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What foods live up to their reputation? What do you 'rave' about?

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Following a little discussion about Chicago Dogs on a breakfast thread...it got me thinking about foods and products of which I am totally a fan, and that I think do live up to their reputation. Here are some that I can think of offhand:

Chicago Dogs (thank you, John E. for the inspiration!)
Chicago Italian Beef, dipped

New York style pizza
Chicago style pizza
Pimento Cheese

And one brand name product..Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk (love this stuff!).

Maybe it's because these things don't taste like anything else.
And other than the almond milk, I don't get to eat them often enough for the glow to wear off.

What 's your favorite thing to 'rave' about? Since moving to Georgia, I've made Chicago Dogs and Italian Beef for quite a few Southerners who had never tried them, or even heard of them. I always got good feedback, even a few raves!

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  1. i think the problem with a general saying of something like "new york style pizza lives up to its reputation" is that it totally depends on the joint. ive had some amazing NYC and chicago pizzas, but ive had some downright awful ones as well.

    one dish that i always end up loving, no matter where i get it though, is shrimp n grits.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mattstolz

      When "Office" boss Michael Scott goes to NYC for business meetings, he proclaims he likes to get there early to indulge in his favorite food places, especially New York pizza. He then walks across the street to his favorite pizza joint - Sbarro's.

      1. re: bulavinaka

        Every time we see a Sbarro's we say "look it's your favorite NY pizza joint."

        1. re: bulavinaka

          hahaha i so wish michael scott would come back to be the boss on that show. its just not the same

        2. re: mattstolz

          Shrimp and grits is nearly always good. Often spectacular.

        3. It sounds like you are speaking about region related foods. If that is the case then I have to say New Orleans Po Boys are so much better than any po boys I've had recreated in he NY area. Just doesn't have the same pizzazz. That and steamers in Maine!

          1 Reply
          1. re: jhopp217

            Yes, I guess I AM thinking of regional foods, but as mattstolz pointed out, they must be made well. I'm a big fan of pimento cheese, for instance, but I am a traditionalist with the ingredients. Cheddar, Dukes and pimento (or roasted red peppers), and that's all I want to see in it. Any number of trendy restaurants glam it up with a half dozen add-ins, but that changes the recipe to something else. It may be delicious, but it may no longer really be pimento cheese.

          2. Peanut Butter Nutella Banana Sandwiches

            3 Replies
            1. re: dbirney

              I cannot believe that I have never had one of these. This just might be my post-half marathon celebration meal on Saturday!

              1. re: dbirney

                Mmm.... Grilled pls.

                1. re: dbirney

                  I gave this to my daughter this morning on toast for breakfast

                2. Oh the wonder that is good pimento cheese. Prefer my homemade, but there is rarely a bad batch to be had. I do agree with the other post in the thread that over thinking it; adding in optional extras is going a bit off book. Of course, that's what putting it on sandwiches is for.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Nocturnalbill

                    Agreed.

                    I make a pretty good pimento cheese sandwich, and it is, as you describe, pretty simple.

                    But the best I've ever had has to be the ones I get at Augusta National during the Masters golf tournament. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the atmosphere. I think it cost around $2 this year, maybe less.

                    1. re: Nocturnalbill

                      I'm very curious about how you make it. We don't seem to sell this in Ontario (Canada as a whole?) I see so many people post about it on this site that I'm dying to try some. The only pimento I see here is stffed in olives, but if I can make it with roasted peppers I'm in. Do you have a recipe?

                      1. re: dianne0712

                        Dianne, you can use the roasted red peppers in it just fine. Chop them up, don't puree them.

                        Shred a half pound each of sharp white cheddar and extra sharp yellow cheddar. Add about a quarter cup or so of the chopped roasted red peppers, and 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise. I use Duke's, which is traditional for pimento cheese in Georgia, but if you have Hellman's or Best Foods there in Ontario, those would work as well. Mix it all up, refrigerate overnight. If it's too stiff when you are ready to serve it, add a little more mayonnaise.
                        This is the way I learned to make it from the old-timey cooks here in the South. I understand that there are many variations that have cream cheese, garlic, or other additions, but this one I am a purist about. It tastes just like the kind my Grandma used to get at the downtown Lazarus department store's deli when I was a kid in Columbus, Ohio, back in the 60's.

                    2. I'd throw in Pacific Northwest Smoked Salmon. I've had smoked salmon a bunch of different places, but the stuff right off the reservations near Seattle or Vancouver is just awesome.

                      1. Some of the dishes in some of the restaurants recommended to me, and which I, in turn, recommend to others. I wouldn't even know where to begin.

                        1. Philly cheesesteaks (Pat's!), NY Bagels, NY deli, Jersey Porkroll, Egg and Cheese on a Hard Roll. NE Clam Chowder from Spanky's on Cape Cod, Key Lime Pie in Key West.

                          1. Well, if your visiting Toronto - you have to go to St Lawrence Market and buy a peameal bacon sandwich.... of course bacon makes a lot of things taste better - so if it is the centre of attention..... it has to taste great :p

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: cacruden

                              a lot of things?

                              im having trouble thinking of something it DOESNT make better.

                              1. re: mattstolz

                                Bacon does not improve sashimi.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Though it might be good a little ground bacon and togarashi for sprinkling on .... Not traditional but it is like natural msg...

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    maybe not great sashimi...

                                    but a meh sashimi i might not complain.

                                2. re: cacruden

                                  or when in Toronto you can also try Jamie Kennedy's wine bar and taste his tapas menu.
                                  the poutine is quite incredible

                                3. Banh mis, fish tacos (deep fried versions), philly cheesesteaks, steak, NY pizza, macarons, pickles, fried chicken anything (with waffle, sandwiches, just fried chicken, etc).

                                  1. Spoon bread: first taste was in 1972, Boone Tavern, Berea, Ky. Had it there many times afterwards, and it was phenomenal. Have heard, tho, that since a mega-chain took over, the food isn't as good/authentic as in those olden days. (Now thousands of miles from there, sadly.)

                                    Same region (sorta): country ham, some farm off route 27 between Ky and Tn. Still love country ham, but that first taste was a revelation.

                                    1. Bacon (thick and peppered made in the oven weekly chilled to use later is how I like to do it)

                                      Roquefort blue cheese (Society brand is fine and has greenish mold spots)

                                      Pecorino Romano (goat cheese with a salty stronger flavor when used like Parmesan)

                                      Pastrami

                                      Smoked Trout

                                      Smoked Salmon

                                      Salmon Lox

                                      Elk or most any home raise grass fed quality beef with good water (I enjoy Texas Long Horn and Limousine while not picky as both have lower fat, Porterhouse is a favorite often eat Sirloin also like Roasts) and what I make things like elk and venison or extra meat into like home made:
                                      > Peperoni
                                      > Quality Ground Meat
                                      > Summer Sausage Lunch Meat
                                      > Individual Sausage
                                      > Jerky

                                      BBQ cold smoked slow cooked at low temperature meat (with a smoke ring): big roast, turkey, ham, chicken, pork loins, etc.

                                      Lobster, King Crab, Mahi-mahi, Thresher Shark, or Huge Shrimp from frozen not over cooked.

                                      Home grown vegetables with herbs to eat fresh like: spinach, carrots, celery, beets, corn, green beans, snap peas, green onions, broccoli, romaine lettuce, mixed leaf lettuces, head lettuce, radishes, daikon, napa cabbage, English cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, gherkins, vine ripe tomatoes, roma tomatos, red onion, cherry tomatoes, chives, dill, rosemary, oregano, basil, and probably forgot some. With the all kinds of things able to make by drying or making pickles.

                                      Cream cheese based dips, sauces, and deserts often with it whipped.

                                      Good bread with good butter - alone and all the combinations when add Pecorino, garlic, with heat.

                                      Pizza and flat bread with toppings

                                      Lasagna (often best day old re-heated after sets up and flavors mingle)

                                      Great soup and stew starting with a good broth not water.

                                      Chili

                                      Good sauces: steak sauce (like A1, Heinz 57, etc), BBQ, hot sauce, chived sour cream, ...

                                      Salsa

                                      Real Maple Syrup

                                      Ice Cream, Iced Juice, and Frozen Yogurt

                                      Chocolate

                                      Carmel

                                      Nuts

                                      Pineapple

                                      Berries (especially enjoy cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries)

                                      Baby Ruth, Butter Finger, and Heath treats (maybe two of each a year)

                                      Olives

                                      Capers

                                      Sushi with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger

                                      Sliced BBQ pork with good hot mustard, spicy ketchup, and sesame seeds

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: smaki

                                        I could eat at your house and think I was at home!

                                        1. re: smaki

                                          I'm confused about your list... I've had bad renditions of many things you've mentioned -- smoked salmon comes to mind, sushi, chocolate, chili ... not sure than any of them "have a great reputation" per se, but they definitely don't always live up to it.

                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            bad renditions of any food "does not have a great reputation per se". Have you tasted steak that someone forgot on the BBQ for 15 minutes past prime?

                                            1. re: cacruden

                                              Umm, no. I'd likely pass, thanks.

                                              Your point?

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                That was what I was trying to figure out with your post.... There are many things on that list that you seemingly were criticizing of potentially bad renditions..... that if done correctly are amazing.... I was just pointing out.... you could say that about anything.

                                          2. re: smaki

                                            i definitely agree with the home-grown veggies!

                                          3. Freshly caught striper. Had some last night. OMG, soooo good. Goin' fishin again today! :)

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: shaebones

                                              LOL, I just woke up from a nap and I read it as "freshly caught stripper" .... no no food.

                                              1. re: shaebones

                                                now THAT floats my boat!

                                                1. re: shaebones

                                                  Oh, golly, shaebones, you just reminded me... I hadn't mentioned in the original post one of my favorite foods ever (that is just about impossible to get anymore).

                                                  Lake Michigan yellow perch. Sauteed in butter with fresh breadcrumbs. Nothing like it.

                                                  A close second ...walleye, cooked any which way you like to cook it.

                                                  Now I do need to take a trip up North this summer.

                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                    Lake perch was the first thing that came to my mind, as well. And on roughly the same vein, I'll add smoked whitefish spread, the simple cream-cheese-based one that seems ubiquitous in the Upper Midwest.

                                                2. Maine wild blueberry pie
                                                  Fried whole belly Ipswich clams with a side of good tarter sauce
                                                  Maine boiled lobster dinner with in-season corn on the cob
                                                  Vermont artisanal cheddar
                                                  Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes
                                                  Hot off the griddle crepes with butter and Vermont maple syrup

                                                  1. I could easily rave about a hot chicken/turkey/beef sandwich if it is done well. Unfortunately - it is rarely done correctly (especially the gravy).

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: cacruden

                                                      A few quality ingredients prepared right make great food.

                                                    2. Hot pretzels and chestnuts on the streets of NY

                                                      1. Lobster roll. Any roadside stand in New England

                                                        1. Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. As a lifelong Marylander I never really understood all the fuss. I'd have the occasional crabcake, but generally I'd prefer a good burger to sitting around picking crabs. Until one afternoon at a friend of a friends place. They had caught the crabs themselves, and prepared them almost immediately out of the water. They were incredible, but have even further driven me from any other crab picking experience in any less than optimal environment.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: laststandchili

                                                            That's the downside of living the ultimate experience - nothing less matters.

                                                            1. re: bulavinaka

                                                              Well put!

                                                          2. Boilled crawfish with lot of seasoning, beignets and iced cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde, Hawaiian style kalbi, manapuas, Jeni's splendid ice cream, pastrami from Katz, and lengua tacos.

                                                            1. See's Chocolates and Lake Champlain Chocolates - LOVE both of them.

                                                              1. Living in California cant speak for NY pizza, havent needed to go. However almost all Cioppinos i have had were worth eating. Hard also to screw up a proper crawfish boil. Other than that I think I have seen everything below done poorly save bacon, which i dont know if ingredients were the question and I dont have the time for that commentary. Also I am surprised nobody has given a shout out for In-N-Out burgers, consistency, quality, value, service are all excellent and as dependable as any restaurant.

                                                                1. A vine ripened tomato. Fresh baked bread. Fresh baked sourdough bread. Thanksgiving dinner.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                    You had me at vine-ripened tomato and fresh baked bread - what a pair...

                                                                    1. re: Antilope

                                                                      lol apparently you havent been at some of the thanksgiving dinners ive been at...

                                                                    2. -Pimento cheese
                                                                      -Guacamole
                                                                      -A perfect Reuben
                                                                      - fried chicken
                                                                      -fish & chips
                                                                      -Cheeseburger
                                                                      -grilled cheese
                                                                      -tacos
                                                                      -chili & slaw dog

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                        +1, on the whole list especially "A perfect Reuben". Like your style. A few good things put together well make awesome combinations. Garlic Cheese Bread is another example with a recent thread here on CHOW. Even in simple comfort food a more-skilled cook produces superior results. Regular sounding every day stuff done right is incredible.

                                                                        Example: have eaten 100s of Reuben sandwiches perfecting the ten or so ways I most commonly make mine through the years. One is a favorite. Based on available fresh ingredients and subtle things change it like: different meat, cheese, bread, and sauce. Same for me with a simple cheese burger with numerous ways to make, form, cook, sauce, top, and eat them - so many tasty. Have favorite ways to make soft tacos and many food items beyond what can get anywhere. With most good things it is best to make then eat them at home with the highest quality freshest ingredients possible.

                                                                        1. re: smaki

                                                                          A perfect Reuben is rather enticing. You're reminding me of the pastrami and chicken liver with grilled onions and chopped egg sandwich on fresh rye bread at Max's Resturant . Soooo good

                                                                      2. Rock shrimp, broiled with melted butter on the side for dipping...East Central FL

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: cavandre

                                                                          +1, shrimp

                                                                          The Forrest Gump movie goes into one man's many ways to enjoy shrimp.

                                                                          In East Central FL used to catch shrimp off the bridges in the late 80s and early 90s with a garbage can lid reflecting the light of a lantern down to the water. Shrimp would swim up to the light so could catch with a net on a long pole off the sides of a bridge. Used to get half a 5 gallon bucket each per night on a good night.

                                                                          Favorite way to eat shrimp is to boil to not dry them out (sometimes plain often in flavored water like with old bay or something). Heat pealed pre-cleaned deveigned shrimp in pre-boiling water only a couple minutes until just after turn color and cook inside. Never overcook shrimp because get tough. Nice texture is part of eating shrimp. Like best after boil then chilled to ice cold. Fastest way to cool is to stir shrimp ice water to cool as fast as possible, while letting them set in the water stirring every few minutes gives best results cooling their core. Serve shrimp in a pile of ice to keep them cold and looks nice as pick them out to eat. When make shrimp, be sure to have extra ice on hand. Often eat cold boiled shrimp dipped in: warm melted real butter with fresh garlic smashed then cooked into the butter for more flavor. And a cold good cocktail sauce made with hot horse radish and fresh lemon juice (sometimes with bite sized celery strips on the side - I make my shrimp cocktails in my mouth mixing in a little crunchy celery with shrimp adds texture with taste). Boiled with one or both of the above dipping sauces is I most often enjoy shrimp.

                                                                          The next most common way to eat shrimp is boiled then cooled on a salad. Fresh veggies with extra tasty home made salad dressing are go well with shrimp. Shrimp Ceasar and Shrimp Louie dinner plate sized salads as a meal are favorites. Home-made often creamy yellow colored Ceasar dressing is so much better and way different than bottled store bought usually white Ceasar salad dressing.

                                                                          1. re: smaki

                                                                            Fresh never-frozen shrimp are a treat. After shrimp are frozen they are still good but the texture becomes more chewy kind of rubbery and the flavor changes. Catching big fresh shrimp in Central Florida spoiled me but can not get the big ones fresh here only previously frozen.

                                                                            Last week when in Seaside, OR I was looking around for fresh never frozen shrimp. The only ones available were the little salad pink shrimp. So bought some and layered in a glass shrimp / home made cocktail sauce / celery then repeat. Think had three or four layers. Very very tasty. Ate some plain with nothing which I find is the best way to test shrimp from any source - found tasty not fishy no smell with a great almost fall apart in my mouth texture. The Oregon season is April 1 to October 30, so fresh is available now. It is OK frozen the rest of the year, while you owe it to yourself to try fresh. I usually get my shrimp and crab right off the boat from Bornstein Seafood in Warrenton, OR (http://www.bornstein.com/). Also have found that Safeway in Seaside also sells fresh never frozen Oregon pink shrimp this last week their regular price was $4.99 a pound - when said Bornstein is where usually get my fresh shrimp was told by their fish monger Seaside Safeway buys from either Bornstein in Warrenton or she said the Seaside Safeway also gets pink shrimp a crossed the river in Chinook, WA from an unknown source (while last week she confirmed I was eating Bornstein shrimp). What the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has to say about the fishery is at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/shellf... Love it.

                                                                            1. re: smaki

                                                                              Unless you keep shrimp alive and fresh, frozen shrimp may/will be actually better than fresh (depending on how they were frozen). Shrimp -- more than any other seafood - decay rapidly - very very rapidly (in as little as 4 hours), because shrimp release some sort of enzyme at time of death.

                                                                        2. jumbo shrimp cocktail

                                                                          cioppino

                                                                          San Francisco sourdough

                                                                          fresh hand made flour tortillas

                                                                          fresh carnitas

                                                                          candied bacon

                                                                          honey-baked ham

                                                                          Marie Callender's fresh peach pie (seasonal) with fresh whipped cream

                                                                          Baskin Robbins pumpkin pie ice cream

                                                                          dark chocolate with almonds

                                                                          Hadley's Date Shake

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: laliz

                                                                            +1 on the sourdough!!

                                                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                              +2, sourdough

                                                                          2. Perfectly ripe, fresh strawberries
                                                                            Homemade gelato
                                                                            Fresh ceviche with the perfect amount of cilantro and mango :)
                                                                            Homemade buttermilk waffles
                                                                            Good fried chicken

                                                                            1. Hershey's Kisses.................

                                                                              1. Sweet fresh picked jersey corn on the cob. Doesn't even need cooking. Can't wait for summer...

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: sunangelmb

                                                                                  +1 and I'd like to throw tomatoes into that mix... nothing tastes as good as a Jersey Tomato (and Peaches from Jersey... I mean Georgia has them too and all but JERSEY Peaches are REALLY good)

                                                                                  1. re: cgarner

                                                                                    Just had a conversation with someone from Jersey about this and how much I miss them. Seems they've kinda lost their luster...as many tomatoes have over the last few years.

                                                                                    1. re: jhopp217

                                                                                      Now THAT'S disappointing if it's true. I spent many summer's on my Aunt & Uncle's Jersey farm as a kid. They leased much of the land to a tomato farmer. M-mmmmmmmm!

                                                                                2. Dukes Mayonnaise ...............

                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                    Only thing better is two jars of Duke's.

                                                                                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                      Where do you buy Duke's Mayo? Never seen it here in Oregon. Is it more tasty like Best Foods / Helman's used to be? What makes Duke's taste so good?

                                                                                      Is not hard to beat the store-bought crap in plastic that all taste the same mostly now made with vegetable soy bean oil. Is Duke's in a quart jar (most mayo is now in 30oz plastic we toss to contaminate with instead of something to re-use with pickling lids available)? What does Duke's mayo cost for a container? I pay about $3 for 30oz of mayo in recent times on sale for Best Foods & Kraft - but it does not taste as good as recall out of the jar as a kid. So started making my own mayo again often with a stick blender. Find home made mayo with safflower or grape oil (sometimes a mix with some EVOO) is beyond what can get out of any jar - but when use egg yolk to make does not keep long so eat fresh. Mayo from a jar is more convenient. Have not tried Duke's mayo and want to compare it to fresh.

                                                                                      1. re: smaki

                                                                                        Smaki, Duke's is a Southern brand - I think you can get it online, though.
                                                                                        What makes it better? It's rich and velvety, not too eggy and not too tart. It has a good mayonnaisy flavor, but doesn't overwhelm the food.

                                                                                        Uncle Bob, I need your help here. What is it you like about Duke's? Perhaps you can describe it to smaki better than I can.

                                                                                        1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                          It's indescribably delicious!!! :) ~~ It has a certain 'tang' and richness to it that I like ~~ I don't have an oily mouth feel that I get with some other mayonnaise. ~~ Dukes is a full 32 oz quart jar.

                                                                                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                            Thank jucarthru8 and Uncle Bob. Sounds good will try based on this conversation.

                                                                                            1. re: smaki

                                                                                              Is Dukes in an old-school 32 oz glass jar or have they switched to plastic? Like to pickle and re-use with Ball or Kerr canning supplies.

                                                                                              1. re: smaki

                                                                                                it's still glass and only glass in my re-gentrified Winn-Dixie.....................I hope it never changes

                                                                                                1. re: praianogirl

                                                                                                  praianogirl, thank you for the speedy reply. Great news! Wish you and yours the best.

                                                                                                  1. re: praianogirl

                                                                                                    Well, maybe glass where you live, but here in Texas where i live (and where we've only had it for a couple of years) it is plastic. 32 oz, but plastic.

                                                                                    2. Pearl Kountry Klub beef frankfurters.

                                                                                      1. It's a short walk to Alimentari Angela for the most splendid food: fresh smoked mozzarella...smoked the morning you buy it. When the stuff is unwrapped the smokey fragrance never fails to render me lightheaded. It looks Beautiful, Smells like one would imagine a bassinet full of Baby Angels would smell after waking from a dream laced night's sleep and then...a careful slice reveals the first drizzle of milky ambrosia. It is dense and meaty and yet, light and airy...

                                                                                        1. I love venison but seldom find it/ afford it. But I splurged on 2 venison loins from D'Artagnon at the local supermarket (they sell boar, too!), and cooked them up last night: marinated a few hours in olive oil, garlic, pepper; cooked 'em rare on a nice hot cast iron pan with salt, the olive oil marinade (sans garlic) and butter; deglazed pan with a reduction of fresh cooked, strained blackberries and veal demiglace and a knob of butter to thicken. Served with garlic mashed potatoes my foster son made. They melted in the mouth...Just effin' heavenly!!!!

                                                                                          1. A roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolne cheese from DiNic's in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia PA
                                                                                            Totally lives up to its' reputation, even better than the possibly more famous version at Tony Luke's

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: cgarner

                                                                                              See, and I would totally disagree with that assessment. After all the raves about, it was an incredible let-down.

                                                                                              My guess is it's something one has to grow up with.

                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                Oh linguafood, that makes me sad! I know that not everyone likes the same stuff, but I am so in love with that sandwich

                                                                                                1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                  I have driven 2 1/2 hours just to get a DiNic's sandwich. Mmmm...

                                                                                            2. Fresh Italian burrata. There really is nothing better!

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                A hearty yes on buratta, if made properly it is one of the most exquisite experiences of dairy profundity that you can experience.

                                                                                              2. If we are talking regional (and obviously well-executed), I'll go with fried clams. Meaning whole bellies, of course. I want to take clam strip-ordering people by the hand and show them the light,

                                                                                                1. Mac & cheese, it so rarely disappoints. I know, I know, I'm not very particular, but aren't we all about something?

                                                                                                  1. jmcarthur- please describe the Almond Milk - I have been seeing it in the markets and not sure what people are using this for? I would imagine that it is sweet? So if you use it in coffee it gives a sweet almond flavor? I prefer strong coffee flavor taste so I can't imagine it for that. Do you use it in oatmeal, cereals - in place of milk?

                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                      Smilingal, I started using almond milk after I joined Weight Watchers. I am lactose intolerant, also, but love lots of dishes that include milk. One reason I like Blue Diamond and TJ's is that they don't taste very almondy, and they don't have an odd aftertaste like soymilk.
                                                                                                      Almond milk has the richness of milk, at 40 calories a cup, so I can have as much as I want. It's also loaded with calcium, so is a good alternative to my OJ with calcium in the morning.
                                                                                                      If you are not watching calories, nor lactose intolerant, you may not need to look for alternatives to milk. For me, it does everything I need, and tastes good, too. I use it in oatmeal and cereal, drink it by the glass, use it in puddings.
                                                                                                      I get the unsweetened, sometimes plain, but usually vanilla. It's not a strong vanilla flavor, though. I do intend to get the original unsweetened so I can try it in a savory dish, too. Maybe a bechamel.
                                                                                                      I have had almond milk in coffee, and it seems to be about the same effect as putting 2% milk in. Not as rich and sweet as creamer. I like it in iced coffee, but then I do about a 70/30 proportion.
                                                                                                      I'd love to hear what you think of it if you try some.

                                                                                                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                        jmcarthur8: have you tried the unsweetened almond milk with the Weight Watchers smoothie mix? Not usually a fan of those prepackaged things they sell, but a smootie, whirled with a bunch of ice cubes (and, if chocolate mix, a touch of almond extract) makes a great cold drink for tiny points value.

                                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                                          No, pinetime, I have not tried the smoothie mix. Chocolate/almond sounds interesting!
                                                                                                          I made strawberry - peach smoothies a few nights ago with unsweetened almond milk and fresh fruit. It needed a little oomph, so I added a scoopful of protein powder.

                                                                                                        2. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                          I, too, am on weight watchers - and also have had issues with milk - so I have switched to Lactaid with calcium - fat-free. Have you tried this? How does your Almond Milk compare?

                                                                                                          1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                            I love Lactaid with calcium, especially the 2%. It makes the most heavenly bechamel for moussaka. I drank and cooked with it for years, until I started WW, and had to contain the 'points' that I ate. For cooking, I still keep Lactaid in the fridge, but almond milk is my go-to for drinking, cereal and oatmeal.

                                                                                                            1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                              is there a difference in pp between lactaid and almond mlk? I only use the Fat Free Lactaid.

                                                                                                              1. re: smilingal

                                                                                                                FF Lactaid is 2 PP, unsweetened almond milk is 1 PP.

                                                                                                                2% Lactaid is 3 PP, whole is 4 PP. I like the creaminess of the almond milk better than the fat free Lactaid, but not as much as I like the calcium enriched 2% Lactaid. So I go for the 1 PP almond milk.

                                                                                                                1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                  thanks for clearing that up. I also realize that I was under the wrong impression that
                                                                                                                  FF Lactaid was 1 pt not 2. I will be trying that almond milk soon. Thanks!

                                                                                                                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                                                    jmcarthur8, don't think, however, that almond milk counts towards your milk quota on WW, right?

                                                                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                      I don't know... it's got more calcium than milk, same vitamin D, but less riboflavin and a couple other minerals.
                                                                                                                      Good question. I'll have to ask my leader at the meeting tonight.

                                                                                                        3. Frogmore stew, served on newspaper, eaten with your fingers

                                                                                                          1. Late to this party but have to agree with mattstolz (way up at the top) that 'reputation' is relative.

                                                                                                            My list of foods that I crave is mostly made up of things that I've learned to love based on a style I learned to love from my childhood or specific past experience, and these 'loves' get very personal. The list includes:

                                                                                                            Pizza
                                                                                                            Hoagie/Grinder/Hero sandwiches (starting to get the point?)
                                                                                                            Hot Dogs
                                                                                                            Chinese cuisine
                                                                                                            Bagels
                                                                                                            ........ and pretty much anything in New York 'Jewish'-style deli food (Pickles, Pastrami, Chopped Liver, Knishes, etc.)

                                                                                                            1. I feel the need to add to this list:

                                                                                                              Tortillas, tamale and flautas (pretty much everything) from a good ‘molino’ in San Antonio

                                                                                                              San Antonio molinos make the best fresh made tortillas and I’ve had the pleasure of having family carry cans of tamale on airplanes to travel from TX to PA so that I can get my fix!

                                                                                                              1. Do I think ALL French wine is reputable? No, but much of what I've had explains why and how the French earned the reputation they have for wine-making. Same goes for Swiss chocolate and Peruvian ceviche and New Orleans gumbo and Urguayan beef and sushi prepared by chefs trained in Japan and... the list goes on and on. And definitely includes Chicago Dogs!

                                                                                                                But I think the better question is what does NOT live up to the reputation, and I'd have to put the Cuban sandwich on the top of the list. I can't think of any food that ever failed to live up to the hype and raves as that sandwich. How a beautiful tropical Caribbean island populated with such a rich ethnic diversity created such a leaden, starchy, greasy cuisine is beyond my comprehension. That **** sandwich tastes like it rolled off Heidi's dinner plate.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: staughton

                                                                                                                  Maybe you should start a new topic, "What foods do NOT live up to their reputation"?
                                                                                                                  I'd post:
                                                                                                                  Fried Green Tomatoes

                                                                                                                2. With only a couple of exceptions, fried ice cream has not disappointed.

                                                                                                                  The same can be said for fried calimari.

                                                                                                                  If either are on the menu, I'm in!

                                                                                                                  1. In Seattle, there's a place called, "Salumi", which specializes in cured meats.

                                                                                                                    People rave about their sandwiches.
                                                                                                                    Can a salami sandwich really be something to rave about?

                                                                                                                    When I finally tried their sandwich. Yes, it was rave worthy and one of the best sandwiches I've ever eaten.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                      Glad dave c, that Armondino's cold cuts lived up to your expected hype. We are proud of him in this town:)

                                                                                                                      I would agree!

                                                                                                                    2. New Orleans Fried Gulf Shrimp - in season.
                                                                                                                      New Orleans Fried Softshell Crabs - in season.
                                                                                                                      Fried Flounder - several NOLA and MS Gulf Coast iterations.
                                                                                                                      Kobe # 5 Filets.
                                                                                                                      Blackberry Farm Smoked TN Trout.

                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                        +1 on the softshell crab, with a little remoulade sauce. mmmm.

                                                                                                                      2. Real San Francisco sourdough
                                                                                                                        Truly fresh sashimi
                                                                                                                        Ripe fresh strawberries
                                                                                                                        Corn on the cob fresh from the field
                                                                                                                        A perfectly cooked steak

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                          Ok, KM, that is the perfect dinner. What time can I come over?

                                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                            Hey, that sounds great.

                                                                                                                            We grew our own strawberries, and ate them (with Clotted Cream) during Wimbledon;

                                                                                                                            If the corm is Kahuku Sweet Corn, and I have a glass of Montrachet, there is little better on this Earth.

                                                                                                                            Steak? Well I have had a few, that were noteworthy, but tend to like MINE, as does my wife.

                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                          2. Mennonite sausage from any Mennonite colony.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                              +1 to that. I live 10mins from one in Abbotsford, B.C. It is pretty awesome stuff just fried with a really good mustard. Yummm.

                                                                                                                            2. West coast Spot Prawns...cooked when alive...just steamed lightly and then plopped on the newspaper covered table...eaten with the hands and dipped in anything you like...butter, lemon juice, aioli, or nothing. Great.

                                                                                                                              close second, fresh tomatoes out of the garden...on their own, in a tomato and onion salad, on BLT's, tomato and cheese sandwiches, and yesterday...the best bruschetta I have every made! Thank god we had a great crop this year!

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: golfer1

                                                                                                                                We had a great tomato season this year, too. Absolutely delicious. Besides the little Sungold and Sweet Cherry tomatoes, the other winners in our garden were Marglobe and Park's Whoppers.
                                                                                                                                My favorite way to eat them is in thick slices, warm from the garden, with fresh basil chiffonade and a good drizzle of sticky-sweet old balsamic vinegar.