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Anywhere still doing old-school Danforth Greek food?

I've been working my way along the Danforth searching (so far) in vain for the kind of Greek food that Omonia used to serve - straight-ahead souvlaki with really lemony, waxy potatoes, white vinegar and oregano on the salad, grilled sesame seed bread or pita, and no drizzles of anything except maybe olive oil. If this sounds like the place you go to, please let me know where it is!!

Feb 12, 2012
savagehenry in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Barcelona - 41 Degrees and Tickets in the same evening?

There must be a more scientific approach, but I would just check out the site at various times of day (and night) to see when a new date opens. For example, right now December 23 is that last date that had been opened for reservations (but looks like it's booked up already). I would just keep checking back to see when the 24th appears (well, maybe best to wait until January dates open up at this point, as they may just be closed over Christmas) ...... and so on, until you narrow down what time of day new dates seem to open up. It looks like 41 Degrees is comparatively much easier to get into (you could get in tomorrow night if you wanted), and that would be a worthwhile experience in its own right. But if you can find a time at Tickets, you really should.

Sep 27, 2011
savagehenry in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona - 41 Degrees and Tickets in the same evening?

Don't worry, there is plenty of good food on the menu at 41. We stuck with snacks as we needed to manage the total consumption for the evening, and our server suggested we avoid things that were also on the Tickets menu. Your server will be able to recommend a great meal at 41.

Sep 19, 2011
savagehenry in Spain/Portugal

Madrid restaurants -- comments please.

We ate at both Botin and La Bola last week. Both serve pretty solid traditional food, certainly nothing fancy. I loved the atmosphere at Botin - we were seated in the cellar. La Bola was a bargain - we shared a house salad and a cocido, which is served as 2 courses (our waiter insisted one order would be plenty for two people, and he was right - it's very filling) so food was about 35 Euros, wine as always in Spain was cheap, maybe 20 Euros, and we were served a complimentary digestif afterward. For both places I'd have to say I'm very glad to have gone once, not sure if I'd go again, probably didn't need to go to both on the same trip. Both places full of tourists but not "touristy". I have read negative comments about the service (again for both places) but we found everyone to be friendly and efficient.

Sep 14, 2011
savagehenry in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona - 41 Degrees and Tickets in the same evening?

OK, so I stopped fretting and just went for it (my eventual go-to position on all travel matters). It was great. For anyone else wondering, an hour is plenty of time for a couple of cocktails each (12 or 14 Euros each - excellent drinks in all respects) and a few snacks at 41 Degrees before moving on to dinner at Tickets. We paid E81.70 for four cocktails and 8 snacks (some shareable, some orderd in double - our server as most helpful about this). Atmosphere was very chill, with cool music. At least three gentlemen were in shorts and trainers but please, the place deserves more effort than that.

The staff were not remotely surprised that we were doing both places the same night. Deepfry7 is right - Tickets is not to be missed. Although the menu proclaims "this is not a tapas bar", much of it still is tapas, just the finest tapas you can ever hope to eat. We lucked out on the seating assignment in both places - at 41 Degrees, at one of only two private tables with big comfy armchairs (the whole place seats approx. 36, mostly shared table and bar seating) and in Tickets, we were seated facing the kitchen, directly across from Albert Adria's station where he was expiditing the kitchen and inspecting every plate before it went out. He seemd to take a personal interest in our meal, suggesting the best implements with which to eat a particular dish (there are some rather surgical looking tongs that do a great job with some of the dishes), or deciding we needed bread with something and having someone fetch it for us, or finding someone to explain something to us in English in more detail than he was comfortable with. It was just a treat to watch him work. We went for the "let us suggest a menu for you" option and were glad we did - we enjoyed a great variety of dishes, some we mightn't have chosen on our own, everything wonderful. This included the classic El Bulli "olives" which we were most excited to experience again. Great value wine list with many choices under 30 Euros, most under 50. In all at Tickets we spent 181.55 Euros for two, including a good bottle of cava and one glass of a very good red wine to share with our final course of rabbit. It could have been more expensive but we eschewed the offer of a jamon iberico course, as we'd already consumed more pork on this trip than could be considered reasonable. We were also treated to a couple of glasses of a lovely house-made digestif, no charge. Dress code for Tickets would if anything be a little more casual than 41 Degrees. The music was delightfully uncool.

I really hope we get to go back to Tickets again - it is right up there on the "best meal ever" list, because of the combo of fine food quality and great fun factor - hard to find both in one place.

No question you must reserve for either place -- reservations open 3 months in advance, and I recomend spending a bit of time on the website checking out what time of day new reservations open etc., in your own time zone. I will mention that there were spaces open at 41 Degrees around 8:30 on a Friday night, but I don't know if you could walk in anyway -- for either place, you must make your way past a velvet rope and uniformed master of ceremonies (just decide it is fun and go with it). I don't know if they ever accept walk-ins even if there are seats empty.

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El Bulli
Spain , ES

Sep 12, 2011
savagehenry in Spain/Portugal

San Sebasrian restaurants open on Mondays?

Go to Urepel, open Monday evenings. Reserve ahead if you can (we were lucky to get a table by having the hotel call the same day). You may need to ask about the tasting menu - it was not on the English menu, only the Spanish menu (I've learned to ask for one English, one Spanish and compare!). On the night we were there it was only 50 Euros pp for a really good and substantial tasting including house wine (2 bottles for 4 people) and a "champagne" cocktail to start. Service was a little terse and slow to begin but warmed up as it became clear we were appreciating the food. Traditional Spanish decor. Jeans OK but please no shorts or trainers.

For Sunday, lots of good choices in the old town. Be sure to hit Goiz Argi for the brocheta de gambas to begin with, then whatever strikes your fancy (it is all delicious, nice owners, great atmosphere) and Le Cuchara de San Telmo -- amazing meat dishes, especially the foie and the braised bits -- we didn't get to anything else on our visit. The old town can be a litle confusing, so make sure you have a map and know where to look -- Cuchara de San Telmo is at the end of a little side street and easy to miss - look for the beer brand Keler 18 on their awning.

Sep 12, 2011
savagehenry in Spain/Portugal

4Gats

Haven't been since 2009. Loved the room, food was fine. I would go maybe for a weekend lunch, not a big deal dinner by any means (for that...... Tickets if you can get in, Commerc24 or Cinq Sentits (all require reservation, different policies). At 4Gats you will definitely be amongst tourists, but so what. Have the fideo.

Sep 12, 2011
savagehenry in Spain/Portugal

Arzak -- Second Floor Better?

Just dined at Arzak this past weekend. There were people dining on the main floor, but most were on the second floor..... there are a couple of different spaces up there but all open to each other so no space feels like exile. Chef made the rounds greeting everyone, and introduced us to the people at the next table, special guests of his, one of whom was from the same country as my party. This was my favourite meal of all time - flavour and texture clearly come first for this kitchen, then magic in the presentation, and the room was lively with the buzz of everyone having a great time, not something I can say about many a 'destination' restaurant I have experienced. You will have a wonderful time.

Sep 06, 2011
savagehenry in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona - 41 Degrees and Tickets in the same evening?

Hi. I've managed to reserve at 41 Degrees, followed by Tickets an hour later the same evening. Now I'm worried - is an hour enough to have a couple of drinks and snacks at 41 Degrees, and what is Tickets like for dinner? Photos on their website make it look very confusing inside, and our Spanish is next to nil. I'm wondering if we need to try to start at 41 Degrees earlier, or consider skipping one or the other, but I love the Adria boys' food and this may be my only chance to dine at these places. Has anyone been to both places the same night, and if so what is that like. Failing that, can anyone give me sense of what it's like to dine at Tickets (i.e. are you seated, or do you move around the different spaces, and how easy is it to figure out?). Thanks!!

Aug 23, 2011
savagehenry in Spain/Portugal

Wabora - Japanese restaurant at the Thompson Hotel

Had lunch there today. Agadashi tofu was seriously delicious, beautifully plated with a seemingly animated garnish of bonito and nori, and only $6 (warning -- I don't know how they can have got it that hot -- leave it to cool a bit!!). A spicy rice-paper roll (around $13) with real crab, mango and I don't remember what else was very good and fresh tasting, but, as some other posts have indicated about the rolls here, very large -- be prepared to unhinge your jaw, or eat very messily in a few bites -- perhaps not first date fare! A couple of lunch special rice bowls (beef bulgogi and chicken katsu at $10 per) rounded out a very tasty and filling meal. The room is very clean-lined elegant and comfortable, service was friendly and sufficiently attentive. I would definitely go back. Menu pricing is wide ranging enough that while you really could do it on the cheap, it could also add up to expensive very quickly.

Nov 10, 2010
savagehenry in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Smoked Meat Duel at Wychwood

I can't believe no-one is speculating as to whether Zane will run out of meat before the event starts. Of course, you'll want to show up 15 minutes early, as that's when your fries will be ready. But I'm going anyway -- these three are definitely the top contenders and The Stop is a great cause.

Jul 12, 2010
savagehenry in Ontario (inc. Toronto)