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LiviaLunch's Profile

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(Ontario) moderator accountability

Well, I'm in favour of strong moderation to keep the boards focused, and I like the idea that people have to keep the shilling for their own blogs out of their activity on the board and speak to the subject at hand.. Some blogs may be OK but most aren't worth reading, and I don't like having to wonder whether the purpose of a given member's post is for Chowish reasons or to subtly or not-so-subtly shill their own blog.

I see a lot of boards with blog shills and I prefer the higher signal-to-noise ratio that strong moderation brings. Besides, can't people but links to their blogs in their profiles?

Also, I'm a Toronto chowhound and I want to refute the assertion that the Ontario board is somehow fatally flawed because the "plugged-in" OP can't put in links that take eyeballs elsewhere.

Harking back to the true spirit of Jim Leff, I love the posts about true Chowish experiences, including obscure Asian spots in Scarborough stripmalls, and if the self-appointed food scene mavens don't feel like posting their rather rarefied "food events" or gushes about the newest resto of the moment, I for one am good with that. Real good.

Aug 27, 2012
LiviaLunch in Site Talk

Slow-Roasted Prime Rib au Jus

We did our prime rib roast following this method for Xmas Eve and it was glorious, a far better method. @pmelvoin, your entire comment consisted of the old-school method that the very point of this recipe was to improve on. FYI, choice is inferior to prime, 120-125 gives a great rare/med-rare result, cooking time was 4 and a half hours, parasite paranoia is not required here, and garlic powder should be forcibly removed from peoples' kitchens. Above all else, SALT heartily, no desiccation need be feared.

Okinomi House on Charles Street, Toronto

If you search with its proper spelling, Okonomi House, you'll find several threads.

I think that they're best at their namesake dish, okonomiyaki. Haven't loved the teriyaki when I've had it.

Okonomi House
23 Charles St W, Toronto, ON M4Y2R4, CA

Is there a Cheese-only restaurant in Toronto (or Canada)?

There's probably a pretty good reason why no such restaurant exists here (thinking of a spectacular business face plant). La Raclette on Queen W didn't last long.
In London (UK) there is a French restaurant focused on cheese à la the chef's Alsatian heritage. In Chelsea I think.

Wild Wings vs. Buffalo Wild Wings - Canadian vs. U.S. chains (split from Ontario board)

I haven't agreed with a single word that TexSquared has typed in this thread. The copyright/cybersquatting thought is a complete red herring that a rudimentary knowledge of case law in Canada would dismiss quickly. It's hardly a conspiracy that has kept all these unremarkable U.S. chains from aggressively expanding in Canada, and it's a good thing for those of chowish bent that they simply haven't caught on here. I'm no fan of many of the incumbent chains, but Jeez Louise...

Jan 13, 2011
LiviaLunch in Chains

Trying to make pulled pork, but I think the butcher gave me the wrong cut of meat! Please help!

The Joy of Cooking method does work at 325 degrees (which is what the OP was talking about), providing you have the proper cut of pork. It's baked inside a dutch oven. While the method you describe is obviously optimal for true BBQ pulled pork, this is a home-kitchen approach that is workable.

Jan 11, 2011
LiviaLunch in Home Cooking

Is this magazine being rather economical, deceptive, smart or ... ???

Having worked in the magazine industry for years, almost no magazine makes money on the newsstand copies, since sell-through rates range from 50% to 75% and the unsold copies are credited, plus they only receive about 45% of the cover price. All our titles have more net profit from subscriptions - but in any case, circulation net income is minimal, it's all about delivering readers to advertisers while trying to net enough to cover rising print and postage costs.

I think there's a huge difference between knowing at the time you buy a sub that some of the issues will be combined, versus the increasing number of publishers which decide to combine issues after you've paid and during the course of your sub term. This appears to be the case with Taste of Home magazine -- they have received a lot of blow-back and they are extending the subscriptions of those who complain by one issue.

Dec 29, 2010
LiviaLunch in Food Media & News

Rude treatment at Le Petit Dejeuner

One, if the OP was actually first in line and the restaurant couldn't provide a 2-topper there is something wrong with that restaurant. Parties of two represent a large share of restaurant trade. Two, if they truly weren't even acknowledged for some 10 minutes while parties behind them were seated, that's absolutely unforgivable.

Makes one appreciate truly professional hosts/hostesses all the more.

Wow, Brits! Tell us how you really feel about American chocolate

> you could do much worse than Hersheys.

No. No, you really couldn't.

Dec 12, 2010
LiviaLunch in Food Media & News

Removing Grease from Copper Cookware

What you actually have on the pot is carbon buildup; "grease" alone would be a lot easier to clean!

In pro kitchens we remove carbon on SS and copper with a product called Sokoff, available from most kitchen supply stores. Careful, it's very nasty, and requires rubber gloves. Some of our staff even use eye protection with it. No abrasive powder really works.

Dec 04, 2010
LiviaLunch in Cookware

Reusing Beans/Rice from Blind Baking?

Bad idea, just taste-wise: at least, when I accidentally cooked some navy beans that had been used for blind baking. The texture and flavour was unmistakaby off. Very off.

Sep 02, 2010
LiviaLunch in Home Cooking

My Mortar and Pestle Went on Strike!

Could it be the interior surface of your new granite M&P is simply too smooth? Ours is a traditional stone (ulekan) with a slightly coarse grain. We've put tons of basil from our garden through it his summer; the leaves start to break down within seconds.

Aug 28, 2010
LiviaLunch in Home Cooking

What non-obvious things do you store in your fridge?

Half of those condiments you listed I keep in the pantry.

Aug 28, 2010
LiviaLunch in Not About Food

Good Eats Alton Brown Any ideas?

Goods Eats is our fave cooking show. Somehow matches my off-centre sense of humour, plus he's actually a trained chef. I've always been spellbound by technique and method as my cooking experience widens.

Curiously the OP mentions Bourdain (presumably referring to No Reservations), which we also like much -- but it's not a cooking show, it's a chowish culinary tour of the world with Bourdain's marvellous peasant-food evangelism pricking food pretensions.

Aug 21, 2010
LiviaLunch in Food Media & News

Corned Beef and Cabbage Stew

You lost me when you wanted me to cut up a gorgeous brisket into "bite sized" chunks. Some things aren't meant to be "stews". :-)

Aug 21, 2010
LiviaLunch in Recipes

Do I have to peel and seed tomatoes to make marinara sauce from scratch?

There's not really any mystery about what you'll end up with: lots of tough indigestible little tomato skins curled into threads throughout the sauce. Some people notice them more than others. You can crock pot them for a month and they won't break down. It's mainly a texture issue.

Seeds do add bitterness. And tomato paste should be mandatory to round out the taste.

Aug 15, 2010
LiviaLunch in Home Cooking

Charging for reservations?

You're not being charged for a reservation. You're being asked for a deposit.

Whether it's justified is entirely a subjective choice for you to make, based on your view of the establishment's reputation and your comfort level with their credit card info process.

For me, I'd do it for some restaurants (and have done so) but not with others.

Most people generally feel that fax exchange of CC information is more secure than voice or e-mail.

Jun 25, 2010
LiviaLunch in Not About Food

A question about shawarma and Toronto..

Re: Dundas/Chestnut, you're thinking of of Wrap & Grab, which is very meh - it just gets a lot of traffic because of its location near City Hall. If you go a block or two west to Dundas and Simcoe, Anoush has opened a location there and has surprisingly luscious chicken and beef shawarma. Odd, because their other locations are unmemorable. Pass on the falafel, which is pre-cooked.

(This post is not for the OP - there is a *reason* why precious few use all white-meat chicken. My mouth gets dry just contemplating it.)

Dinner with friends - should they show up empty handed?

My mindset is that I never expect my guests to bring a thing and am delighted if they do.

May 14, 2010
LiviaLunch in Not About Food

Potty-mouthed chefs in view of guests?

I was so happy when Kenny told me to go f*** myself, in his old Village location, before Trillin's article was published.

May 14, 2010
LiviaLunch in Not About Food

I cannot eat "strangers'" food

Well there's clearly a bit of pathology going on there, where you're so confident of your own sanitary comestibles, but fret that everyone else's may be microbe-ridden ghastlies. I mean, the act of sharing food between us communally denotes trust and shared pleasure so you might be saying something about how you connect with fellow human beings. But it's probably pretty harmless; besides, no doubt others have felt the same way about your baked goods, despite your belief that everyone fights over 'em.

May 14, 2010
LiviaLunch in Not About Food

Coldstone Creamery...........First & Last Visit

Italy truly IS the ice cream capital - Berthillon's pretension and inconsistency kick it down the list. Any ice cream fan who's been to Ghignoni in Tuscany has had a transcendent experience.

Boston offerings never did it for me, got tired of crunching on the ice crystals from poorly tended batches at E&B.

May 14, 2010
LiviaLunch in Chains

Hero Certified Burgers....What the $^%#!!!!!

IMO Hero is actually worse than most bog-standard fast food...worse than BK, Wendy's and A&W for sure. Maybe not worse than McDs and Harvey's, but little is. The burger they served at Queen/Palmerston (before I knew better) was a gristle-icious tocatta in dessicated overdoneness, lubricated by something they must have purchased next door at Misbehavin'.

Montana's Cookhouse - Edmonton

Sounds great, thanks for the recs...they're on our list and we'll make sure we get to them. I had read about Sage, and we'll find a special occasion to get out there too.

Montana's Cookhouse - Edmonton

Are there any decent, chowhoundish rib or beef joints, i.e. not chains? (I'm heading to Edmonton for a 2-month work assignment in March.)

The Great Pizza Debate

Curious reaction from the polltaker. I could say much the same about other nominations (some of which arrived at our house with their grease seeping out the soggy bottom) but didn't out of respect for personal tastes. Italian sausage + artichoke pizza from Regina = heaven! :-)

Where can I find really good, really tasty bacon...

I've tried many of the great suggestions in this thread, and like them, but I just had the Healthy Butcher's bacon and I think it's my new fave.

The Great Pizza Debate

For thin crust, my vote is Pizza Banfi.
For thick crust, I second the vote for Regina above (you missed it in the total).