Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Cobblestone Farms Fully Cooked Pork Back Ribs in Honey & Garlic Barbecue Sauce

It's been long enough since we last tried Cobblestone Farms that my mom completely forgot we tried it before and bought a box of Fully Cooked Pork Back Ribs in Honey & Garlic Barbecue Sauce on sale. This time I decided to be more careful about documenting everything.

First off, if you compare the front and the back, you'll see that the six minute time is only if you microwave and that's after 15 to 20 minutes of defrosting, minimum. I'm not sure I'd recommend re-heating this cooked product in the microwave though. In any case, read the instructions and set aside extra time.

Packaging says 680 grams but you of course don't get exactly 680 grams of meat and bones. Our package came in overweight while frozen at around 800 grams but there was around 2/3 cups of barbecue sauce weighing 250 grams, so it was 550 grams.
That's not bad, and definitely an excess of sauce for whatever cooking style you are using and your personal preference in how much sauce you want on your meat.

Meat was fall-off-the-bone and tender. It starts out fully cooked, and I think whatever process they used took out too much of the juice and flavour because without the sauce the meat is really on the rather bland side.
So you definitely want to use the sauce, which is predominantly sweet. I didn't really detect the garlic, and overall it felt maybe it could use a bit more salt for flavour.

Overall, the key here is convenience. Think of this not as a barbecue item but as a frozen dinner. It's fully cooked, so you don't have to worry about actually cooking it, just heating it through. Hard to go wrong with that.
If you add a bit of rice, noodles, or fries or the like, there's maybe two or three meals in this one package.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Boss Restaurant (Metrotown)

The Boss Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato CASH ONLY. CASH ONLY.

Pretty mediocre food, but it's not bad per se. Comes out hot. Value sort of debatable but portions are good -- you'll walk out full even if most of it was noodle.

Value is a lot better if you are not dining solo. If you are, I recommend a larger sharing order for take-out and just portion it into two or three meals at home.

Shrimp and BBQ Pork Fried Rice Noodle with Curry Sauce ($13.95, comes with a hot drink)
  • Not really spicy at all. Separately offered hot sauce is not recommended as it's a different type of spicy heat from the curry.
  • Overall nothing wrong here. This is a largish portion for one person, so if you are two persons you're better off ordering a single larger portion to share from the regular noodle menu. The closest is probably V4 under Fried Vermicelli.
The Boss Signature Fried Noodle ($17.75)
  • Mix of veggies, ham, shrimp, chicken, mushroom. Kind of an elusive amount of each.
  • No doubt about it this is a pretty massive plate good for two persons. Which does work out to less than $10 per person, so it's a filling portion.
  • Most of it is noodle but the net amount of non-noodle is definitely portioned for more than one person.
We went for weekend lunch and it was busy! But they have a good take-a-number system and turnaround for small tables for two is not bad.
Service was brisk and businesslike.


Friday, July 12, 2019

GM Restaurant

GM Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Named after the initials of their two sons born around the time the restaurant opened, GM restaurant is a rather busy Indian restaurant with friendly staff. Sharing-for-two-persons portions give this place rather good value. Taste isn't magically "wow" but it's good, comes out fresh and hot and in reasonable time despite the busy dinner hour.

Curry orders do NOT automatically come with rice or naan! They do slip in a warning about the size of your order if they suspect you're close to over-ordering for your party size, and I thought that was nice. Nothing heavy handed, just an assurance of the portion size being more than enough.

Paneer Pakoras ($11) a unique cheese coated with Indian spices, then fried and served with tamarind sauce as well as raita
  • Classed as an appetizer but it could easily be a light to medium meal on its own because of the solid chunks of cheese.
  • Rather bland taste, but you would expect that if you already know about paneer.
  • Overall it tastes sort of like tofu, but without the bitterness, and with a different texture. 
Sweet Crispy Cauliflower ($11) a unique pakora consisting of cauliflower fritters mixed with spices, fried, then toasted and coated with honey. Served with tamarind sauce and raita.
  • Not as crispy as I hoped, but the honey glazing is a rather good combination with the deep fried exterior. 
Lamb Rogan Josh ($14 +$1 surcharge for lamb; normally your choice of chicken or beef)
  • Nothing wrong here. Tasty sauce, decent amount of large cubes of lamb.
  • If you like lamb, you might want to check in before ordering the lamb. I didn't find it to have a strong gamey flavour. Some people look for that, others seek to avoid it. So if it matters to you one way or another, check in first. 
Vegetable Kashmiri ($12.50) seasonal mixed vegetables and fruit cooked with nuts and raisins in a lightly spiced curry sauce
  • Pretty interesting and chunky curry. Hard to tell from a photo but it included carrots, potato, and pineapple.
  • Definitely not skimpy on the sauce but this isn't one of those curries where the chunks are swimming in soup, if that's the type of curry you're hoping for.
  • The nuts and fruit make for an interesting flavour. Try to have some with every bite. 
Homemade Mulligatawny Soup ($8)
  • Deliciously spiced soup made hearty with a good chunk of potato.
  • Price a bit steep for the portion -- but it's tasty. 
Made in house Cheesecake
  • I really thought they blew it with the presentation here, sadly.
  • The cheesecake itself is really decent. And you can taste a difference between the factory stuff you find in supermarkets, especially in the texture of the cheesecake and the flavour of the crust.
  • I asked for whatever they had that was interesting and weird and to just bring out a surprise, but I guess they ran out of those two categories and gave us strawberry.
  • Way too much sauce on this one which, sadly, left an unappetizing muck on the plat as you eat it. Token sauce for colour would have been fine, though some of it might have been unavoidable from the sugary-sweet strawberry slices they used. Not sure if that part was house-cooked or out of a can. 
  • Looked fresh and tender. Really nicely done.
  • Not the fake supermarket stuff heated up, nor did it look like stuff that had been sitting around a bit too long from earlier in the day. Clearly superior to a lot of Indian restaurants that don't care too much about this staple. 
  • My good friend treated me for my birthday and sneakily paid the bill so I didn't get to see the full details, such as the portions of naan we ordered. I suspect the picture shows two orders. 
Plain Rice ($5)
  • Portion good enough for two.
  • Paired with a curry, you're looking at around $20-ish dollars, but you've got a decently sized meal for two persons. 
Overall, good food plus good value plus good service. I guess it's top marks.