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City Food


Coop
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CityFood magazine is generally hard to find. I once contacted them to drop off a stack at the restaurant I was working at. They dropped off about 10 one time then never again. The most recent issue (2004 Annual guide to Eating & Drinking in Vancouver) is not to be trusted. There is misinformation about every restaurant that I am familiar with (places that friends own or work at, places I work at, places I frequent). Beware what you believe from here. I have liked it in the past but now don't trust it at all. I don't like being so harsh and I know they have alot of listings; but they should at least make an effort to double check thier info. Make sure the hours are still right, the dish they are spotlighting is still on the menu, the same chef is still there or even that the restaurant is still open for business!!!!

Here's to a better run next time.

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I've been reading City Food for a long time and I enjoy it. As far as recommendations and others opinions go I take it all with a grain of salt - I like to make up my own mind. Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks in Yaletown usually has it as well. Everyone has opinions and not everyone's tastes are the same. I do appreciate everyone's generosity in sharing their thoughts and recommendations on this site. :smile:

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I have to say that I completely disagree with Young One on this post. I’ve been reading City Food for years and have always found it to be entertaining, informative and above all, trustworthy. They always seem to tell it like it is in the industry and they don’t pander to their advertisers. Yes, there are a few errors in the recent issue, but considering the amount of material it contains I think that’s only to be expected. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a restaurant guide that didn’t have old information, the industry just changes too fast. Beyond that, it’s not cheaply produced and you can’t beat the cover price.

I usually pick up a copy at Duthie Books on Fourth Avenue, or next door at Capers, but you have to be fast as they get snapped up quickly. They do offer subscriptions however and maybe that’s the answer for people who have trouble getting their hands on a copy.

I'm not going to starve myself to death just so I can live longer.

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I have always sought out City Food. I find it informative and eye appealling. It seemed to be winding down the last couple of years. That's why I was thrilled to see this edition.

I think it's more of a labour of love then a real business for the people involved. I think I must view it completly differently then young one. I found the amount of information to be staggering and for the most part up to date.

Of course any publication must be regarded as a guide, not a bible. In Vancouver we must filter through the articles written by Jurgen Gothe (sounds like Jerking Off), Jamie Maw, Anne Garber, Angella Murrills and that wind bag Caren MacSheery to form our own opinions. I was working on my own opinion about Parkside on Saturday night. Now that was some very enjoyable research!

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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So Coop, I'm going to Parkside on Friday night, you tell me what I'm gonna eat. (Although if I get to pick it's going to be the chicken liver salad to start and the elk for an entree, but I'm open to suggestions.)

And how many ribs do you get with the rack of lamb?

And tell me about the cheese plate.

Gracias.

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City Food has definitely gone downhill over over the years, IMHO, but I still keep a look out for it. Too much recycled material and general foodie stuff you could read anywhere is included, but this past edition was a welcome change despite some errors.

Unfortunately it seems that City Food often over-promises and under-delivers which will not keep advertisers happy, and they after all are paying for it, even though we are not. Nonetheless I applaud the proprietor for her perserverance and hope City Food will be restored to its former glory one day soon.

I see EAT magazine from Victoria is becoming more widely available in Vancouver so perhaps they see an opportunity here.

Cheers,

Anne

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I think for local based media, the dependence on advertising is the root of the whole problem. If the advertisers cut back because of economic times or because of there are just too many vehicles to support then it shows in the editorial content, paper quality or frequency. I know that at the places I have worked we had advertising reps from numerous sources knocking on our door nearly every day. Look what happened to Local Flavours - couldn’t get enough advertising to last more than three issues and then zip! Except for special issues the glossy mags don’t pay their bills from local advertising, it mostly comes from ads placed by national agencies based in Toronto.

I think people forget that although these things are free they cost money to produce. What if it were up to the public to pay a dollar or so for a copy. Would we? Or are we just too used to getting everything for free? If we want more specific local coverage than maybe we should show its worth something to us.

I'm not going to starve myself to death just so I can live longer.

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I'd definitely be willing to pay for a quality, reliable product that focussed on local (i.e., BC) food and wine.

I think it would be pretty tough to compete with all the free distribution newspapers with food and wine columnists though. Most people are just not interested enough to go beyond what is available for free. The market is small, advertisers are few and costs are high - a tough place to be.

Cheers,

Anne

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True, true. So maybe we should encourge them. I hate to say this but if local mags like City Food were to pack it in and move on to do something easier, EAt magazine would make a sorry substitute.

Maybe we should start the "E-gullet Digest". What would be on the table of contents?

I'm not going to starve myself to death just so I can live longer.

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I disagree. I think EAT does a good job in a much smaller market. They have much more local content and more in depth writing that City Food and don't waste space on New York wannabe stuff that tends to fluff up City Food.

Cheers,

Anne

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In depth writing? You are kidding me, right? Well, I don’t see the point of being drawn into a comparison of City Food versus Eat. The later is fine if the deep focus you are looking for is a listing of every condiment jar selling on every store shelf in Victoria, myself I prefer seeing the bigger picture. Obviously we are just looking for different things in a food magazine.

To me the more interesting question raised here is why are we so resentful of any coverage in the local food media of the world outside of our own backyard. We like to think of Vancouver as a “world class city” and yet we are not supposed to be interested in what goes on elsewhere and how it may affect or eventually influence us here. I never quite understand the point of all the Toronto bashing that goes on in Vancouver...and of course we’ve all heard of the “Island Mentality Syndrome”.

I think a balanced mix between the wide and narrow focus is healthy. Many successful ideas that get started in other places find fruition in Vancouver and it all eventually adds to the cosmopolitan mix that we enjoy having in this city. Take this year’s Dine Out Vancouver, for example. It was an idea that began in New York. Does that make Vancouverites a bunch of “New York Wannabe’s” for making the idea our own and adapting it to our own city?

As someone who works in the industry, I like to hear what my peers are doing locally and I also like to compare that to ideas that are in play elsewhere and may show up here too. It gives me food for thought and I admire the effort of anyone who tries to offer both and create a bridge between the two. Yes, you can follow the US media but except for exceptions like “The Fat Guy”, US media seldom acknowledges that we exist. I don’t see how returning the sentiment does us any good.

I'm not going to starve myself to death just so I can live longer.

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Well it seems to me that you started the comparison, but I agree - no value in getting into a discussion and we obviously have different perceptions and probably different expectations.

I think both have something to offer, and I hope both are able to thrive.

Cheers,

Anne

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I never quite understand the point of all the Toronto bashing that goes on in Vancouver...and of course we’ve all heard of the “Island Mentality Syndrome”.

Please explain what you mean?

As for the Toronto bashing; it is Vancouver’s favorite sport, what else do Vancouverites have to do but sports and bash Toronto, there is not much else to do?

Take this year’s Dine out Vancouver, for example. It was an idea that began in New York. Does that make Vancouverites a bunch of “New York Wannabe’s” for making the idea our own and adapting it to our own city?

This was not the first time Vancouver has done this and I do not think that New York was the first, Edmonton did something like it in 1980; I am sure they are other cities that started doing before New York??

Every City has a magazine very similar, Seattle, Edmonton and Calgary, they are all very close in style and presentation, yes it is nice to have these magazines, they add to the local food media in each city; Vancouver could use some better and different point of view in food media, it lacks a little, it seems they all approach things in the same manor, like the lazy gourmet, Vancouver could always use more media, The Edmonton Journal has always had a better food section the then they Vancouver papers; Georgia Straight needs more food stuff not just a bunch of advertising.

Just a thought

stovetop

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Well, just in case you are not being facetious I will try to answer that. By “Island Mentality” I was using a term often used to describe an “Us Against the World” mindset - in this case, one frequently encountered in Victoria (but also in minority communities) where one group will close ranks and be hyper supportive of its own members while exhibiting a somewhat defensive antagonism towards another that it feels overshadowed by. (In this case, Vancouver). On Vancouver Island it has both good and bad aspects. On the good side it has fostered a remarkably dynamic food and wine culture and given crucial support to such small publications as the aforementioned Eat which would have had difficulty surviving in a more competitive atmosphere. On the negative side it can create a real communications barrier between two groups who could do a lot for each other.

Anyway, thanks for the correction on the origins of the Dine Out program. I learned something there. However, by their own admission, the idea for the Burger Club idea did originate in New York so a lot of fluff consuming New York wannabes in that crew, no? Ha, Ha.

Getting back to your thoughts on whether there should be more or less media...while God forbid there there should not be enough press around, no one would want to have one publication/radio/TV spot calling all the shots, it’s also not the healthiest situation to have too many. Then what happens is that you have advertisers trying to dictate the terms. You will get advertisers saying “write a glowing report on my mediocre business or I’ll take my promotional dollars to someone who will.” And the more competitive the situation, the more likely the chance that they will be accommodated. Good for the advertiser, bad for the reader. So is the current flood of “advertorial” that we’ve been seeing lately the result of greed, laziness or economic desperation on the part of the media? For example, If you are looking for in-depth writing you have to question the amount of advertorial that is usually on display in Vancouver Magazine - a big chunk of their wine coverage at the back of the magazine and the half-inch thick Dining Guide insert they place in their summer issue. What’s up with that?

I guess the ideal situation would be to have enough media with sufficient “employment security” to be able to do a better job of it, but no monopolies.

By the way, sorry, I’m not obsessed with media. I’ve just joined e-gullet and I haven’t read most of the other threads yet. And in case anyone is wondering, I was born and raised on the Island.

Edited by mot juste (log)

I'm not going to starve myself to death just so I can live longer.

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I've been to the Dunbar and 16th liquor store and the store on Mape and Broadway and the one in the Arbutus Village

and there's still lots of City Food paper. This is the best City Food in a long time. It has a lot of restaurant recommendations

and other useful food info. In the past few issues, I found it useless as it was mostly advertisement and lots of wine topics

and very little food writing (Hello!...City "FOOD"!)

I'm keeping this one for reference and hope the next issue has improved as well.

You can get City Food via internet, too.

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I grabbed the issue this weeknd.

I've gotta say, you're all nuts.

I stopped reading and hunked it into the blue box when in "This month in Food" it suggested I catch an episode of Top Five, with Bobbbyy Riveeerrrssss. That was odd. I hope it is a level of irony that even I, a member of the generation that perfected irony, is not ironic enough to get.

Seriously though, some of the comments in the issue do seem a little odd/vague/wrong. The whole thing seems to lack a level of professionalism that Cityfood used to have years ago.

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Bobby Rivers definetly on my Top 5 list of most useless TV hosts, right behind Mark Summers. I loved that great episode about Kraft Parmessan Unwrapped.

I'm Bobby Rivers! Mentioned at least 10 times each episode just in case you forget who he is and start thinking he is Al Roker and Liza Minelli's bastard love child.

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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Ai ya ya...You guys had me working on that one. First of all I had to read every square inch of the paper trying to find the reference to Bobby Rivers - a task not made easier by the fact that Bobby Rivers is never actually mentioned in the piece.

It's pretty clear to me, Keith, that the writer is being hyper sarcastic here (a personality trait seldom found on THIS site). I mean, who wouldn't get bored and rebellious writing calendar items for a living. But after all that effort, I don’t think I will bother to tune in to Top Five. I have no idea who or what Bobby Rivers is but surely he can’t be more obnoxious than the band leader on Ken Kostick’s show.

By the way....does anyone ever wonder if Ken Kostick and Nathan Fong (a local TV show guy) were separated at birth?

I'm not going to starve myself to death just so I can live longer.

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Well, just in case you are not being facetious I will try to answer that. By “Island Mentality” I was using a term often used to describe an “Us Against the World” mindset - in this case, one frequently encountered in Victoria (but also in minority communities) where one group will close ranks and be hyper supportive of its own members while exhibiting a somewhat defensive antagonism towards another that it feels overshadowed by. (In this case, Vancouver). On Vancouver Island it has both good and bad aspects. On the good side it has fostered a remarkably dynamic food and wine culture and given crucial support to such small publications as the aforementioned Eat which would have had difficulty surviving in a more competitive atmosphere. On the negative side it can create a real communications barrier between two groups who could do a lot for each other.

Yes; thank you for clearing that up, one thing though is you still have both a figurative meaning and literal. I live on Van Island so that is what I thought you meant. That island frame of mind!!

stovetop

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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