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Melonious Thunk

Member Since 22 Mar 2004
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#952820 Eating on Cape Cod

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 21 August 2008 - 12:47 PM

We've been in Orleans since Saturday after a long a long traffic filled drive. Lobsters have been sweet and meaty. Fried clams from Arnold's in Eastham were delicious. The corn is among the best ever--sweet and huge ears. Tomatoes from the farm stand have been great. A Fedex box with Bryan Flannery's 40 day aged strips and a rib cap roast arrived on schedule and gave us two spectacular beef meals. The strips were top top level in taste and texture and the beef cap, roasted with red wine was unctuous and delicious. The fish store in Orleans has lovely daily catches of striped bass, halibut and other fish. The fried onion rings at Liams were as good as ever. Except I now know to order a small side!

Tonight we plan to have steamers, lobsters, corn and tomatoes again.

The disaster was a 17 pound aged country ham from Benton's. I wanted a proscuito type ham, which this was not. It required soaking for 24 hours i n water, changing it every 4 hours. The pig skin came off but the ham, which was supposed to be fried in 1/4" steaks was salty beyond belief. I discarded the whole mess. $80 down the drain. Their website gave me no information to know I should have ordered the aged ham instead of the aged country ham. Oh well.

I brought a good supply of wines to enjoy with the seafood and steaks.

Nighttime has us going to one of several places that serve delicious house-made ice cream with hot fudge.

Days at the beach in perfect weather add to the fun. Hannah and Thanny have a ball getting tossed in the waves at Nauset beach. My knees can't take the torque so I stay in the shallows and watch.

#941078 Soda Club Fountain Jet

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 15 July 2008 - 04:20 AM

The model I got is a cheap thin plastic form that holds a heavy metal cylinder filled with gas and a screw in bottle that is filled with water then carbonated. It is hard to see where the product is worth $100. I looked at all the literature that came with the unit, and there are no instructions on how to insert the pressurized steel container. The top of the cylinder is covered with a tape. There are no indications that the tape is to be removed or left in place. Intuitively, it seems I should remove the tape and screw the container into the back where a valve is place to release the gas into the water bottle. But this is just a guess.

I have to say that, even it it does produce good seltzer, I feel that the unit, as priced, is a rip off. When the cylinder is empty, I must arrange to get it recharged, exchange it for a charged one (similar to a propane tank for a BBQ grill), or send it back to Soda whatever for a recharged one. Hard to see how this is going to be a better alternative to buying bottles of Vintage Seltzer.

'I am inclined to pack the whole thing up and send it back. I might just do that. But if I test it first, I am stuck with it.

#940702 Bacon, um, Bacon

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 14 July 2008 - 03:50 PM

I ordered the bacon that Heritage Farms pushed last month-Bershshire pig etc. Minimum order is 6 lbs in eight 12 oz packages. Tried some this weekend and found it way to salty for my taste. I wonder if a soak in cold water would wash out some of the salt? In any event, I am disappointed and will tell them so.

#911563 E-mail statement

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 24 April 2008 - 11:30 PM

I notice this on a lot of business emails and some personal ones. Why is it there?

This email is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the addressee. Access to this email by anyone else, unless expressly approved by the sender or an authorized addressee, is unauthorized. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action omitted or taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful. If you believe that you have received this email in error, please contact the sender, delete this email and destroy all copies.

#892283 Eating in Merida

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 28 February 2008 - 12:41 AM

A friend is going and asked for some advice.

#856307 Tesco's to reinvent the Mom and Pop Grocery Store

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 06 November 2007 - 09:15 PM


Tesco Plc is planning to get "Fresh & Easy" with harried, time-pressed American shoppers as it tries to capitalize on what its sophisticated market research shows to be a hankering for a return to the days of the neighborhood store.

United Kingdom-based Tesco Plc, ranked by Forbes as the world’s fourth-largest retailer with more than 2,800 stores and 370,000 employees worldwide, on Wednesday unveiled its planned format for the stores, on the drawing board at least a year. The company will roll out its first 10,000-square-foot "Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market" concept stores in the greater Phoenix area this fall and will quickly follow up with stores in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego.

The company has secured 20 sites in the Phoenix area and is looking for more. The markets are "intentionally smaller than the usual supermarket" in order to get customers in and out faster and easier, said Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and Tesco West CEO Tim Mason.

"Our company has enjoyed strong success in countries throughout Europe and Asia, and we are excited to bring that success to America," Mason said. "We believe that the greater Phoenix region is an excellent place to begin that journey."

Tesco actually began last year, negotiating leases, buying land for a distribution center in Moreno Valley, CA and opening a headquarters in El Segundo, CA, where it already employs 150. The grocer expects to create more than 2,500 new jobs once stores begin opening later this year.

The retail giant is building an 820,400-square-foot, 5-building, solar-powered distribution center on 88 acres purchased last summer from LNR Property Corp. near March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley. Tesco bills the $13-million solar project as among the largest in the state. But the "green" project, in a particular form of California-style irony, has been delayed by an environmental lawsuit over concerns about added traffic and smog.

The rollout's competition will be fierce, with Wal-Mart and the supermarket chains on one side and convenience store chains like 7-Eleven on the other. Local commercial real estate pros are watching the action with interest to see how it plays out.

"We’re all kind of pondering what the timing is and what to expect next," said Tom Gast, president and partner of Phoenix-based De Rito Partners West and former senior vice president with Ralphs Grocery Co. "They’re really ramping up for the Southern California market. Everyone is a little anxious to find out what they’re about, what their market strategy is going to be."

The company unveiled a piece of that strategy Wednesday, announcing store sizes in the 10,000-square-foot range --about the size of an average Trader Joe’s. "The (store) format is designed to draw customers back to their local neighborhoods by offering high-quality, fresh and nutritious food at affordable prices," Mason said.

Gast said he has heard that Tesco will be particularly competing with bigger grocery stores for "home meal replacement" -- quick meals traditionally bought on the fly from grocery store service delis and bakeries.

"The indication is they’re leaning toward that part of our business," he said.

Mason said the company has circled the U.S. for 20 years decding on the right format for success. He said the concept is loosely based on Tesco's more than 1,000 Express stores operating in seven countries.

Despite the announced store sizes, the company doesn’t appear to be boxing itself in to one size category. Although Tesco is popularly considered the "Wal-Mart of the United Kingdom," its stores come in varying sizes around the globe. In fact, a survey of CoStar tenant data shows that the company has signed long-term leases for future move-in to spaces in sizes ranging from 11,100 square feet in a neighborhood shopping center in Newbury Park, CA, to a 32,500-square-foot former Albertson’s store in the Los Angeles suburb of Eagle Rock. Nearly all the leases appear to be long-term.

Tesco Stores West Inc. has applied for at least 16 liquor licenses for stores in 14 California cities: Upland, Thousand Oaks, San Diego, Anaheim, Fontana, Laguna Hills, West Covina, Glendora, Rialto, Chula Vista, Escondido, Moreno Valley, Orange, and most recently, City of Industry, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Published reports indicate an equal number of liquor store applications in Arizona.

#706723 Digital camera opinions

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 16 June 2006 - 11:02 AM

How does the Rebel compare with the Canon D20, in your opinion. The D20 is 8 MPXL and is available for about $800, down from $1600.

#705576 Digital camera opinions

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 13 June 2006 - 12:21 AM

A full sized, 8-10 megapixel camera with good lenses. So far I like the Canon EOS models. The new Sony SLR with built in image stabilization is attractive. The Canon Digital Rebel seems a good value, marked down from $1500 to $700.


#690883 [SF] Tadich Grill

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 18 April 2006 - 12:44 PM

Make that Tadich Grill. (I wish I could correct titles here). The is one of my favorite SF eateries for seafood and cioppino. I haven't been in years, though I recently recommended it to someone. Has anyone been recently? Has it been reviewed anywhere lately?

#666174 Woodworking?

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 31 January 2006 - 10:44 PM

Dude, do you blame me?

Anyone whose grandfather masticates his sausage while threatening to beat her backside has an excuse.

#595957 Ushiwakamaru

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 10 June 2005 - 02:38 AM

Omni got me down to this place tonight for one of the best sushi meals I've had in NY (or Tokyo). I can't think of a better sushi partner with whom to enjoy a place like this. We sat at the bar and told the senior chef to give us everything. And I think they did. We must have had 22 or more individual servings, including cooked scallop in a broth served in a shell over a flame. I have never had so many different fish and all of them superb. The quality of the fish and the warm rice was uniformly good from first piece to last. The tamago (egg custard omlette) was the best I've had. Wakamaru does not take a back seat to Yasuda or Kuruma for quality and taste.

#581456 Katz's

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 21 April 2005 - 11:49 AM

The pastrami at 2nd Ave doesn't hold a candle to Katz's.

A candle? Is that a new way to eat pastrami. A low carb thing?

#535724 Veritas

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 20 November 2004 - 05:24 AM

Superb meal for six at Veritas tonight. I was entertaining two clients from Greece and their spouses and a friend.
I called Tim Kopec and said I wanted chef to prepare a tasting menu of six courses, balanced 4 seafood/fish and two meat plus dessert. I asked for the sommelier to recommend wines for each course, not knowing what chef Scott Bryan would prepare.
We were brought to a large table in the corner back with a banquette for three and three chairs. Nice start. After a brief discussion with Josh, the sommelier, we established some parameters for the wines.
* Aperetif 2003 Sancerre Rose, Pascal Cotat
Amuse: marinated calamari, on a bed of pickled cucumber, shiso and chilis

First course: Chilled lobster salad, spiced avocado, grapefruit and mache.

* 2002 F.X. Pihler Riesling Smaragd, Loibner Berg (an inspired pairing with the lobster).

Second course: Catham cod with manila clams, chorizo and piquillo peppers
* 2001 Mersault Boucheres, Domaine Roulot

Third course: Seared Divers scallops, celery root purée and wild mushroom and black truffle vinagrette

* 2002 Riesling Spatlaese Erdener Pralat, Dr. Loosen

Fourth course: Seared Foie Gras, quince, pistachios, armagnac and black pepper gastrique

Fifth course: Pepper crusted venison, smashed rutabagas, glazed turnips and green peppercorn armagnac jus
* 2002 Chambolle Musogny Amaoureuses, J. Drouhin

Dessert course:

Passion Fruit Cheese Cake, pistachio and berry compote
* 1999 Trimbach, VT Gewurtztraminer

Chocolate soufflé, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce
* Mas Amiel 10 year old Maury

Granny Smith Tarte Tatin, ginger ice cream and pomegranate reduction
* 1993 5 Puttonyos Tokaji, Chateau Pasjzos

Chocolate hazelnut torte, caramel ice cream and orange vanilla extract
* 20 Year Tawny Port, Ramos Pinto

Golden pineapple financier, sour cream sorbet
* 1968 Bual Madeira, D’Oliveres

Pumpkin Creme Caramel, coconut cream and rum raisins
* 1997 Domaine L. Ticharderie Quarts De Chaune, Clos Paradis

The cod was a wonderfully refined version of this Portugese dish. The scallops were superb in their dressing of wild mushroom. The venison was the consistency of the best sushi with the flavor of seared venison in a nice salt crust. The foie gras was a nice preparation, but the foie lacked the richness and unctuousness that makes foie what it is. The Lobster salad was a winner, especially with the wine paring.
Desserts were uniformly superior and impossible to deny. The tarte tatin was the equal of mine. The dessert wines served with each were chosed with a practiced palate and worked wonderfully.

Service was flawless, present throughout but invisible when not needed.

This is not food that pushes any envelopes, but it is a meal that pleases even the most demanding palates, and the wine service was reassuringly good. This was a 9/10 meal overall. It wowed my clients and left me pleased, sated and happy. It's what high end dining should be.

#496031 Blue Hill - Washington Square

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 28 July 2004 - 08:34 PM

And they don't have to disturb all the other livestock when they go for a piss.

Why is it the British are so involved with piss? :P :D

#468987 Steak

Posted by Melonious Thunk on 19 July 2004 - 08:44 PM

I lugged a huge 3 1/2" thick prime, aged porterhouse from Dean & Deluca 86th Street to the car on Saturday morning, July 3rd, full of anticipation. Later that night, after grilling it to perfection on real charcoal, both Ellen and I commiserated. "Not great" we both agreed. "A little tough, though the filet was good."

The previous week, the same verdict with a thick two bone rib-eye of aged prime from Citarella. "Good but not great."

Last Saturday, yet another repeat. This time, two 3" thick aged prime porterhouses from Citarella. "The best steak in NY," said the butcher.

If he was right, then there is no great steak to be had for home cooking in NY.

I will try Lobel's and Jefferson's the next two times.

What's a carnivore to do?