Local Resturants

After a week of eating at small dining establishments, I’ve learned a bit about my area.

In terms of variety and styles there is not much of I like or enjoy and when there is “variety” it’s only by presentation. It kind of bums me out that no matter where I go I find an Asian eatery or a cafe. The only thing that really changes is the scene that occupies inside the restaurant but not much else in terms of the taste.

Sadly wandering around the city I found the same monotonous cafe. As much as I like the hipster vibes, it lacks in a community feel.  I only say that because I want to drop my business card on bulletin boards. I still like a humbling place with the smell of roasted beans wafting, but it feels a bit empty without interesting or interactive wall decor.

I think for now, I can say my week long experiment to see this city in it’s culinary glory is successful but I wish I could’ve seen more. I might keep trying to visit more but for now, I’ll get close to what I know.


Exploring Home: One Restaurant At A Time

For me, I love to find a spot and stick to it. I never explore too far from what I know and like. However in the shadow of my footsteps along the Niagara, I think I should try to be a local tourist.

At home in the downtown metropolis, there are a lot of interesting smells, fowl or food. In this case I’m talking about the latter. You can’t go a block without a coffee shop or restaurant. Even amidst this diversity of food, I’m always crawling into the same places for my cultural food. Yesterday I was hurting for some pasta and then it hit me, I know nothing about this city enough to find expand my palette. Which brings me to here in this blog post, I know nothing about the food scene in this city.

I know I don’t have the money to dish for a high end, fine dining restaurant. I’m more into the rustic and street fair, homely and tastes soulful. From what I’ve learned from writing reviews as a Google Guide, it’s something the atmosphere and the smells that really draws me in and the taste to really sell me. I’ve really reached the end of what I can review from my small circle, I still want to expand my horizons and try all the food in this city.

Trying to avoid restaurant chains and places I’ve previous reviewed, I’m going to be daring and try some new places. I don’t know where I’ll go and how good the food is, but I’m willing to try the usuals and even some odd food choices in this city.

I promise I won’t get food poisoning.

Day 11 – Favourite F

From hugaslittlehouse.wordpress.com

In the Day 2 post, I mentioned I enjoy a diverse selection of food. As a kid growing up, I was exposed to some Asian oddities of Chinese cuisine. However I still cringe at a few delicacies, I’m into both meat and veg but there are some veg and meats I would rarely eat due to bad experience.

In no particular order, favourite foods starting with:

  1. Noodles, I don’t know why I like noodles. I like it in soup and as a standalone with some veg and meat. This is inclusive to noodles from out of the Chinese ethnic background. I like pasta like fusilli, penne, macaroni and spaghetti. It’s only 4 in that example and it’s only because those are the 4 I frequent most. Then there is ravioli, which brings me to the second thing.
  2. Dumplings, it’s like stuffed noodles. Debatable which is better, depends on the stuffing. Like noodles, this is inclusive to anything which has meat or vegetable stuffed into a pastry or staple. When I was a kid, I like minced pork and beef with bit of veg. I like my dumplings cooked a variety of ways; steamed, boiled, fried and pan fried. As long as it’s cooked and served up to me, I can probably stomach a few.
  3. Openly stuffed, since I’m doing categories this is for nothing enclosed. Food like burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches. I just like the combinations of food and veg in things so innocuous as a sandwich. Though most of the time they’re processed, I do like processed meat. Nothing’s great went consuming meat between two buns into your mouth. It’s a meal in two handfuls.
  4. Fried food, probably unhealthy out of the ten in this list. I like certain things that are fried; chicken, spring rolls, samosas. It’s nice in the winter when it’s a bit piping hot, even in other seasons it’s great to bit in and see the steam waft away from the goods. Aside from deep frying, pan frying is pretty delicious as well. Some people say burned food will give me cancer, however it’s a neat alternative to convection oven baking.
  5. Speaking of baking, I love baked goods. Cakes and pies, not forgetting pizza; pizza I believe is baked. I cannot take enough of the soft texture and the sweet or savoury taste.
  6. Sweet, savoury and spicy sauces, I’m not leaving condiments behind. Sometimes good food is best complimented with a condiment. I favour the sweet and savoury, BBQ sauces and the sweet and sour things. On occasion, I do go out there and grab the hot sauce. Not the hottest of the hot sauce, but something with a kick. There are some thing that’s worth the spices.
  7. Soup, large bowls of soup is incredible. Best consumed when sick but even better on a chilly day. It’s homely and can be timelessly rustic. I remember I spent an entire month on a pho noodle soup binge. It’s so delicious to have noodles in a beef broth and having herbs suspended in this dark boiled goodness.
  8. I also have a sweet tooth, candy is something I enjoy in frequently but I do like gummy candies as well as hard candies. I remember when Skittles had the sour skittles, it was the first time I really had a sour candy and that got me kind of hooked onto sour candy. Unhealthy as it is, it’s a nice treat from time to time.
  9. Soda, fizzy and sugary. It’s liquid candy. Before you ask, “Eric, Coke or Pepsi?”; I’m both, some days I like to drink the crisp taste of Pepsi and sometimes I want to grab a Coke for it’s smooth after taste. Awhile back both had their release of cherry flavoured cola and they have their line of lime cola and for both, I’ll take my Cherry Coke and Sprite. Then there is the Dew, Mountain Dew is great when I’m not consuming any food; a nice drink for just lounging.
  10. Fruits, it’s nature’s candy! Sweet and delicious and for the work you put in cleaning and peeling, it’s great. I usually stick to eating bananas, apples and oranges; however grapes are are pretty great since you can eat one and save the rest for later. Same with strawberries and cherries.

Now if you excuse me, I have a taco to eat because this made me hungry.

Portion control–Another thing I will never understand

[Lots of “frigging” “damn” words in this post.]

[Also edited to remove all the curse words, so kind of super late on this post…rage be raging.]

As usual when I go to the supermarket to pick up some food, I always see about 4 of everything. I find it disconcerting, some people have to be shown how to eat. I’m starting to wonder if they should start posting pictorial instructions on putting food in your mouth, chewing and swallowing. Okay back track a tad bit.

I was in the supermarket to pick up some food. Nothing really too major, just picking up some stuff resupply my freezer; precooked meatballs and such. An impulse came across my mind to pick up some chips (or crisps for my English readers), of course I acted on. So the dumbass as I am, I double back on my route to the aisle of junk food. Stocked with pop, energy drinks, candy and chips. I kid you not, this is the first time I really took notice. I saw more variations of the same soda than I ever seen since my childhood days. When I was a kid, there was only a few; iced tea, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, 7-Up, Sprite and root beer. Technically as a kid, that’s only 4; sugary tea, bubbly back stuff, bubbly white stuff and root beer. Now walking this 20-foot aisle, I see a whole lot more than just this. Aside from the traditional  “regular” and “diet”, I see a whole slew of products under the same brand like “zero carbs”, “diet zero carbs”, “sugar free”, “diet sugar free” and just to throw you people off – “diet zero carbs sugar free…now in cherry!” Of course I was aware of this awhile ago, but this is now I notice it’s getting out of hand. I took grade 12 biology and there are some things in these drinks that necessarily don’t change. For one thing, aspertame is a sugar substitute but still synthetic; meaning it will destroy you internally even if you still drink the stuff. I admit, I enjoy Coke Zero for the taste and well aware what artificial substitutes can do. That doesn’t even get to the bottom of my “do we really need this?” question.

So I don’t know about you guys but my supermarket puts the 24 packs on the bottom shelf stacked in nice 2×3 columns. As I look up  I see the cans, same deal except they’re in the six packs we all know and seen in those environmental documentaries with the floating can and the six pack O-ring things. Now just above those cans are these super tiny cans that fit about a third of the side of those cans. Grasping one of those cans you would totally notice it would be skinnier or it would fall out of your hand since it’s too damn small. Either case, the contents are about a third of the same six-pack below but not even a third of the price. Safe to say if buying by content, you would get your money’s worth buying the bigger can. Mind boggling is who would support producing these cans. What kind of audience are they trying to aim for? The tiny so they can look normal with a small can? Also by the look of the can, it’s still using about half the amount of materials so even if you chose to buy it, even by materials it would be cheaper to buy the “regular”. I stood there like a stupid guy that I am holding this thing for about a few minutes trying to think of who would buy such a thing. Like picture that for a minute, skinny Asian guy standing in the junk food aisle with a 1.5 kilogram bag of frozen meatballs in a basket and holding this case of cola that’s more expensive by volume than the bottle ; as you walk buy, he’s very damn deep in his mind wondering who on Earth would buy this. Of course I put it back and walked on to see if I can’t grab some munchies from dairy or somewhere else. I kept thinking of the same question as I walked throughout the store again (I’m an indecisive shopper…I guess) and came across the same damn thing. Pepperoni sticks, the large bag versus another large bag but individually wrapped sticks. Seriously, package-ception? I’m all for food preservation, but can’t afford getting a plastic zipper bag for the packaging? One of my favourite snacks is getting this and I believe they were one of the first, cookies. Serious, individually packed portions. I cannot honestly think who this is really geared towards to, I can’t…I just don’t understand.

If I wanted to package something myself, I’ll do it. Ziplock bags are about 5 bucks for a huge stack and as long you don’t come in content with meat, you can recycle them about a few more times. Like I still have a pack and it’s been about three years since I buy stuff in bulk. Vacuum seal? If you need it to be hermetically sealed, you have too much damn food or you’re a damn picky eater. I can eat the same meals over and over again with little to no variation. If steak was plentiful and damn cheap, that’s what I would sear up for every meal with a side of greens. Greens as in from the produce area and not in the freezer aisle (excluding peas, those little pricks are better frozen for the sake of convenience). This is how you know you have too much choice at home in the fridge; if everything is a small package of a bigger package at the store, you got too much damn choices. You need a ham for your sandwich, pick one and stick with it until it’s out. Need OJ? Buy the 5 litre jug and if anyone requests grape juice, tell them to get it themselves until this jug is done. Need milk? Buy the normal stuff you would buy; if anyone wants chocolate milk, buy one of those huge solid chocolate bars and grate that thing into the milk that way you get an additive AND a snack. That’s how you save space in a fridge, be the stubborn d-bag and make sure everyone sticks to it or they can get it themselves.

Of course you can ague, “oh, I just want a taste.” Well sir or madam, cola in a can is the same as cola in a mini-can. You might as well drink one and work it off; you don’t exercise? Well you don’t deserve a frigging treat, gotta work hard to get a treat. No trick, no treat. “But it fits nicely in my purse/pocket/backpack…” No, if you have read my post about pockets and backpacks; go read that and get yourself a reality check, I cannot understand how you cannot fit a can of coke if you at first don’t really need a can of coke. If you’re a diabetic, frigging candy is easier to carry. “Well, I’m not a diabetic and I just want something on the go…” Well, that’s why there’s a can; so you can pick it up and suck it down so you can go, I can down a normal can in 5 seconds flat. Five frigging seconds, max twenty if I sipped. Why on earth would you want something smaller that makes you feel as empty as you did before? One thing I do hate is people complaining about first world problems that don’t really affect anyone but themselves. Seriously, man up and buy the damn can and stop complaining how it will throw off your diet. If you want to be on a damn diet, less choices so you can focus on the running and exercise since there is no damn shortcut to be fit; never a damn shortcut for abs, arms and legs so move your body and not just your mouth.

Has anyone encountered anything else that’s portion controlled that you don’t really understand why it should be portion controlled? Comment down below, I want to go back to that frigging supermarket and stare at more crap.

If you excuse me, I got half a kilogram of pepperoni sticks waiting in the fridge.

Supply drop in the mouth: “There’s such thing as gamer food?”

Recently I’ve come across a very interesting article by a fellow blogger. It’s a small blurb about a new food company infusing the power of caffeine and ginger to airline food. It was surprising a company would do such a thing. I thought food was already good enough to keep you awake. I’m still right, I don’t think all the artificial enhancements would really change you; think of artificial caffeine infused food as steroids. Any genius would know what steroids do in the groin region and the head region.

The only suckers who would really fall for it are those getting sponsored by such company to get free stuff. I’m only an amateur, it’s unlikely someone would sponsor me for a BF3 tournament anytime soon. In large, their “quartet” of chemicals do nothing more than tired you out quicker. Lets take for example energy drinks like Redbull or Monster. Here in Canada, these things are medically unregulated. So the taurine and caffeine in them are usually up to 100 mg more than advertised on the bottle. Big side effect to turn this into a bad buzz, the taurine and caffeine don’t do a lot. All they do is just stimulate your body to produce hormones (and gets your heart rate up) to keep you awake; when the chemicals stop reacting, your hormone boost is gone and your body just collapses and slowly shuts down resulting into a crash. Also at certain age groups, the mind is still making those connections to really function in adulthood. Some scientists say it could mean these teens could in fact get addicted to caffeine like an adult. So it’s kind of an ironic balance between 6 hours or your health.

In fact, you don’t really need a solution that comes from a bag or a can. In a supermarket, it’s full of goodies to really keep you playing for hours on end. I for one never needed taurine to help me play; in fact, it makes me play worse since my heart would pump so quick that the normal adrenaline from a great FPS would likely make me die of a stroke or a heart attack. Almost experienced one of those, it’s not cool trust me on that one. So I resort to other means to keep awake. Not to enhance my mine or heart, but just put more gas in the tank. Any will do from a supermarket.

To this day I’ve at a lot of things on this keyboard; from pies to sandwiches, pizza to pasta, chips to chicken. You just have to find what works for your game. If you wanted advice on what to nibble on while playing video games, there’s no guru to tell you what you can and cannot do. But if recommended, stay as healthy as you can by sticking to the nutritional food guide. Carrot and celery sticks with a bit of dip isn’t so bad especially if your driving a vehicle (in game, not recommended in meatspace). You don’t need those fancy pants “energy enhanced” beverages, all you need is to not be a damn lazy fool and buy something from a supermarket.

However if you’re still unsure or hesitant on buying everything impulsively, here’s a few opinions on what “game food” should be. Primarily it has to be mess-free. Likely there will be times when something will be spilled and you will have to take your eyes off the screen, but when you’re going head to head in a tank or just the frontline force jumping in it’s best to stay crumb and drop free. I would recommend a pitcher of water, room temp or cold (personal preference) and take sips. Not large gulps, but just enough to flood the tongue with fluid. Of course, applicable to any drink, alcoholic or otherwise. Major issue comes with sugar drinks like juice, stay away! Sticky trigger fingers are not cool and it leave a nasty mess if spilled. With a food item, I would best suggest wraps involving large chunks of food. None of that ground meat or shredded stuff. Makes the mess easier to clean. While you’re at it, get a plate or bowl in case you need to free up your mitts for some manoeuvring. Even sandwiches, though choice of bread can really screw you. Stick with a whole wheat; if you don’t like it, suggest reading up on how to make some awesome wraps with pita bread. Soups? I would put that under liquids, drink it from a cup though if you want to see what’s going on. Salads? Keep it chunky, though this can be messy but really tasty. Pasta? Definitely pro choice, easy on the sauce though. Rice? Not ever recommended, it will be everywhere (no exaggeration needed). Pies? Chunky bits or stuff that falls in one nice pile, that goes the same with pizza. Chocolate is definitely good but lacks the nutrients to really keep you going (but delicious if you get it with the peanuts or caramel). If you worry about getting your serving of dairy in, cheese sticks or cut sticks from a large brick.

In terms of snacks and junk food, some are better than others at the desk. Old fashion beef jerky is still the best of the best; it’s virtually mess free and it gives your all the protein to keep going. Bite size tortilla chips are nice since it’s like eating a really thick and salty communion wafer, best served with a bowl of salsa (careful with the mess). Candy is a nice novice choice, it’s the kind of snack you would carry out on a nice Sunday stroll and so is your Sunday night smack down with a can of whoop-ass. Fries are nice, bite size and crumb free; though grease might factor into mess unless baked. Just mix and match, it’s like wine and cheese; you have to find the right flavour to what you do.

If you got food ideas or just questions about certain kinds of food, feel free to comment and I’ll comment back on what I think. Happy om-nom-nom!

P.S. I wrote this while eating a bag of chips…also thanks to Fly Gamer Girls for writing the article.

So good morning!!!

A new weeknd arrive and so much as happened in the last few days. I spent the thursday help my sister to the airport and on that same day, Global Agenda went free to play which is exciting since it’s been two years and waiting (maybe Santa is real after all?).

Synosis of the whole game; World War 3, science fiction, democracy lost and hail to our new robotic overlords.You play as a resistence member who is freed from re-education to fight against your former Confederate masters. You got 4 classes to choose from, a multitude of facial and suit cutomization features and a not-so boring co-op mode. Of course if you’re not into that, there’s always the player versus player modes and guild on guild actions (wait, they’re called “Agencies”). Certain trades offs is the lack of auction, agency building tool and end of match loot drops that accomany people who already bought the game or suckered into buying the expensive $139 package (give or take a few tens of bucks) which include all that and a few exp and loot drop bonuses. I don’t mind if you you just want to have friend play together or do something or hand around. Though a quick reminder that you will be seeing the same creatures all the way up. I’m already level 20 in two days and so far seems to get repetitive but remains very random in terms of the 4 player co-op.  Though not open-world, I would sign off as a “try until level 10” but I would not highly recommend spending big bucks unless you got some good friend to play with in there.

So that pretty muchs sums off my day. Yesterday, one of my wing mates from Battlestar Galactica posted an Easter Egg we discovered. Link is here if you want to check it out! Also he’s starting a Crysis 2 walkthrough. Check it out and maybe enjoy some awesomeness?

Lastly, made bacon and eggs. And they say bacon grease is gold, so I made some toast with it. It was pretty good and delicious.

Day 2: Munchies and Munchkins

Day two, I’m starting to feel the pinch now. I’m really tempted to log into Steam and play some Team Fortress 2 or start up Grand Theft Auto and play for a day. I just woke up from sleeping and I can’t sleep. It’s like I’m a cigarette addict just wanting to smoke. Well, just another day closer I suppose.

Besides the heartwarming chinese food and the crowded shopping malls, it was very much usual. My sister totally and abandoned that Pacific Mall trip for another time after new years. So we bought some cards for her Munchkin collection and just played with them until I left. Overall, it wasn’t as eventful as I hoped.

So what’s up with day 3? Well, I plan on buying some vegetable and some meat and make some good food. I wanted to at least learn a recipe or two. Maybe prep some meat for the dehydrator since my sister will be out for a week and I can do that while I’m there. I can’t wait to make some beef jerky by myself. Anyone else know any good uses for a dehydrator? Share recipe ideas in the comments, I would love to know if there’s anything awesome I can do with beef or the dehydrator. That would probably consume about a week or so; hopefully with better results than last time. Though I was the guinea pig/quality assurance for the first batch.

Maybe wrote more poems or start a short story, I may want to get to one of those. I really do enjoy writing for certain people just to give them joy; one of the many emotions I never really have in my life, which in fact sucks epically on an epic scale of epic-ness.

Well I’m pretty stoked about that considering I have 10 days to make a large batch of beef jerky. I like beef jerky; on top of many other things. Ha! I’m rambling again, it always happens. Anyways, I’m going to get a snack at two in the morning and roam around WordPress for stories and such.

Until tomorrow, readers!!!