Oh goodness somebody has got it dialed in:
More to come soon…
Oh goodness somebody has got it dialed in:
More to come soon…
A short post to start the weekend – there will be some more robust updates this weekend, including photos and the rest that you will see in the week ahead. It’s been a wild week – a lot of fun, some great challenge and busy off my feet!
I found a sweet little site this week that had a top 10 list of food to pair with beer. Some of the ideas are pretty well known (such as pizza), some are a little less tested (such as the aforementioned ice cream). Check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin for their great little post that includes these combos and 8 more.
For my favorite pairings for beer (I am not allowing myself to choose any that they wrote about):
1) These days I’m all about chacuterie – smoked or cured meat often heavy in salt and/ or fatty content.
2) Brie with Jalapeno Raspberry Jam is an old favorite match.
3) Moose nachos- salted corn chips with wild ground meat and the typical fixin’s – and lots of hot!
4) Chlli – I mean come on – how can one go wrong?
5) Nuts - and beer nuts in particular; I’ll include wasabi nuts here too.
6) Hamburgers/ hot dogs off the barbecue.
7) Poutine. Then again, I just love poutine.
8) Steak and guiness/ stout pie – a natural mix.
9) Meat on a stick – souvlaki, kebabs and the like!
10) More beer – a tasting with several flavors is a wonderful favorite – and what can be easier than pairing beer with beer!
What are your faves?
Surgeon General’s Warning: First off, I love the food, decor and the place in general. This is not a gripe on Terroni – I will go back again, I recommend you go and I think you will likely enjoy. It is however a post of dissatisfaction and is not meant to flush the entire experience I had there.
A friend of mine runs a restaurant in Toronto that is, in part, known for being somewhat rude – in fact it is down right rude at times. It’s part of the deal and, if you are in the know, it is actually part of the fun. You can jab back, play along and have fun with the whole experience. There is a real interaction in this environment – not a plastic veil of surreal “Hi guys how ya doin?” from a 12 year old covered in charm buttons followed by a hurried ”Is everything ok?” as they stumble past your table to take a next order. He is meticulous about being rude and, although he has a lot of fun being rude, he is deathly serious about it as a business model – this isn’t happening by accident. He is also deathly serious about one thing “If we F*ck up the food we have to start being nice to people.” I have heard him coach that several times and he holds it over his team like a threat. Rude can be fun and I’m all good with that.
Terroni is serious about it’s food. They are also getting fairly serious about being in your face. There is a certain attitude that comes with a $16 personal pizze. The menu specifies that substitutions will effect their efficiency and asks you to simply respect their menu no matter how simple you think a substitution is. They sell cheeky T-Shirts which let you know that they are setting the rules and refuse to sell diet pop (or diet anything).
I ordered a beer – a wonderful Pilsner Urquell (their new glasses are appearing all over the city and I’m drinking it because of them – love ‘em!). Dana did the same. Our cousin asked if they had cider. The waitress had never heard of cider – I found this somewhat confounding. Katherine explained it was English and got no further – she was cut off with a terse “We only sell Italian things here.”
Apparantly the new CocaCola headquarters are in Atlanta, Italy. My Pilsner Urquell has moved from the Czech republic and become Nepalese. Wellington Pale Ale (a microbrewery from Southern Ontario) has apparantly opened a brewery inside the leaning tower of Pizze (sp). The (COLD..eek..) brie on my cheese and meat tray? Italy bought France. You get the idea…
I love Terroni. I will go again. I love waiters and waitresses – and I do not blame the pleasant woman who helped us last evening. But please, if you’re going to push rude/campy service, make sure that they know their facts and for goodness sake, don’t F*ck up the food.
I was in Welland today for work – a far cry from my normal habitat.
Welland is close to Niagara, Niagara is close to Buffalo. I have recently heard of a store in Buffalo named Premiere Gourmet. Premiere has close to 1,200 bottles of beer at any given time – many are imported or obscure, difficult to find or simply not brought in to Canada. Their website has a listing including relatively current inventory levels. Stunning.
I had hear recently of a kind of loophole in customs. If you stay in the US for 48 hours you can bring back 2 750 ml bottles of wine, 1.25 liters of booze or 24 cans of beer. The loophole is fairly simple – beer has gotten far more crafty, specialized and, well, exciting. It also comes in special sizes – many beers being 750ml and 12% alcohol or more and can sell for $10, $20 or $30 per bottle. It far more resembles wine than a 2-4 of Bud and people are declaring that they have 24 beer without explaining that they actually have $400 of beer.
Two quick things to think about here:
1) When you declare a bottle of Scotch, it does not matter if it is a $40 bottle or a $8,000 bottle.
2) You are going to make up your own mind what is right for you. Getting caught “cheating” is not something I want to put myself in position to do – I have no reason to and the pain it could cause in future is just not worth saving a few dollars to me.
Regardless, I decided that I was close enough that I went to Buffalo after work. It was lovely. I bought 12 beer (more on them to come in future - they are stunning, stunning, stunning) and include some I plan to cellar for 5 years. I went with the full plan to declare these, pay duty and blog about how much it was, how it worked and all the rest after finding it very difficult to find the straight goods on this. I loaded the beer in my truck, drove to the border and got ready to pay the piper.
I learned that you drive up to the customs officer and inform him or her that you have something to declare and they will ask you to pull over and pay at the office. My chap was a very straightforward, serious dude. It went something like this:
Joel (J): Good evening!
Customs Officer (CO): Hello. How long were you in the US?
J: About an hour and a half.
CO: Purpose of trip?
J: I bought 12 beer that I have to declare and pay duty on.
CO: (puzzled look). I asked your purpose, not what you are declaring…
J: I bought 12 beer that I have to declare and pay duty on.
[there was a few more pleasantries at this point]
CO: You only have 12 beer – you sure you want to pay duty? You can if you really want to but I’m not marking your car, go ahead…
Honesty is the best policy – that and not getting greedy! I have plenty enough beer to try for some time and report back to you and didn’t have to go through the duty process – unfortunately this means I also have one less topic! It was a great experience and I’m sure it won’t be like that all the time but I felt rewarded for being honest! Some fantastic stuff to share soon!
Two posts for the price of one today – this one’s just a link. I loved the name of this site – it is exactly what it says it is (recipes for your broke ass):
If you have not seen me rant about Alinea yet, this may not make a whole lot of impact. Alinea was a pilgrimage to me – a stunning discovery of art meeting science meeting food meeting passion meeting holly crap I can’t believe someone can cook something like that. I like to think that I was dignified and sophisticated – the real truth is I was likely mumbling
Something like that (likely with a bit of swearing).
The recipe book reminds me of the home instructions for building your own full sized Eiffel Tower.
I have now been schooled by a 5-year old and a 9-year old:
Artscape launched a new project this fall with little fanfare – Wychwood Barns. It shares similar genes of the Distillery project – abandoned urban infrastructure meets re-visioning as a community hub and affordable place for artists and community to gather with much support from many until the details roll out and the local community tends to feel they aren’t sure they are getting what they signed up for and, eventually, people divide between cheering madly and running away.
I remember the first time I met Boris. We were both younger, Boris was much shorter, stouter and wearing a smaller green bottle as opposed to this hulking metal full metal jacket. I was at the Only Cafe on the Danforth (I was a regular at the time) and drinking my usual (`surprise me!`). I recall loving it and glowing about it with Dana:
I was so excited to be reunited with Boris on Friday night – I love big things and half a lite of beery goodness is indeed big (the old bottle was 250 ml). The packaging is lovely though I have noted that they have separated themselves away from openly declaring their Pride in being French – perhaps they lost their pride at the same time that many poured wine in the streets and changed fried potatos to chips. Odd that the beer which praised itself on rebellion may have hushed it`s roots because of protest – at least that`s the story I`m enjoying telling myself.
So I had it. And I didn`t enjoy it. The carbonation tasted bubbly and the afterbite seemed to kick in moments before the liquid touched my lips. I mean it was beer and I like beer and I`d drink it again (unlike Coors Like); but this aint my cup of tea (or my glass o`beer). BOOris, you have broke my heart.
Back to food shortly.
a video from the New York post as an addition to my previous post on Peelers.
Yes, we live down the street from a fairly well known local strip club, this post is NOT about the lovely ladies at Jilly’s.
This post is about the best vegetable peeler you will ever buy (and the only one you will ever need) the Zena Star peeler
…but let’s back up a bit.
First of all, I bought it at a design store. Sw pe is one of my favorite stores in Toronto. Full of the best design books and best design(ed) ‘stuff’. You can get a 15lb coffee table book on Bauhaus, beautiful children’s books, an umbrella by Merrimeko, every variety of Moleskine notebook, the latest design magazines…and iconic kitchenware. The little card next to the Zena Star peeler proclaimed that “you’ll be able to tell the professional chef from the celebrity on the Food Network if they’ve chosen this tool”. Thinking that one day maybe Joel will have his own cooking show (only half joking of course), and I wouldn’t want him mistaken for a celebrity I picked it up as a little gift, even though we have two vegetable peelers at home and i’ve never really given a second thought to either of them.
Now I originally started this post because I am sure that this is one of those amazing things that lives happily in both the food and design world – adored by people obsessed with either or both. But it’s also a fantastic example of a great ‘Recession product’, it costs well under $10, works amazingly fast and flawlessly, really comfortable to hold, and described on the Zena website as “particularly robust and indestructable” it seems you will have it forever.
It has only 3 parts, manufactured just outside of Zuric out of all swiss materials by a company that employs about 10 people and is owned by the inventor’s grandson.
What I didn’t know was that in 2004 it had a commemorative swiss stamp…
…and up until February 1st 2009 it had the absolute best ‘Brand Ambassador’ a company could hope for: Joseph Ades (75 when he died) was originally from Manchester England, but the ‘Gentleman Grafter’ demonstrated the peeler on various New York street corners for so many years he became a celebrity. He would draw a crowd of onlookers with his performance and showmanship. His story is facinating….so facinating that in 2006 Vanity Fair did a full feature of him, in one of the videos I found on YouTube he waves a laminated copy at onlookers laughing that Julia Roberts is on the cover and he has a whole 4 pages inside. On February 6th of this year there was a memorial at the Union Square Greenmarket where people paid tribute by peeling carrots and potatoes and where his daughter Ruth announced that she was going to be taking over the ‘family business’, she has been sighted doing exactly that in various locations around New York.
If you see the Zena Star peeler in your travels pick one up (i’ll be looking for Ruth on my next trip to NY), worth every penny for the design, functionality and the story.
(i’ve added some of the YouTube videos in our vodpod link on the site).