The Right Glassware

Pompilio's Italian Restaurant - Where a scene from the movie Rainman was filmed. They serve their table wine in plain little wine glasses, which is perfect.

Being in the restaurant business, the restaurant equipment business, and being an avid food lover and cook teaches a person to appreciate glassware.  Sometimes, that means glassware with character.  A tiny, old fashioned wine glass feels right in a place like Pompilio’s Italian Restaurant In Newport, KY – an historic place with a casual ambiance where table wine flows like, well…wine.  In other circumstances, when ordering a glass of wine, I find myself asking for the good glassware.  It’s not unusual for me to ask for a larger wine glass at my favorite local restaurants.  That said, both at home and in business, the good wine glasses tend to be more expensive and delicate.  So, it’s a good idea to have both the fine wine glasses and the durable stuff for house wine.  Rather than over-dwell on the subject, I want to point out two of my favorite glass selections.

The Best Wine Glass

22 Ounce Handblown Wine Glass

The Best Wine Glass

A good wine glass should have a thin lip to deliver the wine directly to your palette, the right shape, and enough room to swirl and observe the character of the wine.  This 22 Ounce glass goes beyond – it is a work of art, it’s the perfect size, and it’s classy.  The glass is lead-free crystal, handblown in one piece.  That means the entire glass is blown & formed at once.  Lesser quality glasses are machine-made and/or will have seams at the base and stem. This handblown glass is the product of a dying art that produces a lightweight, beautiful glass worthy of your finest wines.  It’s a bit costly at $22.95, but when compared to similar glasses that can sell for over $100, it’s a fair deal.  I’ve compared this glass to more expensive glassware by Riedel and other brands, and I prefer this one.

Note: These glasses are delicate, and should not be placed in a dishwasher.
We also have some other nice quality, but lesser priced Wine Tasting Glasses.

Another Nice Glass

I see the same tea/water/beer glasses everywhere.  But there is one glass that is a bit more unique that I prefer in my home and I have chosen for my business in the past. For water, beer, and other cocktails, this glass compares to the standard glassware you find everywhere, but it steps it up a class by adding 4 dimples, or impressions that give the glass a nicer look and a comfortable feel in your hand.  It is available in 10.5 Ounce Beverage Size, an 8 Ounce Cocktail Version, and a 12 Ounce.  They are priced reasonably, under $4.00/glass – around $40/dozen.


When it comes to beer glasses, I prefer the Stein or the Pint, but I wouldn’t pay much attention to me here. I should disclose – I like PBR in a can.


New Year’s Party Supplies

stainless-martini-l.jpgWe’ve picked out some fun and popular party supplies for New Year’s Eve, or any other party.   Stainless martini glasses, portable beer coolers, colorful shot glasses, and more.  The staff at ABestKitchen wishes you a safe and happy New Year.

For more, go to New Year’s party supplies.






Big Boy vs. In-N-Out Burger – Who Makes a Better Burger?

Big Boy vs In-N-OutWe were wondering, who makes the better burger? Big Boy or IN-N-OUT? We like both, so help us decide.  Vote now.

Savings are Sweet – Yams, Butternut Squash, and Pumpkin Pie!

The Savings are Sweet right now!  Seasonal selections in stores, support some of our favoite holiday recipes.  Sugar pie pumpkins and sweet potatoes are abundant and affordable.  I’m thinking Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter and Sweet Potato Pie.  Happy Shopping!

Things you’ll need:

Homade Ravioli made simple – use a ravioli stamp:

Pasta Machines help too.

Tip:  For crispy pie crust, dark metal pans work great, and deep dish pizza pans are great for pies too.

Bakalon Dark Bake Pan

Allied Pie PanNesting Pie Pans Pie PanDeep Dish Pie Pan


French Onion Soup – And The Crock


On cold winter days, a bowl of simple but elegant French Onion Soup is easy to make and delicious.  So get your crocks ready and let’s make some.

Onion Soup Crock


Side note, The Crock, $1.50:  Here’s a great example of why people shop at ABestKitchen.   We found ourselves in a last minute mission to make onion soup one recent Sunday.  I was too far from the ABestKitchen warehouse, and so I  went looking for onion soup crocks elsewhere.  I visited three kitchen stores, and found lesser quality crocks selling for $6.00-$14.00 each.  But, here’s a commercial quality crock, for $1.50 at ABestKitchen – so ‘stock’ up for the whole family, and save.


French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup – The Recipe – 2 Servings

2 onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup butter

1 garlic clove

1 bay leaf

1 thyme sprig, whole

Red wine or sherry

1 tablespoon flour (optional)

1 quart beef broth

1 small sliced baguette

1/4 lb Gruyere or Emmental Swiss

Salt & pepper

In a stock pot or large sauce pan, melt the butter and add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, thyme sprig, & salt and pepper.  Over medium heat, stir and cook until onions are translucent and tender.  Some prefer to slow cook the onions until caramelized.

Add about 1/2 cup of wine and cook for several minutes until wine has evaporated.

Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprig.

(Optional) Dust the onions with flour and cook for several more minutes.

Add the beef broth and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven, and lightly toast several thin slices of baguette.

Set the oven to broil, and ladle the soup into oven safe soup crocks.

Arrange the toasted bread on top of the soup, and cover bread with grated Gruyere and/or Swiss.

Place the crocks on a cookie sheet in oven, and broil until the cheese is lightly browned and slightly bubbles over.

If desired, garnish with fresh parsley

Serve, noting that the crocks will be hot.

Note: Some, including me, prefer to make their own beef broth by simmering beef soup bones, onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, pepper corns, parsley, bay leaf, salt, thyme sprigs, garlic, and water for 3-6 hours, and then straining the resulting stock for use in soup.



Don’t Cry Over French Onion Soup

The season for soup is here.  Plan on chopping those flavorful, base ingredients, onions.  Many people tear up, but keeping one’s knife sharp will reduce an onion’s volatile and tear-jerking cellular fluids.  When using a clean, sharp, blade, you’ll be less inclined to tear when making your favorite soup.

Stay tuned for the French Onion Soup Recipe.  Meanwhile get your knives ready, here are some knife sharpener suggestions.

Sharpening Steels:

Knife Sharpeners:











NSF…WDIAM? (What Does It All Mean?)

What does NSF Mean?People ask me all the time what NSF stands for. I always have trouble remembering that it stands for National Sanitary Foundation. But what does it really mean to all of us involved in the food service business? Those of you who own restaurants, pizza shops, or other food service facilities know the health inspector wants to make sure you are meeting all NSF standards. Aside from being clean, your restaurant or other food service facility must meet NSF requirements. For example, your sink must have coved corners, and also must have three compartments to provide for washing, rinsing, and sanitization. Most also require that the sink has two drain boards (one for clean and one for dirty). All the equipment in the kitchen is required to have 6“ legs or wheels, enabling ease of cleaning underneath. Most equipment must be stainless steel for easy and efficient cleaning. Containers for food storage must also be NSF approved. They must be made from the right material and be easy to clean. Any food processing equipment (slicers, dicers, mixers, etc.) all must meet the NSF standards.
So we know what NSF means to us in the food service industry. But who exactly is NSF? The National Sanitary Foundation was formed over 60 years ago. They are an independent, not-for-profit organization trying to make the world a safer place for consumers. They test and certify products to verify that these products meet health and safety standards. Once they have tested a product and deemed it acceptable, the product receives the NSF Mark. This NSF Mark means that the product has been tested by one of the most respected certification companies today and is held to the highest safety and sanitation standards. If you are in the foodservice industry, you want your products to have this mark. It tells customers they can trust you and your equipment. If something in your restaurant doesn’t meet these standards, your local health inspector will surely let you know about it.
To make sure your equipment is up to standards, always purchase your restaurant supplies from an experienced food equipment dealer. You can be sure that any equipment you buy from ABest will be NSF approved unless otherwise noted, such as some products in our “Just for Home” section.


Easy Pizza By-The-Slice With Your Pizza Stone


Pizza StonesSometimes, a good slice of pizza really hits the spot.  What’s your favorite style?  I find the thin crust pizza to be delicious by-the-slice, and I think I know why.  A typical by-the-slice pizza is pre-cooked and heated in a brick pizza oven before serving.  The extremely hot stone oven heats the pizza very quickly and helps cook the crust into that perfect, foldable consistency that it’s famous for, but sometimes hard find.

One of my favorite pizza parlors is Best Pies, in Truckee, CA. – they have truly brought fantastic New York style pizza to this Sierra mountain town.  When they opened a few years ago, I fell in love.  But given that they are 20 minutes away from my home and do not deliver, I had to find another solution for a quick slice-o-pizza fix.

Enter the pizza stone.  I have used it to make homemade pizza and other baked foods, but I found another simple, fast and easy use for my stone.  Whenever I am near Best Pies, I buy one or two plain cheese pizzas, take them home, and freeze individual slices in the freezer.  When I want one, I preheat the oven and the stone to 450 or so.  Then it only takes 2-3 minutes to make that slice hot and every bit as good as out of the restaurant’s oven.  It folds perfectly.

I get plain because it saves money, and it’s fun to play with whatever toppings I might have in the fridge.  Easy as pie!

Thank you, Best Pies and other great pizza places.  So stop by your favorite pizza place, pick up a pie, and enjoy slices for a week or so with your pizza stone and a hot oven.

Best pies, I mean, regards,


Welcome to the AbestKitchen Blog


Welcome to the AbestKitchen blog.  We welcome suggestions and contributions related to cooking, running a restaurant, foodservice equipment, and other related topics.