prescott excursion.

http://pagespringscellars.com/menu/

Oct 22, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Help for Phoenix Visit end of October 2013

With the addition of lunchtime service at the downtown location and the addition of pizzas to the menus at all 3 Bianco locations, the dinnertime wait downtown has eased a bit.

Oct 10, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Euphemistic Food Names

I think we're back to the point about calling a food by its "native' name doesn't really constitute a euphemism. Guanciale (and pancetta, for that matter) are merely elaborations on the names of generic mammalian body parts (guancia=cheek, pancia/pancetta=belly).

One could argue that cotechino is somewhat less transparent, with the root lining up, more or less, with "rind" or "hide", but I don't think either of those meanings is particularly obfuscatory.

Oct 09, 2013
hohokam in General Topics

Euphemistic Food Names

Good point, but the literal translation gives no hint as to what "mystery" ingredient is.

Oct 08, 2013
hohokam in General Topics

Am I the only person on the planet that doesn't "get" Trader Joe's?

I haven't done any systematic comparison either; though, this weekend I did note that the bottle of Famous Grouse I bought at Top's was a dollar cheaper than the same bottle at TJ's. Generally, TJ's is a much more convenient stop for me than Top's, so I would gladly eat that difference on any $15+ bottle.

My general impression, based on a deeply flawed memory for such things, is that the TJ's prices are fairly close to Total Wine/Bevmo prices and appreciably better than the regular prices at Safeway.

Oct 07, 2013
hohokam in Chains

Clam Strips ?

Casey Moore's in Tempe might be worth a try.

Sep 14, 2013
hohokam in Phoenix

Am I the only person on the planet that doesn't "get" Trader Joe's?

I know my opinion doesn't count for much, but in my eyes, you are now the world champion of the internet.

Sep 06, 2013
hohokam in Chains
1

Am I the only person on the planet that doesn't "get" Trader Joe's?

I'm not sure if it has come up in this subthread, but it might be worth noting that the medals CS wines won most recently are of the Best of Breed variety (Best Under $14, Best Under $5), not Best of Show--nobody is awarding their Cab Sauvignon a gold medal in a head-to-head vs. Duckhorn (for example).

This isn't meant as a slam, but merely as a potentially overlooked point of reference that might help temper the heat of the discussion.

And in the interest of full disclosure...I'm in the "too much of a crap shoot" camp. I've had some CS wines that were OK, and I've had some that I pitched after 3 sips (the final 2 sips of each glass taken of "scientific" interest). Sure, I could keep trying their wines in hopes of finding bottle or a run of bottles I actually really like, but I don't care to spend my time, money, liver capacity, or palate space playing that game.

Sep 06, 2013
hohokam in Chains
4

Am I the only person on the planet that doesn't "get" Trader Joe's?

Ah. Thanks. I stand corrected.

Aug 31, 2013
hohokam in Chains

Am I the only person on the planet that doesn't "get" Trader Joe's?

Owned by the same company, but as far as I can tell, there is little, if any, overlap in terms of the actual product offerings.

Aug 30, 2013
hohokam in Chains

Anything like Steak & Ale left in Dallas metro?

Reporting back folks:

Well, in a flash of sanity, I decided to let my dad pick the venue for the dinner, and as it turns out, twinwillow hit it right on the nose in the first reply to my original post.

Dad's choice was Saltgrass, which I think he picked partly because, you know, steak and partly because it wasn't as far away as some other options.

The food wasn't amazing, but it wasn't bad either. Their mid-century mid-America side salad isn't really my thing, and the jus that came with my prime rib was obviously bouillon-enhanced; however, with the salad being nice and fresh (tomatoes had a tomato flavor!) and the jus being served on the side, I couldn't complain too much about those things.

A few of us ordered the "seasonal vegetables" (green beans, sliced carrots, and broccoli) as our side dish, which to our surprise were perfectly prepared and flavorful. The portion was on the skimpy side leaving me wanting more, but you know, steak.

The other highlight of the meal was the peach-blueberry "cobbler", which was more of a deep dish tart/shallow dish pie. It was pretty tasty, but as we quickly found out (to our bellies anyway), this seemed like a dessert to be shared among 3 or 4 people. If you like pie for breakfast like I do, this is not necessarily a bad thing. :-)

We weren't crazy about our especial ("ee speshul") margaritas which tasted of mix and sugar and not much else, but when you go to Saltgrass, you're there because, you know, steak.

Thanks to you all for your thoughtful suggestions, which I will definitely keep in mind for future visits.

Aug 29, 2013
hohokam in Dallas - Fort Worth