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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wacky Investment

The news of my new toaster (read My New Toy) spread fast. As a result, somerville kitchen was approached by an entrepreneur looking for an investor for a new diner café called "Toast Now™".

When I asked about the concept; "Toast Now™ is a 24 hours breakfast café with good coffee only (but ain't none of this espresso or latté stuff). It serves vegetarian sandwiches - veganism for the birds - but all the breads have gluten in it". So I invited them in to demonstrate their concept.

"There is breakfast toast, lunch toast, dinner toast (like spaghetti on toast), dessert toast and a snack toast". The temptation to invest begun with a couple of suitable-for-any time of the day sandwiches.

The shrimp salad toast is a bit of an anachronism with butter, mayonnaise, lettuce, shrimps (which are bugs according to "Toast Now™") and topped with tomatoes. "This is a ladies' feature".

The avocado lemon (my favourite of the demo) is a layer of avocado, sliced lemon, somerville kitchen exclusive pickled thyme and crushed coarse pepper. Delicious I have to admit.

The snack toast is best done with old, sharp, quality cheddar. Not overly dried figs sliced as thin as prosciutto, topped with cheese and grilled open faced. I think this has a potential for afternoon tea.

Given the new toaster can handle waffles, a toasted waffle with ice cream and maple syrup. But it is still a question how waffles fit with the "Toast Now™" concept. "But people love waffles so it makes a great companion to toast".

Not fully sold on "Toast Now™", I was offered the waffle with ice cream and somerville kitchen exclusive blackberry syrup to sweeten the deal. "Nah". 

So the big guns came out with the pound cake toast (or fruit cake toast offered over the holiday) served with the somerville kitchen exclusive hand-churned butter

Should I invest?

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Second Time Around

I tried Fishworks almost a year ago (read all about it at Fish & Art in North Van).

I liked it a lot then but did not add it as one of my Favourite Places, pending another trip. Well, Fishworks was as amazing the second time as the first time and is now on my list of Favourite Places.

In my previous article, I wrote "our server was one of the best I have encountered to-date - pleasant, knowledgeable and efficient". Today's server was all of that but with the added polite sense of humour. Fishworks sure knows how to hire.

The Albacore Tuna Tataki  with mango and avocado was very very good. The mangoes used were hard ones given the season, as our exceptional server explained. They gave this dish a bitter-sweet taste.

The fish and chips actually felt healthy. Fish tasted very fresh, batter light and not greasy. The fries were excellent. And just look at this elegantly cut lemon; how can you not love this place.

The chocolate mousse with fresh berries was as elegantly presented as wonderfully it tasted. 

And of course, the final touch with the bill...

Fishworks Restaurant
91 Londsdale Avenue
North Vancouver, BC
Fishworks on Urbanspoon 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Celebration

My dear lovely neighbour had a reason to celebrate.

I had a long busy day and needed a nice break.

The invite to yet another delicious Rasas dinner was exactly what was needed.

Tonight's dinner was inventive, 100% vegetarian, more than delicious and the Tinhorn Merlot went extremely well with it.

The snow peas shoots were bitter and hot, with sunflower seeds thrown in to add a nice texture crunch that took me by surprise.

The sourness of the yogurt was sweetened by ketchup and spiced up with dill seeds for a beautifully coloured and thoroughly enjoyed kidney beans curry.

But my favourite was a mashed yam dish, well salted and spiced South Indian style with curry leaves.  Oh I loved this dish.

Another wonderful creation, thank you my dear lovely neighbour.

But neither a celebration nor a Rasas meal is complete without some sweetness.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Dinner And Leftovers For Lunch at Anton's

Anton's Pasta Bar has been serving Vancouverites since 1983. Most of us have visited it. Those who have not, it is worth the trip for at least the experience if not the food.

With no reservations policy and 30 years of popularity, it is not the easiest place to get into. But on a Monday night?

Yes, the line up was there on a cold January Monday night. But at least the wait was under 20 minutes and the servers were very attentive to us from the time we stood in line till we left.

So what's so special about Anton's?

Well, those who have been there know all about it. But if you have not been there, the key feature is the size of the meal.

An endless selection of pastas and sauces (with ability to mix and match on some), each plate that comes out of the kitchen can feed a family.

So for $15 - $17 dollars, you have a filling meal and you take home with you tomorrow's lunch and dinner. 

Not a bad deal at all.

The 33% who don't like it on Urban Spoon probably say it is not good food. But it is neither the worse quality pasta in the city. For the price, you are getting better value than many downtown restaurants.

It may not be one of my favourites, but will be eagerly back to Burnaby Mountain.

Anton's Pasta Bar
4260 Hastings Street
Burnaby, BC

Anton's Pasta Bar on Urbanspoon 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Reading By An Author

After Dining with an author and Cooking with an author, today I had the pleasure of attending a reading by the author.

Sundari Francis-Bala, author of Olly Jolly Says Count Your Blessing, did a reading of her adorable book at the Richmond Public Library (which feels more like an upscale Chapters than a public library).

To a crowd of children, kids and kids at heart, the author gave a presentation on her background and that of the book, then captivated us all with reading the book.

She injected life into the book's character, Boy and a singing voice into the bee, Olly Jolly.

After accompanying the author on her book signing and cookie eating, she generously treated some of her fans to a Chinese lunch at one of Richmond's many Chinese restaurants.

Fed, read to and content, I am now home ready for a nap.

Like Olly Jolly Says Facebook Page and keep abreast of the upcoming readings - you may be treated along for a lovely meal with a fascinating author.


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Now This Is A Dinner Party

When a dinner party starts with this, how could it not be the most fun I have had at a dinner party.

Fancy drinks with Pisco Capel Vodka, egg whites and endless other fancy ingredients to kick off the evening.

The theme was Indian.
After we munched on some Indian appetizers, the aroma of the main dish took over.

It's the Bengali beef dish simmering.

Packed with spices and onions, topped with pine nuts and pistachio, greens and kafeer, no wonder I went for seconds (or was it thirds).

But wait, one of the hosts is an excellent baker.

Yes, a delicious home made chocolate beets cake with home made icing was served.

After I whined for sprinklies, I got my piece marked.

Thank you GaK and cute cat for a lovely dinner and evening.


Friday, 25 January 2013

Healthy Business Breakfast

The first business meeting was at 9:00 a.m. at Brioche

Knowing that I had another business meeting over food in two hours, I wanted to keep it light.

And light it was...

Healthy Business Breakfast Part 1 - Coconut Cream Pie and Steamed Milk

401 West Cordova Street
Vancouver, BC

Brioche on Urbanspoon

Two hours later, I was at the second business meeting. This one was at Deacon's Corner.

This is a real diner with the chairs, decor and music. If you have not heard of it nor tried it, it is worth the trip

The menu is larger than typical diners' menu with an all-day breakfast items; but alas, no milkshake.

Given my first breakfast was so light, I thought I better have a real breakfast now.

Healthy Business Breakfast Part 2 - Good Old Southern Boy; eggs with house made chili and cheddar cheese, corn grits, bacon, hash brown and healthy whole wheat toast

Deacon's Corner
101 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

Deacon's Corner on Urbanspoon