Saturday, November 28, 2009

double the pleasure, double the fun

Continuing on the topic of genetically modified fruits (ie. see this post), here is another anomaly that I encountered in my culinary adventures:

Siamese grape twins joined at the head (top?)! They taste just as good as plain ol' regular grapes. Another bio-engineered achievement to produce twice as many juicy purple grapes for everyone's snacking pleasure? Hmmm... and the mystery continues...

Friday, November 27, 2009

season's greeting with candied apples

What: Festive candied apples
Where: Downtown while doing some Christmas shopping.
When: Afternoon
Why: Because it was too cool not to take a picture.
Verdict: The Grinch is very well done. I wonder if that's mint icing that they used to make it green...

Friday, November 20, 2009

mamma mia!

What: Anton's
Catching up with a high school friend.
If you have a pasta craving, I can assure you that after you have a meal at Anton's, you will not want to have pasta for a long time. The portion sizes are huge (enough leftovers to last a few days). It looks like I barely made a dent in my dish, that's how much pasta they serve you.

After more than a few minutes perusing the lunch menu (they have a wide selection, including panini sandwiches, soups and meal-sized salads), I finally ordered the Penne Chorizo Salsiccia E Funghi (chorizo sausage & mushrooms in a spicy lemon sauce) and my friend had the Linguine Alla Vongole (clams in a creamy tomato sauce). I bravely tried to finish my meal, but I had to wave my little white flag halfway through 'cause that was a LOT of pasta. You can probably feed a family of five with only two dishes and still be satisfied after the meal.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

seafood by the sea

What: It was my best friend's boyfriend's and a mutual friend's birthday. If that makes any sense.
Where: The Boathouse
When: Dinner
Why: Because my friend made me.
Verdict: I had stood in line for 3 hours in the early morning light in 5 degree coldness to shop the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection. The lack of warmth might explain my feeling of under the weatherness (and strange ability to make up words that vaguely mean something), so I wasn't feeling like the brightest of sun rays, but managed to pull myself together since it was someone's birthday. Despite the rumblings of my stomach prior to dinner, I really liked my meal.

I ordered the Seafood Chop Chop Salad, because it was light enough that my stomach could handle it and I liked saying "Chop chop." The shrimp was tender, the scallops sweet and the salmon delicious and I love the mustard vinaigrette. When my stomach is back to its full digestive powers, I'll have to come back and try some of the other seafood dishes. 

The Seafood Chop Chop Salad: Bay shrimp, sea scallops, smoked wild salmon, egg, tomatoes, cucumbers, wild greens tossed in stone-ground mustard vinaigrette.

Friday, November 13, 2009

brunch and sushi

Go together like night and day, right?

What: Hungry after spending hours shopping downtown.
Where: Italian Kitchen
When: Lunch
Why: Pasta craving. Also, we've passed by this restaurant several times before, insisting that we'll have lunch there one day. Today just happened to be it.
Verdict: Damn good pasta. Deceptively filling, too. You think the portions are small, especially when you're sharing the pasta platter with someone. But, halfway through, your stomach will admit defeat and will protest (quite loudly) if you continue to stuff yourself because it's been hammered into your subconscious from an early age not to waste food, and you're too stubborn to ask for a doggy bag.

This was the Braised Veal Cannelloni with Wild Mushroom Sauce. This was probably my favourite pasta out of the four.

Spaghetti and Spicy Meatballs with Tomato Fondue. I'm not quite sure what they mean by "fondue", but there was a chunk of cheese that kinda melted on top of the spaghetti, if that counts.

This was the Pappardelle with Lamb Sausage, Cabbage and Potatoes. This was a spicy dish, spicier than the spicy meatballs. Very good and also super filling and a little on the oily side.

Rigatoni Pomodoro. A simple dish, but still delicious.


Later that day...

What: Today also happened to be my 10-year Grad Reunion, a casual get together at the Refinery.
Where: The Refinery and ShuRaku Sake Bar and Bistro
When: Waaay past my bedtime.
Why: The Refinery is a wine and cheese kind of place, and we were hankering for food with more substance. My friend knew a sushi place about two blocks away, so we weaved our way around the line-ups in front of the clubs (and made fun of the skimpy dresses some of the chicks were wearing) and had a late night sushi snack.
Verdict: Not your usual all-you-can-eat sushi type of place, so the quality is much better, therefore it's more expensive. But it was really good sushi. Just watch the wallet when you come here, because you can easily eat a lot more than you're willing to pay.

 Chopped sashimi with cucumber and wasabi paste. Very spicy but very good.

 Rainbow roll: fresh Dungeness crab, cucumber and avocado rolled with slices of tuna, salmon, ebi, saba and hamachi.

My friend ordered the BBQ Unagi with rice and broth. Apparently, this dish is so popular that it's not always available. My friend lucked out and she let me have a bite and it's friggin' amazing. I'm going to have to come back just to try this dish again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

v for vodka, not vendetta

What: Checking out the V Lounge at Earl's
Where: Right in the heart of Yaletown
When: Dinner
Why: After a much-needed little R&R at Skoah (thanks Ashley for the night-time moisturizing tips!), it was time for grub. We also had a coupon for a free appetizer/starter when one entree is ordered.
Verdict: A good place to unwind from the work day, check out the scene and watch drunken 30-year old douchebags hit on the waitresses and the poor girls sitting at the bar.

 Since it was $10 off Wines Wednesday, we ordered a bottle of Quails' Gate Pinot Noir from the Okanagan Valley. I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I did like this fruity wine. It wasn't as dry as some of the other red wines I've tried before (and disliked).

 We ordered three starters to share before our entrees arrived:

  Italian meatballs topped with a slice of Provolone cheese and sweet tomato sauce. Delicious!
 Aha tuna stack with spicy wonton crisps. My friend (the chef) found the crisps a little too spicy and thought it overwhelmed the flavour of the tuna. I rather liked it.
 Spinach and feta ravioli with chopped tomatoes was very good. I wouldn't mind having a whole dish of this for dinner.

For my entree, I had the 7 oz. Certified Angus Beef Top Sirloin, cooked medium, with Mushrooms with Grilled Seasonal Fresh Vegetables and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Very filling. I would have done without the beets though, but that's my personal preference as I'm not a beet person (Dwight would not be pleased).


don't feed the models

What: Wild Ginger
Where: Tinseltown
When: Lunch
Why: It was a late lunch, since we didn't have time to grab anything before the movie, "The September Issue."
Verdict: For $6.99, you get to choose one dish, on rice or noodles, with salad or soda pop.

 My sister had the stir-fried udon with chicken and vegetables in soya sauce. I liked this dish and it wasn't dripping in soya sauce, which is always nice.
  I had the Seafood City (shrimps, baby corn and vegetables in egg white sauce) on noodles.
 Very yummy and filling.

Friday, November 6, 2009

homemade sweetness


I am very fortunate to have a lovely coworker who made homemade blackberry jam this past summer (love you Lina!).

Monday, November 2, 2009

identity crisis

An orange dressed up as a lime to stand out from the crowd? A lime acting like an orange so it can get more attention? Maybe it's the scandalous offspring of a tumultuous love affair between two opposing citrus families (the fruity Romeo and Juliet version), creating an orange-lime hybrid: a limange or an orime? Maybe it's a result of genetic modification by secret government labs performed by bio-engineers intent on creating the "perfect" fruit? I just don't know...

For those who are wondering: it tasted like an orange. A little on the sour side. It must come from the lime side of the family.