hal2010's Profile

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has anyone eaten at Pai Northern Thai Kitchen?

Chris Nutall-Smith gave them 2 stars in a review last week. He says they serve some of the best Thai food in Toronto, but the competition isn't that strong. I have to agree that the SE Asian food in this city could be more adventurous.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

Aug 14, 2014
hal2010 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

How much do I tip? How much should I tip? How much do YOU tip? etc.... [moved from Ontario board]

We're talking less than 10% difference in minimum wages in Ontario. I can't see how that justifies a gratuity of 15-20% of your bill. In order to make up the difference a server has to sell about $10 an hour, assuming a 15% average tip.

All of your arguments about the benefits of motivating people with tips could apply to any job involving serving the public: cashier, retail worker, garbage collector. They don't get tips. I guess the extra $58 a week makes up for that. And why am I supposed to be the one motivating someone's staff?

If they were paid a living wage and benefits then they should have the incentive to do a good job. Instead we have this vaguely coercive system where tipping less than a certain percentage is "tacky" or grounds for food sabotage or poor service on a repeat visit.

I've actually found service to be more professional in countries where they pay staff a reasonable wage and they are properly trained. The manager of a restaurant has less incentive to ensure his staff are doing a great job if they aren't really paying their wages.

Aug 12, 2014
hal2010 in Not About Food

Tips for More Tips: Waitresses Who Draw Smiley Faces Make More Money

We had a great meal at the The Grocery in Charleston recently. The waitress was very friendly but not in a "Hi, I'm Buffy and I'll, like, be your server tonight!" **big cheesy grin** type of way. Something clicked between us and we must have talked with her for about 10 minutes during our meal.

She helped us make some great menu choices. Gave us a few recommendations about things to do in town that lined up very well with what we wanted to do, and told us how she juggled a couple of jobs to make ends meet. (She makes more waiting than full-time teaching). All of this conversation happened naturally and on this particular evening we were appreciative of it. The southern hospitality and candidness went with the great food and atmosphere of the restaurant and our moods that evening.

Other evenings we might have not been so open to discussion and a good server would have known that.

Aug 12, 2014
hal2010 in Not About Food

Best wording to offer chef services as a gift to bride & groom

If they're getting married next month they have enough to worry about without feeling obliged to spend money on a dinner they may not have had otherwise. It's a nice thought but I agree that it should be all inclusive or if requested only.

Aug 11, 2014
hal2010 in Not About Food

Tips for More Tips: Waitresses Who Draw Smiley Faces Make More Money

Good servers can read your mood or circumstances and treat you appropriately. There's occasions when some conversation with the server can really enhance your time out. And there are nights where you want to talk with your companions and have the service be as unobtrusive as possible.

Aug 11, 2014
hal2010 in Not About Food
2

Completo...great addition for takeout in Leslieville

Here's their Twitter feed with a menu photo

https://twitter.com/CompletoClub/stat...

Aug 08, 2014
hal2010 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Food comments heard on the street

"Tea has more caffeine in it than coffee. That's why hot tea burns more than hot coffee."

-overheard in line at Starbucks

Aug 08, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

What would you do to fix the Food Network

What shows were on and what's a YAGO?

Aug 08, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

has anyone eaten at Pai Northern Thai Kitchen?

Renovations in existing buildings do not need to be barrier free if the existing suite floor level is more than 200mm above or below existing grade.

Aug 06, 2014
hal2010 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Want to get a taste of Canada for a family vacation

If you really want a taste of Canada you need to stop at Tim Hortons a few times, order a "double double" and one of their sugar glazed donuts. Yeah, they ain't what they used to be, but they're a national institution. They are also great places to observe the average Canadian in his habitat, eh?

Aug 06, 2014
hal2010 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What would you do to fix the Food Network

FN Canada a few years ago.

They sent back a form letter explaining that their programming reflects their viewers' desires.

It was suspiciously like a form letter I received from Discovery Canada when I wrote them to complain about the precipitous decline in science programming.

In Canada these expansion channels are partially funded by a mandatory fee on your cable bill. They're run by the big media monopolies who have completely given up even trying to meet their original mandate. The Travel and Adventure Channel focuses on Ghosts and UFOs, Discovery is about how to make motorcycles in your garage and repossess cars. A&E seems to be a 24 hour Storage Wars channel. According to an article I read recently they make millions in ad sales on even the most marginal channels.

Aug 06, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

Local Beer Recs?

A few of my favourites, available from the LCBO. Smaller LCBO outlets may not have a great selection of local craft beers. Try the bigger stores like Summerhill or Leaside.

Conductor's Ale by Junction Brewery
Detour IPA by Muskoka Brewery - a low alcohol IPA with good hops and not a lot of bitterness.
Amsterdam Tempest Imperial Stout
Side Launch Wheat, as previously mentioned

Aug 05, 2014
hal2010 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Want to get a taste of Canada for a family vacation

When are you coming? There are some fairs and festivals in August which may fit the bill. In Toronto the CNE, for example, has a Food Pavillion. Or there's the Festival of South Asia with good Indian and Pakistani street food.

Montreal has tourtierre, smoked meat, poutine, or the traditional hot dog steamé at a roadside casse-croûte. Old Montreal is definitely worth a visit.

Ottawa has the Byward Market which is near the parliament Buildings and the museums. They also have lots of good shawarma.

Aug 05, 2014
hal2010 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bad service (not horrible). Check adjusted. What to tip?

What they paid.

Aug 04, 2014
hal2010 in Not About Food

Bad service (not horrible). Check adjusted. What to tip?

10% of the actual bill

Aug 04, 2014
hal2010 in Not About Food

Good non-toxic, grain-free things for a puppy who is teething to chew on?

A stick

Aug 03, 2014
hal2010 in Not About Food

What would you do to fix the Food Network

Rename it "The Food Gameshow Network" and start again. There are so many great food shows on other channels. Currently enjoying "Two Greedy Italians" and the Luke Ng programs.

Aug 03, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

Tipping in Europe

You were chased so someone could get another 0.5%? That's a buck on a $200 meal.

Aug 03, 2014
hal2010 in Not About Food

The 9 unhealthiest restaurant meals in America

This list is all chain restaurants. It would be interesting to see what the average bistro puts out. How many grams of fat and sodium in the average Caesar salad, steak frites plus a creme brulee?

Aug 01, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

10 Best Southern Hotdogs?

Low Country Produce in Beaufort SC has a great hotdog called Frank's Furter. It's your basic dog but they put a weird combination of their own artichoke relish and strawberry pepper jam on it.

Aug 01, 2014
hal2010 in Southeast

Charleston or Savannah for Thanksgiving weekend foodie trip?

Charleston has better food. Savannah has more character.

Aug 01, 2014
hal2010 in Southeast
1

A beef: "Is this your first time here?"

It's usually a precursor to an explanation on how to order too much food.

Aug 01, 2014
hal2010 in Not About Food

Get Ready For More Feces In Your Chicken!

I'm not so sure food is that expensive. As a percentage of income North Americans spend very little on food. An iPhone, a gas-guzzling SUV or 60" TV is a necessity but sustainable food is a luxury. Our priorities are a bit f'ed up.

Aug 01, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News
4

Does Fast Food Really Make People Fat?

Yes, I mean to use the word "evolved". As a species we have evolved to crave fat and sugar. Until quite recently they were a rare luxury in our diet, so when they were available we'd gorge on them. But technology has outpaced evolution. Now fats and sugars are abundant and cheap. We still have an innate desire for them and the end result is that we eat more of them than we should and are, on average, heavier than before. Combine that with a sedentary lifestyle and it's a recipe for disaster.

Aug 01, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

Does Fast Food Really Make People Fat?

When did the onslaught if High Fructose Corn Syrup happen? I'm not saying people have evolved to be fatter in 20 years. My point is that humans (and primates in general) have evolved to crave sweets. And now they're in everything. Hence, people are getting fatter.

Aug 01, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

Does Fast Food Really Make People Fat?

It's the "opinion" of an expert in human evolution from Harvard. Flooding our food choices with cheap junk food is not helping anyone, no matter how strong-willed and virtuous they may be.

Jul 31, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

Does Fast Food Really Make People Fat?

Jul 31, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

Does Fast Food Really Make People Fat?

I'm not so sure. We've evolved to stock up on sugars and fats when they're available. And now they are cheap and abundant.

Jul 30, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News
1

Finally, a realistic review of a restaurant by a real person.

I think a little subtlety might have made that more amusing. Or are there really a lot of restaurant patrons like that?

Jul 28, 2014
hal2010 in Food Media & News

Introducing New Conversation Types

"My Followed Discussions" are no longer greyed out when there are no new responses.

Edit: Hang on, now they are. But the text is greyed rather than the whole field so it's not as obvious.

Jul 25, 2014
hal2010 in Site Talk