Mar 09

The Little Turkish Village without Willy

Little Turkish VillageIt has been a long time since we first reviewed The Little Turkish Village in Orleans. We have been frequenting the establishment for well over 20 years. It was the only restaurant that we knew of that purported to offer Turkish food even though Willy himself was from Hong Kong. Their lamb shank, Turkish salad and special meal for two were the main reasons that we went. An added bonus was that we got to see Willy, the owner. He always greeted us warmly and remembered members of our group who were not present.

I am sure that Willy’s retirement is well-deserved but if we are to believe the reviews that have been recently published the place is not the same without him. Apparently, the new owner has taken pains to keep the menu and quality of food the same (perhaps he kept some or all of the kitchen staff?). What he or she has not been able to do, however, is retain the friendly, welcoming and down-to-earth atmosphere that Willy lent it. You can find out a little more about Willy here.

When we revisit The Little Turkish Village in the future, we will let you know what we think!

Feb 21

Airline food from Swissair – A Flight of Fancy?

Swissair-Airline Food For those of you that may have flown with Wardair back in the day, you may well believe, as I did until recently that the days of even passable airline food in economy class were long gone! That all changed when we recently flew with Swissair from Montreal to Geneva (return).

There were several things notable about the airline food in particular and the service in general with Swissair:

  1. Drinks and food were served concurrently, so there was no extended wait between the 2 and those who wished to sleep could do so relatively quickly after take-off.
  2. Our food was not served from cheap styrofoam or plastic containers but rather from melamine or something similar and REAL metal cutlery was offered, (and no-one attempted to hijack the plane with a dinner knife).
  3. It appeared that a real recycling effort was being made. Instead of throwing all waste together in large garbage bags as is the norm with many other carriers, Swissair had their flight attendants sort and stack similar items of refuse.

Airline Food - Chicken-Red cabbage-potato dumplingsHowever, it was the food on the return flight that really was impressive. As you can see from the image above, Swissair decided to show its Germanic roots with red cabbage and potato dumplings to accompany the requisite chicken dish. The only slight negative was that they used a plastic glass for the wine which unlike all the other items will not be reused. The meal was at tasty as it looks.

Airline Food - Cheese Tartlet - Swiss Chocolate Ice CreamOur second treat was the snack that they served 1.5 hours before landing. This time they paired a warm, gooey and flaky cheese tartlet with Mövenpick Swiss chocolate ice cream.
The final touch is that where many airlines offer candies to suck on take-off and landing to help even out pressure in one’s ears, Swissair offers Swiss chocolate. We look forward to flying Swiss in the future.

If you would like to know what other airline food is worth eating, check out  CNTraveler. There is even a magazine devoted to letting you know all about airline haute cuisine

 

Jan 20

Get the best poutine in Ottawa at Spuds in Elmvale Acres

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I am not usually a huge fan of fries topped with cheese curds and then slathered with artery-clogging gravy – otherwise known as Poutine, but for Spud’s I will henceforth make and occasional exception.

I know that it has been a while (ok, so almost an entire year) since I last posted a restaurant review here. However, this is not because I have been in hibernation but rather that I have been busy (and still am) with other projects. Nevertheless, we haven’t stopped eating out in and around Ottawa, so I have a good number of exciting venues to tell you about over the next couple of months.

Spud’s Potato Bar and Poutinerie in Elmvale Acres in Ottawa’s East End near the Museum of Science and Technology is a good place to start off with because in the now famous words of Monty Python it is something completely different. From the outside this restaurant is perhaps a little underwhelming being located, as it is, in the middle of a fairly dismal strip mall. Also, merely looking through the window, you might suspect you are peering into a SubWay store or other fast food joint. It is true that Spuds is a self-serve establishment. If you are looking for fine dining, you are in the wrong place.

Chicken Pot FriesPersonally, I chose the ‘Chicken Pot Fries’ (click thumbnail for full view). This involves the addition of chunks of chicken, caramelized onions, mushrooms and peas. Of the five gravies available (regular, beer, chicken, cracked pepper and lastly mushroom), I chose the latter. I had been pre-warned that the portions were large so only opted for the small size. The fries were fresh, the toppings were plentiful and the overall concoction was very tasteful even if the picture does not do it justice!

Piggy Gone WildDorothy opted for the ‘Piggy gone Wild’ which added 3 variations of pork (pulled pork, bacon and sausage) to her poutine and she selected the cracked pepper gravy. She apparently also very much enjoyed her chosen dish. Our only slight complaints were that the plastic forks were woefully inadequate for the task of digging out and holding onto the contents. Also, the straws provided for the drinks were too short to reach the bottom of the bottles.

img00055-20130118-1939If you have followed the Adventures of the Supper Seven in the past, you will know that we are usually a gang of seven and getting seated and served can be a problem. In this case, we simply put two tables together, ordered our food and were happily eating away less than ten minutes after entering. Every one of our little band ordered something different and no-one was disappointed. Even Fayth, pictured here, who often eats less than a sparrow, ate a healthy (not really) portion! For the first time ever though, not a single person, including Amber who has a voracious appetite, was able to completely finish their meal. However, the containers that the food comes in can be easily closed and carried home (for the dog?!)

Spuds-Potato-Bar-and-Poutinerie-on-Urbanspoon

Whether you think you like poutine or not, you owe it to yourself to give Spuds Potato Bar and Poutinerie a try!


See other gifts available on Zazzle.
 

Apr 08

Discover what the Un-Chef has been cooking up!

E-Rebate Club Fan Page Header

E-Rebate Club

Shop & Save, Get Cash Back, Earn Residual Income

Let me start out by apologizing profusely for neglecting my loyal readers, many of whom have been politely inquiring as to whether I had gone into hibernation (or something worse!). Well, I can assure you that I am still alive and kicking but have been very occupied with something completely different (to quote Monty Python).

How it Started

Pure MinimalismA few months ago now, it became obvious to me that more and more people, in my own immediate circle and beyond, were rapidly changing their buying habits and purchasing increasingly online. This past Christmas season, for example, we purchased most of our gifts over the Internet and saved a bundle on shipping and avoided the crowds in the stores.

Because I operate several blogs, I had started to develop relationships with several online retailers whose products were a good match for my readers. Often, I became aware that friends and relatives were making purchases from those very same retailers. After sometime with these two facts rolling around inside my head, the concept of E-Rebate Club was born. It seemed a natural progression to marry these two trends together. This turned out to be a huge undertaking and that is why my head has been down for the last couple of months.

How It Works

How It Works

The basis of E-Rebate Club is really simple! You shop online as you normally would but rather than going directly to the merchant’s site, you go thorough one of the links on our site. In the header above, you can see just a few of the Top online retailers we have partnered with. You still get the item you are looking for at the best price you can find. We also keep you informed by e-mail, web updates or RSS feed of new deals, discounts and coupons as they become available.

Whenever you make a qualifying purchase through a link on the E-Rebate Club, the merchant pays us an advertising fee as laid out on the Shop by Merchant page and we rebate you 30% – 75% of this rebate according to your member level. Although E-Rebate Club is primarily designed for Canadian residents, international members can participate, shop and earn also.

Show me the Money!

canadian-money

The whole purpose of the E-Rebate Club is not only to save you money on ALL of your online purchases but also to allow those who wish it to earn some additional income in an easy, ethical and sustainable way. We don’t promise you pie in the sky riches or something for nothing. For that, you can buy lottery tickets. On the other hand, just by using E-Rebate Club links when you shop online you can get significant cash back! You can choose any or all of the following ways to put some extra cash into your account.

  1. Get up to 60% Cash back on your personal purchases: All you have to do to qualify for this is to join E-Rebate Club and use our links when you buy any product or service online. We will automatically pay the appropriate rebate into your account.
  2. Help us Spread the Word: You can earn referral bonuses ranging from $18 to $30 for each new Gold and Silver member who joins from your referral link. We provide you with all the promotional tools and resources to easily attract new members.
  3. Monthly Activity Awards & Bonuses: Each month, Gold Members can participate in monthly contests to earn significant activity bonuses by simply referring 1 or more members or having purchases of $100 or more in a calendar month.

An Offer You Can’t Pass Up!

E-Rebate ClubSince you are amongst the first to find out about E-Rebate Club, we are going to make you an offer you can’t (or shouldn’t at least) ignore! Join us today as a FREE member, ‘like us’ on our Facebook fan page and we will upgrade your membership immediately to Silver level which ordinarily carries a $36 annual membership fee!

 

 

Important E-Rebate Club Links

Main Site | Shop by Merchant | Shop by Product | Join

Facebook Page

Mar 05

Ottawa Dining – Ottawa Deals for March 5 2012

Ottawa Daily Dining Deals for March 05, 2012

Well, it looks like I maybe spoke too soon! After going several weeks without much in the way of good local dining deals, today we have 3 more from SwarmJam, TeamBuy and WagJag. Perhaps there is still life in the Groupon Daily Deals model after all. Today’s offers are quite eclectic too, ranging from Japanese food to Poutine and prime beef. Here are today’s Daily Deals for the Ottawa area.

 

Taste of Japan

SwarmJam L
Click for Deal Details

The Deal: Taste of Japan

$10.00 for Authentic Japanese Dining from Taste of Japan ($20.00 Value)

Expires: March 7

See this deal

 


 

Smoke's Poutinerie

TeamBuy L
Click for Deal Details

The Deal:  Smoke’s Poutinerie

$15 for a $25 Re-loadable Smoke’s Poutinerie Gift Card

Expires:  March 5

See this deal

 


 

brookers meats

WagJag L
Click for Deal details

The Deal:  Brooker’s Meats

$99 for 10 lbs of Grass Fed, Hormone- and Antibiotic-Free Boneless Ribeye Steaks (a $200 Value)

Expires: March 11

See this deal

 


 

If you arrived too late and missed one or more of these deals, make sure that you don’t miss the next ones.

There are four ways that you can be sure to be up to date with all the local Ottawa Daily Dining and Food Deals:

  1. Click on the ‘Like’ link on the facebook fan box at the top right and notifications of all our posts will be delivered automatically to your Facebook page. http://facebook.com/JustRW
  2. Follow us on Twitter: Username: w3junkie http://twitter.com/w3junkie
  3. Subscribe to our RSS feed at the very top of this page: http://feeds.feedburner.com/justrw/BPNx
  4. Join the Ottawa Top Ten Diners Club. If you eat out in Ottawa, you really should join The Club!

Mar 02

Ottawa Dining – Ottawa Deals for March 2 2012

Ottawa Dining – Ottawa Deals

Ottawa Daily Dining Deals for March 02, 2012

Here are today’s Daily Deals for the Ottawa area. The fact that it has been an entire month since our last post of Ottawa Deals goes to show that restaurant owners are becoming wary as we mentioned in our recent post.

Since these deals are VERY time sensitive, you really should join our Ottawa Top Ten Diners Club and you will be notified immediately every time we post new deals. It’s completely FREE and there are MANY benefits so JOIN TODAY

Dunns Famous Smoked Meat

Groupon L
Click for Deal Details

The Deal: Dunns Famous Smoked Meat

For $15, you get $30 worth of sandwiches, burgers, deli fare, and drinks at Dunn’s on Elgin
Expires: 3rd March 2012
See this deal


WillysPizza

LivingSocial L
Click for Deal Details

The Deal:  Willy’s Pizza
Large 4-Topping Pizza, Large Fries + Litre of Pop ofr $15 save 52%
Expires:  3rd March 2012
See this deal


East Side Marios

WagJag L
Click for Deal details

The Deal: East Side Mario’s

$12 for $25 towards Italian Fare at East Side Mario’s – Choose from 50 Locations
Expires:  7th March 2012
See this deal


Feb 20

Can the Coupons and Groupons keep on coming?

Coupons Deals GalorePerhaps you’ve noticed it already? Even though the number of companies and websites offering local deals, coupons and discounts is increasing exponentially, the actual deals themselves or at least the quality and attractiveness of them is decreasing. It was bound to happen. As the sayings go, “you can’t get blood from a stone” and “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”!  

What does this have to do with the case in point? Simply this: A good deal, to be effective and profitable, must benefit both parties! In most cases, the high discounts offered by the deal and coupon companies were totally funded by the retailer or restaurateur. If a restaurant was offering a 50% discount on $50 worth of food, then they would actually only typically receive 25% of the retail value because the coupon seller would keep 50% of what the end customer paid. You don’t have to be a business tycoon or math whiz to understand that for most businesses, this is a money-losing proposition. No normal food establishment has a 300% mark-up on its wares, unless it’s a government monopoly!

The argument offered by the Groupons and Living Socials of the world was that this was a necessary and highly targeted marketing cost which would ultimately convert into NEW loyal customers and future repeat business. There are two major flaws in this argument:

  1. The majority of restaurants never saw the influx of new loyal customers! Rather, it was more like a “hit and run”. Over the last year, we have used about half a dozen of these deal coupons ourselves and in no instance that I can think of have we gone back to the establishment where we used it. This was not a conscious choice but rather stems from the fact that we used coupons in places that we do not usually visit! Having used the coupon has not resulted in any change of behaviour on our parts. The simple fact is the next time we want to try something new, we will experiment with yet another coupon rather than return to a restaurant where we used a coupon before, but this time without coupon.
  2. Unlike traditional advertising venues where the total cost of any campaign is a known factor before the campaign commences, with these coupon deals, the merchants have little idea of what the end result may be. Indeed, there have been a couple of albeit somewhat extreme examples where the coupon redemption was so high that it actually forced the restaurants in question out of business. That is, of course, not the standard result. On the other hand, a growing number of restaurateurs are discovering that what may be a great boon to the customer turns out to be a boondoggle for themselves.

So, perhaps now you can see why the supply of these Daily Deals and coupons is slowly starting to dry up. In all probability, the strongest will survive and the Johnny-come-lately-s will fall by the wayside. It remains to be seen what this system will be replaced by but if you keep following this blog you may see something new start to appear in the not too distant future.

Feb 18

Cookbook of the Month: Unlock Your Secret Gourmet

Get more Info

Here at The Un-Chef, we try to introduce you to a new and different cookbook each month. Even though this IS the home of Cooking without Recipes, we understand that until you get the hang of it, you will still need recipes to base your culinary creations on.

Now that Valentines Day is past, last months selection Valentine’s Day Recipes will probably go to the back of the shelf for a while.;-)
This month, we are reviewing a recipe book that is a little more ambitious, that entices you to Unlock your Secret Gourmet!

Unlock your Secret Gourmet is a world-class collection of fine recipes.. Here are just a few of the masterpieces in food you will find inside:

  • Breast Of Pheasant With Grapes And Pine Nuts
  • California Goat Cheese Crepes With Sweet Onion Sauce
  • Charbroiled Swordfish With Citrus Salsa
  • Dessert Tostada With Fresh Fruit, Cajeta, And Hot Fudge
  • Eggplant Manicotti
  • Escargots Bourguignonne
  • Grilled Beef Tenderloin With Red Wine And Pistachios
  • Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwiches With Roasted Peppers
  • Grilled Yellow Fin Grouper With Butter Pecan Sauce
  • Linguine Con Verdure
  • Pheasant With Champagne Cabbage
  • Red Snapper In Brodetto With Polenta
  • Slow-Smoked Beef Tenderloin With White Truffle Aioli
  • Tournedos Of Lotte With Lobster And Lobster Butter
  • Pan-Roasted Rabbit With Fresh Herbs

And Literally 100’s More!

Each of the 220 recipes can be copied and printed individually as you need them, or you can print the entire book as you wish.

Here’s what a couple of reviewers had to say about Unlock your Secret Gourmet:

This is indeed a gourmet recipe cookbook. Recipes with sophisticated-sounding French titles, for example, are definitely here. Despite this, though, the ingredients look accessible – not really hard to find, so easy for home cooking.

John Hartley

 

Yum, yum, recipes! I have missed getting recipe e-books here, and this collection doesn’t disappoint. I can’t even begin to count just how many food items are in this collection, but looking through the whole bunch is a pretty tasty experience. The recipes are diverse and the instructions seem easy enough to follow.

All in all, this is a pretty simple collection, but the amount of recipes listed here will certainly blow you away.

Lisa Smithers

If you would like to know a little more about the book, you can follow any of the book title links. However, be sure not to buy on the book site since we have arranged a special deal for our members and you can add Unlock Your Secret Gourmet to your library for a fraction of the price paid on the actual site.

Cookbook of the Month Reader Special Deal

Instead of paying the customary $14.97, you can use the following link and pay only $6.95 a savings of over 50%: BUY NOW for JUST $6.95

Feb 04

Ottawa Daily Deals for February 4th – 2012

Ottawa Daily Dining Deals for February 04, 2012

Here are today’s Daily Deals for the Ottawa area. This is the beginning of a regular feature where we will round up all of the various deals, discounts and coupons that pertain to Food and Dining out in the Ottawa area. If you don’t find anything tempting in the list below, check out the left sidebar where we have even more deals for you to check out! Be sure to check back frequently

Dealfind L

Click for Deal Details

Gourmet SecretsThe Deal: $25 for $200 Worth of AAA Grain Fed Alberta Beef, Free-Range Chicken & Seafood from Gourmet Secrets

Expires:10/02

See this deal

 


Groupon L

Click for Deal Details

CCJs Steakhouse and Lounge

The Deal: CCJ’s Steakhouse and Lounge – Kanata Four-Course Prix Fixe Meal for Two or Four with Wine (Up to 52% Off)

Expires:02/06

See this deal


Steal the Deal L

Click for Deal Details

Tailgators

The Deal: For $5, score a touchdown with a $10 gift card to Tailgators

Expires: 05/02

See this deal


SwarmJam L

Click for Deal Details

Natural Food Pantry

The Deal: Natural Food Pantry $24.00 for All-Natural Protein Bars ($48.00 Value)

Expires: 06/02

See this deal


Jan 25

The Un-Cookbook goes digital: Your chance to review the reviewer!

The Un-Cookbook: The Art of Cooking without Recipes

Frankly, I NEED your assistance! Here’s how and why:

Although The Un-Cookbook is already available through many traditional sales channels such as your local bookstore or online through Amazon, Kindle, Googlebooks amongst many others, we realize that in today’s connected world, many would prefer to receive the book in an unrestricted digital format such as pdf. Although many books, including our own, are already available in various digital formats, there are often several obstacles that must be overcome before the reader can get maximum portability from their purchase. Often, you need special software to read a specific format (ePub, Kindle etc.) and you are unable to easily move the product between platforms or devices. That is why we chose the pdf format! It is available on all operating systems and device types.  In addition, the file itself can be easily transported and imported.

In the past, when using a recipe in the kitchen, you first had to locate the appropriate book, recipe card or scrap of paper and then somehow prop it up in view so you could follow the instructions as you worked. I would be prepared to bet that many of your favourites are splattered, bent, dog-eared and generally worse for wear. Now, you can carry our Un-Cookbook on your smartphone, netbook, laptop, tablet or any other device. It is always at your fingertips and can be searched instantly for that recipe or cooking hint or tip.

As you can see from the above reprint of the cover, a prospective purchaser or reader cannot really get a good feel for the contents of the book. For this reason we have produced a full introduction to The Un-Cookbook here.  However, we are still missing some critical elements to make our sales page. We still need some reader reviews. This is where you come in!

I am going to shamelessly bribe you to help me out. First, I am going to offer you a copy of the Un-Cookbook at a ridiculously low price. Until February 14th, 2012, I am going to change the normal  low price of $11.95 right down to $6.95. This reduction will NOT be advertised on the actual product page, so you will only see it on the order form after you hit the ‘buy’ button.

After you have had a chance to read and experiment with our book, I  am going to ask you to write a review of the product in the comments section of the Un-Cookbook page.

The Valentine's Day Recipe BookFor every one who submits a review, I will send you a copy of our latest product offering: Valentine’s Day Recipes, currently selling for $14.95, absolutely FREE and just in time for Valentine’s day. It will help you to score brownie points with your loved-one. You could simply give it to him/her as a gift or better still, make a special Valentine’s Day meal from its pages and REALLY impress!

Furthermore, should I decide to incorporate your review, or any part thereof, into the sales page, I will send you a personally-signed, hardcover edition of The Un-Cookbook completely free of charge. Even an unsigned copy is priced at $31.95 but one with an inscription from Canada’s Un-Chef could become priceless 😉

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