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neville nosher's Profile

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Frozen calamari

Does anyone know where to buy it in N Scottsdale. The local supermarkets have all dropped it.

Oct 23, 2013
neville nosher in Phoenix

Green mangoes

Does anyone know where to get green mangoes. I thought that T&T would have them but they didn't.

Jul 13, 2013
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Renegade Tap & Kitchen

I called to make a reservation for May 7, and was told that they are going to be closed for a few weeks. Anyone know if they are closing. Seems like an odd time to shut down for vacation.

May 06, 2013
neville nosher in Phoenix

Under-rated + Trendy + Unique GTA Restaurants

Was at Keriwa last week. On Sat nite it was extremely loud. Had to shout to be heard.
The wine list was extremely pricy and there was only 1 table with a bottle on it. Started with trout which ws very good, and then had the bison steak which was a tiny portion of meat with 2 very small potatoes and some greens. Not very exciting and very pricy for what was little more than a starter portion.

Jul 29, 2012
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Freshly Baked Pita Bread!

The pita at Sababa is very good, and the sesame pita re worth a try as well. I agree that the dips are good, especially the Turkish dip which has a nice spicy bite to it.
While you are there, grab a falafel. Its a reasonably priced and is very good.
I recall getting pita at Ararat Bakery on Avenue Road many years ago. Dont know if thye still bake them in house.

Jul 29, 2012
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Toronto Office Coffee!

I too would recommend Imperial Coffee. It is a well managed company and their service is excellent.

Jul 26, 2012
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

mandatory tipping for larger groups [moved from Phoenix board]

The other evening Nancy and I went to Local Bistro, which we have enjoyed on several occasions. Our son and his wife and their 2 kids were with us. The food was good, as usual, but when the bill arrived, there was a 20% tip added to it. There was no mention of this objectionable policy on the menu, so I spoke to the manager about it, and he said it was their policy to add 20% to bills for large groups (4 adults with 2 kids is a large group????). I pointed out to him that this policy is generally printed on the menu when it applies, and he said that they had dropped the ball, and that it would be added on the next iteration of the menu. He also offered to deduct it from the bill, but since the amount was in line with what I would have tipped without being forced to, I let it stand. I asked him about the rationale for this policy and he said that the table had to be pushed together to accommodate us, hence the inclusion of the tip.
This was nonsense since if 2 2-tops were pushed togehter for 4 people, there is no tip added.
Since is tip is an acknowledgement of good service, should the decision as to the amount of a gratuity not be left to the client?

Mar 13, 2012
neville nosher in Not About Food

Bulk spices

Does anyone know where to get fresh spices in bulk or in larger quantities. I want to make a batch of dry spice rub and do not want to buy the tiny expensive supermarket jars.

Mar 08, 2012
neville nosher in Phoenix

Unique Dining Experience for 20 people?

We dined at Corner House last week and had a very good meal. The special was elk with spaetzle and it was done to perfection, and a bargain at $29.
You could probaly have a private room as there are several small rooms, one of which would be quite suitable.

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Corner House
501 Davenport Avenue, Toronto, ON M3R 4R6, CA

Oct 29, 2011
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Celestin - Don't Go

ate there when it first opened and panned it on chowhound. am so surprised that their emoire is thriving

Aug 02, 2011
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Diana's Seafood opening restaurant

was in the store last week and was told that they were going to open this month when the patio was finished.heard that it ws going to be an oyster bar

Aug 02, 2011
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Where to find Triple Kimmel Rye?

try Harbord Bakery, on Habord, of course. they also do a great onion rye

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Harbord Bakery
115 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

Aug 02, 2011
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Local Bistro

Nancy and i tried Local Bistro, at Hayden and Thompson Peak, The other night for the 1st time. It has been open for a few months and we regret that we were unaware of it since we are about to return to the Great White North. It ia a large cavernous space with very a high ceiling and not soft surfaces,so on a busy night, the noise is most likely ear splitting.

The menus is large and varied enought to satisfy all tastes, and the pricing is gentle enough for all budgets, withte mosst expensive items (steaks) topping out under $30.

Water was served with a choice of lemon, lime and orange slices and a first rate sourdough bread was served in a brown paper bag and was accompanied with a very tasty Romesco Sauce.

Nancy started with the tuna tartare which was a generous portion of fish in a tasty citrus marinade, while Ihad the calamari with a pimenton de la vera (smoked paprika) aioli. Both were delicious and the squid was fried only long enough to turn the coating a golden brown, and leave the sqid soft and tender. It was plated nicely with a grilled lemon half and finely minced parsley mixed in withte squis

Nancy had another starter as her main, the mussels and clams, which were served in a cast iron vessel in a white wine sauce along with a garguantuan chunk of toast. They were quite fresh and very tasty.

I had the grilled salmon with Bearnaise sauce which was accompanied by mashed potatoes, lightly steamed broccoli florettes and steamed baby carrots. (I dont understand why restos refer to mashed potatoes as mashers. I always understood that to be the implement that is used to make said potaoes.)

The wine list is fairly basic, with nothing overly expensive. There was a reasonable selection of open wines and the pour was not skimpy.

I caught a glimpse of the hamburger as it passed by my table. It was presented very nicley with a huge mound of fries. If we get to return before we leave, i will definitely try it.

Ont the topic of hamburgers, we have been to Rengade Canteen a few times and Bobs Burger is definitely a standout. The acompanying sweet potato fries were probably the best that i have ever had.
The pot roast is exceptional and the duck tacos were first rate as well.
The resto is physically highly reminiscent of Roaring Fork and has a very welcoming ambience.

We were there again last week and there had been quite a few menu changes.
We shared the ceviche to start and it was disappointing. Having just returned from a trip to S. America, where we had many variations of the dish it turned out to be a bad choice. There was an ample quantity of fish in a tomato sauce which was overwhelmed by the heat of jalapenos and the sweetness of sugar. The taste of the fish and shrimp was MIA.

We both had the smoked, braised and then fried pork shank as a main, which was acompanied by a side of parsnip and apple(I think) puree.
The meat was quite tender, but it was sauced with a very sweet glaze, and the side was excessively sweet as well. We had enough sugar to preclude a desert section.

Havng had excellent experiences at RC i nthe past, we are inclined to write this one off and look forward to returning.

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Roaring Fork
4800 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Apr 28, 2011
neville nosher in Phoenix

Florentina on MT pleasant - Anyone?

The chef certainly has a good pedigree, but it all ends there.
We went last nite, out of desperation, since resto choices for Sun. nites are limited.

Weh nthe waiter greeted us, i wasinstanly put off as his face was covered with a liberal coating of perspiration. I can accept this when it is Springsteen on stage or Steve Nash on the BB court, but definitely not from someone who is going ot be serving me a meal.

That said, all four of us were somewhat dismayed by the limitations of the menu. There were a lot of pizzas and pasta dishes, but very few that fell into the category of secondi.

We started off with 2 salads, whic h were decent enough, and 2 orders of Bresaola. Hard to screw that up, but for the price, chef could have been a little more generous with the meat, and a lot more generous with the Parmigiano which appeared more as a decoration than as an ingredient.

Nancy and our riend had the Branzino, which was served as grilled fillets, and it was passable. This fish is far better when served as a whole fish.

The men ordered the cornish hen al mattone (grilled under a brick) ,which is very nicely done at Zucca, and occasionally in my kitchen at home. We were then told that they did not have the hen, but were substituting chicken treated with the same marinade. It was not flattened under a brick.

My first taste was a piece of the leg meat, always moist and tasty. This was cooked to the point at which it tasted like sawdust. Both servings were similar.
We sent them back to the kitchen and ultimately ordered pasta with octopus, squid and shrimp in a tomato sauce. It was quite tasty, but our enjoyment was diminished by the fact that our ladies had finished their mains by the time ours arrived.

Although they did not charge us for the chicken, they did charge us full price for the replacement entrees and did not so much as offer us a few glasses of wine to wash away the bitter taste of a screwed up dinner.

Nancy and i spend much of the winter in the SW US and constantly marvel at the superiority of hte service everywhere. Where something goes awry in a resto, they fall over themselve to make it right, and to make it up to the customer in every way possible.
Rarely have i experinenced this attitude toward knock your socks off service in Canada.

On the other hand we do have universal heath care.

Neville

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Zuccabar
299 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8R2L4, CA

May 31, 2010
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Returning to North Scottsdale after a year's absence- any new places to try?

If barbecue appeals to you try Bryan's Black Mountain BBQ on Cave Creek Road. It is an unassuming cafeteria style operation that serves excellent bbq. We have had the ribs, pulled pork and the brisket, all of which are first class. Sides are also very good. The beans are not overly sweet, nor too salty, as is often the case and the baked potato potato salad is very tasty, as is the coleslaw. It is worth the trip.

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Cave Creek Cafe
15202 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85023

Oct 28, 2009
neville nosher in Phoenix

soba noodles and 'israeli' couscous

Rube's at the St. Lawrence mkt carries bulk Israeli cous cous. It is not in his main location with the rice but in his secondary spot a few steps away.

Jun 13, 2008
neville nosher in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Phoenix Pizza - Oreganos?

If you are looking for a cheap inedible pie, Oreganos is the place to go. The crust is soggy cardboard and the toppings are devoid of flavor.

On the other hand, the salad that we had was pretty decent.
We have been to Humble Pie a couple of times in the past 2 weeks and it is excellent. The crust is puffy and lightly charred in places and the version with Schreiners Italian sausage was one of the best pies that we have had in the PHX area. Don't miss the green bean app. We have been to Bianco's and it is a great pie, but no pizza justifies a 2 hour wait.

May 16, 2008
neville nosher in Phoenix

Hong Kong-style restaurant in new Lee Lee market

where is the new Lee Lee

May 10, 2008
neville nosher in Phoenix

Cafe Bink

Nancy and i tried Cafe Bink a few weeks ago and were thoroughly disappointed. We are huge fans of Kevin Binkley and have eaten at Binkleys many times, including twice in April.
We arrived latish and were seated at the bar. The bartender was very talkative and carried on a conversation with us throughout the meal. We ordered the fries which were excellent, and the mussels which contained several spoiled mussels in each serving. I dont know how this escaped the chef since the odor of a spoiled mussel is hard to miss. As well, the size of the order was very petite, considering the $16 tab for them. (the week before, i had mussels at Methode Bistro, which were portioned much more generously, and the preparation was superior). We returned them to the kitchen and ordered the trout. It was unexceptional and came on a plate adorned with a few pieces of green beans and a few slivers of almonds.

In situations such as this that i have experienced in the past, the server has often offered a complimentary glass of wine or a desert, but no such redeeming gesture was made here.
We left with a bad taste in our mouths.

May 03, 2008
neville nosher in Southwest

Cave Creek, AZ recs?

I agree that Harolds is a poor choice. You might consider Carefree Station. The menu has something for everyone and the wine liist is surprisingly extensive. The food is fairly decent and they have a large patio which migh be good for this time of year. Cartwright is certainly a reasonable selection as well.

May 03, 2008
neville nosher in Southwest

Scottsdale: Fine's Cellar

Nancy and I tried Fine's lst night and had an excellent meal. The food and service were first rate and we enjoyed a visit with the owner, Mike.
Nancy started with the tuna tartare which was very fresh and quite tasty and then had the duck leg for her main. I had the duck confit bratwurst which was absolutely delicious aand followed that with the braised shortrib and polenta fries, which was also first rate. The beef was devoid of fat and served in a light sauce.
We had the lemon tart and the chocolate bread pudding affogato for desert. They, too, were very good.
Mike's wine policy is very interesting. Every wine on the list is available by the glass, but the price of a glass is disproportionate to the price of a bottle, as mentioned previously. The bottle price is a much better value and the markups are very gentle. It makes more sense to order the bottle and take home whatever is left over. I discussed that with Mike and he said that this was his intention.
We will add Fine"s to our list of regular restos.

Feb 27, 2008
neville nosher in Phoenix

Restaurants @ Wynn - Las Vegas

I did my homework and certainly was not looking for a bargain basement dinner, and I definitely was not looking for large portions as I can rarely finish them. Since I knew what the approximate cost of a meal was, I did not suffer sticker shock. I simply felt that the prices were not merited.
I am happy that Ruth Laffler understands my perspective.

Feb 26, 2008
neville nosher in Southwest

Restaurants @ Wynn - Las Vegas

Just got back from Vegasand stayed at the Wynn. We were not particularly impressed when we came back to our room at 5 after being out most of the day to find that our room was not made up. We called the front desk and they offered to send housekeeping right away to clean it but we told them to do it when we went out for dinner. We called before we left to let them know we were leaving so housekeeping could get in. The room was stil not cleaned when we returned around midnight.
We ate at Alex one night. The room was very elegant and the service was exemplary.
The food was very good, but the price of the 3 course prix fixe of 145 was outrageous. The value is just not there. We scanned the menu at Bartolotta and noted that fish was priced at $14 per 100 grams. That is about 63 bucks for a 1 lb fish and I would uess that the fish is weighed whole, not after it is cleaned and filleted. Very pricy indeed. We had a good meal at Fiamma whose prices are a little more down to earth.
It is hard to dine in a high end vegas restaurant without feeling that the prices are geared to the high rollers who are comped and fell like they are really getting the royal treatment when the see the prices that they are not paying.

Feb 23, 2008
neville nosher in Southwest

Why are all the Chinese restaurants in Central Phoenix a bad facsimile of Panda Express?

Without a substantial Chinese population it seems unlikely that there will ever be any authentic Chinese restaurants in Phoenix. Most places gear their food to American tastes, or what the chefs and owner perceive to be what their clientele demands.
I live most of the year in Toronto which has a huge Chinese population, and the Chinese food here is comparable to the food in Hong Kong. The same applies to Vancouver, which I visit frequently.
I had dim sum last week at C-Fu Gourmet which gets fairly favorable reviews, but it was, at best, passable.
I had wanted to try Jade Buddha, but it has received a lot of negative comments lately.
I am open to suggestions.
After lunch there, we went to Lee Lee supermarket. It was awesome! It is about a 40 minute drive from our house, but it is definitely worth the trip.

Jan 28, 2008
neville nosher in Phoenix

Review: Phoenix City Grille - Phoenix

Nancy Nosher and I are fairly reugular isitors to PCG when we are in town (we r sno birds) and we frequently take our visitors there. We ate there the other night and had a very enjoyable meal. As usual we had the griddled corn cakes hich are hard to pass up as is (are?) the carnitas. The meat special was shortribs which I enjoyed thoroughly especially after being disappointed by them at House of Tricks. N had the fish special which was Ono. It was delicious. Service was quite good and our guests, Frieda and Freddie Fresser enjoyed their dinners as well. amazingly, they are locals and had never been there.
N and I ate at Sierra Bonita last week and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Jan 12, 2008
neville nosher in Phoenix

Top 5 in Scottsdale, Top 1 in PHX-SW

At the high end of the price spectrum, try Binkley"s (res well in advance) and Sassi,
For dependable SW style food at reasonable prices consider Phoenix City Grill or Sierra Bonita Grill (same ownership). Richardsons does not take reservations and the wait can be long. Food is good but not that good. Yasu Sushi Bistro is pretty good as well. Don't limit yourselves to sushi since there are some interesting cooked dishes. For more tex mex consider Blue Adobe.
Wherever you go, be prepared for a fairly rushed experience.. The notion of relaxed dining seems to be a foreign concept here in PHX. We have been fed inside of an hour with the arrival of 2 courses and the check in that time at numerous high end ($$$) places. This seems to be a rule rather than an exception.

Jan 12, 2008
neville nosher in Phoenix

Bagels in Scottsdale

I bought a dozen at Big City yesterday. They were quite good. I will try the others as we deplete our current supply.
thanks
Neville

Jan 03, 2008
neville nosher in Southwest

House of Tricks

Hi windubar
Although there were a few disapointments, we would definitlely return. We did sit inside, however, so the wine was cold because it was kept at frigid temperatures.
I had the foie last time I was there and it was very good as was everything else.
I always have a problem with the servers' recommendations at restos when they say "my favorite is.....". I should have listened this time

Dec 29, 2007
neville nosher in Southwest

House of Tricks

Nancy Nosher and I made the trek from N. Scottsdale to House of Tricks in Tempe last nite. We have had several good meals there in the past and have found it to be worth the drive. The menu is fairly extensive and quite interesting and the wine list is comprehensive as well. Worth noting is the fact that they have a decent open wine program with about 10 reds and 10 whites available by the glass, a practice that other places should consider in place of offering cheap plonk listed as house wine and sold at unconscionable markups.
Nancy started witht the stuffed poblano which was stuffed to overflowing with cheese, corn, onions and served on a red pepper sauce. She enjoyed it and was gracious enough to offer me a taste. It was delicious. I started with the seared scallops with prosciutto and asparagus on a yellow tomato beurre blanc. It too was excellent and I used a spoon to scrape up every trace of the sauce.
Since N is a teetotaller, I ordered a glass of white wine which was served so cold that it made my teeth ache. I excused this thinking that their wine cooler was running cold last nite. When the zinfandel that I ordered with my meat course was served at the same temperature, I returned it. The waiter brought me another, supposedly warmer pour, but it was the same, so I passed on the wine.
For mains, Nancy had the duck breast on risotto which she said was very good. I had the short ribs, which I often order when the are available. (They are particularly good at Roaring Fork.) The server had advised me that there were somewhat fatty, but when the meat quivered as he placed the plate on the table, I knew that I hade made a bad choice. There were huge chunks of glistening white fat throughout the meat which normally are rendered out of the meat during the long cooking that short ribs require. The accompanying dumplings were flattened torpedos of a doughy mixture which had been fried and did not remind me of any dumplings that I have ever had before. The braising liquid was very flavorful and had the meat been less fatty, the dish would have been a hit.
We will definitely give it another try.

Dec 28, 2007
neville nosher in Southwest

canadians in AZ

As a fellow Canadian, I would strongly recommend Roaring Fork. We have been there numerous times over several years and have always been pleased. The food is very good and the atmosphere is totally unretentious, as in many places here. I understand that it changed hands not too long ago, but the new owners have wisely left everything as is, or at least had done so as of my last visit a few months ago.
Be sure to try the green chili mac and cheese, and the cornmeal crusted trout is also excellent. Ditto the short ribs.

Dec 25, 2007
neville nosher in Southwest