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Whitby/Durham restaurants that don't suck

is this the location where the second location of azian used to be? the strip mall at the corner of taunton and salem? hmmm, i ate there last year, about a month or two after it opened. . .still prefer pho vietnam 999 for pho in durham. . .

Heavy German Rye bread for open faced sandwiches

this would be ideal for smorrebrod, but op is after german bread. . .not sure it fits the bill, but would probably come really close!

Mc Donald's Egg McMuffin

thanks for clarifying your op.

i'm not sure what you're doing at home, but slapping together a slice of processed cheese, with a fried egg on a toasted english muffin at my house does produce a superior final product to what i have had at mcdonald's. . .

but then again, my sense of taste enjoys the specific brand of cheese i buy, the specific egg i purchase, and the muffin i toast.

Oct 25, 2014
afong56 in Chains
1

Mc Donald's Egg McMuffin

in your original post you cite aged cheddar and gruyere, along with 'creamier butter' and fresher 'bread', then asked if anyone prepared a better version. . .

just how close 'as possible to the original formula' were you getting?

lol, you weren't making an egg mcmuffin either, so it would have helped if your op was a little clearer about that!

Oct 25, 2014
afong56 in Chains

Toronto Restaurant Recommendations

if ramen is in the mix, i still prefer santouka over isshin, etc., and it's an easy walk to nathan phillips square for today's zombie walk, if that interests visitors to toronto. . .

bar isabel imho, is a tough table to get, unless you line up before they open for dinner. their food is tasty tho, and they do some nice cocktails. . .

if you like thai, nuit's new place, pai--the hunglay curry is solid. . .ksr is good, but can be a tough table to get, in my experience

buca is good, but didn't blow me away--great service, but man, the room can get loud. felt that richmond station was a better meal, less noisy (not italian food, tho).

bmb at lunch can be a mad house (only been to the original location, tho). . .still think their fried chicken bao is phenomenal tho. strangely, i have gotten over the initial love for their kimchee fries, but they are definitely worth a try.

Mc Donald's Egg McMuffin

i suspect the appeal for many may be because they have additional 'value' in the form of memories associated with times in the past when they ate a mcmuffin--being out with friends, family, after/before particular 'events', etc.

all of those psychological imprints can have a subconscious affect on perceived taste, imho.

also, i have made home versions of this that were far, far better than anything mickey-d's has to offer (egg white/swiss/thin-sliced roasted turkey/vine-ripened tomato, for example), so imho, it is entirely possible to surpass the original. . .

Oct 25, 2014
afong56 in Chains

Convection vs non-convection toaster oven?

Agreed with not using it as a primary toaster for simple toast, but the flexibility to toast really oversized items is nice to have, as is the ability to lay certain items flat, which is impossible in my non-pos toaster

Oct 17, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

Convection vs non-convection toaster oven?

Well put, Alex... For what it was intended for, it does extremely well, unless one buys it with unrealistic expectations.

It's abilities as an oven are most likely best in class, and it does what it does using less time and energy than a full sized oven.

You quickly discover how little you need your full sized oven, especially if you are in a small household. I appreciate how less wasteful it is to bake a pie in the bso versus the energy necessary to preheat and bake in a full oven.

Oct 17, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

Convection vs non-convection toaster oven?

kimbers,

i will echo a lot of what duffy wrote--i too have the largest bso, and find it gets used more than my double convection oven, or even my single tasker toaster, combined. the size of the bso means it handles just about every 1-2 person meal task that a regular size oven does, but quicker and with less fuss.

the full size oven gets used only with big meals, the single rack oven gets used for full sheet baking of cookies or rolls, and the bso gets used for everything else--pies, bread, roasting chicken, broiling steaks, etc.

it also is way more flexible a toaster than my double wide-slice (4 slice toaster)--it will do pastries, etc. since they can lay flat rather than sideways.

the convection feature usually means that items that take 15 minutes now take 10.

does it toast better than my regular toaster for normal sliced bread? no. it is a compromise.

as a small oven, it is fantastic.

Oct 15, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

Not many gripes about Costco . Is it worth it for one ?

http://science.howstuffworks.com/envi...

basically, a rating on what amenities are within walkable distance in your 'hood. . .

Oct 14, 2014
afong56 in Chains

Not many gripes about Costco . Is it worth it for one ?

lol, only 40lbs? i tipped that scale last week just bringing home a sack each of white and wwheat flour. . .

i plan on relocating in the next few years to where my walk score will be 100!

Oct 14, 2014
afong56 in Chains

Not many gripes about Costco . Is it worth it for one ?

if i was solo, it would still be worth it if there was one nearby (under 30 mins). in addition to gasoline, it covers all of the grocery needs quite well. i am able to source all of the ingredients for my morning green smoothies (with the exception of kale, ever since they stopped carrying their superfoods greens mix), and the whey isolate that i use daily. they have good quality meats (better than most supermarkets, but not as good as some butchers) at reasonable prices, and they typically have competitive prices on all consumables. not to mention, it is a solid source of electronics and small gifts for people.

depending on where you live, however, you may have a really high walk score, and a ton of amenities nearby. that would of course make costco superfluous and unnecessary. this would be especially true if you couldn't eat the same thing repeatedly for a week or two (since basically everything from costco is portioned for at least a family of four).

as for storage, i take it you don't have a basement. in my basement is a large standup freezer and a large pantry--and i'm definitely not a 'prepper' either. . .

Oct 13, 2014
afong56 in Chains

Difference between Chowhound and Yelp?!

lol, wonder how that reconciles with the nate silver squad data crunching that matched yelp ratings with michelin star ratings in nyc, almost in lock-step!

i think with both chowhound and yelp you have to take reviews/ratings with a grain of salt--in the case of yelp, it might be a whole spoonful

Oct 13, 2014
afong56 in Food Media & News

Top 10 Food Cities in the World

since multi-cultural variety appears to be a significant criterion based on your op, then nyc and toronto have to be on the list. a lot of cities would fail to meet this criterion, whether due to size or homogeneity of population.

would be interested to know what everyone thinks are the criteria by which to judge a 'food' city. . .

Oct 13, 2014
afong56 in General Topics

John Oliver Leads the Pumpkin Spice Backlash

he's got some great writers, and his delivery is superb. . .i too question how an average of 5lbs of pumpkin gets eaten per person, every year. . .

i don't come anywhere close to that, and i actually like pumpkin pie

Oct 13, 2014
afong56 in Food Media & News

Cry more noob

does it matter if the complaint is valid, or invalid?

on the one hand, if 'the very act of complaining is like a lightning rod for wrath', we could discuss on the other hand whether we have a 'culture of complaint' at the same time. . .

this site is a double edged sword--i've seen single complaints wielded as a sword of damnation that submarined new restaurants, products, etc. if coming from the right voice. . .

likewise, i've seen individuals basically shill incessantly for restos or items, far beyond what might be seemly.

Oct 13, 2014
afong56 in Site Talk

Let's talk turkey

too late to help the op, but i once brined a 29lb turkey in a big cooler with a layer of ice cubes above the brine--after the brining was done and the turkey was in the oven, i unplugged the gravity drain at the bottom of the cooler and the remaining liquid went into the sink/drain. a quick clean up with soapy warm water, and it was put out in the garage to dry.

the resulting turkey was moist, juicy, and flavourful (it helped that the turkey was free-ranged)

Oct 13, 2014
afong56 in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Apple picking suggestions please?

just went to pingle's fun farm (just north of courtice)--they have a corn maze, wagon rides, hot cider, and fresh baked goods.

we did pick your own apples, and they still have some nice honeycrisps and ambrosias available (i'd say they are down to their last 20% of fruit, but they are beautiful)

Stevia in Upper east side

costco sometimes carries pure via boxes (800 packets). . .have purchased them there along with the big bag intended for baking

Oct 10, 2014
afong56 in Manhattan

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

so the breville cs rep believes that it is possible for a loaf to develop a crust but then fail to brown when toasted?

hmm, something does not compute

p.s. did you actually donate a dead "rip" toaster oven? or was that a different toaster oven that you donated?

Oct 10, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

based on what katnat actually wrote, i'm not convinced they have exactly 'the same issue'--they were 'underwhelmed', whereas your toast was under-done and uneven.

you should probably return the unit for a replacement if you can. . .

Oct 09, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

it appears that everyone else does eventually get nicely toasted bread, with varying cook times, but if you take a look at op's photos, something is not right--it doesn't seem that the setting will make a difference, since the final product looks terribly uneven. . .

Oct 09, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

I think the sentiment here is that your results are out of place... Yes, the unit has less than optimal toasting... However what you seem to be getting falls below that... Is it at all possible to return your unit for replacement in order to see if you have a "lemon"?

Oct 09, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

yes, i concur with other posters--there is something amiss. . .i just tested my oven with two slices of light rye, and got golden brown and delicious in about 6 mins.

methinks it may be your unit. . .from your photos, the toast looks terribly uneven as well as mostly under-toasted.

Oct 08, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

fwiw, when i did my research on the breville, it was widely reported that it was a superb small oven, but only an adequate toaster. . .did you find something different when you did your due diligence? your posts make it seem like you feel you were misled about the properties of the breville oven. . .

Oct 07, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

For Breville Oven Owners--Toast Times

comparing the location of the heating elements in my breville oven to those in my toaster, relative to the bread, explains the discrepancy. with most toaster ovens you have to live with the compromises--this just happens to be a fantastic small oven, and a mediocre toaster. . .

i can totally live with that. . .

just my .02 cents

Oct 07, 2014
afong56 in Cookware

Won't be returning to Per Se

nicely written. . .

if only she would come home to toronto and open a resto!

Oct 02, 2014
afong56 in Manhattan

Does your city have an International District/Chinatown?

for the record, dockpotato couldn't name all of the cuisines--"just to name a few" meant that the cuisines you added are also represented in the greater toronto area.

that's not to say there aren't gaps, but there are few cities in the world that can match the ethnic diversity of toronto, period. we are truly blessed for world cuisines. . .

Oct 01, 2014
afong56 in General Topics

Does your city have an International District/Chinatown?

lol. . .little america. . .well played, dock potato, well played. . .

Sep 30, 2014
afong56 in General Topics

Maha-New Egyptian Sandwiches, Sides and Desserts on Greenwood near Gerrard

om'ali? looked at the fb page, didn't see it (wow, a lot of photos, had to stop after 2013. . .

have found basturma and koshari in the gta, but not om'ali, yet.

i'm sure it'll not be the same, but damn, some good memories. . .