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    Saint John, New Brunswick
  1. I haven't lived in Regina for a while (moved back to God's Country in 2006), but my parents are still there so I get out every now and again. The only thing I'd add to my recommendations in the thread Anne linked to is to try The Willow in Wascana. Great food, a respectable wine list, and the guys who are running it came from the culinary academy at my alma matter, Holland College. Oh, wait! There's also a sushi joint that opened up on Scarth Street, next to O'Hanlon's and the Copper Kettle, called Mishi Sushi, I believe. Again, shockingly good sushi for being in Regina. I like it even better than Neo Japonica. (Point of disclosure: I used to golf with the owner, so I'm biased ) The Creek's still a great spot - I make sure I hit there every time I'm through town... If you're interested in more details, drop a PM to me. I'll get hold of the folks and see what they're lovin' out there at this moment...
  2. Hey, nice one! What side of the city are you going to be opening on? Any ideas on the style and the menu?
  3. Met my girlfriend's parents for the first time on Saturday night - and to make matters twice as stressful, she and I decided to cook dinner for them. Or we decided that I'd cook for them. Anyway. Thankfully, I had a couple of weeks to get an idea of what to make, and I finally decided on Molly's recipe for grillades. Grabbed a beautiful 2.5lb top round steak from my butcher, took it to her place, and realized that I didn't have any mallets to beat the things down to a 1/4" from the close to 3/4" thickness I bought it at...so I wrapped a wine bottle in a plastic bag and beat the everloving hell out of it as best I could. I could only really compress it to about a 1/2" with my inferior tools (although I did give some thought to wrapping it in a box of saran wrap and running it over with my car). Because of that, it wasn't as tender as I'd have liked, even after increasing the simmering time. Next time I'm gonna get my guys at Dean's to slice the thing in half length-wise for me before I begin. Even so, the dish was *wonderful*. The roux was better than anything I've ever made for gumbo, despite my doubts after only bringing it to a light brown (I usually go for the hershey bar look). Rich, full, just beautiful. I might have to modify my gumbo recipe (well, more than usual, anyway). Nobody except me is a big fan of grits, so I opted for rice instead...nice green salad, good bread, a really nice bottle of Bordeaux. Started off with a nice baked brie with pecans, brown sugar and brandy, and took 'em to a local bistro for dessert and espresso. Her parents now want to know when they can come down for dinner again
  4. One of my clients is right across the street from the CP - next time I'm up for a meeting, I'll have to haul Nessa across the street. If there's chocolate involved, I don't think I'll get much of a fight... The Inn at Bay Fortune gave me the best meal I've had in two years; the five course tasting menu was out of this world. Pearl barley risotto with wild mushrooms, two perfect Malpeque oysters, some sort of sake-poached haddock, beef tenderloin and cappucino pannacotta for dessert...fabulous. Although my favorite part was wandering through the monstrous herb garden with a perfect gin and tonic in my hand before dinner...they know how to make you feel welcome and spoiled all at once there. As for Fran's, I don't know if it's still there or not - haven't been by in about five years, I guess - but my Dad was convinced that it was the one decent chinese spot in the Maritimes. That was probably because it was the only place you could find ginger beef done "Calgary" style - deepfried, then stir-fried in the spicy ginger sauce. I remember their cashew gai ding being exactly like this amazing dive near our old house. Next time I'm through Halifax, I'll find out. As far as Saint John goes, I'm actually quite impressed with what's gone on since I left five years ago. This town was always a culinary wasteland, with the exception of Suwanna (upscale Thai, and very, very good). I've heard good things about Opera but haven't gotten there yet; also heard good things about Lemongrass, but wasn't overly impressed when I went. My go-to around here has been the Saint John Ale House, which does pub food very, very well (another innovation to the culinary map down here). The kettle chips are fantastic, the calamari's very nice, and I'm a big fan of the pulled pork sandwich (needs a healthy kick of Tabasco when it hits the table, but it's damn good) - and they've got St. Ambrose Oatmeal Stout on tap, which I used to have to go to the Lunar Rogue in Fredericton for. My girlfriend put me onto a little convenience store with a lunch counter in the back that does great cheap thai food, too...and the lunches at The Infusion (top of the City Market) are simple and excellent. Last time we were in, my girlfriend had a beautiful squash & ginger soup that made me sorry I ordered the (also quite good) beef stew. They also have a ton of non-caffinated tea, which has been great for me since the doc's got me off the caffeine... And Reggie's still makes the ultimate hungover breakfast. Corned beef hash, a couple eggs, a cup of chili and a good cup of coffee...bliss.
  5. 1. Moskovaya (probably spelt wrong, despite my 1/2 ukrainian blood) 2. Stoli 3. Iceberg 4. Grey Goose 5. Belvedere We're quite limited in the vodkas we can get up here in New Brunswick, so I haven't had a chance to sample a lot of the rarer brands... (and the whisky snarkiness post damn near inspired me to sneak Talisker into the list
  6. In 2007, I will eat at home more often, despite my strange and wonderful shift work routine. I will make all the things that look appealing out of the cookbook from Vij's, because Saint John doesn't have anything like that. I will find some sort of seafood that my girlfriend will enjoy - and maybe even get her to like eating eggs, instead of her eating them out of some sort of strange duty to feel better about bacon consumption. (Or maybe I'll just explain to her to skip the eggs and eat the bacon.) I will learn all the tricks and techniques associated with making a masala. This is the year I will try to cook a real sit-down family-style dinner on Sunday afternoons, even during golf season. I will taste every non-caffiniated tea I can find, in the hopes of finding something to replace my quad americano. Also, it's about time I got into port. I will use more measuring devices when baking. I will give away more food to my friends and associates. I will stop eating before bed, if only to avoid the dreams. We (being my girlfriend and I) will eat more at the table, and less on the couch. My kids, hopefully, will still be a twinkle in my eye for the next few years. Although it's about time I taught my pseudo-neice how to fool around in the kitchen. I will teach some friends how to make gumbo, some other friends how to make my rather infamous stout-based risotto, and myself how to enjoy doing dishes. I will read "On Food and Cooking", 'cause I still haven't gotten to it yet - and the forums here, too...
  7. When I need a smoky note in my gumbo, and I don't have any foodstuff that'll provide it, I promise to never ever use a slug of Lagavulin ever again.
  8. They're still at it in Cape Breton; their moonshine tradition is at least as deep as PEI's. I had friends that'd get it from their parents...and I can still remember the drunk. Sort of. The stuff we had tasted bitter, earthy. I suspect it was made from potatoes, not molasses. Leave it to Islanders to need to throw sugar in there. My mom grew up on a farm in central Manitoba, and her grandmother made shine from wheat or corn. Quite good at it too, apparently. Kept it in the fridge next to a pitcher of green Kool-Aid. She introduced my dad to it one day, and Dad had one glass and promptly fell asleep on her couch
  9. Well, up here, Export "A" comes in a ton of different varieties - extra light's in a grey pack, light's blue, regular is copperish and then the "full flavor" comes in a rather sinister looking dark green pack (hence The Green Death). But I always thought the difference between lighter and heavier cigarettes was in the length of the filter - the tobacco doesn't really change from smoke to smoke within a brand. So I think the loose tobacco would be the same stuff that's in my old babies... That said, a single Green Death (even the filtered ones) sure seems stronger than anything I'd compare it to (John Player Specials, Marlboro Reds, duMaurier Regulars, Player's Special Blend), and pretty much ensured that the kids I go to school with didn't bum too many smokes. Sometimes it's good to be the old man... In quitting news, I made those retardedly easy seethed potatoes from Molly's All About Brasing yesterday - just the ones with a few cloves of garlic and a couple bay leaves and a little chicken stock - and they were so good I almost cried. This is like the eighth or ninth time I've made them, too - either I finally got it right or my buds, they're workin' a little different. And if it's just a placebo effect, I don't care
  10. I'm convinced that's why this hasn't been so bad - I smoked my first cigarette at the age of nineteen or twenty. So I've only really been doing this for eight years, and off and on at that. It's been months since I bought my last pack - can't tell you how many, 'cause I really don't remember. Mid-December, maybe...and aside from the occasional drag at the bar or stress nail, there's been no recoil. I quit for good for a couple reasons - getting diagnosed with primary hypertension at 27 was the biggie, but the add-on was the exercise regime I put myself on this winter...5-6 days/week in the gym, tryin' for another 20 yards out of my driver. You just can't do the kind of cardio you want to do when you're coughing. Simple n' complicated as that. But I have seriously noticed the difference in food taste (and wine tastes and scotch tastes), especially. I notice more - not that I couldn't pick 'em out before, but now there's a depth to it, a real richness. I love it. Now, I did smoke the filterless version of The Green Death (Export A Plain), so I wonder if that would do more damage to your tastebuds than, say, a Marly Light...
  11. Awesome! I'll try to stop by on my way out west in May...my folks live in Regina and I can't pass by there without sneaking up and playing Dakota Dunes, so now it sounds like I've got the whole day planned! Best of luck and keep us informed...
  12. The schedule the rest of my life follows doesn't always allow me to have great eating habits pre-workout; I kinda end up in the gym when I can smash it in. Today, however, is a day off - so I can have two slices of multigrain with crunchy peanut butter about an hour before I go. The workout's pretty typical for a serious (tour-level) golfer - 20-30 minutes of cardio and stretching followed by 1.5 hours of lifting, 3 times a week. Couple extra cardio sessions are usually in there, as well. Post-workout is usually a bowl of Vector (very much like Total down the states) with skim milk and a scoop of protein powder. If I'm just hitting balls, however, I'll probably just grab a coffee and hydrate well throughout. Hopefully I'll time it to match up with a "regular" meal afterwards, either lunch or dinner...
  13. Today: lunch at Cora's is always good, and their egg salad on homemade brown is wonderful, but the single halved strawberry on top of the immense pile of fruit was so good I actually put down everything and just closed my eyes and chewed. We say it about draining a golf course, but it's just as true with food: nature always wins.
  14. Todd the Younger would turn to The Holy Triumverate: scotch, a full pack of Marly Reds, and range balls hit into the setting sun. Now that I'm 28 and have primary hypertension, I have to deal with things like an adult. Being an adult is terrible. So I cook more and use a hint of booze in whatever I'm making just for some of the same flavors. Amazing what a healthy glug of Jim Beam will do in soup, jambalya, gumbo, whatever. Make it, stick it in the fridge to come together a little bit more, and go hit balls or work out or do something, anything physical. Come back and eat and smile. Just a test smile. See if it still works. And then, late at night when nobody's looking...indulge myself in a solitary Marly Red.
  15. Any suggestions for the Comox area? Open late (or at least after dark in the summer) would be good, and reasonably priced would be good, too; it looks like I'll be spending eight to ten months there building a golf course, starting in May. Thanks!
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