maatre's Profile

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Emile Henry Baking Stone mystery

Thanks to you both for this question and answer. I was just researching pizza stones and was puzzled by this same thing - Crate and Barrell shows an unglazed EH but everywhere else including the EH website only shows glazed. I did notice on the C&B website the words "Crate and Barrell Exclusive" so maybe that's why it only shows up there online. The unglazed stone is available at my local C&B store for pick up right away, and so is very tempting (wish it was the $20 price, though!) I love my EH lasagna pan, so will splurge for a baking stone, just have to decide which one, but it was a relief to see this Q&A to know I was not crazy!

Mar 25, 2013
maatre in Cookware

Search for Alphabet Pasta - Twin Cities

Thank you both! Found them today at Cub! Glad to finally have some again. It would never have occurred to me to look in that section for alphabet pasta! Mole sauce yes, pasta letters, no. Once again, Chowhound comes through.

Apr 09, 2012
maatre in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Search for Alphabet Pasta - Twin Cities

Thank you - I'll take a look the next time I'm at Cub!

Apr 07, 2012
maatre in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Search for Alphabet Pasta - Twin Cities

Does anyone know where I can buy alphabet Pasta in the Twin Cities? Preferably Minneapolis, but I'd go over to St. Paul too, since that would still be cheaper than purchasing it online.

I used to buy it from Trader Joe's, but they stopped selling it a bit ago. I haven't thought about it in a bit, but our interest revived and so I thought I'd see if anyone had seen it anywhere.

Thanks!

Apr 06, 2012
maatre in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Essencha Tea House 2009

I'm behind in my posts talking up this place! I was lucky enough to be there in Nov, 2008, Dec. 2008, and Feb. 2009, courtesy of holidays and a cousin's wedding.

Still such a fabulous place! Still such wonderful tea and terrific service. This place has such a calm atmosphere, even when there are lots of people. It is a treat to sit down with my tea and book and just get away from it all. So much nicer than a Starbucks!

One particular tea worth mentioning: the muscatel darjeeling. It was just the best I've ever had. Of course, it is expensive, so I stuck to teapots there, or the sampler. Still, a tremendous bargain for such a great tea. Of course, the problem after that was getting myself to try something new, which is a great treat in a place like Essencha.

The foods are good, too. I had a great salmon sandwich once. Othertimes I just stick to my usual edamame or dessert accompanyment. Or just tea.

Anyway, Essencha still seems to be going strong. I wish I lived in Cinti to be able to go more often. Intead I go when I'm in town, and stock up on tea (or order it online) when I'm not. But I like to post recent notes just to make sure other chowhounds looking for good tea find it.

Thank you Essencha!

Jun 04, 2009
maatre in General Midwest Archive

More help for jfood from MSP Hounds

I'm normally a lurker, commenter on occasion. Just saw this wonderful thread while looking for something else, and must say:

jfood, I love living here in Minneapolis, and have been here for 5 years. But I went to school both in New Haven, albeit many a year ago (yes pepe's, no sally's, yes to the late naples, and tolerated yorkside because it was close to home), and in Chicago (albeit I prefer thin crust to deep dish).

I believe you will NOT find pizza here to equal either location. I could be wrong, 3 years of child rearing has kept me from sampling new stuff. I will, however, check back to your thread to see if you prove me wrong!

Jun 04, 2009
maatre in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Essencha Tea House Cincinnati- Dec 2007 Report

I've posted about Essencha in Oakley before, and just wanted to update. I thought a fresh post would be better than an attachment to my older post.

Essencha is still there, still great, and I still wish I had it in Mpls. I got to go there 3 times, 2 before Xmas and 1 time after. The place was busy at all times, which I was happy to see. I was even happier that I arrived in time after Christmas, and after a group of 6 had just left, to be able to get a table, because the place was at capacity, including the tiny stools up front.

I got my favorite white tea for Christmas, but also had a Christmas gift certificate to splurge for extra teas to bring home to Mpls. So I'm very happy right now. The Xmas gift to my tea loving aunt was a certificate for Essencha.

Even met a native New Yorker in for business. She was waiting for a tea to go, and we struck up a conversation when she heard me order bubble tea. Turns out she visits the area routinely for work and always makes a point of coming here because it's the best place outside of NYC. I think we both had fun talking about how much we like Essencha, and tea. (Tiffany, if you ever read this, I really enjoyed meeting you and hope your trip home was good.) She also said the scones were terrific, but I was more in the mood for the (still) great edamame instead.

They are billing Tues/Thurs 4-6 as tea and music times. I really wish I could have checked that out, but I wasn't able to visit on those days. Maybe next time I'm back in Cinti.

So, good job guys! Glad you are still there. I hope to be back in the area in April and visit again.

Jan 12, 2008
maatre in General Midwest Archive

Pie has a problem-- the search for the elusive 7 inch pie dish

Your post popped up in a Google search I was doing looking for a Christmas gift for my mother, and so perhaps you might be able to help with a question, if you don't mind an injection into your thread:

Is there no such thing as an 8 inch glass pie plate to be found? I've been searching, and seen nothing. She specified 8 inch, and I know she has the standard pyrex 9 inch plates so I doubt the 8 inch request is incorrect. But I cannot find them anywhere! Does that mean there is no such animal?

I also saw the fiesta ceramic 8 inch on Amazon, but cannot decide if that is a good substitute.

Nov 28, 2007
maatre in Home Cooking

Essencha Tea House - Cincinnati

Hey Tapas and AMFM! Thanks for acknowledging and responding. I want it to stay in business badly so that I can visit whenever I go back! Wish I had it here in Mpls. The only similar place is not nearly as nice/peaceful.

Yes, those tins are great. I brought home with me the Ceylon Silver Tips white tea to try (recommended by the person there since I'd never tried white tea before). What a lovely, lovely tea. I cannot find it here in Mpls, so I'll have to get more when I'm back at Christmas.

That's great to know about the Asian Tea - that will also be on my list to try at Christmas.

Oct 18, 2007
maatre in General Midwest Archive

Essencha Tea House - Cincinnati

I should have posted this in July, but got busy....

I was visiting family in Cinti (grew up there, but don't live there now) and decided to let grandma babysit the 1 yr old. while I take a break (nice of me). On a whim, I looked for a tea house (I don't drink coffee) and stumbled onto Essencha in Oakley. www.essencha.com. It's just around the corner from that big Target complex, across the street from the new restaurant Hugo, formerly Pho Paris (if memory serves).

What a lovely experience! Just a fabulous selection of teas, and a terrific explanatory menu about them all. An elegrant, serene setting. There is food, too, which was a bit of a surprise, it is almost quasi-bistro ish, although bistro is not quite the right word. Not just tea, although they are clearly devoted to tea.

I had my first bubble tea - been meaning to try it, but never made time. I though it was great - just the tapioca pearls in black ceylon tea with mango. And I also had edamame, which was wonderful - served warm with a great flaky salt. Other places I go seem to serve edemame cold, and it was nice to have it warm.

Anyway, since I don't live in Cinti anymore, I don't usually post for it on chowhound. I now live in Minneapolis, and only admittedly only rarely post on chowhound for that city. But I lurke a lot, and appreciate so much the recommendations from others on these boards, so I thought it would be fun to pass this along since I didn't see any messages about Essencha on the boards.

This was just a wonderful find for my visit. I'm looking forward to going back in Dec. when we are in town for Christmas. 2 weeks, perhaps more than one visit!

Sep 20, 2007
maatre in General Midwest Archive

Rec near Minneapolis Children's Hospital?

Bless you. Our son spent 6 weeks at that Children's when he was born. Thinking about feeding ourselves was secondary, but necessary, and the cafeteria option in the hospital itself (or Abbott) is, well, inadequate. Wonderful, wonderful staff at that hospital, though.

Just a bit further on 26th from 26th and Nicollet is Tacos Morelos. I'd bet it would have something vegetarian friendly. Although I'm not too into Mexican, but it seems to me bean burritos are a must for all Mexican places. And I'd bet they'd do a GC, too.

Morelos is definately toddler friendly - we were introduced to it by friends with a toddler., who often played with the owners' little girl.

Although I have to say, the delivery option is a good idea, too. We didn't venture to Global Market - I'm not sure it was even completely open for business then.

Apr 19, 2007
maatre in General Midwest Archive

Amazing Thailand Minneapolis

Obviously I misspoke - I meant to say I don't plan to go to any other Thai place I've already tried - but moomon's post gives good ideas about other good dishes/places that it just shows I've stopped too soon.

Apr 16, 2007
maatre in General Midwest Archive

Amazing Thailand Minneapolis

Wow! Thanks for your post! You've given me some great ideas for things to try on a menu to branch out beyond the basics. And other restaurants I had not even tried to locate yet.

It's always hard - I like the basic foods so much and don't get to have them that often that it sometimes hard to try something new. Now I might even have to hunt down Chai's just for that papaya salad, even if, as an American, I don't like it as much as you do. It'd be nice just to know what it tastes like. But I'll probably go back to Amazing Thailand first, and that BBQ pork dish will be on my list.

Apr 16, 2007
maatre in General Midwest Archive

Amazing Thailand Minneapolis

Oh, right. I forgot. I tried Chiang Mai Thai, too. Wasn't interested in going back, although I did just go for lunch.

Your comment reminded me that I have a Thai cookbook languishing on my bookshelf from an attempt to try Thai at home. I realized I could not do it. It is Thai Home Cooking from Kamolmal's Kitchen By William Crawford and Kamolmal Pootaraksa. On Pad Thai, it says that the traditional home recipe "uses dried shrimp and tofu rather than fresh meat." On American restaurants, it says, "In deference to American tastes, Thai restaurants in the United States often use fresh shrimp and omit the tofu." Just like you said!

Perhaps that's why I had not come up with tofu in the past, having only eaten in restaurants. So does that make Amazing Thai more potentially authentic, then?

My test case is still Duangrat's in the D.C. area, where we lived a long time agoa, and a friend with SE Asian experience introduced us to Thai. Sadly, it's been so long that I don't recall whether they automatically did tofu in the pad thai or not.

Apr 15, 2007
maatre in General Midwest Archive

Amazing Thailand Minneapolis

That's really interesting about the menu - as I noted we didn't see the menu just ordered take out blindly because we wanted to try something new. I'll look forward to your "amazing" meal!

Apr 15, 2007
maatre in General Midwest Archive

Amazing Thailand Minneapolis

Thanks for the info - as I said, I don't claim to be a thai expert, just looking for thai I like. I cannot fathom why people like Sawatdee. We had much better Thai in Boston, where we came from. But then, I don't claim that Boston is a haven for good Thai either.

Apr 15, 2007
maatre in General Midwest Archive

Amazing Thailand Minneapolis

Just wanted to post about the new Thai restaurant Amazing Thailand on Hennepin in Uptown. It is just terrific. I'm an infrequent poster, but often lurk, although lately have not because new baby in the last year cut down on restaurant activities.

I checked this board, and didn't see anyone else commenting on this, so I think this is a first. If someone else did, and I missed it, my apologies.

I don't claim to be a thai expert, just been looking for a long time for Thai that I like. We moved here a couple years ago and have been hunting ever since. We were completely unimpressed with the Sawatdee offerings. (Tom yum soup literally tasted like dishwater - I almost asked if they made a mistake). Tried some of the other Thai recommended on this board, e.g. True Thai on Franklin, but it also had its short comings (bad service, and the food was only so so, in our opinion).

Didn't venture over to St. Paul for Thai, admittedly.

We were pretty happy about the opening of Tum Rup Thai on Lake, but it is a little too "hip" thai ish. And pricey.

Amazing Thailand is definately better than all of those others. We could only do take out (no babysitter) but my husband said the ambience looked wonderful. We did just standard take out as a test case - satay, pad thai with chicken, spring rolls, tom yum with shrimp. Everything was wonderful and flavorful. The spring rolls were big and plump with shrimp and the dipping sauce was a nice spicy flavor. Same with the generous sized satay and wonderful dipping sauce. The pad thai must be made in advance with just meat added upon request - it had tofu in it which we do not usually order. But the flavor made up for that mistake. The pad thai order was smaller than we often see, but it easily fed both of us, with a little left over, given everything else we had ordered.

Our only complaint comes from our own ignorance - the soups were huge! We had in mind appetizer sized soups, but apparently ordered 2 dinner sized soups (that comes from not having the menu in front of us and not asking). The soups were great - and soups don't often travel well to home via take out. Really spicy, and we asked only for medium (luckily we both had colds so it helped the sinuses). And since we had so much soup, we had it in the fridge for a couple of days and it held up well.

I think the place is pretty reasonably priced. The dinner sized soups cost about half of the total bill. If we had appetizer soups (don't know if they offer them, no menu in front of us and my husband forgot to ask if they have a take out menu), the price would likely have been quite reasonable, probably about $25-$30. The dinner soups were about $14 each, and so brought the bill closer to $60.

All in all we felt this was a terrific addition to Uptown, and certainly convenient for us. I don't plan to go to any other Thai place.

I'd love to hear what other people think.

Apr 14, 2007
maatre in General Midwest Archive