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A Train's Profile

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Books on Food

I really loved "Heat" by Bill Buford. Great storytelling there, plus some history and "why" questions answered about Italian food.

Jan 26, 2010
A Train in Food Media & News

Desperately seeking good, fun breakfast place in Ottawa

The Elgin's breakfast sandwich helped me through a few hangovers.

Desperately seeking good, fun breakfast place in Ottawa

ex Ottawan here...

The French Baker really does have trully remarkable croissants. Not really in the french style, but fabulous none the less.

And yeah, The Manx for brunch is a good bet as long as you don't mind waiting.

What grind for a Bialetti?

Thanks for the response. Searching a little more online I came across this page from bialetti:
It's for the Brikka model but suggests "medium to coarse ground espresso coffee".
Enjoy that dessert!

Jun 07, 2009
A Train in Home Cooking

What grind for a Bialetti?

Hi all,

Just bought a new stove-top coffee maker, a Bialetti "Musa".
Had a similar (cheaper) one until this morning when I left it on the flame and ruined it.

Reading the instructions for the Bialetti raised two questions:

1. What level of grind is ideal?

The instructions say "not too fine" and leave it at that. I'd always put an "espresso grind" on the beans I put into my no-name, but essentially identical, device.

2. Is what comes out of these devices "espresso"?

Clearly I'm a coffee lover, not an expert. Google is kind of unhelpful.


A Train

Jun 07, 2009
A Train in Home Cooking

"Typhoon" brand cutting board

Good to know! I'm pretty happy with mine so far.

Jun 18, 2008
A Train in Cookware

"Typhoon" brand cutting board

I recently bought a good-sized end grain cutting board made by a company called "Typhoon". Had never heard of the brand, and I don't get much other than Amazon listings out of google. Don't see anything on this board either.

I bought it anyway. It had a few cracks in the circular wooden legs so the store knocked quite a few bucks off -- I've since oiled it up and any imperfections all but disappeared.

Still curious though: anyone know this brand and/or had experience with it?

I've attached a photo from amazon, though mine is rectangular.


A Train

Jun 07, 2008
A Train in Cookware

Lil' Baci...Leslieville's own Terroni??

Great news. Moving to the east end this month and am looking for new restos ... psyched to try this place

Silver Spoon on Roncesvalles, brief notes

App: "braised four onion soup with truffle oil, crouton and vacherin mont d'or foam". Decent, but basically tasted of onion and salt and was slightly grainy. Not a bad soup, but not a $7 soup either.

Entre: "Beretta farms organic rib-eye, sauce poivrade, organic vegetables and frites". To me, rib-eye is an unusual choice for a steak-frites and the cut I received was very disapointing: thin, overly marbled and had an unpleasantly old aftertaste. Definately past its prime. I asked the waiter about the cut and he told me the kitchen uses "only organic" meat which varied from animal to animal and yes it probably wasn't "what I was used to."

My date had the elk sirloin which was quite wondeful but came with a rather pathetically rendered rostii.

(side note: what's the deal with Roncesvalles restaurant names? Boho? Silver Spoon? Fat Cat? Is this the Simpsons?)

La Palette? Non, La Poopette.

Well bluedog, this points to something that was reported in another thread: La Palette is madeningly inconsistent in both service and product.

Boom Breakfast

I like it pre-work during the week. Too crowded on the weekend. It's your classic breakfast special, done quickly and competently.

Creature wine labels

For a white I'd suggest the viognier/che.blc. Guinea Fowl from Saxenburg. Not a whole bird on there, just a feather. And the stuff inside is a nice, crisp drink.

Mar 21, 2007
A Train in Wine

TN: 2005 Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz, Barossa

Something that would be helpful is an opinion about whether or not it justifies the pricepoint (which I know varies slightly).

Mar 21, 2007
A Train in Wine

Quiet Bar in Downtown Core

Depending on the night and where you sit, Beer Bistro could be what you're looking for.

Fantastic bottled Tomato Sauce

True, they are quite good. And as another side bar item: Is there anything more satisfying then making a good tomato sauce??

La Palette vs Batifole?

Just to weigh in because I don't think anyone's mentioned this:

La Palette is far too inconsistent for its current price point. Have had their steak frites several times now (mostly because my SO works nearby and is a fan) and it's anyone's guess what will arrive at the table: How much steak will be on the plate? Will it be topped with shallot butter this time? Will I be getting mayo with my fries? If so, will it be lemony and smooth or a scoop of chilly Hellmans?

Come ON! You can't raise prices and be too cool for school at the same time. And yeah: fix those damn tables!

Quick dinner recs Ottawa

Head a little further west on Somerset, past Bronson. Mekong is quite nice.

NYC Visitor: Susur or Chiado?

Macallan's right -- You'll have a better Friday night at Chiado.

Also - If you're not a fusion fan, Susur is more likely to infuriate than convert IMO.

Believe it or not: Tasty Pizza Pizza at Air Canada Centre

Good to hear. Now if only they could do something about the terrible food at the Rogers Centre. The much-maligned Big O in Montreal had great dogs courtesy of Cage Aux Sports, but the Rogers' fare is just terrible.

czehoski is terrible

Czehoski is not a place for serious eaters.

Americanized palates? The real deal?

I don't like the title of this thread. Yes I know what you mean by 'Americanized', and your query is a valid one. But draining a transplanted cuisine of its distinctive elements to appeal to the local market is hardly a uniquely 'American' activity. Besides, I can't count the number of lame, Canadian takes on mesquite bbq, pecan pie and other southern US specialties I've suffered through over the years.

"B"...what is it?

I mentioned this in the 'Roncesvalles Brunch' thread.

'B' opened about 2 months ago. It's mainly a brunch place and it's drawing a pretty good weekend morning crowd. I've been twice so far:

The 'B' eggs benny is pretty good: Served on a tea biscuit, decent hollandaise, crispy bacon rather than ham (which made it a little tough to cut through). Not the best benny in the area, but promising.

The confusingly-named Apple and Duck Sausage omlette was less successful. Bland, small sausage pieces and raw slices of green apple wrapped in egg. Note to 'B': saute that apple a bit.

The place is a boon to a part of the neighborhood that needs a makeover in a big way. Hopefully the new Starbucks across the street will draw more diners.

Has Anybody been to Southern Accent?

Oh god, a HUGE agree. Those chicken livers are one of my favourite dishes at any TO restaurant.

Where to have brunch in Roncesvalle Village?

I also like Easy at queen and ronces.
There's a new place on Dundas West right where Dundas and Roncesvalles meet.
It's called 'B' and is drawing a pretty good crowd in its first weeks.
Good Eggs Benny, served on a tea biscuit.

Local 'hound favorites in downtown Ottawa?

I'm ex-Ottawa as well and the Manx is definately somewhere I go when I'm back in town.

Also: Mekong on Somerset has always been one of my fave restaurants anywhere.

"House" Wine Recommendations

SWS, you're probably right. The LCBO site (i'm bored, k?) says there's 12 bottles of the Malbec/Cab at Dupont and Spadina and a scattering of singles elsewhere. Not sure I would trust that info though.

Feb 20, 2007
A Train in Wine

"House" Wine Recommendations

Touche, Macallan.
Any sincere reccomendations though?

Feb 20, 2007
A Train in Wine

"House" Wine Recommendations

Eyed it at the LCBO but haven't yet.
Can you offer any advice?

Feb 20, 2007
A Train in Wine

"House" Wine Recommendations

Have you tried Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir? People keep suggesting it, though I've yet to try.

Second thought: If you're not liking Ontario reds, why keep trying? Unless you've got 100-mile-diet-inspired reasons, there's no reason to drink red from an unappealing region. Plus you can satisfy your patriotism by dropping $60 on some ice wine, no?

Feb 20, 2007
A Train in Wine

"House" Wine Recommendations

For a "house wine" I guess it has to be something widely available from the LCBO or Vintages regular list.

Goats Do Roam is pretty dependable and versatile
(though I'm contemplating an animal wine boycott)

Reserve Perrin is pretty consistent
(for a French vino under $15)

Also, if you can track down any of the Finca Flichman "Expressiones" (Argentina) that were around the past month or so, buy as much as you can. Believe the hype; these wines are a great value.

Feb 20, 2007
A Train in Wine