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I was listening to CBC Radio One today, and they were re airing an interview with Ruth Reichl. Ruth Reichl has held various influential positions in North America including food critic for the NY Times and the LA Times, and most recent Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine.
I enjoyed the interview sooo much that I will be buying her book. A good part of the interview is archived on the website CBC Radio One website, so go check it out and give it a play while you are cooking your next meal.

Trust me, it is worth your time.

http://www.cbc.ca/books/MT/2009/10/ruth-reichl-gourmet-magazine.html

Matt

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Buffets. I grew up on these things, Uncle Willy's, Foody Goody, Vegas, Reno, Sushi spots, Dim Sum. At one point it was cool to eat this much, in college I would even pack a couple of zip locks to take some pizza home. What was I thinking. The quality is generally sub par, and what fun is it to be that full.


This weekend meal took me to Maurya. If you ever need to get in a food coma, here is the spot. Maurya offers all you can eat lunch on weekends for $12.95. The atmosphere is nice, and the food is of good quality and tasty especially considering the price. If I was a high school or college kid, I could imagine killing hours here.

On the buffet menu are the following:
Vegetable Pakoras
Papadums
Beef Masala
Butter Chicken
Methi Aloo
Tandoori Chicken
Chili Paneer
Turnip Carrot
Salad Bar
Fresh roti
Mango mousse
gulab jamun

Everything was tasty but all you can eat Indian food can really take you out, I was in the need for a nap the whole day and I even skipped dinner. It was one of those meals where I had to undo my top button on my skinny jeans.

Maurya
1643 West Broadway
Vancouver BC

Matt

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One of my favourite chocolate bars is Almond Joy and now I have some new coconut favourites.

1. Macapuno - Filipino coconut ice cream. If you can find the stuff in the gold tin, thats the one to get.

2. Liberte - Coconut yogurt. Add fruit and you will be in heaven.

Trust me on this one, both have a fairly subtle taste and people who say they don't care for the flavour of coconut are loving these two.

HST
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I received an email from a reader regarding the HST and a campaign that was created in response called No Meal Tax. The No Meal Tax campaign was created by the Canadian and BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association in a fight to exempt the restaurant industry from HST. They have created a website that serves as an online petition. If you want to make a stand against HST on the restaurant industry check out
www.nomealtax.ca

I haven't been following the details behind HST and the restaurant industry in detail but I will dedicate sometime this weekend to do some research. There is no question that this will have a serious affect on the restaurant industry resulting in many restaurants closing their doors and obviously I am not down with paying an extra 7% on my meals. Come to think of it, HST may shut this blog down.

I do/did favour the carbon tax but I will have to do some more extensive reading on this one. Regardless of my stance there should be a forum for those who oppose the HST and nomealtax.ca is the this forum.

If you have some thoughts on HST, let me hear em.

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Every once and a while, my friends and I take a trip to the island to basically eat and drink. This weekend was no exception. The menu looked like this

Friday night - nachos with cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Two bottles of vodka and a lot of Okanagan Springs 1516 (beer).
Saturday - First meal - scrambled eggs, home fries, sausage, bacon (of course)
Dinner - 5 lb sack of mussels, 6 crabs, mushroom fried rice, chicken with herbs
Sunday - Fritata, potatoes, bacon, sausage.

One of the food highlights was the chicken that we got from Qualicum Beach. Our friend recommended this spot, which was basically a self serve shack at the front of the farm. The self serve concept was new to me, and was a clear exhibition of trust in the community, there was even a money bag filled with change if you needed it. The whole chicken was 21 dollars, a dozen large eggs was 4 bucks and the sausages were about 2 bucks a piece. The shack is generally unmanned but the farmer came out because us big city kids were taking pictures and he wanted to see what all the flashing lights were about. The farmer Dirk explained to us that he sends his chickens to slaughter 80 miles out and they are sold out of his shack here and to restaurants on the mainland such as Bishops and Fuel. Pretty cool to find a spot like this.

I got to make the mussels and I now know why they cost so much at the restaurant. The prep took a considerable amount of time, culling them, ripping off the beards, and then scrubbing them clean. The crab is easy.

We had a great weekend filled with shotgunning beers, eating amazing meals, rock band, and Pictionary. A couple people drank too much and had a rough night.

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I guess I am known to eat ghetto meals but sometimes I get fancy.

If you haven't been to Cioppino's I recommend that you go to have an amazing experience. For some reason at this high end eating establishments I feel compelled to order an appetizer and a drink, so I started with a Caesar, and an appetizer of mussels. Both were very tasty.

For dinner, we ordered
Fettuccine with classic meat sauce “alla bolognese” | $ 25.00
Linguine with half lobster, tomato-cream-lobster sauce | $ 35.00

I normally would pick an animal that came from our local waters and pick crab over lobster but based on a recommendation I ordered the lobster. 35 dollars is pricey for a meal but a lobster is not a cheap animal (although the market price for lobster has dropped significantly) and this dish was fantastic. Tomato cream sauce, basil, a hint of sweet chili oil, an amazing crustacean and an al dente pasta makes for a fantastic meal. The bolognese was also very tasty but their use of short ribs for their meat sauce made it very rich, still delicious.

The atmosphere is fantastic, and Chef Pino even came out to ask us how our meal was (a nice added touch). For dessert the short heart chocolate cake is incredible. Not your cheapest meal but definitely a fantastic one.

Cioppino's Mediterranean Grill
1129 Hamilton Street
Vancouver
BC
Matt

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