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LCBO Deals 2009

Yeah, I do go to U.S. and bring back wines, but for someone who drinks a glass or so every night, we run out pretty quickly.

And, when I began this thread, I was hoping to get some true "deals". While I often purchase $50+ wines, those are not what I consider deals. These days there are many more options in the $10, $20, and $30 range than ever before and I was hoping those that had tried them and enjoyed them could tell us.

Apr 24, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Seriously gross lunch at Pickle Barrel Y&E

Yes, same one.

Apr 24, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO Deals 2009

Since the other thread seems to describe only "new" deals, I thought I'd start this new one as I couldn't find another.

So, looking for deals from LCBO for anything really, but mostly wines.

Let's hear about them if you've found them.....

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Seriously gross lunch at Pickle Barrel Y&E

Sam Reisman.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Seriously gross lunch at Pickle Barrel Y&E

You're so right, I can't explain it. I'm not joking that I would rather go to a McDonald's than Pickle Barrel again. I just find that as chains go, they are one of the worst in both food and service. The only way to vote is to not go otherwise they keep getting rewarded by the mediocrity.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

You're exactly right, but some just can't get past the fact that he's on TV; I think that's an automatic bash on here from what I've seen; first it's the tall guy from Dinner Impossible, then Rachel Ray, then Martha Stewart, I mean the list is endless.

Gordon Ramsay makes excellent food. Whether it's made done the road or in his TV room.

I suggest anyone who has the opportunity to check one of his restaurants out: http://www.gordonramsay.com/

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

LCBO New Releases

Anyone find any good deals at LCBO lately? Mostly looking for the great value wines $10-15 and under.

Recently bought the Marcus James Malbec on the recommendation of Tony Aspler, but haven't tried it yet. It's supposed to be a bit like the Fuzion, which I must admit, I didn't really like the new vintage they are selling now. The older one was the great one, I think.

But has anyone tried any others?

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Perhaps it is you that is not understanding this.

Because you are comparing the two, I will also use them as examples. JG and Ramsay couldn't be further apart. They are different brands. It seems as though you are too anti-TV. I eat in more restaurants with non-TV chefs than I do at restaurants that DO have have their chefs on TV, so what conclusion can you make of that?

Read back before you post. I was not at all hard on JG, I enjoy what he does; someone ELSE compared him to Ramsay and I said that it wasn't a fair comparison because Ramsay is a WORLDWIDE BRAND. JG is NOT.

I already know that Ramsay has sold more books than JG, but why does that matter? Or are you only interested in chefs that have best selling cookbooks?

And I am VERY CERTAIN that if JG even WANTED a TV show he would NEVER get one: one, for simple reason no one would be able to understand him; have you ever had him tableside for a chat? I have. Wasn't easy to follow him, He talks very fast with a VERY heavy French accent. second, he just doesn't have the lively personality needed for TV.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Excellent posts, PhilD! Finally someone who understands food and business. And yes, thank you for adding that info re Fat Duck, I had forgotten about that separate kitchen--good example.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Dinner rec. for a 1st time NY visitor.....

Actually, you're right...how could I have forgotten. I'm a BIG FAN of all of Danny Meyer's restaurants, and also quite enjoy the Modern.

http://www.ushgnyc.com/

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Manhattan

rushed at babbos

I've never felt rushed, but then again, I wouldn't really allow a restaurant to rush me either.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Manhattan

Dinner rec. for a 1st time NY visitor.....

I always consider Babbo to be one of the quintessential NYC first-time visitor type restaurants to hit. You can't really go wrong. Not stuffy, and most usually not anything over the top exotic. Now, the noise might not be to your or your mother's liking, so just be pre-warned on that.

But what type of cuisine are you into?

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Manhattan

Seriously gross lunch at Pickle Barrel Y&E

Because kind of owns Pickle Barrel. Well, her husband does but she's pretty deep in it as consulting on everything and being back for her new restaurant Glow with the same funding. Not quite sure why it looks like they're always trying to hide this fact, but I suspect it has something to do with spreading yourself too thin.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Cook's Illustrated membership? [Moved from Home Cooking]

Oops, wrong thread. Thanks for pointing out. I could have sworn I clicked on another thread that was asking about subsribing or not. And I agree about the online. If it's truly 'FREE', then you shouldn't give your CC.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Case Discounts - 10% at Whole Foods

That's good to know, thanks. I've also done this at Loblaws and Longo's. Specifically for rapini when they are in season. Flash boil, vacuum pack, and freeze.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Hahahahahhahhahahhhaha. And LOL, LOL, LOL.

Oh yes, The Sun! The authority in legitimate news. This is akin to if linking to TMZ or The National Enquirer. This is not where I go to for 'honest' reporting. They have been sued numerous times for being factually WRONG.

And, it IS freshly made.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Oh, they lied to customers now? That statement if not able to be backed up is a slight bit slanderous.

I think it would be a FANTASTIC idea for him to sell to grocery stores. I hope that his next move. It would be a smart one.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Sorry, I've never seen any JG books become best sellers.

You cannot compare JG and Gordon Ramsay because Ramsay is an internationally known TV celebrity chef and JG is not.

I hope Ramsay does not go away from TV, his shows are brilliant.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Actually Waitrose and M & S can do a decent ready made meal. The others do not.

Sorry but this this food being manufactured is NOT being 'commercially' produced. Actually, I don't even know what that means? It's being put together in HIS OWN kitchen. I don't get the problem or issue with that?

Oh sure why not, take a hit of a couple thousand pounds (dollars) a week just so you can say you make everything on premise? You'd be surprised how many do this.

What is the principle behind this? It's high quality, fresh food. I don't see the problem. Is this purely because of the location it's being made?

And actually EVERY chef opens up restaurants as a BUSINESS, and yes, horror of horrors, they do actually make BUSINESS DECISIONS from time to time.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Cook's Illustrated membership? [Moved from Home Cooking]

Bxgirl, I've had a subscription to CI for years now. Never had a problem.

If it was me, I wouldn't listen to the naysayers. It's a magazine. I think people are expecting way too much from a magazine subscription. The way some people are talking, you'd think they want to actual CI team to come to their house and cook these recipes for them! Just substitute 'Cooking Illustrated' with 'Time' magazine. What are your expectations with Time? Get up-to-date, informative news stories, nice pictures, etc. etc. That's exactly what you'll get with CI. Great recipes, nice photos, and informative explanations. It's not a car, you'll most likely never need to call customer service. I have to wonder why all these people are having to deal with customer service??? I've never in over 5 years!

If there's a recipe I remember wanting to try and can't find it, I can usually find it online by Googling for free.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Nanette, good post.

I understand your point of view and sure, we would all prefer a la minute cooking at all times when we go to restaurants and pubs. Something that no one has mentioned in any detail is the fact that this was a purely business decision. It has nothing to do with freshness, food technique, or premium ingredients. But the fact of the matter is that the ingredients he is using are in fact premium ingredients simply because of what they are. Also, you say "outsourcing' which I always think of as someone else's kitchen. It's not. It's his own kitchen. It just happens to be his catering kitchen.

This is a very smart business decision he made. Why not streamline operations and save money where possible? He is a good businessman, but he also knows good food. I've eaten at his pubs and I was not disappointed. I think the above quote about him disliking 'ready meals' is in reference to store-bought, almost TV dinner-like products. Those DO use inferior, cheap products and it tastes like that.

I think if he the real story here would be if he employed this technique and used inferior products to make them. Otherwise, I don't see the outrage.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Charlie's Burger?

Did I say "duped". Did I call it an "insidious marketing campaign"? Methinks you're wanting to fight too hard on this.

I called it "manufactured". And I stand by that.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Charlie's Burger?

Perhaps they are foodies and have foodie/wine friends and wanted to try it out and see how far they could take it. I said before and maybe my post got deleted, but I get sucked into good advertising and branding all the time. There's nothing wrong with this, but I like to call a spade a spade.

I applied. I got in. But I had no intention of ever going. The only thing I wanted to see were the menus they were coming up with. If I want to eat a certain chef's food, I will go (or have already been) to their restaurant. Sorry, maybe I'm in the miniority, but I also did NOT whatsoever enjoy my dinner at Stadtlander's Eigensinn Farm. I actually found it disgusting because his dog kept roaming through the dining room (if you can call it that) and kept rubbing up to our table. Not only that but we had to treck through mud, which came into the dining room. And we had to bring our own wine. All that for the "privilege" of being served his food? And paid a few hundred? It might have been great ingredients but the dirty atmosphere ruined it for us.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

No, sorry I was using "best-selling" as in you're in the top 10 or 20. I don't remember any of his books being on that list, but please KTinNYC, please do show me otherwise if you have the evidence.

So, it's very obvious you're not a fan of Gordon Ramsay. That's OK. Some of us are, some of us aren't. I just know that I don't usually go onto threads to talk at length about someone I don't like, but yet I DO on threads when I enjoy the person. Guess I just don't see the merits in bashing people for the sake of bashing them because I personally don't like them.

And I hope that Ramsay does NOT do as you suggest and spend less time on TV. There's less and less to watch on there and he's one of my tops! And quality control is hard in ALL restaurants, trust me JG has trouble with that too. I've had great meals there, but not always as mind-blowing as you'd think.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Charlie's Burger?

It's basically an ad/design agency.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Charlie's Burger?

Very good comments, SWS. Especially in these times. I think that's why "projects" such as Spoke Club also weren't as popular as they'd have everyone believe...

I don't know ME, I'm still a little on the 'this is manufactured hype' bandwagon. A friend, who shall remain nameless, says he saw one of these people at his dinner http://inkwellendeavours.com/story.html Also, a quick Network Solutions search brings up this company as the owner of charliesburgers.ca Perhaps they just bought it, but it reeks? reaks? of a manufactured idea. I'm all about genuiness, so while I receive their menus, I will also NOT be attending.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Yes, it's a real story because it was printed, but is what we're debating is if there's anything wrong with the premise. I say no.

Some FACTS for those who didn't read it or didn't understand it:

-this is for his PUBS, not his restaurants

-the "central kitchen" is HIS KITCHEN - his chefs are pre-packaging things like coq au vin, pork belly, braised pig cheeks. No one ever disputed that these weren't PREMIUM products.

-NO fresh products or produce are pre-packaged

-If you don't understand "sous-vide", it's in the simplest form, "boil in bag" and ALL the top restaurants ALL OVER THE WORLD USE THIS METHOD, in some form.

To Withnail: Because it seems like you don't understand the concept of 'sous-vide', let me explain further: you still must SEASON and COOK what's in the bag! It's still COOKING. So your argument that he preached fresh cooking everywhere doesn't hold since IT IS REAL COOKING!

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Actually, I don't believe that's a comparable comparison at all. How do you figure? JG doesn't have several hit TV shows, cookware, best-selling books, NOR the type of brand that Gordon Ramsay does. (And yes, correct on the NINTH Batali restaurant).

Being a worldwide brand takes much more than just having restaurants all over the globe. It's about being a personality, and while JG is a real chef's chef, his business model does not compare with Ramsay's.

Apr 23, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

OK, I see you're a stickler for facts. That's fine. Let's get those facts down straight: Batali is in partnerships with ALL his restaurants. And the MAJORITY of his restaurants are located where he can "hit all his spots in one night", thus making it easier to have some sort of control (or fear) that an owner/partner may stop by. In NYC, he has NINE restaurants, versus TWO in L.A., and THREE in Vegas.

Gordon Ramsay is pretty much an INTERNATIONAL CELEBRITY CHEF, much much more spotlight and pressure on him than say a Batali (whom I also enjoy, although moreso for his food than anything else). Ramsay has restaurants in UK, U.S., Middle Easte, Far East, Africa, etc. He's a worldwide brand that needs some tender loving care right now to bring it all back home. I have full confidence he will.

Apr 22, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News

Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

Yes, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed in all this bad news for him. I have a real soft spot for him. I'm very familiar with the Brit world so I "get him" moreso than I think people who haven't been exposed to it as much. He's a pretty typical British bloke.

It's hard to know what his next move will be. He's too big and has too many restaurants to always be there, and it's not like he's Mario Batali who can in essence hit all his spots in one night. Ramsay's are all over the world, so it makes it harder. I guess he sort of picked his lane in that doing the TV show, product line, etc., he knew he was going to be away from the stoves as much as possible. I've eaten at most of his restaurants and although I've had some fantastic meals, it wasn't really mind-blowing or anything; just fresh, well-executed continental style food.

I do hope he gets it together because I absolutely LOVE watching him and I hope he doesn't go away anytime soon. My options of Eastenders and Corrie St. are not enough.

Apr 22, 2009
FoodyGirly in Food Media & News