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5 Issues Craft Beer Drinkers Should Be Talking About

I wish more beer bars would offer half-pints. It's my favorite way to drink beer because I can sample more and they're always done before they get warm. Plus, it's easier to avoid overdrinking, since I could sample a half-pint of a high gravity beer and then switch to something with a lower AVB, instead of downing that whole 10% pint.

Terrible service experience -- how mad should I be?

I should add, the food was fantastic. That was the only redeeming quality for what was otherwise a terrible experience.

@likeswords, the other event was one of those, "drop in any time" sorts of things and a 5-minute walk from the restaurant. If check had been dropped and picked up in a timely fashion, we would have been fine. As for the wine, we weren't a group of wine-drinkers, so the two of us who were ordered by the glass. Really, until the last 20 minutes, ("WHERE DID SHE GO WITH OUR MONEY") it was more amusing than infuriating and that's when we spoke to the manager.

@erin_in_AR, I think I'll definitely send them an email, although I'm definitely gunshy about going back. And it clearly wasn't an off night -- other tables (not just the bloggers) were being served promptly. We just felt like an afterthought. I really think that they scaled back on the server handling the blogger and gave his tables to our server, who couldn't handle them.

Need killer post-half marathon breakfast in Charlotte, NC

Where are you staying? Harvest Moon is good in Uptown and there are some good places in other neighborhoods, as well. Crepe Cellar in NoDa is my go-to.

Charlotte NC

The Penguin is a dive bar with Charlotte's best burgers (at least through Oct. 24).

Amelie's French Bakery is good for desserts and a relatively quick breakfast, but it's a must-visit.

What part of town will you be in?

Oh, and a note about Price's -- it IS a must-visit, but it's cash only and carryout. And they close at 6.

Is Vodka Dead?

I think vodka's just returning to its natural place in the bartender's arsenal. I don't think vodka's ever going to go away, but I'm glad that other spirits are getting their due attention.

Need help picking a US foodie travel destination!

If I were you, I'd do a Southern road trip and hit Memphis, New Orleans, Birmingham and all the little towns in between.

Also, Atlanta is a great, underrated food town and really young and inexpensive, too.

Food Network's New Offerings

I want to say Jeff Corwin is a vegetarian, so that show could be interesting. But I could be making that up...

And I will never say no to more Alton Brown on my TV.

Domino's Launches Line of Bread Bowl Pastas

I've eaten some fairly questionable dishes in my life, but this crosses a line. If it weren't 20 days late, I'd have thought it was an April Fool's Joke.

Alice Waters Agrees with Me: President Obama Needs to Try Some Beets

Clearly the problem is that the leader of the free world, a man with a reputation for loving good food, has never had beets properly prepared. If only someone would educate this man in how beets are supposed to taste! Surely that will change his mind!

I respect what Alice Waters had done for the slow food movement, but the level of arrogance in that piece blows my mind.

what do YOU substitute to make something healthier?

If something is going to be a treat, like cookies, I don't try to make it healthier.

But for everyday dinners and such, I try to use whole grains instead of white ones whenever possible and beef up dishes with lots of grains and veggies instead of other things. And I use Parmesan cheese pretty often, because you can get a lot of flavor without using a lot.

In theory [blank] sounded like a good idea...reality, however...

I went through a phase where I tried to cook Asian food intuitively and thought, "I like the taste of red curry paste and I can handle a lot of heat" so I combined a can of tomato paste, a tablespoon of peanut butter and half a jar of curry paste.

I ordered a pizza. And went on to perfect the recipe into some kind of tomato/curry/peanut/coconut sauce that's not too bad, although I'm sure anyone with a working knowledge of any type of Asian cuisine would cringe.

@dbcurrie: My college roommates were always grossed out when I'd make soup when I was sick. Take one can of Progresso chicken noodle soup, add a can of green chiles and season liberally with hot sauce and red wine vinegar. It sounds disgusting to me now, but it works wonders when I'm sick.

Your Cookbook Arsenal

In our kitchen, we turn to Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa at Home," Abel & Cole's "Cooking Outside the Box" and Fannie Farmer. And the Food Lover's Companion, which comes in handy with the Abel & Cole cookbook, since it's a British cookbook and calls for crazy things like rocket (arugula) and swedes (rutabagas)

Has Anyone Had Sister Schubert's Rolls or Marshall's Biscuits?

Every Southerner I know is proud to serve Sister Schubert's rolls. The orange rolls are hard to find but so good I dream about them sometimes.

TV Cooking vs. Real Cooking

The question is, does anyone think cooking shows are real?

I've seen Julia Child make plenty of cheese souffles without the cheese, but I'd rather see her omit the cheese in a perfect souffle than see a fallen one with cheese. A fallen souffle might make me feel better about my kitchen mishaps, but it won't teach me anything.

What Do You Put on Your Biscuit?

Jam, butter, strawberries and whipped cream, sausage gravy, sausage, fried chicken...

There really isn't anything that doesn't go with biscuits.

Who loves Anne Burrell?!

She is one of the few people on the Food Network whose show I actually watch (the others being Alton, Ina and Aida*). The growling is weird, her hair is crazy, but she gets SO excited and I actually learn from her. I particularly love learning about how things work in a real restaurant kitchen. Plus, I love, love, LOVE her on Iron Chef.

*I'm still not sure about her or her show's format, but her cohost is adorable!

What is calorie a measure of?

The makeup of your food also contributes to its caloric content. A gram of fat provides 9 calories of energy, while 1 gram of a carbohydrate or protein provides only 4. Likewise, you'd need to burn 9 calories to balance out that one gram of fat, while you'd only need to burn off 4 to balance a carb or protein.

Making Chicken Salad and Seafood Salad healthier.

I'd add more veggies to the salads you have -- and maybe even more chicken/seafood -- to balance out the mayo-to-protein ratio.

But, yes, I have to echo everyone else's "make your own." I make my chicken salad with half mayo and half dijon mustard. Occasionally I'll use ranch dressing instead of mustard, but that's not really a healthful sub. Just a tasty one.

the best cookbook for beginners

I'll bajillionth the recommendation for Bittman's book. I don't have it, but I gave it to my brother, who's been known to set water on fire (no, I have no idea) and every few weeks, I get an email saying, "I made X from your cookbook and it was SO GOOD!"

I'd also include a copy of the Food Lover's Companion. It's been an invaluable cooking tool for me. A great dictionary of ingredients -- including British names -- and conversion tools, substitutions. Can't live without it.

Disintegrating turkey burgers?

I used regular ground turkey, but no binder or olive oil, so I guess it needed some extra fat or something.

The grind on this meat was so fine, it was almost like a mousse. Burgers were good, though.

A Lousy Tipper Walks Into a Bar ...

My standard: Open a tab and tip 20 percent, $5 minimum. Tip more if I've had more to drink, tip less if I think the bartender's ignoring* me. On busy nights like St. Patrick's or New Year's, I'll tip 100 percent.

*I've only really ever had to do this at one bar and it's since been shut down because the bartenders were selling coke. So, uh, I don't think they missed my tips.

Do you let guests know they're eating raw eggs?

I agree that you should have warned your guests. If you thought they would have balked, I would have served a different dressing. You could also use coddled eggs or pasteurized egg substitute, ie egg beaters.