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  #181  
Old Posted May 31, 2015, 4:22 PM
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I think the two biggest concentrations of nicer restaurants in downtown Halifax are (or used to be) along the waterfront and on or near Argyle (more than Spring Garden Road or Barrington). Many waterfront restaurants are tourist traps, but some are good. The Bicycle Thief is one example. There was still a pretty good variety back in 2009 but the offerings last time I was back were definitely much improved. This seems like more or less a national phenomenon, although if you go farther back in time some places still stand out more than others. A lot more people seem to be more adventurous with food now and they're willing to spend more. I guess this is probably tied to the growing demographics of well-off empty nesters and childless, urban-apartment-dwelling younger people.

What's kind of interesting about the last 3 that Hali87 mentioned is that they're out in the neighbourhoods. A few years ago it would have been pretty hard to imagine Edna, Field Guide, and Ratinaud on Gottingen or even perhaps some of the newer ones along Agricola. The North End has a bunch of craft breweries too, and a bunch of traditional places (Lebanese bakeries, Brothers, etc.) so it's a pretty worthy food destination in its own right. The change reminds me a lot of what has been happening in East Vancouver during the past few years.

Two other major events in the availability of good food in Halifax are the expansion of the farmers' market and Pete's opening downtown, which was a while ago now.
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  #182  
Old Posted May 31, 2015, 5:12 PM
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It's definitely something like shipping that explains the price difference, Hali. I can't say for sure, haven't been to Halifax in years, but the restaurant fare here isn't shockingly better than anywhere else. There are some standouts that can compete nationally or globally, but they're not the whole.

We found a surprisingly affordable (lunch menu) place downtown today. Blue on Water. Ayreonaut's entire extended family is here, more or less, for his convocation. His grandmother tried toutons after they asked me what they were

Anyhow. Gorgeous spot. We parked on Duckworth and walked down to Water.



(We're standing at near the top of the stairs up to Duckworth. The other streets are George, Water, and Harbour. Water is the main one. Harbour is a back lane in terms of business, but popular with pedestrians).

Blue on Water is right next to one of the few open areas (parking lot) along Water. But the view is lovely. And their windows open up completely to the street so it's like a patio.





The lunch menu was very cheap for St. John's. Didn't even break $20 base price.



Eggs Benedict with pickled beets. They also had a peameal bacon one. We laughed.









I've heard a couple of negative reviews of St. John's lately. One visitor from Van who couldn't believe this is technically a city based on the size of downtown. ("Is this a village?"). But one nice one tonight. One of Ayreonaut's relatives: "I can see why the people get so attached to this place." Yay lol
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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; May 31, 2015 at 6:28 PM.
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  #183  
Old Posted May 31, 2015, 7:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
I've heard a couple of negative reviews of St. John's lately. One visitor from Van who couldn't believe this is technically a city based on the size of downtown. ("Is this a village?"). But one nice one tonight. One of Ayreonaut's relatives: "I can see why the people get so attached to this place." Yay lol
Haha, that's pretty much a typical Vancouver comment.
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  #184  
Old Posted May 31, 2015, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
It's definitely something like shipping that explains the price difference, Hali. I can't say for sure, haven't been to Halifax in years, but the restaurant fare here isn't shockingly better than anywhere else. There are some standouts that can compete nationally or globally, but they're not the whole.

.....

I've heard a couple of negative reviews of St. John's lately. One visitor from Van who couldn't believe this is technically a city based on the size of downtown. ("Is this a village?"). But one nice one tonight. One of Ayreonaut's relatives: "I can see why the people get so attached to this place." Yay lol
I always thought it was just the cost of importing food, but then I realized that there's a lot of food that's produced locally, including dairy. Someone pointed out that the high cost of everything is because of the cost of importing supplies to run the local farms. I suppose it's a price we pay for living on an island

Ah yes, the village of St. John's. Glad I bought a new dory so I can get to the nearby village of Mount Pearl.
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  #185  
Old Posted May 31, 2015, 11:45 PM
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Hm, not sure. I'm not a foodie so I like my food comfortable. B Bim Baab is a pretty good Korean restaurant by my work that I like. Still looking for a decent small-town restaurant. Oh you know the kind: serves sausage, bread, soup, etc. All that homey stuff. Some restaurants fill the niche on occasion but it is never a staple. Closest I guess is Fionn McCool's but that is a chain.
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  #186  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2015, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Marty_Mcfly View Post
I always thought it was just the cost of importing food, but then I realized that there's a lot of food that's produced locally, including dairy. Someone pointed out that the high cost of everything is because of the cost of importing supplies to run the local farms. I suppose it's a price we pay for living on an island

Ah yes, the village of St. John's. Glad I bought a new dory so I can get to the nearby village of Mount Pearl.
I legitimately thought there wasn't really any farming on Newfoundland (I remember hearing about defunct cucumber farms but that's it).

The more you know.
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  #187  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2015, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
Hm, not sure. I'm not a foodie so I like my food comfortable. B Bim Baab is a pretty good Korean restaurant by my work that I like. Still looking for a decent small-town restaurant. Oh you know the kind: serves sausage, bread, soup, etc. All that homey stuff. Some restaurants fill the niche on occasion but it is never a staple. Closest I guess is Fionn McCool's but that is a chain.
I always would have expected Edmonton to be diner central. Again, the more you know.
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  #188  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2015, 12:59 AM
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There is very little. I don't think Marty_McFly is implying otherwise - he's speaking mostly about, say, chicken feed. The chickens are local, the feed still needs to be imported so chicken is more expensive here than elsewhere.

Codroy Valley on the west coast is the only area where you could go and get that Quebec-level of farmland feeling.

The rest it's just... little bits of everything.

This is about all there is in St. John's:

http://i60.tinypic.com/2aro00.jpg

But then restaurants often have their own plots for root vegetables, herbs, etc. So all those things can be grown locally. And there are a few vineyards, etc. But mostly berry wines. They're just working now to establish some proper ones.

And this is Codroy Valley:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdstru...-cg2cU9-f5cdbb
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  #189  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2015, 1:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Boris2k7 View Post
Haha, that's pretty much a typical Vancouver comment.
Meh, they're just feeling b***chy 'cause the Economist has described their city as "mind-numbingly boring".
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  #190  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2015, 8:44 PM
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Yeah, farming is quite scarce on the island There's plenty of livestock, but fields of wheat will be hard to find outside the Codroy Valley. Farming's quite difficult when bedrock is 6 inches down in the ground.
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  #191  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2015, 3:08 AM
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Tonight was one of the best restaurant experiences of my life. I'm ashamed to say I've never been to Piatto before. It's a pizzeria and wine bar - but I just can't justify spending gourmet prices on pizza for the same reason that, as I start to feel full, I subconsciously eat the most expensive things on my plate first.

Turns out... Piatto is cheaper than delivery. And fucking AMAZING.

It's VPN certified. I didn't bother to Google it but apparently it's one of the few places in Canada that has that certification. I assumed it was just something anyone can send their $5 registration fee to and display in their restaurant, but it's - apparently - not. It's serious business. It's authentic, Neapolitan pizza.

And if you live in Halifax, Moncton, or Charlottetown - they've now opened locations there as well.

EDIT: Googled it. Here are all the VPN-certified restaurants in Canada. If one is near you, check it out! Well worth it. The taste of the tomatoes was heavenly.



I'll be back here frequently. Amazing, amazing place. And it's right next door to the separatist bar (which I've been to... oh, more than once, ).











Ayreonaut had a salad to start and shared with us.



And then we split four pizzas - Margherita, Americana, Siciliana, and Diavolo.









And it's a great example of how steep St. John's is. You saw how it looks from the front on Duckworth in the first pic. Here's the view out the back...



And back at the entrance with the heaters turned on. HALIGONIANS: Does 431 mean anything to ye?

They advertise the St. John's location with an Italian license plate that says 368YYT. Now, YYT is our airport code, of course. 368 does exist here as the first three numbers of landlines in a part of the West End... but surely that can't be what the numbers mean? If 431 is something obvious in Halifax, maybe that'll make ours obvious too?



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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Jun 7, 2015 at 10:14 AM.
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  #192  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2015, 6:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
Tonight was one of the best restaurant experiences of my life. I'm ashamed to say I've never been to Piatto before. It's a pizzeria and wine bar - but I just can't justify spending gourmet prices on pizza for the same reason that, as I start to feel full, I subconsciously eat the most expensive things on my plate first.

Turns out... Piatto is cheaper than delivery. And fucking AMAZING.

It's VPN certified. I didn't bother to Google it but apparently it's one of the few places in Canada that has that certification. I assumed it was just something anyone can send their $5 registration fee to and display in their restaurant, but it's - apparently - not. It's serious business. It's authentic, Neapolitan pizza.

And if you live in Halifax, Moncton, or Charlottetown - they've now opened locations there as well.

EDIT: Googled it. Here are all the VPN-certified restaurants in Canada. If one is near you, check it out! Well worth it. The taste of the tomatoes was heavenly.

Funny, I was actually just at Via Tevere tonight!

Note: not my pic from tonight, just for context

Source http://portandquarter.com/pizzerias-vancouver/
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  #193  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2015, 10:20 AM
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I've not seen it advertised as such but it seems to me that BC generally and Vancouver in particular has an exceptionally good food scene? I've seen a few different things now where Vancouver was second to TO.
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  #194  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2015, 11:55 AM
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I can't even begin to narrow down a favourite in Vancouver (I complain about the city a lot but food is one thing it does very well) but wanted to share this unusual meal experience from last night

So Crab So Good, Burnaby BC by chrisjohann, on Flickr

It's a place called So Crab So Good, a little hole in the wall in Burnaby/Hastings. Place is filthy, decorations haven't been changed since it was Italian, we were the only non-Chinese patrons, and they just dump a bucket of slop on your table. But it tasted pretty damn good, and then afterwards I got some sort of flavoured ice dessert in a plastic thing that greatly entertained the staff as I tried to figure out how to eat it.

We were covered in seafood at the end and washed our hands in the bathroom about half a dozen times, but a good experience overall.

Last edited by Pinion; Jun 7, 2015 at 8:07 PM.
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  #195  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2015, 6:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
I've not seen it advertised as such but it seems to me that BC generally and Vancouver in particular has an exceptionally good food scene? I've seen a few different things now where Vancouver was second to TO.
Vancouver has a good food scene, but it's uneven.

I'd say that Vancouver is outstanding for Chinese, extremely good for Japanese and other East Asian fare (Korean, Malaysian, etc.), very good for Italian, mediocre for French and not on the map for anything else.

That's more than acceptable for a city of our size, though. What we lack in tapas we make up for in Izakaya.
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  #196  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2015, 8:06 PM
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That seafood looks delicious. 90% of seafood here is battered and deep-fried. It's really annoying to order a seafood platter and get a bunch of variously-sized crunchy, brown lumps of bread. We have awesome seafood too but it's only guaranteed at pricier restaurants. Everything else is hit or miss.

Thanks for the explanations!
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  #197  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2015, 9:07 PM
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I'd say that Vancouver is outstanding for Chinese, extremely good for Japanese and other East Asian fare (Korean, Malaysian, etc.), very good for Italian, mediocre for French and not on the map for anything else.
The Vancouver area seems pretty good for Indian food too.

The big difference I find with Asian food here is that there's a full spectrum of options with different menus catering to different tastes and different pricing levels. You can find more or less adventurous offerings and lots of affordable places because there's a large local Asian population that supports all of these restaurants. Toronto is like this too. In Halifax, by contrast, Asian food is seen as somewhat special and high-end, although sushi has moved downmarket a bit (and this is in a town with plentiful local seafood that is conducive to this sort of cuisine).
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  #198  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2015, 4:08 AM
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The Vancouver area seems pretty good for Indian food too.
I must be going to the wrong places. I've been to Rangoli's (very good), but not Vij's (don't want to wait in line) and then there are a few other favourites like East is East, but after that my knowledge of Indian food in Vancouver sort of drops off. I guess there's "House of Dosa", which everyone raves about, but that place gave me the runs.
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  #199  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2015, 5:42 AM
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I must be going to the wrong places. I've been to Rangoli's (very good), but not Vij's (don't want to wait in line) and then there are a few other favourites like East is East, but after that my knowledge of Indian food in Vancouver sort of drops off. I guess there's "House of Dosa", which everyone raves about, but that place gave me the runs.
I like Palki in North Van.

It's not really anything spectacular or unique but I realized my fav place to go to in Vancouver is Burgoo in Lower Lonsdale. Any chance I have to go I tend to take. Here's what I had tonight, brie fondue, spinach salad and a shrimp sandwich:

Burgoo, North Vancouver by chrisjohann, on Flickr

Exterior, a block from the ocean


lowerlonsdale.ca
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  #200  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2015, 7:01 AM
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I ate there 3 years ago it was decent.
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