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Everything posted by eatrustic

  1. Has anyone found (or tried) the new Häagen-Dazs -Fleur de Sel Caramel Ice Cream in town? From what I've heard it's pretty tasty, (pieces of chocolate mixed in as well). It fits my flavour profile to a T!
  2. Agree, for some it was more of a nostalgia thing in a sort of downscale Bon Ton way.
  3. Kentan mentioned in another thread that Mackinnon's bakery was moving. Noticed a for lease sign up day before yesterday that I've heard is already gone so will assume that (a) this is not a demo and (b) it's been leased. Along with Jackson's next door leaving I'd first figured the old one-stories were coming down but I guess not, just a gigantic rent increase to come into line with the soon to be Robson like pricing in the area. Let's see, will it be a shoe store or no...maybe a women's clothing store? I must be clairvoyant.
  4. Yes, that's an option although I prefer to go the "off the menu" route before I start with the a la carte version. As with my previous hunts for the best I'll just start trying the usual suspects and report back. Now if only I could find a good sous vide version..............
  5. It's funny, I haven't had Natchos in years mainly because they are way too bad for you but most importantly I got really tired of badly made piles of chips with a splash of crappy salsa and canned guacamole on the top and nothing underneath. Due to all this great weather we're having I'm getting a craving to sit on a deck somewhere and eat some really good ones with a Marg or a Cerveza. Are there any recs for really well made Natchos (either traditional or perhaps something inspired)?
  6. Hmmm...You say small but then the small and independant is too small. Just because JJ. Bean has a few locations doesn't make them Starbucks. They make good coffee and are independantly owned. Plus you've got the shopping mall parking lot in the N. Van. location for the minimum of 5 (or more?) people who are going show up.
  7. Went there for lunch yesterday, and it was packed! By 1pm there wasn't a seat to be had. Had antipasti, bruschetta sampler, veal & arugula pizza, lamb pappardelle, panzanella salad (between the 6 of us - not all by myself!). Very good food, definately exceeded expectations. ← We went last Monday (about three days after they opened). I usually never go to a new rest. until after the first couple of weeks but we had family in town who wanted Italian and it was close. No reso, we got sat at the bar (I was right beside the chef while he called and expedited - fun times ) First off I need to say that I'm not a big fan of the this style of place (or their places downtown) -noisy, trendy - but, damn! it rocked and by that I mean it was packed in the restaurant and crazy on the line but the food came out fast and well prepared. We had carpaccio, arugula salad, an assortment of pastas, Kobe meatballs, two kinds of veal scallopines and it was all as well prepared and presented as if they had been open for months and at relatively reasonable prices. Dessert was their Bombollonis, (deep fried dough with molten chocolate in the center) - appears to be the signature dessert and is pretty tasty and dangerous as the big joke is watching these things burst when you bite and having them spray all over the place - if you're not careful after the warning). Pinky's must be grinding their teeth watching an opening like this after their permit problems, they are still a ways off it seems. And with Phats opening across the street this has become one crazy food block in the space of a year.
  8. It seems that more and more B.C. (Okanagan) wines are being released with 14% or more alcohol. I picked up a bottle of Jackson Triggs Meritage the other day, based on the high praise of the local VQA store salesperson. One taste and I kicked myself for not checking the alcohol content, it was somewhere around 14.5%. Not only does this come across taste wise but I believe there is a rule of thumb that says something like every 2% increase in the alcohol effectively doubles it. (Plse. correct me if I'm wrong) That also means more calories and less food friendly. Today I was looking at Roses in the same VQA shop and two of them had 14% as well. My question is: what is the main reason for this in B.C.? I understand that warm to hot weather will increase the sugar content in the grapes and along with that the alcohol (this was the reason given by one of the wine store staff), but I also know that many California wineries play the game of increasing the alcohol content in order to score better ratings as the wine delivers more punch early on. Which one is it in our case? It seems that only in the last couple of years have we seen so many higher test wines here. Personally, I think twice before buying a wine with a higher alcohol content these days unless it's an Amarone or a Zinfandel which have historically been vinified in that manner. If hot climate countries like Spain and Portugal can make excellent wines with 12.5 - 13.5% alcohol then I think we have to get past this gimmick in our wine making (if that's what it is).
  9. Here's my two cents on your pictures Rob: First of all they look very appetizing and I bet they taste great. They do look a bit puffy for baguettes though, either too much dough or perhaps a bit overproofed. Not sure about your altitude. One would think that it should make a difference but your bread issues appear to be more from technique than 6000 ft. The blistering on your bread makes it look it's been retarding overnight in a fridge and although the French consider it a flaw we in North America think it looks great. The sides most often split when the loaves are too close to each other. As mentioned above there are other reasons but in my experience it's almost always 'cause they're too close. Tough when you are using a home oven and need to max production. Especially when the next batch is overproofing. The slashes you have made on the baguettes are the exact opposite of the classic slash. It's hard to describe but basically you need to make your cuts (5) starting just slightly off center from the top tip and about 3 inches long (depending how long your baguettes are) almost down the center of the baguette (holding your blade at a slight angle so that the cut is not straight into the dough). Each slash must slightly overlap by about a half an inch (without touching the previous cut) while you are striving mightily to keep your cuts running down the center of the baguette. Make sense (probably not )? Once they get oven spring the cuts will pop open and give the illusion that they were cut at an angle. As for proofing without a proofer you could try putting the trays inside a sealed plastic garbage bag with something like a cup on each corner to keep the plastic from touching the dough. (I'm lucky as I have a dedicated shower separate from my bathroom that has it's own electric baseboard heater. I just crank the heat and turn the shower on to steam the room to the desired level!) Your crust issues will have to be worked out with trial and error (starting high and dropping down a bit once the crust is set perhaps) as most home ovens are terrible for giving consistent intense heat even with a stone. That's why a commercial bakers oven can have the loaves so close together.
  10. They were for sale for a long time, guess no one bit. Maybe La Buca's chance.
  11. .....and Stanley Tucci plays her husband Paul. This should be a fun movie.
  12. Here's a nice little clip for their PBS series that starts in the Fall. I'm in, at first I was hesitant with Paltrow sounding like window dressing but her fluent Spanish, obvious love of food and the chemistry they all have should make this a fun watch. (Gwyneth is stunning as usual!) On the Road Again -Batali, Bittman and Paltrow preview
  13. I had heard that the Heat was optioned to be made into a movie. Any word as to whether it has gone forward or not? Not sure what form it would take as the trip to Italy would be hard to incorporate in the context of the New York action.
  14. Go Fish makes a great version with the oysters grilled to order.
  15. Assuming you mean the fresh ones, it depends what part of town you'll be in: El Sureno - 1730 Commercial (near 1st) South China Seas - Granville Island Market Que Pasa - Richmond
  16. Thomas Haas sends them in frozen and they are baked there.
  17. Here's the full list right from the source: Van Mag awards link Cioppino, West and Boneta did well. With Sun Sui Wah being edged out for top formal Chinese by the Kirin group (Chen's Shangahai won best Casual Chinese). Fuel won top new fine dining over Chow.
  18. So far all I've heard is West and Pino. Can you guess which categories? Anyone with the full list?
  19. Dinner at Cin Cin the other night. It's been a while since I've been in the evening but since they don't do lunch anymore.... Started with a very good Negroni. The amuse was a nice little Halibut "brandade" in the shape of a tiny pear. Very tasty. After that it was pretty uneven, the salads were over dressed. I had my fave, the Veal Cheek Garganelli pasta and my sister had the Pappardelle Bolognese w/ ricotta salata. Both pastas were too dry and the flavour lacked punch (this is probably the fourth time I've had the Veal Cheeks and the first time I've been disappointed), a touch more seasoning and a splash of pasta water to finish would have made all the difference (at $25. for a not overly large portion I expect spot on). My brother had the Korabuta Pork Loin with Pork belly from the wood fired oven and the loin was beautifully pink, moist and tasty but the pork belly was lost underneath, cut in small pieces and lacking the crispyness that makes it so great. Sunday Brunch at Fraiche. A great location even if it is cloudy, not a bad seat in the room so don't worry if you can't get a window. A classic a la carte brunch menu with something for everyone including huge buttermilk pancakes and the usual variations on Bennys (they ask you how you want your eggs poached which is a nice touch). Everything was very well made with home fries especially well done. Definitely fun for out of towners and I look forward to trying dinner. The only minor gripe is the luxy super soft paper napkins get lint all over anything black.
  20. Too bad if they are gone for good. In addition to the Hungarian food (plate size schnitzels etc.), they had some killer old school pastries. Specifically, a very decadent and large Mille Feuille.
  21. Here's a link to the Wall Street Journal's short vidclip on this year's World Cup of Baking in France. As usual in the last few years the U.S. is a threat to take the top prize. Wish I was there! World Cup of Baking clip
  22. Just tried the Dulce de Leche version and sorry to say it's a shadow of the greatness that is Liberty Mocha. IMHO: The Dulce de Leche is kind of bland in comparison to the other versions and can't hold a candle to the Haagen Dazs- Dulce de Leche which really kicks butt in that category. On the positive side....although still tasty, I'll eat this one a lot slower and keep the calories at bay.
  23. Interesting that you say that Marlene as I had read numerous reviews (after the fact) on consumer websites that complain about the problem of poor temperature maintenance and assumed it was an underpowered design. Perhaps its my model, although it looks like yours. I've had the thing long enough now that it is out of any kind of warranty. (The problem with picking up equipment on sale for future use!) By the time I started using it it was too late to return it.
  24. Hopefully it's better than the Waring Pro I made the mistake of buying. It barely reaches it's proper temperature before plunging 30 degrees or more once you drop in your food and takes forever to make it back up (if at all, as the sensor seems to shut off prematurely due to poor placement). Not even adequate for donuts let alone heavy hitters like fried chicken. I've since switched to the tried and true pot on the stove and have never looked back. What I love is that they boldly label it Waring "Pro" and then on the back the usual legalese "about only good for home use". Sort of like the word "artisan" overused and under delivered.
  25. At this point he has theoretically come and gone (March 15). Still good info for the files though. .......but it would be nice to hear from Bryan what his trip was like after all the input, or did you not make it??
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