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Red Sauce - 50 Clinton Street

I'd love to see a full review soon.
I love anyone who will make me rapini.

Feb 08, 2014
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Rice cookers... a revelation?

I finally bought a Tatung old school style rice cooker.
From Newegg.com all stainless steel.
Turns out, in fact the "non-direct heating" is in fact the best way to cook rice.

It has water under the rice pan and inside as well.
It balances the heat so no waste stucky rice on the bottom.

It's a bit noisy but the results are amazing better than any super fancy super tech rice machine..
hooray!!
i

Jan 29, 2014
Idas in Cookware

Rice cookers... a revelation?

I am rice obsessed but too busy a home cook for the amazing steamers that sit on top of a pot (to die for in flavour) so I need a rice cooker but truly the indirect contact rice cookers are indeed different.
Normal modern absorption rice cookers all have heat contact with the bottom element. Induction models might differ slightly in that the heat transfer is magnetic and might radiate better if the pot was a very good conductor of energy. ....otherwise mainly at the bottom boiling the rice much hotter in one area causing that rice to overcook. Some folks are cool with rice a bit sticky and that's cool. All the fuzzy logic in the world won't change that amount of direct heat overcooking the bottom grains.
The Tatung (and other original design rice cookers) have a significant amount of fluid poured outside the rice pan to buffer the heat and carry the heat up the sides and over the top.
Yes, part of the cooking is through absorption but a significant amount of cooking is from steaming above and the bain marie style bathing of the sides to even out the heat. This makes for a more even cooking imo.

I would love to hear from Chowhounders with family experiences in cooking rice for a generation or two who have used various rice cooking machines. On the plus sides, they look easier to clean (no valves or gaskets to wash nor replace.

Dec 30, 2013
Idas in Cookware
1

Rice cookers... a revelation?

HI,
I have been researching getting a stainless ricecooker (to avoid aluminum and non-stick chemicals) and almost bought a Buffalo smart cooker.
Then I went to our Auntie's house for dinner and she made rice in her ancient Tatung indirect (double pan) rice cooker.
Then it hit me, her rice is light and perfectly cooked with no sticky bottom because it's STEAMED!!
Darn, I wish I had realized this difference 30 years ago, upgrading modern ricecooker one after another trying to find the best steamed rice. Modern rice cookers don't steam rice, they boil it until it evaporates, recycling moisture sort of steaming it.

Am I nuts to donate my fancy rice cookers for a simple stainless Tatung?
Sure, it's not a cool looking but the difference in rice texture was a revelation. It will take my chau fun to a new level.

I feel silly for not realizing this before.
Any thoughts?
yours truly, a fun fan,
Idas

Dec 30, 2013
Idas in Cookware
1

wall oven I regret getting one it is overheating my kitchen

I feel ya.
I hate my oven all summer long and you are right on about spreading the cooking smell.
My old kitchenaid was a slide in so it passively vented through the vents and never kicked out odours nor heat on convection.

the new damn kitchenaid not only kicks out way too much smell, it kicks out tonnes of heat from the cabinet area ALWAYS even when NOT using convection.

Brutal choice. Never again.
I hope more people pass on the built in knowing what I wish I had.
edit: oh, I'd buy one that vents out for a pretty penny used if I could find one to fit my cabinet...now I am going to scour kijiji....oh please!!

Dec 30, 2013
Idas in Cookware

New Resto: Napoli Central 964 Bathurst St. Toronto (Near Bloor)

I've now been twice.
owners are very nice. Decor is simple and neat.
I've had pizza and salads and they recently offered lasagna.
Their pizza is very tasty however I like a dryer cornicone (crust) but if you are crust lover and use it for dipping into their lovely complementary olives, then you'll love it. I find it a bit overly heavy and I like to save room for desert.
They offer meatballs and some panini options and a small appetizer list of rapini iwth meat.
I liked the beer on tap and their tiramisu is near identical our family recipe.
If you like to be nice and toasty, sit near the oven, if you suffer heat, sit near the front of the house where it's comfortable but not summer warm. (I love the oven area, my SO does not)
The espresso is well made.
I'd recommend that they offer more vegetarian appetizers (as this neighbourhood does well with healthier and veggie options.
They would also do well to offer more pasta dishes for people who like pizza but not that often. They would also do well with adding pureed dips and a soup for the winter.
I wish them success. So far I've seen lots of pizza boxes for winter days being picked up.

Dec 26, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO Buffalo Smart Cooker II rice cooker in Toronto?

thanks both of you!!
If the icy conditions prove untrue, I'll try to nab one!
So excited.
Namaste!

Dec 21, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fun dinner out with some teens

I liked the feel of Reds Midtown last Friday. Booked reservations on Open Table.
Food was inventive and fresh.
Comfortable seating, interesting crowd.

Dec 18, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO Buffalo Smart Cooker II rice cooker in Toronto?

Hello,
I am looking to avoid any coatings on a new rice cooker pot.
I think Buffalo is a good product but I cannot locate a local store selling one.

thanks for any help locating a Buffalo smart cooker!
happy holidays,
Id

Dec 18, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Norpac Beef any opinions on this beef source?

Does anyone know about the ethical treatment of the farms associated with Norpac? I googled and nothing turns up either way. Ethics matter to me as much as quality. Thanks!

Dec 12, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Me Va Me opening downtown

Thank you! I love their hummus and their salad.
that's the best news I've heard all day.
Yiippie!!
And I agree, way better than Ghazale & Ali Baba.
I hope they open one near Bloor & Bathurst too.
cheers,i

Dec 10, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Norpac Beef any opinions on this beef source?

Hi
I abstain from animal products but my family eats meat.
I was wondering if anyone had more info about the beef sold at Fiesta Farms. http://www.norpacbeef.com/index.php/p...

thanks
Idas

Dec 10, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

2013 Food and Restaurant OPENINGS

Napoli Centrale opened up on Bathurst near Barton (north of bloor).
It looks busy already, I drove past tonight on my way home.
I hope it's yummy.

Dec 04, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

New Resto: Napoli Central 964 Bathurst St. Toronto (Near Bloor)

I just saw that the new restaurant is open.
Any reviews?
Look forward.
i

Dec 04, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Terra Delyssa Organic Tunisian Extra Virgin Olive Oil - New at Costco

excellent! I was due for some. thanks Flexitarian.

Dec 02, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Barrio Correano on Bloor near Christie

thanks! I should have checked more carefully before adding a post.
Look forward to learning about the flavours.

Nov 24, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Barrio Correano on Bloor near Christie

I heard this place is already busy and just opened.
Any reviews?
Please.
I am very intrigued in the owner of the 4 locations in his fusion of different cuisines with latino food.
This article shocked me that one can make it , hustle but making big money. "The 300 seats generate $10 million in annual sales."
http://www.thestar.com/life/restauran...
thanks!
Id

Nov 23, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

where to buy 100% buckwheat soba noodles (japanese style)?

I find pure soba noodles at Herbs and Nutrition on Bloor, just west of Bathurst.
They also carry them perhaps at PAT supermarket, but I can't recall if they are blended with wheat.
cheers
Idas

Oct 24, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO a fresh, home-made muffin (i..e. not scooped out of a bucket and baked)

thank you kindly.
I wonder why given the University crowd living neaby nothing like a decent fresh from scratch bakery (Cobs is fine for bread but no muffins there) is around Bloor and Bathurst?

Sep 28, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

ISO a fresh, home-made muffin (i..e. not scooped out of a bucket and baked)

Fellow chowhounders,
I am sort of desperate for a truly fresh old school muffin that didn't come pre-mixed in anyway. Fresh.
A crispy dome, perfectly textured inside.
Does this still exist in downtown Toronto?
I am most grateful.
I bake my own but I never achieve that truly crispy crust.
thanks!
Id

Sep 27, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gelato Mamma Mia!!! Capitano Burgers & Gelato discoved thanks to Strum app

I did not try the burgers, we ran in and out.
I think it's fairly new, perhaps email the website to get info of their ingredients, I assume you want to know if there are any "natural" additives in the gelato?
For sure the lucky charm gelato seems iffy.
Their website is down right now but they have a facebook page you could post or message.

I was pretty impressed with flavours and textures.
I also liked that they allow two flavours in their small cup.

I'd also like to try Terroni associated "Forno Sud" to see how they swing multiple flavours of home made gelato.
Let's hope we get more nice hot days of summer before August fades into September.
cheers

Aug 01, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Gelato Mamma Mia!!! Capitano Burgers & Gelato discoved thanks to Strum app

http://capitano.ca/capitano-gelato.html
645 Yonge Street Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z9
info@capitano.ca 416 9177348

Ok, Burgers Gelato, (I know!! oxymoron) I would not have gambled my calories based on that name but check it...

Thanks to Strum iPhone app, they sent me an e-coupon for gelato so I dropped by yesterday and it was amazing.
I had the Bacio and mango and both were really perfect.
Fresh, smooth and no weird gumminess. (AND they make it on their site
)I was really surprised.
Mind you I have had some so-so gelato from fancy "Italian" gelateria shops so it goes to show you never know.

Anyhow, their website says:
"We are proud to admit that we do not use any additives or flavour enhancers in our gelato - only natural ingredients made fresh."

So check them out. (oh, they also daliy bake their burger buns too...yup_)

Oh and if you want so freebies...Forget FourSquare and try Strum.
So far I got free Pez, fee socks and free gelato.
(Odds and ends but free is cool).
http://strumapp.com/
Wahoo.
cheers,
i

Jul 26, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Diverson by Ferraro on Dupont--number is out of service

I never heard back from the person I spoke to at Ferraro.
I just emailed today to see if that might get a reply.
I'll repost after I make a second phone call shortly.
It's only $40 but it will say a lot about a business how they respond.
cheers,
i

Jul 26, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Me Va Me does anyone have tips on how their hummous recipe and their salad dressing?

The tobyshow recipe rocks!
Creaming the tahini and lemon juice is fantastic so is mashing the salt and garlic.
The order of ingredients being introduced as thetobyshow recipe factors into the flavor IMO.
Here is the recipe:
1 15 oz can of organic chickpeas
1/4 cup organic tahini (I might up it to 1/3 cup next time)
Juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and set aside. You can spend the time taking the little skins off each chickpea but it's pretty time consuming and not so much creamier that I think it's worth it. This recipe gets pretty creamy even without that step.

Combine the tahini and the lemon juice and blend until smooth and frothy. This is the key to getting it creamy, by the way. You have to combine these 2 ingredients first, essentially cream the tahini, or it just won't blend perfectly with the chickpeas.

*Note: I use a blender because I have a rockin' good one and only a little mini prep food processor. The down side is there's always a little of the good stuff down at the bottom that's impossible to get out. You should use whichever appliance you have that you feel is best suited for this.

Add the garlic and salt and blend again.

Now add in the chickpeas about 1/3 of the can at a time and blend until smooth. Try to get as few skins as possible, this will also help with the texture. Scrap down the sides of the blender and push the chickpeas down to the bottom as needed. Once you've got all the chickpeas blended in, add the olive oil and turn on the blender and just leave it for a few minutes. I like to add in a little water too, to get the consistency just how I like it.

Jul 26, 2013
Idas in Home Cooking

Diverson by Ferraro on Dupont--number is out of service

Hi Sumdumgoy!!
thanks for the suggestion.
I called them and it turns out, they are not re-opening the Dupont location after all. (Turns out the building was sold and is going to become a condo).
The person I spoke to at Ferraro is checking and will get back to me to see if they can honour it.
It's a shame, it was a decent restaurant and nearby.

Fingers crossed. :)
Id

Jun 25, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Diverson by Ferraro on Dupont--number is out of service

Hi
we live nearby and used to take our kids for dinner there often.
We bid on a voucher for the restaurant at a silent auction and when we drove by for dinner, they were shut for renovations.
Said they would be done in July.

It seems odd that their phone number is out of service.
Hope I am not stuck with a useless gift certificate.
thanks!
Id

Jun 25, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

wall oven I regret getting one it is overheating my kitchen

Just to be clear: it's a built-in WALL oven installed in my lower cabinet. It is not releasing heat passively as a normal slide in oven does.

The counter is cool. The door is cool.

My issue is that the unit uses the blower to cool the cabinetry all the time. ALL THE TIME.

I hear the fan during non-convection cooking. I hear it when it's shut off to cool down.

I wanted a convection oven that I can use or not if I want to avoid the noise if I am having a conversation in the kitchen while cooking.
I can't stand the sound of whirring fan noise. It is substantial. All the other convection ovens I have had in the past did not run a fan when in non-convection mode.

Furthermore, the built-in oven blower fan beneath it really make the kitchen feel hotter by many degrees than a normal oven leaking heat passively.

I am going to speak with Sears to see if they'll take it back.

May 28, 2013
Idas in Cookware

wall oven I regret getting one it is overheating my kitchen

thanks everyone. I will check with KitchenAid.
The door and the counter are totally cool.
It's the blower at the base that is always one.
Whether I select convection cooking or normal baking.
It blows whether it is preheating, baking or when I power it off and it is cooling down.
It blows heat ACTIVELY via the fan below the oven itself.
I wanted to reference this thread stating "all" new wall ovens vent into the room which suprised people renovating who used to have their wall oven vent outdoors.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/745017

I know the thing has to let air escape, passively like my last gas oven, it just makes me nuts to have the blower kick in all the time.

I assumed it was just the way the unit keeps from over heating the cabinetry. It's new so I will call KA in the morning to see what's up.

I hope it's just a setting. Fingers crossed.
thanks for reminding me to contact them!
Idas

May 28, 2013
Idas in Cookware

Grasslands - Queen/Bathurst area - from people behind Fressen/Urban Herbivore

I was there last night.
I got to sample many of the dishes and as a party of 4, we were all very pleased.
All dishes were different and well seasoned and beautifully prepared.
I have never had "mock" meat vegetarian fine dining before.
And while I preferred the "real" vegetable foods in the dishes, the mock meats would certainly appeal to veg converts who really miss fried chicken or sliders.
The flavours were clean and layered. The service was perfectly timed and well executed.
We had a very nice time and would definitely recommend this restaurant. Mind you, the entree were huge! I wish I had knew that because I wanted to try the dessert but I was too stuffed.
Bonus: the menu is very clear info for gluten-free, nut-free etc. Oh I think they are only open for dinner fyi.
cheers,
Idas

May 27, 2013
Idas in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

wall oven I regret getting one it is overheating my kitchen

I was wondering if this is a common experience/mistake.
I used to have a slide-in oven. Gas range and gas convection oven.
I switched during a reno to a gas cook top and an electric wall oven (built into my lower cabinet)

Now I realized that built-in ovens actively kick out heat even when not on convection mode. A lot. Constantly in fact. I find in the winter and when my cooler kitchen needs heating up it's ok but when baking in warmer weather, I can't make icing in my kitchen because it is too hot while the baking is happening and some time after.
Also after I turn off the oven, it kicks out heat for a long time afterwards.
It's noisy and I hate it.

I am really bummed. I should never have invested in a built-in oven.
Unless there is something wrong with my new kitchenaid built-in, I wanted to warn other renovators that wall ovens kick out heat actively with a fan potentially all the time, not emit it passively like a slide in oven does.

I wish I had known.
oh well,
thanks and best
Idas

May 26, 2013
Idas in Cookware