Thursday, June 18, 2020

BBQ Season has Arrived

BBQ Season has Arrived

Yes, the season is here, roll out the grill. Visit the store and purchase those steaks, hamburgers, chicken and corn on the cob. We also tend to buy BBQ sauces.

BBQ sauces come in all kinds of flavours.. There is original, white, sweet, honey , Asian, mustard, smokey, Jalapeno, tangy and ....

Have we selected our wine for the this wonderful summer event. We all know reds for steak and white for chicken. We know our favourite red and our favourite whites. We know what goes best with each meat selections but wait a minute. We have added something here! We have introduced new flavours by adding BBQ sauce.

The flavours of the sauce have a big impact on what wine you should choose.

Remember never serve foods sweeter than your wine. The sweet the sauce the sweeter the wine should be. Dry rubs and vinegar-based sauces need drier wines.

When it comes to hamburgers  I like a original light non-sweat BBQ sauce lightly spread over the burger. Try merlot, cab Sauvignon or Zinfandel. I can also go with Bacchus. Those who insist upon a red may like Syrah.

With steak going with a little heavier sauce Pinot Noir is very good.
Chardonnay works well with many of the over flavoured BBS sauces on today market.

Although we think we have the right wine remember the sauce changes the flavours of those meats. One hint that I have to admit we have not yet tried. chilling the reds.

Stay healthy enjoy the summer!

Monday, June 8, 2020

My wife was reading her Facebook page when she noticed a posting for Gracie's Next Door (a restaurant in Tsawwassen) celebrating the opening of their new patio and return of their Sunday Brunch this was exciting news, as restaurants had been closed for 3 months during the pandemic. We weren't quite ready for indoor dining, but a sunny patio was definitely a plus!  Barb contacted friends who agreed that brunch on a patio would work, so four seniors were gungho for a good time!   

The posting recommended reservations. Barb called the restaurant, a voice message indicated that all reservations were done online, no problem we are used to that format.  Gracie's and Mario's located side by side (same owners) share an online reservation service run by . The system requires you to sign up for an account (what!) before you can confirm a reservation. Why would you make your customers go through this to make a simple reservation?

After numerous questions plus coming up with a password, she was successful in getting a reservation for the next day at 1:00 pm on the patio. An e-mail was received to confirm patio seating for four.

We arrived at Gracie's as planned, parking was easy. The patio looked attractive we were looking forward to our meal. However, our host did not give an owls hoot that we had a reservation.  He tried to get us to sit inside or wait for the next empty table. Walk-ups were being seated regardless of our reservation. Remember, they recommended reservations "Reservations available from the website as walk-in space is very limited." is what the voice message suggested and is printed on their website. 

After a reasonable wait, we were seated, however,  it was quite a while before menus were provided and even a longer wait for the waitress to appear. Thankfully she was quite charming.

Two of us were to be disappointed with no French Toast and Strawberries (their feature) they "ran out". I have managed restaurants and owned a restaurant. Never, and I repeat never, would I  not have the advertised item available. It is a complete and absolute no-no. Especially when you are trying to reclaim your business.

French Toast is a very simple item not having it available makes me think they were using pre-made french toast. I mean you have bread, you have eggs if you run out dash to the store, it's right next door.

 To start Barbara and I ordered a Mimosa which was very good!  Ken ordered the Cornbread Benny and Barbara had the Frittata Patata they both gave their dish 5 stars. Jane and I settled for the traditional two-egg breakfast. It might also be pointed out no silverware was provided the waitress had to fetch and return with napkins and silverware as we waited.

Forgetting about the reservations hassle we enjoyed our meals, the service and each other's company.