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But then again, I can't afford to revisit places I don't like.  The result: almost no negative reviews.

Amen. The true issue here and why it really is pretty hard to "avoid" places based on reviews. Only word or mouth works this way since people are more inclined to speak their minds over coffee than to actually write it in stone. Every place deserves a second chance yet there are too many places to try to warrant going somewhere you didn't particularily like the first time.

Ok I really am curious about that mexican place on main and broadway on the second floor: El Taco I think that's what it's called. It looks a little scarey but I want to know if anyone has tried it.

yeah i'd like to know about it as well. all i know is that they leave the open sign on at night and it gives you the false hope of a late night taco.

Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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The locals obviously like this Habit. I feel sorry for them if this is as good as it gets in Vancouver's East End. To paraphrase Eliza Doolittle, this is a lame place on Main that falls far below the plain.

I think the attitude from these two last sentences sum up the review rather accurately.

Or maybe the pun was just too good to pass up, "An easy habit to break."

Serously though, panning a restaurant based on one visit is just really bad form. Although that's how it reads, I hope she has been more than once. That's precisely the reason you don't find many negative reviews on my site, if I go once and it sucks I won't write a review based on that because it could have easily been an off-night. But then again, I can't afford to revisit places I don't like. The result: almost no negative reviews.

Why would one go back to a place that was truly dissapointing. Ms. Gill went, she described her experience, and reported on it. I think it is perfectly reasonable if she only went once. That's what the article is about - her one visit.

I went and had perfectly cold fish cakes. Will I be back to give it a second chance? No. Why? Because there are so many good places to go that get it right everytime.

Just my humble :raz: thoughts.

Gastronomista

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Why would one go back to a place that was truly dissapointing.  Ms. Gill went, she described her experience, and reported on it.  I think it is perfectly reasonable if she only went once.  That's what the article is about - her one visit.

I went and had perfectly cold fish cakes.  Will I be back to give it a second chance?  No.  Why?  Because there are so many good places to go that get it right everytime.

Just my humble  :raz: thoughts.

I think this speaks truthfully of how 'things are' in reality. A single bad experience tends to put people off especially with so many other choices out there. I'd like to think everyone/everthing gets a second shake but it just isn't reality. Second chances come with trust and trust comes with the assurance that a place has given a good experience before. So a place that you have been to that was great and ended up horrible on a subsequent visit may warrant another chance (since you know it was good once).

Digressing.

My friend told me today that Foundation has expanded into the adjacent store and is now an 'L' shape. Not sure if this is news to you guys but i was pretty surprised! I also finally found Wink but it was closed when I noticed it. I'll be going there soon.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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she described her experience, and reported on it. 

As has been lamented before, it's a snippy, insulting form of writing that is not found elsewhere in the Globe. The schadenfreude thing.

Keep in mind that many critics, colleagues and customers have had absolutely wonderful experiences. For someone to suddenly have such a harrowing time is somewhat suspect to say the least.

Also keep in mind that there are two sides to every story. Some people can be quite difficult to serve. Some can have personal/professional vendettas. There are many elements that may or may not be involved.

As a discloure, Habit are very good friends of ours. Part of the reason we get along so well is because they are very nice, professional people and good at what they do. Honourable colleagues who the respected food media have all spoken well of.

Period.

k.

>Edited to add that the "two sides to every story" comment isn't Gill-specific. Most critics are difficult to serve, servers walking a fine line between fawning, nerves, big expectations and the feeling of possible impending doom :wink:

Edited by kurtisk (log)
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Why would one go back to a place that was truly dissapointing.  Ms. Gill went, she described her experience, and reported on it.  I think it is perfectly reasonable if she only went once.  That's what the article is about - her one visit.

I went and had perfectly cold fish cakes.  Will I be back to give it a second chance?  No.  Why?  Because there are so many good places to go that get it right everytime.

Just my humble  :raz: thoughts.

This is probably getting off-topic, but such a ridiculous point needs to be addressed. Because it's shoddy, irresponsible journalism. Because she's not just commenting on her experience, but on the restaurant as a whole. Because what she writes has real-world implications. Need I continue?

Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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Why would one go back to a place that was truly dissapointing....I went and had perfectly cold fish cakes. Will I be back to give it a second chance? No. Why? Because there are so many good places to go that get it right everytime.

Perfectly cold fish cakes happen on Any Given Sunday, as perfection is not a test restaurants often take, but since you suggest that "there are so many good places to go that get it right every time", I'd love to have you share these elusive standouts!

In the end, even if you and Ms. Gill have much higher standards than I, it boils down to the simple, unavoidable truth: single visit test drives and cold appetisers are hardly props enough to hold up the absolute damnation of an otherwise worthwhile place.

edited for clarity and kicks

Edited by Andrew Morrison (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Why would one go back to a place that was truly dissapointing.  Ms. Gill went, she described her experience, and reported on it.  I think it is perfectly reasonable if she only went once.  That's what the article is about - her one visit.

I went and had perfectly cold fish cakes.  Will I be back to give it a second chance?  No.  Why?  Because there are so many good places to go that get it right everytime.

Just my humble  :raz: thoughts.

This is probably getting off-topic, but such a ridiculous point needs to be addressed. Because it's shoddy, irresponsible journalism. Because she's not just commenting on her experience, but on the restaurant as a whole. Because what she writes has real-world implications. Need I continue?

Exactly- because she styles herself as a food critic, because people make decisions based on her experience, because it is not professional, not living up to the reponsibilities of her craft. Moreover, Ms. Gill seems to get more pleasure out of her barbs then she does out of food. It makes one wonder if she is in the right profession.

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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[host]

Time to get this thread back on track. We're here to discuss the food scene on Main Street. Further discussion of reviews or reviewers will be removed.

There are many many many ... discussions on reviews and reviewers over in Food Media and General Foods. Fill your boots over there. Trust me, Ms. Gill isn't the only reviewer pissing people off.

A.

In case you're wondering ... I have a buzzer that goes off every time the word "Gill" turns up in this forum

[/host]

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Nyala Afrian Restauarnt is opening a second location in mid March at 26th and Main. I will post more in openings thread when I have more info. Cate

This is intriguing to me.... the spot on West 4th does not seem to be particularly busy... in fact; it seems to be almost "dead" at times.

Is the spot on Main supposed to be in addition, or instead of? I have a feeling they'd be better off on Main than in their current location.

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'm sorry but I have never been a fan of Nyala. If House of Selasie were to open on Main I'd be a regular.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know this is an old thread, but i just had to put yet another vote in for Budapest Cafe on Main. I've been there about 3x and enjoyed every time...always left stuffed and happy, with doggy bag to boot. My only previous schnitzel experience was at the German pub/restaurant/club at Victoria Dr & 33rd, but the schnitzel at Budapest was much tastier and crispier. (Is it a German schnitzel vs Hungarian schnitzel thing?) I love their spaetzle!

<digression>

I loved the spaetzle so much, I tried making it at home by pushing batter through a slotted spoon over a pot of boiling water, and it worked! It was a bit laborious though, and kinda messy. I want one of these Spaetzle Makers :biggrin:

</digression>

The big platter where you get a bit of everything is the best -- a no-brainer way of ordering. Anyone know if any of their beers are good?

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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Habit - finally made it there last night - and can't say ANYTHING bad about it. They're open until 1:30! (A boon to those in the industry), we arrived about 9:00 or so, and sat at the bar (as we prefer), had a glass (or two) of Hecula and ordered the smoked sablefish cakes w/horseradish aoili - lovely, the duck ragu on polenta (and I actually commented on how rare it was to get hot food - not that I have a problem with food sitting on the pass while the rest of the order comes together) and the buffalo tortilla - all of them well seasoned, decent size & a good price. We had wonderful service (it wasnt terribly busy on a Monday at that time) and are looking forward to it becoming a regular haunt. The only negative that I have heard of is the noise level can get up there, and perhaps it's time to switch to a Spring menu and take advantage of the halibut etc.

I was so pleasantly surprised as it's so very easy to find something to not like, but the chef is doing a good job and service was professional and entertaining.

Edited by style councillor (log)
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A few ppl in this thread mentioned The Reef on Main, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I love Caribbean food, and my favourite dish has to be goat curry roti. So I ordered an Ackee & Saltfish and a Goat Roti to go.

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Can't have Caribbean food without sauces! Flowshe got these sauces for me when she went to St. Lucia for a work trip. I'm still figuring out what to do with the "Green Seasoning". I love passion fruit bubble tea and stuff, but the passion fruit sauce I find kinda weird on food. The "West Indian Hot Sauce" is a mustard-based sauce similar the Grace brand "Caribbean Style Hot Pepper Sauce" that you can find at Superstore. The Barons is a little thicker than the Grace brand. These kinds of mustard-based hot sauces taste awesome on pizza! The "Frootsy Hot Pepper Sauce" is a papaya-based sauce, so it's a little more fruity/sweet, but not overly so. It packs quite a punch, like the other ones. Too bad I've never seen Frootsy brand for sale in Vancouver.

gallery_24789_2730_45067.jpg

Well, here's the roti cut open...I don't like The Reef's style of roti. I much prefer the classic roti with the ground chickpea layered inside. This stuff was quite thick and reminded me of gingerbread(!?). The goat curry itself was kinda salty as well...probably a bit too salty for my taste. I've already carved off a 1/2 lb pile of dry roti...too much roti, not enough curry :sad:

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I try the Frootsy sauce to see if it can make the roti taste better...it's ok. The mustard-based sauce rocks with goat curry though. But still, the saltiness is getting to me.

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So I turn to the Ackee & Saltfish. It's quite tasty, albeit on the salty side as well. You really need to eat a lot of rice with it to balance out the saltiness (I guess that's why it's called "saltfish"?). The ackee is good, although it was my first time trying ackee so I don't know if it's the same kind of canned ackee you can buy at Superstore or what. The pieces of ackee remind me of micro-sized durian pieces. The dish is good, just not enough rice to go with all the salty ackee & saltfish. I've finished my beer already! This stuff is salty!

I'm in no hurry to go back to The Reef. On the whole it was too salty, and I really didn't dig the way they do the roti. I suppose some of their other dishes might be quite good, but I'll probably be returning to Jamaican Pizza Jerk on Commercial for my next crucial Caribbean food fix (they serve calalloo there...Flowshe's favourite!). I certainly miss Roti Bistro on W. 4th and Nice 'n Spicy on Broadway though... Can't wait for Caribbean Days festival in North Van!

Next Caribbean restaurant on my list: Taste Nice in Surrey?

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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Slightly off topic but Flowbee if you ever find yourself in Port Moody - Try Rohani's Roti . It's done in a Trinidadian way but the roti there is really good and spicy. Yumm! Wash it down with a ginger beer and your senses go into overload.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Mui Gardens. Asian soul food. Curries, wonton, a cold chicken with ginger and green onion sauce on the side (the name escapes me right now), and lots more. A regional classic.

Look at what the locals are eating and order accordingly.

Distinctly untrendy but the green plastic dinnerware has kitch appeal for those who require it. Dress as you are, nobody cares. Eat up. You'll be happy and full but you won't see anyone you know. And some nights that's just what you want.

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Mui Gardens. Asian soul food. Curries, wonton, a cold chicken with ginger and green onion sauce on the side (the name escapes me right now), and lots more. A regional classic.

It's (free-range) Hainanese chicken! I love that at Miu Garden, and the beef brisket curry too.

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We finally made it to Aurora Bistro for dinner! I've had a reso before but had to cancel due to a nasty flu.

We had a fabulous time with friends, delicious food and fantastic wines. My only sad moment of the night was realizing that the braised short ribs I was waiting all this time for was now off the menu. *sob*

We had the pan fried oysters (yum), a fantastic duck (which saved the disappointment of no short ribs), gnocchi (pillows of love, as Chef Tony from NCAW calls them), and perfectly grilled flat iron steak. Sadly, we were way too stuffed to have dessert...next time.

The wines were perfectly paired, thanks to Kurtis.

Nice to finally meet Chef Jeff and the infamous Kurtis. Thanks for a fabulous night. :smile:

Quentina

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We have just moved in the Cambie/Main St area, and boy are we excited!!

The S.O and I used to have pho at Pho Hoang whenever we were in the area, but we've since learned our lesson and now take a 5 minute walk (!!!) to Pho Thang Long on Main and 21st. Delicious, cheap and comfortable!

Wednesdays will be trips to Solly's to take advantage of their $4.95 dozen bagel deals (and maybe an apple slice or two). We have aurora bistro, hawkers and toshi's to try out still. Aurora will probably have to wait because I am a student.

Thanks to the board, I love love love Seb's breakfast fare! Wow!

I'm getting really hungry now. I'm going to take advantage of the weather and look for some good eats in my new hood!

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Thanks to the board, I love love love Seb's breakfast fare!  Wow!

If the deal goes through I'll be moving 5 blocks closer to Seb's (tee hee!) I just can't leave Main. It's a wonderful area!

Also can't wait to pick up Bee Bim Bop sauce at the Kim's market on broadway.

Aside:

I just got 4 more rave (read: so excited they kept jumping up and down when talking to me) reviews on the donuts at Aurora. So if my sunday works out as planned I will be paying a visit to see what this hubub is all about. Personally I'm actually going for the duck bacon.

Edited by fud (log)

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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We have just moved in the Cambie/Main St area, and boy are we excited!!

The S.O and I used to have pho at Pho Hoang whenever we were in the area, but we've since learned our lesson and now take a 5 minute walk (!!!) to Pho Thang Long on Main and 21st. 

^

I recently bought an old house just a few doors away from Main and 21st and the renovations are in full effect. One of the workers just found a newspaper dated April 3, 1912 behind the old plaster. During the breaks from stripping paint, I am working my way through the local spots. I went to that Vietnamese restaurant at Main and 21st last Sunday. I thought their pho was good, but another 12 blocks south at Au Petit Cafe at Main and 33rd - they make some really outstanding pho.

Next up is the hot chocolate at Anona on Main and 20th. Someone (possibly Zuchinni Mama) posted about it a long time ago.

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Aside:

I just got 4 more rave (read: so excited they kept jumping up and down when talking to me) reviews on the donuts at Aurora.  So if my sunday works out as planned I will be paying a visit to see what this hubub is all about.  Personally I'm actually going for the duck bacon.

Why not both? :wink:

We started with the donuts, then had our breakfast mains. Yes, we are both piggies. :biggrin:

Mmmmm....crack donuts....

Edited by makanmakan (log)

Quentina

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Why not both?  :wink: 

We started with the donuts, then had our breakfast mains.  Yes, we are both piggies.  :biggrin:

Mmmmm....crack donuts....

I fully intend to :biggrin:

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Why not both?  :wink:  

We started with the donuts, then had our breakfast mains.  Yes, we are both piggies.  :biggrin:

Mmmmm....crack donuts....

I fully intend to :biggrin:

One of my mother-in-law's friends discovered wrapping the doughnuts in duck bacon.

discus.

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