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Everything posted by FannyBay

  1. We like to wait until a restaurant has settled into its own skin and got past the opening bugs and jitters so had been planning on trying Gastropod out for some time. It has been interesting to see the accolades and awards it has been receiving for such a new restaurant. We had been curiouser and curiouser. When a restaurant gets as much hype as they have you have to know that expectations are high, however as one who doesn’t listen to hype, we tried to go in without too many expectations. Arrival – A large group pf people at the door waiting. Being that they all had a glass of something in hand we assumed their wait had been more then just a few minutes. Rather then get lost in the crowd, we stepped around them in front and looked over the dining room. A very attractive simple design. Great light fixture over the bar. Crisp room, good lines. We waited for a greeting or an approach. And waited…and waited. Lots of staff dashing about, no one making eye contact with anyone. Eventually a youngish man strolled toward us, kicking a piece of paper, not once but a purposeful 3 times, along the floor and under the counter. Perhaps he feared germs and didn’t want to pick it up? Looking vacantly into our eyes he asked, do you have a reservation? It was the first indication that he actually worked there. We were told tables were being set and as the large group was moved to their table we sat down in the entry way for a few minutes before another staff member came to take us to our table. In the entry way was an umbrella stand and a shelf with what I can only assume are postcards (I was hoping they were small menus) and business cards. Upon opening the menus we discovered that there really wasn’t anything on it that we found appealing. A lot of Sous Vide, that in my opinion more often then not seems to leave all the meat the texture of corned beef. There were odd combinations that were difficult to image working with their fellow ingredients and just an absolute lack of ummm, that sounds good. We settled on dishes that we felt we would be “OK” with and ordered a glass of wine. My main was, as I had guessed, an odd combination of sweet and savoury with meat that had no texture change from the outside to the in, and the texture of afore mentioned meat. Oh I thought, if only for a nice seared piece of meat. How I wish for a lovely caramelization and light char with the succulence of well prepared meat on the inside. Mean while my table companion had fish that was almost cool, had a most unlikely accompaniment and a crust that tasted like a combination of salt and pepper potato chips and Kellogg’s corn flakes. The table service was attentive, yet somehow unpolished and jumpy. The food somewhere between unremarkable on my plate and inedible on my companions. 2 glasses of wine each, one main course each and the bill was over 100 dollars. Probably the worst value I have experience in a long time – in fact, almost shocking. Room 4 out of 5 Service 3 out of 5 (although we really should deduct another ½ point for the host and make it 2 ½ out of 5) Food 1 out of 5 Likelihood or returning – Zero!
  2. OK I looked at their web site and I still don't see the point. They could not possibly have served the food that's on their menus therefore they must have served food that is not related to what they actually cook. So what was the point? Did they want to show that even though the food on the menu is casual and uses crappy ingredients that they really do know how to cook and use good ingredients but choose not to? Or does Chris Mills want to prove that he just works there for the money and is secretly embarrassed about the food? What a huge waste of time and money for the chain, and for the sponsors. What happens if those people from New York come to Vancouver and eat in a Joey's restaurant? They will be very unpleasantly surprised I would guess. Michael Noble at Earls seems to be able to support the culinary scene while not participating or dragging Earls into any involvement with it and besides, Earl’s food has always been good and has gotten even better since he joined the chain. They are what they are, not what the Chef feels he wants to be. OK that was crappy English but I seem to be frustrated to the point I can't clearly write about it. Joey’s and Earls are related to each other aren’t they? I thought I read in the National Post last week that Joey’s, Earls, Saltlick were all owned by various Fuller brothers who all work for their Dad, who owns the parent (no pun intended) company?
  3. I was shopping on Granville Street when all the power went out down on the north side of the street as well as a bunch of other streets in the area. I noticed that West was in the dark (that was just before 7:00) were they able to keep going until the power came on or did they have to close? As for those diners who didn't leave a tip after getting their meals comp'd because of what was obviously a city transmitter problem not the restaurants power, I say - you are the worst of those bad dine out customers and by not leaving a tip you show ignorance, rudeness and disrespect. Not to mention it shows that you and your table guests are cheap assholes!
  4. Drove by Benny's Bagels on West Broadway on the weekend and noted the window were all papered over. There was a sign on the door but I was too far away to read it. Are they closed? Renovating?
  5. Although I think I vowed never to return to Joey's, except for perhaps a drink in the summer on the patio, for some reason we decided to forgive and forget and tried it again this week. I think the menu was even more horrible then I remember. I was almost unable to find anything I wanted on the menu, in fact I was unable too and ordered something that sounded the least awful. That choice turned out to be dreadful, quite inedible. Poorly cooked, poorly executed. It just tasted awful. My table mates at least found theirs edible, but only just. While we were there I noticed some big thing on the menu about the James Beard House, are they nuts! If they did cook at the James Beard House there is no way it was anything from this menu, so what was the point? Ego stroking? Just what benefit would a restaurant like this see from cooking at the James Beard House? Anyway that's it! I will never return to eat at this (Broadway) or any other Joey's. Service by the way was fabulous! At least someone knows what they are doing!
  6. Congratulations Gerald, how many Burger and Taco places is that now? I have lost track
  7. A number of restaurants seem to have started their Dineout menus early and are extending them later. A waiter pal told me that Tourism Vancouver gave one restaurant shit for starting early as if they were the only one, but didn't seem to notice over a dozen others that also started early. Is it OK to run Dineout longer, but not OK to start early? Just what are those rules anyway? The Teahouse (Sequoia Grill) started their Dineout about 2 weeks ago. I heard them being interviewed about it on the radio. Tried to make reservations this week for dinner and found many of my choices were already doing their DOV menu - and only their DOV menu! Parkside, Raincity Grill, Savoury Coast are all doing their DOV menu know (well Savoury Coast is offering choices from their entire menu for DOV so I guess you can't really say they have started other then the set price) I hear Aurora Bistro, Rare, C and Nu are all running their menus an extra week. Who else is starting early? Who else is running it later? Will we be Dineout saturated? Are we already Dineout saturated? Will there be a cap or will only lower end restaurants do it? Lots of the high end places pulled out this year. Will there be 250 restaurants doing it next year? Yawn. If you have to be a member of Tourism Vancouver to participate what do you have to do to be part of Tourism Vancouver? I thought you just joined?
  8. Side note: Have seen some comments questioning price points for DOV menus in restaurants. Please note that the price point that each restaurant may participate in is dictated by Tourism Vancouver. If your average entree is over a certain price point they will not let you have a DOV menu in a lower price, even if you are just on the edge. There are a lot of restrictions and rules that Tourism Vancouver dictate to the restaurants with lots of threats of dumping them from ever participating again or cancelling their membership if they don't comply!
  9. I agree! I am sure the restaurants would prefer if you gave up your large table on the busiest night in prime time (during Dineout yet!) and let them refill it. In fact my guess is they will fill it with tables of two and four within seconds of you releasing it. Not so sure it was a cool thing hogging tables during Dineout for a what-if...and I am quite sure that double dipping (holding 2 large tables during prime time on a prime night) (during Dineout yet!) was a cool thing. That’s what gives Dineout customers a bad name. And you people wonder why restaurants overbook! It’s so when this type of attrition happens they aren’t left with their best table open on a Saturday night! Naughty, naughty you! (and by that I mean something that’s a lot ruder) FB
  10. Bargain! - The Korean sub style sandwiches at the back of the Asia Market on Hastings near Main. Chinese sausage, various other fillings. $2.50 gets you a good size sandwich! Other bargains - Don't need your prosciutto or salami's in perfect slices? Planning on chopping them up anyway? Then ask for the ends. They are often sold off cheap!
  11. FWIW, I'm not exactly sure what your point is, but the A A Gill under discussion in this thread is Ms. Alexandra Gill of The Globe and Mail, not the Mr. A A Gill of London papers. ← I read this as a discussion on the Gill Review of the Week thread, not the AA Gill thread. You may have misunderstood the reference to the Telegraph - I believe Kloom is comparing her style to that, not mixing up the two Gills.
  12. Being that I could be accused of not having a sense of humour, although I stand by my opinion, whether or not it was meant to be funny, that bcinbc's item on Senhor Roosters was sexist and offensive (and shame on you Deborah for supporting it) I will say that I am surprised that most of you failed to see the humour, hilarity actually, in Connor Butlers' various communications over these past few months. I thought they were very funny with a unique perspective and I laughed out loud a number of times when reading his various posts. It has really peaked my interest in him and his restaurant, which I suppose was his objective. Clever marketing if you ask me. Even our own funny guys, Morrison, Maw and "Daddy-A" failed to see the humour in it. Ms Gill I understand, as she is not known for her sense of humour, but Mr. Maw and Mr. Morrison (the latter whose humour is similar enough for me to ask if his middle names are actually Charlie and McCarthy) are normally known for using a lot of humour, hidden meaning and double & triple entendres so I was particularly surprised that they failed to see the witty sarcasm and self deprecating humour in Mr. Butlers writing. I think it's quite refreshing to see his own writing rather then that of a publicist, although he perhaps should have taken a wee bit of pr advise on how to let those rather thick readers know that they were actually reading humour and not the ranting of an egotistic dickhead as you all seem to have taken him for. It sounds like his restaurant might be a bit out of my price range however I really wish him well and look forward to reading more of his writings (and rantings!)
  13. Well BCinBC I didn't know it was possible to turn a restaurant review into a sexist, somewhat offensive and yucky "I am a male stud" commentary, but you managed. Yuck!
  14. Went to the new Bosa location and I will certaibly now make that my number one shopping place for meats, Italian products, condiments and gifts. It was fabulous, so many quality products and I thought prices were good. Deli section is fab!
  15. Just read the new issue of Vancouver Magazine, best one yet! I was starting to give up on it but this issue is so different. Fresh and new info, especially on restaurants. How nice to read other writers and about different restaurants for a change. There is also a fabulous section on environmental careers. Great stuff!
  16. Do you know if that's a new location or a second location for them? I noticed they are closed for "summer holidays" for two weeks, during what you would think would be prime outdoor dining time? Is it the same people who bought it from Chico a couple of years ago?
  17. FannyBay


    Why Cin Cin? Only tourists go there! It's over priced fake Italian food and has been around for years. They don't try anything new because their cliental are movie stars, out of town business men and American Tourists. There are sooooo many better (and new) restaurants then that, I am curious as to why those are your 3 choices? Salt is creating a real buzz as a new bistro and I agree that you could probably go there early and try another restaurant later in the evening. Figmint, I have only vaguely heard of but if you are on a quest for new restaurants I suppose that's a good one to try but there are lots of new restaurants. When was the last time you were here? I suggest for new restaurants you try: * Haven't tried / 1-10/10 Rare 10/10 Lolita's 7/10 Sanifir * Figmint * Salt * Figmint * Go Fish 7/10 Fish * Rangoli 9/10 New Earls Steak Place? (Brain Block!) 2/10 Century * New restaurant lounges Republic 9/10 Ocean Club 4/10 Chill Winstons * Bardot * George 8/10 Joey's 4/10 For still youthful: Chambar 10/10 Parkside 8/10 Cru 8/10 Feenie's 9/10 Happa 9/10 Go Fish 7/10 Nu 4/10 For Italian: Cioppino's 10/10 Amarcord 8/10 La Terrazza 9/10
  18. You will have a wonderful evening at Parkside. When it comes time to celebrate the birth of your baby and your full and complete recovery from Breast Cancer, think about Gotham. I have found the service there yo be the best in the city. Warm, charming, attentive. Walking distance from the Watefront Hotel. If you don't do steaks they do have a nice selection of other items on the menu and although not inexpensive, it's very good value. I was surprised to find Joe Fortes more expensive then Gotham for the same menu items. Perception I suppose. Warm thoughts and prayers CB!
  19. Just in case EN takes some time to find a new location, I highly recommend you go there before they close their Granville Street restaurant. I think it is one of the most underrated Japanese restaurants in town. I am guilty of not going in the past year or so myself but I used to go often and always had excellent food. It was an interesting menu, great quality, good service. Note to self before the end of August!
  20. I see that there has been a new topic started with this weeks Gill Review under Sanifer, which is great. I would have liked to see the Tojo review get its own topic as I thought she has some very valid comments, as well as a few that I did not agree with. Perhaps we can move some of the over to a new topic? What I did want to comment on though was the total lack of response by any of us on her Parks Board concession article. I know that it was not about fine dining, nor was it controversial, nasty about any one person or mussed the hair of any of the local PR types however, I thought that her article was interesting. Starting out as a review on Fish and Chips but clearly aware of the politics, public voice and happenings in the non-fine dining side of Vancouver’s food scene. It was a topic I thought would have fuelled some debate, yet it didn't? The Parks Board is simply not in the business of food and beverage. Long gone are the days that we would settle for ice cream, luke warm hot dogs and syrupy cola products, these concessions are now expected to reflect a more savvy food crowd and highlight how damn cosmopolitan we are here. Although I think serving sushi is a bit over the top, and quite frankly would never dream of ordering it at a concession, I do think that individual entrepreneurs can better understand the market, choose their own hours (ie: open early and later depending on events that are going on) and still provide the parks board with needed revenue. It is important of course that these private owners respect the neighbourhoods they are in, and are very aware of their impact in the parks. It is the job of the Parks Board to interview, train, and follow-up with these businesses, but yes privatising can be a good thing.
  21. Transparency is always best then we don't have to guess and hypothesize. I have a suggestion! How about Mr. Maw, who is an active contributor to this site, actually tells us how the voting works! I "hear" that he comes up with a short list pretty well on his own, and then hands that short list over to the judges so they are really told who to look at each year. I also "hear" that they only vote for the ones they have been into so that if, for example, if they have all eaten at the very Caucasian friendly Hon's but have not been into the other Chinese restaurants, then the other doesn't get the points and Hon's does. That in turn leaves wide open those restaurants with promotions budgets and PR people to get the media into their restaurants therefore getting more points. Do these people ever actually pay to eat at West, Lumiere, and Blue Water? And would they? But then I "hear" judges apparently vote for places they haven't eaten at in over 2 years? How many of them actually ate at Banana Leaf? The William Tell? Villa du Luppa? Perhaps Mr., Maw can clear up the speculations and tell us how it really does work and why some of Vancouver's most recommended, busiest and most consistent restaurants are never mentioned... Sandbar, Cardero's, Teahouse, Seasons. Bishops, Hart House, Delilah's. Can he also tell us why Earls gets so much attention (suspiciously so...) when there are other "chains" that do a better job? Earls may be a good chain with consistent food, but they have servers that lack dining knowledge, that dress in ridiculous outfits and can't open a bottle of wine, not to mention the chain is notorious for chauvinistic, even misogynistic attitudes, owners that are rude pigs (remember last years awards?) and barely, if any, a single senior female manager. How about the e-gulleters do an "interview" with Mr Maw, open it up to Q & A's and post it.
  22. Tried Lolita's last week. Liked it, reminded me of a Mexican Bin 941. Enjoyed the slightly bohemian service, liked the food a lot, although it's still very "mushy" as compared to the Mexican restaurants in California and Texas. We still seem to be missing that clean taste. Ceviche, fresh tomato, etc. I am not even sure we saw refried beans on the menus in California. I hear there is a good Mexican place in North Van, I gather it's more takeaway then eat in, but apparently quite authentic. Lonsdale perhaps, does anyone know where it is or what it's called?
  23. I really question the choice of food in this location. I was in Coco Pazzo many times and the room was always full of pretty waspy folks. Yummy mummies, aged frat boys, sorority sisters and affluent westsiders. The menu suited them it seemed so I just don't see them going for Portuguese food? And I sure don't see their teenagers eating there. Salt Cod, sardines, boiled potatoes, spicy sausage…Perhaps downtown or on the eastside, but in the heart of Kerrisdale, not so sure? Good luck!
  24. OK, what's the deal with this place!? Tried it three times as I kept thinking if everyone else is having such a great experience and I wasn't it must be me. But you know, I am going to go out on a limb here and say it's not me, it's them. Or rather it's their kitchen. Naked food, where is the naked food? Is it that little group of dishes over to the right side of the menu? The food all has sauce etc, so what makes it naked? Perhaps they mean naked of any taste, or at least seasoning. The dishes I tried were tasteless. The tastes described on the menu just didn't exist. The chicken wings tasted like ground chicken and nothing else. The lamb cheeks looked just amazing so we were particularly disappointed at their lack of taste. The shellfish tasted like it had been poached in water, the salads had no dressing. I just don't know what to say. Between us and our various visits we tried about 15 items on the menu and of those only one dish gave us pause to say yum! Our other 2 visits were devoid of anything good from the main menu. Asking around to people I know who dine out, particularly those in the industry, I can't find one person who liked the food? How is it that they can get such glowing reviews by restaurant critics yet the everyday folk don't like it? So that's the food… The service - Was very good except it took forever to get drinks and wine. Our waiters were on the ball but when they went to the bar it seemed to take forever to come back, we assumed it was because he was waiting for the drinks. The door - On two of the nights there was the same hostess at the door, along with another hostess. On both nights she made us wait behind people without reservations, she didn't know where our table was, she looked frustrated and showed her confusion in front of us, in fact didn't even acknowledge us when we walked up the her desk, kept sort of arguing with the other hostess about where she was seating people. Two out of three nights there was no manager at the door and no quality check from anyone other then a junior manager. Again a lot of fuss being made over "special guests" and us left to suffer through bad food and long waits for drinks. Other stuff - Bathrooms, all those toiletries in the bathrooms is very Las Vegas. Tacky, tacky, tacky, tacky! Redeeming qualities - Very good prices, our bills were very reasonable, if not cheap (except that we were paying for food we didn't like) Desserts were excellent. View was fabulous. Decor, though bloody uncomfortable, was different then all the other restaurants in town which was interesting. Would I return, never say never. Maybe I will just try dessert at the bar or go back next summer for a salad on the patio.
  25. When I travel on my own I like to eat at the bar as you have someone to talk too and don't feel so conspicuous. I have to say that no one does bar service quite like the Americans. Where normally I feel Canadian service if much better in restaurants then in America, they sure do have great bartenders. Very knowlebale about the food etc. and often it seems there is someone dedicated to serving the bar customers rather then fitting you in around the waitresses orders. In Vancouver I love to sit at the Lumiere bar, especially when Chris is there, the food in the tasting bar is great and cheap if you haven't tried it. Not so sure about the other bartender, he seems a bit cool. Feenie's bartenders are young but they are great, don't find the seating very comfortable at their bar though. I used to go to West and eat at the bar as I can't afford their menu but they are not doing bar dining anymore. Never did see what all the fuss was about Jay, he did nothing for me and always seemed rather snooty and know it all. Assumed as we were women that we knew nothing about wine. I hate sitting at the bar at Rodney's it seems unless you are a Jock or a young gorgeous girl, they don't have the time of day for you and they make so much fuss over their regulars that as a non regular you feel very second class. Joe Fortes Oyster bar is a great place to eat oysters and drink wine. Speaking if which, for a real treat go to the Four Seasons hotel in Seattle, the bar downstairs (Shuckers) is a great place for Oysters and wine (hey, I think they had a good chowder) I have not eaten at the bar at Gotham's, other then 5 bowls of their mixed nuts, but the bartenders, all of them it seems, are fabulous. Now they know how to make an old gal feel special! I have eaten at the little bar at Bin 941 and enjoyed it, and also really liked eating at the bar at Go Fish this summer. The outdoor bar at Araxi in Whistler is fabulous, watch the wines by the glass though as they can be 2nd mortgage material. Amazing experience eating at the bar at Tojo's, WOW! Also love Chambar to eat. Great bartenders there to. Has an amazing meal and great service at the bar at Cafe Brio in Victoria as well. I agree that all bars should have hooks for coats but especially for purses.
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