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Everything posted by Feedbag

  1. OK, thanks. Since nobody's weighed in, I assumed there wasn't much to get excited about.
  2. My search didn't turn up anything new. Anyone heard of any new, hip, happenin' restaurants in Whistler? Alternatively, any famous chefs take over any kitchens? Thanks for the intel!
  3. Heavenly Bites' new location on Hastings is open. Anyone tried it? Also a new Thai restaurant in that stretch. Can't wait to try Cioffi's new take-out counter. I'm a regular for everything else there... Sorry to hear about the closing of Black Tuna, which I'd noticed a while ago. Anyone know where the chef went? He was excellent.
  4. You can get away with calling him Hitch, certainly, but never call him Chris. He tore a strip off Larry King on live TV for doing that once. "It's CHRISTOPHER!" Whatever. He definitely comes across as cranky, pompous, condescending, etc. etc. but, worse, an Iraq war champion. He's softened a bit now and in fact wrote quite a touching piece about a young guy who enlisted after reading his pro-war stories and then died in action. (I think that appeared in the Times, or was it Vanity Fair, can't recall.) He seemed genuinely remorseful that this kid had believed in his stance, went off to war because of it, and then perished, leaving behind a young wife (and child, I think). Anyhoo, lately I think he's gone back to being cranky (and pro war?).
  5. It's interesting Hitchens didn't mention whether or not the room was full, suggesting that perhaps the server was trying to hustle them along. I think, though, his primary beef had to do with being interrupted at a critical point in his storytelling. And that goes to one of the most popular irritants about servers in general. Why do they have to ask you how your meal is precisely at the moment you've stuffed your mouth with said meal? And why do they have to barge into the middle of your conversation to ask if you want more wine or dessert or whatever. Can they not just approach the table and stand there quietly for a few seconds? Obviously the diners will notice you there and, when they've finished what they were saying, will glance at you to see what you want. To me, so much of this is common sense. The behavior is no different from a stranger walking into a party, approaching a group of people in animated discussion, and interrupting what everyone's saying simply to announce your presence. It's rude and so very easily avoided. And if someone doesn't want his glass filled, he/she can simply say, no more for me, thanks, rather than let it sit in the glass going to waste.
  6. Wondered if anyone else caught Christopher Hitchens' rant in today's Slate about intrusive waiters (Wine Drinkers of the World Unite). More interesting were the responses from the industry. How does everyone here feel about it, both from a server's perspective and a diner's? People here have railed about the rudeness of both waiters and customers, so it would be interesting to hear your reactions to this particular bugaboo.
  7. Caffe Artigianno (I butchered that, didn't I?) has come to Burnaby! I just noticed a brand spanking new location on Hastings, somewhere west of Willingdon, I think. We were whizzing by quite fast at night and I can't recall the exact location, but I'll be in to check it out soon. Although not for the $15 cuppa Joe...
  8. Ducked out of the snow (?!!) last night and into the warm environs of the Hamilton Street Grill, and who should be at the door greeting guests but that infamous restaurateur, Neil Wyles himself! The rule, as I understand it, is that you're supposed to reveal yourself as a gulleteer, so I did. I confess I haven't been here since the gullet get-together a couple years ago. Not because it's not a swell place, but because I live in the Burnaby boonies. Anyhoo, Neil, you were very gracious. Thanks for stopping by to say hi. Hope you made it home through the snowstorm OK! I sung the praises of the hanger to my fellow diners, so we all ordered it, and it was, as usual, fantabulous! The complimentary GBP was a nice, generous surprise for the birthday girl in our midst. Didn't get a chance to say thanks before you left, so Thanks! She's just moved into the 'hood, so you'll likely be seeing more of her. She was dutifully impressed. I know I'm supposed to mention three places but the others are obscure (Bellingham and Kamloops) so I won't bother. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy the HSG, a place I don't get to that often. Thank you!!
  9. "I have full intention of keeping Dale as executive chef if he fulfills his job to our expectations," Mr. Boulud said. "It's up to him to work with me. It's not up to me to work with him." Is this arrogant, even by chef standards...?
  10. Just noticed Burgers Etc. on Hastings in Burnaby is papered over? What happened there? Also, same 'hood, Heavenly Bites finally looks like they're getting going: sign painted on window, tables and chairs inside. No firm open date yet, tho.
  11. I like the idea of a New Year's appy party. We've done it before and doing it again. Low key with a few friends, everyone brings a dish so there's not a lot of work for one person. So far: scallops wrapped in bacon with spicy cocktail sauce, sausage stuffed mushrooms, hot wings, smoked oysters and the usual cheese plate and garlic sausage with a variety of crackers. Maybe a Greek salad. Chicken satay with peanut sauce might be nice.... Love you guys' theme parties, very creative!
  12. Thanks, guys. You're right, I do need to read up more on the topic. I only have a passing acquaintance with the idea of low-carb diets. I'm really just carrying around 10 pounds too many. I'd like to lose that, but the main thing I hear, and what appeals to me, is that some diets (low carb?) give you back your energy, and that's what I'd really like. I feel so sluggish all the time. Maybe that's the sugar. (Especially around this time of year, I've kinda overdosed on chocolates....) I think what I'll do is just go the moderation route: cut down on portion sizes, cut out most sugar and bad fats, increase consumption of fruits, veggies and fibres, and step up the exercise. If that doesn't work, I'll purge carbs entirely. I guess I just hate the idea of eliminating entirely an whole food group from my diet, even if temporarily... I'd admire you guys who have the resolve and determination. Oh, and will power!
  13. I watched a few episodes on Food Network Canada as well and, like others, appreciated the simplicity of his preparations. Also envious of his garden and outdoor wood-fired oven. Man, would that be sweet to have. Jamie seems different, more mature and low-key. I always had the impression, from his earlier shows, that he was a tad full of himself and a little too sloppy in his thinking and approach to what he was doing. I like that he's a bit more grounded and grown up, although sometimes it can make for boring viewing. It'd be nice to see him throw in a bit more humour and spontaneity. Bottom line, though, I like the series.
  14. Feedbag

    Dinner! 2007

    What a coincidence. I was just watching Jamie Oliver's new show yesterday and he mentioned preparing rocket. I thought for sure I'd misheard him until I saw this thread. What the heck is rocket???
  15. Thanks, Cali, for the tip about Catelli. Had no idea they made a "smart" pasta. Will try it out. And will search for this thing called Dreamfields next time I'm south of the line. The hardest thing on earth will be giving up the white stuff - sugar, dairy, rice, pasta and potatoes - but if the pay off of feeling healthier and more energetic is real, I'll give it a shot. I assume it's OK to splurge once a week and include one of these things in your diet. Not an entire cheesecake or pot of spuds, of course, but one simple serving to quell the craving. Still wondering if it's unacceptable to allow a teaspoon of sugar in my morning coffee. When diets talk of eliminating the evil white foods, do they really mean even that teaspoon of sugar? And that tablespoon of milk in the coffee? Is it really that harmful to the cause? Do I have to be that militant?
  16. I'm curious about a few things: is whole wheat bread OK? I've read mention of pita being fine, but what about just 100% whole wheat bread? Also, what is the best bread? I've heard pumpernickel is the best for low-carb/calorie. The biggest challenge for me would be the loss of white pasta and rice. Can't stand the whole wheat/brown types. Anyone know of a decent tasting whole wheat pasta available in Canada? Also wondered, since you can't have white potatoes, are yams and sweet potatoes OK? And when you say "sugar-free" do you mean absolutely 100% no sugar? Can I have a teaspoon in my morning coffee? Appreciate the enlightenment, and good luck to everyone trying to get healthier!
  17. Thank you very much. I will indeed check 'em out.
  18. Canucklehead, what/where is JN&Z? Haven't been here in a while, so could be forgetting an obvious abbreviation... Thanks! I had my usual fresh free-range bird from Cioffi's, which, as always, was excellent, although it seemed a little pricier this year ($50 before tax for a 14 pounder). Would like to try something different next year, so am interested in the ham.
  19. Does this also apply to the commercialized, tetra-packed stock, say, like Campbell's produces? I've had some left over in the fridge for about a week (still in its pack, but opened nevertheless). Wouldn't there be a whack load of chemicals in there to keep it fresher longer?
  20. I must be blind! All the times I've stopped in at Cockney Kings, slurped the BEST mocha at Pappagallo (their cheesecakes aren't the only things they have a "best" of...) even taken the freakin' cat to the vet right there, I've never noticed it. I guess I always thought it was a home brew place. Next time I will indeed stop in and say howdy to the princess. Thanks for the tip.
  21. I've found Horizons to be pretty hit and miss, but you can't beat that view. Oddly, hiked up this summer a couple times and thought a nice bevvie and snack on their patio would be nice but, alas, big patio, big view, no chairs or tables! Talk about your missed opportunity. In any event, many, many, many summer eves are spent with a blanket and a bottle on the hill under the trees -- cheaper, nicer, quieter. Have to ask, though, what/where is Kensington Wines?
  22. No, not in N. BBY, as I'm painfully aware...and certainly not for pairings. If it's fairly good grub you're after, though, the Pear Tree, as has been mentioned, is superb, but there are a couple good Italian restaurants: L'Artista, La Villeta, Baci's and (I've heard, not been) Vitta Bella (sp?), all on Hastings. Also on Hastings, Bombay Biehl is a good Indian restaurant. Sadly, no good Chinese that I know of. There's also the Hart House and Horizons, for a little more upscale. Actually, they might have pairings.
  23. I think I'll just stick to soft-boiling....
  24. Feedbag

    Crackling stock

    The only chicken stocks I've ever made are from the carcass and skin of a roasted bird. After eating the roast chicken, and saving some meat for the soup, I throw the entire thing in a stock pot along with celery, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaf, S&P, then simmer for 2 hours. Strain it all and that's my stock. I've never made one from a raw bird. Am I weird? My stocks taste fab this way. Also, I make beef stock by boiling beef bones from the butcher same way. But I've heard other people roast their beef bones in the oven first. Is there a taste difference doing it that way?
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