Kevin's Watch Forum Index
 HomeHome   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister   SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   FAQFAQ   StatisticsStatistics  SudokuSudoku   Phoogle MapPhoogle Map 
 AlbumAlbum StoresStores   StoresItems Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Evaluating New Restaurants
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> Andelain -> The Galley
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Doc Hexnihilo
Highly cosmopolitan

Male
Joined: 04 Feb 2010
Posts: 3079

Thanks: 38
Thanked 26 Times in 25 Posts


8813 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:21 am    Post subject: Evaluating New Restaurants Reply with quote

I'm curious what dishes and rules of thumb some of the resident conniseurs use to gauge the quality of restaurant. My wife and I have a rule that a good crab cake is the hallmark of restaurant quality. That is often times one of the dishes we try first at a new place. Other dishes can vary greatly in quality at lesser restaurants and you might get fooled into coming back to a subpar establishment. Steaks for instance are not always a good indicator.
_________________
"Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position." – Gandhi

"It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight's sole responsibility is to succour them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds." – Don Quixote


*The poster formerly known as Exnihilo, Exnihilo2, Exnihilotto, Ron Burgunihilo, Don Exnihilote, Mongnihilo, and counting...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Damelon
Lord


Joined: 13 Dec 2002
Posts: 7988

Thanks: 11
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts

Location: Illinois
1757 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of Linden's Army1 Rivenrock1 Coercri


PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your compass needle would not be of much use near where I live, Ex, for very few places in this area serve crab cake.

For a Chinese restaurant, I judge by their Mongolian beef. I have no hard and fast rule for other cuisines though.
_________________
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. ~ Carl Sagan

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 16617

Thanks: 35
Thanked 168 Times in 161 Posts


13286 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Damelon said, it would seem to depend on the type of restaurant. But even accounting for these differences, I don't think it's possible to judge a restaurant by a single dish. Many of my favorite restaurants have a single dish that is done really, really well, and it's what I usually order--to the exclusion of all the other dishes. Every other thing on the menu could be crap and I'd still go there to have that one dish. I go to one BBQ place when I want mutton, I go to one German place when I want sausages, and a pizza place when I want pizza, etc. A lot of times, I'll decide on a restaurant purely on the basis of the beer selection.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ananda
All hail Eris!

Female
Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 2447

Thanks: 54
Thanked 13 Times in 12 Posts

Location: Sweden
4321 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of Linden's Army1 Oath of Peace1 Love


PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously we judge a restaurant on their meatballs. They need to be made from a moose or a bear that was just killed barehanded that day. The chef must also say 'björk björk björk' non-stop or what's the point, really? Preferably, though, they won't play any music from Björk.

But, we also use other things like the fact that we live in a fairly small town and my husband is a graphic designer and has worked with a lot of the businesses around here, including many restaurants. We tend to go to the places he's worked with and has liked what he's seen behind the scenes.
_________________
Monsters, they eat
Your kind of meat
And they're moving as far as they can
And as fast as they can
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Linna Heartlistener
"The Lady's fate is writ in water."

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 01 Oct 2007
Posts: 3243

Thanks: 52
Thanked 61 Times in 61 Posts


4231 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Mithil Stonedown1 Caamora1 Lord Mhoram's Victory


PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, I find pancakes to be a handy benchmark. Since most places where I eat out serve either pancakes or hamburgers. Except the ones that serve Chinese.

I look for a moist, fluffy pancake that has thickness and weight to it - yet, which manages to be cooked all the way through. (no idea how they do it!)

Ananda- ahh yes, like in this informative video?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IYd_02tfLA
_________________
"...The sprinkler is a magnificent invention because it exposes raindrops to sunshine.
That does happen in nature, but it is rare.
...you two are dancing around in your iridescent little downpour whooping and stomping as sane people ought to do when they encounter a thing so miraculous as water."

"Gilead," by Marilynne Robinson
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ananda
All hail Eris!

Female
Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 2447

Thanks: 54
Thanked 13 Times in 12 Posts

Location: Sweden
4321 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of Linden's Army1 Oath of Peace1 Love


PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks like an excellent restaurant!
_________________
Monsters, they eat
Your kind of meat
And they're moving as far as they can
And as fast as they can
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Doc Hexnihilo
Highly cosmopolitan

Male
Joined: 04 Feb 2010
Posts: 3079

Thanks: 38
Thanked 26 Times in 25 Posts


8813 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those crispy pancakes that aren't overcooked have always been a mystery to me.
_________________
"Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position." – Gandhi

"It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight's sole responsibility is to succour them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds." – Don Quixote


*The poster formerly known as Exnihilo, Exnihilo2, Exnihilotto, Ron Burgunihilo, Don Exnihilote, Mongnihilo, and counting...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Vader
Black

Male
Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 1816

Thanks: 6
Thanked 26 Times in 25 Posts

Location: On the lam
6835 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on the restaurant. You can judge a good Italian restaurant by the quality of the risotto. And of course by looking at the wine menu. A wood oven also is a must.
_________________
Functionless art is vandalism. I am the vandal.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Ananda
All hail Eris!

Female
Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 2447

Thanks: 54
Thanked 13 Times in 12 Posts

Location: Sweden
4321 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of Linden's Army1 Oath of Peace1 Love


PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was an expose here last year about pizza shops. It was truly disgusting how some of them were in the back where they did food prep. We (we being the husband) semi-know the people where we go, so it really helps feel a bit more secure on that note. Even places that looked really nice from the front can be really terrible in the back.

Like Zar said, though, we tend to go to various places for the one dishe we really like from them rather than a single place and have a variety.
_________________
Monsters, they eat
Your kind of meat
And they're moving as far as they can
And as fast as they can
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Doc Hexnihilo
Highly cosmopolitan

Male
Joined: 04 Feb 2010
Posts: 3079

Thanks: 38
Thanked 26 Times in 25 Posts


8813 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vader wrote:
It depends on the restaurant. You can judge a good Italian restaurant by the quality of the risotto. And of course by looking at the wine menu. A wood oven also is a must.


I agree about the risotto, that is another dish that is either good or abysmal. There is no middle ground.
_________________
"Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position." – Gandhi

"It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight's sole responsibility is to succour them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds." – Don Quixote


*The poster formerly known as Exnihilo, Exnihilo2, Exnihilotto, Ron Burgunihilo, Don Exnihilote, Mongnihilo, and counting...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
aliantha
18k or bust!

Female
Joined: 05 Mar 2002
Posts: 17525

Thanks: 27
Thanked 73 Times in 72 Posts

Location: Arlington, VA
14051 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Aliantha Berries1 Andelain1 SRD's Green Rock


PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was pretty sure that my litmus test at Thai restaurants was pad thai, and last night I confirmed it. Laughing Here's where we went. They had a Zagat sticker on the door, which is usually a good sign.

Magickmaker said the pad thai was the best she'd ever had. The sticky rice with mango was good, too. And we tried their Thai tea, which we'd never had before. It turned out to be very tasty. Cool
_________________



EZ Board Survivor

"Dreaming isn't good for you unless you do the things it tells you to." -- Three Dog Night (via the GI)

http://www.hearth-myth.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Menolly
Gravin Threndor, how I love thee.

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 22565

Thanks: 32
Thanked 81 Times in 80 Posts

Location: Harper Hall, Fort Hold, Northern Continent, Pern...
145668 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Pantheon Veteran1 2008 Watcher of the Year1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I adore Thai iced tea. But oh, the carbs in the sweetened condensed milk served with it.

...I wonder if the low-fat/low-carb sweetened condensed milk recipe I have for baking would work for Thai iced tea.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
aliantha
18k or bust!

Female
Joined: 05 Mar 2002
Posts: 17525

Thanks: 27
Thanked 73 Times in 72 Posts

Location: Arlington, VA
14051 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Aliantha Berries1 Andelain1 SRD's Green Rock


PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, one sip told me it wasn't a diet drink. Laughing
_________________



EZ Board Survivor

"Dreaming isn't good for you unless you do the things it tells you to." -- Three Dog Night (via the GI)

http://www.hearth-myth.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Vraith
LibTard, Mr. Reliable.


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 9746

Thanks: 17
Thanked 85 Times in 83 Posts

Location: everywhere, all the time
34628 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Raver1 Wraith1 Caesure


PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Usually I decide to try a place based on whether or not [and how many] things that look unique on the menu...and then how much I like it. If it's good enough, kinda like Z, that becomes my place for that mood/desire.
[also like Z, I have been known more than once to investigate a place because of their beer list...particularly what's on tap].

Thai is a special lust of mine, though there's no place left near me anymore that's really good...I go anyway cuz even mediocre thai pleases me more than mediocre anything else.
Also for Thai, I've found that their Tom Kha ____ [whatever variation[s] they make] soups often indicates how good they are overall.
_________________
the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
-------------------------------------------------------
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-------------------------------------------------------
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Savor Dam
Will Be Herd!

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 4839

Thanks: 50
Thanked 71 Times in 68 Posts

Location: Pacific NorthWet
1370 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 2009 Watchies1 Furls Fire1 Love


PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the realm of benchmark Thai dishes, I'll see ali's pad thai and Vraith's tom kha soup, and raise a panang curry.

For Mexican, Dam-sel leans toward judging by their carne asada burrito. I prefer to order chicken mole as my evaluation dish.
_________________
Love prevails.
~ Tracie Mckinney-Hammon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Menolly
Gravin Threndor, how I love thee.

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 22565

Thanks: 32
Thanked 81 Times in 80 Posts

Location: Harper Hall, Fort Hold, Northern Continent, Pern...
145668 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Pantheon Veteran1 2008 Watcher of the Year1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
In the realm of benchmark Thai dishes, I'll see ali's pad thai and Vraith's tom kha soup, and raise a panang curry.

You know how to judge a panang curry?
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Savor Dam
Will Be Herd!

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 4839

Thanks: 50
Thanked 71 Times in 68 Posts

Location: Pacific NorthWet
1370 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 2009 Watchies1 Furls Fire1 Love


PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly...only on the basis of what I have learned from you, Your Galley-Modship.

Thanks for outing me... Embarassed
_________________
Love prevails.
~ Tracie Mckinney-Hammon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Menolly
Gravin Threndor, how I love thee.

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 22565

Thanks: 32
Thanked 81 Times in 80 Posts

Location: Harper Hall, Fort Hold, Northern Continent, Pern...
145668 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Pantheon Veteran1 2008 Watcher of the Year1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I wanted to ask what your criteria for judging a panang curry was. I remember it was new to you when we had it together, but I thought perhaps you had tried it several times since then and had developed your own criteria.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Vader
Black

Male
Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 1816

Thanks: 6
Thanked 26 Times in 25 Posts

Location: On the lam
6835 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good way to judge a restaurant is to see how flexible they are. When in a good (and I really mean good restaurant) for the first time I always like to order stuff that is not on the menu but should be 101 for the cook. Scrambled eggs with truffles for example - or a big juicy steak (Pittsburgh style preferably) with roasted potatoes and sauce hollandaise.

My benchmark for a good Thai restaurant is the spiciness of a hot'nsour shrimp soup (Tom Yum Kung/Goong).
_________________
Functionless art is vandalism. I am the vandal.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Harbinger
saving up for a private island


Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 1385

Thanks: 3
Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts

Location: United States
921 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Italian restaurant should be judged on its simplest marinara. If they take the time and care to make it great, everything else will usually be awesome.

Beyond that, I don't limit my evaluation of a restaurant's quality based on a single dish. Lots of places do very well on some dishes and not so well on others.

If the salad is included, and comes with mixed baby greens, very fresh bright red tiny cherry tomatos, and walnuts or pine nuts, it's usually a pretty good indicator of good things to follow.

McCormick and Schmick's is one of my very favorite chain restaurants and I do not love their crab cakes. But their corn and seafood chowder should be mandatory. The first time my kid ate there he was about a year old and I gave him a spoonful. He literally screamed if I didn't keep shoveling it in his mouth. I had to order another emegency bowl "on the fly" to keep him placated. He loved it.

The Chop House has great crab cakes. Maybe the best I've ever had at a chain. They grill a great steak too, if you spring for the prime cut. But it's gonna cost you $38. The regular cut is not better than anywhere else.
_________________
Never underestimate the power of denial. - Ricky Fitts
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> Andelain -> The Galley All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch