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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Tealips Bubble Tea & Coffee – Burnaby, BC


Tealips Bubble Tea & Coffee
7139 Arcola Way
Burnaby, BC
(778) 397-3972

Offering a wide ranging menu of bubble teas, coffee, loose leaf tea, smoothies, shaved ice, waffles, and sandwiches, this hidden, out-of-the-way cafe in the Middlegate neighborhood of Burnaby has steadily built a strong following.  Or so it seems on my visits there as its always got a steady number of customers inside.  I suppose it benefits greatly from the steady stream of traffic to the nearby businesses, as well as the multiple condo towers that look down upon the building in which it is housed…

Tealips does have a slightly different premise compared to other bubble tea houses around town.  For instance, the thing that struck me upon entering the doors was the more relaxed vibe and seating arrangement that sprawled out before my eyes.  A lot more inviting as a result and the kind of place that makes you want to stick around.  The crowd seemed to be dominated by younger couples or soloists who were clearly students cramming behind a heavy textbook or busy scanning the screen of their personal computer.

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Chungdam Ahn – Vancouver, BC


Chungdam Ahn
832 Cardero Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 688-3632

It has been a few years now since I last visited this popular Korean lounge off one of the side streets of Robson.  Hidden away from the main strip, its not always been on my radar so I was pleased to find Chungdam Ahn was still around after all this time.  With a few boisterous friends in tow in search of some unique food and drink combinations, we headed to this part of Cardero Street and tucked inside to a pretty full room.  With some lively music and a vibe that only excited, young twenty-somethings can bring to a place, it had all the markings of a good night to be had…

Fortunately, we were able to squeeze into the bigger corner table of the place, almost as if it was waiting for us all this time. Scanning around with my eyes, it was clear we weren’t the only group out for a hard night of eating and drinking, although there were some tables occupied just by couples on an evening out.  A pair of female servers were buzzing from table to table, collecting orders and bringing out food from the kitchen area.

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Cafe de l’Orangerie – Vancouver, BC


Cafe de l’Orangerie
8636 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
604) 266-0066

Sometimes location plays a crucial role in even picking a restaurant to go to.  To expand upon this point, the establishment’s parking options, is a critical factor for me at times when deciding on one place versus another.  Cafe de L’Orangerie falls into the difficult category as it is not in an ideal spot (accessible by only one direction of busy Granville Street) and the limited number of stalls in front that are shared by other businesses does not help matters.  Despite all this, the good buzz that I’d heard about the French trained, Japanese owner/chef and the approachable menu they have here, led me to deal with the inconveniences of getting here and here’s my report of that visit…

Upon entering the doors, the scene that falls into your line of sight is one of a very simple soup-and-sandwich kind of place, along with a display case of desserts and pastries.  I could see how it was straddling several lines, and perhaps serving a different clientele in the day as opposed to the dinner hours.  It felt more “western” than anything else, but when you are seated and presented with the evening menu, you are quickly aware that there are some Japanese-influenced twists.  And it was these that I was keen on trying.

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