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carswell

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Everything posted by carswell

  1. Quel clout! Looks like Café Union has knocked $545 off the price of the Eliane since this thread was started. Formerly $1,795, it's now $1,250. Coincidence? That works out to $1,440 including GST/QST, so you're still paying a hefty premium ($350-$400) to buy it from a local merchant instead of 1st Line. That said, you've got to give them credit for recognizing the absurdity of the earlier price.
  2. It's also worth noting that today's SAQ e-newsletter says this is "the last sale of the year," i.e. there'll be no Boxing Day sale with its 25% discount.
  3. In the abovementioned thread, LesleyC wrote: Can anyone elucidate? What are the rules that prevent producers from making Roquefort-style cheeses and raw milk butter?
  4. It would be great if we could invite some English-speaking Quebec cheese authorities to join in this discussion. Anyone know of a cheese monger, cheese maker or researcher/writer that might be up to the task?
  5. Montreal cheese stores with a good selection of Quebec cheeses. Not an exhaustive listing, so feel free to add deserving mongers on and off the island. Many green grocers, butchers and grocery stores also carry Quebec cheeses, though few treat them as lovingly as the following establishments, all of which are generous about offering tastes and advice. Fromagerie Hamel 220 Jean-Talon East (centre of the north row of stores at Jean Talon Market) 514 272-1161 217 Mont-Royal East (near de Lormier) 514 521-3333 www.fromageriehamel.com Gourmet Laurier 1042 Laurier West 514 274-5601 La fromagerie du Marché Atwater 134 Atwater (first floor of the Atwater Market) 514 932-4853 Le marché des saveurs du Québec* 280 Place du Marché du Nord (east end of south row of stores at Jean Talon Market) 514 271-3811 Maître-affineur Maître Corbeau 1375 Laurier East (shares premises with Le Fromentier bakery and Queue du cochon charcuterie) 514 526-3293 11690 de Salaberry (near des Sources) 514 421-9944 Qui lait cru ? 7070 Henri-Julien (south wing of the new extension at Jean Talon Market) 514 272-0300 Yannick Fromagerie d'exception* 1218 Bernard West (near Bloomfield) 514 279-9376 *Personal favourites
  6. As I believe you've been told before (maybe in the heated deleted Uighur subthread), confit is not a traditional Quebec food. Back in the '70s, it was rarely seen on menus and even more rarely in shops. And when you did see it in shops, it was usually in a can and imported from France. If local, it was made from inferior (for the purpose) pekin ducks, as foie gras production and hence moulard ducks were non-existent. Same thing goes for salt and dried fish; there may have been instances of these in the regions but use wasn't widespread and they were rarely found in non-ethnic stores. Hams have been around for a while, of course, but it's only recently that I've become aware of a local ham culture, and that's due mainly to restos like APDC, not charcuteries and boucheries, let alone supermarkets. While I applaud your enthusiasm for local products and even share it for some, I'm mystified by your fuzzy, rosy view that appears to embrace Western European and specifically French French ethnic products like confit and salt cod as Quebec traditions while rejecting other ethnicities; at one point or another you have knocked local Asian restos as a category and argued for banning ethnic cookbooks from Jean Talon Market and you never mention, say, Asian vegetables when extolling the virtues of locally grown produce. (By the way, are Ontario peaches really local? If so, are Finger Lakes wines? The superb Pennsylvania peaches I sometimes find in Vermont and upstate NY?) I know for a fact it's not because you have something against Asian cuisines. What gives? That's a bit more reasonable than your upthread line to the effect that the goal of this board is to promote local foods. Still, where do we draw the line between coverage of local food and boosterism? (I'm strongly in favour of the former, really allergic to the latter.) Another way to phrase that question might be this: In your Quebec wine thread, would there be room for comments like "All Quebec red wines are dreck"? In a phrase, you've enunciated the biggest problem with Chowhound's Montreal board: it's mainly for the benefit of visitors. The strength of eG's MQ&EC forum is that it's mainly for and by locals, and a pretty informed and enthusiastic bunch of locals at that. Visitors benefit from the collective knowledge displayed here, of course, and are usually welcomed and assisted, but they're hardly the focus, and that's a good thing. Here's another bit from the reply I never got around to posting: "While I appreciate your point about topics dropping below the fold, I'm left with a big question: Why should we give pride of place to a discussion that can't sustain itself without life support? If the topic has legs, it will stay at or near the top of the listing. Look at the Best Coffee, SAQ, Dispatches and Havre aux Glaces threads, which have consistently floated high since they were started. Some of them have over 10,000 views. They aren't getting drowned out by white noise. "You propose we give sticky topics a try. Here's a counter proposal: start threads devoted to Quebec-made alcoholic beverages, Quebec-grown produce and meat/fish/shellfish, Quebec cheeses, and eateries/markets that feature Quebec products. (Believe it or not, I agree they're threads we should have and I'll do what I can to support them.) The number of posts and views they receive will soon give a clear indication of how much news there is to report, how much work people are willing to do to report it and how much interest there is in reading about and discussing it." Just do it.
  7. Not for me. There are only 6 pinned threads on the New York forum. Do you have your browser set to show only 5 topics per page? Then go into "Options" - "Board Settings" - "Number of topics to show for each forum page" and toggle the number 100, or whatever number of topics you'd like to show on a page (I have 100 set). ← You misunderstand. I didn't say the pinned topics pushed the forum (aka floating aka active) topic listing off the page but off my screen. When I visit the Montreal board these days, I can instantly see whether any new posts have been made since my last visit because the top two forum topics are visible without scrolling. On the New York board, I can't because the pinned topics have pushed the forum topics off screen. Adding two more pinned threads to the Montreal board would mean I couldn't here either. Provided one hasn't set it to five (the default, which I use, looks to be 25 or 26), the number of topics shown per forum page is irrelevant.
  8. carswell

    Champagne

    Just checked. Filled 3/4–4/5 full, my flutes, which are standard size and shape, hold between 4 and 5 oz.
  9. The Dépôt concept has just been updated. From a November 10 news release available at www.saq.com: I've not been in a while but it sounds like you'll find the standard Classique range of Champagne there and if you're willing to buy it in half-case increments, you could save a few bucks. On the other hand, if you plan to buy fewer than 12 bottles, why not wait until next weekend's discount (10% off purchase of $100 and over) and buy it at your regular outlet? Also, you could always call the closest Dépôt (contact information here) and ask what they're stocking and if they have any bubblies on close-out special.
  10. Googling shows that many French sachets are 11 g, though the first site listed says they're 11 to 16 g. http://www.supertoinette.com/fiches_recett...re_chimique.htm (photo shows an 11-g packet) http://www.novascoop.com/breve.php3?id_breve=14 http://www.intermarche-seyssins.com/indexProduit.php?id=2774 http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:cXEBzp...2211+g%22&hl=en
  11. Don't know if the sachets are a different size in France, but Oetker's are 5 teaspoons (20 g).
  12. Yes. The kind of user interface changes you're talking about would have a far bigger impact on my day-to-day experience of this site than the proposed quick access to topics you (not me) consider of paramount importance. Sorry, but however nice-sounding, your second paragraph has a tenuous connection with reality. At least some pinned threads will never see any action because they're locked. And, barring some major policy shift that would affect every regional forum on the site, I doubt very much the powers that be are going to unlock or unpin them. Same here. I'm off to a film.
  13. "Best of" pinned threads are done on other fora. See the New York forum, for example, where an index of "best of" threads is pinned but the threads themselves are allowed to float. While you're viewing that forum, also note how the pinned threads push the active thread listing off screen for anyone who uses a 15, 17 or probably 19-inch monitor. If a long list of static threads is going to be pinned at the top of our page (and I really hope it isn't), then the interface should also be modified to provide a toggle that allows users to collapse/restore the pinned thread lisiting. Such toggles are already provided on the eG Forums home page, so it wouldn't be a stretch from a programming standpoint.
  14. While it's just another data point, pointed it is: Disaster at La Montée de Lait
  15. I've had some great meals at Alep and Le Petit Alep in the last year. Aux Lilas (5570 du Parc, 514 271-1453) has a homespun charm. Daou (519 Faillon, 514 276-8310) is variable but can be very good. The warm and comforting Rumi (5198 Hutchison, 514 490-1999) is Sufi but has some Lebanese and Syrian-influenced dishes. A knowledgeable correspondent has strongly recommended Al Mostafa, on the south side of Jean-Talon, between Casgrain and St-Laurent, as one of the best shawarma joints, but I have yet to drop by. Part of our claim to fame rests on the quality of the city's Lebanese pastries. Pâtisserie Mahrouse (1010 de Liège West near L'Acadie, 514 279-1629) is said to be the best and I see no reason to disagree. Run by the brother of Mahrouse's owner, Pâtisserie Dorée on Dudemaine is also worth a visit. Besides Chez Benny, someone here (the ever-reliable dutchrusk?) recommended Jerusalem in the Cavendish Mall as offering the genuine article.
  16. Am willing to bet he's referring to Chez Benny, a few doors east of the Snowdon metro. It's the real thing and worth a detour.
  17. I'm astounded by Sensorial's claim and put off by his condescending tone. I can think of only one ethnic cuisine that isn't done better elsewhere in North America: Lebanese/Syrian. Chinese, Indian? Montreal doesn't have a single outstanding restaurant. Toronto, Vancouver, New York and San Francisco have many and at all price levels. Vietnamese? There is no Porte inclinée. Thai? We've got nothing approaching a Lotus of Siam. Central European? Spanish? Indonesian? Japanese? Korean? Ethiopian? German? North African? A few restos rise above mediorcre. South American? Central American? Don't make me laugh. Do we even have a Scandinavian restaurant? an Austrian restaurant? And, yes, I really live in this city. I'll concede him Uighur. Provided we limit ourselves to Canada, that is. As far as I know, we're Uighur central. OK. We're pretty good on high-end Italian. Too bad it's so bloody expensive. And maybe you could make a case for Portuguese and Greek, though if you did, I couldn't refute it because I have little experience of those cuisines in restos outside this city. But, really. Which is not to say the situation isn't improving. Places like Au Cyclo give cause for hope. Still. In an as-yet unposted reply to sf&m in his sticky thread subthread, I wrote "For me, if something has to be pinned, I'd just as soon it be threads on local ethnic restaurants and markets, the link in the city's gastronomic chain that most needs strengthening." I stand by that statement.
  18. Thanks for the insight, Paul. I'd wondered about the distributors' role in all this. Sad to say it's looking more and more likely I'll be buying my machine in the US.
  19. More MALIcious comments here: Consumer protection laws or ranting on "espressomali.com" - Facts and Myths.
  20. Oh, please. Parker has no hesitation about savaging high-profile persons who dare to criticize or publicly disagree with him. See his comments re Ms. Robinson and several other critics during the 2000 Pavie shit-slinging for a recent example. See his board for the company he keeps: legions of True Believers who attribute the most fantastic motives (professional jealosy, resentment over lack of validation, rage at seeing their racket exposed, an ingrained hatred of success, etc.) to those who haven't drunk the RP kool-aid and then put words in their mouths, misrepresent their positions, twist their logic and malign their characters even as they construct and take down straw men and refuse to acknowledge points any honorable debater would concede. (There are exceptions, of course, though their numbers appear to be diminishing.) While I haven't followed the present brouhaha and won't because I find so much Australian wine to be incapable of providing pleasure, I admire Robinson and Halliday for their overall stand against the Night of the Living Parkerites. And, yes, I'm being a little over-the-top to goad our very own Parker apologist. How does depriving consumers of information make someone a gentleman? Parker claims he tastes thousands of wines he doesn't report on because they're sub 80-pointers. But how do you, the consumer, know whether a wine isn't listed because RP thinks it's plonk or because he didn't taste it? You don't. Phaneuf simply lists his two and one-star wines without notes. Why doesn't Parker do the same, if not in his print publications then on his website? It couldn't be because he's afraid of getting into hot water with producers and distributors, could it? A former local wine columnist of my acquaintance, a man of great integrity, says one of the main reasons he gave up his column was due to the reaction to his negative reviews — reaction from the "don't ruffle advertisers' feathers" editors, of course, but mainly from the producers, their representatives and the SAQ. The path of least resistance would have been only to review wines he could recommend but, viewing himself as a consumer advocate, he considered that a disservice to his readers, who couldn't always find the recommended wines and might choose instead to buy a wine he knew to be dreck. After several years of swimming against the current and suffering abuse for his honest opinions, he quit instead of compromising his principles. Now, that's a gentleman.
  21. Not exactly a new flavour but... Though their current supply is dwindling, the SAQ stocks a selection of Alvelar's Sherry-like wines from Montilla-Moriles. They range from bone dry to tooth-achingly sweet and are impressive across the board, especially the dry Amontillado Carlos VII (a perfect aperitif with toasted almonds and anchovy-stuffed green olives) and the sweet but fresh Solera Cream. Last week I bought a bottle of the only one I hadn't tried, the most expensive ($25/375 ml) of the lot, the Pedro Ximenez. Woah! At least as dense and sweet as maple syrup, though with a far more complex flavour, this was a bit like drinking liquified raisins and, as such, was hard for me to appreciate (I've since learned to take only tiny sips). Worried that I'd never make it through the bottle, I started looking for other uses and recalled a few wine geeks swearing by PX as a topping for vanilla ice cream. That always struck me as a faddish conceit (a bit like the suggested pairing of corn chips or popcorn with vintage Champagne). Well, it doesn't anymore. Drizzled on Havre aux Glaces's killer vanilla, it made a sublime dessert. Serve it in a cocktail glass with an almond tuile or other crisp cookie and you'll have a final course suitable for even fancy dinners and discriminating palates.
  22. Don't recall seeing this on earlier perusals of this thread. Home Barista's comparative review of the Mazzer Mini doser, Mazzer Mini E, Cimbali Junior and Macap M4 is very useful in sorting out the pros and cons of the four grinders. Too bad the premium on the Mini E is so high.
  23. It all depends. My kitchen is cool in the winter and drafty in the summer, so leaving the roast on the counter often results in its cooling a bit quicker than is ideal. My solution is to leave the roast on the counter for a few minutes while the oven, with its door ajar, cools off, then to place the roast back in the oven. A big advantage of this approach is that it frees up counter space, which I don't have a lot of.
  24. It's a J'ai lu paperback. Widely available and about the same price as a bottle of Borsao.
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