Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the week that was and is - october 27th 2009

Howdy everybody! Get up to anything exciting this week? The biggest adventure of the week for myself was getting my H1N1 vaccination. After stopping by twice on Monday, I finally decided to bite the bullet and stick it out. Probably 3 hours in total, the lineups were crazy with hundreds and hundreds of people. Is this what standing in line at Disney Land is like?

  • Hopefully you are following along with the east coast food tour, care of the crew at foodosophy. Our country is so big, that at times, it's easy to forget how different dining can be. Plus, lobster at McDonald's is just plain rad.
  • With pumpkin carving just around the corner, why not consider adding pumpkin to your meals. Closet Cooking has a list of 10 delicious sounding recipes to try.
  • Rats fed unlimited junk food show behaviors similar to those addicted to heroin. "This is the most complete evidence to date that suggests obesity and drug addiction have common neurobiological underpinnings"
  • It must be McDonald's week in the news, because I found that some regions are getting the McRib back. Never a fan, I'm surprised at the almost cult-like following of this offering.
  • With over 70 percent of it's 70,000 plus work force overweight, Mexico City is cracking down and putting some officers on a diet.
  • "There shall be no cupcakes. No chocolate cake and no carrot cake. According to New York City’s latest regulations, not even zucchini bread makes the cut.In an effort to limit how much sugar and fat students put in their bellies at school, the Education Department has effectively banned most bake sales, the lucrative if not quite healthy fund-raising tool for generations of teams and clubs." As a baker, this makes me sad, but I understand their reasoning.

  • I dined at Ric's Grill this past Saturday. Unfortunately, a last minute change of drivers meant I left my camera in my car and didn't get any photo's. It's been a long time since I've visited a Ric's Grill, and I must say it wasn't as impressive as I wanted it to be. Service was bland, and my attempts at interacting with the staff seemed to be fluffed away. The bread basket was nothing special, just your average warm white bread (we didn't accept any offers for more). As the only person (out of 4) to not order a beef plate, I was disappointed to find my spinach salmon salad arrived with an overcooked piece of fish. And as someone who orders dressing on the side, I couldn't help but wonder how they would have tossed the delicate greens because the dressing had the consistency of paste. The starter salads, Greek and Cesar, were good and arrived on gargantuan plates (any reason for this). The steaks were deemed a success, as were the garlic mash potatoes. The seasonal vegetables seemed a little off, with everyone commenting on the very sub par piece of corn on the cob. The only dessert ordered was banana chocolate cheesecake which my fellow diners felt had a fake banana flavour. With our dishes bringing the bill close to 200 bones, it was a nice treat, but not great enough to bring me back any time soon.
  • I've been stopping by Transcend Coffee more than usual lately, and I'm not being seduced by the customer service skills these days. I realize they offer a premium product, but on my last visit, I overheard a customer (and the barista) basically talking smack about two americano's (my order). It's one thing to live in the upper coffee echelon, but without a turnaround in attitude I'll stick with my friendly, and local, Starbucks.
  • Last but certainly not least. Culina Highlands, has been labeled by enRoute Magazine as one of the top 10 new restaurants in Canada. Congrats.


A Canadian Foodie said...

Come on, Chris,
Don't you think the comment about Transcend is a little "Junior High"?
Engaging in the discussion to learn something about what the conversation you interpretted to be dissing you might have been more productive than this blog entry.

KimHo said...

Oh, don't tell me you don't like your pork (even if it is processed) slab with sugar loaded BBQ sauce! hehehehehe

As for wines, I guess Riesling and Gewurztraminer, as usual, are completely overlooked... -_-

Anonymous said...

Oy! Chris, I'm with you on the Americano order...that's my beverage of choice too...

Jamoo said...

Transcend's service can be pretty brutal at times. Great coffee, but sometimes I wondered if it was worth the atmosphere.

Kevin Kossowan said...

Good for you for calling out snottiness - whether it's food, wine, or coffee. Bottom line with all of it is 'like, don't like' - which is subjective, and nobody gets to shit on what you like, no matter how credentialed up or well reputed.

And KimHo - if you're referring to my posting, I tasted the vast majority of wineries portfolios, and there simply isn't a lot of Riesling or Gewurtz acreage down there. Further up the valley, moreso. That's where I'm headed next. Plus...I'm not done. :)

KimHo said...

Kevin, yes, I did a quick look at your blog and, indeed, there seem there was no love for Riesling and Gerwurz. Actually, there are some fine wineries in the Okanagan producing white wines rather than red. If you are still in the area, I will recommend you check Thornhaven and Dirty Laundry. Even if you find the wines are not to par, the view is spectacular. They are almost next to each other and focus on those two grapes.

A Canadian Foodie said...

My experiences at Transcend must be I see others complaining here, too.... let them know!!! It is far too small of a city to be complaining without telling the people you are complaining about. We need to help these small businesses thrive.

Chris said...

Regarding Transcend - I don't think the comments are JRHish Valarie, as they are genuine. Believe me when I say the entry above barely scrapped the service on what was a brutal experience. I could have just as easily gone into detail and things would have come across a lot worse. Not only have comments been left here, but I've received similar comments via email, so there may be a trend. I think Jamoo summed my thoughts exactly as of late
"service can be pretty brutal at times. Great coffee, but sometimes I wondered if it was worth the atmosphere"

If there were comments cards available, they would have been filled out on 3 of my last 4 visits. I'm all for supporting local, but not if I get more attitude doing it.

foodiesuz - I don't find too many Americano drinkers. Nice to see someone else on the wagon!!

Kim - Come to think of it..maybe if the McRib comes back, it is time for a re-taste. I think it's been over a decade.

Kevin - thanks for the thoughts. I'm not a wine regular, more of a Guinness guy, so my adventures into wine have me liking a few Cab and Malbec offerings. In saying that, I had a fantastic German (I think?) Gewurtz a little while back and am kicking myself for not writing it down. It was delicious!!! Looking forward to more insight..your like our local Gary Vaynerchuk.

Sharon said...

I agree with you entirely Chris - the fact that a business is locally-owned is not reason enough to support it. There should be actively seeking your return business, through both a quality product and customer service.

Thea said...

Transcend discussion: I'm surprised the discussion was detrimental to americanos. Chad served an americano (pretty much) for the canadian national barista championships and he came third. I would think that there would be a little more respect for americanos.
And yes, you should tell them you dont like the service. In any case, they know now. I like the suggestion about comment cards. An email from you would work just as well.

Poul Mark said...

First off, thanks for the compliments on our coffee. We work very hard at providing the best quality we can. Secondly, I would also like to apologize for the experience that you have had at Transcend. It is unacceptable for you to have bad service. We have taken on a lot of new staff lately, and are in the process of training and working through the customer service side of things. It is easy for our coffee focused staff to have strong opinions about things, but they also need to learn to keep their personal preferences to themselves. I would love to hear from you directly with any further comments, and invite anyone else to send me an email as we are constantly striving to improve not only our coffee, but our customer's overall experience.

Chris said...

I didn't know that Thea, thanks for the info.

Poul I appreciate your thoughts and the care you are putting in; both to your coffee and the follow up here. Your contact info has been noted.

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