• Location: chisai

A Sandwich a Day: Veggie Pita at Marrakesh

I get lunch from these guys at least once a week. I do their Vegetarian Sandwich Complete Balanced Lunch special. Sandwich is falafel and grape leaves, or falafel and hummus. I always add hot sauce. I side it with the Harira soup and the fruit salad. Lunch is the sandwich, dinner is the soup/fruit salad. I love these guys.

You're right though, they do not travel well.

Secrets from the Host Stand: 10 Things a Restaurant Host Wishes They Could Tell You

I get that it's hard work. That said, I disagree with the bulk of points made in this article, and the put-upon attitude I'm seeing in it makes me want to never visit whatever restaurant you or your friends work in. Dude, you seat people, take reservations and listen to a certain amount of bitching. You are not ronin. Jesus.

Patrons at a restaurant should show up on time, be pleasant, and leave a decent tip. That it's. That's as far as their jog goes. The hardcore requirements are for the people getting paid/tipped. As a host, seat me. If I have a reservation, don't make me wait half an hour for my table. Don't sigh when I ask, at 825pm, when I'll be finally be seated at the table I reserved for 8pm and showup on time for.

One of the reasons that so many people use OpenTable is because it is far easier than dealing with the restaurant itself. No endless ringing, no being put on hold.

I don't care one way or another about same-side seaters, though having done so once or twice myself over the course of my life, I don't get the appeal. It's uncomfortable.

Dhorst's Not So Secret Dipping Sauce

Diana Horst is the bomb.

Do You Agree with New York City's Soda Ban?

I think the ban is ridiculous. It's one thing to regulate size in schools, which I can kind of, maybe, see. It is an entirely different thing when the government has the audacity to tell full grown adults how large their soda pop is allowed to be. Bloomberg's nannyism is out of control. I rarely drink soda, so this doesn't affect me on a personal level, but it still really pisses me off.

And some of the exceptions are just... So, I can't have that 24 oz coke unless I put a shot of rum in it? Awesome!

Personally, I'm already gearing up for when they decide that my 8 oz cheeseburger needs to be shrunk, or that perhaps the cheese itself is just too much fat.

It used to be a matter of trying to keep the government out of out wallets and bedrooms. Now they've added dinner to the list.

Cereal Eats: Can We Talk About Weetabix?

Them. Not me. Them.

Cereal Eats: Can We Talk About Weetabix?

I've always eaten me thusly - pour a cup of milk. Dunk the Weetabix like cookies. Eat. These and Cheerios are my two all time favorite cereals.

Taste Test: Jarred Pasta Sauces from Celebrity Chefs and Restaurants

Rao's is the only jarred sauce I use. It is delicious. I usually just make it, but there's always a jar in the cupboard for emergencies. It's funny, I looked at the sauce blobs in your review and I instantly recognized it.

Bread Baking: Reuben Danish

Donna, this totally lifts you up into the food god pantheon. This is freakin' brilliant.

Pudding...more than just mush?

@Mr. Fed Up, I refuse to believe your post is real, not on this site. You're joking and seeing who will bite.

Cadbury Creme Egg Salad Sandwiches

Just because one can do something, doesn't mean they should do something. Yes, it is possible to make a cadbury egg salad sandwich, but seriously, why?

Cadbury Creme Egg Salad Sandwiches

Just because one can do something, doesn't mean they should do something. Yes, it is possible to make a cadbury egg salad sandwich, but seriously, why?

FYI to Serious Eats on Latin Cooking...

Okay, this is pretty awesome. A need is stated, and it is met by TPTB. Thank you so much @Kenji! I love real Latin food, and can't stand Tex-Mex, so this will be an awesome addition.

If I may make a request, if you could come up with a great Peruvian aji sauce recipe (like the one from Sophie's in NYC) I will see about sending some of my 401(k) your way.

Overused food descriptions.

The list, it is endless. Sammie and Sammich. YummO! Nom, nom, nom. 'za. Artisanal/artisan used for any food that comes out of a freakin' factory. Dominos does not make an Artisan pizza, no matter what they think. Delish. I'm also not a fan of the NY weirdness pronunciation of certain foods, manacotti being managot, mozzarella being mootzarel, ricotta being regot.

Also, I think I want to marry @Bobthebunny25.


I do find Yelp to be a place of extremes, but it can sometimes be helpful. If I hate a place and then go into Yelp and read the reviews, I'm like, in my head, "yea, what he/she said!", and I feel better about my shared awful experience. I've loved plenty places the Borg's hate, and hated plenty places they loved. Where I find Yelp to be especially helpful is in apartment hunting, reviews on buildings and such. Not so much o. The food issue.

Giving eggplant a chance

Mollie Katzen's Tunisian Eggplant Appetizer is just about the most delicious thing a person can do with eggplant.

Google it. Trust me, it's amazing.

10 Fun Toppings for Popcorn

If you add mochi rice crackers to the furikake, you have Hawaiian hurricane popcorn, the best thing ever.

Also, Sazon Goya seasoning packets are awesome on popcorn.

Cookbooks with Stamina

How is The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan not on this list? I think it is, hands down, the best cookbook I've ever owned. Simple, straightforward, brilliant. The all-over-the-web tomato butter pasta sauce, and lemon roasted chicken? Theyr're there. They're her recipes.

Pantry and Fridge Frustrations. Has It Happened To You?

I am the exact opposite, at least with pantry stuff. If I like an item, I load up. I tend to have very specific favorites that are often hard to find, so I load up on them. My freezer is filled with Indian spice mixes, I buy verjus and Melfor vinegar six bottles at a time. Plus, I can get my favorite cereal way cheaper through Amazon than the market, but it's six boxes at a time. You'd think I was feeding an army.

New Sandwiches at 'wichcraft

They took the meatloaf off the menu for a while. It's back! And Pricier! They keep taking the stuff I like off the menu. I loved their grilled ham breakfast sandwich. Gone. Endive green salad. Gone. At least the meatloaf is back and they still have that awesome chickpea salad.

A Sandwich a Day: Spam Musubi 'Sandwich' at Ate-Oh-Ate in Portland, OR

I love spam musubi. It is SO ridiculously good, and SO hard to get people to try it once they hear the dreaded word spam. Never had it with the omelet though. Gotta try that.

Also, for anyone wanting to try it out, @Robyn Lee's tutorial is pretty great.

I call shenanigans!

I'm sure that there are people with huge problems when it comes to food, for whatever reasons. I have a friend who during a particularly stressful period in her life developed this thing where food that really needed to be chewed would gag and then her throat would close up. It took years of therapy for her to get over it, and even so, she could never eat something like a steak.

That said, I also think there are loads of people who will happily make mountains out of relative molehills just to be on television, or for the attention, or whatever.

The Vegan Experience, Day 0

If I may, keep umeboshi paste, capers and kalamata olives on hand at all times. They will keep you sane and happy.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: The Sriracha Lover's Ultimate Gift Pack

In a big old bowl of ramen. Or mixed with kerchup for fries.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Korin Knife

I've got a bunch of high end knives, but honestly, the knives I use most are these cheap Ginsu knives from a set I've had for over 30 years. The filet and the utility. I use them constantly. They are razor sharp (still), slice paper thin and require zero upkeep.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Southside Market Sausage, Chicken, and Steaks

Blue Smoke in NYC for NYC, which is not exactly known for its barbecue, and with good reason.

Where is Cakespy?

I noticed that I haven't see on Cakespy around for a while. Is she still a SE contributor, or has she left the site?

Mexican Food in Monmouth County?

I was wondering whether anyone here could suggest a really good Mexican restaurant in the Monmouth County area. I don't know the place at all, but am visiting friends there and would like to take them out to a nice, real Mexican (not Tex-Mex) dinner. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

How do you make make edamame?

I wanted edamame, but I wanted it a little different, you know? So I minced up some garlic, cooked it with some olive oil and crushed red pepper. Made the edamame, tossed it with the olive oil mixture and lots of salt and pepper, and OMG, it was amazing.

So now I'm thinking, hey, maybe I've not fully realized the wonderful things I can do with this very healthy, fun to eat, podded vegetable (It needs the pod, doesn't it? It seems somehow lacking without it.).

So what do you do with it, outside of the standard cook and lightly salt? I'd love to see some interesting ideas on this.

I Need Help w/Sorbets and Frozen yogurt. So Please, Help Me!

I've been making my own sorbets and frozen yogurts now for a while (not so big on ice cream) and the results have been pretty good, but not exactly what I'm looking for. My problem is that I want a real intensity of flavor of the actual fruit, not of the sugar, which I need for proper consistency. I did a kick ass blueberry lemon frozen yogurt this weekend. It was really good, my best ever, but it still lacked the blueberry-ness I'd hoped for. I'm looking for that intensity of flavor that makes the back of your jaw take notice, you know?

So how do I get it? I realize that with frozen yogurt it would be way tougher, but how about with sorbets? Is there any way to use less sugar and not end up with a block of ice? Honestly, I'm about at the point where I'm considering using frozen concentrated juice, but that seems wrong somehow.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

I'm going to a Mad Men party and need to bring food. Help!

So, I'm going to a Mad Men cocktail party, which should be pretty cool. I've been asked to bring an hors d' oeuvres. Thing is, the only thing I know that I think was a hit then is rumaki (though I could be totally wrong on this, time-wise) and I really hate rumaki. Any suggestions? The party isn't until the season premier, August 16, so I certainly have time to come up with something, but I have a feeling that left to my own devices, feeling so out of my depth, that it's gonna be something like a skewer with ham, pineapple and a maraschino cherry, which would be so wrong on every possible level.

Bento Boxes, where do you buy them online?

I have a fairly large collection of bento boxes, but darn it, I'm a collector and want more. Thing is, my go to source, jbox/ costs a fortune in shipping. Does anyone here know of a good online source, not located in Japan, where I can continue to feed my addiction?

Veg Liaison - Part 2

Does anybody know what happened to it? I remember a lot of talk about starting one up with (hopefully) the very awesome possible name of Seriously mEATless. Much chatter and then nothing. Is one going to actually be started up here? Or is the veg thing her and I'm just missing it?

Banning fast food near schools? Your take.

So, as I was listening to the news this morning, they had a story about a NYC councilman who has proposed banning fast food near schools:

story here

Personally, I think it's crazy, but was interested in your take. Are you good with the idea of banning fast food near schools?

What do you collect?

Okay, I'll say it, I should be on a 12 step program for dishware. I love the stuff. I'm not a big fan of 8 full place settings. I prefer different settings for each person. I like the look. I have dragonware tea cups and saucers, dessert settings from the 18th century that have been in my family since, well, the 18th century, a set of my great, great, go on until 17th century, wine glasses. I have some of the most ridiculously beautiful chopsticks you've ever seen. BUT! I found the total crack of and and now am fully addicted. I bought a bowl with dragonflies on it that was so beautiful, I've commissioned for a whole place setting.

So I guess my question is, do you collect? If so, what? Salt cellars, tea cups, Lodge?

The Green Sauce at Sophie's - What is it?

Does anyone here know what's in the green sauce at Sophie's? The stuff is amazing, but I am stumped. I want to bathe in it. I want every single thing I eat to swim in it. They are not forthcoming when asked. I was thinking it was aji sauce, because the owners are actually Peruvian, but I don't taste the lettuce.

Any idea? I want to be able to make it so I always have it on hand. Please?

Lap-Band Eating - I Need Help For A Friend

Okay, I'm a total mom, enabler. I know this. A friend of mine got lap-band surgery years and years ago. Over the last few months she's been feeling run down and always kind of, I don't know, hinky. She hasn't been good about taking her vitamins and I think food has become a tiny priority in her life. She's eating crap. Now I think that with only being able to eat such small amounts of food, that whatever you put in your mouth should (a) taste really good, and (b) be loaded with vitamins and minerals and other good stuff. So, I've been trying to come up with tasty, super healthy food for her to eat. She's always broke (her job pays practically nothing), can't eat steaky things due to the band, hates fish, like shrimp and crab, and has been spending far too much time with skinless, boneless chicken breasts (which would totally put me off my feed). She has no problem with rice, which some LB people do.

So anyhow, any ideas? I'm trying to come up with really tasty, very healthy, super cheap food for her to eat.

And yes, she's going to the doctor.

Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed Beef - Your Opinion

Do you prefer grain fed or grass fed beef? I’ve recently begun buying grass fed beef from a farmer’s market, and I really like it. It’s been ground meat since I’ve just recently been able to chew since my surgery, am no where near steak status yet.

The meat tastes beefier and it’s got a better mouth feel. It’s a bit lower in fat, but that’s easily fixed. I’m wondering about steaks and such for when I’m up to it. Now, I’ve never been a fan of “soft” meat, like filet mignon. My favorite steak is skirt steak. I like the chew and I much prefer the flavor.

From your experience, what’s your take on grass vs. grain? Are grass fed steaks tastier, better? Does the stew meat work better in stews? Obviously, for the cow it’s better, and probably healthier for us, but what about for you in terms of enjoyment and useability?

Oral Surgery - What the heck do I eat?

So, I had this massive oral surgery (major owie). Per the doc, I probably shouldn't eat anything I actually have to chew for at least a week. I'm all about the Ensure, and then, slowly, Spaghetti-O's, and maybe a bit of jello. But seriously? I need something more. Any great ideas on soft food that will not make me feel as though I've regressed to grammar school?

Disclaimer - I'mon serious meds right now. Any typo's should be ignored.

Have you discovered any new amazing foods lately?

I ask this because just five minutes ago I tried a new cheese (well, new for me at any rate). It's Cypress Grove Chevre Truffle Tremor. Seriously? I think this is just about the most delicious cheese I've ever eaten in my life. I mean, swoon inducing. It's kind of very extremely pricey and I'd never have gone there except that since I've given up the meat thing for Lent, I've given myself a bit more leeway in the expensive cheese area. And boy, oh boy, it's totally worth giving up the burgers for a while.

So how about you? Any awesome new food finds?

Is anyone here giving up a certain food for Lent?

Sigh. Wednesday it starts. I've been shoving cheeseburgers down me at an alarming rate, since I've decided to give up meat, poultry, fish and probably junk food for Lent (still not 100% sure about the junk food as I'm not certain I'm ready for the double-whammy of both). Tomorrow will be a festival of bacon, steak and fried chicken.

Is anyone else here giving up a certain food for Lent? If so, what?

Looking for help with homemade yogurt

Okay, for my very first time ever, I made homemade yogurt.

I used:

1 quart whole Ronnybrook milk
1/2 cup full fat Ronnybrook plain yogurt
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk (the yogurt maker called for 1/4 to 1/2)

I heated the milk and dry milk to just below boiling, cooled it to 110, mixed in the plain yogurt, put in the preheated yogurt maker and left it there for 6 hours. Stirred it a little then stuck it in the fridge for 12 hours or so. Then hit it with a whisk.

So here's the thing - it's a little grainy. Not terribly, but it is noticeable.

So my question is - Is that how homemade yogurt is supposed to be? It's never been that way with the commercially prepared yogurt I buy (I generally go organic and plain - Stonyfield Farms or Ronnybrook (my absolute favorite). Have I under whisked? I did it for a while, but maybe not enough? Did I use too much nonfat dry milk? Or is that the nature of the beast? It's not bad, but I do prefer totally, totally smooth. If any of you make your own, can you please tell me what the deal is? It would be most appreciated.

How has Serious Eats improved the quality of your life?

I felt the need to post this thread after receiving my very awesome Lock and Lock food containers. I had no idea such a thing existed and I'm just loving them.

And I can finally make decent short ribs.

And when I have a food question, I get actual useful answers.

And I get help when trying to figure out what my newest food appliance will be, again, useful answers from people who know what they're talking about because they use them.

And my Kechacha sauce! (Ketchup and Sriracha) which came from someone posting about whether they could be mixed and me thinking "Great idea!" - Please note - on French fries? Awesome.

And where to find good bread machine recipes.

The list goes on and on.

Oh, plus the people on this site are mostly pretty great.

What are the thing that you've learned from this site that affect your everyday food life?

What would your last meal be?

In keeping of the spirit of tonight's Top Chef episode, what would your last meal be?

For me? My gram's fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and banana pudding.

How about you?

What food will you not compromise on? Even if it means mucho $$$

Okay, I'll admit that I'm spoiled, but there are certain things I'm not willing to cut corners on. If I want prosciutto, I want Proscuitto de Parma, or its equivalent. The knockoff supermarket version isn't worth it to me. If it's not in the budget that week, I don't have it. I have a wonderful bottle of 30 year old balsamic vinegar that I happily shelled out the big bucks for. It lasts for a long time and it does things to good that the supermarket stuff never will. And for me it's not just a money issue, I'm just as "line in the sand" with cheap stuff sometimes. If I want a Big Mac, I want a Big Mac. A Whopper, while quite tasty, is not a Big Mac and it just won't do when the spirit moves me.

What are the foods that you will not compromise on? Where it's the best (or your very favorite) and with feet dug in, it's your way or the highway.

What is your all time cookbook? Just one. What would it be?

Just one. That one cookbook you'd take to a desert island (hopefully one with a decent meat and produce section :-) !

For me, it would be, hands down, Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. I could happily live forever eating the dishes in that book.

How about you. What would be the one cookbook that could see you through forever?

I need some short ribs help

I bought a bunch of short ribs because they were on sale and was dying for some beefy goodness. So then, there I am looking at them, remembering that whenever I make them they always come out kind of slimy and weird. I've roasted them, cooked them in wine over a low heat on the stove, slow cooked them, nothing seems to make them taste the way they do outside my home. They are my Achilles Heel. Which is kind of embarrassing because everyone else on the planet seems to make them well. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I season them, brown them, and then do whatever. Help me. Please.

How do you make them?

Rediscoving old food favorites. Have you? I sure have!

The week before last, I was jonesing for Mollie Katzen's Brazillian black bean soup. All my MK cookbooks had been lent and never returned. The very cool @littlestcapy and @chgoeditor found it for me. Which got me to reorder my missing books. All these dishes that I was sure I would remember forever and then promptly forgot how to make came swooping down. I was in a cooking frenzy this weekend, making so many of my old favorites. It was awesome! OMG, her Tunisian Eggplant Appetizer, her Gingery Chickpeas. Which got me to thinking about food that I'd eaten and loved for years and then just sort of forgot about. And then found again and fell in love with anew.

Do you have any foods that you'd put in that category? Stuff that was a mainstay and then just sorta disappeared only to come back front and center on your dinner table?

How much do you tip the food delivery person?

I never know if I'm doing it right. Do I give too much? Too little? I tend to tip by distance and/or weather. If the restaurant right downstairs from me brings lunch it's one tip, usually a couple bucks, if it's from 10 blocks away and raining it's double.

What do you do? How do you figure your tips? Is it by food cost, weather, distance?

Chocolate 'Crack'

This salty and sweet bark is super easy to make and more than mildly addictive. Most traditional recipes use semi-sweet chocolate chips, but if you have access to really good dark chocolate, it will take the recipe to the next level. More