Monday, December 17, 2007 Changing Courses at the Food Network

Published: December 17, 2007
Business / Media & Advertising

Changing Courses at the Food Network

Having taken food and chefs from what was once the domain of public television to new celebrity heights, the Food Network is now undergoing a transformation.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The article: Raising a Brand-Free Kid

Published: October 30, 2007

Raising a Brand-Free Kid

From day one, you've got to fight Winnie the Pooh.

Parents, be warned: It takes only a single visit to McDonald's for your child to get hooked on the greasy stuff for life.

Okay, so that's an exaggeration. But the three-year-old son of Angela Verbrugge still remembers his one and only meal under the golden arches. Which has Verbrugge worried.
And Kyla Epstein swears if her young son Max ever wants to eat there, he'll be doing it on his own dime.

These parents aren't raging against the health detriments of fast food. Instead, they are making a conscious effort to limit the amount of branding and advertising their kids are exposed to in all aspects of their lives; what they eat, wear, watch and play with.

It's not easy. Brands are everywhere -- literally.

Read the rest of the article.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Pied-a-Terre (November 30, 2007) by ts

Review by ts
(See review by js here.)

Just about the food:

I didn't order the Table d'Hote (haha, making mine more expensive again, but still cheap!).

I wanted to order the Steak Tartare (because, yes, for some reason I can't resist raw beef when dining out, hehe), but then, that would've been weird if I had the Steak Frites for my main. So I chose the Alsatian Onion Pie.

It was really good. I can't even describe the taste of it, because it was very familiar, yet not. It had onions (of course), and it was sort of "custard'-y... but it didn't feel heavy at all. It was served with a salad of frisee and lardons. (Ooh, lardons!)

I will have to try the steak tartare at another time.

Steak Frites
I had the onglet, which was the 8oz size. It was good. Flavorful.

I chose the pepper sauce -- but it wasn't very peppery at all! Granted, I did grow up under Letty's black peppercorn regime, but really, it wasn't very peppery at all. I just saw a few whole peppercorns on the plate. Otherwise, the sauce didn't have flecks, it was just a smooth taupe-colored sauce. I'll try the other sauces next time.

Sad to say, the frites were a little disappointing. They were "ok"... I dipped some in Jojo's trout dish sauce. But yeah, they were no match of Bistro Pastis' potato dishes.

(That Bistro Pastis knows their potatoes!)

Or, even those pommes allumettes at Bistrot Bistro. (Basically really thin-cut fries. They were good.)

I had the Creme Caramel for dessert. It was good, but nothing spectacular. The texture wasn't quite there. But maybe it was because I didn't really care for the orange zest flavor (which is traditionally what the French put, I think). Or, maybe because mine was better... teehee... although, mine was LECHE FLAN, not a traditional creme caramel.

So, overall, still a very good meal.
Maybe just not the Chef-Andrey-ultimate-super-super-extreme-super-good level of yore.

But, I must say again -- ultra cheap!

We got 2 appetizers, 2 mains, 2 desserts, a bottle of water, a glass of wine, and a coffee. $80+ only!

Oh, I must add, I tried Jojo's trout dish.

It was sooooooooooo good! I guess it really is more than just the sum of its parts.
I mean, just SOOOOOOOOOOOO good!

(See review by js here.)

Pied-a-Terre (November 30, 2007) by js

Review by js
(See review by ts here.)

So. Finally.

We've been waiting for the new Andrey Durbach/Chris Stewart offering, the French bistro, Pied a Terre. It's located on Cambie and 18th.

We've actually tried to sneak in last Saturday, on the way home from West Vancouver (went to the butcher; bought some beef shanks). We were there at 5:30, exactly the time they open, but the French-looking girl told us that they wouldn't have any seating until 10pm that night.

Shrug. Fair enough. So we would have to wait another day.

The day was yesterday. It was somewhat on a whim too. At around 3:30 in the afternoon, we were discussing what to cook. (Salmon in the fridge, but needed another dish to round out that night's dinner.) After tossing and turning, we still can't figure it out. TS decided to call Pied a Terre to see if they have space. Surprisingly, they said they could accommodate us, a party of 2, for 8:30 that night.

Okay. So problem solved. If we weren't going to eat home that night, we'll cook the salmon and head on out. (Salmon was cooked, wrapped with bacon. TS also made a butter corn side-dish for the kids and CSC.)

8:30 it is. Plenty of parking at the back.

We had to wait a few minutes while they get our table ready.

While waiting, we saw a "minor celebrity" dining there with friends. I think his name is Zack Spencer, who used to do the weather on CTV or BCTV or Global -- but now does some sort of car show on either of those channels.

The grudging glass of wine I had to order: a Sauvignon Blanc. Because, you know, they were going to hate us if we don't partake of alcohol. The wine was surprisingly good: none of the icky wine taste.

(I told TS I don't want to learn about wine. I don't particularly care for wine and I don't want to care, because I'm afraid if I do start learning, it is just going to take way too much of my energies.)

We did also order a bottle of mineral water.

After discussion, I decided to have the Table d' Hote, consisting of 3 courses: soup or salad, trout or steak, creme caramel or chocolate mousse.

I had the soup, which was a split pea soup. I generally love split pea and ham soup, so I was happy they had this. I was expecting some smokiness to the soup though, which I didn't get. The split pea soup was just okay, not spectacular.

I had the lemon tart brulee, which I've been wanting and wanting for so long, ever since I've had lemon tart brulee at Parkside. It's not the same though (the Parkside one was way, way, way better) and I have to say the dessert again is not spectacular.

What was spectacular about the meal was my trout. It was cooked with a kind of butter sauce and capers -- and it was excellent. Somehow, it seemed to be greater than its parts. I've had brown butter sauces before, but this went beyond the usual deliciousness of a brown butter sauce. The trout was perfectly cooked, crispy skin and all. If I had to nitpick, I would say that the side could have been better. I had 3 small pieces of potatoes that were not really that memorable. Tasted bland.

Overall, a very good meal -- and very reasonable. When we got the bill, I was a little bit amazed, because we had 3 courses each and beverages, and the bill came to 86 and change. I was expecting a much higher tab, so it was a nice surprise.

For its price level, the restaurant delivers. There's no wow factor, but it doesn't make wow promises. It's a neighbourhood French bistro: food done well and not too expensive. So if you're hankering for some classic French bistro food, head on over to Pied a Terre.

Oh, we also saw Vikram Vij, his wife, and his daughter. They came in around 10pm. Another minor celebrity sighting.

(See review by ts here.)

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