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Taste Test: Orange Soda

No mention of the insomnia inducing amount of caffeine in Sunkist (more than in regular cola) whereas I think most of the others are caffiene free.

Where do I get the wood for a brick oven?

Make sure the wood hasn't been treated, a lot of commercial firewood gets treated for insects and while it's fine for a roaring fire that looks pretty, not so good if you're going to eat what's sitting over it.

Is there a way to get a restaurant reservation if they are full?

Pull the Ferris Bueller and say you're someone else on the list.

Bad taste or just plain ignorance?

Wow....someone really thinks highly of themselves.

People like what they like, doesn't mean they're ignorant or have bad taste, just that they are an individual...shocking I know, but there was a time when people didn't feel the need to follow the latest trend and just ate what they enjoyed or could afford.

I'm thinking about going to the CIA...

Have you ever worked in a restaurant kitchen? If not, I'd suggest you do that before making any major decisions, even if you have to volunteer your time it would be worth it to get a sense of reality.

Attn. tea snobs: recommendations?

Harney & Sons has a great selection of fine teas.

Your food budget

Living in Manhattan I've learned how screwed up my food budget is compared to the rest of the country, for my wife and I (we eat breakfast and lunch out most weekdays) spend around $100 a week for dinners, and 3 meals a day on the weekend.

We do buy a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, but most of it is just the cost of living here.

Trader Joe's Suggestions?

If you like spicy dijon mustard you must try the one from TJs, best I've had and less than $2 a jar, it will melt your sinuses.

I'm a big fan of their blackberry and cherry preserves too, again very good and a reasonable price.

No salt needed in pasta water, or most anything else

You can have your no salt cooking, personally I like flavor and flavor means salt.

Andrew Zimmern crossed that line on Bizarre Foods

If you read his blog on the Travel Channel website, he describes them as "a bunch of drunken, psychotic camel butchers" so I doubt he agreed with their practice.

Yes it was a bit gruesome, but that's reality.

Do you run in horror when they toss a live lobster into a pot of boiling water or when they pull a fish out of the ocean letting it flop around on the deck until it's sufficated?

Wedding Venues in Westchester/Hudson Valley

Boscobel is a great location with amazing views of the river, attended a wedding there a few years ago, from what I was told it's not cheap, but that view will impress.

Have lard, will travel...

If someone is use to vegan fats giving them lard can lead to unpleasant things in the bathroom.

I am sure in small amounts it might be fine, but I'd be very careful.

Food Network Cancels 'Ace of Cakes'

It's about time..what a terrible show and Duff was little more than a comic little monkey of a man.

Have you ever made a dish that you HATE to fulfill a request?

Don't feel too bad, my hatred of hard boiled eggs is so bad that I can't even tolerate the smell of them, even hours later I can smell if they've been around.

My wife was told early on that the cooking of hard boiled eggs in our house will be grounds for divorce.

Best place to preorder pies for Thanksgiving??

The Little Pie Company

Their Sour Cream Apple Walnut is amazing.

Daily Slice: Vinny Vincenz, East Village

This was one of my favorite places and the Sicilian was to die for, sadly that was 2-3 years ago, now it's a sad shell of itself serving lackluster pizza by rude and abbrasive staff.

Does anyone know if the owner/manager changed?

Road Trip: Boudin and Crawfish Kolaches in Louisiana

@Heidi - Lake Charles is about 3 1/2 hours down I-10 from New Orleans, you're unlikely to find kolaches in New Orleans as it's more of an eastern TX dish.

Sorry to pop your bubble, but I wouldn't want you to run around New Orleans trying to find these.

Polite Restaurant Seating

Perhaps you should visit the restaurant in question ahead of time so you can game-plan with the host about how you want people seated and what table you want, possible even how you want them to guide you thru the dinning area. If possible, recruit bystanders into an impromptu practice sessions so you know the plan is going to work.

Now when you get there you'll be ahead of the game because the host is on your side and you've hopefully had a dry run or two so you're ready to lead people into the wilds of restaurant seating.

Don't forget to nicely tip the host for this extra help.

"gourmet" Cooking/Serving Advice You Ignore?

Scrambled eggs cooked until they are dry and starting to brown in places.

Chicken cooked until it's dry, I hate moist juicy chicken, but oddly I prefer my beef rare and bloody.

Red Wine/White Wine - I prefer white wine and have no qualms drinking it with beef or other traditional red wine dishes, I am buying and drinking it so I get what I like.

Pomegranate Molasses...

I've used it as part of a glaze for pork roast with a little OJ.

Grilled: Camille Ford, Host of 'Food Wars'

Possibly the worst show on TV, amazing how every vote is a nail- bitting 3-2 victory, yeah it's not staged.

Have you ever spit your food into a napkin?

Ketchup & Hot Sauce can cover up just about anything


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