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Monday, June 28, 2010

It's All Downhill From Here

In retrospect I should have come up with a better title for this post.  This past weekend up at Sun Peaks was anything but downhill, but the fact that my son and I spent the weekend trying out their Bike Park ... well the title just wrote itself.

If you've never done this type of mountain-biking before, I'd suggest taking a lesson.  It's not for the faint of heart.  I discovered this first hand when we took our first run down "Smoothie Smooth,"  a beginner's run according to the lifties and the guys in the bike shop.  Even the name made it sound like a nice friendly way to ride your bike down the hill.  About half way down the hill my son turned to me and said "Dad, I think we made a wrong turn.  This just CAN'T be the easy way!"

In fact, it was.  In hindsight it really wasn't that bad.  We had a chance to see some of the more serious runs from a distance.  Smoothie Smooth was a cake walk in comparison.  We also were tackling the hill using fixed tail bikes (front shocks only) which is a bone-jarring experience to say the least.  After 3 runs (each lasting around 45 minutes each), we were dirty, tired and a little sore due to a couple of tumbles.

What better way to finish a day of thrashing our ways down the mountain than dinner on the patio at the Delta Sun Peaks?  Their restaurant patio is situated at the base giving a stunning view of the hill and the sunset. 

We started with some cold beverages and worked our way through a prix fix menu that featured local produce, lamb and bison.  It was a good deal especially considering they were one of the few places open during the summer season and could easily have jacked up their prices.

The highlight of our evening came with dessert.  Our server presented a lovely assortment of mini deserts (we were sharing) and named them off:
We have a creme brule cheesecake, raspberry sorbet, chocolate bruscotti, chocolate mouse, and a lemon tart..

We're still not sure what bruscotti are ... but they sure were good.

NIM: Changing Channels in the Kitchen

In a previous NIM I featured a cabinet design that featured the items behind the door.  Today's product definitely places all the focus on the door itself.

Located in Manchester, England, Luxurite describes itself as a "leading TV solution provider."  Their product line features slim-line LCD screen televisions that are hidden cleverly into many areas of the home.  Their Kitchen Cabinet TV is one of the nicest solutions to adding a TV to the kitchen that I've come across.  Rather than the typical solutions of hanging a TV from the wall, or inside/beneath a cabinet, the TV is integrated into the door itself.

They offer two version:  one where the TV unit is embedded into the door provided by your cabinet maker, and another where they manufacture a black mirror door, with the TV invisible when it's turned off.  Each unit is available with WiFi and a wireless mouse & keyboard so you can bring the Internet into the kitchen along with Food Network.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

¡Vamos México!

I've been meaning to write about this place for a while, and today's win by Mexico over France in the 2010 World Cup seems as good a reason as any.  Ever since La Salza deli closed about a year ago there has been prescious little good Mexican food in North Burnaby.  There are a couple places I've tried, but none seemed to come close to the flavours of a place like Dona Cata in Vancouver.

I had driven by Los Compadres a number of times, but never thought to try them out.  To be honest, it just looked a little too "fast food" for what I hoped to find.  But after a number of near visits, I dropped by for a late lunch ... and am very glad I did.  First thing I noticed was the number of Latinos in the restaurant.  Behind the counter, in the kitchen and (best of all) in the dining room.  It's almost always a good sign when an ethnic restaurant is frequented by people of the same ethnicity.

Los Compadres didn't dissappoint.  Over a number of visits I've enjoyed tacos, enchiladas and tomales.  True, each come with the cliché rice and re-fried beans, but they're all really good and fresh.  Even the guacamole is made when your order it, coming to your table all chunky and fresh.  

The room is pretty plain.  Almost cafeteria-like.  But the staff and owner are very friendly, and the TV playing Mexican programming almost makes it feel like you're at a luncheria in Playa del Carmen ... without the sunshine of course.

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Los Compadres - A Taste of Mexico
4280 Hastings
Burnaby, BC
Tel: (604) 259-1922

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ingenious Flipper Bridge

Now I know what you're thinking.

You're thinking "what does a bridge in Hong Kong" have to do with kitchen design?

Well, nothing really. But I'm just a fan a clever design, and the Flipper Bridge is a great example of it. The bridge connects Mainland China with Hong Kong, which means it also connects drivers who drive on the right side of the road with those who drive on the left. The bridge's ellegant solution just moves the lanes to the correct side rather than trying to move all the drivers.

Thanks to Brian for finding this.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

There's Always Room for Jell-O!


It's a hot sunny day (trust me, they do happen in Vancouver, just not until August) and you've just finished mowing the lawn.  What better way to quench your thirst than a nice can of Grass Jelly Drink!  It's Lawn-er-ific!
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