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Stinky Cook

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Posts posted by Stinky Cook

  1. You won't (shouldn't) find it in Canada, as I am of the understanding that there is not supposed to be imported butter allowed, so as to protect the sale of domestically made product.  That is why you don't ever find French butter here.

    I thought this too, but I saw Italian butter for sale on Granville Island a few weeks ago. It was about $15 for half a pound, I think.

    Sometimes things pass customs unnoticed. Otherwise you would see all kinds of imported butter everywhere.

  2. I can count on a single hand the amount of restaurants I'd be willing to spend money on in this city...  Oh well, soon enough I'm ditching this place, heading to Quebec or even Europe (or both in due time).

    I've travelled alot, and eaten many great meals abroad. With those meals as a benchmark, we've got some great restaurants here in Vancouver. Add the fact that menu prices here offer more than fair value compared to other parts of the world.

  3. Location plays a big part. But so does selling a good product for a fair price regardless of the caliber of dining. I think consistency also plays a vital role. That being said, location can clearly help if you are weak on points 2 and 3.

    Look at Las margaritas, on a busy part of 4th, and not far from the beach. It's busy all the time. Lets not forget Topanga too.

    -Spaghetti Factory...that place must do a half dozen turns at least in the summer. This place has been around since the 70's. Imagine owning it, with everything inside long paid for. A food cost based on dry pasta and sauce...Ka CHING!

    -Joe Fortes...another very busy place

    -Keg Caesars

    -Fresgos (who hasn't gone here after being at the bar)

    -Go Fish...kind of granville island, but kind of hidden too.

    -the Boathouse

    -The Tea House

    Almost all of these places have been around for a very long time. Kind of like your classic rock of restaurants I suppose.

    There are places that buck the odds by being slightly off the beat like Chambar, La Bodega or Le Gavroche. All good places.

    I've always noticed that decent places that are not at top of the price point scale churn out a living on the West Side. Lots of customers don't want to have to go downtown for dinner. The same applies to why la Regalade in West Van is so busy pretty much any night of the week. It's nice to get a good meal without having to leave your "hood".

    There are of course the "jinxed" locations. Why is it that Rare's previous tenants have not fared well, yet Il Giardino (across the street) and Kettle of Fish (on the corner) have been around for years? Century's area may be bustling during the day, but at night the area is dead.

    I bet Jamie Maw can offer some great history on this subject.

  4. I'm always interested in trying some new mexican food. So because of some good feedback here, I went to Chilo's tonight. Had one of each taco (chicken / pork / beef). I liked the beef the most. They were good, not great. Nothing wrong with them, just no wow. The home made green and red sauces were very good. There was no menu, just the woman telling you what was available. I think that was kind of cool.

    I have to admit I was a bit nervous regarding cleanliness. The paper napkins stored on the floor, spilling out of their pack were my first clue. I think it's those little things that make you go "should I really eat this food"? Oh, I should mention the quesadilla had processed orange cheese in it. That was the clincher for me.

    Overall impression, would not return.

  5. I've noticed that my morning coffee at my local haunt is a few pennies less. Yet i still pay the sam rounded figure of $4. I know it's only a few pennies, but it is likely this happens with other customers too, especially a coffee joint where high volume is in play. I wonder if some people will benefit via tips from this drop in GST.

  6. I'm wondering where I can purchase packaging for cookies/cakes so that stuff I make and give away can look more presentable.  Maybe something like the plastic bags Thomas Haas' Sparkle Cookies come in, or even just those plain clamshell containers they use in supermarket bakeries. 

    Try the yellow pages under packaging. Also, next time there is a food show at BC Place or the Trade & Convention center, you can go and visually see exactly what you like.

  7. The place on east hastings near Nanaimo on the south side (across from the purple tiled building) is very good. packed at lunch.

    you can get a $2.50 sub on Hastings about a 1/2 block east of main on the south side. not bad... considering it is dirt cheap.

  8. I don't see any reason why independent restaurants can't collaborate and bundle purchasing power in order to save costs, especially on staple items.

    There is/was such a group in existance called "Group X" or something like that. Their function was as you described, to simply take advantage of purchasing power on basic food items, french fries, beverages, etc. The group had to purchase from a popular "one stop shop" supplier, and they had to purchase designated items to take advantage of the pricing.

    Some large restaurant chains have tremendous purchasing power and influence. Menu prices could be lower if they wanted to lower them, but they don't choose to do that. It takes alot of hard work to build a big company, they should be allowed to reap the profits of of the risk of growth and a saavy purchasing department. That being said, it appears that some of you feel their QPR (quality/price/ratio) is not as high as it should be, and that you feel smaller indepedent restaurants are offering better food at better prices.

    Jamie, didn't you do an article some years ago titled "the lamb index" where you rated rack of lamb in various vancouver restaurants? The quality, style and price were all listed. Perhaps a new index that rates some common dishes relative to CFD might make for good reading.

    CFD restaurants are what they are. They ofter familiar food, beverages, service and environment. Have you've ever been travelling in an unfamiliar foreign land, and grown tired of the local grub? You can only wish there was an Earl's (complete with Margaritas and quesadillas) or a Keg (the prime rib dinner with salad and baked potato is still a great deal) or even a whitespot (who I feel has the best chain fries handsdown).

    One last thing, I don't think the Casual Fine Dining is an appropriate description. As we've all eaten in true fine dining establishments, it is fair to say that there is no comparison in food or service. There is nothing "fine" about it. Perhaps we should lower our expectations and stop with the unfair comparisons to higher quality restaurants. Call it "Casual Dining" and leave it at that. I bet we'd all be alot less dissapointed.

  9. For longevity, the target market must be all people. You don't want customers to feel like they don't belong in your restaurant. There have been many restaurants "of the moment" in Vancouver where you would expect to see the in crowd on Thursday nights. The dilema with this demographic is that without fail, these customers always move on to the next hot spot, leaving you trying to fill empty seats with new customers.

    A restaurant owner once happily said to me..."I don't recognize anyone here tonight, but the place is full. If all you ever see in your place is that same crowd around town, you are doomed".

    That being said, I am a strong beleiver in the theory of "restaurant Displacement", which states: If one new and groovy restaurant opens up, something else will close. This theory is better supported by larger and higher priced restaurants, as there are only so many customers with deep pockets to go around.

  10. Donuts are not overated, they are great! I find the best donuts are to be found at Duffins Donut's @ 4898 Main St. Sometimes in the evening I get there and the glazed white donut holes have just cooled down. They are still so tender that they melt on your tongue like a greasy communion wafer. They also make good torta subs there.

    Duffins's cheap date dinner for two:

    Appetizer: one dozen donut holes

    Main course: two torta subs each

    Dessert: one apple fritter each

    Tim Hortons all have the same flavor profile in each of them, no matter what type. I've heard they are cooked back east and shipped out here now. Lee's are good, but overpriced. I've only had Honey Donuts once, but they were good.

  11. Stinky - where do you like to go? 

    I like topanga overall. I like the appetizers at las margaritas (mini chimis rock), but the entree's not as much. Torta subs at the place on Hastings across from the Sears tower are great. So are their little soft pork tacos. I've tried some other places, but I do not prefer them enough to return.

    There is a decent place in Seattle upstairs on broadway, and another in West Seattle that has picnic tables inside.

    I wish there was more to like, i just can't find anything else that "floats my boat". That is why i feel there is a void in the market for Mexican and/or Tex/Mex style food. Haven't you noticed that anywhere that is half decent is always very busy?

  12. Went to La Casita tonight. It was pretty busy and understaffed (one front of house, one cook, one d/w). waited over an hour for first plate of food. Food was just ok. Overall experience, only ok.

    Even though she was in the weeds, the lone young blonde server was to be commended. She handled the door, phone, bar, food running, order taking, and i even saw here helping in the kitchen. She never broke a sweat, and kept her cool. Surely she can do better than place. Someone offer her a better job. She was too good for that place.

    Still lots of better places in town for mexican food.

    Why doesn't someone open a big kickass Mexican place in town. I've always felt that that a certain spot opposite kits beach on Corwall would be very successful as a Mexican sort of Cantina style Brewpub...built new from the ground up......underground parking, etc. It would be a license to print money. I can't imagine people not wanting cold beer and mexican food after spending the afternoon on kits beach.

  13. Any press such as this about Vancouver, is just that: press about Vancouver. It offers a spotlight on our wonderful city that is seen by other parts of Canada and the USA. People read those magazines, and if and when they do travel here, they remember "that issue with the article on Vancouver", or they reccomend it to a friend that did not read the magazine article. I suspect many food related Vancouver businesses will somehow benefit either directly or in a spin-off form, meaning that a visitor to vancouver will not just visit the places in the article, but search out places (not on the list) based on their own tastes.

    All of the places mentioned on the list are perfectly lovely, and i'm sure would not dissapoint any traveler. Some places get mentioned over and over again in similiar articles, but they continue to do a good job.

    ...hows that for a "go team" rah rah rah

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