Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Is Teksavvy the best ISP ever?

I'm with TekSavvy as my internet service provider, and honest to God no past provider has sent me a letter that reads like this:

Hello,
We have some good news about your service with us. As you know, your current package with us for <masked> is Cable 10 Pro, with 300 GB of non-overnight download usage at a monthly cost of $34.95. (Uploads, and overnight downloads between 2 and 8 am, are unmetered.)
Well, starting with your first billing cycle on or after Monday, 16 January 2017, your package will become Cable 10 Pro, with 400 GB of usage at a monthly cost of $29.95. No action on your part is needed, as the change will happen automatically.
So, without me lifting a finger they've given me a fat discount.

Thanks TekSavvy!


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Happy hour at Bogart's Bar and Restaurant

Bogart's Bar & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Lured down to Bogart's Bar and Restaurant by my friend for happy hour and found it nice and quiet at 4pm. We got our choice of seating -- normal tables, booths, and higher bar chairs around smaller tables. TIP: Some seats are close to the doors, and it being cold outside now, you may want to give those a pass if you can.

Buffalo Cauliflower "Wings" ($8) buttermilk ranch sauce, celery sticks
  • Wow was this salty. But the ranch sauce toned it right down so use it.
  • Mildly hot with a heat that didn't linger in the mouth.
2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant - cauliflower

Szechuan Brussels Sprouts ($8) crispy fried, spicy sesame dressing, toasted almonds
  • NOT marked "V" for vegetarian, so there's probably something to the sauce, which had a meaty taste to it (borrowed from steak jus?)
  • So salty!
  • Maybe at one point it was crispy, but after being bathed in that sauce... not anymore.
2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant - brussel sprouts

Veggie Burger ($15) house-made black bean, almond, and mushroom patty; aged cheddar; roasted tomato relish; crispy onions; lettuce; roasted garlic mayo; on a toasted pretzel bun; served with your choice of fries, green salad, or daily soup
  • We asked for the burger to be cut in half, and half salad half fries and they accommodated. Also noticed they gave each side a pickle!
  • Somewhat soft patty squished out when I bit into it, so I ended up taking the top off and having this one open face, which worked out quite well.
  • Patty actually quite decent! Tasted mildly curried. Mushroom not ground in, so you occasionally got a slice and could taste the mushroom flavour.
  • Overall pretty decent as far as veggie burgers go, and OK portion-value for $15.
  • NOT too salty!
2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant - vegetarian burger

2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant - vegetarian burger

Sticky Toffee Pudding ($8) Jameson salted caramel, vanilla ice cream
  • Really decent! Not overly sweet even if you heap on the sauce.
  • OK portion for price, and just right for two persons unless one person has a sweet tooth and selfish personality.
2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant - sticky toffee pudding

2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant - sticky toffee pudding

2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant - sticky toffee pudding

2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant

2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant - special of the day

2016-Dec-7 Bogart's Bar and Restaurant

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Fried oysters a good happy hour deal at @FannyBayOysters

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Not really one for seafood but my friend picked Fanny Bay Oyster Bar for happy hour early dinner. Checking on Yelp, another friend gave it a good review, so I was game.

Seating and table spacing felt kinda tight. Busy too for happy hour on a Saturday! Also, our server gave us a happy hour last-call warning, which was kinda nice.

Pot of mint tea ($3)
  • Looked innocent enough, and at $3 it's about on par with ordering hot tea at Starbucks. Hey look, it's Starbucks tea!
  • Teapot of hot water had what appeared to be (and what I hoped was) leftover tea leaves. No way they didn't see that when they poured in the hot water. FAIL.
2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - mint tea ($3)

2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - inside my teapot before TAZO tea added

Fried Oysters ($7.50 happy hour pricing) Deep fried Fanny Bay Oysters, house made tartar sauce, cabbage coleslaw
  • Ordered this based on a friend's Yelp review, and price for value it's really decent! The sheer number of meaty oysters makes this more filling than a gourmet burger costing 50% more.
  • Very crispy on the outside without the batter being too thick.
  • Big 'n long like chicken wings.
  • Had some green gunk, which is probably the algae feed that hadn't fully flushed out of the oyster. Was worried that it would make the taste gross but it didn't, fortunately, and the dip could smother that flavour if you're worried.
2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - fried oysters

2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - fried oysters

2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - fried oysters

Geoduck ($18, not on happy hour menu) Sashimi style, watermelon brunoise, basil lemongrass ginger foam
  • On its own the geoduck had a strong sea-salty flavour and crunchy texture.
  • I found the sauce interesting with a mild minty-like buzz.
2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - geoduck

2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - geoduck

Oyster Casino ($15, not on happy hour menu) bacon, jalapeno, roasted red pepper, bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese
  • Baked.
  • Sounded interesting, looked less so, tasted even less so. Sort of tasted like nothing special to be honest.
  • You might want hot sauce with that to give it more flavour and help with the possible puddle of oil underneath (from bacon?)
2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - Oyster Casino

2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - Oyster Casino

2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - Oyster Casino (inside)

Complimentary chips
  • A small tin cup of these were brought to our table to start.
  • Not oily on the hand but some looked and tasted oily.
  • Inconsistently salted.
  • Hey, it's free! Hard to complain because of that.
2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - oily chip

2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - menu

2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - menu

2016-Dec-3 Fanny Bay Oysters - two types of hot sauce you can ask for

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

GUSTO Casting Call

Got an e-mail today from Canada-based GUSTO Worldwide Media -- There's a casting call! Here's the blurb:

CALLING ALL TALENTED COOKS!
Gusto Worldwide Media is thrilled to be moving forward with a number of original cooking series and are looking for Canada’s next culinary superstars. Whether you’re a professional chef, inspired home cook or a passionate foodie, it’s time to show off your skills and personality! Gusto Worldwide Media will be producing shows non-stop throughout 2017 and are in search of all kinds of talent in a variety of categories: bakers, globally inspired cooks and/or a fun personality who could host a dinner-party show.

We want to hear from you if:

• You’re a foodie.
• You know how to cook. Like really, really cook.
• You have a BIG, fun personality.
• You specialize in global cuisine (e.g. Korean, Cantonese, Szechuan, Greek, Caribbean, Lebanese, Moroccan, Turkish, etc.).
• Baking is your life.

Culinary hopefuls are encouraged to submit a one- to two-minute video via the form below. Don’t worry about the production, lighting or editing; just set up your phone in the kitchen, hit record and prove that you’re the best at what you do! Tell us about your background, your passion and why you would make the best Gusto star, why you’re the right person to make kimchee simple or baklava achievable.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime; don’t miss out! But hurry, because this casting call will close on December 17, 2016.


Friday, November 25, 2016

Motomachi Shokudo - Bamboo-Charcoal Dark Miso Ramen

Motomachi Shokudo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Accepted an impromptu invitation today to try Motomachi Shokudo. They have a variety of soup bases, including an intriguing Bamboo-Charcoal.

You get a pretty big bowl with lots of soup, so the volume you get is sort of comparable to a big bowl of pho. Pork tender but not melt-in-your-mouth tender. Still, overall, you get a rich and tasty soup, a generous amount of pork,and some interesting flavours to mix it up, including a tender boiled egg and seaweed.

As for the bamboo-charcoal, it definitely made the broth charcoal black, but in flavour I didn't get anything too special. Might be a nostalgia thing.

For $1.10 extra you can get extra noodle, and there's definitely enough soup to support more noodle. The soup alone will be filling but you could always super-size for $1.10.

Pretty small and cozy spot. We got in just at 6pm on a Friday and close to 7pm it still hadn't filled to any sort of lineup so for small parties a walk-in to the communal table is probably doable.

Free Telus WiFi from somewhere nearby, signal strong enough to connect.

CASH OR DEBIT ONLY and they gave us each a coupon for gyoza, half-size kimuchi, or 2 ramen toppings, with an order of ramen on our next visit.

2016-Nov-25 - Motomachi Shokudo - Bamboo-Charcoal Dark Miso Ramen

2016-Nov-25 - Motomachi Shokudo - Bamboo-Charcoal Dark Miso Ramen

2016-Nov-25 - Motomachi Shokudo - standard condiments; chili flakes realy spicy-hot

2016-Nov-25 - Motomachi Shokudo - coupon I got after dinner

2016-Nov-25 - Motomachi Shokudo - stool with shelf to put your purse

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

FAIL at Earls Restaurant Kingsway

Earls Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato The menu at Earls on Kingsway near Metrotown has changed since I was last there about a year ago and I still can't get a decent meal there.

Vegetarian Burger ($13) Brown rice and mushroom vegetarian patty, aged cheddar, sauteed onions, vine ripened tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard on a freshly baked brioche bun.
  • Tender bun was the only good thing here.
  • Patty tasted like salt. It was salty. No other flavour. Total waste of time especially for $13.
  • TIP: Unless you want your burger to taste like pickle, remove the pickle right away.
  • TIP: Might also want to try distributing the onion more evenly inside if it's not too caked into the cheese.
Pot of Tea ($3.75)

Service was also fail.
At the time I placed my order, I asked for the hot water in my teapot to be topped up. The server did not take my pot. Neither did they take my pot when my order came. I honestly don't remember our table being checked on until the server came to clear our dishes and in the meantime I couldn't spot them more than twice and couldn't make eye contact more than once. When they cleared my dish I again asked for my teapot to be topped up. Still no action. Ironically they came back to ask our table if we wanted drinks or water. Still no one took my teapot. I gave up and just asked for the bill.

2016-Nov-9 - Earls Restaurant (Metrotown) - Vegetarian Burger

2016-Nov-9 - Earls Restaurant (Metrotown) - Vegetarian Burger

2016-Nov-9 - Earls Restaurant (Metrotown) - Vegetarian Burger

2016-Nov-9 - Earls Restaurant (Metrotown) - Vegetarian Burger

2016-Nov-9 - Earls Restaurant (Metrotown) - peppermint tea

Saturday, October 22, 2016

SocialShopper coupon for Salchicha

Salchicha Meat Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Less than one day left to get a 40%-off SocialShopper coupon for Salchicha's Meat Bar. As deals go it's really good value, especially when you are not locked into some sort of tasting menu with limited options. Note that the SocialShopper page talks about mango mustard chicken and build-your-own paninis, but we couldn't find either on the lunch menu. So if you really want either, call ahead.
There are a few vegetarian and gluten-free options.

The room is long and sort of narrow, and a very pleasant respite from the very dilapidated neighbourhood. Pretty quiet on weekday afternoons, so that's your best bet for large groups or a slow, lingering lunch with excellent company. Their made-in-house lemonade might not be ready yet so early in the day, though.

2016-Oct-21 Salchicha Meat Bar - lunch menu

Shakshouka Maraguez ($13) Slow cooked spicy tomato sauce and poached eggs with our famous made in-house spicy Maraguez sausages served with focaccia bread and tahini sauce
  • Comes sizzling to your table.
  • Very spicy-hot so watch out!
  • Overall really pretty good and at $13 the portion you get is also good value.
2016-Oct-21 Salchicha Meat Bar - Shakshouka Maraguez

2016-Oct-21 Salchicha Meat Bar - Shakshouka Maraguez

Homemade Veggie Sausage (vegetarian, gluten-free; $14) Fresh vegetable puree with garbanzo beans, stuffed to a sausage and grilled to perfection, topped with feta cheese and our unique almond pesto sauce served with carrot rice
  • Sausage very tender, almost mushy.
  • Way too much pickle (?) inside for me. All I tasted was pickle.
  • Rice had interesting look from carrots but otherwise this is a pretty boring dish.
2016-Oct-21 Salchicha Meat Bar - Homemade Veggie Sausage

2016-Oct-21 Salchicha Meat Bar - Homemade Veggie Sausage

Malabi ($5) Traditional Arabic dessert of corn flour and milk topped with rose water and maple syrup, coconut shavings, and crushed peanuts.
  • The light, creamy dessert is actually pretty bland without the rose water, maple syrup, coconut, and peanuts, so be sure to get a bit of everything with each scoop.
  • You can ask for less of the rose water/maple syrup sauce. I'm not good with that pungent stuff so they toned it down to just half the usual portion, and I found that to be a very good amount, nicely balancing everything.
  • Overall OK. The only dessert they have on the menu at the moment.
2016-Oct-21 Salchicha Meat Bar - Malabi

2016-Oct-21 Salchicha Meat Bar - Arabic Salad (left), Tabbouleh (right)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Good burrito value at @Hungry_Guys Hungry Guys Kitchen

Hungry Guys Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Hungry Guys Kitchen is a bright, clean oasis of a new place (almost 1 year old) on rather dilapidated downtown Granville. Simple food, good price, tastes fresh, good value/portion for money if you're just looking for a filling meal that doesn't cost too much.

Not really a good choice for the indecisive as you direct them to assemble your burrito or bowl, but with some nudging I convinced them to put together their recommendation. Just under $9 so after tax it was just over $9. And just one burrito is worth two burgers so you might just want to order one to share.

2016-Oct-11 Hungry Guys

2016-Oct-11 Hungry Guys

2016-Oct-11 Hungry Guys

2016-Oct-11 Hungry Guys

2016-Oct-11 Hungry Guys

2016-Oct-11 Hungry Guys