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ISO suggestions for an Italian restaurant near Convention Center?

What's nearby that isn't Maggiano's? DH is running the half-marathon this weekend and we usually do our pre-race dinners at the Bellini Grill, but are looking for other options. We will be dining on the early side with a 4yo in tow. Looking for something that is a short walk from 12th and Arch, so the South Philly places that get a lot of love on this board won't work for us this time.

(geez, that's a lot of restrictions... :) )

Thanks!

about 13 hours ago
truman in Philadelphia

Kids and Allergies - long and a bit of a rant.

The Phillies do that too: http://mlb.mlb.com/phi/ticketing/them...

Apple-themed potluck

Years ago I made a salsa with Granny Smith apples, onions, and mango - it was sweet/hot and worked great with tortilla chips. I can't find the recipe (or anything similar) online right now but can dig it out at home later.

Sep 15, 2014
truman in Home Cooking
1

Moving a fridge full of food... HELP?!

We bought a new fridge 2 months ago, and the delivery guys moved the old one into our garage - took them about 5 minutes to go out the front door and around the house into the ground-level garage. However, things moved around... a lot... I wouldn't move a packed fridge. (Freezer, maybe, but not a fridge.)

If your new house is so close to your old house, will you be doing some back-and-forth trips with other things you don't plan to pack "properly"? if so, take a cooler full of fridge stuff on each run, and load up the new fridge.

Sep 15, 2014
truman in General Topics
1

Freddy's Steakburgers and Custard - comparisons?

We ate there in December - it was okay. Burgers and fries were good, but not worth going out of our way for. Custard was great though. We prefer Five Guys. Steak and Shake just opened nearby and we've only been there once but liked it. We did not like Smashburger - too salty and greasy. It's been ages since I've eaten at Red Robin so I can't comment (though I hate steak fries).

So, for a proper ranking of the ones you list:
1. Five Guys
2. Steak and Shake
3. Freddy's
4. Smashburger
FWIW, all rankings are based on location in the Philly 'burbs.

Sep 11, 2014
truman in Chains

Casual family dinner near Embassy Suites City Center

We really like the Bellini Grill for Italian: http://www.bellinigrill.com/

We have eaten there many times with our son (starting when he was an infant; he's 4 now), and the staff is absolutely wonderful. BYO toys and crayons, though. Food is great - this is our regular spot for dinner before big Philly races. There's a parking garage just behind the restaurant, and it's a reasonable walk from your hotel (the restaurant is on 16th between Walnut and Locust).

Sep 05, 2014
truman in Philadelphia

Easy home cooking?

One suggestion - we usually do leftovers on Thursday night, which is when I seem to have zero energy or enthusiasm for cooking. I tend to do more cooking on Sat/Sun when we are home during the day (even if not all day, I can get stuff started).

And +1 to tcamp's suggestion of pizza, that's our standard Friday night dinner. A few of the dough recipes I like are supposed to rise overnight - http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Brick-Ov... for thin crust and http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20... for pan pizza (note that this has a long rise in the bowl and then a short rise in the pan - I've cut the short one down to 1 hour and it's been fine).

do cuisinarts ever die

I only have/had the three blades that comestible did - they came with it; I never ordered any of the specialty blades. Sorry!

That being said, if anyone wants my extra parts, let me know - otherwise I'll try to Freecycle them.

Sep 02, 2014
truman in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? September 2014 edition!

After reading about it (http://food52.com/blog/11174-will-zuc...), I cashed in a bookstore gift card to buy WILL IT WAFFLE? by Daniel Shumski. Yeah, it's a bit gimmicky - but I'd been looking for something new, something that might inspire the 4yo to try different foods, and we've got this Cuisinart Griddler with waffle plates that were screaming for more use.

We made the Waffled Chicken Parmesan and Waffled Grilled Vegetables on Sunday night (both got thumbs-up, but I think the recipes need minor tweaks). We made regular breakfast waffles - with buttermilk and a bit of cornmeal - for breakfast Monday, and liked them a lot. We didn't get to try the waffled ham and cheese sandwich "recipe" (really just instructions) for lunch as planned, but will get to that later in the week. Overall, it's entertaining, but not something that accomplished cooks couldn't figure out on their own if they were so inclined.

Sep 02, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

do cuisinarts ever die

Sadly, I must report that my answer to the thread title is YES. After 14.5 years of frequent use, some of it heavy-duty, my old 7-cup model bit the dust on Saturday. The motor had been sounding funny (like a wheezing/groaning old man) and intermittently overheating, but it just couldn't recover this time. I am in mourning. Aside from the toaster oven, this is our most-used appliance, and probably the one I've had the longest.

In the meantime, I've ordered a 9-cup model (DLC-2009CHB) which should arrive tomorrow!

Sep 02, 2014
truman in Cookware

BEST real life food related joke of the day!!

Ha!!!!!

Aug 29, 2014
truman in Not About Food

What's for Dinner #322 - the pre-Labor Day Weekend Edition [through August 30th, 2014]

Tonight is leftovers tonight: babyback ribs (sans sauce) and Kraft Mac & Cheese (Ninja Turtles shapes) for the 4yo, a turkey burger (sans bun since we don't have any left) and this awesome salt and vinegar potato salad for me: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Interestingly, I printed that recipe out in June 2006, when it was published. This week was the first time I'd made it - why oh why did I wait so long???

Evernote vs. Pepperplate?

I use Pepperplate but haven't tried Evernote. I like being able to import recipes on my computer(s) or iPad, and then view/cook from the recipes on my iPad or phone. It has been a godsend to have a single source - accessible from all my devices, and DH's if I delegate shopping or cooking to him - that stores recipes from so many online places.

Though I have to admit, I use it mostly for recipes I want to try sometime. Most of the recipes I cook from are hard copies in two huge 3-ring binders on the kitchen bookshelf! One of these days I will get more organized...

Aug 28, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Far-away Chains on your "To Do" List

In n Out - we're East Coasters.

Just went to Shake Shack (yum!) and Sonic (meh) recently, so I can cross those off the list.

"back to school" shopping... for ME!

A can opener and a bowl big enough to hold a can/pouch of soup! We keep soup in the pantry at home for emergency lunches, and it's much easier to not have to schlep the "hardware" too.

In my food cabinet right now, I also have oatmeal packets, a big bag of trail mix, and a box of Triscuits. I just ran out of granola so will restock that this weekend. I also keep a sharp knife to cut up fruit (I don't like biting into whole apples, pears, etc), but I can see how that might be frowned upon in a school...

Aug 28, 2014
truman in General Topics

Where to eat in/near Marco Island?

We're heading south for a week in November, staying on Marco Island. The resort (Hilton) has a few restaurants but I don't have high expectations for them. What's within a 30-min drive or so that's good and tasty? We will have a car, and a 4-year-old, so we're not looking for anything too fancy.

Thanks in advance!

Aug 26, 2014
truman in Florida

I need a baked egg dish

What about something like a quiche or strata instead? It seems like you should be able to transfer the baking dish straight from the oven into the chafing dish...

Aug 26, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #321 - Seasons Change Edition [through August 26, 2014]

I don't usually chime in on these threads, but I was so enamored of something I made on Saturday that I want the whole world to know about it!
Crispy Mustard-Roasted Chicken, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cr...
I used b/s breasts instead of bone-in pieces.
Served with corn-cheddar mini muffins and garlic-fried zucchini.

Your favorite meatloaf bread filler

The two recipes we make most often both call for dry breadcrumbs.

I do have a suggestion for what NOT to use: farfel (small pieces of matzah). That's how my mom always made her meatloaf, before overcooking it, and why I thought I did not like meatloaf. Who wants to see a dry white chunk in the middle of the meat???

Aug 25, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Berwyn/Devon(ish) dinner suggestions needed

lol, Courtney was our server... She got the kitchen to make an off-menu dish for the about-to-die-of-hunger-and-therefore-picky 4yo. :) But thank you, arepo, for the suggestion!

Aug 23, 2014
truman in Philadelphia

Berwyn/Devon(ish) dinner suggestions needed

Thanks - we ended up going to Fellini Cafe right across from the Berwyn train station. Had a great meal and amazing service (thank you, Courtney!!). We'll definitely go back.

Aug 22, 2014
truman in Philadelphia

The Wedding Won't Go On Without Your Help!!!! [Tucson]

I've never been to Tucson, but could this be a place to start?
http://www.downtowntucson.org/visit/d...
(thanks to Google!)

Aug 22, 2014
truman in Southwest

A Four-Year-Old reviews... The French Laundry

Mine too. He would have eaten the fish, and otherwise filled up on bread.

Aug 22, 2014
truman in Food Media & News

Berwyn/Devon(ish) dinner suggestions needed

We're going out tomorrow night (to celebrate DH's new car!) but can't quite figure out where. We will be in Devon and finishing up around 6pm, with the 4-year-old in tow, so we'd like to eat somewhere in that area. I searched these boards for Devon, Berwyn, and even Wayne, but kept coming up with more "fine dining" establishments...

We're looking for something more casual/low-key than Nectar, and the menu at White Dog Cafe will not work for the 4yo. In Wayne, Teresa's Cafe sounded good, as did Creperie Bechamel - though I couldn't find any Chow reviews of the latter. We've been to the McKenzie's in Devon plenty of times.

What am I missing - any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Aug 21, 2014
truman in Philadelphia

What makes you sick or react that you love?

I have no problems with dairy products in general - cheese, butter, yogurt, milk, ice cream - but I cannot eat anything with heavy cream. Cream soups and cream sauces send me running for the hills (aka the bathroom).

Aug 21, 2014
truman in General Topics

What makes you sick or react that you love?

Do you have that problem with other hard cheeses? It might be a reaction to the tyramine... migraines, high blood pressure...

Aug 21, 2014
truman in General Topics

A few things to get off my chest ...

Try making nachos with them: dollop of salsa, sprinkling of black beans, handful of shredded cheese, zapped till the cheese melts... yum!

Aug 21, 2014
truman in General Topics
1

Food Humor in Cartoons

I like this: A Guide to Eating Fish in the Workplace

http://www.pleated-jeans.com/wp-conte...

Aug 20, 2014
truman in Food Media & News
1

Bundt cake

My absolute favorite bundt cake recipe is a chocolate chip beer cake. I'm not sure of the original source, but this is the same as the recipe I use:
http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/chocola...
Cut back on the cinnamon (maybe 2T instead of 4), or skip the "swirl" entirely and just mix in the chips and nuts. It works well with a stout (like Guinness) or a chocolate stout. I've never made it with any other style of beer like an ale or lager... but I can't imagine how that would taste.

Aug 20, 2014
truman in Home Cooking

Newly single chow-dude and his crockpot

Unlike others, I haven't had good luck with the crockpot365 recipes - maybe I picked the bad ones, but the 3-4 we tried were either meh or badly overcooked. Just keep in mind that when the crockpot is on "warm," it's still cooking your food...

A few other suggestions:

Shredded pork for burritos or pulled pork sandwiches: Slice a big onion and lay the rings on the bottom of the crock (sprayed with non-stick spray). Place a ~3 lb boneless pork loin on top. Pour in a can of root beer (or birch beer, or probably even cola). Cook for about 6 hours on low, then shred the meat.

Meatballs - http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20... . I mix the sauce ingredients in the crock, then make and add the meatballs. I use crushed tomatoes and omit the wine (I prefer to drink it on the side!).

Taco chicken: bone-in, skin-off pieces + 1 packet of taco seasoning + 14-oz can of diced tomatoes (with liquid) + optional peppers and onions.

Aug 18, 2014
truman in Home Cooking