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Raquel's Profile

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Allens on the Danforth- Disgusting food, service

Actually, I don't think so. I know what she looks like. I think maybe her mother? Could that be? When I say older, I mean maybe 50s - 70s? (I wouldn't be good at the CNE....). Nonetheless, you bring up a good point; and that is, it's even MORE shocking to have crappy service when the owners are "in the house".

Mar 29, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Allens on the Danforth- Disgusting food, service

Yes, but you are comparing 2 very different dining experiences. I have enjoyed both, but still, they are different. When I go to Allen's, it's usually because the Mister and I have a craving for their fantastic burger and a couple of beers. We don't have to worry about what we're wearing, or make reservations, or even if we have the AMEX card. And, just my opinion of course, but I think that in general, you're asking for trouble if you go to a pub and order anything BUT the basics. Even if it is on the Specials board or on the regular menu. You can order it, and you should expect it to be of the same quality as their "famous" dishes, but you'd be silly to think they can be excellent in everything they cook. They are famous for certain dishes for a reason, and for Allen's that's not curry.

As for their service, it just isn't good. If it weren't for the comfortable patio and great burger, I wouldn't keep going back. They are mostly ditzy, unorganized, and 'out-to-lunch'....as is usually the older hostess that sometimes takes you to your table. Last time we were there, she made us feel like she was doing us a big favour by getting us a table outside. Perhaps they need to go back to hospitality school....

Mar 29, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Heat- Chef Mark McEwan

Yes, I think Charlie Palmer is a good comparison. Perhaps even Michael Mina, is an also close comparison. Probably McEwan would call it contemporary Canadian, but contemporary American seems to be a better descriptor. His restaurants are sophisticated, yet still comfortable. Not ultra formal. And every Chef is cocky. You have to be to believe that your food is good enough to have people pay you for it. But in my book, you need it and it's a good thing. When you have a healthy sense of ego, it comes out on the plate. You'd be surprised that when paying attention, you can tell if a Chef is confident with his/her craft, or if they are still trying to find their way....

As for McEwan, he's one of the best Chef's in Toronto with a great business sense, as well as dining sense. Although Boulud was the first to give us the ultra $$$ burger, McEwan didn't take long to follow with his $40 - it's a favourite with the Bay Street types (Wall Street types for our American friends).
McEwan is also in the midst of opening up a gourmet grocery store in the next few months. Should be interesting.

I did recently hear that he has signed on for another season of Heat, not sure about 3. I tend to enjoy Bymark more than North 44, although both are very good quality. There's just something about bymark that does remind me of contemporary American in the Charlie Palmer/Michael Mina path that I find exciting.

Mar 29, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

RR on Nightline

No need, I got curious, so I checked it out myself. So, other than the obvious hot dogs.....not so bad, ingredients-wise.

yellow mustard
cider vinegar
rounded teaspoon granulated sugar
vegetable oil
red onion
shredded cabbage
heart of romaine lettuce
vine-ripe tomatoes
half-sour or garlic pickles
Salt and freshly ground pepper
pork or beef hot dogs

And, the pb & j "sammies" are actually French Toast, so I don't know how you eat your French Toast, but I usually eat it with maple syrup. And, as long as it's in moderation, it's not bad for the kiddies: eggs, milk, peanut butter....

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it looks soooo much worse reading the titles of these recipes, but then when you actually look at the recipes, it's not really so bad, and if it gets more kids eating that over Big Macs, I'll take it. And God help me, I really need to stop defending RR here....I have NEVER spent so much time on here defending someone I don't even watch! I guess it's just that I really, really feel she always gets a bad rap, for, doing nothing really offensive really. But I just know some smart-ass will say: her cooking is offensive. C'est la vie!

Mar 12, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

RR on Nightline

C'mon, she doesn't really make those dishes, does she?

Mar 12, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

Peychaud bitters

You might find this useful. The Martini Club is located in the Distillery District, maybe give them a try?

http://www.thestar.com/comment/column...

Mar 12, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ideas for Irish dessert after Corned Beef dinner?

You beat me to that suggestion too! I once had it in Ireland. It was a Guinness cake with a bit of ginger and a caramel butter frosting. I still dream about that cake...

Mar 12, 2009
Raquel in General Topics

RR on Nightline

LOL, that's funny, because if it had said AB on Nightline, I would have thought it was Alton Brown! So there ya go...

And, just because you said you've yet to see her teach anyone, much less children, about good nutrition, here's a link, just for you: http://www.rachaelray.com/charity.php
with the ex-Prez, no less. Happy viewing.

Mar 12, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

A bit past expired

To simply answer your questions above:

1. No, they should not be selling them, but for sure it was an oversight.

2. Yes, you should call and speak to the meat/butcher manager and tell them--if only so they know that customers are aware enough to do so.

Mar 12, 2009
Raquel in General Topics

RR on Nightline

And yet everyone on here clearly read the thread title, knew it was about Ray, and still clicked on it! That's powerful! Whether you view her as a negative subtraction or a positive addition to the food world, she made you click.

As for the poster that was worried about her affiliation with children charities that in their view contradicts also being under contract with places like Dunkin' Donuts. It's the classic story of using bad money for good, IMO. Sure, take from Coke, Dunkin, McDonald's, etc. etc. and use it to teach kids about GOOD nutrition instead. The money's gotta come from somewhere.... I don't see a problem.

Mar 12, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

Bakery at O'Connor & Pape?

Yes, I am Greek.

Huh. Really, it's too bad you've had not great luck it seems with the bakeries here. Actually, unless I'm in one of the bakeries buying something else, I rarely purchase anything sweet. My family of aunts and mother always have something around, so no need. However, I was recently craving a 'melamakarono' (honey soaked cookie) and bought 6 at Select. I thought it was excellent--perfect amount of cinammon, clove, and nutmeg, and perfectly soaked through with honey. Gave one to my mother and she didn't like it much. (honestly, hers are much better!). And you describe it perfectly, the ones my family makes (mother, aunts) have lots of flavour as well as butter, so the texture and flavour is much more pronounced, like for the koulouraki, they always use freshly squeezed orange juice, and even the rind. And, you may not be SO obsessed, but have you ever tried your local Greek church? Sometimes during the holidays and Sundays, the women's that volunteer there often bake and sell tiropites, loukoumathes (honeyballs), and also these cookies. Perhaps the bakeries are baking for profit rather than flavour?

Ah, picked up a large square of warm bougatsa from Athens yesterday, and pretty much devoured the entire thing. One of my all-time faves and they do it the best here in Toronto.

Mar 12, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bakery at O'Connor & Pape?

Maybe it's Select Bakery that you mean? Select is at 405 Donlands, though.

Select is one of the best Greek bakeries that I've found. Very fresh and quick turnover.

And embee, I think you haven't had a real Greek cookie or pastry, my friend, if you were told or have eaten a tasteless one!

When a Greek cookie/pastry is done right, they are very far from tasteless or artificial. I don't remember them being tasteless from Serano, but I haven't been for a little while.

BTW, Greek "kourabyethes" (shortbread, icing sugar cookie) should taste of both almonds and slight ouzo flavour. "koulourakia" which are the semi-hard cookies (often in braids) should taste of vanilla and organge. As for the pastries, old-school Greeks like their 'pastess', as they were once called, and yes, many of them have that old school whipping cream, but far from "artificial". And of course, the "yalaktobouriko" the custard and filo, dressed in honey syrup is made from semolina, cream, and vanilla. Sometimes in Greece, they spike it with a little lemon juice to cut the syrup, equally delicious.

Mar 12, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

RR on Nightline

Ok, let me explain further, then.

IMO if you are a fan of Rachel Ray, you most likely are a positive person who has fun with life. Doesn't take anything too seriously, enjoys reading and learning new things, and generally goes with the flow.

IMO if you are a fan of Tony Bourdain, you most likely see the glass as half empty, get angry alot, and think that you are generally more knowledgeable than everyone else.

Oh, and I'm not trying to debate. Perhaps others are. I just like commenting on food and food personalities. Let's leave debating technique commentary for other websites. We're food lovers here....

If you are not a fan, then that's fine, so be it. But why come on and debate that you hate her so much? I can't say that I'm really a fan of Tony Bourdain at all - I think his schtick was up 16 minutes ago....but I watch him for the FOOD, for the places that he travels. And I don't usually comment on threads that are about him because I don't really like him. But I think those that don't like Rachel feel like they have to tell everyone just how much they don't like her.

Rachel Ray is, as someone said, a powerhouse and I guess many don't like it or are jealous.

Back to the topic, I think the Nightline piece was good. But I would have liked it to be longer and to show more behind the scenes of the empire that she has. I think it's a great, inspirational story that she started in the grocery store and has now ended up as a multi-dimensional food personality! Good for her.

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

Nasr Foods: Excellent

I agree. My family consumes a large amount of lemons and they were just pennies. It's too bad because we need more quality ethnic markets here. Hopefully they will get it together, but until they do, I won't be back.

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

RR on Nightline

Because I can objectively see that she is filling a need that some part of the public wants. And I can also objectively change my channel as I usually do because I just don't find it that interesting. If it's the only thing on when flipping on commercial, sure, I'll watch it. But I don't HATE her. Two very different things.

Perhaps you can post us the evidence of your assertion that her entire contract was cancelled. I can't seem to find any evidence anywhere on the net. Thanks.

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

RR on Nightline

Midlife and Ericandblueboy: Agree 100% with both your posts!

Can't we all just get along......??? We're all here because we are 'those who live to eat'...also at the top of this page!

Surely, if you're a real foodie, if you truly LOVE food and cooking then surely there is something that you can get out of Rachel Ray, Tony Bourdain, Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay, and on and on and on. Otherwise do you really LOVE food?

Great food is both upscale as well as basic. If the time, place, setting, and mood is right, then the same food epiphanies can be had biting into a fresh donut, juicy cheeseburger, or crunchy bacon slice, just as much as biting into a perfectly seared piece of foie gras, freshly boiled lobster, or a perfect 'pop' of excellent caviar.

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

McEwan goes to Don Mills

OPENING SOON

Fast Food
Pizza Pizza

Restaurants
Glow, by Rose Reisman
Joey’s Grill & Lounge
Linda, by Salad King

Specialty Food
LCBO
Teopia

Supermarkets
mcewan

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

McEwan goes to Don Mills

I think alot are missing the point here.

We're not talking about how well-run these business are, what their business models are, or even what their stock prices are.

What we ARE discussing is McEwan's. His upscale grocery market coming into the area, and whether or not the area can sustain it. Nothing less, nothing more.

To get into debates on whether Coach, LCBO, Anthropologie, Browns, etc. are well run retail is best left for the Not About Food board here.

I brought it up to point out that these are big brands with well-thought out real estate locations.

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

RR on Nightline

Dunkin Donuts didn't drop HER, they dropped the ad. That's very different. Celebrity endorsements are just a contract with a specific amount of time and then they go on to the next promotion. All companies change their 'celebrity endorsers', from toothpaste to cosmetics, to shampoo. It's really not that weird.

BTW, I think the same people that HATE Rachel Ray, LOVE Tony Bourdain. It says alot about your personality, actually.

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

Nasr Foods: Excellent

Uh, where to start. Just got back from Nasr. Two words overall: Freezing cold and disgusting. Although I only briefly spoke to someone who works there, I got the impression that its been sold to new ownership. Just different faces and disaray...

Some random observations:

*it was freezing cold as in they had turned off the heat. Not an enjoyable shopping experience in the winter.

*their olive oil was frozen, cloudy, and all over the place as in you could find olive oil in 3 different places....no rhyme no reason as to where it was placed.

*something I have never seen in a grocery store before today.....homemade Ziploc bags with chopped up tomatoes and green beans. I kid you not, Ziploc. There's gotta be a health regulation for that somewhere, no?

*Freezer burn on almost every single item in their freezer, not to mention that it was in shambles.

*Loose tile around the store, and just overall very, very, very, dirty. I can't say dirty enough.

*One cashier, that was in training, with a 14 person line up. Oh, and only "cash" sales.

I truly didn't think this place could get worse than it was. I wouldn't shop here if it was free. The only thing that I saw that was "fresh" were the pitas. Other than that, the entire place was in shambles. It literally looked like a third world country grocery store. Really weird....

Until their are renovations and a clean up crew and I read that, I will not be going back.

EDIT: Finnegan, you should really change the title. It's grossly misleading. And I do mean grossly....

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

McEwan goes to Don Mills

I find it funny that those that don't actually live in the area have so much to comment on income levels and if there are foodies living here or not! Actually, it's a bit offensive, luckily I don't take offense that easily.....

I live in a million-dollar plus home not in Bridle Path, but very close and also very near the new mall location. I shop at No Frills, Longo's, Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Nortown, Nasr (though not anymore after today) as well as Pusateri's, Cumbrae's, Diana's, etc. etc. etc. I also go to Europe 5 times a year and the Caribbean twice a year. One of my neighbours is a neuro-surgeon on one side, the other a Bay Street chairman. So, I think it's safe to say that you're conclusions of the area being low to mid income are very wrong. There may be pockets of low-income, but it is not the norm in the area.

As for Coach, you need to read more carefully, I said they were a very strong company for choosing real estate locations. I did not talk about their stock price or the state of the economy. They choose TRIPLE A locations. I guess next maybe you can speak about the LCBO's downfall too?

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

McEwan goes to Don Mills

Can you say that again.........but in English?

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Nasr Foods: Excellent

I too used to shop there. The first time my Mom and aunt took me...they told me they had found a great supermarket with "fresh" produce and great prices. So, when I walked in, and yes, I'll admit I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to nice signage etc. I thought it was a dump. It also looked like a dump inside and had very strong smells. Not attractive. I guess I learned to like it, basically go there in the summer to buy fresh produce, love the little marrow squash they always have a great selection of, and also their frozen artichokes. I try to make it a quick in and out trip because I know, that if I stay and look in there too long, I'll get grossed out. Just being honest.

I'm in the area today. I'm going to go there and see what's up and report back.

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

McEwan goes to Don Mills

Wow, all this negativity and glass half empty pontification. It's very easy to sit back and criticize every post, but if you re-read your posts, that's all you're doing. At least some of us are trying to find evidence of why we think this will succeed and more importantly, as those who live to eat great food, why we WANT it to succeed. Why don't you pony up some of your own research instead of being so vague and casting a wide brush of "it won't work" period? Why won't McEwan's succeed? Because you said so? There's gotta be more....

BTW, I follow Coach very closely and although not food, they do have a winning strategy in choosing real estate locations. But then again, perhaps we'll get enlightened with another ray of darkness as to why that store will also fail in these economic times...... it's a chain, it's purses, it's American...I can hear it now.....

Mar 05, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

RR on Nightline

Fluffier than Charlie Rose and 60 Minutes, yes. But I'd still take it any day versus most of the reality shows. But I get what you're saying. Has definitely become more sensationalized from when Koppel was doing it, but I think that's more a product of what TV in general has become. I noticed that Jamie Oliver will be interview this week on Nightline too. I'd like to catch that.

I truly have never given Rachel Ray a second thought, but I do like it when people are real and I just feel like she's not pretending to be anything she isn't. Perhaps CH'ers can take a lesson from that and maybe not think that they are "above average"....

Mar 03, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

McEwan goes to Don Mills

Really? I beg to differ. I think ALOT of restaurateurs/retailers come on here to read what Chowhounders have to say.

Smart businesspeople always take the pulse of their target markets.

Mar 03, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

RR on Nightline

"I haven't re-invented the wheel, I'm not a chef, I haven't created any new technique in the kitchen, I'm not a rocket scientist; I think I'm good at writing accessible, fun, and affordable meals for the average American family. That's what I think I'm good at." Rachel Ray, on Nightline

Wow. You know, I don't much watch her, just not my cup of tea, but wow again. Is that ever concise, honest, and genuine. How can anyone hate on her for that answer? She is what she is, and she knows it. And apparently, people love her for it and buy her books, and watch her show, and buy her products. I wonder if she'd get as much slack if she were a doctor, lawyer, or accountant? Then again, people do like to slam Suze Orman. Do we think it's a female thing?

Oh, and I'm not sure what the hate-on is for Nightline also, but I very much enjoy watching it when they have topics that are interesting to me. I think they do a good job at reporting. And I like Cynthia McFadden. She's a good journalist. The other guy, I just always associate him with the Michael Jackson interview, so I don't know, it kinda taints it everytime he's on. But he's ok.

Mar 03, 2009
Raquel in Food Media & News

McEwan goes to Don Mills

Thanks for posting this. Good read. I must have missed it when it first came out....

BTW, I'm sure McEwan and his folks are having a good read with us!

Mar 03, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

McEwan goes to Don Mills

Well, actually as for results being a little different today.....not so much. As I said above, no one should be discussing whether the prepared foods is a trend or not because it's way beyond that. It's now big business. Maybe a little more time researcher these things...KM.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story...

http://www.gourmetretailer.com/gourme...

Mar 03, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

McEwan goes to Don Mills

Well there ya go..... Thanks for the refresher.

I still don't think it's going to be anything like a regular grocery store. Sorry, but I just don't see it with Metro a couple feet away. They have the type of buying power that he doesn't. Do you really think it will be a regular grocery store? Now THAT would be suicide. The way he's going, he's competing on a much much smaller field. And he's a smart guy.

You can't buy toothpaste at Pusateri's, but alas, you can buy Froot Loops, so I don't know what that tells you.....

Mar 03, 2009
Raquel in Ontario (inc. Toronto)