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Keith Talent

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Everything posted by Keith Talent

  1. My last experience at a Vancouver CFD was pretty much like every other, dismal. Jamie, I've never experienced the epiphanies you have at Vancouver CFD's, they're always lacking. The day before the arrival of the latest Vanmag saw me heading to Earls for dinner. It was horrible. The menu is uninspired, and features such fine dining staples as chicken fingers. No restaurant should feature chicken fingers unles the target demographic is six year olds. I selected the steak sandwich, my wife the rib special, the ingrates shared a burger. The dated interior (dark wood, Euro apertif prints, giant bottles filled witrh alternating levels of dry pasta and beans creating patterns that fairly scream "Special needs student art project") was noisy, drafty and worn around the edges. Had a couple glasses of wine, selected from the unimaginative wine card. The reserve list has a few bargins, but really nothing to get too fired up about. Dinner comes. Wifes ribs are sickly sweet, too tender belying the fact that they were likely boiled, then finished under the salamander slathered in goopy sauce to brown slightly. Honestly, they were an embarassment. My steak sandwich was not a steak sandwich at all, at least not like expected, but rather was the thinnly sliced trimmings sauteed. They had to be thinnly sliced as the were composed primarily of fat and grizzle and there was no way to chew it if not precut. The "steak" was served in a ciabatta (Italian for "crap squishy wonderbread in a non-traditional (to North America) shape with the vague patina of forigness about it), and came with peppers and onions sauteed. More a cheeseless philli cheese steak than traditional steak sandwich. The burger was average. Fries very good. Where is the Noble influence at Earls? It's not on the menu, there's nothing on it that appears to be even halfway inspired by a Bocuse D'or competitor. The monthly special was a pork chop with peach relish, which sounds a little bit cheffy if the year was 1992. And the scary thing is Cacus Club in magnitudes worse than Earls. The only local CFD I like is Brown's in Yaletown, it consistantly for me lives up to the promise of what a CFD should be. The funny thing is the only true innovation by Vancouver CFD's is in the human resources department, then again all they did was rip a page from the Hooters playbook. American chain "Cheesecake Factory" would eat Earls lunch (if Earls food was edible) in a second were they to come north. While I'm philisophically opposed to the portion sizes, the food is better, service better and decor, while ugly at least has seen a feather duster pass by occasionally.
  2. Keith Talent

    Canada, eh?

    I didn't realize Ontario accounted for such a large percentage of Canuck vino. And there's going to be some pissed of partisans that Osoyoos Larose is damned with faint praise.
  3. Diamaru Shushi at Number Three and Ackroyd in Richmond, same mall as Chapetrs next to the Starbuck has had them for years. And I'll let you read between the lines, the only good thing about that place is the music. Seriously, the sushi chefs have absolutely phenomenal taste in music, contemporay bossa nova played at loud volumes is the most attractive part of the restaurant.
  4. Any ideas where to find Cavolo Nero/Tuscan Black Cabbage in town? The ribollita gods must be appeased. It's also refered to as black kale, if that helps.
  5. Kintaro open a Richmond location Westminister Highway, north side just west of Cooney east of Number Three. Beware, the lime green mens room will possibly cause siezures. Forest Fire Ramen on Saturdays, just like Denman.
  6. So I went to LA Chicken for lunch. I've only driven by this place maybe a thousand times, it would never in a million years occur to me to go in. It's a crappy little storefront locale, in a fourth tier mini mall, who's tennants seem to comprise primarily of businesses that'd like to move up to the third string mini mall across the street. Ordered the two piece combo, spicy. Fries, gravy, chicken and a diet coke for 4.99. Fries are frozen variety, oil seems like it is due for a change. Gravy powdered, but with some added spice that give it some zip. The chicken was very very good. Nice and spicy, crispy, juicy but not greasy at all. I was pleasantly suprised. In fact, I could eat more. Here I am, an hour later, no apparent queasy feeling from too much grease, the most common apres chicken ailment. Not exactly the healthiest lunch, but quite tasty. Thumbs up. Not worth the trip, but well worth a stop if you find yourself hungry in the neighbourhood. Actually it's quite close for anyone making an Ikea run and not sated by tiny meatballs and herring with rye.
  7. I've also bought Peychaud bitters directly from the source with no trouble mail order. I won a bottle of Absinthe and needed the bitters to turn it into the only drinkable form, the Sauzerac. I still have most of both bottles available.
  8. Not like this is even halfway timely, but this summer while on a road trip we stopped the Cost Cutter supermarket just south of the truck crossing border in beautiful Blaine (good wine buyer at the store BTW, way better wine than normal grocery mass market plonk.) In the same mall is a former greek storefront restaurant now (or at least then) making southern food. Located next to the drug store in the middle of the long arm of the "L" shaped mall with the Cost Cutter taking up the entire short side of the "L". Large southern lady manning the kitchen, a good sign. We had very good chicken, along with fried catfish, hush pupies and a pulled pork sandwich. It was very good. Not so good to be worth the drive, but good enough to look for it next time you're buying cheap US beer in Blaine.
  9. There are none. I became a much more content person when I became happy for what I did have and stopped obsessing about what I didn't. Living in Richmond gives you access to the greatest concentration of pan-asian cusines anywhere in the western hemisphere. Reognize that fact as being central for your decision to chose Richmond as home. No other community in the city can offer that. Salade des Fruites is fourteen minutes down Granville from my West Richmond front door. How is that too far for steak frites? And anyone that mentions any of the dismal options in Steveston should be banned.
  10. Singapore Gourmet has the single most delicious thing in the universe for the low price of $3.75. Roti Telor. Basicly Malaysian roti, except with scambled egg and carmelized onions on top. And they have in my opnion the best curry dipping sauce in Richmond. I get that with a huge bowl of Laksa there, eat everything and feel vaguely unwell for the balance of the day. Way too much rich food. So insanely good though. And I try to only order one or the other, but while the spirit is willing the flesh is weak. The Xian stall has in my opinion the best soups in the world if examined on a price quality matrix. Beef noodle superb. Lamb Noodle, ditto. Spicy vegatable is my favourite, except then you don't get the hand pulled noodles, you could probably ask however... My current favourite foodcourt lunch is at Yaohan, (were I've recently noticed a slackening in demand for parking spaces, anyone have any guesses, Aberdeen drawing away traffic finally after two years?) It's at the noodle stall closest to the main doors off number three road. I have no idea what it's called, quite possibly "Noodle stall right by the main number three road enterance", Chinese seem pretty pragmatic in that regard. Anyway I get the wonton with bbq pork and noodle soup and then my new favourite thing, rice wrap. Rice wrap is a large lassagna like rice noodle surrounding the previously thought of as being completely useless chinese donut. Two sauces over top, a peanut suace and a thick sweet soy. Cold soft squishy noodle vs. warm crisp donut, together at last. Much like Barbera Ameil and Lord Black, perfectly suited for each other. Rich and decadent too!
  11. Thanks for the suggestions, but I'm looking not for attached cafes/formal food service establishments, but rather Saskatoon chic community suppers. Bonus points if we're the only unilinguals in the room.
  12. So on Friday night we ventured to the Austria Vancouver Clubfor dinner. It's a couple blocks from our house and has a sign out front proclaiming that Fridays are family dinner night. Rolled up about seven and the place was in full swing. Found a table for seven, (we were two couples and three kids,) and sat down. The dance floor had been converted to a kids play area with toys and an older Austrian gramma in charge of the chaos. Got drinks at the bar, and settled in to watch the procedure. You buy tickets from the old guy in the cubby, hand them to the ladies at the pass through of the kitchen and hang about while they plate dinner. Four adults and three kids meals was 51 bucks, so it was cheap. Dinner consisted of a large portion of German potato salad, a huge plate covering schnitzel, rye bread and iceberg salad. It was okay, I guess. Meat was tough and greasy. Pretty much what you'd expect. We stuck around for more after diner drinks. It was fun. Strange and foreign, but fun. I'd always thought of Austria as the easternmost country of western Europe, the place had a more eastern vibe though. We decided that Austia was the Westernmost country of eastern europe. (Actually, that dubious honor belongs to Portugal, but that's another post. Backward crap country.) We decided that we want to tour the globe via Community Cultural Centre dinners, but google so far this morning hasn't helped. Here's where we are; Croat - Cafe only Greek - No dinner Italian - Darios Jewish - Cafe only Chinese - Nothing Scanadavian - Nothing German - Nothing Ukrainian - Yes Anza - Nothing So, anyone know of meals served at cultural community centres? What centres have I missed?
  13. fishingnets. It's my generation that gauges the sucess of a party by the number of fishnets stuck to the ceiling. And at six bucks a pour for Woodford, I may stop by The Heather with myhalf empty bottle for a fillup. That's damn near retail.
  14. Anyone think a couple grand for dinner for two is semi-obscene? As in "let them eat cake?" Someone should phone and book a table for six under the name Gecko, Gordon Gecko. Right on schedule, nostalgia for twenty years ago is on us, the age of conspicuous consuption circa '85 is back. And if this sells out, I don't want to be a Vancouverite anymore.
  15. Call me a greenhorn city slicker, but does one really "ranch" wasabi? I "ranched" some pretty nice basil out in pots on the deck this year.
  16. That Pink returns through the Broughton acrhipeligo have increased since farming has begun in the area, that two peer reviewed papers have been published recently in scientific journals stating that lice do not transfer between farmed and wild fish and that salmon is yummy. Someone needs to rifle through their blue box for yesterdays Globe, the specifics elude me. Namely the URL's to further info.
  17. I wonder if anyone from Vicks has approached the Riedel people about producing specific DayQuil and NyQuil glasses. I for one would prefer to take my medicine from a fine Austrian piece of tailor-made crystal. I'd also like a cough syrup decanter for my bathroom counter.
  18. One thing and one thing only; Poor value. While the food was superb, the portions were ridiculously small. The wine service was almost laughable. The accompanying flights with the tasting menus were poured in such niggardly portions that you almost felt you were being taunted. I've had more generous samplings in winery tasting rooms. Add the fact that the wine would be poured ten minutes prior the (late) arrival of the dish, and you're left with nothing but water for that course. The troubling thing is all conventional wisdom and consensus pointed the fact that patrons were dissatified with the portion size, such an easy thing to fix, there was an almost stubborness to correct what I like most diners considerd a fatal flaw. Too bad. I hope to eat Moreno's food again somewhere soon.
  19. Anyone happen to see the ad the salmon farmers took out in the front section of yetserdays Globe? Anyone support or refute their claims?
  20. Would someone please decode the Maw/Salmon subtext for those of us too thick to get it. Thanks.
  21. Ocean Club? A pub with attached cold beer and wine store in the mall parking lot next door to a trailer park and it embodies the best of NY and LV nightlife? I love the clueless smalltown optimism in this city. versus So they're rich and cool, but it's important to keep the price points down? Okay. And the brain trust responsible for "smells like frat boy puke Garfinkels" shouldn't reallly be touting their ability to have their fingers on the pulse of what's hip. And shouldn't the Ocean Club actually be near the ocean? If memory serves, in between where the Ocean Club would be located is a trailer park, sewage treatment plant, railroadtracks, off leash dog park and then finally the ocean? This place already reminds me of Watermark without the view.
  22. I've always been under the impression that wines don't show well in a pressurized cabin, personal experience backs this up. I've been fortunate enough to sample pretty decent stuff at 35,000 feet, never to any acclaim, ergo the principle to stick with double JW Black in the front, Jack Daniels in the back.
  23. I've got fantasies that involve a stewardess grabbing me and shouting my name in Sao Paulo.
  24. Two points. First you should be physically harmed for the pun in your title. Second this guy is a genuis and my hero. And he talks about in flight meal service and flys out of YVR.
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