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Culinary Tipping Points


jamiemaw
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Fado was on West Broadway between Cambie and Oak, on the north side, about 1/2 a block east of Broadway Earls.
Fado was a Portuguese restaurant owned by the same family that started the Bino's restaurant chain. That's why it was underneath the Bino's restaurant there.

Thanks Mooshmouse and agog. I remembered the Portuguese part, but forgot the Bino's connection.

Cheers,

Anne

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Well, not quite the worst name, at least for one night in the West End when the old Black Angus on Davie street experienced a huge downturn in their walk-in business on what should have been a busy Friday. Finally, at the prompting of a regular, the manager took a look outside at their neon sign. Turns out the "G" on the sign had burnt out.

:laugh:

I call apocryphal!!

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Thanks to google, I've found mention of The Organ Grinder. Seems it was a chain, and that if you were a professional pipe organist, it was the greatest thing to happen to your profession since, well ever. For a couple all too brief shining years, people wanted, no needed pipe organists, it was a sellers market.

I'm assuming that the ITT Technical Insitute has since dropped its' curriculum in Pipe Organ Installation.

Openned June 15, 1976.

http://www.pstos.org/instruments/bc/vancouver/grinder.htm

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Well, not quite the worst name, at least for one night in the West End when the old Black Angus on Davie street experienced a huge downturn in their walk-in business on what should have been a busy Friday. Finally, at the prompting of a regular, the manager took a look outside at their neon sign. Turns out the "G" on the sign had burnt out.

:laugh:

I call apocryphal!!

Yes, Deborah, Francis Ford Coppola was filming it at exactly that time. :biggrin: And we just loved the smell of steak over napalm. :blink:

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Thanks to google, I've found mention of The Organ Grinder. Seems it was a chain, and that if you were a professional pipe organist, it was the greatest thing to happen to your profession since, well ever. For a couple all too brief shining years, people wanted, no needed pipe organists, it was a sellers market.

I'm assuming that the ITT Technical Insitute has since dropped its' curriculum in Pipe Organ Installation.

Openned June 15, 1976.

http://www.pstos.org/instruments/bc/vancouver/grinder.htm

According to the article, seems the erection of the organ was being managed by a couple of nuts.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Does anyone remember the cheap and cheerful, Sidhu's Kitchen? I think it was on Broadway somewhere, in the alley and up some stairs. Great cheap curry meals, fresh chapatis and a wonderfully addictive dessert. Sidhu's might not be a bell-wether but all this talk about the past has me experiencing culinary flashbacks.

I love it.

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Does anyone remember the cheap and cheerful, Sidhu's Kitchen? I think it was on Broadway somewhere, in the alley and up some stairs. Great cheap curry meals, fresh chapatis and a wonderfully addictive dessert. Sidhu's might not be a bell-wether but all this talk about the past has me experiencing culinary flashbacks.

I love it.

Stumped, Shelora. Shame on me. What era?

Any from Victoria that you'd like to mention? One of my favourite haunts used to be The Library Bar (not the Bengal Room) at The Empress. I think it's a gift shop now; when I drank there it was merely a gift.

J.

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Personal bellwether: (In Victoria anyway)

The piano bar in that hotel just up the block from Big Bad John's ....nuts...can't remember the name....for introducing me to single malt. A love affair that continues to this day!

John

P.S. Boy are we off topic or what?

Edited by dodger (log)

It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.

Hunter S. Thompson ---- R.I.P. 1939 - 2005

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

--Mark Twain

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- the opening of the Granville Island Public Market with La Baguette and Granville Island Brewing. It has had its ups and downs, but the Island has been an important part of my culinary life in Vancouver from the beginning.

This has to be my #1. My culinary experience has really only matured in the last 4 years or so, but the Granville Island Market was part of my life from about 1985-1988 when I worked at Longliner. There I was exposed to the world of fresh, local seafood thanks to Jim Moorehead and his wife Pat. Much like Bourdain's revelation in the south of France, my first oyster was experienced out behind the shop with a Granville Island Lager (my first exposure to micro-brews.) Jim insisted we try everything in the store at least once ... lucky for me I had already experienced pickled herring as a child!

Having La Baguette just outside the back door didn't hurt either! Shrimp sandwiches on fresh baguette were a mainstay. My first fresh pasta was from Duso's, where I also discovered pesto.

Expo '86 brought a whole lot of new, diverse restaurants, and people, to Vancouver.  It was the starting point for Yaletown and the expansion/improvement of the livable downtown core which is an important factor in our vibrant restaurant scene.

I don't remember the food being all that great at Expo. I agree completely with your point about it bringing expansion. Just think what 2010 holds for us.

Starbucks - already mentioned

What about Joe's, or any of the dozens of espresso joints on The Drive? What about The Drive? Even today Commercial Drive introduces me to something new almost every time I'm there.

Does The Cannery enter into the equation here? And speaking of Granville Island, what about Mulvaney's or Johnathon's? These places pre-date my culinary knowledge, but they seem to have played some roll.

A.

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Expo '86 brought a whole lot of new, diverse restaurants, and people, to Vancouver.  It was the starting point for Yaletown and the expansion/improvement of the livable downtown core which is an important factor in our vibrant restaurant scene.

I don't remember the food being all that great at Expo. I agree completely with your point about it bringing expansion. Just think what 2010 holds for us.

I didn't mean that the food at Expo was great, but more that it seemed to me that a lot of restaurants started/expanded in response to the expected crowds. Maybe I was just becoming more aware of what was already present.

Cheers,

Anne

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Expo '86 brought a whole lot of new, diverse restaurants, and people, to Vancouver.  It was the starting point for Yaletown and the expansion/improvement of the livable downtown core which is an important factor in our vibrant restaurant scene.

I don't remember the food being all that great at Expo. I agree completely with your point about it bringing expansion. Just think what 2010 holds for us.

I didn't mean that the food at Expo was great, but more that it seemed to me that a lot of restaurants started/expanded in response to the expected crowds. Maybe I was just becoming more aware of what was already present.

In addition to initiating the redevelopment of Yaletown, painfully slow at first, and general expansion of the industry, in hindsight I view Expo as a catalyst for chefs and farmers.

Perhaps the reason was that the provincial and national pavilions were forced to provide something determinedly indigenous to their place of origin. And it soon became competitive between the Commissioners General and their chefs. A poor luncheon in front of a sophisticated international crowd proved just the impetus for many to research locality. The Saskatchewan Pavilion provided the most memorable lunches, and I like to think that we did a pretty good job at the Canadian Pavilion as well. Expo also launched an interest in sushi to a more general denominator.

But its downside, as we would see in the forthcoming decade, was a culinary trainwreck called fusion, with many of the 'creations' of (especially younger) chefs looking much like failed Grade 8 Home Ec experiments. As it turned out, it was just one of those adolescent phases that even the best families have to weather.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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As for Chinese, reaching way back in the mists of time, wasn't there a restaurant called the Orange Door or was it the Green Door? I can't remember if this happened here or somewhere else. My recollection of those years is somewhat impaired.

Those were the early days of gweilo experiencing authentic Cantonese cooking in Vancouver... was that the late 60's / early 70's? There were at least 4 great little restaurants in that same alley off Hastings: the Green Door, the Red Door, the Orange Door and the Grill Door - which I think was also red, but it had a steel grill and was called Grill to differentiate it from the other Red Door. They all had no English signs so they aquired the name of their door colour. They all served old-school Cantonese home cooking, and at least in the case of the Green Door, seemed to exist partially as a cover for the gambling going on in the front room.

The food was similar enough from one 'Door' the another that if one place was full, you just went to another, but my family were always Green Door loyalists. I remember the woman server there always making my brother and I finish our watery soup (which came free with the meal, and which we both didn't like) by insisting "Chinese soup good for boys". We were both terrified of her.

The Green Door people later opened a real restaurant called 'Dai Kee' a block away on Main St in the old Barrett Hardware location. The Orange Door people opened a place on Hastings in Burnaby. For the last couple of decades, all you can get in that alley are drugs.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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The Saskatchewan Pavilion was thre first place I thought of when the whole Expo chatter started.

I do remember some very interesting experiences there!

My Mother is from Sask. but she never cooked like that!

John

edited so I could capitalize Mother...as it should be!

JB

Edited by dodger (log)

It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.

Hunter S. Thompson ---- R.I.P. 1939 - 2005

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

--Mark Twain

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The Saskatchewan Pavilion provided the most memorable lunches

Agreed.

During Expo, I was playing in a brass quintet all over the Expo site. We were there everyday. I ate everywhere. My first sushi and my first Guinness - I recall I did not care for either - Oh, how times have changed.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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"Stumped, Shelora. Shame on me. What era?"

Sidhu's was frequented by those mostly from Kits with hippie tendencies. I'm sure James Barber would remember. It could have been the 1970's - the era of the electric frying pan. Sidhu made some great batik in the back too.

"Any from Victoria that you'd like to mention? One of my favourite haunts used to be The Library Bar (not the Bengal Room) at The Empress. I think it's a gift shop now; when I drank there it was merely a gift."

I have only lived in Victoria for 14 years and sadly no one is keeping track of its culinary history. Restaurants come and go so rapidly here, perhaps no one can keep track. Incredible 1960's architectural wonders have been torn down without a blink of an eye. Jack Lee's Chinese Village is one example. Food no great shakes, but the building was amazing.

There is one restaurant that folks talk about a lot. George's Bavarian. This 1970's restaurant was hot. Hungarian musicians were flown in and the booze flowed. Pepper steak, Paprika chicken, spaetzle and Black Forrest Cake with kirsch poured over it.

The show stopper was the talent of Pablo who made Spanish coffees. This involved flames poured from a height behind his back, while liquored-up patrons would yell, Ole.

Pablo Hernandez is still in the biz, owning Pablo's Dining Lounge. The tableside fireworks are kept to ceasar salad and bananas foster. George's wife is the manager at the Harbourside. To get those people to tell stories would be amazing.

Younger people talk about the Southside a lot and of course the beginning days of Herald St. Caffe, with line ups down the street. All before my time. But I did get to see and work at Herald St. in its glory years. I miss you Mark Finnigan.

S

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Expo '86 brought a whole lot of new, diverse restaurants, and people, to Vancouver.  It was the starting point for Yaletown and the expansion/improvement of the livable downtown core which is an important factor in our vibrant restaurant scene.

I don't remember the food being all that great at Expo. I agree completely with your point about it bringing expansion. Just think what 2010 holds for us.

I didn't mean that the food at Expo was great, but more that it seemed to me that a lot of restaurants started/expanded in response to the expected crowds. Maybe I was just becoming more aware of what was already present.

In addition to initiating the redevelopment of Yaletown, painfully slow at first, and general expansion of the industry, in hindsight I view Expo as a catalyst for chefs and farmers.

Perhaps the reason was that the provincial and national pavilions were forced to provide something determinedly indigenous to their place of origin. And it soon became competitive between the Commissioners General and their chefs. A poor luncheon in front of a sophisticated international crowd proved just the impetus for many to research locality. The Saskatchewan Pavilion provided the most memorable lunches, and I like to think that we did a pretty good job at the Canadian Pavilion as well. Expo also launched an interest in sushi to a more general denominator.

But its downside, as we would see in the forthcoming decade, was a culinary trainwreck called fusion, with many of the 'creations' of (especially younger) chefs looking much like failed Grade 8 Home Ec experiments. As it turned out, it was just one of those adolescent phases that even the best families have to weather.

Yes, that focus on the regional is exactly what drove some change. I was stumbling around trying to define the Expo influence, but you have nailed it. Of course that focus was already in the air, but Expo pushed it along. And I think lots of locals did try things that they had never even seen before - all part of that "World's Fair" ambience.

Fusion too was in the air, or at least in the US, so I don't think we can blame it entirely on Expo.

Cheers,

Anne

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I thought of another "tipping point" as I was leaving Phat today.

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

A bookstore dedicated to cookbooks and books on food?  That's gotta signify something.

A.

Wasn't there a cookbook store on Broadway near MacDonald previously - maybe 1980's. Called the Pink Peppercorn, unless I am totally delusional. Nothing compared to Barbara-Jo's but then there's a lot more cookbooks being published these days.

Cheers,

Anne

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I thought of another "tipping point" as I was leaving Phat today.

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

A bookstore dedicated to cookbooks and books on food?  That's gotta signify something.

A.

Hear, hear. A true culinary crossroads and resource for visiting and local chefs and civilians with a burning interest in food.

And I would add to that Les Amis du Fromage for educating our palates, both directly from the store and via restaurants who carry their well-managed local and long distance products.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Hudsons Bay

Vancouver, washighton

It was one of the first west coast of british setlements.

It feed the west coast.

American furrier company

The loss for the british one of the most beautiful areas and the columbia basin.

It was the central fort and trading center for the british for all the fur trade in the area.

1812

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

A bookstore dedicated to cookbooks and books on food?  That's gotta signify something.

A.

Wasn't there a cookbook store on Broadway near MacDonald previously - maybe 1980's. Called the Pink Peppercorn, unless I am totally delusional. Nothing compared to Barbara-Jo's but then there's a lot more cookbooks being published these days.

You are correct! There was indeed a cookbook store on West Broadway near MacDonald called the Pink Peppercorn. I am pretty sure it was here when I moved to the 'hood in 1985 but am not sure how long it had been in place nor how long it stayed there. I think that if I were to dig through my cookbook collection I could even find one that I picked up from there :biggrin:

It was a cool little store but being the mid-eighties.... perhaps just a bit before it's time.

Edited 'cuz I had the year wrong :blink:

Edited by appreciator (log)

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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I thought of another "tipping point" as I was leaving Phat today.

Barbara-Jo's Books to Cooks

A bookstore dedicated to cookbooks and books on food?  That's gotta signify something.

A.

Wasn't there a cookbook store on Broadway near MacDonald previously - maybe 1980's. Called the Pink Peppercorn, unless I am totally delusional. Nothing compared to Barbara-Jo's but then there's a lot more cookbooks being published these days.

The Pink Peppercorn was around until at least the early nineties. I remember seeing it as I passed by, and always wanted to go in. :sad:

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I'm not sure about this but pressure seems to be a good motivating factor in tipping Vancouver towards some semblance of excellence as far as restaurants are concerned.

Isn't there immense, diamond-making pressure on places to excel these days? Successes have been begetting successes. Vancouver might still be considered fresh soil for capital soaked restauranteurs. There are great local ingredients. There are excellent vineyards. And there remains a near symphonic mix of cultures who love to eat out in an increasingly fickle, affluent and urbanised society. Couldn't these plus-points possibly combine to create pressures that are measured in the thousands of ppi? It certainly would be symptomatic of a city that has grown absurdly fast in the last twenty years (with expo, hong kong, and the arrival of eGullet :laugh: ).

It's a no brainer that there isn't a tipping point in the singular, but pressure sort of encompasses it all.

Just a thought.

Edited by editor@waiterblog (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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  • 1 year later...

In today's Sun, Mia Stainsby writes about how Expo '86 changed the culinary landscape of Vancouver and BC: Expo changed the way we eat

It was the dawn of Vancouver's food revolution. By 1986, sushi had toddled into the city and Tojo was quietly making great sushi at the tiny Jinya, but his phenomenal restaurant Tojo's was not yet born.

....

John Bishop, now famed for his obsessively local and organic ingredients, had just opened his restaurant and was still serving scampi from Norway and Dover sole;

Cheers,

Anne

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