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Everything posted by Endy'

  1. so I looked up Cocchi on the Legacy website and no luck, so I didn't make the trip out. I did also look in the BC Liquor Store, the Coal Harbour Liquor Store, and that wine merchant on Granville Island. I also asked a bartender about it while I was there, and he said if Legacy doesn't have it, it'd require a trip south of the border. I'll probably try to order some to Buffalo NY. for beer, I found a reasonably interesting selection -- mostly hitting west coast stuff -- at the BC Liquor on Bute near Robson, so that kept me relatively occupied. I brought back a few bottles of Estrella Damm Inedit ("the El Bulli beer"). thanks again for the tips!
  2. thanks for the reply! I will check out the store in the olympic village if I get out of downtown. As for the Granville Island brewery, I have been in the past for samples, and also the LCBO (Ontario's alcohol-selling monopoly) carry some of their products, so I will probably take a pass this time around. But I appreciate the recommendation.
  3. so I'll be in town briefly -- not sure how much time I'll have for dining -- but staying downtown. Can anyone recommend any good beer stores? I'm coming in from Ontario, where the selection is strictly limited by the government, so I'd be interested in sampling the more eclectic. Off the top of my head, I'd love to find anything by Struise, any of the out-of-the-way Unibroue, Charlevoix (Sainte-Reserve), or St. Ambroise offerings, or interesting Trappist products. I'd also love recommendations on local producers that are putting out interesting offerings of specific styles. Those are all just examples though -- anywhere that carries a good range of non-generic options would be perfect. I'm staying near the west end of Robson but anywhere in the downtown area would be good. on the liquor front, I'm not sure what the laws are, but I'm looking for an aperitif called Cocchi Americano. It's not listed on the BC Liquor store site. If anyone knows a downtown store that carries this, I'd like to pick up a few bottles. thanks in advance for all help, and yes, I will plan to visit the sake producer on Granville Island
  4. I didn't actually find the article's wording suspicious. I can believe that Toronto Life wants to move in a lighter direction for their food coverage and if that's the case, Chatto's style certainly doesn't fit. Which is too bad, because I really enjoyed his writing; it was dense (that is, substantial) and it anchored the food section -- but I can understand if Toronto Life thought of it as maybe an anchor in another sense. I'm interested to see what the magazine looks like after the change. jenc -- I remember Chris Nuttall-Smith saying once that dining costs made up the single largest line item in their budget. Not that that implies that their restaurant coverage is their biggest source of INCOME, but it must be up there, right? I do kind of feel like they're the best source of info about the Toronto food scene. I don't mean the Top-10 lists or whatever -- I don't care about stars or rankings -- but I found it easiest to get a sense of what was going on by flipping through the magazine each month, rather than from other sources.
  5. I think that point is only relevant to people who know Thomas Keller in an "off-duty" capacity -- which is to say, of course I think his personal friends call him Thomas. I read the OP as referring to people who don't actually know him at all, and are just referring to him in his capacity as a head of restaurant kitchens. In that context I think he's still "Chef".
  6. I don't understand the point about "you're not in the industry/you don't work for Chef X, why call him/her Chef?". Most of us haven't been cops, but you still address them as Constable or Officer, don't you? I do agree with points about the _abuse_ of the term "Chef" (using it to refer to cooks of any kind) -- but this is a general peeve of mine. I didn't like it either when lecturers without PhDs suddenly became Dr. or Professor for no reason. I think it's actually rather pretentious to refer to Chef Keller as "Thomas", or at least, it would be for me. I don't know the guy, we're not drinking buddies, we've never been introduced, what am I doing calling him by his first name? Obviously for those in his kitchen(s), they should address him the way he prefers.
  7. I've taken the approach of buying a round for the kitchen and it's worked out well. It's usually met with surprise and always gratitude, and sometimes even the thought seems to be enough (I do wish in those cases that I could have just turned it into a cash tip). usually I'll just tell my server that I'd like to buy the cooks a round, they'll usually ask what I'm buying and I'll deflect the question to the recipients...so it's all figured out and on the bill before I pay (or I open a separate cheque if I'm dining with others).
  8. thanks everyone for the help. The rum actually became available in Ontario just before I left for Seattle, so I was able to pick that up at home. I called a few of the stores (and checked the Liquor Board website) and nobody carries the grappa. I was able to locate the Glenmorangie but decided against picking it up. Thanks however for all the help -- I think next time I will just have to have the foresight to order online and have it shipped to the hotel in advance
  9. appreciated! Will check when I get down there. Thanks!
  10. thanks! now for a bit of a change of pace...does anyone know of a store (preferably downtown) that sells shipping containers for wine? The sort of thing I'm thinking about is a cardboard container with styrofoam inserts that will hold X bottles of wine. I'm thinking about bringing home some stuff from the GI sake maker...
  11. I'm coming from Toronto, but will be driving down to Seattle from Vancouver. I won't be coming for a few weeks yet, but thanks for the offer. as of now (I need to confirm/vet this list in the meantime) I'm looking for the Glenmorangie 18, the El Dorado 21-year rum, and Marolo camomile grappa. Only the former was listed on the WA state liquor board's site. The others were all available on various online retailers, so I might look into having them pre-shipped to my hotel, depending on cost.
  12. no worries! Thanks all for the help. Actually, unified liquor retailers might actually be in my favour (oops, favor) in this case since at least I know what to expect and I can find out in advance what I do and don't have a chance of finding.
  13. oops, I should have specified that I'm looking for liquors, not wines -- I don't know if this changes the recommendations? Right now there's a grappa, scotch, and a rum on the list but that may change. Wine proper won't be an issue. Thank you for the list though -- I'll check the web retailer now!
  14. I'm going to be in Seattle for a few days and would like to look for a few bottles that aren't available here. Can anyone recommend a liquor store whose selection you've been happy with? I won't have a ton of time to run around so a single place where I can find everything would be best. I'm staying at the W but will have access to a car. a store with a searchable website would be awesome, but in lieu of that, just having a number I can call and check would be great. I don't think the things I'm looking for are incredibly obscure, but they are unavailable here. any leads would be appreciated. Thanks!
  15. thanks canucklehead; I arrive on a Monday afternoon and leave Saturday morning -- so less than a week of dining and, unfortunately, no weekend days. Makes brunch tough -- not the most thorough trip ever thanks for corroborating Alvin's Garden and l'Atro Buca. I'm going to avoid Cantonese on this trip though. And thanks for adding a morning option -- my list is so far dinner-heavy. Salt sounds good, but I can't tell from the website how I should approach it. Lunch destination? Afternoon-grazing-with-wine? After-dinner munchies?
  16. nondual1 -- thanks for the update about O617. Too bad. Twisted Fork unfortunately only does weekend brunches and I won't be there over a weekend. I'll add Campagnolo to my list on the strength of Fuel (and, you said the magic word grappa). I'd also received a rec for (the original, I guess) La Buca in previous years so I will read up on those restaurants. Will consider the Pear Tree depending on my desired mix of casual to more upscale. fmed -- thanks! I think there was a thread in here previously with a group of eGers doing Alvin Garden -- may check that out. gingerpeachy -- do the menus differ for the Japadogs? On the seawall in Stanley Park or over around where all the condos and hotels are (sorry, I'm not really familiar with the terminology for the seawall and that area)? Chef Fowke -- will PM you separately. Thanks for the heads up.
  17. I'll be in Van for about a week at the end of September. Hoping to get some recs for and updates about the Van dining scene. Here's what I have so far: -Fuel -Metro Hop for Korean fried chicken -Granville Island day (Go Fish, Oyama, sake, etc.) -Kingyo -Japadog (are they still out that time of year?) other possibilities: -Ganache -Chocolate Arts -49th Parallel and/or Elysian Room -Richmond Night Market? -Ocean 6 Seventeen for brunch (anyone been recently?) -Blue Water Cafe? -Salt, Greedy Pig, So.Cial? would like recs for: -ramen (I liked Kintaro a lot in 2007, but in 08 it was pretty bad and Motomachi was way better -- what's the scene now?) -interesting regional Chinese -- non-Cantonese, non-Northern, non-Shanghai -anything else currently interesting that I might be missing I'm particularly sad about the loss of Rare -- where I had my best meals of 2007 and 2008 -- really too bad I won't get to go anymore. If I recall, Gastropod changed to something else? Is Pear Tree still around? Any thoughts on that place in the Shangri-La (is it Market or something like that?)? looking forward to hearing suggestions -- thanks in advance!
  18. as far as the dessert goes, I don't know anything about the restaurant but is it possible the desserts were mostly pre-fab? Or were they made a la minute? If the former then I don't see why it's remarkable that they put out the dessert on time without you having ordered earlier. I wouldn't have had a problem with the server's response. I've always felt that restaurants dictate the terms under which their food is eaten -- non-smoking sections, dress codes, even prices, (and the lack thereof). So this sort of thing is more of the same. given that, I don't think either of your proposed responses would be unreasonable either. Maybe you would've been told it's a requirement, in which case you just kind of have to shrug it off (like a non-smoking section). Or maybe it really just is a preference, in which case you can just reiterate your original request. It seems like a bit of a non-issue to me.
  19. wow -- our regular grocery store has self-checkout lanes, where you scan and bag everything yourself (said lanes are common around here in the bigger chain supermarkets). I usually opt for one because there's less of a lineup and checking out is faster (and I don't have to deal with people), but this thread is making me grateful that a side-effect is I get to do my own bagging too.
  20. Is that true even in, say, Vancouver? ← friends from out west seem to be a little less comfortable with French compared to people from Toronto who've taken the same number of years of French in school. But it's not a big gap. That said, unless there's a big specific enclave of Spanish speakers in Vancouver (or Calgary, or whatever) of which I'm unaware, I'd say French is still more useful. It still appears on all the packaging, many signs, etc..
  21. though I find the issue interesting, I won't comment on the larger debate because it seems to already been done to death upthread. However, on the issue of voting -- Holly, yes, your approach is very reasonable. Consider if the diners were polled and unanimously voted to allow the dog and owners in. Then more customers showed up, saw a dog in the restaurant, and turned on their heels and left. (Yes, I understand that the dog being inside would only be for the duration of the worst of the storm.) Management gets no chance to poll these would-be customers. there is the choice to provide extra service to guests, but I don't think it makes sense to do so at the sacrifice of _basic_ service to other guests (those who might not want dogs in the dining room). When comparing the desires of guests -- I think the ones who are hoping to have a rule-sanctioned dog-free meal are more reasonable than those who are hoping to keep themselves and their dog dry. That's not a rules-are-rules comment, nor is it an implication that the dog owners are totally unreasonable.
  22. yes -- to clarify, I should have said that the portions are bigger (for the price) at Lahore, though that's just my recollection, I've never made a point of specifically comparing. Prices are similar. Lahore's ambiance is definitely inferior given that they give you the choices of a) picnic tables, a tent, and disposable tableware or b) indoor hole-in-the-wall. for Mussina -- I don't think you'll go wrong with either, though I think Trimurti wins by default due to accessibility to out-of-towners. and I'll try the Pasanda next time I'm there, thanks for the rec estufarian!
  23. food is for me -- and probably many of us who visit this food organization -- primarily a hobby. I cook because I enjoy it, but I make specific choices so that, at the end of the day, I still enjoy cooking. For example, we go out probably 1/3 of the time because if I cooked every day, especially all the times I didn't feel like it, I would start to hate all cooking, all the time. of course, there are others here for whom food is a profession, not a hobby, but I suspect their goals too are different. I don't dispute that "a little time at the stove would be a good thing", but that comparison is only relevant when that's an actual choice to be made. If higher-priority choices make cooking an impossibility (the example above was multiple jobs just to put food on the table), then it really doesn't matter whether cooking would have been better than not-cooking. I enjoy making pasta on the weekends, but I use dried during the week because I'd rather make time for going to work than fresh pasta .
  24. enthusiastically second the 'Hoof. I posted pictures from our meal at the Black Hoof over at the 'blog. You do need to be somewhat adventurous though, else there isn't going to be much for you to eat. That said, the food is awesome. for Indian, I'm at Trimurti most often, though I find Lahore Tikka House to have both better food and value -- it's just way farther out in the 'burbs. Lai Wah Heen is excellent, but as estufarian said, it's really expensive (I spent $30 on dim sum and that was really a very light grazing). A cheaper alternative that's still downtown is Pearl Harbourfront. Lai Wah Heen is definitely more unique though and I'd still recommend it if you don't mind shelling out.
  25. when I hear "stars" I think of Michelin, since that's about the only time I'd refer to stars myself. If that's clearly not what people are talking about -- EG "4-star", or a location where Michelin doesn't have ratings -- then I'll clue in that they're using another system, and disregard. locally people will use stars as in Toronto Life (magazine)'s ratings. I occasionally hear star ratings from newspapers. Online if it's not Michelin, the NY Times' ratings seem to be thrown around. Never heard about Beard. Zagat I actually don't hear that often, but they use a number, not star, system I think?
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