|Outside the Phoenix Restaurant|
The dinner guest theme of the evening is "the best people I met in 2010!" Everyone! Please meet Shelbie Vermette, Matthew Tammaro, and Andrew B. Myers. A word about all three in a moment, but first if you've ever wondered what goes on during our Parkdale dinners, here's a bit of a taste...
I actually met Shelbie Vermette in 2009 when she was working as an interim photo editor at Report on Business Magazine and she assigned me the harrowing task of photographing Ron Joyce, the co-founder of Tim Hortons. However then we only knew each others voice. We finally met in person at an event I held at my studio in 2010 (I won't mention the event, I'd rather forget about it entirely). She then did a brief stint as a photographers rep at Westside Studio and is now the photo editor at Eye Magazine. She is the walking definition of wonderful.
|Shelbie, Andrew, and Matt|
Speaking of some of the best work I've seen in years, meet Andrew B. Myers. I was first introduced to his work through Heather Morton's much missed blog about a year ago. His work made me want to kill myself. Or at least abandon photography altogether and become a farmer. It was unlike any work I had ever seen. His work is amazingly mature, hilarious, and features the most beautiful colour palate of any Canadian photographer I've seen in a long time. Before I met him I was convinced he was some kind of wizard or some horrible turtle-neck and blazer wearing asshole who used to be into The Tallest Man on Earth but now they're just too commercial. Nothing could be further from the truth. Much like Matt and Shelbie he's an uber-talented humble sweetheart! The best qualities to have in a friends and colleagues.
|Our Won-Ton Soup|
Yeah, not so much.
We arrived to a restaurant that was filled with what looked like reject tables from Spadina Avenue restaurants, a loud TV, and buzzing fluorescent light. Matt arrived first and Shelbie and Andrew shortly after. The menu was a bit confusing as it featured Chinese, South American, and Canadian food. So we asked our waiter to recommend a few things. By the way, our waiter was a 15 year old kid who turned out to be awesome but not particularly helpful. He said that everything on the menu was good and if we came back on Monday we should try out their famous Oxtail Soup. Apparently it takes 3 days to make and is only available on Monday and sometimes on Tuesdays. I plan to return for a follow up lunch review.
|Matt trying to eat his soup|
in the sexiest way possible.
For our mains we ordered a plate of sweet and sour chicken balls, some pork spareribs in a garlic sauce, an arroz co pollo which is a chicken fried rice latin style, and a chalet de cerdo which is a breaded beef steak.
The soups were great! Hands down the best part of our meal. Shelbie and I both appreciate a good won-ton soup and its exactly what we got. Pipping hot and not too salty. Matt also seemed to really enjoy his hot and sour soup. So far so good.
|sweet and sour chicken balls|
I thought the pork spareribs in a garlic sauce was the worst dish of the meal although Andrew seemed to like it. Maybe he was just hungry or we were tasting different things. There was barely any meat on the ribs and the sauce just tasted like brown flavoured water, and the flavouring wasn't particularly good.
|Chalet de cerdo (breaded steak)|
The surprise of the night was the chalet de cerdo (the breaded steak dish). When it arrived it looked kinda like a baseball glove sitting on bed of rice and not particularly appetizing. Matt sprinkled some lemon juice on it and, surprisingly, it wasn't that bad. Not great, but not bad at all. It tasted a little bit like schnitzel and the lemon flavour really went well with the, well, meat and breading. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I would order this again. In fact I don't think I would go back to the Phoenix altogether (except to try the Oxtail Soup). But this dish was probably the winner of the night. However that's not saying much.
|Andrew trying to eat|
a chicken ball in the sexiest