• Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Favorite foods: Apple pie, oatmeal raisin cookies and salads of any stripe
  • Last bite on earth: Apple pie

One Brand of Coconut Water Destroys All Others

Ok, now I'm intrigued enough to try coconut water again. I think BanannaP and I tasted the same batch, which had a distinct flavor of sweat. When the Spouse next makes a Whole Foods run, I'll ask him to grab a bottle as a treat.

Why Diners Are More Important Than Ever

All diners must serve coleslaw in those little pleated paper cups. 'Tis the law!

Plus, any true diner has some variation of a Lumberjack Breakfast: pancakes, eggs any style and multiple breakfast meats. Pure calorie and sat-fat heaven.

Chefs and Food Bloggers on the Ultimate Thanksgiving Sandwich

"Mucking is for other days when I am way over turkey."

Words to live by!

Manner Matters: How to Deal With Lateness

The only couple in our social circle who is chronically late is family, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. After an utter debacle on vacation - great aunt's 90th birthday, we paid a premium per head to dine on the beach and watch the sunset, Couple shows up 40 minutes late as the sun is disappearing - we learned not to do anything special when we dine out with them. We don't make reservations; we go to casual neighborhood places where we can walk in; we don't go anywhere trendy/hot where the difference between meeting up at 6.30 (scheduled) and 7.20 (actual time they deign to arrive) can be a two-hour wait for a table.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Tomorrow's My Grand Opening

Your blog has been a delight. Best of luck!

Manner Matters: In Praise of Place Cards

Boy, I'd love more place cards! Would do away with those awkward moments when everyone is milling around the dining table, drink in hand, waiting for SOMEone to claim a place so the rest can start the whole "are you sitting there? Will Spouse be next to you? OK, so I'll move over two...." and then the people who were in the bathroom or helping out in the kitchen end up with the random single spots at the end of the table, next to the 3-year-old.

I host very small dinners because Spouse is partially deaf and can't hear a darn thing if there are more than six seated around the table. Six with placecards would feel a little affected/pretentious, but eight or over seems to cry out for them.

The Real Reason Sugar Has No Place in Cornbread

I got no issues with sugar in cornbread. Some of the stuff served in restaurants is more like pound cake with a little corn flavoring, but a bit of sugar in the cornbread tastes fine to me, since that little bit of sweet is a nice offset to saltier Southern staples like greens, black-eyed peas or fried meat.

My Southern-born mother made two versions: cornmeal, hot water and a little salt fried up in a cast-iron skillet was hoecakes; cornmeal with a pinch of sugar, leavening, an egg and oil (oil heated in the baking pan until smoking, then added to batter before the batter went back into the pan) was cornbread. She added flour if she didn't want it fall-apart grainy.

Taste Test: 1 Day, 23 Pop-Tart Flavors

Danish-Go-Rounds, there's a blast from the past! Growing up, Pop Tarts were a very occasional treat in my house, mostly because one of them would always droop and fall apart in the toaster and we'd have to put up with eau de burning Pop Tart for a while. Brown-sugar cinnamon, frosted, was the ONLY acceptable flavor, though strawberry Go-Rounds ran a close second.

The Age of the Vegan Tasting Menu: A Look at Del Posto's 8-Course Vegan Meal

That's an impressive meal.

Manner Matters: How to Share Food Without Being Rude

@ Magtured: Sure, but I prefer not to tongue-kiss everyone who's eating with me that day. ;)

Manner Matters: How to Share Food Without Being Rude

Heehee, "greedy, oafish and just generally nasty" is my new phrase of the week. I'm on the more "uptight" side of things and get grossed out by communal-dish polluters, so appreciate tips on tactful ways to get people to realize that their casual attitude towards hygiene isn't mine, and at least in my house we're going by my standards.

@BostonAdam, do I have a gross Ethiopian-food story for YOU! Ate with a pig of a man who had a sinus infection and decided the best way for him to be comfortable was to drain a bottle of beer, then use the empty bottle as his snort/hawk/spit receptacle. At the table. This was years and years ago, and to this day I can't stomach Ethiopian food.

Manner Matters: Should You Tattle on Kids Sneaking Food?

Suppose the little girl in question is skinny and not 'very chubby', is there even a question about what to do? Of course not, you ignore the behavior because it's not your kid and it's not potentially dangerous dining-table behavior that an outsider should correct if the parents don't see it (i.e. playing with a steak knife, poking chopsticks up her brother's nose). I'm firmly in the MYOB camp.

Knife Skills: How to Cut a Pineapple Like a Badass

I have to try this. My technique is the same, minus the eye cutting - I was taught to trim the sides deeply enough to get all the eyes, which does waste a lot of flesh.

And I didn't know people actually liked the core. I complained to the owner of my local corner store when it sold pre-cut pineapple with the core still in the slices.

Manner Matters: The Finer Points of Eating With Your Hands

@MrsSell - too true!

My only request is please, please don't suck on or lick your fingers. Napkins and wipes are there for a reason.

Manner Matters: How to Order When Out to Dinner

Excellent answer.

I assume if I order a course less than the rest of the table, I'm responsible for carrying the conversation while they're eating and I'm sipping my wine.

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen?

Had a little one by the fridge in the old kitchen, am replacing with a larger one when our kitchen renovation is completed.

@Breezycooking, extinguishers do expire since the pressure lessens over time. You should have a gauge at the top of the extinguisher that looks like a compass, which will indicate if the current pressure level is adequate. There are services to re-charge an old extinguisher, though often the cost of recharging equalw the cost of buying new.

Open Thread: When Did You First Fall in Love with Pizza?

My mom bought those make-your-own pizza kits when I was a kid, the ones where you added water to the envelope of flour/yeast, let the dough rise, patted it out on the pizza pan, then topped with the kit's sauce and your own toppings. We added lots of sauteed vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms), shredded cheddar, grated parmesan and either ground beef or - treat! - pepperoni. I remember feeling like quite the little cook, at age 9 or 10, when I could make the pizza on my own and feed the family a pizza dinner.

Staff Picks: Design Your Dream Ben & Jerry's Flavor

I loved American Apple Pie and wish they'd bring it back...

For a new flavor, I'll take vanilla ice cream, peanut butter swirls and chunks of graham cracker.

Ask a Sommelier: Are Wines By the Glass a Good Deal?

I really appreciate thoughtful by-the-glass selections, since my most frequent dining companion is Spouse and we don't have the same taste in wines at all.

What are NYC's Most Overrated Restaurants?

Talde - agree with Cochon upthread. Food is way underseasoned and you get the hard sell about ordering lots and lots to share. I live close by and am amazed they draw the crowds they do.

DBGB Kitchen - loud and some of the saltiest food I've ever tasted.

Manner Matters: How to Suitably Slurp Shellfish

Huh, never knew about using one mussel shell to prise the meat out of others. Don't you worry about breaking off little pieces of shell from the scraping shell that would be in your next mouthful of meat? I'm forks all the way, and PLEASE Restaurant Front of House, give me a good-sized bowl for empty shells (NOT a bread plate, thanks) and a damp cloth or two to wipe my hands.

I slurp my raw shellfish but not too noisily. It's not ramen, it's just a small bite and a teaspoon of liquid to get down. I think the loud shellfish slurpers are regressing to their grade-school days, when burps and farts and slurps were funnier.

16 Great Ways to Eat Squid and Octopus in NYC

Molyvos, midtown West (Seventh Avenue near Carnegie Hall), has a great grilled octopus salad on its all-day 'cafe menu'. The regular lunch and dinner menus have a nice grilled octopus appetizer with warm potatoes and capers.

Any love for soggy fries?

I'm a soggy-fry fan and the FIRST fries that came to mind when I read your description were 5 Guys.

Manner Matters: Dealing with Dietary Demands

Spot-on answer. As a host, I'll ask once and accommodate as best as I can, but if you're very very restricted in what you can eat - gluten-free vegan allergic to herbs, spices and olive oil, say - I would ask you kindly to bring your own food, for your peace of mind and mine.

As guests, Spouse and I both have dietary restrictions and we try to be as easy as possible for our hosts. For a buffet-style meal, we're happy to pick our way through whatever is on offer, even if it means we have bread and salad for dinner (it's ONE meal, after all). For a sit-down planned meal, we send an email similar to the one Spouse did for the upcoming Easter dinner at his cousin's house:

"Many thanks for the Easter invitation. MargieNash and I are very much looking forward to seeing you all. Unfortunately we both have dietary restrictions and will not be able to eat lamb with the rest of you (for me because of TMJ and for MargieNash because she has been on a vegetarian diet for the last 9 months). Could we therefore bring a pasta salad to supplement the lamb? Perhaps we can also bring a side dish?"

What do you guys prefer plastic or wooden

The 18 Best Vegetarian Recipes of 2013

Who would have thought that 2013 would be the year of the vegetarian recipe? Taking a look back at the recipes we've tested and tasted over the last year, I was amazed at not only the volume of vegetarian content we produce, but at its popularity with you, the Serious Eats community. Here are 18 of our favorite and most popular. More

Sweet Potato Brioche French Toast

There are a lot of steps involved in this recipe for sweet potato French toast with homemade sweet potato brioche, but none of them are hard, and if you've never made brioche be reassured that it's among the easiest of bread doughs. If you can make cake, you can make brioche! More