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Anyone know where to buy Kaffir lime tree in GTA?

Just missed out on the plants on ebay! Last one was sold only a few hours ago :(

Thanks for the tip though... didn't think to look on ebay, but will keep an eye out.

May 09, 2012
tyyz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Anyone know where to buy Kaffir lime tree in GTA?

Anyone find one currently in stock in Toronto? I've tried all over the place, including Sheridan and Humber, and no one seems to have one now.

May 07, 2012
tyyz in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Advice on cutting board / butcher block

Thanks Chemicalkinetics - couldn't have said it any better myself. The wrong product was shipped, and I agree it could have - and should have - been resolved without too much trouble. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

I would re-iterate that I have no complaints as to the quality of the product. However, given all the praise that the BoardSmith has received on this forum (and others), I think it's only fair to share some feedback regarding my experience with the shipping error. That way, future shoppers can make an informed decision.

Feb 02, 2011
tyyz in Cookware

Advice on cutting board / butcher block

I didn't measure the height of the feet, but the difference in height was definitely noticeable...

As for issues with sliding, despite being very large and heavy, my board does slide a bit on the counter. I've put a tea towel under it which stops the sliding and doesn't add any height.

Dec 16, 2010
tyyz in Cookware

Advice on cutting board / butcher block

Have had the board for a few weeks now and thought I'd provide a report, as requested above... I ordered a 22" x 16" board in walnut, with no feet, in late-August.

Firstly, regarding the quality of the board, it is very good, as expected. Nice, dark walnut, well-built, and shipped in a secure and protected package. No complaints whatsoever about the board - I've attached a picture.

My experience purchasing from The BoardSmith, unfortunately, was not so positive. The original board arrived in early October, but the one shipped was one-sided, with feet, whereas the board I had ordered was to be two-sided, with no feet. Unfortunately, with the added height of the feet (almost an inch in height), the board sat too high on my counter for me to comfortably use.

After emailing David about the problem, he acknowledged that the wrong board was shipped, and offered me a refund if I returned the board to him. However, I was not really interested in a refund - I just wanted the board I had purchased. He seemed reluctant to ship a new board, but after several email exchanges, he agreed to make a new board. He agreed to ship the replacement to me at his cost, but refused to cover the cost of returning the incorrect board that I received. Although I did not feel this was fair (since this was due to his shipping error), I agreed to pay the return shipping cost myself ($40), as I just wanted to receive the correct board at that point.

The new board was ready to be shipped in early-November. As I live in Canada, I asked him to declare a value of $0 on the customs form, and requested that an invoice be included that showed there was no charge for the board, so I would not have to pay import taxes and fees on the replacement board (this was accurate, as there was no charge for the exchange, and I had already imported the original board). I also reminded him several times in future correspondence to do this, as I wanted to avoid any further complications. Unfortunately, when the replacement board arrived, the declared value was $143, and there was no invoice included. As a result, I was charged another $24 in import taxes and fees to receive the replacement board.

After contacting David about this issue, he said that he could not indicate the value of the item as $0 - it would have been nice if he had mentioned this in any of our previous correspondence! He was also unwilling to reimburse the additional import fees charged for the replacement board, and asked me to dispute the charge with the Canadian border services. After I requested it, he did provide an invoice showing there was no charge for the replacement board, which I have used to submit my dispute for the import fees - I have received no response as of yet.

In summary, I have no complaints about the quality of the cutting board purchased from The Boardsmith. However, I am quite dissatisfied with the level of customer service provided, especially since the problem was caused by their error. The total additional cost to me as a result of their shipping error was in excess of $60 ($40 for return shipping, and $24 for additional import fees). In addition, I have had to incur the hassle of filing a dispute with the Canadian border services to request that the additional import fees be refunded (with no success so far). Needless to say, in the future, I will purchase from another company with more of a commitment to "make things right".

Dec 16, 2010
tyyz in Cookware

Advice on cutting board / butcher block

Thanks again to everyone for all the helpful advice! I've decided to go for a walnut board from The Boardsmith. David has been great both with his replies to this thread, and in answering my questions through email.

Thanks again, and can't wait to get my new board!

Aug 26, 2010
tyyz in Cookware

Expresso maker?

As mentioned earlier, there is a huge price range for equipment used to make an espresso... and if you're reading through the coffeegeek site, it's definitely a great resource, but it can (and often does) go to the extremes.

I did a fair bit of research and ended up spending about $800 on an espresso machine and grinder. I picked up a used FrancisFrancis! on ebay for ~$250 - the regular prices on those are way overpriced (in my opinion), but they are pretty good machines and seem to be available used for good prices.

The grinder I bought was a Macap MC4, which cost over $500 and is built like a tank. I doubt I'll ever need to replace it. I spent more on the grinder because it seems the consensus is that the quality of grind is much more important than the machine itself.

I'm very happy with my setup, and the quality of espresso I get is excellent - far better than the Starbucks stuff which I used to think was decent. I suspect it could get better with a higher quality machine, but I don't think it's worth the upgrade at this point, as I'd probably be looking at a machine in the $1000 range!

Good luck!

Aug 26, 2010
tyyz in Cookware

Advice on cutting board / butcher block

Thanks for all the info - this is all very helpful!

I think I've decided on the reversible/no-feet version, just for the added benefit of being able to reverse it, if necessary. Also, any added height resulting from the feet doesn't help me at all...

There doesn't seem to be much concern around 2" thick being too thin, so hopefully that means it's fine. I did try putting books under my existing board and at 3.5" thick, it's uncomfortably high for me.

As for wood type, it seems clear that walnut is safe... my only remaining question is if it's as effective/durable as maple. I cook at home probably 4-5 times a week, so this will get regular use, but not excessive. At this price-tag, I'd definitely be careful to take good care of it!

The Boardsmith seems to be well-regarded - I'll send him an email.

Thanks again, and of course, welcome any additional thoughts/opinions!

Aug 25, 2010
tyyz in Cookware

Advice on cutting board / butcher block

I've decided it's time to upgrade to a nice cutting board/butcher block that should (hopefully) last me a lifetime - I'm referring to the pieces of wood you put on your kitchen counter (not the ones with legs that are a stand-alone piece of furniture). I've done some research, and thought I'd get the advice of experts here. I've already read through several threads on this topic on this site, so hopefully this isn't already addressed elsewhere.

Based on what I've read, it seems clear that end-grain is the way to go, and I'm prepared to spend ~$200 for a nice board.

Reversible vs. non-reversible:
It seems that some boards are reversible, while others have little feet attached, which means they can only be used on one side. My initial thought is that reversible is better, as if something goes horribly wrong, I should still be able to use the other side. However, I've read that the feet prevent sliding and help air circulation, so that moisture doesn't accumulate on the under-side of the board. Is one generally better than the other, or is it just personal preference? The one I'm using now doesn't have any feet, and I've never experienced any issues with sliding.

Thickness:
Thicker seems to be better, however, I'm not that tall, and having a 4" thick board on my counter would make cutting uncomfortably high (I've tested it out). I'm thinking 2 - 2.5" is the maximum thickness I could manage, given my current kitchen setup. Is it worth investing in an expensive board of this thickness?

Wood type:
Is maple really the way to go? I love the look of walnut, which is not quite as hard. Is walnut a good choice if I'm looking for something that will last a long time? I don't mind paying extra for walnut, but not if it's not as functional as maple. Cherry also looks nice, but appears to be softer than walnut.

Manufacturer:
Any thoughts on the quality of John Boos boards, compared with some of the smaller companies? I'd prefer to support the smaller makers, but don't want to end up with something that falls apart after a few years!

Thanks in advance!

Aug 24, 2010
tyyz in Cookware