2013 Year in Review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 73,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2012 Year in Review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 170,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 3 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

Gyu-Kaku – Vancouver, BC


Gyu-Kaku
888 Nelson Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 558-3885

With shrinking domestic markets and consumption, combined with growing awareness and demands overseas, we’re seeing more new entrants in various industries reach our borders.  Rumors of Japan’s massive clothing retailer Uniqlo apparently coming soon to Vancouver is one.  American’s Target and Nordstrom are also prime examples.  And the focus of this piece, the 600+ strong (in Japan) yakiniku chain Gyu-Kaku has steadily made its way with outposts in Asia and the US.  Canada was chosen as their beachhead into Canada, specifically downtown Vancouver.

Having been to several of their locations in Japan over the years on lazy meal nights when I was craving meat, news of Gyu-Kaku’s arrival in Vancouver personally didn’t excite me a great deal.  Its like a Vancouverite getting excited about a Cactus Club visit I suppose.  When its around you and very ubiquitous, the allure is simply not as high. So my eventual visit was even a random, impromptu one just last week.  I came away from the dinner pleased overall and with no major complaints and with a clear understanding it can’t be 100% replicated overseas.  From the very full room on a rainy, mid-week evening, its clear they have established a solid clientele already.  Kudos!

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Foodosophy 2011 Highlights


WordPress, the host of our online presence, has provided us with an annual summary of key activity here on foodosophy that we thought would be interesting to share with our readership.

To begin, overall it was a lighter year for us in terms of fresh posts, with just 74 new individual entries published during the year.  Interestingly, the most popular post was from two years ago, on the unusual McLobster report provided by contributor o-toro.  Other top viewed posts were those on MRKT (Market) Restaurant – Edmonton, AB, Omakase at Kimura – Vancouver, BC, Longview Steakhouse – Longview, AB, and Foodosophy of Pink Burgers in Vancouver, BC.

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Dae Ji – Burnaby, BC


Dae Ji
4501 North Road
Burnaby, BC
(604) 566-9107

Not too long ago, Don’sta existed in this very same location, offering some of the very same kind of dishes.  I’d noticed that it soon changed its sign not too long after that visit that I reported on.  Initially I thought it was just a simple re-branding, but upon checking it out, I saw it was much more than that.  The proprietors seemed to have changed, along with a total re-work of the interior and a greater focused menu.  Simple put, it appeared more “professional”.  I’ve not gone to their other location downtown, but Dae Ji now has outlet number two.

With Korean-style fried pork cutlets taking center stage alone (no sign of the pasta that existed in the previous incarnation) on the menu now, there were a few twists like the option to have a mixed plate if you will of a cutlet and a hamburger patty.    A few variations exist in terms of the pork cutlet, as well such as a cheese, spicy cheese, even a kimchi infused one!  The set menus offer more bang for the buck too, as you get a side of rice, a simple cabbage salad and a miso soup.

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Calgary Hot Plate Restaurant – Calgary, AB


Calgary Hot Plate Restaurant
714-5075 Falconridge Blvd NE
Calgary, AB
(403) 590-1244

“Kebab and naan,” he says, “that’s all I ever get”.

Just that alone got me to agree to having a quick dinner at this little place in the heart of Calgary’s East Indian community.  Coming in from the bristling December winter cold, the aromas alone were a much needed welcome.  Order at the counter, scan the specials board along with the regular menu sheet.  Simple process and setup.  Sit down and wait…

Out comes the warm square bowl of Chicken Qorma – with some good sized chunks of breast meat braised slowly in a combination of spices to create a velvety yogurt curry.  A definitive spicy kick to this mixture, instantaneously you feel the heat rip across your tongue along with the intoxicating flavors.  The accompanying huge plate-sized rounds of freshly made naan at first seem like a little much, but soon you’re ripping them apart and wondering if you might run out.

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Maggiano’s Little Italy – Las Vegas, NV


Maggiano’s Little Italy
3200 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 732-2550

This gambling and entertainment mecca probably has the best and worst of what America has to offer from a culinary perspective.  From absurdly priced, high end celebrity chef fronted establishments to the ultra cheap diners and fast food stands, there is no shortage of food in Las Vegas.  It all depends on what you are wiling to pay, the level of your palate, and perhaps even the level of success (or lack of) you’ve had in the casinos.

Strangely enough, I’ve dined at Maggiano’s in an entirely different city – Orlando, FL, just last year.  By chance, I came across it again on a hurried trip to the Fashion Mall to pick up something before jumping in a taxi to head to the airport and leave town.  I had some mates in tow who were also in a rushed state to do some last minute shopping for the folks back home, and so we dipped in for a late lunch.  As I wasn’t feeling overly hungry and did not want to feel bloated while sitting in an airplane for the next few hours, I chose just from the appetizers list.

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