bdachow's Profile

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Vilamoura area?

Thanks so much for your thoughts, much appreciated!

Aug 25, 2014
bdachow in Spain/Portugal

Vilamoura area?

Looking for some recommendations in the Vilamoura/Algarve area for mid-September. We don't plan on renting a car so within easy taxi or walking distance would be nice. Willie's I believe is nearby, do we need to make advance reservations? Any other recommendations?

Thanks very much!

Aug 22, 2014
bdachow in Spain/Portugal

Sunday brunch like The Publican in Chicago

So we ended up going to The Breslin. Went around 10am on Sunday and it wasn't super busy which was great as we had a very inquisitive toddler with us. Tried the following items:
Kolache - reminded me of a Chinese bakery bun but with Western breakfast items inside (cheese, egg and sausage). The bun was very light and fluffy and it definitely would make a great portable breakfast to go.
Fried peanut butter and banana sandwich with bourbon and vanilla - Sandwich doesn't really describe it well as it came out shaped like a dome. They soak the crumbs in bourbon before dipping and deep frying it. Was very decadent and rich but some bites, the bourbon was a little overpowering. Couldn't discern a lot of banana flavour.
Baked egg with prosciutto and stuffed squash blossoms - eggs came out nice and runny, perfect to go with the toast points to smush and dip. You definitely needed to smush the dish as some bites with the prosciutto ended up to salty but bites with just stuffed squash blossoms were a little too mild.
Blueberry and cornmeal pancakes - had just a small bite and really enjoyed it. They came 3 to a plate (larger than tennis ball diameters, a bit small perhaps) but were pretty tasty. Cornmeal added a nice texture (which the toddler did not enjoy by the way).
Steak and eggs with tomatillo sauce - perfectly cooked steak and runny eggs, the tomatillo sauce definitely livened up the dish and made it a hit.
Side of bacon - nice tasting bacon, good smoke, not too salty and smokey but suffered from wimpy bacon syndrome, I like mine definitely crunchier than it was served.

Overall a nice brunch. The room had atmosphere (and lots of things to distract the toddler's eyes). Bonus points on the booth with multiple charger plugs for use. Probably a bit pricey for portion size but I'm a light eater so was quite satisfied overall. Didn't see the total since I got beat to the bill.

Jul 21, 2014
bdachow in Manhattan

Sunday brunch like The Publican in Chicago

Thanks everyone. Gonna run The Breslin past him. Might be able to hook him on the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.

Jul 16, 2014
bdachow in Manhattan

Sunday brunch like The Publican in Chicago

We're going to be in NYC this weekend and my fiance was thinking brunch (instead of dim sum...sad for me). Anyways, we loved the brunch we had at the Publican in Chicago and were hoping for something fun and innovative along those lines. I ran the menus of the following places past him and got a big fat zero from him, any other suggestions (preferably that take reservations)?

Nomad, Locanda Verde, Colicchio & Sons, David Burke Kitchen, Public and Prune.

Thanks very much in advance everyone!

Jul 15, 2014
bdachow in Manhattan

Offaly good: how many of these "daring" dishes have you tried in Vancouver?

Sigh...I would love to try them all although I've eaten most of those things at various other places. I miss Vancouver and my fellow hounds. :(

What do you eat when sick?

Congee, pho, ramen, anything soupy with noodles in it. Occasionally, a zhong with the fatty pork in it.

When my IBS kicks in, I stop eating...sadly.

Jul 10, 2014
bdachow in General Topics

What Foods have You Eaten That Were Past The 'Best By' or 'Expired Date'

Yogurt as long as the top wasn't distended. I usually do any canned goods, I've kept eggs for months and eaten them to no ill effect. Box juices too.

As long as it smells ok, the package isn't bulging or have a fur coat, should be good. :)

Feb 18, 2014
bdachow in General Topics

Clean/wash up while cooking ?

Oh to have a DW....I can keep dreaming!

Feb 14, 2014
bdachow in Not About Food

Clean/wash up while cooking ?

Your behaviour is definitely not unusual or unique. I don't have a dishwasher and I don't have a ton of dishes so I'm constantly cleaning to re-use. Plus in the summer here in Bermuda, if I leave anything out too long, it attracts the ants hence the cleaning compulsion.

Feb 12, 2014
bdachow in Not About Food

Kits Happenings

Am buying the Little Sheep packs from T&T. They have2 kinds, the spicy one and a regular herbal/plain one. Love the spicy one as do many of my friends down here, we moderate it a bit by not dumping the entire contents of the oil packet. Lol. Otherwise, pretty tasty. The plain was interesting, i may stick to a plain miso one next time though, the herbs in it remind me too much of my mom's herbal soups as a kid which took me hours to swallow.

Jan 05, 2014
bdachow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Kits Happenings

Alas....back to the packaged stuff. :(

Dec 26, 2013
bdachow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Beaucoup Praise for Beaucoup Bakery

Have been in twice now and not had bad service on either occasion. First was this past weekend, had mini chocolate croissants, cheese croissant, cinnamon scroll and the peanut butter cookie. Everything was really good. Croissants were flaky and buttery, leaving a lovely butter flavor finish and a mess of shards everywhere. Cookie extremely rich and decadent, major peanuty flavor, the filling was so light and mousse like almost. Scroll was crunchy and had a lovely intense flavor. Second trip had a cheese and onion scone, tropical scone, americano and latte. Was surprised how much i enjoyed my americano, was smooth and not acidic with a sweet flavor. Much better than one I had at Elysian before. Scones were big thumbs up, very light, crunchy outside, tender and moist and buttery inside. Tropical is macadamia, pineapple, coconut and white chocolate. Really enjoyable. Fortunately, am staying around the corner so gonna try again to try the koigh (sp?) amann. They were out by the time we rolled over. Coffee is 49th parallel I believe.

Dec 24, 2013
bdachow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

BERMUDA in December

Glad to hear that everything was wonderful. Ascot's has always known how to treat its customers and glad you enjoyed the pastry shop.

Kits Happenings

Thanks GE! Counting down days!

Dec 17, 2013
bdachow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Let's See How Smart You Are....

Lol, I got 7. Apparently I should stay put in Canada and strangely I got the China one wrong (and I'm Chinese), Mom always told me about the starving kids in Africa.

Dec 12, 2013
bdachow in Not About Food

Kits Happenings

Ooohhhhh....I've taken to buying the pre-packaged hot pot soup mixes from them at T&T and really quite enjoy them (although it was way too hot here still last weekend when I whipped it out), can not wait to actually try their store front. Alas, I'm guessing not opening before the new year?

Dec 12, 2013
bdachow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Portuguese egg tarts: where do you get yours?

GE, did you try them at Cafe Bica yet? Will be back in town over Xmas with the Portuguese fiance (yeah me!) in tow and looking forward to some good Portuguese egg tarts. GIsle is conveniently located for me.

Nov 29, 2013
bdachow in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Do you moderate your drinking around your family?

Definitely not, with a winemaker for a cousin and my parents generation called the Frowny people by my young niece, it takes more drinking to get me through a family meal without wanting to get up and walk right out on them. After 60 years of being siblings, you'd think my mom would eventually stop squabbling over the same arguments. *roll eyes*.....

Thank goodness it's usually once a year now that I live abroad. :)

Nov 27, 2013
bdachow in Not About Food

BERMUDA in December

Did you get to try Tribe Road Kitchen when you here last? Corner of King Street and Reid Street in Hamilton?

In Dockyard, there is the pastry shop that does sandwiches, it's closer to BoneFish, in a little courtyard, next door to the crew sleeping quarters. I love their quiche and you can get a nice loaf of bread from them for your breakfasts.

In town, on Court Street, upstairs from Chewstick (not sure what the cross street is), there's a chicken and waffle joint that I haven't gotten around to trying yet.

By Elbow Beach hotel, near the residents area, there is a little place called Thyme that opened recently, again, I haven't made it there yet.

Southampton Princess has the Gastropub which replaced the Newport Room. I'm a big fan of the burger and steak tartare. Open for dinner only I believe. Not sure if they'll switch to winter hours as well come December.

Otherwise, more upscale is Red Steakhouse in town. The usual, steakhouse fare. I prefer their lunch to their dinner, steak salad was very nice.

That's all I can remember off the top of my head.

And of course, congratulations on 25 years. Wishing you both all the best for another 25!

CHOW Reviews: Magic Bullet Express 17-Piece High-Speed Blender Mixing System

I inherited one from my BF. Use it to grind coffee beans and smoothies and that's it. Everything else, I have a knife for or my handy Bamix for making soups. :)

Sep 28, 2013
bdachow in Cookware

Bermuda Birthday Trip Dinner Plans

I like Wahoo's especially for their wahoo preparations since it's a fish that easily dries out if overcooked slightly.

Dinner at The Point is nice, I had a very nice dinner there quite a while ago but have never made it back (it's a bit of a trek for us).

Mad Hatter's is nice, good value for money I think. The fun hats make it a little zany but in a fun way. Sides are served family style and the food is solid cooking but nothing too avant garde.

Not been to Coconuts so defer to Athena for that. I'm a big fan of The Dining Room at Gibb's Hill Lighthouse. I like the views over the island and water and food is good when I've been for brunch (it's the same restaurant group as Rustico's mentioned by Athena). If you go, try and request a table by a window.

Good luck, welcome back and happy pre birthday!!!!

The Reefs Bermuda

Ditto, although it might have been more than a year when I went for dinner, service was excellent, food was terrible. May have to put it back on the visit list.

Bermuda Restaurant Recommendations

It's not super strict about the smoking, in buildings yes, outside on the street, don't think anyone fusses.

Good luck with the ginger beer, it's obviously a personal taste thing, some like it more "gingery" than others. :)

Bermuda Restaurant Recommendations

Thanks very much for reporting back on your experience. Am glad that you and your husband were able to work out logistics relating to his wheelchair use and that you had some good meals. I often forget about the entire tip issue since it's become second nature to me that it's automatically included here.

As for the Dark & Stormy, to be most authentic, use Barritt's Ginger Beer and Gosling's Dark Seal Rum. However, many bars in the US sub a Jamaican ginger beer due to availability, it really just comes down to personal preference. Good luck with coming up with your version!

5 Days in SF/Napa

If you haven't reserved for dinner at Redd and they're Full. Maybe try them.for lunch instead. Sorry for.the fat finger typos.

5 Days in SF/Napa

Solage is a great spa. I went with girlfriends a couple years back and had a great experience.

As for wineries, I did Robert Biale (felt very wine geek-ish), then our tour through Sonoma did Saintsbury (very relaxing, tasting in the garden, however it was windy so a bit chilly but they had blankets), Scribe (picnic tables overlooking the vineyard, super relaxed and fun different styles of wines, think unoaked chard), Imagery (cool setting, artwork in gardens but was a bit busy and the last of the day so my tastebuds were shot). Then I had an appt at Smith Madrone (super informative but casual, hard to get to but chatting with Charlie, the winemaker and tasting over his desk in the warehouse was fun), swung past St. Clements (had an order to fill) and Ballentine (one of my fave Zins).

Good luck and you'll have loads of fun, I know I want to go back already!

5 Days in SF/Napa


Just got back and I promised I'd comment on the Westin. Location was nice, just up the block from Oxbow Market, very convenient for breakfast as Model Bakery was open early (although I found the sandwich needed a wee bit of salt). Easy to walk around Napa as well. The wifi is spotty though especially if your room is far at the end of the hall, we actually had to change because we got virtually no signal on any of our 4 devices. We had dinner downstairs one night at The Bank, they had a nice enough half bottle selection although we opted for cocktails (being wine-d out). They do happy hour tapas and wine tasting between 5-7 in the lobby, it was a small no tasting room winery on the evening I ventured down. I believe you can park on the street yourself although there was no additional charge to valet the car (aside from tip).

Bi-Rite, worth the wait in line. I preferred the Salted Caramel to the fancy place in Paris on Ile St Louis (?). Comstock, very nice cocktail the waiter recommended based on what I said I liked. Redd, I think well worth it for dinner, was very happy there for lunch, the hamachi and tuna tartare was really refreshing with good textures and flavour. Glazed pork belly was also really good, if not super rich, on it's own, I found it a bit too much but with the apple puree, it really shined.

Taylor's Refresher...loved the garlic fries, they reminded me of fries in Buenos Aires, with the garlic and parsley oil in it. I had a stomach ache and still managed to polish off quite a few they were so good. Had the texas burger, it was good but not great. The toppings made it while I found the patty flavour got lost but great texture on the patty, not overworked. Thought the bun could be better, got a little squishy from the juices.

Mission Chinese is closed for summer holidays until July something. I went to Mission Cheese which I really enjoyed, nice selection and relaxed pace of life.

Sorry for the hodge podge approach and hopefully this helps!

A little board stalking....but need some Napa help still, please!

I saw that thread and am keeping my fingers crossed that they'll be back up and running when i'm there next week! Is it bad to change your screen saver to be a countdown to vacation? :)

Boulevard [San Francisco]

Thanks GE. I was thinking of going to Cotogna the evening we arrive in SF. Don't have a reservation but we land about quarter after 8 so by the time we get to the hotel and checked in, maybe 9, am hoping by that time, it'll have started to fade out a bit.