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State of Vancouver Food Blogs 2011 – The actual post…

Didnt think i would be writing anything in response, but i've been giving the issue some thought and wanted to put pen to paper.

I can't speak for the entire team, but i agree with FMed - Kim makes some very valid points, but the personal attacks were both unnecessary and detract from the message.

At the heart of the matter, it really comes down to what is a food blog? Many people treat them like food reviews from pro-am critics - expecting a level of accountability, "professionalism", and anonymity in what is being delivered. After all, we are talking about many people's livelihood.

On the other side, blogs were born, and continue to be used, as personal forums. People read what they want, people write what they want, and everyone takes things with a grain of salt.

Is it reasonable to expect bloggers to maintain a level of food reviewing professionalism when most professional food critics don't? Outside of periodicals like the NY Times, it isnt feasible for most people to follow guidelines that only the most stringent follow.

I definitely fall on the side of expecting a certain amount of accountability from writers and bloggers - but the more i think about it, i think blogs, at the heart of it, are what they started as. Personal forums and mediums where people will do what they wish. As a writer, they are entitled to do as they wish - after all, the entire internet is littered with companies and sites trying to "game" the search engine system. Why should individuals be any different?

As a reader, I will make my choices about what i want to spend my time reading, and follow people who's personal taste, style, and approach to food most closely matches my own. Those I don't agree with, i won't follow. This is a bit of a revelation for me, as I would often be frustrated about many of the same topics raised in the original post. I'm thankful that this topic, and many subsequent comments, have forced me to think more deeply about the subject than I have in the past.

Happy eating everyone!

Apr 09, 2011
foodosopher in Food Media & News

Ramen Sanpachi soon to open in Edmonton

We'll be trying the Vancouver one as a scouting trip to see....it'll be on the blog in the near future.

Nov 27, 2010
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

looking for Szechuan peppercorns yyc

I buy mine at T&T - inexpensive there.

Nov 06, 2010
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Korean in Calgary

+1 on Sura. I wish they were a bit busier so the ingredients would be a bit fresher, but great execution, nice flavours, great prices. As pasaker has noted, the banchan are excellent there.

Oct 27, 2010
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

new Indian rest NE?

Nope - sorry! Though i should get around to it someday. Im a bit motivationally challenged lately.

I found out that Sohni's is closed for the season...it'll reopen in the spring. Wattan is the only place open for the winter. FYI...

Oct 27, 2010
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

new Indian rest NE?

Yes. It's called Sohnis Restaurant. Former owner of Baba Ka Dhaba (of 17th SE fame). He took over Wattan Sweet House a while ago, and when the Anpurna space came up, he gobbled that up too. They share a kitchen.

I only ate at the Wattan Sweet house side (it's the side open at lunch) - the food follows much of Baba's pre-ala carte (pre expansion) format - rotating, limited daily menu with a selection of things always available. The food is excellent, and extremely inexpensive. Very worthwhile. Great fresh Naan from the tandoor too. One of the hidden treasures in Calgary.

Sohni's is open inconsistently, and it's slightly more upscale. Never seen it open for lunch. Prices are a bit higher, but it's nice inside.

http://sohnisrestaurant.com/

Oct 26, 2010
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Calgary - Freshest Sushi/Sashimi in Town?

I've had up and down experiences at all of them. I've had some of the best fish in Calgary at Sushi Club, and some of the worst. My own personal experience, i've had the most consistency with Zipang. Shokutsu has had the same experience.

There are definitely a lot of factors that come into play - when you go, when their fish order comes in, how much old stock they are trying to use up, what you order, and even variance in the quality of the order from order to order. I'll be honest - who you are and what they think they can get away with probably is a factor as well. There are only so many premium cuts on an entire fish. The variance from where on the fish the neta is taken from makes a difference too - and will vary from fish to fish.

My problem with Wa's is they are very good for their high volume fish - sake, saba, hotate, but a lot of the less popular fish don't get turned over as often. They have a lot of consistency in those areas, but are definitely weaker in other areas.

All told, without developing a relationship with the Itamae, I believe that ups and downs will exist at any of these places, and that everyone will have a difference of opinion on what's best. The place i've had the best luck with is Zipang - but maybe it's because they likely recognize me now after the number of times i've been there. I've only been to Sushi Club 6 or 7 times... probably not enough to rate the best fish. Same with Wa's (though i've been there a lot more than that). I can say that, comparing the first 3 visits to each of the 3, Zipang averaged out higher than the other two.

At the end of the day - i hope that Jigga has a wonderful experience no matter where he/she goes. Sushi is one of my favorites - and the more people who share in the joy of it, the happier i am.

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Foodosophy: http://foodosophy.wordpress.com

Jan 28, 2010
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Calgary - Freshest Sushi/Sashimi in Town?

My place of choice based on quality of fish would be Sushi Bar Zipang in Bridgeland. Sit at the sushi bar if you can. Secondary choices would be Wa's, Sushi Club Kensington (they have a limited selection of fresh product that is expensive, but it's usually pretty decent). But hands down i'd go to Zipang.

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Foodosophy: http://foodosophy.wordpress.com

Jan 27, 2010
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Cgy Chinatown fire

The food was fantastic the last time i was there (Nov 09). Peking duck is definitely the highlight - i don't think there's a restaurant serving it better than Bobby Chao's...maybe Ginger Beef in the NE, but it's been a while since i've been there.

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foodosophy : http://foodosophy.wordpress.com

Jan 25, 2010
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Formal dining in Edmonton

Sorry - missed the part about very good food - only saw the dressed up part. Should read more carefully next time.

Strike all the previous ones i mentioned. The best restaurants in Edmonton are all pretty casual :) I actually think Hardware is overpriced and average, and have not enjoyed my last few experiences at Characters, Harvest Room, or Lux. I will not go back to RC on the account of corn fed, wet aged, USDA Prime served at Dry Aged, Grass fed, Canadian beef prices.

Now, anyone been to Jack's Grill since it was sold by Peter? It was getting pretty shabby at the end, but it might have improved since?

Nov 17, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Formal dining in Edmonton

+1 for Hardware Grill, +1 Harvest Room, +1 Ruth's Chris.

Places i feel weird wearing jeans at include Unheardof, Lux, Madison's Grill in the Union Bank Inn.

Nov 17, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Spur Gastropub - Calgary

My guess is because trademarking is covered in the US, and in Canada under two different legal systems. The Century Hospitality Group did the same with with Delux Burger Bar and Deluxe Burger Bar in Phoenix. Gratitude Cafe and Cafe Gratitude from San Francisco. The list goes on. But i agree - it's definitely funny.

Oct 23, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Ibex - Calgary (+More African)

I don't know of any West African restaurants once you exclude Moroccan (Moroccan Castle, Casbah, Sultans Tent), but for EastAfrica, there's Kush/Sudanese food at Imaan. Safari Grille serves "East African" cuisine as well.

Details for Imaan.
http://foodosophy.wordpress.com/2008/...

Safari Grill is in the Short Pants Plaza.

Oct 21, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Curious about offal and all those other odds and ends in Edmonton.

Hi there - i'd suggest checking with your local butcher. Mine never had any - but once i asked, I found out that they don't usually advertise it, but are able to get access to everything you're looking for. The bonus? It's cheap!

Aug 24, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

New Mexican on 17th SE? (Cgy)

Actually Chewy, it was pretty decent. The complimentary chips and salsa came with a nice variety of salsas - chips were freshly fried. The guacamole was excellent - one of the best i've had in the city. Companion ordered tacos. I ordered burritos. Definitely on the high side cost wise, but my lengua and carnitas were both really good - the carnitas especially.They were friendly, but extremely slow. Told us they had been open for a month. Sold out of Horchata too.

Worth trying, but would like a touch more value, and a bit faster service. However, the food was good. A full review will be coming on foodosophy. Hope that helps.

Aug 05, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Off my list - Red Door Bistro

Their focus is really on farm to plate, but i agree with pants - if you don't eat cheese, it has a fairly minimal selection outside of that.

Jul 21, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Off my list - Red Door Bistro

Try Farm or Petite.

Jul 20, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Red Currants in Calgary

As SpudMurphy mentioned above, Walker's Own at the Calgary Farmers Market had them this past weekend. I bought some that were decent, but not great.

Jul 13, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

New in Calgary - can you help with "must dine at" restaurants?

Welcome to the city! Before the deluge of responses, i was just curious - what sort of preferences do you have - anything you won't eat, or any types of flavours that you don't find agreeable? Also, how often do you dine out? Is this for a weekly meal, date night, or special occasions?

Let us know and we'll be happy to provide as many recommendations as you can try! :)

Jun 20, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

"Value" fine dining in Calgary-Urgent

Blink.

Mar 04, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Belle-Vue Kriek in Calgary...

Melrose also has it on tap.

Feb 26, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

river cafe, still one of the best?

Amen.+1

Feb 18, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Thai Food in Calgary?

I prefer Thai Nongkahi over Thai Boat, but otherwise i completely agree with djd - Chili Club is good, not a huge fan of Ruan Thai (mostly because of inconsistency), and Thai Sa On is nothing special. I find it a bit expensive too.

Thai Place in each of the Comfort Inn's/Holiday Inn's are decent too, and I've good meals at Bangkoknoi on Centre.

Feb 09, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Calgary: local specialties, must-try dishes?

SG,

You're right - they are good. I just wanted to be clear that I never said people didnt like it. I enjoy it as well. Im just saying i wouldnt call it an institution. People who drink and party their way up and down 17th Ave might - there are a lot of regulars who dine at 1am, but those days are certainly past for me!

Feb 07, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Calgary: local specialties, must-try dishes?

I think your age is showing Hernando - Tubby Dog is only an institution for the 18-30 crowd :)

And i agree, Peter's is overrated, and Tommy Burger is terrible. Rocky's Burger Bus is as much an institution, and better. I also think Boogies is better, but a bit more expensive. For a great burger though, pubs are where it's at.

Feb 05, 2009
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Later Evening Casual meal in Calgary

Which day do you get in? Hours can vary drastically depending on the day (Monday vs Thursday for example)...

Nov 25, 2008
foodosopher in Prairie Provinces

Dinner in Calgary with 2 kids Sat Nov 8th

Uh yeah..just slightly :) One won't get killed walking down the middle of 8th avenue!

Nov 09, 2008
foodosopher in Western Canada Archives

Dinner in Calgary with 2 kids Sat Nov 8th

Whoops - right you are! Thanks for the correction.

Nov 08, 2008
foodosopher in Western Canada Archives

Dinner in Calgary with 2 kids Sat Nov 8th

Other Restaurants on Stephen avenue that you might enjoy, that are reasonably priced include:

Juan's (Mexican)
7-232 8 Avenue SW
(403) 266-0051
www.juansmexican.com

Rose Garden Thai
207 8th Avenue SW
403-263-1900

Palomino Smokehouse (Southern BBQ
)109 7 Avenue SW
(403) 532-1911
www.thepalomino.ca

All within 2 blocks of the Fairmont.

Nov 08, 2008
foodosopher in Western Canada Archives

Calgary - Rouge or Capo

Im with you MS - there may be quality grappa, but im betting it doesnt taste any better :)

Nov 04, 2008
foodosopher in Western Canada Archives