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Everything posted by Spiro

  1. Anyone eaten here lately? Due to me messing up flight bookings (multiple airlines, flying on points, etc.) we're unexpectedly spending a Sunday evening and the next day in Montreal. Which is fine -- used to live there, visit often. For a change of pace, we're staying in Hotel St Paul, and are intrigued by Vauvert. I've read mostly positive reviews (including from LesleyC), but nothing really recent. So, is this a good way to spend our evening in Montreal? Anywhere close by more highly recommended? We're on our way to France, so this meal doesn't need to be spectacular, just good...
  2. No responses for Saint John yet, so I'll throw one in. (BTW, Saint John is in New Brunswick, not Nova Scotia -- other side of the Bay of Fundy.) I haven't been, but Opera Bistro (http://www.operabistro.com/operabistro/) is getting rave reviews.
  3. Just thought I'd share. Naz is a great guy, and Cohen, of course, is a legend. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/sto...-naz-cater.html
  4. The Fredericton Wine & Food Fest is always a great time, despite their lack of a proper website: http://www.diabetes.ca/section_regional/nb.asp#events The one in Moncton is a much bigger deal: http://www.wineexpo.ca/ Others can be found here: http://www.nbliquor.com/festivals.asp Thanks, chromedome, for all you efforts. I really hope the Maritimes have what it takes to step up in this regard.
  5. We had a restaurant locally who were trying to pass themselves off as an upscale Italian restaurant. For many reasons, they failed miserably. One strong indicator was that the waitstaff always referred to appetisers as "appies" ("appys"?). Very... off-putting.
  6. That sounds simple, delicious and Greek to me! If you really want to put on the dog, give it a side of tzatziki! My most requested recipe is my "mona's meaty minestrone" soup. It's been passed halfway across the country! ← Actually, usually make a walnut/yoghurt sauce. Tangy like tzatziki, but a nice change of pace.
  7. My most-asked-for recipe doesn't have a name, or even a recipe, really. I just marinate some boneless, skinless chicken thighs with garlic, lemon zest and juice, fresh thyme sprigs, and olive oil. Then, throw them on the grill. Simple party-pleaser! If I want to get fancy, I use breast meat cut up and skewered. The family has come to call it "Greek chicken", but I'm not sure how accurate that is...
  8. (Sorry, been a while since i've been online...) I've eaten at Brewbakers quite a few times, and think they're great. I consider them on par with the Palate, both of which are just slightly below the Maverick room, IMHO. In the summer, though, it's hard to beat Brewbaker's rooftop patio! They've got a great wine list and interesting menu choices. Their duck and demiglace pizza is a great lunch.
  9. We ate in the Maverick Room two Sundays ago, and will be there again this Thursday. We did have dessert, and everyone was very impressed. Sorry I don't remember the details, but this is after pre-dinner cocktails, a couple of bottles of wine, and port. I'll probably have more of my wits about me this Thursday, so I'll try to take more notice. BTW, I'm so glad that Crowne Plaza are taking the dining experience seriously. I met the chef at More than Martinis, and he had a really optimistic and receptive attitude. You guys are definitely filling a void in Fredericton's scene, IMO.
  10. Very sad. Although I spent more time on The Main when I lived there, my father always insisted on a trip to Ben's when he'd visit. Even as recently as last spring, he swore Ben's was better than Schwartz's. They definitely had a character that won't be reproduced...
  11. I've yet to give Racine's a fair chance. Went there once, but my wife was too sick to stay (nothing related to the restaurant; she just tries to hide the fact that she has the flu sometimes). We've never had occasion to go back. I do hear that their lunch is good (soup, sandwiches, etc.), but haven't heard anything about their desserts.
  12. A few more, just so people realise there's more around here than just Halifax . The Inn at Bay Fortune in PEI, where Michael Smith filmed his first TV series. We were there this past summer, and the food is fabulous. Caribbean Flavas in Fredericton was recently recognised as the best restaurant in New Brunswick. Definitely the best-done fish around, but beware that they don't serve alcohol. The Palate in Fredericton is just plain good food done right. Sandwiches, soup, salad at lunch, and more upscale dishes at dinner. They know their wine, too. I'm Fredericton-biased, so won't go on about the restaurants here. I'll just say that the situation has dramatically improved in the last few years.
  13. After watching a couple more episodes, I find myselft not caring if I ever see it again. But, if an episode of "Bites" or "Forever Summer" were to come on, I'd definitely watch. And it's not necessarily simply because things seem "staged"; Kylie Kwan's shows are definitely staged, but they're still enjoyable. Maybe I just don't like change...
  14. This series does seem more targetted at the North American audience. I think this is the first time she's given measurements and temperatures in anything other than metric. It also seems that before and after each break, there's an "up next" segment and a "recap" segment. I'm not sure if this addition is based on any kind of market research, but it's definitely a change from previous series which had a much more casual, conversational tone. Haven't seen enough episodes to have an opinion on her menu choices, but they too seem less British than in the past. And, I'm pretty sure you're seeing London when she's out and about. The nature you see is, I assume, her back yard. From what I understand, it's fairly common in London to have a solid row of houses, but in the back is a surprising amount of green space.
  15. I would expect the Beaverbrook to have a couple of lobster dishes, but yeah, most people just get it at the supermarket. You can get it pre-cooked. Lobster seems to be more of an "occasion" food, so you have "lobster feeds" like you'd have "corn boils" or "cookouts". I'm probably being oblivious to what "flavours of the maritimes" would be. If you had a car, I'd point you to a couple of places out in the country for fresh seafood, local wine, etc. Just as Vancouver has a strong Asian community, eastern Canada has a strong Middle Eastern community. So you see things like souvlaki and Lebanese food everywhere. We produce a lot of maple products here, which is why I suggested that. NB is also virtually unique in the consumption of fiddleheads (immature ferns that haven't uncurled yet), but they're a springtime thing and don't keep. We're pretty much into apples, squashes, etc. right now. Moose season is just wrapping up, duck season is underway, and deer season will start shortly. Unfortunately, I can't think of any restaurants that will offer these, but you never know. As a disclaimer, I will say that Fredericton can be finicky, and just because something is a good idea doesn't mean that it will do well here. People are pretty conservative, so anything considered new or different (to them) usually fails a few times before taking off. That seems to be slowly changing, though: I was sure Caribbean Flavas would be closed within a year (glad I was proved wrong!). My point here is that, by and large, we're a meat-and-potatoes society, so good food isn't appreciated. I know I'm generalising, but that's the kind of thing you have to work through to find the real gems in this town.
  16. Definitely check out the market. This time of year, it's still warm enough that there are at least as many vendors outside as inside. There are butchers, bakers, cheesemakers, etc, in addition to snack vendors and craft makers. When I go, I try to get there early. It can get very crowded. Local dishes? Samosas are pretty popular, as is souvlaki. (If you decide to hunt down some souvlaki, head to the market. There are a couple of Greek restaurants in town, but they're not that great.) I'm not sure where you're visiting from, so don't know if maple products are a novelty for you. Again, your best bet is probably the market. If you're looking for a local brew on tap, order Picaroon's. Available many places, Snooty Fox included. They have many ales, and maybe a couple of lagers. My favourite is their Best Bitter. Brewbakers is probably a good choice for pasta. If you want Asian-style noodles, there's a place called (surprisingly) "Asia Beef Noodle". They're on Queen, between Regent and the Playhouse (around the corner from Snooty Fox). Tasty. Bon appetit!
  17. They're a great choice, and were just named best restaurant in New Brunswick. Beware that they don't serve alcohol, but they do the best fish in town. Other choices: Brewbaker's (http://www.brewbakers.ca/): An Italian grill with a Canadian slant. Best wine list in town. The Beaverbrook Hotel (http://www.cpfredericton.com/) has just finished being converted to a Crowne Plaza. The Maverick Room is the only true steakhouse in town, and is reportedly very good. The Palate (no website, 462 Queen, 506.450.7911) offers casual fine dining. They are consistently very good. Cora's (http://www.chezcora.com/Main-en/Trouver-en.htm) is a great place to go for breakfast. On weekends, though, expect to wait in line to be seated. Every Saturday, "from dawn til noonish", the farmer's market (http://www.boycefarmersmarket.com/) offers some great eating. All kinds of sausages, spring rolls, tacos, souvlaki, etc. are available. Definitely pick up some samosas from Samosa Delight. El Burrito Loco (http://www.elburritoloco.ca/) is owned and operated by a native of Puerto Vallarta. They seem to be slipping a bit, but if you order their asado (beef or chicken), you'll have a great meal. Those would be my top picks. If you've got specific questions, I'll be glad to answer them. Or, if there is something in particular you're looking for, I'll try to help. Enjoy your visit! PS: One more: for good pub food, try the Snooty Fox on Regent, between King and Queen. PPS: OK, another one: there is apparently a tea room near the Snooty Fox, but I haven't been there yet. EDIT: Sorry, missed the lobster reference. Your best bet might be the Hilltop on Prospect, but that's a hike from downtown. The Palate might have something on the menu, or try one of the restaurants in the Beaverbrook Hotel. Around here, lobster tends to be something eaten at home.
  18. It's been quite a while since I've heard from them. I guess the insider program got what they needed from me, so they're done! On a positive note, I read that we're getting a new Nigella show ("Nigella Feasts", I think), and Alton Brown's "Feasting on Asphalt" (described in the article I read as "a comedy about eating on the road" ). Those seemed to be the gems in the pile of crap.
  19. That would be great! Unfortunately, I can't find a listing for it. I checked both TLC and CTV Travel. In the regular NR timeslot on CTVT, the listings show the Malaysia episode. Do you have more info on how we can see this episode in Canada? I have Bell ExpressVu, fwiw.
  20. My wife and I were in Montreal Easter weekend. My father drove up from Kingston and we all went to eat at Bonaparte. It was quite good, though nothing cutting-edge. There are better "destination restaurants" in town (and you'll get tons of recommendations here), but if it works out that you've got to eat at the hotel for some reason, you'll have a good meal.
  21. I found them dried at JTM. Only reason I picked those up instead of looking for fresh is that I live in New Brunswick, and I'm sure they would have become unusable before getting them home. If that interests you (tho fresh are easy to find and probably more flavourful), they were in the shop which seems to specialise in spices and olive oil. Sorry I can't remember the name.
  22. Hmmm. I'm one of the ones who signed up months ago, before they were advertising. Anyone remember what information had to be provided when signing up? I'd be happy to provide some demographic info, if I knew what to provide.
  23. Just as an update, I've received two surveys in the last 3 days. The first one was about their various advertising campaigns, and I think they want to determine whether their latest print & tv ads are doing what they intended. The second survey, which I just finished, got more into my tv viewing habits, and asked me about the types of shows I expect from the channel (could even tell them less reality/competitions), and who are my favourite / least favourite hosts (tho I had to pick from a preselected list, with no option for "other"). All in all, I'd say we've got the opportunity to provide them with some good information. Hopefully they'll actually do something with it!
  24. I signed up for it months ago (didn't see an ad on TV, just a link on their regular website). I haven't received any surveys or feedback requests. I _do_ receive a newsletter about once a month, with programming updates and recipes.
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