The semi occasional weekly rant – episode 2. Team 1040 morning show

If you follow me on Twitter or know me in real life you already know where I stand on the recent changes that Vancouver’s sports radio station, The Team 1040, has made to it’s morning show. Mr. Team, in all of his wisdom, decided to shuffle long time morning show host Scott Rintoul to the night shift and let go of some talented people (Paul Debron, Joe Leary) to make room for a “Big Name” in Vancouver radio. Jake Edwards has been a part of Vancouver radio for a VERY long time. He’s a misogynist loudmouth douchebag who appeals to the lowest common denominator and recycles 20+ year old material (The Champ).

Bro Jake. Photo credit - bcradiohistory.com
Bro Jake. Photo credit – bcradiohistory.com

Bringing in Bro Jake was reason enough for me to find another morning radio routine, but it got worse. Another polarizing Vancouver radio personality, Dave Pratt, was announced as Bro Jake’s sidekick. Pratt is most famous for being a plagiarist while he was writing a column for The Province and having as on air blowup with Team 1040 superstar Don Taylor about whether poker was a sport or not. Pratt thinks it is FYI, here’s the embarrassing audio. Pratt left the Team 1040 over a contract dispute where he tried to play hardball over his salary and found out the hard way he wasn’t worth what he thought he was.

Photo credit - The Province.com
Photo credit – The Province.com

I have been boycotting the Team’s morning show since The Bro Jake show launched on September 9th but last week I cracked. I like hearing sports news in the morning, not having it is like not having coffee. I loved the old morning show, Scotty was the glue holding all the personalities together. Paul Chapman brought strong opinions backed up by real sports knowledge, Jason Botchford, who left the show a few months ago, was the controversial trigger man that got the listeners worked up with his cut and dry delivery of his take on Vancouver sports. Paul Debron produced some of the best intros Vancouver radio has ever heard and his occasional foray into an on air role produced some of the funniest moments I’ve ever heard on Radio, namely his Friday Top 6 feature. Above all else they were all sports guys who knew what they were talking about.

Fast forward to early last week. On my way to work I decided to give the new show a shot. You know what I heard? Fart jokes, The Champ (which has never been funny, ever), Justin Bieber stories, Bro Jake talking about having a nooner with his wife, Dave Pratt blindly agreeing with Bro Jake because I’m sure he’s a little gun shy being back at a station that let him walk not that long ago. The guests were a joke, the whole show is a joke.

If I wanted to hear “Shock Jock” radio there are other stations in this city I would listen to, I listen to The Team for sports but as it stands right now they aren’t a sports radio station until 10am when Matt Sekeres and Blake Price take over.

This might be the biggest bonehead move in Vancouver radio history, I’d love to hear what you think, leave a comment below.

Scott.

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Craft Beer Market preview – Guest post by Megan Harris

On Saturday October 27th, Kim and I headed to the Salt Building(85 West 1st Avenue) in The Olympic Village for Craft Beer Market‘s open house. How can you pass up an invitation to sample local craft beer, wine and food? The event took place from 12-4pm, and received a huge turnout.

When Craft Beer Market officially opens Summer 2013, it will be have 140 beers on tap, being the largest selection of draft beer in Canada.

Central City, Whistler, Granville Island, Dead Frog, Parallel 49, Howe Sound, Stanley Park, Tree, and Russell Brewing are some of the local breweries whose beers will occupy those taps, and supplied plenty of samples for guests to enjoy. Mike Macquisten from FreshTAP: Wine-On-Tap had samples of Roaring Twenties and Blasted Church wines, and Christopher Bonnallie showcased what’s available for purchase at Legacy Liquor Store which is nearly right next door to the Salt Building.

 

As for food, we were able to sample two items from the menu-to-be. “Fast Food Sushi”- cheeseburger and fries wrapped in bacon and presented sushi style, and “Hawaiian Ahi Poke”- chopped sashimi-grade tuna, cucumber, fresh ginger, garlic and sesame soy vinaigrette served with crispy wontons. We also had an assortment of bread, cheese, and meats that were brought in from Terra Breads and Urban Fare, which paired well with the beer/wine.

Women’s Ski Cross Gold Medalist Ashleigh McIvor made a special appearance from 2-3pm, taking photos and signing autographs. Ashleigh spent a lot of time in the Salt Building during the 2010 Winter Olympics, which was used for downtime by the athletes, and can’t wait to see how the iconic building will be transformed.

Craft Beer Market’s philosophy “Think Global, Support Local” was well presented at the open house. On our guided tour from co-owner PJ L’Heureux, we learned they plan to be LEAF (Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Food Service) certified, use local premium ingredients(with vegetarian and gluten-free options), have 140 taps(3km of draft lines!) and will seat 350. We can expect to see a huge bar that will take up the middle of the building, as well as an upper level for private parties and special functions.

Kim and I had a wonderful time sampling and learning about what is to come, and look forward to the official opening Summer 2013!

You can follow Craft Beer Market at CraftBeerMarket.ca, on twitter @CRAFTbeeryvr, and on facebook /CraftBeerMarketVancouver.

-Megan Harris @megana28

Sharkey’s beer dinner with Alameda Brewing

Another night, another fantastic meal at an establishment that understands the importance of craft beer. Sharkey’s Bar & Grill is nestled right alongside the Fraser River in scenic Lander and easily has one of the best summertime patios in town. They recently held a craft beer dinner with the good folks at Beerthirst featuring Portland, Oregon’s own Alameda Brewing. The social longatble dinner was a five course affair from Sharkey’s talented head chef Brent Fahl, each course paired with a unique brew from Alameda.

Chipotle Bacon Popcorn
Course number one was a first for me at a beer pairing dinner, popcorn! Not just any popcorn though, chipotle bacon popcorn! Tossed with fresh bacon bits and chipotle pepper and held together by sweet caramel. It was paired with Alameda’s Yellow Wolf IPA which is quite hoppy and everyone knows hoppy beer goes with spicy food right? Of course you did, you read this blog!

Arugula Salad
The second course was a very flavourful arugula salad with sundried tomatoes and extra aged horseradish cheddar tossed in a honey apple cider vinaigrette. It was paired with Alameda’s Oh Canada Maple Session Ale, a fantastic pairing. The sweetness from the dressing, the rich bite from the cheddar and the peppery arugula paired extremely well with the slightly sweet maple session ale.

Chicken with Chorizo sauce
Course number three was an oven braised boneless, skinless chicken breast served with chorizo and sweet corn sauce. It came with a side of house cut fries which had been steeped in a wheat ale. The Chicken was moist and delicious and the chorizo sauce was rich and creamy with a little sweetness from the corn, really nice. The fries were awesome, steeping them in the wheat ale gave them a slightly sweet and very enjoyable flavour. This dish was paired with Alameda’s Black Bear XX Stout, probably the only beer in their lineup that could hold it’s own against this intensely flavoured dish.  I wouldn’t say the pairing was spot on but they didn’t oppose each other so it worked.

Half lobster tail
The fourth course was a baked half lobster tail drizzled with asparagus butter and served with basmati rice. The lobster was decadent and the asparagus butter was a great choice by Chef Fahl. The rice, as minor as this seems, was the most perfectly cooked basmati rice I’ve ever had which is quite a feat when you’re cooking for 45 people at once. Also I’m from Surrey so, you know, I’ve eaten A LOT of basmati rice over the years. This dish was paired with Alameda’s Barn Owl Imperial Brown Ale. This is a fantastic beer, it’s basically a traditional English brown ale but with a 7.9% alcohol kick and some very complex malt flavours. The pairing was really nice as well, the malt really balanced out the sweet and savoury elements of this dish.

Pumpkin spice cake
The fifth and final course was a pumpkin spice cake. I don’t like pumpkin flavoured things, I’ve made this very clear over the years but I thought I’d be a big boy and at least give it a try. It was a pumpkin sponge cake layered with vanilla ice cream topped with fresh whipped cream along with warm pumpkin and sour cherry compote and some pumpkin seed brittle. I actually loved it, the spice normally associated with pumpkin was very subtle and the ice cream/whipped cream melded with the sponge cake in a cold creamy mouthful of joy. The pumpkin seed brittle was amazing too! It was paired with Alameda’s P-Town Pilsner, thankfully not a pumpkin beer! The P-town Pilsner is a good representation of a  German style pilsner but it uses Noble hops (I think…) which impart an almost corn-like flavour. I’m told this is true to the style but it’s not my favourite pilsner. I am very thankful it was not a pumpkin beer though…

All this for $35.99 plus tax and tip, a ridiculous deal if you ask me. Cheers to Sharkey’s man in charge Andrea Frustaci (Dre to all the cool kids) for embracing the craft beer movement!!

Twitter – @sharkeyladner

Facebook – facebook.com/Sharkeys-Seafood-Bar-Grille

Blog – sharkeysgrille.wordpress.com

Web – sharkeys.ca

Scott

Surrey rolls out a new waste collection program

This week the City of Surrey launched its “Rethink Waste” program whit the goal of reducing the amount of non organic waste hitting our landfills. The program is a full rethink of the way Surrey handles its waste, new city supplied garbage bins, new pick up schedules and new truck which run on natural gas instead of diesel fuel. So how did it go? I’ll give you one man’s perspective. I live in a townhouse in the Fleetwood area of Surrey. I have a wife and 2 and a half year old daughter, nothing out of the ordinary demographically speaking.

When the program was announced residents were instructed to order there new garbage bins online, one for organic waste, one for recyclables and one for regular old garbage. The website recommended what size bins would be appropriate for your family needs and as such I ordered something fairly close to the recommendation. I was told I would need a 120L organic bin, a 240L recycling bin and a 180L garbage bin based on my type of dwelling. I chose to up the garbage bin to 240L because my daughter isn’t potty trained yet. The organic waste cart will get very little use in this house other than pizza boxes. I have a garbage disposal in my sink and quite frankly I don’t want a kitchen full of flies. I also don’t want to have to buy the special bags to use with the small kitchen container they’ve provided for organics.

The organic bins are picked up weekly and the recyclables and garbage are picked up every two weeks on an alternating schedule. I think my 240L bins will be big enough for two weeks worth of stuff but if they aren’t I’ll have an opportunity to exchange them. The bins were dropped off roughly a week before we could use them and I actually had bins dropped off in my driveway 3 times… That’s 9 bins. I took the ones I ordered and before I could call the city the extras had disappeared in the garages of my neighbours.

The fist pick up day was fairly amusing as almost all of my neighbours, as well most of the rest of Surrey, put out all three of their bins. It amazes me how many people don’t read simple instructions. I saw a lot of overfilled bins which will not be picked up and most of them were still sitting on the curbs days later as their clueless owners waited for the garbage men to return. Oh well, I’m sure everyone will figure it out in time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new system or how you think it compares to other programs around the GVRD.

Scott.

XL Foods recall – everything you need to know

The XL Foods beef recall has expanded yet again, this time it includes steaks as well as ground beef and many other beef products. The best way to stay up to date with what has been recalled and what retail outlets have been advised of these recalls is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency(CFIA) website’s Food Recalls & Alergy Alert page. This recall is huge and includes almost every major grocery chain in Canada, if you have any beef on the list please throw it away, even if it is frozen it still carries  E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.

This is a great reason to start buying local meats, they taste better, are better for you and are much safer.

Follow the CFIA on Twitter for the latest info – @CFIA_Food

Scott.

Pumphouse Pub Longtable dinner – Guest post by Lynn McIlwee

Summer has now passed, which not only means that the great autumn beers
are back, but the
Pumphouse Pub
resumes their Beer Tasting Series! I’m always curious to see what Chef Daniela
Iaci will create with her food magic and per usual, she didn’t disappoint. These
dinners just keep getting better and better so if you haven’t checked one out
yet, get on it! Daniela does an amazing job of nailing the pairings and
prepares such succulent and flavourful dishes. I bow to you, Daniela.
The menu:
 
Course One
Café latte beef carpaccio espresso
crusted beef, crème fraiche & arugula salad
Paired with: Elysian Split Shot Espresso
Milk Stout
The carpaccio was paper thin and paired gorgeously with the crème fraiche
and arugula. Balsamic vinegar was drizzled on the arugula and it exuded a
pleasant parmesan aroma.
Stout paired with the first course, you say? Bold, for sure, but it
worked. And the
Elysian is such a
fantastic beer. It’s truly one of my favourite stouts – the coffee and
chocolate notes are well balanced and it is a smoooooth beer to drink. Ahhhh. I
love you, Spilt Spot.
Course Two
Spicy coconut sweet & sour prawn soup
Paired with: The Commons Urban Farmhouse
Ale
The chilies that were used in the broth would pack a big, punch you in
the face and take no prisoners bite, should you eat them. And we were warned so
as not to have a surprise should we eat one. But wow, did they ever enhance the
flavour of the soup. It had a great kick to it and kept the sweet and sour from
having their own battle. I loved this soup.
The Commons’ beers are new
to BC and thanks to
Beerthirst, they’re
now being imported! We had the Urban Farmhouse Ale with this course. I’m a big
fan of farmhouse ales and this is a great example of one. Floral notes, some
bitterness and a clean finish. This beer is the 2012 World Beer Cup Bronze
Medal winner. Applause, applause. We’ll be stopping in at The Commons’ tasting
room on our next Portland trip (coming up next week!) and will indulge in some
of their other goodies like the Flemish Kiss…
Course Three
Crispy pork belly crostini with goat
cheese
Paired with: North Coast Le Merle
Farmhouse Ale
I made some pretty detailed notes on this one, such as SO DAMN GOOD! I’m
no food blogger, but I know what I like in food and beer. And this pork belly
was ah-maze-ing! So flavourful and tender in its porky goodness. I think we all
wanted seconds, and thirds, and and and… Did you catch that I loved this?
Ok, I’ll stop my pork-love-in and get on to the Le Merle. North Coast hits a lot of home
runs, in my opinion (Old Rasputin, Old No. 38 Stout, PranQster and others) and
this Farmhouse Ale is beautiful. Its inspiration comes from the Flanders region
with Belgian yeast, plenty of hops and fruity undertones.
Course Four
Citrus BBQ chicken tostada
Paired with: Half Pinks Little Scrapper
IPA
The citrus flavours on the chicken tostada danced around like a happy
little mariachi band. How Daniela managed to make this pairing a show stopper,
I’ll never know, but she did it. This dish was so flavourful and tasty! Slow
clap time… clap-clap-clap
Half Pints Brewing are
another new addition to BC, again courtesy of Beerthirst, and Little Scrapper
is a great IPA. They sell t-shirts that say “Together we can stop the evil
spread of lite beer”. Yep, we will get along just fine. A hop forward IPA with
gorgeous citrus/grapefruit notes all the while, staying balanced.
 
Course Five
Fig & blue cheese crème brulee with
candied walnuts
Paired with: Tenaya Creek Double Tandem Double
IPA
Did someone say crème brulee? I love crème brulee. I’m not a dessert
person by nature but good luck on me passing this up. Fig and blue cheese might
not be what you’d expect in this dessert but it rocked my world. Daniela, my
hands are getting sore from all the clapping… but well deserved. She outdid
herself with this gem. A few candied gooseberries also came along for the ride
and the brulee was sweet and salty. I saw a tweet from Daniela earlier that morning
saying she didn’t have a proper recipe for this dessert – the way she wanted it,
she obviously put her creative genius and culinary skills to work. Bam! She nailed
it.
The Tandem DIPA from Tenaya Creek
Brewery
was a new beer for me and is a limited special release. Grab a
bottle before they’re all gone, beer geeks, as it’s worth a try. It has the
typical characteristics of an IPA with a bit of earthiness. Mild bitterness and
extra hoppy goodness.
These amazing dinners with generous pourings are $40 (not including tip
– please tip their great servers!). Talk about value!
During and after dinner, we were treated to the musical stylings of Dino DiNicolo. What a talented man! I
just checked his tour schedule and it’s amazing he has time to play at the
Pumphouse – check him out!
The next beer dinner will be during BC Craft Beer Month on October 19th.
There will be a six-course brewmaster’s dinner with six BC brewmasters on hand
to pour their own beers and mingle with the crowd. Tickets are $50 and more
information can be found on The Pumphouse’s
Facebook page or their website.  I’d suggest you get your tickets soon as this
will undoubtedly be a sellout!
Thanks again to The Pumphouse staff, chef Daniela and Beerthirst for
another excellent event. We continue to look forward to the next creative menu!
Follow Lynn on Twitter @BGCanary
Sorry about the formatting, Google’s Blogger platform doesn’t like WordPress… 🙂 – Scott

Apothic White launch party. WINE!!

Let me start by saying I love events put on by Dunn PR, they’re pros. Apothic is a California based wine maker with two products, a red and a white, both blends. I’m sure most of you know I’m in a committed relationship with Craft Beer, I have regular affairs with single malt Scotch and the odd one night stand with spicy Caesar’s so wine is a rare drink for me. Apothic’s wines are what wine folk call “cocktail wines”, meaning they are blends of multiple varieties. The red is a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot and is quite sweet as far as reds go. The white, which was the featured wine for this launch, is a blend of Chardonnay, Riesling and Moscato resulting in a very sweet yet easily drinkable wine with lots of fruity character and a hint of vanilla. Both wines are a great choice for people looking to get into wine.

The event itself was held at District 319 which is one of my favourite event spaces in the city. Located in the heart of the Downtown Eastside District 319 offers a large, infinitely adaptable event space with style and atmosphere, I am furiously trying to think up an event so I can hold one here… This was also a WFLBC team event as Rochele and her awesome husband and fellow Honda enthusiast Russ joined in the festivities!

As usual the Dunn PR crew put together all the little touches that make their events great, good food, great entertainment (in this case ballet dancers) and a Twitter wall which quickly became the inappropriate stage on which I cyber-flirted with Dennis Pang, Nick Routley, Rick Chung and Kevin Wu. They can pretend like they didn’t like it but I know what’s up.

As this was an event with lots of free booze I have the opportunity to make a little public service announcement about the hazards of blogging. When attending events where you will be drinking make sure to wear properly supportive footwear. As my date and I found out on our way to the train, wine, high heels and the uneven streets of the Downtown Eastside are not a good match. Skinned and bruised knees and sore ankles accompanied by a bruised hand from me trying to catch her were the result of her looking incredibly sexy. No pain no gain? Not sure if that applies here. My pictures also directly reflect my level of intoxication, I’m sure you knew that though.

 

CHEERS EVERYONE!!

Twitter – @ApothicWine

Facebook – www.facebook.com/ApothicWine

Web – www.apothic.com

Scott.

Cray-vings with Cray Kitchen & Bar & VANEATS.ca

Cray Kitchen & Bar is one of VERY few places in Vancouver doing Louisiana style Seafood. Never had Louisiana style before? You’re missing out on a truly unique dining experience. The latest dining pass from VANEATS.ca, called “Cray-vings”, is a five item feast featuring a 1/2 pound of shrimp, a 1/2 pound of crawfish (both flown in live from Louisiana), 3 cod bites, 2 deep fried oysters and some tasty Cajun fries all for $18.50, a very good deal!

This was a WFLBC team event as I was joined by my lovely co-blogger Rochele! The shrimp/crawfish are available in different spice levels, I chose spicy and Rochele went with medium. I also got a side of Cray’s house made XXX hot sauce, It’s definitely got some heat, only the brave need apply! We stared off with the Cod Bites, golf ball sized pieces of deep fried cod. They were pretty tasty and the batter was nicely seasoned. Next up was the deep fried oysters, one of my favourite things! Rochele Isn’t a huge fan of oysters but I thought they were done just right, not overcooked and were quite large! We both snacked on the Cajun fries throughout the meal and they were tasty and well seasoned.

Now to the main event, the steaming bag full of shellfish!! When you get to Cray they cover your table with paper and bring you a bucket with a roll of paper towel, plastic gloves and a stylish plastic bib. Trust me, you need all of them. The shrimp and crawfish are whole, shell on, heads and legs on so you have to do a little work to get the meat out. The shrimp are fairly easy to disassemble and when you take the head off make sure you suck the juice out, it’s delicious! The crawfish are a little more work and you really don’t get a lot of meat out of the tail but what you do get is very tasty and quite similar to lobster meat. The crawfish heads are worth a suck too, tasty tasty head juice.

I was lucky enough to squeeze one of the shrimp heads too hard when I was pulling it off and ended up with a face/sleeve full of shrimp head juice! It’s all good though, that’s what the bibs are for.

 

Get your Cray-vings dining pass from VANEATS.ca HERE before they’re all gone!

Scott.

A Day at the Vancouver Aquarium

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to The Vancouver Aquarium and it has had some major renovations lately, the perfect time to go check it out with the family! My daughter is 2 and a half, the prefect age for an introduction to the aquarium. She’s old enough to appreciate it yet young enough to be free (3 is the cut off). I’ve always loved the aquarium and we had a great day showing our daughter the wonders of the world that are hidden in its oceans, lakes and rivers.

There’s something for everyone at the Vancouver Aquarium. If you’ve never been or you haven’t visited in a while it’s worth another look.

Web – vanaqua.org

Twitter – @vancouveraqua

Scott.

RELEVANT TODAY!

à la Rochele

Screw New Years Resolutions. Did you know that you can start again any day of the year that you want? I start and stop my fitness goals the way some people flip through channels on TV.  I don’t usually feel bad about this. I fall off the wagon, and I start again. I won an award for perseverance many years ago. I will persevere, and so should you. Just start again, and again, and again until it finally sticks.

Last year I was so motivated to look good in my bikinis for the summer. In February I was soft and squishy and underwhelmed with the way I looked in and out of my clothes. I was motivated to look and feel my best at 25 years old. I went to the gym, I started running, and I made long-term changes to my diet that are now just part of me. I…

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