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Everything posted by samasutra

  1. I get really tired of this Surrey bias. I grew up in the Dunbar/Point Grey area. In fact, I just sold my moms house I inherited outright last year. I chose to not live there despite inheriting the house free and clear and sold it and banked the money instead. Surrey has really changed and has some lovely neighbourhoods. We are also getting some nice places to eat now. True, it is still behind Vancouver in quantity of restaurants to choose from but in White Rock and South Surrey and Langley and especially Fort Langley we are getting some choices to go out and have a lovely meal. I bought a new home in the Panorama Ridge/Sullivan Ridge area and love my new home. I have a lovely view of mountains and rolling hills. I am close to organic farm outlets and can drive out the wineries. Surrey now has alot to offer. Communities are only as good as the people who live in them. The community in which I live is made up of wonderful people. I love my neighbours. You would be very safe staggering about. Though none of my neighbours usually are staggering about the street after hours...smile...... Good luck on finding a nice restaurant.
  2. I did not see the culinary students kitchen this year...the building where it is usually ..was taken over by home depot. I always go to C-Lovers Fish and Chips. I have a piece of Halibut and it never tastes greasy. Big piece and not lots of batter. It is the only thing that is not suspect for food poisoning. My friend had a corn dog and she spent two days on the toilet. The corn dog stand by the agrodome by the way. I had the lemonade too. There is one stand down from the fish and chip stand that is only 2.50 and the other stands are 3.00. I also found a stand that had a barbecue that was selling peaches and cream corn on the cob and was roasted in the husks. It was great and they had butter. The only bad thing I ate was a whale tale....yummy with cinnamon sugar. samasutra
  3. Not sure where to recommend on the way down but I know where to stay once you get there. The Palace Hotel On New Montgomery Street. It was first built in 1875, burnt down and rebuilt in 1909. It is gorgeous. It is the first time I have ever been able to sleep in a hotel, the rooms are so quiet and the beds so comfortable with down quilts. I wanted to take the beds home. Luxury and beautiful furnishings in real mahogany. If you can afford the brunch in the garden room, worth it to just sit in the domed crystal room..we could not afford it as were on a shoestring budget...we peeked at the brunch...it looked incredible. We had reservations at a boutique hotel a few blocks over but the thing about San Francisco is most of the hotels do not have air conditioning which we did not know before we went there. I have MS and have to have air conditioning if staying during the summer which we were and it was hot! So they let us out of our reservations because they could not provide air conditioning because I had a health condition. We checked several hotels in area and no air conditioning. I was quite surprised that no one provided it. I just assumed fact of life. The Palace has been renovated re plumbing,electrical and has air conditioning. Anyway, the hotel was one of the nicest I have ever stayed in. Not sure how much it is for regular folk. Was with my daughter and got her agents rate. A really fun place to eat downtown in SF is the Cheesecake Factory. We really enjoyed it. Big portions though and the desserts is great. The Chinese Chicken Salad is great. Warning , usually big lineups. On top on Macys Dept Store. Lineups move well though. Good, friendly service. We really liked it and I think it is worth one try. We never had time to do any gourmet dining when we were there nor the budget. This place has moderate prices. Of course, we ate at Fishermans wharf. I can never do SF and not do Fishermans wharf as I am a fish hound. Sure wish I was going on your trip. I have always wanted to drive down. I hear it is a beautiful drive. good luck and do avoid the Motel '6's. Have heard grim stories about break ins. Also, heard stories about Doubletrees and how they use information they encode on your key to your door. There was some security issues. Not sure if urban legend or not but it pays to be safe and maybe avoid them as a hotel. Pretty sure I read in a newspaper or mag about some security issues. Cannot remember. Maybe check it out at snopes.com if urban legend samasutra
  4. Pizza Hut because my room mate insisted...I do think their pizza is very greasy and I always get major heart burn White Spot Nothing remarkable, I always have the red clam chowder because I can never find anywhere that sells Manhattan Clam Chowder. I hate Boston Clam Chowder. I really do not like white anything. It seems only White Spot and the BC Ferries offers red clam chowder. I make better Manhattan clam chowder but it is nice to have someone else prepare it. I can eat soup anytime of year. Had of course a mushroom burger. I think burgers are about the only thing to eat there. I eat there for nostalgia, been going there since I was a little girl and the prices are good when your are not flush. Despite their commercials with Feeny, there is no way, they are gourmet!!!! I did notice the last hamburger I had was major improvement though from one I had about six months ago. More meat so wondering if they are revamping recipe. Old Surrey House A meal to remember....got in on special that they were runnin for month of July and August. 45.00 for each person Prawns ProvencaleA classic appetizer sauteed with onions, garlic and fresh tomatoes. this is always my fave appy at this restaurant, the butter and garlic just stands up to be noticed.....the prawns are so succulent......I always want more...it does prime the appetite Caesar Salad Made at our table, fresh egg,red wine vinegar,oil,fresh garlic,anchovies,cheese,lovely croutons and I may have missed something... very good Chateaubriand Bouquetiere Traditionally French, the Chateaubriand features a 8oz Filet Tenderloin flambeed tableside with Remy Martin Cognac came with red peppers,leeks,asparagus,baby potatoes,stuffed tomato with parmesan,sea asparagus,mushrooms asked for medium rare and it was medium rare....It was delicious and a great cut of beef Cherries JubileeFlambeed in Kirsch & Cherry Brandy and smothered over vanilla ice cream First time I have ever had this, and personally not sure what the fuss is all about this dessert. My room mate thought she had died and gone to heaven.
  5. Trying to find kitchen supplies that I do not have to purchase ONLINE. Tired everytime I need a tool, having to buy it online. Tired having to drive in to Vancouver everytime I need a tool as well Does anyone know a good kitchen supply shop out in Fraser Valley. I need some Rosti Rings and a set of Crumpet molds. I know in a pinch I can make the crumpet molds, I have done that before though I would rather not. I know where I can buy them both online so do not need that info and can buy them in Canadian dollars so that is not an issue. Just would like to walk in a store , buy them and walk in. If worse comes to worse and no one has a Fraser Valley name, preferably Surrey or even White Rock though I know the White Rock Stores, then I will go to Vancouver, sigh...I wish the Gourmet Warehouse had their stock online so you could see if its online before you have to phone and inquire or go into Vancouver. I find Ming Wo inadequate or their stuff kind of junky. There is a couple of kitchen stores in Guildford, their names escape me but their stock is pretty micky mouse and I doubt they would have either of what I want as their stuff is pretty vanilla and decorative. I cannot believe the lack of really good well stocked kitchen stores except if you go online. What about if you do not have a computer or own a restaurant and can buy through a supplier. I do not own a restaurant so I do not have those leads but really hate having to deal online all the time and give out my credit information all the time. I am getting more and more reluctant to do that. Well, I am starting to sound cranky so I should go to bed. Fell down the stairs last week and still black and blue so perhaps that has something to do with it. Must say though I made the most delicious new dish tonight. Major success. I will save that message for another time I am just sorry I did not take a picture because I really did a beautiful job of plating it and the mango salsa I topped it with looked gorgeous. The ahi Tuna was divine.......my room mate said it was a 10 out of 10. So not all was lost today. Would have been nice to have the rosti ring for the rice but I hand shaped it. Well, good night all...or should I say good morning....... samasutra
  6. Can you give me an idea of the prices. I have friends coming in from out of time who will be watching their budget. They are on a cruise and will be here for three days. They are staying at the Pan Pacific so that is where their money is going..smile. They want to go to the Anthrological Museum so this place caught my attention. Could you give me an idea of the prices? Would be greatly appreciated. Samasutra
  7. There is a Canadian web site located in Ontario that sells Tortilla presses for 20.00 that someone I know says work quite well. She got it from this site. http://www.goldaskitchen.com/ The nice thing about this web site supplier of course is that its in Canadian dollars. Even though the dollar is doing well , it still makes a difference I find. I buy on eBay and find that they do not seem to give the favourable rate. Anyway, hope this helps if you cannot find something you can just pick up. Samasutra
  8. Really loved your title....quite clever. I used to take my daughter for report card dinners. I also took her for paycheque dinners. I was a single mom and put myself through school to earn a better living and work 9-5 hours then my previous living as a cook...being a single mom, daycare is too difficult with cooks hours. I became a social worker. Major career change!!! I had always wanted to do that as well. Anyway, my very first pay cheque, I took my little girl to the White Spot...not a gourmet restaurant but my budget and she liked their pirate packs. To this day, she talk about those memories and still likes to go to the White Spot for special events not because of the food but because of the pleasant memories it evokes. So your story did resonate with me. I am really looking forward to hearing the outcome of your story. I have lived in construction about me. I was married to a contractor though he was not doing that at the time but he was renovating our home. The upheaval!! It is very disconcerting. Just one word on side of contractors, they do have a hard time getting reliable trades people...its a real balancing act. My ex is a really hard worker and puts in really long days but try getting all the trades balanced and coming when they are supposed to makes him tear his hair out so I really sympathize with you. I have really wanted two ovens as well so I am major green. Looking forward to this ongoing saga. Samasutra
  9. Did you get sick after eating and drinking all of this.....I just cannot imagine trying to digest it. Wow, I am impressed. What is a Salumeria section?? Samasutra
  10. T & T carries pomegrante juice/syrup. I use it for Middle Eastern dishes. I buy mine at a small deli in Surrey on K.George Hwy. Greco's Specialty Foods 6886 K.George Hwy Surrey, B.C. Phone: 604-590-1644 Surrey's original mediterranean-middle eastern-european gourmet food store hope this helps....its at a great price too
  11. I was writing a message about another topic when I realized when I review a restaurant for someone, it is always important to me how clean a restaurant is. If I go in and it seems the least bit dirty, I exit. I figure if its dirty in front, how dirty is it in the back. I thought this might be an interesting topic. Before I did my career change...many zillion years ago....I was a humble cook. Not of the status of people in here. However, I had standards. My hair was always braided and piinned up and covered so hair could escape into a customers food. I washed my hands constantly. My kitchen was immaculate. I kept my tools always clean and never cross used any utensils. Today, I go into restaurants and I get really turned off by seeing servers with hair hanging all over their shoulders. I worry that one of those hairs is going to end up in my meal. I have found hair in my food...many times. I have seen servers with dirty nails. I guess I am aging myself but I really liked the old days of wearing the black and white outfits, sensible shoes and hair off the neck and tied back when dealing with the public. Also, I have been in restaurants when they run a carpet sweeper or God Forbid a vacumn when you are eating. I have got food poisoning twice. Once from a wedding so you cannot count that time. Once from the BC ferries...smile so I guess you cannot count that as that does not count as cuisine. To this day, I have never eaten a cheese burger in a public establishment as my memories of that case of food poisoning still are in my memory bank. That was about thirty years ago. Long memory. I am pretty careful to not order certain types of dishes from restaurants where I question their credentials so I have been pretty lucky about not getting sick. I think that comes from working once in a kitchen and knowing about all the things that can go wrong. Surrey, now has a list online of restaurants that get reported for health infractions so you can check them out before you go out. I wonder how accurate they are. I have travelled in other countries and eaten in restaurants where I have just closed my eyes and told myself a peck of dirt is good for you. Sometimes you just have no choice. I like to think though at home , you have a choice. I like to think here in Vancouver we should aspire to the best. Would be interested in other people use cleanliness and grooming of servers as criteria when choosing a good restaurant. Of course , it is not the only criteria but to me it is one variable to consider for a good dining experience. Samasutra
  12. Yes, Mahek is a nice restaurant and great service. I would not say the food is remarkable. However, the decor is really nice and the service is good. The butter chicken is good. They have a really good deal with the combination plate that gives you a taste of tandoori chicken and butter chicken. Their vegetable pakora is so, so. Nan is great. I really like the people who manage it. Budget wise of all the restaurants I have mentioned, Mahek is the best deal. We also went to another restaurant last night which was very nice. It looks very small and dinky from outside but really nice inside. It was absolutely spotless. It is beside Future Shop but located on left hand side of strip mall on the North side. On about 75 and Scott Road. I like the butter chicken at Mahek better then here. I loved the vegetable pakora here. The free crispy type bread...cannot remember how to spell just about burns your mouth out so you better like spice. Mind you, I am not good with spice so perhaps that is my perception. We split a dish of butter chicken...11.50 and a side dish of rice about 2.25. Ordered two orders of nan about 1 something each. My friend had a lasse sweet. The meal came to about 25.00 bucks for the two of us. including the appetizer of vegetable pakora. We were both full so I thought that was a pretty good meal. Not sure I like tandoori chicken though in butter chicken though the chunks of chicken were absolutely huge. Really clean....great service....nice decor and good food served in timely manner. We really enjoyed ourselves. It is Tandoori. They have several other restaurants including one in Whistler. There is also another restaurant upstairs on the other side for Indian food but I have never gone there so cannot venture an opinion. Some people eat at the restaurant on 80th and Scott Rd that is just down 1/2 block. I do not recommend it at all. I found it really dirty which to me is real turn off. If its dirty up front, how dirty is the kitchen? I thought the food was so, so. So I would give that one a pass. I guess I am starting to sound like a fanatic about clean restaurants. Before I did my career change, I worked as a cook in a kitchen. I always had very clean kitchen habits and kept a clean kitchen. The one thing today I cannot stand is the standards that have gone down regarding cleanliness. I know only too well, how sick people can get. I actually got food poisoning twice..once at a wedding and once on BC Ferries. I have never eaten a cheese burger to this day. There is also the Green Lettuce down on 65 and Scott Road that everyone raves about...really clean and great service...hot spicy chinese indian food but I did not think it was that great.....I have neighbours from Bombay who go there at least once a week and swear by it and love the beef dishes though the mom is vegetarian though just her kids eat the beef dishes. They love hot food and say its fantastic and authentic. We ordered chinese combination plates and maybe that was our mistake. Samasutra
  13. Hermitage is really quiet.I was there last Valentines evening...a very busy evening and it was very quiet. The place was packed but very quiet and excellent service. Samasutra
  14. I thought British Airways still provided food unlike most of the other carriers. Unllike most of the other carriers, the last time I flew with them..mind you this was a long time ago, they served great food. Scones,coddled cream and real preserves,etc. Again, this was a long time ago. I definitely would not eat anything with garlic as its a long flight. I would not appreciate sitting next to someone who reeks of garlic unless of course I was also reeking of garlic. Grin. Samasutra
  15. The Cloverdale hotel used to make a fantastic cinnamon bun. When I was an auxiliary social worker and got sent to cloverdale to work, we would trek down to the Cloverdale hotel for coffee and have one of their famous cinnamon buns..(.I remember there used to be write ups in the Vancouver Sun about them). Not sure if they are still there. I got made permanent in White Rock and then N.Delta so those days are long gone but damn those were great cinnamon buns. Where is Quince??? I adore pecan anything??? I see that Grounds place if that is the place at W.1oth and Alma...my mom lives up that way so I go in that way frequently. I keep seeing their sign advertising cinnamon buns and have often wondered what they taste like. To be honest, I really should not be eating cinnamon buns. I should be eating celery and carrots... sigh..... Samasutra
  16. I read your very excellent review, Ling. You made my mouth water and now Feenie's is on my list as is their cook book. I had a chance recently to pick up their cook book at Costco but did not get it and then returned a week later and all the cookbooks were sold out. I was a little choked. it is so much more expensive elsewhere. Anyway, You really made me want to try the place. I have heard mixed reviews about Feenies so I have not tried it. I think I will definitely give it a try though. I think restaurants and food are very personal experiences...what some people love, some people dislike. Of course, it depends upon what day you you go the restaurant, servers and chefs are people and have bad days too. I hope I pick a good day to try the place out with all the differing opinions I have heard. Samasutra
  17. Years ago when I was an employment counsellor at employment Canada , employment counsellors liked to encourage their teens to work at McDonalds because their standards were so high. My son in laws brother was working there recently and I do know one employee got fired because he got caught taking a french fry and eating it on the job. So I suppose they still have some standards. However, I agree with you that they are not the same as they once were. I find that alot of restaurants do not have the same standards. Years ago before I went back to school , I work in the food industry as a cook. I always wore my hair up and wore a net. I also waitressed before that and wore my hair up. Today, I see alot of hair hanging down on the collar. It really bothers me. I have found hair in my food and that totally freaks me out. I have seen poor hygiene in five star restaurants. I like the old school, hair up off your neck and the black and white dress code and sensible shoes. I guess my age is showing. Samasutra
  18. I have been to the IN anda Out in Palm Springs. Not a bad hamburger but I did think it was over rated. My best friend is from California and went on and on about the in and out chain. I guess she grew up with them and they are a tradition in her family. Samasutra
  19. samasutra

    French Onion Soup

    Forget where I found this. cut it out of some gourmet magazine but it sure turned out fantastic so just had to share it...I adore French Onion soup so hoping some of our more aspiring cooks will share their recipes and let me know what restaurants offer a great appy re French Onion soup. I have found some restaurants offer a disappointing pedestrian French onion soup. Some I swear make it from a package. Caramelized Red Onion Soup with Brie 2 Tbsp butter 3 medium thinly sliced Red onions...(I used two large) 1 tbsp flour 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard 1/2 C red wine ( I put a cup in) 1 garlic clove 3/1/2 cups beef stock 1/3 tsp dried thyme...I skipped this step salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste 2-1-in inch thick toasted sliced french bread to fit size of bowl 4-8 slices thick Brie cheese Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook 10 min, or until they are caramelized, and sticky. Add garlic and cook few seconds more. Mix flour and mustard, slowly whisk in the wine. Mix in the stock and thyme and gently simmer the soup 20 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Preheat the broiler, setting the overn rack 6 ounces underneath it. Place a toasted slice in each of a large onion soup bowls;ladle in the soup. Top each bowl with 3 to 4 slices of the cheese. Place under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and golden. Serves immediately. I used a 2004 Cabernet Quartet..it really worked out well to my surprise
  20. Anybody see the piece? A. Yes, saw it on the news last night and have decided have to try this burger though a smaller version then what was shown on the news. Who in the hell could ever handle a hamburger that big. Sure looked scrumptious though. Caught last part so was not sure if Burger Etc. was in Burnaby or Maple Ridge? Samasutra
  21. Another reason for me to get to HSG.....I am a lover of a good steak and I want to try this famous gingerbread pudding I keep hearing about. However, I adore yams in any version except when gunked up with marshallows and stuff. Now my mouth is watering just hearing about these yam fries and dip. That will definitely be a starter for me. I have a good excuse to order them as my Dr tells me to eat yams as they are good for your immune system.....grin. I have MS so I am always being nagged about eating stuff to build my immune system so it sounds likes Neils yams is just what the Dr ordered.....cheeky grin OH, Master of the Gingerbread Pudding and Yam Fry Kingdom did you get my missive containing my email address so you could send me Royal document with gingerbread pudding recipe. I realize Master is busy and I am but a mere peasant of your culinary kingdom but I await your words humbly.
  22. Where is Solly's. Sounds wonderful. Would like the address. Samasutra
  23. You have an address Gerald? Congrats on the addition to the empire! A. ← Would be very interested in address for new location for Vera's plus phone number. Will definitely go and also pass on the info to my daughter who will definitely give it a try with her husband...they are always on the make for a new hamburger that is great. They pass that way on the way to Aldergrove on the way home from work so I can see that might be a regular pit stop. samasutra
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