Jump to content

cafe queen

participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by cafe queen

  1. If you check the fine print on the f&w website, you will see that Rhonda May (City Food Magazine) is listed as the Vancouver contributor for this article. I think it would be safe to say she "chose" the spots and submitted them to the magazine. In other words, I don't think they sent out a hoard of testers to eat their way through the city and discuss at length which resto's should be on the list. Somewhat arbitrary, no?

  2. I know on good authority that there was quite a scuffle with the landlord (a notorious slum landlord) and he insisted that the "for rent" sign be posted in what could be considered a form of blackmail. Rest assured, however, that the matter has been settled legally and they will be staying there for another 3 years. The owners of Coco et Olive basically rebuilt the inside of the space as is it was in such disrepair. It would be unfortunate to see it disappear after so much hard work and sad for the neighborhood who would loose one of its most popular spots to yet another greedy landlord. Power to the little micro business people who keep this city less mainstream and put their souls into making somewhere special for people to hang out and eat simple good food.

  3. Indeed, get the best lawyer you can afford when dealing with a commercial lease. $500-1500 bucks worth of information could be your best investment and can save alot of grief later on. It is certain that all of the parties that have been "evicted" have been either renting month to month or their leases had expired. Vancouver's retail market is changing fast and furious and definitely not for the better (particularly for the little micro business owner.) There is a nasty trend developing where landlords don't renew leases, jack up the rent on a month to month basis and then eventually kick out the tenants to take over the shop and run a similar type of business, picking up the good established business the poor previous tenant built up over several years. AND, don't forget to insist on an option to renew clause - a lifesaver.

  4. Went to La Buca last night for the first time, admittedly with high expectations. What the heck is all the hype about? Dinner was ok, not worth getting into details over except to say that the food although filling, didn't score any major points and the prices seemed steep for "a hole in the wall". Dinner for four was 300 bucks : 3 apps 4 mains 3 desserts and 2 bottles of $40 wine (screwtop). They seemed to be having extreme issues with ventilation; the kitchen was fairly filled with thick smoke for most of the evening (I believe from grilling veal chops; quite fatty ones obviously), the smoke slowly worked its way out into the main room.

    The service was efficient, although we did have a good 1/2 hour wait for our dinner after we finished our apps. The chronic topping up of our wine glasses (every 8-10 minutes) got on my nerves and consequently forced us to over consume on the wine. Weird addendum, the room was not full for a good portion of the night, but when people popped in for an impromptu dinner they were turned away..... (our server told us the restaurant was turning over its tables at 9.30 for the third go round of reservations - that clearly never happened). Other quibbles include not quoting prices of specials of the evening, I found my coat in a heap on the floor on the way out (no coat service), having to trapse through the (smokefilled) kitchen to get to washroom (weird). If you are going to charge downtown prices uptown, put in the extra effort. I'd go back to Crave, Chambar, Vijs et al and not bat an eye at dropping $300. I just don't feel that the owners of La Buca have gone the extra mile to make me want to recommend or rush back.

  5. Excuse me for jumping in here, but let's face it, the markets in England, France, Italy, (not to mention Asia) are quite a different animal. However, to Vancouverites GI is the real thing.

    To put things into perspective, imagine a farmer's market not unlike our own beloved Trout

    Lake about 4 city blocks long with no negative space between the stalls. One can buy fresh foraged porcini and 20 other kinds of wild mushrooms, organic heirloom anything, goats cheeses so fresh they have not yet set, 100's of artisinal breads and tarts, booze, gutted whole rabbits (with fur + ears), whole deer or wild boar, just about any kind of fish/shellfish known to man, seasonal fruits and produce in astonishing quantities, easily 50 to 60 different kinds of olives. Oh yeah, honeys from the apiary, oils from the regions, butter in varying degrees of saltiness cut off a 40 pound slab, vats of creme fraiche and hundreds of people shopping like maniacs. Oh, I forgot the linens, kitchen utensils, under-wear and clothing. And this is just the standard issue. It gets better in the different regions. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Granville Island and rely on it as a main supplier but The Borough Market (england) or almost any of the rotating street markets and actual market streets of France it is not. If you have not seen one, I highly recommend for a true culinary epiphany.

  6. I could not read through this entire thread beacause A. it was getting pretty tedious, and more importantly B. it was quite ridiculous reading the perspectives of non-french individuals over-analyzing a very successful and time honored french tradition. The french know exactly who the "artisans" are and if they so choose, they make their purchases from such vendors. These are not savvy french, but the same sort of french as you and I would be if we were lucky enough to live there. The french support the "markets" because it is part of their culture - a god given right at that. They know that they could run into Auchan or Carrefour and get many of the same products (maybe even cheaper) but they love to shop in the organic environment that markets provide. In general they could care less who grew that head of "salade" as long as the price is right and there is an opportunity to haggle - bargaining at the market is french blood sport. The french are a quirky lot and they love to play mind games, hood wink and trick each other. They are also slick and very frugal shoppers. So don't be fooled by a fooler. How typical of a french person to write such a book - they also love to be important (self-important) with big opionions. I have not and will probably not read this book (or Why french women don't get fat); and don't feel like I really need to in order to contribute here. Having lived there for several years and being married to a french man for more than that I do have some serious background and reliable observations. Don't forget to read between the lines when travelling in France.

    I'll end on a true story starring my financially comfortable yet extremely frugal French father-in-law (who shops 2 x week at the market).

    Every time Mr. F heads off the Banque to meet with the manager he makes sure he wears his worst clothes. These include a tattered jacket, pants with patches and my favorite: the shoes with the soles that flap open with each step. I kid you not. He told me that this is to fool the bank employees into thinking he is poor and therefore not draw any unwanted attention to himself.

    I thought it was pretty odd at first, but can understand his humour, even more so now watching all the backing and forthing over a real or pretend artisanal carrot.

  7. hello egullet. I spend quite a bit of time reading all of the posts - absorbing all of the commentaries and getting a really good anthropological perspective on culinary critique. Every now and then I am compelled to jump in - particularly when I have been waiting for some pros and cons to appear on a particular subject. Diner is one of those subjects that has particularly fascinated me. I (we) husband and well educated teenage gastro-kids have eaten at Diner on 4 or 5 different evenings. The first two were fantastic, keeping in mind that the service was a little slow (but this is Vancouver and we wait for 45 minutes at Toshis or Vijs before we are even seated and don't complain). The following 3 visits the service had certainly improved but the food, to be truthful, was headed in a rapid downhill spiral. The last fateful evening our food was inedible to the point where we sent it back, ordered something else and it went from bad to worse. We left without eating our dinners or even ordering dessert (now that's BAD cause its the best part of the meal). I hate to discredit or slam an establishment that is working so hard to be "good". It simply reminds me that in order to succeed in such a difficult industry you can never let your guard down, assume anything, you have to give at least 150% every day because there is very very little room for error. I think Heather may need to revisit that concept and keep striving for the perfection that I believe she is capable of.

  8. Mutton Pittu Kotthu? Curried Bitter Cot? What are Milk Hoppers? Fried Chili, Paysam and Rasam? What is this Lamp Rice, which must be ordered in advance?

    sounds like a whole bunch of grammatical errors to me.... esl in the culinary world : buyer beware.

  • Create New...