HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

What foods do NOT live up to their reputation or hype, in your opinion?

  • 311
  • Share
LOCKED DISCUSSION

After reading and commenting on jmcarthur8's discussion: "What foods live up to their reputation? What do you rave about?" I was prompted to start another discussion by TroyTempest, asking what foods do NOT live up to their reputation. TT lists fried green tomatoes first. HEY! but I LOVE fried green tomatoes! My disappointment is the Cuban sandwich. What's yours*?

* Please, no dare-you-to-eat it stuff like lutefisk, or brand-name products whose quality has slipped in recent years.

  1. Andouillette de Cambrai.

    Allegedly a regional gourmet treat - in reality perhaps the vilest thing I've ever put in my mouth.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      I would have to say that a food product that can barely be found described in English on the Internet cannot really have what could be considered a reputation.

      1. re: FrankJBN

        LOL, Frank.

        1. re: FrankJBN

          Frank - uh, if your French, it certainly does have a 'reputation', but IMO, lot's of Frenchmen would say it is a vile reputation....

        2. re: Harters

          Andouillette de Cambrai: a sausage made entirely of bovine caul (the membrane encasing a fetus).

          Gee, who would've thought THAT generally well-loved and oh-so-popular culinary creation would disappoint?

          1. re: staughton

            Indeed, staughton. And then, from pretty much the same part of the world, there's the getting to grips with "pot jevleesh" which also has all sort of "interesting" bits in it (but I like that one). You also find across the border into Dutch speaking Belgium, where they call "potje vleesh". Same dish, just the space in a different place.

            And, no, I've no idea how that translates into English from either the Dutch or French version.

            1. re: Harters

              Potje vleesch is Dutch for 'little pot of meat.'

              1. re: antihi

                Thanks for that. Makes sense now - must mean over on the French side of the border, they've just Frenchified the same name, rather than trying to translate it into a new name. Lovely stuff - apparently always served with a leaf salad and chips.

        3. Philly cheesesteak.

          ETA: While we're at it -- the roast pork sandwich at DiNic's.

          Sorry, Phila, I love your food, but those two aren't worth the hype.

          15 Replies
          1. re: linguafood

            I'll second this. They're good, but not life-changing.

            1. re: biondanonima

              It's a sandwich - it is not intended to be life-changing.

              1. re: FrankJBN

                It doesn't live up to its reputation / hype for being a "must-have" regional specialty sandwich.

                Which is the point of this thread. What's yours?

                1. re: FrankJBN

                  I would argue that Banh Mi is life-changing, relative to its humble sandwich status of course. It broadened my expectations of how good a sandwich could be. I haven't found Cuban sandwiches or mufalatta to have the same affect, but I haven't had them at the regional source.

                  1. re: FrankJBN

                    True, it is just a sandwich. That's the whole point. But I'd bet if you ask some they'd say, "If you're going to Philly, you HAVE to go to insert name of place here for their Philly cheesesteak.

                    1. re: TroyTempest

                      I've not had a decent cheesesteak sandwich anywhere in Philly. Ever.

                      1. re: The Professor

                        Ha! You remind me of a coworker who moved to Tucson form Lansing, Michigan about 5-6 years ago and actually told me that he'd never had good tacos in Tucson.
                        being kind, I will say that one tends to like and gravitate toward what one grew up with. There's a difference between saiying you're not used to the tacos in Tucson and you haven't ever had a good one here. Rick Bayless' first cookbook pretty much sums it up in the very beginning.

                2. re: linguafood

                  I agree, I've had several Philly Cheesesteaks in Philly, and none of them were nearly as good as the ones I've had in Boston.

                  1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                    where do you like to get cheesesteaks in boston?

                    1. re: fara

                      It was many years ago, at Pizza Pad in Kenmore Square. But I'd be willing to bet that you can find one at a lot of pizza/sub shops. Papa Gino's had a good one. Don't know if they are still in business, as I said, it's been a long time.

                  2. re: linguafood

                    +2; I don't get the philly cheesesteak - overcooked meat, greasy onions, cheeze whiz or bad american cheese + heartburn inducing sauteed green peppers.

                    Not a fan, and I have tried this a couple of times at places that were supposed to make 'definitive' versions...

                    1. re: gingershelley

                      I've overwhelmingly found that "cult" foods are frequently much better at places *other* than the place that supposedly invented them/made them famous.

                      The cheesesteak I had in a divey bar somewhere in South Philly beat the snot out of the one I had at one of the "big" cheesesteak joints (don't ask - it was a long time ago, and I don't remember)

                      Falafel in Paris? NOT at L'As du Falafel.

                      find some divey little hole in the wall - they know how to do it.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Yeah, often those places are riding on reputation and tourist business and what they're serving has declined in quality over the years. That's the beauty of chowhound - local, current tips rather than the party line.

                        1. re: julesrules

                          I think that version is what's passed off as "authentic," and what gets sold in national cheesesteak chains, even though most Philadelphians have no use for "Wiz wit."

                          I'd make the case that the Maryland "steak & cheese," which is basically a cheesesteak hoagie (L/T/M with some places substituting finely shredded cabbage for flavorless iceberg) is a superior product. One place is known for thicker-sliced ribeye, which gives it a nice bite and really turns it into a cheesesteak "grinder."

                    2. re: linguafood

                      3rd or whatever number we are up to

                    3. In-n-Out Burger. They're fine, but nothing special, yet their cult following is nothing short of spectacular.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: biondanonima

                        I'm with you. What's all the hub-bub about!?!

                        1. re: Crockett67

                          +1

                        2. re: biondanonima

                          True. For all the 'freshness' hype, it still has that indescribable something you get from drive-thru food that you know darn well you should not be eating.

                          For me, caviar qualifies very well for this thread.

                        3. In-n-Out Bruger--just a hamburger--but, I'm not that taken with hamburgers as it is. Generally, I'm not big on massive overstuffed sandwich type things that you couldn't get into your mouth without breaking your jaw. They seem to be hyped on a lot of food-oriented TV shows. Just a matter of taste, I guess. Not big on garlic, or horseradish, mashed potatoes, either---then again, I can take or leave mashed potatoes.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Wawsanham

                            Err.... garlic mash potatoes beside a beef brisket, haricot vert, and beet salad is nice in the winter for me. No gravy needed.

                          2. Cuban sandwich? Another (actually the first in this thread) that makes me wonder 'What reputation?' It's a ham and cheese sandwich for god's sake. It's not like lobster thermidor.

                            What is the reputation this sandwich has and where have you heard of said reputation?

                            That someone says 'Oh yeah, they're great.' does not constitute a "reputation" to me.

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: FrankJBN

                              "Hype" was also part of the question, as in "lots of buzz" or "much-praised".
                              As many people in NYC (where I was living at the time the Cuban sandwich had become very popular) were talking about it and discussing where to get a "good version", I would count that as part of the item's "reputation". Perhaps "reputation" for you can only refer to something that costs as much as "lobster thermidore"... "for god's sake"? I guess that's going to disqualify all the cheesesteak and fried green tomato and burger comments as well. Perhaps you'd find the pedantry on the thermidore board more to your taste.

                              1. re: FrankJBN

                                So true, just a ham and cheese sandwich. But, that's what hype is all about. Just calling it a ham and cheese sandwich would be too hypeless. I wonder if a peanut butter and jelly sandwich could be called something hypeful...

                                1. re: FrankJBN

                                  My take on this is that you have not had a properly prepared Cuban sandwich-it is one of my favorite sandwiches, and the places that do it wrong far outnumber the places that do it right.

                                  1. re: JenJeninCT

                                    I absolutely agree with you, JenJeninCT. I love properly prepared Cuban sandwiches, and they are amongst my favorites of the sandwich family that I love so well. That said, I have yet to find a properly prepared Cuban sandwich in my hometown of Pittsburgh. In fact, I'm not sure I've had a good Cuban sandwich north of Florida and have, for all intents and purposes, stopped ordering them up here.

                                    I've had expertly prepared Cuban sandwiches in Tampa, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and even (unbelievably) Jacksonville. I may have had a good one or two elsewhere, but I struggle to remember them. If I am not in one of these areas and want to have a good Cuban sandwich, I have to make it myself, which typically means that I need to bake the Cuban bread, roast the pork, and grill it myself. The ham, swiss, pickles, and mustard, can be store-bought, though, IMHO.

                                    A good Cuban sandwich is absolutely divine.

                                    1. re: MonMauler

                                      Then it's a really good ham and cheese sandwich--not earth shattering, I think.

                                      1. re: Wawsanham

                                        but it's not JUST a ham and cheese sandwich...it's the ham and the roast pork and the cheese and the mustard and the pickles, and most importantly, the bread, and whether it's cold or hot and pressed to within a half an inch of its life (because a really good, really well-pressed one is not much more than a half-inch high)

                                  2. re: FrankJBN

                                    What's so great about lobster thermidor? Or lobster mac and cheese? Bleh.

                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                      +1 on lobster mac and cheese. Bland AND expensive. Yuk.

                                      1. re: Christina D

                                        I've never had it, but seems like a waste of good lobster.

                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                          Not to mention good cheese and pasta . . . .

                                      2. re: monkeyrotica

                                        + whatever. Lobster M&C is a waste of some perfectly good ingredients. I think of it as an "emperor's new clothes" sort of dish.

                                        1. re: Isolda

                                          +1

                                        2. re: monkeyrotica

                                          I've had excellent lobster mac & cheese that was all that. So good that I drove an hour each way and paid for the steak or whatever entree with the true purpose of ordering a side of lobster mac & cheese. When done right, truly divine.

                                      3. sushi..never saw what was so apetizing about them.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: forgottenhero

                                          Several of my friends go crazy for Sea Urchin. All the times I've tried it tastes somewhere between "empty", "flowery" and "vaguely disgusting"

                                          1. re: emmeisix

                                            Think old tea bag...

                                        2. Bacon.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: huiray

                                            Agreed, huiray.

                                            1. re: huiray

                                              i'm with you! i don't mind a little bit sometimes in certain forms (a little bit of bacon can add a lot to a sauce or cooked in with greens, for example), and i don't dislike the flavor, but i've just never been very much of a bacon fan.

                                              1. re: huiray

                                                Wow.

                                                I have frequently thought that bacon would be a major obstacle should I ever want to change either my religion or my omnivore status. Good thing I am showing no particular inclination to do either of those things :)

                                                More for me.

                                              2. "New England" clam chowder. Most, to me, tastes like library paste.

                                                Not Manhattan clam chowder, which is rightfully scorned as inferior and therefore has no good reputation to live up to. 8<D

                                                The best clam chowder is thin, such as found in Rhode Island.

                                                17 Replies
                                                1. re: Bob W

                                                  Now hang on a second! NE clam chowder is gloopy and gross (and I live in New England, so I've had bowls from various places claiming to have the best), but Manhattan clam chowder is fantastic. Nothing like spicy tomatoes and clams. Right up there with cioppino, but way less messy to eat!

                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                    It's overthickened to seem creamy and to allow reheating without curdling. When my grandmother would make chowder, it was made with whole milk and thickened only with common crackers. She would give my mother a container and tell her not to curdle it when she reheated it. This would, of course, enfuriate my mother, and she would reheat it with such vigor that it would inevitably curdle.

                                                    1. re: sr44

                                                      I make my clam chowder with whole non-homoginized milk, butter, sauteed onions, maybe some sauteed celery, and potatoes. I dice the potatoes in several sizes so that the smaller dice melts and thickens the chowder. There's a nice texture, but no gloppiness.

                                                      1. re: Vidute

                                                        I agree -- I add some cream at the end, too -- I end up with rich, velvety chowder, not paste.

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          In some places I've been tempted to say that they make a wonderful wallpaper paste.

                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                            I prefer Rhode Island chowder, but when I do New England, it's rendered fatback, quahogs and their liquor, onions and celery, butter, and whole milk and heavy cream. Daniel Webster liked his with a glass of brandy. I'm inclined to agree. It's like a throwback to those old French dishes where you combine three sauces, all made with sticks of butter.

                                                            The worst I've had was at this pretentious upscale slopshop that was all about "reimagining" classic dishes. Their "clam chowder" tasted like hot bacon ranch dressing with no clams in it. Would have made an awesome salad dressing, but as clam chowder, it left a lot to be desired (e.g., clams).

                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                              I live in Maryland and I've been having the same problem lately with many restaurants' cream of crab soup (NOT to be confused with Maryland crab soup) and the ranch dressing factor. These days I can't find a decent bowl in a restaurant to save my life.

                                                              1. re: staughton

                                                                For me it would be a tossup between Jerry's Seafood and The Narrows on Kent Island. The Sunset Restaurant in Glen Burnie and Mama's on the Half Shell used to do an excellent crab soup, but it's been years.

                                                                So many cream-based soups go overboard with the flour until it's almost like a thin sauce instead of a soup. Then they overcompensate with some other ingredient, usually salt or bacon. The problem with bacon nowdays is that it's either too smokey or too salty. This wasn't the case when those old cookbooks were written when people would (GASP!) cure their own bacon.

                                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                  Hey, neighbor! So, Jerry's on Rt. 4, south of Prince Frederick, or the one in Lanham-Seabrook? I can never bring myself to order soup there (on Rt. 4) with all the great specials, but I will now. Thanks for the recommendation. And speaking of bacon, have you ever had their kale? WOW!!! My sister orders it by the pint for take-out.

                                                                  1. re: staughton

                                                                    I usually go to the Jerry's in Seabrook, but the one in Bowie is a nicer space. Couple bucks more per plate, but at least the AC isn't blasting.

                                                                2. re: staughton

                                                                  I'm in the area too -- totally agree on cream of crab. I also find that most Maryland Crab soup is no better than a can of Campbell's tomato vegetable soup with a few shreds of tasteless crab meat thrown in.

                                                                  1. re: Bob W

                                                                    Still, there are a few places (and relatives!) who make a decent Maryland crab soup, which is basically just a tomato-based veg soup (I even use a beef stock base) with crab meat in it. I can't find a bowl of cream of crab soup that doesn't taste like a cross between salty ranch dressing and crab dip with too much sherry in it. Even the places with decent Md. crab soup are making awful cream soup these days.

                                                                    1. re: staughton

                                                                      Is it like Bookbinder stew? My mom used to make that once in a while when I was a kid, and I remember there being a beef base and crab.

                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                        Bookbinders used to make a crab soup? I'm only familiar with their turtle soup.

                                                                        Don't get me started on Maryland terrapin soup. Impossible to find outside a handful of Eastern Shore church fundraisers and box socials.

                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                          It was a restaurant from somewhere my dad had traveled to -- but this was the mid-70s, a small town in the Midwest, so could have been as far from authentic as it could possibly be.

                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                            You can order them here!

                                                                            http://www.bookbinderspecialties.com/...

                                                                        2. re: staughton

                                                                          Duesenberg’s and Dimitri's in Catonsville have good old-fashioned MD crab. Patrick's in Timonium has it on their menu, but it's been hit and miss, although more hits than misses.

                                                          2. BTW, have you seen this thread? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780249

                                                            1. Balsamic Vinegar.............

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                Seconded. 'Hate' is too strong a word for me, but the cafeteria near me does a lot of their roast vegetables with balsamic on them and whenever I see roast vegetables offered I have to check their ingredient listing first, otherwise I cringe on first bite.

                                                                1. re: Tovflu

                                                                  How about the aceto balsamico tradizionale de Modena that is thick and syrupy and just plain perfect? If it were not so incredibly expensive I would drink the stuff. I adore it.

                                                                  1. re: chefathome

                                                                    Great stuff indeed!

                                                                    1. re: chefathome

                                                                      I found an unopened bottle in the back of my cabinet... must have been there at least 20 years. Don't even remember what recipe I was going to make that required it. Any suggestions?

                                                                      1. re: Vidute

                                                                        What a find! How does one forget about such a treat? How many years was it aged? What label - red, silver or gold? How thick is it? We use ours for drizzling on fresh strawberries with cracked black pepper. Delicious as a glaze over duck and lamb. Lovely on ice cream. A single drop on a square of watermelon looks pretty and tastes wonderful.

                                                                        1. re: chefathome

                                                                          It's still sitting in the cabinet. It's now aged about fifty years. You gave me some great ideas on how to use it. But, I think I might save the opening for a grand occasion. I think it would be more appreciated than popping a cork.

                                                                          1. re: Vidute

                                                                            We have gone through a 125 mL bottle in the past six months. Yes, we love the stuff. The opening is definitely worth a grand occasion! I would personally appreciate it more than popping a cork but then that's just me. Enjoy it!

                                                                  2. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                    Balsamic Vinegar.....you betcha.

                                                                  3. Truffle oil. Can't stand it. It tastes like I imagine dirty feet would. I have tried and tried to like it, because you are 'supposed to' like. On the other hand, I LOVE gorgonzola and other 'stinky' cheeses.

                                                                    13 Replies
                                                                    1. re: justme123

                                                                      Thankfully fresh truffles taste vastly superior to nearly all oils!

                                                                      1. re: chefathome

                                                                        and most if not all truffle oils have never been anywhere near an actual truffe....

                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                          Yes! Sadly that does happen.

                                                                          1. re: The Professor

                                                                            MMMMM! Chemicals!

                                                                        2. re: justme123

                                                                          With you on truffle oil.

                                                                          I would add sushi and fresh corn on the cob. Both are okay, but don't get all the broohaha.

                                                                          1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                            HA! "Broohaha"... THAT's the word I was looking for! Thanks.

                                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                              wow. are you sure you're getting sushi and fresh corn from the right places? transcendental both of them (for me).

                                                                              1. re: fara

                                                                                Yes & yes. Both are fine (not awful or anything)....I simply don't believe either of them live up to the hype. I eat both but neither makes me swoon like many other food items do.

                                                                            2. re: justme123

                                                                              Agree 100%. The truffle oil popularity just reached my city a couple years ago (yes, several years late), and now almost every "fancy" place ruins their fries and/or any potato by drizzling the vile greasy stuff on it. Tastes like feet, you are correct. Dirty feet. Burning, dirty, hairy feet.

                                                                              1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                Mmmmm, burning dirty hairy feet...

                                                                                1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                  Now THIS is the sort of discussion I was looking forward to when I posted the question!! Thanks, guys. I like truffle oil in very small doses, especially on bitter salad greens, but I totally get that others might hate it, or find its gradual explosion on the American food scene to be a little obnoxious, to say the least.

                                                                                  1. re: staughton

                                                                                    I love truffle oil, at least as far as I have experienced it, I buy La Tourangelle oils, and I dont' care what anybody says, they're SEXY. However, I wouldn't pour it on french fries, I use it on already-vcooked pasta and salads. I don't care if it makes me a dried-out relic of a former foodie.
                                                                                    Also, I bought some Oregon truffles, and when I used them I was thinking more about sex than I usually do while eating. Just sayin'- it's a sexy flavor.

                                                                                2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                  Right there with you on the truffle oil hate. It's almost embarrassing, but whenever I or my son orders steak frites, we have to ask, "Um, you don't happen to drizzle truffle oil on those fries, do you?" If the answer is yes, we skip it.

                                                                              2. Endive.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: jennc

                                                                                  With you!
                                                                                  Endive is a nice green.
                                                                                  Handled well it can be pretty darn good.
                                                                                  Worth raving about?
                                                                                  Not so much.

                                                                                  1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                    Curly endive...I agree. Just another slightly bitter green. Belgian endive, however, lives up to its hype in my house because it holds sour cream and caviar. :0)

                                                                                    1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                      I'm a real fan of escarole, and i like curly endive too.

                                                                                2. Salmon. Have never been a fan...and I live in Seattle, no less. People seem to go ga-ga for it especially during Copper River season, but I've never noticed a drastic improvement in flavor when compared to fresh product from elsewhere.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: d8200

                                                                                    Ya, salmon. I'd rather have piece of halibut or especially rock cod or ling cod any day.

                                                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                      If you're talking about farmed salmon, I agree. Not good.
                                                                                      Now, wild Sockeye salmon is a whole other story. Can't get enough of it!

                                                                                  2. My pick is goat cheese.

                                                                                    I love cheese. I could live on cheese only. I love sharp, stinky, tangy, gooey..almost any kind of cheese. But try as I might, I don't like goat cheese. Everyone else does (well, almost everyone). It's in recipes and on menus everywhere.

                                                                                    Unless it's goat feta. Then I like it. There's a little local goat farm nearby that makes a very nice goat feta. And I kind of like the local goat milk I get from the farmer's market now and then. It's chevre I can't like, and I don't know why.

                                                                                    And I agree with other posters about Philly Steaks. I'd rather go have an Italian Hoagie when I'm in Philadelphia, if I'm in a sandwich mood. Maybe if the Philly Steak was piled with mushrooms and mozzarella and peppers, I'd like it better. But then it would be called something else.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                                      Agree on goat cheese, I find I'm one of the few who rolls her eyes when she sees it added to nearly every menu item in those "trying too hard" restaurants.

                                                                                    2. Kobe beef. I have tried it a few times and to my taste it isn't worth 3 times the price of a good piece of prime or even choice beef.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: mwk

                                                                                        +1 on the Kobe. Meh.

                                                                                        1. re: mwk

                                                                                          Have you had real Kobe as opposed to the stuff that's called Kobe? Unless you've been to the far east, you have not had Kobe beef. Its amazing stuff. Scary expensive.

                                                                                        2. Pork belly
                                                                                          Chicken feet

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: RUK

                                                                                            I can take or leave chicken feet (unless I'm making soup, where it is a must)....but pork belly is awesome

                                                                                            1. re: RUK

                                                                                              yes. Pork Belly is a joke. Please get it off every damn menu. It is a glob of fat that should be trimmed away, or spit out if accidentally put in one's mouth.

                                                                                              1. re: RUK

                                                                                                Ah. Now this depends.

                                                                                                If RUK is referring to belly pork which we often see roasted for example, then I'm in agreemnt with the Professor. it is one of the tastiest meat cuts around and lends itself to cooking in some many different ways.

                                                                                                On the other hand, if RUK is referring to the actual belly (stomach) of a pig then I agree with her/him.

                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                  D'you mean pig stomach? Pork maw in garlic sauce is one of the classic and yummy cold hors d'oeuvres in Szechuanese cuisine, and is a favored ingredient in various other regional Chinese dishes.

                                                                                                  The meat cut "pork belly" is a favored ingredient in many cuisines. The best Chinese roast pork (siu-yuk) is from the pork belly section, with the alternating layers of fat and lean.

                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                    Yep - I meant stomach, which is why I wrote stomach.

                                                                                              2. Filet mignon. That "mild" taste that's so highly praised is just bland to me. I want beef that tastes beefy, and I don't mind chewing a bit or paying LESS to get it.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                  Ribeye ftw! I do not pay $$$ for filet mignon when Ribeye has better flavor and price for me. Ribeye is still a treat and not an every month treat either.

                                                                                                  1. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                    Absolutely. Especially when it has that big lip around it- I may have ot go get some, haven't had any in months.

                                                                                                    1. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                      i totally agree with all of the above. i don't get the mild taste either. maybe it's a hold over from when beef was more gamey? i can't imagine why else...or else from the days when people had filet mignon with very good french sauces in order to soak up all of the cocktails they'd had.

                                                                                                  2. I would have to agree with the fried green tomatoes,underwhelming culls.With near sacred cow status some places and $10.95 for a three slice app at many.

                                                                                                    1. caviar

                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                        Have you had the $100 an ounce stuff? The Osetra caviar and such? That's the only caviar I like. Only had that a few times in my life. But you can keep the cheap stuff because it's nasty!

                                                                                                        1. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                          Salmon roe is wonderful too.

                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                            Yes, usually $5 for a few tablespoons at a good sushi place. It's definitely the best of the poor-man's caviar. Plus the bonus of eating them one by one and really enjoying them. :) Mmmmm.

                                                                                                            1. re: emmeisix

                                                                                                              Trout caviar is da shizzle. I OD on it every time I'm back in the fatherland.

                                                                                                            2. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                              Saddly I have a reaction to salmon where my throat tightens up. Never closes up completely but I don't push it either.

                                                                                                              Nonetheless, by boyfriend *loves* salmon roe. It's his favorite.

                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                oh wow not for me! i know so many people love it, but i just cannot stand ikura. the texture, the bulbous "pop", not even the taste. and i live in seattle now/grew up here, and lived in japan in a seaside fishing town for years... still do not like salmon roe. i don't think i ever will :-) here, have mine! *passes the salmon roe*

                                                                                                                1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                  LOL- that's what I love about it! Thank you for offering yours to me.

                                                                                                              2. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                                I've had Beluga, Ossetra, and Sevruga. Caviar is a waste on me and a waste of my money.

                                                                                                                1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                  Thank you very much. The Emperor has no clothes.

                                                                                                            3. Veined cheeses.
                                                                                                              Truffles and truffle oil.
                                                                                                              Sushi.
                                                                                                              Fish Sauce.
                                                                                                              Velveeta.
                                                                                                              Caviar.
                                                                                                              Soft Drinks.
                                                                                                              And more, I'm sure....

                                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                What reputation do Velveeta and soft Drinks not live up to?

                                                                                                                1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                  Many people LOVE them and refuse to ever consider giving them up!

                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                    Well, yeah, but i mean they are not really hyped by anyone. C'mon, you're just being argumentative.

                                                                                                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                      I'm thinking that's YOUR job here.....I just answered honestly.

                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                        Touche monsieur pussycat! :)

                                                                                                                        1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                          Thank you for your support! Oops, do I sound like a cheap politician? Oops, is there a kind other than cheap? Oops, should I be quiet? ha

                                                                                                                        2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                          in that case. Campbell's soup. Everyone says it is so great, but i don't think it is that great.
                                                                                                                          Also,
                                                                                                                          Saltines, bread, American cheese, jello.

                                                                                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                            most of the campbell's soups make me gag, except for the tomato (which should make me gag but doesn't), and I confess I'll use the cream o' soupls every so often. Just don't ever make me smell any of the vegetable soups- too gross for words.And they all smell the same.
                                                                                                                            Back in the day I used to be able to find, every once in a while, Campbell's Sopa Crema de Chile Poblano. It's the best damn thing Campbell's ever made, and the last query to Campbel'ls replied that they had moved that product off to mexico and it really wasn't available in the US any more. I wish to mount an insurrection to force them to carry it in more US stores. Honestly, it can improve a dish greatly.

                                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                              Have you thought of going to an Hispanic grocery? They're the ones who started importing Mexican Coca Cola and Pepsi. Who knows, maybe expats want it available here, too.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                Oh absolutely I have- every single Mexican grocery in Tucson, plus several in the Phoenix are, as well as Nogales, Sonoyta, Ensenada, and Puerto Penasco, all in Mexico proper. No dice.
                                                                                                                                Oddly enough, the last place I found it was at AJ's- a really upscale Arizona grocery chain. They don't carry it any more, either.

                                                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                  Do you think they'd give you their distributor's name if you asked? That way you could get a whole gross! ;) But, seriously, the distributor could give you info if there are other stores in the area that carry it. Or, if no stores carry it, he might be willing to sell you a case, most likely 24 cans.

                                                                                                                        3. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                          I take it you've never had anyone expound the virtues of Velveeta mac and cheese or Velveeta-Rotel hot dip. At one time, the mini crock pot was including a small block of velveeta and a small can of rotel.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                            i have. If Sandy would have said one of thise it would have been different than just an ingredient in one of those dishes.

                                                                                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                              One of the glitches of boards...nuances and thoughts are lost.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                sadly, you are correct.

                                                                                                                  2. A lot of Mexican foods.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                      Quite true. But, this is all just a matter of taste as it is. Besides, Mexican food seems to hit the spot currently in US culture.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Wawsanham

                                                                                                                        Hmm, I don't know about that. I just spent four years living in Texas--it's more Tex Mex, but honestly, I don't like the Mexican food served there. It's all greasy and to me, a good portion of it tastes the same.

                                                                                                                    2. Greek yogurt

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: thymeoz

                                                                                                                        Are you talking about the 0% fat or the full fat?

                                                                                                                        If it's the 0% fat, I agree. I think it tastes like chalk.
                                                                                                                        If it's the full fat, I disagree. I buy the Greed Gods yogurt. Full fat is about 9% fat. I just had the pomegranate, and it had the texture of a mousse. Delicious.

                                                                                                                      2. Most sandwiches, especially PB&J or anything with ham in it (unless it's prosciutto)
                                                                                                                        Bacon (although ironically, a good BLT is one of God's greatest gifts to us)
                                                                                                                        Risotto
                                                                                                                        Fried rice
                                                                                                                        Pork belly, as mentioned above
                                                                                                                        Hawaiian food
                                                                                                                        Ranch dressing- in fact I think it's really gross

                                                                                                                        Hawaiian food

                                                                                                                        21 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                          And how about HAWAIIAN food? LOL!!! I don't get the Spam-love, myself. And I'm with you on risotto--and her mush-cousin, polenta.

                                                                                                                          1. re: staughton

                                                                                                                            I have only ever had "meh" risotto... I would also mention Paella. Everytime I've had it it tastes like that generic "mexican rice" you get at cheap tex-mex places... just with fancy pieces of meat in it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: emmeisix

                                                                                                                              I love risotto but agree on Paella - dry rice and overcooked seafood. I imagine it can be better but it still doesn't seem like an ideal way to prepare seafood (long oven time).

                                                                                                                              1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                Cooking in the oven seems an awful way to deal with paella. Should be stove top, so you can easily add the ingredients at the right time, rather than having to keep taking it out of the oven. .

                                                                                                                                And, of course, the seafood only needs a short cooking time but other ingredients (say like rabbit or chicken) are going to take longer. Much of the success depends on using a good flavoursome stock to cook the rice. it also helps if you're using the right rice - calasparra is what you need (it's usually branded as "Valencia" or "Spanish" rice)

                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                  That all makes sense. Not sure where I got the oven idea from :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                    You weren't wrong, jules. Some people do cook their paella in the oven.

                                                                                                                                2. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                  paella is supposed to be cooked over an open flame-preferably outside on a woodfire- so that the seafood is not dried out and the rice is crunchy on the bottom. a great paella cooked in the traditional way is a beautiful, extremely delicious thing. it hasn't made it properly to the U.S. I think.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fara

                                                                                                                                    The Spanish brother-in-law always says the crispy rice on the bottom of the pan is the best bit to eat.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                    This makes me think that most people who are finding foods failing to live up to their hype have probably never had a good example of the hyped dish. I commented above about Kobe beef. No one who has ever eaten Kobe beef in the US has had Kobe beef unless a friend or relative smuggled some in. Paella that I've seen in 90%+ of places in the states are presented in a pot as a gloppy mess of mushy rice and overcooked meats. Why that would disappoint is clear. But a proper paella made in the paella pan over a wood fire is divine. As Harters said, the best part is the soccarat. If you don't cook it the proper way, you don't get the soccarat and what good is paella without the best part?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bkeats

                                                                                                                                      Risotto is another dish that's often not done well. I had truffle risotto recently in a restaurant that was divine. I also made risotto last week and brought some in for a coworker. It was fresh and hot, but he reheated it later, and even then raved about it. But if the rice is still practically raw floating in soup rather than al dente, and I've had it that way--well, if that were my only experience of it, I wouldn't be impressed.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                        Agree....risotto.....either very good or not good all.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                          and when it's not very good, it's pretty close to awful.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                          Agreed. I have yet to eat risotto outside of Italy that was anything like what I understand risotto should be (and usually is in its country of origin). Restaurant risotto is almost invariably too claggy - no doubt from it being pre-made, just warmed through to order and needing that consistency so they feel they are presenting it in a cheffy way. Wrong!

                                                                                                                                  3. re: staughton

                                                                                                                                    I like polenta and cornmeal mush. Same thing, different accent, but it has to be done just so.

                                                                                                                                  4. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                    Hawaiian food!?! Is this possible?

                                                                                                                                    There is more to it than spam. In fact I had 9 people at work singing my praises over my Saimin this afternoon. It's a savory/ginger broth with finer noodles than raman which I top with teriyaki pork, fried egg cake, Taiyaki, green onions, toasted seaweed, and portuguese sausage.

                                                                                                                                    I could go on and on about their macaroni salad with a little hondashi to give it that savory note.

                                                                                                                                    Or Oxtail soup with sweet/savory notes grounded with a little heat.

                                                                                                                                    Or the blue plate specials like Kalbi ribs, teriyaki chicken thighs, Lomein their way, or salt and pepper shrimp. If you like Asian food, you probably will not starve at a luau.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                                                      Yeah, but Crockett, what you're describing is from Japanese roots, and Japanese is one of my favorite cuisines. i'm talking about kalua pork and poi. and other things like that. I've not been impressed so far, except for food that has its roots elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                        Nope I'm talking from local roots. This is the melting pot of Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Japanese, and other Pan-Pacific Asian ethnicity. You may not like kalua pork, but Loco Moco is as much a comfort food to a local Hawaiian as poi.

                                                                                                                                        Blue plate specials I talk of is unique of Hawaii and not something you will pick up at Tokyo or Hanoi.

                                                                                                                                        Saimin is not served at any ramen shop. It's a hot pot of all the mish-mash of ingredients each of the sugar plantation workers had. Vietnamese inspired broth, Chinese noodles, Hawaiian eggs from their chickens, Japanese fish cake, Filipino greens and vegetables, and Portuguese sausage.

                                                                                                                                        So to say oh that's just Japanese food is like telling a Filipino their beloved dishes are just Spanish food.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                                                        Of course, macadamia nuts are the huge exception, along with grilled mahi-mahi.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                                                          Mmmm, Saimin. My grandma was born & raised in Hawaii, and her saimin was fantastic. I also love kalua pig, it's so good. I never liked poi, though the last time I had it was as a little kid. I remember it sort of tasting like weird purple glue though.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                          Yes, PBandJ gets so much hype. Really?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                            i agree, it's not really something i can eat.

                                                                                                                                        3. Heirloom tomatoes are overhyped.

                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                                            Perhaps, in the very broad sense. They are extremely sensitive to local growing conditions. For example, Brandywines are beloved. I can't grow them to save my life. And some are grown more for appearance than taste.

                                                                                                                                            But real, local, plain-old summertime tomatoes, like your standard beefsteak, cannot be overhyped. There are few better foods on the planet.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                                              Are you getting hothouse or field grown? If it's hothouse, you're cheating yourself. Any field grown and ripened food is going to be tastier than something that is grown indoors, grown for hardiness for shipping, or picked before ripeness to extend the shelf-life. If you've never tasted a dead-ripe herirloom tomato, you're missing the elemental essence of tomato. There are so many different varieties, from the brandiwine, mr. stripey, cherokee purple, moneymaker, etc. Each has a different flavor from acidic, to tangy, to sweet, etc. And they're messy....the juice runs down your chin, your arm. As I don't have much of a green thumb, I'm fortunate to have several farmers' markets nearby. I eagerly await the heirlooms each season, bypassing the hardier market varieties.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                I've tried and tried heirlooms, one time I had the best tomatoes I ever grew, the rest of the time they succumbed to either the weather or some disease that they weren't resistant to. I love them when I can get them if they're well-grown.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                  I, too, have had little success with growing heirlooms. That's why I'm grateful for the four local farms that grow them and sell them at my local farmers' markets.

                                                                                                                                            2. I'll add mussels to the list. The only time I've actually enjoyed them they were less than a day out of the water, but after that their flavor drops significantly. I suspect that's why a lot of menus serve them in a cream based sauce usually with very strong flavors added (curry, pimenton, etc.) or an overpowering tomato broth. I'll take clams steamed with a touch of butter and white wine over a mussel dish any day.

                                                                                                                                              1. Those most authentic, inspired DOC certified Margheritas that you have to make a reservation for. $20 for 10 inches of OOO crust, imported tomatoes, and buffalo cheese that ends up being nothing so much as burnt pizza soup. But it is the most authentic burnt pizza soup and therefor the best.

                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                  What??? Huh???

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: KSlink

                                                                                                                                                    I think it's a tongue-in-cheek comment about Neapolitan style pizza. Many places hype their ____ degree VPN certified wood burning oven and authentic imported (i.e. expensive) ingredients, but haven't mastered the technique. The end result is usually an overly charred crust and an undercooked, soupy center. If you complain, they will say "It's authentic Neapolitan style pizza, that's how it's supposed to be!"

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: d8200

                                                                                                                                                      Bingo. Even at places where I've had excellent Neapolitans, they will often come out overly charred and soupy. It's a precise technique that can't be learned over a weekend. It's like with sushi; demand for Japanese trained sushi chefs outstrips supply, so you end up with a lot of mediocre sushi.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                        and insulting rice

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                    Ha!

                                                                                                                                                  3. I love popcorn more than any other snack food - I'm a salty, not a sweet tooth - and was taken to some fancy special popcorn place in Chicago (I can't remember the name). The server, or Popcorn Artist, or whatever, fussed over a freshly popping, tumbling drum of popcorn for almost fifteen minutes, spraying it evenly with butter, adding salt, tasting, adding more salt, etc. I got so excited!

                                                                                                                                                    When we stepped outside everyone was watching me take the first bite, and we all cracked up. It was just plain 'ol corn. Nothing special or great about it. Maybe worse than your average movie theater, and probably on par with your average snack bar. It just wasn't worth the $4 and 15 minutes, much less that poor man's time and trouble.

                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                      Garrett?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                        Hah! Popcorn is my big deal, also. I use a glass microwave popper and it makes it SO crisp......

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                          You didn't pay for the popcorn, you paid for the "show".
                                                                                                                                                          Kind of like the Fudgery. You watch the crew work the fudge on the marble slab while singing. It's entertaining, but I don't care for the fudge. I find it too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                            Waitaminute... iffen that was Garrett popcorn, then you needed to try the cheese flavor. It WILL ruin you for other popcorns. :)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                                                                              I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to corn. Cheese is okay, but not my favorite.

                                                                                                                                                              A better "show" would have been him singing or tap-dancing for 2 to 3 minutes while a bag of Orville Redenbachers rotated slowly in a microwave. That would have been better corn AND a more entertaining show. Also quicker. But to be fair, I love telling that story, so maybe it was worth the trouble.

                                                                                                                                                          2. For me it's foie gras. I know, I know, everyone loves it - I've tried to love it, but I just don't. And now it's illegal where I live anyway, so no great loss for me.

                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                              >>>
                                                                                                                                                              I know, I know, everyone loves it
                                                                                                                                                              >>>
                                                                                                                                                              Add me to the "Not me, too" list.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                                                                                                                That's the first thing that came to mind. Just solid richness, but no real flavor, IME. I'd sooner eat butter.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                  I'd agree if it is just a torchon or a mousse. But seared foie gras, properly executed, with that caramelized fat layer and the just warm center? Heavenly.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                    That was what I had. Presumably Fleur de Lys (in Las Vegas, some years ago) did it correctly. Just didn't do anything for me.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                      I agree. Some people just don't like rich ... and maybe it helps to be a supertaster. The sear is very important, and it must be served absolutely fresh from the pan. I also prefer the center more than just warm--I want it cooked through. Even though I like liver, I don't want to taste it in foie gras.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Some restaurant in NYC discovered that if they make guacamole table side and turn it into a show, they could charge lots more. Now that's the norm for guacamole here.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. NY Bagel (generally speaking - not any better than what I get locally in SF 'burbs, imo)
                                                                                                                                                                    Sriracha
                                                                                                                                                                    French omelette (too soft for my taste)
                                                                                                                                                                    Deviled eggs (have tried making them, ordered it at resto - just don't get it)

                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ceekskat

                                                                                                                                                                      As for bagels, it's because you have good bakeries. NY Bagels are so much better than most of the bagel places here in the Midwest.

                                                                                                                                                                      I liked Ess-a-bagel more than Zingerman's bagels.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                                                                                        I had breakfast at Ess-a-bagel during my trip to Manhattan two years ago. I've been coveting another ever since. Guess I need to start saving for another NYC visit. Thanks for the memories, Crockett67.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MrsBridges

                                                                                                                                                                          My brothers live near Ess-a. There are two other great bagel spots within a couple of blocks on First Ave.: Bagel Boss and David's. Bagel Boss is kosher, David's is known for their awesome flagels.

                                                                                                                                                                          An embarrassment of riches!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps I didn't it phrase it properly. People here seek NY bagels and get disappointed. When I had an Ess-a...I thought, "what's the big deal?" However, I did feel Ess-a's whitefish salad was a revelation (compared to local stuff).

                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: ceekskat

                                                                                                                                                                          OH oh oh- so with you on the sriracha and French omelettes!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                            I roll my eyes whenever folks - but *especially* chefs [like a certain IC from Ohio] - rhapsodize about how they can't live without Sriracha.

                                                                                                                                                                            Regarding omelettes/omelets: I prefer the browned/"rustic" style (harder texture) or, better, the non-folded CRISPED (not just browned) bubbled but still just this side of runny type achieved w/ a HOT pan with AMPLE oil (not butter).

                                                                                                                                                                            A useful Jacques Pepin video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57afEW... (the crisped version I described is not the "rustic" first style he shows)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                              I like a touch of crispiness in an omelet. I don't even mind if it's cooked all the way through, I just don't care to have raw egg slime come squirting out when I cut into it.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't mind the "raw egg slime". However, I think we are in agreement that the "soft curdled" French-type omelette or scrambled eggs (ICK!!) are not what we look for. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                        4. lobster and mayonayse ona hotdog bun! thought it was gonna be awesome instead i got a $5 tuna sandwich

                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: elkahani

                                                                                                                                                                            If you paid $5, you should not have expected a good lobster roll.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                              For five bucks, I wouldn't even expect a good tuna sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bob W

                                                                                                                                                                                This is pretty much what I was thinking.... lol

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                                                                  ditto

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: elkahani

                                                                                                                                                                                For $5 bucks, I'm surprised you got mayonnaise...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mwk

                                                                                                                                                                                  eh were i live your get gaded prime new york strips for 12-15 and 18-20 ounce porters for 20 lobster goes for around 18 in shell.

                                                                                                                                                                                  honestly i had a few good ones but most were bulk mayo and not a decent aole but as a be all end all sandwich kind of rep i was less then amazed to me it was a decent lobster on bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: elkahani

                                                                                                                                                                                  The $5 price got me thinking.... was this real lobster meat or surimi? Surimi's used to make fake crab, scallops, and, yes, lobster. If what you were served was the fake lobster, I can understand your disappointment.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                    Unless the sandwich was the size of a thimble I would have to believe it was Surimi for $5.00.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Mac-n-Cheese. People love it, rave about how great it s is, but I've never had one worth any excitement at all. Not in restaurants, not in homes, not out of a box. Worst part is, if I ever say that I'm not a big mac-n-cheese fan, I am invariably answered with, "Oh, you should try mine!" No thanks, I'll have a drink if I need comfort.

                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                    Some foods like this go into the "I grew up with it" category that is just untouchable even if you have moved well beyond in terms of developing taste in dining. I realized that I have a lot of these foods (chicken pot pie, mac n' cheese, peanut butter on toast) that are probably not that good if you are an adult and never had them or have any association with them (my boyfriend is greek, and thinks all these foods are mostly gross, or a waste of calories!)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: emmeisix

                                                                                                                                                                                      And what does he think of pastitsio? It's been explained to me as Greek comfort food, Mom's-is-always-best kind of food. I don't have a Greek mom and I don't get it - mushy tomato pasta bake with some cinammon...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: emmeisix

                                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed. Tonight I had a bowl of macaroni with blue cheese melted over it, with a lot of black pepper. It was totally soul-satisfying and will see me through until the next time, several months from now.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree. It's pretty to look at, but it's always so bland. And I've had a lot of versions. There's so many better ways to eat pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nedh

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, and people get all wierd when you start putting Dave's Insanity Sauce on Grandma's Famous Mac & Cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd never understood the love for mac-n-cheese. That is, until I tried the one at University of Maryland hospital's cafeteria. Four cheeses, crispy, crusty cheese and crispy macaroni edges, creamy interior. Rich and flavorful. I'm embarrased to admit it, but I make special trips to the hospital just to get the mac-n-cheese. I always get a strange look from the security staff when I tell them my reason for visiting.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                            Well LOL that made me snort a bit of water. Isn't it wonderful to find an Elvenqueen in your hobbit village? My hospital used to make a surprisingly presentable chicken-fried steak (before the cafeteria got all healthy, sigh). And my husband used to drop me off at one of my clinical sites way back when I was in nursing school, just to get their fab, cheap oatmeal. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            I also recall an astounding pizza slice at the Audubon Zoo in NO, years ago. Sadly, was not repeated in a more recent visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                              I understand completely and agree wholeheartedly.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                It's funny. I lived on Paca around the corner from that Hospital while going to school. I ate in the cafeteria a couple times. Never would have thought to try any pasta dish in there though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I have an idea they'll be giving strange looks more often after that pitch! I live about an hour and a half south of Balto., and I know where I'll be having lunch next time I'm up there! Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Fried Green tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                Fried dill pickles
                                                                                                                                                                                                Cilantro
                                                                                                                                                                                                Saffron
                                                                                                                                                                                                Pancetta
                                                                                                                                                                                                Prosciutto
                                                                                                                                                                                                Those are just the ones I can come ;up with off the top of my head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. 5 guys over priced well done burgers. Not good eats!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Nutella - I love Nutella as much as the next person, but it's becoming overused in everything these days
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Risotto - it's a nice side dish but why soupy rice coated with cheese is so hyped I will never understand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Parmesan cheese - probably the least flavorful cheese out there. On its own is dry and salty. Adds very little to the dishes its used in. I've found that feta often works much better in place of parmesan
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Burgers - upscale burger joints like In and Out and 5 guys have revived the burger craze. But really, is ground beef with salt + pepper between a bun really all that exciting?
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cupcakes - most of the $4/pop cupcakes out there are pretty mediocre

                                                                                                                                                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chi_Guy

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I never understood the cupcake craze, either. I have literally never "bought in."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cupcakes are easy portion self-control that, as they remain whole, are fresher than a slice from a whole cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                                                          mostly because there are so many really crappy cupcakes being made....

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm continually amazed how many bakeries that bake nothing but cupcakes have served me a dry and basically inedible cupcake (or sold me 12-18 to take to an event--I leave them in the box and tell everyone exactly where I got them!). That'll teach me to be too busy to bake ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Too many bakeries rely upon shortening and sugar rather than delicious things like butter and vanilla.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                And that's not just for cupcakes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                A bakery opened in my neighborhood over the summer with cupcakes as their main product. Butter, cane sugar, cream, vanilla beans, natural extracts, etc. all quality ingredients. Good-sized cupcakes priced at $3.50. I became hooked on their lemon filled with homemade lemon curd. At first, many people came into the bakery and complained about the prices saying that they could get a half-dozen for the same price at the grocery store. Selfishly, I really like their baked goods, I'd talk with the price-comparing people and explain to them the difference between ingredients used by the bakery and the grocery store...no preservatives, no transfats, no hfcs's, no chemicals, etc. I'd offer a sample of what I had purchased for comparison. Some of the people made a purchase right away, others, I dont' know. I spoke with the bakery's owners and suggested that they set out a variety of samples. The samples did the trick. The bakery is not only successful, but it's also increased its staff, its hours and has picked up business and event customers. All this during a slow economy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You have truly done a good deed for all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When the product is top quality, the very best advertising is samples. Great idea, and good job helping them out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I enjoy baking, but living in a household of 1, it's not feasible, especially if I want variety. So, I bake for occasions. It's great to be able to pop in and know that you're getting something made the same way that you'd make it yourself. Cranberry-orange-walnut cookies were today's snack. I think they've replaced the lemon cupcake in my heart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I remember that issue -- I used to bake when the mood struck, keep a few portions for myself, then take the rest into work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Everybody was happy! I got to bake, didn't get stuck with a pan full of mouldy goodies, and everyone else got homemade (whatever).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Chi_Guy

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have you had well-aged Parmagiano-Reggiano (with the stamp on the wheel)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you find it flavorless, it's your mouth....but wow....and I'd never sub feta for it (love both, but don't see them as interchangeable, ever) The green can stuff I wouldn't argue, but not the real deal (and I'm not really trying to argue with you).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mine? Red Velvet Cake. First off, I try to avoid artificial color whenever possible...but I'm also one of those people who can taste red food coloring (even "flavorless") -- so Red Velvet Cake to me just tastes like a chemical bomb with sugar and cream cheese. Bleh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aged parmesan chiseled fresh off the wheel is good but this represents only a fraction of the ones out there which are generally tasteless. Typical parmesan cheese isn't as remarkable as its hyped up to be. There are a lot of cheeses out there that have more flavor and complexity, even aged english white cheddar is more flavorful than parmesan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              As for feta, I agree it's not a one to one substitute for parmesan but it often works well in places where you would top off a dish with parmesan. Good example would be pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chi_Guy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                A chacun à son gôut.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chi_Guy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If anyone substituted feta for parmesan on my homemade spaghetti, it would be war.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also have trust issues with anyone who doesn't like chocolate ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Chi_Guy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've never understand the wave of animosity towards cupcakes - they're just small cakes, after all. do the people who hate cupcakes hate cake, too? Regardless of size, good cake is good and bad cake is bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chi_Guy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After reading all the "pro cupcake" replies and further reflection, I narrowed down my disdain for to this: To me cupcakes are for six-year old's birthday parties. I have a hard time equating them as "adult food."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't "hate cake" but it's not high on the desert list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OOPS! Supposed to be a reply to sandylc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. red velvet cake. bacon. brownies. lobster. truffles. chocolate. asparagus - HATE asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I OD on asparagus when it's in season...but it's not because of any hype, just because I love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      +1 on the in-season asparagus. I can have it virtually every day for the six weeks local stuff is available and never bother with the imprted for the rest of the year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't get red velvet cake, either. To me. the unnatural red color of the cake is not very appetizing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: al b. darned

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Same here. I avoid food coloring anyway, and this cake seems to have no taste but sugar at its best, and a chemical taste from the food coloring at its worst.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: chartreauxx

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree re: red velvet, but I adore lobsters, chocolate & asparagus. But I admit a big part of the appeal of lobster is drawn butter & lemon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: thymeoz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like it with drawn butter and lemon, but I prefer it au naturel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Cheese Balls - waste of good cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Till you have a formage forte cheese ball. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. The regional food in Hong Kong and Taiwan. I've tried the cuisines many a time, but I now have regular places to go for anything but the stuff. For example, in HK, I'd go to Chungking Mansions, or Shenzhen...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Veal...I've tried it and just don't understand what's so "great" about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Craft beer! I have tried some new ones lately and they have been awful. It seems like everyone is starting a brewery these days and a lot of the new ones are just really not that good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              21 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll see your craft beer and raise you a home-made kit-wine. This sort of thing is better left to the pro's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: staughton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Back in the days when I would drink anything so long as it had alcohol in it, I used to make kit wine. One was marketed as "ready in three weeks". Tasted vile and gave you the most awful hangovers but it didnt stop me making it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep, a friend just gave me some "homemade mustang grape wine". One sip of that stuff told me all I need to know about homemade wine. Afraid she will ask how I liked it & if I say it was great, she will give me MORE. Vile does not even come close to this wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A friend offered me some dandelion wine, which I've had before, but made by someone who knew what the heck they were doing. You only use the yellow flower of the dandelion; the smalles part of the green stem will turn the wine into fermented swamp water. Needless to say, my friend's wine tasted like the bucket the Toxic Avenger soaks his mop in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As a corrollary to craft beer, I'd add excrutiatingly hoppy IPAs. It's like some contest to see who can out-hop the other person without dying of bitterness or imploding into a quantum singularity of hops. The hop fetish really needs to go. Dogfish Head Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach has a doohickey attached to the taps that's filled with hops so that you can add EVEN MORE HOPS to your already toxically overhopped 360-Minute IPA. It's like it's come 360-degrees from when Schlitz' slogan was "Just a Kiss of the Hops."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Craft beer - absolutely halarious! As for me, I am hopped out. Just give me a plain beer please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Would you prefer light, low-carb, gluten-free, or tartar-control?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Read my lips - Heineken - not light. Just ice cold. Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's called a randall, and when used properly can add a WONDERFUL floral and hoppy flavor. However, adding more hops just for the sake of being the hoppiest is a travesty, just like making it with a higher alcohol content just to say it's the strongest is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agreed. A lot of posts on this thread have to do with with a food with one critical element out of whack; chowder that tastes like Elmer's Glue or hot bacon ranch dressing, or beer that tastes like Hitler. I suppose I might as well add single malt scotch to that list. There's a reason why they blend that stuff in the first place (i.e., so you don't end up drinking a glass of lawn clippings or dirt or used ashtray.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not always...there are some pretty darned good ones out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This subthread is killing me! My husband LOVES IPA and is continually in search of the skankiest, nastiest, most bitter, hoppy travesty he can find. Why anyone would want to drink something that tastes like a combination of toxic waste, bile and vomit is beyond me, but hey, at least I know not to touch anything labeled "IPA" with a 10 foot pole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love beer and enjoy trying new types, seasonal offerings etc but honestly... I do think there's a limit to how many hop-heavy IPAs the world needs. Ditto on weird flavourings. It's fun for the time being in Toronto with all the new microbrews etc but I wonder how long the trend will last and what we'll be left with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Those "weird flavorings" are there for the customers who don't like the flavor of beer. Which leads one to ask why they're drinking beer in the first place if they don't like the flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            re: Julesrules and monkeyrotica - just have a gander over at Belgium - 100's of years later, they still have 'all those different kinds of beers' - sours, natural ferment, wheat beers, IPA's, Octoberfest special flavors, and of course ales, pilsners, etc. that many would call 'normal beer'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think they are all normal - just different tastes, and often, meant to go with certain foods, or for a specific time of year, etc. The variety is part of the whole thing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i don't have so much of problem with 'craft' beer other than that it is usually overhyped and overpriced. I might agree that _some_ of what has been coming out lately isn't very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But for me, it's really brewpubs that more often than not miss the mark.. Since my work often involves travel, I have visited quite a few of them over the last 25-30 years. I always go in with reasonable expectations and on a very few occasions I have been pleasantly surprised (in three or four rare cases, absolutely blown away).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But by a wide margin, brewpub beer generally has been found to be unremarkable at best and insipid at worst. It's unfortuntate, because I love _good_ beer with lots of character. And I love the brewpub _concept_. Problem is, the product rarely delivers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But I can still enjoy the place if the food is good (as it quite often is), and have a few glasses of wine instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree, I find that whenever I'm at a brew pub I am ordering beers that they do not make! The other thing is, prew pub or regular bar, all the taps are taken by the craft beers and I end up unable to get a classic standby on tap!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If a classic standby is something like Bud, miller, Coors, then i'd much rather try the brewpub's failed attempt at an IPA.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now, if the the standby is something like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Anchor Steam, etc, then i get your point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Having been to so many lousy brewpubs but still living in hope that I find a few more good ones, I always now ask for sample first. If I go into brewpub and see a Bud/Miller/Coors tap I won't even bother trying their house brew. Seems to me that a resorting to BMC taps is sending a message that they don't have much faith in their own product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's one theory, but I don't believe that. I think it is all about $, and smart business people know that some folks prefer BMC (and light at that) to beer with taste, and so they give it to them, rather than brewing some "blonde ale" that comes close to an american style light lager and then trying to talk said customers into drinking it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Troy speaks the truth. I recall sitting in some bar (not a brewpub) in New Orleans a few years back on NY Eve -- the place must have had 80+ drafts, yet we watched two guys come in and order Coors Light.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We were horrified by their choice (I think we were trying to work our way down the wall of taps lol) but it's smart business to give people what they want.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Bone Marrow - I'll continue to try it, but I'm not blown away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Truffles - they've never been particularly memorable..and yes I've had the real deal at Providence and Urasawa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ikura - even the really good quality salmon roe isn't my favorite - I'll happily eat it, but it's not a piece I seek out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I second the motion for caviar, and sea urchin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bananas. I hate them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fresh fruit that isn't ripe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tomatoes out of season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I second Balsamic vinegar. Unless it's the aged type.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Al dente vegetables of any kind. Al dente DOES NOT mean partially cooked, one step beyond raw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The sandwiches in Pittsburgh with cole slaw. That just doesn't work for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            White chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pickled herring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Deli sandwiches with more than 1/2" high meat. Bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Brains; kidneys; most liver, except foie gras.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: krystof

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Referring back to the OP which asked about foods which don't live up to the hype or reputation, I've yet to see hype or reputation for bananas, unripe fruit, out of season tomatoes or white chocolate. Maybe they are hyped somewhere - but certainly not round these parts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I guess lists of "do-not-likes" rather than things with hype or reputation will tend to be included in threads of this sort...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I guess they will. Although it rather defeats the object of the thread. IMO, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do not understand all the hype, hoopla, and froofaraw surrounding:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Unripe tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Spoiled fruit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Moldy bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Flat soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Floppy old celery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rancid butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Curdled milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rotting meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Old peanuts found between couch cushions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cold petrified fries from under the driver's seat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just to name a few. I can't believe how people go on and on extolling their virtues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Must disagree, Nonnie. The hype related to unripe tomatoes is entirely justified. They have many uses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just three examples - you can juggle them, play several ball sports, such as lacrosse, throw them at cats that invade your garden. So versatile, you wouldnt want to be without them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As you say,unripe tomatoes,culls.Here on this tiny farm the only thing that will eat them is Mrs Oink Jones,her children and one goat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not,deer,horses,cattle,chicken,ducks,sheep,geese,turkey,peafowl,the other goats,Mrs fox or a dog touches them here.Ripe or the plant,yes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If served I may eat one slice or more if good.But order and pay,$ reflected on the current cachet they seem to have,just no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On a recent visit to the Big City, I finally got a coveted reservation at Unripe!, a hip new restaurant run by the world famous McMater brothers, and was looking forward to their tasting menu of white-ish, watery, hard tomatoes served upon a variety of wilted lettuce leaves. The service was excellent, the atmosphere was lovely, but I just didn't get what all the fuss was about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The acidy/sour strawberry shortcake dessert was okay, but not great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I posted the same thing earlier when someone added Velveeta and soda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I stand by my response. People go nuts over Velveeta and "soda". Hence they are hyped. Maybe not trendy, but certainly hyped. Perhaps you are mistaking these two terms?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll give you soda with a qualification....Home Soda Makers. Why buy old soda in the store when you can make your own fresh soda with these "wonderful" artificall syrups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Campbell's Tomato soup or any tomato soup for that matter. YUCK!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ctfoodguy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Nutella. There I said it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Peanut Butter will always win out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Fried eggs on burgers. I just do not get it. If I wanted a breakfast sandwich, I'd get a breakfast sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ha! I get your point, totally. But fried eggs add flavor to everything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An over easy egg on a burger is really delicious. I am not a mayo fan, so the egg kind of flavors as well as lubricates. I am not an egg breakfast sandwich fan, though, because those eggs are usually little hockey pucks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To me, over easy is a hockey puck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I love seafood, but I just can't get into crab cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sundayegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I usually feel the same way, but there is a local restaurant that makes one I really love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: thymeoz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wish I could try it! Everyone either says crab cakes are so good or that they don't really like them but they know a place that makes great ones! I've tried them a few times from different places and have yet to be convinced. Maybe its just not meant to be lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sundayegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you get a proper crab cake in Maryland, they're basically a handful of backfin meat with barely enough eggs and breadcrumbs and spices to hold it all together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heaven -- but hard to find.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just remember that a proper Maryland crab cake is made with Maryland crab meat, or, if that is not available, Virginia crabs. You do not need lump or jumbo lump, backfin has more flavor. Just do not use the imported Asian crab meat. Besides not having much flavor, the jumbo/collasal lumps, have, most likely, not even been picked as lumps. Ever look at the lumps and wondered how they're they're all uniform in size and shape? Well, they're formed that way from a combination of a cooked slurry of meat extracted from the entire crab and by pieces of white meat which is then poured into a a form and steamed to create the jumbo lump.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Phillips has a patented process for this and calls the resulting product : Culinary Jumbo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Culinary Jumbo (Limited availability)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jumbo lumps made by extracting 100% crab meat from the whole crab and forming into large lumps. Phillips patented process produces natural shape jumbo lumps with no binder involved. Advantages: large lumps hold together better under handling; consistent sizing; and high quality raw material. Great for use in crab cakes for impressive jumbo appearance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.phillipsfoodsservice.com/f...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (psst....I said backfin...not lump)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ewwww....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Broiling seems to improve the flavor. Fried, you run the risk of it being too greasy. The best I've had was at a tiny place on the Eastern Shore: just a pile of crab meat with egg binder, dusted with a bit of Old Bay, and run under the broiler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is a real loss of sweetness,flavor in pasteurization. That close to the source you likely got crab meat that was just steamed and picked.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Most on the store or brokers shelf is now pasteurized after picking,packing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good product ,yes,yet does not compare to the steamed FRESH.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You were close enough to the source it's likely you got steamed,hand picked fresh.A world of difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: sundayegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you're interested, ask on your local board. They're easy to do wrong because people cheap out on filler. The best ones have little to no filler. My favorite one here has been delivered to me broken ... I'd always wondered how they managed to keep them together (magic??) as there is no filler. Probably egg white, and it's not failproof. But they can be killer if the crab is perfect, seasonings are perfect, and the filler situation is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: sundayegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Crab cakes seem to vary from region to region.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When I lived in NOLA, the crab cakes were basically stuffing with flecks of crab while in the SEA area the crab cakes are mainly crab meat and the bread is only used as a coating for the frying. Crab cakes that are mostly crab is what I enjoy. I don't understand the bread stuffing crab cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dave_c

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know it's a chain - but I've heard raves about the ones from Oceanaire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I'm going to have to say saffron. I have had the kashmir saffron from penzeys, I made saffron rice and it just didn't give me the wow tasta I was expecting. Not bad, but not great! Maybe I will like it more in paella.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sundayegirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      saffron all by itself isn't all that great -- it's one of those partner spices that really shines when it's giving something else top billing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'd almost forgotten about this...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With full apologies to Harters and the other UK folks...pork pie was rather a disappointment -- dense pork with heavy pastry, served cold. It wasn't horrible, but it later felt like having swallowed a rock. (and eaten at a place in Bakewell well known for the things)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And later the same day -- Bakewell pudding (not the tart; she only works nights) -- It's quite tasty, and I'd eat it again, but I'm not sure exactly how it attained its mystical status.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I generally truly enjoy traditional British food...but these were a bit of an anticlimax.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (in France, it's most definitely andouille/andouillette. I can't even stand the smell, and the flavor is one of the few things that can nearly make me gag. I tried it several times, each time telling myself that there are a lot of things that smell bad but taste good...but nope, the kindest thing I can say about it is that it tastes just like it smells.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Congratulations, mon ami.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Few recognise that the traditonal Bakewell dish is pudding, not tart. I'm with you - it's something I'm not at all keen on. I'd eat it, rather than offend someone, but wouldnt choose it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, your pork pie is possibly *the* iconic British food item. Certainly an iconic English food item. But it has to be a good one. And very many aren't. Now, I suspect I may know exactly the shop in Bakewell where you bought your pie. There's one that makes a "big thing" of their pies and they do look lovely. But they are not lovely to eat. Dry pastry, an underflavoured pork mix, and little to no jelly. Such a shame. Please give pie a second chance next time you're over here - they can be a real joy - look out for ones made in the village of Melton Mowbray as they're probably the best anywhere (and have PGI status) - http://www.mmppa.co.uk/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Folks, this thread is really getting off track and becoming a generic list of things people don't like. We're going to lock it now.