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The Georgia Straight Golden Plate Awards


Keith Talent
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http://www.straight.com/section.cfm?id=145

The peoples choice always make me ashamed to be a native Vancouverite. Subway as the best Sandwich? McDonalds as best fries? Starbucks has the best coffee? Good grief. We are a cosmopolitian bunch.

The best ballot stuff goes to...drum roll... Chatters in Richmond! Just beating Elixer and just behind Bishops. WTF? I live and work in Richmond. I'd never heard of Chatters on Gilley road, hell I'd never heard of Gilley Road. Last week my kids were dining with their grandparents, (which means all of Vancouvers best fries you can eat and handfulls of chocolate chips for desert), so the Mrs. and I thought we'd go out. Hmm, where to go? Mrs. Talent has the brainstorm she'd like to try the place from The Geotgia Straight. No way I said, it was a rigged vote, it's going to be some shitty greek/pizza/baked pasta joint. She insists, we truck out to deepest darkest Hamilton, a little known neighbourhood on the east end of the island butting against New West.

Although instinct tells me to avoid anything in close proximity to New West, I press on. Pull into the strip mall with the former IGA that's lost it's franchise and is now a Pay'n'Shop or some such, never a good omen. Back of the lot is Chatters, Tapas Bar. Okay, it looks like a greek pizza/pasta joint. Go in, restarant empty except three tables, already know without looking what we're going to eat without seeing the menu. Decor is period, that period is Earls, circa 1984. Bright colours, parrots and neon Corona signs.

Seated in a window booth, tres romantique, open the menus. Under Tapas heading see Fries and Gravy. Begin to sweat. Fortunately, my wifes sense of adventure disappeared as quickly as my appetite, and she suggested pulling a French military manouvre, namely a retreat. Jackets back on and we were gone.

Now I feel bad about this story, the proprietor is probably just a working Joe like me trying to make a living in an albeit shitty location. Why run the guy down? All he's trying to do is drum up some business. And really, Chatters is probably a great place for what it is, namely a neighbourhood place for a couple eggs and bacon on Saturday morning, or a beer after work, in spite of the misguided attempt to garner publicity manipulating the Straight. The real villian in this is a) me, for not even trying the food, (trust me, I knew exactly what was coming) and b) The Georgia Straight. The whiole Golden Plate thing is a joke, this just proves it. Way to vet the responses, dumbasses. Anyone with even the tiniest shred of journalistic curiousity would have spotted this a mile away. This city gets the paper it deserves (and pays for too.)

On the up side, we discoverd the best Malaysian restaurant I've ever been to (grated it's a small sample size). Ellie at Sexsmith and Cambie, in Continental Centre. More about it another time, suffice to say the lemon chicken was the single greatest thing I've eaten since being in Italy. Seriously. Ice cold plate, ice cold slices of lemon. Hot breaded chicken strips, slathered in ice cold sabal and, the best part, marinated onion and cilantro salad, also ice cold. So freaking good. Only been once, try to get there again this week to try everything again.

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Keith, it's too bad you didn't stay for the meal. I would love to have heard about the service that is so great that it made number three on a list that West could not even get on.

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Hello eGulleteers!

I'm a new member and thought I'd give my first two cents worth here.

I agree with KT that the winners of the Georgia Straight's Best Restaurants are won mostly by ballot stuffing.

Vancouver has such a variety of restaurants and I still see the usual winners every year on the list (such as Pink Pearl, Hons, etc.) Albeit, some winners are worth recognition.

I actually have never heard of Chatters amongst my foodies friends. Think I will put on my iron stomach and try it.

As for best Italian, namely pizza, Incendio; with their brick oven baked thin crust topped with fresh tomatoes and asiago cheese...mmmmmmm :rolleyes:

Does eGullet have a "Best of" listing? I'd be interested to know what foodies have to say, particularly in the Canada thread.

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  • 11 months later...

I just got the new Georgia Straight and they have there reader's poll out on Vancouver Dining. I think some of the results are pretty hilarious and some I am okay on....

So - with an eye on avoiding the food snob in me, are some of my thoughts

HUH?!

Anton's is best Italian

Hon's is best Chinese

White Spot as number two best burger (as a fan of them - even I will admit they are bad burgers)

Cobbs is number two for best bread

Go Fish not on list of fish and chip places

Havana is best Latin American (the closest thing to Latin American on the menu is Jambalaya!)

Death by Chocolate for best desserts

and last but not least - Starbucks is the best coffee in town

Alright Reader Polls! I think there are some pretty obvious ballot stuffers - but I don't want to get into trouble.... (but I did'nt know that Caper's did so many things so well).

Glad to see on the list....

Le Crocodile as best french

Fratelli's as best bakery (not sure if it is the best - but I like them)

Guu and Hapa Izakaya in the Japanese category

Irish Heather for best pub food

La Grotta del Farmaggio

Rugby Beach Club Grille seems to have gotten alot of attention - new Earl's. I have never been - but the booze is cheap and food is plentiful - and sometimes... that's okay.

Anyways the list is a lot of fun.

Edited by canucklehead (log)
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Does anyone take these lists seriously? :wacko: I mean where was West? :sad:

The HUH'S?! for me were:

Milestone's for best appetizers and salads; and

The Cannery for best seafood and most romantic spot - gimme a break on both counts.

"I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." Oscar Wilde
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Perhaps they should stick to what thier readers know like:

Best Massage Parlour.

Best Independent Escort.

Best Holistic Healer.

Best Man to Man Chat Room.

Best Overpriced Downtown Condo Development.

Best Place to buy Danish Furniture.

Edited by Coop (log)

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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It's a majority rule thing with polls like that; aside from ballot stuffing, if there are 20 good candidates, the one with the most votes (however mediocre--see Starbucks) will win.

As Kathleen Hanna puts it: Mediocrity Rules.

Totally agree. Add in the familiarity factor and you guarantee these kind of results. How many people eat at West in a year vs Milestones?

The Straight used to at least have some of their own writers' recommendations and commentary but each year they've cut back on this aspect.

Cheers,

Anne

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It's a majority rule thing with polls like that; aside from ballot stuffing, if there are 20 good candidates, the one with the most votes (however mediocre--see Starbucks) will win.

As Kathleen Hanna puts it: Mediocrity Rules.

Totally agree. Add in the familiarity factor and you guarantee these kind of results. How many people eat at West in a year vs Milestones?

The Straight used to at least have some of their own writers' recommendations and commentary but each year they've cut back on this aspect.

The other thing to remember is that it's the Straight readers, whose demographics vary wildly, but there's a very large young (poor) student component...what I considered best at 20 is not what I consider best now, and a lot of their bests are on the lower end of the price scale. Which is fine! The critics' bests are a little more in line with eGulleters' I would say.

The Kolachy Shop did well :smile: Yay Kolachy Keith and Jason!

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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The Straight used to at least have some of their own writers' recommendations and commentary but each year they've cut back on this aspect.

I agree barolo, used to enjoy reading the Straight awards when they printed reader comments and such. I will still give it a scan for interest's sake, but this forum has really become my reliable source for informed opinion. And a chuckle if Coop is online.

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Totally agree. Add in the familiarity factor and you guarantee these kind of results. How many people eat at West in a year vs Milestones?

Of course, that's true but the familiarity factor may be more to do - in certain categories - with "brand awareness"/reputation rather than having eaten there...hence, the naming of Lumiere and Tojos to mention just two.

The Straight used to at least have some of their own writers' recommendations and commentary but each year they've cut back on this aspect.

I found it vaguely curious that 2 of the writers did, however, extoll the virtues of La Regalade which was not listed....

"I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." Oscar Wilde
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Totally agree. Add in the familiarity factor and you guarantee these kind of results. How many people eat at West in a year vs Milestones?

Of course, that's true but the familiarity factor may be more to do - in certain categories - with "brand awareness"/reputation rather than having eaten there...hence, the naming of Lumiere and Tojos to mention just two.

[

Yes you are right that is probably the case too.

Cheers,

Anne

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Here's my take of last years awards. It was also the thread that encouraged Jamie to allow his alter ego almost equual time, yes I played a role in the birth of  F. Morris Chatters, and for that I'll be eternally sorry.  (I think) the first appearance by Mr. Chatters.

Hey, until I met you in person, I thought you were Jamie's alter ego. Like Clark Kent and Superman, never seen in the same place at the same time, but somehow connected.

I think a round on you is in order for releasing the beast of F. Morris Chatters.

Can you put the genie back in the bottle ? I fear it is too late. I think that Maw is nearly done production of the next issue of Van Mag, so he is going to unleash F. Morris with a furious vengence real soon.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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I'm still waiting to see the first signs of Chatters slipping into Vanmag. I suspect it'll be soon, and that Jamie will need some quiet time in a sanitarium. after that.

There's probably at least a couple hundred words available to someone wanting to compare/contrast Jamie/Chatters with Gollum/Smeegel in Lord of the Rings. l can't be assed at the moment, but if someone else wants to take up the cause, feel free.

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Aw... :sad::biggrin:

Waylman,

Chambar is one of the top restaurants in the city right now, if not Canada (in terms of accolades, press buzz, et cetera).

It has been showcased, highlit, and doused with praise since before it even opened. You should check it out but call ahead. Belgian/Moroccan fusion sounds a little weird, I know, but the food is fantastic and the atmosphere electric pretty much every night.

Edited by editor@waiterblog (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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