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Dan G's Profile

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How is Bluewater for non-seafood dishes?

Thanks. I've eaten at BW a few times, but always when in Vancouver on business trips and never with her. I'm being selfish by wanting to go to a seafood place, but yeah, it is one of my faves in the city.

Feb 27, 2012
Dan G in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

How is Bluewater for non-seafood dishes?

I'll be passing through yvr and have one night to dine out. My wife can't eat fish/seafood, but I'd like to go to BW...how will she fare?

Thanks

Feb 27, 2012
Dan G in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

London Ontario - any gems?

Not sure I'd really call it a casual restaurant in the way Kools is, but when I was in London a couple of weeks ago I had a great meal at Braise, on Dundas just west of Richmond.

Jun 02, 2011
Dan G in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What seasonal foods do you look forward to?

Asparagus, cherries, and blueberries.

May 18, 2011
Dan G in General Topics

favourite scotch whiskey

LCBO has a crappy whisky selection! There are so many things I could recommend but was just looking at their website, and in the $100 range there were a few interesting items. My advice would be to go to a good store (what city are you in - that is going to make a huge difference) and ask for a recommendation on an independent bottle. These are ones that are done by a company who buys a cask from a distillery and bottle it often at a different age than the standard distillery bottlings. Murray McDavid, Hart Brothers, Gordon McPhail are some of the better companies doing this. It is then something a little different.

May 10, 2011
Dan G in Spirits

Unusual things to grill

There's not much I don't grill! Favorites are fennel, aspargus, runner beans, king oyster mushrooms, pattypan (aka scallop or sunburst) squash.

May 09, 2011
Dan G in Home Cooking

I need a new salad dressing option!

My recent favorite is a big spoonfull of miso, juice from 2 oranges, zest of one orange, some finely chopped fresh ginger shallots, some sesame seeds and a glop of sesame oil. Stir well until miso is broken down into the liquid, give it an hour or so to meld.

Other than that, I frequently use the pickling brine from pickled beets instead of balsamic - works especially well on spinach I think.

May 06, 2011
Dan G in Home Cooking

Have you ever OD'd on a food? And if you did, did you ever recover?

Oh, I was in heaven. After most sane people had stopped, I was still finding things I couldn't resist. I lost count, but had at least 20 different cheeses (many goat, some cow, a couple sheet and a couple mixed), most hand crafted and amazing! But you get weighed down.

May 05, 2011
Dan G in General Topics

Have you ever OD'd on a food? And if you did, did you ever recover?

I was at a food conference last week where many of the sessions involved cheese: cheese at breakfast; an artisanal goat cheese tasting, a wine and cheese pairing workshop, cheese at lunch, a cheese-making class with samples, a wine and cheese reception at the end of the day. I would guess that I ate at least 24 oz of cheese over an 8 hour period. Maybe even closer to 30 oz. By the end, I actually turned down taking home huge portions of the spectacular cheeses the caterer offered me from the reception.

How did I recover? Slept...and then ate more cheese the next day.

May 05, 2011
Dan G in General Topics

Prairie Bistro - The Enjoy Centre - St. Albert

Thank for the review Bob. Have heard only good things about this place so far. Hope to get there, but am leaving yeg soon and don't think I will be able to work it into my packed schedule.

I'm glad to see that they are using Four Whistle chicken, which I think is just as good as SunWorks (more common in restaurants I think). Did you notice who they were sourcing the lamb from? Possibly Four Whistle?

May 05, 2011
Dan G in Prairie Provinces

YO Edmontonians! Anyone try Pampas Brazilian Steakhouse...for LUNCH?

Gotta agree with HamiltonLake (though I've never been to Gaucho). Was at Pampa last night and didn't really think it was that special. Salad bar OK, the hot apps they brought were very blah (croquettes were horrible, casava fried boring), and then who really needs that much meat. And even if that's what you want, and based on how busy it is, many people do want that much meat, it was just mediocre. I haven't been to a similar place in Brazil, but have eaten fire-cooked meats in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and they were far superior to this

I couldn't help but wonder if there are fire/safety regulations that have some effect on it. They push the idea of charcoal on their website, but when you see it, it looks like a gas fire with charcoal on it, not a real wood fire. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how it looked. Parrillas or asadors in Argentina, Chile, etc are real hardwood fires that are turned to coal, not coals made from burning hardwood on gas...and I've eaten at several places in SA that were far far superior and at low cost. I found it OK, but not worth the $45 for dinner. And I probably ate more salt there in one meal than I have in the past month! I doubt I'll return.

Apr 30, 2011
Dan G in Prairie Provinces

Food Safety... Help

Not sure why nothingswrong even brings up "left it on my counter for a few days." OP said a few hours. What cookster did isn't much different than what they may have done if it actually got to work...many people take food to work, keep it in a room temp place for a few hours, then eat. I do it all the time. Would that extra few hours be dangerous? Maybe, but I doubt it. I've left things on the counter for a day, let things thaw on the counter all day. No problems. I think people have had too much misinformation about refrigeration and food safety...and been scared to the point of thinking that anything not in a fridge will kill them.
I would eat it. And wouldn't even worry about boiling/simmering...just heating to a good eating temp.
Yes, I know many will disagree, but I do it often, and haven't made myself or anyone else sick.

Apr 30, 2011
Dan G in General Topics

Are you a one-box cereal kind of Chowhound, or are you more of a promiscuous pup?

I'm all about variety. Cereal, there's always bran flakes and special k, and maybe corn flakes or just right, lately it has been fibre one. Usually I mix them in the bowl, often with a spoonful of hemp seeds too.

Crackers: usually have 5 or 6 boxes on the go. Dinners at my house are frequently just crackers, cheese, charcuterie, some veggies so we also usually have 6-8 different cheeses, 3 or 4 kinds of olives...

Apr 29, 2011
Dan G in General Topics

Banff for the day...

The downstairs room at Bison should be open for lunch. It might go by a different name though (Bear Street Tavern maybe?). Serves pizza, etc. and very good.

Apr 28, 2011
Dan G in Prairie Provinces

Edmonton City Market

It's been going in City Hall for a few weeks now, and will move back outside in May I think. As for butter...wow, what a request! Never seen anyone selling any dairy except cheese at any of the markets here. Used to discuss with the occasional vendor about milk (none of whom had any way of supplying it...) but it seems that for the the most part dairy sales are pretty much cheeses (Sylvan Star, Smoky Lake and Cheesiry good, Cheese Factory less so). Eat Local sells a local organic milk and Bles-wold Yoghurt, don't think there is any butter though.

Apr 26, 2011
Dan G in Prairie Provinces

Jasper recommendations - for coffee - special meal - and ambiance...

Wow, you had a different experience than I've had - the (I think) 3 times I tried Jasper Brewing, the food was absolutely disgusting. Overcooked burgers, soggy fries, etc. I don't think the beer was anything special either.

La Fiesta (anonymoose: it has shifted its focus a few times, but seems to more tex-mex than anything else these days, at least at lunch) probably wins for lunch, and Evil Daves for dinner in town. Tekarra Lodge is also pretty good for dinner though.

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La Fiesta Restaurant
504 Patricia St, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0, CA

Apr 26, 2011
Dan G in Prairie Provinces

Mushrooms on Menus

Personally, I don't think mushrooms can be overused, but see how some people might think so. The menu you discuss though might be a seasonal thing - mushrooms are thriving in some areas right now, so there are amazing chantarelles, black trumpets, even morels available. But then, you could also ask if any item that ends up on a lot of plates is overused, such as asparagus when in season, potatoes, rice... but to me this also looks like quite a diverse use of funghi.

Re: LorenM's comment that it looks like a limited menu in general, is that all they offer. What more would you expect? Eight entrees, including lamb, beef, venison, a couple of fish. Though it could maybe use a fowl or maybe a pork dish (not sure what the 'another dish with truffled creamed spinach' is) it is as large as most good restaurants I dine in.

Apr 21, 2011
Dan G in General Topics

What time do you all eat dinner?

i'm in the 'whenever' camp. Weekdays, if we are both working, dinner can start as early as 5:30, but often not until 8:30. It all depends on what we are having, how long it takes to prepare, what else we are doing, what the day was like (lunch might not have been until 130...)

If dining out, reservations are usually for 7 if we are in home town, but on vacation we usually book between 8 and 9.

Apr 20, 2011
Dan G in Not About Food

Famoso Pizza

Agreed on the eat it there comment. Had it leftover a couple of times, not really satisfying. I don't actually even like it as takeout very much. Needs to be hot and fresh.

Apr 13, 2011
Dan G in Prairie Provinces

Famoso Pizza

I'm a regular at Famoso, and salads there are great. I usually have the walnut gorgonzola one, my wife gets their take on a caprese, and we split a pizza. That is perfect amount of food for two people.

And get the Monte Antico sangiovese/merlot/cabe blend. Great grape for $29 a bottle.

Apr 12, 2011
Dan G in Prairie Provinces

Ethiopian in Edmonton

Doesn't say how much damage to Langano Skies, but confirms the building:
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/F...

Apr 07, 2011
Dan G in Prairie Provinces

Ethiopian in Edmonton

Based on what I saw on the news this morning, Langano Skies may no longer be an option. I have a feeling it is one of the business affected by (not sure how seriously) the fire at 99 and Whyte last night.

Apr 07, 2011
Dan G in Prairie Provinces

Restaurant recs

Been to Lupo twice and it is very good, but not overwhelmingly so. I would actually recommend Cibo - a bit more interesting, a bit more innovative... Maybe less consistent, but on its best days it beats Lupo for me (but then I'm a nose-to-tail, offal kind of guy...).

Apr 06, 2011
Dan G in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

A good "gateway" single malt scotch?

I convinced my wife, who seldom drinks whisky and when she does it is a light Speyside, to try Ardbeg Supernova one evening a couple of weeks ago... for the next couple of hours she was like a dog with peanut butter on its tongue, trying to get rid of the taste!

And this week, I told a friend who is a fairly new to whisky, and drinks a lot of the bog common names (Glenlivet, Glenfiddich and Macallan) he could have any unopened bottle from my cabinet - I'm moving and can't take it with me. There was a huge range of choices: Balvenie, Dalwhinnie, Longrow, Aberlour, Highland Park, 3 Bruichladdichs, a couple Ardbegs (including another supernova and a coreyveckan), a couple of Laphroaigs. I was sure he would go for the HP or Longrow. He grabbed the Bruichladdich Peat! I am seeing him Saturday, will be curious as to how he is enjoying it.

Apr 04, 2011
Dan G in Spirits

A good "gateway" single malt scotch?

I'm a long-time single malt drinker with a wife and a lot of friends who dabble a bit. I find that the speysides are probably best entry whiskys: Balvenie makes some great whiskies that are both complex and palatable, with notes of honey and citrus rind. Dalwhinnie would be a good choice also.

Outside of Speyside, Highland Park (note to ipsedixit - it isn't a speyside) is always a winner - the 12 yo is a good start, but the 18 is far smoother and absolutely beautiful. 25 is maybe a bit too expensive for someone to try if they don't know if they like whisky.

I'm also partial to Bruichladdich, which though it is from Islay isn't peated (well, some are but the standard 15 and 17 year olds aren't) and has a great caramel flavour profile that can be attractive to newcomers.

Regarding Jenni899's comment about going for at least a 20 year old - I have to strongly disagree. Extended age doesn't necessarily make whisky better, and most of the distillers see that 10-18 years works best. Too long in a barrel can make the whisky too heavy, and sometimes the complexity of the malt gets overpowered by too much aging. The standard bottlings from most distilleries, at 10, 12, 15 and 18, are probably the best choices - they make those decisions for a reason. Longer aging might be interesting to afficianados (I love to try them, but have seldom had anything past 26 years that I thought was worth the money) but for entry level whiskies, stick to the basics.

Apr 04, 2011
Dan G in Spirits

Favourite meat and cut

Offal. Any animal, Any time.

Apr 02, 2011
Dan G in General Topics

Lumiere closing. Now what?

I was at West a month ago, and had the February seafood tasting menu. It was good, but not spectacular. Hard to pinpoint exactly what was lacking, but though a couple of dishes were great (scallops on a maple porridge, for example) I just wasn't fully satisfied with it. And price-wise, I didn't find it good value partly because I went for the wine pairing and the first one is a champagne...one they sell by the glass for about $30 so it brings the whole pairing price up quite a bit, and not being a fan of any sparkling wine it was sort of lost on me. My view might also be clouded by the fact that I ate at BlueWater the night before and that is hard to beat for seafood.

Market - I think it is pretty consistent but I don't really think it is super high-end. I was there last week for lunch, and they were doing the new menu already. It has a few new items, a few of the old ones. Didn't see the dinner menu, but server said it has more new items on it. Major difference at lunch is that the prix fixe lunch now has limited choices, whereas it used to be anything on the menu.

I don't know if they do a tasting menu, but if I wanted something 'wonderful' as the original post says, I would do Bishops. Ate there for the first time last Saturday and it may be the best meal I have had in Vancouver, if not in terms of food (though it may be...it's hard to compare a place like Chambar and Bishops when they are so different) the overall experience would be hard to beat.

Mar 30, 2011
Dan G in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Milk in bags ... Are Canadians weird, or are Americans the weirdos?

It's about the only thing I miss about Ontario - I moved to Alberta in 1999 and still wish I could get bagged milk. That and cheaper cereal and pizza...

Mar 29, 2011
Dan G in General Topics

When you grocery shop, do you buy...

I go to the farmer's market, buy whatever I think looks good and interesting, occassionally stop at grocery store for 'pantry items' (pasta, rice, etc). Then each meal, just sort of dig around in fridge and pantry for whatever I think might go together well and concoct something. Not a planner, not a recipe person. I seldom make a dish the same way twice.

Mar 29, 2011
Dan G in General Topics

Great meal near Picadilly undergroud line (London)?

any reason not to go to nobu - i would probably want a mixture of seafood and meat and assume they do omakase. And I'm not familiar enough with London (will only be 3rd time there) to read through that thread and know what is where...any suggestions as to where would fit my location criteria?

Mar 28, 2011
Dan G in U.K./Ireland