My First myShape.com Order

I'd found the shopping site myShape last month or so, and entered in all my measurements to create a "personal shop". The premise of the site is that it analyzes your measurements, then determines which of seven body types (as defined by myShape) you are, for the purpose of showing you clothes that will look good on you.

They've been sending me emails since then which I've mostly ignored. But now there's a 70% sale, so I checked it out. At least for me (a type "M") the site does seem to do a good job of showing me only clothes designed well for my figure. I just discovered today that you could further refine the list to show only clothes in your "color season" as well (anyone who remembers "Color Me Beautiful" will know what I'm talking about, but here's the first link I found where you can figure it out for yourself ).

The selection of clothes thus refined was quick & easy to review and I found a few things I thought I'd like. I honestly probably wouldn't have ordered if it weren't for the free shipping both ways plus $25 off (a purchase of $50+) for first-timers. Enter code FM1PURCH for this, it's advertised right on their site.

BOTTOM LINE: I like this website, it's very easy to shop. Even if you don't shop online, just seeing the items recommended for your shape is useful so you can keep that in mind when you're in the stores. I will find out in 4-9 days if the clothes themselves are any good. . .

http://www.myshape.com

Old Devil Moon

I am always ready to give a southern-cuisine restaurant in the city a chance, in case I find a gem where I can get some guilty-pleasure food when I'm above the Mason-Dixon line.

However, Old Devil Moon is not it.

They're at least close with the decor, but they've NY-ified the Christmas lights. They're strung in abundance. Sure, you'll find the lights in the south, but some weak single-strands hung where ceiling molding would be, hanging unevenly, maybe a single drape-y light garland above the bar would be more authentic.

Unfortunately, the food isn't even close. The cornbread was so dense, wet and heavy I had to eat it with a fork to not get oil on my hands. It wasn't butter supplying the moisture. I didn't eat much. I grew wistful for the impossibly light, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cornbread I've had in Virginia. I can't recall even one nice restaurant in the south getting it wrong, and the odds of getting good cornbread in any number of nondescript local joints are good. One can't judge a (cook)book by its cover in many instances (which is why I'm so willing to give untested places a try).

The chicken-fried steak was barely recognizeable as such. They used meat the thickness and flavor of a steak-um, and the fried part was more like a poorly-done battered sautee that was allowed to steam in the pan rather than, um, sautee. I much prefer the 1/4 to 1/2 inch steak (seasoned prior to being battered so the meat has flavor), coated in a seasoned batter (c'mon, how hard is it to put a little salt & pepper in the batter?) cooked in pan with at least a 1/4 inch of hot oil (you know, the ''fried'' part of chicken-fried steak).
The gravy fell prey to the so-far consistent tendency for ''southern'' restaurants in Yankee states to cover food with tasteless gray who-knows-what and call it ''gravy''. Any true southern place would go out of business in short order with gravy this bad. And I can't say it's just this one place--NO RESTAURANT that I've tried up here can make good gravy. The Dairy Queen in Crozet makes gravy that tastes like a savory sauce handed down from Mt. Olympus compared to the stuff up here. There are a few places up here I suspect would actually do a good job with it, but I haven't seen it on their menus. I might have to call around to see if they have a gravy meal as a special on certain days or something. But I digress.

The mashed potatoes by themselves were ok, but a healthy dose of butter would have helped (I actually did my best to eat only the outside edges to avoid the so-called gravy). The slaw was bizarre. It was more of some sort of multi-colored-cabbage salad with a bad vinaigrette than a true ''slaw'' (and no, I don't automatically rule out anything vinaigrette-y as not slaw). Whoever came up with the recipe for this stuff, well, I just don't know. The restaurant probably should have gotten their slaw recipe from someone who has actually eaten slaw before.

I will not be making a return visit.

Old Devil Moon stands as yet another example of why Manhattanites who haven't set foot anywhere south of Brooklyn have this idea that southern food is inferior to New York food. Perhaps it is all a big conspiracy to make New Yorkers feel validated in their choice of living somewhere where people are rude, the weather is cold most of the year (except the two months when it is hot and all public places reek of urine).

Crozet Pizza

As Terry and I headed down the road at 6:55 to make our 7:05 reservation at Crozet Pizza, I joked how lucky we are to be so close when people make a pilgrimage to eat a pie here. The big buzz in town this summer was that (insert drumroll. . .) The Washington Post wrote "and a taste of what some call the best pizza in Virginia -- or even the country," referring to Crozet Pizza.

Terry and I have had long discussions about this, and are generally in agreement that anyone who drives two hours or more for some pizza here will probably be disappointed. It's not that Crozet Pizza isn't good, it's quite good and we ARE lucky to be able to pop in anytime. It's just that I don't think it lives up to the hype. The best pizza in Virginia? The country? I think some of Brick Oven's 'zas are better than Crozet Pizza's (although some of Brick Oven's combination toppings are not really complimentary, or perhaps just an aquired taste, in either case I avoid a few of them). Crozet Pizza does have a varied (although not a particularly large) selection of beers in its favor; it is kind of fun to have a Tsing Tau or Red Stripe from time to time.

I would certainly recommend coming from as far as Staunton or Fluvanna for some good pizza, but I am skeptical that people from further away would not be able to find an equally good pizza on their way here.

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