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What you just can't get at home

In tight times, we all figure we'll make more things at home. But there are things you just can't make at home, because you don't have the equipment (unless there's something you're not telling me). Here are a few of them:

1 Naan from the tandoor at Tamarind (6420 Carmel Road). This light, smoky flatbread is cooked on the sides of a clay oven called a tandoor (tandoori chicken is, too, in case you've ever wondered).

2 Smoked meat loaf, done in what the place calls its “Chinese” smoker, at Ole Smokehouse No. 1 (1513 Montford Drive). I wouldn't call it barbecue, but I wouldn't say no to a plate right now – or for breakfast.

3 Just about any steak at any major steakhouse: Your stove, oven and grill combined probably couldn't get to the temperatures these places use – broilers at 1,800 degrees and the like. (Of course, it's next to impossible to get the quality of beef they're getting, too, so this isn't quite the single-problem crisis some of these others are.)

4 Pizza from the brick oven at MezzaNotte (2907 Providence Road).

5 Croissants that were proofed (as in, left to rise, for home bakers) in the Metro C5 proofing and holding cabinet (with Dutch insulated solid doors!) at Amelie's (2424 N. Davidson St.), before hitting the four-deck convection oven.

Helen Schwab

Want to suggest another in this category? Email hschwab@charlotteobserver.com.

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