Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: August 12, 2009 (Gumbo's)

Posted 12 August, 2009 at 11:25pm by Michael Chu
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Dinner: I was invited to a food blogger event at Gumbo's restaurant (710 Colorado St # 100, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 480-8053‎). The food was pretty good today with the Redfish Francine my favorite. I'll have to go back and give them another try in the future. (We had eaten here last April and had mixed feelings. Tina's fish was poorly prepared and she had to order a replacement dish. I didn't feel like the gumbos they served tasted like what I was expecting - an authentic New Orleans style gumbo. Tonight's food was much better prepared, so I think it'll be worth trying again.)

Crab Cake served with chiptole aioli and jicama slaw
Gumbo’s - Crab Cake

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What I Ate: August 12, 2009 (Gumbo's)

Free burgers at Madison Square Park's Shake Shack on 8/14, 8/21, and 8/28 at 3-6pm

Posted 12 August, 2009 at 11:19am by Michael Chu
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Arkadium is testing a new flash game for the next three Fridays at Shake Shack in New York City. The first fifty people to show up, play the game, and provide some feedback gets a free burger.

Might be fun if you're in the area.

Saber Chef Knives

Posted 12 August, 2009 at 11:18am by Michael Chu
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I recently had the opportunity to try a couple of kitchen knives from Saber. These knives are intended for culinary students or people just getting started in cooking (recent college grads, etc.). The knives will be sold in a set of ten: two chef's knives (8-in and 10-in), two paring knives (3.5-in and 4.5-in), santoku, serrated bread knife, utility knife, boning knife, and two slicers (8-in. and 10-in ham slicer). The set also includes a steel and a unique bag that holds all the knives in place when transporting them. I had an early prototype bag which worked well for the smaller knives, but the 10-in. chef's had some trouble staying put (not dangerous since the blade stayed put, but he handle sloshed around a bit). The new bags have a solution involving magnets that supposedly works very well, so I'm eager to see that.

The set will be priced around $200 or so. This puts the knives in the same price category as the J. A. Henckels International knives (the discount line from Henckles). However, in our testing it outperformed the J. A. Henckels (premium line) Four Star chef's knife that we usually test with. Something to note is that our Four Star chef's knife costs $80 at cutleryandmore.com and $125 retail. The Saber knives also performed on par or better than the Wusthof Classic (a knife similarly priced to the Henckel's Four Star). When we moved up to the Japanese blades (Global, Tojiro, MAC), the Saber fell short, but for the price of two of these Japanese knives you can get the whole set of Saber knives. That makes Saber's performance/price value extremely high. Also, every blade has a granton edge which really does help prevent sticking when julienning. It really is nice to have it on every blade.

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Saber Chef Knives

What I Ate: August 11, 2009

Posted 11 August, 2009 at 10:06pm by Michael Chu
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Lunch: I cooked troffiette with Bistro Sensations Habanero with Monterey Jack Cheese Chicken Sausage, wilted arugula, cherry tomatoes, and freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano.
Troffiette with sausage, arugula, and tomatoes

Dinner: I was intending to bake a manicotti dish that I had prepared earlier, but my friend Alex as in town for business and gave me a call. I joined him and Kelly (a coworker of mine from the Intel days) for BBQ at The County Line. I had Baby Back Ribs with cole slaw and mashed potatoes. I really didn't like my sides and asked for a corn on the cob instead. The corn was really water-logged. The ribs were heavily sauced (which is odd for barbecue in Texas) and dry and chewy.
The County Line - Baby Back Ribs

What I Ate: August 10, 2009

Posted 10 August, 2009 at 9:17pm by Michael Chu
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Lunch: Ever since I had the turkey and swiss sandwich a couple days ago, I've wanted another one. So, I made another one for lunch and ate a salad of baby lettuce with it.
Turkey Swiss Sandwich

Dinner: Leftover Chinese food tonight.
Leftover Chinese Food

What I Ate: August 9, 2009 (KFC Kentucky Grilled Chicken)

Posted 9 August, 2009 at 8:35pm by Michael Chu
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Lunch: After church, I swung into a KFC to try their Kentucky Grilled Chicken. KFC launched the new chicken style shortly after I moved out to Texas (three months ago), but I hadn't had a chance to try it yet. Most of what I've heard is actually positive (unlike the Wendy's Asian Boneless Chicken Wings). Here's what the ad looks like:
Kentucky Grilled Chicken Advertisement

Here's what I received:
KFC - Kentucky Grilled Chicken

The chicken was a lot paler than I expected (given the brown caramel color of the advertisement and menu photos). The taste was quite good though - very juicy and flavorful. I thought it was quite close to the charbroiled chicken served at El Pollo Loco (which, apparently, we don't have in Austin). If you need some quick food and KFC is around, I'd recommend the grilled chicken - it's pretty good.
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What I Ate: August 9, 2009 (KFC Kentucky Grilled Chicken)

What I Ate: August 8, 2009

Posted 8 August, 2009 at 10:27pm by Michael Chu
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Lunch: I made a sandwich of rosemary-olive oil bread, Cajun roast turkey, Hickory smoked turkey, baby Swiss cheese, mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard. I had forgotten how delicious and satisfying a turkey sandwich could be.
Turkey Sandwich

Dinner: I coated a brined center cut pork chop with cornmeal, olive oil, thyme, sage, and kosher salt and baked it in the oven until just done. Then I darkened the coating by frying it briefly on a non-stick pan (otherwise the coating would probably have come off onto the pan). I ate it with a salad of baby lettuce and some store bought potato salad.
Cornmeal Pork Chop

What I Ate: August 7, 2009 (McDonald's, Wendy's)

Posted 7 August, 2009 at 5:41pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate) 5 comments

Breakfast: I had to wake up early and drive into Austin to take care of some stuff. Since it was morning, I couldn't resist and stopped in on a McDonald's for a Sausage McMuffin with Egg (my favorite thing on their menu next to the Filet-o-Fish). Of course, I got a hash brown patty as well.
McDonald’s - Sausage McMuffin with Egg & Hash Brown Patty

Lunch: I found myself driving back to Austin again, and, since I was eating without Tina, I thought I'd take the opportunity to eat something she wouldn't ("Chinese food" prepared by a fast food restaurant - in this case an American fast food chain). I have been intrigued by the Wendy's commercial with cello music playing in the background where they follow a plate of Asian-style chicken that is being delivered to a table by a waiter in a uppity Asian restaurant. The camera zooms in on the chicken and then back out to cleverly transition from the fancy restaurant to a Wendy's. So, I ordered the Sweet & Spicy Asian Chicken Boneless Wings with a side salad and sweet tea. The "fancy" chicken was just a chunk of chicken, breaded, fried, reheated, and tossed in a very sweet, but tasty Asian-influenced sauce. The chunks of breaded meat could have been mistaken for chicken nuggets (I think they use the same breading) except they were not of uniform shape (they could have been incorrectly shaped nuggets) and tougher than Wendy's nuggets normally are.
Wendy’s Sweet & Spicy Asian Chicken Boneless Wings with Side Salad

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What I Ate: August 7, 2009 (McDonald's, Wendy's)

What I Ate: August 6, 2009

Posted 6 August, 2009 at 7:12pm by Michael Chu
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Lunch: Cheesesteak from Tucci's Southside Subs (7101 W Highway 71 # A5, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 288-7414‎). Not bad. I thought the sweet peppers were a bit too sweet but liked the addition of grilled jalapeno peppers.
Tucci’s Southside Subs - Cheesesteak

Dinner: Tina cooked pork with oyster mushrooms, mung bean sprouts, and a stir-fry of red bell pepper, potato, and celery julienne.
mung bean sprouts, pork with oyster mushrooms, and potato, pepper and celery stir-fry

What I Ate: August 5, 2009

Posted 5 August, 2009 at 9:10pm by Michael Chu
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Lunch: We had breakfast for lunch. We cooked omelets (filled with cooked fresh spinach and salami) and ate them with nectarines and potato chips.
Salami and Spinach Omelet, Nectarines, Potato Chips

Dinner: Tina prepared a stew of sweet potato vermicelli, pork, and assorted vegetables.
Sweet Potato vermicelli stew